March 17, 2004 · updated February 15, 2022

The Itihasas Sanskrit, "history" or "thus verily happened") are narrative traditions composed during the period 500 BCE to 1000 CE. They tell the stories of divine incarnations along with much philosophical and ethical reflection.

The Itihasas reflect popular, non-Brahmanic interests and the rise of theistic Hinduism focused on Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti. They include the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics, two of the most beloved Hindu texts, as well as the Puranas.

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