Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Kushan empire

3,420 views

Published on

In 176 BC, the Yuezhi were driven from Tarim Besin to westward by the Xiongnu, a fierce people of Magnolia.
The Yuezhi under the leadership of the Kushanas came down from Central Asia and swept away all earlier dynasties of the Northwest in a great campaign of conquest. They established an empire which extended from Central Asia right down to the eastern Gangetic basin.
In Bactria, they conquered the Scythians and the local Indo-Greek kingdoms, the last remnants of Alexander the Great's invasion force that had failed to take India.
From this central location, the Kushan Empire became a wealthy trading hub between the peoples of Han China, Sassanid Persia and the Roman Empire.
Roman gold and Chinese silk changed hands in the Kushan Empire, at a very tidy profit for the middle-men.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

Kushan empire

  1. 1. Role of Kushana Empire in BUDDHISM AND HINDUISM By Adesh katariya (plast.adesh@gmail.com)
  2. 2. Kushana Empire and the Silk Route Their Capital was Purushpura – Currently Peswar in Pakistan
  3. 3. Kushana Origin • Kushana was a Gotra ( sub-tribe ) of Yuezhi( Guzar), also called Tushar. • In the epic Mahabharata, tocher called as Tushar were descendents of ancient Suryabanshi. • In Hindu mythology, the Lunar dynasty (also known as Somavansha, Chandravansha and as Ailas) was one of the four principal houses of the Kshatriya varna, or warrior–ruling caste.
  4. 4. Migration of Aryans to Tarim Basin • The Vedic Vayupurana describes a battle waged among the ancient Aryans. It was as a result of this war that Anavs part of the Chandravanshi clan and Gurtar ( Guzar ) of suryabanshi had to immigrate to wester Aryabart area of modern Iran (Iran means "land of Aryans") to Tarim basin. • It was in these regions, where the fertile soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turanian desert, that the prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) was said to have been born and gained his first adherents. Avestan, the language of the oldest portions of the Zoroastrian Avesta, was once called "old-iranic" which is related to Sanskrit. • Chandravansi known as Sythians and Suryabanshi known as Guzar by Tibbetian , Yuezhi by Chineese , Tocharian by Romans and Tushara by Indians.
  5. 5. Formation of Kushana Empire • In 176 BC, the Yuezhi were driven from Tarim Besin to westward by the Xiongnu, a fierce people of Magnolia. • The Yuezhi under the leadership of the Kushanas came down from Central Asia and swept away all earlier dynasties of the Northwest in a great campaign of conquest. They established an empire which extended from Central Asia right down to the eastern Gangetic basin. • In Bactria, they conquered the Scythians and the local Indo- Greek kingdoms, the last remnants of Alexander the Great's invasion force that had failed to take India. • From this central location, the Kushan Empire became a wealthy trading hub between the peoples of Han China, Sassanid Persia and the Roman Empire. • Roman gold and Chinese silk changed hands in the Kushan Empire, at a very tidy profit for the middle-men.
  6. 6. Kushana Empire Map
  7. 7. Main Kushan Rulers  Heraios ,who was probably the first of the Kushan kings. He may have been an ally of the Greeks, and he shared the same style of coinage.  Kujula Kadphises who set himself up as king of a kingdom called Guishuang. He invaded Anxi (Parthia) and took the Gaofu (modern day Kabul)  Vima Taktu, seems to have been a devotee of the Hindu god Shiva, because some of his coins clearly show an image of Shiva.  Vima Kadphises , issued an extensive series of coins and inscriptions and expend his empire upto Panjab.  Kanishka I, the second great Kushan emperor, fifth Kushan king, who started Shaka Era in 78AD.  Vāsishka rulled for 20 year reign following Kanishka. His rule is recorded as far south as Sanchi (near Vidisa), where several inscriptions in his name have been found.  Huvishka, rule was a period of retrenchment and consolidation for the Empire. In particular he devoted time and effort early in his reign to the exertion of greater control over the city of Mathura.
