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I INDIA BEFORE BUDDHISM 1 Caucasian Migration into India In prehistoric times when great migrations were taking place over the face of the earth successive waves of Caucasian nomads migrated into several areas of the world Indo-Iranian and Eastern Europe Those that pushed into the continent of India subdued the native race which had attained a high level of civilization as early as 3000 BC Blessed by the rich and fertile river valleys of the Punjab the conquering Aryans established the Vedic civilization by 1000 BC 2 Second State of Settlement After 1000 BC the Aryans moved eastward into the valleys of the Jumna and Ganges Rivers In this period thought was added to Vedic poetry and myth the rituals were organized the suzerainty of the conquering race strengthened and the caste system based upon color distinction was established 3 Changes within Traditional Society By the 7th Century however the pyramid of the social structure with the Brahman priest class at top followed by the Kshatriya ruling class the Vaisya merchant class and the Sudra laboring class showed distinct signs of disintegration The population shifted further east into the heart of India and intermarriages between races took place the acceleration of commerce and consequent growth of cities led to the rising economic power of the merchant caste and the ruling caste overshadowed the priest class in cultural and administrative affairs 4 Developments in Thought In philosophy and religion the literature of the time known as the Upanishads revealed a freedom of thought lacking in earlier Vedic literature Thinkers with progressive ideas emerged on the scene stimulated by men of the ruling class rather than the traditional priesthood On the other hand free-thinkers repudiated traditional authority skeptics found a large following and materialists preached their doctrines as never before II LIFE OF BUDDHA 1 Birth Into such a transitional society was born a prince to the ruling house of the Sakya
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