The Gupta Dynasty – Culture, Rulers And Impact On Modern India
The Gupta Dynasty that ruled Northern India from the late 3rd century to the middle of the 6th century is one of great political history and reflection of Indian culture. The advancements in philosophy, science, politics, mathematics and astronomy are elements that make the Gupta Dynasty a critical civilization of the early Eastern world.
The early rulers of the Guptas helped to expand the reach of power that saw allegiances formed from the Ganges River to the modern day Allahabad. The sovereignty of Northern India rule is credited to early rulers such as Sri Gupta, Chandragupta, and Samudragupta who all helped make the Gupta Dynasty an impacting culture that is now known as the Golden era of India. The political balance that saw provinces formed and governors put in place by the royal family helped make the empire proportionate in ways that were only seen in other great civilizations like the Hans, Greeks, and Romans.
Gupta culture that saw strong advancements in literature, logic, medicine, and metaphysics were known to be at their peaks during this time in Indian history. Sanskrit literature was in all its glory during this time and produced works such as the Mrichchakatika by Shudraka, Kalidasa, and Panchatantra. This was also a great time in Buddhist and Jain literature that started to be written in Sanskrit. The knowledge and production of this great literature helped the Guptas prosper in education and records that defined this illustrious dynasty.
The Guptas are also know for recognizing the fact that the earth was not flat as many had believed and an understanding of the stars and heavens made them more diverse than any previous civilizations in the East. A broad understanding of the earth and the nature of things led to advancements in mathematics and medicine. These breakthroughs were not only useful to the Guptas but to the rest of the world as many other foreign cultures adopted Gupta discoveries and theories around the world.
Looking back in retrospect we see the importance of just what the Guptas were able to accomplish in a very short time of rule. The liberal attitude that was embraced by the rulers saw what is known today as the “Hindu renaissance” and even though much controversy surrounds the beliefs that are instilled today we are certain that this dynasty was a turning point for the culture and influence into the Eastern way of life. The Guptas flourished in many aspects of society including architecture, a judicial system not like anything seen before their rule, and prosperity of religion and traditions that were adopted from other cultures.
Of course to gain this power can not be done by negotiation and allegiances alone. The military rule of the Guptas was also quite advanced. Their use of bow and arrows exceeded anything seen before their time in power. The use of bamboo and metal in their designs were exceptional and repellant to moist humid conditions that consumed the area. These long bowmen were protected by soldiers with swords and javelins during times of conflict and together gave great protection from horse archers, elephant riders, and cavalry. The leadership abilities of the Gupta army is something that kept their nation safe from invaders from the West and although they did not practice in the same military formations as nearby enemies the Guptas were able to maintain a solid military through smart, calculated precision. Although the Gupta Empire flourished in military tactics it is noted that their initial decline in power came not from a weakness in military strength or the devastating power of the Hunas (civilization known to put the Guptas out of power) but an internal collapse of political and social elements from weak leadership in the royal family.
The Gupta Dynasty is one of many dimensions and their ability to understand the workings of the planet earth and human beings alike, raises them above many other civilizations that ruled longer, stronger, and in vaster numbers. The rule of Northern India during the Hindu renaissance is a pivotal juncture in the history of this great nation that has underwent many adversities from neighbouring war like entities that were always interested in the power and seizing of the Indian culture.