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Block 3 -- India: Buddhism and Unification of India

Page history last edited by nathaniel.furman@stu.oldham.kyschools.us 10 years, 7 months ago

The Mauryan Family and the Unification of India


Check out this video on the Mauryan Empire!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzbWRVgTa4Y 


The Mauryas were the first family to unify India under one ruler.  This was a huge accomplishment because India was a very large and diverse area that covered over one million square miles.




In 315 B.C.E., India was divided into many small kingdoms controlled by different leaders.  These leaders had become weak and wasted their resources fighting amongst themselves. In the early 320's, Chandragupta Maurya noticed this and used an army of 700,000 soldiers and 9,000 elephants to overthrow the rulers of these kingdoms.  He eventually conquered all of the kingdoms of northern India and united them under his rule, creating the Mauryan empire.


Chandragupta was a very harsh and forceful ruler.  He was incredibly scared of his enemies, so he used a powerful army, spies, and even torture to keep his subjects in line.  However, Chandragupta also did a few things to benefit his people.  He created a strong central government, wrote laws, helped farmers make sure they had plenty of water, and built a road over 1,000 miles long to connect the parts of his empire.


Towards the later part of his life, he gave up all of his power.  Indian legend says that he became an ascetic (a person who has given up all worldly pleasures).  He lived in poverty and travelled with monks (simple holy men).  Meanwhile, his descendants made his empire grow larger.  By the time of his grandson, King Ashoka, it included nearly the entire Indian subcontinent.


 This is a map of the Mauryan Empire.  The blue area is the area conquered by Chandragupta.  The purple area was the extent of the empire at the time of Ashoka.




The Mauryan Empire reached its height during the reign of King Ashoka. He ruled from about 269 to 232 B.C.E. Ashoka expanded the empire to the south and east through a series of wars. Ashoka decided to embrace Buddhism. He supported the Buddhist value of love, Peace, and nonviolence and became a vegetarian. Not all of Ashoka actions reflected Buddhist values. He was a practical ruler. He allowed slavery and permitted people to be executed for serious crimes. He still kept a strong army, although he gave up conquest. Never again would the great King Ashoka attack another kingdom for his own. Ashoka asked others to follow the Buddhist path. He urged his subjects to be kind, respectful, and moral (in other words, he wanted them to behave right). He instructed them to respect their elders, to tolerate other religions, and to treat servants well. He often referred to his people as his wonderful "children" and of himself as their loving "father". Ashoka's Buddhism wasn't perfect, but it was deeply felt.

 A picture of King Ashoka


Ashoka's Four Edicts:

Ø  edict- a command that is obeyed like a law

Ø  the edicts were carved into walls, tall pillars, or public places where everyone could see them.

Ø  edicts were designed to promote four main goals:

  1. Buddhist Values:

          ·         be loving & respectful, practice non-violence

          ·         don’t get too attached to worldly things (like money)

          ·         do right rather than wrong

    2.  General Welfare

          ·         intended to make sure people had good health, shelter, clean water, and enough food

    3.  Justice

          ·         Concerned with fair laws

          ·         Described how people were to be treated in court & jail

    4.  Security

          ·        Delt with enemies, peace, & conquest

Ø  Ashoka's dream of a United Empire did not last, 45 years after death, his once great empire fell apart into small kingdoms

Ø  Buddhism than spread from India to Central Asia than to China, Korea, & Japan

How Buddhism Affected the Indian Empire

                Buddha, (a.k.a. Prince Siddhartha) discovered the eightfold path. The eightfold path is eight values that are important to every Buddhist. The values of the eightfold path also greatly influenced the Indian empire. Similar to the Hebrew’s Ten Commandments, the eightfold path is what the Buddhists live their lives by. The (Chart copied from History Alive! The Ancient World)


The Eightfold Path

Right understanding

Develop a deep understanding for the four noble truths.

Right purpose

Live a life of selflessness, love, and non-violence.

Right speech

Be careful and truthful in what you say.

Do not lie or gossip.

Right action

Do not kill, steal, or lie. Be honest.

Right way to earn a living

Do not work at a job that causes harm to living people or living creatures.

Right effort

Promote good actions and prevent evil ones.

Right mindfulness

Be aware of but not attached to your thoughts, emotions, and feelings.

Right concentration

Focus your mind with practices like meditation.


Comments (23)

shea thompson said

at 1:03 pm on Feb 7, 2011

Maggie if you are reading this either, get back to work, or start working on your project! In the words of Henry ford, GET BACK TO WORK!

nathaniel.furman@stu.oldham.kyschools.us said

at 1:17 pm on Feb 7, 2011

Don't be mean Shea, maybe you should GET BACK TO WORK too.

CRoberts☺ said

at 6:03 pm on Feb 7, 2011

Your stuff ties in with the golden age!


at 6:33 am on Feb 8, 2011

I really think that this is a great page! I were to give one sugestion it would be to make a chart of the important things and how it ties together or more stuff like your four edicts because some people might get bored of paragraphs.

EvAnR said

at 9:07 am on Feb 9, 2011


nathaniel.furman@stu.oldham.kyschools.us said

at 9:26 am on Feb 9, 2011

nathaniel.furman@stu.oldham.kyschools.us said

at 9:26 am on Feb 9, 2011

nathaniel.furman@stu.oldham.kyschools.us said

at 9:27 am on Feb 9, 2011

nathaniel.furman@stu.oldham.kyschools.us said

at 9:28 am on Feb 9, 2011

Pressed wrong button (look above). But any way, STOP PINKIFYING THE PAGE EVAN!

EvAnR said

at 9:05 pm on Feb 15, 2011

H0VV d0 y0u Kn0W iT WaS m3

michaelr said

at 9:41 am on Feb 9, 2011

this page needs videos. add some. and chase, if you are reading this, get back to work. SCHNEL SCHNEL!!!!!!

nathaniel.furman@stu.oldham.kyschools.us said

at 10:40 am on Feb 10, 2011

There is a video, Michael, watch it.

MaggieF said

at 10:42 am on Feb 10, 2011

Yeah, Michael. There totally is a video. I added it, even before you had commented. However, thank you for the constructive criticism. Maybe I should add another video. It's at the very top.

Chase C said

at 11:01 am on Feb 10, 2011

You complete copier. Michael, I know if you typed that, you aren't working yourself! so touche!

michaelr said

at 8:09 pm on Feb 11, 2011

oh to maggie. and maggie, CHANGE YOUR PROFILE PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean glee. REALLY! What were you thinking!!!

michaelr said

at 8:10 pm on Feb 11, 2011

And Chase, SCHNEL SCHNEL. i don't really know how that works in this context, but just give it time. It will come to me eventually.

Chase C said

at 6:17 pm on Feb 14, 2011

50 years later you will be saying that.

michaelr said

at 11:17 am on Feb 15, 2011

not nesscesarily. I felt like it. See there. it came to me. (and it wasn't 50 years later so HA!)too bad. You lost. I won. In your face. Sorry, ig ot alittle carried away. anyway, it came to me

michaelr said

at 11:18 am on Feb 15, 2011

i mean I got, not ig ot

shea thompson said

at 5:49 pm on Feb 15, 2011

Michael stop while you ahead or you will become a head. (P.S. this is not a death threat, just a joke!)

Chase C said

at 5:26 pm on Feb 17, 2011

It should totally be a death threat! I've been giving them to him for 3 years and he doesn't care!

David Fiorini said

at 7:02 am on Feb 18, 2011

I don't particularly care for the tone/content of some of these comments. Please keep them positive and appropriate; otherwise your access to the comment section of the page will be revoked.

shea thompson said

at 2:54 pm on Feb 21, 2011

sorry mr fiorini. :(

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