Sanskrit Literature Authors and Their Works
Here are given a very brief
description of some very famous Sanskrit books --
Bhoj Prabandh - by Ballaal (16th century)
This book is about Raajaa Bhoj and his times. Its first part narrates events
how Bhoj succeeded his uncle Munj, second part deals with anecdotes about Bhoj.
Poetry. Baan Bhatt
This is a collection of 100 Shlok in prayer of Devee written by Baan Bhatt. It
is said that he wrote this to show his powers and cured the severed parts of
Saagar. Stories. Somdev
This a collection of stories of Indian legends, fairy tales and folk tales
as retold by a Saivite Brahmin named Somadeva in 11th century . Nothing is
known about the author other than that his father's name was Raamdev
Bhatt. The work was compiled for the entertainment of the queen
Sooryamatee, wife of the King Anantdev of Kashmeer (ruled. 1063-1081). It
consists of 18 books of 124 chapters and more than 21,000 verses in
addition to prose sections.
Mahaabhaarat. The Longest Epic by Ved Vyaas
Mahaabhaarat is the largest book
of the world written in Sanskrit language by Maharshi Ved Vyaas Jee. It is
said that it is much more larger than Homer's Illiad. In this book a history
of five generations is given (Shaantanu -> Bheeshm and Vichitraveerya ->
Dhritraashtra, Paandu and Vidur -> Kaurav and Paandav -> Abhimanyu). They
lived towards the end of Dwaapar Yug.
Drama. Vishaakhdatt. Around 800 AD.
It is widely recognized as a mine of historical information. Most strikingly,
the drama shows the great respect of Chandragupt for Alexander, the benevolent
hero he himself had managed to poison. The Mudraa Raakshas, which is one of the
great Sanskrit Classics, belongs to world literature.
see Uttar Naishadh Charit
Raamaayan - the Aadi Kaavya by Vaalmeeki Jee
Raamaayan is said to be the Aadi
Mahaa Kaavya (first Sanskrit great epic) written in Sanskrit language by Maharshi
Vaalmeeki Jee. In this book Vishnu's 7th Avataar Raam's life has been described.
Before this there was no "Shlok" like couplet in Sanskrit language. Once
Vaalmeeki Jee went to take bath in a River that he saw a hunter killing one of the
birds couple engaged in love making, and a couplet came out of his mouth automatically.
Later he thought that it was a couplet and he named it Shlok. How it came out of his
mouth he did not know. Thinking this when he came in his Aashram, Brahmaa Jee came
and told him that it was because of his inspiration and he should write the life
sketch of Shree Raam using that type of couplets. Thus Raamaayan is said to be the Aadi
Kaavya (the first poetry) and Vaalmeeki Jee is said to be the Aadi Kavi (the first
Shatak means 100 and Traya means three.
There are three books written by Bhartrihari in Sanskrit language, Neeti Shatak,
Shringaar Shatak and Vairaagya Shatak containing 100 verses each. The first of these,
the Neeti Shatak, deals with the state of the world, and contains verses on the power
of wealth, the haughtiness of kings, the futility of greed, the vicissitudes of fate,
and so on. The second one, the Shringaar Shatak, deals with love and women, while the
third one, the Vairaagya Shatak contains verses on renunciation. The Sanskrit scholar
Barbara Stoler Miller translated these sections as "Among Fools and Kings",
"Passionate Encounters" and "Refuge in the Forest" respectively.
Poetry. Mayoor Bhatt
This is a collection of 100 Shlok written to pray Soorya Dev to cure of his leprosy
by Mayoor Bhatt. Chandee Shatak (mentioned above) was written after this.
Uttar Naishadh Charit.
It is a long poem based on the life of
Raajaa Nal and Damayantee, King and Queen of Nishadh kingdom, written about the
year 1000 AD (or 1200 AD), by Shreeharsh, a
celebrated skeptical philosopher.
Uttar Raam Charit.
The later chronicle of Raam's life. A drama by Bhavabhooti on the latter part of Raam's
life. The Mahaaveer Charit is the first part. It was probably written about the beginning
of the 8th century.