The Dynasty journey centuries. and of Marathi flows It begins down literature with to the covers the old present Yadav about times. ‘Mahanubhav Panth’ and ‘Warkari Sampradaya’ laid the foundation of Marathi literature and were influenced by the ‘Nath Panth’ (9th and 10th century).
Mahanubhav Panth was founded by Sarvadnya Shri Chakradhar Swami in 1100-1200. This cult accepted all members irrespective of their castes. Mahanubhav literature generally comprises works that describe the incarnations of gods, the history of the sect, commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, poetical works narrating the stories of the life of Shri Krishna to explain the philosophy of Mahanubhava.
Leela Charitra is thought to be the first biography written in the Marathi language. It was written by Mhaimbhat (1278). Mhaimbhat’s second important literary’ creation was ‘Shri Govinda Prabhu Charitra’. This was a biography of Swami’s Guru, Shri Govinda Prabhu. It was probably written in 1288, soon after the death of Shri Govinda Prabhu. Keshavraj Suri, Narendra, Bhaskar Bhat Borikar, Damodar Pandit, Ravalobas, Narayanbas Bahahaliye and Vishvanath Balapurkar contributed to producing Mahanubhav literature during 1288-1418. Most of the religious literature of the Mahanubhav cult is in ancient Marathi Prose.
Bhakti movement ignited the minds of countless poor and downtrodden people. Saints like Dnyaneshwar and Vitthal sang in their local, colloquial language. People in large numbers began to attract to Warkari sect. They felt that they were getting acceptance, respect, and a chance to reach closer to God. Warkari sect tried to outcast inequality based on discrimination. It inspired people to follow the path of passionate devotion.
The style of the literature of this early period is called Archaic Marathi. Namdev being a poet of later date than Mukundraj and Dnyaneshwar, his style is somewhat more modem and we find the purity of diction permeating all his poems. The influence of the literary activity of the time was so great that the spirit was taken up by Namdev’s whole family, even by his maidservant Janabai. Namdev died in the middle of the 14th century and no writings of significance were produced in Maharashtra for about two hundred years from that date.
Political situation of this period destroyed social harmony and everyone struggled for existence. There was hardly any time to devote to literature. The third is the most brilliant period in the history of Marathi literature. It extends from the beginning of the 17th century to the close of Peshwa rule. It was almost a period of two hundred years. Three great poets Ramdas, Tukaram and Mukteshwar were born in only a year or so about 1603 A.D. Saint Tukaram, the greatest poet in Marathi literature preached asceticism, toleration and devotion to God.
Ramdas was a saint of keen insight. He was an ardent preacher He wrote ‘Dasbodh’ containing sermons on abstract as well as practical topics. Mukteshwar too by his translation of ‘Mahabharata’ motivated masses. This period of two centuries produced poets of a very high order. Among those were Vaman Pandit, Shridhar, Moropant and Mahipati. The Shayari tradition of the 7th century also became very popular which gave rise to folk singing form called as ‘Powadas’ immortalising historical events. It mainly glorifies valour and heroic deeds of Shivaji.
The Marathi Poetry written during the first decade of the post-independence period is called the ‘Navkavita’ (New Poetry). Amongst these new poets, Mardhekar and Vinda Karandikar had the strong urge to embody the tumultuous reality of their time. Their poetry dealt with the unbearable heat of the time. Thereafter the ‘Post-Sixties’ poets contributed substantially to the development of Marathi poetry. Sharchchandra Muktibodh was a leading poet who enriched mainstream Marathi poetry.
Yamuna Paryatan (1857) is considered the first significant novel in Marathi written by Baba Padmanji. Most of western fiction was being translated into Marathi and printing revolution made it easy to publish books.
Marathi literature flowered in every genre of literature. V.S. Khandekar, V.V. Shirvadkar, Vinda
Karandikar and Bhalchandra Nemade are among the Jnanpith Award winners. Marathi literature has a long tradition of seven centuries. It is difficult to cover it within a limit of four thousand words.