  8. 8. Cont..  Vasudeva I was the last of the "Great Kushans." Named inscriptions dating from year 64 to 98 of Kanishka’s era.  Kanishka II  Vashishka  Kanishka III is known from only one inscription, known as the Ara inscription for the place where it was found, near the town of Attock in what is now Pakistani Punjab.  Vasudeva II  Vasudeva III  Vasudeva IV reported possible child of Vasudeva III,ruling in Kandahar, uncertain.  Vasudeva of Kabul reported possible child of Vasudeva IV,ruling in Kabul, uncertain.  Chhu  Shaka I  Kipunada
  9. 9. Early religions of Kushana • When the Kuṣāṇas entered Gandhāra, they were Sanatani but they respect other religions also. • The originally Sumerian goddess Nānā, the Persian gods Wād (Bactrian OAΔΟ), and Athš (spelled AΘÞΟ in Bactrian script), the Indian Buddha and Skanda and a hybrid local god Wēś (Bactrian OHÞO), Heracles of the Greek and Zoroastrian fire worship are depicted by their symbols and images. • The Kuṣhaṇas apparently introduced the very first anthropomorphic representations of Indian gods for their coins in central asia. • Hindu mythology was endorsed and shaped by the Kuṣāṇas through their coinage and by representing gods in sculptures. They depicted less known local deities for the first time on their coins and frequently added their names . • The emergence of Gandhāran Hinduism can be observed by the rise and change of deities on Kuṣāṇa coins.
  10. 10. The religious policy of Kujula Kadphises • Kujula Kadphises was the one who introduced the term “King of the Kuṣāṇas” in his legend. • Kujula retained the Greek style of the coinage in certain developmental stages, and used the same few Greek deities (i.e. Zeus, Nike and Heracles) on reverses. • Hence, from his coinage we cannot deduct any new developments in the Gandhāran religious scenario. • Most probably, he respect the cultures of central Asia to gain the support of local religious leaders.
  11. 11. Religions under Vima Taktu and Vima Kadphises • Vima Takto seems to have been a devotee of the Hindu god Shiva, because some of his coins clearly show an image of Shiva. • Vima Kadphises issued an extensive series of coins and inscriptions based on hinduism and greek religions. He was the first to introduce gold coinage in India, in addition to the existing copper and silver coinage. His coins are of such high quality that some historians believe that they must have been made by Roman mint masters in the service of the Kushana kings. • He issued his Wēś type coins both in gold and in copper in different varieties, i.e. Wēś standing alone, holding attributes, Wēś standing in front of a bull with his attributes and one type shows him with attributes only, i.e. liṅga, trident and aṅkuśa (Göbl 1984: nr. 1-20).
  12. 12. Kanishka- Hindu but protector of all religions • Kaniṣka's coinage shows gods of the Iranian sphere on its reverse, indicating their names in Graeco-Bactrian instead of the previously used Kharoṣṭhī . • In spite of Kaniṣka’s promotion of deities from the Iranian religion, Wēś remained an important god. • Now, the iconography of Wēś became more and more elaborate with multiple hands holding a broad variety of attributes that reminded of other deities that used to habitually keep those items. This multiplicity being an Indian feature resulted in a transition that saw Wēś becoming more of an indigenous Indian deity. • In his time, he started minting of Buddhist coins in much qty. • God Shiva with Nandi and reverse side Buddha on Kanishka’s coins indicate that Buddhism and Hinduism were common religions.
  13. 13. Cont. • They comprise Iranian deities of Athš (spelled AΘÞΟ in Bactrian script), Māh (Bactrian MAO), Mithra/Mihira (Bactrian MIIPO), Wād (Bactrian OAΔΟ) etc. • Forth Buddhist council held during Kanishka region. • Like Asoka, Kanishka converted to Buddhism, employing 500 monks to regulate Buddhist teachings in his empire.Kanishka’s monks’ meetings resulted in the creation of Mahayana Buddhism, more closer to Hinduism. • Kanishka's reliquary casket, for example, features cast representations of Buddha as well as Hindu dieties Brahma and Indra, Persian sun and moon gods on the sides of the container and a garland, supported by cherubs in typical Hellenistic style. • Kanishka attacked over Patliputra for in-tolerence nature of Brahmin king • The multiplicity of gods that are shown backing the Emperor Kaniṣhka added to his status and importance and do not seem to indicate any of his personal religious preferences.
