• Ancient India • Introduction to Study of History • 1.

Introduction The importance of Ancient Indian History lies in the introduction to the bedrock of the Indian culture and society i.e. “unity in diversity”. A remarkable feature o f ancient Indian culture has been the commingling of cultural elements. The eastern region of India inhabited by pre-Aryan tribals made its own contribu tion. The people of the area spoke Munda or Kolarian languages. Several terms th at signify the use of cotton, navigation, digging stick, etc. in indo- Aryan lan guages are traced to the Munda languages by linguists. It is held that changes in phonetics and vocabulary of the Vedic language can be better explained on the basis of the Munda influence than on those of the Dravi dian. The name ‘Bharatvarsha/ land of Bharata’ was given to the whole country, after the n ame of the ancient tribe called Bharatas, and the people were called Bharatsanta ti/descendents of Bharata. Chakravartin empire has been attained at least twice in ancient times: in the 3r d c. BC under Ashoka and in the 4th c. BC by Samudragupta. The states’ language/ language of court was initially Prakrit, the lingua franca o f the country, and later on Sandkrit took the same position. Sangam literature is roughly used for the period 300BC- AD 600 for the history o f South India with Tamil as the language. Ashoka’s inscriptions were written in Prakrit language and Brahmi Script. The idea that India constituted one geographical unit persisted in the minds of the conquerors and cultural leaders. The unity of India was also recognized by foreigners. The word ‘hind’ is derived fro m the Sanskrit term ‘Sindhu’ or the Indus. In north India arose the Varna/ caste system, which came to prevail almost all o ver the country. Indology is the academic study of the languages and literature, history and cult ures of the Indian subcontinent (most specifically including the modern-day stat es of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), and as such a subset of Asian studies. Indology may also be known as Indic studies or Indian studies, or South Asian studies, although scholars and university administrators sometimes have o nly partially overlapping interpretations of these terms. Jones and Wilkins can be termed as the true fathers of theIndology. 1699-1732 Compiled the first Sanskrit grammar in European tongue. Father H anxleden 1767 Probably the first to Recognize the kinship of Sanskrit and European lan guages. Father Coeurdoux 1776 Translation of codebook of Manu as ‘A Code of Gentoo Laws’. Hade 1784 1789 1792 Asiatc Society of Bengal, Calcutta. Translation of Kalidasa’s Abhjnan Sahkuntalam. Gita Govinda Sir William Jones (1746-94; also known as “Oriental Jones” and was a judge of the supreme court, under the governor-generalship of Warren hastings.) 1785 1787 Rendering of the Bhagwat Gita and Hitopdesh, in English. Charles Wilkins (1749-1836) 1823 Asiatic Society of Great Britain, London 1823 Edition of the Rigveda and “Sacred Book Of The East” series. ueller --St. Petersberg Lexicon or the Sanskrit-German dictionary. hnlink and Rudolf Roth. 1804 Bombay Asiatic Society

F. Max M Otto Boe

1786 Translation of the 4 Upanishadas from a 17th c. Persian version. Anquetil-Duperon 1837 Decipherment of the Brahmi script and reading the Ashokan edict. James Prainsep(an official in the Calcutta mint and secretary to the Asiatic Soc iety of Bengal) 1862 Creation of the post of the Archaeological Surveyor(A.S.). 1st Surv eyor was Alexander Cunninghum. 1901 Reformation and Enlargement of the Department of A.S by Lord Curzon. John Marshall. 1921 Discovery of the Harappan civilization by department of A.S. John Mar shall The journal of the Asiatic Society was Asiatic Research. Under the editorship of F. Max Mueller (1823- 1902) altogether 50 volumes were published under “the Sacred Books of the East series” mostly Indian, but with few Ch inese and Iranian texts. Certain generalizations about the nature of ancient India history and society ma de by these early scholars are: 1. The ancient Indians lacked a sense of history especially of the factors of time and chronology. 2. Indians were accustomed to despotic rule. 3. Natives were least bothered to the problems of this world and were more engrossed in the problems of spiritualism or of the next world. 4. Caste system was the most vicious form of social discrimination. 5. No experience or feeling of nationhood or any kind of self-government wa s there. Many of these generalizations appeared in “Early History of India” by Vincent Arthur Smith and as loyal member of the Indian Civil services had the pro-imperialisti c approach to the history of India. “Autocracy is substantially the only form of government with which the historian o f India is concerned.” – V.A. Smith. Rajendra Lal Mitra (1822-1891) wrote “Indo Aryans” on rationalist and objective appr oach. R G Bhandarkar, a great social reformer and advocate of widow marriage, opponent of child marriage, and castigator of evils of caste system, reconstructed the p olitical history of the Deccan of the Satavahanas and the history of Vaishnavism and other sects. V K Rajwade wrote the history of the institution of marriage in 1926. “The history of the Dharmashastra” written by Pandurang Vaman Kane (1880-1972) is an encyclopaedia of of ancient laws and customs. Devdatta Ramkrishna Bhandarkar (1875-1950), an epigraphist published books on As hoka and on Indian political institutions. Hemchandra Roychaudhary (1892-1957) reconstructed the history of ancient India f rom the time of Bharata war i.e 10th c. to the end of Gupta Empire. He has criti cized Ashoka’s policy of Peace R C Mazumdar (1888-1980) was the general editor of the multi-volume publication History and Culture of the Indian People. K A Nilkantha Shastri (1892-1975) wrote “A history of Ancient India”and “A History of south India”. K P Jayaswal wrote Hindu Polity in 1924 and his basic thesis regarding the pract ice of the republican experiment is widely accepted. “Wonder That was India” (1951) by A L Basham is a free and fair treatment of the the mes of ancient Indian history. D D Koshambi’s An Introduction to the study of Indian History (1957) and The Civil ization of Ancient India in Historical Outline (1965). • 2. Type of Sources/Historical Construction Ancient India did not produce historians like Herodotus and Thucydides of Greece or Pliny of Rome and Turkish historian Al-Biruni. It does not mean that histori cal sense or even historical material was altogether wanting in ancient India. R eligious texts of Hindus, Buddhists and Jains have carefully preserved the lists of teachers and written records of good and evil events were maintained by stat

e officials in every part ofIndia. However, the only concrete result of historic al study in the most ancient period is to be found in the long lists of kings pr eserved in the Puranas, the Epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. We have a sort of history in the Puranas, which are eighteen in number. Though e ncyclopaedic in contents, the Puranas provide dynastic history up to the beginni ng of the Gupta rule. They mention the places where the events took place and so metimes discuss their causes and effects. Statements about events are made in fu ture tense, although they were recorded much after the happening of the events. The authors of the Puranas were not unaware of the idea of change, which is the essence of history. The Puranas speak of four ages called Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. Each succeeding age is depicted as worse than the preceding and as one age slids into the other, moral values and social institutions suffer degenerat ion. The importance of time, a vital element in history, is indicated. Several eras, according to which events were recorded, were started in ancient India. The Vikr ama Samvat began in 57 B.C., the Saka Samvat in A.D. 78, and the Gupta Era in A. D. 319. Inscriptions record events in the context of time and place. During the third century B.C. Ashokan inscriptions show considerable historical sense. Asho ka ruled for 37 years. His inscriptions record events that happened from the eig hth to the twenty seventh regnal year. So far events relating to only nine regna l years appear in the inscriptions that have been discovered. Future discoveries may throw light on events relating to the remaining years of his reign. Similar ly in the first century B.C Kharavela of Kalinga records a good many events of h is life year-wise in the Hathigumpha inscription. Besides, Indians display consi derable historical sense in biographical writings. A good example is the Harshac harita of Banabhatta. It describes the early career of Harsha Vardhan who was th e ruler of Thaneshwar and Kannauj. A handicap from which Indian historiography has seriously suffered is that effor ts to explore and interpret Indian history are actually started by the British a nd many of them, if not all, in order to prove the beneficence of the British ru le, failed to pass judicious judgment about the history of India. When the India ns took up this challenge, the pendulum at times swung to the opposite extremes. While the British historians tried to minimise the importance of ancient India, the Indian historians tried to glorify it. However, that period seems to have pa ssed now and having become free from political subjugation and due to availabili ty of new resources, we are now in a better position to explore and interpret th e history of ancient India. Efforts were made by Europeans to explore the history of ancient India in the la ter half of the 18th century. The efforts of a few Jesuit Fathers like that of F ather Hanxladen in mastering Sanskrit and of FatherCoeurdoux to recognise the ki nship of Sanskrit with the languages of Europe gave no real understanding of Ind ia’s past. The efforts which brought about definite results in this field were mad e by Sir William Jones who came to India as a judge of the Supreme Court during the days of Warren Hastings as Governor General. Jones was a linguist who had al ready learnt the important languages of Europe as well as Hebrew, Arabic, Persia n, Turkish and a little of Chinese before he came to India. Here, he learnt Sans krit also. In 1784, with the help of Charles Wilkins, he established the Asiatic Society of Bengal. In the journal of this society, Asiatic Researches, the first real step s in revealing India’s past were taken. Jones himself translated Shakuntalam, Gita -Govinda and the law-book of Manu in English while Bhagavad Gita and Hitopadesa were translated by Wilkins. Thus, Jones and Wilkins were truly the fathers of In dology. Another notable contribution was made by Max Muller, a German scholar, who spent most of his working life as Professor of Philology at Oxford by translating the Rigveda and a series of books known as Sacred Books of the East in English. In 1837 James Prinsep interpreted for the first time the earliest Brahmi script and was able to read the edicts of emperor Ashoka. These literary efforts created curiosity amongst scholars and adventurers to pro be further into the history and culture of India. It resulted in the establishme

nt of an Archaeological department in 1862 and Alexander Cunningham was appointe d as its head. During the period of his Viceroyalty, Lord Curzon took personal i nterest in the working of the department. John Marshall was appointed director-g eneral of this department which was reformed and enlarged. With the help of one Indian officer Mr. R.D. Bannerji, Sir John Marshall discovered the remnants of t he Indus Civilization in 1922. Afterwards, useful work has been done by many Ind ian scholars in exploring the history and culture of India. We have a variety of sources for reconstructing the history of ancient India. Br oadly the sources of ancient India can be classified under two main categories. The first is the literary and the second archaeological. Under the literary sour ces can be included Vedic, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit and other literature besides foreign accounts. Under the broad head of archaeology we may consider epigraphic , numismatic and architectural remains besides archaeological explorations and e xcavations which have opened great vistas of new information about which we had no knowledge earlier. • (A) Archaeological Sources (i) Excavation (ii) Inscriptions (iii) Numismatics/ Coins (a) Early Punched Marked Coins (b) Indo-Greek Coins (c) Kushana Coins (d) Pre-Guptan and Guptan Coins (e) Medieval Coins (iv) Seals (v) Sculpture and Paintings (vi) Monuments • (i) Excavation The mound is an elevated portion of land covering remains of old inhabitation. I t may be Single culture representing only one culture throughout, Major-culture mounds where one culture is dominant and others are not so important, and Multiculture mounds representing several important cultures in succession, which occa sionally overlap with one another. Mound excavation can be done vertically and horizontally. Horizontal diggings ar e very expensive and are few in numbers. Most sites have been dug vertically and provide a good chronological sequence of material culture. The science, which enables us to dig the old mounds in a systematic manner, in s uccessive layers, and to form an idea of the material life of the people, is cal led archaeology. From excavations the material remains are dug out (which may or may not be intac t depending on the geo-climatic conditions) and are subjected to various kinds s cientific examination. Excavations provide the raw material for further analysis . C-14 or Radio Carbon Method: The dates of the material findings are established according to this method. The dating is based on the principle that carbon is as sociated with all living objects. When an object ceases to be living, it stops r eceiving fresh supply of a particular type of carbon called C-14. The existing C -14 now undergoes a process of decay, which is known as radioactivity. C-14 is a n isotope of C-12 and both are present in identical proportions. We may measure the decaying C-14 with reference to C-12 and find out the number of years elapse d since the decay began. The object having lesser C-14 proves to be older in age and vice-versa. This fact is based on the fact that the half-life of the C-14 i s 5568 years. The half-life of any radioactive material s defined as the period during which one-half of the amount of the material decays out. The history of climate and vegetation is known through an examination of plant r esidues and especially through pollen analysis. On this basis it is suggested th at agriculture was practiced in Rajasthan and Kashmir around 7000-6000 BC. An examination of animal bones shows whether the animals were domesticated, and also indicates the uses to which they were put. Metal implements are analyzed scientifically. Metal technology is helpful in loc

ating the site of mining and the purity level. • (ii) Inscriptions The study of inscriptions is called epigraphy and the study of the old writing u sed in inscriptions and other old records is called palaeography. Inscriptions h elp obtain valuable information which may be used either to corroborate or to co nstruct history. Pictographic script is that in which ideas and objects are expr essed in the form of picture. AnEpigraphist is the person who works to decipher a script. The largest number of inscriptions can be found in the office of the Chief Epigr aphist, Mysore. Most inscriptions bearing on the history of the Maurya, post-Mau rya, and Gupta times have been published in a series of collections called Corpu s Inscriptionum Indicarum. The inscriptions help obtain correct and scientific knowledge of history in a nu mber of ways, e.g. most of them are dated and thus they help establish and arran ge chronology of events, dynasties, etc. Ahsokan inscriptions spell out policies of Ashoka. The Allahabad pillar inscription is by far the only source of knowle dge of Samudragupta’s campaigns. The history of King Kharvela is constructed but o n the Hathigumpha inscription. Some of them like Allahabad and Aihole are master pieces of literary work. Inscriptions from outside India too are of immense help such as Bogazokei, Persipolis, Naqhs-e- Rustam. Inscriptions serve as the touch stone to evaluate the authenticity of information derived from other sources. ‘All ahabad pillar inscription’ tells about the conquest of emperor Samudragupta. ‘Mehrau li iron pillar inscription describes the deeds of king Chandra. ‘Bhitari’ inscriptio n informs about Hunas invasion. In the country as a whole, the earliest inscriptions were recorded on stones. By the early centuries of the Christian era copper plates began to be used but sto ne engraving continued. Inscriptions were carved on rocks, walls of the caves an d temples, pillars, bricks, images, copper plates etc. The earliest inscriptions are found on the seals ofHarappa belonging to about 2500 BC but the oldest deci phered inscription so far are Ashokan of the 3rd c. BC deciphered by James Prins ep in 1837. The Harappan inscriptions are considered pictographic and still awai t decipherment. The language of the inscriptions is either Sanskrit or Prakrit. The script used to engrave them is usually Kharoshthi or Brahmi. However there are inscriptions in regional languages also. The earliest inscriptions were written in Prakrit. S anskrit began to be used as an epigraphic medium in the 2nd c. AD but the use be came widespread in the 4th-5th centuries. Alongside, Prakrit continued to be emp loyed. Inscriptions began to be engraved in regional languages in 9th-10th centu ries. Brahmi script was written from left to right, Kharoshthi was written from right to left. Brahmi script prevailed in the whole country except the northwest ern part where Aramaic and Greek were employed. Brahmi continued to be main scri pt till the end of Gupta times. Of the numerous inscriptions found some convey royal orders and decisions regard ing social, religious, and administrative matters to officials and people, e.g. Ashokan inscriptions. Some are votive records of the followers of different reli gions and sects put on temple walls, pillars, tablets, or images. Still other ty pes eulogize the attributes and achievements of kings and conquerors. Finally th ere are the donatives records such as gifting of land, cattle, money etc. land g rants were mostly engraved on copper plates with details such as measure, revenu es, and villages and were written in all languages, such as Prakrit, Sanskrit, a nd regional languages. • (iii) Numismatics/ Coins The study of coins is called numismatics. Ancient coins were made of metal- copp er, silver, gold, bronze, potin, or lead etc. coin moulds made of burnt clay hav e been discovered in large numbers mostly belonging to the Kushana period, i.e. the first three Christian centuries. People kept money in earthenware, and also in brass vessels, and kept them as precious hoards. This they did to fall back i n times of need. Catalogues of coins is at the Indian Museum, Calcutta and of In dian coins in the British museum, London.

The earliest coins contain few symbols. The earliest gold coins are found belong ing to Kushana period. The Guptas issued the largest number of gold coins. The e arliest coins belong to the 7th-6th c. BC. The earliest coins belong to the cate gory of punch marked coins. The areas where they are found indicate the region of their circulation and thus help reconstruct the history of several ruling dynasties. Coins also throw ligh t on economic history. Some coins were issued by the guilds of merchants and gol dsmiths with the permission of the rulers. We get the largest number of coins in post-Maurya time. These were made of lead, potin, copper, bronze, silver and gold. All this indicates that trade and comme rce flourished, especially in post-Maurya and a good part of Gupta times. But th e fact that only a few coins belonging to post- Gupta times have been found indi cates the decline of trade and commerce in that period. The paucity and poor con tent of precious metals signifies the weak economic conditions of the era to whi ch they belong. Coins portray kings and gods and religious symbols and legends throwing light on art and culture. Coins prove useful in substantiating information about the ter ritory of a kingdom. One’s knowledge of Indo-Greeks, Shakas is exclusively based o n the information deduced from the coins they issued. • (a) Early Punched Marked Coins Uninscribed punchmarked coins were probably minted from the 6th century BC onwar ds. Among the earliest silver specimens are those in the shape of a small bent b ar, the largest of which, the Shataman, weighed 180 grains (11.86 gms.). Half, q uarter, and half-quarter Shatamans are attested. The basic silver punchmarked coin of the usual type was the Karshapana or Pana, of 57.8 grains (3.76 gms.). The Masa or Masika, weighed 1/6th of it. Punchmarked copper coins were generally based on a different standard- a masa of 9 grains a nd a Karshapana of 144 grains. Quarter-masa in copper, or kakini (2.25 grains) i s attested. Only one gold punchmarked coin is known, and it must be assumed that gold was very rarely minted before the beginning of the Christian era. • (b) Indo-Greek Coins The earlier Greek kings minted coins according to the Attic standards based on d rachma of 67.2 grains and the obol (1/6th of drachma) of 11.2 grains.silver coin age of this type ranges from hemiobols to the very large decadrachmas struck by a king Amyntas which have been found in Afghanistan. The Greek kings issued nume rous copper coins, but their metrology is not clear. Shaka and Pahlava coins in siver and copper follow the reduced Indo-Greek standards. • (c) Kushana Coins These were minted in gold and copper. The gold dinaras or suvarnas were based on the Roman denarius and were of 124 grains. Double and quarter dinaras were also issued. The copper coins were large, of from 26-28 masas or 240-260 grains. • (d) Pre-Guptan and Guptan Coins The Satvahanas of the Deccan issued coins of lead and potin (base silver). The s hakas of Gujarat, Malwa and the western Deccan issued a distinctive series of co ins in siver.the gold coins of the Guptas originally approximated to the Kushana standard and by the mid 5th c. rose in weight to 144 grains, thus returning to the Indian standard of the copper Karshapana. • (e) Medieval Coins Gold coins (suvarnas, tankas) were minted by only few dynasties in the 11th c. T hese approximated to the Greek drachma standard of 67 grains. Dinaras of gold an d Tankas of silver were equally in vogue. The copper ‘damm’ was the mainstay of the day-to-day transactions. • (B) Seals Seals made up of copper, stone and clay etc. are also an important archaeologica l finds. The knowledge about the Harappan civilization is very much supplemented by the seals found during the excavations. On the basis of these seals only lin guists are attempting to decipher the Harappan language. The hoard of the 274 se als found in Basadh, Vaishali provide important information about trade and comm erce, guild system. • (C) Sculpture and Painting

These provide the cultural achievements of the people of that age. It also shade s light on the socio-religious life and thinking. The paintings in the caves of the Bhimbhetka, the frescos of Ajanta and Ellora caves have been most valuable i n determining the history of those times. The sculptures of those periods have r evealed the remarkable heights reached by the ancient people. • (D) Monuments These are one of the most important sources providing assistance in construction of the ancient history. Monuments can be categorized in two broad categories vi z. religious and secular. The religious monuments were the places of worship and in the secular monuments come the palaces, santhagars, habitations, and public buildings. The extent and style of the monuments have helped determine the cultu ral history mainly. They also reveal the government’s leaning and attitude towards the religion and sects. • (E) Literary sources The most ancient manuscripts are not loder than 4th century AD and have been fou nd in Central Asia. Prakrit language had spread here from India. Manuscripts wer e written here on sheep leather and wooden tablets. In India the manuscripts wer e written on birch bark or palm leaves. Although old Sanskrit manuscripts are fo und all over the country, they mostly belong to South India, Kashmir and Nepal. Literary sources have to be divided in three parts viz. Religious, Secular or no n-Religious, and accounts by the foreigners, in the context of history of ancien t India. Most ancient books contain religious themes and have posed the problem to the objective analysis of their matter. • (i) Religious literature Brahmanic (i) Vedas — Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda, Antharvaveda. (ii) Brahman books — Aitreya, Kaushitiki, Shtpath, Pachvimash, Gopath. (iii) Aranyaka books — Maitrayani, Taittiriya, Aitreya. (iv) Main Upanishads: Total number of these works is 108. Prominent in them are Kath, Isavasp, Ken, Vrihadaranyak, Chhandagya. (v) Vedangas — Shiksha, Kalp, Vyakaran, Nirukta, Chhand & Jyotish. (vi) Kalpa Sutra — Shraut Sutra, Grihya Sutra, Dharma Sutra, Shulva Sutra. (vii)Sutra-Literature — Apastamba Grihya Sutra, Baudhyan, Grihya Sutra, Apastamba Dharma Sutra, Baudhayan Dharma Sutra, Gautam Dharma Sutra Asvalayan Shraut Sutra . (viii)Vyakaran Literature — Ashtadhyayi, Mahabhasya, Nirukta. (ix) Jyotish Works — Brihajjatakam, Surya Siddhanta, Beg Ganitam, Brihat Samhita. (x) Upavedas — Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandharvaveda, Shilpaveda. (xi) Shad Sarshan — Nyaya, Vaisheshik, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva. Minamsa Uttar-Mimansa . (xii) Puranas — Brahma, Shiv, Vishnu, Padma, Bhagvat, Nardiya, Agni, Markandeya, B havisya, Brahma Vaivarta, Linga, Varah, Skand,Vaman, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda, Brah manda. (xiv) Smritis — Manu, Narad, Yagyavalkya, Vishnu, Parasher, Kattayan, Brihaspati. Buddhist (i) Tripitak — Sutta Pitak, Vinay Pitak, Abhidhamma Pitak. (ii) Other works — Anguttar Nikay, Khuddak Nikay, Ashokavadan Avadanshatak, Divyav da, Buddhacharit, Saundaranand, Milind Panho, Arya Manjushir Moolkalpa; Lalit Vi star. Jaina Parishista Parva; Acharang Sutta; Kalpa Sutta; Bhagwati Sutta; UVsagadasha, Sutt a; Bhadrabhu Charti; Zivishtir Shalaka; Purush Charit; Samraich Katha, Kuvatlaya mala, Adi Puran, Uttar Puran; Dhoortakhyan. • (a) Vedic literature The massive Brahmanas, which are looked upon as appendices to the Vedas and the mystical Aranyakas and Upanishads, which are in turn appendices to the Brahmanas , complete the Vedic literature. The Rigveda may be assigned to circa 1500-1000 BC. The collections of the Atharvaveda, Yajurveda, and the Upanishads belong rou ghly to 1000-500 BC. The Vedangas numbering six help in understanding and explai

ning the Vedas and written in the form of percepts in prose. A percept was calle d Sutra because of its brevity. The most famous example is “The Grammar (Vyakaran)” by Panini around 400 BC. Vedas Recensions (Samhita) Up-Vedas Brahmanas Mantra Reciter Rigveda -Dhanurveda Aittreya & Kaushitiki Hotr Samveda -Gandharvaveda Panchvinsh/ Tandav Udgatr Yajurveda (a) Krishna (b) Shukla Shilpaveda Taitriya Shatpath/ Vajasaneya Adhvaryu Atharvaveda -Ayurveda Gopath Brahmana Vedangas or the limb of the Vedas comprise of phinetics (shiksha) to help in cor rect pronunciation, ritual (kalpa) describing rules and regulations, grammar (vy akarana) about the sentences, etymology (nirukta) about the origin of words, met rics (chhanda) dealing with poetrys, and astronomy (jyotish) containing mathemat ics. Rigveda is the oldest one. It is the collection of hymns for use at the sacrifi ces of the aristocratic Aryan cult. It consists of 10 Mandalas; 1,028 Suktas; 10 ,580 Richas. The poet of the Rigveda astonished seeing the beauty, splendor, and mystery of the nature sings and creates hymns and hence the various poets are c alled the Mantradrashta or the Rishis. But this religious work also contains ref erences to political events and social customs such as the Dashrajna yuddha, the dice thrower’s lament etc. Yajurveda is divided in two recensions- Krishna Yajurveda (Black) and Shukla Ya jurveda (White). It consists of 40 chapters and approximately 2000 Mantras. It c ontains the sacrificial formulae in prose and verse to be pronounced by the Adhv aryu. Yajurveda has five branches viz. (i) ‘Kathak’ (ii) Kapishthal (iii) Maitrayani (iv) Taitriya (v) Vajasneyi. This Veda has prescribed various methods of sacrif ice (Yagya). Samaveda is the collection of certain verses of the Rigveda for liturgical. Ther e are 1810 Shlokas in the Sama. Atharvaveda deals with rituals and rites, magic and medicine. The Atharva has ma ny of the non-Aryan themes in it and seems to reflect a lower cultural level tha n that of the Rig. There are mainly magical spells and incantations in verse and it was certainly post Rig and Yajur. It possesses an atmosphere of simple animi sm and sympathetic magic. Atharvaveda is a valuable source to know about politic al, social anf family-life in later Vedic period. This Veda has 20 ‘Mandalas’ 731 ‘Ric has’ and 5839 ‘Mantras’. Brahmanas are the texts written in prose and give detailed rituals of the later vedic period and are looked upon as appendices to the Vedas. These contain infor mation about the Aryan expansion and certain references to economic and politica l life of the period. Aranyakas and Upanishads are the appendices to it. Aranyakas are expositions on the Vedas produced in the forests by sages and herm its and hence the name which is rooted in ‘Aranya’ i.e. jungle, forests. Upanishad means ‘to sit near’ or ‘to sit at the feet’. These are the expositions given b y the learned thinkers containing spiritual and philosophical work. There are to tal 108 Upanishads, the most important being Isha, Kath, Ken, Prashna, Mundak, M aandukya, Chhandogya, Shvetashwar, Taitryia, Maitrayani, Kaushitiki, Brihddarany aka etc. These works delve around matters related to life, death, essence of lif e, Brahman, Atman, etc. Epics and the Puranas: the two major epics and Puranas seem to have been compile d by circa AD 400. The Mahabharata: Of the two the Mahabharata attributed to Vyas is older in age a nd possibly reflects the state of affairs from the 10th c. BC to 4th c. AD. The Mahabharata: development 10th c. BC

No. Of Verses Names assigned 8 800 Jaya 24 000 Bharata 100 000 Mahabharata/ Satasahasri Samhita The Ramayana: the Ramayana is attributed to sage Valmiki. It originally consiste d of 6000 verses which was raised to 12000 and finally to 24000. The composition started in 5th century BC and then passed five stages with fifth stage as late as 12th century AD. Puranas: These are 18 in number, significant amon them are Markandeya, Brahmanda , Vayu, Vishnu, Bhagavat, Matsya and Garur. The Puranas are exclusive source to information about some dynasties but their information is contradictory and thus is not considered authentic. The importance of ‘Matsya’, ‘Vayu’ and ‘Vishny’ Puranas lies i n the fact that they contain description of old ruling dynasties. The Puranas co ntain the essence of the Vedas. They were written to impress the teachings of th e Vedas onto the masses and to generate devotion to God in them. They have five characteristics: history, cosmology (with symbolical illustrations of philosophi cal principles), secondary creation, genealogy of kings, and Manvantaras (the pe riod of Manu s rule consisting of 71 celestial yugas). The Puranas were meant, not for the scholars, but for ordinary people who could not understand high philosophy and could not study the Vedas. There is an emphas is on the worship of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), Shiva (the de stroyer), Surya (the Sun God), Ganesha (the elephant headed god known to be the remover of obstructions), and Shakti (the goddess). All the Puranas belong to th e class of Suhrit-Sammitas, or the Friendly Treatises, while the Vedas are calle d Prabhu-Sammitas or Commanding Treatises with great authority. There are 18 Puranas: Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, Vishnu Purana, Vayu Purana or Siva Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Narada Purana, Markandeya Purana, Agni Purana, B havishya Purana, Brahma-Vaivarta Purana, Linga Purana, Varaha Purana, Skanda Pur ana, Vamana Purana, Kurma Purana, Matsya Purana, Garuda Purana and Brahmanda Pur ana. Of these, six are Sattvic Puranas glorifying Vishnu; six are Rajasi, glorifying Brahma; six are Tamasic, glorifying Siva. Vyasa, the son of Rishi Parasara, is s aid to be the author of them all. Sutra literature: The Srautsutra: Big public sacrifices meant for princes and men of substance bel onging to the three higher varnas are laid down in Srautsutras, which provide fo r several pompous royal coronation ceremonies. The Grihyasutra: Domestic rituals connected with birth, naming, sacred thread i nvestiture, marriage, funeral, etc., are laid down in the Grihyasutra. The Sulvasutra: prescribes various kinds of measurements for the sacrificial al tars. They mark the beginning of the study of Geometry and Mathematics. The Smriti Literature: Smiritis are the law-books of Hindu society. The rules a nd regulations described their encompass the whole life of individual and every aspect of social life and society. The Smriti literature deals in detail with the rules, regulations, and laws rega rding social relations and customs. The most famous of the Smriti literature is Manu Smriti composed within the period of circa 200BC-200AD. Apart Manu there ar e code books compiled by Narad, Yajnvalkya, Apastambh, Jimutvahan, etc. Nirukta: Nirukta of Yaska is the work of fifth century B.C. It discusses etymolo gy of Vedic words. • (b) Buddhist literature The earliest Buddhist texts were written in Pali language, which was spoken in M agadh and south Bihar. They were finally compiled in 2nd c. BC in Srilanka. The canonical portions reflect the state of affairs in the age of Buddha. Apart Budd hism valuable information about Buddha’s royal contemporaries and contemporary soc iety is retrieved. The Jatakas: The Jataka stories are a collection of folk tales pertaining to Bu

to 4th c AD

 

ddha’s previous births and are non-canonical. There are 550 jatakas each represent ing one birth. These throw invaluable light on social and economic conditions ra nging from 5th-2nd century BC. The Pitakas: Known as Tripitak, they consist of Sutta Pitak, Abhidhamma Pitak a nd Vinay Pitak. These are written in Pali. Pitak Sections Content Sutta 1.Dighha Nikaya 2.Majjhim Nikaya 3.Samyut Nikaya 4.Anguttar Nikaya 5.Khuddak Nikaya Sermons and religious ideas of the Buddha. Abhidhamma 1.Dhamma Sangiti 2.Vibhanga 3.Dhatu Katha 4.Puggal Panjiti 5.Katha Vatthu 6.Yamak 7.Patthhan Philosophy. Vinay 1.Sutta Vibhang 2.Ravandhak 3.Parivar and Parivar Path Code of conduct to be followed by Buddhist follo wers. The Deepvamsha and the Mahavamsha: Narrate the history of Ceylon but contains n umerous references of ancient Indian history. However a cautious approach is req uired while dealing with these literatures as these are full of exaggeration Lalit Vistar: A biography of lord Buddha in Sanskrit. Milind Panho: A philosophical dialogue between the Indo-Greek ruler Menander an d Buddhist monk Nagasena. Arya Manjushree Moolkalp: It gives an account of the Gupta rulers from the Budd hist angle. Lama Taranath’s work ‘Kagyur’ and ‘Tagyur’ are also helpful in constructing ancient Indian history. • (c) Jaina literature The jaina texts were written in Prakrit and were finally compiled in the 6th Cen tury AD in Vallabhi, Gujarat. Its importance as source material lies in the fact that it brings to light those events which are either ignored or overlooked by Brahminic and Buddhist literature. Prominent Jaina Literature: Agamas are the main texts consisting 10 Angas, 12 Upaangas, 10 prakeernas, 6 Chh andsutras, along with Nandi Sutra, Anuyaga Dwar and Moolsutra. Agama is not the work of single individual and it was written in a long span of time. Theses were finally compiled in Vallabhi either in 513 AD or 526 AD. Bhagwati sutra gives valuable information about the 16 Mahajanapadas. Aupapatik sutra and Avashyak sutra throw light on the views of king Ajatshatru. Bhadrabahucharit contains information about some events and happenings of Chand ragupta Maurya’s regime. Other major works are Trilok Parijat, Katha Kosh, Loka Vibhag, Aradhana Katha K osh, Vasudev Hindi, Brihat Kalp, Sutr Bhashya, Kalika Purana. An important 12th century work Parishisht Parvan by Hemchandra Suri is worth me ntioning. • (ii) Secular or Non- Religious literature While the religious literature informs us about religion and philosophy in detai l and makes just passing references to political events and institutions, the no n- religious literature provides enough information about political history as w ell as socio-cultural and economic life. Non-Religious texts and their authors Ashtadhyayi Panini Arthashstra Kautilya Mudra Rakshas Vishakhadutt Mahabhasya Patanjali

Malvikaagnimitra Kalidas Neetisaar Kamandak Raghuvansham Kalidas Mricchakatikam Shudrak Devichandraguptam Vishakhadutt Kam Sutra Vatsyayan Harshcharti Banbhatt Brihat Kathamanjari Kshemendra Kathasaritsagar Somdev Gaudvaho Vakapati Ballalcharit Anand Bhatt Bikramankdevcharit Bilhan Kumarpalcharitam Jai Singh Ramcharit Sandhyakar Nandi Kirti Kaumudi Someshwar Prithvi Raj Vijay Jayanik Prithvi Raj Raso Chandvardai Dvayashray Karya Hemchand Nav Sahasank Charit Padamgupta Prabandh Chintamani Memtanga Hammir-Mad-Mardan Ari Singh Raasmaler — Rajtarangini Kalhan Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, a book on grammar, is invaluable for the linguists as it hel ps establish the history of Sanskrit language and changes occurring in it. There are also references about the political events of the time. Patanjali’s Mahabhashya: A commentary on Panini’s text provides valuable information about the history of Shunga dynasty. Dharmashastra: Dharmasutras and the Smritis together with thei commentaries are called Dharmashastra. The Dharmasutras were compiled in 500-200 BC and the princ iple Smritis were codified in the first six centuries of the Christian era. They lay down the duties for different varnas as well as the kingsand their official s. They prescribe the rules according to which property is to be held, sold, and inherited. They also prescribe punishments for persons guilty of theft, assault , murder, adultery, etc. The Arthashastra: Literally the Economics, ascribed to Kautilya, Vishnugupta Cha nakya, is a text on polity. It is divided into fifteen books, of which book II a nd III may be regarded as of an earlier date. Apart these there are works of Bhasa, Shudraka, Kalidasa, Banabhatta shed light on the condtions of the times. Kalidasa wrote kavyas and dramas which give glimp se of the social and cultural life of northern and central India. ‘Rajtarangini’ of Kalhan is the only history book written in ancient India. It deals with the history of Kashmir. • (iii) Sangam Literature In addition to Sanskrit sources the earliest Tamil texts found in the corpus of the Sangam Literature. Poets who assembled in colleges patronized by chiefs and kings produced this over a period of three to four centuries. Such colleges were called Sangams, and the literature produced is known as the Sangam Literature. The compilation of the corpus is attributed to the first four Christian centurie s. The final compilations may have been completed by the 6th century. These do n ot constitute religious literature but were composed by the poets in praise of t he heroes and heroines, their patrons and they are not primitive literature eith er but show a high quality of literature. They are compared with heroic poetry o f Homeric age. Some of the chera kings mentioned in the poems also appear as don ors in inscriptions of the 1st and 2nd century AD. The texts refer to many archa eological sites including Kaveripattanam. They also speak of the Yavanas coming in their own vessel and purchasing pepper with gold and supply wine and women sl aves. The matters talked about in the sangama literature are attested to by fore ign accounts and archaeological finds.

The sangam literature comprises about 30,000 lines of poetry, which are arranged in 8 anthologies called Ettutogai. The poems are collected in groups of hundred s such as Purananuru (the 400 exteriors), etc. There are two main groups Pattine nkilkanakku( the 18 lower collections) and Pattupattu ( the ten songs). The patt inenkilkanakku is considered older than the Pattupattu. Sangam Literature (i) Ettu Togai (Lyrical Anthologies 1. Narrinai 2. Kurundogai 3. Ainguru-Nuru 4. Padirup-Pattu 5. Paripadal 6. Kalittogai 7. Ahnanuru 8. Purananuru (ii) The Ten Longer Poems 1. Murugarruppadai 2. Porunar-Arruppadi 3. Sirupan-Arrupadai 4. Perumban Anuppadi 5. Mullai Pattun 6. Maduraikkanji 7. Nedunalvadai 8. Kurinjippattu 9. Pattinappalai 10. Malaipadu-Kadam • (iv) Foreign Accounts It is as remarkable that Alexander’s invasion does not find mention in Indian sour ces, and it is entirely on the basis of the classical accounts that the ancient Indian history is constructed. The classical sources mention Sandrocottus, a con temporary of Alexander the Great, who invaded India in 326 BC. Scholars have ide ntified Prince Sandrocottus as Chandragupta. The Indika of Megasthenes has been preserved in fragments in the form of quotes by subsequent classical writers and read together the fragments throw valuable light on the events of ancient histo ry. The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea (AD 80-AD115) and Ptolemy’s Geography (circa 150 AD) both in Greek, Pliny’s Naturalis Historia (AD 1) in Latin, and the accoun ts of Fa-hsien and Hsuan Tsang in Chinese are worth mentioning in the context of ancient Indian history. For the medieval period we get very reach sources in th e form of travelogue of the foreigners such as Ibn- Batutah and al- Biruni. • (v) Literary Works & Political Informations Literary Works & Political Informations Title Author Source for the period or dynasty Ashtadhyayi Panini Pre Muryan age Arthashastra Kautilya Muryan age Murda Rakshsa Vishkhadutt Mauryan age Brihat Katha Majari Kshemendra Muryan age Malvikagnimitra Kalidas Sunga age Mahabhasya Patanjali Sunga age Neetisaar Kamandak Gupta age Devichandrssaguptam Vishakhadutt Gupta age Mrichha Katik Shudrak Gupta age Katha Sarti Sagar Somadev Gupta age Harsh Charti Banabhatt Emperor Harsha Gaudvaho Vakapati Yashoverma of Kannauj Nandik-kalambakam Sangam Lit. Nandivarma Pallav. III Rajtarangini Kalhan Kashmir Prithviraj Vijay Jayanak Prithviraj Chauhan • 3. The Geographical Setting

History is studied with the sense of chronology i.e. time. Space is another dime nsion without which it is extremely difficult to understand historical events an d more importantly the subject matter i.e. the people. Thus history of India can not be understood without some knowledge of its geography. Understanding the expanse of historical India along with its boundaries is nece ssary. Indian subcontinent is as large in area as Europe without Russia. The sub -continent is divided into six countries – India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakis tan, and Sri Lanka. Some of the Indian states are as large as some of the Europe an countries. Situated in the Tropic zone, the Monsoon plays an important role a nd in ancient times they must be more important. It is said that the direction monsoon winds were discovered in 1 AD by one Greek named Hippolas which enabled to carry on trade and establish cultural contacts with SE Asia and west Asia. The land routes such as on the Sulaiman mountain ran ges which are in southward continuation with the Himalayas could be used as pass es through the Khyber and Gomal passes. Similarly the Bolan Pass in the Baluchis tan is also a point to cross into and cross over. Bolan Pass lies at the joining knot of Sulaiman and Kirthar range. Through the passes two-way traffic between India and Central Asia and India and Middle East has been going on from pre hist oric period. The valley of Nepal and valley of Kashmir in course of time became the largest repository of Sanskrit manuscript. Reasons for the foundation of earliest agricultural settlements and states in th e foothills of the Himalayas: 1. The foothills lent themselves to easier clearance than the jungle’s on the alluvial soil of the plains, 2. it was easy to cross the rivers due to their smaller width, 3. the earliest routes skirted along the foothills 4. Trade routes could easily follow the Terai route, 5. The natural resources of the less rainy western area were utilized first as the vegetation thickness based on lower rainfall was easy to clear with simp le implements. Gradually as the material (iron) technology of tools and implemen ts improved the settlers moved eastwards. Civilisations Rough Location Indus Valley/ Harappan Indus Valley Vedic Culture NWFP, Punjab & western Gangetic basin Post-Vedic Culture Above plus middle Gangetic basin Guptan Age Above plus lower Gangetic basin and Bengal Great Mountain Wall The predominant feature of India is the Himalayas in the north which separates i t from the plateau of Tibet. It includes several parallel ranges of high mountai ns with deep valleys between them. It has many high peaks and the Everest, or Ga uri Shankar, has been accepted as the highest mountain peak in the world. In the north-west of India are the Hindukush Mountains. In the south of Hindukush are the Safed Koh, Sulaiman, Karakoram and Kirthar mountains, which separate India f rom the table land of Iran. These mountains have generally been regarded as the north-western boundary of India. In the north-east of India are Patkoi, Naga, Kh asi, Garo, Jaintia, Lushai, Chin and Arakan Yoma hills and dense forests which s eparate India from Burma in the east. The Himalayas form a formidable barrier against the foreign invasions from the n orth. Besides, the Himalayas protected the country against the Cold Arctic winds blowing from Siberia through Central Asia. This keeps the climate of Northern I ndia fairly warm throughout the year. But it is not altogether secluded from the rest of the world. The mountains in the north - west of India have several pass es. The Khyber Pass allowed foreigners to enter the Punjab while the Bolan, Toch i and Gomal Passes allow passage to India through Sindh and Multan. Through thes e passes two - way traffic between India and Central Asia has been going on from Pre-historic times onwards. Various people from Iran, Afganistan and Central As ia came to India as invaders and immigrants, and vice versa. The Aryans, the Per sians, the Greeks, the Huns and others entered India through these passes and se ttled for good. Moreover, Indian culture and civilization made a great headway i n the neighbouring countries through these passes, which were equally important

from commercial point of view as well. The Role of rivers: There was great importance of the rivers. They served as the arteries of commerc e and communication serving for the military and commercial transport. Evidently the stone pillars made by Ashoka were carried to different parts of the country by boat. In the pre-industrial times towns were mostly situated on river banks. Rivers provided as the political and cultural boundaries in addition to mountai ns. Kalinga covering the coastal belt of Orissa was situated between the Mahanad i on the north and the Godavari on the south as were Magadh and Vaishali. Impor tance of the river for agriculture was as important as it is today. The Peninsula is flanked by the seas and bounded by ‘the Ghats’ but owing to the les ser height and porous terrain because of the eastward flowing rivers of the East ern Ghats, communication between the two coasts was not difficult in ancient tim es. The peninsular rivers too played the role of defining the boundaries of the warring states. For example the Chalukyas of Badami and the Rashtrakutas found i t difficult to extend their sway to the south of Tungbhadra or the Pallavas and Cholas found it difficult to to extend their authority to its north. The south eastern part of Rajasthan has been a comparatively fertile area since the ancient times and because of the Khetri copper mines in this region, in the chalcolithic period human settlements arose there. Pataliputra is the first important capital of India. But owing to the comparativ e geographical endowment, in the historical times, more temples and pieces of sc ulpture were made of stone in the Deccan and south India than in the plains of n orthern India. Earliest Minerals and Their Significance: Copper: since copper was the first metal to be used it is invested with great pu rity by the Hindus and copper utensils have religious significance. The richest copper mines are found in the Chhotanagpur area, particularly Singhbhum district . It was utilized by the earliest people there. Rich copper mines are also found in the Khetri mines in Rajasthan, which were tapped by the both pre-Vedic and V edic people. Tin: The country today hardly produces tin and this was scarce in the ancient ti mes as well. There are reasons to believe that it was found in Rajasthan, south MP, and Bihar. The Harappans possibly used tin from Rajasthan but their main sup ply was from Afghanistan. That is why the Harappans used lesser bronze tools as compared to their other counterparts such as in western Asia, Egypt and Crete an d their tools carry a smaller percentage of tin. Naturally it can be said that due ton the above reason, major portion of our cou ntry had no proper Bronze Age. The early centuries of the Christian era saw conn ections with Burma and the Malay Peninsula which had plenty of tin and hence we see such magnificent bronze sculptures in Bengal and south India. Tin for Bihar bronze of Pala times was possibly obtained from Gaya, Ranchi and Hazaribagh for in Hazaribagh tin ores were smelted till the middle of the last century. Iron: Iron could be used for war and more usefully for the clearing of the jungl es and for deep and regular cultivation. The formation of the first Empire in Ma gadh owed much to the availability of iron in the area and the large scale use o f the same made Ujjiayani an important kingdom in the 6th century BC. Similarly the Satavahanas and others south of Vidhyas may have may have exploited iron ore s of Andhra and Karnataka. This can be one of the chief reasons for the stringent state control over mining . Lead: The Satavahanas used coins made up of lead as Andhra possesses resources i n lead. Silver: Silver was rarely found in the country, however the eariest coins called the punch marked coins were largely made of silver. Silver mines existed in the Kharagpur hills in the district of Monghyr and they are mentioned as late as ti me of Akbar. This answers why the earliest coins were made of the white metal. Gold: Large quantities of gold dust which were collected from the deposits of ri ver channels on the plains. These deposits were called placers. Gold is found in the Kolar gold fields of Karnataka. A very early trace of gold has been found a

t a New Stone Age site of around 1800 BC in Karnataka. By the beginning of the 2 nd century AD only is the evidence of the exploitation this site is found. Kolar is considered to be the earliest capital of the Gangas of the south. Much of th e gold used in early times was obtained from central Asia and the Roman Empire. Local resources were not sufficient so issue of gold coins depended on foreign t rade. Precious Stones: Form ancient times India produced various stones including pear ls. These formed an important part of trade and hoards. • 4. Ancient Indian Literature and Geography of India The vast sub-continent of India was known in the past as Bharatvarsha , the lan d of Bharatas, bounded on the north by the Himalayas and by the Ocean in the sou th. It formed the southern part of the Jambu-dvipa. The name India was first app lied by the Achaemenid Persians to the region watered by Sindhu. The Sapta Sindh u referring to the region of the seven rivers of the Saraswati (are five streams of Saraswati together with the Ganges and Yamuna), was the term used for India in the Zend Avesta, the Sacred Book of Persia. The Greeks calling the river Sind hu Indos subsequently borrowed the term from Persians. In the Mehre Yasht and Yasana of the Persians we actually find the word Hindu in place of the Hafta Hin du, indicating the extension of the name of the land beyond the territory of the Indus. Herodotus, the famous Greek historian, used the term Indos to the Ksha trapy of the Persian Empire, but gradually it was extended to the whole country both by Greek and the Roman writers. Since the introduction of Buddhism into Chi na in First Century A.D. the Chinese used the term Tien Chu or Chuantu for India . Hindu in Persian, Indos in Greek, Hoddu in Hebrew, Indus in Latin and Tien Chu in Chinese are all corrupt forms of Sindhu. Thus, descendants of Bharatas came to be known as Indians or Hindus. In Indian Literature, the first definite mention of Bharata as a region is to be found in Panini, the great grammarian of ancient India, who lived about 6th cen tury B.C. Buddhist literature subsequently speaks of seven Bharata regions -Sapt a-Bharatas - corresponding to the ancient Sapta-Sindhu. Besides Hindu , Aryade sa and Brahma-rashtra were other names of India mentioned by I-tsing. Aryavar ta was also another name given, at the time of Patanjali (150 B.C.), to the nort hern part of India lying between the Himalayas and the Pariyatraka or the wester n part of the Vindhyas. On the west, it was bounded by Adarsavali or Aravali and on the east by the Kalakavana or the Rajmahal Hills. The Puranasdefine the term Bharatvarsha as "the country that lies north of the ocean (i.e., the Indian oce an) and south of the snowy mountains (Hima-layas), marked by the seven main chai ns of mountains, where dwelt the descendants of the Bharatas, with the Kiratas l iving to its east, the Yavanas or Greeks to its west, and its own population con si-sting of theBrah-manas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas & Sudras. But the name Bharatvars ha is not mere geographical expres-sion like the term India. It has historical s ignificance, indicating the country of the Bharatas of the Rigveda. It eng-aged their deepest sentiments of love and service as expressed in their literature. One of the commonest prayers for a Hindu requires him to recall and worship the image of his mother country as the land of seven sacred rivers, the Ganges, Yamu na, Godavari, Sara¬s¬wati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. Another prayer calls its imag e as the land of seven sacred cities, Ayo¬d¬hya, Mathura, Maya (Modern Hardwar), Kas i, Kanchi, Avan¬tika (Ujjain), Dvaravati (Dwarka), representing important regions of India. The spirit of these prayers is further sustained by the peculiar Hindu instituti on of pilgrimage. It expects a Hindu to visit in his life time the holy places a ssociated with his faith. In the same spirit, Shankara¬charya established his four Mathas at the four extreme points of the country viz. Jyotiramatha in the north near Badrinath, Saradam¬atha at Dwarka in the west, Govardh¬anamath at Puri in the east, and Sringerimatha in Mysore. Sectarianism is thus an aid to nationalism in Culture. In some of the sacred texts like the Bhagvatpurana and the Manusmiriti are found passages of patriotic fervour describing Bharatvarsha as the land fashioned by the Gods themselves (Devanirmit Sthanam) who even wish to be born in it as heave n on earth, for the spiritual stimulus of its environ-ment, and above these as t

