In today's times, for every aspect of life, there is an award -- be it films, companies, schools, science, literature, arts, sports, competition, talent and so on ...

In ancient times, according to Dharma-shAstra-s a king or a master should "reward" someone inferior to them for good work & punish for bad.

However, was there any "Award" system to motivate the various people of society?

Award = Memento / Recognition / Certificate (i.e. anything non-monitory rewards)

Add-on: Since a person is merely utilising own skills for own good, is award-giving considered DhArmik? Or there is no Qn of Dharma involved at all?

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    Kings used to award great scholars with the title "Mahamahopadhyaya". The Indian government still awards this title: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahamahopadhyaya – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 13 '17 at 6:01
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, This seems similar to how in England, the "knighthood" or "Sir" is/was awarded to certain intellectuals. Though this can be an answer, such "title" is still a virtual 'thing'. I am also interested in non-monitory physical 'things'. – iammilind Nov 13 '17 at 6:06
  • Oh ok, I don't know of any trophies, medals, plaques, certificates,, etc. in ancient India. The only physical things I know of that kings would give people are various forms of wealth, like gold, jewelry, cattle, land, and even their daughters' hand in marriage. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 13 '17 at 6:21
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    Do you consider being given a village/estate to rule as a valid award? – DirghaChintayanti Nov 13 '17 at 18:38
  • @LakshmiN, you may post it as an answer, but due to their monetory nature, we may still consider them (the titles) as rewards. You may consider Oscar or Noble as rule of thumb for awards. – iammilind Nov 14 '17 at 3:34

There must have been awards in competitions. From what I know there were distinctions and ranks in the army and such ranks had to be earned so one might say those were in a way a kind of awards.

Chariot warriors were given distinctions like

- MahiMahaRathi:

A warrior capable of fighting 24 Atimaharathi's simultaneously. Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Kartikeya and Ganesha are Mahamaharathi's.

- AtiMahaRathi

A warrior capable of fighting 12 Maharathi warriors simultaneously. Only Indrajit (son of Ravana) is considered as a Atimaharathi. Indrajit (Meghnad) the son of Ravana, Lord Parashurama are believed to be the only humans who ever possessed the three ultimate weapons of the trinity. At a very young age, Indrajit (Meghnada) became the possessor of several supreme celestial weapons, including Brahmanda astra, Pashupatastra and Vaishnavastra, under the guidance of Shukracharya, the Guru of the Daityas (demons). Shukracharya was a disciple of Lord Shiva. In some literature, it is said Parashuram was also a AtiMahaRathi but such claims have not really been proven as Parashuram could not defeat Bhishma

- MahaRathi

A warrior capable of fighting 12 Atirathi class warriors or 720,000[citation needed] warriors simultaneously, circumspect in his mastery of all forms of weapons and combat skills. Vrishasena, Kartavirya, Bhishma, Arjuna, Abhimanyu, Lord Parashurama, Lord Krishna, Ravana, Bhagadatta, Karna, Narakasura, Guru Drona, Ashwathama, Jarasandha, Dhrishtaketu, Indra and Surya were Maharathis.

- AtiRathi

A warrior capable of fighting with 12 Rathi class warriors or 60,000[citation needed] warriors simultaneously. Kritavarma, Shalya, Kripacharya, Bhurisravas, Shishupala, Akampan, the Upapandavas, Satyaki, Dhrishtadyumna, Virata, Bhima, Kuntibhoja, Duryodhana, Prahasta, Angada, Somadatta and Pradyumna were Atirathi's.

- Rathi

warrior capable of attacking 5,000 warriors simultaneously. Sudhakshina, Jayadratha, Dussasana, Vikarna, all 97 brothers of Duryodhana, Shakuni, Yudhishtir, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva, Uttar, Shikhandi, Uttamaujas, etc. were Rathi's.

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    They are ranks like marshall,Deputy, Major not rewards. Also, what are the sources for your claims? – Sarvabhouma Nov 13 '17 at 18:09
  • There have been numerous references to such distinctions in various books. One for example is "Krishnavatara" by K.M.Munshi – Strange Photon Jan 10 '18 at 10:43

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