Episode 10 -Something in the Air

In this episode, we take a look at the beginning of formal philosophy in the Northern kingdoms of India. There was a climate of questioning and social change which then pushed thinkers to examine the fundamental nature of their world and reality itself. Much like the debates on dharma and karma, appropriate role and conduct and the best way to lead a fruitful life, these debates went deeper in to the asking the “secret of the universe” questions. Out of this developed, schools and universities and schools of thought and even religions.

This episode should finally set on the track, as next we’ll see how the rulers and kings of the day used this time of change to make their own moves

 

 

Episode 09 – Argumentative Indians

In this episode, we take a closer look at how society operated and some of the changes that were taking place. The beginnings of dissent and protest and social revolution, new philosophies and get a crash course in ancient inheritance law.

Please note: Any crows you may hear cawing are my reincarnated ancestors come to bless this podcast.

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Episode 08 – The Land of Belonging

With kings fighting for glory and gold, what did the regular citizens get up to? We’ll take a look at what their lives were like,  how ideas of social class and order developed. How much of an influence  ritual and religion were and how many ways could a woman be called wicked? Don’t worry, the men got their just deserts as well.

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Episode 07 – The Body Politic

We’re at a time of change.  we’ll peel back the curtain on the different forces at work on ancient Indian society and see what it looked it before it changed. In this episode. we’ll look at the origin of kings and how the political establishment came to be.  How the powerful got to where they were and what they did with that power once they got it. What are the skills required to be a king? And can anybody stake a claim?  What was the life of a  king ? All this and more!

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Episode 06 – Uneasy lie the heads

The Late Vedic Age;  sometime  between the 14th  and 7th centuries BC. Or thereabouts. A time when everyone wants to be king, and then has a hard time figuring how to hold on. There are many clans and families all vying for their space in the sun; this is about two such families –  who had illustrious pasts,  had very different ideas about how to rule –  but meet a very similar end.

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Late Vedic Kingdoms

Episode 5b – The Word of God, Deed of Man – (Part 3)

We pick up at the Rajasuya and then watch things go down hill for Yudhishtra and the Pandavas.  After 13 years, things come to a head and it’s all out war. But in the end, it doesn’t feel like a win.

Is the Mahabharata a commentary and appeal against the changes in society that were taking place in Ancient India?  The kings were being questioned but they don’t go away. We end with the last named king who links back to a misty past and maybe also to kings yet to come.

Rajagopalachari – The Mahabharata
Kisari Ganguli

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Episode 5a – The Word of God, Deed of Man – (Part 3)

We look at the other great epic of India;  the Mahabharata. A big, rich and complex  work. The Mahabharata covers a range of subjects from politics, war, society, philosophy, justice, the status of women and everything in between.  But unlike the Ramayana, where the protagonist is divine, the focus here is on very human characters with all their shortcomings.

Earlier dismissed as pure fantasy, recent excavations seem to indicate the remnants of a culture with connections to textual evidence, but it’s not all done and dusted.

This is the first of a two part episode.

C Rajagopalachari – The Mahabharata
Kisari Ganguli

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Episode 4 – Word of Man Deed of God (Part 2)

Taking a breather from the heavier history, this time, we hear the first of the great epics of India; The Ramayana. A classical tale with kings, queens, demons and armies of warring monkeys it is ultimately the triumph of dharma over adharma or righteousness over transgressions.  The epic has become fused as part of the culture and continues to have an impact on the political and cultural life of India even today.

The Ramayana – English translation by C Rajagopalachari

 

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Episode 3 – The words and deeds of Gods and Men (Part 1)

A broad survey of ancient Indian literary sources and what historians have learnt from studying the Rig Veda, one of the oldest literary works. After guessing  history from pottery remains and ruins of cities, literary sources were supposed to help. They didn’t.

 

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Episode 2 – The Mark of the Unicorn

The Indus or Harappa Civilization, a very old and still mysterious civilization that reached a high degree of  urban sophistication and complexity but left very few clues to how it managed to do all that.  It’s divided historians and archaeologists about nearly every aspect of its existence; its language, religion, administration, writing,  where the people came from and where they went. It’s been over 5000 years, and it still has secrets, it just doesn’t want to give up.

 

Indus_Valley_Civilization,_Early_Phase_(3300-2600_BCE)        Indus_Valley_Civilization,_Mature_Phase_(2600-1900_BCE) (1)       Indus_Valley_Civilization,_Late_Phase_(1900-1300_BCE)

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Episode 1 – The Beginning

A brief geographical and archaeological survey of the earliest settlements in the South Asian Stone Age and the first signs of civilization. There’s also a little fish, world-carrying elephants and a giant turtle!

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