The Quest for Social Harmony
The societies of the Classical world were larger and more complex than their predecessors. States such as Achaemenid Persia, Mauryan India, and Han China covered thousands of square miles. Their rulers governed over
diverse populations with unique dialects and customs. These states also witnessed increased economic stratification and social complexity. Societal growth and complexity challenged the abilities of rulers to keep the peace and
curb violence. And, in this rapidly changing world, the rather simplistic agricultural or nature gods of an earlier age no longer seemed to suffice.
Thus, it is no coincidence that simultaneously, people across the Classical world began to seek answers to questions such as: What is the purpose of life? What is the proper relationship of man to the gods? to the state? to each
other? What is a moral and ethical life? How do we govern men’s behavior in order to create a harmonious and just society?
Zarathustra, Confucius, and the authors of the Bhagadvad Gita developed similar but unique perspectives on morality and ethics.
Read the Sources from the Past on pages 144, 152, and 185. Compare and contrast the moral and ethical teachings in each source. How do Zarathustra, Confucius and Krishna seek to achieve social harmony?
An effective response should be the equivalent of two typed pages, double-spaced.