LITERATURE IN GUPTAS PERIOD


The Gupta period is considered as the Golden Age of art and literature.

The two great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were finally completed in the fourth century.

The Gupta period marks the beginning of the writing of the literature known as Puranas. These texts refer to the stories about the Hindu gods.

The major Puranas written in this period are the Vishnu Purana, Vayu Purana and the Matsya Purana.

Some Smritis or the law books were also compiled in the Gupta period.

The Narada Smriti throws light on the general social and economic rules and regulations of the period.

 

The literature in Gupta period was written in Sanskrit.

The greatest of all the poets was Kalidasa who lived in the court of Chandragupta II in the fifth century AD.

Some of the works that he authored are Meghadutam, Abhijnanashakuntalam, Raghuvamsha, Kumarasambhava and Ritusamhara.

The notable feature of his works is that the characters of higher caste speak in Sanskrit while those of lower caste and women speak in Prakrit.

The other famous dramatists to have flourished in this period are Shudraka, writer of Mrichchhkatikam and Vishakhadatta who authored Mudrarakshasa.

 

In the seventh century Banabhatta, the court poet of Harsha, wrote Harshacarita praising his patron.

The early history of Harsha is reconstructed on the basis of this text.

Another text written by him is Kadambari.

Harsha authored three plays: Priyadarshika, Nagananda and Ratnavali.

In south India, the period from AD 550–750 witnessed the growth of Bhakti literature in Tamil.

Songs were composed by the Vaishnava saints (Alvars) and Saiva saints (Nayannaras) in praise of their respective gods.

One of the most famous of the Alvar saints was a woman called Andal.

The Vaisnava devotional songs are later arranged in a text called Nalayira Prabandham while those of the Saivites are preserved in the text known as Devarama.