This is a short analysis of the debate on Nationalism going on in India.
Parineeta (Bengali: পরিণীতা Porinita) is a 1914 Bengali language novella written by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and is set in Calcutta, India during the early part of the 20th century. It is a novel of social protest which explores issues of that time period related to class and religion.
Parineeta-the book written by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay is a love story between neighbours. The two lead characters are Shekhar and Lolita. Lolita lives with her poor uncle who is burdened with 5 daughters among them two already married. Shekhar’s father Navin Rai has made a lot of money in Jaggery business. In short Shekhar’s family is rich. Lolita’s uncle is under debt and Shekhar’s dad holds their house in mortgage. Lolita’s uncle is under pressure to repay the debt .
Girin the rich Samaritan with a golden heart arrives on the scene.
He offers him an interest free loan with which the house is ultimately saved. There is a misconception among some of the characters including Shekhar that Lolita has been ”sold” to Girin which gets solved at the end.
There are certain things in the novel which require mention.
Shekhar is well educated and an attorney. When he is introduced to us he is almost 26/27 and Lolita is just 13. Lolita as an orphan was brought up and educated at Shekhar’s house. She is dark complexioned and charming where as Shekhar is a handsome hunk. Shekhar’s affection for her transforms into love which Lolita understands only when he explains. Lolita has easy access to Shekhar’s money and behaves most of the time as his wife like taking care of his things, food etc. That is how the name ‘Parineeta’ comes which means the married woman. One moonlit evening they exchange garlands and in a fit of passion Shekhar kisses her mouth.
This seals the relationship with new meanings which Shekhar fails to realize. It is only towards the end of the novel that he realizes his mistake and reveals to his mother their real relationship. Girin on the other hand is related to Charu, a bosom friend of Lolita. He is a rich guy who comes to kolkata to study BA and falls for Lolita. It is for her that he helps her uncle’s family and marries Annakali instead of Lolita. A gem of a human being and the perfect selfless lover, Girin’s character fascinates everyone-those in the novel and outside. Girin is misunderstood especially by the short sighted Shekhar who decides to marry another girl after being convinced that Lolita has been wedded by Girin.
Read the novel to know the destiny of this Love triangle. Like all of Sarat Chandra’s novel ‘Parineeta’ is a reflection of the social structure of that day and age. It’s a story about Love, jealousy, dignity, sacrifice and freedom of choice, all at the same time
A wall divides two houses in old Kolkata. One is two stories another is three storied.The owner of the three storied building is the rich Nabin Roy and the other is own by Gurucharan Babu with his five daughters. They are very poor. Gurucharan had to pawn his property to his close neighbour Nabin to get money for his elderst daughter’s marriage . Orphan Lalita lived with his maternal uncle Gurucharan.Since then she had been known to Nabin’s family members. Nabin’s wife Bhubaneswari became her mother and she was very much intimate with Nabin’s younger son Shekhar. Shekhar was very much dear to Lalita. Shekhar loved Lalita affectionately and his affection became true love when Lalita was an adolescent. In her life,Charubala was Lalita’s friend. Girindranath who was a Brahmo boy was Charubala’s maternal uncle. He came to know Lalit through card palying. She was attracted to him.But Lalita loved her would be husband Shekhar. Nabin put Gurucharan babu under pressure to repay his debt. Gurucharan was very upset. Suddenly Girindranath redemeed Gurucharan’s mortgage by paying of all debts.This behaviour charmed Gurucharan. Now Girindranath became most intimate with Gurucharan’s family. But Shekhar had no knowledge about this incident. Apart from this one day Nabin called Lalita and insulted her. This was cause of misunderstanding between the two families. Shekhar realized that Girindra had brought Gurucharan’s family under his control by his money and power. Shekhar felt uneasy to notice that Girindra’s sole objective was none but Lalita.Shekhar did not like this intimacy. Before going aboard he wanted to be assured of Lalita’s love for him and Lalita silent and spellbound bowed before Shekhar’s feet,. accepting him as her husband.Coming back from abroad he came to know the Lalita was to be married to Girindra .But this is not true.He came that this incident happened due to his father’s intrigue. Girindra married Gurucharan babu’s own daughter. Misunderstanding between then disappeared. Shekhar and Lalita were united.
The third novel in The Sarat Chandra Omnibus ,Parineeta is somewhat similar to Devdas.
It can be loosely termed as another childhood romance, where protagonists, Shekhar and Lalita are neighbors, falling in love with each other by virtue of familiarity. Their liaison is objected by Hero’s father, and much drama takes place, before they can finally be together. So, in a way storyline is quite similar to Devdas, but thankfully, it ends in happiness and union, as opposed to longing and separation in the previous novel.
srikanta-by-sarat-chandra Shekhar is a well educated man, belonging to a rich family, while Lalita is an orphan, living with her mama, Gurucharan, who is a humble clerk and a man of modest intelligence. Apparently, he is a man of limited means and ample responsibilities. He has to take a loan from Shekhar’s father to perform the wedding of his eldest daughter. And, though he seriously considers Shekhar’s father as a loyal friend, in reality he is tricked to mortgage his house, the sole property, he can ever boast of.
As the time passes by, it becomes clear that Shekhar is madly in love with Lalita, though he initially misunderstands his own feelings. It takes the jolt of a charmer Girin, to realize that Lalita is of paramount importance in his life.
In midst of romantic notions, the author brings a twist by sending the Hero away, while the heroine is left alone to salvage her mama from the loan sharks. Will Lalita be able to resist the temptation of Girin, as a possible saviour and remain true to fickle minded Shekhar forms the basic premise of this 54 pages novel.
The story is entirely based in Kolkata, as opposed to Srikanta, Devdas and Palli Samaj, where village life formed a major chunk of the narrative. I also found the clash of orthodox Brahmanical approach and modern Brahmo attitude, quite impressive, almost as done by Tagore in Gora.
In the novel, I found the portrayal of a twelve year old girl as a married woman, who fully understands the question of loyalty to the man, with whom she has exchanged only garlands, a bit unconvincing. To me, Lalita appeared too young to don the mettle of an espoused woman. I don’t know if Doll wedding of yesteryear was actually responsible to cultivate virtues of married women in girls at such an early age, or was the time different, and such maturity was expected of womenfolk, and hence, portrayed by Sarat. But, to my twenty first century heart, Vidya Balan came across as a better fitted Lalita.
Secondly, I could not understand the importance of first scene, where the fifth daughter of Gurucharan is born, as throughout the novel, only Kalli was given any role. Perhaps, the scene was just meant as a scathing remark on helplessness of a poor father, burdened with five girls!
However, still the novel is good and has ample score for expansion. It is one of those books, where written words are few, but the image created is huge, left for interpretation by the readers alone. And, on this point, it really scores well.
When I was in India in August this year I resolved to read atleast one Indian classic every couple of months. So far I’ve read Sarat Chandra’s “Devdas” and Munshi Premachand’s “Sevadasan”, both were excellent and in that happy frame of mind I chose my third classic, Sarat Chandra’s “Parineeta” (Espoused) and I wasn’t disappointed. Parineeta is a beautiful love story that will tug at your heartstrings.
The protagonist is 13-year old Lalita who lives with her mother’s brother because she is orphaned. Her uncle is not a rich man and has several daughters to marry off ( in India,especially in those days when the system of dowry prevailed, it was very expensive to marry one’s daughter as the father traditionally had to bear all the expenses of the wedding andgive his daughter’s inlaws cash and gifts besides).
Lalita is resigned to her fate and mature beyond her years. When her uncle’s wife falls ill she is able to efficiently take over the household duties which include the cooking. You could almost describe her as a child without a childhood.
Shekhar, the spoiled, indecisive son of a wealthy industrialist is Lalita’s neighbor. The two have known each other ever since Lalita moved to her uncle’s house as a little girl. Being much older than her, he (Shekhar) is very protective towards Lalita and the two had an agreement that Lalita could help herself to money from Shekhar’s money box whenever she desired, a habit that started when they were kids and continued right up until adulthood. Lalita, for her part, is totally devoted to him, she cleans his room, mends his clothes and runs errands for his mother.
One night, a night considered highly auspicious by Hindus, Lalita, while helping Shekhar to get dressed, playfully places a garland around Shekhar’s neck (in Hindu weddings the exchange of garlands bears the same significance as an exchange of rings in western tradition), but because it was such an auspicious day, Lalita has inadvertently initiated a marriage with Shekhar.
As time goes by, Shekhar is embarrassed by the exchange of garlands with 14-year old Lalita and how seriously she takes her role as his wife. He is afraid of people finding out and what his parents might say especially as Lalita’s uncle in having converted from Hinduism to Brahmo has deemed himself unworthy in their eyes (India, especially India of the early 20th-century which is when this book was written, had a very rigid caste system). It is only after Shekhar’s dad, the patriarch of the house, dies that Shekhar has the courage to acknowledge without shame to the world that Lalita is his rightful wife*.
I’ve read only two of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novels but both books delighted me to the point that I would slow down my reading just to prolong the novel. It has been said of Sarat Chandra…Saratbabu was to adult readers what Hans Christian Andersen was to children. He created a fairytale world where a neighbourhood girl could take out money from your locker (Parineeta), your sister-in-law could bring your child up as hers (Bindur Chhele) or a sex worker Sabitri could be a sacrificing angel (Charitraheen). Saratbabu was a deft magician who had his readers spellbound in a jiffy.’
If you enjoy good storytelling with strong, resiliant female protagonists and powerful discourses on the social issues that were prevalent in India in the early 20th century like (child marriage, the caste system, supersitions, and best of all delightful love stories diffused with pain and suffering, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay is the author for you.
Devdas is a young man from a wealthy Bengali Brahmin family in India in the early 1900s. Paro (Parvati) is a young woman from a middle class Bengali family. The two families lived in a village in Bengal, and Devdas and Paro were childhood friends.
