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Title:Indians | Ep 4: The Ikshvakus of Andhra Pradesh | A Brief History of a Civilization
Duration:26:06
Viewed:61,511
Published:26-01-2024
Source:Youtube

Research, Script and Narration by Namit Arora; Producer: The Wire; Director: Natasha Badhwar; Camera: Ajmal Jami; Video Editor: Anam Sheikh. Made possible by a grant from The Raza Foundation and contributions to The Wire by viewers like you. Join The Wire's Youtube membership program and help fund many such initiatives. The story of India is one of profound and continuous change. It has been shaped by the dynamic of migration, conflict, mixing, coexistence, and cooperation. In this ten-part web series, Namit Arora tells the story of Indians and our civilization by exploring some of our greatest historical sites, most of which were lost to memory and were dug out by archaeologists. He will also focus on ancient and medieval foreign travellers whose idiosyncratic accounts conceal surprising insights about us Indians. All along, Arora surveys India’s long and exciting churn of cultural ideas, beliefs, and values—some that still shape us today, and others that have been lost forever. The series mostly mirrors—and often extends—the contents of his book, Indians: A Brief History of a Civilization. Bibliography appears below. EPISODE 4: THE IKSHVAKUS OF ANDHRA PRADESH Archaeological sites like Keeladi have pushed back the rise of complex societies in south India to at least the 6th century BCE. In the late first millennium BCE, a ‘cultural package’ from Aryavarta began moving south. It would radically reshape the religions, languages, and social norms of south India. It brought religions like Brahminism and Buddhism, new ideas of caste endogamy and patriarchy, and cremation of the dead. A major channel for this northern cultural package was the Satavahana Empire, and a successor state, the Ikshvaku Kingdom. Their elites, from the tribe of Andhras, had earlier become culturally Aryanized. The Ikshvaku Kingdom thrived from c. 220–320 CE. The sprawling remains of its capital city, Vijayapuri, and its monuments, were discovered only in 1920. This kingdom supported multiple religions, traded with Rome, and built the only amphitheatre found in ancient India. It hosted Nagarjuna, also known as ‘the second Buddha’, and founder of Madhyamaka, or the influential ‘Middle Path’ school of Mahayana Buddhism. Curiously, Vijayapuri’s elite religiosity had a gendered bias—its kings mostly patronized Brahminism and sold themselves as descendants of Rama, while its queens and other wealthy women mostly patronized Buddhism and actively shaped its evolution. In this episode, Arora will also examine the changing religious landscape of India and the strategies used by Brahminism and Buddhism to win new patrons and followers. PARTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY / FURTHER READING Berger, Douglas, Nagarjuna, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2005 Fogelin, Lars, An Archaeological History of Indian Buddhism, OUP, 2015 Krishna Murthy, K., Nagarjunakonda: A Cultural Study, Concept Publishing Company, 1977 Longhurst, A.H., Buddhist Antiquities of Nagarjunakonda, ASI, 1938 Mohanty, R. K. and T. Thakuria, ‘Early Iron Age Megalithic Culture of Peninsular Indian and South India’, History of Ancient India, Vol.3, pp. 343–78, edited by D. Charkrabarti and M. Lal, Aryan Publisher and Vivakananda Center, New Delhi, 2014 Paul, Diana Y. (translator), The Sutra of Queen Srimala of the Lion’s Roar, Taishō Volume 12, Number 353, 2004 Sarkar, H. and B.N. Mishra, Nagarjunakonda, 2006 Singh, Upinder, Ancient India: Culture of Contradictions, Aleph Book Company, 2021 Singh, Upinder, The Idea of Ancient India, SAGE Publications, 2016 Soundararajan, K.V. (editor), R. Subrahmanyam, et al., Nagarjunakonda (1954–60), Volume II, ASI Stone, Elizabeth R., The Buddhist Art of Nagarjunakonda, Motilal Banarasidas, Delhi, 1994 Subrahmanyam, R., et al., Nagarjunakonda (1954–60), Volume I, ASI, 1975 Sukumaran, Ajay, ‘A Flame beneath the Ground’, Outlook India, 2017 Westerhoff, Jan, Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka: A Philosophical Introduction, OUP, 2009 Join The Wire's Youtube Membership and get exclusive content, member-only emojis, live interaction with The Wire's founders, editors and reporters and much more. Memberships to The Wire Crew start at Rs 89/month. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChWtJey46brNr7qHQpN6KLQ/join



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