I. CARNATIC MUSIC II. CLASSICAL DANCE FORMS III. DRAMA, PAINTING AND VISUAL ART IV. HINDUSTANI MUSIC V. IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONS VI. INDIAN ARCHITECTURE VII. INDIAN FAIRS AND FESTIVALS VIII. INDIAN MUSIC IX. LANGUAGES OF INDIA X. LITERATURE OF INDIA XI. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF INDIA XII. PAINTINGS OF INDIA XIII. PERFORMING ARTS-DRAMA XIV. PUPPET FORMS OF INDIA XV. REGIONAL FOLKS DANCES XVI. RELIGIOUS ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH CULTURE XVII. SANGAM SOCIETY AND OTHER STUFF
The Tamil classic of the 2nd Century AD titled the Silappadhikaram contains a vivid description of the music of that period. The Tolkappiyam, Kalladam & the contributions of the Shaivite and the Vaishnavite saints of the 7th & the 8th Centuries A.D. were also serve as resource material for studying musical history. It is said that South Indian Music, as known today, flourished in Deogiri the capital city of the Yadavas in the middle ages, and after the invasion & the plunder of the city by the Muslims, the entire cultural life of the city took shelter in the Carnatic Empire of Vijaynagar under the reign of Krishnadevaraya. Thereafter, the music of South India came to be known as Carnatic Music. In the field of practical music, South India had a succession of briliant & prolific composers who enriched the art with thousands of compositions. After Purandharasa, Tallapakam, Annamacharya, Naryana Tirtha, Bhadrachalam Ramdasa, Kshetranja made contributions to the wealth of the contributions. The birth of the musical trinity- Thyagraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar & Shyama Sgasyri- at Tiruvai between the years 1750-1850 A.D. ushered in an era of dynamic development in Carnatic Music. Outstanding feature of Carnatic Music is its raga system & highly developed and intricate tala system. Though clear cut demarcations in the style of musical presentation, similar to gharanas of Hindustani Music are not seen in Carnatic Music, yet we do come across styles in rendering compositions. The ancient musical forms like Prabandhas etc. gradually gave way to the different musical forms that are in use in present day music, though the basic elements of the ancient Prabandhas are still retained in the modern forms. Important Terminologies: Gitam- simplest type of composition. Taught to beginers of music, the gitam is very simple in construction, with an easy & melodious flow of music. Suladi- Very much like the gitam in musical structure & arrangement, the Suladis are of a higher standard than the gitam. Varnam- The varnam is a beautiful creation of musical craftmanship of a higher order, combining in itself all the characteristic features of the raga in which it is composed. Practice in varnam singing helps a musician attaining mastery in presentation & command on raga, tala & bhava. Svarjati- This is learnt after a course in gitams. More complicated than the gitams, the Svarjati paves the way for the learning of Varnams. The theme is either devotional, heroic or amorous. Jatiswaram/Jatisvaram- very similar to Svarjati in musical structure, this form- Jatisvaram has no sahitya or words. The piece is sung with soft syllables only. Kirtanam- The Kirtanam had its birth about the latter half of 14th Century A.D. It is valued for the devotional songs of the Sahitya. Clothed in simple music, the kirtanams abounds in Bhakti bhava. It is suited for congregational singing as well as individual presentation. Kirti- It is a development from the Kirtana. It is a highly evolved musical form. The highest limit of aesthetic excellence is reached in the Kirti composition. The raga bhava is brought out in all the rich & varied colours in this form.
Pada- Scholarly compositions in Telugu & Tamil. Though they are composed mainly as dance forms, they are also sung in concerts, on account of their musical excellence & aesthetic appeal. The music is slow- moving & dignified.
Javali- composition belonging to sphere of the height of classical music. Sung both in concert programmes & dance concerts, the Javalis are popular because of the attractive modules in which they are composed; in contrast to the padas which portray divine love, javalis are songs which are sensuous in concept & spirit.
Tillana- The Tillana, corresponding to the Tarana of Hindustani Music, is a short & crisp form, but on account of its brisk & attractive music, it sometimes finds in music concerts as a conclusion piece.
Pallavi- This is the most imaginative branch of creative music. It is in this branch of manodharma sangeeta, that the musician has ample opportunities of displaying his/her creative talents, imaginative skills & musical intelligence.
Tanam- branch of raga alpana. It is raga alpana in Madhyamkala or medium speed. There is perceptible rhythm in this. The rhythmical flow of music, flowing in fascinating patterns, makes thanam singing the most fascinating part of raga exposition. CLASSICAL DANCE FORMS Introduction The principles are derived from “Natya Shastra” by Bharat Muni. Natya comprises of music, dance and drama. It is Brahma who is said to have created “Natyaveda” which is supposed to be the essence of existent Vedas! 1)Bharatnatyam It is believed that Bharatnatyam was revealed by Lord Brahma to Bharata, a famous sage who then codified this sacred dance in a Sanskrit text called the Natya Shastra. Probably derives its name from an amalgamation of Bha from bhava, Ra from raaga and Ta from tala. Has its origin in the sadeer or the solo performance of the devadasis of Tamil Nadu. Dance fell into disrepute but was brought into mainstream by Rukmini Arundale through her school Kalashetra (also popularized by freedom fighter E.Krishna Iyer) Famous styles of Bharatnatyam:
Padanallur Tanjore Format of a Bharatnatyam Dance: Ganpati Dance- prayer to Ganesha. Alarippur- invocatory piece. Jatiswaram- pure dance-create beautiful pieces to rhythmic beats. Shabdam- abhinaya to a song in praise of God. Varnam- combines nritta and natya. Padam- dancer can reveal mastery over Abhinaya(usually padams deal with the theme of love) Thillana- pure dance.
Famous Dancers Rukmini Devi Mrinalini Sarabhai. 2)Kuchipudi Originated in Andhra Pradesh. Gets its name from the village of its birth Kuseelavapuri. Kuseelavas were groups of actors going from village to village. Basically can be traced to the dance dramas of Brahmins in temples. Features Traditionally a male preserve but now open to women too. Combines lasya and tandav. Bhama Kalapam is an important part of its repertoire. Siddhendra Yogi is the one who composed the above; believed it was a dance that could lead to salvation. Exponent : Raja and Raddha Reddy. 3)Kathak U.P. Probably inspired by rasleela. Influenced by Vaisnavism. Revolves around Radha Krishna dance. Derives its name from Kathika or story tellers who could recite stories from epics with gestures.
Involves nritta and nritya. Branched into a courtly stream in Mughal Period. Fell into disrepute, later revived. Influenced by different styles of different gharanas- Lucknow, Jaipur, Varanasi & Raigarh
Features Intricate footwork. Usage of facial expressions & hastas. No bending of knees unlike Bharatnatayam. Indian and Persian costumes. Format Ganesh vandana. Aamad (dancer enters stage with its item). Thaat (soft & varied movements). Gat Nikaas (brief outlines of mytho stories). Pradhant (recitation of complicated bols & demonstration). Tatkar (conclusion-intricate footwork & complex). Exponent Birju Maharaj Sashwati Sen. 4)Manipuri Features Emphasis on Bhakti. Not sensuous. Awesome costumes, serene expressions. Limited use of mudras. Flourished with advent of Vaishnavism. Usage of drum. Cholom means dance- both tandav and lasya elements are present. Inseparable from Rasleela. Usage of compositions or songs composed by Jayadeva, Chandidas. Brought to prominence by R.N. Tagore who introduced it in Shantiniketan. Exponent Charu Mathur. Bipin Singh. 5)Mohiniattam Kerala. “Dance of the enchantress”. Origin apparently in 19th Century at Travancore. Songs composed by Swami Thirunal. Features Elements of Bharatnatyam and Kathakali.
Grace of the former, vigour of the latter. Girls dance. Erotic and lyrical. Distinctive costumes.
Exponent Hema Malini. VyajantiMala. 6)Odissi Probably derives its name from Odra nritya mentioned in Natya Shastra. Dance of the devadasis. Influenced by Vaishnavism and Bhakti cult. Brought to light by Dr Charles Fabri, dance critic who documented it. Features Called mobile sculpture because of its graceful ad sensuous nature. Great importance to Tribhanga posture. After the devadasis fell into disrepute, it became a male preserve. Jayadeva’s ashtapadi is a compulsory item in its repertoire. Format Mangalcharan. Batunritya. Pallavi. Tharijham. Moksha (final dance of liberation) Exponents Madhavi Mudgal. Rani Karna. 7)Kathakali Katha means story, Kali means drama. Temples of Kerala. Main sources Kudiattam and Krishnattam. Ramanattam evolved into Kathakali. Popularized through Kalamandalam set up by Vallathol Menon. Features Male preserve. Suited to open air stage. Elaborate make up. Emphasis on gestures & expressions. Great use of eye expression. Color to indicate character (green-mobility; black-wickedness) Thiranottam- expressive fiery character.
Themes Epics Puranas Prevents the eternal conflict between Good and Evil. 8)Sattriya Assam, introduced by Mahapurusha Shankardeva (Vaishnava saint+reformer) in 15th Century. Named because of its religious character association with Sattras(Vaishnava Maths/Monasteries) Visible influences from Bihu, Bodos etc. Governed strictly laid down principles in respect of hastamudras, footworks, aharyas, music etc. 2 dance forms prevalent before neo-Vaishnavism movement viz, Ojapali and Devadasi. 2 varieties of Ojapali still prevalent in Assam: 1) Sukananni/ Maroi Goa Ojah- Shakti Cult. 2) Vyah Goa Ojah- Vaishnava Cult. Dancers in a Ojapali not only sing but also explain through gestures and stylized movements.
DRAMA, PAINTING AND VISUAL ART When the basic needs of food, water, clothing and shelter were fulfilled people felt the need to express themselves. Painting and drawing were the oldest art forms practiced by human beings to express themselves, using the cave walls as their canvas. Prehistoric paintings have been found in many parts of the world. We do not really know if Lower Paleolithic people ever produced any art objects. But by the Upper Paleolithic times we see a proliferation of artistic activities. Around the world the walls of many caves of this time are full of finely carved and painted pictures of animals which the cave-dwellers hunted. The subjects of their drawings were human figures, human activities, geometric designs and symbols. In India the earliest paintings have been reported from the Upper Paleolithic times. ●The first discovery of rock paintings was made in India in 1867–68 by an archaeologist, Archibold Carlleyle, twelve years before the discovery of Altamira in Spain.Cockburn, Anderson, Mitra and Ghosh were the early archaeologists who discovered a large number of sites in the Indian sub-continent.
● The rock shelters on banks of the River Suyal at Lakhudiyar, about twenty kilometres on the Almora– Barechina road, bear these prehistoric paintings. Lakhudiyar literally means one lakh caves. The paintings here can be divided into three categories: man, animal and geometric patterns in white, black and red ochre. Humans are represented in stick-like forms. A long-snouted animal,a fox and a multiple legged lizard are the main animal motifs. Wavy lines, rectangle-filled geometric designs, and groups of dots can also be seen here.
●The granite rocks of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh provided suitable canvases to the Neolithic man for his paintings. There are several such sites but more famous among them are Kupgallu, Piklihal and Tekkalkota. Three types of paintings have been reported.
●The caves of Bhimbetka were discovered in 1957–58 by eminent archaeologist V.S. Wakankar and later on many more were discovered.
●The rock art of Bhimbetka has been classified into various groups on the bases of style, technique and superimposition. The drawings and paintings can be catagorised into seven historical periods. Period I, Upper Palaeolithic; Period II, Mesolithic; and Period III, Chalcolithic. After Period III there are four successive periods. The paintings of the Upper Palaeolithic phaseare linear representations, in green and dark red, of huge animal figures, such as bisons, elephants, tigers, rhinos and boars besides stick-like human figures.
●The largest number of paintings belong to Period II that covers the Mesolithic paintings. During this period the themes multiply but the paintings are smaller in size. Hunting scenes predominate. The hunting scenes depict people hunting in groups, armed with barbed spears, pointed sticks, arrows and bows. In some paintings these primitive men are shown with traps and snares probably to catch animals.
The hunters are shown wearing simple clothes and ornaments. Sometimes, men have been adorned with elaborate head-dresses, and sometimes painted with masks also. Elephant, bison, tiger, boar, deer, antelope, leopard, panther, rhinoceros, fish, frog, lizard, squirrel and at times birds are also depicted. The Mesolithic artists loved to paint animals. In some pictures, animals are chasing men. In others they are being chased and hunted by men.
●Period III covers the Chalcolithic period. The paintings of this period reveal the association, contact, and mutual exchange of requirements of the cave dwellers of this area with settled agricultural communities of the Malwa plains. Many a time Chalcolithic ceramics and rock paintings bear common motifs, e.g., cross-hatched squares, lattices.
●The artists of Bhimbetka used many colors, including various shades of white, yellow, orange, red ochre, purple, brown, green and black. But white and red were their favourite colours. The paints were made by grinding various rocks and minerals. They got red from haematite (known as geruin India). The green came from a green variety of a stone called chalcedony.
White might have been made out of limestone. The rock of mineral was first ground into a powder. This may then have been mixed with water and also with some thick or sticky substance such as animal fat or gum or resin from trees. Brushes were made of plant fibre. What is amazing is that these colours have survived thousands of years of adverse weather conditions. It is believed that the colors have remained intact because of the chemical reaction of the oxide present on the surface of the rocks.
What we learn from these paintings ?
Ans:- These prehistoric paintings help us to understand about early human beings, their lifestyle, their food habits, their daily activities and, above all, they help us understand their mind—the way they thought. Prehistoric period remains are a great witness to the evolution of human civilization, through the numerous rock weapons, tools, ceramics and bones. More than anything else, the rock paintings are the greatest wealth the primitive human beings of this period left behind. ●The arts of the Indus Valley Civilization emerged during the second half of the third millennium BCE. The forms of art found from various sites of the civilization include sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry, terracotta figures, etc.
●The two major sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation, along the Indus river—the cities of Harappa in the north and Mohenjodaro in the south—showcase one of earliest examples of civic planning. Other markers were houses, markets, storage facilities, offices, public baths, etc., arranged in a grid-like pattern. There was also a highly developed drainage system. While Harappa and Mohenjodaro are situated in Pakistan, the important sites excavated in India are Lothal and Dholavira in Gujarat, Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Ropar in the Punjab, Kalibangan and Balathal in Rajasthan, etc.
●The stone statuaries found at Harappa and Mohenjodaro are excellent examples of handling threedimensional volumes. In stone are two male figures — one is a torso in red sandstone and the other is a bust of a bearded man in steatite—which are extensively discussed.
●Terracotta:- The Indus Valley people made terracotta images also but compared to the stone and bronze statues the terracotta representations of human form are crude in the Indus Valley. They are more realistic in Gujarat sites and Kalibangan. The most important among the Indus figures are those representing the mother goddess. In terracotta, we also find a few figurines of bearded males with coiled hair, their posture rigidly upright, legs slightly apart, and the arms parallel to the sides of the body. The repetition of this figure in exactly the same position would suggest that he was a deity. A terracotta mask of a horned deity has also been found. Toy carts with wheels, whistles, rattles, birds and animals, gamesmen and discs were also rendered in terracotta.
● Seals:- Archaeologists have discovered thousands of seals, usually made of steatite, and occasionally of agate, chert, copper, faience and terracotta, with beautiful figures of animals, such as unicorn bull, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, bison, goat, buffalo, etc.
●The standard Harappan seal was a square plaque 2×2 square inches, usually made from the soft river stone, steatite.
●The most remarkable seal is the one depicted with a figure in the centre and animals around. This seal is generally identified as the Pashupati Seal by some scholars whereas some identify it as the female deity. This seal depicts a human figure seated cross-legged. An elephant and a tiger are depicted to the right side of the seated figure, while on the left a rhinoceros and a buffalo are seen. In addition to these animals two antelopes are shown below the seat. Seals such as these date from between 2500 and 1500 BCE and were found in considerable numbers in sites such as the ancient city of Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley. Pottery
A large quantity of pottery excavated from the sites, enable us to understand the gradual evolution of various design motifs as employed in different shapes, and styles. The Indus Valley pottery consists chiefly of very fine
wheelmade wares, very few being hand-made. Plain pottery is more common than painted ware. Plain pottery is generally of red clay, with or without a fine red or grey slip. It includes knobbed ware, ornamented with rows of knobs. The black painted ware has a fine coating of red slip on which geometric and animal designs are executed in glossy black paint.
Beads and Ornaments
The Harappan men and women decorated themselves with a large variety of ornaments produced from every conceivable material ranging from precious metals and gemstones to bone and baked clay. While necklaces, fillets, armlets and finger-rings were commonly worn by both sexes, women wore girdles, earrings and anklets. Hoards of jewellery found at Mohenjodaro and Lothal include necklaces of gold and semi-precious stones, copper bracelets and beads, gold earrings and head ornaments, faience pendants and buttons, and beads of steatite and gemstones. All ornaments are well crafted. It may be noted that a cemetery has been found at Farmana in Haryana where dead bodies were buried with ornaments.
Maurya period art forms
●Ashoka emerged as the most powerful king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronised the shraman tradition in the third century BCE
●Buddhism became the most popular social and religious movement. Yaksha worship was very popular before and after the advent of Buddhism and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism. Construction of stupasand viharasas part of monastic establishments became part of the Buddhist tradition. The Mauryan pillar capital found at Sarnath popularly known as the Lion Capital is the finest example of Mauryan sculptural tradition. It is also our national emblem. Monumental images of Yaksha, Yakhinisand animals, pillar columns with capital figures, rock-cut caves belonging to the third century BCE have been found in different parts of India.
●Large statues of Yakshasand Yakhinisare found at many places like Patna, Vidisha and Mathura. These monumental mimages are mostly in the standing position.
●One of the best examples of the structure of astupain the third century BCE is at Bairat in Rajasthan. It is a very grand stupahaving a circular mound with a circumambulatory path. The great stupaat Sanchi was built with bricks during the time of Ashoka and later it was covered with stone and many new additions were made.
●The pattern of patronage has been a very collective one and there are very few examples of royal patronage. Patrons range from lay devotees to gahapatisand kings. Donations by the guilds are also mentioned at several sites. However, there are very few inscriptions mentioning the names of artisans such as Kanha at Pitalkhora and his disciple Balaka at Kondane caves. Artisans’ categories like stone carvers, goldsmiths, stone-polishers, carpenters, etc. are also mentioned in the inscriptions.
●The Lion Capital discovered more than a hundred years ago at Sarnath, near Varanasi, is generally referred to as Sarnath Lion Capital. This is one of the finest examples of sculpture from the Mauryan period. Built in
commemoration of the historical event of the first sermon or the Dhammachakrapravartana by the Buddha at Sarnath, the capital was built by Ashoka.
●The capital originally consisted of five component parts: (i) the shaft (which is broken in many parts now), (ii) a lotus bell base, (iii) a drum on the bell base with four animals proceeding clockwise, (iv) the figures of four majestic addorsed lions, and (v) the crowning element, Dharamchakra, a large wheel, was also a part of this pillar. However, this wheel is lying in a broken condition and is displayed in the site museum at Sarnath. The capital without the crowning wheel and the lotus base has been adopted as the National Emblem of Independent India.
Post mauryan period.
●Bharhut sculptures are tall like the images of Yakshaand Yakhshiniin the Mauryan period, modelling of the sculptural volume is in low relief maintaining linearity. Images stick to the picture plane. In the relief panels depicting narratives, illusion of three-dimensionality is shown with tilted perspective. Clarity in the narrative is enhanced by selecting main events. At Bharhut, narrative panels are shown with fewer characters but as the time progresses, apart from the main character in the story, others also start appearing in the picture space. At times more than one event at one geographical place is clubbed in the picture space or only a single main event is depicted in the pictorial space.
Narrative reliefs at Bharhut show how artisans used the pictorial language very effectively to communicate stories. In one such narrative, showing Queen Mayadevi’s (mother of Siddhartha Gautam) dream, a descending elephant is shown. The queen is shown reclining on the bed whereas an elephant is shown on the top heading towards the womb of Queen Mayadevi.
The next phase of sculptural development at Sanchi Stupa-1, Mathura, and Vengi in Andhra Pradesh (Guntur District) is noteworthy in the stylistic progression. Stupa-1 at Sanchi has upper as well as lower pradakshinapatha or circumambulatory path. It has four beautifully decorated toranas depicting various events from the life of the Buddha and the Jatakas. Figure compositions are in high relief, filling up the entire space. Depiction of posture gets naturalistic and there is no stiffness in the body. Heads have considerable projection in the picture space.
● The first century CE onwards, Gandhara (now in Pakistan), Mathura in northern India and Vengi in Andhra Pradesh emerged as important centres of art production, The Buddha image at Mathura is modelled on the lines of earlier Yakshaimages whereas in Gandhara it has Hellenistic features.
The shrines of the temples were of three kinds—
(i) sandharatype (without pradikshinapatha)
(ii) nirandharatype (with pradakshinapatha), and
(iii)sarvatobhadra(which can be accessed from all sides).
Important temple sites of this period are Deogarh in Uttar Pradesh, Eran, Nachna-Kuthara and Udaygiri near Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. These temples are simple structures consisting of a veranda, a hall and a shrine at the rear.
There are 10 styles of singing & compositions. 1. Dhrupad- oldest & grandest form of Nibaddha Sangeet. Believed to be an elaboration of prabandha structure. Name derived from “dhruv” and “pada” (verse). Denotes both verse style of poetry and style in which it is sung. In structure, dhrupad has 2 parts, anibaddha section & the sanchari proper. The first is a free alaap. The dhrupad proper is a song in 4 parts: the asthayee, the antara, the sanchari & the abhoga. The instruments “been” and “Pakhwaj” were closely associated with the dhrupad. Alaap is largest portion of the performance. Dhrupad is in decline since 18th Century. 2. Khayal- Literally means “story thought”/ “imagination”. Scholars believe its roots in the ancient Indian rupaka alaps. 2 Types- Vilambit(slow) & Drut(fast) Khayal. Comparable to the vanis in Dhrupad, we have gharanas in Khayal. Khayal is also composed in a particular raga and tala & has a brief text. The Khayal texts range from praise of Kingsor seasons, description to the pranks of Lord Krishna, divine love & sorrow of separation. There are 6 mains gharanas in Khayal: Delhi, Patiala, Agra, Gwalior, Kirana, Atrawli-Jaipur. Gwalior-oldest gharana/ mother of all gharana. 3. Thumri- a) It is love song & hence textual beauty is very important. b) 2 styles of singing- Poorab or Banaras(slow), Punjabi Style. c) very lyrical in the structure & presentation. d) believed to have been influenced by hori, kajri & dadra. e) 18th Century, Eastern UP(mainly Lucknow & Benaras). f) also called “lyric of Indian classical music”. g) Love, separation & devotion. Various episodes of Lord Krishna & Radha. h) Usually performed as last item of Khayal concert. i) 3 main gharanas of Thumri- Benaras, Lucknow & Patiala. 4. Dhamar-Hori- a) compositions similar to Dhrupad but chiefly associated with their festival. b) specifically in praise of Lord Krishna. c) sung in Dhamar tale ( festivals Janmasthami, Ram Navami & Holi) d) description of spring season & Radha Krishna love. 5. Tappa- a) consists of songs uttered in fast note patterns. b) difficult composition & needs practice. c) late 8th Century AD from folk songs of camel drivers.
d) Tappa literally means “jump” in Persian. e) Folklore of love+passion; written in Punjabi. 6. Dadra- a) bears a close resemblance to Thumri. b) texts are as amorous as those of Thumri. c) major difference as that of Dadras have more than one antara & are in dadra tala. d) Singers usually sing of dadra after a thumri. 7. Ragasogar- a) 8-12 ragas; lyrics indicate change of ragas. b) musical passages in different ragas as 1 song composition. c) depends on how smoothly the musical passages change along with the ragas. 8. Tarana- is a style consisting of peculiar syllables woven into rhythmical patterns as a song. It is usually sung in faster tempo. 9. Chaturang- denotes 4 colours as composition of a song in 4 parts: Fast Khayal, Tarana Sangam & “Paran” of Tabla or Pakhwaj. 10. Ghazal- a) mainly a poetic form than a musical form, but it is more song like than the thumri. b) described as “pride of Urdu poetry”. c) originated in Iran in 10th Century AD. d) never exceeds 12 Shers (couplets) and on average has 7 shers. e) found an opportunity to grow & develop in India around 12th century AD when Mughal influences came to India & Persian gave way to Urdu as a language of poetry & literature. f) developed and evolved in the courts of Golconda & Bijapur under patronage of Muslim rulers. g) 18th & 19th Century AD- golden period of Ghazals with Delhi & Lucknow as main centres. IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONS All India Radio National broadcasting service planned, serviced, developed & operated by Min. of Information & Broadcasting. Operations began in 1936. Objectives- to inform, educate, entertain the masses. Today- 198 Broadcasting centres+ 305 transmitters. Coverage- 90% in area. 97.3% in population. 24 languages, 146 dialects, 24 languages in extended provinces. Allahabad Museum Under the aegis of aegis of Dept. of Culture. GOI declared it an institution of national importance in 1985. Has fabulous collection of Bharat Bhumara & Jamsot Sculptures+ teracotta from Kausambi, Bhita, Jhusi, Pataliputra, Sarnath, Rajghat, Ahichchatra. Also has paraphernalia of Nehru family. Manuscript of “An Autobiography” by J L Nehru. Paintings of Abanindranath Tagore, Jatin Roy, Nandalal Bose, Atish Kumar Haldar, Kshitindranath Mazumdar & Sudhir Ratan Khastgir. Other important paintings of Vijayavargiya. Foreign Paintings- Nicholas Roerich, his son Svetsolav Roerich & Anagarika Govinda. Introduced courses in Archaeology, conservation of Museum & library materials & appropriation of art objects.
Anthropological Survey of India Dec 1945-established, as scientific orgn. Under Dept. of culture, GoI. HQ-Calcutta, Regional Centres(RC)- Nagpur, Mysore, Shillong, Dehradun, Port Blair & Jagdalpur. Acts as nodal orgn. Of scientific research in anthro. & allied disciplines in the country. Responsible for conducting bio-cultural research of tribes etc & entire gamut of human evolution in India. Archaeological Survey of India Functions as an attached office of Dept of Culture, Min of Culture, Youth Affairs & Sports. Estb1861(primary tasks of conservation, preservation & maintenance of centrally protected monument & sites) Multifarious activities include- i)Carrying out archaeological excavations ii)chemical preservation of monuments+ antiquarian remains. iii)architectural survey of monuments. iv)bringing out archaeological publications. v)carrying out archaeological expeditions abroad(both excavation+ conservation). vi)carrying out underwater archaeology. Declared 3598 centrally protected monuments- of national importance including 16 world heritage monuments. Asiatic Society Founded- 1784 by William Jones, obj- of inquiring into history, arts, science, literature of Asia. Has contributed to growth of literary+ scientific activities in country. GOI- declared it of national imp. In 1984. One of leading centres of Ideology in the world. Bharat Bhavan Independent trust created under Legislature of MP state. Multi-arts complex providing interactive proximity to verbal, visual+ performing arts. Place for contemporary articulation, reflection+ innovation. Consists of: i)Roopankar- Museum of Arts, which houses both contemporary urban+folk+tribal arts. ii) Rangmandal- professional repository having an indoor theatre called Antarang & outdoor theatre called Bahirang. iii)Vagarh- centre for Indian Poetry, Library of 7000 books in 14 Indian Languages & Video Cassettes. iv)Anhad- Library of classical+ folk music. Calico Museum of Textiles 1949-estb. By Gira Sarabhai; collection of rare, exquisite fabrics from different parts of India. Central Hindi Directorate Obj:- fulfilling the Constitutional obligation of Art 351 to develop+ propagate cause of Hindi Language all over India+ abroad. It has schemes to purchase, publication of free distribution of books to non-Hindi speaking states, Indian Embassies+ Consulates abroad. Journals- Bhasha, Varshiki, Sahityamala. CCRT Centre for Cultural Research & Training-autonomous org. under GoI in May 1979.
Admin control of Dept. of Culture. HQ-Delhi. RC- Udaipur, Hyderabad. Obj:- link education with culture, awaken the consciousness of students about significance of Culture. Conducts variety of programmes(training) for in-service teachers, to help them gain deeper understanding of Indian Art+Culture. Implements Cultural Talent Research Scholarship Scheme. CCRT Teachers Award- select teachers every year in recognition of outstanding work in field of education & culture.
Central Institute of Buddhist Studies Est:-1959. Train students in Buddhist philosophy, literature & arts. Affiliated to Sampuranand Sanskrit Vishwa Vidyalaya, Varanasi. Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies given “Deemed University” status from April 1988, autonomous organization fully financed by GoI. Estb:- objective to preservation of Tibetan Culture+ tradition restoration of ancient Indian Literature preserved in Tibetan Languages & providing higher education in Buddhist Studies. Central Institute of Indian Languages Mysore. Primarily involved in research in analysis, pedagogy, technology & use of language. Various schemes designed towards development of Indian Languages. RC- Bhubaneshwar, Mysore, Patiala, Solan & Lucknow. Encourage publication in Indian Languages including Tribal Language. Central Secretariat Library Originally known- Imperial Secretariat Library. Estb:-1891. Collection of 8 lakh volumes. Provides facilities for reference & research to Central Govt offices & organizations, employees, general readers, research scholars. Well-equipped in modern gadgets, including latest reprographic+ micrographic facilities. Dairatul- Maarifil- Osmania Hyderabad. 1888- Imadul-Mulk Sayyid Hussain Bilgrami, Fazilat Jang & Mulla Abdul Qayyam under patronage of Mir Osman Ali, Nizam of Hyd. Obj:- to collect, preserve and publish rare & hitherto unpublished works connected with Islamic learning. Has published 100s of rare works in Arabic. Darul Musamiffen 1914. Azamgarh, UP, by Maulana Shibli Nomani. Academy of research in Islamic studies+ publication of works on Islamic learning & history+ culture. Biography of Prophet Mohammad “Sirantum- Nabi” kept here in 6 volume. Monthly under Journal- Maarif. Darul-Uloom, Deoband Deoband, UP. 1866 by Haji Modh. Abid Hussain.1 of the foremost centres of Islamic Learning in Asia. 13 academic depts provide instructions in 22 disciplines including Quran & Quranic Commentary, Science of Recitation of Quran etc. Certificates are recognized by premium religious institutions of the world like Al-Azhar University of Cairo & Madina University of Saudi Arabia. It has a governing body headed by “Sarprast”(chancellor). Delhi Public Library
Estb:-1951. Financial & technical assistance from UNESCO. Consists of:- central Library+zonal library @ Sarojini Nagar+ 4 branch libraries, a Braille Library, 3 sports Libraries, special outlet for Central Jail. It is a recipient of library under Delivery of Books Act.
Department of Culture Earlier- Ministry of HRD, now shifted to newly created Min of Culture, Youth Affairs & Sports. Set up-1985. Came into existence-174th Amendment of GoI(Allocation of Business Rules),1961. Plays a vital role into preservation, promotion & dissemination of art & culture. Major activities include providing financial aid through schemes & grants. Boosts cultural ties with different countries in the world through Cultural Exchange Programs. Training courses & observing centenaries & anniversaries of great persons. Department of Youth Affairs & Sports Obj:- Developing human potential in field of youth affairs & sports. Various programmes & schemes gives assistance, training & awards to ogranizations, sports persons & youth to motivate them to contribute towards national development. Also responsible for promoting sports & games in the country. Acquired separate identitiy-1985- coinciding with International Youth Year. Implements different sports promotion schemes with the aim of achieving excellence in Sports @ national+ International. Directorate of Film Festivals Responsible for organizing national & International film festivals in India, organizing film weeks in India+ abroad. Also responsible for organizing national film awards annually. Doordarshan 1959, Foremost Tv Network. 1 of the largest broadcasting organization in the world. Operates 21 channels, network of 47 programme Production Centres & 1008 Transmitters. Puts over 1393 hours of programmes every week. 87.9% of the country’s population- terrestrial signals. 40 million people watch. Films Division 1948; Central film producing org. of GoI. Prime responsibilities:- production & distribution of short & documentary films. Centres-Bangalore+ Calcutta. Films Finance Corporation 1960; GoI in order to improve the standard for film production & to sponsor Film Festivals & Finance weeks. Film & Television Institute of India 1960; Pune. Member of ILCET(International Liasion Centre of Schools of Cinema & Television). Organization of world’s leading schools of film & television. Prime Obj:- importing of organized technical training in the art of film making. Every year, FTII invites national+ Internationally renowned film makers as guest lecturers. Has churned out 100s of successful directors, actors, cameramen & technicians.
The Television wing of Institute mainly caters for the training needs of production & technical assistance staff of Doordarshan. Short term orientation courses for IIS(Indian Information Services) officers & students of film department. FTII enters short films by students in various international short film festivals to give exposure to their work.
French Institute of Indology 1955, Pondicherry. Research Centre for Indian Languages & Culture. Science and technical section prepares vegetation maps of soil types, geology and lithology of India. Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti Set up Dept of Culture-1984 as Gandhi Samiti. Primarily to maintain the national memorial of Gandhiji & the photo exhibition @ Rajghat called Gandhi Darshan, created 2 the time of Gandhiji’s birth centenary in 1969. It has published number of books on life & values of Gandhiji. Organises Gandhiji Memorial Lectures by eminent scholars both in India+ abroad. Indian Council for Cultural Relations Estab:- 1950. Autonomous Orgn. Of GoI. Obj:- a) to participate in formulation & implementation of policies+ programmes relating to India’s external cultural relation. Promote cultural exchanges with other countries & peoples. c. Promote+ strengthen cultural relations & cultural understanding between India & other countries. d. Establish & develop relations with national & international organizations in field of culture. e. Arranges for exchanges of visits by scholars, academicians, opinion makers, artists & writers as well as visits by performing arts groups & exhibitions. f. Also administrators scholarships schemes for foreign students for studies in India; organizes the Maulana Azad Memorial Lecture+ Maulana Azad Essay Competition+ J L Nehru Award for International Understanding. ICCR’s president- VP of India. ICCR currently- 2 VP’s and a DIR. GEN. ICCR’ HQ- Azad Bhavan, New Delhi. RC- Bangalore, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram. Abroad- Cairo, London, Berlin, Colombo, Durban, Georgetown, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Moscow, Port Louis, Port of Spain. Indian Council of Cultural Research 1972; under MOHRD. HQ- Delhi. Formulates+ implements policy on historical research & encourages scientific writing of history through research projects, seminars, publications & grants. Awarded so far, 1822 fellowships 7 2291 study-cum travel agents. Indian Institute of Islamic Studies 1964; New Delhi. Effort of Hakim Abdul Hamid, Chairman of Hamdard National Foundation. Largest Islamic Institute in India. Obj- to foster the study of Islamic culture+ civilization+ provide facilities for research in the impact of Islam on India+ abroad. Indian Museum, Calcutta
1814; Asiatic Society. Oldest+ largest institution of its kind in India. Houses unique features of Indian+ foreign art representing centuries of cultural ethos. Vast gallery of paintings, coins, sculpture, bronzes, metals, textiles & decorative art. Mineralogy Gallery has very extensive collection of Minerals from India all over. Numismatic gallery displays punch marked coins from 5 BC to 2 AD. Greek+ Arab+ Gupta Period.
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Estb- Autonomous trust in memory of Mrs Gandhi. Conceptualised as a centre for the study of various art forms. Implements the projects of strengthening the national facility for interactive multimedia documentation of cultural resources with UNDP assistance. It has 5 divisions:- i) Kalanidhi- repository of reference material relating to humanities & arts, outstanding library+ cultural archives with access to multimedia databases. ii) Kalakosa- deals with research work on publications of works on art. iii) Janapada Sampada- undertakes to build core collection of material on folk+ tribal arts+ crafts. a)Loka Sampada- which revolved sround a community. b)Kshetra Sampada- resolves around the region. iv)Kala Darshan- aims to provide a form for facilitating a creative dialogue amongst cultures, disciplines, diverse arts. v)Sutradhara- gives administrative, managerial & organisational support to all other division. Nodal administrative division serves as central coordinator of programmes. IGNOU Estab:- 1985, provide cost-effective, quality education to large sections of population, particularly to disadvantaged sections, remote+ flung areas. Pioneer in Distance Education. Recipient of Centre of Excellence in Distance Learning Award by Commonwealth Learning in 1993. Has also constituted Distance Education Council(DEC) through which it provides expertise & assistance to other open & Distance Learning Institutions in Country. 504 study cetres, 24 regional centres, 47 programmes consisting of 533 courses. 6 Lakh students. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya Autonomous org. 1987. under Dept of Culture. Depicts evolutionary story of humankind in Global Perspective but with special focus on India. Open Air Museum. Indoor Display Galleries. 36 pre-historic rock shelters; 1000-6000 year old paintings. (Anthropological objects of National heritage)- involved in retrieving. Also participated in World Congress on Archaeology. Ethno-biology, Musicology, Rock Art, Museography, Bio-Diversity, Indigenous Knowledge+ Cultural Diversity, Conservation etc. To establish common platform for dialogue, technology transfer & collaboration for community regarding action combining Ecology, Economics+ Employment. Institute of Islamic Studies, Aligarh 1954. Promote Islamic Culture & civilization & study the atmosphere( political, social, economical) in Islamic Countries. Offers Diploma in West Asian Studies & also Mphil+ PhD. Jamia Millia Islamia
Aligarh, 1920 during Khilafat & Non-Cooperation Movement in response of Gandhiji’s call to boycott govt supported educational institutions. Moved from Aligarh to Delhi in 1925. Designated as Central University in 1988 by an Act of Parliament. UG+ PG Courses in various disciplines.
Jamia Nazimiya, Lucknow 1890; Sayyid Nizam. One of the leading colleges in India imparting education in Shia theology. Administered by a committee of Shia scholars. Jamia Nizamiya, Hyderabad Hazrat Hafiz Mohd Anwarullah Farooq in 1872 for propagation of Islamic Studies. Was partronised by Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam of Hyderabad. Has produced 1000s of Hufaz & scholars who have great reputation. Offers courses of 2-8 years education on Fundamentals of Islamic Sciences, Hadith, Islamic Law. Fatwas issued by it are recognized by every court in India. Recognized by Al-Azhar, Cairo+ Al Qurrah University of Makkah+ Jamia Islamia of Medina. Kalakshetra Means “Holy Place of Arts”. 1936– Rukmini Devi Arundale as a cultural academy of preservation of traditional values in Ind Art, Dance+ music. Govt took over– Presidential Ordinance- 29th sept 1993- declared it as an Institution of National Importance. Order replaced by an act of Parliament(Kalakshetra Foundation Act(No 6 of 1994). Since then, autonomous org- Dept of Culture. Modeled on Concept of “Gurukul” where music, dance, painting is taught to both sexes from all over the world. Curriculum of dance students includes classes on dance story based on “Abhinaya Darpana”. Music is a subsidiary for dance students. Kalakshetra even produces dance students & other productions made available to the public- the best of Indian classical arts. Kalamandalam Well known school for “Kathakali” in Kerala founded by V N Menon. Serves as the meeting point of Northern+ Southern styles of Kathakali as well as other dance forms such as Mohiniattam, Koodiyattam etc. Houses the imposing architectural landmark- Koothambalam. 1930; Govt of Kerala took over its maintenance- 1941. Khudha Baksh Oriental Public Library Patna. Estb- 1891. Declared as institution of National Importance in 1969 by an act of Parliament. Richest collection of Oriental Texts preserved by Khan Bahadur Cheeta Baksh, who handed it over to GoI for preservation.20,000 manuscripts in various Oriental Languages like Persian,Urdu, Arabic depicting world’s richest Islamic heritage. Rare Manuscripts like Holy Quran written in Naksh- 1269 AD by a calligrapher Yaquit-at-Mustasami; Dioscorides’ work on medical plants, Treatises of Thabit Kurra, poetical works of Mirza Kamran, brother of Humayun & manuscripts to bearing signatures of Jahangir & Shah Jahan. Has been recognized as a centre of research by 7 universities for awarding degrees of PhD/M.Phil. Brings out quality Research Journal.
Lalit Kala Academy National Academy of Fine Arts established by GoI-1954. Promotes study+ research in painting, sculpture & architecture & other applied arts. Promotes cooperation among art associations+ encourages exchange of idea between various schemes of art. Organizes “Rashtriya Kala Mela”(National Exhibition of Arts) every year+ Triennale India, an international exhibition, once in 3 years. Gives 10 National Awards
INDIAN ARCHITECTURE Indus Valley Civilization The Indus civilization flourished during the Bronze Age i.e. 2500-2000 BC. Extensive excavation work has so far identified more than 100 sites belonging to this civilization. Some of the important sites are Dholavira (Gujarat), Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Lothal (Gujarat), Sarkotada (Gujarat), Diamabad (Maharashtra), Alamgirpur (U.P.), Bhagwanpura (Haryana), Banawali (Haryana), Kuntasi, Padri (Gujarat) and Mauda (Jammu). The first of its cities to be unearthed was located at Harappa, excavated in the 1920s in the Punjab province of British India (now in Pakistan). Characteristic features
The Indus Valley is one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million. Extensive town planning was the characteristic of this civilization, which is evident from the gridiron pattern for the layout of cities, some with fortifications and the elaborate drainage and water management systems. The grid layout planning of the cities with roads at exact right angles is a modern system that was implemented in the cities of this particular civilization. The houses were built of baked bricks. Bricks of fixed sizes, as well as stone and wood were also used for building. Buildings in the lower area are rather monotonous, being mainly functional rather than decorative. The most imposing of the buildings is the Great Bath of Mohenjodaro. It is 54.86 metres long and 32.91 metres wide and with 2.43 metres thick outer walls. The Bath had galleries and rooms on all sides. Another important structure was the Granary complex comprising of blocks with an overall area of 55 x 43 metres. The granaries were intelligently constructed, with strategic air ducts and platforms divided into units. 28. The Mauryan Period Other than the remnants of Indus valley civilization, the earliest surviving architectural heritage in India is that of the Mauryans. Initial period Some of the monuments and pillars belonging to this period are considered as the finest specimens of Indian art. The Mauryan architecture was embalmed in timber, for rocks and stones were not as freely in use then. The art of polishing of wood reached so much perfection during the Mauryan period that master craftsmen used to make wood glisten like a mirror.
In 300 B.C., Chandragupta Maurya constructed a wooden fort 14.48 km long and 2.41km wide, along the Ganges in Bihar. However, only a couple of teak beams have survived from this fort. Ashoka Ashoka was the first Mauryan Emperor who began the stone architecture. The stonework of the Ashokan Period (3rd century B.C.) was of a highly diversified order and comprised of lofty free-standing pillars, railings of the stupas, lion thrones and other colossal figures. While most of the shapes and decorative forms employed were indigenous in origin, some exotic forms show the influence of Greek, Persian and Egyptian cultures. The Ashokan period marked the beginning of the Buddhist School of architecture in India. It witnessed the construction of many rock-cut caves, pillars, stupas and palaces. A number of cave-shrines belonging to this period have been excavated in the Barabar and Nagarjuni hills and Sitamarhi in Bihar. The caves are are simple in plan and are devoid of all interior decorative carvings. They served as the residences of the monks. There are several inscriptions, which indicate that these rock-cut sanctuaries were constructed by Emperor Ashoka for the monks of the Ajivika sect, who are more closely related to the Jains than to the Buddhists. The Ashokan rock-edict at Dhauli, near Bhubaneshwar, is considered to be the earliest rock-cut sculpture in India. It has a sculpted elephant on the top, which signifies the Emperor’s conversion to Buddhism after his Kalinga victory. Ashokan Pillars
The monolithic Ashokan pillars are marvels of architecture and sculpture. These were lofty free standing monolithic columns erected on sacred sites. Each pillar was about 15.24 metres high and weighed about 50 tonnes and was made out of fine sandstone. They carried declarations from the king regarding Buddhism or any other topic. The pillars have four component parts. The shafts are always plain and smooth, circular in cross-section, slightly tapering upwards and always chiselled out of a single piece of stone. The capitals have the shape and appearance of a gently arched bell formed of lotus petals. iii. The abaci are of two types: square and plain and circular and decorated and these are of different proportions. iv. The crowning animals are either seated or standing, always in the round and chiseled as a single piece with the abaci. The Sarnath pillar is one of the finest pieces of sculpture of the Ashokan period erected in 250 BC. Here, four lions are seated back to back. The four lions symbolize power, courage, confidence and pride. This Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath has been adopted as the National Emblem of India and the wheel “Ashoka Chakra” from its base was placed onto the centre of the National Flag of India. At present the Column remains in the same place where as Lion Capital is at the Sarnath Museum. The Stupas Stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the ashes of deceased, used by Buddhists as a place of meditation. Ashoka was responsible for the construction of several stupas, which were large halls, capped with domes and bore symbols of the Buddha. The most important ones are located at Bharhut, Bodhgaya, Sanchi, Amravati and Nagarjunakonda. Built for a variety of reasons, Buddhist stupas are classified based on form and function into five types: 1. Relic Stupa – in which the relics or remains of the Buddha, his disciples and lay saints are interred.
2. Object stupa – in which the items interred are objects belonged to the Buddha or his disciples such as a begging bowl or robe, or important Buddhist scriptures. 3. Commemorative stupas – built to commemorate events in the lives of Buddha or his disciples. 4. Symbolic stupa – to symbolise aspects of Buddhist theology, for example, Borobuddur is considered to be the symbol of “the Three Worlds (dhatu) and the spiritual stages (bhumi) in a Mahayana bodhisattva’s character.” 5. Votive stupas – constructed to commemorate visits or to gain spiritual benefits, usually at the site of prominent stupas which are regularly visited.
The shape of the stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. His crown is the top of the spire; his head is the square at the spire’s base; his body is the vase shape; his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace; and the base is his throne. The stupa represent the five purified elements: The square base represents earth The hemispherical dome/vase represents water The conical spire represents fire The upper lotus parasol and the crescent moon represents air The sun and the dissolving point represents the element of space Sanchi Stupa: Apart from the than ruins of stupa at Piprahwa (Nepal), the core of stupa No 1 at Sanchi can be considered as the oldest of the stupas. Originally built by Asoka, it was enlarged in subsequent centuries. An inscription by the ivory carvers of Vidisha on the southern gateway throws light on the transference of building material from perishable wood and ivory to the more durable stone. Amaravati Stupa: Amaravati stupa, built in 2nd or 1st century BC was probably like the one at Sanchi, but in later centuries it was transformed from a Hinayana shrine to a Mahayana shrine. Amaravati stupa is different from the Bharhut and Sanchi stupas. It had free-standing columns surmounted by lions near the gateways. The dome was covered with sculptured panels. The stupa had an upper circumambulatory path on the drum as at Sanchi. This path had two intricately carved railings. The stone is greenish-white limestone of the region. Bharhut stupa: The Bharhut stupa may have been established by the Maurya king Asoka in the 3rd century BCE, but many works of art were apparently added during the Sunga period, with many friezes from the 2nd century BCE. The stupa (now dismantled and reassembled at Kolkata Museum) contains numerous birth stories of the Buddha’s previous lives, or Jataka tales. Gandhara stupa: The Gandhara stupa is a further development of stupas at Sanchi and Bharhut. In Gandhara stupas the base, dome and the hemisphere dome are sculpted. The stupa tapers upward to form a tower like structure.
The stupas of Nagarjunakonda in Krishna valley were very large. At the base there were brick walls forming wheel and spokes, which were filled with earth. The Maha Chaitya of Nagarjunakonda has a base in the form of Swastika, which is a sun symbol. 29. The Sungas, Kushans and Satavahanas After the death of Ashoka Mauryan dynasty came to an end and the Sungas and Kushans ruled in the north and the Satavahanas in the south. These dynasties made advances in art and architecture in areas like stone construction, stone carving, symbolism and beginning of temple (or chaitya hall) and the monastery (or vihara) constructions. The period between 2nd century B.C. and 3rd century A.D. marked the beginning of the sculptural idiom in Indian sculpture where the elements of physical form were evolving into a more refined, realistic and expressive style. Under these dynasties the Asokan stupas were enlarged and the earlier brick and wood works were replaced with stone-works. The Sanchi Stupa was enlarged to nearly twice its size in 150 B.C. and elaborate gateways were added later. The Sungas reconstructed the railings around the Barhut Stupa and built the toranas or the gateways. The Satavahanas constructed a large number of stupas at Goli, Jaggiahpeta, Bhattiprolu, Gantasala, Nagarjunakonda and Amravati. During the Kushan period, the Buddha was represented in human form instead of symbols. Buddha’s image in endless forms and replicas became the principal element in Buddhist sculpture during the Kushan period. The Kushans were the pioneers of the Gandhara School of Art and a large number of monasteries; stupas and statues were constructed during the reign of Kanishka. The Schools of Art The Gandhara School of Art (50 B.C. to 500 A.D.) The Gadhara region extending from Punjab to the borders of Afghanistan was an important centre of Mahayana Buddhism up to the 5th century A.D. The region became famous throughout the world since a new school of Indian sculpture known as the Gandhara School developed during that period. Owing to its strategic location the Gandhara School imbibed all kinds of foreign influences like Persian, Greek, Roman, Saka and Kushan.
The Gandhara School of Art is also known as the Graeco-Buddhist School of Art since Greek techniques of Art were applied to Buddhist subjects. The most important contribution of the Gandhara School of Art was the evolution of beautiful images of the Buddha and Bodhisattavas, which were executed in black stone and modelled on identical characters of Graeco-Roman pantheon. Hence it is said, “the Gandhara artist had the hand of a Greek but the heart of an Indian.” The important characteristics of Gandhara school are: Depiction of Lord Buddha in the standing or seated positions. The seated Buddha is always shown cross-legged in the traditional Indian way. Rich carving, elaborate ornamentation and complex symbolism. Use of Grey stone
The best specimens of Gandhara art are from Jaulian and Dharmarajika stupa at Taxila and from Hadda near Jalalabad in modern Afghanistan. The tallest rock-cut statue of Lord Buddha is also located at Bamiyan in modern Afghanistan. The Mathura School of Art
The Mathura School of art flourished at the city of Mathura between 1-3 A.D. and was promoted by the Kushans. It established the tradition of transforming Buddhist symbols into human form. The important characteristics of Mathura school are: The earliest sculptures of Buddha were made keeping the yaksha prototype in mind. They were depicted as strongly built with the right hand raised in protection and the left hand on the waist. The figures produced by this school of art do not have moustaches and beards as in the Gandhara Art. Spotted Red sand stone mainly used. Here along with the Buddha, the kings, royal family were included in the architecture. It not only produced beautiful images of the Buddha but also of the Jain Tirthankaras and gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. The Guptas adopted the Mathura School of Art and further improvised and perfected it. The Amravati School of Art The Amravati school of Art evolved during Satavahna period. This school of art developed at Amravati, on the banks of the Krishna River in modern Andhra Pradesh. It is the site for the largest Buddhist stupa of South India. The stupendous stupa could not withstand the ravages of time and its ruins are preserved in the London Museum. This school of art had great influence on art in Sri Lanka and South-East Asia as products from here were carried to those countries. Characteristic features of Amravati school are: In the initial periods, Lord Buddha is depicted in the form of `Swastika` mark. This has been carved out on the cushioned seat over a throne that is situated under the Bodhi tree. At a later stage the Amaravati School depicted Buddha in the human form.
The figures of Amaravati have slim blithe features and are represented in difficult poses and curves. However the scenes are over-crowded Use of White marble The images of Lord Buddha from Alluru, Dharma Chakra from Lingaraja Palli, Bodhisattvas are some of the finest instances of the Amaravati School of art and sculpture. 31. Gupta period Gupta period witnessed a great development in the field of architecture. The earlier schools of art continued in this period as well. In addition a new school of art was developed, called Saranath school. The characteristic features of this school are: Usage of cream coloured sand stone Nakedness was missing, more sobre More refined and decorative background Hallow effect The standing figure of abundantly ornamented Tara is one of the best specimens of sculptural art of Sarnath School. Building of new stupas and enlargement of old ones continued in this period. Dhamekh stupa near Saranath is an example. Development of Temple architecture is one of the greatest achievements of Guptas. The temples of the Gupta period brought the new concept of installing statues of Gods in temples, a practice that did not take place earlier. There was also move towards the use of stone in construction instead of the earlier brick or wood. 32. Temple architecture
Parts of a temple complex Jagati – raised surface, platform or terrace upon which the temple is placed. Mandapa/mantapa – pillared outdoor hall or pavilion for public rituals. Antarala – a small antichamber or foyer between the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) and the mandapa, more typical of north Indian temples. Ardha Mandapa – intermediary space between the temple exterior and the garba griha (sanctum sanctorum) or the other mandapas of the temple Asthana Mandapa – assembly hall Kalyana Mandapa – dedicated to ritual marriage celebration of the Lord with Goddess Maha Mandapa – When there are several mandapas in the temple, it is the biggest and the tallest. It is used for conducting religious discourses. Garbhagriha – the part in which the idol of the deity in a Hindu temple is installed i.e.Sanctum sanctorum. The area around is referred as to the Chuttapalam, which generally includes other deities and the main
boundary wall of the temple. Typically there is also a Pradikshna area inside the Grbhagriha and one outside, where devotees can take Pradakshinas. Śikhara or Vimana – literally means “mountain peak”, refer to the rising tower over the sanctum sanctorum where the presiding deity is enshrined is the most prominent and visible part of a Hindu temples. Amalaka – a stone disk, usually with ridges on the rim, that sits atop a temple’s main tower (Sikhara). Gopuram – the elaborate gateway-towers of south Indian temples, not to be confused with Shikharas. Urushringa – An urushringa is a subsidiary Sikhara, lower and narrower, tied against the main sikhara. They draw the eye up to the highest point, like a series of hills leading to a distant peak. At the turn of the first millennium CE two major types of temples existed, the northern or Nagara style and the southern or Dravida type of temple. They are distinguishable mainly by the shape and decoration of their shikhara. Nagara style: The shikhar is beehive/curvilinear shaped. Dravida style: The shikhar consists of progressively smaller storeys of pavilions. A third style termed Vesara was once common in Karnataka which combined the two styles. This may be seen in the classic Hindu temples of India and Southeast Asia, such as Angkor Wat, Brihadisvara, Khajuraho, Mukteshvara, and Prambanan. Nagara School Nagara temples have two distinct features: In plan, the temple is a square with a number of graduated projections in the middle of each side giving a cruciform shape with a number of re-entrant angles on each side. In elevation, a Sikhara, i.e., tower gradually inclines inwards in a convex curve.
The projections in the plan are also carried upwards to the top of the Sikhara and, thus, there is strong emphasis on vertical lines in elevation. The Nagara style is widely distributed over a greater part of India, exhibiting distinct varieties and ramifications in lines of evolution and elaboration according to each locality. Examples of Nagara architecture are: (a) Odisha school: 8th to 13th century Lingaraj temple in Bubaneshwar Sun temple of Kornak (climax of Nagar style) (b) Chandela school: Kandaria Mahadev temple, Kajuraho Typical nature is Erotism (c) Gujarat under solankis Modhera sun temple Rajasthna dilwara jain temple Dravida schools Dravidian style temples consist almost invariably of the four following parts, differing only according to the age in which they were executed:
The principal part, the temple itself, is called the Vimana. It is always square in plan and surmounted by a pyramidal roof of one or more stories; it contains the cell where the image of the god or his emblem is placed. The porches or Mantapas, which always cover and precede the door leading to the cell. Gopurams are the principal features in the quadrangular enclosures that surround the more notable temples. iv. Pillared halls or Chaultris – used for various purposes, and which are the invariable accompaniments of these temples. Besides these, a temple always contains temple tanks or wells for water (used for sacred purposes or the convenience of the priests); dwellings for all grades of the priesthood are attached to it, and other buildings for state or convenience. Examples: Brihadeshwara temple (Periya kovil) Tanjavur, Temple of gangaikondacholapuram Vesara school The Vesara style is also called as the Badami chalukya style. It has the combined features of both Nagara and Dravida style. The main reason behind the combination is the location of Badami Chalukyas, which was at the buffer zone between northern Nagar style and southern Dravida style.
