In the context of gradual evolution, the history of Gujarati literature is generally classed into three broad periods: the early period (up to c. 1450 AD), the Middle period (up to AD 1850) and the Modern period (AD 1850 onwards). However, Gujarati literature and its tremendous maturation and proficiency have been traced back to the Muzaffarid dynasty, which had provided the sultans of Gujarat in western India from 1391 to 1583.

The first four centuries of the second millennium AD— Praag Narsinh-Yug—saw the emergence of the distinguished Jain monk and scholar Hemchandracharya Suri, one of the earliest scholars of Prakrit and Apabhramsha grammars and the mother of the Gujarati language. He had penned a formal set of ‘grammarian principles’, a treatise that formed the cornerstone of Apabhramsa grammar in the Gujarati language. He wrote Kavyanushasana, a handbook or manual of poetry, Siddha-haima-shabdanushasana, Prakrit and Apabhramsha grammars, and Desinamamala, a list of words of local origin.

The earliest writings in this language were by Jaina authors. Rasas were long poems which were essentially heroic, romantic or narrative in nature. Salibhadra Suri’s Bharatesvara Bahubalirasa (AD 1185), Vijayasena’s Revantgiri-rasa (AD 1235), Ambadeva’s Samararasa (AD 1315) and Vinayaprabha’s Gautama Svamirasa (AD 1356) are the most illustrious examples of this form.
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