Indra is a Vedic deity in Hinduism, a guardian deity in Buddhism, the king of the highest heaven called Saudharmakalpa in Jainism. His mythologies and powers are similar to other Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Taranis and Thor. In the Vedas, Indra is the king of Svarga and the Devas, he is the god of the heavens, thunder, rains, river flows, war. Indra is the most referred to deity in the Rigveda, he is celebrated for his powers, the one who kills the great symbolic evil named Vritra who obstructs human prosperity and happiness. Indra destroys Vritra and his "deceiving forces", thereby brings rains and the sunshine as the friend of mankind, his importance diminishes in the post-Vedic Indian literature where he is depicted as a powerful hero but one, getting in trouble with his drunken and adulterous ways, the god who disturbs Hindu monks as they meditate because he fears self-realized human beings may become more powerful than him. Indra rules over the much sought Devas realm of rebirth within the Samsara doctrine of Buddhist traditions.
However, like the Hindu texts, Indra is a subject of ridicule and reduced to a figurehead status in Buddhist texts, shown as a god that suffers rebirth and redeath. In the Jainism traditions, like Buddhism and Hinduism, Indra is the king of gods and a part of Jain rebirth cosmology, he is the god who appears with his wife Indrani to celebrate the auspicious moments in the life of a Jain Tirthankara, an iconography that suggests the king and queen of gods reverentially marking the spiritual journey of a Jina. Indra's iconography shows him wielding a lightning thunderbolt known as Vajra, riding on a white elephant known as Airavata. In Buddhist iconography the elephant sometimes features three heads, while Jaina icons sometimes show the elephant with five heads. Sometimes a single elephant is shown with four symbolic tusks. Indra's heavenly home is near Mount Meru; the etymological roots of Indra are unclear, it has been a contested topic among scholars since the 19th-century, one with many proposals.
The significant proposals have been: root ind-u, or "rain drop", based on the Vedic mythology that he conquered rain and brought it down to earth. Root ind, or "equipped with great power"; this was proposed by Vopadeva. Root idh or "kindle", ina or "strong". Root indha, or "igniter", for his ability to bring light and power that ignites the vital forces of life; this is based on Shatapatha Brahmana. Root idam-dra, or "It seeing", a reference to the one who first perceived the self-sufficient metaphysical Brahman; this is based on Aitareya Upanishad. Roots in ancient Indo-European, Indo-Aryan deities. For example, states John Colarusso, as a reflex of proto-Indo-European *h₂nḗr-, Greek anēr, Sabine nerō, Avestan nar-, Umbrian nerus, Old Irish nert, Ossetic nart, others which all refer to "most manly" or "hero". Colonial era scholarship proposed that Indra shares etymological roots with Zend Andra derived from Old High German Antra, or Jedru of Old Slavonic, but Max Muller critiqued these proposals as untenable.
Scholarship has linked Vedic Indra to the European Aynar, Abaza and Innara of Hittite mythology. Colarusso suggests a Pontic origin and that both the phonology and the context of Indra in Indian religions is best explained from Indo-Aryan roots and a Circassian etymology, he is known in Burmese as သိကြားမင်း, pronounced. Indra has many epithets in the Indian religions, notably Śakra, Vṛṣan, Vṛtrahan, Meghavāhana, Devarāja, Surendra, Vajrapāṇī and Vāsava. Indra is of unclear origin. Aspects of Indra as a deity are cognate to other Indo-European gods; the similarities between Indra of Hindu mythologies and of Thor of Nordic and Germanic mythologies are significant, states Max Muller. Both Indra and Thor are storm gods, with powers over lightning and thunder, both carry hammer or equivalent, for both the weapon returns to their hand after they hurl it, both are associated with bulls in the earliest layer of respective texts, both use thunder as a battle-cry, both are heroic leaders, both protectors of mankind, both are described with legends about "milking the cloud-cows", both are benevolent giants, gods of strength, of life, of marriage and the healing gods, both are worshipped in respective texts on mountains and in forests.
