Question : “Ancient Indian literature includes everything which is included in the word ‘literature’ in its broadest, sense”, elucidate this statement with reference to literature of ancient Indian citing suitable examples to support the view .
|Understanding of question: CANDIDATES ARE REQUIRED TO ANALYSE THE STATEMENT, AS WHAT DOES ANCIENT INDIAN LIETRATURE PRESENTS TO US . DOES IT INCLUDE ALL THE FACETS OF LIETRATURE LIKE CULTURE, KNOWLEDGE , CIVILISATION ETHICS, MORALS, EROTIC ELEMENTS, SCIENCE ETC. SUPPORTING VIEW SHOULD BE AUGMENTED WITH EXAMPLES
|Indian literature includes everything which is included in the word ‘literature’ in its broadest, sense: religious and mundane, epic and lyric, dramatic and didactic poetry, narrative and scientific prose, as well as oral poetry and song.
|vedas, secular literature, examples
| VARIOUS SECULAR FACETS OF ANCIENT INDIAN LITERATURE
1. The Vedas are essentially archetypal poetry of high literary value. They are mythical in nature and their language is symbolic. Eg The Yajur Veda is related to yajna, which is not just sacrifice, but also means creative reality. The mantras (verse with archetypal meanings) of the Rig Veda are adapted to certain melodies and this collection is named Sama Veda, and the Atharva Veda deals with the peace and prosperity of human society and is concerned with the daily life of man.
2. In the Vedas (3000 BC-1000 BC), when one finds such expressions, “I am standing in water but I am very thirsty”, one marvels at the continuity of a rich heritage which is both modern and traditional
3. The great epics (Mahakavya), the Ramayana (1500 BC) and the Mahabharata (1000 BC) are the, repositories of the ethnic memory of the Indian people.
4. The Puranas were written to illustrate and expound the truth of the Vedas. The fundamental abstruse philosophical and religious truths are expounded through popular legends or mythological stories.
5. Classical Sanskrit literature includes the Kavyas (epic poetry), the Nataka (drama), lyric poetry, romance, popular tales, didactic fables, gnomic poetry, scientific literature on grammar, medicine, law, astronomy, mathematics, etc. Classical Sanskrit literature is on the whole secular in character. Eg The Mricchakatika (the clay-cart) by Sudraka (248 A.D.) presents a remarkable social drama with touches of grim reality. The characters are drawn from all stratas of society, which include thieves and gamblers, rogues and idlers, courtesans and their associates, police constables, mendicants and politicians.
6. Ancient indian literature also reflects the knowledge of science eg Baudhayan was the first one ever to arrive at several concepts in Mathematics, which were later rediscovered by the western world. The value of pi was first calculated by him. Aryabhatta was a fifth century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and physicist. He was a pioneer in the field of mathematics. At the age of 23, he wrote Aryabhattiya, which is a summary of mathematics of his time
|It is, therefore, not very correct to say that ancient Indian literature includes only the religious classics of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Jain narrative literature in the Prakrit language is full of erotic stories and realism. Hence it can be rightly said that ancient Indian literature is amalgamation of various though process. It portrays of glorious Indian past. The traditional knowledge which ancient literature presents us is guiding light for better moral and scientific principles
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