Asvaghosa | Aswaghosa | Brief Biography
Asvaghosa | Brief Biography
Asvaghosa (Aswaghosa) was a Sanskrit poet, playwright and Buddhist philosopher who lived in the 1st or 2nd century CE. He is regarded as one of the great literary figures of ancient India and is best known for his works “Buddha-Carita” (The Life of the Buddha) and “Saundarananda” (The Beauty of Saundarananda).
Asvaghosa was born in what is now the northwest frontier region of present-day Pakistan. He was raised in a Hindu family, but later converted to Buddhism and became a monk. He was highly educated and fluent in both Sanskrit and Prakrit, the two main languages used in ancient India.
Asvaghosa is considered to be one of the first Sanskrit dramatists and is credited with writing the first Buddhist play, “Bharadvaja-Sutradhara”. This play, which was written in Sanskrit, dealt with the theme of the conversion of a Brahmin prince to Buddhism. He is also believed to have written a number of other plays, including “Nagananda” (The Happiness of the Serpent King), “Matr-Devobhava” (The Mother and the Son-in-Law), and “Uttara-Ramacharita” (The Later Deeds of Rama).
Asvaghosa’s most famous work, “Buddha-Carita”, is a Sanskrit epic poem that tells the story of the life of the Buddha. This work, which is considered one of the greatest works of Sanskrit literature, provides a detailed account of the Buddha’s life and teachings and is considered one of the earliest biographies of the Buddha. In “Buddha-Carita”, Asvaghosa presents the Buddha as a human being who lived an ordinary life before achieving enlightenment and portrays the Buddha’s teachings as practical and relevant to everyday life.
Another notable work of Asvaghosa is “Saundarananda”, which is a long narrative poem that tells the story of the prince Saundarananda and his conversion to Buddhism. The poem is noted for its depiction of the prince’s journey to enlightenment and the teachings of the Buddha and is considered to be one of the great works of Sanskrit literature.
Asvaghosa’s works had a profound impact on the development of Buddhism in ancient India, and his writings continue to be widely read and studied today. His poems and plays are considered to be masterpieces of Sanskrit literature and are recognized for their beauty and elegance.
Asvaghosa is also remembered for his contributions to Buddhist philosophy. He was a key figure in the development of the Mahayana school of Buddhism and is considered to have played a major role in the spread of Buddhism to Central Asia. His works continue to be an important source of information about early Buddhism and are considered to be some of the most important works of Buddhist literature.
Overall, Asvaghosa’s contributions to literature, philosophy and Buddhism make him a highly revered figure in the history of ancient India. He is remembered for his creativity, intelligence, and devotion to Buddhism, and his works continue to be an inspiration to people around the world. 0 0 0.
N. B. This article originally belongs to the book, ‘Brief Biographies of Ancient Thinkers and Writers‘ by Menonim Menonimus.
Books of Biography by M. Menonimus:
- The World Writers-Brief Biographies
- Introduction to World Writers
- Introduction to World Personalities
- Love of Reputed Persons ..