Why does Indian culture seem so rich, even though there are no reliable sources of information past 1500 BC?

The temples are intricate. The holy books are ridiculously detailed. There are plenty of dance forms, art forms, music, plays etc that have not only survived, but are thriving in today’s mainstream. India’s culture seems so rich, yet there’s little that we know about it! Why is this so?


Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:

India’s culture does not merely ‘seem so rich’…it is in fact a lot richer than anything anyone can imagine 🙂

The earliest recorded written script from the Indian subcontinent is the Indus script (3500 – 1900BC), but this was basically a set of symbols that have not yet been deciphered completely. A language with a corresponding ‘decipherable’ script came into being much later. So until then, all the stories, the mantras, the scientific theories, the studies of art and archery, the science of warfare, medicine, law, business…basically everything…was instructed verbally. This was done through the gurukul system of education where children spent their childhood at the gurukul or a residential school under the tutelage of a learned teacher.

A while ago, somebody had asked a question about where the original Vedic texts are kept. This is my answer – Raakhee Venugopal’s answer to Where are the original Hindu vedic text kept? This shows that our past is much older than what has been ‘documented’ per se.

A lot of people, however, believe only what has been documented. While some others believe only what has been documented in the modern age. Anything dating before that would be classified as ‘mythology’, as there is no ‘written proof’. This is why most of the history of India has been termed as mythological stories, though they are nothing but pure history. Just because it happened at a time when there was no written script, it has been reduced to the status of fantasy.

I still believe that a lot of the knowledge our ancestors had and handed down to the next generation has been lost over the years. What is seen today is but a portion of what there once was. Indians have always treasured and taken a lot of pride in their culture, which explains why much of it is still thriving. Each region, each community, each category you could think of would have a culture that’s totally different from the previous one you came across.

One lifetime wouldn’t be enough to grasp it all ^_^

Why does Indian culture seem so rich, even though there are no reliable sources of information past 1500 BC?

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