Gem In The Lotus - The Seeding of Indian Civilisation

Gem In The Lotus - The Seeding of Indian Civilisation

Product ID: 8009

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Author: Abraham Eraly
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2000
Language: English
Pages: 586
ISBN/UPC (if available): 014100438X


Evocatively written, with rare clarity of thought and vividness of image, Gem in the Lotus presents a comprehensive portrait of ancient India that is both revelatory and compelling.

In the Beginning, there was no India - thus begins this engrossing and detailed study of the formative centuries of the Indian civilization. In this work, the celebrated author of The Last Spring, the best-selling and critically acclaimed history of the Mughals, identifies and explores the significant milestones in the evolution of ancient India.

Beginning with an enquiry into the enigma that was the Indus Valley civilization, Eraly follows the progression of early Indian society from the Vedic Aryan culture to the age of religious and philosophical ferment, culminating in the tenets of Jainism as propounded by Mahavira. The core of the book deals with the story of Buddha - his life and teachings and the founding and consolidation of Buddhism, which changed the social and cultural fabric of India forever.

Eraly goes on to describe Alexander's advance into India, his dramatic confrontation with King Porus, and the rise of the Mauryan empire after his departure. He writes also of Asoka's unusual political career, marked by fratricide and bloodthirsty campaigns in his early years, his conversion to Buddhism and his transformation consequently into a noble, wise and compassionate ruler.

The final section of the book deals with the clockwork state of the Mauryas, depicted in Kautilya's Arthasastra, and the ancient Greek accounts that created the enduring image of India as an exotic and mysterious land.