THE KAVIKULGURU KALIDAS SANSKRIT UNIVERSITY kksv
- Children’s Fables
Fables are the tales written for innocent children to impart knowledge of politics, economics, worldly wisdom and other day today gimmicks. Their theme is the attainment of three ends of life i.e. Dharma, Artha and Kama and not Moksha. They are in narrative form and usually the animals and birds feature in them. They have been made up to behave and speak like human beings. There is a main story and other short stories are interwoven into it. These highlight human follies and weaknesses. Generally the whole story is in prose but the moral or the lesson derived from them is usually given in verses. In Sanskrit literature Panchatantra and Hitapadesh are the most popular works of this style.
Panchatantra is the oldest work available in its original form. On the basis of internal and external clues its time can be fixed as 300 BC. It has been largely influenced by the Arthashastra of Kautilya.
Vishnusharma is the author of Panchatantra. It was written by him to instruct the three dull Princes of King amarkirti of Mahilaranya. As the name itself denotes Panchatantra is divided into five chapters – ‘Tantra’. ‘Tantra’ means the secrets. Five secrets of good administration, kingship and worldly wisdom have been expounded with the help of the animal fables. There is a quaint humour in these fables because the animals are made to discuss dharma, gods, myths, legends, politics, economics, ethics etc.
These five tantras are Mitrabheda (separation of friends), Mitrasamprapti (union of friends), Kokolukiya (peace and war), Labdhapranasha (loss of what is gained). And aparikshitkarakam (doing things without pre-examination). Each division of Panchatantra has its main story but many others have been interwoven to prove the main one. The whole story of Panchatantra is in prose but the moral of the story has been given in the form of verses.
The language of Panchatantra is very easy and simple. The sentences are very small and easy to understand. The figures of speech used are Anuprasa, Upama, Rupaka, Utpreksha etc.
The truth of life given here is true for all places and for all times.
The Panchatantra is very popular not only in India but in other countries also as is evident from its 250 editions written in about fifty languages in and outside India.
The most important of all the editions of the Panchatantra is Hitopadesha. It is full of good advice imparted through stories. It has been written by Narayan Pandit in about 1400 AD. under the patronage of King Dhawalchandra of Bengal. The poet himself has accepted that Hitopdesha is based on Panchatantra.
Panchatantra has five ‘Tantras’ but Hitopdesha has only four – Mitralabha (wining of friends), suhridbheda (loss of friends), vigraha (war) and sandhi (peace). Here the order of the first two chapters has been reversed and third chapter of Panchatantra has been divided into two and in these two chapters the contents of the Vth chapter have been inserted. Out of forty three stories in Hitopadesha twenty five have been drawn from Panchatantra.
Hitopadesha is a manual of politics for Kings in internal and foreign policy. It has many portions which are an embodiment of deep rooted political knowledge. Here the influence of Kamandaka’s Nitisara is evident.
The language of Hitopadesha is simple end easy flowing without any embellishment yet it is forceful and effective.
Hitopadesha has been much more popular in India and Europe and has been translated in many Indian and foreign languages.
Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya kksv kksu
Eminent Sanskrit Authors
Jaideva is an extremely popular lyric poet and his famous Geeti Kavya Geeta Govinda has influenced the later poets, painters and dancers to base their performances on this beautiful work. This Kavya describes the pious love of Radha and Krishna which represents the bondage of Atman with Paramatman. Jaideva was a devotee of Krishna. He has described Krishna and Radha leelas in such a beautiful language that every syllable of it resounds musically when recited. It abounds in rhythmically matching groups of words. Even the long compounds can be tuned perfectly to create a soft musical effect. Every song is composed in fixed Raga and tala. These songs are sung in the whole of India at special occasions and festivals. It is the best lyric Kavya of Sanskrit Literature. It has a beautiful combination of poetry and dialogues which gives it a dramatic effect. Some western scholars treat it as musical drama.
Jaideva was a poet in the court of Raja Laxman Sen of Bengal who flourished in 12th Century A.D. His work has touched the heart of every Indian Bhakta of Krishna.
Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya kksv kksu
Kalhana is one poet who composed the first and the best historical Kavya Rajatarangini which portrays the history of Kashmir. It has covered the entire period of developments from 1300 B.C. to 1150 A.D.
Rajatarangini contains eight tarangas (wave). He has surveyed the royal collections with the kings, puranas, various inscriptions, anthologies, seals and coins to make his work more and authentic. The Kavya starts with one King Govinda of 1300 BC and contains the most authentic chronological descriptions of various prominent incidents. He has not only mentioned the qualities of the kings but also their immoral acts as well. The main objective of this work is the propagation of morality. He has appreciated the prevalent religious tolerance in the various sects of Kashmir. Hindus and Muslims worked together without ever having a tinge of enmity. He has specially opposed the kings who ever tried to disturb this unity. He has bitterly criticized the greedy priests, indisciplined soldiers and wicked officials. He has showered praises on the pious ambitions of Rani Chidda.
Kalhana was a resident of Kashmir. His father Champak was a true follower of King Harsha of Kashmir. After the assassination of the King, Champaka left politics and thus Kalhana also was deprived of the royal grace.
Adi Shankaracharya was not just a philosopher or a scholar. In fact he was a man of amazing energy combining in him a mystic, a saint, a scholar, a poet and above all a practical reformer and an able organizer.
Shankara was born in Kalady village in Kerala. Various evidences prove his date as 509 BC to 477 BC. His mother Aryamba was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva. His father Shiv Guru left him when he was only three years old. At the age of five only he had studied all the Vedas and Vedangas. Staying at Gurukul, he went to beg alms from a house. The lady was so poor that she could only give a dry Amla and she felt very sorry for it. Shankara prayed to Goddess Lakshmi who showered gold coins in the shape of Amla. This stotra a known as Kanakadhara stotra. At the age of seven he returned from Gurukul and wanted to renounce the world, but his mother denied. He entered a river and shouted that a crocodile had caught him and would only release him if he is permitted to renounce the world. The helpless mother granted him the permission for renunciation with the promise that he would perform her last rites. Thus Shankara left and on the way crossed rivers, hills, forests, towns, meeting varied personalities and limitless varieties of the creation experiencing the Brahman-the ultimate reality in every tiny living and non-living creature. He came across a cave in which Govinda Bhagwadpad was deeply engrossed in Samadhi. The cave was on the bank of the river Narmada and its flooding waters started entering the cave. Shankara adjusted a pot in such a way that the water could not enter the cave. Ultimately Govinda initiated him into Sanyasa and taught him the four Mahavakyas – Tat tvamasi, Prajnanam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi and Ayamatma Brahma. Here Shankar attained Siddhis through Yoga and meditation and obtained super natural powers.
From here he visited Kashi and from there went to Badari Dham and wrote the Brahmasutra Bhashya. From here he was proceeding towards Kedar – ashram where he saw Kumarila Bhatt trying to immolate himself in fire as a revenge for his own act of denying the existence of God. Kumarila requested Shankar to meet Mandan Mishra and make him his disciple who will propogate the philosophy of Vedanta. Unable to save Kumarila, Shankara went to Mandana Mishra’s house and defeated him and his wife Sharda in Shastrartha. Acharya Mandan Mishra got engrossed in the propagation of Vedanta. From here Shankar proceeded towards Shri Shailam. Here he got the news of his mother’s death and true to his promise, he went and performed her last rites. To establish geographical, historical and spiritual integrity in India he established four mathas in four directions of the country – Jyotirmath in North, Govardhan Math at Puri in east, Shringeri Matha in Karnataka in south and Dwarika math in Gujarat in west and established Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham at Kanchi as his abode.
Shankara in the short span of his life (only 32 years), wrote Bhashya on Upanishad and Gita. He also composed 240 stotras, prakaran granthas, introductory books such as Upadesh Sahasri, Vivek Chudamani, Aparokshanubhuti etc., in all eighty books in number.
