Introduction to Indian Literature

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  • Topic: India, Sanskrit, Vedas
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  • Published : November 1, 2012
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"Satyameva Jayate" (satyam-eva jayate सत्यमेव जयते; literal English: Truth Alone Triumphs) is a mantra from the ancient Indian scripture Mundaka Upanishad.[1] Upon independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto of India.[2] It is inscribed inDevanagari script at the base of the national emblem. The emblem and words 'Satyameva Jayate' are inscribed on one side of all Indian currency. The emblem is an adaptation of theLion Capital of Asoka which was erected around 250 BC at Sarnath, near Varanasi in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The full mantra is as follows: Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.

Through truth the divine path is spread out by which
the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,
reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.
The earliest literary writings in India, composed between 1400 BCE and 1200 CE, were in the Sanskrit language. Prominent works of this Sanskrit literature include epics such as the Mahābhārata and the Ramayana, the dramas of Kālidāsa such as the The Recognition of Śakuntalā, and poetry such as the Mahākāvya.  This period was characterised by a varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression; as a consequence, medieval Indian literary works differed significantly from classical traditions. In the 19th century, Indian writers took a new interest in social questions and psychological descriptions As early as 300 BC, India had already produced a considerable body of literature written in several India tongues derived from a common ancestral language – Sanskrit. It is a historical Indo-Aryan language, the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and a literary and scholarly language inJainism and Buddhism It is a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. The Vedas are apauruṣeya ("not of human agency").  They are supposed to have been directly revealed, and...
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