2500 B.C---A.D 1500
India boasts a rich, diverse, and
long lasting literary tradition. Most
westerner's are surprised to discovered
that the Indian literary tradition contains
more texts than the ancient Greek and
Roman traditions combined.
The Earliest Indian Literature has
survived from the Aryan migration the
occurred around 1500 B.C. The
Literature of this period is called VEDIC
LITERATURE, after the Vedas, Collections
of sacred hymns.
In the Sixth Century B.C Indian Literature
entered its classical Period, which lasted about A.D 1000
B.C. The literature of this period, which includes EPICS,
COURT POEMS, and DRAMAS, was written in Sanskrit,
an elite language known for its formality and richness of
Both the Vedic and classical literatures reflect the
beliefs of India’s Dominant religion, Hinduism. Such
central Hindu concepts as DHARMA, KARMA and
reincarnation feature prominently in the literature of the
classical period. This includes the Indian epics the
MAHABHARATA and RAMAYANA, as well as the less
lofty but thoroughly entertaining beast fables
represented in the PANCHATANTRA and other
THE VEDIC PERIOD in INDIA
The first literary period in India
This period name for VEDAS
>its is a set of hymns that form to
cornerstone of the Aryan culture.
> Hindus’ believe that it is the most sacred of
> oldest existing Vedic hymns
> featuring poems of praise to the beauty of
the earth of the wonder of existence.
THE CLASSICAL PERIOD:
The Legacy of Sanskrit
> one of the most important legacies of
Indian’s ancient literary tradition.
> considered a sacred language, the
language spoken only the god and goddesses.
“Sanskrit had become a fixed and
frozen literary language the would
change very little over the centuries to
LITERATURE DURING the CLASSICAL
2 GREAT EPICS
>these works had been part of India’s oral
traditions for centuries, but they were finally written
down in more-or-less fixed during the classical period.
>a world classic that has appeared in some two
hundred versions in many different languages.
HINDUISM: The Key to Indian
Hinduism evolved from the beliefs of the
ancient Aryans of the Vedic period.
More the religion
A way of life
Endless variety of beliefs, rituals and
3 particular deities
1. Brahma --- the Creator
2. Vishnu--- the protector
3. Shiva --- the destroyer
LESSON OF INDIAN LITERATURE:
Following One’s Dharma
>comes from the Sanskrit verb meaning “to hold”.
> in English “religion”
The Caste System in India
> “color” or “rank” to refer to the
order of the various caste in the Society.
“the caste system in
India finds its origins in the
Vedic Hymns of the ancient
KARMA and REINCARNATION
^ is a Sanskrit word meaning “action”.
^ “transmigration of soul”
BUDDHISM----The Search for Spiritual Peace
O great religious and political ferment marked the close of the
O Founded by: Siddhartha Gautama .
THE GUPTA EMPIRE
>the next political power in India.
> which controlled most of northern
India from 320 A.D to 467.
“ Hinduism reached a full flowering during
the Gupta Empire. ( A.D 320- 467).”
UNITY THRUOGH DIVERSITY
Indian culture maybe characterized as a
struggle to achieve unity in the face of
In many ways, it has been the geography of
India– the land itself – that has ultimately
unified India’s multitude of languages,
customs, and beliefs.
For its classical literature of India– the
Epics, Dramas, Poems, and Tales the we see
again and again, the expressions of the
Hindu belief in the connection b/w all living
things and their oneness in the divine unity.