Our knowledge of the most ancient times in India rests mainly on tradition. The Purana, the Mahabharata and in a minor degree the Ramayana profess to give accounts from tradition about the earliest occurrences. The Rgveda contains historical allusions, of which some record contemporary persons and events, but more refer to gone times and persons and are obviously based on tradition. Almost all the information, therefore, comes from tradition.
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.