Lets review what we know about Ancient India from our first unit. The first civilizations develop around the Indus River.
Lets review what we know about Ancient India from our first unit. Decide if the following are true or false. 1.The Harappan civilization developed a written script that has not been deciphered yet. 2.The Harappan cities had houses with running water, flushing toilets, and showers. 3.The Harappan civilization was peaceful because they did not have city walls. 4.The Harappan civilization must have been egalitarian because there was no difference in the houses of the rich and poor. True False: There was in fact some difference between the wealthy and the poors houses.
Lets review what we know about Ancient India from our first unit. Waves of Indo- European Ayrans invaded South Asia and established small kingdoms.
The Aryans competed with the indigenous Dravidian people. The Aryans descendents in the Northern part of India today speak languages that are related to the languages people in Europe speak, while Southerners speak Dravidian languages.
The Aryans brought their culture with them into India. They recorded their songs, hymns, and poems in a collection that was orally transmitted and became known as the Vedas. Is that why this period is called the Vedic Era?
The Aryans introduced a social hierarchy with four main varnas (social classes) – which were called castes by the Portuguese in the 16 th century. The system worked well when the majority of the people were not living in cities.
Once people started living in cities, the varna system had to adapt to a more complex society. The castes started forming jati. These were subcastes arranged around the kind of work people did. Eventually thousands of jati would develop, and people would be born into these.
Upanishads (c. 800 BCE), are philosophical and religious texts composed in Sanskrit. They outline a new spirituality in India and introduce the idea of reincarnation. Reincarnation justifies the caste system.
In this Chapter we will study the development of Indian Society during the Classical Period. We will study the rise (and fall) of two important dynasties. Then well look at how the society and religion changed.
Classical Indias Big Picture 2,000 BCE Harappan Civilization in Indus Valley 1,500 BCE Aryans invade India and create small kingdoms BCE Darius and Alexander invade Northern India 430 BCE Vardhamana Mahavira starts teaching Jainism 321 BCE Chandragupta Maurya starts Dynasty 528 BCE Siddhartha Gautama starts teaching Buddhism 320 CE Chandra Gupta starts Dynasty Bhagavad Gita finished – updates popular Hinduism 400 CE
The Mauryan and Gupta empires 321 B.C.E.-550 C.E.
The Mauryan Empires B.C.E. Founded by Chandragupta Maurya Legend: Chandragupta retires to become a monk, starves himself to death Spy Network Grandson – Ashoka Expanded empire include all India except for south integrated society Too expensive to run after Ashoka
Andrew Marrs History of the World: Ashoka Episode 3: 1:52 – 8:54
The Gupta Empires 320 C.E.- late 400s C.E. Founded by Chandra Gupta (no relation to Chandragupta Maurya), c. 320 CE Slightly smaller than Mauryan Empire decentralized leadership Frequent invasions White Huns, 500 CE Gupta Dynasty disintegrates along regional fault lines Smaller local kingdoms dominate until Mughal Empire founded in 16 th c.
Other Regional Kingdoms 321 B.C.E.-550 C.E. Bactria Kingdom Northwestern India Ruled by Greek-speaking descendants of Alexanders campaigns Intense cultural activity accompanies active trade Kushan Kingdom Northern India/Central Asia C CE Maintained silk road network
Economy: Towns and Manufacturing Manufactured goods in big demand Developed in dense network of small workshops Trade intense, capitalizes on trade routes across India
Society: Gender Relations Patriarchy entrenched Child marriage common (8 year old girls married to men in 20s) Women encouraged to remain in private sphere
Social Order Caste system from Aryan times – Brahmins (priests) – Kshatriyas (warriors, aristocrats) – Vaishyas (Peasants, merchants) – Shudras (serfs)
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
Wealth and the Social Order Upward social mobility possible for Vaishyas, Shudras Wealth challenges varna for status
People became increasingly unhappy with the Vedic religion and the Brahmins. Two new religions develop that challenge the caste system and promise followers salvation. Religions of Salvation in Classical India Vardhamana Mahavira, BCE Abandoned privileged family to lead ascetic life Promotes 7 th c. movement based on Upanishads Emphasis on selfless living, concern for all beings Siddhartha Gautama, c BCE Encountered age, sickness, death, then monastic life Abandoned comfortable life to become a monk Jainism Buddhism
Religions of Salvation in Classical India 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.) 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 Jainism Buddhism Both religions started new ethical standards.
Religions of Salvation in Classical India Rejected caste, jati distinctions Obvious appeal to underprivileged groups But asceticism too extreme to become a mass movement Less dependence on Brahmins for ritual activities No recognition of caste, jati status Philosophy of moderation Public service through lay teaching Use of vernacular, not Sanskrit Jainism Buddhism Both religions also had appeal for the people of India.
Ashokas Support of Buddhism Personal conversion to Buddhism Disillusioned after violent war with Kalinga Banned animal sacrifices, mandated vegetarianism in court Material support for Buddhist institutions, missionary activities
Changes in Buddhist thought 3 rd c. BCE – 1 st c. CE – Buddha considered divine – Institution of Boddhisatvas (saints) – Charitable donations to monasteries regarded as pious activity
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
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
Emergence of Popular Hinduism Composition of epics from older oral traditions – Mahabharata – Ramayana Emphasis on god Vishnu and his incarnations
The Bhagavad Gita Song of the Lord Centuries of revisions, final form c. 400 CE Dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna during civil war
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)
Popularity of Hinduism Gradually replaced Buddhism in India Gupta dynastic leaders extend considerable support
Religions of Salvation in Classical India Social change generated resentment of caste privilige – e.g. Brahmins free from taxation 6 th -5 th c. BCE new religions and philosophies challenge status quo Charvakas: atheists Jainists, Buddhists
Jainism Vardhamana Mahavira, BCE Abandoned privileged family to lead ascetic life Promotes 7 th c. movement based on Upanishads Emphasis on selfless living, concern for all beings
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.)
Appeal of Jainism Rejected caste, jati distinctions Obvious appeal to underprivileged groups But asceticism too extreme to become a mass movement
Early Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama, c BCE Encountered age, sickness, death, then monastic life Abandoned comfortable life to become a monk
Gautamas Search for Enlightenment Intense meditation, extreme asceticism 49 days of meditation under bo tree to finally achieve enlightenment Attained title Buddha: the enlightened one
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
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)
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