The Vindhya Range is a complex, discontinuous chain of mountain ridges, hill ranges and plateau escarpments in west-central India. Technically, the Vindhyas do not form a single mountain range in the geological sense; the exact extent of the Vindhyas is loosely defined, the term covered a number of distinct hill systems in central India, including the one, now known as the Satpura Range. Today, the term principally refers to the escarpment that runs north of and parallel to the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh, its hilly extensions. Depending on the definition, the range extends up to Gujarat in the west, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the north and Chhattisgarh in the east; the Vindhyas have a great significance in Indian history. Several ancient texts mention the Vindhyas as the southern boundary of the Āryāvarta, the territory of the ancient Indo-Aryan peoples. Although today Indo-Aryan languages are spoken south of the Vindhyas, the range continues to be considered as the traditional boundary between north and south India.
The former Vindhya Pradesh was named after the Vindhya Range. According to the author of a commentary on Amarakosha, the word Vindhya derives from the Sanskrit word vaindh. A mythological story states that the Vindhyas once obstructed the path of the sun, resulting in this name. Ramayana from Valmiki states that the great mountain Vindhya, growing incessantly and obstructing the path of the Sun stopped growing any more in obedience to Agastya's words. According to another theory, the name "Vindhya" means "hunter" in Sanskrit, may refer to the tribal hunter-gatherers inhabiting the region; the Vindhya range is known as "Vindhyachala" or "Vindhyachal". In the Mahabharata, the range is referred to as Vindhyapadaparvata; the Greek geographer Ptolemy called the range Vindius or Ouindion, describing it as the source of Namados and Nanagouna rivers. The "Daksinaparvata" mentioned in the Kaushitaki Upanishad is identified with the Vindhyas; the Vindhyas do not form a single range in the proper geological sense: the hills collectively known as the Vindhyas do not lie along an anticlinal or synclinal ridge.
The Vindhya range is a group of discontinuous chain of mountain ridges, hill ranges and plateau escarpments. The term "Vindhyas" is defined by convention, therefore, the exact definition of the Vindhya range has varied at different times in history. Earlier, the term "Vindhyas" was used in a wider sense, included a number of hill ranges between the Indo-Gangetic plain and the Deccan Plateau. According to the various definitions mentioned in the older texts, the Vindhyas extend up to Godavari in the south and Ganges in the north. In certain Puranas, the term Vindhya covers the mountain range located between the Narmada and the Tapti rivers; the Varaha Purana uses the name "Vindhya-pada" for the Satpura range. Several ancient Indian texts and inscriptions mention three mountain ranges in Central India: Vindhya and Pariyatra; the three ranges are included in the seven Kula Parvatas of Bharatavarsha i.e. India; the exact identification of these three ranges is difficult due to contrasting descriptions in the various texts.
For example, the Kurma and Brahmanda Puranas mention Vindhya as the source of Tapti. Some texts use. In one passage, Valmiki's Ramayana describes Vindhya as being situated to the south of Kishkindha, identified with a part of the present-day Karnataka, it further implies that the sea was located just to the south of the Vindhyas, Lanka was located across this sea. Many scholars have attempted to explain this anamoly in different ways. According to one theory, the term "Vindhyas" covered a number of mountains to the south of the Indo-Aryan territories at the time Ramayana was written. Others, such as Frederick Eden Pargiter, believe that there was another mountain in South India, with the same name. Madhav Vinayak Kibe placed the location of Lanka in Central India; the Barabar Cave inscription of Maukhari Anantavarman mentions the Nagarjuni hill of Bihar as a part of the Vindhyas. Today, the definition of the Vindhyas is restricted to the Central Indian escarpments and highlands located to the north of the Narmada River.
Some of these are distinct hill systems. The western end of the Vindhya range is located in the state of Gujarat, near the state's border with Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, at the eastern side of the Gujarat peninsula. A series of hills connects the Vindhya extension to the Aravalli Range near Champaner; the Vindhya range rises in height east of Chhota Udaipur. The principal Vindhya range forms the southern escarpment of the Central Indian upland, it runs parallel to the Naramada river in the east-west direction, forming the southern wall of the Malwa plateau in Madhya Pradesh. The eastern portion of the Vindhyas comprises multiple chains, as the range divides into branches east of Malwa. A southern chain of Vindhyas runs between the upper reaches of the Son and Narmada rivers to meet the Satpura Range in the Maikal Hills near Amarkantak. A northern chain of the Vindhyas continues eastwards as Bhander Plateau and Kaimur Range, which runs north of the Son River; this extended range runs through what was once Vindhya Pradesh, re
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 Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their succession. Along with the Rāmāyaṇa, it forms the Hindu Itihasa; the Mahābhārata is an epic legendary narrative of the Kurukṣetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes. It contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or puruṣārtha. Among the principal works and stories in the Mahābhārata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Rāmāyaṇa, the story of Ṛṣyasringa considered as works in their own right. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahābhārata is attributed to Vyāsa. There have been many attempts to unravel compositional layers; the oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE.
The text reached its final form by the early Gupta period. According to the Mahābhārata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called Bhārata; the Mahābhārata is the longest epic poem known and has been described as "the longest poem written". Its longest version consists of over 100,000 śloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines, long prose passages. At about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahābhārata is ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Rāmāyaṇa. W. J. Johnson has compared the importance of the Mahābhārata in the context of world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of William Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, or the Quran. Within the Indian tradition it is sometimes called the Fifth Veda; the epic is traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyāsa, a major character in the epic. Vyāsa described it as being itihāsa, he describes the Guru-shishya parampara, which traces all great teachers and their students of the Vedic times.
The first section of the Mahābhārata states that it was Gaṇeśa who wrote down the text to Vyasa's dictation. The epic employs the story within a story structure, otherwise known as frametales, popular in many Indian religious and non-religious works, it is first recited at Takshashila by the sage Vaiśampāyana, a disciple of Vyāsa, to the King Janamejaya, the great-grandson of the Pāṇḍava prince Arjuna. The story is recited again by a professional storyteller named Ugraśrava Sauti, many years to an assemblage of sages performing the 12-year sacrifice for the king Saunaka Kulapati in the Naimiśa Forest; the text was described by some early 20th-century western Indologists as chaotic. Hermann Oldenberg supposed that the original poem must once have carried an immense "tragic force" but dismissed the full text as a "horrible chaos." Moritz Winternitz considered that "only unpoetical theologists and clumsy scribes" could have lumped the parts of disparate origin into an unordered whole. Research on the Mahābhārata has put an enormous effort into recognizing and dating layers within the text.
Some elements of the present Mahābhārata can be traced back to Vedic times. The background to the Mahābhārata suggests the origin of the epic occurs "after the early Vedic period" and before "the first Indian'empire' was to rise in the third century B. C." That this is "a date not too far removed from the 8th or 9th century B. C." is likely. Mahābhārata started as an orally-transmitted tale of the charioteer bards, it is agreed that "Unlike the Vedas, which have to be preserved letter-perfect, the epic was a popular work whose reciters would conform to changes in language and style," so the earliest'surviving' components of this dynamic text are believed to be no older than the earliest'external' references we have to the epic, which may include an allusion in Panini's 4th century BCE grammar Aṣṭādhyāyī 4:2:56. It is estimated that the Sanskrit text reached something of a "final form" by the early Gupta period. Vishnu Sukthankar, editor of the first great critical edition of the Mahābhārata, commented: "It is useless to think of reconstructing a fluid text in a original shape, on the basis of an archetype and a stemma codicum.
What is possible? Our objective can only be to reconstruct the oldest form of the text which it is possible to reach on the basis of the manuscript material available." That manuscript evidence is somewhat late, given its material composition and the climate of India, but it is extensive. The Mahābhārata itself distinguishes a core portion of 24,000 verses: the Bhārata proper, as opposed to additional secondary material, while the Aśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra makes a similar distinction. At least three redactions of the text are recognized: Jaya with 8,800 verses attributed to Vyāsa, Bhārata with 24,000 verses as recited by Vaiśampāyana, the Mahābhārata as recited by Ugraśrava Sauti with over 100,000 verses. However, some scholars, such as John Brockington, argue that Jaya and Bharata refer to the same text, ascribe the theory of Jaya with 8,800 verses to a misreading of a verse in Ādiparvan; the redaction of this large body of text was carried out after formal principles, emphasizing the numbers 18 and 12.
The addition of the latest parts may be dated by the absence of the Anuśāsana-parva and the Virāta parva from the "Spitzer manuscript". The oldest surviving