Devdas goes away for a couple of years to live and study in the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata). During vacations, he returns to his village. Suddenly both realise their easy comfortability in each other’s innocent comradeship has changed to something different. Devdas realises Parvati is no longer the small girl he knew. Paro looks forward to their childhood love blossoming into their lifelong journey together in marriage. Of course, according to the prevailing social custom, Paro’s parents would have to approach Devdas’ parents and propose marriage of Paro to Devdas as Paro longed for.
Paro’s mother approaches Devdas’s mother with a marriage proposal. Although Devdas’s mother loved Paro very much she wasn’t so keen on forming an alliance with next door neighbours. Also, Parvati’s family had a long-standing tradition of accepting dowry from the groom’s family during a marriage rather than sending dowry with the bride, which was the established custom (and still is, in many parts of India). This alternative custom influenced Devdas’s mother’s decision of not considering Parvati as Devdas’ bride, because she considered Paro’s family to be “trading low caste” (becha-kena chotoghor) family, despite the fact that Parvati (like Devdas) was a Brahmin. The “trading” label was applied in context of the marriage custom followed by Paro’s family. Devdas’s father, who also loved the little Paro, did not want Devdas to get married so early in life and wasn’t very keen on the alliance. Paro’s father, feeling insulted at the rejection, finds an even richer husband for Paro.
When Paro learns of her planned marriage, she stealthily meets Devdas at night, desperately believing that Devdas will accept her hand in marriage. Devdas had never previously considered Paro that way. He feels surprised at Paro’s bravery of visiting him alone at night and also feels pained for her. He decides he will tell his father about marrying Paro. Devdas’ father disagrees.
In a confused state, Devdas then flees to Calcutta, and from there, he writes a letter to Paro, saying that they were only friends. Within days, however, he realizes that he should have been bolder. He goes back to his village and tells Paro that he is ready to do anything needed to save their love.
By now, Paro’s marriage plans are in an advanced stage, and she declines going back to Devdas and chides him for his cowardice and vacillation. She makes, however, one request to Devdas that he would return to her before he dies. Devdas vows to do so.
Devdas goes back to Calcutta and Paro is married off to the betrothed widower with three children. He is an elderly gentleman, a zamindar. He had found his house and home so empty and lustreless after his wife’s death that he had decided to remarry. He spent most of his day in Pujas and looking after the zamindari.
In Calcutta, Devdas’ carousing friend, Chunni Lal, introduces him to a courtesan named Chandramukhi. Devdas takes to heavy drinking at Chandramukhi’s place, but the courtesan falls in love with him, and looks after him. His health deteriorates because of a combination of excessive drinking and despair – a drawn-out form of suicide. Within him, he frequently compares Paro and Chandramukhi. Somehow he feels betrayed by Paro, never realizing that she was the one who had loved him first, that she had said it out loud first. He doesn’t realise this, but Chandramukhi does, and tells him so. When sober he would hate Chandramukhi and loathe her presence. So he would drink, to forget his prejudices. Chandramukhi saw it all, felt it all and suffered silently, but she had seen that real man behind the fallen, aimless Devdas he now was and couldn’t help but love him.
Sensing his fast-approaching death, Devdas returns to meet Paro to fulfill his vow. He dies at her doorstep on a dark, cold night. On hearing of the death of Devdas, Paro runs towards the door, but her family members prevent her from stepping out of the door.
The novella powerfully depicts the prevailing societal customs in Bengal in the early 1900s, which are largely responsible for preventing the happy ending of a sincere love story.
Devdas Mukherjee and Parvati aka Paro of Talshonapur are the protagonists of the novel, amply supported by Chandramukhi, a dancing girl. As I said above, I had already seen the movie, before I delved into this novel, so a comparison between the two is inevitable. I found the basic characters of Devdas, Parvati and Chandramukhi same as in the movie, though unglamorous in comparison to Bhansali’s Devdas, but for the same reason they appeared much more life like and humane.
Sarath Chandra Chattopadhyay
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was born on September 15, 1876, in Devanandapur, a small village two miles northwest of Bandel in Hooghly, West Bengal. His father Motilal Chattopadhyay was an idler and dreamer who held irregular jobs. He could not finish novels and stories that he had started writing, but passed on his imagination and love of literature to Sarat Chandra. He, wife Bhuvanmohini, and their five children lived for many years in his father-in-law Kedarnath Gangopadhyay’s house in Bhagalpur, Bihar.
Sarat Chandra was a daring, adventure-loving boy. Most of his schooling was in informal village schools called pathshalas. He was a good student and got a double promotion that enabled him to skip a grade. He passed his Entrance Examination (public examination at the end of Class X) but could not take his F.A. (First Arts) examination or attend college due to lack of funds.
Sarat Chandra started writing in his early teens. After finishing his formal studies, he spent much of his time interacting with friends, acting in plays, and in playing sports and games. Several of his famous novels and stories were written during this period.
In 1893, Sarat Chandra moved to Burma. He got a temporary job in Burma Railway’s audit office and later worked for many years in Burma’s public works accounts office. While living in Rangoon, he married his first wife Shanti. He was deeply hurt when his wife and one-year old son died from plague. He married his second wife Mokshada (later renamed Hironmoyee) also in Rangoon and taught her to read and write. She outlived him by 23 years.
In 1916, Sarat Chandra moved backed to India and settled in Howrah, near Kolkata. He devoted himself to writing and established himself as one of India’s major novelist and story writer. He was involved in India’s freedom struggle and served as the president of Howrah district branch of Indian National Congress (1921-1936). University of Calcutta awarded him the prestigious Jagattarini medal. University of Dacca awarded him an honourary doctorate (D.Litt.). In 1938, he died from cancer of the liver.
It was compiled at the First Council shortly after the Buddha’s death, and recited by Upali, with little later addition. Most of the different versions are fairly similar, most scholars consider most of the Vinaya to be fairly early, that is, dating from before the separation of schools
The Pali version of the Patimokkha, the code of conduct that applies to Buddhist monastics, contains 227 major rules for bhikkhus and 311 major rules for bhikkhunis. The Vibhanga section(s) of Vinaya Pitaka constitute(s) a commentary on these rules, giving detailed explanations of them along with the origin stories for each rule. The Khandhaka/Skandhaka sections give numerous supplementary rules grouped by subject, again with origin stories. The Buddha called his teaching the “Dhamma-Vinaya”, emphasizing both the philosophical teachings of Buddhism as well as the training in virtue that embodies that philosophy.
The Vinaya Pitaka, the first division of the Tipitaka, is the textual framework upon which the monastic community (Sangha) is built. It includes not only the rules governing the life of every Theravada bhikkhu (monk) and bhikkhuni (nun), but also a host of procedures and conventions of etiquette that support harmonious relations, both among the monastics themselves, and between the monastics and their lay supporters, upon whom they depend for all their material needs.
When the Buddha first established the Sangha, the community initially lived in harmony without any codified rules of conduct. As the Sangha gradually grew in number and evolved into a more complex society, occasions inevitably arose when a member would act in an unskillful way. Whenever one of these cases was brought to the Buddha’s attention, he would lay down a rule establishing a suitable punishment for the offense, as a deterrent to future misconduct.
According to the scriptures, in the first years of the Buddha’s teaching the sangha lived together in harmony with no vinaya, as there was no need, because all of the Buddha’s early disciples were highly realized if not fully enlightened. As the sangha expanded situations arose which the Buddha and the lay community felt were inappropriate for samanas. According to tradition, the first rule to be established was the prohibition against sexual acts. The origin story tells of an earnest monk whose family was distraught that there was no male heir and so persuaded the monk to impregnate his wife. All three, the monk, his wife and son who both later ordained, eventually became fully enlightened arahants.
The monastic tradition and the rules upon which it is built are sometimes naïvely criticized — particularly here in the West — as irrelevant to the “modern” practice of Buddhism. Some see the Vinaya as a throwback to an archaic patriarchy, based on a hodge-podge of ancient rules and customs — quaint cultural relics that only obscure the essence of “true” Buddhist practice. This misguided view overlooks one crucial fact: it is thanks to the unbroken lineage of monastics who have consistently upheld and protected the rules of the Vinaya for almost 2,600 years that we find ourselves today with the luxury of receiving the priceless teachings of Dhamma. Were it not for the Vinaya, and for those who continue to keep it alive to this day, there would be no Buddhism.
It helps to keep in mind that the name the Buddha gave to the spiritual path he taught was “Dhamma-vinaya” — the Doctrine (Dhamma) and Discipline (Vinaya) — suggesting an integrated body of wisdom and ethical training. The Vinaya is thus an indispensable facet and foundation of all the Buddha’s teachings, inseparable from the Dhamma, and worthy of study by all followers — lay and ordained, alike. Lay practitioners will find in the Vinaya Pitaka many valuable lessons concerning human nature, guidance on how to establish and maintain a harmonious community or organization, and many profound teachings of the Dhamma itself. But its greatest value, perhaps, lies in its power to inspire the layperson to consider the extraordinary possibilities presented by a life of true renunciation, a life lived fully in tune with the Dhamma.
I. Suttavibhanga — the basic rules of conduct (Patimokkha) for bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, along with the “origin story” for each one.
A. Mahavagga — in addition to rules of conduct and etiquette for the Sangha, this section contains several important sutta-like texts, including an account of the period immediately following the Buddha’s Awakening, his first sermons to the group of five monks, and stories of how some of his great disciples joined the Sangha and themselves attained Awakening.
B. Cullavagga — an elaboration of the bhikkhus’ etiquette and duties, as well as the rules and procedures for addressing offences that may be committed within the Sangha.
III. Parivara — A recapitulation of the previous sections, with summaries of the rules classified and re-classified in various ways for instructional purposes.
