Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Dose on the religious texts,sects,vedas,literature,dynasty,etc etc

Mahabharata originally Was called as Jaya Kavya

Sutra (Buddhism)

The Sutras (Sanskrit; Pali Sutta) are mostly discourses attributed to the Buddha or one of his close disciples. They are all, even those not actually spoken by him, considered to be 'Buddhavacana' or the word of the Buddha, just as in the case of all canonical literature. The Buddha's discourses were perhaps originally organised according to the style in which they were delivered; there were originally nine, but later twelve, of these.
The Sanskrit forms are:
  • Sūtra: prose discourses, especially short declarative discourses.
  • Geya: mixed prose and verse discourse. Identified with the Sagāthāvagga of the Saṁyutta Nikāya
  • Vyākarana: explanation, analysis. Discourses in question and answer format.
  • Gāthā: verse
  • Udāna: inspired speech
  • Ityukta: beginning with 'thus has the Bhagavan said'
  • Jātaka: story of previous life
  • Abhutadharma: concerning wonders and miraculous events
  • Vaipulya either 'extended discourses' or 'those giving joy' (cf Mahayana Texts)
  • Nidāna: in which the teachings are set within their circumstances of origin
  • Avadāna: tales of exploits
  • Upadesha: defined and considered instructions

Jain Agamas

Agamas are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahavira’s teachings. Mahavira’s preaching were orally compiled by his disciples into various Sutras (texts) which were collectively called Jain canonical or Agamic literature. Traditionally these sutras were orally passed on from teachers (acaryas or gurus) to the disciples for several centuries. The scholars date the composition of Jain agamas at around 6th to 3rd century BCE.
The Agamas were composed of the following forty-five texts:
  • Twelve Upanga āgamas (Texts that provide further explanation of Angās)
    • Aupapātika
    • Rājapraśnīya
    • Jīvājīvābhigama
    • Prajñāpana
    • Sūryaprajñapti
    • Jambūdvīpaprajñapt
    • Candraprajñapti
    • Nirayārvalī
    • Kalpāvatamsikāh
    • Puspikāh
    • Puspacūlikāh
    • Vrasnidaśāh
  • Six Chedasūtras (Texts relating to the conduct and behaviour of monks and nuns)
    • Ācāradaśāh
    • Brhatkalpa
    • Vyavahāra
    • Niśītha
    • Mahāniśītha
    • Jītakalpa
  • Four Mūlasūtras (Scriptures which provide a base in the earlier stages of the monkhood)
    • Daśavaikālika
    • Uttarādhyayana
    • Āvaśyaka
    • Pindaniryukyti
  • Ten Prakīrnaka sūtras (Texts on Independent or miscellaneous subjects)
    • Catuhśarana
    • Āturapratyākhyanā
    • Bhaktaparijñā
    • Samstāraka
    • Tandulavaicarika
    • Candravedhyāka
    • Devendrastava
    • Ganividyā
    • Mahāpratyākhyanā
    • Vīrastava
  • Two Cūlikasūtras (The scriptures which further enhance or decorate the meaning of Angas)
    • Nandī-sūtra
    • Anuyogadvāra-sūtra

Bhagavatī Sūtra
Bhagwati Sutra gives the valuable information about the life of Bhagwan MAHAVIRA
The Jain Scripture Bhagavatī Sūtra (Bh.S.) occupies probably the foremost position if we set out to enlist books with ample possibilities of the study of philosophy and science.
Though the basic object of the Bh.S. is to explore the subtle mysteries of philosophy and spirituality, yet at many places there are significant scientific discourses. For example, the Bh.S. describes cosmology, matter, space, time, the medium of motion and the medium of rest, velocity, energy black hole etc. All these pertain to Physics and have been treated quite at length.

Rig Veda
Rig Veda is regarded as the book of Mantra and it possesses the oldest kind of the Sanskrit mantras. It was composed by giving stress on the pronunciation of each letter thus giving a particular meaning and power to each of the letters in it. A majority of the facets of Vedic science including mantra, meditation, yoga and Ayurveda are there in Rig Veda which is still in use.
The central history of the Rigveda is that of Indra slaying Vritra (literally "the obstacle"), liberating the rivers; in a variant of the myth, Indra smashes the stone Vala, liberating the cows that were imprisoned within. Rivers and cows are often compared or mythically identified in the Rigveda, for example in 3.33, a notable hymn describing the crossing of two swollen rivers by the cars of the Bharata tribe,

Richas refers to a shloka or couplet or mantra, usually two to four sentences long, found in the Hindu religious scriptures, in the Rig Vedas. The origin of Richas is the Sanskrit word which means to praise. Richa can also refer to a verbal composition of celestial sounds called "Shrutis". The Gayatri Mantra is a Richa as well. Richas were recited by the priests or Brahnins.
There are 1058 rhichas in Rig Veda

The Yajurveda literature is divided into the White (Shukla) and the Black (Krishna) Yajurveda literature,
and the latter is divided into four Branches (Shakas), the most important of which is the Taittiriya Shaka.

Shukla Yajurveda

There are two (nearly identical) shakhas or recensions of the Shukla (White) Yajurveda, both known as Vajasaneyi-Samhita (VS):
  • Vajasaneyi Madhyandiniya (VSM), originally of Bihar
  • Vajasaneyi Kanva of originally of Kosala (VSK)

Krishna Yajurveda

There are four recensions of the Krishna ("black") Yajurveda:
  • Taittirīya saṃhita (TS) originally of Panchala
  • Maitrayani saṃhita (MS) originally of the area south of Kurukshetra
  • Caraka-Katha saṃhita (KS) originally of Madra and Kurukshetra
  • Kapiṣṭhala-Katha saṃhita (KapS) of the southern Panjab, Bahika

Brahaman who gave an account of agricultural operations for a season--Sapatha


Lakulish is the founder of this sect. He established this sect in the 2nd century B.C.

Comparison between Pashupat and some other Shaiva sects

  Pashupat Some other Shaiva
1. What is the
    concept of the
    Final Liberation
End of unhappiness
and attainment of The
Supreme God,
attainment of The
Supreme Energy and
end of unhappiness
End of unhappiness or
attainment of the Final
Liberation (Kaivalya)
2. Origin of the
The mission is perpe-
tual, e.g. the embodied
From the Great
Illusion (asat)
3. Causes of the
Absent. Maheshvar
carries out His mission
The cause requires an
auxillary cause for the
fulfillment of causation
4. Result of
   spiritual practice
Samip Mukti (no
Attainment of heaven
(hence there is rebirth)

Bimbisara (558-491 B.C.), the greatest patron of Goutam Budhha, was one of the early kings of the ancient indian kingdom of Magadha. He extended his kingdom upto Anga in the east and this expansion is considered to have laid the foundation for the vast expansion of the Maurya Empire in future.

Bimbisara belonged to the Shishunaga Dynasty and Rajgir was his capital. He was only fifteen when he became the king and he ruled for fifty-two years. His wife was a princess of Kosala, who brought Bimbisara the village of Kashi as dowry and also bore him his son Ajathshatru.. Among his other wives there were Khema, Silava, Jayasena and Chellana also. The latter one was a Lichchavi princess from Vaishali. It is evident from these facts that Bimbisara used marriage alliances to strengthen his position. He had another son, Vimala Kondanna, by the famous courtesan, Ambapali.

In the Pabbaja Sutta of the Sutta Nipatta Atthakatha it is stated that he saw Goutam Budhha for the first time through his palace window, under the Pandava Pabbata. Bimbisara invited him to visit his court but Budhha refused as he was in search for Enlightenment. The king wished him luck and requested him to visit Rajgir as soon as he would receive Enlightenment. Later Budhha visited Rajgir to fulfill the promise he made to Bimbisara. He became a serious disciple of Goutam Budhha and continued to patronized Budhhism for the rest of his life.

This great king was unfortunately imprisoned by his own son Ajatashatru in his intense desire to become the monarch. He was instigated by Devdatta, who hated the king's patronage to the Budhha. Ajatashtru starved his father to death resulting in the end of an able and kind-hearted king's reign.

Mahajanapadas (महाजनपद) literally means "Great kingdoms" (from Sanskrit Maha = great, Janapada = foothold of tribe = country). Ancient Buddhist texts like Anguttara Nikaya (I. p 213; IV. pp 252, 256, 261) make frequent reference to sixteen great kingdoms and republics (Solas Mahajanapadas) which had evolved and flourished in the northern/north-western parts of the Indian sub-continent prior to the rise of Buddhism in India.
The 16 Mahajanapadas
  1. Kasi
  2. Kosala
  3. Anga
  4. Magadha
  5. Vajji (or Vriji)
  6. Malla
  7. Chedi
  8. Vatsa (or Vamsa)
  9. Kuru
  10. Panchala
  11. Machcha (or Matsya)
  12. Surasena
  13. Assaka
  14. Avanti
  15. Gandhara
  16. Kamboja

General Studies History 4 Upsc

 By Reddy

Page A-86

Read More--http://books.google.co.in/books?id=yWfeU9eQd5YC&pg=SL1-PA86&dq=rajukas+upsc&ei=fR9fS-OkO6e0kAS-9o2kAw&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=true

Works by Kalidas
is a five-act drama based on king Agnimitra's love for a beautiful girl, Malavika.

About two thousand years ago, there ruled in south-west India, a dynasty of Shunga kings. Agnimitra(son of Pushyamitra) was the most celebrated among them. Vidisha was the capital of his kingdom. He had two queens Dharani and Iravati. Dharani was the elder of the two. She was mature and tolerant. Iravati was sharp and a little impatient. Both however were equally devoted to the king and he too, loved them dearly.

Read more (I njoyed it, its ur turn---

Perhaps the most famous and beautiful work of Kalidasa is the Shakuntalam. It is the second play of Kalidasa after he wrote Malavikagnimitra. The Shakuntalam tells the story of king Dushyant who falls in love with a beautiful girl Shakuntala, who happens to be the daughter of a saint. They get married and lead a happy life until one day, the king is asked to travel somewhere. In his absence, a sage curses Shakuntala as she offends him unknowingly by not acknowledging his presence.

Due to the curse, Dushyant's entire memory is wiped off and he doesn't remember his marriage or Shakuntala. But the sage feels pity for her and gives a solution that he will remember everything if he sees the ring given to her by Dushyant. But she loses the ring one day in the river while bathing. After a series of incidents, a fisherman who finds the ring inside a fish rushes to the king with the ring. The king then recalls everything and rushes to Shakuntala to apologize for his actions. She forgives him and they live happily ever after.

Kalidasa also wrote two epic poems called Kumaarasambhava, which means birth of Kumara and the Raghuvamsha, which means dynasty of Raghu. There are also two lyric poems written by Kalidasa known as Meghadutta that stands for cloud messenger and the Ritusamhara that means description of the seasons. Meghadutta is one of the finest works of Kalidasa in terms of world literature. The beauty of the continuity in flawless Sanskrit is unmatched till date.

(mention of sati system)
One of Kalidasa's greatest works is 'Kumarasambhava'. Critics maintain that Kalidasa wrote only the first eight chapters of the epic poem. The work describes the marriage of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. It begins with a fine description of that giant among mountains, the Himalaya. Kalidasa writes: "Himalaya is rich in life. Living there are the Siddhas. Kinnaras and Vidyadhara beauties. Clouds in front of the caves look like curtains. You can trace the track of lions' by looking at the precious stones spilled from the heads of elephants and not by bloodstains. You have to know the paths they tread by recognizing 'Sarala' trees against whose stem the elephants rub themselves attracted by the sweet milk exuded by the trees. All the things needed for a sacrifice ('Yajna') are available here. Brahma (the God of creation) himself has made this the king of the mountains." It is not only a place for lovers who want to find happiness in life; it is also an ideal retreat for those who want to meditate.

Read more--http://www.freeindia.org/biographies/greatpoets/kalidas/page2.htm

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in , built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule of successive dynasties. Several walls, referred to as the Great Wall of China , were built since the 5th century BC. The most famous is the wall built between 220 BC and 200 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang; little of it remains; it was much farther north than the current wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty.
The Great Wall is the world's longest human-made structure, stretching over approximately 6,400 km (4,000 miles) from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 6,700 km (4,160 miles) in total. It is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass. At its peak the Ming Wall was guarded by more than one million men. It has been estimated that somewhere in the range of 2 to 3 million Chinese died as part of the centuries-long project of building the wall.
There have been four major walls:
208 BC (the Qin Dynasty)
1st century BC (the Han Dynasty)
1138 - 1198 (the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period)
1368-1620 (from Hongwu Emperor until Wanli Emperor of the Ming Dynasty)

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