The Vesara style reduces the height of the temple towers even though the numbers of tiers are retained. This is accomplished by reducing the height of individual tiers. The semi circular structures of the Buddhist chaityas are also borrowed as in the Durga temple at Aihole. Virupaksha temple of Pattadakal is the finest example of Vesara style. The trend started by the Chalukyas of Badami was further refined by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta in Ellora, Chalukyas of Kalyani in Lakkundi, Dambal, Gadag etc. and epitomized by the Hoysala empire. The Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebidu and Somnathpura are supreme examples of this style. The temples built in the Vesara style are found in other parts of India also. They include tem-ples at Sirpur, Baijnath, Baroli and Amarkantak. Nagara Dravida Visara
Northern region Southern region In between. Combination of Dravida and Nagara
Shikhara is curvilinear Shikhara pyramidal
No role of pillar Pillar important
No tank Tank may be there
No enclosure Enclosure and gopuram
Ex: Mahadeva Temple, Kajuraho
Ex: Brihadeshwara Tanjavur
temple, Ex: Virupaksha temple, Pattadakal
Cave architecture The earliest man-made caves date back to the 2nd century BC while the latest date to the 7th century AD. The earlier caves were used by Buddhist and Jain monks as places of worship and residence. Some examples of this type of cave structure are Chaityas and Viharas of Buddhists. The great cave at Karle is one such example, where great Chaityas and Viharas were excavated. The Karle caves are big in size and the interior is lighted up by great windows. Other than Buddhist caves many caves of Jains and Hindus were also escavated. Some of the famous and prominent caves are at Nashik, Kanheri, Gaya (Barabar Hills), Bhaja, Nagarjunikonda, Badami, Elephanta and Ellora. Ajanta Caves
The cave temples of Ajanta are situated north of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. These caves were discovered by the British officers in 1819 AD. The thirty temples at Ajanta are set into the rocky sides of a crescent shaped gorge in the Inhyadri hills of the Sahyadri ranges. At the head of the gorge is a natural pool which is fed by a waterfall. The earlier monuments include both chaitya halls and monasteries. These date from the 2nd to 1st centuries B.C. The excavations once again revived during the reign of the Vakataka ruler Harishena during 5th century. The sculptures contain an impressive array of votive figures, accessory figures, narrative episodes and decorative motifs. The series of paintings is unparalleled in the history of Indian art, both for the wide range of subjects and the medium. The caves depict a large number of incidents from the life of the Buddha (Jataka Tales). Cave number one contains wall frescos that include two great Bodhisattvas, Padmapani and Avalokiteshvara. Other wonderful paintings in Ajanta are the flying apsara, dying princess and Buddha in preaching mode. Ellora Caves
Ellora is located at 30 km from the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Ellora has 34 caves that are carved into the sides of a basaltic hill. The caves at Ellora contain some of the finest specimens of cave-temple architecture and exquisitely adorned interiors, built by the Rashtrakuta rulers. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.
The 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves, and 5 Jain caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. The nobility, serenity and grace of Buddha are visible in the Buddhist caves of Ellora. Ellora caves also contain images of Vishwakarma, the patron saint of Indian craftsmen. The Kailasha temple in Cave 16 is indeed an architectural wonder, the entire structure having been carved out of a monolith. Bhimbetaka Caves
Bhimbetka is located in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh about 45 km to the southeast of Bhopal. Bhimbetaka, discovered in 1958 by V.S. Wakanker, is the biggest prehistoric art depository in India. Atop the hill a large number of rock-shelters have been discovered, of which more than 130 contain paintings. Excavations in some of the rock-shelters revealed history of continuous habitation from early stone age (about 10000 years) to the end of stone age (c. 10,000 to 2,000 years) as seen from artificially made stone tools and implements like hand-axes, cleavers, scrappers and knives. Neolithic tools like points, trapezes and lunates made of chert and chalcedony, besides stone querns and grinders, decorated bone objects, pieces of ochre and human burials were also found here. Elephanta Caves The Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour. The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves: the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the god Shiva. The caves are hewn from solid basalt rock.
The 6th century Shiva temple in the Elephanta caves is one of the most exquisitely carved temples in India. The central attraction here is a twenty-foot high bust of the deity in three-headed form. His image symbolizes the fierce, feminine and meditative aspects of the great ascetic and the three heads represent Lord Shiva as Aghori, Ardhanarishvara and Mahayogi. Aghori is the aggressive form of Shiva where he is intent on destruction. Ardhanarishvara depicts Lord Shiva as half-man/half-woman signifying the essential unity of the sexes. The Mahayogi posture symbolises the meditative aspect. All the caves were also originally painted in the past, but now only traces remain. Mahakali Caves These are rock-cut Buddhist caves situated in the Udayagiri hills, about 6.5km from Mumbai. These were excavated during 200 BC to 600 AD and are now in ruins. They comprise of 4 caves on the southeastern face and 15 caves on the northwestern face. Cave 9 is the chief cave and is the oldest and consists of a stupa and figures of Lord Buddha.
Jogeshwar and Kanheri Caves Located in the western suburbs of Bombay, it is second largest known cave after the Kailasa cave in Ellora and houses a Brahmanical temple dating back to the 6th century AD. Excavated between the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Kanheri is a 109-cave complex located near Borivili National Park in Bombay. The Kanheri caves contain illustrations from Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism and show carvings dating back to 200 BC. Karla and Bhaja Caves About 50-60 kms away from Pune, these are rock-cut Buddhist caves dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. The caves consist of several viharas and chaityas. 34. The Indo-Islamic Architecture Indian architecture took new shape with the advent of Islamic rule in India towards the end of the 12th century AD. New elements were introduced into the Indian architecture are: use of shapes (instead of natural forms) inscriptional art using decorative lettering or calligraphy inlay decoration and use of coloured marble, painted plaster and brilliantly glazed tiles Trabeate order was replaced by arcuate architecture i.e. an arch or dome was adopted as a method of bridging a space. Shikara was replaced by Dome Concept of Minar was introduced for the first time cementing agent in the form of mortar for the first time in the construction of buildings in India use of certain scientific and mechanical formulae which helped not only in obtaining greater strength and stability of the construction materials but also provided greater flexibility to the architects and builders This amalgamation of the Indian and the Islamic elements led to the emergence of a new style of architecture called the Indo-Islamic Architecture.
Mosques The mosque or masjid is a representation of Muslim art in its simplest form. The mosque is basically an open courtyard surrounded by a pillared verandah, crowned off with a dome. A mihrab indicates the direction of the qibla for prayer Towards the right of the mihrab stands the mimbar or pulpit from where the Imam presides over the proceedings. An elevated platform, usually a minaret from where the Faithful are summoned to attend the prayers is an invariable part of a mosque. Large mosques where the faithful assemble for the Friday prayers are called the Jama Masjids. Tombs The tomb or maqbara introduced an entirely new architectural concept. While the masjid was mainly known for its simplicity, a tomb could range from being a simple affair (Aurangazeb’s grave) to an awesome structure enveloped in grandeur (Taj Mahal). The tomb usually consists of solitary compartment or tomb chamber known as the Huzrah in whose centre is the cenotaph or zarih. This entire structure is covered with an elaborate dome In the underground chamber lies the mortuary or the maqbara, in which the corpse is buried in a grave or qabr Normally the whole tomb complex or rauza is surrounded by an enclosure The tomb of a Muslim saint is called a dargah. Almost all Islamic monuments were subjected to free use of verses from the Holy Koran and a great amount of time was spent in carving out minute details on walls, ceilings, pillars and domes.
The Delhi or the Imperial Style of Indo-Islamic architecture flourished between 1191-1557 AD and covered Muslim dynasties viz., Slave (1191-1246), Khilji (1290-1320), Tughlaq (1320-1413), Sayyid (1414-1444) and Lodi (14511557). Slave dynasty This period marks the period of beginning of Indo – Islamic architecture. During this period mainly existing buildings were converted.
The earliest construction work was began by Qutubuddin Aibak, who started erecting monumental buildings of stone on Qila Rai Pithora, the first of the seven historical cities of Delhi. The Qutb Mosque is one such building. Named as the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, it is considered as the earliest mosque in India. Qutub-ud-din Aibak also started the construction of Qutub Minar in 1192 (which was eventually completed by Iltutmish in 1230). Built to commemorate the entry of Islam it was essentially a victory tower. The diameter of the Qutub Minar is 14.32m at the base and about 2.75m at the top. It measures a height of 72.5m and contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps. Shamsuddin Iltutmish extended the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid and built the tomb of his son Nasiruddin Mohammed, which is locally known as the Sultan Ghari.
He also started his own tomb (Iltutmish’s Tomb) located in the Qutub Minar complex in 1235 AD. The tomb of Balban constructed in 1280 AD represents the first true arch built in India, which is produced by following the scientific system originally formulated by the Roman engineers. Khilji dynasty
The real development of Indo-islamic architecture occurred during this period. Red sandstone was widely used and the influence of “Seljuk” tradition can be seen here.
Allauddin Khilji established the second city of Delhi at Siri and built the Siri fort. He also built the Alai Darwaza near the Qutub Minar. The well-decorated Alai Darwaza, which served as an entrance gateway to the mosque at the Qutub complex, marks the evolution of another innovative feature in the Indo-Islamic architecture. The Jamaat Khana Masjid near Nizamuddin in Delhi and the Ukha Masjid in Bharatpur in Rajasthan were also built during this period. Tughlaq dynasty
The rulers of the Tughlaq Dynasty also undertook considerable construction activities, including building three of the seven ancient cities of Delhi. Use of Grey sandstone can be seen during this period. The architecture was focussed on strength not on the beauty. Hence minimum decoration is seen here. Sloping wall is another characteristic feature of Tuglaq architecture. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq built Tughlaqabad, the third city of Delhi, in 1321-23 AD. The Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq is an irregular pentagon in its exterior plan and its design is of the pointed or “Tartar” shape and is crowned by a finial resembling the kalasa and amla of a Hindu temple. Delhi’s fourth city Jahanpanah was built by Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq in mid-14th century.
Feroz Shah Tughlaq was undoubtedly the greatest builder among all the rulers of the Tughlaq dynasty. He built Ferozabad, Delhi’s fifth city, in 1354 AD. The famous Firoz Shah Kotla ground is the only remnant of its past glory. He is also credited with founding the fortified cities of Jaunpur, Fathabad and Hissar. His construction works were of a unique simple style characterised by the use of inexpensive materials. It was only Feroze Shah Tughlaq who took up large-scale restoration works and repaired hundreds of monuments, including the Qutub Minar which was damaged by lightening in 1369 AD. Sayyid and Lodi dynasty
In the 14th century under the Timurid rulers, Islamic architecture underwent a change. The narrow horseshoe arch was replaced by the true arch, an idea imported directly from Persia. They used wooden beams as supports, and eventually the four-centred arch minus the beam support came into vogue.
During the Sayyid and the Lodi Dynasties, mainly the constructions of tombs were continued. More than fifty tombs of different sizes were constructed.
The Lodis introduced the concept of double domes built one upon the other, leaving some space in between. Two different types of tombs with octagonal and square plans respectively began to be constructed. The Tombs of Mubarak Sayyid, Muhammad Sayyid and Sikander Lodi are all of the octagonal type. The square tombs are represented by such monuments as the Bara Khan Ka Gumbad, Chota Khan Ka Gumbad, Bara Gumbad. The Tomb of Isa Khan, the Tomb of Adham Khan, Moth ki Masjid, Jamala Masjid and the Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid belong to the final phase of the Delhi style of architecture. 36. Provincial Style of Architecture The Provincial Style of Architecture encompasses the architectural trends and developments noticed in different provincial capitals in India. Bengal, Malwa, Kashmir, Jaunpur, Bijapur are some of the important provincial schools existed during this time. Along with the Indo-Islamic style of architecture these provincial schools possessed certain special characteristics: Bengal school Use of bricks Use of black marble Ex: Tantipara Masjid, Chamkatti Masjid, Lotan Masjid Malwa schools Absence of minar in mosque Some European influence can also be seen in the later phase Ex: Mandu fort, Jahaj mahal Kashmir school Wooden architecture. The log construction using deodar trees for the construction of wooden bridges called kadals or the wooden shrines called ziarats are the best illustrations of wooden architecture of Kashmir. Buddhist influence can also be seen
Ex: The mosque of Shah Hamdan in Srinagar, Jami Masjid at Srinagar Jaunpur school Absence of minars Ex: Atala Masjid, Khalis Mukhlis Masjid Deccan school
distinct originality and independence of style unique architectural style which is a mixture of Persian, Pathan and Hindu forms Ex: Gulbarga Fort, Bidar Fort, Charminar, Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad, Golconda fort Bijapur school development of the dome reached its acme Ceiling without support Ex: Gol Gumbaz built by Mohammad Adil Shah (largest masonry dome in the world), Ibrahim Roza 37. Mughal architecture The Mughal rulers were visionaries and their own personalities reflected in the all-round development of various arts, crafts, music, building and architecture. The Mughal dynasty was established with the crushing victory of Babar at Panipat in 1526 AD. Babar During his short five-year reign, Babar took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. The mosque at Kabuli Bagh at Panipat and the Jami Masjid at Sambhal near Delhi, both constructed in 1526, are the surviving monuments of Babar. Humayun Babar’s son Humayun laid the foundation of a city called Dinpanah (“refuge of the faithful”) at the Purana Qila in Delhi but the city could not be completed. Humayun’s tomb which was designed in 1564 by his widow Haji Begum, was the real beginning of Mughal architecture in India. The important characteristics of Humayun’s tomb are: Charbagh style Use of red sandstone Use of round – bulb like dome design of the Taj Mahal was modelled on this tomb Akbar Architecture flourished during the reign of Akbar. The chief feature of the architecture of Akbar’s time was the use of red sandstone.
The domes were of the “Lodi” type, while the pillar shafts were many-sided with the capitals being in the form of bracket supports. One of the first major building projects was the construction of a huge fort at Agra. Creation of an entirely new capital city at Fatehpur Sikri. The buildings at Fatehpur Sikri blended both Islamic and Hindu elements in their architectural style. The Buland Darwaza, the Panch Mahal and the Darga of Saleem Chisti are the most imposing of all the buildings of Fatehpur Sikri. Jahangir Jahangir concentrated more on painting and other forms of art than on building and architecture. However, some note-worthy monuments of his time include Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra near Agra. Some of the important features of Jahangir’s architecture are: Persian style, covered with enameled tiles
Usage of marbles and precious gems Usage of white marble and covered in pietra dura mosaic
Jahangir is the central figure in the development of the Mughal gardens. The most famous of his gardens is the Shalimar Bagh on the banks of Lake Dal in Kashmir. Etimad-ud-Daula’s Tomb is another important monument built during this period. It was commissioned by Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who had been given the title of I’timad-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state). Mirza Ghiyas Beg was also the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal. The monument, also called as “Jewel box”, was built in White marble. The Jahangir’s Tomb at Shadera near Lahore, built by his wife Nur Mahal, is another outstanding architectural production of this time. Shah jahan The Mughal architecture reached its climax during the reign of Shah jahan. The single most important architectural change was the substitution of marble for the red sandstone. He demolished the austere sandstone structures of Akbar in the Red Fort and replaced them with marble buildings such as the Diwan-i-Am and the Diwan-i-Khas. In 1638 he began to lay the city of Shahjahanabad beside the river Jamuna. The Red Fort at Delhi represents the pinnacle of centuries of experience in the construction of palaceforts. Outside the fort, he built the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. He built the Jami Masjid at Agra in 1648 in honour of his daughter Jahanara Begum.
More than all these fine architectures, it is for building the Taj mahal at Agra, he was remembered often. It was built as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is considered as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. Some of the important features of Taj mahal are: Use of white marble More decoration Massive size Use of char bagh style Use of pietra dura technique Tomb building at its climax Aurangazeb
The architectural projects of Aurangazeb’s reign are represented by the Bibi-ki-Maqbara, the tomb of Aurangzeb’s wife Begum Rabia Durani, which is a poor replica of the famous Taj Mahal and is also called as Taj mahal of South India. After the death of Aurangazeb, the Mughal architecture started declining. Aurangazeb’s daughters contributed in a small way in carrying forward the Mughal trend of architecture. Zinat-unnisa Begum built the Zinat-ul-Masjid at Daryaganj in Old Delhi. The only significant monument built in the post-Aurangazeb time in Delhi was the Safdar Jung’s Tomb built in 1753 by Mirza Mansoor Khan. 38. Colonial Architecture European colonists brought with them to India concepts of their “world view” and a whole baggage of the history of European architecture: Neo-Classical, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance. The initial structures were utilitarian warehouses and walled trading posts, giving way to fortified towns along the coastline. Portuguese The Portuguese adapted to India the climatically appropriate Iberian galleried patio house and the Baroque churches of Goa. Cathedral and Arch of Conception of Goa were built in the typical Portuguese-Gothic style. The St. Francis Church at Cochin, built by the Portuguese in 1510, is believed to be the first church built by the Europeans in India. The Portuguese also built the fort of Castella de Aguanda near Mumbai and added fortifications to the Bassein fort. Dutch The Danish influence is evident in Nagapatnam, which was laid out in squares and canals and also in Tranquebar and Serampore. French The French gave a distinct urban design to its settlement in Pondicherry by applying the Cartesian grid plans and classical architectural patterns. The Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus (Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus), the Eglise de Notre Dame de Anges and the Eglise de Notre Dame de Lourdes at Pondicherry have a distinct French influence. British It was the British who left a lasting impact on the India architecture. They saw themselves as the successors to the Mughals and used architecture as a symbol of power. British started a new hybrid style of architecture called Indo – Saracenic style or Indo – Gothic style. It was a combination of Indian, Islamic and European architectures.
The first buildings were factories but later courts, schools, municipal halls and dak bungalows came up, which were ordinary structures, built by garrison engineers. A deeper concern with architecture was exhibited in churches and other public buildings. The Church of St. John at Calcutta built in 1787, St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George in Chennai are some of the examples. Most of the buildings were adaptations of the buildings designed by leading British architects in London and other places. The Indo-Gothic architecture flourished in different parts of India under the British. Some of the important architecture are: Gateway of India – Mumbai, Chepak palace – Chennai, Lakshmi vilas palace – Baroda, Victoria memorial – Kolkata The British built New Delhi as a systematically planned city after it was made the capital in 1911. Sir Edward Lutyens was made responsible for the overall plan of Delhi. He was specifically directed to “harmonise externally with the traditions of Indian art”.
The Western architecture with Oriental motif was realised with chajjas, jalis and chhattris, as stylistic devices in the Viceroy’s House (Rashtrapati Bhawan). Herbert Baker added the imposing buildings of the South Block and the North Block, which flank the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Another Englishman called Robert Tor Tussell built the Connaught Place and the Eastern and Western Courts. St Martin’s Garrison Church marks the culmination of the British architectural ventures in India. The Church is a huge monolith with a high square tower and deeply sunken window ledges reminiscent of Dutch and German architecture.
INDIAN FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Harvest festivals – Sankranti Sankranti is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. It also marks the beginning of the northward journey of the Sun from its southernmost-limit, a movement traditionally referred to as Uttarayana. This observance occurs annually around January 14 each year. Sankranti is celebrated across the country in different ways. Uttar Pradesh
In Uttar Pradesh, Sankranti is called ‘Khichiri’. Taking a dip in the holy rivers on this day is regarded as most auspicious. A big one-month long ‘Magha-Mela’ fair begins at Prayag (Allahabad) on this occasion. Apart from Triveni, ritual bathing also takes place at many places like Haridvar and Garh Mukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, and Patna in Bihar. Bengal
In Bengal every year a very big mela is held at Ganga Sagar where the river Ganga is believed to have dived into the nether region and vivified the ashes of the sixty thousand ancestors of King Bhagirath. This mela is attended by a large number of pilgrims from all over the country. Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu Sankrant is known by the name of ‘Pongal’, which takes its name from the surging of rice boiled in a pot of milk, and this festival has as much or more significance than even Diwali. It is very popular particularly amongst farmers. Rice and pulses cooked together in ghee and milk is offered to the family deity after the ritual worship. In essence in the South this Sankrant is a ‘Puja’ (worship) for the Sun God. It is a four day festival in Tamil Nadu: Day 1: Bhogi Pandigai Day 2: Thai Pongal Day 3: Maattu Pongal Day 4: Kaanum Pongal The festival is celebrated four days from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai. Jallikattu, or taming the wild bull contest, is an event held on the day of Mattu Pongal and this is mostly seen in the villages. Andhra Pradesh In Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as a three-day harvest festival Pongal. The Telugu people call it ‘Pedda Panduga’ meaning big festival. The whole event lasts for four days, the first day Bhogi, the second day Sankranti, the third day Kanuma and the fourth day, Mukkanuma. Maharashtra
In Maharashtra on the Sankranti day people exchange multi-colored tilguds made from til (sesame seeds) and sugar and til-laddus made from til and jaggery. While exchanging tilguls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other saying – ‘til-gul ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’. This is a special day for the women in Maharashtra when married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kumkum’ and given gifts of any utensil, which the woman of the house purchases on that day. The festival in Karnataka is also celebrated in the same way by exchanging ‘Ellu Bella’ (sesame seeds and Jaggery). Gujarat
In Gujarat Sankrant is observed more or less in the same manner as in Maharashtra but with a difference that in Gujarat there is a custom of giving gifts to relatives. The elders in the family give gifts to the younger members of the family. The Gujarati Pundits on this auspicious day grant scholarships to students for higher studies in astrology and philosophy. This festival thus helps the maintenance of social relationships within the family, caste and community. Kite flying has been associated with this festival in a big way. It has become an internationally well-known event. Punjab
In Punjab huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Sankrant and which is celebrated as “Lohri”. Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown in the bonfires, around which friends and relatives gather together. The following day, which is Sankrant, is celebrated as “Maghi”. The Punjabi’s dance their famous Bhangra dance till they get exhausted. Kerala The 40 days anushthana by the devotees of Ayyappa ends on this day in Sabarimala with a big festival. Bundelkhand In Bundelkhand and Madhya Pradesh Sankrant is known by the name ‘Sakarat’ and is celebrated with great pomp & merriment accompanied by lot of sweets. Tribals of Orissa Many tribals in our country start their New Year from the day of Sankrant by lighting bonfires, dancing and eating their particular dishes sitting together. The Bhuya tribals of Orissa have their Maghyatra in which small home-made articles are put for sale. Assam In Assam, the festival is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu. Bhogali Bihu, also called Magh Bihu comes from the word Bhog that is eating and enjoyment. It is a harvest festival and marks the end of harvesting season. New Year festivals Different regions follow different cultures and so the New Year traditions also vary. Every Indian state has its own history behind the New Year celebrations. People in various parts of the country celebrate New Year as per their traditional calender. Ugadi Ugadi is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Karnataka and Andhra pradesh. The name Ugadi is derived from the name “Yuga Adi”, which means ‘the beginning of a new age’. It is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month Chaitra, which marks the onset of spring. It is believed that Lord Brahma, the creator according to Hindu tradition, began creation on this day. Preparations begin well ahead of the festival. Houses are given a thorough cleaning, people don new clothes and special dishes are prepared. Gudi Padwa Gudi Padwa is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Maharashtra. It is celebrated on the same day as Ugadi i.e., the first day of the month Chaitra.
Lord Brahma is worshipped on this day and the gudi, Brahma’s flag (also called Brahmadhvaj), is hoisted in every house as a symbolic representation of Rama’s victory over Ravana. Puthandu Puthandu, also known as Varuda pirappu, is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, which falls on 14 April. Women draw patterns called kolams. A lamp called a kuttuvilaku is placed on the center of the kolam, to eradicate darkness. A ritual called kanni takes place. Kanni means ‘auspicious sight’. A car festival is held at Tiruvadamarudur, near Kumbakonam. Vishu Vishu is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Kerala. It is celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam (mid-April on the Gregorian calendar). Offerings to the divine called Vishukanni are neatly arranged on the eve of the festival and consist of rice, linen, cucumber, betel leaves, holy texts, coins and yellow flowers called konna (Cassia fistula). It is considered auspicious to see the Vishukanni first thing in the morning. On this day, people read the Ramayana and go to temples, Hindu places of worship. Children burst crackers, people wear new clothes and prepare special dishes and the elders of the house give out money to the children, servants and tenants. The money given is called Vishukaineetam. Navreh Navreh is the lunar New Year celebration in Kashmir. This coincides with the first day of the Chaitra (spring) Navratras. This day finds mention in Rajtarangini and Nilamat Purana of Kashmir and is regarded as sacred in Kashmir as the Shivratri. Navreh falls on the same day as Ugadi or Cheiraoba or Gudi Padwa. Maha vishuva Sankranti Mahavishuva Sankranti is celebrated as the Oriya New Year. On this day, religious people offer delicious Pana, a sweet drink, to their deities. During the festival people will place water pots on the roadsides to help the thirsty souls. Water is as also offered to animals and birds. This day is also a celebration of Hanuman Jayanti. Mahabishuba Sankranti generally falls on 13 or 14 April. It is celebrated on same day as Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. Bestu Varas Bestu Varas is the New Year’s Day for Gujaratis and this falls on the day next to Diwali. On this day, people greet each other on this day with “Nutan Varsha Abhinandan”. The day starts with the heavy fire works, to welcome New Year, in the early morning as Hindus believe morning starts at 4 am. Chaitti and Basoa The festivals of Chaitti and Basoa are celebrated as New Year festivals in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Chaitti is celebrated on the first day of month of Chaitra. The first day of this month is considered very important and is celebrated all over the state. Chaitti is cebrated on the same day as Ugadi and Gudi Padwa. The festival of Basoa, also known as Bishu, is celebrated on the first day of the month of Baisakh. The aboriginal and the farming folk celebrate the Basoa festival. Baisakhi Baisakhi Festival, also called Vaisakhi, holds great importance for the Sikh community and farmers of Punjab and Haryana.
Baisakhi falls on 13 or 14 April, the first day of the second month of the year according to the Nanakshahi Calendar. Sikhs also celebrate this day in honor of their tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Baisakhi commemorates the day when the Sikh Guru eliminated caste differences and founded Khalsa Panth in 1699. Nowruz Nowruz is the name of the Iranian/Persian New Year in Iranian calendars. Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them all, Nowruz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself. It is celebrated on 21 March every year, a date originally determined by astronomical calculations. Nowruz is associated with various local traditions, such as the evocation of Jamshid, a mythological king of Iran, and numerous tales and legends. It is included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Other important festivals Me-Dam-Me-Fie festival ‘Me-Dam-Me-Phi’ festival of the Tai Ahom community has been celebrated across Assam with religious fervour and traditional gaiety. The Tai-Ahoms offer oblations to their departed ancestors and offer sacrifices to Gods in traditional manner on this day. The Tai-Ahoms believe that their worthy ancestors are still living in the Heaven. The Ahom Kings, who ruled Assam for around six hundred years till 1826, performed this annual ‘ancestor worship’ initially at Charaideo, the erstwhile capital of the Ahom Kingdom, now at Sibsagar in Upper Assam. Khajuraho dance festival It is a one week long festival of classical dances held annually against the spectacular backdrop of the magnificently lit Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh. From 2010 The Khajuraho Festival of Dance is conducted every year the first week of February from the 1st to the 7th. This cultural festival highlights the richness of the various Indian classical dance styles such as Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali with performances of some of the best exponents in the field. It takes place at the open-air auditorium in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to the Sun God and the Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is organized by Culture Department of Madhya Pradesh government and Ustad Allauddin Khan Sangeet and Kala Academy. Surajkund Crafts Mela The Surajkund Crafts Mela is a week long event organized by the Haryana Tourism Department in the month of February in Faridabad since 1981. The Surajkund Crafts is an annual event that highlights some of the finest handloom and handicraft traditions of the country. Every year, the Surajkund Crafts Mela is planned by selecting a particular Indian state as a theme and entire ambience for the fair is designed accordingly. The Karnataka vibrant is the theme state for the year 2013. The craft persons from SAARC Nations are also participating in the Surajkund Crafts Mela. Lathmaar holi of Barsana in Mathura
It is a special form of traditional festivity. It is famous and Unique Holi with sticks wherein women beat up men with sticks and men protect themselves with shields. It takes place at Barsana near Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh and well before the actual Holi celebration. The main attraction is Radharani temple. Sarhul Sarhul Festival is one of the most popular tribal festivals in Orissa, Jharkhand, Bengal and Bihar. The meaning of Sarhul is ‘Worship of Sal.’ It is celebrated on the last day of Baisakh when the Sal trees bloom with flowers. The festival has resemblance of another Indian festival of Vasant-mahotsava which is a festival of flowers. In Sarhul festival, nature and the soil are worshiped; people worship the mother earth or Dharti Mata as Sita. The festival is observed by Mundas, Oraon and Santhal tribal communities, inhabiting in the regions of Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar. Traditional Sarhul Dance is also performed during Sarhul festival that lasts for several days.
Music of India was more or less uniform before the 13th Century. Later, it bifurcated into 2 musical systems: Carnatic Music- confined to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & Kerala. Hindustani Music- rest of the country. Important Terminologies: Grama is itself perhaps deviable from the idea of a group/sect (a village for example). This led to rest of “Svaras” or notes being called as Grama. There were 2 gramas prevalent- a) Shadja & b) Madhyama Grama The difference between the two was only in one note, the “panchama”. The “panchama” in Madhyama Grama was one “Sruti” lower than the panchama in Shadja Grama. Sruti: thus is unit of measure or small difference between the various consecutive pitches within the grama or scale. They are said to be 22 in number. The subsidiary scales derived from each grama are called “moorchanas”. Moorchanas are 7 in number. In the Natya Shastra of Rishi Bharata are found descriptions of melodic forms called “Jati”. Every 1 of these Jatis could be put in 1 moorchana or the other. They were distinguished like graha(staring point), nyasa(note on which the phrase stops), range of notes from low to high pitch. “Tala” is a cyclic arrangement of time units. The basic units of time division are “laghu”, “guru” & “pluta”. Laghu comprises 1 syllable, guru 2 and pluta 3. A thaka is the definition of tala by the stroke of a tabla. Each stroke on the drum has a name called “bol” or syllable. For example: dha, ne, ta, ghe, etc. Anibaddha Sangeet– one which is not restricted by meaningful words & tabla. It is a free improvisation. Alaap- is finest form of Anibaddha Sangeet. Nibaddha Sangeet- One which is restricted/closed/ bound form of music. Prabandha- often used as a generic term to indicate any “nibaddha” song. They were set to definite ” ragas” and “talas”.
LANGUAGES OF INDIA In India there are 22 scheduled languages, 114 other languages, 216 mother tongues, 96 non specified languages and totally up to 10000 languages spoken by the people. Classification Indian languages have evolved from different stocks and are closely associated with the different ethnic groups of India. Broadly the Indian languages can be put into six groups: 1) Indo-Aryan, 2) Dravidian, 3) Sino-Tibetan, 4) Negroid, 5) Austric and 6) Others. These languages have interacted on one another through the centuries and have produced the major linguistic divisions of modern India. The Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian are the dominant groups and together comprises all the major languages of India. 1. Indo-Aryan: It is part of the Indo-European family of languages, which came to India with the Aryans. It is the biggest of the language groups in India and accounts for about 74% of the total Indian population. It comprises of all the principal languages of northern and western India such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Sindhi, Rajasthani, Assamese, Oriya, Pahari, Bihari, Kashmiri, Urdu and Sanskrit. 2. Dravidian: This is the second most important group and comprises mainly of languages spoken in the Southern India. It covers about 25% of the Indian population. Proto-Dravidian gave rise to 21 Dravidian Languages. They can be broadly classified into three groups: Northern group, Central group, and Southern group of Dravidian languages. The Northern group consists of three languages i.e. Brahui, Malto and Kudukh. Brahui is spoken in Baluchistan, Malto spoken in Bengal and Orissa, while Kurukh is spoken in Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. The Central group consists of eleven languages viz., Gondi, Khond, Kui, Manda, Parji, Gadaba, Kolami, Pengo, Naiki, Kuvi and Telugu. Out of these, only Telugu became a civilized language and the rest remained tribal languages. The southern group consists of seven languages viz., Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu, Kodagu, Toda and Kota. The major languages of the Dravidian group are: (i) Telugu (numerically the biggest of the Dravidian languages), (ii) Tamil (oldest and purest language of the Dravidian family), (iii) Kannada and (iv) Malayalam (smallest and the youngest of the Dravidian family). 3. Sino-Tibetan: The Sino-Tibetan or Mongoloid family stretches all over the sub-Himalayan tracts, covering North Bihar, North Bengal, Assam up to the north-eastern frontiers of the country. These languages are considered to be older than the Indo-Aryan languages and are referred to in the oldest Sanskrit literature as Kiratas. The Tibeto-Burman languages are divided into four broad groups: i. Tibetan: Sikkimese, Bhotia, Balti, Sherpa, Lahuli and Ladakhi ii. Himalayan: Kanauri and Limbu iii. North-Assam: Abor (Adi), Miri, Aka, Dafla and Mishmi iv. Assam-Burmese: It is again sub-divided into four main sub-groups, viz. Kuki-Chin, Mikir, Bodo and Naga. Manipuri or Meithi is the most important language of the Kuki-Chin subgroup. The Bodo sub-group includes such dialects as Bodo, Rajbangsi, Koch, Mech, Rabha, Dimasa, Kachari, Chutiya, Garo, Haijong and the Tipra (Tirupuri). Mikir has strong affinities to the Bodo and is spoken in the Mikir Hills and Parts of Sibsagar district in Assam. The principal languages of the Naga sub-group are Angami, Sema, Ao, Lotha, Mao, Konyak, Kabui and Lepcha.
4. Austric: The Austric languages of India belong to the Austro-Asiatic sub-family, which are represented by languages of the Munda or Kol Group, spoken in the central, eastern and north-eastern India and languages of the Mon-Khmer group like Khasi and Nicobarese. These are very ancient languages which have been in existence much before the advent of Aryans and were referred in ancient Sanskrit literature as Nisadas. The most important language of the Austric group is Santhali, which is spoken by over 5 million Santhals and is the largest spoken among the Adivasi languages. Mundari, spoken by about a million Mundas, is another important language of this group. 5. Others: This group incudes several Dravidian adivasi languages like Gondi, Oraon or Kurukh, MalPahariya, Khond and Parji which are very distinct and cannot be classified in other groups. Pali and Prakrit Pali and Prakrit are the languages that belong to the Middle Indo-Aryan period i.e. 600 BC-1000 AD. Prakrit was the Indo-Aryan speech which was in the form of uncultivated popular dialects. Prakrit came down to us in inscriptions dating back to 4-3 BC. Practically all over India, Prakrits were freely used for inscriptions almost up to the Gupta age. In the course of time, the Prakrits were transformed into what are known as the Apabhramsa dialects, which were widely used in popular and folk literature. The various Prakrit dialects described by Prakrit grammarians are Maharastri, Sauraseni, Magadhi, Paisaci and Apabhramsa. Pali and Ardha-Magadhi are also Prakrits and were used in early Buddhist and Jain literature. The Satavahana rulers were great patrons of Prakrit. The earliest of the Buddhist literature is in Pali. Some consider Pali as Magadhi Prakrit or Magadhibhasa, while others point to a close relationship of Pali with Paisaci Prakrit spoken at that time in the Vindhya region. The Tripitakas; Milindapanha; Petakopadesa and Visuddhimagga are some early works in Pali. There is no consensus for a specific time where the modern north Indian languages such as Hindustani, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sindhi and Oriya emerged, but AD 1000 is commonly accepted. The Dravidian languages of South India had a history independent of Sanskrit. Though Malayalam and Telugu are Dravidian in origin, over eighty percent of their lexicon is borrowed from Sanskrit. The Kannada and Tamil languages have lesser Sanskrit and Prakrit influence. The Austroasiatic and TibetoBurman languages of NorthEast India also have long independent histories. Official Languages English was the only language used for official purpose in the British India. In the independent India, it was declared in Article 343 (1) that Hindi will be the official Union language. It was also mentioned that over a period of fifteen years since the commencement of the Indian Constitution, Hindi will replace English as the official language. However, the Parliament can decide whether to use English as an official language or not. The non-Hindi speaking communities across the country protested on the aspect of the change in official language from English to Hindi. This protest resulted in the enactment of the Official Language Act, 1963. According to the act, Hindi in Devanagari script has been declared the official language of the Union. However, English may also be used for official purposes even after 1965. English has been given the status of the ‘subsidiary official language’ of India. It was decided that either Hindi or English can be used for procedures of Parliament. It should be noted that there is no national language of India. Hindi is not a national language. Neither the Constitution of India, nor any Indian law defines any national language.
In the Constitution of India, there is a provision made for each of the Indian states to choose their own official language for communicating at the state level. The selected languages, which can be used for official purpose, have been listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. At present there are 22 languages in the Eighth schedule. Initially there were 14 languages. The 71st constitutional amendment act (1992) provided for the inclusion of Sindhi, Konkani, Meiteilon and Nepali. The 92nd Constitutional amendment act (2003), added 4 more languages – Bodo, Maithili, Dogri, and Santali. The 22 official languages are: 1. ASSAMESE – Assam 2. BENGALI – Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tripura, West Bengal 3. BODO – Assam 4. DOGRI – Jammu and Kashmir 5. GUJARATI – Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Gujarat 6. HINDI – Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, the national capital territory of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. 7. KANNADA – Karnataka 8. KASHMIRI – Jammu and Kashmir 9. KONKANI – Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra 10. MAITHILI – Bihar 11. MALAYALAM – Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Kerala 12. MANIPURI (also MEITEI or MEITHEI) – Manipur 13. MARATHI – Dadra & Nagar Haveli , Daman and Diu, Goa, Maharashtra 14. NEPALI – Sikkim, West Bengal 15. ODIYA – Odisha 16. PUNJABI – Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab 17. SANSKRIT – Only in scriptures. Not in usage. 18. SANTHALI – Santhal tribals of the Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa) 19. SINDHI – Sindhi community 20. TAMIL – Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu. 21. TELUGU – Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh 22. URDU – Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh However the constitution does not specify the official languages to be used by the states for the conduct of their official functions, and leaves each state free to adopt any language used in its territory as its official language or languages. The language need not be one of those listed in the Eighth Schedule, and several states have adopted official languages which are not so listed. Examples include Kokborok in Tripura, Mizo in Mizoram, Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia in Meghalaya, and French in Puducherry. Classical language status In 2004, the Government of India declared that languages that met certain requirements could be accorded the status of a “Classical Language in India”. The following criteria were laid down to determine the eligibility of languages to be considered for classification as a “Classical Language”: High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.
Tamil became the first language in India to attain the status of classical language in 2004. In 2005, Sanskrit, which already had special status in Article 351 of the Constitution of India as the primary source language for the development of the official standard of Hindi, was also declared to be a classical language. Kannada and Telugu were accorded the status in 2008, based on the recommendation of a committee of linguistic experts constituted by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
LITERATURE OF INDIA
ANCIENT INDIA Most of literature is religious: vedas,Epics,Jain and buddhist literature etc. Secular works: Most famous is Indica by Megasthenes (300 b.c.).Though original text of this work is lost,extensive quotations from it are seen in works of later authors. Lack of works with historical authenticity due to mixing of myths with history Vedas and related literature (Period:1500-1000 bc,language:sanskrit) four:rig,yajur,sama and atharva Rig veda : Oldest,1028 hymns.Indra is the chief god portrayed. Brahmanas contain detailed explanation of Vedic literature and aranyakas are an appendix to them Upanishads:Philosophical.eg:Mundaka,brihadaranyaka,chandogya etc “satyameva jayate” our national motto is from mundaka upanishad The epics and post vedic literature: The epics : Mahabharata and ramayana The puranas : brahma,vishnu,agni,padma etc Addition to these texts may have taken place even during gupta age.eg:vayu purana,matsya purana etc refer to the gupta kings Smritis:Most famous being Manu Smriti. Other works in sanskrit Kautilya’s arthashastra,Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra,Plays written by Bhasa. Panini’s ashtadhyayi & patanjali’s mahabhashya both on sanskrit grammar Buddhist texts in sanskrit:Mahavastu (collection of stories of hinayana school),Lalitavistara(of Mahayana school) and asvaghosha’s buddhacarita (period:1CE) Science based :susrutha samhita(on surgery) and charaka samhita (ayurveda) Buddhist literature Earliest buddhist literature were in Pali The tripitakas:vinaya pitaka(has rules of daily life),sutta pitaka(deals with morality) and abhidhamma pitaka (philosophy and metaphysics). Milinda-Panha:conversation between Indo greek king Menander and buddhist philosopher Nagasena Jataka tales:Concern the previous births of bodhisattva Works of Nagarjuna:most important being ‘Mulamadhyamakakarika’ Jain literature Written mainly in prakrit Angas,Upangas, Prakirnas etc are jain works Bhadrabahu(Contemporary of chandragupta maurya) wrote kalpasutra, a biography of jain tirthankaras and Parisista parva was written by Hemachandra. Literature during and after gupta age (approx 500C.E. to 1000 C.E.) Due to patronage received from the elite, creative works increased.Purpose of literature turned into entertainment also.More science based works too. Urban life and its features were often depicted in the plays.
Kalidasa and his works (Period:not clear probably 5th century AD) Dramas:Abhijnanasakuntalam,malavikagnimitram and vikramorvasiyam Epic poems:Raghuvamsa and kumarasambhava Other major works:Meghasandesam (lyric) Ritusamhara(earliest work,poem) Among the nine gems of court vikramaditya. Considered indian equivalent of shakespeare.His literature has simplicity,emotions and marks the pinnacle of ancient indian literature. Other important works Plays: Visakhadatta’s Mudrarakshasa,shudraka’s Mrichcha-katika (means toy cart) Harsha vardhana’s Priyadarsika, Ratnavali, and the Nagananda. Poetry:Harisenas poetry about samudragupta, sisupalavadha by magha,kiratarjuniya by bharavi Science/rules:Natyasastra by Bharata,Varahamihira’s Brihat samhita and aryabhatiya by aryabhata,ashtanga hridaya by vagbhata Harsha charita and Kadambari by Banabhatta Panchatantra by vishnu sharma. Tamil literature. Oldest dravidian language. Sangams were assemblies poets,bards and writers(mainly 100-300 C.E).They were patronised by kings and produced sangam literature.Of the three sangams most of literature received is from the third at madurai.Compiling of sangam works took place probably around 600 C.E. Sangam literature classified into:agam(related to love and sexuality) and puram (related to ethics,valour etc).Also classified on the basis of landscapes mullai (forests),Kurinji (mountains) marutham (agri-land) etc Major works in tamil:Tolkappiyam(earliest tamil;work on grammar),Thirukural or kural by thiruvalluvar,silapathikaram (an epic story of woman named Kannagi) by ilango adigal. Manimegalai, Civaka Cintamani, Valayapathi,Kundalakesi and silapathikaram are the 5 epics of tamil literature N.B:Due to lack of authentic sources exact time period of most of ancient works is disputed.So dates mentioned may vary considerably depending on the source you choose to trust. MEDIEVAL INDIA Rise of Hindi,Urdu and regional languages.This was partly due to the influence of bhakti tradition.The rapid growth of Bhakti movement lead to creation of large volume of literature in languages other than sanskrit and Gradual loss of importance of sanskrit Better importance to recording of history than in the past through works like Rajatarangini,Ain-e-Akbari and baburnama Early works in sanskrit Kalhana’s Rajatarangini:One of the first works on history in india with authenticity.History of kashmiri kings from ancient times. Katha sarita sagara by somadeva(stories),Gita govinda by jayadeva(Poem) Siddhanta siromani by bhaskaracharya deals with mathematics.’Lilavati’ is part of this book. Persian and Urdu Arabic and Persian were introduced in India with the coming of the Turks and the Mongols Urdu emerged as an independent language towards the end of the 4th century AD:born out of the interaction between Hindi and Persian.
Amir khusrau: He produced a volume of literature including poetry. His works include Laila Majnun, Ayina-I-Sikandari,Hasht bahisht etc Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869) enriched Urdu with his ghazals compositions Persian being court language was patronised.Akbar got Mahabharata translated into Persian.Faizi of his court was a major poet in Persian. Works on Sultanate and mughal rulers (language Persian mostly) Book Author Remarks Tabaqat-e-Nasiri Minhaj Siraj Mainly on Ghurids and some info on early sultanate Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi Zia-ud-din Barani Period of Balban to the first six years of Firuz Shah Tughluq Kitab ur Rehla Ibn battuta history of Muhammad Tughluq Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi. Yahya bin Ahmad A detailed account of reign of Mubarak Shah of sayyid dynasty Tuzk-e Babri/Babur nama Babur First written in turkic translated to persian during Akbars time Humayun Nama Gulbadan begum Akbarnama and Ain-eAkbari Abul Fazl(15511602) One of the best works of the period Regional languages Telugu Extended patronage by Vijayanagara rulers. Amukta malyada by Krishnadevaraya and manucharitam by allasani pedanna (known as Andrapitamaha) are examples Tenali ramakrishna,known for his jokes produced a great poetical work called pandu ranga mahatmyam. Kannada Language Developed fully after 10th century A.D. Kavirajamarga written by rashtrakuta king ‘Nrupatunga’ Amoghavarsha I is the earliest available kannada literary work(850 C.E) Pampa, Ponna and Ranna are called 3 gems of kannada literature. Contributions were made by Basava and Akka mahadevi , both leaders of veerashaiva bhakti movement ,through their vachanas,a type of poetry. Under Hoysalas(approx 1200C.E) major names were: o Harishvara: wrote girija kalyana,Raghavanka:wrote Harischandra kavya o Rudrabhatta:wrote jagannatha vijaya o On Grammar:Kesirja’s Shabdamani Darpana Vijayanagara period and later : o Translations of Epics: Kumaravyasa’s Bharatha, Kumara valmiki’s torave ramayana and Lakshmisha’s Jaïmini Bharata (1550) o Sarvajna,known as peoples poet wrote his tripadis. Hindi Different dialects of hindi include Braj Bhasha,Avadhi , Bhojpuri, Magadhi etc Prithviraj Raso by chand bardai(1149-1200) is the first major book in hindi
Bhakti movement had strong influence on hindi language in the later period In Avadhi: o Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi(The famous allaudin khilji-chittor-rani padmini story) o Ramcharitmanas by Tulsi das(based on Valmiki’s Ramayana but does not mention exile of sitha after return to ayodhya) In Braj bhasha: o Sur Sagar by Sur Das o Vinaya Patrika by Tulasidas Kabir who belonged to Nirguna school(belief in formless god) used sadhu khadi(a mixture of dialects along with persian and urdu words)in his dohas and poetry. Nandadasa was another Bhakti poet.Kavi bhushan (1613-1712) a supporter of shivaji. Other regional languages Language Writer(Period) Works Remarks Marathi Jnaneshwar(1275-96) Namdev (1270-1350) Eknath(1533-1599) Tukaram (15981650) Ramdas (1608-81) Amruthanubav Bhavarh deepika commentaries on Ramayana and Bhagawat Purana Earliest marathi works Greatest Bhakti poet He was guru of Shivaji Gujarati Narsih Mehto (14141481) Vaishnava poetry The hymn “Vyshnava jan to” is his work Tamil Kambar(12th century) Azhvars Nayanmars Kambaramayanam Bhakti songs Bhakti poets translation of valmiki ramayanam. Vaishnava bhakti saints They were 10or12 Saiva saints About 60 in number Malayalam (evolved by 14th century.) Ezhuthachan Poonthanam Cherusseri ( 1375 – 1475) AdhyatmaRamayanam Mahabharatham Njanappana Krishnagadha Father of malayalam language Hymns in Bhakti tradition Oriya Saraladasa(15th cent) Translated mahabharata First works of oriya
Upendra Bhanja (1670 – 1720)
Baidehisha Bilasa Labanyabati
literature New Era of oriya
MODERN INDIAN LITERATURE Gradual change from court literature to other areas of creativity. Influenced by thoughts of nationalism,rationalism,western education etc New form of literatures like Novels began to spread.Printing helped. Bengali literature Underwent revival and reform as part of bengal renaissance towards end 19th century Among the first writers of modern bengali is Michael Madhusudan Dutt whose greatest work is ‘Meghnad Badh Kabya’ Bankim chandra chattopadhyaya(1838-94) Wrote many novels.First was Durgesh nandini(1865) Anand math (1882) is famous for vande mataram. Considered among the first of nationalist literature movement A anti-muslim or pro-hindu bias seen in his works has often been debated. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
Congress member and known for nationalist literature Wrote on the plight of women and questioned the values of middle class Works:Parineeta,Devdas(both adapted as films),Pather Dabi(A novel that idolized violent revolution) etc Others Tarashankar Bandopadhyay who wrote dhatri devata, ganadevata and panchagram depicted village life and its disintegration in his works Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay whose work pather panchali and aparajito became the basis of apu trilogy by satyajit ray Kazi Nazrul Islam-national poet of Bangladesh wrote ghazals. J.C.bose laid the foundations of science fiction in bengali.
Rabindranath Tagore(1861-1941) son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of Brahmo Samaj
The nobel prize winning work Gitanjali had introduction by W.B Yeats. Satyajit Ray’s films Teen Kanya, Charulata,Ghare Baire are based on tagore’s works Amar sonar bangla,national anthem of bangladesh was written in response against partition of bengal in 1905 Tagore list of works Type Work Poems Manasi (1890) [The Ideal One] Sonar Tari (1894) [The Golden Boat], Gitanjali (1910) [Song Offerings] Gitimalya (1914) [Wreath of Songs] Balaka (1916) [The Flight of Cranes] Novels/short stories Raja (1910) [The King of the Dark Chamber] Dakghar (1912) [The Post Office] Achalayatan (1912) [The Immovable] Muktadhara (1922) [The Waterfall] Raktakarabi (1926) [Red Oleanders] Plays Gora (1910) Ghare-Baire (1916) [The Home and the World] Yogayog (1929) [Crosscurrents] Memoirs/Autobiography Jivansmriti(1912) Chelebela(1940) N.B:Since its impossible to include all works of tagore am listing only the ones mentioned in nobelprize.org -the official website for nobel prize On his works:(points taken from Amartya sen’s essay on Tagore) Tagore was an immensely versatile poet; he was also a great short story writer, novelist, playwright, essayist, and composer of songs, as well as a talented painter His essays, ranged over literature, politics, culture, social change, religious beliefs, philosophical analysis, international relations etc His outlook was persistently non-sectarian, and his writings show the influence of different parts of the Indian cultural background as well as of the rest of the world. His works,even when influenced by spirituality and ancient texts is rooted in humanity. Gandhi :“Tagore greatly admired Gandhi but he had many disagreements with him on a variety of subjects, including nationalism, patriotism, the importance of cultural exchange, the role of rationality and of science, and the nature of economic and social development. These differences,I shall argue,have a clear and consistent pattern, with Tagore pressing for more room for reasoning,and for a less traditionalist view,a greater interest in the rest of the world,and more respect for science and for objectivity generally” Modern Hindi literature Hindi language stated its modern phase in 18th century.Noteworthy people are: Bharatendu Harishchandra(1850-1885)
Father of modern hindi literature. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India gives Bharatendu Harishchandra awards to encourage original and creative writing in Hindi on Mass Communication. Tried to depict India’s poverty, sufferings, cruel exploitation & to deliver patriotic messages through his writings.
Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi Dwivedi Yug(1893-1918)of hindi literature is named after him. Poetry dedicated to nationalism and reforms were a feature of this phase. Maithili sharan gupt was another important writer of the same period. Munshi Premchand (1880-1936)
Towering giant in hindi fiction and nationalist literature. 3 novels : Karmabhumi, Rangbhumi and Godaan are extremely nationalistic and also has veiled criticism of politics of the period Godaan is one of the greatest novels of hindi and shows the exploitation of poor Other major works,Novel:Sevasadan,Nirmala,kayakalp.Short stories: Pareeksha, Balidan,shatranj ke khiladi(made to film by ray) Chhayavadi Yug: Part of modern hindi poetry,this phase is marked by increase in romantic content of poems. Jaishankar Prasad, Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Mahadevi Varma and Sumitranandan Pant, are the four major Chhayavadi poets. Prasad’s Kamayani(1935),Nirala’s Anamika (1923) Pant’s Vina (1927) etc are major works of the movement. Mahadevi Varma highlighted the plight of women in our society in her classical work Shrinkhala ki kadiyaan.She is the first major Feminist writer in hindi. Nakenwad movement is another major movement in hindi literature pioneered by Pandit Nalin Vilochan Sharma Indian English literature
Only about 150 years old. considerable contribution from writers of indian origin and indians abroad in the post independence period Early writers in english in india include R.C.Dutt:Translated indian epics into english and wrote The economic history of india Sarojini Naidu:One among first to write poems in english.Works include The indian weavers,The feather of the dawn,In the bazaars of hyderabad etc Aurobindo ghosh Translated many indian scriptures into english including Gita.He also wrote extensively on philosophy. The three giants of early indian english literature are Mulk raj anand,R.K.Narayan and Raja Rao Mulk Raj anand (1905-2004)
Famous for his work “The untouchable”(1935).It has an introduction by E.M.Forster The untouchable is story of Bakha-a manual scavenger. other novels:Coolie(1936),Across the black waters (1939),The Sword and the Sickle (1942) R.K.Narayan (1906-2001)
Most of his works are based in a fictional town named malgudi. Major works :Swami and his friends,The english teacher,The guide(won sahitya academy award),The world of Nagaraj,The mahabharata,The ramayana etc. Raja Rao (1908-2006)
Works deeply influenced by hinduism.
