The present work is an attempt to trace a comparative and a critical study of each and every topic of Ekavali by Vidyadhara. It I a well-known work on Sanskrit-poetics.
All the eight unese of Ekavali consist of three parts: Kariks in verses, which define and classify the technical terms; the vrtti or the explanations of the Karikas in prose and the examples given to illustrate the Karikas. It is important to note here that all the three parts are created by Vidyadhara himself. He does not borrow any example from any other source. Moreover, he originated a new tradition by composing all the illustrative verses in praise of his patron, Narasimha of Orissa. As such, he is a kavi and an acarya, both.
The work starts with an introductory chapter in which characteristics, history and different schools of Sanskrit-poetics; life, date, works of Vidyadhara and different editions of the Ekavali has been discussed.
Rest of the chapters of the work are based on the subject-matter of the Ekavali which is comparatively and critically examined here. In the concluding chapter, the author has carefully traced the original ideas of Vidyadhara as found in Ekavali.
Savitri Gupta graduated with Honours in Sanskrit, took B.A.(Hons), M.A. (Sanskrit) and Ph.D. degrees, all from Delhi University, Delhi.. Her talks were broadcast on the A.I.R. She ahs participated in many seminars.
Publications: [i] Samskrita Nibandhanjalil, [ii] Comparative and Critical Study of Ekavali
Teaching Sanskrit to B.A. (Hons), B.A.(Pass) and M.A. students. She is also engaged in teaching M.a. students of Delhi University. Dr. Savitri Gupta joined Lakshmi Bai College as leclturer in the Department of Sanskrit in 1972. At present, she continues there as a Reader.
I have great pleasure in introducing to the world of scholars Dr. (Mrs) Savitri Gupta’s work, "Contribution of Vidyadhara to Sanskrit Poetics"which had got her the degree of Ph.D. from the University of Delhi.
The work ‘Comparative and Critical Study of Ekavali’ makes a complete, critical and comparative study of each topic discussed in the Ekavali of Vidyadhara, who thought not a torch-bearer, has made a significant contribution to the field of Sanskrit-Poetics. His work is written on the pattern of Kavyaprakasa. What ammata presents in ten Ullasas, Vidyadhara has presented in eight Unmesas.
A speciality of the Ekavali lies in the fact that Vidyadhara composed all the illustrative verses in praise of his patron Narasimha. He has set a tradition, not existent till his time, which was enthusiastically espoused by his successors in Pra;taparudrayasobhusana, Nanrajayasobhusana, Raghunathabhupaliya, Alamkaramanjusa and other works of this kind.
The Ekavali is fortunate enough to have a Sanskrit commentary ‘Tarala’ by a well known Sanskrit commentator Mallinatha. The commentary has added ;much to the value and importance of the Ekavali.
In the Ekavali, thenature of Kavya, three powers viz., Sabdasaktis namely, Abhidha, Laksana, and Vyanjana, the types of Dhvani, Rasa, Guna, Dosa, Sabdalankaras and Arthalamkaras are discussed in detail.
Each of the eight unmesas of the Ekavali consists of three parts viz., karakas in verse, which define and classify the technical terms, the vrtii or the explanation of the karakas in prose and the examples given to illustrate the karakas. It is important to note here that all these three parts are the creations of Vidyadhara himself. This is something generally not to be met within other acaryas of Sanskrit-Poetics. Moreover, the illustrative verses of the Ekavali make a complete kavya as they are composed in praise of king Narsimha. Vidyadhara is thus, both an Acarya and a kavi.
The present work has been divided into nine chapters and ends with the summary of the topics discussed in the main body. In the concluding chapter, the author has tried.
To trace the original ideas of Vidyadhara as given in the Ekavali, which are not found in any work on Sanskrit-Poetics and which are the original contribution of Vidyadhara only.
Thus, our author has presented a thorough critique on the work under study, highlighting at every stage the original contribution of Vidyadhara. Her work shows her capacity for critical examination of facts and her ability to arrive at sound judgement on their basis. She has worked hard to bring to light the contribution of Vidyadhara to Sanskrit -Poetics and has, thus, laid the scholarly community under deep debt of gratitude.
Vidyadhara’s work, apart from being full scale and in-depth analysis of the principles of literary criticism, is also an original and independent kavya containing as it does through a large corpus of illustrations dotting it his creative composition. Since this composition pertains to one central figure, thepatron of the poet, it required of him all the ingenuity to appear innovative, a feat by all standards, considering the limit that he has set before himself in picking up the range of his description. It was this feat which must have aroused the interest of later writers who thought of repeating it, leading in course of time, to the emergence of a whole class of literature, which has few parallels elwewhere. Our author has done full justice in the present work to the pioneer of this literature even while concentrating on his contribution to Sanskrit-Poetics. She has put the spotlight on a writer, who believing as he did in the commingling of theory and practice and illustrating the theory through his own illustrations, stood out as a class in him. I am pretty sure that her work presented so diligently and meticulously will meet with full approbation of discerning critics.
The present work is the doctoral thesis submitted by the undersigned to the University of Delhi, for a Ph.D. degree in Sanskrit. This is an attempt to trace, as its name denotes, la comparative and a critical study of each and every topic of Ekavali of Vidyadhara, who occupies a dominant place in Sanskrit -Poetics.
In spite of discussing all the topics of poetics, a very peculiar feature of Ekavali needs special mention, ie., Vidyadhara composed all the illustrative verses in praise of his patron Narasimha of Orissa. This originality of Vidyadhara designates him a Kavi also. The tradition is followed by many acaryas in Sanskrit.
The subject matter of Ekavali is critically examined in nine chapters of this work. It opens with the introductory chapter covering briefly the nature, characteristics, history and different schools of Sanskrit poetics with life, date and works of Vidyadhara and culminates in the original contributions of Vidyadhara as found in Ekavali. References from Sanskrit works consulted have been given in the footnotes and original quotations in Sanskrit have been incorporated at the end of the work.
I have not come across with any such work, devoted to the study of either Vidyadhara or his magnum opus Ekavali. I have recently seen an edition of Ekavali with a Hindi translation.
I would gratefully welcome any suggestion from scholars regarding the work. I am definite that this would add a drop in the ocean of the vast literary-criticism available in Sanskrit.
It gives me great pleasure in expressing my heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped me. Some of the works I have taken help from have been referred to in the bibliography. But I owe more to the scholars, whose works could not be referred to but who have helped me in formulating my thoughts.
Above all, I record my deep sense of gratitude to my mentor Dr C.B. Gupta, without whose kind help, valuable suggestions, constant guidance and blessings, this work would not have seen the light of the day. I pray for his early recovery and a healthy long life.
I wish to express my deep sense of gratitude to my revered teacher, Professor Dr. Satyavrat, a distinguished scholar; former Vice-chancellor, Shri Jagannath Sanskrit University, Puri-Orissa and presently the senior-most Professor in the Sanskrit Department. He was kind enough to write a Foreword of this work by sparing his precious time. His blessings will always enlighten my path, I am sure.
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