The great ages of ancient Vedic literature and the epics gave way to the age of Classical Sanskrit literature. Not only is the Classical Sanskrit era oceanic in its productivity but it also reached the zenith of Indian literature. The entire field of literature—prose, poetry, drama and other writings—blossomed forth so as to give a kaleidoscopic panorama rarely found in the history of literature.
Sri Aurobindo refers to the age of this classical Sanskrit literature as the age “…of immense literary activity … sufficiently abundant and representative to create a crowded and splendid impression, a many-toned picture of high culture, a rich intellectuality, a great and ordered society with an opulent religious, aesthetic, ethical, economic, political and vital activity, many-sided development, a plentiful life-movement.”
From July 16 to 24, 2017, Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Indian Culture (SAFIC) organized KAVAYAH—An Exhibition on Classical Sanskrit Poets. Through this Annual Exhibition, SAFIC endeavoured to present some eminent Classical Sanskrit poets whose works have made a great impression in the literary world of Sanskrit.
Through this exhibition an attempt was made to bring to light the works of literary greats such as Bhasa, Kalidasa, Bharavi, Magha, Bhartrihari, Bhavabhuti, Sriharsha, Asvaghosa, Banabhatta, Jayadeva, Visnusarma, Somadeva, Visakhadatta and many others who have made a great impression in the world of classical Sanskrit.
Some of the highlights of this exhibition were as follows:
• Some interesting snippets from the lives of these poets that influenced their literary work.
• A brief background of these kavis (poets) with a reference to their geographical location and time period.
• Quotes from Sri Aurobindo and other historians on the works of these great poets.
• Selected verses taken from the literary works of each of these poets that reflects the beauty of their compositions.
More than 950 people attended the exhibition, including students and teachers of the Ashram School and Kendriya Vidyalaya (JIPMER branch) and inmates and volunteers of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Upon multiple requests from people, the team behind the exhibition shall be soon uploading the exhibition posters on SAFIC’s website (https://safic.aurosociety.org) so that interested people may access the relevant information.
The organizers are grateful to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram for providing a beautiful space and the necessary arrangements to display the exhibition posters.
“A highly commendable collection—brilliant in concept and imaginatively presented.”
—Manoj Das, Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award recipient
“Extraordinary labour of love! Impressive even to the layperson to Sanskrit. Brings out the greatness of the personalities so nicely. On the whole very well done!”
—Rajalaskhmi Natarajan, Bengaluru
“The journey through the hall was like a poetry itself—graceful, dignified, thought provoking and intoxicating. No more quotes from Shakespeare, Milton and others for now—we have a treasure here.”
—Lalit Modi, Puducherry
“Kudos to all those who brought this priceless, monumental work to the readers with so much enrichment of knowledge.”
—Harendrakumar Ramteke, Puducherry
“Unbelievably informative. It fills the heart with wonder, joy and gratitude to see so much dedication to India and Sanskrit.”
—Anmol Jain, Delhi