Won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature 1988 Works:Kanthapura (1938),The Serpent and the Rope (1960,sahitya academy award),The Chessmaster and His Moves (1988),The Policeman and the Rose (1978),The Great Indian Way: A Life of Mahatma Gandhi, biography (1998) etc Others(list of works are non exhaustive) Writer Type Book Salman Rushdie Novel childrens books Midnight’s children(1981) satanic verses(1988) The enchantress of florence(2008) Haroun and sea of stories Kamala surayya Poetry Novel The sirens(Asian poetry prize) The alphabet of lust Nirad.C.Chaudhuri non fiction The autobiography of an unknown indian (1951) The continent circe (1965)(Duff cooper memorial prize) Scholar extraordinary(1974,on max muller,sahitya academy award) Vikram seth Novel The golden gate (1986) A suitable boy (1994) Ruskin Bond Novel A Flight of Pigeons The India I love The Blue Umbrella Khushwant singh Novel Autobiography Train to pakistan (1956) Truth love and a little malice Amitav ghosh Novel The circle of reason(1986) The sea of poppies(2008) Booker Prize winners Writer Book Year Arundhati Roy The god of small things 1997 Kiran Desai The inheritance of loss 2006 Aravind Adiga The white tiger 2008 N.B:1)Salman rushdie(1981,Midnights children) was born in India but is a citizen of U.K. V.S.Naipaul and Jhumpa lahiri are prominent writers of indian origin.Naipaul is a nobel and booker winner and jhumpa a pulitzer prize winner(had nomination for 2013 booker)
Other languages: Its impossible to mention in details modern literature of all regional languages due to the enormous volume of literature produced in the modern age due to the full development of almost all major languages.I am choosing to mention some names from some languages here. Language Writers Assamese Hemachandra Barua (1835-96) Lakshminath Bezbarua (1864-1938) Bhabananda dutta(1919-59) Gujarati Dalpatram(1820-98) Narmad Govardhanram Thripati K.M.Munshi Raman Lal Kannada B M Shri(father of modern kannada lit) S.L.Bhyrappa U.R.Ananthamurthy(navya movement) Malayalam 1)Kumaran Asan(1873-1924) 2)Ulloor 3)Vallathol(1-3 called modern triad in mal lit) Chandu menon(first proper novel in Mal) Thakazhi Vaikom muhammad basheer Marathi Sane Guruji (wrote shyamchi Aai) Vishnu Skayam Khandekar(wrote Yayati) Oriya Gopinath mohanty Radhanath ray(1848-1908) Tamil Subramanya bharathi Bharathidasan Kannadasan Kalki Telugu Veeresalingam pantulu(1848-1919) Gurajada appa rao (1861-1915) Viswanatha satyanarayana(1895-1976) Unnava lakshminarayana Jnanpith awards Jnanpith award along with sahitya akademi fellowship is the most prestigious of indian literary awards.Awarded by a trust founded by Sahu jain family(Times of india group) G.Sankara kurup (malayalam) was the first winner Ravuri Bharadhwaja(telugu) was the last to be awarded Women winners of jnanpith
Name Language works Ashapoorna Devi Bengali 1976 Pratham Pratisruti* Swarnlata Bukul Katha Known for her strong female characters Amrita Pritam Punjabi 1981 Kagaj te Canvas* Sunehe(won sahitya academy award) Pinjar(made into film) First prominent punjabi women poet First jnanpith for punabi First woman to win sahitya academy award Mahadevi varma Hindi 1982 Yama* Deepshika Agnirekha 1 of the 4 chhayavadi greats Quratulain hyder Urdu 1989 Akhire Shab Ke Humsafar* Patjhar Ki Awaz 1st woman from urdu to get the award Mahashweta devi Bengali 1996 Hajar Churashir Maa* The Queen of Jhansi Magsaysay award winner prominent activist for tribal rights,against land acquisition in west bengal Indira goswami assamese 2000 Chinnavar Srota (The Chenab’s Current) Datal Hatir Une Khowa Howda (The Moth Eaten Howdah of a Tusker ) Chinnamastar Manuh To (The Man from Chinnamasta) Was prominent in assam social scene especially as mediator between GOI and ULFA Pratibha Ray Oriya *Won the award for this work Table of major works by indian leaders Name Books Jawaharlal Nehru Discovery of india Glimpses of world history An autobiography Rajendra prasad India divided Maulana Azad India Wins Freedom Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Indian Philosophy Hindu View of Life R Venkataraman My Presidential Years PV Narasimha Rao The Insider
I.K.Gujral Matters of Discretion: An Autobiography L. K. Advani My Country My Life Hamid ansari Travelling through conflict:essays on west asia Ancient Indian Literature: Vedas – Are essentially archetypal poetry of high literary value. They are mythical in nature and of symbolic language Yajna – means worship of divine, co-ordination and giving (sacrifice) Division of contexts of vedas are twofold – ritualistic injunction and discussions on meaning of vedic ritual and all that is related of it Purana (that which renews the old) – illustrates and expound truth of the vedas No of puranas – 18 Classical Sanskrit Language – Kavya – more care on form, such as the style, figure of speech, conceits, descriptions, etc., and the story-theme is pushed to the background Pali Literature – Pali is the archaic Sanskrit – combination of various dialects Buddha gave sermons in Pali and the ‘Tripitakas’ were written in Pali language Vinaya Pitaka – monastic rules of the Order of Buddhist monks Sutta Pitaka – collection of speeches and dialogues of Buddha Abhidamma Pitaka – deals with ethics, psychology or theory of knowledge Dravidian Literature – Indian languages speak four different speech families – Austric, Dravidian, Sino-Tibetan and IndoEuropean Austric – Dravidian Literature – Telugu, Tamil (oldest), Malayalam, Kannada Sino-Tibetan – Indo-European – Medieval Literature – The powerful trend of medieval indian literature (1000 to 1800CE) is devotional (Bhakti) Basavanna, Allam Prabhu are bhakti poets of Kannada language Gyaneswar (Dhyaneswar) – first and foremost bhakti poet in Marathi Eknath, Tukaram are other poets who cast their spell all over Maharashtra Kabir(Hindi), Namdev(Marathi), Guru Nanak(Punjabi) – other famous poets Tulsidas, Surdas, Meera bhai belong to same period – 15th to 16th century Women poets of Bhakti – Ghosha, Lopamudra, Viswawara, Gargi, Maitreyi, Apala, Romasha – wrote few texts in vedas – called as ‘Brahmavadini’ (expounder of veda) Medieval Lit. by women – Songs of Buddhist Nuns – Mutta, Ubiri, Mettika (Pali Lang) Alwar like Andal – gave expression to their love for divine Lal ded (Muslim Poetess, Kashmiri) – represented sant tradition of bakti They all wrote small lyrics or poems of devotional fervour, metaphysical depth, and with a spirit of dedication and utmost sincerity Other Trends –
Heroic poetry in Punjabi known as – Kissa and Var Najabat’s Var – Nadir Shah Love ballads – Hir Ranjha – Warris Shah (Muslim poet, Punjabi) Amir Khusro – Sufi Poet – exp. with Persian & Hindi (Hindavi) mix. poetry – Urdu Modern Indian Literature – Emergence of Nationalism – Bankim Chandra chatterjee – Durgesh Nandini, Anand Math Revivalism and reformism were natural corollaries of the newly emerging idea of nationalism Tagore made Federalism as important part of his concept of national ideology Mod Indian pluralism is multi-lingual, multi-cultural, secular, national-state conc Literature of Nationalism, Revivalism, Reformism – Rangalal in Bengali, Mirza Ghalib in Urdu and Bharatendu Harishchandra in Hindi expressed themselves as the patriotic voice of that era MM Dutt wrote first modern epic in Indian language, and naturalized blank verse in Bengali First Tamil Novel(Pratap Mudaliyar Charitam – Samuel Pillai), Telugu(Sri Rangaraja Charitra – Krishnama Chetty), Malayalam(Indulekha – Chandu menon Progressive Literature – Chhayavad was challenged by a progressive school that came to be known as Pragativad (progressivism) Nagarjun was undisputedly the most powerful and noted Hindi poet of the progressive group The critical norms of progressive literature were established by the pioneer of this phase in Punjabi by Sant Singh Sekhon The progressive writers’ movement attracted the attention of eminent poets of Urdu, like Josh Malihabadi and Faiz Ahmad Faiz Dalit Literature – Dalit movement was started in literature by Marathi, Gujarati and Kannada writes under the leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar It came into the limelight because of progressive literature moving nearer to the downtrodden literature of militant protest against upper caste literature upholding Brahmanical values It challenges the tone and context of existing literary canons and decentralises the whole process of a literary movement It creates an alternative aesthetics and extends the linguistic and generic possibilities of literature The present-day crisis in India is the conflict between expediency and universality, and as a result, a large number of writers are in the process of identifying a pattern of problem-solving within the traditional system, vigorous enough to generate and sustain an indigenous process of modernization, which does not need readymade external solutions, and is in accord with indigenous needs and attitudes Some famous books: Natyashastra – Bharata Muni (2nd century BC – 2nd century AD) the date of the work is between the 2nd century B.C.E- 2nd century C.E Natyashastra is also known as the fifth veda he has evolved this veda by taking words from the Rigveda, music from the Samaveda, gestures from the Yajurveda and emotions from the Atharvaveda Sangeeta Ratnakara – SarangaDeva (13th century AD) Kamasutra – Vatsayana Malavikagnimitram, Vikramorvasiam, Abhigyana Shakuntalam – Kalidasa Mricchakatika – Sudraka
Uttara-Ramacharitam – Bhavabhuti Gitagovida – Jayadeva Panchatantra – Vishnu Sharma Hitopadesha – Narayan Pandit Buddhacharita – Aswagosha Gathasaptasathi – Hala Ramcharitamanas – Tulsidas Naurasnama – Ibrahim II Advent of Printing Press in India – William Carey – at Serampore, Bengal MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF INDIA
Natya Shastra, compiled by Bharat Muni, divides musical instruments into 4 categories on how sound is produced: 1. Tatya Vadya/ Chordophones – Stringed Instruments. 2. Sushira Vadya/ Aerophones- Wind Instruments. 3. Avanaddha Vadya/ Membranophones- Percussion Instruments. 4. Ghana Vadya/ Idiophones- Solid Instruments. 1. Tatya Vadya- a) sound is produced by string or chord vibration. b) Vibrations are caused by plucking or by bowing on the string which has been pulled. c) Length of string/wire, degree to which it has been tightened, determines the pitch of the note & also to some extent the duration of the sound. d) Two main types- plucked & bowed. e) Subdivided into fretted & non fretted variety. f) Oldest evidence- harps in the shape of hunter’s bow. g) Veena was generic term for stringed instruments referred to in the texts. h) Another class is of the duclimer type, where a number of strings are stretched on a box of wood, eg: sata-tantric veena- the hundred stringed veena. i) Santoor, a similar to santa-tantric-veena instrument. j) A later development are the fingerboard variety. k) Great advantage- richness of tone production & continuity of sound. l) increase/decrease in length of vibrator wire is responsible for the changes in the pitches of notes-swaras. m)Bowed instruments- the upright(Sarangi) & the inverted(Violin). Different parts of a stringed Instrument: a) Resonator(Toomba)- either made of word or from a specially grown gourd. b) Tabli- the plate of wood over this Toomba. c)Danda- resonator is attached to the fingerboard- the Danda at the top of the Instrument which are inserted the pegs , the Khomtis, is for tuning the instrument. d) Tarab- main strings pass over the bridge. When these strings vibrate, they add resonance to the sound. 1. Sushira Vadya- Wind Instruments a) Sound is produced by blowing air into a hollow column. b) pitch of note is determined by controlling the air passage & the melody is played by using the fingers to open & close the hole in the instrument. c) The simplest of these instruments is the flute. Generally, flutes are made of bamboo/wood & the
Indian musician prefers these due to the tonal & musical attributes of these materials. d) Excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization have shown bird whistles of clay and seals which show wind & percussion instruments. e) There is reference in the Vedas to an instrument- the Venu which was used an accompaniment to chanting & recitation. There is also mention of a kind of a flute called the Nadi. f) Wind instruments are roughly divided into 2 categories on the basis of how sound is produced. They are: Flute Double flutes are mostly produced by musicians of tribal & rural areas. They resemble beak flutes which have a narrow aperture at one end. One finds reference to these types of instruments in the sculptures of the 1st century in the Sanchi Stupa which shows a musician playing on a double flute. Reed Instruments Reed Instruments like the Shehnai, Nadaswaram etc have one or two reeds inserted in the hollow beak or tube of instrument. These vibrate when air is blown into them. Reeds are bound together with a gap between them before inserting into the body of the instrument. The body of tube is conical in shape narrow at the blowing end & opening out gradually with a metallic bell at the farther end to enhance the volume of sound. A set of spare reeds, an ivory/silver needle for adjusting & cleaning the needs are also hung from the mouth piece of the instrument. Avanaddha Vadya- Percussion Instruments Sound is produced by striking the animal skin which has been stretched across an earthern or metal pot or a wooden barrel or frame. The earliest references to such instruments have been found in the Vedas where the mention of Bhumi Dundhubhi this was a hollow pit dug in the ground and covered with the hide of a buffalo or ox which was stretched across the pit. The tail of the animal was used for striking the animal hide and thus sound was produced. The main categories are-Oordhwaka, Ankya, Alingya and the waisted or the Damaru family of drums. Tabla Tabla pair is a set of two vertical Oordhwaka drums. right side is called the Tabla and the left, the Bayan or Dagga. Tabla has a wooden body with a covering of animal skin, this is held together with leather straps.
Between the straps and the wooden body, oblong wooden blocks are placed for tuning the drums. syahi(ink) paste applied in the centre of the animal skin, the tabla can be tuned accurately by striking the rims with a hammer. body of the bayan is made of clay or metal and is covered with animal skin which also has syahi paste applied on it. Some musicians do not tune this drum to an accurate pitch. tabla pair is used as accompaniment to vocal and instrumental Hindustani music and with many dance forms of northern India. complicated talas of the Hindustani music are played with great virtuosity on the tabla. Prominent musicians playing the tabla today are-Ustad Alla Rakha Khan and his son Zakir Hussain, Shafat Ahmed and Samata Prasad.
Ankya drums are held horizontally before the musician and usually both sides are covered with animal hide. Sound is produced by striking both sides with sticks or fingers. Mridangam, Pakhawaj, Khol, etc. are prominent. musician may sit on the floor and play the instrument or hang it from the neck while dancing or standing. Seals which have been excavated of the Indus Civilization show figures of men playing the horizontal drums hung from the neck. Oordhwaka Oordhwaka drums are placed vertically before the musician and sound is produced by striking them with sticks or the fingers. Prominent among these are the Tabla pair and Chenda. Alingya drums have the animal hide fixed to a wooden round frame and are embraced or held close to the body with one hand while the other hand is used for playing on the instrument. Duff, Dufflies, etc. are very popular.
Damaru types instruments in this category range from, the small Huddaka of Himachal Pradesh to the larger instrument known as Timila of the southern region. Huddaka is struck with the hands while Timila is hung from the shoulders and played with sticks and fingers. also known as the hourglass variety of drums as their shape resembles an hourglass. (4) GHANA VADYA – SOLID INSTRUMENTS earliest instruments invented by man are said to be the Ghana Vadya.
Once constructed, this variety of instrument do not need special tuning prior to playing. principally rhythmic in function and are best suited as accompaniment to folk and tribal music and dance. Jhanj Player, Konarak, Orissa In the Sun temple of Konarak, Orissa, we see this large sculpture of a lady playing the Jhanj. Ghatam, Carnatic music of South India.
ghatam is an earthenware pot; the artist uses the fingers, thumbs, palms, and heels of the hands to strike its outer surface. An airy low-pitch bass sound, called gumki, is created by hitting the mouth of the pot with an open hand. artist sometimes presses the mouth of the pot against their bare belly, which deepens the tone of the bass stroke, and is another way to produce the gumki sound. Different tones can be produced by hitting different areas of the pot with different parts of the hands. The ghatam usually accompanies a mridangam.
PAINTINGS OF INDIA
WALL PAINTINGS OF INDIA Painting – expresses human thoughts and feelings through the media of line and colour. METHOD OF PAINTINGS 1)True Fresco Method- the paintings are done when the surface wall is still wet so that the pigments go deep inside the wall surface. 2)Tempora or Fresco-Secco- method of painting on the lime plastered surface which has been allowed to dry first and then drenched with fresh lime water.
Cave dweller painted rock shelters to satisfy his aesthetic sensitivity and creative urge primitive records of wild animals, war processions, birds & marine creatures human images, dancing images and hunting scenes. Bhimbetka caves in the Kaimur Range, MP.
AJANTA CAVE PAINTING:- exclusively Buddhist, excepting decorative patterns on the ceilings and the pillars. associated with the Jatakas, recording the previous births of the Lord Buddha. Principal characters in most of the designs are in heroic proportions. ELLORA CAVE PAINTING:- out in rectangular panels with thick borders.
most important characteristic features sharp twist of the head, painted angular bents of the arms, concave curve of the close limbs, sharp projected nose and
long drawn open eyes WALL PAINTINGS IN SOUTH INDIA Tanjore, Tamil Nadu wide open eyes of all the figures as compared to Ajanta tradition of half closed drooping eyes dancing girl from Brihadeshwara temple of Tanjore B)MINIATURE PAINTING
THE MUGHAL SCHOOL (1560-1800 A.D.) synthesis of the indigenous Indian style of painting and the Safavid school of Persian painting. marked by supple naturalism based on close observation of nature and fine and delicate drawing. high aesthetic merit. primarily aristocratic and secular.
Tuti-nama – first work of the Mughal School. Hamza-nama( illustrations on cloth)- more developed and refined than Tuti-nama. Under Jahangir, painting acquired greater charm, refinement and dignity.
Under Shah Jahan – painting maintained its fine quality. Under Aurangzeb- Painting declined and lost much of its earlier quality. THE DECCANI SCHOOLS (CIRCA 1560-1800 A.D.) AHMEDNAGAR female appearing in the painting belongs to the northern tradition of Malwa. Choli (bodice) and long pigtails braided and ending in a tassel are the northern costume. colours used are rich and brilliant Persian influence – high horizon, gold sky and the landscape.
BIJAPUR ladies – tall and slender and are wearing the South Indian dress. rich colour scheme, the palm trees, animals and men and women all belongs to the Deccani tradition. profuse use of gold colour some flowering plants and arabesques on the top of the throne are derived from the Persian tradition.
3. GOLCONDA “Lady with the Myna bird”, about 1605 A.D colours are rich and brilliant continued long after the extinction of the Deccan Sultanates of Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golconda.
HYDERABAD belongs to the third quarter of the 18th century. introduced by several Mughal painters who migrated to the Deccan during the period of Aurangzeb and sought patronage there. Distinctive features – treatment of the ethnic types, costumes, jewellery, flora, fauna, landscape and colours. style of the painting is decorative. typical characteristics – rich colours, the Deccani facial types and costumes
works on cloth stretched over wood. style of painting – bold drawing, techniques of shading and the use of pure and brilliant colours flourished during the late 18th and 19th centuries. style is decorative and is marked by the use of bright colours and ornamental details. conical crown – a typical feature of the Tanjore painting. MYSORE more subtle and done on paper, while the Tanjore works on cloth stretched over wood. deal mostly with sacred icons painted for devotional purposes. theatrical framing of the iconic paintings should be particularly noted. RAJASTHANI AND CENTRAL INDIAN SCHOOLS (17TH-19TH CENTURIES) deeply rooted in the Indian traditions, taking inspiration from Indian epics, Puranas, love poems & Indian folk-lore. Mughal artists of inferior merit who were no longer required by the Mughal Emperors, migrated to Rajasthan Rajasthani style – bold drawing, strong and contrasting colours. treatment of figures is flat without any attempt to show perspective in a naturalistic manner.
surface of the painting is divided into several compartments of different colours in order to separate one scene from another. each school of painting has its distinct facial type, costume, landscape and colour scheme.
MALWA use of contrasting colours, refinement of drawing due to the influence of the Mughal painting ornaments and costumes consisting of black tassels and striped skirts.
MEWAR drawing is bold and the colours are bright and contrasting. text of the painting is written in black on the top against the yellow ground.
3. BUNDI very close to the Mewar style rich and glowing colours, the rising sun in golden colour, crimson-red horizon, overlapping and seminaturalistic trees Mughal influence is visible in the refined drawing of the faces
KOTAH very much akin to the Bundi style Themes of tiger and bear hunt were very popular at Kotah. most of the space is occupied by the hilly jungle which has been rendered with a unique charm.
AMBER – JAIPUR this school of painting originated at Amber but later shifted to Jaipur, the new capital. There is a fairly large number of portraits of the Jaipur rulers
MARWAR executed in a primitive and vigorous folk style completely uninfluenced by the Mughal style. A large number of miniatures comprising portraits, court scenes, series of the Ragamala and the Baramasa, etc. were executed from the 17th to 19th centuries at several centres of painting like Pali, Jodhpur and Nagour etc. in Marwar.
BIKANER Bikaner had close relations with the Mughals. Some of the Mughal artists were given patronage by the Bikaner court responsible for the introduction of a new style of painting having much similarity with the Mughal and the Deccani styles.
KISHENGARH developed under the patronage of Raja Savant Singh (1748-1757 A.D.) , who wrote devotional poetry in praise of Krishna master painter Nihal Chand who, in his works, has been able to create visual images of his master’s lyrical compositions PAHARI SCHOOL (17TH TO 19TH CENTURIES) comprises the present State of Himachal Pradesh, some adjoining areas of the Punjab, Jammu and Garhwal in UP. this area was ruled by the Rajput princes and were often engaged in welfare. centres of great artistic activity from the latter half of the 17th to nearly the middle of the 19th century. 1.BASOHLI
characterised by vigorous and bold line and strong glowing colours. There is a change in the facial type which becomes a little heavier and also in the tree forms which assume a somewhat naturalistic character, which may be due to the influence of the Mughal painting. general features – use of strong and contrasting colours, monochrome background, large eyes, bold drawing, use of beetles wings for showing diamonds in ornaments, narrow sky and the red
2.GULER (Jammu) consisting of portraits of Raja Balwant Singh of Jasrota (a small place near Jammu) by Master Nainsukh. He worked both at Jasrota and at Guler. paintings are in a new naturalistic and delicate style marking a change from the earlier traditions of the Basohli art.
colours used are soft and cool. inspired by the naturalistic style of the Mughal painting. 3.KANGRA
third phase of the Pahari painting in the last quarter of the 18th century. developed out of the Guler style. the faces of women in profile have the nose almost in line with the forehead, the eyes are long and narrow and the chin is sharp.
There is, however, no modelling of figures and hair is treated as a flat mass. 4.KULU – MANDl a folk style of painting, mainly inspired by the local tradition. style is marked by bold drawing and the use of dark and dull colours. Though influence of the Kangra style is observed in certain cases yet the style maintains its distinct folkish character. INDEPENDENT PAINTINGS
1.KALIGHAT PAINTINGS- KOLKATTA Kalighat painting was a product of the changing urban society of the nineteenth century Calcutta. group of artists evolved a quick method of painting on mill-made paper. Using brush and ink from the lampblack, these artists defined figures of deities, gentry and ordinary people with deft and vigorously flowing lines.
romantic depictions of women. satirical paintings lampooning the hypocrisies of the newly rich and the changing roles of men and women after the introduction of education for women.
2.MADHUBANI PAINTINGS- MITHILA,BIHAR Women (Mithila region,Bihar) have painted colorful auspicious images on the interior walls of their homes on the occasion of domestic rituals since at least the 14th century. This ancient tradition, especially elaborated for marriages, continues today. used to paint the walls of room, known as KOHBAR GHAR in which the newly wedded couple meet for the first time.
3.PHAD: SCROLL PAINTINGS (BHILWADA, RAJASTHAN) Phad is a painted scroll, which depicts stories of epic dimensions about local deities and legendary heroes. Bhopas(local priests) carry these scrolls on their shoulders from village to village for a performance represents the moving shrine of the deity and is an object of worship. most popular and largest Phad belong to local deities Devnarayanji and Pabuji. 4.KALAMKARI PAINTINGS (ANDHRA PRADESH) Kalamkari (lit. pen-work) is primarily used for the temple festivals or as wall hangings.
stories from the epics Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas are painted as continuous narratives relevant Telugu verses explaining the theme are also carried below the artwork. colors are obtained from vegetable and mineral sources. gods are painted blue,
the demons and evil characters in red and green. Yellow is used for female figures and ornaments. Red is mostly used as a background.
5.KOLAM Kolam is a ritualistic design drawn at the threshold of households and temples. drawn everyday at dawn and dusk by women in South India Kolam marks festivals, seasons and important events in a woman’s life such as birth, first menstruation and marriage. Kolam is a free-hand drawing with symmetrical and neat geometrical patterns. PERFORMING ARTS- DRAMA DIFFERENT FORMS OF TRADITIONAL THEATRE 1. 1.BHAND PATHER(JASHIN) – KASHMIR unique combination of dance, music and acting. Satire, wit and parody are preferred for inducing laughter. music is provided with surnai, nagaara and dhol. Since the actors are mainly from the farming community, the impact of their way of living, ideals and sensitivity is noticable. 2. SWANG – HARYANA
mainly music-based. Gradually, prose too, played its role in the dialogues. softness of emotions, accomplishment of rasa along with the development of character can be seen two important styles are from Rohtak and Haathras. In the style belonging to Rohtak, the language used is Haryanvi (Bangru) and in Haathras, it is Brajbhasha.
NAUTANKI – UTTAR PRADESH most popular centres – Kanpur, Lucknow and Haathras. The meters used in the verses are: Doha, Chaubola, Chhappai, Behar-e-tabeel. nowadays, women have also started taking part
RAASLEELA based exclusively on Lord Krishna legends believed that Nand Das wrote the initial plays based on the life of Krishna. dialogues in prose combined beautifully with songs and scenes from Krishna’s pranks.
BHAVAI – GUJARAT Main centers of – Kutch and Kathiawar. instruments used are: bhungal, tabla, flute, pakhaawaj, rabaab, sarangi, manjeera, etc. there is a rare synthesis of devotional and romantic sentiments.
JATRA – BENGAL Fairs in honour of gods, or religious rituals and ceremonies have within their framework musical plays are known as Jatra. Krishna Jatra became popular due to Chaitanya prabhu’s influence. earlier form of Jatra has been musical & dialogues were added at later stage.
The actors themselves describe the change of scene, the place of action, etc.
BHAONA(ANKIA NAAT) – ASSAM. cultural glimpses of Assam, Bengal Orissa, Mathura and Brindavan can be seen. The Sutradhaar, or narrator begins the story, first in Sanskrit and then in either Brajboli or Assamese.
MAACH – MADHYA PRADESH
Maach is used for the stage itself as also for the play. songs are given prominence in between the dialogues. The term for dialogue in this form is bol and rhyme in narration is termed vanag. The tunes of this theatre form are known as rangat.
TAMAASHA – MAHARASHTRA evolved from the folk forms such as Gondhal, Jagran and Kirtan. female actress is the chief exponent of dance movements in the play. She is known as Murki. Classical music, footwork at lightning-speed, and vivid gestures make it possible to portray all the emotions through dance.
DASHAVATAR – KONKAN AND GOA personify the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu-the god of preservation and creativity. The ten incarnations are Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varaha (boar), Narsimha (lion-man), Vaman (dwarf), Parashuram, Rama, Krishna (or Balram), Buddha and Kalki.
Apart from stylized make-up, the Dashavatar performers wear masks of wood and papier mache.
KRISHNATTAM – KERALA came into existence in the middle of 17th century A.D. under the patronage of King Manavada of Calicut. Krishnattam is a cycle of eight plays performed for eight consecutive days. The plays are Avataram, Kaliamandana, Rasa krida, kamasavadha, Swayamvaram, Bana Yudham, Vivida Vadham, and Swargarohana. episodes are based on the theme of Lord Krishna – his birth, childhood pranks and various deeds depicting victory of good over evil. MUDIYETTU – KERALA
celebrated in the month of Vrischikam (November-December). performed only in the Kali temples of Kerala, as an oblation to the Goddess. depicts the triumph of goddess Bhadrakali over the asura Darika. seven characters in Mudiyettu-Shiva, Narada, Darika, Danavendra, Bhadrakali, Kooli and Koimbidar (Nandikeshvara) are all heavily made-up.
THEYYAM – KERALA ‘Theyyam’ derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Daivam’ meaning God. Hence it is called God’s dance. performed by various castes to appease and worship spirits. distinguishing features – colourful costume and awe-inspiring headgears (mudi) nearly 5 to 6 feet high made of arecanut splices, bamboos, leaf sheaths of arecanut and wooden planks and dyed into different strong colours using turmeric, wax and arac.
KOODIYAATTAM – KERALA
based on Sanskrit theatre traditions. characters of this theatre form are: Chakyaar or actor, Naambiyaar, the instrumentalists and Naangyaar, those taking on women’s roles. The Sutradhar or narrator and the Vidushak or jesters are the protagonists. Vidushak alone delivers the dialogues.
Emphasis on hand gestures and eye movements makes this dance and theatre form unique. YAKSHAGAANA – KARNATAKA based on mythological stories and Puranas. most popular episodes are from the Mahabharata i.e. Draupadi swayamvar, Subhadra vivah, Abhimanyu vadh, Karna-Arjun yuddh and from Ramayana i.e. Raajyaabhishek, Lav-kush Yuddh, Baali-Sugreeva yuddha and Panchavati.
THERUKOOTHU – TAMIL NADU literally means “street play”. mostly performed at the time of annual temple festivals of Mariamman (Rain goddess) to achieve rich harvest. there is a cycle of eight plays based on the life of Draupadi. Kattiakaran, the Sutradhara gives the gist of the play to the audience Komali entertains the audience with his buffoonery.
KARYALA- HIMACHAL PRADESH deals with serious question of life & death briefly and with simplicity of expression & diction, all enveloped in humour. Indeed, audience is given essence of our cultural heritage of viewing the world as a stage and as an unsubstantial pageant which is to be negotiated and lived by rising above it. There is often stylistic diversity, which strengthens their identity from Swang, Nautanki, Bhagat, etc.. PUPPET FORMS OF INDIA PUPPET FORMS OF INDIA puppet has to be more than his live counterpart Ancient Hindu philosophers have likened God Almighty to a puppeteer and the entire universe to a puppet stage. themes are mostly based on epics and legends. STRING PUPPETS Marionettes having jointed limbs controlled by strings allow far greater flexibility Kathputli, Rajasthan
Carved from a single piece of wood large dolls – colourfully dressed. costumes and headgears are designed in the medieval Rajasthani style of dress, which is prevalent even today. accompanied by a highly dramatised version of the regional music. Oval faces, large eyes, arched eyebrows and large lips – distinct facial features. wear long trailing skirts and do not have legs. Puppeteers manipulate them with two to five strings which are normally tied to their fingers and not to a prop or a support.
Kundhei, Orissa Made of light wood, have no legs but wear long flowing skirts. have more joints and are, therefore, more versatile, articulate and easy to manipulate. Use a triangle shape wooden prop, to which strings are attached for manipulation. costumes resemble those worn by actors of the Jatra traditional theatre. music – regional music & Odissi dance’s music.
Gombeyatta, Karnataka Puppets – styled and designed like the characters of Yakshagana highly stylized and have joints at the legs, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. manipulated by five to seven strings tied to a prop. complicated movements are manipulated by two to three puppeteers at a time. music – beautifully blends folk and classical elements.
Bommalattam, Tamil Nadu combine the techniques of both rod and string puppets. made of wood and the strings for manipulation are tied to an iron ring which the puppeteer wears like a crown on his head. few puppets have jointed arms and hands, which are manipulated by rods. This puppets are the largest, heaviest and the most articulate of all traditional Indian marionettes.
SHADOW PUPPETS Shadow puppets are flat figures. cut out of leather, which has been treated to make it translucent. pressed against the screen with a strong source of light behind it. manipulation between the light and the screen make silhouettes or colourful shadows
found in Orissa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Togalu Gombeyatta, Karnataka puppets are mostly small in size. puppets however differ in size according to their social status, for instance, large size for kings and religious characters and smaller size for common people or servants.
Tholu Bommalata, Andhra Pradesh puppets are large in size and have jointed waist, shoulders, elbows and knees. coloured on both sides, throwing coloured shadows on the screen. music – influenced by the classical regional music theme are drawn from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas.
Ravanachhaya, Orissa puppets are in one piece and have no joints. not coloured, hence throw opaque shadows on the screen. manipulation requires great dexterity, since there are no joints.
puppets are made of deer skin and are conceived in bold dramatic poses. Apart from human and animal characters, many props such as trees, mountains, chariots, etc. are also used. puppets are smaller in size create very sensitive and lyrical shadows.
ROD PUPPETS an extension of glove-puppets, but often much larger and supported and manipulated by rods from below. found mostly in West Bengal and Orissa. Putul Nautch, West Bengal carved from wood costumed like the actors of Jatra, a traditional theatre
puppets have mostly three joints. heads, supported by the main rod, is joined at the neck and both hands attached to rods are joined at the shoulders. bamboo-made hub is tied firmly to the waist of the puppeteer on which the rod holding the puppet is placed. puppeteers each holding one puppet, stand behind a head-high curtain and while manipulating the rods also move and dance imparting corresponding movements to the puppets. puppeteers themselves sing and deliver the stylized prose dialogues & a group of musicians provide the accompanying music with a drum, harmonium and cymbals. music and verbal text have close similarity with the Jatra theatre. Orissa Rod puppets mostly three joints, but the hands are tied to strings instead of rods. elements of rod and string puppets are combined in this form of puppetry. Most of the dialogues are sung. music blends folk tunes with classical Odissi tunes. puppets of Orissa are smaller than those from Bengal or Andhra Pradesh.
more operatic and prose dialogues are seldom used. Yampuri, Bihar made of wood. puppets are in one piece and have no joints. requires greater dexterity. GLOVE PUPPETS also known as sleeve, hand or palm puppets. head is made of either papier mache, cloth or wood, hands emerges from just below the neck. rest of the figure consists of a long flowing skirt. controlled by the human hand – first finger inserted in the head and middle finger and thumb are the two arms of the puppet. In Orissa, the puppeteer plays on the dholak with one hand and manipulates the puppet with the other. delivery of the dialogues, the movement of the puppet and the beat of the dholak are well synchronised and create a dramatic atmosphere. Pavakoothu, Kerala
head and the arms are carved of wood and joined together with thick cloth, cut and stitched into a small bag. face of the puppets are decorated with paints, small and thin pieces of gilded tin, the feathers of the peacock, etc. manipulator puts his hand into the bag and moves the hands and head of the puppet. musical instruments – Chenda, Chengiloa, Ilathalam and Shankha the conch. theme – based on the episodes from either the Ramayana or the Mahabharata. REGIONAL FOLK DANCES 1. Mathuri(Koppu), Andhra Pradesh
Performed by inhabitants of Umji & Indravelli forest areas of Utnoor Tehsil in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh. Performed usually during Janmasthami (Themes taken from Mahabharata). Nagara is main instrument used.
2. Bihu, Assam Celebrated to mark advent of spring and Assamese New Year. Display of Assamese handlooms and handicrafts in their glory and beauty by dancers. Jhijia,Bihar Performed by group of young women dancers. Offering to Lord Indra for a good harvest and monsoon.
Gaur Madia,Chattisgarh Called Gaur after Bison. May appear as hunt- dance or movement of animals. Abhujmar plateau of Bastar
Kaksar, Chattisgarh Performed by Abhuj Maria tribes of Bastar Village deity- Kaksar. (dance to seek his blessings) Performed by group of young boys+girls.
Chholiya,Uttarakhand Prevalent in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Elements of martial craft; associated with Kijri Kumbh celebrations. Kijri Kumbh is a poisonous flower blossoming every 12 yrs. Villagers march in a procession to destroy the flower.
Samai, Goa Metal lamps- traditional handicrafts of Goa. Samai dance is performed with these metal lamps or deepaks.
Garba,Gujarat ‘Garbo’ word originated from Sanskrit “Garbhdeep” (earthen pot with circular holes which is known as “Garbo”) Pot signifies- body; lighted lamp- divine soul. Performed during Navratri; worship of Shakti. Circular movements; clapping their hands to beats of Dhol.
Dandiya Ras,Gujarat One of ancient dance form of Gujarat. Origin traced to Lord Krishna. Unique synthesis of folk dance, folk art, colour and folk music. Roar of Dhol, gorgeous costumes, speed with vigour and gusto.
Daang,Gujarat Hails from South Gujarat, border of Maharastra. Usually performed during Holi & other festivals.
Interesting circular movement, formation of a human pyramid. Vigorous & highly rhythmic.
Siddhi Dhamal,Gujarat Siddhis migrated to India from Africa (750 yrs ago) & settled in coastal parts of Gujarat like Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Bharuch and Surat. Follow Muslim religion and dance to beat of drum on eve of Urs of their Prophet Baba Gaur.
Ghoomar,Haryana Performed by girls on border of Rajasthan & Haryana during various festivals like Holi, Gangaur Puja & Teej. Formation of circles & start singing and clapping. Songs full of satire & contemporary events with humour.
Kinnauri Natti,Himachal Pradesh Is in veins of Kinnauris. Important among the dances is Losar Shona Chuksam; Losai means New Year. Dancers recreate movements of agricultural operations of sowing & reaping ogla(barley) and phaphar (local grain).
Paika,Jharkhand Typical dance of Munda community. Represents rituals connected with preparations of war. Dancers enact battle scenes; symbolizing great war of Mundas against British. Musical instruments- dhol, madal, nagara, shehnai, ranbheri.
Rouff,J &K Performed in months of Ramzan in every street. Performed by girls; girls wear colourful Phirans- Kashmir cloaks & Kasaba-head gear. Noot, tumbaknari, rahab- folk instruments used.
Jabro,J & K Community dance of nomadic people of Tibetan origin living in Ladakh. Performed by both men+women during Losar-Tibetan new year & also on festive occassions. Slow, gentle movements; heavy gowns made of sheep’s skin are worn because of extreme cold. Damien- a stringed instrument & flute are used.
Veerbhadra, Karnataka Bought by South Indian Rulers. Performed on Chaitra purnima & the Dhalo festival. Person wears warrior costumes. According to legend, Veerbhadra is supposed to get possessed by Divine Spirit.
Dholu Kunitha, Karnataka Drum dance performed by men of Kuruba tribe. Dance is noted for its powerful drumming & vigorous dancing. Popular in some parts of north & south Karnataka. High pitch of Tala, tappadi, Trumpets, Gong & flute reinforce rich vibrations.
Oppana, Kerala Bridal dance performed by Muslim girls of Kerala(North) & Lakshwadeep Separate dance for the bride & bridegroom.
Purulia Chaau, West Bengal Emanating from martial practice; theme from Mahabharata+ Ramayana. Commences with invocation of Lord Ganesha. Highlights fight between Good & Evil in which good wins. Popular in Jharkhand also; powerful movements+ drum beating+ dazzling costumes+ shehnai.
Badhai, Madhya Pradesh Performed to thank Goddess Sheetala for safeguarding people from natural calamities & ailments to seek her blessings.
Baredi, Madhya Pradesh Closely related to cattle from culture of Bundelkhand region. Presented from Karthik Amawasya(Deepawali) to Kartik Poornima. One person sings 2 lines from poem called Baredi. Presented with worship of Govardhan Parvat. Lord Krishna himself participated; it is believed.
Raee, Madhya Pradesh Popular in the Bundelkhand region of MP & UP. Originated in ancient times; denoted war celebration. Conveys spirit of people of Bundelkhand. Dancers dance with veils in their faces.
Lavani, Maharastra Integral part of Tamasha folk theatre of Maharastra. No restriction on themes(can be from devotion, war, music, poetry, drama etc) Most popular +best known folk dance of state of Maharastra.
Dhol Cholom, Manipuri Traditional folk dance of the state. Dhol-large drum. Usually performed during Yaoshand festival(festival of colours). Dance expresses love+ creativity (interplay of dhols+ fireplay). Manipuri sankirtan traditions.
Leizim, Maharastra Performed in every corner of Maharastra+ religious and social events+ akhada tradition of Maharastra. Includes Ghuti Leizim, Ghoongroo Leizim, Dakhani Leizim+ Pahita Leizim. Ocassionally performed in Gujarat & MP. Musical instruments used- Dhol+Tasha+Jhanj.
Lewatana, Meghalaya Hajong tribe of Meghalaya. During Diwali. Young men & women participate; comparison of Man with Nature. Hajongs observe various festivities of Hindus.
Cheraw, Mizoram Also known as Bamboo Dance. Male dancers clap the bamboo staves, resulting a sharp sound setting the rhythms of dance. Two bamboos are kept. Female dancers wear puanchei, kawrei, vakira & thinna. Female dancers step in & cut with precise timing & maintaining elegant poise. Drum+gongs used.
Gotipura, Odisha Gotipuras are young boys dressed a s girls singing devotional love songs in praise of Radha Krishna. Repertoire includes: a) Vandana- prayer to God or Guru. b) Sarigrama- pure dance number. c) Abhinaya- enactment of the song. d) Bandhya Nritya- rhythms of acrobatic postures, creating images of Radha Krishna. Musical accompaniment of Mardala- a pakhawaj ; gini- small cymbals, harmonium & flute.
Bhangra, Punjab Energetic, most popular folk dance of the State, performed by men on festivals (Baisakhi mostly). Bright coloured turbans, traditional instruments, dhol, Kurtas+ tehmats worn. Rustic Punjabi folk songs
Ranappa Chaddhaiya, Odisha Ganjam district of Odisha. Dancers walk and dance on Ranappa(sticks) with gestures to rhythms of drums. Chaddhaiya is part of famous “Danda Nata” of Odisha. Performed in Chaitra Month; akin to Mayurbhanj Chaau; worship of Shiva. Worshippers hold a “danda”(Pole) & Pasa(Knot) symbolic of devout Shaivite. Accompaniment of Drums+ Mahuri(wind instrument)+ martial art display.
Giddha, Punjab Performed by women. Happy occassions like birth of a child, Teej, weddings. Boli enacting, clapping, dancing, singing. Dancers form a circle. Take turns to come centre stage. End: dance in sheer abandon. Sing 3-4 times and then replaced by a new Boli. Subject Matter: day to day life situations of rural folk. Musical accompaniments- dholak(drum)+ gharah(earthen pot).
Kalbelia, Rajasthan Women of nomadic Kalbelia community dance. Primary occupation of this community is rearing snakes/ trading in snake venom. “Been”+ “Daf” used; dances of “Nath” sect dressed in traditional black skirts perform this dance. Dance highlights the virtuosity of dances reminiscient of the supple movements of snakes.
Chakri, Rajasthan Women of Kanjar Community of Rajasthan. Whirl around in colourful skirts like Chakri( moving in circles like spinning tops) Weddings+ festive occasions.
Dalph, Manjira & Nagara. Famous dancers come from Baran Kola District in Hadanti area of Rajasthan but its popular in Kota+ Bundi also.
Tamang Selo, Sikkim Tamang community; also known as Damphu( musical instrument is Damphu which is used) During Dasain/Dussehra; both young men+women; depicts colourful lifestyle of hill people.
Kavadi, Tamil Nadu Supposed to be performed by giant named Idumban with pole across his shoulders. At both ends he was supposed to carry Muruga(popular deity) of T.N. Kavadi carrying symbolic of Idumban for pilgrims. Kavadi never touched by dancers. Several kinds of Kavadis. Hypnostic music, drums, nadaswaram+ thavil. Devotees sing the song “Kavadi chindu” with quick & vigorous movements.
Kadagam, Tamil Nadu Worship of Mariamaman, Goddess of rain and wealth. Performed during August when idol is carried in procession. Ritual pot filled with water, beautiful decorations, several feet high, carried by the priest. Colourful performers carry decorated vessels on their head & dance to the tune of Nagaswaram, Thavil, Muni, uddukai+ pambai. Perform acrobatic feats. Very popular in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Kerala+ Puducherry.
Hozagiri, Tripura Spectacular dance of Reang community. Reang women performing Hozagiri are known as Mailuma & Maiktah, signifying festival of harvest+ worship of Lakshmi. Belief: Goddess is pleased by dance+ song. They are blessed by bumper crops. Theme is mostly cultivation. Stand on pitcher, move their head with bottle on top which is an oil lamp/pick flower bowing their body. All along they twist their back with finesse.
Dhobia, U.P. Ocassion: birth, marriages, Dussehra, Holi. Popular among dhobi community of Eastern U.P. only males participate. Dance & drama. Begins with recital of couplet in Almighty’s praise. One dancer enters wearing royal costumes with dummy horse followed by others. Drums, cymbals, ghoongroos(tied on ankles+ waist).[Ransingha used which is a wind instrument+ centre of attraction] Hori, Kajri, Chaiti, Kaharwa, Lachavi, Dadra+ Nirgun songs adopted. Also Bhojpuri+ Awadhi folk songs. Yakshagana Bayalata
Originated in Karnataka. Performed by male troupes maintained by temples.
Features Theatre form. Dances are of nritta variety. Enacted in open spaces. Elaborate make up, head dresses. Colourful clothes. Themes Epics. Dashavtaras. Focused on celebrating victory of good over evil. Famous Exponent : Dr Kota Shivaram Karanth. Chchau Ancient but obscure origin. Derived from “Chaaya” or shadow. Term according to Odissi indicates war dance. 3 streams of Chchau dance- Seraikela, Purulia and Mayurbhanj[These are the 3 places where its 3 streams are widely seen] Features Performed during Sun or Spring festival. Shiva & Parvati are presiding deities. Stance resembles combat. Male preserve though women have started learning. Usage of masks. Very rigorous, martial style, requires lot of stamina. Musical accompaniment- flutes, drums. Themes Epics. Nature. Puranas. Exponent Raja Bijay Pratap. RELIGIOUS ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH CULTURE
1. Religions Religion has been an important part of India’s culture throughout its history. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by law and custom. A vast majority of Indians (over 93%) associate themselves with a religion. Four of the world’s major religious traditions; Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are originated at India. These religions are also called as ‘Eastern Religions’. 1. Hinduism
The word Hindu is derived from the Sanskrit name Sindhu for the Indus River. With around 1 billion followers, Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam. Hinduism is considered as the oldest religion of the World originating around 5000 years ago. It is the predominant spiritual following of the Indian subcontinent, and one of its indigenous faiths. Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs. Hinduism was spread through parts of South-eastern Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. Hindus worship a god with different forms. Evolution The origin of Hinduism dates back to prehistoric times. Some of the important evidences of prehistoric times: Mesolithic rock paintings depicting dances and rituals gives evidence attesting to prehistoric religion in the Indian “subcontinent”. Neolithic pastoralists inhabiting the Indus River Valley buried their dead in a manner suggestive of spiritual practices that incorporated notions of an afterlife and belief in magic. Other Stone Age sites, such as the Bhimbetka rock shelters in central Madhya Pradesh and the Kupgal petroglyphs of eastern Karnataka, contain rock art portraying religious rites and evidence of possible ritualised music. The people of the Indus Valley Civilization, centered around the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys, may have worshiped an important mother goddess symbolising fertility. Excavations of Indus Valley Civilization sites show seals with animals and “fire-altars”, indicating rituals associated with fire. A linga-yoni of a type similar to that which is now worshiped by Hindus has also been found. The earliest versions of the epic poems Ramayana and Mahabharata were written roughly from 500–100 BCE. After 200 BC, several schools of thought were formally codified in Indian philosophy, including Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva-Mimamsa and Vedanta. The 9th and 8th centuries BCE witnessed the composition of the earliest Upanishads. Upanishads form the theoretical basis of classical Hinduism and are known as Vedanta (conclusion of the Veda). In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is conceived as personal (“with qualities”), impersonal (“without qualities”) and/or supreme depending on the philosophical school. Brahman should not be confused with Brahmin or Brahma. Hindu Denominations Hindu philosophy is traditionally divided into six āstika (orthodox) schools of thought, or darśanam, which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. The āstika schools are: Samkhya, an atheistic and strongly dualist theoretical exposition of consciousness and matter. Yoga, a school emphasizing meditation, contemplation and liberation. Nyaya or logic, explores sources of knowledge (Nyāya Sūtras). 4. Vaisheshika, an empiricist school of atomism. 5. Mimāṃsā, an anti-ascetic and anti-mysticist school of orthopraxy. 6. Vedanta, the last segment of knowledge in the Vedas, or the ‘Jnan’ (knowledge) ‘Kanda’ (section). Vedanta came to be the dominant current of Hinduism in the post-medieval period. Of the historical division into six darsanas, only two schools, Vedanta and Yoga, survive. 1. Samkhya
Samkhya is the oldest of the orthodox philosophical systems in Hinduism. It espouses dualism between consciousness and matter by postulating two “irreducible, innate and independent” realities: 1. Consciousness itself or Purusha (self, atma or soul) 2. Primordial materiality or Prakriti (creative agency or energy). Prakriti consists of varying levels of three dispositions or categories of qualities: Activity (rajas), Inactivity (tamas) and Harmony (sattva). An imbalance in the intertwined relationship of these three dispositions causes the world to evolve from Prakriti. This evolution from Prakriti causes the creation of 23 constituents, including intellect (buddhi), ego (ahamkara) and mind (manas). Samkhya theorizes the existence of many living souls (Jeevatmas) who possess consciousness, but denies the existence of Ishvara(God). Samkhya holds that Puruṣa, the eternal pure consciousness, due to ignorance, identifies itself with products of Prakriti such as intellect (buddhi) and ego (ahamkara). This results in endless transmigration and suffering. However, once the realization arises that Puruṣa is distinct from Prakriti, the Self is no longer subject to transmigration and absolute freedom (kaivalya) arises. 2. Yoga The Yoga philosophical system is closely allied with the Samkhya school, but is more theistic than the Samkhya. The foundational text of the Yoga school is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, who is regarded as the founder of the formal Yoga philosophy. Hindu philosophy distinguishes seven major branches of Yoga: i. Rāja Yoga (Classical Yoga), a system of yoga codified by Patañjali and classified as one of the six āstika (“orthodox”) schools of Hindu philosophy. ii. Jnana yoga, (buddhi-yoga) centred on the faculty of discernment and ‘virtually identical with the spiritual path of Vedānta’. iii. Karma-yoga, in which the world of everyday work becomes the tool by which self is transcended. (iv) Bhakti-Yoga the path of devoted service to God. i. Tantra-yoga focused on the techniques and psycho-physical teachings contained within a body of texts called tantras. ii. Mantra-yoga, one of the most ancient forms of yoga in which the psycho-acoustical properties of the spoken word are used to concentrate the mind. iii. Hatha yoga, a system of physical purification designed to reintegrate and re-balance the mind and body in preparation for Raja-yoga (first described by Yogi Swatmarama). 3. Nyaya The Nyaya school is based on the Nyaya Sutras. They were written by Aksapada Gautama, probably in the second century BCE. The most important contribution made by this school is its methodology. This methodology is based on a system of logic that has subsequently been adopted by the majority of the Indian schools. The followers of Nyaya believed that obtaining valid knowledge was the only way to gain release from suffering. According to Nyaya, there are exactly four sources of knowledge: perception, inference, comparison, and testimony. Knowledge obtained through each of these is either valid or invalid. 4. Vaisheshika The Vaisheshika school postulates an atomic pluralism in which all objects in the physical universe are reducible to certain types of atoms, and Brahman is regarded as the fundamental force that causes consciousness in these atoms. The school was founded by the sage Kaṇāda (or Kana-bhuk, literally, atomeater) around the 2nd century BC. Major ideas contained in the Vaisheshika Sutra are: There are nine classes of realities: four classes of atoms (earth, water, light and air), space (akasha), time (kāla), direction (dik), infinity of souls (Atman), mind (manas). Individual souls are eternal and pervade material body for a time.
There are seven categories (padārtha) of experience: substance, quality, activity, generality, particularity, inherence and non-existence. Although the Vaisheshika school developed independently from the Nyaya, the two eventually merged because of their closely related metaphysical theories. In its classical form, however, the Vaisheshika school differed from the Nyaya in one crucial respect: where Nyaya accepted four sources of valid knowledge, the Vaisheshika accepted only two—–perception and inference. 5. Purva Mimansa The main objective of the Purva Mimamsa school was to establish the authority of the Vedas. Consequently, this school’s most valuable contribution to Hinduism was its formulation of the rules of Vedic interpretation. Its adherents propounded unquestionable faith in the Vedas and regular performance of the yajñas, or fire-sacrifices. They believed in the power of the mantras and yajñas to sustain all the activity of the universe. In keeping with this belief, they placed great emphasis on dharma, which consisted of the performance of Vedic rituals. The Mimamsa philosophers believed that the other schools of thought that aimed for release (moksha) were not allowed for complete freedom from desire and selfishness, because the very striving for liberation stemmed from a simple desire to be free. According to Mimamsa thought, only by acting in accordance with the prescriptions of the Vedas may one attain salvation. Although Mimamsa does not receive much scholarly attention, its influence can be felt in the life of the practising Hindu, because all Hindu ritual, ceremony, and law is influenced by this school. 6. Vedanta The Vedanta, or later Mimamsa school, concentrates on the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads rather than the ritualistic injunctions of the Brahmanas. These were mystical aspects of Vedic religion that focused on meditation, self-discipline, and spiritual connectivity, more than traditional ritualism. Vedanta means, the last segment of knowledge in the Vedas. While, the earlier segments of the Vedas are called ‘Karma Kanda’. Parts of Vedas that focus on spiritual practices such as worship, devotion and meditation are called ‘Upasana Kanda’. (Kanda = section). Vedantic thought drew on Vedic cosmology, hymns and philosophy. While thirteen or so Upanishads are accepted as principal, over a hundred exist. The most significant contribution of Vedantic thought is the idea that selfconsciousness is continuous with and indistinguishable from consciousness of Brahman. The principles of the Vedanta sutras are presented in a cryptic, poetic style, which allows for a variety of interpretations. Consequently, the Vedanta separated into six sub-schools, each interpreting the texts in its own way and producing its own series of sub-commentaries. (i) Advaita: This is the oldest and most widely acknowledged Vedantic school. Advaita means “non-duality.” Its first great consolidator was Adi Shankaracharya According to Advaita, Brahman is the only reality, and there exists nothing whatsoever which is not Brahman. The appearance of dualities and differences in this world is a superimposition on Brahman, called Maya. Maya is neither existent nor non-existent, but appears to exist temporarily. When a person tries to know Brahman through his mind, due to the influence of Maya, Brahman appears as God (Ishvara), separate from the world and from the individual. In reality, there is no difference between the individual soul (Jivatma) and Brahman (Paramatma). The spiritual practices such as: devotion to God, meditation & self-less action etc. purifies the mind and indirectly helps in perceiving the real.
The only direct cause of liberation is self-knowledge which directly removes the ignorance. After realization, one sees one’s own self and the Universe as the same (ii) Vishishtadvaita: Vishishtadvaita is means qualified non-dualism. Ramanujacharya was the foremost proponent of the philosophy of Vishishtadvaita. Vishishtadvaita advocated the concept of a Supreme Being with essential qualities or attributes. They are against the Advaitan philosophy of Brahman as an impersonal empty oneness. They saw Brahman as an eternal oneness, but also as the source of all creation, which was omnipresent and actively involved in existence. To them the sense of subject-object perception was illusory and a sign of ignorance. However, the individual’s sense of self was not a complete illusion since it was derived from the universal beingness that is Brahman. Ramanuja He saw Vishnu as a personification of Brahman. Dvaita: Dvaita Vedanta means the dualistic conclusions of the Vedas. This philosophy was founded by Madhvacharya. It propagates the principle of dualism by theorizing the existence of two separate realities. The first and the more important reality is that of Vishnu or Brahman. Vishnu is the supreme Self, God, the absolute truth of the universe, the independent reality. The second reality is that of dependent but equally real universe that exists with its own separate essence. The distinguishing factor of this philosophy as opposed to Advaita Vedanta (monistic conclusion of Vedas) is that God takes on a personal role and is seen as a real eternal entity that governs and controls the universe. Dvaita philosophy attempts to address the problem of evil with the idea that souls are not created. Because the existence of individuals is grounded in the divine, they are depicted as reflections of the divine, but never in any way identical with the divine. Salvation therefore is described as the realization that all finite reality is essentially dependent on the Supreme. Dvaitadvaita: Dvaitadvaita was proposed by Nimbarka. According to this philosophy there are three categories of existence: Brahman, soul, and matter. Soul and matter are different from Brahman in that they have attributes and capacities different from Brahman. Brahman exists independently, while soul and matter are dependent yet seperate. Further, Brahman is a controller, the soul is the enjoyer, and matter the thing enjoyed. The highest object of worship is Krishna and his consort Radha, attended by thousands of gopis, or cowherdesses; of the celestial Vrindavana; and devotion consists in self-surrender. Shuddhadvaita: Shuddhadvaita is the “purely non-dual” philosophy propounded by Vallabhacharya. The Shuddhadvaita principle sees equality in “essence” of the individual self with God. There is no real difference between the two. It does not deny God as the whole and the individual as the part. The individual soul is not the Supreme (Satcitananda) clouded by the force of avidya, but is itself Brahman, with one attribute (ananda) rendered imperceptible. Unlike Advaita, the world of Maya is not regarded as unreal, since Maya is nothing else than a power of Ishvara. He is not only the creator of the universe but is the universe itself. The followers of Shuddhadvaita are the worshipers of Krishna. They maintain that if one wants to obtain moksha and the bliss given by Krishna, the only path to do so is bhakti. Acintya Bheda Abheda: This is the philosophy of “inconceivable oneness and difference” in relation to the power creation and creator, (Krishna) and also between God and his energies within the Gaudiya Vaishnava religious tradition.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the founder of this philosophy. He was stating that the soul or energy of God is both distinct and non-distinct from God, whom he identified as Krishna, Govinda, and that this, although unthinkable, may be experienced through a process of loving devotion (bhakti). Three other nāstika (heterodox) schools don’t draw upon the Vedas as the sole primary authoritative text, but may emphasize other traditions of thought. The nāstika schools are: Cārvāka Jainism 3. Buddhism While Charvaka is classified as a nāstika school, Buddhism and Jainism are also classified as nāstika religions since they do not accept the authority of the Vedas. Carvaka school Hinduism, otherwise a highly theistic religion, hosted atheistic schools; the thoroughly materialistic and antireligious philosophical Cārvāka (Nastika) school that originated in India around the 6th century BCE is probably the most explicitly atheistic school of Indian philosophy. It is not included among the six schools of Hinduism generally regarded as orthodox. Our understanding of Cārvāka philosophy is fragmentary, based largely on criticism of the ideas by other schools, and it is no longer a living tradition. Academics categorize contemporary Hinduism into four major denominations: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism and Shaktism. The denominations differ primarily in the god worshipped as the Supreme One and in the traditions that accompany worship of that god. Vaishnavas worship Vishnu as the supreme God; Shaivites worship Shiva as the supreme; Shaktas worship Shakti (power) personified through a female divinity or Mother Goddess, Devi; while Smartas believe in the essential oneness of five (panchadeva) or six (Shanmata, as Tamil Hindus add Skanda) deities as personifications of the Supreme. 1. Vaishnavism It is focused on worshiping of Vishnu. Vaishnavites lead a way of life promoting differentiated monotheism, which gives importance to Lord Vishnu and His ten incarnations. Its beliefs and practices, especially the concepts of Bhakti and Bhakti Yoga, are based largely on the Upanishads, and associated with the Vedas and Puranic texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, and the Padma, Vishnu and Bhagavata Puranas. Awareness, recognition, and growth of the belief have significantly increased outside of India in recent years. The Gaudiya Vaishnava branch of the tradition has significantly increased the awareness of Vaishnavism internationally, since the mid-1900s, largely through the activities and geographical expansion of the Hare Krishna movement founded by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in New York City in 1966. 2. Shaivism Shaivism reveres the god Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Devotees of Shiva wear Sacred ash as a sectarian mark on their foreheads and other parts of their bodies with reverence. The Sanskrit words bhasma and vibhuti can both be translated as “sacred ash”. Shaivism has a vast literature that includes texts representing multiple philosophical schools, including non-dualist (abheda), dualist (bheda), and non-dual-with-dualism (bhedābheda) perspectives. 3. Shaktism
Shaktism focuses focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead. Shaktism regards Devī as the Supreme Brahman itself, with all other forms of divinity, female or male, considered being merely her diverse manifestations. In the details of its philosophy and practice, Shaktism resembles Shaivism. However, Shaktas focus most or all worship on Shakti, as the dynamic feminine aspect of the Supreme Divine. Shaktism is practiced throughout the Indian subcontinent and beyond, in numerous forms, both Tantric and non-Tantric; however, its two largest and most visible schools are the Srikula (lit., family of Sri), strongest in South India, and the Kalikula (family of Kali), which prevails in northern and eastern India. 4. Smartism Smartism is a liberal or nonsectarian denomination of the Vedic Hindu religion which accepts all the major Hindu deities as forms of the one Brahman. The term Smarta refers to adherents who follow the Vedas and Shastras. Only a section of south Indian brahmins call themselves Smartas now. Smartas are followers and propagators of Smriti or religious texts derived from Vedic scriptures. Smarta religion was practiced by people who believed in the authority of the Vedas as well as the basic premise of puranas. As a consequence usually only a brahmin preferred to use this term to refer to his family tradition. It is most essential for Smarta Brahmins to specialize in the Karma Kanda of the Vedas and associated rituals diligently, and to teach the subsequent generations. Varnas Hindu society has been categorized into four classes, called varnas. They are: i. the Brahmins: Vedic teachers and priests; ii. the Kshatriyas: warriors, nobles, and kings; iii. the Vaishyas: farmers, merchants, and businessmen; and iv. the Shudras: servants and labourers Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of Hindus, links the varna to an individual’s duty (svadharma), inborn nature (svabhāva), and natural tendencies (guṇa). Ashramas Traditionally the life of a Hindu is divided into four Ashramas (phases or stages). The first part of one’s life, Brahmacharya, the stage as a student, is spent in celibate, controlled, sober and pure contemplation under the guidance of a Guru, building up the mind for spiritual knowledge. Grihastha is the householder’s stage, in which one marries and satisfies kāma and artha in one’s married and professional life respectively. Vānaprastha, the retirement stage, is gradual detachment from the material world. This may involve giving over duties to one’s children, spending more time in religious practices and embarking on holy pilgrimages. Finally, in Sannyāsa, the stage of asceticism, one renounces all worldly attachments to secludedly find the Divine through detachment from worldly life and peacefully shed the body for Moksha. Hindu texts Hindu literature can be divided into two categories: Shruti – that which is revealed and Smriti – that which is remembered. The Vedas coming under the Shruti category are considered sacred scripture. Later texts like the various shastras and the itihaasas form Smruti. Holding an ambiguous position between the Upanishads of the Vedas and the epics, the Bhagavad Gita is considered to be revered scripture by most Hindus today. All Shruti scriptures are composed in Sanskrit.
Hindu Pilgrimage Important Pilgrimage sites of Hindu devotees are: Kumbh Mela: One of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages that is held every 12 years; the location is rotated among Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. It is considered as one of the largest pilgrimage gathering in the world. Char Dham (Famous Four Pilgrimage sites): The four holy sites Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath compose the Char Dham (four abodes) pilgrimage circuit. Old Holy cities as per Puranic Texts: Varanasi formerly known as Kashi, Allahabad formerly known as Prayag, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Pandharpur, Paithan and Ayodhya. Major Temple cities: Puri, which hosts a major Vaishnava Jagannath temple and Rath Yatra celebration; Katra, home to the Vaishno Devi temple; Three comparatively recent temples of fame and huge pilgrimage are Shirdi, home to Sai Baba of Shirdi, Tirumala – Tirupati, home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple; and Sabarimala, where Swami Ayyappan is worshipped. Shakti Peethas: Another important set of pilgrimages are the Shakti Peethas, where the Mother Goddess is worshipped, the two principal ones being Kalighat and Kamakhya. 2. Shramana Traditions The Shramana movement was a Non-Vedic movement parallel to Vedic Hinduism in ancient India. The Shramana tradition gave rise to Jainism, Buddhism, and Yoga, and was responsible for the related concepts of saṃsāra (the cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle). Sramanism, emphasizing thought, hard work and discipline, was one of the three strands of Hindu philosophy. The other two included Brahmanism, which drew its philosophical essence from Mimamsa. The third and most popular strand of Indian philosophical thought revolves around the concept of Bhakti or Theism, based on the idea of God, as understood in most parts of the world. Philosophy Śramaṇas held a view of samsara as full of suffering (Dukka). They practiced Ahimsa and rigorous ascetism. They believed in Karma and Moksa and viewed rebirth as undesirable. Vedics, on the contrary believe in the efficacy of rituals and sacrifices, performed by a privileged group of people, who could improve their life by pleasing certain Gods. Beliefs and concepts of Śramaṇa philosophies: Denial of creator and omnipotent Gods Rejection of the Vedas as revealed texts Affirmation of Karma and rebirth, Samsara and transmigration of Soul. Affirmation of the attainment of moksa through Ahimsa, renunciation and austerities Denial of the efficacy of sacrifices and rituals for purification. Rejection of the caste system Jainism and Buddhism are the two main schools philosophies that have continued in India since ancient times. 3. Jainism The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are its belief on independent existence of soul and matter, absence of a supreme divine creator, potency of karma, eternal and uncreated universe, a strong emphasis on non-violence, morality and ethics based on liberation of soul. Jainism is the sixth largest religion in India and is followed throughout the India. Lakshadweep is the only Union Territory/state without Jains. Maharashtra has the highest number of Jain Population. Like most ancient Indian religions, Jainism has its roots from the Indus Valley Civilization, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India. Principles of Jainism Jainism encourages spiritual development through cultivation of one’s own personal wisdom and reliance on selfcontrol through vows. Ascetics of this religion undertake five major vows: Ahimsa (Non-violence): The first major vow taken by ascetics is to cause no harm to living beings. It involves minimizing intentional as well as unintentional harm to other living creatures.
Satya (Truth): The vow is to always speak of truth. Given that non-violence has priority, other principles yield to it whenever there is a conflict. In a situation where speaking truth could lead to violence, silence is to be observed. 3. Asteya: Asteya, is to not take into possession, anything that is not willingly offered. Attempt to squeeze material wealth from others or exploit the weak is considered theft. 4. Brahmacharya: The vow of brahmacharya requires one to exercise control over senses from indulgence in sexual activity. 5. Aparigraha: Aparigraha is to observe detachment from people, places and material things. Ascetics live a life of complete renunciation of property and human relations. Jain metaphysics is based on seven or nine fundamentals which are known as Tattva. These are an attempt to explain the nature and solution to the human predicament. These are: Jīva: The living entities are called Jiva. It is a substance which is different from the body that houses it. Consciousness, knowledge and perception are the fundamental attributes of the Jiva. Ajīva: The non-living entities which consists of matter, space and time falls into the category of Ajiva. Asrava: Due to the interaction between the two substances, jīva and ajīva, there is influx of a special ajiva called karma into the soul. This karma then sticks to the soul. Bandha: The karma masks the jiva and restricts it from having its true potential of perfect knowledge and perception. Saṃvara: Through right conduct, it is possible to stop the influx of additional karma. Nirjarā: By performing asceticism, it is possible to shred or burn up the existing karma. Moksha: The jiva which has removed its karma is said to be liberated and have its pure, intrinsic quality of perfect knowledge in its true form. Authors sometimes add two additional categories: the meritorious and demeritorious acts related to karma. These are called puṇya and pāpa respectively. Tirtankara Jainism has been preached by a succession of twenty-four propagators of faith known as Tirthankara. Tirtankara is a human being who helps in achieving liberation and enlightenment as an “Arihant” by destroying all of their soul constraining (ghati) karmas, became a role-model and leader for those seeking spiritual guidance. There are 24 Tīrthaṅkaras and each of them revitalized the Jain Order. Tirthankara is also said to mean “full moon,” a metaphorical reference to Kevala Jnana. Keval Gnan is a state of permanent, perpetual, absolute knowledge of the Soul; it is the precursor to moksha, final liberation from samsara, the cycle of birth and death. Jaina tradition identifies Rishabha (Adinath) as the first tirthankara. The last two tirthankara, Parshva and Mahavira are historical figures whose existence is recorded. A Chakravarti is an emperor of the world and lord of the material realm. Though he possesses worldly power, he often finds his ambitions dwarfed by the enormity of the cosmos. Jaina puruna give a list of twelve Chakravarti. One of the greatest Chakravarti mentioned in Jaina scriptures is Bharata. Tradition says that India came to be known as Bharata-varsha in the memory of this Bharata. There are nine sets of baladeva, vāsudeva and prativāsudeva. Baladeva are non-violent heroes. Vasudeva are violent heroes and prativāsudeva can be termed as villains. Vasudeva ultimately kills prativasudeva. Baladeva goes to heaven. On the other hand, vasudeva go to hell on account of their violent exploits, even if they were to uphold righteousness. Jain sects In the 4th century CE, Jainism developed two major divisions Digambara (sky clad ascetics) and Svetambara (white robed ascetics). Both Digambara and Svetambara communities have continued to develop, almost independently of each other. With the passage of time, both had further subsects. Except for some minor differences in rituals and way of life, their belief and practices for
the spiritual progress are the same. The four main sects with a sizable population are Digambara, Svetambara Murtipujaka, Sthanakavasi and Terapanthi. The Digambaras, like Mahavira, practice total nudity to avoid all attachments. The Shvetambaras reject nudity as an exterior symbol having no significance on their inner spiritual development. They also accepted women into the monastic community early on, unlike the Digambaras. Jaina Literature The fourteen Purvas was a body of Jain scriptures preached by tirthankara of Jainism. These teachings were memorized and passed on through ages, but became fairly vulnerable and died off within one thousand years after Lord Mahavira’s nirvana (liberation). Agamas are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahavira’s teachings. Mahavira’s preachings were orally compiled by his disciples into various Sutras (texts) which were collectively called Jain canonical or Agamic literature. These Agamas are composed of forty-six texts: twelve angās, twelve upanga āgamas, six chedasūtras, four mūlasūtras, ten prakīrnaka sūtras and two cūlikasūtras. Svetambaras accept thirty-two to forty-five aagamas, final redaction of which took place at the Council of Valabhi (453 – 466 BCE). Digambaras accept two canonical texts Satkhandaagama and Kasaayapahuda composed in 2nd century CE. Jains had a major influence in developing a system of philosophy and ethics that had a great impact on Indian culture. They have contributed to the culture and language of the Indian states Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Jain Rituals Navkar Mantra is the fundamental prayer of Jainism. In this prayer there is no mention of names, including that of thetirthankara. It does not ask for favors or material benefits, it simply serves as a gesture of deep respect towards beings they believe are more spiritually advanced and to remind followers of the Jainism of their ultimate goal of nirvana. Jains follow six obligatory duties known as Avashyakas includes samyika (pracitising serenity), chaturvimshati (praising tirthankara), vandan (respecting teachers and monks), Pratikramana, Kayotsarga, pratyakhyana (renunciation). Paryushana is one of the most important festivals for the Jains. Normally Svetambara Jains refer it as Paryushana, while Digambara Jains refer it as Das Lakshana. It is believed that the deva do ashtprakari puja of tirthankara and it takes them eight days to do this ashtaprakari puja. This is called Ashtanhika Mahotsav, so at the very same time Jains celebrate it as Paryushan. Paryushana lasts eight days for Svetambara Jains and ten days for Digambaras Jains. Mahavira Jayanti, the birthday of Mahavira, is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the fortnight of the waxing moon, in the month of Chaitra. A unique ritual in this religion involves a holy fasting until death called Sallekhana. Through this one achieves a death with dignity and dispassion as well as a reduction of negative karma to a great extent. This form of dying is also called Santhara. 4. Buddhism Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha. Buddha is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end suffering (dukkha) through eliminating ignorance (avidyā) by way of understanding and seeing dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) and eliminating craving (taṇhā), and thus attain the highest happiness, nirvāņa. Buddhism reached its peak under the Mauryan Empire (322-185 AD). Ashoka gave royal patronage to Buddhism and made it a pan-Asian religion. He sponsored Buddhist missions to
various areas within his empire and also to the Greek-ruled areas of the Northwest, Sri Lanka in the south as well as the Central Asia. After the death of Ashoka, Buddhism did not get a direct royal patronage. Soon Buddhism declined and was almost wiped out from India but instead spread to the South East Asian countries and to Sri Lanka. Gautama Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama was born in Lumbini in modern-day Nepal, around the year 563 BCE, and raised in Kapilavastu. Young prince Gautama was kept away from seeing the sufferings of normal people since an astrologer prophesied that he would renounce the material world if sees the miseries of Life. In a series of encounters, known in Buddhist literature as the four sights, he learned of the suffering of ordinary people, encountering an old man, a sick man, a corpse and, finally, an ascetic holy man, apparently content and at peace with the world. These experiences prompted Gautama to abandon royal life and take up a spiritual quest. For six years, Siddhartha submitted himself to rigorous ascetic practices, studying and following different methods of meditation with various religious teachers. But he was never fully satisfied. One day, however, he was offered a bowl of rice from a young girl and he accepted it. In that moment, he realised that physical austerities were not the means to achieve liberation. From then on, he encouraged people to follow a path of balance rather than extremism. He called this The Middle Way. At the age of 35, Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi tree, in the town of Bodh Gaya in India, and meditated. He purified his mind of all defilements and attained enlightenment after many days, thus earning the title Buddha, or “Enlightened One”. Thereafter, he attracted a band of followers and instituted a monastic order. He spent the rest of his life teaching the path of awakening he had discovered, traveling throughout the north-eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, and died at the age of 80 (483 BCE) in Kushinagar, India. Principles Samsara is “the cycle of birth and death”. Sentient beings crave pleasure and are averse to pain from birth to death. Buddhists strive to end the sufferings by eradicating the causes and conditions, applying the methods laid out by the Buddha and subsequent Buddhists. Karma in Buddhism is the force that drives saṃsāra. Good, skillful deeds (kusala) and bad, unskillful (akusala) actions produce “seeds” in the mind that come to fruition either in this life or in a subsequent rebirth. The avoidance of unwholesome actions and the cultivation of positive actions is called śīla. Rebirth refers to a process whereby beings go through a succession of lifetimes as one of many possible forms of sentient life, each running from conception to death. Buddhism rejects the concepts of a permanent self or an unchanging, eternal soul, as it is called in Hinduism and Christianity. Each rebirth takes place within one of five realms according to Theravadins, or six according to other schools. These are further subdivided into 31 planes of existence. Branches of Buddhism Two branches of Buddhism are generally recognized: Mahayana (“The Great Vehicle”) and Theravada (“The School of the Elders”) Mahayana The followers of Mahayana believe that Buddha taught universal salvation. One should not aim at personal nirvana and should help ease the suffering of humanity. Mahayana Buddhism is found throughout East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan etc.) and includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shingon, and Tiantai (Tendai). In India, this form of Buddhism is followed in Ladakh, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh. Theravada The Theravada Buddhism is better known as the earliest form of Buddhism. The ‘Thera’ means old and ‘Vada’ means school. The aim of this form of Buddhism is to attain personal nirvana through the triple recourse to ethical conduct, mental discipline and higher knowledge or wisdom. It has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar etc.). In
India, this strain of Buddhism is represented by the followers of Dr B.R.Ambedkar known as the Ambedkar Buddhists, who are exclusive to India. In some classifications, Vajrayana practiced mainly in Tibet and Mongolia, and adjacent parts of China and Russia is recognized as a third branch. Hinayana is an ugly Mahayana polemical term coined by Mahayanists to both classify and refer to those schools of Buddhism with which the Mahayana disagreed. The Four Noble Truths The teachings on the Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism. These four truths explain the nature of dukkha, its causes, and how it can be overcome. They can be summarized as follows: The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction): explains the nature of dukkha. The truth of the origin of dukkha: It says that the origin of dukkha can be known. The origin of dukkha is commonly explained as craving conditioned by ignorance. On a deeper level, the root cause of dukkha is identified as ignorance. The truth of the cessation of dukkha: It says that the complete cessation of dukkha is possible. 4. The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha: It identifies a path to cessation of dukkha. Noble Eightfold Path The Noble Eightfold Path consists of a set of eight interconnected factors or conditions, that when developed together, lead to the cessation of dukkha. The Eight factors are: 1. Right View (or Right Understanding): Viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be 2. Right Intention (or Right Thought): Intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness 3. Right Speech: Speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way 4. Right Action: Acting in a non-harmful way 5. Right Livelihood: A non-harmful livelihood 6. Right Effort: Making an effort to improve 7. Right Mindfulness: Awareness to see things for what they are with clear consciousness 8. Right Concentration: Correct meditation or concentration, explained as the first four jhānas Practices The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community). Taking “refuge in the triple gem” has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path, and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist. Other practices may include following ethical precepts; support of the monastic community; renouncing conventional living and becoming a monastic; the development of mindfulness and practice of meditation; cultivation of higher wisdom and discernment; study of scriptures; devotional practices; ceremonies; and in the Mahayana tradition, invocation of buddhas and bodhisattvas. The Buddhist place of worship is called a Vihara or Gompa, which usually houses one or more statues of the Buddha. The five great events in Buddha’s life are represented by symbols as under: i. Birth by Lotus and Bull ii. Great Renunciation by Horse iii. Nirvana by Bodhi Tree iv. First Sermon by Dharmachakra or Wheel (v) Parinirvana or death by the Stupa. Dharmachakra The Wheel of Law or dharmachakra, is the most important symbol of Buddhism. According to the Buddha, dharma is the law that ensures the welfare of the greatest number of people if practiced
faithfully. The wheel symbolises the goodness in every person. The wheel has eight spokes representing the eight virtues enumerated by the Eight Fold Path, the path to salvation. Tibetan Buddhism The Tibetan Buddhism is “essentially Buddhism of the Mahayana school, with elements of modified Shaivism and native ritualistic shamanism”. Monks belonging to this strain of Buddhism are called lamas. Tibetan Buddhism, also called Lamaism, is a predominant religion of Tibet, Mongolia and other parts of the world. In India it is practised by over 1,20,000 Tibetans settled in their different settlements at Dharamsala, Dehradun (UP), Kushalnagar (Karnataka), Darjeeling (West Bengal),Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh. The Tibetan Buddhism follows a strict code of traditional hierarchy. The supreme position is occupied by two lamas: the Dalai Lama (Grand Lama) and the Panchen Lama (Bogodo Lama). Of the two, the Dalai Lama is more powerful and is considered as the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism, while the Panchen Lama is the second most senior religious authority. Next in rank are the Hutukhtus, or spiritual dignitaries. The Rimpoches or Hobilghans or bodhisattvas form the third level of authority. The present and the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was identified and enthroned in 1940, in Lhasa. After the Chinese annexation of Tibet in 1950, the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 and established a Government-in-exile at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. 5. Sikhism Sikhism began about 500 years ago by Guru Nanak and preaches a message of devotion and remembrance to God at all times, truthful living and equality of mankind and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book, Adi Granth or Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Principles of Sikhism Sikhs believe that God is Monistic or Non-dual. He is the creator of the Universe, whose existence and continued survival depends on His will. God is both Saguna (with attributes) and Nirguna (without attributes) and is called by names such as Sat (truth), Sat Guru (true Guru), Akal Purkh (timeless being), Kartar (creator) and Wahi-Guru (praise to the God). The belief in the ten Gurus – spiritual guides who dispel ignorance and darkness is the essential element of Sikh religion. According to it the only way to achieve liberation (mukti) from the cycle of birth and death is by being Godconscious (gurmukh). The Khalsa and five K’s The concept of Khalsa, literally meaning ‘the pure’, was introduced by Guru Gobind Singh. He established this new fraternity with five followers (later known as Panj Pyares), who were baptized with amrit as Khalsas. The Khalsa symbolised coalescence of serenity and strength, purity and power, shastra (scripture) and shastra (weapon), and the power of wisdom (jnana shakti) and the power of action (kriya shakti). It was made obligatory for every Sikh to wear the Five K’s – Kesha (long hair), Kangha (comb), Kara (steel bracelet), Kaccha (short drawers) and Kirpan (sword). Sri Guru Granth Sahib The Guru Granth Sahib (also known as the Adi Granth) is considered the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion. It is a collection of devotional hymns and poetry which proclaims God, lays stress on meditation on the True Guru (God) and lays down moral and ethical rules for development of the soul, spiritual salvation and unity with God. The writings of the Gurus appear chronologically. Each of the Gurus signed their hymns as Nanak. Guru Granth Sahib has 3,384 hymns, of which Guru Nanak Dev contributed 974 hymns including sloks and pauris. It also contains Bhagatas of Kabir, Namdev, Ravidas, Sheikh Farid, Trilochan, Dhanna, Beni, Sheikh Bhikan, Jaidev, Surdas, Parmanand, Pipa and Ramanand. The fifth Guru Arjan Dev began
the great task of collection of the holy compositions as Sri (Amritsar) and compiled the Holy Granth Sahib. 6. Islam The religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law. The word ‘Muslim’ means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Muslims believe that all of God’s prophets which include Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, brought the same message of Pure Monotheism. For this reason, Prophet Muhammad is not considered as the founder of a new religion, as many people mistakenly think, but he was the Final Prophet of Islam. Principles of Islam According to traditional Islamic belief, the religion has existed since time immemorial. Allah, the Almighty God, created Adam (the father of the human progeny) out of a lump of clay and commanded the angels to greet him with a ‘Sijda’ (prostration in humility). All the angels obeyed the command with the exception of Iblis (the Satan). This resulted in Satan’s condemnation and Allah commanded that whosoever followed the Satan’s path will forfeit His pleasure and that his abode will be in the fire of hell eternally. Basic Islamic Beliefs are: i. Tawheed: This means, believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God Who is the Creator, the Ruler and the Sustainer of the universe, and none has the right to be worshipped but He alone ii. Belief in the existence of Angels of God as the honoured creatures iii. Belief in God’s Revealed Books iv. Belief in the Prophets and Messengers of God v. Belief in the Day of Judgement and Life after Death vi. Belief in Predestination – God’s complete authority over human destiny Main sects of Islam The followers of Muslim are divided into two main sects: Shiah and Sunni. Though essentially following the same beliefs and tenets, they differ on two points: the succession to Prophet Muhammad, and the religious authority in Islam after him. Shiism is a minority branch of Islam which makes up about one tenth of the total population of the Muslim world. The Shiites form an important part of the population in a number of Arab countries like Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and Iran. The Shiahs consider Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet as his rightful heir. They maintain that Ali was the first legitimate Imam or Khalifah (Caliph) and therefore reject Abu Bakr, Omar and Usman, the first three Khalifahs of the Sunni Muslims, as usurpers. There are two main shiite sects: i. The “Twelvers” are by far the largest group of Shiah Islam. They believe that the line of Ali became extinct with al-Askari, the Twelfth Imam, who mysteriously disappeared in 873 AD. They however refuse to accept that al-Askari died and believe that he will appear shortly before the end of the world. ii. The Ismailites or Seveners are the second largest shiite sect. Their spiritual leader is the Aga Khan. The Ismailites only recognize the seven first Imams. Sunnism is the main branch of Islam and recognizes the legitimacy of the first four Khalifahs or Caliphs. The Sunnis believe that the office of the Prophet was not hereditary and no one could claim to be his sole heir. The community chooses one amongst themselves as their leader or the Khalifah. There are four orthodox sects among the Sunni Muslims i.e. Hanafiyah (followers of Imam Abu Hanifah), Shafiyah (followers of Imam Ash-Shafii), Malakiyah (followers of Imam Malik) and Hanbaliyah (followers of Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal). Khalifah
The word Caliph or Khalifah, means ‘successor’ or ‘deputy’. It is used to designate the Prophet’s successor as leader of the Muslim community. This title was used by the successive Arab empires and by the Ottoman sultans. The Ottoman Caliphate was maintained for two years after the abolition of the Sultanate, until it was itself abolished by Kemal Ataturk in February 1924. Prophets of Islam According to Islamic belief, Allah has sent various Prophets to the world at different times and different places to guide the people on the righteous path. The names of the following Prophets are mentioned in the Holy Quran: Adam, Sheth, Idris, Nuh (Noah), Hud, Salih, Lut, Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail, Ishaq (Isaac), Yaqub (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Shuaib, Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ilyas, Al-Yasa (Elisha), Musa (Moses), Aziz (Ubair or Ezra), Ayyub (Job), Dhul-Kifl (Isaih or Kharqil Bin Thauri), Yunus (Jonah), Zakariya (Zachariah), Yahya (John the Baptist), Isa (Jesus Christ) and Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad Prophet Muhammad is considered as the messenger of Allah and the last of all Prophets who restored Islam to its pristine purity. Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 AD at Makkah. At the age of 40, Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from Allah through the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) in a cave at Mount Hira near Makkah. The revelations continued for 23 years, and they are collectively known as the Quran. He began preaching these revelations to the common populace in Makkah. Due to sever opposition from the unbelievers, Prophet Muhammad and his followers undertook the great migration or Hijra to a town called Yathrib, which later came to be known as Medina. This emigration marks the beginning of the Muslim Calendar. In Medina, Islam began to flourish and Prophet Muhammad died at the age of 63. As a mark of respect to the Prophet, the Muslims use the words ‘Peace Be Upon Him’ after his name. Islam in India Islam first came to India at the Malabar Coast of Kerala through Arab traders as early as 6 AD. Several centuries later the local population that embraced Islam became a well-knit social and cultural group known as the Moplas. Within the next 200 years, the first Muslim empire, the Delhi Sultanate, was established in India with its capital in Delhi. This was followed by several other Muslim dynasties like the Khiljis, the Tughlaqs, the Lodis and the Mughals. The period of the Mughals was the golden age of Islam in India. The religion flourished under the Mughal rule and many Indians embraced Islam. Today Muslims constitute about 12% of India’s population and are concentrated largely in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Kashmir. 7. Sufism Sufism or tasawwuf, as it is called in Arabic, is generally understood by scholars and Sufis to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam. Today, however, many Muslims and non-Muslims believe that Sufism is outside the sphere of Islam. The Origin The origins of Sufism can be traced to the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, whose teachings attracted a group of scholars who came to be called “Ahle Suffe”, the People of Suffe, from their practice of sitting at the platform of the mosque of the Prophet in Medina. There they engaged themselves in discussions concerning the reality of ‘Being’, and in search of the inner path and devoted themselves to spiritual purification and meditation. These individuals were the founders of Sufism. Fundamental principles Sufis represented the inner side of the Islamic creed, which stresses on self-realisation, beautification of the soul through piety, righteousness and universal love for all. The Sufis consider that there is a particular Divine Attribute that dominates the being of every prophet and
saint, such that they can be said to be the incarnation of that attribute. The aim of Sufism is the cultivation of Perfect Beings who are mirrors reflecting the Divine Names and Attributes. In Sufism, a perfect being is also called a Wali (saint), a word that literally means ‘sincere friend’. The superstructure of Sufism is built upon the concept of teacher, pir or murshid. Sufism had succeeded in inculcating the sentiments of fraternity, equality and equity, coupled with sense of service to humanity, in the followers, irrespective of race, community, caste, creed and colour. In India, Sufism helped in maintaining communal harmony and social stability by advocating religious tolerance and by borrowing spiritual techniques and practices from other religions. Sufism has adapted extensively from the Vedanta school of the Hindu philosophy.
