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Ancient India

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Ancient India - Page Text Content

FC: The Great Ancient India By: Samantha Stoss

1: Table of Contents | Readers Theater 10-19 | Short Story - Legend of the Rice 22 | Zen Poems 23 | Ancient India Time Line 2-9 | Games 20-21 | Fun Facts 24-25

2: Thousand of years ago a city emerged from fertile valley. There are also two rivers that keep the people of India alive. But where were these rivers located at? | Ancient India Time Line

3: In 2600 B.C they created a civilization. But who were the first people that settled in India?

4: Harappa 3000-1500 BC/BCE | The first people who were hunters and gathers came from Africa around 40,000 BC. There was no one in charge. They began farming in 2500 BC by the Indus River Valley. This is when they invented the irrigation systems to water their fields. Each year more people moved there. It got crowded so they built two cities, the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. They build houses two to three stories high with sewage systems. They used bronze tools. It couldn't stay that way forever by 2000 BC the civilization had collapsed. No one knows why but think it was from the warming trend and there wasn’t enough water for the people and farmers. They think that some people starved to death while others moved up into the hills. By 1500 BC the Indus River Valley was taken over by Indo-Europeans.

5: The Aryans took over the Harappas. They developed classes of people. Brahmans - Priests and Leaders Kshatriya - Warriors and Army Vaishyas - Traders and Farmers Shudras - Servants and Farmhands Slaves - Cleaning up after their masters | Aryans 1500-800 BC

6: Around 1500 BC the Indo-Europeans, also known as the Aryans settled along the Indus River Valley. This is where the Harappa’s once lived. The Aryans lived there from 1500 BC to about 800 BC. They learned how to use iron for weapons and tools. As soon as they learned how to use iron for things they started to conquer more parts of India. Then they moved to South and East into the Ganges river valley not long after 800 BC.

7: Guptan Empire 320-550 AD | The Gupta Empire was the ruler of northern India. They started out as squads that were then put together to form a royal army. In 319 AD the northern India became a great empire again when the king Chandragupta II united them. Some of the south was under the power of the Guptan. The Gupta kings were Hindus not Buddhists. By 455 AD the Huns invaded India and destroyed the Guptan Empire. India was then split into small kingdoms once again.

8: Rivers Flows | The rivers that live there that kept them alive are called Indus River, and in Eastern India there was the Ganges River.

9: NOW VS THEN | - Rest stops on the Silk Road. | - Rest stops along highways. | Now | Then | - Some jobs were road workers, public works and artist. | - Some jobs are teachers, cooks and veterinarians.

10: Savitri A Tale of Ancient India Told by Aaron Shepard Reader’s Theater Edition #3 Adapted for reader’s theater (or readers theatre) by the author, from his picture book published by Whitman, Morton Grove, Illinois, 1992 Story copyright © 1992 Aaron Shepard. Script copyright © 1993, 2002, 2003 Aaron Shepard. Scripts in this series are free and may be copied, shared, and performed for any noncommercial purpose, except they may not be posted online without permission. REVIEW: The princess Savitri must use all her wit and will to save her husband from the god of death. GENRE: Myths, folktales, legends CULTURE: Asian Indian (ancient), Hindu THEME: Heroines, determination READERS: 11 READER AGES: 9–15 LENGTH: 10 minutes ROLES: Narrators 1–3, Savitri, Satyavan, Kings 1 & 2, Teacher, Narada, Yama, Goddess NOTES: This story is probably around 3000 years old. It was first written down about 2000 years ago as part of the Mahabharata, India’s great national epic. Savitri is pronounced “SAH-vit-ree.” Satyavan is pronounced “SOT-ya-von.” Narada is pronounced “NAR-a-da.” Yama is pronounced “YAH-ma,” rhyming with “lama.” Mahabharata is pronounced “MAH-hah-BAR-a-ta.” NARRATOR 1: In India, in the time of legend, there lived a king with many wives but not one child.

11: NARRATOR 2: Morning and evening for eighteen years, he faced the fire on the sacred altar and prayed for the gift of children. NARRATOR 3: Finally, a shining goddess rose from the flames. GODDESS: I am Savitri, child of the Sun. By your prayers, you have won a daughter. NARRATOR 1: Within a year, a daughter came to the king and his favorite wife. He named her Savitri, after the goddess. NARRATOR 2: Beauty and intelligence were the princess Savitri’s, and eyes that shone like the sun. So splendid was she, people thought she herself was a goddess. NARRATOR 3: Yet when the time came for her to marry, no man asked for her. Her father told her, KING 1: Weak men turn away from radiance like yours. Go out and find a man worthy of you. Then I will arrange the marriage. NARRATOR 1: In the company of servants and councilors, Savitri traveled from place to place. NARRATOR 2: After many days, she came upon a hermitage by a river crossing. Here lived many who had left the towns and cities for a life of prayer and study. NARRATOR 3: Savitri entered the hall of worship and bowed to the eldest teacher. As they spoke, a young man with shining eyes came into the hall. He guided another man, old and blind. SAVITRI: (softly, to the teacher) Who is that young man? TEACHER: (smiling) That is Prince Satyavan. He guides his father, a king whose realm was conquered. It is well that Satyavan’s name means “Son of Truth,” for no man is richer in virtue. NARRATOR 1: When Savitri returned home, she found her father with the holy seer called Narada.

