Shudra or Shoodra is the fourth varna, or one of the four social categories found in the texts of Hinduism. Various sources translate it into English as a caste, or alternatively as a social class, it is the lowest rank of the four varnas. The word Shudra appears only once in the Rig veda but is found in other Hindu texts such as the Manusmriti and Dharmashastras. Theoretically, Shudras have constituted the hereditary labouring class serving others. In some cases, they participated in the coronation of kings, or were ministers and kings according to early Indian texts; the term Shudra appears only once in the Rigveda. This mention is found in a verse in the Purusha Sukta, one of its 1,028 hymns. While the Rigveda was most compiled between c. 1500 and 1200 BCE, John Muir in 1868 suggested that the verse that mentions the four varnas has "every character of modernness both in its diction and ideas". The Purusha Sukta verse is now considered to have been inserted at a date into the Vedic text as a charter myth.
According to Stephanie Jamison and Joel Brereton, a professor of Sanskrit and Religious studies, "there is no evidence in the Rigveda for an elaborate, much-subdivided and overarching caste system", "the varna system seems to be embryonic in the Rigveda and, both and a social ideal rather than a social reality". Historian R. S. Sharma states that "the Rig Vedic society was neither organized on the basis of social division of labour nor on that of differences in wealth... was organised on the basis of kin and lineage."According to Romila Thapar, the Vedic text's mention of Shudra and other varnas has been seen as its origin, that "in the varna ordering of society, notions of purity and pollution were central and activities were worked out in this context" and it is "formulaic and orderly, dividing society into four groups arranged in a hierarchy". The word Pusan appears in a Vedic era Upanishad, meaning "nourisher" and associates it with the creation of earth and production activities that nourishes the whole world, the text calls this Pusan as Shudra.
The term Pusan, in Hindu mythology, is the charioteer of the sun who knows the paths thereby bringing light and life to all. The same word Pusan is, associated in a Brahmana text to Vaishya. According to Sharma, nowhere in the Vedic text collections "is there any evidence of restrictions regarding food and marriage either between the Dasa and Aryan, or between the Shudra and the higher varnas". Further, adds Sharma, in late Atharva Veda, "Shudra does not come in for notice because his varna did not exist at that stage"; the ancient Hindu text Arthashastra states, according to Sharma, that Aryas were free men and could not be subject to slavery under any circumstances. The text contrasts Aryas with Shudra, but neither as a hereditary slave nor as an economically closed social stratum in a manner that the term Shudra was interpreted. According to Rangarajan, the law on labour and employment in Arthashastra has led to a variety of different interpretations by different translators and commentators, "the accepted view is that slavery, in the form it was practised in contemporary Greece, did not exist in Kautilyan India".
Kautilya argued for the rights of all classes to participate as warriors. Roger Borsche says that this is so because it is in the self-interest of the ruler to "have a people's army fiercely loyal to him because the people had been treated justly"; the Manusmriti predominantly discusses the code of conduct for the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas. The text mentions Shudras, as well as Vaishyas. Sections 9.326 – 9.335 of the Manusmriti state eight rules for Vaishyas and two for Shudras. In section 10.43 - 10.44 Manu gives a list of Kshatriya tribes who, through neglect of the priests and their rites, had fallen to the status of Shudras. These are: Pundrakas, Dravidas, Yavanas, Paradas, Chinas and Daradas. According to Laurie Patton, a professor of Religion specialising on early Indian religions, the rights and status of Shudra varies across early Indian texts. While section 9.15 of Atharvaveda states Shudras may undertake thread wearing ceremony, the Apastamba Grhysutra states they may not and excludes the Shudra students from hearing or learning the Vedas.
Yajnavalkya Smriti in contrast mentions Shudra students, the Mahabharata states that all four varnas including the Shudras may hear the Vedas. Other Hindu texts go further and state that the three varnas – Brahmin, Vaishya – may acquire knowledge from Shudra teachers, the yajna sacrifices may be performed by Shudras; these rights and social mobility for Shudras may have arisen in times of lower societal stress and greater economic prosperity, periods that saw the improvement in the social conditions of women. Medieval era texts such as Vajrasuchi Upanishad discuss varna, include the term Shudra. According to Ashwani Peetush, a professor of Philosophy at the Wilfrid Laurier University, the Vajrasuchi Upanishad is a significant text because it assumes and asserts that any human being from any social background can achieve the highest spiritual state of existence. Outside of the conflicting stances within the Hindu texts, non-Hindu texts present a different picture about the Shudras. A Buddhist text, states Patton, "refers to Shudras who know the Vedas, Mimamsa, Samkhya and lagna".
According to Johannes Bronkhorst, a professor of Indology specializing on early Buddhism and Hinduism, the ancient Buddhist canon is predominantly devoid of varna discussion, Shudra and other varnas are referred to in
Motilal Banarsidass is a leading Indian publishing house on Sanskrit and Indology since 1903, located in Delhi, India. It publishes and distributes serials and scholarly publications on Asian religion, history, arts, archaeology, literature, musicology, yoga, occult, astronomy and other related subjects, to date have published over 25,000 works, its noted publications are the 100 volumes of the Mahapuranas, Sacred Books of the East edited by Max Müller. It brings out books based on research and study conducted at organisations such as the Indian Council of Historical Research, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, it has a turnover of Rs 5–6 crore 75% coming from exports. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers was first established in Lahore in 1903 by Lala Motilal Jain, a descendant of the family of court jewellers to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Amritsar. Motilal borrowed Rs. 27 from his wife's savings that she had earned from her knitting work, to start a bookshop selling Sanskrit books in'Said Mitha Bazar' in Lahore.
He named it after his eldest son Motilal Banarsidass Jain, who took charge of the publishing business. In 1911, MLBD opened a branch at Mai Sewan Bazar, under the supervision of Lala Sundarlal Jain, another son of Lala Motilal Jain, though after the untimely death of Lala Banarasidass in 1912, Sundarlal Jain, his only surviving brother had to close this establishment and relocate to Lahore to look after the family business. Soon he was joined by his young nephew Shantilal Jain, who had just finished school, who became the company's chairman. Soon a printing unit was set up and the publishing house was established. In 1937, a branch was started in Patna at the suggestion of Rajendra Prasad. Subsequently during the Partition of India a riot burnt down the Lahore shop. Post independence, the family moved to India and stayed at Bikaner and Patna, before moving to Varanasi in 1950, where it set up shop in 1951, shifted base to Delhi in 1958. Today it is one of the few large publishing houses in the world which has its own in-house printing unit.
In 1992, Shantilal Jain was awarded the Padma Shri by the Govt. of India, the first Padma award for outstanding community service through publishing. Today Shantilal's eldest son Narendra Prakash Jain known as'Prakash' and his four brothers and their sons, along with their mother, Leela Jain, the company's Chairperson, run the business. In 2003, the company celebrated its centenary at a function in Chennai, where Kanchi Sankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswathi, honoured three Sanskrit scholars: R. Balasubramaniam, B. M. K. Sharma and K. V. Sharma. At a function held at Bangalore, Governor of Karnataka, T. N. Chaturvedi, felicitated centenarian Sudhakar Chaturvedi, S. M. S. Chari, B. K. Krishnamurthy of Hyderabad for their contribution to Indology, eminent astrologer B. V. Raman was honoured posthumously, its main shop in Delhi is on Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, in the University of Delhi North Campus area, behind Kirori Mal College. It houses Indological literature of around 30,000 titles; the company has branches at Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Patna Sacred Books of the East edited by Max Müller.
N. Dasgupta. Advaita Tradition Series by Shoun Hino & K. P. Jog. Wisdom of Sankara Series by Som Raj Gupta. Bibliotheca Buddhica ed. Sergey Oldenburg, Fyodor Shcherbatskoy, Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies. Motilal Banarsidass, Website Treasure trove of Indology at The Hindu Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi wikimapia
Patna is the capital and largest city of the state of Bihar in India. Patna is the second-largest city in Eastern India after Kolkata, it had an estimated city population of 1.68 million in 2011, making it the 19th largest city in India. With over 2 million people, its urban agglomeration is the 18th largest in India. Patna serves as the seat of Patna High Court. One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, Patna was founded in 490 BCE by the king of Magadha. Ancient Patna, known as Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadha Empire under the Haryanka, Mauryan, Shunga and Pala empires. Pataliputra was a seat of fine arts. Patliputra was home to many scholars including Aryabhata, Vātsyāyana, Chanakya, its population during the Maurya period was about 400,000. Patna served as the seat of power and cultural centre of Indian subcontinent during the Maurya and Gupta empires. With the fall of Gupta Empire, Patna lost its glory, it was revived again in the 17th century by the British as a centre of international trade.
Following the partition of Bengal presidency in 1912, Patna became the capital of Bihar and Orissa Province. The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of river Ganges; the city straddles the rivers Sone and Punpun. The city is 35 kilometres in length and 16 to 18 kilometres wide. In June 2009, the World Bank ranked Patna second in India for ease of starting a business; as of 2015, Patna's per capita gross domestic product is ₹1,06,000. Using figures for assumed average annual growth, Patna is the 21st fastest growing city in the world and 5th fastest growing city in India according to a study by the City Mayors Foundation. Patna registered an average annual growth of 3.72% during 2006–2010. The Buddhist and Jain pilgrimage centres of Vaishali, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, Pawapuri are nearby and Patna City is a sacred city for Sikhs as the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here; the name of this city has changed with time. One of the oldest cities of India, there are several theories regarding the origin of the modern name Patna It is etymologically derived from Patan, the name of the Hindu goddess, Patan Devi.
Patan Devi Mandir is still situated in old Patna near Gulzarbagh mandi along with another Patan Devi Mandir near Takht Sri Patna Sahib in Patna city. Many believe Patna derived its name from Patli, a tree variety, found in abundance in the historic city, it is seen on the state tourism's logo. The place is mentioned in Chinese traveller Fa Hien's records as Pa-lin-fou; the city has been known by various names through more than 2,000 years of existence – Pataligrama, Kusumapura, Kusumdhwaja Pushpapuram, Padmavathi and the present-day Patna. Legend ascribes the origin of Patna to the mythological King Putraka who created Patna by magic for his queen Patali "trumpet flower", which gives it its ancient name Pataligrama, it is said. Gram is Sanskrit for Putra means son. Legend says that the Emerald Buddha was created in Patna by Nagasena in 43 BCE. Patna assumed importance and grandeur around 490 BCE as Ajatashatru, the king of Magadha, wanted to shift his capital from the hilly Rajagrha to a strategically located place to better combat the Licchavis of Vaishali.
He fortified the area. Gautama Buddha travelled through this place in the last year of his life, he prophesied a great future for this place as he predicted its ruin due to flood and feud. Megasthenes, the Indo-Greek historian and ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, gave one of the earliest accounts of the city, he wrote that the city was situated on the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Arennovoas and was 14 kilometres long and 2.82 kilometres wide. Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India, described the city as the greatest city on earth during its heyday; the Shungas retained control of Pataliputra and ruled for 100 years. The Shungas were followed by the Kanvas and by the Guptas. A number of Chinese travellers came to India in pursuit of knowledge and recorded their observations about Pataliputra in their travelogues. One such famous account was recorded by a Chinese Buddhist traveller Fa Hien, who visited India between 399 and 414 CE, stayed here for many months translating Buddhist texts.
In the years that followed, many dynasties ruled the Indian subcontinent from the city, including the Gupta dynasty and the Pala kings. With the disintegration of the Gupta empire, Patna passed through uncertain times. Bakhtiar Khilji captured Bihar in the 12th century and destroyed everything, Patna lost its prestige as the political and cultural centre of India. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, was born as Gobind Rai in Patna to Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, his wife Mata Gujri, his birthplace, Patna Sahib is one of the most sacred sites of pilgrimage for Sikhs. The Mughal empire was a period of unremarkable provincial administration from Delhi; the most remarkable period during the Middle Ages was under the Pathan emperor Sher Shah Suri, who revived Patna in the middle of the 16th century. He founded a town on the banks of the Ganges. Sher Shah's fort in Patna does not survive, although the Sher Shah Suri mosque, built in Afghan architectural style, does. Mughal emperor Akbar reached Patna in 1574 to crush the rebellious Afghan Chief Daud Khan
A. V. Williams Jackson
Abraham Valentine Williams Jackson, L. H. D. Ph. D. LL. D. was an American specialist on Indo-European languages. He was born in New York City on February 9, 1862, he graduated from Columbia University in 1883. He was a fellow in letters there from 1883 to 1886, an instructor in Anglo-Saxon and the Iranian languages from 1887 to 1890. After study at the University of Halle from 1887 to 1889 he became an adjunct professor of English language and literature. In 1895, he was appointed public lecturer and appointed to the newly founded professorship of Indo-Iranian languages at Columbia University, where he remained until 1935, he was well known as a lecturer on the Orient. In 1901, during a visit to India and Ceylon, he received special attention from the Parsees, who presented to Columbia a valuable collection of Zoroastrian manuscripts in recognition of the instruction there given by him in their ancient texts. In 1903 he made a second journey to this time visiting Iran, he visited Central Asia sometime before 1918.
Jackson's grammar of Avestan, the language used in the Zoroastrian scriptures, is still considered to be the seminal work on the topic. Jackson was one of the directors of the American Oriental Society, he died on August 8, 1937. A Hymn of Zoroaster An Avesta Grammar in Comparison with Sanskrit An Avesta Reader Avesta, the Bible of Zoroaster Zoroaster, the Prophet of Ancient Iran Die iranische Religion Persia and Present Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian MSS. in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’ From Constantinople to the Home of Omar Khayyam A Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts Presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by A. S. Cochran, with A. Yohannan Early Persian Poetry Jackson, A V Williams. A History of India.. Full text online at ibiblio.org He made many contributions to the Journal of the American Oriental Society. He edited the Columbia University Indo-Iranian Series. New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Rines, George Edwin, ed..
"Jackson, Abraham Valentine Williams". Encyclopedia Americana; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.. "Jackson, Abraham Valentine Williams". New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead. Abraham Valentine Williams Jackson: biog and 4 source texts, on Vohuman. Org Works by A. V. Williams Jackson at LibriVox Works by or about A. V. Williams Jackson at Internet Archive
Pearson plc is a British multinational publishing and education company headquartered in London. It was switched to publishing in the 1920s, it was once the largest book publisher in the world. In 2013 Pearson merged its Penguin Books with German conglomerate Bertelsmann. In 2015 the company announced a change to focus on education. Pearson has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, it has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American Depository Receipts. The company was founded by Samuel Pearson in 1844 as a building and engineering concern operating in Yorkshire under the name S. Pearson & Son. In 1880, control passed to his grandson Weetman Dickinson Pearson, an engineer, who in 1890 moved the business to London and turned it into one of the world's largest construction companies. Another of its prominent engineers was Ernest William Moir who, after working for Pearson on tunnels in New York City, became the contractor's agent on construction of the Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames in London between 1892 and 1897.
