A brief look at events that have shaped the culture and society of India through eons - by Hindu Students Council Antiquity if the Indian Civilization – some firsts in science and mathematics Origin of the Universe according to Hinduism: theories - * Concept of multiple universes – One BraHma per universe (creator) * Originally the vedas were dictated to the first man, Manu, by the Sun-God Concept of Time: shortest – Time taken by light to travel one paramanu (= 3anu, smallest indivisible matter) longest – Yuga (4) comprise a Mahayuga à ONE day in the life of BraHma (Lifetime of BraHma à 100 years) Got the Time? ACCORDING TO ASTROPHYSICIST Carl Sagan, the age of the universe is somewhere around 12-billion-years-old. The Hindu tradition has a day and night of Brahma in this range, somewhere in the region of 8.4 billion years. Dr. Sagan said, "As far as I know, India is the only ancient religious tradition on the Earth which talks about the right time scale. In the West, people have the sense that what is natural is for the universe to be a few thousand years old, and that it is billions of years is mind-reeling, and no one can understand it. The Hindu concept is very clear. Here is a great world culture which has always talked about billions of years." Timeline: 10,000 BC: According to Dr. B.G. Siddharth of Birla Institute of Science: Taittiriya Brahmana 3.1.2 refers to Purvabhadrapada constellation's rising due east – a phenomenon occurring at this time 7000 BC: Early evidence of horses in the Ganga region (Dr. David Frawley, Author of "Gods, Sages, and Kings" – a must read for anyone interested in this subject!) 6500 BC: Rig Veda verses (1.117.22, 1.116.12, 188.8.131.52, etc) say winter solstice begins in Aries indicating the antiquity of this section of the vedas. 6000 BC: Rig Veda describes Rajasthan (western India) as a fertile region. Disbelieved by many European scholars. Recent satellite survey and archeological digs point to the veracity of the vedas. 5000 BC: Saraswati Civilization (also known as Mohenjodaro-Harappan civilization, but dated to be much later by 19th, early 20th, century European scholars) begins. Current date is derived by considering archeological sites, reached after excavating 45 feet. This mature culture will last for nearly 3000 years, ending around 1700 BC. 4300 BC: Traditional date set for the Ramayana. 3928 BC: According to Dr. Sri P.C. Sengupta, this is the earliest reference to an eclipse in Indian history. 3139 BC: Preferred date for the Mahabharata. Based on extensive work done by B.G. Tilak. Reference to vernal equinox in Rohini (middle of Taurus). 3102 BC: Beginning of the Kaliyuga. 3100 BC: Aryans inhabit Iran, Iraq and Western Indus-Saraswati frontier. Huges debate rages in India regarding this Aryan Invasion Theory. Originally proposed by Max Muller, this theory has survived for over a hundred years despite many apparent contradictions. The theory tries very hard to place India and events in India as occurring after 4000 BC, the Biblical date of creation. Current archeological digs, satellite imagery, modern techniques have yielded sufficient evidence to cast a serious doubt over the widely held invasion theory. 2600 BC: Major portions of the Vedic hymns are composed. ca 2040 BC: Birth of Lord Rama according to most scholars 1900 BC: Saraswati river dries up, shifting the civilization more inland. 1500 BC: Submergence of the stone city of Dwarka – recently discovered off the coast of Gujarat, a western Indian state. This is a possible date of the lifetime of Lord Krishna. 1424 BC: Mahabharata war occurs (dated by Sage Vyasa's citation in his epic poem on the war of winter solstice at Dhanishtha, which occurs around this time). 1300 BC: Panini systemizes Sanskrit grammar in 4,000 rules (in a book called Ashtadhyayi). Western scholars give the date as 400 BC. 850 BC: The Chinese are using the 28-nakshatra (constellation) zodiac called Shiu, adapted from the Hindu jyotisha system. 800 BC: Later Upanishads are recorded 273 BC: Ashoka, the last of the great Mauriyan kings, is coronated. Aryan Invasion Theory – Whatizit? Is it relevant? Demise of Aryan Invasion/Race Theory: Aryan Race and Invasion Theory is not a subject of academic interest only, rather it conditions our perception of India's historical evolution, the sources of her ancient glorious heritage, and indigenous socio-economic-political institutions which have been developed over the millennia. Consequently, the validity or invalidity of this theory has an obvious and strong bearing on the contemporary Indian political and social landscape as well as the future of Indian nationalism. The subject matter is as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago when it was cleverly introduced in the school text books by British rulers. See "Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory" for more details... Main Scriptures · Vedas · Upanishads · Ramayana · Mahabharata · YojasUtras of Patanjali · Manu Smriti · Bhaja GovindaM Upanishad texts: Upanishad means the inner or mystic teaching. The term Upanishad is derived from upa (near), ni (down) and s(h)ad (to sit), i.e., sitting down near. Groups of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him the secret doctrine. Mahabharata and Ramayana fall into the itihaasa category. Along with the Puranas, these are even considered the 5th vedas. Biggest Temple Lamp In the World The 3,300 pound, 11-foot-high, temple lamp of the Chettikulangara Devi temple in Alleppey, Kerala, is the largest in the world. With 1,000 wicks and 13 tiers, it is arranged like the branches of a banyan tree. The lowest rung is 6.8 feet in diameter with 101 wicks. The lamp, known locally as aalu vilakku, was lit for the first time in September, 1988. P. V. Jeevaraj, Chellappan Achari and 17 workers took 18 months to complete it. Medieval History 1017-1137: Life of Ramanuja of Kanchipuram, Tamil philosopher-saint of Shri Vaishnava sect that continues bhakti tradition of S. Indian Alvar saints. His strongly theistic nondual Vishishtadvaita Vedanta philosophy restates Pancharatra tradition. Foremost opponent of Shankara's system, he dies at age 120 while head of Shrirangam monastery. 1193: Qutb ud-Din Aybak founds first Muslim Sultanate of Delhi, establishing the Mamluk Dynasty (1193-1290). 1197: Great Buddhist university of Nalanda is destroyed by Ikhtiyar ud-din. 1440-1518: Lifetime of Kabir, Vaishnava reformer with who has both Muslim and Hindu followers. (His Hindi songs remain immensely popular to the present day.) 1450?-1547: Lifetime of Mirabai, Vaishnava Rajput princess saint who, married at an early age to the Rana of Udaipur, devotes herself to Krishna and later renounces worldly life to wander India singing to Him beautiful mystic compositions that are sung to the present day. 1469-1538: Lifetime of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism, originally a reformist Hindu sect stressing devotion, faith in the guru, repetition of God's name and rejection of renunciation and caste. (Most Sikhs in the present day consider themselves members of a separate religion.) 1479-1531: Lifetime of Vallabhacharya, a married Telegu brahmin saint who teaches pushtimarga, "path of love," and a lofty nondual philosophy, Shuddhadvaita Vedanta, in which souls are eternally one with Brahman. Vallabhacharya's Vaishnavism worships Krishna in the form of Shri Nathji. 1483-1563: Lifetime of Surdas, sightless Hindi bard of Agra, whose hymns to Krishna are compiled in the Sursagar. 1486-1543: Life of Chaitanya, Bengali founder of popular Vaishnava sect which proclaims Krishna Supreme God and emphasizes sankirtan, group chanting and dancing. 1605: Sikh Golden Temple (Harimandir) at Amritsar, Punjab, is finished, completely covered with gold leaf. Recent History 1828: Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) founds Adi Brahmo Samaj in Calcutta, first movement to initiate religio-social reform. Influenced by Islam and Christianity, he denounces polytheism, idol worship; repudiates the Vedas, avataras, karma and reincarnation, caste and more. 1836-86: Lifetime of Shri Ramakrishna, God-intoxicated Bengali Shakta saint, guru of Swami Vivekananda. He exemplifies the bhakti dimension of Shakta Universalism. 1857: First Indian Revolution, called the Sepoy Mutiny, ends in a few months with the fall of Delhi and Lucknow. 1893: Swami Vivekananda represents Hinduism at Chicago's Parliament of the World's Religions, first ever interfaith gathering, dramatically enlightening Western opinion as to the profundity of Hindu philosophy and culture. 1981: India has one-half world's cattle: 8 cows for every 10 Indians.