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Books > Language and Literature > The Heroic Age of India: A Comparative Study
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The Heroic Age of India: A Comparative Study
The Heroic Age of India: A Comparative Study
Description

About the Book:

This book contains an in-depth analysis of the two Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, with a view to studying these Sanskrit heroic poems as a parallel to similar poems of European lands. In this work, N.K. Sidhanta has examined these poems with a view to discover the kernel of the epic stories to which substantial additions have been made in the course of centuries. The author has also taken into account the various versions of these works besides discussing the problem of their chronology and has made judicious use of the Pauranic evidence. The masterly exposition of the subject based entirely on the study of the original material, the attempts at the reconstruction of the society, government and religion by the author, should prove to be of absorbing interest to those engaged in the study of India's past. The author has also appended detailed notes on the art of war, trade, code of law, social classes, food and funeral ceremonies of the Epic period, providing there by much new information.

About the Author:

Prof. Nirmal Kumar Sidhanta has educated at Calcutta and Cambridge. He had an exceptionally brilliant academic record and was awarded Double First Class in English Tripos from Cambridge. Subsequently, he taught in London, Lucknow and Bombay Universities. He was some time Chairman, Inter-University Board, India. He was Member Secretary of Indian University Commission. He also served as Vice-chancellors to Calcutta and Delhi Universities.

Preface

DISRAELI somewhere asserts that experience iS less than nothing to a creative mind, and that almost everything that is great has been done by youth. The theory may not hold good for latter-day society; but it is eminently applicable to a particular stage in the history of almost every nation. In such a state of society the energy and exuberance of youth find expression in vigorous action, in deeds of might and valour, The individual asserts himself against old bonds and old ties, which are replaced by new.

Yet for what we call a " Heroic Age" something more is necessary. The heroism must be there; but the hero must have someone to commemorate his acts. This record of his deeds is not a product of the imagination or the brain of a later time; it originates there and then with the performance of the heroic action. We have extant such poetic records in the literature of various countries, poems which though " widely separated from one another both in date and place of origin " present strikingly similar features. The Iliad and Beowulf, the stories of Sigurthr and Roland are records of this type; and the period to which they relate may, in each case, be called a " Heroic Age ".

The Indian student of these poems is naturally led to inquire how far the "heroic" poems of his own country show resemblances to the Western products. In the following pages an attempt has been made to study the Sanskrit heroic poems as a parallel to similar poems of European lands. This involves an examination of the origin and development of these poems, including an investigation of the society to which they relate. In this investigation I have mainly relied on the originals, though some critical works have been of great help. All such obligations have been indicated in their proper place, but there is a much deeper debt which must be acknowledged here. I cannot adequately describe how much I owe to Professor H. M. Chadwick, Bosworth and Elrington Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge, but for whose help and encouragement the book would never have been written at all. Only those who have had the privilege of working with him will appreciate how deep is my debt.

CONTENTS

Chap.

  1. The Early Narrative Poetry of India
1
  1. The Records of the Indian Heroic Age
15
  1. The Chronology of the Heroic Age of India
38
  1. Early Indian Minstrelsy and Heroic Poetry
48
  1. The Common Characteristics of Heroic Poetry
70
  1. Unhistorical Elements in Heroic Poetry
91
  1. Society in the Heroic Age of India (I)
114
  1. Society in the Heroic Age of India (II)
144
  1. Government in the Heroic Age
170
  1. Religion in the Heroic Age of India
194
  1. Conclusion
218
Index 227

Sample Pages



















The Heroic Age of India: A Comparative Study

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Item Code:
ILL26
Cover:
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Edition:
1975
ISBN:
8170690463
Language:
English
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9.2" X 6.2"
Pages:
240
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Weight of the Book: 410 gms
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About the Book:

This book contains an in-depth analysis of the two Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, with a view to studying these Sanskrit heroic poems as a parallel to similar poems of European lands. In this work, N.K. Sidhanta has examined these poems with a view to discover the kernel of the epic stories to which substantial additions have been made in the course of centuries. The author has also taken into account the various versions of these works besides discussing the problem of their chronology and has made judicious use of the Pauranic evidence. The masterly exposition of the subject based entirely on the study of the original material, the attempts at the reconstruction of the society, government and religion by the author, should prove to be of absorbing interest to those engaged in the study of India's past. The author has also appended detailed notes on the art of war, trade, code of law, social classes, food and funeral ceremonies of the Epic period, providing there by much new information.

About the Author:

Prof. Nirmal Kumar Sidhanta has educated at Calcutta and Cambridge. He had an exceptionally brilliant academic record and was awarded Double First Class in English Tripos from Cambridge. Subsequently, he taught in London, Lucknow and Bombay Universities. He was some time Chairman, Inter-University Board, India. He was Member Secretary of Indian University Commission. He also served as Vice-chancellors to Calcutta and Delhi Universities.

Preface

DISRAELI somewhere asserts that experience iS less than nothing to a creative mind, and that almost everything that is great has been done by youth. The theory may not hold good for latter-day society; but it is eminently applicable to a particular stage in the history of almost every nation. In such a state of society the energy and exuberance of youth find expression in vigorous action, in deeds of might and valour, The individual asserts himself against old bonds and old ties, which are replaced by new.

Yet for what we call a " Heroic Age" something more is necessary. The heroism must be there; but the hero must have someone to commemorate his acts. This record of his deeds is not a product of the imagination or the brain of a later time; it originates there and then with the performance of the heroic action. We have extant such poetic records in the literature of various countries, poems which though " widely separated from one another both in date and place of origin " present strikingly similar features. The Iliad and Beowulf, the stories of Sigurthr and Roland are records of this type; and the period to which they relate may, in each case, be called a " Heroic Age ".

The Indian student of these poems is naturally led to inquire how far the "heroic" poems of his own country show resemblances to the Western products. In the following pages an attempt has been made to study the Sanskrit heroic poems as a parallel to similar poems of European lands. This involves an examination of the origin and development of these poems, including an investigation of the society to which they relate. In this investigation I have mainly relied on the originals, though some critical works have been of great help. All such obligations have been indicated in their proper place, but there is a much deeper debt which must be acknowledged here. I cannot adequately describe how much I owe to Professor H. M. Chadwick, Bosworth and Elrington Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge, but for whose help and encouragement the book would never have been written at all. Only those who have had the privilege of working with him will appreciate how deep is my debt.

CONTENTS

Chap.

  1. The Early Narrative Poetry of India
1
  1. The Records of the Indian Heroic Age
15
  1. The Chronology of the Heroic Age of India
38
  1. Early Indian Minstrelsy and Heroic Poetry
48
  1. The Common Characteristics of Heroic Poetry
70
  1. Unhistorical Elements in Heroic Poetry
91
  1. Society in the Heroic Age of India (I)
114
  1. Society in the Heroic Age of India (II)
144
  1. Government in the Heroic Age
170
  1. Religion in the Heroic Age of India
194
  1. Conclusion
218
Index 227

Sample Pages



















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