Sunday, October 28, 2012

China in the Mahabharata?



WikiMap of India during the 'Epics Period'


A passing reference caught my eye today. In an Indian Express op-ed article, a Chinese diplomat has graciously tried to counter the ongoing, angst-ridden analysis of the 1962 war by writing about the various interactions between India and China over the past 2000 years. One of his assertions was that the "famous Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata contain numerous references to China".

Really?

This was something completely new to me. In my limited understanding of history, I had always assumed that real cross-Himalayan interactions took place only after Buddhist monks started wandering with nomads and traders into Central Asia. The ostensible linkage between the epics and China  seemed so incredible...

Has there been any bonafide research on this subject? Google Scholar yeilded a few papers but they were for 'subscibers only'. Wikipedia has a page specifically on this topic with the stanzas that refer to China, but another page titled 'Chinas' is better referenced.

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LINKS / REFERENCES

* Xijun, Deng (2012): TWO MILLENIA STRONG, Indian Express, 28Oct12, url - http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/1022602/

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinas
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiratas
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