India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
Vashishtha Rishi MuniVashishtha is one of the oldest and most revered Vedic rishis. He is one of the Saptarishis of India. Vashishtha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of Rigveda. Vashishtha and his family are mentioned in Rigvedic verse 10.167.4, other Rigvedic mandalas and in many Vedic texts. His ideas have been influential and he was called as the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara. Yoga Vashishtha, Vashishtha Samhita, as well as some versions of the Agni Purana and Vishnu Purana are attributed to him, he is the subject of many mythologies, such as him being in possession of the divine cow Kamadhenu and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. He is famous in Hindu mythologies for his legendary conflicts with sage Vishvamitra. Vashishtha is spelled as Vasiṣṭha and is Sanskrit for "most excellent, best or richest. According to Monier-Williams, it is sometimes incorrectly spelt as Vashistha. In Rigvedic hymn 7.33.9, Vashishtha is described as a scholar who moved across the Indus river to establish his school.
He was married to Arundhati, therefore he was called Arundhati Nath, meaning the husband of Arundhati. Vashishtha is believed to have lived on the banks of Ganga in modern-day Uttarakhand; this region is believed in the Indian tradition to be the abode of sage Vyasa along with Pandavas, the five brothers of Mahabharata. He is described in ancient and medieval Hindu texts as a sage with long flowing hairs that are neatly tied into a bun, coiled with a tuft to the right, a beard, a handlebar moustache and a tilak on his forehead. In Buddhist Pali canonical texts such as Digha Nikaya, Tevijja Sutta describes a discussion between the Buddha and Vedic scholars of his time; the Buddha names ten rishis, calls them "early sages" and makers of ancient verses that have been collected and chanted in his era, among those ten rishi is Vasettha. Vashishtha is the author of the seventh book of the Rigveda, one of its "family books" and among the oldest layer of hymns in the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism; the hymns composed by Vashishtha are dedicated to Agni and other gods, but according to RN Dandekar, in a book edited by Michael Witzel, these hymns are significant for four Indravarunau hymns.
These have an embedded message of transcending "all thoughts of bigotry", suggesting a realistic approach of mutual "coordination and harmony" between two rival religious ideas by abandoning disputed ideas from each and finding the complementary spiritual core in both. These hymns declare two gods and Varuna, as great. In another hymn the Rigvedic verse 8.83.9, Vashishtha teaches that the Vedic gods Indra and Varuna are complementary and important because one vanquishes the evil by the defeat of enemies in battles, while other sustains the good during peace through socio-ethical laws. The seventh mandala of the Rigveda by Vashishtha is a metaphorical treatise. Vashishtha reappears as a character in Hindu texts, through its history, that explore conciliation between conflicting or opposing ideologies. According to Ellison Findly – a professor of Religion, Vashishtha hymns in the Rigveda are among the most intriguing in many ways and influential. Vashishtha emphasizes means to be as important as ends during one's life, encouraging truthfulness, optimism, family life, sharing one's prosperity with other members of society, among other cultural values.
Vasishtha is a revered sage in the Hindu traditions, like other revered sages, numerous treatises composed in ancient and medieval era are reverentially named after him. Some treatises named after him or attributed to him include: Vashishtha samhita is a medieval era Yoga text. There is an Agama as well with the same title. Vashishtha dharmasutra, an ancient text, one of the few Dharma-related treatises which has survived into the modern era; this Dharmasūtra forms an independent text and other parts of the Kalpasūtra, Shrauta- and Grihya-sutras are missing. It contains 1,038 sutras. Yoga Vashishtha is a syncretic medieval era text that presents Yoga philosophies, it is written in the form of a dialogue between Vashishtha and prince Rama of Ramayana fame, about the nature of life, human suffering, choices as the nature of life, free will, human creative power and spiritual liberation. Yoga Vashishtha teachings are structured as stories and fables, with a philosophical foundation similar to those found in Advaita Vedanta.
The text is notable for its discussion of Yoga. According to Christopher Chapple – a professor of Indic studies specializing in Yoga and Indian religions, the Yoga Vashishtha philosophy can be summarized as, "Human effort can be used for self-betterment and that there is no such thing as an external fate imposed by the gods". Agni Purana is attributed to Vashishtha. Vishnu Purana is attributed to Vashishtha along with Rishi Pulatsya, he has contributed to many Vedic hymns and is seen as the arranger of Vedas during Dwapara Yuga. According to Agarwal, one mythical legend states that Vashishtha wanted to commit suicide by falling into river Saraswati, but the river prevented this sacrilege by splitting into hundreds of shallow channels. This story, states Agarwal, may have ancient roots, where "the early man observed the braiding process of the Satluj" and because such a legend could not have invented without the residents observing an ancient river drying up and its tributaries such as Sutlej reflowing to merge into Indus river.
Vashishtha is known for his feud with Vishwamitra. The king Vishwamitra coveted Vashistha's divine cow Nandini that could fulfil material desires. V
Suryavansha is a historical dynasty of ancient India. The term Suryavanshi refers to a person belonging to the Suryvansha dynasty. Raghuvanshi is an offshoot of the Suryavanshi clan. Rajput is Suryavanshi and some Rajput is Chandravanshi The Puranas the Vishnu Purana, the Ramayana of Valmiki and the Mahabharata of Vyasa all contain accounts of this dynasty; the Raghuvansha of Kalidasa mentions the names of some of the kings of this dynasty. Historical Rama, website
Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. With over 200 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state in India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world, it was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. The state is divided into 75 districts with the capital being Lucknow; the main ethnic group is the Hindavi people. On 9 November 2000, a new state, was carved out from the state's Himalayan hill region; the two major rivers of the state, the Ganga and Yamuna, join at Allahabad and flow as the Ganga further east. Hindi is the most spoken language and is the official language of the state; the state is bordered by Rajasthan to the west, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi to the northwest and Nepal to the north, Bihar to the east, Madhya Pradesh to the south, touches the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to the southeast. It covers 243,290 square kilometres, equal to 7.33% of the total area of India, is the fourth-largest Indian state by area.
The economy of Uttar Pradesh is the fourth-largest state economy in India with ₹15.79 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹57,480. Agriculture and service industries are the largest parts of the state's economy; the service sector comprises travel and tourism, hotel industry, real estate and financial consultancies. President's rule has been imposed in Uttar Pradesh ten times since 1968, for different reasons and for a total of 1,700 days; the natives of the state are called Uttar Bhartiya, or more either Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Kannauji, or Rohilkhandi depending upon their region of origin. Hinduism is practised by more than three-fourths of the population, with Islam being the next largest religious group. Uttar Pradesh was home to powerful empires of medieval India; the state has several historical and religious tourist destinations, such as Agra, Vrindavan and Allahabad. Modern human hunter-gatherers have been in Uttar Pradesh since between around 85,000 and 72,000 years ago.
There have been prehistorical finds in Uttar Pradesh from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic dated to 21,000–31,000 years old and Mesolithic/Microlithic hunter-gatherer settlement, near Pratapgarh, from around 10550–9550 BC. Villages with domesticated cattle and goats and evidence of agriculture began as early as 6000 BC, developed between c. 4000 and 1500 BC beginning with the Indus Valley Civilisation and Harappa Culture to the Vedic period and extending into the Iron Age. The kingdom of Kosala, in the Mahajanapada era, was located within the regional boundaries of modern-day Uttar Pradesh. According to Hindu legend, the divine king Rama of the Ramayana epic reigned in Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala. Krishna, another divine king of Hindu legend, who plays a key role in the Mahabharata epic and is revered as the eighth reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, is said to have been born in the city of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh; the aftermath of the Mahabharata yuddh is believed to have taken place in the area between the Upper Doab and Delhi, during the reign of the Pandava king Yudhishthira.
The kingdom of the Kurus corresponds to the Black and Red Ware and Painted Gray Ware culture and the beginning of the Iron Age in northwest India, around 1000 BC. Control over Gangetic plains region was of vital importance to the power and stability of all of India's major empires, including the Maurya, Kushan and Gurjara-Pratihara empires. Following the Huns' invasions that broke the Gupta empire, the Ganges-Yamuna Doab saw the rise of Kannauj. During the reign of Harshavardhana, the Kannauj empire reached its zenith, it spanned from Punjab in the north and Gujarat in the west to Bengal in the east and Odisha in the south. It included parts of central India, north of the Narmada River and it encompassed the entire Indo-Gangetic plain. Many communities in various parts of India claim descent from the migrants of Kannauj. Soon after Harshavardhana's death, his empire disintegrated into many kingdoms, which were invaded and ruled by the Gurjara-Pratihara empire, which challenged Bengal's Pala Empire for control of the region.
Kannauj was several times invaded by the south Indian Rashtrakuta Dynasty, from the 8th century to the 10th century. After fall of Pala empire, the Chero dynasty ruled from 12th century to 18th century. Parts or all of Uttar Pradesh were ruled by the Delhi Sultanate for 320 years. Five dynasties ruled over the Delhi Sultanate sequentially: the Mamluk dynasty, the Khalji dynasty, the Tughlaq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty, the Lodi dynasty. In the 16th century, Babur, a Timurid descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan from Fergana Valley, swept across the Khyber Pass and founded the Mughal Empire, covering India, along with modern-day Afghanistan and Bangladesh; the Mughals were descended from Persianised Central Asian Turks. In the Mughal era, Uttar Pradesh became the heartland of the empire. Mughal emperors Humayun ruled from Delhi. In 1540 an Afghan, Sher Shah Suri, took over the reins of Uttar Pradesh after defeating the Mughal king Humanyun. Sher Shah and his son Islam Shah ruled Uttar Pradesh from their capital at Gwalior.
After the death of Islam Shah Suri, his prime minister Hemu became the de facto ruler of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, th
Lakshmana spelled as Laxman or Lakhan, is the younger brother of Rama and his aide in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. He is known by other names- Saumitra and Bharatanuja or Laxman. Lakshmana is the twin brother of Shatrughna. According to the Valmiki Ramayana, Lakshmana is one quarter component of the manifestation of Lord Vishnu and is considered to be an avatar of Vishnu; however some puranas of times regard him as the avatar of Shesha, the thousand-headed serpent associated with Lord Vishnu, the supreme deity in Hinduism. Lakshmana and his brother Shatrughna were born in Ayodhya to King Dasharatha. In the Puranas, Lakshmana is described as an incarnation of Sesha, the multiple-headed nāga upon whom rests Lord Vishnu in the primordial ocean of milk; when sage Vishwamitra takes Rama for killing the demons, Lakshmana accompanies them and goes to Mithila with them. Lakshmana is specially attached to Rama and when Rama marries Sita, Lakshmana marries Sita's younger sister Urmila, they had two sons -- Chandraketu.
When Rama is exiled for fourteen years on the insistence of Kaikeyi, Lakshmana leaves his wife Urmila and joins Rama. He serves Sita reverently during the exile. In Panchvati, Lakshmana builds a hut for Rama and Sita to live in. Lakshmana cuts off Ravana's sister Surpanakha's nose in anger when she tries to seduce Rama and insults Sita, he slays Ravana's son Indrajit. When Sita asks Rama to fetch a magical golden deer for her, Rama asks Lakshmana to stand guard as he sensed danger and evil; the golden deer is in fact the demon Maricha. When Rama kills Maricha, he cries out in Rama's own voice for help. Although Lakshmana knows that Rama is invincible and beyond any danger, Sita panics and frantically orders Lakshmana to go to Rama's aid immediately. Unable to disobey Sita, Lakshmana draws a perimeter line, which Sita must not cross and goes in search of Rama. Sita however, out of compulsion of religious duty and compassion for Ravana disguised as a poor brahmin crosses the line to give him alms following which she is abducted.
Lakshmana Rekha has become a metaphor in situations where a certain limit must not be transgressed by human beings in any circumstance whatsoever. During the war between Rama and Ravana, he killed Atikaya, who were the sons of Ravana. Before he killed Indrajit and Rama were twice defeated by Indrajit and in both occasions Hanuman's intervention saved them from certain death. After the war, when Rama asked Sita to give test of her purity, Lakshmana for the first time got angry on Rama and opposed him. After the war in Lanka, Rama was crowned king of Bharata became the crown prince. Rama had offered to make Lakshmana the crown prince but he refused, saying Bharata is greater than he, more deserving of the title. Lakshmana is the one who leaves Sita in the forests near sage Valmiki's ashram after Rama banishes her from the kingdom. Lakshmana fights against Rama's sons Lava and Kusha later. Sage Durvasa appears at Rama's doorstep and seeing Lakshmana guarding the door, demands an audience with Rama.
At the time, Rama was having a private conversation with Yama. Before the conversation began, Yama gave Rama strict instructions that their dialogue was to remain confidential, anyone who entered the room was to be relieved of their life. Rama entrusted Lakshmana with the duty of guarding his door; when Durvasa made his demand, Lakshmana politely refused. The sage grew angry and threatened to curse all of Ayodhya if Lakshmana did not inform Rama of his arrival. Lakshmana, in a dilemma, decided it would be better that he alone die to save all of Ayodhya from falling under Durvasa's curse and so interrupted Rama's meeting to inform him of the sage's arrival. Rama concluded his meeting with Yama and received the sage with due courtesy. In order to fulfil his brother's promise, Lakshmana went to the banks of the river Saryu resolved on giving up the world through penance. Lakshmana is personified by Rama as a man with unwavering loyalty and commitment to his elder brother through times of joy and adversity alike.
Bandhavgarh Fort at Madhya Pradesh is said to be given by Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka. The community members of an imperial dynasty Gurjara-Pratihara claimed that they were called Pratihara as their ancestor Lakshmana served as a door-keeper to his elder brother Rama, they ruled much of Northern India from the mid 7th to the 11th century. According to Jain Ramayana it was Laxmana. Bandhavgarh Fort Bhagavata Purana Hare Rama Nityananda Laksamana, native title for naval leaders in Indonesia and Malaysia Media related to Lakshmana at Wikimedia Commons
Kheer is a rice pudding, originating from the Indian subcontinent, made by boiling with milk and sugar one of the following: rice, broken wheat, vermicelli, sweet corn, etc. It is flavoured with cardamom, saffron, pistachios, almonds or other dry fruits and nuts, it is served during a meal or as a dessert. It is known in some regions as meetha bhaat, payasam and phirni. Both both kṣeer / kshira and paayasam are Sanskrit words which mean the "milk". In Hindi and Marathi, खीर khīr, it is known as payasam, payesh, payox, or Paays in Konkani. In Gujarati, it is called dūdpāk, દઉદપઅક, it is known as firni in some parts of Sylhet and Iran as Ferni. It is called Kiru in Maldivian language. A story about the origin of payasam says that Maharshi Parashuram invented the dish as an offering to the Ambalappuzha Shree Krishna temple in Kerala. Kheer is prepared in festivals and all special occasions; the term kheer may derive from the Sanskrit word Ksheera. Other terms like Payasam or payesh are derived from the Sanskrit word Payasa or Payasam, which means "milk".
It is prepared using milk, ghee, sugar/jaggery, khoya. Some add a little bit of heavy cream for a richer taste, it is garnished using almonds, cashews and pistachios. There is one more popular version of North Indian kheer, prepared during festivals and havan in Varanasi by using only milk, ghee, cardamom, dried fruit, kesar, it is an essential dish in many Hindu celebrations. While the dish is most made with rice, it can be made with other ingredients, such as vermicelli or tapioca. Rice was known to the Romans, introduced to Europe as a food crop, dating as early as the 8th or 10th Century AD, so the recipe for the popular English rice pudding is believed by some to be descended from kheer. Similar rice recipes go back to some of the earliest written recipes in English history; the Odia version of rice kheer and originated in the city of Puri, in Odisha more than 2,000 years ago. It is cooked to this day within the temple precincts there; every single day, hundreds of temple cooks work around 752 hearths in what is supposed to be the world's largest kitchen to cook over 100 different dishes, including kheer, enough to feed at least 10,000 people.
Payas is regarded as an auspicious food and associated with annaprashana, as well as other festivals and birthday celebrations in an Odia household. Although white sugar is used, adding Gurh as a sweetener, is an interesting and delicious variation prepared in Bengal and Odisha during winter and spring when fresh gurh is available. In Bengal, it is called payas or payesh. A traditional Bengali meal can be traced 2000 years old and it is one of important sweet dish payas followed by other sweets. Payesh is regarded as an auspicious food and associated with annaprashana and Janmatithi in a Bengali household, it is called kheer in Bengali if milk is used in a greater amount than rice. The people of West Bengal and Bangladesh prepare payesh with gurh, glutinous rice, vermicelli and coconut milk, the result is a stickier and creamier dessert. In Assam, it is called payoxh and in addition to other dried fruits, cherries are added to give it a light delicate pink colour. Sometimes rice may be replaced with sago.
It is one of the most significant desserts served in Assamese families and quite a part of religious ceremonies. In Bihar, it is called "Chawal ki Kheer", it is made with rice, full fat cream, sugar, cardamom powder, an assortment of dried fruits, saffron. Another version of this kheer, called Rasiya, is made with jaggery. Jaggery is used instead of sugar in the process; the jaggery version has a mild, sweet taste. The South Indian version, payasam or payasa, is an integral part of traditional South Indian meals. South Indian payasam makes extensive use of jaggery and coconut milk in place of sugar and milk. Vermicelli is used; the most common types of payasam in South India include milk payasam,sago/tapioca pearl payasam, Semiya payasam, Paruppu payasam, Nei payasam, Carrot payasam, Wheat payasam, Wheat rava payasam, Arisi Thengai payasam, a traditional Iyengar-style recipe. In a South Indian meal, payasam or payasa, is served first at any auspicious occasion. Payasam is served after rasam rice, while rice with buttermilk forms the last item of the meal.
Payasam forms an integral part of the Kerala feast, where it is served and relished from the flat banana leaf instead of cups. In Malayalee or Kerala cuisine, there are several different kinds of payasam that can be prepared from a wide variety of fruits and starch bases, an example being chakkapradhaman made from jackfruit pulp and adapradhaman made from flat ground rice
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who