The musical and ecstatic aspect of Sufism is called Sama. This is a particular kind of devotional dance akin to Kirtana and was introduced by Jalaluddin Rumi. The Sufi, while being spiritually enraptured, gives the attention of his or her heart to the Beloved. With particular movements and often special and rhythmical music, he engages in the selfless remembrance of God. Sufis identify two types of Sama poetry: i. First praising God (this is called Hamd), Prophet (this is called Naat) and the Sufi saints (this is called Manqabat.) ii. The second focussing on spiritual emotion or mystical love, ecstatic states and on separation and union. The Sama poetry is mostly sung in the form of Qawwali. Music of Sama is set within metric framework, accompanied by Dholak, Tabla, Sarangi, Harmonium and Sitar. 8. Muslim Religious Movements Dawoodi Bohras The word ‘Bohra’ is derived from the Gujarati word vohorvu or vyavahar meaning “to trade”. The Muslim community of Daudi Bohras traces its ancestry to early conversions to Ismaili Shiism during the reign of the Fatimid Caliph Imam, al-Mustansir (1036-1094 AD). When schisms occurred in the Ismaili dawah (mission) in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Egypt, the Ismailis in India followed the Fatimid Tayyibi dawah of Yemen. Subsequently, this community split a number of times to form the Jafari Bohras, Daudi Bohras, Sulaymani Bohras, Aliyah Bohras and other lesser-known groups. The religious hierarchy of the Daudi Bohras is essentially Fatimid and is headed by the dai mutlaq who is appointed by his predecessor in office. The dai appoints two others to the subsidiary ranks of madhun (licentiate) and mukasir (executor). These positions are followed by the rank of shaikh and mullah, both of which are held by hundreds of Bohras. An Aamil leads the local congregation in religious, social and communal affairs. Each town has a mosque and an adjoining jamaat-khanah (assembly hall) where socio-religious functions are held. The Bohras recognize the seven pillars of Islam. Walayah (love and devotion) for Allah, the Prophets, the imam and the dai is the first and most important of the seven pillars. The others are tahrah (purity & cleanliness), salat (prayers), zakat (purifying religious dues), saum (fasting), haj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and jihad (holy war).
The Bohras enjoy a great degree of social and religious cohesion. Every Bohra is required to take an oath of allegiance (Misaaq), which is a formal initiation into the faith. The oath, inter alia, commits a Bohra towards adherence to the Shariah and accepting the leadership of the Sayyidna and the dai. The cult of Sayyidna, the high priest, and the Kothar, the clergy, is deeply ingrained in the Bohra psyche. Every Bohra follows a system of tax payment to the Syedna, who also exercises a great control over the marriage and death rites. Another distinctive feature is their use of a Fatimid lunar calendar which fixes the number of days in each month. Wahabism Wahabism was the first great modern expression of the awakening of the Arab Islam in the 18th century. Its founder was Muhammad Ibn Abd-al-Wahab. He preached and propagated the “pure faith” based only on the Holy Quran and the Sunnah and criticised the loosening of moral standards under foreign influences. Wahabism led in 1932 to the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The only other Wahabi state is Qatar. The Wahabis do not receive the decisions of the four orthodox sects, but say that any man who can read and understand the Quran and the Ahadith can judge for himself in the matters of doctrine. They do not offer prayers to any prophet, wali, pir or saint. They do not even perform any act of reverence at the Prophet’s mosque at Madina. They observe only four main festivals, namely, Idul-Fitr, Idul-Azha, Yaum Al-Ashura and the Lailat-al Qadr and do not observe Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (Milad-un-Nabi) as a festival. 9. Christianity Christianity is the religion of the followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity has the largest adherents all over the world numbering more than 1.5 billion. Origin Jesus Christ was born as a Jew in Bethlehem in 4 BC. He was believed to have possessed supernatural powers. He began travelling widely and preaching to people in various towns. Alarmed by the growing popularity of Jesus Christ and his preaching, some Jewish priests conspired to kill him and succeeded in having him crucified. On the third day after his Crucifixion, Jesus was resurrected. He lived on earth for another 40 days and then ascended to heaven. The incidents preceding and succeeding his birth matched the prophesies of the Old Testament, according to which, the son of God would be born on the earth to rid humanity of its sins. The followers of Jesus formed a new faith, which was named as Christianity (after Christ) and its followers, Christians. Fundamental principles of Christianity Christians are monotheists and insist that the originator and preserver of creation is one but is represented in the Holy Trinity, as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Christians see God as the Lord of Israel and the father of the divine and human figure of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, was the eternal word of God who assumed human form to serve humanity and to rescue the human beings. Jesus Christ suffered and died to redeem mankind from sin. Christians also believe that Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of God as the final judge of the dead, and that He will return again as prophesised. Christians believe that Jesus Christ chose 12 learned men as messengers and directed them to spread his teachings and guide the populace. The 12 apostles are Peter (Simon); his brother Andrew; James; and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, the sons of Zebedee; Thomas and Matthew; James, son of Alphaaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Patriot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ. Bible
The holy book of the Christians is the Bible. The Bible contains a collection of writings dating from 9 BC to 1 AD written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and English. The Bible is divided into the Old Testament with 46 books and the New Testament with 27. The Old Testament is a Hebrew text, sacred to both the Jews and Christians and contains information about the creation of the world. The life and teachings of Jesus Christ, which form the centre of Christian belief, are recorded in the New Testament. Christian sects Christianity became the formal religion of the Roman Empire after Constantine, the Emperor of Rome, converted to Christianity in 313 AD. The religion was known as Catholic or universal, with the Roman Pope as its head. By 1054 AD many differences arose and the Church formally split into the Eastern Orthodox and the western Roman Catholic schools. In the 15th century, a new school of philosophy began to question the supremacy of the Pope. In the 16th century Martin Luther advocated many reforms in the Church, which led to yet another split in the Christian community and the formation of Protestant churches across Northeast Europe. The Protestants disapproved of the authority of the Pope and advanced the cause of the Bible as the sole authority. Christianity in India By tradition, Christianity is said to have arrived in South India with the arrival of St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, at the Malabar Coast in 52 AD. He spent some years in South India and died near Madras. However, others believe that the first missionary to arrive in the country was Saint Bartholomew. Historically, Christian missionary activity started with the advent of St. Francis Xavier in 1544 AD. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries Catholic as well as Protestant missionaries preached Christian doctrines in India and also made important contributions to social improvement and education in India. The great period of expansion of Christianity in India began in 1858, when the British government took over rule in India from the East India Company. Christians from many countries came as missionaries. At present Christians are scattered all across India but most of them are concentrated in the Northeast and in Kerala and other southern states. Today, there are 23 dioceses in India with 11 of them being located in Kerala. A. The Syrian Church: The Christians belonging to the Syrian Church are found in South India and claim an apostolic foundation for their Church. They believe that Christianity was introduced in India by St. Thomas in 52 AD at the Malabar Coast. He established seven Christian communities or churches in Kerala. The Malabar Church renounced the authority of the Pope and asserted its independence in 1653 AD. This is known in history as the ‘Coonen Cross Declaration’. The Christian communities then split into many groups – East Syrian Catholics, West Syrian Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Jacobite Syrian Orthodox, Marthoma, Church of the East and the Latin Church. Today, the Chaldean Syrian Church is one of four archbishoprics in the Assyrian Church of the East, and has about 15,000 members in and around Thrissur City. Its cathedral is the Mart Mariam Cathedral, Thrissur City’s first Christian church. B. The Roman Catholic Church: With the arrival of the Portuguese to India, the visits of Roman Catholic Missions to India became more organised, and were initially concentrated to Goa, Cochin, Tuticorin and other coastal areas. St. Francis Xavier (1506-52 AD) became the first Jesuit missionary to arrive in India. In 1557 AD, Pope Paul IV declared Goa an archdiocese with its supremacy extending from the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa to China, and all Christians, including the East Syrian Church, brought under its jurisdiction.
The Protestant Missions The first Protestant missionaries, German Lutherans, came to India in 1706 AD at Tranquebar, near Tiruchinapally, under the protection of the King of Denmark. By the 19th century several other missions were established in different parts of South India. The North Indian Church Some consider that St. Thomas had travelled to North India and introduced Christianity. Others consider it to be the influence of merchants from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Under the influence of the Portuguese, several missionaries began to visit North India between 16th18th Centuries. The Jesuit missions were sent regularly to the Mughal Courts from the time of Akbar to that of Aurangzeb. William Carey arrived in India in 1793 AD. Carey’s pioneering work in Bible translation, primary education and journalism had a profound influence in Bengal and other parts of India. Numerous other missionaries began visiting India after the passing of Charter Acts by the British Parliament in 1813 and 1833 AD. 10. Judaism Judaism is one of the oldest religions of the world, evolved in Egypt about 3,700 years ago. It believes in the unity and oneness of the universal Creator. Judaism is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. History According to Jewish tradition, Abraham was the leader of a tribe named Habiru (Hebrew) in Chaldea in about 2000 BC. He advocated the theory of monotheism and decided to move his tribe to Canaan (Palestine) to propound his theory. Here, the Hebrews mixed freely with local people and eagerly sought converts to their faith. Abraham’s grandson Jacob had an encounter with a mysterious being who told Jacob that in future, his name would be known as ‘Israel’. The renamed Israel had 12 sons, who later became the progenitors of 12 tribes named after them. These tribes bore the collective name of Bene Israel or ‘Children of Israel’. The Israelis grew in number and for approximately two centuries dwelt in Egypt, where they were enslaved. In about 1200 BC, under the leadership of Moses, they escaped and wandered in the wastes of Sinai (Egypt) for a long time. Here, Moses, the first Prophet of god, received revelation of the law, the Ten Commandments, which is today known as the Sefer Torah, the Jewish scripture. After this, a kingdom was founded in Canaan with Jerusalem as its capital. In this city, a temple was built to perform sacred rites. After King Solomon died, Israel was split into two kingdoms. The Southern Kingdom was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and called Judah with Jerusalem as its capital. The remaining 10 tribes comprised the Northern Kingdom. When the Assyrians invaded the Northern Kingdom, they scattered the Israelites to various parts of their empire, northeast of Israel. Today they are referred to as the ten lost tribes. The Scriptures suggest they will be identified and returned to Israel in the Last Days. Beliefs and practices The Jews believe in one god as was instituted by Abraham, Who they call Yahweh and from whom all creation flows. Judaism believes in prophets, of whom Moses was the first. According to tradition, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Every devout Jew follows these commandments till today. The religion gives great importance to a good moral life and does not advocate asceticism, celibacy or self-imposed suffering, as it believes that the path to salvation is only through good deeds.
The religious scripture Sefer Torah consists of the first five books of the Old Testament. There are 613 percepts in the Torah to regulate the daily life of every Jew and this number is symbolised in the threads of the prayer shawls (tsisith) that every adult male Jew is enjoined to wear for prayers. The Talmud, the body of Jewish law, is considered Yahweh’s exclusive and immutable law. The Synagogue is the Jewish place of worship. Jewish sects The Jews have three principle sects: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformist. The Orthodox cling to all ancient traditions and forms of religious worship and practices The founder of the Reform movement adopted the philosophy of changing with the times, and religious services and rituals were considerably shortened. The Conservative Jews followed a middle path, retaining some features of the Orthodox groups but permitting relaxation in certain cases. Judaism in India It is commonly accepted that the Jews have been in India for over 2,000 years ever since they first landed on the West coast of India. The Indian Jews are known as a peace-loving community. They follow the Hebrew calendar. The Indian Jews have a special thanks giving ceremony known as Eliyahoo-ha-Nabior i.e. ‘gratitude to Elijah the Prophet’, on festive occasions. Indian Jews fall into five categories: Bene Israel – meaning Children of Israel. Marati speaking. Arrived in Maharashtra 2,100 years ago. Cochin Jews – arrived in India 2,500 years ago and settled down in Kerala as traders. Baghdadi Jews – Jews who came to India as traders from West Asia, mainly from Baghdad. They are settled mainly in Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. Bene Menashe – The Manipur Jews constitute a community which sees itself as descendants of the Manasseh (Menashe) Tribe (which is one of the 10 lost tribes of Jews). 5. Bene Ephraim – also called “Telugu Jews”. They are a small group who speak Telugu. Their observance of Judaism dates to 1981. 11. Zoroastrianism Parsism or Zoroastrianism is about 2600 years old and finds its origin in Persia. The religion was founded by Spenta Zarathustra or Zoroaster, who is considered as the Prophet of the Parsis. Zoroastrian practice is based on the responsibility of every man and woman to choose between good and evil, and to respect God’s creations.
Zarathustra preached the oneness of god and believed that Ahura Mazda was the one and only god, who is formless and has six great aspects called the AmeshaSpentas. These are Ardibehest, Bahman, Shahrivar, Spendarmad, Khordad and Amardad. The Parsis believe that the Ahura Mazda is eternally in conflict with Angra Mainyu or Ahirman, who represents the evil force. Practices The Parsi place of worship is called the fire temple. Five daily prayers, usually hymns or Gathas uttered by Prophet Zarathustra are said in the home or the temple, before a fire, which symbolizes the realm of truth, righteousness and order. Fire is regarded as the son of Ahura Mazda, and represents god.
In Zorastriniasm, Dakhma-nashini is the only method of corpse-destruction. This involves the destruction of the dead body in the stone-enclosed Dakhma, by the flesh-eating bird or the rays of the Sun. Religious Scriptures Zenda Avesta is the religious scripture of the Parsis. It contains the teachings, sermons and prayers composed by Prophet Zoroaster and his disciples and followers. Avestha is also the name of the language in which it is composed. It is divided into five parts: the Yasna (worship with ceremony and offerings), the Videvdad (laws against demons), the Yashts (worship), the Khordeh Avestha, which comprises of selected portions of the Avestha and forms the book of daily prayers of the Zoroastrians, and the five Gathas – Ahunavaiti, Ushtavaiti, Spenta-Mainyu, VohuKhshathra and Vashishta-Ishti, which contain the 17 hymns of God received by Prophet Zarathushtra by way of a Divine Revelation. Sects There are three principle sects among the Parsis: Shahenshai, Kadmi and Fasli. The only difference between the three sects is the calendar they adhere to. The Faslis follow the traditional Persian calendar The Shahenshais calculate their calendar from the last Sassanian king, Yazdegard III The Kadmis claim their calendar is the oldest and most accurate. Zoroastrians of India The first Zoroastrians to enter India arrived on the Gujarat coast in the 10th century and by the 17th century, most of them had settled in Bombay. Today, there are approximately 90,000 Parsis in India and are concentrated largely in Maharashtra and Gujarat. 12. The Bahai Faith The Bahai Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá’u’lláh in 19th-century Persia. The Bahais believe that the ‘Promised One’ of all ages and peoples, Bahá’u’lláh revealed himself in 1863. He dispatched one of the distinguished Bahai teachers, Jamal Effendi to India to spread the teachings of the Bahai faith in the years 187475. Beliefs and practices The Bahais believe in the three cardinal principles – oneness of mankind, oneness of God and oneness of religion. Bahais believe that throughout history the Creator has educated humanity through a series of Divine Manifestations. These Manifestations include: Krishna, Buddha, Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus and Muhammad. They believe that in the present age, God has revealed Himself through Bahaullah, whose name means ‘The Glory of God’. He is regarded as their Prophet. The Bahais work for the removal of prejudices based on caste, creed, religion, sex, colour, race and language. They advocate universal education and the inculcation of a scientific outlook among people. The Bahais do not believe in superstitions, ceremonies, rituals and dogmas. The Bahais pray to the one true God, the Creator of the universe. The act of praying is described as ‘a conversation with God’. It is obligatory for every Bahai to pray and meditate on the Words of God every day. There are prayers for all occasions and these can be offered individually or collectively. The Lotus Temple The Bahai House of Worship at New Delhi is popularly known as the Lotus Temple. The temple gives the impression of a half-open lotus flower afloat, surrounded by its leaves. There is no clergy in the temple, no idols, no pictures, no sermons, no rituals. It is a place for communication between man and his Creator, God. The shrine has been designed by a young architect, Mr. Fariburz Sabha, a Canadian citizen and a Bahai of Iranian descent, who was selected from among the world’s top architects. 2. Religious Pilgrimages of India Amarnath Yatra
The Cave of Amarnath is about 50 kilometers from Pahalgam in south Kashmir but involves tough walking, trekking and pony-riding. The cave is surrounded by snowy mountains. The cave itself is covered with snow most time of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. According to legend the cave is situated at the place where Lord Shiva had given amrit (nectar) to the gods of the Hindu. It is believed that Lord Shiva adopted the shape of an ice-lingam which still exists in the cave. The Yatra was abandoned for a long time due to devastating floods and other natural calamities in the valley. A local Muslim family called Maliks is said to have re-discovered it. The successive generations of the Malik family of Mattan have since then been taking an active part in preparation of the Yatra and they get a share of the offerings at the cave. The Kashmiri labourers, invariably all Muslims, help the pilgrims throughout. The pilgrims traverse the route chanting “Har Har Mahadev” and “Amarnath Swami Ki Jai”. The Muslim helpers join them by saying “Ya Peer Dastgeer”. The Yatra culimates on the full moon day of August. Hajj
Nearly 3 million Muslims from more than 120 countries journey to the holy city of Makkah each year to make the spiritual pilgrimage known as the Hajj. The pilgrimage is one of five Pillars of Islam that form the framework of Islamic life. Muslims trace the origin of the Haj to Prophet Ibrahim, who rebuilt the first House of Allah, the Kaaba, as the focal point for the worship of Allah alone. The Hajj begins on the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic year, and lasts for six days, from 8th-12th of Dhul-Hijjah. For the first three days of the Haj, the pilgrims are required to wear special garments called Ihram. Upon arrival in Makkah, the pilgrims go to the Haram Sharief (Holy mosque) and perform the Tawaaf or the circumambulation around the Kaaba or the House of Allah. The rituals also involve stoning (Rami) of the Jamarat (Satan) on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, followed by the performance of Tawaf-e-Ziyarah and Sayee at Makkah, which marks the culmination of the main rituals of the Hajj.
In India, the Ministry of External Affairs is the nodal agency which is responsible for making arrangements for the Indians Hajjis. Nearly 1,72,000 Indian pilgrims are going every year to perform Hajj. In addition, nearly 80,000 Indian pilgrims visit Saudi Arabia every year to perform the lesser pilgrimage known as ‘Umrah’. Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela is the greatest riverside religious festival of Hindus that takes place once every three years. However, the major Maha Kumbh Mela occurs once in 12 years. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu saved the nectar (Amrut) from the demons and gave it to the gods in a pot. The gods rested the pot at each of the four cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik. A few drops of Nectar are supposed to have spilled over on the water at these four places and sages, saints and pilgrims started periodically to flock to each of these ‘Tirthas’ to celebrate the divine event. Thousands of devotees take a holy dip in the river that is believed to purge them of their sin. Recorded history is witness to the fact that the Kumbh festival has been celebrated since even before the second century BC. Ayyappa Temple
The hill temple of Lord Ayyappa in Shabarimala is situated in the Western Ghats of Kerala. The temple is open to all devotees irrespective of caste, creed, religion or social status. It attracts millions of pilgrims from within and outside India every year. Lord Ayyappa is also described as Hariharaputra, the son of Vishnu and Shiva, born in a supernatural way to annihilate the demoness Mahishi. The idol of Ayyappa is believed to have been installed at Sabrimala on the day of Makar Sankranti (midJanuary). Devotees believe that on this day, a peculiar light called ‘Makara Vilakku’ or ‘MakkaraJyoti’ is seen facing the deity over the hills and they eagerly await this blissful sight. The Makara Vilakku is preceded by the period of Mandalam, which is a 41-day long ritualistic worship during which the pilgrims observe strict discipline and rigid austerities like wearing black clothes, observing strict celibacy and avoiding meat and alcohol. Girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age are not allowed to visit the temple to facilitate strict observance of celibacy in the temple complex. Only those pilgrims who have observed the austerities for at least 41 days are allowed to use the Patinenttampadi (or the 18 steps) leading to the main sanctum sanctorum. The devotees greet one another as ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa’. Pushkar Mela The Pushkar Fair is held in the month of Kartik on the full moon day in Pushkar. Pushkar is home to one of the only two temples dedicated to Brahma, the other being at Khedbrahma in Kerala. It is one of the innumerable temples skirting the large Pushkar Lake.
The Pushkar fair centres around the event of taking a dip in the Pushkar Lake on the full moon night. Due to its association with Brahma, Pushkar is considered to be the tirtharaja, the king of all pilgrimage sites. The nearby temple of Savitri also attracts many married women, especially from Bengal, who worship the goddess and seek the boon of eternal company with their spouse.
Pushkar is also the site for the biggest cattle fair in India. Scholars suggest that the cattle fair was an extension of the religious event of taking a dip in the lake. Urs of Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chishti Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, the founder of the Chishti order, came to India from Persia as a member of Muhammad Gouri’s invading army in 1191. He settled in Ajmer, where he preached Islam until his death in 1233 AD. A darga was built in his memory. Affectionately called Garib Nawaz, he was said to be an emancipator of the poor. Each year an Urs is celebrated is celebrated in the month of Rajab to commemorate the death anniversary of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. According to the legend, the Khwaja entered his cell on the first day of the month of Rajab to meditate for five days and died on the sixth day. During this six-day fair, which is attended by people of different communities, various ceremonies are performed and the Qawwalis are sung in praise of the Khwaja. The tomb is known for its power to fulfill wishes. Devotees tie a kalawa on the pillars when seeking a favour. They are expected to untie the knot once their request has been granted. SANGAM SOCIETY AND OTHER STUFF
Ancient South India – Initial Historical timeline in perspective with Sangam Literature Sangam Literature description Geographical Location of South India Surrounded by sea shores, Creating triangular peninsula, One side western ghats, other side eastern ghats Godawari, Krishana, Tung Bhadra, Kaveri –Important due to sacredness and live giving point of view Nilgiri Plateau, Pal ghat, Entrance to south India Between Karnataka and Malbar – Coimbetore Plain Near Godawari -Trimbak Ghati, Sopara Kalyan – Primp Ghati, Between Junnar and Konkan Nana Ghat Between Ratnagiri and Kolhapur Aaramboli Ghat Sea shores developed as Ports, used for International trades Eastern Ghats have low altitudes comparatively so southern rivers flow towards east which used for local and connected transport
Sangam Literature- Its Group/Mandal/Sangham/School of thoughts of Tamil Poets No exact time and date formation of this literature is mentioned or proved or matched with other counter and prevailing literature in other parts of country, hence not much useful for Political situation at broader perspective Created in large quantity but currently available is very small parts 2200+ Mainly Integrated Poems – Narinai, Kurundohai, Aengerunur,Patupattu, Paditupattu, Paripadal, Kalitohai, Ahnanur, Purnanur Grammer – Tolkapiyam Male + Female Poets At end of the poems- Criticism, situation of creations and name of Poets available Criticism are doubtful due to Exaggeration about related kings Madura – 3 Sangam- Ireynar Aagpporul -8 AD – doubtful due to Exaggerated Exaggeration – No other proof from other literature , Timelimes of Dynasty not proved Life of these 3 Sangams is 9990 years which is exaggeration Criticism is useful for identifying the dynasty As per most historian- generation of 4-5 or 150 years Mostly written abour Cher dynasty Evolution of Tamil started, Existence of Sanskrit language Sangam provide medial to flourish Tamil Creation of Sangam – 100 AD to 250 AD Initial history of South Indian and connection between Sangam Literature Megalithic civilisation Proof as Red and Black clay Potteries and Iron age utensils collected from Burial Center and Residential area from Karnatak, Andhra and Tamilnadu Same type of Burial center and other pottery and utensils described in Sangam texts like Purnanur, Narinai, Patidutpattu As per historian like Whiler, Hemenford, Ramsharan Sharma – sangam text describes history of Megalithic age 300 BC to 2 AD Life of Megalithic age – Residence at Slope of hills, irrigation from rivers started, then start living at deltas Worship of Murugan and Kartikey as per Sangam Text Effect of Northern Vaidik tradition on megalithic civilisation Political View from description from Sangam Text : Pandy, Chol, Cher – Dynasties Cher Territory of Krishna river 100 BC all 3 existed – Pandy, Chol, Cher Called as Tramir desh sangatam Kharvel of Kaling defeated all 3 Udiyanjeral the Cher king- 130 AC, Exaggeration – He arrange foods for all Kurukshetra Worrior Exaggeration of accolades because Kings provided shelter to poets Son of Udiyanjerul – Nedunjerul – brothers Kuttuvan and Shenguttuvan, Madaramjeral Iramporai All these king are dextrous in war strategy, naval exercise and administration
Great King of Chers was Perunjeral Iramporai defeated both Pandy and Chol All were having Title of Adhiraj Other contemporary rulers were Aay, Paari, Exaggeration of accolades because Kings provided shelter to poets which creates confusion of ruling territory, timeline and administration Chol King of Chol – Karikal – 190 AD – description available in Pattinpaley, Shilpaddikaram and Pattupatu He cut the forest for farming, irrigation available, business trade flourish Done Vaidik yagnas Ususally fighting – Karikal v/s Nalngilli v/s Nendujelian Pandy King Nendujelian – 290 AD – won the war of Taleyalanganam Poets like Kilar, Nakkirar, Bhanguddi in Poems like Pattupatu, Maduraikanji – exaggeratly accolade his territorial expansion and winning Bhangudi created Pattupatu described 3 Pandy kings Nediyon, Palshalai Mudukudumi, Nendujelian Spectacle View : Admin. Wastage of money on Poetry and cultural activity was very high Existing of Kul-Sangh means Family Union in rulling Male Head of family member ruled together Continues hereditary dynasty did not exist, ruled altogether Internal wars for ruling the state Ethical behaviour, non-discrimination, parity, presence in Manranam (Daily General Meeting), Help Brahmin and provide shelter to poets and other Cultural activist is expected Agriculture was main source of revenue Trade and business flourish Foreign trade was prevailed very well Professional army was necessary and available easly, Head of army called as Anadi, Exist of Female Security guard was available Marwa tribes was specialised for royal army and perform Vetchi ( Stealing of Cow ) as per Purunarur poem Social Description by Sangam Literature : Sangam text emphasised on social phenomena At that time many caste and classis were rise in South India Vaidik Yagna by Kings prevailed, usage of too much money for yagna and made Brahmin happy Brahmin were placed at acme position in administration Brahmin were eat non-vage and drink Tadi which might not consider demerit at that time Velir, Arshu and Kavidi class of people were known as good warrior Velir were landlords of Velaver class and others were small farmworker who had not enough land Pulleyan, Shepherds and Aniyar are some of caste of social system Forest tribes were in great misery Royal army or admin. People were very rich Economic disparity , discrimination and exploitation prevailed in system Pattini Puja means worship of Wife/one women as ideologically and honestly were exist which indicate maternal or female dominated thinking of contemporary people But overall situation for women were not in good, rich women stayed home poor were work on farm As per Sangam age grammar encyclopaedia Tolkapiyyam, marriage was formed as one of the tradition/sanskar by Aryans in south with help of vedas,
There were 8 type of marriages like Panch Tinney, Kaikiddey, Pairundinney etc. For Justic and disputes people used to go to Manram or meeting There was quick justice system available and prisons were exist as per poem Kurul Every village have their own Manram Self-rule were granted for village by rulers, which was seeding as element of Gramsabha in today world Economic Life described by Sangam Literature Farming is main economical activity, barter system Agriculture/ farm revenue was main source of income for state All employee, Army and admin spending depend upon this revenue Land of South Indian was compatible for Agriculture Meat, Fish, Grain, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Fruits vegetable, cotton, silk, hand made articles, Ivory, Malmal As per ancient quotation “ In the space of Elephant is laying on ground , as much as 7 men can feed if farming on this land occurs” Kaveri water for irrigation Farming of sugarcane started, after processing Port for foreign trade : Puhar Puhar- Very rich city due to foreign trade, Multi storey buildings and luxuries residence seen every where Ships were anchored at port in luminous numbers with different types of flags which indicated their respected good like cotton, silk , etc Other ports like Shaliyur, Bandar Tondi, Mushir, Puhar – Ports, flooded with Greek, Roman, Persian, Mishr, Chinese, Arabi sailors and traders Periplace of the Arithian Sea – book- is having proof of this trades which conglomerated with sangam literature. Source: NCERT Books, CCRT, GKTODAY Module and Internet