Indian Literature

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Indian Literature

I. Geographical & Historical Background
India - situated North of the equator - covers on area of 3.28 million square kilometers. - population is 970 million. - 7th largest country in the world in land area.
4 Main Regions 1. Himalayan Mountain Wall 2. Near-level Indo-Gangetic Plain 3. Dessert Region 4. Southern Peninsula
Large Plateaus & Valleys 1. Kashmir 2. Kulu
Himalayas - comprises three almost parallel ranges interspersed with large plateaus & valleys.
Aryan Race - fair-skinned, Sanskrit-speaking, warlike & nomadic.
Dravidians - aborigines of India. - dark-skinned, peaceful& gentle.
Aryans gave: 1. Vedic literature 2. Sanskrit epics 3. Hindu religion 4. Caste system
18th Century - The Modern Period of Indian literature began with the colonization of India by British.

Great Period of Indian Literature (Dynasties) 1. Maurya 2. Gutpa 3. Mughal

II. Religious Works

A. Poetry - the oldest sacred literature of India is found in their four vedas.

Veda - means knowledge, par excellence. - sacred spiritual knowledge. - mass literature w/c grew up in the course of many centuries & was orally handed down from generation to generation.

The Four Vedas
1. Rig-Veda - (c. 1400 B.C.) - known as the Veda of stanzas. - an anthropolgy of 1028 hyms in praise of various gods. - prevailing religion is Hindu Pantheism. - chief object of the worship is Brahma, the ethernal self-existant god. - most notable single poem in this collection is the Creation Hymn.

2. Sama-Veda - Book of Chants(1100 B.C.) - consist principally of liturgies, of which most are repetitious of hymns in the Rig-Veda. - an anthology of the Rig-Veda literature.
3. Yajur-Veda - Prayer Book (1200 B.C.) - liturgical & repetitious of the Rig-Veda but contains many original…...

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