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CULTURAL CONDITIONS IN GUPTA AGE

Gupta period florescent age in the history of Indian Culture


High quality sanskrit literature was produced
Development of science and fine arts
Rulers being scholars extended patronage to many poets
Contacts with foreigners broadened Indian Outlook
Result vast production of literature: poetry, dramas, kavyas, puranas, philosophical
treatises,scientific works

Sanskrit language and literature:

The growing influence of Brahmanical religion gave an impetus to the development of Sanskrit
which displaced Prakrit as the popular language
Sanskrit reached its zenith
Kings were delighted in the company of scholars
Samudragupta title >> Kaviraja for his excellent composition I am hearing poems from sea
Harisena author of Allahabad Prasasthi was a great poet My friend Hari is in Allahabad
Chandragupta II was identified with legendary Vikramaditya of Ujjain
Chandra and Vikram are friends
Navaratnas or 9 gems of literature were in his court >> Kalidasa was the greatest as a poet and
playwright : Popular Kavyas Raghuvamsa, Kumara Sambhava, Meghasandesa
Raghu and Kumar are writing poems on Meghanas smile
Popular dramas Sakuntalam, Malavikagnimitram
Sakuntala and Malavika are famous drama artists
Sakuntalam considered as one of the 100 best books of the world >> translated into many
Indian and foreign languages
Kalidasa descriptions and similies were famous Indian Shakespeare
Other Imp Scholars : Sudraka Author of Mrichchakatika Sudras cultivated Mirchi crop
Visakhadutta Author of Mudrarakshasam, Devichandraguptam
Devis mudra is in Visakhapatnam
Subandhu Author of Vasavadutta Vasu is my relative
Virasenasabha Veeraadorned the court of Chandragupta II was great grammarian and poet
Amarasimha composed a lexicon Amarakosha
Vishnusharma Panchatantra: house of moral stories Vishnu gave a punch to me
Dharmasastras codified and compiled
Puranas glorify either Vishnu or Siva
Commentaries on philosophical works Sankya, Yoga and Nyaya
Sabara wrote his commentaries on Mimamsa sabari is eating mutton
Neglected the Upanishadic philosophy

Buddhist scholars produced vast Philosophical works


Creative thinkers Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka
Dignaga father of Indian Logic Nagarjuna is digging his braind to find the Math Logic
Philosphy of these scholars influenced the neighbouring areas and were compared with Greek
philosphers: Plato and Aristotle GAP - philosophy
Buddhist university at Nalanda @ 5th century BC : earliest structure made out of brick
The period is particularly memorable (AMAR RAHE)for the compilation of Amarakosha by
Amarsimha, who was a luminary in the court of Chandragupta II
DRAMAS
Vikramovarshiya Kalidasa
Malavikagnimitra Kalidasa
Abhigyan Shakuntalam
Mrichchakatika Sudaraka
Swapnavasavadatta Bhasa
Charudatta Bhasa
Pratinayaugandharayana bhasa
Mudrarakshasa Visakhadutta
Devichandraguptam
Visakhadutta
EULOGY
Prayag Prassti : Harisena
PHILOSOPHY
Sankhyakarika Ishwar Krishna
Padartha Acharya
Dharmasangraha
Prashastipada
Vyasa Bhasya Acharya Vyasa
Nyaya Bhasya Vatsyayana
GRAMMAR
Amarakhosa Amarsimha
Chandravyakarana
Chandragomin

Kavyadarshan Dandin
NARRATIVE STORY
Panchatantra and
Hitopadesha Vishnusharma
Mathematics & Astronomy
Aryabhatta Aryabhatta
Brihatsamhitha
Varahamihira
Panchasidhanthika
Varahimihira
Suryasidhantha
Brahmagupta
Miscellanoeus Works
Nitisara kamandaka
Kamasutra Vatsyayana
Kavyalankara Bhamah
Imp Literary Works
Ramayana Valmiki
Mahabharatha Vedavyasa
Raghuvansa kalidasa
Ritusamhara kalidasa
Meghaduta kalidasa
Ravanabadha Batsabhatti
Kavyadarshana Dandin
Dasakumarcharitha Dandin
Kiratarjuniyam bharavi
Nitishataka - Bhartrihari

Development of Scientific Knowledge

Many branches of science were studied and developed


Famous personalities >> Mathematics and Astronomy Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta,
Varahamihira Arya- Brahma - Vara
Aryabhatta scientifically explained the lunar and solar eclipses and gave a correct ratio of the
diameter to the circumference of the sun and earth
Varahamihira Brihatsamhitha Brinjal Colour Hat: encyclopedia of ancient Indian learning
Anatomy and Medicine also encouraged
Vagbhata 8 VEG BATH Astangasara Sangraha: treatise on Indian Medicine
Susrutha susrutha samhitha: imp book on medicine

Physics:

They conceived of the universe as composed of Panchabhutas water, earth, land, fire and
either-each a medium of sense perception. They knew the existence of atoms and molecules
even before the Greeks. Vaiseshika ATOM school elaborated the atomic theory
Brahmagupta anticipated Newton New Brahma by declaring that All things fall to Earth by law
of nature, for it is the nature of the Earth attract and keet things