Also like the Sutta-pitaka, the Vinaya was preserved by being memorized and chanted by generations of monks and nuns. Eventually the rules were being chanted by widely separated groups of early Buddhists, in different languages. As a result, over the centuries there came to be several somewhat different versions of the Vinaya.
Of these, three are still in use.
The Pali Vinaya-pitaka. This version is part of the Pali Canon and is followed by Theravada Buddhists. Scholars say this is the only version that has survived in its original language.
The Tibetan Vinaya-pitaka. This is a Tibetan translation of a Vinaya originally preserved by an early school of Buddhism called Mulasarvastivada. Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns go by this version.
A Chinese translation of a Vinaya preserved by the Dharmaguptaka, another early Buddhist school. For the most part, schools of Buddhism that originated in China use this version of the Vinaya. This would include Buddhism practiced in Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Since the 19th century, however, Japanese Buddhism has followed only a part of this Vinaya.
The Tibetan Vinaya
The Mulasarvativadin Vinaya was brought to Tibet in the 8th century by the Indian scholar Shantarakshita. It takes up thirteen volumes of the 103 volumes of the Tibetan Buddhist canon (Kangyur). The Tibetan Vinaya also contains rules of conduct (Patimokkha) for monks and nuns; Skandhakas, which corresponds to the Pali Khandhaka; and appendices that partly correspond to the Pali Parivara.
The Chinese (Dharmaguptaka) Vinaya
This Vinaya was translated into Chinese in the early 5th century. It is sometimes called “the Vinaya in four parts.” Its sections also correspond generally to the Pali.
These three versions of the Vinaya are sometimes referred to as lineages. This refers to a practice initiated by the Buddha.
When the Buddha first began to ordain monks and nuns, he performed a simple ceremony himself. As the monastic sangha grew, there came a time when this was no longer practical. So, he allowed ordinations to be performed by others under certain rules, which are explained in the three Vinayas. Among the conditions is that a certain number of ordained monastics must be present at each ordination. In this way, it is believed there is an unbroken lineage of ordinations going back to the Buddha himself.
The three Vinayas have similar, but not identical, rules. For this reason, Tibetan monastics sometimes say they are of the Mulasarvastivada lineage. Chinese, Tibetan, Taiwanese, etc. monks and nuns are of the Dharmaguptaka lineage.
In recent years, this has come to be an issue within Theravada Buddhism, because in most Theravada countries the lineages of nuns came to an end centuries ago. Today women in those countries are allowed to be something like honorary nuns, but full ordination is denied to them because there are no ordained nuns to attend the ordinations, as called for in the Vinaya.
Some would-be nuns have tried to get around this technicality by importing nuns from Mahayana countries, such as Taiwan, to attend the ordinations. But the Theravada sticklers do not recogize Dharmaguptaka lineage ordinations.
Pārājika discipline consists of four sets of rules laid down to prevent four grave offences. Any transgressor of these rules is defeated in his purpose in becoming a bhikkhu.
In the parlance of Vinaya, the Pārājika Āpatti falls upon him; he automatically loses the status of a bhikkhu; he is no longer recognized as a member of the community of bhikkhus and is not permitted to become a bhikkhu again.
Saṁghādisesa discipline consists of a set of thirteen rules which require formal participation of the Sangha from beginning to end in the process of making him free from the guilt of transgression.
Aniyata means indefinite, uncertain.
There are thirty rules under the Nissaggiya category of offences and penalties which are laid down to curb inordinate greed in bhikkhus for possession of material things such as robes, bowls etc.
The Pācittiya Pāḷi which is Book II of the Vinaya Piṭaka deals with the remaining sets of rules for the bhikkhus, namely, the Pācittiya, the Pāṭidesanīya, Sekhiya, Adhikaraṇasamatha and the corresponding disciplinary rules for the bhikkhunnīs.
These seventy-five rules laid down originally for the proper behaviour of bhikkhus also apply to novices who seek admission to the Order. Most of these rules were all laid down at Sāvatthi on account of undisciplined behaviour on the part of a group of six bhikkhus.
Pācittiya Pāḷi concludes the disciplinary rules for bhikkhus with a Chapter on seven ways of settling cases, Adhikaraṇasamatha.
The concluding chapters in the Pācittiya Pāḷi are devoted to the rules of Discipline for the bhikkhunīs. The list of rules for bhikkhunīs runs longer than that for the bhikkhus.
Mahāvagga Pāḷi, made up of ten sections known as Khandhakas, opens with an historical account of how the Buddha attained Supreme Enlightenment at the foot of the Bodhi Tree,
how he discovered the famous law of Dependent Origination, how he gave his first sermon to the Group of Five Bhikkhus on the discovery of the Four Noble Truths, namely, the great Discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.
Cūḷavagga Pāḷi which is Book IV of the Vinaya Piṭaka continues to deal with more rules and procedures for institutional acts or functions known as Saṁghakamma.
The twelve sections in this book deal with rules for offences such as Saṁghādisesa that come before the Sangha; rules for observance of penances such as parivāsa and mānatta and rules for reinstatement of a bhikkhu.
Parivāra Pāḷi which is Book V and the last book of the Vinaya Piṭaka serves as a kind of manual. It is compiled in the form of a catechism, enabling the reader to make an analytical survey of the Vinaya Piṭaka.
All the rules, official acts, and other matters of the Vinaya are classified under separate categories according to subjects dealt with.
Parivāra explains how rules of the Order are drawn up to regulate the conduct of the bhikkhus as well as the administrative affairs of the Order.
The Sutta Pitaka (suttapiṭaka; or Suttanta Pitaka; cf Sanskrit सूत्र पिटक Sūtra Piṭaka) is the second of the three divisions of the Tripitaka or Pali Canon, the Pali collection of Buddhist writings, the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. The Sutta Pitaka contains more than 10,000 suttas (teachings) attributed to the Buddha or his close companions.The scriptures tell how the First Council held shortly after the Buddha’s death collected together the discipline (vinaya), and the dharma in five collections. Tradition holds that little was added to the Canon after this. Scholars are more skeptical, but differ in their degrees of skepticism. Richard Gombrich thinks most of the first four nikayas (see below) go back to the Buddha, in content but not in form. The late Professor Hirakawa Akira says that the First Council collected only short prose passages or verses expressing important doctrines, and that these were expanded into full length suttas over the next century.
The Sutta Pitaka (“Basket of Discourse, Sutra”) is the largest of the “three baskets” (Tipitaka). It consists of five collections (nikayas) that contain prose discourses attributed to Buddha, as spoken on various occasions. There are also a few discourses delivered by some of his better known disciples such as Sariputta, Ananda, and Moggallana in it. There may be seemingly contradictory statements. Most of the sermons were intended mainly for the benefit of Bhikkhus [ascetic monks]. There are several other discourses which deal with both the material and moral progress of His lay followers.
Interspersed are stanzas to illustrate or sum up particular points. Many of the discourses seem drawn out and repetitive, but they were actually made to serve oral transmission and – yes – propaganda. Also, they are hints on how to meditate, with illustrations by excellent similies.
All the sayings of these discourses hardly represent the exact words of Buddha, although some phrases may have been accurately remembered. They can reveal glimpses of the personality and soaring spirit of Buddha.
The grouping of the discourses into collections (nikayas) has no topical basis. The third and fourth nikayas (Samyutta and Anguttara) seem to reflect a later development, they serve to rearrange the topics dealt with in the Digha and Majjhima Nikayas
The five nikayas or collections are:
Digha Nikaya (Collection of Long Discourses).
Majjhima Nikaya (Collection of Middle-Length Discourses).
Samyutta Nikaya (Collection of Kindred Sayings).
Anguttara Nikaya (Collection of Discourses arranged in accordance with numbers).
Khuddaka Nikaya (Smaller Collection).
2.1.1 The Digha Nikaya (“Collection of Long Discourses”) contains 34 suttas, some of considerable length, presenting a vivid picture of the different aspects of life and thought at Buddha’s time. Divided into three books, it contrasts superstitious beliefs, various doctrinal and philosophical speculations, and ascetic practices with Buddhist ethical ideas, which are elucidated with the help of similes and examples taken from the everyday life of the people. One of the most interesting suttantas (“discourses”) is the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, which gives an account of the last days of Buddha and stresses the importance of striving for emancipation.
2.1.2 The Majjhima Nikaya (“Collection of the Middle Length Sayings”) contains 152 suttas in its present version, while the Chinese one, preserving the lost Sarvastivada collection, has 222, some of which are also found in other nikayas (collections) of the Pali canon. Like the Digha, the suttas in the Majjhima present Buddhist ideas and ideals, illustrating them by profound similes of beauty.
2.1.3 The Samyutta Nikaya (“Collection of Kindred Discourses”) has altogether 2,941 suttas, classed in 59 divisions (called samyutta) grouped in five parts (vaggas).
126.96.36.199 The first vagga (part) has suttas that contain stanzas. The suttas begin with a description of the particular occasion when the stanzas were spoken; the stanzas themselves represent a kind of questioning and answering.
188.8.131.52 The second vagga deals with the important principle of dependent origination – the chain of cause and effect affecting all things.
184.108.40.206 The third vagga presents the anatman (no-self) doctrine, which is the rejection of an abiding principle that could be termed a self or a pure ego.
220.127.116.11 The fourth vagga is very similar to the previous one, but here it is not the philosophical principle underlying the analysis that is stressed but the transitoriness of the elements constituting reality.
18.104.22.168 The fifth vagga is devoted to a discussion of the basic principles of Buddhist philosophy, religion, and culture.
2.1.4 The Anguttara Nikaya (“Collection of the Gradual Sayings”) contains as many as 2,308 small suttas arranged according to the number of topics discussed, ranging from one to eleven. There are three areas in which training is needed: in conduct, concentration, and insight – and [at least] eight worldly concerns: gain, loss, fame, blame, rebuke, praise, pleasure, and pain. Here, too, similes enliven the presentation.
