Ancient Indian civilization: the constant flow of the Ganges

Bank of the Ganges, India

As early as about 5,000 years ago, there was a sinister Indian river civilization, but it lasted only about 1300 years, causing the ancient Indian civilization to have a fault of seven or eight hundred years. In the early days of this fault, one of the world’s first nomadic people, the white-born Aryan, who originated in the grasslands of Central Asia, took advantage of it and merged with the indigenous people of North India. Thus, from about 1000 BC, there was the Ganges civilization.

Whether it is the late Vedic literature, the two major Sanskrit epics, or the Gandhara Buddha image influenced by ancient Greek civilization, or the two early empire of India (the larger peacock empire and the empire of culture and art than the Qin Empire) Both belong to the second phase of ancient Indian civilization – the scope of the Ganges civilization.

The mystery of the death of the Indian River civilization

The earliest civilization in ancient India was born in the valley of the Indus River, the longest river in South Asia. The Indus River flows mainly through today’s Pakistan. The word “Indus”, the original meaning of “river”, was first used to refer to the Indus River and was used late to call the country of India. In the 1950 Constitution of India, the name of the country was “Bharata”. This is a reference to the ancient mythology of the Emperor Brahman, his story part of the Indian epic “Maha Bharata”.

Western scholars have long neglected the history and culture of ancient India. Unlike archaeological work in Iraq and Egypt, Western archaeological excavations in India did not begin until 1920. Although the ancient city of Harappa was known as early as 1842, its archaeological significance was neglected; later excavations were also found in the search for Mahabharata and Ramayana. It may be related to the site, ignoring the possibility of the older past in the region.

The Xalapa ruins are located in the central Punjab province of Pakistan. Mohenjo-Daro, another famous site of its contemporaries, is located in the northern part of Sindh province. They were all part of India until the division of India and Pakistan in 1947. The two major cities of the Indus civilization were larger than the settlements of other civilizations of the same era, and were built with mud bricks usually burned by kiln.

The history of Xalapa can be traced back to around 3000 BC, while Mohenzo-Daro was built around 2600 BC. In the 19th century, most of the Xalapa site was destroyed. At that time, the British East India Company dug most of the mud bricks and used it as a roadbed for the construction of a section of the railway. The residents of the local Xalapa village also demolished many buildings. Take the materials for your own use. From the remains of the Xalapa ruins, it is clear that it used to be an important Bronze Age community with a population of 30,000 to 40,000.

Compared to Xalapa, the downstream Mohenzo-Daro preserved better because most of it was buried until 1922. The name “Mohenzo-Daro” means “the hill of death” in Sindhi. The original name of the city is unknown, although the discovery of the area has raised various possibilities, including the name of the Darobi language “City of the Rooster”, which may imply that the city is the center of the cockfighting ritual or as a cock Breeding center.

Mohenzo-Daro is a well-built city with even streets and exquisite drainage systems (such as the flushing toilet water on the second floor, which can be drained through the soil pipes in the walls to the sewer). The large baths in the middle of the city seem to be the focus of the community. The public is good at using metals such as copper and bronze (with tin or lead in copper) to make works such as dancer statues and personal seals; the commonly cultivated crops are barley, wheat, peas, sesame and cotton – the first in the Indus Valley is cotton. Weaving.

Foreign trade is an important source of local business. Many of the sites in this area lead to the ports of the Indus and even the Arabian Sea (even huge docks). It is believed that when the text of ancient Mesopotamia referred to “Magen” and “Meruha”, it generally refers to India, or Mohenzo-Daro. The artifacts of the Indus Valley were discovered in the site of Mesopotamia around 2300 BC.

According to recent archaeological advances, Rakhigarhi, located in Haryana, northwestern India, is another big city in the mature period of the Indus River civilization, far exceeding Mohenzo-Daro. Dholavira, located in Gujarat, western India, has a special urban structure and the most developed water system. The commonality of these ancient city sites is that they are divided into acropolis and lower city. The drainage system is good, the weights and measures are relatively consistent, no weapons are found, and no evidence of the existence of the royal power is found.

