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CLASSICAL INDIA

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... salvation Ramayana Secular story of Rama and Sita was changed into a Hindu story Shows extent of spread of Hinduism in region Hindu ethics Lower demands ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CLASSICAL INDIA


1
CLASSICAL INDIA
  • FROM THE MAURYANS
  • TO THE GUPTAS

2
THE LATE VEDIC AGE
  • The Vedic Age 1500 500 BCE
  • Name from Vedas, which records history
  • Began with Aryan migration into India
  • Aryans pushed into Ganges, up to Deccan
  • Eventually nomadic Aryans settled down
  • Ruled local inhabitants (dasas, Dravidians)
  • Ganges Republics (mahajanapadas) 900 500 BCE
  • Generally 16 larger states dominated Indus-Ganges
    Region
  • Republics dominated by kshatriyans
    (warrior-rulers)
  • States vied for power constantly with each other
  • Within states, kshatriyans vied for power with
    rulers
  • Rulers performed social, religious rituals
  • Magahda was one of the most dominant of the
    states
  • Religious society dominated by brahmins
  • Controlled ritual, rites, religious duties
  • Religion often called Brahmamism

3
JAINISM
  • Vardhamana Mahavira
  • Born in north India, 540 B.C.E.
  • Left family, searching for salvation from cycle
    of incarnation
  • Gained enlightenment, taught an ascetic doctrine
  • His disciples began to lead a monastic life
  • Mahavira became Jina, the "conqueror," and
    followers, Jains
  • Jainist doctrine and ethics
  • Inspired by the Upanishads
  • Everything in the universe possessed a soul
  • Striving to purify one's selfish behavior to
    attain a state of bliss
  • The principle of ahimsa, nonviolence toward all
    living things
  • Believed that almost all occupations entailed
    violence of some kind
  • Too demanding, not a practical alternative to the
    cult of the brahmins
  • Appeal of Jainism
  • Social implication Individual souls equally
    participated in ultimate reality
  • The Jains did not recognize social hierarchies of
    caste and jati
  • Became attractive to members of lower castes
  • The ascetic tradition continues to today

4
EARLY BUDDHISM
  • Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 B.C.E.)
  • Born in 563 B.C.E. to the Kshatriya caste
  • Witnessed miseries of the human condition
  • Gave up his comfortable life
  • Began searching for enlightenment
  • Intense meditation and extreme asceticism
  • Received enlightenment under the bo tree
  • The Buddha and his followers
  • "Turning of the Wheel of the Law," 528 B.C.E.
  • Organized followers into a community of monks
  • Traveled, preached throughout north India
  • Buddhist doctrine The dharma
  • The Four Noble Truths
  • All life involves suffering
  • Desire is the cause of suffering
  • Elimination of desire brings an end to suffering
  • The Noble Eightfold Path brings the elimination
    of desire
  • The Noble Eightfold Path (Setting the wheel in
    motion)
  • Right belief, right resolve, right speech, right
    behavior

5
APPEAL OF BUDDHISM
  • Appealed strongly to members of lower castes
  • Salvation without services of the brahmins
  • Did not recognize social hierarchies of castes
    and jati
  • Appealed to women as all souls considered equal
  • Less demanding than Jainism, more popular
  • Used vernacular tongues, not Sanskrit
  • Holy sites and pilgrims
  • The monastic organizations
  • Spread the Buddhist message, won converts
  • Could be endowed by others to support the
    religion
  • Centers of learning, good works, contemplation
  • Ashoka's support
  • Emperor Ashoka became a devout Buddhist, 206
    B.C.E.
  • Banned animal sacrifices in honor of ahimsa
  • Granted lands to monasteries
  • Sent missionaries to Bactria and Ceylon

6
SPREAD OF BUDDHISM
7
VARIANTS OF BUDDHISM
  • Early Buddhism
  • Made heavy demands on individuals
  • Giving up personal property
  • Forsaking the search for social standing
  • Detaching oneself from worldly pleasures
  • Development of Buddhism
  • Buddha gradually seen as god by ex-Hindus, in
    China
  • The bodhisatva - "an enlightened being"
  • Monasteries accepted gifts from wealthy
    individuals
  • Buddhism became more attractive
  • The Schism of Buddhism Was he a god or man?
  • Mahayana - "the greater vehicle"
  • Spread to Central, East Asia
  • Blended in India with Hinduism, which coopted
    Buddha as a god
  • Coopted Chinese traditions and Taoist gods in
    China
  • Hinayana or Theravada
  • Continued to view Buddha as human
  • Practiced in Sri Lanka, parts of India, SE Asia
  • Buddhism died out in India as it merged with
    Hinduism

