Indian historians have conducted a heated debate for many decades about the relative merits of different regions with regard to the spread of Indian influenced in Southeast Asia. Now- a- days there seems to be a consensus that, at least as far as the early centuries AD are concerned, South India and especially Tamil Nadu-deserves the greatest credit for this achievement. In subsequent periods, however, several regional shifts as well as parallel influences managing from various centers can be noticed. The influence of Tamil Nadu was very strong as far as the earliest inscriptions in Southeast Asia are concerned, showing as they do the influence often script prevalent in the Pallava kingdom. The oldest Buddhist sculpture in Southeast Asia- the famous Buddha of Celebes – shows the marks of the Buddhist sculptures of Amaravati (Coastal Andhra) of the third to the fifth centuries AD. Early Hindu sculptures of Western Java and of the Isthmus of Siam seem to have been guided by the Pallava style of the seventh and eighth centuries AD. Early Southeast Asian temple architecture similarly shows the influence of the Pallavas and Chola styles, especially on Java and in Kampuchea.
The influence of the North Indian Gupta style More >
By the opening of the Christian era the civilization of India and begun to spread across the Bay of Bengal into both island and mainland south-east Asia, and by the fifth century A.D. Indianite states, that is to say states organized along the traditional lines of Indian political theory and following the Buddhists or Hindu religions, had established themselves in many regions of Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Some of these states were in time to grow into great empires dominating the zone between metropolitan India and the Chinese southern border, which has sometimes been described as “Further India’ or “Greater India”, once rooted in South-East Again soil, Indian civilization evolved in part through the action of forces of South-East Asian origin, and in part through the influence of cultural and political changes in the Indian Subcontinent civilization in terms of a series of ‘waves’ and there are good reasons for considering that such “waves” are still breaking in south East Asian beaches today.
The cultures of modern-East Asia all provide evidence of a long period of contact with India.
- Many South-East Asian languages (Maley and Javanese are good examples) contain an important proportion of words of Sanskrit of Dravidian More >
The Harappan Civilization flourished till 1900 BC. The period following this is marked by the beginning of the post-urban phase or Late Harappan phase.
This phase was writing, uniformity in weights and measures, homogeneity in pottery designs, etc. The regression covered a period from 1900 BC–1400 BC There was also the shrinkage in the settlement area.
For instance, Mohenjodaro was reduced to a small settlement of three hectares from the original eighty five hectares towards the end of the late phase. The population appears to have shifted to other areas. It is indicated by the large number of new settlements in the outlying areas of Gujarat, east Punjab, Haryana and Upper Doab during the later Harappan period.
You may be wondering how the Harappan Civilization came to an end. Well scholars put forward many theories in this regard.
(i) It is suggested by some scholars that natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes might have caused the decline of the civilization. It is believed that earthquakes might have raised the level of the flood plains of the lower course of Indus River. It blocked the passage of the river water to the sea and resulted in the floods which might have swallowed the city More >
Causes and Consequences: The transmission of Indian culture of distant parts of Central Asia, China, Japan, and especially Southeast Asia is certainly one of the greatest achievements of Indian history or even of the history of mankind. None of the other great civilizations – not even the Hellenic – had been able to achieve a similar success without military conquest. In this brief survey of India’s history, there is no room for an adequate discussion of the development of the ‘Indianite’ states of Southeast Asia which can boast of such magnificent temple cities as Pagan (Burma; constructed from 1044 to 1287 AD,) Angkor (Cambodia; constructed from 889 to c. 1300 AD), and the Borobudur (Java, early ninth century AD). Though they were influenced by Indian culture, they are nevertheless part and parcel of the history of those respective countries. Here we will limit our observations to some fundamental problems concerning the transmission of Indian culture to the vast region of Southeast Asia.
Who Spread Indian Culture in Southeast Asia?
Historians have formulated several theories regarding the transmission of Indian culture of Southeast Asia :
(1) The ‘Kshatriya’ theory; (2) The ‘Vaishya’ theory; (3) The ‘Brahmin’ theory.
The Kshatriya theory states that Indian More >
“Telephone Directory” is the epithet used by a Chinese scholar to summarize the nature of the history of India. To any superficial observer this striking epithet betrays weaknesses of India historical material, and in particular the meager date relating to dynasties like the western Chalukyas. But truly speaking the variegated nature of Indian history is more occasioned by the vastness of the country than anything else. Besides, the essential harmony and the subtle continuity of Indian history are overlooked because of non-appreciation of its underlying currents.
The origin of Chalukyas (early/western/Badami/Vatapi) is controversial. Bilhana, the author of Vikramarka-deyagharita, the court poet of Vikramaditya VI, and the later Chalukya inscriptions, lay claim to Ayodhya as their ancestral home. Some regard them as related to the Gurjaras. Whatever might be their origin, by the mid 6th century A.D., Pulakesi I carved out a small area around Vathapi or Badami. He performed an Ashwamedha ceremony. His successor was Kirthivarman who conquered both Konkan and north Kerala. Many other conquests are attributed to him but the claim cannot be substantiated. His successor was Mangalesa who conquered the Kadambas and the Gangas. He was killed and succeeded by his nephew, Pulakesi. The Aihole inscription of Pulakesi More >
Kingship was attributed to define origin. The kings claimed their descent from the God Brahma. It has hereditary. Yet, on one occasion a king was elected. Most of the kings were accomplished scholars. Mahendravarman I wrote the famous burlesque, Masttavilasa Prahsana. Many of the vaishnava azhvars and saiva nayanars flourished during their rule.
The kings adopted high-sounding titles like maharajadhiraja, dharma-maharjadhiraja (great king of kings ruling in accordance with the dharma), agnistomavajpeya, asvamedha-yaji (he who has performed the agnithtoma-vajapeya and asvamedha sacrifices) they were assisted by ministers. History shows that the ministerial council played a great part in the state policy in the later period.
A hierarchy of officials in provincial administration, the governor of a province was assisted by district officers, who in turn worked in collaboration with autonomous local bodies. In local administration the meeting of assembles were frequent, and the administration the meeting of assemblies were frequent, and the assemblies were of many varieties and of many levels. Often special meetings were held. As the village level the assembly was the sabha which looked after almost all the matters of the village, along with endowments, irrigation, crime, maintaining census and other necessary records, Courts at villages level dealt More >
The summer heat drives us towards shades from trees. Those who are indoor, use fans and coolers. Those who are affluent install an air conditioner. Now on the same analogy, we are suffering from the heat of worldliness. We have to seek the cool shade of Divine Name chanted with love and faith. For every season nature provides corresponding remedies also. In hot summer seasons, we see the abundance of watermelon, and other seasonal fruits which appease the heat. For this Kaliyuga, God has compassionately provided an easy remedy, i.e., repeating the name of God with love and faith. Even in this practice, we are not consistent. Let us make it a habit to repeat the name of God during morning and evening for Five minutes at least with concentration and devotion. The story of Ajaamilan – a classic example of how taking the name of God will help us. This story is part of the Bhagavatham.
Ajaamilan was born in a Brahmin family and did his duties well. He was married to a very pious lady who served him well and had good children. One day when he went to the forest to collect wood for homam, he met a woman More >
Political History of Pallavas
The first important ruler was Siva Skandavarman who performed an Aswamedha and other Vedic sacrifices. His capital was Kanchi. Samudragupta forced the Pallava king, Vishnugopa, to acknowledge the Gupta suzerainty. And the story of the Pallavas in the 5th and 6th centuries is very sketchy.
By end of the sixth century the Pallavas re-emerged on the scene. Simhavishnu (575 to 600 A.D.) captured the territory of the Cholas and humbled the pride of his neighbors including Ceylon. He was ovavaishnava faith as borne out by the magnificent reliefs representing Simhavishnu and two of his consorts in the Varsha cave at Mamallpuram.
With Mahendravarman I, the son and successor of Simhavishnu, began the titanic tripartite struggle with the Chalukyas of Vathapi and the Cholas. The Chalukya king, Pulakesin II, captured Kanchi. Pulakesin II won the pitched battle fought at Pullalur, fifteen miles north of Kanchi. However, Narsimhavaram I, the son and successor of Mahendravarman I, defeated Pulakesi II in many battles and probably killed Pulakesi himself. He also defeated the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas. He even sent two naval expeditions to Ceylon and placed his protégé on the throne of Ceylon. Narasimhavarman I was a great builder too. More >
Ptolemy lists six coastal places in Tamilnadu to which he appends the word ‘emporium’.
· Three of these, Musiri, Korkai and Kavarippattinam are known from anthologies to have been chief ports of three early kingdoms.
· Another city, called either Perimula or Perimuda, is described as “the greatest emporium of trade in India”. It was on the Vaigai delta near Rameshwaram.
· A walled city called kapadapuram was situated around tambraparani delta.
· Akkadu village in Tanjavur has been suggested to have been the Arkatos of Ptolemy which was also the second capital of the Cholas.
· Musiri of anthologies was known as Muziris of the Greeks.
· A subsidiary capital, Tondi has been identified with Ponnani.
· Greek records also mention Vaikkarai, Nilakanta and Netravati as ancient port towns in Kerala.
· Pantar in the South of Kerala and Puli (around Tuluva) were ports of the Sangam period.
· Kaveripumppattinam was known to Ptolemy as Khaberis (Puhar of literature).
· Vellaiyan-Irrupu (“white man’s settlement”) is located near Kaveripattinam.
· Kalaiyur, located near Kaveripattinam has yielded a structure which was identified as a dock by S.R. Rao, Korkai, a port of the Sangam period, was a pearl market and the seat of the Pandyan vice-royalty.
· Manabalipuram may have been Ptolemy’s mélange More >
Sangam works may be generally classified into three parts like Ettuttogai (the eight anthologies) and Pattupattu (the ten idylls) and pathinenkilu kanakku. The group of Ettuttogai consists of:
1. Narrinai 2. Karuntogai 3. Aingurunuru 4. Padirrupattu 5. Paripadal 6. Kalittogai 7. Ahanamuru 8. Puraanuru. The group Pattupattu includes:
1. Tirumurugarruppadai 2. Porunararruppadai 3. Sirupanarruppadai 4. Perumbanarruppadai 5. Mullaipattu 6. Maduraikanchi 7. Nedunalvadai 8. Kurinjipattu 9. Pattinappalai 10. Malaipadukanchi
· Some scholars have included Tolkapium, the Tamil grammatical treatise by Tolkappiyar (supposed to be the disciple of Agastya, the famous saint who is said to have crossed the Vindhyas first and propagated the Brahmanical culture in the South), Patinenkilkanakku, the eighteen didactical texts (comprising:
1. Nladiyar 2. Nammanikkadigai 3. Inna Narpadu 4. Iniya Narpadu 5. Kar Narpadu 6. Kalavali Narpadu 7. Aintinai Aimpadu 8. Aintinai Elupadu 9. Tinaimoli Aimpadu 10. Tinaimalai Nurraimpadu 11. Kainnilai (or Innilai) 12. Kural 13. Tirikadugam 14. Charakkovai 15. Palamoli 16. Sirupanchachamulam 17. Mudumo Likkanchi 18. Eladi),
· Silappadikaram and Manimegalai, the twin epics, remnants of poems like Togadur Yattirai and Bharatam of Perundevanar in the Sangam corpus.
The Ettutogai and Pattupattu are together grouped as Melkanakku (the longer serials) for they consist stanzas composed of metre which permits of a larger numbers of lines.
· On the other hand the Kilkkanakku works (the shorter serials) are so called because they consist of poems composed in the Venba metre which permits on an average four lines for each stanza.
· There More >