Since the fifth century BC, India developed an Iron Age pacifist model: individuals seek dharma (virtue), artha (richess and success), kharma (pleasure and joy) and ultimately moksa (... See full summary »

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Chris Baily ...
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Since the fifth century BC, India developed an Iron Age pacifist model: individuals seek dharma (virtue), artha (richess and success), kharma (pleasure and joy) and ultimately moksa (enlightenment). In the holy Ganges cities, Michael contemplates the hierarchic, controversially fatalistic Hindu caste system and ritualistic tradition. The philosophical rise of moralism and meditation culminated in Buddhism, the teaching of prince Gautama turned wandering ascetic preaching detachment. After Alexander conquered the Persian empire, Indian admirer Chandragaupta Maurya founds his own from Bengal to Afghanistan and Ganges capital Patna, then the world's greatest city. His grandson Ashoka elaborates secular absolute rule, complete with torture house and aggressive war, then converted to Jain non-violence and Buddhist humanity. Written by KGF Vissers

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31 August 2007 (UK)  »

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