and Europeans. Indian culture has thus become complex and Ihe 
same time uniform, substantially colonial and feudal in ifs slruc- 
fure. The conquerors reduced Ihe conquered fo serfs and slaves; 
but the conquerors in their turn were replaced by new immigranfs, 
or decimated in continuous wars and absorbed by the native So 
ciety. Thus developed a great number of "casfes" which tinally 
formed only tour social grades — the teaching dass (Brahmins, 
Yogis, Buddhist monks and Jain monks), the warrior dass (Ksha- 
triyas), Ihe peasant dass (landowners and middle dass, the Vai- 
shyas), and serfs (Sudras), while the aboriginals existed as "un- 
touchables" autside society and were only employed tor Ihe 
most dishonourable tasks. There was in consequence ample room 
tor the most varied levels of culture, trom the retined luxury ot Ihe 
princes and noblemen and the rieh display of the femples (com- 
bined with an individual renuncialion ol worldly lite by the priests 
and monks) to Ihe modestly retined living style of Ihe middle dass 
and Ihe poverty and ignorance of Ihe serfs and Outcasts. While 
the lalter remained more or less taithfui Io the culture ot the 
jungle, conforming only in Iheir Speech, dress and the names ot 
Iheir gods to the dominant civilisation, the tormer had every 
Chance ot leading a highly retined and civilised lite. While this 
social System, conditioned by the history of the country as a 
whole, was recognised, there was maximum space tor opinions 
and faste. Since, however, this System was linked Io tixed ideas, 
to dass distinctions and their causal metempsychosis, and thus Io 
a whole cosmic Ideology, ritual and code of ethics, it was in- 
evilable that all conquerors would conform sooner or later Io 
this way of lite and find a place wilhin the upper dasses, and 
also, on the olher hand, that the numerous reformations and re- 
volutions would be absorbed again and again either as new 
sirains or orthodoxy or as fresh groups ot oulcasls. It was a 
question ot power and compromises. Thus the product not only 
of primitive, but also ot loreign culture was dellected and reinter- 
preted fo such a degree that its true origin can only be discovered 
by painslaking Investigation. In this way, Indian culture has 
become perplexingly complicated and yel in tact clear and 
lucid inasmuch as its innumerable varielies can be reduced 
again and again to a few basic conceptions. In Ihe course of 
history Ihe emphasis has of course changed trequently enough: 
the castes became uncompromisingly rigid or almosf immaterial; 
now this, now thal, religious trend predominated; loreign in- 
fluence became tashionable, or was caught up in a renewed 
national culture. 
Hislorical Background 
The picture of India has thus continually changed in Ihe course 
ot history, and its detalls have become highly complicated. Never- 
theless, it can be traced back to a tew essential types: 
1. THE 'INDUS" OR "HARAPPA" CULTURE, tlourishing in the Ihird 
and tor most ol Ihe second Century B. C. in Ihe Indus volley, Ihe 
upper Ganges plain and the Gujarat, related but only remolely 
similar to the cultures ol Ihe ancient East, parlicularly those ol 
the mountain districts norlh ot Mesopofamia; about one hundred 
trading centres apparently ruied trom lwo large eitles, Mohenjo- 
Daro and Harappa, by an aristocracy of priesls and traders, the 
upper dass, probably emigrated trom the Near East, tamiliar 
with bronze weapons, silver jewelry, glazed earthenware and 
porcelain, glass, precious stones, cotton, and so on, the native 
Proletariat still using sfone tools, crude poltery and clay Ornaments. 
Cult of a mother-goddess, sacred trees, a horned fertilily-god. 
Drained streets Crossing al right angles, houses built round inner 
courf-yards, high temples, sacred bathingplaces, small bronze and 
limeslone statues, steatite seals with animal and religious mo- 
tives and a writing which has not yet been tinally deciphered. 
2. THE INDO-ARYAN CULTURE (c. 1,400 B. C. to c. 750 A. D.), 
founded by the "Aryas', emigrated trom inner Asia and related 
fo the Persians, warlike semi-nomads and cattle-thieves, superior 
to the natives because of their horses, fighting chariots and better 
weapons. Between c. 1,200—1,000 and 600 B. C. Ihey were the 
aristocracy (Kshatriyas) of the newiy-conquered Ganges country, 
later increasingly replaced by a town dwelling plutocracy. After 
the sixfh Century B. C. large monarchies began to develop; these 
were Consolidated alter the Invasion of Alexander the Great in 
326 B. C. into the huge kingdom ot the Mauryas, covering almost 
Ihe whole ot India and eastern Afghanistan. Düring the same pe- 
riod the warlike heavenly gods ol the Aryas, celebraied in the 
Vedas, had dissolved in the sacritice (Brahman) magic of the 
priests af the feudal Courts or become mixed with the local pro- 
teclor or fertility gods (Yakshas or Nagas) of the subject peoples. 
A new religious fervour developed trom the fusion ot pre-Aryan 
shamanistic Yoga with the Brahmin sacritice philosophy (atman- 
brahman, "This is thoul"), tinally crystallising into various theist, 
pantheist, atheist and even malerialist Systems. Ol these, Bud- 
dhism and Jainism were the first to become intluential, because 
their free inlellecfual quality, free trom local lies, and elevated 
morality accommodated the requirements ot the new upper dass


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