Abstract: History is written by victors. We Hindus may believe that our history is 12000 years old. But, history written by Europeans, limited as they are by their Christian thought does not subscribe to this view. Yet let us examine what is the timeline of Hindu history, especially those of Hindu texts according to European eyes. This does not mean that it is necessarily accurate.
(For the purposes of our discussion BCE – means Before Common Era and CE means Common Era. Common Era begins at 0 AD, i.e 200 years old)
This is how Europeans view history of Hindu texts. It must be remembered that European history is blinded by Christian view of world. However we are neither here criticizing European view of Hindu History nor are we blindly accepting it. The below time line is just of academic interest.
Rigveda : 1500-1100 BCE
Samaveda : 1500-500 BCE
Yajurveda : 1500-500 BCE
Atharvaveda : 1500-500 BCE
Upanishads : 1200-500 BCE
Bhagvad Gita : 500 BCE – 200 BCE
Ramayana : 400 BCE – 400 CE
Mahabharata : 400 BCE – 400 CE
Arthashasta : 400 BCE – 200 CE
Nyaya Sutra : 200 BCE
Vaiseshika Sutra : 2nd Century BCE
Yoga Sutra of Patanjali : 100 BCE – 500 CE
Puranas : 3rd Century – 16th Century CE
Shiva Sutras : 8th Century CE
Abhinavabharati : 950 -1020 CE
Yoga Vasistha : 10th -14th century CE
The important texts of Hinduism could be said to be Vedas, Ramayana and Mahabharata, Puranas, Yoga Sutra and Arthashastra
Vedas are placed between 1500-500 BCE ie. Between 3500 and 2500 years old.
Ramayana and Mahabharata are placed between 400 BCE – 400 CE i.e between 2500 and 1500 years old.
Puranas are placed between 3rd Century CE and 15th Century CE ie between 1700 and 500 years old
Arthashastra is placed between 400 BCE and 200 CE; i.e between 2400 and 2200 years old
Yoga Sutras are placed between 100 BCE and 500 BCE; i.e between 1600 -2000 years old.
It should be remembered that all this is through European eyes and could be entirely biased and worse anti India. Yet we must be open to examination of European view of Hindu history even if we are not compelled to accept it