Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hamida Banu Begam

Maryam-i Makani Hamida Banu Begam, popularly known as  Hamida Banu Begam, was the mother of the greatest  Mughal emperor Akbar and wife of second Mughal emperor Humayun who fell in love with her while he was at his brother Hindal’s camp during his wanderings as a fugitive. 
Hamida Banu Begam was daughter of Shaikh Ali Ambar Jaini, who had been a tutor to Hindal. She married Humayun in early 1942 and became mother of Akbar in November 1542 AD. 

Humayun-Nama of Gulbadan Begam

Humayun-Nama was written by Babur's daughter and Humayun’s half- sister, Gulbadan Begam, who stayed with the greatest Mughal Emperor Akbar, son and successor of Humayun, from 1556 to 1603 at Agra.  
Written at the instance of Akbar, Humayun-Nama, which contains Gulbadan’s personal reminiscences of her father and brother, was composed between 1580 and 1590 A. D.

Humayun-Nama was translated into English by Mrs. Beveridge.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bhadrabahu, The Jaina Teacher

Bhadrabahu was the Jaina monk under whose leadership , due to a serious famine at the end of Mauryan emperor Chandragupta’s reign, a large Jaina monks migrated from Magadha  to Sarvanabelgola in Karnataka at the close of the fourth century BC. These monks set up important centres of Jainism in Deccan.

Out of this exodus arose the famous split of Jainism into two sects, namely the Digamabaras (“Space-clad”, i.e. naked) and Shvetambaras (“white clad”).

While Bhadrabahu insisted that his followers should not wear clothes thereby retaining the rule of Nudity established by the Jaina founder Mahavira, Sthulabhadra,,who remained in the North (Magadha), allowed the monks to wear white clothes.

Bharata; Author of Natyashastra

Natyashastra is the earliest surviving Indian textbook on three arts of drama, music and dancing.  It was composed in the later centuries of the Christian era by an anonymous writer who in accordance with the custom of the time, attributed the work to the ancient sage Bharata. 

Still today the best modern Indian dancers according to the rules laid down in Natyashastra.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Avvaiyar Early Tamil Poetess

Avvaiyar was an early Tamil poetess in Ancient India. Her works are known for their literary merit.

Aryabhata: Astronomer and Mathematician of Ancient India

Born in the second half of the fifth century AD, Aryabhata was a top astronomer and mathematician of the Gupta times in ancient India. He suggested that the earth revolved around the sun and rotated on its axis. 

He was the first to have the knowledge of zero. It can be said with certainty that knowledge of mathematics in the Gupta period was more advanced than that reached by any other country of antiquity.

Aryabhata, was the author of Aryabhatiya which was written in 499 AD

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Minhaj-us-Siraj Author of Tabaqat-i-Nasiri

Minhaj-ud-din Abu Uraar bin Siraj-ud-din al-Juzjani, popularly known as Minhaj-us-Siraj  was a medieval historian who was patronized by Slave Sultan Nasir-ud-din Mahmud to whom he dedicated his magnum opus Tabaqat-i-Nasiri.

Since Siraj held the high office of the Chief Qazi of Delhi to which he was appointed by Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, it is natural that Tabaqat-i-Nasiri gives a first hand account of the historical eventa from the conquest of Delhi by Muhammad of Ghur  up to the year 1260 AD.

Siraj was temporarily removed from the post of Chief Qazi from 1253 to 1255 when. when a section of nobles induced the Sultan to send his prime minister Balban, into exile. 
Tabaqat-i-Nasiri has been translated into English by Raverty.  


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