2.1.5 The Khuddaka Nikaya (“Collection of Small Texts”) is subdivided into fifteen books:
Khuddaka-patha (“Small Reading”, or Shorter Texts). This is the smallest book in the entire Tipitaka. Compiled for use by primary trainees, its contents are used on various occasions. Two suttas have been borrowed from the Suttanipata (see below), and their recitation is regarded as very auspicious.
Dhammapada (Way of Truth), also called “Verses on the Dhamma” – This work contains 423 verses in 26 chapters. Presenting maxims of Buddhist ethics, it not only occupies an eminent place in the religious life of the peoples in Buddhist countries but is also of universal appeal, as it recommends a life of peace and nonviolence and declares that enmity can never be overcome by enmity, only by kindness.
Udana (Paeans of Joy), or “Utterances”. This contains 80 utterances attributed to Buddha or his chief disciples, when they had achieved the bliss of their emancipation or spoke in appreciation of a sublime state.
Iti Vuttaka (“Thus said” Discourses), or “Thus Said” – This contains 112 short pieces dealing with ethical principles, such as generosity, good and evil, greed, passion, and malice.
Sutta Nipata (Collected Discourses), or “Collection of suttas” – This is one of the oldest Buddhist texts in existence today. It is partly in verse, partly in a mixed style of prose and verse. The verse part is of high poetic quality.
Vimana Vatthu (Stories of Celestial Mansions), or “Tales of Heavenly Mansions” – This book describes the different abodes of deities, male and female, who are born in the heavens as a result of their former meritorious deeds.
Peta Vatthu (Stories of Petas), or “Tales of Ghosts” – This work gives an account of the various purgatories and the woes of the beings reborn there as a result of their wicked deeds.
Theragatha (Psalms of the Brethren), or “Hymns of the Elders” – This collection contains songs attributed to 264 personal disciples of Buddha. The songs are said to have been composed when their authors experienced the bliss of emancipation.
Therigatha (Psalms of the Sisters), or “Hymns of the Senior Nuns” – These are the songs attributed to about 100 female disciples of Buddha. They provide rich material for the study of the position of women at the time of Buddha. Their merit consists in their revealing the deep impression Buddha’s teaching made upon their life. A personal tone is unmistakable.
Jataka (Birth Stories), or “Lives [of Buddha]” – Only the verses are considered to be canonical, while the 547 tales of Buddha’s previous lives are considered a later addition. The prose stories contain legends, fables, humorous anecdotes, and short sayings, as well as lengthy romances.
Niddesa (Expositions), or “Exposition” – This work, consisting of two parts, Mahaniddesa and Cullaniddesa, actually belongs to the group of commentaries. The last two chapters comment on the Suttanipata.
Patisambhida Magga (Analytical Knowledge), or “The Way of Analysis” – This is a kind of encyclopaedia of the philosophical ideas in the Sutta Pitaka. It is primarily meant for reference and intensive study.
Apadana (Lives of Arahats), or “Stories” – This is a collection of stories of the previous lives of Buddha, the pratyeka buddhas (who attain enlightenment by themselves and are unconcerned about the enlightenment of others), and the arhats of the early Buddhist sangha, whose Theragatha and Therigatha songs are incorporated and embellished with rich biographical detail. The concluding sentence of each apadana in the collection is intended to show that even the smallest meritorious act has the potentiality of giving vast positive results even after a long time. All the stories are in verse.
Buddhavamsa (The History of Buddha), or “Lineage of Buddha” – This work relates the lives of 24 previous buddhas, of Gotama (the historical Buddha), and of Metteyya (Sanskrit: Maitreya; the future buddha). According to the text, the stories are told by the historical Buddha himself.
Cariya Pitaka (Modes of Conduct), or “Basket of Conduct” – This collection retells 35 Jatakas (stories of Buddha’s previous lives) in verse form, illustrating the bodhisattva’s practice of the 10 perfections (paramitas) necessary for the attainment of Buddhahood.
In addition to the above come: Nettippakarana (Burmese Tipitaka only); Petakopadesa (Burmese Tipitaka only): and Milindapanha (Questions of Milinda) (Burmese Tipitaka only)
The Sutta Pitaka, the second division of the Tipitaka, consists of more than 10,000 suttas (discourses) delivered by the Buddha and his close disciples during and shortly after the Buddha’s forty-five year teaching career, as well as many additional verses by other members of the Sangha.
The Abhidhamma Pitaka (abhidhammapiṭaka) is the last of the three pitakas (Pali for “baskets”) constituting the Pali Canon, the scriptures of Theravāda Buddhism.
The Abhidhamma Pitaka is a detailed scholastic reworking of material appearing in the Suttas, according to schematic classifications. It does not contain systematic philosophical treatises, but summaries or enumerated lists
As the last major division of the canon, the Abhidhamma Pitaka has had a checkered history. It was not accepted as canonical by the Mahasanghika school[dubious – discuss] and several other schools[dubious – discuss]. Another school included most of the Khuddaka Nikaya within the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Also, the Pali version of the Abhidhamma is a strictly Theravada collection, and has little in common with the Abhidhamma works recognized by other Buddhist schools. The various Abhidhamma philosophies of the various early schools have no agreement on doctrine and belong to the period of ‘Divided Buddhism' (as opposed to Undivided Buddhism). The earliest texts of the Pali Canon have no mention of (the texts of) the Abhidhamma Pitaka. The Abhidhamma is also not mentioned in some reports of the First Buddhist Council, which do mention the existence of the texts of the Vinaya and either the five Nikayas or the four Agamas, although it may be noted that the Venerable [Sariputra] foremost in Abhidhamma had passed on before the Buddha before the First Council took place. Other accounts do include the Abhidhamma.
The seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, the third division of the Tipitaka, offer an extraordinarily detailed analysis of the basic natural principles that govern mental and physical processes. Whereas the Sutta and Vinaya Pitakas lay out the practical aspects of the Buddhist path to Awakening, the Abhidhamma Pitaka provides a theoretical framework to explain the causal underpinnings of that very path. In Abhidhamma philosophy the familiar psycho-physical universe (our world of “trees” and “rocks,” “I” and “you”) is distilled to its essence: an intricate web of impersonal phenomena and processes unfolding at an inconceivably rapid pace from moment to moment, according to precisely defined natural laws.
According to tradition, the essence of the Abhidhamma was formulated by the Buddha during the fourth week after his Enlightenment. Seven years later he is said to have spent three consecutive months preaching it in its entirety in one of the deva realms, before an audience of thousands of devas (including his late mother, the former Queen Maya), each day briefly commuting back to the human realm to convey to Ven. Sariputta the essence of what he had just taught. Sariputta mastered the Abhidhamma and codified it into roughly its present form. Although parts of the Abhidhamma were recited at the earlier Buddhist Councils, it wasn’t until the Third Council (ca. 250 BCE) that it became fixed into its present form as the third and final Pitaka of the canon.
Despite its relatively late entrance into the Canon, the Abhidhamma stands as an essential pillar of classical Theravada Buddhist thought. Its significance does, however, vary considerably across regional and cultural boundaries. In Thai Buddhism, for example, the Abhidhamma (and, for that matter, many of the Commentaries as well) play a relatively minor role in Buddhist doctrine and practice. In Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma), however, they hold the same venerated status as the Vinaya and Sutta Pitakas themselves. The modern Burmese approach to the teaching and practice of Satipatthana meditation, in particular, relies heavily on an Abhidhammic interpretation of meditative experience. Regardless of the Abhidhamma’s position on the shelf of Buddhist canonical texts, the astonishing detail with which it methodically constructs a quasi-scientific model of mind (enough, by far, to make a modern systems theorist or cognitive scientist gasp in awe), insures its place in history as a monumental feat of intellectual genius.
The seven books
The Abhidhamma Pitaka is divided into seven books, although it is the first (Dhammasangani) and last (Patthana) that together lay out the essence of Abhidhamma philosophy. The seven books are:
I. Dhammasangani (“Enumeration of Phenomena”).
This book enumerates all the paramattha dhamma (ultimate realities) to be found in the world. According to one such enumeration these amount to:
52 cetasikas (mental factors), which, arising together in various combination, give rise to any one of…
…89 different possible cittas (states of consciousness)
4 primary physical elements, and 23 physical phenomena derived from them
II. Vibhanga (“The Book of Treatises”).
This book continues the analysis of the Dhammasangani, here in the form of a catechism.
III. Dhatukatha (“Discussion with Reference to the Elements”).
A reiteration of the foregoing, in the form of questions and answers.
IV. Puggalapaññatti (“Description of Individuals”).
Somewhat out of place in the Abhidhamma Pitaka, this book contains descriptions of a number of personality-types.
V. Kathavatthu (“Points of Controversy”).
Another odd inclusion in the Abhidhamma, this book contains questions and answers that were compiled by Moggaliputta Tissa in the 3rd century BCE, in order to help clarify points of controversy that existed between the various “Hinayana” schools of Buddhism at the time.
VI. Yamaka (“The Book of Pairs”).
This book is a logical analysis of many concepts presented in the earlier books. In the words of Mrs. Rhys Davids, an eminent 20th century Pali scholar, the ten chapters of the Yamaka amount to little more than “ten valleys of dry bones.”
VII. Patthana (“The Book of Relations”).
This book, by far the longest single volume in the Tipitaka (over 6,000 pages in the Siamese edition), describes the 24 paccayas, or laws of conditionality, through which the dhammas interact. These laws, when applied in every possible permutation with the dhammas described in the Dhammasangani, give rise to all knowable experience.
Tuzuk-e-Jahangiri or Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri (Persian: تزک جهانگیری ) is the autobiography of Mughal Emperor Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir (1569-1627). Also referred to as Jahangirnama, Tuzk-e-Jahangiri is written in Persian, and follows the tradition of his great-grandfather, Babur (1487-1530), who had written the Baburnama; though Jahangir went a step further and besides the history of his reign, he includes details like his reflections on art, politics, and also information about his family.
