Sanskrit literature

The 11th-century Sanskrit manuscript of the Devi Māhātmya on palm-leaf, from Bihar or Nepal.

Sanskrit literature broadly comprises texts composed in the earliest attested descendant of the Proto-Indo-Aryan language known as Vedic Sanskrit and later on in the language formally defined by Pāṇini usually called Classical Sanskrit.

- Sanskrit literature
The 11th-century Sanskrit manuscript of the Devi Māhātmya on palm-leaf, from Bihar or Nepal.

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Four Vedas

Vedas

The Vedas (,, वेदः) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India.

The Vedas (,, वेदः) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India.

Four Vedas
The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the Atharvaveda.
Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari
A page from the Taittiriya Samhita, a layer of text within the Yajurveda

Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.

Śakuntalā Looking Back to Glimpse Duṣyanta, scene from Shakuntala painted by Raja Ravi Varma.

Shakuntala (play)

Sanskrit play by the ancient Indian poet Kālidāsa, dramatizing the story of Śakuntalā told in the epic Mahābhārata and regarded as best of Kālidāsa's works.

Sanskrit play by the ancient Indian poet Kālidāsa, dramatizing the story of Śakuntalā told in the epic Mahābhārata and regarded as best of Kālidāsa's works.

Śakuntalā Looking Back to Glimpse Duṣyanta, scene from Shakuntala painted by Raja Ravi Varma.
Crying of Shakuntala

It is one of the few classical Sanskrit plays that have been adapted to the silver screen in India and of them the most adapted (another being the Mṛcchakatika by Śūdraka).

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya delivering a sermon on 25 October 2009 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Rambhadracharya

Indian Hindu spiritual leader, educator, Sanskrit scholar, polyglot, poet, author, textual commentator, philosopher, composer, singer, playwright and Katha artist based in Chitrakoot, India.

Indian Hindu spiritual leader, educator, Sanskrit scholar, polyglot, poet, author, textual commentator, philosopher, composer, singer, playwright and Katha artist based in Chitrakoot, India.

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya delivering a sermon on 25 October 2009 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
An old photograph of Shachidevi Mishra, mother of Rambhadracharya
A young Giridhar Mishra in an undated photo
Rambhadracharya meditating on the banks of Mandakini river during a Payovrata. He is seated in the Sukhasana pose with fingers folded in the Chin Mudra.
Rambhadracharya with mobility-impaired students in front of the main building of Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University on 2 January 2005
Śrībhārgavarāghaviyam being released by Atal Bihari Vajpayee (centre) in 2002. Rambhadracharya is to the left.
Covers of some books edited or authored by Rambhadracharya.
Rambhadracharya delivering a discourse. He has delivered many discourses, some of which have been published as books.
Rambhadracharya (left) being presented the Vani Alankarana Puraskara by Somnath Chatterjee (right) in 2006
Rambhadracharya's katha on Ramcharitmanas in June 2011 at Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Singapore.

Later, Giridhar went on to memorise the Vedas, the Upanishads, works of Sanskrit grammar, the Bhagavata Purana, all the works of Tulsidas, and many other works in Sanskrit and Indian literature.

Massive celebration of Durga Puja in India

Hindus

Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism.

Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism.

Massive celebration of Durga Puja in India
Hindus at Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar near river Ganges in Uttarakhand state of India.
A Hindu wedding ritual in India
A young Nepali Hindu devotee during a traditional prayer ceremony at Kathmandu's Durbar Square.
Hinduism by country, worldmap (estimate 2010).

A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and Bengali.

Arvid Liljelund's Man Singing Hymn (1884)

Hymn

Type of song, usually religious and partially coincident with devotional song, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification.

Type of song, usually religious and partially coincident with devotional song, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification.

Arvid Liljelund's Man Singing Hymn (1884)
In Christianity, church congregations often sing hymns together as part of their worship (Pictured: worshippers at Uffington Parish Church in England, 1944)
Hymns are often accompanied by organ music
Sanskrit manuscript page from the "Vivaha sukta" Rigveda, dated 1500-1200 BCE

When the chanting (bhajan and kirtan) of the devotional songs of the poet-sants (Basava, Chandidas, Dadu Dayal, Haridas, Hith Harivansh, Kabir, Meera Bai, Namdev, Nanak, Ramprasad Sen, Ravidas, Sankardev, Surdas, Vidyapati) in local languages in a number of groups, namely Dadu panth, Kabir panth, Lingayatism, Radha-vallabha, Sikhism, completely or significantly replaced all previous Sanskrit literature.

India

India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), – "Official name: Republic of India.";

India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), – "Official name: Republic of India.";

An illustration from an early-modern manuscript of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, composed in story-telling fashion c. undefined.
Cave 26 of the rock-cut Ajanta Caves
India has the majority of the world's wild tigers, approximately 3,000 in 2019.
A Chital (Axis axis) stag attempts to browse in the Nagarhole National Park in a region covered by a moderately dense forest.
The last three Asiatic cheetahs (on record) in India were shot dead in Surguja district, Madhya Pradesh, Central India by Maharajah Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo. The young males, all from the same litter, were sitting together when they were shot at night in 1948.
Children awaiting school lunch in Rayka (also Raika), a village in rural Gujarat. The salutation Jai Bhim written on the blackboard honours the jurist, social reformer, and Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar.
Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar about to score a record 14,000 runs in test cricket while playing against Australia in Bangalore, 2010.
Bhutesvara Yakshis, Buddhist reliefs from Mathura, {{CE|2nd century}}
Gupta terracotta relief, Krishna Killing the Horse Demon Keshi, 5th century
thumb|Elephanta Caves, triple-bust (trimurti) of Shiva, {{convert|18|ft|m}} tall, {{circa|550}}
Chola bronze of Shiva as Nataraja ("Lord of Dance"), Tamil Nadu, 10th or 11th century.
Jahangir Receives Prince Khurram at Ajmer on His Return from the Mewar Campaign, Balchand, {{circa|1635}}
Krishna Fluting to the Milkmaids, Kangra painting, 1775–1785

Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics made significant advances.

The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) is a canonical piece of children's literature and one of the best-selling books ever published.

Outline of literature

Provided as an overview of and topical guide to literature .

Provided as an overview of and topical guide to literature .

The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) is a canonical piece of children's literature and one of the best-selling books ever published.

Sanskrit literature

Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra

Mahabharata

Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra
Krishna and Arjuna at Kurukshetra, 18th–19th-century painting
Modern depiction of Vyasa narrating the Mahābhārata to Ganesha at the Murudeshwara temple, Karnataka.
Sauti recites the slokas of the Mahabharata.
Vyasa Reviewing Mahabharata
The snake sacrifice of Janamejaya
Map of some Painted Grey Ware (PGW) sites.
Ganesha writes the Mahabharata upon Vyasa's dictation.
Shantanu falls in love with Satyavati, the fisherwoman. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma.
Draupadi with her five husbands – the Pandavas. The central figure is Yudhishthira; the two on the bottom are Bhima and Arjuna. Nakula and Sahadeva, the twins, are standing. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma, c. 1900.
Arjuna piercing the eye of the fish as depicted in Chennakesava Temple built by Hoysala Empire
Draupadi humiliated
A scene from the Mahābhārata war, Angkor Wat: A black stone relief depicting several men wearing a crown and a dhoti, fighting with spears, swords, and bows. A chariot with half the horse out of the frame is seen in the middle.
Gandhari, blindfolded, supporting Dhrtarashtra and following Kunti when Dhritarashtra became old and infirm and retired to the forest. A miniature painting from a 16th-century manuscript of part of the Razmnama, a Persian translation of the Mahabharata
Bhishma on his death-bed of arrows with the Pandavas and Krishna. Folio from the Razmnama (1761–1763), Persian translation of the Mahabharata, commissioned by Mughal emperor Akbar. The Pandavas are dressed in Persian armour and robes.
The Pandavas and Krishna in an act of the Javanese wayang wong performance
Krishna as portrayed in Yakshagana from Karnataka which is based largely on stories of Mahabharata
Depiction of wedding procession of Lord Neminatha. The enclosure shows the animals that are to be slaughtered for food for weddings. Overcome with Compassion for animals, Neminatha refused to marry and renounced his kingdom to become a Shramana

The Mahābhārata ( महाभारतम्, , ) is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa.

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Metre (poetry)

Basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse.

Basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse.

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Medieval poetry was metrical without exception, spanning traditions as diverse as European Minnesang, Trouvère or Bardic poetry, Classical Persian and Sanskrit poetry, Tang dynasty Chinese poetry or the Japanese Nara period Man'yōshū.

The Parnassus (1511) by Raphael: famous poets recite alongside the nine Muses atop Mount Parnassus.

Poetry

Form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre − to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, a prosaic ostensible meaning.

Form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre − to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, a prosaic ostensible meaning.

The Parnassus (1511) by Raphael: famous poets recite alongside the nine Muses atop Mount Parnassus.
Aristotle
John Keats
Archibald MacLeish
Robinson Jeffers
Marianne Moore
Attic red-figure kathalos painting of Sappho from c. 470 BCE
Homer: Roman bust, based on Greek original
Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (1876) is mainly in anapestic tetrameter.
Alexander Pushkin
The Old English epic poem Beowulf is in alliterative verse.
Divine Comedy: Dante and Beatrice see God as a point of light.
Blok's Russian poem, "Noch, ulitsa, fonar, apteka" ("Night, street, lamp, drugstore"), on a wall in Leiden
Statue of runic singer Petri Shemeikka at Kolmikulmanpuisto Park in Sortavala, Karelia
William Shakespeare
Carol Ann Duffy
Du Fu, "On Visiting the Temple of Laozi"
W. H. Auden
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro
Horace
Chaucer
Christine de Pizan (left)
Camões
John Wilmot
Thomas Gray
Krasicki
Goethe
Poe
Lewis Carroll
The oldest known love poem. Sumerian terracotta tablet #2461 from Nippur, Iraq. Ur III period, 2037–2029 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul
The philosopher Confucius was influential in the developed approach to poetry and ancient music theory.
An early Chinese poetics, the Kǒngzǐ Shīlùn (孔子詩論), discussing the Shijing (Classic of Poetry)
Baudelaire

Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, as well as religious hymns (the Sanskrit Rigveda, the Zoroastrian Gathas, the Hurrian songs, and the Hebrew Psalms); or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Egyptian Story of Sinuhe, the Indian epic poetry, and the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey.