HINDOSTANI LITERATURE. The writings dealt with in this article are those composed in the vernacular of that part of India which is properly called Hindostan, that is, the valleys of the Jumna and Ganges rivers as far east as the river Kos, and the tract to the south including Rajputana, Central India (Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand), the Narmada (Nerbudda) valley as far west as Khandwa, and the northern half of the Central Provinces. It does not include the Punjab proper (though the town population there speak Hindostani), nor does it extend to Lower Bengal.
In this region several different dialects prevail. The people of the towns everywhere use chiefly the form of the language called Urdu or Rekhta, 1 stocked with Persian words and phrases, and ordinarily written in a modification of the Persian character. The country folk (who form the immense majority) speak different varieties of Hindi, of which the word-stock derives from the Prakrits and literary Sanskrit, and which are written in the Devanagari or KaithI character. Of these the most important from a literary point of view, proceeding from west to east, are Mdrwdri and Jaipuri (the languages of Rajputana), Brajbhasha (the language of the country about Mathura and Agra), Kanaujl (the language of the lower Ganges-Jumna Doab and western Rohilkhand), Eastern Hindi, also called Awadhiand Baiswdri (the language of Eastern Rohilkhand, Oudh and the Benares division of the United Provinces) and Bihari (the language of Bihar or Mithila, comprising several distinct dialects). What is called High Hindi is a modern development, for literary purposes, of the dialect of Western Hindi spoken in the neighbourhood of Delhi and thence northwards to the Himalaya, which has formed the vernacular basis of Urdu; the Persian words in the latter have been eliminated and replaced by words of Sanskritic origin, and the order of words in the sentence which is proper to the indigenous speech is more strictly adhered to than in Urdu, which under the influence of Persian constructions has admitted many inversions.
As in many other countries, nearly all the early vernacular literature of Hindostan is in verse, and works in prose are a modern growth. 1 Both Hindi and Urdu are, in their application to literary purposes, at first intruders upon the ground already occupied by the learned languages Sanskrit and Persian, the former representing Hindu and the latter Musalman culture. But there is this difference between them, that, whereas Hindi has been raised to the dignity of a literary speech chiefly by impulses of revolt against the monopoly of the Brahmans, Urdu has been cultivated with goodwill by authors who have themselves highly valued and dexterously used the polished Persian. Both Sanskrit and Persian continue to be employed occasionally for composition by Indian writers, though much fallen from their former estate; but for popular purposes it may be said that their vernacular rivals are now almost in sole possession of the field.
The subject may be conveniently divided as follows:
1. Early Hindi, of the period during which the language was being fashioned as a literary medium out of the ancient Prakrits, represented by the old heroic poems of Rajputana and the literature of the early Bhagats or Vaishnava reformers, and extending from about A.D. noo to 1550; 2. Middle Hindi, representing the best age of Hindi poetry, and reaching from about 1550 to the end of the 18th century; 3. The rise and development of literary Urdu, beginning about the end of the 16th century, and reaching its height during the 18th; 4. The modern period, marked by the growth of a prose literature in both dialects, and dating from the beginning of the 19th century.
i. Early Hindi. Our knowledge of the ancient metrical chronicles of Rajputana is still very imperfect, and is chiefly derived from the monumental work of Colonel James Tod, called The Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (published in 1820- 1832), which is founded on them. It is in the nature of compositions of this character to be subjected to perpetual revision and recasting; they are the production of the family bards of the dynasties whose fortunes they record, and from generation to generation they are added to, and their language constantly modified to make it intelligible to the people of the time. Round an original nucleus of historical fact a rich growth of legend accumulates; later redactors endeavour to systematize and to assign dates, but the result is not often such as to inspire confidence; and the mass has more the character of ballad literature than of serious history. The materials used by Tod are nearly all still unprinted; his manuscripts are now deposited in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society in London; and one of the tasks which, on linguistic and historical grounds, should first be undertaken by the investigator of early Hindi literature is the examination and sifting, and the publication in their original form, of these important texts.
Omitting a few fragments of more ancient bards given by compilers of accounts of Hindi literature, the earliest author of whom any portion has as yet been published in the original text is Chand Bardal, the court bard of PrithwI-Raj, the last Hindu sovereign of Delhi. His poem, entitled Prithr^Raj Rasau (or Ray so), is a vast chronicle in 69 books or cantos, comprising a general history of the period when he wrote. Of this a small portion has been printed, partly under the editorship of the late Mr John Beames and partly under that of Dr Rudolf Hoernle, by the Asiatic Society of Bengal; but the excessively difficult nature of the task prevented both scholars from making much progress. 2 Chand, who came of a family of bards, was a native of Lahore, which had for nearly 170 years (since 1023) been under Muslim rule when he flourished, an'd the language of the poem exhibits a considerable leaven of Persian words. In its present form the work is a redaction made by Amar Singh of Mewar, about the beginning of the 17th century, and therefore more 1 The only known exceptions are a work in Hindi called the Chaurasi Varta (mentioned below) and a few commentaries on poems ; the latter can scarcely be called literature.
2 A fresh critical edition of the text by Pandit Mohan Lai Vishnu Lai Pandia at Benares, under the auspices of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, had reached canto xxiv. in 1907.
than 400 years after Chand's death, with his patron PrithwI-Raj, in 1193. There is, therefore, considerable reason to doubt whether we have in it much of Chand's composition in its original shape; and the nature of the incidents described enhances this doubt. The detailed dates contained in the Chronicle have been shown by Kabiraj Syamal Das 3 to be in every case about ninety years astray. It tells of repeated conflicts between the hero PrithwI-Raj and Sultan Shihabuddin, of Ghor (Muhammad Ghori), in which the latter always, except in the last great battle, comes off the worst, is taken prisoner and is released on payment of a ransom; these seem to be entirely unhistorical, our contemporary Persian authorities knowing of only one encounter (that of Tiraurl (Tirawari) near Thenesar, fought in 1191) in which the Sultan was defeated, and even then he escaped uncaptured to Lahore. The Mongols (Book XV.) are brought on the stage more than thirty years before they actually set foot in India, and are related to have been vanquished by the redoubtable PrithwI-Raj. It is evident that such a record cannot possibly be, in its entirety, a contemporary chronicle; but nevertheless it appears to contain a considerable element which, from its language, may belong to Chand's own age, and represents the earliest surviving document in Hindi. " Though we may not possess the actual text of Chand, we have certainly in his writings some of the oldest known specimens of Gaudian literature, abounding in pure Apabhranisa SaurasenI Prakrit forms " (Grierson).
It is very difficult now to form a just estimate of the poem as literature. The language, essentially transitional in character, consists largely of words which have long since died out of the vernacular speech. Even the most learned Hindus of the present day are unable to interpret it with confidence; and the meaning of the verses must be sought by investigating the processes by which Sanskrit and Prakrit forms have been transfigured in their progress into Hindi. Chand appears, on the whole, to exhibit the merits and defects of ballad chroniclers in general. There is much that is lively and spirited in his descriptions of fight or council ; and the characters of the Rajput warriors who surround his hero are often sketched in their utterances with skill and animation. The sound, however, frequently predominates over the sense; the narrative is carried on with the wearisome iteration and tedious, unfolding of familiar themes and images which characterize all such poetry in India; and his value, for us at least, is linguistic rather than literary.
Chand may be taken as the representative of a long line of successors, continued even to the present day in the Rajput states. Many of their compositions are still widely popular as ballad literature, but are known only in oral versions sung in Hindostan by professional singers. One of the most famous of these is the Alha-khand, reputed to be the work of a contemporary of Chand called Jagnik or Jagnayak, of Mahoba in Bundelkhand, who sang the praises of Raja-Parmal, a ruler whose wars with PrithwI-Raj are recorded in the Mahoba-Khand of Chand's work. Alha and Udal, the heroes of the poem, are famous warriors in popular legend, and the stories connected with them exist in an eastern recension, current in Bihar, as well as in the Bundelkhandl or western form which is best known. Two versions of the latter have been printed, having been taken down as recited by illiterate professional rhapsodists. Another celebrated bard was Sarangdhar of Rantambhor, who flourished in 1363, and sang the praises of Hammlr Deo (Hamir Deo), the Chauhan chief of Rantambhor who fell in a heroic struggle against Sultan 'Ala'uddln Khiljl in 1300. He wrote the Hammlr Kdvya and Hammir Rasau, of which an account is given by Tod; 4 he was also a poet in Sanskrit, in which language he compiled, in 1363, the anthology called SarngadharaPaddhati. Another work which may be mentioned (though much more modern) is the long chronicle entitled ChhattraPrakas, or the history of Raja Chhatarsal, the Bundela raja of Panna, who was killed, fighting on behalf of Prince Dara-Shukoh, in the battle of Dholpur won by Aurangzeb in 1658. The author, Lai Kabi, has given in this work a history of the valiant Bundela nation which was rendered into English by Captain W. R. Pogson in 1828, and printed at Calcutta.
Before passing on to the more important branch of early 'See J.A.S.B. (1886), pp. 6 sqq.
4 Annals and Antiquities, ii. 452 n. and 472 n.
Hindi literature, the works of the Bhagats, mention may be made here of a remarkable composition, a poem entitled the Padmdwat, the materials of which are derived from the heroic legends of Rajputana, but which is not th'e work of a bard nor even of a Hindu. The author, Malik Muhammad of Ja'is, in Oudh, was a venerated Muslim devotee, to whom the Hindu raja of Amethi was greatly attached. Malik Muhammad wrote the Padmawat in 1540, the year in which Sher Shah Sur ousted Humayan from the throne of Delhi. The poem is composed in the purest vernacular Awadhi, with no admixture of traditional Hindu learning, and is generally to be found written in the Persian character, though the metres and language are thoroughly Indian. It professes to tell the tale of Padmawati or PadminI, a princess celebrated for her beauty who was the wife of the Chauhan raja of Chltor in Mewar. The historical Padmini's husband was named Bhlm Singh, but Malik Muhammad calls him Ratan Sen; and the story turns upon the attempts of 'Ala'uddin Khiljl, the sovereign of Delhi, to gain possession of her person. The tale of the siege of Chltor in 1303 by ' Alauddln, the heroic stand made by its defenders, who perished to the last man in fight with the Sultan's army, and the selfimmolation of PadminI and the other women, the wives and daughters of the warriors, by the fiery death called johar, will be found related in Tod's Rajasthan, i. 262 sqq. Malik Muhammad takes great liberties with the history, and explains at the end of the poem that all is an allegory, and that the personages represent the human soul, Divine wisdom, Satan, delusion and other mystical characters.
Both on account of its interest as a true vernacular work, and as the composition of a Musalman who has taken the incidents of his morality from the legends of his country and not from an exotic source, the poem is memorable. It has often been lithographed, and is very popular; a translation has even been made into Sanskrit. A critical edition has been prepared by Dr G. A. Gricrson and Pandit Sudhakar Dwivedi.
The other class of composition which is characteristic of the period of early Hindi, the literature of the Bhagats, or Vaishnava saints, who propagated the doctrine of bhakti, or faith in Vishnu, as the popular religion of Hindostan, has exercised a much more powerful influence both upon the national speech and upon the themes chosen for poetic treatment. It is also, as a body of literature, of high intrinsic interest for -its form and content. Nearly the whole of subsequent poetical composition in Hindi is impressed with one or other type of Vaishnava doctrine, which, like Buddhism many centuries before, was essentially a reaction against Brahmanical influence and the chains of caste, a claim for the rights of humanity in face of the monopoly which the " twice-born " asserted of learning, of worship, of righteousness. A large proportion of the writers were non-Brahmans, and many of them of the lowest castes. As Siva was the popular deity of theBrahmans, so was Vishnu of the people; and while the literature of the Saivas and Saktas 1 is almost entirely in Sanskrit, and exercised little or no influence on the popular mind in northern India, that of the Vaishnavas is largely in Hindi, and in itself constitutes the great bulk of what has been written in that language.
The Vaishnava doctrine is commonly carried back to Ramanuja, a Brahman who was born about the end of the 11th century, at Perambur in the neighbourhood of the modern Madras, and spent his life in southern India. His works, which are in Sanskrit and consist of commentaries on the Vedanta Sutras, are devoted to establishing " the personal existence of a Supreme Deity, possessing every gracious attribute, full of love and pity for the sinful beings who adore him, and granting the released soul a home of eternal bliss near him a home where each soul never loses its identity, and whose state is one of perfect peace." 2 In the Deity's infinite love and pity he has on several occasions become incarnate for the salvation of mankind, and of these incarnations two, Ramachandra, the prince of Ayodhya, and Krishna, the chief of the Yadava clan and son of Vasudeva, 1 Worshippers of the energic power Sakll of Siva, represented by his consort ParvatI or Bhawani.
2 Quoted from G. A. Grierson, chapter on " Literature," in the India Gazetteer (ed. 1907).
are . pre-eminently those in which it is most fitting that he should be worshipped. Both of these incarnations had for many centuries 3 attracted popular veneration, and their histories had been celebrated by poets in epics and by weavers of religious myths in Puranas or " old stories"; but it was apparently Ramanuja's teaching which secured for them, and especially for Ramachandra, their exclusive place as the objects of bhakti ardent faith and personal devotion addressed to the Supreme. The adherents of Ramanuja were, however, all Brahmans, and observed very strict rules in respect of food, bathing and dress; the new doctrine had not yet penetrated to the people.
Whether Ramanuja himself gave the preference to Rama against Krishna as the form of Vishnu most worthy of worship is uncertain. He dealt mainly with philosophic conceptions of the Divine Nature, and probably busied himself little with mythological legend. His mantra, or formula of initiation, if Wilsqn 4 was correctly informed, implies devotion to Rama; but Vasudeva (Krishna) is also mentioned as a principal object of adoration, and Ramanuja himself dwelt for several years in Mysore, at a temple erected by the raja at Yadavagiri in honour of Krishna in his form Ranchhor. 5 It is stated that in his worship of Krishna he joined with that god as his Sakti, or Energy, his wife RukminI; while the later varieties of Krishna-worship prefer to honour his mistress Radha. The great difference, in temper and influence upon life, between these two forms of Vaishnava faith appears to be a development subsequent to Ramanuja; but by the time of Jaideo (about 1250) it is clear that the theme of Krishna and Radha, and the use of passionate language drawn from the relations of the sexes to express the longings of the soul for God, had become fully established; and from that time onwards the two types of Vaishnava religious emotion diverged more and more from one another.
The cult of Rama is founded on family life, and the relation of the worshipper to the Deity is that of a child to a father. The morality it inculcates springs from the sacred sources of human piety which in all religions have wrought most in favour of pureness of life, of fraternal helpfulness and of humble devotion to a loving and tender Parent, who desires the good of mankind, His children, and hates violence and wrong. That of Krishna, on the other hand, had for its basis the legendary career of a less estimable human hero, whose exploits are marked by a kind of elvish and fantastic wantonness; it has more and more spent its energy in developing that side of devotion which is perilously near to sensual thought, and has allowed the imagination and ingenuity of poets to dwell on things unmeet for verse or even for speech. It is claimed for those who first opened this way to faith that their hearts were pure and their thoughts innocent, and that the language of erotic passion which they use as the vehicle of their religious emotion is merely mystical and allegorical. This is probable; but that these beginnings were followed by corruption in the multitude, and that the fervent impulses of adoration made way in 'later times for those of lust and lasciviousness, seems beyond dispute.
The worship of Krishna, especially in his infant and youthful form (which appeals chiefly to women), is widely popular in the neighbourhood of Mathura, the capital of that land of Braj where as a boy he lived. Its literature is mainly composed in the dialect of this region, called Brajbhasha. That of Rama, 3 The worship of Krishna is as old as Megasthenes (about 300 B.C.), who calls him Herakles, and was then, as now, located at Mathura on the Jumna river. That of Rama is probably still more ancient; the name occurs in stories of the Buddha.
4 Religious Sects of the Hindus, p. 40.
5 This name of Krishna, which means " He who quits the battle," is connected with the story of the transfer of the Yadava clan from Mathura to the new capital on the coast of the peninsula of Kathiawar, the city of Dwaraka. This migration was the result of an invasion of Braj by Jarasandha, king of Magadha, before whom Krishna resolved to retreat. As his path southwards took him through Rajputana and Gujarat, it is in these regions that his form Ranchhor is most generally venerated as a symbol of the shifting of the centre of divine life from Gangetic to southern India.
though general throughout Hindostan, has since the time of Tulsi Das adopted for poetic use the language of Oudh, called AwadhI or Baiswari, a form of Eastern Hindi easily understood throughout the whole of the Gangetic valley. Thus these two dialects came to be, what they are to this day, the standard vehicles of poetic expression.
