Indian Identity. Sanskrit promoted as language of educated (minimal)

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Indian Identity. Sanskrit promoted as language of educated (minimal)"


1 Chapter 3 India

2 Indian Identity More culturally diverse due to geography makes political unity difficult The developing religion doesn t foster unity but individuality Encouraged patriarchal control, tight-knit families/communities No single language Sanskrit promoted as language of educated (minimal)

3 Aryans

4 Hinduism Core Beliefs A very fluid religion Aryans brought a religion of many gods and goddesses Central focus on Moral Law Dharma Inner study and meditation Rather than a moral code The desire to live in the world and reach higher spiritual goals Very natural The importance of monkeys and cattle was already developing in the subcontinent Everyone must meet the obligation in their life Reincarnation

5 Caste System Identities developed gradually as the Aryans established settlements Word Varna (Color) refers to the major social classes 4 main varnas but many levels within the varnas based on where you live Justified as a framework for the duties of the world to be carried out

6 Multiple Manifestation of Brahma Upanishads Each person participates in a larger cosmic order and forms a small part of a universal soul Brahman Brahman Eternal, unchanging, permanent foundation for all things that exist Only reality Everyone is born into the physical world many times until they enter a permanent union with Brahman Reincarnation

7 The Spread of Hinduism Discuss the Spread of Hinduism Allowed many people keep old beliefs Gave lower class people hope of a better life through reincarnation Eventually all of India is practicing some form of Hinduism It will move to the South West of Asia But it is never very strong

8 Buddhism Core Beliefs Started as a rebellion against Hinduism Siddhartha Gautama reaction to vedic beliefs Kept some beliefs of Hinduism The Four Noble Truths + The Eightfold Path = Religious goal of Nirvana Buddha is define It was a threat to existing structures in both India and China Hinduism Confucianism

9 Spread of Buddhism Unlike Hinduism the spread of Buddhism travelled successful out of India Monastic Monks Like we will see in Christianity it is a way to give women a chance outside the home As it spread it stayed relatively universal with some slight variation Most of the core beliefs stayed the same no matter

10 Maurya ( BCE) Remember India is a very individualistic developing society regionalism Autocratic Chandragupta: first to unify much of India Unification was due partly as a result of intrusion from outside the subcontinent Increased government control over the regional Kingdoms These were 16 of them Emphasis on military strength Falls after the death of Ashoka Primary impact is the strengthening of Buddhism Controls larger empire than subsequent rulers Tried to be a unified Dynasty but it was not ingrained enough to last

11 Ashoka Most important ruler in Classical India Battle of Kalinga He spend the rest of his life encouraging Nonviolence Moderation During his reign Hundreds of thousands died or were pushed out of their homes Ashoka and many other leaders converted to Buddhism after this battle Brutal military commander who extended the Empire Many improvements politically and economically Trade increased Mauryan Empire was not able to survive Ashoka's death

12 Gupta ( CE) No single great leader But for a time was more stable due to regional kings making alliances and marrying off their daughters Demonstration of the little power women actually had Hinduism is the favored religion Uniform law code (to a point) No Bureaucracy again the political unity was based on alliances Declined due to rulers extravagant living It was just a more organized regional situation

13 Economy Agricultural based society (continuity) The Family is the Economic Unit Improvements and Innovations Rice, Pepper, wheat, barley, mustard, sugarcane, medicinal roots New canals and irrigation Renovated major roads Built towns for spinning and weaving Uniform system of currency, weights and measures Increased trade as India units more Silk Road


15 Intellectual Art Some great pieces of literature were written Science and Math Common themes of love and heroics One of the world s 1st university Sterilization and cleanliness Smallpox vaccine Number system still in use (0) Art Stupas spherical shrines to Buddha

16 Problems The tradition here, unlike China, is regionalism. Diversity China was centralized during its period of Classical Empires or all of its Dynasties Most things were individualized to groups both large and small Hinduism Political institutions etc Even when they are united it is still very regional HOWEVER, we will see that Hinduism is strong enough to keep the Indian Identity from being destroyed as the Classical Era comes to an end

17 Frontier issues Gupta and the White Huns Nomadic group from central Asia Gupta were able to hold them off for a while But that cost a lot of money and resources to maintain Huns were finally able to move across Northern India and created a handful of their own kingdoms