Source materials for understanding Indian history and culture

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by balai_c, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    Poverty and Un-British Rule in India by dadabhai naoraji

     
  2. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    I hated "The Agrumentative Indian"
     
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  3. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    I will be happy to any history book, as long as it is not from the aligarh school.
     
  4. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very good thread guys. Thanks to all for posting such good material.
     
  5. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    I do not upload sometime,because getting relevant books are sort of difficult.

    Thanks.
     
  6. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    James Mil,father of John Stuart Mill, a premier historian in Raj era India. His books were a compulsory read for all ICS aspirants. His notorious works influenced Hegel's and Carl Marx's vision of India and the famous (or infamous) Hegelian evolution of civilizations:

    Book 1

    Book 2

    Book 3

    Book 4

    Book 5

    Book 6
     
  7. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    Sarvapalli radhakrishnan's History of indian philosophy:

    volume 2
     
  8. Raj30

    Raj30 Senior Member Senior Member

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  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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  10. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    Folks, please keep the sources confined to pdf and other ebooks , along with primary sources of famous persons of their era. Like aurobindo's memoirs. That is the mqndate of this thread. Blogs are fine too, but books are preferred! Thanks, folks, regards.
     
  11. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    A Thousand Cows Standing One Above the Other

    http://subhashkak.voiceofdharma.com/science.htm
    Subhash Kak

    This article by Subhash Kak been taken from http://wwwindiastarcom

    According to a wit, it is almost as hard to imagine the past as to guess the future. No wonder people will fight hard for their personal views of the past. Religions are based on some mythic event: an angel handing tablets to the prophet or raising him to the heavens. Empires not only control the current events they also like to arrange the past for the purposes of this control.

    When it comes to accounts of ancient history, there is no chapter as fascinating as the one on India. When Europe began looking at India's enormous literature in the early nineteenth century, it came across material that was very old. Much older than the epoch of 4004 BC when, according to the biblical account, the world had been created. Scholars considered these early dates to be scarcely credible and it was decided that Indian history will be reconstructed based solely on philological research. That is like saying that only English linguistic scholars should be allowed to interpret physics books!

    There was another problem. It was discovered that Indian and European languages belong to the same family. So Indians and Europeans must have, at some remote time in the past, lived in the same homeland. India was poor and ruled by the English. Surely, the original European blood of the ancient Indians was weakened by admixture with the dark races. So the Europeans surmised that the literature, being the oldest of any Indo-European people, must belong to the earliest European phase. In their extreme form, these ideas led to the racism of Hitler. A more subtle telling of the same ideas was forced into the textbooks.

    There are those who say that Indian history should be rewritten using our postcolonial wisdom. These are leftist scholars who wish to see the events during Europe's ascendancy from the point of view of the poorer classes. Admirable cause! But these scholars take the constructions by the European Indologists of the earliest period as final. Their only dispute is with the nuances of interpretation of the relatively recent past.Unable to read the original texts, they defer to the the secondary sources for their understanding of the foundations of Indian civilization.


    One can argue that the way we approach nature betrays our deepest attitudes about the world. This is why we are so impressed by classical haiku of the Japanese, where from the commonest of natural processes the poet is able to express the most universal and subtle emotion. This is why we are so awed by the achievements of the Europeans sages of the Renaissance -- they lookedat the world around them with innocent eyes.

    We do know that there are fine nature passages in old Indian poetry. But did they do any science? Alow me to speak only of one science---ancient astronomy, as this allows one to use objective criteria of evaluation. The ``politically correct'' view, a corollary of the history-making by the nineteenth century Eurocentric Indologists, is that Indian astronomy is derived from those of the Mesopotamians and the Greeks. And this process started soon after Alexander's foray into India.

    One of the reasons for this view is an astronomical passage in an ancient text called the Panchavinsha Brahmana,``The Knowledge-Book of Twenty-five Chapters.'' It says, ``The world of heaven is as far removed from this world as a thousand GAVA stacked one above the other.''

    What does the word GAVA mean? We can go to Nirukta, the earliest book of etymology from India, and look up its meaning. The two primary meanings of the word ``gauh,'' from which GAVA is derived, are given in the following order:

    The planet earth

    The animal, cow.

    Now guess which of the two meanings was used by the famed Dutch translator of this book. The cow!

    His translation reads: ``The world of heaven is as far removed from this (earthly) world as a thousand cows standing the one above the other.''

