A Comprehensive History of India
Lecture – 5
December 4, 2011
Empire Building
Maharaj Mukherjee
© 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 – City States
– Indus Valley Civilization – 5000 - 6000 Years ago
• Arrival of Aryans
– 3500 - 4000 Years ago
• Time of Ramayana – City States
– 3000 - 3500 Years ago
• Time of Mahabharata – Start of Empire Building
– 2700 - 3000 Years ago
• Time of Buddha and Mahavira
– 2500 Years ago or about 600 BC
• Empire Building 500 BC onwards
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Food For Thought
CE
Buddha
Mahavira
AD
Time of Mahabharata
Time of Ramayana
Arrival of Aryans
Indus Valley
Civilization
Early Farming
Early Farming
Indus Valley Civilization
Arrival of Aryans
Time of Ramayana
Time of Mahabharata
Mahavira
Buddha
AD
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Focus on Universal Values
Eight Fold Path of Buddhism:
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
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 non-acquisitiveness.
These same set of values are the glues for
most societies in the world
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Growth of Human Society
Family
• A group of related people
• Any dispute is resolved by the head of the family
• Interest of the family
Tribes –
• Mostly a collection of families of related people
• No division of labor
• Any dispute is resolved by the tribe head’s man/woman
• Interest of the tribes – start of a value system
City States:
• One or two cities with villages around it
• People have different skills
• Rulers, Teachers, Traders, Farmers
• People belong to same language or culture
• Resolving dispute is done by Rule of Law
• Needs well established value system © 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Growth of Human Society
Empires:
• Several states dominated by a single state
• Diverse cultures, languages and practices
• Rule of Law
• Based on Values
Nation
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Empires of India
British
100%
Mughala
90%
Maurya
% of India Ruled
80%
Gupta
70%
Harsha
60%
Sultaan
50%
Pala
40%
30%
Nanda
20%
10%
0%
-500
SaatVahana
Kushana
0
Rashtrakuta
Chola
500
1000
1500
2000
Common Era
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Aryan Migration to India and Europe
The Persian Empire – 500 BC
The Greek Civilization – 400 BC
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
The Persian Empire
• The First Empire in the World
• Peak Time Around 500 BC
• Extended from Indus Valley
to Greece
• Capital at Parsua
• Also known as Parthian
Empire
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Persian Civilization’s Influence on
Indian History
World’s First Codified Justice System
• Influence on Current Indian Justice
system:
• Indian justice system was
originally modeled after the Persian
system
• Words borrowed from Persian:
• Ukil – Lawyer
• Dalil – Documents
• Hakim – The Judge
• Hazir – Being Present in
Court
In More Recent Times:
• Persians are one of the last
migrants to India
• They helped build the city of
Bombay
• The Tata Group has a strong
contribution to Indian
industrialization
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
The Greek Civilization
Around 500 BC
Greeks and Persians fought many wars
Greek Contributions to the World (400 BC – 200 BC) :
• Philosophers and Thinkers:
• Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
• Mathematicians and Scientists
• Euclid, Archimedes
Suggested Class Projects: Learn about the Greek Thinkers and their contributions.
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Time of Alexander (350 BC)
•
•
The Greek Prince to completely vanquish the Persian Empire and Build a
Greek Empire in its Place at the age of 23.
But his empire completely broke up after his death.
• Extended
from Indus Valley to
Greece
Many Later Indian Empires were built based on the principles and techniques of
both Greek and Persian Empires
The Greek Invasion Opened Door for Trade between Europe and India
Indian Art, Literature and Science were influenced by Greek Thinking
Many Greeks kept record of their Indian adventures
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
The Mauryan Empire
• Founded by Chandra Gupta Mauyra
– Around 300 BC
• Extended by his Grand Son Ashoka
– The most influential Emperor in Indian History
• Mauryan Empire Covered Almost the whole of
India and Beyond
• Their Capital was Patali Putra – The Present
Day Patna, Bihar
• India as a Nation is still influenced by the
principles of this era.
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
The Mauryan Empire
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Chandra Gupta Maurya
• His origin is completely unknown
• He learned war techniques from Greeks and had many
Greek soldiers and generals in his army
• He also sent his ambassadors to many Greek kingdoms
• He has his trusted advisor Chanakya (also known as
Kautilya)
• Chankya authored the book of Artha-Sashtra
– Elaborate principles of how an empire to be ruled and protected
• At his later life he converted to Jainism and left his
empire to his son Bindusar (Father of Ashoka)
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Ashoka – Priya Darshi
Ashoka – The Handsome
• Came to power after some struggle
• Later on converted to Buddhism
• He set his empire on a principle of welfare and
benefits for his subjects
• He followed the principle of balance as ordained
in the Buddhist Principles
• He extended his physical empire to almost
whole of India and beyond.
• But his actual influence was felt all over the
world – through the spread of Buddhist
Principles
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Spread of Buddhism
•Buddhism spread across the world more in time of Ashoka than in any other time in
the history
•He sent his own son and daughter to spread the word of Buddha
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Influence of Ashoka in Modern India
Seal of India
-Ashoka Stambha (The Piller of
Ashoka)
Indian Flag – At the Center there is
the Dharma Chakra or the Chakra
of Ashoka
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Quiz
• What was the first empire of the World?
– The Persian Empire
• Who vanquished the Persian Empire and Built a Greek
Empire in its Place?
– Alexander
• How far did the Persian and the Greek Empire extend
to?
– From the Indus Valley to Greece
• Who founded the Maurya Empire?
– Chandra Gupta Maurya
• Who is the most influential emperor of Indian History?
– Ashoka Priya Darshi
• What is the grand seal of India?
– Ashoka Stambha or the Piller of Ashoka
• What is in the Center of the Indian Flag?
– The Dharma Chakra or the Ashoka Chakra
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
Project for Parents and Students
• Think and Discuss:
– Why did the Persian Empire and the Mauryan
Empire lasted for more than 300 years and
the Greek empire built by Alexander did not
last more than a decade?
© 2011 Maharaj Mukherjee
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