History of India

Sources of Ancient Indian history – Resources and Instruments for Study

Sources of Ancient Indian history – Resources and Instruments for Study


Although, there are many resources available in India regarding ancient literature and philosophy, the resources of information about the ancient history of India is not satisfactory. Due to their shortcomings, a chronological history of ancient Indian culture and rule is not available. Yet such tools are available, whose studies and surveys give us the story of the ancient story of India. It is also impossible to know about the relationship between past and present India without studying these tools.

Introduction to the Resources and Instruments of ancient Indian history

The sources of information in the history of ancient India can be divided into two parts – literary and archaeological resources, both native and foreign. There are two types of literary instruments: religious literature and temporal literature. Religious literature is also of two types – Brahman Granth and Abrahman Granth.

There are two types of Brahmanic texts – Shruti in which Vedas, Brahmins, Upanishads etc. come and the memory under which the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, memories etc. come. There are four types of temporal literature – historical literature, foreign details, biography and imagination and fiction literature. Archaeological materials can be divided into three parts – records, currencies and ruins memorials.

The overlapping table makes these resources more clear

(A) Literary resources

  1. Religious Literature
  2. Memories
  3. Abrahman scriptures
  4. Cosmic literature

(B) Archaeological resources

  1. Records
  2. Manuscript
  3. Currencies

 (A) Literary resources

1. Religious Literary Resource for ancient Indian history

The major resources of information of ancient Indian history are literary texts which can be kept in two subdivisions – religious literature and temporal literature. It is necessary to mention them separately.

Brahman or religious literature – Brahmanic books are highly supportive in providing knowledge of ancient Indian history. India’s oldest literature is primarily religious. There are many Brahmin books by which the story of ancient India’s civilization and culture is known. They are the following main-

 i. Veda

In such texts, Vedas are the oldest and they come first. Vedas are the oldest texts of Aryans which are four-spreading of Aryans from Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda; Mutual warfare; Information about their continuous struggle with untouchables, slaves, slaves and bandits and specific amounts of their social, religious and economic organization is obtained. Similarly, Atharvaveda acquires the knowledge of the then culture and the Vidyasas.

ii. Brahmin

Vaidik mantras and prose criticisms are called Brahmin. In ancient Brahmin, the Atreya, Sathpath, Panchavish, Taiti etc. are special. The study of ethereal gets the knowledge of coronation and names of anointed people. One hundred chapters of the Sathpath present historical stories of Gandhara, Shivali and Kakaye etc and oriental countries of Kurukshetra, Panchal, Kaushal and Videh in northwestern India. The story of King-Examination has become more clear by the Brahmins only.

 iii. Upanishad

In the Upanishads, ‘Brihadaranyak’ and ‘Chandonya’ are the most famous. From these texts, the state of India before Bimbisar can be known. Examined, his son Janmajaya and later kings were mentioned in the same Upanishads. From these Upanishads, it is clear that the philosophy of the Aryans was the best and far ahead of the philosophy of other civilized countries of the world. The spiritual development of the Aryans is a living example of the oldest religious status and meditation of contemplation in these Upanishads.

iv. Vedang

For the Vedic study in the Yugantar, the branches of six Vidhyasas were born, which are called ‘Vedanga’. Vedanga literally resources the organ of the Vedas, however, due to the virtue of this literature, it is counted separately from Shruti literature. They are Education, Art, Grammar, Nirukta, Chhandacharya and Astrology. Within their Vedic branches, their separate class was established and formulas were formed in the form of textbooks of these classes.

Kalpasutras were divided into four parts-the Shrutra formulas which belonged to the Mahayana’s, the home formulas which used to light the house rituals, the Dharma formulas which were related to religion and religious rules, the Yuga Yuga, Havan-Kund Bedi, Naam etc. Were related to From Vedang, on the one hand, the knowledge of the religious states of ancient India is attained, on the other hand, its social status also.

v. Ramayana, Mahabharata

In both religious books, these two epic hold their special place. The Ramayana was composed by Maharishi Balmiki, which contains the Ramakatha of Ayodhya. It describes the state borders, towns and cities of doubt, governance of Ramrajya etc. The original Mahabharata was created by Sage Vyasa. The present form of the Mahabharata is the storehouse of ancient history stories and teachings etc.

This book gives light on the ancient social and religious stages of India. The greatest feature of these two epics is that they direct the spread of Aryan culture to the south. In the Ramayana, we have learned the knowledge of ‘Sudhaman’ and ‘Devasar’ from Mahabharata and the extent to which Raja was voluntary and the boundaries of his influence and work by representing these political institutions and people. Was finite.

vi. Mythology

After the epics, myths come which are eighteen. The credit for this is given to ‘cotton’ fomentation or to their son, the aggravated or rampant. The description of the five types of topics in the Puranas is theoretically as follows: Sangu, Pratirsha, Dynasty, Manvantra and Vaishuncharit. Surgan Seed or Puranana of the creation is called the reincarnation after the Holocaust, in the lineage, the family tree of the gods or sages is described, in Mantvantha, the descriptions of the Mahayugas of Kalpas, each of which man’s father is a manu and those are the parts of the hereditary Puranas in which the table of dynasties has been given and descriptions of political states, stories and events.

Regarding the above five Puranas, the issue of inheritance is not available in the eighteen myths. This is unfortunate because it is an important issue which is more important than the historical perspective in the Puranas, it is ancestral. Inheritances received only in future, fish, air, Vishnu, Brahmand and Bhagwat Puranas. A table of Paurav, Ikshwaku and Barhadian dynasties is also received in Garuda-Purana. But their date is fully uncertain. In the prediction style of the Puranas, the genealogies of Shishunaag, Nand, Maurya, Shung, Kanva, Andhra and Guptavans are also received along with tables of the Kaliyugs. Bimbisara and Ajatashatru are mentioned in the infants.

Thus, the Puranas refer to the conditions of the fourth century. More mention is found in Vishnu Purana in relation to the Maurya dynasty. Similarly, in the Matsya Purana, there is a complete mention of the Mnadhar dynasty. Air Puranas put light on the rule of secret emperors. In these mythologies, the genealogy of the Shudras and the Mcleas are also given. These lists are mentioned in the list of serious, doubt, pregnancy, yavan, Tushar, huun etc.

2. Memories as the resource of Ancient Indian History

Memories of Brahmin books also have historical significance. Memories of Manu, Vishnu, Yagnavalkya Narada, Jupiter, Parashar etc. are famous, which are accepted as Dharmashastra. In Manusmriti, which is probably composed in the 2nd century, religious and social status is revealed. Narada and Hospeti, which were composed around the sixth century AD, with memories, can be known about the proper relations and methods between the king and the people. Apart from this, the memories of Parashar, Atri Haris, Ushnas, Angiras, Yama, Umvrat, Katan, Vyas, Kshak, Saratayya, Gargayya etc. also tell about the social and religious stages of ancient India.

3. Abrahman scriptures as the resource of Ancient Indian History

In addition to the Brahmanic texts of religious literature, Abrahman texts reveal different stages of that time.

i. Buddhist textbooks

In the literature produced by the intellectuals, there are abundant materials contained in the history of Indian history. ‘Triptic’ is their great book. But, Vinay and Amithmham are called ‘Tripitaka’. Conductive rules for the Buddhist Association, Mathis and Monks are received in Vinay Pitta. Sutta Pitta has Buddha’s sermon. Sutta pitta is divided into five bodies –

In the first long body, there are special details of people associated with Buddha’s life and their contact. In the second joint body, there is light on the political life of the 6th century BC, but the information about the social and economic situation is greater. The third Majhim body considers Lord Buddha a singular person with divine powers.

Fourth, the list of sixteen Mahajanapadas is found in the Angutak Bodies. Fifth, The Body is a collection of short texts which presents the history from the 6th century BC to the Mauryan period. Amidhamma Pitta has the philosophical principles of Buddhism. There are some other Buddhist texts too. Milindapheno mentions the conversation of the Greek ruler Minenar and Buddhist Mikshu Nagesin.

‘Deepavesh’ gives information about the history of the Maurya period. ‘Mahavansh’ also tells Mauryan history. ‘Mahabodhivash’ is considered to be the history of the Maurya period only. In the ‘Mahavastu’, the history of Lord Buddha was made pointing to the history of the sixth century AD. In the ‘Lalitavastar’, there is a description of Buddha’s worldly Leelas which is associated with Mahayana. Pali’s ‘diagnosis narrative’ describes the Bodhisattvas. Yatyukkha, Mahavagga, Chuglwagga, Sut Bhirpang and the rules of Bhikkhu-Bhikhuni in the family are mentioned. These five books come under ‘Vinay’.

There are seven collections of Amidhma in which philosophy has been discussed. Studying trips for historical knowledge is important as it mentions organizations of Buddhist associations. Similarly, in Buddhist scriptures, Jataka is another important place for stories, whose number is 549. “Their significance is not only because their literature and art are superior, but they also have a higher value than the history of civilization in the third century BC.” In the Jataka tales, the stories mentioned before the birth of Lord Buddha Are there.

 ii. Jain Granth

Jain texts are also useful for getting knowledge of ancient Indian history. They are primarily religious. The ‘Appendix Mountain’ is particularly important in these texts. The ‘Bhadrabahu character’ is the second famous Jain book, with reference to Chandragupta Maurya, along with Jaina Bhardabahu. In addition to these texts, many Jain texts present the contents of Indian history, such as Katha Kosh, Punishashava-Kathakosh, Trilok Pragyanha, Essay Sutra, Kalika Purana, Kalp Sutra, Uttaran Sutra etc. Apart from these, the Yadra-Tart is mentioned in connection with these two religions and the Maurya Empire, such as Deepavans, Mahavansh, Millandipinho, Divya Vandan etc.

 4. Cosmic literature as the resource of Ancient Indian History

From the point of view of the achievement of historical materials, the proverbial literature can be divided into four parts –

i. Historical Texts as the resource of Ancient Indian History

There are many purely historical texts in which only the facts related to the emperor and the rule have been mentioned. In such texts, a holy book ‘Rajatarangini’ comes first, which is completely historical. In it, historical narratives have been presented on the basis of ancient historical texts, princes and prashastis in fictional form. Its composition It was started in 1148 AD. The history of all the kings of Kashmir is from this famous volume. In this, the method has been completely maintained.

Tamil texts also fall under this category These are Nandivak Lombakam, Kulottungj-Pilatatta Mill of Ottikutan, Kalingaattandhani of Jai Gondar, Raj-Raj-Sholan-Ula and Choluvansh Charitam. In this category, two books of Sinhal-Deepavans and Mahavans come, in which Buddhist India is mentioned.

The ‘Protaraksas’ of the Guptur Vishakhattha inaugurates Indian politics shortly after Sikandar’s invasion. Porus, the one who defeated Alexander the Great. Is one of the main characters of Mudrarakshasa At the same time, Chandragupta Maurya Chanakya and some of the current republics are also mentioned.

Kautilya’s economics is also an important treatise in this regard, which was composed before the eunuch. In this book, the creator has highlighted the current system of governance. Kautilya has highlighted various issues related to the king’s duty, governance, justice and so on. In fact, this text of Mauryan history is a mirror.

While Panini’s ‘Ashtadhyayi’ is a grammar text, it places the light on Mauryan pre and Mauryan political states. Similarly, ‘Mahanbasha’ of Patanjali also discusses politics.

‘Vrutnishar’ is also an important historical treatise in which the description of the then Indian society is found. Astrology is a part of the Gargi Samhita Purana, in which the invasion of yawns has been mentioned.

Kalidas’s ‘Malvikaganimitra’ is a historical literature, while presenting historical materials. In this text, Kalidas mentioned Agnimitra, son of Pushyamitra Sung and Prem Kavya of Vidarbhaaj’s princess Malavika.

 ii. Foreign details as the resource of Ancient Indian History

Apart from the native writers, the history of ancient India has also been created from foreign writers’ literature. Many foreign travellers and writers have personally written texts in Indian culture by travelling to India or from people. These include travellers from countries like Greece, Rome, China, Tibet and Arab.

The details of the Greeks are related to the circumstances before Sikander, its contemporaries and afterwards. Skylax was the first Greek soldier who first stepped on the land of India with the order of his master Darius I for locating the Indus river. Its description shows that the noble people of Indian society had great respect. Heckiusius was the second Greek writer who discussed the political relationship between India and abroad.

Herodotus, a famous Greek writer, wrote that Indians were war-lovers. From the same author’s text, it also shows that there was a warm relationship with India’s northern and western countries. Tesius was the Vaidya of the Iranian Emperor Xeroxus who described the organization customs, lifestyle, etc. of the Indian society prior to Alexander. But its description is mostly imaginary and false.

There were also many such writers in Sikandar’s time who composed texts in relation to India. These writers had come to India with Sikandar during his invasion of India. These are notable in the names of Aristobulus, Nirarkas, Chars, Eumenis etc.

