Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent

Author Topic: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent  (Read 14062 times)

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2011, 12:56:20 PM »
The Bhagavad Gita is also called Gītopaniṣad, implying its having the status of an Upanishad, i.e. a Vedantic scripture.[4] Since the Gita is drawn from the Mahabharata, it is classified as a Smṛiti text. However, those branches of Hinduism that give it the status of an Upanishad also consider it a śruti or "revealed" text.[5][6] As it is taken to represent a summary of the Upanishadic teachings, it is also called "the Upanishad of the Upanishads".[7] Another title is mokṣaśāstra, or "Scripture of Liberation".[8]
It has been highly praised by not only prominent Indians such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but also Aldous Huxley, Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer,[9] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung and Herman Hesse.[7][10]

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2011, 12:56:57 PM »
The Bhagavad Gita occurs in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata and comprises 18 chapters from the 25th through 42nd and consists of 700 verses.[11] Its authorship is traditionally ascribed to Vyasa, the compiler of the Mahabharata.[12][13] Because of differences in recensions, the verses of the Gita may be numbered in the full text of the Mahabharata as chapters 6.25–42 or as chapters 6.23–40.[14] According to the recension of the Gita commented on by Shankaracharya, the number of verses is 700, but there is evidence to show that old manuscripts had 745 verses.[15] The verses themselves, using the range and style of Sanskrit meter (chhandas) with similes and metaphors, are written in a poetic form that is traditionally chanted.[citation needed]
As with all of the Mahabharata, the text of the Gītā cannot be dated with certainty. Astrologers calculate the Bhagavad Gita traditionally being given circa 3000 BCE based purely on Sri Krishna's horoscope .[16][17][18] The entire epic went through a lengthy process of accumulation and redaction during roughly the 5th century BCE to the 5th century CE. Some scholars have placed the composition of the Gītā in the earlier phase of this period, between roughly the 5th and the 2nd century BCE.[12][19][20] The mainstream assumption of a pre-Christian date has been widely repeated, e.g. by Indian President Radhakrishnan.[12] Recently it has been speculated to date around early centuries of the Common Era instead. Thius, John Brockington (1998) argues that the Gītā can be placed in the first century CE.[21] Based on claims of differences in the poetic styles, some scholars like Jinarajadasa have argued that the Bhagavad Gītā was added to the Mahābhārata at a later date.[22][23]
Within the text of the Bhagavad Gītā itself, Lord Krishna states that the knowledge of Yoga contained in the Gītā was first instructed to mankind at the very beginning of their existence.[24] Therefore, the history and choronology of Bhagavad Gita may be taken to be clear from the text itself, by its adherents. Although it may seem to some that the original date of composition of the Bhagavad Gita is not clear, its teachings are considered timeless and the exact time of revelation of the scripture is considered of little spiritual significance by religiously-motivated scholars such as Bansi Pandit, and Juan Mascaro.[7][25] Swami Vivekananda dismisses concerns about differences of opinion regarding the historical events as unimportant for study of the Gita from the point of acquirement of Dharma.[26]

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2011, 12:58:01 PM »
The Mahabharata centers on the exploits of the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two families of royal cousins descended from two brothers, Pandu and Dhritarashtra, respectively. Because Dhritarashtra was born blind, Pandu inherited the ancestral kingdom, comprising
a part of northern India around modern Delhi. The Pandava brothers were Yudhishthira the eldest, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva. The Kaurava brothers were one hundred in number, Duryodhana being the eldest. When Pandu died at an early age, his young children were placed under the care of their uncle Dhritarashtra who ascended the throne since the Pandavas were minors.[27][28]
The Pandavas and the Kauravas were brought up together in the same household and had the same teachers, the most notable of whom were Bhishma and Dronacharya.[28] Bhishma, the wise grandsire, acted as their chief guardian, and the Brahmin Drona was their military instructor. The Pandavas were endowed with righteousness, self-control, nobility, and many other knightly traits. On the other hand, the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra, especially Duryodhana, were endowed with negative qualities and were cruel, unrighteous, unscrupulous, greedy, and lustful. Duryodhana, jealous of his five cousins, contrived various means to destroy them.[29]

