Centre for Traditional Education

Monday, 27 October 2014



Sanskrit is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand. Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.
Classical Sanskrit is the standard register as laid out in the grammar of Panini, around the 4th century BCE. Its position in the cultures of Greater India is akin to that of Latin and Greek in Europe and it has significantly influenced most modern languages of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the language of the Rigveda being the oldest and most archaic stage preserved, its oldest core dating back to as early as 1500 BCE. This qualifies Rigvedic Sanskrit as one of the oldest attestations of any Indo-Iranian language, and one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family, the family which includes English and most European languages.
The corpus of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, technical, philosophical and Hindu religious texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the forms of hymns and mantras. Spoken Sanskrit is still in use in a few traditional institutions in India and there are many attempts at revival.
Sanskrit is a member of the Indo-Iranian sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. Its closest ancient relatives are the Iranian languages Old Persian and Avestan.
In order to explain the common features shared by Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages, many scholars have proposed migration hypotheses asserting that the original speakers of what became Sanskrit arrived in what is now India and Pakistan from the north-west some time during the early second millennium BCE. Evidence for such a theory includes the close relationship of the Indo-Iranian tongues with the Baltic and Slavic languages, vocabulary exchange with the non-Indo-European Uralic languages, and the nature of the attested Indo-European words for flora and fauna.
The earliest attested Sanskrit texts are Brahmanical texts of the Rigveda, which date to the mid-to-late second millennium BCE. No written records from such an early period survive. However, scholars are confident that the oral transmission of the texts is reliable: they were ceremonial literature whose correct pronunciation was considered crucial to its religious efficacy.
From the Rigveda until the time of Panini (fl. 4th century BCE) the development of the early Vedic language may be observed in other Vedic texts: the Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, Brahmanas, and Upanishads. During this time, the prestige of the language, its use for sacred purposes, and the importance attached to its correct enunciation all served as powerful conservative forces resisting the normal processes of linguistic change. However, there is a clear, five-level linguistic development of Vedic from the Rigveda to the language of the Upanishads and the earliest Sutras (such as Baudhayana).
The oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar is Panini's Astadhyayi ("Eight-Chapter Grammar"). It is essentially a prescriptive grammar, i.e., an authority that defines correct Sanskrit, although it contains descriptive parts, mostly to account for some Vedic forms that had become rare in Panini's time.
The term "Sanskrit" was not thought of as a specific language set apart from other languages, but rather as a particularly refined or perfected manner of speaking. Knowledge of Sanskrit was a marker of social class and educational attainment in ancient India and the language was taught mainly to members of the higher castes, through close analysis of Sanskrit grammarians such as Panini. Sanskrit, as the learned language of Ancient India, thus existed alongside the Prakrits (vernaculars), also called Middle Indic dialects, and eventually into the contemporary modern Indo-Aryan languages.

Vedic Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language. It is an archaic form of Sanskrit, an early descenant of Proto-Indo-Iranian. It is closely related to Avestan, the oldest preserved Iranian language. Vedic Sanskrit is the oldest attested language of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.
Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, texts compiled over the period of early-to-mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BC. Vedic Sanskrit has been orally preserved as a part of the Srauta tradition of Vedic chanting, predating the advent of alphabetic writing in India by several centuries. For lack of both epigraphic evidence and an unbroken manuscript tradition, Vedic Sanskrit can be considered a reconstructed language. Especially the oldest stage of the language, Rigvedic Sanskrit, the language of the hymns of the Rigveda, is preserved only in a redacted form several centuries younger than the texts' composition, and recovering its original form is a matter of linguistic reconstruction.
From about the 6th century BC, in the classical period of Iron Age Ancient India, Vedic Sanskrit gave way to Classical Sanskrit as defined by the grammar of Panini.
Sanskrit, as defined by Panini, had evolved out of the earlier "Vedic" form. The beginning of Vedic Sanskrit can be traced as early as 1500Ð1200 BCE (for Rg-vedic and Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni). Scholars often distinguish Vedic Sanskrit and Classical or "Paninian" Sanskrit as separate 'dialects'.
Though they are quite similar, they differ in a number of essential points of phonology, vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, a large collection of hymns, incantations (Samhitas), theological and religio-philosophical discussions in the Brahmanas and Upanishads. Modern linguists consider the metrical hymns of the Rigveda Samhita to be the earliest, composed by many authors over several centuries of oral tradition.
The end of the Vedic period is marked by the composition of the Upanishads, which form the concluding part of the Vedic corpus in the traditional view; however the early Sutras are Vedic, too, both in language and content. Around the mid-1st millennium BCE, Vedic Sanskrit began the transition from a first language to a second language of religion and learning.

Classical Sanskrit
There is a strong relationship between the various forms of Sanskrit and the Middle Indo-Aryan "Prakrits", or vernacular languages (in which, among other things, most early Jain and Buddhist texts are written), and the modern Indo-Aryan languages.
The Prakrits are probably descended from Vedic, and there is mutual interchange between later forms of Sanskrit and various Prakrits. There has also been reciprocal influence between Sanskrit and the Dravidian languages.
A significant form of post-Vedic but pre-Paninian Sanskrit is found in the Sanskrit of the Hindu Epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. This dialect includes many archaic and unusual forms which deviate from Panini and are denoted by traditional Sanskrit scholars as aarsha or "of the rishis", the traditional title for the ancient authors. In some contexts there are also more "prakritisms" (borrowings from common speech) than Classical Sanskrit proper. Finally, there is also a language dubbed "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit" by scholars, which is actually a prakrit ornamented with Sanskritized elements, perhaps for purposes of ostentation (see also termination of spoken Sanskrit).

Sanskrit historically has had no single script associated with it. Since the late 19th century, the Devanagari (meaning "as used in the city of the gods") script has become the most widely used and associated with Sanskrit, yet this was by no means the case earlier. Each region adapted the script of the local vernacular, whether Indo-Aryan or Dravidian. In the north, there are inscriptions dating from the early centuries B.C. in the Brahmi script, also used by the king Ashoka in his famous Prakrit pillar inscriptions. Roughly contemporary with the Brahmi, the Kharosthi script was used. Later (ca. 4th to 8th centuries AD) the Gupta script, derived from Brahmi, became prevalent. From ca. the 8th century, the Sharada script evolved out of the Gupta script, and was mostly displaced in its turn by Devanagari from ca. the 12th century, with intermediary stages such as the Siddham script. The Bengali and other scripts were also used in their respective regions.
In the south where Dravidian languages predominate, scripts used include Grantha in Tamil speaking regions, Telugu in Telugu and Tamil speaking regions, Kannada, and Malayalam. Grantha, though modeled on the Tamil script, was used exclusively for Sanskrit and is rarely seen today. A recent development has been to use Tamil characters with numeric subscripts indicating voicing and aspiration.



