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The Cultural Glory of Ancient India

A Literary Overview

India has a millennia-long, glorious past. In mankind's history, it is unmistakably a rich chapter: splendid in expression and awe-inspiring in immensity. Recognised world-wide for the sublimity of its thought that transcen ....read below

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About This Book

India has a millennia-long, glorious past. In mankind's history, it is unmistakably a rich chapter: splendid in expression and awe-inspiring in immensity. Recognised world-wide for the sublimity of its thought that transcends cosmic categories, the cultural glory of ancient India is well-manifest in its long intellectual traditions of Darshana (philosophy), Dharmashastras (ethical codes/sociology), ayurveda (medicine), Niti (polity/statecraft), Itihasa-Purana (history and mythology), Vyakarana (grammar) and Kavyashastra (literary theory/poetics). And, these apart, it is seen in the heights it achieved in the realms of sculptural art, architecture, drama, poetry, music, and even erotics.

Notwithstanding its vastly complex expressions, the book develops a sharply-chiselled cultural profile of ancient India with spotlight on its creative genius, its intellectual traditions, and its landmark achievements. In projecting these distinguishing features of a great heritage, the author: an Indologist of international renown, has drawn on a bewildering mass of literary evidence: ranging from Vedic writings to Vastuvidya texts, from Arthashastra treatises to Alamkara-shastra works.

With wide-ranging bibliographic references and a comprehensive glossary of Sanskrit terms running over a hundred pages, the book will interest specialists and lay-readers alike.

  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124601372
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124601372
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2000
  • Pages : xiv, 546 p.
  • Size : 23
  • Weight (approx.) : 850
  • Bibliographic Details : Glossary; Bibliography; Index

Preface
Chronological Table

1. Vedic Literature

Rigveda

Age -- Contents -- Secular Matters -- Theology -- Society -- Position of Women

Yajurveda
Samaveda
Atharvaveda
Brahmanas
Aranyakas And Upanishads
Vedangas

2. Epics

The Ramayana

Origin and Date -- Genuine and the Spurious -- Literary Value of the Ramayana -- Recensions of the Ramayana -- Ramayana and Mahabharata -- Which is Earlier? -- Influence of the Ramayana in India and Abroad

The Mahabharata

Bhagavad Geeta -- Recensions of the Epic -- Authorship and Evolution -- Date -- Harivamsha -- Influence of the Epic -- Literary Value of the Epic

3. Classical Sanskrit Literature: Poetry, Prose and Drama

Creative Period

Poetical Literature -- Prose Literature -- Dramatic Literature

Period of Development

Works of Kalidasa -- Post-Kalidasa Works -- Prose Romance -- Dramatic Literature

Period of Decadence

4. Vyakarana (Grammar)

Ashtadhyayi
Mugdhabodha
Katantra
Samkshiptasara
Chandra Vyakarana
Sarasvata
Supadma
Shabdanushasana
Sectarian Grammars
Pali and Prakrit Grammars

5. Puranas

What are the Puranas?
Contents of the Puranas
Number of Puranas
Classification of Puranas
Authorship
Date
Importance of the Puranas

6. Tantra

What is Tantra?
Classification of Tantras
Antiquity of Tantra
Original Home of Tantra
Contents of Tantras
Importance of the Human Body

Kosha -- Nadi -- Cakra -- Kundalini -- Tantric Philosophy and Sadhana -- Shava-Sadhana -- Ways to Liberation -- Jivamukti

Bhakti in Tantra
Guru, Shishya, Diksha
Kali in Tantra
Tantra vis-a-vis Dharmashastra
Tantra Beyond India
Importance of Tantra
Degeneration of Tantra

7. Darshana-shastra (Philosophy)

Introductory Remarks
Works on Orthodox Systems of Philosophy

Samkhya -- Yoga -- Nyaya -- Vaisheshika -- Mimamsa -- Vedanta

Contents Of Orthodox Philosophical Systems
Epistemology

Samkhya -- Yoga -- Nyaya -- Vaisheshika -- Mimamsa -- Vedanta

Conception of God

Samkhya -- Yoga -- Nyaya -- Vaisheshika -- Mimamsa -- Vedanta

Ethics

Samkhya -- Yoga -- Nyaya -- Vaisheshika -- Mimamsa -- Vedanta

Bondage and Liberation

Samkhya -- Yoga -- Nyaya-Vaisheshika -- Mimamsa -- Vedanta

Creation and Evolution

Samkhya -- Nyaya-Vaisheshika -- Vedanta

Other Systems of Theistic Philosophy
South Indian Shaiva Philosophy
Nakulisha Pashupata System
Vaishnava Philosophy of Bengal
Heterodox Philosophical Systems
Buddhist Philosophy -- Schools of the Buddhist Philosophy -- Jaina Philosophy
Bondage and Liberation

8. Arthashastra: (Politics and Statecraft)

Ministers
Morality and Politics
System of Espionage
Prositution
System of Taxation

9. Smriti or Dharmashastra: (Religious and Civil Law)

Origin
Dharmashastras -- Forms and Number
Commentaries
Mitakshara and Dayabhaga
Contents of Dharmashastras and Schools of Smriti
Manu-Smriti

What is Dharma? -- Student-Life -- Householder's Life and Position of Women -- Rajadharma -- Danda -- Ministers -- Ambassador -- Forts -- Political Expedients

Rajamandala
Deliberation with Ministers -- Espionage
Yajnavalkya-smriti

Judicial Procedure -- General Principles -- Titles of Dispute -- Substantive Law -- Evidence -- Adverse Possession -- Mode of Acquisition and Possession -- Authorities for Administration of Justice -- Laws of Debt -- Witness -- Partition of Inheritance -- Kinds of Sons -- Order of Succession Relating to a Sonless Man's Property -- Persons Debarred from Inheritance -- Stridhana -- Solatium in Seupersession

Shudras

Who were the Shudras? -- Classification of Shudras -- Duties of the Shudras, Their Privileges and Consultraints

Slavery

10. Kama-shastra (Erotics)
11. Alamkara-shastra (Poetics)

General Remarks
Alamkara School
Riti School
Rasa School
Dhvani School
Agni Purana
Causes of Kavya
Purpose of Necessity of Kavya
Kavya-Lakshana
Kavi-Shiksha

12. Natya-shastra (Dramaturgy)

Dasharupaka
Abhinaya-Darpana
Nataka-Lakshana-Ratna-Kosha
Natyadarpana
Nataka-Paribhasha
Rasarnava-Sudhakara
Ekavali
Sahityadarpana
Nataka-Candrika
Main Topics of Dramaturgy
Rupaka, Abhinaya
Types of Rupakas (Major Dramas)

Nataka -- Prakarana -- Bhana -- Prahasana

Plot of Nataka -- Analysis

13. Chandah-shastra (Metrics)

Works on Metre

14. Samgita-shastra: (Vocal Music, Instrumental Music and Dance)

Vocal Music
Gita, Gandhara, Gana -- Marga, Deshi -- Raga
Instrumental Music
Dance

15. Vastuvidya (Architecture)
16. Ashva-shastra (Horselore)
17. Gaja-shastra (Elephantlore)
18. Krishi-shastra (Agriculture)
19. Ganita-shastra (Mathematics)
20. Ayurveda (Medical Science)

Origin of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Works
Influence of Ayurveda
Veterinary Science

21. Jyotisha (Astronomy)

Origin and Works
India's Relationship with Foreign Countries vis-a-vis Astronomy

22. Udbhid-vidya (Botany)

Origin and Works
Morphology
Plant Physiology
Taxanomy
Botonical Classification --  Classification According to Properties -- Classification Based on Food-Value
Ecology
Arthashastra and Ethnobotany

23. Popular Beliefs and Practices

Evil Spirits in General
Personified Evil Forces with Grotesque Features
Bad Dreams
Magic and Miracle
Miscellaneous Superstitions Beliefs and Practices
Omens and Portents

Omens and Portents Relating to Natural Phenomena -- Omens Relating to Human Body -- Omens Relating to Birds, Beasts, etc. -- Omens Relating to Dreams -- Omens Relating to Images of Deities -- Omens Relating to Genetic Aberrations -- Miscellaneous Omens

24. Yuddha (War)

Weapons
Military Array (Vyuha)
Defensive Weapons
Ethics in War

Manu-Smriti -- Mahabharata -- Puranas -- Arthashastra

Fort

Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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