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.
Dramatic works exist, as also a version of the Ramayana in the first volume of the Bstodts'ogs of the Bstan-hgyur.
The principal cities of India at this date were Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala at the time of the Ramayana, though it after wards gave place to Sravasti, which was one of the Capital cities.
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.
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.
MAGADHA, an ancient kingdom of India, mentioned in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
And we may safely draw the conclusion that if the great Indian epics, the Maha-bharata and the Ramayana, had been in existence when the formation of the Buddhist canon began, the course of its development would have been very different from what it was.
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.
During his residence at Ajodhya the Lord Rama is said to have appeared to him in a dream, and to have commanded him to write a Ramayana in the language used by the common people.
The opening chapters of the Ramayana recount the magnificence of the city, the glories of the monarch and the virtues, wealth and loyalty of his people.