The religious beliefs and caste system were criticized by many philosophers.
The Buddha was the most successful at winning converts.
The monks and monastic organizations provided a viable alterna tive to the brahman priesthood as centers of scholarship, education, and religious ritual, and often directly opposed the beliefs that the brahmans championed.
The Buddha did not accept the teachings of the Vedas as the ultimate authority on all issues, despite the fact that he retained the ideas of karma and reincarnation.
He ridiculed the powers the brahmans claimed to have.
He preferred self-mastery over ritual.
He struck at the heart of the brahmans' social and religious dominance.
The Buddha rejected the lifestyles of both the brahmans who had become addicted to worldly power and the brahman ascetics who practiced extreme forms of bodily mortification.
The caste system was an aim that he tried to do away with.
The Buddha taught that women were capable of attaining nirvana and accepted them as his followers.
Provisions for the communities of nuns were included in Buddhist monastic organizations.
We have evidence that shows monastic life was a fulfilling career for women in India.
In an era when educational and other occupational opportunities for women were more limited, this outlet was doubly meaningful.
Intellectual and social ferment swept northern India in the 6th century b.c.e.
This was an important case of direct contact between two civiliza tion areas during the classical period.
Alexander began his last major campaign of conquest when his armies crossed the Hindu Kush into India.
Although his incursions began well, the ultimate retreat of his armies showed that his rapidly built empire was overextended and Indian forces were among the most formidable he faced in his many campaigns.
His armies won a number of battles against the people in the upper Indus valley.
Alexander's troops proved more than a match for the war chariots, archers, and cavalry of his Indian adversaries.
After the surprise wore off, his veteran soldiers were able to deal with the elephants that had frightened their horses.
Alexander had a passion for further conquests.
His soldiers, weary of endless battles and fearful of the stiffening resistance of Indian princes, refused to go further east.
Alexander agreed to lead his forces out of India.
The people who survived an epic march through the desert went back to Persia in 324 b.c.e.
Alexander's death left his Indian conquests to be fought over by his commanders.
Alexander's invasion of India's northwest resulted in the loss of territory to several Greek rulers.
It stimulated trade between India and the Mediterranean region.
The flow of Greek ideas to India and the impact of Indian thinking on religious movements in the Mediterranean were of particular importance.
Indian philosophers owe a lot to Greek philosophers and the mystery religions that swept the eastern Mediterranean around the birth of Christ.
The combination of Indian and Greek styles led to a school of sculpture that was both distinctive and influential in shaping approaches to the depiction of the Buddha.
Greek physical features and artistic techniques were combined with Indian motifs.
The beginning of the decline of Buddhism in the 3rd century b.c.e.
was due to the changes in religious practices and brahman interaction with other Indian social groups.
The most lasting effects of Alexander's invasion were the military and political.
Chandragupta embarked on a sustained campaign to build a great empire after his original base was on the Ganges plain.
The empire was founded by the founder of the Maurya dynasty.
He ruled from a palace that was carved and decorated.
In the 4th century b.c.e., a dynasty was established in himself and on state occasions sat on a high throne above hundreds of his Indian subcontinent.
He was guarded by a corps of Amazons.
The food was tasted by servants to make sure it wasn't poisonous.
The political treatise was written during the reign to allow the king to move about the palace undetected.
He tried to replace regional lords with his and scientific forms of warfare and built a standing army that Greek writers estimated use of spies and assassins at 500,000.
The duties must be punished harshly.
It is little wonder that Chandragupta and his successors quickly conquered the Indian subcontinent, converting it to a vast empire that included all of south Asia but the southern tip.
The Mauryan Empire was extended to the east along the Ganges plains by Buddhism and the spread of new religion.
Bindusara was a highly cultured man, but little is known about him.
He once asked for wine, figs, and a philosopher from a Greek ruler in western Asia.