Brahmarshi Vishvamitra is one of the most venerated rishis or sages of ancient India. He is credited as the author of most of Mandala 3 of the Rigveda, the Puranas mention that only 24 rishis since antiquity have understood the whole meaning of—and thus wielded the whole power of—Gayatri Mantra. Vishvamitra is supposed to be the first, and Yajnavalkya the last, the story of Vishvamitra is narrated in the Balakanda of Valmiki Ramayana. Mahabharata adds that Vishvamitras relationship with Menaka resulted in a daughter, Vishvamitra was a king in ancient India, called Kaushika. Vishwamitra was originally the Chandravanshi King of Kanyakubja and he was a valiant warrior and the great-grandson of a great king named Kusha. Valmiki Ramayana, prose 51 of Bala Kanda, starts with the story of Vishvamitra, There was a king named Kusha, one who is highly renowned by the name Gaadhi was the son of Kushanabha and Gaadhis son is this great-saint of great resplendence, Vishvamitra. Vishvamitra ruled the earth and this great-resplendent king ruled the kingdom for many thousands of years and his story appears in various Puranas, with variations from Ramayana.
Vishnu Purana and Harivamsha chapter 27 of Mahabharata narrates the birth of Vishvamitra, according to Vishnu Purana, Kushanabha married a damsel of Purukutsa dynasty and had a son by name Gaadhi, who had a daughter named Satyavati. Satyavati was married to an old Brahmin known as Ruchika who was foremost among the race of Bhrigu, Ruchika desired a son having the qualities of a Brahmin and so he gave Satyavati a sacrificial offering which he had prepared to achieve this objective. He gave Satyavatis mother another charu to make her conceive a son with the character of a Kshatriya at her request, but Satyavatis mother privately asked Satyavati to exchange her charu with her. Vishwamitra is a Sanskrit word, meaning friend of the world, on one of his exploits, King Kaushika and his soldiers took rest in the hermitage of sage Vashista. The whole army was well-fed and taken care of by the sage, the king doubted the possibility and expressed his surprise to the sage as to how he was able to take care of the whole arrangements.
Vashista replied, O king, this feast that you have partaken with your kinsmen, has provided by my calf Nandini. You must know that she is daughter of Indras cow Kamadhenu and she provides me with everything I need. Kaushika was surprised and he planned to attain the cow by all means and he expressed a desire to the sage for obtaining Nandini from him. Vashista politely refused to give the cow to king, Vashista was not be tempted by the offer of untold wealth that was made by Kaushika for the cow, which can readily yield all the riches in the world. The king grew exceedingly angry and he insulted Brahmarishi with harsh words and he ordered his soldiers to seize the cow and drive it to his kingdom. Nandini was daughter of Kamadhenu and hence she forcefully protested against the soldiers, Vashishta saved the cow by destroying all of the kings army with his superhuman powers
Sanskrit is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, a philosophical language of Hinduism and Jainism, and a literary language and lingua franca of ancient and medieval South Asia. As a result of transmission of Hindu and Buddhist culture to Southeast Asia and parts of Central Asia, as one of the oldest Indo-European languages for which substantial written documentation exists, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. The body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, philosophical, the compositions of Sanskrit were orally transmitted for much of its early history by methods of memorization of exceptional complexity and fidelity. Thereafter and derivatives of the Brahmi script came to be used, Sanskrit is today one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, which mandates the Indian government to develop the language. It continues to be used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the form of hymns.
The Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- may be translated as refined, elaborated, as a term for refined or elaborated speech, the adjective appears only in Epic and Classical Sanskrit in the Manusmṛti and the Mahabharata. 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, Classical Sanskrit is the standard register as laid out in the grammar of Pāṇini, around the fourth century BCE. Sanskrit, as defined by Pāṇini, evolved out of the earlier Vedic form, the present form of Vedic Sanskrit can be traced back to as early as the second millennium BCE. Scholars often distinguish Vedic Sanskrit and Classical or Pāṇinian Sanskrit as separate dialects, although they are quite similar, they differ in a number of essential points of phonology, vocabulary and syntax. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, a collection of hymns and theological and religio-philosophical discussions in the Brahmanas. Modern linguists consider the metrical hymns of the Rigveda Samhita to be the earliest, for nearly 2000 years, Sanskrit was the language of a cultural order that exerted influence across South Asia, Inner Asia, Southeast Asia, and to a certain extent East Asia.
