Reviving the glory of Sanskrit literature

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Indian tradition knows Sanskrit as the language of the gods, which has been the dominant language of India for a period covering over four thousand years. Viewed from its rich heritage of literature, the fascinating charm of words, and its flexibility of expression about thought, Sanskrit occupies a singular place in the literature of the world. The Indian literary tradition is one of the oldest in the world. The earliest form of Indian Literature majorly consists of texts in the Sanskrit language. Indian literature has played a tremendous role in giving the country a distinct identity of intellectualism.

Sanskrit literature

Books on history of Sanskrit literature

The history of Sanskrit literature is by itself a fascinating subject in which not only students of language but also the intelligentsia, in general, find an abiding interest. This prompted the author to undertake the first edition of the book under the title, An Introduction to Classical Sanskrit, in a short compass in 1943.

The book takes a look at the question of whether Sanskrit was a living speech in ancient India. Or Sanskrit was the vernacular of all classes of people in the society or of any particular section or sections. Then it goes on to study briefly the Great epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata), the Puranas, the Tantras, post-Epic Kavya, Kavya in inscriptions, early Buddhist works in Sanskrit, court-epics, drama, lyric poetry, historical writings, prose literature, campu literature, grammar, poetics and dramaturgy, metrics, lexicography, civil and religious law, politics, erotic, medicine, astronomy, mathematics and astrology, miscellaneous sciences and philosophy.

The book is documented with a critical apparatus. Besides notes and references, it has an illuminating Introduction and index of authors and works.

A Companion to Sanskrit Literature, the first work of its kind, covers a period of nearly 3500 years from the Vedic age down to modern times. It seeks to acquaint the reader, within a brief compass, with the contents of outstanding works and authors in Sanskrit literature, followed by up-to-date bibliographies.

Brief accounts of the important character in well-known poems, dramas, and prose works have also been given. Important geographical names, with their modern identification as far as practicable, have also been laid down. Common technical terms, used in the different branches of Sanskrit literature, have been briefly explained, Prominent figures in myths and legends have been dealt with. In a number of appendices, various kinds of useful information about Sanskrit literature including sciences, sports, pastimes, etc. in ancient and medieval India have been set forth. It is an indispensable vade mecum for general readers, specialists, and researchers. It is like a capsule taking the reader through the vast firmament of Sanskrit literature up to remote ages.

this work covers the field of Classical Sanskrit Literature, as opposed to the Vedic Literature, the epics, and the Puranas. To bring the subject matter within the limits of a single volume has rendered it necessary to treat the scientific literature briefly, and to avoid discussions of its subject matter which appertain rather to the historian of grammar, philosophy, law, medicine, astronomy, or mathematics, than to the literary historian. This mode of treatment has rendered it possible, for the first time in any treatise in English on Sanskrit Literature, to pay due attention to the literary qualities of the Kavya. The great poets of India wrote for audiences of experts; they were masters of the learning of their day, long trained in the use of language, and they aim to please by subtlety, not simplicity of effect. They had at their disposal a singularly beautiful speech, and they commanded elaborate and most effective metres.

The present work is an analytical account of classical Sanskrit literature in its historical perspective. It is divided in six books, of several chapters, each dealing with a particular branch of Sanskrit learning. Book I deals with the great epics of India-the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well as the Puranas and the Tantras; Book II with the Kavya and its varieties; Book III with Kathanaka, Brhatkatha, Pancatantra and other tales; Book IV with Gadyakavya and Campu literature and Book V with the dramatic literature and Book VI with the Alankara, Sangita, Kama and Chandas literature.

The book contains studies of crucial periods and important areas in the history of the Sanskrit language, from the earliest, Vedic and pre-Vedic periods, through the period in which the (restricted) use of Sanskrit spread over practically all of South (including part of Central) and Southeast Asia (sometimes referred to as the period of ‘Greater India’) up to the recent history of Sanskrit in India.

The contributions of this volume are divided into three sections: 1. Origins and creation of the ‘Eternal Language’; 2. Transculturation, Vernacularization; Sanskritization; 3. The Sanskrit Tradition: Continuity from the Past or Construction from the Present?

Books on Sanskrit literature

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Known as the mother of many languages, Sanskrit is abundant in the treasure of literature. Many people think of Sanskrit in terms of chants, hymns, and verses. Not many know the vast collection of poetry, drama, stories, and even epics in Sanskrit literature. We have handpicked books that enlighten you about the history of Sanskrit literature as well as works of Sanskrit literature.

