Prehistoric (2 lakh-2.5k) BC
Prehistoric age: Roughly between 2 Lakh B.C. to 2.5k B.C. when human civilization was first started, however no exact pinpoint year.
The end of prehistoric age is roughly divided into 3 phases of Stone age:
(i) Palaeolithic age (unknown to 8k B.C.): Depended on nature for food by hunting via Stone tools.
Man called quartzite man here (since tools were made up of quartzite)
a. Early/Lower: Hand axe, choppers, cleaver
b. Second/Middle: flaked tools i.e. Blades, points, borers, etc
c. Third/Upper: Blades, burins, chisels. (Ostrich egg found here) Sites: Paleolithic sites are found in many hill slopes & river valleys but are absent in alluvial planes of Indus & Ganga
(ii) Mesolithic age (8k-4k):Hunters & Herders
Tools more pointed (microliths); domestication of animals.
Eg of rock art: Bhimbetka cave paintings were of Mesolithic time
Theme: hunting, women taking out mice & dealing with small animals, rituals, family, members. (No farming since not started)
Colour: These are stick paintings with only red & white colour. Red= plant juice + animal fat, white= plant juice + animal fat
(iii) Neolithic age (4k-2.5k):
Food producers (1st time farming)
Invention of Wheel;
Discovery of fire
Polished & grinded tools.
Pottery started to store grains.
Place where all 3 i.e. Paleolithic, Mesoliths & Neoliths are found:
Belan Valley, Mirzapur, UP; Middle part of Narmada.
Chalcolithic age: (1.8k-1.5k) BC
-Usage of Cu, Bronze began (Stone – Copper age) -Tools of stone, Cu & bronze. Economy
Barley waas main crop
Certain references of use of ploughshare
Rectanular & Circular houses
Burrying dead in N-S orienatation has been revealed. Pit burial too.
Ancient India with important Facts
Indus Valley civilization (2.5k-1.5k) BC…….during Bronze Age.
The transition from 4k B.C marked by individuality to 3k B.C marked by homogenous cultures is to be noted and hence Harappa civilization of 5, 00,000 sq. miles.
Consisting of Punjab, UP, Gujarat, Sindh, Baluchistan and Makran coast.
This civilization is highly developed than its contemporaries like Mesopotamia (R.
Tigris & Euphrates), Egypt (Nile) or China (R. Hwang Ho)
(Persia: An empire in southern Asia created by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC and destroyed by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC)
Gold Af,Persia, Karnataka
Silver Af,Iran (Harappans were 1st to silver. )
Lead Af, Iran, Rajasthan, South India
Copper Baluchistan, Khetri (Rajasthan)
Tin Af, Central Asia
Iron Knew all metals except Iron
All proto-Harappan cultures are pre-Harappan cultures but vice versa isn’t necessarily true.
Pre-Harappan: Before Harappan civilization &
Proto-Harappan: Before Harappan civilization but closely related to contemporary Harappan civilization.
Town planning & Structure:
Grid system dividing into rectangular blocks
Large scale use of bricks & complete absence of stones
Underground drainage shows sense of health & sanitation.
Fortified citadels on W side which housed public buildings.
Script & Language:
Script is pictographic (not alphabetic) representing birds, fish & human forms.
The writing is boustrophedon (Writing in alternate lines in opposite direction just like the ox ploughs.)
Language still unknown and will remain so until script is deciphered.
Agriculture was backbone of civilization as soil was fertile due to Indus’ flooding. –
Sowed seeds during floods in flood plains, harvested when water receded.
Used wooden ploughs (Kalibangan) & stone sickles. –
Crops: Wheat, Barley, dates, peas, mustard, millet, rice
Mixed cropping in Kalibangan
Well irrigation & dams: Agri infra
First to produce cotton in world.(Sugarcane wasn’t known)
Domestication of animals:
Animal rearing was practiced.
Bullocks, oxens, asses, goats, pigs.
Remains of horse & camel bones are found.
Pottery is dark/red, well baked, glazed or with paintings on it.
Seals (≠ coins) are greatest artistic creations of this civilization made up of soft stone.
Unicorn is most frequent animal inscribed on seal (NOT circular, but square [animal and inscription] or rectangular [inscription only])
Education symbols too, swastik too seen
Complete, Partial (first feed to birds) & post cremation burials.
Chief male deity was Pashupati Mahadeva (proto-Shiva) sitting in a yogic pose on a low throne, having 3 faces & 2 thorns.
He is surrounded by 4 animals (BERT-2D) Buffalo,Elephant,Rhino,Tiger ); with 2 Deer at his feet.
Chief female deity was Mother Goddess, depicted in various forms.
Worship in forms of: Phallus, trees, animals, fires.
No signs of temples
People believed in ghosts, evils spirits and hence amulets (Good Luck Charm) were used.
Trade & Commerce
Trade on barter system. Coins aren’t evident.
Inter trade was carried out with Saurashtra, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, South India, UP & Bihar
Foreign trade was with Mesopotamia & Bahrian.
Bullock & oxen were used for land transport.
Sumerian texts (of Babylon i.e. Mesopotamian) refer to trade relations with Meluha
(ancient name of Indus)
Rice, cotton & wool was produced.
The civilization slowly declined & faded out eventually.
Reasons prvided for the same are
(i) Increased salinity due to desert expansion
(ii) Floods due to depression in land
(iii) Aryans destroyed it
(iv) Trade with Sumerian finally lead to decline of civilization.
No clear cut evidence about Harappan polity.
Major sites & significance in Indus valley civilization
Harappa 40% total seals found here, Great granary
(‘Heap of dead’) Largest of all Indus cities, Great Bath & Granary, Ship on seal, woven cloth discovered, 9 levels of occupation (300ft above MSL) Impressive drainage system
Kalibangan Pre-Harappan phase shows land ploughed unlike Harappan, double cropping
Chanhudaro Only Indus city without citadel, Metal workers, bead makers found in here.
Surkotada Only Indus site where remains of horses have been found, coastal city with port town.
Banwali Clay bangles, animal & human figures.
Dholavira Latest and on of largest civilization found in India, signboard, 3 citadel with important inner closure
Lothal Only Indus site with artificial dockyard & hence main sea-port. (coastal
city with port town. ) Earliest rice cultivation here, twin burial
Rangpur Rice husk
Kalibangan Ploughed field, camel bones, circular & square graves, neither bricks nor drainage system (TP not developed here)
(Early)Vedic Age (1.5k to 1k) BC/ Aryan
Aryans means of ‘higher breed’
The general perception is that Aryans originated in steppes (extensive plains without trees in
Siberia & E.Russia).
Consensus is that they lived somewhere in East of Alps.
(Tilak : North Pole, Dayanand Saraswati: Tibet, Max Mueller:C.Asia)
On their way to India, Aryans first appeared in Iran and a little latter in India (1500 BC).
Rig-Veda has many things common with Avesta (ancient Iranian language).
According to Rig Veda, Aryans first settled in Sapta-Sindhu
Meeting of 7 rivers i.e. Eastern Af, Western UP, Punjab etc.
Ancient Aryans were semi-nomadic with cattles herds; settled after cultivation with plough started.
They were ruled by warriors who depended upon priests to perform rituals to protect crops, insure crops
Indian subcontinent got its name ‘Bharat Varsha’ after Bharata tribe, the strongest of the time.
Metals known: GIC (Gold, Iron, and Copper)
Rig Veda consists of 10 books (Mandalas) with 1 & 10 relatively new.
Chief was protector of tribe/jana.
However his powers were finite were not unlimited with tribal assemblies (Sabha, Samiti, Vidhata, Gana).
The first two assemblies are important.
Women attended Sabha & Vidhata.
Aryans drank addicted & intoxicating drinks: Soma (sanctified by religion) & Sura
(secular & more potent)
Early Vedic age was naturalistic & their were neither temples nor idols.
Gods: Indra, Varuna, Agni, Yama & Soma (plant God)
Based on kinship, the society was tribal & egalitarian.
People showed loyalty towards tribe called Jana.
Family was patriarchal.
Kingdom had not come into existence.
Women had respectable position in society & attended tribal assemblies.
No examples of child marriage.
Levirate (Niyoga) was practiced.
Monogamy was established practice however polygamy & polyandry were also known.
Marriage types: (8 types)
Brahma: Marriage with dowry
Daiva: Daughter sacrificed to priest as fee.this was considered ideal
Arsa : Cow& bull as token instead of dowry
Prajapatya: Without dowry or bride-price
Gandharva :Love marriage…Swayamwar is special form of Gandharva marriage.
Asura: Daughter bought from father…Arthashatra allows it without criticism
Rakshasa: Marriage by capture
Paisacha :Marriage by seduction
Cow was of economic importance & important form of wealth.
Wars were fought for cows & not territories underline the importance of cows.
Economy was pastoral.
Important rituals: Rajasuya, Ashwamedha (royal horse run), Vajapeya (chariot race fixed).
(Ashwamedha shows horse was significant animal)
When Aryans first came to India there was no consciousness of caste, not even of professional hereditary.
The term ‘varna’ referred in Rig Veda with reference to Aryan (fair) & Dasa (dark) having fair & dark complexions only BUT never w.r.t. to Brahman or Ksatriya.
Quadruple divisions of society made its formal appearance only at one place in 10th
Mandala of Rig Veda.
Even mention of Shudras is there in 10th Mandala.
Purohita (priest), Senani (army), Vrajapati (pasture).
There was no officer for tax-collection or administering justice.
Early vedic Later vedic
Polity Tribal society. Equal. King present
Eco Pastoral Agriculture
Society No division in society Division in society in form of varnas
Religion Simple: Worshiped nature:
sun, wind, rain & via mantras only. Complex: Priest dominated & ritual
Tax Bali (voluntary offering) & not
tax Tax compulsory to be given to king
Fights Tribes fighting for cattle Kings fighting for lands.
Women Strong position & societal
participation Forced to stay indoors.
Anulobh: (Allowed): Marriage of high caste man with low caste woman
Pratylobh: (Prohibited): Marriage of high caste woman with low caste man
Varna mixing unallowed.
Chandals: kids of male brahmin & female shudra
Later Vedic Age (1000 BC – 600 BC)
In this phase, Aryans subdued the fertile plains watered by Yamuna, Ganges & settled in
Deccan…north of Godavari.
Chiefdoms were replaced by kingdoms. Kings became powerful.
Assemblies lost their power & weren’t the true representation of majority.
Women were no longer admitted into assemblies, which was dominated by Brahmins &
Term ‘rashtra’ indicating ‘territory’ first appeared in this period.
Gotra signified descent from a common ancestor & hence marriage b/w persons of same
gotra wasn’t allowed.
Eastern King: Samarat;
Western King: Savrat;
Aryanakas: Forest texts taught by Brahmins.
Brahmins: Growing cult of sacrifice & rituals for clients empowered them.
Kshtriyas: Warrior class.
Vaishyas: Agriculturalists, cattle-rears, traders.
Shudras: Lowest in hierarchy.
Vedic literature: (a) Vedas
Vedas, derived from ‘vid’ which means to know, signifying knowledge par excellence.
Vedas are collection of hymns, prayers, charms & sacrificial formulae.
Vedas are called Apurusheya (Not made by man) & Nitya (eternal).
Apart from its literary significance, Vedas throw light on political, philosophical, Religious, social & economic aspect of life.
Consists of 1028 hymns divided in 10 mandalas (books)
In IIIrd Mandala, Gayatri mantra is addresses to solar deity Savitri.
IX Mandala to Vedic Soma.
X Mandala to Purusha Sukta
(2) Sama Veda:
Sets tunes for singing hymns of Rig Veda. (Udgatri priests)
(3) Yajur Veda:
Prescribes rituals for performing various sacrifices.(Adhvaryu priest)
Contains prose (Krishna Yajur Veda-Black) & hymns (Sukla Yajur Veda-White) (4) Atharva Veda:
Contains charms & spells to ward off diseases.
Preserves cults. (HTRC)
(b) The Brahmanas:
Containing prayer & sacrificial ceremony.
(c) The Aranyakas:
Forest books dealing with mysticism & priestly philosophy.
Transitional material b/w mythology & ritual of Samhitas & Brahmanas on one hand and
philosophical speculations of Upanishads on other hand.
literally meaning ‘Be seated at feet of Guru to receive teachings’.
The Upanishads imparts Philosophical & Spiritual learning.
Also called Vedanta or end of Vedas.
They are anti-ritualistic and define doctrine of karma (action), atma (soul) & God
To understand Vedic literature, it is necessary to learn Vedangas-limbs of vedas.
Literature handed by tradition. There are 6 Vedangas:
(a) Siksha (Phonetics) (b) Kalpa (Sacrificial ritual) (c) Vyakrana (Grammar)
(d) Nirukta (Eytmology)(e) Chandas (Metrics) (f) Jyotisha (Astronomy)
Vedangas are required for Reading, understanding & implementation of Vedas.
Ayurveda (dealing with medicine..relates with Atharvaveda Dhanurveda (warfare).
Related to Rig Veda Gandharvaveda (music)
Related to SamaVeda and Shilpaveda (Arts & Literature)
Related to YajurVeda
Contents are of diverse material like tales, anecdotes & ballads.
Topics include cosmology, mythology, folklores, worship, and society. Diverse.
Mahabharata, written by Ved Vyas is older than Ramayana.
Final compilation of 1 lakh verses reflecting state of affairs from 10th Century BC to 4th
Ramayana, written by Valmiki reflects from 5th Century AD to 12th Century AD.
The later Vedic religion laid stress on Right belief & Right knowledge criticising cult of rituals & beliefs.
The deeds of one life affects next.
This gave life to theory of Karma.
Samkhya (means count)
Upanishad Doesn’t believe in God but
deeds-World’s creation = nature
+ divine spiritual elements (Duality) -Salvation via pure knowledge. Deeds believer i.e.Karma, so-
Proponent of dualism (Puru-Samkhya & Vaisheshik belie
Yoga(compliment ary to
Patanjali Yoga = Samakhya + Divinity- Salvation through meditation & physical application. (Control
over pleasure) -Pranayam is basic to yoga-Not unislamic as
followed by Sufis too.
Secular (Even Nyaya is secu
Vaisheshik(vasiheshik means particularly)
Kanada Atomist approach of universe- Everything is based on concept
that everything in this universe (except time, space, consciousness, mind, soul) is
composed of atoms.
Marked beginning of physic
Akshpada / Gautama School of analysis & logic
Salvation via true valid knowledge
Four forms of true Knowledge i.Perception, ii.Inference, iii.Analogy, iv.Credible testimony
Purva Mimansa/ Mimamsa
Jaimini Condensed explanation of vedic theme
Salvation via perfection of vedic sacrifies via priesta (Karma
Philosophy) Mantra & Rituals
means Good Karma Also called Karma mimansa (Right Action) (Later Mimamsa
True desire to know God. True liberation will be achieved after surrendering to him-tat tvam asi World is illusion &
Brahma are ignorant so don’t know this-Via True knowledge, we
real realize knowledge of Brahma
Pre-Mauryan Age (600 BC to 400 BC)
Iron led to agriculture led to prosperity led to large territories.
Many janpadas sprung up. Larger were called Mahajanapadas.
Magadha rose from janapada to mahajanapada & later emerged as empire of Mauryans.
There are variety of reasons for the same.
Rise & Growth of Magadha Empire
Magadha was most prosperous kingdom in N India from 600 to 400 BC.
Founder was Jarasandha & Brihadrata.
But rise of Magadha started under Haryanka, exapnsion took under Sisunagas & Nandas
& reached zenith under Mauryans.
1. HARYANKA Dynasty
His Foreign Policy is Matrimonial Alliance
He married Koshala Devi, Sister of Kosala Ruler PARSENAJIT and got Kasi as dowry
Mother: Chellana, Lichchhavi Princes
First Buddhist Council @ Rajgir (483 BC-Prez: Makasappa)
Conquered Vajjis Confederation after a prolonged struggle
Found a city called PATALIPUTRA and made it as capital
Killed by his minister SHISUNAGA
2. SHISUNAGA Dynasty:
SHISUNAGA: Annexed Avanthi
Second Buddhist Council @ Vaishali (383 BC-Prez: Sabhagami)
Killed by his minister MAHAPADMANANDA
3. NANDHA Dynasty:
Famously called Ugrasena (Terrible Army)
Annexed Kalinga before Asoka (source: Hathigumba Inscription, Hathigumba, Orissa during period of Kalingan King KARAVELA)
Alexander’s Invasion (326BC) during his period, but he did not fight with Alexander
Defeated by Chandragupta Maurya with the help of a Brahmin named Vishnu
Gupta / Chankya / Kautilya
Caus es of Magad h a’s su ccess:
Ambitious kings like in above 4 dynasties
Topographical advantage: rivers used for trade, defense, communications.
Resource base was broad: minerals, agri, fertile land, forests
Efficient administration (Nandhas).
Republicans present during this period
Republics were common during this period & were ruled by tribal oligarchies.
Raja had freedom to do appointments, simple administration.
Licchavis of Vaishali was oldest.
Buddha admired administration of Licchavis.
Ajatsatru defeated Licchavis later.
Examples of republics are:
1. The sakyas of Kapilavastu (Lord Buddha belonged)
2. The Lichchhavis of Vaisali (Oldest republic)
3. The Mallas of Pava (Mahavira breathed his last at Pava)
4. The Mallas of Kusinagar (Buddha breathed his last at Kusinagar)
5. The Kolliyas of Ramagrama
6. The Bhaggas of Sumsumasa
7. The Moriyas of Pippalivahana
8. The Kalams of Kesaputta
9. the Videhas of Mithila
10. the Nayas(Jnatrikas) of Vaisali
Iranian & Greek Invasions
1. Iranian invasion
NW India fragmented plus wealth present. So attacked by Iranians.
Impact: Contact for 200y, Trade with them via coins, Ashokan inscriptions in NW India in
300 BC wrote in Kharosti (Iranian script), In preamble of Ashoka’s edicts, In sculpture too impact is visible, bell shaped capitals are from Iran, via Iran only Greeks came to know about Indian wealth
2. Greek invasion
Alexander’s dream of capturing world led him to India where political conditions were
suitable i.e. Fragmented due to independent monarchies & tribal republics.
He marched via Khyber pass in 326 BC & defeated Taxila ruler Ambi first, later
Porus was defated.
Later he came across Nanda dynasty.
Dhanananda is mentioned as Xandrames or Aggrammes or Ganderites in the Greek historical texts.
These texts mention that crossing the Beas was the last outpost of Alexander’s army which was insisted by Alexander to cross Ganga as well.
But by hearing that Dhanananda was waiting for them with 200, 000 army they were frightened and revoltedand thus Alexander’s army turned back.
Alexander began his homeward journey in Babylon.
Impact: Ancient Europe came in contact with Ancient India for 1st time.
He destroyed petty states of NW India which paved way for Mauryan empire.
Greek influence in Gandhara scultpture form, His historians tell us about India.
King Name Situation Effects
1. Cyprus of
Persia (Iran) Ist to penetrate into India &
destroyed N. of Kabul -Intro of Aramiac writing
-Promotion of Indo-Iran trade
-Geographic exploration of Indus & Arabian sea leading to new water route
-Fusion of arts, religion.
(Greek) Defeated Darius III &
dismantled Persian empire. After conquest of Persian
empire marched towards India via Khyber pass in 326 BC & defeated Porus.
Alexander’s advance was arrested on banks of Beas for his soldiers mutinied & refused to proceed further after Battle of Jhelum & Vitasava. His dream of Eastern empire remained unfulfilled. The king who had never known defeat
at the hands of enemies had
accepted defeat due to his own men. -Trade route b/w N.W.India & W.Asia
-Indians learned from Greek in
Astronomy, coinage, archi & sculpture
-Established Orthodoxy & changing aspirations of groups gave rise to as many as 62 religious sects (heterodox sects) during the period. (Jainism & Buddhism were more prominent)
Reasons for heterodox sects:
Division into 4 varnas led aspirations of vaishyas, kshatriyas v/s Brahmins to lead improved social position (as trade had enhanced their economic position);
Rise of new agri economy required use of bullocks but vedic ractice of killing cattle led to decimation of cattle wealth. B & J spoke against these vedic practices.
Desire of commoners to give up material life & lead a simple life.
Vedic religion lost its purity & vedic philosophy was getting complex & infected by dogmas, sacrifices , superstition etc.
Reasons for popularity of Buddhism & Jainism
Both Budhha & Mahavira were magnetic personalities
Buddhism used Pali & Jainism used Prakrit, both languages of common man (BP-JP)
They didn’t attch much importance to existing varna system & hence lower classes were attracted.
Were patronized by various kingdoms. (Nandas patronized Jainism, Mauryans:Buddhism )
Didn’t engage in metaphysiacl discussion & suggested simple way of living –
Followed liberal policy towards women. (Later in Buddhism)
Both were founded by kshatriyas in E. India
Both were against ritualistic interpretation of vedas & opposed Brahmanical domination. They uphold essence of Vedas.
Both preached Truth, NV, celibacy, detachment from material comforts.
Both were non-theistic religions. (Buddha agnostic??)
Both believed in karma & re-birth (transmigration of soul)
Both allowed women & shudras to follow religion, become monks & attain salvation.
Both were opposed to caste system but couldn’t eliminate it.
Method of attaining salvation for Jains was extreme one, for Buddhas-moderate.
Jainism is more liberal towards women.
Jainism believed in soul, Buddhism didn’t.
Jainism was confined to India, but survived here. Buddhism spread rapidly to foreign lands but died in India.
Jainism laid overemphasis on Ahimsa, Buddhism was practical.
Origin shrouded in mystery as ‘jaina’s believe religion is by-product of teachings of 24 tirthankars (gurus) (Mahavira was 24th Tirthankar)
Mahavira (Real name Vardhaman) –
Born in 540 BC near Kundagrama;
Siddharta was his father, Trisala was mother, Yashada wife & Jameli was daughter. – Attained kaivalya (meaning enlightenment in Jainism) at Jrimbhikagram in East India (Age
Also called Jina(conqueror), Jitendriya (one who conquered his senses); Nirgrantha (free from all bonds)
Way to Kaivalya (enlightenment or Nirvana):
Five main teachings (vows) (LK-SAB) called Mahavratas
-Observe continence (Brahmacharya)…Added by Mahavira
The sacred literature of Shvetambaras is written in the form of Prakrit called Ashvamagadhi
Philosophy of Jainism:
Mahavira thought all objects, whether animate/inanimate had soul & felt pain.
He rejected the authority of vedas & rejected Brahmin supremacy.
(i) Nyayavada: Object of knowledge is highly complex & cannot be fully conceived by man. So
man’s conception is valid from a single stand point only.
(ii) Saptavanginyaya: There are 7 views & none is comprehensive. So man’s statement is partially
(iii) Syadvada: Theory of maybe/perhaps
(iv) Anekantvada: Doctrine of manyness of reality.
Concept of Sale-khana:
Best form of death is by giving up food.
Sects in Jainism:
After Mahavira’s death during Chandragupta Maurya’s reign, famine led to exodus of Jains
from Ganga valley to Deccan.
Followers of Bhadrababu who accompanied him in South & retained nudity.
Sthulabhadra stayed in North only & allowed his followers to wear white garments.
Digamber (South India) Bhadrabahu
(Bhadre in South…Kozi) Shvetamber (North) Sthulbhadra
Women cant achieve salvation due to
deformation Women can
Didn’t recognize Sabastra guru Recognized Sabastra guru
Spread of Jainism:
In the period between Mauryas & Guptas, it can be traced from Mathura in west to Orissa in the East but later was concentrated in two regions i.e. Gujarat, Rajasthan(Digambar) & Mysore (Shvetambara)
Decline of Jainism:
Took concept of Ahimsa too far, said medicines shouldn’t be consumed as it kills germs.
unpopular with commoners.
Observance of extreme penance & austerity was tough.
Jains didn’t take any special efforts to spread the religion.
• Udaygiri & Khandagiri (Orissa); Hathigumpha; Baghagumpa
• Dilvara temples in Mt. Abu, Tejapala & Vimalavasai temples.
• Girnar & Palitan temples (Gujarat) Pavapuri & Rajgriha (Bihar)
• Statue of Gomateshwar/Bahubali at Shravanbelagola (Mysore)
Gautama, the Buddha also known as Siddhartha, Sakyamuni and Tathagata.
Born in 563 BC (widely accepted) at Lumbini.
Left home at the age of 29 and attained Nirvana at the age of 35 at Bodh Gaya.
Delivered his first sermon at Sarnath. Lord Mahavira enunciated four noble truths:
(a) There is suffering
(b) This suffering must have cause of ‘desire’
(c) Suffering must be rid off
(d) In order to get rid of suffering, one must know the right way i.e. 8 fold path
Desire could be extinguished if we followed eightfold paths: (VRAS-LEMM)
1. Right vision; Right resolution (wisdom)
2. Right action; Right speech; Right livelihood (morality)
3. Right efforts, right memory, Right meditation (concentration)
Tri-Ratnas of Buddhism (3 jewels) BDS
Lumbini, BodhGaya, Sarnath & Kusinagar, Shravasti, Raj Griha, Vaishali & Sankasya:
Eight holy places, Ashtamahastanas.
Other Centres: Amravati, Nagarjunikonda (AP), Nalanda (Bihar), Junagarh & Vallabhi (Gujarat), Sachi, Bharut (MP), Ajanta-Ellora (Maharashtra), Dhaulagiri (Orissa), Kanaju, Kasambi, Mathura (UP)
Architecture: Chaitya (Church…Prayer hall),Vihara (Residence), Stupa (Relics of
Sects of Buddhism
Lesser vehicle Mahayana
Greater vehicle Vajrayana(Newest) Vehicle of thunder bolt
Followers believed in
Original teachings of
Buddha. Heavenliness of Buddha
& Salvation though
Salvation though magical power called Vajra( sex)
Believes in Idol worship No Yes (So, 3 sculpture
Lang. used Pali Sanskrit —
Extinction of all Not a negative cessation
but a positive state of bliss Sidenotefemale
Facts about Buddhism
Buddhism has roots in Sankhya Philosophy, Vedanta, Upanishads (Ideas like Karma, rebirth, moksha, ahimsa)
According To Buddhism, there is no God, no self, no soul, no spirit.
Contribution of Buddhism
Buddhism contributed by giving idea of Ahimsa (Non-violence)…inculcated later in
Buddhism overcame India’s isolation by establishing contacts b/w India &
Buddhism proved to be one of the greatest civilizing forces.
Spread of Buddhism
Pali, language of people spread Buddhist doctrine amongst the masses.
200 hundred years after Buddha’s death, Mauryan King, Ashoka embraced Buddhism.
This was an epoch making event.
Ashoka made it a world religion by spreading it in Sri-Lanka,C.Asia, W.Asia
Lord Kansihka became its patron in 1st Century AD.
Though Buddhism disappeared from the land of its birth, it is still practiced in South
Asia, South East Asia & East Asia.
Spread of 2 sects: Mahayanism in C. Asia, China & Japan; Hinayanism in Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand & other South East Asia.
-By 12th Century AD, Buddhism became practically extinct. It had became victim of
‘Brahmanism’ against which it fought in beginning. Buddhists monks were cut off from lives of people. They gave up Pali, took Sanskrit, language of intellectuals.
-Entry of women in Buddist Sangha & attack by Turkish invaders led its decline. -Buddha, by early medieval times, was considered as one of incarnations of Vishnu & thus became part of Vaishnavism.
Mahajanpadas and Nandas
Anga (including the modern districts of Monghyr and Bhagalpur in Bihar) with its capital of
Magadha (covering the districts of Patna, Gaya and parts of Shahabad) with its earlier capital at Rajgriha or Girivraj
Vajji (a confederacy of eight republican clans, situated to the north of the river Ganga in
Bihar) with its capital, Vaisali
Malla (also a republican confederacy covering the modern districts of Deoria, Basti, Gorakhpur and Siddharthnagar in eastern Uttar Pradesh) with two capitals at Kusinara and Pawa
Kasi with its capital at Varanasi
Kosala (covering the present districts of Faizabad, Gonda, Bahraich etc.), with its capital at Sravasti ○Vatsa(covering the modern districts Allahabad, Mirzapur etc.), with its capital at Kausambi
Chedi, (covering the modern Bundelkhand area with its capital at Shuktimati)
Kuru (covering the modern Haryana and Delhi area to the west of river Yamuna) with its capital at Indraprastha (modern Delhi)
Panchala (covering the area of western Uttar Pradesh up to the east of river Yamuna up to the
Kosala Janapada) with its capital at Ahichhatra
Surasena, (covering Brij Mandal with its capital at Mathura)
Matsya (covering the area of Alwar, Bharatpur and Jaipur in Rajasthan)
Avanti (modern Malawa) with its capital at Ujjayini and Mahishmati
Ashmaka (between the rivers Narmada and Godavari) with its capital at Potana
Gandhara (area covering the western part of Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan) with its capitals at Taxila and Pushkalavati
Kamboja (identified with modern district of Hazara disricts of Pakistan)
Mauryan Empire (325 -183 BC): Capital was Taxila
Who How Features
Maurya (CM) Defeated Seleucus Nikator (Macedonian General who had accompanied Alexander, the Great back then ) & thus occupied large territory -Became Jain & went to Shravanbelagola
where hedied by slow starvation. (sale-khana)
-Whole N.India united for 1st time.
-Trade flourished, Agri regularised, Std.
money & weights into use.
Bindusara Extended the kingdom further south till Mysore.
Ashoka (post Ashoka there was vacuum for 600y) According to Buddhist tradition, he killed his 99 elder brothers & spared Tissa, youngest one to gain the throne. -Mauryan empire reached climax during his tenure. (Except extreme south whole sub-continent was under his control)
-After Kalinga war, he was moved by
massacre & gave up policy of physical occupation in favour of cultural conquest.
-He wasn’t an extreme pacifist though, he
Written by Chandragupta Maurya’s PM Chanakya.
It had 15 books.
First five: Internal administration
Next eight: Relations with neighbouring nations.
Last two: Misc.
Striking feature of Mauryan empire was huge maintenance of Army as well as Navy.
State controlled most of the economic activities.
Banking was well developed; silver coins were in vogue for transactions.
Arts & Architecture
Best example is of Sarnath Pillar
It shows four lions standing back to back standing on abacus having 4 animals
(Elephant, bull, lion & horse) & Dhamma Chakra..all this on an inverted lotus.
Huge pillars of sandstone.
Main purpose of Stupa is to enshrine some relics of Buddha.
Eg: Sanchi Stupa
Caves were served as residence for monks & assembly halls.
After Ashoka, empire broke down & gave away quite fast.
Pushyamitra Shungu defeated Mauryan King in 185 BC & started Shungu dynasty in
Some reasons cited are: (a) Brahmanical reactions (b) Revolution by Pushymitra by oppressiveness of Muryas (c) Over centralization of administration (d) Financial crisis.
Post Mauryan (200 BC to 300AD)
Disintegration of Mauryan empire gave rise to many centres of powers like:
N-W India Indo-Greeks, Shakas, Partians, Kushans. (All foreign invaders )
Shunglu, Kanvas (Locals)
South Pandyas, Chelas, Cheras (3 Sangam Kingdom)
Fights for power amongst dynasties are the feature of Post-Mauryan period.
Gupta Period (320 AD to 550 AD)
After collapse of Kushans & Murundas in mid-3rd century, they came to power.
They rose in Magadha & establish large part of India under their control (though their
empire wasn’t as large as Mauryans)
The Gupta period is known as the Golden Age of India due to scientific and artistic achievements made possible by the sustained peace and prosperity.
The Gupta Empire is also known for the poet Kalidasa, the writing of the Puranas and the astronomers Varahamihira and Aryabhata.
The Empire collapsed in the 6th century CE following sustained invasions of Huns from Central Asia.
The Chinese travellers Fa Hsien and Yijing visited India during the reign of the Guptas
Srigupta & Gatotkacha Gupta took title of Maharaja
Chandragupta I -First Gupta ruler to assume title of ‘Maharajadhiraj’
-Started Gupta Era.
of India) -Greatest king of Gupta dynasty.
-Believed in policy of war & quest
-Court Poet: Harisena
(Vikramaditya) – Exercised indirect influence over the Central Indian
kingdom of Prabhavati through his daughter
Position of Shudras as they were allowed to listen to epics & puranas though untouchability became more prominent.
Arts & Archi
Buddhist university of Nalanda was built up in 4th century during this period.
Gupta period’s formative contribution to temple archi styles of Nagara & Dravida.
Chaityas & Viharas
Art achieved highest level of perfection (So called golde , classical age)
Art was secular, sensitive & anthropomorphic.
The iron pillar at Delhi erected by Chandra Gupta II has defied corrosion for over 1600 years
Aryabhata came up with the concept of zero, and postulated that the Earth revolves around
the Sun, and determined the cause of eclipse.
The works of Kalidasa marked the highest point of Sanskrit literature
Chess originated in the Gupta period
Indian numerals, the world’s first base 10 numeral system, originated in the Gupta Empire
The Kama Sutra was written by Vatsayana in the Gupta period
Varahamihira postulated that moon revolves around the sun
Gupta temples were not excavated from rock but it was independent structure built up of dressed stone blocks.
Decline of Gupta Dynasty
Huns were primitive pastoralists owning herds of cattle & horses knowing nothing of agri.
White Huns came to Afghanistan, destroying Kushan power, they settled there. – Huns then destroyed Gupta empire and occupied Central India
Arybhata (476-550 CE) was the first in a line of great mathematicians-astronomers in India
His famous works are the Arbhatiyam and the Arya-Siddhanta
His discoveries in mathematics include
Value and irrationality of Pi
Area of a triangle, concept of sine
Sum of series
His discoveries relating to astronomy include
Postulated Heliocentrism i.e. planets revolve around the Sun
Calculated sidereal rotation (24 hrs) and sidereal year (365 days) o Computed
Discovered cause of eclipses.
Important Facts of Indian History
History of Ancient India
● The Harappan Fort in the shape of a parallel square is 460 yards in length (north-south) 215 yards in breadth (east-west) and 15-17 yards in height.
● The script of Indus civilization was pictorial in which there were more than 600 picture-letters and
60 original letters.
● The excavations of Chanhudaro were carried out in 1925 under the leadership of Earnest M’ckay.
This town had no fort.
● Naal, Daburkot, Rakhi Garhi, Banawali, Rangpur, Lothal, Des Morasi, Kulli, Rana Ghundai, Anjira, Gumla, Amri, Ghundai, Mundigak, Diplabaga, Sahar-i-Sokhta, Bampur and Queta etc. are famous historical sites where the remains of Indus civilization and pre Indus civilization have been excavated.
● Daburkot, Periano, Ghundai, Kulli, Mehi, Chanhudaro, Amri, Lohumjodaro, Alimurad, Ropar, Rangpur, Sutkegender are the prominent (spots) places of Indus Valley civilization.
● The excavations of Kalibangan, a historical place in Rajasthan began in 1961 under the direction of B. K. Thapar and B. B. Lal. From the lower layer of the excavation, the remains of pre Indus civilization and from the upper layer of the Indus civilization are discernible. The fortress and the city both were surrounded with walls.
● The excavations at Rangpur—an Indus site in Gujarat were carried out in 1953-54 under the leadership of Rangnath Rao. Forts of raw bricks, drainage, terrecota utensils, weights and slabs of stone have been found but the idol of mother Goddess (Matridevi) and coins have not been found.
● Lothal was situated at that time near the ocean. In excavations the remains of a dockyard have been
found which testify to the trade relations of Indus people with western Asia.
● In the district of Kutchh in Gujarat state, 12 kms north-east of Adesar is situated Surkotda which was explored and excavated in 1964 under the guidance of Jagatpati Joshi.
● In the excavation of Indus civilization, a very big building has been explored. It is 242 ft long and
112 ft broad. The walls are 5 ft thick.
● Some figurines on tables have been found in Indus civilization in the centre of which is a round shaped Sun and around it are the pictures of 6 gods arranged in a way that they appear as if they are the Sun beams. This testifies to the worship of Sun in the period.
● The proof of the existence of a Man-like being are 1 crore to 20 lacs years old.
● In the Indian population, there are four basic racial sub-difference. These are Negrito, Astro
Australians, Kakeshisi and Mongoloids.
● In India, skeletons (human body in bones-kankal) have been found in Sarai Nahar Rai near Allahabad, Bataikhor and Lekhania. High in length, flat nose and broad mouth are their characteristics. These belong to Mesolithic age.
● The pre stone civiliation came to be knwon in the region of river Sohan a subsidiary of Sindhu. Hence it is called Sohan civilization. The Vatikapoom in the form of (Gandasa) axe and Khandak were its main implements.
● In Harappan culture, the worship of Earth as goddess was in vogue. This is indicated by the idol of a woman with a plant growing out of her womb.
● Along with the Elephants, Rhinoceros, Buffalos, Lions and Deers, the picture of Yogi engraved on a seal (Muhar) suggests the worship of Shiva in Harappan civilization. This god had three heads and he sat with crossed legs.
● The Talismans obtained in large numbers indicate that the people of Harappan culture believed in
witchcraft or the dead souls. These talismans were made of bronze and copper in the form of plate.
● In Harappan culture the weight (for measuring) were 16 or of its multiplied numbers.
● The dogs and cats were the domesticated animals and their foot prints confirm this fact.
● The remains of the horses have been found at Surkotda. The existence of the horse is not known from the upper layer of Mohanjodaro excavation. The terrecota small figurines provide knowledge about it.
● The people of Lothal used rice in 1800 B.C.
● As Sindh was one of the oldest region for cultivating cotton, the Greeks named it as Sedon.
● In Harappan culture, silver was obtained from Afghanistan, Iran, South India, Arabia and
Baluchistan. Gold was imported from Afghanistan and Persia.
● The stone Lajward was brought from Badakshan, Feroza was brought from Iran. Jayumani was brought from Maharashtra, Moonga and redstone were brought from Saurashtra and Western India and the precious greenstone (Panna) was brought from Central Asia.
● The Ahar culture (Rajasthan) belonged to the Copper age. The houses were built of stone and a mixture of lime and soil. Paddy was cultivated and Metal Work in Bronze were in vogue. All these were the characteristics of this culture which existed about 2000 B.C.
● The remains of Malwa stone and Bronze culture have been found in Navdatoli where the houses were built of mud, bamboo and dry grass in a square and round shape. The terrecota utensils and agricultural products of wheat, oil seeds, pulses (Masur) and green and black gram are the characteristics of this culture.
● The Rishis (Sages) like Gritsamad, Vishwamitra, Bhardwaj, Atri and Vashishta composed the
Suktas or the Vedic Mantras.
● The prominent female sages were Lopamudra, Ghosa, Shachi and Poulomi.
● Sam Ved is divided into three branches—(1) Kouthum, (2) Ranayaniya, (3) Jaminiya.
● Prominent among the Ayurvedacharyas were Acharya Ashwini Kumar, Dhanvantari, Banabhatt, Sushrut, Madhav, Jeevan and Lolimbaraja etc.
● Ayur Ved is an ‘Upaved’ of Rig Ved, Dhanur Ved is ‘Upaved’ of Yajur Ved, Gandharva Ved is the
‘Upaved’ of Sam Ved and Shilpa Ved is the ‘Upaved’ of Atharva Ved.
● Rig Ved has two Brahmans—(1) Aitereya, (2) Kaushitaki.
● Krishna Yajur Ved has the Brahman—Taitteriya and Shukla Yajur Ved has the Shatpath Brahman.
● The Brahmans of Sam Ved are Tandav, Panchvish, Sadvish and Chhandogya.
● The Aranyakas deal with life, death and other serious themes. These are written and studied in
loneliness of the forests.
● Aitereya and Kaushitaki are the Aranyakas of Rig Ved. The author of Aitereya was Mahidas
● Taitteriya Aranyaka belongs to Krishna Yajur Veda.
● Sam Ved and Atharav Ved have no Aranyakas.
● Prominent among the Upanishads are Ish, Ken, Kath, Prashn, Mundak, Mandukya, Taitteriya,
Aitereya, Chhandogya, Vrihadaranyak, Shwetashwara, Kaushitaki and Mahanarayana.
● During the Rigvedic period Nishk was an ornament for the neck; Karnashobhan was an ornament for the ear and Kumbh was the ornament for the head.
● In the Rigvedic age, the Aryans domesticated the cow, the buffalo, goat (ajaa), horse, elephant and
● Bheeshaj was the person who treated the sick people.
● The Rigvedic Aryans worshipped the Sun as Savita, Mitra, Pooshan and Vishnu. Sun was called the
‘Eye of Gods’; and Agni the ‘Mouth of Gods’. Agni was considered to be the Purohit of the Aryans.
They thought that the offering of the Yajna reaches to the gods through Agni. Varun was worshipped as a spatial god.
● In Rig Veda, Usha, Sita, Prithvi, Aranyani, Ratri, Vak are worshipped as goddesses.
● Besides Rig Ved, the reference of Sita as the goddess of agriculture is made in Gomil Grihya Sutra and Paraskar Grihya Sutra.
● The ancient idols of Ganesh show his main weapons as Paash and Ankush.
● In the Rigvedic age the traders were called ‘Pani’. They stole away the cattle of the Aryans.
● Das’ or Dasyas were more hated than the ‘Pani’. They have been referred as black complexioned
inauspicious and opposed to Yajnas. They were the worshippers of Phallus (Shishnadev).
● In the Rigvedic age, the cow was the backbone of economy. It was called ‘Aghanya’—not to be killed, war has been referred as Gavisthi, the guest as Mohan and the daughter as Duhiti. One Rik refers to the domestication of sheep.
● Vashishtha who replaced Vishwamitra as Purohit of King Sudas, has been mentioned as adopted
son of Urvashi, and born of the ‘Virya’ of Mitra and Varun on an earthen pot.
● Ballabh and Tarukshadas were chieftains who lavishly donated to the Purohits and through their
grace obtained respect and high place in the Aryan society.
● Savitri is referred in the famous Gayatri Mantra. In Rig Ved the maximum reference is made of
Indra. After him Varun is referred to. In the earlier Richas Varun and Marut have been mentioned as
‘Gan’. Twasta also was a Vedic God.
● Prajapati has been referred as the Adi Purush—the first human (male). The gods were his children.
● In Rig Ved, the king has been mentioned as the Protector of the clan or the Gopta Janasya. The
reference to Sabha, Samiti, Gan, Vidath is made as the Tribal Councils.
● No bureaucracy developed in Rigvedic age. Yet the officer of Gochar land were called Vrajpati, the officer of the village was called Gramani. He was the commander. The chief of the family is referred as ‘Kulap’.
● The words like Vrat, Gan, Gram and Shardh have also been used for indicating the group of
● In Rig Ved Jan is used 275 times, Vish is used 170 times. Sangram is the word which indicates war
between the villages.
● The God of Vegetation. It was also an intoxicating drink and the method of its preparation is
referred in the Rig Ved.
● The later Vedic literature was written during 1100 to 600 B.C. The painted grey ware—bowls and plates were used and the tools which they used were made of iron.
● The main crop of the later Vedic age was wheat and paddy instead of barley.
● In the later Vedic age, the Vidath were extinct but the Sabha and the Samiti existed.
● In this period, the King performed the rites of Rajsuya Yajna with a desire to obtain divine power, Ashwamedha Yajna to expand the empire and the Vajpeya Yajna for chariot racing with friends and relatives of his Gotra.
● The Gotra system began in the later Vedic age. The custom of marrying outside the Gotra also
● In the literature of later Vedic age, the first three Ashrams are mentioned—(1) Brahmcharya, (2) Grihastha, (3) Banprastha. The Sanyas Ashram is not mentioned.
● In later Vedic period the plant Som could not be obtained easily. As such other drinks were also
● Gold and Silver were mainly used for making ornaments and utensils. Other metals were used for
making many other implements in the later Vedic era.
● In later Vedic period, the commercial classes (Traders) organized themselves in ‘Sangh’. The
Aryans conducted sea trade. Nisk, Satman and Krishal were usded as coins for trade purposes.
● In comparison to the religion of Rigvedic period, the later Vedic religion had become very complex. Purohits, Yajna and sacrifice were considered important. Many types of Yajnas were performed.
● The Shatpath Brahman refers to the various steps in progress of cultivation—Jutai (ploughing), Buwai
)planting), Lawani (weaning), Mandai (cutting) are the various processes mentioned in it.
● Sangam literature is compiled in 8 books. They are—(1) Narune, (2) Kuruntoge, (3) Aigunuru, (4) Padirupyuttu, (5) Paripadal, (6) Karlittorga, (7) Nedultoge, (8) Purnanuru.
● In the Sangam age, the Tamil Grammar was written in a detailed book, ‘Tolakappiyam’.
● With the songs of the musicians, the dancers known as Panar and Widelier used to dance.
● Pedinekilkanku is a famous composition of Sangam literature.
● Sangam is a Sanskrit word meaning a Congregation and a Council.
● The main theme of the Sangam literature is ‘Romance’ (Shringar) and heroism (Veergatha). Shringar is called as ‘Aham’ and Veergatha has been called as ‘Puram’.
● The first Sangam was organized at Madurai under the chairmanship of Rishi Agastya.
● The second Sangam was organized at Kapatpuram again under the chairmanship of Rishi Agastya.
● The third Sangam was organized at Madurai and it was chaired by ‘Nakkirar’.
● Avey was the family of Sangam age which meant Sabha (assembly).
● Panchvaram was the assembly of the advisors of the King of Sangam age.
● Ur was the institution which looked after the city administration.
● The excavation of Arikmedu, provide enough evidence to prove that once opon a time, the cantonements of the Roman traders resided there.
● The teachers in the Sangam age were called as Kanakkaters.
● The students in the Sangam age were called Bhanwan or Pillai.
● Parshvanath arranged for fourfold vows (Chaturvrata) for the Bhikshus (monks)—(1) I shall not kill the living beings, (2) I shall always speak the truth, (3) I shall not steal, (4) I shall not keep any property.
● Mahavir Swami has been called Nigashtha, Naatputra and Nirgranth Saatputra.
● Mahavir Swami left his mortal frame and attained Nirvana at Pawapuri near Patna in Bihar.
● The Triratna in Jainism are described as Samyak Shraddha (veneration), Samyak Gyan
(knowledge) and Samyak Acharana (conduct).
● According to Jainism, Nirvana (redemption) to free the soul from the physical bondage.
● Mahavir Swami has described five vows for the common people which are called as Panchmaha- vrat. These are—Truth, Non-violence, No stealing, No collection of wealth or anything and celibacy (Satya, Ahimsa, Astey, Aparigrah and Brahamacharya). To these was later added, ‘Not to eat at Night’.
● Kaivalya is total knowledge which the Nirgranthget.
● Buddha was born in the Lumbini forest, 14 km beyond Kapilvastu in Nepal Tarai.
● Kaundinya, a Brahmin astrologer, was contemporary of Buddha.
● Gautam obtained knowledge at Gaya. Hence the place is called Bodh Gaya.
● The first sermon of Buddha is known as ‘Dharma Chakra Pravartan’.
● Mahatma Buddha delivered his first sermon at Rishipattan (Sarnath).
● The followers of Buddha were divided into four sections—(1) Bhikshu or the monks, (2) Bhik- shuni or lady monks, (3) Upasaks or devotees, (4) Upasikas or lady devotees.
● After delivering his teachings for constant 45 years, Mahatma Buddha attained Mahaparinirvan at
the age of 80 at Kushinara (Kushinagar).
● Tripitaks are—(1) Vinay Pitak, (2) Suttpitak, (3) Abhidhamma Pitak.
● Vinay Pitak is divided into 3 sections—(1) Sutta Vibhag, (2) Khandhak, (3) Pariwar.
● Suttpitak contains—Diggh Nikay, Majjhim Nikay, Anguttar Nikay and Khuddak Nikay.
● In Abhidhamma Pitak, philosophical and spiritual thoughts are contained.
● There are seven treatises of Abhidhamma Pitak —(1) Dhamma Sangeeti, (2) Vibhang, (3) Dhatu
Katha, (4) Puggal Panjati, (5) Katha Vastu, (6) Yamak, (7) Patthan.
● The eightfold paths are—(1) Right belief, (2) Right thought, (3) Right speech, (4) Right action, (5) Right means of livelihood, (6) Right execution, (7) Right remembrance, (8) Right meditation.
● In Buddhism, the Astangikmarg (eight fold path) is classified as—(1) Praja Skandh, (2) Sheel
Skandh, (3) Samadhi Skandh.
● Under Praja Skandh come—Samyak Drishti, Samyak Sankalp and Samyak Vani (speech).
● Under Sheel Skandh come—Samyak Karmant, Samyak Aajeev.
● Under Samadhi Skandh come—Samyak Vyayam, Samyak Smriti and Samyak Samadhi.
● Mahatma Buddha was silent on the existence of God or otherwise but he did not believe in the
existence of soul.
● The first Buddhist Council was convened after a few years of Buddha’s death under the
chairmanship of Mahakassap in Saptparna caves near Rajgrih.
● The second Buddhist Council was organized at Vaisali.
● The third Buddhist Council was convened at Patliputra during the regime of Asoka.
● The fourth Buddhist Council was convened at Kashmir during the regime of Kanishka.
● Purans are said to be 18 in number of which Bhagwat Puran is very renowned.
● Bhagwatism is mentioned for the first time in the Bhishm Parva of Mahabarat.
● The Dravida Vaishnav devotees are known as the Alwars.
● A Brahman named Kautilya or Chanakya played a significant role in the establishment of the
● In the Greek writings, Chandra Gupta Maurya is called Sandrocottus.
● Arien and Plutarch have called him Androcottus.
● In the Mudra Rakshas written by Vishakhdutt, Chandra Gupta Maurya is called Chandragiri
● In Buddhist literature, Mahavansh Tika is the book which throws ample light on the life of Chandra
● ‘Indika’ was written by Megasthenese.
● In the book Mahavansh, Chandra Gupta Maurya is said to be Kshatriya by caste.
● After being defeated in war with Chandra Gupta, Selukose offered him Gadrosia (Baluchistan),
Acrosia (Kandahar), Aria (Herat) and a part of Hindukush.
● Sudarshan Lake at Junagarh was built by Chandra Gupta Maurya.
● The Mahasthan inscription points out Chandra Gupta’s ascendancy over Bengal.
● The Rudradaman inscription of Girnar testifies to the suzerainty of Chandra Gupta over Saurashtra.
● According to Jain Texts, Chandra Gupta in the last years of his life, accepted Jainism and went to
Mysore with the Jain monk Bhadrabahu.
● The empire of Chandra Gupta spread from Himalaya in the north to Mysore in the south; and from Bengal in the east to Baluchistan in the west. It covered Punjab, Sindh, Kashmir, Doab of Ganga and Yamuna, Magadh, Bengal, Malwa, Saurashtra and the region of Mysore.
● The administrative system of Chandra Gupta Maurya was Monarchy. In order to administer well,
Chandra Gupta Maurya appointed a Council of Ministers.
● In the Mauryan age, the officer who collected the trade taxes was called Shulkadhyaksha.
● The Chairman of the Government services was known as Sutradhyaksha in the Mauryan age.
● The officer-in-charge of Weight and Measures was known as Peetadhyaksha in the Mauryan age.
● In Mauryan age, the officer who controlled the manufacture of wine, its sale and purchase and its consumption was Suradhyaksha.
● The chairman of the agricultural department was called Seetadhyaksha in Mauryan age.
● There were many officers such as Ganikadhyaksha,` Mudradhyaksha, Navadhyaksha, Ashwadhyaksha and Devtadhyaksha etc. in the Mauryan Age.
● The officer who kept the details of total income and expenditure of the State and decided the economic policy was called Sannidhata. Under him, worked officers like Treasurer and Shulkadhyaksha.
● In Mauryan age, the minister of factories and mines was called Karmantirak. His main task was to
excavate different metals from the mines and look after the factories.
● In Mauryan age the Amatya of Fauzdari (Criminal) Court was called Pradeshta.
● The Amatya of the Civil Court was known as Vyavaharik.
● The Greek scholars have described the Amatyas as the seventh caste.
● The successor of Chandra Gupta Maurya is called name Bindusara in majority of the Puranas. Ceylonese works, Buddhist textsand in Deepvansh and Mahavansh. In Vayu Puran, his name is given as Bhadrasaar. In some of the Purans he is called as Varisaar. In the Chinese text—Fa-Uen-Chu-Lin, he is called as Bindupal. In another book Rajabalikatha, the successor and son of Chandra Gupta is called as Sinhasen.
● Ptolemy, the ruler of Egypt sent Dioniyas as his ambassador to the Court of Bindusaar.
● In Chandra Gupta Maurya’s time, the chief of the city was called Nagaradhyaksha who worked like
the modern District Magistrate.
● The smallest unit of the administration was the village. Its chief officer was called Gramik or
● Gramani was elected by the people of the village.
● In every village, there was an officer who was called Gram Bhojak.
● In the administration of Chandra Gupta Maurya the department of espionage was well organized. According to Kautilya, there were two sections of the secret service—(1) Sansthan, (2) Sancharan.
● In the inscriptions, Asoka is called Devanampriya and Priyadarshi.
● The Ceylonese sources and Deepvansh, call him, Priyadarshan and Priyadarshi. Scholars think that these were his titles.
● Asoka appointed an officer called Mahamatras in every city and district.
● In the 13th year of his reign, he appointed Dharma Mahamatra and Dharmayukta for the first time for the happiness and peace of his people.
● Upagupta was a Bauddhist monk of Mathura under his influence, Asoka changed his religion and
● Asoka sent his daughter Sanghmitra and son Mahendra to spread Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
● In the mini edicts Asoka calls himself a Buddha Shakya.
● Asoka sent Majjhantik to propogate Buddhism in Kashmir.
● In 1750, it was Teffenthaler who first explored the Asokan pillars.
● Asoka’s last edict was found by Beadon in 1915 at Maski.
● The small edicts of Asoka are of two types. According to Smith, they were written in 259-232 B.C.
● The first kind of Asokan small pillar edicts are available at Roopnath in Jabalpur district,
Sahasaram in Shahabad district of Bihar, Maski, in Raichoor district, and Vairat in Rajasthan.
● The second type of Asokan edicts have been found at Siddhpur (Chitralahug, Mysore) Jatig,
Rameshwar and Brahmagiri.
● The Bhabru edict was found at Bairath near Jaipur in Rajasthan. In this edict seven precepts of Buddhism have been given which Asoka liked most and he desired that the people should read them and make their conduct accordingly. This edict is preserved in Kolkata Museum.
● Two edicts about Kalinga have been found at Dhauli and Jaugarh. In these, the principles of behaviour with he people of Kalinga and with the frontier people have been outlined.
● Asokan small edicts have been found at about 15 places.
● The Erangudi edict was found in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh at a place known as Erangudi.
● The Maski small edict was found from Maski village of Raichoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It
contains the name of Asoka.
● The Rajul Mandgiri edict was found on a mound 20 miles beyond Erangudi in Kurnool district of
● The Gurjara edict has been found from a village named Gurjara in Datia district of Madhya
Pradesh. It also mentions the name of Asoka.
● Ahraura edict was found from a hill of the village Ahraura in Mirzapur district of U.P.
● Palgoraria edict was found in 1975.
● The Sannati inscription (edict) has been found in the village Sannati in the district of Gulbarga of
● The cave inscription are three in number which have been found in the Barabar hills of Gaya city in
Bihar. These refer to the charity performed by the King to the Ajivaks.
● The language of the Kandahar edict is Greek and Aramaic.
● The Topara pillar edict has been found from a village named Topara in Haryana. In the course of
time Firoz Tughlaq brought it to Delhi where it is kept at Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
● Rumindei small pillar edict was found from the Tarai of Nepal.
● Most of Asokan edicts are written in Prakrit language.
● In Gupta age ships and boats were manufactured in large numbers. Gujarat, Bengal and Tamil
Nadu were the main centres of cotton industry.
● Trade between India and China was carried on before Gupta age, in 2nd century.
● India had trade relations with eastern, countries. They were called Swarnabhumi (land of gold).
● Peshawar, Bharaunch, Ujjaini, Varanasi, Prayag, Patliputra, Mathura, Vaishali and Tamralipti were trade centres.
● In west Bharaunch and in east, Tamralipti were prominent ports.
● Gold, silver, bronze, tin, campher, dates and horses were imported.
● The collective unit of the people who worked in various industries, were known as ‘Kuliks’.
● ‘Kulik Nigam’ and ‘Shreshthi Nigam were the unions of wealthy traders. The Kulik Nigam had its
own seal which was used in commercial correspondence and the trade-goods.
● In the Gupta age, India maintained trade relations with Arabia. Horses were imported from Arabia and Iran.
● The Seals of Kulik have been excavated from the town Meeta near Allahabad.
● From Vaishali 274 Seals of Sarthwah Kulik Nigam have been excavated prove that it was a great
institution of the Gupta age.
● Trade with China, Japan and Sumatra was carried from the port of Tamralipti.
● In Gupta age the land tax was known as ‘Udrang’.
● Kadur and Charpal were the ports situated in Andhra Pradesh.
● Kaveripattanam and Tondai were the ports of Chola State.
● Kokai and Saliyur were the ports of Pandya State.
● Kottayam and Mujris were the ports of Malwa State.
● Sindhu, Orhoth, Kalyan and Mibor were other main ports for trade.
● Hiranya was the tax realized in cash. Bhutavat Pratyaya was the tax levied upon the imports from other countries.
● Haldand was the tax charged on the ploughed land.
● A definite portion of the produce from agricultural land was charged as the land tax by the State. It
was called Bhag tax. Generally it was charged in kind.
● In the Gupta age, the land was donated only to the Brahmans.
● The land donated to Brahmans was called Brahmdeya.
● The tax free villages of the Brahmans were called Agrahara.
● In the Gupta age, the Gram Parishads (village councils) were autonomous and free from the State control.
● The uncultivated land was the property of the king.
● The women who remained unmarried throughout their life and passed their time in studies were
● Taxila, Varanasi and Ujjaini were prominent centres of education.
● In the Gupta society, intercaste marriages were performed.
● The slave system was practised in the Gupta age.
● The joint family system was in vogue in Gupta society.
● In the women though not as much respected as in Vedic period, yet enjoyed important position in the society of Gupta age.
● Sheelbhattarika was an educated and worthy woman of the Gupta age.
● Widow remarriages were performed in the Gupta age, But some works of the age speak against it.
Chandra Gupta II married the widow of Ramgupta, his brother. Her name was Dhruva Swamini.
● Prostitutes, expert in music and dance, and perfect in sexology were called ‘Ganikas’.
● The traders and commercial professionals had their ‘Shrenis’ in Gupta age. The Patkar, Tailik (oil
traders), Pashan Kottak (stone cutters) were important Shrenis.
● The author of ‘Swapnavasavaduttam’ was an eminent prose writer.
● The author of Bhattikavya or Ravan Vadh, was Bhatti, an eminent poet of Gupta age.
● Bhartahari worte ‘Niti Shatak’, Shringar Shatak and Vairagya Shatak which became very famous. Some scholars believe that Bhartahari is another name for Bhatti.
● ‘Kuntleshwar Daityam’ is a drama that testifies to the fact that Kalidas belonged to the Gupta age.
● ‘Abhigyanshakuntalam’ ‘Meghdoot’ ‘Ritusanhar’ are some of the major works of Kalidas.
● Kamsutra is a famous book on Sexology written by Vatsyayan.
● Vaibhashik and Sanghbhadra were the two Acharyas (teachers) of the Gupta age who wrote the
literature of the Vaibhashik sect.Buy Test Series @