Gupta Culture as the Golden Age

The Gupta age is described as the Golden Age or the Classical�Age. It was a period in which literature, art, architecture and�various branches of knowledge reached high levels of excellence.�There was phenomenal intellectual and artistic activity during�the period. Peace and prosperity of the period as well as liberal�patronage of culture made a significant contribution.

The Gupta age was marked by a strong growth of Sanskrit�literature. Sanskrit replaced Prakrit. The Gupta rulers were�liberal patrons of Sanskrit language. Many Gupta rulers�themselves were very good writers in Sanskrit. Samudragupta�even had the title of kaviraja. Sanskrit was not only made the�official language but also was adopted as the spoken language in�the royal palaces in general and that of Ujjain court in particular.�Brilliant literary achievements of the period have led the�scholars to consider it as revitalisation of Sanskrit literature. The�Buddhist and Jaina literatures that began with Pali and Prakrit�in the later phase used Sanskrit to a considerable extent. Most of�their works were in prose with verse passages in mixed Sanskrit.�The Mahayana monks in particular started to write their works�in Sanskrit.

Religious Literature

Gupta literature can be classified into two groups – religious�and secular. The growing influence of Brahmanism gave an�impetus to the development of religious literature. The eighteen�Puranas and sixteen Upapuranas received their final shape during�this period. Even the great epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata�acquired their present shape during this period. Manusmriti or�the code of Manu was revised.�In Buddhism, Nagarjuna founded the Madhyamika�school of philosophy. He was the author of Madhyamika Sutra�and a commetary on Prajnaparamita Sutra. Arya Deva, a pupil�of Nagarjuna wrote Chatussataka. Asanga wrote Sutralankar. His�younger brother, Vasubandhu wrote Ashidharmakosa, which is a�major work of Mahayana Buddhism. Dinaga wrote the famous�treatise on logic, the Pramana-Samuchchaya.

The Jaina canonical literature was also influenced by�Sanskrit and within a very short time produced many great�scholars.

Written by princy

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply