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River Valley Civilizations
Government and Law and Bureaucracy-Indus Valley
This pyramid is a diagram that displays the class system in the Indus River Valley Civilization. The question is though, how does this realte to government? As can be seen in the document, Kshatriyas, or rulers and warriors, were placed second in the class system, unlike the other river valleys who each had their leaders on top. Kshatriyas were mostly responsible for the military and for the protection of the civilization, not for the general order of the civilization. Brahmins, or priests, were responsible for this, and had much more power than the kshatriyas, as it can be seen in the document. In the Indus Valley religion, there are three main laws, dharma, karma, and the cycle of samsara. Dharma is one's righteous duty that is influenced by class, gender, occupation, and age. Karma is the religious law of cause and effect 9everything will have consequences). Samsara is the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that is influenced by ones actions. In Indus Valley religion, one wants to escape from samsara, and this is based on one's dharma and karma. These basic laws kept the majority of the population within their defined classes and kept order in the civilization. Because Brahmins were closest to escaping from samsara (had the greatest religious power), and because religion played such a huge role in the laws, rule, order, etc, of the civilization, the brahmins had much greater power than the kshatriyas and were ultimately responsible for the rule of the civilization. This artifact/document is shown here because of two reasons. First, it displays how the Indus Valley is so different compared to the other river valley civilaztions in that the rulers were not at the top of the social classes. Secondly, it illustrates how religion and its laws had so much control of the civilization that the Brahmins, or priests, had the most power and were at the top of the social classes, instead of the rulers.
A painting of a Kshatriya warrior
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