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& the Quest for Salvation

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1 & the Quest for Salvation
Chapter 9: State, Society, & the Quest for Salvation in India

2 The Mauryan and Gupta empires 321 B.C.E.-550 C.E.

3 India Before the Mauryan Dynasty
520 BCE Persian Emperor Darius conquers north-west India Introduces Persian ruling pattern 327 Alexander of Macedon destroys Persian Empire in India Troops mutiny, departs after 2 years Political power vacuum

4 Kingdom of Magadha Most significant remaining kingdom after Alexander’s departure Central Ganges plain Economic strength Agriculture Trade in Ganges valley, Bay of Bengal Dominated surrounding regions in north-eastern India

5 Chandragupta Maurya Took advantage of power vacuum left by Alexander
Overthrew Magadha rulers Founder of Maurya Empire - creates 1st unified Indian empire

6 The Maurya Empire 321 BCE – 185 BCE

7 Chandragupta: 321 BCE-298 BCE
Founder of Mauryan Empire Unified northern India. Defeated the Persian general Seleucus. Divided his empire into provinces, then districts for tax assessments and law enforcement. He feared assassination  food tasters, slept in different rooms, etc. 301 BCE  gave up his throne & became a Jain.

8 Kautilya (or Chanakya)
Chandragupta’s advisor. Brahmin caste. Wrote The Treatise on Material Gain or the Arthashastra (advice manual). A guide for the king and his ministers: Supports royal power. The great evil in society is anarchy. Therefore, a single authority is needed to employ force when necessary!

9 Chandragupta’s Government
Like Persia & China, built a bureaucratic administrative system. Domestic policies Network of spies Legend: Chandragupta retires to become a monk, starves himself to death

10 Ashoka (304 – 232 BCE) Grandson of Chandragupta
Represents high point of Mauryan Empire, r BCE Expanded empire to include all of Indian subcontinent except for south Positive leadership integrated Indian society Est. Pataliputra Better known as a governor than conqueror

11 Ashoka Religious conversion after the gruesome battle of Kalinga in BCE. Dedicated his life to Buddhism. Built extensive roads. Conflict  how to balance Kautilya’s methods of keeping power and Buddha’s demands to become a selfless person?

12 Ashoka’s law code Wrote law code on rocks or pillars (Stupas)
Edicts scattered in more than 30 places in India, Nepal, Pakistan, & Afghanistan. Written mostly in Sanskrit, but one was in Greek and Aramaic. 10 rock edicts. Buddhist principles dominate his laws.


14 Women Under an Asoka tree

15 Decline of the Mauryan Empire
Economic crisis follows death of Ashoka 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

16 Regional Kingdom: Bactria
Northwestern India Ruled by Greek-speaking descendants of Alexander’s campaigns Intense cultural activity accompanies active trade

17 Turmoil & a Power Vacuum: 220 BCE – 320 CE
Tamils The Maurya Empire is divided into many kingdoms.

18 Regional Kingdom: Kush
Nomads of Central Asia Ruled C CE Maintained silk road trade network High point under the rule of Kashika, empire expands thruout So. Asia.

19 The Gupta Dynasty Based in Magadha
Founded by Chandra Gupta (no relation to Chandragupta Maurya), c. 320 CE Slightly smaller than Mauryan Empire Highly decentralized leadership Foundations for studies in natural sciences and mathematics

20 Gupta Empire: 320 CE – 647 CE

21 Gupta Rulers Chandra Gupta I Chandra Gupta II Hindu revival.
r. 320 – 335 CE “Great King of Kings” Chandra Gupta II r CE Profitable trade with the Mediterranean world! Hindu revival. Huns invade – 450 CE

22 Fa-Hsien: Life in Gupta India
Chinese Buddhist monk traveled along the Silk Road and visited India in the 5c. He was following the path of the Buddha. He reported the people to be happy, relatively free of government oppression, and inclined towards courtesy and charity. Other references in the journal, however, indicate that the caste system was rapidly assuming its basic features, including "untouchability," the social isolation of a lowest class that is doomed to menial labor.

23 International Trade Routes during the Guptas

24 Extensive Trade: 4c spices silks cotton goods rice & wheat spices
horses gold & ivory gold & ivory cotton goods

25 Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.
Gupta Art Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.

26 Kalidasa The greatest of Indian poets.
His most famous play was Shakuntala. During the reign of Chandra Gupta II.

27 500 healing plants identified Printed medicinal guides
Gupta Achievements 1000 diseases classified 500 healing plants identified Printed medicinal guides Kalidasa Literature Plastic Surgery Medicine Inoculations Gupta India C-sections performed Solar Calendar Astronomy Mathematics Decimal System The earth is round PI = Concept of Zero

28 Gupta Decline Frequent invasions of White Huns, 5th c. CE
Gupta Dynasty disintegrates along regional fault lines Smaller local kingdoms dominate until Mughal Empire founded in 16th c.