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2011, 12:58:37 PM »
When the time came to crown Yudhisthira, eldest of the Pandavas, as prince, Duryodhana, through a fixed game of dice, exiled the Pandavas into the forest.[28] On their return from banishment the Pandavas demanded the return of their legitimate kingdom. Duryodhana, who had consolidated his power by many alliances, refused to restore their legal and moral rights. Attempts by elders and Krishna, who was a friend of the Pandavas and also a well wisher of the Kauravas, to resolve the issue failed. Nothing would satisfy Duryodhana's inordinate greed.[30][31]
War became inevitable. Both Duryodhana and Arjuna requested Krishna to support them in the war, since he possessed the strongest army, and was revered as the wisest teacher and the greatest yogi. Krishna offered to give his vast army to one of them and to become a charioteer and counselor for the other, but he would not touch any weapon nor participate in the battle in any manner.[30] While Duryodhana chose Krishna's vast army, Arjuna preferred to have Krishna as his charioteer.[32] The whole realm responded to the call of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The kings, princes, and knights of India with their armies assembled on the sacred plain of Kurukshetra.[30] The blind king Dhritarashtra wished to follow the progress of the battle. The sage Vyasa offered to endow him with supernatural sight, but the king refused the boon, for he felt that the sight of the destruction of those near and dear to him would be too much to bear. Thereupon, Vyasa bestowed supernatural sight on Sanjaya, who was to act as reporter to Dhritarashtra. The Gita opens with the question of the blind king to Sanjaya regarding what happened on the battlefield when the two armies faced each other in battle array.[33]

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #49 on: August 21, 2011, 12:59:17 PM »
The Bhagavad Gita begins before the start of the climactic battle at Kurukshetra, with the Pandava prince Arjuna becoming filled with doubt on the battlefield. Realizing that his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends, and revered teachers, he turns to his charioteer and guide, Krishna, for advice.
In summary the main philosophical subject matter of the Bhagavad Gita is the explanation of five basic concepts or "truths":[34]
•   Ishvara (The Supreme Controller)
•   Jiva (Living beings/the individualized soul)
•   Prakrti (Nature/Matter)
•   Dharma (Duty in accordance with Divine law)
•   Kaala (Time)
Krishna counsels Arjuna on the greater idea of dharma, or universal harmony and duty. He begins with the tenet that the soul (Atman) is eternal and immortal.[35] Any 'death' on the battlefield would involve only the shedding of the body, whereas the soul is permanent. Arjuna's hesitation stems from a lack of accurate understanding of the 'nature of things,' the privileging of the unreal over the real. His fear and hesitance become impediments to the proper balancing of the universal dharmic order. Essentially, Arjuna wishes to abandon the battle, to abstain from action; Krishna warns, however, that without action, the cosmos would fall out of order and truth would be obscured.

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2011, 12:59:54 PM »
In order to clarify his point, Krishna expounds the various Yoga processes and understanding of the true nature of the universe. Krishna describes the yogic paths of devotional service,[36] action,[37] meditation[38] and knowledge.[39] Fundamentally, the Bhagavad Gita proposes that true enlightenment comes from growing beyond identification with the temporal ego, the 'False Self', the ephemeral world, so that one identifies with the truth of the immortal self, the absolute soul or Atman. Through detachment from the material sense of ego, the Yogi, or follower of a particular path of Yoga, is able to transcend his/her illusory mortality and attachment to the material world and enter the realm of the Supreme.[40]
Krishna does not propose that the physical world must be forgotten or neglected. Rather, one's life on Earth must be lived in accordance with greater laws and truths, one must embrace one's temporal duties whilst remaining mindful of timeless reality, acting for the sake of service without consideration for the results thereof. Such a life would naturally lead towards stability, happiness and, ultimately, enlightenment.
To demonstrate his divine nature, Krishna grants Arjuna the boon of cosmic vision (albeit temporary) and allows the prince to see his 'Universal Form' (this occurs in the eleventh chapter).[41] He reveals that he is fundamentally both the ultimate essence of Being in the universe and also its material body, called the Vishvarupa ('Universal Form').
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna refers to the war about to take place as 'Dharma Yuddha', meaning a righteous war for the purpose of justice. In Chapter 4, Krishna states that he incarnates in each age (yuga) to establish righteousness in the world.[42]

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2011, 01:00:36 PM »
There are many who regard the story of the Gita as an allegory; Swami Nikhilananda, for example, takes Arjuna as an allegory of Ātman, Krishna as an allegory of Brahman, Arjuna's chariot as the body, etc.[43]
Mahatma Gandhi, in his commentary on the Gita,[44] interpreted the battle as "an allegory in which the battlefield is the soul and Arjuna, man's higher impulses struggling against evil."[45] Swami Vivekananda also said that the first discourse in the Gita related to war can be taken allegorically.[46] Vivekananda further remarks, "this Kurukshetra War is only an allegory. When we sum up its esoteric significance, it means the war which is constantly going on within man between the tendencies of good and evil."[13]
In Sri Aurobindo's view, Krishna was a historical figure, but his significance in the Gita is as a "symbol of the divine dealings with humanity",[47] while Arjuna typifies a "struggling human soul."[48] However, Aurobindo rejects the interpretation that the Gita, and the Mahabharata by extension, is "an allegory of the inner life, and has nothing to do with our outward human life and actions":[48]

