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Volume 2: INDIA & SOUTHEAST ASIA to 1800


Vedas and Upanishads

Harappan Civilization
Rig Veda
Sama Veda
Yajur Veda
Atharva Veda
Early Upanishads
Kena, Katha, Isha, and Mundaka
Later Upanishads

Mahavira and Jainism


Buddha and Buddhism

Siddartha Gautama
Doctrine (Dharma)
Questions of King Milinda
Community (Sangha)

Political and Social Ethics of India

Magadhan Ascendancy
Alexander's Invasion of India
Mauryan Empire, Ashoka and Sri Lanka
Dharma Sutras
Laws of Manu
Artha Shastra
Kama Sutra

Hindu Philosophy

Nyaya and Vaishesika
Mimamsa and Vedanta
Samkhya and Yoga

Literature of Ancient India


India 30 BC to 1300

India 30 BC-320 CE
Gupta Empire and India 320-750
Plays of Bhasa, Kalidasa, and Bhavabhuti
Hindu Kingdoms 750-1000
Tibetan Buddhism
India and Muslim Invaders 1000-1300
Literature of Medieval India

Delhi Sultans and Rajas 1300-1526

Delhi Sultanate 1300-1526
Barani on Politics of the Delhi Sultanate
Independent North India 1401-1526
Independent South India 1329-1526
Kabir and Chaitanya
Nanak and Sikhism

Mughal Empire 1526-1707

Mughal Conquest of India 1526-56
Akbar's Tolerant Empire 1556-1605
Jahangir and Shah Jahan 1605-58
Aurangzeb's Intolerant Empire 1658-1707
Kashmir and Tibet 1526-1707
Southern India 1526-1707
European Trade with Mughal India
Tulsidas and Maharashtra Mystics
Sikhs 1539-1708

Marathas and the English Company 1707-1800

Mughal Decline and Maratha Rise 1707-48
Afghan Invasions, Sikhs, and Marathas 1748-67
French, English, and Clive 1744-67
Marathas and Hastings 1767-84
Marathas and Cornwallis Reforms 1784-1800
Sikhs and North India 1767-1800
Tibet and Nepal 1707-1800
Sri Lanka 1707-1800

Southeast Asia to 1800

Burma and Arakan to 1800
Siam (Thailand) to 1800
Cambodia to 1800
Laos to 1800
Vietnam to 1800
Malaya to 1800

Pacific Islands to 1800

Sumatra, Java, and the Archipelago
Java and Dutch Trade 1613-1800
Philippines to 1800
Australia and New Zealand to 1800
Polynesian Islands to 1800

Summary and Evaluation

Ancient India
India 78-1526
Mughal Empire
British in India to 1800
Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands to 1800
Evaluating India and Southeast Asia to 1800


Chronology of South Asia to 1950


India has an ancient and long tradition of spiritual philosophy that has made great and lasting contributions to world culture. From the ancient Veda, the mystical Upanishads, and the teachings of yoga in the Bhagavad-Gita and Patanjali, Hinduism has inspired many people with its universal doctrines of justice and immortality of the soul implied in the theories of karma and reincarnation. The life and teachings of the Buddha founded a major religion that has spread throughout Asia and influenced western civilization, and Mahavira’s Jainism emphasized the important ethics of nonviolence. Literature and theater flourished in India during the dark ages when plays were not celebrated much elsewhere.

India suffered Muslim invasions and was dominated by the Mughal empire for two centuries. Indians have struggled with the lessons of religious tolerance. Nanak tried to reconcile the teachings of Hinduism and Islam by founding the Sikh religion. In the 18th century the British East India Company began to trade and gain power over much of the Indian sub-continent. While the Mughal empire was declining, the Marathas rose to power but could not unite India. In the 19th century British imperialism dominated India, bringing European culture along with its commercial exploitation.

The smaller nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands have their own fascinating histories of development under the influence of philosophies from India and China, followed by commercial interactions with Muslims and Europeans. Burma, Siam (Thailand), Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaya, and Java struggled for independence against the imperial power of the British, French, and Dutch. Filipinos and the Polynesians were especially influenced by Christian missionaries. By 1875 the British empire had extended not only throughout India but also into Australia and New Zealand.

All these histories offer us many lessons in ethical philosophy and development, especially in regard to the “clash of civilizations.” Many Asians have learned how to tolerate, integrate, or synthesize various philosophies such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, Confucianism, and Christianity. As globalization brings us all closer together, I believe we can gain wisdom by understanding the great contributions of these Asian cultures. India is surpassing one billion people and is the world’s largest democracy. People who want to be well educated can learn much from its ancient heritage and history.

To get an overview, readers may want to begin by first reading the last chapter, the Summary and Evaluation. The
Alphabetical Index of Names and the Chronological Index of Events also make this a useful reference book.

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