Chapter 2 -- Part 4: Complex Societies in Southwest Asia and the Nile
Buddhism and Hinduism ignored the caste system.
Everyone could follow the Eightfold Path.
The Buddha was not dogmatic.
He said that the path was important because it led the traveler to enlightenment, not for its own sake.
He compared it to a raft, useless once the traveler reaches the far shore.
If one remembered the goal of enlightenment and did not let sacrifice become a snare or attachment, there was no harm in honoring local gods or observing traditional ceremonies.
The spread of the religion was aided by the willingness of Buddhists to tolerate a wide variety of practices.
The scriptures are called sutras.
The form of monasticism that developed among the Buddhists was less strict than that of the Jains.
For eight months of the year, Buddhist monks moved about, begging for their one meal a day, but they could bathe and wear clothes.
Buddhist monks began to overlook the rule that they should travel.
They set up monasteries on land donated by kings.
Women were given the chance to seek truth in ways men had traditionally used.
The sutras were the main ritual performed by monks and nuns.
Lay Buddhists can aid the spread of Buddhist teachings by providing food for monks and support for their monasteries, as well as pursue their own spiritual progress by abstaining from meat and alcohol.
The stories of the Buddha's prior lives were told as Buddhism developed.
This scene is from a story about Prince Mahajanaka, who was a merchant and had many adventures before returning to marry the daughter of his uncle and regain the throne.
The Ajanta caves show him enjoying palace life.
Buddhist communities came to stress different sutras because Buddhism had no central authority.
The monk-philosopher Nagarjuna is one of the most important of these.
Reality is empty according to one branch of Mahayana.
The branch held that everything is produced by the mind.
The tradition of Buddhism aspires to be more inclusive.
The devotional side of Mahayana Buddhism was influenced by the religions then prevalent in the pantheon of other Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
After enlightenment, Bodhisattvas stayed in the world to help others on the path to salvation.
The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were objects of veneration.
Buddhism attracted more and more lay people.
Buddhas who stayed in the world after enlightenment to help others on the path to salvation.
Buddhism was an important religion in India before 1200 C.E.
It spread throughout East, Central, and Southeast Asia by that time.
The number of Buddhists in India is small, and they lost out to Hinduism and Islam.
Buddhism is a major religion in Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan.
The region in Afghanistan and Pakistan that depicts the Buddha's Enlightenment is called the ANALYZING THE EVIDENCE.
During the first and second centuries C.E., it became a major center of Buddhism.
The successors of Alexander the Great brought Greek artistic styles to the region and they were used to depict the Buddha in stone sculpture.
Hundreds of Buddhist monuments were commissioned by the rulers and other well-to-do patrons as a way to get merit.
There are depictions of episodes from the Buddha's life.
The Buddha is usually depicted with his clothes draped over a shoulder and his wavy hair in a bun.
The Buddha's birth, enlightenment, first sermon, and abandonment of his physical body are depicted in the sculpture shown here.
These stones are 26 inches tall and are believed to have been used to decorate the walls of a monument.
Buddhist tradition says that the Buddha became enlightened after sitting for forty days under a tree.
Bodh Gaya, a small city in north India, became a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
The Buddha is sitting under a canopy of tree leaves.
Two fallen soldiers are depicted under his seat.
Both human beings in costumes and animals are looking at each other.
Animals are a part of the circle of life.
The people are performing a Buddhist ritual of circumambulating a stupa, which is depicted as aound with the ashes or other relics of amonk.
Both disciples and lay followers were attracted by THE BUDDHA.
The stories of his interactions with them were passed down for hundreds of years.
The accounts give us a good idea of what life was like in India.
A good example of an ardent lay follower is the wealthy banker or merchant.
The Buddha said the individual's approach to wealth was crucial.
It's not just possession of wealth that enslaves people.
If they live a life of truth, joy, peace, and bliss will be in their minds.
The Buddha and his disciples were able to live in the park during the rainy season because of the buildings that were built there.
The Jetavana Monastery was visited by the Buddha many times.
The poor and needy were given generously by Sudatta.
Sudatta grew poor as a result of his generosity.
Those who owed him money returned it, making him wealthy again.
The stories said that the family, including his son and three daughters, became religious.
The Buddha helped convert the daughter-in-law.
The Buddha told the wife of Sudatta's son to be careful with her conduct.
He told her that there were three types of bad wives: the destructive wife, the thievish wife, and the mistress wife.
The four types of good wives were the motherly wife, who cares for her husband as a mother for her son, the sisterly wife, who defers to her husband as a younger sister, and the friend wife, who loves her husband.
The daughter-in-law was moved by the teachings and decided to be a handmaiden wife.
The Buddha knew about the death of Sudatta.
On his deathbed, Sudatta was advised not to cling to what is seen, heard, sensed, thought, attained, sought after, or pondered by the intellect.
The old Brahmanic religion was challenged by both Buddhism and Jainism.
Brahmin priests use animal sacrifice as a central element in their rituals.
Both religions accepted people of any caste into their ranks.
Brahmins retained their high social status, but it became possible for individual worshippers to have more direct contact with the gods.
Hinduism is based on the belief that the Vedas are sacred revelations and that a specific caste system is prescribed in them.
The goal of Hinduism is to reach union with brahman, the unchanging ultimate reality.
The search begins with study of the Vedas in youth and progresses to complete asceticism in old age.
The moral law is observed in the quest for brahman.
is where it comes from.
Hinduism assumes that there are many legitimate ways to worship brahman.
Thousands of powerful gods were emphasized in Hinduism.
The gods were usually depicted in images, either small ones in homes or large ones in temples.
People could show their devotion to their gods by making offerings of food or flowers before the images.
A worshipper's devotion to one god did not mean denial of other deities; all were manifestations of brahman, the ultimate reality.
Hinduism's embrace of a large pantheon of gods allowed it to incorporate new sects, doctrines, beliefs, and deities.
It was passed down from generation to generation before being recorded in its present form in the fourth century C.E.
As he surveys the battlefield, struggling with the grim notion of killing his relatives, Arjuna voices his doubts to his charioteers, none other than the god Krishna.
Krishna explained the relationship between human reality and the eternal spirit when he refused to spill his family's blood.
He told Arjuna the duty to act was to live in the world and be a warrior.
The warrior's duty is to wage war in compliance with his dharma.
Those who don't complain will be released from rebirth.
One person's dharma may be different from another's, but they must follow their own dharma.
Hinduism provided a complex and sophisticated philosophy of life and a religion of enormous emotional appeal that was attractive to ordinary Indians.
It became the most common religion in India over time.
The caste system was added to the stability of everyday village life by Hinduism.
The preservation of literary masterpieces in Sanskrit and the major regional languages of India was inspired by Hinduism.
The creation of the Persian Empire in the late sixth century B.C.E.
changed the face of the ancient Near East.
The Greeks overtook the Persians in northwest India by 322 B.C.E.
Chandragupta was able to unify all of north India because he was able to expand his territories.
The Mauryan Empire flourished under Ashoka's rule, but fell after he died.
The turmoil of the sixth century B.C.E.
Even though Persian control did not reach eastward beyond the Punjab, it fostered increased contact between India and the Near East and led to the introduction of new ideas, techniques, and materials into India -- including the minting of silver coins and writing in the Aramaic script to keep records.
Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 326 B.C.E.
Alexander led his Macedonian and Greek troops.
He defeated some of the states in the northwest.
The art of this region was influenced by Greek artistic styles after Alexander the Great's army conquered it.
The Greco-Buddhist sculptures were found in eastern Afghanistan where this stucco figure was excavated.
The drape of the clothing and the modeling of the head show the Hellenistic influence.
The Greeks were interested in the Indian culture.
Alexander summoned some Indian philosophers to teach him or debate with him.
Taxila is a major center of trade in the Punjab and the Greeks were impressed with it.
Alexander wanted to find the end of the world from Taxila.
His men refused to continue.
Alexander left his general Seleucus in charge of his easternmost region.
The crisis caused by Alexander's invasion allowed him to expand his territories.
The heart of the Mauryan Empire was the Ganges River Valley.
India is protected from the cold by mountains in the north, but mountain passes in the northwest allow both migration and invasion.
The lessons learned from Persian rule were applied by Chandragupta.
The Persian practice of dividing the area into provinces was adopted by him.
Each province had a governor who was drawn from Chandragupta's family.
A regular army was built with departments for everything from naval matters to the collection of supplies.
For the first time in Indian history, a man exercised control through delegated power.
Chandragupta sent agents to the provinces to keep an eye on the workings of the government from his capital at Pataliputra.
The king was urged to use propaganda to get support, and to seek the enemies of his enemies, who would make good allies.
The perfect time to attack the prince was when he was in trouble.
Megasthenes, a Greek ambassador, spent fourteen years in Chandragupta's court.
He talked about the life there.
He described the city as square and surrounded by wooden walls on either side with over 500 towers and 64 gates.
It had a university, a library, palaces, temples, gardens, and parks.
The king presided over court sessions where legal cases were heard.
There were large state farms, shipyards, and spinning and weaving factories that the king claimed for the state.
Prostitution was controlled by the state.
According to Megasthenes, a portion of the empire was ruled directly.
Local kings were left in place inoutlying areas if they pledged loyalty.
The king does not sleep during the day and at night he is forced to change his bed because of those who are against him.
He is surrounded by a group of women and bodyguards when he leaves to hunt.
The measures worked as Chandragupta lived a long life.
According to Jain tradition, Chandragupta became a Jain ascetic and died peacefully.
He left behind a kingdom with the military might to maintain order and protect India from invasion.
Ashoka was one of India's most remarkable figures.
The era of Ashoka was important in the religious history of the world because it promoted Buddhism beyond India.
Ashoka was governor of two prosperous provinces where Buddhism flourished.
After four years of fighting, Ashoka won the throne after he rebelled against his older brother, who had succeeded as king.
Ashoka was a crowned king.
There are four ornately carved gates guarding the stupa at Sanchi in India.
The gateways were added later on in the shrine, which was originally commissioned by Ashoka.
Ashoka conquered Kalinga on the east coast of India in the ninth year of his reign.
