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History, Antiquity & Chronology of Hinduism




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by Jayaram V

The word Hinduism does not render full justice to the complexity of an ancient living religion that once dominated half of the world. Perhaps many Hindus may not even know what it actually means and what truly constitutes Hinduism. Hidden within its depths are very diverse traditions and religious practices that are often contradictory and unrelated. What truly holds them together is the fact that they originated in a particular geographical area and hold certain common basic beliefs  that are eternal, indisputable and validated by independent seekers of truth time and again.  Concepts such as karma, maya, reincarnation, existence of a universal self and individual self, nature or prakriti, bondage of the soul, suffering as nature of earthly life, the role of a guru, and the possibility of salvation for the individual soul make Hinduism a complex religion, that caters to a wide range of people with different spiritual needs. Some scholars contend that belief in the Vedas is a precondition to be recognized as a Hindu. However this is a debatable issue as some followers of Saivism and Tantrism believe in the Agamas instead of the Vedas and are still considered as Hindus.

Vedic and Non Vedic origin of Hinduism

It has been a long tradition in the academic circles to place Vedic religion at the center of Hinduism, considering it to be its main source and begin the discussion of the origin of Hinduism with the vedic Aryans. It is based on the assumption that the history of Hinduism began with the vedic Aryans who came to India in hordes, occupied large tracts of the Indian subcontinent and introduced an advanced religion to the native people of India. Based upon this premise and the possible age of the Rigveda they fix the origin of Hinduism to be around 2000 to 1500 BC. This theory, which was popularized by the European historians of the British era, is not only erroneous but misleading. It ignores the fact that before the Vedic people, the Indian subcontinent was populated by more advanced civilizations who followed various religious traditions of their own. We are not sure whether they were an earlier group of vedic people or non-vedic people or both and whether they were indigenous people or descended from different groups of earlier immigrants to India from Africa, Egypt and elsewhere around 8000 BC or even earlier. They practiced different rituals, worshipped various deities, aimed to control their minds and bodies through breathing and yogic practices and speculated upon complex analytical and speculative philosophies concerning the nature and origin of life, human suffering and deliverance. They coexisted along with vedic religion for several centuries before all the ancient beliefs and practices become integrated into one complex tradition which we recognize today as Hinduism. 

We are not sure how the integration happened. Archaeological evidence or even the pottery shreds of this period unearthed during excavations confirm neither large scale invasions nor political domination of a foreign race called Aryans. We have literary evidence that there were religious animosities and distrust among different religious groups and tribes, orchestrated by the priestly classes for personal or professional reasons, either to protect their own privileges or to undermine those of their competitors or to secure the favor of the local rulers; but there is hardly any evidence to suggest that they resorted to violence or warfare to settle such differences. The disputes were settled mostly in the royal courts, as it had been a long Indian tradition, in the presence of kings, their courtiers and scholars, through religious debates, poetic ability, scriptural authority or in exceptional cases, through the demonstration of supernatural powers and extraordinary physical or mental skills. The rulers patronized those who won such debates or their hearts and minds, while the defeated were banished into oblivion. The ancient Indian kings patronized different religious traditions, depending upon what suited them most or appealed to them most or in whom they believed. Each ruler usually employed a royal priest (rajaguru), whom he trusted and revered and who exercised influence on him. Probably in this manner the royal priests and the kings became the binding force for the coexistence and intermixture of diverse religious traditions. 

Whatever may be the process, surely it was Vedic religion which suffered most during the integration as it not only lost its original character but also compromised the status of its own gods. This is evident from the fact that present day Hinduism is hardly Vedic in character. Much of it is derived from other traditions and schools of thought such Saivism, Vaishnavism, Tantrism, Shaktism, Samkhya, Yoga and Vaisheshika. Its gods were replaced by more influential gods such as Vishnu, Siva, Rama, Krishna, Hanuman and Ganesha. Even the caste system underwent dramatic adjustments over a period of time as the nobility, administrative officials, feudal landlords and rich merchants of ordinary descent became important and influential sections of Hindu society. The vedic priests had to elevate the status of many sudra kings and foreign rulers to that of Kshatriyas in order to serve them and receive their patronage. Even the temple rituals and daily worship of gods with flowers and incense, borrowed from non-vedic traditions, gained precedence over the vedic rituals and sacrifices. The outward ritual was now replaced by the inner ritual of yoga and meditation and the Vedas yielded place to popular literature such as the epics, the Puranas and the teachings of the Bhagavadgita and Saiva Agamas. Just as the original Christianity underwent dramatic changes under the influence of Apostolic fathers, Roman emperors and ecumenical councils and is discernible vaguely in the present day Christianity, Vedism of the post Indus valley settlements underwent comprehensive transformation under the influence of other traditions and is presently reflected vaguely in certain aspects of Hinduism only. 