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

he culminating utterance - Mother and Mother-country are greater than heaven (Ja nani Janmabhumischa Svargadapi Gari¬yasi). Besides religion, the political experiences of the ancient Hindus also aided the m in their conception of the mother county. The unity of a country is easily gra sped when it is controlled by a single political authority. The ancient Hindus were familiar with the ideal and institution of paramount sov ereignty from early times. It is indicated by such significant vedic words as Ek arat, Samrat,Rajadhiraja or Sarvabh¬auma, and such vedic ceremonies as the Rajasuy a, Vajapeya or Ashvamedha, which were prescribed for performance by a king who b y his digvijaya or conquest made himself the king of kings. Some of the Vedic wo rks and some other texts like the Mahabharata or the Puranas even contain list s of such kings or emperors. Several emperors in historical times such as Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Samudr agupta, Harsha, Mihir Bhoja and others performed the horse sacrifice in the decl aration of their paramount sovereignty. • Pre History • 1. Introduction That phase of human development is called pre-history, of which there are no wri tten records available. The basis of our understanding of this phase is through the archaeological data. The sources of pre-history are the things made by man-s uch as objects of stone, bone, wood, copper, bronze, iron etc. The range and sco pe of pre-history varies from region to region or country to country, depending upon when the written documents are first available. The earliest phase is called Stone Age in India. This has three categories: • Old Stone Age (Palaeo¬lithic) • Middle Stone Age (Meso¬lithic) • New Stone Age (Neolithic). The idea of pre-history is barely 200 years old. And so is the word pre-history; it was first used by M. Tournal in 1833. Earliest traces of human activity in I ndia go back to the second Inter-Glacial period between 400,000 and 200,000 B.C. The social bonds evolved by gathering around fire for equal radiational benefit s. Some of the important rock-painting sites are Murhana Pahar in Uttar Pradesh, Bhimbetka, Adamgarh, Lakha Juar in Madhya Pradesh and Kupagallu in Karnataka. T he occurrence of haematite pieces found in the occupational debris of upper Pala eo¬lithic and Mesolithic periods conclusively proves that these paintings were mad e by the occupants of those caves and shelters. Animals are the most frequently depicted subject either alone or in large and small groups and shown in various poses. There are also some hunting scenes, of which the rhinoceros hunt from the Adamgarh group of rock-shelters is indicative of the joining of large number of people for hunt of bigger animals. The animals are drawn in bold outline, and t he bodies are sometimes filled in completely, or partially with cross-hatching. Examples of all the three methods can be seen among the drawings of animals in t he caves or rock-shelters at Mor¬hana Pahar in U.P., and Bhimbetka and Adamgarh in M.P. Besides the animals, birds, fishes etc. have also been depicted. Depiction of human figures in rock-paintings is quite common. These are in simple outline forms as well as with hatched body. The humans are shown in various activities, like dancing, running, hunting, playing games and engaged in battle.The colours used in making these drawing are deep red, green, white and yellow. • 2. Palaeolithic Age The period before 10 000 B.C. belongs to the Palaeolithic Age. The famous anthro pologist and archaeologist Sir Gordan Childe calls it a ‘stage’, as the Palaeolithic appeared at different time periods at different places, thus it is more appropr iate to call it a stage rather than calling it an age. Man was mere Hunter-Gatherer. His requirements were very limited and he was stil l trying to find out an immediate solution to his varied needs. He used only rud imentary stone tools, which were not even flaked or uni-flaked at the most into the geological period called the Pleistocene. In North India, particularly in the valley of the river Sohan or Soan, the evide nces of four major glaciations have been equated tentatively with the four major glaciations of the European series, with the addition of a fifth addition of ic

e in the post-Pleistocene period. The most remarkable thing about Palaeolithic c ultures is the very long duration of it, almost 300,000 years. Discarded stone-t ools lying in the river gravels, an occasional human fossil, and frequently thos e of the animals hunted are almost all we have to bank upon for our study of thi s period. Indian stone tools fall into two divisions according to the techniques employed. They are core and flake tools. The core tool is made by flaking or ch ipping away from a parent block. In flake tools, the first process was to detach a large flake from a block of stone and then to work this into a finished tool. The interpretation of Indian pre-history is difficult as the fieldwork in archae ology is still not up to the mark. The excavations are still going on and so is the vast area of research in this segment. • (A) Soan Industry The earliest indication of tool using humans in Pleistocene India is in the last phase of the second glaciation. This has been found in the valley of Soan, a ri ver which flows from the foot-hills of the Himalayas to join the river Indus, we st of the city of Rawalpindi (Pakistan). This culture has been identified at man y sites in Punjab, at a few in Central India and in the Upper Narmada valley. In the second interglacial period (about 400,000 to 20000 B.C.), the Soans succeed ed in developing their tools much more. Both pebble and flake tools became progr essively smaller and more accurately shaped, but the flakes also came to be stru ck from carefully prepared blocks of quartzite and trap, a mode known as the Tor toise-core technique practiced by Levalloisians and other related cultural group s in Western Eurasia and Africa. • (B) Madras Industry Sir Robert Bruce Foot discovered the first Palae¬olithic stone tool in the Indian sub-continent near Madras in 1863 A.D. It was boosted after the Yale-Cambridge e xpedition in 1935 under De Terra and Patterson. People of Lower Palaeolithic period used chopper-chopping tools and hand-axes Th ere was another industry, which came up about the same time known as Madras indu stry that was associated with production of hand-axe. It was oval and flaked on both sides in such a way as to produce a continuous cutting edge. There was a co ntinuous interaction between Madras and Soan industries. In general, the core-to ol type dominates in the south and south-east, while the flake or chopper type d ominates in the north. The tools of Madras industry have been found in India as far south as the river Cauvery and Vaigai, in the west and north of Narmada and north-east as far as the upper reaches of the river Son, a tributary to the Gang es. As everywhere else, the lower Paleolithic man in India was a hunter, a food gath erer; whether he was a vegetarian is debatable. Perhaps he originally absorbed v egetable and fruits for the most part. He had no knowledge of agriculture and al so knew nothing about domestication of either plants or animals. The communities were very small and semi-nomadic. They lived either in rock shelters or huts wi th thatched roofs. Their speech was probably of a very primitive character inc apable of accumulation and transmission of tradition in any effective manner. Fo r thousands of years, there was not much change in this life-style. Man was stil l a savage and hunter. Palaeolithic men learnt to use animal skins for wrapping their dead bodies. At Bhimbetka near the Narmada, a series of rock¬shelters have b een excavated from caves. This site lacks in Chopper and Abbevillin hand axes. • 3. Mesolithic Age In the Mesolithic period (10,000-6000B.C.), the humans became culturally more di verse. The crystallization of blade culture or microliths, which began in SouthWest Asia rapidly spread to European countries, is regarded as one of the most i mportant events in the evolution of mankind because it produced a revolution in the hunting culture. In this phase, men began to hunt and fish with the assistan ce of implements of bone and flint. The flint implements were very minute in siz e for use and have come to be known as microliths. In this period began the conc entration of population along the river valleys, marking the start of a transiti on to a settle form of life in which food-gathering turns into food producing. T he characteristic tools of this age are microliths which were first discovered f rom the Vindhyan rock-shelters by C.L. Carlyle in 1867. Langhnaj in Gujarat is a

famous site where a systematic study was carried on by Sankalia. The people of this age achieved their special adaptation as early as 8000 B.C. which coincides with the same in both Europe and Africa. Sarai Nahar Rai is an only site with such an early date, the rest of them ranges from 5000 B.C. to 2000 B.C. These people did not contain any such heavy tools a s picks and axes. Haematite with having been rubbed and spherical stone balls ar e the notable features of the hunting method of this period. The hunting impleme nts are spears with multiple barbs apparently obtained easily by attaching micro liths. The length of the microliths ranges from 1 to 8 cm. The crude material is chert, agate, carnelian & quartz. From Bagor in Rajasthan systematic burials of skelet ons have been found. More than two and half dozens of sites have been discovered in the Gangetic basin. The inter group fighting is proved by the skeleton, at S arai Nahar Rai, with a microlith embedded into one of its ribs. A large number o f animal bones were found in the rock-shelters of Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh whi ch indicate domestication of animals only, not a pastoral economy. In southern s ites like Sangankallu in Karnataka we find quartz as the chief material followed by a crude blade technique in general. Geometric elements are either absent or very minor. • 4. Neolithic Age In the Neolithic phase (6000 B.C.-4000B.C.), the humans actually came to terms w ith their surroundings. The chief features of this stage were domestication of b oth plants and animals, production of pottery, the idea or consciousness to stor e food, origin of agriculture and mastery over fire etc. Socio- Cultural formation: It was this time when social and cultural formation took proper shape in India t hat further evolved for thousand of years to take shape in a civilization form. Social formation means emergence of social relationships, community consciousnes s, both formal & informal organizations to regulate human beha¬viour etc. Kinship became the basis of social organisation. Cultural formation means the various wa ys or methods human beings adopted to adjust to their natural surroundings. This was manifested through various tools or technologies evolving over time, which allowed human beings to survive for thousands of years. A natural corollary to agriculture and domestication was the development of sett led village life. The metals came into use. In India, the late Neolithic and Cha lcolithic (use of copper) seem to coalesce. The traces of the Neolithic phase are found in abundance in India. A Neolithic f actory containing tools in every stage of manufacture has been found in Bellary district in Karnataka. In this period, pottery was made first by the hand and th en on the wheel. Fire was made by friction. People constructed boats and spun an d wove cotton and wool. They buried their dead; deep Neoli¬thic graves surrounded by stone circles have been discovered in some parts of the country. Rude drawing s in red colour have been found in the cave walls in the Bellary and Wynad distr icts and other localities. There is evidence of ancient pearl and conch-shell fisheries at the mouth of the Tambraparni River and of gold workings, perhaps of Neolithic origins at Maski i n Hyderabad. From these evidences it is undoubtedly clear that the Neolithic peo ple in South India had reached a fairly high degree of sophistication. The Neolithic Revolution is marked by men made polished stone tools, evolution o f agriculture, domestication of animals and settled lives. The phase is known fo r grinding and polishing of tools. Small and chipped stone tools had been contin uing from earlier mesolithic level which are generally termed as microliths. The Neolithic people lived in circular or rectangular houses made of mud and reed. They produced ragi and kulathi with the help of hoe and digging tools. Different agricultural varieties of wheat and barley of the 5000 B.C. level have been dis covered at Mehargarh in the Sindh-Baluchistan border. The Neolithic people of Bu rzahom lived in pit-dwellings of irregular shapes. The remains of charred grains of paddy husk and wheat are quite visible at Chirand in Bihar, the hand-made po ts are well. The people of Kachar Hills of Assam lived in mud-walled houses, the ir hand-made pots are decorated with basket impressions. Use of metals was a rem

arkable achievement of the technological advancement of man. The metal to be use d first was copper and stone tools continued for long time with copper tools and hence the period named as Chalcolithic Age. The first full-fledged village comm unities evolved in the Chalcolithic phase which were chronologically antecedents to Harappan people. Rafique Mughal of Pakistan named there settlements as Early Harappan Culture. The evidences of relationship with Afghanistan, Iran and prob ably Central India and visible at Mehargarh. Jhob culture is marked by a red ware painted over in black pigment supplemented by red. The Quetta culture is distinguished by a buff ware painted over in black pigment with geometric designs including stepped motifs. The terra-cotta figuri nes of Mother Goddess is also visible in Quetta culture. The Quetta pottery is a lso named as ‘Togaue Pottery’. The Pinkish buff ware culture of South Baluchistan is known as the Kulli Culture. The pots of Nal culture are painted with scorpion, fish, deer and ox. The most interesting feature of the pre-Harappan culture as k nown so far from Kot Diji and Kalibangan is that many of its painted designs and fabrics show a close similarity with those from north Baluchistan and east Iran . • 5. Copper and Bronze Age Towards the end of the Neolithic period began the use of metals. First metal to be used was copper and the culture of that time is called Chalcolithic Culture . The earliest settlements belonging to this phase are found in south-eastern Ra jasthan, the western part of M.P., western Maharastra and also in eastern India. This age flourished during the years between 3000 BC and nearly 1000 BC. Schola rs believe that in South India, this age did not exist. Rather, with the entry o f the Aryans in South India, it entered the Iron Age after the Neolithic Age, ce rtain scholars believe that India did not at all enter the Bronze Age. From the Neolithic Age, it entered the Copper Age. Along with copper implements and weapo ns, men used stone implements also for a long time therefore this age has been r egarded as the Chalcolithic Age as well. The Indus Valley Civilization in India has been accepted as that of this stage. By this time, human had progressed in e very field. They cultivated land, lived in villages and cities, domesticated ani mals, used both cotton and woollen clothes, developed means of transport and com munication, language and script, faith in religion and worship of gods and godde sses rather. They had developed every means of livelihood which makes a group of people cultured and civilized. Technologically, Chalcolithic Age applied to the pre-Harappans. Jorwe culture is the nickname for all the Maharastrian sites, Jorwe being a type site includes N evasa, Nasik, Daimabad etc. The Jorwe culture belonged to 1400-700 BC. Daimabad and Inamgoon has almost reached the urban stage. Malwa culture (1700-1200 BC.) h ad been found in Navadatoli, Eran and Nagda. Malwa culture is considered as the richest among the Chalcolithic ceramics. Various types of Pre-Harappan Chalco¬lithic cultures promoted the spread of farmin g communities in Sind, Baluchistan, Rajasthan etc. and created conditions for th e rise of urban civilization of Harappa. Mention may be made of Amri and Kotdiji in Sind, Kali¬banga and Gane¬shwar in Rajasthan. It appears that some Chalcolithic farming communities ventured into the flood plains of the Indus, learnt bronze t echnology and succeeded in setting up cities. This was the matured phase of Hara ppan people. • 6. Iron Age With the Iron Age we approach the historical period. In India it started from ne arly 1000 BC. The Aryans knew how to use iron. Therefore, we entered the Iron Ag e during the vedic period. By this time, men had started using iron for making w eapons and implements and had developed fairly good means of high culture and ci vilization. In South India use of iron came after the use of stone. In any case, there were periods of overlapping in the use of stone, copper, bronze and iron. Our only evidence of the transition from Copper-Bronze Age to the Iron Age is th e monuments like dolmens, cairns, cromolechs etc. These have been found in the w ide areas all over India, such as Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Central India, Gujarat, Kashmir. But by far the largest number has been found in South India, in Karnata ka and Deccan. These iron monuments appear to have belonged to both pre-historic

 

 

and historic periods. Monuments discovered in Hyderabad, Mysore, Tinnevelly, Co imbatore, Malabar, Penumbur etc. also show varied stages of development. Neolith ic and Microlithic tools along with copper, bronze, iron implements have been di scovered, making it difficult to identify the actual period of transition from C opper-Bronze Age to Iron Age. At this stage of our limited knowledge, it is diff icult to arrive at a definite conclusion. • Harappan Civilisation • 1. Introduction Four ancient civilizations have been discovered so far viz. Egypt, Mesopotamia, South Asia and China. The greater Indus region was home to the largest of the f our ancient urban civilizations. It was not discovered until the 1920 s. Most of its ruins, even its major cities, remain to be excavated. The ancient Indus Civ ilization script has not been deciphered as yet. Hence there is more to be disco vered about this ancient urban civilization of ours. • 2. Origin The differences in language, script, weights, measures, town planning, material culture and religion negates the theory that the Indus Valley Civilization origi nated as a colony of Mesopatamians.The agricultural communities mainly of Sind a nd Baluchistan were the precursor of the Indus civilization. It may be called th e formative epoch of the civilization. There are striking similarities between t hese farming communities and the Indus civilization and it appears that the cult ural traits of the former found expression is far more developed from the latter . Archaeological evidence traces linear pre-urban phases with the roots of the u rban culture which logically culminates into the urban phase. Began in Baluchist an and Sind and then extended into the plains. • 3. Harappan Civilisation It is common knowledge now that the earliest civilization which flourished in th e regions of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Sindh, Gujarat and Baluchistan etc. The most accepted chronology (time frame) given to it was 2500-1750 B.C. Today, mos t of the scholars agree that this highly urbanized civilization was preceded by thousands of years of human experimentation in the areas around the nuclear zone of Harappan civilization. During this experimental period, the inhabitants lear nt to construct houses, irrigate fields, make beautiful potteries, develop-ment means of communication and last but not the least, evolve a life style that reac hed its high point during mature Harappan Civilization (2200-2000 B.C.). These a reas were Amri, Zhob, Kulli-Nal, Kot Diji etc. These are pre-Indus village cultu res. Thus, there were other highly developed cultures in adjacent regions of Bal uchistan, Central Asia and peninsular India. Material culture and the skeletons from the Harappa cemetery and other sites of Archaeological importance testify t o a continual intermingling of communities from both the west and the east. Hara ppa was settled before what we call the ancient Indus civilization flourished, a nd it remains a living town today. Harappa was a city in the Indus civilization that flourished around 2600 to 1700 BCE in the western part of South Asia. The site tells the story of the ancient Indus Civilization through the words and photographs of the world s leading scho lars. It starts with the re-discovery of Harappa in the early 19th century by th e explorer Charles Masson and later Alexander Burnes, and formally by the archae ologist Sir Alexander Cunningham in the 1870 s. This work led to the the first e xcavations in the early 20th century at Harappa by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni, a nd by R.D. Banerji at another Indus Civilization city, Mohenjo Daro. Common Basic Features of Indus Urban Sites The Harappans used the same size bricks and standardized weights as were used in other Indus cities such as Mohenjo Daro and Dholavira. These cities were well p lanned with wide streets, public and private wells, drains, bathing platforms an d reservoirs. One of its most well-known structures is the Great Bath of Mohenjo Daro. 1. The Indus script appearing on seals. 2. Town Planning. 3. Use of baked as well as sun dried bricks. 4. Straight roads and Well planned drainage.

 

 

 

5. Citadel. 6. Masonry well and tank. 7. Use of standard weight and measurement. 8. Wheel made pottery. It was backed red or painted red. Some pottery had mo tifs painted on it. 9. The practice of burying the dead was common Chronology of Harappan Civilisation Proposed date bracket Advocated by 3500-2700 B.C. Madhoswarup Vats 3250-2750 B.C. Marshall & R.K. Mukherjee 2800-2500 B.C. E. Makay 2800-2200 B.C. Pusalkar 2500-1500 B.C. Wheeler & Smith 2350-1750 B.C. C.J. Gaid 2300-1750 B.C. Dharmpal Agarwal 2150-1750 B.C. Alvin 2000-1500 B.C. Fair-Service • (A) Geographical Boundary The Indus Valley Civilization encompassed most of Pakistan, extending from Baloc histan to Sindh, and extending into modern day Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasth an, Haryana and Punjab, with an upward reach to Rupar on the upper Sutlej. The g eography of the Indus Valley put the civilizations that arose there in a highly similar situation to those in Egypt and Peru, with rich agricultural lands being surrounded by highlands, desert, and ocean. Recently, Indus sites have been dis covered in Pakistan s northwestern Frontier Province as well. Other IVC colonies can be found in Afghanistan while smaller isolated colonies can be found as far away as Turkmenistan and in Gujarat. Coastal settlements extended from Sutkagan Dor in Western Baluchistan to Lothal in Gujarat. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortughai in northern Afghanistan, in the Gomal Rive r valley in northwestern Pakistan, at Manda on the Beas River near Jammu, India, and at Alamgirpur on the Hindon River, only 28 km from Delhi. Indus Valley site s have been found most often on rivers, but also on the ancient seacoast, for ex ample, Balakot, and on islands, for example, Dholavira. There is evidence of dry river beds overlapping with the Hakra channel in Pakist an and the seasonal Ghaggar River in India. Many Indus Valley (or Harappan) site s have been discovered along the Ghaggar-Hakra beds. Among them are: Rupar, Rakh igarhi, Sothi, Kalibangan, and Ganwariwala. According to J. G. Shaffer and D. A. Lichtenstein, the Harappan Civilization "is a fusion of the Bagor, Hakra, and K oti Dij traditions or ethnic groups in the Ghaggar-Hakra valley on the borders of India and Pakistan." According to some archaeologists, over 500 Harappan sites have been discovered a long the dried up river beds of the Ghaggar-Hakra River and its tributaries, in contrast to only about 100 along the Indus and its tributaries; consequently, in their opinion, the appellation Indus Ghaggar-Hakra civilisation or Indus-Sarasw ati civilisation is justified. The Saraswati River Saraswati seems to have been another large river which ran parallel and west of the Indus in the third and fourth millenium BCE. This was the ancient SaraswatiGhaggar-Hakra River Some scholars associate it with the Saraswati River of the R g Veda. Its lost banks are slowly being traced by researchers. Along its now dry bed, archaeologists are discovering a whole new set of ancient towns and cities . Meluhha Ancient Mesopotamian texts speak of trading with at least two seafaring civiliza tions - Magan and Meluhha - in the neighborhood of South Asia in the third mille nnium B.C. This trade was conducted with real financial sophistication in amount s that could involve tons of copper. The Mesopotamians speak of Meluhha as a lan d of exotic commodities. A wide variety of objects produced in the Indus region have been found at sites in Mesopotamia. Sites of Pre-Harappan Civlisation

 

 

 

(Now Outside India) Site Situation Dabarkot Baluchistan Kot diji Sindh (Pak.) Ranaghundai Baluchistan Anjira Baluchistan Goomla Afghanistan Deh Morasi Ghundai Afghanistan Mundigak Afghanistan • (B) Development of Culture Indus culture seems to have gradually spread from west to east, with sites towar ds central and southern India flourishing after Harappa and Mohenjo Daro had dec lined. The drying up of the ancient Saraswati or Ghaggar-Hakra River, east of an d parallel to the Indus, may also have affected the civilization. There are nume rous Indus sites along that river bed. Earlier scholars thought that Indo-Aryan invaders destroyed the Indus cities and pushed the remnant populations into southern India. This model is no longer sup ported, but the decline of the Indus people and the language that they spoke is still a subject of study. It is unclear whether the ancient Harappans would have spoken an Indo-Aryan or Dravidian language, or possibly have spoken even other languages such as Mundari. The existence of the Brahui tribe in Baluchistan, to the west of the Indus, who speak a Dravidian language like Tamil spoken in southeast India, suggests that s ome migration of people or culture did occur. However, the date for these migrat ions is not confirmed. The possible endurance of certain Indus signs like the ar row sign is suggestive of some continuity, but this too needs to be studied furt her. Harappan Civlisation — Main sites Site Situation Excavated Under Date of Excavation Harappa Montegomari, (Punjab, Pakistan) Daya Ram Sahani 1921 Mohandjodaro Larkana (Sindh, Pakistan) R. D. Bnerji Sutkagendor Baluchistan (Pakistan) O. Stein 1927 Chanhudaro 80 miles from M. Jadaro Sindh, (Pakistan) 1931 Rangpur Ahmedabad, (Gujarat, India) M.S. Vats 1953 Ropar Punjab (India) Yagya Dutt Sharma 1955-56 Kalibangah Ganganagar, (Rajasthan, India) B.B. Lal & A.N. Kotdiji Sindh (Pakistan) Fazal Ahmad Khan 1955 Lothal Ahmedabad, (Gujarat, India) S.R. Rao 1957 Alamgirpur Meerut (U.P., India) — 1958 Surkotada Kuccha (Gujarat, India) Jagatpati Joshi 1972 Meettathal Bhiwani (Haryana, India) Surajbhan Banawali Hissar (Haryana, India) R.S. Vishta Dhaulvira Near Kuchha, (Gujarat, India) R.S. Vishta Ganveribal Pakistan Rafique Mughal — Rahigarhi Jind (Haryana) Surajbhan —

1922 N.G. Mazumdar

Ghosh 1953

1968 1973-74 —

• 4. Main Sites Main Sites • (A) Harappa Harappa is situated on the bank of river Ravi at a distance of twenty five kilom etres South-West of city Montgomery in Pakistan, on an old bed of the River Ravi . It was the first site to be excavated in 1921. D.R. Sahani was the leader of e xcavation team. The Harappa town was divided into two sectors-eastern and the we stern. The western sector was fortified structure erected or on artificial i.e., man made platform. The main gate for entry and exit was in the North. The wall of the fort has tower like structures which must have been made for defense purp

oses. There were some houses outside the fortified area. These might have been t he residences of common people. Inside the fort, there were brick built houses. Harappa is noted for six granaries covering an area of 275 square metre. Nearby this are found 16 fire-pits which are pear-shaped. So far more than 891 seals ha s been found in excavation. Two red-stone idols one of a dancing girl and the ot her a naked bust of male are important pieces of sculpture. The cemetry known as cemetry R-37 is situated in the South of Harappa. In some of the graves some ar ticles are found along with bones which, suggest that Harappan people must be ha ving faith in life after death. • (B) Mohan-jo-daro Mohenjodaro is probably the best known Indus site. Mohenjo Daro is in Sindh, Pak istan, next to the Indus River, not far from the very early human flint mining q uarries at Rohri. The Indus may once have flowed to the west of Mohenjo Daro, bu t it is now located to the east. The literal meaning of word Mohan-jo-daro in Si ndhi language is mound of the dead. It is situated on the bank of river Indus in Larkana district now in Pakistan. The place was excavated for the first time in 1922 under the supervision of R.D. Bannerji. The further excavations took place in 1930s. This time the team of prominent archaeologists E. Makay, Kashinath Di xit, Hargrieves etc. was led by Sir John Marshall. The structures, objects and a rticles unearthed by excavation prove that Mohan-jo-daro was a well planned and developed urban centre. The urban centre is spread in an area of one square mile. It is divded into two sectors and has a fort. The remains of Mohan-jo-daro are in better condition tha n those of Harappa. The important finds in excavation are a big bath, a granary, big halls, a bronze of dancing girl, idol of priest and numerous seals which th row ample light on life and culture of Harappan civlisation. . A fragment of cot ton cloth was found at Mhan-jo-Daro. The Great bath is a unique structure. Its dimensions are 39 × 23 × 8 . Its floor i s of bricks. Floor and the outer walls were bituminated to prevent leakage of wa ter. There are verandahs on four sides of the bath and behind three verandahs ar e built small rooms. Sir John Marshall has called the bath an amazing structure of its time. Another important building is 150 × 75 in dimension. It is divided into twenty seven rooms of different size and shape Wheeler has called this buil ding a granary. It was an airy structure. There was platform in the North to kee p grain. A square pillared hall of 90 × 90 is yet another important building. Th e remains of twenty pillars have been found in excavation. The scholars have cal led it ‘Assembly Hall’. The town Mohan-jo-daro was well planned on a grid pattern with roads and bye-lan es bisecting each-other on right angle. There are small two room houses, as well as, big palatial houses. Proper arrangements for light, air and drainage with c overed drains is the basic feature of house-planning. A courtyard, a kitchen and a well are the common feature of the house. Bricks are used in construction. Ev en the stairways are of bricks. Stone network were fixed to ensure passage of li ght and air. The main road of town is 33 in width. The width of other roads and lanes is from 9 to 12 . • (C) Lothal Lothal is in Dhalaka Taluk of Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. The place was locat ed and excavated by Dr. S.R. Rao in 1957. According to Dr. Rao the place was inh abited even before the advent of Harappan culture. Red-black clay pots and coppe r tools found in excavation are supposed to belong to pre-Harappan people. The town of Lothal was not divided into two sectors. It was one well planned wal led city. Situated on the confluence of Sabarmati and Bhogavo River, Lothal is k nown for a brick built tank like structure. Most of the scholars are of the view that it was a dockyard and lothal was an important centre of Sea-trade with wes tern world. A bead making factory and a seal from Iran are other important finds of the place. • (D) Kalibangan Kalibangan is situated in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. It was located by Am alanand Ghosh in 1953 and excavated by Dr. B.B. Lal and B.K. Thapar in 1961. Dur ing excavation the remains of pre-Haraappan civilisation were found on upper lay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

er. The town is divided in two sectors. The fort and town both are surrounded by a rampart. The fortified western sector of the town was divided into two parts. One part was residential area while in the other part are found a number of fir e pits which were used as ‘Havan Kund’. Kalibangan was not as well planned or organi sed as Mohan-jo-daro. It did not have even a drainage system. The bricks used in building are earthen one. • (E) Chanhudaro Chanhudaro is situated 80 mile south of Mohan-Jo-daro. It was located by N.G. Ma jumdar in 1931. Excavation took place in 1935 under the supervision of E. Makaya . The remains of both the pre-Harappan as well as Harappan culture are found her e. Beads, Seals, ornaments unearthed are pointer to the fact that residents of t his town were good craftsmen. There is no evidence of any fortified structure in Chanhudaro. • (F) Rangapur Located 50 Kilometre North-East of Lothal in Ahmedabad district, the site was ex cavated by M.S. Vats in 1931 and by S.R. Rao in 1953-54. Here also remains of pr e-Harappan as well as of Harappan civlisation are found. Yellow and grey colour earthen pots belong to pre-Harappan people. Citadel of mud-bricks, drains, weigh ts of stone flakes belong to Harappan days. • (G) Surkotada The credit for locating and excavating the site goes to Jagat Pati Joshi. He did it in 1964. It is situated in Kutchh region of Gujarat. The important finds are bones of horse and a graveyard. The western sector of the town has a lay out si milar to that of Kalibangan. • (H) Dholvira Dholvira is the biggest of Harappan town. Dholavira is located on Khadir Beyt, a n island in the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat State, India. It has only been ex cavated since 1990. As large as Harappa and Mohan-jo-Daro, it has some of the be st preserved stone architecture. A tantalizing signboard with Indus script has also been discovered. Dholavira appears to have had several large reservoirs, and an elaborate system of drains to collect water from the city walls and house tops to fill these wate r tanks. A find of J.P. Joshi, it was excavated in 1990-91 and later on under the supervi sion of R.S. Bisht. Dholvira has some unique features. The city is divided not i n two sectors, as is usual pattern in Harappan civlisation, but in three sectors . The third sector is in the form of an open ground situated outside the fortifi ed area. The rampart of city has a main big gate for entry and exit. The letters found are big in size 37 cm in length and 23 cm in width. The script is similar to the script found in other Harappan sites. • (I) Ropar Ropar (Punjab, India) was excavated in 1953 under the leadership of Y.D. Sharma. A cemetry, seal, earthen pot, ornaments copper axe are same of the main finds h ere. Pots numbering 2 to 26 are found in some of the graves. Coloured shining po ts, beads and copper rings are found in the graves. • (J) Bara Situated near Ropar is also a Harappan site. But it shows the civilisation in th e decay. Some of the potteries found belong to pre-Harappan days. • (K) Mittathal Excavation at Mittathal situated in Bhiwani district of Harayana, was carried ou t in 1968 by a team from Punjab University. Here also evidence is found of Pre-H arappan inhabitance. Weights of stones, Terracotta, Pots and Cart-wheel are foun d here. This place also has a citadel as well as residential area outside citade l. • (L) Rakhigarhi Rakhigarhi is a recently discovered city in Haryana, India. Partial excavations have revealed that it is as large as Harappa, Mohenjo Daro and Ganweriwala. Rakh igarhi is situated in Jind district of Harayana. It was excavated under the lead ership of professor Surajbhan and Acharya Bhagwandev. The lower layer of excavat ed area throws up evidence of pre-Harappan civlisation while remains of Harappan

civlisation are found at upper layer. The most important find of the place is a n inscripted seal. • (M) Banawali Banawali, another important Harappan site in Harayana is situated in Hissar dist rict. It was excavated in 1973-74 under the supervision of R.S. Bishta. The exca vation proves that it was a center of pre-Harappan civlisation. Later on it beca me a centre of Harappan civilisation. The town planning is similar to that of Ka libangan and Surkotada. Roads bi-secting each other at right angle and drainage system reminds one of Mohan-jo-daro. Gold-plated earthen beads, Terracotas, Copp er points of arrows, pottery, weights, statues of humans and animals, Pipal leaf shaped earrings, earthen bangles are significant finds. A good quantity of barl ey has been discovered here. • (N) Alamgirpur Excavated in 1958 and situated on the bank of river Hindon in Meerut district Al amgirpur represents the decadent phase of Harappan culture. No statue of mothergoddess or seals are found here. Pottery and beads are the main finds. • (O) Kotdiji Kotdiji is situated on the left bank of the river Sindh 50 kilometre East of Moh an-jo-daro in Sindh (Pakistan). The site was excavated by Fazal Ahmad in 1955. A ccording to him it was the pre-Harappan civilisation which was destroyed as a re sult of fire. Later on Harappan civlisation developed here. The foundation of ho uses, built of earthen bricks, is laid of stones. Main objects found here are a tar, a broken steatite seal, copper and brass bangles, statues of bull and mothe r-Goddess and earthen beads. • (P) Ganweriwala Ganeriwala is in Punjab, Pakistan near the Indian border. It was first discovere d by Sir Aurel Stein and surveyed by Dr. M. R. Mughal in the 1970s. It spreads o ver 80 hectares and is almost as large as Mohenjo Daro. It is near a dry bed of the former Ghaggar or SarasvatiRiver, and has not been excavated, yet. Equidista nt between Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, Ganweriwala may have been a fifth major urb an center. • (Q) Ali Murad It is another Harappan site in Sindh (Pakistan). Harappan buildings, cornalean b eads, brass axe, pottery and terracota bull are the main finds of the excavation . • (R) Sukagendor The site is situated in Baluchistan (Pakistan) on the bank of river ‘Dasht’. O. Stei n located it in 1931. Finding the citadel, city and port in 1962 goes to George dales. An ash filled pot, copper axe, earthen bangles and pottery were found in excavation. According to Dales Sukagendor was, to begin, with a port but with the withdrawal of sea it was transformed into a town. Evidence suggests that it had trade link s with Babylone. • (S) Balakot Balakot is situated on the bank of Somani bay 98 km North-West of Karachi. Excav ated during the long period of 1963-76 under the supervision of Dales, Balakot r epresents Harappan civilisation in its earliest days. Radio-carbon-14 dating pla ces its period between 3500-3000 B.C. Here the drains are built of burnt bricks but building are built of earthen bricks. • (T) Alahdino Located by W.A. Fair service Alahdino is situated 40 kilometre from Karachi. The unique find from excavation is a well built of burnt bricks. • (U) Daimabad Daimabad is in Maharashtra near Bombay. Discovered in 1958, it is a controversia l site. Some suggest that the pottery and single shard with ancient Indus signs on it is definitive of Harappan settlement; others say the evidence is not suffi cient. A unique hoard of exquisite bronze chariots and animals that may or may n ot be of Indus Civilization style was also found here. • 5. Decline of the Harappan Culture What does seem clear is that the important sites were ancient commercial centers

. They are on rivers or near the coast. Various specialized manufacturing facili ties suggest that they were heavily involved in trade with each other and far ou tside the region. The Vedas contain the oldest recorded history of the subcontin ent. The gap between the demise of Harappa and Vedic history has been traditiona lly estimated at 1,000 years. Yet new work suggests that the Vedas could be much older. Is the Hariyupiyah mentioned in this Hymn from the Rig Veda the Harappa of the Indus Civilization? One cannot say if Hariyupia refers to Harappa. The pl ace is never again mentioned in the Rig Veda. According to some commentators, it may refer to a river. Varasika and the Vrichivat are not mentioned again either . Nevertheless, the Rig Veda presents much relevant information for understandin g the Indus Civilization. Riverwise location of main Harappan sites Site River Harappan Ravi Mohan-jo-dar Sindh Chanhudaro Sindh Lothal Sabarmati & Bhogvas Kalibangan Ghagghar Rangpur Meedar Alamgirpur Hindon Banawali Saraswati Mittathal Yamuna Kotdiji Sindh Aryan Invasion of India? There is no evidence for an Aryan invasion of the subcontinent, as some old arch aeologists once thought. But large amounts of new research need to be done to be tter understand the complex interactions between the Indus Saraswati river basin s and the neighboring areas. Below is an excerpt on the connection with Hariyupia and a possible Indo-Aryan i nvasion from an essay by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer in Edwin Bryant s recent book com piling evidence from many scholars Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inferenc e in Indian History (Routledge Curzon, 2005). Hariyupia and the Rg Veda by J.M. Kenoyer In this Vedic reference, there is a description of a battle between two forces, one led by Abhyavartin, son of Chayamana (Puru clan) and the other by Turuvasa ( Turuvasa Clan); leader of the Vrichivat, seed of Varasika (Sen 1974; Majumdar, R aychaudhuri, Datta, 1961:25-26). The batttle was fought at Hariyupiyia, which appears to have been situated to th e east of the Yabyabati River (possibly the Ravi). Half of the attacking force w as scattered in the west, presumably on the other side of the river, while the o ther portion was defeated by Abhyavartin, aided by Indra (Singh 1995). There is no evidence for a battle of conflagration in either the Harappan or lat er Harappan levels at the site of Harappa, but given the nature of many historic al conflicts it is possible that the battle may have taken place outside the cit y. Since the invading forces were defeated, there is no need to find destruction levels in the city itself and the identification of the place called Hariyupia remains un-resolved." Traces of general decline in civic standards towards the last phase noticed. To wn planning abandoned and public buildings fell in ruin, trade and commerce decl ined etc. There are several theories regarding the decline of this unique c ulture. The natural causes such as frequent floods, environmental and ecological changes, the social break-up of the Harappans, demographic changes, etc. are th e mainly listed possible causes leading to the end of Harappan civilization. For eign invasion and the decline of foreign trade are also projected as the causes of the decline. In the later phases of the Harappan culture, some exotic tools a

 

nd pottery indicate the slow percolation of new people in the Indus basin. In Ri gveda, Indra the war lord is described as ‘Purandar’ breaker of forts. Mortimer Wheeler: Destruction due to Aryan invasion. Robert L. Raikes: Tectonic uplift theory. H.T. Lambrick: Change of course of Indus. Walter Fairservis: Ecological degradation by a growing population. • 6. Science The people of the Indus Civilization achieved great accuracy in measuring length , mass, and time. They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weigh ts and measures. Their measurements are said to be extremely precise; however, a comparison of available objects indicates large scale variation across the Indu s territories. Their smallest division, which is marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal, was approximately 1.704 mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age. Harappan engineers followed the decimal division of mea surement for all practical purposes, including the measurement of mass as reveal ed by their hexahedron weights. These chert weights were in a perfect ratio of 4:2:1 with weights of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 units, with each unit weighing approximately 28 grams, similar to the English Imperial ounce or Greek uncia, a nd smaller objects were weighed in similar ratios with the units of 0.871. Howev er, as in other cultures, actual weights were not uniform throughout the area. T he weights and measures later used in Kautilya s Arthashastra (4th century BCE) are the same as those used in Lothal. Unique Harappan inventions include an instrument which was used to measure whole sections of the horizon and the tidal lock. In addition, Harappans evolved some new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead and tin. The eng ineering skill of the Harappans was remarkable, especially in building docks aft er a careful study of tides, waves and currents. The function of the so-called " dock" at Lothal, however, is disputed. In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh, Pakistan, made the discovery that the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation, from the e arly Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry. Later, in April 2006, i t was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the oldest (and first earl y Neolithic) evidence for the drilling of human teeth in vivo (i.e., in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh. Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults wer e discovered in a Neolithic graveyard in Mehrgarh that dates, from 7,500-9,000 y ears ago. According to the authors, their discoveries point to a tradition of pr oto-dentistry in the early farming cultures of that region. A touchstone bearing gold streaks was found in Banawali, which was probably used for testing the purity of gold (such a technique is still used in some parts of India). • 7. Economy On the basis of the environmental diversity of the area of the Harappan culture it can be said that the Harappans could not have adopted a uniform subsistence p attern. Together with hunting and gathering they practiced agriculture. • (A) Agriculture They produced peas, two types of wheat, barley, sesamum,, mustard, and dates. At Lothal and Rangpur people used rice as early as 1800 BC. A fragment of cotton c loth found at Mhan-jo-Daro proves that they grew cotton. No hoe or ploughshare h as been found but the furrowed field found in Kalibangan indicates that the Hara ppans used wooden ploughshare. As to who drew the plough- men, oxen or some othe r animals- cannot be said with certainty. • (B) Irrigation The Harappan cultural zone falls in comparatively low rainfall area. Irrigation would have been necessary for cultivation but there is not much evidence of irri gation by tanks or canals. The alluvial plains seem to be watered by floodsthe m assive tank at Lothal and the well patterned drainage suggest the use of human e ffort in irrigaton. • (C) Animal Husbandry The people of Indus valley Civilisation were familiar with a range of animals. A

 

majority of Harappan terracottas represent cattle but the cow was not represent ed. Sheep, goats, dogs, cats, humped cattle, water buffalo, and probably elephan t were certainly domesticated. Asses and camels were the beasts of burden. Peopl e were acquainted with deer, rhinoceros, tortoise etc. Horse seems to be unknown to them. • (D) Industry, Crafts and Technology The Harappans used stone tools though lived in the bronze age. They manufactured bronze by mixing tin with copper. Tin was possibly brought from Afghanistan. Co pper was brought from Khetri of Rajasthan and also could have been brought from Baluchistan. Bronze tools are not found in very large numbers. The tool types co mprised flat axes, chisels, knives, spearheads and arrowheads of copper and bron ze. Bronzesmiths must have enjoyed importance in the society. The people had kno wledge of gold. Beads, brooches, needles etc. were made of gold but use of silve r was more common. Spindle whorls were used for spinning. The various occupations in which the people were engaged were spinning and weavi ng of cotton and wool, wheal turned and mass produced pottery making, bead makin g which were generally made up of gold, copper, faience, steatite, semi-precious stones like lapis-lazuli, shell and ivory, seal making, terracotta manufacturin g, brick industry, masonary, metal working, boat making, which has been describe d above and sculpturing. Besides given the sort of architectural and engineering acumen in the laying of the towns’ construction was a major industry. Allied occu pations related to trade and transport must also have a major share in the lives of the people. Metal & Precious stones Source Gold South India, Afghanistan, Iran Silver Afghanistan Copper Baluchistan, Arabia, Rajasthan Lapis Lazuli Badakshan (N-E Afganistan) Turquoise Iran Amethyst Maharashtra Agate Saurashtra & Western India Chalcedonies Saurashtra & Western India Carnelian Saurashtra & western India Alabaster Jade Brought from many places • (E) Trade and its Network There was extensive inland and foreign trade and the trade routes followed both overland and maritime. It is proved by the occurrence of small terracotta boats and above all by the vast brick built dock. As there is no evidence of coins tra de must have been through barter. The system of weights and measures was highly developed. The items of import would have been those materials which were locall y unavailable or scarce such as copper, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, torqoues, ja de, amethyst, agate, chalcedony, and carnelian. It has also been suggested that rice was also imported to the main urban centres. The Harappan seals were possib ly used for stamping the goods as have been found in Mesopotamia. Ur, Susa, Nipp ur, and Kish have yielded these seals. Some ancient sites in the Persian Gulf su ch as Failka, Bahrain have also yielded seals of Harappan origin. Sargon of Akka d (2350 BC) is said to have taken pride in the fact that ships from Dilmun, Maga n, and Meluha passed through his capital. Dilmun is identified with island of Ba hrain, in the Persian Gulf, and Magan may be Makran coast. Meluiha is generally understood referring India. Thus it can be established that there certainly was maritime trade with other ancient civilizations. The overland trade was mainly inland in nature to cater to demand and supply of goods, raw materials etc. Land route was connected to Afghanistan and Iran as we ll. In view of the overall trade scenario of the Harappan trade it has been spec ulated that there was central authority to regulate trade. • 8. Art Among the works of art the most striking find is that of ‘dancing girl’ naked but fo r a nevklace and large number of bangles covering the right arm and standing in the Tribhangi stance. The figurines of a buffalo, and a ram, and the two little

toy carts are also well know bronze pieces. A few stone sculptures have also bee n found. Of them the bearded head, presumably of a priest from Mohan-jo-Daro and the two male torsos from Harappa are worth mentioning.Terracotta works have bee n found more in numbers than the bronze and stone. It has been inferred that the base of the Harappan trade formed of the manufacturing and value addition of th e raw materials sourced from outside areas such as central, western, and south I ndia and Afghanistan by the Harappan artists. • 9. Religious Belief On the basis of the archaeological finds some idea about the Harappan religious beliefs and practices can be formed. Numerous nude female figurines in terracott a are believed to be representing a popular fertility Goddess. The male deity of the was the horned God depicted on the seals nude but wearing many bangles, nec klaces and a peculiar head dress consisting of a pair of horns. One of these sea ls depicts the deity what Marshall termed as the proto-Shiva surrounded by an el ephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros, and a buffalo and beneath the deity are two deer. Numerous symbols of phallus and female sex organs have been found which indicat e prevalence of Phallus worship- a practice though condemned in the Rigveda as b eing prevalent among the non-Aryans became respectable form of worship in later times. The Pipal tree, holy Bsail (Tulsi) were also an object of veneration. The same is true for some animals such as humped bulls which are considered sacred even today. The fire altars found in Kalibanga suggests worship of fire-God. The Harappans usually buried the dead even in the courtyard with objects which the deceased used in his/ her life and body was extended with their head generally p ointing towards north. This suggests their belief in after-life. • 10. Political Organisation It is not clear as to what sort of political organization the Harappans had. Unl ike other ancient civlisations such as Egypt and Sumer, they have not left behin d any inscriptions. It is only on seals and made of clay and stone that there is line of pictographs. However the economic and commercial set up, the well defined urban planning, the uniformity of the inputs in the structures such as bricks and religious belief system as evidenced by archaeological finds along with the seals as mark of auth ority do indicate towards a central authority. Of what nature this central autho rity could be is still a matter of speculation. Stuart Piggot has remarked that the cities of the Harappans were governed from Harappa and Mohenjodaro. R.E.M. w heeler has accepted the influence of religion on their administration like the c ities of Egypt and Mesopotamia. But we have no clear idea about it because no te mples have been found at any site from excavations. Nor do we have any religions structure except the Great Bath. It is also not logical to come to the conclu sion that the people of the Harappan cities were ruled by a group of priests. So me scholars have suggested that they were possibly ruled by a class of merchants . • Vedic Age • Introduction The Sanskrit word véda "knowledge, wisdom" is derived from the root vid- "to know" . The chief source of the information on the early history of the Aryans in Indi a is the Vedas, perhaps the oldest literary remains of the Indo-European languag e group. The Vedic literature has been held as sacred because of the belief that they have the divine origin. The Vedic texts may be divided into two broad chro nological categories viz. early Vedic (c. 1500-1000 BC) when most of the hymns o f the Rigveda are considered to be composed, and the later Vedic (c. 1000-600 BC ) to which the remaining Vedas are assigned to. The two phases correspond to two phases of Aryan expansion in India. • 1. Aryans Indo-European philology traditionally used "Aryan" both to denote a people, unde rstood racially or ethnically, and the language group itself ("Aryan speech"), i rrespective of the race or ethnicity of the people speaking its various branches . The Aryans were semi-nomadic, perhaps located originally on the steppes of sou thern Russia and Central Asia, who spoke the parent language of the various Indo -European languages.

Basis of Language: Certain languages are classed as Indo-European languages because of certain ling uistic similarities such as: Sanskrit, French, German, English, Russian Latin, G reek, Hittite, etc. Indo-European, or more properly Proto-Indo-European (PIE), i s the lost ancestral language from which those languages ultimately derive. The "Proto" indicates that the grammar and vocabulary of this long extinct language, probably spoken up until 3000 BC, are a hypothetical reconstruction by modern p hilologists. Traditionally Greek, Latin and Sanskrit were considered the closest languages to PIE, and much of the reconstructed Aryan proto-language is based o n them. Modern Lithuanian, however, is the most archaic living language, closer to the original Aryan speech than any other. There is even an IE language, Tocha rian, attested in Chinese Turkestan, which indicates that Aryans must have made an appearance in the Far East, a long-standing piece of linguistic evidence whic h has been recently confirmed by the discovery of the physical remains of a blon d-haired people in China. • (A) Meaning of the word Arya Arya in Sanskrit holds the meaning civilized or simply referring to an individua l of higher consciousness. Arya, meaning ‘noble’ appears in various Indo-European la nguages. Its plural form i.e. Aryas (nobles) was probably the name the Aryans us ed to describe themselves prior to their dispersal, and it may survive in Eire ( Ireland) and certainly survives in Iran (Aryanam Vaejo="realm of the Aryans"). T he discovery of thousands of such cognate words in widely separated languages, a long with similar grammatical structures, led philologists to conclude, early in the nineteenth century, that most European languages had evolved from common pr oto-language spoken millennia ago by a distinct people who gradually left their original homeland in a series of migrations, carrying their language with them. Perhaps the most famous proof for the prehistoric existence of PIE is the word f or king: rex in Latin, raja in Sanskrit, ri in Old Irish, along with a host of o ther cognates. All are obviously variants of a common word for king. Since none of the peoples speaking these various languages were in physical contact with on e another during the historical period -- i.e. at a time for which written recor ds exist -- comparative philologists inferred that their respective languages mu st have evolved from a single proto-language, which is the only way of explainin g the presence of the same word for "king" among such widely dispersed peoples. Philologists can also, moreover, safely conclude that the Aryans must have had k ings prior to emigrating from their original homeland in southern Russia. In fac t a fairly detailed body of evidence about prehistoric Aryan political organizat ion, marriage practices, and religious beliefs can be reconstructed on the basis of the survival of common vocabulary in the various extant Indo-European langua ges: They worshiped a sky-god, they traced descent through the male line, they r aised cattle, they drank meed, they used horse-drawn chariots (which they probab ly invented) as weapons of war, etc. Even the red, white and blue/green that app ears in so many modern flags may have an Aryan pedigree. It is likely a survival from the Aryan tripartite social division of their communities into priests (wh ite), warriors (red), and herders and cultivators (blue/green). • (B) Physical Appearance As the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states at the beginn ing of its definition, "Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, bl ue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany, originally referred to a people who look ed vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians, peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Adolf Hitler, who lived as a youth in Vienna, Austria, administrated until 1910 by th e anti-semitic mayor Karl Lueger, admired the latter and was exposed to anti-Sem itic and racially-charged books and literature. He developed these concepts in M ein Kampf (1925). He concluded that the Northern European people belonged to the "Aryan race", believed to be superior to all other ethnic groups and races. Thi s belief system, fundamental to the Nazi ideology, held that "Aryans" had been r esponsible for all advances in civilisation and morality in world history, and t hat Jews wanted to destroy it. Hitler also theorized the Lebensraum space, claim ing that Eastern Europe should be submitted to the Reich in order to give "livin

 

 

g space" for the expansion of the "Aryan race." This would be implemented during the war under the name of the Generalplan Ost. In the wake of National Socialist Germany s defeat, the term fell out of general scholarly use in both senses, and "Indo-European" (IE) became the preferred des ignation of the language group, "Indo-Europeans" of both the people who occupied the original Aryan homeland and their descendants, who gradually spread out acr oss Europe, much of the Indian sub-continent, and parts of the Near East. Racial nationalists are not, of course, obliged to adopt the timid PC-lexicon of conte mporary scholarship, but we should be aware of imprecision of "Aryan" as a racia l or ethnic classification. • (C) Characteristics Aryans, or more specifically Indo-Aryans, make their first notable appearance in history around 2000-1500 BC as invaders of Northern India. The Sanskrit Rig Ved a, a collection of religious texts still revered by modern Hindus, records (ofte n enigmatically) their gradual subjugation of the dark-skinned inhabitants, the Dasyus: e.g. "Indra [=Norse Thor, Celtic Taranis] has torn open the fortresses o f the Dasyus, which in their wombs hid the black people. He created land and wat er for Manu [=Aryan man]"; "lower than all besides, hast thou, O Indra, cast dow n the Dasyus, abject tribes of Dasas"; "after slaying the Dasyus, let Indra with his white friends win land, let him win the sun and water"; "Indra subdued the Dasyu color and drove it into hiding." With all-outstripping chariot-wheel, O In dra, Thou, far-famed, hast overthrown the twice ten kings ... Thou goest from fight to fight, intrepidly Destroying castle after castle here with strength. (RV 1.53) The Aryans were remarkably expansionist, and almost everywhere they went they co nquered and subjugated the indigenous peoples, imposing their languages and (to varying degrees) their religious beliefs on the natives, and receiving in turn c ontributions from the peoples whom they conquered. Aryan invasions -- or more ac curately, a long sequence of different invasions by speakers of Indo-European la nguages -- swept across Old Europe beginning as early as the fourth millennium B C, and over time the conquerors and the conquered melted into specific peoples w ith distinctive languages. Most of the contemporary inhabitants of Europe, along with their respective early national cultures, are the result of interaction be tween successive waves of Aryan. • 2. The Vedic Literature (Vedic Samhita) The Vedas are among the oldest sacred texts. The Samhitas date to roughly 1500–100 0 BCE, and the "circum-Vedic" texts, as well as the redaction of the Samhitas, d ate to c. 1000-500 BCE, resulting in a Vedic period, spanning the mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BCE, spanning the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Gavin Flood sums up mainstream estimates, according to which the Rigveda was compiled from a s early as 1500 BCE over a period of several centuries. The Vedic period reaches its peak only after the composition of the mantra texts, with the establishment of the various shakhas all over Northern India which annotated the mantra samhi tas with Brahmana discussions of their meaning, and reaches its end in the age o f Buddha and Panini and the rise of the Mahajanapadas (archaeologically, Norther n Black Polished Ware). Michael Witzel gives a time span of c. 1500 BCE to c. 50 0-400 BCE. Witzel makes special reference to the Near Eastern Mitanni material o f the 14th c. BCE the only epigraphic record of Indo-Aryan contemporary to the R igvedic period. He gives 150 BCE (Patañjali) as a terminus ante quem for all Vedic Sanskrit literature, and 1200 BCE (the early Iron Age) as terminus post quem fo r the Atharvaveda. The general accepted historical chronology of the Vedas ranks the Rig Veda as the first, followed by the Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and finally th e Atharva Veda. Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition alone, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques. • (A) The Vedas The oldest literature of Indian thought is the Veda, a collection of hymns. The Veda was composed in Sanskrit, the intellectual language of both ancient and cla ssical Indian civilizations. Some Vedic hymns and poems address philosophic them