Subsequently to Ramanuja his doctrine appears to have been set forth, about 1250, in the vernacular of the people by Jaideo, a Brahman born at Kinduvilva, the modern Kenduli, in the Blrbhum district of Bengal, author of the Sanskrit Glta Govinda, and by Namdeo or Nama, a tailor 1 of Maharashtra, of both of whom verses in the popular speech are preserved in the Adi Granth of the Sikhs. But it was not until the beginning of the 15th century that the Brahman Ramanand, a prominent Gosdin of the sect of Ramanuja, having had a dispute with the members of his order in regard to the stringent rules observed by them, left the community, migrated to northern India (where he is said to have made his headquarters Galtij in Rajputana), and addressed himself to those outside the Brahman caste, thus initiating the teaching of Vaishnavism as the popular faith of Hindostan. Among his twelve disciples or apostles were a Rajput, a Jat, a leather-worker, a barber and a Musalman weaver; the last-mentioned was the celebrated KABIR (see separate article). One short Hindi poem by Ramanand is contained in the Adi Granth, and Dr Grierson has collected hymns (bhajans) attributed to him and still current in Mithila or Tirhut, Both Ramanand and Kablr were adherents of the form of Vaishnavism where devotion is specially addressed to Rama, who is regarded not only as an incarnation, but as himself identical with the Deity. A contemporary of Ramanand, Bidyapati Thakur, is celebrated as the author of numerous lyrics in the Maithill dialect of Bihar, expressive of the other side of Vaishnavism, the passionate adoration of the Deity in the person of Krishna, the aspirations of the worshipper being mystically conveyed in the character of Radha, the cowherdess of Braj and the beloved of the son of Vasudeva. These stanzas of Bidyapati (who was a Brahman and author of several works in Sanskrit) afterwards inspired the Vaishnava literatureofBengal,whosemostcelebratedexponentwasChaitanya (b. 1484). Another famous adherent of the same cult was Mira Bai, " the one great poetess of northern India " (Grierson). This lady, daughter of Raja Ratiya Rana, Rathor, of Merta in Rajputana, must have been born about the beginning of the 15th century; she was married in 1413 to Raja Kumbhkaran of Mewar, who was killed by his son Uday Rana in" 1469. She was devoted to Krishna in the form of Ranchhor, and her songs have a wide currency in northern India.
An important compilation of the utterances of the early Vaishnava saints or Bhagats is contained in the sacred book, or Adi Granth, of the Sikh Gurus. Nanak, the founder of this sect (1469-1538), though a native of the Punjab (born at Talvandl on the Ravi near Lahore), took his doctrine from the Bhagats (see KABIR) ; and each of the thirty-one rags, forming the body of the Granth, is followed by a compilation of texts from the utterances of Vaishnava saints, chiefly of Kabir, in confirmation of the teaching of the Gurus, while the whole book is closed by a bhog or conclusion, containing more verses by the same authors, as well as by a celebrated Indian Sufi, Shekh Farid of Pakpattan. The body of the Granth (q.v.), being in old Panjabi, falls outside the scope of this article ; but the extracts included in it from the early writers of old Hindi are a precious store of specimens of authors some of whom have left no other record in the surviving literature. The Adi Granth, which was put together about 1600 by Arjun, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, sets forth the creed of the sect in its original pietistic form, before it assumed the militant character which afterwards distinguished it under the five Gurus who succeeded him.
2. Middle Hindi. The second period, that of middle Hindi, begins with the reign of the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605); and it is not improbable that the broad and liberal views of this great monarch, his active sympathy with his Hindu subjects, the interest which he took in their religion and literature, and the peace which his organization of the empire secured for Hindo- 1 In the Granth Namdeo is called a calico-printer, Chhlpi. The Marathi tradition is that he was a tailor, ShimpH ; it is probable that the latter word, being unknown in northern India, has been wrongly rendered by the former.
stan, had an important effect on the great development of Hindi poetry which now set in. 2 Akbar's court was itself a centre of poetical composition. The court musician Tan Sen (who was also a poet) is still renowned, and many verses composed by him in the Emperor's name live to this day in the memory of the people. Akbar's favourite minister and companion, Raja Blrbal (who fell in battle on the north-western frontier in 1583), was a musician and a poet as well as a politician, and held the title, conferred by the Emperor, of Kabi-Rdy, or poet laureate; his verses and witty sayings are still extremely popular in northern India, though no complete work by him is known to exist. Other nobles of the court were also poets, among them the Khdn-khdndn 'Abdur-Rahlm, son of Bairam Khan, whose Hindi dohas and kabittas are still held in high estimation, and FaizI, brother of the celebrated Abul-Fazl, the Emperor's annalist.
By this time the worship of Krishna as the lover of Radha (Rddhd-ballabh) had been systematized, and a local habitation found for it at Gokul, opposite Mathura on the Jumna, some 30 m. upstream from Agra, Akbar's capital, by Vallabhacharya, a Tailinga Brahman from Madras. Born in 1478, in 1497 he chose the land of Braj as his headquarters, thence making missionary tours throughout India. He wrote chiefly, if not entirely, in Sanskrit; but among his immediate followers, and those of his son Bitthalnath (who succeeded his father on the latter's death in 1530), were some of the most eminent poets in Hindi. Four disciples of Vallabhacharya and four of Bi Uhalnath, who flourished between 1550 and 1570, are known as the As/it Chhdp, or " Eight Seals," and are the acknowledged masters of the literature of Braj-bhasha, in which dialect they all wrote. Their names are Krishna-Das Pay-aharl, Sur Das (the Bhat), Parmanand Das, Kumbhan Das, Chaturbhuj Das, Chhlt Swami, Nand Das and Gobind Das. Of these much the most celebrated, and the only one whose verses are still popular, is Sur Das. The son of Baba Ram Das, who was a singer at Akbar's court, Sur Das was descended, according to his own statement, from the bard of PrithwI-Raj, Chand Bardal. A tradition gives the date of his birth as 1483, and that of his death as 1573; but both seem to be placed too early, and in Abul-Fazl 's Ain-i Akbari he is mentioned as living when that work was completed (1596/7). He was blind, and entirely devoted to the worship of Krishna, to whose address he composed a great number of hymns (bhajans), which have been collected in a compilation entitled the Sur Sdgar, said to contain 60,000 verses; this work is very highly esteemed as the high-water mark of Braj devotional poetry, and has been repeatedly printed in India. Other compositions by him were a translation in verse of the Bhdgavata Pur ana, and a poem dealing with the famous story of Nala and Damayanti; of the latter no copies are now known to exist.
The great glory of this age is Tulsi Das (q.v.). He and Sur Das between them are held to have exhausted the possibilities of the poetic art. It is somewhat remarkable that the time of their appearance coincided with the Elizabethan age of English literature.
To these great masters succeeded a period of artifice and reflection, when many works were composed dealing with the rules of poetry and the analysis and the appropriate language of sentiment. Of their writers the most famous is Kesab Das, a Brahman of Bundelkhand, who flourished during thelatterpartof Akbar's reign and the beginning of that of Jahanglr. His works are the Rasik-priyd, on composition (1591), the Kavi-priyd, on the laws of poetry (1601), a highly esteemed poem dedicated to Parbln Rai Paturl, a celebrated courtesan of Orchha in Bundelkhand, the Rdmachandrikd, dealing with the history of Rama, (1610), and the Vigydn-gltd (1610). The fruit of this elaboration of the poetic art reached its highest perfection in BIHAR! LAL, whose Sat-sai, or " seven centuries " (1662), is the most remarkable example in Hindi of the rhetorical style in poetry (see separate article).
2 It will be remembered that Akbar's reign was remarkable for the translation into Persian of a large number of Sanskrit works of religion and philosophy, most of the versions being made by, or in the names of, members of his court.
Side by side with this cultivation of the literary use of the themes of Rama and Krishna, there grew up a class of compositions dealing, in a devotional spirit, with the lives and doings of the holy men from whose utterances and example the development of the popular religion proceeded. The most famous of these is the Bhakta-mdld, or " Roll of the Bhagats," by Narayan Das, otherwise called Nabha Das, or Nabhaji. This author, who belonged to the despised caste of Doms and was a native of the Deccan, had in his youth seen Tulsl Das at Mathura, and himself flourished in the first half of the 17th century. His work consists of 108 stanzas in chhappdi metre, each setting forth the characteristics of some holy personage, and expressed in a style which is extremely brief and obscure. Its exact date is unknown, but it falls between 1585 and 1623. The book was furnished with a Ika (supplement or gloss) in the kabilla metre, by Priya Das in 1713, gathering up, in an allusive and disjointed fashion, all the legendary stories related of each saint. This again was expanded about a century later by a modern author named Lachhman into a detailed work of biography, called the Bhaktasindhu. From these nearly all our knowledge (such as it is) of the lives of the Vaishnava authors, both of the Rama and the Krishna cults, is derived, and much of it is of a very legendary and untrustworthy character. Another work, somewhat earlier in date than the Bhakta-mdld, named the Chaurdsi Vdrta, is devoted exclusively to stories of the followers of Vallabhacharya. It is reputed to have been written by Gokulnath, son of Bitthalnath, son of Vallabhacharya, and is dated in 1551.
The matter of these tales is j ustly characterized by Professor Wilson 1 (who gives some translated specimens) as " marvellous and insipid anecdotes"; but the book is remarkable for being in very artless prose, and, though written more than 300 years ago, shows that the current language of Braj was then almost precisely identical with that now spoken in that region. A specimen of the text will be found at p. 296 of Mr F. S. Growse's Mathura, a District Memoir (3rd ed., 1883).
It would be tedious to enumerate the many authors who succeeded the great period of Hind poetical composition which extended through the reigns of Akbar, Jahanglr and Shahjahan. None of them attained to the fame of Sur Das, Tuls Das or Biharl Lai. Their themes exhibit no novelty, and they repeat with a wearisome monotony the sentiments of their predecessors. The list of Hindi authors drawn up by Dr G. A. Grierson, and printed in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1889, may be consulted for the names and works of these epigoni. The courts of Chhatarsal, raja of Panna in Bundelkhand, who was killed in battle with Aurangzeb in 1658, and of several rajas of Bandho (now called Riwan or Rewah) in Baghelkhand, were famous for their patronage of poets; and the Mogul court itself kept up the office of Kabi-Rdy or poet laureate even during the fanatical reign of Aurangzeb.
Such, in the briefest outline, is the character of Hind literature during the period when it grew and flourished through its own original forces. Founded by a popular and religious impulse in many respects comparable to that which, nearly 1600 years before, had produced the doctrine and literature, in the vernacular tongue, of Jainism and Buddhism, and cultivated largely (though by no means exclusively) by authors not belonging to the Brahmanical order, it was the legitimate descendant in spirit, as Hindi is the legitimate descendant in speech, of the Prakrit literature which preceded it. Entirely in verse, it adopted and elaborated the Prakrit metrical forms, and carried them to a pitch of perfection too often overlooked by those who concern themselves rather with the substance than the form of the works they read. It covers a wide range of style, and expresses, in the works of its greatest masters, a rich variety of human feeling. Little studied by Europeans in the past, it deserves much more attention than it has received. The few who have explored it speak of it as an " enchanted garden " (Grierson), abounding in beauties of thought and phrase. Above all it is to be remembered that it is genuinely popular, and has reached strata of society scarcely touched by literature in Europe. The ballads of Rajput prowess, the aphorisms of Kablr, Tulsl DSs's Rdmdyan, and the bhajans of 1 Religious Sects, p. 132.
Sur Das are to this day carried about everywhere by wandering minstrels, and have found their way, throughout the great plains of northern India and the uplands of the Vindhya plateau, to the hearts of the people. There is no surer key to unlock the confidence of the villager than an apt quotation from one of these inspired singers.
3. Literary Urdu. The origines of Urdu as a literary language are somewhat obscure. The popular account refers its rise to the time of Timur's invasion (1398). Some authors even claim for it a higher antiquity, asserting that a dlwdn, or collection of poems, was composed in Rekhta by Mas'ud, son of Sa'd, in the last half of the nth or beginning of the 12th century, and that Sa'di of Shiraz and his friend Amir Khusrau 2 of Delhi likewise made verses in that dialect before the end of the 13th century. This, however, is very improbable. It has already been seen that during the early centuries of Muslim rule in India adherents of that faith used the language and metrical forms of the country for their compositions. Persian words early made their way into the popular speech; they are common in Chand, and in Kablr's verses (which are nevertheless unquestionable Hindi) they are in many places used as freely as in the modern dialect. Much of the confusion which besets the subject is due to the want of a clear understanding of what Urdu, as opposed to Hindi, really is.
Urdu, as a literary language, differs from Hindi rather in its form than in its substance. The grammar, and to a large extent the vocabulary, of both are the same. The really vital point of difference, that in which Hindi and Urdu are incommensurable, is the prosody. Hardly one of the metres taken over by Urdu poets from Persian agrees with those used in Hindi. In the latter language it is the rule to give the short a inherent in every consonant or nexus of consonants its full value in scansion (though in prose it is no longer heard), except occasionally at the metrical pause; in Urdu this is never done, the words being scanned generally as pronounced in prose, with a few exceptions which need not be mentioned here. The great majority of Hindi metres are scanned by the number of mdtrds or syllabic instants the value in time of a short syllable of which the lines consist; in Urdu, as in Persian, the metre follows a special order of long and short syllables.
The question, then, is not When did Persian first become intermixed with Hindi in the literary speech? for this process began witli the first entry of Muslim conquerors into India, and continued for centuries before a line of Urdu verse was composed; nor When was the Persian character first employed to write Hindi? for the written form is but a subordinate matter; as already mentioned, the MSS. of Malik Muhammad's purely Hindi poem, the Padmdwat, are ordinarily found to be written in the Persian character; and copies lithographed in Devanagari of the popular compositions of the Urdu poet Nazir are commonly procurable in the bazars. We must ask When was the first verse composed in Hindi, whether with or without foreign admixture, according to the forms of Persian prosody, and not in those of the indigenous metrical system? Then, and not till then, did Urdu poetry come into being. This appears to have happened, as already mentioned, about the end of the 16th century. Meantime the vernacular speech had been gradually permeated with Persian words and phrases. The impulse which Akbar's interest in his Hindu subjects had given to the translation of Sanskrit works into Persian had brought the indigenous and the foreign literatures into contact. The current language of the neighbourhood of the capital, the Hindi spoken about Delhi and thence northwards to the Himalaya, was naturally the form of the vernacular which was most subject to foreign influences; and with the extension of Mogul s Amir Khusrau is credited with the authorship of many still popular rhymes, riddles or punning verses (called paheRs and mukuris) ; but these, though often containing Persian words, are in Hindi and scanned according to the prosody of that language ; they are, therefore, like Malik Muhammad's Padmawat, not Urdu or Rekhta verse (see Professor Azad'sAbi-Hayat, pp. 72-76). A late Dakkham poet who used the takkallus. of Sa'di is said by Azad (p. 79) to have been confused by Mirza Rafi'us-Sauda in his Tazkira with Sa'di of Shiraz.
territory by the conquests in the south of Akbar and his successors, this idiom was carried abroad by their armies, and was adopted by the Musalman kingdoms of the Deccan as their court language some time before their overthrow by the campaigns of Aurangzeb.
It is not a little remarkable that, as happened with the Vaishnava reformation initiated by Ramanuja and Ramanand, and with the Vallabhacharya cult of Krishna established at Mathura, the first impulse to literary composition in Urdu should have been given, not at the headquarters of the empire in the north, but at the Muhammadan courts of Golkonda and Bijapur in the south, the former situated amid an indigenous population speaking Telugu, and the latter among one whose speech was Kanarese, both Dravidian languages having nothing in common with the Aryan tongues of the north. This fact of itself defines the nature of the literature thus inaugurated. It had nothing to do with the idiom or ideas of the people among whom it was born, but was from the beginning an imitation of Persian models. It adopted the standards of form and content current among the poets of Eran. The qajida or laudatory ode, the ghazal or love-sonnet, usually of mystical import, the mar&iya or dirge, the masnavi or narrative poem with coupled rhymes, the hijd or satire, the rubd'i or epigram these were the types which Urdu took over ready-made. And with the forms were appropriated also all the conventions of poetic diction. The Persians, having for centuries treated the same themes with a fecundity which most Europeans find extremely wearisome, had elaborated a system of rhetoric and a stock of poetic images which, in the exhaustion of original matter, made the success of the poet depend chiefly upon dexterity of artifice and cleverness of conceit. Pleasing hyperbole, ingenious comparison, antithesis, alliteration, carefully arranged gradation of noun and epithet, are the means employed to obtain variety; and few of the most eloquent passages of later Persian verse admit of translation into any other language without losing that which in the original makes their whole charm. What is true of Persian is likewise true of Urdu poetry. Until quite modern times, there is scarcely anything in it which can be called original. 1 Differences of school, which are made much of by native critics, are to us hardly perceptible; they consist in the use of one or other range of metaphor or comparison, classed, according as they repeat the well-worn poetical stock-in-trade of the Persians, or seek a slightly fresher and more Indian field of sentiment, as the old or the new style of composition.
