State, Society, and the Quest for Salvation in India

Download State, Society, and the Quest for Salvation in India

Post on 02-Jan-2016




1 download

Embed Size (px)


State, Society, and the Quest for Salvation in India. Won Kim Binita Tiwari Meridith Wailes. India. Megasthenes wrote about India in his book Indika , and portrayed it as a wealthy land that supported a distinctive society with well-established cultural traditions. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • State, Society, and the Quest for Salvation in IndiaWon KimBinita Tiwari Meridith Wailes

  • IndiaMegasthenes wrote about India in his book Indika, and portrayed it as a wealthy land that supported a distinctive society with well-established cultural traditions. India fell under the sway of regionalized kingdoms

  • Mauryan DynastyThe Mauryan Dynasty 520 BCE Persian emperor Darius made the kingdom of Ghandara (N Punjab). Alexander of Macedon created a political vacuum in NW India. Maghada (center Ganges plain) most important state in NE India-500 BCEAshoka Maurya- Son of Ch. Maurya, 268-232 BCE conquerer. Only kingdom of Kalinga remained independent. Pataliputra- his capital. Decline of the Mauryan Empire- died 232 BCE. 185 BCE the empire disappeared.

  • Other EmpiresBactrian Rule in Northwestern India- Greek speaking conquerors invaded & promoted cross-cultural interaction. N Ghandara popular.Kushan Empire- Nomadic Conquerors. Kanishka leader.

  • The Gupta DynastyThe Gupta Dynasty- based state in Magadha. Chandra Gupta leader. Successors Samudra Gupta & Chandra Gupta II. Smaller than Mauryan. Faxian, Buddhist monk, felt safe in India.

    Gupta Decline- White Huns- end of 5th century established kingdoms in India.

  • Indian LifeTowns & Manufacturing- productive agricultural society. Iron Metallurgy. Sadalaputta owned 500 workshops, & Roads encouraged trade.Long Distance Trade- Persia traded w/ India. 2 directions: Hindu Kush Silk & Rd

  • Family Life and the Caste System Gender RelationsWomen were largely subordinate to menThey were supposed to concern themselves with family matters instead of public onesChild marriage was prominent during the Gupta era Social Order and Caste SystemIndians recognized four castesBrahmins-priestsKshatriyas- warriors and aristocratsVaishyas- peasants and merchantsShudras- serfsPeople doing the same job formed a guild; a corporate body that supervised prices and wages of a given industry and provided for the welfare of membersGuilds functioned like the jatiBrahmins and kshatriyas got special respect, because of lives theyd led in past incarnations

  • Religions of Salvation in Classical IndiaBrahmins got special privileges, like tax exemption, due to the important services they preformedCharvakas believed the gods were imaginary and the Brahmins were just getting prestige by lying the people

    Janism Jainism became popular in the sixth century B.C.E. when Vardhamana Mahavira started following itJains believed that everything in the universe, even inatimate objects, had a soul that could feel physical painAhism-nonviolence to other living things, was a form of purificationLower castes gravitated towards Janism because they did not recognize the caste system

  • BuddhismSiddhartha gautama-founder of buddhismBecame Buddha, the enlightened one after 49 days of meditation Docterine of buddhism is the dharma, which combines Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path.Four noble truths-all life involves suffering, desire is the cause of suffering, elimination of desire eliminates suffering, and following the Eightfold Path eliminates desire Eightfold path- calls for individuals to lead balanced, moderate lives By following the Eightfold Path, people could achieve nirvana and end the cycle of reincarnation and have a perfect spiritual independence Nirvana-when one escapes the cycle of incarnationDid not recognize social hierarchies based on cast or jati.Used easy language(appealed to public.)Had organized buddhist movements.Ashoka(a ruler) supported it while he ruled.

  • Mahayana buddhismSaw buddah as a god.Buddhisatva-individual who had reached spritual perfection and merited the reward of nirvanaStarted accepting gifts from the wealthy(wealthy could enjoy the comfort of the world, and still be saved)Mahayana buddhism spread to China, japan, central asia, KoreaNalanda-gupta dynasty in the ganges river, educational center as well as a temple

  • HindusimHindu ethical techings made life much easier for the lay classes by holding out the promise of salvation to those who participated actively in the world and met their caste responsibilitiesDarma, artha, moksha, kama

  • Timeline563-483 B.C.E.~ Life of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha 540-468 B.C.E.~ Life of Vardhamana Mahavira 520 B.C.E.~ Invasion of India by Darius of Persia327 B.C.E. ~ Invasion of India by Alexander of Macedon321-185 B.C.E.~ Mauryan Dynasty321-297 B.C.E~ Reign of Chandragupta Maurya268-232 B.C.E.~ Reign of Ashoka Maurya182 B.C.E-1 C.E~ Bactrian Rule in N. India1-300 C.E.~ Kushan Empire in N. India and central Asia78-103 C.E.~ Reign of Kushan Emperor Kanishka320-550 C.E.~ Gupta Dynasty

  • THEMESSocial- The societies were patriarchal and viewed women as weak-willed. They also had a caste systemPolitical- The emperor of the Mauryan empire, Ashoka, communicated his policies by inscribing them on stone formations encouraged them to observe Buddhist values and said he wanted to be a fair ruler. Religious- Religions such as Buddhism became popular with lower castes because they did not follow the caste systemIntellectual- Many structures and religious figurines created during this time; Epics such as the Mahabharata & Ramayana; Bhagavad GitaTechnological- Many manufactured goods produced; Aryans iron metallurgy Economical- Roads encouraged trade