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Lecture 2

Key Terms - week 2 -6

Global Asia Studies
Course Code
Liang Chen

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GASA01h3 Exam Review
Week 2
II. Key Terms/ID Items (Explain or identify the historical meaning and significance
of the following terms):
Oldest major religion
Integrated with Indian culture (e.g. caste system)
Sacred Texts: Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagdev Gita
Key concepts:
oDharma ( Principle of cosmic order, your good deeds to live. Think you
oKarma (full cycle of conduct, bad actions lead towards a bad outcome, to rid
ones self of karma will liberate you from the cycle of rebirth and help you
attain enlightenment)
oAhimsa (principle of non-violence towards things)
oReincarnation (rebirth of the soul into another body which can even be an
Samsara (the endless cycle of birth, suffering, death and rebirth)
Moksa (liberation from samsara)
Buddhism (e.g., origin, teachings, two major schools, spread beyond India and later
evolution in other parts of Asia, etc.)
Created in the time of Indian Political turmoil
Founder Gautama (Buddha)
Arose from Hinduism, but questioned the caste system and rituals
Has same key concepts: NIRVANA = enlightenment (goal of life, to attain liberation),
Dharma, Karma, Samsara, Ahimsa
Two major schools:
oTeravada lesser vehicle, More traditional. Dominant in Sri Lanka and
southern India.
oMahiyana greater vehicle Bohdistavvas reincarnation of Buddha.
Emerged around the 5 C in Northern India and spread to China and Japan
Confucianism (major philosophers, teachings, and impact, and differences from
Buddhism or Daoism, etc.)
Debatable if philosophy or religion
Major teachings include:
oDuty to family, society, obedience, virtue

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oSelf-cultivation and education as path to success
Could just be a governance system
Speaks of no God, afterlife, and just speaks of ghosts
Neo-Confucianism (By Zhu Xi) stresses self cultivation and goal for every person to
become a sage
Islam relationship with Christianity, Islamic conquest in Asia, Africa, and Europe,
and policies towards non-believers, etc.)
Worlds youngest major religion
Founder : Mohammed (pbuh) [570 632 c.e]
Sacred Text : Quran
Key Concept:
oMonotheism ( Belief in ONE God)
oResurrection ( after the day of judgement, life after death)
oPrayer and salvation
o Angels and Prophets
oIslamic Rule Spread first throughout the Middle East, entered India and
made its way into SE Asia and China.
The religion follows Abrahamic linage, so directly following Christianity having hte
same key concepts listed above such as monotheism, resurrection, heaven,
judgement, angels and prophets
Week 3
Key Terms:
1) The Mauryan Empire
Fully came into being around 322 B.C.E by Changragupta
One of the largest empires of its time

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The empire geographically included all of:
oModern India
After Changragupta, Ashoka came into rule
Ashoka brought the dynasty into light
He left inscriptions on rocks and trees where ever he went, and helped us get a
better understanding of indeed how large to empire was as most information was
After various battles Ashoka felt ashamed for all the bloodshed and became a stonch
Buddhism helped bring more social stability in India
Along with the empire the religion spread to the south and westwards
After king Ashokas rule the decline of the mauryan empire started and was over
and eventually completely taken over by the Sunga Dynsty
2) Emperor Ashoka,
Known as Beloved of the Gods
Greatest Mauryan ruler
296 B.C.E came into rule e
Left his name, imperial rules and words of wisdom on rocks and pillars
As one of own rocks inscribed Ashoka was greatly saddened by all the bloodshed his
quest for power had brought. There was a turning point in his life after a campaign
in Andhra and he set of towards, the conquest of righteousness, grasping the
Buddhist philosophy. He incorporated the central themes of non-violence and
humanity not just into his own lifestyle but into his governance; keeping his law
courts, systems of punishments and army.
He set an example for co-existing rulers and rulers to come of what really is humane
3) Xuanzang ,
A Chinese monk that traveled to India to get Buddhist scriptures and text
As a monk he felt that the teachings of Buddhism were incomplete in China due to
the migration and traveled along China in search of sacred Buddhist texts
He later felt the need to go to India and traveled there
He kept a close account writing biographies and autobiographies, which later
inspired te epic novel Journey to the west
In his journals he describes Harsha (Last Gupta emperor) and the contemporary
India that he encountered during his travel
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