Ten Greatest Literary Wonders (Post No.4582)

Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 4 JANUARY 2018


Time uploaded in London- 20-24




Post No. 4582

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Some picturers were used from Brahmi by Ankhita Roy and Malay mandal



Wonder 1

India is a land of wonders. It is a land of literary wonders. Take any subject; It is in the first place; but this article is about the language, literature and linguistics. Nowhere in the world we see 900 plus poets 2000 years ago. We have all the names of the poets and their poems intact. Vedic anukramani gives a list of 435 poets and the Tamil Sangam literature gives a list of approximately 470 poets. We have 1028 hymns containing 10,600 verses or mantras in the Rig Veda alone. It is the oldest book in the world. It is the oldest anthology in the world. Tamil Sangam had 470 poets who had composed 2380 poems. Rig Veda was there at least 4000 years ago when Sarasvati was flowing from the Himalayas to the sea. Tamil Sangam literature came 2000 years after the Vedic poems. Post-Vedic poets prepared the Index- the first in the world.

What does it show? It shows that India, that is Bharat, was the most civilized country and most literate in the ancient world. This also shows that all other civilizations such as Babylonian, Egyptian and Chinese came later. Because literature is the scale with which can measure the wisdom, knowledge and maturity of a society. To reach such a level of intelligence, the community should have lived there several thousand years before that literary production.


Wonder 2


Women wrote Poems!

The literacy and progressive thoughts of the Hindus is highlighted by at least 50 poetesses, which is not seen anyhere in the world. Oldest book Rig Veda has more than 20 poetesses. Sangam literature which came 2000 years after the Vedas has another 25 Tamil poetesses.

This galaxy of intellectuals show that no civilization came nearer to the Hindu civilization.

Women were so educated that they attended the debating societies and (Gargi Vachaknavi) questioned great philosopher such as Yajnavalkya. In Tamil poetess Avvaiyar was fearless in questioning the war mongering Tamil kings.

Wonder 3

The Vedic literature was huge. In every culture, there is a time gap between the poetry and prose. In Sanskrit, four Vedas with 20,000 verses and a huge mass of prose literature ( Brahmanas and Aranyakas) came well before the Greeks started writing. Tamils wrote 2000 years after the Sanskrit poets. The great wonder about this bulky literature is that they passed it by word of mouth until today, at least for 4000 years!


Wonder 4

Another literary wonder is the production of Upanishads – the philosophic treatises- before other philosophers of the world. Moses, Zoroaster, Mahavira, Confucius, Buddha—all came after the Upanishads according to the Hindu dating of the Upanishads.


Wonder 5

In those Upanishads we have a long list of Gurus – over 50 generations of teachers- who passed the wealth of knowledge. That shows how old our teaching is. And in the Puranas (mythologies) we have 140 generations of kings. Longest and continuous list which the world has ever seen. Sumeraian and Egyptian king lists were made up by scholars like Berosus of 2nd century BCE. There are big gaps.. In spite of dry climate helping them to preserve 60,000 clay tablets and Egyptian writings on papyrus the list is incomplete. Together with the Upanishadic list of hereditary teachers and Puranic list of 140 generations before Megasthenes, we stand in the front. These Hindu scriptures are another literary wonder.


Wonder 6

The inscriptions of Emperor Asoka was a great literary wonder. Suddenly we see Brahmi script from Afghanistan to the southernmost part of Sri Lanka—biggest geographical mass—the largest country in the world. This happened 2300 years ago. That means Indians were literate from Kashmir to Kandy in Sri Lanka. Unless they could read Asoka would not have installed so many inscriptions.



Wonder 7


The Brahmi script itself is a great wonder. Though some scholars think that it was derived from Phoenician, the undeniable fact is that it is very different from those Semitic scripts. Brahmi script is alphabetical and scientifically arranged. It followed Paninian phonetics. The greatest wonder abbot the Brahmi script is that it gave the scripts, the glyph to all the languages of South East Asia and South and North India.


Wonder 8

Hindus were first in all the literary ventures whether its wring stories or wring sex manuals. The first grammar book was from Panini of seventh century BCE. The world is wonderstruck with the conciseness of Ashtadyayee of Panini. This grammar book is considered a wonder of human thought


Wonder 9

Language and linguistics are dealt with even in a religious book like Rig Veda. Similes, number symbolism, metaphors using literary subjects show the level of knowledge in the Vedic society. I have already written about the Vedic lingustics and four types of sounds and hymns on Vac—the speech. Higher thoughts and world welfare were dealt n the hymns. The last hymn of the Rig Veda prays for the integration. It can serve as the World National Anthem or the UN national Anthem. The hymns on Earth in the Atharva Veda  can serve as the anthem for all the environmental organisations.

Please see below the relevant hymns:

Language and Linguistics

RV 1-164, 4-58, 8-59, 8-100, 10-71, 10-114, 10-125, 10-177



RV 1-164, 10-71, 4-3, 10-125


World Welfare

10-191, , YV 36, AV 19-60, AV 7-69, AV 3-30,



Wonder 10

Hindus stood first in the production of dictionaries, thesauruses such as 2000 year old Amarakosham. In every field of language they stood first. The Vedic prosody is also highly developed. The syllabus had six different subjects including etymology, grammar and astrology/astronomy. This is also another indication of highly developed culture.


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