Chandragupta I, is the Gupta equivalent of Kautilya’s Arthasastra. It gives us
a fair idea of the polity and administration of the Guptas. Both Narada Smriti
and Brihaspati Smriti, written during the fourth century AD, greatly
influenced Gupta emperors in the administration of justice.
Kalidasa’s Works They include Abhijnana Shaku-ntalam. Meghadootam.
Raghuvamsam. Malavikag-nimitram. Ritusamhara. and Kumarasamhhava.
Though their subject-matter is love, nature and beauty, they nevertheless give
us reliable information about the government, society and religion of the
Gupta period. Besides, they also contain traces of political history.
Political Dramas Visakhadatta’s Devichandra-guptam tells us about
Ramagupta’s defeat by a Saka ruler (Basana), murder of the Saka ruler as
well as Ramagupta by Chandragupta II, his accession to the throne and his
marriage to Dhruvadevi (his brother’s widow). But unfortunately it is
available to us only in fragments. Vajjika’s Kaumudimahotsava talks about
the succession of Chandragupta I to the throne and his achievements.
Sudraka’s Mrichchhakatika is essentially the love story of Charudatta (a
pious Brahmin) and Vasantsena (a famous courtesan) but also portrays the
unstable political conditions of the period.
Sanskrit Kavyas and Other Literary Works Kathasarithsagara by
Somadeva, Swapnavasavadatta by Bhasa, Chandragupta-Pariprichchha,
Sethubandha, Kavya Mimamsa, Ayurveda Dipika, and other works have
some stories and legends which refer to the Guptas.
Religious Sources
Hindu Works Puranas like Vayu, Matsya, Vishnu, Bhagavat, Skanda,
Brahmana, and Markandeya Puranas, refer to Gupta rulers in one or two
lines and also have vague references to their territory. Kaliyugaraja-
Vrithanta gives us the history of the dynasty of the kali age, and it has been
considered as a genuine source for the Gupta history by some historians.
Buddhist Works The accounts of Chinese Buddhist pilgrims to India, viz.
Fahien (he visited during the reign of Chandragupta II), Hiuen Tsang though
he visited India during the reign of Harsha, he gives us information about the
popularity of Buddhism during