Chapter – 9 Traders, Kings, and Pilgrims

Trade and Traders

  • South India was famous for gold, spices, pepper, and precious stones.
  • There was so much demand for black pepper in the Romans that they started calling it by the name of black gold.
  • Traders discovered many sea routes.
  • Some of them used to walk along the sea, some used to cross the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

The New Kingdom along the Coast

  • In the southern part, there is a large coastal region.
  • These include mountains, plateaus, and river plains.
  • In the Sangam poems, Muvedar is a Tamil word meaning three heads. They were considered very powerful in South India about 2300 years ago.
  • The three chiefs had two power centers each.
  • Sometimes the soldiers used to go out to most of the places and collect the fees from the surrounding areas.

The Silk Road

  • The technology of making this route was first invented in China about 7000 years ago.
  • The road which people used to carry silk clothes in western countries became famous as Silk Road.
  • About 2000 years ago, wearing silk clothes was a big deal among the rulers and rich people of Rome.
  • The most famous of the rulers who controlled the Silk Route was the Kushans.

The Spread of Buddhism

  • The most famous king of the Kushanas was Kanishka.
  • He ruled about 1900 years ago.
  • The author of Buddha Charitra lived in the poet’s court.
  • Mahayana, a new school of Buddhism, developed.
  • Gradually the worship of the Bodhisattva spread throughout Central Asia, China, and later Korea and Japan.
  • Some caves were built by kings and some by merchants and farmers.
  • Fa-Xian, a Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, came to India about 2600 years ago, and about 50 years after Itsing came to India.

Nalanda – the center of education

  • Its teachers were at the fore in ability and intelligence.
  • He followed the teachings of Buddha.
  • The rules of the monastery are strict, and everyone had to follow them.

Beginning of Bhakti

  • Bhakti is derived from the word Bhaj, which means to divide or share.
  • Bhakti is devotion to the Bhagavata or the Lord.
  • The path of Bhakti has been discussed in the holy book of Hindus, Bhagavad Gita.
  • The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Mahabharata.
  • Iyer, a Shiva devotee, wrote poetry in Tamil about 1400 years ago.

Let’s Recall

Question: Why did the Chinese pilgrims come to India? Give reason.
:- Chinese Buddhist pilgrims Fa-Xian, Itsing and Tsang visited India. Everyone came to see the places and famous monasteries related to the life of Buddha, influenced by the words of Buddha. He collected books and Buddha statues. The pilgrims studied at Nalanda, the most famous Buddhist learning center of the time.

Question: What is the reason for ordinary people getting attracted towards devotion?
:- Ordinary people were attracted towards Bhakti because our Vedic tradition was very strict, caste and classes were kept in mind. It was allowed to worship only certain people. Not everyone was even allowed inside the temple.

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