Mohenzo-Daro ruins

The archaeological community generally believes that the early agricultural civilization of the Indus Valley was eventually devastated by climate change. Frequent floods in summer have led to the abandonment of large cities. The mud of about 9 meters in Mohenzo-Daro can be proved; the winter cyclone becomes dry and cold, which destroys the original agricultural foundation of the basin. The local population may migrate to the Ganges plains in the east, and its impact is even far beyond the southwestern part of China.

Mohenzo-Daro was abandoned in 1800 BC, and one of its most mysterious aspects was the vitrification of certain parts of the city, as if it were exposed to bricks that melted at high temperatures. The same phenomenon was observed in places such as Trabble in Laos, and was attributed to the outcome of the war. Speculation about destroying cities through some ancient nuclear explosion is usually not considered to be credible.

Centuries after the decline of the Indus civilization, around 1500 BC, a group of herders who claimed to be Aryans (noble) crossed the Hindu Kush mountain range and settled in the Wuhe area on the upper reaches of the Indus River. This land suitable for nomadic land has deeply attracted the Aryans, and the subsequent migration may last until 900 BC. The Aryans brought the horses to India, but were not sure if they introduced new gods to the area.

Vedic period
After the death of the Indus civilization, it has been hundreds of years, and the urban culture there is dead. But in other parts of the Indian subcontinent, especially the Ganges, a Vedic culture of early religion and literature is popular. The Vedic culture is clearly influenced by the Aryans, but its origins at least partially coincide with the indigenous Dalu Pei people who are engaged in agriculture.

The original meaning of Veda is “bright” and “knowledge”. It also refers to the Vedic literature such as hymns, prayers and spells written in ancient Sanskrit. The most famous Vedic literature is the four ancient Sanskrit scriptures such as The Ritual Vedas, which are collectively called the Vedas.

Throughout the Vedic period (about 1500 BC to 500 BC), the Indian society of Wanbang was roughly divided into four levels, commonly known as the “four major castes” – followed by Brahmin (priests and scholars), and Kshatriya (warriors). ), 吠 ( (farmers and merchants), Sudra (made up of senior servants and artisans, is the most populous caste). In addition to the “four major castes”, the lowest caste is the Dalit, the Dalit or the “untouchable”, responsible for slaughter and garbage disposal, although there is still debate about whether this grade exists at the time.

The religious beliefs of the Vedic period were systematically transformed into the religion of the “eternal order” in the 7th century BC – Brahmanism, which later evolved into Hinduism. It is now the third largest in the world after Christianity and Islam. Great religion. The basic principle is that the universe and human life have order and purpose. By accepting this order and living according to it, people will experience life because it means proper life.

The artifacts of the Indus Valley were discovered in the site of Mesopotamia around 2300 BC.

Although Brahmanism is considered by many to be polytheistic, one of them, Brahma, is the god of creation, and Vishnu, the god of protection, and Shiva, the god of destruction, and the “three gods”. Prominently, he established an eternal order and maintained the universe through it. This belief in the order of the universe reflects the stability of social development and prosperity, because during the Vedic period, the government became centralized and social customs were fully integrated into the daily life of the entire region.

The Ganges civilization has learned the nutrients of the Vedic culture and has been able to go from long to long. Some of the great religious and literary works we are familiar with now belong to the category of Ganges civilization. Among them, “The Upanishads” use the prose or verse to explain the oldest Vedic literature; “The Book of the Past” records the cosmology, the gods, the emperor’s lineage and religious activities in the form of questions and answers; the core part of “Maha Bharata”, It tells the story of the two warlords in the Bharat family when the Aryans expanded into the Ganges River. The Ramayana mainly tells the story of the prince Ramo of Ayutthaya and his wife Siduo.

Like the Peacock Empire, the empire is also originated in the Mogato region in the middle and lower reaches of the Ganges.

About 400 years after the rise of the Ganges civilization, ancient India entered the period of the “16 countries.” As the Aryanese force retreated, Jainism and Buddhism appeared in the face of religious reform. The founders of these two ancient religions – Samoa (respected “Daxiong”) and Siddhartha Qiao Momo (respected “Zhajamoni”) belong to the Zhai Dili caste and both oppose the privileged position of Brahmin.

The contending and wealth gathering of the Indian subcontinent caused the attention of the Persian ruler Cyrus, who invaded the Indian subcontinent in 530 BC. Ten years later, under the rule of his son Darius I, the northwestern subcontinent (corresponding to today’s Afghanistan and Pakistan) was under the control of the Persians.

Brahma, the god of creation, he established an eternal order and maintained the universe through it.

The Persians were descendants of the Aryans, but it was nearly 1,000 years since the Aryans first entered the Indian subcontinent. The Vedic culture that maintains the “eternal order” is about to die. Less than 200 years later, the Ganges civilization, which has accumulated enough cultural energy, will open its own empire era.

The great cause of ancient India
In 326 BC, the Persian Achaemenid Empire (the first empire of Persia) was defeated in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent by the Macedonian King Alexander, who was killed all the way from Europe. Since then, the influence of ancient Greece has been brought to the Indian subcontinent.

The statues and reliefs of this period, the Buddha and other characters depicted in the costumes and postures are obviously Greeks – the Buddha is simply portrayed as Apollo (the prophecy and the god of light in ancient Greek mythology) plus the Buddha’s logo . This is known as Gandhara art, which lasted for nearly 1,000 years and directly influenced China’s religious communication and imagery art.

After Alexander the Great left India, the first unified empire in the history of India – the Peacock Empire (322 BC to 185 BC), rose under the rule of the King of Mogato, Gandhara, Peacock; Within ten years, it almost ruled the entire northern part of India. Peacock’s son, Bintou, expanded the empire throughout India.

The son of Bintou Milo was Ashoka the Great. After eight years of reign, he conquered the eastern city state of Kalinga, killing more than 100,000 people. Amazed by the destruction and death, Ashoka accepted the teachings of the Buddha, established many monasteries and generously contributed to the Buddhist community. This ultimately led to financial and political pressure on the government, and even his grandson, Sampadi, also opposed his policies after his succession. After the death of Ashoka, the Peacock Empire quickly declined and then split into many small kingdoms and empire (such as the Guishuang Empire).

This period of division of the kingdoms lasted for more than 500 years. During this period, the house of Rome in Rome conquered Egypt in 30 BC, and North India increased its trade with the Roman Empire through its trading partner Egypt. In addition, the North Indian culture has also been greatly developed, and finally ushered in the golden age of ancient India – the period of the reign of the Sui Dynasty (AD 320-550).

Ellora Caves

Like the Peacock Empire, the empire is also originated in the Mogato region in the middle and lower reaches of the Ganges. Its founder, Candragupta I, is considered to belong to the shackle (businessman) level. His power to despise the caste system is unprecedented. He laid the foundation for India’s stability, and all aspects of Indian culture reached its peak under its rule.

During this period, the poet and playwright Jia Li Tuo wrote his masterpiece “Sha Gong Daluo”, and “Ai Jing” was also written or edited by Yan Yanna according to early works. While exploring astronomy the next day, Aryabhatta measured the length of the solar year to be 365.3586805 days – the error of this calculation is extremely small. Ayepoto also proposed that the Sun Center said that it discovered the cause of the eclipse and recognized the importance of the “zero” concept.

Since the founder of the dynasty, the Guardian of the First World violated the orthodox Hindu thought (in fact, the Brahmin thought brought by the Aryans), the rulers of the dynasty dynasty advocated and publicized Buddhism with the characteristics of the Eastern nation. As a result, the famous Ajanta Caves and the later Ellora Caves have emerged rich in Buddhism rather than Hindu art.

The empire lasted for 230 years and finally collapsed. After more than half a century, North India ushered in the dynasty (606-647 AD). Harshavardhan is the capital city of the capital. He is the last local king who unified North India. He is a master of Indian classical culture and a devout Buddhist (the Xuanzang Journey to the West). He banned the killing of animals in his kingdom, but realized the necessity of killing people sometimes in battle.

After the fall of the dynasty, North India fell into chaos; the small kingdoms established by the Rajputs lacked the unity necessary to resist the invasion. Since the 13th century, Muslims from Afghanistan have established the Sultanate of Delhi and the Mughal Empire in North India; later colonized by Western powers (including Portuguese, French and British) until India finally gained independence in 1947. .

Obviously, the Ganges civilization with more than 3,000 years of history, like the Chinese civilization and the Jewish civilization, has not been hit by extinction and continues to this day. This adds a charm that keeps pace with the times for the ancient Indian civilization that was once interrupted.

Share