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y The worlds second most populous nation (after

china) and the seventh largest in area y India and Bharat are both official names y The early settlers called their land Bharat Varsha or Bharat y During medieval times it was known as Hind

y India is derived from the Indus River y The earliest Indian Civilization grew up in

the Indus Valley from 4000 to 2500 B.C Beginning about 1500 B.C y Aryan invaders entered India from the northwest and intermingled with the local Dravidian population

y More than 200 languages are spoken in

India y Hindi, the fourth most widely spoken language in the world , is the language of 30 percent of the population and the official language of India

y The

birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism y The Indian caste system, an important facet of Hinduism, is a major social system that groups people according to birth y Harijans, formerly known as Untouchables, have traditionally occupied the lowest rung in of the social ladder

Four Classes
y Brahmans Priests y Kshatriyas Warriors y Vaisyas Peasants, merchants y Sudras serfs, servants, laborers

Brahmans, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas classified as Aryans Sudras classified as Dravidians

y Literacy is higher among men than among

women; it is also much higher in urban areas than in rural ones y The education system is free and open to all children through the university level y Compulsory to aged 6 to 14

y The constitution adopted in 1950 provides a

federal system with a parliamentary form of government y Parliament consists of two houses, the Raiya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha ( House of the people)

y Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi
- born in Porbandar , India, on Oct.2, 1869 - Leader of

the Indian nationalist movement and known in his later life as Mahatma (great soul) was one of the greatest national leaders of the 20th century. - His methods and philosophy of non- violent confrontation, or civil disobedience, not only led his own country to independence but influenced political activists of many persuasions throughout the world

- When in the company of boyhood friends, he secretly

smoked, ate meat, told lies, or wore Western clothing, he suffered intense feelings of guilt. These feelings forced him to make resolutions about his moral behavior that were to remain with him. - Ghandi also fought to improve the status of the lowest classes of society, the casteless Untouchables, whom he called harijans (children of God). He believed in manual labor and simple living.


y Most of the literature of ancient India was

written in Sanskrit y The history of Indian literature falls into two periods: 1. The Vedic Period writings are made up principally of religious and lyric poetry 2. Sanskrit Period Many types of literature achieved distinction epic, lyric, and didactic poetry; drama, fairy tales; fables; romances ; and philosophy


The four Vedas (Books of Knowledge)

y The Rig- Veda (c. 1400 B.C) - is an anthology of 1028

hymns to various gods- many of them impersonal nature deities. The prevailing religion of the Rig Veda is Hindu pantheism; its chief object of worship is Brahma, the eternal, self existent god. The most notable single poem in this collection is the Creation Hymn.

y The Sama Veda or Book of Chants it consists

principally of liturgies, of which most repetitions of hymns in the Rig Veda.

y The YAJUR Veda or Prayer Book this is also

liturgical and repetitions of the Rig- Veda, but it contains, in addition, many original prose formulas.
y The Atharva- Veda or Book of Spells-containing

some hymns, consists chiefly of spells, incantations, and notions about demonology and witchcraft

Most Important Vedic Gods

y Agni Fire y Indra Water

Hindu Gods
Vishnu life / creation Shiva Death / Destruction

y The Brahmanas commentaries on the Vedic hymns

and religious rites. y The Upanishads (c. 800- 500 B.C) it gives a great deal of information concerning the conceptions of Maya (the illusory world) and nirvana (absorption into the universal soul). y The Sutras ( c. 500 200 B.C). Extremely concise, often unintelligible treatises concerning ritual.


y The Mahabharata ( c. 500 B.C.)

- The longest poem in the world (about 200,000 lines, nearly eight times as long as the Iliad and the Odyssey combined). - The greatest epic of India, it relates the story of a civil war that may have taken place in the very early years of the Aryan occupation of Northern India

- The original story was fairly simple. it tells

the story of two rival bands of brothers, both descendants of a common grandfather, who came to war over their heritage. - Some have compared the story of this poem to the Iliad, which likewise is a story of wars between rival cities

y The Ramayana (begun c. 500 B.C., finished

A.D 200). - A poem of about 96,000 lines, in seven books. - It concerns Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu) and his wife Sita - Much more compact and readable than the Mahabharata

y There was no special theater; the dramas were

presented in the banquet hall or ballroom of the rulers palace y Indian drama shows a mixture of joy and sorrow, but the ending is always happy y The Toy Clay Cart and Sakuntala or the Fatal Ring are examples of Indian Drama.

y The Jatakas (c. 300 B.C). imaginative

legends concerning the 550 births of Buddha and his early life, supposedly related by himself. Many are animal fables, and most are didactic folklore.

y The Panchatantra or Five Books (c. A.D

300 500) - a series of tales probably intended as a manual of instruction for kings sons - shows much humor - it contains many animal stories and has often been considered the source of a large number of medieval tales

y The tales are arranged in a framework ; a Brahman

attempts to instruct six young princes by relating moral tales to them. y The five books are: 1. Separation of Friends 2. Acquisition of Friends 3. War of the Crows and Owls 4. Loss of What Has Been Acquired 5. Inconsiderate action

y The

Hiptopdesa or Book of Good Counsels a series of forty- three tales, of which twenty five, in four books are form panchatantra. The tales are more sententious.

y The Sukasaptati or Seventy Stories of a

Parrot a framework series of fairy tales

y Many secular lyrics were composed in ancient India,

most of them after 100 B.C many contain great passion and real beauty. The leading lyricist were: 1. KALIDASA famous for a large number poems of sentiment. example: the Maghaduta (The Cloud Messenger) 2. JAVADEA a semi dramatic lyric concerning the love making of krishna.

Famous Poet

- born in Calcutta, May 7, 1861, died on August 7, 1941 - won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 - a prolific writer (3,000 poems, 2,000 songs, 8 novels, 40 volume of essays and short stories, 50 plays) - his profound symbolism, abetted by the free- flowing nature of his verse, create a universe of haunting beauty that expresses Gods infinite love and humanitys deep compassion for all things beautiful

Famous Collection
y Gora (novel, 1910) y Manasi (volume of poetry, 1890) y Sacrifice (1890), The King of the Dark Chamber (1910),

Chitra (1892), and Post Office (1912) - Plays y Shyama (1939, dance drama)

The End