In the passenger and writers after Alexander, the names of Megasthenes, Pliny, Talimi, Dimaxes, Diodorus, Plutarch, Arian, Curtius, Justin, Strabo etc. came from the Megasthenes Greek ruler, Seleucus, in the court of Chandragupta Maurya as Ambassador. Its ‘Indica’ gives Indian companies rich material in relation to the classification of geography society, Pataliputra etc. Although the original form of this text is unrecoverable, its citations have come in the books of many authors.

In the form of the Dimémus ambassador, Bindusara was in the court for a few days, which mentioned the civilization and politics of his time. The original book of this author also is unavailable. Talimi composed Indian geography Pliny described Indian animals, plants, minerals etc. in their ‘natural history’. Similarly, details of Arline’s articles and descriptions of Curtis, Justin and Strabo also provide the contents of the study of ancient India history. ‘Irithian’ name of the Sea of Periyar’s’, whose author is unknown, gives knowledge about India’s commerce.

(B) Archaeological resources of Ancient Indian History

Archaeological science is the science that studies and analyzes the old things and works to understand and interpret the evolution of human culture. This science studies the cultural-scientific study of human-society of the past, based on the analysis of excavations of ancient remains and materials. For this, old architecture, tools, tips, biological facts and geomorphs left by ancestors are studied.

Archaeological science is primarily a study of past human activity by the recycling and analysis of environmental data and physical culture, such as artwork, architecture and cultural landscape etc. omitted by humans. Since archaeology uses different processes, it can be considered both science and science subjects. In the US, it is considered part of anthropology, although in Europe it has a different discipline status.

Archaeological studies study the development of stone tools in East Africa four million years ago, from recent decades (not the fossil science). Archaeology is the most useful to know about prehistoric society when there is no written record for the study by historians. It is 99% of the total history of human beings, from the Stone Age to the advent of the alphabet in any society. There are many goals of archaeology, from standard development to cultural development and cultural history.

To know about the past in archaeological science involves the analysis of surveys, excavations, and finally collected data. In the broad scope, cross-disciplinary research across the fields such as anthropology, history, art history, classics, humankind, geography, geology, linguistics, semiotics, physics, information science, chemistry, statistics, paleoecology, paleontology, paleozoology Depends on paleoethnobotany and paleobotany.

1. Records as the resource of Ancient Indian History

Records are said to be engraved on relatively hard surfaces such as stone or metal. It has been used since ancient times. The rulers used to engrave their orders in such a way that they could see and read them and follow them. It is also being used in the modern era.

An article of particular importance or purpose is called an archive. This is different from general practical articles. Calculations of inscribed articles for the release, promotion, memory etc. on stone, metal or any other harsh and permanent substance is often covered under the record. Articles on paper, clothes, leaves etc. on soft matter, or any other colour, are covered under handwriting. Stuffed leaves (tadapatra) can be kept in the archives and handwriting bins with fossils. Articles written on clay plates and utensils and walls come in the limitation of records. Generally, the main identity of a record is its importance and the stability of its medium.

2. Manuscript as the resource of Ancient Indian History

Mathrakrishnan is a handwritten text. It is also known by name, handwriting, script, etc. In the English language, it is well known from the word Manuscript, these texts are also known by MS or MSS these abbreviation names. In the Hindi language, it is famous for ‘manuscript’, ‘handwriting’, ‘manuscript’ etc. It is believed that at the beginning of the sixteenth century (16), the study of Sanskrit began by foreigners. After the study began its fame was considered at the end of the seventeenth century and at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

In that era, the Matragrathas in India were studied and conserved by diverse organizations. The manuscript is a document that is written by a person or several individuals. Such as handwritten letters. Due to printed or any other method, duplicate material (mechanical / electrically) from another document, the finished material is not called manuscript.

3. Currencies as the resource of Ancient Indian History

A currency is a symbolic or ritualistic sense or sentiment in Hinduism and Buddhism. While in some currencies the whole body is involved, but most currencies are done with hands and fingers. An exchange is a spiritual emotion and is an energetic impression of the authenticity of Indian religion and religion and traditions of Taoism and the authenticity of spiritual work.

In the regular Tantric rituals, one hundred eight postures are used.

In yoga, generally when sitting in the vibration of Vajrayana, then to use different types of the body part of the respiratory body to balance and to affect the flow of life in the body, the use of currencies is called pranayama (yogic exercise of breathing) ) Is done with the combination.

In a research paper published in the National Academy of Sciences in November 2009, it has been shown that hand movements stimulate or encourage the same area of the brain that is of the language.


Read about Mughal empire contributions to India in Economic, Arts, and Architecture


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