  14. 14. Religion policy of Huviṣka • While Kaniṣka’s religious suppositions were based on Bactrian creeds, Huviṣka followed more innovative religious strategies and admitted a wide range of Greek, Brahmanical, Buddhist and Zoroastrian gods for his numismatic pantheon • This innovative phase was mainly restricted to the beginning of his reign, when a great number of variant gods were depicted on the reverse of his coins. Somewhat later towards the middle of this reign Wēś became his main and favourite god. • Huviṣka initiated coins of MAACHNO (Mahāsena), Hindu god, popularly known today as Skanda or Kārttikeya. Skanda, Kumāra, Viśāka and Mahāsena were four different gods to Huviṣka, which later on merged into one deity that became known under the name Kārttikeya in Hinduism
  15. 15. Hinduism of Huvishka • King Huviṣka demonstrated his innovative approach with a variety of deities and also introduced a new form of Wēś .Before the time of Huviṣka, Wēš was shown with one or three heads (Perkins 2007) and two or four arms holding varying attributes. • The Wēš of Huviṣka appears regularly with three heads, four arms and hands, holding a vase, a thunderbolt, a trident, and a club. The central face has a third eye, the hairs are knotted. This form of Wēś became the model for Śiva in Gandhāra. • Huviṣka introduced divine couples on his coins. In the pair Wēś-Nānā (Göbl 1984: nr. 167) both deities assimilate their Indian counterparts: Wēś assumes characteristics of Śiva and Nānā takes on features of Parvatī. Accordingly, this earliest representation of the divine couple influenced depiction of the Śiva-Parvatī iconography in Gandhāra. Similarly, the pair Wēś-Omm (spelled OHÞΟ, ΟΜΜΟ) (Göbl 1984: nr. 310) influenced the idea of Umā-Maheśvara in Gandhāra.
  16. 16. Wes (Shiva) on Vima Kadphesis coins
  17. 17. Wes( Shiva) on Huvishka’s coins
  18. 18. Wes ( Shiva)on Vasudeva’s coins
  19. 19. Kushan Shiva – Peshawar Musiuam
  20. 20. Shiva-Parvati in Kushan Time
  21. 21. Garuda- Gandhara Art
  22. 22. Shiva and Buddha on Kushana Coins
  23. 23. Buddhism • Buddhists texts are full of praise for the Kushan Kanishka, "King of Kings" (circa 100 AD), whose benevolent patronage supported Buddhism like no one else during his lifetime. • Buddhist Patronage. Kanishka's reputation in Buddhist tradition began with convening the 4th Buddhist Council in Kashmir, circa 100 AD, which became essential to the development of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. • Kanishka provided encouragement to both the Gandhara school of Greco-Buddhist Art and the Mathura school of Hindu art. • His greatest contribution to Buddhist architecture was the Kanishka stupa at Peshawar. Archaeologists who rediscovered the base of thes stupa in 1908-1909 ascertained that this stupa had a diameter of 286 feet. • Reports of Chinese pilgrims such as Xuan Zang indicate that its height was roughly 600 to 681 feet high and was covered with jewels. • This immense multi-storied building must have ranked among the wonders of the ancient world. • Buddhist monks from the region of Gandhara during Kanishika's lifetime played a key role in the development and the transmission of Buddhist ideas from India and Gandhara to China. • For example, the Kushan monk, Lokaksema (c. 178 AD), became the first translator of Mahayana Buddhist scriptures into Chinese and established a translation bureau at the Chinese capital Loyang.
  24. 24. First Sermon
  25. 25. Tucker, p. 48 Birth of the Buddha Grey schist frieze Gandhara 2nd-3rd centuries AD
  26. 26. Standing Buddha Grey schist Gandhara 2nd-3rd centuries AD
  27. 27. Head of the Buddha Grey schist Gandhara 2nd-3rd centuries AD
  28. 28. Tucker, p. 46 Standing Bodhisattvas Grey schist Kushana -Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century AD
  29. 29. Tucker, p. 207 Buddha in meditation Limestone Bactria 2nd century AD
  30. 30. Tucker, p. 39 Head of the Buddha Stucco Gandhara
  31. 31. Maitreya Buddha, Kushana Gandhara, 1st-2nd
  32. 32. Big Buddha at Bamiyan
  33. 33. Thanks “The motive of this this presentation is, to attract good scholers to discuss and research on the great contribution of Kushana of Yuezhi/Gurjar Tribes.” -Adesh Katariya

×