India and China
Hinduism and Buddhism
It has no single founder and no single sacred text Due to that, it has become very complex with countless Gods and Goddesses However all Hindu’s share certain basic beliefs
Many Gods- or One?
The universe is part of the unchanging, all powerful spiritual force called Brahman Most important God’s are: Brahma – Creator Vishnu – Preserver Shiva – Destroyer Each represents parts of Brahman Sacred Texts Hindu teachings recorded in Vedas and Upanishads Specifically the Bhagavad-Gita
The Goal of Life Everyone has an essential self, or Atman Ultimately desire Moksha Union with Brahman Achieved by discarding selfish desires Believe in reincarnation Rebirth of the soul in another form Allows people to work towards moksha
Karma and Dharma Must obey the law of Karma All the actions a person’s life that affect his or her fate in the next life Live virtuously and earn higher level of existence Live selfishly and earn suffering They stress Dharma The religious and moral duties of an individual Obey Dharma, a person acquires merit for the next life
Also believe in Ahimsa Nonviolence Opposition to the Brahmins Emphasized meditation, self-denial, and an extreme form of ahimsa
Foothill of Himalayas, Siddhartha Gautama founded Buddhism Early Life Signs predicted that Gautama would become a wandering holy man Gautama was in the high caste system The Search When he discovered misery, he left home to seek the cure to misery Sought Hindu wisdom, but found no answer He sat and meditated for 48 days, until he understood the cure He arose and became Buddha, “Enlightened One”
Followers accompanied the Buddha as he preached across Northern India.
Some Buddhists set up monasteries and convents that grew into centers of learning.
Missionaries and traders spread Buddhism across India to many parts of Asia.
Four Noble Truths All life is full of suffering, pain and sorrow The Cause of suffering is the desire for things that are really illusions, such as riches, power, and long life The only cure for suffering is to overcome desire The way to overcome desire is to follow the Eightfold Path The Eightfold Path being “right views, right aspirations, Right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right contemplation.” Final Goal is Nirvana Union with the universe and release from the cycle of rebirth
Buddhism and Hinduism Compared Both stress nonviolence, believed in Karma, Dharma, Moksha, and a cycle of rebirth Buddha rejects priests, formal rituals and many gods of Hinduism
“Work out your own salvation with diligence” Buddha Sacred Text Tripitaka “Three Baskets of Wisdom “Overcome anger by not growing angry. Overcome evil with good. Overcome the liar by truth”
Two Sects Split into two major sects Smaller groups Theravada Strict Buddha followers that believed only monks and nuns could reach nirvana Mahayana Easier for ordinary people to reach nirvana Saw Buddha and others God’s as compassionate and more personal Described many heavens and hells Decline in India Hinduism ultimately absorbed some Buddhist ideas Buddhism generally driven out of India
Powerful Empires of India
Rival Rajah’s fought over control of Ganges Valley Chandragupta Chandragupta Maurya forged the first great Indian Empire After conquering the Ganges Valley, he conquered north India He had a well organized bureaucracy taxes, managed state owned factories and shipyards Effective government, but harsh crack down on dissent any differing or opposing ideas
Asoka Most honored Maurya emperor Conquered much of the Deccan Plateau Converted to Buddhism rejected violence, and resolved to rule by moral example Sent missionaries to Sri Lanka People sent on a religious mission Helped spread Buddhism to Asia preached tolerance Built temples, roads, hospitals, rest houses for travelers
Division and Disunity After Asoka’s death Maurya power declined by 185 B.C.
Ancient times, as today, people are divided culturally in the south and the north Often the north was conquered by foreigners
People of the Deccan were Dravidians with different languages and traditions For example, women had high status and economic power Religiously tolerant Trade was very important Improved harbors to support overseas trade Especially to the Roman Empire
Arose out of the north of India Gupta emperors had a strong central government that promoted peace and prosperity Golden age between 320-550 A.D.
period of great cultural achievements Peace and Prosperity Generally a confederate style government locals having most power Trade and Farming very bountiful Exported to East Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia
Advances in Learning Students educated in religious schools including math, medicine, physics, languages, literatures, and other subjects Created numerals including zero, decimal system of numbers based on 10 Architecture Hindus built stone temples Buddhist built stupas large dome-shaped shrines that housed the sacred remains of the Buddha or other holy people
Magnificent Carvings Both temples and stupas, were covered in magnificent carvings of gods and goddesses including Shiva, who is a four-armed God Paintings at Ajanta Murals painted recalling Buddhist stories and legends wall paintings Literature Greatest Gupta poet and playwright was Kalidasa
Eventually Gupta India declines under the pressure of weak rulers, civil war, and foreign invaders.
One group of invaders is the White Huns from Central Asia
Pillars of Indian Life
“It is better to do one’s own duty badly than to do another’s duty well.” Krishna from the Bhagavad-Gita Many Castes As new groups of invaders were absorbed into society, new caste systems were created
Complex Rules Closely linked to Hindu beliefs Brahmins were pure and therefore closer to Moksha than lower class individuals Rules and dictations, regulated what, where, when individuals in the each caste system could do Lowest outcastes were called “Untouchables” impure jobs such as digging graves, cleaning streets, or turning animal hides into leather Upper classes avoided contact with untouchables
Effects Caste system ensured a stable social order Karma determined their caste By doing their current duties, the could be re birthed into a better caste system Caste levels depended on each other, as only certain jobs were done in each caste
Structure Ideal Family was a joint family parents, children, grandchildren, uncles, and their offspring shared a common dwelling Patriarchal society father or oldest male headed the household prosperity belonged to the whole family
Children and Parents Learned early their caste rules and duties Son learned the ritual duties of the males Daughters to serve and obey husband Parents duty was arranging good marriages based on caste and family interests bride’s father offered dowry payment to the bridegroom financed the costly wedding festivities Daughter would leave family for husband’s family
Women’s Lives Generally had freedom to wonder freely However through the years, the women began to be restricted Primary duty to marry, have kids and raise them However, few rights otherwise High Caste widows were not allowed to remarry
Villages were filled with each level of the caste system Doing the duties necessary for the village to survive Feudal system in terms of farms Generally self-sufficient However there was periodic communication between villages
Philosophy and Religion in China
“Lead the people by virtue… and they will have a sense of shame and moreover will become good.” Confucius is the western version of the name Kong Fuzi, or Master Kong Born in 551 B.C. to a noble but poor family Became a teacher Much like Gautama Buddha in India and Socrates in Greece, he did not formally write down his sayings However his students collected them into the Analects He cared very little for religion and “Salvation” He developed a philosophy concerned with worldly goals, specifically social order and a good government System of ideas
Five Relationships Harmony resulted when people accepted their positions in life father to son elder brother to younger brother husband to wife ruler to subject friend to friend Superiors should care for their inferiors Correct Behavior would bring order and stability Filial piety respect for parents, above all other duties
Government Ruler must provide a good government specifically by good example Spread of Confucianism His ideas greatly influenced Chinese rulers, especially filial piety Spread to Korea, Japan and Vietnam, as they were taken over by the Chinese Civilizations
Philosopher Hanfeizi stressed that rulers impose strict rules to control human greed, the greatest evil Became known as legalism Influences Chinese ideas that people are required to work on government projects and punish those who shirk their duties
Founder of Daoism was Laozi, or “Old Master” Wrote the book The Way of Virtue Sought to live in harmony with nature Seeking “They Way” Focus on Dao or “The Way” of the universe Stress the virtue of yielding water the example most often used
Government Viewed government as unnatural, there the cause of many problems Best government governs the least A Blend of Ideas Evolved into a religion involving many gods, goddesses, and magical practices Eventually Confucianism and Daoism were combined by many Confucianism showed them how to behave Daoism influenced their view of the natural world
By 100 A.D. Buddhist missionaries had spread Mahayana Buddhism from India into China Became very popular, despite conflict with cultural view of family Offered escape from suffering Offered hope of eternal happiness and presented Buddha as a compassionate, merciful God Through prayer, good works and devotion, anyone could hope to gain salvation
By 400 A.D. Buddhism a prominent religion, while absorbing some ideas form Confucianism and Daoism Chinese Buddhist monks stressed filial piety and honored Confucius
Strong Rulers Unite China
Zeng rose to power and proclaimed himself Shi Huangdi or “First Emperor” Using rewards for merit and punishments for failure, he built the strong authoritarian government of the Qin Dynasty Became known as the “Classical Age” Patterns that are evident throughout Chinese history
Unity Imposed Emperor abolished feudalism in China replaced it with military districts and appointed loyal officials to administer them Then sent spies to report back to emperor about the officials actions High taxes paid to support armies and building projects Standardized weights and measures created common coinage extended roads and canals had scholars create uniformity in Chinese writing
Crackdown on Dissent He jailed, tortured, and killed many who opposed his rule destroyed all the works of literature and philosophy The Great Wall Shi Huangdi’s most remarkable achievement Built it to unite many walls already in place over the centuries the wall was extended Became a very important symbol to the Chinese protecting their civilized world from the nomadic bands from the north
Collapse Anger over heavy taxes, forced labor, and cruel policies, Chin went into revolts As Qin Power collapsed Liu Bang arose, creating the Han Dynasty Bang Claimed the Mandate of Heaven
Bang took the title of Gao Zu Lowered taxes and eased harsh Legalist policies Appointed Confucian scholars as advisers Lasted for nearly 400 years
Emperor Wudi Wudi was the most famous Han emperor Chose officials from Confucian wisdom and virtue Improved canals and roads Built granaries in order to help stabilize grain prices Imposed government monopoly on iron and salt complete control of a product or business by one person or group Gave government a source of income other than taxes Followed a policy of Expansionism increasing the amount of territory under Chinese rule Took over Manchuria, Korea, Northern Vietnam, Tibet and Central Asia
Silk Road to the West Wudi opened the trade route that ended up becoming called the Silk Road Goods traded from Rome to China, and parts in between Stretched for nearly 4,000 miles Scholar-Officials Confucianism was the official belief of the governmental system
Civil Service Examination Positions gained by merit as opposed to family background setup exams to determine someone’s capabilities Women were closed out of governmental jobs Dynasties rose and fell, but Confucian influence survived Collapse of the Han Empire Court intrigues undermined emperors who could no long control powerful warlords local military rulers Weak Emperors, rebellious peasants, and ambitious warlords ended the Han Dynasty
Science Wrote texts on chemistry, zoology, botany and other subjects Observed stars and planets invented better timekeeping devices including a seismograph Medicine Acupuncture doctor inserts needles under the skin at specific points to relieve pain or treat various illnesses Technology Made paper out of wood pulp still used to make paper today Shipbuilding invented rudder to steer The Arts Temples and Palaces
The series of governments started during the Han Dynasty, lasted up until 1912 Every new dynasty sought to recapture the glory of the Han Dynasty