Among all Indians in the world, especially those in the countries of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, there are three books that serve as the most famous in classical Indian literature. All Hindus, Bangladeshi, Pakistanis, Punjabis, and other Indian dialect groups know these three works of classical literature, most commonly in the form of TV series and movie films in Bollywood. What am I talking about?
Indian people from all over the world recognize these works as masterpieces of Indian literature. They even serve as material for TV series and movie films in Bollywood. These are the books.
1. THE RAMAYANA BY VALMIKI
This long Sanskrit peom was written in India around 300 AD (about 1,700 years ago). It is a long poem, with about 23,000 lines. The main story of the poem is the about Rama, the Indian hero and king. He goes through various adventures and obstacles to eventually earn the title as King. This Sanskrit poem is a biographical story about Rama, subdivided into 7 parts. Each part deals with the major episodes in Rama’s life. The second oldest of the masterpieces of Indian literature.
2. THE KAMA SUTRA BY MALLANAGA VATSYAYANA
This long Sanskrit poem was written in India in 100 AD (about 1,900 years ago). It deals with the pleasures of sex and the sex positions for best effect. A very influential poem in traditional Indian culture. The poem is about 1,250 lines long.
3. THE MAHABHARATA BY VYASA
The greatest and oldest masterpiece of Indian literature! This Sanskrit long poem is huge! It is more than 100,000 lines long! That means it is 5 to 10 times longer than either Homer’s The Odyssey, Virgil’s The Aeneid, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and Dante’s The Divine Comedy! A huge feat indeed! This poem was written in India around 800 to 900 BC! This Indian poem is even older than Iraq’s The Epic of Gilgamesh and Greece’s The Odyssey! The long poem deals with the various tales and philosophies forming the core of traditional Indian culture. There are many legendary mythic Indian characters mentioned in the long Sanskrit poem, such as Krishna and Vishnu.
These three long Sanskrit poems serve as the core of classical Indian literature. They serve as valuable material for Bollywood movie films and TV series today for Indian people!