India Forum Archives
Monday, November 08, 2004
  Indian history
Posted by: acharya Aug 12 2003, 10:25 PM
THis topic will discuss all the ancient Indian history with respect to the interaction with other civilizations. Greek civilization Central asia Chinese civilization Arab civilization western civilization ------------------ If members need specific area of ancient history to discuss let me know and I will create a new thread for it.
Posted by: acharya Aug 12 2003, 11:43 PM
laugh.gif Western contact with Indian civilization was around the period 1500 AD. However, not until rather late did the West begin to understand and appreciate the spiritual heritage of India. While it is true that sketchy accounts of India (mainly French and some Dutch) began to appear in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, these were decidedly critical and dismissive. More substantial and positive assessments began to circulate only in the latter half of the 18th century. At that time, a few generally sympathetic Englishmen, brought to India by the British conquest, began a more serious examination of the history, philosophy, and literature of the "Hindoos." Of these, some of the most important were Charles Wilkins, who provided the first translation of The Bhagvat Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon; Sir William Jones, the first giant of Indology, whose early essays "On The Hindus," "On the Gods of Greece, Italy and India," and "On the Chronology of the Hindus" were widely read in England and Europe; and Thomas Colebrook, who contributed the first serious analysis of the Vedas by a Westerner. All of these works were to travel across the Atlantic, importantly influencing the philosophical development of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The perception about India by the west as a complex, religious country has been projected to the rest of the world for the last 300 years and this view is dominent view prevalent in the west. According to this perception people of India are broadly taken as Aryans who are the upper caste (class) and Dravidians who are the lower class. The ethnicity in the sub-continent is divided as Muslims and non-Muslims in which the Muslims are connected to the outside world from their history of conquest. Muslims were the original invaders of the native people and the current Indian people are the conqurered people. The influence of India on her neighbors, specifically those in Central, East, and Southeast Asia, has long been recognized, largely because peoples of these other nations went to great lengths to accurately translate and disseminate Indic knowledge into their own languages and cultural idioms. This resulted in an accurate transmission that maintained respect for the cultural source. In the West, however, this transmission occurred largely indirectly, resulting in ignorance about the source of the knowledge. It is rather unfortunate that when Europe and India did directly encounter each other it was under coercive conditions, resulting, ultimately, in the colonization of the latter by the former. Such a grossly inequitable relationship is not naturally conducive to mutual understanding and respect. As a result, European portrayals of India were riddled with depictions of Indians as irrational, mystical savages. Occasionally, when Europeans did borrow from Indian thought, they denied the source of these findings because to openly acknowledge that the West had something to learn from India was to implicitly undermine the myth of cultural superiority— the flimsy justification for colonial exploitation. Other Asian civilizations such as Chinese civilization have civilizational memories of India and Indian culture and Indian people. Even the Arabs before Islam and after Islamic civilization have civilizational memory about the people of India through trade and commerce. Rest of the world is even today has views about India/Hindus set by Europeans [Anglo Saxons] and missionaries in the 1800 and 1900s. Hence the country and Indians/Hindus are already stereotyped with particular set of images and perceptions and these are mostly from the British and colonial perspective. British due to their long colonial rule and becoming the global power by the end of 19th century were able to influence and build a worldwide image of Hindus.non-muslims and India and her civilization. This was perpetuated throughout the 20th century with the advent of communication revolution. India has never been able to change the perception much after independence. Europeans by the time of world war II looked at India and Indians Muslims and non-Muslims in certain way from their historical experience rolleyes.gif wink.gif cool.gif
Posted by: Kaushal Aug 13 2003, 12:38 AM
Seventh century Shiva temple at Ayodhya : Dr. S. P. Gupta Addressing a press conference organised by the VHP, the chairman of the Indian Archaeological Society, S.P. Gupta, said the remains of a seventh century Shiva temple were found by the Archaeological Survey of India — which wrapped up its five-month- long excavation under court orders last week — on August 5. Dr. Gupta said the excavation had also brought up five "clear" pieces of evidence that were typical to Hindu temples. "These are `amalaka' (a wheel found exclusively on temple roofs), a sculpture of a crocodile (goddess Ganga's vehicle), a `vallari' (a meandering geometrical floral motif found on temple gateways), a `purna ghata' (used in rituals) and a lotus medallion. Further, according to Dr. Gupta — who witnessed the excavation as an observer for one of the parties to the case — 69 pillar bases had been found in addition to the six found during an earlier digging by B.B. Lal, formerly with the ASI. "Fourteen of these pillar bases were re-used by those who built the so-called Babri masjid." Also, society members claimed that the foundation of the mosque had been laid by cutting the floor of the temple and its pillar bases. Though senior VHP leaders, Ashok Singhal and Giriraj Kishore, were present at the press conference, they preferred to take a back seat. To a question on what the VHP expected of the Government given the BJP leadership's reluctance to do anything to upset the NDA dispensation, Mr. Singhal said: "That is for the Government to decide. We just wanted to focus on the excavations to show that there was no truth in reports of there being no evidence of a temple at the site."
Posted by: Kaushal Aug 13 2003, 12:40 AM
"Dear Friends, Best wishes and greetings on Raksha Bandhan. Last 8 November 2002, Prof. B.B. Lal, former Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, delivered an important lecture at Bhopal under the auspices of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). The lecture was titled: "Why Perpetuate Myths ? A Fresh Look at Ancient Indian History." It dealt with the following four myths, which in the author's opinion, "have been obscuring our vision of India’s past": Myth 1: ‘There was an Aryan Invasion of India’ Myth 2: ‘The Harappans were a Dravidian-speaking People’ Myth 3: ‘The Rigvedic Sarasvati was the Helmand of Afghanistan,’ and Myth 4: ‘The Harappan Culture became Extinct’ Prof. Lal supplied a lot of archaeological and other evidence to refute these persisting myths. The NCERT published the lecture as an illustrated booklet. Prof. Lal very kindly gave us permission to reproduce it on IFIH's website. It is now available, along with numerous colour illustrations, at the following URL : (Please click on the link, or copy the URL in full in your browser, making sure it ends with "html".) The NCERT deserves to be congratulated for arranging such lectures and working towards fresh thinking in the highly colonized field of Indian history. Regards," From the link above, One is set wondering as to why and how this great civilization of the Indian subcontinent ¾ called variously the Harappan, Indus or Indus‑Sarasvati Civilization and whose roots go as deep as the fifth millennium BC ¾ still lives on, not as a fugitive but as a vital organ of our socio‑cultural fabric. The Indian psyche has indeed been pondering over this great cultural phenomenon of ‘livingness’, and the quest has very aptly been echoed by a great Indian poet and thinker, Allama Iqbal, in these words: Yunan-o-Misra-Ruma sab mit gaye jahan se Ab tak magar hai baqi namo‑nisan hamara Kuchh bat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari Sadiyon raha hai dusman daur‑i‑zaman hamara The poet says that whereas the ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have all disappeared from this world, the basic elements of our civilization still continue. Although world events have been inimical to us for centuries, there is ‘something’ in our civilization which has withstood these onslaughts. What is that ‘something’, some inherent strength?
Posted by: Mudy Aug 13 2003, 10:35 AM
CLOUDS OVER UNDERSTANDING OF THE VEDAS By B.D.Ukhul The Myth of the Holy Cow by D.N.Jha published by Verso, London, 2002 is the most damaging book in its contents since the sole intention of the author has been to prove that all ancient Hindu scriptures particularly the Vedas and Shatpath Brahmana etc. uphold beef-eating and this has been the way of life of the Aryans who were our ancestors since the term Hindu came to be introduced much later. The author has cited references from the Vedas, Brahmanas, Upnishads etc. to prove his thesis which perhaps he chose to be the sole mission of his life even though he comes from a Brahamin family and he has dedicated his so called prestigious book to his kin in Rajrani (a symbol of motherhood). Aryans revered cow as a mother and it is really an irony that a son of Bharat has taken immense pains to prove something which is far from truth and also it injures the sentiments of millions of Hindus and in order to demolish his thesis an effort is being hereby made to trace each and every reference cited by him in the book and reveal the truth and nothing but the truth. To commence with, citations quoted from the Rgveda are being dealt with beginning from the very first Mandala of Rigveda. It is beyond any doubt that the conclusions drawn by Mr. Jha are based on wrong interpretations and the misleading commentaries by the western scholars and also the works of Indian scholars who got patronage of the British rulers. Role of such scholars and their mission to erase our heritage was under a well planned scheme to mould the Indian mind into the western thought and culture and create conditions to cast off our past. Their mission was to spread Christianity and the major players were Macauley and Max Muller and their correspondence and writings* will substantiate this submission. Hereby it will also be revealed that these western scholars could not derive the right and intended spirit of our ancient Rishis and have erred immensely. In the realm of the Vedic interpretation, we owe debt to Swami Dayanand Saraswati(1825-1883), the founder of Aryasamaj who took us back to the Vedas. His commentaries were based on the Nighantu and Yaska’s Nirukta and he thought deep and delved deep to arrive at the rightful adhyatmik and yogic spirit of the mantras. The opinion of a great saint-philosopher Sri Aurobindo Ghosh will be the most pertinent to quote in this regard. “In the matter of Vedic interpretation I am convinced that whatever may be the final complete interpretation, Dayananda will be honoured as the first discoverer of the right clues. Amidst the chaos and obscurity of old ignorance and age long misunderstanding his was the eye of direct vision that pierced to the truth and fastened on that which was essential. He had found the keys of the doors that time had closed and rent asunder the seals of the imprisoned fountains”. AT THIS STAGE IT IS DESIRABLE THAT WE APPROACH THIS IMPORTANT ASPECT TO ENDORSE AND ACCEPT THE RIGHTFUL INTERPRETAIONS INSTEAD OF CLINGING TO DEFECTIVE LITERAL TRANSLATIONS OF THE VEDAS WHICH ARE REVELATIONS BY THE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO BLESSED US WITH THIS DIVINE KNOWLEDGE TO GUIDE OUR PATH SINCE THE VEDIC REVELATION WAS SYNCHRONOUS WITH MAN’S FIRST APPEARANCE ON EARTH. How can our creator prescribe offerings of his own creatures? After independence, this aspect should have received due attention but it is sad that this remained untapped and even the Sanskrit language came under cloud when a Rajya Sabha nominated Christian member Frank Anthony introduced a bill to drop this sacred language from the eighth schedule of languages enshrined in the Indian constitution in 1977. There is no doubt that some Western scholars did an appreciable job to introduce the Vedas to the outside world which inspired the scholars to learn Sanskrit to benefit from the treasure of wisdom of Vedic Rishis but unfortunately, it followed a wrong path without application of their inner mind or intellect as was done by the devoted disciple of Swami Virajanand who was actually blind of eyes but he imparted such vision and deep knowledge to Dayanand that he clung to the soul and spirit of the Vedas and it is our bounden duty to follow this path to understand the sacred words of God which can never be wrong and are ever infallible. In the context of the commentary/translation of the Vedas by Max Muller, it will be relevant to point out the opinion of Mr. Boulanger, the editor of Russian edition of The Sacred Books of the East Series as follows: “What struck me in Max Mullar’s translation was a lot of absurdities, obscene passages and a lot of what is not lucid”. “As far as I can grab the teaching of the Vedas, it is so sublime that I would look upon it as a crime on my part, if the Russian public becomes acquainted with it through the medium of a confused and distorted translation, thus not deriving for its soul that benefit which this teaching should give to the people”. In his book ‘Vedic Hymns’, Max Muller himself says “My translation of the Vedas is conjectural”. HEREUNDER the glaring difference in substance and the spirit of the cited Suktas 162 and 163 of the first Mandala of Rigveda is illustrated to establish that misinterpretation is at the root of this problem. Each Sukta has its risi and devata; risi depicts ‘drashta’ whereas devata depicts the subject matter which facilitates the understanding of the mantras under respective Sukta. Sukta 162- Name of risi Name of devata Deerghatama Mitradyo Lingokta (As per Sw.Dayanand) Deerghatama Ashav-stuti (As per translation of HH Wilson) Sukta 163- Name of risi Name of devata Deerghatama Ashvo-agnirdevta (As per Sw.Dayanand) Deerghatama Ribhuganh (As per translation of HH Wilson) The above implies that both the Suktas are in glorification of the horse but our Western enthusiasts and Mr.Jha along with his Indian ideals have even ignored the very basic lead and gone for crucification of the spirit of mantras which is left to your esteemed judgement. Sukta 162 has 22 mantras while Sukta 163 has 13 mantras. Mr. Jha states that in the ashvamedha(horse sacrifice),the most important of the Vedic public sacrifices,first referred to in the Rigveda in the afore-stated Suktas (p.31 of his book). Sukta 162 in fact deals with the science of applying horse power (automation) of the fire pervading in the form of energy. No mantra supports sacrifice of horses. Of course the first mantra has been translated by Max Muller in a wrong manner as follows: “May Mitra,Varuna,Aryaman,Ayush,Indra,the Lord of Ribhus and the Maruta not rebuke us because we shall proclaim at the sacrifice virtues of the swift horse sprung from the god”.(from History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature). Similarly H.H.Wilson in his translation based on the commentary of Sayanacarya states as follows: “Let neither Mitra nor Varuna,Aryaman,Ayu,Indra,Ribhukshin,nor the Maruts,censure us;when was proclaim in the sacrifice the virtues of the swift horse sprung from the gods”. Transliterated version of this mantra is given below: Ma no mitro varuno arymayurindro ribhuksha marutah parikhyan Yadvajino devajatasya sapteh pravakshyamo vidathe veeryani Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in his Hindi commentary has rendered the translation as follows: We the performers of yajna in all seasons (vidathe) in the battle field (yat) whose (vajinah) stormy (devajatasya) learned men and borne out of the divine virtues (sapte) of the horse (veeryani) unique performances (pravakshyamah) we shall describe (nah) the daring performances of our horses (mitrah) friend (varunah) sublime (aryama) the deliverer of justice (ayuh) the knower (indrah) the all-elivated or aishvaryavan (ribhuksha) intelligent and (marutah) priests (ma, pari,khyan) should never disregard these properties. To easily grasp the spirit of mantra the following translation will be helpful. We shall describe here the energy generating virtues of the powerful horses(planets),added with brilliant properties of the vigorous force of heat. The learned never dispute these properties. There is vast difference in the above quoted translations.Obviously the wrong seeds were sown by Sayan and Mahidhar who were the ideals adopted by the western scholars, namely Max Muller, Griffith , Wilson etc. Sw.Dayanand Saraswati in his book “An Introduction to the Vedas” has adversely criticised on the commentaries of Sayan and Mahidhar in context of some of their interpretations of the Vedic hymns. They could be held responsile for the horrible and horried interpretations which suggest as if the Vedas were the texts to lay down the modes of sacrifices. Is it not a tragedy for the Dharamacharyas/Sanskrit scholars of this country that they also could not pursue the path shown by Dayanand and got bogged down only in the rituals of worship in the temples and no attention was paid to the sources of knowledge which were the guiding principles of Aryans, our worthy ancestors and sons of the mother India (Aryavrat) as the Vedas proclaimed man as ‘amritasya putras’ and we need to follow this path if we want to be proud of our heritage and hold our head high or otherwise we are going to be labelled with the legacy of butchers and animal killers who desired to please different gods by various sacrifices performed in the yajnas. Eighth mantra of this Sukta is translated as follows: The fleet of horses is controlled by holding of bridles and saddles placed thereon. To make them strong,the grass and cereals are fed to them. Likewise,the learned people control and regulate their power of senses and taking nourishing diet. Wilson’s translation is as follows: May the halter and the heel-ropes of the fleet courser, and the head-ropes, the girths, and any other (part of the harness); and the grass that has been put into his mouth; may all these be with you,(horse),amongst the gods. (THIS IS NOTHING BUT LITERAL AND MECHANICAL TRANSLATON BEREFT OF THE SUBSTANCE & SPIRIT OF THE MANTRA) Ninth mantra again was again wrongly interpreted by Max Muller,Wilson and Griffith to translate the word ’kravishah’ as the flesh. It is an adjective of ‘ashvasya’ and derived from kramu-padavikshepe. Hence it means ‘ the pacing horse’ and not of the flesh. ‘shamituh’ has been translated by Prof. Max Muller and Wilson as of the immolator. Griffith has translated it as ‘of a slayer’. But etymologically ‘sam-alochne’ means ‘to look at’ (with love and peace) and should mean ‘ a person who looks at the living beings with love and peace and not slayer’. Twelfth mantra emphasizes on the qualities of the warrior and its translation is as follows: They who crave for the meat of a horse and declare the horse fit to be killed should be exterminated. Those who keep the fast horse well trained and disciplined deserve to be praised by us for the strength of their character and perseverance. (IT CLEARLY DEMOLISHES THE THESIS OF JHA AND PROVES THAT HE HAS MERELY QUOTED CITATIONS AND HARDLY CARED TO LOOK AT THE ACTUAL TEXT BUT INSPIRED BY THE FOLLOWING TRANSLATION OF WILSON): “Let their exertions be for our good who watch the cooking of the horse; who say, it is fragrant; therefore give us some: who solicit the flesh of the horse as alms”. (WHAT AN IMMENSE DAMAGE TO THE SPIRIT OF THE MANTRA). Mantras 13 to 19 deal with the theme of horse or automation power while 20 to 22 are devoted to the benefits of Yoga exercises and an ideal life. Sukta 163 This Sukta deals with various attributes of learned person, agni, science & technology. There are references to the horse to illustrate its unique qualities of its immense energy likened to agni (fire), intelligence, bravery and inbuilt attributes which are at par with those of the men of wisdom. Perusal of some mantras will bring home this point. First mantra includes or rather ends with ‘arvan’ and this word denotes as per Yv 29.12 vigyanvan athva ashvaiv veguvan vidvan=O learned person active like the horse. Second mantra includes the term ‘surat ashvam’ which means the fast moving agni i.e the fire which enables a speedy locomotion. Third mantra includes the term ‘adityah arvan’ and here it means the sun which is all pervading. ‘arvan’means sarvatrapraptah=pervading all. This term was wrongly translated by Prof. Wilson , Griffith and others, while both admit in the notes that Yama means Agni, Aditya-Sun and Trita-Vayu. How can horse be identified with Agni (fire) sun and the air etc.none has cared to justify. To take ‘arva’ for agni, there is the clear authority of the Taittiriya Brahmana.(I.36,4). Fourth mantra includes the word ‘arvan’ where it is used to mean the learned and wise people. Eighth mantra includes the word ‘arvan’ through which the mighty and active person has been likened to the horse who bears such characteristics. Ninth mantra includes the word ‘arvantam’ which means vegavantam agnim ashvam=the rapid horse in the form of Agni (fire, electricity etc.) Tenth mantra includes the word ‘ashva’ where it means the bright swift horses in the form of fire, air, water etc. Eleventh mantra includes the word ‘arvan’ and the following translation of this mantra will endorse our stand that the unique qualities of the horse are emphasized in Sukta-163: “O brave person! You are active like a horse, your body is like a swift vehicle, your mind is like the wind in motion. Your sublime actions are initiated from the proper use of fire and electricity. These are spread in all directions like the hoary creatures in the forests”. One can see that this mantra is in praise of highly skilled technicians. Wilson’s translation reads as follows: “Your body, horse, is made for motion , your mind is rapid (in intention ) as the wind: the hairs (of your mane) are tossed in manifold directions; and spread beautiful in the forests”.(ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MECHANICAL TRANSLATION) Twelfth mantra includes the term ’vajyarva’ which means agni swift(vegavan) like a horse and here in this mantra use of agni is highlighted. Thirteenth and the last mantra of this Sukta contains the word ‘arvan’ where it means agnyadashvan= horses in the form of fire, electricity etc. ASVAMEDHA has been translated as horse sacrifice as referred above by Jha and the conclusions drawn accordingly and this has been the root cause of varied wrong interpretations and in order to illustrate its scope and meaning the following is stated: At the sight of words ‘asvamedha,gomedha,purushmedha,ajmedha’ there ia general tendency to interpret it to denote as hinsa/sacrifice/killing. ‘medha’ word’s verb or dhatu is ‘medhri’. ‘medhrisangame hinsayam cha’ i.e. to enhance pure intellect , to inculcate love and integration among the people and also hinsa i.e killing (this dhatu conveys these three meanings).But it does not always mean killing or sacrifice and in Sanskrit no literal translation will do where a particular word carries varied meanings and it has to be applied judiciously and thoughtfully keeping in view the context of the text. The words ‘purushmedha’ and ‘nriyajna’ are synonyms. In manusmriti the word ‘nriyajna’ has been defined as’nriyajnoatithipoojanam’ (manusmriti -3.70) it means the pooja or honour of the guests. If we take the meaning of the root ‘medhri’ as sangamanarth it will come to be interpreted as to organize the people for virtuous deeds or to enhance the love and equanimity among them i.e. it would be ‘nriyajna’or ‘purushmedh’. It may be pertinent to mention here that ‘nrimedha’ is a rishi of some vedic hymns of Samveda. It can never mean the one who kills or sacrifices the human beings. Consequently, the terms followed by medha always do not signify killing/sacrifice and therefore the interpretations made by the Western scholars are utterly wrong and unacceptable. In Shatpath Brahmana (13.1.6) it is stated “Rashtram va asvamedhah” i.e. Asvamedha means to manage or run the affairs of the rashtra (country) in a befitting manner. In the Shantiparva of Mahabharata (3.336) there is mention of asvamedha of the king Vasu in which numerous rishis and learned men participated.In this context it is clearly mentioned “n tatra pashughato-abhoot” i.e. there was no killing of any animal. Further in this Parva at 3.327, the following is stated in context with ‘ajamedh’: Ajairyajneshu yashtavyamiti vai vaidiki shruti Ajasanjnani beejani chhaganno hantumarhatha Naishah dharmah satam devah yatra vadhyeta vai pashuh It means that whenever it is stated to use aja for performance of yajna, it means the seeds called ‘aja’ have to be used. Here it does not mean a goat. It is not proper to kill goats and it does not behove the virtuous people to indulge in killing of the animals. Sw.Dayanand Saraswati in his book “An introduction to the Vedas” at p.448-449 states that God is Jamadagni i.e. Ashvamedha. An empire is like a horse and the subjects like other inferior animals. As other animals,the strength, so the subjects are weaker than the state assembly. The glory and splendour of an empire consists in wealth,gold etc. and in administration of justice”.(Shatpath Brahmana: XIII.2.2.14-17) It is further stated that God’s name is Ashva also,because , He pervades the whole universe (Ashva comes from the root ‘Ash’ which means to pervade). The above derivations call for our cautious approach and take upon ourselves the task of removing the mist caused by misinterpretations to see the truth which can be one and only one and feel proud of our heritage. *It was February, 1835 , a time when the British were striving to take control of the whole of India. Lord Macaulay, a historian and a politician, made a historical speech in the British Parliament, commonly referred to as The Minutes, which struck a blow at the centuries old system of Indian education. His words were to this effect: I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation , which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and , therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own ,they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation. (Source:The Awakening Ray,Vol.4 No.5, The Gnostic Centre) Reproduced in Niti issue of April,2002 at p.10- a periodic publication of Bharat Vikas Parishad, Delhi.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Aug 13 2003, 02:47 PM Please read these in the connection of the above article by BB Lal.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Aug 15 2003, 05:54 PM
Did Indians know to write before 250 BC? The traditional Western answer to this question has been NO. Brahmi was invented by the Mauryans by copying the Semitic Aramaic script. I wonder if this view is repeatedly encouraged for some Pysops value...
Posted by: Viren Aug 15 2003, 09:14 PM
QUOTE (Hauma Hamiddha @ Aug 15 2003, 07:54 PM)
Did Indians know to write before 250 BC?
HH: I'm no expert in history - but from what I understand, the Indus Valley civilization that flourished around 2,500 BC had it's own script
Posted by: rhytha Aug 16 2003, 12:15 AM
Yunan-o-Misra-Ruma sab mit gaye jahan se Ab tak magar hai baqi namo‑nisan hamara Kuchh bat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari Sadiyon raha hai dusman daur‑i‑zaman hamara The poet says that whereas the ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have all disappeared from this world, the basic elements of our civilization still continue. Although world events have been inimical to us for centuries, there is ‘something’ in our civilization which has withstood these onslaughts.
the basic elements of egypt,greece and roman civilization's still continue i think. wink.gif correct me if iam wrong huh.gif
Posted by: Kaushal Aug 16 2003, 08:21 PM
the basic elements of egypt,greece and roman civilization's still continue i think. correct me if iam wrong You are of course refuting Allama Iqbal. But i think there is substantial truth in what he says. Of course the reason i posted this was there was irony in this. Very few Indian Muslims will accept what Iqbal has asserted namely that the basic elements of Egyptian civilization have changed while those of India havent. Coming from a prominent Indian muslim, especially one who is closely tied to the creation of Pakistan, I consider this especially significant It depends on what one considers basic elements. If we consider religion to be a basic element, in all three cases there remains no trace of the practice of pagan religions, which were widely prevalent before the common era. The only trace of such practices is in museums. Pre christian Rome was a very 'catholic ' empire where a wide variety of beliefs were practiced and tolerated. All that came to a halt with the edict of Constantine in the 4th century of the common era. One of such practices in the Roman empire was the practice of the worship of Mitra, which was widely prevalent. All traces of pagan practices such as festivals were frowned upon or given a new interpretation to conform with christian theology The dark ages descended upon Europe for a full millenium before inquiring and courageous minds such as that of Galileo defied the established order which was essentially the church and even he had to recant (that the earth revolved around the sun)on pain of being beheaded. The same thing essentially happened in Egypt. The Egyptian of today has no cultural memory of Pharonic times. Very few can speak the language and fewer still have any notion of the rituals and practices of the era. The egyptian like most of the tribes in North Africa essentially speak the language of the invader. This is in striking contrast to India where the memory of the greatest literary contributions were kept alive by the tradition of oral transmission. The buildings that Ramases built and the inscriptions on them were lost in the sands of time (until they were rediscovered at the behest of Napoleon) but none could erase the intellectual heritage that was transmitted with the help of the most powerful instrument that mankind has developed - his own mind.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Aug 16 2003, 10:35 PM
Got this by e-mail The civilizational identity of the Indonesians may not be entirely lost, though there are active on going efforts to erase it as soon as possible.
Posted by: Mudy Aug 25 2003, 10:54 AM
Ayodhya excavation report says temple existed under mosque Sharat Pradhan (Indo-Asian News Service) Lucknow, August 25 In a potentially conflict-ridden report submitted here, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has concluded that a Hindu temple existed under the debris of the razed Babri mosque in Ayodhya. The ASI submitted its 574-page report, on the vexed question of whether a temple existed at the site of the 16th-century Babri mosque, to the special bench of the Allahabad High Court here Friday, but the report was opened only Monday. Said ASI counsel Ravi Mehrotra: "It was amply clear from the report that a huge 10th century structure with features resembling Hindu temples existed at the disputed site before the Babri mosque was erected in the 16th century." The report stated, "... taking into account the archaeological evidence of a massive structure along with the yield of stone and decorated bricks as well as mutilated sculpture of divine couple and carved architectural members... are indicative of remains which are distinctive features found associated with the temples of North India." "It was over the top of this construction during the early 16th century the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it," the report added. The special bench -- comprising Justices Rafat Alam, Bhanwar Singh and Khem Karan - gave all the parties six weeks to file their objections, following which hearings would resume in the half-a-century old litigation. While the Hindu rightwing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) welcomed the report, the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) was highly critical. Rejecting the findings of the report, BMAC convenor and counsel for Sunni Central Waqf Board Zafaryab Jilani said: "I find the report self-contradictory and erroneous." Jilani had expected the report to contradict the Muslim claim and had already started preparing his objections well before the findings were made public. "Our experts are already on the job and we will file our objections to the report," he told IANS. But the VHP was jubilant. "The ASI was assigned to carry out a fact-finding mission, which has proved our contention that a temple did exist well before the mosque was built by Mughal emperor Babur," said VHP counsel G.P. Verma. Verma went on to add: "With this foolproof evidence, Muslims ought to abdicate their claim to the site as the holy Quran itself does not permit construction of a mosque on any disputed site." The ASI had undertaken the excavations from March 12 under the court's directions essentially to determine "whether there was any temple/structure which was demolished and a mosque was constructed on the disputed site". The excavations were finally concluded on August 7. The ASI submitted its report before the special court bench on August 22. However, the report was formally opened in the open court on Monday noon. The excavation team had dug 90 trenches, which unearthed remains of articles and artefacts belonging to different periods of time dating from the 1st century BC.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Aug 30 2003, 09:18 AM
In nearer history, Melkote had been ruled by a dynasty founded by Yaduraya. His clan had built several water retaining structures --kalyanis-- of great effectiveness and beauty. A small scholarly community had thriven there. In early 19th century, Tipu Sultan's army descended on a Deepavali day and massacred 800 citizens, mostly of a sect known as Mandyam Iyengars. Sanskrit scholarship had been their forte. [To this day Melkote does not celebrate Deepavali]. That slaughter rendered Melkote a near ghost town. Its environmentally connected life was broken, kalyanis went to ruin, water shortage became endemic, the hills went brown. Sanskrit lost a home.
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 6 2003, 06:36 PM By Vivek Bakshi, USA January 03, 2003 Letter to NYTimes on article : Hijacking India's History This article takes a biased and one-sided view of the controversy regarding re-writing of India's history. Kai Friese's article is based on the assumption that the existing history taught in textbooks in India is 100% accurate and anyone who attempts to change it is by default wrong. Whereas in fact, the truth of the matter is that the history being taught in schools in India was distorted by the educationalists, and at many instances, done purposely due to ideological or political reasons. This has been very clearly exposed by Mr. Arun Shourie, India's most famous journalist, known for his integrity, in his book "Eminent Historians - Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud". I am also providing a list of articles by renowned journalists exposing this below First of all, let me clarify that there is nothing wrong in re-writing history. This has happened all over the world, especially in America. India's history textbooks have been written during the times of Nehru and are heavily biased by communism ideals. They tend to hide the gory details of the destruction which happened during the centuries of Muslim rule, and at the same time, they downlook upon the period where Hindus ruled the land, which many consider to be the golden age of India. The Aryan invasion theory has been scientifically, archealogically and linguistically proven to be a myth by many historians, many of them American and European (see links below), who cannot be blamed of any bias. Latest satellite imagery have confirmed that there was a river Saraswati existing in India in what is now the Thar desert of Rajasthan. The author mentions the recent riots which took place in Gujarat, but fails to mention that this an aberration and the tolerant Hindus have always been at the receiving end of pogroms and ethnic cleansing. If such incidents are to be mentioned in text books, then attrocities by Muslims on Hindus, would far outnumber those done by Hindus. Just for example, the ethnic cleansiing of Hindus in their own country in Kashmir has resulted in the mass exodus of nearly a million people, who are now living in abject poverty in shanty refugee camps. Thus, the current efforts to correct history in India is not 'Hijacking India's history', but actually 'Rescuing India's Hijacked History'. Vivek Bakshi USA List of articles exposing the corruption of history by Historians in India: Historicide: Censoring the past... and the present - by Rajeev Srinivasan Towards Balkanisation - by Varsha Bhosle Review of Arun Shourie's EMINENT HISTORIANS: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud Review of Rewriting Indian History by Francois Gautier Links on the Myth of Aryan Invasion Theory: The Myth of Aryan Invasion of India by David Frawley (American Institute of Vedic Studies) Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory By Dr.Dinesh Agrawal Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate by Koenraad Elst News article in major Indian newspapers uncomp/articleshow?artid=3196014&sType=1
Posted by: Pradeep Sep 7 2003, 11:07 AM
Yunan-o-Misra-Ruma sab mit gaye jahan se Ab tak magar hai baqi namo‑nisan hamara Kuchh bat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari Sadiyon raha hai dusman daur‑i‑zaman hamara
I have always wondered about this. In essence this is true since the majority of Indians, even those converted to other faiths, have remained true to their original language, customs, clothing, and even festivals (Basant in Pakistan, eg.). I was pleasantly surprised when I met the mother of a Paki friend (oxymoron?) who showed up wearing a Sari - turns out she is from Hyd and spoke telugu as well, and had moved to Pakistan in '47 at the age of 12 or so. Everywhere else in the world where alien civilizations have occupied local lands, the native culture in almost its entirety has been wiped out, with great relish in some instances. The Americas are a classic example. The same goes for the entire middle-east (though the "aliens" were locals really), Africa and southern europe. Yet, despite a millenium of "foreign" rule, India retains its identity better than any other civilization. The only difference in all the conquered peoples, if you look closely, is the religion. Hindus have suffered untold miseries, and yet have remained steadfast. Most of us in the US still give our kids (sometimes difficult) Indian names, unlike the chinese, Koreans or Japanese. Indian remains 80% or more Hindu, inspite of a concerted effort over centuries to convert everyone. Jared Diamond in his "Guns, Germs and Steel" comes up with interesting theories of the evolution of different people around the planet. Strangely, he seems to harp mostly on the golden achievements of the Semitic tribes and does not mention India much. He claims development is much more rapid along the same latitude and much slower along the same longtitude owing to climatic differences. How then do you explain the significant progress made across the length and breadth of ancient India? This is an interesting question and I never get a satisfactory answer from my American friends, except for the same sense of an innate superiority of the caucasian race.
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Sep 7 2003, 01:16 PM
Jared Diamond in his "Guns, Germs and Steel" comes up with interesting theories of the evolution of different people around the planet. Strangely, he seems to harp mostly on the golden achievements of the Semitic tribes and does not mention India much.
JD does not really think much of the Indians. All his information regarding Indian comes from the "authentic" sources such as the Camdbridge history of India. If you read his book carefully you will see that he claims that the lack of progress in India was due to restrictive ideologies such as Brahminism. When you probe deeper you find that like most American academics of the earlier generation his a leftist. While White Caucasian racism has definitely caused its share of problems throughout the world, he tries to place political correctness over science. He tries through out his narrative to place an excess of emphasis on all humans being the same. As an alternative you may read Steven Pinker's (also a leftist scientist) book on the genetic basis for human behavior. We currently do not know if there is any basis for believing that there are differences in intelligence between large groups of people, though individuals greatly vary in intelligence smile.gif . But Diamond gives a verdict as though he knows the answer. He attempted to write a global history ignored many factors in his attempt. It is said that the political correctness of his book has given him more mileage than necessary. We must look for alternatives for understanding the tenacity of Hindus. The Hindu tenacity bothers many people, and there are large number of people working to bring it down even now, [edited by Viren], but as Naipaul observed in his book, it comes from the masses and will not be easy remove. Though if we are not vigilant enough it may ultimately be destroyed by its enemies. -RR All:
  • If you open a thread, you are reponsible for contents of that thread - help reduce the 'admin overhead' fatigue
  • Please don't use one forum to trash individuals at another. Life's more than just one or two people or website - let's enjoy and celebrate India at India-forum specool.gif
Feel free to drop me a personal note at webmaster @ india-forum dot com on any questions/comments/concerns on this. -Viren
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 7 2003, 01:45 PM
QUOTE (Hauma Hamiddha @ Aug 15 2003, 07:54 PM)
Did Indians know to write before 250 BC? HH: I'm no expert in history - but from what I understand, the Indus Valley civilization that flourished around 2,500 BC had it's own script
Mainstream Western Indologists and their Indian followers believe that there is no connection between the Indus script and the Kharoshti and Brahmi scripts. These Indian scripts are believed to have been derived from a Semitic source. Personally I am not convinced with the Semitic connection for at best they can show a few letters being similar. On top of that Indic and Semitic scripts function on totally different principles. The former has vowel signs while the later does not. Some Semitic derived scripts like Ethiopian secondarily acquired the vowel signs from India. However, nobody has made a convincing connection between the Indus and later Indic scripts either. The whole issue is a conundrum: Why did the Indus scripts die? and why were new ones invented. We are unlikely to ever know the answer to this. But one may safely assume that Indians knew to write well before the Macedonian invasion. Has there been any historical empire without a script? So, the current argument that Indian knew no writing is unlikely to hold water, despite its grip on mainstream.
Posted by: Viren Sep 8 2003, 10:14 AM
If you read his book carefully you will see that he claims that the lack of progress in India was due to restrictive ideologies such as Brahminism
'lack of progress in India'!! The progress made by India was what attracted barbarians/thugs/plunderers from all over the world. We have done a poor job of selling India's achievements in science, maths, culture etc when rest of Europe was still on it's all fours.
Posted by: Viren Sep 12 2003, 06:56 AM
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 12 2003, 01:46 PM
Islamic heroes of TSP. 30 August 2003 Saturday 01 Rajab 1424 Yes, he did massacre and plunder Indians By Mubarak Ali It is difficult to understand why a controversy on Ahmad Shah Abdali's role during his Indian campaigns is being raised these days and the Afghan king being presented as a hero by some and an invader and a marauder by others. Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that those who judge him from an ethnocentric point of view, for them he was the founder of modern Afghanistan and a great Afghan (popularly he is called baba) who defeated the Indians and conquered their territories. And those who see his achievements in religious perspective, for them he was a great conqueror who defeated the Marathas at the Battle of Panipat in 1761 and liberated the Muslims from their political domination. But those who assess his career purely from a historical point of view, they will find him an aggressor who invaded India only for the sake of plunder and loot and inflicted great political, social and economic losses on the people of the Indian subcontinent. We need to understand that foreign invasions always bring havoc, chaos, and disruption to occupied territories. If we absolve our (Muslim) invaders from crimes and instead start eulogizing them, it creates false historical consciousness leaving no space for us to learn anything from history. In case of invaders and aggressors there should be no distinction between 'ours' and 'theirs'. They should be treated purely within historical parameters and their crimes should be exposed and condemned. Ahmad Shah Abdali (1722-1773) was with Nadir Shah when the latter invaded India in 1739 and participated in all his Indian campaigns and subsequent lootings. Therefore, his main motive to invade India, when he assumed power after the assassination of Nadir Shah, was purely to plunder what his patron had left behind and nothing else. Leaving aside the accounts of his Punjab, Sindh and Blochistan campaigns, I would like to concentrate on his invasion of North India and occupation of Delhi in 1757 and in 1761. That was the period when the Mughal Empire had lost its military power and failed to protect its imperial capital from the Afghan army. After the invasion, Abdali's first victim was the population of Mathura, the holy city of the Hindus. The contemporary chronicles describe that the occupation army demolished the houses, broke the idols, massacred male population and raped helpless women. Next was the Gokul city and then Agra where his general Jahan Khan not only slaughtered the inhabitants but also levied heavy fines on those who were fortunate enough to survive. Leaving a trail of devastation and destruction behind him, Abdali entered the imperial capital and launched a systematic campaign to plunder the city. The author of Tarikh-i-Alamgiri gives details of looting. According to him, a centre was set up to collect fines from the citizens near Katra Roshan-al-Daula. Letters were sent to the rich people to come to the office and pay the imposed fine. On every street and market a kulahposh was posted who counted the houses and shops and demanded money according their financial status. Torture and beating was a common practice to extort money. As a result, many people committed suicide; many died because of torture. To find hidden treasure, the soldiers demolished the houses and dug the floors and no one was spared. It is estimated that a total amount of money which Abdali took from India was between 3 and 12 cores of rupees. The booty not only included jewels, ornaments, diamonds, and other precious things but also the Mughal princesses. He wanted to marry Hazrat Mahal, the daughter of Muhammad Shah. According to J.Sarkar in his The Fall of the Mughal Empire: " This tender lamb was to be pounced upon by a fierce Afghan of grandfatherly age whose two ears docked and nose was rotting from a leprous carbuncle." There was resistance in the harem. The royal family threatened to kill her. He was told that she was not beautiful and was already engaged to a prince. However, all efforts to save her from the clutches of the Afghan failed. He married her forcibly. Two widows of Muhammad Shah and the daughter of Ahmad Shah accompanied her to Afghanistan. Besides them, there were other Mughal princesses who were forced to accompany the Afghan army. They included Affatun Nisa, who was married to Nadir Shah's son in 1739 and whom Ahmad Shah married after the death of Nadir. Sarkar quotes from a Marathi letter which says: "The Pathan has taken away the handsome wives of the Amirs". There was such a large-scale loot of the capital that it took 28,000 camels, elephants, mules, and carts to carry Abdali's booty. Shah Waliuallah (d.1762), who later invited Abdali to invade India, was in Delhi and wrote letters to his friends seeking help for his safety. In one of his letters he writes, " When the Shah (Durrani) marches against India, you should write to some of your sincere friends in the Durrani's army that so and so (Shah Wali-Allah) is in Delhi. Should the Durrani's army suddenly enter Delhi, some of his guards should be posted for his (Shah Wali-Allah's) protection. By way of protection it would be better to depute a student to the Durrani's army, in order that he might warn the army in time to protect the sincere friend (Shah Wali-Allah)." In spite of his acts of plunder and atrocities, which was personally witnessed by Shah Waliullah, he wrote a letter to Abdali to invade India against the Marathas. Most of the Pakistani textbook historians eulogize Abdali as a great mujahid who defeated the 'kafir' Marathas in the third battle of Panipat (1761). However, historians of South Asia point out that the benefit of the Marathas' defeat went to the East India Company and not the Mughals. After the battle of Panipat, Abdali came to Delhi as a conqueror and resided at the Red Fort along with his wives and held court in the Diwan-i-Khass of Shahjahan. He and his army did not spare the city from pillage and rapine. Mir Taqi Mir narrates the tribulations of the inhabitants of Delhi in his autobiography Zikr-i-Mir, in these words: "In the evening Raja Nagar Mal (Mir's patron) left the city, and in due course reached the fort of Suraj Mal (the Jat ruler). I stayed behind to look after my family. After evening, a proclamation was made that Shah Abdali had granted security to all, and that none of citizens should be in any fear. But as night had scarcely fallen when the outrages began. Fires were started in the city and houses were burnt down and looted. "The following morning there was all uproar and confusion. The Afghans and Rohillas (Najib's soldiers) started the work of slaughter and plunder, breaking down doors, tying up those they found inside, and in many cases burning them alive or cutting off their heads. Everywhere was bloodshed and destruction, and for three days and three nights this savagery continued. The Afghans would leave no article of food or clothing untouched. "They broke down walls and roofs of the houses, ill-treated and tormented the inhabitants. The city was swarming with them. Men who were pillars of the state were brought to nothing, men of noble rank left destitute, family men bereft of all their loved ones. Most of them moved the streets amid insult and humiliation. Men's wives and children were made captive, and the killing and looting went on unchecked. The Afghans humiliated and abused their victims and practised all kinds of atrocities upon them. Nothing that could be looted was spared, and some would strip their victims even of their underclothing. The new city (Shahjahanabad) was ransacked." Mir Taqi Mir further writes how the old city of Delhi was plundered by the occupation army of Abdali." For seven or eight days the tumult raged. Nobody was left with cloth to wear or with enough food even for a single meal. Many died of the wounds that they had received, while others suffered greatly from the cold. The looter would carry off men's stores of grain and then sell it at an extortionate price to those who needed it. The cry of the oppressed rose to heaven, but the king (Abdali), who considered himself a pillar of true religion, was quite unmoved. A large number of people left the city and fled into the open country, where many of them died. Others were carried off by force to the invader's camp. I, who was already poor, became house, which stood on the main road was razed to ground." This was the legacy of Ahmad Shah Abdali, the great warrior and conqueror that he left behind in India. If still he is to be regarded as a hero or saint, then we shall have to change the meaning of both words. (Those who wish to know more about Abdali may refer to Ganda Singh's excellent book Ahmad Shah Abdali). The writer is an eminent historian of Pakistan and has written several books on South Asian history.
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 12 2003, 08:10 PM
I cannot help but say this. Freedom is a wonderful thing. To be able to discuss a subject in an unfettered manner is a luxury that few people in this planet have. Let us cherish this and protect this right with all the power that we can muster. We have been admonished elsewhere in another forum that the history of India is divisive and that we should avoid the truth if it results in dividing the people. But as Gandhiji has maintained throughout his life, truth by itself is not divisive. It is the attempt to sugarcoat it, under the assumption that the truth itself is too unpalatable that is divisive. I breathe once again the air of freedom and it is an exhilarating feeling. kaushal
Posted by: acharya Sep 12 2003, 09:05 PM
THE SACK OF NALANDA Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India by Sukumar Dutta Introduction To this long and varied history of the Sangha in India, there was an end—swift and sudden, full of terror and pity, like the denouement of a tragic drama. The Sangha did not survive perhaps more than a decade the storm and violence of Muslim inroads and conquests in northern India. Lapsed into complete quiescence elsewhere in India, its last accents were still being whispered from the monastic towers of Bihar and Bengal, while round the north of the region, the Khiliji hordes were gathering as for a cloudburst. They were fast sweeping down south. These mid-Asian tribesmen had seen no edifices in their desert home­land and knew but little about architectural styles and distinctions. The tall towers of the monasteries, soaring above the circuit-walls, arrested attention; they easily caused the buildings to be mistaken for military fastnesses: so the monasteries became targets of fierce attack. After the razing of the Odantapura monastery in AD 1199 by Ikhtiyar Khiliji's soldiers, it was discovered by the marauders that inside were only heaps of books and no hidden arms or treasures and that the place was merely a madrdsa (educational establishment) and not a fort. But all the monks had been killed and there was no one to explain to the victors what the books were about. Wholesale massacre was the order of the day; monks and monasteries perished together in a terrible holocaust. Yet a handful of survivors was left in the trail of the general destruction. They dispersed and fled with their cherished treasures— a few bundles of holy texts hugged in the bosom and concealed under the sanghati (monk's outer robe). They wandered away to remote, secluded monasteries, far out of the invader's track; or to the nearest seaports to take ship and sail away to Arakan or Burma. But most of them wended their way northwards towards the eastern Hima­ layas. Danger dogged their footsteps until, crossing the Himalayan foothills or stealing farther north along the high wind-swept mountain-passes, the hunted found security at last in the more hospitable countries of Nepal and Tibet. Thus came about the final dispersal of the Buddhist Sañgha in India. The Moving Finger wrote finis to its history round the turn of the thirteenth century and, having writ, moved on. The Devastation HISTORY holds record of two devastations on an extensive scale of the viharas of northern India—once by Mihirakula in the western sector in the early part of the sixth century, and again, severs centuries later, by Muslim invaders in the eastern sector round tb turn of the thirteenth. A branch of the Hunas, called Epthalite or White Hunas, ha entered India between AD 500 and 520 and seized ruling power over the border provinces of Gandhara and Kashmir. A Chinese pilgrim Sung-yun, sent on an official mission to India by an empress of th Wei dynasty, arrived in Gandhära in AD 520. 1 See Beal's Buddhist Records, Intro., pp. XV—XVI. 2 See Indian Archaeology for 1955—56 in which finds showing HO~a penetration tc Ko~ämbI are reported. 3 See Raj chaudhurrs Political History (6th Ed., 5953), p. 596. 4 Beal's Buddhist Records, i, p. `7'. He found the country devastated by the Hunas and a puppet of the Huna ruler cruelly exercising power.1 The Hunas gradually penetrated into the interior carved out a kingdom and over it the Huna king Mihirakula held sway in c. 518—529. The kingdom included Gandhara and Kashmir and perhaps extended farther east, embracing parts of the Wes Punjab even as far east as Kosambi.2 From all accounts, this Huna king was a Saiva by faith .and sworn enemy of Buddhism. Though he had adopted an Indian faith he had imbibed little of Indian culture. The barbarian lust for destruction and vandalism ran in his veins. The Gupta kings fought off and on against the power of the Huna. but it was not till some time before AD 533 that Mihirakula was subjugated by Yasodharmar of Mandasor.3 Nearly a hundred years later—in AD 63o—631—Hsüan-tsang passing through Gandhara and Kashmir, heard about Mihirakula's devastations. They were then traditional tales in these parts; the3 are reported by the Chinese pilgrim as he heard them. In Gãndhara alone Mihirakula, says Hsuan-tsang, `overthrew stapas and destroyed sañghtiramas, altogether one thousand and six hundred foundations'.' Perhaps the work of destruction spread as far as Kosmbi, thougt it affected especially Gandhara and Kashmir. But in that ag Buddhism had enough vitality to bind up the wounds inflicted by the Huna depradations lasting just over a decade. Sangha life picked up, at least partially, its broken threads; it went on in new monasteries that rose on the ruins of the demolished ones. Next, in the early part of the twelfth century there was a fore- gathering in the northern regions of the country of Muslim tribesmen from Afghanistan. They were fanatical Muslims, bent on conquest and predatory excursions, and their advance posed a tremendous threat to all monasteries and temples of northern India. Buddhism had slowly shifted eastwards in the intervening period and was flourishing once again in Magadha under the Pala kings. But its vital strength was at an ebb; it was becoming more and more regional, more and more dependant on outside protection, when the Moslem fanatics were descending southwards in short swift rushes. In spite of this perilous state of Buddhism in the twelfth century, there were efforts at revival; new monasteries were being built and old ones endowed afresh to keep up sangha life and the monks' ministrations. The most noteworthy of these revivalist efforts is associated with King Govindachandra (AD 1114—1154) of the Gahadvala dynasty and his pious Buddhist queen Kumaradevi. Govindachandra had inherited the throne of Kanouj, shifting his capital to Banaras. Perhaps he wished to revive the tradition of patronage to Buddhism set by Harsavardhana, his illustrious predecessor on the Kanouj throne. The invaders moving down from the north, who were then known by the blanket name of Turaska or Turk,' were already knocking at the gates of his kingdom and one of Govindachandra's several grants, dated in AD 1120, mentions the levy of a special tax called `Turaska danda' to meet the cost of warding off the invaders.2 He was not a Buddhist himself, but his queen Kumaradevi, who had some distant blood- relationship with Ramapäla, a Buddhist Baja king of Bengal, was a devout Buddhist. Both the king and the queen, even in those troubled fear-haunted years with crisis just ahead, were zealously trying to revive monastic life in the kingdom. In a village Saheth-Maheth (in eastern Uttar Pradesh), anciently Jetavana, a charter of Govindachandra has been found recording the gift of six villages to `the Sangha, of whom Buddha-Bhaftäraka is the chief and foremost, residing in the Mahavihara of Holy Jetavana. 3 1 They were in fact Khalijis of Turkish origin. `Khalj is the name given to the land lying on either side of the river Helmand in Afganistan. various nomadic tribes had settled in Khalj from very remote times, and under such circumstances it is impossible to assert with absolute certainty that the Khalijis belonged to a particular tribe or race.'—History of the Xhalijis by K. S. Lal (Allahabad: Indian Press, rg5o). P. 14. 2 See Smith's Early History of India, 4th Ed., p. 400, footnote I. 3 Archaeological Survey Report for 1907—1908, p. 120. Its date, given according to the Saka era, is June 23, 1130. Another inscription found in the same locality records the establishment of a monastery by one Vidyadhara, counsellor of Madana, king of Gadhipura', most probably a feudatory of Govindachandra. It dates in AD 1219—nearly two decades after the site had been devastated by Muhammad Ghori at the end of the twelfth century.' Kumaradevi wanted to revive ancient Sarnath, near Banaras which was then the Gahadvala capital, and she added the very last monastery to the immense complex that had grown up there from age to age. But nearly all of them were then in almost complete ruin. Kumaradevi's in fact was the biggest single construction in that monastic complex—an immense rectangular structure which was partly built over the ruins of, and partly encompassed, several pre­existing Gupta monasteries and shrines. In this monastery, also in ruins now, a prasasti on a stone-slab has been discovered—a lengthy poem in Sanskrit in eulogy of the queen Kumãradevi, composed by a poet named Kunda of Bengal `versed in six languages', and inscribed on stone by Vämana, an artist.' It gives us a personal glimpse of the queen, though the description is couched in the conventional hyperbolic felicities: `Her mind was set on religion alone; her desire was bent on virtue; she had under­ taken to lay in a store of merit; she found a noble satisfaction in bestowing gifts' (verse 13). Nor is a reference to the attractive graces of her person omitted: `Her gait was that of an elephant; her appear­ance charming to the eye; she bowed down to the Buddha and people sang her praise.' The vihara, built by her, is described as an `ornament to the earth' and consisting of nine segments (Navakhanda-mandala-mahdvihara)', expected to last `as long as the moon and the sun'. Her husband King Govindachandra is spoken of in the prasasti as descended from God Han—one who was `commissioned by Hara to protect Varanasi (i.e. the capital city, Banaras) from the wicked Turaska warriors'. Evidently the terror of Turaska invasion was looming ahead: its shadow lay heavy on the minds of all then dwelling in Banaras. The remains of Kumäradevis imposing monastery, which, as it appears from inscriptions, bore the name of Dharmacakrajina­vihära, measure 760 feet from east to west (on the longer side of the rectangle) and has a central block of buildings. It encompasses several mined viharas. There is an open paved court on the west with rows of monks' cells on three sides. There were two gateways to the monastery towards the east, 290 feet apart from each other. The basement of the monastery, eight feet in height, is built of neatly chiselled bricks, decorated with various elegant mouldings on both the outer and the inner faces. But all the halls and apartments have long since crumbled to dust. 1 SeeJournal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (r925—VoI. XXI, New Series). 2 See also Part III, Sec. 4, p. 217. 3 It is given in the Archaeological Survey Report for 1907.1908. The efforts of Govindachandra and Kumäradevi to resurrect sangha life at Sarnath on the eve of Muslim conquest were most remarkable, but it seems that both before and after the event, other attempts were made with the same aim and object here arid there in Bihar (Magadha). Jayachandra (c. AD 1170), a king of the same Gahadvala dynasty, has left an inscription at Bodhgaya, `which opens with an invocation to the Buddha, the Bodhisattvas and the king's own religious preceptor, a monk named Srimitra' and records the con­struction at a place called Jayapura of a guha (cave-monastery).' In a hill-region, anciently known as Saptadalaksa near Gaya, a later inscription was discovered, of the reign of a `king' named Asokacalla, recording the erection of a vihara by Bhatta Dämodara at the request of a number of the king's officers who evidently were Buddhists) Such sporadic and strictly localized attempts at revival were made for some years even after the Muslim invaders had overrun nearly the whole of northern India, Perhaps the strangest story of a monastic establishment outliving the Muslim depradations, is that of Nàlanda. Here, even in 1235. when the University was but a sprawling mass of ruins, a solitary nonogenarian monk-teacher with a class of seventy students `still rang the bell', like President Ewell of the ill-fated College of William and Mary.3 The question, whether sangha life and its traditions of so many centuries were entirely uprooted after the establishment of Muslim rule, admits only of a speculative answer. History bears witness in many odd ways that an institution, religious or cultural in character, does not die off even when all its vital organs have been crushed. It retains yet a ghostly sort of life. After the annihilation of monasteries, the old sangha life, as some scholars are inclined to believe, persisted, 1 Cited in, R. C. Mitra's Decline of Buddhism in India (Visva- Bharati, 1954), p. 42. 2 Ibid. p. 43. 3 This is from the eye-witness account of the Tibetan Jima, Dharmasvami who ,isited Nalanda in 5235. See Part V, Sec. 2, pp. 347— 378. The story of President Ewell, preserved by the Yale University Corporation, is ~s follows, In ,SSr, this college had to close its doors for seven years during the civil War in America. The college was deserted and fell into ruins. It was finally overcome by financial catastrophe. `But every morning during these seven years, `resident Ewell used to ring the chapel bell. There were no students; the faculty ,had disappeared; and the rain seeped through the leaky roofs of the desolate buildings. But President Ewell still rang the bell. It was an act of faith: it was a gesture of defiance. It was a symbol of determination that the intellectual and cultural tradition must be kept alive even in a bankrupt world.' only it went underground. But out of its seed sprouted new cults and new monastic orders, of which one, the Mahima-dharma, which sprang up in the eighteenth century at Mayurbhanj in Orissa, offers a most curious, most remarkable and significant instance.1 Some scholars hold the opinion that the Buddhist Sañgha tradition was followed by Sa.ñkaräcarva in the institution of `Maths' and that the tradition survives to this day in the still vigorously functioning asramas set up by Swami Vivek~nanda in India in the last century. These asramas function under a central asrama at Belur in Bengal and have many establishments all over India. 1 Mahima-dharma was a cult that grew up in Orissa and had a large following. Its adherents created a monastic order, the rules and regulations of which are formulated and set down in its Oriyan scripture. The discovery of this cult and itc monastic order was made by an eminent Bengali scholar, Nagendra Nath Vasu, in the opening years of this century, and an account of it is given in his monograph, Modern Buddhism and its Followers in Orissa (pub. in calcutta, igtx). `Of the twelve or thirteen ascetic rules.' says Mr Vasu at pp. r74—I 75 of the monograph, `mentioned in the Buddhistic scriptures, the Mahimã-dharmin monk has even up till now been observing the rules of Pindapatika, Sapadãna-carika, Ekasanika, Pattapindika and khalu-pacchadbhaktika. But these are never found to be observed by Vai~ava monks or ascetics or those of any other sect.' Mahaviharas as Universities Taranatha's generalized statement that `the Turaskas conquered the whole of Magadha and destroyed many monasteries; at Nalanda they did much damage and the monks fled abroad." (Vi) The Last Days We know on historical evidence that Odantapura Mahavihara was sacked and razed to the ground round 1198. Round 1234, when Dharmasvami visited it, Odantapura was Muslim military head­quarters.2 Nalanda, only about six miles off, may have been after the sack of Odantapura a target of attack by roving bands of Muslim soldiery. But this mahâvihara was not demolished like Odantapura and Vikramasila, though, as Tãranatha says, much damage was done with the result that many monks deserted it. But the very last report about its condition after the worst had been done by the ravagers, coming from an eye- witness, the Tibetan monk Dharmasvami, shows that Nalanda, though doomed to death, was fated not to die, for teaching and learning was going on here over at least four after-­decades. But what a Nâlanda it was!—like the strange nightmare of Hsuan-­tsang six centuries back when Nãlanda was in all its glory brought up by the whirligig of time. Yet even then the ghost of past magnificence loomed darkly over the desolation. There were still to be seen `seven great lofty pinnacles (Sikharas)' and out to the north, fourteen.3 Eighty small viharas, damaged by the Turaskas and deserted by monks, were still there and, beyond, as many as eight hundred. The guess could not, how­ever, have been numerically precise. It is impossible to say when this crop of small vihãras had gone up; Dharrnasvami says only that a Raja. and his queen had built them'—probably not very long before the Turaska threat descended. Archaeologists have discovered no trace of them: they were probably of flimsy construction. But somewhere in this melancholy mass of decayed and deserted buildings, a lingering pulse of life feebly went on. Somewhere here a nonogenarian monk-teacher, named Rahula Sribhadra,6 had made his dwelling and taught Sanskrit grammar to seventy students. He was in the last stage of poverty and decrepi­tude. He lived on a small allowance for food given by a Bràhmana lay disciple named Jayadeva who lived at Odantapura. Time and again came threats of an impending raid from the military head­quarters there. Jayadeva himself became a suspect. In the midst of these alarms, he was suddenly arrested and thrown into a military prison at Odantapura. While in captivity, he came to learn that a fresh raid on Nãlandã was brewing and managed to transmit a message of warning to his master advising him to flee post-haste. By then everyone had left Nalanda except the old man and his Tibetan disciple. Not caring for the little remainder of his own life, the master urged his pupil to save himself by quick flight from the approaching danger. Eventually, however—the pupil's entreaties prevailing— both decided to quit. They went—the pupil carrying the master on his back along with a small supply of rice, sugar and a few books—to the Temple of Jnananatha at some distance and hid themselves. While they remained in hiding, 300 Muslim soldiers arrived, armed and ready for the assault. The mid came and passed over. Then the two refugees stole out of their hiding place back again to Nalanda. 1 Schiefners Translation of Taranfltha's History of Buddhism, p. 94. 2 Dharmasvaynt mentions Odantapura in his travel-record twice as the residence of a Tnraska military commander (see Biography of Dharmasvarnin, Intro., p. xlii.) 3 Roerichs Biography of .Dharmasvamin (pub. by K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute, Patna, 1959), p. 91. 4 Dharnaasvãmi's reference may be to `Räja Buddhasena of Magadha who is said by him to have fled from Gaya into a jungle at the time of Turaska raid on Gaya and returned when the raid was over. He is said to have been a patron of the Nãlanda teacher and his pupils (see Biography of .Dharmasvjmin, p. 90). 5 Rähula _Sribhadra's name was probably known in Tibet through Dharrnasvamis narrative, for Taranatha gives precisely the same information about Sribhadra and states the number of his pupils as seventy, as told by Dharmasvami (see Biiogrtsphy of Dharmasvamin, Altekar's Intro., p. vi). Dharmasvãmi says that the Tibetan pupil could after all complete his studies and, after a brief stay, left the place with the teacher's permission. The libraries had perished long, long ago; Dharmasvami could not get a scrap of manuscript to copy, though some of the monks there possessed a few manuscripts.1 This is the last glimpse vouchsafed to us of Nälandä before its lapse into utter darkness. 1 This thrilling account of the last days of Nàlanda is taken from a Tibetah text kept in a monastery of central Tibet of which a photostatic copy was brought by Rahula Sankrityayana and left to be edited and translated with the K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute of Patna. The text is entitled Biography of Chag lo-tsa-ba Chos-rje- dpal'—the Tibetan name of Dharmasvãmi. It was evidently written by a disciple under his dictation. This Tibetan monk-pilgrim visited some districts of eastern India and was in Bihar in 1234—36. He records in the work his experiences in the country. The work has been edited with an accompanying English translation by Dr G. Roerich (Moscow) and published by the Institute. Dharmasvämi's account of Nalanda is contained in Chapter X (pp. 90 ff.).
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 12 2003, 11:45 PM
The excerpt from Amir Khusroo's florid prose of the savage attack on the Hindus by Maliq Kafr, the general of Alla-ad-din Khalji (Tarikh-i-Allai). Facts that are denied by many Indians themselves The tongue of the sword of the Khalifat of the era, which is the tongue of the flame of Islam, has imparted light to the entire pagan darkness of Hindustan by the illumination of its guidance. On one side an iron wall of royal swords has been raised before the Kafirs of Mongolia, the Magog-like Tatars, so that all of the Mongolian tribe, deserted by Allah, drew their feet within their skirts amongst the hills of Ghazni, and even their advance-arrows had not strength enough to reach into Sind which was conquered by the sword of Islam. On the other side so, much dust arose from the battered temple of Somnath that even the sea was not able to settle it. On the right hand and on the left hand the army of Islam has conquered Hindustan from sea to sea, and several capitals of the rulers of the Hindus, in which the worship of the fire and their devilish gods and had prevailed since the time of the Jinns, have all been demolished. All these impurities of infidelity have been cleansed by the Sultan Alla-ad-din's destruction of idols and temples, beginning with his first Jihad against Devgir (Devagiri in Maharashtra). Now the flames of the light of the Shariat and the righteous Fatwa illuminate all these unholy Hindu lands, and places for the callers to Namaz occupy the high places and the and Namaz is read in mosques. Allah be praised! Maliq Kafr heard that in Brahmastpuri (Near Rameshwaram) there was a golden idol, round which many elephants were stabled. The Maliq started on a night expedition against this place, and in the morning seized no less than two hundred and fifty elephants. He then determined on razing the beautiful temple to the ground. That temple was beauteous as the Paradise of Shaddad, the golden temple of Ram (Rameshwaram) where the hellish Hindus worshiped their gods. The roof was covered with rubies and emeralds,-in short, it was the holy place of the Hindus. The Maliq dug up the temple from its foundations without leaving anything, and made the heads of the Brahmans and other idol worshiper dance from their necks and fall to the ground at their feet. And blood of Hindus flowed in torrents. The stone idols called Ling Mahadeo, which had been a long time established at that place. They were copulating sex organs worshiped by the Kafir Hindus. Up to this time, the kick of the horse of Islam had not yet broken them. The Musalmans destroyed all the lings, and idols of Deo Narain (viShNu), and the other gods. Had these idols been able to move they woulf have jumped to the fort of Lanka. Had those sex organs had legs they would have run at fright of the Moslems. There was much fierce fighting with the Hindu Nayakas defending the land who were finally butchered. Much gold and valuable jewels fell into the hands of the Musalmans, who returned to the royal canopy, after executing their project of the holy Jihad on the 13th of Zi-l ka'da, 710 H. (April, 1311 A.D.). They destroyed all the temples at Birdhul (Near Madhurai), and plundered the public treasury.
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 16 2003, 07:11 AM
I had collected some of HH's short notes on IH in a different list. I am resurrecting some of these. I trust he has no objection. Date: Sun Aug 19, 2001 5:23 am Subject: The early Post-Mahmud struggle against the Moslems One area where most Indian historians and writers of history text books have remained woefully silent is the issue of what steps the Indians took, if any, in the post-Mahmud period to counter the challenge of the Islamic Jihad on Hind. Most accounts of history pass this period and go on straight to the disastrous clash between the chAhamAna and Shihabbudin Ghori. But understanding this period was most critical to decipher the real dynamics of the events that from which the Hindu civilization may never really recover. The most immediate effect of the Ghaznavid invasions of Subuktegin and his successors was what we see today in the form of the creation of the festering sore called Pakistan. This was the direct result of the conquest of the Punjab by Mahmud in 1019. From this point till his death in 1030 it appears that the Hindus were too shell-shocked for any action against the Muslim. It is well known that his son Mas'ud who succeeded him continued the policy of taking the Jihad deeper into India. Mas'ud was finally routed in the Battle of Dandanqan against the Saljuq Turks. The Hindus made a half hearted attempt to shake of the Ghaznavid rule at this point as marked by bhoja rAja attack on the Muslim occupied territory. Even after this the ghaznavids continued to be effective in India in many bloody Jihads including the extraction of turushka-daNda (A turkish tax=jaziya?) in the gangetic Doab during Chandradeva's reign. He shamelessly called himself rAjAdhirAja... His son madanachandra failed to pay the turushka-daNda and was attacked by the Ghaznavid Mas'ud III and taken prisoner. He appears to have been freed by his son Govindachandra, who scored a smashing victory over the Muslims. His son Vijayachandra too crushed the Muslims repeatedly. But all these lines of action by the Hindus was largely defensive and unlike the crusades none of the Hindus effectively carried the war into the Moslem heartland. Many people have claimed that India of this period was politically and relgiously disunited and there was no national sense. This is a completely biased and incorrect assumption. The fact that the North Indian king Govindachandra and the Southern Cholas had close ties, or earlier the chola vijayarAjendra had close ties with the chalukyan someshvara and interactions with the northern RashtrakUTas (later called rAthores) shows that the south-north connectivity of India was much more than in the Moslem period. In religious terms too there is considerable evidence of unity of the banners of the various branches of the Hindu cultural stream brought together by the Vedic elite culture: the rulers of both north and south adopted similar titles and performed similar vedic sacrifices. The whole extant of India showed greater cultural unity than in the Muslim period and the wars between the Hindu kings were of a very different intensity and nature given that there was no evidence for massive destruction of cultural and urban centers. The fact that the Hindu kings could recover easily from the constant warfare shows a strong economy and the very low damage of these wars. The fact that they could crush the Moslems periodically shows that they were easily upto the challenge of defense. Yet the fact that the Hindus ultimately fell to the invaders shows that we do not understand a critical aspect of the dynamics of the period. This a chilling reminder of the fact that the Islamic presence emanating from Pakistan still has its tentacles in all the major cities of India and there is striking resemblance of modern India to the pre-Mahmud period. If we fail to crush the Muslim power once and for all spectre of history repeating itself looms large on us.
Posted by: rhytha Sep 16 2003, 09:58 AM
can i know what profession HH is? this will put his posts in perspective. thanx
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 16 2003, 10:56 AM
I should let him answer this himself, but i believe he has a Ph.D in the Biological sciences. As is the case with some of us , his interest in history seems to have been sparked by the large amount of misinformation that is prevalent especially in connexion with IH.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 16 2003, 05:05 PM
QUOTE (rhytha @ Sep 16 2003, 10:28 PM)
can i know what profession HH is? this will put his posts in perspective. thanx
Rhytha, I would prefer to retain my privacy on a public forum because I believe that true personal interaction can only happen in person and not over the internet smile.gif Hence, I would not state anything beyond what Kaushal has mentioned. Regarding my interest in history, I have been fascinated by Indian history right from 2nd Std. During my visit to Dilli around that time my parents luckily gave me a tour of the monuments and a proper explanation regarding their precursors. While in their minds the the distinction between Ghori and Awarangzeb was some what blurred, they presented me enough visual material that could be plainly understand. Subsequently, our dry textbooks of history told us very little (Our state did not have Irfan's or Romila's Books) leaving me with the urge to explore. The Amar Chitra Kathas offered the first windows into the truth, but were far to insubstantial for a complete exploration. Since my mother had done some amateur epigraphic and numistimatic investigation of the Chola times in the southern states I got a window for further exploration. While standing atop the basaltic eminence of the Visapur fort I noticed the older ramparts built by the Andhras of yore. Soon I noticed Andhra fortifications in several forts commonly believed to have originated in the Maharatta period. This triggered the urge to investigate the history of the country at greater depth. Ever since I have done so using all available sources, though in the later years my focus shifted to Central Asia, which unfortunately is not physically very accessible these days. Not surprisingly this lead me discover that a large body of compatriots are in state of historical denial, and came into obvious conflict with them. Frankly my interest in history is quite academic, though I have strong political views on contemporary issues. I have battled with the secularvaadi crowd since school days and have still not lost the interest in occasionally engaging them. Kaushal, I wonder if you saw what happened on BR some time ago? I never expected that my original purpose of nosing into it would crystallize with such clarity! It only underscores the extant of the damage the last millenium has inflicted on the Indian mind.
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 16 2003, 06:22 PM
HH, I was shocked by the manner in which one of the moderators mounted an ad hominem attack on you in a totally unprovoked environment. Apparently the more cogent and logical you are the more of a threat they perceive a person like you to be. I do not want to get into more detail on this, as I generally have a lot of respect for that forum and most of the moderators and have spent a lot of my spare time there, during the last 5 years, but eventually it became a matter of principle. The principle being i refuse to participate in a forum which blatantly condones and even encourages censorship of ideas and speech. Furthermore there has been more than a touch of arrogance lately (if you dont like it , leave) which has become insufferable. Let us work to make this forum a platform for exchange of ideas and information and spread the word among friends without forsaking the basic virtues of honesty, forthrightness and an insatiable quest for the truth. A slow but steady growth in membership should be the goal. Kaushal
Posted by: rhytha Sep 16 2003, 09:59 PM
Let us work to make this forum a platform for exchange of ideas and information and spread the word among friends without forsaking the basic virtues of honesty, forthrightness and an insatiable quest for the truth. A slow but steady growth in membership should be the goal. Kaushal
Iam all for it graduated.gif. You guys will have minimum or no interference from my side on moderation and censorship, its your topic and your threads. specool.gif Iam only the technical admin here cool.gif
Posted by: Spinster Sep 22 2003, 01:06 PM
It looks like in this scholarly place I will have to be a mute witness.
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 22 2003, 08:57 PM
Another past contribution by HH. Such vignettes help us to understand what really happened , so that we dont have to rely on myth Structure and weapons of the Khalji army Bughra Khan gives the structure of the Khalji army as following the classical Altaic decimal pattern. The titles are different though the structure is identical to that of Chingiz Kha'Khan's or the great Uighur Khan 's army: 1horseman is a sipahi 10 horsemen=sarkhail 10 sarkhails=sipahsAlAr 10 sipahsAlAr=amIr 10 amIrs=maliq 10 maliqs=khan Each sipahi had: a horse armor and body armor with helmet all made of Indian steel. -a long sword and a short sword -a mace (like hindu weapon called parigha not the like the hindu gada) -a battle axe (like the hindu paTTishi rather than hindu parashu) -a dagger (like the hindu vrishchika) -a composite bow. The Khaljis frequently used arrows poisoned with dung in their jihads on the infidels. They used 3 kinds of launchers -manjniq: this was mangonel that hurled ball like a giant catapult. -arrAdA: a giant crossbow also called a ballista and was the favorite Altaic launcher. -maghrabI: a trebuchet for launching giant projectiles. The Khalji army had the traditional Turko-Mongol review of man and horse that lasted a week or fortnight under the direction of the Sultan himself. At their peak the Khaljis commanded an army with 475000 horsemen in a permanant weaponized state. I would like to bring to the attention of detractors that the Hindu rulers of the time simply never had that magnitude of a cavalry. Large Hindu cavalries like that of the great harshavardhana were around 100000. Secondly, note that the Ghazi was armed to teeth and Alla-ud-din ensured that they were maintained well. The Hindu soldier typically just carried two swords or sometimes just a sword. Most Hindu archers were on foot and could not effectively holdout against a Ghazi charge. The Hindu defensive war was also blunted with the introduction of the Central Asian ballistics as a result of Chingiz's revolution. I shall illustrate all these points but considering in detail a single Jihad of Jalal-ud-din by analyzing the military points. The Jihad of Jalal-ud-din against the Rajputs The Chahamanas, after the death and defeat of their king Prithiviraja and the fall of their capital Dilika, retreated to Ranthambhor. -In 1209 the Rajputs stoutly defended this great fortress against Qutub-ud-din, who was dispatched by Ghori to sack it, and routed him. -In 1226 Il-tut-mish attacked the fort with renewed vigor and bought off a Hindu traitor who enabled him to take the fort. -During the reign of Sultana Razziya, the Rajputs crushed the Turkish garrison and recaptured the fort. -In 1249 the Moslems made another attempt to sack the fort under the terrible Mamluq Sultan Balban but he was completely defeated by the Rajputs and fled back to Delhi. -In 1282 Rana Hammira ascended the throne of Ranthambore and restored the glory of the Rajputs by annexing Ujjaini, Ajayamerupura, Pushkara and the Gond territory. His expansion shook the Turkish ruler of Delhi, Jalal-ud-din Khalji, who decided to punish the Kaffir and set out with a large force of horsemen under the command of Maliq Qutlugh Tegin and Abaji Akhur Beg. He reached the outskirts of the Hindu territory after a march of 14 days with absolutely no forward action taken by the Hindus. While he sent spies to investigate the Rajput positions, he decided to raid the surroundings of Jhain. Here, the Moslems drove the Hindus out of their villages and shot them down with poisoned arrows and plundered the area. Then they attacked the city of Jhain, when Rana Hammira reacted and sent his successful commander, called "Gurdan Saini" (by the Moslems). He proceeded with a force of elite Rajput force mainly of infantry fighters to aid the governor of Jhain to parry the Moslem assault. While the Rajputs had a good fighting force the main problem in this conflict was the reliance on infantry against an entirely horse borne Turkish force. They formed a formation and waited for the cavalry charge but the Turks first only kept shooting poisoned and fire-tipped arrows by rapidly moving. This made the Hindu long bow archer, despite his far great bow-draw fairly useless. Qutlugh Tegin then made a sudden charge at the Rajput center and slew Saini after a pitched battle. The Hindus shaken by fall of their commander fell into disarray, as the governer of Jhain fled to the Ranthambhor fort, and were defeated by the Moslems. Jalal entered the palace of the Raja and the Hindu temples in the city and having admired their great beauty completely destroyed them. 2 bronze idols of Brahma (? that is what the Moslem historians claim) each weighing more than 1000 Man were broken into pieces and given to the amirs and sipahsalars to throw them at the gates of the Jama Masjid in Delhi. The words of Ziaudin Barani he made a hell of what was paradise. The Rajputs decided to go into defensive and started assembling their troops to and defences around Ranthambhor. Jalal seeing this saw the opportunity of plunder and sent a mobile squadron under the Mahmud Sarjandar, a Turk from Konduz, to attack Malva. They rapidly crossed to Chambal and Kuwari by evading the infantry Hindu forward guard without an encounter. In Malva they plundered the towns and slew the inhabitants by rounding them up in herds and shooting them down. Ferishta and Barani record that they smashed several temples and returned after collecting the loot. Jalal then arrived before Ranthambhor but the Rajput force gathered hurled rocks and ballistas from the fort. Jalal lost heart and returned to Delhi. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE KHILJI SULTANATE The Khalji's were Turks by origin, but had resided in Afghanistan so long that they were no longer regarded as Turks. Their rise, therefore, was disliked by the Turks. Gradually the animosity wore off; but not before Jalal - Al - Din had suppressed the rebellion of Chhajju Khan (690 A.H., Islamic Calander / 1291 A.D.), a scion of the house of Balban, and executed a Darwish, Sidi Malwa, who had become a center of rebellious conspiracies. Feroz had distinguished himself as a general and administrator, but was more than seventy years old at the time of his enthronement. He was mild, and did not like to take stern measures even when they were neccassary. Many of his followers were dissatisfied because they saw in his mildness a danger to their own position. Apart from his solitary action against Sidi Mawla, Feroz's reign in 694 A.H. / 1294 A.D. His nephew and son - in - law, Muhammad, set out for Kara, at the head of 8,000 horses, crossed the Vindhyas and after a march of two months through difficult terrain, appeared before Devagiri and captured it. A huge booty of gold, silver, pearls, jewels and silk fell into his hands. When he returned he was summoned to court, but he was pretended that he was afraid of punishment, having undertaken the expedition without Royal permission. Feroz was persuaded to go Kara and reassure Muhammad. He was also motivated by the hope of obtaining some of the wealth that Muhammad had brought with him. He was, however, assassinated and Muhammad proclaimed himself Sultan as Ala' Al - Din Muhammad Khalji in 695 A.H. / 1296 A.D. Despite the circumstances in which he came to the throne, Ala' Al - Din made a great impact upon the history of India. He was efficient, imaginative and strong. His expedition against Devagiri is in itself one of the boldest military ventures in history. His murder of Feroz is no doubt a blot of his character, but he was motivated in this as much by the desire to maintain the authority of the Khaljis as by self - interest. Ala' Al - Din was soon able to make a correct assessment of the political situation. He undertook the task of securing his dominions from Mongol inroads and to extend his sovereignty further afield. This needed considerable organization and great resources. He therefore tightened his control over his officers as well as over Hindu chiefs, raised large sums of money through additional taxation, and built up a large army through rigid economy establishing successfully a system of price - control. He introduced great austerity, and frowned upon any laxity in morals or indulgence in loose talk and intrigue, He further improved the intelligence services, and made them so efficient that he the possibility of treasonable talk and association was eliminated. To stop the officials from organizing themselves into groups, he prohibited intermarriage without Royal permission. He stopped convivial and drinking parties, so that the officers would not become too familiar with one another and establish relationships injurious to the state. He raised the state levy of agricultural produce from twenty per cent to fifty per cent in many areas and, to reduce any ensuing hardship, he eliminated the perquisites which Hindu chiefs used to extract from the peasantry. He also stopped the commission which the state paid them on the realization of the revenue. He examined the titles of rent - free grants of land given in previous reigns for pious purposes, and resumed them wherever they were no longer justified. In the same, he abolished all grants in money which were no longer deserved. For the purpose of increasing his army and equipping it properly, he fixed salaries at a level lower than previously. His grants to poets and scholars also were not lavish. For the purpose of removing any difficulty which smaller salaries might entail to public servants and others, he fixed prices at a reasonably low level, and was able to maintain them successfully throughout his reign. The system adopted was scientific and sensible. By lowering salaries he reduced the circulation of money, which had been artificially stimulated by the treasure that poured into Delhi as a result of the conquest of rich Hindu kingdoms. By raising the state levy on agricultural produce, he induced the peasant to cultivate land, to enable him to make up for the lost margin in his net income. He ensured a continuous supply of food by the purchase of all surplus grain from the peasants, and bringing it to the town to ensure a constant supply. The cultivator was encouraged to pay the state in grain, which was stored in numerous places, and if, through a natural disaster or some unforeseen circumstance, the normal supply failed, the state granaries were able to make up the deficiency. Storage seems to have been managed skillfully, because as late as Ibn Battuta's visit to Delhi (1334 - 1342 A.D.), when the city was in the grip of a famine, rice stored in the reign of Ala' Al - Din Khalji was given to the public. The prices of other articles were also fixed, and they could be sold only int he Sarayi - Adil where Royal officials supervised the transactions. The measures succeeded extremely well, and there is complete unanimity amongst the authorities of the period that throughout the reign prices were maintained at the low level fixed by the Sultan. He fixed the salaries of his troopers at levels where they would not face any difficulty. The horses were regularly examined and branded so that a horse could not pass muster twice, nor could horses be changed for fraudulent purposes. The reforms introduced by him in his agrarian administration were also effective. He eliminated middlemen, and insisted that the area cultivated should be properly assessed through a system of measurement. The Sultan succeeded in creating sufficient resources to secure his dominions from Mongol invasions. The need had indeed become pressing. As early as 702 A.H. / 1303 A.D.. the Mongols reached Delhi itself, and a large army laid siege to the city. However, they raised the siege after tow months. The Sultan was quick to see that it was necessary to take proper steps to deal with the menace. The fortifications built by Balban were repaired, new forts were built and the frontier province of Dipalpur was put under the charge of Tughluq. Ultimately the Mongols developed a wholesome respect of the Sultan's army. In the South he was equally successful. His General, Malik Kafur, a slave of Hindu origin, defeated Raja Ramadeva of Devagiri who had with held tribute (Tax). The Raja had to come to Delhi to renew his allegiance. The Sultan wisely treated him with marks of favor, bestowed upon him the title of Ra' - I - Rayan (Raja of Raja's) and sent him back to his capital. In 709 A.H. / 1308 A.D. Malik Kafur conquered Warangal. In this expedition Raja Ramadeva rendered much help, which showed that Ala' Al - Din's treatment of the rulers of southern India was conciliatory: He permitted them to retain their former kingdoms as vassals. Bengal, Sindh, Malwa, and Gujurat also were brought under this control. The historian Barani (Zia Al - Din Barani, a historian and writer on government in the style of mirrors for princes, was probably born in 680 A.H. / 1279 A.D. and died in 758 A.H / 1357 A.D..) , for whom the Sultan was wicked although strong and successful, has recorded a somewhat dramatized story of Ala' Al - Din's intention to set himself up as a 'prophet', and to udnertake the congquest of the world like another Alexander. There can be little doubt that the Sutlan did have the ambition to be a great conqueror, an ambition which he was remarkably successful. It is quite possible that the scheme of conquests was discussed at a time when there were other dangers besetting the Sultanate, and the Sultan was wisely persuaded not to undertake them until he had properly organized the resources of the Sultanate, and established full control over it. The story regarding the intention to be a 'prophet' seems difficult to believe because no other authority mentions it, nor is it in keeping with the Sultan's actions and policies. The idea may have crossed his mind in a moment of weakness, and perhaps have been mentioned to one or two officers, but it does not seem to have been entertained seriously, and was, therefore, discarded when the folly of such an intention was pointed out. The Sultan's rule made a good impression upon the people. His crime of assassinating his uncle seems to have been forgotten, and, after his death, the people remembered him with gratitude and affection. His tomb was visited by large numbers like the tomb of a saint. Ala' Al - Din died in the year 716 A.H. / 1316 A.D. as the result of illness. A great name of the period is that of the Chishti mystic Sheik Nizam Al - Din, whose influence was responsible for a great upsurge in religious and moral fervor among the people. It is said that Ala' Al - Din's achievements would have been impossible but for the moral stamina among the Muslims engendered by Nizam Al - Din. The prayers of Nizam Al - Din were popularly believed to have brought about the raising of the Mongol siege of Delhi in 702 A.H. / 1303 A.D. On Ala' Al - Din's death, Malik Kafur, whose relations with the heir - apparent, Khizr Khan, and his mother, the Queen, had been unfriendly, caused the prince and his brother to be blinded and his mother to be imprisoned. He then sent some soldiers to blind the third son, Mubarak Khan, as well. This prince, however, persuaded the soldiers, who were by now probably tired of Malik Kafur's excesses, to return and avenge the wrongs perpetrated on the family. Kafur was killed, and Mubarak Khan ascended the throne with the title of Qutb Al - Din Mubarak Shah in 716 A.H. / 1316 A.D. He showed some firmness in dealing with disorders in Gujurat and Devagiri. However, he soon surpassed the limit in severity, and has some high officials wantonly executed. He also indulged in gross licentiousness. One of his favorites was Khusraw Khan, a low - born slave, who at last murdered the Sultan and assumed the Royal title himself in 720 A.H. / 1320 A.D. Under him, a large number of his Hindu kinsmen gained ascendance, and openly insulted and vilified Islam. At last Ghazi Malik Tughluq, who was a veteran General and warden of the marches in the Punjab, could not tolerate such a state of affairs no longer and set out for Delhi to punish the usurper. The battle which was fought in the suburbs of Delhi in 720 A.H. / 1320 A.D. ended in victory for Tughluq. Ghaznavid Sultanate Delhi Sultanate Lodi dynasty Provincial Dynasties Gujarat Next: Tughluq Sultanate
Posted by: Spinster Sep 22 2003, 09:50 PM
HH and Kaushal garu, can I correspond with you via email ? I shall shortly delete this.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 22 2003, 10:31 PM
Kaushal there is a continuation to that piece on Alla-ad-din that I will post sometime; It describes the last battle of Hammira Deva that I collated from a rare illustrated version of the Hammira Kavya. Did I ever send it to you? It is on my other computer that I cannot currently access due to the current failure caused by last week's storm. Welcome Spinster, hope we will be graced by your spin smile.gif You may send me e-mail, do you still have my mail?
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 22 2003, 10:46 PM
Spinrao garu, you should have my private email, if not you can send to or
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 23 2003, 06:57 AM
Kaushal there is a continuation to that piece on Alla-ad-din that I will post sometime; It describes the last battle of Hammira Deva that I collated from a rare illustrated version of the Hammira Kavya. Did I ever send it to you?
You may have. I vaguely recollect it. But I cannot seem to find where i stored it. will keep looking . I should find it ...eventually.
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 23 2003, 08:45 AM
Vinod Kumar is a frequent contributor to topics relating to Indian History. Many of his essays are available at Click on Homepages and then on Vinod Kumar Some of the titles The Call for Hindu Muslim Unity Denial of History in the Land of Gandhi Destruction of Buddha Statues - Islamic or UnIslamic? Distortions by Zakaria From the Pages of History- Earth's Rotation, Its Globular Shape and Gravity From the Pages of History- Nehru and His View of Timur Lang India - A Soft State and National Will India, as Alberuni Saw It Is Jihad an 'Internal Struggle'? Islam, Sciences, Literature and Knowledge Partition was a Blessing Indeed Reunification of India and Pakistan Two Wrongs do not Make a Right
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 23 2003, 09:31 AM
click on files and again on EPAI.pdf. you need to be a member of bharatnirbhaya by Nicholas Kazanas
Posted by: Viren Sep 23 2003, 11:42 AM
Kaushal: The link on "Economic Principles of Ancient India" doesn't seem to work sad.gif
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 23 2003, 11:49 AM
You need to become a member of yahoogroups 'bharatnirbhaya'. That is a simple matter since i am the owner of the site. It works for me. The other alternative is to post it as a 'library' topic. It is large article, to post as part of a thread.
Posted by: Viren Sep 23 2003, 12:05 PM
Kaushal: Wasn't logged into my yahoo account - might have been the problem. BTW, I've been member of bharatnirbhaya for about 2 years now though I didn't know you were the owner! I'll access it for there. Thx.
Posted by: acharya Sep 23 2003, 12:47 PM Notes on Early Economic Conditions in Northern India Rhys Davids, Caroline Foley The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1901 pp.859-888 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- p.859 THE following classified references may prove useful and suggestive to the student of the economic conditions of ancient India. The work accomplished by Professor Zimmer in his Altindisches Leben, which contains, among so much of varied interest, almost all that may be gleaned on the political economy of Vedic times, has not been carried on with respect to the advancing civilization of the succeeding centuries. Mr. Romesh Chunder Dutt's important com- pilation, the Civilization of Ancient lndia, cannot, from the magnitude of its scope, treat adequately of what the literature of that era lets us see concerning rural economy, organization of industry, and methods of exchange. Dr. Fick's Sociale Gliederung im Nordostlichen Indien is most valuable and auggestive as far as it goes. But it is compiled from a sociological and not from a specifically economic standpoint. Yet if we consider the ancient records now accessible, contemporary respectively with the age which preceded and with that which saw the rise of Buddhism and Jainism, and with the times of the earlier and succeeding 'law-books' --covering, from B.C. 800, let us say, a thousand years,-- we may find materials sufficient to justify at all events some initial efforts to gain a coherent outline of economic institutions. I do not pretend that the passages noted are at all exhaustive; I am confident that much valuable material remains embedded both in edited and unedited texts. But I hope that these collectanea may prove stepping-stones to further reaching and more systematic investigation by more competent writers.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 25 2003, 10:26 PM
FYI: The present president of Afghanistan belongs to the Khalji tribe. The continuation of my note on the Khaljis. Continue from the part which Kaushal had posted on the top of this page: After Alla murdered Jalal and took the throne of Delhi he decided to exterminate the Chauhans once and for all. During the attack on the Rajput stronghold of Jalor, a Mongol general Kehbru and his brothers from the Northern alliance of the Chagadai Ulus, who were arch-enemies of the Khaljis, had taken the side of the Hindus. In the fierce battle of Jalor, Kehbru and his brothers had slain Kaaloo Maliq the nephew of Sultan Alla-ud-din. After the fall of Jalor the Mongols fled to Ranthambhor and took shelter of Maharana Hammira Deva Chahamana. Enraged by this, and the recalcitrant nature of the great Rajput, Alla-ud-din decided to destroy him. Alla sent his brother il-Ghazi Ulugh Khan from Bayana, and his general il-Ghazi Nusrat Khan from Qara each with regiments of 40,000 Turkish cavalrymen and over 10,000 Kullar infantrymen (Indian equivalents of the Ottoman Yenicheri). Seeing the vast Islamic army making its way, the Rana of the clan of Prithiviraja Chahamana, decided to resort to defensive warfare from the fort of Ranthambhor. Nusrat and Ulugh converged at Jhain, a once flourishing Indian city and erased it off the face of the Earth with its Hindu inhabitants. Historian KS Lal has noticed some ruins in the National Park under the name Naigaon that seem to be all that remain behind of the city after the Turkic arson and rampage. Ulugh Khan sent a message to the Rana to humbly accept Islam and hand over the Mongol chiefs whom he had sheltered. The Rana refused and prepared to take on the Ghazis in battle. He had an elite Rajput cavalry of 12,000 and 40,000 infantrymen. He erected several large stone hurling cross-bows on the ramparts of Ranthambhor and devices that would spray fine red hot sand and burning oil. Nusrat and Ulugh marched forth fiercely and started advancing a wave of Arraadaas (trebuchets), gargachs (seige engines) and Manjiqs (mangonels) to bombard the fort. However, the Rajputs struck back fiercely demolishing the Moslem siege-crafts with their missiles and caused havoc amidst the Moslem armies. Nusrat Khan then sent a force of Kullar infantry to attempt an escalade on the fort, but they were butchered by the Rajput archers. Then, Nusrat with his cavalry tried a forced assault on the main gate of Ranthambhor that was known as Naulakhi. The Rajputs having sighted him early, aimed a rock from a giant cross-bow at his head and crushed him to death. His division was then mowed down under a shower of ballistas and arrows. Hammira Deva seeing that the Moslems where shaken by this attack, despite his smaller army, boldly sallied forth and attacked Ulugh Khan's division with great fury. The Moslem army was smashed and Ulugh retreated to the ruins of Jhain. Ulugh immediately called his brother for aid, and Alla set out from Delhi to handle the campaign. Hammira Deva, however, set strong defenses to ambush the Moslems and block the march of Alla. Sadly, he soon thought he had repulsed the invader, and lowered his guard. Alla was waiting for this moment and set out with a large force of 90,000 cavalrymen. In a brisk raid he devastated the country around Ranthambhor and destroyed all the farmlands, thereby preventing the fort from getting any food supplies. He then cutoff all supply routes for horses from Rajasthan and thus prevented the Rana from replenishing his cavalry. The nephews of the Rana, Kahnaiya and Bala Simha from Chittor cut through the cordon and brought some supplies and horses for their uncle. Intent on the ultimate Jihad, Alla-ud-din pressed hard on the fort by trying to fill the moat with logs. But the Rajputs repulsed them with showers of burning arrows, oil and red hot sand. Alla made it clear that he would either become a ghazi who slits the throats of the Kaffirs, or would become a shaheed in the process. Alla then tried to build a stone causeway to the fort but was repulsed by a hail of ballistas. Alla then got a Buddhist traitor Sarjan Sah, who for a price, pointed out the location of the granary. Alla with giant trebuchets hurled rotting corpses and refuse into the granary to pollute it. Soon the Rajputs were left without viable food and had no option but to make their last stand. The Rana's queen Rangaa Devi immolated herself with the other women. Wearing orange robes, the Rana, his younger brother Viram Deva, his teenaged nephews, his three commanders, Rai Ranadhira, Rai Gangadhara and Kshetra Singh Parmar and the four Mongol brothers with Kehbru at their head advanced to take on the Sultan. The Khullar Infantry was put to sword under the Rajput charge. Ulugh Khan rushed at the Rajput cavalry, but he was wounded by an arrow from Viram Deva. Viram rushed toward the Sultan himself, but the Turks rained blows on him with their maces, slaying him. The Rana's commanders, each working great havoc in the Moslem ranks, fell dead. The Rana was ably guarded by the Mongol brothers and fought fiercely along with his nephews, who cut their way towards the division of Amir-i-Koh. The Amir shot down Kahniya, but Bala Simha avenged his brother by slaying the Amir with his spear. Maliq Azizuddin rushed at Bala Simha and struck him with sword but even as the Chittor prince fell dead, he killed the Maliq with a blow from his sword. The Sultan sent Maliq Noor Khan to take the Rana The Maliq with 5000 horsemen surrounded the Rana who had only 600 men with him. The Rana is said to have worshiped Mahadeva, offering himself as a sacrifice to Rudra, and pledged to die for his land and religion. The battle is said to have raged so fierce that the Moslems lost 4000 men while the Rana's troops were whittled down to just 200. The Rana's horse was shot down and he continued fighting on foot. He placed his arrows in front of him on the ground and started shooting down the Moslems(The Hindu chronicles claim that with each shaft the brought down a cavalier). Struck by his valor, Alla asked him to become a Moslem and return to his kingdom. However, the Rana spurned the offer and fought on till all his arrows were exhausted. Kehbru, the valiant Mongol who was shielding him all the while, perished in that fight. His brother Alaghu though badly wounded fought on till he fell unconscious. Finding it impossible to take the Rana alive, the Moslems surrounded him on all sides and pressed upon him with their sabers. Hammira Deva kept them at bay for about an hour before his head was cut off. Thus on Tuesday, July 11th 1301 Rana Hammira Deva Chahamana died fighting at the age of 28. Ten beautifully painted Rajput miniatures accompanying the Rajput chronicles Hammira Prabandha and Hammira Mahakavya provide a very graphic depiction of scenes from this last battle. The Turks captured the Mongol Alaghu and Alla offered him the post of a general. Alaghu declared that after he had served the Sun of the Hindus, he was not willing to serve a lowly Khalji, whose tribesmen were once Naukers of Chingiz Kha'Khan. Alla had Alaghu crushed under an elephant and his head was exhibited in Delhi as a trophy. The Buddhist traitor Sarjan Sah, hoped a lavish reward from the Sultan, but he was instead clubbed to death. The City of Ranthambhor was blotted out and the Sultan devastated all the temples in the region. Thus ended the rule of the Chauhans in Hindustan.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 26 2003, 07:34 PM
AIT Friends, I have reliable information that a paper will published later this year or early next year that will basically provide strong support for the AIT. It will show that Y- chromosome markers of certain Indians are clearly of central Asian origin and these correspond to the Indo-Europeans incumbents. The important point it will clarify is that irrespective of the part of the country the caste groups are much closer to each other than they are to the tribal groups in their locality. This finding will definitely be troublesome to some people. But it is also important that we define ourselves in ways in which the AIT is not really seen to be an issue. The paper definitely suggests admixture between the intrusive and local populations, for example. Do not shoot the messenger, but I will try to answer questions to the extant i can divulge. _A
Posted by: acharya Sep 26 2003, 08:53 PM
HH, Thanks for the info. They have been working on this for sometime collecting samples of DNA from haviks, andhra reddys and iyers in TN. I think it started around 70s and they had it collected. The time has come for them when the AIT folks are loosing their ground with archeological evidence. This DNA evidence will be given wide publicity to corroborate out of India theory with central asia as a possible home land. THey will also say that it is migration which resulted in this diffusion and the aryans have maintined racial purity. When we had this discussion in BR about 2001 one member sagar probably in bioscience said that the kind of diffucsion which has taken place in the population of India it would take 50000 years to 100000 years. This will obviously put the date of AIT of gear. HH do you have any comment on the last point. There has to be some experts who can put things in perspective.
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 26 2003, 11:13 PM
THe issue is not merely one of establishing that there were migrations (which will surprise no one). The real issue is when did these migrations happen and in which direction. If they happened 50,000 years ago or even 10,000 years ago this predates the Vedic era by a considerable amount and certainly does nothing for the AIT. MY theory continues to be that migrations happen in the same cyclical pattern as the recession and the onset of the iceage and that they occurred in both directions. Further if they were more in proximity to our own era, why is there no collective memory of the same in the Rg or other Vedas. There remain too many unanswered questions to make a definitive statement as to whether it was OIT or AIT at this point in time.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 27 2003, 09:29 AM
To give a brief summary of the AIT situation. Currently archaeology: suggests that at least from around 3500 BC to 1300 BC there was the Indus civilization in much of northern India. Just outside its zone were other urban ad semi urban civilizations like the Ahar-Banas culture., The Jorwe culture and the like. Around 1300 BC there is a complete end of urbaniztion and decay of the IVC. There is no urbanization in India till the second Urbanization of Magadha around 650 BC. In the later stages of the IVC The was a movement of people from the Western rivers towards the Ganga-Yamuna flood plains. Much of this is accepted by the pro-Pakistani archaeologists like Kenoyer, and you may contact me privately if you want his recent article on the same. Mainstream Indology Believes that a small band of Aryan horsemen, cowherds and shepherds entered India after the end of the IVC, around 1200 BC and shortly after settling in Northern India composed the R^igveda. Subsequently the composed the Atharvan, Yajur and the epics, all orally, as they were entirely illiterate. Around the same time other branches of Aryans are believed to have invaded the middle East. Shortly after the Indo-Aryan Invasion they are supposed to have been overwhelmed in parts of the Middle East by their cousins the Iranians who also invaded from the north. Molecular data 1) The maternally inherited mitochondrial markers show a considerable degree of homogenity in the sub-continent. The main strain is a dominant Indian type called M. Less frequent are some other types seen in Eurasia and are more prevalent in the populations belonging to a varNa than tribals. 2)The Y chromosome. Here the distinction is rather clear. There are several Y markers that are found in high numbers in varNa (caste) Indians, Central Asian IE speakers, and some Iranians. These Y-markers are much rarer in non-caste/tribal Indians. Conservely the tribal Indians have many of the markers that are much rarer or absent in caste Indians. There are some markers clearly enriched in Austric speakers of India 3) Both North India and South Indian varNa Indians are much closer to each other than to their local tribal neighbors. The admixture with the local populations is a little more how ever in the Southern states. 3) The tribal Indian markers show much greater diversity and are generally closer to the East Asians. The varNa Indians show less that a 1/3 of the diversity of the avarNa Indians and are clearly closer to central Asian types and Eastern Europeans than to East Asians. 4)Contrary to what many believe, the molecular evidence suggests that Western Europeans are not at all representatives of the "Pure" Indo-European stain. A good part of their markers are those of the older population of Europe like the Basques. Thus they have under gone a language displacement with the coming of the IE invasion from East. The basic global model is that IE speakers diverged out of Central Eurasia in different directions in part displacing and in part overlaying the local populations and spreading the IE languages. Neither European nor Indians are in anyway the pure strain of the IE. Both directions different amounts of local population have been incorporated into the IE speech zone. Does this support the Indological model -Firstly, the popular Indological model like that of Witzel posits a small number of Aryan invaders conquering the whole country. But the molecular studies suggest that the numbers were much larger than a mere band of "Afghani herders who got lost in PUnjab and composed the R^igveda (vide Witzel)" -Secondly, the estimates for the time IE intrusion into India has relatively liberal window under current molecular estimate: 3500-6000 years before present. So this can be consistent with different models. 3500 yrs BP is closer to the Indological model. While 6000 yrs BP could mean that the IE incumbents founded the IVC. The intrusion could have also occured in course of the IVC and followed by displacement. (not necessarily entirely militarily). -Thirdly, the molecular biologists have very little knowledge of Indian history and archaeology and only parrot what the Indos give them, so we cannot expect them to be testing different possibilities in a serious way. We can only rely on that part of their work which provides "hard data". The bottom line is that the evidence is fairly strong that the IE languages of India ultimately came to India from outside it and the people who brought it left behind a greater number of descendents amidst the varNa populations. The avarNa Indians on the contrary had a distinct origin and originally, and in many cases still speak different languages. It is also clear that the early Indo-European incumbents practiced hypergyny. That is males taking multiple female mates, which included mates from local populations. So it is important to distinguish between attacking the standard Indological model (which I agree has many problems) and wholy denying an Aryan invasion.
Posted by: rajesh_g Sep 27 2003, 10:36 AM
I vaguely remember reading a paper on this. UCLA/Utah or something like that. What had struck me as weird in the whole molecular thesis was the claim that brahmins were closer to asians while other varnas were closer to europeans. And yet the claim was that Kshatriyas (invaders presumably) came, conquered and gave the brahmins the highest place ?? HH, Is that still the claim of that study ??
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 27 2003, 06:00 PM
Secondly, the estimates for the time IE intrusion into India has relatively liberal window under current molecular estimate: 3500-6000 years before present. So this can be consistent with different models. 3500 yrs BP is closer to the Indological model. While 6000 yrs BP could mean that the IE incumbents founded the IVC. The intrusion could have also occured in course of the IVC and followed by displacement. (not necessarily entirely militarily).
How is the estimate 3500-6000 arrived at ?Is it merely based on molecular data or is there any attempt to correlate with any archaeological data. What are some assumptions inherent in this conclusion. Does one have to make an assumption regarding the size of the IE infusion to work backward to the date. If in fact if it were as recent as 3500 BP (1500 BCE) there must be reference to the invasions/migrations in the Rg. But there is no mention of any 'long march' over 1500 miles especially over such difficult terrain or even the reasons for such a long march. Such a large migration only a few generations from the alleged MaxMueller date of the Rg. would have been eulogized in legend and myth,just as we remember the migration of Babar in 1526 CE(to India. He stayed and ruled in Kabul for many years prior to invading India) . There is however no such legend or myth referred to in the Rg. Re. references to AIT in the Rg, see Koenraad Elst If on the other hand the migrations took place 10,000 BP, it is hardly relevant to the narrative of the AIT (afterall everybody came from somewhere, maybe Africa) and does not contradict the made in India theory for the Rg.. Even 6000 BP does not square with the Astronomical data in the Rg which suggests a date in proximity to 6000 BP for the Rg. or even earlier. see for instance the summary of Elst on the astronomical data There are other more recent studies on the astronomical data that at the very least dispute the MaxMUeller date of 1200 BCE(3200 BP) for the Rg. And then there is the Hittite Mittani treaty writen in language very reminiscent of Sanskrtam invoking what were clearly identifiable Vedic deities. If we accept the 1400 BCE date for the Hittite Mittani treaty and we accept the hypothesis of the AIT that migrations took place round about 1500 BCE then we must also accept that the Rg. was composed anywhere else but India. If so why is there no reference to such a treaty or the Hittites or the Mittani in the Rg. Or the other hypothesis is that they invaded India ,composed the Rg prior to 1400 BCE and then some of them skedadled back all the way to Anatolia , a distance of over 2000 miles and settled there and eventually fought the Hittites. And then of course we have the Airyane Vaejahi (sp.) the ancient seedland of the Zoroastrian Aryans. Some parsees think the ancient seed land was Kashmir or some region near the Himalayas which they had to abandon during the iceage. Clearly there is a relationship between this seedland and the origin of the Indic Vedics (of course it could very well be located in Central Asia but the description suggests a mountainous area). More questions than answers. Bottomline, we are very far from assigning dates to the Vedics and their migrations with any certainty.
Posted by: acharya Sep 27 2003, 08:01 PM
HH how do you explain this THey have been collecting gene samples for the last 30 years and profile the genetic map of Indians with caste and socisl groups and regions. PEOPLING OF INDIA Madhav Gadgil and N.V. Joshi Centre for Ecological Sciences Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560 012, India U.V.Shambu Prasad Centre for Research in Indo-Bangladesh Relations 107, Jodhpur Park (Ground Floor) Calcutta 700068, India. S.Manoharan and Suresh Patil Anthropological Survey of India, Southern Regional Office 2963, Gokulam Road, Mysore 570002, India. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of contents Abstract Introduction Role of innovations Genetic affinities Gene analysis reveals people radiating out of the Middle East and the Orient Language families reveal ancestries and movements Language and economy Archaeolgical evidence Horse and iron as pointers of heritage A plausibile scenario A segmented society Acknowledgements References -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Comments, suggestions, reprint requests to : OR Citation: Gadgil,M., Joshi, N.V., Shambu Prasad,U.V., Manoharan,S. and Suresh Patil 1997. pp.100-129. In: The Indian Human Heritage, Eds. D. Balasubramanian and N. Appaji Rao. Universities Press, Hyderabad, India. some conlclusions Such differences in genetic structure suggestive of different population histories have been suggested from other human populations earlier, but never before for two population groups living together in such a restricted geographical locality as a single district of Uttara Kannada. This reflects the unique history of Indian population, with dominant groups like Haviks enjoying high levels of resource access and expanding in numbers and range, while subjugated populations like Mukris existed side by side with much more limited resource access and stagnant populations
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 27 2003, 08:17 PM
Since we are on the subject of the origin of the Indic Ancients(i.e. Vedics) , it seems appropriate to understand the context in which the word Arya is used in the Rg. It is important to note that it is not used as an ethnic identifier but rather as a behavioral identifier (those who are noble in behavior).Of course one must understand that human nature being what it was (and is) one could not expect total objectivity in this matter. If the person writing that particular Mandala of the Rg was associated with a particular dynasty (Bharatas) he would gravitate towards calling them Arya without further ado. It does not of course mean they were wrong, merely that Arya was first and foremost a behavioral epithet. Talageri has this to say ; III One word which the scholars are unanimous in treating as a denominative epithet of the Vedic Aryans in the Rigveda is, beyond any doubt, the word Arya: according to them, Arya in the Rigveda refers to the Vedic Aryans (and, by implication, words like DAsa and Dasyu, contrasted with the word Arya, refer to people other than the Vedic Aryans). This is a perfectly logical understanding of the use of the word Arya in the Rigveda (although scholars opposed to the Aryan invasion theory balk at this interpretation of the word, in the mistaken belief that this interpretation somehow symbolises the concept of invader Aryans and native non-Aryans). But the actual connotation of this fact must be made clear. The Vedic Aryans called themselves Arya in the Rigveda, the Iranians called themselves Airya in their texts, the Irish called themselves, or their land, Eire, in their traditions: all these different Indo-European peoples were each, individually and separately, calling themselves by this particular name. But it does not follow that they would also be calling each other by the same name. The word is used in the sense of “We, the Noble”. When an Iranian, for example, used the word Airya, he undoubtedly meant an Iranian, or even perhaps an Iranian belonging to his own particular tribe or community. He would never have dreamt of refering to a Vedic Aryan or an Irishman by the same term. The use of the word Arya in the Rigveda must be understood in this sense: the Vedic Aryans used the word Arya in reference to Vedic Aryans as distinct from other people, and not in reference to Indo-European language speaking people as distinct from non-Indo-European language speaking people. All other people, Indo-Europeans or otherwise, other than themselves, were non-Aryas to the Vedic Aryans. Therefore, also, in order to identify the Vedic Aryans, it is necessary to identify the people who are referred to as Arya in the Rigveda. The word Arya is used 36 times in 34 hymns in the Rigveda: I.51.8; 59.2; 103.3; 117.21; 130.8; 156.5; II.11.18, 19; III.34.9; IV.26.2; 30.18; V.34.6; VI.18.3; 22.10; 25.2; 33.3; 60.6; VII.5.6; 18.7; 33.7; 83.1; VIII.24.27; 51.9; 103.1; IX.63.5, 14; X.11.4; 38.3; 43.3; 49.3; 65.11; 69.6; 83.1; 86.19; 102.3; 138.3. But the word has an individual-specific connotation only in the case of three persons: a. In three hymns (I.130.8; IV.26.2; VIII.103.1) DivodAsa is clearly the person referred to as an Arya. b. In one hymn, the word refers to DivodAsa’s father VadhryaSva (X.69.6). c. The word occurs in all the three DASarAjña hymns pertaining to SudAs’ great Battle of the Ten Kings (VII.18, 33, 83). In the tribal sense, the word is used only in reference to the PUrus: a. In I.59.2, Agni is said to have been produced by the Gods to be a light unto the Arya. In the sixth verse, it is clear that the hymn is composed on behalf of the PUrus. b. In VII.5.6, again, Agni is said to have driven away the Dasyus and brought forth broad light for the Arya. In the third verse, the deed is said to have been done for the PUrus. An examination of the family identity of the RSis who use the word Arya clinches the identification of the PUrus (and particularly the Bharatas) as the Aryas of the Rigveda: of the 34 hymns in which the word is used, 28 hymns are composed by the Bharatas, ANgirases and VasiSThas. The situation stands out in extraordinary clarity if we examine the number of hymns, which refer to the Aryas, from a statistical viewpoint: the Bharatas themselves, for example, use the word Arya in three hymns. The Bharatas have a total of 19 hymns out of 1028 hymns in the Rigveda: this amounts to 1.85% of the total number of hymns in the Rigveda. And they have 3 hymns which use the word Arya, out of 34 such hymns in the Rigveda: this amounts to 8.82% of the total number of such hymns in the Rigveda. The frequency rate of Arya-hymns by the Bharatas is therefore 8.82 divided by 1.85, which comes to 4.77. The following table shows how, when the same test is applied to all the ten families of RSis in the Rigveda, they fall into four distinct categories in line with their relationship to the Bharatas (the standard frequency rate being 1). (Table on next page.) The frequency rate of Arya-hymns by the Bharatas is 4.77. The only other families with a frequency rate above one are the priestly families of the Bharatas. The general associates and partial affiliates of the Bharatas have a frequency rate below one. The neutral families have a frequency rate of zero, except for the KaNvas, who appear to constitute an exception to the rule. However, this is an exception which proves the rule loudly and clearly. The two references by the KaNvas establish beyond any doubt that the PUrus, and particularly the Bharatas, are the Aryas of the Rigveda:
Posted by: Kaushal Sep 27 2003, 09:41 PM
A fairly decent but reasonably faithful account of the european perspective of the historical evolution of the word Aryan, from the Wikipedia;
In India, under the British Empire, the British rulers also used the idea of a distinct Aryan race in order to ally British power with the Indian caste system. It was argued that the Aryans were ‘white’ people who had invaded India in ancient times, subordinating the dark skinned native Dravidian peoples, who were pushed to the south. The Aryans had established themselves as the dominant castes. They were also the authors of the most intellectually sophisticated Vedic writings of the Hindu faith. There was thus a natural alliance between the British and the descendents of the ancient Aryans. All discussion of Aryan or Dravidian "races" remains highly controversial in India to this day, but does continue to affect political and religious debate. Some Dravidians, most commonly Tamils, claim that the worship of Shiva is a distinct Dravidian religion, to be distinguished from Brahminical "Aryan" Hinduism. In contrast, the Indian nationalist Hindutva movement denies that an Aryan invasion or migration ever occurred, arguing that Vedic beliefs emerged from the Indus Valley Civilisation, which is generally supposed to have pre-dated the advent of the Aryans in India. See also: Aryan invasion
In reality of course the Brits quickly realized (in the early nineteenth century) that their real rivals as far as putting up a formidable intellectual challenge were the so called Arya. So they decided that an effective way of doing this and emasculating that challenge was to create a multitude of racial and ethnic categories. This is when they brought in Macaulay to break up this challenge and create a 'brown skinned Englishman' and also create new and mythical ethnic classification such as Dravidian. It is safe to say that prior to the advent of the British few if any Indians thought of themselves as belonging to mutually exclusive categories such as Aryan and Dravidian. Such a division was the handiwork of Coldwell and MaxMueller among others. We know today how well they have succeeded. Even today there are myriad Indians who believe that it was the Brits who were responsible for granting us a unified nation (despite the fact that there are now 3 nations in the subcontinent).
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 29 2003, 04:19 PM
QUOTE (Kaushal @ Sep 28 2003, 06:30 AM)
How is the estimate 3500-6000 arrived at ?Is it merely based on molecular data or is there any attempt to correlate with any archaeological data. What are some assumptions inherent in this conclusion. Does one have to make an assumption regarding the size of the IE infusion to work backward to the date.
This is something derived on what is called coalescence time. It is calculated based on genetic diversity accrued by a population. The diversity in the varNa populations is much lower than that of tribal populations. So this would mean that varNa groups shared a more recent common ancestor than the tribal groups. That would given the upper limit of when the varNa population originated assuming that there was just one male ancestor (as we are talking of Y-chromosomes). Now if we had more than one founder as seems to be the case, the time the founders existed would be correspondingly lower as we would be sectioning the tree at some level down from the ancestor. Then one can calculate the time when the Indian and central Asian lineages diverged. This would give the rough point when the two populations started migrating from each other. The important point is that there is considerable homogenity in varNa populations from North to south of India over a wide geographic area. This would not be expected if they localy differentiated from the various tribal populations. The tribal populations again show no specific close affinity with the central Asians. This when taken together with the linguistic model of the relationship of IE languages supports that the Indo-Europeans of India come from outside. As for why we do not see references to migrations in the vedic texts it is a matter of interpretation. For example there is the vedic yat sattra rite. It was last performed in TN and Andhra in the early part of the century. Here the brAhmaNas assembled on the banks of a river (it was done along Kaveri in the TN version of the ritual) with goats, horses and cows. A yAga was conducted. At the end of the rite they swung a peg called a shaMya to tied to the end of a long rope and hurled it along the the bank of the river. Where the peg fell they shifted with all their implements and animals and set camp. The next day another yAga was performed. This was repeated over several days. While it was just a ritualized performance, I would leave it to your imagination to infer the original purpose of the rite (how often did even in 1911 brAhmaNas need to roam with cattle and horses?, one of the participants was a civil engineer in his "secular life"). If one wanted to explain migrations in the R^ig one can do it hence. Astronomical dating would strongly support an age of 3200-2700 BC for the core R^ig period. Though some hymns are older and some younger.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 29 2003, 04:30 PM
QUOTE (acharya @ Sep 28 2003, 08:31 AM)
These people are essentially reproducing what Cavalli-Sforza had done. Joshi does not deny a external origin for India's IE speakers when I last heard. Of course most of the work done by the western scientists has shallow knowledge of the actual Indian situation in terms of sociology and history (they only know the std Indological model, so they do not talk anything else). The only alternative is Indians do this far more seriously as the Israelis did in their study of the jewish diaspora. But I know reliably that the Indian groups are not really take a lead role in these issues. They just append themselves as middle authors. Our labs are too hampered by many extra-scientific issues .............. Rajesh q: I think you mean the Bamshad paper. They did not say that the brahmins were not closer to the Eurasians than the other varNa populations. What they claimed was that kshatriyas were slightly closer to Eurasians than brahmins. They interpretted this as kshatriyas fitting the warrior mode the Aryan Invader better. However, the difference was statistically border line and need not be analyzed further. Actually the the varNa populations are pretty homgenous at the level of the markers they analyzed. While you get some brahmin, kshatriya and vaishya group separately in the NJ trees the distances are pretty small.
Posted by: Spinster Sep 30 2003, 07:31 AM
Kaushal Garu, I sent you a email. Please check. Shall delete shortly.
Posted by: Prof. Godbole Oct 1 2003, 11:02 AM
Smt. Hamiddha: What is your view on B.G. Tilakji's theory that the Aryans ancestral home was somewhere in the arctic circle?
Posted by: siddhartha_shukla Oct 4 2003, 07:19 PM
Hi, Can somebody guide me to sites where I can find detailed chronology of events for the period of 1940-1948 related to Indian independence movement. TIA
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Oct 4 2003, 08:55 PM
Smt. Hamiddha:
! if Smt is shrimati, please it is shri; but more precise hri if you have to maintain phonetic concordance with the later half. wink.gif
What is your view on B.G. Tilakji's theory that the Aryans ancestral home was somewhere in the arctic circle?
Most modern mainstream indologists do not buy Tilak's theory at all. Nor do Indian OIT revisionists. While I do not buy all the ideas he has spun in his book, I tend to believe he is right in suggesting that portions of the R^igveda were definitely composed at northern latitudes that were definitely not familiar to the Indians of today. My own belief is that the North of the Black Sea area could be a potential zone of the origin of the Aryans. I am sure many would find this strange. My request to them is to read Tilak's work and analyse the R^ig with an open mind.
Posted by: Kaushal Oct 6 2003, 07:46 AM
The epigraphic inscriptions listed here attest to the fact that Prakrit and Brahmi scripts were already in vogue by the 3rd century BCE. The Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India had recently organized in Mysore a photo exhibition of inscriptions of different languages and dynasties collected from various parts of India. It contained photographs of inscriptions ranging from 3rd century B.C. to medieval period and threw light on various aspects covering political, cultural, administrative and economic activities of the past, which were informative and educative to students as well as the general public. The four earliest inscriptions shown here were of the 3rd century B.C. in Prakrut and Brahmi scripts. They were of the period of Mourya king Ashoka. His inscriptions at Brahmagiri in Karnataka, Girinar in Gujarat, Bhattiprol of Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh, and Goha Goura of Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh were displayed at the exhibition. The last 3rd century B.C. inscription interestingly reveals the construction of a three-storey store-house for keeping four varieties of food grains for distribution at times of need to the people. It also gave a sketch of the store-house. The other inscriptions of interest included 1st century B.C. Kalinga inscription of Kabodi, 1st century A.D. Shiththanaval Temple inscription in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu, 3-4th century A.D. inscription of Nagarjunakonda in Andhra Pradesh, 4th century A.D. Gupta period pillar inscription of Mehrauli in Sanskrit-Brahmi scripts, 5th century Asanghat inscription of Orissa stating gifting of endowments by King Shathru Bhanj to temples and institutions, 6th century Brahmi-Sanskrit inscription of Nalanda in Bihar detailing the family tree of Moukhari kings, 628 A.D. copper plate in Sanskrit-Sidhdhamathra languages bearing King Harsha's signature, 919 A.D. Tamil Chela inscription of Tamil Nadu and 17th century Mughal inscription of Akbar of Jaisalmer district in Rajasthan. Apart from Ashoka's inscription of Brahmagiri Hills, there were several other copies of inscriptions of Karnataka displayed at the exhibition. Some of the important ones were 2nd century B.C. inscription of Sannathi in Gulbarga district, 2nd century A.D. inscription of Shathavahanas, beautiful Banavasi inscription of the same period giving details of the king's daughter Nagashree undertaking Naga Prathishta, 5th century Kadamba inscription of Ravi Varma of Gudnapura in Uttara Kannada district highlighting Kadamaba dynasty, 5th century Chalukya inscription of Badami and of 7th century King Pulikeshi of Aihole, 8th century inscription of Kanchi informing Chalukya King Immadi Vikramaditya's victory over the place and returning the temple treasury back to it, 13th century inscription of Sravanabelagola of Vijayanagar empire hero Bukka stating that he protected the Jain Basadis and temples, and the 1141 A.D. inscription of Halebid of Hoysala Vishnuvardhana. A similar exhibition has been arranged at the temple town of Nanjangud, near Mysore, from March 7 to 11 for public view. Established in 1889, the Epigraphy Branch has a valuable collection of copies of over one lakh inscriptions from all over India.
Posted by: Kaushal Oct 6 2003, 08:21 AM
For those who have not been following these developments closely, Witzel has partially recanted and now admits that in his opinion, the Vedas were composed entirely in India and that there was no invasion as we think of it today. He still believes in migrations post Harappa. The most comprehensive agnostic treatment of the topic of the great debate on the Aryan Migrations todate is that of Edwin Bryant, who is generally agnostic on the subject. The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate EDWIN BRYANT, Harvard University OUP The Indus Valley civilization was the largest scale civilization among all ancient civilizations in the world, covering the whole northwest of the South Asia, including the plains of the Indus, its tributaries, and the surrounding areas (stretching from eastern Afghanistan to Delhi, from the Himalayas to the Indian ocean, and from Baluchistan to Gujarat). It was thus significantly larger than the civilizations west of it, and it also was significantly more advanced and technologically more skilled in many ways. For instance, water management and other infrastructure in the cities was far ahead of other places;and fayence beads were more developed than anywhere. Such items are detailed in a recent comprehensive summary by one of the two project leaders excavating at Harappa. (Kenoyer, J. M. Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1998.) The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture in the Indus Valley is now dated about 7000/6500 BCE, based on excavations by the French scholar Jarrige. Agriculture developed more or less at the same time everywhere from Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Turkmenia, Afghanistan and the Indus. An interesting point is that the Vedic word for 'wheat', 'godhuuma', and the Dravidian 'godi' have West Asian relatives: 'gantuma', 'hant', 'kent' etc. Scholars are now certain that Harappa was an indigenous civilization, and not one imported from anywhere else. Indigenous early writing at Harappa is now attested already at 3300 BCE, that is, at the same time that Egyptian and Mesopotamian writing developed. There was mutual influence and trade between the Indus and Greater Iran and Mesopotamia - distinct Indus seals have been found in ancient sites in Israel, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf. Regarding the previous view that Aryans 'invaded' India, this is now challenged by recent findings in archaeology and textual studies. It would not be an authoritative claim that any such 'invasion' happened, even though the actual process of cultural development and/or transfer is still unclear. A more detailed study of South Asian genetic data will probably help. A new book in press by Edwin Bryant (currently at Harvard), takes the position that there was no invasion or immigration into India by foreign 'Aryans'. Enormous pioneering developments were made indigenously in the Indus area, which is not to exclude the possibility of outside influence, but the nature and magnitude of this influence was much smaller than previously believed. It seems clear now that the Vedas were entirely composed in India, not in Central Asia as sometimes conjectured. Vedicists now stress that the term "Aryans" in the Vedas referred not to a 'race' but to members of a particular culture that was already indigenous in northwestern South Asia by the time the earliest Vedic texts were composed.
Posted by: rajesh_g Oct 6 2003, 02:54 PM
HH, Is it this one ??
Posted by: acharya Oct 6 2003, 05:11 PM
QUOTE (rajesh_g @ Oct 6 2003, 09:54 AM)
HH, Is it this one ?? The largest ever study of its kind, it has shown that Indians are the world's most heterogeneous group, perhaps even more than the Africans in some sense.
The CIA report puts in info for India as the most diverse country in the world. THey look at genetic and not civilizational homogenety which has its own objective. The feeling of different people was sowed into the head of people starting from the first census in 1881. This is an ongoing project and this report is the latest manifestation. any comments. Think before you reply wink.gif
Posted by: Mudy Oct 7 2003, 11:01 AM Good source and link to ancient Hindu Scriptures and Vedic Texts.
Posted by: k.ram Oct 8 2003, 10:58 AM
History of Brunei Not exactly related to Indian history and I am not sure how the current culture, practises of brunei (if any) etc relates to India, so posting it here instead of Indian culture. Hope that is ok with the admins. Barunah!' exclaimed early settlers who reached the Brunei River. The classical Malay expression meant excellence of the site for settlement, security, access and richness of the surrounding. In short, "Oh, Yeah!". It is said the exclamation became the name of the new city-state. Barunah later changed to Barunai. Barunai, of Sanskrit origin, comes from the word Varuna. In its Malay context, it referred to a nation of seafarers and traders. Brunei and Borneo were among early European references to the state and the island. The second sultan, Sultan Ahmad, was the first to name 'Brunei' from the word 'Barunah'. Darussalam, Arabic terms for Abode of Peace, was added in the 15th century by the third sultan, Sharif Ali, to emphasise Islam as state religion, and to enhance its spread. Old Brunei was a nation of Malay Hindu-Buddhists, according to a Chinese account of Puli, believed to be an early Chinese reference to Brute Old Brunei was said to have Similar Malay-Hindu Buddhist traditions and customs as Funan or Kumlun, Chinese names for the first Malay state in Indochina during the early Christian era. Indians knew it as Sailendra, and Arab traders called it Kamrun. The early king of Brunei was called Sang Aji, or Reverend Monarch, a title of Sanskrit origin. The Brunei ruling dynasty changed during the early 1360s when Awang Alak Betatar, a prince from a powerful kingdom in western Borneo, ascended the Brunei throne. He became the first Brunei ruler and the present ruler is his descendant. Awang Alak Betatar was the first Brunei Raja to accept Islam, changing his title and name to Sultan Muhammad Shah (1363-1402) in honour of the Prophet. With Islam, Brunei asserted and expanded its role as an independent and dominant trading power in the region. Its trade and territories grew with the spread of Islam to encompass existing Malay kingdoms in Borneo and the Philippines. During the early spread of Islam in Brunei, many Arab Muslim missionaries married into Brunei royal family. The most notable was Sharif Ah from Taif, Arabia, who married a daughter of the second sultan, and later ascended the throne as the third Sultan in 1425. Before Brunei became a Muslim Sultanate in the 14th century, Chinese accounts told of the dominance of Muslim traders in the 9th and 10th centuries. In 977, for example, the Brunei Raja (then a Hindu-Buddhist) sent three Muslim traders as Brunei's envoys to the Sung court of China, mainly to represent Brunei in Brunei-China trade. It is believed that there was a community of influential Muslims in Brunei during this period. The royal genealogy of Brunei's sultans dates back nearly 600 years when in 1365, Awang Alak Betatar embraced Islam, married a Johore princess, and assumed the title Sultan Muhammad, according to early chronicles. A Persian missionary and direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, Sharif Ali, as Brunei's third sultan, further spread Islam, built mosques, and the first defence barriers at Kota Batu and across the Brunei river. The sultanate's golden age dawned with the reign of the fifth sultan, Nakhoda Ragam or the singing captain, Sultan Bolkiah, who was famous for many conquests. His voyages took him to Java, Malacca and the Philippines, where he seized Seludong (Manila). His rule extended over the Sultanates of Sambas, Pontianak, Banjarmasin, Pasi Kotei, Balongan, the Sulu Archipelago, and Islands of Balabac, Banggi, Balambangan and Palawan. Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian chronicler during Ferdinand Magellan's world voyage, visited Brunei during Sultan Bolkiah's reign, and he wrote about the splendour of the sultan's court and a view of the state capital. Legends have Brunei founded some 29 reigns ago by 14 brothers of heroic stature and semi-divine descent, according to a Monograph of the Brunei Museum Journal. The exploits of the 14 founding heroes of Brunei are recounted in a very lengthy poem called the "Sha'er Awang Semaun." Awang Alak Betatar was not the eldest, but was chosen to be their leader because of his intelligence and good looks. He married the daughter of the Sultan of Johor, and he was installed Sultan of Brunei. Sultan Ahmad (1408-1425) ascended the throne in 1402. While not mentioned in any of the Salasilah Raja Raja Brunei (Laws and Regulations of Bruneian Kings), he was recorded in Chinese history. In 1406, he sent an envoy to China where he was known as Ma-na-je-ka-na. Before Sultan Ahmad (1408-1425) was installed as sultan, he was Pateh Berbai (Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja, and the eldest of the 14 brothers). In the Brunei chronicles version of where Sultan Ahmad was Pateh Berbai, he married the younger sister of Ong Sum Ping and was the father-in-law of Sultan Sharif Ali. He was once head of a mission from Brunei to China. He died in 1425. There were close Brunei-China trade and royal relations during the reign of the first and second sultans until about 1425. During the period, a Ming prince, Ong Sum Ping (later known as Pengiran Maharaja Lela) married a princess of Sultan Muhammad. A Ming princess (known in Brunei as Puteri Kinabatangan) married Sultan Ahmad, the second sultan. Sultan Berkat (Blessed) (1425-1432) or Sultan Sharif Ali was an Arab and a descendant of Prophet Muhammad. Married to the daughter of the second Sultan of Brunei, he was the first to build a mosque and reinforce the Islamic faith in Brunei. He also built the Kota Batu (Stone Fort), a mile and a half east of Brunei's present capital, Brunei Town, now Bandar Seri Begawan, and introduced the sword of Bongkok and flags of Brunei. His son Sultan Sulaiman, (1432-1485) who continued the work of building Kota Bata and propagated the Islamic teaching, succeeded Sultan Berkat. He was well known as Adipati or Sang Aji Brunei. He descended from the throne in 1485 and died in 1511. Sultan Bolkiah, whose conquests covered the whole of Borneo and as far north as Luzon in the Philippine Islands, where he initiated the spread of Islam, succeeded Sultan Sulaiman. He was known as Nakhoda Ragam. His queen was known as Puteri Laila Menchanai. The reign of Sultan Bolkiah (1485-1584) was the height of the Brunei Sultanate in territory, influence and power. Brunei'5 sovereignty then extended to encompass other kingdoms in Borneo and the Philippines (then dominated by the Kingdom of Manila and the Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao). There were inter-marriages between the royal family members of Brunei and the royalties of other Malay and Japanese kingdoms to strengthen relationships. Sultan Bolkiah was succeeded by his son Sultan Abdul Kahar (1524-1530), a pious person endowed with supernatural powers (berkeramat). In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan and Antonio Pigafetta visited him while he was a deputy (Pemangku Sultan). During his time, many Islamic theologians came to Brunei to spread the Islamic teachings. He created the currency unit 'pitis'. He descended from the throne in 1530 and was known as Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Abdul Kahar. Sultan Saiful Rijal, who propagated Islamic teachings throughout Borneo as well as the Philippines, succeeded Sultan Abdul Kahar, whose death was recorded by the Spaniards in 1578. Brunei became well known as the Islamic Development Centre. He was mentioned by name in Spanish accounts and is the first Sultan of Brunei to be identified by any non-indigenous account. Sultan Saiful Rijal was succeeded by Sultan Shah Brunei (1581-1582), who had no heir, so he handed over his throne to his younger brother, Sultan Mohammad Hasan. Famous for his strength, Sultan Muhammad Hasan (1582-1598) had the same power as Sultan Iskandar Muda Nahkota Alam, Acheh. His reign was known as Pengiran Di Gadong and Pengiran Pemancha. He was very active in propagating Islamic teachings. Sultan Muhammad Hasan was succeeded by Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar (1598-1659), who developed a relationship with the Spaniards. Sultan Abdul Jalilul Jabbar made himself a great name for his fairness and peace and harmony was maintained during his rule from 1659-1660. Sultan Haji Muhammad Ah succeeded him in 1660, who was killed at Asar on Nov. 6, 1661. He was well known as "Marhum Tumbaang Di Rumput." Sultan Muhyiddin (1673-1690) was well known for his wisdom, strength and capabilities of uniting the people after the civil war. In the latter half of the 17th century between the reign of Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin (the 13th Sultan) and Sultan Muhyiddin (the 14th Sultan) there was civil war in Brunei which, among other factors, caused the break up of Brunei territories in many parts of Borneo and the Philippines. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Brunei borders were the Sambas River in the west and Sibuku River in the east. Sultan Nasruddin (1690-1710) introduced gold coins during his reign in 1690-1710. Sultan Husin Kamaluddin ascended the throne twice, in 1710-1730 and 1737-1740. Endowed with supernatural powers, he was able to transform 'buah ngirih', a fruit, to 'pitabu', another fruit. He ascended the throne twice and finally lived in Luba. Sultan Muhammad Alauddin (1730-1737) documented the Laws of Regulations of Bruneian Kings, (Sala-silah Raja Raja Brunei) and produced the currency "pitis". He was well known as "Marhum di Brunei". Sultan Omar Ah Saifuddien I (1740-1795) in 1769 ordered the attack to Manila, which was captured. He had abdicated in favour of his son, Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin, in 1780. Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin (1795-1804 and 1804-1807) ordered the building of houses for the Brunei pilgrims in Mecca. Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam (1826-1828) acted for Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin and looked after the Bruneian government for the latter's son, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II. Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam (1826-1828) was well known for his strength and power and was also called Raja Api (King of Fire). The reign of Sultan Omar Ali Saiffuddien 11(1828-1852) marked the beginning of direct European involvement in Brunei. Between 1842 and the end of the century saw the Brookes' involvement in Sarawak and the British Chartered North Borneo company in Sabah, which further eroded Brunei territory to its present split-halves. Sultan Omar Ali Saifudien II ruled until his death in 1852. He surrendered Labuan Island to the English in 1846. He signed a treaty with the English on trade and good relationship. Sultan Abdul Momin (1852-1885) had no heir. He was well known for his fairness, wisdom, and was endowed with supernatural powers. In 1877 he signed a treaty concerning the leasing of Brunei's territory in Sabah. In 1884, he ordered Pengiran Temenggong Pengiran Anak Hashim to attack Limbang to restore peace. Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin (1885-1906) made a written proposal in 1887 to have a British residency in Limbang but was rejected by the Queen's government as too expensive. Sultan Hashim signed a British Protectorate treaty in 1888 to entrust Brunei's foreign affairs under British administration. The signing of the 1905/1906 Treaty brought in the British Residential System. A British Resident was placed in Brunei to advise the Sultan on state matters, excluding Malay tradition and religion. The treaty brought changes to the sultanate's traditional Malay ruling systems. The Custom Department and Land Department were set up with the introduction of the British department system beginning in 1906. The Land Department handled land issues and Kuripan territorial rights and instituted the British system of land grants under the administration of the land office. Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam II (1906-1924) ascended the throne at 17. In 1906, he formed the Brunei Police Force. In 1911, he introduced Malay schools. Oil drilling exploration commenced. The palace was transferred from Kampong Ayer to Istana Majlis. Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin (1924-1950) in 1927 officially opened the Brunei-Tutong highway. Two years later, oil was discovered in Seria. In 1932, he visited England. In 1941, the Japanese landed in Brunei. In 1945, the federated army landed in Brunei. In 1946, the Brunei National Song was composed. In 1946, the Sultan took over the government from British Military Administration. In 1949, he celebrated his Silver Jubilee. The most revered 20th century ruler of Brunei was Al-Marhum Sultan Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the Bandar Seri Begawan (1950-I967), the younger brother of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin, the 27th ruler. Sultan Haji Omar Ah Saifuddien III ascended the throne in 1950. He used Brunei's oil revenues to finance for the first time a five-year development plan (1953-1958) which gave Brunei an intensive infrastructure and transformed it from a dull and quiet back- water into a thriving state. In 1953, the national song, Allah Peliharakan Sultan was official declared. Government English schools were set up and the mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan was built. In 1957, the first Brunei Radio programme was broadcast. The year 1959 saw the promulgation of a written constitution, which gave Brunei internal self-government and changed the post of British resident, started in 1906, to High Commissioner, who continued to advise the Sultan on matters other than those affecting the Islamic religion and Malay Custom. In 1959, the Brunei Shell Petroleum Company started its first offshore drilling. In 1962, a rebellion was defeated. In 1967, Brunei had its own currency. During his 17-year reign, he did so much to develop the country and was regarded as "the architect of modern Brunei." In 1967, after 17 years of benevolent reign, Sultan Haji Sir Muda Omar Ah Saifuddien voluntarily abdicated it favour of his eldest son, His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who pledged to carry on his father's policies. He descended from the throne with the title Seri Begawan Sultan Haji Omar Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien. In 1984, he became the Defence Minister of Negara Brunei Darussalam. He died in 1986. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan Brunei Darussalam ascended the throne on October 5, 1967 as the 29th Sultan. He further pushed Brunei Darussalam on the road to greater economic and social development. Brunei gained full independence in 1984.
Posted by: O Vijay Oct 9 2003, 07:02 AM Why India Is A Nation by Sankrant Sanu
Posted by: Kaushal Oct 9 2003, 07:57 AM
Vijay, this is a theme i have touched on numerous times in this and other forums, namely that there always has been a civilizational uniqueness about India (from time immemorial) that is immediately obvious to visitors even today. One american traveller remarked that wherever you are in India , you are reminded of the fact that you are in India, and that such a distinctiveness is ubiquitous. The concept of a nation state is fairly recent and is at most a couple of hundred years old. That there was free movement and a unique common culture between regions of a vast area stretching from Persia in the west, the Central asian steppe in the north, Indonesia in the east and SriLanka on the south is undeniable. The insistence by western commentators that such a region was never under a central suzerainty is neither here nor there. A good example of such civilizational continuity, were the travels of Sankaracharya throughout the length and breadth of India not once but three times - on foot. Clearly he had no trouble adjusting wherever he went and communicated with ease and had little need for any paperwork such as passports and visas (in fact he was a quintessential 'light' traveller and carried little beyond his bowl, walking stick and his beloved manuscripts).
Posted by: rajesh_g Oct 9 2003, 09:33 AM
Sankrant's article is a true masterpiece. It is sad that even in the intellectual circles people are so confused about the concept of India, the "will of India" and so on. Any attempt at questioning these basic axioms is trashed as attempting to get to hindu-rashtra and akhand-bharat and all that garbage. All of us MUST understand this article - read it multiple times and then barely will we be able to understand what the "will of India" means and what the place of India is in this world. Sankrant is one of my favorites at Sulekha. thumbup.gif india.gif clap.gif cheers.gif
Posted by: rajesh_g Oct 9 2003, 04:41 PM
The inscriptions on the walls of the Sundaravarada temple in Uttiramerur, near Kanchipuram, show how democracy was practised 1,000 years ago. DR. R. NAGASWAMY elaborates.
Posted by: Krishna Oct 10 2003, 11:06 AM
QUOTE (O Vijay @ Oct 9 2003, 09:02 AM) Why India Is A Nation by Sankrant Sanu
Excellent! thumbup.gif All India haters: fuck.gif
Posted by: acharya Oct 15 2003, 08:06 PM
Democracy of a high standard - ancient example DR. R. NAGASWAMY The inscriptions on the walls of the Sundaravarada temple in Uttiramerur, near Kanchipuram, show how democracy was practised 1,000 years ago. THE KUMBABHISHEKAM on June 8 last of the Sundaravarada temple of Uttiramerur, Kanchipuram district, was the culmination of a great renovation work. This temple was built around 750 A.D. during the Pallava rule, but underwent a second great renovation in the hands of Rajendra Chola in 1013 A.D., and again in the reign of the great Vijayanagar Emperor, Krishnadevaraya in 1520 A.D. The village is known for its historic inscription of a written constitution that deals with elections to the village assembly, qualifications required of candidates contesting in elections, circumstances under which a candidate may be disqualified, mode of election, tenure of the elected candidates and the right of the public to recall the elected members when they failed to discharge their duties properly and so on. It is interesting how in every aspect of life the highest standard of democracy was enforced in Uttiramerur. Fines for wrongdoers A 10th Century record deals with how to administer fines imposed on wrong doers in the village. Those who were fined for misdeeds are classified into criminals ("dushtargal"), fined by the great village assembly and the serving elected members of the village assembly who were fined. The great assembly met and decided that the fines imposed should be settled by the administrators of the village, through the Village Assembly, within the same financial year, failing which the Village Assembly itself would get the matter settled. This suggests that as the Village Assembly also had a judicial function, it could impose further fines and get the same realised. Regarding the second category it was decided that the elected members of the subcommittees, their servants, the village scribes and the village guards, who were punished for default, the cases should be settled by the village administrators (under the supervision of the Village Assembly), failing which the Village Assembly itself should collect the fine, within the same year. The village administrators would be individually fined one "kaanam" (money) for their failure to discharge their duty. The record makes it clear that the elected members of the Village Assembly could not escape punishment by virtue of their elected memberships. The defaulting administrators were also dealt with severely. Testing gold quality Another record dated 921 A.D. was a regulation passed by the Village Assembly. As gold was in circulation for commercial transactions it was found necessary that the gold offered should be tested for its fineness to the satisfaction of the community. A committee was elected by the villagers to test the gold by rubbing it against a touchstone. Four members were elected by the pot ticket method by the merchant community of the village, two members by the military garrison and two by the oil mongers. Those who stood for this election had to be skilled in testing gold and for their upright conduct. They had to be neither too old nor too young. They should be taxpayers. Non-tax paying men were considered unsuitable for the work. All together 10 members were elected for a stipulated period. The Gold Testing Committee, called "Pon Vaariyam", was strictly prohibited from using rough stones, which would lead to greater loss of gold while rubbing. They were also expected to recover the gold dust from the touchstone, at the end of each day and deposit it with the village assembly. Once in three months, they were obliged to go before the village assembly and swear that they had not committed any fraud in the testing. Also people were so proud of their oaths and sworn statements that they would sacrifice their life rather than break their own sworn statements. Appointment of Professors Another interesting record deals with an establishment of a higher institution of learning and the qualifications prescribed for the professor, the method of appointment and the duration of his service. As this was related to a Vedic college, the qualifications required mastery of the Vedas. For instance, the incumbent could not be a native of that village but one who came from other regions. It was believed that the teacher from the same village might take things easy and not do full justice to his profession. The second clause states that the teacher should have mastered one Veda completely in addition to mastery of grammar, "Mimamsa", and the two religious systems, "darsanas". Alternately he should have mastered one of the Vedas, in addition to grammar with commentary ("Vyakarana" with "bhashya") and Logic with commentary and classical notes ("nyaaya" with "bashya" and "tika") and etymological science ("nirukta") with commentary. Those who are conversant with ancient Indian learning know that these are very high standards compared to this age, where a professor of Ancient History, for example, need not have even basic understanding of Sanskrit or epigraphy to interpret the original sources of ancient Indian culture. The Ancient Educationists on the other hand insisted on multi-dimensional understanding of the relevant subjects as the best system of education. The record states that the teacher is appointed for a period of only three years at the end of which one has to take an examination for another term of appointment. The endowment with all the stipulations was created by a gentleman of the village in association with the Members of the Village Assembly, which would monitor the functioning. Here one finds that local democracy played a vibrant role in keeping the standard of education high. Protection of village tanks The maintenance of the village tank received top priority. The work was looked after by the Tank Supervising Committee whose members were elected from among the non-serving members of the Village Assembly. Their tenure was also limited to three years. In this way a great number of people were involved in managing the affairs of the village. The duty of the Tank Supervisory Committee was maintenance of tanks, irrigation, levying of tank taxes and utilising the funds so collected for the same purpose. The work of this committee was so inspiring that many people, including women, came forward and endowed money for tank maintenance. The committee also had to de-silt the village tanks once in three months and strengthen the tank bunds by widening and raising its height. The sluices and overflow channels were to be maintained properly. Uttiramerur shows the best example by providing a large number of records dealing with this type of secular transactions of the village Assemblies of Ancient India. There is an example of road maintenance. A road, continuously used by the villagers and cattle, became unfit for use. The village assembly acquired lands from owners who had cultivable lands adjacent to the road. The long road was about 48 feet wide. The assembly purchased land 14 feet wide from all the owners, who were willing to part with the land for a common cause and the road was re- laid. Efficient election system It would be appropriate to close this account by referring to the election system that was in vogue. The record is a clause-by-clause document of high efficiency and those who drafted it could be considered constitutional experts. The salient features were that a person should have a minimum educational qualification, should be above 35 years of age and below 70, should own a minimum of landed property, should have a residence built in his own land and finally, should be a tax payer. Only such men, who felt it was their responsibility to contribute to the governance, were allowed to contest. It was obligatory that a legislator should understand at least what he is legislating, as these acts affect the life of the people. In disqualifying a candidate, primary importance was given to elimination of corruption. Not only corrupt persons but those who abetted corruption and the near relatives, were debarred from contesting an election for seven generations. Those elected could be recalled any time if they were found not discharging their duty properly. With all these rigid rules if one got elected he could not contest the next three consecutive elections. And one could contest only for three terms throughout his lifetime and should make way for other members and families to get elected. Uttiramerur definitely shows the way in democratic participation extended to a larger section of society, exerting at the same time constant vigil and scrupulous enforcement of the Law, without favours or prejudices. In place were several committees such as the Annual Administrative Committee, Tank Committee, Gold Committee, Field Committee, Garden Committee, etc. which were all democratically elected under the overall supervision of the Annual Committee. Each serving member is debarred from standing for any other committee within three terms. Many of the evils prevalent today were anticipated 1,000 years ago and this made the Constitution framers, men of great vision, who deserve to be at least remembered. Uttiramerur, in this context, has a message to be acknowledged. (The author was Director of Archaeology, Tamil Nadu).
Posted by: rajesh_g Oct 16 2003, 02:36 PM
india.gif Smallpox, Germs and Memories by Subhash Kak History is stories, but sometimes they are not exactly true, or are only half true. As a child in an elementary school in Udhampur, I recall being told about smallpox and the discovery of the protection against it by Edward Jenner in 1798. It was much later that I learned from British accounts of the 18th century that the story is more complicated and interesting. Edward Jenner was indeed the first to use vaccination based on cowpox, but there was a much older method of vaccination against smallpox using weakened matter from pustules that had been current in the East and Africa for centuries. I learned about the Indian method of treatment of smallpox from a report written by Dr John Z. Holwell in 1767 for the College of Physicians in London. Titled `An Account of the Manner of Inoculating for the Smallpox in the East Indies', it not only described the system in great detail, it also provided the rationale behind it. This report is an excellent source to understand the mind of the Ayurvedic doctor of the 18th century. Holwell was born in Dublin in 1711. He came to Calcutta as a surgeon's mate in 1732, practicing as a doctor from 1736 onwards. Temporarily the Governor of Bengal for a few months in 1760, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society. Holwell informs that inoculators “are delegated for this service from the different Colleges of Bindoobund [?], Eleabas [Allahabad], Banaras, &c. over all the distant provinces; dividing themselves into small parties, of three or four each, they plan their traveling circuits in such wise as to arrive at the places of their respective destination some weeks before the usual return of the disease.” One would presume that they were Ayurvedic vaidyas or their assistants: They inoculate indifferently on any part, but if left to their choice, they prefer the outside of the arm, midway between the wrist and the elbow, for the males; and the same between the elbow and the shoulder for the females. Previous to the operation the Operator takes a piece of cloth in his hand, (which becomes his perquisite if the family is opulent,) and with it gives a dry friction upon the part intended for inoculation, for the space of eight or ten minutes, then with a small instrument he wounds, by many slight touches, about the compass of a silver groat, just making the smallest appearance of blood, then opening a linen double rag (which he always keeps in a cloth round his waist) takes from thence a small pledgit of cotton charged with the variolous [smallpox] matter, which he moistens with two or three drops of the Ganges water, and applies it on the wound, fixing it on with a slight bandage, and ordering it to remain on for six hours without being moved, then the bandage to be taken off, and the pledgit to remain until it falls off itself… The cotton which he preserves in a double callico rag is saturated with matter from the inoculated pustules of the preceding year, for they never inoculate with fresh matter, nor with matter from the disease caught in the natural way, however distinct and mild the species. Holwell claimed that when the inoculation regime was strictly followed, it is next to a miracle to hear that it 'failed in one in a million'. He added that since “this practice of the East has been followed without variation, and with uniform success from the remotest known times, it is but justice to conclude, it must have been originally founded on the basis of rational principles and experiment.” This is how Holwell described the explanations offered to him by Ayurvedic vaidyas: The immediate (or instant) cause of the smallpox exists in the mortal part of every human or animal form; that the mediate (or second) acting cause, which stirs up the first, and throws it into a state of fermentation, is multitudes of imperceptible animalculae [microorganisms] floating in the atmosphere; that these are the cause of all epidemical diseases, but more particularly of the smallpox; that they return at particular seasons in greater or lesser numbers…That these animalculae touch and adhere to every thing, in greater or lesser proportions, according to the nature of the surfaces they encounter; that they pass and repass in and out of the bodies of all animals in the act of respiration, without injury to themselves… smallpox is more or less epidemical, more mild or malignant, in proportion as the air is charged with the animalculae, and the quantity of them received with the food. Holwell understood the idea behind inoculation thus: “That when once this peculiar ferment, which produces the smallpox, is raised in the blood, the immediate (instant) cause of the disease is totally expelled in the eruptions, or by other channels; and hence it is, that the blood is not susceptible of a second fermentation of the same kind.” In other words, he believed that when the disease in its natural form or when introduced in its weak form by the inoculation has run its course, the patient is safe. The difference between these two forms being that in its natural course it is often fatal, whereas when introduced through inoculation, it is only an inconvenience. It is significant that the spread of disease was taken to be due to the imperceptible animalculae (microorganisms). This was ahead of the germ theory of disease of Pasteur, Lister and Koch that arose in the 1860s and 70s. Scholars now believe that the cure for smallpox arose in India sometime before 1000 AD. From India, the method of inoculation spread to China, western Asia and Africa and finally, in the early 18th century, to Europe and North America. The evidence for the cure reaching China comes from Imperial Chinese records. Interesting questions arise from the Holwell account. Was the idea of the treatment derived from agada-tantra, one of the eight branches of traditional Ayurveda that deals with poisons and toxins in small dosages? The Charaka Samhita speaks of how deadly poisons can be converted into excellent medicince and how two toxins can be antagonistic to each other. The Charaka Samhita also speaks of organisms that circulate in the blood, mucus and phlegm. What was the sociological basis for the army of inoculators fanning out into the country? How were the different regions parcelled to the inoculators? How were the itineraries drawn up to ensure that the inoculators reached the region before the smallpox season? Were business activities organized on a similar basis? These are questions that can be answered only with in-depth studies
Posted by: rajesh_g Oct 16 2003, 04:50 PM He still lives in his work He wrote a law treatise in the 11th century, which is still in circulation. Serious efforts are now on to resurrect the greatness of Vijnaneshwara, the author of Mitakshara, gathers Anand V Yamnur An emperor in the 11th century touched the feet of this man to salute him. The inscriptions on a stone plaque, dated 1124 AD, found at the Kalingeshwara Temple in Martur village, 18 kilometres from Gulbarga, reveal: “Ariraya Mukuta Tadhita Charanan-enalu Negabdi Vikramankana Ratnokara Nichita Mukuta Tadhita,” meaning “When Emperor Vikramaditya bent down to salute Vijnaneshwara, the Emperor's jewelled crown touched the feet of Vijnaneshwara”. Such was the respect Vijnaneshwara commanded during his time. The inscriptions state that Vijnaneshwara lived in the court of Emperor Vikramaditya (1076-1126 AD). He wrote Mitakshara, a law treatise explaining the Yagnvalkya Smruthi, propounded by philosopher Yagnvalkya. Except for minor changes, the laws in India relating to Hindu Joint Family, distribution of property, property rights, stree dhana (women property), and succession are still governed by Mitakshara. Though written 10 centuries ago, the relevance of Mitakshara is greatly felt, especially in the courts all over the country. Till 1932, little was known about when and where Vijnaneshwara lived, and where he wrote his Mitakshara. The credit of discovering the time and place of Vijnaneshwara goes to Prof P B Desai of Dharwad. In the journal Prachina Karnataka: Hosa Belaku (Historical Karnataka: New Light), dated February 1, 1932, he wrote about a stone inscription at Kalingeshwara Temple at Martur, which discloses that Vijnaneshwara was a Kannadiga, and was born at Masemadu village in the present Bidar district. It was only recently that the famous epigraphist Sitaram Jagirdar took out a paper impression of the Martur inscriptions, and published its contents. Dr Jagirdar points out that the stone inscriptions date back to 1124 AD. The inscriptions also disclose that Martur was the place of work of Vijnaneshwara, and in recognition of his merit and contribution, he was gifted lands and honoured by Emperor Vikramaditya the VI of the Chalukya Dynasty. Vijnaneshwara’s original name was Kancha, and he was the son of Somaraj and Bhagyavanithe. His wife's name was Kethikabbe. Of his four sons, Beethiraja got the temples of Shiva and Mahadeva constructed at Martur, and for this, the land was donated to him on January 6, 1123. Through the inscriptions it is clear that Vijnaneshwara lived in Martur, where he also wrote his commentary Mitakshara. Until the inscriptions were deciphered, it was believed that Vijnaneshwara was born in the Kalyan region of Maharashtra. But, the Martur inscriptions prove that the legal luminary of the forgotten era was a Kannadiga born in the Kalyan region, which is now Basavakalyan in Bidar district. In 1970 the present Bihar Governor M Rama Jois who served as the Chief Justice in Punjab began writing a book Legal and Constitutional History of India. At that time, he came across the earliest translations of Mitakshara by H T Cole Broke of the UK (1867), and by Prof J R Gharapure of Pune (1912). Greatly impressed by the work, Justice Jois erected a befitting memorial for this medieval India’s greatest jurist. The fact that Vijnaneshwara was a Kannadiga and hailed from the Gulbarga region was little known to the world. The need to create awareness about this great personality among the common people, and promote research on his works led to the establishment of Vijnaneshwara Souhardhaka Co-operative Society. The Society came into existence last year in Gulbarga with Justice Jois as its chief patron. The main aim of this Society is to construct a befitting memorial for Vijnaneshwara at Martur at a cost of Rs one crore, and start a full-fledged research centre to study the life and works of the man. The State Government has already allotted six acres of land for the purpose. A local farmer Gundappa Kambar has donated half-an-acre of his land as a tribute to this great personality of yesteryears.
Posted by: Kaushal Oct 18 2003, 11:25 PM
Another vignette from HH resurrected from one of my email lists Composite from Hammira prabandha, Hammira Kavya (examined in original), Barani and Badaoni. ------------ After Alla murdered Jalal and took the throne of Delhi he decided to exterminate the Chauhans once and for all. During the attack on the Rajput stronghold of Jalor, a Mongol general Kehbru and his brothers from the Northern alliance of the Chagadai Ulus, who were arch-enemies of the Khaljis, had taken the side of the Hindus. In the fierce battle of Jalor, Kehbru and his brothers had slain Kaaloo Maliq the nephew of Sultan Alla-ud-din. After the fall of Jalor the Mongols fled to Ranthambhor and took shelter of Maharana Hammira Deva Chahamana. Enraged by this, and the recalcitrant nature of the great Rajput, Alla-ud-din decided to destroy him. Alla sent his brother il-Ghazi Ulugh Khan from Bayana, and his general il-Ghazi Nusrat Khan from Qara each with regiments of 40,000 Turkish cavalrymen and over 10,000 Kullar infantrymen (Indian equivalents of the Yenicheri). Seeing the vast Islamic army making its way, the Rana of the clan of Prithiviraja Chahamana, decided to resort to defensive warfare from the fort of Ranthambhor. Nusrat and Ulugh converged at Jhain, a once flourishing Indian city and erased it off the face of the Earth with its Hindu inhabitants. Historian KS Lal has noticed some ruins in the National Park under the name Naigaon that seem to be all that remain behind of the city after the Turkic arson and rampage. Ulugh Khan sent a message to the Rana to humbly accept Islam and hand over the Mongol chiefs whom he had sheltered. The Rana refused and prepared to take on the Ghazis in battle. He had an elite Rajput cavalry of 12,000 and 40,000 infantrymen. He erected several large stone hurling cross-bows on the ramparts of Ranthambhor and devices that would spray fine red hot sand and burning oil. Nusrat and Ulugh marched forth fiercely and started advancing a wave of Arraadaas (trebuchets), gargachs (seige engines) and Manjiqs (mangonels) to bombard the fort. However, the Rajputs struck back fiercely demolishing the Moslem siege-crafts with their missiles and caused havoc amidst the Moslem armies. Nusrat Khan then sent a force of Kullar infantry to attempt an escalade on the fort, but they were butchered by the Rajput archers. Then, Nusrat with his cavalry tried a forced assault on the main gate of Ranthambhor that was known as Naulakhi. The Rajputs having sighted him early, aimed a rock from a cross-bow at his head and crushed him to death. His division was then mowed down under a shower of ballistas and arrows. Hammira Deva seeing that the Moslems where shaken by this attack, despite his smaller army boldly sallied forth and attacked Ulugh Khan's division with great fury. The Moslem army was smashed and Ulugh retreated to the ruins of Jhain. Ulugh immediately called his brother for aid, and Alla set out from Delhi to handle the campaign. Hammira Deva, however, set strong defenses to ambush the Moslems and block the march of Alla. Sadly, he soon thought he had repulsed the invader, and lowered his guard. Alla was waiting for this moment and set out with a large force of 90,000 cavalrymen. In a brisk raid he devastated the country around Ranthambhor and destroyed all the farmlands, thereby preventing the fort from getting any food supplies. He then cutoff all supply routes for horses from Rajasthan and thus prevented the Rana from replenishing his cavalry. The nephews of the Rana, Kahnaiya and Bala Simha from Chittor cut through the cordon and brought some supplies and horses for their uncle. Intent on the ultimate Jihad, Alla-ud-din pressed hard on the fort by trying to fill the moat with logs. But the Rajputs repulsed them with showers of burning arrows, oil and red hot sand. Alla then tried to build a stone causeway to the fort but was repulsed by a hail of ballistas. Alla then got a Buddhist traitor Sarjan Sah, who for a price, pointed out the location of the granary. Alla with giant trebuchets hurled rotting corpses and refuse into the granary to pollute it. Soon the Rajputs were left without viable food and had no option but to make their last stand. The Rana's queen Rangaa Devi immolated herself with the other women. Wearing orange robes, the Rana, his younger brother Viram Deva, his teenaged nephews, his three commanders, Rai Ranadhira, Rai Gangadhara and Kshetra Singh Parmar and the four Mongol brothers with Kehbru at their head advanced to take on the Sultan. The Khullar Infantry was put to sword under the Rajput charge. Ulugh Khan rushed at the Rajput cavalry, but he was wounded by an arrow from Viram Deva. Viram rushed toward the Sultan himself, but the Turks rained blows on him with their maces, slaying him. The Rana's commanders, each working great havoc in the Moslem ranks, fell dead. The Rana was ably guarded by the Mongol brothers and fought fiercely along with his nephews, who cut their way towards the division of Amir-i-Koh. The Amir shot down Kahniya, but Bala Simha avenged his brother by slaying the Amir with his spear. Maliq Azizuddin rushed at Bala Simha and struck him with sword but even as the Chittor prince fell dead, he killed the Maliq with a blow from his sword. The Sultan sent Maliq Noor Khan to take the Rana The Maliq with 5000 horsemen surrounded the Rana who had only 600 men with him. The Rana is said to have worshiped Mahadeva, offering himself as a sacrifice to Rudra, and pledged to die for his land and religion. The battle is said to have raged so fierce that the Moslems lost 4000 men while the Rana's troops were whittled down to just 200. The Rana's horse was shot down and he continued fighting on foot. He placed his arrows in front of him on the ground and started shooting down the Moslems(The Hindu chronicles claim that with each shaft the brought down a cavalier). Struck by his valor, Alla asked him to become a Moslem and return to his kingdom. However, the Rana spurned the offer and fought on till all his arrows were exhausted. Kehbru, the valiant Mongol who was shielding him all the while, perished in that fight. His brother Alaghu though badly wounded fought on till he fell unconscious. Finding it impossible to take the Rana alive, the Moslems surrounded him on all sides and pressed upon him with their sabers. Hammira Deva kept them at bay for about an hour before his head was cut off. Thus on Tuesday, July 11th 1301 Rana Hammira Deva Chahamana died fighting at the age of 28. Ten beautifully painted Rajput miniatures accompanying the Rajput chronicles Hammira Prabandha and Hammira Mahakavya provide a very graphic depiction of scenes from this last battle. The Turks captured the Mongol Alaghu and Alla offered him the post of a general. Alaghu declared that after he had served the Sun of the Hindus, he was not willing to serve a lowly Khalji, whose tribesmen were once Naukers of Chingiz Kha'Khan. Alla had Alaghu crushed under an elephant and his head was exhibited in Delhi as a trophy. The Buddhist traitor Sarjan Sah, hoped a lavish reward from the Sultan, but he was instead beaten death. The City of Ranthambhor was blotted out and the Sultan devastated all the temples in the region. Thus ended the rule of the Chauhans in Hindustan. ===== -------------------------------------- indra tva vR^ishbhaM vayaM sute some havAmahe| sa pahi madhvo andhasaH||
Posted by: Kaushal Oct 19 2003, 09:14 PM
On line book by Richard Eaton. Now i consider Eaton a revisionist and an islamophile, so one should go through this book with a skeptical mind to pick out falsehoods and anomalies;
Posted by: Krishna Oct 19 2003, 10:59 PM
B’lore scientist throws new light on the Mahabharata From Kalyan Ray DH News Service NEW DELHI, Oct 19 Analysing the planetary references depicted in the Mahabharata, a Bangalore-based scientist claimed to have zeroed in on the period during which the two clans, Kauravas and Pandavas, gained political power and fought each other in the battle of Kurukshetra. Based on historical and archeological evidence, the epic had been dated earlier between 600 to 3000 BC though the dates have never been proved conclusively. “The eclipses and planetary observations of the Mahabharata should belong to 1493 BC to 1443 BC of Indian history. The war should have taken place in 1478 BC with an error bond of one year,” Dr R N Iyengar from the department of civil engineering at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, said. The analysis was made by calculating planet and star positions described in the epic in modern astronomical terms using three software including a German-made one used widely by USA National Aeronautics and Space Administration for recreating historical events. The exercise undertaken by Dr Iyengar, a civil engineer of international repute who is a Sanskrit scholar as well, had resulted in 12 possible dates for the war 2744 and 505 BC. “Out of the 12 solutions for the war, the period 1478 BC fits the bill almost perfectly,” he told Deccan Herald over telephone. However, conflicting tests and mismatches between astronomical, archaeological, historical and social evidence always pose a big problem in resolving the Mahabharata period beyond any doubt. “I will not touch Mahabharata since its heavily contaminated,” pointed out Dr M N Vahia at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai who had earlier calculated the Shivaji era using more or less similar techniques. However, Dr Iyengar went through six versions of the epic - four in Sanskrit and one each in Kannada and English, to pick up the planetary references. “In a text as large as the Mahabharata its no wonder that chronological ordering of the events and observations might have got mixed up due to transmission errors. But everything falls into place as in a puzzle and an almost unique epoch emerges from celestial observations when 1478 BC is taken as the year of the war,” he wrote, reporting the findings in Indian Journal of History of Science published by the Indian National Science Academy. Three solar eclipses depicted in Sabha Parvan, Bhisma Parvan and Mausala Parvan and description of a lunar succeeding or preceding at least two solar eclipses within a month, helped Dr Iyengar narrow down his search. “It’s the planetary position what matters. From a span of 2500 years, the window was fixed on a time span of 10-15 years,” he said, adding that dates mentioned in the epic also helped in fine tuning the period. A major limitation of earlier studies was that they did not show how to reconcile inconsistencies such as Sani (Saturn) being said to be with star Rohini (Aldebaran) as well as being near star Visakha (Alpha-Librae) in Bhisman Parvan, he pointed out claiming that the new study bridges the gaps.
Posted by: k.ram Oct 20 2003, 07:18 AM
Krishna, you got me this time!! sad.gif biggrin.gif
Posted by: Viren Oct 21 2003, 01:04 PM By Meenakshi Jain, Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti, Delhi. admins: please move if thread not appropriate
Posted by: k.ram Oct 22 2003, 08:41 AM
A Nalanda contemporary seat of learning Author: Statesman News Service Publication: The Statesman Date: October 18, 2003 This university possibly never found a mention in Huien Tsang's memoirs. But around the same time the great Chinese traveller-scholar was laying bare the tenets of Buddhism to his students at Nalanda University, a few hundred miles to the south, devout Hindus were absorbed in studying the four Vedas, a recent archaeological find suggests. Evidence of a 5th Century AD Vedic Hindu university located at Benisagar village in West Singhbhum district (bordering Mayurbhanj in Orissa) has recently been unearthed by archaeologists. According to Mr Onkar Chauhan, archaeological superintendent of the Ranchi Chapter of the Archaeological Survey of India, the findings are based on the recovery of a seal, which bears characters of the Brahmi script belonging to the Gupta era. Mr Chauhan told The Statesman that the seal was discovered from the rain gullies of an ancient mound in August this year and is currently in the possession of a local villager. The seal, which is circular with a linear border, has a horizontal line bifurcating the motifs and the legends. The motifs are depicted on the upper half while the legends lie on the lower half. The motifs, according to Mr Chauhan, represent rosary beads, kamandalu and danda, while the legends comprise nine letters. It reads: Priyangu Dheyam Chaturvidya, translated, one who is well-versed in the four Vedas. The 5th century AD Brahmi script denotes the Sanskrit language. Mr Chauhan said the archaeological remains of the place consist of low mounds, ruins of bricks and stone temple, apart from phallic and stone images. The mounds are scattered all over the area, but the many-layered remains converge at a particular spot known as Devasthan on the eastern embankment of a large tank - Benisagar - from which the village derives its name. The discovered seal is one that belonged to Brahmins. Mr Chauhan said that the large number of private seals discovered during excavations of Bhita and Basrah regions in Kutch bear resemblance to the Benisagar seal. In both cases, the script character used in the inscription measures 1.5 inches. While the Kutch seal dates back to the 8th century AD, the Benisagar seal belongs to the 5th century AD. Researches revealed, the Vedic systems of learning were prevalent between 1st and 11th century AD. The four education systems included Charan, Agahara, Travidya and Chaturvidya. The seal recovered from Benisagar indicates that it was a seat of learning where the four Vedas were taught.
Posted by: O Vijay Oct 24 2003, 01:47 PM
Does anyone know what kind of gods we worshipped before 3200 BCE? I am not talking about what is in the Vedas. I am wondering about the archeological evidence. Are there any pre 3200 BCE carvings or motifs which depict god/goddess? If so, what did they generally depict? A male god or female? I believe that a full-bodied female earth mother type of figures were common, but what about figures which depict male gods? Does anybody know? Is there any evidence which goes against the argument that the Earth Mother Goddess was replaced with a Sun Father God figure around 3100 BCE?
Posted by: Mudy Oct 26 2003, 08:12 PM
>>>Does anyone know what kind of gods we worshipped before 3200 BCE? Sun and Cow.
Posted by: Mudy Oct 28 2003, 09:20 AM
Posted by: Jaspreet Oct 29 2003, 06:41 AM
{This is not really an on-topic post, but I hope the readers will find it interesting} While history is an interesting topic in itself, it deals mainly with the broad strokes. I have always been interested in the life of common folks. As kings went about waging wars and courtiers schemed, how did the common person fare? As towns sprang up from close-knit communities and agriculture was relegated to countryside, where did the common man work, what kind of supermarkets did he go to, how did he entertain himself, what was the level of tolerance to opposite sex relationships? I am not talking of "recent" history, like 2000-4000 years ago, but of times 10,000 years ago. My curiosity was sated to a large extent by Geodyssey series of books written by Piers Anthony - Isle of Woman, Shame of Man and Hope of Earth. Though there are times when I don't agree with him, they are excellent reads. He calls the history texts taught in schools "ignorant" - something with which many of you will agree. Must read, IMO.
Posted by: Gill Oct 31 2003, 12:11 PM
To Amins and fellow members I am a bit confused, should not the topic title read "History of hindus"? Afterall, India is a creation of the british. and by logic, everything that has happened in India, has happened to the hindus. The Muslim invasion did not subdue the Muslims, it subdued and generated a Holocaust on us hindus, thus its our history not indian. The brits came to our land not some Christian or Moslem land but on our hindu land. Thus its our history. The hindu History. Gill dry.gif
Posted by: Kaushal Nov 1 2003, 03:16 PM
India(Indus) is the latin terminology for the Saraswati Sindhu river valley civilization, which extended over a vast area of western, central and northern India, derived from the corrupted persian word Hepta Hendu (Sapta Sindhu). There is really no difference between Hindu and Indian. it is only the British that made a distinction and referred to the Hindu as Hindu by religion. Throughout the middle ages most of the world referred to India as Hindustaan (the land of the Hindus, as a people lving in geographic area and not as a religious grouping). We ought not to use the term Hindu as a religion (the proper name is the Dharma or the Sanaatana Dharma). Even today countries like Saudi Arabia refer to all Indians, Muslim and Hindu alike as Hind as did most of the Moghal emperors. I include in Indic civilization the greater Indic civilization (Ancient Persia, Hindu Kingdoms of Indonesia and Malaysia, Thailand, Khamboj (Cambodia). By Indian History i will understand it to mean the History of the Greater Indic civilization.
Posted by: Gill Nov 1 2003, 08:05 PM
Mr. kaushal, Wouldnt it be fair to call it "History of Bharat"? What other secular name can be used to keep the evil commies and leftist happy? Do we seriously require our bharat to be called "India"? What was the logic or thinking behind keeping this word as "official name of our nation"? For who and why? Congress has to answer this simple question for all Bharatians. Gill huh.gif
Posted by: Kaushal Nov 1 2003, 09:19 PM
Deepan, it doesnt make any difference to me whether we use Bharat or India. But people outside of India will recognize India more readily. It is interesting to note that Jinnah wanted to appropriate the name India for Pakistan, but of course the Congress did not agree. The name India has tremendous brand value ever since the time of Alexander's invasion. it is not a name to be scoffed at. In fact we should refer to the subcontinent as Indian subcontinent rather than as South Asia. Similarly the name Indonesia (means Indian Islands in Greek) shows the connection between the Indic civilization and the role it played in the heritage of Indonesia. I agree with you we should popularize the name Bharat also. No harm in using both. We can call this thread for instance Bharatiya Itihaas.
Posted by: k.ram Nov 1 2003, 10:47 PM
I am all for Hindu, bharat, India kinda tricledown effect clap.gif
Posted by: acharya Nov 2 2003, 11:48 AM
QUOTE (Gill @ Oct 31 2003, 07:11 AM)
To Amins and fellow members Afterall, India is a creation of the british. and by logic, everything that has happened in India, has happened to the hindus. Gill dry.gif
The question of India being created by British is itself a misnomer
Posted by: Viren Nov 2 2003, 07:34 PM
When exactly did we stop calling ourselves Bharat or Hindustan? History gurus ?
Posted by: Kaushal Nov 2 2003, 08:20 PM
Hindustan is a fairly old moniker dating to the Muslim sultanate. Bharat as a name for all of India is as recent as independence, named after the Bharatas closely aligned with the Ikshvaku clan. The Rg is essentially a chronicle of the Bharata Ikshvakus.But i am not sure whether the entire geographic area of present day India was ever called Bharat prior to independence(esp.referring to the entire subcontinent). It would be interesting to see what Asoka called his empire. More on the name Bharat and the Bharata clan (from Dr.K) I presume they did not want to pick Hindustan because of religious connotations (which is silly because as i said the Moghals called themselves emperors of Hindustan )(not of Hindu people but of the land of Hind). The Arabs had known India as Hind for a long time before then, essentially picking it up from the Iranians. IN KSA even today all Indians whether they are Hindus or muslims are referred to as Hind. The Chinese also referred to us by a variation of Hind.
Posted by: acharya Nov 3 2003, 11:31 AM
The Unity of India Dileep Karanth 8 August 2001 This article is the first in a series planned to explore the idea of an India -to see if the idea is meaningful, and if so, to trace the birth and the evolution of the idea. Was this concept indigenous to India? Was it a bequest by outsiders, or invaders, or colonizers? This article is little more than a collage of quotes, held together by a tenuous commentary. Whether it amounts to a picture at all is for the reader to decide. No chronology is given -the reader can pick her/ his favorite dates for the various Puranas and epics; it should not matter to the conclusions I have drawn. An English authority, Sir John Strachey, had this to say about India: ... this is the first and most essential thing to learn about India -that there is not and never was an India or even any country of India, possessing according to European ideas, any sort of unity, physical, political ... (quoted in Mookerji, pp. 5-6) His was not an isolated opinion. Reginald Craddock, Home Minister of the Government of India under Hardinge and Chelmsford, in The dilemma in India (1929) denied the existence of an Indian nation: An Indian Nation, if such be possible, has to be created before it can exist. It never existed in the past, and it does not exist now. Do we flatter ourselves that we created it? If so, it is sheer flattery. There is no word for 'Indian' in any vernacular tongue; there is not even any word for 'India'. Nor is there any reason why there should be an Indian Nation. The bond or union among the races to be found there is that they have for the last century and a half been governed in common by a Foreign Power. (quoted in Bobb, pp. 116-117) P. C. Bobb sums up Craddock's views nicely: By this account 'Indian' was the same kind of misnomer, applied by the English, as the term 'European' when applied to the English (as it was in India). According to Craddock, India was merely, like Europe, a subcontinent within the vast single continent of Europe and Asia, whose peoples had "roamed over the whole" in prehistoric times. Down the centuries nationalities had become localized, until Europe and India, for example, each contained well over twenty separate countries, divided by race and language. India looked like one country only if seen from the outside, from ignorance or distance. India's cultural diversity, and lack of political unity has often invited its comparison with Europe. Certainly, India is not a homogeneous country, by any classification. Also the boundaries of India have changed very often. The present boundaries of India do not include all the regions that have been part of 'Classical India' at some time or another in history, and doubtless, the nation-state of India as we see it today is a very recent political entity. Also the word 'India' is not to be found in the modern languages of India, suggesting that 'India' is a latter-day conception. The renowned Islamic scholar, Mawlana Syed Sulaiman Nadwi develops a variant of a widespread idea about the origin of the name 'Hind': 1 1 Page 2 3 Before the advent of the Muslims, there was no single name for the country as a whole. Every province had its own name, or rather a state was known by the name of its capital. When the Persians conquered a province of this country, they gave the name 'Hindu' to the river, which is now known as Indus, and which was called Mehran, by the Arabs. In the old Persian and also in Sanskrit, the letters 's' and 'h' often interchange. There are many instances of this. Hence Sindh became in Persian Hindhu, and the word 'Hind' derived from Hindhu, came to be applied to the whole country. The Arabs, however, who were acquainted with other parts of the country, restricted the word 'Sind' to a particular province, while applying the word 'Hind' to other parts of the country as well. Soon this country came to be known by this name in distant parts of the world. The Western nations dropped the 'h' and called the country Ind or India. All over the world, now, this country is called by this name or by any one [sic] of its many variants. (Nadwi, P. 8) An influential historian, André Wink, writes about the fashioning of "India" from whatever geographical and cultural and human materials were present in the region now known as India: We will see that the Muslims first defined India as a civilization, set it apart conceptually, and drew its boundaries. The early Muslim view of India includes, to be sure, a close parallel to the Western Mirabilia Indiae in the accounts of the "aja'ib al-Hind". It also includes a number of stereotypes which were already familiar to the ancient Greeks: of India as a land of self-absorbed philosophers, high learning, "wisdom", the belief in metempsychosis, of sacred cows, elephants, and, again, great wealth. The Arab geographers are perhaps uniquely obsessed with Indian idolatry and polytheism, "in which they differ totally from the Muslims". But the Arabs, in contrast to the medieval Christians, developed their conception of India in direct and prolonged contact with it. In a political-geographical sense, "India" or al-Hind, throughout the medieval period, was an Arab or Muslim conception. The Arabs, like the Greeks, adopted a pre-existing Persian term, but they were the first to extend its application to the entire Indianized region from Sind and Makran to the Indonesian Archipelago and mainland Southeast Asia. It therefore appears to us as if the Indians or Hindus acquired a collective identity in interaction with Islam. (Wink, pp. 4-5) According to this view, the idea of "India" or "Hindus" itself emerged in interaction with Islam. The Arabs must have called a vast land 'al-Hind' as a shorthand term, just as a modern textbook of geography might club diverse nations under the umbrella term 'Middle East'. Another example is the term Sudan. It was the Arabs who named a vast tract of land (without delimiting it exactly) as Bilad al-sudan -"land of the blacks". The various peoples of that region did not refer to themselves as 'Sudanese' until modern times. Yet the alert reader who reads the above excerpt would surely notice that the concept of an Indianized region stretching from Makran (Baluchistan) to Indonesia has somehow wriggled its way into a discourse which would deny (a priori) the existence of an "India". A question arises immediately: What was it about the region from Sind to Indonesia that merits the term 'Indianized', which caused the Arabs to call this region collectively as 'al-Hind'? A partial answer to this question can be formulated by quoting what Vincent Smith, an authority on early India had said: "India, encircled as she is by seas and mountains, is indisputably a geographical unit, and as such is rightly designated by one name." But was this unity only a geographical phenomenon? Or did it begin as a geographical accident, and then acquire cultural, linguistic and ethnic overtones? Let us postpone that discussion briefly, and go back to Wink's statement: "We will see that the 2 2 Page 3 4 Muslims first defined India as a civilization, set it apart conceptually, and drew its boundaries." Let us clarify whether: a) the definition or conception of India is a Muslim (or generally Arab or West Asian) invention. cool.gif the name India/ Hindu/ Ind is an Arab (or Greek or Persian) coinage. It may be useful to make a few preliminary remarks about country-names. The fact that the word "India" is ostensibly of foreign origin is used to insinuate that the very idea of an Indian nation is a contribution by outsiders. First of all, there are many countries with names of foreign origin. Consider, for example, the case of France. The French people are descendants of the ancient Gaulish people, who spoke languages of the Celtic family. The Gauls were conquered by Rome. When Rome was itself taken over by Germanic peoples, Gaul came under the influence of the Germanic Franks. The Franks gave their name to France, a country now Latin by language and Celtic by race. However, few would argue that French nationhood somehow depends upon Germany. Again consider the example of Germany itself. The word is of Latin origin, and the self-appellation "Deutschland" is hardly known among non-Germans. In the Latin world, Germany is known as Allemagne (after the name of a Germanic tribe). This French word is also used by the Arabs and Iranians. Or take the familiar case of Great Britain. Today the bulk of the population of Britain is English, that is, Germanic by language and culture. But the name "Brittania" celebrated by English poets, is the original Celtic name. The French may have popularized the term 'Basque', but the Basques call themselves Euskera. "Hayastan" is more widely known by its Latin name "Armenia". "Sakartvelo" in the Caucasus is known as "Gruzia" to the Slavic world, and is called "Georgia" by the anglophone world. "Suomi" is known the world over by its Swedish name "Finland". America is named for an Italian, and Spain takes its name from a Carthaginian word for "rabbit". This list is by no means exhaustive. It is clear that a people's sense of identity does not crucially depend on the name by which they are widely known. What matters is whether a single term can adequately capture their 'identity'. The term itself can be native or foreign. Thus the simple fact that the word 'India/ Hindu/ Ind' is probably not of Indian origin alone does not amount to a proof that no notion of an India existed, in the indigenous cultures of India. No matter how the name India originated, it eventually came to mean something quite well-defined, and the use of a single term India is justified, and not only as a shorthand for a hazy notion. Vincent Smith explains: The most essentially fundamental Indian unity rests upon the fact that the diverse peoples of India have developed a peculiar type of culture or civilization utterly different from any other type in the world. That civilization may be summed up in the term Hinduism. India primarily is a Hindu country, the land of the Brahmans, who have succeeded by means of peaceful penetration, not by the sword, in carrying their ideas into every corner of India. Caste, the characteristic Brahman institution, utterly unknown in Burma, Tibet, and other borderlands, dominates the whole of Hindu India, and exercises no small influence over the powerful Muslim minority. Nearly all Hindus reverence Brahmans, and all may be said to venerate the cow. Few deny the authority of the Vedas and other ancient scriptures. Sanskrit everywhere is the sacred language. The great gods, Vishnu and Shiva, are recognized and more or less worshipped in all parts of India. The pious pilgrim, when going the round of the holy places, is equally at home among the snows of Badrinath or on the burning sands of Rama's Bridge. The seven sacred cities include places in the far south as well as in Hindustan. Similarly, the cult of rivers is common to all Hindus, and all alike share in the affection felt for the tales of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. 3 3 Page 4 5 India beyond all doubt possesses a deep underlying fundamental unity, far more profound than that produced either by geographical isolation or by political suzerainty. That unity transcends the innumerable diversities of blood, colour, language, dress, manners and sect. (Smith, p. 7) The reader may not agree with all that Vincent Smith says. Caste is not uniquely an Indian institution. It was found among Indo-European peoples like the ancient Persians; it is also found among the Naga tribesfolk, to mention just two examples. However, Hinduism, though it is far from the being the sole cultural matrix of all the peoples of India, does provide a framework for thinking about 'India'. 'India' is meaningful at least to the extent that 'Hinduism' can be discussed as a coherent whole. Indeed, in the Puranas and the epics, we find evidence of the existence of an "India", an ancient superstructure over the various distinct regions that now make up India. This superstructure was (and is) known as Bharata to the Indians themselves, and as "India" (or variants like Hind and Hindustan) to outsiders. The oft-repeated quote from the Vishnupurana says: Uttaram yat samudrasya himadreshcaiva dak sinam Varsam tad bharatam nama bharati yatra santatih That is, the Vishnupurana defines "Bharata" as the land north of the seas, south of the Himalayas, and where the people are called "Bharati". But the Bharati peoples were not all alike. The fact that they were distinct peoples was also not unknown to the authors of the Puranas. That did not deter them from using a blanket term to refer to the peoples of "Bharata": Already during the Gupta period this pluralism had become an established feature of life in India and a defining feature of its Indianness. Already in the Kurma Purana we find the Hindu thinkers reckoning "with the striking fact that men and women dwelling in India belonged to different communities, worshipped different gods, and practised different rites. Bharatesu striyah pumso Nanavarn? h prak irtitah Nan? devarcane yukta Nanakarmani kurvate (Sharma, What is Bharata?) The words translated as "dwelling in India" are literally expressed as "among the Bharatas" in the original. Who are the Bharatas? What is the Bharati Santati? If asked, the linguist Suniti Kumar Chatterji would probably have answered this question with his quote, written in another context: Sanskrit looms large behind all Indian languages, Aryan and non-Aryan. It is inseparable from Indian history and culture. Sanskrit is India. The progressive Unification of the Indian Peoples into a single Nation can correctly be described as the Sanskritisation of India (Chatterji, p. 32.) Let us take as a definition of "India/ Bharata" roughly that land where "Sanskrit" is spoken. What outsiders called "Hind" was what the locals considered as Bharata. Sanskrit was the 'Hindi' language, as far as outsiders were concerned. The earliest translations from Sanskrit to Arabic, carried out in the early days of the Baghdad Caliphate, referred to Sanskrit as "Hindi". Al-Biruni, who wrote about the Islamic kingdom of Sindh and Mansura (Multan), made a distinction between the vernacular Sindhi language and the learned "Hindi" language (Sanskrit). Earlier, the Chinese pilgrim Yuan-Chwang had referred to Sanskrit as the language of India. Thus, observers familiar with the differences in the colloquial speeches of India, refer to Sanskrit as the 'language of India'. 4 4 Page 5 6 There are many names for the Sanskrit language, but the only name which can be related to any territory or people is the name "Bharati". The Indian tradition preserves no memory of where the Sanskrit language originated. Unlike the Latin world, which remembers that the well-springs of the Latin language is the Italian peninsula, the Indic world has no such regional territorial word for its classical language. This would suggest that the Indic civilization has developed an organic unity, and if at all it was united by conquest in some remote period in history, that is now long forgotten. "Bharati" belongs to all "Bharata". In the tenth century, when arguably no Western Orientalist had set foot in India, Al-Biruni would write: The middle of India is the country round Kanoj (Kanauj), which they call Madhyadesha, i. e. the middle of the realms. It is the middle or centre from a geographical point of view, in so far as it lies half way between the sea and the mountains, in the midst between the hot and cold provinces, and also between the eastern and western frontiers of India. But it is a political centre too, because in former times it was the residence of their most famous heroes and kings. (Al-Beruni's India, p. 198) If there is a concept of 'middle country' there must also be an awareness of the region that makes up its periphery. It is a modern accident that the middle country is now called Uttar Pradesh in post-partition India. But this region was in the 'middle' of the Indo-Gangetic plain, and also the Indian peninsula. Now, al-Biruni was only reporting about the idea of a middle country, and peripheral regions; he did not think up this notion himself. The people who conceived of an India were indigenous Indians: Our forefathers had a system of dividing the country into five zones, and for an ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and even political-historical study of India that classification is very useful. The five zones are: Madhyadesha (the Middle Country), Purvadesha (the east), Daksinapatha (the South), Aparanta or Praticya (the West), and Uttarapatha or Udicya (the North). We find them explained in the Dharma-S? tras, in the Buddhist Vinaya, and in the Bhuvanakosha or gazetteer section of the Puranas. The provincial distribution of the Maurya empire conformed to these zones, and all the digvijayas described by our classical poets are arranged on this pattern. The five zones are called the five Indies by the Chinese pilgrim Yuan Chwang (c. AD 640), and five sthalas by Rajashekhara (c. AD 900). 25 In later periods, whenever there were regional States in India maintaining a balance of power for a sufficiently long time, they too generally conformed to them. (Vidyalankar, P. 46) The epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata provide a clear example of how the various regions of India were linked by a common culture and awareness. Al-Biruni, writing about India from a place west of the Indus, is aware of the centrality of Vasudeva and Rama to the Indian tradition. All over India we find local versions of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. They may disagree on the details, but not on the essentials. Even the regional variants of the epics show an awareness of the 'whole' and not merely of the region they were composed in. The 'Great' tradition of the Sanskrit epics is mirrored in the 'little' traditions, which are local in their form and yet global in their scope. The detailed geography of India, as reflected in the epics, will be saved for another article. Here let me be content with a single quote: Besides this intimate knowledge of the parts, the Mahabharata presents a conception of the whole of India as a geographical unit in the famous passage in the Bhismaparva where the shape of India is described as an equilateral triangle, divided into four smaller equal triangles, the apex of which is Cape Comorin and 5 5 Page 6 7 the base formed by the line of the Himalaya mountains. As remarked by Cunningham [Ancient Geography of India, p. 5], "the shape corresponds very well with the general form of the country, if we extend the limits of India to Ghazni on the north-west and fix the other two points of the triangle at Cape Comorin and Sadiya in Assam." (Mookerji pp. 62-63) This does not mean that the Puranic conception of India was static, and always referred exactly to what is now called India. In the words of Subas Rai: In all Puranas there occurs a particular topic designated as Bhuvankosa, in which are actually discussed the general and the regional geography of the world and India both. ... The shape and bulk of Bharatvarsha is given in various puranas and contemporary literature where it has been described as a half moon, a triangle, a rhomboid or an unequal quadrilateral or like a drawn bow. The Markandeya Purana (57.59) is quite specific about the shape of the country. Its configuration is that of a bow in which the Himalaya is like the stretched string of the bow and the arrow that was placed on it indicates the peninsular area of the south. It is said to extend in a triangular shape with its transverse base in the north. (Vayu Purana 45.81). The different stages of Bharatvarsha as given in ancient literature represent various stages in the process of extension of the occupied or known areas of the country during the course of history. To say that there are inconsistencies in the Puranas regarding the shape of the country is thus unfair. The modern Sinhalese word for India which you see in newspapers is Dhambadiva (Deshappriya Jayasuriya, private communication). This word is ultimately to be traced to the Pali name for India, Jambudiipa (Sanskrit Jambudviipa), literally the "Rose-apple Island/ Continent". The conventional explanation is that it got this name from the shape of the fruit which, like the Indian Sub-Continent", is also roughly pear-shaped/ triangular. If this explanation is true, then a geographical awareness of the whole peninsula (and naturally the Indo-Gangetic plain to which it is attached) must have been inherent in the word. We thus see that the concept of Bharatavarsha, even if considered cosmological to begin with, became firmly geographical, and that in "classical" times. The words Jambudvipe Bharatavarse chanted by the Brahmin in countless ceremonies could only have strengthened this geographical concept over the centuries. The idea of a culturally united India -call it a nation, or a civilization --clearly did not depend upon the Arabs/ Muslims. Nor was the idea born out of the labors of the Western Orientalist or the British colonial administrator. "India" --the name which launched a thousand ships, and which has fired the imagination of explorers for ages, predates the emergence of Islam and Western Indology, by centuries, if not millennia. cool.gif Where did the term 'Hindu' come from ? Now let us look at the name Hindu/ India, and see whether the term is of Muslim origin, even if the concept is not. As mentioned in the quote from André Wink, the Arabs and the Greeks got their term for India from a pre-existing Persian term. The most influential Islamic scholar writing on India, Al-Biruni, includes those regions in India which the astronomer Varahamihira considered as Indian. It is interesting to note that "Hindu" is not the only word for "Indian" in the Arabic literature. In Egyptian Arabic, the Greek word "Indus" (pronounced as "indoos") is still used, as a relic from the days the Arabs learned about India from the Greeks. 6 6 Page 7 8 The classical explanation for the origin of the term Hindu/ India is that the Persians referred to the Sindhu river as 'Hindu', and the initial 'h' was later dropped by the Greeks. However, the change from 's' to 'h' is not a characteristic of Iranian alone. To name a few examples, the same trend is found in Kashmiri, Sinhalese, and Assamese. It is surprisingly common in Indic languages from the western frontier of India -Marwari, Gujarati, Kashmiri. The same trend surfaces again in Assamese, but that may be a coincidence. This trend is very common in Sinhala, but again that may be indicative of the fact that Sri Lanka was populated by emigrants from western India. (If Dr. S. R. Rao's decipherment of the Indus seals is correct, some Harappan words would resemble Avestan words. For example, 'seven' would read hapta. (Koenraad Elst, The Vedic Harappans in writing, Page 5.) ) Dialects of the Romany (Gypsy) languages (which originated in India) fall into two classes, with words spelt with an 's' in one changing to words with an 'h' in the other. Thus, it is at least theoretically possible that the Sindhu river was called 'Hindu' colloquially by Indians themselves, even if the word was not used in Sanskrit. According to D. P. Singhal, The first mention of India to be found in Chinese records is in connection with the mission to Ta-hsia (Bactriana) of a talented and courageous Chinese envoy, Chang Chien (kien), about 138 BC. 4 Fourteen years later, having escaped after ten years as a captive of the Huns, he returned home and in his report to the Chinese Emperor he referred to the country of Shen-tu (India) to the southeast of the Yueh-Chih (Jou-Chih) country. 5 Chang Chien had seen bamboo poles and cloth in Ta-hsia, which had reached there from Szechwan, a province in the southwest of China, through India and Afghanistan. Whilst his diplomatic mission did not succeed, his observations and reports impressed the Han Emperor with the need to encourage trade and contact with India and other countries to the west. (Singhal, p. 292) But Shen-tu did not remain the Chinese word for India. In his book on the travels of Yuan-Chwang, Watters has devoted much attention to the vexatious issue of India and its name: His [i. e. Yuan-Chwang's] statements about the name may be roughly rendered as follows -We find that different counsels have confused the designations of T'ien-chu (India); the old names were Shên-tu and Sien (or Hien)-tou; now we must conform to the correct pronunciation and call it Yin-tu. The people of Yin-tu use local appellations for their respective countries; the various districts having different customs; adopting a general designation, and one which the people like, we call the country Yin-tu which means the "Moon". (Watters, p. 130) The old Chinese name for India Shên-tu changed into Yin-tu by the time Yuan-Chwang was visiting, and it has remained that ever since. Let us explore whether this name change has any significance. First of all, there are good reasons to believe in the classical explanation for the origin of the term Hindu/ Ind, namely that the word was a creation of the Persians: In Chinese "hs" (Taiwan) or "x" (PRC), pronounced "sh", often represents a foreign H or KH, in this case the H of Hindu. Initial h in most languages tends to weaken and disappear, so by the time the next Chinese traveller came through Bactria, "Hindu" was pronounced "Indu", just as the Greeks had relayed it. (Koenraad Elst, private communication) 7 7 Page 8 9 That is, the word 'Shen-tu' in Chinese may just be 'Hindu' transcribed. And when Yuan-Chwang came looking for 'Shen-tu', he heard a word 'Indu', which had become current in the borderlands of India, and was startled enough to make a note of it. Let us read on as Watters continues Yuan-Chwang's story: It is plain, however, that he is not dealing with names given to India generally but only with those used in Chinese books. Then his words would seem to indicate that he regarded T'ien-chu, Shên-tu, and Sien-tou as only dialectal varieties or mistaken transcriptions of Yin-tu, which was the standard pronunciation. Further, his language does not seem to intimate that Yin-tu was the name for all India used by the inhabitants of the country. In some other works we find it stated that Yin-tu was the native name for the whole country, and Indu-de? a given as the original Sanskrit term. Our author may have had this opinion but this does not seem to be the meaning of his statements here. On the contrary he apparently wishes us to understand that the natives of India had only designations of their own States, such as Magadha and Kausambhi, and that they were without a general name under which these should be included. It was the peoples beyond, as for example the Turks, who gave the name Yin-tu, and the Hu who gave Sin-tu to a great territory of uncertain limits. Then the Buddhist writers of Kashmir, Gandhara, and other countries beyond India proper, seem also to have used the name Yin-tu. But, as I-ching tells us, although this word may mean "moon" yet it was not the current name for India. In Buddhist literature India is called Jambudvipa, and portions of it Aryadesha and Madhydesha. 1 One of the other names for India to be found in Buddhist literature is Indravardhana. But in the Chinese accounts of letters or missions sent by Indian rajahs to the court of China the rajahs are only represented as styling themselves kings of special countries in India. Thus the great Shiladitya, who treated our pilgrim with great honour, is made in Chinese history to call himself king of Magadha. (Watters, pp. 130-131) Watters continues: He [i. e. Yuan-Chwang] goes on to suggest a reason for this words, meaning "moon", having come to be so employed. His explanation is apparently as follows--- The unceasing revolutions of mortals' existences are a dark long night; were there not a warden of the dawn they would be like the night with its lights which succeeds the setting of the sun; although the night have the light of the stars that is not to be compared to the light of the clear moon. Hence probably India was likened to the moon as [since the sun of the Buddha set] it has had a succession of holy and wise men to teach the people and exercise rule as the moon sheds its bright influences, --on this account the country has been called Yin-tu. The comparison and explanation of our author, it must be admitted, are sorry things; and they are not improved in any of the translations. (Watters, p. 138) Watters goes on to say: A later Chinese writer, apparently under the impression that he had the authority of Yuan-chuang for the statement, tells us that T'ien-chu means moon. But he, like several other authors, explains the giving of this name to India in a different way from that described by the pilgrim. He says that the country was called T'ien-chu or Moon because it was great and distinguished above the other countries of the world, as the moon is great among the stars of night -"velut inter 8 8 Page 9 10 ignes Luna minores". Other writers, like I-cing for example, are more discreetly wise, and refrain from proposing any explanation of the names for India. Admitting, they say, Yin-tu to be a Sanskrit term denoting the moon, yet it was not for that reason that the Chinese gave it as a name to the country, nor is the name the universal one. Yin-tu is the Chinese name for India as Chi-na and Chen-tan are terms used in that country to denote China, and apart from such use these names have no signification. 1 This is going too far, and the word India at least has a satisfactory explanation. When our pilgrim enquired about the size and form of the country, he was told that was shaped like a crescent, or as it is in the text, a half-moon. The term used was apparently Indu-kala, transcribed Yin-t' ê-ka-lo. 2 This word means a digit of the moon or a crescent, but is rendered in Chinese simply by yueh or moon. It was perhaps this fact which led to the absurd comparison and explanation of our text. (pp. 139-140). Watters does not accept Yuan-Chwang's rationalization for the fact that India is named for the "moon". However, the pictogram would be read as yueh in Chinese, so that the pronunciation Yin-tu is clearly derived from Sanskrit. This would seem to indicate that there was at least some place called 'Indu' (distinct from 'Sindhu'), which could have given its name to all India. Could it be that the 'Indians' themselves called the country 'Indu' after the lunar dynasty, and that its other name Bharata later became universal? Or did the name 'Indu' refer to the crescent shaped Indo-Gangetic plain? Was it the half-moon shaped India of the Puranas (referred to by Subas Rai above)? Did the name Indu refer to the land of the Yueh-Chih, and later get extended to all the 'Indianized' lands to the south-east? It is interesting to note that 'Indu' in Sanskrit could well be changed to 'Hindu' in Old Persian, as is clear from the word pairs ashta (Sans.) /hasht (O. P)( eight) and andha (Sans.) /hand (O. P.) (blind). If 'Indu' was a non-native word, and if the pictogram for the "moon" was picked up only as a "pun" of sorts, we have to allow at least the fact that this word was adopting a general designation, and one which the people liked, a name acceptable to the "natives of India". On the other hand, if "Indu" was an indigenous term for India, we must be able to explain why it has been so completely washed out from memory, to be replaced by Bharata. Watters mentions another name used by Yuan-Chwang for India: Our author in this passage mentions another general name for India, viz -Country of the brahmins (P' o-lo-mên-kuo). Among the various castes and clans of the country the brahmins, he says, were purest and in most esteem. So from their excellent reputation the name "Brahmana-country" had come to be a popular one for India. Now this is also a foreign designation, and one used by the Chinese especially. It does not seem to have been ever known, or at least current, in India. In Chinese literature we find it employed during the Sui period (AD 589 to 618) but it is rather a literary than a popular designation. In the shortened form Fan kuo, however, the name has long been in common use in all kinds of Chinese literature. But was the name Brahmana-country a 'foreign' name, as Watters suggests? It is possible. But can we rule out the chance that Yuan-Chwang was translating the name Brahma-varta? Here is some geographical information from the Manusmriti: The land between the rivers Sarasvati and the Drishadvati was called Brahmavarta. Beyond it, the land of the five rivers upto the Mathura region was called Brahmarshi Desha. The land between Vinashana (the place of disappearance of the Sarasvati river in the desert) and Prayaga and Vindhya was called Madhya Desha (Central Land). And finally, the land bounded by the 9 9 Page 10 11 mountain of Reva (Narmada), the Eastern Sea (Bay of Bengal) and the Western Sea is Arya Desha. This is the land where the black-skinned deer roam freely. (N. S. Rajaram, Page 82) Whether Yuan-Chwang recorded a name that was indigenous to India, or a name given to India by outsiders, it is clear that it was not merely a shorthand term for an ill-defined territory which lay across a frontier: The territory which Yuan-chuang calls Yin-tu was mapped off by him, as by others, into five great divisions called respectively North, East, West, Central, and South Yin-tu. The whole territory, he tells us, was above 90,000 li in circuit, with the Snowy Mountains (the Hindu Kush) on the north and the sea on its three other sides. It was politically divided into above seventy kingdoms; the heat of summer was very great, and the land was to a large extent marshy. The northern region was hilly with a brackish soil; the east was a rich fertile plain; the southern division had a luxuriant vegetation; and the west had a soil coarse and gravelly. (Watters, pp. 140-141) Incidentally, Yuan-Chwang used the term Yin-tu to apply to the whole of the Indian subcontinent -that is, his informants must have had a geographical conception of the whole, even if they were citizens only of Magadha or Kashmira. Also, Yuan-Chwang clearly spoke of 'Indian' lands which were then under Persian rule. That is, Yuan-Chwang could tell that a province was "Indian" even if it happened to be under foreign rule. Hiuen-Tsang includes Nepal, then a subordinate ally of China, in India. Another of Hiuen-Tsang's Indian kingdoms, Lang-Kie-lo, was subject to Persia. 8 (Sen, Page 61) We might choose to assume that Yuan-Chwang had a vested interest in conferring nationhood to the peoples of a huge subcontinent with no conception of their own unity. But if we do not, we must admit that Yuan-Chwang's informants must have considered themselves 'Indians', and not merely citizens of their little province. It may not be inappropriate to remind ourselves that Yuan-Chwang visited India in the time of Harshavardhana, at least half a century before the Arabs under Muhammad bin Kasim knocked on the gates of India. So far, we have seen that: i) the idea of "India" has existed since classical times -since time immemorial, some would say. It has been celebrated in the classical literature of India, even though the name "India" was not used. ii) the civilizations that came in contact with classical India did perceive the very diverse peoples of the land as somehow "one" iii) the term "Hindu" has been current among Greeks, Persians, and Chinese quite independently of the Arabs or the Muslims. It is widely believed that the term itself is the creation of foreign peoples (even if the idea is not). However, this belief needs to be reexamined. The fact that the idea of an India is very ancient, and that it predates the arrival of Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Judaism on the subcontinent, by no means implies that the followers of these faiths do not belong in India. Sri Aurobindo had said of the Indian Muslim that "the mother (India) had given him a permanent place in her bosom." Madan Mohan Malaviya, a Hindu leader, spoke truly when he said that: Now it is not only Hindus who live in India [Hindustan]. India is not now their land 10 10 Page 11 12 alone. Jut as India is the beloved birth-place of the Hindus, so it is of the Muslims too. Both these communities live here now, and they will always live here (Malaviya 1962: 24-25). The same applies to all the inhabitants of India, regardless of religious belief. Indeed, followers of these faiths have themselves taken the lead to emphasize their bonds with India, and celebrated their Indianness. Justice Mohamedali Currim Chagla, to name an example, had this to say in his autobiography: As far as I am concerned there are three things to which I have always adhered. They have represented my working faith and my abiding belief. These principles are unity, secularism and democracy. I know all the divisive factors but to my mind they are superficial. I have always thought that it was India's destiny to remain one country and one nation. One has only to look at a map of Asia to be convinced of this fact. With the Himalayas in the north and the sea in the west, south and east, India stands out as something distinct and apart from other countries that separate it. The Gods in their wisdom wanted India to remain one and undivided. Further, there is an Indianness and an Indian ethos, which has been brought by the communion and intercourse between the many races and the many communities that have lived in this land for centuries. There is a heritage which has devolved on us from our Aryan forefathers. There is an Indian tradition which overrides all the minor differences which may superficially seem to contradict the unity. Even the Muslim community, which numbers about 60 million, inherits the same tradition and legacy, because more than 90 per cent of the Muslims living in India were converted from Hinduism, which is the primary religion of this country. Hindus and Muslims have lived together as friends and comrades from times immemorial. They participate in one another's festivals and even worship together common Saints in whom they both have faith. (Chagla, Roses in December) Indian nationalism thus has deep roots, and yet its expressions at the surface may change with time. Peoples such as the Buddhists of Ladakh may not be represented in the classical literature of India, in a measure proportional to their stature as one of India's numerous constituents. Yet, they are nonetheless staunch and patriotic Indians. The concept of India is broad enough to embrace all peoples whose homelands are contiguous to India, and who choose to celebrate the notion of an India. Nations are, in the words of Ernest Renan, ultimately a consensus among people who wish to be included in a nation. East Germany united with West Germany to become one single nation, because a consensus for unity was reached in both countries, and factors which blocked the consummation of this consensus became ineffectual. On the other hand, Czechoslovakia split up into two nations because the Czechs and the Slovaks preferred to separate. The fusion and dissolution of nations need not be a difficult process. In recent years the very concept of nationalism has come in for much criticism. After fighting two World Wars, Europe is weary of nationalism. Scholars all over the world are quick to take up cudgels against the real and imagined excesses of nationalism. The historians of the Middle East, Ephraim and Inari Karsh have noted the tendency to view nationalism as the scourge of international relations, the primary source of inter-state conflict and war, a tendency that has gained considerable currency following the end of the Cold War and the bloody wars of dissolution in the former 11 11 Page 12 13 Yugoslavia and several former Soviet Asiatic republics. "From the very beginning the principle of nationalism was almost indissolubly linked, both in theory and practice, with the idea of war," writes the British military historian Michael Howard. "It is hard to think of any nation-state, with the possible exception of Norway, that came into existence before the middle of the twentieth century which was not created, and had its boundaries defined, by wars, by internal violence, or by a combination of the two." (Karsh and Karsh, p. 347) They go on to clarify the matter further: This historical diagnosis raises the question of cause and effect. For nationalism is the desire of a specific group of people -sharing such attributes as common descent, language, culture, tradition, and history -for self-determination in a definite well-demarcated, and bounded territory that they consider to be their historical or ancestral homeland, then there is nothing inherently violent about it as far as its international ramifications are concerned. Nationalism and interstate violence go hand in hand only when one nation tries to seize foreign territory or impose its domination over another, in which case it transgresses the line between a nationalist and an imperialist policy, or when one's quest for national self-determination is hindered by another party. And since most of the globe was under the sway of a handful of empires during the past few centuries, every community becoming sufficiently aware of its distinct national identity so as to demand its own place under the sun, be it in Europe, America, Asia, of Africa, has had to contest this right by force of arms: not because of its inherent predilection for violence but because the respective imperial master would not voluntarily concede this right. In other words, imperialism rather than nationalism, has constituted the foremost generator of violence in modern world history. For it is the desire to dominate foreign creeds, nations or communities, and to occupy territories well beyond the "ancestral homeland", that contains the inevitable seeds of violence -not the wish to be allowed to follow an independent path of development. In each of imperialism's three phases -empire-building, administration, and disintegration -force was the midwife of the historical process as the imperial power vied to assert its authority and maintain its control over perennially hostile populations. True, violence as not the only means of subjugation, as many incentives were offered for those prepared to be integrated within the imperial order, but it was always there, like a huge sword of Damocles, and was occasionally used with great ferocity as the ultimate penalty for nonsubservience. (Karsh and Karsh, p. 348) Indian nationalism is not the fruit of any imperialism. While actions based on the ancient notion of a chakravarti-raja may have imposed a certain unity from above, it has not left behind backlashes in the form of disaffected peoples fighting for deliverance from the scions of King Bharata. Jared Diamond describes "the formation of complex societies", by means of "merger by conquest". He tells us how the Zulu state was born, when a Zulu king had been able to forge a lasting unity among various warring tribes: When first observed by white settlers, the Zulus were divided into dozens of little chiefdoms. During the late 1700s, as population pressure rose, fighting between the chiefdoms became increasingly intense. Among all those chiefdoms, the ubiquitous problem of devising centralized power structures was solved most successfully by a chief called Dingiswayo, who gained ascendancy of the Mtetwa chiefdom by killing a rival around 1807. Dingiswayo developed a superior centralized military organization by drafting young men from all villages and grouping them into regiments by age rather than 12 12 Page 13 14 by village. He also developed superior centralized political organization by abstaining from slaughter as he conquered other chiefdoms, leaving the conquered chief's family intact, and limiting himself to replacing the conquered chief himself with a relative willing to cooperate with Dingiswayo. He developed superior centralized conflict resolution by expanding the adjudication of quarrels. In that way Dingiswayo was able to conquer and begin the integration of 30 other Zulu chiefdoms. His successors strengthened the resulting embryonic Zulu state by expanding its judicial system, policing, and ceremonies. (Diamond, pp. 291-292) But Dingiswayo's methods were hardly a novelty to classical India. The law books of India, such as the Arthashastra, had dealt with these issues a long time ago, and have long counseled the fiery of temper in India to make their peace with the world: Not only are all these provisions of the various law books humane, they are remarkably wise, as they take into account all the particular and individual aspects, they recognise differences as legitimate. The same attitude prevails in the case of a conquered territory, where the king "should carry out what is agreeable and beneficial to the subjects", also "what he has promised" (ASh, 13.5.3). "For, he who does not keep his promise becomes unworthy of trust ..., also he whose behaviour is contrary to that of the subjects. Hence he should adopt a similar character, dress, language and behaviour (as the subjects)", tasmat samana shila vesa bhasacaratam upagacchet (ASh, 13.5.6-7). It is even added: "And he should show the same devotion in festivals in honour of deities of the country, festive gatherings and sportive amusements," desha-devata-samajotsava-viharesu ca bhaktim anuvarteta (ASh, 13.5.8). In this passage concerning "Pacification of the conquered territory" (labdha-prashamana), the ASh recommends neither weakness nor hypocrisy -but shrewdly shows consideration for the new subjects' customs, beliefs, and feelings. Many revolts, even in recent years, have taught us how wise Kautilya's recommendations are. They are all the more striking when we remember what western attitudes have too often been. (Caillat, pp. 14-15) As the frontiers of Bharata expanded, newer peoples entered the Bharati fold. An acceptance of diversity made the integration of very different peoples possible. Already in the days of Kautilya, it was "politically incorrect" to speak ill of other people's janapadas (provinces, "nationalities"), and was considered a crime to be punished as libel. (Arthashastra of Kautilya, Ed. Shama Sastri, Second Edition, Mysore, 1919, pp. 193-94, quoted in Vidyankar). The non-hegemonic political character of India has been long recognized: India herself has never been seized by the compelling will to bring other nations within her sway. Already in 851 A. D. Suleiman the Merchant comprehended this when he said, "wars waged by the Indian kings are not usually undertaken with a view to possess themselves of the adjoining dominions." (Jairazbhoy, preface, page v). In recent times, peoples such as the Ladakhi and the Sikkimese, who may not be represented in the classical literature of India, have entered the Indian nation, and become part of it. While the manner of their induction into India may not be palatable to some, the fact is that they are firmly loyal to the Indian nation-state. The Ladakhis, for instance, gave proof of their commitment to India, and acceptance of Indian nationality, in the recent war in Kargil. 13 13 Page 14 15 Over the centuries, the call of the idea of an India has exerted a powerful influence on the peoples who make up India. Rabindranath Tagore pays a tribute to the Spirit of India in the second stanza of the national anthem: Aharaha tava ahvana pracharita, zuni tava udara vani, Hindu-Bauddha-Zikha-jaina-parasika-musalmana-khristani Purava-pazchima-ase tava singhasana pase, Prema-hara haya gamtha Jana gana aikya vidhayaka jaya he bharata bhagya vidhata Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he, jaya jaya jaya jaya he! Day and night your call resounds, And to the sound of your loving voice, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Muslim and Christian, Approach your throne from west and east, And weave for you a garland of love. Unifier of the peoples, thou, dispenser of India's destiny! Victory, victory, victory to Thee! Acknowledgements: I have learnt much from discussions with Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, Dr. Koenraad Elst and Deshappriya Jayasuriya. I have also drawn heavily from Arvind Sharma's article "What is Bharata? What is Bharatiyata?". References: The Fundamental Unity of India (From Hindu sources), Radhakumud Mookerji, Longmans, Green and Co. 1914 P. G. Bobb, Muslim Identity and Separatism in India: The Significance of M. A. Ansari, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Volume LIV, Part I, 1991 Mawlana Syed Sulaiman Nadwi, Indo-Arab Relations (An English Rendering of Arab O' Hind Ke Ta'alluqat) By (Translated by Prof. M. Salahuddin), The Institute of Indo-Middle East Cultural Studies, Hyderabad, India Andre Wink, Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World, Oxford University Press, 1990, Pp. 4-5 Vincent Smith, Oxford History of India, 3 rd Edition, 1958 Suniti Kumar Chatterji, India: A Polyglot Nation and its Linguistic Problems vis-à-vis National Integration, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Research Centre, Bombay 1973, p. 32. Alberuni's India (translated by Edward Sachau), Abridged Edition (edited by Ainslee T. Embree) (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. New York, 1971), p. 198. Jay Chandra Vidyalankar, Regional Structure of India in Relation to Language and History, in The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol. I, 1958, Calcutta, The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture Subas Rai, Aryans through the Ages Arvind Sharma, What is Bharata? What is Bharatiyata? In The Perennial Tree: Select papers of the International Symposium of India Studies (Ed. K. Satchidananda Murty, Indian Council for Cultural relations, New Delhi & New Age International (P) Limited Publishers 14 14 Page 15 Thomas Watters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels In India 629-645 AD, (Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids, & S. W. Bushell, AMS Press, 1971, New York) D. P. Singhal, India and World Civilization, Rupa and Co., 1993 N. S. Rajaram, A Hindu View Of The World: Essays in the Intellectual Kshatriya Tradition, Voice of India Surendernath Sen, India Through Chinese Eyes, K. P. Bagchi & Company, Calcutta, 1956 (Reprinted 1979, University Of Madras) P. K. Malaviya. 1962. Malaviyaji Ke Lekh. Delhi [Quoted in Gyanendra Pandey, The Appeal of Hindu History, in Representing Hinduism: The Construction of Religious Tradition and National Identity, (eds. Vasudha Dalmia and Heinrich von Stietencron, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1995). Mohamedali Currim Chagla, Roses in December: An Autobiography (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1973, Bombay Efraim Karsh And Inari Karsh, Empires Of The Sand: The Struggle For Mastery In The Middle East 1789-1923, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999 Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, London 1999 Colette Caillat, What India Can teach us? In The Perennial Tree: Select papers of the International Symposium of India Studies (Ed. K. Satchidananda Murty, Indian Council for Cultural relations, New Delhi & New Age International (P) Limited Publishers) R. A. Jairazbhoy, Foreign Influence in Ancient India, Asia Publishing House,
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Posted by: acharya Nov 6 2003, 01:24 PM
There are lot of problems with this article HH can disect it Who are we, the people of India? WHO ARE we? Where did we come from? When did we get here? How many communities are we? How are we all related? These questions have been asked by many groups of people, in many places and at different times. Each group has had its own answers — in the form of legends, oracles, divine revelations and collective memories. Some tribes in ancient Middle East believed themselves to be the chosen people of God. The legend of the Great Flood occurs in Judeo-Christian as well as in Hindu traditions. Post-Rigvedic accounts talk of the Primeval Universal Man (Prajapati) who created all humanity out of himself, and the four castes out of his different limbs. How historically accurate and verifiable are these oral and written traditions? Anthropology attempts to look at these issues in a rigorous manner. It deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, racial and ethnic characteristics, as well as social customs and beliefs of mankind. It covers a vast canvas, and uses a large number of diverse disciplines to do so. Archaeology unearths fossils and man-made artefacts, and dates then in a self-consistent manner. Physics, chemistry and geology help in many analytical ways. Modern biology has turned out to be a powerful tool in such understanding of the history of the earth and of organisms present there. We now have the valuable help of genetics in this endeavour — a field that has exploded in the last 50 years. Central to the development of this tool has been the use of the genetic material of organisms, their DNA. It has been possible for scientists to tease out the DNA from fossilised remains of microbes, plants, animals and humans, and use the information contained in the DNA to build family trees. This is anthropology at the molecular level, when the biologist turns into a historian. Such an effort has recently been made by Professor Partha Majumder and colleagues of Kolkata. The effort is grand — it has attempted to look into the origins and ethnicity of the people of our land. Published in the October 2003 issue of the journal Genome Research, this paper gives an authoritative genomic view of ethnic India, with special reference to how the land has been populated over the millennia. Look at the complexity of the task. India is not a collection of one or two, or even a handful of ethnic groups. The Anthropological Survey of India (ASI) had taken up the heroic and mammoth task of collecting and cataloguing information about the linguistic, geographic and sociological features of all ethnic groups across India. The results are an authoritative 43-volume set called "The People of India", published in 1992. (For duds like me, they also have an easier-to-read, but not dumbed-down, summary volume). They tell us that we Indians are a mosaic, a patchwork quilt and a rainbow coalition of 450 tribal communities speaking over 750 dialects. These are classified into the Austro-Asiatic (AA) Dravidian (DR) and Tibeto-Burman (TB) language families. The tribals make up 8 per cent of India. The non-tribals speak languages that belong to the Indo-European (IE), or Dravidian (DR) families. The IE and DR have contributed in a major way to the development of Indian society and culture. But they are also known to be affected by waves of migration into India since prehistoric times. And then there is the stratification into castes, a mode unique to India. When did this occur from 4000 years before present (or ybp), or can we be more accurate through the use of DNA? In order to address these issues of the peopling of India, Majumder and colleagues collected blood samples from over 1200 men and women belonging to 44 geographically, linguistically, and socially disparate ethnic populations across India — all castes, religions and tribals — isolated the DNA from each and compared them. Matrilineage was determined by studying the mitochondrial DNA, patrilineage from the Y-chromosome DNA, and the composite lineage from that of the other 22 chromosomes. What did the group find? Let us summarise the major conclusions: All Indians have emerged from a small number of founding female lineages. Either a small number of females entered India, or a small number was drawn from an ancestral population. My wife dubs this the `Fecund Draupadi' phenomenon. The tribal population is distinct genetically from the caste-population. The tribals are more ancient. Also, there has been considerable admixture with Central Asians and West Asians during the formation of the caste system. It also appears that many new female lineages were introduced by the Indo-European (IE) speakers. All these inferences from DNA analysis are consistent with the suggestions of anthropologists and some historians (Thapar, Ratnagar). The Austro-Asiatic speaking tribals may be the earliest inhabitants of India, estimated as about 55000 ybp. This conclusion is interesting since it supports the suggestion of some linguists and historians (Pattanayak, Thapar) but not others (Keith, Guha). A major wave of people entered India through the North-Eastern corridor. This inference agrees with that of an earlier DNA analysis, suggesting that Tibeto-Burman (TB) speakers entered India from the Yellow River basin, crossing the Himalayas. (It also appears from Majumder's current work that a fraction of AA speakers, perhaps the Khasis, too entered through the Northeast). It seems thus that the TB and AA groups may have shared a common habitat in Southern China but separated in time. The Dravidian tribals were widespread throughout India before the arrival of the Indo-European (IE) nomads. This conclusion is consistent with historical and linguistic inferences (Thapar, Renfrew). The latter suggest that when the ranked caste system was formed after the arrival of the IE speakers about 3500 ybp, many indigenous DR people embraced (freely or forced) the caste system. As the IE speakers advanced into the Gangetic plain, many of the DR tribes retreated to the Southern parts of India to avoid dominance. The Central Asian populations have contributed to the genetic profiles of upper castes, more so in the North of India than in the South. They are also genetically closer to the upper-caste than to the middle or lower-caste populations. This finding is in agreement with an earlier DNA analysis by some Andhra University scientists (B.B. Rao, M. Naidu, B.V.R Prasad, and others). It also suggests, in keeping with the point above, that even after the DR speakers retreated to the South to avoid elite dominance, there has been admixture between Central and West Asians and Northern Indian populations in peninsular India. As a final point, the Majumder group concludes that all this historical gene flow has pretty much obliterated genetic histories of the contemporary populations of India today. As a result, there is now no clear congruence of genetic and geographical or sociocultural affinities. India is thus both a rainbow coalition and a melting pot of tribes, communities and ethnic groups. On reading these conclusions, one cannot but wonder how remarkably close they are to many of the inferences that scholars from `softer' disciplines (anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, history) have made. It is worth recalling what Jacob Bronowski said in his Ascent of Man: "In every age there is a turning point, a new way of seeing and asserting the coherence of the world. Each culture tries to fix its visionary moment, when it was transformed by a new conception either of nature or man. But in retrospect, what commands our attention as much are the continuities — the thoughts that run or recur from one civilization to another". D. Balasubramanian
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Nov 6 2003, 10:24 PM
QUOTE (acharya @ Nov 7 2003, 01:54 AM)
There are lot of problems with this article HH can disect it
Actually I briefly scanned the original PP Mazumder article. Even through the article is very detailed it makes some major mistakes regarding the ethnic composition of certain major groups of Indian people. Their definition of middle upper and lower castes are tenuous in places. This has really distorted the picture vis-a-vis the IE and Dr speakers. I fear this was over-looked because the referees of the paper did not really understand the nuance of Indian ethnicity. In any case this just one of the studies that I was referring too as in press. There is a shorter but slightly better one. While D.Balu claims that there is a good fit between history and the genetic data, his citation of Ratnagar and Thapar can hardly inspire any confidence in his knowledge of Indian history. more later if I get some time.
Posted by: Kaushal Nov 7 2003, 11:50 PM
I believe Dr. K has used the Planetarium software in connexion with the dating of the M'Bharata. SUNIT BEZBAROOWA & ARVIND JOSHI TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2003 02:12:42 AM ] "Ram was and is for real. He was born on January 10, 5114 BC," Saroj Bala, IRS, Commisioner of Income Tax says, calmly, with the assurance of one who has tangible facts. Taking on the contemporary historical interpretation of Ramayana as a religio-literary text, and Lord Ram as a semi-mythical figure, is this unassuming person who zealously devotes her spare time to research in history when she's not playing the tax mandarin. And she has chosen the unusual combination of astronomy, Internet and literary texts to provide us a startling picture of Shri Ram. This might change the way we look at history and religion. We might refuse to begin reading Indian history from that comma, or hyphen called 'Indus Valley.' We might have to stretch the beginnings by a few thousand years because, as Saroj Bala says - Ram was born on January 10, 5114 BC. Excerpts of an interview with the lady who has the intellectual courage to go beyond the obvious: What got it all started… As an amateur historian, I've always been interested in Indian culture and heritage. I am proud that we're Indians and the products of one of the oldest civilisations. However, British rule changed us; we developed a sense of being somehow inferior. But I could never reconcile to theories like the theory of Aryan invasion to India in 1500 BC. That would make Indian civilization only 3,500 years old. And if you choose archaeology to dig beyond 7,000 years, you'd have to dig more than 60 metres - something not being done in India as yet. So, archaeology is not the only answer. There's a lot of objective research of another kind that needs to be carried out in earnest. So, how can we say Ram was born on January 10, 5114 B.C… My colleague Pushkar Bhatnagar of Indian Revenue Service is the real originator of this theory. He acquired a software named Planetarium, used to predict planetary movements and configurations. By entering in this software, precise details of planetary positions vis-à-vis zodiac constellations described by Maharishi Valmiki in the Valmiki Ramayan, it is possible to determine important dates starting from Shri Ram's birth-date to the date of his return to Ayodhya. More than just Ram's date of birth… The results have not just thrown up Shri Ram's date of birth; it has actually traced the entire sequence of incidents throughout Ramayan. Pushkar Bhatnagar starts with tracing Ram's birth. Then he moves ahead in the narrative. Valmiki Ramayan states Ram was 25 years old when he went to exile. When the configuration of planets described at this point is fed into the software, the date thrown up matches perfectly with Ram's age at that juncture of his life - 25 years. Again in the 13th year of Ram's exile, during a war with Khar and Dushan, Valmiki describes a solar eclipse. The software proves that on that given day there was indeed a solar eclipse (with Mars in the middle). This solar eclipse and the particular configuration of planets could be seen from Panchavati (longitude and latitude plainly shown in the software). Hanuman Saw 8 Constellations while flying to Lanka… In the Sunderkand, when Valmiki describes Hanuman crossing the sea and returning from Lanka to Rameshwaram, he gives details of 8 constellations. Usually, one can see not more than 6 constellations at a given point of time. But since Hanuman was flying across, and it must have taken him approximately 4 hrs to get there, he could see 8 constellations - in two hours one constellation would have moved out of sight and another become visible. So, in a period of 4 hrs he saw 8 constellations! Historicising Shri Ram. Man or God… After researching on Shri Ram, I do believe he's a man who walked the earth in flesh and blood. There is an essential difference between the Valmiki Ramayana and the Tulsi Ramayana. Tulsidas was a devotee who looked up to Ram, but Valmiki was a contemporary. Valmiki has written Ram's life-history, as a biographer does - he's a contemporary of Ram, and this is not very different from what happens all over the world. Kings have always had their life-history written. The submerged bridge… Recently, NASA had put pictures on the Internet of a man-made bridge, the ruins of which are submerged in Palk Strait between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka. This clearly should be treated as historical evidence that corroborates its mention in Valmiki Ramayana. The puzzle of Indian history… The presence of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Vedas cannot be explained by the short period between the decline of the Indus valley civilization and the Rig Vedic period. A civilization cannot suddenly burst into advanced writing. One needs to look at various sources of history to re-build it. Especially when looking at ancient history. One needs to excavate, look at literature, ancient texts, astronomy. Government apathy to archaeological diggings and investigation in this direction… There's been a very strange development in the media and the people of India. We have started seeing ancient India as something equivalent to the word 'Hindu'. The very word Hindu came into circulation only after the advent of Islam in India. In Ramayana and the Vedas, there is no mention of the word 'Hindu'. At the most, there is only mention of terms like 'Aryavrat' or 'Bharatvarsh' and residents here are called as 'Aryans'. Since centuries, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs have been living in this country and it's their land as much as it is to a Hindu. Anything that has happened on this land in the past is their common heritage. But, unfortunately, politicians with vested interests have divided the people on artificial religious lines and making it appear that anything related to ancient India was perhaps related to Hindu, which is not the case and should not be the case. i have been trying to emphasize this that this is the common heritage of all Indians, but unfortunately it is the rare IM who looks at it in that manner There has never been any strong will… It is not that researches have been not taken place. There has been excellent work done by noted historians like Sir Alexander Cunningham and Dr Lal. Cunningham has written as many as 21 volumes on ancient Indian history. But one needs special permissions to access these texts. Unfortunately, Cunningham's work that has very important information has not seen the light of the day. Dr. Lal has pictured the ancient city of Dwarka and it can be read in 'The lost city of Dwarka'. He has listed out 1000 artifacts. Only 9 crores needed to be sanctioned by the government in placing a transparent tube to the sea-bed that could allow people to see for themselves the wonder that was Dwarka. And now people equate the sum total of ancient history to 'a temple or no-temple' at Ayodhya. Delay in research also because science hadn't arrived… Without the aid of science it is practically impossible to manually calculate the exact planetary configuration 7, 000 years back. It is science which is going to validate our history and prove that it is much older than 3, 500 years. What would be the implications of your research on the society? I seriously feel that there can only be positive effects of my research. In fact, Indians should seriously re-look how old is our history and culture. This is not the end of the research; it's just the beginning. People should be encouraged to do more in-depth research by all means such as archaeology, dating methods and oceanography. Max Mueller had come up with the theory that Aryans had come to India in 1500 B.C. In the Internet, Max Mueller Foundations says that that they have re-looked at this theory and is of the opinion that this theory is no longer valid because Indian history is much older than that period. It's just that people have to open up their minds and find out the answers for themselves.
Posted by: Kaushal Nov 8 2003, 01:19 AM The historicity of the events described in the Mahabharata is validated by two evidences: one is based on tradition and the other is based on jyotis.a, i.e. astronomy of observed celestial events which may be called sky epigraphs. The dates of the events described in the Mahabharata are about 3000 BCE. This just pre-dates the mature phases of Sarasvati Civilization. The chronology of pre- history and ancient history of Bharat can thus be related as a sequence: Veda (pre-4th millennium BCE) – Mahabharata (4th millennium BCE)– Sarasvati Civilization (3rd and 2nd millennia BCE) – Maurya (1st millennium BCE)...
Posted by: Reggie Nov 9 2003, 11:12 PM
Guys, I am collecting information regarding YALE university. I was told that the university was built by money and wealth brought in by Clive from Madras. Is that true? ANY information with links and other information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Posted by: Reggie Nov 9 2003, 11:24 PM
I found this gem at This was also a time when trade and commerce greatly expanded and prospered. When Elihu went to India as a humble 'writer' the East India company was notorious for the small salaries it paid to their servants. Even the Governor was only paid £100 per year. They were no doubt expected to make money by trading with the natives on their own account. Elihu succeeded so well that after twenty seven years in India he returned home with a fortune which would today be considered suitable for a multi- millionaire. This was a period when great fortunes could be made and lost. The South Sea bubble brought misfortune to many through the greed of both unscrupulous promoters and gullible investors. It was a period of bribery and corruption; parallels can be drawn even today with several spectacular failures of finance companies. Also in this period another great institution was founded - the Bank of England. Although a private bank founded by Charter from William III it was closely associated with the Government. Elihu Yale was one of the first to return from India with a fortune and consequently to be accused of sharp practice.
Posted by: acharya Nov 10 2003, 12:24 AM
QUOTE (Reggie @ Nov 9 2003, 06:12 PM)
Guys, I am collecting information regarding YALE university. I was told that the university was built by money and wealth brought in by Clive from Madras. Is that true? ANY information with links and other information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Trace the founders of east india company and their supporters and big family businessmen who survived long after east India company was closed. Yale is the foundation for large global enterprise which was gained with east India company. Yale is also the biggest recruiting base for CIA and govt servants and diplomats. It is the hub of lot of secret organizations and influential groups.
Posted by: acharya Nov 10 2003, 12:37 AM
SCHOOL WORLD: History Inauguration of Indo-American Trade FACT FILE Thomas Bell was the first American sea captain to officially bring a cargo to India from America. His ship was named the United States and reached India on 26 December 1784. The first American ship to reach China with a cargo in 1784 faced considerable difficulty since it did not carry enough silver for payments to be made in China. The Chinese did not accept any currency or product. Elihu Yale used his fortunes to good effect by funding what today is known as the Yale University. In all he gifted it £562; that being the largest gift that the institution received for the next 100 years. The American contact with India is very old. The first Americans came to India via the English East India Company. After independence from the English on the 4th July 1776 they began to come here as traders from an independent country. One of the first important Americans to come to India was Elihu Yale of Connecticut who reached the coast of India in 1672. As a young man of 24 he worked as a clerk to the English East India Company at the meagre salary of £10 per year. India in those days was the land of opportunity for all. It was presumed that the clerk would supplement his income through a variety of illegal means. Yale rose to become the Governor of Madras [1687 – 1692] and retired with an immense fortune. Not all Americans made it rich. One who did not was Major General David Ochterlony. A graduated.gif of the New Hampshire’s Dummer Academy, he commanded the troops of the East India Company that conquered Nepal. Ochterlony was appointed the Resident to the Mughal Emperor’s court in Delhi. He purchased a large amount of property by taking loans from various Indian moneylenders. Ultimately the heavy interest charged on these loans turned him into a veritable pauper. For his services the English crown made him a knight in 1815 and provided him a pension after retirement. Among the people of the world the Americans were the last to begin trade with India. Their early trade was mostly in items which were appreciated by the 16,000 strong European community in India. The rum manufactured in New England is reported by Professor Bhagat to be a major item of trade. Other items included fish, pork, beef and spermaceti candles. Indians, however, showed no desire to purchase American products. So having reached India most American ships occupied themselves with what was known as the ‘country trade’, i.e. carrying goods between the ports of India and between India and other ports of Africa and Asia. After achieving independence the Americans began a search for markets in the East. The first ship to leave the American coast for this purpose was owned by Robert Morris. It was called the Empress of China. Its captain was John Green. With a mixed cargo worth $120,000 it set sail on Sunday, February the 22nd, 1784 from New York for China. But it could do little trade since it was not carrying enough silver while the Chinese, having little need of the whites or their manufactures, used only silver for the selling of goods to them. A month later, on 22nd March 1784, a 200 ton ship called the United States set sail for India with a cargo of ginseng, naval stores, copper, miscellaneous hardware, a considerable amount in dollars and of course lots of New England rum. Thomas Bell was its captain. It reached Pondicherry at 6 p.m. on the 26th December 1784 after a voyage of 9 months and 1 day. The French Governor of Pondicherry de Bussy welcomed the Americans heartily much to the consternation of the officers of the English East India Company based in Madras [now Chennai]. They feared that the Americans would set up a base in India and vie for power. It did not help matters that the Nawab of Arcot too welcomed the Americans and gave a favourable reply to the letter that Captain Bell had brought him from the American Congress. The United States sailed back for the US on 13th February 1785. The return journey was very difficult. Most of its crewmen died due to scurvy and lack of fresh water. The ship reached Philadelphia on September 13th, 1875. Thus the trade link between India and the United States was inaugurated. Dr M. Rajivlochan, Department of History, Panjab University, Chandigarh, can be contacted at A New American View -- International Edition White Paper
Posted by: Samudragupta Nov 22 2003, 09:55 PM
QUOTE (acharya @ Nov 10 2003, 03:37 AM)
(From the "Fact File" posted by Acharya) ... One who did not was Major General David Ochterlony. A graduated.gif of the New Hampshire’s Dummer Academy, he commanded the troops of the East India Company that conquered Nepal. .....
I was not aware that Nepal was ever conquered by the East India Company, although there was a Brit. Resident stationed at Kathmandu. Am I misinformed?
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Nov 22 2003, 10:22 PM
QUOTE (Samudragupta @ Nov 23 2003, 10:25 AM)
I was not aware that Nepal was ever conquered by the East India Company, although there was a Brit. Resident stationed at Kathmandu. Am I misinformed?
You are correct. Nepal has remained an independent state after its unification under the king Prithivi Narayan Shah in 1768. Subsequently his energetic successor Rana Bahadur Deva fought wars to seize Indian Kumaon in 1790, the China-Nepal war in 1792, invasion of Tibet and the annexation of Sikkim in 1793. After the British-Nepal treaty, they had to give up Sikkim and Indian territories conqured after 1790 and keep a resident at Katmandu.
Posted by: murali Nov 25 2003, 11:14 AM
A question for the knowledgeable members: In sandhya vandanam, for describing the doer's lineage (Not sure if its about the lineage) this is recited : " Chattus sagara paryantam Go bhramhanebhya subhambhavathi, _________ gothrothbhavasya, _______ Namadheyasya, Aham bho abhivadaye." The first two words describe the location of the doer. If translated they mean the land surrounded by four seas. But India is surrounded by three "sagarams" . Studies in geology show that India existed as a seperate land mass from Asia. Due to continental drift it joined asia. It was during this juncture that the great Himalayas formed. Anyway, my question is, (assuming) it is true that current Indian land mass was surrounded by sea on the four directions many thousand of years ago. Looking at the above verse from sandhya vandanam, does it mean that our traditions go back to that age or is it that I am incorrectly interpreting it ? Thanks Murali
Posted by: Mudy Nov 25 2003, 11:25 AM
India land mass was initially attached with Africa and Australia. Million years back, land mass got sepearted from Africa and Australia. For another millions years it was sorrounded by sea and drifted towards north. Because of this drift and pressure on plates, created Himalaya, which is gaining height even now. Harppa and Mohanjedaro was last recorded civilization proof. But some dated it to 13000BC.
Posted by: Praneet N Nov 25 2003, 12:48 PM
Murali, geology wise India was surrounded by sea on all four sides like an Island, however upon finally toucing Asia 50 million years ago, the Tethys Sea that existed slowly began to close off until India slammed into Asia about 10 million years ago forming the Himalayas. A reason why ancient sea fossils have been discovered high in the mountains here.... Earliest known hominids have been started appearing around 4 million years ago although more ape than human...real man Homo sapiens evolved form Homo erectus only about 500-250 000 years ago. There is some speculation whether Ramapithecus who was found in India around 10 - 12 million years ago could have led to Australopithecus in Africa, and hence start of civilisation...but of course they were more ape than human. What is interesting is that the ancient vedics seem to know such information a thousand years back!! Closure of the tethys : Public Inforamation :
Posted by: k.ram Nov 25 2003, 12:51 PM
Does the term "Jambudveepa" tie into this discussion?
Posted by: murali Nov 25 2003, 03:19 PM
Mudy& Praneet N, thanks for the replies. It makes sense to me now. K.Ram, I guess the term "Jambudveep" does tie into this discussion.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Dec 6 2003, 03:20 PM This is a part of the on going Western propoganda warfare to deconstruct and undermine the ideals of Indian/Hindu nationalism. Note that these western authors are trying to teach Hindus how they must understand their own history. The only people they will impress are secularists, but we need to beware of such cold warriors.
Posted by: k.ram Dec 9 2003, 09:51 PM
Shape of ancient thought - Indo greek connection May be this ouught to go in the books thread, but admins so choose to do so , please do it.
Posted by: Kaushal Dec 10 2003, 07:10 PM
ICHR chief sacked
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Dec 10 2003, 11:28 PM
QUOTE (k.ram @ Dec 10 2003, 10:21 AM)
Very important book. Will write on this topic some day when I get time, if there is any interest on the forum.
Posted by: Kaushal Dec 12 2003, 09:36 AM
This is not a new column, but David frawley brings out the political agenda behind much of the proselytizing on AIT, for which there has never been any archaeological proof. Most people in India today have been led to believe that the Vedic Aryans were the first invaders of the country. They have been the image of the Aryan hordes pouring down the passes of Afghanistan on horseback, destroying the indigenous urban Harappan culture that was Dravidian in nature. Even Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru subscribed to this view and it remains in textbooks in India today. That there was no record of such an event in ancient Indian records, north or south, was ignored. That this theory never managed to prove itself was disregarded. Recently, however, the Aryan invasion idea is becoming rejected worldwide in light of new archaeological evidence that contradicts it. However, Indian secular and Leftist thinkers like to denigrate any questioning of the invasion theory as Hindu fundamentalist propaganda. A recent academic paper argues that there is an indigenous development of civilisation in India going back to at least 6000 BCE (Mehrgarh). It proposes that the great Harappan or Indus Valley urban culture (2600-1900 BCE), centred on the Saraswati river of Vedic fame, had much in common with Vedic literary accounts. It states that the Harappan culture came to an end not because of outside invaders but owing to environmental changes, most important of which was the drying up of the Saraswati. It argues further that the movement of populations away from the Saraswati to the Ganges, after the Saraswati dried up (c 1900 BCE), was reflected in the literature with Vedic Saraswati based literature giving way to Puranic texts extolling the Ganga. Perhaps more shockingly, the paper states that the Aryan invasion theory reflects colonialism and Eurocentrism and is quite out of date. Note the conclusion: "That the archaeological record and ancient oral and literate traditions of south Asia are now converging has significant implications for regional cultural history. A few scholars have proposed that there is nothing in the 'literature' firmly placing the Indo-Aryans outside of south Asia, and now the archaeological record is confirming this. "We reject most strongly the simplistic historical interpretations, which date back to the eighteenth century, that continue to be imposed on south Asian culture history. These still prevailing interpretations are significantly diminished by European ethnocentrism, colonialism, racism, and anti-semitism. Surely, as south Asian studies approach the twenty-first century, it is time to describe emerging data objectively rather than perpetuate interpretations without regard to the data archaeologists have worked so hard to reveal." Is this the statement of a Hindutva fanatic? No, it is by a noted Western archaeologist specialising in ancient India, James Schaffer of Case Western University as part of his new article, 'Migration, Philology and South Asian Archaeology', soon to appear in Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia: Evidence, Interpretation and History, edited by Bronkhorst and Deshpande, University of Michigan Press. The Aryan invasion theory, as Schaffer notes, arose from a Eurocentric view that was hostile to an Indic basis for Western civilisation or peoples. The discovery of close affinities between the Indo-European languages in the eighteenth century required an explanation. By placing the original Aryans in Europe, who later migrated to India where they got absorbed by the indigenous population, it took away any need to connect the ancient Europeans with India, which was not pleasing to the colonial mindset. The theory eventually developed an anti-semetic tone. It was used to trace Western culture not to the Jews and their Biblical accounts but to a proposed European homeland dominated by Nordic peoples. Thus the invasion theory became one of the pillars for Nazi historians, yet strangely the Communists in India have become strong supporters of the theory and accuse those who question it of being fascists!. Archaeologist Mark Kenoyer of the University of Wisconsin, who is in charge of the Indus Valley display that is touring American museums, has similar views as related in an article on the 'Indus Valley: Secrets of a Civilisation in Wisconsin Fall 1998': "If previous scholars were wrong about the origin of the Indus people, they also missed the boat when it came to explaining their downfall, which they attributed to an invasion by Indo-Aryan speaking Vedic tribes from the northwest." This theory has now been ruled out by the lack of archaeological evidence. Instead, says Kenoyer, "it's likely that the rivers dried up and shifted their courses, altering trade routes and undermining the economy." Kenoyer is also now arguing that the Indus script can be traced to 3300 BCE, making it as old as an Sumerian records of writing. The skeletal record confirms that same data as archaeology as Kenneth Kennedy notes in 'Have Aryans Been Identified in the Prehistoric Skeletal Record from South Asia' appearing in The Indo-Aryans of South Asia (Walter de Gruyter 1995). No such Aryan skeletons have ever been found as different from indigenous ethnic groups. "All prehistoric human remains recovered from the Indian subcontinent are phenotypically identifiable as south Asians. Furthermore their biological continuity with living peoples of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the border regions is well established across time and space. Assumptions that blondism, blue-grey eyes and light skin pigmentation are physical hallmarks of either ancient Aryans or of members of brahmin and other social groups in modern south Asia, find their origins in the improper marriage of excerpts from Vedic texts with nineteenth century Germanic nationalistic writings." Most archaeologists in India like B B Lal, S P Gupta or S R Rao have argued similar points for several years. At a recent conference in Los Angeles in August, sponsored by the World Association for Vedic Studies (WAVES), Lal argued convincingly the same points in an excellent paper called the 'Myth of the Aryan Invasion: Some Reflections on the Authorship of the Harappan Culture'. Unfortunately, Indian Leftists called B B Lal's recent book The Oldest Civilisation in South Asia as "academically weak and unscholarly," though he is only relating the implications of the latest archaeology. How many of these people ever read Lal's book or the related archaeological studies is debatable. Yet even a Communist historian in India like Romila Thapar, who previously endorsed the invasion theory has been forced to backtrack and no longer emphasises it. She recently notes in a Frontline interview: "Introducing archaeological data into historical studies also forces historians to think along interdisciplinary lines. The decline of the Indus cities is attributed to a range of causes, of which ecological change is among the major ones." The Aryan invasion theory has been used to promote various political agendas. British, Communist, Dravidian and dalit groups have all used it to their advantage, as have Muslim and Christian missionaries portraying the invading Aryans as the bad guys and the invasion as the source of all social, political and religious problems in the country. No other theory of ancient history has been used for so much modern political and religious mileage. That such groups are blaming Hindus for politicising the issue now that it is turning against them is only hypocrisy. Regardless of one's political views, the Aryan invasion theory is falling into the dustbin of history. India as a civilisation has as much continuity both in terms of its ethnic groups and its literary record. In fact a new claim for India as the cradle of civilisation may be possible with further archaeological finds. Rather than a history of invasions, there is an indigenous development of a civilisation with distinctive features that can be traced back to the beginnings of agriculture and cattle rearing in the region. A great history is there that needs to be reclaimed and reinterpreted as an integral whole. A new history of India needs to be written that recognises this monumental heritage. A good place to start improving and Indianising the educational system in the country would be to correct this misconception which puts the entire history of the region on a wrong foundation.
Posted by: rhytha Dec 12 2003, 09:53 AM
Ok then where does tamil fit in? Tamil is not a language which has roots in sanskrit? its a independantly developed language, also how is brahui justified, how did a reach parts of pakistan
Posted by: Kaushal Dec 12 2003, 11:34 AM
My view on Tamil(Dramil, Dravid) may be somewhat controversial. It is truly one of the most ancient language of india but whether it really developed completely independently is not a settled question. Contrary to popular belief Tamil has extensive borrowings from sanskrit (and vice versa). India was always a highly populated subcontinent and most of the prakrit languages developed semi independently of sanskrit. IOW they originated independently but eventually borrowed from sanskrit heavily (as did sanskrit from the prakrits) and as did Tamil. That is not surprising because most of the learned men in those times were well versed in both languages (native as well as sanskrit). It is clear that the Tamil script is a Brahmi script as are Telugu, kannada and Malayalam as opposed to the devanagari scripts of the north. But most of india used a brahmi script at one point (during asoka's time).Devanagari is later development. All of these languages have an extensive admixture of sanskrit borrowings. In any event i do not believe the differences between the SI languages and the rest are sufficiently deep in order to justify classifying them as separate language families (aryan and dravidian). I certainly do not believe there is such a thing as a dravidian or an aryan ethnic entity. We can start a Indian linguistics thread if warranted and if there is enough interest.
Posted by: acharya Dec 12 2003, 12:11 PM
QUOTE (Hauma Hamiddha @ Dec 10 2003, 06:28 PM)
QUOTE (k.ram @ Dec 10 2003, 10:21 AM)
Very important book. Will write on this topic some day when I get time, if there is any interest on the forum.
WHy dont you send an email to me on this. I am interested on this. I will buy this book
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Dec 13 2003, 12:32 AM
QUOTE (rhytha @ Dec 12 2003, 10:23 PM)
Tamil is not a language which has roots in sanskrit? its a independantly developed language, also how is brahui justified, how did a reach parts of pakistan
Rhytha, of course my views on this differ quite a bit from the usual Indian opinion. Yes Tamil indeed does not have its roots in Sanskrit and at its core is a completely different language of the Dravidian language family. It is definitely a very ancient language for it was vigorously developed by at least 200 BC. However, even in its earliest layers it shows clear evidence for contact with the Indo-Aryan languages. One of the earliest Tamil texts the thoL kAppiam, a text of grammar is clearly organized in style of the Sanskrit grammars of the first millenium BCE. The earliest layer of Indo-Aryan borrowings in Tamil are clearly from Southern Prakrits rather than Sanskrit. This shows that Tamil was in contact with Prakrits even before the first texts in this language were composed. Not surprisingly in the linguistic area occupied by Telugu and Kannada we find the extensive use of Southern Prakrit. Examples of earlier prakritic borrowings are : AkAyaM- sky; akaM-love/ego, arasan-king, ventan- God indra, rattaM- blood. Studying the southern Indian Dravidian languages we get the below picture :
------------------------- Gondi '------------------------ Telungu '------------------- Kannada | '-------------- Tulu '---------------- Tamil '------------- Malayalam
Since Tamil had emerged full-blown by 200 BC the separation of all these dravidian languages with the possible exception of Malayalam (later from tamil) occured before 200 BC. Hence the common ancestor of all these languages was definitely older than at least 600 BC. But how far back it goes cannot be reliably dated at this point. Analysis of the R^igveda shows that its core ancient layer was hardly influenced by Dravidian languages suggesting that the early Indo-Aryan speakers were not in direct contact with the Dravidian speakers. This coupled together with the Prakritic rather than sanskrit loans of Dravidian languages like tamil suggests that the contact was relatively late and the border lands of the Indo-Aryan sphere. One important line of evidence of place names suggests that Dravidian was spoken at some point along the West coast of India. This may imply that Dravidian entered India following a coastal route. However Brahui does not have a strong Dravidian vocabulary and could have even been a secondary dispersal based on its relationship with the southern Dravidian languages. The other mystery is how the North Dravidian languages, namely Kurukh-Malto got their current position. A common model is that Dravidian entered into India from the west coast and one branch dispersed into central India where it trifurcated into the Northern, Middle and southern branches. The northern and middle branches diversified respectively into Kurukh+Malto and Gondwanan+Telugu respectively. The southern branch split up into Tamil , Nilgiri and Kannadoid branches. These were mainly hunter-gathers with some agricultural practises. The northern branches appear to have mingled with the Austro-Asiatic tribals and were subsequently overlayed by the Indo-Aryans. Ancestors of Telugu and Tamil merged with the Prakritic Indo-Aryan borderzone forming the megalithic cultural complex that then diversified and spread over south India.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Dec 13 2003, 11:51 AM
Indo-Iranian Origins CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 43, Number 1, February 2002 Archaeology and Language The Indo-Iranians by C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky Conclusions Russian scholars working in the Eurasiatic steppes are nearly unanimous in their belief that the Andronovo culture and its variant expressions are Indo-Iranian. Similarly, Russian and Central Asian scholars working on the Bactrian Margiana complex share the conviction that it is Indo-Iranian. The two cultures are contemporary but very different. Passages from the Avesta and the Rigveda are quoted by various researchers to support the Indo- Iranian identity of both, but these passages are sufficiently general as to permit the Plains Indians an Indo-Iranian identity. Ethnicity is permeable and multidimensional, and the "ethnic indicators" employed by Kuzmina can be used to identify the Arab, the Turk, and the Iranian, three completely distinctive ethnic and linguistic groups. Ethnicity and language are not so easily linked with an archaeological signature. Furthermore, archaeology offers virtually no evidence for Bactrian Margiana influence on the steppe and only scant evidence for an Andronovo presence in the Bactrian Margiana area. There is certainly no evidence to support the notion that the two had a common ancestor. There is simply no compelling archaeological evidence for (or, for that matter, against) the notion that either is Indo- Iranian. Indo-Iranian is a linguistic construct with two branches, one of which went to Iran and the other to northern India. The time of their arrival in these new homelands is typically taken to be the 2d millennium B.C. Not a single artifact of Andronovo type has been identified in Iran or in northern India, but there is ample evidence for the presence of Bactrian Margiana materials on the Iranian Plateau and in Baluchistan (e.g., at Susa, Shahdad, Yahya, Khurab, Sibri, Miri Qalat, Deh Morasi Ghundai, Nousharo [for a review see Hiebert and Lamberg-Karlovky 1992]). It is impossible, however, to trace the continuity of these materials into the 1st millennium and relate them to the known cultures of Iranian-speakersthe Medes or the Achaemenids (or their presumed Iron Age ancestors [see Ghirshman 1977, Young 1967]). The only intrusive archaeological culture of the 2d millennium that directly influences Iran and northern India is the Bactrian Margiana archaeological complex, but it cannot be linked to the development of later 2d- and 1st-millennium archaeological cultures on the Iranian Plateau. The identity of the Indo-Iranians remains elusive. When they are identified in the archaeological record it is by allegation rather than demonstration. It is interesting that the archaeological (and linguistic) literature has focused entirely upon the Indo-Iranians, overlooking the other major linguistic families believed to have been inhabiting the same regionsthe Altaic, the Ugric, and the Dravidian. Each of these has roots in the Eurasiatic steppes or Central Asia. The fact that these language families are of far less interest to the archaeologist may have a great deal to do with the fact that it is primarily speakers of Indo-European in search of their own roots who have addressed this problem. In an interesting "Afterword" to Sarianidi's Margiana and Protozoroastrianism, J. P. Mallory asks, "How do we reconcile deriving the Indo-Iranians from two regions [the steppes and the Central Asian oases] so different with respect to environment, subsistence and cultural behavior?" (1998a:181). He offers three models, each of interest, none supported by archaeological evidence, one of which is that the Bactrian Margiana complex was Indo-Iranian and came to dominate the steppe lands, serving as the inspiration for the emergence of fortified settlements such as Sintashta in the southern Urals. Thus, an external source is provided for the development of the "country of towns" and with it a linguistic affiliation. Mallory admits that this model is unlikely. His conclusion is that the nucleus of Indo-Iranian linguistic developments formed in the steppes and, through some form of symbiosis in Bactria-Margiana, pushed southward to form the ancient languages of Iran and India (p. 184). It is, however, that "form of symbiosis" that is so utterly elusive! Linguists too often assign languages to archaeological cultures, while archaeologists are often too quick to assign their sherds a language. Denis Sinor (1999:396), a distinguished linguist and historian of Central Asia, takes a position that more might consider: "I find it impossible to attribute with any degree of certainty any given language to any given prehistoric civilization." The works I have mentioned in this piece offer archaeological data of great interest and importance, and all their authors identify the archaeological cultures with which they are working as Indo-Iranian. Linguists cannot associate an archaeological culture with words, syntax, and grammar, and archaeologists cannot make their sherds utter words. We need a third arbiter, which may or may not offer some degree of resolution to the relationships between archaeological culture and language. Perhaps that arbiter will be in our genes. To date only a few mitochondrial and Y-chromosome studies of Eurasian populations have been undertaken (Voevoda et al. 2000). Eliza Khusnutdinova and her team at the Uta Research Center are conducting pioneering DNA studies in the Volga-Urals region of Russia. In the context of a renewed fashion of relating archaeology, culture, and language it is well to remember that neither sherds nor genes are destined to speak specific languages, nor does a given language require a specific ceramic type or genetic structure.
Posted by: agasthiyan Dec 15 2003, 08:16 PM
some 1.5 to 2 years back there was a series of articles on "the open page" ( a supplement to the Hindu), where N.S.Rajaram and Michael Witzel were slugging out on the harappan and vedic civilisations..and later David Frawley too pitched in favor of Rajaram. Most of the stuff was way over my head and i have many doubts, hope the experts here can clarify me.. whats with the Harappan horse, what significance it has ? (is it true that it has one rib less than the central asian variety?) is there a reliable timeline on indian ancient history? are the harappan and vedic civilisation one and the same, or is it a sequential one? were the harappans literate, if they were literate then is it possible that they could have written the vedas themselves.. it is hard for me to imagine that the world view expressed in vedas could come from invading nomads... i think, the whole aryan thing is a whole hoax started by the mueller gang and indians are still suckers for it... what do the recent excavations near dwaraka and mamallapuram(?) signify..? cheers
Posted by: Kaushal Dec 15 2003, 10:34 PM
You ask a lot of questions agasthiyan. There was a pretty long thread in BR (before they started banning history discussions). It has been archived, many of the issues you bring up were discussed there;f=9;t=000052 The horse and its implication has been overplayed. The general supposition was that the denizens of the Saraswati Sindu civilization did not have access to horses whereas the Vedics did (aswamedha yagna) as is attested to by the frequent references to chariots in the M'Bharata. Note there are no chariots in the Ramayana. Suffice it to say that horse bones have been found in several locations in the Saraswati Sindhu valleys and that they are no less frequent than elsewhere in India. The issue of the number of ribs is also an interesting one. The simple fact of the matter is that there was a widespread civilization throughout the subcontinent, and all talk of a Aryan Invasion is so much hot air. There is neither Aryan nor invasion. That does not mean there may not have been migrations (in and out) but they are not relevant to the narrative of recorded indian history and if they occurred before 8000 BCE do not affect the story one way or the other.
Posted by: agasthiyan Dec 16 2003, 03:55 PM
thanks kaushal i am wondering if there is even a distinct race called aryan... the link u have given is very will take a long time for me to digest the stuff...i am just a beginner on the stuff..hence the many questions... smile.gif
Posted by: acharya Dec 16 2003, 05:05 PM
QUOTE (agasthiyan @ Dec 16 2003, 10:55 AM)
thanks kaushal i am wondering if there is even a distinct race called aryan... the link u have given is very will take a long time for me to digest the stuff...i am just a beginner on the stuff..hence the many questions... smile.gif
From a scientific point of view there is no genetic marker for aryan race. Similarily for Dravidian group. Now the AIT supporters say that Aryans are Indo-Aryan language speaker hence they can be grouped as a seperate social group distinct from the land they have migrated to. THis is a madeup story of the highest order. Check the colonial history thread to get an idea of what they thought of Indians trying to imitate the firangis.
Posted by: Kaushal Dec 16 2003, 11:47 PM
i am wondering if there is even a distinct race called aryan
You can rest assured there is no such race. Aryan is a corruption of the word 'arya' or one of noble behavior. Arya as used in the Vedas is usually an adjective not a noun and is a behavioral trait such as in 'aryaputra'. It is a deliberate distortion by the Europeans first to create a myth that they were superior to the semitics from whom they had borrowed many aspects of their civilization and secondly in the context of India to create a wedge between lighter skinned Indians and their darker skinned brothers by bringing in the issue of a mythical race (you are aryans and not one of the dark skinned riffraff), unfortunately many Indians even today fall for this notion (while all Indians are inferior to us British some of you can hope to become like us) hook line and sinker. There is a natural yearning among all tribal groups to think they are superior to their neighboring tribes but the europeans carried this to an absurd extent. Of course there is such a thing called Indo European languages but to say that such languages were spoken by a race called the Aryans is rubbish.
Posted by: k.ram Dec 19 2003, 09:29 AM
Invention of history December 19, 2003 Three rituals are performed every year in India on November 14 -- the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister who passed away in 1964. Ritual number one is that our morning newspapers that day publicise it as 'Children's Day' -- so labelled because Nehru had great affection for children who called him 'Chacha Nehru.' The second ritual of the day --- publicised with a photograph the next day --- is some member of the Nehru dynasty paying homage to Nehru's so-called samadhi at Shantivan in New Delhi. At least some Congress acolytes in attendance complete this ritual. The third ritual is that on or around Nehru's birth anniversary some loyal Congressman or the other writes a newspaper article singing hosannas to Nehru's role in today's India. This year, November 14 conformed to the scripture's rigour. The newspapers did their duty towards children. Sonia Gandhi did hers along with Sheila Dixit in tow. And the job of singing a paean was done by veteran journalist H Y Sharada Prasad, who had long ago edited selected speeches of Nehru to the latter's satisfaction, and who was information adviser not only to Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, throughout her entire reign as PM, but also to Nehru's grandson, Rajiv Gandhi, when the latter was PM. Prasad performed his part through an edit-page article in The Asian Age titled 'Inventor of India.' Therein he first very briefly reviewed a recent biography titled Nehru -- The Invention of India by Shashi Tharoor, whose theme lies in the two sentences that Prasad quoted: 'Creating Indians is what the nationalist movement did. And Nehru it was, above all else, who wielded that India into a plausible nation --- the man who through his writings, his speeches, his life, his leadership, can be credited with the invention of the India we know today.' Now Tharoor hasn't either read the late Janardan Thakur's last book named Prime Ministers -- Nehru to Vajpayee (Eshwar, 1999) or chosen to ignore that veteran political journalist's scathing criticism of Nehru in that book. Civil liberty severely curbed as in an emerging police State; creation, in the name of democracy, of oligarchic pockets to safeguard his despotism called the Republic of India, vagueness and fuzziness about political colours such as socialism; an administrative record that was nothing to write home about; over-involvement in the world of words and dreams leading to often superficial knowledge of many affairs of the State; harbouring dozens of shady characters, fools and corrupt men among fawning courtiers; creation of linguistic states that led to fissiparous tendencies; leaving villages to stagnate. That report card of his on Nehru made Thakur conclude in his book that 'Most of the evils that have corroded India in the last fifty years had their beginnings during the Nehru Raj.' If Tharoor nevertheless chooses to dub Nehru as the Inventor of India, Prasad excused him from proving his appellation by saying that Tharoor does not claim his biography to be a scholarly work. Quickly, Prasad himself proceeds to invest Nehru with a milestone achievement that few, if at all, have ever recorded. That achievement of Nehru, Prasad wants us to believe, is that 'he prevented the creation of 500 Indias.' Prasad would have us believe that during the tortuous negotiations for transfer of power, the one last trump card which the British had kept up their sleeve was the question of paramountcy over the states. He says that when the British viceroy hinted at the idea of transfer of paramountcy to the princes, it was Nehru's 'fury' and 'uncompromising stand' that scotched the idea. Without this stand, Prasad wants us to believe, Sardar Patel's glorious achievement of eventually integrating the princely states into an India governed one Constitution would not have been possible. In order to assess that stunning viewpoint of Prasad, it is vital to understand the relevant background of the British rule over India. As stated by Anthony Read and David Fisher in their 565-page book titled The Proudest Day -- India's Long Road to Independence (Pimlico, 1998), that scenario of India was briefly --- 1. 'Two fifths of the land area and 100 million of its 400 million inhabitants were ruled by the princes -- Maharajas, Nawabs, Rajas and so on. These were medieval monarchs, complete autocrats... They had wrecked the central government provision of the 1935 Act by refusing to enter a federation, and now they threatened the successful conclusion of the transfer of power.' (Page 476) 2. 'In all there were 562 princely states in India, ranging from Hyderabad and Kashmir, each as big as mainland Britain, to mere dots on the map.' (Page 476) 3. 'The states were not directly ruled by Britain, but were looked after by her for defence, foreign policy and communications in return for which they each acknowledged British 'paramountcy' through individual treaties.' (Page 477) If complete political freedom to British India (comprising provinces and constituting 60 per cent of the land area) also meant full independence to the 562 princely states, what was in store for India was fragmentation and chaos. In store was untold damage to India's fragile infrastructure because the British had welded the states and provinces into an administrative whole, enabling railways, postal and telegraph services to cross boundaries without any problems. Food and agriculture policy too was conducted on a national basis, as was the control of narcotics, arms and ammunition, the extradition of criminals etc. It was that fragmentation and chaos which, Prasad wants us to believe, Nehru prevented. The above-cited book of Read and Fisher tells a very different story as follows --- 4. 'On 8 April (1947), Nehru told Mountbatten that he thought all provinces, including partitioned ones, 'should have the right to decide whether to join a Hindustan Group, a Pakistan Group, or possibly to remain completely independent.' Mountbatten seized on Nehru's suggestion and asked Ismay (Mountbatten's chief of staff) to begin drawing a new plan based on it -- though he omitted to mention Nehru's insistence on a strong centre. For the next few days, Ismay beavered away at producing...what everyone referred to as 'Plan Balkan.' (page 435) 5. 'When Nehru read Plan Balkan, he raised only comparatively minor points -- much of it, after all, followed his own suggestions.' (Page 441) 6. 'The official version of the approved plan was cabled from London on Sunday, 10 May (1947), and Mountbatten joyfully announced to the press that he would officially present it to Nehru, Jinnah, Patel, Liaqat and Baldev Singh at a conference on 17 May. But as the day wore on, he began to have doubts. The amendments made to the plan (sent by Mountbatten) in London could be seen as fundamental changes... Before bed that night, Mountbatten invited Nehru to his study... took out the revised plan from his safe, and gave it to him to read.' (Page 446) 7. 'On the morning of 11 May, Mountbatten found disaster staring at him... in the shape of a letter... which he described as "Nehru's bombshell." In it, Nehru denounced the entire plan.' (Page 447) 8. 'What Nehru most objected to in the revised plan (received from London) was that it encouraged the Balkanisation of the country by allowing individual provinces such as Bengal and NWFP to break away as independent sovereign states... Atlee (the then British PM) had struck at the very roots of Congress by removing from the plan (sent to it by Mountbatten) any recognition that the provinces... represented the Union of India, the successor state to British India... As for the princes, the revised plan was a direct invitation to them to remain independent kingdoms...' (Pages 446-447) 9. 'Mountbatten sent a stream of cables to Ismay in London, telling him to hold everything, that the draft plan was cancelled, that he was to stand by for a revised plan.' (Page 448) Thus it was that the Partition Plan was finally accepted, creating the two Dominions of India and Pakistan based on Hindu/Muslim majority areas of British India, and stipulating that political arrangements between the princely states and the British Crown will simultaneously be ended, with the void being filled by 'States entering into a federal relationship with the successor or Governments in British India, or failing this, entering into particular political arrangements with it or them.' (Page 65, of Dr A S Anand's book The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir --- Its Development & Comments (Universal Law Book Publishing Co Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, third edition, 1998). It is Nehru's bombshell letter above that probably made Prasad believe the target of Nehru's 'fury and uncompromising stand' was the fate charted for the 562 princely states. That it wasn't so is reflected by Nehru's approval on April 8, 1947 of even provinces choosing to remain independent. (See 4 above). Moreover, Nehru's reaction of 'fury' was not on the basis of the Viceroy's 'hint,' as Prasad says, but against the official plan sent by the British government from London on May 10, 1947. To further disprove Prasad's contention, read on from Read and Fisher's book. 10. 'At a meeting of party leaders called by Mountbatten on 13 June (1947) to discuss the problem of the States... Nehru approached the situation as an emotional politician rather than a punctilious constitutional lawyer... he argued that in order prevent the spread of anarchy within the sub-continent, the existing British political and administrative machinery for the States must be preserved until it could be taken over in toto by the new government.' (Page 479, emphasis provided.) 11. 'The old Political Department, under Sir Conrad Corfield, believed that the longer the princes held out, the stronger their bargaining position would be; indeed, it would be best for them if they could hold out until after partition when they could, he believed, name their own terms... Corfield had been diligently working to sabotage the efforts of Mountbatten and the party leaders to persuade them to accede quickly to one or other of the new dominions.' (Page 479) 12. '(Sardar) Patel was blunt: Mountbatten could offer them what he liked as long as Patel got his 'full basket of apples'. In other words, all the rulers must sign their instruments of accession and abandon their claims to independence, before the transfer of power.' (Page 481, emphasis provided.) It is thus invention of history to believe that Nehru stymied the creation of '500 Indias.' What he had opposed was only a draft plan received from London on May 10, 1947 that Mountbatten showed him a week before he was to discuss it with other Indian leaders. Gandhi and other Congress leaders were sure to throw it out in any case because they had always opposed a loose federation of states and demanded, instead, a strong central government. On the other hand, if the princely states had been allowed to hold out under the prevailing arrangement till after Partition (as Nehru wanted, see 10) and as provided for in the Balkan Plan approved by Nehru, then there might well have been, who knows, half a dozen cousins of Kashmir causing agony to Mother India today. As it transpired, Patel got the Instrument of Accession ready by July 31, 1947 and, by August 14, 1947, his basket was almost filled with 'apples.' Of the 548 states in or adjacent to India, only three were missing: Hyderabad, Jammu & Kashmir and Junagadh. The likes of Sharada Prasad and Tharoor are welcome to hail Nehru all they want. But please let them not play the inventors of history.
Posted by: k.ram Dec 19 2003, 09:37 AM
ohmy.gif oops! meant to post it in colonial history thread. I apologoze! Admins can move it there.
Posted by: k.ram Dec 29 2003, 09:52 AM
specool.gif An effort to cull out treasure from Mahabharatha 'Introducing India to Indians' was the theme of a quiz programme conducted recently by the Chinmaya Mission. The title sums up the current mindset of the Indians - we are in need of introducing the age-old cultural and intellectual wealth of our ancestors to the modern generation. In recent days, there are good signs as awareness about our glorious heritage is gaining momentum and efforts are on in various parts of the country in this direction. The four-day international conference on the Mahabharatha held in Chennai, as part of the Swarna Jayanthi Peetarohana Jayanthi of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, is undoubtedly a mega effort in introducing the wealth of knowledge available in the great epic. The conference assumes significance considering the fact that seeking guidance for anything and everything from the West which has almost become a habit of the Indians - ignoring the enormous intellectual wealth contributed by our ancestors and their contribution to world culture with a sense of contempt and recklessness. The papers presented during the various sessions of the conference by experts from various parts of the country and abroad left the audience astounded. The subjects on which papers submitted include astronomy, folklore, tribal studies, administration, medicine and public health, women and children, religion and philosophy, literature, music and dance, art and architechture and history. One of the interesting papers is the one submitted by Dr A K Panda on the perspective of AIDS in Mahabharatha. The dreaded disease came to the fore in 1980 and HIV was isolated as the causative agent of the disease. During the Mahabharatha period, King Chandanu was infected with Rajayakshma, a disease similar to AIDS after sexual contact with 28 daughters of Daksya. Similarly, the king's successor Vichitravirya was also infected. Rajayakshma is the end stage of all pulmonary ailments and is incurable. Further, the molecular structure of HIV genome is like Sudarsana Chakra mentioned in the Mahabharatha. A paper submitted by Dr Pradeep Kumar Moharana, says that the Mahabharatha points out excessive involvement in sexuality leads to the wasting of the body thus causing a serious disease like Rajayakshma. Atri suffered from Rajayakshma because of excessive sexual activity. 'Elements of genetics in Mahabharatha', a paper by S Annapurna concentrates on the genetic puzzles that we encounter now. She says the birth of many characters in the epic had always led to people wondering about many medical views regarding them. For example, the birth of the Kauravas from 101 pots in which the pieces of foetus were kept, hints at the concept of the preservation of babies in incubators. A paper submitted by Dr P V Narayanan compares the Mahabharatha and Arthasastra. The science of politics and administration in India, as depicted in the epic, was known as Rajadharmasastra, Arthasastra, Dandaniti and Rajasastra. It gives a clear picture of the political philosophy prevalent at that time. The paper presented by C L Ramakrishnan, focusses on certain important aspects of administration, maintaining secrecy in matters to be executed, the qualities of leadership etc. The earliest recorded evidence of uninterrupted recitation of the Mahabharata and Ramayana is found outside India in Cambodia, dates back to 6th century AD, the inscriptions are in chaste Sanskrit, says Dr Nagaswamy, renowned archaeologist, who adds that one Somasarman, who was related to the king of Cambodia, arranged for daily recitation of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and the Puranas, in local temples. Several inscriptions in Cambodia, refer to the study of Mahabharatha books being consecrated in temples. Mahabharatha is called Vyasa Sastra in the record. The records and monumental temples like Ankhor Vat and Ankhor Thom, show that for dharma and administration of the country. In Vietnam, which was then known as Campa, the impact of Mahabharatha is seen even earlier, from the fourth century. Bangkok manuscript with vedic texts and Thevaram and Prabandham texts. In Laos, the Ramayana and Mahabharatha continued to be vital to the people till recent times, where manuscripts of the epics, in the local script, showing regional variations in the episodes are found in large numbers. As part of the conference on Mahabharatha, a photo exhibition was organised by the Archaeological Survery of India, at the MOP Vaishnav College for Women depicted the Mahabharatha sites in India and sculptural representation in different regions. The other part of the exhibition was filled with the personal collections of Dr Nagaswamy on Hindu and Buddhist temples in South East Asian countries. The magnificent temples of Angkor Vat and Angkor Thom of Cambodia are depicted through excellent pictures. Besides scholars from Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, USA and France, eminent speakers from various parts of India addressed the conference. The South Zone Culture Centre, Thanjavur, has arranged for Yaksha Gana recital from Bangalore, a Manipuri and Bommalattam performances. An Indo-South East Asian Study Centre, is likely to be inaugurated to encourage peopole of these countries to undertake joint research and invite students and public to visit the monumental temples and other sites, organise lectures and exhibitions, etc. The meet is indeed an gargantuan effort on the part of the organisers to bring about greater awareness on the epic. It is likely that they will succeed in their endeavour.
Posted by: Mudy Jan 1 2004, 10:15 PM
Posted by: Dev M Jan 6 2004, 11:07 PM
Kaushal, acharya, HH, others Please recommend "top two" books that covers Indus civilization/Indian history. I'm assuming that your recommendations will be free of secular and leftist bias (which by the way makes it automatically objective history reference biggrin.gif ). From Kaushal's Bharatnirbhaya group file section I have the following: > The History and Culture of the Indian People(HCIP) by R.C. Majumdar > A comprehensive History of India , Calcutta, 1957 by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri et al I don't know if you guys would consider the above books as "top two" on Indian history/civilization. Please also recommend good translated version of Arthshastra in English or Gujarati. Also other literature on Chanakya himself, any biography or well researched book on the man himself. Thanks in advance, I'll be going to India so want to buy them.
Posted by: Kaushal Jan 7 2004, 10:00 PM
Dev, definitive works of Indian History and the Saraswati Sindhu civilization have yet to be written. In the meantime we have to make do with snippets in the Web and use our own discrimination to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is obviously no one book (or two unfortunately) that will give a true picture. In another thread hyagriva has lamented on the demise of traditional Indian culture (values, modes of worship, knowledge of sanskrit - drama, texts etc, entertainment). Everything is in a state of flux. History is not immune to these trends. The modern indian has been brainwashed into thinking History is inconsequential. Even discussion of Historical topics is banned in a site as popular as Bharat Rakshak. Such is the state of culture in India today. Even to talk of her tradition is now considered communal and antisecular . But in History and culture of the Indian people the Bharativya Vidya Bhavan under the able leadership of the late KM Munshi has made a good start by publishing these volumes. One has to build on these and compile our history afresh after critically evaluating all sources
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jan 7 2004, 11:33 PM
QUOTE (Dev M @ Jan 7 2004, 01:07 AM)
> The History and Culture of the Indian People(HCIP) by R.C. Majumdar > A comprehensive History of India , Calcutta, 1957 by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri et al
I am sorry to say that these still remain amidst the best of the objective works. While they are monuments in themselves, I fear that they are dated in certain parts. But they are definitely a good start, for the nuances can be explored if one happens to be interested.
Please also recommend good translated version of Arthshastra in English or Gujarati. Also other literature on Chanakya himself, any biography or well researched book on the man himself.
In my opinion the translation of the Arthashastra by L.N Rangarajan is the most accessible one in English. I would strongly recommend every one who has not read it to read it. (Penguin Books India) chANakya's tale is mixed in legend. One of the original sources often used for the narrative is the play in sanskrit called mudra rakshas. More on this topic if I get the time.
Posted by: Dev M Jan 8 2004, 11:35 AM
Thanks Kaushal, HH. Kaushal, I'm not clear from your post whether you are recommending your recommendations (Majumdar and Sastri). Does Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan have a website? Do they have office in Mumbai which I can visit and buy some books? Consider me a newbie in Indian history/culture/civilization. I want to start with reasonably objective sources and then go from there. Once I'm little confident I can, as HH said, deal with the nuances. I know about the BR taking a "secular" turn. But glad you guys took the initiative and started this forum. Atleast we can talk about History and Cricket without the threat of moderators. HH, I take it you recommend the Majumdar and Sastri books to start with.
Posted by: rhytha Jan 8 2004, 11:39 AM
For Sarasvati Sind Civilization, you can get Dr.K's book. He has written a 7 volumn books about it.
Posted by: Mudy Jan 8 2004, 11:52 AM
DEV M, URL of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Book store in USA
Posted by: k.ram Jan 9 2004, 01:12 PM
A tale of two holy places-Srirangam and Kancheepuram Sri Alavandhar also called Yamunachariyar lived between 915 AD and 1040 AD. He was incharge of the administration of Sri Ranaganathaswamy temple at Srirangam besides being the head of Sri Vaishnava Acharya Peetam. He strictly adhered to the tradition established by Azhwars and earlier Acharyas. His erudition, profound scholarship and lectures on Vaishnavism drew many disciples towards him and one of them was Sri Sailapurnar alias “Periya Thirumalai Nambi” was serving Lord Thiruvengatamudaiyan of Thirumalai by bringing fresh fragrant flowers from a garden laid by him and water for Thirumanjanam from Swamy Pushkarani. Incidentally he was the maternal uncle of Sri Ramanuja and his preceptor as well, under whose tutelage he learnt Srimad Ramayana. It was the period when Advaita philosophy was ruling the roost Visishtadvaita remained latent in th hymns of Azhwars, Sri Ramanuja, the propounder of Vishishtadvaita Philosophy was born at Sriperumbudur in the year 1017 under star “Thiruadhirai (Arudra)”. He came to Kancheepuram with a view to enlarging the vistas of his knowledge on the study of “Veda”, “Smrithi”, Sastras” etc. and he became a pupil under an Advaita tutor by name Yadavaprakasar, who ran an institution for studies at “Thiruppukkuzhi” a place near Kancheepuram. He was married in the year 1033 AD at Kancheepuram to Thanjamambal. Be as it may, at Srirangam Sri Alavandhar by an earlier intuition was awaiting the incarnation of Sri Ramanuja and about which he was having a conversation important inmates of the mutt when two Vaishnavites from the temple of “Perarulalan” (Varadarajan) appeared on the scene and paid obeisance to the Acharya Alavandhar. They told the eminent assembly that they are from Kancheepuram and revealed that they young Ramanuja was a resident disciple of Yadavaprakasar at Thiruputtkuzhi near Kancheepuram. Having convinced that his long felt dream was taking shape, Sri Alavandhar took leave of the members of the mutt and with the sanction of Lord Ranganatha reached Kancheepuram after four days of trekking via Thirukoilur. The great pontiff was received with temple honours at Kancheepuram. He met Sri Kanchipurnar who was familiarly known as Thirukachinambi and with him went to the shrines of Lord Varadharaja and His consort and offered worship. While coming out of the sanctum sanctorum, they saw Yadavaprakasar with his disciples circumambulating the temple. Sri Alavandhar requested Thriukachinambi to let him know who among the students was Ramanuja to which the savant pointed out to a fair and handsome youth with a radiance in his face. Sri Alavandhar concluded that he must be the lad whom he head been seeking for. He immediately prayed to Lord Vardharaja bestower of boons that Ramanuja may become his successor to propagate SriVaishnavism and left the place without meeting young Ramanuja as the time was running short for his return to Srirangam. Sri Ramanuja lost his father at Sriperumbudur in the year 1034-35. following a quirk of an event and with the divine grace of Lord Varadharaja and Perundevi Thayar, Ramanuja who accompanied his master to Banaras to have a holy dip in the Ganges and on nearing the vIndhya range he came to know about the diabolical plot hatched by his teacher to do away with him. He left the place after dusk to an unknown destination and slept in an open place. As the day dawned Ramanuja found himself in the nearer precincts of Kancheepuram, where he had the divine vision Lord Varadharaja and Perundevi Thayar in the disguise of a hunter and huntress who desired water to quench thirst. The divine couple also showed the direction to approach a nearby well. Before Ramanuja could return with water, they disappeared from the scene. Ramanuja was overwhelmed with joy over the event and decided within himself that he should be of service to Lord Vardharaja. After the above incident Ramanuja having understood evil designs of his master Yadavaprakasar, reported the matter to his mother who was upset on hearing the heinous plan and requested her son Ramanuja to approach Thirukachinambi and after prostrating before him, expressed his desire to be his pupil and to engage himself in the services of any form as suggested by his Acharya. Under instructions from his preceptor Ramanuja took the services of bringing water daily from the same well which was located to him by the hunter and the huntress earlier, for Thriumanjanam of Lord Vardharaja. Thus Ramanuja devoted himself to this divine duty. At Srirangam Sri Alavandhar was indisposed due to old age. Again some Brahmins who came from Kancheepuram narrated to the great spiritual head all that had taken place including the mental and physical agony suffered by Ramanuja under Yadavaprakashar’s malevolent plan. Sri Alavandhar requested Sri Perianambi to proceed to Kancheepuram with a sloka from Strotra Ratna to be placed first at the feet of Lord Varadharaja and to be handed over to Ramanuja thereafter. Sri Periyanambi reached Kancheepuram and met Sri Thirukachinambi and disclosed the predilection of Sri Alavandhar towards Ramanuja. Both the Acharyans went to the Sanctum sanctorum of Lord Vardharaja and recited the sloka and while returning from the precincts they met Sri Ramanuja standing with a vessel containing water brought from “Salikinaru (well)”. Sri Ramanuja on hearing the “sloka” requested Sri Periyanambi to let him know the author of the piece to which came the reply “Sri Alavandhar”. Sri Ramanuja could not contain himself and implored Sri Periayanambi to arrange for him to have glimpse of Alavandhar without further loss of time. Having obtained the reply in the affirmative, Sri Ramanuja’s exhilaration knew no bounds and he hurriedly left the vessel he brought from the well before Lord Varadharaja and taking leave of him and Thirukachinambi reached Sri Rangam after four days accompanied by Sri Periyanambi. It is to be noted that Sri Ramanuja did not even go home to tell people of his visit but considered his primary duty was to go to Srirangam forthwith. On reaching the outskirts of Srirangam near Thriukkarambanur on the banks of Cauvery, they saw a crowd around a pyre and learnt that Sri Alavandhar had passed away. Sri Periyanambi swooned and fell on the mother earth and Ramanuja who was then only 24 years old (1041 AD) lamented over the event and the resultant misfortune befell on him. However Sri Ramanuja consoled himself that he was atleast fortunate enough to have a look at the body (Charama Vigraha) of the great Vaishnavite Savant. With grief Sri Ramanuja returned hurriedly to Kancheepuram even without entering the temple of Namperumal and informed his Acharya with melancholy about the eternal rest of Sri Alavandhar and continued his usual services to Lord Varadharaja At Srirangam an assembly of coterie with the administration of Srirangam temple as also monastery were on the look out for a successor to the venerable seat and solicited Sri Periyanambi to name a personage. Sri Periyanambi addressed the august audience and remainded them of Sri Alavandhar’s earlier expression that Ramanuja should be his successor and his visit to Kancheepuram in that connection. He also explained to the synod about the superhuman event that happened when the three stretched finger of the right hand of the mortal coil of Sri Alavandhar folded back on Sri Ramanuja’s assurance to carry out the three decrees of the deceased. The members unanimously decided that Sri Ramanuja should succeed and that might be brought from Kancheepuram. They reverentially nominated and requested Sri Periyanambi to take up that mission. Sri Periyanambi left Srirangam for Kancheepuram with his family after his usual prayers to Lord Ranganatha as also for the success of his errand. He had to stay for a while at Maduranthakam en route on the banks of a sprawling lake where lies the temple of Lords Kothandaraman. At Kancheepuram, as if ordained Sri Ramanuja developed an urge to meet Sri Periyanambi so as to become his disciple as per divine orders of Lord Vardharaja conveyed to him earlier through Sri Thirukachinambi. Sri Ramanuja took permission from both Lord Varadharaja and his Acharya and proceeded towards Srirangam . While on his saunter Sri Ramanuja stopped at Madhuranthakam to visit Sri Kothandarama’s temple and to his surprise he saw froma distance Sri Periyanambu with delectation whom he wanted to meet at Srirangam. He strode towards Periyanambi and prostrated before him which choked his emotion. Both of them felt that the object of their pursuit was being accomplished. Sri Ramanuja solicited Sri Periyanambi to perform the essential ritual of having the indelible impression of a Sri Vaishnavite emblem of Conch and Chkra: on his shoulders. Initially Sri Periyanambi made a request to Sri Ramanuja that the ritual could be gone through in the temple premises of Lord at Kancheepuram to which place they had proceed. Immediately Sri Ramanuja reverentially replied explaining about the incertitude of human existence and his recent experience of not being able to accomplish his object of seeing Alavandhar alive. Sri Periyanambi complied with his request of Sri Ramanuja and completed the ceremony with the concomitant rituals that go with it under a tree which is the stala vriksha of Sri Rama’s temple. Both the Guru and his disciple left for Kancheepuram after offering prayers to Lord Srirama. On arrival at Kancheepuam Sri Ramanuja provided Sri Periyanambi and his family the upper side of his home for a comfortable living. During Sri Periyanambi’s stay for nearly 6 months Sri Ramanuja learnt under his preceptor “Nalayira Divya Prabhandham” and its interpretation as also nuances about Vaishnavism. Inorder to give a sequential importance of events that took place in the private family life of Ramanuja we should know about Sri Ramanuja’s wife Thanjamambal. She was a devoted wife to Ramanuja and her domain was the kitchen. She was very punctilious in the observance of orthodoxy. On one occasion Sri Ramanujar invited his Achraya Thirukachinambi to his abode to be his guest. As per arrangement Sri Thirukachinambi called at the residence of his benign host but earlier than the specified time. He requested Thanjamambal to serve him food explaining that he had to be in the temple sooner than before. She acceded to his request but served the food on a pial in front of the house. After the guest had left she removed the leaf with the left over with the help of a stick as she considered it to be a taboo to dispose it off with her hand. Sri Ramanuja who was away having heard about the incident felt penitent about his wife’s disdainful behaviour and warned her to behave better. Another time when a vaishnavite expressed his being hungry he asked his wife to give him food if available to which she replied in the negative with impunity. Later on examination in the kitchen Sri Ramanuja having found that there was enough food admonished his wife for uttering falsehood and for her scomful attitude towards guests. However Sri Ramanujar continued to live with her patiently. Thanjamambal’s derisive behaviour reached its crescendo when she and Vijayambal wife of Sri Periyanambi were drawing water simultaneously from the common well resulting in the two vessels coming in contact with each other. The former became indignant as she considered it as an act of heterodoxy and spurned the wife of Sri Periyanambi and called her names. Consequently the couple from Srirangam left furtively before Sri Ramanuja could return home after his services to Lord, as the repetition of such events would create a bad blood. Sri Ramanuja on learning about the unexpected occurrence and the resultant departure of his Acharya with his wife took a decision that he should discard his family life and take asceticism. Sri Ramanuja without displaying anger or disgust, tactfully sent his wife along with the people from his wife’s side who came to invite him for a wedding. Thanjamambal accompanied her relations with her jewels and dresses as per the request of her husband to participate in the wedding It was the year 1047 AD when Sri Ramanuja who was thirty years old donned the ochre robe of an anchorite on the banks of the holy tank at Kancheepuram and his action had sanction of Lord Varadhraja. At Srirangam the governing body of the mutt came to know that Sri Ramanuja had taken to a life of a “Sanyasin” with Thiruthandam adorning his hand. Sri Thiruvarangaperumal Arayar was deputed to proceed to escort Sri Ramanuja with the explicit permission of Lord Varadharaja which he carried out. Thus Sri Ramanuja ascended the mutt and as its head and that of the administration of the holy temple. He confided the temple rituals and festivals which are still being followed. Sri Ramanuja traveled the length and breadth of India carrying the message of Vishishtadvaita philosophy (in and around the qualified monism) with great emphasis being laid on humility compassion; universal brotherhood and he proclaimed that Sriman Narayana is supreme. In this process he faced several vicissitudes and surmounted them with the benediction of his Acharyas. A subtle thing to be noted in this transformation is the part played by Sri Ranganathar andLord Varadharaja from Srirangam and Kacheepuram respectively. The benevolent revolutionary Sri Ramanuja attained Paramapadha on 22 July 1138 and his mortal remains were interred within the Srirangam temple complex but away from the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Ranganatha on the south eastern corner of the temple. It is now called “Udayavar Sannithi” This article was written by (Late) Sri. Sampath Iyengar
Posted by: sbajwa Jan 9 2004, 01:16 PM
There are very few books (at least online knowledge) about post Ghauri's attack and pre mughal India. What happened in these 500 years (1000 A.D. till 1500).? can we discuss it here? Ghauri after defeating Prithviraj Chauhan left his slave general named Qutub-din-Aibak in India (Delhi) calling it Slave Dynasty. What happend after him? Was he good/bad?
Posted by: Mudy Jan 9 2004, 01:30 PM
Qawwat al-Islam Mosque at Delhi " the first mosque of Delhi is Qubbat al-Islam or Quwwat al-Islam which, it is said, Qutub-Din Aibak constructed in H. 587 after demolishing the temple built by Prithvi Raj and leaving certain parts of the temple; and when he returned from Ghazni in H, 592, he started building, under orders from Shihabud-Din Ghori, a huge mosque of inimitable red stones, and certain parts of the temple were included in the mosque. After that, when Shamsud-Din Altamish became the king, he built, on both sides of it, edifices of white stones, and on one side of it he started constructing the loftiest of all towers which has no equal in the world for its beauty and strength." Qutub-ud-din Aibak: After the death of Mohamed of Ghur, Aibak declared himself as the Sultan of Delhi. He also occupied the throne of Gazni for forty years after defeating Yildiz. But the people drove him out owing to his excesses. This confined him to Delhi and was assassinated in 1210. Qutub-ud-din Aibak built Qutub Minar in Delhi, a land mark in history.
Posted by: Mudy Jan 9 2004, 01:38 PM
From our prestigious IF member's site smile.gif The one time when it appeared that the sanAtana dharma might vanish off the face of bhArata was during the ferocious jihads of Alla-ud-din of the Khalji tribe. The Khaljis entered India from Ghazna during the reign of the Mamluq Sultan Qutub-ud-din Aibak. The first of them to make his mark Bakhtiyar Khalji, whose savage jihad in Bihar and destruction of the Indian centers of learning like Nalanda is only well known. Jalal-ud-din Khalji, another member of this tribe, was accepted as the Sultan of Delhi by a confederation of Turkic tribes, after the collapse of the Mamluq Balban’s regime. Jalal opened his innings by consolidating the Turkic regime in India by suppressing other competing Maliqs and appointed his nephew, Alla-ud-din to expand his domains. We shall briefly consider his campaigns: · In 1291 he was sent to destroy the remaining Kaffirs of Bhilsa in Central India. Il-tut-mish, the Mamluq had earlier desecrated this Hindu-Buddhist temple-university complex but it had fallen away from Islamic control. Alla invaded and conquered Bhilsa and total exterminated the Kaffirs and left behind a ghost city whose long lost temple remnants can be seen even today. · 1292 He attacked the Vidisha in Central India, a great center of learning and destroyed it completely and slew the inhabitants. · 1292 His spies got him the news of the great wealth of the yAdava dynasty of mahArashTra and Alla promptly invaded it and carried away a large amount of loot. · 1295 In a remarkable campaign Alla carried the war right to Devagiri the heart of the yAdava kingdom. He demolished and looted all the temples in Devagiri. · In 1296 with this loot Alla bought most of the Khalji army and murdered his uncle Jalal and drove away his aunt and cousin and declared himself Sultan of Hind. Jaziya was imposed on the Kaffirs. · 1296. Latter in the year he joined the Southern Alliance of the Chagadai Ulus (predominantly Turkic tribes) against the Northern Alliance (predominantly Mongolic) and routed the latter in a battle at Jallandar securing the Panjab for himself. · In 1297 he invaded Gujarat and destroyed the ancient Surya temples at Mehsana and subjugated the Hindus of the land with much slaughter. The rAja of Gujarat fled to Devagiri and the Hindu kings tried to fight back under shankara yAdava. Alla sent Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan against them, who defeated the yAdavas and the Gujarat king. They captured and castrated a Hindu youth who was name Maliq Kaffr and presented him to Alla, who took him as his lover. · 1298 He sent his fiercest il-ghazi, Zafar Khan, to wage a jihad against the pagan Northern Alliance chief Suldus who was sent by Chagadai Kha’Khan Duwa. The battle concluded in a draw after fierce fighting. · 1298 Later in the year he battled against Qutulugh Khawaja, a son of Duwa, of the Northern Alliance, the results were inconclusive · 1299 Qutulugh Khawaja reached the doors of Delhi with a large horde. Alla’s il-ghazi’s Zafar Khan, Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan defeated Qutulugh Khawaja, but Zafar Khan was shot dead by an arrow in this battle. · 1299 Ulugh Khan was sent to quell the Hindu resistance in Gujarat. He conquered the fort of Junagad and demolished all the temples in the surrounding regions and then went on to attack Somnath and destroy the great temple that the Hindus had rebuilt. · 1299. Hammira Deva of the Ranthambhor defeated Alla as he attempted to sack the Rajput stronghold. · 1301. Alla returned with his entire force to sack Ranthambhor. He succeeded and slew Hammira Deva. He conducted a massive temple demolition operation destroying all the temples of Jhain and Sawai Madhopur and slew the inhabitants. · 1303. Chittor alone that had held out against the Muslims, attracted Khalji’s attention due to its beautiful queen Padmini. Khalji sacked and burned Chittor after slaying Rana Rattan Singh. · 1303. Turghai and Ali Beg of the Northern Alliance wrested the Punjab from Alla and invaded Sindh. They blockaded Delhi itself for two months but retreated due to the summer heat. · 1304. Jihad was launched on Ujjaini. This ancient center of Indian learning was destroyed completely. Chanderi was attacked next by Alla and the ancient temples were demolished. · 1305. Malwa and Mandu were savaged and the inhabitants slaughtered. · 1306. Then Turghai and Ali Beg defeated Khalji’s army and captured Lahore and Amroha near Delhi. Tughlaq Khan, a general of Alla, counter-attacked defeated and captured 9000 Pagan Turko-Mongols of the Northern Alliance. He had them all trampled to death by elephants for refusing to accept Islam. · 1308. Qebek (another son of Chagadai ruler, Duwa) and Ibaqmand of the Northern Alliance struck back captured Multan. But Alla defeated them on their way back and again slaughtered all the pagan prisoners he took. · 1308. Later in the year, the Rajputs regrouped in Sivana and declared independence but Alla smashed them in a lightning campaign and destroyed the temples in the region. · 1309. He sent Maliq Kaffr against Devagiri that was attempting to reassert itself. Maliq Kaffr defeated the yAdavas and penetrated the Hoysala kingdom. · 1310 Maliq Kaffr destroyed Dwarasamudra after a fierce battle and ended the Hindu Hoysala rule over those regions. · 1311 Maliq Kaffr devastated Telengana and destroyed the temples of Warangal. He then invaded Madhurai and destroyed the Pandyan kingdom. The temples of Madhurai and Chidambaram were destroyed. Kaffr returned with enormous amounts of gold looted from the destroyed temples. · 1311 Alla invaded Jalor to destroy the Rajput fight back and massacred the Hindu population while destroying the city. · 1313 Devagiri made another attempt to defy the Muslim terror, Alla personally invaded mahArashTra to ravage the Devagiri kingdom. · 1314 Alla more or less became a puppet in the hand of his lover Kaffr and subsequently died in 1316. · 1316 Death. Thereafter, Maliq Kaffr killed all the members of the Khalji tribe except for Qutbuddin Mubarak, Alla’s last son, and ruled in his name. Kaffr was murdered by the Turkish chiefs of the Southern Alliance and Mubarak ascended the throne. In 1318 Qutbuddin Mubarak invaded Devagiri again as its ruler Haripala Deva had cast off the Muslim yoke. Haripala faced a massive defeat and was captured. He was skinned alive and his head and skin were placed on display at the entrance to the Devagiri fort. Thus ended the yAdava dynasty and Hindu sovereignty in mahArashTra. Mubarak’s lover Khusru murdered him and made himself Sultan. Amir Qazaghan of the Qara’Unas tribe, from Konduz, became the lord of the Southern Alliance and sent his commander al Ghazi al Maliq Tughlaq to seize the throne of Delhi after murdering Khusru. Sources: Histoire des Mongols D’Ohsson.; Hafiz-i-Abru, trns Byani (Paris 1936). Tazjiyat-al-amsar va tajriyat of Wassaf; A Forgotten Empire : Vijayanagar : A Contribution to the history of India”, Robert Sewell
Posted by: Viren Jan 9 2004, 01:44 PM
sbajwa/Mudy, Just to digress for did it end between Prithiviraj and Ghori? Accounts I've read shows blind Prithviraj taking out Ghori - see pics (this guy has clearly lifted it from Amar Chitra Katha biggrin.gif ) Also, I remember reading somewhere that Prithviraj's ashes are still in Afghanistan and the new Karzai govt was to work with India for it's return? True/False?
Posted by: Mudy Jan 9 2004, 01:52 PM
Karzai govt was to work with India for it's return? True/False?
TRUE In 1192 AD, Lalkot (as Delhi was then known) under the Rajput king Prithviraj,fell to the raiding Afghan army of Mohammed Ghauri. His General, Qutub-ud-din-aibak built the majestic Quwwat ul Islam (might of Islam) mosque at the site of Delhi’s largest Hindu Temple. Using the traditional Hindu corbelling techniques and the services of Hindu artists, for Islamic motifs and inscriptions on this mosque, gave birth to a fusion art form. The Qutub Minar was also erected to caste the shadow of victory over Hinduism. furious.gif
Posted by: sbajwa Jan 9 2004, 01:58 PM
1250 till 1600 these 350 years were indeed barbaric and full of violence no wonder we don't have much history about these years. What do you mean by Malk Kuffr and Allau din khalji were lovers? were they gay lovers? Isn't that against Islam? did they send the annual tribute to the Khalifa at Baghdad like mughals?
Posted by: Mudy Jan 9 2004, 02:02 PM
This was the second defeat of Muhammad Ghori at the hands of the Indian rulers. But the second defeat appeared to him more disgraceful than the first inflicted on him by Bhim Dev. On his return to Ghazni, Ghori made hectic preparations to avenge the defeat. He proceeded towards India with a large force numbering 120000 mounted men. When he reached Lahore, he sent his envoy to Prithviraj to demand his submission, but the Chauhan ruler refused to comply. Prithviraj saw through Ghori's stratagem. So he issued a fervent appeal to his fellow Rajput chiefs to come to his aid against the Muslim invader. About 150 Rajput chiefs, both big and small, responded favourably. Except the ruler of Kannauj Raja Jaichand who met Ghori an divulged he secrets of Chauhan's planning of war. Whatever army could be mustered, Prithviraj proceeded with it to meet Muhammad Ghori in Tarain where a year before he had inflicted a crushing defeat on his adversary. Ghori divided his troops into five parts. While he deployed four parts to attack the Rajputs on all four sides, the fifth part was kept as reserve. As the sun declined, Ghori led a final charge with his reserve army. The final charge came as a last straw for the brave Rajputs. Khande Rao, the able general of Prithviraj, was killed. The enthusiasm of Prithviraj also dampened against these reverses. He abandoned his elephant and rode out of the battlefield in order to prepare his defenses for another round of attack. But he was pursued and killed by the Afghan troops in a village near Sambhal U.P. In some popular legends woven around the bravery of Prithviraj, it is said that Ghori did not killed Prithviraj but blinded him. Subsequently, Prithviraj discharged a Shabdbhedi (an arrow which travels in a path created by sound waves) arrow, on being challenged by Ghori to do so. The arrow hit Ghori and subsequently he was killed. Yet there is no historical evidence to substantiate it. After defeating Prithviraj in the the second battle of Tarain in 1192A.D. Ghori moved on to Ajmer and sacked the city. Soon he was forced to beat a hasty retreat, to Ghazni, as he was unable to cope up with the Indian climate. He left behind him his slave Qutub-ud-din Aibak to rule over his territories. Qutub-ud-din started of by sacking Ayodhya in 1193 A.D. and established his own dynasty in 1206 after the death of Ghori.
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Jan 9 2004, 05:55 PM
According to K.S.Lal, the sultanate killed 80 million hindus
Posted by: Mudy Jan 9 2004, 06:39 PM
Isn't that against Islam?
But it is more popular in Islamic world.
Posted by: prem Jan 9 2004, 08:13 PM
quote- According to K.S.Lal, the sultanate killed 80 million hindus __________________________________________________________________ So waaaat, Still no lesson is learned !! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Quote- But it is more popular in Islamic world. There was a article on the net about the above popular good deed in in islamic world , especially in Quetta ( pukeland), i cannot seems to find that now. i m not sure , but as per some , in islamic paradise one gets 72 plus some young boys... i also read somewhere that almost 80- percent of the rapes in the Islamic pookeland are done by either father or brother or uncle , especially in case of underage girls/boys. MAy allah has pity on them and grant some more of these habits. Darn, i have to do some search. If some onbe has the reference to that , please post it. thx prem
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Jan 9 2004, 09:01 PM
Per islam, the believer gets the potency of 100 men 72 female houris are provided This leaves potency of 28 remaining Allah has also provided 28 ghilmans ( pearl like young boys )
Posted by: Viren Jan 10 2004, 07:50 AM
QUOTE (prem @ Jan 9 2004, 11:13 PM)
Darn, i have to do some search. If some onbe has the reference to that , please post it.
Prem: There was some survey/study numbers published in Daily Times of Pakistan as how over 25% of the children in the lottastan was absued. ATTN Peregrine: Do you still have that link - remember you had passed that to me a while back at BR. (I wish that paki news/link archival project goes online soon - whoever is working on it, please let us know)
Posted by: Mudy Jan 10 2004, 08:46 PM
Ghauri after defeating Prithviraj Chauhan left his slave general named Qutub-din-Aibak in India (Delhi) calling it Slave Dynasty. What happend after him? Was he good/bad? 1250 till 1600 these 350 years were indeed barbaric and full of violence no wonder we don't have much history about these years.
Surprising nothing is available, other than there was decline in Indian population during that time. While in UK, once they had shown one documentary, where they have mentioned, Delhi complete Hindu population was killed by Qutab or Tuglak (can't recall it) army, even kids and women were not spared. Qutab stones are from Hindu, Buddhist, Jain temples. Nehru stopped release of report on Qutab in 1956.
Posted by: Mudy Jan 10 2004, 09:01 PM
Hindu Armies: the forgotten struggle against the Moslems Author: Vajaratnayana Publication: Date: September 28, 2003 URL: The Indian text books written by secular historians, have often highlighted the fact that the Hindu armies crumbled like fresh cookies against the armies of the Moslems, and the Moslems more or less easily occupied India. What they fail to tell us is the valor of the Hindus in their spirited struggle against the Moslems. We need to repeatedly remember these great unsung heroes of the Hindu struggle. Our culture is still alive today because of the brave sacrifices of these great Hindu fighters who placed themselves in the path of the murderous Moslem warriors. Often the only option to death on the battle field was death by gory torture or forcible conversion to Islam. The saddest tragedy of this is that many modern Hindus simply do not want to remember and learn from the sacrifices of these predecessors of theirs because of the evil of secularism. One of the most forgotten aspects of the struggle is the fierce defence of Hindustan by the Hindus after the Moslems first gained their substantial foot hold in the Indian heartland under Shihab-ud-din Ghori. At this point Dillika was taken by the Moslems and the murderous Qutub-ud-din was placed as Sultan. From that point to the brave revolt in Delhi by the Hindu slaves captured by Alla-ad-din Khalji we see a desperate struggle for survival on the part of the Hindus. In 1320, 40,000 Hindu slaves brought by Khalji from Gujarat, decided to take revenge against the Moslem vandalism of their land. They erupted in revolt with the tacit consent of the ruler Kushrau, who was himself a Hindu boy who had been captured in Gujarat and used as the homosexual partner of Sultan Qutub-ud-din Mubaraq Khalji. One day he murdered his lover and declared himself the ruler of Delhi. Soon the Gujarati rebellion began in Delhi. The Hindu rebels killed the Mullahs of the Jami Masjid and seized the Masjid. The masjid was converted into a temple and idols of Hindu gods were placed in it and worshiped. Qurans were confiscated and torn to pieces. Other Masjids in Delhi were also captured and converted to temples and cow slaughter was banned. Any Moslem seen killing cows was captured and executed. However this spontaneous revolt was crushed by the Turkic Warrior Ghazi Baba Tughlaq, who was invited from Afghanistan by Mullahs to save them from the Hindu wrath. This brave struggle has unfortunately been hidden from public view. A point that should be kept in mind is that the Moslem armies of the time were amidst the best in the world. Ghori, Iltutmish and Nasir-ud-din Muhammad's armies were easily in the best 3 armies of the world. Hence it is commendable that the provincial Hindu armies fought so well against them. The Hindu Khokar army's performance against the Ghori army was top-class and would have done the Mongol armies under Tayanku proud. Alla-ad-din Khalji's army was the best in the world at that time. So it is no surprise that he devasted India so completely that we are still to recover from its effects. Even then the struggle of Hammira deva Chauhan against it was spectacular. Prataparudra in Warangal also put up a brave struggle against the Mohammedans. The Mohammedan threat is still very much alive, we can only hope that the Hindu spirit of resistance is still alive in the people of India
Posted by: Mudy Jan 10 2004, 09:24 PM
Islamic Onslaught
Posted by: k.ram Jan 12 2004, 07:56 PM
I do not know which thread this belongs to, but this is similar to baharitya collective experience and history... ------------------------------------------- The First Arab-Muslim assult on a non-Muslim city Ctesiphone fell in 638 AD. Arabo-Muslim Invaders practically pillaged the whole capital. Picture this, Arabs entered Ctesiphone, this city was if not the most, then one of the most important cities in the world back then in 7th century. Persian Empire was the stronger one of the two super powers of the world back then. Ctesiphone back then was like the New York City of today. Imagine a city, the capital of Persian Empire drowned in luxury, jewelry, glorious buildings, structures, palaces damns, a city so rich so wealthy full of so many structures that the whole world was envious of it! Imagine such city, then picture a group of savages from Deserts of Arabia, promised by caliphate that if you win, you can take whatever you want, steal everything that you can, rape as many Persian women as you can, kill as many Persian men as you can, kidnap as many underage young girls boys as you can send them back to Arabia to become slaves, over all, you can do as you please with Persians as long as you make sure to send caliphate Arab Court's share back to Arabia. Imagine a massive numbers of barbarians, some half naked burned by desert sun, some bare footed, yet most of them well equipped by battle gears sent by Rome to undermine Iran! Imagine how Rome tried to supply these savages support them against Iran, but it back fired on them later the beasts, also invaded Rome! No civilization was safe from this plague, years later, Islamic Beasts went as far as fighting Chinese @ their borders fighting French in the heart of France! The Fall of Ctesiphone Picture a group of nomads, similar to desert rats or half beasts, who been eating lizards drinking camel milk to survive, equipt with a new political ideology called Islam, were promised the key to the Persian Heavens if they would win the war, if they would lose the war die, they were promised the keys to heavens in the sky over there, 70 naked virgins, 2 young boys, rivers of milk honey all delicious food, was waiting for them! Imagine these savages entered such city saw the glory wealth of Ctesiphone, it was like sending a bunch of Mongols from Gobi Desert for the first time into New York City tell them that the city is yours you can do what ever you please. Picture that then imagine what Arabs done to Ctesiphone! Arabs stole all the Imperial Jewelry, they broke tore all the crowns, thrones, scepters, jeweled swords, valuable silk precious stone stitched clothes. They were ripping apart anything valuable in many pieces spread it among themselves. There was a famous Persian Rug which was the finest of Persian Art work, according to some historians, this rug was as large as thousands of square feet, possibly over 12,000 Square Feet, made with the finest wool, silk, gold threads precious stones. This rug was the center piece in Ctesiphone Hall of the Ctesiphone palace of Sassanids. Arabs practically tore up this masterpiece in about 400 pieces first wrapped each piece on a soldiers back later wrapped them on horses camels stolen from Persian Army's back shipped the pieces to Arabia. They even broke down the hand made, wall ceiling ceramics tile works of the Ctesiphone Palace other valuable buildings shipped them back to Arabia. They destroyed all the ceilings of the monuments palaces which were made with jewelry, silver gold colors shipped them back to Mecca Madineh. When Arabs saw all this wealth @ Madaen (Arabic Name for Ctesiphone) they were shocked, they even broke stole the pieces of construction from balconies Ceilings of the main palace (Ivane Madaen). Arabs took what they could killed as many as they could (remember, no prisoners of war), cause they had their hands full with Ghanimat (Prize), they raped as many as they could sent the rest of the young girls boys to Arabia as slaves, thousands thousands of Persian young girls were shipped to Arabia to become concubines sex slaves for caliphate the court house, also the wealthy Arab War Lords who supported financed this war! Young boys were sent to Arabia for both sexual purposes as working slaves. Arab Commanders always had a taste for young Persian boys! Whatever Arabs could not steal, they burned destroyed. After the Arabs were done with Ctesiphone, there was only a pile of burnt out rubbles left of that city. Ctesiphone was burning for weeks weeks. Smoke Fire filled up the skies of Ctesiphone. Anywhere they found resistance, they burned Persian men alive with the resistance building that they were in it, everywhere they found a few men resisting occupation in villages near capital, they burned down the whole village with all men, women, children alive in the village! This was the First Arab-Muslim assault on a non-Muslim city - Ctesiphone the capital of Zoroastrian Persia. We in India were also unfortunate to experience Muslim savagery many times over in India during the Muslim aggression and occupation. The Zoroastrian-Persians did not then unite with the Christian Romans (Byzantines) to defeat the Muslims and both of them were defeated one-by-one by the Muslims. We need to remeber that, and today we need to act in unison with the USA and the Christian West, if we are to prevent this from happening again.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jan 13 2004, 11:50 PM
Moderation note: The Ghori thread was merged with this thread to avoid thread proliferation.
Posted by: acharya Jan 19 2004, 02:00 PM
[URL=[/URL] From Deccan Herald, Bangalore.
Kashmiri Hindus wish to visit temple in PoK NEW DELHI, DHNS In the context of improving Indo-Pak relations, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has urged Union External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha to allow the Kashmiri Hindus to go on a pilgrimage to the Sharda temple in Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK). NCM Chairman Tarlochan Singh has urged the Minister to take up the case with the Pakistan government in the context of the “changing” situation and the possibility of resumption of bus services between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. He has suggested that to begin with a group of 101 pilgrims from Kashmir valley be allowed to go on a pilgrimage to the ancient Sharda temple in Kishanganga valley in PoK. “The temple situated at the confluence of rivers Kishanganga and Jhelum is mentioned as a famous learning centre of the Kashmiris. This temple is identified by noted historians and chroniclers, including Al Beruni, who visited this temple about 1,000 years back,” Mr Singh said. Believed to be equivalent in importance to Shiva Lingam of Somnath, Vishnu of Taneshwar and Surya of Multan, this temple could be approached from Bandipur in north Kashmir, about 80 km from Srinagar.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jan 19 2004, 06:43 PM
Quotes from the Muktasir ut tawarikh written by an unknown Islamic author during the reign of Shah Jahan. -Hindustan is a very large country and other countries are not ever one hundredth of it. Not withstanding its extensive area it is populated everywhere -Inns are available every 2 parsangs of strong masonary for travellers to rest. At each inn every kind of food, drink, medicines and all kinds of instruments and utensils can be obtained. - The whole of this country is very fertile and production of Iran, Turan or other nations are not comparable to the produce of even one province of Hindustan. -Of its productions the Sukhdas rice is the best, its qualities and flavors are beyond all praise and is savored by king and commoner alike.
Posted by: G.Subramaniam Jan 20 2004, 07:51 PM
For authentic Indian history get the R.C.Majumdar collection available at Also get Nilakanta Sastri's "History of South India"
Posted by: Mudy Jan 25 2004, 12:42 AM
Posted by: acharya Jan 27 2004, 07:37 PM
Courtesy: The Temple of Sharada 1. The ancient temple of Sharada is located in Neelam (Kishanganga) valley just beyond the line of control in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The temple is located in a small village called Shardi near the confluence of Kishanganga and Madhumati rivers. As far as I can gather from my maps, its location seems to be 74.2 E and 34.8 N. It is located northwest of the Wular lake about 40 miles as the crow flies. Another way of getting an idea of its location note that Kishanganga and Vitasta (Jhelum) meet in Muzzafarabad. Shardi and Sopore are about the same distance from Muzzafarabad along two different rivers. 2. It was important not only as a temple to Sharada in her triple form as Sharada, Sarasvati, and Vagdevi, it was also a centre of Kashmirian learning. The main pilgrimage used to be conducted on the 4th shudi of Bhadrapada. Shradha used to be performed by the Madhumati. 3. The famous chronicler Al-Biruni (1130 AD) names Sharada, together with Somnath, Multan, and Thaneshvar, as one of the most important temples of Hindus in north India. In the 16th century, Abul Fazl, the author of Ain- Akbari, similarly describes this as a temple dedicated to Durga which is regarded with great veneration. He adds, "On every eighth tithi of the bright half of the month it begins to shake and produces the most extraordinary effect." 4. If you would like to read details about the temple see pages 279- 290 in the second volume of RAJATARANGINI translated by M.A. Stein, who visited the temple in 1892. Stein has extensive notes regarding the temple and his own description of it. 5. It is curious that during the fighting of 1948, the Indian army made no attempt to control this region. I presume this was because the memory of the Sharada temple was not very strong in the minds of the main actors in the drama. Remember the fame of Sharada was so great that the word became synonymous with learning. Also remember that the native script for Kashmiri is a script called Sharada. Some of you would remember the zataks written in it. Sharada is somewhat similar to Devanagari but not identical. PART II: THE SHARADHA SCRIPT Here I summarize current knowledge on the Sharada script: Sharada, like other Indian and southeast Asian scripts, is derived from Brahmi which was in use in India at least as early as 500 BC if not earlier. New theories suggest that Brahmi, in turn, evolved from the ancient Indus (or Sarasvati) script that was in use in India in 2500 BC. The earliest records in Sharada have been dated to about 800 AD. You find them all over northwest India. Incidently, Gurumukhi, the script that was designed by one of the Sikh gurus for Punjabi, used Sharada as its model. The widespread usage of Sharada has been interpreted by scholars to mean that Kashmiri Pandits in ancient times, as now, were fond of travelling outside the valley. The script of the Dogras, called Takari, is also derived from Sharada. PART III: MORE ON THE SHARADA TEMPLE This information is abridged from Stein's account: The temple is approached from the lower slope of the hill in the west by an imposing stone staircase, now half decayed, which leads up in 63 steps to the main entrance of the quadrangular court enclosing the temple. The staircase is about 10 feet wide and rises rather steeply in six flights between two flanking walls of massive construction. The entrance to the court is through a gateway with a double porch of Kashmiri design. The court of the temple forms an oblong accurately oriented and enclosed by a massive wall 6 feet thick. The north side of the enclosure measures 142 feet whereas the east side measures 94 feet and 6 inches. Thus the quadrangle has proportion of 3:2. In the centre of the northern wall is a small recess 3 feet 3 inches square inside which opens by a trefoil arched door towards the interior of the court. This recess contained two ancient lingas. In the centre of the quadrangle is the temple raised on a basement of 24 feet square and 5 feet 3 inches high. The entrance to this inner temple is from the west side and is approached by stairs five and a half feet wide with flanking side walls. The interior of the inner temple is a square of 12 feet and 3 inches and it has no decoration of any kind. The only conspicous object inside is a large slab which measures about 6 by 7 feet with a thickness of about half a foot. This slab is believed to cover a kunda, or spring, in which goddess Sharada appeared to the sage Shandilya. This kund is the object of the special veneration of the pilgrims. The main Sharada temple rises in a prominent and commanding position above the right bank of the Madhumati on the terrace-like foot of a spur which descends from a high pine-clad peak to the east. Immediately below this terrace to the northwest is the spot where the waters of the Madhumati and Kishanganga mingle. The view from the staircase to the outer temple is magnificent. Not only can you see the valleys of Madhumati and the gorge of Kishanganga but also a stream now called Sargan that falls into Kishanganga. The location of the Sharada temple in the village of Shardi is beyond the mountains, immediately surrounding the valley north northwest of Bandipur. It is beyond Lolab valley and beyond Drang so reaching it must take a few days. Although it is only about 35 miles or so from the northern reaches of the Wular, the journey in ancient times must have been carried out entirely on foot. I suppose now it should be possible to complete it rather quickly starting from Bandipur. I am assured by the account that it has a beauty more dramatic than that of Yosemite! Dr. Subhash Kak, Louisiana State University, U.S.A.
Posted by: acharya Feb 12 2004, 07:58 PM
Curr Biol. 2004 Feb 3;14(3):231-5. Independent origins of Indian caste and tribal paternal lineages. Cordaux R, Aunger R, Bentley G, Nasidze I, Sirajuddin SM, Stoneking M. The origins of the nearly one billion people inhabiting the Indian subcontinent and following the customs of the Hindu caste system are controversial: are they largely derived from Indian local populations (i.e. tribal groups) or from recent immigrants to India? Archaeological and linguistic evidence support the latter hypothesis, whereas recent genetic data seem to favor the former hypothesis. Here, we analyze the most extensive dataset of Indian caste and tribal Y chromosomes to date. We find that caste and tribal groups differ significantly in their haplogroup frequency distributions; caste groups are homogeneous for Y chromosome variation and more closely related to each other and to central Asian groups than to Indian tribal or any other Eurasian groups. We conclude that paternal lineages of Indian caste groups are primarily descended from Indo-European speakers who migrated from central Asia approximately 3,500 years ago. Conversely, paternal lineages of tribal groups are predominantly derived from the original Indian gene pool. We also provide evidence for bidirectional male gene flow between caste and tribal groups. In comparison, caste and tribal groups are homogeneous with respect to mitochondrial DNA variation, which may reflect the sociocultural characteristics of the Indian caste society.
Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 14 2004, 03:06 PM
HH and other history gurus, Could you comment on this ?? The Birth And Death of Chanakya! by Jayakrishnan Nair Regards..
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Feb 17 2004, 07:21 PM
n 1311 Alla-ad-din Khalji sent his lover and general Maliq Kaffr to devastate the Telengana region with his ferocious army of Islam. The invasion was savage and Hindu kshatriyas of the Kakatiya, Chalukya and Chola clans fought with great valor but were routed in the battles around Warangal. The survivors took shelter in the fort of Kondapalli and held out against the Mohammedan blizzard. However, in 1316 Alla-ad-din died and the tumultuous events in Delhi triggered by the Gujarati rebellion prevented the Mohammedans from consolidating their grip over Telangana. As result there was severe local unrest and Kakatiyas under Prataparudra started re-establishing themselves. The veteran Ghazi from Afghanistan, Ghazi al Maliq Tughlaq, soon set matters right for the Mohammedans in Delhi and decided to consolidate the flagging Jihad in peninsular India. He sent his able successor Mohammed bin Tughlaq to prosecute the Jihad with unrelenting vigor in South India. M b Tughlaq charted elaborate plans for the invasion of Pune, Devagiri, Telengana and Tondaimandalam and set them rolling in 1321. After having sacked Pune in course of a year long siege of Kondana which was valiantly defended by Naga Nayaka he plowed through Devagiri and turning south east arrived in Telengana in 1322. After a prolonged, fierce see-saw encounter in which the Mohammedans constantly receiving supplies from Devagiri and Delhi the Kakatiya army of Prataparudra was vanquished at Warangal. They were forced into the defensive as the army of Islam mounted a massive encirclement attack on the fort of Rajamahendravaram. They held out for 6 months but at the end of it the Mohammedans stormed the fort and massacred the defenders to man. Prataparudra and his family was captured and sent to Delhi, but on the way he killed himself rather than go through the ordeal of converting to Islam. The grand Shri Venugopala Swami temple built by the Chalukyas was demolished by Tughlaq and he erected a mosque using the material from the temple. With that the kshatriya presence in Telengana had been smashed the the oppressive cresent banner terrorized the land. In 1325 the responsibility of organizing defense of the dharma was taken up by the valiant shudra warrior Prolaya Vema Reddy. Son of local warlord, he describes himself "as one of the 4th varNa that emerged from the feet of mahAviShNu" who decided to rid the land of the wicked Turks after kshatriyas had all been killed for the protection of the agrahAras and brAhmaNas. Vema Reddy drawing inspiration from his deity ga~nga, who had also apparently emerged from the feet of viShNu as the fourth varNa, and the warrior god kumAra assembled a large army drawn from the peasants and herdsmen of the ravaged land. His clan had long excelled in cattle raids and honed the skills of the the rapid hit and run methods. He joined hands with two other major local landowners like Prolaya Nayaka and Kaapaya Nayaka and they formed a coalition with at least 75 other local strongmen and warlords. Reddy assembled his Hindu armies at Addanki and marched on the Tughlaq army. The Reddys apparently used biological warfare in this conflict and contaminated the water supplies leading to the Mohammedans with sewage resulting a raging dysentry which decimated the Tughlaq army. M b Tughlaq himself fell ill and retreated. As the Moslems were in disarray the Hindu army fell upon them and crushed remanants in pitched encounter at the outskirts of Warangal. The Vema Reddy realized that even though the army had departed the local Moslem Amirs and merchants were a major obstacle in restoring Hindu rule. So he conducted a series of raids destroy their trading networks and militias and extirpating the pockets of Islamic garrisons distributed over the country. In the process they were aided by the Hindu king Vira Ballaala of Dwarasamudra, who staved of attacks by the army of Islam from its head quarters in Devagiri. In 1335 M b Tughlaq sent a large force under Maqbool Iqbal to smash the Hindu revival in Telengana. However, the Reddy and Nayaka army aided by auxillaries sent by Vira Ballaala inflicted a massive defeat on them, killing 15 Moslem Amirs on the field. Vema Reddy chased Iqbal into the Warangal fort and seeing that he was hard-pressed to defend it Kaapaya Nayaka stormed the fort. Vema Reddy then moved on the fort of Kondvidu and stormed it by hacking off the head Maliq Gurjaar, the Moslem commander. Then liberated Nidadavolu, Vundi and Pithapuram after pitched battles. He then massacred an army of Jalal-ud-din Shah in a raid on Tondaimandalam even as Ballaala engaged the sultan himself. However, after a long struggle with the Sultans of Madhurai and Delhi, Ballaala finally into the hands of the Moslems. He was skinned alive and his dry skin was pegged on one of the wall of Madhurai (seen later by ibn Battuta). Undaunted Vema Reddy launched a series of daring attacks on the Moslem garrisons in the forts of Bellamkonda, Vinukonda and Nagarjunakonda and captured all of them after slaughtering the defenders. He raised his flag in Kondavidu and declared himself a Raja. His famous inscriptions from this period state: " I restored all the agraharas of Brahmins, which had been taken away by the evil Moslem kings". "I am indeed an Agastya to the ocean which was made of the Moslem". To restore the dharma he instituted major repairs to the Shrishailam rudra temple and built a flight of steps from the Krishna river to the temple on the mountain top. He also repaired the viShNu temple at Ahobilam. He also built a palace in Kondavidu for housing the women he had accquired. This became the harem for all the other subsequent Reddys. His restoration of the dharma also caused a major revival of local literature, especially under the auspices of the Telugu author Erranna, a vatsa bhArgava brAhmaNa of the middle migration of the bhArgavas. His rAmAyaNa was supposed to have been a master piece. His successor was Anavema Reddy who continued the struggle against the army of Islam. His began by liberating Rajahmahendravaram and demolished a Mazar which had been built there on a Hindu shrine. He then scaled the fort of Korukonda with a small force at night liberated it from the Moslem garrison. Next he conquered Simhachalam fort and parts of the Kalinga kingdom.His inscription states "I the valiant member of the 4th varNa destroyed the throngs of Moslems and gathered learned brAhmaNas at this court". He built the vIra shiromanDapam in the Shrishailam temple. The Shrishailam temple was also renovated by two other great Hindu fighters, Krishnadeva Raya and Shivaji Chatrapati at a later time. The war of independence in Telengana is one more of those largely forgotten stories of the provincial Hindu resistance in the aftermath of the Khalji-Tughlaq years.
Posted by: acharya Feb 17 2004, 07:51 PM
Afghanistan and It's Vedic Culture Afghan"isthan" was once center of Vedic Culture. The Indo Aryans definitely lived in that region before migrating further either upwards or downwards. For the Aryans Afghanistan was the land of the Gandharvas or the celestial beings. The Gandharvas were depicted in the Vedic scriptures as celestial beings, skillful in music, with magical powers, and beautiful forms. In status they were not equal to the devas, but regarded as higher beings with divine powers, mischievous at times, but mostly friendly and reliable. In ancient times, the valleys of Afghanistan must have resonated with the sounds of many caravans crisscrossing the country. The Indus valley people conducted their overland trade with Mesopotamia through Afghanistan. Their caravans carried a variety of goods that included rare and precious stones, minerals, food grains, resins, gold, silver and bronze, incense, Pistachios and more. After the expansion of the Vedic culture and the decline of the Indus valley civilization Afghanistan was invaded and occupied by the Persian army headed by Darius, the Great, (522 to 486 BC). We have little information as to who were ruling Afghanistan at that time. Probably it was part of an Indian kingdom from the Punjab region or was ruled by local chieftains. When Alexander marched towards India, he passed through the mountainous territories of Afghanisthan and had to subdue many native tribes in the region. In the course of multiple battles he fought with them, his army was put to enormous strain and loss. Since his army was not familiar with the territory and his soldiers were not that skilled in mountain warfare, his army was literally exhausted by the time they reached the Indian borders and lost much of their motivation to fight further and march deeper into the subcontinent. The tired and frustrated soldiers insisted Alexander to return to their homeland. On their way back, Alexander had problems once again in the region and had to remain cautious till they crossed the borders of Afghanistan. Alexander appointed Seleucus I as the viceroy of the Asian territories he conquered, which comprised of a vast area that stretched from the northwestern borders of India to most of Anatolia and parts of Syria-Phoenicia. Selucus I was not able to maintain his hold on the region for long. A few years after he took over the reign, about 303 BC, Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the mighty Mauryan Empire from eastern India waged a war with Seleucus and defeated him. As a part of the agreement, Seleucus I gave his daughter in marriage to Chandragupta Maurya and also ceded him Afghanistan and surrounding areas. For a few centuries from then on, Afghanistan remained under the control of the Mauryan Empire and enjoyed some degree of stability. During the Mauryan rule, Buddhism spread into Afghanistan and became a dominant religion there. The Mauryan emperor who made this possible was Ashoka. He was the son of Bimbisara and the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya. During his reign the Mauryan empire reached its zenith. (See the Map). Perhaps under no other ruler before him or after him, so much of the country owed allegiance to one power. Ashoka had a special relation with Afghanistan. When he was still a young prince, his father Bimbsara appointed him as the viceroy of this region, with Taxila (Org.SK. Takshasila, currently located in Pakistan near Rawalpindi ) as his headquarters. Taxila was then a great religious and trade center. It was a great seat of Vedic learning, where flourished the study of Vedic scriptures, many arts, crafts and ancient sciences. With the emergence of Buddhism in the region this region started attracting Buddhist scholars too. Originally a cruel king, who allegedly ascended the throne after killing nearly a hundred of his own brothers, Ashoka underwent a life transforming experience at the height of his career. In the course of his conquests, which were many, he waged a bitter and bloody war against the people of Kalinga. This kingdom existed in those days in south eastern India, comprising the present day Orissa. The people of Kalinga were equally ferocious and stubborn people. Hence a bloody battle ensued in which there was a huge bloodshed on both sides and thousands of innocent people were killed, while materially nothing much was gained. The tragedy of the war and the ruin it brought upon so many people disturbed the emperor severely and changed his thinking forever. From a ruthless and ambitious ruler, he became converted to Buddhism and the ideals of compassion and non violence it preached. With in a few years after the war, he developed a philosophy of his own called the law of piety or dhamma, which was a hotch potch of Buddhist philosophy, Vedic dharma and the prevailing social and moral values of his times. He spent the rest of his life in pious activities and spreading his dhamma, which he got carved into stone inscriptions in the form of edicts. He appointed a task force to get those edicts planted all over India as a reminder to the people of the moral life he cherished them to follow. Encouraged by his patronage and protection, the Buddhist monks traveled to various parts of India and outside also to spread the teachings of the Buddha and bring people to the path of righteousness. The Mauryan empire declined after Ashoka and for sometime Afghanistan was left to itself. But it came into lime light once again with the invasion of the Bactrian Greeks. They invaded the subcontinent during the second century BC and established their power from the Oxus river in the west upto the Punjab in the east. Afghanistan was under their control. Not much is known about these new rulers. But we know that in matters of religion and social life they adopted some local practices. While some rulers turned to Hinduism for spiritual solace, some became devout Buddhists and patronized Buddhism. Buddhism owes a great deal to the Bactrian Greeks, whose patronage enabled Buddhism to gain firm foot holding in Central Asia and Chinese Tukistan. The most famous of the Bactrian Greeks about whom we have some confirmed details was King Menander. He ruled Punjab with Sakala as his capital and he became interested in Buddhism. The ancient Buddhist manuscript, the Milindapatha or the Path of Milinda by Nagasena records the conversations King Menander had with Nagasena about some aspects of Buddhism. The Bactrian Greeks were soon over thrown by the invading armies of Scythians and Parthians, followed by the Kushanas. The Kushanas were originally Chinese in origin, and came from a nomadic tribe by the name Yueh-chih. They reached India in a circuitous way through Central Asia, Bactria and Afghanistan and into the plains of the Punjab. They established a great empire that extended from the sea of Aral in the present day Russia in the north and the Chinese Turkmenistan in the east upto the northwestern frontiers of India including Afghanistan. Kanishka (2nd century AD) was the most famous of the Kushana rulers. His period was marked by the rise of Mahayana Buddhism. Pali bacame the principal language of literary experssion. And most important of all the period witnessed the remarkable maturing of the Gandhara school of art. The artists of this school blended both the Indian and Greek traditions of in a very harmonious way to produce remarkable pieces of art. It was an art that used Indian motifs but mostly Greek techniques. Foremost among the works produced by this school of art were the statues of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. Many of them now adorn the museums all over the world, while some were stolen and may be in the private collections. We also do not know fully the fate of those pieces that are presently lying in the Kabul Museum, and whether they Government there destroyed them or preserved them. The Kushanas were subsequently ousted by the Sassanids or Sassanians. They ruled Persia (modern Iran) and parts of northern Afghanistan from AD 224 to 651. Ardasir I was the founder of this dynasty and he was succeeded by his son Shapur I, whose reign lasted from AD 240 to AD 272. Shapur I defeated the Romans and expanded his empire considerably. The Sassanids were fire worshippers and followers of Zarathushtra. But they did not interfere much with way of life in Afghanistan, for Buddhism continued to flourish in the region. Probably after conquering the land, the Sassanids left the governance to local rulers because of the difficulties involved and their preoccupation with other the regions of their empire. This period is significant in the history of Buddhism because during this period the giant statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan were carved, which were considered to be the largest stone statues in the world, standing 177 feet tall. It is now well know that they were destroyed recently by the government of Afghanistan as a part of its religious zeal. Buddhism continued to flourish in this region till the 5th Century AD and declined there after. Two factors contributed to this trend. One was the invasion of Hunas. The Hunas were a barbarian and cruel band of vandals who perpetrated many religious atrocities against the native people and put many Buddhists to death. The second factor was the emergence of the Gupta empire. The Guptas were staunch followers of the Vedic religion, especially Vaishnavism, and they took upon themselves the task of reviving Hinduism which was then in a state of decline because of the popularity of Buddhism. Politically, however, Afghanistan continued to retain its strategic importance, because it still facilitated a great deal of trade along the silk route that connected Xinjiang or the Chinese Turkistan with the Middle east. With the invasion of Arabs in AD 642, for the first time Afghanistan encountered Islam. The Arabs converted some people there to Islam, but did not stay there for long because of the resistance from the Persians. Islam had to wait for another 300 and odd years to take its roots in the soil. Not much is known about the history of Afghanistan during this period following the Arab invasion. Probably the land was under the control of petty rulers who owed allegiance to the Persians. Then came the Ghaznavids. The Ghaznavid was a Turkish Muslim dynasty, which captured power in AD 970 and ruled Afghanistan and parts of Iran till AD 1087. Mahmud Gazni was the most aggressive ruler of this dynasty and is well known in the subcontinent for the 17 so called "holy wars" he conducted against the present day Pakistan and India. A materialist to the core who loved the best things of life, and a lover of arts who patronized poets and writers, his main objective was not to spread Islam, but to plunder and loot the rich kingdoms of the subcontinent in the name of religion. He destroyed many Hindu temples, looted the rich treasures of the native rulers and converted some native Hindus and Buddhists to Islam through wanton destruction and use of cruelty and force. After the Ghazanivids, Afghanistan once again came under the rule of petty rulers and plunged into anarchy. In the 12th Century AD it was invaded by the Mongols under the leadership of Genghis Khan (1167-1227) a ruthless, cruel and notorious ruler, who indulged in the destruction of many cities, including Herat, Ghazni, and Balkh. The fertile regions of Afghanistan were left follow as many peasants either fled their homes or were killed by his cruel and destructive soldiers. Genghis Khan's invasion was one of the many in a series of invasions by the foreign powers into Afghanistan. One name that is worth mentioning at this juncture is Babur. Babur was the founder of Mughal empire in the Indian subcontinent. He was a descendent of Timur, who in turn was a descendent of Genghis Khan. A petty ruler with a mighty ambition, Babur ruled parts of Afghanistan for sometime, with Kabul as his capital, before he decided to invade India and try his fortunes. A freebooter with a natural instinct for leadership, he gathered a band of committed soldiers and invaded India supposedly on invitation from some local nobility to fight against Ibrahim Lodi, who was then the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The Sultanate was already in a state of decline and was ready to collapse any time. The two armies fought a fierce battle on the grounds of Panipat in 1526 and Babur won because of his superior planning, organized army and committed leadership. After the victory, Babur decided to stay in India and consolidate his empire through further conquests. For nearly two hundred years thereafter Afghanistan remained partly under the control of the Mughals and partly under the Saffavids of Persia. The eastern parts owed their allegiance to the Mughals while the western part to the Safavids. In 1747, following the assassination of Nadirshah of Persia, Ahmed Shah Durrani (or as he is also known Ahmed Shah Baba) established his rule as an independent ruler supported by Pashthun tribal council. The Pasthuns controlled Afghanisthan till the Communist regime came to power in 1978.
Posted by: Sunder Feb 23 2004, 09:31 PM
Today I was flipping thru EarthWatch magazine when this article caught my eyes.. Rich evidence of PALEOLITHIC age in Southern India. This is under explored owing to lack of interest/apathy from Indian government and locals. It would be great if someone with more knowledge on the subject can throw light on Paleolithic /Stoneage excavations in India.. (I remember there was an article in BBC about a unique kind dinosaur found in India.) Here is the article : Early Man in Southern India Attirampakkam, Tamil Nadu, southern India—In 1863, the eminent British geologist Robert Bruce Foote discovered thousands of stone tools in the eroded red soil outside this village, drastically pushing back the antiquity of human prehistory on the Indian subcontinent. Although many more Palaeolithic sites have been found across India in the years since, few of them compare to the richness of this one, which represents hundreds of thousands of years of human habitation. Finds here could help place India within the context of migratory routes taken by early man out of Africa. Three seasons of excavations at Attirampakkam by Dr. Shanti Pappu (Sharma Center for Heritage Education) revealed more than 12,000 artifacts. Many of the stone tools were found embedded in four meters of layered clay, evidence of an ancient floodplain environment in the Indian Palaeolithic. What’s more, footprints of large herbivores were found in the clay, the first discovery of their kind in south Asia. Rare fossil teeth were discovered as well, indicating the presence of horses, water buffalo, and other animals, making the site even more significant in determining the ecology of Stone Age hominids here. Now you can help Pappu continue her work at this remarkable site and throughout a regional complex of rich prehistoric sites, along with a multidisciplinary team of colleagues from India and France. You will help explore test pits scattered across the 50,000-square-meter site to determine the distribution of Stone Age artifacts and survey the river basin by jeep for related prehistoric sites. Following heavy digging by local laborers, you will do the final brushing to expose stone tools, fossils, and other features. Rotating through tasks, you’ll record, wash, and label each artifact, and help conserve animal footprints discovered. Your finds will help scientists understand the nature of hominid activities in Palaeolithic India and inform local villagers about their prehistoric past.
Posted by: Kaushal Feb 27 2004, 06:27 AM
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Mar 2 2004, 12:02 AM
Ajayamerupura (known today as Ajmer) had always been a key center for the dominance of Hindustan. It was the home of one of the most famous Indian Vedic universities in north India during the reign of the Chahamanas. It was also the center of the famous temple of Brahma near the Pushkara Tirtha. After the death of Prithiviraja Chahamana at the hands of Shihabuddin Ghori, Ajayamerupura was attacked by the Mohammedans finally wrested by Qutub-ud-din. Having demolished the Vedic university and a series of Hindu temples he erected a grotesque structure termed the Adai Din Ka Jhopda- the shed constructed in 2 1/2 days. This was used as a mosque for the namaz of the Moslem conquerors. Since then it remained under Mohammedan control. The brief liberation of Ajmer was due to the valiant Pancholi, Kshema Simha. The Rathod ruler Rao Chanda had been slain by Salim Shah, the Sultan of Multan, in a Jihad at Nagor. Salim had then gone on a pilgrimage to the Mazaar at Ajmer. Rao Chanda' s son Rao Ran Mal conferred with Pancholi Kshema Simha to take punitive action. Kshema Simha thought out a brilliant plan to take the fort by commando action. He chose a band of around couple of hundred elite Rathod warriors who were extremely well trained in the kshatriya lore of taking on a large number of attackers single-handed. He then came up with the excuse of conveying a daughter for marriage to a Rajput noble of Ajmer. Kshema Simha and his Rathod commandos entered in the guise of being a marriage party and then at night took aim at the Mohammedan garrison manning the walls and shot them down in a concerted shower of arrows. Then the Rajputs got into the inner defences by escalade and butchered their entire Moslem army after firing their quarters. Salim Shah tried to hide in the Dargah and escape back to Multan with the help of some Mullahs. But the Rajputs caught sight of him and cut his head off. Thus Kshema Simha liberated Ajmer from Islamic rule. As reward for this brave deed the Rao Ran Mal rewarded the Pancholi with Khatoo, that he had just wrested from the Qara'unas Turk Khaim Khan. The Hindus allowed the Mohammedans to remain behind in Ajmer but forbade any public displays of Islamic practices.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Mar 3 2004, 06:06 PM,001600520003.htm
Posted by: Karkala Joishy Mar 4 2004, 02:22 PM
Who invented Algebra? I thought it was Indian mathematicians. Some sites claim it was the Arabs, who called it Al-Jabr --> Algebra. I think the Arabs got it from us and the West got it from the Arabs who publicized it as an Arab invention. Any ideas?
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Mar 4 2004, 02:38 PM
QUOTE (Karkala Joishy @ Mar 4 2004, 04:22 PM)
Who invented Algebra? I thought it was Indian mathematicians. Some sites claim it was the Arabs, who called it Al-Jabr --> Algebra. I think the Arabs got it from us and the West got it from the Arabs who publicized it as an Arab invention.
The word Algebra is indeed derived from the arabic Al-Jabar. But the concept was in place in India way before the Rasool started having his hallucinations. Some western scholars would like us to believe that Indians in turn go it from Mesopotamia (Example see Mcevilly's book on the similarities between Greeks and Indians. He believes everything Indian from yoga onwards came from Mesopots) But the objective evidence for this is lacking.
Posted by: acharya Mar 4 2004, 03:07 PM
The reason to make Mesopotomia as the originator is because they want to make mestopotomia as the cradle of civilization. The jewish old testament will be made as the first original document from god. This is the large jesuist project going on in the world. They want to negate the Indian civilization as a borrowed civilization.
Posted by: Karkala Joishy Mar 4 2004, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the responses guys... is there any Indian mathematician known as the originator of Algebra?
Posted by: Mudy Mar 4 2004, 06:26 PM
there any Indian mathematician known as the originator of Algebra?
No one Indian can be named as originator of Algebra. Lot of records were destroyed during 1000 years of occupation of India and mass killing of Brahamins and distruction of Ashrams and Hindu Universities.
Posted by: Mudy Mar 4 2004, 09:13 PM
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Mar 7 2004, 06:17 PM
War in the Konkans Very little has been recorded of the valiant freedom struggle in the Konkan in the horror years of Indian history. The Konkans on the west coast of India had long been the bastion of the Indic civilization that withstood external attacks due to the protective influence of the Western Ghats. The first major wave of Islamic onslaughts on the region was initiated by Alla-ad-din Khalji when he dispatched his ace commander Maliq Kaffr to wage Jihad on the Kadambas, who were the principle rulers of the Konkans. In 1312, the Army of Islam entered the Konkan with a massive cavalry force and devastated Gopakapattana the capital of the Kadambas. The routed Kadambas fled inwards to Chandrapura with their surviving army and defended the land against the Islamic assault from this fortified stronghold. In the 1320s, in course of his invasion of South India Mohammad-ibn-Tughlaq made a lateral thrust into the Konkan, after his assault on Pune, to fructify the aborted Jihad of his predecessor. With over 80,000 horsemen he invaded Chandrapura, overwhelmed the Kadamba defenses and destroyed the city. However, as Tughlaq got engaged in other battles and started making preparations for his disastrous invasion of the Mongol empire via Tibet, the Kadamba chief Bhima Bhupala initiated the war of liberation in the Konkan in 1327. After a several encounters with the Islamic garrisons the Kadamba chiefs destroyed them completely, liberating much of Konkan region. Soon after that the large-scale Hindu revival began in South India under the Hakka and Bukka, and in 1347 the remaining territory of the Konkan in the province of Malerajya was liberated by the assault of Hakka. However, the Islamic Jihad was renewed as Alla-ad-din Bahmani declared himself Sultan in Gulbarga and initiated an invasion of the Konkan under his friend Maliq Saif-ad-din Ghori ("nicknamed the Sword of Islam"), one of the surviving descendents of the terrible Turk from Ghazna, Shihab-ad-din Ghori, the killer of Prithiviraja Chahamana. The Turkic cavalry ravaged the Palasige province and annexed it to the Bahmanid empire, with Ghori being appointed as the viceroy in 1357. He began systematic forced conversions of Hindus and destruction of their shrines. In 1365, Muhammad Bahmani the successor of Alla-ad-din launched a large scale invasion of the Konkans to wrest it completely from Vijayanagara and the Hindu chiefs. The Kadambas were completely broken in this attack and they had to bury their family idol of Saptakoteshvara to prevent it from being destroyed by the Moslems. The Hindus were savagely persecuted by the Turkic hordes under this sultan as well as his successor Sultan Mujahiddin Fath Khan. As the Hindus called for help, Bukka Raya began operations in Goa in 1377 but died shortly thereafter. In 1378 Mujahiddin perished and Vira Harihara Raya, the son of Bukka, sent his great Brahmin general Madhava to liberate the Konkans. After two years of intense fighting, he drove the Moslem garrison out of Goa and reinstalled the idol of Saptakoteshvara. Then he moved northwards and captured Chandrapura bringing much of the Konkans under Vijayanagaran control. Madhava's rule of Konkan is supposed to have restored peace and prosperity in the land and the Konkans thrived due the maritime trade conducted by the Vijayanagaras. Madhava was succeeded by a series of Vodeyar and Nakaya viceroys of the Vijayanagarans who consolidated Hindu rule for around 95 years. In 1395 the Ghorids holed up in the fortress of Rangini made one last attempt to restore Islamic rule. But the Hindu general Bayachanna Vodeyar marched on them, besieged the fort and cutoff the supply routes from Bijapur to the Moslem garrison. The Ghorids tried to make a sally down-hill but they were mowed down by the Hindu archers lying in wait on the forested sides of their path. With that the power of the Ghorid Turks in India was ended once and for all. Subsequently, the region was divided amongst multiple Hindu viceroys. The surviving Kalyani Chalukyans were appointed to control the northern Konkans in Samgameshvar, while the Maharattas were posted around Vishalgad and also in the interior south in Bankapur from where they controlled Goa. The Hindu chiefs realized that controlling the Konkan was important to prevent the Moslem tyrants of Bijapur from gaining supplies from Arabia and the Turkic world via the sea route. Most importantly, the horse which was scarce in the Deccan and held the key in the struggle with Vijayanagara could be alternatively obtained by the sea route. The chiefs of Samgameshvar and Vishalgad held this frontier for the Hindus. They attacked the Turkish fleets with their own fleets and captured their horses and repulsed them from Indian coast. They used Vishalgad as a robustly fortified backend for their operations against the Bahmanid Moslems pressing on them from the East via the land route. Bankapur served as the nexus with the Vijayanagaran heartland. They also captured Haj-goers and held them as ransom to hold off Bahmanid attacks on the Konkan from land and Turkic attacks from sea. In 1455 the Bahmanid army attacked Konkan but a united counter attack by the Vodeyar, Chalukyans and Maharatta chiefs, strengthened by the Vijayanagaran auxiliaries resulted in a crushing defeat of the Army of Islam at Wai and they dismally retreated from the region. In 1453, Khwaja Mahmud Gawan, a Turko-Mongol merchant and renowned Islamist from Iraq, arrived in Bidar. His Islamic scholarship and knowledge of the Sharia’t was unparalleled amongst the Indian Moslems and he was soon appointed as the prime minister of the Bahmanid empire and went about the task of enforcing correct Islamic practice by inviting Mullahs from the Middle East and Central Asia. In the mean time, would be conqueror of Constantinople, the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II came to power in Turkey and tried to assassinate his brother Yusuf Adil Khan who was also contending for the throne. However, Yusuf escaped by ship and came to Bidar, where Mahmud Gawan picked him up as his assistant. In 1469, Mahmud Gawan with over 200,000 troops Bahmanid troops, in three divisions under himself, and the Turks, Yusuf Adil Khan and Kush Khadaam initiated a terrible Jihad on the Konkan. With the Moslems sweeping through the land the Maharatta warrior Kanoji decided to draw the Moslems to the difficult terrain of Vishalgad and hold out there till the monsoon arrived. The Turks being poor fighters under rainy conditions, with their horses suffering from the humidity, retreated and were put to sword by the Hindu troops. However, Mahmud Gavan being a resolute campaigner got the aid of two traitorous Maharatta brothers, Karan Singh and Bhim Singh to aid him in the war. The Turks advanced again, and Kanoji decided to hold them up using the same tactic of defending from the well-fortified Vishalgad. However, Karan Singh and Bhim Singh were breeders of the Varanus lizard which they used in climbing forts. Accordingly Karan and Bhim decided to help the Moslems in taking the fort, in return for the province of Wai. Karan and Bhim sent out several lizards to scale the precipice on which the fort was located with ropes tied to them. With the aid of these ropes they climbed the fort and sent down rope ladders for more men to follow them. Then they cut their way to the main fort gate and opened it. In the process Karan Singh was killed by the Hindu defenders but the Moslems managed to get in and massacred Kanoji and his men. With the fall of Vishalgad, Mahmud Gavan attacked the Chalukyan army by surprise at Samgameshvar. Unprepared and surrounded by a large Moslem force, the Chalukyans were exterminated by the Moslem army and their entire kingdom was thoroughly plundered. With that ended the last flash of this great Hindu dynasty which had seen the likes of Pulakeshin. The Virupaksha Raya of Vijayanagar was in his declining years and failed to gather sufficient reinforcements to battle the massive Moslem horde. For his traitorous activities, the Hindu Bhim Singh, was conferred the title Raja Ghorpade Bahadur (Dakkani word for the Varanus lizard) by the Sultan at the behest of Gavan. Mahmud Gavan then sent a horde under Yusuf Adil Khan, to ravage Bankapur and Belgaum. In 1472, the Belgaum fort came under the combined attack of Gavan and Adil Khan in the battle that followed the Maharatta chief Appaji, the brother of Kanoji, perished in an attempt to stave off the numerical superior Islamic army. In the subsequent years, the bloody power struggle amongst the Moslems in Bidar resulted in the beheading of Mahmud Gavan by his own peers in 1481. Taking advantage of this, Virupaksha Raya in his last years tried to liberate the Konkans via Goa, but the loss of Belgaum greatly handicapped the Hindus. The Moslem army quickly regrouped under the Ottoman Turk, Yusuf Adil Khan, at Belgaum and set out to invade Goa in late 1482 with 100,000 horsemen. He was joined by the Hindu traitor Bhim Singh Ghorpade, who was looking for lucrative plunder. At first the Vijayanagaran army seemed to hold the upper hand and the Moslems were retreating under a string damaging attacks. But Adil Khan and his attacks and sent the treacherous Ghorpade to destroy key leaders of the Vijayanagaran army. With this the Hindus fell into disarray and were broken and dispersed by Adil Khan. Yusuf Adil Khan placed Kush Khadaam as the governor of Goa and later went on to become the Sultan of Bijapur. Thus, the Konkans passed out of the Hindu hands into the grim shadows of Islamic rule.
Posted by: Viren Mar 9 2004, 10:01 PM
However, Karan Singh and Bhim Singh were breeders of the Varanus lizard which they used in climbing forts.
If I remember correctly even one of Shivaji's commander was popular for using these lizards in climbing forts.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Mar 10 2004, 01:44 PM
Climbing with the Ghorpad lizard is claimed to have been a widespread practice amongst the Maharattas to take forts by escalade.
Posted by: ramana Mar 11 2004, 09:58 AM
This webpage documents Aryabhatta I made significant contributions to Algebra. More comprehensive description of Indina contributions is given here: Another short history of Indian developments in Mathematics Also its very easy to lookup on google and post here rather than take the easy route of asking a question.
Posted by: acharya Mar 14 2004, 03:49 PM
There are any number of theories to denote the 'race' of the indus people. While the concept of race itself is a big humbug, it is my hypothesis that the Indus people are neither 'Aryans' nor 'Dravidians'. There is a language called brahuii in balucistan. It closely resembles Tamil but it is not a dravidian langauge. it is a dardic language. Similiarly, in the same belt, the kashmiri is a dardic language. The indus people lived some where in between or atleast very close to these two places- balucistan and kashmir. Then, there is a reasonable possibility that they should be speaking a dardic language too and it is more likely that they should be speaking a language which has some characteristics of dravidian language-since balucistan is nearby... In my last post, I have argued and perhaps, without much opposition, that the language of paisaci(a forerunner of prakrit andhra) has these characteristics. So, it is quite likely that the andhras who were speaking prakrit andhra were residing in indus valley. In a book on the history of ' mala' caste, a scheduled caste of Andhra pradesh, the author argues that the caste of 'sindhur'( a caste of andhrites) has been living on the banks of sindhu for long. Secondly, if we look at the seals of so called pashupati, it is not the seal of pashupati. it is dakshinamurthy, the same sage who has a hand in spreading paisaci langauge to the rest of the country. The seal sings the saga of victory of sindhurs (represented by dakshina murthy) over the local savage tribes represented by the various animals in the seal. Especially, the rhino is pictured there to represent the savage tribes who have skins of the type of rhinos. This reference you can find in greek works mentioned in RC Majumdar. (In one of his papers, sri Mohan gupta talks of the rhino representing varaha.. but i am sure indians knew the diff bet a rhino and a horned -bore, i mean boar) These local tribes are always waiting for an opportunity to invade the more prosperous and organised peoples. The fortification of the sites prove repeated invasions from these local tribes. And it is not a unique event either. When Lord Krishna has passed away, the tribals have come in hoardes to loot dwaraka and its people and in fact, the ill fate of abduction by them is met by several yadava womean, including some of the queens of Krishna (3138 bce) In another 1500 years, did things change????I do not think so, coz the reference to these savage tribes was there even at the time of Alexander (323 bce) Similiarly, the script of Indus people has also become a much argued subject. SRi Dr Kalyana Raman has kindly consented to send me a CD on the subject. But meanwhile, I will post some of my musings : The indus script is a combination of pictorial and alphabetical representations. There are never 8 strokes in the alphabet and possibly, some of the strokes are half in size. These strokes represent the vowels | - a/aa ||- i/ee |||- u/oo |||| - e ||||| - ai ||||||- o/oe |||||||- ou The half strokes may be representing the shorter vowels. These are the basic vowels in almost all the indian langauges including telugu. There are people who have talked about the fish sign representing the stars but basically, it might be representing 'm' (after 'min' in many of the indian languages- meaning fish)(here i represent fish sign with capital f) Thus, ||||||F means Aum and not six stars. To call it as six stars is a round about way of arguement and is invented just to prove that indus people are dravidians. Similiarly, it is thought that the spear represents an arrow and ' ambu' (or its equivalents meaning arrow) in telugu, tamil and kannada have a grammatical function. But so far as i know, 'ambu' has no grammatical function. it has only a poetic function. for ex. if i say ' samvatsarAMBUl' (means years), it has no different meaning than samvatsaramulu.that is to say, the suffixing the word AMBU has not changed the meaning or the function of the word. This word is usually suffixed only in case of poems( for the sake of beauty or rhyme or meter) or heavy bookish language. In colloquials, you do not suffix AMBU. The non spreading of the script is due to its complicated system of writing and more over, to represent any sound, you have to take lots of pains. Hence, you needed ' Rayasa gallu', the writers to make seals to write anything and not everybody was capable of writing. In other words, it became a status symbol to be able to write or to have a writer in your employment. This script could not spread in the common people and had no other go than to die a natural death when the civilisation has come to an end. I hope to receive comments from all over and after listening to all of you, I would like to present a paper. kishore
Posted by: k.ram Mar 21 2004, 08:02 AM
The O'Odham: Native-Americans With Ancestors From India? Hindu scholars have always claimed that in remotest times, their ancestors visited every part of the globe, mapping it accurately, and mining gold and copper in such places as Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, England, Ireland, Peru, and Bolivia. Known to us as "Indo- Europeans," they lost their grip on the world in about 1500 BC., retreating to what are now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India. However, they continued to visit the Americas in their large teakwood ships, many of them 250 feet long and five- to six-masted, until about 1200 A.D. After that, the sectarian fanaticism and territorialism of their religious leaders, rebellions among their conquered subjects, constant internecine rivalries, and troubles with Moslem invaders forced them into isolation. No Westerner naively accepts India's claims of having once dominated the world. Right? Well, some of us do. In an essay entitled On Egypt from the Ancient Book of the Hindus (Asiatic Researchers Vol. III, 1792), British Lt. Colonel Francis Wilford gave abundant evidence proving that ancient Indians colonized and settled in Egypt. The British explorer John Hanning Speke, who in 1862 discovered the source of the Nile in Lake Victoria, acknowledged that the Egyptians themselves didn't have the slightest knowledge of where the Nile's source was. However, Lt. Colonel Wilford's description of the Hindu's intimate acquaintance with ancient Egypt led Speke to Ripon Falls, at the edge of Lake Victoria. The Hindus also claim that the gospel of their deity Shiva was once the religion of the world and the progenitor of all religions coming after it. "Isvar was the only god in India, the whole of Asia, the southern parts of Russia, Mediterranean countries, Egypt, Greece, the whole of Europe, the human inhabited places of both Americas…and also in England and Ireland. In all these lands, Isvar was the religion with slight variations in the pronunciation of the word Isvar….the Isvar religion is the mother of all religions in the world, including Christianity and Islam." (Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism, by Kuttikhat Purushothama Chon; p. 36.) While the languages our forefathers spoke thousands of years ago would be completely unrecognizable to us now, the names of their deities (those that survived to this modern age) may be immediately recognizable to their respective modern adherents, such as the Christians, Jews, Moslems, Jains, Buddhists, and Hindus. Names of deities tend not to change. Isvar was and is especially visible (to discerning eyes) in our own Southwest as well as in Northern and Central Mexico. Some tribes even worshiped God Shiva's wives and consorts. Spanish priest, Andres Perez de Ribas wrote in his book, My Life Among the Savage Nations of New Spain, that a Northern Mexican tribe worshiped two deities: Viriseva and a mother goddess named Vairubai. Viriseva means "Lord Siva" in Sanskrit. Vairubai has to be (a mispronouncing of) Bhairava, another name of Siva's consort, Goddess Durga. A few Hindu scholars insist that not all their gods and religious traditions are natives of the Indian subcontinent. When the ancient Nagas retreated to India, they also took back the deities and religious traditions they had acquired abroad, incorporating them into "Hinduism," a term meaning "The Indus Valley Way of Life." Historian Chon states: "There are strong indications in our ancient texts that the places and events described in them are lying outside the geographical limits of India But when we talk of geographical limits, …are they the national boundaries of post-independent India? Or are they the boundaries of India, the ancient?" (Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism; p.30.) I'm especially impressed with the traditions of the Pimas (Akimel O'Odham) and Papagos (Tohono O'Odham) of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico. Although I could write a lengthy article about Isvarist (worship of the Hindu deity, Shiva) practices in practically every Southwestern United States, Mexican, Central and South American Indian tribe, even India-Indian spiritual geography is reproduced abundantly in the O'Odham nation. Though the pre-conquest era O'odhams were relatively primitive, the Spaniards admired them for their intelligence, industry, and high philosophy. Some Catholic missionary priests thought they were the progenitors of the Aztecs. About 5,000 BC or earlier, a brilliant deified Phoenician Naga king and philosopher named Kuvera (also Kubera) learned how to smelt copper, gold, and other metals. These activities took place in the kingdom named after him, Khyber ("Kheeveri"), which consisted of a group of craggy mountains in what are now Southeastern Afghanistan and Northeastern Pakistan (i.e. the Khyber Pass). According to Hindu mythology, Kuvera and God Shiva lived in the totally barren, mineral- poor, goldless, frigid, lofty, bell-shaped or pyramidical peak of Kailasa in Western Tibet. Edward Pococke stated in his book India in Greece, The Khyber; its region is wealthy and abounds with rubies; gold is found in the mines in its vicinity, and it (the Kheeveri kingdom) was likewise the ruling power in those early days. (p.220.) We derived our word "copper" from Kuvera's name. Eventually, the Nagas extended their influence over all of India. If you've intuited that Afghan Khyber (Kheever), Hebrew Heber (pronounced Kheever), Egyptian Khepri, Greek Khyphera, Cabeiri, Cypriotic Cip'ri (Kheep'ri), biblical Capernaum, Arabic Khabar, O'Odham Babo-Quivari (Kheeveri), Francisco de Coronado's search for the fabled Quivira (Kheevira), ad infinitum, are somehow linked, you've intuited correctly. But why do the Hindus and Buddhists worship Kuvera and Shiva in a barren peak and not in the Khyber mountain range itself? I don't want to get "mystical," but the "reason" for this anomaly is the world's best-kept millennium's-old secret. Besides, it's not the focus of this article. Kuh or Koh = "Hump; Mountain" while Vera or Vira = "Hero; Lord." The Nagas, also called Nakas and Nahu(a)s, were a highly civilized ruling, maritime and mercantile class who once inhabited what is now Afghanistan, Tibet, Pakistan, and Northwestern India. The Nag ("Self- Consuming Serpent") was one of their principal tribal emblems. The substance of Kuvera's teachings is that God, then called Dyau, Deo, Dyaus or Jyaus, put all the plants, animals, ores, and minerals on earth for Man's enjoyment. As long as Man protects the happiness and security of all humanity, he need not place any limits on his greed. Kuvera's teachings spread throughout the whole world. "Originally, the Asuras or Nagas were not only a civilized people, but a maritime power, and in the Mahabharata, where the ocean is described as their habitation, an ancient legend is preserved of how Kadru, the mother of serpents, compelled Garuda (the Eagle or Hawk) to serve her sons by transporting them across the sea to a beautiful country in a distant land, which was inhabited by Nagas, The Asuras (Nagas) were expert navigators, possessed of very considerable naval resources, and had founded colonies upon distant coasts." (The Encircled Serpent, by M. Oldfield, p. 47.) "Asura" is the Indian equivalent of Assyria (really Asuriya and Asir) and the Persian Ahura of Zoroastrianism. It derives from the name of the ancient Hindu sun god Ashur. The Naga capital was called Oudh, Iodh, Yudh, and Ayodhya. Located near what is now Herat, Afghanistan, it is not to be confused with todays Oudh or Ayodhya in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The citizens of Oudh were called Oudh-am and Otia-Am. Am = "People" in Sanskrit. In those days, only a few million people inhabited the earth. Most humans were cavemen and less. The Nagas didn't entrust their highly developed technologies to such aborigines. But they did teach them how to build simple thatch and adobe homes, and to raise vegetable and animal foods. They also taught them about the Creator of All Life, Dyaus or Jyaus. Even today the O'Odhams call it Jeoss or Josh. Joshi is one of God Shiva's many names. Some White Arizonians mistakenly insist that the O'Odhams derived this term from Dios (Spanish for "God"), Jesus, or Joshua. The innocent Arizona aborigines believed these Nagas from Oudh, Afghanistan (part of India until the late 1700s) were gods. They even named themselves Oudham, which they pronounced as O'Odham or O'Ot'ham. An ancient Sanskrit word for "brotherhood; fraternity" is Ton; Tahun. The Papagos called themselves Tohono O'Odham, or "Oudh- am Fraternity." Tohono now means "Desert" in the O'Odham language. The Pimas settled along winding rivers, which seemed to look like writhing serpents. They named themselves Akimel O'Odham. "Akimel" derives from the Sanskrit Ahi-Mahal (Great Serpent). This name eventually came to mean "River." The Nagas dug deep wells in the desert, siphoning water out of the ground with long, thick tubes. The exterior ends of these tubes were large and bulbous, and painted to look like human heads, in order to mystify the aborigines. The water spouted out from what looked like round, puckered human mouths. The heads had horns which were really handles for pulling tubes to different irrigation channels. As the flowing water caused these tubes to writhe and undulate like serpents, the primitive Arizonians thought they were real. In Kashmiri, Nag means "a snake, esp. a fabulous serpent-demon or semi- divine being, having the face of a man and the tail of a serpent, and said to inhabit Patala. In Kashmir, they are the deities of springs." (Grierson's Dictionary of the Kashmiri Language; p. 624, item 2.) The Kashmirians also called these siphons Nag-Beg (Snake- Lords). Patala was one of the ancient Indian names for "America." It's real meaning is "Underworld," but not an underground world. They used it as we often call Australia: "The Land Down Under." The Arizonian O'Odhams similarly called the water siphon Nah-Big. According to both Kashmiri and O'Odham legends, the Nah-Big was harmless. However, if someone "killed" it, the spring dried up - and for good reason. Without a proper siphon, needed water could no longer spew out of the well. Several Southwestern Indian tribes worship exact replicas of the Kashmiri Nag-Beg (siphon) in special religious ceremonies. However, some of them call it by other names. Certain O'Odham and other Native-American clans in the Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora area also call this mythical serpent Corua (KoROOah, with the "R" trilled as in our English "City"). It derives from Sanskrit: Krura-Sarpavat (Violent-Serpent); Kadruja (Serpent Mother Kadru's equally serpent son). Another O'Odham word for "snake," Vah-Mat, is nearly identical to the Kashmiri/Sanskrit Veh-Mar: "Poisonous-Snake." The O'Odham language contains an unusually high number of North Indian words. When the Nagas arrived in Arizona, they found a huge stone peak in the desert, resembling Kuvera and Shiva's (I-Itsoi's) Kailasa in nearly every way except one. The Indian Kailasa, also in a desert, is nearly four times higher above sea level than the O'Odhams' holy peak. To honor their spritual progenitor, the Nagas named this Arizona peak Babu-Kheever ("Grandfather" or "Illustrious Indian Immigrant" Kuvera), adhering closely to the exact pronunciation of the mineral-rich Kheever (Khyber) mountain range of Afghanistan. Baboquivari (Babo-kheeveri) has retained almost the same name after more than six millenniums. The O'odhams also call it Waw-Kiwulk, which sounds like "Vahv-Kivur'." Just as the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists call Kailasa the navel of the world, so do the O'odhams give Baboquivari the same distinction. Babo-Kheeveri and the Afghan Kheeveri mountains were supposedly filled with unlimited gold, copper, and precious stones. Even today, much of the gold mined in that part of Arizona keeps leaking endlessly out of the Babo-Kheeveri (Baboquivari) mountain range. Jutting upward at more than 7,750 feet above sea level, Baboquivari can be seen on a clear day from as far away as 80 miles, even from the Mexican side of the border. Few natural wonders equal the majesty and beauty of this spectacular peak. In my opinion, it is a "must-see" for any lover of Nature's wonders. You will notice that the mountain enjoys the close association of lesser peaks, forming a large trident. Being such a prominent landmark, Baboquivari keeps incoming undocumented Mexican aliens and drug smugglers from getting lost. That part of the desert also abounds in water-filled cacti to slake their thirst, including edible fauna and flora. Evidently, the INS knows about Baboquivari. On the day my wife and I visited the peak, we saw several of their vans in the area, waiting to pick up uninvited guests and transport them back to the border - or to prison. When I told the O'Odhams that I had learned about the unlimited quantities of gold within Baboquivari from Hindu books written millenniums ago, one woman moaned hopelessly, "Now that this news is out, the White man will even rob us of our God." She wasn't too far afield. The government has always wanted to probe the interior of Baboquivari. A Possible Historical Scenario About 3,000 BC, a saintly Indian prince and high priest of the Kheeveri empire left Afghanistan for Arizona, to manage the mining operations at Baboquivari and govern the O'Odhams. In India, he is variously called Shiva, Siva, Shaveh, Suva, Su, Ish, Esh, Yesh, Isa, Itsa, Ishvara, Yishvara, Yeshva, Moshe, Mahesh, Mahisa, etc. The suffixes Va and Veh refer to someone who is vengeful and short of temper. Vara = "Blessings of." The prefixes Mo, Mu. and Mah means "Great." Ish, Esh, Yesh, Isa, etc., = "Material Universe" in both Sanskrit and Hebrew cabalism. From these Sanskrit elements we derived our term "Messiah," which in Sanskrit is Masiha, and Massee'akh in Hebrew. These terms were honorific titles of the highest ecclesiastical and leadership castes of that period in history. These supreme "Sivas," whether good, bad, or indifferent, were also regarded as earthly gods. We may never know what this "Shiva's" real name was. The Pimas call him Se-eh-ha; Siwa; Su-u (Elder Brother). The Papagos worship him as I'Itoi or I'Itsoi, which linguistically is nearly identical to "Isa." Not yet united by a centralized government, the ancient Hindus weren't conscious of themselves as Indians - just as similar peoples separated by different tribes and kingdoms. All of them competed by fair and foul means for the resources of the world. Internecine rivalries tore them apart constantly. During Shiva's Arizona reign, a powerful Indian emperor, Priyavarta, sent his armies to all the countries of the world, to unite all Indians and their colonial possessions as one nation. He appointed his sons as viceroys. One son, Sevana or Sewana, was sent to conquer and govern North America. Notice that he, too, was a "Siva." O'odham legends mention this Sewana whom they call Siwana. When I'Itoi or Se- eh-ha wouldn't submit to Priyavarta, he and Siwana met on the battle field. Ultimately, I'Itoi prevailed; Siwana was killed. According to some Indian historians, later on, back in Southeast Asia, the volcano Krakatoa exploded violently, creating the China Sea. Our globe became extremely unsteady on its axis, causing rains, earthquakes, and floods to occur all over the world. The coastlands of Western India submerged by more than fifty feet and as many miles inland in some places. Even as you read this article, Indian archeologists are uncovering fabulous ruins lying just off the mainland, under the Arabian sea. Dwarka, Indian deity Lord Krishna's capital city, is the focal point of these underwater digs. Dwarka may prove to be the greatest archeological dig in human history. These floods forced millions of Indian refugees to flee to other parts of the world. When the Arizona desert flooded, the Pimas and Papagos took refuge on Baboquivari where I'Itoi or Se-eh-ha (Siva) helped them survive. After the waters had subsided, he helped the O'Odham re-establish themselves. Therefore, no matter to what religion they are converted, the O'Odham are always going to revere and respect I'Itoi. Nearly all of today's O'Odham are Catholics. However, the Franciscan fathers tending to their spiritual needs allow them to set up the Swastika, I'Itoi or Isa's standard, on the altars of the Catholic churches there, even on the altar of San Xavier Mission church near Tucson. There are other Shaivite reminders among the O'odhams. O'Odham Catholic churches usually face east as the Shaivite temples do in India. And, like the Hindus, they bury their dead in an east-west direction. They also revere the Shiva-Linga or Pillar of Energy, usually erected in front of and some distance away from their churches, placed on a tiered pyramid or pyramidical mound, exactly as in India. However, nowadays the Shivling is a Christian cross. In the book he wrote in 1644, Father Ribas acknowledged that the Northern Mexican Indians worshiped Shivlings. "One of the padres, traveling along a trail near Guasave, observed an Indian suddenly depart into the woods. In curiosity they followed this Indian, presently coming upon him in the act of making reverence before a stone. This stone was about a vara (33 inches) in height, shaped in the form of a pyramid, and had some crude inscriptions carved upon it. San Xavier Mission Church near Tuscon, Arizona. "The Padre ordered this false idol destroyed. The Indian, horrified at the thought, declared that he dare not destroy it, for fear of death." (My Life Among the Savage Nations of New Spain; p. 34.) During my visit at San Xavier mission, I also saw representations of the undulating serpent Nah-Big on the exterior of the church of San Xavier. And get this: The O'Odhams call their way of life Himday or Himdag! Hindi? I was especially intrigued by the Pima name for "Medicine-Man:" Javet-Makai. Dyaus-Pitar or Jyapeti (Japhet) is really another title of Shiva. Makai may be derived from Maga (Priest-Magician). Javet- Makai = Jyapeti Maga? DNA analysis may prove that today's O'Odhams are genetically related to the India-Indians. Arjuna, Krishna's companion in the Mahabharata Wars (fought on Northern India's Kuruksetra plains in about 3000 BC), was married to a Patalan (American) princess. Military forces from Patala, possibly even some O'Odham among them, fought in those famous wars. How did I'Itoi's deification get exported to India? Because Isvar was once the religion of all mankind, It could have been a partial contributor to all worldwide myths about Siva, eventually becoming consolidated in the Indian subcontinent. I'Itoi earned "godhood" on his own merits. Also, as a Hindu supreme leader, he was deified anyway. After all, the O'Odham and the Hindus do share the same India-originated "Way of Life." Hindu immigrants to this country often tell me that they see the Southwestern Native-Americans as long-lost brothers. They say that many Native-Americans tell them the same thing. If we use Sanskrit language resources, Hindu mythology, Shaivite practices and mutually identical holy names as measuring sticks, the kinship between Native- Americans and South Asians becomes easily verifiable, no matter what the "experts" say. Could there be a special political reason why "The Great White Father" doesn't want certain Native-Americans to know they're Himday? Some tribes, such as the Huicholes in Central Mexico, even remember from what Indian seaport they left for America - Aramra in Gujarat. The Huicholes revere a part of the beach at the old Mexican seaport of San Blas, Nayarit, as Aramara, "Place of Origin of the Huicholes." Millenniums ago, Gujarat was called Jukhar. Juj-Kha is an O'Odham name for "Mexicans." The Navajos call them Nakaii (Nagas). The Apaches claim to be Inde (Indus People.) They worship Shiva as Yusn. In Sanskrit, Yishan = "Shiva." Apache = "Enemy" in O'Odham. In Sanskrit, Apachnan = "Destroyer." Another name of the Zunis ("Zoonyees") is Ashiwi (Azhuva?, "Way of the Serpent," in Sanskrit). Two of their principal deities are Shivani and Shiwanikoya. Zoonya (Zuni?) and Zeenya ware epithets of ancient Kashmir. According to Indian historian K. P. Chon, the Naga Azhuvas, perhaps the forefathers of the Zunis, were India's oldest ruling dynasty. He said that they ruled for more than a thousand years. "The descendants of this dynasty are still to be found in the southernmost part of India in Kerala. They are even now called Azhuva or Ezhava. The emperor Azi Dahaka, -- with two snakes around his neck -- was a devotee of Isvara." (Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism; p. 22.) The Ezhavas' ships were said to have sailed all over the world. The Hopis worship Siva under several of his names, one of which is Massawa (Maheswa?). The Hopis are ophiolators (snake worshippers). Thousands of years ago, a famous Naga cult called Hophiz lived near Kabul, Afghanistan. Orginally, this nation was named Oph (Serpent) + Gana (Group; Family) + Stan (Nation). "Afghanistan" evolved from "Oph-gana-stan." The Afghan Hophiz snake cult spread to Greece, becoming Ophis. The Ophis cult was popular in the ancient world, even among the Christian gnostics. Needless to say, it also found its way to the American Southwest. We may never know the exact "hows." The name of the ancient Hopi village of Oraibi causes me to wonder whether the Hopi nation was a famous stronghold of Saivism, known even in India. This unusual word lacks only the "Bh" in Bhairavi, epithet of Goddess Durga. However, Grierson's Dictionary of the Kashmiri Language mentions another meaning of the term, which may explain exactly how and why Oraibi got its name: "Name of a certain class of lower deities who form Siva's host..." One of these is after the local godling of some locality or tract of country. Special localities protected by him are looked upon as sacred" (p. 129; item 44.) Was Southwestern United States an important Shaivite holy center in earliest times? Other ancient Naga sea-faring miners, traders, conquerors and colonizers who left their bloodlines and names all over the Americas and the rest of the world were the Ute, Yuti, Yutiya, or Juti (Jutes). The Northern Mexican Indians called the invading Spaniards, "People-Who-Came-Before:" Yutiya ("Judeeya"); Yuti; Juti ("Jodee" or "Judee)." In Spanish, the word is usually spelled as Yori; Yuri. "R" is trilled as in "City." "Y" often approximates our "J." Because of the Spanish spelling, we can't see that this word is really the English "Jute.". Why did these Indians believe the Spaniards were Jutes? Juti now means "non-Indian Mexicans and Gringos." In Sanskrit, Juddhi; Yuddhi = "Conquerors." Our history books tell us that the "Jutes" were "Northern German or Danish tribes."
Posted by: Kaushal Mar 21 2004, 02:39 PM WHAT WAS BABAR REALLY LIKE? Was Babar too tolerant to destroy a temple? In the pantheon of Indian Secularist heroes, Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar (1483-1530), the founder of the Moghul Empire of India, occupies a uniquely important place. Apart from his obvious importance to history, he has left us his Memoir containing a first hand account of his life and experiences — from his failures in his struggles to hold on to his ancestral kingdom in Central Asia, to his founding of an empire in Hindustan. But what interests us today is that the Baburnama gives us an intimate look at the man and his methods, allowing us to contrast this with the sanitized version found in history books. And this has now acquired additional significance in the light of the Ayodhya dispute. Indian students for several generations have been fed the story that Babar was a highly cultured and charming prince who went on to found an empire that epitomized secularism and tolerance. For instance, Pandit Nehru — that High Priest of Indian secularism wrote: Babur was one of the most cultured and delightful persons one could meet. There was no sectarianism in him, no religious bigotry, and he did not destroy as his ancestors used to. And Akhilesh Mithal, a modern day fiercely secular admirer of Babar recently lamented: The Prince Charming is seen as a horror and the expression Babur kee aulad (offspring of Babur) is meant to be the worst form of abuse which can be heaped upon a Muslim head. The tragedy of India today is that people today do not have time to read history and judge characters like Babur for themselves. Instead of enjoying his many splendoured being and the achievements of his short (47 years only) life people are misled into the belief that he was a mere iconoclast. This extravagant praise of Babar by our modern Secularists is put in question by the observations of the great Guru Nanak, a contemporary and an eyewitness to Babur's invasion; in his Babur Vani, Nanak denounced him in no uncertain terms, giving a vivid account of Babur's vandalism in Aimanabad. But no matter; thanks to a superb new edition of the Baburnama, we are in a position to judge for ourselves whether Babur was indeed a prince charming, or if the abuse Babur ki aulad has any basis in fact. I will only present a few highlights from this outstanding new edition of Babar's Memoir. [/color] This brings up a point of primary importance: What does the Baburnama have to say about the Babri Masjid? Unfortunately nothing, for the work as it exists today is incomplete. It has a gap of about five-and-half months — from April to September of 1528 — precisely the period during which the temple was demolished and the mosque built. Babar tells us that he had reached Awadh in March, and on 28 March, we find him camped a few miles downstream of the town, reconnoitering the area for suitable hunting grounds. Then on April 2, the Memoir breaks off abruptly and picks up again on September 18, 1528. But, as previously detailed, we know from other sources that the Ram Temple was destroyed and the mosque built during Babar's stay in Oudh. This point is important to note: the part of the Memoir describing Babar's stay at Ayodhya is missing from all extant copies of the Baburnama. Thus, the claim made by some Secularist historians that the Baburnama does not record the destruction of the Ramjanmabhumi Temple is entirely fradulent, as it is based on a non-existent source. (Even if the part did exist, and did not mention the destruction, it still does not follow that the temple was not destroyed, but only that he failed to mention it. For a man like Babar, destroying a temple would be an event of no great consequence — certainly nothing like the demolition of the Babri Masjid in our own time! All this is immaterial anyway since archaeology confirms the temple destruction.) The Baburnama is a voluminous work. A third of it is concerned with India, containing detailed descriptions of the land, its flora, fauna and his experiences. But the parts that are of particular interest are those that shed light on Babar's personality and character. Was he tolerant and 'secular' as Nehru (and his followers) describe him, a delightful person without any religious bigotry? The picture of Babar that we get from his Memoir is the exact opposite of this. He was cruel and bigoted even by the standards of a Medieval Turk. He thought nothing of massacring even those who had surrendered to him — hardly the mark of a chivalrous soldier. He writes of some Afghan prisoners: Those who were brought in alive [having surrendered] were ordered beheaded, after which a tower of skulls was erected in the camp.(p 188) These were unarmed men who had already surrendered to him! Not for nothing did the great Guru Nanak call him a butcher. How about his tolerance of other religions, especially Hinduism? Here is Babar speaking: Chanderi had been in the daru'l-harb [Hindu rule] for some years and held by Sanga's highest-ranking officer Meidini Rao, with four or five thousand infidels, but in 934 [1527-28], through the grace of God, I took it by force within a ghari or two, massacred the infidels, and brought it into the bosom of Islam ... (p 331; emphasis added.) This should give some idea of the magnitude of the distortion involved in turning Babar into a tolerant person, let alone a prince charming. And when in a particularly happy mood, he composed the following dirge: For the sake of Islam I became a wanderer; I battled infidels and Hindus. I determined to become a martyr. Thank God I became a holy warrior. And what did he find interesting in India? "Hindustan," he wrote, "is a place of little charm. ... The one nice aspect of Hindustan is it is a large country with lots of gold and money." All told, a reading of the Baburnama fails to impress one with the author's charm or chivalry. He comes across as dour, pragmatic, calculating, and yes, bigoted and cruel, without a touch of warmth or spontaneity in him. He speaks so often, and with obvious glee of having made 'a tower of skulls', that one soon begins to sicken at the expression. It is not hard to see why Babur ki aulad is considered the worst form of abuse in North India. He was beyond dispute a soldier of ability, but his being a 'Prince Charming' is a modern Secularist myth of which one finds not a trace in his own writing. Babar saw ruthlessness as a virtue, and terror as a useful tactical tool. In this he was a true descendant of Timur and Chengiz Khan — both of whom were his ancestors. Babar was fully capable of destroying temples. Nanak was eyewitness to many such destructions: temples as strong as thunderbolt were set on fire, said Nanak. "Than mukam jale bij mandar muchhi muchhi kuir rula'ia" — in Nanak's own words. His destruction of the temple at Ayodhya was no isolated case, but just routine — all part of a day's work as a Ghazi — a religious warrior. Guru Nanak's eyewitness account of Babar's campaigns gives a far more accurate picture of Babar and his methods than almost any modern history book. The same holds true for the Baburnama: it is a primary source of great historical importance that goes to demolish romantic tales about him. [b] At the same time, Babar was successful because he was pragmatic. He pushed the practice of Jihad — total war in the name of Islam — to its limit, but within the bounds of possibility. He negotiated with Hindu rulers and made deals with them when he needed to. His own string of defeats in the early part of his career had taught him to be prudent. So, in dealing with the Hindus he was being practical, and not showing tolerance for its own sake. He prided in being a Ghazi — a holy warrior for Islam — but never allowed himself to be drawn into a reckless venture. He was anything but foolhardy. All in all, he was a practical soldier, who by no stretch of the imagination was a tolerant prince charming as our Secularists would have him. He himself would have laughed at any such notion. So Babar was not only capable of destroying temples, but considered it his sacred duty to do so. Such is the truth. It is the height of self deception if not an outright falsehood to describe him as anything else.
Posted by: Mudy Apr 6 2004, 08:52 AM Sandhya Jain Even as political parties debate whether India is "shining," a momentous-though unreported- international academic consensus has established that there was no Aryan invasion of India. This intellectual breakthrough has staggering implications for us as a nation. Not only has a colonial falsehood been overturned, but the origins of a corrosive divide in our political, cultural and emotional life stand exposed. . Hopefully, our Leftist (read anti-Hindu) historians will accept the truth and help in re-writing true history for new generations, so they may enjoy legitimate pride in their heritage. The Aryan invasion theory (modified to Aryan migration theory) did grave damage to the Hindu psyche and to national unity. As Hindus are both the native and the majority community of India, this colonial canard wrought terrible havoc upon the nation. Its foremost manifestation was the North-South divide, engineered by Sir William Jones when he invented the fair-skinned Aryan "race" that drove native dark-skinned Dravidians southwards after seizing their lands. The archaeological evidence for this claim was sketchy even at the time, and was challenged by qualified Indians, but colonial intellectual monopoly triumphed. This mischief, many will remember, triggered Tamil separatism, even though Tamil Nadu has long been an outstanding centre of classical Hindu erudition and cultural accomplishment. Sadly, the post-Independence intellectual tradition fostered by Jawaharlal Nehru was obdurately anti-Hindu. The Aligarh School took advantage of this environment to forge an alliance with Leftist historians and promote a supercilious history wherein India was ever subjected to foreign rule and conquest; that this was its true historical tradition; that contemporary Indians (read Hindus) had no right to regard Arab-Turk-Afghan rule as foreign; or currently, to object to the possible reign of Ms Sonia Gandhi! The British were outsiders because they disrupted the glory of India's Islamic rulers. Naturally, this school of history did not permit a true account of the horrors perpetrated by Muslim armies and rulers upon native Hindus to be disseminated in public. The meticulous recording of these atrocities by contemporary chroniclers was downplayed. A corollary of this whitewash job entailed distorting the glories of India's pre-Islamic past. The Aryan invasion theory helped "prove" that the Hindu people and the Vedic civilisational ethos were themselves alien grafts on the Indian landscape. Five decades of academic absolutism by Left-Aligarh historians have bequeathed what Prof Shiva G.Bajpai, University of Wisconsin, USA, calls "the burden of bad ideas". Mercifully, these lies will now wither away. A little background to the rebuttal of the invented invasion may be in order. In October 2003, California State University, (CA), USA, held a conference on "The Rise of Civilisation in the Greater Indus Valley and Saraswati: Recent Interpretations." The participants included Prof BB Lal, former Director-General, ASI; Mr Iravatham Mahad evan, expert on Harappan and Tamil Brahmi scripts; Left academic Dr Shireen Ratnakar; Dr Vasant Shinde and Dr Gregory Possehl who are excavating Gilund in Rajasthan; anthropologists Dr Steve Farmer and Dr Brian Hemphill who have worked on archaeological evidence through skeletal remains; Prof Jonathan Mark Kenoyer and Dr Richard Meadow who have worked extensively on Harappa sites; Prof DR Sar Desai, University of California, Los Angeles; Prof Ihsan Ali, University of Peshawar, Pakistan; and Prof Kaminsky. The conference proved to be epochal as academics arrived at a consensus on the "End of the Aryan invasion theory". Its moderator, Dr Sar Desai, declared that future writings on Indian history would assert that there was no Aryan invasion of India. The organiser, Prof Kaminsky, was authorised to get in touch with authors of Indian history textbooks and introduce this consensus at the secondary and high school level, where falsehoods are still being perpetuated. Prof Kenoyer contacted publishers of school textbooks in New York to revise the issue of the Aryans and Vedic-Harappan culture in American school textbooks. In fact, the conference organisers have written to school level educational institutions all over the world, including the NCERT in India. The belated dismissal of the Aryan invasion theory is no small triumph of the Hindu civilisational memory of a continuous spiritual-cultural tradition beginning with the Vedas and centred round the region of the once mighty river, Saraswati. Hindus have no memory of a pre-Vedic past, and have always maintained that the term "Arya" simply meant "noble", and denoted adherence to an elevated culture with no ethnic connotations. It was Sir William Jones who misrepresented Vedic allegories and conjured up the Aryan race by Immaculate Conception-a seedless parenthood, that is to say, one without any foundation. Yet his colonial brethren embraced the spurious offspring with the fervour of new converts; the rest is history. Personally, it gives me great pleasure to witness this international vindication of Prof BB Lal, who has been villified and hounded by the Leftist-Aligarh oligarchy and its media consorts for daring to establish our civilisational veracity through archaeology. Prof. Lal and scholars like Prof Bajpai have been asserting the unity of Harappan and Vedic cultures, as their geo-cultural areas are historically overlapping and identical. Indeed, there is no credible evidence of a difference between the two, barring the highly suspect discipline of linguistics, upon which the likes of Prof Romila Thapar are now trying to make some dubious claims. What is of critical importance is the fact that the finding and mapping of the Saraswati riverbed archaeologically establishes the identity of Harappan and Vedic culture, and puts the lower chronology of the Rig Veda at about 2000 BCE. Professor Bajpai traces the Sapta-Saindhava and Saraswati country from Kubha (Kabul) river (Hindukush range) to the Ganga river (western Ganga plain), and claims this was the cultural and geopolitical realm of the Vedic Aryans. He believes that the core area of the Rig Vedic culture, as noted in two different places in the Rig Veda itself, was the doab of the Saraswati and Drishadvati rivers. As for the antiquity of the Rig Veda, it must be dated before circa 2000 BCE when the Saraswati dried up, for it is the Saraswati, and not the Indus, that is the most celebrated river of the Rig Veda. Actually, the fallacies in the Aryan invasion theory had long been apparent, and scholars had diligently traced a plethora of inconsistencies between the empirical data and literary sources vis-`-vis the theories of committed historians. For instance, there was simply no archaeological evidence to substantiate the hypothesis of an invasion or even a massive migration from Eurasia in the Vedic period. Then, the geographical descriptions in the Rig Veda match the topography of north India in the fourth millennium BC, as does the climate. The flora and fauna mentioned in Vedic literature, especially those found in sacred symbols, are tropical and sub-tropical varieties not found in temperate zones or in the steppes. But the crux of the matter was chronology. Pro-invasion theorists claimed the Aryans entered after 2000 BC. In that case, they would hardly compose hymns praising the bountiful Saraswati flowing from mountain to sea. Alternately, if the Vedas were composed by people living in the Saraswati basin when she was truly a mighty river, then those people were progenitors of a civilisation that has continued unbroken up to the present-despite some wrenching historical encounters. Arya is then original, authentic Hindu. It is now time to deconstruct that other great colonial artifice-caste.
Posted by: Ravi Apr 6 2004, 06:40 PM
i'm still a beginner to such topics..but i believe that there is no aryan invasion of india. The article states some one called William jones who masterminded this idea. One thing to know is the word "arya" is from sanskrit that means good. It might be the fact that they got confused with this word and the original aryan race in Central Europe (Germany). I've had this discussion with few of my friends and i therefore consulted some people. They told me that there was a migration, not invasion, from people around the himalayas and other northern india into central india. this could be another confusion.
Posted by: Sridatta Apr 6 2004, 09:08 PM
The excerpt from Amir Khusroo's florid prose of the savage attack on the Hindus by Maliq Kafr, the general of Alla-ad-din Khalji (Tarikh-i-Allai).
Yes, Amir Khusrau seems to have had a vindictive poetic streak when it came to describing these "pious acts". I read a similar piece of in the context of the Hoysala Ballalla III's capture. He keeps alluding to Hindus as "fire worshippers", "sun worshippers", "thread wearers" etc. He reeks of bigotry. Zia-ud-din Barni was perhaps a more sober minded and reliable historian.
Much gold and valuable jewels fell into the hands of the Musalmans, who returned to the royal canopy, after executing their project of the holy Jihad on the 13th of Zi-l ka'da, 710 H. (April, 1311 A.D.). They destroyed all the temples at Birdhul (Near Madhurai), and plundered the public treasury.
