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Old December 8th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #101

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Originally Posted by mingming View Post
Was there a unified written language in India? Classical Chinese made it easy for people who spoke different languages or dialects to communicate with one another, which is another reason why Chinese empires were able to stay unified. Even if two people spoke different dialects, they still used the same writing.
with minor variations Classical sanskrit was same through out the India. Almost all the work in every field ranging from art and religion to science is done in sanskrit. which is one of the reason, why India remained culturally united, althaugh it is divided among the ethnic lines. However Sanskrit was restricted to the ruling class and elites only. It was never the language of common people.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #102

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what you got was some insignificant buildings of mughal architecture and were designed for hindu courtiers of Akbar.
So waht you are saying is that entire city of fatehpur sikri is insignificant part of mughal architecture!!!

Infact the basic theme of Akbar's architecture is to project the mughal power in such a way that they look like native rulers and yet distinct from the past rulers. More or less similar idea was used by the Britishers when they used Indo gothic style of architecture in India.

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do you really believe that humayun's tomb and taj mahal are " indian " in style ?

the only thing indian about them is that they are in india
Taj mahal and humayu's tomb certainly looks more persian than Indian. However they aren't the only part of Islamic architecture of India.

Also the case of mughal architecture is differant from the case of Gothic architecture of England as pointed earlier. In case of Mughal architecture the early works show more influence of Hindu architecture (ogee arches, shallow arches, Chajjas and Chatris, stone screen and carvings etc) in comparision to the late works.

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now look at this building from Persia


Click the image to open in full size.




match the persian building with this " Indian " mughal building


Click the image to open in full size.



could you tell which two are related ?
This is little bit misleading photograph. As the photo you posted is only the entrance of Akbar's tomb. While Tomb itself looks differant.

Compare the building from persia with this one (main building of Akbar's tomb).

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Jinit View Post
with minor variations Classical sanskrit was same through out the India. Almost all the work in every field ranging from art and religion to science is done in sanskrit. which is one of the reason, why India remained culturally united, althaugh it is divided among the ethnic lines. However Sanskrit was restricted to the ruling class and elites only. It was never the language of common people.
and this situation remained till 1200 ad atleast.

we get many works in sanskrit even from assam and that too in Tang era .
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Old December 9th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #104

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and this situation remained till 1200 ad atleast.

we get many works in sanskrit even from assam and that too in Tang era .
Assam was the major destination for someone who wanted to learn astorlogy even during the medieval time period. Even today I read many advertisements where the Jyotish claims that they learned astrology from Kamroop pradesh. So Assam was undoubtedly part of Indian civilization.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #105
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While "outsmarted" may be somewhat inaccurate, the facts are India did lag behind in a couple key areas

1. There is no real evidence of complex mechanical machinery in ancient India. Unlike the West, and China, where we have archaeological evidence, we have no indication in either writing or archaeology that ancient Indians knew or used mechanical cranks. (Citing ancient India mythological text as evidence for ancient Indian automation or flying machine machines is like citing legends of the Golem as evidence medieval Jews had robots, or Aladin's flying carpet that the ancient Arabs had ant-gravity).

Also, while there are examples of ancient Roman and Chinese,mechanical locks, I haven't seen any examples from ancient India.

2. Writing came late to India compared with China. The oldest Chinese readable inscriptions are many centuries older than those of India, which only date back to the 3rd century BCE. India lagged behind in writing material used, the palm leave material they used inferior to the paper and silk used by china.

3. In printing, India lagged behind China.

4. In transportation, India's magnetic compasses seem to be just nfish shaped devices for pointing in a general direction, lacking the compass markings (24) to allow pilots to steer along a particular compass heading. I believe Indian ships also lacked watertight bulkheads that Chinese ships had, and the largest Chinese ships seemed bigger.

5. While India did have some canals, I don't see any evidence of complex locks that the Chinese had.

6. In pottery, India lacked the ability to make porcelain.

However, India was also ahead in some areas

A..Indians knew the world was sphere, and had an accurate idea of its size, something the ancient Chinese did not Know.

B. Ancient Indian invented the concept of zero, something the Chinese did not. India invented the Arabic numerals, which everyone uses. India's contribution to world math is more important, since outside of China and its neighbors, Chinese achievements were unknown.

C. Ancient developed wootz steel (crucible steel) making.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #106

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I think its due to:

- India's diversity....and the resultant conflicts that hinders any nation's progress.

- India's close proximity to the Middle East and its turbulances, while China's isolation (not complete ofcourse) has benefited her.

- India was strangled with colonization more than China...

- China had more stability when it comes to regimes...
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Old December 11th, 2012, 01:19 AM   #107
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why India was outsmarted by china for 2200 years?

!!!!

is science means using complex machines or applications?

Metallurgy
Architecture
Medicine
Literature
Law
Town Planning
Trade
etc

In which field Indians lagged?