Michael Janda suggests that Indra has origins in the Indo-European *trigw-welumos "smasher of the enclosure" and diye-snūtyos "impeller of streams". Brave and heroic Innara or Inra, which sounds like Indra, is mentioned among the gods of the Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking people of Hittite region. Indra as a deity had a presence in northeastern Asia minor, as evidenced by the inscriptions on the Boghaz-köi clay tablet
Brahmarshi Vishvamitra is one of the most venerated rishis or sages of ancient India. He is credited as the author of most of Mandala 3 of the Rigveda, including Gayatri Mantra; the Puranas mention that only 24 rishis since antiquity have understood the whole meaning of—and thus wielded the whole power of—Gayatri Mantra. Vishvamitra is supposed to be the first, Yajnavalkya the last; the story of Vishvamitra is narrated in the Balakanda of Valmiki Ramayana. Mahabharata adds that Vishvamitra's relationship with Menaka resulted in a daughter, whose story is narrated in Adi Parva of Mahabharata. Vishvamitra was a king in ancient India called Kaushika and belonged to Amavasu Dynasty. Vishwamitra was the Chandravanshi King of Kanyakubja, he was the great-grandson of a great king named Kusha. Valmiki Ramayana, prose 51 of Bala Kanda, starts with the story of Vishvamitra: There was a king named Kusha, a brainchild of Brahma and Kusha's son was the powerful and verily righteous Kushanabha. One, renowned by the name Gaadhi was the son of Kushanabha and Gaadhi's son is this great-saint of great resplendence, Vishvamitra.
Vishvamitra ruled the earth and this great-resplendent king ruled the kingdom for many thousands of years. His story appears in various Puranas. Vishnu Purana and Harivamsha chapter 27 of Mahabharata narrates the birth of Vishvamitra. According to Vishnu Purana, Kushanabha married a damsel of Purukutsa dynasty and had a son by name Gaadhi, who had a daughter named Satyavati. Satyavati was married to an old man known as Ruchika, foremost among the race of Bhrigu. Ruchika desired a son having the qualities of a good peson and so he gave Satyavati a sacrificial offering which he had prepared to achieve this objective, he gave Satyavati's mother another charu to make her conceive a son with the character of a Kshatriya at her request. But Satyavati's mother asked Satyavati to exchange her charu with her; this resulted in Satyavati's mother giving birth to Vishvamitra, Satyavati gave birth to Jamadagni, father of Parashurama, a person with qualities of a warrior In one encounter, Vishwamitra cursed the king Harishchandra to become a crane.
Vashista accompanied him by becoming a bird himself. There were several such instances of violent encounter between the sages and at times, god of creation, had to interfere. Vaśiștha destroys Vishvamitra's entire army by the simple use of his great mystic and spiritual powers, breathing the Om syllable. Vishvamitra undertakes a tapasya for several years to please Shiva, who bestows upon him the knowledge of celestial weaponry, he proudly goes to Vaśiștha's ashram again and uses all kinds of powerful weapons to destroy Vaśiștha and his hermitage. He succeeded in the killings of Vaśiștha's thousand sons but not in the former. An enraged Vaśiștha brings out his brahmadanda, a wooden stick imbued with the power of Brahma, it consumes Vishvamitra's most powerful weapons, including the brahmastra. Vaśiștha attempts to attack Vishvamitra, but his anger is allayed by Devas. Vishvamitra is left humiliated. Menaka was born during the churning of the ocean by the devas and asuras and was one of the most beautiful apsaras in the world with quick intelligence and innate talent but desired a family.
Vishwamitra frightened the gods and tried to create another heaven- Indra, frightened by his powers, sent Menaka from heaven to earth to lure him and break his meditation. Menaka incited Vishwamitra's lust and passion when he saw her beauty, she succeeded in breaking the meditation of Vishwamitra. However, she fell in genuine love with him and a baby was born to them who grew in Sage Kanva's ashram and came to be called Shakuntala. Shakuntala falls in love with King Dushyanta and gives birth to a child called Bharata, but he cursed Menaka to be separated from him forever, for he loved her as well and knew that she had lost all devious intentions towards him long ago. After cursing Menaka, Kaushika goes to the highest mountain of Himalayas to perform an more severe tapasya for over 1000 years, he ceases to eat, reduces his breathing to a bare minimum. He is tested again by Indra, who comes as a poor Brahmin begging for food just as Kaushika is ready to break a fast of many years by eating some rice.
Kaushika gives his food away to Indra and resumes his meditation. Kaushika finally masters his passions, refusing to be provoked by any of Indra's testing and seductive interferences. At the penultimate culmination of a multi-thousand year journey, Kaushika's yogic power is at a peak. At this point, Brahma, as the head of Devas led by Indra, names Kaushika a Brahmarishi and names him Vishvamitra or Friend of All for his unlimited compassion, he goes to meet Vashishta. It was customary that, if a sage was greeted by an equal or superior person, the sage would greet the person. If the sage was greeted by an inferior person, the sage would bless them; when Vishwamitra greeted Vashishta with the pride of being a new Brahmarishi in heart, Vashishta blessed him. All pride and desire left Vishwamitra's heart and he became a clean and clear brahmarishi; when Vishwamitra turned back to leave, Vashishta realised the change of heart and proceeded to greet Vishwamitra. Vishwamitra is embraced by Vashista and their enmity is ended.
Vishvamitra is said to have found Gayatri Mantra. It is a verse f
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns along with associated commentaries on liturgy and mystical exegesis. It is one of the four sacred canonical texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas; the core text, known as the Rigveda Samhita, is a collection of 1,028 hymns in about 10,600 verses, organized into ten books. In the eight books that were composed the earliest, the hymns are praise of specific deities; the younger books in part deal with philosophical or speculative questions, with the virtue of dāna in society and with other metaphysical issues in their hymns. The oldest layers of the Rigveda Samhita are among the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language of similar age as certain Hittite texts. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the bulk of the Rigveda Samhita was composed in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, most between c. 1500 and 1200 BC, although a wider approximation of c. 1700–1100 BC has been given. The initial codification of the Rigveda took place during the early Kuru kingdom.
Some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of passage celebrations and prayers, making it the world's oldest religious text in continued use. The associated material has been preserved from two shakhas or "schools", known as Śākalya and Bāṣkala; the school-specific commentaries are known as Brahmanas Aranyakas, Upanishads. The text maṇḍalas, of varying age and length; the text originates as oral literature, "books" may be a misleading term, the individual mandalas are, much rather, standalone collections of hymns that were intended to be memorized by the members of various groups of priests. This is true of the "family books", mandalas 2–7, which form the oldest part of the Rigveda and account for 38 per cent of the entire text, they are called "family books" because each of them is attributed to an individual rishi, was transmitted within the lineage of this rishi's family, or of his students. The hymns within each of the family books are arranged in collections each dealing with a particular deity: Agni comes first, Indra comes second, so on.
They are arranged by decreasing number of hymns within each section. Within each such collection, the hymns are arranged in descending order of the number of stanzas per hymn. If two hymns in the same collection have equal numbers of stanzas they are arranged so that the number of syllables in the metre are in descending order; the second to seventh mandalas have a uniform format. The eighth and ninth mandalas, comprising hymns of mixed age, account for 9 %, respectively; the ninth mandala is dedicated to Soma and the Soma ritual. The hymns in the ninth mandala are arranged by their length; the first and the tenth mandalas are the youngest. Some of the hymns in mandalas 8, 1 and 10 may still belong to an earlier period and may be as old as the material in the family books; the first mandala has a unique arrangement not found in the other nine mandalas. The first 84 hymns of the tenth mandala have a structure different than the remaining hymns in it; each mandala consists of sūktas intended for various rituals.
The sūktas in turn consist of individual stanzas called ṛc, which are further analysed into units of verse called pada. The meters most used in the ṛcas are the gayatri, anushtubh and jagati; the trishtubh meter and gayatri meter dominate in the Rigveda. For pedagogical convenience, each mandala is divided into equal sections of several sūktas, called anuvāka, which modern publishers omit. Another scheme divides the entire text over the 10 mandalas into adhyāya and varga; some publishers give both classifications in a single edition. The most common numbering scheme is by book and stanza. E.g. the first verse is in three times eight syllables: 1.1.1a agním ī́ḷe puróhitaṃ 1b yajñásya deváṃ ṛtvíjam 1c hótāraṃ ratna-dhā́tamam "Agni I invoke, the house-priest / the god, minister of sacrifice / the presiding priest, bestower of wealth." Tradition associates a rishi with each ṛc of the Rigveda. Most sūktas are attributed to single composers; the "family books" are so-called. In all, 10 families of rishis account for more than 95 per cent of the ṛcs.