8
RISE OF MAURYAN EMPIRE
  • Western Intrusions
  • Intrusions of Persians (520 B.C.E.)
  • Persians established Indus satrapy
  • Introduced imperial government, ruling style,
    coins
  • The Greek Interlude (c. 327 B.C.E.)
  • Alexander the Great conquered Persia, Invaded
    India
  • Alexanders withdrawal left a political vacuum
  • Seleucid Empire succeeded to Alexanders lands in
    India
  • Magadha kingdom filled the vacuum in Ganges
  • Chandragupta Maurya
  • As young prince, held hostage by Greeks, escaped
    back to India
  • Overthrew the Magadha kingdom in 321 B.C.E.
  • The founder of the Mauryan empire
  • Conquered the Greek state in Bactria, Selecuid
    control of Indus
  • Chandragupta's empire embraced all of northern
    India
  • Chandragupta's government
  • Government procedures devised by Kautalya, the
    advisor of the empire
  • The political handbook, Arthashastra, outlined
    administrative methods

9
ASHOKA
  • Ashoka Maurya (reigned 268-232 B.C.E.)
  • Chandragupta's grandson
  • The high point of the Mauryan empire
  • Conquered the kingdom of Kalinga, 260 B.C.E.
  • Developed remorse and renounced future war
  • Ruled through tightly organized bureaucracy
  • Established capital at Pataliputra
  • Policies of encouraging agriculture and trade
  • Converted to Buddhism
  • Established a tolerant rule of righteousness
  • Sent out missionaries to Sri Lanka, SE Asia,
    Central Asia
  • Decline of the Mauryan Empire
  • Ashoka died in 232 B.C.E.
  • Heirs were not strong and cost of ruling was
    expensive
  • Suffered from acute financial and economic
    difficulties
  • High cost for maintaining army and bureaucrats
  • Debasing the currency, not a effective resolution
  • The empire collapsed by 185 B.C.E.

10
THE NOMADIC INTERLUDE
  • Northwestern Kingdoms 200 BCE to 300 CE
  • Indo-European nomads enter India from Central
    Asia
  • Indo-Greeks came from Bactria c. 180 BCE
  • Indo-Scythians (Sakas) come from C. Asia c. 80
    BCE
  • Indo-Parthians came from Persia c. 20 CE
  • Influenced Indian art, commerce, religion
  • Syncretic blending of Greek culture, Buddhism
  • Indians saw them as foreigners, impure barbarians
  • Linked India to the Silk Road, China, Western
    Asia
  • Became Indianized over time
  • The Kushans
  • Indo-Europeans pushed out of China
  • Took over Scythians, Central Asia, Northwestern
    India
  • Dominated Silk Road trade between Mediterranean,
    China
  • Adopted Buddhism, blended with Greek, Persian
    traditions
  • Gandaran art style was a major artistic period
  • Helped facilitate spread of Buddhism back to China

11
THE GUPTAS
  • The Gupta Dynasty 320 CE to 550 CE
  • India was controlled by regional kingdoms
  • The Gupta state rose to power in Magadha
  • Chandra Gupta founded the new dynasty
  • Gupta dynasty was relatively decentralized
  • Local rulers had great power
  • Guptan rulers reigned but did not rule
  • Guptan rulers acquired divine right status
  • An Indian Golden Age
  • Guptas supported revival of Hinduism
  • During this age Hinduism took its major form
  • Guptas supported arts, sciences, mathematics
  • Gupta decline
  • Invasion of White Huns weakened the empire
  • After 5th century C.E., Gupta dynasty ruled in
    name only
  • Large regional kingdoms dominated political life
    in India

12
POPULAR HINDUISM
  • The epics
  • Mahabharata
  • A secular poem revised by brahmin scholars
  • Honored Vishnu, the preserver of the world
  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • A short poetic work within the Mahabharata
  • A dialogue between the god Vishnu and Prince
    Arjuna
  • Illustrated expectations of Hinduism and promise
    of salvation
  • Ramayana
  • Secular story of Rama and Sita was changed into a
    Hindu story
  • Shows extent of spread of Hinduism in region
  • Hindu ethics
  • Lower demands for achieving salvation
  • Individuals should meet their responsibilities in
    detached fashion
  • Balance of dharma, artha, karma to attain moksha,
    end samsara
  • Popularity of Hinduism
  • Became more popular than Buddhism Buddhism too
    aesthetic
  • The Guptas helped Hinduism become the dominant
    religion
  • Guptas placed Brahmins as lead caste above
    Kshatriyas

13
ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL
  • Towns and manufacturing
  • Towns dotted countryside after 600 B.C.E.
  • Towns provided manufactured, luxury goods
  • Long-distance trade
  • Invasions by Persians helped build trade networks
  • Trade with China through silk roads of central
    Asia
  • Trade in Indian Ocean basin, Africa to Southeast
    Asia
  • Spread Buddhism, Hinduism to Central, Southeast
    Asia
  • Social and gender relations
  • Strong patriarchal families subordination of
    women to men
  • Child marriage placed women under control of old
    men
  • Development of caste system
  • New social groups of artisans, craftsmen, and
    merchants appeared
  • Individuals of same trade or craft formed a
    guild guilds were subcastes, jatis
  • Functions of guilds social security and welfare
    systems
  • Wealth and social order
  • Trade and industry brought prosperity to many
    vaishyas and shudras
  • Old beliefs and values of early Aryan society
    became increasingly irrelevant
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