With reference to the scholars/litterateurs of ancient India, consider the following statements:
- Panini is associated with Pushyamitra
- Amarasimha is associated with Harshavardhana
- Kalidasa is associated with Chandra Gupta-II
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2020 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Panini, a Sanskrit grammarian, was born in Shalatula on the Indus River in present-day Pakistan. He is widely recognized as the founder of Sanskrit language and literature, providing a comprehensive and scientific theory of phonetics, phonology, and morphology. His significant work, the Astadhyayi (or Astaka), consists of eight chapters, further divided into quarter chapters. Within the Astadhyayi, Panini made a clear distinction between the language used in sacred texts and the common language of communication. He established formal production rules and definitions to describe Sanskrit grammar, organizing around 1700 basic elements such as nouns, verbs, vowels, and consonants into classes.
- Amarsimha, a Sanskrit grammarian and poet, hailed from ancient India and was considered one of the “nine gems” in the court of Vikramaditya. Unfortunately, most of his work was lost, except for the ‘Amara-Kosha’, a vocabulary of Sanskrit roots divided into three books, also known as the Trikanda or “Tripartite.” However, the claim that Amarsimha was associated with the post-Gupta king Harshavardhana is incorrect, as Amarsimha actually belonged to the Gupta era.
- Kalidasa, often regarded as ancient India’s greatest playwright and dramatist, is known for works such as Malavika and Agnimitra, Urvashi, and Shakuntala. His poetry drew inspiration from the Vedas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Puranas. While traditional beliefs connect Kalidasa to the court of Chandra Gupta Vikramaditya (Chandra Gupta II), the precise dates of his life events remain disputed. Hence, the statement that pairs Kalidasa with Chandra Gupta Vikramaditya is correct.
Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.