Prince Salim forcefully succeeded to the throne on Thursday, 21st Jumadi II, 1014 AH/ November 3, 1605, eight days after his father’s death emerging victorious in the vicious struggle for succession between the five prominent and legitimate sons. Salim ascended to the throne with the title of Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir Badshah Ghazi and thus began his 22-year reign at the age of 36. Jahangir soon after had to fend off his own son, Prince Khusrau Mirza, when the latter attempted to claim the throne based on Akbar’s will to become his next heir. Khusrau Mirza was defeated in 1606 and confined in the fort of Agra. As punishment Khusrau Mirza was blinded.
Jahangir’s rule was characterized by the same religious tolerance as his father Akbar, with the exception of his hostility with the Sikhs, which was forged so early on in his rule. In 1606 Jahangir ordered the Sikh Guru Arjan Dev(the fifth Sikh guru) to be tortured and sentenced to death after he refused to remove all Islamic and Hindu references from the Holy book. He was made to sit on a burning hot sheet while hot sand was poured over his body. After enduring five days of unrelenting torture Guru Arjan was taken for a bath in the Ravi river. As thousands watched he entered the river never to be seen again.
Salim was made a Mansabdar of ten thousand (Das-Hazari), the highest military rank of the empire, after the emperor. He independently commanded a regiment in the Kabul campaign of 1581, when he was barely twelve. His Mansab was raised to Twelve Thousand, in 1585, at the time of his betrothal to his cousin Rajkumari Manbhawati Bai, daughter of Bhagwant Das of Amer. Bhagwant Das, was the son of Raja Bharmal and the brother of Akbar’s Hindu wife and Salim’s mother Mariam uz-Zamani.
The marriage with Manbhawati Bai took place on February 13, 1585. Jahangir named her Shah Begum, and gave birth to Khusrau Mirza. Thereafter, Salim married, in quick succession, a number of accomplished girls from the aristocratic Mughal and Rajput families. One of his early favourite wives was a Rajput Princess, Jagat Gosain Begum. Jahangir named her Taj Bibi Bilqis Makani and she gave birth to Prince Khurram, the future Shah Jahan, Jahangir’s successor to the throne.
On July 7, 1586 he married a daughter of Raja Rai Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner. In July 1586, he married Malika Shikar Begum, daughter of Sultan Abu Said Khan Jagatai, Sultan of Kashghar. In 1586, he married Sahib-i-Jamal Begum, daughter of Khwaja Hassan, of Herat, a cousin of Zain Khan Koka. In 1587, he married Malika Jahan Begum, daughter of Bhim Singh, Maharaja of Jaisalmer. He also married a daughter of Raja Darya Malbhas. In October 1590, he married Zohra Begum, daughter of Mirza Sanjar Hazara. In 1591, he married Karamnasi Begum, daughter of Raja Kesho Das Rathore, of Mertia. On January 11, 1592, he married Kanwal Rani, daughter of Ali Sher Khan, by his wife, Gul Khatun. In October 1592, he married a daughter of Husain Chak, of Kashmir. In January/March 1593, he married Nur un-nisa Begum, daughter of Ibrahim Husain Mirza, by his wife, Gulrukh Begum, daughter of Kamran Mirza. In September 1593, he married a daughter of Ali Khan Faruqi, Raja of Khandesh. He also married a daughter of Abdullah Khan Baluch. On June 28, 1596, he married Khas Mahal Begum, daughter of Zain Khan Koka, sometime Subadar of Kabul and Lahore. In 1608, he married Saliha Banu Begum, daughter of Qasim Khan, a senior member of the Imperial Household. On June 17, 1608, he married Koka Kumari Begum, eldest daughter of Jagat Singh, Yuvraj of Amber.
Jahangir married the extremely beautiful and intelligent Mehr-un-Nisaa (better known by her subsequent title of Nur Jahan) on May 25, 1611. She was the widow of Sher Afgan. Mehr-un-Nisaa became his indisputable chief consort and favourite wife immediately after their marriage. She was witty, intelligent and beautiful, which was what attracted Jahangir to her. Before being awarded the title of Nur Jahan(‘Light of the World’), she was called Nur Mahal(‘Light of the Palace’). Her abilities are said to range from fashion designing to hunting. There is also a myth that she had once killed four tigers with six bullets.
The text details the first nineteen years of his reign, but gave up the writing of his Memoirs in the seventeenth year of his reign. He then entrusted the task to Mu‘tamad Khān, the author of the Iqbal-nama, who continued the Memoirs to the beginning of the nineteenth year. From where, it was taken up by Muhammad Hadi, who continued it to Jahangir’s death. It forms an important reference point for the era along with his father, Akbar’s, Akbarnama. First important printed version of ‘Jahangirnama’, was by, Sayyid Ahmad printed at Ghazipur in 1863 and at Aligarh in 1864.
Jahangir specifically warned his nobles that they “should not force Islam on anyone.” Jahangir was certainly willing to engage with other religions and Edward Terry, an English chaplain in India at the time, saw a ruler under which “all Religions are tolerated and their Priests [held] in good esteem.” Brahmins on the banks of the Ganges received gifts from the emperor, while following a meeting with Jadrup, a Hindu ascetic, Jahangir felt compelled to comment that “association with him is a great privilege.” He enjoyed debating theological subtleties with Brahmins, especially about the possible existence of avatars. It is also said that Jahangir had affection towards Hinduism as his mother Mariam-uz-Zamani was Hindu and an ardent Krishna devotee, who told him stories of Hindu Gods during his childhood. Many of his wives were also Hindu. Both Sunnis and Shias were welcome at court and members of both sects gained high office. When drunk, Jahangir swore to Sir Thomas Roe, England’s first ambassador to the Mughal court, that he would protect all the peoples of the book.
But relations between them did turn tense in the year 1617 when Sir Thomas Roe the Elizabethan diplomat warned the Mughal Emperor Jahangir that if the young and charismatic son Prince Shah Jahan, the newly instated as the Subedar of Gujarat had turned the English out of the province, “then he must expect we would do our justice upon the seas”. Fearing the worst Shah Jahan sealed an official Firman allowing the English to trade in Gujarat in the year 1618.
Many contemporary chroniclers were not even sure quite how to describe his personal belief structure. Roe labelled him an atheist and although most others shied away from that term, they did not feel as though they could call him an orthodox Sunni. He relied greatly on astrologers(though that was not seen as unusual for a ruler at the time), even to the extent that he required that they work out the most auspicious time for the imperial camp to enter a city. Roe believed Jahangir’s religion to be of his own making, “for he envies [the Prophet]Mohammed, and wisely sees no reason why he should not bee as great a prophet as he and therefore professed himself so… he hath found many disciples that flatter or follow him.” At this time, one of those disciples happened to be the current English ambassador, though his initiation into Jahangir’s inner circle of disciples was devoid of religious significance for Roe, as he did not understand the full extent of what he was doing: Jahangir hung “a picture of him self set in gold hanging at a wire gold chain” round Roe’s neck. Roe thought it “an especial favour, for that all the great men that wear the Kings image(which none may do but to whom it is given) receive no other than a medal of gold as big as six pence.” Despite Roe’s somewhat casual use of the term ‘atheist’, he could not quite put his finger on Jahangir’s real beliefs. Roe lamented that the emperor was either “the most impossible man in the world to be converted, or the most easy; for he loves to hear, and hath so little religion yet, that he can well abide to have any derided.” Jahangir had continued his father’s fusion of aspects from a number of religions, while remaining as a Muslim. Akbar had given himself the right to make the final decision on all doctrinal matters and began to establish his own religion, Din Ilahi(‘Divine Faith’). Broad toleration for other religions made little sense to Europeans forged in the heat of religious conflict, while the lifestyle and pretensions Jahangir afforded himself meant that it was difficult to see him as a devout Muslim. Sri Ram Sharma argues though that contemporaries and some historians have been too disparaging about Jahangir’s beliefs, simply because he did not persecute non-believers and enforce his views on others.On visiting a Hindu temple, he found a statue of a man with a pig’s head(more than likely actually a boar’s head, a representation of Varaha), which was supposed to represent God, so he “ordered them to break that hideous form and throw it in the tank.” If the Tuzuk is reliable on this subject(and there is no reason to suspect that it is not), then this was an isolated case.Most notorious was the execution of the Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji. It is unclear that Jahangir even understood what a Sikh was, referring to Guru Arjan as a Hindu, who had “captured many of the simple-hearted of the Hindus and even of the ignorant and foolish followers of Islam, by his ways and manners… for three or four generations(of spiritual successors) they had kept this shop warm.” The trigger for Guru Arjan’s execution was his support for Jahangir’s rebel son Khusrau Mirza, yet it is clear from Jahangir’s own memoirs that he disliked Guru Arjan before then: “many times it occurred to me to put a stop to this vain affair or bring him into the assembly of the people of Islam.”
Jahangir’s autobiography also reflects the royal ideology of Jahangir’s views on various political, religious and social issues. Within the memoir, he noted many of his local level legislative policies in his large empire consisting of most of modern day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Among them were his decrees to manage and regulate the jagirdars. Jagirdars were holders of the jagir, the emperor’s land grant title. The jagirdars were to take the income of the land and use it mainly to finance the maintenance of the troops and to address the town needs. Jahangir made various attempts to halt corruption within the jagirdars. He prohibited each of them from using the money for personal profit by ordering that part of the land income to go to hospitals and infirmaries and for each town to be equipped with religious buildings according to the religion of that area. Jahangir also kept the jagirdars from gaining interest in family or land riches by ordering for jagirdars to seek his approval before marrying someone from the town they ruled in.
Furthermore, Jahangir preserved the Mughal tradition of having a highly centralized form of government. Jahangir made the precepts of Sunni Islam the cornerstone of his state policies. A faithful Muslim, as evidenced by his memoirs, he expressed his gratitude to Allah for his many victories. Jahangir, as a devout Muslim, did not let his personal beliefs dictate his state policies. Sovereignty, according to Jahangir, was a “gift of God” not necessarily given to enforce God’s law but rather to “ensure the contentment of the world.” In civil cases, Islamic law applied to Muslims, Hindu law applied to Hindus, while criminal law was the same for both Muslims and Hindus. In matters like marriage and inheritance, both communities had their own laws that Jahangir respected. Thus Jahangir was able to deliver justice to people in accordance of their beliefs and also keep his hold on empire by unified criminal law. In the Mughal state, therefore, defiance of imperial authority, whether coming from a prince or anyone else aspiring to political power, or a Muslim or a Hindu, was crushed in the name of law and order.
Jahangir is most famous for his golden “chain of justice.” The chain was set up as a link between his people and Jahangir himself. Standing outside the castle of Agra with sixty bells, anyone was capable of pulling the chain and having a personal hearing from Jahangir himself.
An aesthete, Jahangir decided to start his reign with a grand display of “Justice”, as he saw it. To this end, he enacted Twelve Decrees that are remarkable for their liberalism and foresight. During his reign, there was a significant increase in the size of the Mughal Empire, half a dozen rebellions were crushed, prisoners of war were released and the work of his father, Akbar, continued to flourish. Much like his father, Jahangir was dedicated to the expansion of Mughal held territory through conquest. During this regime he would target the peoples of Assam near the eastern frontier and bring a series of territories controlled by independent rajas in the Himalayan foothills from Kashmir to Bengal. Jahangir would challenge the hegemonic claim over what became later Afghanistan by the Safavid rulers with an eye on Kabul, Peshawar and Kandahar which were important centers of the central Asian trade system that northern India operated within. In 1622, Jahangir sent his son Prince Khurram against the combined forces of Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golconda. After his victory Khurram turned against his father and make a bid for power. As with the insurrection of his eldest son Khusrau Mirza, Jahangir was able to defeat the challenge from within his family and retain power.
Vir Singh Deo of Bundela and capture the city of Orchha, The victorious Jahangir Only 16 years of age, ordered the completion of the Jahangir Mahal a famous Mughal citadel in Orchha to commemorate and honour his victory.
Jahangir then gathered his forces under the command of Ali Kuli Khan and defeated Lakshmi Narayan of Koch Bihar.
In 1613, the Portuguese seized the Mughal ship Rahimi, which had set out from Surat on its way with a large cargo of 100,000 rupees and Pilgrims, who were on their way to Mecca and Medina in order to attend the annual Hajj. The Rahimi was owned by Mariam-uz-Zamani, Jahangir’s mother. She was referred as Queen mother of Hindustan during his reign. Rahimi was the largest Indian ship sailing in the Red Sea and was known to the Europeans as the “great pilgrimage ship”. When the Portuguese officially refused to return the ship and the passengers, the outcry at the Mughal court was quite unusually severe. The outrage was compounded by the fact that the owner and the patron of the ship was none other than the revered mother of the current emperor. Jahangir himself was outraged and ordered the seizure of the Portuguese town Daman. He ordered the apprehension of all Portuguese within the Mughal Empire, he further confiscated churches that belonged to the Jesuits. This episode is considered to be an example of the struggle for wealth that would later ensue and lead to colonization of the Indian sub-continent.
Jahangir was responsible for ending a century long struggle with the state of Mewar. The campaign against the Rajputs was pushed so extensively that the latter were made to submit and that too with a great loss of life and property.
Jahangir posted Islam Khan I to subdue Musa Khan, an Afghan rebel in Bengal, in 1608. Jahangir also thought of capturing Kangra Fort, which Akbar had failed to do in 1615. Consequently, a siege was laid and the fort was taken in 1620, which “resulted in the submission of the Raja of Chamba who was the greatest of all the rajas in the region.”
The district of Kistwar, in the state of Kashmir, was also conquered.
Shah Abbas I receiving Khan Alam, ambassador from Jahangir in 1617.
In the year 1623, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, sent his Tahwildar, Khan Alam to Safavid Persia, accompanied by 800 Sepoys, scribes and scholars along with 10 Howdahs well decorated in gold and silver, in order to negotiate peace with Abbas I of Persia after a brief conflict in the region around Kandahar. Khan Alam soon returned with valuable gifts and groups of Mir Shikar(Hunt Masters) from both Safavid Persia and even the Khanates of Central Asia.
Jahangir promised to protect Islam and granted general amnesty to his opponents. He was also notable for his patronage of the arts, especially of painting. During his reign the distinctive style of Mughal painting expanded and blossomed. Jahangir supported a flourishing culture of court painters.
Jahangir was a naturalist as well; he was not only a known birdwatcher or ornithologist but a keen observer of plants and animals as well. Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri(Memoirs of Jahangir) has his recorded observations. Even until the mid-nineteenth century zoologists were unaware of the gestation period of elephants but Jahangir on the other hand had accurately estimated the gestation period of elephants to be 18 to 19 months in the early-seventeenth century itself. He gave the details of the pairing of sarus cranes and detailed descriptions of many Indian birds such as the hawk-cuckoo and animals such as the polecat. Once he was presented with a Don of high-altitude trees on the plains. Once he conducted an experiment to show that the soil in Mahmudabad was healthier than in Ahmedabad(both in Gujarat). It was due to the efforts of Dr.Salim Ali that these contributions of Jahangir were rediscovered.
Such a religious situation allowed the more recently arrived form of Christianity to have opportunity to grow. Jahangir did not seem to have anything against Christianity. He wrote fondly of Akbar’s reign, when “Sunnis and Shias met in one mosque, and Franks and Jews in one church, and observed their own forms of worship.” Roe noted that “of Christ he never utters any word ” His prayer room in Agra contained pictures of “our Lady and Christ.” In the imperial palace in Lahore, over one of the doors, according to William Finch, a merchant, was “the Picture of our Saviour”, with an image of the Virgin Mary facing it. Elsewhere, the emperor had pictures of angels and demons, with the demons having a “most ugly shape, with long staring eyes… with such horrible difformity and deformity, that I wonder the poore women are not frightened therewith.”
Ashtadhyayi, (“Eight Chapters”), Sanskrit treatise on grammar written in the 6th to 5th century bce by the Indian grammarian Panini. This work set the linguistic standards for Classical Sanskrit. It sums up in 4,000 sutras the science of phonetics and grammar that had evolved in the Vedic religion. Panini divided his work into eight chapters, each of which is further divided into quarter chapters. Beyond defining the morphology and syntax of Sanskrit language, Ashtadhyayi distinguishes between usage in the spoken language and usage that is proper to the language of the sacred texts.
Panini’s Ashtadhyayi represents the first attempt in the history of the world to describe and analyse the components of a language on scientific lines. It has not only been universally acclaimed as the first and foremost specimen of Descriptive Grammar but has also been a chief source of inspiration for the linguist engaged in describing languages of different regions. To understand Sanskrit language, and especially that part of it which embodies the highest aspirations of ancient Aryan people, viz., the Brahmanas, Samhitas, and Upanisads, it is absolutely necessary to have a complete knowledge of the grammar elaborated by Panini. Being a masterpiece of reasoning and artistic arrangement its study is bound to cultivate intellectual powers. Western scholars have described it as a wonderful manifestation of Indian intelligence. This book is an English translation of Ashtadhyayi in two volumes and has won a unique position in the world of scholarship
The Aṣṭādhyāyī was not the first description of Sanskrit grammar, but it surpassed its predecessor on such a monumental scale that all earlier works are now lost except for the extent to which they are mentioned by Panini. The Aṣṭādhyāyī became the foundation of Vyākaraṇa, the Sanskrit grammatical tradition, and the classical works of Sanskrit grammarians which flourished during ca. the 8th and 15th centuries (and a revival in the 17th and 18th) are essentially commentaries on Panini.
In the Aṣṭādhyāyī, language is observed in a manner that has no parallel among Greek or Latin grammarians. Pāṇini’s grammar marks the entry of the non-sacred into Indian thought, and according to Renou and Filliozat, it then defines the linguistic expression of that thought.
Pāṇini made use of a technical metalanguage consisting of a syntax, morphology and lexicon. This metalanguage is organised according to a series of meta-rules, some of which are explicitly stated while others can be deduced. The two fundamental principles on which the metalanguage is based are non-redundancy, or the principle of economy, and the necessity of all the rules in the Aṣṭādhyāyī.
The Aṣṭādhyāyī consists of 3,959 sutras or “rules” distributed among eight chapters, which are each subdivided into four sections or padas (pādāḥ).
From example words in the text, and from a few rules depending on the context of the discourse, additional information as to the geographical, cultural and historical context of Pāṇini can be discerned.
The Ashtadhyayi is generative as well as descriptive. With its complex use of metarules, transformations, and recursions, the grammar in Ashtadhyayi has been likened to the Turing machine, an idealized mathematical model that reduces the logical structure of any computing device to its essentials.
The Ashtadhyayi is a list of rules. But these rules, too, are lists: of verbs, of suffixes, and so on. These lists have different headings, and these headings describe the behavior of the items they contain. But the Ashtadhyayi is more complicated than this: ideas in one rule can carry over to the next, or to the next twenty; basic words have specialized meanings; and rules in one chapter may control rules in another. In this way, Panini created a brief and immensely dense work. Thus, we have a large arrangement of different rules that we must try to understand.
While Pāṇini’s work is purely grammatical and lexicographic, cultural and geographical inferences can be drawn from the vocabulary he uses in examples, and from his references to fellow grammarians, which show he was a northwestern person. New deities referred to in his work include Vasudeva (4.3.98). The concept of dharma is attested in his example sentence (4.4.41) dharmam carati “he observes the law” (cf. Taittiriya Upanishad 1.11).
Nothing certain is known about Pāṇini’s personal life. According to the Mahābhāṣya of Patanjali, his mother’s name was Dākṣī. Patañjali calls Pāṇini Dākṣīputra (meaning son of Dākṣī) at several places in the Mahābhāṣya.According to later traditions, his maternal uncle’s name was Vyāḍi.Some scholars suggest that his brother’s name was Piṅgala. Not much is known about his father, whose name has been suggested as Paṇi, but most scholars reject this suggestion. Rambhadracharya gives the name of his father as Paṇina, from which the name Pāṇini derives.
Panini is believed to have been born in Gandhara. Based on the Mahābhāṣya, it is believed that Śalātura was the birthplace of Pāṇini. In the Ashtadhyayi also, the place Śalātura is mentioned. According to Xuanzang, a statue of him existed at Śalātura, the place of his birth. Some writers identify Śalātura with the Shalatur village near Taxila in what is now the Punjab province of Pakistan.
More than a thousand years after he lived, the Panchatantra mentioned that Pāṇini was killed by a lion.
Pāṇini was depicted on a five rupees Indian postage stamp in 2004
Nothing definite is known about when Pāṇini lived, nor even in which century he lived. It is known that he was from the city of Pushkalavati in Gandhara. Most scholarship suggests a 4th-century BCE floruit (corresponding to the Pushkalavati archaeological site), contemporary to the Nanda Empire ruling the Indo-Gangetic Plain, but a 5th or even late 6th century BCE date cannot be ruled out with certainty. Pāṇini’s grammar defines Classical Sanskrit, so Pāṇini by definition lived at the end of the Vedic period. He notes a few special rules, marked chandasi (“in the hymns”) to account for forms in the Vedas that had fallen out of use in the spoken language of his time. These indicate that Vedic Sanskrit was already archaic, but still comprehensible.
An important hint for the dating of Pāṇini is the occurrence of the word yavanānī (in 4.1.49, either “Greek woman”, or “Greek alphabet”) Some Greeks, such as the Persian admiral Scylax of Caryanda, were present in Gandhara as citizens of the Persian Empire well before the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 330s BC; the name could also have been transmitted via Old Persian yauna and the administrative languages Elamite or Aramaic, so that the occurrence of yavanānī taken in isolation allows for a terminus post quem as early as 519 BCE, i.e. the time of Darius I’s Behistun Inscription that included the province of Gandara (Sanskrit Gandhāra).
It is not certain whether Pāṇini used writing for the composition of his work, though it is generally agreed that he knew of a form of writing, based on references to words such as “script” and “scribe” in his AshtadhyayiThese must have referred to Aramaic or early Kharosthi. It is believed by some that a work of such complexity would have been difficult to compile without written notes, though others have argued that he might have composed it with the help of a group of students whose memories served him as “notepads” (as is typical in Vedic learning). Writing first reappears in India in the form of the Brahmi script from c. the 3rd century BCE in the Ashokan inscriptions.
The various rules
I’ve listed the rules here from the most concrete to the most abstract. Throughout this series of lessons, I will use the Sanskrit terms.
This rule is as basic as it gets. We take some term, like vṛddhi, and give it a specialized meaning that exists only within the scope of the Ashtadhyayi. The two rules that we studied in the last lesson were both saṃjñā rules. It’s important to realize that we take an ordinary word and give it a new meaning. For example, vṛddhi originally means something like “growth” or “gain.”
vidhi (general rule)
This sort of rule describes the way that Sanskrit actually behaves. It can describe such things as word formation, the application of sandhi, and so on. Most rules are like this.
This sort of rule contradicts an earlier vidhi rule. Essentially, it contains an exception to an earlier rule.
atideśa (rule of analogy)
An atideśa rule specifies that some feature has the properties of another. This is useful because the Ashtadhyayi contains complex rules that act on very specific terms. For example, consider the sandhi rule that turns gacchati iti into gacchatīti. According to an atideśa rule, the long ī is considered to be both the end of the word gacchati and the beginning of the word iti. This rule changes the properties of ī within the system.
adhikāra (governing rule)
This sort of rule specifies an idea that extends to the rules that follow it. Such a rule sometimes specifies how far it extends, but usually its extension is clear from context. The range of rules over which an adhikāra rule applies is called its anuvṛtti.
paribhāṣā (rule of interpretation)
This sort of rule doesn’t address other rules: it addresses the person reading them! Such a rule tells us how we should read and understand the other rules in the Ashtadhyayi.
For illustration’s sake, I’ve created an example. This example is not perfect, but it should help you see how these rules interact and relate to each other. As you read the list below, try to classify each rule with one of the terms above.
Now we talk about food.
Unless otherwise stated, assume that everything that comes from a plant is food.
A fruit contains seeds,
and a vegetable does not.
These are fruits: peaches and tomatoes,
but not turnips.
Tomatoes are treated like vegetables.
Here is how we should classify the rules:
adhikāra. This rule tells us that all of the rules that follow are talking about food. So, a fruit is food, and a vegetable is food as well.
paribhāṣā. This rule tells us how we should classify the things that come from plants. It specifically states an intuitive concept that we should apply to other objects from plants. Although the rule doesn’t say so explicitly, we should understand that it only applies in the context of this list of rules.
saṃjñā. This rule defines the term “fruit” as a food that contains seeds.
saṃjñā. This rule defines the term “vegetable” as a food that does not contain seeds.
vidhi. An ordinary rule.
niyama. An exception to a previous rule.
atideśa. We add the property of “vegetable” to the tomato. Thus, a tomato is treated “like” a vegetable.
Pāṇini’s Ashtadhyayi has three associated texts.
The Shiva Sutras are a brief but highly organised list of phonemes.
The Dhatupatha is a lexical list of verbal roots sorted by present class.
The Ganapatha is a lexical list of nominal stems grouped by common properties.
Main article: Shiva Sutras
The Shiva Sutras describe a phonemic notational system in the fourteen initial lines preceding the Ashtadhyayi. The notational system introduces different clusters of phonemes that serve special roles in the morphology of Sanskrit, and are referred to throughout the text. Each cluster, called a pratyāhara ends with a dummy sound called an anubandha (the so-called IT index), which acts as a symbolic referent for the list. Within the main text, these clusters, referred through the anubandhas, are related to various grammatical functions.
The Dhatupatha is a lexicon of Sanskrit verbal roots subservient to the Ashtadhyayi. It is organised by the ten present classes of Sanskrit, i.e. the roots are grouped by the form of their stem in the present tense.
The ten present classes of Sanskrit are:
bhū-ādayaḥ (root-full grade thematic presents)
ad-ādayaḥ (root presents)
ju-ho-ti-ādayaḥ (reduplicated presents)
div-ādayaḥ (ya thematic presents)
su-ādayaḥ (nu presents)
tud-ādayaḥ (root-zero grade thematic presents)
rudh-ādayaḥ (n-infix presents)
tan-ādayaḥ (no presents)
krī-ādayaḥ (ni presents)
cur-ādayaḥ (aya presents, causatives)
Most of these classes are directly inherited from Proto-Indo-European. The small number of class 8 verbs are a secondary group derived from class 5 roots, and class 10 is a special case, in that any verb can form class 10 presents, then assuming causative meaning. The roots specifically listed as belonging to class 10 are those for which any other form has fallen out of use (causative deponents, so to speak).
The Ganapatha (gaṇapāṭha) is a list of groups of primitive nominal stems used by the Ashtadhyayi.
Pāṇini, and the later Indian linguist Bhartrihari, had a significant influence on many of the foundational ideas proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure, professor of Sanskrit, who is widely considered the father of modern structural linguistics.
The Aṣṭādhyāyī is the central part of Pāṇini’s grammar, and by far the most complex. Regarded as extremely compact without sacrificing completeness, it would become the model for later specialist technical texts or sutras. It takes material from lexical lists (Dhatupatha, Ganapatha) as input and describes algorithms to be applied to them for the generation of well-formed words. It is highly systematised and technical. Inherent in its approach are the concepts of the phoneme, the morpheme and the root. His rules have a reputation for perfection – that is, they are claimed to describe Sanskrit morphology fully, without any redundancy. A consequence of his grammar’s focus on brevity is its highly unintuitive structure, reminiscent of modern notations such as the “Backus–Naur Form”. His sophisticated logical rules and technique have been widely influential in ancient and modern linguistics.
Frits Staal has written that “Panini is the Indian Euclid.”
Now, let’s try and understand the different kinds of rules that Panini uses in his work.
India released a stamp in honour of Panini in 2004. There is also a Panini temple (Panini Smarak Mandir) in Kashi, built on soil brought from Panini’s birthplace in Pakistan
Pāṇini (IPA: [pɑːɳin̪i]; a patronymic meaning “descendant of Paṇi”; fl. 4th century BCE ), or Panini, was a Vyākaraṇin from the early mahajanapada era of ancient India. He was born in Pushkalavati, Gandhara (on the outskirts of modern-day Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan).
Pāṇini is known for his Sanskrit grammar, particularly for his formulation of the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology, syntax and semantics in the grammar known as Aṣṭādhyāyī, meaning “eight chapters”), the foundational text of the grammatical branch of the Vedanga, the auxiliary scholarly disciplines of the historical Vedic religion.
The Ashtadhyayi is one of the earliest known grammars of Sanskrit, although Pāṇini refers to previous texts like the Unadisutra, Dhatupatha, and Ganapatha. It is the earliest known work on linguistic description, and together with the work of his immediate predecessors (the Niruktas, Nighantus, and Pratishakyas) stands at the beginning of the history of linguistics itself. His theory of morphological analysis was more advanced than any equivalent Western theory before the mid 20th century, and his analysis of noun compounds still forms the basis of modern linguistic theories of compounding, which have borrowed Sanskrit terms such as bahuvrihi and dvandva.
Pāṇini’s comprehensive and scientific theory of grammar is conventionally taken to mark the end of the period of Vedic Sanskrit, introducing the period of Classical Sanskrit.
After Pāṇini, the Mahābhāṣya (“great commentary”) of Patañjali on the Ashtadhyayi is one of the three most famous works in Sanskrit grammar. It was with Patañjali that Indian linguistic science reached its definite form. The system thus established is extremely detailed as to shiksha (phonology, including accent) and vyakarana (morphology). Syntax is scarcely touched, but nirukta (etymology) is discussed, and these etymologies naturally lead to semantic explanations. People interpret his work to be a defence of Pāṇini, whose Sūtras are elaborated meaningfully. He also attacks Katyayana rather severely. But the main contributions of Patañjali lies in the treatment of the principles of grammar enunciated by him.
The Amarakosha written by Amar Simha is a thesaurus of Sanskrit and is at number 100 in the list of most influential books in Indian history. The word “Amarkosha” derives from the Sanskrit words amara (“immortal”) and kosha (“treasure or dictionary”). It is also known as nama-linga-anu-shasana “instruction concerning nouns and gender”.
It is the oldest extent kosha. The author himself mention 18 prior works, but they have all been lost. There have been more than 40 commentaries on the Amarakosha.
Amarakosha, the Sanskrit thesaurus developed in 4th CE has influenced modern lexicographic techniques in quite the same way as Panini has done to generative linguistics.Amarakosha is written in verse format. He was a distinguished scholar, one among the nine “gems” (navaratna) during Vikramaditya’s court (in about 380 A. D.) (Vikramaditya was originally known as Chandra Gupta II. He was a heroic king and is well known for developing an independent calendar, widely recognized in India as Vikram Samvat). These were the great writers who produced lasting works of Sanskrit literature that sparkled in the Golden Age of India. Chief of these was Kalidasa, “India’s Shakespeare”
The Amarakosha consists of verses that can be easily memorized. It is divided into three khāṇḍas or chapters. The first, svargādi-khāṇḍa (“heaven and others”) has words pertaining to gods and heavens. The second, bhūvargādi-khāṇḍa (“earth and others”) deals with words about earth, towns, animals and humans. The third, sāmānyādi-khāṇḍa (“common”) has words related to grammar and other miscellaneous words.
Svargadhikanda, the first Kandam of Amarakosham begins with the verse ‘Svaravyam swarganakathridivatrishalaya..’ describing various names of Heaven viz. Sva, Avya, swarga, Naka, Tridiva, Tridasalaya etc. The second verse ‘Amara, nirjara, deva,’ describes various words that are equivalent to word God. The fifth and sixth verses give various names of Gautama Buddha. The following verses give the different names of Brahma, Vishnu, Vasudeva, Balarama, etc. All these names are treated with great reverence which makes it difficult to ascertain Amara Sinha’s theological bent.
The second Kandam, Bhuvargadhikanda, of Amarakosham is divided into ten Vargas or parts. The ten Vargas are Bhuvarga (Earth), Puravarga (Towns or Cities), Shailavarga (Mountains), Vanoshadivarga (Forests and medicines), Simhadivarga (Lions and other animals), Manushyavarga (Mankind), Bramhavarga (Brahmin), Kshatriyavarga (Kshatriyas), Vysyavarga (Vysyas) and Sudravarga (Sudras).
The Third Kandam, Samanyadhikanda contains Adjectives, Verbs, words related to prayer and business etc. The first verse Kshemankaroristatathi Shivathathi Shivamkara gives the Nanarthas of the word Shubakara or propitious as Kshemankara, Aristathathi, Shivathathi and Shivamkara.
It contains 10,000 words, and is arranged, like other works of its class, in metre, to aid the memory. The first chapter of the Kosha was printed at Rome in Tamil character in 1798. An edition of the entire work, with English notes and an index by HT Colebrooke appeared at Serampore in 1808. The Sanskrit text was printed at Calcutta in 1831. A French translation by ALA Loiseleur-Deslongchamps was published at Paris in 1839.  Louie Rice compiled the Kannada version of it and its available 4th edition was printed in 1927 which contains three khandas and 25 sargas.
The Amarakosha consists of verses that can be easily memorized. It is divided into three khandas or chapters. The first, svargadi-khanda (“heaven and others”) has words pertaining to gods and heavens. The second, bhuvargadi-khanda (“earth and others”) deals with words about earth, towns, animals and humans. The third, samanyadi-khanda (“common”) has words related to grammar and other miscellaneous words.
It is of great interest to note that, though the production of a Buddhist, it has been universally accepted as an authority by the Brahmans and the Jainas alike. The fact that it has been commented upon by Buddhists like Subhutichandra, by Jainas like Asadharapandita and Nachiraja,and by Brahmans like Kshirasvamin, Mallinatha and Appayyadikshita testifies to its usefulness to every class of Sanskrit students. It is a well-known fact that translations of the Amarakosha into Chinese and Thibetan have been recently discovered.
Amarakosha (the famous Sanskrit synonym lexicon compiled by Amarasimha) mentions seven types of riṣis : Shrutarshi, Kāndarshi, Paramarshi, Maharshi, Rājarshi, Brahmarshi and Devarshi. Amarakosha strictly distinguishes Rishi from other types of sages, such as sanyāsi, bhikṣu, parivrājaka, tapasvi, muni, brahmachāri, yati, etc.
Main article: Amara Sinha
Amarasimha is said to have been one of the Navaratnas (“nine gems”) at the court of Chandragupta II, a Gupta king who reigned around AD 400. Some sources indicate that he belonged to the period of Vikramaditya of 7th century.
Amara Sinha (c. CE 375) was a Sanskrit grammarian and poet, of whose personal history hardly anything is known.
He is said to have been “one of the nine gems that adorned the throne of Vikramaditya,” and according to the evidence of Xuanzang, this is the Chandragupta Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II) that flourished about CE 375.Other sources describe him as flourishing in c. CE 700.
Most of his work was destroyed, with the exception of what is the celebrated Amara-Kosha (Treasury of Amara), a vocabulary of Sanskrit roots, in three books, and hence sometimes called Trikanda or the “Tripartite”.  It is also known as “Namalinganushasana”. Amara Sinha is an eminent poet and the author of Amara Kosha. He was a poet in Vikramaditya’s court. He was one of the nine gems as the poets of the king’s court were regarded. Unfortunately, he held the principles of a heterodox sect. His poems perished in the maltreatments generated by intolerant philosophers against the persons and writings of both Jainas and Buddhists
Amarakosa, Amarasinha’s Sanskrit thesaurus well-known to every Sanskrit student, is the oldest work of the kind now extant. According to tradition Amarasimha was one of the nine distinguished men (nava ratna) of the court of King Vikramaditya (4th Century CE).
Navaratnas 9 Gems of Vikramaditya’s Court
Navaratnas in Vikramaditya’s court are the 9 Main Ministers in the Raaj Sabha of Emperor Vikramaditya. They are called Navaratnas or nine gems because of their extraordinary knowledge which helps his court for the smooth functioning of the administration.
Nine Gems or Navaratnas in Vikramaditya Court
1) Vetala Bhatta – a Maga Brahmin, noted for his work of the sixteen stanza Niti Pradeepa or the Lamp of Conduct.
2) Dhanvantari – A great Ayurvedic physician
3) Varahamihira – A renowned astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer. Varahamihira’s main work is the book Pancasiddhantika or Pancha Siddhantika. Varahamihira is also known as Varaha or Mihir.
4) Vararuchi – A famous grammarian and Sanskrit scholar. Prakrita Prakasa the oldest treatise on the grammar of Prakrit language is believed to be written by Vararuchi.
5) Amarasimha – A noted Sanskrit grammarian and poet. Amara Sinha is the author of Amara Kosha (Amarkosha) a vocabulary of Sanskrit roots, synonyms and homonyms.
6) Kalidasa – Renowned Classical Sanskrit writer famous for his works Malavikagnimitram, Vikramorvasiyam and Abhignanasakuntalam.
7) Kshapanaka – One of the renowned ancient astrologers
8) Shanku –An expert in the field of architecture
9) Ghatakarpura – Ghatakpar was expert in sculpture and architecture
In antiquity, Philo of Byblos authored the first text that could now be called a thesaurus. In Sanskrit, the Amarakosha is a thesaurus in verse form, written in the 4th century.
The oldest known dictionaries were Akkadian Empire cuneiform tablets with bilingual Sumerian–Akkadian wordlists, discovered in Ebla (modern Syria) and dated roughly 2300 BCE. The early 2nd millennium BCE Urra=hubullu glossary is the canonical Babylonian version of such bilingual Sumerian wordlists. A Chinese dictionary, the c. 3rd century BCE Erya, was the earliest surviving monolingual dictionary; although some sources cite the c. 800 BCE Shizhoupian as a “dictionary”, modern scholarship considers it a calligraphic compendium of Chinese characters from Zhou dynasty bronzes. Philitas of Cos (fl. 4th century BCE) wrote a pioneering vocabulary Disorderly Words (Ἄτακτοι γλῶσσαι, Átaktoi glôssai) which explained the meanings of rare Homeric and other literary words, words from local dialects, and technical terms. Apollonius the Sophist (fl. 1st century CE) wrote the oldest surviving Homeric lexicon. The first Sanskrit dictionary, the Amarakośa, was written by Amara Sinha c. 4th century CE. Written in verse, it listed around 10,000 words. According to the Nihon Shoki, the first Japanese dictionary was the long-lost 682 CE Niina glossary of Chinese characters. The oldest existing Japanese dictionary, the c. 835 CE Tenrei Banshō Meigi, was also a glossary of written Chinese. A 9th-century CE Irish dictionary, Sanas Cormaic, contained etymologies and explanations of over 1,400 Irish words. In India around 1320, Amir Khusro compliled the Khaliq-e-bari which mainly dealt with Hindvi and Persian words