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The various eras of the literary heritage of Gujarat as depicted in the texts

Gujarati Literature is at times segregated into two general categories, specifically verse and prose, the previous relishing and relaxing in its long ancestry, tracing back to the sixth century. Verse as discernment was a vehicle for communicating strict religious convictions and decisions, a fortress of middle age Indian times. In this setting of progressive development, the historical backdrop of Gujarati writing is for the most part classed into three wide periods, comprising the Early time frame, the Middle time frame and the Modern time frame. Nonetheless, Gujarati writing and its gigantic development and capability in adding to culture are followed back to Gujarat Sultanate days (alluding to the Muzaffarid tradition).

Gujarati writing is separated for the most part into three times or Yugas; the early, medieval and present day, with these periods being additionally segregated.

The early times and medieval times are separated into 'before Narsinh' and 'after Narsinh' periods. A few researchers partition this period as 'Rāsa yug', 'Saguṇ Bhakti yug' and 'Nirguṇ Bhakti yug' too.

The modern times are separated into 'Sudhārak Yug' or 'Narmad Yug', 'Paṇḍit Yug' or 'Govardhan Yug', 'Gandhi Yug', 'Anu-Gandhi Yug', 'Ādhunik Yug' and 'Anu-Ādhunik Yug'.

The eras of Gujarati Literature

  1. Early Literature:

The Jain priest and researcher Hemacandrācārya Suri was one of the earliest researchers of Prakrit and Apabhramsha language structures. He had written a proper arrangement of 'grammarian standards' as the harbinger of the Gujarati language during the rule of the Chalukyas lord Jayasimha Siddharaja of Anhilwara. This composition framed the foundation of the grammar of Apabhramsa in the Gujarati language. He created Kavya Anushasana (Poetics), a handbook or manual of verse, Siddha-haima-shabdanushasana in Prakrit and Apabhramsha grammatical structures, and Desinamamala, a rundown of words of local origin.

It is by and large acknowledged by history specialists and analysts in genres in Gujarati writing that the earliest compositions in this exceptionally antiquated language were by Jaina writers. These were created in the structure of Rāsas, Phāgus and Vilāsas. Rāsas were long sonnets which were chivalrous, and heartfelt in nature. Śālībhadra Sūri's Bharateśvara Bāhubalī rāsa, Vijayasena's Revantagiri-rāsa, Ambadeva's Samararasa and Vinayaprabha's Gautama Svāmi rāsa are the most celebrated of this type of writing in Gujarati. The main subjects of Rasas were portrayals of nature, portrayals of seasons, Jain Acharyas and Tirthankaras, the life stories of notable characters.

  1. Medieval Literature:

During the medieval period, Gujarati writing had been affected by the colossal influence of the Bhakti development, a famous social development to free religion from the priesthood. Narsinh Mehta was the first writer of this period. His sonnets outlined a pious and supernatural sense and bore a serious impression of the way of thinking of Advaita. Narsinh Mehta's Govind Gaman, Surat Sangram, Sudama Charitra and Sringaramala are examples of this devotional verse. 

During this age, Jain and Hindu writers made a huge contribution to Gujarati Literature. The prose and verse made were meant to support religion. Hindu texts like Gita, Mahabharata, Vedas, and Bhagwata became well known. During the time of the impact of the Bhakti Movement on Gujarati writing, the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Vasistha and the Panchatantra were translated into Gujarati. This period additionally encountered the gigantic Puranic recovery, which prompted the quick development of devotional verse in Gujarati writing. This period is partitioned into two customs, Sagun Bhakti custom and Nirgun Bhakti custom.

  1. Modern Literature

With the advent of the British Government and the innovation of printing and press, schooling in the English language started. The new age brought numerous papers and magazines, which spread mindfulness in the public arena. Along these lines, there were significantly more literary works, and they included experimental forms other than the antiquated strict style of verse. This period is segregated into the following: Reformist Era or Narmad Era, Scholar Era or Govardhan Era, Gandhi Era, Post-Gandhi Era, Modern Era and Postmodern Era.


Q1. What was the first literary work of Gujarat?

Prithvichandra Charita of Manikya Sundara written by Tarunaprabha, a religious romance, is the most vital representation of old Gujarati literary composition and is similar to Bāṇabhaṭṭa's Kadambari.

Q2. Who is referred to as the “Father of Gujarati Literature” ?

As indicated by critic Bharat Mehta, the time of Gujarati writing from 1975 to 2000 was exceptionally influenced by Suresh Joshi, and thus he came to be known as the Father of Gujarati Literature.