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The Bhagavad Gita  


The Bhagavad Gita comprises the sixth book, and is the central component, of the Mahabharata. Because it centers on the struggles between kings and princes, the Mahabharata can be read as a ... More

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad  


A diverse set of writings, the Upanishads were thought to convey secret knowledge and serve as the vedanta, or fulfillment, of the Vedic tradition. Among these documents are the Aranyakas ... More

Cosmas Indicopleustes (Cosmas The India-Voyager), Christian Topography  


This remarkable account of a merchant’s travels throughout Eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India resulted from the singular obsession of a monk in retirement. Determined to prove ... More

The Duties of Government Superintendents  


Kautilya was a political advisor to the first Mauryan king, Chandragupta Maurya, who in c. 321 BCE. created a vast empire across northern India. Kautilya wrote this treatise to guide ... More

Rock and Pillar Edicts  


Asoka (304–232 BCE) was third king of the Mauryan dynasty. After taking the throne, he initially pursued the expansionist policies of his father Bindusara and his grandfather Chandragupta ... More

The Seven Pillar Edicts of King Ashoka  


The third of the Mauryan kings, Ashoka ruled a vast empire throughout the Indian subcontinent in the period 273–231 BCE. His abrupt conversion to Buddhism in 260 led him to govern according ... More