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10000-7000 BCE

Early phase of the Vedic tradition in India (see Note 1).

10000-7000 BCE

Coronation of Emperor Sage Vaivasvata Manu, the founder of the Vedicculture, believed to be the first king of the human race. Manu's date is fixed by the position of the Sapta Rishi (Ursa Major or the Great Bear) in his days as recorded in Hindu scriptures. He founded the Vedic culture between the banks of the ancient Saraswati and Drishadvati rivers.

6000-1500 BCE

Early Rig Vedic hymns were composed

4750 BCE

Period of Lord Rama and Sage Valmiki

3112 BCE

Lord Krishna was born at midnight on Friday, July 27, 3112 BCE. This date and time has been calculated by astronomers on the basis of the planetary positions on that day as recorded by Sage Vyasa

3067 BCE

The Mahabharata war took place on November 22, 3067 BCE. This date has been calculated by astronomers on the basis of the planetary positions on that day as recorded by sage Vyasa

2600-1900 BCE

The Indus Valley civilization flourished in India. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were two major centers of this ancient culture


Later Vedas, Brabmanas & Aranyakas, were developed.

700-300���� BCE

Upanisbads were composed.

700-200���� BCE

The Philosophical Sutras (basic texts for Sankhya, Nyaya, and Vaiseshika systems of philosophy) were developed.

599-527��� BCE

Jainism was taught by Mahavira.

550-480�� BCE

Gautama Buddha founded and preached Buddhism

500-300�� BCE

The Bhagavad Gita was compiled

500-200�� BCE

The Brahma Sutra was developed by Sage Badarayana

BCE 500-200 AD

The early versions of the Ramayana were composed.

BCE 500 Ca.

Panini developed Sanskrit grammar.

BCE 300-200 AD

The Mahabharata and Manu Smriti were compiled.


Hindu culture flourished under the Gupta empire (see Note 2).


Puranas and Tantras were developed.


Kalidasa, a famous poet, developed Sanskrit literature.


Aryabhata, a famous mathematician, astronomer and founder of the decimal system made many discoveries. For example, he suggested that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun.


Varahamihira, a famous astronomer, made discoveries (see Note 3).


Adi Shankaracharya, a medieval sage known for his spiritual and intellectual genius, taught Advaita (non-dualism) Vedanta philosophy. His dynamic teachings demolished the influence of Buddhism in India and contributed to the rapid revival of Hinduism


Great temples were constructed, bronze castings were produced, and beautiful bronze statues of gods and goddesses were built under the Chola dynasty that ruled much of South India.


Ramanujacharya expounded Visishtadvaita Vedanta.


Madhvacharya taught Dvaita (dualism) Vedanta.

1380- 1460

Kabir, a famous mystic poet, popularized the bhakti (devotion) movement ofHinduism

1469- 1538

Guru Nanak, a famous Saint, found Sikhism.


Surdas, a renowned poet, contribtued to the revival of devotionalism

1486 - 15 33

Chaitanya, the most revered Vaishnava saint and believed to be an incarnation (avatara) of the Divine, revived the bhakti movement of Hinduism.

1498 - 1546

Mira Bai, a famous female poet saint, strengthened the bhakti tradition.

1503 - 1623

Tulsi Das, one of the popular mystic poets, composed the Hindi version of Ramayana and influenced Hindu devotionalism.

1774 - 1833

Ram Mohan Roy, a social and religious reformer, established Brahmo Samaj (see Note 4).

1824 - 1883

Swami Dayananda founded Arya Samaj in 1875 (see Note 5).

1836 - 1886

Paramahamsa Sri Ramakrishna, the most revered sage who is now worshipped as an avatara, expounded the Vedanta philosophy (see Note 6).

1863 - 1902

Swami Vivekananda, the foremost disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, taught Vedanta philosophy in India and outside India (see Note 7).

1869 - 1948

M. K. Gandhi, an apostle of peace and non-violence, preached the Hindu doctrine of ahimnsa (non-violence).

1872 - 1950

Sri Aurobindo Ghose, a philosopher, poet, and a yogi, taught Integral Yoga for the evolution of human consciousness and transformation of the physical world.


Sri Ramana Maharshi, a famous sage of modern times, expounded the teachings of the Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta. Through the writings of his Western disciples, especially Paul Brunton, Advaita Vedanta became popular in the western world. The book A Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton made Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings widely known outside India.

1888- 1975

Through his numerous scholarly and authoritative writings, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a philosopher, statesman, and the second President of India, interpreted the classical Hindu Religious thought (Vedanta) in the light of the modern world. He viewed Hinduism as a way of life," the most successful of all the ways, and thus superior to all others. Two of his popular works are: The Hindu View of Life (1926) and his notable introduction and commentary on the Bhadavad Gita


The World Parliament of Religions was held in Chicago, where Swami Vivekananda introduced the Vedanta philosophy to the Western world


Paramahansa Yogananda brought the perennial wisdom of the Vedas to the West. He came to the U.S. in 1920, and in 1925 established the Self-Realization Fellowship International Headquarters in Los Angeles, California, for the worldwide dissemination of the ancient science of Kriya Yoga and meditation (see also Glossary).


1.      According to the Aryan invasion theory (see Chapter 39), nomadic Indo-European tribes (known as Aryans) from Central Asia invaded India around 1500-1000 BCE, de�stroyed an earlier and more advanced Indus Valley civiliza�tion, and established a new culture that came to be known as the Vedic culture. The theory of the Aryan invasion may have been propounded for political and religious reasons by twentieth century Western scholars, who were mostly Chris�tians. This theory is rejected by Hindu scholars who, on the basis of literary and archaeological evidence, believe that the Vedic culture is eight to ten thousand years old and that the Indus Valley civilization was an offshoot of the same culture. Based upon current archaeological evidence, even Western scholars are now beginning to call the Aryan invasion theory into question. Refer to Chapter 39 for a detailed discussion of the myth of the Aryan invasion theory.

2.      The Gupta empire is also called the Golden age of Hindu culture. During this period large temples were built; sculp�tures and paintings were produced; and great discoveries were made in the fields of science, mathematics, and astron�omy. Kalidasa, the great poet and playwright, composed the classics of Sanskrit literature. This was the period of the famous mathematicians and astronomers, such as Aryabhata and Varahamihira.

3.      Varahamihira is the author of many astronomical works, including Brhatsamhita (Great Compendium) that explains the astronomical influence of heavenly bodies on human behavior.

4.      Ram Mohan Roy, a social and religious reformer (some�times called the "father of modern India"), founded Brhamo Samaj to rectify social abuses, such as the early marriage of girls, denial of widow remarriage, and denial of equal rights

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