Shuja'uddin Nuri, a native of Gujarat, a friend of Fai?i and contemporary of Akbar, is mentioned by the native biographers as the most ancient Urdu poet after Amir Khusrau. He was tutor of the son of the wazir of Sultan Abu-1-Hasan Kutb Shah of Golkonda, and several gha.za.ls by him are said to survive. Kull Kutb Shah of Golkonda, who reigned from 1581, and his successor 'Abdullah Kut.b Shah, who came to the throne in 1611, have both left collections of verse, including ghazals, ruba'is, masnavis and qafidas. And during the reign of the latter Ibn Mishap wrote two works which are still famous as models of composition in Dakhni; they are magnates entitled the Tufi-nama, or " Tales of a Parrot," and the Phul-ban. The first, written in 1639, is an adaptation of a Persian work by Nakhshabi, but derives ultimately from a Sanskrit original entitled the Suka-saptati; this collection has been frequently rehandled in Urdu, both in verse and prose, and is the original of the To(a- Kahani, one of the first works in Urdu prose, composed in 1801 by Muhammad Haidar-bakhsh Haidari of the Fort William College. The Phul-ban is a love tale named from its heroine, said to be translated from a Persian work entitled the Basafin. Another famous work which probably belongs to the same place and time is the Story of Kamrup and Kola by Tahslnuddln, a masnavi which has been published (1836) by M. Garcin de Tassy; what makes this poem remarkable is that, though the work of a Musalman, its personages are Hindu. Kamrup, the hero, is son of the king of Oudh, and the heroine, Kala, daughter of the king of Ceylon ; the incidents somewhat resemble those of the tale of as-Sindibad in the Thousand and One Nights; the hero and heroine dream one of the other, and the former sets forth to find his beloved; his wanderings take him to 1 An exception may be made to this general statement in favour of the genre pictures of city and country life contained in the masnams of Sauda and Nazir. These are often satires (in the vein of Horace rather than Juvenal), and are full of interest as pictures of society. In Sauda, however, the conventional language used in description is often Persian rather than Indian.
many strange countries and through many wonderful adventures, ending in a happy marriage.
The court of Bijapur was no less distinguished in literature. Ibrahim 'Adil Shah (1579-1626) was the author of a work in verse on music entitled the Nau-ras or " Nine Savours," which, however, appears to have been in Hindi rather than Urdu ; the three prefaces (dibdjas) to this poem were rendered into Persian prose by Maula Zuhuri, and, under the name of the Sih nasr-i Zuhuri, are well-known models of style. A successor of this prince, "Ali 'Adil Shah, had as his court poet a Brahman known poetically as Nusrati, who in 1657 composed a masnavi of some repute entitled the Gulshan-i 'Ishq, or " Rose-garden of Love," a romance relating the history of Prince Manohar and Madmalati, like the Kamrup, an Indian theme. The same poet is author of an extremely long masnavi entitled the 'Ali-ndma, celebrating the monarch under whom he lived.
These early authors, however, were but pioneers; the first generally accepted standard of form, a standard which suffered little change in two centuries, was established by Wall of Aurangabad (about 1680-1720) and his contemporary and fellow-townsman Siraj. The former of these is commonly called " the Father of Rekhtah " Bdbd-e Rekhta; and all accounts agree that the immense development attained by Urdu poetry in northern India during the 18th century was due to his example and initiative. Very little is known of Wall's life; he is believed to have visited Delhi towards the end of the reign of Aurangzeb, and is said to have there received instruction from Shah Gulshan in the art of clothing in a vernacular dress the ideas of the Persian poets. His Kultiyal or complete works have been published by M. Garcin de Tassy, with notes and a translation of selected passages (Paris, 1834-1836), and may be commended to readers desirous of consulting in the original a favourable specimen of Urdu poetical composition.
The first of the Delhi school of poets was Zuhuruddin Hatim, who was born in 1699 and died in 1 792. In the second year of Muhammad Shah (1719), the diwdn of VVall reached Delhi, and excited the emulation of scholars there. Hatim was the first to imitate it in the Urdu of the north, and was followed by his friends Naji, Mazmun and Abru. Two diwans by him survive. He became the founder of a school, and one of his pupils was Raft us-Sauda, the most distinguished poet of northern India. Khan Arzu (1689-1756) was another of the fathers of Urdu poetry in the north. This author is chiefly renowned as a Persian scholar, in which language he not only composed much poetry, but one of the best of Persian lexicons, the Sirdju-l-lugkat; but his compositions in Urdu are also highly esteemed. He was the master of Mir Taqi, who ranks next to Sauda as the most eminent Urdu poet. Arzu died at Lucknow, whither he betook himself after the devastation of Delhi by Nadir Shah (1739). Another of the early Delhi poets who is considered to have surpassed his fellows was In'amullah Khan Yaqin, who died during the reign of Ahmad Shah (1748-1754), aged only twenty-five. Another \vas Mir Dard, pupil of the same Shah Gulshan who is said to have instructed Wali; his diwdn is not long, but extremely popular, and especially esteemed for the skill with which it develops the themes of spiritualism. In his old age he became a darwesh of the Naqshbandi following, and died in 1793- Sauda and Mir Taqi are beyond question the most distinguished Urdu poets. The former was born at Delhi about the beginning of the 18th century, and studied under Hatim. He left Delhi after its devastation, and settled at Lucknow, where the Nawab Ajafuddaulah gave him a jdgir of Rs. 6000 a year, and where he died in 1780. His poems are very numerous, and cover all the styles of Urdu poetry; but it is to his satires that his fame is chiefly due, and in these he is considered to have surpassed all other Indian poets. Mir Taqi was born jit Agra, but early removed to Delhi, where he studied under Arzu; he was still living there at the time of Sauda's death, but in 1782 repaired to Lucknow, where he likewise received a pension; he died at a very advanced age in 1810. His works are very voluminous, including no less than six diwans. Vlir is counted the superior of Sauda in the ghazal and masnavi, while the latter excelled him in the satire and qasida. Sayyid Ahmad, an excellent authority, and himselfpne of the best of modern authors in Urdu, says of him in his Asdru-s.-Sanddid: " Mir's anguage is so pure, and the expressions which he employs so suitable and natural, that to this day all are unanimous in his praise. Although the language of Sauda is also excellent, and he is superior :o Mir in the point of his allusions, he is nevertheless inferior to him '.n style."
The tremendous misfortunes which befell Delhi at the hands of Sladir Shah (1739), Ahmad Shah Durrani (1756), and the Marathas (1759), and the rapid decay of the Mogul empire under these repeated shocks, transferred the centre of the cultivation of literature from hat city to Lucknow, the capital of the newly founded and flourishng state of Oudh. It has been mentioned how Arzu, Sauda and Mir retook themselves to this refuge and ended their days there; they were followed in their new residence by a school of poets hardly nferior to those who had made Delhi illustrious in the first half of the century. Here they were joined by Mir Hasan (d. 1786), Mir Soz (d. 1800) and Qalandar-bakhsh Jur'at (d. 1810), also like themielves refugees from Delhi, and illustrious poets. Mir Hasan was a riend and collaborator of Mir Dard, artd first established himself at "aizabad and subsequently at Lucknow; he excelled in the ghazal.
ruba'i, masnavi and margiya, and is counted the third, with Sauda Bnd Mir Taqi, among the most eminent of Urdu poets. His fam( chiefly rests upon a much admired masnavi entitled the Sihru-l bayan, or " Magic of Eloquence," a romance relating the loves o Prince Be-nagir and the Princess Badr-i Munir; his masnavi callec the Gulzar-i Iram (" Rose-garden of Iram," the legendary 'Adite paradise in southern Arabia), in praise of Faizabad, is likewise highly esteemed. Mir Muhammad! Soz was an elegant poet, re markable for the success with which he composed in the dialec of the harem called Rekhd, but somewhat licentious in his verse; hi became a darwesh and renounced the world in his later years. Jur'at was also a prolific poet, but, like Soz, his ghazals and masnavis are licentious and full of double meanings. ' He imitated Sauda in satire with much success; he also cultivated Hindi poetry, and composec dohas and kabittas. Miskin was another Lucknow poet of the same period, whose marsiyas are especially admired; one of them, that on the death of Muslim and his two sons, is considered a masterpiece of this style of composition. The school of Lucknow, so founded anc maintained during the early years of the century, continued to flourish till the dethronement of the last king, Wajid 'All, in 1856. Atash and Nasikh (who died respectively in 1847 and 1841) are the best among the modern poets of the school in the ghazal; Mir Anis.a grandson of Mir Hasan, and his contemporary Dablr, the former ol whom died in December 1875 and the latter a few months later, excelled in the marsiyah. Rajab All Beg Surur, who died in 1869, was the author of a much-admired romance in rhyming prose entitled the Fisanah-e 'Ajaib or " Tale of Marvels," besides a diwan. The dethroned prince Wajid 'All himself, poetically styled Akhtar, was also a poet ; he published three dlivans, among them a quantity of poetry in the rustic dialect of Oudh which is philologically of much interest.
