Literary Activities

The popularity of Sanskrit is seen in the inscriptions composed in the language. It was not merely the language of the learned classes but became the spoken language of the country. Sanskirt had a decided superiority over Pali and Prakrit in the richness of its vocabulary, compactness of its form and expressiveness of its idoms. The poetry and prose in Sanskrit were encouraged on a lavish scale through royal patronage. Kalidasa was the outstanding writer who wrote famous works of Shakuntalam, Meghadutam etc. The biography of Harsha written by Bana was held as an excellent example of best Sanskrit prose. During the Gupta age -Bhasa, Sudraka, Kalidasa, Visakhadatta and Bharavi flourished. Literature in Prakrit also had its patronage outside the court circle.

Prakrit literature written by Jainas tended to be more didactic in style with a substantial religious content. The period saw the last phase of the Smriti literature. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana also got their final touchup and received their present shape during this age. The Gupta period also saw the development of Sanskrit grammar based on Panini (Ashtadhyayi) and Patanjali(Mahabhashya). This period is memorable for the compilation of the Amarakosa by Amarasimha. A Buddhist scholar from Bengal, Chandragomia composed a book on grammar named Chandravyakaranam.