ontinuing the tradition of the late Vedic Shrautasutra literature, Late Iron Age scholarship (ca.

500 to 100 BCE) organized knowledge into Sutra treatises, inclu ding the Vedanga and the religious or philosophical Brahma Sutras, Yoga Sutras, Nyaya Sutras. In the Vedanga disciplines of grammar and phonetics, no author had greater influ ence than Pāṇini with his Aṣṭādhyāyī (ca. 5th century BC). In the tradition of Sutra literatu e exposing the full grammar of Sanskrit in extreme brevity, Panini's brilliance lies in the nature of his work of a prescriptive generative grammar, involving m etarules, transformations and recursion. Being prescriptive for all later gramma tical works, such as Patanjali's Mahābhāṣya, Pāṇini's grammar effectively fixed the gramma r of Classical Sanskrit. The Backus-Naur Form or BNF grammars used to describe m odern programming languages have significant similarities with Panini's grammar rules. The Epics[edit] Main article: Indian epic poetry The period between approximately the 6th to 1st centuries BC saw the composition and redaction of the two great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, with su bsequent redaction progressing down to the 4th century AD. They are known as iti hasa, or history, ( that which occurred ). The Ramayana[edit] Main article: Ramayana While not as long as the Mahabharata, the Ramayana is still twice as long as the Iliad and Odyssey put together. Traditionally, the authorship is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki, who is referred to as Adikavi, or "first poet." Valmiki in the Ramayana introduced the Anushtubh meter for the first time. Like the Maha bharata, the Ramayana was also handed down orally and evolved through several ce nturies before being transferred into writing. It includes tales that form the b asis for modern Hindu festivals and even contains a description of the same marr iage practice still observed in contemporary times by people of Hindu persuasion . The story deals with Prince Rama (Hindi: Rām), his exile and the abduction of his wife by the Rakshasa king Ravana, and the Lankan war. Similar to the Mahabharata , the Ramayana also has several full-fledged stories appearing as sub-plots. The Ramayana has also played a similar and equally important role in the develop ment of Indian culture as the Mahabharata. The Ramayana is also extant in Ramayana: Southeast Asian versions See also: Hikayat Seri Rama, Kakawin Rāmâyaṇa, Phra Lak Phra Lam, Ramakien, Reamker, a nd Yama Zatdaw The Mahabharata[edit] The battle of Kurukshetra, folio from the Mahabharata. Main article: Mahabharata The Mahabharata (Great Bharata) is one of the longest poetic works in the world. While it is clearly a poetic epic, it contains large tracts of Hindu mythology, philosophy and religious tracts. Traditionally, authorship of the Mahabharata i s attributed to the sage Vyasa. According to the Adi-parva of the Mahabharata (8 1, 101-102), the text was originally 8,800 verses when it was composed by Vyasa and was known as the Jaya (Victory), which later became 24,000 verses in the Bha rata recited by Vaisampayana. The broad sweep of the story of the Mahabharata chronicles the story of the conf lict between two families for control of Hastinapur, a city in Ancient India. The impact of the Mahabharata on India and Hinduism cannot be stressed enough. H aving been molded by Indian culture, it has in turn molded the development of In dian culture. Thousands of later writers would draw freely from the story and su b-stories of the Mahabharata. Classical Sanskrit literature[edit] The classical period of Sanskrit literature dates to the Gupta period and the su

Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906). Bhasa. and the play that he is most known for: Abhijñānaśākuntalam (The Recognition of Shakuntala). Nagananda. little is known ab out the authors themselves." though it sometimes translated as "Science o f Theatre'") is a keystone work in Sanskrit literature on the subject of stagecr aft. attr ibuted to King Harsha. The only surviving ancient Sanskrit drama theatre is Koodiyattam. who sacrifices himself to save the tribe of serpents. scene f rom Abhijñānaśākuntalam. influenced partly by Vedic mythology. which is being preserved in Kerala by the Chakyar community. The Natya Shastra (ca. Late (post 6th century) dramatists include Dandin and Sriharsha. Classic al Hindu astrology is based on early medieval compilations. It is also un ique in that it invokes Lord Buddha in what is a predominantly Hindu drama. Bhasa and Kālidāsa are major early authors of the first centuries AD. during ca. Siddhanta. Famous Sanskrit dramatists include Śhudraka. Shastra. Asvaghosa and Kālidāsa. Drama[edit] Main article: Sanskrit drama Shakuntala stops to look back at Dushyanta. Mālavikāgnimitram (Malavika and Agnimitra). thought to have be en composed by Śhudraka in the 2nd century BC. Scholarly treatises[edit] Indian literature Assamese Bengali Bhojpuri English Gujarati Hindi Kannada Kashmiri Malayalam Manipuri Marathi Mizo Nepali Oriya Punjabi Rajasthani Sanskrit Sindhi Tamil Telugu Urdu v t e Main articles: Tantras. It reaches its peak between the 4th an d 7th centuries before declining together with Sanskrit literature as a whole. Drama as a distinct genre of Sanskrit literature emerges in the final centuries BC. the 6th to 4th centuries BCE. and Jataka Further information: Jyotihshastra The earliest surviving treatise on astrology is the Jyotiṣa Vedānga as the science o f observing the heavens in order to correctly perform Vedic sacrifice arises aft er the end of the Vedic period. 2nd century AD.[5] The astronomy of the classical Gupta perio . three famous plays by Kālidāsa are Vikramōrvaśīyam (Vikrama and Urvashi). literally "Scripture of Dance. spanning roughly the 3rd to 8th c enturies CE. Kālidāsa qual ifying easily as the greatest poet and playwright in Sanskrit He deals primarily with famous Hindu legends and themes. notably the Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra and Sārāvalī (7th to 8th century).ccessive pre-Islamic Middle kingdoms of India. One of the earliest known Sanskrit plays is the Mrichakatika. is an outstanding drama that outlines the story of King J imutavahana. Though num erous plays written by these playwrights are still available.

