(Last Updated on : 03/04/2015)
The Charyapada were intended to be sung as they are songs of realization. These songs were composed verses that expressed a practitioner's experience where he is reached the stage of enlightenment. Charyapada writers, Siddhacharyas, belonged to regions of Assam
, Bengal, Orissa
. Charyapada is the earliest known example of Bengali literature
. It is a collection of oldest verses in pre modern Bengali according to some historians.
Charyapada was discovered by Haraprasad Shastri who during his visit to Nepal discovered about 47 verses in 1907 which are Buddhist mystical songs. Charyapada was written on narrow section of palm leaves.
The original palm-leaf manuscript of the Charyapada consists of an anthology of 47 verses. It also has a Sanskrit commentary which was discovered by Haraprasad Shastri at the Nepal Royal Court Library in the year 1907. It was edited by Haraprasad Shastri
and published by the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad in 1916 under the name of Charyacharyavinishchayah. It is located at the National Archives of Nepal.
It is believed that it was composed by 23 poets who lived between the 9th and 11th centuries AD. Some of these poets are Luipada, Kukkuripada, Virubapada, Gundaripada, Chatillapada, Bhusukupada, Kanhapada, Kambalambarapada, Dombipada, Shantipada,
Mahidharapada, Vinapada, Sarahapada, Shabarapada, Aryadevapada, Dhendhanapada,
Darikapada, Bhadepada, Tadakapada, Kankanapada, Jayanandipada, Dhamapada and
The verses of Charyapada express their tantric beliefs in symbolical language. Verses of Charyapada were meant to be sung as 'Dhruva' in each couplet. Each verse speaks of the raga and tal in which it should be sung. The verses portray a realistic picture of medieval society of Bengal. Different occupations of people, popular musical instruments, prevalent customs, common domestic animals, and son on have been depicted.
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