Gupta Dynasty-Literature

 

Navaratans of Chandragupta Maurya II

  • Amarasimha
  • Sanskrit Lexicographer
  • written Amarakosha
  • Also celled as Trikanda
  • consists of vocabulary on Sanskrit
  • Dhanvantri
  • a renowned physician
  • Harisena
  • Composed Prayag Prasasti or Allahabad pillar inscription
  • Kalidasa
  • Poet
  • Kahapanka
  • Astrologer
  • Sanku
  • Skilled architect
  • Varahmihira
  • works
  • Panhasiddhantika
  • Brihat Sabhita
  • Brihat Jataka
  • Vararuchi
  • Sanskrit scholor
  • wrote prakrit prakasha – first grammar of prakrit language

Important Works

  • Important Works
  • Yajnavalkyasmriti
  • regarded as official law work of Guptas
  • Naradsmriti
  • Kalidasa
  • Malavikagnimitram – story of maid falling in love with Agnimitra
  • Abhijananasakuntalam – story of Dushyanta and Shakuntala
  • Vikramorvasiyam – Love story of Puruvas and Urvashi
  • Raghuvansa – narration on genealogy of Raghu vamsa
  • Kumarasambhava – Story on Lord Karthikeya
  • Ritusamhara
  • Poems on fellings and emotions of lovers in six seasons
  • his earliest work
  • Megadhuta
  • Sanskriti literature was dominant
  • Ramayana and Mahabharata took their final shape
  • Bharavi – Kiratarjunya – Shiva speaking to Arjuna
  • Bhatti – Bhattikavya
  • Magha – Sisupalvadha
  • Sudraka – Merichhakatika – Story between Charudatta and Vasantasena
  • Vishakadutta
  • Mudraraksasa
  • Devichandraguptam
  • Dandin
  • Dasakumarcharita
  • Kavyadarshan
  • Bhatrihari
  • vakyapadiya
  • Satatraya
  • Vatsyayana
  • Nyaya sutra Bhashya
  • Kamasutra

 

Gupta Dynasty-Inscriptions

Inscriptions

  • Prayag prasasti
  • Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta
  • Inscribed by Harisena
  • Garuda pillar
  • Mehrauli pillar inscription
  • Describes about Chandragupta II
  • Mandsaur Inscription
  • Describes about Vattasbhatta
  • mention about the guild of Sild weavers
  • Indore copper plate inscription
  • mention about the Guild of Oil merchants
  • Erran Inscription
  • Mentions about Samudragupta
  • Nalanda Inscription
  • Gaya Inscritions
  • Copperplate inscriptions
  • Details about Samudragupta
  • Udayagiri cave inscription
  • Kumaragupta
  • Chandragupta II
  • Junagarh Inscriptions
  • Rock inscription
  • skandagupta

 

Gupta Dynasty-Art and Architecture

Temple Architecture

  • Free standing temples were built extensively
  • Temples were built with Square shaped Sanctum Sanctorum
  • Porches were pillared with multiple pillars
  • Shikaras were built in many temples
  • Temples styles
  1. Nagara Style
  2. Dravida Style
  3. Panchayatan Syle – Dasavatara temple at Deogarh

Termed as Golden age of India

Paintings

  • Ajanta cave paintings
  • Nagaraja and Nagini
  • Mahaparinirvan Buddha
  • Mural paintings

Cave architecture

  • Ajanta Caves
  • 5 Chitya Viharas
  • 31 Rockcut Cave munuments
  • Wall paintings found extensively
  • Caves after post gupta period were built by Vakataka kings

Sculpture

  • Mathura school of art was followed

 

Gupta Dynasty-Culture

Society

  • Rigid Caste system was followed

Religion

  • Hinduism took centre statge
  • Devotion and meditation was preferred over sacrifice
  • Bhakti tradition grew rapidly
  • Worship of female deities Increased

Science and Technology

  • Arybhatta
  • Aryabhattiya
  • Arya Siddhanta
  • Calculated the value of Pi
  • Calculated the length of a Solar year
  • Solved problems in Trigonometry
  • He developed Chakra Yantra, Gola Yantra and shadow devices
  • Varahmihira
  • Panhasiddhantika – five treatises on Astronomy

Philosophy

  • Six schools of Hindu philosophy was developed
  • Nyaya
  • Vaisshesika
  • Sankhya
  • Yoga
  • Mimansa
  • Vedanta

 

Gupta Dynasty-Administration

Administration

  • Kings adopted various titles
  • King was assisted by a council of ministers
  • Civil and criminal crimes were demarcated clearly
  • territory divisions
  • Bhuktis – Governed by Uparaka
  • Vishayas or Bhogas
  • Sub-division of Bhuktis
  • Governed by Vishayapati
  • Gramas
  • Smallest unit
  • administered by headman called Gramapati or Gramadhyaksha
  • Guilds
  • Chiefs of Guilds were called Nagarseths
  • Trading and artisan communities formed guilds

Tax

  • Bali
  • Compulsory offerings
  • Bhaga
  • 1/6th of produce
  • Ghoga
  • Gifts
  • Shulka
  • Customs
  • Udinaga
  • Social security tax
  • Klipta
  • tax for selling or purchasing lands
  • Halivakara
  • Phoughshare tax
  • Hiranya
  • Gold tax
  • Kara
  • irregular tax

Trade

  • Trade contacts were well established with roman empire
  • Ujjain became a major commercial centre
  • Silk, Pearl, leather goods, Jewellery, Ivory and spices formed a major part of trade


Gupta Dynasty and Its Rulers

Establishment

  • May be of Vaishya origin
  • Initially Guptas were Feudatories of Kushanas
  • Succeeded Kushanas to establish Gupta empire
  • Established by Sri Gupta

Rulers

  • Sri Gupta

Founder of the empire

  • Gatotkacha

Son and Successor of Sri Gupta

 

  • Chandragpta I
  • Son and Successor of Gatotkacha
  • Termed as real founder of Gupta empire
  • Married to Licchavi Pricess Kumaradevi
  • Introduced the Gupta era, starting with his coconation in 320 A.D.
  • First Gupta king to adopt the title Maharajadhiraja
  • Samudragupta
  • Son and successor of Chandragupta I
  • Allahabad inscription details about samudragupta
  • composed by Harisena
  • engraved on Ashoka’s pillar at Allahabad
  • He performed Ashwamedha Yajna and issued gold coins depicting the sacrificial horse
  • He is a great musician and poet
  • titled as Kavi Raja and Vikramanka
  • he was depicted in coins playing Veena
  • He defeated Shakas and Kushanas
  • Allowed Meghavarma to built monastery at Bodh Gaya
  • Chandragupta II
  • Son and Successor alliances to extend his power
  • His daughter Prabhavati was married to Vakataka prince Rudrasena II
  • He defeated Rudrasena II and annexed his kingdom
  • defeated Sakas and annexed the Malwa region
  • Brought direct contact with western sea ports
  • Ujjain became the second capital of Gupta empire
  • issued silver coins to commemorate his victory over Sakas
  • Kalidam was a member of his court
  • Chinese traverller Fahien visited his court

Kumaragupta I

  • Son and successor of Chandragupta II
  • had troubles from Hun invasions
  • issued Ashwamedha type of coins
  • issued gold and silver coins

Skandgupta

  • Last great Gupta ruler
  • repelled the Huna invasions
  • quality of coins declined due to continuous wars with Huna invasions
  • restored and repaired dam on sudarshan lake
  • succeeded by his brother Purugupta