The company built the Admiralty Harbour at Dover, the Halifax Dry Dock in Canada, the East River Railway Tunnels in New York City, the Mexican Grand Canal that drained Mexico City, the Tehuantepec Railway in Mexico, railways and harbours around the world. In November 1915, the firm began construction of HM Factory, the largest cordite factory in the UK during World War I; the construction business was shut down in the 1920s. Among its final projects was completion of the Sennar Dam, in Sudan, in 1925. In 1919, the firm acquired a 45% stake in the London branch of merchant bankers Lazard Brothers, an interest, increased to 80% in 1932 during the depression years. Pearson continued to hold a 50% stake until 1999. In 1921, Pearson purchased a number of local daily and weekly newspapers in the United Kingdom, which it combined to form the Westminster Press group. In 1957, it acquired a 50 % stake in The Economist, it purchased the publisher Longman in 1968. The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1969.
It bought paperback publisher Penguin in 1970, in 1972, children's imprint Ladybird Books. It bought rival educational publisher Pitman Publishing in 1985. In 1986, Pearson invested in the British Satellite Broadcasting consortium, which, a few years merged with Sky TV to form a new company, British Sky Broadcasting. During the 1990s, Pearson acquired a number of TV production and broadcasting assets and sold most of its non-media assets, under the leadership of future U. S. Congressman Bob Turner. Westminster Press was sold to Newsquest in 1996. Pearson acquired the education division of HarperCollins in 1996 from News Corporation and acquired book publishers Scott Foresman & Co. in 1996. In 1998 Pearson acquired Prentice Hall Textbooks/Simon & Schuster Trade Books from Viacom and merged it with its own education unit, Addison-Wesley Longman to form Pearson Education. Pearson acquired Dorling Kindersley, the illustrated reference publisher and integrated it within Penguin, in March 2000 and acquired National Computer Systems in September 2000 so entering the educational assessment and school management systems market in the United States.
In 2002, Pearson sold its 22% stake in RTL Group for 1.5 billion Euros, purchased Rough Guides, the travel publisher, brought it under Penguin. Pearson acquired Edexcel, a provider of qualifications in the UK, in 2003 and acquired about 80% stake in Meximerica Media Inc for $16.5 million for the swelling U. S. Hispanic market in 2004. Pearson purchased a series of other testing and assessment businesses, including Knowledge Technologies in 2004, AGS in 2005, National Evaluation Systems and Promissor in 2006. Pearson acquired National Evaluation Systems, a provider of customised state assessments for teacher certification in the US, in April 2006 and announced that it had agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier for $950m in cash in May 2007. Pearson completed the acquisition of Harcourt Assessment, merging the acquired businesses into Pearson Assessment & Information. Pearson acquired eCollege, a digital learning technology group for $477m in May 2007.
In February 2008, Pearson announced the sale of its Pearson Data Management Division to Scantron Corporation, its main competitor. Pearson acquired Wall Street English for $145m in 2009 and bought the school learning systems division of Sistema Educacional Brasileiro for $497m in 2010. In 2010, Pearson sold its 61% stake in Interactive Data to investment funds managed by Silver Lake Partners and Warburg Pincus for $2 billion. In July 2011, Pearson announced the creation of Pearson College, a British degree provider based in London. In 2011, Pearson acquired Connections Education and agreed to sell its 50% stake in FTSE International Limited to the London Stock Exchange for £450 million. In 2011, Pearson increased its stake in TutorVista, such that it had a 76% stake, for $127 million. Pearson entered into talks with rival conglomerate Bertelsmann, over the possibility of combining their respective publishing companies, Penguin Group and Random House in October 2012; the houses are considered two of the "Big Six" publishing companies.
On 29 October 2012, Pearson said it would merge Penguin Books with Bertelsmann's Random House to create the world's biggest consumer book publisher. In May 2012 Pearson announced its acquisition of G
The word Puranas means "ancient, old", it is a vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics myths and other traditional lore. Composed in Sanskrit, but in regional languages, several of these texts are named after major Hindu deities such as Vishnu and Devi; the Puranas genre of literature is found in both Jainism. The Puranic literature is encyclopedic, it includes diverse topics such as cosmogony, genealogies of gods, kings, heroes and demigods, folk tales, temples, astronomy, mineralogy, love stories, as well as theology and philosophy; the content is inconsistent across the Puranas, each Purana has survived in numerous manuscripts which are themselves inconsistent. The Hindu Puranas are anonymous texts and the work of many authors over the centuries. There are 18 Maha Puranas and 18 Upa Puranas, with over 400,000 verses; the first versions of the various Puranas were composed between the 3rd- and 10th-century CE. The Puranas are considered a Smriti, they have been influential in the Hindu culture, inspiring major national and regional annual festivals of Hinduism.
Their role and value as sectarian religious texts and historical texts has been controversial because all Puranas praise many gods and goddesses and "their sectarianism is far less clear cut" than assumed, states Ludo Rocher. 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, is of non-dualistic tenor. The Puranic literature wove with the Bhakti movement in India, both Dvaita and Advaita scholars have commented on the underlying Vedantic themes in the Maha Puranas. Douglas Harper states that the etymological origins of Puranas are from Sanskrit Puranah "ancient, former," from pura "formerly, before," cognate with Greek paros "before," pro "before," Avestan paro "before," Old English fore, from Proto-Indo-European *pre-, from *per-." Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is hagiographically credited as the compiler of the Puranas. The ancient tradition suggests that there was but one Purana.
Vishnu Purana mentions that Vyasa entrusted his Puranasamhita to his disciple Lomaharshana, who in turn imparted it to his disciples, three of whom compiled their own samhitas. These three, together with Lomaharshana's, comprise the Mulasamhita, from which the eighteen Puranas were derived; the term Purana appears in the Vedic texts. For example, Atharva Veda mentions Purana in XI.7.24 and XV.6.10-11:"The rk and saman verses, the chandas, the Purana along with the Yajus formulae, all sprang from the remainder of the sacrificial food, the gods that resort to heaven. He changed his place and went over to great direction, Itihasa and Purana, verses in praise of heroes followed in going over." The Shatapatha Brahmana mentions Itihasapuranam and recommends that on the 9th day of Pariplava, the hotr priest should narrate some Purana because "the Purana is the Veda, this it is". However, states P. V. Kane, it is not certain whether these texts suggested several works or single work with the term Purana.
The late Vedic text Taittiriya Aranyaka uses the term in the plural. Therefore, states Kane, that in the Vedic period at least, the Puranas referred to three or more texts, that they were studied and recited In numerous passages the Mahabharata mentions'Purana' in both singular and plural forms. Moreover, it is not unlikely that, where the singular'Puranam' was employed in the texts, a class of works was meant. Further, despite the mention of the term Purana or Puranas in the Vedic texts, there is uncertainty about the contents of them until the composition of the oldest Dharmashastra Apastamba Dharmasutra and Gautama Dharmasutra, that mention Puranas resembling with the extant Puranas. Another early mention of the term'Itihas-purana' is found in the Chandogya Upanishad, translated by Patrick Olivelle as "the corpus of histories and ancient tales as the fifth Veda"; the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad refers to purana as the "fifth Veda",According to Thomas Coburn and early extra-puranic texts attest to two traditions regarding their origin, one proclaiming a divine origin as the breath of the Great Being, the other as a human named Vyasa as the arranger of existing material into eighteen Puranas.
In the early references, states Coburn, the term Purana occurs in singular unlike the era which refers to a plural form because they had assumed their "multifarious form". While both these traditions disagree on the origins of the Puranas, they affirm that extant Puranas are not identical with the original Purana. According to the Indologists J. A. B. van Buitenen and Cornelia Dimmitt, the Puranas that have survived into the modern era are ancient but represent "an amalgam of two somewhat different but never different separate oral literatures: the Brahmin tradition stemming from the reciters of the Vedas, the bardic poetry recited by Sutas, handed down in Kshatriya circles". The original Puranas comes from the priestly roots while the genealogies have the warrior and epic roots; these texts were collected for the "second time between the fourth and sixth centuries A. D. under the rule of the Gupta kings", a period of Hindu renaissance. However, the editing and expan
The Indian subcontinent known as the Asian subcontinent and Indo subcontinent, is a southern region and peninsula of Asia situated on the Indian Plate and projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. Geologically, the Indian subcontinent is related to the land mass that rifted from Gondwana and merged with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago. Geographically, it is the peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, the Arakanese in the east. Politically, the Indian subcontinent includes Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Sometimes, the geographical term'Indian subcontinent' is used interchangeably with'South Asia', although that last term is used as a political term and is used to include Afghanistan. Which countries should be included in either of these remains the subject of debate. According to Oxford English Dictionary, the term "subcontinent" signifies a "subdivision of a continent which has a distinct geographical, political, or cultural identity" and a "large land mass somewhat smaller than a continent".
It is first attested in 1845 to refer to the North and South Americas, before they were regarded as separate continents. Its use to refer to the Indian subcontinent is seen from the early twentieth century, it was convenient for referring to the region comprising both British India and the princely states under British Paramountcy. The term Indian subcontinent has a geological significance. Similar to various continents, it was a part of the supercontinent of Gondwana. A series of tectonic splits caused formation of various basins, each drifting in various directions; the geological region called "Greater India" once included Madagascar, Seychelles and Austrolasia along with the Indian subcontinent basin. As a geological term, Indian subcontinent has meant that region formed from the collision of the Indian basin with Eurasia nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Paleocene; the geographical region has simply been known as "India". Other related terms are South Asia, and the terms "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are sometimes used interchangeably.
There is no globally accepted definition on which countries are a part of South Asia or the Indian subcontinent. The less common term "South Asian subcontinent" has seen occasional use since the 1970s. Geologically, the Indian subcontinent was first a part of so-called "Greater India", a region of Gondwana that drifted away from East Africa about 160 million years ago, around the Middle Jurassic period; the region experienced high volcanic activity and plate subdivisions, creating Madagascar, Antarctica and the Indian subcontinent basin. The Indian subcontinent drifted northeastwards, colliding with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Paleocene; this geological region includes Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The zone where the Eurasian and Indian subcontinent plates meet remains one of the geologically active areas, prone to major earthquakes; the English term "subcontinent" continues to refer to the Indian subcontinent. Physiographically, it is a peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, the Arakanese in the east.
It extends southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast. Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate and is isolated from the rest of Asia by large mountain barriers. Using the more expansive definition – counting India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives as the constituent countries – the Indian subcontinent covers about 4.4 million km2, 10% of the Asian continent or 3.3% of the world's land surface area. Overall, it is home to a vast array of peoples; the Indian subcontinent is a natural physical landmass in South Asia, geologically the dry-land portion of the Indian Plate, isolated from the rest of Eurasia. Given the difficulty of passage through the Himalayas, the sociocultural and political interaction of the Indian subcontinent has been through the valleys of Afghanistan in its northwest, the valleys of Manipur in its east, by maritime routes. More difficult but important interaction has occurred through passages pioneered by the Tibetans.
These routes and interactions have led to the spread of Buddhism out of the Indian subcontinent into other parts of Asia. And the Islamic expansion arrived into the Indian subcontinent in two ways, through Afghanistan on land and to Indian coast through the maritime routes on the Arabian Sea. Whether called the Indian subcontinent or South Asia, the definition of the geographical extent of this region varies. Geopolitically, it had formed the whole territory of Greater India. In terms of modern geopolitical boundaries, the Indian subcontinent comprises the Republic of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, besides, by convention, the island nation of Sri Lanka and other islands of the Indian Ocean, such as the Maldives; the term "Indian continent" is first introduced in the early 20th century, when most of the territory was part of British India. The Hindu Kush, centered on eastern Afghanistan, is the boundary connecting the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia to the northwest, the Persian Plateau to the west.
The socio-religious history of Afghanistan are related to the Turkish-influenced Central Asia and no