Ayana Williams-Dyce Dr. Talbott Block 2 11/5/10 Chapter 16 Williams-Dyce Williams-Dyce During India Post classical era Buddhism and Jainism were flourishing in East Asia, central Asia and parts of Southeast Asia but came under great pressure in India. Invasions of India by Turkish peoples hastened the decline of Buddhism because the invaders looted and destroyed Buddhist stupas and shrines. During India Post classical era Buddhism and Jainism were flourishing in East Asia, central Asia and parts of Southeast Asia but came under great pressure in India. In 1196 Muslim forces overran the city of Nalanda and raved the schools where Xuanzang and other foreign pilgrims had studied with the worlds leading Buddhist philosophers and theologians. The conquerors torched Buddhist libraries and either killed or exiled thousands of monks living at Nalanda. Buddhism soon became minor in the land of its birth. Before Nalanda was where Mahayana Buddhism flourished partly because of educational institutions that efficiently promoted faith. During the Vedic era, Indian education was mostly an informal affair involving a sage and his students. When jains and Buddhists organized monasteries, however, they began to offer regular instruction and established institutions. Most monasteries provided basic education, and larger communities offered advaneced instruction as well. Best known was the Buddhist monastery at Nalanda, founded during the Gupta dynasty in the Ganges River valley near Pataliputra. At Nalanda it was possible to study not only Buddhism but also the Vedas, Hindu philosophy, logic, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. It became famous as an educational center that pilgrims from foreign lands traveled there to study the most renowned masters of Buddhist doctrine and by the end of the gupta dynasty several thousand students made their residence there. Vishnu was the preserver of the world, a god who observed the universe from the heavens and who occasionally entered the world in human form in order to resist evil or communicate his teachings. Shiva was bit a god of fertility and a destructive deity; he brought life but also took it away when its season has passed away. The most popular devotional cults were Shiva and Vishnu. Although Shankara was a worshiper of shiva, Shankara mistrusted emotional services and ceremonies, insisting that only be disciplined logical reasoning could human beings understand the ultimate reality of Brahman, the impersonal world-soul of the Upanishads. Olny then could they appreciate the fundamental unity of the world, which Shankara considered a perfectly understandable expression of ultimate reality, even though to human physical senses the same world appears chaotic and incomprehensible. Ramanuja believed that intellectual understanding of the ultimate reality was less important than personal union with the deity. Ramanuja granted that intellectual efforts could lead to comprehension of reality, but he held that genuine bliss came from salvation and identification of individuals with their gods. He followed the Bhagavad Gita in recommending intense devotion to Vishnu, and he taught that by placing themselves in the hands of vishnu, devotees would win the god’s grace and live forever in his presence. In contrast to Shakara’s consistent, intellectual system of thought, Ramanuja’s philosophy pointed toward a Hindu theology of salvation. Indeed, his thought inspired the development of devotional cults throughout India, and it serves even today as a philosophical foundation for Hindu popular religion. Sufis were agents of conversion to Islam. They encouraged a personal, emotional, devotional approach to Islam. They did not insist on the fine points of the doctrine, and sometimes even permitted their followers to observe rituals or venerate spirits not recognized by the Islamic faith. Sufi Khwaja Khidr was beloved in Muslim communities throughout northern India as one associated to springtime, fertility, and happiness. The appeal of Islam in India was that like Hinduism, Indian Islam emphasized piety and devotion. Even though Hinduism and Islam were profoundly different religions, they encouraged the cultivation of similar spiritual values that transcended the social and cultural boundary lines of postclassical India. The Islamic faith didn’t attract much immediate attention among Indians when it arrived in the subcontinent. It won gradual acceptance in merchant communities where foreign Muslim traders took local spouses and found a place in Indian society. Elsewhere, however, circumstances did not favor its adoption, since it often arrived in the cultural baggage of conquering peoples. Gradually, however, many Indians converted to Islam. By 1500 C.E. Indian Muslims numbered perhaps twenty-five million. Some Indians adopted Islam in hope of improving their position in society. Puranas are the local languages The Bhakti movement was a cult of love and devotion that ultimately sought to erase the distinction between Hinduism and Islam. The bhakti movement emerged in southern India during the 12th century, and it originally encouraged a traditional piety and devotion to Hindu values. As the movement spread to the north, bhakti teachers increasingly encountered Muslims and became deeply attracted to certain Islamic values, especially monotheism and the notion of spiritual equality of all believers. Guru Kabir , a blind weaver and one of the most famous bhakti teachers went as far to teach that Shiva, Vishnu, and Allah were all manifestations of a single , universal deity, whom all devout believers could find within their own hearts. Funan is the first state in India that reflected ruling elites adopting Hinduism and Buddhism, which they found attractive because the Indian faith enforced the principal of monarchial rule, which dominated the lower reaches of Mekong River between the first and sixth century. Isthmus of Kra is the narrow portion of the Mayla peninsula where merchants transported trade goods between china and India. The strait of Malaca is near modern Singapore and soon became prominent in the trading world. After the fall of Funan, political leadership passed into the kingdom of Srivijaya based on the island Sumatra. The kings of Srivijaya built a powerful navy and controlled commerce in Southeast Asian waters. The Srivijaya kingdom prospered until the expansive Chola kingdom of southern India eclipsed it in the eleventh century. With the decline of Srivijaya, the kingdom of Angkor, Singosari, and majapahit dominated affairs in the Southeast Asia. The magnificent monuments of Ankor testify eloquently to the influence of Indian traditions in Southeast Asia. The temples complexes still stand today as vivid reminders of the influence of political, cultural and religious in the Southeast Asia, it is dedicated to Vishnu at Angkor Wit. Khmers abandoned Ankor in 1431 after Thai peoples invaded the capital and left much of it in ruins. Sinn the jungle reclaimed both Angkor Thom and Angkor Wit. During the fifteenth century the spread of Islam gained momentum in Southeast Asia, largely the powerful state of Meleka sponsored the faith throughout the region. Muslim merchants had ventured into southeast Asia by the eighth century, but only during the tenth century did they become prominent in the region. From southern Arabia or Persia , but many were Indians from Gujarat or the port cities of southern India. Thus Indian influence helped established Islam as well as Hinduism and Buddhism in Southeast Asia.