Outsmarted in what way or in what sense

If u people show Taichi from china, we show yoga from India

Shaolin from china, Varmam from India
Silk from china, Cotton from India
Acupunture from china, siddha/ayurveda from India
Confuciusm from china, Jainism from India

India's contributions are largely unknown and in some cases ignored by Indians themselves
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Old December 11th, 2012, 01:21 AM   #108
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why India was outsmarted by china for 2200 years?

!!!!

is science means using complex machines or applications?

Metallurgy
Architecture
Medicine
Literature
Law
Town Planning
Trade
etc

In which field Indians lagged?

Outsmarted in what way or in what sense

If u people show Taichi from china, we show yoga from India

Shaolin from china, Varmam from India
Silk from china, Cotton from India
Acupunture from china, siddha/ayurveda from India
Confuciusm from china, Jainism from India

India's contributions are largely unknown and in some cases ignored by Indians themselves
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Old December 11th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #109
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I agree Vino, there is nothing China outsmarted India in as the OP suggests. The original question is a false question because it assumes China has outsmarted India already. The question should have been "Did China outsmart India" And the answer to that is an emphatic no. There is no way anybody who knows about the history of Indian science, technology, philosophy and culture would ever maintain China outsmarted India.

Yes, China was politically a much more united entity, but that does not make Chinese political choices better or worse than India, it makes it simply different. India preferred "unity in diversity" a society that is politically heterogeneous, but culturally and philosophically homogeneous. This an important point to understand what being "Indian" means - being Indian is not about geography - it is about culture and philosophy. The majority of Indians today who call themselves "Indian" are only geographically Indian, culturally and philosophically they are non-Indian.

India was not a superficial society that defined itself in terms of rigid geographical boundaries, because Indians knew geographical boundaries constantly change - India has undergone hundreds of changes to its boundaries, at one time India is said to have extended as far as Persia. The same is reflected in Indian religion, Indian religion is not defined in terms of fixed rituals, customs or even scriptures, it is defined in terms of general principles known as dharma. The Indian people had a lot of freedom to interpret dharma as they wanted - giving rise to three great Indian religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Later, Hinduism combined with Sufism to give us its fourth great religion of Sikhism.

China was based on an entirely different philosophy of Confucianism, which later gave us Mohism - where the citizen was defined in terms of the state. The citizen had no political or intellectual freedom of their own - they had to behave exactly as stipulated by the state, the decree of the emperor. In Chinese citizen falling out of line was sanctioned or worse executed. This is why Chinese intellectual and philosophical culture did not blossom as it did in India, in fact there is an episode in Chinese history where thousands of scribes/scholars were buried alive by the emperor to stop free thought. Even in modern times the Chinese adhere to the same attitude; the Chinese activist students protesting at Tianaman square were brutally crushed by the state and Chinese youth even today follow the party line: That they deserved their fate, because they were threatening Chinese unity. In China, critical and free thinking is not encouraged, because it is considered a threat to Chinese unity.

Now in my opinion I would say Chinese civilization is ethically very flawed, and India is vastly ahead in the area of ethics.

Last edited by Joshua A; December 11th, 2012 at 02:10 AM.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 02:37 AM   #110
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Just a note on technology:
It is true that in terms of mechanical engineering, India seems to be behind China, Greece, the Romans and the Arabs. Now I wonder why that is, because mechanical engineering yantrakala was in fact one of the subjects of study in Indian education. Also we find references to all kinda of yantras throughout Indian literature, religious and secular - only the yantras(machines) they are describing sound fantastic to us so we dismiss it offhand. In the Mahabharata we find a reference to underwater sea going vessel - yes a submarine. We also find a reference to mechanical robotic crocodile that the teacher Guru Dronacharya uses to trick his pupils and test their courage. As I already mentioned we find in the Samarangasutradhara references to all kinds of machines, many of which we know actually existed and were found in the ancient world, this includes a description of the antikeythra mechanism. That same text describing a flying machine, its engine and gives flight instructions. In a medical text the Charaka Samhita there is a section on microbes, and it gives a description of what certain kind of microbes look like as if they were literally looking at it from under a microscope, and then says explicitly, "Microbes are invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen with a yantra"

The reason we dismiss all these references is out of incredulity - because it suggest the ancient Indians had advanced modern technology - but we do this at the expense of ignoring hundreds of references which describe these technologies. The irony is we actually have explicit proof the ancient Indians had knowledge far ahead of even our modern knowledge - the language of Sanskrit itself. This is a language that is generated literally from machine like code - a language so advanced, that even our most advanced programming languages do not compare.

Why do we find consistently virtually everything from ancient India is ahead of our current knowledge? Let me give yet another example: Sanskrit poetry - Sanskrit poetry can be arranged into mathematically geometric patterns(known as bhandas) and many kind of mathematical tricks can be done with it: For example a poem read forwards can give us a question, read backwards it answers the question. This is unheard of in modern poetry.

Take music theory - Indian music consists of 22 microtones and analyses notes in terms of their frequencies - modern Western music consists of 12 semitones. The introduction of microtones into modern music theory is a 20th century invention.

Last edited by Joshua A; December 11th, 2012 at 02:47 AM.
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