Gujarati and Marathi bhakti literature

Exact Match
  Indo Aryan

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MirabaiThe early literature of these languages from western India follows a similar pattern to those of the north and east, being mostly religious in character. The oldest Gujarati literature derives from Jainism, which is still widely practised in Gujarat.

This literature teaches Jain beliefs through narrative tales. Heroic verse, describing the valour of kings and heroes, was also popular during this period. By contrast, the bhakti poet Narsimh Mehta, who lived in the 1500's, composed poems to Krishna. The songs of Mira Bai also appear in Gujarati versions.

Marathi has one of the oldest of the northern regional literatures. Its most important early work is the Jnaneshvari (On Divine Knowledge), a long commentary on the Bhagavad Gita written in the 1200's. A commentary on the Bhagavata Purana, written in the 1500's by Eknath, is another example of how the Sanskrit tradition was carried on by writers in the regional languages. Marathi devotional poetry was often written in praise of the god Vitthal (a form of Vishnu). The greatest of the Vitthal poets was Tukaram (1608-1649).

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