Social, Political, and Economic Landscapes in Kautilya’s ‘Arthashastra’

The Arthashastra (or Arthaśāstra) is one of the oldest surviving treatises on statecraft. Introduction There is considerable debate about the dating and authorship of the text; it underwent compilation, recension, and redaction several times over the centuries and is likely to have been a witness of religious and ideological transformations, political and socio-economic changes. As a śāstra, it[…]

Arjuna: Hero of Hinduism’s Ancient ‘Bhagavad Gita’

Arjuna takes center stage in the role of the seeker-student to the god Krishna’s role of teacher-guide. Introduction Arjuna (also given as Arjun) is the great hero of the Indian epic Mahabharata and the philosophical-religious dialogue Bhagavad Gita. His name means “shining”, “silver” and similar terms relating to brightness. He is the most popular champion[…]

‘Song of God’: Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita

The Gita is a dialogue between the warrior-prince Arjuna and the god Krishna who is serving as his charioteer at the Battle of Kurukshetra. Introduction The Bhagavad Gita (“Song of God” or “Song of the Lord”) is among the most important religious texts of Hinduism and easily the best known. It has been quoted by[…]

A History of the Ancient Hindu Vedas and Vedic Period

The Vedas existed in oral form and were passed down for generations until they were committed to writing between 1500 and 500 BCE. Introduction The Vedas are the religious texts which inform the religion of Hinduism (also known as Sanatan Dharma meaning “Eternal Order” or “Eternal Path”). The term veda means “knowledge” in that they[…]

The Upanishads: Philosophical and Religious Texts of Hinduism

Introduction The Upanishads are the philosophical-religious texts of Hinduism (also known as Sanatan Dharma meaning “Eternal Order” or “Eternal Path”) which develop and explain the fundamental tenets of the religion. The name is translated as to “sit down closely” as one would to listen attentively to instruction by a teacher or other authority figure, but[…]