A Comprehensive History of India
Lecture – 4
November 20, 2011
War and Peace
Maharaj Mukherjee
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
The Spread of Aryans in India
• The Aryans moved
along the river Ganges
Aryavarta – Land of Aryans
• Their spread came to
Bengal last
• Their spread was
limited by Himalyas on
the North, Vindhya on
the South and
Ganges+Bramhaputra on
the East
Dakshinapath – The way of
the South
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Story of Wars
• Two grand Indian Epics
– Ramayana
– Mahabharata
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
The Story of Ramayana
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
The Story of Ramayana
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
History Lessons from Ramayana
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
History Lessons from Ramayana
• Time of Ramayana about 3000 years back or 1000 BC
• Aryans were still concentrated in the Northern India
• They have learned building city states
– A state with a city in its capital and other areas surrounding it
• They were slowly spreading into Southern India
• They are encountering people who had been there
before them
– Monkeys – Forest dwelling hunter/gatherers??
– Demons – people who can build nice cities
• Ramayana authors had a very good grasp of Indian
Geography
• They still did not know writing
– Ramayana is written in poetic form for easy memorization
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Story of Mahabharata
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
History Lessons from Mahabharata
• Time of Mahabharata 2700 years back or about
700 BC
• Aryans are now well established all over India
• City states are building or aspiring to build
empires
• The concept of India as a country is now being
established
• The Mahabharata is written in prose form
– Mahabharata is a written text
– Writing is now well established
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Address of India
Uttaram Jat Samudrasya
Himadreschaiba Dakshinam
Barsham Tad Bharatam
Bharati Jatra Santati
The Land that is North of the
Oceans and South of the
Himalayas – is known as
Bharata (India). Its children
(inhabitants) are known as
Bharati(Ya) – Indians.
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
History Lessons from Mahabharata
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
War and Peace
• Need for Social Reformation
– Excessive Ritualistic Religion
– Evils of untouchability
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Stories of Peace
• Jain Religion
• Buddhist Religion
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Jain Religion
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Started around 600 BC
The religion is based on
ethics and moral values
than rituals
The religion is carried by
Tirthankaras – Saviours of
Human Soul
24 Tirthankaras –
Mahavira is the last
Tirthankara
Mahavira around 500 BC
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Jain Religion
Basic Tenets:
1. Ahimsa (non-violence)
2. Parasparopagraho jivanam
(interdependence)
3. Anekantavada (the doctrine
of manifold aspects)
4. Samyaktva (equanimity)
5. Jiva-daya (compassion,
empathy and charity)
THE JAIN CODE OF CONDUCT
The five vratas (vows):
1. Non-violence in thought, word
and deed,
2. To seek and speak the truth,
3. To behave honestly and never
to take anything by force or
theft,
4. To practice restraint and
chastity in thought, word and
deed,
5. To practice nonacquisitiveness.
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Buddhism
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Buddhism
Eight Fold Path: Leads to
Moksha or relief from
rebirth
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
• Around 500 BC
• Buddha had among his
disciples
– King Prasenjit
– King Bimbisara
– Untouchables: Ananda and
Upali
• Strong statement against
– Ritualism
– Untouchability
• Buddha did not say anything
about God or any superior
being
• He preached in the common
language of the people such
as Pali.
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Spread of Buddhism
• Buddha is the
most notable
Indian
• About 6% of
World
Population is
Buddhist
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Time Line Studied So Far
• Early Inhabitants of India?
– Hunter Gatherers – 15000 Years ago
• Earliest Civilization in the World?
– Fertile Crescent – 10000 Years ago
• Earliest Civilization in India
– Indus Valley Civilization – 5000 - 6000 Years ago
• Arrival of Aryans
– 3500 - 4000 Years ago
• Time of Ramayana
– 3000 - 3500 Years ago
• Time of Mahabharata
– 2700 - 3000 Years ago
• Time of Buddha and Mahavira
– 2500 Years ago or about 600 BC
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Quiz
• What are the main epics of India
– Ramayana and Mahabharata
• Where did the Aryans lived at the time of
Ramayana
– Mostly in Northern India
• When did the concept of India develop:
Ramayana time or Mahabharata time?
– Mahabharata time
• What is the style of writing for Mahabharata
– Prose style
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Quiz
• Name two religions of peace in India
– Jainism and Buddhism
• What brought in the religions of peace
– Ritualism and Untouchability
• Who was the main leader of Buddhism
– Buddha
• Name one leader of Jainism
– Mahavira
• How many vows are there in Jainism? Name one.
– Five
• How many basic tenets are in Buddhism? Name One
– Eight:
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Food For Thought
• We discussed four leaders of ancient India:
– Rama and Krishna
• 1000 – 700 BC
– Buddha and Mahavira
• 600 – 500 BC
• They are still the most revered leaders in Indian
History – All four are worshipped as gods.
– Why did their appearance happened around such a
small time frame of 400 years of each other in the
long 10000 years of Indian History?
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee