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Chapter 9: State, Society and the Quest for Salvation in India Jainism: 5th Century BCE Increased trade Development of jati Development of Buddhism Development of Mahayana Buddhism 3rd century BCE Development of Popular Hinduism The Bhagavad Gita 400 CE The Mauryan and Gupta Empires: 321 BCE – 550 CE POWER VACUUM The necessary education, drill, and discipline to cultivate militarism were confined to the members of one community, the Ksatriyas. This prevented the militant attitude from spreading to other communities and kept the whole social structure unaffected by actual wars and war institutions. First to unite India: Chandragupta Maurya 320s BCE Says the Arthva Veda: "May we revel, living a hundred winters, rich in heroes." The whole country looked upon the members of the kshatriya community as defenders of their country and consequently did not grudge the high influence and power wielded by the Kshatriyas, who were assigned a social rank next in importance to the intellectual and spiritual needs of the society Arthashastra Overseeing trade and agriculture (roads/ irrigation canals) Standarization in tax collection Successful Bureaucracy Spies Prostitutes Maintaining order Foreign relations Waging war The Four Noble Truths? EIGHTFOLD PATH Series of Steps Leading to Enlightenment, Salvation • Right view, or accepting the reality of the Four Noble Truths • Right attitude, or striving for moderation in all things • Right speech, avoiding lies, boasts, and hurtful words • Right action, or treating others fairly • Right livelihood, avoiding jobs that could bring harm to others • Right effort, or constantly trying to improve oneself • Right mindfulness, or remaining aware of world around one • Right concentration, or ignoring temptation and discomfort while meditating 1. Why might the wheel serve as an effective symbol of the Buddha’s message? 2. What does the inclusion of the yakshis add to the message of this image? Footprints of the Buddha: early symbols of him/ focus for devotion/ reminder that since he passed on to nirvana, he can not be physically present Jainism: 5th Century BCE Ashoka Maurya r. 268-232 BCE High point of Mauryan Empire Siddhartha as a Boddhisatva For Ashoka: Challenge was how to honor the guidelines of the Arthashastra at the same time as honor the Buddha’s demands to become a selfless person? As a good Buddhist, Ashoka: • Banned animal sacrifices • Mandated vegetarianism in court • Material support for Buddhist institutions and Buddhist missionary activities Role of women changes????? "All religions should reside everywhere, for all of them desire self-control and purity of heart." Rock Edict Nb7 (S. Dhammika) "Here (in my domain) no living beings are to be slaughtered or offered in sacrifice." Rock Edict Nb1 (S. Dhammika) "Contact (between religions) is good. One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.“ Rock Edict Nb12 (S. Dhammika) "One benefits in this world and gains great merit in the next by giving the gift of the Dhamma." Rock Edict Nb11 (S. Dhammika) "Happiness in this world and the next is difficult to obtain without much love for the Dhamma, much self-examination, much respect, much fear (of evil), and much enthusiasm." Pilar Edict Nb1 (S. Dhammika) Achievements: Territorial Expansion Efficient collection of taxes Irrigation systems (agricultural surplus) Rock and Pillar Edicts Spread of Buddhism Positive leadership = Political/Cultural Unity Ashoka well connected Communication links/ roads/ inns and wells Death of Ashoka = no strong successor = economic crisis = Devaluation of currency =military not supported by shortfall in tax revenue = lazy, idle Costs exceeded revenue states left empire Decline of Empire? Similar to anywhere else? Spread of Buddhism under Ashoka Maurya 268-232 BCE The Gupta Empire: ~ 320 – 500 CE Chandra Gupta II 375 – 415 CE Chandra Gupta = ALIANCE BUILDING With powerful families Decentralized leadership but still had stability and prosperity Local states still retain some power (compared to Ashoka?) • Right hand, palm facing viewer = Reassurance, “have no fear” • Partially webbed fingers= Buddha’s unique status • Knot on top of head = Enlightenment • Elongated ear lobes = Reminder of earlier life of luxury/ Ears weighed down by heavy earrings / jewelry Extensive Trade of the 4th C CE spices gold & ivory International Trade Routes during the Golden Age of the Gupta Empire Gupta Achievements 500 healing plants identified Printed medicinal guides Plastic Surgery Hindu revival With death of Ashoka: Bhagavad Gita 1000 diseases classified Kalidasa Literature Medicine Inoculations C-sections performed Decimal System Arabic numerals Gupta India Mathematics Concept of Zero PI = 3.1416 Solar Calendar Astronomy The earth is round Vishnu: The cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahman the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva the destroyer or transformer. “preserver of the world who intervened frequently on behalf of virtuous individuals” RAMAYANA Rama (incarnation of Vishnu) and Sita (his wife) = women portrayed as weak, devotional to a fault Prince Arjuna Krishna Bhagavad Gita: Krishna said: POPULAR HINDUISM Increasingly distinct from traditional view of The Upanishads devotional worship, abandon selfish concerns, understand the soul and caste duties = faith will bring salvation (a conversation) The moral of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through performing good deeds whereas by doing evil one takes rebirth in lower forms of life (Patamu). The number of Ladders was less than the number of Snakes as a reminder that treading the path of good is very difficult compared to committing sins. Presumably the number "100" represented Moksha (Salvation). Invasion of The White Huns ~ 450 CE What led to the decline of the Gupta Empire? • With invasion, empire split along administrative fault lines • Local leaders usurped power first and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM". After 1000 CE: Buddhism declines in popularity in South Asia Hinduism Buddhism Confucianism Daoism Legalism Jainism Zoroastrianism The Analects Code of Manu Popul Vuh Xiongnu Han Empire Mauryan Empire Gupta Empire White Huns Yellow Turban Uprising Persian Empire Persian Wars The Maya The Aryans Ashoka Ahura Mazda Darius qanats bodhisattva Nature of empire building? Gupta/ Han/Persian Nature of empire administration? Gupta/ Han/ Persian Nature of religious change? How does Hinduism change? How is Buddhism a response to the Upanishads? Similarities and differences in religious traditions?