This paper was presented under the title ‘Mizo literature in relation to other literature’ at the Poets’ Meet cum seminar on Mizo literature in Aizawl between the 3rd – 7th October, 2001. I am indebted to Dr. R. Thangvunga for generously allowing me to publish his essay online.It may be assumed without fear of much controversy that the literature of the Mizos sprang up independently of the myriad native literature flourishing in this culturally rich nation, an assumption justified by the fact that Mizos are of Tibeto-Burman stock having little or no socio-cultural affinity with either the Aryan or Davidian races or the Austrics who form the bulk of the Indian populace. The long migration of the Mizo people from the T’ao valley in China to their present habitat had matured their cultural and religious life sufficiently for distinction from their neighbours. The long years of isolation from other more civilized people had a preservative effect. The pristine simplicity and naïve innocence of the people is in sharp contrast with the sophisticated and complex attitudes of the more progressive people around them from whose poisonous contact Providence seems to have kept them for a special purpose. This age of innocence is the early period of Mizo literature, a vast oral tradition and valuable heritage which a miracle of gospel event has captured in indelible pages of literary history. It is impossible, in the narrow confine of this introductory essay, to open up the panorama of the virgin songs of a people who are, perhaps, after Wordsworth’s own heart. It is a tempting thought that the earlier pre-Christianized literature possesses more human spirit than the Christianized literature which offered a sheepish hope of an underserved heaven in exchange for the more heroic idea of an earned Pialral (incidentally corresponding to the heroes’ Valhalla or Elysium of similar warlike people elsewhere). If we assume the soul of all literature to be the whole-blooded expression of man’s heroic response to an environment hostile to his dreams and ideals, one may bravelyassert a pagan literature as superior to a literature of higher inspiration; for heroism remains the highest standard of human worth, and literature “the thought of thinking souls.” G.Wilson Knight observed: “A strong faith tends to render tragedy impossible.” The truth of this statement seems to be only too apparent. This humanistic position, owing allegiance to the empirical or Aristotelian precept, justified itself against the intractable and pontifical ideology of the medieval Church as a pristine force of enlightenment working through th powerful pen of a Milton or a penitent Donne. Christianity and its attendant Faith in the the heroic expiatory sacrifice of Christ had been a popular literary subject of the Renaissance, as exemplified by Spenser’s The Fairie Queene. The spiritual struggles of a believer have never been minimized as an easy pilgrimage and Bunyan’s Pilgrim was not found among the Canterbury pilgrims.It therefore is essentially inadequate to assume that “a strong faith” is incapable of cathartic experience; for the road to faith is never easy, and many shun it. Religious literature is replete with spiritual conflicts of epic grandeur that the adventures of flesh and bones can never match. It is true, physical pain is usually subordinated when the spirit is elevated in the transcendental experience of a more enduring truth for which the sacrifice is being made. But it is true also that the inner struggle to accept physical pain for a principle, the price of the choice has not been a pleasure either. It is on these twin streams of critical viewpoint that the following lines attempt to highlight a few samples of Mizo literature for your evaluation on a more universal platform. To facilitate such an exercise, we have to rely heavily on available versions of the canon and critical works on the same in English.