Author: Eminent Contributors
Publisher: Publications Division
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
This book carries 12 life-sketches of great figures in several languages since the earliest times who have contributed in large measures to the culture and thought of India and influenced the mind and life of its people.
The ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’, the fountainhead of Indian literature and religion have served as model and source of themes and treatment in countless number of works in Sanskrit and other regional languages. These two great epics have given us the worship of Rama as an incarnation of God-head and the cult of Krishna-Bhakti, However, for all schools of Krishna-Bhakti, the ‘Bhagavata’ the greatest work of ‘Purana’ class, serves as the basic sacred book.
Of all the region works included in this volume, the Tamil epic on Rama by Kamban is the earliest and as much venerated as Valmiki’s original. The other version which is equally adored is Tulasi Das’s ‘Ramacharitmanas’, bible of the Hindi-speaking people. Pampa’s Mahabharata in Kanada shows the sway of the epic on the world of Jainism. Other great poets who have figured in this volume are Madhava Kandali (Assamese), Krittivasa (Bengali), Premananda (Gujarati), Eluttachhan (Malayalam), Nannaya-Tikkana(Telugu), Sarala Dasa (Oriya), Ekanath (Marathi) and Bopadeva (Sanskrit).