practices generally known as yoga. Each group, even that of the materialists
who followed Ajita, had its special system of meditation and mental or
spiritual exercises, and each had its organised body of followers, usually
Literacy sources The Satapatha Brahmana describes the migration from
the Sarasvati to the middle Ganga valley in the story of Videgha Mathava
who travels east but pauses at the river Sadanira (Gandak). The middle Ganga
valley comes into historical focus with the migration and settlement of people
along two routes. The northern route followed the foothills of the Himalayas
and appears to be the one taken by Videgha Mathava; the second followed
the south bank of the Yamuna and the Ganga at the base of the Vindhyan
    Vedic literature has less to say about the middle Ganga valley. Much of
the evidence for events in this area comes from Buddhist literature. Some
comparative data, particularly on the functioning of the gana-sangha
chiefships, is available in the Ashtadhyayi of Panini, which often corroborates
statements from Buddhist sources, even though Panini was referring to gana-
sanghas in various parts of northern India and less specifically to the middle
Ganga valley.
    However there is a distinction between the types of gana-sanghas
described in the two sources. Those referred to by Panini as spread over
northern and western India such as the Madra, Andhaka-Vrishni, Kshudraka
and Malava, appear to be chiefships well before the emergence of the state
whereas those of the middle Ganga valley such as the Vrijjis (Vajjis) contain
the rudiments of what were to become the essential characteristics of the
state. Among the latter gana-sanghas some were single clan units such as the
Sakyas, Koliyas and Mallas, located on the edge of the Himalayan terai.
Others were confederacies of clans among which the pre-eminent was the
Vrijji confederacies, within which      of whom the Licchavis were the most