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04-Aug-2019 11:32

A number of other proposals have been put forward: Though the Kurukshetra War is not mentioned in Vedic literature, its prominence in later literature led British Indologist A. Basham, writing in 1954, to conclude that there was a great battle at Kurukshetra which, "magnified to titanic proportions, formed the basis of the story of the greatest of India's epics, the Mahabharata." Acknowledging that later "generations looked upon it as marking an end of an epoch," he suggested that rather than being a civil war it might have been "a muddled recollection of the conquest of the Kurus by a tribe of Mongol type from the hills." He saw it as useless to the historian and dates the war to the 9th century BCE based on archaeological evidence and "some evidence in the Brahmana literature itself to show that it cannot have been much earlier." Puranic literature presents genealogical lists associated with the Mahabharata narrative. Of the first kind, there is the direct statement that there were 1015 (or 1050) years between the birth of Parikshit (Arjun's grandson) and the accession of Mahapadma Nanda, commonly dated to 382 BCE, which would yield an estimate of about 1400 BCE for the Bharata battle.

Of the second kind are analyses of parallel genealogies in the Puranas between the times of Adhisimakrishna (Parikshit's great-grandson) and Mahapadma Nanda. Lal used the same approach with a more conservative assumption of the average reign to estimate a date of 836 BCE and correlated this with archaeological evidence from Painted Grey Ware sites, the association being strong between PGW artifacts and places mentioned in the epic.

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Thus, this work of Vyasa, called Jaya, deals with diverse subjects like geography, history, warfare, religion and morality.Divergence of views regarding the Mahabharata war is due to the absence of reliable history of the ancient period.This is also true of the historical period, where also there is no unanimity of opinion on innumerable issues.Despite only referring to these eighteen days, the war narrative forms more than a quarter of the book, suggesting its relative importance within the epic, which overall spans decades of the warring families.The narrative describes individual battles and deaths of various heroes of both sides, military formations, war diplomacy, meetings and discussions among the characters, and the weapons used.

Thus, this work of Vyasa, called Jaya, deals with diverse subjects like geography, history, warfare, religion and morality.

Divergence of views regarding the Mahabharata war is due to the absence of reliable history of the ancient period.

This is also true of the historical period, where also there is no unanimity of opinion on innumerable issues.

Despite only referring to these eighteen days, the war narrative forms more than a quarter of the book, suggesting its relative importance within the epic, which overall spans decades of the warring families.

The narrative describes individual battles and deaths of various heroes of both sides, military formations, war diplomacy, meetings and discussions among the characters, and the weapons used.

The immediate dispute between the Kauravas (sons of Dhritarashtra) and the Pandavas arose from a game of dice, which Duryodhana won by deceit, forcing his Pandava cousins to transfer their entire territories to the Kauravas (to Hastinapura) and to "go into exile" for thirteen years.