Ancient Indian Literature – part 2

Ancient Indian Literature - part 2

Ancient Indian Literature-Part 2


Ancient Scientific Books

  • Sushruta Samhita written by Sushruta, is an ancient Sanskrit text on medicine and surgery.
  • Charaka Samhita written by Charaka, is a compendium of theories of Ayurveda.
  • Sushruta Samhita along with Charaka Samhita are considered as the foundational books of Ayurveda which have survived from the ancient era.
  • Aryabhatiyam is the magnum opus of Aryabhatta, and the book covers various theories of Mathematics and Astronomy.
  • Brahmasphuṭasiddhanta is the main work of Brahmagupta and it also deals with Mathematics and Astronomy.
  • Mahabhaskariya written by Bhaskara I in which he gives a formula for calculating sin x. Bhaskara is also credited with the representation of numbers in the positional system.
  • Pancha-Siddhantika written by Varahamihira is treatise on mathematical astronomy which summarises five earlier astronomical treatises by five authors, namely the Surya SiddhantaRomaka SiddhantaPaulisa SiddhantaVasishtha Siddhanta and Pitamaha Siddhanta.
  • Brihat-Samhita is another work by Varahamihira which talks about astronomy and planetary movements, eclipses, rainfall, clouds, architecture etc.
  • Gaṇitasarasangraha is a mathematics text written by Mahaviracharya and is considered the first book on arithmetic.
  • Siddhanta Siromaṇi is the major treatise of Indian mathematician Bhāskara II. His other two major works are Lilavati and Bijagaṇita.
  • Chandahsastra is a book written by Pingala, is a mathematical text which gives a treatise of calculations.
  • Yoga Sutras by Patanjali gives the theory and method of practice of Yoga.

Ancient Grammer Books

  • Aṣtadhyayi written by Panini is a grammar text that describes a form of early Sanskrit.
  • Kavirajamarga is a rhetoric, poetics and grammar text in the Kannada language written by Rashtrakuta King Amoghavarsha.


Ancient Books on Law and Morality

  • Panchatantra by Vishnu Sharma who used animal fables to describe qualities in a moral person and the need for it.
  • Manusmriti also known as Manava-Dharmasastra is the most well-known Dharmasastra of Hinduism.
  • Arthashastra written by Kautilya is an ancient Sanskrit treatise on statecraft, political science, economic policy and military strategy.

Epics of Ancient India

  • Mahabharata written by Veda Vyasa tells the story of rivalry between the Pandavas and Kauravas which resulted in the Kurukshetra war.
  • Ramayana written by Valmiki gives the story of Lord Ram and his triumph over the evil Ravan.
  • Ramayana and Mahabharata together are known as the great epics of India and Hindu religion.
  • Raghuvamsa is a mahakavya (epic poem) in Sanskrit written by Kalidasa about the origin and development of the clan of Raghu.
  • Kumarasambhava is another epic written by Kalidasa about Parvati courting Lord Shiva, their subsequent marriage
  • Buddhacharita written by Asvagosha tells the story of Buddha from his birth till his death (Nirvana).
  • Harshacharita by Banabhatta is the biography of Indian King Harsha Vardhana.


Ancient Books on Dance and Music

  • Natya Sastra by Bharata Muni is a Sanskrit treatise on the performing arts. It is also the oldest surviving ancient Indian work on performance arts.
  • Abhinaya Darpana by Nandikeshvara is another book which gives directions to those involved in the performance arts.
  • Natya Sastra along with Abhinaya Darpana gives the basics of Bharatanatyam.
  • Brihaddeshi written by Matanga is the first text to speak directly of the raga and distinguish classical music from folk music.
  • Sangita-Ratnakara by Sarangadeva differentiated Carnatic and Hindustani music for the first time.


Sangam Literature

  • Tolkappiyam is the most ancient text on Tamil grammar and is believed to have been written by Tolkappiyar.
  • Silappathikaram written by Ilango Adigal gives the story of Kannagi who burns the city of Madurai to avenge her husband.
  • Manimekalai written by Satthanar is a sequel to Silapathikaram and is the story of Manimekalai who is the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi and is a Buddhist nun.
  • Ettuttokai is the collection of eight anthology stories of ancient Tamil literature.
  • Pattuppattu is an anthology of ten longer poems in Sangam literature.
  • Tirukkural written by Thiruvalluvar is one of the greatest works ever written on ethics and morality.