VIDYAPATI Vidyapati is the greatest and most famous of Maithili poets. He was born in Bisaphi a village in Northern Bihar around the year 1360 A.D. He died in 1448 after a long life full of literary achievement. Descended from a line of scholars he followed in the footsteps of his ancestors and became a court poet to the Maithili Kings of the day. His literary and creative genius flowered under their patronage. he was a master of Sanskrit, the language of scholars and the majority of his works is in that language. But his abiding place in the literature and affection of the people rests on his mastery and use of the vernacular, Maithili, as a vehicle of literary expression. His songs and poems in Maithili known as the 'Padavali Poems' are unique and unrivalled in their lyrical and artistic quality. He was as much the popular bard of the masses as the sophisticated poet of the courts. His style started a new literary tradition and greatly influenced the literatures of other languages such as Bengali and Assamese. The beauty and power of his poems have inspired other poets down to very recent times. Tagore himself has acknowledged his debt to Vidyapati's compositions in Maithili.
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