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What’s the Rig Veda? Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T13:08:21+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

The Rig Veda in Sanskrit (from the 1800s AD) The Rig Veda is a group of poems that people in India first sang and recited maybe about 1500 BC. That was soon after the Yamnaya - the Indo-Europeans - arrived in India. For hundreds of years, people passed down these poems by reciting them out loud. They [...]

What is dharma? Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T08:23:46+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Arjuna fights Shiva (in a story from the Mahabharata) Dharma is a Sanskrit word originally meaning order or solidity or normality. It comes from an earlier Indo-European (Yamnaya) word meaning firm, solid, like wood or a tree. Hindus later on used it to mean something like "law" or "duty" - it's the laws of nature that keep order [...]

Caste system in ancient India

By |2018-04-23T15:20:02+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, People|

Indian people partying Castes were the central feature of people's identities in ancient India. Beginning soon after the Yamnaya arrived in India, about 1500 BC, people in India began to divide everyone into one of five groups, or castes. People thought of the caste system as people's mirror of the way the universe worked. Just as the sun and the planets each [...]

Vedic India – history of India

By |2018-04-23T14:45:28+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Vedic India: A horse-drawn chariot from the Oxus Treasure (British Museum, thanks to Mary Harrsch) About 1500 BC, a new group of people seem to have come to India from the north-west: this time, they were the Yamnaya. The Yamnaya came from Central Asia, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. We also call these people [...]