Not only the land of India but also the entire world today bows before Adi Shankara’s wisdom, intellect and the principles that he enunciated and the empire of spirit that he established। In fact, he is the brightest luminary in the galaxy of ancient Indian thinkers. In fact he was the first torch-bearer of national integration functioning on the intellectual, philosophical and religious plans, trying to bring about a perfect unity of thought all over India.
The word Patanjali has been explained as Patantyah Anjalaya yasmai i.e. one for whom the hands are folded as a mark of respect. Patanjali has been regarded as a great sage and referred to by many names such as Gonardiya, Phani, Adhipati, Sheshraja etc. According to a legend, he is considered to be an incarnation of Sheshanaga. Patanjali was an expert of at least three branches of Sanskrit studies namely yoga, vyakarana, and ayurveda. An ancient verse regards him as a sage who cleansed dirtiness of mind with yoga, of speech with grammar and of the body with ayurveda. Thus Patanjali contributed immensely towards the science of meditation, science of language and science of medicines.
Patanjali’s Yogasutra is the main basic work of Ashtangayoga Philosophy. The eight angas are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. ‘Yoga’ is the control of the senses and the states of chitta. When the mind becomes pure, the chances of its being ruffled by external disturbances are generally reduced.
Patanjali’s Mahabhashya is yet another milestone. It is the first and oldest existing commentary on the Ashtadhyayi of Panini. Dealing with 1228 rules of Panini, it has remained supremely authoritative and furnishes the last and final word in all cases of serious doubts ever raised over grammatical issues. Katyayana wrote a number of vartikas to supplement Paninian rules but Patanjali proved their futility and supported Panini. In short, it is an encyclopedic work of this branch. In addition to this, it is flooded with brilliant quotations the number of which may exceed 700. The whole discussion is presented in conversational style of question – answer or objection – refutation etc. It is quite evident that Sanskrit was the spoken language at that time. The theory of gravitation has first been explained in Mahabhashya only.
Patanjali belonged to a place called Gonarda which could be Gonda Pradesh of U।P.or a part of Kashmir. Nothing is known about his parentage. He received his education at Takshashila and taught students at Pataliputra. If Patanjali is accepted as contemporary to king Pushyamitra then he may be placed around second century B.C.
Harsha, also known as Harshavardhana, the second son of Prabhakarvardhana and younger brother of Rajyavardhana ruled a large empire in Northern India from 606 to 647 A.D. He was an orthodox Hindu but later became Buddhist convert. Emperor Harsha himself was a great scholar who patronised and sponsored many poets like Banabhatta and Mayura. We come to know his life-history from the famous work Harshacharitam composed by Banabhatta, the foremost Sanskrit prose writer.
The Nagananda is a play in five acts which describes the self-sacrifice of Jimutavahana, prince of Vidyadharas. Besides the main theme, there is an interesting sub-plot in the drama in which hero's love for Malayavati has been depicted.
The Priyadarshika is also a natika in four acts, having for its theme the union of Udayana and Priyadarshika, daughter of King Dridhavarman. In both these dramas, there is not only a similarity of subject matter and form but also a reminiscence of Kalidasa's Malvikagnimitram. The noteworthy feature of the Priyadarshika is the effective introduction of a play which is technically called garbhanka, as an integral part of the action.
Bhasa was the first great dramatist whose complete dramas are now available to the world. In the year 1910, Mahamahopadhyaya T. Ganapathi Shastri of Travancore discovered a collection of 13 plays with a similarity of expression and construction and declared them as the compositions of one single author, Bhasa. It is certain that this well known dramatist was a predecessor of Kalidasa. The greatest Sanskrit poet Kalidasa mentions his name with respect in the prelude to his first drama, the Malavikagnimitram. Some scholars place him in 2nd or 3rd century A.D. between Ashwaghosha and Kalidasa. Probably Bhasa was a devotee of Lord vishnu.
Dramas, based on Ramayana are - Praitimanatakam and Abhishekanatakam, one is based on Shrimadbhagavatam is Balacaritam and the others based on Brihatkatha are Pratijnayaugandharayanam and Svapnavasavadattam. Avimarakam and Daridracharudattam are based on Lokakathas.
Bhasa was a born-dramatist. He has presented various models of Sanskrit drama, such as Prakarana and Bhana (one act play) etc. In all his small dramas, the poet has succeeded in making them extraordinarily dramatic.
Bhasa's Svapnavasavadattam is a masterpiece of Sanskrit literature. According to Acharya Rajashekhara, Svapnavasavadattam was the only drama which proved itself non-combustible in the fire of criticism. Svapnavasavdattam, means 'the Dream of Vasavadatta who meets her husband Udayana in a dream'। The plot has probably been taken from the Brihatkatha of Gunadhya. From the point of view of stage-performance, Bhasa’s plays are magnificent.
Maharishi Vedavyasa is that famous a personality who outstands as a representative of extreme human intelligence and vast ocean like knowledge. He is known to be the grandson of the sage Vasistha and son of Rishi Parashar. He spent his life on Badri fruits only in Badrikashram and thus came to be known as Badarayan. He was born in an island and hence was called Dvaipayana. He was dark in colour and thus acquired the title of Krishna and since he classified the available knowledge of Veda into Samhitas, he got the title of Vedavyasa. His mother was Satyawati.
Vyas not only compiled the Samhitas but also the eighteen Puranas. He also wrote Brahma Sutras and the Bhagwat Puranam – the touch-stone of human knowledge. He wrote Mahabharata – the great epic which is known as the encyclopedia of knowledge. It has been written in Mahabharata itself that one who knows the Vedas with all its Vedangas and Upanishads but does not know Mahabharata cannot be called a learned scholar (Mahabharata, Adiparvan, 2.235). This epic is not only a story of the battle between two groups of cousins but is an excellent code of moral conduct. It is a treasure house of anecdotes, subhashitas and a grand treatise on conflict management.
It is said that Vyas dictated the script of Mahabharata to Ganesh who wrote it on bark leaves by breaking one of his tusks. Vyas is also a prominent figure in the Mahabharata. He was the father of Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura.
Vyas was born on Shukla Purnima of Ashadha month which is worshipped even today in Indian homes as Guru Purnima। He is worshipped as Guru because of his greatness and vastness of knowledge. It is said that this whole world is pervaded by Vyasa (Vyasochchhishtam Jagat Sarvam) and there could definitely be no better an adjective for him.
Valmiki is a sage of an excellent power of pen and wisdom. He is called Adikavi since the moment he cursed an hunter on killing Kraunch bird in a totally original chhandas. Narada advised Valmiki to write in the same poetic meter the life and deeds of Rama. Accordingly Valmiki wrote Ramayana, the Adikavya, in seven sections and 24000 couplets full of the most compelling imagery, idioms and metaphors, wisdom and nobility. He gave birth to a unique literary and philosophical masterpiece, one of the greatest works in world literature. Valmiki loved and respected life in all its splendor and diversity, the birds, the trees, the rivers, the seasons, forests and even scientific inventions.
Very little is known about the personal life of this sage except that before becoming a saint he was earning his livelihood as a decoit. One day Rishi Agastya met him and asked him why he committed such crimes. ‘To support my family’ replied Mrigavyadha the decoit. ‘Will they be sharing your sins also?’ questioned Agastya’ Mrigvyadha was deeply disappointed when he received the reply in negative by his parents, his wife and the other members of his family. Shocked and under deep sense of remorse, he started meditating and went into Samadhi. Ants built their nests around him and his body took the shape of an ant-hill. God Varuna feeling very much moved by his condition and his austere penance, washed off the mud and cured his wounds. Thereafter he was called Valmiki – arising out a Valmika - an ant hill. God blessed him and called him a sage. The fundamental teaching of the Ramayana is the sanctity of the institution of the family which is society in miniature.
