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Hymns and Short Poetry: South Asia
(6,612 words)

Traditional Indian terminology does not provide a collective word for hymns and short poetry. They are subsumed under the general category of kāvya, “ornate poetry.” Therefore a range has to be defined, and in the present article, short poetry is taken to comprise hymns (stotra, stava, and stuti), letters (lekha), religious talks or sermons (parikathā), instructions (nirdeśa), and songs (gīti). Again, these terms establish no independent genres in Indian literary history, but their traditional Buddhist use allows subsuming a number of works characterize…

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Jens-Uwe Hartmann, “Hymns and Short Poetry: South Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online, Editor-in-Chief: Consulting Editors: Jonathan A. Silk, Oskar von Hinüber, Vincent Eltschinger. Consulted online on 25 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2467-9666_enbo_COM_0049>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 20151231

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