Our knowledge of the most ancient times in India rests mainly on tradition.
The Puranas, the Mahabharata, and in a minor degree of Ramayana profess to
give accounts from tradition about the earliest accurrences. The Rgveda
contains historical allusions, of which some record contemporary persons
and events, but more refer to bygone times and persons and are obviously
based on tradition. Almost all the information therefore comes from
The results obtained from an examination of Puranic and epic tradition as
well as of the Rgveda and Vedic literature are set forth in the present
book, which happens to be a pioneering work in the area by an important
orientalist of the nineteenth century.