Showing posts with label sanskrit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sanskrit. Show all posts

Was Ancient India Literate ? : Super Human Memory Myth

western scholars of Indology said:
"Entire absense of writing, reading, paper, or pen in vedas, or during Brahamana period and complete silence in Sutra period(When art of writing was beginning to be known), the whole Literature of India was preserved in oral tradition only"

Weber who wants to bring all history to later than Biblical period admits:
"Europe has 10,000 sanskrit texts and considering that we have tens of thousands which the parsimony of karma has hithherto withheld form Museums and libraries of Europe, what a memory must have been their!."

Indian super Memory

The Immemorial practice with students of sanskrit literature has been to commit to memory the various subjects of their study and this practice of oral tradition has preserved the ancient Vedic texts. This fact has led Western Indology scholars to surmise that writing was unknown in the earliest period of Indian Civilization and that the later forms of the alphabet were not of pure Indian growth.

So According to these Western Indology Scholars, Indians have Super Human Memory. By Which they can not only memorize scores of documents, but they can also transmit through generations. Wow!, Who said science fiction is 20th century Stuff.

We are looking at this question. Did writing existed prior to Mauryas?

Panini is best known grammarian of India. Muller says that there is no single term in the panini terminology which presupposes the existence of writing. So we go to find out.

Panini almost singlehandendly brought together the classical sanskrit grammer. He mentions Grantha the equivalent for written or bound book in the later days in India. For Max Muller Granta mean simply a composition, which is handed down the generation by oral tradition. In short Panini is illiterate and somehow he produced one of the most eloborate and scientific set grammer ever known to mankind till today.Remember Panini has given 3996 rules for Classical Sanskrit Grammar.

Writing in Literature
Classical Sanskrit Literature

The direct reference to writing classical sanskrit according to Indologists in literature are found to be in the Dharmasutra of Vasistha, which Dr.Buhler thinks, was composed around 8th century BC. Some scholars will assign this work 4th century BC as well.Astadhyayi of panini contains such compounds as Lipikara and Libikara, which evidently mean writer. The date of panini is not fixed, prof.Goldstucker puts him 8th century BC, others put him in 4 the century BC. The Vedic works contain technical terms like aksara, kanda, patala, grantha and the like, which is clear indication of writing. Of course Indology scholars wont accept them.

Buddhist age

There are quite a large number of passages in the SriLanka's Tipitaka, which bear witness to an acquaintance with writing and to its extensive use.

At the time when Buddhist cannons were composed. Lekha and Lekhaka are mentioned in the Bhikkhu pacittiya and Bhikkhuni pacittiya.

In the Jatakaas, constant meniton is made of letters being written. The Jatakas know of proclamations.

We are also told of a game aksarika in which the Buddhist monk is forbidden to participate. This game is guessing of letters.

In the rules of vinaya, it has been laid down that a criminal, whose name has been written up in the kings porch, must not be recieved into the monastic order. In the same work, writing is mentioned as a Lucrative profession.

Mahavagga bear witness to the existence of elementary schools where the manner of teaching was the same as in the Indigenous schools of Modern India. All these references prove the existence of the art of writing in pre buddhist days.

Epic Age
Epics contains archaic expressions such as likh, Lekha, Lakhaka, Lekhana but not lipi, which some scholars think is foriegn orgin. So Writing was known in Epic Age.

Vedic Literature
We find clear evidence in wide spread use of writing in the vedic period. Written documents are mentioned as legal documents.


The earliest surviving written record other than Indus script is Piprawa vase inscription discovered by Colonel Claxton peppe. This Inscription is a prakrit before the prakrits of magadhi or sourasheni developed, so differently interpreted. This is dated to early part of 5th century BC.

Next comes Sohaura Copper plate , which Dr.Smith puts before Ashoka by 50 years.

The Inscriptions of Ashoka is all over India. This shows that Writing was well used in Royal courts and the writting was well understood by common people.

Dr.Weber came with view that Brahmi is borrowed from South Arab tribe. But this has been dismissed by Dr. Buhler.

Buhler Identified certain Brahmi letters were identical to 9th-7th BC century Inscriptions found in Assyria. One third of 23 Alphabets are identical to Brahmi letters. This Indologists suggestions that the Brahmi letters were derived from these letters from all Indology scholars including Buhler. But we have to note that the tribes in question are belonging belonging to Indian Tribe. This script traveled from India to Middle east.

Jain Stupa unearthed at the Kankali Tila site of Mathura regarded by Vincent Simith as the oldest known stupa then (Before Indus valley sites were discovered). Smith dated it to be 600 BC for erection. Dr.Fuhrer who supervised the excavation found out that it contained a inscription Deva Stupa in a script, so old that it was forgotten.

Indus Script
Indus Script has 250-500 characters. Some of the Seals seems to be Bilingual with Indus script next to the symbols. Seeming symbols to be for traders from other languages. So Indus valley is literate culture.

Sir Alexander Cunningham had wanted to derive each letter from the indigenous Hieroglyphic, but then no hieroglyphic was found in India. But today we have Indus valley Hieroglyphic and many are working towards deriving brahmi from them.

Writing Material
Materials used for writing in India were Birch-bark(Bhurja-patra), Palm Leaves (tala-patra), paper, Cotton Cloth, wooden board (phalaka),leather, Stone, brick and metal. Manuscripts of books were generally written in the above leaves, paper and cotton cloth while for land-grants, certain charms etc, metals was used. Wooden boards appear to have been used as slates in schools and for the purpose of writing plaints with chalk in court-rooms. Documents in connection with loans also used to be written on boards. Works appear to have been carved on wooden boards; Some manuscripts , engraved on wooden boards, still exist.

From Brahminical and Buddhist literature, leather also appears, however rarely, to have been used as writing material as it was animal skin and they are perishable in nature.

Royal edicts were engraved on rocks, pillars and caves.

Agreements , donations,grants etc were also sometimes written on stone. Some Literary and religious works were written on this material. Bricks were also rarely used. Some bricks, with one or few letters inscribed, have been found in walls, temple-niches or pedestals of images.

Writing materials have been of perishable nature, Indian Manuscripts, relly belonging to an ancient age, are rare. In fact, the manuscripts discovered in central asia , are the oldest of the manuscripts available so far.

According to Nearchos, who accompanied Alexander (327BC), paper was manufactured in India out of Cotton. The earliest paper-MSS written in Gupta Script were discovered at Kashgar and Kugier in Central Asia.

The earliest bramhi script is on a vase dated to 5 th century BC

Writing medium
The Writing medium in cases of paper, cloth and leaves was ink or masi. The word masi is derived from root mas denoting himsa or crushing, destroying it. therefore seems that ink was produced by pounding certain ingredients. In some parts of India, the word for ink is mela, probably derived from root mel (to mix). ink thus appears to have been admixture of certain substances. The use of ink in India is atlesat 4th century BC, is vouchsafed by Nearchos and Curtius.

The Common color of ink is black. Red and Yellow inks were also used. For ordinary purposes, washable or delible ink was used. For writing documents, however indelible ink appears to have been in use.

Writing Apparatus
The Writing Apparatus (Lekhani, varnaka,varnavartika, salaka, Kathini etc) consists of bamboo pieces with sharp ends, quills etc. Compases and rulers also appear to have been use for special purposes.

Alberuni believes Indian Alphabet originated with the begining of Kali Age (3102BC).

Hiuen Tsang speaks of high Antiquity of Indian writing system. Brahmi is stated, in the Chinese Encyclopedia Fa-Wan-Shu-Lin, to be the best of scripts.

Some Greeks mention about Writing materials in India. Megasthanes mentions Milestones, Almanancs, Horoscopes, etc.- which indicate prevalance of writing. The evidence suggest that writing was in Vogue in India in the period of 6th century to 4 century BC as a legacy of earlier times, far from being novelty , it was a continuity and continuity of time immemorial.

Mauryan edicts reveal that Writting in Brahmi and kharosthi was written and understood by everyone including comman man.

Jains Works Pnnavana-sutra and the Samavayanga-sutra contains names of Eighteen scripts(lipi) including Brahmi and Kharosthi.

The Buddhist Sanskrit work Lalitavistara gives formidable list of 64 Scripts out of which Brahmi and Kharosthi is included. 64 scripts are divided into several groups . Eg. Provincial,Tribal, Sectrian etc. Some Foreign scripts were also known to Indians.

Ramayana, Mahabharata, Arthasastra, Sutra literature (8th to 2nd century BC), Yaska (pre-panian writer), Astadhyayi (5th century BC) and some early Sanskrit works throw light on a culture of writing.

Indus valley scripts shows that Writing existed prior to 4th millienum BC as well.

Rig Veda exists from time immemorial, but writing definitely existed when it was organised into samhitas.

The Indus valley findings made Indologists acknowledge that writing existed prior to Mauryan writing. Though it has not been deciphered , it clearly shows writing existed in India before atlest 5-2 milliena before christ. Some Indology scholars have tried to show Indus script is derived from script from another civilization. But all these theories have fallen flat. Hrozny tried to derive Indus script from Hittite, Diringer is convinced that no script existed prior to Indus script from which Indus scirpt can be derived. Hunter and Langdon regard Indus script as prototype of Brahmi. The Vedic Scholars believed that Brahmi is from Brahma. It is mentioned in Narada Smriti that if Brahma has not created the art of writing or given excellant eye in the shape of script, the future would not have been deprived of obtaining bright future.

The Absence of inscriptions since Indus valley is due to widespread use of Paper and Cloth, which are perishable in nature.

The Indian Civilization is a very advance civilization. There was a high development of trade and monetary transactions, and they carried on minute researches in grammar, phonetics and lexicography. These facts support the knowledge and widespread use of writing among ancient Indians. So the Super Human Memory is a Myth.

A Concise History Of Classical Sanskrit Literature By Gaurinath Shastri, Bhattacharyya Shastri Gaurinath
The rise, decline and renewals of sramanic religious traditions within indic civilisation with particular reference to the evolution of jain sramanic culture and its impact on the indic civilization by Bal patil
Students' Britannica India, Volumes 1-5 By Indu Ramchandani
A Companion to Sanskrit Literature: Spanning a Period of Over Three Thousand ... By Sures Chandra Banerji
On the origin Indian Brahma Alphabet Georg Buhler
Was Writing Know Before Panini by A Chela
Agama Aura Tripitaka, Eka Anusilana: Language and Literature By Nagraj (Muni.)

University of Washington Libraries

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Dating Vatsyayana's Kamasutra

Vatsyayana Kamasutra played a significant role in the history of Indian Literature, particularly Sanskrit Kavya literature in which Shringara rasa(Erotic sentiment) was one of the main rasas to be evoked by the poet. The tradition in erotics grew in association with esoteric religious practices in later Vedic period, but acquired an independent status by the the time of Babhravya of the panchala region, a pre vatsyayana authority on the subject, who traces his work to nandikeshava and Uddalaka shvetaketu. Similar to Babhravya , we have charayana, suvarnanabha, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra,Dattaka and Kuchumara specialized in seven section namely sadharana, Samprayogika, kanyasamprayuktaka, bharyadhikarika, paradarika,vaishika and aupanishadika. Vatsyayana while condensing the individual contributions of Dattaka and others, retained the general scheme of Babhraya in his comprehensive work called kamasutra. Vatsyayana kamasutra became the standard and definitive work on the subject for years to come. It has eclipsed the previous writings on the subject and became the basis of later Kamashastras of 10th century AD.Learning of Kamasutra was mandatory in ancient and medieval India along with Dharmasastra and arthasastra. A Good poet were required to be proficient in knowledge of erotics as well as poetics, logic, grammer and other technical sciences. The work is Sanskrit Sutra Style.

Dated between 4th century BC to 4th century AD.
Vatsyayana mentions Grhya and Dharma Sutras , the Arthasastra of Kautilya and the Mahabhashya of Patanjali. Arthasastra is similar to Kamasutra and both cannot be separated by more than a century or so.They quote the same rare authorities like Charayana and Ghata(ka) mukha. Shamasastri quotes common passages in Arthasastra and Kamasastra. Kalidasa quotes Arthasastra in Sakuntala. Shamasastry also says that Kautilya did not know Panini. Varahamitra Brihatsanhita quotes Vatsyayana ,so the lowest limit can be 6th century AD. Shama Shastri says that Vatsyayana flourished between 137 AD to 209 AD, while Bhandarkar places him around 100 AD, and Keith before 4th century AD. A.K. Warder suggests that Kamasutra was probably produced in 3rd century AD. Doniger and Kakar (2003) almost agree with Warder by assuming that kamasutra must have been composed after 225 AD. Vatsyayana has referred king Satakarni by name. According to Puranas Kuntala Satakarni was 13th Andhra king in Satavahana dynasty. He was son of Mrgendra Svatikarna and he ruled in Kali era 2487-2481 (615-607 BC). The Satavahanas flourished till second century BC. So what is the date let us find out.

Two Vatsyayanas
One Vatsyayana also called Mallanaga, earlier than kalidasa wrote Kamasutra and belonging to Avanti to Banavasi. THe other Vatsyayana wrote Nyaya-Bhaya, a well known exposition on Nyayasutra. The latter is supposed by some scholars to have flourished about fourth century AD in Bihar, but not much is known. The Style of NYaya Bhasya resembles the Mahabhasya and is also comparable to Vartikas in the Astadhyayi. Subandhu, in his well-known prose-romance Vasavadatta refers to Mallanaga as the author of Kamasutra. Yasodhara, the author of Jayamangala, the most authentic commentary available in Sanskrit on this work, also says at the very outset of his commentary that the real name of the author of Kamasutra is Mallanaga, and , he again says that Vatsyayana is just the family name of the author of this text and the name given to him through Samskara (ritual for naming) is Mallanaga.

His name is sometimes confused with Mallanaga, the prophet of the Asuras, to whom the origin of erotic science is attributed. This is an error; as Danielou says -The attribution of the first name Mallanaga to Vatsyayana is due to the confusion of his role as editor of the Kama Sutra with that of the mythical creator of erotic science

Literary works

Babhravya of Panchala region
Babhravya of panchala region is pre vatsyayana authority who traces his works to uddalaka shvetaketu and Nandikeshavara. M M shastri identifies Savataketu Aryneya the highly cultured Philosopher of Upanishads. The Rig veda shows well organised family life with institution of Marriage fully developed in India, therefore the age of the institution of marriage developed should have preceded Rig veda by a very long period, since Rig veda does not discuss any development of the Institution. So the age of Svetaketu Aruneya - an age of of intense metaphysical speculation when the Upanishad literature grew, could certainly not be identical with it.

Vatsyayana quotes Auddalaki three places. One belongs to Samprayoga, another Paradarika and third Vaisika, the third is the longest quotation. Vatsyayana says Rig veda was called Dasatayi and he does not mention Auddalaki at all. Madhavavarman - II, a king of Ganga dynasty wrote a Vrtti on Datakasutras. He was the fifth ancestor of king Durvinita and lived around 380 AD. A fragment of his Vrtti has survived. So Auddalakai is prior to atleast 380AD. Besides these authors, Vatsyayana refers to the views of Babhravya, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra, Carayana, refers to the views of Bharavya, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra, Carayana, Ouddalaki and Suvarnanabha(All before 2nd century BC) very often in his text. He also cites the school of Babharavya or the followers of Babhravya. It seems that the texts of these Acaryas were available to Vatsyayana. But as time passed, these texts by his predecessors were made obsolete by his own work – Kamasutra.

The work follows in the footsteps of Kautilya, the author of Arthasastra, It has seven Adhikaranas or books, 36 chapters, and 64 Prakaranas or topics. Its extent in slokas is a thousand and a quarter. But unlike Kautilya, it gives the tradition of the Sastra first, and then gives its contents. Kautilya does not give the tradition at all. They are to be inferred from his quotations.  Hemacandra's Abhidhanacintamani and Yadavaprakasa's Vaijayanti say that Vatsyayana, Mallanaga, Kautilya, Paksilasvami etc. are the names of one and the same person. Another name associated with the authorship of kamasutra is that of Kamandaka, the famous author of a work Kamandakiya on ethics. We can conclude that both these works stand close to each other in respect of their period of composition. M. Krishnamachariar therefore places Vatsyayana the author of Kamasutra in 4th or 3rd century BC.

Kamasutra Tradition
The tradition of the kamasutra is exceedingly interesting. It says that Prajapati after the creation, delivered a work in one hundred thousand chapters on the three aims of human life. These three aims are : — Dharma, Artha and Kama (Law, Economics and Erotics ) Manu separated the portion assigned to Law and Vrhaspati that to Economics ,Nandi the follower of Mahadeva separated Erotics in one thousand chapters. Auddalaki Svetaketu abridged Erotics in live hundred chapters. Babhravya abridged Svetaketu's work in one hundred and fifty chapters divided into seven Adhikaranas or books, namely, :- (i) Sadharana (preliminary), (ii) Samprayogika (union), (iii) Kanyasamprayuktaka (induc- ing of girls), (iv) Bharyyadhikaranika (section about a wife) (v) Paradarika (adultery) (vi) Vaisika (about public women) (vii) Aupaniadika (secrets).

Gonardiya and Gonikaputra have been referred in the Mahabhasya of Patanjali. Kancinatha, a later author on Kamasastra also quotes from Gonikaputra, so that the work of Gonikaputra might have existed during his times. Jyotirisa, another author in Karnasastra also knew of Gonikaputra.Natyasastra prof. Batuknath Bhattacharya says it is hard to believe that kamasutra was later than Natyasastra. He says considering the style in which it is composed- distinctly Aphoristic in nature and reminiscent of Sutra period(600-200BC). Vatsyayana divides men into sasa , vrsa , Asva and woman into Mrgi,Badava, Hastini from their different capacities of Samproyoga. While Bhrarta in Natyasastra divides women into 24 varieties based on Aestheic, intellectual and Moral Standards. Kamasutra does not mention Natyasastra.

On the request of Pataliputra courtesans, Acharya Dattaka wrote work on Courtesans is used by Vatsyayana for kamasutra. Now Dattaka work is not avaialable in complete gives the vivid details of Pataliputra courtesans. The way Dattaka is mentioned in Kamasutra, it can be safely assumed that Dattaka preceded Vatsyayana by a couple of centuries. But Bana of Harshacharita quotes Dattaka, so the book was still in existence during Bana Period.

The story of dattaka is very interesting. A Brahmin from Mathiira migrated to Pataliputra. A son was born to him at his old age. The mother died at child bed, and the father gave the child to a Brahmani, who named him Dattaka (because he was given to her). The boy grew up, acquired a knowledge of all the Sastras and all the fine arts. On account of his great skill in the exposition of the Sastras, he became famous as Dattakacaryya. Attaining maturity, he was anxious to learn the ways of the world, which, he thought, could be best learnt from public-women. So he went to their quarters every day and learned their ways. So thoroughly did he learn, that at last they used to come to him for advice in matters erotic. Then Virasena and other noted courtesans of Pataliputra requested him to write a treatise on the art of winning lovers.
Father of Dattaka came from Mathnra to Pataliputra and the Brahmana who came there seem to have been attracted by the fact that it was the capital of a big monarchy. Now why are we going so much into Dattaka, because it is during his time the pataliputra was capital, so who was the king at that time.According to Puranas Pataliputra became capital during Guptas.

Vatsyana date may be uncertain ,but it is earlier than Kalidasa. But kalidasa does not talk about vatsyayana, but we have very similar techniques in kalidasa works, this may be from a common source. Kalidasa reveals the knowledge of erotics in the description of Yaksha's wife's svapnasamgama(Union in Dream), in which he specifies the exact period of kamasastra and many other instances as well.


Avagosha the buddist poet makes daring ride into Amorous depictions. The Avagosha seems to well versed with topics in Kamasastra and in Buddhacarita he describes the courtesans of Nanda king and also love-dalliance with his wife Sundari before his conversion to Buddhism.

Historical People and Places.

Vatsyayana mentions Abhiras and Andhras ruling side by side. He Speaks of Abhira Kottaraja Jayatsena, king of kotta in Gujarat, who was killed by Washerman employed by his brother. Then Again in the chapter on conduct of Woman confined to Harems, he describes the sexual abuses practiced in the seraglio of the Abhira kings among others.

King Isvarasena, son of Abhira sivadatta is mentioned as the ruling soverign in on one of the inscriptions. Now we have to get the date for inscriptions. Isvaradatta coins have been found in Malwa, Gujarat and Kathiwad(Saurastra). So there are no kshatrapas during this period. In the Inscription Abhira king names Madhariputra Isvarasena found at Nashik, Madhariputra Isvarasena is described as the son of sivadatta. It records the gift of sakani visnudatta, daughter of saka Agnivarman, wife of the Ganapaka Rebhila and mother Ganapaka visvavarman, of three investments of 2000,1000 and 500 Karspanas in the trade guilds of Govardhana for the purpose of providing medicines for the sick buddhist monks living at the monestery on mount Trirasmi. Following things can be deduced from the inscription

1. Sivadatta is not given any royal Honorific, so Isvarasena is first king of his line.
2. Satavahana mode of dating
3. Satavahanas are living in western maharastra and Guajarat possibly in the service of the Abhira lord.

Gunda inscription, shows the Abhira general Rudrabhuti referring to Rudrasimha as Ksatrapa, ignoring the existence of any Mahasatrapa altogether. This shows that though not assuming any higher title, the Abhira general was the de facto ruler in the state. Gerneral Rudrabhuti is described as the son of general Bapaka.
We have Inscription of Abhira Vasusena of the year 30 at NagarjunaKonda. We dont have any knowledge of Abhira ruling Guntur region, but the Inscripion is not about Pilgirmage. Kadamba King Mayurasarma (340-360AD) refers to a fight with Abhiras and Trikutakas (We dont know if Trikutakas are subordinates or overlords of Abhiras). But we don't have any evidence in inscriptions or Puranas of Abhiras and Andhras ruling side by side. In the Chapter Isvarakamita or the The Lust of the Rulers. Abhiras had been found from Mahabharata days. Abhiras had been found along with Alexander. Abhiras has been mentioned by Ptolemy. So dating Vatsyayana using Abhiras is not possible. And we have to find a period when Sakas were not there. Only Satavahanas and Abhiras were there. And Malwa is different from Abhira. So we can't date Vatsyayana to Gunda Inscription 180AD, when Abhira rule was in Malwa.

Saka, Bhoja, Gupta

Vatsyayana refers to Abhiras and Andhras lived side by side. And no mention of Sakas Vatsyayana refers to the scandal by Dandakya , the Bhoja who must have lived many centuries prior to him.  Guptas are not mentioned in Kamasutra. We have seen Bhoja's and Mahabhoja are just the titles of kings like Raja and Maharaja. Guptas are not mentinoed but the capital is mentioned as Pataliputra.

Vatsyayana mentions southern countries to be south of Karnata visaya and Vanavaso visya was east of Gokarna and Vaijayanti(Modern Banavasi) is place of his composition.

R. G . Bhandarkar points out that Kuntala Satkarni. According to Puranic list of Andhra's, Kuntala Svati or Svatikarna is the thirteenth in the descent from Simuka founder of the family. Vatsyayana has to be nearer to Kuntala satkarni because the sex scandal seems to be very fresh in presenatioan. K P Jayaswal points out Sri Malla Satakarni, the third monarch from the list with Hathigumpha inscription of Khravela. The difference between Kuntala and Malla is 168 Years from puranas. Again from Puranas Gautamiputra Satakarni is separated from him by 133years.

Vatsyayana mentions how Satakarni of Kuntala killed his queen Malayaevati with an instrument called kartari by striking her in the passion of love and vatsyayana quotes this case to warn people of the danger arising from some old customs of striking women when under influence of passion.. Vatsyayana mentions kuntala as tht country with Vaijayanti(Banavasi) as the capital. According to Puranas Kuntala Satakarni was 13th Andhra king. He was son of Mrgendra Svatikarna and he ruled in Kali era 2487-2481 (615-607 BC). The Satavahanas flourished till 3rd century BC.

Countries Mentioned
The tribes and tribal countries mentioned by him are Andhras, Vatsagulmakas, Vaidarbhas, Apaiantakas, Saurastrikas, Abhirakas, Strairajyakas, Gaudas, Saindhavas, Haimavatas, Pracyas, Vangas, Angas, Kalingas, Xagarakas, Madhyadesa- kas Valhikas, Avantikas, Malavas, Abhiras, the land en- closed by six rivers (with the Sindhu as the sixth). Lata, Kosala, Saketa, Ahicchatra, Saurasena Mahaiastra, Dravida, Vaaavasika and Cola. The commentator gives some accurate directions for finding out these countries or the habitations of these tribes. Vatsyayana describes various forms of sexual abuse practised by the kings. The Kings are Aparantakas, Vaidarbhas, Saurashtrakas, Vatsagulmakas and Andhras. The Andhras mentioned here is not the Imperial Andhras ,but Andhrabhrtyas or servants of Andhra dynasty. Among them Vastsyayana mentions Abhiras, Gardabinas,sakas.

Literary works
Prof Bhattacharya remarks that all the predecessors like Bhabharvya are before 4th century BC, while vatsyayana is pushed back to 3rd or 4th century AD. As Prof Bhattacharya says all the works that Vatsyayana quotes are in 4th century to 3rd Century BC. Vatsyayana does not quote Natyasastra. Varahamihira mentions Kamasutra, Virahamihira dated around 6th century AD.

Saka's are mentioned in Kamasutra, the period of sakas we know is between 6nd century BC(Darius) to 1st century AD(Saka Era). So Kamasutra can be any period between these dates, as it does not mention any Huns.

Andhra and Andhrabritya
The Only known king mentioned is Satakarni.. Shatakarni as such seems to be important position like commander of battalion in Andhra dyansty hierarchy. Now who is is this satakarni. Let us go to the basic identities. According to Puranas there are Andhra's and Andhrabritya's. However for Indology both are same. The puranas mention Andhras ruled Magadha before Guptas and dating is before 300BC. After start of Gupta rule, they Andhras lost power but Andhrabritya's (Servants of Andhra's) that is commanders, feudatories and Generals continue to rule as separate entities. Andhrabritya's are Ikshvakus, Abhiras, Chutu Nagas etc. While Andhras ruled from Magadha with Girivraja (Rajgir) as the capital. Andhrabritya's were confined to south of Vindhyas and Malwa. Without going any further let us treat Andhrabritya as different from Andhras. Now we have Satakarni, one of the Andhrabritya ruling in kuntala region. Also we have a Satakarni mentioned in Hathimgumpha inscription by Kharvela. Remember Kharvela when invading Magadha ransacks Capital Rajgir, not Pataliputra. So during Andhra shatakarni time the Magadha capital was still Rajgir.

One line of Andhrabritya Chutu Nagas have marital relation with Andhras. So we can see Andhra names in this Naga line as well. Megasthanes discusses about Andhras in south. So by time of Megasthanes the Andhra dynasty in Magadha is finished and already Andhrabritya's are ruling. As per Puranas Chutu Nagas are ruling in most parts of central and southern India. But shatakarni was ruling from kuntala. So we defintely speaking about one from kuntala or karnataka region. This Shatakarni is not before 300BC, but later. The Ashoka rock edict mention about satyaputo. We have already seen in Satavahana article, shatakarni means son of Sata, Satyaputo also means the same. Since both are same, we can come to a conclusion that Satyoputo in Edict means Andhrabritya. The chutus Nagas, who had marital relations with Andhras can be called satyoputo's. We know Saka rule ended in 78AD Saka era. So From these accounts we can say that Shatakarni of kamasutra can have ruled between 4th century BC to 1st century AD.

Kamasutra as inferred from literary sources to be after 3rd century BC as it quotes Arthasastra. Kamasutra is slightly ahead in literary style  than Kalidasa. We have already put kalidasa to be around 50BC. Now the Saka's are ruling upto 1st century AD. Our identification of Shatakarni or Abhira has hit a dead end. The Pataliputra became capital during Guptas. Now Guptas are dated to 4th and 5th century AD. So we have to date Dattaka to be that period. Then when do you date Kamasutra. This is now Indology dates ties us up in knots. We can very clearly see Guptas to be dated to 4th and 3rd century BC. So the dating of Vatsyayana Kamasutra will be century later that Dattaka (3rd Century BC) and Century Earlier than Kalidasa(1st century BC), that is 2nd century BC.

Social life in ancient India: studies in Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra By Haran Chandra Chakladar
The Positive Background of Hindu Sociology : 'Introduction to Hindu Positivism By Benoy Kumar Sarkar
Some early dynasties of South India  By S. Chattopadhyaya
Foreign influence on ancient India  By Krishna Chandra Sagar
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland  1911
Kamasutra Of Vatsyayana by Radhavallabh Tripathi
The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature  By Amaresh Datta

Related Links
Date of Kalidasa
Origin of Satavahana
Did Megasthanes Meet Chandragupta

Date of Kalidasa - Gupta Myth

Kalidasa most renowned classical Sanskrit scholar is widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the classical history. His period has not been dated to precise. Most likely falls in Gupta period in 5th century AD. This is a wikipedia introduction, you will mostly come across the same in many places as well. There is very little is known about kalidasa apart from his literature. But let us not go into other questions. Stay to main question: Date of Kalidasa.  Let us see what the scholars say.

Kalidasa Works
Four poetic works, Raghuvamsa, Kumarasambhava, Meghaduta, and Ritusamhara, and three dramas, Vikramorvasiya, Malavikagnimitra, and Abhijnanasakuntala are attibuted to him, in addition to these, Indian tradition attributes to him several other works(around 30) in diverse disciplines, ranging from poetics and astrology to mathematics and astronomy. It goes without saying that he had more than a little mastery of all these disciplines.

Kalidasa was clearly closely associated with, or lived in Ujjain, the capital of Vikramarka; his love for this city and the Malwa country is particularly apparent in the Meghaduta, from the way he holds forth lovingly on this city in the poem. The Yaksha's request to the cloud messenger to make a detour to visit Ujjain, the description of the dance of the devadasis in the Mahakaleswara Temple, and the incomparable descriptions of the city and of the river Sipra leave no one in doubt of this.

Kalidasa Life
Almost nothing definite is known about Kalidasa's life, although legends abound. What one can definitely infer from his works is that he was a Brahman, a devotee of Siva but no fanatic of any Hindu sect, was widely travelled and very well versed in the arts, sciences and philosophy of his day. He lived in a city in affluent circumstances, and was well acquainted with royal courts and court politics, almost certainly because he was patronised by a powerful king.

BanaBhatta of Harsha Charita
Banabhatta, court poet of Harsavardhana (AD 606-647) in Harsacaritaoffers prefatory salutations to Kalidasa.

Aihole Inscription of Chalukya pulikesin II(634AD)
Talks about poet Ravikirti who was in the court of Chalukya Satyasraya(pulikesi II )whose poetic skills have attained the fame of Kalidasa(Sanskrit) and Bharavi(Kannada)(520AD). This inscription does not give any date of Kalidasa. But the inscription shows the kalidasa fame has reached the courts of karnataka kings and held in high esteem.

Yasodharman who is believed to have assumed the title Sakari Vikramaditya after routing the Huns (Toramana at Malva in 528 AD). Kashmir Kalhana says that Kalidasa was the court poet of Vikramaditya.

Mandasor Inscription (473AD)
Mandasor inscription 5 dated to 473 AD which names Kumaragupta, has verses borrowed from Kalidasa and imitating his style by the poet Vatsabhatti.

Hero of Kumarasambhavam  Kumaragupta son of Chandragupta-II  (Vikramaditya) is the places him in 5th century AD.

According to Kshemendra in Auchityavicharacharcha says, An envoy sent as to kuntala king capital and he was not properly received and was made to stand. King Boja of Dhara(11century AD) in Sringaraprakasa says  kalidasa was sent as envoy from court of Vikramaditya to Kuntaleshwara. There is a conflicting  reports on who is the kuntaleshwara  the envoy met . Kadamba king Kakusthavarman says Guptas sent the envoy at the time of Kadamba Bhagiratha.  Some scholars say the envoy visited Vatakata court. But Vatakata's never called themselves kuntaleshwara's , eventhough they raided kuntala few times, they never ruled kuntala. There is scribe called kalidasa in one of vatakata inscriptions, but it is not kalidasa. Some point to another royal clan in the infancy, Rastrakutas of manapura also had conflict with Vatakatas. Mananka , founder of Rastrakuta dynasty called himself Lord of Kuntala. There is one more dynasty Chutus satakarnis apart from Satavahans who called themselves kuntaleshwaras. But as far as envoy there is only one claim kadambas, so the Gupta envoy should have visited kadamba kingdom.

Astronomical Data
There are two schools of thought on the astronomical evidence.
Sengupta's discussion on astronomical evidence places Kalida sa at the middle of the 6th  century AD, between AD 525-575 during the rein of Budhagupta.
Dasgupta has quoted Jacobi's demonstration of astronomical evidence vis-à-vis influence of Greek astronomy of the period around 350 AD.

Some Say that the work Meghasandesa is the communication that Kalidasa addressed to Prabhavati, sister of Chandragupta-II when the great poet was banished to Ramagiri by the Emperor. Prabhavati Gupta, widow of Rudrasena-II who died in 390 AD and mother of Pravarasena-II who is believed to be have authored Setubandhanam and Saundaryalahari.  Popular legends say that Malavikagnimitram was written for staging on the occasion of the marrigae of Prabhavati Gupt a at Ujjayini. The Drama was staged at the wedding.

Chandragupta II
This date is propounded by Dr. A.B. Keith. According to him, Kālidāsa flourished during the reign of king Candragupta 2nd (380-413) who made Ujjainī second capital, who crushed Hūnas and as a result, assumed the title ‘Vikramāditya'. The poet expresses in his works his deep sense of gratitude for his Gupta patrons. Smith and MacDonnell support Dr. Keith. On the basis of astronomical calculations Jacobi places Kālidāsa after 3rd century A.D. Dr. Bűhler is of opinion that he should placed before 472 A.D. Sircar admits that the earliest historical Vikramāditya is Candragupta 2nd of imperil Gupta dynasty who defeated Śakas, conquered western India and made Ujjainī, as the capital of his empire. This theory founded by Dr. Keith has received support from Winternitz, Konow, Liebich, Bloch and many other scholars

Gathasapthasati mentions Kalidasa to be court poet of Vikramaditya.  Hala's Sapthasati gives glowing accounts of Vikramaditya.

Aśvaghosa, the Buddhist poet, has prepared the ground for Kālidāsa by his compositions in the field of poetry and drama. Kālidāsa took clue from this great poet and presented his own poetry and drama in polished and refined manner. The date of Aśvaghosa is definite. He enjoyed the patronage of Kusāna king Kaniska who ruled in 1st century AD.

Vikaramaditya(1st century BC)
Most of the scholars including Baladev Upaddhyaya, William Jones, Peterson, M.R. Kale, and R.N. Apte  say that kalidasa lived during King Vikramaditya of Ujjain who ruled in 1st century BC. After whom the Vikram era is known.  After he defeated  sakas. Kalidasa has consistently called Pururavas "Vikrama" in the drama Vikramorvasiya. It is generally conjuctured that Kalidasa did this to honour his patron. He included the name in the title of the drama itself to ensure propagation of his patron's name. In addition, the name Mahendra is mentioned together with Vikrama several times in the Vikramorvasiya; we know from the Kathasaritsagara that Vikramaditya's father was known by this name. Since Vikramaditya father was Mahendraditya. It suits fine.

Kalidasa mentions three historical persons, Pushyamitra(conducts horse sacrifice to pronounce supreme soverignity) his son Agnimitra (governor of vidisa and hero of the story Malavikagnimitra and vidarba princess who disguises as maid) and lastly his grandson vasumitra   the brave guardian of horse, who returns triumphantly defeating the yavanas. These are historical incidents. According to Dr. C. Kunhan Raja, on the basis of Bharatvākya of the ‘Malvikagnimitra' Kālidāsa' was the contemporary of king Agnimitra of Sunga dynasty and flourished in the 2nd century B.C. Kalidasa talks about the vasumitra grandson of pushyamitra who defeated Yavanas. This is the upper limit of the kalidasa date. Kalidasa gives lot of intimate details of pushyamitra  and sungas ,which only the closest can give.

Raghu Dynasty.
800 B.C.- Mr. Hippolyte Fauche places Kālidāsa in the 8th century B.C., on assumption that he was contemporary of Agnivarna, the last king of Raghu dynasty. Hippolyte thought Ramayana to be this date.

Having seen the scholars opinions ,Let us bring in more material to discuss.

Basic of discussion
  1. All the sources say Kalidasa was in the Royal court of King Vikramaditya
  2. Kalidas widely travelled was based out of Ujjain in malwa. He Praises  vidisha capital of 3.sungas. Kalidasa speaks of defeat of Yavanas by Pushyamitra grandson vasumitra.
  3. kalidasa knew Huns.
  4. Historical person mentioned by Kalidasa was Agnimitra of Sunga Dynasty who ruled in 2nd century BC.
  5. Guptas employed  his literary works in Inscriptions and functions.
  6. There is a close resemblances between the works of kalidasa and Avagosha's Buddha charita
  7. kumargupta is called Mahendra and father of Vikramaditya is also called Mahendra.
  8. Vikrama - Many of the Guptas have titles vikrama Chandragupta, samudragupta etc.

Raghu Victory of Hunas
The cheeks of huNa women glowed with embarrassment by the action of raghu in waging war with their husbands and that flush itself appeared as an index to raghu's valour. Now the context has to be known, he is talking about Raghu(Legendary father of Ram) and also mentions Raghu Conqured Parasikas, Kambojas,Yavanas.  Reached Oxus river. Did chandragupta II defeated these kings. Huns are there , but Parasikas, Kambojas or yavanas.

now the principal difficulty in the identification of this river has arisen by the fact that Mallinatha, the most brilliant commentator on the works of Kalidasa has chosen to read Sindhu for Vanksu. But in view of some very important reasons, given below, Mallinatha's reading is evidently erroneous. It is to be borne in mind that six manuscripts of the mallinatha, out of nine, with their commentaries read vankS (four of these) or vanksu (two). There hardly seems an occasion for Mallinatha to adopt the reading Sindhu. This reading has landed him in obvious difficulties which he has sought to explain away. The unsuitability of his reading is so patent in his own explanation that, thinking that his readers would easily confuse Sindhu with the great river Indus.

Huns Locations
The history of the Huna expansion in Central Asia is very interesting.  During the reign of Pou-non-tanjou (A. D. 46) the Huna country and their  empire suffered from severe famine. While they were yet in difficulties the  Eastern Tartars and the Chinese drove them out of their land and pushed them to  west and south. In the middle of 5th century AD, Huns formed a powerful army and starts invading far of lands. The defeated the persian empire in 225AD. The First invasion of India took place during Skandagupta time, they were soundly defeated. The second invasion during Yasovarman. So until 46AD, Huns were in Oxus basin.

Kalidasa was in the royal court of vikramaditya , that  is confirmed by everybody. The  vikramorvisya mentions Vikramaditya to be son of Mahendraditya. There are two sets Mahendraditya - vikramaditya(2-1century BC) and Gupta dynasty Kumaragupta Mahendraditya - Skandagupta Vikramaditya. So who is the vikramaditya we are speaking.

Vikramaditya the Legend.
The tales of the vampire (Vetala) tell twenty-five stories in which the king tries to capture and hold on to a vampire that tells a puzzling tale and ends it with a question for the king. In fact, earlier the king was approached by a Sadhu to bring the vampire to him but without uttering a word, otherwise the vampire would fly back to its place. The king can be quiet only if he does not know the answer, else his head would burst open. Unfortunately, the king discovers that he knows the answer to every question; therefore the cycle of catching the vampire and letting it escape continues for twenty-four times till the last question puzzles Vikramaditya. A version of these tales can be found embedded in the Katha-Saritsagara.

Bhoja and Vikramaditya
The tales of the throne are linked to the throne of Vikramaditya that is lost and recovered by king Bhoja, the Paramara king of Dhar, after many centuries. The latter king is himself famous and this set of tales are about his attempts to sit on the throne. This throne is adorned by 32 female statues who, being able to speak, challenge him to ascend the throne only if he is as magnanimous as Vikramaditya is depicted in the tale she is about to narrate. This leads to 32 attempts (and 32 tales) of Vikramaditya and in each case Bhoja acknowledges his inferiority. Finally, the statues let him ascend the throne when they are pleased with his humility. This is story created in 11th century AD by Bhoja paramara king after he declared indepndence from chalukyas.

Vikramaditya of Ujjain
Kalakacharyakathanaka a jain works says that at the instance of Kalaka ( jain teacher whose sister was abducted by Garadabilla, king of ujjain), the shakas invaded ujjain and took Garadabilla prisoner. They ruled for sometime and was overthrown by vikramaditya , king of malwa. vikramaditya started his own era. Brihatkatha of Gunadaya and kathasaritsagara endorse this event. And Gathasaptasati of Hala Satavahana also describes the event. The works say vikramaditya also called vikramasila son of mahendraditya was the founder of vikrama samvat. According to Bhavishya Purana. Vikram era started in 57 BC by Vikramaditya the Great as a commemoration of his victory upon the Shakas. There is plentiful literature on Vikramaditya, and in the Bhavishya Puran itself there are descriptions of Vikramaditya in more than 40 chapters between Pratisarg Parv I and IV. Bhavishya Purana (Pratisarg Parv I, chapter 7) says that, "After the elapse of a full 3,000 years in kali yuga (3102 - 3000 = 102 BC), a dynamic Divine personality was born who was named Vikramaditya.  Bhavishya Puran further says that  the great King Vikramaditya ruled for one hundred years. Then his son Deobhakt ruled for ten years and his grandson Shalivahan, who established Shalivahan Shaka era (in 78 AD), defeated the Shaks and ruled for sixty years."  Alberuni also mentions about Vikram era (57 BC) and also the Shalivahan Shaka era which starts 135 years after the Vikram era.

One poet quoting another

Brihat katha by Gunadaya(1st century AD)

This work is lost but there are several versions available.The story is brihat katha manjari has lot in common with kathasarit sagara  of  kalidasa.

Some of the situations and Ideas are common to both asvagosha and kalidasa plays. But the big argument is waste because we can never say that the one copied from other. The ideas and situations seems to be borrowed from the situations and ideas common at that time frame. But indologist scholars(Kowell and Keith) will say kalidasa copied and Indian scholars say Asvagosha copied. But in concluding verses of  saundarananda . The Humble Asvaghosa says he is not poet of eminence. The Subject of interest for Asvaghosa is religion and philosophy. He is monk first and then a author. He wants to preach the his ideals through a kavya, So he sets himself after famous Kavyas of his time. Hence the resemblences and similarities to kalidasa kavyas. The Master kavya writer is of course kalidasa. That gives atleast a century or more earlier to asvagosha, which puts kalidasa in 1century BC.

Yajnasri Satakarni (2nd century AD
Yajna sri satakarni releases a coins with king on one side and  with crescent on hill, crescent on ujjain symbols, zig zag lines and cirle of dots. The meaning can be found in kalidasa verses in raghu vamsa. The king's fame ascended the mountains(symbolized by the moon on hill), crossed the oceans(figured by the four circles of the ujjain symbol and crescent), penetrated into the subterrannean abode of vasuki(zig zag line) and went up to the most high(as represented by dots representing sttary heaven).

Also kamasutra of Vatsyayana has similar styles to sakuntala.

Bhita Medallion
The terrocota medallion recovered from Allahabad  depicting the scene from sakuntala, has gateways like sanchi  dated to 1st century BC. But scholars say it Buddha in kapilavastu.

Astronomical observances
The astronomical references by ketki  like dakshinayana (summer solistice) cannot be taken to be conclusive as they can go each side 100 to 200 years.
Sengupta observations based on ashada month references cannot be taken as kalidasa mention lunar months ,not solar months. The works clearly show that that Gupta system  is not followed by kalidasa.
The term Jamitra in kumarasambhava has been mischeviously  interpreted as Greek diametron and claimed that kalidasa lived in the ideas of Greek astronomy and also claiming Greek astronomy has become popular in India. In Hindu Astrology Jamitra simply means seventh zodiacal sign from the natal(lagna).
And kalidasa knew lot  about Astronomy ,but he is basically a  poet not astronomer.

yavanas were defeated in persia, which fits the time frame of 1century BC and pallavas are absent in kalidasa account. kalidasa talks about Independent Anga , which is impossible in Gupta age. Kalidasa speaks about ruler in madura again not possible during gupta period.

Pushyamitra capital was Pataliputra, his son agnimitra was governor of vidisha, when pushyamitra was the senatipati and when the capital was shifted to vidisha, it remained the capital until 57BC, Later he shifted to Ujjain.  In Megaduta and Malvakiagnimitra the scenes of the city are vidisha, not pataliputra , not ujjain. Vikramovisaya completed after the victory of vikramaditya over sakas. why he does not tell about pataliputra or Ayodhya Imperial capital of Guptas, because he has come to a independent kingdom in Ujjain.


The Dharma(Law)  followed in Kalidasa works  like  " widow cannot inherit the property"  is of the times of Apastamba and Baudhayana. Brhaspati, vyasa,sankha and likita  belonging to Gupta period rule that the widow has the right to succeed in Husband's property. In Sakuntala there is capital punishment for theft. In the days of Brhaspati, this was relaxed and a heavy fine was introduced. So clearly kalidasa is not of Gupta times.

Several revisions of the Kalidasa works has taken place and many authors have included their current events in their works. For example there is an argument between Dinnaga(6th century AD) and Kalidasa, which looks unlike kalidasa. While Dinnaga was critic of kalidasa , Nicula is friend in megaduta. Since Dinnaga cannot be dated earlier, Kalidasa is brought down. We do not know who is Nicula. Another is refrerence to kalachuri dynasty ( 6th century AD).  For some commentators Dinnaga becomes Nagarjuna
D.C.Sircar draws attention to Tibetan passage in early 18th century AD , which says kalidasa was contemproary of King Bhagabadra of Sunga Dynasty ruling from vidisha,Wima kusala Khadphises  and king savti satavahana of dakshinatya and Aparanta. He Married daughter of Khadphises by name vasanti.

In Tenth Century AD Sanskrit scholar Rajashekara gives three great kalidasa who are renowned authors and masters of aesthetic language. There are many kalidasa's and more than dozen vikramadityas, Western scholars have done what they do best to confuse and combine everybody to one kalidasa and some vikramadityas to one vikramaditya. In effect they have hit two mangoes in one. Denying kalidasa antiquity and also stricking off the glorious vikramaditya(1century BC)  from history to mythical ruler.  For the time being we can go with Puranic account and say Kalidasa lived in the era of Vikramaditya (son of Mahendraditya) around 57BC. Vikramaditya who established vikram era in 57BC.

My Theory
Now the date is settled , All our problems are solved right?
No, we have only one problem. Panini talks about Pushyamitra. Panini cannot be dated later than 4th century BC. How can Panini talk about pushyamitra who is two centuries later. We  have to see pushyamitra dated to Mauryas. But keeping Mauryas in 3rd century BC, Indologists have brought pushyamitra to that date. But Panini is struck at 4 century BC . If Mauryas are dated in 15-14century BC, how come his Senapati dated in 2nd century BC. Indology Scholar Vogel equated Bruhaspatimitra of Magada with Pushyamitra and scholars like K P Jaiswal followed suit. We have one more mythical king pushyamitra.

I feel Gupta Emperors Chandragupta I and Samundragupta are the rulers in 3rd century BC. The Raghu in Raghuvamsa  campaign eeringly follows samudragupta campaign.There are several mitras ruling in many places in North India  as per inscriptions in 2nd century BC.   Kalidasa reads samudragupta campaign into Raghu campaign. And reads Sunga rulers  Pushyamitra, Agnimitra and vasumitra tales in to local mitra tales. And we have a big confusion.  Kalidasa says Agnimitra to be kasyapa lineage and belonging to Baimbika family, According to Panini Sungas belong to Bramhana family of Bharadvaja. The Vikramaditya son of Mahendraditya are the rulers whose time kalidasa lived that is 1 century BC. But with new additional information the things will change

Giravani  by desiraju hanumanta rao
Definitive Astronomical Evidence for the Date of Kalidasa  by K. Chandra Hari
The Role of Kālidāsa in the Development of Indian Literature by Parmeshwar Gangawat
Kalidasa and Ancient India by Chhattisgarh - Ambikapur
Numismatic parallels of kalidasa by sri c.sivaramamurti
Kalidasa: Date, Life And Works by  V.V. MIRASHI N.R NAVALEKAR
The Gupta polity By V. P. Ramachandra Dikshitar, V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar
Old Buddhist Shrines at Bodh-Gaya Inscriptions By B.M. Barua

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Origin of Yavanas - Greek Myth

Date of Purananooru

Various dates are proposed for purananooru, 1000BC, 10,000BC , 1 Million years old etc.
Let us try to find the probable date. This is based on the premise that if  X mentions Y , then X is later than Y.

Purananooru - 378
Purananooru mentions mentions Rama and sita ,so it cannot be more than 4000BC old.
Purananooru mentions mentions Mahabratha war so, it is atleast later than 3000BC

Purananooru - 175
Purananooru mentions mentions Maurya ,so it is later than 175BC atleast.

Dating problem
purananooru mentions Ilamcetcenni stopped Mauryas from coming to south, Silapathikaram mentions Karikal chola who is dated (by most ardent tamil chuvanists) to be in 2nd century AD. So Father-son ruling 500 years apart. which shows that the the poet who composed the poet cannot be dated anywhere near the two dates. so give atleast 200 years to forget the periods , that puts purananooru to 400 AD.

Purananooru 46
Killivalavan was a chola king mentioned in Sangam Literature, and Father of Nedunkilli and Nalankilli , in the Purananuru and Agananuru.The etymology of Killi is kilai (Branch in Tamil)

Killi Valavan
The word Pallava means branch in Sanskrit, denoting that they are a later offshoot  (Kilai-> Branch(tamil)) of Chutus (satkarnis).Pallava is rendered as Tondaiyar in the Tamil language.  The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon. The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra.(tundaka -> Branch) The Sanskrit meaning of Pallava is Kilai The Tamil Thondai means the same,  It shows that Pallavas are descendants (Kilay or Pirivu) of Chutus(satakarnis). Karnata dynasties Chalukyas and Rastrakutas call themselves Vallabhas and  Pallava also from Karnata have called themselves vallabhas in some places, which translates to valavan in Tamil.

If we take the killi ->; Kilai and Pallava ->; kilai and vallabha -> valavan

We have killi valvan and it shows that killi valavan is generic term applied to pallava vallabha.

After the pallavas revenge against pulikesin II,  Ganga king who had marital relations with chalukyas took revenge against pallavas and chased them out of kanchi.  So the pallavas shifted themselves to a place called Kaduvetti, which is now in chola country. Many of their inscriptions are from kaduvetti. Only after this time we see cholas rising.  Cholas might have marital relations with pallavas and  putting killivalavan as one of their ancestors,   shows their ancestors are  pllavas. Until Nirputunga pallava cornation ,they were feudatories of pallavas. This also solves myth Pallavas are not mentioned in Sangam literature-so sangam literature has to be dated before pallavas. So if we take this account then the purananooru has to be dated after pallavas that after 9th century AD.

Karikala, Maurya ,Ramayana and Mahabharata war
There is a karikala known as Aditya Karikala ruling in 9th century AD.  Mauryan kings were ruling until 7th century AD in Konkan.  So the knowledge of Mauryas and Karikalan were fresh.  During 9th century AD to 13th century AD, saw all the dynasties trying to connect themselves to Ramayana and Mahabharata Warriors, not surprising the Purananooru does similar act of connecting the tamil kings to Mahabharata heroes.  Karikala said to have defeated Oliya nagas and according to Mahabalipur Inscription of Rajendra I oliya nagas are of his period( 11th century AD.).  So  Purananooru is defintely 10th century AD  to 11th century AD or later than that.

Here is an inscription belonging to one of the kings of the Irunkovel line from the Adhipuriswara temple in Tiruvorriyur district:
Records in the reign of the Ganga-pallava king Kovijiya Kampavarman, gift of 27 kalanju of gold for offerings by Pudi Arindigai, wife of Videlvidigu-Ilangovelar of Kodumbalur in Ko-nadu. The money was placed in the hands of the residents of Vaikattur, a suburb of Tiruvorriuyur, on interest at 3 manjadi per kalanju per annum 

Kampavarman is dated to 870-900AD ,Irunkovel mentioned in Purananooru , so the date of purananooru has to be later than this date. Interestingly there was a dynastic struggle between Kampavarman(elder) and Nrputunga(boy) for the throne like Nedunkilli and Nalankilli

The dating gets even curious because the Purananooru mentions Pulikatimal (Hoysalas with emblem of Sala killing the Tiger that is Hoysalas ending the chola rule(Tiger Emblem)), who are of  period 10th -14th Century AD . Interestingly it also says pulikatimal is from neighbhouring country. So if we take Hoysalas into  picture, the date has to be after 11th century AD.  Probably between 11th to 13th century AD. After which there was a intergennum because of Muslim invasion.

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Date of Buddha

Most of us are taught that Buddha was born around 560 to 550 B.C. However, once we start doing some research, we find evidence that this date may be too late. Buddha may have lived much earlier. Let us see how Buddha is dated.

Let us see the Traditional Theories at arriving date of Buddha.
  1. Long chronology Based on the Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa accounts which state that 218 years difference between Buddha Death and Ashoka Conversion. Which put date of the Buddha’s death is 544/543 B.C.E.
  2. Corrected chronology According to Richard Gombrich, Aśoka’s dates are approximately established by the synchronism between his 13th major rock edict, which is dated by scholars in the 13th year after his consecration, and the five monarchs of the Hellenistic world named therein as reigning at the time. The date of the edict must be 255 B.C., give or take a year; Aśoka’s consecration is accordingly dated 268 B.C. So the Date of Buddha's Death is 483BC
  3. short chronology Many Sanskrit , Tibetan and chinese traditions say the difference between date of Asoka coronation and Date of Nirvana of Buddha to be 100 years and Chinese accounts say 116 years. So the date can be anywhere between 544BC to 440BC depending on which theory you are following.
  4. Dot-ted record. This account, taken from Chi-nese sources and referred to initially by Tao-hsüan in the Ta t’ang nei tien lu, argues that when Upāli, first collected the Vinaya after the Buddha’s death, he marked a dot in the manuscript at the end of the pavarana, and continued the process in each year thereafter. His successors, Dāsaka, Sonaka, Siggava, Moggali-putta, Tissa, Caṇḍavajji, and so forth continued the process. Samghabhadra, who presumably translated the Samantapāsādikā into Chinese, is said to have put the 975th dot on the manuscript during a visit to Canton in 489 C.E., thus establishing the Buddha’s death in 486 B.C.E.
But we are not bothered by this relative chronology based on the date of Ashoka cornation. Since we have seen that Ashoka grandfather chandragupta Maurya is itself is not based on Solid evidence the article Did Megasthanese Meet Chandrgupta. We will go to the root of the evidences to see when he can be dated.

European Account
Since the records of ancient India give only the intervals between events but do not, like later records, date the events themselves, it is necessary in order to establish dates in Indian history to call on Greek historians. Indo-Greek relations developed as a result of the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great (327 BC). About 303 BC, the Indian Emperor Candragupta came to a territorial agreement and entered into diplomatic relations with Seleukos Nikator, Alexander's former general who ruled over Babylonia. Through the reports of the Greek ambassador Megasthenes, who was ambassador to the imperial court of palimbothra , Candragupta ( Sandrokottos ) became known to Greek historians, and through them we are able to date his accession to 321 BC. But this date is now disputed due to various reasons, Further Information on Chandgragupta and Alexander Date follow article Did Megasthanese meet Chandragupta Maurya. How Let us see

Purana Account
The Puranas provide a chronology of the Magadha rulers from the time of the Mahabharata war, Somadhi (Marjari) was the ruler. He started a dynasty that included 22 kings that spread over 1006 years.They were followed by five rulers of the Pradyota dynasty that lasted over 138 years. Then for the next 360years was the 10 rulers of the Shishunag family. Kshemajit (who ruled from 1892 to 1852 B.C.) was the fourth in the Shishunag dynasty, and was a contemporary of Lord Buddha's father, Shuddhodana. It was during this period in which Buddha was born. It was during the reign of Bimbisara, the fifth Shishunaga ruler (1852-1814 B.C.), when Prince Siddhartha became the enlightened Buddha. Then it was during the reign of King Ajatashatru (1814-1787 B.C.) when Buddha left this world. Thus, he was born in 1887 B.C., renounced the world in 1858 B.C., and died in 1807 B.C. according to this analysis.

Further evidence that helps corroborate this is provided in The Age of Buddha, Milinda and King Amtiyoka and Yuga Purana, by Pandit Kota Venkatachalam. He also describes that it is from the Puranas, especially the Bhagavat Purana and the Kaliyurajavruttanta, that need to be consulted for the description of the Magadha royal dynasties to determine the date of Lord Buddha. Buddha was the 23rd in the Ikshvaku lineage, and was a contemporary of Kshemajita, Bimbisara, and Ajatashatru, as described above. Buddha was 72 years old in 1814 B.C. when the coronation of Ajatashatru took place. Thus, the date of Buddha's birth must have been near 1887 B.C., and his death in 1807 B.C. if he lived for 80 years

Professor K. Srinivasaraghavan also relates in his book, Chronology of Ancient Bharat , that the time of Buddha should be about 1259 years after the Mahabharata war, which should make it around 1880 B.C. if the war was in 3138 B.C.

Astronomical Account
A search was made from 1900 BCE to 400 BCE for the sequence of events: winter solstice, lunar eclipse, solar eclipse, followed by Vaisakha poornima, the full moon day of Buddha nirvana. It is found that there are only 14 dates possible for this sequence of events to occur:1807 BCE, 1694 BCE, 1659 BCE, 1510 BCE, 1250 BCE, 1192 BCE, 1138 BCE, 1119 BCE, 1062 BCE, 1007 BCE, 765 BCE, 690 BCE and 560 BCE. If a time limit of about three months (the time that Buddha spends in sravasti before attaining his nirvana) is imposed, then the time intervalbetween winter solstice and vaisakha poornima must be less than 90 days and that vaisakha poornima should occur before the vernal equinox, as winter solstice occurred after his arrival at sravasti. With this restriction, most of the dates do not qualify, leaving only two dates 1807 BCE and 1510 BCE as possible dates. It is interesting to note that the ‘traditionally’ accepted dates, 544 BCE, or 483 BCE, or any of the recently revised dates do not fit the picture. One additional piece of astronomical information is needed to fix the date.

The Samyutta Nikaya , Part I, sugatta Vagga, Book II, Chapter I, Devaputtasa yuttam,suttas contain ten units in all, two of them to relate to kassapa. The others are devaputtas who visit Buddha. Sengupta identifies kassapa with prajapati and hence with winter solstice. He regards the other deities as adityas The first devaputta to visit is to be taken as the lord of the month of the lunar eclipse. We take a hint from a listing of the sons of aditi in taittirya aranyaka dhata aryaman. If we assume as Sengupta did, kassapa as dhataa or prajapati, his visit would indicate the arrival of winter solstice. Aryaman would be the first ‘devaputta’ to visit as the deity of the month, i.e., the presiding deity of the nakshatra of the full moon, where the lunar eclipse occurs. In 1510 BCE the lunar eclipse occurs at uttaraphalguni, whose deity is bhaga. In 1807 BCE, the lunar eclipse occurs at purvaphalguni , with aryaman as the deity. So the year is 1807 BCE

Furthermore, astronomical calculations by astronomer Swami Sakhyananda indicates that the time of the Buddha was in the Kruttika period, between 2621-1661 B.C.

Pali and Ceylon Chronicles
Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa , give the traditional figure of 218 years between the death of the Buddha and the conversion of Asoka is best taken as conventional. It amounts to the claim that between the death of the Buddha and the conversion of Asoka, there intervened
  • A first major event occuring after 100 years, this being the standard conventional interval of prediction in the later Buddhist literature
  • A second major event, occurring after another 100 years, this event being the rise of the ruler patron, or the coronation of Asoka.
  • A third event, occurring after a further 18 years. We may note that according to his own inscriptions, it was in the 18th year of his reign that Asoka was persuaded to accept Buddhism.
The alternative interval of 256 years, is based on counting backward from a later date in Asoka's reign, namely, the year of his abdication to pursue a life of virtue. This is the information given by the chronicles , the western scholars have taken the difference in years between ashoka , buddha and Megasthanese – Chandragupta meeting to date Buddha.

The Ceylonese Pali traditions leave out the kings mentioned RockEdicts from list of Asoka’s kingdoms, whereas Rock Edict XIII includes them. In fact, as many scholars have noted, the character of Asoka from Ceylonese and other traditions is precisely (as RK Mukherjee has said) what does not appear in the principal edicts. Rock Edict XIII, the famous Kalinga edict, is identified as Asoka’s. It was, however, Samudragupta’s (Samudragupta was a great conqueror and a devout admirer of Asoka. He imitated Asoka in many ways and also took the name Asokaditya. In his later life, he became a sanyasi).

Tibet Account
The Kalachakra tantra puts the life of Sakyamuni Buddha in the 9th. Century BCE William Jones, on the basis of Tibetan records infers that Buddha lived in the 11th century B.C. A number of Tibetan documents place Buddha at 2100 BC.

China Account

Fa-hsien was in India and at Patliputra c. 410 AD. He mentions a number of kings, but makes not even a fleeting reference to the Gupta, even though according to European scholars he came during the height of their reign. Fa-Hien puts Buddha’s Nirvana at 1050 B.C.

Qin Shi Huang, who is said to have suppressed Buddhism, in the same way that he suppressed all other Chinese philosophy. His reign lasted from 246 BCE to 221 BCE. Han Wei, a noted researcher from the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, found evidence in the Historical Records, which were written in 104 BC. Silk Road archaeologist WANG Jianxin said Han's research sounded "reasonable" .

The Weilüe reports a tradition that an envoy of the Yuezhi king who gave oral teachings on Buddhist sutras to a student in 2 BCE

Greek Accounts
Seven Sages of Greece (Dated 620-550 B.C ) surprisingly give the Buddhist Teachings.

Thyagaraja Aiyer in his book "Indian Architecture" observes," Here lies Indian Sramanacharya from Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist monk taken to Greece by his Greek pupils and the tomb marks his death about 1000 B.C." If the Buddhist monk went to Greece in 1000 B.C., then the Buddha must have lived at least a few centuries earlier.

Somayajulu places Chandragupta Maurya in the 14th century B.C. This puts the Buddha three centuries earlier, i.e., in the 17th century B.C.

Long before the word 'missionary' came to be synonymous with Christianity" Buddhist monks ('dharma-bhanakas') were traipsing across Asia. Travelling the Silk and Spice Routes they spread their doctrines all the way from Khotan in central Asia to Antioch and Alexandria in the west. One such visit is documented in 20 BC in Athens. A Buddhist philosopher, Zarmarus, part of an embassy from India, made a doctrinal point by setting himself alight. His tomb became a tourist attraction and is mentioned by several historians.

It seems the original Therapeutae were sent on an Indian embassy to Pharaoh Ptolemy II in 250 BC. The word 'Therapeutae' is itself of Buddhist origin, being a Hellenization of the Pali 'Thera-putta' (literally 'son of the elder.') Philo Judaeus, a 1st century AD contemporary of Josephus, described the Therapeutae in his tract 'De Vita Contemplativa'. It appears they were a religious brotherhood without precedent in the Jewish world. Reclusive ascetics, devoted to poverty, celibacy, good deeds and compassion, they were just like Buddhist monks in fact. From the Therapeutae it is quite possible a Buddhist influence spread to both the Essenes (a similar monkish order in Palestine).

Gnosticism is Influenced by Buddhism , which was a religion of quite a different order to earlier 'pagan' cults. It was a scriptural religion, making a strong appeal to the emotions. It offered a moral code – and hope. The Gnostic idea of liberating the soul from entrapment in matter is not dissimilar to the teachings embodied in the "4 Noble Truths" of the Buddha.The Greek details presented above are also sometimes dated before Alexander, so the argument that Buddhism came to Greece only after Alexander invasion does not hold water. Greek and some parts of then India like Bactria were part of Persian empire of Darius, so the exchange of ideas is not confined to Alexander era.

Korea Account
Hwanin or Divine Regent is a figure in Korean mythology. Hwanin is an alias of Indra. Hwanin is the name on Buddhism of Indra, this name is widely used in east Asia. We have evidences that Hwanin being used in 3rd Century BC in Korea.

South East Asia Traditions

Japan, Thailand, , Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia follow the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) date.
Christian Account
Apart from similarities between buddha and Jesus Christ, Most Important account has been the Barlaam and Josaphat story, which is the Christianized version of Buddha Story.

Max Muller stated that missionaries also were sent more than thirty years prior to Ashoka's reign

Philo noted the presence of Buddhists in Alexandria, Egypt.
The above accounts say that Buddha can be earlier than the said dates of 560BC and Western and Indology Scholars have not even explained the contradictions in their own calculations. The fundamental sheet Anchor theory (Megasthanese -Chandragupta Meeting) is itself not established. The Indian literary accounts are being dismissed summarily. And Western scholars themselves dont provide any evidence to backup their account. Since Chandragupta Maurya date by Western and Indology scholars is disputable, Buddha Date is also susequently disputable. Regarding what is being said in Ashoka Edicts and what are the claims made on the edicts , we will see in another article. For now Buddha date is nowhere settled. Date by Indian Literary sources and Astronomical calculations is 1807 BC.
  • The Date of the Buddha by E Bruce Brooks
  • Re-establishing the Date of Lord Buddha by Stephen Knapp
  • A short note on the date of Buddha nirvana using planetarium software B. N. Narahari Achar
  • Indian Architecture by Thyagaraja Aiyer
  • Cooking the Buddhist Books by Charles S. Prebish 
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