Ashoka reduced Kalinga by wholesale slaughter.
One hundred and fifty thousand people were forcibly taken from their homes, 100,000 were killed in battle, and many more died later on.
He used the machinery of his empire to spread Buddhism throughout India.
The doctrine of not hurting humans or animals was spreading among religious people of all sects in India.
He took pilgrimages instead of hunting and banned animal sacrifice.
He went on a pilgrimage to all the holy sites of Buddhism for two years after his conversion, and then sent missionaries to all the known countries.
Ashoka's conscience crisis changed the way he ruled.
He talked about compassion, nonviolence, and adherence to dharma.
He appointed officials to make sure the moral welfare of the realm was taken care of.
Ashoka put stone pillars on the Persian model to inform the people of his policies.
Near trade routes, he had inscriptions carved into large rock surfaces.
I have planted banyan trees on the roads to shade me from the sun and I have planted mango groves along the roads.
I've had wells dug for the benefit of both man and beast.
The earliest fully dated Indian texts are the inscriptions.
Ashoka wanted to keep his new religion pure.
He warned the monks that he wouldn't tolerate divisions based on differences of opinion.
The earliest canon of Buddhist texts was codified at Pataliputra, where a great council of Buddhist monks was held.
Ashoka built shrines for Hindus and Jains at the same time he honored India's other religions.
Ashoka never neglected his duties as ruler of the empire despite his devotion to Buddhism.
He built roads and rest spots to improve communication.
The armed enforcement of Ashoka's authority was aided by these measures.
The first empire in India was founded by Chandragupta.
Ashoka ruled for thirty-seven years.
The Mauryan Dynasty went into decline after he died, and India broke up into smaller units like they were before Alexander's invasion.
The institutions that were created were not strong enough to survive periods of weakness in the empire.
India was shaped by political disunity and contacts with other cultures during the five centuries from 185 B.C.E.
The caste system, the religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and the great epics and legends gave India a cultural unity strong enough to endure even without political unity.
After the fall of the Mauryan Dynasty, a series of foreign powers dominated the area.
The first hybrid states were ruled by the inheritors of Alexander's empire.
The city of Taxila fused elements of Greek and Indian culture.
The movement of nomadic peoples out of East Asia brought the Scythians to the Near East.
They ruled the region from 94 B.C.E.
Greek culture had an impact on Indian art during the Kushan period.
The earliest representation of the Buddha on Hellenistic statues of Apollo can be seen in Indian Buddhist shrines.
The coin cast with images of the king came to be widely adopted by Indian rulers and INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals
Patterns of trade can be seen in places where coins are found.
The cultural exchange went in a different direction.
The translated versions of old Indian animal folktales made their way to Europe.
South India was the center of active seaborne trade, with networks reaching all the way to Rome.
Indian merchants were in charge of much of the sailing trade.
Roman traders based in Egypt sailed with the monsoon from the Red Sea to the west coast of India in about two weeks, and then returned six months later when the winds reversed.
The image of a woman is from a cave in the second century.
Significant advances in science, mathematics, and philosophy were made during these centuries.
Calculating the movements of stars and planets was done by Indian astronomer.
Indian scientists conceived of matter in terms of five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and ether.
Indian law was codified during this time.
Drawing on older texts, thewhich lays down family, caste, and commercial law was compiled in the second or third century C.E.
Early Indian law codifies family, caste, and commercial law.
The Tamils of south India were one of the major beneficiaries of the collapse of the Mauryan Dynasty.
There is evidence of lively commerce in some of the poems written, mentioning bulging warehouses, ships from many lands, and complex import-export procedures.
The south absorbed many cultural elements from the north, but also had differences.
Before contact with the Sanskrit north, castes were present in the south, but they took different forms, like the warrior and themerchant varnas.
In the third millennium B.C.E., civilization first emerged in India.
The large cities of the Harappan civilization were carefully planned, with straight streets and sewers.
By 1800 B.C.E., Harappan cities were largely abandoned.
Aryans, speakers of an early form of the Sanskrit language, rose to prominence in north India, marking the beginning of the Vedic Age.
Aryan warrior tribes fought using chariots and bronze swords and spears.
The first stages of the Indian caste system were when warriors and priests were ranked higher than merchants, artisans, and farmers.
The religious ideas of this age, such as the importance of sacrifice and the notions of karma and rebirth, are documented in the Vedas.
Around 500 B.C.E.
The founder of the Jain religion, Mahavira, taught his followers to live ascetic lives, avoid harming any living thing, and stop thinking and acting evil.
The Buddha taught his followers a path to liberation that involved freeing themselves from desires, avoiding violence, and gaining insight.
Jainism and Buddhism both rejected animal sacrifice and ignored the caste system, which led to the development of Hinduism.
Hindu traditions gave people a more personal relationship with the gods they worshiped.
The Mauryan Empire was politically unified after the arrival of the Greeks.
Ashoka promoted Buddhism inside and outside of India.
India was politically fragmented after the decline of the Mauryan Empire.
Indian cultural identity remained strong because of shared literature and religious ideas.
There were new nomadic groups in the northwest.
Both overland and by sea were used for cultural interchange.