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गीतगौरीवरम् श्री तिरुमलभट्टविरचितम्- Gitagauri Varam by Tirumala Bhatta: A Ragakavya Dealing with the Love Union of Siva and Parvati (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: UAS582
Publisher: Ganganath Jha Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Allahabad
Language: Sanskrit Only
Pages: 80
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.50 X 6.50 inch
Weight 200 gm
Book Description

I am happy to present before the lovers of Sanskrit poetry the present lyrical work of the poet Tirumala Bhatta which has been composed on the theme of the love union of Siva and Parvati, the eternal divine couple and the primordial parents of the universe (cf. Jagatah pitarau of Raghuvamsa 1.1). What the poet describes and highlights here, however, is not the amorous dalliance of the couple, but the painful separation of Parvati from her Lord and her craving for union with her beloved husband who is busy with gods and sages etc. bestowing favours upon them or solving their problems, thus looking after the welfare of the world. The vipralambha aspect of Srngara thus fully dominates the sambhoga aspect in this Kavya. Parvati is depicted here as newly wedded wife of Siva who wants to spend as much time as possible in the company of her husband. The poet really excels in delineating the tender feelings of a newly married young lady and the pangs of her love.
The best part of the Kavya are its lyrics (gitas), 24 in number, which are in the form of Astapadis (a poem of eight couplets) composed and set in various ragas of Karnatak music to the accompaniment of appropriate talas. The inspiration behind the texture of composition and the theme of this work has obviously been the Gitagovinda of Jayadeva (early 12 c.) of which more than 150 imitations are known to exist till this date, and I need not say that none of the later compositions has ever been able to excel, overshadow or surpass the original, though many of them are excellent in their own right.
Our Kavya too exhibits a great command of the poet on the Sanskrit language and its rich vocabulary combined with his exceptional dexterity of handling even extremely long compounds (samisas ). Some of his poetical fancies (utprekṣas) are highly imaginative and delighting, so also his anuprasas. One may perhaps not find it as sarasa as the Gitagovindam but still it is a wonderful literary composition surely worth bringing to light and thereby to the notice of the scholars. The poet Tirumala Bhatta lived in the second half of the 16 century under the patronage of Venkata (Venkatadri), the ruler of Keladi (presently located in the Dist. of Shimoga. Karnataka). He clearly mentions the period of composition of this work as the year 1511 of the Saka era which corresponds to the year 1589 of the Christian reckoning. The rulers of Keladi were originally the commanders ("Nayakas") of the ever victorious any of the famous Krsnadeva Rai, the founder of the Vijayanagar empire (1509-1529 A.D.). The estate of Keladi was granted originally to the grandfather of Venkatadri, named Sadasiva, who as the valiant commander-in-chief of the army of Krsnadeva Rai had defeated the huge army of Ibrahim Adil Khan. The rulers of Keladi thereafter enjoyed the estate for a very long time as the loyal vassals of the Vijayanagar empire.
Tirumala was a disciple of Narasimha Yati, the Sankaracarya of the Singeri Mutt (1576-1600) situated not far from Keladi and surrounded by the river Tungabhadra. He mentions the name of his Guru with great respect in the closing lines of each Sarga of his work. The poet seems to have been very grateful to his patron Venkatadri too, whom he refers to not only in each of the concluding (eighth) couplet of all his 24 Astapadis, but also extensively in the first Sarga of the Kavya. He also quotes a verse (1.11) composed by his father Visnubhatta in the praise of Venkatadri which shows that his father too was patronised by this king. His description of the royal court of Siva and of his sleeping chamber which is adorned with the figures of the ladies on stone pillars in various captivating postures (VI.2. X.10 etc) clearly reflects and recreates the appearance of the chambers and halls of the royal palace. He must therefore have been an Asthana-pandita or a Sabhakavi having his fixed seat in the court and not just a Pandit receiving financial support from the king. This is also the reason why he glorifies the king at every given occasion in this Kavya and gives him the title of 'Abhinava-bhoja’. The present Kavya is not the sole work of Tirumala. In the concluding lines of the Sargas of this Kavya, he makes a mention of his another work 'Kasturikamanjari’, perhaps a Narika but I must admit that I have not seen it in print or in manuscript form.
The text of this edition is based more or less exclusively on two manuscripts, one preseved in our Vidyapeetha and the other in the Pustaka Prakash (Maharaja Mansingh Pustakalaya). Jodhpur for the procurement of a copy of which I am indebted to my friend Dr. Govindram Charora of that city I am aware of the existence of one or two more MSS of the work, but they remained unaccessible to me. It is thus not a 'critical edition' in the strict sense of the term but at least a new work is thus being brought to light in a more or less readable form. I do not think that new MSS would alter much of the readings accepted by me.
It was my desire to give detailed editorial notes on the text and also to present to the readers a comprehensive literary appraisal of the Kavya but it has unfortunately not been possible due to extreme paucity of time at my disposal at present since I shall be leaving for Germany very soon. I beg pardon of the scholars and hope that some young scholar would undertake it in near future.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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