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

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

3 India Before the Mauryan Dynasty 520 B.C.E., Persian emperor Darius conquers northwest India Introduces Persian ruling pattern 327 B.C.E., Alexander of Macedon destroys Persian empire in India Troops mutiny, depart after two years Political power vacuum 3

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 northeastern India 4

5 Chandragupta Maurya Took advantage of power vacuum left by Alexander Overthrew Magadha rulers Expanded kingdom to create first unified Indian empire Mauryan dynasty 5

6 Chandragupta s Government Advisor Kautalya Recorded in Arthashastra, manual of political statecraft Foreign policies, economics Domestic policies Network of spies Legend: Chandragupta retires to become a monk, starves himself to death 6

7 Ashoka Maurya Grandson of Chandragupta Represents high point of Mauryan empire, r B.C.E. Expanded empire to include all of Indian subcontinent except for south Positive ruler-ship integrated Indian society Much better known as a ruler than conqueror 7

8 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 B.C.E. 8

9 Regional Kingdom: Bactria Northwestern India Ruled by Greek-speaking descendants of Alexander s campaigns Intense cultural activity accompanies active trade 9

10 Regional Kingdom: Kush Northern India/central Asia Ca C.E. Maintained silk road trade network 10

11 The Gupta Dynasty Based in Magadha Founded by Chandra Gupta (no relation to Chandragupta Maurya), ca. 320 C.E. Slightly smaller than Mauryan empire Highly decentralized leadership Foundations for studies in natural sciences and mathematics 11

12 Gupta Decline Frequent invasions of White Huns, fifth century C.E. Gupta dynasty disintegrates along regional fault lines Smaller local kingdoms dominate until Mughal empire founded in sixteenth century 12

13 Economy: Towns and Manufacturing Manufactured goods in big demand Developed in dense network of small workshops Trade intense, capitalizes on trade routes across India 13

14 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 14

15 Trade in the Indian Ocean Basin Seasonal sea trade expands Spring/winter winds blow from southwest, fall/winter winds blow from northwest Trade from Asia to Persian Gulf and Red Sea, Mediterranean 15

16 Society: Gender Relations Patriarchy entrenched Child marriage common (eight-year-old girls married to men in twenties) Women encouraged to remain in private sphere 16

17 Social Order Caste system from Aryan times Brahmins (priests) Kshatriyas (warriors, aristocrats) Vaishyas (peasants, merchants) Shudras (serfs) 17

18 Castes and Guilds Increasing economic diversification challenges simplistic caste system Jati formed: guilds that acted as subcastes Enforced social order Out-castes forced into low-status employment 18

19 Wealth and the Social Order Upward social mobility possible for vaishyas, shudras Wealth challenges varna for status 19

20 Religions of Salvation in Classical India Social change generated resentment of caste privilege e.g. brahmins free from taxation Sixth-fifth century B.C.E., new religions and philosophies challenge status quo Charvakas: atheists Jainists, Buddhists, Hindus 20

21 Jainism Vardhamana Mahavira, B.C.E. Abandons privileged family to lead ascetic life Promotes seventh century movement based on Upanishads Emphasis on selfless living, concern for all beings 21

22 Ahimsa Principle of extreme nonviolence Jainists sweep earth, strain water, use slow movements to avoid killing insects Ahimsa continues to inspire modern movements (Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.) 22

23 Appeal of Jainism Rejected caste, jati distinctions Obvious appeal to underprivileged groups But asceticism too extreme to become a mass movement 23

24 Early Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama, ca B.C.E. Encountered age, sickness, death, then monastic life Abandoned comfortable life to become a monk 24

25 Gautama s Search for Enlightenment Intense meditation, extreme asceticism Forty-nine days of meditation under bo tree to finally achieve enlightenment Attained title of Buddha: the enlightened one 25

26 The Buddha and His Followers Begins teaching new doctrine ca. 528 B.C.E. Followers owned only robes, food bowls Life of wandering, begging, meditation Establishment of monastic communities 26

27 Buddha and His Disciples 27

28 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 28

29 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 become important institutions in Indian society 29

30 A Buddhist Monastery 30

31 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 31

32 Changes in Buddhist Thought Third century B.C.E. to first century C.E. Buddha considered divine Institution of boddhisatvas ( saints ) Charitable donations to monasteries regarded as pious activity 32

33 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 33

34 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 34

35 Emergence of Popular Hinduism Composition of epics from older oral traditions Mahabharata Ramayana Emphasis on god Vishnu and his incarnations 35

36 The Bhagavad Gita Song of the lord Centuries of revisions, final form ca. 400 C.E. Dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna during civil war 36

37 Hindu Ethics Obedience to religious and moral laws (dharma) Pursuit of economic well-being and honesty (artha) Enjoyment of social, physical, and sexual pleasure (kama) Salvation of the soul (moksha) 37

38 Popularity of Hinduism Gradually replaced Buddhism in India Gupta dynastic leaders extend considerable support 38

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