Though Delhi was thus deserted by its brightest lights of literature, it did not altogether cease to cultivate the poetic art. Among the last Moguls several princes were themselves creditable poets. Shah Alam II. (1761-1806) wrote under the name of Aftab, and was the author of a romance entitled Manzum-i Aqdas, besides a diwan. His son Sulaiman-shukoh, brother of Akbar Shah II., who had at first, like his brother authors, repaired to Lucknow, returned to Delhi in 1815, and died in 1838; he also has left a diwan. Lastly, his nephew Bahadur Shah II., the last titular emperor of Delhi (d. 1862), wrote under the name of Zafar, and was a pupil in poetry of Shaikh Ibrahim Zauq, a distinguished writer; he has left a voluminous diwan, which has been printed at Delhi. Mashafi (Ghulam-i Hamdani), who died about 1814, was one of the most distinguished of the revived poetic school of Delhi, and was himself one of its founders. Originally of Lucknow, he left that city for Delhi in 1777, and held conferences of poets, at which several authors who afterwards acquired repute formed their style; he has left five diwans, a Taikira or biography of Urdu poets, and a Shah-nama or account of the kings of Delhi down to Shah 'Alam. Qaim (Qiyamuddin 'All) was one of his society, and died in 1792; he has left several works of merit. Ghalib, otherwise Mirza Asadullah Khan Naushah, laureate of the last Mogul, who died in 1869, was undoubtedly the most eminent of the modern Delhi poets. He wrote chiefly in Persian, of which language, especially in the form cultivated by Firdausi, free from intermixture of Arabic words, he was a master; but his Urdu dtwan, though short, is excellent in its way, and his reputation spread far and wide. To this school, though he lived and died at Agra, may be attached Mir Wall Muhammad Nazir (who died in the year 1832); his masnavis entitled Jogi-nama, Kauri-nama, Banjarenama, and Bur.hape-nama, as well as his diwan, have been frequently reprinted, and are extremely popular. His language is less artificial than that of the generality of Urdu poets, and some of his poems have been printed in Nagari, and are as well known and as much esteemed by Hindus as by Mahommedans. His verse is defaced by much obscenity.
4. Modern Period. While such, in outline, is the history of the literary schools of the Deccan, Delhi and Lucknow, a fourth, that of the Fort William College at Calcutta, was being formed, and was destined to give no less an impulse to the cultivation of Urdu prose than had a hundred years before been given to that of poetry by Wall. At the commencement of the 19th century Dr John Gilchrist was the head of this institution, and his efforts were directed towards getting together a body of literature suitable as text-books for the study of the Urdu language by the European officers of the administration. To his exertions we owe the elaboration of the vernacular as an official speech, and the possibility of substituting it for the previously current Persian as the language of the courts and the government. He gathered together at Calcutta the most eminent vernacular scholars of the time, and their works, due to his initiative, are still notable as specimens of elegant and serviceable prose composition, not only in Urdu, but also in Hindi. The chief authors of this school are Haidarl (Sayyid Muhammad Haidar-bakhsh) , Husaim (Mir Bahadur 'All), Mir Amman Luff, Haflzuddln Ahmad, Shgr 'All Afsos, Nihal Chand of Lahore, Kazim 'All Jawan, Lallu Lai Kavi, Mazhar 'All Wila and Ikram 'All.
Haidarl died in 1828. He composed the Tofa-Kahani (1801), a prose redaction of the Tufi-namah which has been already mentioned a romance named Araish-i Mahfil (" Ornament of the Assembly ") detailing the adventures of the famous Arab chief Hatim-i Jai ; the Gul-i Maghfirat or Dah Majlis, an account of the' holy persons of the Muhammadan faith; the Gulzar-i Danish, a translation of the Bahar-i Danish, a Persian work containing stories descriptive of the craft and faithlessness of women ; and the Tarikh-i Nadiri, a translation of a Persian history of Nadir Shah. Husaim is the author of an imitation in prose of Mir Hasan's Sihru-l-bayan, under the name of Nasr-i Benazir (" the Incomparable Prose," or " the Prose of Benazir," the latter being the name of the hero), and of a work named Akhlaq-i Hindi, or " Indian Morals," both composed in 1802. The Akhlaq-i Hindi is an adaptation of a Persian work called the Mufarnhu-l-qulub (" the Delighter of Hearts "), itself a version of the Hitopadesa. Mir Amman was a native of Delhi, which he left in the time of Ahmad Shah Durrani for Patna, and in 1801 repaired to Calcutta. To him we owe the Bagh o Bahar (1801-1802), an adaptation of Amir Khusrau's famous Persian romance entitled the Chahar Darwesh, or " Story of the Four Dervishes." Amman's work is not itself directly modelled on the Persian, but is a rehandling of an almost contemporary rendering by Tahsin of Etawa, called the Nau-tarz-i Mura^a'. The style of this composition is much admired by natives of India, and editions of it are very numerous. Amman also composed an imitation of Husain Wa'iz Kashifi's Akhlaq-i Muhsini under the name of the Ganj-i Khubi (" Treasure of Virtue ), produced in 1802. Hafizuddln Ahmad was a professor at the Fort William College; in 1803 he completed a translation of Abu-1-Fazl's 'Iyar-i Danish, under the name of the Khirad-afroz (" Enlightener of the Understanding"). The 'Iyar-i Danish ("Touchstone of Wisdom ") is one of the numerous imitations of the originally Sanskrit collection of apologues known in Persian as the Fables of Bidpai, or Kalilah and Dimna. Afsos was one of the most illustrious of the Fort William school ; originally of Delhi, he left that city at the age of eleven, and entered the service of Qasim 'All Khan, Nawab of Bengal; he afterwards repaired to Hyderabad in the Deccan, and thence to Lucknow, where he was the pupil of Mir Hasan, Mir Soz and Mir tfaidar 'AH Hairan. He joined the Fort William College in 1800, and died in 1809. He is the author of a much esteemed diwan; but his chief reputation is founded on two prose works of great excellence, the Araish-i Mahfil (1805), an account of India adapted from the introduction of the Persian Khulas,atu-t- tawarikh of Sujan Rae, and the Bdgh-i Urdu (1808), a translation of Sa'di's Gulistan. Nihal Chand translated into Urdu a masnavi, entitled the Gul-i Bakawali, under the name of Mazjmb-i "'Ishq ("Religion of Love"); this work is in prose intermingled with verse, was composed in 1804, and has been frequently reproduced. Jawan, like most of his collaborators, was originally of Delhi and afterwards of Lucknow; he joined the College in 1800. He is the author of a version in Urdu of the well-known story of Sakuntala, under the name o(_Sakuntala Nafak; the Urdu was rendered from a previous' Braj-bhasha version by Nawaz Kabishwar made in 1716, and was printed in 1802. Healso composed a Barah-masa, or poetical description of the twelve months (a very popular and often-handled form of composition), with accounts of the various Hindu and Muhammadan festivals, entitled the Dastur-i Hind (" Usages of India "), printed in 1812. Ikram 'AH translated, under the name of the Ikhwanu-$-safa, or " Brothers of Purity " (1810), a chapter of a famous Arabian collection of treatises on science and philosophy entitled Rasailu Ikhwani-$-safa, and composed in the 10th century. The complete collection, due to different writers who dwelt at Basra, has recently been made known to European readers by the :ranslation of Dr F. Dieterici (1858-1879); the chapter selected by [kram 'All is the third, which records an allegorical strife for the mastery between men and animals before the king of the Jinn. The translation is written in excellent Urdu, and is one of the best of the Fort William productions.
