Post Classical India What’s new in the subcontinent
When last we saw it• India had fallen into dis-unity• Result of invasions and the collapse of the Gupta Dynasty• Northern India in anarchical set up, lots of small kingdoms
North has turn-over• King Harsha (608-648 CE)• First reunification effort • He’s 16 years old• Religiously tolerant--a Buddhist himself• Supported the poor, patron of the arts• assassinated with no successor able to rule
Islam enters India• Abbasids defeat the Tang (Battle of Talas River)• Arabs settle in Sind, 711 CE, Abbasids hold it until 1258• Extensive trade ties with dar-al-Islam
Mahmoud of Ghazni• Turkish nomad, raids into India• He is a Muslim, but that is incidental• Into plunder and killing• Destroys every Hindu and Buddhist temple he encounters
Sultanate of Delhi• Consolidation of Mahmoud’s conquests, 1206-1526• Weak administrative structure; relied on Hindu kings to run local affairs• 19 out of 35 Sultans were assassinated.
Southern India• Hindu Kingdoms• Chola (850-1259CE) • Mostly a naval power, not interested in Northern India • Not highly centralized
Southern India part 2• Kingdom of Vijayanagar (1336-1646)• Originally supported by Sind, started as Muslim kingdom in Northern Deccan region• Renounces Islam becomes Hindi in 1336, but still stays in touch with Sind.• Collapses into several Muslim kingdoms
Religion changes• Islam is obviously a big change in India • How and why would it impact the caste system?• Buddhism goes out; Turkish invaders destroy Nalanda, a giant monastery
Hinduism continues to develop• Growth of devotional cults • Focus on Vishnu and Shiva and incarnations • Southern phenomenon, spreads into the Northern parts of India
Also• Growth of devotional philosophers • Shankara • Brahmin Philosopher, 9th Century CE • Devoted to Shiva • Advocates and practices rigorous logical basis for devotion, not emotional connections
And• Ramanuja • Brahmin philosopher, 11th-12th century CE • Challenges Shankara’s emphasis on intellect over emotion. • Lays philosophical foundation for modern Hinduism
Why convert to Islam?• 25 million converts by 1500CE• The appeal is freedom from caste obligation and responsibilities • Social mobility is appealing, but rarely happens • whole jati convert, thus bringing their social status with them...
Islamic syncretism• Sufi-ism • A personal, emotional, devotional approach to Islam • missionaries attract individuals by finding ways to fit Islamic ideas to personal desires.
Bhakti• A movement originates in the Hindu faith to try and reconcile Islam and Hinduism. • Guru Kabir is the major figure • a cult of love and devotion forms around the monotheistic ideals of Islam and traditional Hindu values. • Vishnu, Shiva, Allah all manifestations of the same deity • Not too successful...