Wednesday, 1 August 2012

History Two-markers 2007

Age of Sangam Literature:  Sangam Literature refers to a body of classical Tamil literature created between the years c. 300 BCE to 300 CE.This collection contains 2381 poems composed by 473 poets, some 102 of whom remain anonymousThe period during which these poems were composed is commonly referred to as the Sangam period, referring to the Sangams (literary assemblies) where these works were composed. Sangam literature is primarily secular dealing with everyday themes.

Bhakti Bhakti as a religious concept means devotional surrender to a personally conceived Supreme God for attaining salvation. The origin of this doctrine has been traced to both the Brahmanical and Buddhist traditions of ancient India and to variouis scriptures such as the Gita.  But it was for the first time in South India between the seventh and tenth century that bhakti  grew from a mere religious doctrine into a popular movement based on religious equality and broad-based social participation. The movement which was led by popular saint-poets reached its climax in the tenth century after which it began to decline. But it was revived as a philosophical and ideological movement  by  a series of  wandering scholars or acharyas,  beginning with Ramanuja in the eleventh century. The establishment of the Delhi Sultanate in early thirteenth century witnessed  great outburst of inany diverse and widespread socio-religious movements in various parts of the country drawing upon the concepts of bhakti. These movements have been seen as continuation or revival of the olber South Indian bhakti movement. But each one of the later movements which grew in 
the Sultanate period  had a historical context of its own and its own peculiarities.1

Ashtadhyayi of PaniniAshtadhyayi is the earliest complete work on Sanskrit Grammar. It was written by Panini a Sanskrit Grammarian from Gandhara. Ashtadhyayi contains about 4000 rules distributed among eight chapters  espousing  Sanskrit morphology, syntax and semantics. It is said that Pāṇini's grammar marks the entry of the non-sacred into Indian thought, and an understanding of ancient theologians/philopsophers like Sankara, Madhava and Ramanuja is impossible without a knowledge of Ashtadhyayi. 2

Charvakas: Cārvāka (Sanskritचार्वाक), also known as Lokāyata, is a system of Indian philosophy that assumes various forms of philosophical skepticism and religious indifference. Cārvāka is classified as a heterodox (nāstika) system. It is characterized as a materialistic and atheistic school of thought.  The name Cārvāka is first used in the 7th century by the philosopher Purandara, who refers to his fellow materialists as "the Cārvākas". This branch of Indian philosophy is today not considered to be part of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy ( Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Nyaya, Vedanta and Vaisheshika).3,4

Ajivika: was an ancient philosophical and ascetic movement of the Mahajanapada period of the Indian subcontinentThe Ājīvikas were contemporaries of the early Buddhists and Jains and rivalled them in popularity.  The emperor Ashoka's father, Bindusara, was a believer of this philosophy, that reached its peak of popularity during Asoka's lifetime, and then declined into obscurity. The Ājīvikas may have been a more loosely-organized group of wandering ascetics. Their leader was Makkhali GosalaThe Ajivika movement is long extinct, and what information is known about its followers is primarily from historical evidence left behind in Jain and Buddhist sources. Several rock-cut caves belonging to this sect, built during the times of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (r. 273 BC to 232 BC) have been found at Barabar CavesJehanabad districtBihar. 5

Gandhara Art:  Click here for info

Mlechchas: referred to people of foreign extraction (non-Aryans) in ancient Indiato indicate the uncouth and incomprehensible speech of foreigners and then extended to their unfamiliar behavior. Mlecchas were found in northwestern India. The term comes from two Sanskrit words "Malina" meaning lowly, dirty, filthy, impure, wretched, unchaste, unclean, admixed, adulterated, contaminated, corrupt, immoral, decadent, infected, obscene, tainted and "CCha/CCheetkara" meaning abhorrence, loathing, disgust, abomination, repugnance. 6

Lingayats: are a distinct Shaivite denomination in South India. They reject the authority of the Vedas and the Caste systemBasavanna also known as Mahatma Basaveshwara  was mainly responsible for spreading this religion in the 12th Century. The Lingayaths worship GOD in the form of Ishta-Linga. Ishta-Linga is worn on body. Central to Lingayat theology are five codes of conduct (called Panchāchāras), eight "shields" (Ashtāvarana), and the concept of six levels of attainment that the devotee can achieve (known as Shatsthala). 7

Megasthenes: was an ambassador of Greek General Selecus Nicator at the court of Chandragupta Maurya in 4th century BC. He travelled wide and far in the Mauryan kingdom, recording his observations about the polity, society and economy of the people- compiling it in the four-volume 'Indica'. Indica can be touted as the first authentic account of India to the western World.8 [Q Also asked in 2008].

R.C.Dutt: Romesh Chunder Duttwas an Indian civil servanteconomic historianwriter, and translator of Ramayana and MahabharataHe was president of the Indian National Congress in 1899.  Dutt wrote The Economic History of India under early British Rule, in 1902. 9

Naharjunakonda: Nagarjunakonda (meaning Nagarjuna Hill) is a historical Buddhist town in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of India's richest Buddhist sites, and is named after Nagarjuna, a master of Mahayana Buddhism who lived in the 2nd century AD believed to be responsible for the Buddhist activity in the area. The site was once the location of many Buddhist universities and monasteries, attracting students from as far asChinaGandharaBengal and Sri Lanka
It was formed when a hill was submerged in the waters of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, constructed in the 1960s. The Buddhist archaeological sites there were submerged, and had to later be dug up and transferred to higher land on the hill, which had become an island. 10

Rudrammadevi: Rani Rudrama Devi was one of the most prominent rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty on the Deccan Plateau, being one of the few ruling queens in Indian history. An able fighter and dynamic ruler, Rudramma defended the kingdom from the Cholas and the Yadavas. She was one of very few female rulers in south India during her time. Rani Rudramma Devi ruled from CE 1261 or 1262 until CE 1295 or 1296.
Among Rani Rudramma Devi's accomplishments during her reign was the completion of Warangal Fort.  She is also said to have made the dance form- Perini Shiva-tandavam an integral part of the training of the royal army.11

Ramanuja: was a theologianphilosopher and is considered the leading expounder of Viśiṣṭādvaita, one of the classical interpretations of the dominant Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. He lived during 11th century AD. He is said to have written several texts, the most famous being  the Sri Bhasya or Brahma Sutra Bhasya. It is a commentary on the Brahma Sutras, known also as the Vedānta Sūtras of Badarayana. 12

Sati: ancient Hindu tradition of immolation of widows on their husband's pyre. Was practiced among the higher castes of Brahmins and Rajputs. The practice was banned in 1829 by the British, but isolated incidents have occurred, the most infamous being the Sati of Roop Kanwar in 1987. The Indian Government in 1987 passed the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987. 


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