Pbs: Story of India: Lesson 1 Tracking Early Hindusim



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PBS: Story of India: Lesson 1 Tracking Early Hindusim


  • The importance of the Ganges River

  • Origins of Sanskrit

  • The Vedas and Mahabharata

  • The various gods

  • Sanskrit (video resource)

  • Hinduism

  • Ganges River

  • Varanasi

  • Vedas

  • Mahabharata (video resource)

  • Ghats (video resource)

  • Magh Mela



Sanskrit:

  1. What does the connection between Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages imply? Why was this a significant historical development in the 18th century?

  2. India's history is full of migrations and invasions from outside the subcontinent. How did the Aryan migration into India impact the region’s culture?

  3. How has the traditional process of transferring the mantras to the next generation helped maintain the caste system?

Mahabharata

  1. How did Indians preserve their literature and customs over the centuries? In modern times, how do we ensure our records will be preserved for years to come?

  2. Despite all of India's modernizations, why will it likely be difficult to do away with all aspects of the caste system?

  3. How do Hindus differentiate between the importance of the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedas?

  4. What role do the Mahabharata and the Ramayana play in Indian history? What are some other cultures' epic stories?

Ghats/Varansi
  1. Why are pilgrimages important in India? What is the importance of the pilgrimage sites in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism?


  2. What is the role of pilgrimages in Christianity and Islam?


Lesson 2 Lesson 2: An Edict on Ashoka

Resources


  • Edicts of Ashoka (video resource)

  • Ashokan Pillar

  • Battle of Kalinga

  • Mauryan Empire

  • Buddhism (video resource)

Off Site Resources


  • Ashokan Rock Edicts (Complete text)

  • The Rock Edicts (Excerpts)

Edicts of Ashoka

  1. What purpose did the Ashokan pillars play during Ashoka's rule? Why do you think they would have been effective?

  2. How did the possible meeting between Alexander the Great and a young Chandragupta influence the development of the Mauryan Empire?

  3. In light of India's many religious traditions, why do you think Buddhism suffered a sharp decline in India after Ashoka?

  4. What teachings of the Buddha are most relevant in today's world?

Buddhism

  1. What purpose did the Ashokan pillars play during Ashoka's rule? Why do you think they would have been effective?

  2. How did the possible meeting between Alexander the Great and a young Chandragupta influence the development of the Mauryan Empire?

  3. In light of India's many religious traditions, why do you think Buddhism suffered a sharp decline in India after Ashoka?

  4. What teachings of the Buddha are most relevant in today's world?

Describe the statement on the rock edict


Lesson 3: The Winds of Trade


(Southern India, 2nd Century BCE)

Part A Resources:


  • Trade (video resource)

  • Spices (video resource)

  • Muziris (video resource)

  • Roman trade with India (external resource - includes a trade route map)

Part B Resources:


  • Gupta Empire

  • Cholan Empire (video resource)

  • Buddhism (video resource)

  • Silk Road (video resource)

  • Khyber Pass

  • Astronomy (video resource)

  • Mathematics

  • British East India Company

  • Chennai Central Railway Station

(Southern India, 2nd Century BCE)

Trade


  1. Why has India been an important center of trade?

  2. What importance did spices play in the development of trade? What eventually ended the European demand for Indian spices?

  3. What was the significance of Vasco da Gama's arrival in Calicut?

  4. Who did the British East India Company employ to assist the company in its domination of India?

  5. How might people of the United States react to a corporation being given the authority to govern another country?

Spices

Kerala


  1. How does the port town of Muziris exemplify an early European obsession with Indian goods?
  2. How did spices shape the Indian Ocean trade networks? Why were they so important to the Europeans?


  3. How has the treatment of Jews in India been different from the treatment of Jews in other places in the world? What explains this?

  4. How did Vasco da Gama's voyage into the Indian Ocean transform the world economy? What long-term effects of da Gama's visit did India experience?

  5. Why has boat building been such an important part of India's history?

Buddhism

  1. Why is a secular constitution important to the stability of India? Do you think that Indian stability would have been threatened with a religion-based government?

  2. Hinduism includes thousands of different gods, each playing a different role. What does this tell us about the nature of Hinduism?

  3. Which Hindu god fascinates you the most? Why?

  4. Why are the stories of the gods so important? How do these stories compare to stories from the New and Old Testaments?

Science and Medicine

  1. Why do you think yoga has become so popular outside of India?

  2. What aspects of Ayurvedic medicine are valued by many people in the United States?

  3. Why were India's advancements in mathematics important? What aspects of math taught today in school originated in India?

Lesson 3 Indus River Valley

6 Edicts of Ashoka

What purpose did the Ashokan pillars play during Ashoka's rule? Why do you think they would have been effective?



  1. Why are pilgrimages important in India? What is the importance of the pilgrimage sites in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism?

  2. What is the role of pilgrimages in Christianity and Islam?


  1. How did the possible meeting between Alexander the Great and a young Chandragupta influence the development of the Mauryan Empire?


  2. In light of India's many religious traditions, why do you think Buddhism suffered a sharp decline in India after Ashoka?











  1. Mahabarata

  2. How did Indians preserve their literature and customs over the centuries? In modern times, how do we ensure our records will be preserved for years to come?

  3. Despite all of India's modernizations, why will it likely be difficult to do away with all aspects of the caste system?

  4. How do Hindus differentiate between the importance of the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedas?

  5. What role do the Mahabharata and the Ramayana play in Indian history? What are some other cultures' epic stories?

12 Fine Arts

  1. What are the fundamental differences between Hindu and Muslim art in India?

  2. Why did so much gold flow into India during trade with the Roman Empire? How did the Indian use of gold differ from the Roman use?

  3. How has art of the Kushan Empire influenced some modern representations of the Buddha?

  4. Compare the two most recognizable forms of Indian Art, Mughal miniatures and Cholan Bronzes. How are they representative of the empires that produced them?

  5. How have Hindu festivals been integrated into aspects of everyday life in Indian?

2 Sanskrit


  1. What does the connection between Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages imply? Why was this a significant historical development in the 18th century?

  2. India's history is full of migrations and invasions from outside the subcontinent. How did the Aryan migration into India impact the region’s culture?
  3. How has the traditional process of transferring the mantras to the next generation helped maintain the caste system?


4 Ganges

  1. Why did the Ganges River become such an important part of Hinduism? How do Hindus show their reverence for the Ganges River?

  2. The word Karma is often used in American popular culture. What are its Hindu origins? Is the adoption of religious concepts in a secular context disrespectful towards the original religion?

  3. How are Hinduism and the caste system connected? While India outlawed the caste system at independence, why do problems persist?




All resources taken directly from PBS Teacher lesson plans






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