equal to nearly one-fourth of the Mahābhārata. but without any proofs. It was probabl y a matter of style of exposition. like stan zas that read the same backwards and forwards.[7] However. or "Science of Political Ethics". they belong to the class of literature which the Hindus call nīti-śāstra. These three collections of fairy tales are all written in prose and are comparatively short. according to (Hayashi 2003. The mathematical portion of the Āryabhaṭīya was co mposed of 33 sūtras (in verse form) consisting of mathematical statements or rules . th e Paulisha and Romaka Siddhantas (directly based on Hellenistic astronomy) and t he Vasishta Siddhanta. Sanskrit fairy tales and fables are chiefly characterised by ethical reflections and proverbial philosophy. or "Seventy Stories of a Parrot". Like Kshemendra's Brhatkathamanjari and Budhasvamin's Bṛhatkathāślokasaṃgraha. it contains more t han 22. the Siṃhāsana-dvātriṃçikā or "Thirty-two tories of the Lion-seat" (i. Varahamihira in his Pancha-Siddhantika contrasts five of these: The Surya Siddhanta besides the Pait amaha Siddhantas (which is more similar to the "classical" Vedanga Jyotisha). the attainment of all objects." The keynote prevailing in this new ethical poetry style is the doctrin e of the vanity of human life. throne). originally serving as the handbooks of practical moral philos ophy. the centuries following Indo-Greek contact. the creation. p. But a striking characteristic of Indian literary tradition is that sometimes poe ts show off their technical dexterity with highly Oulipian word-games.e. Indonesia. The mos t important are the two collections by the highly-gifted Bhartṛhari. sophisticated metaphors. The two most important collections are Panchatantra and Hitopadesha. Classical poetry[edit] This refers to the poetry produced from the approximately the 3rd to 8th centuri es. or "Adventures of Vikrama" and the Śuka-saptati. magical or mystical treatise and my stical texts both Hindu and Buddhist said to concern themselves with five subjec ts. marked by the insertion of a numbe r of different stories within the framework of a single narrative. exerting a major influence on works such as O ne Thousand and One Nights. 123). 1.000 shlokas. the destruction of the world. which also goes by the name of Vikrama-c harita. is documented in treatises known as Siddhantas (which means "established conclusions" [6] ). 5. originally intended as manuals for the instruction of kings in domestic and foreign policy. it derives from Gunadhya's Brihatkatha. prose commentaries increasingly began to include some derivations (upapatti). 2. These texts date to the entire lifespan of Classical Sansk rit literature. This . the worship of the gods . made its way to Persian and Arabic literatures. 3. Fable collections. words that can be split in differ ent ways to produce different meanings." and Vairāgya-śataka. Somadeva's Kathā-sarit-sāgara or "Ocean of Rivers of Stories" is a work of special i mportance: composed in verse and of very considerable length.d. and so on. provided an abundant reservoir of ethical maxims that become so popular th at works consisting exclusively of poetical aphorisms started to appear." From the time of Bhaskara I (600 CE onwards) . The earliest treatise in Indian mathematics is the Āryabhaṭīya (written ca. or "Century of Conduct. and has dominated Indian thought ever since. Other notable prose works include a collection of pretty and ingenious fairy tal es. with a highly Oriental colouring. or "Century of Renun ciation.C. 4.. the four modes of union with the supreme spirit by meditation. the Vetāla-panchaviṃśati or "Twenty-five Tales o f the Vetāla" (a demon supposed to occupy corpses). A peculiar style. Stories[edit] Main articles: Panchatantra and Hitopadesha A 'Panchatantra' relief at the Mendut temple. Kālidāsa is the foremost example of a classical poet. a work on astronomy and mathematics. entitled resp ectively Nīti-śataka. "this does not necessarily mean that their authors did not prove them. "Tantra" is a general term for a scientific. 500 CE). which was developed before the rise of Buddhism i n the sixth century B. Central Java.

Traditionally[9] they are said to narrate five subjects. A classic example is the poet Bharavi and his magn um opus. Magh is noted for his epic poem (m ahAkAvya) Shishupala Vadha. additional") corpus. dating to between the 5th and 10th centuries. the Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana. Puranas[edit] Part of a series on Hindu scriptures Om Vedas[show] Vedangas[show] Upanishads[show] Puranas[show] Itihasa[show] Other scriptures[show] Scripture classification[show] Timeline[show] v t e Main article: Puranas The corpus of the Hindu Puranas likewise falls into the classical period of Sans krit literature.style is referred to as Kāvya.("lower. the 20 cantos of which are based on the Mahabharata episode where the defiant king Shishupala is beheaded by Krishna's chakra (disc) The greatest works of poetry in this period are the five Mahākāvyas. or "great compo sition"s: Kumārasambhava by Kālidāsa Raghuvamsha by Kālidāsa Kiratarjuniya by Bharavi Shishupala Vadha by Māgha Naishadha-Charita by Sriharsha Some scholars include the Bhattikavya as a sixth Mahākāvya. and marks the eme rgence of the Vaishnava and Shaiva denominations of classical Hinduism. the Kiratarjuniya (6th-7th century). the fir st Sanskrit novelist (6th-7th centuries). called pañcalakṣaṇa ("five d istinguishing marks"): .("great") and a Upa. The Pura nas are classified into a Mahā. and the three shatakas of Bhartṛhari.[8] Other major literary works from this period are Kadambari by Banabhatta.