Question: The evil power Mara, who is a counter part to what westerners might call ‘the devil’ tries to defeat Sidhartha in several different ways. If Mara wins, it means that Sidhartha’s mind is not as strong as he thinks, and Sidhartha (and his followers or students) can’t evade human vices any better than anybody else.
What are the different approaches that Mara tries to use to outsmart Sidhartha? And in what way can we point to Sidhartha’s ‘middle way’ as helping him to simply be above the mental weapons that Mara uses against him?
Historians are always trying to understand causes and consequences. Causes tell us how things happened (or changed) and consequences indicate the size and scope of the change. One would expect the biggest changes to have the biggest consequences. What would you say were the three most important changes that occurred from 8000 BCE to 1450 CE? Why were they the most important changes? What were their consequences or effects (up to 1450 CE)? What were their origins or causes?
The great classical cultures of Eurasia created separate identities but each of these cultures also contained important elements that other peoples adopted. In the classical and post-classical periods (600 BCE to 1450 CE), the peoples and cultures of this vast area had consistent and enduring interactions. What were three main causes or sources of this new integration of Eurasia? What were three important consequences or effects? What made these causes or sources and consequences or effects so important?
Three large parts of the world remained separate from the Afro-Eurasian network. Each had their own experiences and formed their own networks. In what specific ways did the worlds of Inner Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific follow or diverge from three broad patterns of Afro-Eurasian history from 8000 BCE to 1450 CE? What three things can we learn from the different experiences of parallel worlds?