A significant form of post-Vedic Sanskrit is found in the Sanskrit of Indian epic poetry—the Ramayana, the deviations from Pāṇini in the epics are generally considered to be on account of interference from Prakrits, or innovations, and not because they are pre-Paninian. Traditional Sanskrit scholars call such deviations ārṣa, meaning of the ṛṣis, in some contexts, there are more prakritisms than in Classical Sanskrit proper. There were four principal dialects of classical Sanskrit, paścimottarī, madhyadeśī, pūrvi, the predecessors of the first three dialects are attested in Vedic Brāhmaṇas, of which the first one was regarded as the purest. In the 2001 Census of India,14,035 Indians reported Sanskrit to be their first language, in India, Sanskrit is among the 14 original languages of the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. The state of Uttarakhand in India has ruled Sanskrit as its official language. In October 2012 social activist Hemant Goswami filed a petition in the Punjab. More than 3,000 Sanskrit works have been composed since Indias independence in 1947, much of this work has been judged of high quality, in comparison to both classical Sanskrit literature and modern literature in other Indian languages
Gandhara is an ancient name for Kandahar, Afghanistan. Gandhāra was an ancient Indic kingdom situated in the region of Pakistan. It encompassed the Peshawar valley and extended to both Jalalabad district of modern-day Afghanistan as well as Taxila, in Pakistan. During the Achaemenid period and Hellenistic period, its city was Charsadda. It is mentioned in the Zend Avesta as Vaēkərəta, the sixth most beautiful place on earth and it was known as the crown jewel of Bactria and held sway over Takṣaśilā. Gandhara existed since the time of the Rigveda and formed part of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC, after it was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1001 AD, the name Gandhara disappeared. During the Muslim period, the area was administered from Lahore or from Kabul, during Mughal times, it was an independent district which included the Kabul province. The name Gāndhāra occurs in the classical Sanskrit of the epics and it is recorded in Avestan as Vaēkərəta. The Gandhari people are a tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, the Atharvaveda, one proposed origin of the name is from the Sanskrit word gandha, meaning perfume and referring to the spices and aromatic herbs which they traded and with which they anointed themselves.
Some authors have connected the modern name Kandahar to Gandhara, Herodotus records that those Iranic tribes, which were adjacent to the city of Caspatyrus and the district of Pactyïce, had customs similar to the Bactrians, and are the most warlike amongst them. These are the people who obtain gold from the ant-hills of the adjoining desert, on the identity of Caspatyrus, there have been two opinions, one equating it with Kabul, the other with the name of Kashmir. The boundaries of Gandhara varied throughout history, sometimes the Peshawar Valley and Taxila were collectively referred to as Gandhara, sometimes the Swat Valley was included. The heart of Gandhara, was always the Peshawar Valley, the kingdom was ruled from capitals at Kapisa, Taxila, Puruṣapura and in its final days from Udabhandapura on the River Indus. Evidence of the Stone Age human inhabitants of Gandhara, including stone tools, the artifacts are approximately 15,000 years old. More recent excavations point to 30,000 years before the present, the region shows an influx of southern Central Asian culture in the Bronze Age with the Gandhara grave culture, and the nucleus of Vedic civilisation.
This culture flourished from 1500 to 500 BC and its evidence has been discovered in the hilly regions of Swat and Dir, and even at Taxila. The name of the Gandhāris is attested in the Rigveda and in ancient inscriptions dating back to Achaemenid Persia, the Behistun inscription listing the 23 territories of King Darius I includes Gandāra along with Bactria and Sattagydia. In the book Histories by Herodotus, Gandhara is named as a source of tax collections for King Darius, the Gandhāris, along with the Balhika, Mūjavants and the Magadhas, are mentioned in the Atharvaveda, as distant people
Badrinath is a holy town and a nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most important of the four sites in Indias Char Dham pilgrimage, badri refers to a berry that was said to grow abundantly in the area, and nath means Lord of. Badri is the Sanskrit name for the Indian Jujube tree, some scriptural references refer to Jujube trees being abundant in Badrinath. Badrinath was reëstablished as a pilgrimage site by Adi Shankara in the 7th century. In earlier days, pilgrims used to walk hundreds of miles to visit Badrinath temple, the temple has been repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes and avalanches. As late as the First World War, the town consisted only of the 20-odd huts used by the temples staff, but the site drew thousands each year and up to 50,000 on its duodecennial festivals. In recent years its popularity has increased still more, with an estimated 600,000 pilgrims visiting during the 2006 season, the temple in Badrinath is a sacred pilgrimage site for Vaishnavites.
Badrinath is gateway to several mountaineering expeditions headed to mountains like Nilkantha, the Badrinath temple is the main attraction in the town. According to legend Shankar discovered a stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs, in the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple. The temple is approximately 50 ft tall with a cupola on top. The facade is built of stone, with arched windows, a broad stairway leads up to a tall arched gateway, which is the main entrance. The architecture resembles a Buddhist vihara, with the brightly painted facade more typical of Buddhist temples, just inside is the mandapa, a large pillared hall that leads to the garbha grha, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the mandapa are covered with intricate carvings, the Badrinath area is referred to as Badari or Badarikaashram in Hindu scriptures. It is a sacred to Vishnu, particularly in Vishnus dual form of Nara-Narayana.
Therefore, the mighty Ganga was split into two channels, with Alaknanda one of them. The mountains around Badrinath are mentioned in the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas were said to have expired one by one, the Pandavas passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana,4 km north of Badrinath, on their way to Svarga. There is a cave in Mana where Vyasa, according to legend, the area around Badrinath was celebrated in Padma Purana as abounding in spiritual treasures
The word Puranas literally means ancient, and it is a vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics, particularly myths and other traditional lore. Composed primarily in Sanskrit, but in languages, several of these texts are named after major Hindu deities such as Vishnu, Shiva. The Puranas genre of literature is found in both Hinduism and Jainism, the content is highly inconsistent across the Puranas, and each Purana has survived in numerous manuscripts which are themselves inconsistent. The Hindu Puranas are anonymous texts and likely the work of authors over the centuries, in contrast, most Jaina Puranas can be dated. There are 18 Maha Puranas and 18 Upa Puranas, with over 400,000 verses, the first versions of the various Puranas were likely composed between the 3rd- and 10th-century CE. The Puranas do not enjoy the authority of a scripture in Hinduism and they have been influential in the Hindu culture, inspiring major national and regional annual festivals of Hinduism. The religious practices included in them are considered Vaidika, because they do not preach initiation into Tantra, the Bhagavata Purana has been among the most celebrated and popular text in the Puranic genre, and is of non-dualistic tenor.
The Puranic literature wove with the Bhakti movement in India, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is hagiographically credited as the compiler of the Puranas. The date of the production of the written texts does not define the date of origin of the Puranas and they existed in an oral form before being written down, and were incrementally modified well into the 16th century. An early occurrence of the term purana is found in the Chandogya Upanishad, translated by Patrick Olivelle as the corpus of histories, the most famous form of itihāsapurāṇaṃ is the Mahabharata. The term appears in the Atharvaveda 11.7.24, the extant Puranas, states Coburn, are not identical to the original Puranas. In the 19th century, F. E. Pargiter believed the original Purana may date to the time of the redaction of the Vedas. Wendy Doniger, based on her study of indologists, assigns approximate dates to the various Puranas and she dates Markandeya Purana to c.250 CE, Matsya Purana to c. 250–500 CE, Vayu Purana to c.350 CE, Harivamsa and Vishnu Purana to c.450 CE, 350–950 CE, Vamana Purana to c.
450–900 CE, Kurma Purana to c, 550–850 CE, and Linga Purana to c. Of the many texts designated Puranas the most important are the Mahāpurāṇas or the major Puranas and these are said to be eighteen in number, divided into three groups of six, though they are not always counted in the same way. The difference between Upapuranas and Mahapuranas has been explained by Rajendra Hazra as, a Mahapurana is well known, the Upapuranas are eighteen in number, with disagreement as to which canonical titles belong in that list of eighteen. The Ganesha and Mudgala Puranas are devoted to Ganesha, the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, which extols the goddess Durga, has become a basic text for Devi worshipers
Chu was a hegemonic, Zhou dynasty era state. From King Wu of Chu in the early 8th century BCE, with its continued expansion Chu became a great Warring States period power. Also known as Jing and Shu, Chu included most of the provinces of Hubei and Hunan, along with parts of Chongqing, Henan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang. For more than 400 years, the Chu capital Danyang was located at the junction of the Dan and Xi Rivers near present-day Xichuan County, but moved to Ying. The ruling house of Chu originally bore the clan name Nai and lineage name Yan, according to legends recounted in Sima Qians Records of the Grand Historian, the royal family of Chu descended from the Yellow Emperor and his grandson and successor Zhuanxu. Zhuanxus great-grandson Wuhui was put in charge of fire by Emperor Ku, wuhuis son Luzhong had six sons, all born by Caesarian section. The youngest, adopted the ancestral surname Mi, jilian’s descendant Yuxiong was the teacher of King Wen of Zhou. After the Zhou overthrew the Shang dynasty, King Cheng awarded Yuxiongs great-grandson Xiong Yi with the fiefdom of Chu, Xiong Yi built the first capital of Chu at Danyang.
In 977 BCE, during his campaign against Chu, King Zhao of Zhous boat sank, after this death, Zhou ceased to expand to the south, allowing the southern tribes and Chu to cement their own autonomy much earlier than the states to the north. The Chu viscount Xiong Qu overthrew E in 863 BCE but subsequently made its capital Ezhou one of his capitals, in either 703 or 706, the ruler Xiong Tong proclaimed himself king, establishing Chus full independence from the Zhou dynasty. In its early years, Chu was a successful expansionist and militaristic state that developed a reputation for coercing and absorbing its allies, Chu grew from a small state into a large kingdom. King Zhuang was even considered one of the five Hegemons of the era, after a number of battles with neighboring states, sometime between 695 and 689 BCE, the Chu capital moved southeast from Danyang to Ying. Chu first consolidated its power by absorbing lesser states in its original area, the threat from Chu resulted in multiple northern alliances under the leadership of Jin.
These alliances kept Chu in check, with the first major victory won at the Chengpu in 632 BCE, at the beginning of the sixth century BCE, Jin strengthened the state of Wu near the Yangtze delta to act as a counterweight against Chu. Wu defeated Qi and invaded Chu in 506 BCE, following the Battle of Boju, it occupied Chus capital at Ying, forcing King Zhao to flee to his allies in Yun and Sui. King Zhao eventually returned to Ying but, after another attack from Wu in 504 BCE, Chu began to strengthen Yue in modern Zhejiang to serve as allies against Wu. Yue was initially subjugated by King Fuchai of Wu until he released their king Goujian, freed from its difficulties with Wu, Chu annexed Chen in 479 BCE and overran Cai to the north in 447 BCE. This policy of expansion continued until the last generation before the fall to Qin, however, by the end of the 5th century BCE, the Chu government had become very corrupt and inefficient, with much of the states treasury used primarily to pay for the royal entourage
Shaka kaSenzangakhona, known as Shaka Zulu, was one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu Kingdom. He was born near present-day Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal Province, due to persecution as a result of his illegitimacy, Shaka spent his childhood in his mothers settlements where he was initiated into an ibutho lempi. In his early days, Shaka served as a warrior under the sway of Dingiswayo, the initial Zulu maneuvers were primarily defensive in nature, as Shaka preferred to apply pressure diplomatically, aided by an occasional strategic assassination. His changes to local society built on existing structures, although he preferred social and propagandistic political methods, he engaged in a number of battles, as the Zulu sources make clear. In turn, he was assassinated by his own half brothers, Dingane. When Senzangakhona died in 1816 Shakas younger half-brother Sigujana assumed power as the heir to the Zulu chiefdom. Sigujanas reign was short however as Shaka, with the help of Dingiswayo and his half brother Ngwadi, had Sigujana assassinated in a coup that was relatively bloodless, when the Mthethwa forces were defeated and scattered temporarily, the power vacuum was filled by Shaka.
He reformed the remnants of the Mthethwa and other regional tribes, when Dingiswayo was murdered by Zwide, Shaka sought to avenge his death. At some point Zwide barely escaped Shaka, though the details are not known. In that encounter Zwides mother Ntombazi, a Sangoma, was killed by Shaka. Shaka chose a particularly gruesome revenge on her, locking her in a house and placing jackals or hyenas inside, they devoured her and, in the morning, despite carrying out this revenge, Shaka continued his pursuit of Zwide. It was not until around 1825 that the two leaders met, near Phongola, in what would be their final meeting. Phongola is near the present day border of KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa, Shaka was victorious in battle, although his forces sustained heavy casualties, which included his head military commander, Umgobhozi Ovela Entabeni. In Qwabe, Shaka may have intervened in a succession dispute to help his own choice, into power. As Shaka became more respected by his people, he was able to spread his ideas with greater ease, because of his background as a soldier, Shaka taught the Zulus that the most effective way of becoming powerful quickly was by conquering and controlling other tribes.
His teachings greatly influenced the outlook of the Zulu people. The Zulu tribe soon developed a warrior mindset, which Shaka turned to his advantage, Shakas hegemony was primarily based on military might, smashing rivals and incorporating scattered remnants into his own army. He supplemented this with a mixture of diplomacy and patronage, incorporating friendly chieftains, including Zihlandlo of the Mkhize, Jobe of the Sithole and these peoples were never defeated in battle by the Zulu, they did not have to be
Kshatriya is one of the four varna of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term kshatriya is used in the context of Vedic society wherein members organised themselves into four classes, kshatriya, traditionally, the kshatriya constituted the ruling and military elite. Their role was to protect society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime, the Prakrit derivative of Kshatriya is Khatri. The administrative machinery in the Rig Vedic period functioned with a chief called Rajan whose position was not hereditary. The king was elected in an assembly, which included women. The Rajan protected the tribe and cattle, was assisted by a priest, the concept of fourfold varna system was non-existent. The hymn Purusha Sukta to the Rigveda describes the history of the four varna. Since not all dark-skinned Indians was fully regulated under the varna in the vedic society, the term rajanya unlike the word kshatriya essentially denoted the status within a lineage. Whereas kshatra, means ruling, one of the ruling order, jaiswal points out the term Brahman rarely occurs in the Rig-veda with the exception of the Purusha Sukta and may not have been used for the priestly class.
Based on the authority of Panini, Patanjali and the Mahabharata, Jayaswal believes that Rajanya was the name of a people and that the Rajanyas were, therefore. Some examples were the Andhaka and Vrsni Rajanyas who followed the system of elected rulers and this gave rise to the idea of kingship. In the period of the Brahmanas there was ambiguity in the position of the varna, in the Panchavimsha Brahmana, the Rajanya are placed first, followed by Brahmana Vaishya. In Shatapatha Brahmana 220.127.116.11, the Kshatriya are placed second, in Shatapatha Brahmana 18.104.22.168 the order is—Brahmana, Rajanya, Shudra. The order of the brahmanical tradition—Brahmana, Vaishya, Shudra—became fixed from the time of dharmasutras, the kshatriya were often considered pre-eminent in Buddhist circles. Even among Hindu societies they were sometimes at rivalry with the Brahmins, the kshatriya caste constituted an aristocracy but were not always necessarily wealthy. Kings usually belonged to this caste and it was considered their duty to acquire a knowledge of weapons in addition to cultivating their aptitude for command, the science of weaponry was one of the 13 branches of learning which every educated kshatriya male was expected to study.
Both the kings suite and the army were recruited from among this caste. Many kshatriya were authorised to take up a craft or trade rather than gaining their living as professional warriors and these families still retained the privileges accorded to their caste however, which included special forms of marriage which were their prerogative
Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably