Monday, November 5, 2012

Subash Kak on Indian History

Dr. Subhash Kak is Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Louisiana State University. A pioneering cryptographer and neural network theorist, he has made fundamental contributions to speech scrambling, theory of random sequences, and quantum cryptographic codes; he has also researched the history of mathematics and astronomy.

As an additional activity he writes on history of India.

His announcement of an astronomy of the Vedic period in his book The Astronomical Code of the Rgveda (1994) challenged academic views related to the Aryan invasion and the nature of early Indian science. The coauthored In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (1995) participates in the debate and polemics on the origins of Indian culture.

When did Darius attack Indus valley Region?

Who is Seleucus Nicator?

Seleucus Nicator was a general of Alexander. Subsequent to Alexander he came into India. Chandragupta Maurya defeated him in battles and he gave his daughter to Chandragupta in Marriage.

Seleucus Nicator married the princess of Bactria and due to him Greek culture took roots in Bactria. They subsequently embraced Buddhism and propagated it in China

What is Bactria?

Bactria in the days of Alexander was located in the northwestern portion of what is now Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It was bounded by the Hindu Kush mountain range, in the south, and by the Oxus River (Amu Darya), in the north.

Iactria, was a province of the Persian Empire and was  conquered by Alexander the Great.
After Alexander, his general Selucus ruled Bactria. It taken from the Greeks,  two centuries after Alexander the Great, by the Tokharians.

Bactria is thought to have been the home of Zoroaster.

Selucus had relations with Magadha rulers.

Bactrian Greeks embraced Buddhism and propagated it in China.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Somnath Temple - Destruction and Rebuilding

Somnath and Mahmud  - An Analysis of Romila Thapar

St. Thomas - An Apostle in India

Interesting to know that St. Thomas, An Apostle came to India in 52 A.D.

About apostles

12 apostles

St. Andrew
St. Bartholomew
St. James the   Greater
St. James the   Lessor
St. John
St. Jude
Judas Iscariot
St. Matthias
St. Matthew
St. Peter
St. Philip
St. Simon
St. Thomas

Biography of St. Thomas

What is the Eight-fold Path of Buddhism?

Right Belief

Right Thought

Right Speech

Right Action

Right Means of Livelihood

Right Meditation

Right Effort

Right Remembrance or Memory

What are the four noble truths of Buddhism?

The world is full of suffereing.

Suffering is caused by human desire.

The renunciation of desires is the path of salvation.

Salvation can be attained by following the Eigth-fold path.

What is the period of Gautama Buddha?

Gautama Buddha's birth year is said to be 567 BC.

He became enlightened in the year 537 BC

He attained nirvana in 487 BC ( lived 80 years)

What are the five vows of Jainism?

1. ahimsa or non-injury

2. not telling a lie

3. not stealing

4. not acquiring property

5. brahmacharya

What is the period of Vardhamana Mahavira?

Vardhamana Mahavira's birth year is said to be 599 B.C. His birth place is Kundagrama, in Vaishali, Bihar.

He lived up to the age of 72.

What is Bhagavad Gita?

Bhagavad Gita is a collection shlokas in Mahabharata. Arjuna refused to fight the war, and Lord Krishna told him the nature of life on earth and made him fight the war.

Bhagavad Gita has become a sacred text by itself and Mahatma Gandhi used to refer to it often.

What is Mahabharata?

Mahabharata is also an itihasa of India.

It describes the childhood and growth of Kauravas and Pandavas, children of Kings of Hastinapur and their war for Kingdom. Pandavas won the war. Lord Krishna, the incarnation of God Vishnu was with Pandavas.

What is Ramayana?

Ramayana is called itihasa. It is history. It is story of Rama, son of King Dasaratha. Rama is considered as incarnation of God.

He killed Ravana, a rakshasa.

What are Aranyakas?

Aranyakas are also part of Vedas and they contain discourses of rishis and their disciples settled in forests after their active life.

What are Brahmanas?

Brahmanas contain how to use mantras in various rituals.

Yagnas are the big rituals.

What are Upanishads?

Upanishads are answers to questions?

Hence there is explanation in them regarding nature, God and Soul.

What are Puranas?

Puranas are the ancient books of Hindus that contain the story of creation and maintenance of the world.

The main puranas are eighteen in number and many sub-texts are also available.

Mahabhagavatam is an important purana.

All were authored by Ved Vyasa.

What are Vedas?

The word Veda in Sanskrit comes from the root vid which mean knowledge. Vedas are the sacred books of Hindus and they are believed to be divine revelation and discoveries by rishis or sages are great penance and meditation.

Vedas contain samhita portion, aranyaka portion, brahmana portion and upanishads. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Forging National Identity in India - A Ph.d Thesis

Forging National Identity in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

by Yvette Claire Rosser

Sanskrit was not allowed as a subject in JNU for many years even up to 2000. The history researchers of the university were doing research without a grasp of Sanskrit.

What are the sites associated with Indus Valley Civilization?



Channu Daro in Sind

Lothal near Ahmedabad

Kali Bangan in Rajasthan

Alamgirpur near Hastinapur in U.P.

Ropar in Punjab


Search for the entry in Google Book
An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology
Amalananda Ghosh

What is the spread of Indus Valley Civilization?

Indus valley civilization was present or believed to be present over a vast area of the Indian subcontinent. It is present even in some parts of South India. But prominently it is in Punjab, Sind, Northwestern Frontier Province, Baluchistan, Rajastan, U.P., Gujarat.

Who discovered Mohen-jo-daro?

Mr. R.D. Banarjee dug out the the pre-historic city of Mohen-jo-daro in 1922. It is now part of Indus valley ancient culture.

Who discovered the Harappa Civilization remnants?

General Cunningham, a Brtish Officer in India gets credit for the initial excavation in 1826. He published a report on the Harappa unicorn seal in the Archaeological Society of India.

Where is Harappa?

Harappa is now Pakistan. It is in West Pakistan.