History of Mithila

History of Mithila

Here we are going to unfold some the less known part about the history of Mithila ,that how it get known to the people and how the civilization of Mithila came up ?

History of mithila can be traced back to the arrival of Aryans in Indian subcontinent. During the pre-vedic periods (1000-600 BCE) the Aryans got to know about the rich and fertile land to the east of Gandaki river and so the civilzation in the holy land Mithila began from there .

When Aryans established themself in western and central part of Indian subcontinent ,they advanced up to the eastern part of India. However, as the Aryans advanced eastward from Varanasi, they noticed that the people of the eastern regions have a very rich cuture and were much more superior than them in this aspect. The Aryans' sense of superiority and vanity of culture was increasingly deflated as they moved eastward from Allahabad.

After coming to Varanasi Aryans found the entire land is a tantrik area,so they found it pointless to fight with them (considering it a wise way to deal with the virtuous people).So they declared that land as a doomed one and those who advanced eastward would be degenerated. The main purpose behind this was to prevent people from moving east to avoid any conflict with them as will certainly lead to Aryans defeat.But instead of these restrictions many of them moved ahead as they have heard lot about the fertile land to the east of Saryu (land of Ganga ,koshi and Gandaka).Those who entered the non-Aryan land were declared to be of an inferior caste ; they were called Sarayu'pa'r'ii Bra'hman.

While exploring the rich land of the east they crossed Ganga ,kosi and Nara'ya'nii Gan'd'aka and entered Mithila. The inhabitants of Mithila were of Aryan-Austriko-Mongoloid stock and were mostly tribal people. The Aryans had little conflict with those indigenous people but finally they were able to establish there.The imprints of those tribal tradition can be clearly seen in the Mithila paintings.Godna style of painting has its origin from their only (It was made by those people as a tatoo on their body).

Those who reached Mithila became very prosperous and those who stayed back there get covetous of their growing wealth. So they declared those who crossed river as of an inferior caste. Those who crossed the Nara'ya'nii-Gan'd'aka river were hated by the others, and the reason behind this haterd was greed and jealousy.

Kingdom of Mithila

Kingdom of Mithila was established by king "Mithi" of Videha kingdom .Mithila has been represented as a land of learned man "Janaka", who belong to a long line of Videhan king.It is the home of Sita,the protagonist of Ramayana.

Videhan kingdom was replaced by the Lichchhavis of Vajjian republic in vaishali,before the rise of Buddhism in 6th century BCE.Evntually, Ajatashatru of Magadh empire conquered the Vajjian kingdom and many other dynasty ruled over mithila and the glory of mithila fainted at the cost of expansionist policy of various kings.

It was fourteen hundred year later that Mithila kingdom found its 'lost glory'once again in Karnata kings.

Nanya dev was the first ruler of karnata dynesty and also he was the first sovereign ruler of Mithila.The epithet 'Mithileshvara' that he took on was meant to demonstrate his power to his subjects.Their first capital was Simraun Garh(Birganj). Nanya Deva is said to have infused 'Maithiliness' or 'maithiligiest' to the scholar practising Maithili language to his patronage. The earliest extant work in Maithili language 'Varnaratnakara' composed by Jyotiriswara is the product of this period.

King Harisimhadev was the most prominent dynasty of this dynasty.On his order the system of documenting and maintaining genealogical records or panji prabandh was introduced for the Brahmins and Karn Kayastha of Mithila.

The Karnata dynasty was followed by the Onivaras.By the time of their dynasty muslim invaders has came to north India.

Firoz Shah Tughlak attacked Mithila and conquered it.For over the next thirty years there was no king and mithila was under direct control of muslim rulers.

Eventually, Tugalaq handed over the reign of the region to kameshwar Thakur, with whom started the tradition of Brahmin rulers,which continued till the monarchy when India became an Independent nation-state.

~Yasha Sandilya

History of Maithili

History of Maithili

Maithili language, with Magadhi (Magahi) and Bhojpuri is one of the three main languages of Bihar state.Among all these Maithili is the only Bihari language with a script of its own, called Tirhuta, and a strong literary history. For centuries, the pandits of Mithila have been famous for their learnings.

While looking into the history of maithili we found that it is one of the Indo- Aryan languages.Even in its linguistics, we will get that Maithili is considered as Eastern- Indic language,therefore making it diffrent from Hindi, which is Central Indic in origin. It is believed that Maithili was a corrupt form of Hindi until the Maithili grammar appeared in 1880-81. This language is derived from Avahattha. The name of the language is derived from the word Mithila which is said to be the ancient kingdom of Sita's father King Janaka. Though it is said that in ancient times in Mithila, Sanskrit was used by the scholars for their literary work and Maithili was the common language of the local folk.

The various dialects of Maithili are standard Maithili, southern standard Maithili, eastern Maithili, Western Maithili, Jolaha and Central Colloquial Maithili.The central/ Madhubani dailect or Sotipura is considered as standard form of Maithili.It is spoken mainly in Darbhanga and Madhubani district of Bihar.

Maithili was traditionally written in the Maithili, which has some resemblance to the Bengali script and is also known by names like Tirhuta and Mithilakshar. Apart from this, the Maithili language was also written in the Kaithi script. However, it is the Devanagri script that is most commonly used for writing Maithili in the present times. An official statement by government shows that, Mithilakshar emerged as a language in 10 Century AD. The oldest form of the language was found in Sahodara stone inscriptions of 950 AD.The script has been used throughout Mithila from Champaran to Deoghar. Maithili Grammar is considered to be a very standard Grammar. It is based on the based on the sutras of Sanskrit grammar of Panini.

When we talk about literature of Mithila then we get that it has a very rich literary history with its own script,which makes it diffrent from other folk languages of the region and gives it the dignity of being called 'Bhasha'(language),rather then just being a 'Boli'(folk language).

If we start tracing the history of Maithili literature, then we will get that most of the works in Maithili is done by a very prominent figure of Mithila "Vidyapati" who was in the court of Maharaja Shiva Simha of Sugaona ,who flourished in the middle of the l5th century. But the credit to start the literary works in Maithili goes to'Jyotirishwar Thakur' as his book "Varn Ratnakar" is probably the earliest work in Maithili literature dated at about 1224 AD. The medieval period of Maithili was during the Karnat Dynasty and litterateurs like Gangesh, Padmanabh, Chandeshwar, Vireshwar and others were famous during this period.

In 1965, Maithili language was officially accepted by Sahitya Academy. After that, it has won awards almost every year. Literary works in the Maithili language have also won a number of other awards. Maithil Mahasabha, the first social organization was established in 1910 for the development of Mithili and Maithili languages. Maithil Mahasabha had also campaigned for official recognition of Maithili as a regional language.In 2003 it was recognized in the VIII schedule of the Indian Constitution as a major Indian language.

Lack of using Mithilakshar script has become a reason for the language's decline. Government is taking some of the measures recommended to protect the Maithili language. The use of this script has been declining since the last 100 years, which is the primary reason for the cultures decline. Maithali language is getting developed in a composite manner despite having been accorded a constitutional status in the constitution.

~Yasha Sandilya