Kushan Dynasty – Kanishka

>>>>>>>

Origins Kushan Dynasty

  • Kushan dynasty is considered to be one of the five branches of the Yuezhi tribe.
  • They lived in the Chinese frontier or central Asia.
  • Kushan dynasty is known as Guishuang in Chinese sources.
  • They eventually acquired dominance over the other Yuezhi tribes.
  • Kushan dynasty rulers moved eastward towards India defeating the Parthians and the Shakas in the 1st century AD.

>>>>>>

kushan dynasty empire kanishka kujula kadphises vima

>>>>>>>

Rulers of Kushan Dynasty

Kujula Kadphises (15-64 AD)

  • Kujula Kadphises laid the foundation of the Kushan Empire in India.
  • He amalgamated the five clans of Yue-chi tribes
  • He also known as Kadphises I.
  • Kujula kadphises established his supremacy over Kabul, Kandahar and Afghanistan.
  • He minted coins in copper.
  • His coins also suggest an association with Buddhism.

>>>>>>>

Vima Kadphises (64 – 78)

  • An inscription found at Rabatak in Afghanistan mentions that he was the son of Vima Taktu and the father of Kanishka.
  • He is also known as Wema Kadphises II.
  • He conquered Gandhara from the Parthians and further spread the kingdom till Mathura region.
  • Vima Kadphises has issued a large number of gold coins.
  • He was a Shiva devotee as is clear from coins issued by him.
  • The large number of Roman gold coins found from the Kushan era, indicates good trade with the Romans.

>>>>>>>

Kanishka (78 – 101)

  • Kanishka is considered as the greatest Kushan dynasty king.
  • His main capital was Peshawar, then known as Purushpura.
  • He had second capital in Mathura.
  • After the capture of Pataliputra, he took away the Buddhist monk Ashvaghosha with him to Peshawar.
  • The scholars in the court of Kanishka included
    • Ashvaghosha – wrote the Buddhacharita
    • Vasumitra – a philosopher who authored Mahavibhasa
    • Nagarjuna – propounded the Prajna Paramita Sutra
    • Charaka – father of Ayurveda, wrote Charaksamhita and Sasruta
    • Agesilaus – a Greek engineer, built the great stupa of Purushapura
  • The Rabatak Inscription (Afghanistan) presents valuable information on Kanishka.
  • Kanishka started the Shaka era in 78  which is accepted as the beginning of his reign.
  • He adopted the title of ‘Devputra’.
  • Kanishka convened the 4th Buddhist Council at Kundalvana in Kashmir.
  • He patronised Buddhism although he was very tolerant in his religious views.
  • Coins of Kanishka contain a mix of Indian, Greek and Zoroastrian deities.
  • The Gandhara School of art flourished under Kushan dynasty.
  • Kanishka also propagated Mahayana form of Buddhism, and he was largely responsible for propagating it in China.

>>>>>>>

kushan dynasty
Gold Coins of Vima Kadphises

>>>>>>>

Decline of the Kushan Empire

  • Kushan empire power gradually declined from the early third century
  • Kanishka was succeeded by his son Vasishka.
  • Vasishka was followed by Huvishka and Kanishka II (son of Vasishka).
  • Kanishka II was followed by Vasudeva I, who was worshipper of Shiva
  • Vasudeva I was the last great king of the Kushan dynasty.
  • After his death in 232 AD the empire disintegrated away.

>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>

Significance of the Kushan Empire

  • The political significance of the Kushan empire lies in the integration of central Asia with north India as a part of a single empire.
  • Sanskrit literature began to be developed during this time of Kushan dynasy.
  • The 4th Buddhist council was held in Sanskrit language.
  • Ashvoghosha is considered to be the 1st Sanskrit dramatist.
  • During this time, three distinct schools of art flourished:
    • Gandhara School in north-west India
    • Amaravati School in Andhra
    • Mathura School in the Ganges valley
  • Trade prospered between India and China, and India and the Roman Empire.
  • The Kushan Empire controlled large parts of the Silk Route which led to the propagation of Buddhism into China.
  • In the time of Kushan dynasty rule Buddhism began to spread in Korea and Japan as well.
  • Many towers, Chaityas, towns and beautiful sculptures were built under the patronage of the Kushan dynasty rulers.
  • Kushan dynasty was foreign invaders in the starting, but they were completely Indianised in ways and culture.
  • It is said that the Kushan period in Indian history was a perfect forerunner to the golden age of the Guptas.

>>>>>>

Add a Comment

Related Post:

Related Post:

error: