Sources of Ancient Indian History PDF

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Sources of Ancient Indian History PDF Summary

Dear readers, here we are providing Sources of Ancient Indian History PDF to all of you. The oldest inscription is the Boghajkoi inscription located in Turkey in Central Asia. This inscription dates back to 1400 BC, giving information about 4 deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nastya. This helps in determining the date of Rigveda. The father of records in the world is considered to be Darius or Dara Bahu or Dara I.
It is known from the Persepolis inscription of Darius that it had its suzerainty over Sindh. Ashoka is considered the father of inscriptions in India. Most of the Ashokan inscriptions in India are in the Brahmi script, while the Aramaic script is prevalent in Afghanistan and the Kharoshthi script in Pakistan, and the Greek script was prevalent in Iran. The Brahmi script was read by James Prinsep in 1857.
Ashoka was the first ruler who addressed the public through inscriptions. The Prayag inscription of Samudragupta, Gwalior inscription of Rajabhoj, Hathigumpha inscription of King of Kalinga, Dev Para inscription of Vijay Sen, ruler of Bengal, and Iloh inscription of Pulakeshin II is important. The Satavahana dynasty is a dynasty whose entire history is based on inscriptions. The study of records is called AP Graphic. The study of ancient dates is called polygraphy.

Sources of Ancient Indian History PDF – Religious Texts

The base of religious literary sources is formed by Brahmin texts such as Vedic texts, Sutras, Smriti, Puranas, and Epics.

  • Vedic Texts:

The oldest among the Vedas is the Rig Veda which give us idea of Rig Vedic which gives us an idea of Rig Vedic society, whereas on other hand Sam Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda give us information about the society of the later Vedic period. Vedas form a history of 900 years(1500B.C-600B.C). These texts help us to derive information about the origin of Aryans, their political structure, their society, economic activities, religious perspectives, cultural achievement, and a lot more.

  • Sutras:

After Vedic texts, they arrived at an era of Sutras, these were called as Sutra because the word or hymns were placed beautifully like pearls in a thread. These Sutras give us information about the Vedic period. In order to understand Vedas well, Vedangas were formed then, they were divided into six parts:

1. Siksha
2. Vyakrana
3. Chhanda
4. Kalpa
5. Nirukta
6. Jyotish

Like Vedangas, a section of Upvedas also developed. There are four ‘Upvedas’ related to different Vedas:

1. Ayurveda  It is related to medical science and is a Upveda of Rig Veda.
2. Gandharva Veda  It is related to music and is a Upveda of Sam Veda.
3.  Dhanur Veda  It is related to war skills, arms, and ammunition. It is related to Yajur veda.
4. Shilpa Veda  It is related to art sculpture and architecture. It is a Upveda of Atharva Veda.
  • Smriti Texts:

After Sutras, Smritis texts were formed. Manusmriti is the oldest Smriti text, which was formed between 200B.C- 200A.D (400 Years). Yagyavalkaya Smriti was another Smriti text compiled between 100A.D and to 300A.D. These two Smriti texts throw light on the post-Mauryan period.
Narada Smriti(300A.D-400A.D) and Parashara Smriti(300A.D-500A.D), throw light on the social and religious conditions of the Guptas. Besides these Brihaspati Smriti(300A.D-500A.D) and Katyayana Smriti(400A.D-600A.D) was also the text of the Gupta time.

  • Puranas:

After Smriti’s texts, Purans were compiled, which were mainly 18 in number. Among these Markandey Purana, Vayu Purana, Brahma Purana, Vishnu Purana, Bhagwat Purana, and Matsya Purana were possibly ancient Purana and the rest were created later.

Names of 18 available Puranas List

1. Agni Puran
2. Bhagavata Puran
3. Bhavishya Puran
4. Brahmanda Puran
5. Brahmavaivarta Puran
6. Garuda Puran
7. Kurma Puran
8. Linga Puran
9. Markandaya Puran
10. Matsya Puran
11. Naradiya or Narada Puran
12. Padma Puran
13. Shiva Puran
14. Skanda Puran
15. Vamana Puran
16. Varaha Puran
17. Vayu Puran
18. Vishnu Puran

There is a great deal of information on ancient Indian dynasties in Matsya, Vayu, and Vishnu Puranas. Puranas are the only available source of the dynasties which ruled after the battle of Mahabharat. Puranas are also an important element in the formation of the cultural history of Ancient India. Puranas provides a chronology of different dynasties and their hierarchy (from lowest to highest).
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Sources of Ancient Indian History pdf

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