Jayashankar Prasad

Prasad, Jayashankar


Born Jan. 10, 1889, in Benares; died there Nov. 15, 1937. Indian writer writing in Hindi.

Prasad’s writing considerably influenced the development of Indian poetry and drama. He was an ideologist of the Chhayavad romantic and symbolist trend in Indian poetry of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Prasad’s chief concerns were good and evil, man and nature, and reason and passion, all of which he examined from a religious, ethical, and philosophical standpoint. In his polemics with Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity, Prasad glorified love, which he considered the only true religion. He thought social evil eternal; hence the tragic view of existence permeating his work.

Prasad’s plays are mainly depictions of actual life. He created a form of psychological drama, relying principally on traditional Indian historical themes, in such plays as Ajatasatru (1922), Skandagupta (1928), and Chandragupta (1931).


In Russian translation:
“Zhaloba kamnia.” In Rasskazy pisatelei Vostoka. Leningrad, 1958.
[Short stories.] In Deti Indii. Moscow, 1959.
[Short stories.] In Rasskazy indiiskikh pisatelei, vol. I. Moscow, 1959.
“Odin glotok.” In N. A. Vishnevskaia, Indiiskaia odnoaktnaia drama. Moscow, 1964.


Potabenko, S. “Dzhaishankar Prasad.” In Literatury Indii. Moscow, 1958.
Vishnevskaia, N. A. “Novoe poeticheskoe napravlenie v literature khindi —chkhaiavad.” In Problemy teorii literatury i estetiki v stranakh Vostoka. Moscow, 1964.
Adhikari Mahavir. Prasad ka jivan-darshan aur krititva. Delhi, 1955.
Gulabray. Prasadji ki kala. Agra, 1956.


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Other writers discussed include Madhusudana Datta, Muhammad Iqbal, Jayashankar Prasad, and Sumitranandan Pant, and their experiments with epic forms in the 19th and early 20th century.