The original text is close to but not identical to the extant Samhitapatha, but metrical and other observations allow reconstruction of the original text from the extant one, as printed in the Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 50. The surviving form of the Rigveda is based on an early Iron Age collection that established the core'family books' and a redaction, co
Yoga Vasistha is a philosophical text attributed to Valmiki, although the real author is unknown. The complete text contains over 29,000 verses; the short version of the text contains 6,000 verses. The exact century of its completion is unknown, but has been estimated to be somewhere between 6th-century to as late as 14th-century, but it is that a version of the text existed in the 1st millennium; the text is named after sage Vasistha, mentioned and revered in the seventh book of the Rigveda, and, called as the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara. The text is structured as a discourse of sage Vasistha to Prince Rama; the text consists of six books. The first book presents Rama's frustration with the nature of life, human suffering and disdain for the world; the second describes, through the character of Rama, the desire for liberation and the nature of those who seek such liberation. The third and fourth books assert that liberation comes through a spiritual life, one that requires self-effort, present cosmology and metaphysical theories of existence embedded in stories.
These two books are known for emphasizing human creative power. The fifth book discusses meditation and its powers in liberating the individual, while the last book describes the state of an enlightened and blissful Rama. Yoga Vasistha teachings are structured as stories and fables, with a philosophical foundation similar to those found in Advaita Vedanta, is associated with drsti-srsti subschool of Advaita which holds that the "whole world of things is the object of mind"; the text is notable for expounding the principles of Maya and Brahman, as well as the principles of non-duality, its discussion of Yoga. The short form of the text was translated into Persian by the 15th-century. Yoga Vasistha is famous as one of the popular and influential texts of Hinduism. Other names of this text are Maha-Ramayana, Arsha Ramayana, Vasiṣṭha Ramayana, Yogavasistha-Ramayana and Jnanavasistha; the name Vasistha in the title of the text refers to Rishi Vasistha. The term Yoga in the text refers to the underlying Yogic theme in its stories and dialogues, the term is used in a generic sense to include all forms of yoga in the pursuit of liberation, in the style of Bhagavad Gita.
The long version of the text is called Brihat Yoga Vasistha, wherein Brihat means "great or large". The short version of the text is called Laghu Yoga Vasishta, wherein Laghu means "short or small"; the longer version is referred to as Yoga Vasistha and by numerous other names such as Vasiṣṭha Ramayana. The date or century of the text's composition or compilation is unknown, variously estimated from the content and references it makes to other literature, other schools of Indian philosophies. Scholars agree that the surviving editions of the text were composed in the common era, but disagree whether it was completed in the first millennium or second. Estimates range, states Chapple, from "as early as the sixth or seventh century, to as late as the fourteenth century"; the surviving text mentions Vijnanavada and Madhyamika schools of Buddhism by name, suggesting that the corresponding sections were composed after those schools were established, or about 5th-century. The translation of a version of the text in 14th- to 15th-century into Persian, has been the basis of the other limit, among scholars such as Farquhar in 1922.
Atreya in 1935 suggested that the text must have preceded Gaudapada and Adi Shankara, because it does not use their terminology, but does mention many Buddhist terms. Dasgupta, a contemporary of Atreya, states that the text includes verses of earlier text, such as its III.16.50 is identical to one found in Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava, thus the text must be placed after the 5th-century. Dasgupta adds that the philosophy and ideas presented in Yoga Vasistha mirror those of found in Advaita Vedanta of Adi Shankara, but neither mention the other, which means that the author of Yoga Vasistha were scholars who lived in the same century as Shankara, placing the text in about 7th- to early 8th-century; the shorter summary version of the text is attributed to the Kashmiri scholar Abhinanda, variously dated to have lived in 9th- or 10th-century. Mainkar states that Yoga Vasistha evolved over time; the first work, states Mainkar, was the original ancient work of Vasistha, an Upanishad with Brahamanical ideas, a work, lost.
This text was, suggests Mainkar, was expanded into Moksopaya in or after 6th-century, now known as Laghu-Yogavasistha. The Laghu version was expanded into the full editions, over time, in the centuries that followed the completion of Laghu-Yogavasistha; the syncretic incorporation of Buddhism and Hinduism ideas happened in the Laghu-Yogavasistha edition, states Mainkar, while ideas from Kashmiri Shaivism the Trika school, were added to the growing version by the 12th-century. Similar serial expansion and interpolation is typical in Indian literature. Peter Thomi has published additional evidence in support Mainkar's theory on Yoga Vasistha's chronology; the oldest surviving manuscript of the Moksopaya has been dated to have been composed in Srinagar in the 10th century AD. The text is traditionally attributed to the author of Ramayana. Scholars doubt the larger version of the text was authored by Valmiki, consider the attribution as a mark of modest respect and reverence for him in the Hindu tradition by the actual unknown author or compiler.
The author of the shorter version, the Laghu-Yogavasistha, is considered to be Abhinanda of Kashmir. The text exists in many editions of manuscrip
Himachal Pradesh is a state in the northern part of India. Situated in the Western Himalayas, it is bordered by states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west, Haryana on the southwest, Uttarakhand on the southeast, Tibet on the east. At its southernmost point, it touches the state of Uttar Pradesh; the state's name was coined by acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, one of the state's eminent Sanskrit scholars. The predominantly mountainous region comprising the present day Himachal Pradesh has been inhabited since pre-historic times having witnessed multiple waves of migration from other areas. Through its history, the region was ruled by local kingdoms some of which accepted suzerainty of larger empires. Prior to India's independence from the British, Himachal comprised the hilly regions of Punjab Province of British India. After independence, many of the hilly territories were organized as the Chief Commissioner's province of Himachal Pradesh which became a union territory. In 1966, hilly areas of neighboring Punjab state were merged into Himachal and it was granted full statehood in 1972.
Himachal Pradesh is spread across valleys with many perennial rivers flowing through them. 90% of the state's population lives in rural areas. Agriculture, horticulture and tourism are important constituents of the state's economy; the hilly state is universally electrified with 99.5% of the households having electricity as of 2016. The state was declared India's second open-defecation free state in 2016. According to a survey of CMS - India Corruption Study 2017, Himachal Pradesh is India's least corrupt state. Tribes such as the Koli, Dagi, Dasa, Khasa and Kirat inhabited the region from the prehistoric era; the foothills of the modern state of Himachal Pradesh were inhabited by people from the Indus valley civilization which flourished between 2250 and 1750 B. C; the Kols or Mundas are believed to be the original migrants to the hills of present day Himachal Pradesh followed by the Bhotas and Kiratas. During the Vedic period, several small republics known as Janapada existed which were conquered by the Gupta Empire.
After a brief period of supremacy by King Harshavardhana, the region was divided into several local powers headed by chieftains, including some Rajput principalities. These kingdoms enjoyed a large degree of independence and were invaded by Delhi Sultanate a number of times. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th century. Timur and Sikander Lodi marched through the lower hills of the state and captured a number of forts and fought many battles. Several hill states paid regular tribute to the Mughals; the Kingdom of Gorkha conquered many kingdoms and came to power in Nepal in 1768. They began to expand their territory; the Kingdom of Nepal annexed Sirmour and Shimla. Under the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa, the Nepali army laid siege to Kangra, they managed to defeat Sansar Chand Katoch, the ruler of Kangra, in 1806 with the help of many provincial chiefs. However, the Nepali army could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1809. After the defeat, they began to expand towards the south of the state.
However, Raja Ram Singh, Raja of Siba State, captured the fort of Siba from the remnants of Lahore Darbar in Samvat 1846, during the First Anglo-Sikh War. They came into direct conflict with the British along the tarai belt after which the British expelled them from the provinces of the Satluj; the British emerged as the paramount power in the region. In the revolt of 1857, or first Indian war of independence, arising from a number of grievances against the British, the people of the hill states were not as politically active as were those in other parts of the country, they and their rulers, with the exception of Bushahr, remained less inactive. Some, including the rulers of Chamba, Bilaspur and Dhami, rendered help to the British government during the revolt; the British territories came under the British Crown after Queen Victoria's proclamation of 1858. The states of Chamba and Bilaspur made good progress in many fields during the British rule. During World War I all rulers of the hill states remained loyal and contributed to the British war effort, both in the form of men and materials.
Among these were the states of Kangra, Datarpur, Rajgarh, Chamba, Suket and Bilaspur. After independence, the Chief Commissioner's Province of Himachal Pradesh was organized on 15 April 1948 as a result of the integration of 28 petty princely states in the promontories of the western Himalayas; these were known as the Simla Hills States and four Punjab southern hill states under the Himachal Pradesh Order, 1948 under Sections 3 and 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947. The State of Bilaspur was merged into Himachal Pradesh on 1 July 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur Act, 1954. Himachal became a Part'C' state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lieutenant Governor was appointed; the Legislative Assembly was elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became a union territory on 1 November 1956; some areas of Punjab State— namely Simla, Kangra and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District, besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Kanungo circle of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur District—were merge
Kamadhenu known as Surabhi, is a divine bovine-goddess described in Hinduism as the mother of all cows. She is a miraculous "cow of plenty" who provides her owner whatever he desires and is portrayed as the mother of other cattle. In iconography, she is depicted as a white cow with a female head and breasts, the wings of a bird, the tail of a peafowl or as a white cow containing various deities within her body. All cows are venerated in Hinduism as the earthly embodiment of the Kamadhenu; as such, Kamadhenu is not worshipped independently as a goddess, temples are not dedicated to her honor alone. Hindu scriptures provide diverse accounts of the birth of Kamadhenu. While some narrate that she emerged from the churning of the cosmic ocean, others describe her as the daughter of the creator god Daksha, as the wife of the sage Kashyapa. Still other scriptures narrate that Kamadhenu was in the possession of either Jamadagni or Vashista, that kings who tried to steal her from the sage faced dire consequences for their actions.
Kamadhenu plays the important role of providing milk and milk products to be used in her sage-master's oblations. In addition to dwelling in the sage's hermitage, she is described as dwelling in Goloka - the realm of the cows - and Patala, the netherworld. Kamadhenu is addressed by the proper name Surabhi or Shurbhi, used as a synonym for an ordinary cow. Professor Jacobi considers the name Surabhi—"the fragrant one"—to have originated from the peculiar smell of cows. According to the Monier Williams Sanskrit–English Dictionary, Surabhi means fragrant, pleasing, as well as cow and earth, it can refer to the divine cow Kamadhenu, the mother of cattle, sometimes described as a Matrika goddess. Other proper names attributed to Kamadhenu are Kapila; the epithets "Kamadhenu", "Kamaduh" and "Kamaduha" mean the cow "from whom all, desired is drawn"—"the cow of plenty". In the Mahabharata and Devi Bhagavata Purana, in the context of the birth of Bhishma, the cow Nandini is given the epithet Kamadhenu.
In other instances, Nandini is described as the cow-daughter of Surabhi-Kamadhenu. The scholar Vettam Mani considers Surabhi to be synonyms of Kamadhenu. According to Indologist Madeleine Biardeau, Kamadhenu or Kamaduh is the generic name of the sacred cow, regarded as the source of all prosperity in Hinduism. Kamadhenu is regarded as a form of Devi and is related to the fertile Mother Earth, described as a cow in Sanskrit; the sacred cow denotes "purity and non-erotic fertility... sacrificing and motherly nature, sustenance of human life". Frederick M. Smith describes Kamadhenu as a "popular and enduring image in Indian art". All the gods are believed to reside in the body of Kamadhenu—the generic cow, her four legs are the scriptural Vedas. Kamadhenu is depicted in this form in poster art. Another representation of Kamadhenu shows her with the body of a white Zebu cow, crowned woman's head, colourful eagle wings and a peacock's tail. According to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this form is influenced by the iconography of the Islamic Buraq, portrayed with a horse's body, a woman's face.
Contemporary poster art portrays Kamadhenu in this form. A cow, identified with Kamadhenu, is depicted accompanying the god Dattatreya. In relation to the deity's iconography, she denotes the Brahminical aspect and Vaishnava connection of the deity contrasting with the accompanying dogs—symbolizing a non-Brahminical aspect, she symbolizes the Panch Bhuta in the icon. Dattatreya is sometimes depicted holding the divine cow in one of his hands; the Mahabharata records that Kamadhenu-Surabhi rose from the churning of the cosmic ocean by the gods and demons to acquire Amrita. As such, she is regarded the offspring of the gods and demons, created when they churned the cosmic milk ocean and given to the Saptarishi, the seven great seers, she was ordered by the creator-god Brahma to give milk, supply it and ghee for ritual fire-sacrifices. The Anushasana Parva book of the epic narrates that Surabhi was born from the belch of "the creator" Daksha after he drank the Amrita that rose from the Samudra manthan.
Further, Surabhi gave birth to many golden cows called Kapila cows, who were called the mothers of the world. The Satapatha Brahmana tells a similar tale: Prajapati created Surabhi from his breath; the Udyoga Parva Book of the Mahabharata narrates that the creator-god Brahma drank so much Amrita that he vomited some of it, from which emerged Surabhi. According to the Ramayana, Surabhi is the daughter of sage Kashyapa and his wife Krodhavasha, the daughter of Daksha, her daughters Rohini and Gandharvi are the mothers of horses respectively. Still, it is Surabhi, described as the mother of all cows in the text. However, in the Puranas, such as Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana, Surabhi is described as the daughter of Daksha and the wife of Kashyapa, as well as the mother of cows and buffaloes; the Matsya Purana notes two conflicting descriptions of Surabhi. In one chapter, it describes S
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