The Vedas are perhaps the oldest written text on our planet today. They date back to the beginning of Indian civilization and are the earliest literary records of the whole Aryan race. They are supposed to have been passed through oral tradition for over 100,000 years. They came to us in written form between 4-6,000 years ago.
The Vedas are divided into four groups, Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Each group has an original text (Mantra) and a commentary portion (Brahmana).
The Brahmana again has two portions, one interpreting ritual and the other the philosophy. The portions interpreting the philosophy of the original texts constitute the Upanishads.
There are also auxiliary texts called Vedangas. Vedic literature refers to the whole of this vast group of literature. The whole of Rgveda and most of Atharvaveda are in the form of poetry, or hymns to the deities and the elements.
Samaveda is in verses that are to be sung and Yajurveda is largely in short prose passages. Both Samaveda and Yajurveda are concerned with rituals rather than philosophy - especially Yajurveda.


The Rig-Veda Samhita is the oldest significant extant Indian text. It is a collection of 1,028 Vedic Sanskrit hymns and 10,600 verses in all, organized into ten books (Sanskrit: mandalas). The hymns are dedicated to Rigvedic deities. The books were composed by sages and poets from different priestly groups over a period of at least 500 years, which Avari dates as 1400 BCE to 900 BCE, if not earlier According to Max Muller, based on internal evidence (philological and linguistic), the Rigveda was composed roughly between 1700-1100 BCE (the early Vedic period) in the Punjab (Sapta Sindhu) region of the Indian subcontinent. Michael Witzel believes that the Rig Veda must have been composed more or less in the period 1450-1350 BCE. There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities between the Rigveda and the early Iranian Avesta, deriving from the Proto-Indo-Iranian times, often associated with the Andronovo culture; the earliest horse-drawn chariots were found at Andronovo sites in the Sintashta-Petrovka cultural area near the Ural mountains and date to ca. 2000 BCE.
Rigveda means the Veda of Adoration and mostly contains verses adoring or adulating deities. But it also dealt with other subjects, like the procedure of wedding, the folly of gambling. About two-thirds of Rigveda is about the gods Agni (Fire) and Indra (Ruler of the gods). Other Rigvedic gods include Rudra, the two Ashvins,Savitar and Surya, Varuna, the Maruts and the Ribhus. There are references to a divine creeper, the Soma, whose juice was an energizer. Some animals like horses, some rivers, and even some implements (like mortar and pestle) were deified. Rigveda contains a sense of intimate communion between Nature and the Rishis or visionaries. According to some, the concerns of Rigveda are those of simple, nomadic, pastoral Aryans. According to others, the people in the times of the Rigveda had a settled home, definite mode of life, developed social customs, political organizations, and even arts and amusements. Rigveda is the oldest, largest and most important of the Vedas, containing ten thousand verses forming 1017 poems in 20 groups.


The Yajur-Veda ("Veda of sacrificial formulas") consists of archaic prose mantras and also in part of verses borrowed from the Rig-Veda. Its purpose was practical, in that each mantra must accompany an action in sacrifice but, unlike the Sama-Veda, it was compiled to apply to all sacrificial rites, not merely the Soma offering. There are two major recensions of this Veda known as the "Black" and "White" Yajur-Veda. The origin and meaning of these designations are not very clear. The White Yajur-Veda contains only the verses and sayings necessary for the sacrifice, while explanations exist in a separate Brahmana work. It differs widely from the Black Yajurveda, which incorporates such explanations in the work itself, often immediately following the verses. Of the Black Yajurveda four major recensions survive, all showing by and large the same arrangement, but differing in many other respects, notably in the individual discussion of the rituals but also in matters of phonology and accent.
Yajurveda refers to acts of worship such as oblations made into Agni or Fire. It has two branches, Krishna or Black and Shukla or White. While both contain mantras or incantations to be chanted at rituals, Black Yajurveda also has many explanations. The recensions of Black Yajurveda are Taittirya, Katthaka, Maitrayani and Kapishtthala. Those of White Yajurveda are Madhyanadina and Kanva. The literary value of Yajurveda is mostly for its prose, which consists of short terse sentences full of meaning and cadence.


The Sama-Veda is the "Veda of chants" or "Knowledge of melodies". The name of this Veda is from the Sanskrit word saman which means a metrical hymn or song of praise. It consists of 1549 stanzas, taken entirely (except 78) from the Rig-Veda. Some of the Rig-Veda verses are repeated more than once. Including repetitions, there are a total of 1875 verses numbered in the Sama-Veda recension published by Griffith. Two major recensions remain today, the Kauthuma/Ranayaniya and the Jaiminiya. P> Its purpose was liturgical and practical, to serve as a songbook for the "singer" priests who took part in the liturgy. A priest who sings hymns from the Sama-Veda during a ritual is called an udgat, a word derived from the Sanskrit root ud-gai ("to sing" or "to chant"). A similar word in English might be "cantor". The styles of chanting are important to the liturgical use of the verses. The hymns were to be sung according to certain fixed melodies; hence the name of the collection.
Samaveda consists of a selection of poetry mainly from the Rigveda, and some original matter. It has two parts, Purva-Archika (First Adoratona) and Uttar-Archika (Later Adoration), containing verses addressed to the three gods Agni (Fire), Indra (King of Gods) and Soma (Energizing Herb). The verses are not to be chanted anyhow, but to be sung in specifically indicated melodies using the seven svaras or notes. Such songs are called Samagana and in this sense Samaveda is really a book of hymns.


Atharvaveda means the Veda of the Wise and the Old. It is associated with the name of the ancient poet Atharvan (The Wise Old One). It is also called Atharva-Angirasa, being associated with the name of another rishi, Angiras. Although later in age, the Atharvaveda reveals a more primitive culture than the Rigveda. The custom is to enumerate Yajurveda and Samaveda after the Rigveda, and mention Atharvaveda last. Atharvaveda contains about 6 thousand verses forming 731 poems and a small portion in prose. About one seventh of the Atharvaveda text is common to the Rigveda.
Atharvaveda contains first class poetry coming from visionary poets, much of it being glorification of the curative powers of herbs and waters. Many poems relate to diseases like cough and jaundice, to male and female demons that cause diseases, to sweet-smelling herbs and magic amulets, which drive diseases away. There are poems relating to sins and their atonement, errors in performing rituals and their expiatory acts, political and philosophical issues, and a wonderful hymn to Prithvi or Mother Earth.
Vedas Wikipedia

The Vedas describe

Vimanas or space ships


The Upanishads are regarded as part of the Vedas and as such form part of the Hindu scriptures. They primarily discuss philosophy, meditation, and the nature of God; they form the core spiritual thought of Vedantic Hinduism. Considered as mystic or spiritual contemplations of the Vedas, their putative end and essence, the Upanishads are known as Vedanta ("the end/culmination of the Vedas"). The Upanishads do not belong to a particular period of Sanskrit literature. The oldest, such as the Brhadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads, may date to the Brahmana period (roughly before the 31st century BC; before Gita was constructed), while the youngest, depending on the canon used, may date to the medieval or early modern period.
The word Upanishad comes from the Sanskrit verb sad (to sit) and the two prepositions upa and ni (under and at). They are sacred tests of spiritual and philosophical nature. Vedic literature is divided into karmakanda containing Samhitas (hymns) and Brahmanas (commentaries), and gyanakanda containing knowledge in the form of the Aranyakas and Upanishads. Thus each Upanishad is associated with a Veda, Isha-upanishad with Shukla Yajurveda, Kena-upanishad with Samaveda, and so on.
The earliest Upanishads may have been composed between B.C. 800 and 400.There have been several later additions, leading to 112 Upanishads being available today. But the major Upanishads are ten, Isha, Kena, Kattha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Shwetashwatara, Chhandogya and Brihadaryanyaka. The teachings of the Upanishads, and those of the Bhagavat Gita, form the basis of the Vedanta philosophy.
The Isha-upanishad emphasizes the identity of the human soul with the divine soul. The Kena-upanishad discusses the qualities of the divine essence (Brahman) and the relationship of the gods to the divine essence. The Katha-upanishad, through the story of Nachiketa, discussed death and the permanence of the soul (Atman). The fairly long Chhandogya-upanishad develops the idea of transmigration of souls. The rihadaryanaka -upanishad, the longest of the Upanishads, bears the message of the completeness of the divine essence, and the associated peace. As literary remnants of the ancient past, the Upanishads - both lucid and elegant - have great literary value.

ALERT! Milk or Possion


Just see this video below, though it is in Hindi, you can clearly understand what those guys were doing. They make the crap MILK out of detergents / Shampoo and Oil and sell it to the public. Even Infants trust and drink this S**t assuming to bemilk.  Read articles about it following the Video. 

Here we share three Shocking news articles about Adulterated Milk? Well that’s not even Milk. 
Hello parents! I am going to take an apple and dry it. Then I mash it into ‘apple’ powder. After a few months I add water and chemicals to it, shape it and sell it to you as a fresh pure apple. Will you buy it for your children to eat?
No? Why not? You do it everyday with milk.
The government brings out yearly statistics on fake milk, and even when their own studies done by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) show that more than 75% is not milk at all but urea, water, caustic soda, paint, sugar, detergent Hydrogen Peroxide, starch, glucose, salt, Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and vegetable fat, they still will take no action on the producers.
Let us presume that you buy government milk packets thinking that the government could not be cheating its own people. But when the government allows corruption in every field, why not milk? Today a major part of the milk in the packets is not the primary product of a cow or buffalo but reconstituted from powder.
Here is a report done by Harish Damodaran, an award winning journalist who has specialized in agri-business and commodities coverage: ‘ Nowhere is this more apparent than in the national Capital itself, where the market leader, Mother Dairy India Ltd, consumes an estimated 20,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder (SMP) annually or 55 tonnes daily. That translates into six lakh litres per day (LLPD) of milk or roughly 30 per cent of the 20-22 LLPD that Mother Dairy sells on an average in Delhi. The proportion of reconstituted milk to the total throughout rises to 50 % during summer months.’
According to the milk producers, real milk is put aside in the winter months and turned into powder which is then mixed back into the milk whenever real milk runs short – which seems to be everyday.
The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) and owner of Mother Dairy says that it supplies ‘pure’ milk in the whole of Gujarat, Mumbai, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh (this is disproved for Delhi by the quantity of milk powder being bought). But in areas like West Bengal where all the cows have been killed or sent to Bangladesh (as in Kerala or the Northeast), there is no fresh milk available. There is a limit to the milk that can be sent by rail from Gujarat to Kolkata (and this milk will have chemicals like urea added to it so that it does not curdle on the way) so a large proportion of the so called pure milk has to be reconstituted milk.
Even in the states where there is milk, milk powder is added by private cooperatives and dairies. Why is this done? The Prevention of Food Adulteration rules stipulate a minimum 8.5 % Solids-Not-Fat (SNF) content for toned milk and 9 per cent in double-toned milk. If a dairy adds water then, to bring up the milk to the regulation standard, skimmed milk powder is added.
According to the government, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana have crores of milk producing cattle and are the top milk producers of the country. So why is most of the milk here either completely fake or made of milk powder? Could it be that the government is simply faking cattle figures? There is no real milk, because there are no cows or buffaloes. They have all disappeared into illegal meat and leather slaughterhouses.
Why is milk not being labelled as ‘reconstituted’. Why is it still allowed to be called pure? In every other country including China, all dairy companies that are marketing reconstituted milk have to put this on their label. If this were done in India, there would be a sharp fall in the sale, and milk consumers would then demand fresh milk themselves. This would impact the illegal meat export that the government encourages. Therefore. the Ministry for Consumer Affairs will not do so.
Just to remind you: The National Survey on Milk Adulteration 2011 was conducted to check contaminants in milk throughout India. Most states failed the tests. Five states were found to be 100 % non-conforming to the milk standards set by the FSSAI. 14 % of the samples had detergent in them – in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. 70% of Delhi milk samples failed the FSSAI standards.
46% milk was found diluted with water. Of 1791 samples, skimmed milk powder was present in nearly 548 samples and 477 samples contained glucose.
The report appeared on January 10th 2013. The FSSAI were summoned and told to repair the damage they had done by releasing these shocking truths. So they are now busy issuing ‘clarifications.’
First they issued a press release stating that ‘non conforming’ did not mean that it was ‘unsafe for consumption’. The milk may be of ‘sub standard’ quality but ‘not necessarily’ unsafe. In short: The milk may be rubbish but not everyone dies from drinking it so it can continue to be sold. The FSSAI officials have clarified that adding water to milk is only bad if ‘the water which has possibly been added is contaminated.’ So, it is not bad to cheat the customer by adding water to an expensive product which is sold by weight – it is OK if the adulterant is clean.
Regarding reconstituted milk made from skimmed milk powder, instead of banning the practice, the FSSAI has said that a circular will be issued to big dairy houses to brand the milk right. The circular has not been issued till today.
Regarding the presence of formalin or formaldehyde, (a chemical used for preserving dead bodies and to increase the shelf life of milk when it is being transported), it is illegal in food and is a carcinogen. The FSSAI says ‘That is allowed for preservation. Maybe where we detected it they must have put it in larger quantities.’
Regarding the detergents found in milk, the FSSAI says that this is because the handlers of milk have not washed out the detergents, used to clean hands and vessels. before handling the milk! It is a known fact that detergent is used to make synthetic milk to increase the thickness and viscosity of the milk. A study done by the Indian Council of Medical Research states that detergents in milk cause food poisoning and gastrointestinal complications.
Now the FSSAI says it can’t do anything about making milk pure- it has to be done by the states. The states refuse to take any action saying that they have not seen the report (which was published on the front page of every paper across India). Bihar’s milk was found to be 100% contaminated but the state Food Safety Authority maintains that ‘We have no idea where they collected the samples from. Once the report is shared with us, we will collect the samples, test it in our labs and then take appropriate action on whether the license has to be revoked or not.’ This is six months after the report. (In any case the department has only 23 officers to man the food quality of the entire state.)
The Delhi Food Safety Authority has the same reaction. They agree that ‘The samples were found to contain skimmed milk powder. But this is not hazardous to health, its just reconstituted milk.’ Delhi has an estimated daily demand of 70 lakh liters of milk, about 90% is supplied by brands. Neutralisers like Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Ammonia, Carbon Trioxide (carbonate) and other alkalis are used to correct and optimise the pH value of un-fresh milk so that they appear to be fresh milk. Obviously they would be a necessary component in reconstituted milk, which is what 50% of Delhi’s milk is in summer.
The FSSAI refuses to send their report officially to any state or even to the Indian Dairy Association! So the states have an excuse to ignore it. Even if they got them, most of the state testing laboratories are either defunct or ill equipped.
This belief that we are the world’s number one milk producer is misplaced. We are the number one fake milk producer in the world. And the only way you can stop this and protect your children is by totally stopping the purchase of this dangerous product.
-  by Menaka Gandhi – www.mathrubhumi.com
Another Article from Reuters
Indians may think twice before gulping down a glass of milk after the country’s food safety regulator found most samples collected in a survey were either diluted or adulterated with products including fertilizer, bleach and detergent.
The study, conducted this month by the food safety and standards authority of India, found milk was adulterated with skimmed milk powder and glucose, or more shockingly hydrogen peroxide, urea and detergent.
Hydrogen peroxide is used in bleach, while urea is commonly used in fertilizer.
“Consumption of milk with detergent may cause health hazards and indicates lack of hygiene and sanitation in the milk handling,” the regulator said in a report.
“Addition of water not only reduces the nutritional value of milk but contaminated water may also pose health risks.”
A health ministry official declined to comment on the report.
India has long struggled with adulteration of food and milk by unscrupulous traders. Almost 70 percent of the 1,791 samples taken nationwide were contaminated or watered down, according to the report.
Out of 33 Indian states, non-fat adulterants were found in all the milk samples from West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. This adds to concern about West Bengal’s faltering health and safety standards. In December, an adulterated batch of bootleg liquor killed at least 125 drinkers in the eastern state.
The deaths came a few days after a hospital fire killed 93 people in the state’s capital Kolkata.
New Delhi fared worse than most states, with as many as 70 percent of the samples tainted. The western state of Goa and eastern state of Puducherry conformed to the standards, with no indication of adulteration in their milk.
- By Annie Banerji
Yet another one from NDTV
Over 68 per cent of milk in the country does not conform to the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the Centre has told the Supreme Court on a plea for checking sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.
The submission has been made by the Centre in its affidavit which referred to a survey conducted by the FSSAI, which had found that over 68 per cent of the “non-conforming” milk was found in urban areas, 66 per cent of which was loose milk.
According to the FSSAI’s 2011 survey, the most common adulterant was found to be the addition of water, and the main reason for deviation from the standards was addition of glucose and skimmed milk powder. It also found that in some samples, detergent was mixed.
 The affidavit was filed in response to the notice issued on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by a group of citizens, led by Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand, seeking a check on sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.
Notices had also been issued to Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi governments on a PIL alleging that synthetic and adulterated milk and milk products are prepared using urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda and white paint which, according to studies, are “very hazardous” to human life and can cause serious diseases like cancer.
The petitioners’ advocate Anurag Tomar said that the affidavit is silent on many aspects which allegedly refer to adulteration of milk and its products.
The affidavit said that over 83 per cent of the non-conforming milk in rural areas was found to be loose milk.
The FSSAI had analysed 1791 samples of milk randomly collected from 33 states and Union territories to identify the common adulterant in milk, both loose and packaged.
It had gathered samples from rural and urban areas and after analysing them at five different public sector laboratories, it had found that 68.4 per cent of the samples were non-conforming (adulterated) to its standards.
“Total of 1791 samples of milk were randomly collected from 33 states with a good mix of rural and urban areas as well as packaged and loose milk…. After analysis 565 (31.5 per cent) samples were found to be conforming to the FSSAI standards whereas 1226 (68.4 per cent) samples of milk were found to be non-conforming.
“The non-conforming of samples in rural areas were 381 (31 per cent) out of which 64 (16.7 per cent) were packet samples and 317 (83.2 per cent) were loose sample respectively and in urban areas the total non-conforming samples were 845 (68.9 per cent) out of which 282 (33 per cent) were packed and 563 (66.6 per cent) were loose samples,” the Centre said.
The PIL said that the alarming situation and imminent danger to public health requires immediate action on the part of the central government and the state governments to ensure supply of healthy, hygienic and natural milk to the citizens of India.

We are not sure what actions were taken by the Authorities. It’s better you buy Milk direct from trusted sources, else better avoid Milk and use any other nutrition equivalent. Sick of these people and they do anything for money!!!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

How one should behave with women?

(na stiyam avajanita...) One should not insult women folk nor one should have too much reliance upon them; one should not confide secrets to them nor one should authorize them indiscriminately. One should not indulge in sexual intercourse with a wife during her menses. One should not indulge in sexual intercourse with a woman who is not friendly or has not passionate desire or is passionately attached to somebody else or is married to someone else. (Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana, 8.22)

Wherever women are respected in such places godly people live (Manu smrti, 3.56)

Women other than wife must be seen as mother - matravat para daresu (Chanakya neeti, 10)

One should not allow oneself to sit on the same seat even with one's own mother, sister or daughter, for the senses are so strong that even though one is very advanced in knowledge, he may be attracted by sex. (Srimad Bhagavatam, 9.19.17)

There are two classes of women created by Brahma. One class are chaste women and the other class unchaste women called as kulata ja̅ti. (Narada Pancharatra, 1.14.117)

Chaste women and men should be careful and reject association with such class of people (asat sanga tyagi yei vaisnava achara) (Cahitanya Caritamta, Madhya lila, 22.87)

He who avoids women on the six forbidden nights and on eight others, is equal chastity to a brahmaca̅ri although he is in gṛhastha ashrama.

Woman is compared to fire, and man is compared to a butter pot (The butter melts instantly in association with fire). Therefore a man should avoid associating even with his own daughter in a secluded place. Similarly, he should also avoid association with other women. One should associate with women only for important business and not otherwise. (Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.12.9)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

History of India

History of India

The History of India can be traced in fragments to as far back as 700,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years.
According to the Indo-Aryan migration hypothesis, the Aryans, a nomadic people, possibly from Central Asia or northern Iran migrated into the north-west regions of the Indian subcontinent between 2000 BCE and 1500 BCE.
Their inter-mingling with the earlier Dravidian cultures apparently resulted in classical Indian culture as we know today.
The births of Mahavira and Buddha around 550 BCE mark the beginning of well-recorded Indian history.
For the next 1500 years, India produced its classical civilisation, and is estimated to have had the largest economy of the ancient world between the 1st and 15th centuries AD, controlling between one third and one fourth of the world's wealth up to the time of the Mughals, from whence it rapidly declined during European rule.
Incursions by Arab and Central Asian armies in the 8th and 12th centuries were followed by inroads by traders from Europe, beginning in the late 15th century. By the middle of the 19th century (1858), the British Crown had assumed political control over virtually all of India. Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both the World Wars.
Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led, by Mohandas Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru brought independence in 1947. The subcontinent was partitioned into the Secular Democratic Republic of India and the smaller Islamic Republic of Pakistan. A war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In the 21st century, India has made impressive gains in economic investment and output, and stands as the world's largest democracy with a population exceeding 1 billion, is self sufficient in terms of food, and is a fast-growing, economically strong country.
Human civilizations in India are some of the earliest recorded, and were equal contemporaries of civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. India's history essentially includes all of the Indian subcontinent, including the more recent nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh. India is also inalienably linked with the history and heritage of the other geographically South Asian nations like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, and India's culture, economy and politics has influenced, and has been influenced in turn, by the history and culture of the nations in South East Asia, East Asia and Central Asia, such as Bali, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, China, Tibet, Persia and Afghanistan, over thousands of years.
After Arab incursions into India during the early part of the 2nd Millenium AD, similar quests for access to India's fabled wealth strongly influenced the history of medieval Europe, after the landing of Vasco Da Gama. Christopher Columbus discovered America whilst seaching for a new route to India, and the British Empire gained much of its resources after the incorporation of India as the 'Jewel in the Crown', from the 1700s to 1947.

The Paleolithic Era
Isolated remains of Homo Erectus in Hathnora in the Narmada Valley in Central India indicate that India might have been inhabited since atleast the Middle Pleistocene era [1]. The precise date of these remains is unclear, and archaeologists put it anywhere between 200,000 to 500,000 years [2]. The fossils are the earliest human remains found in South Asia. Recent finds include a quarry along the Malaprabha and Ghataprabha rivers in the Kaladgi Basin in Karnataka. Modern humans seem to have settled the subcontinent towards the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago. The first confirmed permanent settlements appeared 9,000 years ago in Bhimbetka in modern Madhya Pradesh.

The Neolithic Era
The early Neolithic culture in South Asia is represented by the Mehrgarh culture which began in 7000 BC, now in Baluchistan, Pakistan. The Mehrgarh community were mostly pastoral, lived in mud houses, wove baskets and tended to goats and their farms. By 5500 BC, pottery began to appear and later chalcolithic implements began to appear. By 2000 BC, the settlement was abandoned.
Late Neolithic cultures sprang up in the Indus Valley region between 6000 BC and 2000 BC (see below), and in southern India between 2800 BC and 1200 BC.

The Bronze Age

Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Seals
The transition of settlements from agricultural to complex urban communities, a salient feature of all late Neolithic and early Bronze Age cultures, occurred in the Indian subcontinent sometime between the early settlements at Mehrgarh and c. 3300 BC. This period marked the beginning of the earliest urban society in India, known as the Indus Valley Civilization (or, the Harappan Civilization), which thrived between 3300 BC and 1900 BC. It was centred along the Indus River and its tributaries, including the Ghaggar-Hakra River, and extended into the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, Gujarat, and northern Afghanistan.
The civilization is noted for its cities built of brick, road-side drainage system and multi-storeyed houses. The earliest historic references to India may be those to the Meluhha in Sumerian records, possibly referring to the Indus Valley civilization. When compared to the contemporary civilizations of Egypt and Sumeria, the Indus Civilization possessed unique urban planning techniques, covered the largest geographical area, and may have been a single state, as suggested by the amazing uniformity of its measurement systems.
The Mohenjo-daro ruins were once the centre of this ancient society. Indus Civilization settlements spread as far south as present-day Bombay, as far east as Delhi, as far west as the Iranian border, and as far north as the Himalayas. Among the settlements were the major urban centres of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, as well as Dholavira, Ganweriwala, Lothal, Kalibanga and Rakhigarhi. At its peak, some archaeologists opine that the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million.
To date, over 2,500 cities and settlements have been found, mainly in the general region to the east of the Indus River in Pakistan along what is claimed by many to be the Saraswati River mentioned in the Vedas. It is thought by some that geological disturbances and climate change, leading to a gradual deforestization may ultimately have contributed to the civilization's downfall.
Archaeological resources suggest that the diverse geography of ancient India was increasing in the amount and specialization of faunal remains around 2400 to 1500 BC. This specialization suggests that the Indus Valley Civilizations were dependent upon the alluvial soils of the rivers, which produced high yield crops. By 2600 BC, the presence of a state level society is evident, complete with hierarchical rule and large scale public works. These include accomplishments such as irrigation, warehouses for grain, public streets, and brick-lined drainage systems for sanitation. Around the mid 2nd millennium BC, the region of the Indus River basin, in which approximately two-thirds of currently known sites were located dried up, and the sites were abandoned.

Vedic Civilization
The Vedic civilization is the Indo-Aryan culture associated with the Vedas, which are some of the oldest extant Indo-European texts, orally composed in Vedic Sanskrit. But this is a misconception for the simple reason that vedas were the earliest text that originated in India. The exact connection of the genesis of this civilization with the Indus Valley civilization on one hand, and a possible Indo-Aryan migration on the other hand, is the subject of disputes. Early Vedic society was largely pastoral. After the Rigveda, the society became increasingly agricultural, and was organized around four Varnas, or classes. Several small kingdoms and tribes merged to form a few large ones, such as the Kuru and Panchala, some of which were often at war with each other.
In addition to the principle texts of Hinduism, (the Vedas), the great Indian epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the latter of which constitutes the longest poem in the world after the Kyrgyz Manas, are said to have their ultimate origins during this period, from an oral tradition of unwritten Bardic recitation. The Bhagavad Gita, another primary text of Hinduism, is contained within the Mahabharata.
Early Indo-Aryan presence probably corresponds, in part, to Ochre Coloured Pottery, archaeologically. The kingdom of the Kurus marks flowering of the Vedic civilization, corresponding to the Black and Red Ware and the beginning of the Iron Age in Northwestern India begins, around 1000 BC, likely also contemporary with the composition of the Atharvaveda. Painted Grey Ware spread over much of Northern India marks the Middle Vedic period, followed by a wave of urbanization that occurred across the Indian sub-continent, from Afghanistan to Bengal, in the 6th century BC. A number of kingdoms and oligarchies, often called republics, emerged across the Indo-Gangetic plain and the northern part of South India during this period. 16 of them, called Mahajanapadas (great lands), are referred to in the ancient literature of the period.

By 500 BC, sixteen monarchies and 'republics' known as the Mahajanapadas stretched across the Indo-Gangetic plains from modern-day Afghanistan to Bangladesh. The largest of these nations were Magadha, Kosala, Kuru and Gandhara. The right of a king to his throne, no matter how it was gained, was usually legitimized through religious right and genealogies concocted by priests who ascribed divine origins to the rulers.
Hindu rituals at that time were complicated and conducted by the priestly class. It is thought that the Upanishads, late Vedic texts dealing mainly with incipient philosophy, were first composed early in this period. The educated speech at that time was Sanskrit, while the dialects of the general population of northern India were referred to as Prakrits. In 537 BC, Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment and founded Buddhism, which was initially intended as a supplement to the existing Vedic dharma. Around the same time period, in mid-6th century BC, Mahavira founded Jainism.
Both religions had a simple doctrine, and were preached in Prakrit, which helped it gain acceptance amongst the masses. While the geographic impact of Jainism was limited, Buddhist nuns and monks eventually spread the teachings of Buddha to Central Asia, East Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka and South East Asia.

Achaemenid Empire

Much of the northwestern Indian Subcontinent (present day Eastern Afghanistan and most of Pakistan) was ruled by the Persian Achaemenid Empire from c. 520 BC during the reign of Darius the Great, up intil its conquest by Alexander the Great. Lands in present-day Punjab, the Indus river from the borders of Gandhara down to the Arabian Sea, and some other parts of the Indus plain, became a satrapy of Alexander's empire. According to Herodotus of Halicarnassus, it was the most populous and richest of all the twenty satrapies of the empire. Achaemenid rule lasted about 186 years. The Achaemenids used the Aramaic script for the Persian language. After the end of Achaemenid rule, the use of Aramaic in the Indus plain diminished, although we know from inscriptions from the time of Emperor Asoka that it was still in use two centuries later. Other scripts, such as Kharosthi (a script derived from Aramaic) and Greek became more common after the arrival of Alexander the Great.

Alexander the Great
The interaction between Hellenistic Greece and Buddhism began when Alexander the Great conquered Asia Minor and the Achaemenid Empire, reaching the north west frontiers of the Indian subcontinent in 334 BC. There, he defeated King Puru in the Battle of the Hydaspes (near modern-day Jhelum, Pakistan) and conquered much of the Punjab. However, Alexander's troops refused to go beyond the Beas river, and he was forced to march his army southwest.
Alexander created garrisons for his troops in his new territories, and founded several cities in the areas of the Oxus, Arachosia, and Bactria, and Macedonian/Greek settlements in Gandhara and the Punjab. The regions included the Khyber Pass - a geographical passageway south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush mountains - and the Bolan Pass, on a trade route connecting Drangiana, Arachosia and other Persian and Central Asian kingdoms to the lower Indus plain. It is through these regions that most of the interaction between South Asia and Central Asia took place, generating intense cultural exchange and trade.

Greco-Buddhist Period

Greco-Buddhism, sometimes spelled Gr¾co-Buddhism, is the cultural syncretism between the culture of Classical Greece and Buddhism, which developed over a period of close to 800 years in the area corresponding to modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, between the 4th century BC and the 5th century AD. Greco-Buddhism especially influenced the artistic development of Mahayana Buddhism, before it was adopted by Central and Northeastern Asia from the 1st century AD, ultimately spreading to China, Korea and Japan.

The Magadha Empire

Amongst the 16 Mahajanapadas, the kingdom of Magadha rose to prominence under a number of dynasties that peaked in power under the reign of Asoka Maurya, one of India's most legendary and famous emperors. The kingdom of Magadha had emerged as a major power following the subjugation of two neighboring kingdoms, and possessed an unparalleled military.

Shishunaga Dynasty
According to tradition, the Shishunaga dynasty founded the Magadha Empire in 684 BC, whose capital was Rajagriha, later Pataliputra, near the present day Patna. This dynasty lasted till 424 BC, when it was overthrown by the Nanda dynasty. This period saw the development of two of India's major religions. Gautama Buddha in the 6th or 5th century BC was the founder of Buddhism, which later spread to East Asia and South-East Asia, while Mahavira founded Jainism.

Nanda Dynasty
Nanda dynasty was established by an illegitimate son of the king Mahanandin of the previous Shishunaga dynasty. Mahapadma Nanda died at the age of 88 and, therefore, he ruled the bulk of the period of this dynasty, which lasted 100 years. The Nandas were followed by the Maurya dynasty.
The first Nanda, the Mahapadma Nanda has been described as the destroyer of all the Kshatriyas. He defeated Ikshvakus, Panchalas, Kasis, Harhayas, Kalingas, Asmakas, Kurus, Maithilas, Surasenas, Vitihotras, etc.,. He expanded his territory till south of Deccan. The last of the Nandas was Dhana Nanda. Plutarch tells that Chandragupta Maurya had stated that Nanda was hated and despised by his subject on account of the wickedness of his disposition. The bloody fight between the Nandas and the Mauryas overthrew the dynasty of Nandas.
The Nandas who usurped the throne of the Shishunaga dynasty were of low origin. Some sources state that the founder, Mahapadma , was the son of a Shudra mother, others that he was born of a union of a barber with a courtesan. Nandas were the first of a number of dynasties of northern India who were of non-kshatriya origin.The Nandas are sometimes described as the first empire builders of India. They inherited the large kingdom of Magadha and wished to extend it to yet more distant frontiers. To this purpose they built up a vast army consisting of 20,000 cavalry, 200,000 infantry, 2,000 chariots and 3,000 elephants. But the Nandas never had the opportunity to use this army against the Greeks, who invaded India at the time Dhana Nanda, since Alexander's campaign terminated in the Punjab.
The Nandas made the methodical collection of taxes by regularly appointed officials a part of their administrative system. The treasury was continually replenished, the wealth of the Nandas being well-known. The Nandas also built canals and carried out irrigation projects. The possibility of an imperial structure based on an essentially agrarian economy began to germinate in the Indian mind. But further development of the Nandas was cut short by Chandragupta Maurya and his mentor Chanakya. Chanakya dethroned Dhana Nanda in a battle of wits and replaced him with Chandragupta Maurya, a young adventurer. Dhana Nanda was murdered which finally signaled the advent of the Mauryan era in 321 B.C.

Maurya Dynasty
In 321 BC, exiled general Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya dynasty after overthrowing the reigning king Dhana Nanda to establish the Mauryan Empire. Chandragupta was succeeded by his son Bindusara, who expanded the kingdom over most of present day India, barring the extreme south and east. During this time, most of the subcontinent was united under a single government for the first time.
The kingdom was inherited by his son Ashoka The Great who initially sought to expand his kingdom. In the aftermath of the carnage caused in the invasion of Kalinga, he renounced bloodshed and pursued a policy of non-violence or ahimsa after converting to Buddhism. The Edicts of Ashoka are the oldest preserved historical documents of India, and from Ashoka's time, approximate dating of dynasties becomes possible. The Mauryan dynasty under Ashoka was responsible for the proliferation of Buddhist ideals across the whole of East Asia and South-East Asia, fundamentally altering the history and development of Asia as a whole. Ashoka the Great has been described as one of the greatest rulers the world has seen.

Shunga Dynasty
The Sunga dynasty ruled the Sunga empire of central and eastern India from 185 BCE to around 73 BCE. The last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty was Brhadrata. He was killed by his own commander-in-chief Pusyamitra Sunga in 185 BCE. With the fall of Mauryas, India lost its political unity. Pushyamitra Sunga became the ruler of the Magadha and neighbouring territories. The north-western regions comprising Rajputana, Malwa and Punjab passed into the hands of the foreign rulers. The kingdom of Pushyamitra was extended upto Narmada in the south, and controlled Jalandhar and Sialkot in the Punjab in the north-western regions. Pushyamitra died after ruling for 36 years (187-151 BCE). He was succeeded by son Agnimitra. This prince is the hero of a famous drama by one of India's greatest playwright, Kalidasa. Agnimitra used to hold his court in the city of Vidisa, modern Besnagar in Eastern Malwa. The power of the Sungas gradually weakened. It is said that there were ten Sunga kings.

Early Middle Kingdoms - The Golden Age

The middle period, especially that associated with the Gupta dynasty, is known as India's Golden Age, a time of unparalleled cultural development. The Kushanas invaded northwestern India about the middle of the 1st century CE, from Central Asia, and founded an empire that eventually stretched from Peshawar to the middle Ganges and, perhaps, as far as the Bay of Bengal. It also included ancient Bactria (in the north of modern Afghanistan) and southern Tajikistan. Their power also extended into Turkestan and helped spread Buddhism to China. In South India, several kingdoms emerged.
The earliest of these is the Pandya kingdom in southern Tamil Nadu, with its capital at Madurai. The Indo-Greek Kingdoms following the conquests of Alexander the Great ruled much of Gandhara from 180 BC to 10 CE. Around the same time in southern India, the Dravidian Pandyan kingdom began to take shape. An important source for the geography and history of that period is the Greek historian Arrian.

Satavahana Empire
The Satavahanas, also known as the Andhras, were a dynasty which ruled in Southern and Central India starting from around 230 BC. Although there is some controversy about when the dynasty came to an end, the most liberal estimates are of about 450 years. Long before that their kingdom had disintegrated into successor states. Conflict with the Sakas and the rising ambitions of their feudatories, led to their decline. Several dynasties divided the lands of the kingdom among themselves.

Kushan Empire
The Kushan Empire (c. 1stÐ3rd centuries) was a state that at its height, about 105Ð250, stretched from Tajikistan to the Caspian Sea to Afghanistan and down into the Ganges river valley. The empire was created by Tocharians from modern East Turkestan, China, but was culturally dominated by north India. They had diplomatic contacts with Rome, Sassanian Persia and China, and for several centuries were at the centre of exchange between the East and the West, spreading Buddhism through trade with China.

Gupta Dynasty
In the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Dynasty unified northern India. During this period, known as India's Golden Age, Hindu culture, science and political administration reached new heights. After the collapse of the Gupta empire in the 6th century, India was again ruled by numerous regional kingdoms. The Gupta 'golden age' marked a period of significant cultural development.
Their origins are largly unknown, however the Chinese traveller I-tsing provides the first evidence of the Gupta kingdom in Magadha. The Vedic Puranas are also thought to have been written around this period. The empire came to an end with the attack of the Huns from central Asia. A minor line of the Gupta clan continued to rule Magadha after the disintegration of the empire. These Guptas were ultimately ousted by the Vardhana king Harsha, who established an empire in the first half of the seventh century that, for a brief time, rivalled that of the Guptas in extent.


Figure in Sassanian dress North-western India,
probably Punjab Hills Late 6th/early 7th century Sandstone
The Sassanian empire of Persia, who were close contemporaries of the Guptas, began to expand into the northwestern part of ancient India (now Pakistan), where they established their rule. The mingling of Indian and Persian cultures in this region gave birth to the Indo-Sassanian culture, which fluorished in the western part of the Punjab and the areas now known in Pakistan as the North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan. The last Hindu kingdom in this region, the Shahis, also may have arisen from this culture.

Late Middle Kingdoms - The Classical Age

Later, the Chola kingdom emerged in northern Tamil Nadu, and the Chera kingdom in Kerala. The ports of southern India were involved in the Indian Ocean trade, chiefly involving spices, with the Roman Empire to the west and Southeast Asia to the east. In the north, the first of the Rajputs, a series of kingdoms which managed to survive in some form for almost a millennium until Indian independence from the British.

Harsha's Empire
King Harsha of Kannauj succeeded in reuniting northern India during his reign in the 7th century. His kingdom collapsed after his death. From the 7th to the 9th century, three dynasties contested for control of northern India: the Pratiharas of Malwa and later Kannauj; the Palas of Bengal, and the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan.

The Chalukyas and Pallavas
The Chalukya Empire ruled parts of southern and central India from 550 to 750 (from Badami, Karnataka)and again from 970 to 1190 (from Kalyana, Karnataka). The Pallavas of Kanchi were their contemporaries to the south. Over a period of roughly a century, the two kingdoms fought a series of low-intensity wars, each conquering the other's capitals at various points. The kings of Sri Lanka and the Keralan Cheras rendered support to the Pallavas, while the Pandyas rendered support to the Chalukyas. Whilst the northern concept of a pan-Indian empire had collapsed at the end of Harsha's empire, the ideal instead shifted to the south. The two dynasties were responsible for some of the greatest examples of both rock-cut and free-standing temples.

Chola Empire
The Cholas emerged as the most powerful empire in the south in the 9th century and retained their pre-eminent position until the 13th century when the Vijayanagar empire was founded. The Cholas, like the Chalukyas and Pallavas before them, and the Vijaynagar after them, were responsible for some of India's finest monuments, and being located on the south tip of the peninsula, ruled Sri Lanka, and culturally dominated most of South East Asia, where the Hindu Srivijaya and Khmer empires of Indonesia and Cambodia used south Indian temple design. The Chola Navy was the most powerful for its time having conquered the neighboring island of Lanka and other areas across the Bay of Bengal.

History of South India

Pratiharas -- Palas -- Rashtrakutas
The Pratiharas, also called the Gurjara-Pratiharas were an Indian dynasty who ruled kingdoms in Rajasthan and northern India from the sixth to the eleventh centuries. The Pala Empire controlled Bihar and Bengal, from the 8th to the 12th century. The Rashtrakutas of Malkhed (Karnataka) were a dynasty which ruled the Deccan during the 8th-10th centuries after the end of Chalukya rule. Each three kingdoms vied for north Indian domination around the same time that the Cholas were flourishing in the south.

The Rajputs
The first recorded Rajput kingdoms emerged in Rajasthan in the 6th century, and Rajput dynasties later ruled much of northern India, including Mewar (Sisodias), Gujarat (Solankis), Malwa (Paramaras), Bundelkhand (Chandelas), and Haryana (Tomaras). The Pallava dynasty of Kanchipuram ruled southeastern India from the 4th century to the 9th century. The Pratihara ruled northern India before the Rajputs. Various other dynasties such as the Yadav, Chera, Hoysala of Halebidu, Sena and Pala controlled various empires of their own.

Vijayanagar Empire
The brothers Harihara and Bukka founded the Karnataka Empire, also known as the Vijayanagara Empire, in 1336. The Vijayanagara empire prospered during the reign of Krishnadevaraya. It suffered a major defeat in 1565 but continued for another century or so in an attenuated form. Southern Indian kingdoms of the time expanded their influence as far as Indonesia, controlling vast overseas empires in south east Asia. The Hindu dynasty came into conflict with Islamic rule (the Bahmani Kingdom) and the clashing of the two systems, the prevailing indigenous Hindu/Muslim religion, which caused a mingling of the indigenous and foreign culture that left lasting cultural influences on each other. The later Mughal rule also saw such influences of Gujarati and Rajasthani culture contributing towards this.

The Islamic Sultanates
After the Arab-Turkic invasion of India's ancient northern neighbor Persia, various short lived Islamic empires invaded and spread across the subcontinent over a period of 1000 years. Prior to Turkish invasions, Muslim trading communities flourished throughout coastal South India, particularly in Kerala.

Delhi Sultanate
In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded parts of northern India and established the Delhi Sultanate at the beginning of the 13th century. The Slave dynasty managed to conquer large areas of northern India approximate to the ancient extent of the Guptas, while the Khilji Empire was also able to conquer most of central India, but they were ultimately unsuccessful in conquering most of the subcontinent, until the onset of the Mughals.

The Mughal Era

Mughal Empire

Taj Mahal

Other Mughal Architecture
In 1526, Babur, a Timurid descendant of Timur, swept across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal Empire, which lasted for over 200 years. The Mughal Dynasty ruled most of the Indian subcontinent by 1600; it went into a slow decline after 1707 and was finally defeated during the Indian rebellion of 1857. This period marked vast social change in the subcontinent as the Hindu majority were ruled over by the Mughal emperors, some of whom showed religious tolerance, while others liberally patronized Hindu culture, and some of whom destroyed historical temples and imposed taxes on non-Muslims. During the decline of the Mughal Empire, which at its peak occupied an area slightly larger than the ancient Mauryan Empire, several smaller empires rose to fill the power vacuum or themselves were contributing factors to the decline.

The Maratha Confederacy
The Maratha Kingdom was founded by Shivaji in 1674 when he annexed a portion of the Bijapur Sultanate. Shivaji had declared war upon the oppressive Mughal dynasty in order for the Hindu majority of the subcontinent to once again be free of the various Islamic dynasties that had appeared over the last 600 years. By the 18th century, it had transformed itself into the Maratha Confederacy under the rule of the Peshwa. By 1760, the Empire had stretched across practically the entire subcontinent. This expansion was brought to an end by the Maratha's defeat by an Afghan army at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. The last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was defeated by the British in the Third Anglo-Maratha War.

The Kingdom of Mysore
The Kingdom of Mysore was a kingdom of southern India, which was founded around 1400 CE by the Wodeyar dynasty. The rule of the Wodeyars was interrupted by Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan. Under their rule Mysore fought a series of wars sometimes against the combined forces of the British and Marathas, but mostly against the British with some aid or promise of aid from the French. After the death of Tippu Sultan in the Fourth War of Mysore in 1799, the Wodeyar dynasty regained limited power as a Princely State under the British. The Kingdom of Mysore became part of the modern day, Indian state of Karnataka.

The Punjab - Sikh Empire
The Punjabi kingdom, ruled by members of the Sikh religious movement was a political entity that ruled the region of modern day Punjab. Founded by the ten Gurus of the Sikh faith, it expanded its borders during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the height of the Sikh Empire to include surrounding areas like Kashmir and Peshawar, and was among the last areas of the subcontinent that was conquered by the British. The Anglo-Sikh wars marked the downfall of the Sikh Empire.

Company Rule

Colonial India and European Colonies in India
Vasco da Gama's discovery of a new sea route to India in 1498 paved the way for European colonization of India. The Portuguese set up bases in Goa, Daman, Diu and Bombay. They remained the longest colonial rulers for 500 years till 1962. The British established their first outpost in South Asia in 1619 at Surat on the northwestern coast of India, arriving in the wake of Portuguese and Dutch visitors. Later in the century, the British East India Company opened permanent trading stations at Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta, each under the protection of native rulers.

French India
The French set up base along with the British in the 17th century. They occupied large parts of southern India. However subsequent wars with the British, led to the loss of almost all their territory. They however retained the colonies of Pondicherry -(Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yanam, and MahŽ.) and Chandernagore. Pondicherry was ceded to India in 1950.
The Dutch did not have a major presence in India. The towns of Travancore were ruled by the Dutch. However they were more interested in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and their prize of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). They were responsible for training the military of the princely state of Kerala. In 1845, the Danish colony of Tranquebar was sold to the United Kingdom.

The British Raj

The British established a foothold in Bengal when the British soldiers, funded by the East India Company, and led by Robert Clive, defeated Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah in the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and plundered the Bengali treasure. Bengal became a protectorate, and then directly went under the rule of East India Company. The British East India Company monopolized the trade of Bengal. The Bengali craftsmen were inevitably fixed at foreign posts of the Company, where they were obliged to render their labour at minimal compensation while their collective tax burden increased harshly. The result was the famine of 1769 to 1773 in which 10 million Bengalis died, followed almost a century later by the catastrophic Great Calamity period, resulting in part from an extension of similar policies, in which up to 40 million Indians perished from famine amidst the collapse of India's native industries and skilled workforce.
By the 1850s Britain controlled most of the Indian sub-continent, which included present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. From 1830, the defeat of the Thugs played a part in securing establishing greater control of diverse Indian provinces for the British.
The Indian rebellion of 1857 in the north, led by mutinous Indian soldiers, was crushed by the British. It is also called the first war of Indian independence. In the aftermath all political power was transferred from the East India Company to the Crown, which began administering most of India directly. It controlled the rest through local rulers.

The Independence Movement

In the late 19th century "British India" took its first steps toward self-government with the appointment of Indian councillors to advise the British viceroy, and the establishment of provincial Councils with Indian members; the British subsequently widened participation in legislative councils. Beginning in 1920, Indian leaders such as Mohandas K. Gandhi (also known as Mahatma (Great Soul) Gandhi) and Subhas Chandra Bose transformed the Indian National Congress into a mass movement to campaign against British colonial rule. The movement eventually succeeded in bringing independence to the people of the Indian subcontinent, by means of parliamentary action and non-violent resistance and non-cooperation. Following the division of India into the secular Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in August 1947, rioting broke out between Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims in several parts of India, including Punjab, Bengal and Delhi, leaving some 200,000 dead. Also, this period saw the largest mass migration ever recorded in modern history, with a total of 12 million Hindus and Muslims moved between the newly created dominions of India and Pakistan.

Republic of India

Since independence, India has fought a number of wars against its neighbours, most notably four wars against Pakistan, and one against China. It also detonated a nuclear device in 1974 and became a Declared nuclear state in 1998 following a series of tests. From a socialist-inspired economy to the early 1990s , India continued to make slow progress away from the state the British had left the country in, however, it was only after extensive economic reforms in the early 90s (initiated by Present Prime minister of India Manmohan Singh) that India's economy began to grow at a high rate. Today, in the 21st century, India is considered an emerging economic superpower, and is currently the tenth largest economy in terms of gross GDP, and 4th largest when accounting for purchasing power parity.
Since independence, India has fought three major wars and one minor war with Pakistan (see Indo-Pakistani Wars). The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 started over the control of Kashmir. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was also fought over Kashmir. In 1971, India hosted refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan and helped the Bangladeshi freedom fighters (Mukti Bahini) with resources and training during the Bangladesh Liberation War. During the final stages of that war, India became directly involved in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which ultimately resulted in Pakistan's defeat and the independence of Bangladesh. India also fought a border war with China in 1962 (see Sino-Indian War).
As well as being a declared nuclear state, India has an advanced space program designed to benefit the country economically, rather than merely create prestige. In the 1990s, following economic reform from the socialist-inspired economy of post-independence India, the country began to experience rapid economic growth, as markets opened for international competition and investment. In the 21st century, India is an emerging economic power with vast human and natural resources, and a huge knowledge base. Economists predict that by 2050, India will be among the top three economies of the world.

History of India