 

es, such as the henotheism that is key to much Hindu theology. Henotheism is the idea that one God takes many different forms, and that although individuals may worship several different gods and goddesses, they really revere but one Suprem e Being. Vedas are four in number viz. Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda. • (i) The Rig-Veda Its traditional date goes back to 3000 BC, something which the German scholar Ma x Mueller accepted. As a body of writing, the Rig-Veda (the wisdom of verses) is nothing short of remarkable. It contains 1028 hymns (10,589 verses which are di vided into ten mandalas or book-sections) dedicated to thirty-three different go ds. The most often addressed gods were nature gods like Indra (rain god; king of heavens), Agni (fire god), Rudra (storm god; the howler ), Soma (the draught o f immortality, an alcoholic brew). • (ii) The Sama-Veda The Samaveda Samhita (from sāman, the term for a melody applied to metrical hymn o r song of praise consists of 1549 stanzas, taken almost entirely (except for 78 stanzas) from the Rigveda. Like the Rigvedic stanzas in the Yajurveda, the Saman s have been changed and adapted for use in singing.The Sama-Veda or the wisdom o f chants is basically a collection of samans or chants, derived from the eighth and ninth books of the Rig-Veda. These were meant for the priests who officiated at the rituals of the soma ceremonies. There are painstaking instructions in Sa ma-Veda about how particular hymns must be sung; to put great emphasis upon soun ds of the words of the mantras and the effect they could have on the environment and the person who pronounced them. • (iii) The Yajur-Veda The Yajurveda Samhita consists of archaic prose mantras and also in part of vers es borrowed and adapted from the Rigveda. Its purpose was practical, in that eac h mantra must accompany an action in sacrifice but, unlike the Samaveda, it was compiled to apply to all sacrificial rites, not merely the Somayajna. There are two major groups of recensions of this Veda, known as the "Black" (Krishna) and "White" (Shukla) Yajurveda (Krishna and Shukla Yajurveda respectively). While Wh ite Yajurveda separates the Samhita from its Brahmana (the Shatapatha Brahmana), the Black Yajurveda intersperses the Samhita with Brahmana commentary. Of the B lack Yajurveda four major recensions survive (Maitrayani, Katha, Kapisthala-Kath a, Taittiriya). The Yajur-Veda or the wisdom of sacrifices lays down various sacred invocations (yajurs) which were chanted by a particular sect of priests called adhvaryu. The y performed the sacrificial rites. The Veda also outlines various chants which s hould be sung to pray and pay respects to the various instruments which are invo lved in the sacrifice. • (iv) The Atharva-Veda The Artharvaveda Samhita is the text belonging to the Atharvan and Angirasa poe ts. It has 760 hymns, and about 160 of the hymns are in common with the Rigveda. Most of the verses are metrical, but some sections are in prose. It was compile d around 900 BCE, although some of its material may go back to the time of the R igveda and some parts of the Atharva-Veda are older than the Rig-Veda though not in linguistic form. The Atharvanaveda is preserved in two recensions, the Paippalāda and Śaunaka. Accord ing to Apte it had nine schools (shakhas). The Paippalada text, which exists in a Kashmir and an Orissa version, is longer than the Saunaka one; it is only part ially printed in its two versions and remains largely untranslated. The Atharva-Veda (the wisdom of the Atharvans) is called so because the families of the atharvan sect of the Brahmins have traditionally been credited with the composition of the Vedas. It is a compilation of hymns but lacks the awesome gra ndeur which makes the Rig-Veda such a breathtaking spiritual experience. • (B) Upanishadas The Upanishads are the commentaries appended to the Aranyakas but of a more esot eric character. The term Upanishad means sitting down near; this implies the stu dents sitting down near their Guru to learn the big secret. In the splendid isol

 

 

 

ation of their forest abodes, the philosophers who composed the Upanishads conte mplated upon the various mysteries of life and its creation – whether common, or m etaphysical. The answers were however not open to all, but only for select stude nts. The reason for this was probably the postulate that not everyone can handle knowledge. The composition of the Upanishads marks a significant and stride forward in the direction of knowing the mystery of earth s creation and one comes tantalizingly close to the answers. Through episodes, commentaries, stories, traditions and d ialogue, the Upanishads unfold the fascinating tale of creation, life, the essen ce of life and of that beyond to the seeker of truth. There is no exact date for the composition of the Upanishads. They continued to be composed over a long period, the core being over 7th -5th centuries BC. The U panishads were originally called Vedanta, which literally means the conclusion t o the Vedas. In the Upanishads, views about Brahman (the Absolute, or God) and Atman (one s t rue self) were proposed. In total there are 108 Upanishadas but there are 18 principal Upanishads viz. Brhadaranyaka Upanishad The Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad is widely accepted to be the most important of all Upanishads. It has three khandas or parts. The madhu khanda contemplates on the relationship between the individual and the Universal self. The muni khanda or y ajnavalkya is a debate which goes on to give the philosophical backing to the ea rlier teaching. The khila khanda tackles various rituals of worship and meditati on. Chandogya Upanishad This Upanishad is a part of the Sama-Veda (see The Vedas). The name comes from t he singer of the songs (samans) who is called Chandoga. The initial chapters of the Upanishad, discuss the ritual of sacrifice. The others debate the origin and profundity of the concept of Om, among other things. Aitareya Upanishad This one forms part of the Rig-Veda. The purpose is to make the reader understan d the deeper meaning of sacrifice and to take him away from the outer trappings of the actual act. Taittriya Upanishad A part of the Yajur-Veda, this Upanishad is divided into three sections or valli s. The siksa valli deals with the phonetics of the chants, while the others, bra hmananda valli and bhrgu valli deal with self-realization. Isa Upanishad Also called the Isavasya Upanishad, this book deals with the union of God, the w orld, being and becoming. The stress is on the Absolute in relation with the wor ld (paramesvara). The gist of the teachings is that a person s worldly and other worldly goals need not necessarily be opposed to each other. Kena Upanishad The name of this Upanishad comes from the first word kena, or by whom. It has tw o sections of prose and two of poetry. The verses deal with the supreme spirit o r the absolute principle (brahmaana) and the prose talks of ishvara (god). The m oral of the story is that the knowledge of ishvara reveals the way to self-reali zation. Katha Upanishad Also called the Kathakopanishad, this Upanishad uses a story (katha) involving a young Brahmin boy called Nachiketa to reveal the truths of this world and the o ther beyond the veil. Prashna Upanishad Prashna literally means question, and this book is part of the Athrava-Veda. It addresses questions pertaining to the ultimate cause, the power of Om, relation of the supreme to the constituents of the world. Mundaka Upanishad This book also belongs to the Atharva-Veda. The name is derived from mund or t o shave, meaning that anyone who understands the Upanishads is s(h)aved from ign orance. This book inscribes the importance of knowing the supreme brahmaana, onl

 

 

 

 

 

y by which knowledge can one attain self-realization. Mandukya Upanishad The Mandukya is an exquisite treatise which expounds on the principle of Om and its metaphysical significance in various states of being, waking, dream and the dreamless sleep. The subtlest and most profound of the Upanishads, it is said th at this alone will lead one to the path of enlightenment. Svetasvatara Upanishad The name of this Upanishad is after its teacher. It comments on the unity of the souls and the world in one all-encompassing reality. The concept of there being one god is also talked about here. It is dedicated to Rudra, the storm god. Kausitaki Brahmana Upanishad The Upanishad has come down to us in bits here and pieces there. The core of the text is dedicated to illustrating the fact that the path to release is through knowledge. Maitri Upanishad This is a comparatively later Upanishad as it has references to the Trinity of H indu Gods (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) which is a later development, and plus refe rences to the world being illusory in character reflects Buddhist influence. Subala Upanishad Belonging to the Yajur-Veda, this Upanishad puts down a dialogue between the sag e Subala and Brahma the creator of the Hindu Trinity of Gods. It discusses the u niverse and the absolute. Jabala Upanishad Belonging to the Athrava-Veda this Upanishad addresses some questions pertaining to renunciation. Paingala Upanishad The Paingala is again a dialog, this between Yajnavalkya, the sage mentioned the Brhad-aranyaka s muni khanda and Paingala, a student of his. It discusses medit ation and its effects. Kaivalya Upanishad This Upanishad delves into the state of kaivalya or being alone, elated, enlight ened. Vajrasucika Upanishad Belonging to the Sama-Veda the Vajrasucika reflects on the nature of the Supreme Being. The core of the teachings of the Upanishads is summed up in three words: “tat tvam asi” meaning “you are that!”. • 3. Early Vedic Period The geographical area mentioned in the Rigvedic hymns give an idea about initial Aryan settlements in the sub-Continent. The earliest Aryans lived I eastern Afg hanistan, Punjab, and the fringes of the Uttar Pradesh. The Rigveda refers to th e western tributaries of the Indus, the Gomati (modern Gomal), the Krumu (modern Kurram) and the Kubha (modern Kabul) rivers. The Suvastu (Swat) is the most imp ortant river mentioned to the north of the Kabul. The name implies ‘fair dwellings’. The main focus of the Rigvedic culture seems to be the Punjab and Delhi region. The most frequently mentioned rivers are the Sindhu and the Saraswati, the Dris hadwati (Ghaggar) and the five streams Sutlej (Shatadru), Beas (Vipasa), Ravi (P arushni), Chenab (Askini), and Jhelum (Vitasta). The early Aryan settlers were e ngaged in taking possessions of the Land of the Seven Rivers (Saptsaindhav) that led to conflicts among various Aryan tribes. Dasrajna Yuddha (Battle of Ten Kings) The most famous of the Aryan tribal wars to which the Rigveda refers to was the Battle of the Ten Kings (Dasrajnayuddha). Sudas was the king of the Bharata trib e whose chief priest was Vishvamitra. Vishvamitra had led him to victorious camp aigns on the Vipasa and the Shatadru. Sudas however later dismissed Vishvamitra who felt slighted and formed a confederacy of ten tribes, five of whom are refer red as Panchjanah (five tribes). In the ensuing battle on the banks of the Parus hni river Sudas was victorious. Aja, Shigru, Yakshu, Krivi are some of the tribe s involved in the battle.

 

Panis: The chief opponents of the Aryans were however non-Aryans. Rigvedic passa ges show a general feeling of hostility towards the people known as Panis. Panis are described as wealthy but refused to patronize the Vedic priests or perform Vedic rituals and stole cattle from the Aryans. Dasas and Dasyus: The Dasas have been equated with the tribal people called the Dahaes mentioned i n the ancient Iranian literature and are sometimes considered as a branch of ear ly Aryans. Divodasa, a chief of the Bharata clan is said to have defeated the no n-Aryan Sambara. The suffix dasa suggests the Aryan linkage. The instances of the slaughter of the Dasyus i.e. Dasyu Hatya occurs more than D asas in the Rigveda. Dasyu corresponds to the Dahyu in the ancient Iranian texts . The Dasas and Dasyus were probably those people who originally belonged to the Aryan speaking stock and during course of time acquired the cultural traits dif ferent from the Rigvedic people. The Rigveda describes them as ‘black skinned’, ‘malig nant’, ‘non-sacrificing’ and speaking a language totally different from the Aryans. It has been, thus, suggested by the scholars that both Dasa and Dasyus conflict depicts the tribal wars and that they migrated in successive waves. In a sense t he subjugation of the earlier inhabitants meant reversal to a comparatively less advanced way of life. The vhief Aryan God is described as the Destroyer of Fort s (Purandar) and that He destroyed as many as ninety forts for his Protégé Divodasa. The early Aryans lacked advanced technology while they used horses and chariots . Better and ribbed arms did give them edge over their enemies but their knowled ge of metal seems to be limited. The Rigveda mentions only one metal i.e. Ayas. Meaning of the term Ayas has been taken as Bronze or Copper because archaeologic al evidences do not support sign of widespread use of other metals. • (A) Aryans in India The Aryans first crossed the North-West passes and then settled in the modern Pu njab, Sind and North-West Frontier Province. But this was not an easy task becau se they had to face a cultured race i.e., the Dravidians. Their dogged resistanc e is referred to in the Rigveda. In the end they had to bow before the superior might of the Aryans. At this time the Aryans were still living in that area whic h came to be known as Sapt-Sindhu. They had not as yet advanced to the Gangetic Valley. The Rigveda refers to a blo ody battle of Ten kings, where the Bharata tribe had to face a confederacy of te n kings but in the end the former came out victorious under the guidance of the eminent Rishi Vasistha. This age is known as The, ”Early Vedic Age” in the history o f India. Later on, in the Later Vedic Period, the Aryans moved Eastward and North-ward an d occupied the area now represented by U.P., Bihar, Orissa, Bengal and other par ts of Northern India. They gave the name ‘Aryavarta’ to all this region. It was during this period that the Aryans had to fight another bloody battle of the Mahabharata and Lord Krishna gave his high philosophy now contained in the “Bh agvad Gita”. But now, the Aryans had no fear of the resistance of the native tribe s whom they called “Dasyus”. • (B) Early Vedic Society The foundation of the social life in the Rigvedic age was the family. The eldest male member, who was known as ‘Grihyapati’, exercised full authority over all the m embers of his family. They showed great hospitality to their guests. Their famil y life was thus marked by simplicity and happiness Women enjoyed a very respectable position in the society. A woman was considered to be the mistress of the house and she took part in every religious ceremony. There was no Purdah system and consequently not much restriction was imposed on their movements. They were given high education and some of them like Visvavara, Ghosha and Apala even composed the “mantras” of the Rigveda. They were allowed a certain amount of freedom in choosing their husbands. Ordina rily a man married only once, though among the princely class polygamy was not p robably unknown. The ties of marriage were held sacred and indissoluble. Widows were, however, allowed to remarry, probably in such cases where the dead had lef t no son. The unhealthy custom of child-marriage was evidently unknown.

It is held by most of the scholars that the caste system did not exist in the Ri gvedic times. The people were roughly classified under four “Varnas” (or classes) – Br ahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and sudras – to perform the various functions in a bet ter way. There was little restriction typical of caste in its mature form. There was hardly any taboo on inter-marriage and change of occupation. • (i) Food and Dress Besides wheat and barley-cakes, milk was the chief article of their food togethe r with its products like butter, ghee, curd and a kind of cheese. Fruits vegetab les also formed a considerable portion of the dietary of the Rigvedic Indians. A s regards meat, it was that of sheep and goats and was freely eaten by the peopl e. The cow was already deemed ‘aghnya’ (not to be slaughtered), because of her usefu lness. The dress of the Aryans too was very simple and generally consisted of three par ts, namely an under-garment (nivi or dhoti etc) a garment (vasa or shirt, etc), and an over-garment (Adhivasa or mantle or cloak of cotton and wool). Turbans we re also commonly used by them. Sometime these garments were beautifully embroide red and adorned with gold. • (ii) Amusements Their favourite amusements were horse racing, chariot racing and hunting. They h ad also a great fascination for gambling with dice, though this game has been re ferred to in the Rigveda as leading to ruin and slavery. The Aryans also enjoyed dancing and music to the accompaniment of vina (lute) vana (flute), and dundubh i (drum). • (C) Economy The Rigvedic Aryans were primarily an agriculturist people. Their principal occu pation was the cultivation of land. The agricultural products were barely, wheat and rice, but cotton and oil-seeds were also grown. The water for irrigation ca me from wells, canals and sometimes from lakes, but generally the people depende d upon rain. The fields were cultivated by a pair of oxen. The domestication of animals was their another important profession. Besides cow s other domesticated animals were bulls, oxen, horses, sheep, goats, asses and d ogs. The Aryans were not indifferent to trade and commerce. The exchange of articles on the system of barter was in vogue and generally the cow was regarded as the s tandard of value. According to some scholars (e.g. Dr. Apte) a sort of coinage k nown as “Nishka” was also prevalent in those days. Trade was mainly carried on by la nd but trade by sea was not quite unknown. Besides the above occupations the Aryans indulged in many other professions and industries. The chief industries referred to in the Rigveda are those of carpent ers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, weavers, leatherers, potters and physicians, etc. None of these professions were regarded as inferior and below dignity. Any body could choose any profession of his choice. • (D) Political Life The Rigvedic Aryans lived in tribes called ‘Janas’. Each Jana had its own ruler who was generally called ‘Rajan’. Kingship was generally hereditary but elected monarchi es were not known. When the situation demanded, the people could select a worthy monarch of their own choice from among the members of the royal family or the n obility. The main duties of the king were to secure internal peace, to protect his people from foreign invasions, to lead his tribe in times of war, administer justice a nd to maintain a large number of priests to perform various sacrifices for him a s well as for his subjects. The king was assisted by a number of ministers, e.g, ‘purohit’, and ‘senani’ etc. The ‘pur ohit’ was the religious adviser of the king and enjoyed a very dignified position ‘s enani’ was the leader of the army and helped the king against his enemies. The kin g had no doubt other officials but we have no detailed knowledge of them. These ministers and officials were all men of high character and thus exercised a sort of great check on the autocracy of the king. The king’s autocracy was also somewhat limited by the two popular assemblies – the s abha and the samiti. The samiti was the National Assembly of the people while th

e sabha was the council of Elders, wherein only selected few (or prominent membe rs of the tribe) were called. In these popular assemblies free discussions were held and decisions by the vote of majority were made. These assemblies worked mo re or less on democratic lines. The Rigveda also gives us some idea of the mode of warfare. The king and his nob les fought on chariots while the common soldiers fought on foot. The chief offen sive weapons were bows and arrows, swords, lances, spears and axes. The Aryans n ever attacked an unarmed or wounded enemy. It was regarded as an act much below their dignity to kill those who did not take part in the battle or to attack the sleeping enemy. In this way the Aryans had developed a high standard of warfare . • 4. Later Vedic Period The history of the later Vedic period is based on the texts compiled after the R ig Veda. The collections of the Vedic hymns or the Mantras were known as Samhita s. The expression ‘Later Vedic Age’ comprises the far reaching changes and developme nts that took place in the religious, social, economic and political conditions of the people during the period when the later Samhitas, Sama, Yajur and Atharva and the Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads were composed. For the purpose of s inging, the prayers of the Rigveda were set to tune, and was known as Sama Veda. Two other collections- Yajur Veda and Ataharva Veda were also later on compiled . The Yajurveda contains hymns and also rituals which have to accompany their re citation. The Atharva Veda contains charms and spells to ward off evils and dise ases and as such throw light on the beliefs and practices of the non-Aryans also . The Samhitas were followed by Brahmanas which are full of rituali9stic formula e and explain the social and religious meaning of the rituals. The later vedic w orks show a wider knowledge geography than is found in Rig Veda. They mention th e two seas, the Arabian and the Indian Ocean. Several Himalayan peaks are also m entioned. The Vindhyan mountains are indirectly referred to. • (A) PGW-Iron Phase Culture The Aryans seemed to have forgotten their old home in the Punjab. Reference to it are rare and a few describe it as an impure land where Vedic sacrifices were not performed. All these later Vedic texts were compiled in the upper Gangetic b asin circa 1000-600 BC. Nearly 700 sites termed as PGW (Painted Grey Ware) have been found archaeologically belonging to the same period in the area. These are so called because they were inhabited by people who used earthen bowls and dishe s made of painted grey pottery. They also used iron weapons. The geographical ar ea identified to the period is roughly the present day western Uttar Pradesh,and the adjoining areas of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The Aryans had begun to e mphasize purity of blood as they settled and their original class divisions of n obility and ordinary tribesmen were hardened to exclude the Dasas. At the same t ime, Brahmanas- the priests, the sole custodians and extrapolators of the increa singly complex oral traditions of the sacrificial religion, began to claim high privileges for their skill and training. The sacred texts of the Sama, Yajur and Atharva Vedas, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads all originate in this period. L ike the Rig Veda, they tell us much about developments in religious life, but on ly offer glimpses of the Aryanization of the subcontinent. Thus, during the late r Vedic period, between 1000 and 600 BC, the centre of Aryan culture and power s hifted from the Punjab and the northwest to the Doab, whence their influence con tinued to spread eastwards and southwards. The great epic poems, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and the Puranas claim to relate to this period. Though they a re unreliable as historical sources, being overlaid with accretions from later c enturies, it s possible to extract some of the facts entwined with the martial m yths and legends. Excavations at Hastinapur, datable to 900 BC to 500 BC have revealed faint begin ning of town life but they certainly do not match the descriptions given in the Mahabharata. This is because the epic was compiled much later and the author was projecting the history in an advanced stage of material life than it actually b elonged to. The great battle of Kurukshetra - the central theme of the Mahabhara ta - is certainly historical, and took place near modern Delhi some time in the ninth and eighth centuries BC. It was the culmination of a dynastic dispute amon

 

g the Kurus, who, with their neighbours the Panchalas, were the greatest of the Aryan tribes. Archeological evidence has been found of the two main settlements mentioned in the epic: Indraprastha (Delhi) and Hastinapura, further north on th e Ganges; the latter was the capital of the Kurus, two of whose kings, Parikshit and Janamejaya, are described as mighty conquerors in the Vedic literature. Fro m the tradtions we come to know that Hastinapur was flooded and the remnant of t he Kuru clan mved to Kaushambi near Allahabad. The Panchala kingdom which covere d the modern districts of Bareilley, Badaun and Farrukhabad is famous for its ph ilosopher kings and brahmana theologians. • (B) Eastward Expansion Towards the end of the Vedic period knowledge of iron spread eastwards and the e arliest iron implements discovered in the area belongs to 7th century BC. The me tal itself called as Shyama or Krishna Ayas. By the time of Kurukshetra battle, the Aryans had advanced into the mid-Gangetic valley to establish Kosala, with i ts capital at Ayodhya - according to the Ramayana, the realm of Rama, the god-he ro. Vedic literature mentions neither Rama nor his father Dasharatha, but does r efer to Rama s father-in-law, Janaka of Videha. Certainly the extension of Aryan influence to South India, reflected in the myth of Rama s invasion of Sri Lanka to rescue Sita, did not occur until much later. At this time, the megalithic cu ltures of south remained untouched by the Aryan invaders. The Aryanization of no rth India, however, continued throughout the period, and began to penetrate cent ral India as well. The story of Videh-Matthav in Shatpath Brahman describes the carrying of fire to the east in which Gautam Rahugan, the Purohit of Videh-Matta hav helped. The migrating tribes pushed east beyond Kosala to found the kingdoms of Kashi (t he region of Varanasi), Videha (east of the River Gandak and north of the Ganges ), and Anga on the border of Bengal. The Yadava tribe settled around Mathura, on the Yamuna; a branch of the Yadavas is said later to have colonized Saurashtra in modern Gujarat. Further east, down the Yamuna, the Vatsa kingdom established its capital at Kaushambi. Other tribes pushed southwards down the River Chambal to found the kingdom of Avanti; some penetrated as far as the Narmada, and by th e end of the period Aryan influence probably extended into the northwest Deccan. The territorial expansion was assisted by significant developments in Aryan civi lization. The role of expanded knowledge of metallurgy and technology was assist ed by the rapid progress made in the field of agriculture. Agriculture not only supported the population but more could be spared now for trade and also as surp lus so that Aryans could concentrate on political expansion. Later Vedic litera ture mentions tin, lead, silver and iron. The use of iron, together with the tam ing of elephants, facilitated the rapid clearance of the forests and jungles for settlement. They now grew a large range of crops, including rice; specialized t rades and crafts grew considerably, and merchants re-established trade with Meso potamia, curtailed since the days of the Indus civilization. • (C) Economy Economy • (i) Agriculture Agriculture was the chief means of livelihood. Late Vedic texts speak of 6,8,12 and even 24 oxen yoked to the plough. The ploughshare was made of wood and bullo cks were not enough because of their large scale use in variety of rituals. The Shatpath Brahman speaks at length about ploughing rituals and devotes an entire section to rites connected to ploughing the Atharva Veda gives a ritual for lead ing the river water into new channels and it also speaks of spells to avoid drou ght and excessive rain. . As the story of lending hand in ploughing the field by King and father of Sita, Janak of Videh, suggests, even the kings did not hesit ate to take to manual work. People continued to produce barley but during the pe riod rice and wheat (godhuma) became chief crops. The Vedic people became acquai nted with rice in the doab and it is called Vrihi in the texts. The remains of r ice discovered from Hastina pur belong to 8th century BC. Various kinds of lenti ls were also produced by the people. During this period a great progress was mad e in the methods of cultivation. Some sort of a system of artificial irrigation had now developed. The plough became large and heavy enough to require a team of

 

 

six and even more oxen. The cow-dung had now begun to be used as manure to incr ease the production. All this does not suggest disappearance of pastoralism. The remains of cattle bones bearing cut marks show the prevalence of consumption of meat. Shatpath Brahman refers to Yajnavalkya’s spirited argument in favour of mea t eating. • (ii) Trade Reference to money lending first occurs in the Shatpath Brahman, which describes a usurer as Kusidin. Trade was another important occupation of the people durin g this period. The merchants had by now organised themselves into guilds, which tried their utmost to protect the interests of the merchants. Some sort of coina ge in the form of “Nishka” “Satamana” and “Krishmana” had probably come into being. The cow as a unit of value was thus gradually being replaced. The Aryans had by this tim e come to know the sea and so some historians believe that sea-borne trade was p robably known to these people. The settled life to which the Aryan people had be come used to during this period, gave rise to big cities later on. • (iii) Crafts and Industries The transition from pastoral to agricultural life many types of crafts and indus tries centered around agriculture and allied activities and trade grew. Plates a nd ornaments of silver were made in this period. The use of iron revolutionized the processes of cultivation and resulted in surplus food production, which led to the growth of many towns. During this period articles of tin and lead were al so made in a huge manner. Carpenters also made ships with two oars. This means t hat carpenters craft was well developed during this period. In this period besid es woolens, cloth was also made with linen and hemp but there is no reference to cotton clothes at that time. Mention may be made of smeltering, smithery, carpe ntry, weaving, leather works, jewellery making, dyeing, pottery making, works in glass etc. There are also references of some other crafts in the literature of this period and these can be mentioned as followed making of bows, liquor, baske ts, ropes, dyeing, sewing and mat making etc. • (D) Later Vedic society Transition towards sedentary life due to increasing independence on agriculture and diversification of arts and crafts leading to surplus accumulation now made the Aryans able to certain extent the priestly and ruling class. This characteri stic of changed economic set up had its social and political cosequences. • (i) Stratification of Society By 1000 BC, a fourfold division of society had been given religious sanction in a hymn, which describes how the four classes (varnas, literally "colour") emanat ed from the mouth, arms, thighs and feet of the primeval man (purusha-Sukta). Th e varnas of priest, warrior, peasant and serf (brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and s hudra) have persisted as the fundamental structure of society to the present day . The first three encompassed the main divisions within the Aryan tribes, which later assumed the status of "twice-born" (dvija); the Dasas and other non-Aryan peoples became the shudras, who served the three higher classes. The Brahmans or the priestly class though continued to be respected in the society had now lost much of their control on the power of the state. All the power of the State had now concentrated in the Kshatriyas. The centre of gravity was the king and not the priest. In this period the caste system was becoming somewhat rigid. Day by day it was becoming very difficult to change one’s own caste. Many new notions as regards inter marriage, inter-dining, inter-mixing and change of occupation had developed and castes became more or less hereditary. Now in place of four main ‘Va rnas’ many new castes were born, leading to the complexities of the caste system. The rich and the royal classes had begun to marry many wives. They were also add icted to gambling and drinking intoxicating liquors. Dancing girls and prostitut es were now regarded as a source of great pleasure. In the life of the common pe ople, no great change appeared. The dress, food and drink along with amusements remained almost the same as in the Rigvedic times. The people lived in villages and small towns, and their main occupation was agriculture as before. • (ii) Social Organisation: Varnashrama Dharma The varnashrama Dharma refers to the institutionalization of the stratification in society in terms of Varna and the four stages of life. Varna literlly means c

olour, which later on with distinctive division of labour and diversification of socio-economic activities was identified with birth and solidified into caste s ystem. Ashramas were idealistic division of an individual’s life for the performan ce of all socially acceptable actions one should perform. Varna System The term, etymologically, itself has some racial connotation. The later Vedic so ciety came to be divided into four varnas called the Brahmanas, rajanyas or ksha triyas, vaisyas and shudras, each varna was assigned with its duty. Brahmanas conducted rituals and sacrifices for their clients and for themselves, and also officiated at the festivals associated with agricultural operations. T hey prayed for the success of their patron in war, and in return the king pledge d not to do any harm to hem. Sometimes, the brahmanas came into conflict with th e rajanyas, who represented the order of the warrior-nobles, for position of sup remacy. Towards the end of the Vedic period, they began to engage in trade. All the three higher varnas shared one common feature, they were known as Dvijas (tw ice born), i.e., they were entitled to upanayana or investiture with the sacred thread according to the Vedic mantras. The fourth varna was deprived of the sacr ed thread ceremony, and with its began the imposition of disabilities on the shu dras. Outside the caste-system, there stood two important bodies of men, namely, Vratyas and Nishadas. Chandalas and Paulkasas were abhorred. According to the Aitareya Brahmana, in relation to the prince, the brahmana is d escribed as a seeker of livelihood and an acceptor of gifts but removable at wil l. A vaisya is called tribute-paying, meant for being beaten, and to be oppresse d at will. The worst position is reserved for the shudra. He is called the serva nt of another. Certain section of artisans such as rathakara or chariot-maker en joyed a higher status, and were entitled to the sacred thread ceremony. The term Nagara appears for the first time showing faint beginning of town life. Women & Family Women were generally giver a lower position. Although some women theologians too k part in philosophic discussions and some queens participated in coronation rit uals, ordinarily women were thought to be inferior and subordinate to men. The b irth of a son was welcomed. The later practice of Sati was not prevalent on any considerable scale because widow remarriage was a socially sanctioned practice. Women were even excluded from inheriting the property.In a contemporary text how ever woman is classed with dice and wine as the three chief evils. Women ceased to take part in the deliberation of the Sabha. Women were now gradually losing t heir position of importance in the religious and social sphere. The king and the nobility had now begun to marry more than one wife.Yet total subjection of wome n was not present. High education was, however, imparted to women. The princess es were allowed to choose their husbands. The practices of sati, child-marriage, purdah and child infanticide were not heard of. Gargi was enough as scholar aga inst Yajnavalkya who chided her and threatened that if she did not stopped talki ng, her head might fell down. Family became increasingly patriarchal. The patriarch had total control over fam ily’s property and members. Gotra System: The institution of gotra appeared in later Vedic times. Literally, it means the cow-pen or the place where cattle belonging to the whole clan are kept. The gotra has been regarded as a mechanism for widening the socio-politica l ties, as new relationships were forged between hitherto unrelated people. Peop le began to practise gotra exogamy. No marriage could take place between persons belonging to the same gotra or having the same ancestor. • (iii) Ashrama Dharma Ashramas or four stages of life were not well established in early Vedic times. In the post-Vedic texts, we hear of four ashramas: that of brahmachari or studen t, grihastha or householder, vanaprastha or partial retirement and sanyasa or co mplete retirement from the world. But only three are mentioned in the later Vedi c texts. The last or the fourth stage had not been well-established in Later Ved ic times. 4th Ashrama only mentioned in Jabala Upanishad. According to the four ashrams of life a man was expected to lead his life in 4 s tages: -

1. Brahmacharya: - This stage is the first one and it begins at the age of 20 an d extends up to 25 years. This is the time when man leads the life of student an d practices celibacy. The motto of this phase is to train man to discipline hims elf. This is the perfect time to inculcate values like self-restraint, knowledge and obedience. 2. Grihastha: - At this point of time man needs to pay heed to his social and fa mily life. This phase begins from 25 and lasts till 60 years. Grihastha is a cr ucial stage in one s life where man has to balance both his familial and social duties. He is married and manages his household and at the same time looks after the needs of the world outside. This is the first stage where he puts his knowl edge to use. He has to discharge the duties of a son, brother, husband, father a nd a member of the community. From here he moves onto the next stage. 3. Vanaprastha: - This is the step to Partial renunciation. This stage ushers in the life of man at an age of 50 and lasts till he is 74. His children are grown up and he slowly moves away for the material ties. It is his age for retirement and starts walking on a path that will lead him to the Divine. 4. Sannyasa: The last stage in his life comes when he completely snaps off his w orldly ties. This phase begins at 74 and lasts till he dies. He is completely fr ee from the emotional attachments. It is at this age that he becomes an ascetic and completely dedicates his life to serve God. The Four Stages of Life reiterates what the Indian saints have always professed. A true devotee is he who knows his duties and fulfills them. Society needs both kinds of people-he who abandons all to pursue god and he who stay within a soci al institution and strike a balance between Karma and Dharma. Ideas like this ca n never grow old. As a result the Ashram System is still followed in India, cons ciously or unconsciously. Although they are not strictly implemented but even to day an Indian has a life of a student, a family man, then he retires. As old age seeps in, he passes on his responsibilities to his children and moves closer to spiritualism. • (iv) Marriage Broadly two types of marriage on the basis of Varna distinction can be identifie d- the Anuloma and Pratiloma. Anuloma Marriage: Marriage of a man with a woman below his varna was called Anul oma. It was sanctioned by the sacred texts. Pratiloma Marriage: Pratiloma marriage was the marriage of a girl or women to a man lower than her own varna. It was not sanctioned by the sacred texts. Eight types of marriage were prevalent in the later Vedic age. Of these, four (B rahman, Daiva, Arsa and Prajapati) were generally approved and were permissible to Brahmans. These were religious marriages and were indissoluble. Types of Marriages Brahma Marriage of a duly dowered girl to a man of the same varna with Vedic ri tes and rituals Daiva Father gives the daughter to the sacrificial priests as part of fee or d akshina. Arsa A token bride-price of a cow and a bull is given. Prajapati Marriage without dowry and bride-price. Gandharva Marriage by the consent of two parties, often clandestine. A spe cial form of it was swayamvara or self choice. Asura Marriage by purchase. Paisacha It is seduction of a girl while asleep, mentally deranged or dru nk, hence it can hardly be called a marriage. Rakshasa Marriage by Capture • (v) Diet, Clothing & Amusement The staple diet was milk and ghee, vegetables, fruit and barely. Wheat was rarel

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y eaten. On ceremonial occasions at a religious feast or the arrival of a guest, a more elaborate meal usually including the meat of oxen, goats, sheep and bird s were consumed after being washed with sura. Fish and other river animals were also relished. The guests were also served vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods, or at least one non-vegetarian food was compulsory. Music, both vocal and instru mental, was the major source of amusements. Playing of veena, drum flute, harp a nd cymbals were more common, also were dance. Chariot-racing and gambling were o ther sources of amusement. Clothes were simple. Two piece clothes were normally worn: uttariya or the upper garment and antariya or the lower garment. There was no difference between the clothes of male and female. Ornaments were used by bo th the sexes and bangles were worn by privileged few, Shoes were used. Use of oi l, comb, mirror razors, hair ointment and a few cosmetics was known. • (E) Political Implications of the Age Vedic culture and society was transformed by mutual acculturation between the Ar yans and indigenous peoples. By the end of the Vedic period, the Aryan tribes ha d consolidated into little kingdoms, each with its capital city. Some were repub lics, but generally the power of the tribal assemblies was dwindling, to be repl aced by a new kind of politics centred on a king, who ruled a geographical area. His relatives and courtiers formed a rudimentary administrative system - known as "Jewel Bearers" (ratnins), they included the chief priest, the chamberlain an d palace officials. Kingship was becoming more absolute, limited only by the inf luence of the priesthood - a relationship between temporal and sacred power that became crucial. The Brahmana literature, compiled by the priests, contains inst ructions for the performance of sacrifices symbolizing royal power, such as the royal consecration ceremonies (rajasuya) and the horse sacrifice (ashvamedha). T hus, the priests sustained belief in the association of kingship with divinity t hrough their rituals and assisted new political institutions to emerge. Not all religious specialists were committed to these political developments, an d the evolution of Aryan civilization in the late Vedic period also involved a d egree of introspection and pessimism. The disintegration of tribal identity crea ted a profound sense of insecurity, which combined with doubts as to the efficac y of sacrificial rituals led to the emergence of nonconformists and ascetics. Th eir teachings were set down in the metaphysical literature of the Upanishads and the Aranyakas, which laid the foundations for the various philosophical systems developed in later periods. • Rise of Heretical sects • Introduction The mid-first millennium BC is often regarded as a landmark in world history. It was in this period that saw the emergence of thinkers such as Zarathustra in Ir an, Kong Zi in China, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in Greece, and Mahavira and Gautama Buddha, among many others, in India. They tried to understand the myster ies of existence and the relationship between human beings and the cosmic order. This was also the time when new kingdoms and cities were developing and social and economic life was changing in a variety of ways in the Ganga valley. A fresh look was needed to understand and explain the socio-economic developments and t heir effect on life of the people. This period witnessed the birth of several saints who revolutionized the religio us world. Lord Buddha and lord Mahavira were the most famous and important among these saints. Purna Kashyapa, Makkhali Ghosalaputra, Ajit Keshambalin, Pakkadhu Kachyayan, Sajayer Velittha Putta, Nirganth Putta or lord Mahavira are six reli gious leaders who find mention in the Buddhist texts. Both Buddha and Mahavira s everely criticized Brahmans religion and opposed yajnas and sacrifices. They pre ached people to break the bonds of caste system and sectarianism as well. They l aid stress upon the self-discipline, right conduct, right action, good character etc. • 1. Age of Intellectual Ferment The time was one of the great social changes, when old tribal form of life were breaking up and absorbed in larger monarchical kingdoms. The feeling of group so lidarity which the tribe provided was removal and men stood face to face with th e world changing. A new order was coming into being. Despite the great growth of

material civilsation of the time the hearts of many were failing them, for fear of what should come to pass upon earth. It is chiefly to this deep feeling of i nsecurity that we must attribute the growth of pessimism and asceticism in the m iddle centuries of the 1st millennium BC In the given socio-politico- economic background in the eastern parts of Ganges, the ascetic with his severe penance claimed the heights for above the laevifica l priests, Apart superhuman powers he had earned on the material plane also- hon or and respect as an ordinary man he could never hope for, and complete freedom from worldly caves and fears, The idea of cosmos due to sacrifice was giving gro unds and losing to idea of cosmos due to penance, specially penance of Shiva, me ditating forever in the Himalayas. The Background The sacrificial tradition In Vedic age, the Aryans worshipped the different powers of nature, gods etc. Th ere were several pre-existing traditions of thought, religious belief and practi ce, including the early Vedic tradition, known from the Rigveda, compiled betwee n c.1500 and 1000 BC. The Rigveda consists of hymns in praise of a variety of de ities, especially Agni, Indra and Soma. Many of these hymns were chanted when sa crifices were performed, where people prayed for cattle, sons, good health, long life, etc. At first, sacrifices were performed collectively.Later (c. 1000 BCE500 BCE onwards) some were performed by the heads of households for the wellbein g of the domestic unit. More elaborate sacrifices, such as therajasuya and ashva medha, were performed by chiefs and kings who depended on Brahmana priests to co nduct the ritualIn due course of time this concept changed and god was considere d to be absolute, willful and controller of all the acts and action of human bei ng. Thus the position of man became very low and humble before the god. It, ther efore, became necessary for the religious reformers to aim reforms by having sym pathy with man. The simplicity of the religion in Vedic age had become a thing o f past. Religion had become very rigid. There were innumerable gods and goddesse s and their worship had become showy and complicated, a reform was, therefore ex pedient to remedy this situation. There were very elaborate and expensive rites and rituals had taken place of simplicity and purity of religion and philosophy of the Vedic age. Sometimes sixteen or seventeen purohits were required for perf ormance of a Yajna which was not within the means of a common man. Sudras were c ompletely prohibited from the study of Vedic literature and the performance of y ajana. These were the reasons that created a sense of spiritual unrest and dissa tisfaction among the people in the society. Social evils: One of the main reasons of the religious revolution was the social evil, which had crept in the society due to deterioration of the caste system. This eventually had become hereditary. Brahmanas were exploiting the other caste s and particularly the Sudras who were denied all rights and were treated very b adly. Superstitions and other evils were increasing in the society. There was a widespread discontentment among the people as well. Ethical degradation of Brahmanas: Degradation of brahmanas was one of the main c auses of religious unrest. Brahmanas were now leading a life of comforts and lux ury. They were becoming more and more materialistic. Their moral and ethical deg radation had created discontent among the people. • (A) New questions Many ideas found in the Upanishads (c. sixth century BCE onwards) show that peop le were curious about the meaning of life, the possibility of life after death, and rebirth. Was rebirth due to past actions? Such issues were hotly debated. Th inkers were concerned with understanding and expressing the nature of the ultima te reality. And others, outside the Vedic tradition, asked whether or not there even was a single ultimate reality. People also began speculating on the signifi cance of the sacrificial tradition. We get a glimpse of lively discussions and debates from Buddhist texts, which mention as many as 64 sects or schools of tho ught. Teachers travelled from place to place, trying to convince one another as well as laypersons, about the validity of their philosophy or the way they under

stood the world. Debates took place in the kutagarashala – literally, a hut with a pointed roof – or in groves where travelling mendicants halted. If a philosopher succeeded in convincing one of his rivals, the followers of the latter also beca me his disciples. So support for any particular sect could grow and shrink over time. Many of these teachers, including Mahavira and the Buddha, questioned the authority of the Vedas. They also emphasised individual agency – suggesting that m en and women could strive to attain liberation from the trials and tribulations of worldly existence. This was in marked contrast to the Brahmanical position, w herein, as we have seen, an individual’s existence was thought to be determined by his or her birth in a specific caste or gender. From the very beginning freedom in religious thinking was prevalent in India. Th is led the people to remove the evils that had crept in the religion. • (B) Fatalists and Materialists An excerpt from the Sutta Pitaka describing a conversation between king Ajatasat tu, the ruler of Magadha, and the Buddha: On one occasion King Ajatasattu visite d the Buddha and described what another teacher, named Makkhali Gosala, had told him: “Though the wise should hope, by this virtue … by this penance I will gain kar ma … and the fool should by the same means hope to gradually rid himself of his ka rma, neither of them can do it. Pleasure and pain, measured out as it were, cann ot be altered in the course of samsara (transmigration). It can neither be lesse ned or increased … just as a ball of string will when thrown unwind to its full le ngth, so fool and wise alike will take their course and make an end of sorrow.” An d this is what a philosopher named Ajita Kesakambalin taught: “There is no such th ing, O king, as alms or sacrifice, or offerings … there is no such thing as this w orld or the next … A human being is made up of the four elements. When he dies the earthy in him returns to the earth, the fluid to water, the heat to fire, the w indy to air, and his senses pass into space … The talk of gifts is a doctrine of f ools, an empty lie … fools and wise alike are cut off and perish. They do not surv ive after death.” The first teacher belonged to the tradition of the Ajivikas. The y have often been described as fatalists: those who believe that everything is p redetermined. The second teacher belonged to the tradition of the Lokayatas, usu ally described as materialists. Texts from these traditions have not survived, s o we know about them only from the works of other traditions. Speculations about the origin of world: Creationism Though, Varuna and Indra are suggested to have fulfilled the creation, by the en d of Rigvedic period such a god had developed in the form of “Prajapati” (Lord of be ings) later called Brahman, the masculine form of the neuter BRAHMAN. So “Hymn of Primeval Man” and sacrificial rituals and pronunciations. This is the description of first cosmic sacrifice. Later Developments: (RV, X, 16) It is suggested in c ryptic language that (the fate of) dead might pass to the waters or remain in pl ants. This seems to be a reference to metempsychosis in the crude forms believed in by many primitive peoples, according to which the souls of the dead pass to an animal, plant or natural objects, before being reborn in a human body. In the Brihdaranyaka Upanishad a the first form of the doctrine of trans migration is given. This doctrine linked all forms of life into a single system, even the goo ds. The whole of Life thus passes through innumerable changes and these changes were determined by conduct in Life. The conduct in this life became the cause of existence in a distinctive situation in the next and so on. Here is the theory of Karma. Thus the magnificently logical doctrine of Samsara, or transmigration and karma, the result of deeds one’s life affecting the next had humble beginnings in a soul theory and had an ethical context in It. This doctrine later and soon became fundamental to Indian though it provided a satisfactory explanation of t he mystery of suffering, which has troubled many thoughtful souls all over the w orld and it intensified the manifest social inequalities of the Aryan community. • (C) Asceticism and Mysticism A class of holy men munis (the silent one) possessing super human powers. Anothe r class much mentioned in Atharvaveda, the Vratyas. By the time of the Upanishad s asceticism had become widespread. The reason was that indeed in many respects the idea of samsara which offers infinite potentialities of new experience to th

e soul and which holds out hope even to the humblest of living things and must e vil of beings, might seem more attractive than the traditional concepts of House of elay and the heaven of father but this appeal was limited to the minds in ge neral only. In particular to the greater minds of the time the thought of transm igration was not pleasant. Death was always terrible, and the prospect of dying innumerable times was not a happy one by itself. Life, even when devoid of the m ajor sorrows, was drab and inadequate quite, while continual birth & rebirth see med monotonously boring. The growth of doctrine of transmigration coincided with the development of pessimistic ideas. The suggestion that this process represented a reaction of the warrior class to the pretensions of the Brahmans and to sterility of sacrificial cult thus can be contested. Many of the ascetics themselves were Brahmans. The Upanishads in no way oppose sacrificial cult. But maintain its qualified validity and passages to speaking of Brahmanas with respect are quite egually frequent as passages which disparages them Thus, there was same opposition to brahminial pretensions and d issatisfaction with sacrificial with but in was not the role reason of rise of h eterodox seats and ascetic guest through asceticism and mysticism. • 2. Age of Buddha & Mahavira The original motives of Indian Asceticism was the acquisition of magical power o r superhuman powers. The Brahmans claimed this already by virtue of their birth and training. Though the sacrificial mysticism was still alive and once more cam e to be thought of as a means of obtaining prosperity, long life and rebirth in heaven rather than sustaining the cosmos as in the Rigvedic period. But the limi tation per second was rebirth in heaven and the sacrifice was not available to a ll. In the eastern parts of the Ganges Basin Brahmanism was not so deeply entren ched as in the west and older non- Aryan currents of beliefs flowed more strongl y. The sacrificial cult besides diel not wholly meet the needs of these lands, w here firmly founded kingdoms were governing in powers and material civilization rapidly progressed one to ready cultivation and trade. Most of the new developments in thought, however, come from ascetics of less rig orous regimen, whose chief practice was mental and spiritual exercises of medita tion. The best example to this can be given of Buddha & his middle path as one o f the fruitful resultant out of asceticism. • (A) Buddhism Having reached its height in the fifth century AD, Buddhism was all but eclipsed by the time of the turn of the millennium. Today Buddhists are a tiny fraction of the population, but superb monuments such as the caves of Ajanta and Ellora i n Maharashtra, the remarkable stupas of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh and Tawang Mona stery in Arunachal Pradesh are fine reminders of this once flourishing culture. Outside the numerous Tibetan refugee camps, only Ladakh and Sikkim now preserve a significant Buddhist presence. • (i) The Buddha Siddhartha Gautama was the son of king of the Shakyas, Shuddhodhan and Mahamaya in a grove of sal trees called Lumbini north of the Gangetic plain in present-da y Nepal, around 566 BC. Brought up in luxury as a prince and a Hindu, he married at an early age to his cousin Yashodhara, begot a son named Rahul, and renounce d family life when he was thirty. His gotra name was Gautama. Devadatta was his envious cousin whom he later converted. Channa was his charioteer and kanthaka w as his horse’s name. Unsatisfied with the explanations of worldly suffering, and convinced that ascet icism did not lead to spiritual realization, Siddhartha spent years in meditatio n, wandering through the ancient kingdom, or janapada, of Magadha. His enlighten ment (bodhi) is said to have taken place under a bodhi tree in Bodhgaya (Bihar), after a night of contemplation during which he resisted the worldly temptations set before him by the demon, Mara. Soon afterwards he gave his first sermon in Sarnath, now a major pilgrimage centre. For the rest of his life he taught, expo unding Dharma, the true nature of the world, human life and spiritual attainment . At the town of Pawa he was entertained by a lay disciple Chunda the smith and ate a meal of Sukkar-maddava, probably pork and was attacked ny dysentery. He mo

ved in that condition to Kushinara and lay down under a sal tree and that night he died. Before his death (c.486 BC) in Kushinagar (UP), he had established the Sangha, a community of monks and nuns who continued his teachings. Although frequently categorized as a religion, many scholars and practitioners u nderstand Buddhism to be the science of mind. Buddhism has no god in the monothe istic sense; the deities of Tibetan Buddhism and the Buddha statues in temples a re not there for worship as such - but rather as symbols to aid and deepen spiri tual awareness. The Buddha s view of life incorporated the Hindu concepts of sam sara and karma, but remodelled the ultimate goal of religion, calling it nirvana , "no wind". Indefinable in worldly terms, since it is by nature free from condi tioning, nirvana represents clarity of mind, pure understanding and unimaginable bliss. Its attainment signals an end to cycle of birth, but no communion of a " soul" with God or Brahman. The most important concept outlined by the Buddha was that all things are subject to the inevitability of impermanence. There is no i ndependent inherent self due to the interconnectedness of all things, and our eg os are the biggest obstacles on the road to enlightenment. • (a) Teachings of the Buddha According to “Dhammachakkapavattan Sutta”, which the Buddha is said to have preached to his first disciples at Varanasi and which contains the “Four Noble Truths and the “Noble Eight Fold Path” there are two extremes (ends) not to be served by a wand erer. “…What are the two? That joined with the passions and luxury---low, vulgar, common, ignoble, and use less, and that joined with self-torture---painful, ignoble, and useless…” The Nature of Suffering (Dukkha): "This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, i llness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and de spair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation fro m what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brie f, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering." Suffering s Origin (Dukkha Samudaya): "This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving(tanha), which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delig ht here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence , craving for extermination." Suffering s Cessation (Dukkha Nirodha): "This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it." The Path (Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada Magga) Leading to the Cessation of Suff ering: "This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, r ight action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentrat ion." The Middle Way of the Tathagata avoids both these ends which produces insi ght and knowledge, and leads to peace, wisdom, enlightenment, and nirvana. The middle path consists of the 8-fold path, which produces insight and knowledg e, and leads to peace, wisdom, enlightenment, and nirvana, namely: 1. correct/ right understanding, 2. correct/ right intention, 3. correct/ right speech, 4. correct/ right action, 5. correct/ right livelihood, 6. correct/ right attention, 7. correct/ right concentration and, 8. correct/ right meditation.”

 

   

Thus, the noble truth of the cessation of pain is: the cessation without a remai nder of craving, the abandonment, forsaking, release, and non-attachment. • (b) Pattich Samuppada (Chain of Dependent Origin) The very simple doctrine was developed in a series of twelve terms called Pattic hsamuppada. Out of ignorance arises Imagination, thence Self-consciousness, then ce Name and Form and thence Six Senses, thence Contact, thence Feeling, thence C raving and thence Becoming, thence Rebirth and thence all the manifold ills that flesh is heir to. the ignorance is primarily is fundamental nature of the Unive rse which has three salient characteristic- the Samsara is full of sorrow (Sabba m Dukkham), the Samasra is transient (aniccha/ anitya) and it is Soulless (Anatt a/ Anatma). Practice Disregarding caste and priestly dominance in ritual, the Buddha formulated a tea ching open to all. His followers took refuge in the three jewels: Buddha, Dharma , and Sangha. The teachings became known as Theravada, or "Doctrine of the Elder s". By the first century BC the Tripitaka, or "Three Baskets" (a Pali canon in t hree sections), had set out the basis for early Buddhist practice, proposing dan a, selfless giving, and sila, precepts which aim at avoiding harm to oneself and others, as the most important guidelines for all Buddhists, and the essential c ode of practice for the lay community. Carried out with good intentions, sila and dana maximize the acquisition of good karma, and minimize material attachment, thus making the individual open to the more religiously oriented teachings, the Four Noble Truths. Known as the Eightf old Path - right understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, min dfulness and concentration - it aims at reducing attachment and ego and increasi ng awareness, until all four truths are thoroughly comprehended, and nirvana is achieved. Even this should not be clinged to - those who experience it are advis ed by the Buddha to use their understanding to help others to achieve realizatio n. The Sanskrit word bhavana, referred to in the West as meditation, translates lit erally as "bringing into being". Traditionally meditation is divided into two ca tegories: Samatha, or calm, which stills and controls the mind, and Vipassana, o r insight, during which thought processes and the noble truths are investigated, leading ultimately to a knowledge of reality. Worship At first, Buddhist iconography represented the Buddha by symbols such as a footp rint, bodhi tree, parasol or vase. These can be seen on stupas (domed monuments containing relics of the Buddha) built throughout India from the time of the Bud dhist emperor Ashoka, and in ancient Buddhist caves, which served as meditation retreats and viharas(monasteries). The finest are at Ellora and Ajanta; like the remarkable stupas at Sanchi, they incorporate later designs which depict the Bu ddha in human form, standing and preaching or sitting in meditation, distinguish ed by characteristic marks, and indicating his teaching by hand gestures, or mud ras. This artistic development coincided with an increase in the devotional side of B uddhism, and a recognition of bodhisattvas - those bound for enlightenment who d elayed self-absorption in nirvana to become teachers, spurred by selfless compas sion and altruism. • (ii) Schism Mahayana & Hinyana The importance of the bodhisattva ideal grew as a new school, the Mahayana, or " Great Vehicle", emerged. By the twelfth century it had become fully established and, somewhat disparagingly, renamed the old Theravada school "Hinayana" (Lesser Vehicle). Mahayanists proposed emptiness, sunyata, as the fundamental nature of all things, taking to extremes the belief that nothing has independent existenc e. The wisdom necessary to understand sunyata, and the skilful means required to put wisdom into action in daily life and teaching, and interpret emptiness in a positive sense, became the most important qualities of Mahayana Buddhism. Befor e long bodhisattvas were joined in both scripture and art by female consorts who

embodied wisdom. Theravada Buddhism survives today in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thail and, Laos and Cambodia. Mahayana Buddhism spread from India to Nepal and Tibet a nd from there to China, Korea and ultimately Japan. In many places further evolu tion saw the adoption of magical methods, esoteric teachings, and the full use o f sensory experience to bring about spiritual transformation, resulting in a sep arate school known as Vajrayana based on texts called tantras. Vajrayana encoura ges meditation on mandalas (symbolic diagrams representing the cosmos and intern al spiritual attainment), sexual imagery, and sometimes sexual practice, as a me ans of raising energies and awareness for spiritual goals. Tibetan Buddhism Buddhism was introduced to Tibet in the seventh century, and integrated to a cer tain extent with the indigenous Bon cult, before emerging as a faith considered to incorporate all three vehicles - Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Practised largely in Ladakh, along with parts of Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and S ikkim, Tibetan Buddhism recognizes a historical Buddha, known as Sakyamuni, alon gside previous Buddhas and a host of bodhisattvas and protector deities. These " gods" are not worshipped as such, rather they represent various emotions or stat es of being. The various pujas (ceremonies) are not so much prayers as ways of c onfronting or manifesting these states. For instance, to develop the quality of compassion in one s own life one may meditate and make offerings to Chenrezig (A valokitesvara in Sanskrit), the Buddha of compassion, or to Tara, the equivalent female embodiment. Many pujas involve elaborate rituals, and incorporate music and dance. There is a heavy emphasis on teachers, lamas (similar to gurus), and reincarnated teachers, known as tulkus. The Dalai Lama, the head of Tibetan Budd hism, is the fourteenth in a succession of incarnate bodhisattvas, the represent ative of Avalokitesvara, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan community whose he adquarters are in Dharamsala (HP). Tibetan Buddhism is probably the most accessi ble and flourishing form of Buddhism in India. • (B) Lord Mahavira & Jainism Jina The Jains are the followers of the Jinas. Jina literally means Conqueror. He who has conquered love and hate, pleasure and pain, attachment and aversion, and has thereby freed his soul from the karmas obscuring knowledge, perception , truth, and ability, is a Jina. The Jains refer to the Jina as God. Origins Originating on the Indian subcontinent, Jainism -- or, more properly, the Jain R eligion ( Dharma ) -- is one of the oldest religions of its homeland and indeed of the world. Jainism upholds nonviolence as the supreme religion (Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah) and has insisted upon its observance in thought, word, and deed at the individual as well as social levels. The holy text Tattvartha Sutra sums it up in the phrase Parasparopagraho Jivanam (all life is mutually supportive). Jain religion presents a truly enlightened perspective of equality of souls, irrespe ctive of differing physical forms, ranging from human beings to animals and micr oscopic living organisms. Humans, alone among living beings, are endowed with al l the six senses of seeing, hearing, tasting smelling, touching, and thinking; t hus humans are expected to act responsibly towards all life by being compassiona te, egoless, fearless, forgiving, and rational. • (i) Tirthankaras According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were human beings but they have a ttained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self-reali zation. They are the Gods of Jains. The concept of God as a creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe does not exist in Jainism. Also the idea of God s reincarnation as a human being to destroy the demons is not accepted in Jainism. 1. Lord Rishabhdev is said to be the first Tirthankara i.e. Fordmaker. He h ad a sign of an ox on his thigh. He was known as Adinath also. (The first one) 2. Lord Ajitnath 3. Lord Sambhavnath 4. Lord Abhinandan Swami 5. Lord Sumatinat 6. Lord Padmaprabh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7. Lord Suparshvanath 8. Lord Chandra Prabha Swami 9. Lord Suvidhinath 10. Lord Shitalnath 11. Lord Shreyanshnath 12. Lord Vasupujya 13. Lord Vimalnath 14. Lord Anantnath 15. Lord Dharmanath 16. Lord Shantinath 17. Lord Kunthunath 18. Lord Arnath 19. Lord Mallinath 20. Lord Munisuvrat Swami 21. Lord Naminath 22. Lord Neminath (Lord Aristhnemi): He finds mention in the Vedic hymns as Arshtnemi. 23. Lord Parshvanath 24. Lord Mahavir • (ii) Lord Mahavira Lord Mahavira was the twenty fourth and last Tirthankara of the Jain religion of this era. Mahavira was born about 540 BC and was son of Siddhartha, a chief of Jnantrika c lan and Trishala who was the sister of Licchavi Chief Chetak and was given the n ame Vardhaman by his parents. Being son of a king, he had many worldly pleasures , comforts, and services at his command. He was married and had a daughter. But at the age of thirty, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldl y possessions, and become a monk in search of a solution to eliminate pain, sorr ow, and sufferings. At first he followed the practices of an ascetic group called the Nirgranthas. M ahavira spent the next twelve and half years in deep silence and meditation to c onquer his desires, feelings, and attachments, wandering place to place, begging his food, and subjecting himself to austerities of all kinds. He carefully avoi ded harming or annoying other living beings including animals, birds, and plants . He also went without food for long periods. He was calm and peaceful against a ll unbearable hardships that he was given the name Mahavira, meaning very brave and courageous. For some six years he was with Gosala Maskariputram and ultimate ly they parted their way. During this period, his spiritual powers fully develop ed and at the end he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. T his realization is known as Keval Jnana or the perfect enlightenment. He became Arhant, Jina. Mahavira spent the next thirty years travelling on bare foot aroun d India preaching to the people the eternal truth he realized. The ultimate obje ctive of his teaching is how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birt h, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of on e s self. This is also known as liberation, nirvana, absolute freedom, or Moksha . He survived both the Buddha and Gosala Maskariputra. At the age of 72 he died of self starvation in the little town of Pawa near Magadhan capital Rajgriha. Lord Mahavira s sermons were orally compiled in Agam Sutras by his immediate dis ciples. These Agam Sutras were orally passed on to the future generations. In co urse of time many of the Agam Sutras have been lost, destroyed, and some are mod ified. About one thousand years later the Agam Sutras were recorded on Tadpatris (leafy paper that was used in those days to preserve records for future referen ces). Swetambar Jains have accepted these Sutras as authentic versions of His te achings while Digambar Jains did not accepted as authentic. • (iii) Teachings of Mahavira Mahavira explained that from eternity, every living being (soul) due to its igno rance is in bondage of karmic atoms. Then these karmic atoms are continuously ac cumulated by our good or bad deeds. Under the influence of karma, the soul is ha bituated to seek pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. This is

 

 

the deep-rooted cause of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, g reed, and such other vices. These result in further accumulation of karmas. Maha vira preached that right faith (samyak darshana), right knowledge (samyak jnana) , and right conduct (samyak charitra) together is the real path to attain the li beration from karmic matter of one s self. At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows: Nonviolence (Ahimsa): not to cause harm to any living beings Truthfulness (Satya): to speak the harmless truth only Non stealing (Asteya):not to take anything not properly given Chastity (Brahmacharya): not to indulge in sensual pleasure Non possession/ Non attachment (Aparigraha): complete detachment from people, pl aces, and material things Jains hold these vows at the center of their lives. These vows can not be fully implemented without the acceptance of a philosophy of non absolutism (Anekantvad ) and the theory of relativity (Syadvad). Monks and nuns follow these vows stric tly and totally, while the common people follow the vows as far as their life st yles will permi Significant points of Teachings of Lord Mahavira: Mahavira made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate ritual complexiti es. His teachings reflected the internal beauty and harmony of the soul. Mahavir a taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of the positive attitude of life. Mahavira s message of nonviolence (Ahimsa), truth (Sa tya), non stealing (Achaurya), celibacy (Brahma charya), and non possession (Apa rigraha) is full of universal compassion. Mahavir asaid that, A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul whi ch potentially has perfect perception (Anant darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant jnana), perfect power (Anant virya), and perfect bliss (Anant sukha). Mahavira s message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being. Mahavir emphasized that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, an d form how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should love an d respect them. This way he preached the gospel of universal love. Mahavira reje cted the concept of God as a creator, a protector, and a destroyer of the univer se. He also denounced the worshiping of gods and goddesses as a means of materia l gains and personal benefits. Shwetambar Wearing Swet (White) clothes lifetime and meditate to achieve an ultimate goal i s called Swetamber. Digambar Clothes hindrance to acquire the Kevalgnan and hence to become cloth less and to meditate to achieve the last goal is called Digamber. • (C) The Ajivika Sect The name Ajivikas was given to the sect by their opponents. The word ajivika is derived from ajiva, meaning one who observes the mode of living appropriate to h is class. Because Gosala held peculiar views as to the ajiva of a mendicant not affected by karma, it is likely his sect was known as the Ajivikas, those who he ld the peculiar doctrine of ajiva. The name was supposed to be opprobrious, sinc e Gosala was an ascetic not for reasons of salvation but as a livelihood (ajiva) and so they were professionals.The Ajivikas, Followers of the way of Life, we re an ascetic order that started at the time of Buddha and Mahavira. Gosala Mask ariputra is considered as the founder of the sect. After his death his followers seem to have combined with those of other teacher such as Purana Kashyap, the a ntinomian and pakudha Kacchchayan, the atomist to form the Ajivika sect. After a period of prosperity in Mauryan times, when Ashoka and his successo Dashratha p resented caves to them, the sect rapidly declined. • (i) Origin & Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exact nature of Ajivika doctrine is unclear because the sect s own texts hav e not survived. It is believed the original Ajivika texts were written in an eas tern Prakrit, perhaps similar to the Jain Prakrit Ardhamagadhi. Quotations and a daptations from these texts appear to have been inserted into Jain and Buddhist accounts of the Ajivikas. Makkhali Gosala is regarded as the founder leader of t he Ajivikas and one source of his teachings is the Buddhist Digha Nikaya. Three Tamil texts, the Manimakalai of the Buddhists, the Nilakesi of the Jains, and th e Sivajnanasiddhiyar of the Shaivites, all contain outlines of Ajivika doctrine. The Nilakesi of the ninth century CE tells us most and is about a heroine Nilak esi visiting teachers in search of the truth, including Buddha and Puranan, lead er of the Ajivikas, a dignified figure living in a flowery hermitage. Since the Jains and Buddhists saw the Ajivikas as their most dangerous rivals, t his shows how popular the sect was. This was especially so in the fifth and four th centuries BCE when the different sects were forming in India. They were influ ential during the Mauryan empire, and the second emperor had an Ajika fortune-te ller at court. Asoka in his Seventh Pillar Edict ranks the Ajivikas third in imp ortance of the religious groups he patronised after the Buddhists and Brahmans. They were therefore ahead of the Jains. Asoka also presented caves to them as mo nasteries in the Barabar Hills and Nagarjuni Hill, fifteen miles north of Gaya, near the place of the Buddha s enlightenment. These caves and their inscriptions are probably the oldest excavated ascetic caves in India and impressive evidenc e of the Ajivikas. The walls of the caves are brilliantly polished. But these ar e the only significant surviving archaeological remains of the Ajivikas. • (ii) Principles of Ajivika Sect The basic principle of the doctrine according to Gosala was niyati, fate or dest iny. The whole universe was conditioned and determined to the smallest detail by an impersonal cosmic principle, Niyati, or destiny. No human effort could have any effect against niyati and therefore karma is a fallacy. Nirvana was only rea ched after living through an immense number of lives, which proceeded automatica lly like the unwinding of a ball of thread, the last life being as an Ajivika mo nk. After twenty-four years of asceticism, Gosala enumerated the six inevitable factors of life: gain and loss, joy and sorrow, and life and death, together wit h the two paths of song and dance. Ajivika cosmology was very complex with a vast universe passing through an immen se number of time cycles. Each jiva, soul, transmigrates through eighty-four lak hs (1 lakh = 100,000) of cycles before release. The southern Ajivikas saw only a few jivas remaining in nirvana while most jivas achieved only mandala-moksa, cy clic release, having to return to the worldly cycles. Purana Kassapa (the Puranan of the Nilakesi) added the view that a murderer or r obber commits no sin and likewise there was no merit in becoming an ascetic, for with niyati there was only one course left open to them. Pakudha Kaccayana, a c ontemporary of the Buddha, held an atomic theory with seven substances, earth, w ater, fire, air, joy, sorrow, and life- that are uncreated and unchanging. This was absorbed into the Ajivika doctrine of the negation of free will and moral re sponsibility. It was argued that since future events are already determined then in some way they already exist. The Ajivika teacher Puran in the Nilakesi says "Though we may speak of moments, there is really no time at all." This was the t heory of avicalita-nityatvam, unmoving permanence. And to the Ajivikas the soul was also atomic and could not be divided. In its natural state outside the body it is immense in size, five hundred leagues (yogana) in extent. There are close links with Jainism. Gosala claimed to be the twenty-fourth tirth ankara, and as a disciple of Mahavira for six years until a split, there are doc trinal similarities between Ajivikism and Jainism. In fact, Gosala may have infl uenced Mahavira over nudity and he rejected the alms-bowl, a view adopted by the Digambara Jains. There are inconsistencies in Jain karma theory inexplicable wi thout referring to Ajivika doctrine. Mahavira disagreed with Gosala s antinomian doctrine and way of life, and the Buddha strongly condemned the Ajivika doctrin

 

 

 

 

 

e of niyati. • (D) Scepticism & Materialism To the question of Nachiketa about the status of the Jiva after death the God of Death, Yama replies that even the gods had been in doubt and that it was not ea sy to understand (Katha Upanishada). This shows that the belief of society in th e prevailing way of life and spiritualism was shaken. Ajith Keshambalin, a conte mporary of the Buddha was the earliest known materialist teacher. According to K eshambalin man was made of four elements- earth, water, fire and space and that when the body died all perish and nothing survived. Materialist and irreligious undercurrents are traceable in some secular literature, such as Arthashastra and Kamasutra. In the outlines of Indian philosophy, Charvaka is classified as a "h eterodox" (nastika) system, the same classification as is given to Buddhism and Jainism. While this branch of Indian philosophy is not considered to be part of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism, it is a remarkable testimony of the materi alistic movement within Hinduism. Only one text has survived of the Lokayatas- t he Tattvopaplavasimha (The Lion Destroying all Religious Truth) by Jayarishi (8t h c.). Charvakism is a system of Indian philosophy that adopted numerous forms of philo sophical agnosticism and religious impassivity. The branch is also known as Loka yata philosophy, as is stated in the Rig Veda. Named after its founder, Carvaka, (also known as Charu or Brhaspati) author of the Barhaspatya-sutras, the Charva ka Philosophy is an atheistic, acquisitive and wild thought. It is also known as Lokayata because it admits the existence of this world (loka) alone. Material ist philosophers who are referred to as Charvakas are also known as Lokayatas or Laukayatikas, because they act like ordinary people. The name Lokayata can be found in Kautilya s Arthasastra that refers to the three anviksikis or logica l philosophies - Yoga, Samkhya, and Lokayata. This very term was restricted to t he school of the Lokyatikas . In 7th century, the philosopher Purandara had use d the term Charvaka for the first time. The 8th century philosophers Kamalasil a and Haribhadra had also used the same term. • Mahajanapadas and Republics • 1. The Mahajanapadas The literal meaning of Mahajanapadas is great kingdoms. They flourished in the n orth/north western parts of India before the rise of Buddhism. Aryans have migra ted into India long time back and there were regular friction between them and t he non aryan tribes concerning, cattle, fodder, land etc. These tribes of Aryans were called as Janas by many Vedic texts. Later on there was a merger of the Ve dic Janas into Janapadas. Different regions of the Indian subcontinent were prev iously divided into Janapadas, this was a clear demarcation by boundaries. Many Janapadas by 600 BCE further developed into bigger political bodies. These kingd oms came to be known as Mahajanapadas in the Buddhist traditions. With the widespread use of iron and a change in the method of production and org anisation of production from the 6th century B.C. onwards, there emerged large t erritorial states, mostly situated north of the Vindhyas and extending from the northwest frontier to Bihar. India was divided into sixteen states as ‘Mahajanapadas’ just before the ris e of Buddhism in India. A list of these states is given in the Buddhist text (th e Anguttara Nikaya). These sixteen states and their capitals were the following: 1. Anga Champa 2. Magadha Rajgir, Pataliputra 3. Kasi Varanasi 4. Kosala Sravasti 5. Vajji Vaishali 6. Malla Kushinagar, Pawa 7. Chedi Sothivatinagar or Suktimati 8. Vatsa Kausambi 9. Kuru Asandivant (Hastinapur) 10. Panchala Ahicchatra (Uttar), Kampilya (Dakshina) 11. Matsya Viratnagar (Bairat) 12. Surasena Mathura

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13. Assake Patana or Potali or Poudanva 14. Avanti Mahismati, Ujjain 15. Gandhara Taxila 16. Kambhoja Rajapura or Rajaori Another Buddhist text, Mahavastu omits Kamboja and Gandhara and includes Sibi an d Dasarna in Punjab and Central India respectively. Jaina text Bhagwati Sutra gi ves 16 Mahajanapadas name and includes Vanga and Malaya. The above-mentioned states were always in conflict with each other. Some times t wo or three of them joined their hands against one another and in this way they always shifted their sides. Ultimately in the fourth century BC the Magadha stat e became all powerful and under the Mauryas all these four states were welded to gether into one thereby giving rise to the mighty Mauryan empire. Sixteen great kingdoms as they are referrd to by buddhist and other texts. The s ixteen mahajanapadas include Kasi, Kosala, anga, Magadha, Vajji, Malla, Chedi, V atsa, Kuru, Panchala,Machcha, Surasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara and Kamboja. • (A) 16 Mahajanapadas There is a belief that Varanasi got its name from the rivers that surround the c ity, namely Varuna and Asi. Kasi occupied a predominant position among the sixte en Mahajanapadas, before the rise of Buddha. We come to know a lot about Kashi f rom the Jatakas which were a voluminous body of myths and folklore revolving abo ut previous births of the Buddha. This supremacy called for a long drawn conflic t for mastery between other cities, like Koshala, Anga and Magadha with Kashi. K ashi was no doubt influential that is the reason why we get a mention of Kasi in the Vedic texts. Matsya Purana and Alberuni’s Kitab ul Hind are the texts where w e find Kashi as Kaushika also. Kuru The kuru janapada is one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. Regarding the origin of t he Kurus it has been said that they belong to the Puru-Bharata family. Kurus wer e the specific origin of people living in the Kurukshetra and according to the B uddhist text Sumangavilasini, the kurus came from the Uttarakuru. Testified by t he Vayu Purana, the founder of Kurukshetra or kuru janapada was Kuru who was the son of Samvarsana of the Puru lineage. During sixth/fifth century BCE, the Kuru s are believed to have shifted to republic form of government. Koshal Among the sixteen Mahajanapadas, Koshal is one, which comprised of Shravasti, Ku shavati, Saket and Ayodhya. Koshal constituted of the territories of modern Oudh or Awadh which is located in Uttar Pradesh. The state capital of Koshal was Ayo dhya which was under the command of Prasenjit, the Kosala King, a contemporary o f Gautama Buddha. The southern side it was bordered by the Ganges, the east had river Gandak encircling it. Magadha was a neighbouring state to Koshal, and ther e were conflicts between them. Ajatshatru who was the king of Magadha and Prasen jit were in continuous struggle for power which finally came to an end with the alignment of the confederation of Lichchavis with Magadha. After Prasenjit, Vidu dabha rose into power and Koshal ultimately amalgamated into Magadha. Kamboja Kamboja was believed to have composed of parts that were o the either side of th e Hindukush. Whereas originally they were located somewhre else. The Kamboja Mah ajanapada of the Buddhist traditions refers to the cis-Hindukush branch of anc ient Kambojas. The kamboja being one of the sixteen mahajanapadas were a republi c since ages. There are many evidence from the Mahabharata, Kautiliya s Arthasha stra and Ashoka s Edict No. XIII which affirms that the Kambojas were a republic people. Vajji or Vriji Sixteen Mahajanapadas of ancient Inida includes Vajji as one of them. The Vajji was a confederation a many clans of which the Licchhavis, the Vedehans, Jnatrik as and the Vajjis were the most important. It was actually known as the Vajji Sa

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ngha or the union of Vajji, which comprised of many janapadas, gramas (villages) , gosthas (groups). The eminent people were chosen from each khandas (districts) to represent on their behalf in Vajji gana parishad (people s council of Vajji) . The chairman of the council was called Ganapramukh (head of the democracy), bu t often he was addressed as the king.The other executives were Mahabaladhrikrit (equivalent to the minister of internal security), binishchayamatya (chief justi ce), dandadhikrit (other justices) etc. Vajji had its capital at Vaishali. Vatsa The Vamsa or the Vatsa was the kingdom that followed the monarchical form of gov ernment. This kingdom is one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, and the capital of th is was located at Kausambi. One very important aspect of this city was that it f ormed the hub of all economic activitioes and had a prosperous trade and busines s relations. 6th century Bc has the account of Udyana to be the ruler of the, ki ngdom at the time of Buddha. About Udayana it is said that earlier there were re sentments on his side regarding Budhism as he was very warlike and aggressive bu t in the later years became more tolerant and finnaly a folower of Buddha. So mu ch he was affected by his teachings that he made buddhism his state religion. Assaka or Ashmaka Kingdom of Assaka or Ashmaka was situated in the southern part of India and one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. The Ashmaka had its capital located at Potana or P otali which have resemblences of Paudanya of Mahabharatha. The Assakas are place d in the north-west in the Markendeya Purana and the Brhat Samhita. There are nu merous associations regarding the identification of assakas. That is why we have different views on this. Like the commentator of Akutilya s Arthashahstra ident ifies it with Maharashtra. Avanti Avanti was an important kingdom of the sixteen mahajanapadas, and it lay in the western part of India. Buddhism rose to its prominence in this kingdom and and t his was one of the other kingdoms which initiated Buddhism in a larger manner. T he kingdom was divided as north and south Avanti and the north had its capital a t Ujjaini. Mahissati was the capital of Avanti in the beginning which was integr ated into Ujjaini during the period of Mahavira and Buddha. Avanti in the later stages of historu was amalgamated into the Magadha empire under the reign of Shi shunaga. Anga India s earliest empire was evolving around the Gangetic plains, which included the Mahajanapadas. Anga was one of these evolving states, which is one of the si xteen Mahajanapadas that prospered during that period. Malini, Champapuri, champ a Malini, Kala Malini etc were the different names by which this sate was called . The Angas were first referred to in the Atharva Veda as the detested people. A tharva Veda considers Anga an unholy place and some even condemned it as a place where wives and children were sold. Mahabharata, testifies the people of Anga t o be of noble birth or Sujati proclaiming the sanctity of the place Champa as a pilgrimage. During the reign of Bimbisara, this Mahajanapada was usurped and t aken over by Magadha. Champa was also a major seat for the spread of Jainism and Buddhism. Gandhara The Gandhara kingdom comprised of the Gandharas who were highly trained in the a rt of war and they have a mention in the Atharva Veda as well . though in the Ve das they are mentioned as the despised people along with some others due to thei r allegiance to non Aryan group. Puranic and Buuddhistic tradition included Gand haras in Uttarapatha. The Gandhara kingdom of the sixteen mahajanapadas was foun ded by Gandhara, son of Aruddha who was the son of Yayati. It was alos believed once according to Gandhara Jatakas that they they were a part of Kashmir. Gandha ra was an important seat of international commercial activities, and provided co mmunication with other countries like Iran and Central Asia.

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Chedi or Cheti The Chedis were group of ancient people of India living on the south of the rive r Yamuna. They are mentioned in the Rigveda, and city called Suktimati is mentio ned as the capital of Chedi. Chedi kingdom was one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, and was ruled by Sisupala, an ally of Jarasandha of Magadha and Duryodhana of K uru. Prominent Chedis during Kurukshetra War included Damaghosha, Shishupala, Dh rishtaketu, Suketu, Sarabha, Bhima s wife and so on. Chedi was the place that wa s chosen for spending the 13th year of exile by the Pandavas. Surasena The kingdom of Surasena, underwent a lot metamorphosis in terms of religion. The capital which was Mathura, was the centre of Krishna worship at the time of Meg asthenes. Whereas Avantipura who was the king of Surasena was one of the first d isciples of Buddha, and it gained prominence ever since then in Mathura. The geo graphical location of this kingdom among the sixteen mahajanapadas was south wes t of Matsya and west of the river Yamuna. There were various tribes that in habi ted the region and they were headed by a chief. Panchala Panchala was divided into Uttara-Panchala and Dakshina-Panchala. Counted among t he sixteen Mahajanapadas, the northern Panchala had Chhatravati as its capital a nd the south had its capital at Kampilya. In Panchala is situated the renounced city of Kanyakubja. Like many other kingdoms it was seen that the Panchals too h ad shifted to a republican form of government in sixth and fifth century BCE fro m being a monarchy. Machcha or Matsya The Kingdom of Matsya was again an important part of the sixteen mahajanapadas. This lay south of the Kurus and west of the Yamuna which separated them from the Panchalas. The Machcha tribe inhabited this region which had its capital at Vir atanagara. The Matsyas are generally linked up with the Surasenas in Pali litera ture. The Matsya tribe in comparison to the other janapadas was of not much poli tical eminence during the age of Buddha. Matsyas and the chhedis have a connecti on here when we see that they were once ruled by the same king Sujata, and Matsy a was a part of the kingdom of Chedi. Malla Malla was an ancient dynasty in India and is one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. E pics like Mahabharata mentions that the Mallas were considered along with the tr ibes of the Angas, Vangas and Kalingas. Buddhist and Jain works have the mention of the Mallas who existed in a republic that consisted of nine teritories. In a more original context it is evident that they actually had a monarchical form o f government in the beginning but later they transformed into the republic form {Samgha). The Mallas were very warlike and brave people and have been mentioned and referred as Vrtaya Kshatriyas by Manusmriti, as Vasishthas in the Mahapparni bbana Suttanta. Mallas have also suffered domination by the Magadha empire after Buddha s death Magadha Magadha emerged as a powerful kingdom in the reign of Bimbisara and his son Ajat shatru. The earliest ruling dynasty according to Mahabharata and Puranas seems t o be founded by king Brihadratha. The Vedas have a mention of the Magadhas as se mi brahmanised and this was a reason for the not so good impression of the peo ple. Kikata was a non Aryan country according to Yasaka and the king Pramaganda is said to be the ruler of Kikata. Kikata on the other hand was considered a syn onym for Magadha in later Vedic literature. The city was known by many other names like Magadhapura, Brihadrathapura, Vasuma ti, Kushagrapura and Bimbisarapuri. Buddhism and Jainism were in vogue in the re ligious scenario during that time, and Magadha became a dynamic center of Jainis m along with the first Budhist Council being held in Rajagriha in the Vaibhara H ills. Magadha emerged as a very powerful mahajanapada with time and this marked

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the annexation of sevaral janapadas of the Majjhimadesa . The Kasis, Kurus, Pan chalas, Vatsyas etc were certainly among the exterminated clans which had no tra ce in the folklore, poetry and so on. The sixteen Mahajanapadas were infact dist inguished as the ones belonging to the Majjhimadesa or mid India, or Uttarpatha or the north-west region. • 2. Ancient Republics Though evidence for non-monarchical government goes back to the Vedas, republica n polities were most common and vigorous in the Buddhist period, 600 B.C.-A.D. 2 00. At this time, India was in the throes of urbanization. The Pali Canon gives a picturesque description of the city of Vaishali in the fifth century B.C. as p ossessing 7707 storied buildings, 7707 pinnacled buildings, 7707 parks and lotus ponds, and a multitude of people, including the famous courtesan Ambapali, whos e beauty and artistic achievements contributed mightily to the city s prosperity and reputation. The cities of Kapilavatthu and Kusavati were likewise full of t raffic and noise. Moving between these cities were great trading caravans of 500 or 1000 carts -- figures that convey no precise measurement, but give a true fe eling of scale: caravans that stopped for more than four months in a single plac e, as they often did because of the rainy season, were described as villages. Re ligion, too, was taking to the new road. There were warlord-kings who sought to control this fluid society, some with a measure of success. But the literature, Pali and Sanskrit, Buddhist and Brahmanical, shows that non-monarchical forms of government were omnipresent. • (A) Definition of Republics Definition of Republics in the context of Ancient India There was a complex vocabulary to describe the different types of groups that ra n their own affairs. Some of these were obviously warrior bands; others more pea ceful groups with economic goals; some religious brotherhoods. Such an organizat ion, of whatever type, could be designated, almost indifferently, as a gana or a sangha; and similar though less important bodies were labeled with the terms sr eni, puga, or vrata. Gana and sangha, the most important of these terms, origina lly meant "multitude." By the sixth century B.C., these words meant both a selfgoverning multitude, in which decisions were made by the members working in comm on, and the style of government characteristic of such groups. In the case of th e strongest of such groups, which acted as sovereign governments, the words are best translated as "republic." Sources of Information There is nothing far-fetched about the republican idea. The most useful sources for mapping north India are three: The Pali Canon, which shows us northeastern I ndia between the Himalayas and the Ganges in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C.; the grammar of Panini, which discusses all of North India, with a focus on the northwest, during the fifth century; and Kautilya s Arthasastra, which is a prod uct of the fourth century, roughly contemporaneous with Megasthenes. All three s ources enable us to identify numeroussanghas and ganas, some very minor, others large and powerful. According to Panini, all the states and regions (janapadas) of northern India du ring his time were based on the settlement or conquest of a given area by an ide ntifiable warrior people who still dominated the political life of that area. So me of these peoples (in Panini s terms janapadins) were subject to a king, who w as at least in theory of their own blood and was perhaps dependent on their spec ial support. Elsewhere, the janapadins ran their affairs in a republican manner. Thus in both kinds of state, the government was dominated by people classified as ksatriyas, or, as later ages would put it, members of the warrior caste. • (B) Important Republics The Pali records give the names of about ten republics that existed in Northern India during the life-time of Buddha. The Sakyas of Kapilvastu, the Mallas of Ku shinagar and Pava, and the Lichchhavis of Vaisali were the most important republ ics. The country of the Sakyas most probably stood on the borders of India and Nepal,

 

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and included the lower slopes of the Himalayas. Mahatma Buddha also belonged to these people. These people continued to govern themselves on democratic lines f or quite a long time, but during the reign of Virudhaka, Prasenajit’s son, this re public was annexed to the Kosala empire and a large number of the Sakyas were cr uelly butchered. The Mallas had their two branches, the one ruled from Pava and the other ruled f rom Kushinagara. The first place became known as the place where Mahavira, the f ounder of Jainism, breathed his last and the second place became important as th e place of Buddha’s nirvana. This republic of the Mallas flourished for some time but during Ajatasatru’s reign it was annexed to the Magadhan empire. The most important republic was that of the Lichchhavis of Vaisali. These people were chivalrous, war – like and great lovers of freedom. The neighbouring republi cs and states were always afraid of them. Ajatasatru defeated these people after a prolonged war of about sixteen years. He, like a clever diplomat, first of al l created dissensions among them and broke their back. Then he defeated them and annexed their territory to his empire. The administrative machinery of these ancient Indian republics worked more or le ss on democratic lines. The executive head of these republics was chosen by the people themselves. The members of the Assembly were also elected by the common p eople. All the questions concerning the people and state were discussed in this assembly That there were many sovereign republics in India is easily demonstrated from a number of sources. Perhaps it is best to begin with the Greek evidence, even tho ugh it is not the earliest, simply because the Greek writers spoke in a politica l language that is familiar. Perhaps the most useful Greek account of India is Arrian s Anabasis of Alexander , which describes the Macedonian conqueror s campaigns in great detail. The Ana basis, which is derived from the eyewitness accounts of Alexander s companions, portrays him as meeting "free and independent" Indian communities at every turn. It is clear from Arrian that the Mallian republic consisted of a number of citie s. Q. Curtius Rufus and Diodorus Siculus in their histories of Alexander mention a people called the Sabarcae or Sambastai among whom "the form of government wa s democratic and not regal." The Sabarcae/Sambastai, like the Mallians, had a l arge state. Their army consisted of 60,000 foot, 6000 cavalry, and 500 chariots. Thus Indian republics of the late fourth century could be much larger than the contemporaneous Greek polis. And it seems that in the northwestern part of India , republicanism was the norm. Alexander s historians mention a large number of republics, some named, some not , but only a handful of kings. The prevalence of republicanism and its democrati c form is explicitly stated by Diodorus Siculus. What makes this statement particularly interesting is that it seems to derive fr om a first-hand description of India by a Greek traveler named Megasthenes. Arou nd 300 B.C., about two decades after Alexander s invasion, Megasthenes served as ambassador of the Greek king Seleucus Nicator to the Indian emperor Chandragupt a Maurya, and in the course of his duties crossed northern India to the eastern city of Patna, where he lived for a while. If this statement is drawn from Megas thenes, then the picture of a northwestern India dominated by republics must be extended to the entire northern half of the subcontinent. • (C) Functioning Functioning of the Republics But in many states, perhaps most, political participation was restricted to a su bset of all the ksatriyas. One needed to be not just a warrior, but a member of a specific royal clan, the rajanya. Evidence from a number of sources shows that the enfranchised members of many republics, including the Buddha s own Sakyas a nd the Licchavis with whom he was very familiar, considered themselves to be of royal descent, even brother-kings. The term raja, which in a monarchy certainly meant king, in a state with gana or sanghaconstitution could designate someone w ho held a share in sovereignty. In such places, it seems likely that political p ower was restricted to the heads of a restricted number of "royal families" (raj

   

 

 

 

 

akulas) among the ruling clans. The heads of these families were consecrated as kings, and thereafter took part in deliberations of state. Furthermore, power in some republics was vested in a large number of individuals . In a well-known Jataka tale we are told that in the Licchavi capital of Vesali , there were 7707 kings (rajas), 7707 viceroys, 7707 generals, and 7707 treasure rs. These figures, since they come from about half a millenium after the period they describe, have little evidentiary value, despite the ingenious efforts of s cholars to find a core of hard fact. The tale does not give us the number of Lic chavi ruling families (rajakulas), the size of the Licchavi assembly, or any rea l clues as to the population of Vesali. Yet the Jataka does retain the memory of an undisputed feature of Indian republicanism: the rulers were many. The same m emory can be found in other sources, especially in those critical of republicani sm. The Lalitavistara, in an obvious satirical jab, depicts Vesali as being full of Licchavi rajans , each one thinking, "I am king, I am king," and thus a plac e where piety, age and rank were ignored. The Santi Parva section of the Mahabha rata shows the participation of too many people in the affairs of state as being a great flaw in the republican polity • (D) Significance of Republicanism Buddha s commitment to republicanism (or at least the ideal republican virtues) was a strong one, if we are to believe the Maha-parinibbana-suttanta, among the oldest of Buddhist texts. This is illustrated by a story. Ajatasastru, the King of Maghada, wishes to destroy the Vajjian confederacy (the Licchavis) and sends a minister, Vassakara the Brahman, to the Buddha to ask his advice. Will his att ack be a success? Rather than answer directly, the Buddha speaks to Ananda, his closest disciples: "Have you heard, Ananda, that the Vajjians hold full and frequent public assembl ies?" "Lord, so I have heard," replied he. "So long, Ananda," rejoined the Blessed One, "as the Vajjians hold these full an d frequent public assemblies; so long may they be expected not to decline, but t o prosper...” The theme that has most attracted the attention of scholars is the constant dang er to republicanism, and its ultimate failure. Much of what we know about the so vereign ganas of India derives from stories of attacks upon them by various conq uerors. Yet it is remarkable that for several centuries, the conspicuous success es of monarchs, even the greatest, had only a temporary effect on the sovereign republics and very little effect indeed on the corporate organization of guilds, religious bodies, and villages. The reason is, of course, that Indian kings hav e seldom been as mighty as they wished to be, or wished to be presented. Conquer ors were not in a position to restructure society, to create states as we visual ize them today. Rather they were usually content to gain the submission of their neighbors, whether they were other kings or republics. These defeated rivals we re often left in control of their own affairs, merely required to pay tribute an d provide troops for the conquerors next war. The great emperors of ancient Indi a, including Chandragupta Maurya and Asoka, ran rather precarious realms. Once t he center weakened, these unraveled very quickly, and society returned to its pr eceding complexity. Rival dynasties revived, as did defeated republics. • Persian and Greek Invasions • 1. Persian Invasion In the sixth century B.C. Persian King Darius or Dara I (522 – 486 B.C.) tried to conquer India. He greatly extended his empire all around and then in order to co nquer India he first sent his admiral Skylax to explore the Indus River. When th e admiral achieved his aim he invited his master, who at once responded to his c all and invaded the north-western India sometime after 518 B.C. and before 486 B .C. He conquered a large territory including the North-West Frontier Province an d certain portions of Sind and Punjab. A contemporary Greek writer Herodotus (known as father of history) says that the north – western India formed the twentieth province or Satrapy of the Persian Emp ire and that from this province be used to get about 10 lakh pounds every year, an amount which was the highest of all the other provinces. Herodotus also infor

 

ms us that Darius I had also maintained a contingent of Indian army, which fough t in the Perso-Greek wars. When Alexander invaded India in 326 B.C. this portion was under the native rulers. From this we can infer that in about the fourth ce ntury B.C. the Indian chiefs must have thrown away the foreign yoke.

Effects of the Invasion The conquest and later on occupation of north-west India by the Persians left fa r reaching effects on the history of India. 1. Indian traders now began to sell their goods throughout the Persian Empire wi thout the least hitch and thus Indian trade got a great impetus. 2. The Indians learnt a new script – the Kharosthi script – from the Persians, which remained in use in Northern India up to the third century A.D. 3. The Indian art was also greatly influenced during this occupation. Some schol ars are of the opinion that the style of Asoka’s Edicts as well as the constructio n of his pillars especially their capitals (where animals like the lion, the bul l and the horse etc., and different birds are made) are borrowed from the Persia ns. 4. According to Dr. V.A.Smith many Indian rulers like Chandragupta Maurya learnt many court ceremonials from the Persians. • 2. Alexander’s Invasion Alexander ascended the throne at the age of twenty and at once he embarked upon the policy of conquests. Within a very short time he over-ran many countries of the world including Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Turkistan, Persian Gulf, Afghanist an, and Bactria, etc. After conquering Kabul in 328 B.C. Alexander also thought of conquering India. As remarked by V. A. Smith, "Alexander the great having com pleted the subjugations of Bactria, resolved to execute the cherished purpose of emulating and surpassing the mythical exploits of Dionysos, Herokles, and Semir am is by effecting the conquest of India." Consequently in about 326 B.C. he inv aded India. Course of Invasion By that time on the eve of Alexander s invasion India was divided into small kin gdoms, which fought among themselves. When Alexander was at Nakai, Ambhi, the ki ng of Taxila sent many costly presents and elephants to Alexander as gifts and a ccepted his sovereignty. Ambhi was the first traitor in the history of India who for his own self-interest sent an invitation to Alexander to visit India. Certa in other kings of frontier kingdoms followed Ambhi and accepted the sovereignty of Alexander. First of all various independent tribes (including Assakenos) who inhabited the hilly tracts beyond Indus faced the foreign invader. Though the A ssakenos gave a tough resistance, they were defeated and killed in thousands. Th en many other hilly chiefs themselves submitted to Alexander. • (A) The battle of Jhelum/ Hydaphases War with Puru/ Porus Alexander marched forward and crossed the river Indus by constructing a bridge o f boats near Ohind. Alexander at once marched forward and reached Taxila where k ing Ambhi was already prepared to help him with all his forces and resources. He re a message was sent to king Porus to submit, but he flatly refused and got rea dy for a fight. After Taxila, Alexander advanced towards Jhelum and sent a messe nger to Puru to accept his over lordship. Puru sent the reply that he would see him in the battlefield. The armies of Alexander and Porus faced each other on ei ther banks of the river of Jhelum. Puru had a very big army consisting of 50,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, 1,000 cha riots and 130 elephants. The armies of Alexander consisted of different races an d there were also some mercenary soldiers. Alexander was a great diplomat and kn ew before hand the strength of Puru. He knew that it would be difficult to cross the river, which was in spate, in front of the army of Puru. As pointed out by Arrian, Alexander made up his mind to steal passage. He took 11,000 soldiers 16 miles up the river from his camp and crossed the river. Puru was under the impre

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ssion that Alexander would not cross the river in the night and hence he did not take any precautions. All this prevented Puru from resting and concentrating hi s preparations at any one point selected in preference to any other as the best for defending the passage. Then Alexander made a sudden attack on the Indian for ces. Porus and his forces gave a heroic fight but Alexander came out to be victo rious. As soon as Puru knew that the enemy had crossed the river, he sent his son with 2,000 horses and 120 chariots. Alexander easily routed this army and Purus s son along with 400 Indian soldiers was killed in this battle. Hearing the news of t he rout, Puru moved with 203 elephants and a huge army. Puru mainly relied upon the elephants. Indians fought with great courage. Indians obstinately maintained their ground till the eight hour of the day, but eventually the luck did not fa vour them. The main strength of Puru lay in the chariots that became useless due to utter rains. The rain and storms had made the ground slippery and unfit for horses to ride over, while chariots kept sticking in the muddy sloughts formed b y the rains and proved almost immovable from their great weight." Moreover due t o slippery ground, the Indian archers proved to be ineffective. In the beginning the elephants of Puru terrorized the enemy but due to narrow space and being in jured by the arrows they turned back and trampled their own soldiers. As observed by Arrian, "The elephants being now cooped up within a narrow space did no less damage to their friends than to their foes, trampling them under the ir feet as they wheeled and pushed about" Thus ultimately all the chariots were destroyed, elephants were either killed or captured and himself was taken a pris oner in fainting condition, To commemorate this victory Alexander is said to have laid the foundation of two cities Bucephala and Nicaea (or Bonkephala and Nikaia ) at the site of the b attle. Other conquests of Alexander After having defeated Puru, Alexander marched into the territory of Gausai and c onquered 37 cities there. Thereafter he crossed river Chenab and defeated Kanish ka or Chhota Poras and included his kingdom in that of the Puru s. Towards the e nd of 326 B.C. Alexander crossed river Ravi and captured the fort of Pimarama. A fter this , Alexander captured San-goala, which was the stronghold of Kathas, th e Kathas fought with great bravery and made the cavalry of Alexander ineffective . Ultimately Poras came to the help of Alexander with 5,00 Indian soldiers and w ith his help Alexander conquered the Kathas. Alexander had proceeded up to the B eas with a view to conquering the Magadhan Empire, but here his fatigued army re fused to cross the river. Alexander tried his best to rouse the morale of his so ldiers but to no avail. • (B) Alexander s Retreat Reason for the refusal of army to proceed further There were some specific reasons for which the army of Alexander refused to proc eed further and these reasons are • It was a long time since Greek soldiers were away from home and they wanted to g o back to their homes. As pointed out by Plutarch, "It is true that the Greek so ldiers were war worn and homesick, disease stricken and destitute. They had lost many of their friends and relations in the battle and needed a well-earned rest as well. • Another reason, which discouraged the Greek soldiers from proceeding, further wa s the bravery and fighting capacity of the Indians. It can be understood as rema rked by Plutarch, "The battle with Poras depressed the spirits of the Macedonian s and made them very unwilling to advance further into India." Regarding the her oism and skill of Indian soldiers Arrian also observes that, "In the art of war they were far superior to the other nations by which Asia was at that time inhab ited." • Yet another reason, which depressed the spirits of the Greek soldiers was that, the state conquered by them raised their head in revolt. • Greek soldiers had heard of several independent and martial races living in the east of Vyas. Moreover, in the middle of India there was the mighty empire of th

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e Nandas. Already depressed by the heroism of Poras and the skill of Indian sold iers, they had "No stomach for further toils in India." Death of Alexander Alexander left India in 325 B.C. He divided his army into the army, led by Niparkas went through water whereas the ander marched from Baluchistan. In 323 B.C Alexander fell xpired. As remarked by a scholar, "Into thirteen years he rgies of many life and times." two parts. One part of other part led by Alex ill at Babylonia and e had compressed the ene

After Alexander s death Just after the retreat of Alexander, the conquered states raised their heads in revolt. The Greek satrap, commandant Philippos was murdered. The king of Taxila extended his empire from Kabul valley to Hindukush. Eudamus remained the sole Gr eek representative in India. In 323 B.C. after the death of Alexander, there ens ued a lot of contusion and his generals partitioned the empire among themselves. In 321 B.C. The empire was again partitioned. Eudamus was totally ignored and i n 317 B.C. he returned to his home country where he died. Peithon also returned to his home country. Ultimately Chandra Gupta Maurya drove away all the Greeks f rom India. Effects of Invasion • Although Alexander’s invasion failed to Hellenise India and did not leave any dire ct effects of great importance yet it produced many indirect consequences, some of which are the following: • Alexander’s invasion left the Punjab state and its war-like tribes so weak and imp otent that it became very easy for Chandragupta Maurya to conquer them. Thus, Al exander’s invasion indirectly paved the way for political unity of India. • Alexander’s invasion brought India in close contact with the European countries. N ow four new routes (three by land and one by sea) were found by which Indian sch olars, merchants and religious leaders began to go to European countries. • The date of Alexander’s invasion of India (i.e., 326 B.C.) has helped us a lot in solving the Indian chronology. • After Alexander’s return those Greeks who were left behind established their indep endent states on the North-West frontier of India. It was with the establishment of these Greek states (Indo-Bactrian and Indo – Parthians) that a close relation between the Indians and the Greeks was established and both affected each other. • The Indians learnt a good deal from the Greeks in the field of coinage, astronom y, architecture and sculpture. • In the religious field the Hindu religion and philosophy affected the Greek a lo t and many Greeks adopted the Hindu religion and Hindu names. • Magadhan Imperialism • Introduction Among the mahajanapadas five cities gained special importance: Rajagriha or Rajg ir in Magadha, Varanasi in Kashi, Kaushambi in Vatsa, Sravasti in Koshal, and Ch ampa in Anga. All of these states were in the Gangetic plain of northern India. Other important centers were Ujjain in Avanti and Taxila in Gandhara. Magadha wa s mentioned in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The four strongest states - Kasi, Koshal, Magadha and Vrjji/ Vajji - were all along the Ganges River. Of t hose four, Magadha had several advantages that would help it to prevail in the s truggle for supremacy. It has risen to power during the reigns of Bimbisara (544 /558 - 491 BCE) and his son Ajatashatru (491 - 460 BCE). Bimbisara whose city of Rajagriha (modern Rajgir, near Gaya, Bihar) controlled nearby iron-mines. Bimbi sara established dynastic relations by intermarriage with the nobility of neighb ouring Kosala and Vrijji, and easily dominated the territory of Vanga to the sou theast. He was, however, murdered by his son Ajatashatru in 493 BC, who establis hed a fort at Pataliputra by the Ganga and near to her confluence with the Ganda k, Son, and Ghaghara Rivers. Magadha expanded to include most of Bihar and much of Bengal with the conquest o f Anga, and then expanded up the Ganges valley annexing Koshal and Kashi. Magadh a formed one of the sixteen so-called Mahajanapadas. Villages had their own asse

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mblies under their local chiefs called Gramakas. Their administrations were divi ded into executive, judicial, and military functions. Bimbisara was friendly to both Jainism and Buddhism and suspended tolls at the river ferries for all ascet ics after the Buddha was once stopped at the Ganges River for lack of money. Magadha battled with all of its neighbours, and used its superior weaponry (e.g. the terrible Rathamushala, an armored chariot with fixed iron blades for mowing down opposing forces) due to advantages of the iron mines to great effect. Afte r the death of Udayin, the kingdom of Magadh declined rapidly and was replaced b y the Shishunaga dynasty, which took over in 413 BC. However, the Shishunaga dyn asty did not last for more than 50 years and the Nanda dynasty took over who are called the first Empire builders of India. • 1. Magadhan Dynasties Magadhan Dynasties • (A) Brihadratha Dynasty According to the Puranas, the Magadha Empire was established by the Brihadratha Dynasty, who was the sixth in line from Emperor Kuru of theBharata dynasty throu gh his eldest son Sudhanush. The first prominent Emperor of the Magadhan branch of Bharathas was Emperor Brihadratha. His son Jarasandha appears in popular lege nd and is slain by Bhima in the Mahabharatha. Vayu Purana mentions that the Brih adrathas ruled for 1000 years. • (B) Pradyota dynasty The Brihadrathas were succeeded by the Pradyotas who according to the Vayu Puran a ruled for 138 years. One of the Pradyota traditions was for the prince to kill his father to become king. During this time, it is reported that there was high crimes in Magadha. The people rose up and electedHaryanka to become the new kin g, which destroyed the power of the Pradyotas and created the Haryanka dynasty. Due in part to this bloody dynastic feuding, it is thought that a civil revolt l ed to the emergence of the Haryanka dynasty. • (C) Haryanka Dynasty Haryanka Dynasty • (i) Bimbisar Bimbisara was the King of Magadha and contemporary of Gautama Buddha. His capita l was in Rajgir. He reigned from 558 BC to 491 BC. Bimbisara was the greatest pa tron of Buddha. He became king at the age of fifteen and ruled for fifty-two yea rs. Bimbisara made married alliances with many kings of India. His first wife Ko saladevi was the princess of Kosala, daughter of king Mahakoshal and sister of P asendi or Prasenjit. This bride brought him the village of Kashi as dowry. The m arriage ended the hostility between Kosala and Magadha. Ajatsatru was Kosaladevi s son. Bimbisara conquered Anga and send Ajatsatru as the ruler there. Champa w as the capital of Anga. Bimbisara s second wife was Chellana, who was a Lichchha vi princess and his third wife was the daughter of the chief of Madra clan in Pu njab. Bimbisara had also other wives namely Khema, Silava and Jayasena. Pabbaja Sutta states that Bimbisara first saw ascetic Buddha before his enlightenment th rough the palace window. Bimbisara followed Gautama and invited him to visit his court. But Goutama turned down his invitation. Bimbisara then wished him luck f or his enlightenment and asked him to visit Rajgir after he achieved enlightenme nt. Gautama promised and visited Rajgir after the enlightenment to fulfill his p romise. Bimbisara s end was extremely tragic. The forecasters told him that Ajat ashatru s birth was inauspicious for him, yet he brought him up with great care and affection. When Ajatsatru was grown up he plotted to kill his father. Buddha s cousin Devadatta inspired Ajatsatru as he abhorred king s patronage to Gautam a Buddha. Bimbisara came to know about Ajatashatru s plot and could understand h is son s solemn urge to become a monarch. He abdicated the throne for his son bu t Ajatsatru imprisoned his father Bimbisara on the advice of Devadatta. Expansion of Empire Bimbisara was an able ruler and established his empire firmly through matrimonia l alliances. He married Kosaladevi, the daughter of the king of Kosala. This mar riage eventually established friendly relations between Kosala and Magadha. More

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over, in dowry he got a village in Kasi with annual income of 2 lakhs. Besides t his marriage, he made a second marriage with Chellana the daughter of Lichchav i king Chetak. He made a third marriage with Khema, the princess of Madra desh . Thus through these matrimonial alliances he established friendly relations wit h powerful neighborly states and pursued an imperialistic policy. According to Mahavagga he had 500 queens. His campaign against was Anga successfull. He defeated and killed king Brahamada tta and incorporated Anga into Magadha. According to Mahavagga there were 80,000 villages in his kingdom. According to Buddhacharya his empire was 300 yojana vast. Kushagrapur was the capital of Magadha. It was also called Girivraja. Due to the danger from Vrijjis, Bimbisara made Rajgriha his capital. • (ii) Ajatashatru Ajatashatru was the son of Bimbisara. Historical record says that he was impatie nt to rule the kingdom of Magadha and had murdered his father in 493 BC in order to become a king. Like his father Ajatashatru also believed in the expansion of land with the help of military conquest. Rajagriha, was the capital of Magadha and was naturally fortified by five hills which stood surrounding the city. But Ajatashatru in order to enhance the security of the town had built a fort at Pat aligrama, on the bank of the Ganges. As Bimbisara, father of Ajatashatru had con quered the eastern state of Anga so Ajatashatru had concentrated towards the nor th and the west. He had started his conquest from Kosala and continued till Kasi in the far west. Not much is known about the early life of Ajatashatru. A notab le piece of information about Ajatashatru was that he was a contemporary of Lord Buddha and was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism. He, as a king had also a llowed the Sangha to function in his kingdom. Expansion Ajatashatru was a great warrior and had conquered 36 republics in and around his kingdom and had established the supremacy of Magadha on whole of eastern India. Some of the famous wars that were fought by Ajatashatru were the battle with Lic hchchavi Republic and the sixteen year long war with the Vrijji confederacy. In fact this war stands as the best example of war between a clan and a kingdom. Th e scythed chariot was invented by Ajatashatru in 475 BC and was used by him to f ight against the Lichchchavi Republic. The scythed chariot was essentially a war chariot which had a blade on both ends of the axle. Ajatashatru had led a life which was full of wars, restlessness and violence. To wards the later part of his life, his soul was filled with grief and repentance. In other to cleanse his heart from all sins he surrendered himself at the feet of Lord Buddha and he was completely dedicated towards the Buddhist faith. His d edication was so complete that he was made the chief claimant of Buddha s relics after the death of Buddha. Later on Ajatashatru propagated Buddhism by building stupas all around the capital and by renovating the monasteries. He was the one who had established the first Buddhist General Council. He also suffered a fate similar to his father and was assassinated by his son Udaybhadra in 461 BC. Aja tashatru was succeeded by five kings who were not all worthy of kinghood and wer e like parasites. As a result the people of Magadha revolted and the Shishunaga dynasty came to power. • (D) Shishunaga Dynasty The Mahavamsa states that Ajatasattu s son Udayabhadra succeeded Ajatasattu and ruled for the next sixteen years. He moved his capital to the bank of Ganges whi ch was known as Pataliputra. The succession was followed by Udayabhadra s son An uruddha and his son Munda in the same family tradition by slaying the father. Mu nda s son Nagadasaka slew his father and continued reigning through this dynasty of parricides . The citizens angered by the rule of Haryankas, revolted against Nagadasaka and anointed Shishunaga as the king. According to tradition, the Shi shunaga dynasty founded the Magadha Empire in 430 BC, whose capital was Rajagrih a, later Pataliputra, near the present day Patna in India. This dynasty was succ eeded by the Nanda dynasty. Shishunaga (also called King Sisunaka) was the found er of a dynasty of 10 kings, collectively called the Shishunaga dynasty. He esta

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blished the Magadha Empire (in 430 BC). This empire, with its original capital i n Rajgriha, later shifted to Pataliputra (both currently in the Indian state of Bihar). The Shishunaga dynasty in its time was one of the largest empires of the Indian subcontinent. • (E) Nanda Dynasty The Nanda dynasty was established by an illegitimate son of the king Mahanandin of the previous Shishunaga dynasty. Mahapadma Nanda died at the age of 88, rulin g the bulk of this 100-year dynasty. The Nandas are sometimes described as the f irst empire builders of India. They inherited the large kingdom of Magadha and w ished to extend it to yet more distant frontiers. Mahapadma Nanda has been descr ibed as the destroyer of all the Kshatriyas. He defeated the Panchalas, Kasis, H aihayas, Kalingas, Asmakas, Kurus, Maithilas, Surasenas, Vitihotras, etc. He exp anded his territory till south of Deccan. Mahapadma Nanda died at the age of 88 and, therefore, he ruled the bulk of the period of this dynasty, which lasted 10 0 years. The Nandas who usurped the throne of the Shishunaga dynasty were of low origin. Some sources state that the founder, Mahapadma, was the son of a Shudra mother, others that he was born of a union of a barber with a courtesan. Nandas were the first of a number of dynasties of northern India who were of non-Kshat riya origin. The greatest extent of the empire was led by Dhana Nanda. The Nanda s were followed by the Maurya dynasty. The Nandas made the methodical collection of taxes by regularly appointed officials a part of their administrative system . The treasury was continually replenished, the wealth of the Nandas being wellknown. The Nandas also built canals and carried out irrigation projects. The pos sibility of an imperial structure based on an essentially agrarian economy began to germinate in the Indian mind. The last of the Nandas was Dhana Nanda (called Xandrames or Aggrammes in ancient Greek and Latin sources). Dhana Nanda was dethroned after he was defeated by Ch andragupta Maurya, a young adventurer born of a Nanda prince and a maid named "M ura". He had a great potential to rule. Dhana Nanda was murdered which finally s ignaled the advent of the Maurya Empire in 321 BC. Plutarch records that Chandragupta Maurya had stated that he was able to overthr ow Dhana Nanda since he was hated and despised by his subjects on account of the wickedness of his disposition. • 2. Age of Mauryas The Maurya Empire, ruling from 322 B.C. to 185 B.C., was geographically far-reac hing, potent and a political military empire in ancient India. Building up from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains (present day Bihar, eastern U ttar Pradesh and Bengal) in the eastern side of the Indian subcontinent, the emp ire had its capital city in Pataliputra (present day Patna, in Bihar). Mauryan d ynasty was established in 322 BCE by Chandragupta Maurya, who had overridden the Nanda Empire and speedily magnified his power westwards, spanning central and w estern India. Chandragupta, the founder king of the Mauryan Dynasty appeared on the political scenario with the solemn aim to make an alliance with the Macedonian power in or der to overthrow the Nandas from the northern part of India. This mission was ac hieved by taking solid advantage of the disturbances of local powers following t he withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great’s Greek and Persian forces. By 320 B CE the empire had fully overwhelmed North-western India, defeating and conquerin g the satraps left by Alexander. Chandragupta Maurya represents the quintessence of the Mauryan kings, who materialised the very idea of political unification o f India. With the ubiquitous Chanakya always by Chandragupta’s side, background an d history of Mauryan dynasty is one unusual chapter, absolute stuff for legends. At its greatest extent, the Mauryan Empire extended to the north alongside the n atural boundaries of the Himalayas and to the east, unfolding into what is prese nt day Assam. To the west, it reached beyond modern Pakistan, appending Baluchis tan and much of what is now Afghanistan, encompassing the modern Herat and Kanda har provinces. Mauryan dynasty was amplified into India’s central and southern rea

lms by the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara, but it debarred a small portion of uncharted tribal and forested regions near Kalinga. The Mauryan Empire was pe rhaps the largest empire ever to dominate the Indian subcontinent. Administratio n of Mauryan dynasty emoted a stupendous instance, in which the top order establ ished solemn groundwork for their descendants. Although, its downfall began fift y years after Ashoka’s rule came to a close and was dissolved in 185 BCE, with the foundation of the Sunga Dynasty in Magadha. Chandragupta was the founder of Mauryan dynasty. Brahmanical sources (Mudraraksh asa) say that the name Maurya was derived from ‘Mura’ a shudra woman in the court of Nandas, and Chandragupta was son or grandson of that woman. Vishnu Purana also mentions him of low origin i.e., shudra. But the Buddhist and Jaina sources ascr ibed him a Kshatriya status. His early carrier is shrouded in mystery. To Justin , a Greek writer, he overthrew Nandas between 325-322 B.C. To Plutarch, he met A lexander in Punjab and implicitly invited him to attack Nandas but offended him by his boldness of speech. • (A) Chandragupta Maurya (321-298 B.C.) Chandragupta occupied Magadhan throne in 321 B.C. with the help of ‘Chanakya’ (Kauti lya).He defeated Seleukas, the Alexander’s governor in 305 BC who ceded to Chandra gupta the three rich provinces of Kabul, Kandhar and Herat in return for 500 ele phants. Seleukas probably gave one of his daughter to Chandragupta and sent an a mbassador Megasthenes in the Mauryan court, who wrote an account (Indika) not on ly of the administration of the city of Pataliputra but also of the Mauryan empi re as a whole. Towards the end of his life, he adopted Jainism (298 B.C.), abdic ated the throne and fasted unto death in an orthodox Jaina manner at Sravan Bela gola near Mysore on Chandragiri hill. • (B) Bindusara (298-273 B.C.) He was son of Chandragupta and was known as ‘Amitraghata’ (slayer of foes), besides the master of the land between the two seas. Athaneous calls him as Amitrachates while Strabo gives him the name of Allitrochades. In Rajavalikatha, we have Sim asena. A Chinese text, Fa Puen Chulin names him Bindusara. He continued the frie ndly links with Syrian King Antiochus I and is stated to have requested him for a present of figs and wine together with a sophist. Antiochus sent figs and wine but replied that Greek Philosophers were not for export. He also received a Gre ek ambassador ‘Daimachos’ from Antiochus I. Pliny tells that Ptolemy II Philadephos of Egypt sent an envoy ‘Dinoysios’ to Bindusara’s court. Tradition credits him the sup pression of a revolt at Taxila, who later appointed his son Ashoka for further r edressal of grievances against the misrule of wicked bureaucrats (dustanatyas). Bindusara did not make any territorial conquest. • (C) Ashoka (273-232 B.C.) Ashoka had served as governor of Taxila and Ujjain previously. A Buddhist text ‘Di pavamsa’ says that he usurped the throne after killing his 99 brothers, except the youngest one. He fought the Kalinga war in 361B.C. in the 9th year, of his reig n, which proved to be a turning point in his carrier and he became a Buddhist up asaka and undertook Dharmayatras. He inaugurated his Dharmayatras from the 11th year of his reign by visiting Bod hgaya. In the 14th year of his reign he started the institution of ‘Dhamma Mahamat ras’ (the officers of righteousness) to spread the message of Dhamma. During his r eign the policy of Bherighosa (physical conquest) was replaced by that of Dhamma ghosa (cultural conquest). In course of his second tour in the 21st year of his reign he visited Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha and exempted the village fro m Bali (tribute) and the Bhaga (the royal share of the produce), which were redu ced to one eighth. Ashoka’s Hellenistic contemporaries were Antiochus II philadphu s of Egypt, Magas of Cyrene, Antigonus Gonatas of Macedonia and Alexander of Epi rus. These are mentioned in his thirteenth Rock Edict. • (i) Ashoka’s Dhamma Ashoka was careful enough to make a distinction between his personal belief and his support for Buddhism and sectarian conflicts and to promote a harmonious rel ationship between the diverse elements of the vast empire. His Dhamma was an eth ical code aimed at building up an attitude of social responsibility among the pe

ople. It was not synonymous with Buddhism; it was aimed at building up an attitude of mind of social responsibility based on man’s dignity and humanistic approach. It w as not a sectarian faith. It emphasized truth, non-violence, toleration, compass ion; obedience etc., which were common to almost all religions prevailing in Ind ia and none could object its basic tenets. • (ii) Ashokan Edicts There were 14 major rock edicts, two separate Kalinga edicts, 7 pillar edicts, a nd many other inscriptions engraved separately in areas such as Maski, Bhabru, S amapa etc. In the north-west the Ashokan scripts were bi-lingual i.e., Greek and Aramaic. Generally, most of the edicts within Indian sub-continental boundaries have been composed in the Brahmi script. • (a) The Fourteen Rock Edicts Ashoka s First Rock inscription at Girnar Ist Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, has caused this Dhamma edict to b e written. Here (in my domain) no living beings are to be slaughtered or offered in sacrifice. Nor should festivals be held, for Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyad asi, sees much to object to in such festivals, although there are some festivals that Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does approve of. Formerly, in the kitchen of Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, hundreds of thou sands of animals were killed every day to make curry. But now with the writing o f this Dhamma edict only three creatures, two peacocks and a deer are killed, an d the deer not always. And in time, not even these three creatures will be kille d. IInd Edict: Everywhere within Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi s domain, and a mong the people beyond the borders, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputras, t he Keralaputras, as far as Tamraparni and where the Greek king Antiochos rules, and among the kings who are neighbors of Antiochos, everywhere has Beloved-of-th e-Gods, King Piyadasi, made provision for two types of medical treatment: medica l treatment for humans and medical treatment for animals. Wherever medical herbs suitable for humans or animals are not available, I have had them imported and grown. Wherever medical roots or fruits are not available I have had them import ed and grown. Along roads I have had wells dug and trees planted for the benefit of humans and animals. IIIrd Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: Twelve years after my coronation this has been ordered -- Everywhere in my domain the Yuktas, the Rajjukas and the Pradesikas shall go on inspection tours every five years for th e purpose of Dhamma instruction and also to conduct other business. Respect for mother and father is good, generosity to friends, acquaintances, relatives, Brah mans and ascetics is good, not killing living beings is good, moderation in spen ding and moderation in saving is good. The Council shall notify the Yuktas about the observance of these instructions in these very words. IVth Edict: In the past, for many hundreds of years, killing or harming living b eings and improper behavior towards relatives, and improper behavior towards Bra hmans and ascetics has increased. But now due to Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyad asi s Dhamma practice, the sound of the drum has been replaced by the sound of t he Dhamma. The sighting of heavenly cars, auspicious elephants, bodies of fire a nd other divine sightings has not happened for many hundreds of years. But now b ecause Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi promotes restraint in the killing and harming of living beings, proper behavior towards relatives, Brahmans and asceti cs, and respect for mother, father and elders, such sightings have increased. These and many other kinds of Dhamma practice have been encouraged by Beloved-of -the-Gods, King Piyadasi, and he will continue to promote Dhamma practice. And t he sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, to o will continue to promote Dhamma practice until the end of time; living by Dham ma and virtue, they will instruct in Dhamma. Truly, this is the highest work, to instruct in Dhamma. But practicing the Dhamma cannot be done by one who is devo id of virtue and therefore its promotion and growth is commendable. This edict has been written so that it may please my successors to devote themse lves to promoting these things and not allow them to decline. Beloved-of-the-God

 

 

 

s, King Piyadasi, has had this written twelve years after his coronation. Vth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: To do good is diffic ult. One who does good first does something hard to do. I have done many good de eds, and, if my sons, grandsons and their descendants up to the end of the world act in like manner, they too will do much good. But whoever amongst them neglec ts this, they will do evil. Truly, it is easy to do evil. In the past there were no Dhamma Mahamatras but such officers were appointed by me thirteen years after my coronation. Now they work among all religions for the establishment of Dhamma, for the promotion of Dhamma, and for the welfare and h appiness of all who are devoted to Dhamma. They work among the Greeks, the Kambo jas, the Gandharas, the Rastrikas, the Pitinikas and other peoples on the wester n borders.They work among soldiers, chiefs, Brahmans, householders, the poor, th e aged and those devoted to Dhamma -- for their welfare and happiness -- so that they may be free from harassment. They (Dhamma Mahamatras) work for the proper treatment of prisoners, towards their unfettering, and if the Mahamatras think, "This one has a family to support," "That one has been bewitched," "This one is old," then they work for the release of such prisoners. They work here, in outly ing towns, in the women s quarters belonging to my brothers and sisters, and amo ng my other relatives. They are occupied everywhere. These Dhamma Mahamatras are occupied in my domain among people devoted to Dhamma to determine who is devote d to Dhamma, who is established in Dhamma, and who is generous. This Dhamma edict has been written on stone so that it might endure long and tha t my descendants might act in conformity with it. VIth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: In the past, state business was not transacted nor were reports delivered to the king at all hours. But now I have given this order, that at any time, whether I am eating, in the women s quarters, the bed chamber, the chariot, the palanquin, in the park or wh erever, reporters are to be posted with instructions to report to me the affairs of the people so that I might attend to these affairs wherever I am. And whatev er I orally order in connection with donations or proclamations, or when urgent business presses itself on the Mahamatras, if disagreement or debate arises in t he Council, then it must be reported to me immediately. This is what I have orde red. I am never content with exerting myself or with despatching business. Truly , I consider the welfare of all to be my duty, and the root of this is exertion and the prompt despatch of business. There is no better work than promoting the welfare of all the people and whatever efforts I am making is to repay the debt I owe to all beings to assure their happiness in this life, and attain heaven in the next. Therefore this Dhamma edict has been written to last long and that my sons, gran dsons and great-grandsons might act in conformity with it for the welfare of the world. However, this is difficult to do without great exertion. VIIth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all religions shou ld reside everywhere, for all of them desire self-control and purity of heart. B ut people have various desires and various passions, and they may practice all o f what they should or only a part of it. But one who receives great gifts yet is lacking in self-control, purity of heart, gratitude and firm devotion, such a p erson is mean. VIIIth Edict: In the past kings used to go out on pleasure tours during which th ere was hunting and other entertainment. But ten years after Beloved-of-the-Gods had been coronated, he went on a tour to Sambodhi and thus instituted Dhamma to urs. During these tours, the following things took place: visits and gifts to Br ahmans and ascetics, visits and gifts of gold to the aged, visits to people in t he countryside, instructing them in Dhamma, and discussing Dhamma with them as i s suitable. It is this that delights Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, and is, as it were, another type of revenue. IX Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: In times of sickness, for the marriage of sons and daughters, at the birth of children, before embark ing on a journey, on these and other occasions, people perform various ceremonie s. Women in particular perform many vulgar and worthless ceremonies. These types of ceremonies can be performed by all means, but they bear little fruit. What d

 

 

oes bear great fruit, however, is the ceremony of the Dhamma. This involves prop er behavior towards servants and employees, respect for teachers, restraint towa rds living beings, and generosity towards ascetics and Brahmans. These and other things constitute the ceremony of the Dhamma. Therefore a father, a son, a brot her, a master, a friend, a companion, and even a neighbor should say: "This is g ood, this is the ceremony that should be performed until its purpose is fulfille d, this I shall do." Other ceremonies are of doubtful fruit, for they may achiev e their purpose, or they may not, and even if they do, it is only in this world. But the ceremony of the Dhamma is timeless. Even if it does not achieve its pur pose in this world, it produces great merit in the next, whereas if it does achi eve its purpose in this world, one gets great merit both here and there through the ceremony of the Dhamma. Xth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not consider glory and fame to be of great account unless they are achieved through having my subjects respe ct Dhamma and practice Dhamma, both now and in the future. For this alone does B eloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desire glory and fame. And whatever efforts B eloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, is making, all of that is only for the welfar e of the people in the next world, and that they will have little evil. And bein g without merit is evil. This is difficult for either a humble person or a great person to do except with great effort, and by giving up other interests. In fac t, it may be even more difficult for a great person to do. XIth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: There is no gift li ke the gift of the Dhamma, (no acquaintance like) acquaintance with Dhamma, (no distribution like) distribution of Dhamma, and (no kinship like) kinship through Dhamma. And it consists of this: proper behavior towards servants and employees , respect for mother and father, generosity to friends, companions, relations, B rahmans and ascetics, and not killing living beings. Therefore a father, a son, a brother, a master, a friend, a companion or a neighbor should say: "This is go od, this should be done." One benefits in this world and gains great merit in th e next by giving the gift of the Dhamma. XIIth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, honors both ascetics and the ho useholders of all religions, and he honors them with gifts and honors of various kinds. But Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values this -- that there should be growth in the essentials of al l religions. Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one s own religio n, or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is caus e for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor othe r religions for this reason. By so doing, one s own religion benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one s own religion and the religio ns of others. Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and c ondemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good. One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piya dasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other rel igions. Those who are content with their own religion should be told this: Beloved-of-th e-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions. And to this end many are working -- Dhamma Mahamatras, Mahamatras in charge of the women s quarters, officers in charge of outlying areas, and other such officers. And the fruit of this is that one s own religion grows and the Dhamma is illuminated also. XIIIth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, conquered the Kalingas eight y ears after his coronation. One hundred and fifty thousand were deported, one hun dred thousand were killed and many more died (from other causes). After the Kali ngas had been conquered, Beloved-of-the-Gods came to feel a strong inclination t owards the Dhamma, a love for the Dhamma and for instruction in Dhamma. Now Belo ved-of-the-Gods feels deep remorse for having conquered the Kalingas. Indeed, Beloved-of-the-Gods is deeply pained by the killing, dying and deportati on that take place when an unconquered country is conquered. But Beloved-of-the-

 

 

 

 

 

Gods is pained even more by this -- that Brahmans, ascetics, and householders of different religions who live in those countries, and who are respectful to supe riors, to mother and father, to elders, and who behave properly and have strong loyalty towards friends, acquaintances, companions, relatives, servants and empl oyees -- that they are injured, killed or separated from their loved ones. Even those who are not affected (by all this) suffer when they see friends, acquainta nces, companions and relatives affected. These misfortunes befall all (as a resu lt of war), and this pains Beloved-of-the-Gods. There is no country, except among the Greeks, where these two groups, Brahmans a nd ascetics, are not found, and there is no country where people are not devoted to one or another religion. Therefore the killing, death or deportation of a hu ndredth, or even a thousandth part of those who died during the conquest of Kali nga now pains Beloved-of-the-Gods. Now Beloved-of-the-Gods thinks that even thos e who do wrong should be forgiven where forgiveness is possible. Even the forest people, who live in Beloved-of-the-Gods domain, are entreated a nd reasoned with to act properly. They are told that despite his remorse Beloved -of-the-Gods has the power to punish them if necessary, so that they should be a shamed of their wrong and not be killed. Truly, Beloved-of-the-Gods desires noninjury, restraint and impartiality to all beings, even where wrong has been done . Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-of-the-Gods considers to be the best c onquest. And it (conquest by Dhamma) has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in t he south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni.[28] Here in th e king s domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are fo llowing Beloved-of-the-Gods instructions in Dhamma. Even where Beloved-of-the-G ods envoys have not been, these people too, having heard of the practice of Dha mma and the ordinances and instructions in Dhamma given by Beloved-of-the-Gods, are following it and will continue to do so. This conquest has been won everywhe re, and it gives great joy -- the joy which only conquest by Dhamma can give. Bu t even this joy is of little consequence. Beloved-of-the-Gods considers the grea t fruit to be experienced in the next world to be more important. I have had this Dhamma edict written so that my sons and great-grandsons may not consider making new conquests, or that if military conquests are made, that the y be done with forbearance and light punishment, or better still, that they cons ider making conquest by Dhamma only, for that bears fruit in this world and the next. May all their intense devotion be given to this which has a result in this world and the next. XIVth Edict: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, has had these Dhamma edicts wri tten in brief, in medium length, and in extended form. Not all of them occur eve rywhere, for my domain is vast, but much has been written, and I will have still more written. And also there are some subjects here that have been spoken of ag ain and again because of their sweetness, and so that the people may act in acco rdance with them. If some things written are incomplete, this is because of the locality, or in consideration of the object, or due to the fault of the scribe. • (b) 2-Separate Rock Edicts 1. Beloved-of-the-Gods says that the Mahamatras of Tosali who are judicial offic ers in the city are to be told this: I wish to see that everything I consider to be proper is carried out in the right way. And I consider instructing you to be the best way of accomplishing this. I have placed you over many thousands of pe ople that you may win the people s affection. All men are my children. What I desire for my own children, and I desire their w elfare and happiness both in this world and the next, that I desire for all men. You do not understand to what extent I desire this, and if some of you do under stand, you do not understand the full extent of my desire. You must attend to this matter. While being completely law-abiding, some people are imprisoned, treated harshly and even killed without cause so that many peopl e suffer. Therefore your aim should be to act with impartiality. It is because o

 

 

 

 

 

f these things -- envy, anger, cruelty, hate, indifference, laziness or tirednes s -- that such a thing does not happen. Therefore your aim should be: "May these things not be in me." And the root of this is non-anger and patience. Those who are bored with the administration of justice will not be promoted; (those who a re not) will move upwards and be promoted. Whoever among you understands this sh ould say to his colleagues: "See that you do your duty properly. Such and such a re Beloved-of-the-Gods instructions." Great fruit will result from doing your d uty, while failing in it will result in gaining neither heaven nor the king s pl easure. Failure in duty on your part will not please me. But done properly, it w ill win you heaven and you will be discharging your debts to me. This edict is to be listened to on Tisa day, between Tisa days, and on other sui table occasions, it should be listened to even by a single person. Acting thus, you will be doing your duty. This edict has been written for the following purpose: that the judicial officer s of the city may strive to do their duty and that the people under them might n ot suffer unjust imprisonment or harsh treatment. To achieve this, I will send o ut Mahamatras every five years who are not harsh or cruel, but who are merciful and who can ascertain if the judicial officers have understood my purpose and ar e acting according to my instructions. Similarly, from Ujjayini, the prince will send similar persons with the same purpose without allowing three years to elap se. Likewise from Takhasila also. When these Mahamatras go on tours of inspectio n each year, then without neglecting their normal duties, they will ascertain if judicial officers are acting according to the king s instructions. 2. This royal order is to be addressed to the Mahamatras at Samapa. I wish to se e that everything I consider to be proper is carried out in the right way. And I consider instructing you to be the best way of accomplishing this. All men are my children. What I desire for my own children, and I desire their welfare and h appiness both in this world and the next, that I desire for all men. The people of the unconquered territories beyond the borders might think: "What is the king s intentions towards us?" My only intention is that they live withou t fear of me, that they may trust me and that I may give them happiness, not sor row. Furthermore, they should understand that the king will forgive those who ca n be forgiven, and that he wishes to encourage them to practice Dhamma so that t hey may attain happiness in this world and the next. I am telling you this so th at I may discharge the debts I owe, and that in instructing you, that you may kn ow that my vow and my promise will not be broken. Therefore acting in this way, you should perform your duties and assure them (the people beyond the borders) t hat: "The king is like a father. He feels towards us as he feels towards himself . We are to him like his own children." By instructing you and informing you of my vow and my promise I shall be applyin g myself in complete fullness to achieving this object. You are able indeed to i nspire them with confidence and to secure their welfare and happiness in this wo rld and the next, and by acting thus, you will attain heaven as well as discharg e the debts you owe to me. And so that the Mahamatras can devote themselves at a ll times to inspiring the border areas with confidence and encouraging them to p ractice Dhamma, this edict has been written here. This edict is to be listened to every four months on Tisa day, between Tisa days , and on other suitable occasions, it should be listened to even by a single per son. Acting thus, you will be doing your duty. • (c) 3-Minor Rock Edicts 1. It is now more than two and a half years since I became a lay-disciple, but u ntil now I have not been very zealous. But now that I have visited the Sangha fo r more than a year, I have become very zealous. Now the people in India who have not associated with the gods do so. This is the result of zeal and it is not ju st the great who can do this. Even the humble, if they are zealous, can attain h eaven. And this proclamation has been made with this aim. Let both humble and gr eat be zealous, let even those on the borders know and let zeal last long. Then this zeal will increase, it will greatly increase, it will increase up to one-an d-a-half times. This message has been proclaimed two hundred and fifty-six times by the king while on tour.

 

 

 

 

2. Father and mother should be respected and so should elders, kindness to livin g beings should be made strong and the truth should be spoken. In these ways, th e Dhamma should be promoted. Likewise, a teacher should be honored by his pupil and proper manners should be shown towards relations. This is an ancient rule th at conduces to long life. Thus should one act. Written by the scribe Chapada. 3. Piyadasi, King of Magadha, saluting the Sangha and wishing them good health a nd happiness, speaks thus: You know, reverend sirs, how great my faith in the Bu ddha, the Dhamma and Sangha is. Whatever, reverend sirs, has been spoken by Lord Buddha, all that is well-spoken. I consider it proper, reverend sirs, to advise on how the good Dhamma should last long. These Dhamma texts -- Extracts from the Discipline, the Noble Way of Life, the F ears to Come, the Poem on the Silent Sage, the Discourse on the Pure Life, Upati sa s Questions, and the Advice to Rahula which was spoken by the Buddha concerni ng false speech -- these Dhamma texts, reverend sirs, I desire that all the monk s and nuns may constantly listen to and remember. Likewise the laymen and laywom en. I have had this written that you may know my intentions. • (d) 7-Pillar Edicts 1. This Dhamma edict was written twenty-six years after my coronation. Happiness in this world and the next is difficult to obtain without much love for the Dha mma, much self-examination, much respect, much fear (of evil), and much enthusia sm. But through my instruction this regard for Dhamma and love of Dhamma has gro wn day by day, and will continue to grow. And my officers of high, low and middl e rank are practicing and conforming to Dhamma, and are capable of inspiring oth ers to do the same. Mahamatras in border areas are doing the same. And these are my instructions: to protect with Dhamma, to make happiness through Dhamma and t o guard with Dhamma. 2. Dhamma is good, but what constitutes Dhamma? (It includes) little evil, much good, kindness, generosity, truthfulness and purity. I have given the gift of si ght in various ways. To two-footed and four-footed beings, to birds and aquatic animals, I have given various things including the gift of life. And many other good deeds have been done by me. This Dhamma edict has been written that people might follow it and it might endu re for a long time. And the one who follows it properly will do something good. 3. People see only their good deeds saying, "I have done this good deed." But th ey do not see their evil deeds saying, "I have done this evil deed" or "This is called evil." But this (tendency) is difficult to see. One should think like thi s: "It is these things that lead to evil, to violence, to cruelty, anger, pride and jealousy. Let me not ruin myself with these things." And further, one should think: "This leads to happiness in this world and the next." 4. This Dhamma edict was written twenty-six years after my coronation. My Rajjuk as are working among the people, among many hundreds of thousands of people. The hearing of petitions and the administration of justice has been left to them so that they can do their duties confidently and fearlessly and so that they can w ork for the welfare, happiness and benefit of the people in the country. But the y should remember what causes happiness and sorrow, and being themselves devoted to Dhamma, they should encourage the people in the country (to do the same), th at they may attain happiness in this world and the next. These Rajjukas are eage r to serve me. They also obey other officers who know my desires, who instruct t he Rajjukas so that they can please me. Just as a person feels confident having entrusted his child to an expert nurse thinking: "The nurse will keep my child w ell," even so, the Rajjukas have been appointed by me for the welfare and happin ess of the people in the country. The hearing of petitions and the administration of justice have been left to the Rajjukas so that they can do their duties unperturbed, fearlessly and confident ly. It is my desire that there should be uniformity in law and uniformity in sen tencing. I even go this far, to grant a three-day stay for those in prison who h ave been tried and sentenced to death. During this time their relatives can make appeals to have the prisoners lives spared. If there is none to appeal on thei r behalf, the prisoners can give gifts in order to make merit for the next world

 

 

, or observe fasts. Indeed, it is my wish that in this way, even if a prisoner s time is limited, he can prepare for the next world, and that people s Dhamma pr actice, self-control and generosity may grow. 5. Twenty-six years after my coronation various animals were declared to be prot ected -- parrots, mainas, //aruna//, ruddy geese, wild ducks, //nandimukhas, gel atas//, bats, queen ants, terrapins, boneless fish, //vedareyaka//, //gangapuput aka//, //sankiya// fish, tortoises, porcupines, squirrels, deer, bulls, //okapin da//, wild asses, wild pigeons, domestic pigeons and all four-footed creatures t hat are neither useful nor edible. Those nanny goats, ewes and sows which are wi th young or giving milk to their young are protected, and so are young ones less than six months old. Cocks are not to be caponized, husks hiding living beings are not to be burnt and forests are not to be burnt either without reason or to kill creatures. One animal is not to be fed to another. On the three Caturmasis, the three days of Tisa and during the fourteenth and fifteenth of the Uposatha, fish are protected and not to be sold. During these days animals are not to be killed in the elephant reserves or the fish reserves either. On the eighth of ev ery fortnight, on the fourteenth and fifteenth, on Tisa, Punarvasu, the three Ca turmasis and other auspicious days, bulls are not to be castrated, billy goats, rams, boars and other animals that are usually castrated are not to be. On Tisa, Punarvasu, Caturmasis and the fortnight of Caturmasis, horses and bullocks are not be branded. In the twenty-six years since my coronation prisoners have been given amnesty on twenty-five occasions. 6. Twelve years after my coronation I started to have Dhamma edicts written for the welfare and happiness of the people, and so that not transgressing them they might grow in the Dhamma. Thinking: "How can the welfare and happiness of the p eople be secured?" I give attention to my relatives, to those dwelling near and those dwelling far, so I can lead them to happiness and then I act accordingly. I do the same for all groups. I have honored all religions with various honors. But I consider it best to meet with people personally. This Dhamma edict was written twenty-six years after my coronation. 7. In the past kings desired that the people might grow through the promotion of the Dhamma. But despite this, people did not grow through the promotion of the Dhamma. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, said concerning this: "It occurs to me that in the past kings desired that the people might grow through the promoti on of the Dhamma. But despite this, people did not grow through the promotion of the Dhamma. Now how can the people be encouraged to follow it? How can the peop le be encouraged to grow through the promotion of the Dhamma? How can I elevate them by promoting the Dhamma?" Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, further said concerning this: "It occurs to me that I shall have proclamations on Dhamma anno unced and instruction on Dhamma given. When people hear these, they will follow them, elevate themselves and grow considerably through the promotion of the Dham ma." It is for this purpose that proclamations on Dhamma have been announced and various instructions on Dhamma have been given and that officers who work among many promote and explain them in detail. The Rajjukas who work among hundreds o f thousands of people have likewise been ordered: "In this way and that encourag e those who are devoted to Dhamma." Beloved-of-the-Gods speaks thus: "Having thi s object in view, I have set up Dhamma pillars, appointed Dhamma Mahamatras, and announced Dhamma proclamations." Along roads I have had banyan trees planted so that they can give shade to anima ls and men, and I have had mango groves planted. At intervals of eight //krosas/ /, I have had wells dug, rest-houses built, and in various places, I have had wa tering-places made for the use of animals and men. But these are but minor achie vements. Such things to make the people happy have been done by former kings. I have done these things for this purpose, that the people might practice the Dham ma. My Dhamma Mahamatras too are occupied with various good works among the ascetics and householders of all religions. I have ordered that they should be occupied with the affairs of the Sangha. I have also ordered that they should be occupied with the affairs of the Brahmans and the Ajivikas. I have ordered that they be

 

 

occupied with the Niganthas. In fact, I have ordered that different Mahamatras b e occupied with the particular affairs of all different religions. And my Dhamma Mahamatras likewise are occupied with these and other religions. These and other principal officers are occupied with the distribution of gifts, mine as well as those of the queens. In my women s quarters, they organize vario us charitable activities here and in the provinces. I have also ordered my sons and the sons of other queens to distribute gifts so that noble deeds of Dhamma a nd the practice of Dhamma may be promoted. And noble deeds of Dhamma and the pra ctice of Dhamma consist of having kindness, generosity, truthfulness, purity, ge ntleness and goodness increase among the people. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: Whatever good deeds have been d one by me, those the people accept and those they follow. Therefore they have pr ogressed and will continue to progress by being respectful to mother and father, respectful to elders, by courtesy to the aged and proper behavior towards Brahm ans and ascetics, towards the poor and distressed, and even towards servants and employees. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: This progress among the people through Dhamma has been done by two means, by Dhamma regulations and by persuasi on. Of these, Dhamma regulation is of little effect, while persuasion has much m ore effect. The Dhamma regulations I have given are that various animals must be protected. And I have given many other Dhamma regulations also. But it is by pe rsuasion that progress among the people through Dhamma has had a greater effect in respect of harmlessness to living beings and non-killing of living beings. Concerning this, Beloved-of-the-Gods says: Wherever there are stone pillars or s tone slabs, there this Dhamma edict is to be engraved so that it may long endure . It has been engraved so that it may endure as long as my sons and great-grands ons live and as long as the sun and the moon shine, and so that people may pract ice it as instructed. For by practicing it happiness will be attained in this wo rld and the next. This Dhamma edict has been written by me twenty-seven years after my coronation. • (e) The Pillar Edicts 1. Twenty years after his coronation, Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, visite d this place and worshipped because here the Buddha, the sage of the Sakyans, wa s born. He had a stone figure and a pillar set up and because the Lord was born here, the village of Lumbini was exempted from tax and required to pay only one eighth of the produce. 2. The Mahamatras at Kosambi (are to be told: Whoever splits the Sangha) which i s now united, is not to be admitted into the Sangha. Whoever, whether monk or nu n, splits the Sangha is to be made to wear white clothes and to reside somewhere other than in a monastery. • (D) Kunal and Samprati (232B.C. to 187B.C.) Ashoka died in 232 B.C. and with him departed the glory of Mauryan empire. Vishn u Puran gives the names of his seven successors but with no details, probably th e empire was divided into two parts of eastern and western. The western being ruled by Kunal and later for sometime by Samprati where IndoGreeks began to make early inroads and until 180 B.C. had virtually supplanted t he later Mauryas. The eastern part being ruled by Brihadratha from Pataliputra. He was the sevent h king in succession from Ashoka. He was killed by his commander in chief Pushya mitra, who ascended the throne in 187 B.C. The royal dynasty founded by him is k nown as Sunga dynasty. • (E) Mauryan Administration A vast and highly centralised bureaucratic rule with the king as fountain head o f all powers. The King claimed no divine rule, rather it was paternal despotism. Kautilya called the king ‘Dharmapravartaka’ or promulgator of social order. The hig hest functionaries at the centre called tirthas and were paid fabulously. They w ere 18 in number: Mantrin (Chief Minister), Purohita (Chief Priest), Senapati (C ommander in chief), and Yuvaraja (Crown prince)were the highest functionaries am ong the tirthas. Mantriparishad: There was also a mantriparishad to assist the king in day-to-day

 

administration. Kautilya again and again emphasized the importance of Mantripar ishad. Kautilya mentions 27 superintendent (adhyakshas) mostly to regulate econo mic activities. The famous were as follows: Panyadhyaksha: Commerce. Samsthadhyaksha: Markets, checking wrong practices. Pautavadhyaksha: Weights and measures. Navadhyaksha: State Boats. Sulkadhyaksha: Tolls/Customs. Akaradhyaksha: Mines. Sitadhyaksha: Crown lands. Akshapataladhyaksha: Accounts. Manadhyaksha: Measurement. Pattanadhyaksha: Ports. Ganikadhyaksha: Courtesan. Devatadhyaksha: Religious institutions. Lakshanadhyaksha: Mint. Espionage: Spies operated in the guise of sanyasis, wonderers, beggars etc and were of two types ‘Sanstha’ and ‘Sanchari’. The former worked by remaining stationed at a public place and later by moving from place to place. Pulisani: Public relation officers gathered public opinion, reported to the King . Prativedaka: Special reporter, had direct access to the king at any hour. Gudha Purusha: Secret agents mentioned in Arthashastra Army: Mauryans had a big army and there is no evidence of its reduction even by peace loving Ashoka. According to Pliny – Chandragupta maintained 600,000-foot sol diers, 30,000 cavalry and 900 elephants. According to Megasthenes, the army was administered by six committees consisting of five members each taken from a boar d of 30 members. The six committees or the wings of the army were: the army, the cavalry, the elephants, the chariots, the navy and the transport. The officers and soldiers were paid in cash. Salaries of some important officers were : Senap ati – 48,000 pana; Nayaka – 12,000 pana; Mukhyas – 8,000 pana; Adhyaksha – 4,000 pana Provincial Administration: Except the capital Pataliputra, the whole empire was divided into four provinces controlled by a viceroy – either a prince or a member of the royal family. District Administration: Provinces were sub-divided into districts and had three main officers: 1. Pradesika responsible for the overall administration of the district. 2. Rajuka revenue administration and later judicial particularly in rural areas and was under Pradesika. 3. Yukta probably accountants. Sub-District and Village Administration: Sub district consisted of a group of v illages numbering 5 to 10 and was administered by ‘Gopa’ (accountant) and ‘Sthanika’ (Ta x collector). The villages were administered by the village headmen who were res ponsible to the Gopas and Sthanikas. City Administration: The administration of capital Pataliputra has been describ ed by Megasthenes, which according to him, was administered by six boards consis ting of five members each, being entrusted with matters relating to industrial a rts, care of foreigners, registration of births and deaths, regulation of weight s and measures, public sale of manufactured goods and the last with collecting t oll on the articles sold- this being one tenth of the purchase price. Head of th e city administration was Nagrika. Nagarika was assisted by two subordinate offi cials namely: Sthanika and Gopa. Revenue Administration: Land revenue was the main source of income of the state. of the produce as ‘Bhaga’ and an extra tax ‘Bali’ tribute. According to t Peasants paid he Arthashastra, the land belonged to king, irrigation tax was also levied by th e government. Besides, other taxes like ‘Pindakara’ (assessed on group of villages), ‘Kara’ (levied on fruits and flower gardens), ‘Hiranya’ (paid only in cash) were also c ollected. Economic Condition Both agricultural and industrial sector made much headway; colonisation of lands

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for agricultural purpose took place on a large scale due to royal incentives. I ndustrial arts and crafts proliferated as a result of swift communication throug h a network of good and long roads and incentives given by the government. A str iking social development was the employment of slaves in agricultural operation on a large scale. It seems that the punch-marked silver coins, which carry the s ymbols of peacock and hill and regent formed the imperial currency of the Maurya s. Social Condition Megasthenes divided Mauryan society into seven castes – philosophers, farmers, sol diers, herdsman, artisans, magistrate and councilors, certainly he confused cast e with profession. Again he notices the absence of slavery, but it is contradict ed by Indian sources. Kautilya recommends the recruitment of Vaishyas and Shudra s in the army, but their actual enrolment is extremely doubtfull. In addition to the four regular castes, he refers not less than five mixed castes by the gener al name ‘Antyavasayin’ (living at end), who lived beyond the pale of Aryan society. The position of Shudra improved somewhat for hitherto agricultural labourers and domestic slaves. They could now own land. The existence of several sects must h ave caused social tention. • (F) Decline 1. Brahmanical Reaction: Har Prasad Shastri holds that Ashoka’s pro-Buddhist policy annoyed Brahmans culminating in the killing of the last Mauryan ruler Bri hadratha by his Brahman army general Pushyamitra Sunga. 2. Ashoka’s Pacifist Policy: which resulted in the emasculation of the army, but we have no evidence of his disbanding the army or even reducing their number . (H.C. Raichoudhary). 3. Economic Weakness: D.D. Koshambi draws our attention to the debased coin s of later Mauryans and maintains that the heavy economic pressure caused due to a vast army and bureaucracy was the chief cause for the downfall. 4. Administrative Weakness: Romila Thapar attributes decline to the top hea vily centralized bureaucracy; no competitive requirement system, no means of gau ging public opinion, lack of nationalism among people, but all these were a remo te possibilities in those days. 5. Ashoka’s weak successors: Ashoka’s weak successors and division of the empir e into the parts might have adversely affected the strength and resources of the empire in resisting Indo-Greeks who were the first to invade. • (G) Sunga Dynasty The Sunga dynasty was established in 185 BC, about fifty years after Ashoka s de ath, when the kingBrihadratha, the last of the Mauryan rulers, was assassinated by the then commander-in-chief of the Mauryan armed forces, Pusyamitra Sunga, wh ile he was taking the Guard of Honour of his forces.Pusyamitra Sunga then ascend ed the throne. • (H) Kanva Dynasty The Kanva dynasty replaced the Sunga dynasty, and ruled in the eastern part of I ndia from 71 BC to 26 BC. The last ruler of the Sunga dynasty was overthrown by Vasudeva of the Kanva dynasty in 75 BC. The Kanva ruler allowed the kings of the Sunga dynasty to continue to rule in obscurity in a corner of their former domi nions. Magadha was ruled by four Kanva rulers. In 30 BC, the southern power swep t away both the Kanvas and Sungas and the province of Eastern Malwa was absorbed within the dominions of the conqueror. Following the collapse of the Kanva dyna sty, the Satavahana dynasty of the Andhra kingdom replaced the Magadhan kingdom as the most powerful Indian state. • India after the Mauryas (200 BC-AD 100) • Introduction The political history of this period has to be put together through different ty pes of sources. For some regions, the Puranic lists of dynasty and rulers became important sources of information. In some cases, inscriptions supplement the in formation that we get from the Puranas. For the period immediately succeeding the overthrow of the Mauryas, scraps of in formation are found in such texts as the Gargi Samhita, the Mahabhashya of Patan jali, theDivyavadana, the Malvikagnimitra of Kalidas and the Harsh Charita. Evid

 

ence of Sunga history comes to us also from the inscriptions of Ayodhya, Vidisha and Bharhut. For the minor ruling families, the most important data are provide d by different types of coins maintained by them. Cultural contacts with power of Western Asia and more so with Central Asia becam e regular in this period. So for the north-western region, some other types of s ources become important in this period. For example, in addition to coins, inscr iptions written in Kharosthi script are found in large numbers in this period in the region of Gandhara, there are many Kharosthi documents found in Central Asi a as well. Similarly, there are trade references in Greek and Latin sources to r egions of north-western India and its rulers. In the Buddhist sources too, we fi nd evidence regarding this period. For example, the Pali work Milindapanho (the questions of Milinda) bears on the Yavana king Menamdar and on Buddhism in this period. The Chinese historical chronicles too contain references to contemporary events in Central Asia, Bacteria and north-west India. For information on the e arly history of the Yuch-chis or the Kushanas, we have to depend on the chronicl es of early Han and later Han dynasties of China. Even though the Mauryan dynasty came to an end and the Mauryan Empire broke up, it did not mean a decline or a set-back for the society as a whole. In fact in m any parts or the Indian subcontinent, there was material and technical advanceme nt. Romila Thapar states “there is no doubt of the economic prosperity that prevai led with the political decline of the Mauryan empire.” The Empire had initiated pr ocesses of change in many regions which reached a level of maturity in the postMauryan period and we see the rise of a number of kingdoms in different parts of India. Sunga Dynasty Immediately after the Mauryas, Pushyamitra established the Sunga dynasty. The Su ngas were able to control only a part of the erstwhile Mauryan Empire. The Sunga s, a Brahman family, possibly originally belonged to the region of Ujjain in wes tern India, where they worked as officials under the Mauryan Kings. Pushyamitra tried to revive Vedic practices and sacrifices and is said to have performed two asvamedha sacrifices. Buddhist sources claim that he persecuted Buddhists. The Sunga dominions comprised the entire Gangetic valley and extended up to the rive r Narmada. In the north-west, they fought against the Greeks and in the south-ea st against the king of Kalinga. The Sungas within a hundred years came to be con fined only to Magadh and the Central Indian territories. In 75 BC, the fourth ru ler of the line, Devabhuti, fell victim to the conspiracy of his Brahman ministe r, Vasudeva. Although Vasudeva started a new line of rulers, called Kanva, it la sted only for four generations (till 28 BC). Kanva Dynasty According to the Vayu Purana the Kanva was a minor dynasty having only four rule rs – Vasudeva, Bhumimitra, Narayana, and Susarman – who ruled for 45 years i.e., 73 to 28 B.C. Not much is known about these rulers except that they were all Brahma ns like those of their predecessors, the Sungas. The Magadha Empire saw a furthe r fall under them. In about 28 B.C. Susarman, the last ruler of this dynasty, wa s killed by the Andhra king Simuka. The fall of the dynasty was followed by the rise of independent principalities a t Ayodhya, Kausambi, Mathura and Ahichchhatra. • 1. Region-wise Local Powers Region-wise Local Powers • (A) North India The tribal states which had earlier succumbed to Mauryan imperialism, new reasse rted themselves. In Punjab, the existence of several republics is attested by nu mismatic evidence. The Audumbras occupied the land between the upper course of t he Ravi and the Beas. The Kunindas are said to have become prominent between the Beas and the Yamuna around the foothills of Sivalik hills. Trigartas ruled the plain country between the rivers Ravi and Sutlej. Yaudheyas, who were famous as warriors, ruled the territory between Sutlej and Yamuna and parts of eastern Raj asthan. Arjunayanas, Malavas and Sibis were distributed in different parts of Ra jasthan. Another region which came into prominence now was Kalinga in Orissa. In an inscr

iption written during his reign and found at the Hathigumpha cave of Udaygiri hi ll near Bhubaneswar, Kharavela claims that he was the third ruler of the Mahameg havana family of Kalinga; that this family was a branch of the ancient Chedi fam ily. He is said to have raided Magadh, the Satavahana and the Pandya countries. He also undertook many public works for his subjects and as a practicing Jain, h e erected cave shelters for Jain monks on the Udaygiri hills. Deccan On the basis of numismatic evidence, it can be said that after the declin e of Mauryan rulers many local rulers started ruling in regions like Vidharbha, Eastern Deccan, Karnataka and Western Maharashtra. Gradually, the family of the Satavahanas emerged victorious and built up in empire in the Deccan and brought together many local centers. South In the extreme South, the three important chiefdoms that continued to be p rominent from the Mauryan period were the Cheras, who controlled the Malabar are a, the Cholas, who held sway on the south-eastern coast and the Kaveri valley an d the Pandyas whose power center lay around the top of the Peninsula. The Sangam texts of this period give us a considerable amount of information on the societ y, polity, economy and ecology of the regions that these three kingdoms ruled. • (B) North-Western India The most important development of the period was the coming in of the foreigners from the north-west as a result of population movements across Central Asia. Ap art from Indo-Greeks all the others came from Central Asia. This was the first o f many occasions when the people from Central Asia were not only to influence In dian culture but to become a part of the population of India. Indo-Greek or the Bacterians The first among them were the Bactrian Greeks (from Balkh in northern Afghanista n). From the first half of the second century BC, the Indo-Greeks occupied a lar ge part of north-western India, as far as Mathura and undertook military expedit ions up to the gates of Pataliputra in the east. The names of thirty-nine Bactri an Kings and two Queens are recorded in history. The most famous Indo-Greek rule r was Menander or Milinda (165-145 BC). He was converted to Buddhism by Nagarjun a. The dialogue that took place between the two is recorded the book Milinda Pan ha. • The Indo-Greeks were the first rulers to issue coins having the name, ti tle and portrait of the rulers who issued them. They were of high workmanship. T he Indo-Greeks encouraged commerce with west Asia and the Mediterranean world. • The Indo-Greeks are also important for their introduction of Hellenistic are features in north-western India which culminated in the Gandhara art style. • (C) The Shakas The Indo-Greek kingdom in north-western India did not survive for long. Climatic and political causes led to new movements or nomadic tribes in Central Asia. Wi th the construction of the Chinese wall by the powerful Chinese ruler Shi Huang Ti, the nomadic tribes including Yueh-Chi were driven westwards. Pressed from th e north and the east, the Scythians attacked Bacteria and occupied it. Close on their heels were the Yueh-Chi. Therefore, the Scythians, known as Shakas in Indi an sources moved from Bacteria and invaded Iran, the Green kingdom in India. The first Shaka King in India was Maues or Moga who established Shaka power in G andhara and gradually extended their supremacy over north-western India. However , it was only in western India (Kathiawar and Malwa) that they could hold power for about four centuries. They were often at war with the Satavahanas. Rudradama n (AD 130-152), one of their bet known kings (his achievements and personal qual ities are high-lighted in the Junagadh inscription written in Sanskrit), stopped the expansion of Satavahana power to the north of Narmada. The Shakas’ ambition o f expanding their Kingdom northward was checked by the Kushanas. The Shakas along with Parthians (our sources mention them together as Saka-Pahla vas) introduced the Satrap system of government which was similar to that of the Achaemenid and Seleucid system in Iran. Under this system, the kingdom was divi ded into provinces, each under a military governor called Mahakshatrapa. These g overnors issued their own inscriptions and also minted their own coins. The Shak a king used such prestigious titles as King of Kings (Raja-dhi-Raja) in addition to Great King (Maharaja)which they took over from the Greeks.

• (D) The Parthians The rule of the Shakas and the Parthians was simultaneous in different pockets o f north western and northern India. The Parthians originated in Iran. Towards th e close of the first century BC, a line of kings with Iranian names usually know n as Pahlavas or Indo-Parthians gained control over north-western India. The mos t famous Parthian King was Gondophernes (ruled in the first half of the first ce ntury AD). To his court came St. Thomas through whom India first came into conta ct with Christianity. There is a conspicuous scarcity of the silver coins attributed to the Parthian k ingdom. This might testify to the indifferent economic condition of the Indo-Par thian empire. It has also been suggested that the large number of silver coins t hat were issued in these regions by their predecessors, the Shakas and the IndoGreeks, served the needs for higher currency in the Parthian state. They might h ave been supplemented by coins of lesser value in which a small amount of precio us metal was mixed up with a comparatively cheaper metal. The end of Parthian rule in India is marked by several groups of small coins tha t have been excavated at the Sirkap site of Taxila. • (E) The Kushanas The Kushanas are also known as Yueh-Chis or Tocharians. They were nomadic people originally from the steppes of North Central Asia, living in the vicinity of Ch ina. From a Chinese source we learn that in the first century AD the Yueh-Chi ch ief Kujula Kadphises united the five tribes of the Yueh-Chi, crossed the Hinduku sh mountains with his men and established himself in Kabul and Kashmir. He is cr edited with the defeat of the last of Greek Kings in Kabul. His son Vima Kadphis es succeeded him. Vima issued gold coins, which was a great innovation, for afte r him the Kushanas minted basically in an alloy of gold and copper. Vima was succeeded by Kanishka I, the best known of the Kushana rulers. His rela tionship with the two preceding kings is shrouded in mystery, but he too was of Central Asian origin. The date of his accession was in all probability AD 78. Th is year marks the beginning of Saka era, which is being used by the Government o f India now. Under Kanishka, the Kushana empire reached its zenith. In India, hi s suzerainty extended as far in the south as Sanchi and as far in the east as Be naras. In Central Asia, his dominions were extensive. Peshawar was his capital. Mathura was the second most important city of the empire. His period is historic ally significant for general cultural development in northern India, as well as for the intermingling of people of different geographical regions. Kanishka also got converted to Buddhism. He convened the fourth Buddhist council in Kashmir t o discuss matters relating to theology and doctrine. He encouraged missionary ac tivities; Buddhist missions were sent to Central Asia and China. He constructed a monastery and a stupa at Peshawar, which was still a vivid memory at the time of AlBiruni (AD 1000). • He patronised ‘Asvaghosa’ the writer of Buddhacharita. He also patronised Charaka, t he great authority in Medical Science. Kanishka started an era known as Saka era which starts from 78 A.D. • Purushpura or Peshawar was the capital of Kushanas. Mathura seems to be their se cond capital. Kanishka controlled the famous ‘silk route’, in Central Asia, which st arted from China and passed through his empire in Central Asia and Afghanistan t o Iran and western Asia which formed the part of Roman Empire. • The Kushana king were the first ruler in India to issue gold coins on a wide sca le with higher degree of metallic purity than is found in the Gupta period. The successors of Kanishka I continued to rule for over a century, but Kushana p ower gradually declined. About the middle of 3rd century AD, a king of the Sassa nian dynasty of Persia, defeated Vasudeva, one of Kanishka’s successors and reduce d the Kushanas to the position of Vassals. • (F) Impact of Central Asian Contacts Central Asia was opened to trade with routes traversing through oases and valley s. One of these routes was later to become famous as the Old Silk route. This ro ute was a source of great income to the Kushanas. They levied tolls on the trade rs. Traders of different ethnic origins established trading stations and colonie s along the routes. Examples of such places are Kashgar, Yarkand, Khotan, Miran,

etc. India also received a good deal of gold from the Altai mountains in Centra l Asia. • Buddhist missionaries followed the merchants to distant lands, i.e. to W estern and Central Asia, China and South-east Asia. • New elements in cavalry and techniques of war were introduced in India b y the Shakas and the Kushanas. Horse riding gained popularity with the introduct ion of reins and saddles. Numerous terracotta figurines excavated from Begram in Afghanistan depict equestrian scenes. The Central Asian also introduced cap, he lmet and boots which were use by the warriors and this military costume also bec ame popular in north-west India. • Indian culture was also enriched as a result of contact with foreigners. The Gandhara School of Art came into existence—a hybrid Indo-Greek art form depic ting exclusive Buddhist themes. • These contacts also helped in the progress of astronomy and medicine. Th e widening of medical knowledge is reflected in the works of Sushruta and Charak a. Considerable achievements were made in the field of surgery too. • (G) Society and Art Despite the disintegration of the Mauryan empire and the proliferation of fierce ly rival kingdoms from 200 BC to 300 AD, this was also a period of unprecedented economic wealth and cultural development. The growing importance of the mercant ile community encouraged the monetization of the economy and stimulated the grow th of urban centres all over India. Merchants and artisans organized themselves into guilds (shreni), which, along with the ruling dynasties, minted their own c oins. External trade, overland and maritime, opened up lines of communication with the outside world. The main highway from Pataliputra to Taxila gave India access to the old Silk Road, the most important trade route of the time, linking China to the Mediterranean via central Asia. Maritime trade traversed the coastal routes between the seaports in Gujarat and southern India and as far as south Arabia; and Indian merchants established trading communities in various parts of south A sia. The invasion of foreign peoples, the growth of trade and urbanization together h ad a considerable impact on the structure of society. Foreign conquerors and tra ders, who had to be integrated within the varna system; the burgeoning importanc e of the vaishya class of merchants and artisans; and the influence of urban lib eralism, all presented serious challenges to law and social order. The Law Books (Dharma Shastras) were composed in this period in an attempt to accommodate the se changes and redefine social, economic and legal rights and duties. Important developments in India s religions can also be linked to socio-economic changes. Radical schisms occurred in both Buddhism and Jainism, and may be attributed to the increasing participation and patronage of the vaishyas; while the Vedic reli gion, which had been the exclusive domain of the brahmins andkshatryas, underwen t fundamental transformations to widen its social base. Post- Mauryan Development in Arts The post-Mauryan period saw the development of local or regional styles of sculp tural art—Gandhara and Mathura in the north and Amarvati in the lower Krishna-Goda vari valley. Gandhara School A great deal of Gandhara sculpture has survived dating from the 1st to probably as late as the 6th or 7th century, but in a remarkably homogenous style, almost always in a blue-grey mica schist, though sometimes in a green phyllite or in st ucco or very rarely in terracotta. Except for a handful of Hindu icons, sculptur e took the form either of Buddhist cult objects—Buddhas and Bodhisattvas primarily—o r of architectural ornament for Buddhist monasteries, such as friezes and stairrisers, to beautify rather rough masonry or to decorate the lower portions of st upas. They show almost exclusively events in the life of the historical Buddha, chiefly his birth, Great Departure and Pariniravana. The characteristic Gandhara sculptures, the standing or seated Buddha, reflects the essential nature of Gandhara art. The iconography is purely Indian. The seat

 

ed Buddha, is almost always cross-legged in the traditional Indian way. He has t he physical marks of a Buddha, chief among them, the usina, the urna and elongat ed ears. Usina simply means a peak topknot of uncut hair. Urna is believed to be a hairy mole, which marked the Budddha’s forehead. The Gandhara Buddha never wear s earnings or ornaments of any sort in his elongated ears. The Gandhara Buddha is invariably shown making one of the four significant and u nchanging hand gestures, known as mudras, one of the most characteristic feature s of Indian iconography. They are: abhaya (do not fear); dhyana where the Buddha is seated, one hand upon the other in his lap, palm upwa rds signifying mediation; dharmachakra, the preaching mudra associated with the Buddha’s First Sermon in the Deer Park at Sarnath or with the great miracle of Sarvasti; and bhumispara or earth touching recalling the Buddha ‘calling the Earth to witness’ his enlightenment at Both Gaya. Very rarely does he hold a begging bowl in his righ t hand. The western classical element resides in the style, in the treatment of the robe (the heavy folds of the robe) and in the physiognomy of the Buddha, the head is certainly based on the Greek God, Apollo. The main centers from where the art pieces of the Gandhara school have been foun d are Jalalabad, Hadda, Bamaran, Begram and Taxila. The chief patrons of the Gan dhara art were the Shakas and the Kushanas. Mathura School The origin of the Mathura art form is traced back to the 2nd century BC and by t he 1st century AD it had become a major school of art. Mathura produced sculptur al works in quantities rivaled only by Gandhara and eagerly sought after and imi tated all over northern India. It was here in the Kushana period that the brahma nical icon was born; and also the Jina image, creating its own style of the Budd ha and Bodhisattava image. Jains produced distinctive cult objects in the form of the Sarvatobhadrika image s (four standing Jinas back to back) and the ayagapatas or votive tablets, squar e slabs bearing relief sculptures on one side, possibly used as altars near a st upa for depositing offerings. Some show figures or scenes or stupas, others are carved with decorative paterns and such ancient Indian symbols as the svastika a nd the twin fish, adopted by the Jains as well as the Buddhists. The great of standing Buddhas of Mathura are usually well over life size but wit h very little depth. They nonetheless exude a sense of power with their excessiv ely wide shoulders, thin prominent breasts and deep navels. They invariably stan d with their feet well apart and usually with a lion or a sheaf of lotuses betwe en the feet. The surviving heads bore an usina of a peculiar shape—hence the name Kapardin (from Kaparda). The hair was a smooth close fitting cap and foreheads w ere marked with the urna. The right shoulder is invariably bare, the upper garme nt looped over the left arm, the left hand resting on the hip, the right hand ra ised, palm outwards in abhaya posture. The standing Buddhas from Mathura were in stalled at Sravasti Sarnath (by bhikshu Bala in the period of Kanishka I and Kau sambi. Small seated Buddhas from Mathura were installed at Sanchi Abhichhatra an d as far east as Bengal and north-west as Charsadda, outside Peshawar. The seate d Buddhas from Mathura are even more important than the standing ones because it is this form, the Yogic position called padmasana, (his legs tightly folded so that the soles of both feet, decorated with the Buddhist ‘triratna and Dharmachakr a’ signs face upward) which the great majority of Indian images have continued to take until the present day and because their iconography is richer. The two turb aned male figures holding chowries on either side of the Buddha are the first of the attendants which had thenceforth flanked many Indian deities. There is a pl ain hallo around his head and on the ground of the statue, the branches and leav es of a papal tree, the symbol of the enlightenment appears in low relief. Most of the inscriptions record the setting up of a Bodhisattava image at this t ime and not of a Buddha—large standing Bodhisattava in the round, who in contrast to the Buddha, wear jewellery and usually a rolled scarf over a shoulder and loo ping down below the knee, but the robust and well flushed bodies are the same.

The appearance of Hindu icons at Mathura coincides with the emergence of the two great theistic cults, the Saiva and the Vaisnava, each with its own patheon, bu t their number is insignificant in comparison to Buddhist and Jaina images. The prominent two icons, to speak of an established iconography, are: lingas with on e face or faces of Shiva projecting from them and the goddess Durga slaying the demon buffalo (Durga Mahisasuramardini). Small icons of Varah Vishnu, recognizab le by his characteristic crown, Shiva as Ardhanari, (half man half woman, the di vision being vertical), Sasthi and Kartikeya have all been found. The iconograph y of the principal Gods was still in the process of formation. Considering the quintessentially Indian aesthetic sense in most Mathura sculptur e (carved out of the characteristic red sandstone with beige spots), it would no t be right to think of Mathura as culturally isolated. Its position being on imp ortant trade routes from Konkan to the lower doab and Pataliputra on the hand an d Gandhara on the other make this unlikely. A significant dimension of Mathura art is that it also produced free-standing sc ulptures of kings and other notables, for example, of the great Kanishka, portra its which are rare in Indian art. Another thing worth noticing about this school is that it depicts various patter ns of life on the votive pillars, e.g. scenes from forest. • Deccan and the South • Introduction The Deccan To build a historical account of the Deccan under Satavahanas, the Puranas are u seful. But the names of the kings and the duration of their rule vary in differe nt Puranas. Moreover, the information about the kings is interwoven with myths a nd legends. So we have to elicit the information with care and corroborate it wi th information from other sources. The Satavahanas minted a large number of coin s in lead, silver and an alloy of copper. Their silver coins carry the portrait of the king and his name. The inscriptions cut in the rock in Buddhist caves als o help to get an authentic picture of the period. The Satavahanas On the ruins of the Mauryan empire, in the north-western Deccan, the Satavahanas built-up a kingdom in the 1st century BC with its center at Pra tishtana. Since the Satavahanas were known as Andhra, it seems that they gradual ly extended their kingdom to the eastern coast, which was, therefore, called And hra in course of time. • 1. Satavahana Simuk & Satkarni The founder of the dynasty was Simuka (65-25 BC). There is considerable uncertai nty about Simuka’s antecedents, but descendants assumed brahmanical status. Simuka is believed to have destroyed the Shunga power. The Satavahanas gained eminence under Satakarni (25 BC-AD 20), son of Simuka. Shortly after his death, the grow ing Satavahana empire became involved in a prolonged struggle with the Shakas of Nasik, who for sometime kept them subdued. Shaka dominance in the western Decca n towards the close of 1st century AD is corroborated by the coins and inscripti ons found around Nasik. Gautamiputra Satakarni Gautamiputra Satakarni was another great ruler, or perhaps the greatest ruler, o f the Andhras, he ruled at least for twenty four years (106-130 A.D.). He gave a crushing defeat to the Sakas and recovered many lost territories, his exploits are mentioned in a Nasik inscription of Queen-Mother, Gautami Balasiri. His grea test achievement was against the Saka ruler Nahapana. Little is known about the rulers that followed Satakarni till we come to the reign of Gautmiputra Satakarn i (AD 106-130), the greatest of Satavahana rulers. He defeated the Kshatrapas of Western Deccan and Gujarat. According to the Periplus of the Eritrean sea, as a result of the rivalry between the Kshatrapas and the Satavahanas, Greek ships e ntering Kalyan, a port near present Bombay was sent under guard to the port Bhar uch. Perhaps control of the lucrative foreign trade was one of the causes for th e conflict. It would also seem that under Gautmiputra and his son Vasishthiputra , Satavahana rule was extended and consolidated over Andhra as well. Towards the end of the second century AD the Satavahanas ruled over Kathiawad on the west c

oast and Krishna delta and northern Tamil Nadu in the South-east. The kingdom, i t seems was divided into aharas or districts. We get the names of at least five aharas from the inscriptions, these are: 1. Govardhana—with its center around Nasik; 2. Soparaka—ahara on the west coast; 3. Mamala—comprising of Pune and Satara; 4. Satavahanihara covering the Bellary district of Karnataka; and 5. Kapurachara perhaps in Gujarat. But there is very little that we know ab out the relationship between the ruling dynasty and the small chiefdoms that flo urished in the different pockets of the Deccan. Yajnasri Satakarni He was the last important Satavahana ruler and after him the kingdom was divided between his successors—one line of kings who were ruling in the Andhra region. Un der the later Satavahanas, coins with bilingual legends were issued. In addition to the name of the king in Prakrit these coins carried a legend in a south-Indi an language.In addition to the threat from the Kshatrapas, an early Satavahana r uler had to contend with the powerful Kharavela rulers from Orissa or Kalinga. • (A) Economy & Society under the Satvahanas Land Grants: Satavahanas started the practice of donating land with fiscal and administrative immunities to Brahmans and Buddhist monks, which eventually weakened their auth ority. The earliest inscriptional evidence of land grant in India belongs to 1st century BC. Land grants were ostensibly made on religious grounds, but the unde rlying idea was to extend the area of cultivation through private efforts. The S tate did not have a vast bureaucracy, as the Mauryas had, to regulate various ec onomic activities. Trade The ports on the west coast such as Bharuch, Kalyan, Sopara and Chaul, etc. hand led much of the trade in the 1st century AD between India and the Mediterranean region and were also linked by the overland trans-peninsular route across the De ccan from Bharuch to Paithan and Ter (Tagara) to centers in Andhra and along the east coast. Ter lies in the major cotton producing region of the Deccan. Excava tions have yielded a number of vats, (perhaps for dyeing cloth) and an important ivory figurine very similar to the specimen found at Pompeii. Another route in the Deccan linked Ujjain to Maheshwar on the Narmada and past the caves at Ajant a and Pitalkhora to Bhokardan and Paithan. Bhokardan was a major bead-making cen ter and was also known for shell and ivory making. A branch of the route went do wn south from Paithan across the Deccan plateau to the lower Krishna and then we nt further south to reach Kanchi and Madurai. Trade was an important source of revenue for the State. The State took elaborate measures to encourage trade. Highways were made secure and rest houses were con structed along them. The organization of trade was advanced. Much of the trade w as handled by guilds who also acted as bankers. The guilds of weavers, potters, oil pressers, bamboo workers, etc. are known from the inscriptions. In fact, tra ders and merchants figure prominently as donors, as also blacksmiths, gardeners and fishermen in the inscriptions pointing to their prosperity. Society A point to be noted, on the basis of inscriptional and archaeological sources, t he society in the Deccan was not governed by rules laid down by brahmanical text s. For example, the inscriptions mention the occupations of the donor and not th e caste and many inscriptions of the Satavahana rulers mention the names of the mothers rather than those of the fathers, such as Gautmiputra Satakarni. Joint f amily system was the normal feature of the society. In the Deccan, all the three major religious systems, i.e. Brahmanis m, Buddhism and the Jainism enjoyed large followings. The Satavahana rulers exte nded their patronage to Vedic ritualism. Jainism had some following in the regio n and some of the famous teachers of the Digambara sects flourished in this peri od. Kondakundacharya, the founder of the Mula Sangha which became popular in the South lived in region. The Mahayana sect of Buddhism enjoyed good popularity an d Acharya Nagarjuna, its greatest exponent flourished here. Ruling classes, rich

man and workers donated liberally to the viharas and stupas. Under the Satavahanas, many temples (chaityas) or worship halls and monasteries (viharas) were cut out from rocks mainly in north-west Deccan or Mah arashtra. The famous examples were Nasik, Kanheri and Karle. Stupas, large round structure erected over a sacred relic, were seen scattered all around Ellora. T he most famous of these attributed to the Satavahana period are Amaravati, a scu lptural treasure house and Nagarjuna Konda. It is upon the great stupa of Amarav ati that the interest has principally been focused. Two Chaitya halls and three small viharas were established in Satavahana period at Ajanta also. Amravati Except for the splendid standing Buddhas, none earlier than the 3rd or 4th centu ry AD, which later provided the model for those of Sri Lanka and South-east Asia , early Andhra sculptures consists almost exclusively of reliefs. The sculptural reliefs all in marble like limestone of Palnad, decorating the monumental stupa s at Amaravati, date back from 2nd century BC and others not so outstanding are from Nagarjuna Konda. Lesser stupas with sculptural reliefs were erected at a fe w other sites among them is Jagaayapeta, the source of the famous Chakravartin ( world-emperor) relief. The relief at Amaravati represent the traditional narrative art taki ng themes from Buddha’s life and from Jataka stories. In the narrative scenes the superlative beauty of the individual bodies (they are well-modelled with long le gs and slender frames and sensual expressions) and the variety of poses, many re alizing new possibilities of depicting the human form, as well as the swirling r hythms of the mass compositions, all combine to produce some of the most gloriou s reliefs in world art. Kings, princes and palaces figure prominently in sculptu ral representations. For example, the story of king Udayana and his queen in dep icted on a relief; and a scene of a king on march with horse riders and footmen and a king in his court receiving presents, etc. • 2. History of South-I The Neolithic Chalcolithic amalgam which seems to have been round about 2000 B.C . is continued up to about the middle of the first millennium B.C. It was then o verlapped by the Megalithic culture inhabited by the Megaliths builder. About t he beginning of the Christian era, the Megalith culture was overlapped by what h as been called ‘Andhra culture’. This is the time when South India had a large volum e of trade with Roman world. Again the culture and economic contacts between the north and the south paved the way for the introduction of material culture brou ght from the north to the Deep South by traders, conquerous, Jainas, Buddhist an d some Brahman missionaries. From the 2nd century B.C. we notice the formation of state system, rise of social classes, use of writings and beginning of writte n literature. • (A) Sangam Age The Sangam period extended from roughly 300 BCE to 300 CE, when the earliest ext ant works of Tamil literature were created (also known as Sangam literature). Ho wever, the name Sangam and the associated legends probably derive from a much la ter period. The earliest express references to the academies are found in the so ngs of Appar and Sambandar, Shaivite poets who lived in the 7th century. The fir st full account of the legend is found in a commentary to the Iraiyanar Akapporu l by Nakkīrar (c.7th/ 8th C). The Sangam literature chiefly consists of Tholkappiyam, Ettuthogal and Pathuppat tu. These works provide valuable information to know the history of the Sangam A ge. Among these Tholkappiyam was the earliest. During the post-Sangam period, th e Pathinen Kilkanakku or the Eighteen Works was composed. The twin epics - Silap pathigaram and Manimegalai - also belonged to the post- Sangam period. All these literature help us to know the society, economy and culture of the ancient Tami ls. The Asokan Edicts refer to the Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms. The Hathigumpha Inscriptions of the Kalinga king, Kharavela also mentions the three Tamil Kingd oms. The Kalugumalai inscriptions help us to know about ancient Tamil scripts ca lled Tamil Brahms. The Tirukkovalur inscriptions refer to the local chieftains a nd the tragic end of the Tamil Poet, Kapilar. The inscriptions found at Arnattar

hills, near Pugalur belonged to the First Century A.D. and these inscriptions f urnish information regarding the Chera kings. • (i) The Three Sangamas Nakkīrar describes three "Sangams" spanning thousands of years. The first Sangam i s described as having been held at "the Madurai which was submerged by the sea", lasted a total of 4400 years, and had 549 members, which supposedly included so me gods of the Hindu pantheon such as Siva, Kubera and Murugan. A total of 4449 poets are described as having composed songs for this Sangam. There were 89 Pand iya kings starting from Kaysina valudi to Kadungon were decedents and rulers of that period. The second Sangam (iṭaicaṅkam) was convened in Kapatapuram. This Sangam lasted for 3 700 years and had 59 members, with 3700 poets participating. There were 59 Pandi ya kings starting from Vendercceliyan to Mudattirumaran were decedents and ruler s of that period. This city was also submerged in sea. The third Sangam was purportedly located in the current city of Madurai and last ed for 1850 years. There were 49 Pandiya kings starting from Mudattirumaran (who came away from Kabadapuram to present Madurai) to Ukkirapperu valudi were deced ents and rulers of that period. The academy had 49 members, and 449 poets are de scribed as having participated in the Sangam. Late legends say that the third Sa ngam was held on the banks of the sacred Pond of Golden Lotuses in Madurai. Important Sangam Works • Tolkappiyam by Talkappiyar is a work on Tamil grammer, literary traditio n (poetics) and Sociology. It is the foundation of all literary conventions of T amil literature. • Tirukural or Kural by Tiruvalluvar is some times called the ‘fifth Veda’ or ‘B ible of the Tamil land’. It is a compound of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. • Silappadikaram literally ‘ The Jewelled Anklet’ by Ilango Adigal is an epic, deals with love story of Kovalan and Madhavi. • Manimekalai is one of the two greatest epics and a squal to Silappadikar am; written by Sattalai Sattanar, considered as the ‘Odyssey of Tamil poetry’. • Jivaga Chintamani a third epic by a jaina Tiruttakkadevar. • Aggatiyam a magnum opus and grammer of letters and life in three parts b y Saint Agatiyar. • (ii) Historicity There has been almost no comprehensive archaeological or scientific research don e into the legends of the supposed earlier literary academies. From the very lit tle available archaeological and epigraphic evidence, the earliest Tamil kingdom s may have been established only in the 5th century BC, long after the earlier t wo Sangamas were supposed to have been held. In 470 CE, a Dravida Sangha was established in Madurai by a Jain named Vajranand i. During that time the Tamil region was ruled by the Kalabhras dynasty. The Kal abhra rulers were followers of either Buddhism or Jainism. The Dravida Sangha to ok much interest in the Tamil language and literature. Jain cosmology and mythol ogy are mentioned in early Sangam works, and Jain surnames are found amongst the early poets. The First sangam - 4440 yrs - 89 Succeeding Kings, The Second sangam - 3700 yrs - 59 Succeeding Kings, The Third sangam - 1800 yrs - 49 Succeeding Kings. • (iii) Early Kingdoms The land south of Krishna river was divided into three kingdoms: Chera, Chola an d Pandyas. The Pandyas are first mentioned by Megasthenese who speaks of the Pan daya kingdom being ruled by a woman and that seven year old mothers were found i n the Pandya country. The three kingdoms together with Satiyaputra are referred to as independent states by Ashoka in his inscription with which he maintained f riendly relations. The name Satiyaputra is yet to be identified. Chera The Chera kings of the Sangam Age were known by many titles such as Vanavar, Vil lavar and Malaiyar. There were two important lines of Chera Kings. The first one started from Odiyan Cheralathan and the second from Irumporai. The kings belong

ing to these two lines ruled the Chera kingdom. Their capital was Vanji and thei r chief port Tondi, Their symbol in the flag was bow and arrow. Senguttuvan was the most popular king of the Sangam Cheras. The Sangam works, Padhithrupaththu a nd Ahananuru provide a lot of information about him. The Tamil Epic Silappathiga ram also tells about his military achievements. Senguttuvan led an expedition up to the Himalayas. He crossed the river Ganges and defeated his enemies, He reac hed the Himalayas and hoisted the Chera flag. He brought stones from there and b uilt a temple in memory of Kannagi. His brother Elango Adigal composed Silappath igaram. The territory of the Sangam Cheras mostly comprises the present Kerala s tate. Cholas Their symbol was tiger. The Sangam literature also mentions a number of Chola ki ngs. They had surnames like Kill, Valavan, Senni and Cholan. The kingdom of the Sangam Cholas comprises the present Tanjore and Tiruchirappalli districts. The C hola dominion was known as ‘Tondaimandalam’ or ‘Cholamandalam’ and their chief centre of political power was at ‘Uraiyur’, a place famous for cotton trade. The Chola were t he most powerful of all three kingdoms. The Chola maintained an efficient navy. The capital of the Sangam Cholas was Uraiyur. Their second capital was Kaveripoo mpattinam. It was also the chief port of the Sangam Cholas. In the middle of the second century B.C. a Chola king named Elara conquered Srilanka and ruled over it for nearly 50 years. Krikala founded the port city of Puhar (identical with Kaverippumpattinam) and c onstructed 160 km of embankment along the Kaveri River called Kallanai. Karikala , literal meaning ‘Man with Charred Leg’. In Sanskrit Karikala means ‘Death of Kali’ or ‘D eath of enemy’s elephant’. He fought the ‘Battle of Venni’ and defeated 11 kings. He was the greatest of Chola kings. Pandyas The extent of the Pandyan kingdom during the Sangam Age comprised the present di stricts of Madurai, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram. The Pandyan kings were known as Maran, Valudhi and Chezhiyan. Their Capital was Madurai and their chief port was Korkai. Their symbol was fish. The Pandyan kings earned name and fame for t heir patronage to the Tamil Sangam. It can be said that their capital Madurai ha d also remained the capital of Tamil language and literature. Legendary and trad itional accounts mention the loss of many Sangam texts on the occasion of a delu ge, which compelled the Pandayan king to shift their capital first from ten Madu rai to Kapatapuram and then from there to Madurai. Madurai seems to be the Tamil word of Mathura. The Pandyan profited from trade with Roman Empire. Nedunjelia n was the most important king of the Pandayas. Another king was Madaranjeral Iru mporai, who sent embassies to Roman emperor Augustus and performed vedic sacrifi ces. The Sangam literature provides a long list of Pandyan kings. Some of them h ad become most popular. Mudhukudumi Peruvazhthi performed many sacrifices to cel ebrate his victories. Therefore, he was given the title Palyagasalai. Ariyappada ikadantha Nedunzheliyan was also a famous Pandyan ruler. He gave death sentence to the hero of Silappathigaram, Kovalan, by mistake, for which he gave his life when he came to know the truth. Another important ruler was Thalaiyalanganathu N edunzheliyan. He defeated the combined forces of Chera, Chola and other local ch ieftains at a place called Thalaiyalanganam. He also patronized a number of Tarn il poets including Mangudi Maruthanar. • (iv) Economy The chief occupation of the people was agriculture. Paddy was the main crop. Mil let, grams and sugarcane were also cultivated. Senguttvan- the Red or Good Chera is saidb to have brought sugarcane from the north. Irrigation through rivers, t anks and wells was used for cultivation.Weaving and spinning were the most impor tant crafts of the Sangam period. Uraiyur and Madurai were the main centers for the manufacture of cotton fabrics. The weavers produced and exported fine cotton clothes. The word Kalingam refers to very nice garments. The Sangam literature refers to clothes, which were thinner than steam. Other craftsmen like the carpe nter, blacksmith, goldsmith and potter had practiced their respective occupation s. Fishing and hunting had also remained as important occupation during this per iod.

Trade and Commerce In the beginning of the Sangam Age, the barter system of trade was followed. Gen erally, the people exchanged their commodities with their neighbors. For example , the people of Kurinji region exchanged honey with the people of Neydal region for getting fish and salt. Likewise, the Mullai people gave their milk products to Marudham people to get rice from them. sLater, when they began to use coins, trade picked up rapidly. Local markets came up and they were known as Angadis. B oth Day Market (Nalangadi) and Evening Bazaar (Allangadi) existed in port towns. The Pattinappalai refers to their existence at Puhar. Goods from distant places were brought to these markets. The expansion of trade led to the growth of town s. • (v) Culture & Social Divisions The Tamil society during the Sangam period was broadly divided into several grou ps. In the beginning of the Sangam Age, the Tamil society was not organized on t he basis of the Vedic caste system, namely Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Sudras. Howeve r, the earliest of the Sangam literature, Tolkappiyam refers to the four divisio ns prevalent in the Sangam society namely, Anthanar, Arasar, Vaislyar and Vellal ar, it may be said that this classification roughly corresponds to the Vedic Soc ial division. Another Sangam work, Purananuru mentions the names of ancient Tami l tribes such as Thudiyan, Pannan, and Kadamban. These divisions indicate the co mplex social structure prevalent in the Sangam Age. Rice was the staple food dur ing the Sangam period. The Sangam poets made the kings as well as the people th rough rendering beautiful verses. The bards made merry in the king’s courts. The r ulers and nobles patronized them with liberal donations. • (B) Kalabhra Rule There is no clear evidence about the origin of the Kalabhras. The popular belief was that the Kalabhras remained subordinates to the Gangas and Kadambas of the Kannada region. Later, they might have migrated into the Tamil country. The Tami l grammar Yapperunkalam refers to a Kalabhra king, namely Achutha Kalappalan. It appeared that he ruled the Tamil country from Uraiyur. He had also patronized t he Tamil poets. A Buddhist scholar namely Buddhadatta lived in his kingdom. Acco rding to traditions, he imprisoned the Chera, Chola and Pandyan rulers. He had e xtended patronage to Buddhism and Buddhist monasteries. By the end of the Sixth century A.D. the Pandyan ruler Kadungon had liberated the southern part of the T amil country from the Kalabhras. By the same period, the Pallava king, Simhavish nu had captured Tondaimandala and Cholamandalam from the Kalabhras. Thus, the Ka labhra rule in Tamil country came to an end due to the ascendancy of the Pandyas and Pallavas. • 3. Historical South-II Historical South-II • (A) Imperial Cholas Vijayalaya Chola, who was probably a Pallava Vassal, rose out of obscurity durin g the middle of the 9th century C.E. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya rose out of obscurity and captured Than javur in 848 C.E. Sundara Chola The Chola power recovered during Sundara Chola’s reign. The Chola Army under the c ommand of the crown prince Aditya Karikala defeated the Pandyas and invaded in t he north up to Tondaimandalam in the north. Uttama, son of the previous Chola ki ng Gandaraditya forced Sundara Chola to declare him heir apparent. Uttama Chola’s reign was conspicuous for the lack of any major initiatives and he was replaced by the great Rajaraja Chola in 985 C.E. Rajaraj Chola Although the early Chola monarchs had captured parts of Tondai-nadu, Kongu-nadu and Pandi-nadu, the empire had shrunk to the area around the Kaveri Delta in the year 985, when the 7th Chola monarch, Rajaraja, born Arulmolivarman, assumed th e throne. Rajaraja immediately embarked on a campaign of territorial expansion and capture d Pallava and Pandya territory. He successfully fought the Chera rulers of Keral a and extended his rule over parts of modern Karnataka. He captured the island o

f Sri Lanka as a province of the Chola empire; it remained under direct Chola ru le for 75 years. Rajaraja built temples in his own name in all these areas. He c onquered the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean and sent missions to the Indone sian Shrivijaya empire. He encouraged the Shailendra monarch of Java to build a Buddhist monastery a the Chola port of Nagapattinam. Rajendra Chola Rajaraja s son Rajendra (r. 1012-1044) further consolidated Chola power. He crea ted a Chola viceroyalty in Madurai, appointing his son as the first Chola-Pandya viceregal prince. Rajendra next attacked the Western Chalukyas and their allies . Rajendra’s reign was marked by his expedition to the river Ganges (c. 1019 C.E.) . The Chola army dashed through the kingdoms north of Vengi and engaged the Pala king Mahipala and defeated him. The victorious Chola army returned with the wat ers of the holy Ganges. Historians now discount this expedition as nothing more than a pilgrimage to the Ganges and no permanent gain of territories resulted fr om it. The inscriptions of Rajaraja however glorify this as a major conquest. In a series of campaigns he marched as north as to the river Ganga (Ganges). He brought back some of its sacred water in golden pots, emptied these into into a tank named Chola-ganga and adopted the title of Gangai-konda (Capturer of the Ga nges). However, he did not assume control over the Ganges region. The relationsh ip with Shrivijaya deteriorated to the point that Rajendra sent a naval expediti on against the kingdom in order to enforce acknowledgement of Chola suzerainty. He sent two diplomatic missions to China. In 1070, after three of Rajendra s sons and one grandson had succeeded him, a ne w line of Chalukya-Cholas was established when the Eastern Chalukya prince Rajen dra II (r. 1070-1125) ascended the throne. His mother and grandmother were Chola princesses. Rajendra II assumed the title of Kulottunga (Star of the Dynasty). During his reign, Sri Lanka gained independence from the Chola rule. However, tr ade flourished with Southeast Asia. Another Chola embassy was sent to China, tog ether with 72 merchants. Trade with Shrivijaya was active too. The reign of Raje ndra II was one of peace and prosperity. The Chola empire held together well until the end of the reign of Kulottunga III in 1216. However, it was not as extensive as in the days of Rajaraja I and Raje ndra I. As the Pandya monarchs to the south increased in strength and a group of feudato ry chieftains aggressively pursued power in the 13th century, the Chola Empire s hrank to the region around Thanjavur. The Chola dynasty came to an end in 1279 w hen Rajaraja III died and the Chola territory was easily absorbed into Pandya ru le. Chola Chalukya Wars The History of Cholas from the period of Rajaraja was tinged with a series of co nflicts with the Western Chalukyas. The Old Chalukya dynasty had split in to two sibling dynasties of the Western and Eastern Chalukyas. Rajaraja’s daughter Kunda vai was married to the Eastern Chalukya prince Vimaladitya. Stemming from this C holas had a filial interest in the affairs of Vengi. Western Chalukyas however f elt that the Vengi kingdom was under their natural sphere of influence. Several wars were fought and neither could claim mastery over the other. Cholas never ma naged to overwhelm the Kalyani kingdom and the frontier remained at the Tungabha dra River. These wars however resulted in a lot of bloodshed and the death of at least one monarch (Rajadhiraja Chola). Administration The whole empire was divided into ‘Mandalam’(province) and these in turn into’Valanadu’ or Kottam and Nadu. Village was the basic unit of administration. The cholas are best known for their local self-government at village level. Each village had a n assembly to look fater the affairs of the village. The general assemblies were of three types: 1. Ur- a general assembly of the village consisting of tax paying residents. 2. Sabha or Mahasabha – consists of a gathering of the adult men in the Brahmana v illages called ‘Brahmadeya’ village and those granted to te Brahmanas and of the aga rhara village and was restricted to the Brahmans of the villages. 3. Nagaram was found in trading centres alone.

 

 

The ‘Uttaramerur’ inscription (10th Century) describes how the local Sabha functione d. There was a close contact between the Central authority and the village assem blies. The Chola officials had only a supervisory role over these assemblies. Th e Mahasabha possessed the proprietary rights over community lands and controlled the private lands within its jurisdiction. The judicial committee of the Mahasa bha, called the ‘nattar’ settled both civil and criminal cases of dispute. Famous committees of the Mahasabha: Variyam: Executive Committee of Sabha Tottavariyam: Garden committee Pon-Variyam: Gold committee Eri-Variyam: Tank Committee Alunganattar: Executive Committee of Ur Nyayattar: Judicial Committee Udasin-Variyam: Committee of Ascetics Samvatsar-Variyam: Annual Committee • (B) Chalukyas of Vatapi/ Badami This dynasty rose to power in the Deccan from the 5th to the 8th century AD and again from the 10th to the 12th century AD. They ruled over the area between the Vindhyachal and the Krishna River. The Chalukyas were the arch enemies of the P allavas, another famous dynasty of the south. Pulakesin I A prominent ruler of the Chalukya dynasty was Pulakesin I. He founded the city o f Vatapi (modern Badami in Bijapur district of Karnataka) and made it his capita l. He is said to have performed Ashwamedha Yagna to attain supremacy as a ruler. The kingdom was further extended by his sons Kirtivarman and Mangalesa who wage d many wars against the Mauryan rulers of the neighbouring Konkan region. The best known specimens of Chalukyan art are the Virupaksha temple, (built by Q ueen Lokamahadevi in 740 AD to commemorate her husband s victory over the Pallav as), and the Mallikarjuna temple both at Pattadakal, Karnataka. Pulakesin II Pulakesin II, son of Kirtivarman was the greatest ruler of the Chalukya dynasty, who ruled for almost 34 years. During his long reign, he consolidated his power s in Maharashtra and conquered parts of the Deccan stretching from the banks of the Narmada to the region beyond the Kaveri. His greatest achievement was his vi ctory in the defensive war against Harshavardhan (A north Indian emperor with hi s capital at Kannauj) in the year 620 AD. In 641 AD, the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen T sang, visited the kingdom and paid glowing tributes to the king for his efficien t and just rule. Pulakesin II was defeated and killed by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman in 642 AD. His capital Vatapi was completely destroyed. Pulakesin was succeeded by his son Vikramaditya who was also a noble and just ruler. He renewed the struggle ag ainst his enemies and managed to restore the former glory of his dynasty to a ce rtain extent. The Chalukyas were ousted by a chieftain Dantidurga, who laid the foundation of Rashtrakuta dynasty. Considered the greatest of the Chalukya rulers of Badami not only because of the problems he had to face while coming to the throne, but also because of his sub sequent military as well as diplomatic achievements. • He had to wage civil war against his uncle, Mangalesa, who refused to hand over the power. • Though Pulakesin succeeded in defeating and killing his uncle, this civil war sh ook the young kingdom and rebellions began to appear on all sides. But he was qu ite successful in the suppression of these rebellions. He defeated the rebel feu datory, Appayika, and pardoned his confederate, Govinda, when the latter offered his submission. • Establishment of his suzerainty over the neighbours such as Kadambas of Banavasi , the Alupas of south Kanara, the Gangas of Mysore, and the Mauryas of north Kon kan. Apart from the above rulers, the Latas, Malwas and Gurjaras also offered th

 

eir submission to him because of their fear of Harshavardhana of Kanuaj. • His clash with Harsha, in which he was able to check Harsha’s design to conquer th e Deccan. • Conquests in the eastern Deccan-southern Kosala, Kalinga, Pistapura and the Bana s of Rayalaseema offered their submission after their defeat at the hands of Pul akesin. • Conflict with the Pallavas of Kanchi-his first expedition against the Pallav kin gdom, which was then ruled by Mahendravarman I was a complete success, and he an nexed the northern part of the Pallava kingdom. But his second expedition agains t the Pallavas, however, ended in complete disaster for himself as well as his o wn kingdom. The then Pallava ruler, Narasimhavarman I, who succeeded Mahendraver man, not only drove back Chalukya armies, but also invaded the Chalukya kingdom, killed Pulakesin II and captured Badami. • Diplomatic achievement-he sent an embassy to the Persian king, Khusrau II, in AD 625 and also received one from him. The reception given to the Persian mission i s, in fact, depicted in one of the famous Ajanta cave paintings. • Visit of Hiuen Tsang – the description given by this Chinese pilgrim of the kingdo m of Pulakesin is quite useful in knowing the social and economic conditions und er the Chalukya rulers of Badami. Chalukyas of Kalyani Another branch of the Chalukyas established their supremacy under their ruler Ta ilpa II (973-997 A.D.), who was probably a feudatory of the Rastrakutas. He foug ht successful wars against the Latas of Gujarat, Kalchuries of Chedi, Parmars of Malwa and the Cholas of the South. The Parmara ruler Munja died fighting him. T ailpa II died in about 997 A.D. His two immediate successors Satyasraya (997-100 8 A.D.) and Vikramaditya V (1001-1016), however, suffered defeats at the hands o f Rajaraja Chola and Bhoja Parmara respectively. The next Chalukya ruler Jayasim ha II (1016-1042 A.D.) routed Bhoja Parmara but was in turn defeated by the Chol a ruler Rajendra Chola I at the battle of Musangi. It was Somesvara who laid the foundation of a new town of Kalyani which henceforth became the capital of the Chalukyas. Vikramaditya VI won a great name for his dynasty by his allround conq uests and cultural activities. He defeated the Hoyasala King (Vishnuvardhana) of Mysore and Rajendra Chola II and recovered some of the lost territories of his dynasty. The famous poet Bilhana and Vigyanesvara, the author of the well known work “Mitakshara” flourished during his reign. After Vikramaditya VI’s death in about 1126 A.D. the Chalukya power began to decline rapidly. Many feudatory chiefs ass erted their independence and in about 1190 A.D. Somesvara IV, the last ruler of this dynasty, was overthrown by the Yadavas of Devagiri. Contribution of the Chalukyas Art and Architecture • They developed the Deccan or Vesara style in the building of structural temples, which reached culmination, however, only under the Rashtrakutas and the Hoyasal as. • It was the Chulakyas who perfected the art of stone building, that is, stones fi naly joined without mortar. • Under their auspices, the Buddhists, Jainas and Brahmins competed with each othe r in building cave temples. • Thought the cave frescoes began earlier, some of the finest specimens belonged t o the chalukya era. The murals that were executed on the walls dealt without onl y religious themes but also with secular ones. In the first monastic hall at Aja nta, we notice a painting depicting the reception given to a Persian embassy by Pulakesin II. Temples: The temple-building activity under the Chalukyas of Badami can be broad ly divided into two stages. The first stage is represented by the temples at Aih ole and Badami. Aihole is a town of temples an contains no fewer than 70 structu res, of which four are noteworthy. • Ladh Khan temple is a flat roofed building. • Durga temple was an experiment seeking to adopt the Buddhist chaitya to a Brahma

nical temple. • Hucimaligudi is verysimilar to the Durga temple, but smaller than it. • The Jaina temple of Meguti shows some progress in the erection of structural tem ples, but it is unfinished. Of the temples at Badami, the Melagitti Sivalaya is a small but finelly proporti oned and magnificently located temple. A group of four rock-cut halls at Badami (three of them Hindu and one Jaina) are all of the same type. The workmanship in the caves in marked by a high degree of technical excellence. Thought the front is very unassuming, the interior is treated with great skill and care in every detail. The second stage is represented by the temples at Pattadakal. There are about te n temples here, four in the northern style and six in the southern style. In the Deccan both styles were used. There was even a tendency to combine the feature of the two styles. • The Papanatha temple is the most notable among the temples of the northern style , it also reveals attempts to combine northern and southern features in one stru cture. • The Virupaksha temple was built by one of the queens of Vikramaditya II. Workmen brought from Kanchi were employed in its construction. Hence it is a direct imi tation of the Kailasanatha temple which had come into existence in Kanchi some d ecades earlier. • The Sangamesvara temple, which was built some years before the above one, is mor e or less in the same style. • (C) Pallavas of Kanchi The Pallavas was the first well-known dynasty which came into power in the South after the fall of the Andharas. But nothing definite is known about their origi n. For about two hundred years from 550 to 750 A.D., the Pallavas were the domin ant power in the South. Their rule extended over a vast region including the mod ern territories of the Madras, Arcot, Trichnopoly and Tanjore but the whole of t he South was under their influence. There were several branches of these Pallava s who ruled form different quarters such as Badami or Vatapi, Ellora and Kanchi. The most powerful dynasty of the Pallavas was the one which had its capital at Kanchi. The earliest Pallava ruler about whom we have some reliable information was vishnugopa of Kanchi. With Simha Vishnu (575-600 A.D.) begins the most glori ous epoch of the Pallava history. He is said to have defeated rulers of the thre e Tamil States of Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas and also the ruler of Ceylon. Mahen dra Varman (600-625 A.D.) had to fight a deadly and long drawn battle with the C halukyas. Mahendra Varman was a great patron of art and literature. Formerly he was a Jain by faith but later on he was converted to Shaivism and then he built a large number of rock cut temples at various places (Dalavanur, Pallavaram, Val lam, etc.) in honour of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Mahendra Varman was succeeded by his son Narasimha Varman (625-645 A.D.) in about 625 A.D. He is perhaps the m ost important ruler of the Pallava dynasty. He defeated the Chalukya a ruler Pul akesin II in about 642 A.D. and took hold of his capital Badami or Vatapi. He also fought successful wars against the cheras, cholas and the king of Ceylon. It was during his reign, that the celebrated Chinese pilgrim Hieun-Tsang visited Kanchi in about 642 A.D. and stayed there for sometime. Narsimha Varman was a great builder like his father. He built many rock-cut temples and laid th e foundation of a new city, which was known as Mahabalipuram. He beautified this city with many wonderful shrines, the chief among them was the Dharmaraja Ratha . After the death of Narsimha Varman in about 645 A.D. the Pallava empire began to fall with a rapid speed. The successors of Narasimha Varman continued their rul e upto the end of 9th century A.D. when under Aparajita Varman (876-895 A.D.) th eir territory was annexed by the Cholas in about 895 A.D. The Pallavas with their capital at Kanchipuram were a hereditary Hindu dynasty. They ruled between the 4th and 9th Century. Under the Pallavas, their vast kingd

om was exposed to increased influence of Sanskrit and the culture associated wit h it. During this period the cults of Shavaism and Vaishnavism became deeply emb edded in the Tamilian culture. Art and Architecture The development of temple architecture, particularly Dravida style, under the pa llavas can be seen in four stages. Mahendra Group: The influence of the cave style of architecture is to be seen in this group. Examples; are the rock-cut temples at Bhairavakonda (North Arcot di strict), and Anantesvara temple at Undavalli (Guntur district). Narasimha Group: They comprises the rathas or monolithic temples, each of which is hewn out of a single rock-boulder. These monolithic temples are found at Mama llapuram. The rathas, popularly called the Seven Pagodas, are actually eight in number. They are (1) Dharmaraja, (2) Bhima, (3) Arjuna, (4) Sahadeva, (5) Draupa di, (6) Ganesa, (7) Pidari and (8) Valaiyankuttai. Rajasimha Group: There are five examples of this group – the at Mahablipuram (Shor e, Isvara and Mukunda temples), one at Panamalai in South Arcot, and the temple of Kailasanatha temple at Kanchi. Among all these, the most mature example is th e last one. Nandivarman Group: This group mostly consists of smalol temples except the Vaiku ntaperumal temple at Kanchi and in no way forms an advance on the achievements o f the previous age. But they are more ornate, resembling the Chola architecture. The best examples are the temples of Muktesvara and Matangesvara at Kanchi, the Vadamalisvara at Orgadam (near Chingalput), and the Parasuramesvara at Gudimall am (near Renigunta). The Pallavas also contributed to the development of sculpture in south India. Th e Pallava sculpture largely is indebted to the Buddhist tradition. It is more mo numental and linear in form, thus avoiding the typical ornamentation of the Decc an sculpture. The best example is the ‘Descent of the Ganga’ or ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ at Maha balipuram. Religion The Pallavas were orthodox Brahmanical Hindus and their patronage was responsibl e for the great reformation of the medieval ages. Most of the Pallava kings were devotees of Shiva, the exceptions being Simhavishnu and Nandivarman who were wo rshippers of Vishnu. Mahendravarman I was the first to be influenced by the famo us Saivite saints of the age. Besides worshipping Siva, he he also showed revere nce to other Hindu gods. Pallavas were tolerant towards other religions like Bud dhism and Jainism. However, some of the sects like Buddhism were losing their fo rmer glory to Saivism. The Vedic tradition in general bossed over the local trad ition. Sankaracharya in fact gave this stimulus to Vedic tradition. Tamil saints of the sixth and seventh centuries AD were the progenitors of the b hakti movement. The hymns and sermons of the Nayanars (Saivite saints) and Alvar s(Vaishnavite saints) continued the tradition of bhakti. Saivite saints were App ar, Sambandar, Sundarar, and others. Most remarkable thing about this age was th e presence of women saints such as Andal (an Alvar). Education and Learning Education in the early days was controlled by the Jainas and Buddhists. The Jain a institutions were located at Madurai and Kanchi. But soon Brahmanical institut ions superseded them. Ghatikas or Brahmin institutions were attached to the temp les and mostly confined to advance study. In the eighth century AD the maths als o became popular. A math was an omnibus institution because of its being a resthouse, a feeding centre and also an education centre. In all these institutions, Sanskrit was the medicum of instruction, because it was also the official langu age. • (D) Kadambas of Banavasi The earliest rulers of Karnataka, the Kadambas (325-540 AD) ruled over a major p art of the state in addition to parts of Goa and Maharashtra. The Talagunda insc ription of 450 AD states that Mayursharma, the founder of the dynasty, was given the name because of the profusion of sacred Kadamba trees which grew around his dwellings. Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese traveler-monk who also visited Banavasi (Ko nkanapura) recorded that the place was dotted with numerous monasteries, pertain

ing to both Hinayana and Mahayana sects of Buddhism, where thousands of monks an d priests resided. Evidently Buddhism was greatly patronized or it was the offic ial religion. Mayursharman Mayursharman had been born a Brahmin, who after completion of Vedic studies went to Ghatikasthana in Kanchipuram for higher studies. Driven by circumstances, he became Mayuravarman, a Kshatriya, having mastered warfare tactics and the use o f weaponry. He built up an army and trained them in guerilla warfare. He defeate d several chieftains and even compelled the Pallavas to acknowledge his supremac y. His kingdom comprised the hilly region, western coast and Chitradurga distric t of Karnataka, with its capital at Banavasi (north Kanara district). Kakustha The Kadamba kingdom reached its zenith under Kakustha (405-430 AD), who was a gr eat builder. His prominence can be gauged from the fact that Skandagupta (scion of the famous Gupta dyansty) married one of his daughters. King Madhava of the G anga dynasty married another of his daughters. Such matrimonial alliances helped to foster strong diplomatic ties and friendship with other kingdoms in the vici nity. Subsequently the rule of Ravivarman (485-519 AD) of the same dynasty, prov ed to be fairly long-lasting. He extended his kingdom up to the river Godavari i n the north, Pennar river to south and Kolar in the east. The other kings of thi s dynasty proved to be weak; hence their rule had no great significance. • (E) Gangas of Mysore This dynasty ruled what are now the present districts of Kolar, Bangalore, Mysor e, Mandya and Tumkur in Karnataka, between the 3rd-10th century A.D. They were J ains by faith. The world famous monolithic statue of Gomateshwara (Bahubali) loc ated in Shravanabelagola was erected during the Ganga rule by their commander in chief Chavundaraya. Historical evidence indicates that the Ganga kingdom extend ed northwards upto Orissa. Interestingly, the building of the famous Jagannath t emple at Puri (modern Orissa) is ascribed to Chodaganga Deva, a Ganga ruler. • (F) Rashtrakutas of Manyakhet/ Malkhed The origin of the Rashtrakutas is mired in ambiguity. Some records trace its des cent to the lineage of Yadu (the clan to which Lord Krishna apparently belonged) . A few epigraphs claim that their early ancestor was Satyaki of the Yadava clan . Acclaimed by some historians as the largest Indian Empire, the Rashtrakuta cla n ruled from Manyaketha in the Gulbarga region of modern Karnataka from 735-982 AD and reached its peak under Amoghavarsha I, often hailed as "Ashoka of South I ndia". The Rashtrakutas came to power after the decline of the Badami Chalukyas and were involved in a tripartite struggle with the Prathiharas of Gujarat and P alas of Bengal for political control over the Indo-Gangetic plains. The Rashtrak utas have found immortality in the pages of Indian history, through their marvel lous rock cut temples of Ellora, in modern day Maharashtra. To them also goes th e credit for the promotion and development of the Kannada language and literatur e. For about two centuries (from 753-973 A.D.) the Rastrakuta rulers were all power ful in the South. Dantidurga, Krishna I, Govinda III, Amoghvarsha and Indra III were some of great rulers of this dynasty. Dantindurga, the founder of this line was succeeded by his uncle Krishna I, who is credited to have built the rock-cu t Kailasa temple at Ellora. The next important ruler of this dynasty was Govinda III. He defeated the Pallav as of Kanchi and Chalukyas of Vengi and foiled all the attempts of the Pratihara ruler Nagabhatta to recover his parental dominions of Ujjain. When Govinda III was busy with his northern neighbour (i.e., Nagabhatta), the Southern powers inc luding the Cholas, Pandyas, and the rulers of Kanchi and Kerala organised a conf ederacy against him, but he rose to the occasion, and defeated all those rulers. After Govinda III, his son Amoghavarsha succeeded him. He was the greatest rule r of this dynasty. He himself was a great author and is said to have written “Kavi rajamarga”, a great work in poetics. He laid the foundation of his new capital Man yakheta (Malkhed).