Ramayana is the source of many other works in other Indian Languages like Ramacharitamanasa of Tulsidas in Hindi, the Ramayana in Assamese by Madhava Kandali, Ramayana in Bengali by Krittibas, Ramayana in Marathi by Eknath, Kamba Ramayana in Tamil by Kamban, Mulla – Ramayana in Telugu by Mulla, Adhyatma Ramayana in Malaylam by Ramanuja Edutachhan and also in many other Indian and foreign languages।
Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya kksv kksu
Panini is, today, recognised all over the world as the greatest model of human intelligence. Though India had a long tradition of grammarians but the final codification of Sanskrit language is ascribed to Panini only whose grammar has remained normative for its correct usage ever since. Panini's Ashtadhyayi is the oldest complete grammar available but the maturity, depth, and brevity, as found in it, is a proof in itself that this work is a link in the long chain of grammatical works. Panini himself has mentioned the names of ten grammarians – Apishali, Kashyapa, Gargya, Galava, Chakraverman, Bharadwaj, Shakatayana, Shakalya, Shonaka and Sphotayana.
Panini's Ashtadhyayi contains 4000 sutras presented in eight chapters of four quarters each. It is remarkable that the text has come down to us intact without any interpolation. Ashtadhyayi is written in sutra style. A sutra has to be brief, precise and unambiguous. The sutras have to be interpreted within their shared context. Thus sutra is not an independent statement. Panini's many sutras contain references to a living speech. He has discussed the peculiarities in the usage of the language by easterners and northerners.
The starting points of this great work are the famous Maheshwara Sutras in which the sounds have been broadly divided into three categories – Swara, Antastha and Vyanjana. These sounds have been presented in a remarkably scientific system.
Panini's contribution towards formation of words is superb. He catagories the words in two main groups i.e. 'Subanta' and 'tinganta', and bases the verb forms on ten lakaras, three persons and three numbers, Thus every root can be conjugated into ninety inflectional forms and could take care of almost all the modes, aspects and voices. Similarly every Subanta could have theoretically twenty four forms based on eight cases and three numbers. The roots are grouped into ganas and the members of a particular gana constitute similar forms. The nouns are declined according to the last varna in a particular gender, Panini believes that the total sentence is an indivisible unit (Vakyaikyah) and the word is lame without its usage in a sentence. Sometimes nouns are also used as verbs. There are separate rules governing case - endings regarding the relationship of subject with the object and with other words used in the sentence. Panini's Ashtadhyayi has been the sole refuge for later grammarians like Katyayana, Patanjali and many others.
As regards the personal life of Panini, it has been gathered from various external sources that the names of his parents were Panin and Dakshi। He was born at Shalatur village near Peshawar and pursued his studies at Takshashila University. His date could be fixed anywhere in 500 B.C. The saying that 'Sanskrit is best fitted for Computer' owes its origin to the great sage Panini.
History of Sanskrit Literature
Sanskrit literature is as vast as the human life. There are four aims of human life which are called Purusharthas. They are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma stands for the duties and responsibilities of man. Artha communicates the monetary necessities, Karma stands for the human desires of all types and Moksha is freedom from birth and re-birth and worldly involvement. Any and every literature surrounds these four aims of human life. Sanskrit literature first of all presents Vedas which are the basis for Dharma. Vedas are the root of Dharma. There are four Vedas Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda, and Atharvaveda. Brahman granthas explain the Vedic literature and give the detailed process to perform the Yajnas. Aranyakas and Upanishads discuss the internal meaning of the Vedas and the path of renunciation – Moksha Purushartha. Pratishakhyas explain the grammatical issues of the Vedas. Six Vedangas i.e. Shiksha, Vyakarana, Kalpa, Chhandas, Nirukta, and Jyotish help to understand the Vedas. As per the Indian tradition the Veda is not written by any author but in fact it is the respiration of God. Veda has been seen by the seers, the Rishis. Later it was diversified into four Samhitas by the great seer Vyasa. Some Scholars hold that the Vedas were written by different seers and they estimated the time of these writings from 6500 BC to 1500 BC. The rest of the Vedic literature might have been completed before 600 BC.
