The Ramayana and Mahabharata afford evidence of the employment of incense by the Hindus, in the worship of the gods and the burning of the dead, from the remotest antiquity.
The origin of the name Berar is not known, but may perhaps be a corruption of Vidarbha, the name of a kingdom in the Deccan of which, in the period of the Mahabharata, Berar probably formed part.
Though Siva, too, assumes various forms, the incarnation theory is peculiarly characteristic of Vaishnavism; and the fact that the principal hero of the Ramayana (Rama), and one of the prominent warriors of the Mahabharata (Krishna) become in this way identified with the supreme god, and remain to this day the chief objects of the adoration of Vaishnava sectaries, naturally imparts to these creeds a human interest and sympathetic aspect which is wholly wanting in the worship of Siva.
He is the central figure of legends in the Aitareyabrahmana, Mahabharata and the Markandeyapurana.
According to the Mahabharata he is at last promoted to Paradise as the reward for his munificent charity.
Christian era with the events detailed in the great epic of the Mahabharata; but by the sober historian these can only be regarded as legends.
Here lay the scene, known as Madhya Desa or " middle country," -of the second period of Aryan colonization, when the two great epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, were probably composed, and when the religion of Brahmanism took form.
The literary documents, both in Sanskrit and Pali, dating from about the time of Buddha onwards - particularly the two epic poems, the Mahabharata and Ramayana - still show us in the main the personnel of the old pantheon; but the character of the gods has changed; they have become anthropomorphized and almost purely mythological figures.
As regards Vishnu, the epic poems, including the supplement to the Mahabharata, the Harivamsa, supply practically the entire framework of legendary matter on which the later Vaishnava creeds are based.
It derived its name, according to the etymology of the Pundits, from a prince of the Mahabharata, to whose portion it fell on the primitive partition of the country among the Lunar race of Delhi.