Mathematics:
3 distinct contributions notation system, decimal system, zero usage
Indian notation sysytem > adopted by Arabs: numerals Arabic >> found in Ashokan
Inscriptions Ashoka is noting in Arabic
Indians : 1st to use decimal system Aryabhatta was acquainted with it Deci Arya
Zero: Discovered by Indians in 2nd century >> Alberuni says that it was Brahmagupta who gave to
Mathematics
Knowledge of Geometry > Sulvasutras Geo di Silva
Aryabhatta (Surya Siddhantha): formaulated Area of Triangle>> origin of Trigonometry

Astronomy:

Jyotisha Vedanga earliest source >> contains rules for calculating the position of new and full
moon amongst 27 nakshitras
Aryabhatta explained the true cause of solar and lunar eclipses, stated the sun is Stationary
and earth rotates around the sun; gave the value of PI; earth is spherical in shape in his book
Aryabhattiya
Varahamihira in his book Brihat Samhitha : stated that moon rotates round the earth and the
earth rotates around the sun

Chemistry:

Great development in Metallurgy with large scale production of various metals like gold, silver,
iron, brass and other alloys
Post Mauryan steel products were expoerted to the west
Finest Examples Copper statue of Buddha @ Sultanganj, Iron Pillar of Mehrauli @ Delhi

Grammar and Linguistics:


Every vedic prayer and every mantra should be recited with meticulous correctness, this led to
the production of sanskrit grammar as in Astadhyayi of Panini 8 kinds of water in 400 BC and
Mahabhasya of Patanjali Maha Anjali in 2nd century BC

Art and Architecture:

Music, dance, painting, architecture and sculpture attained high point of achievement
Samudragupta great musician: one of his coins depicted as seated on a couch playing on the
vina
Construction of large and small temples in praise of Gods and Goddesses
Many temples were destoyed by foreign invaders
Few examples of architectural glories
1. Dasavathara temple at Deogarh
2. Vishnu temple at Tigawa in Jabalpur
3. Siva temple at Bhumara
4. Brick temple at Bhitargaon, Bhitari, Deogarh
5. Buddhist shrines at Sanchi and Sarnath
Best products of Indian Art stone and bronze images of divinities both Buddhist and
Brahmanical were recovered in various places >> display charm, dignity and spiritual expression
2 metre high bronze image of Buddha was recovered from Sultanganj near Bhagalpur

80 ft high copper image of Buddha @ Nalanda

Iron pillar of Delhi not gathered any rust during the subsequent centuries

2 imp styles in temple architecture Nagara and Dravida


Imp stupas Mirpur Khas, Dhamekh Mirpur ka Dhum
Of the tall stupa of Sarnath, now little more than the inner core remains once most imposing
structure of beautifully patterned brick-work with a high cylindrical upper dome rising from a
lower hemispherical one and with large images of Buddha set in gable ends at the cardinal
points

Rock cut architecture: 2 conventional types Chaitya and Vihara mostly found at Ajanta, Ellora
and Bagh

Most characteristic feature of chaitya emphasis on the colossal image of Buddha seated
between two standing attendants

Vihara was planned in the form of rows of cells round a central court: Most viharas @ Ajantha
While retaining the essential features of the past, these caves are remarkable for the variety and
beauty of the pillars as well as the fresco paintings with which the walls and ceilings were
decorated

Acc. to Fahien there was an over 25 metre high image of the Buddha made of copper, but it is
not traceable now

Painting:

In the art Painting, the Gupta Age attained a high degree of proficiency
The specimens of Gupta paintings are preserved in the Ajantha caves and the Bagh caves

Ajantha caves adorned with best fresco paintings were constructed b/n 1st and 7th centuries
The subjects of these paintings are 3 fold: decoration, portraiture and narration
Decorative designs include infinite variety of animals, trees and flowers
Of the portraits the central figures are those of the various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The
narrative scenes mostly portray jataka stories

The murals of Ajanta vividly portray a panorama the whole human and natural drama the
princes in their palaces, ladies in their harems, coolies carrying burdens over their shoulders,
beggars, peasants and ascetics, the flowering trees, beasts and birds.
The paintings at Bagh epitomize the Ajanta school
Bagh caves had the folk culture as the basic theme
The chief characteristics of Gupta Art are refinement, simplicity of expression and religious
virtuosity
Painting on the walls and ceilings of the Ajanta caves depict the various events in the life of
Buddha, including his past lives decribed in Jataka stories
Brilliant execution of colours and designs exposed the masterly skills of the painters and
acclaimed world admiration
Best examples The Dying princess, The mother and child

Coins:

Not only exposed the wealth of the country but also expressed the beautiful skills of the
engravers
The ideas, elegance of the design and the assimilation of alien models with natural tradition
made the coins as the finest examples of Indian art
Guptas issued a large number of coins
Each coin contains the portrait of the king concerned on one side and the figure of Lakshmi or
Durga or Saraswathi on the other side

Chandragupta I Kumari devi type

Samudragupta Dhanurdhari Archer, Garud, Axe, Ashvamedha, Vyagnrahanam (Tiger killing


type), Veena Vadan (Playing flute)

Chandragupta II Ashvarohi, Chhatradari, Chakra Vikram type

Kumaragupta Gajarohi, Kadghadhari, Sinh-nihantha, Khang-nihantha (rhinocerous slayer),


Kartikeya and Apratighmudra type

Skandgupta Archer, Standard, Lion slayer, Swordsman, Horseman