The Matsya Purana is one of the eighteen major Puranas, among the oldest and better preserved in the Puranic genre of Sanskrit literature in Hinduism. The text is a Vaishnavism text named after the half-fish avatar of Vishnu. However, the text has been called by the 19th-century Sanskrit scholar Horace Hayman Wilson, "although a Shaivism work, it is not so"; the Matsya Purana has survived into the modern era in many versions, varying in the details but all of the published versions have 291 chapters, except the Tamil language version, written in Grantha script, which has 172 chapters. The text is notable for providing one of earliest known definition of a Purana genre of literature. A history written with five characteristics is called a Purana, states Matsya Purana, otherwise it is called Akhyana; these five characteristics are cosmogony describing its theory of primary creation of the universe, chronological description of secondary creations wherein the universe goes through the cycle of birth-life-death and mythology of gods and goddesses, legends of kings and people including solar and lunar dynasties.
The Matsya Purana is notable for being encyclopedic in the topics it covers. Along with the five topics the text defines a Purana to be, it includes mythology, a guide for building art work such as paintings and sculpture and design guidelines for temples and house architecture, various types of Yoga and ethics with multiple chapters on the value of Dāna, both Shiva and Vishnu related festivals, geography around the Narmada river, duties of a king and good government and other topics; the Matsya Purana, like all Puranas, was updated continuously. The composition of the text may have begun in the last centuries of the 1st-millennium BCE, its first version complete by about the 3rd-century of the common era, asserts Ramachandra Dikshitar – known for proposing ancient dates for Indian literature. Other scholars, such as Pandurang Vaman Kane, place the earliest version of the text to between c. 200–500 CE. The Matsya Purana, in chapter 53, includes a note stating that as a Purana, it is supposed to be edited and revised to remain useful to the society.
Wendy Doniger dates the Matsya Purana to have been composed between 250 to 500 CE. The general consensus among scholars is that Matsya Purana is among the older Purana, with its first version complete in the 3rd-century CE, but sections of it were revised and expanded over the centuries, through the 2nd-millennium CE; the Matsya Purana, like all Puranas, has a complicated chronology. Dimmitt and van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas is encyclopedic in style, it is difficult to ascertain when, why and by whom these were written: As they exist today, the Puranas are a stratified literature; each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition, it is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not at the end of the shelf, but randomly. The text is named after the half-fish incarnation of Hindu god Vishnu called Matsya; the Tamil version of the Matsya Purana has two sections and Uttara, it consists of 172 chapters.
Other versions of the published Matsya Purana manuscripts have 291 chapters. The text and tradition asserts. However, extant manuscripts contain between 13,000 to 15,000 verses; the Padma Purana categorizes one that glorifies Shiva or Agni. Scholars consider the Sattva-Rajas-Tamas classification as "entirely fanciful" and there is nothing in this text that justifies this classification, it narrates the story of the first of ten major Avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu. The text describes the mythology of a great flood, where in the world and humans led by Manu, the seeds of all plants and mobile living beings, as well as its knowledge books were saved by the Matsya avatar of Vishnu; the Matsya Purana covers a diverse range of topics, many unrelated to Vishnu, its mixed encyclopedic character led Horace Hayman Wilson – famous for his 19th-century Purana studies and translations, to state, "it is too mixed a character to be considered a genuine Purana" and a collection of miscellaneous topics. The text includes a similar coverage on legends of god Shiva and god Vishnu, dedicates a section on goddess Shakti as well.
Chapters 54-102 of the text discuss the significance and celebration of Hindu festivals and family celebrations such as those related to the Sanskara. The chapters 215-227 of the text discuss its theories of the duties of a king and good government, while chapters 252-257 weave in a technical discussion of how to identify a stable soil for home construction, different architectural designs of a house along with construction-related ritual ceremonies; the Matsya Purana, along with the texts such as Brihat Samhita, are among the oldest surviving texts with numerous sections on temple and artwork designs. The Purana describes 20 styles of Hindu temples, such as Meru and Kailasa designs; the text lays out guidelines on foundation, spaces within the core temple where people visit, the spire. The text highlights the square design principle, suggesting that the land and design of large temples be set on 64 squares, numerous other square grid designs such as the 16 square gri
The Upanishads, a part of the Vedas, are ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism, some of which are shared with religious traditions like Buddhism and Jainism. Among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, the Upanishads played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India, marking a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Of all Vedic literature, the Upanishads alone are known, their central ideas are at the spiritual core of Hindus; the Upanishads are referred to as Vedānta. Vedanta has been interpreted as the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" and alternatively as "object, the highest purpose of the Veda"; the concepts of Brahman and Ātman are central ideas in all of the Upanishads, "know that you are the Ātman" is their thematic focus. Along with the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutra, the mukhya Upanishads provide a foundation for the several schools of Vedanta, among them, two influential monistic schools of Hinduism.
More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main Upanishads. The mukhya Upanishads are found in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas and were, for centuries, memorized by each generation and passed down orally; the early Upanishads all predate the Common Era, five of them in all likelihood pre-Buddhist, down to the Maurya period. Of the remainder, 95 Upanishads are part of the Muktika canon, composed from about the last centuries of 1st-millennium BCE through about 15th-century CE. New Upanishads, beyond the 108 in the Muktika canon, continued to be composed through the early modern and modern era, though dealing with subjects which are unconnected to the Vedas. With the translation of the Upanishads in the early 19th century they started to attract attention from a western audience. Arthur Schopenhauer was impressed by the Upanishads and called it "the production of the highest human wisdom".
Modern era Indologists have discussed the similarities between the fundamental concepts in the Upanishads and major western philosophers. The Sanskrit term Upaniṣad translates to "sitting down near", referring to the student sitting down near the teacher while receiving spiritual knowledge. Other dictionary meanings include "esoteric doctrine" and "secret doctrine". Monier-Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary notes – "According to native authorities, Upanishad means setting to rest ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the supreme spirit."Adi Shankaracharya explains in his commentary on the Kaṭha and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that the word means Ātmavidyā, that is, "knowledge of the self", or Brahmavidyā "knowledge of Brahma". The word appears in the verses of many Upanishads, such as the fourth verse of the 13th volume in first chapter of the Chandogya Upanishad. Max Müller as well as Paul Deussen translate the word Upanishad in these verses as "secret doctrine", Robert Hume translates it as "mystic meaning", while Patrick Olivelle translates it as "hidden connections".
The authorship of most Upanishads is unknown. Radhakrishnan states, "almost all the early literature of India was anonymous, we do not know the names of the authors of the Upanishads"; the ancient Upanishads are embedded in the Vedas, the oldest of Hinduism's religious scriptures, which some traditionally consider to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless". The Vedic texts assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis, after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot; the various philosophical theories in the early Upanishads have been attributed to famous sages such as Yajnavalkya, Uddalaka Aruni, Shandilya, Balaki and Sanatkumara. Women, such as Maitreyi and Gargi participate in the dialogues and are credited in the early Upanishads. There are some exceptions to the anonymous tradition of the Upanishads; the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, for example, includes closing credits to sage Shvetashvatara, he is considered the author of the Upanishad.
Many scholars believe that early Upanishads were expanded over time. There are differences within manuscripts of the same Upanishad discovered in different parts of South Asia, differences in non-Sanskrit version of the texts that have survived, differences within each text in terms of meter, style and structure; the existing texts are believed to be the work of many authors. Scholars are uncertain about; the chronology of the early Upanishads is difficult to resolve, states philosopher and Sanskritist Stephen Phillips, because all opinions rest on scanty evidence and analysis of archaism and repetitions across texts, are driven by assumptions about evolution of ideas, presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies. Indologist Patrick Olivelle says that "in spite of claims made by some, in reality, any dating of these documents that attempts a precision closer than a few centuries is as stable as a house of cards"; some scholars have tried to analyse similarities between Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist literature to establish chronology for the Upanishads.
Patrick Olivelle gives the following chronology for the early Upanishads called the Principal Upanishads: The Brhadaranyaka and the Chandogya are the two earliest Upanishads. They are edited texts; the two texts are pre-B
The Markandeya Purana is a Sanskrit text of Hinduism, one of the eighteen major Puranas. The text's title Markandeya refers to a sage in Hindu mythology, the central character in two legends, one linked to Shiva and other to Vishnu; the Markandeya text is one of the Puranas that lacks a sectarian presentation of ideas in favor of any particular god, it is rare to read any deity being invoked or deity prayers in the entire text. The Markandeya Purana is one of the oldest in Purana genre of Hindu literature, among the most interesting and important, states Ludo Rocher, it is famous for including the Devi Mahatmya within it, the oldest known treatise on Devi as the Supreme Truth and creator of the universe. The text is considered as a central text of the Hindu Goddess-related Shaktism tradition, with an extraordinary expression of reverence for the feminine; the Markandeya Purana's Devi Mahatmya is ranked in some Hindu traditions to be as important as the Bhagavad Gita. The extant manuscripts of this Purana have 137 chapters, of which chapters 81 through 93 is the Devi Mahatmya.
