Asvaghosha, Buddhist Dramatist - Informative & researched article on Asvaghosha, Buddhist Dramatist
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesIndian Literature


in  
 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
History of India|Indian Temples|Indian Museums|Indian Literature|Geography of India|Flora & Fauna|Indian Purans|Indian Philosophy|Indian Administration|Indian Languages|Education
Home > Reference > Indian Literature > Sanskrit Literature > Asvaghosha
Asvaghosha, Buddhist Dramatist
Ashvaghosa was a famous Indian dramatist and a Buddhist scholar. He was born in North India in a place called Saketa and has written many popular plays.
 
More on Asvaghosha, Buddhist Dramatist (1 Articles)
 
 
 Asvaghosha, Buddhist DramatistAshvaghosa is regarded as the earliest Indian dramatist who was also a Buddhist scholar of great fame. According to traditions Ashvaghosa was originally a Brahmin who adhered to the Sarvastivada school of Buddhism. He was however later on attracted by the doctrine of Lord Buddha and became one of the four runners of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism. As per the emblems of his own work his mother was Suvarnaksi.

Plays of Ashvaghosa
Ashvaghosa's famous work is the Buddhacarita, a court epic in excellent style and spirit on the life of the Buddha. He is also said to be the author of the Sutralankara and Mahayanasraddhopada. The Saundarananda is another famous work of Ashvaghosa, which is in the epic manner devoted to the effective exposition of Buddhism.

Three Buddhist dramas have been discovered from the fragments of manuscripts on palm-leaf, at Turfan. One of them named Sariputraprakarana is ascribed to Ashvaghosa, who was a contemporary of Kanishka. The drama has nine acts and its theme is based on the events which led up to the conversion of the young Maudgalayana and Sariputra by the Buddha. The drama has a close relation with the classical type as laid down in the Natyasastra. The other two dramas of the same manuscript may also be attributed to Ashvaghosa because they have the same appearance as the Sariputraprakarana. One of them is allegorical and no earlier specimen of this type of drama than the Prabodhacandrodaya of Kisnamisra is known. In this drama one can find the allegorical figures of Buddhi (wisdom), Kirti (fame) and Dhriti (firmness) appearing and conversing. Ashvaghosa usually confined to religious themes.

The Sutralankara mentions a Buddhacharita that was probably authored by Ashvaghosa. In the conclusion of the composition he mentions the purpose which led him to adopt the Kavya form. Since he makes no reference to any earlier poem Saundarananda can be considered as his first attempt. This poem deals with the legend of the conversion of the reluctant Nanda, his half-brother, by Buddha. He deals with it in the standard manner of the later Kavya. He starts with an account of the foundation of Kapilavastuthat displays his knowledge of heroic tales and mythology.

Ashvaghosa's poem, as far as choice of incident and arrangement are concerned, produces maximum effect. He renders vivid and affecting descriptions to the scenes. It is believed that he is the first Sanskrit dramatist as well as considered as the greatest Indian poet preceding Kalidasa. He belonged to the group of Buddhist court writers whose epics rivalled the contemporary Ramayana.

It was also believed that Ashvaghosa has been the author of the influential Buddhist text Awakening of Mahayana Faith. He is also considered to be the composer of the Mahalankara.

(Last Updated on : 29/11/2011)
More Articles in Sanskrit Literature  (96)
 
Kalidasa  (13)
 
Kalhana  (5)
 
Panini  (2)
 
Banabhatta  (2)
 
Dhvani  (1)
 
Kumaradasa  (1)
 
Dandin  (1)
 
 
Bharavi  (1)
 
Tulsidas  (1)
 
Bharavi  (1)
 
Asvaghosha  (1)
 
Bhatti  
 
Anala  
 
 
 
Recently Updated Articles in Indian Literature
R. K. Laxman
R. K. Laxman is a well-known Indian cartoonist, humorist and illustrator. He has contributed extensively in magazines and newspapers. For his works, he has been honoured with Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India. He is best known for his creation "The Common Man" and for his daily cartoon strip, "You Said It" in The Times of India, which started in 1951.
Tiruvacakam
Tiruvacakam or Thiruvasagam is a volume of devotional hymns in Tamil composed by Manikkavacakar, renowned poets of the Hindu Bhakti revival, in the 9th century.
Romantic Themes in Indian Literature
Romantic themes in Indian literature seem to cross that thin line between reality and fiction.
Sanskrit Scientific Literature
Sanskrit Scientific Literature is a volatile source of incessant knowledge. It comprises of compositions based on Astrology, Physiognomy, Palmistry, Mathematics, Gemmology, alchemy, medicine and others.
Novelists in Tamil Literature
Novelists in Tamil Literature consist of many reputed Tamil authors, such as Vetanayakam Pillai, Nateca Sastri, Rajam Iyer, who wrote various noteworthy novels during the 19th century.
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
Forum
Forum on Indian Literature
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Reference
 
 
Asvaghosha, Buddhist Dramatist - Informative & researched article on Asvaghosha, Buddhist Dramatist
Sitemap
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.