Introduction to Indian Literature

“Satyameva Jayate” (satyam-eva jayate ??????? ???? ; literal English: Truth Alone Triumphs) is a mantra from the ancient Indian scripture Mundaka Upanishad. [1] Upon independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto of India. [2] It is inscribed inDevanagari script at the base of the national emblem. The emblem and words ‘Satyameva Jayate’ are inscribed on one side of all Indian currency. The emblem is an adaptation of theLion Capital of Asoka which was erected around 250 BC at Sarnath, near Varanasi in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The full mantra is as follows: Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood. Through truth the divine path is spread out by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides. The earliest literary writings in India, composed between 1400 BCE and 1200 CE, were in the Sanskrit language. Prominent works of this Sanskrit literature include epics such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the dramas of Kalidasa such as the The Recognition of Sakuntala, and poetry such as the Mahakavya.

Need essay sample on "Introduction to Indian Literature" ? We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you for only $12.90/page

This period was characterised by a varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression; as a consequence, medieval Indian literary works differed significantly from classical traditions. In the 19th century, Indian writers took a new interest in social questions and psychological descriptions As early as 300 BC, India had already produced a considerable body of literature written in several India tongues derived from a common ancestral language – Sanskrit.

It is a historical Indo-Aryan language, the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and a literary and scholarly language inJainism and Buddhism It is a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. The Vedas are apauru? eya (“not of human agency”). They are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called sruti (“what is heard”), distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called sm? i (“what is remembered”). The earliest known literature of India is a collection of traditions handed down by word of mouth called Vedas. These contain hymns addressed to the Indian gods who are very numerous and contain stories about them. Sanskrit literature came into being with the making of Vedas and left a rich legacy of literary knowledge for the times to come. However, the language of the Vedas differs from the language used in poetry and drama.

Classical Sanskrit literature is found to be in vogue when it comes to writing poetry and dance dramas. Given its extensive use in religious literature, primarily in Hinduism, and the fact that most modern Indian languages have been directly derived from or strongly influenced by Sanskrit, the language and its literature is of great importance in Indian culture akin to that of Greek and Latin in European culture. Some Sanskrit literature such as the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali and the Upanishads were translated into Arabic and Persian.

The Panchatantra was also translated into Persian. The Indian civilization is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world. It is known as the Sindhu civilization or the Indus Valley civilization or the Aryan civilization. Sometimes it is also  referred to as the Vedic civilization. The Aryans kindled the light of this civilization on the banks of the river Sindhu (Indus) in the Northern India, thousands of years ago.

Later,  they helped spread it across some other parts of the country. The historians cannot ascertain the precise period when this great civilization flourished. The scholars differ on the period of its development. Even the origin of the Aryan race has been debatable. Some historians believe that the Aryans migrated from the North Central Asia and settled in India. Some other historians contend that the Aryans have been the natives of India.

Haven't found the Essay You Want?

Get your custom essay sample

For Only $13/page