Maithili Sharan Gupt | Modern Hindi Poet of India

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His Life: The Forerunner of Khari Boli Poetry

  • Year 1886 – Born in Chirgaon, Jhansi.
  • Year 1895 – Married at the tender age of nine.
  • Year 1910 – Published first major work Rang Mein Bhang.
  • Year 1912 – Collection of patriotic poetries Bharat Bharati published.
  • Year 1954 – Was awarded the Padma Bhusan.
  • Year 1964 – Left the mortal world.

Praan na paagal ho tum yon, prthvee par vah prem kahaan, mohamayee chhalana bhar hai, bhatako na aho ab aur yahaan, oopar ko nirakho ab to bas milata hai chiramel vahaan.

Maithili Sharan Gupt was a prominent Indian Hindi poet of the modern era. He was one of the forerunners of Khari Boli poetry at a time when most of the poets preferred Braj Bhasha. He was felicitated with the title of Rashtrakavi (National Poet) by the Mahatma Gandhi for his book ‘Bharat-Bharati’ (1912). He was a recipient of the third highest Indian civilian honour of Padma Bhushan.

Personal Life 

He was born to the Seth Ramcharan Gupta, a landlord and Kashibai on August 3, 1886 in Chirgaon, Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Siyaramsharan Gupt, another famous author of that era was his younger brother born on September 4, 1895.

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As a kid, Gupt hated studies and going to school. So his father arranged home tuitions for him and he learnt Sanskrit, English and Bengali at home. His proficiency in Hindi language is attributed to the mentorship of the eminent Hindi poet Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi. He married at the tender age of nine in 1895.

Journey of Hindi Literature

His literary career begins with writing for the magazines like Saraswati. During his initial years he was guided by his guru Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi. His first key work was Rang Mein Bhang published by the Indian press in 1910. Most of his work was inspired by the Hindu mythologies like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Buddhist stories and the life history of religious leaders.

His patriotic themed work Bharat Bharati, published in 1912 inspired countless revolutionaries and nationalists during the Indian Independence movement. The collection of poems reverencing the Indian culture and heritage was widely circulated among the people. One of his most famous work Saket deals with Urmila, wife of Lakshman from Ramayana, while the other one Yashodhara deals with Yashodhara, the wife of Gautama Buddha.

He also translated some of the important literary works into Hindi like Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and Sanskrit plays Abhisheka, Pratimanataka and Svapnavasavadatta of ancient poet Bhasa. He penned down drams like Tilottama, Chandrahaas, Anagh and Vijay Parwa. His other major works include Jayadrath Vadh, Vikat Bhat, Plassey Ka Yuddha, Gurukul, Kisan, Panchavati and Nirjhar. His most important contribution to the Indian literature was laying the foundation of modern Hindi language and poetry. Few of his works are listed below:

YearWritingsCategory/Role
1910Rang me Bhang-
1912Bharat BharatiPatriotic Themed work
1932SaketStory on Urmila, Wife of Lakshman in Ramayana
1932YashodharaStory on Yashodhara, Wife of Gautam Buddha
1959Rubaiyat (By Omar Khayyam)Translated into Hindi
-AbhishekaPublished Hindi version of it
-PratimanatakaPublished Hindi version of it
-SvapnavasavadattaPublished Hindi version of it
1915TilottamaA drama
-ChandrahaasA drama
­AnaghA drama
-Vijay ParvaA drama
-Jayadrath Vadh-
1917Kisaan-
1931PanchavatiPoetry
-NirjharPoetry
GurukulPoetry

Awards and Recognitions

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The Government of India bestowed upon him the Padma Bhushan in 1954 for his contribution to the literature.

Later Life

Maithili Sharan Gupt contributed to the Indian struggle of independence with his poems. After the independence of India in 1947, he was elected an honorary member of the upper house of parliament. He used poetry to present his views in the parliament. He held his membership in Rajya Sabha until his demise on December 12, 1964 at the age of 78.

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