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Indian Regionalism Post-Classical India
Post Classical World • Regionalism common in Asian world • Other areas such as China and Islam experienced only brief regionalism with surges of Empire • Northern India has garnered most of the attention thus far, this period sees the South emerge as a prominent entity.
Southern India • With the emergence of Maritime trade—it rose to prominence. • As early as the 1st millennium AD this region vied for political dominance and saw countless small “proto-kingdoms” emerge. • Groups such as the Pandya, Pallava, and Chola. These groups bore a strong resemblance to Zhou China.
Caste in Southern India • Not as urban as the North, we see the emergence of the “three caste system”. • North/South: Religious caste • North/South: Professional caste • South/North: Geographic caste (hill-people, dessert-people) Each caste had “jati” amidst them.
Gender relations in South India • South India saw women play elite roles in politics culture and the economy. Very different from the rest of the classical-PC world. • Princesses, poets, female rulers, merchants, artisans, etc…
Southern India Cultural Traits • Hindu temples often had universities teaching Hindu philosophy—prevelance of Hinduism in Southern India in the face of Islam. • Law, medicine, poetry, and astronomy significant fields of study. • Art and poetry: see attached
A sign of religious devotion Set tempo for not only South Asia but SE Asia. Temple Building
Chola Kingdom Rajaraja I Conquest of “Lanka” Expansion/Navy Feudalism Unity never achieved Prominent leaders of South Asia
Northwestern India • Mauryan dynasty destroyed—Gupta emerged and later destroyed by the Huns. • Constant invasions from Central Asia and Arab and Turkish Muslims illustrated the flexibility of the caste system. • Buddhism most prominent in this region.
Gupta rule replaced by Harsha. Xuan Zang: Marco Polo or Ibn Batuta Characteristics Similar to Charlemagne from Europe “Samanta system” Dissimilar to China NE India
Harsha and religion • Adhered to Buddhism but tolerated Hinduisum • Abhorred Sati
Waves of conquest that begin 711 Absorbed into Abbasid caliphate Islam had significant appeal Entered largely via trade Pirates prompt Invasion Muhammad Ibn Qasim Results-“Dhimmi”. Dehli Sultanate: Islamic entrance
17 raids into India in 26 years Established Delhi Sultanate Took advantage of Indian Regionalism Army of 300,000 Intolerant to Hinduism and Buddhism Never moved beyond Deccan region of India Time of great struggle Mahmud of Ghazni
Indian influences on Islamic Civilization • Arab numerals • Geometry • Medicine • Hospitals • Arabian Nights • Cultural sharing
Trade in PC India • Most areas were “self-sufficient” in staple foods • Regional strengths emerge • Spice • Politics meant controlling trade • Agricultural yields increased • Irrigation became more sophisticated (Bhopal reservoir) • Increased agricultural productivity led to: • Importance of temples
Cross-Cultural Interaction • Advancements in trade and shipping • Emporia: a place which the traders of one nation had reserved to their business interests within the territory of another nation. • Commerce and cultural diffusion • Trade goods
Jainism and Buddhism begin to wither in India. Region dominated by Hinduism and Islam Rise of a new faith—Sikh. Rise of regional devotional cults in India. Religion and Culture in PC India
Decline of Buddhism Vishnu-Preserver of the World, a god who observed the universe from the heavens and entered the world in human form to resist evil or communicate his teachings. Shiva (Siva): a god of fertility and destruction, brought life and took it away. Rise of Vishnu and Shiva
Appeal of Bhakti • Promised salvation • Deities honored daily • Regionalism of cults • Goal to achieve a mystic union with Shiva or Vishnu • Temples were built to honor these deities
Take all Hindu philosophy and blend it into a single, consistent system of thought. Physical world-illusion (Plato) Only disciplined logic could lead to fulfillment Shankara
Intellectual understand was less important than those who possessed a deep personal understanding of faith. (Mani) Followed “Gita” Direct devotion to Vishnu would bring his grace. Ramanuja
Kabir always insisted on the concept of Koi bole Ram Ram Koi Khudai..., which means that someone may chant the Hindu name of God and someone may chant the Muslim name of God, but God is the one who made the whole world. Guru Kabir: The Bhakti Movement
Sayings of Guru Kabir • When the blind lead the blind both fall into well! • “I am neither in temple or Mosque”
Buddhist center Nalanda sacked by Islamic forces (1196)
Hindu Influence in the Region Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat