Sources Of Indian History , CUET PG Histroy Short Notes The Quality Test –

Sources of Indian History – The best sources to know Indian history are Buddhist and Jain texts, historical texts, descriptions of foreigners and archaeological evidence.

Buddhist Literature – Important part of Buddhist literature is called ‘Tripitak’ which includes Suttapitak, Vinaya Pitak and Abhidhamma Pitak. All these are written in Pali language.

1. Sutta Pitaka – The teachings of Buddhism are written in this epic. An important part of Suttapitaka is ‘Anguttar Nikaya’ in which 16 Mahajanapadas have been discussed.

2. Vinaya Pitaka – In this epic, the rules related to the daily life of the monks of Buddhism have been mentioned.

3. Abhidhamma Pitaka – This epic is written in the form of question and answer, in which the philosophical principles of Buddhism are described.

Jain Literature – Jain literature is called ‘Aagam or Siddhanta’. The ancient great texts of Jainism are called Puvva. The great texts of Jainism are written in Prakrit, Magadhi and Ardhamagadhi languages.

1. Visionism – In this great book, information is available from the first Tirthankar of Jainism to the time after Mahavir Swami .

2. Bhagwati Sutra – In this Jain Maha Granth, Mahavir Swami and other Jain sages have been discussed.

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3. Kalpasutra – In this great book, information about the early history of Jainism is found. This epic was written by the Jain sage Bhadravahu .

Arthashastra – This book was composed by Chanakya. It gives information about the administration of the Mauryan king Chandra Gupta .

Ashtadhyayi – This book was composed by Panini. In this Maurya period and some history before that is also found and in this the grammar of Sanskrit has also been mentioned. 

Historica – This book was composed by Herodotus who is also known as the father of history. In this book, 5th century BC. Information on the relations between India and Iran is given.

Indica – This book was composed by Megasthenes who came to the court of the Mauryan king Chandragupta as an ambassador of Seleucus Nicator In this book, information about the society and culture of the Maurya period is found.

Natural History – This book was composed by Pliny, in the first century. In this the mineral resources of India have been discussed.

Si-yu-ki – This book was written by the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang . In this , information has been provided about Hiuen Tsang ‘s travels. Hiuen Tsang came to India during the reign of King Harshavardhana. The writings of Hiuen Tsang give information about the reign of Harshavardhana. 

Tahqiq-i-Hind – This book was composed in Arabic by Aburehan or Alberuni who came to India with Mahmud Ghaznavi. Alberuni has provided information about Indian society and culture in this book. This book isalso known as Kitab-ul-Hind .

Epigraphy – The study of inscriptions is called epigraphy. The oldest writings are considered to be of the Harappan civilization, but so far no success has been found in reading them. That’s why the articles written in the records of Emperor Ashoka are considered to be the most ancient. 

Coins – The study of coins is called Numismatics. The oldest coins in India date back to 500 BC. belong to Which are called Punchmark or Ahat coins and most of these coins are of silver. In the literature, these coins have been called Kashaarpan .

Archaeological sources – Ancient civilizations like the Harappan civilization were discovered through archeology.   

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