Chapter 09
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  • Central portion of Ganges plain
  • High Point ofMauryan
  • Debase currency

Chapter 09 Chapter 09 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 9 Overview
    State, Society and the Quest for Salvation in India
  • I. The Fortunes of Empire in Classical India
  • A. The Mauryan Dynasty and the Temporary Unification of India
    Aryans in India – small kingdoms
    520 BCE Persian Emperor Darius conquers north-west India
    Introduces Persian administrative techniques (ruling patterns)
    327 Alexander of Macedon destroys Persian Empire in India
    Troops mutiny, departs after 2 years - Political power vacuum
  • 1. Kingdom of Magadha
    Filled the power vacuum left by Alexander
    Most important state in N. India
    Conquered neighboring states – lead role in unification of India
    Controlled Indian commerce passing through Ganges
  • 2. Chandragupta Maurya
    Overthrew Magadha rulers
    Expanded kingdom to create 1st unified Indian empire
  • 3. Chandragupta’s Government
    Advisor Kautalya
    Oversee trade, agriculture, tax collecting, maintaining order, foreign relations, waging war
    Network of spies
    Bureaucratic administrative system
    Harsh political philosophy recorded in Arthashastra
  • 4. AshokaMaurya(268-232 B.C.E.)
    Conquered the kingdom of Kalinga (along major trade route), 260 B.C.E.
    Ruled with tightly organized bureaucracy
    Established capital at Pataliputra
    Oversaw implementation of his policies
    Rocks and pillar edicts
    Encouraged Buddhist values – fair, just and humane rule
  • Ashoka’sMauryan Empire
    Regions of India become well integrated
    Subcontinent benefits from trade and stability
    Irrigation systems = agricultural wealth
    Roads built – inns, shaded areas, well
  • 5. Decline of Mauryan Empire
    Economic crisis after Ashoka’s death
    High costs of bureaucracy, military not supported by tax revenue
    Frequent devaluations of currency to pay salaries
    Regions begin to abandon Mauryan Empire - disappears by 185 BCE
  • B. The Emergence of Regional Kingdoms and the Revival of Empire
    Mauryan collapse
    India did not crumble into anarchy
    Local rulers form series of regional kingdoms
  • 1. Bactrian Rule in NW India
    Northwestern India
    Ruled by Greek-speaking descendants of Alexander’s campaigns
    Intense cross-cultural activity accompanies active trade
    Link to China, Medit.
    Taxila flourished
  • 2. The Kushan Empire
    Nomadic conquerors from Central Asia attack Bactria
    Northern India/Central Asia (C. 1-300 CE)
    Kanishka- pacified region between China and Persia
    Maintained silk road network
  • 3. The Gupta Dynasty
    Based in Magadha – wealthy region
    Founded by Chandra Gupta (no relation to Chandragupta Maurya), c. 320 CE
    Samudra Gupta and Chandra II conquered regional kingdoms – formed alliances
    Highly decentralized leadership
    Brought stability and prosperity to subcontinent
  • 4. Gupta Decline
    Frequent invasions of White Huns, 5thc. CE
    High cost – resources depleted
    Gupta Dynasty disintegrates along regional fault lines
    After the fifth century C.E., Gupta dynasty continued in name only
    Large regional kingdoms dominated political life in India
    Smaller local kingdoms dominate until Mughal Empire founded in 16thc.
  • II. Economic and Social Distinctions
  • A. Towns and Trade
    Towns dotted Indian countryside
    Northwest corner of subcontinent (closer to Persian Empire)
  • 1. Towns and Manufacturing
    Manufactured goods in big demand – large agricultural economy
    Pots, textiles, iron tools, metal utensils
    Developed in dense network of small workshops
    Large scale businesses - Saddalputta
    Trade intense, capitalizes on trade routes across India built by Ashoka
  • 2. Long Distance Trade
    Persian connection since Cyrus, Darius
    Massive road-building projects under Persian rule
    Alexander extends trade west to Macedon
    Trade routes through Kush mountains, the silk roads
    Cotton, Aromatics, black pepper, pearls and gems
  • 3. Trade in Indian Ocean Basin
    • Seasonal sea trade expands - Spring/winter winds blow from south-west, fall/winter winds blow from north-west
    • Trade from Asia to Persian Gulf and Red Sea, Mediterranean
  • B. Family Life and Caste System
    Moralist sought to promote stability
    Encouraged respect for patriarchal families
    Promote maintenance of social order
    Nuclear family
  • 1.Gender Relations
    Patriarchy entrenched
    Mahabharata and Ramayana – women are weak-willed emotional creatures
    Child marriage common (8 year old girls married to men in 20s)
    Dominated in household affairs
    Women encouraged to remain in private sphere
    female subordination
  • 2. Social Order
    Caste system from Aryan times
    Brahmins (priests)
    Kshatriyas (warriors, aristocrats)
    Vaishyas (Peasants, merchants)
    Shudras (serfs)
  • 3. Castes and Guilds
    Increasing economic diversification challenges simplistic caste system
    With trade and commerce new social groups of artisans, craftsmen, and merchants appeared
    Jatis formed: guilds that acted as sub-castes
    Families associate with others in like castes
    Jatis enforced social order
    “outcastes” forced into low-status employment
  • 4. Wealth and the Social Order
    Vaishyasand shudras saw unprecedented wealth
    Upward social mobility possible for Vaishyas, Shudras
    Wealth challengesvarnafor status
    Old beliefs and values of early Aryan society became increasingly irrelevant
  • III. Religions of Salvation in Classical India
  • A. Jainism and the Challenge to the Established Cultural Order
    Social change generated resentment of caste privilige
    e.g. Brahmins free from taxation
    6th-5thc. BCE new religions and philosophies challenge status quo
    Charvakas: atheists
    Jainists, Buddhists
  • 1. VardhamanaMahavira
    VardhamanaMahavira (Jina) founded Jain religion in 5th century B.C.E.