The ‘Playworld of Sanskrit Drama’ is the ‘poetic universe’ (kavyasam) posited by Anandavardhana and other poeticians. Each of the seven plays studied here – works of Bhasa, Kalidasa, Sudraka, and Visakhadatta- provides us with a different angle of approach to the crucial issues of kavya, and their fundamental ambivalence, which cannot be understood or even delineated by the conventional approach to Indian aesthetics.

The Meghaduta is a small lyrical poem written uniformly in the Mandakranta metre, and consisting of 121 stanzas. It is divided into two parts, known respectively as the Purvamegha and the Uttaramegha. A certain Yaksha condemned to banishment for neglect of his duty by his master Kubera, the god of wealth, takes up his abode on Ramagiri in the Vindhya mountains.

Kalidasa is admired for the portrayal of human emotion on the canvas of natural loveliness. Based on an anecdote mentioned in the Mahabharata, the simple tale of Sakuntala and Dushyant has been turned into a poetical painting of picturesque scenery through his wonderful imagination. No poet had a richer and fuller sense of sensuous loveliness or a more masterly command of the resources of suggestive incidents, imagery, and pictorial phrasing such as would reveal that loveliness in words. Tagore remarks there are two unions in Sakuntalam and the central motif of the play is the progress from the earlier union of the first three acts with its youthful beauty and romance through an interval of separation and intense and speechless agony to the ultimate union in the Elysian regions of eternal bliss described in the last act.

The Uttararamacarita occupies a very high place in the dramatic literature of the Hindus, and it is accepted by common consent as a masterpiece of the author. Bhavabhuti appears to have possessed all the requisites of the true dramatist and poet-active imagination, an exuberant fancy, the appreciation of the sublime and the beautiful, high power in characterization, a thorough knowledge of the workings of the human heart, and a ready sympathy with suffering humanity. In addition to that, he has a most enviable command over language, and the rhythm and music of his verses are almost matchless. He is a master in the art of depicting the different emotions of the human heart, and he displays everywhere a profound knowledge of the best situations calculated to enhance the impression of his delineations of such sentiments. His Uttararamacarita is essentially a drama of pathos, and his indirect boast that the one sentiment of pathos is depicted by him in many colors and varied phases is not at all unmerited.

This book is an attempt at resolving an important tangle, that of the utility of Figurative Poetry in Sanskrit Literature. In the shape of Sabdacitra and Ubhayacitra, connoting verbal juggleries and intellectual riddles this literature amuses vast shades of people, even today. Arthacitra is the real imagist poetry. Even old Sanskrit rhetoricians, Ananda, Abhinava, and Panditaraja had a flash of its imagist appeal.

The book is divided into seven chapters. Ch. I is introductory. It re-defines poetry and assesses the place of figurative poetry in that context. Ch. II deals with the historicity of different divisions and subdivisions of this branch of poetry as also with some new concepts either co-ordinate with them or contributory to their development. Chs. III IV discusses the various divisions of Sabdacitra and Ubhayacitra with apt illustrations from copious sources. Ch. V VI deals with Arthacitra and the development of Citrakavya right from the Vedic age. Ch. VII affirms and establishes the conviction of the concept treated in the previous chapters.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part contains an account of the important works in Alankarasastra, a brief analysis of their contents, and the chronology of writers on Alankarasastra and other kindred matters. The second part comprises a review of subjects that fall under the purview of Alankarasastra. The author has attempted to show how from very small beginnings various theories of Poetics and Literary Criticism evolved, to dilate upon the different aspects of an elaborate theory of Poetics and trace the history of literary theories in India.

Sanskrit is considered the language of the Gods and it is also the mother of many languages. At Indicbrands, we aim to promote and preserve the culture and tradition of our country. Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages and although people know and use Sanskrit for chants and Holy books of Hinduism, Sanskrit literature is forgotten day by day. This article aims to present a few such books which help you learn the history of Sanskrit and also literature books which includes famous Dramas of Kalidasa. You can check many other works of Kalidasa and other books on Sanskrit literature and various other topics on our website http://indicbrands.com, you can read more about Hinduism on our page http://hindumediawiki.com, and you can also connect with us on our Twitter account at http://twitter/indicbrands.com

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