    You'll say that I'm being unduly dramatic in my story and besides how do I know that this translation is wrong. That was a primitive age and even though to imagine that the sky is only one thousand cow-heights sounds ludicrous to us, it may very well have been believed then. We are told that the Indians were poor observers of nature. And they had irrational beliefs. Didn't they worship the cow? They do so even now!

    But if one looks at the order in which the meaning of the term ``gauh'' is given, doesn't it appear plausible that the sacredness of the cow may just have been a symbolic representation of the sanctity of the planet earth? Even the Greeks visualized the earth as Gaia, the cow!

    The old books reveal that the ancient Indians did eat beef, although only sparingly. Pure vegetarianism seems to have arisen as a response to the philosophy of the Buddha and Mahavir. Even iconic representation of God seems to be later than Buddhism. At some point the symbols took a life of their own.

    To return to the passage on the thousand cows, is there some way we can be absolutely sure of the meaning we pick? Yes, by checking what was the distance between the earth and the sky in the other Indian literature. Say in the text of the famous astronomer Aryabhata (500 AD). It is exactly one thousand earth diameters! Even the Greek astronomical literature assumes the same distance!

    The past few years we saw a great drama being played out regarding the issue of recovered memories.There were several high profile trials where schoolteachers and parents were accused of unspeakable crimes, the memory of which children appeared to recover under the proddings of psychologists. Now we are told that these memories were planted in the impressionable minds of the children. Those who went to jail have been set free.

    But what if false memories are planted in the psyche of a people? Bad memories, nig.htmares? And what if their good memories get stolen?

    Actually the story of the thousand cows is quite innocuous. So what if we believe we had no science. But what if the ``critically'' edited texts of classics, which are supposed to represent the high culture of the past, have irrational crap thrown in with the most subtle passages. We are supposed to somehow believe that it wasn't some half-witted medieval copyist who invented the nonsense.

    Consider Artha-Shastra, the famed book of statecraft by Kautilya (300 BC), the crafty minister of Chandragupta. The tone of this text is realistic. Nevertheless, the modern editor had no compunction in accepting a passage such as:

    ``After fasting for three nights, one should grind down separately the right and left eyes of a dog, a cat, an owl and a flying fox. Then anointing one's eyes with the (powder of the) corresponding (animal) eyes, one becomes invisible and can move about like a shadow.''

    When memories get corrupt, madness follows. Even in lucid moments one is afraid. Afraid of oneself. For the frightened child, his safety blanket provides great comfort. For the frightened adult, solace comes from rocks, land, money and signs. Signs, especially those made by self-styled prophets!

    Perhaps this millennium has been the bloodiest of all human history. For about forty years after the discovery of the New World, it was legal to hunt down the natives like animals. It was only in 1530 that the Pope conceded that American Indians were human!

    This is what Aime Cesaire wrote in 1955 in ``Discours sur le colonialisme'' trying to place the horrors of Hitler in context:

    ``What the very Christian bourgeois of the twentieth century cannot forgive Hitler for is not the crime in itself, the crime against humanity, not the humiliation of humanity itself, but the crime against the white man...; it is the crime of having applied to Europe the colonialist actions as were borne uptil now by the Arabs, the coolies of India and the negroes of Africa.''

    But genocide is only one of the ways the powerful deal with the vanquished. Robbing them of their past is equally effective.
     
  12. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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  13. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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  14. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea : travel and trade in the Indian Ocean

    download link
     
  15. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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  16. Cliff@sea

    [email protected] C'est la vie Senior Member

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    Do u (or anyone) have a Soft copy to it ? (.epub or .mobi preferably)
    if so would you please be kind enough to upload it somewhere . . .and . . . ;)

    B t w i can only hear people raving about him all around

    Edit : Never mind, got it Finally :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
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  17. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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  18. IBSA

    IBSA Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm reading the Kautilya's Arthashastra and Niti Shastra

    I like to find more studies about the author's thinking system.
     
  19. Bhoja

    Bhoja Regular Member

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    Books about ancient Indian mathematicians:
    Ancient Indian Leaps Into Mathematics, B. S. Yadav
    [​IMG]

    Mathematical Achievements of Pre-modern Indian Mathematicians, T.K Puttaswamy
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Bhoja

    Bhoja Regular Member

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    I am reading a book about ancient Indian medicine which is called "The Legacy Of Caraka".
    I highly recommend it.
    [​IMG]
     
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