(Last Updated on : 16/05/2011)
Sanskrit Secular Poetry is basically a new form of poetry that drifted slightly away from the typical hymns addressed to Gods. The gradual change of religion evoked a change in adoration of Gods. Besides the worship of Lord Shiva
, Lord Vishnu, Lord Surya
there appeared new such as Lord Krishna
, Lord Rama
and Goddess Durga
. Epic shows the existence of such hymns, the Indian Puranas
and Tantras also have specimens of them. However the higher poetry invaded this field. The philosophers were hesitant to take part in the composition of Stotras, songs of praise however they denied it that lent dignity to this art.
There are vast numbers of stotras but most of tem are not poetically worth. A large number of them that belong to a later date and still many of them cannot be assigned to any definite period. Candigataka by Banabhatta is a collection of 102 stanzas that is written in Sragdhara metre. This poem is written in honour of Shiva's consort. However he does not impress with any sincere devotion. His demerits appear clearly in a couple of stanzas:
vidrane rndravrnde savitari tarale vajrini dhvastavajre
jdtdgahke gagdhke viramati maruti tyaktavaire kuvere
vaikunthe kunthitdstre mahisavi akirusampaurusopaghnanighnam
nirvighnam nighnatl vah gamayatu duritam bhtiriblidvd bhavdni.
The Cataka celebrates the rays of the sun; the horses, the charioteer, the chariot and the disk itself. Mayura's style is elegant. Arjuna is compared with the actor who speaks the prologue to the drama.
Mayura was fond of religious poetry as seen in the Subhdsitdvali. A speech between Shiva and Parvati
candragrahatiena vind ndsmi raine kini pravartayasy evam
devyai yadi rncitam idani nandinn dhuyatdm Rahuh.
Mayura is ranked as a typical exponent of the Gauda style as treated by Dandin. His epithets are etymologically explicable. His alliterations are rich and abundant metaphors and similes are used. A series of harsh sounds as well as variation of sounds within a stanza are introduced in order to mark changes of feeling. Some of these verses are:
Cirnaghrdndnghripdnin vranibhir afiaghanair ghargharavyak
taghosdn dirghaghratan aghaughaih punar api ghatayaty eka nllaghayav
gharmahgos tasya vo 'ntardvigunaghanaghrndnighnanirvighna-
dattdrghdh siddhasahghair vidadhatu ghrnayah glghram ahghovighdtam.
Bana in the Candigataka shows similar features however he does not indulge in the long similes. Contemporary of Bana and Mayura according to tradition was preserved by Rajasekhara. It is considered that he was a clever courtier. It has been hinted that the poet needs to be identified with the Jain writer Manatunga who's Bhaktamarastotra is very famous. A religious motive is also present in the Vakroktipahcagika of the Kashmirian poet Ratnakara. The following example is:
tvam me nabhimato bhavdmi sutanu gvagrvd avagyam tnatah sddhuktmn bhavatd na me rucita ity atra bruve 'ham pariah
mugdhe nasmi nameruna nanu citah preksasva mam pdtu vo vakrokiyeti haro himdcalabhtivam smerdnandm mukayan.
Shankara is another poet who has written many hymns especially to Devi, the mother-goddess, whom the Shaktas adore. His doctrine of two aspects of truth, the higher and the lower allowed him to adopt the popular beliefs and to express his feelings in a way that is acceptable to everybody other than metaphysicians. Utpaladeva's Stotravali consists of a series of twenty short hymns in honour of Shiva.