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Ancient India.

By Mahamahopadhyaya Ganga Nath Jha, M.A., D. Litt.

[Sources of Information.-(1) Charaka-samhita, (2) Sushruta-samhita, (3) Matsya-Purāna, (4) Agni-Purāna, (5) Brihatsamhita of Varāha-mihira, (6) Bhāvaprakāsha, (7) Vātsyāyana's Kamasutra ]

From a study of the above books we learn how careful the older Indians were in regard to planning their towns and cities, building their dwelling-houses, and arranging their daily life. We shall find, in course of our study, that they elaborated minute rules on these points,-rules that could not but have been arrived at by a course of reasoning and induction based upon long experience. It is true that in this country religious motives have been assigned to nearly all rules of life; the reason for this lay in the fact that the people of this country have always been by their very nature extremely ratiocinative; rightly or wrongly, they must exercise their thinking power over anything that is told them; so that if an Indian is told to do something simply for the purpose of some ordinary visible result, he is apt to reason somewhat thus-'It may be that the following of the course of action suggested will lead to my happiness,—but the action is a difficult one,-will the happiness derived from it compensate for the trouble involved in the doing of the act?'and being of a slothful temperament he is more likely than not

to leave the action alone and thus earn present ease and comfort. With a view to counteract this tendency, our teachers felt it advisable to go to the other extreme and attribute an invisible superphysical result to nearly every course of action that they prescribed. This, however, need not prevent us from dwelling upon and laying stress on the obvious benefits derivable from the rules and regulations laid down.

The state of sanitation in any country can be determined by three factors (1) by the way in which its towns and villages are planned, (2) the disposition of the dwelling-houses and (3) the ways of living. This paper therefore will be divided into these three parts.


With every 108'villages' it was considered necessary to have a 'town', which was the centre of trade and business of all kinds. The points of difference between a 'village' and' town' were that the town was protected by a ditch and a wall, while the village was not so protected; the town was inhabited mostly Ly tradespeople, in addition to the king and his appurtenances, while the village was inhabited by agricultural people. In both these places, the presence of several roads and public squares was considered necessary; there used to be a large open space in the centre of the town. Within the town, the principal roads were 30 feet wide, and the side-alleys and lanes 8 to 12 feet wide. The open highway leading from one town to another was 100 feet wide. The village-roads were 60 feet wide. The reason for village-roads being wider than town-roads perhaps lay in the fact that, on account of the town being inhabited by well-to-do persons and being infested with all sorts of undesirable -men, there was greater danger of theft and robbery in the town than in the villages; and this made more compactness desirable. Even at the present day we find people in the villages having their

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