Fortunately for South India, Sundara Pandya came out of hibernation in the nick of time and inflicted a decisive defeat on the Muslims. This blunted the edge of Kafur's conquests and deprived him of what might have been a most comprehensive victory in the South. Nevertheless, Kafur managed to retain the treasury and desecrated Kanchi. (Madura, I think, was saved). The Pandyas seemed to have followed a sort of "scorched earth policy" drawing Kafur deeper and deeper into their heartland, without engaging in pitched battle. Finally, the majestic Sundara Pandya descended upon the Moslems at "Birdhul" and routed them. The sad part is Kafur was aided by Hindus in finding his way across the difficult mountain passes of the western ghats. The civil war between the Pandyas weakened Hindu resistance at this critical period. Had the Hindus put up a united front, the history of South India might have been different. But that was not to be. Hoysala Ballala comes across as a ruler for whom self-interest alone mattered. He was to pay dearly for this... And in that darkest hour when Kafur's triumphant forces hastened to the capital (1311), all seemed lost for Hindu India. But the sun would soon rise over the boulder-spangled hills overlooking the Thungabhadra (1336).
Posted by: Sridatta Apr 7 2004, 11:21 AM
The excerpt from Amir Khusroo's florid prose of the savage attack on the Hindus by Maliq Kafr, the general of Alla-ad-din Khalji (Tarikh-i-Allai).
Amir Khusrau who probably accompanied the armies of Malik Naib Kafur is the most graphic of the Muslim chroniclers in his descriptions. Here is an extract from his diaries of the 1310-1311 South India campaign: “The fire-worshipping Rai (Bilal Deo), when he learnt that the his idol temple was likely to be converted into a mosque dispatched Kisu Mal to ascertain the strength and the circumstances of the Musulmans and he returned with such alarming accounts that the Rai the next morning dispatched Balak Deo Naik to the royal canopy to represent that: “your slave Bilal Deo is ready to swear allegiance to the mighty emperor like Laddar Deo and Ram Deo and whatever the Sulaiman of the time may order, I am ready to obey. If you desire horses like demons, elephants like afrits, and valuables like those of Deogir, they are all present. If you wish to destroy the four walls of this fort, they are as they stand and no obstacle to your advance. The fort is the fort of the king; take it.” To this, the commander replied that he was sent with the object of converting him to Islam, or making him a Zimmi and subject to pay tax, or slaying him, if neither of these terms were assented to. When the Rai received this reply, he said he was ready to give up all he possessed, except his sacred thread. On Friday the 6th of Shawwal, the Rai sent Balak Deo Naik, Narain Deo, and Jit Mal with some other basiths to bow before the royal canopy and they were accompanied by six elephants. The next day some horses followed. On Sunday Billal Deo, the sun worshipper, seeing the splendour of Islam over his head, bowing down his head, descended from his fortress, and came before the ‘shadow of the shadow of God’; and trembling and heartless, prostrated himself on the earth and rubbed the forehead of subjection on the ground. He then returned to fetch his treasures and was engaged all night in taking them out, and the next day brought them before the royal canopy, and made them over to the King’s treasurer. The commander remained twelve days in that city which is four month’s distance from Delhi and sent the captured elephants and horses to that capital. Such is Khusrau’s account of the Ballala’s humiliation. Zia-ud-din Barni who was a younger contemporary doesn’t make much ado over the incident. His pithy description goes thus: “Towards the end of the year A.H. 710 (1310 AD), the Sultan sent an army under Malik Naib Kafur against Dhur samundar (Dwara-samudra) and M’abar…..At the first onslaught Bilal Rai fell into the hands of the Muhammadans, and Dhur Samundar was captured. Thirty six elephants, and all the treasures of the place fell into the hands of the victor. A dispatch of the victory was then sent to Delhi, and Malik Naib Kafur marched on to M’abar. *** BTW, I was mistaken when I alluded to “Sundara Pandya” as the one who inflicted a defeat on Kafur. For the records, it was Vikrama Pandya, Sundara's uncle. As has been noted earlier, Vira Pandya and Sundara Pandya were locked in an unfortunate civil war which gave the invader an opportunity to march right virtually unopposed into the heart of South India. The selfish Ballala played no small part in aiding the enemy. ***
Posted by: Kaushal Apr 13 2004, 07:24 AM
I've had this discussion with few of my friends and i therefore consulted some people. They told me that there was a migration, not invasion, from people around the himalayas and other northern india into central india. this could be another confusion
Better late than never. As for migrations , one must rmember that migrations are the norm in human history and have always taken place. It has been said that my own ancestors have migrated from different parts of the subcontinent. The fact that there were migrations should not be a surprise to many. It is man's destiny to travel and it wont be long before he breaks the bonds of gravity and travel to other planets and other solar systems But what is a stretch in inference is the conclusion that therefore the Rg veda was composed other than within the confines of the subcontinent (if you include present day Pakistan and Afghanistan). There is very little evidence that the Rg was composed anywhere but in India. Even Michael Witzel, the self appointed high priest of Western Indology, now admits to such a conclusion. But many of us (NCERT textbooks maintain the AIT is the official version of Indiian history and so does the Ministry of external affairs in its official web site) remain enthralled by a Western certificate of authenticity and until the Western indologists say so it cannot be true and that the Rg is a completely autochthonous (the word in use today is indigenous) development we remain skeptical of such claims in our own history. Note that one of the members of the conference was Steve farmer who has very little competence to speak on such matters but who has insinuated himself into the middle of the controversy by ridiculing Indian scholars. By all means respect scholars of any nationality but do not elevate them to the position where they are adjudicators of matters that should solely be the province of those well versed in indic traditions, the Indic civilization and indic languages. It is a sorry state of affairs that Jonathan kenoyer has to write to NCERT to change the official line on Aryan Invasions. for related discussion see Indian perceptions of history
Posted by: Kaushal Apr 14 2004, 08:04 PM
This is a passage in chapter 2 of a book i am editing. The chapter is tentatively titled 'Western (Eurocentric) studies of the Indic civilization'. After being critical of Western scholarship when it comes to the study of indic cvilization, I pose the following question(feel free to add to the pre-requisites for a proper study of Indian History), What should be the principles on which a History of India be based ?
There is no single answer to this question. But some ideas for such a historiography suggest themselves. Primary among such considerations is the notion that the Indic civilization not unlike other civilizations characterized by longevity, was a substantial net exporter of ideas and values in addition to being a recipient of ideas originating elsewhere. Cultural influences should be regarded as the result of a complex interplay of ideas, languages and religions. For example instead of concentrating on migrations to India, one can ask how the Indo-European languages spread over such a vast area of Europe and Asia with a common substratum of words. Could it have been the result of significant commerce and/or academic exchanges, such as occurs today ? It is important to remind oneself that unlike the India of the 19th century, the Ancients of the Indian subcontinent were in the top rungs of the Maslow hierarchy of needs and had the time and inclination to pursue what they believed to be essential ontological issues in relation to the human species. It is conceivable therefore that such academic exchanges were more than likely over vast regions even considering the more primitive modes of travel prevalent during that period. After all, Adi Sankara was able to traverse the entire subcontinent more than once on foot without much difficulty Another principle in developing a historical narrative for India that suggests itself is the notion that Indian History should not be subject to reductionist arguments and be boxed in or essentialized into a watertight compartment such as South or South East Asia. India has much in common with various disparate cultures and is in fact the quintessential melting pot of cultures and the Indic civilization is one with a Universal Weltanschauung. The reason that Indic philosophies have appeal is because of the universalist principles on which they are based and the resort to ontological arguments. It is in this context that Indians find exhortations to secularism to be particularly incongruous. The secularist imperative of Indian society is merely a subset of ontological principles celebrating the universality of the human spirit. The Indic civilization has always welcomed a catholicity of views and ideologies as alternate paths suitable for human beings at different stages of their development. Reminding the Indian to be secular is as redundant as reminding the Chinese to revere their ancestors. Grammar School education in India in general and the teaching of History in particular must be undertaken with a great degree of deliberation and seriousness, comparable to that which is done in most European countries. In developing a curriculum for History education in India, we must be far more accepting of our oral tradition of transmitting knowledge which predates the development of scripts by several millennia Last but not least the Indian must once again be encouraged to have pride in his/her historical tradition, regardless of religious affiliation. The current practice where all activities remotely considered nationalistic are immediately ridiculed, as jingoism is a practice that appears peculiarly Indian.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Apr 25 2004, 11:29 AM
The great bhAskararAya makhIndra The redoubtable bhAskararAya was one of the greatest shrauta sacrificers and exponents of the tantra of recent times. He would rank no less than great savants of the mantra shAstra throughout bhArata, through the ages, like amoghavajra and indrabodhi of Kanchipuram, vasugupta, lakshmaNa deshikendra and abhinavagupta of Kashmir, Adi sha~nkara of the Kerala country, dIpAMkarashriGYAna of Kalinga and matsyendra of the icy Himalayas. He was born in Hyderabad in ~1690 as the second son of gambhIraraya and koNamAmbAL of the kaushika gotra [several southerners claim that he belonged to the vaDamA branch of smArtas, while Maharashtrians claim that he was of the Deshasta branch of Maharatti Brahmins. The distinctions amongst the pa~ncha draviDa may have been less pronounced then]. gambhIraraya was an expert of the purANas and epics and had studied the tantras from his uncle nArAyaNan paNditar of our lineage of the bhArgava gotra. The tale goes that gambhIrarAya had fed his wife with the brAhmI plant before his birth to ensure that he would be born bright unlike his dull earlier sons. koNamAmbAL had observed a vrata of sUrya before his birth and he was accordingly named bhAskara. At the age of five he started learning the R^igveda and at seven he stunned the paNdits at a discussion in kAshi with his exposition of the meanings of the R^iks. bhAskararAya then attracted the attention of nR^isimha shAstri, a notable adhvaryu of the taittirIya shAkha from Andhra, who was also a scholar of gaNita and Ayurveda. He went to learn these subjects from him. He also acquired knowledge of the nyAya darShaNa from gangadhara vAjapeyI, a great sacrificer of the kANva branch of the shukla yajurveda (from Thiruvalankadu, Tamil Nadu) and poetics from rukamaNa paNDita. After learning these to revive the dying tradition of the atharva veda he learnt it from his bhArgava relatives and imparted it further to number of other Brahmins. At this point his father suggested that he take up the job of the prime minister of the Turushka chief of Golconda, but nR^isimha shAstri suggested that he rather engage himself in the revival of the Hindu dharma than serve a Turushka. Then he moved to the regions of Shrisailam and collaborated with nR^isimha shAstri's son svami shAstri to compose an exposition on the significance of the shrauta sacrifice. He also wished to preserve the lore of the tantra, and nR^isimha shAstri suggested that he learn the depths of tantra from shivadatta, a Brahmin of the mAdhya~ndina branch of the shukla yajurveda, who resided at Surat, Gujarat. Impressed by bhAskara's intelligence, the Maharatta commander, dhanAji jAdhav, gave him a scholarship for this purpose. bhAskararAya went to Gujarat and shivadatta was delighted to impart to him the highest lore of shrividya, in its pristine form as expounded in the great tantras of yore. At this point he encountered a vaiShNava scholar of the mAdhva sect and routed him in the debate. As a result of his victory the mAdhva offered his daughter to bhAskararAya in marriage (then named pArvatI). He initiated her into the tantra shAstra, providing her with the secret name of the initiate. He then went to Kashi and performed the great soma sacrifices like the jyotiShToma and aindra saptaha. He then married a second wife named Anandi of Thanjavur. He also decided to revive the temples destroyed by the Turushkas in the regions conquered by the Maharattas. Firstly he restored and built the chakrasvamI temple to viShNu in vArAnasi. At the behest of the Maharattas he also consecrated the pANDuranga temple in Maharashtra, while dhanAji jAdhav and his son chandrasenji jAdhav restored the khaNdobA temple at Jejuri. bhAskararAya also built the temple of gambhIranAtha in the Konkan and during the course of his presence in Goa with the invading Maharatta army he composed his great commentary on the vAmakeshvara tantra, known as the setubandha. He constructed a temple in the shape of a 3D Shrichakra, for mahAdevI at Sannati in Karnataka, which was wrested by chandrasenji jAdhav in the second battle of Gulbarga, and restored temples in Chola Nadu. Then sarfoji-I bhosle of Thanjavur offered him an agrahAraM near Kumbhakonam on the upper banks of the Kaveri river. It was named after him as Bhaskararajapuram and his first wife built a temple to rudra and umA in this town while his second wife built a hall for charitable feeding in the region. He also built the temple of vajreshvara at Rameshvaram. He lived most of his remaining life in his agrahAraM and conducted his shrauta sattra with great soma yAgas. chandrasen jAdhav whom bhAskararAya had taught Sanskrit had great regard for him and he bestowed him with great favors when he cured jAdhav’s son of infertility with his herbs. It is narrated that he used to sit in relaxed pose, with his legs stretched out, as he lecture to his students in the porch of his house on the way to the li~ngasvami temple. A sannyAsi used to pass that way to the temple, but bhAskararAya would not bother to draw his legs back or fall at his feet. One day when bhAskara had gone to the li~ngasvamI temple to chant the rudra sUktaMs during the pradoShaM hour, the sannyAsi yelled at him, and accused him in front of the crowd of insolence in not showing proper respect to a sannyAsi. bhAskara asked the sannyAsi to place his daNDa and kamaNDalu on the ground and he did a namaskAraM before it. It is said that immediately the two objects crumbled to powder, much to the shock of the sannyAsi and the crowd. bhAskara explained that he was a hotar and brahmA, an offerer of soma to indra, and a bearer of the saMhitas, the shrauta prayoga, and the dharma sUtras, as also the tantra, and he was not bound by conventions of a nominal Brahmin. Hence, even sannyAsis and such saints should not expect to receive a namaskaraM from him unless he felt the need to do so. bhAskara authored 40 books in course of his life, including the great work on the correct tantric worship of gaNapati (with the commentary on the gaNesha saharanAmaM) and the worship of lalitA. His method for drawing the shrichakra is the one commonly used by tAntrics in Tamil Nadu. His works also covered Hindu law- the bodhAyana dharma sUtras, three books of Sanskrit poems and exposition on vedAnta and nyAya philosophies. jagannAtha paNDit, a Maharashtrian Brahmin, visited him at Thiruvalankadu and became his student in the later part of his life. bhAskara transmitted to him his great knowledge of the tantra. jagannAtha returned to the Peshva’s court and summed up his master’s teachings in the great Sanskrit work nityotsava. Here jagannAtha establishes the profound secret mode of worship mahAgaNapati and his shakti- this is the highest form of gaNapati worship that is only known to a select few. He also revived the worship of gaNapati in Maharashtra and restored the 8 great gaNapati kshetras. At the end of his life bhAskararAya donated his agrahAraM to the students of the R^igveda. He initiated his student nArAyana devan to continue his teaching in Tamil Nadu, while he sent his son through his second wife to Kashi to take over the teaching at the chakrasvami temple. He then went to Thiruvidaimardur and took samAdhi after meditating on tripurasundari. The bhosle of Thanjavur, the Shahu Raje and his chiefs at Satara and the Peshva of Pune paid their respect to the brahmin who had attained moksha. NOTE: There are others stories and some variants to the above hagiographic account floating around in Tamil Nadu, including those with exaggerated narratives of his siddhis.
Posted by: rajesh_g May 1 2004, 10:44 AM
Somebody posted a comment on this article and that is how noticed it. Good article.. I like B S V Prasad's articles on Sulekha. specool.gif
Posted by: acharya May 3 2004, 02:20 PM Check how they are dividing the people based on caste and region. Caste politics in North, West and South India before Mandal: The low caste movements between sanskritisation and ethnicisation by Christophe Jaffrelot India: Caste Stronger than Religion? by Christophe Jaffrelot
Posted by: acharya May 12 2004, 01:57 PM
Why Perpetuate Myths ? A Fresh Look at Ancient Indian History B. B. Lal Director General (Retd.), Archaeological Survey of India Lecture given at the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi For a pretty long time the following four myths have been obscuring our vision of India’s past: Myth 1: ‘There was an Aryan Invasion of India’ Myth 2: ‘The Harappans were a Dravidian‑speaking People’ Myth 3: ‘The Rigvedic Sarasvati was the Helmand of Afghanistan,’ and Myth 4: ‘The Harappan Culture became Extinct’ And here is how these myths came into being. In the nineteenth century a German scholar, F. Max Muller, dated the Vedas, on a very ad hoc basis, to 1200 BC. Granting that the Sutra literature may have existed in the sixth‑fifth centuries BC, he assigned a duration of two hundred years to each of the preceding literary periods, namely those of the Aranyakas, Brahmanas and Vedas and thus arrived at the figure of 1200 BC for the last‑named texts. However, when his own colleagues, like Goldstucker, Whitney and Wilson, challenged him, he stated that his dating was ‘merely hypothetical’ and confessed: ‘Whether the Vedic hymns were composed in 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 BC, no power on earth will ever determine.’ However, the saddest part of the story is that his blind followers, both in India and abroad, even today swear by 1200 BC and do not dare cross this Laksmana rekha. Be that as it may. The first quarter of the twentieth century witnessed the discovery of an altogether unknown civilization on the Indian subcontinent, datable to the third millennium BC. Called variously the Harappan, Indus or Indus‑Sarasvati Civilization, it is characterised, amongst other things, by systematic town‑planning, an underground drainage, excellently engraved seals, a monumental script, a refined system of weights and measures and some beautiful statuary. However, recent excavations have thrown new light on various other aspects of this civilization, which call for a fresh look at many issues connected with it. Radiocarbon dates indicate that its roots go back to the 5th millennium BC, while its peak period lay between 2600 and 2000 BC, after which began its decline. With the discovery of the Harappan Civilization there also started a debate about its authors. Because of Max Muller’s fatwa that the Vedas were not earlier than 1200 BC, it was argued that this civilization could not be associated with the Vedic people. Since the only other major language spoken on the subcontinent was the Dravidian it was but natural at that point of time to assume that the Dravidian‑speakers were its authors. In 1946 Sir Mortimer Wheeler carried out further excavations at Harappa and discovered a fortification wall around one of the mounds. However, his interpretation of it was nothing more than a mere flight of imagination. Since the Rigveda refers to Indra as puramdara (destroyer of forts), he jumped at the idea that there was an ‘Aryan invasion’ which destroyed the Harappan Civilization, and the latter became ‘extinct’. To give a prop to his thesis, he referred to certain skeletal remains found at Mohenjo-­daro, which, he held, provided evidence of a ‘massacre’ by the invaders. If these skeletons are at all to be associated with a massacre by invaders, one expects that these would have come from the latest level. But the hard fact is that these came from various levels, some from the middle and some from the late, and some were found in deposits which accumulated after the site had been abandoned. Thus, there is no case for a massacre; and Professor George F. Dales of the University of California, Berkeley, has rightly dubbed it as a ‘mythical massacre’. Further, if there at all was an invasion, one expects at the site the weapons of warfare as also some remains of the material culture of the invaders. But there was no such evidence. On the other hand, there is a clear case of cultural continuity, not only at Mohenjo‑daro but also at other Harappa Culture sites. Commenting on this issue, Lord Colin Renfrew (UK) avers: ‘If one checks the dozen references in the Rigveda to the Seven Rivers, there is nothing in any of them that to me implies invasion. … Despite Wheeler’s comments, it is difficult to see what is particularly non‑Aryan about the Indus Valley Civilization.’ After a thorough analysis of the skeletal data, Professor Hemphill (of USA) holds: ‘As for the question of biological continuity within the Indus Valley, two discontinuities appear to exist. The first occurs between 6000 and 4500 BC. The second occurs at some point after 800 BC but before 200 BC.’ It is, thus, abundantly clear that no new people entered the Indus Valley between 4500 BC and 800 BC. So, where is any case for an ‘Aryan invasion’ around 1500‑1200 BC? Now to the second myth, viz. the ‘Harappan = Dravidian’ equation. It has been made out that the Aryan invaders drove away the ‘Dravidian‑speaking’ Harappans to South India but a small section somehow managed to stay on in Baluchistan, speaking the Brahui language. However, many scholars do not agree that Brahui belongs to the Dravidian group. Some even hold that the Brahui‑speaking people migrated to that region from elsewhere during the medieval times. Further, if the so‑called Dravidian‑speaking Harappans were pushed down to South India, one expects some Harappan sites over there. But the hard fact is that in none of the four Dravidian­-speaking States of South India, viz. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala do we have even a single site of the Harappan Culture !! On the other hand, what we do have in South India about that time is a neolithic culture. Do then the proponents of the ‘Harappan = Dravidian’ equation expect us to believe that the urban Harappans, on being sent away to South India, shed away overnight their urban characteristics and took to a Stone Age way of living? Again, it has been observed all over the world that even if the original inhabitants are pushed out of an area, some of the rivers, mountains and towns in that area continue to bear the original names. Thus, for example, even after the Europeans overran North America and gave their own names to the towns, such as New York, New Jersey, etc., many of the names of the towns and rivers given by the earlier inhabitants, viz. the Red Indians, may still be noted: for example, Chicago and Massachusett as those of towns and Missouri and Mississippi as of rivers. But in the entire region once occupied by the Harappans there is not even a single name of river, mountain or town which can claim a Dravidian origin. Why ? The obvious answer is that the Harappans were not a Dravidian‑speaking people. Let us deal with the third myth, viz. that the Helmand of Afghanistan was the Rigvedic Sarasvati. This is totally wrong. According to RV 10.75.5, it lay between the Yamuna and Sutlej (imam me Gange Yamune Sarasvati Sutudri stotam sachata Parusnya…). RV 3.23.4 states that the Drishadvati and Apaya were its tributaries (Drishadvatyam manusa Apayam Sarasvatyam revadagne didihi… ). Further, RV 7.95.2 clearly mentions that the Sarasvati flowed all the way from the mountains to the sea (ekachetat Sarasvati nadinam suchir yati giribhya a samudrat… ). In Afghanistan there are no rivers by the name of Yamuna and Sutlej, nor are there Drishadvati and Apaya. Further, there is no sea in Afghanistan. So how can the Rigvedic Sarasvati be placed there? All this evidence ¾ positive in the case of India and negative in the case of Afghanistan ¾ clinches the issue: the present‑day Sarasvati-Ghaggar combine, though now dry at places, does represent the Rigvedic Sarasvati (see Figs. 1 and 2); the Helmand of Afghanistan does not. Earlier we had established that the Harappans were not a Dravidian‑speaking people. Were then they the Sanskrit‑speaking Vedic people? Against such an equation the following four objections have been raised. First, the Vedic Aryans were ‘nomads’, whereas the Harappan Civilization had a major urban component. Secondly, the Vedas refer to the horse, whereas the Harappan Civilization is thought to be unfamiliar with it. Thirdly, the Vedic carts had spoked wheels, whereas the Harappan vehicles are supposed to be bereft of such wheels. And finally, since according to the dating of Max Muller the Vedas cannot be earlier than 1200 BC and the Harappan Civilization belonged to the third millennium BC, how can the two be equated? click here to see Fig. 1 Fig. 1. The Saraswati basin in the 3rd millenium BC. Unlike nomads, the Vedic people lived a settled life and even constructed forts. In RV 10.101.8 the devotee’s prayer is: ‘[O gods] make strong forts as of metal, safe from assailants (purahkrinadhvamayasiradhrista). RV 4.30.20 refers to ‘a hundred fortresses of stone’. Sometimes these had a hundred arms (RV 7.15.14: purbhava satabhujih). The Vedic people carried on trade, not merely on land but also across the sea. RV 9.33.6 states: ‘From every side, O Soma, for our profit, pour thou forth four seas filled with a thousand-fold riches (rayah samudranchaturo asmabhyam soma visvatah. Apavasva sahasrinah)’. Further, the ships used in sea-trade were not petty ones but could be as large as having a hundred oars (sataritra, RV 1.116.5). Fig. 2. Landsat imagery of Sindh region, showing the possible course of the Saraswati beyond Marot through the Nara into the Rann of Kachchha. The Rann is conspicuous because of the high reflectance (white tone) of its encrustation Even on the political and administrative fronts, the Vedic people were highly organised. Not only did they have sabhas and samitis which dealt with legislative and perhaps judiciary matters, but they also had a well‑established hierarchy amongst the rulers, viz. samrat, rajan and rajaka. Thus, in RV 6.27.8 Abhyavarti Chayamana is stated to be a Samrat. (Soverign), while RV 8.21.8 states that, dwelling beside the Sarasvati river, Chitra alone is the Rajan (king) while the rest are mere Rajakas (kinglings or petty chieftains). That these gradations were absolutely real is duly confirmed by the Satapatha Brahmana (V.1.1.12‑13), which says: ‘By offering the Rajasuya he becomes Raja and by the Vajapeya he becomes Samrat, and the office of the Rajan is lower and that of the Samraj, the higher (raja vai rajasuyenestva bhavati, samrat vajapeyena l avaram hi rajyam param samrajyam). The horse. In his report on Mohenjo‑daro, Mackay states: ‘Perhaps the most interesting of the model animals is one that I personally take to represent the horse.’ Wheeler also confirmed the view of Mackay. A lot more evidence has come to light since then. Lothal has yielded not only a terracotta figure of the horse (Fig. 3) but some faunal remains as well. On the faunal remains from Surkotada, the renowned international authority on horse‑bones, Sandor Bokonyi, Hungary, states: ‘The occurrence of true horse (Equus Caballus L.) was evidenced by the enamel pattern of the upper and lower cheek and teeth and by the size and form of the incisors and phalanges (toe bones).’ In addition, there are quite a few other Harappan sites, such as Kalibangan and Rupnagar, which have yielded the faunal remains of the horse. Fig. 3. Lothal: Terracotta horse. Mature Harappan The spoked wheel. It is absolutely wrong to say that the Harappans did not use the spoked wheel. While it would be too much to expect the remains of wooden wheels from the excavations, because of the hot and humid climate of our country which destroys all organic material in the course of time ¾ the Harappan Civilization is nearly 5,000 years old, the terracotta models, recovered from many Harappan sites, clearly establish that the Harappans were fully familiar with the spoked wheel. On the specimens found at Kalibangan and Rakhigarhi (Fig.4), the spokes of the wheel are shown by painted lines radiating from the central hub to the periphery, whereas in the case of specimens from Banawali these are executed in low relief (Fig.5) ¾ a technique which continued even into the historical times. Fig. 4. Rakhigarhi: Terracotta wheel. The painted lines radiating from the central hub and reaching the circumference clearly represent the spokes of the wheel. Mature Harappan. Now to the chronological horizon of the Vedas. The Harappan settlement at Kalibangan in Rajasthan was abandoned, while it was still in a mature stage, because of the drying up of the adjacent Sarasvati river. This evidence has been thoroughly worked out by Italian and Indian hydrologists, and Raikes, the leader, aptly captions his paper: ‘Kalibangan: Death from Natural Causes.’ According to the radiocarbon dates, this abandonment took place around 2000‑1900 BC. Eminent geologists, V. M. K. Puri and B. C. Verma, have demonstrated how the Sarasvati originated from the Himalayan glaciers and how subsequently its channel got blocked because of tectonic movements in the Himalayas, as a result of which the original channel dried up and its water got diverted to the Yamuna. Fig. 5. Banawali: Terracotta wheels showing the spokes in low relief. The specimen on the left is worn out but the spokes may still be seen. The specimen on the right, though broken, shows the spokes very clearly. Mature Harappan. Putting together the entire archaeological, radiocarbon­-dating, hydrological, geological and literary evidence, the following conclusion becomes inescapable, viz. that since during the Rigvedic times the Sarasvati was a mighty flowing river and according to the archaeological‑radiocarbon‑dating‑cum‑hydrological evidence this river dried up around 2000 BC, the Rigveda has got to be earlier than 2000 BC. How much earlier, it would, of course, be anybody’s guess. Fig. 6. Map showing a correlation between the Rigvedic area and the spread of the Harappan Civilization, before 2000 BC. As is absolutely clear from RV 10.75.5‑6, the entire area right from the Ganga on the east to the Indus on the west was occupied by the Rigvedic Aryans. Further, since the Rigveda must be dated to a period prior to 2000 BC, a question may straightaway be posed: Which archaeological culture covered the entire region from the Ganga on the east to the Indus on the west during the period prior to 2000 BC? Please think coolly and dispassionately. If you do that, you cannot escape the inevitable conclusion: It was none other than the Harappan Civilization itself (Fig. 6). However, in spite of such strong evidence in support of a Vedic = Harappan equation, it would be prudent, as I have all along advocated, to put this equation on hold until the Harappan script is satisfactorily deciphered. It is needless to add that all the tall claims made so far in this respect are not tenable at all. Sorry ! There is also no truth in the fourth myth, viz. that the Harappa Culture became ‘extinct’. What had really happened was that the curve of the Harappa Culture, which began to shoot up around 2600 BC and reached its peak, in the centuries that followed, began its downward journey around 2000 BC. Several factors seem to have contributed to it. Over‑exploitation and consequent wearing out of the landscape must have led to a fall in agricultural production. Added to it was probably a change in the climate towards aridity. And no less significant was a marked fall in trade, both internal as well as external. As a result of all this, there was no longer the affluence that used to characterise this civilization. The cities began to disappear and there was a reversion to a rural scenario. Thus, there was no doubt a set‑back in the standards of living but no extinction of the culture itself. In my recent book, The Sarasvati Flows On, I have dealt extensively with this aspect of continuity, giving comparable photographs of the Harappan objects and the present ones. In a nutshell, let it be stated here that whichever walk of life you talk about, you will find in it the reflection of the Harappa Culture: be it agriculture, cooking habits, personal make‑up, ornaments, objects of toiletry, games played by children or adults, transport by road or river, folk tales, religious practices and so on. Here we give just a few examples. The excavation at Kalibangan has brought to light an agricultural field dating back to circa 2800 BC. It is characterised by a criss-cross pattern of the furrows (Fig. 7). Exactly the same pattern of ploughing the fields is followed even today in northern Rajasthan (Fig. 8), Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Today mustard is grown in the widely‑distanced furrows and chickpea in the narrower ones (Fig. 9) and it is most likely that these very crops were grown in a similar manner during the Harappan times; we do have evidence of both these items from the Harappan levels. Kalibangan has also yielded a linga-cum-yoni (Fig. 10) of the same type as is worshipped now (Fig .11). Fig. 7. Kalibangan : An agricultural field, showing criss-cross pattern of furrows. Circa 2000 BC. Fig. 8. and Fig. 9. Around Kalibangan village. Left: The present system of ploughing the field, which also has the criss-cross pattern of furrows. Right: A present field with mustard plants in the widely-distanced furrows and those of chickpea in the others. Fig. 10. Kalibangan: Terracotta linga-cum-yoni. Mature Harappan Fig. 11. Siva linga-cum-yoni in a modern temple. From the overhead pitcher water-drops keep on dripping on the linga. This very site, along with Banawali, Rakhigarhi and Lothal, has brought to light ‘fire‑altars’, indicating rituals associated with fire. In the illustration given here (Fig. 12) there were originally seven fire­-altars, some of which have been disturbed by a subsequent drain. There is a north‑south wall at the back, indicating that the performer of the ritual had to face the east. In the front may be seen the lower half of a jar in which were found ash and charcoal, signifying that fire was kept ready for the ritual. Close to these fire‑altars, on the left (not seen in the picture), there were a well and a bathing pavement, suggesting that a ceremonial bath constituted a part of the ritual. (It needs to be clarified that these fire-altars have nothing to do with those of the Parsis.) Fig. 12. Kalibangan: A row of seven 'fire-altars' discovered on a platform. (These were, however, disturbed by a subsequent drain.) Mature Harappan It would appear to be a mere tale if it was stated that yogic asanas, which are now becoming fashionable even with the elites, were being already practised by the Harappans (Fig. 13). Fig. 13. Terracotta figurines in Yogic asanas: 1-4, from Harappa; 5-6, from Mohenjo-daro. Mature Harappan A married Hindu woman usually applies sindura (vermilion) to the manga (the line of partition of the hair on the head; Fig.14). Though most surprising, yet it is a fact that Harappan ladies did the same, as evidenced by many female terracotta figurines (Figs.15 and 16). In these terracottas, the ornaments are painted yellow to indicate that these were made of gold, the hair is black, while a red colour has been applied in the manga, indicating the use of vermilion. Even the Hindu way of greeting with a namaste (Fig.17) is rooted in the Harappan Culture, as shown by certain other terracotta figures (Fig.18). Fig. 14. Bihar Chief Minister Shrimati Rabri Devi and her husband Shri Laloo Prasad Yadav,i n the State capital, Patna. Mark the vermilion in the manga of the lady, which is an indicator of her marital status. Fig. 15-16. Nausharo (Pakistan): Terracotta female figures, painted. The yellow colour on ornaments suggests that these were made of gold; the hair is black, while the red on the medial partition-line of the hair indicates the use of vermilion. 2800-2600 BC. Fig. 17. Former President of India, Shri K. R. Narayanan (extreme left), being greeted with namaste by the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (extreme right), Shri L. K. Advani (middle) and others on the eve of the President's departure on a foreign tour. Fig. 18. Harappa: A terracotta figure greeting with namaste. Mature Harappan From the foregoing it must have become abundantly clear that all the four theories, viz. that there was an ‘Aryan Invasion of India’, that the ‘Harappans were a Dravidian-speaking People’, that the ‘Rigvedic Sarasvati is the Helmand of Afghanistan’ and that there was an ‘Extinction of the Harappa Culture’, are nothing more than mere myths which, once created, have subconsciously been perpetuated. Since these have coloured our vision of India’s past, the sooner these are cast away the better would it be. How long must we continue to bury our heads, ostrich-like, into the sand of ignorance ? In retrospect. One is set wondering as to why and how this great civilization of the Indian subcontinent ¾ called variously the Harappan, Indus or Indus‑Sarasvati Civilization and whose roots go as deep as the fifth millennium BC ¾ still lives on, not as a fugitive but as a vital organ of our socio‑cultural fabric. The Indian psyche has indeed been pondering over this great cultural phenomenon of ‘livingness’, and the quest has very aptly been echoed by a great Indian poet and thinker, Allama Iqbal, in these words: Yunan-o-Misra-Ruma sab mit gaye jahan se Ab tak magar hai baqi namo‑nisan hamara Kuchh bat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari Sadiyon raha hai dusman daur‑i‑zaman hamara The poet says that whereas the ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have all disappeared from this world, the basic elements of our civilization still continue. Although world events have been inimical to us for centuries, there is ‘something’ in our civilization which has withstood these onslaughts. What is that ‘something’, some inherent strength? Doubtless it lies in the liberal character of the Indian civilization, which allows for cross-fertilisation with other cultures, without losing its own identity. One may well recall the words of the greatest man of our times, Mahatma Gandhi: Let me keep my doors and windows wide open so that fresh air may enter from all directions. Nevertheless, he was firmly seated in his room (the soul). The soul of India lives on !!
Posted by: Sudhir May 21 2004, 01:40 PM
Posted by: Mudy May 21 2004, 02:09 PM
They will bring back hatred against Hindus and will keep hands off from previous distortion of Sikhs history by Commies. And they will call de-saffornisation of education. Oh ya! They are secular, till they bash Hindus
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha May 21 2004, 09:22 PM
Posted by: acharya May 23 2004, 12:55 PM
QUOTE (Sudhir @ May 21 2004, 08:40 AM)
Plz dont post this in the ancient history thread. THere is another thread on the politcs of history
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha May 23 2004, 10:01 PM
The peculiar tale of the end of Ghorpade is of some interest in the context of how Indians are historically prone to setting back their progress by their own actions. Santaji Ghorpade along with Dhanaji Jadhav (later patron of brAhmaNa savant Bhaskara Raya) was one of the greatest Maharatta commanders. The Mogols used to say that their horses had seen their faces in water when the horses would not drink. Jadhav and Ghorpade did not get along to well as the latter had been promoted by Rajaram ahead of the former. Ghorpade had a captain named Nagoji Mane under him. Ghorpade reared two large Varanus lizards in his tent. Nagoji Mane's brother entered Ghorpade's tent and killed his favorite lizards. Ghorpade was furious and seized Mane's maihsvada near Satara and confiscated his buffaloes. In the process Mane's brother was captured and crushed by an elephant. Nagoji Mane and his father-in-law Amritrao Nimbalkar decided to avenge his brother. When Ghorpade was planning a massive attack on the Mogol commander Firoz Jang (the father of the first Nizam) at Bijapur, Dhanaji Jadhav instigated Ghorpade's troops to desert him and come over to his side. All of sudden Ghorpade was stranded with the Mogols bearing upon him from the east. He fled westwards towards the ghats and thought he had shaken of his enemies but Nagoji Mane and Nimbalkar were shadowing him. He dismounted to wash his horse and bathe in a stream when the two fell upon him and killed him. Nagoji cut his head off and placing it in a sack was riding back when the sack loosened and fell off. Soon Firoz Jang's agents found the sack and brought it back to the Mogols. Firoz sent it Awrangzeeb claiming that he had killed the great Maharatta who had harried the Mogol army and launched an attack on the Padishaw's own tent. Awrangzeeb was ecstatic and confered on Jang's messenger the title Kush Khabar Khan. He paraded the skull of the fallen Maharatta in all the major town to the beat of the drum. Thus on the brink of victory, when Awrangzeeb was at the point of negotiating with Rajaram, the Maharattas shot themselves in their own foot by killing their commander. It disasterously prolonged Awrangzeeb's presence in the Deccan.
Posted by: acharya May 23 2004, 10:14 PM
HH, Can you give us the year or the timeline Is it 1670 or 1680s
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha May 24 2004, 04:55 PM
QUOTE (acharya @ May 24 2004, 12:14 AM)
HH, Can you give us the year or the timeline
1697 CE Awrangzeeb died in 1707 after a 26 year Jihad in south India had completely exhausted him and the Mogol armies. While both of Shivaji's sons Sambhaji and Rajaram died before Awrangzeeb.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha May 25 2004, 09:01 PM Three of these urns contain writing resembling the early Tamil Brahmi script. The dozen urns containing the skeletons form a part of about 100 fully intact urns unearthed in various trenches at the site, where excavation is under way. The urns were found at a depth of two to three metres. The finds may revolutionise theories about the origin of ancient culture in Tamil Nadu and the origin of writing in South Asia. omg.gif Its implications are very profound if true and I hope it does not get politicized Also see:
Posted by: Mudy May 25 2004, 09:34 PM
Great finding. Why they can't comeup with good pictures?
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha May 25 2004, 10:21 PM
Posted by: Mudy May 28 2004, 11:33 AM 636 AD to 1206 AD) - SITA RAM GOEL
Posted by: k.ram May 28 2004, 11:37 AM
Kalidasa Written by: Walter Harding Maurer KALIDASA, (kaalidaasa), is India's greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist. In spite of the celebrity of his name, the time when he flourished always has been an unsettled question, although most scholars nowadays favor the middle of the 4th and early 5th centuries A.D., during the reigns of Chandragupta II Vikramaaditya and his successor Kumaaragupta. Undetermined also is the place of Kaalidaasa's principal literary activity, as the frequent and minute geographic allusions in his works suggest that he traveled extensively. Numerous works have been attributed to his authorship. Most of them, however, are either by lesser poets bearing the same name or by others of some intrinsic worth, whose works simply chanced to be associated with Kaalidaasa's name their own names having long before ceased to be remembered. Only seven are generally considered genuine. Plays. There are three plays, the earliest of which is probably the Malavikaagnimitra ( Malavikaa and Agnimitra), a work concerned with palace intrigue. It is of special interest because the hero is a historical figure, King Agnimitra, whose father, Pushhpamitra, wrested the kingship of northern India from the Mauryan king Brihadratha about 185 B.C. and established the Sunga dvnasty, which held power for more than a century. The Vikramorvashiiya ( Urvashii Won Through Valor) is based on the old legend of the love of the mortal Pururavaas for the heavenly damsel Urvashii. The legend occurs in embryonic form in a hymn of the Rig Veda and in a much amplified version in the ShatapathabraahmaNa. The third play, AbhiGYaanashaakuntala ( Shakuntalaa Recognized by the Token Ring), is the work by which Kaalidaasa is best known not only in India but throughout the world. It was the first work of Kaalidaasa to be translated into English from which was made a German translation in 1791 that evoked the often quoted admiration by Goethe. The raw material for this play, which usually is called in English simply Shaakuntala after the name of the heroine, is contained in the Mahaabhaarata and in similar form also in the PadmapuraaNa, but these versions seem crude and primitive when compared with Kaalidaasa's polished and refined treatment of the story. In bare outline the story of the play is as follows: King Dushhyanta, while on a hunting expedition, meets the hermit-girl Shakuntalaa, whom he marries in the hermitage by a ceremony of mutual consent. Obliged by affairs of state to return to his palace, he gives Shakuntalaa his signet ring, promising to send for her later. But when Shakuntalaa comes to the court for their reunion, pregnant with his child, Dushhyanta fails to acknowledge her as his wife because of a curse. The spell is subsequently broken by the discovery of the ring, which Shakuntalaa had lost on her way to the court. The couple are later reunited, and all ends happily. The influence of the AbhiGYaanashaakuntala outside India is evident not only in the abundance of translations in many languages, but also in its adaptation to the operatic stage by Paderewski, Weinggartner, and Alfano. Poems. In addition to these three plays Kaalidaasa wrote two long epic poems, the Kumaarasambhava ( Birth of Kumaara) and the Raghuvamsha ( Dynasty of Raghu). The former is concerned with the events that lead to the marriage of the god Shiva and Paarvatii, daughter of the Himaalaya. This union was desired by the gods for the production of a son, Kumaara, god of war, who would help them defeat the demon Taaraka. The gods induce Kaama, god of love, to discharge an amatory arrow at Siva who is engrossed in meditation. Angered by this interruption of his austerities, he burns Kaama to ashes with a glance of his third eye. But love for Paarvatii has been aroused, and it culminates in their marriage. The Raghuvamsha treats of the family to which the great hero Rama belonged, commencing with its earliest antecedents and encapsulating the principal events told in the RaamaayaNa of Vaalmikii. But like the Kumaarasambhava, the last nine cantos of which are clearly the addition of another poet, the Raghuvamsha ends rather abruptly, suggesting either that it was left unfinished by the poet or that its final portion was lost early. Finally there are two lyric poems, the Meghaduuta ( Cloud Messenger) and the Ritusamhaara ( Description of the Seasons). The latter, if at all a genuine work of Kaalidaasa, must surely be regarded as a youthful composition, as it is distinguished by rather exaggerated and overly exuberant depictions of nature, such as are not elsewhere typical of the poet. It is of tangential interest, however, that the Ritusamhaara, published in Bengal in 1792, was the first book to be printed in Sanskrit. On the other hand, the Meghaduuta, until the 1960's hardly known outside India, is in many ways the finest and most perfect of all Kaalidaasa's works and certainly one of the masterpiece of world literature. A short poem of 111 stanzas, it is founded at once upon the barest and yet most original of plots. For some unexplained dereliction of duty, Yaksha, or attendant of Kubera, god of wealth, has been sent by his lord into yearlong exile in the mountains of central India, far away from his beloved wife on Mount Kailasa in the Himaalaya. At the opening of the poem, particularly distraught and hapless at the onset of the rains when the sky is dark and gloomy with clouds, the yaksa opens his heart to a cloud hugging close the mountain top. He requests it mere aggregation of smoke, lightning, water, and wind that it is, to convey a message of consolation to his beloved while on its northward course. The Yaksha then describes the many captivating sights that are in store for the cloud on its way to the fabulous city of Alakaa, where his wife languishes amid her memories of him. Throughout the Meghaduuta, as perhaps nowhere else So plentifully in Kaalidaasa's works, are an unvarying› freshness of inspiration and charm, delight imagerry and fancy, profound insight into the emotions, and a oneness with the phenomena of nature. Moreover, the fluidity and beauty of the language are probably unmatched in Sanskrit literature, a feature all the more remarkable for its inevitable loss in translation. From: Encyclopedia Americana Written by: Walter Harding Maurer University of Hawaii at Manoe
Posted by: Mudy May 29 2004, 10:29 AM
Floating stones found in Rameshwaram Asian News International Rameshwaram (T.Nadu), May 28 Do stones float in water? The answer would be a certain no. But in the island of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, stones, it seems, do float in water. Difficult to believe-but it's a reality. Floating stones of Rameshwaram have a mythological twist to it. According to the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place over 17 million years ago, Lord Rama and his army of monkeys used stones to build a bridge across the Palk Strait to link Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka. Legend as well as archaeological findings indicate the first signs of human inhabitation in Sri Lanka date back to the primitive age and it is assumed that the bridge's age is also almost equivalent. G. Mohan Das, a local historian and caretaker of the stones in the temple, said that these stones could have been the kind used to build the mythological bridge. "The history of these floating stones is that when Lord Rama made a bridge to trek to Lanka to bring back his consort Sita, these are the same stones used. But today's educated people [ commies or uneducated]do not agree to it. They believe it is a coral which is in Australia, Chennai, in small islands. We believe there is no difference in these stones. Both the stones do not have air in them. The composition is the same and it has 40 kinds of chemicals," he said. Space images taken by NASA reveal a series of rock outcrops in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. Some historians say these could be the part of the mythological bridge linking Indian peninsula with Sri Lanka island.
Posted by: Kaushal May 30 2004, 04:11 PM
Heroic Hindu Resistance to Muslim 636 AD to 1206 AD) - SITA RAM GOEL
Every Indian must read this book. This will dispel the notion that India was easy pickings for successive invaders. That was far from being the case,, especially when one contrasts india with iran. Iran succumbed to the Islamic Arab invader immediately after the death of Mohammad. In the case of india it took nearly 400 years for the invader to conquer Afghanistan and another 200 years to cross the Indus and conquer Dilli. The claim is often made that India succumbed because of her caste system. If so it is strange that iran, with no caste system, became Islamic within 10 years of the death of Mohammmad whereas India took 600 years despite the alleged culpability of the caste system. This merely indicates that the caste system was not the major factor contributingto the conquest of india by the Islamic invader.
Posted by: dhu May 30 2004, 04:25 PM
I think the Iranians had a slave system rather than a caste system.. They also fell pretty easily to a third-rate bandit like Alexander, even overlooking the fact that all the slaves rose up on the invader's side. Pretty much we are seeing selective history from the psecs... all the groups (Huns, Mongols, etc) that invaded India also invaded Europe, China, etc....nothing too special about it. Huns could never even touch interior India after being defeated in a 8 year long campaign by Skandagupta in C. Asia.
Posted by: AJay May 31 2004, 12:19 PM
QUOTE (Mudy @ May 29 2004, 10:59 PM)
Floating stones found in Rameshwaram ... Floating stones of Rameshwaram have a mythological twist to it. According to the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place over 17 million years ago
It is very hard to take this report seriously when such fantastic claims are being made.
Posted by: Mudy May 31 2004, 12:58 PM
AJay, Problems are with illiterate journalist who never verify information especially dates and plug information from no where and make rest of info subject to be riduclule by others.
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth May 31 2004, 01:41 PM
QUOTE (dhu @ May 31 2004, 04:55 AM)
Huns could never even touch interior India after being defeated in a 8 year long campaign by Skandagupta in C. Asia.
I thought the Huns did rule India for some time under the rulers Mihira Kula and Toramana for quite some time. They were finally thrown out by the efforts of the later Guptas, Yashodharma and Nrisimha Gupta Baladitya. There is one Rajput family called Hoon descended from the Huns.
Posted by: Kaushal May 31 2004, 08:59 PM
You are right Rajita. These guys were no angels and were in fact as bad as they come. They ruled india only for a brief period but caused much damage to the future formation of an imperial rule and paved the way for further invasions by the islamized Turks 2 centuries later EPHTHALITE HUNS (White Huns)
The Huns who invaded India appear to have belonged to the same stock as those who molested Persia. The headquarters of the horde were at Bamian and at Balkh, and from these points they raided south-east and south-west. Skandagupta repelled an invasion in 455, but the defeat of the Persians in 484 probably stimulated their activity, and at the end of the 5th century their chief Toromana penetrated to Malwa in central India and succeeded in holding it for some time. His son Mihiragula (c. 510-540) made Sakala in the Punjab hisIndian capital, but the cruelty of his rule provoked the Indian princes to form a confederation and revolt against him about 528. He was not, however, killed, but took refuge in Kashmir, where after a few years he seized the throne and then attacked the neighboring kingdom of Gandhara, perpetrating terrible massacres. About a year after this he died (c. 540), and shortly afterwards the Ephthalites collapsed under the attacks of the Turks. They do not appear to have mpved on to another sphere, as these nomadic tribes often did when defeated, and were probably gradually absorbed in the surrounding populations. Their political power perhaps continued in the Gurjara empire, which at one time extended to Bengal in the east and the Nerbudda in the south, and continued in a diminished form until A.D. 1040. These Gurjaras appear to have entered India in connection with the Hunnish invasions. Our knowledge of the Indian Hunas is chiefly derived from coins, from a few inscriptions distributed from the Punjab to, central India, and from the account of the Chinese pilgrim Hsan Tsang, who visited the country just a century after the death of Mihiragula. The Greek monk Cosmas Indic~pleustes, who visited India about 530, describes the ruler of the country, whom he calls Gollas, as a White Hun king, who exacted an oppressive tribute with the help of a large army of cavalry and war elephants. Gollas no doubt represents the last part of the name Mihiragula or Mihirakula. The accounts of the Ephthalites, especially those of the Indian Himnas, dwell on their ferocity and cruelty. They are represented as delighting in massacres and torture, and it is said that popular tradition in India still retains the story that Mihiragula used to amuse himself by rolling elephants down a precipice and watching their agonies. Their invasions shook Indian society and institutions to the foundations, but, unlike the earlier Kushans, they do not seem to have introduced new ideas into India or have acted as other than a destructive force, although they may perhaps have kept up some communication between India and Persia. The first part of Mihiragula seems to be the name of the Persian deity Mithra, but his patron deity was Siva, and he left behind him the reputation of a ferocious persecutor of Buddhism. Many of his coins bear the Nandi bull (Sivas emblem), and the kings name is preceded by the title iahi (shah), which had previously been used by the Kushan dynasty. Toramanas coins are found plentifully in Kashmir, which, therefore, probably formed part of the Hna dominions before Mihiragulas time, so that when he fled there after his defeat he was taking refuge, if not with his own subjects, at least with a kindred clan.
Posted by: Kaushal May 31 2004, 09:28 PM
They also fell pretty easily to a third-rate bandit like Alexander,
Dont forget for many centuries dating back to the greek era circa 500 BCE the persians ruled the roost as far away as the eastern mediterranean and the Greek islands.Most of greece were vassals of the Persians.The Achaemenid dynasty (the Akshyamanush dynasty) was one of the great dynasties of the ancient world. I do not regard the ancient persians as the enemies of the Indians, in fact they were first cousins of the Vedic Indians and left india alone partly because of cultural affinities. see my post in the Greater Indic civilization thread Posted: Dec 14 2003, 11:10 AM to understand the sanskritic roots of successive persian dynasties.Needless to say i consider Persia to be part of the greater indic civilization. I think you are being too harsh on Alexander. The Alexandria Library was one of the great centres of learning in the ancient world and was a legacy of greek (Ptolemaic - Ptolemy was a general in the army of Alexander - rule in Egypt). We the Indic civilization have no quarrel with the ancient greeks
Posted by: ramana Jun 1 2004, 12:06 PM
Current Science from IISc. Bangalore has a special section devoted to underwater cultural heritage of India. Enjoy!!! Link:
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 1 2004, 11:56 PM
The last blaze of Hambirrao By 1687 the Mogol tyrant from Dilli, had fulfilled the dream cherished by his ancestors since the days of the tyrant Akbar, namely to conquest of the Deccan Sultanates. In a whirl wind campaign Awrangzeeb had conquered the Adil Shahi kingdom, founded by the prince Adil Khan the brother of the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II Fathi of Turkey and the Qutb Shahi kingdom which was bravely defended to the very end by the Turk, Abdur Razzak. Awrangzeeb had accused the two Islamic principalities of being to lenient with the infidels and not prosecuting Jihad with sufficient vigor. Now only his arch enemy the Maratha kingdom remained independent in the Deccan. Shivaji's prodigal son Sambhaji was given to women and drink in the company of a brave but lazy Kanyakubja brahmin poet Kalash. Sambhaji was adviced by his commander-in-chief Hambirrao Mohite and brahmin adviser Raghunath Hanmante to take the Islamic threat seriously and take steps against Awrangzeeb. However, Sambhaji remained lazy and missed a golden opportunity even as Awrangzeeb pressed home his fierce attacks on Bijapur and Golconda. Hambirrao Mohite realizing the seriousness of the situation tried to attack the Mogol army and whittle it down while it was engaged against Golconda. However Sambhaji was not very keen on pursuing this line of action. However, before long he realized to his horror that Awrangzeeb had finished off the two Deccani sultans and turned his attention towards his ultimate goal- Jihad against Kafrs and bringing the whole of Hind under the cresent banner. Hambirrao, the chief of the Maharatta army, had been appointed to this post by Shivaji due his great deeds on the field. In the battle of Bankapur in Karnataka, where he killed Hussain Khan Miana and 5000 Afghans. Then he had conducted the great Maharatta counter-attack in late 1674 when with a mobile calvary division of 8000 men he began by attacking the Mogol outposts in Khandesh and then rapidly moved into Baglana slipping past the Mogol army. Then he forded the Narmada and invaded Gujarat, attacking Mogol outposts at Ahmadabad, Burhanpur, Berar and Mahur. They beat the Mogol army and returned to Maharashtra after outflanking them with a rapid charge. Then he moved into conquer the fort of Kelanja. After these deeds in battle, Shivaji conferred on him the title of c-'n-c in the grand review of troops (vacant due to the death of the earlier c-'n-c Prataprao in the battle against Bahlol Khan). Hambirrao had continued as the commander under Sambhaji after the Raje's death in 1680. He was a man considerable intelligence and strategy in addition to his valor on the field. Hambirrao seeing that the Mogol destruction of the Deccan Sultans could profit the Marathas, started a series of campaigns to capture the territory of the Deccan Sultanates. As soon as their capitals fell to Awrangzeeb the Mogols failed to occupy all the territory of these sultanates and Hambirrao moved in rapidly to annex these regions to the Maharatta fold. Awrangzeeb then vowed that he would not return to Dilli unless he had the bleeding head of Sambhaji placed on his foot. He found that the Maharattas had gained rather than lost by his giant out-flanking operations to clear Bijapur and Golconda. So the Awarangzeeb decided to lead a two-fold attack- 1) He sent a mighty arm of his forces to plunder south India and destroy the Maharatta base in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. 2) A second division was sent under Sarja Khan to pin the Maharattas in Maharashtra by driving them westwards. To meet the first division Sambhaji despatched the Brahmana warrior Keshav Pingle (brother of Shivaji's late prime minister, Moro Tryambak Pingle) with the talented Santaji Ghorpade, a relative of Shivaji, to save Bangalore from the Mogols. While he sent his c-'n-c Hambirrao to ward off the thrust of Sarja Khan. Sarja Khan was marching menacingly towards the West along the Krishna army with a mighty Mogol force that was destroying all in its wake. As the Moslems made a deep thrust into Wai, Hambirrao realized that there was no way of stopping this march unless he lured them into the forests of Mahabaleshwar. Hambirrao personally led a small wing of commandos to attack the great Mogol army while placing his troops all around the hilly tracks of Mahabaleshwar. The Mogols fell upon him but with great ferocity he staved off the attack and started retreating leading the Mogol army into the hills. The Maharattas immediately fell upon it from all sides and started shooting from their hideouts on the clueless Mogols with their muskets and arrows. However, Sarja kept surging ahead continously sending reinforcements to press on the Maharattas and try to surround Hambirrao. Then the Mogol mined two of the hill slopes leading up to Mahabaleshwar plateau where the Maharattas were stationed and filling them with explosives, detonated it. Shaken by these two explosions the Maharattas began to flee helter-skeleter. The Mogols soon rolled their heavy artillery and opened heavy fire on Hambirrao's army. Hambirrao realized that his men would not hold out much longer and a defeat more or less guaranteed the end the Maharatta resistance to the Mogols in Maharashtra. Unless he turned the tide right there there was no hope stopping the Mogols from marching right through. With a chosen group of 100 ace commandos he rushed straight at Sarja Khan with the aim of killing him. This Maharatta band fought with unbelievable fury leaving a lane of blood and severed heads through the Mogol army. The swordsmanship of Mohite was unrivalled as he cut deep into the Mogol troops bringing down all before him and reaching the artillery line. His men fell upon the Mogol heavy artillery and destroyed the operators and wetted the powder. Seeing the tables turning, the fleeing rank and file of the Maharatta army recovered and fell upon the Mogols with renewed fury. The Mogols were completely swept away by the attack destroyed. However, in the midst of this Sarja Khan surrounded Hambirrao. The Mohite's horse was shot down under him, but he continued fighting on foot and struck of Sarja with his sword killing him. He was attacked on all sides and his strength was ebbing from the cuts he received. But leaning against a tree Hambirrao continued fighting keeping the Moslem assilants at bay till head was finally cut off. However, the surge of the Maharatta army was so great that the Mogols army was completely destroyed. But the cost of this last great victory of the Maharatta army in Sambhaji's reign was most expensive. In intelligent leadership, knowledge of the terrain and strategy, Hambirrao had been unmatched. Further, he was the only one who had dared to challenge Kalash and mitigate his negative effect on Sambhaji. As Kincaid the British commentator states, had the brave Hambirrao lived he had all the skill and resources to repulse the Mogol offensive [However, his spirit lived on his daughter Tarabai, d-in-law of Shivaji, who led the Maharattas in the death struggle with the Moslems after all adult male members of Shivaji's family had perished]. But with his death the Maharatta army in Maharashtra became rudderless. This was followed soon after by Sambhaji's capture and execution by the Mogols.
Posted by: Abhijit_ST Jun 2 2004, 10:05 AM
HH, many thanks for your posts on Maratha martial history (I can never bring myself to call them Maharattas - in our history the Marathas were refered to as Maharattas by the Mughals - so we never used the word Maharatta). There is a great legend of Shvaji Maharaj's first c-in-c Prataprao Gurjar. The legend has been immortalized in a Marathi powada (powada is a Shourya-rasa song). The legend has it that Bahlol khan was initially defeated by Prataprao and khan begged for his life. Prataprao, in a fit of generosity, spared khan's life and true to the jihadi/al-takiya character of khan, he reverted back and inflicted defeat on Marathas. When Shivaji Maharaj came to know of Prataprao's deed (of sparing khan's life) he was so furious that he ordered Prataprao to kill bahlol khan and present his head or else Prataprao need not show his face to Raje. Prataprao was a fierce and proud warrior and would try to get bahlol's head or die trying. He approached his sena and challenged them to the task - when it was outright impossible to achieve it. 6 of his comrades rose to the task - fully knowing that it was nothing but suicide to attack a fortified mughal army. The powada describes the heroics of these 7 (including Prataprao) veer marathas against an entire mughal army. Those 7 veer Marathas died in a blaze of glory. Even today, every time I listen to this powada or sing it myslef, I can't stop my tears. If interested, I can post the powada and its translation.
Posted by: Abhijit_ST Jun 2 2004, 10:09 AM
Shivaji Maharaj's coronation was the first Hindu rajya after several hundred years. The coronation happened in 1672. His 'rajmudra' has the following words: pratipachchandralekhev vardhishnurvishwavandita shahsuno shivsaishya mudra bhadray raajate. Any Sanskit scholars, transalation please?
Posted by: Viren Jun 2 2004, 10:15 AM
QUOTE (Abhijit_ST @ Jun 2 2004, 01:05 PM)
If interested, I can post the powada and its translation.
Abhijit_ST: Please do. I'd like to read it.
Posted by: rajesh_g Jun 2 2004, 10:15 AM
If interested, I can post the powada and its translation.
Abhijit Please do. Regards
Posted by: acharya Jun 2 2004, 10:17 AM
Abhijit, Open a new special thread for Shivaji, Since it has much significance for the rest of India. You should be the owner. All Maharatta history should go into it.
Posted by: Abhijit_ST Jun 2 2004, 10:53 AM
Here we go: Myaanatun usale talwarichi paat vedaat marathe veer daudale saat (the swords sprang from the sheaths as 7 maratha warriors rushed (to battle) in a fit of rage) te phirata baajus dole kinchit ole sardar saha sarsavuni uthale shele rikibit takale paay jhelale bhale uslale dhuliche megh saat nimishat (2) - vedaat marathe veer daudale saat (as (Prataprao's) moist eyes fell on his comrades (this was after he declared that he was going to attack bahlol khan - alone if he had to and severe his head or die trying) 6 of his knights sprang to their feet, mounted their horses and grabbed their lances. They left behind 7 clouds of dust as the sped towards mughal army. Aashcharyamugdh taakun maaguti sena apamaan bujavinya saat arpuni maana chhavanit shirale thet bhet ganimana kosalalya ulka jalat saat dariyat (2) - vedaat marathe veer daudale saat (they left behind a shell-shocked troop - to erase a blot on their valor and their self-respect (in those times, Shivaji Maharaj's displeasure was considered to be worse than death by his fanatically loyal troops), they rushed into the enemy camp directly in a blaze reminiscent of 7 fiery meteors falling into a sea. khaalun aag var aag aag bajuni samsher usalali sahastrakrur imaani gardit lopale saat jeev te maani khaga saat jalale abhimaani vanavyaat (2) - vedaat marathe veer daudale saat ((as they fell upon an entire mughal army) they were met with firce fighting - as if they were engulfed by fire from all sides. They fought with their trusted swords, (but) in the end, the 7 warriors were killed in the melee. As if 7 birds were incinerated in a jungle fire of glory and 'abhimaan'. dagadavar disatil ajuni tethalya tacha paanyaat tarange ajuni rang raktacha kshitijavar uthato ajuni megh maaticha adyaap virani kuni varyavar gaat (2) - vedaat marathe veer daudale saat (the stones in that battleplace still display the footprints the water still carries streaks of (Maratha) bloodstains the clouds of dust still can be seen over the horizon while you can still hear the songs of their exploits.) - Will soon start a thread on Shivaji Mharaj and later Maratha martial history.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 2 2004, 12:47 PM
QUOTE (Abhijit_ST @ Jun 2 2004, 12:09 PM)
pratipachchandralekhev vardhishnurvishwavandita shahsuno shivsaishya mudra bhadray raajate.
More precisely: pratipad = first day. chandra=moon. lekha=line . iva= like . vardhishnuH = grows. vishva =universally. vandita=respected. shAh =Shahji. sUnuH=son. shivasya= Shiva's . eSha=this. mudra=seal . bhadrAya=protect rAjate=reign Like the line of the moon on the first day [pratipad] the universally-respected reign of Shah's son Shiva grows; this seal represents his protecting reign. Regarding the use of the form Maharatta. It is the Maharashtri Prakrit form for Maharastra. Marathi is a descendent of Maharastri prakrit. Though the influence of Maharashtri prakrit is also very prominent on Telegu, Kannada and forms of Tamil. The name mahArAshTra is after the rAShTrakUTas who held sway in the region currently defined by this state. They are well known in south Indian history for their see-saw contest with the cholas and the chAlukyas. Their king kR^ishNa deva III killed the chola king and destroyed an alliance of the Shri Lankans, cholas and pANDyas. But the chAlukya-chola alliance regrouped and demolished them about 40 years later and the remnants of the royal fled north. There they became the Rathod dynasty of the Rajputs. The remnants of their nobility and landed class continued to play a major role in central india and acquired the collective name mahArATTa>marATha Abhijit, thanks for the powada.
Posted by: acharya Jun 2 2004, 12:57 PM
The name mahArAshTra is after the rAShTrakUTas who held sway in the region currently defined by this state. They are well known in south Indian history for their see-saw contest with the cholas and the chAlukyas. Their king kR^ishNa deva III killed the chola king and destroyed an alliance of the Shri Lankans, cholas and pANDyas. But the chAlukya-chola alliance regrouped and demolished them about 40 years later and the remnants of the royal fled north. There they became the Rathod dynasty of the Rajputs. The remnants of their nobility and landed class continued to play a major role in central india and acquired the collective name mahArATTa>marATha
HH, Can you give the timeline of this period. 4th century to 6th century?
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 2 2004, 02:12 PM
>HH, Can you give the timeline of this period. The rAShTrakUTa period was between 730-970 AD. Their famous kings were dantidurga (who defeated the Arabs in their 2 attempts at invasions of India) dhruva govinda amoghavarsha (widely known for his long and famous reign) kR^ishNa II (defeated by the cholas) indra (conquered Kanyakubja) kR^ishNa III (defeated the cholas) They are largely remembered for their classical works of Kailas temple and Elephanta caves.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 5 2004, 11:03 AM
India's great product: origin and evolution What were the origins of the pa~nchatantra (PT) of the great brAhmaNa viShNusharman? It is said that he composed to these tales to teach nIti to the errant sons of the king amarashakti of the southern janapada of mahilAropya [meaning city of pretty women]. In his opening verse he salutes the great teachers of politics and declares the pa~nchtantra to be an epitome of the arthashAstra: manave vAchaspataye shukrAya parAsharAya sa-sutAya | cANakyAya ca viduShe namo .astu naya-shAstra-kartR^ibhyaH || sakalArtha-shAstra-sAraM jagati samAlokya viShNuSharmedam | tantraiH pa~ncabhir etac cakAra sumanoharaM shAstraM || To manu, to bR^ihaspati, shukra, parAshara and his son and chANakya the learned, we salute; these great makers of shAstras. Having examined the essence of all shAstras, viShNusharman too, has composed these five volumes, a delightful text. Thus, the great viShNusharman considers himself to belong to the line of notable scholars of nIti and artha that include vyAsa and parAshara. Here we shall try to have an overview of the history of this notable text and trace the origins of its devices back to the mahAbhArata (Mbh). The age of viShNusharman may be bracketed by two major signposts. An Iranian version of the PT in Pahlavan from the Sassanian period is rather confidently dated as being from around 550 CE. This provides the upper limit. The PT in addition to the salutation of chANakya also quotes directly from his arthasAstra. Further, in the list of predecessor chANakya is mentioned as the last authority prior to viShNusharman. Given that the core arthashAstra is a mauryan text of around 300 BC, get the lower bound for the PT. On the tentative ground of the janapadas and pATaliputra being mentioned along with petty rulers we may place the text closer to the declining mauryan period when there was brief revival of the janapadas. The PT is also known by other names such as tantrAkhyAyika (the Kashmirian variant), the pa~nchAkhyAnaka or the tantropAkhyAna, and as suggested by some works the most likely original name was nIti pa~ncha tantrAkhyAyika. A phylogenetic reconstruction suggests that there are two major divisions of the PT texts: 1) the tantrAkhyAyika branch is associated with Nothern India, principally represented by the Kashmirian recension. From it were derived through rather drastic divergence the pa~nchAkhyAnaka of the Jainas. The pa~nchAkhyAnaka recombining with older versions of the PT seems to have given rise to pUrNabhadra variant, in the hands of the eponymous Jaina achArya. A divergent variant of this appears to have been inserted within the ancestral northern bR^ihatkatha and is preserved in the two descendent variants prepared by the Kashmirian brAhmaNas kShemendra [bR^ihatkatha ma~njari] and somadeva [kathasaritsAgara] 2) The southern pa~nchatantra is the shortest version of the text and its primary descendent was that of the south Indian brAhmaNa vasubhAga, who recombined it with material from the southern recension of the bR^ihatkatha to make his text. The version of vasubhAga was transported to Thailand and Indonesia and gave rise to the local versions there. Another variant of the Southern PT, showing an inversion of volume 1 and 2 was prepared by the medieval smArta brAhmaNas of Tamil Nad from the version of vasubhAga. This version was carried by these brAhmaNas during their northward migration to the region of Pashupatinath in Nepal and degenerated into the Nepali version. A version of this also found its way to Bengal where it was recast by nArAyaNa to constitute the hitopadesha. The tales also traveled west via the Iranians of the Sassanian empire and was eventually incorporated into many Arabic and European folk tales. Thus, based on the investigations of the early western pa~nchatantra scholars Edgerton and Hertel it may be remarked that it was the most widely circulated piece of literature throughout the ancient world and provides a remarkable material for the evolutionary studies on textual memetics. When we attempt to pierce the veil and look into the Indic precursors of it we find ourselves drawn to that great fountain of all Indic lore the itihAsa, particularly the mahAbhArata. In a very general sense the PT inherits from the Mbh the great Indo-Aryan innovation of nested structure of stories. Thus these stories resemble certain other structure in existence such as: 1) the modular computer programs- with different FOR, WHILE, IF etc loops closed by some delimiter such as a ‘{}’ pair. 2) The structure of chromosomes, with mobile elements inserted one within another. 3) The ancient multi-domain protein which show nesting of domains one within the other. In a more direct sense precursors of the PT can be seen in that great interminable death-bed lecture of bhIshma to yuddhiSThira. Here the kuru grandsire narrates several animal stories related to nIti. These include the maxims of dharma and artha provided by the following tales: 1) long-necked camel killed by the jackal couple. 2) tale of the wise mouse palita and his rivals the cat lomasha, the owl chandraka and mongoose harita. 3) the jIvAjivaka bird pujani that blinded the pa~nchala prince for killing her son. 4) The pativrata pigeon etc. An examination of these tales makes it clear that it was such a base that inspired that great work of viShNusharman and it is not without reason that he acknowledges the great scion of parAshara, the compiler of the great bhArata epic. Not surprisingly it also inspired stream of Buddhist tales, the jAtakas. Thus one of the greatest exports of the Hindus to the world may be ultimately traced back to the literary innovations which occured during the first great Indic unification under the kuru and the pa~nchAla. “Be it a horse, a science, or a sword, A lute, a voice, a woman or a man; Whether they become useful or not Depends on the competence of the man To whom they belong” So says viShNusharman. [1.44; critical edition of Edgerton]
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Jun 5 2004, 06:04 PM
Are there any surviving non-Kashmiri versions of Brihat Katha?
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 6 2004, 01:47 PM
There is a south Indian sanskrit version and a tamil translation derived from it. Both have not seen the light of the day in proper print or translation. But Chandamama comics were based on them.
Posted by: Ashok Kumar Jun 6 2004, 09:36 PM
HH, I remember reading a story long ago about bR^ihatkathaa. IIRC guNADhya was the author and he wrote it in "paishachI" language. He presented his masterpiece to the king but was derided by other scholars on the basis that this was not in Sanskrit. He became very dejected and gathered his family members together and lit a fire. Then he started reading the stories to them page by page after which he threw the pages into the fire. So according to this story bR^ihatkataa was lost permanently. Some stories of bR^ihatkataa survived due to memory of the listeners and were compiled by Somadeva into Kathaa-saritsaagara in Sanskrit. I have not heard of any surviving editions of BR^ihat Kathaa in any language. But if any exist, it would be a great treasure.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 7 2004, 09:07 PM
The guNADhya version in paishAchi prakrit is apparently lost for ever. But the bR^ihat k apparent survived a long while after that. Both the Kashmirian forms of somadeva and kshemendra are derived from a common ancestral Kashmiri version. There was similarly a southern version which has not been printed. It was translated into tamil as periya kadai and was narrated by professional story teller until early 1900s
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 13 2004, 12:02 AM
The end of Sambhaji After the death of Hambirrao Mohite, the Mogol armies pressed hard on the Maharattas forcing them to the strongest fortresses in Sahayadris for shelter. Awrangzeeb's army was struck by bubonic plague, but he continued moving his vast divisions westwards to encircle the Maharattas. He also sent division towards Bangalore and Tamil Nad cut out the southern base of the Marathas. Sambhaji, without his ace general was entirely in the control of his base Kanyakubja Brahmin minister Kalash. As long as Raigad remained in the Maharatta hands it could offer a formidbable bulwark against the Mogols from where Sambhaji could continue the legacy of this great father. But Kalash, who was given to pleasures wanted to spend the summer of 1688 in the bracing climate of the Konkan forests. So he had a residence of the Sardesais of Samgameshvar converted into a palace for his vacation and suggested to Sambhaji that he too take it easy and vacation with him. Sambhaji ever-willing to pleasure himself, accepted the plan and told his generals that the forests surrounding Samgameshvar were sufficient for his defence. Sambhaji spent the summer and monsoons of 1688 in an orgy of women, wine and drugs. Luckily for him the weather had staved off any further Mogol advance and no major damage would have been done had a returned to Raigad after that to take charge of matters. However, Kalash brought him a new woman and he was lost in writing erotic verse in Hindi as he gamboled with her in his sylvan retreat. Soon thereafter he saw a beautiful Maharatta woman was on her way to join her husband. Kalash informed him of her presence, and he moved by lust raped her. This raised a huge storm and he decided to hide in Samgeshvar for some more time till the noise died down. Awrangzeeb noticing Sambhaji's quiesence decided to move rapidly. He sent Firoz Jang (a Turko-Mongol, and father of the first Nizam of H'bad) to beseige the forts surrounding Raigad and Shaikh Nizam and his son Iqlas Khan to pin down Sambhaji. Father and son took Kolhapur and having set a base obtained intelligence of Sambhaji's whereabouts. They marched out rapidly with a strike force of 2000 horsemen to Samgameshvar. Behind them, more leisurely followed a another 2000 cavalry and 1000 heavily armed infantry behind them to form a cresent around Samgameshvar. The Maharatta spies noticed that the Mogol army was very rapidly advancing in their direction and rushed to inform Sambhaji that he was in deep trouble. Sambhaji who had a wild party the night before was still sleeping off the hangover. His spies pressed on him to get dressed and flee. But his drugs made him blabber that Kalash is a great magician; he will destroy the enemies with his magic. The kings personal guard noted that the Mogol army was just a couple of kilometers away and tried to get Sambhaji moving, but he would not budge in his drugged torpor. Some of the officers in his personal force saw that there was no point dealing with their king and made their escape to Raigad. However, Mhaloji Ghorpade (the father of the great general Santaji Ghorpade) the chief of Sambhaji's personal staff organized his remaining men and decided to fight to the end in defense of the king. Shaikh Nizam seeing some Maharattas escaping to Raigad thought he would delay Sambhaji by claiming to negotiate with him. So he sent his son Iqlas with a letter and a force of ace Turkic commmandos from Uzbekistan. Iqlas went to deliver the letter when he realized that Sambhaji was still there. He swung into action with his commandos to kill the Maharatta guard and take Sambhaji. At this moment Kalash bravely stood in the path of the Turkic commandos and blocked their way fighting fiercely. In the meantime Mhaloji Ghorpade hoisted Sambhaji on to a horse and tried to take him away. Just then Sambhaji saw that Kalash was struck by an arrow on his arm and fell to the ground. Sambhaji suddenly acted with forbearing. He dismounted his horse and struck the commandos with his sword, staved them off and carried his dear friend Kalash to a little shiva temple attached to the palace. There he decided to take the garb of a shaiva asectic. The priests quickly shaved his beard and hair off, and smeared him with ashes and set off- but he forgot to discard his ornaments. But by then Shaikh Nizam and Iqlas Khan had surrounded the whole place and sighted a queer ascetic with a pearl and jewel ornaments. Iqlas seized him right away and realized that he was Sambhaji the son of Shivaji. Also captured with them was Kalash, Ghorpade and other Maharatta officers who remained with their king. The prisoners were put in chains and placed on howdahs of elephants and taken to Awrangzeeb's camp which was at Akluj. The news reached the Mogol Padishaw in advance and he called for grand celebrations. The Mogols arranged for celebrations all along the path of the triumphant generals. Shaikh Nizam's portrait was painted by Mogol artist for posterity. Mogols women peered through their burqas to look at the fallen hero of the Maharattas, while Mogols spat on him and jeered at in wild revelry. The Rajput soldiers in the Mogol ranks showed great pity for Sambhaji. He asked them to kill him right away and relieve him of the humiliation, but fearing the emperor they kept quite. After 5 days of marching the prisoners were presented before Awrangzeeb at a grand darbar. He announced that the Maharattas were over and done amd stepped down from his throne to bow down to Allah. Kalash's hands were firmly cuffed and his head was restrained with a cangue, but he somehow managed to catch Sambhaji's eye and composed a Hindi couplet: "Oh lord of the Marathas, the Alamgir on seeing thy majesty has himself stepped down from his throne and bowed his head in reverence." Furious Awargzeeb ordered the captives to be thrown into his dungeons. He gave Sheikh Nizam the title Fateh Jang Khan-i-Jaman, a purse of Rs.50,000, a horse, an elephant and command over cavalry of 6000 men. Likewise gifts and commands were bestowed on his son Iqlas and nephews. The Mogol chiefs suggested that they spare Sambhaji's life in return for him handing over his entire kingdom with the keys all the forts to Awrangzeeb. Sambhaji, scornfully refused the terms. Sambhaji was told that if he converted to Islam and spent his life as a servant of the emperor he could see life. Sambhaji made it clear that the Alamgir was the worst enemy of the country and the Padishaw was a real fool to follow an Arab madman as his only prophet. Awrangzeeb decided to execute him on hearing his reply. He shifted his camp to Tulapur some distance from Pune (where Shahaji had done the tulAgaja vidhi). The Maharattas long remembered the place for Shahaji's demonstration of the Archimedes principle in weighing an elephant, much to the plebeians' excitement. Awrangzeeb declared that he was going to make Tulapur much more memorable to the Maharattas than the event of the elephant's weighing. Sambhaji and Kalash were brought out of their cages and given caps with bells sewn into them. To their hands were tied rattles and they were tied to camels and dragged along the markets of Tulapur, with the Mogols spitting on them. The Marathas were all asked to witness the fate of their king. Even at this point Awarangzeeb added that he would spare Sambhaji's life if he converted to Islam. But Sambhaji replied that he might consider that if he gave his daughter in marriage to him. He then added again that the he was not a fool like the Moslems to be guiled by a mentally ill person posing as prophet. He then praised the Hindu gods and said he was willing to sacrifice his life as an offering to the great mahAdeva, after knowing the great god delusional religions held no attraction to him. In a fit of rage, Awrangzeeb ordered salt to be rubbed into his wounds and Sambhaji was then dragged below his throne. Then his tongue was then cut off and placed at the Alamgir's feet who ordered it to be given to a dog. Then his eyes were gouged out and next his limbs were cut off one by one. Still the brave king of the Maharatta did not die but with his last effort praised shiva. A hook driven into his chest and his heart was pulled out and finally a his head was cut off. The pieces of his body were grated and fed to the dogs of Tulapur. Kalash, Mhaloji Ghorpade and other Maharatta officers were tortured to death in the same way, with tumultous cries of joy from the assembled Moslems. Sambhaji and Kalash's heads were stuffed with straw and fixed atop poles and paraded through all the major cities of Maharashtra with a band procession in March 1689: this was to drive home to the people the fate of opposing the Jihad. Thus, at the age of 32 the brave, but misguided son of the great Raja died a martyr for his religion. While given to debauchery, he was by no means dull. His refined intellectual tastes are seen in the two books of erotic poetry he wrote in Hindi and his deep knowledge of Sanskrit literature especially the vAlmIki rAmAyaNa his and ability to versify in that language. He was also at the forefront of performing shuddhi to restore brahmins converted by the Moslems and ensuring that the Hindu dharma's practice is not adultrated in svarAjya.
Posted by: prem Jun 15 2004, 04:54 PM
Abhijit , Thanks for the inspiring story of Pratap Rao. Sad that not that many in India who know as i dont think they r being taught in schools. All u read is about the defeats etc. I bet there were thousands of unknown Hindus like them and we need more Snatanis like them now and i hope soon millions of us will rise to the occasion like these brave souls. Prem
Posted by: Spinster Jun 16 2004, 02:47 PM
very strictly speaking what I am about to post is not about history, but I was "enamored" with the way the book crtic 'Lee Siegal' a jewish professor knowledgeble in Indian History & Sanskrit, sweeps away the calim of vedas to be 2500 to 3500 old. In any case the book under review seems to be worth owning in its own right. smile.gif **** Stealing My Affections! Indian puritanism, the fault of foreigners? Oh, in that case, I apologise, profusely. LEE SIEGAL LOVE AND LUST: AN ANTHOLOGY OF EROTIC LITERATURE FROM ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL INDIA by Pavan K. Varma and Sandhya Mulchandani (eds.) HARPERCOLLINS RS: 500, PAGES: 344 This review is being written by someone who should not be writing it. Yes, there are at least three reasons why my opinion of this book should not be taken seriously. Reason #1: I have grounds for litigation against the authors and publisher of the book. Delighted to receive this wonderful anthology of Indian writings about erotic love, I was thumbing through the book, flipping back and forth over a wide range of sources (from the ancient magical fertility chants of the Rig Veda to the tenderly racy 18th-century Telugu love lyrics of the Thanjavur courtesan Muddupalani), thumbup.gif 61 excerpts from texts translated from Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Apabhramsha, Tamil, and from Oriya, Gujarati, Braj, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Sindhi and other vernaculars, sundry passages from a wide variety of genres (Puranic, Shastric, and Tantric)—there's love poetry, erotic tale and dramatic scene, sexology, aesthetics and folk lore. Right in the middle of the book I happened to notice a line: "In summer afternoons that are hot and calm/Women anoint their bodies with sandal balm." It sounded familiar. A stanza from the eighth century Amarushataka. Do modern Indian readers really need to read ancient descriptions of gods making love to realise sexual love is pleasurable? Yes, very familiar, familiar because, I realised, I was the translator of that and nine other poems in the book. I was dismayed to note that I had neither been asked for permission to publish the poems nor even acknowledged as the translator. And so, even though I like the great range of selections and the translations of them (especially those of Amaru), I can't be trusted not to say a few negative things about the book. Reason #2: As a professor of Indian religions and literatures, I feel moderately constrained to take history seriously. That the introductory comments to the selections from the Rig Veda explains that those texts were "written during the millennium between 5000 BC and 4000 BC" (when no reasonable Indologist would place even the oldest portions earlier than 1500 BC), undermines the credibility of the editorial commentaries. Call me stodgy, but a few thousand years make a big difference to me. While the dating of the Mahabharata is also off by a couple of thousand years, the good news is that the dating of the Ramayana is off by mere five or six hundred. So even though I, as an aficionado of Sanskrit erotic literature, genuinely admire the choice of enchantingly sexy texts for this anthology, as a scholar, I can't help but have a few reservations. Reason #3: I am an American Jew who partakes of the field of "love and lust" in India only as an ever-fascinated, if not often bewildered, voyeur—an outsider looking in. According to the dust jacket of this attractive volume, "the philosophical acceptance of desire and the erotic sentiment has" in modern and contemporary India "been asphyxiated by a hypocritical morality that has for much too long equated sex with sin and desire with guilt. The purpose of this anthology is to provide enough evidence of an alternate vision, so that readers can get a glimpse of the sense of maturity and honesty that animated our ancestors". Do modern Indian readers really need to read ancient and medieval Indian descriptions of human beings and gods making love, tales of ecstatic lovers and descriptions of voluptuous courtesans, to realise that sexual love is pleasurable and good, that it is one of the most divine of human experiences (not to mention one of the most wonderful things money can buy)? I don't think so.But maybe that's just because I was raised in California and my ancestors were not Indian. And it may just be because I went to university in England that I have trouble with the conviction, articulated in the introduction to the book, that sexual repression and prudishness in India are British imports: "The ascendancy of the British in the nineteenth century... dealt a mortal blow to a vision of the world that accommodated desire with...intensity and dignity". The dust jacket elaborates the premise and argument of the book: "It was basically the evangelical fervour of the Victorian era that imposed severe strictures...on the Indian people by propagating Western 'morality' and 'values'." If Indian puritanism is in fact the fault of foreigners, I'd like to apologise. But I must confess that I believe that, in a culture as rich and complex as India's, asceticism and puritanism, idealisations of chastity and austere deprecations of sexuality, have ever and always been as complementarily blatant as any of the idealisations of sensuality collected in this book. And so even though I do truly admire the sumptuous spirit of this collection, I cannot, given its professed purpose for an audience of which I am not a member, be trusted to appreciate its assumptions. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Lee Siegel is a Sanskrit scholar and professor of Indian Religions at the University of Hawaii. His books include Laughing Matters: Comic Traditions in India and Love in a Dead Language.)
Posted by: Kaushal Jun 16 2004, 07:37 PM
when no reasonable Indologist would place even the oldest portions earlier than 1500 BC There lies the nub of the matter. A' reasonable indologist' is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. There simply is no such creature on the face of the planet The notion that a group of scholars can study an ancient and complex civilization , as if they were studying cockroaches in a glass jar is comical at best. That is not to say that it cannot be done. But when there is not a single Indian amongst this august company, you begin to wonder. When Indians are so prolific in every other academic field , it simply does not make sense that there are very few Indians among the academia in America, who are knowledgeable in Sanskrit and the etymology of the ancient texts. This is especially bewildering when we consider that disciplines such as etymology and linguistics were practically invented by the ancient Indians. Contrast with Islam where almost every chair is filled by Muslims and very rarely by a non-Muslim.
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Jun 20 2004, 03:27 PM
QUOTE (Kaushal @ Jun 17 2004, 08:07 AM)
when no reasonable Indologist would place even the oldest portions earlier than 1500 BC
How can anything be older than the Holy Old Testament?
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Jun 20 2004, 03:32 PM
What do Indians call themselves? People tell us that Indians never had a name for themselves- Hindus, Indians, Hindis etc are applied by foreigners? I think the Indians did have a name for themselves that is Arya, just like the Iranians. But is it not strange that word Arya has been completely put out of the India vocabulary for self? Manu Smriti is composed for Aryas. The Vedic people call themselves Aryas. The Buddha's path is the Arya way etc. I am wondering why the Iranians retained this self-name while it was lost in the 'Indians'.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 22 2004, 11:57 PM
The conquest of Nagor Nagor had been occupied by the Mohammedans after Khalji's dreaded acts and it passed into the hands of the Khans of Gujarat related to the Turkic Qara U'nas tribe [To which the great Amirs of the Southern alliance like Qazaghan and Mir Hussain belonged]. The Khan of Nagor was the fierce Firoz Khan, a terror of Hindus, who died in 1454. On the death of Firoz, his son Shams Khan ascended the gaddi. But he was shortly thereafter thrown out by his brother Mujahid, who tried to assasinate him. Maharana Kumbha saw the opportunity to liberate Nagor. He provided refuge to Shams and with his army attacked Mujahid. Mujahid narrowly escaped death and retreated to his cousins in Gujarat. Shams was placed on Nagor and Kumbha asked him to treat Hindus with full rights and dismantle all the fortification and defences he had built for himself. The Turks roared to Shams in this court "Had you had a daughter instead of a son, she would have rebuked you for demolishing your fort at the behest of a Kaffr". Shams humbly told the Rana that his officers may murder him if he immediately demolished the fort and he would do so in the near future. The Rana agreed to give him some time. Instead, he found that Shams was strengthening the fortications of Nagor. The Sisodia army immediately marched out at the headed by the Rana himself to taken on Shams. He was crushed in the battle and all the Turkic officers of the fierce Qara U'nas tribe were slaughtered on the field. Shams did not even attempt to fight and escaped with life to his cousins in Gujarat. Kumbha's army rounded up all the Mohammedan fighters who remained in the city and mercilessly beheaded them. The Turkic women were spared their life but imprisoned. The wealth that the Turks had seized from the Hindus was recovered by Kumbha and redistributed to the Hindus. Cows, which where penned for slaughter were released and all the mosques in the province were demolished and burnt down. Thus, having rid the city of the vestiges of Mohammedanism, Kumbha brought the city back to the Hindu fold. The Sultan of Gujarat furious over the defeat of the Turks sent his army of around 40,000 under Maliq Kuddhay to destroy the Rajputs. But Maharana Kumbha ambushed them near Nagor and led them through narrow paths. Here they were enveloped by the Rajput forces and the entire Islamic army along with its Maliq was destroyed. The Ekalinga Mahatmaya states: The king defeated the Mujahideen from Shakastan and slew all their heroes at Nagapura (Nagor). The destroyed their fort completely, captured the elephants and having slain the Mussalman hordes, destroyed the Masjids erected by them and liberated the brahmins from bondage. The Kirtistambha inscription states: The great masjid built by Sultan Firoz, which showed the Mohammedans the way to Nagor was reduced to rubble by the great Rana along with the defences and moats built by them. Ferishta lies by stating that the Khan left Nagor and went to Gujarat and then the Sultan of Gujarat tried to take the Rana but returned after sometime. Clearly, Ferishta is lying- he does not tell us what happened with his characteristic detail when he is narrating a Hindu rout. Clearly the Sultans were kicked hard and routed. This point illustrates that Ferishta consistently covers up all Moslem routs and creates and grand narrative of the triumphant march of Islam into Hind ever since Mhd. Ghaznavi. This is the narrative that the secularists have chosen to peddle, by declaring the Hindu sources like Ekalinga Mahatmaya and the Vira Vinoda as "unreliable" or "Hindus have no history". Hindu kings were on occassions severe on the invaders and this point shows that some regions were completely liberated only because they shelfed their usual liberality and ruthlessly chastized the enemy.
Posted by: Kaushal Jun 24 2004, 05:27 PM
I am wondering why the Iranians retained this self-name while it was lost in the 'Indians'
. Not just the Iranians but as far away as ireland, the official name of ireland is Eire which is a corruption of Arya. Everybody and his half brother was keen on being referred to as Arya. Rajita, The iranian well was not poisoned as was the indian well by the colonials. First they invented a race called Dravidian and then planted the idea that the Dravidians were short and dark and were driven south by invading hordes of tall, blue eyed fair skinned aryans much like the Hitlerian concept, which is ironical in its own right since Hitler himself was neither tall, nor blue eyed. To make the distinction even more vivid , they embellished the notion of the Arya with pastoral and nomadic attributes to make him even more distinctive from the alleged native inhabitants - the dravidians. This may have been the first instance in History where nomads drove sophisticated chariots over long distances punctuated by some of the highest mountains anywhere, long before Rommel drove his tanks across the flat deserts of LIbya. They confused linguistics with ethnicity and while we do not know whether the intent was malafide, we know the consequences were disastrous. In any event the net result was we lost control of our own history and left it for others to develop the narrative with significant consequences for the current generation of Indics who have developed an identity poroblem. The south indian today is totally alienated by the use of the term aryan, forgetting that most of the south indian royal dynasties took great pride in referring to themselves as Arya But in a way i am relieved we are free of the word Aryan. Perhaps it is just as well,as you can imagine the word aryan has accumulated a lot of baggage internationally. Further Arya is inappropriate as a noun and its use was primarily as an adjective and as a qualifier to their affiliation e.g.aryaputr.
Posted by: rajesh_g Jun 24 2004, 06:41 PM
Was watching "Ramayana" serial yesterday (Ramanand Sagar one) - at one point they recite the story of Agastya Muni. The story was amazing .. - Lord Shiva gifted Tamil language to Agastya Muni - he then came up with the vyakarana rules etc. - he once drank all waters of the ocean to expose the rakshasas who were hiding in the ocean. - he brought Kaveri mahanadi from heavens (gifted by Brahma) to earth in his kamandalum.
Posted by: Sunder Jun 24 2004, 10:08 PM
QUOTE (rajesh_g @ Jun 25 2004, 07:11 AM)
Was watching "Ramayana" serial yesterday (Ramanand Sagar one) - at one point they recite the story of Agastya Muni. The story was amazing .. - Lord Shiva gifted Tamil language to Agastya Muni - he then came up with the vyakarana rules etc. - he once drank all waters of the ocean to expose the rakshasas who were hiding in the ocean. - he brought Kaveri mahanadi from heavens (gifted by Brahma) to earth in his kamandalum.
Agasthya is called "Bhagavaan Rishi" in the Ramayana. Agasthya is also called Kumba-sambhava or Ghatothbhava as he was born from a pot (Test tube baby ??). He is my most favourite rishi, (next in line is Karunamurthy Sri Durvasa.) Sage Agasthya was the first grammarian for Tamizh. He is to tamizh, as panini is to Samskrit. In the deva-asura war, when the asuras took refuge beneath the oceans, Sage Agasthya sipped the entire ocean in one ACHAMANAM. He also was the one that curbed Vindhya mountain's growth. Sage Agasthya, digested Ilvala's brother Vathapi.. I know the story, but shall type it in the ithihasa-purana section. Sage Agasthya was the one that 'instructed' Rama with "Aditya Hridhayam" when Rama was on the verge of killing Ravana. thanks for bringing the topic up.. BTW, Incidentally, we are watching the Ramayana DVD's at home now, and just finished Lav-Kush today smile.gifsmile.gif Seethayaha mahatham charitham ithi Ramayahah.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jun 24 2004, 11:14 PM
Interestingly there are no agastyas seen amongst the brAhmaNa of tamil nad today? What exactly happended is very unclear. The R^igvedic agastya was a brother of vasiShTha and renowned R^ishi clearly in the northern lands. I suspect it was much later descendent who actually moved south. The descendents of the sons of maitrAvaruNi agastya: dR^iDhachyuta, hemodaka, idhmavAha, mayobhuva, mahendra, pUrNamAsa and somavAha founded many agastyan gotras some of which seem to have moved southwards. In the south they are said to have displaced the pulatsyas and pulahas for they had become rakshas.
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Jun 25 2004, 01:46 PM
QUOTE (Sunder @ Jun 25 2004, 10:38 AM)
He is my most favourite rishi, (next in line is Karunamurthy Sri Durvasa.) Sage Agasthya was the first grammarian for Tamizh. He is to tamizh, as panini is to Samskrit. mahatham charitham ithi Ramayahah.
You use and interesting epithet for Durvasas. In some tantric texts he is termed Krodha Atreya or krodha Bhattaraka. Agasty along with Lopamudra and Durvasas Atreya are the parents of famous lineages of Shri Kula. The Shri Vidya of durvasas is said to have been received straight from lalita while he also received the shaiva agamas of the Tryambaka type (that is with advaita as philosophy). The fire from Mahadeva's third eye is said to have entered atri and emerged out as his sons durvasas and dattatreya.
Posted by: k.ram Jun 27 2004, 07:16 PM
Posted by: Sridatta Jun 30 2004, 06:49 AM
But Maharana Kumbha ambushed them near Nagor and led them through narrow paths. Here they were enveloped by the Rajput forces and the entire Islamic army along with its Maliq was destroyed.
Truly, HH, no praise is too great for this man. He made Mewar virtually unassailable, building a chain of thirty forts that girdled the kingdom. And, not only did he rid the land of terrorists, but also contributed in the sphere of fine arts, making Chittor a dazzling cultural centre. 'Ranaji' was (1433-68) was a not just a raw warrior; He was a versatile man of highly cultivated tastes -- an eloquent poet and musician. In this sense, he was a worthy rival to his Italian contemporary Lorenzo de Medici (1449 - 1492), the Magnificent, ruler of Florence and great statesman and patron of the arts. His literary achivements include his two encyclopaedic books on music, Sangitaraja and Sangita Ratnakar. He also wrote plays, literary criticisms, a scholarly work, Ekling Mahatmya , and a commentary on the Geeta Govinda. References :
Posted by: Ashok Kumar Jun 30 2004, 08:39 AM
Sridatta, Rana Kumbha was a great man. I have his book Sangita-Raja and it is quite encyclopedic. However, Sangita Ratnakara was written centuries earlier by Sharngadeva and not by Maharana Kumbha.
Posted by: amarnath Jun 30 2004, 08:06 PM
Some how i am not convinced by these stories of Kaveri coming out of Kamandala, Ravana lifting the Kailash Hill, Shiva pinning up Ganga in his head, thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif One person drinking the whole ocean of water....please ... mad.gif These perhaps did not happen, but are only personifications,exaggeration due to a few thousand years of hear-say knowledge ?
Posted by: Sunder Jun 30 2004, 10:46 PM
QUOTE (amarnath @ Jul 1 2004, 08:36 AM)
Some how i am not convinced by these stories of Kaveri coming out of Kamandala, Ravana lifting the Kailash Hill, Shiva pinning up Ganga in his head, thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif One person drinking the whole ocean of water....please ... mad.gif These perhaps did not happen, but are only personifications,exaggeration due to a few thousand years of hear-say knowledge ? I am not an authority to answer this, but I definitely am CONVINCED (not merely believe) by authorities in the field, like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi Maha Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam etc. I can, from experience, talk about Kundalini and it's definite effects. I cannot vouch for Puranas and their validity as an Advaitin. The link above should give you answers.. smile.gif Hope it helps.
Posted by: k.ram Jul 1 2004, 08:03 AM
QUOTE (amarnath @ Jul 1 2004, 08:36 AM)
Some how i am not convinced by these stories of Kaveri coming out of Kamandala, Ravana lifting the Kailash Hill, Shiva pinning up Ganga in his head, thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif One person drinking the whole ocean of water....please ... mad.gif These perhaps did not happen, but are only personifications,exaggeration due to a few thousand years of hear-say knowledge ?
From what I learnt at home is the story of Ganga - in general most of the stories in puranas are symbolic. In the case of Ganga, from what I recollect, it is symbolic of divine consciousness descending to earthly consciousness within the body. Representations/symbolim are/is - The thousands of ancestors of bhageerath are the nerve centers in a body, the descending of ganga is Kundalini, and who else than the greatest yogi Shiva to control Kundalini. Bhaga also means perineaum (sp?) - muladhara chakra area, where the kundalini is lying dormant all coiled up. Then again, I could be wrong, there might be some other meanings behind these stories.....
Posted by: Viren Jul 1 2004, 12:42 PM
Posted by: Ashok Kumar Jul 1 2004, 12:59 PM
Amarnath, Myths may seem very unlikely but carry intresting implications nevertheless. 1. ganga getting trapped in Shiva's Jata (hair locks) Now consider the fact that lower hills of Himalayas are called 'Shivalik' or 'Locks of Shiva'. Myth has it that it was Bhagirath, who with a great 'tapas' managed to convince Shiva to release the Ganga to come down to 'earth'. Anything stupendously difficult is therefore called a 'Bhagirath praytna'. I have a more modern version of the myth. wink.gif Bhagirath was trying to get Ganga flow down into the plains of north India. But it was trapped into the lower Himalayan ranges due to some blockages. Bhagirath in one of the mot dfficult civil-engneering feats ever accomplished managed to clear the way for Ganga to flow down into the plains. smile.gif 2. Agastya drinking the whole ocean to expose the hidden rakshasas. May be rakshasas were 'hidden' in the ocean in the sense that they used to come from some unknown islands such as Lanka. Agastya 'exposed' them in the sense that may be he found out where they were located etc. This fact when turned into a myth then takes the form of him exposing the demons 'hidden' in the ocean by how else, by drinking up the whole ocean. smile.gif It is helpful to look at myths with a not too literal eye. Although I don't recommend 're-interpretations' like those of Wendy and her children! wink.gif
Posted by: Abhijit_ST Jul 1 2004, 01:33 PM
AK, I am sure you must have read it, but in case you (or those of you who) haven't read it, pl. read 'YUGAANT' by Iravati Karve. It is a commentary on Mahabharat with a scientific and rational view in mind. It is a beautiful commentary.
Posted by: Spinster Jul 1 2004, 01:36 PM
Note that the probe to saturn took nearly 7 yeras, close to saade Sathi aspecting of Shaniu according to Hindu astrology.
Posted by: acharya Jul 1 2004, 01:41 PM
Viren, Put that on contemprory history thread
Posted by: Ashok Kumar Jul 1 2004, 02:41 PM
Abhijit, I haven't had a chance to read Yugaant. But I will try to get hold of it. Re: Shani and 'Sadhe Sati' Saturn's orbit around the sun takes 29-30 years. There are 12 raashis that span the 360 deg circle of the ecliptic. Saturn therfore spends 2.5 years in each raashi. So saturn normally has an 'adhaiya' or 2.5 year transit through a rashi. But When Saturn spends its time in the birth-raashi then that time is supposed to be particulrly troublesome astrologically speaking. In this case the neighboring two raashis also define the whole troublesome period. This is the most infamous and dreaded 'sadhe saati' or 7.5 year transit through birth-rashi and its two nearest neighbors.
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Jul 3 2004, 10:17 AM
Akbar's self-glorification No Hindu should forget the deaths of the valiant Rai Jaimal Rathore and Pratap Sisodia (Patta). A comparison of the Hindu chronicles of the Rathores of Badnor and Akbar's Fathnamah reveals a discrepancy that I believe is a creation of Akbar. Of course the secularists who have penned the modern Indian history texts have whole-heartedly accepted Akbar's narrative as they fall in the line of providing an Islamic narrative for Indian history. Briefly: Rai Jaimal was the brother of the bhakti poetess Mirabai and was entrusted the defence of Chittor when it was assaulted by the army of Islam, led by Akbar. Jaimal was a victor of many battles is well remembered as the hero of Badnor who placed a wall of steel against the advance of the Mogols and other Moslem marauders like the Turkic clans of Afghanistan that were lashing against the land. Given his victorious track record he was entrusted the defence of Chittor along with the relative of the Rana Udaisingh, the chief of Salumbar. His soon was the 16 year old Udayabhanu Pratap (Patta) who, along with his young bride died fighting the Mogols. Akbar himself declares in his Fathnamah "...Since the thoughts of war-like Jihad dominated the enlightened mind, the Rana’s behaviour made the King angry and increased his zeal for the divine Islam... Sahidas Jaimal and Udiban Patta who are renowned for their valor among the infidels, may Allah forsake them and lead them to the abode of Hell, and who are considered to be equal to a thousand horsemen in intrepidity and prowess..." He then adds " The mountain traversing ghazis, who brave the battlefields and seek Jihad with all their heart and soul and consider becoming a Shahid to be the greatest reward in this as well as heaven, sought permission to capture the towers and fortifications and putting their trust in Allah and relying on his help, which is the source of strength to the imperial authority, carry out brave assaults and bring the fort under control by force. Since those ignoble Kaafrs had collected such large quantities of weapons for defending the fort like deg, zarbzan (both kinds of fire throwers), tofs (guns), tufang(muskets), manjaniq (mangonels), jarr i saqil (triple cross bows), naft (naphata) and nawak (heated sand) that would last for thirty years even if continuously used, and since they had great confidence in these weapons and in the strength of the fort as well as their own prowess, we did not let the royal Mogols fight with a view of protecting the people of Islam, may God preserve them till the day of resurrection, lest some of them may get killed in rashness. We sent for the giant rads (guns), mortars and other pieces of artillery which were left at the capital. We also ordered the manufacture of cannons and mountain-breaking mortars in the camp and decided that tunnels be dug and after the arrival of sarkob (batteries) and sabat (shelters) an attack be launched... We sent another army to plunder and sack Rampur. The troop returned with immense booty after dispatching many of the worthless Hindus to the abode of Hell. After the arrival of the topkhana and completion of the covered passage Sabat, explosion of the mines causing conflagration and blowing up of the towers and battlements, we directed the troops to establish themselves at the foot of the rampart and surround the fort from every side. Finally "The brave warriors skilled in the use of deadly swords, set against the enemy and drenched in blood, delivered concerted assault and succeeded in removing the wooden planks with which those accursed Hindus had blocked the breaches. Seeing this, Jaimal, one of the three chiefs, who had taken the lead in the battle and was looking after the fort from the beginning to the end advanced with a body of men to stop the breach. In the meanwhile some artillery men belonging to that accursed infidels fired their guns one after the other and in their flashes Jaimal, and these accompanying him could be seen from afar. As for the last three days and nights we have been present there often firing with muskets and arrows and since it was destined for Jaimal that he should hasten to the lowest parts of Hell at our own Allah‑worshipping hands. When he came in view the tufang we were holding, was ready as it is said, “When God wills anything, He provide its means.” No sooner he was seen and the gun discharged then the worthless Hindu was struck in forehead. Hearing the [Quranic] call, “where so ever you may be, death will overtake you, even though you were in lofty towers,” proceeded to the abode of Hell. This caused great consternation among the high and low of that cattle-like kaffrs." He concludes by stating: "They should also pray in the auspicious moments, when the prayers are more likely to be granted, for the long life of our noble self, the perpetuity of the empire and for the grant of greater competence to us for fulfilling obligation of Jihad, divine worship and acts of piety." So much for the secular hero Akbar- he has clearly taken on himself the claim that as a brave ghazi engaged in Jihad he himself shot down Jaimal with his musket. The Hindu chronicle of Badnor tell a different tale. Apparently Jaimal was indeed wounded during the attempt to fill a breach created by the Mogol mining. Due to this wound he was unable to mount a horse. So when the Mogols started pouring in after breaking though one of the 7 gates of Chittor he sat on the shoulders of a soldier and wielding swords in both his hands fought bravely in the general throng till he fell fighting. Given that right in the begining Akbar states that he tried to shield his royal men from the infidel fire. Given the general range of the smooth bore Mogol muskets (90m or so) it is unlikely that Akbar struck a specific target from upclose. This suggests that the Fathnamah narrative we are often fed with is a creation of Akbar as he had it composed to celebrate his Jihad. After the fall of Patta's father near the Suraj gate of Chittor and that of Jaimal, Patta, with his bride and mother taking up arms went against the Mogols. It is said that single handed he cut a trail of destruction through the Moslem ranks till an elephant was sent charging against him. Struck by the charge he killed, while his wife and mother had been slain earlier. The secular hero Akbar was no better than his ancestors or his descendents in his conduct of the Jihad or hatred for Hindus. But the secular historians have been more than eager to attribute heroic deed to this tyrant, without questioning his own concoctions.
Posted by: Krishna Jul 3 2004, 12:39 PM
Abhijit, Do you have an ISBN # for the Yuganata book. I can't seem to find it in any of the online book tores. Added later: Ok, Forund it. It's 8125014241, just for other people's info.
Posted by: muddur Jul 3 2004, 10:40 PM
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 4 2004, 09:49 AM
Sahidas Jaimal and Udiban Patta who are renowned for their valor among the infidels, may Allah forsake them and lead them to the abode of Hell, and who are considered to be equal to a thousand horsemen in intrepidity and prowess..."
There is an interesting dichotomy here in Akbar's attitude: the warrior in him, the hero in him kindles a natural admiration for other brave men -- in much the same way as Alexander admired the proud Porous, who held his head high even in defeat. It is thus that chivalrous opponents make war! At the same time, the Musalman in him kindles fierce hatred and bigotry towards the infidels. It is said that Akbar was so impressed by the valour of the 2 Rajput heroes Jaimal and Patta that, upon his return, he erected a golden statue of Jaimal at Agra and another one of Patta at the gates of the Red Fort. (Reference : ) This was indeed a very interesting extract from the Fathnamah. To my mind, HH, it gives you a glimpse of Akbar's split personality vis-a-vis Hindus. I sense in Akbar a struggle between his 2 identities -- both of which were very real, genuine, and innate. We must remember that Akbar was sprung from an illustrious Central Asian lineage and was proud to bear the legacy of Chingiz Khan. (In those days, Genghizid blood truly meant something, and, as Thackston puts it, was a highly legitimizing factor for Central Asian princes. Perhaps even in his days (in the 1500s) the army was still redolent of the steppe peoples in its organization : Babur says it was exactly the same way as Genghiz at left it in the 1200s -- what with the "Tumens"(division of 10,000 warriors), the baraunghar (the Right Wing Heavy Cavalry), Jounghar (Left Wing) etc -- all so redolent of the Steppes, with its great herds and thundering hordes of archers! In those ranks, there perhaps rode some wild men with pagan names like "Tengriberdi" and "Hindu Baig". Men like Padishaw Umar Sheikh Mirza, Sultan Ahmed Mirza and Sultan Muhammad Khan (Babur's close kinsmen) were very Mongolic in their bearing. They were basically Timurid and Genghizid aristocrats. Yet, the populations of Herat, Ghazni, Samrkand, Kozdent, Ferghana etc were fervently muslim, and, in spirtual terms, their pagan past had almost completely been erased. Only, their social customs were still nomadic. In that sense, Babur perhaps felt that Islam had "civilized" his nomadic kinsmen. (Ref : Wheeler M. Thackston) Thus, in Akbar, when it comes to dealing with other heroes, I sense the same attitude that a Genghiz might have shown. Genghiz too was a ruthless man but admired the bravery of his foes. It is said that he halted his archers when Jalal-udin, the son of the Khwarizm Shaw, leapt into the waters of the Indus after a tremendous chase. (This was after Chenghiz had ground to dus the Khwarizm Shaw's Empire under the feet of his steeds!) . "Such a son, a man should have," reflected the great Genghiz as he and his warriors beheld the indomitable prince Jalaluddin escaping. Genghiz perhaps empathized with the prince, for he himself, in his youth, had had many miraculous escapes against the barbaric Chinese. (See : Jeremiah Curtin) Yet, as this passage has so vividly pointed out, Akbar was a devout Muslim. Nonentheless, to his credit, he was relatively tolerant towards the subjugated Hindu population. (This is on a relative scale -- compared to the Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Bahaminids, and other Moguls). Akbar had to contend with bigoted Mullahs in his court. Yet, he balanced their bias by patronizing such luminaries as Birbal, Tansen, Todarmal, the Fazl bros etc. I also think he respected Mansing as a professional general rather than a mercenary, entrusting him with the command of the Imperial Forces at Haldighati. (May be he didn't trust his profligate drunkard son Salim too much!).
we did not let the royal Mogols fight with a view of protecting the people of Islam.... After the arrival of the topkhana and completion of the covered passage Sabat, explosion of the mines causing conflagration and blowing up of the towers and battlements, we directed the troops to establish themselves at the foot of the rampart and surround the fort from every side.
Yeah, I guess it is the Hindu labourers who would have perished in swaths, even as the Sabat construction made its painful progress. Driven like cannon fodder from behind, falling to the archers in front, life at the Sabbath (was worse than the first world war trenches. The storming parties who plunged into dangerous breaches were also fraught with many mishaps in such campaigns.
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Jul 4 2004, 01:16 PM
QUOTE (Sridatta @ Jul 4 2004, 10:19 PM)
It is said that Akbar was so impressed by the valour of the 2 Rajput heroes Jaimal and Patta that, upon his return, he erected a golden statue of Jaimal at Agra and another one of Patta at the gates of the Red Fort.
I have seen the statues in the Delhi museum that are purported to be those ordered by Akbar to depict these Rajput veers. At least those statues were not golden. Apparently they were mounted on elephants but Aurangzeb when he captured Delhi in a fit of anger on seeing the idols of infidels pulled them down. Now, I have a curious piece of information. When we visited Nepal we went to a very holy temple known as the Siddhi Lakshmi temple. There are 5 levels of carvings on the temple and in the first level are lare statues of Jaimal and Patta. There are described by the locals are great veers who had the superhuman strength of 10 men put together. They are termed as Dharmarakshaks and were apparently given their positions in from of the shrine for their superhuman feats in protecting the religion in the past. What this means to me is that Jaimal and Patta were great heroes in the minds of the Hindus of the age and notion of their sacrifice had inspired people all around. I wonder if Akbar ordered those statues more as a trophy (like a hunted tiger or lion's stuffed head).
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 4 2004, 03:11 PM
I wonder if Akbar ordered those statues more as a trophy (like a hunted tiger or lion's stuffed head).
I guess sometimes we have to give the benefit of doubt to a sovereign. But one can never rule out that possibility -- given the fact that many grotesque things have happened in the annals of Islamic history wink.gif I came across this rather curious incident in a footnote in Robert Sewell's work "Vijayanagar: A Forgotten Empire". He writes : " An interesting note by Colonel Briggs is appended to his translation of these passages of Firishtah (iii. 130). "It affords a striking example at once of the malignity of the Mahomedans towards this Hindoo prince, and of the depraved taste of the times, when we see a sculptured representation of Ramraj's head, at the present day, serving as the opening of one of the sewers of the citadel of Beejapoor, and we know that the real head, annually covered with oil and red pigment has been exhibited to the pious Mahomedans of Ahmudnuggur, on the anniversary of the battle, for the last two hundred and fifty years, by the descendants of the executioner, in whose hands it has remained till the present period." This was written in 1829" [The battle that he alludes to is of course none other than the fateful debacle at Talikota, 1565, which ended one of the most successful Hindu empires in medieval India] BTW, "stuffed trophies" were common in the Islamic world. The flayed hides of Ballala III (the Hoysala monarch), Harapala Deva (the Yadava scion) and the headless body of Hemu were all put up prominently for public viewing.
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 4 2004, 05:14 PM
Now, I have a curious piece of information. When we visited Nepal we went to a very holy temple known as the Siddhi Lakshmi temple. There are 5 levels of carvings on the temple and in the first level are lare statues of Jaimal and Patta. There are described by the locals are great veers who had the superhuman strength of 10 men put together. They are termed as Dharmarakshaks and were apparently given their positions in from of the shrine for their superhuman feats in protecting the religion in the past.
Was it this one perchance ? (See attachment)
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Jul 4 2004, 09:22 PM
QUOTE (Sridatta @ Jul 5 2004, 05:44 AM)
Was it this one perchance ?
Yes that is the Siddhi Lakshmi temple. Except the upadhayas no one can go inside the garbha grih of the temple. The idol of Lakshmi is said to be in a form with 9 heads. I took out those old photos to show my son this evening. Now I remember that there are also large statues of Jaimal and Patta outside the Chowk Dattatreya Mandir nearby. The temple houses the murti of the dattatrey rishi who was believed to be an avatar of the trimurti.
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 5 2004, 07:47 AM
Since those ignoble Kaafrs had collected such large quantities of weapons for defending the fort like deg, zarbzan (both kinds of fire throwers), tofs (guns), tufang(muskets), manjaniq (mangonels), jarr i saqil (triple cross bows), naft (naphata) and nawak (heated sand) that would last for thirty years even if continuously used...
The Moguls specialized in the art of book illustration. Their manuscripts were interspersed with images of battles and court life of the Timurid princes. These provide a fascinating glimpse of the social and cultural milieu of the time. There are many illustrations depicting the storming of fortresses. Ever since Hülägü days (1258-1263), when he broke up the nest of Assasins, the Mongols (and hence Moguls) have been pastmasters of siege warfare. Some of the greatest hill fastnesses in India fell in face of their tenacity. I attach below a few such images.
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 5 2004, 07:48 AM
A siege
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 5 2004, 07:52 AM
A Mogul camp
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 5 2004, 07:53 AM
A stylized depiction of a skirmish!
Posted by: Sridatta Jul 5 2004, 07:56 AM
The lavish court life of the Timurid princes
Posted by: Sridatta Aug 8 2004, 07:41 PM
Historical Maps of India ( I ) Ancient India ( II ) Medieval India ( III ) British India
Posted by: Sridatta Aug 15 2004, 01:08 PM
Ahimsa, Satyagraha, Vande-Mataram, & Hindu Nationalism : An Introspection Even as the nation celebrates its 57th Independence Day, with the usual accolades being showered upon the father of the Nation, who wielded the remarkable weapon of Satyagraha against the might of the British Empire, it may also be worth remembering some of the other unsung heroes of the Freedom Struggle, whose intentions, aspirations, and sacrifices were equally noble, though their means of execution often violent. To my mind, Satyagraha, in a philosophical sense, represented the Sāttvic side of the Indian mind the – the collective resolve of the Indian people to mean no harm to their rulers and yet to brook no oppression from their side; to strike not at individuals and institutions which perpetrate oppression, but to strike at the very roots of the principles that underlie oppression; in a nutshell, to expose the injustice and incongruity of British rule in India, and thus make swarajya a self-evident, patently obvious truth. To what extent Mahatma Gandhi succeeded in wielding this weapon and what his real impact was in securing freedom for India is, however, a matter over which opinion is divided. Indeed, the rapid “apotheosis” which followed in wake of freedom has made it very difficult for Indians to pass objective judgement on the matter. On the other hand, the situation has been further vexed by the painful aftermath of freedom, viz., the Partition, causing the Mahatma’s whole contribution to be looked upon with contempt by some. Whatever the true picture may be, Satyagraha will perhaps go down as one of the most remarkable and potent instruments employed in the 20th century. A more humane, yet equally obstinate, means to secure a political end is hard to find in the annals of human civilization. (I should hasten to add here that I am, as such, in no position to interpret or expound Gandhian ideals. This is just my utopia of the whole thing and I could well be wholly wrong in my perception of things. For, objective history is not really my métier, and my primary interest lies in spinning romances out of histories and interpreting human interactions and situations in a historical light.) Continuing my earlier analogy though, the Rājasic (or dynamic) element of the freedom struggle was supplied by the revolutionaries (branded as “terrorists” by the government), and there were not as many takers for this second dangerous path. Yet, there is no gainsaying that it touched the deepest patriotic sentiments of our countrymen and provided the much needed spirit and fire to an enervated people. To understand this sentiment, one must probe a bit more into what India really means to the patriotic Hindu. Whence this notion of Bharatavarsha or Aryavarta? From time immemorial, the belief has been firmly entrenched in the collective psyche of the Hindus that Bharatavarsha is the sacred land where Dharma prevails, and no mlecchas can abide here. There is no meaning to the landmass alone, if it is overrun by mlecchas. The whole concept of Bharatavarsha has meaning only if Arya-Dharma is firmly established in the realm. This was eloquently elucidated by the medieval Dharmasastra commentator Medathithi when he said that “Bharatavarsha or Aryavarta was the realm where the mlecchas had no right to abide, and that it was the sacred duty of the Rājanya to crush and reduce the mlecchas to the status of chandalas.” When the resistance movement of the Hindus began, they found strength and inspiration in the most evocative image of Durga hewing down the foes of Dharma (symbolically represented as the demons Chanda and Munda). The thrill of valour which one feels in one’s vein’s is aptly brought out in the lines: “Ayi raNa durmada shatru vadhodita durdhara nirjara shakti-bhr^ite, chatura vichAra dhurina mahAshiva dutakr^ita pramathAdipate | Durita duriha durAshya durmati dAnava-duta kritAntamate, Jaya jaya he mahishAsura-mardini ramya kapardini Shailasute! ||” It is hardly a wonder that as the freedom struggle intensified the song “Bande Mātaram” was on every Hindu’s lip, as he courted arrest or bore the Lathi charges. Soon a time came when the government even deemed it illegal to utter the word “Bande Mātaram”. Such was its power in conjuring up the image of the fierce many-handed Kali hewing down the foes of Dharma! This is true Hindu nationalism! I quote it here, for I think it encapsulates the very quintessence of Hindu Nationalism. (The idiom of English is very different from that of the original, but the sentiment is palpable). “O Mother, Hail! Thou with sweet springs flowing, thou fair fruits bestowing, cool with zephyrs blowing, green with corn crops growing, Mother Hail!” … Though now three-hundred million voices through thy mouth shout, Though twice three-hundred million hands hold thy trenchant sword blades out, Yet, with all this power now, Mother wherefore powerless thou? Holder thou of myriad might, I salute thee, savior bright, thou who dost all foes afright, Mother, Hail! Thou sole creed and wisdom art, thou our very mind and heart, And the life-breath in our bodies. Thou as strength in the arms of men, thou as faith in hearts dost reign. Himalaya crested one, unrivalled, Radiant in thy spotlessness, Thou whose fruits and waters bless, Mother, Hail! Hail, thou verdant, unbeguiling, Hail, O decked one, sweetly smiling, Ever bearing, ever rearing, Mother, hail!” It is significant that when pressed to the brink, it was not the image of the trident wielding Shiva, or the regal Vishnu, or the generalismo Karttikeya (the heroic symbol of republican tribes of Malava of yore), but that of the beautiful, yet menacing, lion-riding Chandi that inspired the Hindus, and kindled in the recesses of their minds that depth of feeling for their motherland. Shakti and Bharatavarsha are, in a sense, inter-changeable notions; they can be easily super-imposed; the one stands for the other. Durga is thus one of the most supreme symbols of Hindu unity and nationalism. Having said that, there is one subtle point to be noted: while Hindu nationalism sought its inspiration in the fecund springs of the Hindu religion, it was not 'dependent' on Hinduism per se to sustain it. The Bharata-varsha concept thus cannot be compared with "Daar-ul-Islam". A Hindu would die for India first; religion was secondary. Whereas, in case of the Musulmans, Islam was the sole motivating factor to become a martyr. Muslim nationalism (or the lack of it in some instances) offers a curious contrast to Hindu. In the first place, its logical development was limited or retarded by Islam itself. I see a certain pattern in Muslim nationalism vis-a-vis Hindu nationalism in the first and second halfs of the 19th century. The early half of the 19th century, ie, the period before the spread of English education, was marked by violent resistance and resentment towards the British rule by the Muslims. The Hindus, on the other hand, remained largely passive during this phase and welcomed the British rule as a welcome relief -- at least in comparison with the earlier regime. This violent Muslim resistance towards the British, however, remained largely Islamic in nature and did not assume a national character. Typically there were several skirmishes involving petty Nawabs and Amirs -- pockets of resistance -- to restore the authority which they had just lost. For instance, the Wahabi movement merely transferred its fury from the Sikhs to the British. The second half of the 19th century saw a reversal in the trend. With the spread of English education it saw the emergence of an educated, politically conscious Hindu elite particularly in Bengal. The rise of Indian Nationalism can be directly traced to this elite class. And, even as it was emerging, Hinduism too was going through a renaissance -- a churning and reinterpretation of old values in light of the changing times. On the other hand, in the second half of the 19th century, Muslim resistance capitulated and petered out, even as the Muslims grew resigned to the fact that the sun had set forever on the Mughal Empire. There was a complete reversal of attitude on part of the Muslims. While the Hindus were in a state of foment, many sections of the Muslims now dimly perceived a threat from the Hindus and deep down wished for the British Raj to continue unimpeded for as long as possible. With the onset of the 20th century, as Muslim political organizations began to emerge, they tended to focus on the concerns of that community, largely ignoring the raging tide of nationalism. For instance, the Khilafat movement, while magnanimously seconded by some Hindus, was wholly irrelevant both politically and ideologically, since its center of gravity lay outside India. So, given the dichotomy in Hindu and Muslim attitudes towards Nationalism, the question implicit here is "Was the Partition inevitable?". The precedent for the partition was set way back in 1905, when Lord Curzon dismembered Bengal. Curzon perhaps intuitively realized the one means which was a sure damper to Hindu nationalism. Yet, the Hindus perhaps overestimated the importance of involving the Muslims in the freedom struggle. No doubt help from that quarter would have been useful, but it was not imperative to winning freedom. Given the numerical preponderance of Hindus, the freedom could have been achieved without having to enlist Muslim support for it. However, by projecting this support indispensable, the Hindus erred and the Muslims demands grew more audacious.
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Aug 15 2004, 10:01 PM
jai Bharati maata! Good essay Shridatta- is that of your mint? May be it would be suitable as a column for IF? Would the struggle of Nehru and psycophants not be taamasic rather than raajasic or saatvic? The congress party like to claim that they *directed* and *inspired* the freedom struggle against the Angrezi invaders. But we may view it another way- the Congress "Netajis" were buffeted by the great waves of national sentiment of the people rather than them inciting these feelings.
Posted by: Sridatta Aug 16 2004, 09:10 PM
Good essay Shridatta- is that of your mint? May be it would be suitable as a column for IF?
Thanks for the compliments RR. I had initially intended to write something on the contribution of early Indian revolutionaries, but lethargy caught up and I drifted into this. The allegory between the "gunas", gods and the various manifestations of nationalism happened rather adventitiously. Maybe all these notions just float around subconsciously in the Hindu psyche. (I trust it is not too incongruous smile.gif
Would the struggle of Nehru and psycophants not be taamasic rather than raajasic or saatvic? The congress party like to claim that they *directed* and *inspired* the freedom struggle against the Angrezi invaders. But we may view it another way- the Congress "Netajis" were buffeted by the great waves of national sentiment of the people rather than them inciting these feelings.
I would say that the Congress government of the day perfectly fills in the slot of the third guna! In my opinion, the Congress (and its rabble) has only too often sold the country and played into the hands of the enemy. During the last 5 years of BJP reign, its contribution as an Opposition can hardly be described as mature or constructive. All they did was cavil about the BJP (NDA) with the usual hackneyed phrases of "saffronization", "Talibanisation", "fascist agenda" etc. The proposed repeal of POTA is another case in point. To my mind, this is born of an attitude of malice -- to merely undo whatever their predecessors had accomplished, without considering the consquences. Consequences? But this is too much to even expect of them! "Principle centered politics" is, of course, the greatest oxymoron in Indian parlance, where vision is clouded by nothing, save the votebank! (I wonder what Machiavelli would have had to say to such pragmatism! But I fear this must go into the politics rather than history thread). Coming back to Nehru, I think he seemed to live in a world of his own creation. While there is no gainsaying his abilities as a statesman and a visionary, his historical perception was rather deluded. I believe that any great politician should have a practical and unsentimental sense of history. This alone would enable him/her to take firm decisions. Nehru, however, entertained utopian ideas of Indian history and was blind to some hard realities -- especially concerning the Hindu populace vis-a-vis the sister community. When it came to China, as we all know, he was caught napping. Also, had it not been for Sardar Patel (the "Iron Man") India might have bungled in case of Hyderabad and Junagad. It is rare to see the kind of foresight, political wisdom, and pragmatism which Sardar Patel showed. Maybe it would need someone of his mettle to permanently resolve Kashmir... BTW, this letter is quite remarkable :
Posted by: Sridatta Aug 16 2004, 09:51 PM
instance, the Wahabi movement merely transferred its fury from the Sikhs to the British.... the Khilafat movement, while magnanimously seconded by some Hindus, was holly irrelevant both politically and ideologically, since its center of gravity lay outside India.
Coming back to the "two nationalisms" alluded to earlier, one may, not unjustly, even ask "Was there ever a conscientious Muslim Nationalism in India?". The question is important because it would yield an answer to allied question of the Partition -- "Was the Partition inevitable?". In other words, is the notion of Akhand Bharat (undivided India) a sheer impossibility? It would be misguided to classify movements like the Wahabi movement as a "nationalist" in the true sense of the term. What the Wahabi movement really sought to establish was the purity of Islam -- free from the "accretions and declensions" which had set in over the ages. It was felt by many puritan Muslim visionaries and poets that gradually, over the course of the centuries, as more and more Hindu converts entered the fold of Islam, they had corrupted it by bringing in their customs and usages. It was the ambition Saiyid Ahmad (1786-1831) of Rai Bareilly, the founder of Wahabism in India, to rid Islam from these corruptions and re-establish the "simplicity of faith and society of the Prophet’s Arabia". Later, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898), the founder of the Aligarh Movement, too thought along the same lines. Sir Syed Ahmed is, in fact, considered to be the father of the so called "two nation theory". (This brainchild of his is hardly surprising given the fact that he so bewailed the demise of the Islamic empire in India). But the important point to be noted here is that the centres of gravity of all these 3 movements lay outside "India" per se. It is true that later as political consciousness grew, some enlightened and liberal Muslims made an attempt to liason with the Congress (ie, the liberals). But these attempts were superficial and doomed to failure because of the other overarching concerns of the Muslim League. Thus, the sister community as a whole could never align itself with the Hindu concept of nationalism. The two nationalisms, like opposing vectors, would only cancel out each other, despite the presence of a common foe.
Posted by: acharya Aug 17 2004, 01:12 PM
Posted by: Sridatta Aug 30 2004, 04:50 AM
With your permission, Kaushal, I would like to revisit some interesting issues which you had raised a few months back in your post dated 15th Apr 2004. At the risk of encroaching upon the cyber space of this forum, I would like to paste some portions from that post. This would form a fitting prelude, and, place the discussions that follow a proper context :
This is a passage in chapter 2 of a book i am editing. The chapter is tentatively titled 'Western (Eurocentric) studies of the Indic civilization'. After being critical of Western scholarship when it comes to the study of indic cvilization, I pose the following question (feel free to add to the pre-requisites for a proper study of Indian History), "What should be the principles on which a History of India be based ?" 1. Primary among such considerations is the notion that the Indic civilization not unlike other civilizations characterized by longevity, was a substantial net exporter of ideas and values in addition to being a recipient of ideas originating elsewhere 2. Another principle in developing a historical narrative for India that suggests itself is the notion that Indian History should not be subject to reductionist arguments and be boxed in or essentialized into a watertight compartment such as South or South East Asia > Grammar School education in India in general and the teaching of History in particular must be undertaken with a great degree of deliberation and seriousness...we must be far more accepting of our oral tradition of transmitting knowledge... 3. Last but not least the Indian must once again be encouraged to have pride in his/her historical tradition, regardless of religious affiliation. The current practice where all activities remotely considered nationalistic are immediately ridiculed, as jingoism is a practice that appears peculiarly Indian.
I feel these principles are very significant and must, undoubtedly, play a role in guiding and shaping the manner in which Indian history is written. In this regard, I'd like to share some of my personal views in the post that immediately follows:
Posted by: Sridatta Aug 30 2004, 06:59 AM
Should history have a motive ? How should histories be written? In light of what was said above, I would like to initiate, in general terms, a discussion on the subject "Should histories be written with a motive?". "What, really, is the purpose of history?". I'm not a professional historian myself, but have tried hard to seek an answer to this question which has oft plagued me. I personally have been unable to arrive at any decisive stance on this issue, and would solicit the views and insights of all the great history "gurus" of this forum. In considering this question, I have often found myself torn by several impulses -- like the patriotic impulse... the feeling for one's land and people, the inherent sentiments and biases that one has towards one's religion, and above all the desire to know the truth from the available sources. I guess the question assumes importance given the current disturbing trends in Indian history textbooks. A patriotic citizen is, naturally, concerned about the way the history is represented -- especially to young minds, and it becomes an incumbent duty to frame a suitable counter attack against the many vicious propogandas that float around. Here before proceeding I would like to quote a very significant observation made by the editor in the IF anniversary editorial:
We mention these topics in particular because too often we have found that discussion of such issues have been stifled in many internet forums under the guise of political correctness, to such an extent that mere mention of these topics evokes howls of outrage and derogatory comments. One such comment has been that we are pursuing a hidden agenda. It is our contention that every human being in the planet has an agenda and that those without an agenda are either brain dead or have been living in a cave far removed from reality.
So true! I guess the problem really arises because history is not an objective science. It is true that certain aspects of history like numismatics, epigraphy, comparative mythology & lingusitics etc use highly scientific techniques, but these are finally only tools that help reconstruct the edifice of historical knowledge. History is different in that it goes one step further: it has to pass judgement. The activity of history is not restricted to a detached description of events alone; we feel the need to pass judgement on eras, people, and social systems: "Was so-and-so a great leader?" "Was he a patriot or a "communal" activist?" "Was Chaturvarnya a bane or a boon to Indian society?", "Were the relations between the Hindus and the Musulmans ever amiable in course of history?". Finally, the historian must take some sort of a stance on such issues. As the editor so aptly pointed out "every human being on the planet has an agenda". A natural consequence of this that history becomes a potent weapon in the hands of certain forces. Thus, people may see an imaginary unity between two communities when there was actually none; or read only a "class struggle" in every social system; or ascribe false prosperity to an epoch of human misery and suffering. Fortunately, despite these pervertions, Indian historiography has had its share of great contributers who have placed it on a very solid foundation. Despite all the "howls" of the Marxists, secularists, and their ilk one may take heart from the words of one of India's greatest historians : "Indian history is based on a strong foundation and I do not think its fundamentals will ever be altered. New information will only confirm what we have always believed" ~ RC Majumdar (1888 -- 1980) In trying to write histories or take a stance about certain historical events, one often searches for precedents or "guiding lights". Among the many doyens of Indian historiography, 3 great figures stand out: RC Majumdar, KA Nilakantha Sastri, and Sir Jadunath Sarkar. Unfortunately, such great historians are not to be found today in Indian academic circles. These were not only men of great erudition and scientific temperament, but also men who were truly inspired by nationalistic sentiments. It may be useful, therefore, to take into account some of their views on the issues raised above. The one outstanding feature of these historians was their sheer commitment to truth. Their approach was highly scientific and critical -- an approach that would risk a dry barebones description of the facts, rather than spin out imaginary histories, unsupported by concrete evidence. Nilakantha Sastri took this approach to the extreme, disdaining all dubious sources like oral tradition and relying exclusively on numismatic and epigraphic evidence. Yet, despite this limitation he achieved remarkable success, almost single handedly building up the entire edifice of South Indian history. And Majumdar was of one of those rare historians who had the courage to lay bare the truth of some of the controversial aspects of Indian history. Talking about controversey, one of the most vexed aspects is obviously the relation between Hindus and Musulmans throughout the course of Indian history. Perhaps out of fear of other considerations, most Indian historians have vastly underestimated or downplayed the real nature of the Islamic onslaught on Hindu India. Majumdar was one of the few who saw things in the right light and out the following great academic principles : 1. History is no respecter of persons or communities. 2. Its sole aim is to find out the truth by following the canons commonly accepted as sound by all historians. 3. To express the truth without fear, envy, malice, passion, or prejudice, and irrespective of all extraneous considerations, both political and humane. ~ RC Majumdar While Majumdar was a true patriot, Jadunath Sarkar was even willing to sacrifice nationalism for the sake of historical accuracy. In his speech at a historical conference in Bengal in 1915 he said: "I would not care whether the truth is pleasant or unpleasant, and in consonance with or opposed to current views. I would not mind in the least whether truth is or not a blow to the glory of my country. If necessary, I shall bear in patience the ridicule and slander of friends and society for the sale of preaching truth. But still I shall seek truth, understand truth, and accept truth. This shall be the firm resolve of a historian. " ~ Jadunath Sarkar While such an obstinate attitude is of course debatable, historical ignorance, glossing over of facts, and deliberate spread of untruth can often lead to disastorous consquences for a nation. As the great RC Majumdar says: "Ignorance seldom proves to be real bliss either to an individual or the nation... Ignornace of the actual relations between hindus and Muslims throughout the course of history -- an ignornace deliberately encouraged by some -- may ultimately have proved to be one of the most important factors that led to the partition of India" ~ RC Majumdar He goes on to observe that political exigencies during the freedom struggle might have necessitated the creation of an imaginary history, in which Hindus and Muslims lived in unity, unison, and harmony. But this is just absurd. If out of mere fear of the susceptibilities of the sister community one were to suppress the truth, then one might as well spin out all sorts of fairy tales and mythologies and label them as "history". Majumdar sarcastically calls this "hiding one's head ostrich like, in the sands of fiction!"
Posted by: rajesh_g Aug 30 2004, 12:16 PM
Sridatta, Thankyou for that writeup. Dont short-sell yourself boss - you are one of the gurus.. thumbup.gif Coming to your post sometimes I feel this question arises for not just history but a lot of other seemingly neutral things (statistics for instance), after all if the question arises first and then even if answer is sought using sscientific tools the answers, even though they are scientific, cannot be claimed to be neutral. blink.gif Anyway coming to history the other way of looking at history (besides we-must-pass-judgement) would probably be something along the lines how-can-this-promote-xyz in the future ? For example while watching ramayana there is this episode when Devarshi Narada-Maharshi Valmiki are discussing what Iitihaas is . Ashok Kumar had helped me understand this ..
QUOTE (Ashok Kumar)
Rajesh, in the quote "dharmartha kaama mokshanam, upadesha samanvitam, purva-vritam kathayuktam, itihaasam priyakshate(?)", the last word 'priyakshate' is suspect. I am not sure what the correct word is. But the translation except that last word is: Containing (samanvitam), the teaching of (upadesham), the four purushaarthas (dharma, kaama, artha & moksha), combined with the story (katha-yuktam) of happenings of the past (purva-vritam), is called (priyakshate?) itihaasa.
I still cant figure out the last word.. sad.gif
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Aug 30 2004, 09:23 PM
Mr. Yashwant Malaiya's writings Were Parmaras a branch of the Rashtrakuta clan? A theory that has been taken for granted is the view that the Rajputs are descendants of Huns etc, and the "agnikunda" of Abu, represented a rite by which the Brahmins elevated them to Kshatriyas, needs critical examination. The view was presented by Tod in his "Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan" written in 1832, and through repeated uncritical acceptance by generations of historians, it is now taken for granted. Since the work of Tod, a great deal of archaeological evidence has become available, which clearly show that Rajputs did not originate through the "Agnikunda" ceremony, and that some of the major Rajputs clans actually originated from the Karnataka region. However the established view is part of the text-books, and earlier historians are often cited to support the theory. Let us see how the historians have themselves added to a myth which has gradually evolved. As an example let us consider Basham. In "The wonder that was India", 1954, he writes: "Hunas destroyed or dispersed the older marital tribes of Rajasthan and their place was taken by newcomers, probably acclimatized invaders, from whom most of the rajput clans of the middle ages were descended. ... and the Rajputs, in later times, the kshatriays par excellence, were no doubt largeley descended from such invaders." I noticed that in "Early India - From The Origins to AD 1300" Romilla Thapar does not question the view even though it came out in 2002. Let me identify the phases of this myth in reverse chronological order. 1. In the current phase, the view is that the Rajputs are descendants of the Huns etc, and agnikunda of Abu represented a purification ceremony. 2. The view represented by Bhavishya Purana is that FOUR rajput clans were created from the agni-kunda of Abu: Pramar (Paramar), Chapuhani (Chahaman or Chauhan), Shukla (Chalukya or Solanki) and Parihar. It says that they were created to annihilate the Buddhists during the time of Ashoka. It is not really possible to date Bhavisha Purana with any degree of certainly, but some part of it are of very late origin. 3. The view in Prathviraj Raso that Vasishtha created THREE rajput clans from the agni-kunda, Pratihar, Chalukya and Panwar (Parwar). The date of Prathviraj Raso as it is available to day, is very controversial, the language is too modern to be the composition of Chandabaradai during Pratviraj's period. 4. Going back further, we come to the Udaipur prashasti and some of the later records. The Udaipur prashasti (from Udaipur, Vidisha) which gives the geneology of the Parmars of Malava, mentions the legend that is frequently mentioned later in Parmara records. Accroding to this, Vishwamitra had taken the cow belonging to Vasishtha. Vasishtha created a warrior from the agnikund at Abu, who was named "Paramar" because he was to kill the others, to get the cow back. This undated prashasti is from the period of Parmar Udayaditya who ruled during 1070-1093. The same legend is given in Vasantgarh inscription of 1042 AD. Thus the original version of the legend applied ONLY to Parmars. It should be noted that Vasistha was the gotra of the Parmars. 5. We then come to the very origin of the Abu agnikunda legend. Padmagupta, who wrote Navasahasanka-charita in about 1005, in praise of his patron, Parmar Sindhuraj (about 995-1055), the predecessor of the famous Bhojadeva (about 1000-1055). There is no mention of the legend before Padmagupta. In fact, Parmar records prior to Sindhuraj point to another view of the origin of Parmars. I will mention about this view soon. The Parmar copperplates and inscriptions are available in "Inscriptions of the Paramaras, Chandellas, Kachchhapaghatas and two minor Dynasties", which is part 2 of the 3-part Vol III of Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, edited in 1974 by H.V. Trivedi (published in1991). We have seen that Padmagupta in his Navasahasanka-charita (about 1005) was the first to present the myth about creation of "Paramara", the ancestor of Paramaras, by Vasishtha through the Agnikunda at Abu. Later the legend started appearing in Paramara inscriptions started with the 1042 inscriptions at Vasantagarh. What do the earlier Parmara records tell us? The earliest Parmara records are the two grants of Siyaka, each inscribed on two plates, found at Harsola in Gujarat. Both of them mention the same date in 949 AD. One grants a village to a Brahmin Lallopadhayaya, the second to his son Nina Dikshita. Much of the text is the same. They mention Akalavarsha (with titles Prathvivallabha Shrivallabha), son of Amoghavarsha. They then mention "tasmin-kule ... jaatah vappaiya rajeti nrapah...", and mention Vairisimha and Siyaka. Simple meaning of this text would be that Vakpatiraj was born in the family of the Amoghavarsha and Akalavarsha. These are obviously Rastrakuta soverigns of Manyakheta, either Amoghavarsha I (814-878) and Krishna II (878-914), or Amoghavarsha III (934-939) and Krishna III (939-966). Apparently at this time Siyaka was a mandalika (a feudatory) of the Rashtrakutas. Thus would make the Paramaras a branch of the Rashtrakitas. That is the view of some of the historians. Others have found the text too disconcerting and have proposed that there is a lacuna in the text and that tasmin-kule refers to some other family, mention of which was left out by mistake of the engraver. However these are two nearly identical copper-plates with the same initial text. The second copper-plate is obviously in a different hand (I will provide a photograph). It is not likely that two engravers would make exactly the same mistake. We must take the text as it is. The view that initially the Paramaras regarded themselves to be a branch of the Rashtrakutas is supported by the copper- plate grants of Vakpatiraja. His grants found in vicinities of Dhar (975) and Ujjain (980,982,986) give Vakpatiraj the titles Prathvivallabha and Shrivallabha and gives Amoghavarsha as his other name (amoghavarsha- parabhidhana-shrimat- vakpatiraj). A question arises - if the Paramaras were descendants of the Rashtrakutas, why would they give up a famous lineage and start accepting the legend given by Padmagupta? Before we examine the chronology of the Rashtrakuta-Paramara interaction, we should consider the fact that both Chalukyas (Solanki) and Rasthrakutas (Rathor) who settled in North, eventually forgot their southern origin, even though they kept their original names. Mularaja established the Chalukya branch at Anahilapatan in 943. The Rashtrakutas under Krishna II had reconquered Gujarat and Indra III made land grants from Navasari in 914. However to the people in the north, the rulers of Karnataka were just obscure houses, not mentioned in any important texts, their memoty did not add any glory. The bards trace the origin of Rathors (houses of Jodhpur and Bikaner) from Kannauj, and Solankis from the the agni- kunda of Abu, which is the prevailing popular view. The Rashtrakuta king Krishna III dies in 967 causing internal weakness. Paramara Siyaka exploted the opportunity to expand. He invaded the kingdom of Rashtrakuta Khottiga (967-972) and even plundered Manyakheta. In 973, the Chalukyas of Kalyani defeated the Rashtrakutas. The last Rashtrakuta king Indra III retired to Shravanbelgola where he died in sallekhana meditation in 982. Since the imperial house of Rashtrakutas did not exist, Parmara Vakpatiraja regarded himself as the successor to the Rastrakuta house and took their titles. However the glory of imperial Rashtrakutas was soon forgotten in North making way for creation of the Abu agnikunda myth based on the name "Paramar". I think there is no need to imagine a lacuna in the Harsola grants.
Posted by: Pathmarajah Aug 31 2004, 12:41 AM
QUOTE (Hauma Hamiddha @ Sep 8 2003, 02:15 AM)
QUOTE (Hauma Hamiddha @ Aug 15 2003, 07:54 PM)
Did Indians know to write before 250 BC? HH: I'm no expert in history - but from what I understand, the Indus Valley civilization that flourished around 2,500 BC had it's own script
Mainstream Western Indologists and their Indian followers believe that there is no connection between the Indus script and the Kharoshti and Brahmi scripts. These Indian scripts are believed to have been derived from a Semitic source. Personally I am not convinced with the Semitic connection for at best they can show a few letters being similar. On top of that Indic and Semitic scripts function on totally different principles. The former has vowel signs while the later does not. Some Semitic derived scripts like Ethiopian secondarily acquired the vowel signs from India. However, nobody has made a convincing connection between the Indus and later Indic scripts either. The whole issue is a conundrum: Why did the Indus scripts die? and why were new ones invented. We are unlikely to ever know the answer to this. But one may safely assume that Indians knew to write well before the Macedonian invasion. Has there been any historical empire without a script? So, the current argument that Indian knew no writing is unlikely to hold water, despite its grip on mainstream.
Admins, please move this post to the correct thread. Regards. Pathma As I said before there is nothing that connects Indus Valley civilization to the earlier civilizations of the area. Secondly, the Sumerians never colonized Indus Valley. Both the Sumerian and Dravidians came from from the Proto-Sahara, this is supported by archaeological evidence. The Sumerians never claimed that they settled Dilmun, the name for the Indus Valley. Moreover, the original Sumerians did not write in cuneiform, they wrote in the Proto-Sumerian script which is identical to the Indus Valley writing. See: If you are interested in Proto-Sumerian, you may be interested in a Proto-Sumerian inscription I deciphered some years ago,see: The Sumerians make it clear though that they were closely connected with the Dravidians of the Indus Valley. Dilmun was known as the paradise of the gods. It was here that the Sumerian gods were born through Ki, the mother of the Gods. You can find out more about the close connection of Dilmun and Sumer in S.N. Kramer's, The Sumerians (1963). In summary the Indus Valley Dravidians never used cuneiform, nor did the first Sumerians. The cuneiform script was probably invented by the Anu, the first inhabitants of Sumer. Prof. C.A. Winters
Posted by: Sridatta Aug 31 2004, 05:36 AM
Coming to your post sometimes I feel this question arises for not just history but a lot of other seemingly neutral things (statistics for instance), after all if the question arises first and then even if answer is sought using sscientific tools the answers, even though they are scientific, cannot be claimed to be neutral.
Yeah, Rajesh, that's an interesting parallel. I guess any data when used selectively -- be it historical facts or statistical data -- can convey a totally different picture from what the reality is. The environmentalists are a classic case in point. In this context, some years ago one of my mentors introduced me to a book called "The Skeptical Environmentalist" (by one Bjorn Lomborg), which challenges the popular notions/fears that the global environment is getting worse by the day, and that, at this rate, Doom's Day is not very far. Lomborg, however, dismisses such alarms as misleading and far from the truth. He points out how environmental organizations make "selective and misleading use of scientific data to influence decisions about the allocation of limited resources." In history, too such selective use of data can convey a misleading picture. For instance, a lot of bullion (uncoined gold and silver) may have got into India during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries as a result of trade. So, one may be tempted to use this data selective and ascribe great material prosper to period. But then again one has to look at the actual social/economic conditions -- like Jaziya taxes etc -- prevailing during the Mughal rule.
Posted by: Sridatta Sep 6 2004, 05:09 AM
Some thoughts on the Partition of Bengal, Swadeshi, and Gandhi’s attitude towards the Muslims PS: I’m not too sure in which thread to place this post -- I don’t think we have a separate thread for issues concerning the Freedom Struggle. Since an article along similar lines had been posted here earlier, I thought I’d append this as a sequel. May be we could start a separate thread on the Freedom Movement. Chronologically, this thread could include two phases: (1) From 1858 – 1905 – ie, the post Mutiny period when India passed from the hands of the Company to the British Crown. This period saw the birth of Indian political consciousness and the rise of nationalism. Also, on the socio-cultural front, it witnessed the “Hindu Renaissance” – a culturally turbulent period when Hindu society showed its resilience by remodeling itself to adapt to changing times. (2) From 1905 – 1947 – which would cover the actual Freedom struggle per se. (The year 1905 of course being a landmark in Indian history)
No no no. The pattern was set in 1905, when Lord Curzon divided Bengal, and the revolutionaries started blowing people up. Thats when the Swadeshi movement (note that it precedes Gandhi's arrival) started.
That is indeed an important observation. There is no gainsaying that the momentous kindling of national consciousness took place after this event. Gandhi himself (then not even any where near the scene of action) wrote in 1908 : “The real awakening of India took place after the partition of Bengal. And he went on to prophesy: "...that day may be considered to be the day of the partition of the British Empire.” The agitation which followed, both before and just after, the partition of Bengal was of a most unprecedented character. And the remarkable thing about it was that it was not restricted to Bengal (where the average political consciousness was much higher), but was an all India movement. This shows that the Indians (Hindus) very clearly understood the real implications of the partition and realized what genies would be unleashed as a result of it. It was only too plain to them that the real intent behind the partition was to create a powerful Muslim bloc in the east which would effectively curb, dampen, and distract the rising tide of Hindu nationalism. It was a masterstroke of demographic aggression and the letters of Lord Curzon, Earl Minto (his successor), and Lord Hardinge openly expressed their glee over this scheme. It is interesting to take a peep at the letters of some of those shrewd statesmen who belonged to the era of the so called "benign" British Raj -- one of the greatest historical euphemisms ever coined! Earl Minto in a letter to Morley writes: “I did not tell Gokhale that the crippling of Bengali political power is, in my opinion, one of the strongest arguments in favour of the Partition. It is the growing power of population with great intellectual gifts and a talent for making itself heard, a population which, though it is very far from representing the more manly characteristics of the many races of India, is not unlikely to influence public opinion at home most mischievously. Thus, the diminution of the power of Bengali political agitation will assist to remove a serious cause for anxiety.” Gokhale, the eloquent prince of the moderates, however, was far from beguiled by this. (Hitherto the moderates had always had a high regard for the sense of justice, probity and righteousness of the British and felt that they could bring home to them inequities of the Raj through cultured debate). The ever-mellow Gokhale said in 1905 : “A cruel wrong has been inflicted on our Bengalee brethren, and the whole country has been stirred to its deepest depths of sorrow and resentment, as has never been the case before. This scheme of Partition will always stand as an illustration of the worst features of the present bureaucratic rule -- its utter contempt for public opinion, its arrogant pretensions of superior wisdom, its reckless disregard of the most cherished feelings of the people, the mockery of an appeal to its sense of justice...” While the Indians lamented thus, the rulers gloated over their wily scheme. Lord Hardinge, Minto's successor, openly stated that "the desire to aim a blow at the Bengalees overcame all other considerations in giving effect to that laudable object". Hardinge, however, may be partially exonerated by the fact that he later earned the goodwill of some Indians by expressing sympathy for the sufferings and humiliations of the Indentured Indians in the plantations. Yet, the resentment was too deep, and any delusions that he might have nursed that he had succeeded in mollifying the people, were rudely shaken when a bomb was hurled at him on 23rd December 1912. To their credit, most Hindus all over India appraised the true nature of things and there followed and enormous upheaval. (As an aside, even the festival of Rakhi-bandhan was given a special poetic connotation to suit the occasion by the great Rabindranath Tagore – the thread was to symbolize unity and bonding of the people of this land)
No no no... Thats when the Swadeshi movement (note that it precedes Gandhi's arrival) started.
No doubt about that. In fact its seeds were sown in the 19th century itself by the likes of the so called “Lokahitawadi” (Gopal Hari Deshmukh) of Bombay, Bhola Nath Chandra (of Calcutta), and Swami Dayananda among others. It is interesting to note that what started off as “Boycott” – a purely economic conception for the revival of indigenous industry – went on to become a great national movement with many more ramifications. As the movement spread, people soon realized that it was not just an economic boycott that they were engaged in, but a “state of war” with the Government. It is this frame of mind that triggered of the militant form nationalism to which allusion has been made above. In 1906, Surendrath Banerjee traced its origins thus: “Swadeshism, until its more recent developments, was purely an economic movement which under the particular circumstances of our province received an impetus from political considerations… It (Swadeshism) is not merely an economic or a political or a social movement, but it is an all comprehensive movement, coextensive with the entire circle of our national life.” Gokhale too waxed eloquent on some of its wider implications : “I have said more than once, but I think the idea bears repetition, that Swadeshism at its highest is not merely an industrial movement but that it affects the whole life of the nation – that love of the motherland, and that this love seeks to show itself, not in one sphere of activity only, but in all… My own personal conviction is that in this movement we shall ultimately find the true salvation of India.” Well, Gokhale had a certain dramatic way of putting things, but nonetheless the enormity of this movement can hardly be understated. It was the one movement which galvanized all sections of Indian society. As the historian RC Majumdar says “Not to speak of the participation of zamindars and pleaders, students and youths, peasants and shopkeepers, even medical men, brahmins, priests, barbers, and washermen (dhobis) played an important part in the extension of the Swadeshi movement. At a washermen’s meeting at Boalia, the participants took the solemn vow of not washing foreign clothes on the pain of excommunication. Even Brahmins refused to perform pujas and ceremonies in which offerings were made of foreign articles.” Those refusing to participate in the movement were socially ostracized. A man selling or buying foreign goods was subjected to all sorts of humiliation: people would jeer at him and hurl abuses, his children would be hissed at in schools, his neighbors would not attend his social ceremonies, his priests, physicians, barbers, servants, washermen etc would refuse to serve him. And there were instances when the marriage of his sons and daughters would be rendered impossible due to social ostracism. It may even sound funny today in free India, after so many years have elapsed, to look back on those scenes, which defy all description! The Muslim version of Swadeshism: While revisiting some of these well known facts, it must also be emphasized here that though Swadeshism attained a pan-Indian character, it was still confined largely to the Hindu community alone. As the movement raged, it triggered off a curious imitation from the Muslim community. Everywhere while the Hindus were boycotting anything foreign to their ethos, the Musulmans took cue and decided to boycott anything that sounded even remotely Hindu. Thus the Muslims tried to play the same game which the Hindus were playing with the British. Some have said that this was because of the innate insecurity that the Muslims felt throughout the freedom struggle – a deep rooted fear that their community as a whole would recede into oblivion once the Hindus had ousted the British. One can understand the ill-feeling that the muslims from erstwhile royal families might have felt towards Hindus, but the anti-Hindu sentiment was a disease that had slowly spread through the entire community, thus rendering any sort of cooperation impossible. This is amply evidenced by the pro-Partition and anti-Swadeshi riots – diametrically opposite stances taken by that community. Men like Sir Syed Ahmed of Aligarh were classic examples of Musulman demagogues and propagandists. One need only look at the proclamations like the Lal Ishtahar (Red Pamphlet) to gauge the sheer baseness and venom of the Muslim propaganda : • “The Hindus by various stratagems are relieving the Mahomedans of the whole money earned by them.” • “Among the causes of degradation of the Mahomedans is their association with the Hindus” • “Among the means to be adopted for the amelioration of Mahomedans is boycotting of Hindus.” “O ye Musulmans, arise, awake! Do not read in the same schools with Hindus. Do not buy anything from a Hindu shop. Do not touch any article manufactured by Hindu hands. Do not give any employment to a Hindu. Do accept degrading office under a Hindu.” “Hindus are very selfish. Be united in boycotting them. What dire mischief have they not done to us? They have robbed us of our honour and wealth. They have deprived us of our daily bread. And now they are going to deprive us of our very life.” “You are ignorant, but if you acquire knowledge you can at once send all Hindus to Jehannum (Hell). If you become enlightened, then all Hindus will starve and soon be forced to become Mahomedans.” There exist a plethora of such statements and pamphlets. Only a few have been quoted above as an illustrative sample of the kind of feelings that raged. In face of all this it is rather surprising that Gandhi labored under the belief that Hindus and Muslims could be united under one umbrella. Furthermore, he implicitly believed that their unity was a pre-requisite to attaining Freedom; and, therefore, no pains should be spared in garnering support from the Muslims towards the cause. It has to be said that in trying to achieve this, he went rather out of the way to placate that community. This is best evidenced in his attitude towards the wholly irrelevant Khilafat Movement – something which he viewed as a great opportunity to win over the Muslims. Despite all the wonderful qualities of the great man, this, surely, must go down as one of the most foolish, imbecile, and un-foresighted moves of his. (It is harsh to say certain things, but an objective historical analysis demands that we do. In any case, this aspect doesn’t detract or degrade his other noble sentiments like Ahimsa etc). One thus wonders what prompted such a move. Was it the saint in him? Or was it his flawed perception of history? (Saintliness, of course, is no excuse for blunders in statecraft). One fact about the Mahatma stands out very clearly: He nursed an utterly unjustified belief that Muslims were a small endangered minority; that they were a hapless wronged community; and that, it was the duty of the Hindus, as elder brothers, to do everything in their power to uplift, placate, and put up with their tantrums. In this regard, one particular utterance by Gandhi is most preposterous : “As a man of truth I honestly believe that Hindus should yield up to the Mahomedans what the latter desire, and that they should rejoice in so doing”. (Clearly, he seems to have forgotten the piteous state to which Hindus had been reduced just 200 years earlier by the Muslims. In fact this marked the beginning of the attitude of appeasement which has not been shed to this day.) All this clearly stems from a flawed perception of history. In going after his chimera of Hindu-Muslim unity, the Mahatma was searching for something which has never existed in the last 1200 years, and which cannot possibly exist in the foreseeable future. The Muslims on the other hand were remarkably clear in their perception of things. It was not unity with the Hindus which they sought, but Dar-ul-Islam – a theocratic state where the Shariat could reign supreme in its most pristine form. So long as the Hindus were in majority, Hindustan was just a Dar-ul-Harb (battle-field) for them. There was nothing sacred about it. One may chose to be blind to this, but the fact remains that Dar-ul-Islam (the land of peace) is not merely a utopian concept. It is a political concept which is to be realized by converting as many people as possible to Islam and reducing the rest to the status of Zimmis (inferior citizens). It is important to note that such sentiments were not restricted to the early Muslim conquerors alone, but rather proved to be the fount of inspiration for prominent Muslim leaders, thinkers, and poets of the 20th century. The first annual session of the Muslim League was held at Karachi on December 29th, 1907. This is how the League described the aptness of its choice: “Sindh is that pious place in India where Muhammed bin Qasim came first, with the torch of religion and the gift of the Hadis. No other place could appeal more to our elders.” And the president of the added: “If a handful of men under a boy could teach Kalima to the territory of Sindh and promulgate the law of true Shariat of God and His Rasul, can 7 crores of Musulmans not make their social and poltical life pleasant?” Even Gandhi’s most trusted chums during the Khilafat movement -- the Ali Brothers -- now emerged in their “true colours” (as historian RC Majumdar puts it). Muhammad Ali said at the Round Table Conference: “Islam was not confined to India. I belong to two circles of equal size, but which are not concentric. One is India and the other is Muslim world. We are not nationalists, but super-nationalists”. Then again, in his address as Congress President in 1923 he made a very remarkable statement which undermines the very notion of nationalism: “Extra-territorial sympathies are part of the quintessence of Islam” It will be clear from these and other statements that the Muslims were guided by the ethos of pan-Islamism and not nationalism. Muhammad Iqbal (1873-1938), hailed one of the greatest Muslim visionaries of modern India, expressed this ideal most candidly: “I confess”, he says “to be a Pan-Islamist. The mission for which Islam came into this world will ultimately be fulfilled, the world will be purged of infidelity and the worship of false gods, and the true soul of Islam will be triumphant. This is the kind of Pan-Islamism that I preach.” And in the same vein he asserted: “Islam as a religion has no country” In his Presidential address to the Allahabad session of the Muslim League (December 1930), Iqbal clearly laid out the ideal of the totalitarian pan-Islamic state in which there would be no distinction between spiritual and secular domains : “It cannot be denied that Islam, regarded as an ethical ideal plus a certain kind of polity – by which expression I mean a social structure regulated by a legal system and animated by a specific ethical ideal – has been the chief formative factor in the life-history of the Muslims of India. It furnished those basic emotions and loyalties which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups and finally transform them into a well defined people… The religious ideal of Islam, therefore, is organically related to the social order which it created. The rejection of the one will eventually involve the rejection of the other… (This) is simply unthinkable to a Muslim.” Thus, it will be amply clear from the above statements that the idealistic desire for unity (between Hindus and Muslims) is one thing, but the realization that it doesn’t exist, and that it is not realistically possible to achieve it (at least in the near future) is equally important. But this raises a philosophical question: Should politics be guided by ruthless pragmatism – an unsentimental perception of how things really stand? Or should it be infused with lofty ideals – a belief that unity would be attained some day in the distant future? Needless to say, there are no easy answers to such questions.
Posted by: Sridatta Sep 9 2004, 04:56 AM
The Early Phase of Islamic Expansion in South India ( I ) Early Islamic Expansion (1292 – 1333) : A Prelude to Vijaynagar Some years ago I grew interested in the general question, “To what extent does Vijaynagar represent the Hindu reaction to Islamic hegemony? Was Vijaynagar a true Hindu fightback that came from the bowels of society, or was it a mere extension of the old fragmented South Indian monarchies trying to reassert themselves under the changed circumstances? Clearly, South India would never be the same after the rapine Alla-ud-din Khalji turned his lynx-eyes towards the Deccan in the closing years of the 13th century. That timeless enduring bliss of fifteen centuries had been shattered! In order to understand and appreciate the rise of Vijayanagar, one has to study: 1. The great southward press of the Khaljis and Thughlaqs. (1292 – 1333) 2. The dark grim annals of the Bahamani Kingdom (1347 – 1490) It is my intention here to deal with the earlier phase, viz, the Khalji-Tughlaq expansion from AD 1292 – 1333, which preceded Vijayanagar. The Bahamani kingdom, on the other hand, ran almost parallel with the first dynasty of Vijayangar and their fortunes were greatly inter-twined. It is a horrific tale of war and strife, treachery and murder, debauchery and brutality, oppression and plunder. The one factor which made the Islamic onslaught far more destructive than the ravages of previous conquerors (Huns, etc) was Islam itself. For, Islam was fundamentally incompatible with the existing religion of the land and sought to impose itself forcibly on conquered populations. Thus, Vijayanagar emerged out of what we may call a “survival game”. Staunch Hindu historians like KA Nilakantha Sastri, S. Krishnaswami Iyengar, Venkataramanayya, BA Surianarain Rao aver that Vijaynagar was founded with “the sole purpose of protecting Hindu Dharma” from the Islamic invaders; that it represented the “latent energy” of Hindu Dharma releasing itself like a compressed spring – a sudden unexpected fightback when all seemed lost. This is hardly surprising, for, when we examine the timeline between 1292 – 1333, we find that almost every year there was at least one major invasion into South India by the sultans of Delhi. Note: In what follows below, I have depended heavily on Nilakantha Sastri’s classic work “A History of South India” (Chapter 11: The Bahamanis and the rise of Vijayanagar). In several places I can hardly do better than paraphrase his work. Indeed, my endeavor is not to say anything new, but only to present a vivid narrative of the years 1292 – 1332 – years of conquest when one civilization, inspired by the febrile ecstasy of religion strove to uproot another well established one. The struggle between the two is fascinating. (The reader may catch a whiff of Samuel P Huntington’s thesis here. Naturally, we must apply caution while using the terms like “Islamic civilization” for the many waves of invaders comprised of such diverse ethnicities as Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mongols, North Africans, and Deccani Muslims. Yet, despite all this diversity, I believe that the Islamic civilization proceeds from the very nature of the Ummah itself.) (II) The First Rumblings of Doom: The Conquest of Devagiri For around a century or so (throughout the 1200s) the Sultanate of Delhi was primarily concerned with consolidating its power in Northern India. It waged constant wars with the Rajput chieftains, even as sultan after sultan tried to seize and swallow up that land of heroes. These wars were waged with fluctuating fortunes: both parties having their share of dramatic successes and reverses. In the final analysis, while the indomitable Rajputs managed to retain a modicum of independence, the Muslims conquered much of Northern India – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Bengal. It was towards the closing years of the 13th century that the tentacles of the Islamic conquest begin to stretch southwards. In fact, the first invasion could hardly be termed an official invasion, but rather was a private enterprise organized by Sultan Jalaludin’s nephew Allauddin Khalji. Allauddin Khalji’s depredations were to have a profound impact on the Indian psyche, morale, and economy. The story goes that Alla, sick of the supercilious conduct of his wife and the constant intrigues of his mother-in-law, sought to break free and establish a power base in some distant quarter. So he sought the Sultan’s permission to raid Malwa (1292), which he did successfully. He also annexed Bhilsa (ancient Vidisha) and here he destroyed priceless monuments of ancient Hindu and Buddhist architecture. For this feat he was awarded the fief of Oudh (in addition to that of Kara, Allahabad). At Bhilsa, Alla heard of the fabulous wealth of the kingdom of Devagiri which lay beyond the Vindhyas and he resolved to conquer it. Devagiri was at the time being ruled by Ramadeva of the Yadava dynasty. Boldly marching at the head of a few thousand cavalry, Allauddin laid siege to Devagiri. Unfortunately for Ramadeva, at this very time his son Shankaradeva was away on a distant campaign with a greater portion of the army. Ramadeva was taken completely unawares by the swiftness of the attack and sued for peace. Alla seems to have been happy with booty rather than conquest, and was quite content to return home after plundering an immense hoard of wealth. Ramadeva had to surrender many elephants and horses and even gave one of his daughters in marriage to the conqueror. Shankaradeva hastened back with his force on hearing the news of Alla’s conquest, but by then peace had been concluded. Some chroniclers state that he did engage Alladdin’s force in a brief skirmish, but was beaten back. The new found wealth and meteoric success planted the seeds of even greater ambitions in Alla. Deep down he aspired to be a second Alexander – a belief which he was to nurture for many years to come. After this, Allauddin seems to have been preoccupied with securing and defending his own position in Delhi. He had to fight pitched battles against the Mongols and Rajputs and for several years that kept his attention away from the south. But he continued to extract a heavy tribute from Devagiri in the form of gold, diamonds, jewels, elephants etc. Also, he launched the occasional raid – for plunder rather than conquest. This caused a colossal drain in the economy of the Deccan. But he must have always nursed a latent ambition for total conquest, and that is exactly what he did when the circumstances in the north grew more favorable. Nearly eleven years after his first attack, he sent a force towards Warangal by way of Bengal under the command of Malik Fakhr-ud-din Juna (who would later be the famous Muhammad bin Tughlaq). This expedition (1303-04) ended in a total disaster as the Telugu forces met the invaders before they could reach Warangal and routed them. (Those who think that the Muslim conquest of India was an easy “walk-over” would do well to notice such incidents). The disastrous campaign so lowered the prestige of the Sultanate in the Deccan that Shankaradeva of Devagiri shook off the yoke and refused to pay tribute. He also gave asylum to the king of Gujarat and his daughter who were fleeing from the Sultan’s forces. However, there seems to have been some difference of opinion between old Ramadeva and his warlike son. Ramadeva had exchanged vows of friendship with the Sultan and was loath to antagonizing him. The Sultan, on the other hand, gained a two fold advantage by keeping the puppet Ramadeva in power: (i) It provided him with a regular source of tribute, without the burden of any administration. (ii) It provided him a convenient base for further military operations in the south. Had the Hindu chiefs united at this point, they might have put up a strong front against the invaders, but, the advantage gained by the Warangal victory was allowed to slip. Like so many other obscure skirmishes it would be consigned to the annals of history as one of those stray victories of a Hindu province, not a great national victory. Alla-ud-din could not brook such insults and the one quality which distinguished him was his unflagging tenacity even in face of adversity. Ramadeva, who probably felt that his son had brushed aside his authority, denounced his son and requested Alla to restore his pride. Alla hardly needed an invitation! An army was immediately sent (1307) under the Sultan’s favorite slave Malik Kafur (who seems to have been a Gujerati youth converted in his childhood). In the battle that followed, Shankaradeva’s force was dispersed and Kafur entered the city and plundered it. A temple breaking spree (which often characterized such conquests) seems to have taken place. This time Kafur took possession of the fort in the name of the Sultan and Ramadeva and his family were taken prisoner and taken to Delhi. Shankaradeva fled. This was the beginning of the end. After this, South India would rapidly fall. Alla-ud-din had not forgotten Warangal. In 1309 he sent Malik Kafur to wipe out the disgrace. Kafur decided to use Devagiri as the base of his operations and here he received logistic support from Ramadeva. He reached Warangal by rapid marches in early 1310 and laid siege to the double walled city. The siege lasted for a month; and the outer fortress was stormed. Pratapa Rudra was forced to open negotiations. The price for peace was a heavy one – a vast amount of treasure, horses, and elephants, plus the promise of an annual tribute to the Delhi government. (III) The fall of the Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra With the Kakatiyas thus out of the way, Kafur now turned his attention to the two other important southern kingdoms, viz., Dwarasamudra of the Hoysalas and Malabar of the Pandyas. It was an evil time for the country, for, precisely at the time when Kafur was planning to strike, the Pandyas were locked in a civil war. What’s more, the Hoysalas were inimically disposed towards the Pandyas, the latter having seized their territory in the past. Kafur took full advantage of these conflicts. Once again Devagiri was made the base for the operations. Ramadeva was all attention to his requirements. Kafur waited till Hoysala Ballala was away on an expedition into the Pandya country. Kafur then marched practically unopposed, laying waste to the surrounding country, spreading destruction and panic. The Hoysala capital was ravaged and priceless works of art fell to the fury of the invaders. Ballala returned too late – to witness a scene of terror and destruction at Dwarasamudra. He was forced to become a tributary of the Sultan and surrender an enormous treasury. Ballala comes across as a ruler for whom nothing mattered apart from self-interest – as will be borne out by another incident later. While he never completely abased himself (like Ramadeva did), he was quite happy to aid the Muslim conquerors in their wars against his fellow Hindus. (IV) The Sack of Kanchi and Madura Thus Kafur taking advantage of the divisions within the country overthrew the Hindu kingdoms one by one and expanded his dominions deep into South India. The sack of the splendid cities of Madura and Kanchi marked the culmination of that process. Kafur spent less than a fortnight in Dwarasamudra and then started towards the Pandya kingdoms of Malabar. Malabar would be much harder to conquer because of the nature of the terrain and the incessant rains. But here Ballala came to the assistance of the invader and guided the army along difficult mountain routes that led from the tableland into the plains. Here his main opposition would come from the Pandyas. Though divided among themselves, the Pandya princes were at one in resisting the invaders, harassing them incessantly, but avoiding pitched battles. Another strategy which proved useful was that they avoided shutting themselves up in fortresses which might easily be besieged and reduced. Kafur succeeded in storming Vira-dhavala-patnam (Birdhul), the capital of Vira Pandya, but Vira Pandya escaped and followed a sort of “scorched earth” policy, fleeing from city to city, drawing the enemy deep into his territory. Kafur pursued him to Kandur and on the way seized a convoy of treasure on the backs of 120 elephants. Even on taking Kandur there was no sign of Vira Pandya. Infuriated by this game of hide-and-seek, Kafur marched towards the holy city of Kanchipuram and plundered it. Temples were desecrated and people were put to sword. Kafur then returned to Birdhul. Thence he planned a sudden descent upon Madura, the main Pandya capital where Sundara Pandya was king. Sundara too abandoned the city taking his family and treasure into the country. At this stage, one Vikrama Pandya, uncle of Sundara came out of retirement and led the Pandyas against the Muslims and inflicted a decisive defeat on them. Kafur was forced to retreat, but managed to keep the treasury seized from Vira Pandya and convey it safely to Delhi. Thus, the South was at least temporarily saved from the Muslims. Nilakantha Sastri notes: “the Malabar expedition was thus only a military raid (rather than a conquest), and not a very successful one at that. It had no permanent results though South India was drained of a vast amount of wealth (612 elephants, 20,000 horses, 96,000 units of gold, priceless chests of jewels, pearls, etc – according to Muslim historian Zia-ud-din Barani). But the psychological effect would have been more telling than even the colossal economic drain: the desecration of holy cities like Kanchi and Madura, the breaking of idols, and the barbarous slaughter of innocents would have left a deep scar on the Hindu psyche. (V) The final conquest of Devagiri and the death of Alla Kafur reached the imperial capital in October 1311 and presented Ballala’s son to the Sultan at the Delhi court. He spoke highly of the assistance rendered by his father to them. The boy was treated with kindness and then sent back to his father whose kingdom was also returned to him. Thus, we see how Alla-ud-din was shrewd enough not to antagonize those would potentially be useful in his long term designs. He retained Ballala as a puppet for the same reasons as he did with Ramadeva. About a year later, in 1312, the old monarch of Devagiri died and it was perceived that his warlike son Shankaradeva would open hostilities with the Muslims. Alla-ud-din decided to do away with the Yadava kingdom once and for all and annex it to the imperial dominions. This marked one of the most critical events in the history of medieval India. The relatively easy acquisition of so vast a region by the Muslims meant that the whole of Central India and North India would be firmly under their grasp for nearly 3 centuries to come. So, once more, Alla sent is his trusted and celebrated general southwards. Kafur effortlessly seized Devagiri without any fighting, even as Shankaradeva fled. What followed took the breath of Central India away. The land was shorn of temples and denuded of wealth. A great mosque was erected in Devagiri and named after the Sultan – a true testimony of the might and ambition of the man, the extent of his conquests, and the humiliation of the Hindus. But everything has an end, and Alla met with a strange end – perhaps a fitting retribution for his conduct towards his uncle. He was done to death the very man in whom he had reposed some much trust and confidence – Kafur. Kafur too died shortly and Delhi witnessed political turmoil and revolution. We will skim over the details of all this and only note that one Mubarak Khalji ascended the throne (around 1316). The turmoil gave a brief respite for Devagiri and Harapala Deva, son-in-law of Ramadeva, tried to re-establish the Yadava power. The kingdom of Kampili too asserted in its independence under Singeya Nayaka and his heroic son Kampiladeva. The kingdom comprised of present day Bellary, Raichur, and Dharward districts and three important forts on the Tungabhadra – Hosadurg (Anegondi ?), Kummata, and Kampili itself. However, Devagiri’s independence was short lived, for in 1318 Mubarak Khalji resolved to retake Devagiri. Harapala deva fought hard and held his own for some time in the mountainous country, but was finally wounded in battle and flayed alive. Thus ended the Yadava dynasty. *** The above account is actually incomplete and comes to an end rather abruptly around the year 1320 AD. I had originally intended to prepare a complete account upto the year 1333 -- which would include among other things, the brutality of the Tughlaq reign, their expeditions to the South, the detailed accounts of the great traveler Ibn Batutta, the heroic struggle of the small state of Kampili, and the rebellions of the Reddis of Kondavidu etc. Unfortunately, it could not be completed due to constraints of time and work. But this account should be sufficient to provide the reader a "backdrop" to appreciate the the role played by Vijayanagar in saving Hindu India from the flame of Islam. Vijayanagar was founded in 1336 and came to a cataclysmic end in 1565. In those 229 years, it formed a mighty bulwark that stymied the Islamic onslaught. Hindu tradition avers that it was the great savant Vidyaranya who inspired Harihara and Bukka to found Vijayanagara. The two brothers must have been born around the time when Kafur was sacking the south. As they grew up they must have watched with their own eyes the effects of these ravages... just rambling through the ruins of the Vittalaswami temple 668 years later, stroking its musical pillars, and walking along the banks of Tungabhadra in Hampi, I couldn't help but get the feeling: paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Sep 16 2004, 11:20 PM
A brief history of the Vijayan rule of Khotan Nilakantha Shastri brings attention to the Indian rulers of Khotan and has attempted to reconstruct their chronology from various sources. In period that followed the death of the great emperor lalitAditya, and the confusion during the reign of saMgrAmapIDa, the Chinese generals Yao Yao and Wei-ch'ih-Sheng devised a daring plan to take Khotan. With the help of the internal Sinitic population they engineered a revolt and suddenly appeared at the head of a massive Chinese army of 80,000 to beseige and conqueror the kingdom. First Sheng and there after Yao declared themselves rulers of Khotan. Alarmed at this advance the descendent of lalitAditya, jayAditya, son of saMgrAmapIDa who ascended the throne in 751 CE assigned general vijaya vikrama a descendent of the original Hindu royal family of Khotan to wrest it back from the chinas, hUnas and "mlecchas". With a mobile calvary force he cut off the supply line of the chinas and then luring them into an ambush in narrow escape route he destroyed the china army completely. In late 756 vijaya vikrama was crowned rAja of Khotan. His dynasty as currently reconstructed: vijaya nakshatra early 800's vijaya kIrti aroun 820-40's vijaya vikrama II mid 800's vijaya saMgrAma late 800's vijaya sambhava the great 912-966 Till vijaya saMbhava lived he stood like a pillar of the dharma in the midst of the turushkas. He place a wall of steel in the path of the three Qarakhanid Sultans: Abd al Karim, Musa Bughra Khan and Suleyman Arslan Khan and defeated each one of them on multiple occasions in fierce cavalry engagements, even though he was entirely cut off from receiving aid from the Hindu rulers of Gandhara and Kashmir. He also routed the Moslem army from Bokhara, which was led by Ahmed ibn Ismail. Subsequently he defeated another Arab army of Abd al-Malik I from Bokhara. As a victorious ruler and builder of many temples (of which fragmentary ruins still survive) he was like the last flash of Indic glory in Central Asia. vijaya surapati 967-977 vijaya dharma 978-982 vijaya dharma faced invasion from Sultan Noah ibn Mansur from Bokhara and the Qara Khan turks from Kashgar. vijaya dharma fought off the attack and repulsed the Sultan but died shortly there after. He was succeeded by vijaya kumAra who immediately resumed the struggle against the Moslem hordes. Noah ibn Mansur and the other Turkic and Arab armies formed a pact for surrounding the Kaffr kingdom. The Hindu king was give the choice between his foreskin and his head. Though having no Hindu allies anywhere near him, he and his people decided to uphold the dharma or die in an attempt. He gathered all his troops and staved of the Moslem hordes which were pouring ceaselessly from all directions. He single-handed kept the terrible war raging despite the numerically superior foes and better horsepower of the enemy. The Moslems erected huge Majiqs (mangonels) and sarakels (trebuchets) all around Khotan and bombarded it. But the heavy fortification still held on. After 10 years of continuous fighting the Hindu kingdom was entirely shorn of its resources, reduced in man and horse power, and denuded in defences. Finally, the fortifications were breached and the Mohammedan armies poured in. The king and his army died fighting the invaders. The city was looted and the idols of gold with gems studded in them were melted down. The male population was massacred and the women taken. Thus ended last Hindu kingdom in Central Asia the final blaze.
Posted by: Rajita Rajvasishth Sep 17 2004, 09:22 PM
A maternal ancestor of ours visited Khotan and Kashgar during the height of the great game. However, I must confess that he is remembered in my family as a shady character who took payments from Muslim king and served them, which was viewed as a loss of purity.
Posted by: bengurion Sep 23 2004, 05:56 AM Its a bidding site for artifacts...doesnt say more than this... B3564. AN INDUS VALLEY HEAD OF A HORSE, ca. 3rd–2nd millennium BC. With pressed and incised details, a hole through the muzzle for a bridle. 1.75 x 2 inches. Scarce. $150 estimate. Sold. There is a picture of horse head...from Indus valley..Can somebody find details of this artifact. I thought they did not find any horse figures from IVC excavations and all that they found was bones. There was an article critisizing Horse finding in Outlook(may be a year ago) if i remember correctly. So, where did it come from suddenly!! ? Why there is no media news on this? If its a real "Harappan Horse". Bengurion
Posted by: Mudy Sep 23 2004, 09:07 AM
bengurion, Looks like fraud. I am not sure about period. Do they give certificate? Seems like stolen from old temples.
Posted by: bengurion Sep 23 2004, 09:29 AM
B3564. AN INDUS VALLEY HEAD OF A HORSE, ca. 3rd–2nd millennium BC. With pressed and incised details, a hole through the muzzle for a bridle. 1.75 x 2 inches. Scarce. $150 estimate. Sold. This was the only thing certificates nothing...And it said its SOLD out!! bengurion
Posted by: k.ram Sep 28 2004, 09:06 AM
Posted by: Mudy Oct 3 2004, 07:33 PM The Photographic Evidence
Posted by: amarnath Oct 3 2004, 09:57 PM
Sounds Very Similar to the Conspiracy theory agaisnt Americans Landing on the Moon. I guess , there would be enough documentation about the Taj Mahal being built , by whomsoever it was built.
Posted by: Bhootnath Oct 4 2004, 12:10 AM
> Sounds Very Similar to the Conspiracy theory agaisnt Americans Landing on the Moon. Have you been to Agra , and seen Taj, Amarnath ? I have passed through and have been to Agra atleast 50 times but never been to Taj. Mathura refinery look more attractive to me smile.gif BTW, the assertion of VHP abt Gyan Vapi Mosque and Masjid in Mathura being built over hindu temples is also, like Moon landing conspiracy theory ? > I guess , there would be enough documentation about the Taj Mahal being built , by whomsoever it was built. So you said , on the basis of your personal historical knowledge database..
Posted by: amarnath Oct 4 2004, 12:34 AM
Ye gods ! Bhoothnath No , i havent been to Agra. Its your perogative to state which is most attractive to you , sure millions around the globe find it attractive than Mathura refinery , so will millions find the refinery attractive. Okey dude , they destroyed all our temples over there at Mathura , Gyan Vapi(?) .. sure ! So what you gonna do ? One doesnt need any knowledge of history to say that records should exist regarding the construction of any such monuments by whomsoever.
Posted by: Bhootnath Oct 4 2004, 02:57 AM
Amarnath : > No , i havent been to Agra. Okay .. > Its your perogative to state which is most attractive to you , sure millions around the globe find it attractive than Mathura refinery , so will millions find the refinery attractive. Entirely agree. Fill moon night , you are passing by that refinery, 1000s of Helium lamp .. its a sight indeed smile.gif > Okey dude , they destroyed all our temples over there at Mathura , Gyan Vapi(?) Gyan Vapi(?) --<> ,okay , anybody here more informed , and more likely to put it in apt manner abt GYAN VAPI .. if I write abt it , I will get dude-daaded and the info wil be lost smile.gif So pls somebody do the honours , let me and Amarnath know more abt "Gyan Vapi" .... TIA.. Amarnath > .. sure ! So what you gonna do ? Ennaa Saaar ... This is a web fora and by discussing/point out info , we are just trying to know more etc etc ...and know what we didnt knew earlier .. Why do you presume, that my intention was to do MORE .. Or was it a purielle , retort ? > I guess , there would be enough documentation about the Taj Mahal being built , by whomsoever it was built. I quoted your post *because* you were quick to summarily dismiss something w/o having any knowledge abt the same , Hey remember I didnt comment on the original post bt Mudy, it was you .. you went on to ddraw an analogy with Moon mission conspiracy theory .. This is like somebody dismissing Sri ... Ravi Shanker as a hoax /farce etc etc , but keeping quiet abt Medallion treatment by Nun Teresa of cacncer .. > One doesnt need any knowledge of history to say that records should exist regarding the construction of any such monuments by whomsoever. Pls see what I have said above. Righto!..
Posted by: Bhootnath Oct 4 2004, 04:50 AM
> Total control. Same deal as cutting off thumbs of silk-weavers and "helping" them by selling stuff from Sheffield and Manchester in exchange for their lands, and converting them to slaves. 21st century version, that's all. This is a para I have lifted exactly from some website, what I would like to know from knowledgeable folks here is , whether the person who posted this is pulling a stunt like "the Conspiracy theory agaisnt Americans Landing on the Moon", I have immense respect for the poster of the paragraph, but hey I want to know the truth. Looking forward to some info. Regards
Posted by: Bhootnath Oct 4 2004, 06:35 AM
Holly Molly ... How wrong I was when I thought N3 was coming up with a conspiracy theory when he said that "silk weavers thumbs in INDIA" were CUT off to cut off market competition .... he WASN'T lying , I shld have known the history of my country, or shld have had better sense to not dismiss it like ... you know what .. And surprise ..surprise the thumbs of slik weaver were not cut off by some or hordes of UPPER CASTE BARHMINICAL daemons , but the "GREAT BRITIANS", "fair minded and just", pale skinned Angels , who also provided education to our Civil Servants, and even today Officers from Defence to Administrative Service talk abt "Chritian Values" imparted to them... I provide atleast 2 links below, of course I have not submitted any links which are put up by any Hindu Bigots lest they be construed as 'MonkeyMan ...' theory... . Even in good times the Company's exactions proved ruinous. The Company became feared for its brutal enforcement of its monopoly interests, particularly in the textile trade. Savage reprisals would be exacted against any weavers found selling cloth to other traders, and the Company was infamous for cutting off their thumbs to prevent them ever working again
Posted by: Viren Oct 4 2004, 07:52 AM Disclaimer: Never been to Agra or Tajmahal. This link was forwarded to me sometime back by a friend (who's not into consipracy theories) after visiting Taj. Readers are free to interpret it in any way they see fit smile.gif
Posted by: Bhootnath Oct 4 2004, 11:03 AM
Viren : Disclaimer: Never been to Agra or Tajmahal. This link was forwarded to me sometime back by a friend (who's not into consipracy theories) after visiting Taj. Readers are free to interpret it in any way they see fit smile.gif smile.gif) Viren and Amarnath ( apologies to Amarnath , for my writing style is very lame and perhaps "put-off" ). All I am saying is lets us ( all well meaning Indians and Well wishers of India and Indic tradition ) not be so easy with being dismissive of anything Indian and specifiacally Hinud related stuff. Let keep are mind & heart open for our own ethos and culture, if even we are not willing to give ourself some berth who else will , Osama Bin Laden or soem rabid Missionary ? How many times we dismiss "Miracle Missions" ? , but bring in some indic stuff and .. lo and behold we instinctively jump to shred it to pieces.. Hey Astorlogy is not science , but all modern ppl keep quirt abt Feng-shui and stuff... Earnest effort from myside to clear up things... Regards..
Posted by: Viren Oct 4 2004, 11:37 AM
Understood are preaching to choir on this issue smile.gif though now and then it's good to state (what appears to be obivous to us) it for the benefit of lurkers.
Posted by: k.ram Oct 4 2004, 01:48 PM
tongue.gif hello sir! i'm a 4th yr enggineering student from delhi. i joined the group xyz along with some muslim groups a month or 2 ago. I did this just to have a better understanding of the two religions. i'm a brahmin by religion. but i'm not very much amused by sites like where there r numerous articles defeating the very existence of islam. do u think that this denouncement of a religion which has a much larger following that hinduism itself looks a bit fake on int's face? do v really need to indulge in such type of stuff, just to prove that hinduism is a better religion. if it really is then people must realise it by themselves. also the various articles realted to taj mahal, these things are shocking no doubt, but what is the proof of the authenticity of the images. who'll assure that the images are really from somewhere indside the taj mahal. and if really such secret rooms and basements exist beneath the taj and ever1 knows bout it 2, then why hasn't these places been explored yet and the truth unfolded. some sites like are advocating narendra modi and Mr.Togadia as the real leaders of the country, is it just because they want to eliminate islam and all muslims. if v 2 want to go on that path then we have no right of calling islam as a terror producing religion. v 2 r upto it. ppl say that whatever happened in gujrat was a reaction 2 what muslims did to us. but if v reacted in the same way, rather in a much more brutuall way, then what's the difference between them and us? i just want to ask 1 thing, if v as hindus are really so much superior then why are we so keen in putiing others (read islam) down? according to me this is nothing more than mud slinging. i really want some convincing replies from all those who pretend to be true hindus. and please if any1 can provide me with some links related to online quran, so that i can verify all that's written at "" against the holy islam book. u can mail me at an inquisitive and curious boy::: Pratosh Dwivedi with lots and lots of warm wishes. ------pratosh dwivedi
Posted by: acharya Oct 4 2004, 02:24 PM
QUOTE (Bhootnath @ Oct 3 2004, 11:50 PM)
> Total control. Same deal as cutting off thumbs of silk-weavers and "helping" them by selling stuff from Sheffield and Manchester in exchange for their lands, and converting them to slaves. 21st century version, that's all. This is a para I have lifted exactly from some website, what I would like to know from knowledgeable folks here is , whether the person who posted this is pulling a stunt like "the Conspiracy theory agaisnt Americans Landing on the Moon", I have immense respect for the poster of the paragraph, but hey I want to know the truth. Looking forward to some info. Regards
This can be read in many colonial period books like Victorian Holocaust and the making of the Third World - by Mike Davis
Posted by: acharya Oct 4 2004, 02:25 PM
Please take this discussion on Taj Mahal to a different thread since We need to keep the current history thread as a reference Plz Open a new thread for discussion any topic which needs arguments.
Posted by: k.ram Oct 10 2004, 05:33 PM
The Mahabharat Chronology The present European calendar came into vogue around 7 A.D. India, since ancient times, has been following the lunar calendar. The Western calendar has undergone many variations and adjustments from time to time e.g., at one stage the first six months had 31 days each while the last six months were 30 days each. Uptil the Mahabharat War the world had a single, unitary administration under Vedic sovereigns, which reckoned the day from sunrise to sunrise centering on India. Consequently, other regions of the world stuck to the Indian time schedule. Thus for instance, when the sun rose in India at around 5.30 am it used to be midnight hour in Britain. Therefore the Vedic administration in Britain calculated its date from midnight to midnight. When in the course of time the world became divided into regional states resulting in mutual strife. The British ruled India for about 200 years uptil 1947 A.D. The midnight to midnight reckoning under British rule, emanated originally from the Indian sunrise time. Modern calculations based on that midnight time often result in a error of one or two years in timing. Before proceeding to analyze the Mahabharat chronology let us first familiarize ourselves with the Vedic lunar calendar. In its cycle of 60 years, the names of successive years are : 1. Prabhava2. Vibhava3. Sukla4. Pramoodotha5. Pajothpatthi6. Agnirasa7. Srimukha8. Bhava9. Yuva10. Dhata11. Eswara12. Bahudhanya13. Pramadi14. Vikrama15. Vishu16. Chitrabhanu17. Swabhanu 18. Tharana 19. Parthiva20. Vyaya21. Sarvajittu22. Sarvadhari23. Virodhi24. Vikriti22. Khara26. Nandana27. Vijaya28. Jaya29. Manmatha 30. Durmukhi31. Havilambi32. Vilhambi33. Vikari34. Sarvari35. Plava36. Shubhakritu37. Sobhakruthu38. Krodhi39. Vishwavasu40. Paridhavi41. Plavanga42. Keelaka43. Sowmya44. Sadharana45. Voridhikrutu46. Paridhavi47. Pramadicha48. Ananda49. Rakshasa50. Nala 51. Pingala52. Kalayukti53. Siddharthi54. Roudri55. Durmati56. Dundubhi57 Rudhirodgari58. Rathakshi59. Krodhana60. Akshaya --------------------------------- Months : 1. Chaitra2. Vaishakha3. Jyeshta4. Aashadha 5. Shravana6. Bhadrapada7. Ashwin8. Kartika 9. Margasheersha10. Pausha11. Maagha 12. Phalguna --------------------------------- Stars : 1. Ashwini2. Bharani 3. Krutika 4. Rohini5. Mruga6. Ardra 7. Punarvasu8. Pushya9. Aslesha10. Magha11. Poorva12. Uttara 13. Hastha14. Chitra 15. Swati 16. Vishakha17. Anuradha18. Moola19. Jyeshta20. Poorvashadha21. Uttarashadha22. Shravana 23. Dhanishta24. Satabhisha25. Poorvabhadra26. Uttarabhadra27. Revati --------------------------------- Kaliyug: Kaliyug started on Pramadi Chaitra Bright 1st day, Friday (BC 3102-2-20) at 2-27-30 P.M. --------------------------------- MAHABHARAT EVENTS Mahabharat events preceded the Kaliyug: 1. Karna's Birth : Magha Bright half 1st day. It is said that he was older than Yudhisthira by 16 years. 2. Emperor Pandu reached Mount Saptashrunga in Paramodoota Ashwin Bright 5th day. Just one year after Yudhisthira was born. 3. Yudhisthira's Birth : Yudhisthira was born on Pajothpatti Ashwin Bright 5th day, in Jyeshta Star, in Sagittarius Lagna, at midday Abhijit Muhurta. That was just years. 127-5-25 prior to Kaliyug (roughly 3229-8-15 B.C) 4. Bhima's Birth : Bhima was born on Agnirasa Ashwin dark 9th day in Magha Star, after midday. He was younger than Yudhishtira by 1 year and 19 days. 5. Arjun's Birth : Srimukha Phalguna Full Moon Day during the day in Uttara Star. Younger than Bhima by yr. 1-4-21 6. Nakula and Sahadev's Birth : Bhava Phalguna New Moon day, Midday, in Star Ashwini. Younger than Arjuna by yr. 1-0-15 7. Lord Krishna was born on Shrimukha Shravana Dark 8th day, just after midnight in Taurus Lagna. 8. Duryodhana's Birth : Just one day after Bhima's birth. From that day onwards everyday the rest 99 Kauravas and their sister were born. Similarly, Hidimba, Baka and Kichaka were born in the same period between Magha and Swati Stars. 9. Emperor Pandu expired on Sarvadhari Chaitra Bright 12th day in Uttara Star. Arjuna was then yrs. 14-0-7 days old. Yudhistira was then yrs. 16-6-7 years old. 10. Pandavas were brought in Hastina on Sarvadhari Chaitra Dark 13th day, that is, 16 days after their father's death. Death rituals lasted for 12 days from Sarvadhari Chaitra Dark 13th day to Vaishakh Bright 10th day. Yudhisthira was 16 years, 6 months and 28 days of age. 11. Pandavas stayed in Hastinapur for 13 years from Sarvadhari Vaishakha Bright 10th day to Plava Vaishakha Bright 10th day. Yudhisthira was yrs. 29-6-23 days old. They learnt archery under Drona. 12. Archery exhibition : Plava Vaishakha Full Moon Day. 13. King Drupada taken captive : Fight with Drupada from Plava Vaishakha Dark 5th day for a period of of yr. 1-4-5 days, that is upto Shubhakrit Bhadrapada Bright 10th day. Yudhisthira was yrs. 31-0-5 days old. 14. Yudhishthira ws made Crown-Prince on Shubhakrit Ashwayuja Bright 10th day when he was 31-0-5 days old. 15. Pandavas stayed at Hastinapur for yrs. 5-4-20 days, upto Plavanga Maagha New Moon Day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 36-4-25 days old. 16. Entered Varnavrata : Plavanga Phalguna Bright 8th Day. Yudhishtir was yrs. 36-5-3 days old. 17. The Lac Palace was set on fire on Keelaka Phalguna 13/14th Day night in the third Jhamu or Quarter. ( A day consists of 8 prahars, 4 during day time and 4 during night.) Pandavas crossed river Ganga on Keelaka Phalguna New Moon Day morning. 18. Demon Hidimba was slain : on Sowmya Chaitra Bright 1st Day. 19. Ghatotkacha was born on Sowmya Ashwin Bright 2nd Day, and he grew up as an adult immediately. 20. Pandavas stayed in Salihotashramam for 6 months, that is from Sowmya Ashwayuja Bright 2nd Day to Sadharana Chaitra Bright 2nd Day. Yudhishtira was yrs. 38-5-7 days old. 21. Panadavas lived in Ekachakrapuram for 6 months from Sadharana Chaitra Bright 2nd Day to Ashwayuja Bright 2nd Day. 22. Demon Baka was slain : on Sadharana Bright 10th Day. Yudhisthira was yrs. 39-0-5 days old. 23. Pandavas stayed in Ekachakrapuram for 1 month 10 days more, upto Sadharana Margashirsha Dark 5th Day. Then they headed for Panchal Kingdom, and in 3 days reached Dhoumya's Ashram. They stayed there for 15 days, and on the 18th day, reached the capital of Panchal Kingdom, that is, on Sadharana Pausha 7th Day. 24. Princess Draupadi's Swayamvaram took place on Sadhrana Pausha Bright 10th Day. 25. In Panchala Kingdom, Pandavas stayed there for yr. 1-0-15 days, that is, tiil Virodhikrithu Pausha New Moon Day. Yudhishthir was yrs. 40-3-25 days old. 26. Pandavas were recieved in Hastinapur on Virodhikrithu Maagha Bright 2nd Day and were granted half-Kingdom. They stayed in Hastinapur for 5 years and 6 months, upto Pingala Shravana Bright 2nd Day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 45-9-27 days old. Indrapratha City was being built during this period. 27. Yudhisthira was coronated on Pingala Ashwayuja Bright 10th Day. He was then 46-0 years old. 28. Arjuna went on pilgrimage for 12 years. He started in Kalayukthi and returned in Pramodhoota. He married Subhadra on Pramodhoota Vaishakh Bright 10th Day. Abhimanya was born in the year Pramodhoota. 29. Draupadi had one son each from her 5 Pandava husbands. 30. The Khandava Forest was burnt down after Pramodhoota Shravana Bright 2nd Day. Yudhishtira was yrs. 58-10-15 days old. Mayasabha took yrs. 1-2-0 days for construction. 31.Panadavas entered Mayasabha on Prajopatthi Ashwayuja Bright 10th Day. Yudhisthira was years 60-0-5 days old. 32. Rule in Indraprastha for 16 years, upto Sarvajit Ashwayuja Bright 10th day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 76-0-5 days old. 33. Wrestling started between Bhima and Jarasandha on Sarvajit Kartika Bright 2nd Day. It continued for 14 days, and Jarasandha was killed on 14th evening. 34. The Rajasooya Yadnya began on Sarvadhari Chaitra Full Moon Day. Yudhisthira was yrs. 76-6-15 days old. 35. Dice plays : The two Dice plays were played between Sarvadhari Shravana Dark 3rd Day and 7th Day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 76-10-2 days old. So Pandavas ruled for a period of yrs. 36-6-20 days from Virodhikritu Maagha Bright 2nd Day to Sarvadhari Shravana Dark 7th Day. 36. Forest Life : Forest life started on Sarvadhari Shravana Dark 8th Day. Yudhisthira was years 76-10-18 days old. Demon Kimeera was killed on the 3rd Day, that is, Dark 10th Day. 12 years forest exile ended on Sarvari Shravan Dark 7th Day. 37. The 13th year of anonimity ended on the Plava Shravan Dark 7th Day. 38. Kichaka was killed on on Plava Ashadha Dark 8th Day at night. His brothers were killed the next day, Dark 9th Day. 39. Since these are lunar years, there were two Adhik Masas every 5 years, and in 13 years there were 5 Adhik Mases and 12 days. But these were merged in the lunar years as Adhik Mases. Tithiwayas and likewise, Bhishma and Yudhishthira followed this calculation as correct, but Duryodhana insisted on anonimity solar years, which was unacceptable in those days. 40. Since the period was over the previous day, Arjuna declared his identity. Arjuna was carrying his bow Gandiva for 30 years from Pramodoota to Sarvari, and he told Uttara that he will carry it for another 35 years. The next day, on Dark 9th Day, Pandavas declared their identity. Yudhishthira was yrs. 89-10-9 days old. 41. Pandavas stayed in Upaplavyam for yr. 1-2-17 days. During these days, consultations, marraige between Uttara and Abhimanyu in Shubhakrit Jyeshta month, marshalling of armies, Peace talks by Draupadi's Purohit and Sanjaya took place. In Aswayuja month, there were lunar and solar eclipses, portending evil and destruction. 42. Shri Krishna's Peace talks : Shri Krishna started on Shubhakrit Kartik Bright 2nd Day, in Revati Star, reached Hastinapur on the 13th Day, and held peace talks upto Dark 8th Day. On his last day, His Vishwaroopa was shown. Since talks failed, he started on his return journey the same day in Pushyami Star, told Karna that in 7 days, on New Moon Day in Jyeshta Star, all should assemble at Kurukshetra for the Great War, and returned to Upaplavya. 43. So Pandavas stayed in Upaplavya for yr. 1-2-17 + 15 days = yr. 1-3-2 days. 44. Both the Pandava and Kaurava armies marched to Kurukshetra on the New Moon Day. The period from Margashirsha Bright 2nd Day to 12th Day, was taken up by installation of tents, arranging Army rehearsals etc. etc. 45. The Great Mahabharat War started on Shubhakrit Margashirsha Bright 13/14th Day, Tuesday in Bharani Star. Yudhishthir was yrs. 91-2-9 days old. Just the previous day 11/12th Day, when armies were rehearsing Vyuhas, Arjuna fell into a gloom, occasioning Lord Krishna's famous BhagavadGeeta discourse with Arjuna. 46. Bhishma's Fall : On Margashirsha Dark 7th Day. 47. Abhimanyu's Death : Abhimanyu was killed on Margashirsha Dark 10th Day. He was aged 32 years (From Pramodoota to Shubhakrit). Since marraige was in Jyeshta month, he led only 6 month's family life, and Uttra was 6 months pregnant. 48. Saindhava's Death : Saindhava was killed on Margashirsha Dark 11th Day. The battle was continued even into the night. Drona was killed on Margashirsha Dark 12th Day at noon. 49. Karna's Death : Karna was killed on Margashirsha Dark 14th Day. Salya was killed on Margashirsha New Moon Day at noon. 50. Duryodhana's Fall : He fell on Margashirsha New Moon Day/Pausha Bright 1st Day in the evening. He died the next morning on the Bright 1st Day. 51. Balrama started on pilgrimage on Kartik Dark 5th Day, in Pushyami Star. So, date-wise and star-wise also, pilgrimage took 42 days. 52. Ashwatthama murdered Pandava's sons during the same night on Margashirsha New Moon/Pausha Bright 1st Day night, and conveyed the dire information to the dying Duryodhana on Bright 1st Day early morning. Defeat of Ashwatthama : on Pausha Bright 1st Day. 53. Pandava Armies 7 Akshouhinis = 551,33,83,260 Kaurava Armies 11 Akshouhinis = 866,38,87,960 Total 18 Akshouhinis = 1417,72,71,240 Except Pandavas, Krishna. Satyaki and Yuyutsu on Pandavas side, and Kripa, Krutavarma and Ashwatthama on Kaurava's side, all were killed. Yudhishthira told Dhritarashtra that Great Warriors (MahaRathis) killed in the War, were more than 94 crores. No clear details are available in the Epic, how Pandava Warriors disposed off kaurava armies. Abhimanyu on the 13th Day, killed more than 0.50 Akshouhini army, and Arjuna on the 14th Day killed 5 Akshouhinis. 54. Attacking Pandavas side, Bhishma killed nearly 1.27 Akshouhinis = 100,00,00,000 Drona killed nearly 1.00 Akshouhinis = 78,76,26,180 Karna killed nearly 2.37 Akshouhinis = 186,28,78,540 Salya killed nearly 0.29 Akshouhinis = 22,60,46,000 Ashwatthama killed nearly 0.09 Akshouhinis = 7,20,24,400 Rest of the warriors 1.98 Akshouhinis = 156,48,08,140 Warrior-Warrior fights (Sankula-Samara) TOTAL 7.00 Akshouhinis = 551,33,83,260 55. Yudhishthira's age was yrs. 91-2-27. Pandavas observed 12 days mourning from Pausha Bright 1st Day to 13th Day. Mass cremations were done on the 14th day, and the same evening, Pandavas proceeded to Hastinapur. 56. Yudhishthira was crowned on Shubhakrit Pausha Full Moon Day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 91-3-10 days old. 57. Pandavas called on Bhishma (who was prostrate on a bed of arrows) on Pausha Dark 2nd Day, stayed upto 8th Day, listened to Bhishma's advisory discourse, returned to Hastinapur, stayed for 15 days and went to Bhishma again on Maagha Bright 8th day. On 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th day, Bhishma was in meditation. He renounced his mortal coil on 12th day. Hence 8th-12th of Pausha Dark Fortnight is called Bhishma Panchakam. Bhishma fell prostrate on Margashirsha Dark 7th Day. From 8th Day to Maagha Bright 11th Day, 48 days elapsed. "AshtaPanchasatam ratryassayana syasyama gatha" that is, Bhishma said that he completed 58 (10+48) days on the battlefield. " Sarashu nisitagresu yatha varsha satam tatha" meaning, by lying on pointed arrows, it appeared although it was 100 years. " Tribhaga seshah pakshyam suklo" meaning, it is Bright Fortnight, and still 3 parts remained. ( By dividing Bright Fortnight into 10 parts, 7 parts = 10.5 days or 11th day is in progress, and still 3 parts = 4.5 days remained upto Full Moon Day.) 58. Ashwamedha Yadnya began on Shobhakrit Maagha Bright 12th Day. Just earlier, Parikshit was born to Uttara as posthumas premature, still born male baby at 8/9 months, but was revived by Krishna. 15 years later, in Kartik month, Dhritarashtra left for the forest. 3 years later, Pandavas went to the forest to see Dhritarashtra etc. Vidura's death. After 1 month, Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and Kunti got killed in a forest fire. 59. Thirty six years after the Great War, that is in Bahudhanya year, evil omens in Dwaraka were observed. Samba became pregnant and a iron rod (musalam) was born. 60. Yudhishthir ruled for yrs. 36-2-15 days. From Shubhakrit Pushya Full Moon Day to Bahudhanya Pushya Full Moon Day, it was 36 years and adding 0-2-15 days, it was Pramadi Bright 1st Day, when Kailyug started and Shri Krishna finished his Avatar. (B.C 3102-2-20 at 2-27-30 P.M) 61. Seven days later, on Bright 7th Day, Dwarka city was submerged by the Ocean. Saptarishis were in Magha Star, 75 years prior to Kaliyug and remained there for 25 years after Kaliyug. Yudhishthir Shaka started from his coronation day that is, Krishna finished his Avatar in Yudhishthir Shaka yrs. 36-2-15. 62. Pandavas started for their Final End after 0-6-11 days, that is, on Pramadi Ashwayuja Bright 12th Day. Yudhishthir was aged yrs. 128-0-6. Parikshit, 36 years old, was coronated on the same day at Hastinapur. 63. Swargaarohanam is not clearly stated in the Epic. It may be 26 years afterwards. Sage Veda Vyas dictated the Great Epic to Ganapati only after Swargarohanam of the Pandavas, that is, after 26 years of Kaliyug. 64. Parikshit ruled for 60 years, coronated his 25 year old son Janamejaya, and died. 65. So, Bhagavatha was written by Sage Veda Vyas soon after Mahabharat was over, and before the 60th year of the Kaliyuga. 66. In Dwapara Yuga, human beings lived upto 400 years. There are four stages in life - Balya, Youvana, Koumara and Vriddhapyam. In Dwaparyug, Balya stage was upto 40 years, Youvana stage upto 120 years, and later Koumara and Vriddhapyam stages. But now in the Kaliyuga, Balya stage is upto 15 years, Youvana upto 45 years, Koumara upto 60 years and Vriddhapyam beyond 60 years. All this data has been gathered from the Great Sanskrit Epic Mahabharat and commentaries on it by various authors.
Posted by: amarnath Oct 10 2004, 08:16 PM
Pandava Armies 7 Akshouhinis = 551,33,83,260 Kaurava Armies 11 Akshouhinis = 866,38,87,960 Total 18 Akshouhinis = 1417,72,71,240
Thats HUGE ohmy.gif Am i reading them correct ? Five Hundred and Fift one crores , thirty three laks , eighty three thousand two hundred and sixty ? ohmy.gif So Huge ? ohmy.gif
Posted by: acharya Oct 14 2004, 02:54 PM
What happened to Buddhism By Flotsam I have always wondered why there are so few relics of theBuddhist age in India. In fact there are many more in Pakistan than in the land which was the birthplace of this gentle faith and where its founder, Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha, lived all his life except the first 20 or so years as a Nepalese prince before he left family, hearth and home and a throne. He attained Nirvana in Gaya (Bihar) and then went on his travels all over South Asia to preach his gospel. Of course there are many stupas in India but there are no Buddhist temples except unpretentious ones built by adherents of the faith in comparatively modern times. (A stupa is not always a place of worship but usually a dome-like structure that houses some relic associated with the Buddha.) But there is nothing in India on the scale we have in Gandhara, which may be because Gandhara was a Buddhist kingdom. Its complete history is still to be revealed, and may never be revealed because of the absence of documents of the period. There is very little of the sequence of events that one can learn from archaeological excavations and sculptures, even if they are countless and continue to be unearthed day and night, as they do in Pakistan. The fact remains that there is hardly anything worthwhile by way of Buddhist relics of a religious nature in India to indicate that once upon a time Buddhism was the second biggest faith of the subcontinent, if not the first. While Indian scholars and historians have not bothered to throw light on this phenomenon, perhaps for fear that the true story may cast aspersions on the Hindu faith, there is nothing to hold back Europeans from trying to discover the reasons. I recently came across an article captioned "How Buddha was erased in India" in a London daily newspaper. The writer, Edward Dalrymple, alleges that when the efforts of Hinduism succeeded in gaining mastery over the Buddhist rulers and in restoring the prime position of the Hindu faith in India, there was a deliberate, and successful, campaign of destruction to ensure that no sign of the ascendancy of Buddhism was left anywhere in India. Dalrymple bases his article on a book by Charles Allen, a truly remarkable scholar and researcher of Buddhism, and says that the book, which is not much known outside scholastic circles, makes truly enjoyable reading. For instance I was simply amazed to read Dalrymple quoting the fact that Buddhism and the Buddha were unknown in the West before the beginning of the 19th century. The credit for discovering them for the West goes to a number of dedicated men who had worked in India (under the patronage of the British colonial government) to unearth and translate Buddhist scriptural books and documents. "For thirty years," says Dalrymple, "Charles Allen has been quietly plugging away in the unfashionable field of colonial history. What is perhaps especially valuable about the Buddha and the sahibs is Allen's gentle reminder of exactly how and why Buddhism died out in the land of its birth. Every child in India is taught that when the Muslims first came to India they destroyed temples and smashed idols. But what is conveniently forgotten is that during the Hindu revival at the end of the first millennium AD many Hindu rulers had behaved in a similar fashion with Buddhists. "It was because of this persecution, several centuries before the arrival of Islam, that the philosophy of the Buddha, once a serious rival to Hinduism, virtually disappeared from India. At a time when Islamophobia is becoming endemic in both India and in the West, and when a far-right Hindu mentality is doing its best to terrorize India's Muslim minority, the story of how an earlier militant phase of Hinduism violently rooted out Indian Buddhism is one that needs to be told, and remembered." But who will tell this story to the Indians? And even if their own scholars are broadminded enough to do so, will the people of India,the majority, believe it? Fed on fables and mythology, many are not likely to readily accept historical truths, particularly when they show up India's past in a bad light. This new revelation about the annihilation of the Buddhist faith and its signs and symbols from India is a great blot on the cultural image that Indians parade about themselves all over the world. But since very few people know about it they will try to ensure that it is never talked about. Meantime, destiny has given Pakistan a great opportunity to display tolerance of other faiths, though this still needs to be nurtured to reach its full fruition. Instead of the approach that the remains and relics of Moenjodaro and Gandhara are not Islamic and therefore not worthy of attention, we must try to emulate our own brothers-in-faith of Spain who, for more than six centuries astounded the world with their liberal attitude towards Jews and Christians. A golden era indeed.
Posted by: Kaushal Oct 20 2004, 10:35 AM
Not surprising that Yawn would propagate such drivel about the demise of Buddhism. The true story is told accurately and the link to the reference is is available at
Posted by: Kaushal Oct 20 2004, 10:59 AM
There is doubt on the part of some that there were 2 brothers (Vidyaranya and madhava) who guided the destinies of the Vijayanagar empire at its inception and as to the identity of these brothers . Vidyasankar Sundaresan addresse s this questionin one of the newsgroup in the internet. Does Hauma or anybody know where and whether Vidyasankar hangs out in the internet these days. it appears he may have returned to India . does anybody have the scoop on him ? He did his PH.D at Caltech during the late 90's "I see that this issue has built itself up on a lot of misunderstandings. Let me clarify this the following way: 1. Was Vidyaranya involved in the foundation of the Vijaynagar empire? Yes. 2. In what capacity - guru or minister? Guru. 3. Is there a distinction between "guru" and "minister"? My opinion - yes. 4. Were Vidyaranya and Vedanta Desika contemporaries? Yes. 5. Were they friends? Can't say one way or the other. 6. Did Vidyaranya ask Vedanta Desika to go to Vijaynagar? SrIvaishNava tradition says so. I trust these are the only questions that the majority of the members of this list are bothered about. There are other details - 7. Was Vidyaranya's original name Madhava? Advaita tradition says so. 8. Was this Madhava the brother of Sayana who wrote the Veda bhAshyas? Advaita t radition is ambivalent. On the one hand, works of Madhava, the brother of Sayana are frequently attributed to Vidyaranya in many sources. On the other hand, Vidyaranya and Bharati Tirtha are also said to have directed Sayana and Madhava to write expository works, including the Veda Bhashyas and the dharmasastra text pArASara-mAdhavIyam. To further complicate matters, the same advaita works are attributed to both Bharati Tirtha and Vidyaranya, and some are said to be joint compositions of the two. Example - pancadaSI, which is ascribed to Bharati Tirtha in some manuscripts and Vidyaranya in others, and jIvanmuktiviveka, which is almost always said to be a joint composition. Also, sometimes Vidyaranya is said to have written the Vedabhashyas, although all manuscripts, including the ones preserved at Sringeri, reputedly the original one, credit Sayana with their composition. This is usually explained within advaita circles as referring to the fact that the Vedabhashyas were written under the guidance of Vidyaranya, by Sayana and Madhava. This explanation, of course means that Madhava, brother of Sayana, is different from Vidyaranya, the sannyasi. 9. Was Madhava, brother of Sayana, also the same as Madhava, the author of the Sankara-digvijayam? Advaita tradition has become sharply divided on this question in recent times. Two commentaries to this digvijayam exist, both of which say that this is a work of Madhava, disciple of Vidyatirtha. They are silent about whether Madhava, author of the digvijayam, is also the brother of Sayana and/or identical to Vidyaranya, the Mathadhipati. As for the mathas themselves, Sringeri says Madhava, author of Sankara-digvijaya may be the same as Vidyaranya, but they don't say it with 100% certainty. Then of course, this Madhava becomes different from Madhava, brother of Sayana, to square off with the explanation given to the previous question. Kanchi, on the other hand, refuses to accept that the mAdhavIya Sankara-digvijayam even dates from the 14th century. According to them, this work was written by somebody partisan to the Sringeri math, as late as the 18th century. Swami Tapasyananda touches on this controversy in his footnotes, except that he refers to the Kanchi math as the Kumbhakonam Math. It is well-known that the headquarters of this matham were shifted to Kanchipuram from Kumbhakonam, only in the beginning of this century. The maths at Puri, Dwaraka and Badrinath accept the Sringeri tradition. That is all there is to it. Clearing out the various confusions in the traditional accounts does not require either the SrIvaishNavas or the smArtas to give up part of their own traditions regarding the lives of their AcAryas. Vedanta Desikar's saintliness is well-known and attested to, even by the smArtas. The only exception that I made in this connection was that it was improbable that Vidyaranya was a minister or a court official at the Vijayanagar court, for reasons of conflict with other more reliable evidence in the form of early Vijayanagara inscriptions. A quite authoritative history of the Vijayanagar empire has been written by K. A. Nilakanta Sastry. Quite simply, the dates arrived at, after much archeological and numismatic research do not tally with the assumption that Vidyaranya took sannyasa in 1380. As for maThAdhipatis being away from their maThas for long periods of time, it is not uncommon. They are supposed to be sannyasis with no permanent home, so they keep travelling in their neighbourhoods, returning to headquarters only to maintain continuity in the pAThaSAlas they run. Vidyaranya is supposed to have been in Varanasi, when Bharati Tirtha passed away, and Harihara I sent an emissary to inform him of the news, and request him to come back to the south to take charge of the matha's activities. All this does not say anything one way or the other, about whether Vidyaranya, the sannyasi, was a minister at the Vijaynagar court or not. It does not seem consistent to me. I don't think it is a title to be called a "minister" or even "chief minister", when Vidyaranya was already saluted as the "pratishThApanAcArya". Just think about it. Regards, S. Vidyasankar
Posted by: Pathmarajah Oct 27 2004, 10:21 PM
Fwd: On Kushana and Yueh-Chih First, I would like to make it clear that the probable language of the Kushana was Tamil. According to Dravidian literature, the Kushana were called Kosars=Yakshas=Yueh chih/ Kushana. This literature maintains that when they entered India they either already spoke Tamil, or adopted the language upon settlement in India. The Kushana and the Yueh chih were one and the same. In addition to North Indian documents the Kushana-Yueh chih association are also discussed in Dravidian literature. V Kanakasabhai, The Tamils Eighteen hundred years ago, note that in the Sanskrit literature the Yueh chih were called Yakshas, Pali chroniclers called them Yakkos and Kosars< Kushana. They allegedely arrived in India during the 2nd century BC. He makes it clear that the Yueh chih/ Kushana as noted on their coins worshipped Siva as seen on the coins of Kanishka. This is why we have a coin of a Kushana king from Taxila, dated to AD 76 that declares that the king was maharaja rajatiraja devaputra Kushana "Great King, King of kings, Son of God, the Kushana". The term Tochara has nothing to do with the Yueh chih, this was a term used to describe the people who took over the Greek Bactrian state, before the Kushana reached the Oxus Valley around 150 BC . There is no reason the Kushana may not have been intimately familiar with the Kharosthi writing at this time because from 202BC onward Prakrit and Chinese documents were written in Kharosthi. Below are a few of the articles I have written on this theme that you may want to consult. Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "Dravidian Settlements in ancient Polynesia", India Past and Present 3, no2 (1986c)pages 225- 241. Winters, Clyde Ahmad,"The Dravidian Origin of the Mountain and Water Toponyms in central Asia", Journal of Central Asia 9, no2 (1986d), pages 144-148. Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "The Dravidian and Manding Substratum in Tokharian",Central Asiatic Journal 32, nos1-2,(1988)pages 131-141. Winters, Clyde Ahmad,"Tamil,Sumerian and Manding and the Genetic Model",International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics,18,(1989) nol. Winters, Clyde Ahmad, "Review of Dr. Asko Parpolas' "The Coming of the Aryans". International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics 18, no2 (1989) , pages 98-127. Winters, Clyde Ahmad, 1991. "Linguistic Evidence for Dravidian influence on Trade and Animal Domestication in Central and East Asia",International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, 20 (2): 91-102. Prof. Clyde A. Winters
Posted by: amarnath Oct 29 2004, 12:02 AM And TONNES of more documents like texts of Ashokan edicts , Harsha Charita
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Nov 7 2004, 01:17 AM
Ramaraya and the battle of Talikota One of the most fateful events in Hindu history was the battle of Talikota that occurred during the time of Ramaraya who was the de facto ruler of Vijayanagar. Several attempts have been made by secularist writers to paint Ramaraya as a villain and downplay his eventful reign. He did commit miscalculations in different directions: 1) He killed many of Hindu Nayakas and replaced them by his own clansmen resulting in considerable discontent amongst the Hindu elite. He seized power through intrigue from the clan of Krishnadeva Raya and made himself the principal ruler of the Vijayaganagar Empire, displeasing many of the chiefs. 2) In a manner similar to the modern Indian state, he went against the age-old policy of the Vijayanagara state in recruiting Moslem soldiers indiscriminately in his army. 3) He destroyed the traditional Hindu civil service officials to place his own favorites and henchmen in their place. But he was by no means a slouch when it came to defending the Hindu Dharma at a very critical junction. The chaos following Krishnadeva’s death resulted in the Hindus coming under assault from many directions. The local chiefs of the Tamil country were in an intercine revolt, while Francis Xavier, the Portuguese Christian terrorist, was wreaking havoc on the Gulf of Mannar and reaping large numbers of converts. The Jesuit and Franciscan friars were planning a plundering raid on the rich temples of Kanchipuram. The Portuguese also captured the port of Nagore and were plundering the temple of Ranganatha there. This was when the Hindus appealed to Rama Raya to save from the Christian terror. Rama Raya dispatched his cousin, Chinna Tirumala (Timma) to deal with this task. Chinna Timma first conquered the Chandragiri fort and squashed the southern rebellion. Another traitorous Hindu chief of the fort of Bhuvanagiri was trying to make common cause with the Portuguese but the fort was stormed by Chinna Timma. From there he marched along the coast and crossed the Kaveri and attacked the Portuguese army in Nagore. The invading Christian army was butchered and the wealth stolen by the Christians from the Ranganatha temple was recovered and restored. From there Chinna Timma and his brother Vitthala defeated rebellious chiefs in Madurai, Puddukotai, Tanjavur, Tuthukudi and the Keralan chief of Travancore was also brought in line. Then Chinna and Vitthala set up a tower of victory in Kanya Kumari after massacring and driving out the Christian garrison stationed there. The temple at Tiruvanantapuram was also repaired. The Christian brigand Martin Desouza of Goa damaged and plundered the Bhatkal port and the Catholic priests were spreading a reign of terror in the Konkans. Ramaraya repulsed him and cleansed the place of the violent Christian evangelists. He was replaced by Joao Decastro, who negotiated a peace treaty with the Hindus and established a horse trade market. However, five years later the Christian missionaries were fanning out into the Konkan and robbed the Tirupati temple in an undercover raid and tortured Hindus along the coast. Ramaraya launched a retaliatory strike on the Christian garrison of San Thome. A large Portuguese army set out to help the San Thome garrison from Goa. But Ramaraya’s cousin Vitthalaraya launched a preemptive attack on the Goa army along with another Vijayanagaran division under Sankanna Nayaka of Ikkeri. The Christians faced a major set back and were repulsed. Ramaraya killed all the major Jesuit friars who were spreading terror in the country and captured 5 other senior bishops whom he ransomed for 100,000 pagodas. However, before Vijayanagar could effectively liberate Goa itself, the Moslem rulers, Adil Shah and Nizam Shah made a common cause to wage Jihad on the Hindus. Adil Shah invaded Vijayanagar, but Ramaraya who was dealing with the Christians dispatched his general Sadashiva Nayaka to deal with the Moslems. The Moslem army was routed and retreated in disarray. Rama Raya then started playing the 5 Moslem Sultans against each. He induced Nizam Shah to attack Barid Shah and kept them engaged with each other. Then he engineered a treaty where by the Moslems would collectively be under the eye of Vijayanagara. Ramaraya then invaded Bidar itself and defeated Barid Shah and brought him under his control. Thereafter, Ramaraya’s brother Venkatadri defeated the army of Qutb Shah and seized the southern districts of the Golconda kingdom. As result of Qutb Shah and his ally Nizam Shah’s retreat the Kalyani fort was taken by Vijayanagar. Then Ramaraya decided to deal with Nizam Shah while Adil Shah was fighting Qutb Shah. The Vijayanagaran army entered Maharashtra and besieged Ahmednagar. However, at the decisive moment the Hindus were robbed of their ultimate conquest by the flooding of the Sina river that washed away their baggage train forcing them to fall back. Not deterred by the retreat, the Vijayanagaran army turned to attack Golconda and pin down Qutb Shah who had just been defeated by Adil Shah. He tried to counter-attack by assaulting the Hindu fortress of Kondavidu. But the Hindu army repulsed his attack and inflicted heavy losses on the Moslem army. Ramaraya devastated the Qutb Shahi kingdom and captured its mainline of defensive forts of Kovilkonda, Ganpura and Pangal. Ramaraya also demolished the Mazaars and Masjids that had been built on Hindu structures. During his invasion of Ahmednagar he took the opportunity even while retreating due the weather to demolish a large Masjid that had earlier been erected on a Hindu shrine. All these sent a clear message to the Moslem rulers. At this point the Moslems realized that they were puppets at the hands of the Hindu ruler decided to make a common cause for a concerted Jihad to end the Hindu kingdom. The first sealed their friendship through a series of dynastic marriages and then had a combined meeting to sign a pact for Jihad. They gathered together their armies on the plains of Bijapur at the end of 1564 and built up an enormous Islamic horde of around 700,000 troops. This vast army started marching southwards with considerable speed. Ramaraya faced the situation calmly and on Vijayadashmi day 15th September 1564 asked his generals to prepare for an all out war with the Moslems. By December the Moslems reached Talikota, a fortified town near the Krishna river and declared holy war on the infidels. Ramaraya took all the right steps. He sent his brother Tirumala with a large force to prevent the Moslems from crossing the Krishna. He sent his other brother Venkatadri to defend the south bank of the Krishna and he himself came in next with the rest of the army to form the rear. The total Hindu armies appear to have been between 500,000 core troops, plus the mercenaries. The main chinks in the Hindu armies were the two divisions of a total of about 140,000 troops which belonged to Moslem commanders who had been hired foolishly by Ramaraya after their eviction from Bijapur by the Sultan. These divisions were along with Ramaraya’s main divisions. By December 29th 1564 the first battles broke out. Qutb Shah and Nizam Shah, who were great friends, decided to go on their own first and led their divisions to clash with Tirumala’s division. The Hindu army inflicted a huge defeat on the Moslems and the Sultans fled in disarray losing thousands of men in the encounter. The Sultans were shaken by this encounter and asked Adil Shah to forget previous arguments and stand by them for the intended Hindu counter-attack. The Sultans met secretly and decided that the only way to succeed was to resort to stratagem. Nizam Shah and Qutb Shah decided to parley with the mighty Raya who was now planning a massive counter-thrust into the Moslem flanks. At the same time Adil Shah sent a false message to the Hindu commander that he wished to remain neutral. While this was going on messengers from the Sultans went to the Moslem commanders in the Vijayanagaran army and appealed to their religious duty of Jihad and secured their alliance to launch a subversive attack. As a result of these parleys Ramaraya delayed his counter-thrust giving a small but critical time window for the Moslems to regroup. Sultan Imad Shah of Berar made the first thrust by attacking Tirumala’s division guarding the Krishna ford. Tirumala fell upon him with his full force and in short but intense encounter destroyed the Sultan’s army and sent him flying for life. However, the euphoria of this victory proved short-lived as the sultans Nizam Shah, Qutb Shah, Barid Shah on one side and Adil Shah on the other used this distraction to cross the Krishna and attack the main Hindu divisions. Ramaraya, though thoroughly surprised, rapidly responded. Despite his advanced age (in the 70s) he decided to personally lead the Hindu armies and took to the field in the center. He was faced by Nizam Shah’s division. Ramaraya’s first brother Tirumala hurriedly returned to form the left wing of the Hindu army that was countered by Adil Shah and traitorous Hindus under the Maharatta chief Raja Ghorpade. His second brother Venkatadri formed the Hindu right wing that was opposed by Qutb Shah and Barid Shah, strengthened by Nizam Shah’s auxiliaries as the battle progressed. On 23rd Jan 1565 the enormous armies clashed on the plains near the villages of Rakshasi and Tangadi. Several reports claimed that over a million men were involved in this historic clash. Venkatadri struck early and within the first two hours the Hindu right wing’s heavy guns fired constantly on the ranks of Barid Shah. As the ranks were softened the Hindu infantry under Venkatadri plowed through the divisions of Barid Shah annihilating them. The assault was so vigorous that it looked like a Hindu victory was imminent. Qutb Shah too was in retreat, when Nizam Shah sent his forces to shore up the ranks of the Sultans. Nizam Shah himself was then pressed hard by the heavy cannonade from Ramaraya’s division and was facing a Hindu infantry thrust with Ramaraya at the helm. At this point the Sultans signaled to the Moslem officers in the Vijayanagaran army to launch a subversive attack. Suddenly Ramaraya found his rear surprised by the two Moslem divisions in his ranks turning against him. About 140,000 Moslem troops had opened a vigorous rear attack on the Hindus and captured several artillery positions. Several cannon shells landed near Ramaraya’s elephant and he fell from it as his mount was struck by a cannon shard. Ramaraya tried to recover but Nizam Shah made a dash to seize him. He was dragged to the Moslem camp and the Sultan asked him to acknowledge Allah as the only god. Ramaraya instead cried “Narayana Krishna Bhagavanta”, and Nizam Shah slit the Hindu king's throat and declared himself a Ghazi in Jihad. Ramaraya's severed head was then fixed to a pole and waved before the Hindu troops. The Hindus panicked at the death of their commander and chaos broke out in their midst. Venkatadri was also killed as the Qutb, Nizam and Barid put all their forces together and launched a concerted punch. Tirumala tried to stiffen the center but at that point the whole division of Adil Shah that was waiting all the while made the final assault on the rear of Tirumala’s division. The Vijayanagar artillery had by then been exhausted and was blasted by the Adil Shah’s artillery and the Hindus faced a rout. Several 100,000s of troops were slain. Tirumala seeing the total rout fled to Vijayanagara and taking up the treasury on 1500 elephants fled south towards Penukonda. Those who could flee the city survived, the rest became victims of the Islamic Jihad. The Moslems swooped down upon the city and beheaded several tens of thousands of the male inhabitants as they could find (“every one became a ghazi by killing a Kaffr”). The young women were captured for the harems and the rest were herded into groups and burnt alive. Miscellaneous dacoits, Maharatta Hindu brigands under Raja Ghorpade Bahadur, and the Maharashtrian Brahmin thief, Murari Rao, who got wind of the news also arrived with their henchmen and looted the grand city. The looting is supposed to have gone on for six months, after which the sultans fired the city. The heat from the burning of the city is supposed to have been so intense that it left cracks in the granite hills on its periphery. Ramaraya's skull was taken by Nizam Shah to Ahmednagar and was fitted to the spout of a drain that opened out of the fort. This grotesque gargoyle bearing the fallen Hindu king's skull was seen for several years after the event. Thus the first great Hindu counter-offensive against the ravages of Islam and Christianity in the South ended. However, it did not mean the end of the Hindu resistance. We shall in the subsequent part how the complete Islamization of south India was prevented by the successors of Ramaraya in a prolonged struggle over the next 100 years, when the baton of the Hindu revival was taken over by the Maharattas under Shivaji. Sources and bibliography: A history of South India (4th edition) KAN Sastri. Firishta (Translated by J. Briggs in "History of the rise of the rise of Mohammedan power in India, Vol II) The early Muslim expansion in South India. Venkataraman Ayya Further sources of Vijayanagar History. KAN Sastri and Venkataraman Ayya A forgotten empire. R. Sewell Achyuta Raya Abhyudaya. Rajanatha Dindima. Collected papers on Vijayanagara. The character and significance of the Empire of Vijayanagara in Indian history. Krishnaswami Aiyangar. The battle of Talikota--before and after K.K. Basu Krishnaswami Aiyangar's monumental critical edition/translation notes of native sources (in collected sources volume; 81-7305-257-3) Ramarajiyamu of Venkayya Krishna Raya Vijayam by Kumara Dhurjati Ahobilam inscription of Sriranga-I (After the restoration)
Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Nov 8 2004, 01:03 AM
After Shambhaji had crowned himself Chatrapati, in Oct 1680 on the Vijaya Dashmi day decided to inaugrate his campaigns with strike against the Mogols. He set off with 3 divisions of the Maharatta cavalry: One division moved to attack the Mogol garrison at Surat via the parallel to coast northwards along the Konkans. The second division of Maharatta horse invaded Khandesh to strike a Mogol outpost there. Simultaneously a 3rd division moved to attempt a liberation ofthe Mogol outpost of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Awrangzeeb dispatched Khan-i-Jahan Bahadhur Khan with the central Mogol army to counter the Maharastras. Shambhaji led his division as though to attack Berar and then suddenly swerved and attaced Burhanpurin Khandesh through a very rapid forced march. The Maharattas destroyed the Mogol garrisons and captured the vasty booty of the Mogol camps in Burhanpur and Hasanpur. The Maharattas demolished the Masjids and in both the places and put the terrible Mussalman adventurers to sword. Khan-i-Jahan tried to retrieve the cities but he was beaten by the Maharatta army and they fell back to defend from the fort of Salhir. Raj Singh of Chittor and Durgadas Rathore at that time destroyed a Mogol army in the battle of Aravalli (a very less-described battle, that needs investigation!). Akbar-II the son of Awarangzeeb went over to the Rajputs. But Awrangzeeb through intrigue had him chased by his main army from Delhi. He fled and took refuge with Shambhaji. This immediately shook the Padishaw and he declared that he would lead the Jihad in Deccan personally.

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