Sri Lallu Lai was a Brahman, whose family, originally of Gujarat, lad long been settled in northern India. What was done by the other Fort William authors for Urdu prose was done by Lallu Lai almost alone for Hindi. He may indeed without exaggeration be said to have created " High Hindi " as a literary language. His rem Sagar and Rajniti, the former a version in pure Hindi of the :oth chapter of the Bhagavata Purana, detailing the history of <rishna, and founded on a previous Braj-bhasha version by Chatur- >huj Misr, and the latter an adaptation in Braj-bhasha prose of the 'iitopadesa and part of the Pancha-tantra, are unquestionably the most important works in Hindi prose. The Prem Sagar was begun n 1804 and ended in 1810; it enjoys immense popularity in northern ndia, has been frequently reproduced in a lithographed form, and has several times been printed. The Rajniti was composed in 809; it is much admired for its sententious brevity and the purity 'f its language. Besides these two works, Lallu Lai was the author of a collection of a hundred anecdotes in Hindi and Urdu entitled Lafaif-i Hindi, an anthology of Hindi verse called the Sabha-bilds.
a Sat-sai in the style of Bihari-Lal called Sapta-satika and several other works. He and Jawan worked together at the Singhasan Battlst (1801), a redaction in mixed Urdu and Hindi (Devanagari character) of a famous collection of legends relating the prowess of King Vikramaditya ; and he also aided the latter author in the production of the Sakuntala Nafak. Mazhar 'All Wila was his collaborator in the Baital Pachisl, a collection of stories similar in many respects to the Singhasan Battlsl, and also in mixed Urdu-Hindi; and he aided Wila in the preparation in Urdu of the Story of Madhonal, a romance originally composed in Braj-bhasha by Moti Ram.
The works of these authors, though compiled and published under the superintendence of Dr Gilchnst, Captain Abraham Lockett, Professor J. W. Taylor, Dr W. Hunter and other European officers of the college of Fort William, and originally intended for the instruction of the Company's officers in the vernacular, are essentially Indian in taste and style, and, until superseded by the more recent developments of literature noticed below, enjoyed a very wide reputation and popularity. They may, indeed, be said to have set the standard of prose composition in Urdu and Hindi, and for the first half of the 19th century their influence in this respect continued almost unchallenged. Side by side with them, among the Musalman population of northern India, another almost contemporaneous impulse did much for the expansion of the Urdu language, and, like the work of the Vaishnava reformers in moulding literary Hindi, gave an impetus to composition which might otherwise have been lacking. This was the reform in Islam led by Sayyid Ahmad 1 and his followers. In all Eastern countries religion is the first and chief subject of literary production; and the controversies which the new preaching aroused in India at once afforded abundant material for authorship in Urdu, and interested deeply the people to whom the works were addressed.
Sayyid Ahmad was born in 1782, and received his early education at Delhi; his instructors were two learned Muslims, Shah 'Abdu-1- 'Aziz, author of a celebrated commentary on the Qur'an (the Tafsir-i 'Azlziyyah), and his brother 'Abdu-1-Qadir, the writer of the first translation of the holy volume into Urdu. Under their guidance Sayyid Ahmad embraced the doctrines of the Wahhabis, a sect whose preaching appears at this time to have first reached India. He gathered round him a large number of fervent disciples, among others Isma'fl Haji, nephew of 'Abdu-1'Aziz and 'Abdu-1-Qadir, the chief author of the sect. After a course of preaching and apostleship at Delhi, Sayyid Ahmad set out in 1820 for Calcutta, attended by numerous adherents. Thence in 1822 he started on a pilgrimage to Mecca, whence he went to Constantinople, and was there received with distinction and gained many disciples. He travelled for nearly six years in Turkey and Arabia, and then returned to Delhi. The religious degradation and coldness which he found in his native country strongly impressed him after his sojourn in lands where the life of Islam is stronger, and he and his disciples established a propaganda throughout northern India, reprobating the superstitions which had crept into the faith from contact with Hindus, and preaching a jihad or holy war against the Sikhs. In 1828 he started for Peshawar, attended by, it is said, upwards of 100,000 Indians, and accompanied by his chief followers, Haji Isma'il and "Abdu-1-Hayy. He was furnished with means by a general subscription in northern India, and by several Muhammadan princes who had embraced his doctrines. At the beginning of 1829 he declared war against the Sikhs, and in the course of time made himself master of Peshawar. The Afghans, however, with whom he had allied himself in the contest, were soon disgusted by the rigour of his creed, and deserted him and his cause. He fled across the Indus and took refuge in the mountains of Pakhli and Dhamtor, where in 1831 he encountered a detachment of Sikhs under the command of Sher Singh, and in the combat he and Hji Isma'il were slain. His sect is, however, by no means extinct ; the Wahhabi doctrines have continued to gain ground in India, and to give rise to much controversial writing, down to our own day.
The translation of the Quran by 'Abdu-1-Qadir was finished in 1803, and first published by Sayyid 'Abdullah, a fervent disciple of Sayyid Ahmad, at Hughfi in 1829. The Tambihu-l-ghafilin, or " Awakener of the Heedless," a work in Persian by Sayyid Ahmad, was rendered into Urdu by 'Abdullah, and published at the same press in 1830. Haji Jsma'il was the author of a treatise in Urdu entitled Taqwiyatu-l-Iman (" Confirmation of the Faith "), which had great vogue among the following of the Sayyid. Other works by the disciples of the Tariqah-e Muhammadiyyah (as the new preaching was called) are the Targhib-i Jihad (" Incitation to Holy War "), Hiddyatu-l-Mumimn (" Guide of the Believers "), Muzihul-Kabair wa-l-Bid'ah (" Exposition of Mortal Sins and Heresy "), Naflhatu-l-Muslimin ("Admonition to Muslims "), and the Mi'at Masail, or " Hundred Questions."
Printing was first used for vernacular works by the College Press at Fort William, at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, and all the compositions prepared for Dr Gilchrist and his successors which have been mentioned were thus given to the public. But the expense of this method of reproduction long precluded its extensive use in India, and movable types, though 1 To be carefully distinguished from the reformer of the same name who flourished half a century later.
well suited for alphabets derived from the Sanskrit, were not equally applicable to the flowing and graceful characters of Persian. Lithography was introduced about 1837, when the first press was set up at Delhi, and immediately gave a powerful stimulus to the multiplication of literature, both original and editions of older works. In 1832 the vernaculars were substituted for Persian as the official language of the courts and the acts of the legislature, and this at once led to the transfer to the former of a mass of technical and forensic terms which had previously been only to a limited extent in popular use. Thirdly, the spread of education in subjects of Western learning, for which text-books (many of them translations from English] were required, not only greatly enlarged the vocabulary of the common speech, but led by degrees to the use of a simpler and more direct style, and the abandonment wholesale of the florid and artificial ornament which was the legacy of the Persian literature upon which Urdu prose had at first modelled itself. Lastly, the establishment of a vernacular newspaper press, which lithography had rendered possible, placed within the reach of a continually widening public the means of becoming acquainted with new ideas in every department of culture, and practised the writers who contributed to it in the art of wielding their mothertongue with effect in its application to European themes.
All these revolutionary agencies were at work, though in a tentative and limited fashion, when the great change, following on the Mutiny of 1857, of the transfer of the government of India from the Company to the Crown inaugurated a new era. Since 1860 their operation has become extremely rapid and far-reaching. The use of lithography both for Urdu and Hindi annually gives birth to hundreds of works. The extension of education through both public and private agency has created an immense mass of schoolbooks, and the spread of instruction in English and the activity of translators have filled the vernaculars with a multitude of new words drawn from that language. The newspaper press, in Urdu and Hindi, now counts over two hundred journals, the majority issued in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and in the Punjab, but a few at Madras, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bombay and Calcutta. Of this great body of literary production it is possible to speak only in general terms. Style and vocabulary are still in a somewhat fluid and unsettled condition, and the subjects treated are almost as various as they are in European literatures. Much, indeed, of the work produced has scarcely any claim to literary excellence, and in the crowd of writers we may content ourselves with mentioning only a few whose influence and authority make it probable that they will hereafter be known as leaders in the new culture.
One of the first effects of the new literary inspiration seemed to be the extinction of poetical composition as previously practised. With the deaths of Zauq (1854) and Ghalib (1869) of the Delhi school, and those of Anis (1875) and Dabir (1876) of Lucknow, the end of Urdu poetry appeared to have come. The new age was intensely practical and eager to engage in the race for material and political advancement, and had no time for sentiment,' or taste for mystical conceits. Moreover, poetical composition in India, as in other Eastern countries, has always owed much to the patronage of courts and princes. The thrones of Delhi and Lucknow had passed away, and the new rulers showed little interest in this form of achievement. Only at Hyderabad in the Deccan, under the patronage of the Nizam, were laureates still honoured; the last of these, Mirza Khan Dagh (1831-1905), enjoyed a wide reputation as a graceful and eloquent master of the poetic art.
