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A Literary History of India

R.W. Frazer (Author)
Synopsis The learned Brahmine of ancient India have been the hereditary custodians of the utterances of their earliest Aryan forefathere which are found enshrined in the Vedas and other ancient sacred literature. The 1028 hymns of the Rig Veda, as sung by the Vedic poets, enable the persevering and patient scholars of the present generation 10 pierce the mists of the long past history of India. These hymns of the Vedas are still held as revelations from this creator of the universe. But they tell nothing of the long dark night that preceded the advent of these Aryanribes who look so indistinct on the horizon of the literary history of history. The ancient learning of the land, particularly lofty philosophy of the Vedanta (which meant the summing up of all the revealed knowledge of the 4 vedic literature) is the great crown and glory of Indian thought'. This outburst of intellectual activity suffered an ignoble eclipse when India felt prey to Muslim invasion and became a target to wreck-less loot, plunder and devastation. The arrival of the western invaders however proved a mixed blessing. Among with their eager race for wealth. They also started taking interest in the Fantastic structure of the religious, social and intellectual life of Indian people. They started examination and study of the laws of the Brahmins. In 1786 a young merchant J. Wilkins published this translation of the Bhagvadgita and two years later appeared the collection of Hindu stories known as the "Hitopadesa" , the original source of the famed tables of Sidpal. Two years later when "Shakuntala" the famous drama of Kalidass was translated by sir William Jones the West woke up to the miracis of the India's literary achiruement and a race developed among Western scholrs tolearn and master the ancient Indian languages and to write about their rich, literacy heritage. An outstanding examples of this genre of books is the present volume. Its author was a great scholar well-versed in the ancient lore of India and also a member of Council of Royal Asiastic Society. As its tile Indicates, the present volume is a unique literary history of India which paints over a vast canvas not only the history of Vedic posts and the Sanskrit treasures of the Aryans, who lived in the shadowed research of the silent forests bordering the mountain ranges but also the whole range of literary output of successive generations of all ages in the language that evolved later out of Sanskrit. The author who was a teacher of Talugu and Tamil at the University College and the imperial institute London during the concluding decades of the 19th century has also covered with an equal authority, the rich literature of the Dravidian language such as Telugu, Tamil, Schools, Kurra/ the universally acknowledged masterpiece of great south Indian saint scholar, Tiruvalluvar Tiru Vasagam the celecbrated poem of Manikka Vasagar and the immorial compositon of sage Tiru Nana Sambandha whose fame in the South is so renowned that there is scarcely is Siva temple in the Tamil Country where his image is not dally worshipped." The concluding part of the volume covers the social, intellectual and literary renaiseance of Bengal during the 19th century which serves as the fusing point of old and new. The book is undoubtedly an unrivalled literary masterpiece and an eye-opener not only for the scholars of the awakened West but also for the Indians who must feel proud of their ancient heritage and of the amazing achievement of their ancestore who attained dizzy heights of spiritual inteliectual and literary achievements long before the advent of modern civilization.
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Bibliographic information

Title A Literary History of India
Author R.W. Frazer
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1984
Edition Reprint
Language: English
length xiv+470p., Index;
Subjects History