HINDUISM AND SANATAN DHARMA

Hinduism,Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.

China and ancient India

China (Cinaratha) in the Epic of Mahabharata

It is well known that in the Mahabharata the Cinas appear with the Kiratas among the armies of king Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisa or Assam. In the Sabhaparvan this king is described as surrounded by the Kiratas and the Cinas. In the Bhismaparvan, the corps of Bhagadatta, consisting of the Kirtas and the Cinas of yellow color, appeared like a forest of Karnikaras. It is significant that the Kiratas represented all the people living to the east of India in the estimation of the geographers of the Puranas. Even the dwellers of the islands of the Eastern Archipelago were treated as Kiratas in the Epics. The reference to their wealth of gold, silver, gems, sandal, aloewood, textiles and fabrics clearly demonstrates their association with the regions included in Suvarnadvipa. Thus, the connection of the Kiratas and Cinas is a sure indication of the fact that the Indians came to know of the Chinese through the eastern routes and considered them as an eastern people, having affinities to the Kiras, who were the Indo-Mongoloids, inhabiting the Tibeto-Burman regions and the Himalayan and East Indian territories, the word Kirata being a derivation from kiranti or kirati, the name of a group of people in eastern Nepal.

In early Indian literature China is invariably shown to be connected with India by a land-route across the country of the Kiratas in the mountainous regions of the north. In the Vanaparvan of the Mahabharata the Pandava brothers are said to have crossed the country of the Cinas in course of their trek through the Himalayan territory north of Badri and reached the realm of the Kirata king Subahu. The Cinas are brought into intimate relationship with the Himalayan people (Haimavatas) in the Sabhaparvan also. The land of the Haimavatas is undoubtedly the Himavantappadesa of the Pali texts, which has been identified with Tibet or Nepal. In the Sasanavamsa this region is stated to be Cinarattha. Thus, it is clear that China was known to the Indians as lying across the Himalayas and was accordingly included in the Himalayan territories. In the Nagarjunikonda inscription of Virapurusdatta, China (Cina) is said to be lying in the Himalayas beyond Cilata or Kirata. These references to the proximity of China to the Himalayan regions, inhabited by the Kiratas, show that there were regular routes through the Tibeto-Burman territories, along which the Indians could reach China.

Some such land-route is implied in the remark of the Harsacarita of Banabhatta that Arjuna conquered the Hemakuta region after passing through Cina. Of course, the route across Central Asia is perhaps alluded to in the itinerary of Carudatta from the Indus Delta to China across the country of the Hunas and the Khasas, described in the Vasudevakindi, and there is probably a reference to the sea-route, passing through Vanga, Takkola and Suvarnadvipa, in the Milindapanho. But there is no doubt that in a large number of ancient Indian texts China is mentioned near the eastern Himalayan regions, through which regular routes, connecting this country with India, passed from fairly early times. It was along these routes that India came into contact with China for the first time and developed commercial relations with her, that are referred to by Chan K’ien in the second century B.C.

By sourya Jaiswal

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2019 by in HINDUISM SCIENCE and tagged , .

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