Valmiki was first to write the worldly poetry; Loka – Kavya. He wrote the Ramayana the great-epic which had the great impact on the later literature. Even today the latest poetry is written on the line of Valmiki. The Ramayana was written in 500BC.
The second epic Mahabharata was written by Krishanadwaipayana Vyasa which is known as encyclopedia of knowledge.
Later the Poets like Kalidasa, Ashvaghosa contributed considerably during the Gupta period. Bharavi, Bhatti, Kumardasa and Magha – all wrote Mahakaavyas. Harishena and Vatsabhatti were also prominent writers. Some other divisions of the classical literature and some names of the classical writers are: Kalhan and Bilhan in the field of historical Kavyas :Bhartrihari, Amaruka, Bilhana, Jayadeva, Somadeva etc. are famous as lyric poets. The Brihatkatha, Romantic and Didactic Fables, erotic poetry, champu kavyas, works on poetics and anthologies, gnomic and didactic poetry etc. form an unparalled part of Sanskrit literature.
The Scientific Literature covers Lexicography, Metrics, Grammar, Law, Science of Politics, Love, Philosophy and Religion, Medicine, Astronomy, Astrology and mathematics etc.
Though lots of Sanskrit literature has seen the light of the day but still much more Sanskrit literature is lying in the form of manuscripts and waiting for publication. These MSS are kept in general Sanskrit libraries and in houses of Sanskrit Scholars whose successors may know or not know the value of the MSS. This is a huge work to be done.
THE KAVIKULGURU KALIDAS SANSKRIT UNIVERSITY
Panini (500 B.C.) was a great landmark in the development of Sanskrit language. He, concising about ten grammar schools prevalent during his time, wrote the master book of grammar named Ashtadhyayi which served as beacon for the later period. Literary Sanskrit and spoken Sanskrit both followed Panini’s system of language. Today the correctness of Sanskrit language is tested upon the touchstone of Panini’s Ashtadhyayee.
Sanskrit is said to belong to Indo – Aryan or Indo Germanic family of languages which includes Greek, Latin and other alike languages. William Jones, who was already familiar with Greek and Latin, when came in contact with Sanskrit, remarked that Sanskrit is more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more refined than either. He said – “Sanskrit is a wonderful language”. It is noteworthy that though ancient and classical, Sanskrit is still used as medium of expression by scholars throughout India and somewhere in other parts of the world e.g. America, and Germany. Sanskrit is included in the list of modern Indian Languages in the eighth schedule of the constitution of India.
As per the Indian tradition Sanskrit Language has no beginning and no ending. It is eternal. Self-born God has created it. It is divine. It is everlasting. It was first used in Vedas and thereafter it has been the means of expression in other fields.
Sanskrit has been the source of later languages and literature in India. Pali and Prakrit were first to develop from Sanskrit. Pali was taken as means for exposition of Buddhistic ideas and Prakrit was used for the spread of Jain doctrines. Most of the Buddhistic literature is written in Pali and that of Jain cult in Prakrit. A vast amount of Buddhistic and Jain literature was also written in Sanskrit simultaneously. Prakrit language had different shades in different parts of India. So they were named as Paishachi, Shourseni, Magadhi, Ardha – magadhi and Maharashtri. These Prakrits were used for writing ornate poetry like Gaha Saptashati and Karpur Manjari and also in Sanskrit drama as dialogues of ladies and illiterate characters. From each type of Prakrit various Apabhramsha languages developed bearing the same name as Paishachi Apabhramsha, Shaurseni Apabhramsha and so on. Modern Indian Languages are developed from these Apabhramsha languages.
Hindi, the official language of India, is developed from Shauraseni Apabhransha. It is said that all the modern Indian languages used in north part of India are evolved from Sanskrit and the other Modern Indian Langauges of South India- Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu are evolved from the Dravidian family of languages. The South Indian MILs are well enriched and nourished by Sanskrit language.
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