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October 19, 2013
Mahajanapada Period (600 B.C- 325 B.C)
Bimbisara (Shronika):- 544 B.C – 492 B.C
1. He was the founder of the Harayanka dynasty.
2. He was the contemporary of Gautama Buddha.
3. He gained a part of Kashi as the dowry in his marriage with the sister of king Prasenjit of Kosala.
4. He sent a royal physician , Jivakato to Ujjain when Avanti king Pradyota was attacked by jaundice.
5. He was the first king who had a regular and standing army.
6. He built the city of new Rajagriha.
Ajatashatru(Kunika):- 492 B.C- 460 B.C
1. Ajatashatru killed his father Bimbisara and seized the throne.
Udayin:- 460 B.C- 440 B.C
1. Ajatashatru was succeeded by his son Udayin.
2. He laid the foundation of the city of Patliputra.
3. Udayin was succeeded by Nagadasak and Nagadasak was succeeded by Shisunaga and laid the foundation of Shisunaga dynasty.
Nanda Dynasty:- 344 B.C- 323 B.C
1. The Shisunaga dynasty was overthrown by the Mahapadma who established the new dynasty.
2. Nanda was described as “The first Empire builder of Indian history”.
3. Mahapadma was succeeded by his son Dhanananda.
4. During the rule of the Dhanananda, invansion of Alexander the great took place in North-west India in 326 B.C.
5. Dhanananda commanded a huge Army.
6. The Nanda came to an end about 322-21 B.C was supplemented by another dynasty known as Mauryas, with Chandragupta Maurya as the founder.
Alexander’s Invansion:- 326 B.C
1. In the 4th century B.C, The Greek and the Iranian fought for the supremacy of the world. Under the leadership of Alexander of Macedonia the Greek finally destroyed the Iranian empire.
2. Alexander succeeded his father Philip to the throne of Macedonia.
3. Alexander invaded India in 326 B.C and defeated the Porus at bank of river Jhelum.
4. He reached Babylon in 323 B.C where he died at age of 33.
1. Kautilya’s Arthashastra:- It is the most important literary source for the Mauryas. It is a treatise on Government and polity. It gives a clear and methodological analysis of political and economic conditions of the Mauryan period.
2. Megasthenese’s Indica:- Megasthenese was the Ambassador of Selecues Nikator in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.
3. Vishaka Datta’s Mudra Rakshasa:- Written during Gupta period, it described how Chandragupta Maurya get assistance to overthrow the Nandas.
4. Chandragupta Maurya:- 322 B.C- 298 B.C
a. Chandragupta Maurya dethroned the last Nanda Ruler Dhananada and occupied Patliputra in 322 B.C with the help of Kautilya.
b. In 305 B.C, Chandragupta Maurya defeated Selecus Nikator.
c. Megasthenese was a Greek ambassador sent to the court of Chandragupta Maurya by Selecus Nikator.
d. Chandraguta Maurya became a jain and went to Chandragiri hill, Sravanbelgola with Bhadrabahu, where he died by slow starvation.
5. Bindusara:- 298 B.C- 273 B.C
a. Chandragupta Maurya was succeeded by his son Bindusara.
b. Bindusara, known to the Greeks as Amitrochates or Amitraghata.
6. Ashoka-The Great:- 273 B.C- 232 B.C
a. According to Buddhist traditions, Ashoka usurped the throne after killing his 99 brothers and spared Tissa, the youngest one. Radhagupta a minister of Bindusara helped him in fratricidal struggle.
b. Ashoka fought the Kalinga war in 261 B.C.
c. After Ashoka’s death, the Mauryan empire was divided into two parts- Western and Eastern.
d. The Western part came to be ruled by Kunala(Son of Ashoka) and the Eastern part was ruled by Dasaratha.
e. The last Ruler of Maurya dynasty Brihadratha, was murdered by Commander-in-chief, Pushyamitra Sunga, Who established his own Sunga dynasty.
f. Some of the major Ashokan Edicts and inscriptions:-
i. 14 Major Rock Edicts contains Various principles of Dhamma.
ii. 2 Kalinga Rock edicts- New system of administration after the Kalinga war.
iii. Minor rock edicts- Personal history of Ashoka and summary of his Dhamma.
iv. Bhabru-Bairat Rock edicts- Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism.
v. 2 Tarai pillar edicts- Ashoka’s respects for Buddhism.
7. Sunga Dyansty:- 185 B.C- 73 B.C
a. Sunga dynasty was established by Pushyamitra Sunga, a Brahmin Commander-in-chief of last Mauryan ruler named Brihadratha in 185 B.C.
b. Pushyamitra Sunga was succeeded by his son Agnimitra the hero of Kalidasa’s drama “Malvikagnimitra”
c. Patanjali, the author of the Mahabhasya, Patanjali was the priest of 2 Ashvamedha Yajnas performed by Pushyamitra.
d. Devabhuti, the last ruler of the Sunga dynasty was murdered by his minister Vasudeva and founded the Kanva dynasty, from 73 B.C- 28 B.C.
8. Satavahana Dynasty:- 60 B.C- 225 A.D
a. Simuka was the founder of this dynasty.
b. Satakarni-I, its third ruler raised its power and prestige by conquests.
c. Gautamputra Satakarni was the greatest ruler of this dynasty.
d. Pulamavi-III its 30th ruler was the last ruler.
e. Satavahana’s was finally succeeded by the Ikshvakus in the 3rd century A.D.
f. The official language of the Satavahana’s was Prakrit. And lipi Brahami.
g. Foreign successors of Mauryas, the Indo-Greeks in 2nd century B.C, The most famous Indo-Greek ruler was Menander also known as the Milinda. He was converted to Buddhism by Nagasena or Nagarjuna.
h. Greeks were the first to issue the gold coins.
i. The Sakas also known as the Scythians, replaced the Indo-Greeks in India, The most famous Saka ruler in India was Rudradaman.
j. In about 58 B.C, A king of Ujjain Vikramaditya is supposed to have fought against the Sakas, and An rea Vikram Samvat is reckoned from 58 B.C.
k. Originally the Parthians lived in Iran, they replaced the Sakas in north-western India.
l. The most famous Ruler of the Parthian was Gondopherenes in whose reign St. Thomas is said to have come to India for the propagation of the Christianity.
9. The Kushanas:- 1st Century B.C -1st Century A.D
a. The Kushana were one of the five Yeuchi clans of Central Asia.
b. They replaced the Parthians in North-western India.
c. The first Kushan dynasty was founded by Kadphises/Kujul Kadhphises and the second Kushan dynasty was founded by Kanishka, most famous ruler also known as the “Second Ashoka”. He started an era in 78 A.D which is now known as Saka era and is used by the Government of India.
d. Kanishka was a great patron of Mahayana Buddhism. In his reign 4th Buddhist council was held in Kundalavana.
e. The last great ruler of Kushana dynasty was Vasudeva-I.
f. The Kushana was the first rulers in India to issue gold coins on a widw scale.
g. In a royal court of Kanishka a host of scholars found patronage- Vasumitra, Ashvaghosa, Nagarjuna, Charak etc.
a. Gautam Buddha, founder of the Buddhism, was born in 563 B.C at Lumbinivana in Kapilvastu in the Sakya clan.
b. His father Suddhodhana was the republican king of Kapilvastu and mother Mahamaya was a princess of Kosala dynasty.
c. After his mother’s death, he was brought up by his step mother and aunt Mahaprajapati Gautami.
d. His father married him at an early age to Yashodhara for whom he had a son Rahul.
e. Four sights- An old man, a deceased person, a dead body, and an ascetic proved to be a turning point in his carrier.
f. At age of 29 he renounced home, this was his “Mahabhinishkranmna” and became a wandering ascetic.
g. His teacher was Alara Kalama from whom he learnt the technique of Meditation.
h. At the age of 35, under a pipal tree at Uruvella (Bodhgaya) on the bank of river Niranjana, he attained Nirvana.
i. Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath (Dear park) to his five disciples, this is known as Dharmachakra Pravartana.
j. He died at age of 80 in 483 B.C at Kushinagar, this is known as Mahaparinirvana.
k. Symbols related to great events of Buddha’s life:-
(1). Janma (Birth)- Lotus and Bull
(2). Mahabhinishkramana (Renunciation)- Horse
(3). Nirvana (Enlightment)- Bodhi tree
(4). Mahaparinirvana (Death)- Stupa.
l. Kanthak- Buddha’s Horse, Channa- Buddha’s Charioteer, Devadatta- Buddha’s Cousin, Sujata- the farmer’s daughter who gave him rice milk at Bodh Gaya.
2. Buddhism councils:-
a. 1st Buddhist council held at Rajgriha in 483 B.C under the chairmanship of Mahakassapa.(Patron- Ajatashatru), Result of 1st council was compilation of Sutta-pitaka, Vinaya pitaka by Aanad and Upali respectively.
b. 2nd Buddhist council was held at Vaishali in 383 B.C under the chairmanship of Sabbakami.(Patron- Kalashoka).
c. 3rd Buddhist council was held at Patliputra in 250 B.C under the chairmanship of Mogalipotta Tissa.(Patron- Ashoka). Result of the third Councils was compilation of Abhidhamma pitaka and decision to send missionaries to various parts of the world.
d. 4th Buddhist councils was held at Kundalavana, Kashmir in 98 A.D under the chairmanship of Vashumitra.(Patron- Kanishka). Result of this councils was the division of Buddhist into Hinayana and Mahayana.
a. According to Jain traditions, there were 24 Tirthanakars.
b. Rishabaha was the first Tirthanakars. And last 24th was Mahavira.
c. Mahavira was born in 540 B.C in Kundagrama near Vaishali in Bihar.
d. His father Siddhatha was the head of the Jnathrika Kshatriya clan under Vajji of Vaishali and his mother Trishala was the sister of Chetaka, the king of the Vaishali.
e. Mahavira was married to Yashoda and produced a daughter Anonja priyadarshini whose husband Jamali, became the first disciple of Mahavira.
f. At age of 30, after the death of his parents, he renounced his family, became an ascetic.
g. At age of 42 under a Sal tree at Jimbhikagrama on the bank of river Rijupalika, Mahavira attained Kaivalya.(Supreme knowledge).
h. He delivered his first sermon at Pava to his 11 disciples.
i. At age of 72 in 468 B.C, he paased away at Pavapuri in Bihar. Sudharma only one of 11 Gandharas who survived after the death of Mahavira.