Under Amoghavarsha’s successors the Rashtrakuta power began to decline with a rapi d speed. Indra III (914-918 A.D.) however, tried to check the forces of disrupti on for sometime but after him there was none to check those forces. Ultimately a bout 937 A.D. the last ruelr of the Rashtrakutas, Karka II or Kakka II, was defe ated and killed by Tailapa II, the founder of the new line of the Chalukyas of K alyani. According to Sulaiman, the Arab visitor who visited the Rastrakuta empire during the reign of Amoghavarsa, writes, “The Ratrakuta sovereign was acknowledged not o nly as the most eminent of the princes of India, but also as the fourth of the g reat kings of the world, the other three being the caliph of Baghdad, the empero r of China and the emperor of Custuntunia.” Their temples, rock-cut and others are undoubtedly marvellous for their design and execution. • (G) Hoysalas of Dwarsamudra The members of this clan established their own empire in what is now the state o f Karnataka and ruled between 1040-1342. The most famous Hoysala rulers were Vishnuvardhana, Ballala II and Ballala III. Jainism as a major religious faith f lourished during the Hoysala period. However, Ramanuja the founder of Vaishnavis m, came to the Hoysala kingdom to propagate his religion. The Hoysalas greatly p atronised both Kannada and Sanskrit literature. They were also great builders an d won great esteem as builders of numerous magnificent temples, the ruins of whi ch are still to be found at Belur (the erstwhile capital of the Hoysalas),Halebi du and Somanathapura in present-day Karnataka. • (H) Kakatiyas of Warangal The Kakatiyas rose to prominence during the 12th and the 13th centuries. As the Chalukyas declined in power, the Kakatiya clan who were their feudatories began to wield considerable power. Early in the 12th century, the Kakatiyas declared i ndependence and began expanding their kingdom. By the end of the century, their kingdom stretched between the Godavari and the Krishna rivers. The empire reache d its zenith under Ganapati who was its most outstanding ruler. At the peak of i ts glory the empire included most of the territory of modern day Andhra Pradesh and parts of Orissa, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Karnataka. Ganapati was succee ded by his daughter Rudramamba who was thefirst queen known to have ever ruled i n southern India. The Kakatiya dynasty was probably the longest lived Telugu kin gdom in history. By the early 14th century, the Kakatiya empire attracted the at tention of the Delhi Sultanate under Allauddin Khilji. It paid tribute to Delhi for a few years, but was eventually conquered by the forces of Muhammad bin Tugh laq in 1323. The Kakatiya period is termed as the brightest period of Andhra history. The ent ire area was under the kings who spoke Telugu and encouraged development of the language. Telugu. They established law and order throughout their territory and the numerous forts built by them played a dominant role in the defence of the re alm. Though Saivism continued to be the religion of the masses, the intellectuals fav oured revival of Vedic rituals. They sought to reconcile the Vaishnavites and th e Saivites through the worship of Harihara. (Hari=Vishnu, Har =shiva). The Kakat iya rulers greatly patronized the arts and literature. This dynasty was at its b est in religious art. The Kakatiya temples, dedicated mostly to Siva, depict a f ine blending of both north Indian and south Indian styles. The most important of these temples are those at Palampeta, Hanamkonda and the incomplete one within the Warangal fort. • 4. History of South India: Medieval Period The medieval period in southern part of India saw the rise and fall of numerous kings and their dominions. However mention must be made of the three outstanding ones. • (A) Pandyas of Madura Of all the three States of Tamil India i.e. Chola, Chera and Pandya, the last on e (i.e. Pandyas) was the most ancient if not the most important. This state of t he Pandyas is referred to in Megasthene’s account and is also mentioned in Ashoka’s inscriptions. In the middle of the 7th century A.D. when Hieun-Tsang visited the

South, the Pandyas were under the Suzerainty of the Pallavas of Kanchi and Budd hism was quite extinct there. Towards the close of the 9th century A.D. the Pand yas joined hands with the Cholas against the Pallavas and after defeating them t hey won their freedom. But in the 11th century A.D. the Pandyas had to bow befor e the might of the Cholas. It was after the fall of the Cholas that the Pandyas became the leading power in the South. In the 13th century A.D. Sundar Pandya I (1216-1238 A.D.) was a powe rful king who defeated the Cholas and occupied the districts of Tanjore and Tric hinopoly. But this success was only short-lived. For sometime the Pandyas confro nted the rising power of the Hoysalas of Dwarsamudra but ultimately they became their feudatories and when Malik Kafur invaded the South in the beginning of the fourteenth century A.D. (1316 A.D.) they came under the supremacy of the Muslim s. But when the Vijaya Nagara empire became all powerful in the South, it also a bsorbed the Pandya state within its boundaries in the 16th century A.D. Thus end ed the life span of the Pandya State. • (B) Kalachuris of Tripuri This dynasty which overthrew the Chalukyas of Kalyani in the early part of the 1 2th Century, had a relatively short but stormy rule. According to a legend recor d the founder of the family was a person by the name of Soma, who was a disciple of Ashwathama (the heroic character of the Mahabharata).According to legends, h e grew a beard and a moustache to conceal his visage, in a bid to escape the wra th of the fiery Parashurama. Thereafter his family and kinsmen came to be known as Kalachuris (Kalli meaning a long moustache and churi meaning a sharp knife). However, the later records of the dynasty claim that they descended from Brahma, the Creator of the universe. The Kalachuris were also related to the early Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas by matrimonial alliances. Some scholars believe that they migrated to the south an d made Mangalavedhe (Mangalavada) their headquarters. They called themselves Kal anjarapuravaradhisvara, which indicates their central Indian origin. Their emble m was a golden bull. It is likely that they had started out as feudatories of th e Chalukyas of Kalyani. The first prominent ruler of the Kalachuris was Uchita, who was followed by Asaga, Kannam and Kiriyasaga. However under Bijjala I and hi s son Kannama, the Kalachuris began to wield considerable political power. Howe ver Kannama s son Jogama became an influential feudatory of the Chalukya Vikrama ditya VI, who was matrimonially connected to the Kalachuri chief. This trend con tinued right upto the reign of Jogama s son and successor, Permadi. Even though he was a Mahamandalesvara (feudal lord) he enjoyed considerable clout in the roy al circles. Parmadi’s son Bijjala II (1130-1167 A.D) succeeded his father as the M ahamandalesvara. The Chikkalagi inscription refers to Bijjala II as "Mahabhujaba lachakravarti (literally: the sovereign with tremendous power in his arms). Some historians identify several Kalachuri ruling families in Tripuri, Gorakhpur , Ratnapur, Rajpur (eastern Gujarat) regions of central India. Dr. P. B. Desai, the renowned historian opines that the Kalachuris did not originally belong to K arnataka. On the contrary they had migrated from central India. There they were known as Katachuris, and they ruled over an empire spanning Malwa, Gujarat, Konk an and Maharashtra. However, one of its rulers, Buddharaja, experienced a crushi ng defeat at hands of the Chalukya king Mangalesa, which pushed this dynasty int o oblivion. Sri Basava The most outstanding figure that emerged during the reign of the Kalachuris was Shree Basava (also known as Basaveshwara or Basavanna) who was the founder of th e Lingayat ( linga = the phallic symbol of Shiva) religious sect in India. He us hered in a massive social transformation by inspiring and encouraging the people belonging to the lower castes to bring about changes in their ideas and thougts by concentrating on and sincerely worshipping Lord Shiva. Basaveshwara is believed to have been a mystic, an idealist and a statesman. He was also an erudite and scholarly person, overflowing with kindness and compassi

 

 

on for the oppressed and the downtrodden masses. He preached his ideas about a n ew approach towards God and life by means of Vachanas or the sacred hymns compos ed by him. Vasava spearheaded the Virasaiva movement, which sought to simplify religion and create a harmonious social order. Throughout his life Basava led a relentless c rusade against the caste hierarchy, social inequality, and the heinous practice of untouchability. In the teeth of opposition from orthodox, high-caste Hindus, he endeavoured to stamp out all manner of social evils from of his state. • (C) Yadavas of Devgiri The Yadavas were feudatories of the later Chalukyas of Kalyani and after their d ecline towards the end of 12th century A.D. (about 1190 A.D) they rose into prom inence. They ruled over the territory extending from Nasik to Devagiri (i.e. Kha ndesh). The founder of this dynasty was Billama V who defeated the last Chalukya ruler Somesvara IV in about 1190 A.D. and established his kingdom to the north of the river Krishna and made Devgiri as his capital. The most important ruler of this dynasty was Singhana (or Sim hana 1210-1247 A.D.) who defeated the Hoysala ruler (Vallala II) and established his supremacy to the South of the Krishna. He also waged successful wars agains t the rulers of Malwa, Gujarat and Andhara and greatly extended the boundaries o f his empire and also enhanced the prestige of his dynasty. The last great ruler of this dynasty was Ramchandra (1271-130 9 A.D.). It was during his reign that the Muslims for the first time appeared in the South. In 1294 A.D. Ala-ud-din, the then Governor of Kara suddenly appeared before Devgiri and surprised Ramchandra because of his sudden attack. After a l ittle resistance he had to bow before they heavy armours of the invader and beg for peace. Ramchandra was, however, pardoned but later in 1307 A.D. Ala-ud-Din’s lieu tenant Malik Kafur, once against invaded Devgiri and conquered it. Ramchandra wa s taken prisoner and taken to Delhi but Ala-ud-Din treated him nicely and thus w on over his loyalty. After his death in 1309 A.D. when his son Sankara stopped t he payment of tribute, he was attacked and killed in 1312 A.D. and his kingdom w as annexed to the Khilji Empire. • (D) Vijaynagara Empire This was the most famous empire in the history of southern India. The Vijayanaga ra empire lasted for three centuries, thus indirectly checking the expansion of Islamic powers in the region. According to legends as well as historical sources , two brothers named Harihara and Bukka (Sons of Sangama,a chieftain at the cour t of the Hoysala rulers)had founded city of Vijayanagara on the southern bank of the river Tungabhadra in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Two famous sages Madhav V idyaranya and his brother Sayana became the main source of inspiration for the f oundation of a Hindu empire in the region.

Harihar became the first kingdom of the newly founded empire. After his death Bu kka succeded him. Bukka sent an emissary to China in 1374 as a diplomatic move. After Bukka s death, Harihara II (son of Harihar) ascended the throne. He expand ed his domains by conquering almost the whole of southern India, including Mysor e, Kanara, Chingalpet, Trichinopally and Kanchivaram (modern Kanchipuram). A sta unch worshipper of Lord Shiva. Harihara II was fairly tolerant towards the follo wers of other faiths too. He became the first king of the Vijayanagara empire to assume the title of Maharajadhiraj Rajaparmeshwara (the mighty, sovereign, king of kings). In 1486, Vir Narasimha of Chandragiri, (who belonged to theTuluva dynasty) took over the reigns of the Vijaynagar empire. His son Krishanadev Raya has been accl aimed the greatest ruler of Vijayanagara and one of the most famous kings in the history of India. A great warrior, he almost invariably won the wars which he w aged throughout his period of kingship. He was known to have treated even his va

 

nquished foes with honour. During the period 1511-1514, he captured southern Mysore, Shivasamudram fortress and Raichur (karnataka), defeated Gajapati, the erstwhile king of Orissa and ca ptured Udaigiri (Orissa), in that order. Still later, he captured Vishakapatnam and abolished the authority of the rulers of Orissa. His most outstanding achiev ement was the defeat inflicted on one of the Bahamani rulers, Ismail Adil Shah o n 19th March 1520.This landmark event put an end to the Muslim dominance in the southern part of the country. During his later years, Krishnadeva Raya strongly focused on the organization of his empire and improving its administration. In order to maintain friendly rela tions with foreign powers (who were beginning to gain a foothold in India) parti cularly the Portuguese, he granted some concessions to the Portuguese governor A lphonsde de Albuquerque. The reign of Krishanadev Raya also witnessed tremendous growth and development i n the spheres of literature, music, art and culture. Raya himself was an accompl ished poet, musician, scholar and extremely well-versed in Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada. He patronized many poets and authors notably the Ashtadiggajas (literal ly: poets of a gigantic stature) of Telugu language. The famous scholar and wit Tenali Rama adorned his court. During this period the re was also a spurt in art and architecture. The famous Vithalswami temple and t he Hazara temple ( literally a thousand) both at Hampi built during his reign ar e magnificent specimens of Hindu Temple architecture, executed in the Vijaynagar style of architecture. The Vijayanagar empire witnessed the arrival of European traders (especially the Portuguese) in India. Krishnadeva Raya encouraged foreign trade which necessita ted the use of currency. The coins of the Vijayanagara Empire were chiefly made with gold and copper. Most of the gold coins carried a sacred image on one side and the royal legend on the reverse. Some gold coins bore the images of Lord Tir upatis. • (E) Bahamani Kingdom According to historical records, a rebel chieftain of Daulatabad, near Ellora, M aharashtra, which was under Muhammad Bin Tughalaq, founded the Bahamani kingdom. This chieftain, Allauddin Hassan, who was a man of humble origins, assumed the name of Gangu Bahamani, in memory of his Brahmin mentor. His kingdom comprised p arts of present day Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. South of his kin gdom lay the Vijayanagara Empire against which it had to fight continuous wars f or political reasons. The most remarkable ruler of the Bahamani kingdom was Firuz Shah Bahamani (13971422 AD), who fought three major battles against the Vijayanagara Empire without any tangible results. He was a great scholar, well-versed in religious and natu ral sciences. He wanted to make the Deccan the cultural centre of India. According to his court poet Ferhishta, Firuz Shah was a true Muslim his spirit, notwithstanding his vices - fondness for wine and music, both strictly forbidden by Islam. Firuz Shah was compelled to abdicate in favour of his brother Ahmad S hah I, who successfully invaded Warangal and annexed most part of it to his empi re. The conquest of Warangal proved to be a shot in the arm of the Bahamanis. Th e kingdom gradually expanded and reached its zenith under the prime ministership of Mahmud Gawan (1466-1481 AD). Mahmud Gawan arrived and settled down in Bidar from Persia in the year 1453. A g reat scholar of Islamic cultural traditions, he established and funded a Madaras sa ( college) which was modeled along the lines of the universities of Samarkhan d and Khorasan (both in Central Asia)

One of the major problems faced by Gawan was the unending dispute among the Baha mani nobles, who were divided into Deccanis (old timers) and Afaqis or Gharibs ( newcomers). Since Gawan himself was a newcomer (of Persian origin), he failed to win the con fidence of the Deccanis. His policy of conciliation failed to stem the ongoing s trife amongst the noblemen.In 1482, Gawan,a septugenarian was executed by Sultan Muhammad Shah,the last ruler of the undivided Bahamani Empire.

After Gawan’s death, the raging internal factions grew more intense and various go vernors declared their independence. The kingdom finally got fragmented into fiv e parts--- the Adil Shahis of Bijapur, the Qutub Shahis of Golconda, the Nizam S hahis of Ahmednagar, the Barid Shahi of Bidar and lastly the Imad Shahis of Bera r. The five kingdoms came together to wage a war against the mighty Vijayanagara Em pire and inflicted a death-blow to it in 1565. A few years down the line, the Im ad Shahi kingdom was conquered by Nizamshahis in 1574 AD; the Barid Shahi kingdo m was annexed by Adil Shahis in1619 AD. Shahi kings These kingdoms continued to play a dominant role in the politics of the region t ill they were eventually merged in the Mughal empire in the 17th century. After the death of Shivaji, Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor, marched southwards, finally annexing Bijapur in 1686 A.D and Golconda 1689 A. D; this sounded the death kne ll of the Bahamani kingdom. The Bahamani period witnessed the upsurge of secularism and communal harmony. Ha zrat Banda Nawaz (1321-1422 A.D) the great Sufi saint was patronized by the Baha mani kings and his Dargah located at Gulbarga in Karnataka, is a famous pilgrima ge for both Hindus and Muslims alike.

In the field of architecture, the Bahamani rulers evolved a distinct style by dr awing heavily from Persian, Turkey, and Arabic architectural styles and blending it with local styles. One of the largest and most famous domes in the world, th e Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur and the majestic gateway Charminar (four minarets, char = four) at Hyderabad and the Golconda Fort, near Hyderabad are the hallmarks of Bahamani architecture. The main source of income of the Bahamanis was the cultiv ated land, with the administration revolving around the assessment and collectio n of land revenue. The Bahmanis of the Deccan ultimately left behind a rich, composite cultural her itage of Indo-Islamic art, language, besides Islamic faith and traditions. • Age of Guptas • Introduction After the fall of the Kushan Empire, towards the middle of the third century A.D ., India was divided into a large number of small principalities. This situation of utter confusion continued for many years and towards the end of the third ce ntury A.D. Sri Gupta brought Magadha under his control. His line os known as the empire of the Guptas. This dynasty controlled the destiny of India for about tw o centuries (320 – 540 A.D.) and under them India made such a progress in almost a ll the fields but especially culture that the period is generally regarded as th e “Golden Age of Hinduism”. According to Vishnu Purana the Guptas belonged to the Va ishya caste. On the basis of epigraphic sources, it is believed that the Guptas

were kshatriyas. The Poona copper plates of Prabhavati Gupta records that Sri G upta was the ‘Adhiraja’ or the founder of the Gupta dynasty. Sri Gupta was followed by his son Ghatotkacha. Like his father Ghatotkacha was also a petty chief, and not much is known about him except that he died in 320 A.D., and was succeeded b y his son Chandragupta I. • 1. The Gupta Line Chandragupta I (320 – 335 A.D.) When he came to the throne his influence was limited within Magadha but he great ly raised the power and prestige of his dynasty by his matrimonial alliances and conquests. He greatly extended the boundaries of his kingdom and adopted the ti tle of “Maharaja –dhiraja” or “King of Kings”. He entered into matrimonial alliance with the famous Lichchhavi tribe and marrie d Kumardevi. Chandragupta I is also said to have started a new era which starts from 26th February, 320 A.D. which is supposed to be the first year of the coron ation of Chandragupta I. Samudragupta (335 – 375 A.D.) He was a great conqueror who had fought many successful battles during the reign of his father. Samudragupta gave peace and unity to the country and established a mighty empire. It is because of his great military achievements that Dr. V.A. Smith calls him as the ‘Indian Napoleon’. The Allahabad pillar inscription composed by Harisena, his court poet enumerates the people and countries that were conquered by him. Virasen was the army comma nder in famous southern campaign of Samudragupta. In Allahabad inscription Samud ragupta describes him as the hero of hundred battles. In one of his coins he cal led himself ‘Lichchhavi duhitr’ (daughter’s son of the Lichchhavis’). He performed Asvamedha Yajana to claim imperial title and struck gold coins of Yupa type to commemorate the occasion. He maintained the tradition of religious toleration, granted permission to Buddhist king of Ceylon, Meghavarman, to build a monastery at Bodh Gaya; so, he was called ‘Anukampavan’. (Full of compassion). He was a great patron of art, adopted the title of ‘Kaviraja’. Poets like Harisena and Vasubandhu adorned his court; on some gold coins he was shown playing veena. Chandragupta II (380 – 415 A.D.) He was also a great conqueror like his father and his reign saw the high waterma rk of the Gupta Empire. Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription claims his authority ov er north western India and a good portion of Bengal. Virasena’s Udayagiri cave ins cription refers to his conquest of the whole world. He defeated the last of the Saka ruler Rudra Simha III and annexed the territories of Western Malwa and Guja rat. He was also called ‘Vikramaditya’. Chandragupta II made Ujjain the second capit al of the empire. He strengthened his position through matrimonial alliances. His daughter Prabhav ati was married to a Vakataka prince Rudrasena II (a Brahman) and he himself mar ried a Naga princess ‘Kuber Naga’. He was also a man of art and culture, his court a t Ujjain was adorned by ‘Navaratna’ (Nine gems) including Kalidasa, Amarsinha, Fahie n, Acharya Dinanga etc. Verasena – Sabha was the court poet and minister of Chandr agupta II. Amarkhaddava was the army general of Chandragupta II. Fahien, the Chi nese traveller, came during the time of Chandragupta II. Kumaragupta (415 – 455 A.D.) He performed Asvamedha sacrifices, but we do not know of his any military succes s, though he maintained the vast empire intact. Towards the close of his reign, the empire was attacked by the Pushyamitra tribe (a branch of Hunas of Central A sia). Skandagupta He repulsed he title of red and its (455 – 467 A.D.) the ferocious Hunas twice; this heroic feat entitled him to assume t Vikramaditya. During his reign the renowned Sudarsana lake was repai embankments were rebuilt.

After his death in about 467 A.D. the fortunes of the Gupta dynasty fell with a rapid speed. All his successors like Purugupta, Narasimhagupta, Kumargupta II, B udhagupta, Bhanugupta etc., were unable to check the disintegrating forces and t he mighty Gupta Empire fell before the Hun invasions. • (A) Administration In contrast to the Mauryas, the Gupta king adopted pompous titles such as ‘Parmesh war’, ‘Maharajadhiraja’ and ‘Parambhattarka’ which signify that they ruled over lesser kin gs in their empire. Element of divinity in kingship; kings compared with differe nt gods and were looked upon as Vishnu, the protector, and preserver. Kingship w as hereditary, but royal power was limited by the absence of a firm practice of primogeniture. Council of ministers existed; evidence of one man holding several posts like Har isena and posts becoming hereditary. The empire was divided into ‘Bhukti’ (province) placed under the charge of an ‘uparika’ (viceroy). Bhuktis were divided into distri ct (Vishayas) placed under the charge of ‘Vishyapati’. The sub-districts were called ‘Peth’ and the village were under ‘Gramika’ or ‘Mahattar’. The Guptas did not maintained a vast bureaucracy like that of the Mauryas. ‘Kumaramatyas’ were the most important o fficers who were appointed by the king in the home provinces. A large part of th e empire was administered by feudatories, many of whom had been subjected by Sam udragupta; the second important feudal development in administration was the gra nt of fiscal and administrative concession to priests and administrators. Chariots receded into the background and cavalry came to the forefront. In judic ial system for the first time civil and criminal laws were clearly defined and d emarcated. In the Gupta period land taxes increased in number, and also those on trade and commerce. • (B) Social Condition The Aryan pattern of society based on ‘Varnashram dharma’ made its final assertion. Land grants to Brahmanas suggest Brahman supremacy continued. Caste proliferated into numerous sub-castes firstly as a result of assimilation of a large number of foreigners into Indian society and secondly due to absorption of many tribal people in Brahmanical society through process of land grants. Religious functionaries were granted land called ‘Agarhara’ free of taxes for ever, and they were authorised to collect from peasants all taxes, which could have ot herwise gone to the emperor. Land revenue was about 1/6 of the produce payable e ither in cash or kind. Though women were idealised in literature, mother goddesses were worshipped, but in reality they were accorded lower position viz., pre-puberty marriage, denial of education, treated as an item of property etc. Though they were allowed to l isten to the epics and puranas, like the Shudras. The position of the Shudra som ewhat improved but number of untouchables and out-castes increased. The first ex ample of Sati came from Eran (Madhya Pradesh) of 510 A.D. • (C) Fahien’s Account Fahien was a Chinese pilgrim who visited India in the beginning of the fifth cen tury A.D., with the chief aim of visiting the holy places connected with the lif e of the Lord Buddha. He stayed in India for about six years (405-411 A.D.). He returned home in 414 A.D. after a lapse of about 15 years. During his stay in In dia he visited various important places such as Peshawar, Taxila, Mathura, Kapil vastu, Bodh Gaya, Saranath, Kushinagar and Patliputra. At Patliputra he stayed f or about three years and has written in detail about the political, social, econ omic religious and general conditions of India as it was under the then Gupta mo narch i.e., Chandragupta Vikramaditya, who ruled from 380- 414 A.D. He writes th at Patliputra was a big city and was a great centre of learning and religion. Th ere were many free hospitals in the town, endowed by nobles and house holders, i n which food and medicines, were given to the poor, free of cost. Fahien has hi ghly praised the Gupta administration as it functioned under Chandragupta II. Th e Gupta administration was very mild and liberal in its nature. It seldom interf ered in the day to day life of the people. The criminal law was very mild. It a ppears from Fahien’s account that bulk of the people were vegetarian and followed the principle of Ahimsa. In this connection he writes, ‘throughout the whole count ry the people do not kill any living thing, nor drink intoxicating liquor or win

e, nor eat onions , nor garlic. There was, however, one class of people, i.e., the Chandalas comprising the butchers, hunters and the fishermen who indulged in hunting and taking meat. They lived outside the city and they were regarded as social outcastes. Whenever they came in a city they had to strike a piece of woo d so that other people might not be polluted by their touch. According to Fahie n, “Cowrie shells were the only articles used in buying and selling”. But here he is perhaps mistaken because from various other sources we definitely know that gol d coins like those of ‘Suvarnas’ and ‘Dinaras’ were actually current during Chandragupta Vikramaditya’s reign. According to him Buddhism was flourishing in the Punjab, Be ngal and Mathura. The people followed the Buddhist way of life. They never indul ged in meat eating and followed the policy of Ahimsa in right earnest. The Buddh ist monks were respected every where and royal grants were liberally granted to the Buddhist monasteries. • (D) Vakataka Kingdom The Kingdom was founded by Vindhyashakti (255-275), who was succeeded by his son Pravarsen (275-335AD), who was the real founder of the greatness of Vakataka as an imperial power. The Vakataka king Rudrasena II (385-390 AD) married Prabhava ti Gupta, daughter of Chandragupta II. Their influence of Gupta court steadily i ncreased, especially after the death of Rudrasena II, when the administration ca rried on by the Prabhavati Gupta as agent for her minor son. Narendra Sena’s reign ended sometime before AD 550 and afterwards nothing is known to the Vakatakas. Probably, Kalidasa lived for sometime in the court of Praversena II and wrote hi s lonely lyric ‘Megadutam’ during his sojourn there, as Meghdutam is called a kavya of Viderbha. • (E) Later Guptas The designation Later Guptas is a peculiar one as there is no evidence to show t hat this family was in any way connected by blood with the imperial Guptas. Just as the Maukharis, they too were feudatories of the imperial Guptas, to begin wi th, and later established an independent kingdom which lasted till about the mid dle of 8th century A.D. The founder of this dynasty was Krishna-Gupta. He and hi s two successors, Harsha-Gupta and Jivita Gupta-I must have ruled Magadha around 550 A.D. Kumara-Gupta, the 4th of this dynasty is said to have defeated Isana-varman of t he Maukharis. This great victory over the Maukhari chief made him to be ranked v irtually on independent chief. The later Guptas came to possess Malwa, Magadha a nd north Bengal. • (F) Huna Invasions The Hunas for the first time invaded India in about 478 A.D. when Kumargupta was the ruler of India. The crown prince, Skandgupta, then gave them a crushing def eat and saved the honour and prestige of his dynasty. A few years later (484 A.D .) Toramana wrested large territories from the Gupta empire including the Punjab , Rajputana, Sind and Malwa. Because of this success against Guptas Toramana is said to have assumed the title of “Maharaja Adhiraja”. He died in about 511 A.D. Tor amana was succeeded by his son Mihirakula. He is regarded as the greatest Huna r uler in India. He made Sakla or modern Sialkot as his capital. He was a great ty rant who took great delight in acts of brutality. His cruelties assumed such a f ormidable form that the Indian rulers were forced to organise a confederacy agai nst him. King Baladitya of Magadha and king Yashodharaman of central India took leading part in organising this confederacy. Mihirakula was defeated, taken pris oner and later on released. He then took shelter in Kashmir. With the death of M ihirakula there ended the rule of the Hunas in India. Petty Huna chiefs, however , continued to rule small principalities in the North West of India, till the se venth century A.D. Gradually, they were converted to Hinduism and were thus perm anently absorbed in it. • 2. Gupta Age as Golden Age? A Golden age can be defined as a significant period of time in a society pertain ing to a significant aspect (s) of the society. Just like The Roman Empire under Caesar was a golden age for Rome and the renaissance was a golden age for arts and literature in Italy and France, the Gupta Dynasty was a golden age in India.

India before the Guptas When the last of the Mauryan kings was assassinated in 184 BC, India once again became a collection of unfederated kingdoms. During this period, the most powerf ul kingdoms were not in the north, but in the Deccan to the south, particularly in the west. The north, however, remained culturally the most active, where Budd hism was spreading and where Hinduism was being gradually remade by the Upanisha dic movements, which are discussed in more detail in the section on religious hi story. The dream, however, of a universal empire had not disappeared. It would b e realized by a northern kingdom and would usher in one of the most creative per iods in Indian history. The Guptas tended to allow kings to remain as vassal kin gs; unlike the Mauryas, they did not consolidate every kingdom into a single adm inistrative unit. This would be the model for later Mughal rule and British rule built off of the Mughal paradigm. Indian emperors of the Gupta dynasty reunited northern India about 320. Gupta te rritory eventually extended to what is now Afghanistan in the northwest and to t he Vindhyas in the south. Indian art, literature, mathematics, philosophy, and s cience achieved great heights under the Guptas, especially during the reign of C handragupta II, who ruled from about 375 to about 415. India s most famous drama tist and poet, Kalidasa, wrote works of great charm and beauty in this period. A system of medicine called Ayurveda also developed about this time. This period is thus regarded as the golden age of Indian culture. The high points of this cu ltural creativity are magnificent and creative architecture, sculpture, and pain ting. The wall-paintings of Ajanta Cave in the central Deccan are considered amo ng the greatest and most powerful works of Indian art. The paintings in the cave represent the various lives of the Buddha, but also are the best source we have of the daily life in India at the time. There are forty-eight caves making up A janta, most of which were carved out of the rock between 460 and 480, and they a re filled with Buddhist sculptures. The rock temple at Elephanta (near Bombay) c ontains a powerful, eighteen foot statue of the three-headed Shiva, one of the p rinciple Hindu gods. Each head represents one of Shiva s roles: that of creating , that of preserving, and that of destroying. The period also saw dynamic buildi ng of Hindu temples. All of these temples contain a hall and a tower. The greatest writer of the time was Kalidasa. Poetry in the Gupta age tended tow ards a few genres: religious and meditative poetry, lyric poetry, narrative hist ories (the most popular of the secular literatures), and drama. Kalidasa excelle d at lyric poetry, but he is best known for his dramas. We have three of his pla ys; all of them are suffused with epic heroism, with comedy, and with eroticism. The plays all involve misunderstanding and conflict, but they all end with unit y, order, and resolution. • (A) Gupta Administration The inscriptions mention the following titles as usual for Gupats: paramadvaita, paramabhattaraka, maharajadhiraja, prithvipala, paramesvera, samrat, ekadhiraja and chakravartin. The king was assisted in his administration by a chief minist er called mantri or sachiva. Pratiharas and mahapratiharas were important office rs in the royal court, though they did not participate in the administration. Among the important military officers are mentioned senapati, mahasenapati, bala dhyaksha, mahabaladhyaksha, baladhikrita and mahabaladhikarita who perhaps repre sented different grades. There were tow other high military officers – the bhatasv apati, commander of the infantry and cavalry and the katuka, commander of the el ephant corps. Another important official mentioned in the Basarh seals was ranab handagaradhikarana, chief of the treasury of the war office. One higher officer, mentioned for the first time in the Gupta records, was sandhivigrahika or mahas andhivigrahika, a sort of foreign minister. One of the inscriptions mentions sarvadhyakshas, superintendents of all, but it is not clear whether they were central or provincial officers. Numerous inscript ions mention dutaka or duta who communicated royal commands to officers and peop le concerned. Dandapasadhikarana represented the chief of the police. Ordinary p

 

 

olice officials were known as dandapasika, chatas, bhatas, dandika (chastiser), and chauroddharanika (officer apprehending thieves). The king maintained a close liaison with the provincial administration through a class of officials called kumaramatyas and ayuktas. The provinces called bhukti s were usually governed by officers called uparikas. The governor of a bhukti ha s various designations in the official records – bhogika, gopta, uparika-maharaja and rajasthaniya. Bhuktis were subdivided into vishayas. These were governed by vishayapatis. The headquarter of the district was known as adhishthana and ayuktakas. The dist rict magistrate was helped in his administration by a large staff. They were mah arattaras (village elders), ashtakuladhi-karanikas (officers in-charge of groups of eight kulas or families in the local area), gramika (village headman), saulk ika (collector of customs and tolls), gaulmika (in-charge of forests and forts), agraharika (in-charge of the agraharas, settlements dedicated to Brahmins), Dhr uvadhikaranika (in-charge of land revenue), bhandagaradhikrita (treasurer), tala vataka (village accountant), utkhetayita (collector of taxes) and pustapala (the notary and keeper of records). The district records office called akshapatala was placed in charge of mahakshap atalika. There were also, in the district office, sarvodhyakshas or general supe rintendents under whom were employed men of noble lineage called kulaputras to g uard against corruption. The popular elements played an important part in the di strict administration. The advisory district council consisted principally of fo ur members, namely the guild president (nagarasreshthi), the chief merchant (sar thavaha), the chief artisan (prathamakulika), and the chief scribe (prathamakaya stha). The villages were under gramikas along with who were associated mahattaras or th e senior persons of different classes. The town administration was carried on by the mayor of the city called purapala who corresponded to nagaravyavaharakas of the Mauryan age. • (B) Architecture By evolving the Nagara and Dravida styles, the Gupta art ushers in the history o f Indian architecture a formative and creative age with unlimited scope for futu re development and elaboration. Rock-cut Caves: The rock-cut caves continue the of forms to a large extent, but possess striking novelty by bringing about extensive changes in the ornamentatio n of the façade and in the designs of the pillars in the interior. The most notabl e groups of rock-cut caves are found at Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra) and Bagh (MP). The Udayagiri caves (Orissa) are also of this type. Structural Temples: The following five groups may be distinguished among the str uctural temples. 1. Flat-roofed square temple; 2. Flat-footed square temple with a second storey (vimana) above; 3. Square temple with a curvilinear tower (sikhara) above; 4. Rectangular temple; and 5. Circular temple. The second groups of temples show many of the characteristic features of the Dra vida style. The importance of third group lies in the innovation of a sikhara th at caps the sanctum sanctorum, the main feature of the Nagara style. Stupas: They were also built in large numbers, but the best are found at Samath (UP), Ratnagiri (Orissa) and Marpur Khan (Sind). Sculpture Stone Sculpture: A good specimen is the well-known erect Buddha from Sarnath. Of the Brahmanical images perhaps the most impressive is the Great Boar (Varaha), at the entrance of a cave at Udayagiri. Metal Statues: The art of casting statues on a large scale by the cire process w as practiced by Guptan craftsmen with conspicuous success. Two remarkable exampl es of Gupta metal sculpture are (1) A copper image of the Buddha, about eighteen feet high at Nalanda in Bihar, and (2) Sultanganj Buddha of seven and half feet .

Painting The art of painting seems to have been more in general practice and popular dema nd in the Gupta period than the art of stone sculpture. Remains of painting s of this period are found at Ajanta, Bagh, Badami and other places. From the point of technique, the surface of these paintings was perhaps done in a very simple way. In fact the mural paintings of Ajanta are not true frescoes, for a fresco is painted while the plaster is still damp and the murals of Ajanta were made after it had set. The art of Ajanta and Bagh shows the ‘Madhyadesha School’ of painting at its best. Terracottas and Pottery Clay Figurines were used both for religious and secular purposes. We have figuri nes of Vishnu, Kartikeya, Surya, Durga, Kubera, Nagas and other gods and goddess es. Gupta pottery remains found at Ahichchhatra, Rajgarh, Hastinapur and Basarh affo rd an outstanding proof of the excellence of pottery. The most distinctive class of pottery of this period is the ‘red ware’. • (C) Literature The Guptas made Sanskrit the official language and all their epigraphic records were written in it. Epics: The Mahabharata and the Ramayana also got their final touch-up and receiv ed their present shape during this age. Puransa as Itihasas: The Puranas also as we know them in their present form were composed during this time. They are the historical traditions as recorded by th e Brahmins. They were originally composed by bards, but now, having come into pr iestly hands, they were rewritten in classical Sanskrit, and information on Hind u sects, rites and customs was added in order to make them into sacrosanct Hindu documents. The succession of dynasties was recorded in the form of prophecy. Th us, what began as popular memories of the past was revised and rewritten in prop hetic form and became the Brahmanical interpretation of the past. Buddhist Literature: The earliest Buddhist works are in Pali, but in the phase S anskrit came to be used to a greater extent and most of the works are in prose w ith verse passages in mixed Sanskrit. Arya Deva and Arya Asanga of the Gupta per iod are the most notable writers. The first regular Buddhist work on logic was w ritten by Vasubandhu. Vasubandhu’s disciple, Dignaga, was also the author of many learned works. Jaina Literature: The Jaina canonical literature at first grew up in Prakrit dia lects. Sanskrit came to be the medium later. Within a short time, Jainism produc ed many great scholars and by their efforts the Hindu Ithihasas and Puranas were recast in Jaina versions to popularize their doctrines. Vimala produced a Jaina version of the Ramayana. Siddhasena Divakara laid the foundation of logic among the Jainas. Secular Literature: Samudragupta himself had established his fame as kaviraja. T he most notable poet of his court was Harisena. It is widely believed that his c ourt was adorned by the celebrated navaratnas – Kalidasa, Amarasimha, Visakhadatta and Dhanavantri. Kalidasa is a poet of love, nature and beauty. The works of Su draka (Mrichchhakatika), Visakhadatta (Mudraraksasa and Devichandraguptam) and o ther less known dramatists and writers also have some definite literary and soci al value in the classical age, though they are outshined by the brilliance of Ka lidasa. An interesting feature of the dramas of this period is that while the hi gher varna men speak in Sanskrit, the lower classes and women of all varnas spea k Prakrit. Sanskrit Grammar: The gupta period also saw the development of Sanskrit grammar based on Panini (Ashtadhyayi) and Patanjali (Mahabhashya). This period is partic ularly memorable for the compilation of the Amarakosa by Amarasimha. A Buddhist scholar from Bengal, Chandragomia composed a book on grammar, named Chandravyaka ranam. Prakrit Language and Literature In addition to Sanskrit, literature in Prakrits also had their patronage outside the court circle. The Gupta age in fact witnessed the evolution of many Prakrit forms such as Suraseni used in Mathura and its vicinity, Ardha Magadhi spoken i

n Oudh and Bundelkhand, Magadhi in modern Bihar, and Maharashtra in Berar. • (D) Mathematics, Astronomy and Medicine The formulation of the theory of zero and the consequent evolution of the decima l system are to be credited to the thinkers of this age. In the Surya Siddhanta, Aryabhatta (late fifth and early sixth century AD) examines and explains the tr ue cause of the solar and lunar eclipses. His calculation of the size of the ear th is very near to the modern estimation. He was the first Indian astronomer to discover that the earth rotates round its axis. He is also the author of Aryabha ttiyam, which deals with arithmetics, geometry and algebra. Varahamihara’s Brihat Samhita (sixth century AD) is an encyclopaedia of astronomy, physical geography, botany and natural history. His other works are Pancha Sidd hantika, and Brihat Jataka. Brahmagupta (late sixth and early seventh century AD ), anticipated Newton by declaring that ‘all things fall to the earth by law of na ture, for it is the nature of the earth to attract and keep things.’ His works are Brahmasphuta Siddanta and Khanda Khadyaka. Metallic preparations for the purpose of medicine and references to the use of m ercury and iron by Varahamihira and others indicate that much progress was made in chemistry. The Navanitakarn was a medical work, which is a manual of recipes, formulae and prescriptions. Hastyayurveda or the veterinary science, authored b y Palakapya attests to the advances made in medical science during the Gupta per iod. In the light of the above discussion it can be argued that a golden age can be o ne of the arts and/or literature, to one of technology, or one of economic and f inancial prosperity or even territorial extent in some cases. In this sense Gupt a age was golden age. The post- Guptan Age however archaeologically places dispu te as against this. Archaeological evidences suggest that the economy and urban life and social developments and especially development of feudal polity were fa lling behind this ‘golden’ development. • (E) Indian Feudalism Opinions of historians vary widely as regards to the origin of Feudalism in Indi a. Theory of Decentralised State Structure: In the initial phase of the formation o f the viewpoint, the origins of political feudalism were perceived as represente d by a decentralized state structure through the growth of political hierarchy, and in this sense, the proto-feudal phase was located in the pre-Gupta period. T he origins of feudal economy were seen in the grousth of the practice of land gr ants with administrative rights, corroding the authority of the state. Even at t his stage, this theory suffered from the inconsistency of two irreconcilable par allels: whereas hierarchised polity came to be essentially represented by the gr owth of samanta order, the recipients of land with administrative authority, who could be expected to have corroded the authority of the state and decentralized it, were Brahmin and religious establishment. Theory of Social Crisis: The second idea, which substantially differs from the i dea of land grants generating a new social formation, but which seeks to provide an explanation for the genesis of the practice, is articulated in the form of a theory of ‘social crisis’. This ‘social crisis’ is presumed to have brought an earlier social formation to an end. It is believed that certain inherent contradictions led to sustained social conflicts. These social conflicts reflected in the grues ome accounts, in the epics and the Puranas originally dating from the pre-Gupta age, of the collapse of the social order in the Kali age, compelled the state to resort to the practice of making land grants because on its own, it was incapab le of exacting revenues from its subjects. The above assumption, in essence, loc ates the genesis of a new, feudal social formation in the crisis of state author ity caused by social conflicts. The way the social crisis of the Kaliyuga is fo rmulated, by pointing to parallels between Kaliyuga social order and the new, fe udal formation, makes it both a cause and content of the new formation, which ap pears somewhat inadmissible logically. More importantly, unlike in the early med ieval period, actual historical events suggesting social conflicts of such magni tude as to cause a crisis of state authority in a period in which early historic al urban civilization is believed to have reached its peak, remain so far unreco

rded. Theory of Urban Decay: Further, social crisis, corresponding to the crisis of st ate authority, as an explanation for the genesis of a new social formation, appe ars structurally different from another hypothesis simultaneously advanced. The hypothesis is that the relapse of a market economy of towns into a subsistence e conomy of agriculture, which followed a widespread decay and desertion of feudal ism. Here too, the formulation of the hypothesis suffers from internal inconsist encies, but what needs to be noted is that as an explanatory model, ‘urban decay’, t hough implying reduction in the quantum of state’s resources, is not the same as p ersistent social conflicts constituting the collapse of state authority. ‘Urban de cay’, linked to the collapse of log-distance exchange networks, may be considered ‘e xternal,’ as compared to the ‘internal’ explanation represented by social conflicts. A serious study of the period may show that there are two major processes which characterize the it in general: (i) transformation of a pre-state society to a s tate society, through what is generally called the process of state formation, a nd (ii) transformation of tribe into peasant community and through this transfor mation, the positioning of its different segments in the hierarchy of the caste system, within the framework of varna ideology. These processes were interrelate d and that their operation in any phase of Indian history has to be looked at fr om the regional perspective. Gradual shift towards Feudal Polity Formation of Regional State: It is becoming increasing evident, through recent r esearch which attempts to break away fro the conventional genealogical and chron ological reconstruction, that the period was extremely crucial from the point of view of the formation of local and regional states. Leaving out the imperial st ate of the Guptas, in the period, we can count sixty-nine states spread all over the country. Out of these, forty-eight could be attributed to Maharashtra, east ern Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Bengal. In a way, the area in whi ch these state are found, formed a continuous zone with gaps. A good part of the zone was a forested plateau largely included in the Vindhyan region. Gupta Proto-Feudal Polity The Gupta age was a period of economic expansion, promoted by grants of land to enterprising Brahmins in inhospitable and virgin tracts in central India, Deccan and south India. The period saw a marked growth of private property in land, re cognized by the law-books and attested by actual sale and purchase of land with gold coins. The economic prosperity of the ruling class in indicated by so many gold coins as do not belong to any other dynasty of ancient India. The use of go ld currency strengthened traders and rich artisans, with whose guilds, cash endo wments in gold were occasionally deposited. Despite a decrease in foreign trade and urban decline, guilds continued to take part in the economic and administrat ive set-up of Gupta times, in several towns. Land Grants & Administrative Rights: The real feudal development in the Gupta em pire was the conferment of fiscal and administrative immunities on priests and t emples as a result of land grants. The practice started with the Satavahanas in the Deccan and became widespread in central India, in the territories held by th e feudatories of the Guptas and in those held by the Vakatakas, although the Gup ta emperors made very few grants. The new fiscal concessions embraced transfer o f royal rights over salt and mines, which were royal monopolies and evident sign s of sovereignty. The religious beneficiaries were granted villages for ever and were entitled to all the taxes accruing to the benefactor, without any responsi bility of paying any portion of it to the grantor in north India and the Deccan. What distinguished the land charters of the Gupta period was the administrative privileges conferred on the beneficiaries. They enjoyed freedom from the entry of royal agents, retainers, etc., which is also found in the Satavahana Charters . But now, they were empowered to punish the criminals guilty of ten offences (‘da sa-aparadh-dand-sahitam’). Feudal Polity: Since a considerable area of imperial administration was managed by feudatories and beneficiaries, the Gupta rulers did not require as many offic ials as the Mauryas did; officials were also rendered redundant because of the a bsence of state economic activities on any big scale. Nor was a large standing a

rmy needed on the same scale as was maintained by the Mauryas. The need for an e laborate administrative establishment was further lessened by the participation of artisans, merchants, elders, etc., in rural and urban administration – a featur e not noticeable in Maurya times. Villages assumed more authority, leaving less for the centre to do. The Guptas therefore, neither needed nor possessed the ela borate bureaucracy of the Maurya type, and in spite of the strong arms of the Gu pta kings, institutional factors working for decentralization were far stronger in the Gupta age than in pre-Gupta times. • Pushyabhutis and Harsha • Harshavardhana (AD 606-47) Sources for Harsha’s Period • Bana was the court poet of Harsha and the author of Harshacharita, Kadambari and Parvatiparinay. • Hiuen Tsang was the Chinese pilgrim who visited India in the seventh century AD. Both deal with Harsha’s wars but in a vaguer and general manner and sometimes mak e us even more confused. Above all, they sometimes give an exaggerated account o f Harsha. • Harsha’s dramas such as Ratnavali, Nagananda and Priyadarsika give us information about the political conditions in those days. • Nausasi Copper Plate gives us information about Harsha’s successful expedition aga inst Valabhi. Origin and Early Life of Harsha Harsha was the second son of Prabhakaravardhana, the first important king of Pus hyabhuti dynasty with its capital at Thanesvar. Pushyabhutis were the feudatorie s of the Guptas, but had assumed independence after the Huna invasions. Harsha was favoured to his elder brother, Rajyavardhana, by both his father and the nobles. But Harsha expressed his reluctance to supersede his brother. Rajyav ardhana who became the ruler had to face problems from the day of his succession to the throne. Grahavarman, the Maukhari ruler of Kanauj and husband of Rajyasr i (daughter of Prabhakara), was murdered by Devagupta (the ruler of Malwa) who i n alliance with Sasanka (ruler of Gauda or Bengal) now occupied Kanauj and impri soned Rajyasri. Rajyavardhana, therefore, undertook a campaign against Devagupta and killed him but he was deceived and killed by Sansanka. In the meanwhile Raj yasri escaped into the forests of central India. Harsha now succeeded his brother at Thanesvar. His first act as the ruler was na turally to rescue his sister and avenge the deaths of his brother and brother-in -low, and was quite successful in both. He drove out Sasanka of Gauda from Kanau j. Between 606 and 612 he brought most of northern India (Punjab, Kannauj, parts of Gauda, Orissa and Mithila) under his control, and assumed the title of ‘Siladi tya’. • At such a critical juncture, when the kingdom of Thanesvar was being threatened by the coalition of Sasank and Devgupta, Harsha ascended the throne at the age o f sixteen. His first act, after accession, was to search his sister Rajyashri an d saves her life just at the time when she was going to burn herself as a sati. Then he united the two kingdoms of Thanesvar and Kannauj, because his brother-in -law, the ruler of Kannauj had already died. He transferred his capital from Tha nesvar to Kannauj. From Hieun-Tsang’s accounts and other literary works, such as “Ha rsha Charita” by Banabhatta, we can form an idea of Harsha’s military career. • He entered into an alliance with Bhaskarvarman, the ruler of Assam or Kamrup. wh en all his preparations were complete he attacked Bengal. Sasank was probably de feated but he continued to trouble Harsha throughout his life. • Harsha spent about six years of his early reign 606-612 A.D. in conquering the “Fi ve Indies” – Eastern Punjab, Kannauj, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa – and subduing many sta tes both in the east and the west. • Valabhi, or the modern Gujarat, was then ruled by a powerful ruler, Dhruvsena II . Harsha could not tolerate the existence of a powerful monarchy on the borders of his empire. So he attacked Valabhi and defeated its ruler. But due to the int ervention of Dadda II of Broach. Harsha patched up his differences with Dhruvese na II by marrying his daughter. The later was re-instated on his kingdom but he

began to rule Valabhi as a feudatory prince under Harsha. • Having consolidated his power in Northern India Harsha invaded Deccan in about 6 20 A.D. But Deccan at that time was ruled by a powerful ruler Pulakesin II of th e famous Chalukya dynasty. In the battle that was fought on the banks of Narmada , Harsha was repulsed and defeated with heavy losses. This was the single defeat that Harsha suffered in his long career of conquests. • Harsha is remembered not only for his patronage and learning but also for the au thorship of three dramas-Priyadarshika, Ratnawali and Nagananda. • Banabhatta wrote Harshacharita, Kadambari; other scholars included Matanga, Diva kara, Jayasena and Bhartihari. • Harsha is generally believed to have founded an era called ‘Harsha-era in A.D. 606 to commemorate the date of his accession. • (A) Military Conquests Occupation of Kanauj: In his first expedition, Harsha drove away Sasanka from Ka nauj who had occupied it after murdering Harsha’s brother. After this, he not only unified Kanauj with Thanesvar but also made it his new capital, which made him the most powerful king of north India. Conquest of Vallabhi: His early relations with the rulers of Valabhi were cordia l because he was engaged in consolidating his position against the Gupta-Gauda a xis in the east. But soon Malwa became the bone of contention between the two an d so he had to turn his attention to western India. Nausasi Copper Plate Inscrip tion gives information about his expedition against Valabhi. It resulted in the defeat of the Valabhi ruler, Dhruvasena II and his acceptance of the position of feudatory vassal. War with Pulakesin II: The above success, however, proved to be the immediate ca use of conflict between Harsha and Pulakesin II. Further, the question of overlo rdship over the Lata, Malwa and Gurjaras seems to have been the long-standing ca use of conflict between the two. Hiuen Tsang gives an elaborate description of H arsha’s preparations for this war, but does not talk about its result. However, he gives the impression that Harsha was the aggressor but did not succeed fully in the war. Chalukyan records of Pulakesin’s successors mention the defeat of Harsha by Pulakesin. Ravi Kirti (the court poet of Pulakesin II and the author of the Aihole Inscription) also hints vaguely at Pulakesin’s victory. But Ravi Kriti’s acco unt as well as the records of Pulakesin’s successors cannot be taken as impartial as none of the contemporary records refer to Pulakesin’s victory over Harsha’s attac k was not a complete success, and it resulted in the conclusion of an honorable treaty with Pulakesin, who continued to have his sway over the south. His other Conquests: According to some scholars, Harsha defeated the Pallava rul er, Mahendravarman I, and also some other southern rulers. But in the absence of any direct evidence, we cannot say anything conclusively. But Orissa or the kin gdom of Kalinga seems to have been subjugated by Harsha. Thus, Harsha establishe d his hold practically over the whole of north India. Rajasthan, Punjab, UP, Bih ar and Orissa were under his direct control but his sphere of influence spread o ver a much wider area since peripheral states such as Kashmir, Sind, Valabhi and Kamarupa acknowledged his sovereignty. • (B) Harsha’s Government Harsha governed his empire on the same lines as the Guptas did, except that his administration had become more feudal and decentralized had become more feudal a nd decentralized. It is stated that Harsha had cavalry numbering over one lakh a nd 60,000 elephants. This seems to be astonishing because the Mauryas, who ruled over practically the whole of the country, maintained only 30,000 cavalry and 9 ,000 elephants. Harsha could possess a larger cavalry only if he could mobilize the support of all his feudatories at the time of war. Evidently every feudatory contributed his quota of foot soldiers and horses, and thus made the army vast in numbers. Land grants continued to be made to priests for special services rendered to the state. In addition Harsha is credited with the grant of land to the officers by charters. These grants allowed more concessions to priests and officers than th ose by the earlier grants. Thus, the feudal practice of rewarding and paying off