The Dominant Streams of Hinduism

The various traditions and practices of Hinduism can be grouped into the following categories. Knowledge of these will help us appreciate the difficulties involved in tracing the antiquity of Hinduism.

  • Rites and rituals. These include the daily sacrifices, the sacrificial ceremonies called Yajnas, the sacraments or rituals that are performed at various stages in the life of an individual. They constitute the karma kanda or the body of actions. They are essentially vedic in character and form part of Brahmanical traditions.
  • Spiritual practices. These are the contemplative and ascetic practices such as yoga, meditation, desireless actions, study of scriptures, fasting and celibacy. They are meant for achieving equanimity of the mind and inner purity through the purification and transformation of the body, the senses and the mind, cultivation of divine qualities and virtues, which would lead ultimately to self-realization and the union of the individual self with the highest Universal Self. They constitute the gnana kanda or the body of higher knowledge. Derived from various ascetic and non-vedic traditions and schools of philosophy such as the Ajivikas, the Kesins, the Sramanas, the Jinas, the Samkhyas, the Vedantins, the Bhagavatas, the Yogis, the Pasupathas and so on, they are known as ascetic traditions.
  • Devotional practices. These include prayer, worship (puja), devotional singing, temple worship, congregational worship (satsang), making offerings, sacrifices and so on. Most of these practices such as puja, devotional singing and the temple worship are non-vedic in character. They are derived mostly from Saiva and Vaishnava traditions. These constitute the popular traditions.
  • Folk religion and animism: These are the rural and tribal traditions that have been incorporated into Hinduism through assimilation. These include the practice of worshipping trees, snake stones, legendary figures, local heroes, village and forest deities, offering of animal sacrifices and invocation of local and ancestral spirits. In its long history, many local deities were absorbed into the Hindu pantheon as different aspects of some prominent gods and goddesses such as Vishnu, Siva and Durga. These are generally known as local traditions and integration of them into Hinduism is probably what, according to Urantia Book (discussed elsewhere in this article), contributed to the weakness of Hinduism.
  • Sectarian movements. These are movements that can be truly recognized as individual religions in their own right but have become part of Hinduism over a long period of time due to various reasons. They include Saivism, Vaishnavism, Tantrism and Shaktism. There are sub sects within each of these main sects, supported by various schools of philosophy, which makes Hinduism such a complex religion, difficult to understand. We are not sure how these traditions came into existence. According to one school of thought they were non-vedic traditions and according to another they were probably traditions of an earlier group of Aryans who became localized by the time the second wave of Aryans rose to prominence.
  • The Tradition of Gurus. These comprise the teachings of several lineages or paramparas of successive generations of Hindu gurus, seers and enlightened masters who played a vital role in the continuation and evolution of Hinduism or its sectarian movements in the face of serious challenges from organized religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity. The Alvars and Nayanars  and eminent religious figures like Agasthya, Vashishta, Vishwamitra,  Kapila, Gosala, Lakulisa, Ashtravakra, Gaudapada, Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhavacharya, Chaitanya and others form part of this tradition. Their teachings, lives and activities enriched Hinduism and Hindu literature, downplayed the caste system and ritualism and contributed to the popularity of Hinduism in different parts of the world as a religion of the common man.
  • Foreign influences. Traces of Greek, Egyptian, Persian and Sumerian  influences can be seen in Hinduism due to trade contacts and invasion of foreigners. Hinduism was also influenced by the developments within  other religions like Zoroastrianism, Jainism and Buddhism. Contact and confrontation with Islam and Christianity led to new developments and reform movements within Hinduism which invigorated the religion and renewed it afresh for the modern world.
  • Hindu traditions outside India. Between 200 AD and 600 AD Hinduism spread to such countries as Burma, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines. While in most of these countries Hinduism disappeared, it is still practiced in some areas there by people who consider themselves to be Hindus. Over these centuries these traditions that exist outside India acquired certain distinct features of their own and differ in some respects from the mainstream Hinduism.  However they are still part of Hindu tradition and their study is important in our understanding of the evolution of Hinduism as a world religion. 
Antiquity of Hinduism According to the Puranas and the Epics

The Puranas are believed to be more ancient than the Vedas and reflect the true antiquity of Hinduism, providing valuable information on a wide spectrum of sectarian movements like Vaishnavism, Saivism and Tantrism, which truly characterize the present day mainstream Hinduism. According to Hindu Puranas, God in his aspect as Narayana (He who inhabits the waters) creates a Manu, or progenitor of human beings, for each great epoch of man called manvantara. The current Manu, Vaivasvat is the seventh in line. Each manvantara spans about 60487 human years. When you multiply it with 71.42, the resulting number constitutes the life span of gods1. The Puranas mention a great flood which inundated the entire earth, during which God in the form of a fish rescued the current Manu in a boat and placed it on the top of a mountain. This Manu, like the Biblical Noah, fathered the present human race. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the oldest and the greatest epics of Hinduism. Historians interpret the age of the epics variously. Based on the astronomical data some historians place their origin around 4000 BC, while based on literary evidence some trace their origin to the age of the Sutras which followed the vedic period but preceded the birth of Buddhism. While the Puranas and the epics suggest a very remote antiquity of Hinduism dating back to prehistoric times, they do not suggest a definite time frame that can be corroborated by other evidence, nor relied upon for academic research.

Antiquity of Hinduism According to Occult Sources

Occult and paranormal sources trace the origin of Hinduism to very remote times, even to the period of Atlantis. Madam Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society and author of many occult works, believed in the remote antiquity and the universal appeal of Hinduism. In her book Isis Unveiled 2, she writes that India was the cradle of human civilization and that the ancestors of Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian people were emigrant Indians on their way to Asia Minor. They probably lived in India or Sri Lanka. She also states that "Siva and the Palestinian Baal, or Moloch, and Saturn are identical; that Abraham is held until the present day by the Mahometan Arabs as Saturn in the Kaaba; that Abraham and Israel were names of Saturn." She further affirms, 

"That it is to India, the country less explored, and less known than any other, that all the other great nations of the world are indebted for their languages, arts, legislature, and civilization. Its progress, impeded for a few centuries before our era -- for, as this writer shows, at the epoch of the great Macedonian conqueror, "India had already passed the period of her splendor" -- was completely stifled in the subsequent ages. But the evidence of her past glories lies in her literature. What people in all the world can boast of such a literature, which, were the Sanscrit less difficult, would be more studied than now?" 

Regarding Manusmriti, the ancient law book of Hindus, she writes in the following manner. 

"According to computation we are now in the age of Kali-Yug, the third, reckoning from that of Satya or Kritayug, first age in which Hindu tradition establishes the laws of Manu, and the authenticity of which Sir William Jones implicitly accepted. Admitting all that may be said as to the enormous exaggerations of Hindu chronology -- which, by the bye, dovetails far better with modern geology and anthropology than the 6,000 years' caricature chronology of the Jewish Scripture -- still as about 4,500 years have elapsed since the fourth age of the world, or Kali-Yug, began, we have here a proof that one of the greatest Orientalists that ever lived -- and a Christian in the bargain, not a Theosophist -- believed that Manu is many thousand years older than Moses. Clearly one of two things should happen: Either Indian history should be remodelled for the Presbyterian Banner, or the writers for that sheet should study Hindu literature before trying their hand again at criticism of Theosophists."

Blavatsky's conception of India however extends much beyond the geographical boundaries of the Indian subcontinent. It is India not of modern times but of the prehistoric period. "In those ancient times countries which are now known to us by other names were all called India. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, the latter of which is now Persia-Iran. The countries now named Thibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary, were also considered by the ancient writers as India."

Another interesting occult source of information about the antiquity of Hinduism, which is rooted in the Christian concepts of God and Jesus is the Urantia Book. It contains some 2097 pages of the revelation of the cosmos, believed to have been communicated psychically to the people of Urantia (the earth) by intelligent cosmic entities, delivered in 1934 in the form of 196 papers, through a mysterious process of communication, to an American named Bill Sadler. Exhaustive in their content, clinical and analytical in their description and detail, the Urantia papers etch a science fiction image of a vast and unending cosmology consisting of central and super universes called the Paradise and the local universe with some 600 hundred of planetary systems, inhabited by different beings and ruled by a hierarchy of spiritual entities, of which the Urantia or the earth is one. According to the papers, it was visited several hundreds of years ago by Jesus, one of the Creator Sons, in his seventh incarnation whose crucifixion and sudden departure was unnecessary and unwarranted. It speaks of God, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, three different Trinities and several paradise sons, creator sons, magisterial sons and ascending sons of God. They prepare the planets over long periods of time before they become suitable for habitation and celestial administration.

The Urantia Book traces the history of India to as early as 20,000 BC and declares that India had the "most heterogeneous race mixture ever to exist on Urantia." According to its chronology, in about 16,000 BC. a group of 100 Sethite priests entered India and very nearly achieved the religious conquest of the western half of the subcontinent. "But their religion did not persist. Within five thousand years their doctrines of the Paradise Trinity had degenerated into the triune symbol of the fire god." The revelations further declare that, " But for more than seven thousand years, down to the end of the Andite3 migrations, the religious status of the inhabitants of India was far above that of the world at large. During these times India bid fair to produce the leading cultural, religious, philosophic, and commercial civilization of the world. And but for the complete submergence of the Andites3  by the people of the south, this destiny would have been realized." 

The Urantia books speaks of two waves of Andite  invasion into India, of which the first was that of the Dravidians and the second of the Vedic Aryans. These groups inter mixed and they in turn intermixed with the local tribes and inferior religions of the south, which, according to Urantia, resulted in the downfall of the civilization. Because of this intermixture of races, "India failed to produce the high civilization which had been foreshadowed in earlier times." The Urantia revelations predict that "some day a greater Gautama may arise to lead all India in the search for the living God, and then the world will observe fruition of the cultural potentialities of a versatile people so long comatose under the benumbing influence of an unprogressing spiritual vision."

The Lemurian Scrolls, Angelic Prophecies Revealing Human origins,4 is another interesting source of information on the origin of Hinduism in the evolutionary process of the earth as a habitable planet over a span of the four great yugas starting with the Satyuga. It was read by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami from the akashic library and recorded for the benefit of humanity. It speaks of the pilgrimage of the souls from the Pleaides and other planets to the planet earth during the early stages of its formation, preparation of the earth atmosphere, the descent of the soul into gross bodies, emergence of first temples, monastery culture, existence of the secret order of  Masters and the spiritual awakening that awaits us all. 

Thus though they vary in content and approach, these occult sources of incredible foresight and vision, speak of the antiquity of Hinduism stretching back to several thousands of years and connected with the origin of human race itself upon earth. While Madam Blavatsky considers India to be the cradle of human civilization, the Urantia papers consider that a race of people known as Andites migrated to the country. Scholars like N.S.Rajaram, George Fuerstein, Subhash Kak 5 and David Frawley support the view that India was indeed the cradle of human civilization and that people migrated in waves to different parts of the world from the Indian subcontinent. Discovery of some early European civilizations and evidence of ancient India's trade links with Eastern Africa and Central America before 2500 BC lends credibility to this argument. Probably more evidence needs to be gathered through genetic studies to prove or disprove this theory. 

Antiquity of Hinduism According to Historical Sources

Historians vary widely with regard to the chronology of Hinduism. Max Mueller who popularized the theory of Aryan invasion, and considered much of the Vedas to be meaningless twaddle, suggested the age of the Rigveda to be around 1200 BC and that of the Aranyakas and the Upanishads around 600 BC.  According to Prof. Jacobi, the vedic civilization flourished between 4500 BC and 2000 BC. while Dr.Winternitz proposed that the vedic period extended from around 2000 or 2500 BC to some period between 700 BC and 500 BC.    Based on his archeological studies, James G. Schaffer concluded that between 5000 BC and 2600 BC the Indian pottery and other artifacts acquired distinct regional character, followed by a period of urbanization between 2600 and 1900 BC during which the settlements of Indus valley civilization rose to prominence. B.G.Tilak studied the position of Pleiades in the constellation as per the descriptions of the Rigveda and determined the age of the early Rigvedic hymns to be about 6500 BC. S. P. Gupta, an Indian archeologists, and others noted that beginning from 8000 BC there was no indication of any major invasions or demographic change in the Indian subcontinent. The clay tablets found in the archives of capital of ancient Hittite kingdom belonging to 1500 BC, which mention the names of some vedic gods like Varuna, Mitra and Indra, suggest to the rationale conclusion that  the vedic texts in any case could not have been composed after 1500 BC. Prof. N.S.Rajaraman 6 studied the chronology of some legendary kings and personalities from the Vedas and the Puranas  and proposed the following chronology of ancient India. We have already mentioned earlier that he along with other scholars proposed the theory that India was the cradle of human civilization. As can be seen below, he places the vedic civilization much before the Indus valley civilization.

  • 4500 BC: Victory of Mandhatri over Drohyus as mentioned in the Puranas- 4500 BC
  • 4000 BC: Composition of the Rigveda Mandalas 2-9 
  • 3700 BC: Battle of ten kings, aryanization of the south by sage Agasthya and composition of the Ramayana by his brother Vashishta.
  • 3600 BC: Composition of the Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda
  • 3100 BC: The incarnation of Krishna, the period of the Mahabharata war and composition of the Mahabharata by Vyasa.
  • 3000 BC: Composition of Satapatha Brahmana, Sulvasutras, Yajnavalkyasutras, Ashtadhyayi of Panini and Nirukta of Yaksha.
  • 2900 BC: Rise of Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Indus valley civilizations.
  • 2200 BC: Decline of Harappa
  • 2000 BC: End of vedic age
  • 2000 BC: end of Harappa

From a historical perspective, the antiquity and chronology of Hinduism can be traced, if at all, on the basis of the following studies.

  1. Prehistoric civilizations and their religious beliefs.
  2. Origin and history of Dravidians
  3. Origin and history of Indus valley civilization.
  4. Origin and history of the vedic civilization
  5. Origin and history of sectarian movements, independent religions and ascetic traditions
  6. Comprehensive and research oriented studies of regional, linguistic and racial groups and tribal communities from social, historical , religious and  anthropological perspective.
  7. Study of inscriptions, accounts of foreign travelers, ancient monuments, coins and other archaeological finds.
  8. DNA studies and other biological and genetic research that would trace the migration of people based on their blood groups, genetic variations and DNA structure.

However, even after a comprehensive research and analysis of diverse sources, for lack of reliable data and absence of written records, it might be almost impossible to arrive at a definite chronology of Hinduism. The diversity of Hinduism and the fact that it evolved from various independent traditions make the task very daunting. Besides deep rooted racial and religious prejudices would deter historians from serious research or accepting any views that would place India at the center of world history or challenge the supremacy of Greco Roman and Judean civilizations or the current approaches to ancient world history. The best we can do, under the circumstances,  is to state what we know and let the people draw their own conclusions. 

Based on a wide range of interpretations by various historians, we present below a tentative chronology of possible key periods of Hinduism in the remote past. Instead of a definite time for each key event, we have suggested a possible time frame, or a period, during which the suggested event might have taken place. This chronology assumes that some of the traditions evolved simultaneously or in close proximity to one another, rather than one after another, before they became integrated into the main stream of what we call today as Hinduism. These periods are not etched in stone and are neither definitive nor indisputable. They are meant to present an overview of the possible manner in which Hinduism might have progressed from one milestone to another and emerged as one of the most dominant religions of the ancient world.

  1. Paleolithic age 35000 BC to 10000 BC
  2. Neolithic age 10000 BC to 5000 BC
  3. Beginnings of Dravidian civilization 7000 BC to 6000 BC
  4. Beginnings of Indus valley civilization 6000 BC to 5000 BC
  5. Beginnings of early ascetic traditions, fertility cults and some early sects of Saivism 6000 BC to 5000 BC
  6. Beginnings of Vedic civilization 6000 BC to 5000 BC
  7. The rise of Siva, Vishnu, Shakti and decline of vedic gods 4000 BC to 3500 BC
  8. The beginnings of Samkhya and some rudimentary practices of yoga 5000 BC to 3500 BC.
  9. The Beginnings of integration and formation of composite Brahmanical or Hindu culture. 4500 BC to 3500 BC.
  10. The possible period of the epic stories 3500 BC to 3000 BC
  11. The end of Indus valley civilization 2000 BC to 1500 BC
  12. The end of Vedic supremacy and rise of Jainism 1500 BC
  13. Rise of Magadhan empire and other monarchies 1200 BC to 800 BC
  14. Arrival of Buddhism and resurgence of Jainism 650 BC to 500 BC
  15. Resurgence of Vaishnavism and Saivism to counter the new religions, the rise of Bhakti movement, revival of the Bhagavadgita, Patanjali's Yogasutras, Vedanta sutras , theistic Samkhya and the early notions of monism and qualified monism, temple traditions and image worship.  500 BC to 100 AD.
  16. Brahmanical reaction against the Mauryan religious policies 200 BC to 75 BC.
  17. Revitalization of Hinduism under the Satavahanas, the Nagas and the Guptas 200 BC to 500 AD.
  18. Decline of Buddhism in ancient India 600 AD to 800 AD.
  19. Expansion of Hindu empires7 in South East Asia  200 AD to 600 AD.
Conclusion

Although there is no definitive information about the antiquity of Hinduism which can be conclusively and scientifically established, it is  beyond doubt that Hinduism is the world's oldest and largest living religion. The History of Hinduism is so intricately associated with primitive cultures and prehistoric civilizations that its history is very much associated with the history of the people who lived in India, Mesopotamia, central Asia, parts of Africa and probably the Americas, long before the pyramids were raised or Moses led his people across the Sinai desert. Whether the ancient people migrated out of India to distant lands or migrated to India from elsewhere  does not matter as much as whether they were connected in some way in the remote past and shared some common beliefs, practices and traditions, because, if we set aside our petty religious, racial and communal prejudices, such a finding should strengthen the feelings of universal brotherhood and the underlying unity of the mankind cutting across all political, cultural, racial, religious, linguistic and social barriers. God exists in all and selects different measures for different people. It does not matter whether He executed His plan first in Asia or India or Europe. What matters most is that He revealed Himself to us in many meaningful ways so that we can abide in Him, without questioning His ways or methods and without claiming our racial, moral or religious superiority or exclusivity over others. If any it should teach us humility and our inability to know the truth by means other than what the senses can convey and the mind can comprehend.

A comprehensive study of the antiquity of Hinduism leaves no doubt that hidden in its depths are traces of the earliest human civilizations lost to history. Hinduism is also the first religion to conceive of an Absolute God, creator of not one but innumerable worlds in multiple dimensions and planes of existence, spanning across a gigantic universe of unfathomable dimensions and a time frame that stretches over billions of years comparable to the modern calculations of the age of the universe. A study of the time cycle of Hindu calendar suggests that a day of Brahman corresponds to about 34.2 billion years, while the life span of gods about 4.2 billion years. These vast stretches of time and the fact that time in Hinduism is not linear but relative to space, time and level of consciousness, moving when viewed with mind and senses and unmoving when we transcend the mind, endless when viewed from the logical perspective and nonexistent in the absolute consciousness of God, reminds one of the modern scientific theories about time, the age of the universe and of our planetary system.

 

Suggested Further Reading

 

Footnotes

1. From the descriptions of Lingapurana as presented by Alan Danielou in his book While the Gods Play.

2. Isis Unveiled, Chapter 15: India (575 - 628) the Cradle of the Races

3. (a race of people different from another race known as Adamites)

4. You can read the lemurian scrolls online from here or purchase the book for your detailed study from here.

5. The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda, 1994,  by Subhash. K. Kak

6. The Puzzle of Origins, New Researches in the History of Mathematics and Ecology by N.S.Rajaram.

7. Hindu kingdoms were established in various parts of South East Asia in present day countries like Indonesia, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Thailand, Myamnar and Philippines. Large Hindu empires were established in Champa (Annam), Java (Yavadvipa), Borneo (Varunadvipa), Bali (Balidvipa), Siam (Thailand) and Malaya Peninsula. Most powerful of the far eastern empires were Sri-Vijaya and Sailendra empires. Rajendra Chola attacked the Sailendra empire with a great naval fleet in 1025 AD and occupied several territories. His successors collected taxes from the rulers of Sailendra empire as a token of their imperial power.

 

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