Tradition and some medieval era texts assert that the Markandeya Purana has 9,000 verses, but surviving manuscripts have about 6,900 verses. The text presents a diverse range of topics, with socio-cultural information and symbolism for Vedic ideas and metaphysical thought; the Markandeya text is one of the oldest Puranas in Hinduism. The text's literary style and content, wherein the early chapters read like a supplement to the Hindu epic Mahabharata has led scholars to suggest it is an early composition that followed the epic; the Markandeya Purana, states Wendy Doniger, is from c. 250 CE, with the exception of the Devi Mahatmya, which she dates to c. 550 CE. Other scholars have suggested that parts of this Purana existed by the third century. In contrast, Nileshvari Desai suggests that the oldest of extant manuscripts is from the 7th-century CE; the text has been dated with the help of epigraphical evidence. The Dadhimati Mata inscription, for example has been dated to be from 608 CE, this inscription is a quote from chapter 10 of the Devi Mahatmya.
This suggests that this part of the text existed by the 6th century CE. A complete Palm-leaf manuscript of the text was discovered in Nepal, has been dated to 998 CE; the early 8th-century text Malatimadhava of Bhavabhuti references Devi Mahatmya, which implies the text was established and in circulation by then. Other scholars have placed it between 4th- to 6th-century CE; the idea of Goddess as the supreme, states John Lochtefeld existed before the 6th-century than the composition date of Devi Mahatmya, because it appears in so developed form in the text. Like all the Puranas, the Markandeya Purana, has a complicated chronology. Dimmitt and van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas is encyclopedic in style, it is difficult to ascertain when, why and by whom these were written: As they exist today, the Puranas are a stratified literature; each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition.
It is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not at the end of the shelf, but randomly. The earliest version of the Makandeya Purana, with Devi Mahatmya, was composed near the Narmada river, in Western India; this Purana has 137 chapters. The text opens with the Mimamsa founder Jaimini asking sage Markandeya for answers to some questions raised by the Mahabharata, but never addressed in it. Markandeya asserts that he needs to go and perform some Vedic rituals, suggests Jaimini to meet up with four wise birds who live in the Vindhya range. Jaimini meets the birds; the birds answer his questions. This discussion weaves in moral instructions with mythology, the theory of Karma, Samsara and Shraddha verses from texts such as the Mahabharata and the Gautama Dharmasutras; the text presents its Yoga philosophy in chapters 39 to 43, asserts that it is the path to gain self-knowledge and liberation, thereby overcoming past Karma. The Yoga discussions, Dattatreya's portrayal and his yoga-teachings within the Markandeya Purana, states Rigopoulos, are those of Jnana yoga, this emphasis on Jnana within a nondual framework characterizes Dattatreya throughout the text.
More the Markandeya Purana, along with Vishnu, Vayu and Kurma Puranas, states Sahasrabudhe, have "unmistakingly the Advaita" premises, which reflect the Advaita tradition before the times of Adi Shankara. The chapters present a conversation between the birds and sage Markandeya, but the sage is the primary speaker in chapters 45-80 and 94-137; this switch in style, state scholars, is because this part is the older core of the Purana. This part consists of genealogy, manvantaras and chapters glorifying god Surya; the Devi Mahatmya "glorification or praises of the Goddess", constitutes chapters 81 to 93 of the Markandeya Purana. It is the primary bhakti text of those who revere Chandi as the Shakti; this text is studied on its own, sometimes titled as Saptasati or Chandi-mahatmya or Chandipatha. It is popular in eastern states of India, such as West Bengal and Odisha; the Devi Mahatmya opens with the legend of two men, from different backgrounds who meet in the forest, driven out by their associates and family exiled.
