It is with a sense of fulfilment of a long-cherished desire that I am bringing out this edition of Abhinavagupta's Locana on the Dhvanyaloka of Anandavardhana with my English translation, encouraged by the warm response of scholars to my studies and edition of the latter with my translation published a dozen years ago.
For the first time is being published a very concise and clear commentary in Sanskrit on the Locana by one who has left us no clue either about his place or region or time. But we have a hint from him that he commented only on the first chapter in his declaration after the invocation-"ekasya dingmatram abhivyanktum upakrame".
I have been engaged for over three decades in the study of this text and the text presented here embodies the result of my ceaseless efforts to get at the most meaningful and authentic text in the light of not only Mss. but also citations - these are often quite extensive as in the anonymous Kalpalataviveka (L.D. Institute publication) --available up to date.
My object in the translation has been to give the spirit of the original in a readable and reasonably acceptable English; and not to be too literal and pedantic.
Abhinavagupta is a great thinker; and he has practically given us in a nutshell the entire argument of all the four chapters of the Dhvanyaloka within the span of the first chapter itself, so that the reader is fully acquainted with the core concept of dhvani in all its dimensions. Need I add that for a proper understanding of Anandavardhana in the right perspective, the study of the Locana is a must; not only because it explicates complex ideas, but also adds to them considerably by noting important objections and answering them pointedly. Thus it is both a summary and an enlargement of Anandavardhana's aesthetics.
The prestigious publisher has left nothing to be desired in making the edition at once elegant and accurate. I thank him heartily for all his kindnesses.
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