29 Economy: Towns and Manufacturing
Manufactured goods in big demand Developed in dense network of small workshops Trade intense, capitalizes on trade routes across India

30 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

31 Trade in the 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

32 Society: Gender Relations
Patriarchy entrenched Child marriage common (8 year old girls married to men in 20s) Women encouraged to remain in private sphere Mahabharata & Ramayana portrayed women as weak-willed and overly emotional

33 Social Order Caste system from Aryan times Brahmins (priests)
Kshatriyas (warriors, aristocrats) Vaishyas (Peasants, merchants) Shudras (serfs)

34 Castes and Guilds Increasing economic diversification challenges simplistic caste system Jatis formed: guilds that acted as sub-castes Enforced social order “outcastes” forced into low-status employment

35 Wealth and the Social Order
Upward social mobility possible for Vaishyas, Shudras Wealth challenges varna for status as lower castes often accumulated more wealth than their brahmin & kshatriya contemporaries

36 Religions of Salvation in Classical India
Social change generated resentment of caste privilege e.g. Brahmins free from taxation 6th-5th c. BCE new religions and philosophies challenge status quo Charvakas: atheists whose beliefs reflected the increasingly materialistic character of Indian society and economy

37 Jainism Vardhamana Mahavira, 540-468 BCE
Abandoned privileged family to lead ascetic life Promotes 7th c. movement based on Upanishads Emphasis on selfless living, concern for all beings

38 Ahimsa Principle of extreme non-violence
Jainists sweep earth, strain water, use slow movements to avoid killing insects Ahimsa continues to inspire modern movements (Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr.)

39 Appeal of Jainism Rejected caste, jati distinctions
Obvious appeal to underprivileged groups But asceticism too extreme to become a mass movement 2 million Jainist Indians today

40 Early Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama, c. 563-483 BCE
Encountered age, sickness, death, then monastic life Abandoned comfortable life to become a monk

41 Gautama’s Search for Enlightenment
Intense meditation, extreme asceticism 49 days of meditation under bo tree to finally achieve enlightenment Attained title Buddha: “the enlightened one”

42 The Buddha and his Followers
Begins teaching new doctrine c. 528 BCE Followers owned only robes, food bowls Life of wandering, begging, meditation Establishment of monastic communities

43 Buddha and his Disciples

44 Buddhist Doctrine: The Dharma
The Four Noble Truths all life is suffering there is an end to suffering removing desire removes suffering this may be done through the eight-fold path (right views, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration)

45 The Eightfold Path Right views Right intention Right speech
Right conduct Right livelihood Right effort Right mindfulness Right meditation

46 Appeal of Buddhism Less dependence on Brahmins for ritual activities
No recognition of caste, jati status Philosophy of moderate consumption Public service through lay teaching Use of vernacular, not Sanskrit Monasteries became important institutions in Indian society.

47 A Buddhist Monastery

48 Stupas A stupa (from Sanskrit literally meaning "heap") is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of a Buddha or saint.

49 Ashoka’s Support of Buddhism
Personal conversion to Buddhism Saddened after violent war with Kalinga Banned animal sacrifices, mandated vegetarianism in court Material support for Buddhist institutions, missionary activities

50 Changes in Buddhist thought
3rd c. BCE – 1st c. CE Buddha considered divine Institution of Boddhisatvas (“saints”) Charitable donations to monasteries regarded as pious activity

51 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


53 Nalanda Buddhist Monastery
Quasi-university: Buddhism, Hindu texts, philosophy, astronomy, medicine Peak at end of Gupta dynasty Helped spread Indian thought e.g. mathematical number zero

54 Emergence of Popular Hinduism
Composition of epics from older oral traditions Mahabharata Ramayana Promotes Rama and Sita as the ideal Hindu couple, devoted to each other though hardship Emphasis on god Vishnu and his incarnations

55 The Bhagavad Gita “Song of the Lord”
Centuries of revisions, final form c. 400 CE Dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna during civil war

56 Hindu Ethics Emphasis on meeting class obligations (dharma)
Pursuit of economic well-being and honesty (artha) Enjoyment of social, physical and sexual pleasure (kama) Salvation of the soul (moksha)

57 Popularity of Hinduism
Gradually replaced Buddhism in India Gupta dynastic leaders extend considerable support

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