Even if one uses Sanskrit only as the instrument of investigation, it is apparent that Indian culture was a current which, as it flowed and spread, was fed by many a stream and absorbed many a small and stagnant pool. With volume, it gathered often bewildering variety, which was synthesized in a systematic plan. That diverse sources contributed to its making is obvious, but to identify each of them, to survey all the material accepted, and to be reasonably precise in the innumerable details that such a study involves, seems a stupendous and baffling task. It is possible, however, to point out certain instances in which the main tradition embraced smaller group-cultures and incorporated regional elements. As this culture became consolidated throughout India, it employed certain characteristic methods wherever it went, not only in India and the peripheral regions, but in all those trans-Indian territories to which it expanded. Sanskrit was the ultimate medium of transmission used by the main body of this culture and Sanskritization the chief technique of the take-over. Hence an examination of Sanskrit literature, in its different branches, will prove useful in investigating the incorporation of regional and folk elements. Without going into questions of pre-Vedic or Indus Valley cultures, or the problem of contributions by Munda, Austric, Dravidian, and Mongoloid, data can be found in Sanskrit literature which help to illuminate Hindu sociology, religion, and the arts during the historic period.

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