History of Krsisastra
A History of Indian Literature on Traditional Agriculture
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The practice and theory of agriculture occupies a special branch of sciences called krishishastra literature ‘agricultural science’ in the traditional Indian taxonomy of sciences. This knowledge is deposited in the krishishastras literature ‘textbooks of agriculture’, in didactic poetry or single chapters or passages of literary works of different genres and in various collections of popular sayings. These texts together are rich mines of information on the methods of weather forecast, the main events of the agricultural year comprising agricultural operations, events of village life and certain religious beliefs. Gyula Wojtilla in the first part of his book defines the various meanings of the term krishishastra and assigns its role among traditional sciences in India. It is followed by the major part of the book containing the detailed description of individual works on traditional agriculture written mainly in Sanskrit but also in Prakrit and in vernaculars such as Bengali, Bihari, Gujarati, Hindi, Kanarese, Malayalam, Maithili, Marathi, Rajasthani, Tamil and Telugu. At the end of the book there are four appendices comprising texts containing independent chapters) on the subject, collections of sayings others than ascribed to authors and miscellaneus issues. The book as such can be regarded as an literary encyclopaedia of traditional Indian agriculture and may serve as an indispensable tool of research for students of classical Indology, history of science and culture or the peasant society in India.