Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pushyamitra Shunga (185 BCE to 149 BCE), the reviving force of Brahminism

Pushyamitra Shunga (185 BCE to 149 BCE), the reviving force of Brahminism

He was a Brahmin Senapati of Mauryan Empire, assassinated the last Maurya King Brihadrath Maurya and became ruler of North India (including present days Pakistan) in 185 BCE. His association linked with Gujarat, as he was the Governor of Girinagar (Junagadh) before became a General.

Maurya Empire of Greater India was founded by Chandra Gupta Maurya (340 BCE to 298 BCE) under the guidance of Brahmin teacher Vishnu Gupta (Chanakya). But he belonged to a backward caste Mura, renounce throne, became Jain, went to Sravanbelgola (Karnataka) and fasted till death. He lived a life of 41 years only. His Grand son Ashoka became a famous ruler. He was Jain by birth but after killing thousands of people in Kalinga war (Chandashok), his heart changed, surrendered himself to Buddhism, and became Dharmashok, constructed 84000 stupas of Lord Buddha. But his intolerance to the voice against Buddhism recorded a killing 18000 Ajivikas in one day due to a picture in which Buddha was shown prostrating at the feet of Nirgrantha (Mahavira).

It was a time of competitions and conflicts amongst three major religions: Brahamanism, Jainism, Buddhism.

Pushyamitra Shunga was an ambitious ruler wished to earn a name like Samrat Ashoka. As a dual gotra Brahmin, he took opposite path to him. After performing Ashvamedh Yagya he attacked Buddhist Monasteries and slaughtered Monks. He offered Dinars and Gold coin for each Buddhist monk head in Sialkot. It was a time when Monasteries were powerful due to Mauryas following Buddhism. Therefore, there was possibilities of rift between Monasteries and the Brahmin King Pushyamitra, as he came in power after assassinating the Buddhist King. He might have discontinued patronage to the Monasteries and put them down with heavy hand.

Buddhism did flourish during the period of Kushana (30-375) and Shakas (200-400), but it was a great set back to Buddhism during Pushyamitra's rule of 34 years. 
Brahmanism rejuvenated during his time as Manu Smiriti was written defining laws and social codes and stamping caste system by birth, made India the country on unequal. It has taken more than 2000 years but the roots of inequality are so strong that India is unable to bring social equality in 21st century. It is not only the book Manu Smiriti responsible, but the people of India are responsible because they like to follow social inequality that give them the sense of superiority over others by birth. 

Pushyamitra Shunga will be remembered for long for putting down Buddhism, reviving Brahminism and promoting Manu Smiriti. 

India has passed through the influence of different religions: Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity; but the majority people continued following Hinduism, the Sanatan Dharma of the country.

26 August 2015

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