(Last Updated on : 19/01/2013)
In the early period of Hindi or Adi Kaal (prior to1400 A.D.), Hindi literature indeed had greatly matured in the states of Kannauj, Delhi
and even extending up to central India, in present-day modern Madhya Pradesh
. Delhi was then ruled by Prithviraj Chauhan (1168-1192 C.E.). It was precisely during this time when Prithviraj Chauhan
's court poet, Chand Bardai, had penned a panegyric to him, titled Prithviraj Raso, which was considered one of the first and finest works in the History of Hindi Literature
Kannauj's last Rathore ruler was Jayachand, who induced more patronage to Sanskrit literature, which sadly was no more the common man's language. Harsha, Jayachand's court poet had by then penned his major poetic work with Naishdhiya Charitra. Mahoba's regal poet Jagnayak (also pronounced as Jagnik) and Ajmer's Nalha were other prominent literary figures belonging to this period of Hindi literature. However, after Prithviraj Chauhan's crushing and astounding defeat, most literary works attributed to this period were ruined and damaged during Muhammad Ghori's campaign. Very few scriptures or manuscripts from this period are obtainable in the contemporary period and their authenticity is also of much doubt.
Adi kal in Hindi literature began from the middle of the 10th century and made its curtain call in the beginning of the 14th century. Poetry of this period has been divided into three categories, basically comprising: Apabhramsa Poetry, Heroic Poetry and Miscellaneous Poetry.
Apabhramsa Poetry further comprises the Siddha literature (750-1200), the Nath literature and Jain literature. Siddha literature was scripted in the popular language and this reverberated the central devotional themes combined with a powerful rather erotic sensibility. Siddhas belonged to Vajrayana, a later Buddhist religious cult.
Poet Gorakhnath and his followers were principal to compose the Nath literature between the 7th and the 14th centuries. They however consciously debarred eroticism, ridiculed at racial favouritism and laid emphasis on moral values, using the Doha (couplet) and the Chaupai (quartet) modes in their poems. These compositions exercised immense influence upon the Sant (devotional literature made popular by Rahim, Kabir and others) literature. During this period of evolvement of Hindi literature, Jain poets like Swayambhu, Som Datt Suri, Sharang Dhar and Nalla Singh had authored the Charit Kavyas, which propagated moral tenets and delineations of Nature. Heroic Poetry in Hindi literature was composed absolutely in the native speech.
The Early Period or Adi Kal in Hindi literature was the age of ever-pelting invasions and mayhem, which had profoundly influenced poets authored factual as well as imaginary accounts of the heroism of their patrons. Poems were for the most part penned for the pleasures and delights of kings, who were at any rate quite customary to praise.
Prithviraj Raso (Chand Bardai), Khuman Raso (Dalpativijay), Bisaldev Rao (Narpati Nalha) and Parmal Raso (Jagnik) are the major works of this initiatory stage in Hindi literature and are lively renditions of battles and their consequences.
During the later part of the Adi Kal and beginning of Bhakti Kal, many saint-poets like Ramanand and Gorakhnath had turned famous. The earliest form of Hindi and its literature can also be witnessed in some of Vidyapati's Maithili works.
Hindi literature, its evolvement and profound influences upon the Deccan region in South India was also yet another domain that had laid stress on Dakkhini or Hindavi. These two later languages had flourished under the Delhi Sultanate and still later under the Nizams of Hyderabad. Dakkhini was scripted in the Persian script. Notwithstanding, the Hindavi literature can be considered as proto-Hindi literature. Numerous Deccani proficients like Sheikh Ashraf or Mulla Vajahi had employed the word Hindavi to distinguish this dialect. The first Deccani author was Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz Muhammad Hasan. He had authored three prose works, namely - Mirazul Aashkini, Hidayatnama and Risala Sehwara. His grandson, Abdulla Hussaini had authored Nishatul Ishq. Nizami is considered as the foremost Deccani poet.