V.S. Misra was born in May 1925 in Kanpur. Uttar Pradesh, India. After Completing secondary of education in Kanpur. He joined University of Allahabad and passed M.Sc. with specialization in Nuclear Physics in 1946. He appeared in the Combined Civil Service in 1948. During his official carrier he has served in different capacities in the Ministry of Railways Planning Commission. Ministry of Steel Minces, and Heavy Engineering and Ministry of Commerce besides being on deputation to Economic Community Brussels. After retirement from service, he was worked as Senior Consultant to Indian Council of Research in international Economic Relations and Executive Secretary, Board of Control of Cricket in Indian. His interest in Ancient Indian History dates to 1946 when he was preparing foe the civil Services Examination.
Political aspects of the history of ancient India has so far, been a comparatively neglected subject. Even the most advance and comprehensive texts on the history of ancient Indian, after starting with the "Stone Age" and covering thousands of years almost in a vacuum, abruptly enter the period relating to the civilization of Indus Valley, Baluchistan and adjoining regions. Thereafter, they declare a dark period before transcending into the Aryan invasion of India. In their narration dealing with the earliest stage there is understandably no reference at all to political history. During the period of Indus Valley civilization and related cultures, the allusions to political matters are practically non-existents and the inferences are rather incoherent and even ad hoc such as so-called destruction of these civilization by the Aryan invaders. While this hypothesis itself is a subject of controversy, there is no agreement yet even on the basic question whether these civilization of west Asia are still to be established even in general terms let alone with reference to an acceptable time frame. Another issue, which is yet to be settled is whether Indus valley civilization was an outpost of west Asian civilization or vice verse or both had independent origins. Who were the founding fathers of this civilization Aryans of this civilization-Aryans or Dravidians or some others? Who were the Asuras so frequently mentioned in the puranic and Vedic literature? Where were their kingdom located? Were Asuras and the people of Indus/Sarasvati valley different or one and the same? The scholars do not agree on the classification of the language in use in daily life and literary purposes in this civilization -was it Sanskrit or Vedic or its another archaic version or a totally different one altogether? Many scholars claim to have deciphered the script appearing in the seals etc discovered during excavations but it would be appropriate to quote Dr. B. B. Lal, the premier archaeologist of India when he says "no two scholars agree on a similar reading of the same inscription". Unfortunately some of these issues have not even taken up for serious research.
2even While dealing with the Aryans the coverage of political events is scanty the exception being a reference to the "Battle of Ten Kings" and mere mention of the names of a few kings without identifying their ancestors or successors or even the regions where they ruled. The allusions to the political events are based exclusively on the material furnished by the Vedic literature. In early days the normal assumption by the western scholars and their Indian admirers was that the "real history of ancient Indian" begins with the invasion of Alexander of Macedonia. Even now the political history of his period makes its first appearance in the "comprehensive texts" with the mention of 16 Mahajanpandas and their rulers the prominent among them being Bimbisara of Magadha Chanda Mahasena Pradyota of Avanti prasenajit of Koshala and Shatanika of Vatsa who were all contemporaries of Buddha and Mahavira. The most unfortunate and erroneous impression which even these text tend to create is that the Aryans after crossing into india from north-west preferred to remain apolitical in a stateless society and confined themselves to the compilation of Samhitas, Brahamanas Aranyakas Srauta sutras Upanisandas etc. and that the emergence of the empires of Magadha Avanti, Koshala, Vatsa and others may be reckoned as sudden events happening out of the blue without any political events or developments having taken place prior to that period on the soils of Magadha, Avanti etc. this hypothesis is however completely at variance with the actual situation prevailing in India even prior to 6th century B.C. it is an accepted fact that 16 Mahajanpadas with a highly developed political infrastructure existed in Indian prior extending from Kamboja to Anga, Avanti Sindhu-Sindhu and Ashmaka. These Mahajanpadas could not have emerged on the soil of India suddenly just prior to the birth of Buddha. Each one of them must have had a long history of political developments behind them extending over several centuries. The basic question as o how the Aryans extended their rule from the north-west to the east and to central and western regions of the country remains totally unexplained and unanswered in these texts and his should certainly be deemed as a major lacuna.
3 It could perhaps be argued that the coverage of political events is inhibited by the dearth of historical material available in India. While it is true that the ancient India has not bequeathed to us any historical works on the Greek or the Roman pattern, there remains a vast amount of historical material in the ancient Indian literature which could be profitably and legitimately deployed for presenting a coordinated political history of ancient India, as the sequel would convincingly establish.
4Vedic literature such as Rig Veda, Atharva Veda Brahmanas, Aranyakas Upanisadas etc. do furnish some historical information relating to Pre-Buddha period. The oldest of these, Rig Veda contains historical references of which some even record contemporary persons and events but many more refer to bygone times and persons. This literature testifies to the existence of the kings kingdoms and their dynasties. For instance, Vedic literature mentions the names of a number of kings e.g. Manu Vaivasvata, Pururavas, Ayu, Nahusa, Yayati, Yadu, Turvasa, Druhyu, Anu, Puru, Bharata, Suhotra, Ajamidha, Dhrtarastra, Mandhatr, Ikshvaku, Purukutsa, Harishchandra etc, -just to name a few - without, however, presenting any detailed accounts of these kings and their dynasties because it confines itself to religious and priestly affairs and notice is taken of political events and occurrences only incidentally insofar as they as they had a bearing on religious affairs. In fact, M.B.U 1:4 gives a list of famous kings including Kuvalyashava, Yauvanashva, Sudyumna Vadhryashva, Shasabindu, Harishchandra, Ambarisa, Nahusa Sharyati, Yayati Marutta, Bharata etc. S.B. VII: 21: 39: 7 also mentions the names of some great kings such as Janamejaya, Parikshit, Sharyata Sudasa, Marutta Avikshita Bharata, etc. it must however be borne in mind that Vedic hymns celebrate not really all the great kings but only those who specially favored and enriched the Rsis. It is, therefore not surprising that allusions to the kings and their dynasties as also political events are few and far between in the Vedic literature and there is not even a mention therein of several great kings like Rama Dasharathi, Sagara etc. who are lauded in the Puranas.
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