Asserts the text
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahāpurāṇa, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text contains over 81,000 verses, is part of Shaivite literature, titled after Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, known as Kartikeya and Murugan. While the text is named after Skanda, he does not feature either more or less prominently in this text than in other Shiva-related Puranas; the text has been an important historical record and influence on the Hindu traditions related to the war-god Skanda. The earliest text titled Skanda Purana existed by the 8th century CE, but the Skanda Purana that has survived into the modern era exists in many versions, it is considered by scholars, in a historic sense, as among the "shiftiest, living" texts, edited, over many centuries, creating numerous variants. The common elements in the variant editions encyclopedically cover cosmogony, genealogy, festivals, temples, discussion of virtues and evil, of theology and of the nature and qualities of Shiva as the Absolute and the source of true knowledge.
The editions of Skandapurana text provide an encyclopedic travel handbook with meticulous Tirtha Mahatmya, containing geographical locations of pilgrimage centers in India and Tibet, with related legends, parables and stories. This Mahāpurāṇa, like others, is attributed to the sage Vyasa. Haraprasad Shastri and Cecil Bendall, in about 1898, discovered an old palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana in a Kathmandu library in Nepal, written in Gupta script, they dated the manuscript to 8th century CE, on paleographic grounds. This suggests. R. Adriaensen, H. Bakker, H. Isaacson dated the oldest surviving palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana to 810 CE, but Richard Mann adds that earlier versions of the text existed in the 8th century CE. Hans Bakker states that the text specifies holy places and details about the 4th and 5th-century Citraratha of Andhra Pradesh, thus may have an earlier origin; the oldest versions of the Skandapurana texts have been discovered in the Himalayan region of South Asia such as Nepal, the northeastern states of India such as Assam.
The critical editions of the text, for scholarly studies, rely on the Nepalese manuscripts. Additional texts style themselves as khandas of Skandapurana, but these came into existence after the 12th century, it is unclear if their root texts did belong to the Skandapurana, in some cases replaced the corresponding chapters of the original. Some recensions and sections of the Skandapurana manuscripts, states Judit Torzsok, have been traced to be from the 17th century or but the first 162 chapters in many versions are the same as the older Nepalese editions except for occasional omissions and insertions. There are a number of manuscripts that bear the title Skanda Purana; some of these texts, except for the title, have little in common with the well-known Skandapurana traced to the 1st millennium CE. The original text has accrued several additions, it is, therefore difficult to establish an exact date of composition for the Skanda Purana. Stylistically, the Skanda Purana is related to the Mahabharata, it appears that its composers borrowed from the Mahabharata.
The two texts employ similar stock compounds that are not found in the Ramayana. Some of the mythology mentioned in the present version of the Skanda Purana is undoubtedly post-Gupta period, consistent with that of medieval South India; this indicates. The Kashi Khanda, for example, acquired its present form around the mid-13th century CE; the latest part of the text might have been composed in as late as the 15th century CE. The whole corpus of texts which are considered as part of the Skanda Purana is grouped in two ways. According to one tradition, these are grouped in six saṁhitās, each of which consists of several khaṇḍas. According to another tradition, these are grouped in seven khaṇḍas, each named after a major pilgrimage region or site; the chapters are travel guides for pilgrimage tourists. The Maheśvara Khaṇḍa consists of 3 sections: the Kedāra Khaṇḍa the Kaumārikā Khaṇḍa or Kumārikā Khaṇḍa and the Arunācala Khaṇḍa or Arunācala Māhātmya, further divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Viṣṇu Khaṇḍa or Vaiṣṇava Khaṇḍa consists of nine sections: Veṅkaṭācalamāhātmya Puruṣottamakṣetramāhātmya Badarikāśramamāhātmya Kārttikamāsamāhātmya Mārgaśirṣamāsamāhātmya 17 chapters, Mathura Tirtha region) Bhāgavatamāhātmya Vaiśākhamāsamāhātmya Ayodhyāmāhātmya and Vāsudevamāhātmya The Brahma Khaṇḍa has three sections: Setumāhātmya Dharmāraṇya Khaṇḍa and Uttara Khaṇḍa or Brahmottara Khaṇḍa The Kāśī Khaṇḍa is divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Āvantya Khaṇḍa consists of: Avantikṣetramāhātmya Caturaśītiliṅgamāhātmya and Revā Khaṇḍa The Nāgara Khaṇḍa consists of Tirtha-māhātmya.
The Prabhāsa Khaṇḍa
The Kena Upanishad is a Vedic Sanskrit text classified as one of the primary or Mukhya Upanishads, embedded inside the last section of the Talavakara Brahmanam of the Samaveda. It is listed as number 2 in the canon of the 108 Upanishads of Hinduism; the Kena Upanishad was composed sometime around the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. It has an unusual structure where the first 13 are verses composed as a metric poem, followed by 15 prose paragraphs of main text plus 6 prose paragraphs of epilogue. Paul Deussen suggests that the latter prose section of the main text is far more ancient than the poetic first section, Kena Upanishad bridged the more ancient prose Upanishad era with the metric poetic era of Upanishads that followed. Kena Upanishad is notable in its discussion of Brahman with attributes and without attributes, for being a treatise on "purely conceptual knowledge", it asserts that the efficient cause of all the gods, symbolically envisioned as forces of nature, is Brahman. This has made it a foundational scripture to Vedanta school of Hinduism, both the theistic and monistic sub-schools after varying interpretations.
The Kena Upanishad is significant in asserting the idea of "Spiritual Man", "Soul is a wonderful being that gods worship", "Atman exists", "knowledge and spirituality are the goals and intense longing of all creatures". Kena means, depending on the object-subject context, "by what, by whom, how, from what cause"; this root of Kena, in the sense of "by whom" or "from what cause", is found the inquisitive first verse of the Kena Upanishad as follows, The Kena Upanishad belongs to the Talavakara Brahmana of Sama Veda, giving the etymological roots of an alternate name of Talavakara Upanishad for it, in ancient and medieval era Indian texts. The Kena Upanishad is referred to as the Kenopanishad; the chronology of Kena Upanishad, like other Vedic texts, contested by scholars. All opinions rest on scanty evidence, an analysis of archaism and repetitions across texts, driven by assumptions about evolution of ideas, on presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies.
Phillips dates Kena Upanishad as having been composed after Brihadaranyaka, Isha and Aitareya, but before Katha, Prasna, Mandukya and Maitri Upanishads, as well as before the earliest Buddhist Pali and Jaina canons. Ranade posits a view similar to Phillips, with different ordering, placing Kena chronological composition in the third group of ancient Upanishads. Paul Deussen considers Kena Upanishad to be bridging a period of prose composition and fusion of poetic creativity with ideas. Winternitz considers the Kena Upanishad as pre-Jaina literature; the text is from about the middle of 1st millennium BCE. Many of the ideas found in Kena Upanishads have more ancient roots. For example, the ideas in verse 2 of Kena Upanishad are found in the oldest Brihadaranyaka Upanishad's chapter 4.4, as well as the second oldest Chandogya Upanishad's chapter 8.12. Kena Upanishad has three parts: 13 verses in the first part, 15 paragraphs in the second part, 6 paragraphs in the epilogue; these are distributed in four khaṇḍas.
The first Khanda has 8 verses, the second has 5 verses. The third Khanda has 12 paragraphs, while the fourth khanda has the remaining 9; the first two Khandas of Kena Upanishad are poems, the last two are prose, with one exception. Paragraph 9 is prose and structurally out of place, which has led scholars to state that the paragraph 9 was inserted or is a corrupted version of the original manuscript in a more modern era. Another odd structural feature of Kena Upanishad's poetic Khandas is verse 3, which has 8 lines, while all other poetic verses in the first two sections are only 4 lines of mathematical metric construction. There are some differences in the positioning of Kena Upanishad in manuscripts discovered in different parts of India, it is, for example, the ninth chapter of Talavakara Brahmana in south Indian manuscripts and as mentioned in the Bhasya by Shankara, while the Burnell manuscript of sections of Sama Veda places it in the tenth Anuvaka of the fourth chapter. The Kena Upanishad is accepted as part of Sama Veda, but it is found in manuscripts of Atharva collection.
The difference between the two versions is minor and structural - in Sama Veda manuscripts, the Kena Upanishad has four sections, while the Atharva manuscripts show no such division into sections. The Kena Upanishad opens by questioning the nature of man, the origins, the essence and the relationship of him with knowledge and sensory perception, it asserts that knowledge is of two types - empirical and conceptual. Empirical knowledge can be taught and discussed. Conceptual axiomatic knowledge cannot, states Kena Upanishad. Pure, abstract concepts are learnt and realized instead wherein it mentions that the highest reality is Brahman. In verse 4, Kena Upanishad asserts that Brahman cannot be worshipped, because it has no attributes and is unthinkable, eternal, all present reality; that what man worships is the path to Atman-Brahman. Rather, Brahman is that, it is that which "hears" the sound in ears, "sees" the view in eyes, "speaks" the words of speech, "smells" the aroma in breath, "comprehends" the meaning in thought.
The Atman-Brahman is in man, not that. Woodburne interprets the first khanda of Kena Upanishad to be
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text on sexuality and emotional fulfillment in life. Attributed to Vātsyāyana, the Kama Sutra is neither nor predominantly a sex manual on sex positions, but written as a guide to the "art-of-living" well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one's love life, other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life. Kamasutra is the oldest surviving Hindu text on erotic love, it is a sutra-genre text with terse aphoristic verses that have survived into the modern era with different bhasya. The text is a mix of prose and anustubh-meter poetry verses; the text acknowledges the Hindu concept of Purusharthas, lists desire and emotional fulfillment as one of the proper goals of life. Its chapters discuss methods for courtship, training in the arts to be engaging, finding a partner, maintaining power in a married life and how to commit adultery, sexual positions, other topics; the majority of the book is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, how and when it is good or bad.
The text is one of many Indian texts on Kama Shastra. It is a much-translated work in non-Indian languages; the Kamasutra has influenced many secondary texts that followed after the 4th-century CE, as well as the Indian arts as exemplified by the pervasive presence Kama-related reliefs and sculpture in old Hindu temples. Of these, the Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is a UNESCO world heritage site. Among the surviving temples in north India, one in Rajasthan sculpts all the major chapters and sexual positions to illustrate the Kamasutra. According to Wendy Doniger, the Kamasutra became "one of the most pirated books in English language" soon after it was published in 1883 by Richard Burton; this first European edition by Burton does not faithfully reflect much in the Kamasutra because he revised the collaborative translation by Bhagavanlal Indrajit and Shivaram Parashuram Bhide with Forster Arbuthnot to suit 19th-century Victorian tastes. The original composition date or century for the Kamasutra is unknown.
Historians have variously placed it between 400 BCE and 300 CE. According to John Keay, the Kama Sutra is a compendium, collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE. In contrast, the Indologist Wendy Doniger who has co-translated Kama sutra and published many papers on related Hindu texts, the surviving version of the Kamasutra must have been revised or composed after 225 CE because it mentions the Abhiras and the Andhras dynasties that did not co-rule major regions of ancient India before that year; the text makes no mention of the Gupta Empire which ruled over major urban areas of ancient India, reshaping ancient Indian arts, Hindu culture and economy from the 4th-century through the 6th-century. For these reasons, she dates the Kama sutra to the second half of the 3rd-century CE; the place of its composition is unclear. The candidates are urban centers of north or northwest ancient India, alternatively in the eastern urban Pataliputra. Vatsyayana Mallanaga is its accepted author because his name is embedded in the colophon verse, but little is known about him.
Vatsyayana states. In the preface, Vatsyayana acknowledges that he is distilling many ancient texts, but these have not survived, he cites the work of others he calls "teachers" and "scholars", the longer texts by Auddalaki, Dattaka, Ghotakamukha, Gonikaputra and Kuchumara. Vatsyayana's Kamasutra is mentioned and some verses quoted in the Brihatsamhita of Varahamihira, as well as the poems of Kalidasa; this suggests he lived before the 5th-century CE. The Hindu tradition has the concept of the Purusharthas which outlines "four main goals of life", it holds that every human being has four proper goals that are necessary and sufficient for a fulfilling and happy life: Dharma – signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, includes duties, laws, conduct and right way of living. Hindu dharma includes the religious duties, moral rights and duties of each individual, as well as behaviors that enable social order, right conduct, those that are virtuous.
Dharma, according to Van Buitenen, is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world. It is, states Van Buitenen, the pursuit and execution of one's nature and true calling, thus playing one's role in cosmic concert. Artha – signifies the "means of life", activities and resources that enables one to be in a state one wants to be in. Artha incorporates wealth, activity to make a living, financial security and economic prosperity; the proper pursuit of artha is considered an important aim of human life in Hinduism. Kama – signifies desire, passion, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, with or without sexual connotations. Gavin Flood explains kāma as "love" without violating dharma and one's journey towards moksha. Moksha – signifies emancipation, liberation or release. In some schools of Hinduism, moksha connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth, in other schools moksha connotes freedom, self-knowledge, self-realization and liberation in this life.
Each of these pursuits became a subject of study and led to prolific Sanskrit and some Prakrit languages literature in ancient India. Along with Dharmasastras and Mokshasastras, the Kamasastras genre have been preserved in palm leaf manuscripts; the K
Sutra in Indian literary traditions refers to an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a condensed manual or text. Sutras are a genre of ancient and medieval Indian texts found in Hinduism and Jainism. In Hinduism, sutras are a distinct type of literary composition, a compilation of short aphoristic statements; each sutra is any short rule, like a theorem distilled into few words or syllables, around which teachings of ritual, grammar, or any field of knowledge can be woven. The oldest sutras of Hinduism are found in the Aranyaka layers of the Vedas; every school of Hindu philosophy, Vedic guides for rites of passage, various fields of arts and social ethics developed respective sutras, which helped teach and transmit ideas from one generation to the next. In Buddhism, sutras known as suttas, are canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha, they are quite detailed, sometimes with repetition. This may reflect a philological root of sukta, rather than sutra.
In Jainism, sutras known as suyas are canonical sermons of Mahavira contained in the Jain Agamas as well as some normative texts. The Sanskrit word Sūtra means "string, thread"; the root of the word is that which sews and holds things together. The word is related to sūci meaning "needle, list", sūnā meaning "woven". In the context of literature, sūtra means a distilled collection of syllables and words, any form or manual of "aphorism, direction" hanging together like threads with which the teachings of ritual, grammar, or any field of knowledge can be woven. A sūtra is states Moriz Winternitz, in Indian literature. A collection of sūtras becomes a text, this is called sūtra. A sūtra is different from other components such as Shlokas and Vyakhyas found in ancient Indian literature. A sūtra is a condensed rule which succinctly states the message, while a Shloka is a verse that conveys the complete message and is structured to certain rules of musical meter, a Anuvyakhaya is an explanation of the reviewed text, while a Vyakhya is a comment by the reviewer.
Sutras first appear in the Aranyaka layer of Vedic literature. They grow in the Vedangas, such as the Shrauta Sutras and Kalpa Sutras; these were designed so that they can be communicated from a teacher to student, memorized by the recipient for discussion or self-study or as reference. A sutra by itself is condensed shorthand, the threads of syllable are difficult to decipher or understand, without associated scholarly Bhasya or deciphering commentary that fills in the "woof"; the oldest manuscripts that have survived into the modern era, that contain extensive sutras, are part of the Vedas dated to be from the late 2nd millennium BCE through mid 1st-millennium BCE. The Aitareya Aranyaka for example, states Winternitz, is a collection of sutras, their use and ancient roots are attested by sutras being mentioned in larger genre of ancient non-Vedic Hindu literature called Gatha, Narashansi and Akhyana. In the history of Indian literature, large compilations of sutras, in diverse fields of knowledge, have been traced to the period from 600 BCE to 200 BCE, this has been called the "sutras period".
This period followed Mantra period and Brahmana period. Some of the earliest surviving specimen of sutras of Hinduism are found in the Anupada Sutras and Nidana Sutras; the former distills the epistemic debate whether Sruti or Smriti or neither must be considered the more reliable source of knowledge, while the latter distills the rules of musical meters for Samaveda chants and songs. A larger collection of ancient sutra literature in Hinduism corresponds to the six Vedangas, or six limbs of the Vedas; these are six subjects. The six subjects with their own sutras were "pronunciation, grammar, explanation of words, time keeping through astronomy, ceremonial rituals; the first two, states Max Muller, were considered in the Vedic era to be necessary for reading the Veda, the second two for understanding it, the last two for deploying the Vedic knowledge at yajnas. The sutras corresponding to these are embedded inside the Aranyaka layers of the Vedas. Taittiriya Aranyaka, for example in Book 7, embeds sutras for accurate pronunciation after the terse phrases "On Letters", "On Accents", "On Quantity", "On Delivery", "On Euphonic Laws".
The fourth and the last layer of philosophical, speculative text in the Vedas, the Upanishads, too have embedded sutras such as those found in the Taittiriya Upanishad. The compendium of ancient Vedic sutra literature that has survived, in full or fragments, includes the Kalpa Sutras, Smarta Sutras, Srauta Sutras, Dharma Sutras, Grhya Sutras, Sulba Sutras. Other fields for which ancient sutras are known include etymology and grammar; some examples of sutra texts in various schools of Hindu philosophy include: Brahma Sutras – a Sanskrit text, composed by Badarayana sometime between 200 BCE to 200 CE. The text contains 555 sutras in four chapters that summarize the philosophical and spiritual ideas in the Upanishads, it is one of the foundational texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philos