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Transcript
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?