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Dharanikosa of Dharanidasa (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAM139
Author: E. D. Kulkarni
Publisher: Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute
Language: Sanskrit Only
Edition: 1968
Pages: 250
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 290 gm
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Book Description

On the 15th of October 1964 the Deccan College celebrate the centenary of its main Building and curiously enough this period coincides with the Silver Jubilee of the Postgraduate and Research Institute which, as successor to the Deccan College, started functioning from 17th August 1939 when members of the teaching faculty reported on duty. When I suggested to members of our faculty the novel idea that centenary should be celebrated by the publication of a hundred monographs representing the research carried on under the auspices of the Deccan College in its several departments they readily accepted the suggestion. These contributions are from present and past faculty members and research scholars of the Deccan College, giving a cross-section of the manifold research that it has sponsored during the past twentyfive years. From small beginning in 1939 the Deccan College has now grown into a well developed and developing Research Institute and become a national centre in so far as Linguistics, Archaeology and Ancient Indian History, and Anthropology and Sociology are concerned. Its international status is attested by the location of the Indian Institute of German Studies (jointly sponsored by Deccan College and the Goethe Institute of Munich), the American Institute of Indian Studies and a branch of the Ecole Francaise d’ Extreme-Orient in the campus of the Deccan College. The century of monographs not only symbolises the centenary of the original building and the silver jubilee of the Research Institute, but also the new spirit of critical enquiry and the promise of more to come.



The present edition is based on a single Manuscript belonging to the India Office library, London. The Ms is well bound in a book form with fine cloth bears the library number 1511E. It contains five other Mss. numbered as 1019, 1046, 1040, 1022 and 2740. The second folio bears the stamp of local and Municipal Secretariat and the date as 1st August 1911. The third folio bears the stamps of the India Office Library and the East India Company Library. On the same folio are written the titles of Mss. contained in the book viz. Dharanikosa, Varnabhidhana, Haravali-Purusottamakrta, Haravali-Candanabhattacarya-krta, Ratnamalakosa-Vaidyasastra and Aksaravali. The Text of Dharanikosa begins on folio la and ends on folio 114b.

The Ms. is written on a white thick paper. It contains 201 folios and at the end of Ms. an index of words from Paryayaratnamala is given and the folios on which the index is given, are numbered separately as 1-3. Each contains 10-11 lines, each line containing 16-23 lines on an average. Each line ends with a double danda in red ink. The Ms. is written in a big, bold and readable hand-writing. The main vocables are underlined with red ink and yellow pigment is used to cancel the wrong letters. The corrections are made either in the margin or just above the wrong vocable with black pencil by some different hand, probably by some scholar who had read the text rather critically.

Dharanikosa is a dictionary of homonymous world arranged after the final consonants and the in which are further arranged according to the number of syllables. The work is divided into three sections the exant of meanings through quarter verses, half verses and full verses as in Haravadi of Purusottama, Anekarthadhvanimanjari of Mahaksapanaka and Anekarthasamuccaya of Sasvata. It agrees with Nanarthasamgraha of Ajaya, Visvaprakasa of Mahesvara and Anekarthakosa of Mankha in considering the conjunct ks as a letter of the alphabet coming after h and palcing the indeclinables at the end. The indeclinables also are arranged respectively in quarter, half and full verses as in Sasvata.

The title of the work is recorded at the end of the text as Anekarthasara with an alternative title as Dharanikosa. But another title viz. Anekarthasamuccaya is hinted at in one of the preliminary verses. It is suggested in the following lines-

devadevam pranamyadau sarvajnam jagato gurum |

Samahrtyanyatantrani kriyate sarasamgrahah |

padaih padadvayaih slokair anekarthasamuccayah |

But it is popularly known by the title of Dharanikosa or more commonly as Dharani.

The author of the work is Dharanidasa as he himself states in the concluding verse of the work, which runs as follows:

Puvrvacaryabhidhanebhyah saram akrsya yatnatah| krto dharani-dasena varnanukramasamgrahah|| Except this we have no other information about him. H.H. Wilson in his Essaya (Vol. III, page 11) states that Dharanidasa was considered as a Brahman of Kanouj and the author of a poetical work, denominated the Kasi Virudavali. But we are not in a position to verify the statements made by Wilson regardiag the identification of our author with the author of Kasi Virudavali for want of sufficient evidence. A critical examination of the internal evidence enables us to conclude only that our author probably belonged to Eastern India, where v and b are similarly pronounced and where little distinction is made in the pronunciation of the three sibilants s, s and s; e. g. the vocables kharva (line 1655), carvi (1674), garva (1676), purva (1677), sruva (1678), gajahva (1682), dhruva (1686-89) and gandharva (1690-91) are all brought together in the section of vocables ending in b. Similarly the morphological forms sita and sitam are given as belonging to the same basic form (1051-54).

The date of the compilation of the present work is also not known. Though it is clear from the above- quoted passages that the author had utilized the works of older lexicographers in the compilation of his dictionary, he does not mention any authorities specifically. He is himself of some antiquity, as besides the place he holds in the Medini’s list of authorities, he is often cited by Sarvananda, Rayamukuta Bhanuji Diksita, Bhattoji Diksita, Ujjvaladatta and others. As he is quoted by Sarvananda, (1159 A.D.) he cannot be later than the beginning of 12th century A.D.

As stated above, Dharanikosa exists only in a single Ms. This Ms. is unfortunately very corrupt. As a result of it, the task of editing the work became very difficult. We had to take resort to available printed lexical material in deciding the readings in the text. Another valuable source, drawn upon in editing the work consisted of a number of quotations from Dharanikosa, cited by the commentators of repute in their respective commentaries in support of their interpretations of certain passages. For our purposes, we collected all the quotations from Dharanikosa as cited in the commentaries on works belonging to the various branches of Sanskrit Literature. A list of commentaries consulted is given below:


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