    Abandoned privileged family to lead ascetic life
    Promotes 7thc. movement based on Upanishads
    Emphasis on selfless living, concern for all beings
  • 2.Jainist Ethics
    Striving to purify one's selfish behavior to attain a state of bliss
    Principle of ahimsa, nonviolence toward all living things
    Jainists sweep earth, strain water, use slow movements to avoid killing insects
    Too demanding, not a practical alternative to the cult of the brahmans
  • 3.Appeal of Jainism
    Social implication: individual souls equally participated in ultimate reality
    Rejected caste, jati distinctions
    Obvious appeal to underprivileged groups
    Too extreme - no mass movement
    Ahimsa continues to inspire modern movements (Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr.)
  • B. Early Buddhism
    Founder came from Kshatriyafamily
    More practical that Jainism
    Salvation comes from leading a balanced and moderate life
  • 1. Siddhartha Gautama
    Gave up his comfortable life to search for cause of suffering
    c. 563-483 BCE
    Encountered age, sickness, death, then monastic life
    Abandoned comfortable life to become a monk
  • 2. Gautama’s Search for Enlightenment
    Wanders through Ganges valley searching for enlightenment
    Intense meditation, extreme asceticism
    49 days of meditation under bo tree to finally achieve enlightenment
    Attained title Buddha: “the enlightened one”
  • 3. Buddha and His Followers
    Announced his doctrine at the Deer Park of Sarnath in 528 B.C.E.
    Promotes law of righteousness
    Organized a community of monks
    “Decay is inherent in all component things! Work out your salvation with diligence”
  • 4. Buddhist Doctrine: Dharma
    The Four Noble Truths
    1. All life involves suffering
    2. Suffering is caused by desire
    3. elimination of desire ends suffering
    4. disciplined life in accordance to Noble Eightfold Path are the way to end suffering
    Religious goal: personal salvation, or nirvana, a state of perfect spiritual independence
  • 5. Appeal of Buddhism
    Appealed strongly to members of lower castes because it did not recognize social hierarchies of castes and jati
    less demanding than Jainism, which made it more popular
    Used vernacular tongues, not Sanskrit
    Holy sites venerated by pilgrims
    The monastic organizations--extremely efficient at spreading the Buddhist message and winning converts to the faith
  • 6. Ashoka’s Support
    Converted to Buddhism
    Disillusioned after violent war with Kalinga
    Banned animal sacrifices, mandated vegetarianism in court
    Material support for Buddhist institutions, missionary activities
  • C. Mahayana Buddhism
    Early Buddhism was not an easy path to salvation
    Between 3rd century BCE – 1st century CE - Three new developments
  • 1. Development of Buddhism
    1. Buddha became a god
    2. The notion of boddhisatva--"an enlightened being”
    3. Monasteries began to accept gifts from wealthy individuals
  • 2. Spread of Mahayana Buddhism
    Mahayana (“greater vehicle”), newer development
    India, China, Japan, Korea, central Asia
    Hinayana (“lesser vehicle,” also Theravada), earlier version
    Ceylon, Burma, Thailand
  • 3. Nolanda
    Buddhist Monastery
    Quasi-university: Buddhism, Hindu texts, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, logic
    Peak at end of Gupta dynasty – attracted students from foreign lands
    Helped spread Indian thought
    E.g. mathematical number zero
  • D. The Emergence of Popular Hinduism
    Like Buddhism, undergoes change to appeal to more people
    Inspired by Upanishads and Vedas
    Departed from older traditions
  • 1. The Epics
    Composition of epics from older oral traditions
    Emphasis on god Vishnu and his incarnations
  • 2. The BhagavadGita
    Short poetic work: dialogue between Krishna and warrior Arjuna
    Illustrated expectations of Hinduism and promise of salvation
    Fulfill caste duties
  • 3. Hindu Ethics
    Lead honorable life – 4 principal aims
    Achieve salvation through meeting caste responsibilities (dharma)
    Pursuit of economic well-being and honesty (artha)
    Enjoyment of social, physical and sexual pleasure (kama)
    Salvation of the soul (moksha)
  • 4. Popularity of Hinduism
    Gradually replaced Buddhism in India
    Political support by Guptas
    Brahmins given land grants
    Buddhism in decline in India by 1000 C.E.
    Rich agricultural economy leads to creation of large states
    Interregional trade networks develop
    Large empires not permanent, but social order maintained by caste system
    Religious developments reflect social realities
    Buddhism and Hinduism adapt to needs of growing class of commoners
    Religion influence daily lives