icers with grants of land on a large scale seems to have begun under Harsha. • (C) Economy under Harsha The nature of the economy under Harsha became increasingly more feudal and selfsufficient. The decline of trade and commerce which started during the Gupta per iod itself went on unabated under Harsha. This is evident from the decline of tr ade centres, paucity of coins and the almost complete disappearance of guilds of traders and merchants. The decline of trade and commerce obviously affected the handicrafts and other industries for want of demand. This decline affected even agriculture, though indirectly. When trade was flouri shing a great part of the merchandise consisted of food stuffs, and also most of the raw materials for handicrafts and industries came from agricultural product ion. But now there was a lack of large-scale demand for agricultural goods. So t he agriculturist now began to produce only that much which was required to meet his own needs and those of the locality but not for the market, both internal an d external. This naturally led to the rise of a self-sufficient village economy, in which all the needs of the village were met from within, and also marked by an increasing dependence on agriculture. • (D) Society under Harsha This period witnessed the ascendancy of varnasrama-dharma ¬and it became an indisp ensable cornerstone of the Brahmanical social structure. Hiuen Tsang writes abou t the existence of four varnas or orders in India. Bana characterized Harsha as one who carried out all the rules for the varnas and asramas. The first varna – Br ahmins-continued to enjoy a very high and respectable position in the society an d the glorification of gifts to them by the other three varnas became a distinct feature of Brahmanism. Despite the existence of some Sudra kings, the Kshatriya kings were in overwhelming majority. The third varns- Vaishyas – formed the class of traders, according to Hiuen Tsang. The fourth varna – Sudras – Comprised the agr iculturists according to Hiuen Tsang. Both Bana and Hiuen Tsang talk about the existence of many subcastes such as the class of vernacular poets, class of bards, class of beetal-bearers, and so on. However, all those groups and subcastes were due to the social violation in the code of marriages and general ethics, and also different occupations. Hiuen Tsan g takes note of many outcastes and untouchables such as butchers, fishermen, exe cutioners and scavengers, who were segregated and were not allowed to mix with t he people of the higher varnas and had habitations marked by a distinguishing si gn. The position of women seems to have suffered a further decline during this perio d. The institution of svayamvara (self-choice in choosing the partner) declined and there is no instance of its practice in the contemporary literature. Remarri age of widows was not permitted particularly among the higher varnas. The evil s ystem of dowry, according to Bana, was quite common. There are also a few exampl es of the practice of committing sati. • (E) Religion under Harsha Brahmanism, which reasserted itself under the Guptas, got further strengthened d uring this period. Its gradual ascendancy brought about the decline of Buddhism despite the patronage given to it by Harsha which is evident from the account of Hiuen Tsang. But Jainism did not undergo any major changes and it made neither progress nor any decay. Saivism became the main theistic system of this period. But Vaishnavism, which was very popular during the age of the Guptas, was gradua lly declining during this period as is evident from the rare references to it. T he Vedic ceremonies and rituals once again came to be regarded as inseparable an d integral constituents of Brahmanism, and the people practiced them on a large scale. • Maukharis of Kannauj Probably Yagnavarman founded this family. He was succeeded by Sardulavarman. He in turn was succeeded by Anantavarman. It was only during the reign of Isanavarm an that the family rose to power and prestige. The kingdom is located in the mod ern state of U.P. It is only from Isana-varman onwards that they ceased to be fe udatories. It was not only Ishanavarman who took advantage of the destruction of the Gupta

empire, another family known as later Guptas rose into prominence and challenged the Maukharis bid for imperial power. This led to a long war which continued fo r more than half a century and ultimately resulted in the disappearance of the M aukharis. It was Kumaragupta of the later Guptas who totally defeated Isanavarma n. Once again Kumaragupta’s son Damodargupta defeated the Maukharis. It was said a bout Ishanavarman that he defeated Andhras and forced the Gaudas to remain in th eir proper realm. He issued coins in imitation of Toramana, the Huna chief. Thes e are close copies of the imperial Gupta coins but distinguished by a date. He w as succeeded by his son Sarvavarman. Both Sarvavarman and his son and successor, Avantivarman, are styled as Maharajadhirajas. According to Bahabhatta, Prabhaka ravardhana of Kannauj gave his daughter Rajyasri in marriage to the son of Avant ivarman. • Tripartite Struggle • Introduction Three dynasties rose to power in the second half of the 8th century. They were t he Palas of Bengal, the Pratiharas of Rajputana and the Ratrakutas of South. The y wanted to influence their control over Kannauj which was an emblem of power af ter Harshavardhan. The supremacy over Kannauj was an indication of the supremacy over the fertile land of doab region. Kannauj served as a link between the east and west trade. It was on the bank of the Gangas and hence was important for tr ade through river ways. Five rulers of the Pratiharas, four rulers of the Palas and four from the Rastrakutas, thus making thirteen as a whole participated in t his struggle. Five rulers of the Pratiharas were Vatsaraj, Nagbhatta II, Rambhad ra, Mihir Bhoj and Mahendrapal. Four rulers of the Palas were Dharmapal, Devapal , Vigrahpal and Narayanpal. Four kings of the Rastrakuta family were Dhruva, Gov ind III, Amoghvarsha I and Krishna II. It was Mihir Bhoj of the Pratihara dynast y who had the credit to capture Kannauj and made it his capital. Sulaiman wrote that he was an enemy of Islam. The Rastrakuta ruler Indra III, struck Kannauj bu t Mahendrapal got success with the help of his Chandela chief Yashovarman. Indra III struck effectively last time in 816 A.D. However, Kannauj continued to be t he capital of the Pratiharas. • Pala Dynasty Gopal was elected by the people of Bengal who laid the foundation of a new dynas ty. He finished the anarchy prevailed in Bengal and attempted to expand his empi re. The Munger copper plates of Devapal describe Gopal as the ruler upto the sea . Dharmapal Dharmapal was the real founder of the greatness of his dynasty. He took part in the tripartite struggle for Kannauj. The Pratihar ruler Vatsaraj defeated Indray udh and compelled to accept his sovereignty. Dharmapal protested Vatsaraj and a battle was fought around 789-790 A.D. in which the Pala ruler was defeated. Rast rakuta ruler Dhruva defeated Dharmapal near the Doab region. After the return of Dhruva, Dharmapal took advantage of the void and attacked Kannauj. Indrayudh wa s deposed and his brother Chakrayudh was made the king. Dharmapal organised a gr eat ceremony in which the rulers of Bhoj, Matsya, Madra, Kurum, Yadu, Yavana, Av anti, Gandhar and Keri showed their presence. The Uday Sundari Katha of Soddhal of Gujarat, composed during 11th century, describes Dharmapal as the Uttar-Paths wami or the Master of North. He laid foundation of the Viharas of Vikramashila a nd Sompur. Devapal Dharmapal was succeed by his son Devapal. The Badal inscription states that Deva pal campaigned the whole of North India and got gifts from the States extended from the Himalayas to the Vindhyas and from Eastern sea to the Western coast. He defe ated the Utkalas, Hunas, Dravidas and Gurjars. Arab writer Sulaiman affirms that Devapal was more powerful than the Rastrakutas and the Pratiharas. He gave excl usive patronage to Buddhism and donations were given to Nalanda Mahavihara. King Baladevputra of Suvarnadwip, who belonged to Shailendra dynasty, was given perm

ission to build a Mahavihar in Nalanda. He also granted five villages to Baladev putra in order to upkeep the Mahavira. After Devapal Pala Empire was divided into three parts – Anga, Banga and Magadha. Narayanpal (854-915 A.D.) got success in consolidating all the three empires int o one. Mahipal I (988-1038 A.D.) re-established the glory of his dynasty. Famous Chola King Rajendra I from South India attacked Bengal during his reign and Gan gyadev of the Kalchuri dynasty defeated Mahipal. Rampal (1075-1120 A.D.) attempt ed to save the rest of the empire. According to Sandhyakar Nandi, Rampal, the he ro of his book Ramcharit, killed the Kaivarta leader Bhima with the help of 13 S amantas of Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal. A Samanta of East Bengal named Vijaysen revolted during the reign of Madanpal and laid foundation of the Sena dynasty. G ovindpal was deposed after 1161 A.D. by Vijay Chandra of the Gahadval dynasty an d finished the rule of this family for good. • Pratihara Dynasty Among the Agnikula Rajputs, the Pratiharas were the most important. They were re lated to one branch of the Gurjar clan and hence they are known as Gurjar-Pratih ara dynasty in history. Their origin dates back to the fifth century A.D. Howeve r, the Gurjar caste appears first time in the Aihole inscription of Pulkesin II of the Chalukya dynasty. A famous Sanskrit talent named Rajshekhar was the court poet of Mahendrapal I and his son Mahipal I. Suleman praises the power of Mihir Bhoj and the prosperity of his kingdom. The Pratiharas were the feudatories of the Chalukyas and gradually they rose to the rank of Samantas. And the real foun der of this dynasty was Nagbhatta. From Gwalior inscription it becomes clear tha t the powerful army of the Mlechhas, perhaps Arabs of the Sindh was defeated by Nagbhatta. He protected the border areas of Western India and regained several r egions from the Arabs. The fourth king of this dynasty Vatsraj, who was the son of Devaraj, was the most powerful. The issue of Kannauj led him confronted the p owerful Pala king Dharmapal. Dharmapal was defeated but at the same time Dhruva of the Rastrakuta dynasty from the South led an expedition to Kannauj and Vatsar aj had to meet the same fate. Vatsaraj was succeeded by his son Nagbhatta II. Th e chief event of the period of Nagbhatta II was the transfer of capital from Ujj ain to Kannauj. Towards the beginning of his reign, Nagbhatta II was defeated by the Rastrakuta king, Govind III who also defeated Dharmapal around 802 A.D. On his return, Nabhatta II attacked Kannauj and confronted Dharmapal near Munger in modern Bihar following Chakrayudh. He emerged victorious and Kannauj was made t he capital of the Pratiharas. Mihir Bhoj I (836-885 A.D.), son of Rambhadra emerged as the most powerful ruler of the Pratihara dynasty. Several literary sources and inscriptions throw light s on him. Mihir Bhoj confronted the famous Pala ruler of the Bengal, Devapal. Bu t he had to loose the war . Mihir Bhoj was defeated by Dhruva who was the king a nd Samanta of the Ratrakuta king Amoghavarsha. However, the successor of Amoghva rsha, Krishna II was compelled to live within his territory. Under Bhoj the king dom of Kannauj grew to enormous dimensions. Sulaiman writes, “This king possessed a huge army with the superior quality to Ashvasena in India. He was the enemy of the Arabs. No king in India had the sense of hatred against Islam as Mihir Bhoj . The successor of Mihir Bhoj was his son Mahendrapal I (885-910 A.D.). He was as mighty and ambitious as his father. The empire of Mahendrapal was extended over a large portion of North India. He took advantage of the weakness of Pala king N arayanpal and several parts of Bengal came under his hegemony. Famous Sanskrit p oet Rajshekhar lived in his court and Kannauj once again attained its lost glory in the domain of cultural activities. Mahipal I (912-945 A.D.) ascended the thr one of Kannauj after deposing his step-brother. Rajshekhar gives him the credit of winning many battles against various Indian powers like Mekal, Kalinga, Keral etc. Al-masudi from Arab visited his kingdom during 915-916 A.D. According to h im, his empire was extended from Punjab in the North to the Rastrakuta boundary in the South and from Bengal in the East to Sindh in the West. Rajyapal ruled up to 1018 A.D. His empire was limited to Kannauj and its adjecent areas only. Mahm ud Ghaznavi entered Kannauj during his period and he fled away from his capital.

Mahmud Ghaznavi again reached Kannauj at about 1020 A.D. Anyhow, Yashpal manage d to reign at Kannauj upto 1090 A.D. and then the Pratihara dynasty vanished for good. The Gahadvala dynasty rose to fill up the gap. • Rajputs and Beginning of Middle Age • 1. Period of Rajputs The Kumarpal Charit and the Varna Ratnakar give the list of 36 Rajput clans. The Rajatarangini also holds a list of same number, but both the lists are not in a tune. The term Rajput in the form of a caste or varna became popular only after the advent of the Muslims in India. The Rajput is a deviated form of the Sanskr it world, Rajputra. In ancient times, the Rajputra was used for Kshatriya prince s or members of a ruling class, and not for a special caste. • (A) Origin of Rajputs The theory of foreign origin was propounded by Colonel Todd. He believed that th ey are the descendants of certain Scythian tribes like Kushanas, Sakas, Hunas an d Gurjaras. He has tried to show that with the passage of time these invading tr ibes began to marry Indian population and got merged into Hinduism. Their leader s, who were known for their strength, organised their separate groups and began to call themselves Rajputs. Scholars like Vedvyas, Vaidya and Gauri Shankar Ojha opine that the Rajputs were pure Aryans and were the descendants of the Suryava nsi and Chandravansi dynasties of the Ksatriyas. In some inscriptions of the nin th the tenth centuries, Rajput rulers regard themselves to be the true descendan ts of the Suryavansi, founded by Rama, and Chandravansi, founded by Lord Krishna , dynasties. Some scholars have suggested that the Rajputs, especially those liv ing along the Vindhya hills were the descendants of the original inhabitants of India. In favour of this theory it is believed that the Chandela, the Gaharwals and the Rastrakutas belonged to the Gonds, the Bhils and other ancient tribes. T he renowned Rani Durgawati also belonged to these Gonds. Some of the Rajputs reg ard themselves as belonging to Agnikula. They say that their ancestors were born of the sacred fire that kindled at Mount Abu. This theory is based on the Prith vi Raj Raso, a literary work by the renowned Chand Bardai. The origin of the Rajputs can be searched on the basis of contemporary socio-eco nomic conditions only, and none of the above theories has found favour of the hi storians. The Rajputs were a mixed race. Some of these were the descendants of t he foreign invading tribes like the Kushanas, the Sakas and the Hunas, while the others belonged to the ancient Kshatriya class. They were an occupational group in the beginning and were fond of fighting. They were also war-like people who began to call themselves Rajputa because of power in their hands. In course of t ime, the enmity between the foreigners and indigenous members of this group vani shed and they acquired a homogenous culture. • (B) Indian Feudalism The term feudalism means the political system that chiefly depended on land-owne rs. Ashvaghosh, in his book, the Buddha Charita, seems to used this term first t ime for vassals. After the collapse of the Mauryas, a typical large kingdom of I ndia had a central area directly administered, but with a circle of vassal kingd oms subordinate in varying degrees to the emperor. The vassals in turn had their own petty local chieftains called Rajas. The royal title of Kushanas, Rajadhira ja also indicates the feudal system. In western part, the Sakas held the titles of Mahakshatrapas and Kshatrapas. The earliest epigraphic recorded is that of a Satavahana inscription of the first century B.C. A good number of administrative rights were given up for the first time in the grants made to the Buddhist monk s by the Satavahana ruler Gautamiputra in the second century A.D. with the local police and the government officials. Two significant features of such grants be came frequent from the fifth century A.D. onwards: transfer of all sources of re venue, and the surrender of police and administrative functions. Some grants of the fourth and fifth centuries mark an important sign of the surrender of king’s s overeignty, when Brahmins were granted the right of enjoying the hidden treasure s and deposits of the villagers. The widespread use of making land grants in the Gupta period paved the way for the practice of Brahmin feudatories. The concept of Dharmavijaya also played an important role in the development of feudalism i n India. Under this concept, a victorious king did not occupy the territories of

the defeated kings, and the latter was given the right to rule over under the f ormer’s sovereignty in lieu of presents, gifts etc. Subordinate rulers paid taxes to their lords, appeared in their courts and showed humble loyalty. The duties o f Samantas are mentioned in the Prayag Prashasti of Samudragupta. The policy of Dharmavijaya of the Gupta rulers gave rise to several feudal dynasties like Mauk haris, Parivrajakas, Sanakanikas, Varamanas, Maitrakas and others. The rulers of these dynasties took the titles of Maharaja, while the Gupta rulers were known as Maharajadhirajas. • (C) Trade & Industry From the viewpoint of trade and industry, early medieval period was recognised a s an age of economic stagnation and decline. Villages were self-dependent, where production was focussed on local necessities. No surplus was produced for comme rcial purpose because a major portion of production went to the pockets of feuds . However, clear signs of trade-related activities in different parts of the lan d are found in literary and epigraphic sources. Goods of daily uses like salt, spices, grains, iron, clothes etc. were carried f rom one place to another. For rulers, Samantas and prosperous classes, essential and luxuries goods were available in every part of the country. Bengal was famo us for thin clothes (malmal), betel leaf, walnuts and jute, while some better qu ality rices were produced at Kalinga. This kind of super quality rice was brough t for royal families. Malwa was known for sugarcane, blue and opium, while Gujar at was famous for textiles blue and tanneries. Pearls, precious stones, Sandal woods and different types of spices-cloves, blac k pepper, cardamom etc. came from south India. After the Arab invasion, western trade declined to a greater extent. One of the main objectives of the expansion of the Arabs was to grab the inland trade between the east and the west. Indian trade with Central Asia and China through the north-western passes met a gradual decline from the 8th century onwards. Crafts and industry are mentioned as an essential occupation of the Shudras in t he Smritis of this period. Different professions are clearly categorised by Vrih aspati, Vridha, Harit, Deval etc. All kinds of industry from textile to metallur gy, ivory, woods, pottery and tannery were included under it. The hereditary nat ure of industry continued and it met a gradual progress. The use of coins reduce d during this period, since the number of available coins is a few only. It is s aid that the paucity of the coins were ascertained with the decline of foreign t rade so that less number of gold and silver used to come in exchange of exportin g goods. Coins pertaining to the kingdoms of 10th to 12th centuries have been re covered from various places, but their number is not too much from the point of view of their territorial expansion. • (D) Alberuni & His Observation His original name was Abu Rehan Muhammad bin-Ahmed. He came to India in the wartrain of Mahmud and lived here for many years. He was a great philosopher, Mathe matician and historian. Attracted by Indian culture, he learnt Sanskrit and stud ied several books concerning Hindu philosophy and culture. His curious mind and master eyes did not spare even the puranas and the Bhagwat-Gita. He travelled fo r and wide and wrote a masterly account of India in his book Tahqiq-i-Hind. This also known as Kitabul Hind (1017-31 A.D.). Alberuni was much against the loot a nd plunder policy of his master, Mahmud. He mentions, “Hindu sciences have retired far away from those parts of the country conquered by us and have fled to place s, which our hand cannot yet reach to Kashmir, Benaras and other places”. Talking of Hindu in general. Alberuni complains of their complacency and ignorance of th e outside world. Observing the consuming arrogance of Hindus he notes, “The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings li ke theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs. If they travelled an d mixed with other nations, they would soon change their mind, “he adds, “for their ancestors were not so narrow-minded as the present generations”. Alberuni also all udes to the extreme reserve of Indian scholars who refused to discuss science or literature. According to him, India was divided into a number of kingdoms such as Kashmir, Sindh, Malwa and Kannauj. He talks of various kinds of castes and di stinctions in the society. On economy, Alberuni opines that 1/6th of the produce

was taken by the king. All labourers, artisans and the trading classes paid tax es on their income. Only Brahmins were exempted from paying taxes. • 2. Dynasties on the Eve of Medieval Period Dynasties on the Eve of Medieval Period • Gahadvala Dynasty Yasho Vigraha was the founder of this dynasty who was a Samanta of the Kalchuri ruler Lakshmi Karna. His son Mahichandra also followed the policy of his father. But the real founder was Chandradeva (1089-1104 A.D.), who captured Kannauj aft er defeating the feudatories of Kashi, Ayodhya and the adjecent areas of the Gan gas and the Saryu. Govind Chandra (1114-1154 A.D.) as a Yuvaraja got success in defeating king Masood III of Ghazni. Govind Chandra extended his empire from Del hi to Munger and from the foothills of the Himalayas to the South of the Yamuna River. He married a Pala princess named Kumardevi and established friendly and d iplomatic relations with the Chandelas, the Chalukyas and the Cholas. Vijay Chan dra (1154-1169 A.D.) captured Delhi from Vigrahraja Vishaldev. Prince Lakshman S ena of Bengal led a campaign against him but could not succeed. Jaychandra (1170 -1194 A.D.) was the last great monarch of Kannauj. More than 18 inscriptions of this king have been found. Jaychandra had a great enemity with his neighbour Pri thvi Raj. Thus Jaychandra’s enemity gave a long sought opportunity to Muhammad Gho ri to invade India for the second time in 1192 A.D. and Prithvi Raj was killed. Two years later in 1194 A.D. Ghori attacked Jaychandra near Chandawar on the ban k of Yamuna. • Chandela Dynasty Nannuk (831-844 A.D.) founded his own rule in the middle of 9th century. His cap ital was Mahoba while Kalinjar, Khajuraho and Chhatarpur were the chief forts of the Chandelas. After Nannuk, four rulers came on the throne of Bundelkhand. The y were Vakpati, Jayshakit, Vijayshakti and Rahil. Then came Harsha (915-930 A.D. ), who was the son of Rahil. Yashovarma(930-950 A.D.), who is said to have won K alinjar, Gauda, Khas, Khosala, Malwa, Chedi, Kuru, Gujarat, etc. He built up the Vishnu temple of Khajuraho. Under him the Chandelas were virtually independent and transformed into one of the strongest powers in Northern India. Dhanga succe eded his father Yashovarma who was an independent ruler in a real sense. His vic tory over Gwalior was an important event. He, after consolidating his empire at Kalinga, transferred his capital to Khajuraho. Farista wrote that Dhanga took pa rt in the confederation of Hindu kings against Subuktagin and sent his military forces. But Subuktagin defeated the confederation led by Jaypal of the Shahia dy nasty. He adopted the title of Maharajdhiraja. He lived a long life of hundred y ears and at last sacrificed himself into the pious water of Ganga-Yamuna sangam. Vidyadhar (1019-1029 A.D.) was the most powerful ruler of the Chandelas. At tha t time, Mahmud of Ghazni made rapid attacks on India. The last important ruler w as Paramardideva or Parmal (1165-1203 A.D.) who was defeated by Prithviraja Chau han in 1182 A.D. Two gallant heroes, Alha and Udal sacrificed their lives in tha t battle. After that Qutubuddin Aibak captured Kalinjar in 1203 A.D. where Parma l breathed his last. Finally, Chandela kingdom was annexed to Delhi in 1305 A.D. • Parmar Dynasty The Parmaras claim themselves as the descendants of Brahmins who later on follow ed the duty of Kshatriyas. The Brahma-Kshatriya story is mentioned in the Pingal Sutravritti of Halayudh. But the theory of Agnikula is also attributed to Parma ras by Chand Bardai in his Prithviraj-raso. Early rulers of this dynasty were ru ling of Avanti, while they established their new capital at Dhara Nagari in fear of the attacks of Chalukya-Solankis of Gujarat. Siyak II (945-972 A.D.) or Hars ha who liberated himself from the yokr of the Rastrakutas. Vakpati II or Munj (9 73-996 A.D adopted the titles of shri Vallabha, Prithvivallabha, Amoghvarsha etc . Bhoj: The Paramaras, who consolidated their power and position under Munj and Sindhura ja, rose to imperial during the reign of Bhoja (1010-1055 A.D.). His struggle fo r supremacy began with wars against the Chaulukyas. Bhoja is also said to have a ttained victory over Latas, Konkan, Kalinga and Hunas. Bhoja also got opportunit y to plunder Anhilwada during the reign of Bhima. Bhoj was reduced to dust by a

confederation of kings under Someshwar of Chaulukya kingdom and Lakshmi Karna of Kalchuris. Dhara Nagari was plundered badly which shocked Bhoja who met his las t breath in consequence. Bhoj is best remembered by his achievements in the doma in of art and letters. Bhoja was a writer of many books on poetry, architecture and astronomy. His books are Shringar Prakash, Prakrit Vyakaran, Karma Shatak, S hringar Manjari, Bhoja Champu, Vritya Kalpataru, Tattva Prakash, Shabdanusaran e tc. Bhaskar Bhatta, Damodar Mishra, Dhanpal and other prominent scholars lived i n his court. He built many temples at Dhara, prominent among them was the Sarasw ati temple. He is said to have constructed a beautiful lake near Bhopal and foun ded a famous Sanskrit college in his capital. His successors continued to ruler as subordinates upto 1210 A.D. The kingdom of Malwa went to the Tomaras and then to the Chauhans and finally to Qutubuddin Aibak. • Chaulukya-Solanki Dynasty The Chaulukya kingdom of Gujarat was founded by Mularaja I (941-996 A.D.) at Anh ilwada. He is said to have gained the region of Lata from the Chalukyas of Kalya ni. This became a bone of contention between the Solankis and the Paramaras. Bhi ma I (1024-1064 A.D.). The most important event of the reign of Bhima I (941-996 A.D.) was the attack of Mahmud. It was the sixteenth expedition of Mahmud direc ted against Somnath temple which was known all round for its fabulous wealth and exceptional beauty and grandeur. After Mahmud’s return Bhima consolidated his pos ition and making a confederation with Kalchuri ruler Karna attacked on Malwa. It was during his reign that the Dilwara temple at Abu was built by his Samanta Vi mal. Bhima also repaired the temple of Somnath and built the temples of Bhimeshw ardeva and Bhattarika. Jaisimha Sidharaja (1094-1143 A.D.) was also a great conqueror. This great monar ch was a Shiva by faith. Yet he is remembered for the help rendered to a Jaina s cholar Hemchandra. He was a great builder who made a mandap on Mount Abu. The st atues of his seven predecessors ascending on elephants were installed there. The Rudra Mahakal temple of Sidhapur was also built by Sidharaja Jaisimha. During t he reign of Mulraja II (1176-1178 A.D.) the important event was the attack of Mu hammad Ghori. His younger brother Bhima defeated the Turks. Qutubuddin Aibak att acked on Gujarat in 1195 A.D. but Bhima protested him successfully. Aibak again made a campaign of Gujarat in 1197 A.D. and Bhima was compelled to leave Anhilwa da. Bhima regained Gujarat around 1201 A.D. Bhima had to face the Parmaras and t he Yadavas as well. He was the last ruler of the Solanki dynasty. At about 1240 A.D. his minister Lavana Prasad usurped the throne and laid the foundation of th e Baghela dynasty. Towards the end of thirteen century, Gujarat was annexed to D elhi Sultanate. • Chahman Dynasty The Chahman rulers of Shakambhari played an important role in Indian politics. T hey are also known as Chauhans in contemporary sources. In the middle of the ten th century Simharaj became an independent ruler who adopted the title of Maharaj adhiraja. He was succeeded by Vigraharaj II who is said to have defeated the Cha ulukya ruler Mularaj. Next rulers in this line were Durlabharaj, Govindraj, Vakp atiraj, Viryaram, Chamundraj and Prithviraj I. The most important of them was Aj ayraj who founded Ajmer and won Malwa. Vigrahaaj IV (1150-1164 A.D.) is known as Bisaldeo in history. He attempted to t ake revenge of the Chaulukya ruler Kumarpal who had compelled his father Arnoraj to offer his daughter Jallahana Devi for wedding. The Tomara ruler of Delhi was his Samanta according to the Bijaulia inscription. Vigraharaj was a man of lett ers who wrote a drama called Harakeli. Somadeo wrote his book lalit Vigaraharaj in the court of Bisaldeo. He built several monuments and the school building of Ajmer, which was transformed into a mosque by Qutubuddin Aibak, is the finest ex ample. The last and mightest king of the Chauhans was Prithviraj III(1177-1192 A .D.) who ascended the throne in his very early age with his mother Karpur Devi a s the regent of the empire. The Chauhan empire was greatly extended by his conqu ests and he never looked back prior to the second battle of Tarain in 1192 A.D. His military conquests are graphically described by his court-poet, Chand Bardai in his famous book Prithviraj-raso. From the powerful Chandelas Prithviraj conq

uered the territory of Bundelkhand or Mahoba and annexed it to his empire. The r uler of Mahoba Parmardideo being humiliated did suicide. The Madanpur inscriptio n mentions tht Gahadwal ruler Jaichand supported the chandela ruler with two of his brave generals Alha and Udal who sacrificed their lives in the war of Mahoba against Prithviraj III. Prithviraj was also called Rai Pithora and it is becaus e of his chivalry and great merit that Sanyukta, the daughter of his rival Jaich and, the ruler of Kannauj, began to love him secretly. In 1191 A.D. when Muhamma d Ghori invaded India, Prithviraj gave him a crushing defeat at the battle of Ta rain and forced him to take his heels. Next year, another battle was fought on t he same field, but this time the Rajput army was completely routed and its leade r Prithviraj was captured and murderd in cold blood. • Guhilauts of Mewar The dynasty was founded by ‘Guhadatt’ who established his small principality near Ud aipur in the 6th century. Bappa Rawal, the most illustrious ruler of this dynast y recaptured Mewar from the Arabs and has, therefore, been regarded as the real founder of this dynasty. Both Guhadatt and Bappa Rawal were brahmans though afte rwards they were regarded as Rajputs claiming descendant of Rama the hero of Ram ayana. The Sisodiyas also belonged to the branch of Guhilas. The Sisodiyas gaine d prominence in the 12th century and Mewar became the most powerful kingdom of R ajputana under them. However, Rana Ratan Singh of Mewar was defeated by Ala-ud-d in Khilji and it was occupied by him in 1303. • Tomaras of Delhi The Tomaras established their kingdom in the north-east of the kingdom of Chauha na of Sakambhari. It is believed that Delhi was established by Tomaras in 736 A. D. In the beginning, the Tomaras remained feudatory of Pratiharas. Afterwards, t he Tomaras made themselves independent and making Delhi as their base, establish ed their kingdom in Haryana and parts of Punjab. They remained independent till the middle of the 12th century. Then, Chauhana Vigraharaja III took the Tomaras under his suzerainty. • Kashmir Rulers of three dynasties came one by one and ruled over this area during the pe riod of 800 to 1200 A.D. These were the Karkotakas, the Utpalas and the Lohars. Karkota Dynasty During the rule of Durlabh Vardhana, the founder of the Dynasty, Hiuen-Tsang vis ited Kashmir. During the reign of Chandrapida the Arabs attacked Kashmir in 713 A.D. Lalitaditya Muktapida proved most illustrious king of this dynasty, he defe ated Tibetans and mountain tribes of north west and conquered part of Punjab. Hi s main success was against Yasovarman of Kannauj. According to Kalhana, Lalitadi tya undertook a ‘digvijaya’ of world wide campaign. This seems exaggeration. He buil t the famous temple of Martanda (Surya). Utpala Dynasty Around 810 A.D. a new kingdom was founded and Avantivarman was the first importa nt ruler of this dynasty. He founded a town named Avantipur and famous poets lik e Ratnakar and Anandvardhan were patronized. Next ruler was Gopalvarman who was succeeded by his mother Sugandha. There were two rival groups, the Tantrins and the Ekangas. Queen Sugandha used Ekangas against the Tantrins effectively quite for sometime. But she was deposed in 914 A.D. and the Trantrins got unlimited po wers. An assembly of Brahmins chose Yashaskar as the ruler of Kashmir who ruled from 939 to 948 A.D. Then came Kshemagupta whose Queen, Didda became powerful, w ho established a woman rule with the help of her relatives. Lohara Dynasty Queen Didda died in 1003 A.D. and Samgramraja founded a new dynasty. He supporte d Trilochanpala of Hindu Shahi dynasty against Sultan Mahmud. In 1021 Mahmud att ack Kashmir but failed to capture it. But with the coronation of Anant, peace re turned to Kashmir. Among others Harsha was another prominent ruler who initiated

social reforms and new norms for fashion. Education and art were given royal pa tronage. Uchchala founded the second Lohar dynasty in 1101 A.D. after the death of Harsha. Kshemendra, a famous poet, wrote Vrihat Katha Manjari and Kathaaritas ar in eleventh century. The twelfth century is associated with the writing of th e history of Kashmir by Kalhana in form of the Rajatarangini. Ultimately, one Mu slim adventurer, Shahmera, captured the throne of Kashmir in 1338 A.D. He called himself Sulta Shams-ud-din. He and his successors ruled Kashmir for a long time . • Hindushahi Dynasty The last Buddhist ruler king Lagturman had a Brahmin minister named Kallar who u surped the throne in 850 A.D. and founded what has been called the Hindu Shahiya dynasty. He was pushed eastwards by pressure from other Afghan principalities a nd finally established his power in the region of Attock, thus becoming a buffer state between India and Afghanistan. Around 870 A.D. Kabul was capturedby Yacoo b and hence the capital of the Shahiyas was transferred to Vaihind or Udvand. In fear of the rulers of Ghazni, Jayapal transferred his capital to Bhatinda in mo dern Punjab. A battle was fought between Jaypal and Subuktagin near Guzak and th e former was compelled to conclude a treaty. Later on, Subuktagin attacked on th e Shahiya empire and captured the western part of the Indus including Peshawar. He sent round a message to the Hindu rulers of India against the menace of the i nvasions of Mahmud Ghazni. His appeal was responded to by the rulers of Kannauj, Mahoba and Ajmer. But Jayapala was defeated in 1000 A.D. He did self immolation to save the prestige. Jayapala’s son Aandapala, formed another Hindu confederacy to meet the Ghaznivid invasion with king Rajyapala of Kannauj and Chandela Vidya dhara in 1008 A.D. But confederacy was defeated at Wahind. Trilochanpal was the last Brahmin Shahi ruler who challenged Mahmud with the assistance of Samgramraj a of Kashmir. Mahmud killed him in 1021 A.D. with the assassination of his son B himapal in 1026 A.D. the Shahiya dynasty was finished. Sind and Multan. The lower Indus valley, to the South of Multan and including Si nd and Mekran, comprised an independent kingdom during the times of Harsha. Duri ng Harsha it was ruled by a Sudra dynasty. It ruler’s Sahasi a contemporary of Har sha Vardhana, was killed by the Persian invaders. Rai Sahasi II had a Brahmin mi nister, called chach. On the death of his master, Chach usurped the throne and m arried the widowed queen. It subjects were Jats by race and Buddhist by faith. D ahir, the son of Chach, faced the Arab invasion of Sindh in 711-12 (Mahmud bin Q asim) and perished with family in the struggle. • Sena Kingdom The Senas of Bengal called themselves, Kshatriya, Brahma-Kshatriya and Karnata-K shatriya, and were originally inhabitants of Dakshinapath. Vijaysena, who ascend ed throne in A.D. 1095, conquered Vanga, defeating Bhojavarman, and wrested Gaud a from the Pala king Madanpala. The Senas had a capital in Vikramapura. Vijaysen a was succeeded by his son Ballalsena. He conquered Mithila and a portion of eas tern Bihar. Ballalsena was succeeded by Lakshmansena, who defeated Jayachandra, of the Gahadwala dynasty, during his reign Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khalgi made a sudden raid and captured Nadia. About middle of the 13th century the Senas were overthrown. • Gangas of Orissa The first and most famous king of Gangas or Orissa was Anantavarman Choda Gangad eva (1076-1147), who established his power over the whole territory between the Gangas and the Godavari. He built the famous temple of lord Jagannath at Puri. T he next great ruler of this dynasty was Narsimha I (1238-64) who successfully st emmed the marches of Muslims from Bengal. But he is more famous for the ‘Sun templ e’ at Konark, which he built. His successions were weak and they were supplanted b y Kapilendra who led the foundation of a new Gajapati dynasty. • Ancient Indian Architecture • Temple Architecture The origin of Indian temple goes back to the pre-Christian era, and its evolutio n into a monument of great architectural merit is marked by conscious efforts on the part of several ruling dynasties from the 4th to 17th centuries, making it an institution of enduring importance, in the social, economic and political int

egration of the subcontinent. There are several regional variations in the proce ss of its development as a symbol of Indian culture. Its historical past, theref ore, makes a fascinating study. As a centre of worship, the temple is mainly a c reation as well as a medium of the Puranic tradition. Hindu myths, legends and b eliefs are complied in texts, collectively called the Puranas; the Hindu pantheo n of gods originated from the texts of two Brahmanical sects, the Vaishnava and the Saiva, which with other minor religious systems, are part of the Puranic tra dition, under what is now known as Hinduism. But the term Hinduism itself, is a more recent (early Medieval) nomenclature, gi ven to a collection of heterogeneous traditions and plurality of beliefs and wor ship with a long history of development from the Vedic sacrificial religion, thr ough the worship of epic and Puranic heroes and personal deities, cults and sect s, as well as philosophical systems, rather than to a monolithic tradition or a structure based on a single system of beliefs and worship or a single text as sc ripture. The temple, in more than one sense, represents the multiple facets and complex processes of this development through its architecture, sculpture, incon ography, rituals and institutional organization. • (A) Origin of Indian Temples The important question here is who or what has contributed in the evolution of t he Indian temple? It is believed by some that the temple form is derived from th e Vedic altar, the earliest known sacred structure (vedi), which had the square as its essential form. However, many other origins are assigned to it by others with equal, if not greater, validity. Although from the Vedic altar to the Puran ic temple, square remains the essential form, the temple seems to have no direct origin in any single tradition. When the Vedic religion of sacrifice (yajna) ga ve place to the Puranic cults dominated by bhakti (devotion) and worship of pers onal deities like Vishnu and Siva, the temple became the focus of every sphere o f human activities. The temple, unlike the Vedic altar, does not accomplish its purpose by being built; instead, it must be seen (darsana). Art increases its im portance and it becomes a holy site (tirtha). The purpose of visiting a temple w as and still is to have a darsana of the temple, and to worship the divinity. Of ferings and gifts(Dana) have replaced the sacrificial tradition of old. Apart from the square Vedic altar, other non-Vedic, non-metaphysical and more hi storical beginnings are assigned to the temple. For example, the present-day fla t-roofed shrine is commonly seen as an offshoot from an aboriginal prototype, th e stone dolmen or a sepulchral (funeral) structure which first appeared in the m egalithic age in the centuries immediately before and after the beginning of the Christian era. The stone dolmen was a small chamber formed by one large slab of stone, supported by three upright slabs set on their edges, with one side open to serve as an entrance. It could well have been the forerunner of the early cen tral Indian God temples and the flat-roofed central Indian and south Indian temp les, like the timeless varieties of village and wayside shrines with their cubic al walls covered by a flat roof, which can be seen even today. Another significa nt derivation of the temple was from the tabernacle of the forest (made of bambo o or branches of large palm leaves only) in which a divine presence was known to dwell. The tabernacle, seen as an altar, enclosed the sacred space by the high shape of four curved branches, with their ends gathered to a point in gradual re duction of the three dimensional form in one direction or in an ascent. This is still a familiar form in village huts. This form gave way to the curvilinear sik khara (superstructure) of the north Indian temple, ascending in diminishing unit s towards a final, marked by the kalasa, a vase or pitcher. • (B) Early TempleStyles The practice of erecting sanctuaries sanctuaries for the images of gods probably goes back to the second century BC. Several deva-grihas (houses of gods) of pre -Christian centuries have been found in dilapidated condition. Seemingly built i n perishable materials, these sanctuaries provided little scope for the applicat ion of the principles of architecture as an art. The Gupta period witnessed the beginning of the practice of building with lasting materials, especially in dres sed stone and brick. Liberated from the limitations innate to wood or bamboo con structions and cave excavations, Indian builders handled their material, especia

lly stone, very dexterously and efficiently. The Gupta period marks the beginning of structural temple architecture. As evide nced from the extant monuments, there was experimentation in a number of forms a nd designs, out of which two significant temple styles evolved, one in the North and the other in the South. The following well defined types may be identified: (1) Flat-roofed, square temple with a shallow pillared porch in front; (2) Flat -roofed, square temple with a covered ambulatory around the sanctum and preceded by a pillared porch, sometimes with a second storey above; (3) Square temple wi th a low and squat sikhara (tower) above; (4) Rectangular temple with an apsidal back and a barrel-vaulted roof above; and (5) Circular temple with shallow rect angular projections at the four cardinal faces. The fifth and the last type is represented by a lone monument known as Maniyar M atha (shrine of Mani Naga) at Rajagir, Bihar, which is now in a dilapidated cond ition. The fourth type is represented by a temple at Ter (Sholapur district) and the Kapoteshvara temple at Cezarla (Krishna district), both belonging to the 4t h and 5th century AD. The Durga temple at Aihole, seemingly allied to the fourth in design, has, however, a flat froof with a sikhara over the sanctum – evidently an attempt to adapt an old established form to new needs. Neither the fourth no r the fifth type seems to have had any marked effect on subsequent developments. The first three types are seen as the precursors of later Indian temple styles. Illustrative examples of the first include temple No. XVII at Sanchi, Kankali De vi temple at Tigawa and Vishnu and Varaha temples at Eran, all in Madhya Pradesh . Each comprises a simple square sanctum cella, with an open pillared porch in f ront. The nucleus of a temple, namely a cubical cella (garbha-griha) with a sing le entrance and a porch (mandapa), appears for the first time as an integrated c omposition in this type of temples. The second type is seen in the Parvati templ e at Nachna Kuthara, the Siva temple at Bhumara (both in Madhya Pradesh) and the Lad Khan at Aihole. Each comprises a flat-roofed square sanctum cella inside a similarly roofed bigger square hall. The bigger hall, with a covered ambulatory (pradakshina) around the inner sanctum, is preceded by a slightly smaller rectan gular porch of the open type in front. In both the Parvati temple at Nachna Kuth ara and the Lad Khan at Aihole there is an upper storey (vimana) above the inner chamber. The third type is illustrated by the Dasavatara temple at Deogarh (Jhansi distri ct). Each has a square sanctum cella supported on a high basement and covered by a squatsikhara. It is similar to the first two types in terms of simplicity of design, yet, certain significant developments may be identified. A high platform as the base and a tower as the superstructure of the sanctum enhance the elevat ion. Instead of plain bare walls, the Dasavatara temple, built of stone, has on each of its three faces, a sculpture between two pilasters. This arrangement, be sides setting forward the walls on three side to balance the projection of the d oor frame in front, introduces a decorative scheme of great significance for the future. In the Bhitargaon temple, this effect is further emphasized by a regula r counterbalance projection in the middle of each side, which results in a cruci form ground-plan. The second and the third types of Gupta temples, to bhe called vimana (storeyed) and sikhara types, represent elaborations of the first in respect of both the g round-plan and elevation. In the following centuries, these two types supposedly underwent further improvements and crystallized to form two distinctive temple styles respectively in the South and the North. Thus, the Gupta period marks the beginning of structural temple architecture in India. But, we have to keep in m ind that the full unit of a structural temple does not appear anywhere in India before AD 550, and that the Bhitargaon temple was the earliest such temple and a lso the most outstanding example. • (C) Later Temple Styles The major temple styles listed and described in the Vastu Sastra texts are the n agara, dravida and vesara, of north India as the leading style. Next in importan ce is the dravida of south India. The vesara is the mixed style of the Deccan an d was still in an experimental stage when the 10th-11th century texts were compo sed and when temple architecture was at its climax. The Deccan was the main zone

of the evolution of the cvesara form with variations based on sub-regions and t heir dynastic preferences. The classification of the three dynastic preferences. The classification of the three styles shows that they are generally named afte r the various regional schools and classified according to their superstructures . Every temple of North India, irrespective of its situation and date, reveals cha racteristic features in planning and elevation. The North Indian temple is a squ are one with a number of graduated projection (rathakas) in the middle of each f ace, which gives it a cruciform shape in the exterior. In elevation it exhibits a tower (sikhara), gradually inclining inwards and capped by a spheroid slab wit h ribs round the edge (amalaka).the cruciform ground-plan and the curvilinear to wer may, hence, be regarded as the salient features of a Nagara temple may be se en in the third (sikhara) type of Gupta temples, in which these features suppose dly occur more or less in a rudimentary stage. A temple of South India has the s anctum cella situated invariable within an ambulatory hall and a pyramidal tower formed by an accumulation of story after story in receding dimensions. These ar e to be regarded as the distinctive characteristics of a Dravida temple. The sec ond type of gupta storeyed temple, showing the beginnings of such a ground-plan and elevation, may be identified as its precursor. • (D) Nagara Style Initially, the temple originated as a flat-roofed square structure in the form o f a cell (shrine), with a pillared porch in front. Variants of the flat-roofed s tructure persisted under the post-Gupta dynasties of north and central India, an d the nagara style emerged with the evolution of a sikhara or superstructure ove r the square shrine. The subsequent development of the nagara style can be trace d through regional schools, of which the major ones were those of Orissa (ancien t Kalinga), central India (ancient Jejakabhukti-Mohaba), Rajasthan (the home of the Rajput dynasties) and Gujarat (ancient Gurjaradesa). These represent signifi cant stylistic and aesthetic development and variations in the vertical ascent a nd horizontal elaboration of the temple structure. In Uttar Pradesh (and its his s states), Bihar, Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, temples of the northern style wer e erected without architectural and stylistically significant differences. Kashm ir developed a distinct class of temples, away from the main nagara style. • (E) Dravida Style The nucleus of the Dravida temple is the storeyed form of the Gupta temple, and the rock-cut rathas of Mahabalipuram (7th century AD) supply an interesting stag e in the evolution of the Dravida style. Each of the rathas, except the Draupadi , exhibits a storeyed elevation of the roof, each story terminating in a convex rolled cornice, ornamented with chaitya window arches. The walls of the ground s torey are broken up by pilasters and sculptured niches, while the upper storeys are surrounded by small pavilions. In theserathas, one may recognize the origin of the twin fundamental features of the Dravida temple, viz., the vimana (repres enting the sanctum with its tall pyramidal tower) and thegopuram (the immense pi le of the gateway leading to the temple enclosure). With its beginnings in the P allava rock-cut rathas int eh first half of the 7th century AD, the Dravidastyle passes through a long process of evolution and elaboration under different dyna sties of the South. The style flourished for nearly a thousand years and, confin ed within a comparatively small area, remained more or less compact and unilater al. The rock-cut method of the initial phase was replaced by the structural one during the reign of Narasimhavarman II, also known as Rajasimha. The Shore templ e at Mahabalipuram, possibly the first structural temple to be built in the Sout h, consists of two shrines, symmetrically joined to each other. An organic and u nified conception of a temple scheme, in which all the trappings of the Dravida style are clearly expressed and harmoniously adjusted to one another, first come s into view in the celebrated Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram, also built by Rajasimha. With all the appurtenances, like the walled court, the gopuram, the p illared mandapa and the vimana, all complete and in their forms and positions, t he Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram may be described as one of the key monumen ts of the early Dravida style. A ore developed sense of composition in clearly e vident in the Vikunta Perumal temple at Kanchipuram, built by Nandivarman II. Ar

chitectural activity in the South continued in the latter phase of the Pallava r ule. The rich heritage of the Pallava tradition passed on the Cholas, under whom the Dravida style enters yet another brilliant and distinctive phase. • (F) Vesara Style The Vesara style is also known as the Chalukyan or Deccan style. Its beginnings may be traced back to the days of the early Chalukyan kings in the 7th and 8th c enturies AD. At Aihole and Pattadakal and other places, Dravida and Nagara templ es were being erected side by side. This co-existence afforded an opportunity fo r a certain admixture of the ideas of the two, leading to the emergence under th e later Chalukyan rulers, of a mixed or hybrid Style. In the development, it is the Dravida, rather than the Nagara conception that played a comparative more im portant role. The Chalukyan temple, like the Dravida, consist of two main featur es, the vimana and the mandapa, joined by an antarala, with occasionally, an add itional open mandapa in front. In course of time, there ia a marked tendency to compress the heights of the storeyed stage of the vimana. At the same time, orna mental niche motifs, repeated one above the other, up the ascent of the tower, s imulate the vertical bands of the northern spire,. Here is an evident inspiratio n from theNagara sikhara. The Chalukyan temple presents an essential divergence from the Dravida in not having its sanctum cella enclosed within a covered ambul atory. In the treatment of the exterior walls, there seems to have been a blendi ng, again or Nagara and Dravida ideas. The walls are broken up by ratha offsets in the characteristic Nagara fashion, futher spaced at regular intervals by pila sters in accordance with the usual Dravida mode. The recesses thus formed, are u sually filled up by niches with superstructures of the Nagara or of the Dravida style, thus producing a refrain of great artistic beauty. Some of the Chalukyan and most of the Hoysala temples are distinguished for their multiple-shrined com positions in which two, three or four shrines are arranged around the common man dapa hall. Apart from architectural treatment, the Chalukyan temple, or its desc endant, the Hoysala, is also characterized by an exuberant plastic ornament cove ring all its external surfaces which seem to have a richly fretted appearance fr om the base to the top. In the interior, the pillars and door-frames, as well as ceilings, are likewise exuberantly treated. Considered as a whole, the Chalukya n temple, together with its offshoot, the Hoysala, represents one of the most or nate and florid expressions of Indian architecture. • Miscellaneous • Books & Themes Books Themes Arya Manju Srimukalpa has the description the Guptas. Auppatic Sutra & Aawashyak Sutra Contains the religious thoughts of King Ajatshatru of Kashi. Bhadrabahu charita about the reign of Chandragupta Maurya Gargi Samhita about Yarana invasion Shukraniti about ‘historical elements of ancient India Vikramankcharit about later Chalukya Vikramaditya Gaudvaho about Yashovarma of Kannauj Nandikkalambakam Nandivarman Pallava Kalingtuparani Kulottunga Chola Nitisar about Gupta Malvika Agnimitra about war between Pushyamitra Shunga & Yavanas Ashatadhyayi about the pre-mawyam period (18 chapters & 386 sutras) Mahabhashya Shunga period – Ashwamedha by Pushyamitra Brihatkatha manjari Maurya Period Narad Samiti about Gupta period • Books & Authors Books Authors Ashtadyayi Panini Patanjali Mahabhashya – about Shunga Dynasty Nirukta Yask Hemchandra Parishishat Parvan

Haribhadra Suri Samaraditya katha, Dhurtakhyam, Kathkosh Udyotan Suri Kuvalyamala Sidharshi Suri Upamiti Prapanch Katha Jineswar Suri Kathekosa Prakarna Jinsen Adipurana Gunbhadra Mudrarakshsa, Devi Chandra Guptam Somdev Katha Saritsagar Kshemendra Brihat Katha Manjari (King Vikramaditya) Kautilya Athashastra Kamandak Nitisar Somdev Suri Nitivakyamrita Kalidas Melvikagnimitra, Raghuvansh, Meghdoot, Abhigyan Shakunntlam, Kumar Shamb hav , Vikramoravashiyam, Ritusamhar. Sudraka Mrichchakatikam Dandi Daskumarcharit Bannbhatta Hershacharita, Kadambari Vakpati Ramcharit Bilhan Vikramankcherit Sandhyakarnandi Ramcharit Jaya Singh Kumarpal charit Hemchandra Dvarasrya Kavya Padma Gupta Nav Sahasanka Charit Jayanak Prithvirajvijay Chandar Bardai Prithvi Raj Rasho Kalhan Rajataragani Someshwar Kirti Kaumudi Ari Singh Sukrit Sankirtan Meruttung Prbandha Chintamani Raj Shekhar Prabandha Kosh, Kavyamimansa Jay Singh Hammir Manmardan, Vastupal & Tejpal Prashsti Udaya Prabhu Sukrit Kirti Kallolini Balchandra Vasantvilas Chachnama Chach Megasthenes Indika Abu-Rehan Al-Biruni Takkik-ul-Hind Strabo Geography Pliny Natural History (Naturalis Historia) Nagsena Milind Panho Gargi Gargi Samhita Pravarsen II Setubandh Manu Manusmiriti Haal (Satvahan) Gatha Saptashati Carak Carak Samhita Bharat Natyashastra Vatsyayana Kamasutra Ashwaghosha Buddha Charit, Saundarananda Bhas Swapnawasawdutta Sangam Lit. Narrinai, Kuraundohai, Aingurunuru, Pattupattu, Padipathau, Pari padal, Kalithogai, Ahnanuru, Purunanaru. Tamil Grammar Tolkappiyam Bhanpuri Murudan alias Aryadev Chatushatak Buddhapalit Commentary an Mulmadhyamik Sutra Bhavavivek Tarkejwela Dinganaag Pramaan Sammuchhaya, Nyaypravesh, Prajnaparmitgapindartha Harishena Birhatkethakosh, Prayag Prashasti Varahmihir Birhetsamhita, Panchsiddhantika, Biratijataka, Laghujataka Amar Singh Amarkosh Bharuchi Commentary on Manusmirti Bhavbhuti Malati Madhav (drama) Bharavi Kiritarjuniya

Assang Mahauyansangrah, Yogacharbhumshastra, Mahayansutralankar Prakaranaryevac ha, Vejraghatika Tika, Mahayanaabhidharma Sarvanadi Lok Vibhang Siddhasen Nyaykarta/ Nyaravatar. Karshevardhan Naganand, Ratnavali, Priyadarshika Vasubandhu Abhidharmkosh. Buddhaghosh Vishddhimagg Aryabhatt Aryabhattiya Bhaskar I Mahabhaskariya, Laghubhaskariya, Bhashya Bramhagupta Brahma Siddhant, Khandkhadaya Vagbhatta Ashtanga-Hridya Palkapya Hastysayurveda Biladuri Kitab – futuh –al- Baldhan Nayachandra Suri Hammir Mahakavya Padmagupta Navsahasankcharit, Hammirraso Haalyuddha Pingal Srutivriti Vishnu Sharma Panch Tantra Suryamal Vansha Bhaskar Bhatta Bhuvandev Aparajita Pricchha Magh Shishupal Vadh Meghatithi Commentary on Manusmriti Parashar Parashar Smriti Vigyanneshwar Mitakshara Bhoja Tattvapariksha Haribhadra Suri Anekantavijay, Dharmabindu

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