Agvaghosa (80AD -150 AD), one of the earliest known poets and dramatists in Sanskrit, was a many-sided genius—a monk and a missionary, a philosopher and a theologian, a grammarian and a linguist—all combined into a great creative writer.
A devout follower of the Buddha, Asvaghosa wrote delectable ornate Kavyas for popularising Buddha's teachings. With his deep insight and understanding and broad outlook, he could express subtle philosophical ideas in a manner that made his writing at once illuminating and pleasing.
Asvaghosa was a great orator and spoke in great details about the Buddhist doctrine and its principles. He could easily explain complex concepts of Mahayana Buddhism. His famous works include Mahayana-sraddhotpada-sastra, which means Awakening of faith in Mahayana, Buddhacharita or Life of Buddha and Mahalankara or the Book of Glory. He also wrote a poem called Saundarananakavya. It was about the conversion of Nanda (Buddha's half brother) to Buddhism in order to attain salvation.
Roma Chaudhuri (1912-1990) the author of this monograph and former Vice-Chancellor Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, was an erudite scholar. She has authored a large number of research works and articles in English, Bengali and Sanskrit. She has written about 20 modern Sanskrit dramas. Her Pallikamala (a play in nine acts, 1969 ) is noteworthy for its love of nature and unspoiled life.
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