India Literature Survey - Hinsdale South High School

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A Survey of Indian Literature
Antiquity Through the Middle Ages
Overview
Early
Epics
Vedas
Upanishads
Poetry
Middle Ages
Puranas
Poetry
Sanskrit
•Introduced by Aryans
•Classic language of India
Epics
Mahabharata
(Great Deeds of the
Bharata Clan)
Ramayana
(Song of Prince Rama)
Oral poems
Depicted tribal wars
between Aryan families
Written down in 8th
century BCE
Comparable to Iliad and
Odyssey
Vedas
Translates to “Sacred Knowledge”
Collection of:
Prayers
Sacrificial formulae
Hymns
1500-500 BCE
Oral, then written
Blends Indus and Aryan folk lore
Mark beginning of scientific inquiry
in India
Teach worship through prayer and
sacrifice
Upanishads
250 prose commentaries on
the Vedas
Reach enlightenment
through meditation
Instruct individual on death
and rebirth
No guidelines, dogma, or
deity
Laying ground for Hinduism.
Upanishads
Establishes the concept of Brahman & Atman (self)
Atman:
“soundless, formless, intangible, undying, tasteless,
odorless, without beginning, without end, eternal,
immutable, and beyond nature”
Seeks to be one with Brahman
Achieve Nirvana when unit
Early poetry
Bhagavad-Gita (Song of
God)
Conversation between
Arjuna (warrior hero) &
Krishna (incarnation of
Vishnu & Divine
manifestation of
Brahman)
Look for:
Statement of
resignation
Hindu thought
Medieval Literature
Puranas
Translates to “Old
Stories”
Preserved myths of
Hindu Gods
Oral until 5th Century
Vishnu Purana
“In the embrace of his
beloved a man forgets
the whole world—
everything both within
and without”
Different than Western
literature of the time?
Medieval Indian Poetry
Reading 2.24 – The Treasury of Well-Turned Verse
1. List five characteristics of the poetry:
2. Compare this poetry to:
Egyptian
2. Greek
3. Roman
1.
Medieval Indian Poetry
Secular
Spoken, not sung
No rhyme
Word play
50 different Sanskrit
words for Lotus
Literature devices:
Alliteration
Repetition of initial
sounds in successive
words
Assonance
Similarity between
vowel sounds
Medieval Indian Poetry
Rules:
1.
Describe general and
universal conditions
2.
Exhibit a single
characteristic sentiment
anger, courage, etc
3.
Grief cannot dominate
poem
Medieval Indian Poetry
Oh yeah, highly erotic
Buddhist monk Vidyakara
wrote down poems in
11th Century
The Treasury of WellTurned Verse
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