Indian Buddhist Poets
Generally most Buddhist sutras have a prose element supplemented by verses that retell and poetically sum up the themes of earlier prose passages. The Buddhist poetry which is featured to the Lord Buddha himself forms a part of "Buddha Speech".
Monk Asvaghoa used his poetic aptitude and education in Brahmanic tradition to create poetry on a variety of Buddhist themes, like the life of the Buddha, the Buddhacarita. He is considered Indias supreme poet before Kalidasa. When Lord Buddha had preached his first sermon in Varanasi, Ashvaghosha saw the city had been occupied by a Kushana emperor who was a devoted Buddhist. Ashvaghosha was a brilliant orator who spoke at length on Mahayana Buddhist set of guidelines at the fourth Buddhist council. His recognition lay mostly in his talent to describe the complicated concepts of Mahayana Buddhism. The works attributed to him are the Mahayana-shraddhotpada-shastra ("The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana"), the Buddhacarita ("The Life of Buddha") and the Mahalankara ("Book of Glory").
The philosophical writings of the great Mahayana sages, such as Nagarjuna and Asanga stand in the same relation to the Mahayana sutras as the Abhidhamma treatises do to their Hinayana counterparts. Although immensely convincing, they were never collected into a Pitaka. Many of these Buddhist writings are found in Tibetan texts, Chinese translations, and even in distant North West countries.
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