from the Vedas and Vedic litarature, which have been dealt with separately,
the ancient literature encompasses many texts. |
Around the period of Aranyaka etc. two Epics Ramayan and Mahabharata
were composed by Valmiki and Vyas respectively. These two epics set
standards for poetry in Sanskrit as is done in Greek by Eliad of Homer.
Many works in poetry and plays are based on the stories or parts of
the stories from the two epics. Subsequently many more additions in
these epics are found and many more editions of them were to be written
in Sanskrit and other languages.
Around same time Pali and Ardhamagadhi canons describing religious literature
in Budhist and Jain religion were formed. Poetics (Alankar shastra)
has been cultivated in India from a very early date as a science. However,
earlier works are not available. Typically whenever more recent theory
or interpretation of the old theory came into existence and became famous
and proved to be more practical, the earlier work were referred to with
respect.But the original text was not propagated further. Hence we know
of the existence of earlier work from quotations in the work of later
period. The oldest form available to us is Bharatiya Natyashastra by
Bharat Muni. Though it was meant for dramatists to give guidance in
dramatic performance, it covers vast field such as mimicry, dance, music
and song,hence it represents dramatic poetry. The older school of poetics
are represented by three rhetoricians, Bhamah, Dandi and Vamana.
Prosody is as old as poetics. The most important work on prosody is
Chandasutra of Pingala (about 150 BC) Gupta dynasty is considered to
be the golden era of court poetry. The great poet Kalidasa lived during
350-413 AD. Epics Kumarasambhava and Raghuvansa, dramas Sakuntala and
Vikramorvashiya and the lyric Mehhadoota.etc Puran, Panchatantra, Kathasaritsagar,
Hitopdesh, Mahanubhav literature, Poetry, Mahakavyas, Ban, Bhas, Dandi,
Kalidas, Bharvi, Bhamah, Bhartruhari, Bhavabhuti.
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