But prose and material prosperity did not succeed in monopolizing the genius of the people. The great movement of reform and liberalism in Islam led by Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) found its bard in Sayyid Al^af Husain of Panipat, poetically styled Hali an ambiguous nom-de-plume now generally taken in the sense of " modern," or " up-to-date." Hali in his youth was a pupil of the famous Ghalib, whose life he has written and of whose writings he has published an able criticism. At the age of forty he came under the influence of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, and from that time devoted his great poetic gifts to the service of his coreligionists. He has published much verse, of which an interesting specimen will be found in the edition of his Ruba'is or quatrains (101 in number), with an English translation, by Mr G. E. Ward (Oxford, 1904) ; in this is included a famous poem addressed to his muse, setting forth his ideals in poetry simplicity, avoidance of exaggeration and unreality, direct and emotional appeal to the heart, and above all sincerity. There can be no doubt that he has succeeded in becoming the leader of a new poetic school, which shows much vigour and promise.
Perhaps the most memorable of all Hall's compositions is his long poem in six-line stanzas (called musaddas) on " the flow and ebb of Islam " (1879), which has had an extraordinary influence in stimulating enthusiasm in the cause of progress among the Musalmans of the north of India. In it he draws, in simple and direct but searching and eloquent language, a rapid sketch of the glories of Islam in the past, its principles and precepts, and the sources of its strength; and then turns to contrast with this picture the degradation and decay into which it had, when he wrote, fallen in Hindostan. Never have the vices and shortcomings of a people been lashed by one. of themselves with. more vigorous denunciation, or with more earnestness of moral purpose. In his preface he explains how the poem came to be written after a youth spent in heedlessness and unsettlement, at the instigation of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, and in the cause of that great reformer. The poem is still recited and imitated by Muslims in the Punjab and United Provinces, though the picture which it presents of Indian Musalmans is no longer wholly applicable to the community. Hali has recently completed a life of Sir Sayyid Aljmad Khan in two volumes, entitled Hayat-i Jdmd (" eternal life "), a work of great merit.
Another writer whose work, though chiefly in prose, deals with poetry and poetic style, is Maulavi Muhammad Husain Azad, lately professor of Arabic at the Government College, Lahore. He has not himself composed much verse; but his biographies of Urdu poets, with criticisms of their works, entitled Ab-i Hayat (" Water of Life," Lahore, 1883), is by far the best book dealing with the subject. His prose style is much admired. As Hall was the pupil of Ghalib, so was Azad that of 2auq, of whose poems he has published a revised and annotated edition. His other works in prose are Qisas.-i Hind, episodes of Indian history arranged for schools; Nairang-i Kkayal, an allegory dealing with human life; and Darbar-i Akban, an account of the reign of Akbar.
Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan's life and work are dealt with elsewhere. Among his literary achievements may be mentioned the Asarufanadid (" Vestiges of Princes "), an excellent account of Delhi and its monuments, which has passed through several editions since it was first lithographed in 1847. His essays and occasional papers, published in the Aligarh Institute Gazette (started in 1864), and afterwards (from 1870 onwards) in a periodical entitled TahzlbulAkhlaq (or " Muhammadan Social Reformer "), handle all the problems of religious, social and educational advancement among Indian Musalmans the cause with which his life was identified. His great Commentary on the Qur'an, in seven volumes, the last finished only a few days before his death in 1898, is carried to the end of Surah xx., a little more than half the book. In him Urdu prose found its most powerful wielder for the diffusion of modern ideas, and the movement which he set on foot has been the spring of the best literature in the language during recent years.
Another excellent writer of Urdu is Shamsul-'Ulama Maulavi Nazir Aljmad of Delhi, who is the author of a series of novels describing domestic life, of a somewhat didactic character, which have had a wide popularity, and from their admirable moral tone have been specially serviceable in the education of Indian women. These are entitled the Mir'atul-'Arus (or " Brides' Mirror ") ; Taubalun-Nasuh (" the Repentance of Nasuh "), Banatun-Na'sh (" the Seven Stars of the Great Bear "), Ibnul-Waqt (" Son of the Age "), and Ayama (" Widows "). But Nazir Ahmad is a man of many sides; before he took to novel- writing he was the principal translator into Urdu of the Indian Penal Code (1861), which is reckoned a masterpiece in the exact rendering of European legal ideas; and more lately he gave to the world the best Urdu version of the Quran. He has been a popular lecturer on social subjects, displaying a rich vein of humour, and in his old age even ventured upon verse. During the latter portion of his life he was most closely associated with Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan.
The novel is one of the most noteworthy features of recent literary composition in Urdu. India has from time immemorial been rich in stories and romances of adventure; but the description of actual life and character in action, as the modern novel is understood in Europe, is quite a new development. The most admired production of this kind in Urdu is a work entitled Fisana-e Azad, by Pandit Ratan-niith Sarshar of Lucknow. The story, which is very long, is remarkable for the faithful and vivid pictures of Lucknow society which it presents, and its exact and lifelike delineation of character; it appeared originally as a feuilleton of the Awadh Akhbar, of which paper the author was at the time editor. Another good writer in the same branch of literature is Maulavi ' AbdulHallm Sharar, also a native of the neighbourhood of Lucknow, but settled at Hyderabad. He was editor of a monthly periodical called the Dil-gudaz (" melter of hearts "), which contained essays and papers in European style, and in it his novels, which are all of an historical character, in the style of Sir Walter Scott, originally appeared. The best are 'Aziz and Virgina, a tale of the Crusades, and Mansur and Mohina, a story of which the scene is laid in India at the time of the invasions of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni.
Although Urdu chiefly represents Musalman culture, its use is by no means confined to adherents of that faith. It has just been mentioned that the most popular Urdu novelist is a Hindu (a Brahman from Kashmir); and the statistics of the vernacular press show that this_form of the language is widely used by Hindus as well as Musalmans. Thus, of eighty periodicals in Urdu published in the United Provinces, twenty-nine are conducted by Hindus; similarly, in the Punjab, of forty-eight Urdu journals, twenty are edited by Hindus.
" High Hindi " has scarcely adapted itself to modern requirements with the thoroughness dispjayed by Urdu. It is taught in the schools where the population is mainly Hindu, and books of science have been written in it with a terminology borrowed from Sanskrit, in place of the Persian terms used in the other dialect. But Sanskrit is far removed from the daily life of the people, and the majority of works in this style are read only by Pandits, the great bulk of them dealing with religion, philosophy and the ancient literature. There are thirty-seven Hindi and four Hindi-Urdu journals in the United Provinces; but many of them are exclusively religious in their character, and several, though written in Devanagari, employ a mixed language which admits Persian words freely. The old dialects of literature, Awadhi and B.raj-bhasha, are now only used for poetry; High Hindi has been a complete failure for this purpose.
The most noticeable authors in Hindi since the middle of the 19th century have been Babu Harishchandra and Raja Siva Prasad, both of Benares. The former, during his short life (1850-1885), was an enthusiastic cultivator of the old poetic art, using the dialects just mentioned. He published in the Sundari Ttiak an anthology of the best Hindi poetry, and in the Kabi-bachan-Sudha (" ambrosia of the words of poets ") and the magazine called Harishchandrika a quantity of old texts, with much added matter. He also wrote a volume of biographies of famous men, European and Indian, and many critical studies, historical and literary. In history especially he cleared up many problems, and traced the lines for further investigation. In his Kashmir Kusum, or history of Kashmir, a list is given of about a hundred works by him. He was also the real founder of the modern Hindi drama; he wrote plays himself, and inspired others. Raja Siva Prasad (1823-1895) served for many years in the educational department, and published a number of works intended for use in schools, which have greatly contributed to the formation of a sound vernacular form of Hindi, not excessively Sanskritized, and not rejecting current Persian forms. The society at Benares called the Nagarl Pracharini Sabha (" Society for promoting the use of the Nagarl character ") has, since the death of Harishchandra, been active in procuring the publication of works in Hindi, and has issued many useful books, besides conducting a systematic search for old MSS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. The best account in English of Hindi literature is Dr G. A. Grierson's Modern Vernacular Literature of Hindustan, issued by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1889; the dates in this work, which is founded on indigenous compilations, have, however, in many cases to be received with caution. Before it appeared. Garcin de Tassy's Histoire de la litterature Hindouie et Hindoustanie, and his annual summaries of the progress made from 1850 to 1877, were our chief authority, and may still be consulted with advantage. For the religious literature of the Vaishnava sects, Professor H. H. Wilson's Essay on the Religious Sects of the Hindus (vol. i. of his collected works) has not yet been superseded.
For Urdu poets, Professor Azad's Ab-i Hayat (in Urdu) is the most trustworthy record. For the new school of Urdu literature reference may be made to a series of lectures (in English) by Shaikh ' AbdulQadir of Lahore, printed in 1 898. The catalogues by Professor Blumhardt of Hindostani and Hindi books in the libraries of the British Museum and the India Office will give a good idea of the volume of the recent productions of the press in those languages. (C. J. L.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)