12: NARRATOR 2: After many days, she came upon a hermitage by a river crossing. Here lived many who had left the towns and cities for a life of prayer and study. NARRATOR 3: Savitri entered the hall of worship and bowed to the eldest teacher. As they spoke, a young man with shining eyes came into the hall. He guided another man, old and blind. SAVITRI: (softly, to the teacher) Who is that young man? TEACHER: (smiling) That is Prince Satyavan. He guides his father, a king whose realm was conquered. It is well that Satyavan’s name means “Son of Truth,” for no man is richer in virtue. NARRATOR 1: When Savitri returned home, she found her father with the holy seer called Narada. KING 1: Daughter, have you found a man you wish to marry? SAVITRI: Yes, father. His name is Satyavan. NARADA: (gasps) Not Satyavan! Princess, no man could be more worthy, but you must not marry him! I know the future. Satyavan will die, one year from today! KING 1: Do you hear, daughter? Choose a different husband!

13: e offered such a bride. But his father, the blind king, asked Savitri, KING 2: Can you bear the hard life of the hermitage? Will you wear our simple robe, and our coat of matted bark? Will you eat only fruit and plants of the wild? SAVITRI: I care nothing about comfort or hardship. In palace or in hermitage, I am content. NARRATOR 2: That very day, Savitri and Satyavan walked hand in hand around the sacred fire in the hall of worship. NARRATOR 3: In front of all the priests and hermits, they became husband and wife. * * *

14: NARRATOR 1: For a year, they lived happily. But Savitri could never forget that Satyavan’s death drew closer. NARRATOR 2: Finally, only three days remained. Savitri entered the hall of worship and faced the sacred fire. There she prayed for three days and nights, not eating or sleeping. SATYAVAN: My love, prayer and fasting are good. But why be this hard on yourself? NARRATOR 3: Savitri gave no answer. NARRATOR 1: The sun was just rising when Savitri at last left the hall. She saw Satyavan heading for the forest, an ax on his shoulder. NARRATOR 2: Savitri rushed to his side. SAVITRI: I will come with you. SATYAVAN: Stay here, my love. You should eat and rest. SAVITRI: My heart is set on going. NARRATOR 3: Hand in hand, Savitri and Satyavan walked over wooded hills. They smelled the blossoms on flowering trees, and paused beside clear streams. The cries of peacocks echoed through the woods.

15: NARRATOR 1: While Savitri rested, Satyavan chopped firewood from a fallen tree. Suddenly, he dropped his ax. SATYAVAN: My head aches. NARRATOR 2: Savitri rushed to him. She set him down in the shade of a tree. SATYAVAN: My body is burning! What is wrong with me? NARRATOR 3: Satyavan’s eyes closed. His breathing slowed. NARRATOR 1: Savitri looked up. NARRATOR 2: Coming through the woods to meet them was a princely man. He shone, though his skin was darker than the darkest night. His eyes and his robe were the red of blood. NARRATOR 3: Trembling, Savitri asked, SAVITRI: Who are you? YAMA: (gently) Princess, you see me only by the power of your prayer and fasting. I am Yama, god of death. Now is the time I must take the spirit of Satyavan.

16: YAMA: His sight and his kingdom shall be restored. NARRATOR 2: Yama again headed south. NARRATOR 3: Savitri followed. NARRATOR 1: Along a riverbank, thorns and tall sharp grass let Yama pass untouched. But they tore at Savitri’s clothes and skin. YAMA: Savitri! You have come far enough! SAVITRI: Lord Yama, I know my husband will find happiness in your kingdom. But you carry away the happiness that is mine! YAMA: Princess, even love must bend to fate! Still, I admire your devotion. I will grant you another favor—anything but the life of your husband. SAVITRI: Grant many more children to my father. YAMA: Your father shall have many more children. NARRATOR 2: Yama once more turned south. NARRATOR 3: Again, Savitri followed.

17: NARRATOR 1: Yama took a small noose and passed it through Satyavan’s breast, as if through air. He drew out a tiny likeness of Satyavan, no bigger than a thumb. Satyavan’s breathing stopped. YAMA: Happiness awaits your husband in my kingdom. Satyavan is a man of great virtue. NARRATOR 2: Yama placed the likeness inside his robe. Then he turned and headed south, back to his domain. NARRATOR 3: Savitri rose and started after him. NARRATOR 1: Yama strode smoothly and swiftly through the woods, while Savitri struggled to keep up. Finally, Yama turned to face her. YAMA: Savitri! You cannot follow to the land of the dead! SAVITRI: Lord Yama, I know your duty is to take my husband. But my duty as his wife is to stay beside him! YAMA: Princess, that duty is at an end! Still, I admire your loyalty. I will grant you a favor—anything but the life of your husband. SAVITRI: Please restore my father-in-law’s kingdom and his sight.

18: NARRATOR 1: Up a steep hill Yama glided, while Savitri clambered after. At the top, Yama halted. YAMA: Savitri! I forbid you to come farther! SAVITRI: Lord Yama, you are respected and revered by all. Yet no matter what may come, I will remain by Satyavan! YAMA: Princess, I tell you for the last time, you will not! Still, I can only admire your courage and your firmness. I will grant you one last favor—anything but the life of your husband! SAVITRI: Then grant many children to me. And let them be children of Satyavan! NARRATOR 2: Yama’s eyes grew wide as he stared at Savitri. YAMA: You did not ask for your husband’s life, yet I cannot grant your wish without releasing him. Princess! Your wit is as strong as your will. NARRATOR 3: Yama took out the spirit of Satyavan and removed the noose. The spirit flew north, quickly vanishing from sight. YAMA: Return, Savitri. You have won your husband’s life. (leaves)

19: NARRATOR 1: The sun was just setting when Savitri made her way back to Satyavan. NARRATOR 2: His chest rose and fell. NARRATOR 3: His eyes opened. SATYAVAN: Is the day already gone? I have slept long. But what is wrong, my love? You smile and cry at the same time! SAVITRI: My love, let us return home. * * * NARRATOR 1: Yama was true to all he had promised. NARRATOR 2: Savitri’s father became father to many more. NARRATOR 3: Satyavan’s father regained both sight and kingdom. NARRATOR 1: In time, Satyavan became king, and Savitri his queen. NARRATOR 2: They lived long and happily, blessed with many children. NARRATOR 3: So they had no fear or tears when Yama came again to carry them to his kingdom.

20: Ancient India Y R T E M O E G O E N T H M H D E I N G M S S E D D O G P V M O S A A L T R A U F A R M E R S X W O Z P T I R U P O Y P U D M S U D N I H R B L I T L A R N R T B Q W B U D D H I S M B A R O K P Y A A S N A E P O R U E O D N I M E C R P A S J X S L A N A C N O I T A G I R R I A N C R E I N C A R N A T I O N E C I B B N M A T H E M A T I C I A N S T E E L F N H I M A L A Y A M O U N T A I N S D U C ARYAN BUDDHISM COTTON DECIMAL EMPIRE FARMERS GEOMETRY GODDESS GUPTAS SILK STEEL MAURYAN HARAPPAN SHINDUS IRON MATHEMATICIANS IRRIGATION-CANALS REINCARNATION INDO-EUROPEANS HIMALAYA-MOUNTAIN

21: The same game we know today as “Chutes and Ladders” was first played as “Snakes and Ladders” by people in Ancient India around 1200 AD. This was a Hindu game that represented different feelings. Every space is a house. Using a shell for your playing piece you would throw a dice to see how far you could go. If you landed on a ladder – that was a good feeling. If you landed on a snake – that was a bad feeling.

22: In the days when the earth was young and all things were better than they now are, when men and women were stronger and of greater beauty, and the fruit of the trees was larger and sweeter than that which we now eat, rice, the food of the people, was of larger grain. One grain was all a man could eat; and in those early days, such, too, was the merit of the people, they never had to toil gathering the rice, for, when ripe, it fell from the stalks and rolled into the villages, even unto the granaries. And upon a year when the rice was larger and more plentiful than ever before, a widow said to her daughter "Our granaries are too small. We will pull them down and build larger." When the old granaries were pulled down and the new one not yet ready for use, the rice was ripe in the fields. Great haste was made, but the rice came rolling in where the work was going on, and the widow, angered, struck a grain and cried, "Could you not wait in the fields until we were ready? You should not bother us now when you are not wanted." The rice broke into thousands of pieces and said "From this time forth, we will wait in the fields until we are wanted," and from that time the rice has been of small grain, and the people of the earth must gather it into the granary from the fields. | The Legend of the Rice A Tale From Ancient India From Eva March Tappan

23: " Confused by thoughts, we experience duality in life. Unencumbered by ideas, the enlightened see the one Reality." - Hui - Neng " It is present everywhere. There is nothing it does not contain. However only those who have previously planted wisdom - seeds will be able to continuously see it." - Dogen " I have not heard of a sinlge Buddha, past or present, who has been enlightened by sacred prayers and scriptures." - Bassui | Zen Poems

24: Fun Facts | Aryabhatta, the great astronomer and scientist, discovered zero. The number system was also invented in ancient India. | The great physician of ancient India, Sushruta conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, stones, plastic surgery and brain surgery. | Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India

25: The red dot on a married woman's forehead is blood from her husband. | If you wanted to go to school you had to live at school. | The Queens had to do everything for themselves. | They had sewers that would lead out to their streets. | Chess was a popular game in ancient India. | Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.

27: http://hinduism.about.com/od/taleslegends/a/legend_of_the_rice.htm http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/india/ http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-history/timeline.html http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp http://india.mrdonn.org/index.html | Credits

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  • Title: Ancient India
  • This book is about the government and different social classes of the people of Ancient India.
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