MAK
32 
whole of IHe. Only Jwo border areas deviafed slightly from fhe 
Overall development, Kashmir and Bengal-Bihar, remaining more 
faithfui fo fhe Gupfa pattem in spite of a rieh development ot 
their own, the former strongly intluenced by fhe West, the latfer 
the last sfronghold of Buddhism. 
5. THE ISLAMIC PERIOD (THIRTEENTH TO EIGHTEENTH CEN 
TURY): The social divisions and political instability of India 
enabied the Mohammedans to conquer the country within two 
cenfuries. The military autocracy ot the Sultans of Delhi consisted, 
however, only of a loose control over the fragments of the shat- 
tered Hindu empires. Only in the tifteenth Century did the smaller 
Sultanates (Delhi, Kashmir, Jaunpur, Bengal, Malwa, Gujarat, Dec- 
can) build up a genuine administrafion covering the whole coun 
try and develop a native culture. At the same time, however, 
Southern India broke free again under the Emperors ot Vijaya- 
nagar, Orissa, Assam and the Rajputs of central India and the 
Himalayas and attempted to revive the mediaeval tradition, but 
insfead created a new Hindu populär culture. In the sixfeenth and 
seventeenlh Century the Mughal Emperors (the Great Mughals) 
founded a new all-lndian, now betfer administered empire with 
a culture once again intluenced by Persia, but this empire dis- 
inlegrated in the eighteenth Century. The Rajput states regained 
their independence, fhe Marathas ot the Deccan in their annual 
plundering expedilions became lords of almost the whole of 
India, fhe Persians and Afghans conquered the Punjab and Sind, 
and finally the Sikhs, a retormed Hindu sect, founded fheir own 
empire in the Punjab. All these states re-cast the Mogul culture 
according to their own requirements and fused it with the Hindu 
or Persian cultural tradition. 
6. THE MODERN PERIOD: India was as badly ravaged by the 
wars ot the eighteenth Century as Germany had been in the Thirty 
Years' War. The English, who had for a long time settied on the 
coasts as traders with ofher European nations (the Portugese, 
Dutch, French and Danes) were thus enabied to conquer the coun 
try, using Indian mercenary soldiers, within a Century, first as 
"subjects' of the Mughal Emperors, fhen as a consciously exploit- 
ing, reforming and proselytising colonial power, nafurally behind 
the splendid fa9ade of an Empire with Indian subject princes, 
troops and civil servants. India thus began to turn into a modern 
country, with a massive network of railways and canals, great 
and spreading cities, factories, and an upper dass educated in 
Europe. The tough sfruggle for independence, sei off by the Japa 
nese victory over Russia in 1905, ended in 1947 with the founda 
tion of the Indian Union and of Pakistan. Since then development 
has gone two ways, rapid economic modernisation forced on the 
country by over-populalion, and af the same time a return to the 
national cultural heritage, although more emphasis is laid on 
a humanistic Interpretation. 
Ideological Background 
These successive forms of culture, different but fused with one 
anolher, have produced an ideology more or less ideniieal in its 
basic concepls, but differing widely in individual inlerpretafions: 
first the World as a giant Iree, then as an egg whose shell is 
formed by the ocean and the firmament, but particularly as a moun- 
tain (the Himalaya) whose peak is the dwelling-place of the gods 
(Olympus). In the course of further developmenf this mounlain 
(Meru) was transferred norfhwards, became the axis of the earth 
and finally the axis of the cosmos, losing itself in formless and 
endless space, and was surrounded by oceans, confinenfs, hells 
and other worid Systems. These worlds were supposed to be lilied 
with living creatures and fo be ruied by many gods, and all were 
held fogelher by the efernal process of creation and deslruction, 
of birth and death, of re-birfh in new shapes, steered by the in- 
exorable law of sin and atonemenf or more correctly, by Karma, 
fhe furfher effeefiveness of Impulses unsatisfied on earth. Gods, 
men, beasfs, demons, devils are thus subject to the same law, are 
indeed to a certain extent living beings of the same species, only 
infinilely varied in their power, life-span and desfiny. Neverthe- 
less, while Jainas and Buddhists recognise no godhead, only in 
man-like gods and at the highesl level the sainls and cosmo- 
logical teachers beyond whom lies only the inperceptible fran- 
scendence (Nirvana, Sunyafa), the Hindus believe in one god 
head, manifested, it is true, in different forms, both heavenly and 
earthly, and served by lesser gods. Their basic manifestations are 
the same as those of fhe Christian Trinify, the absolute, the creator, 
and the elemenf permanently active on earth (this last conceived 
in female form as Sakfi), then many types of heavenly revelation, 
according to the spiritual Constitution of the believer male or 
female, majestic or tender, mercifui or terrible, dispassionafe or 
passionate, fertile or destructive; finally, their incarnation as sa- 
viours on earth. Innumerable ancient populär gods belonging fo 
the Aryas or to older races, even fo foreigners, have become in 
corporated into this psychologically malure theological System. 
Lafe Buddhism also conformed to the System by idenlifying Bud-
	        

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