Indian literature

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Indian Literature

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Indian literature

  1. 1.  Just like China, India has over two millennia old literary history. But unlike the Chinese early literary works which were either poetic or philosophical works, the earliest literary works in India were the Sanskrit sacred Vedic texts
  2. 2. Early Sanskrit Literature  The first Indian literary work was a collection of Sanskrit hymns that was orally transmitted. The so-called Vedas which were either sung or recited are thought to have been composed as early as 1500 to 1200 BCE but they were written down only at the end of the first millennium BCE, while the oldest Veda texts date to around 11th century. Prominent literary works in Sanskrit of course also include the famous Ramayana and Mahabharata epic poems which are thought to have been created sometime between the 6th and 1st century BCE.
  3. 3. Classical Sanskrit Literature  Despite the fact that India is home to many different languages, religious importance of the early Sanskrit texts and the influence of Sanskrit on many Indian languages enabled Sanskrit literature to flourish over one millennium. Unfortunately, most Sanskrit works from the so-called classical Sanskrit literature have been lost.
  4. 4. Medieval Indian Literature  With the exception of south India where Tamil literature has been produced from the ancient times, medieval Indian literature remained strongly influenced by the Sanskrit literature. However, literary works that were created between the 11th and early 19th century also reveal a major influence of Buddhist and Jain works. At the same time, Sanskrit gradually give way to the Prakrit language, especially in Buddhist and Jain texts as well as other common Indian languages.
  5. 5. The Muslim invasions from the early 8th century onwards and of course the arrival of the British also left their mark on Indian literature. The period following the decline of the Classical Sanskrit literature until the mid-19th century was dominated by the so-called bhakti or devotional poetry in all Indian languages.
  6. 6. Modern Indian Literature  The period of the modern Indian literature starts with the first movements for independence in the mid-19th century. The early modern Indian literature, however, was greatly influenced by both adoption of the Western thoughts and ideas on the one hand and their rejection on the other.
  7. 7.  Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which attempted a revival of the ultimate monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads. He was educated at home; and although at seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, he did not finish his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he managed the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity and increased his interest in social reforms. He also started an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education.
  8. 8. From time to time he participated in the Indian nationalist movement, though in his own non sentimental and visionary way; and Gandhi, the political father of modern India, was his devoted friend. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honour as a protest against British policies in India. Tagore had early success as a writer in his native Bengal. With his translations of some of his poems he became rapidly known in the West. In fact his fame attained a luminous height, taking him across continents on lecture tours and tours of friendship. For the world he became the voice of India‘ spiritual heritage; and for India, especially for Bengal, he became a great living institution.
  9. 9. Thankkkkzzzzz phhooowwwssss!!! 

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