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2011, 01:01:17 PM »
The Gita consists of eighteen chapters in total:
1.   Arjuna requests Krishna to move his chariot between the two armies. When Arjuna sees his relatives on the opposing army side of the Kurus, he loses morale and decides not to fight.
2.   After asking Krishna for help, Arjuna is instructed that only the body may be killed, as he was worried if it would become a sin to kill people (including his gurus and relatives), while the eternal self is immortal. Krishna appeals to Arjuna that, as a warrior, he has a duty to uphold the path of dharma through warfare.
3.   Arjuna asks why he should engage in fighting if knowledge is more important than action. Krishna stresses to Arjuna that performing his duties for the greater good, but without attachment to results, is the appropriate course of action.
4.   Krishna reveals that he has lived through many births, always teaching Yoga for the protection of the pious and the destruction of the impious and stresses the importance of accepting a guru.
5.   Arjuna asks Krishna if it is better to forgo action or to act ("renunciation or discipline of action"[49]). Krishna answers that both ways may be beneficent, but that acting in Karma Yoga is superior.
6.   Krishna describes the correct posture for meditation and the process of how to achieve Samādhi.
7.   Krishna teaches the path of knowledge (Jnana Yoga).
8.   Krishna defines the terms brahman, adhyatma, karma, atman, adhibhuta and adhidaiva and explains how one can remember him at the time of death and attain his supreme abode.
9.   Krishna explains panentheism, "all beings are in me" as a way of remembering him in all circumstances.
10.   Krishna describes how he is the ultimate source of all material and spiritual worlds. Arjuna accepts Krishna as the Supreme Being, quoting great sages who have also done so.
11.   On Arjuna's request, Krishna displays his "universal form" (Viśvarūpa), a theophany of a being facing every way and emitting the radiance of a thousand suns, containing all other beings and material in existence.
12.   Krishna describes the process of devotional service (Bhakti Yoga).
13.   Krishna describes nature (prakrti), the enjoyer (purusha) and consciousness.
14.   Krishna explains the three modes (gunas) of material nature.
15.   Krishna describes a symbolic tree (representing material existence), its roots in the heavens and its foliage on earth. Krishna explains that this tree should be felled with the "axe of detachment", after which one can go beyond to his supreme abode.
16.   Krishna tells of the human traits of the divine and the demonic natures. He counsels that to attain the supreme destination one must give up lust, anger and greed, discern between right and wrong action by discernment through Buddhi and evidence from scripture and thus act correctly.
17.   Krishna tells of three divisions of faith and the thoughts, deeds and even eating habits corresponding to the three gunas.
18.   In conclusion, Krishna asks Arjuna to abandon all forms of dharma and simply surrender unto him. He describes this as the ultimate perfection of life.

Offline shipra

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2011, 10:00:39 AM »
Nice,Madam.

Offline sethy

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2011, 11:25:37 AM »
Thank you for the post. I think it is a nice job to bring out the nice and famous literary texts .
Sazia Afrin Sethy
ID:101-11-1366
BBA Department,
Batch: 25th,
Sec: B.

Offline Antara11

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2011, 02:48:15 PM »
Dear Madam,

It's really appreciating work. It's nice to know these large literary works in a nutshell.

Antara
Lecturer
Dept. of English
Antara Basak
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of English

Offline shamsi

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #56 on: November 30, 2011, 09:33:51 AM »
Dear Nahid,

You are in fact doing a very good job.The way you have reviewed Nirod Chowdhury's 'The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian',I can't resist myself from reading it.I think,like me, there are many of us in the forum who will be inspired to venture the real texts.

I wish you all the best.

Shamsi

Offline Antara11

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #57 on: February 02, 2013, 09:48:25 AM »
Really nice madam. Sometimes I feel like reading poetry but don't get some rich ones.
You provided some selected poetry.

Thank you

Antara Basak
Lecturer
Dept of English
Antara Basak
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Offline sushmita

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #58 on: February 08, 2012, 05:53:58 PM »
really there are a lot of things to know from this post.Thank you,Nahid apu.

Offline Nahid Kaiser

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Re: Famous Literary texts of the Subcontinent
« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2012, 12:31:50 PM »
Thank you dear Susmita. I ask my students to view it, you can also tell your ones.