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Books > History > Kalhana's Rajatarangini -A Chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir (Set of 3 Volumes)
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Kalhana's Rajatarangini -A Chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir (Set of 3 Volumes)
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Kalhana's Rajatarangini -A Chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir (Set of 3 Volumes)
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About the Book

First time Publish text with English translation, Notes & Index Kalhana's Rajatarangini for Indian history generally lies in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes nearest in character to the Chronicles of Medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. Together with the later Kasmir Chronicles which continue KaIhanas narrative, it is practically the sole extant specimen of this class.

A Kavya in, form and conception the Rajatarangini has yet a scope and aim widely different from that of the Caritas we have previously noticed.

Its authoris object is to offer a connected narrative of the various dynasties which ruled Kasmir from the earliest period down to his own time. He begins with the legends which represent the popular traditions of the country regarding its earliest history. These he follows up by a narrative of subsequent reigns taken from older written records and arranged in a strictly chronological order. The final portion of the work, considerable both in extent and historical interest, is devoted to an account of the events which the author knew by personal experience or from the relation of living witnesses. These events are narrated from the point of view of a more or less independent Chronicler and by no means with the purely panegyrical object of the court-poet, which reigns supreme in the Caritas.

Introduction

PRELIMINARY

Historical Literature in India

It has often been said of the India of the Hind us that it possessed no history. The remark is true if we apply it to history as a science and art, such as classical culture in its noblest prose-works has bequeathed it to us. But it is manifestly wrong if by history is meant either historical development or the materials for studying it. India has never known among its Sastras the study of history such as Greece and Rome cultivated or as modern Europe understands it. Yet the materials for such a study are equally at our disposal in India. They are contained not only in such original sources of information as inscriptions, coins and antiquarian remains generally; advancing research has also proved that written records of events or of traditions concerning them have by no means been wanting in ancient India.

This is not the place to examine the causes which in India have prevented the growth of a historical literature in the Western sense of the word. They are most closely connected with deep-rooted peculiarities of Indian thought and culture which have rendered the mind of the Indian scholar indifferent to the search for the bare truths of historical facts and have effectively prevented it from arriving at the perception of historical development and change.

It is a direct result of these causes that we find the great mass of what we must call records of Indian history, in departments of literature which to the student of European history would appear distant from the field of his research. Much of what popular tradition had retained of the events of an early past, has found its way, overgrown and interwoven with myths and legends, into the Indian epics, the Puranas, and the fable literature. The object to which we owe such records of traditional lore, was didactic and religious, but not historical.

Historical Kavyas

On the other hand we find that artificial Sanskrit poetry has availed itself, probably from an early date, of historical themes. They serve in this case mainly as a framework for the display of all the subtle poetic art and rhetorical embellishment which constitute the characteristic object and raison d' etre of the Kavya. It is no mere chance that almost all 'historical Kavyas' (Caritas) which have yet come to light, deal with the exploits of the poets' princely patrons or the latters' immediate predecessors. Sanskrit poetry of the Kavya type has always been an artificial product, dependent more than any other branch of Indian scholarship for as such we must class it+on courtly patronage. If then the Kavi had enough originality to choose his theme outside the hackneyed spheres of mythology and romance, what subject more suitable could he find than the life of the ruler who was likely to reward his labours?

This restriction of the subject of the historical Kavya has effected in two directions its value as a source of historical information. The fact that it treats of contemporary events represents an undoubted advantage. But this is impaired to no small extent by the obvious limitations implied by the panegyrical character of these poems. As the events described are supposed to be well known to the reader, the author's skill is not directed towards a lucid exposition of the facts and their causes, but rather towards their poetic embellishment. Hence results a striking want of accurate details without which the narrative cannot attain true historic reality, and an equally striking abundance of obscure allusions, the point of which must necessarily often escape us.

This character of the Caritas directly accounts for their rare preservation. Written for the delectation of a particular court and period, they were bound soon to lose popularity if they ever attained it. When no longer read by the Pandits, these works ceased to be copied, and the few extant manuscripts were exposed to all the risks attending Indian libraries. We can hence scarcely feel surprised that so few only of these texts should have come down to us.

Character and Scope of Kalhana's Chronicle

The interest of Kalhana's Rajatarangini for Indian history generally lies in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes 'nearest in character to the Chronicles of Medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. Together with the later Kasmir Chronicles which continue Kalhana's narrative, it is practically the sole extant specimen of this class.

A Kavya in, form and conception the Rajataranginl has yet a scope and aim widely different from that of the Caritas we have previously noticed. Its author's object is to offer a connected narrative of the various dynasties which ruled Kasmir from the earliest period down to his own time. He begins with the legends which represent the popular traditions of the country regarding its earliest history. These he follows up by a narrative of subsequent reigns taken from older written records and arranged in a strictly chronological order. The final portion of the work, considerable both in extent and historical interest, is devoted to an account of the events which the author knew by personal experience or from the relation of living witnesses. These events are narrated from the point of view of a more or less independent Chronicler and by no means with the purely panegyrical object of the court-poet, which reigns supreme in the Caritas.

Kalhana nowhere claims the merit of originality for the plan and form of his work. On the contrary, he refers to various earlier compositions on the history of Kasmir kings which he had used. But none of these older works has come down to us. Nor has Sanskrit literature in any other part of India preserved for us remains of Chronicles similar to the. Rajatarangini, though indications of their former existence have come to light in various quarters. The complete loss of such texts makes it impossible for us to ascertain what Kalhana's work owed to an earlier development, or to judge of its character and its value for historical research by a comparative standard.

If we wish to throw light on these points, we can only turn to the Chronicle itself. From the indications scattered through the narrative we can gather some instructive facts regarding the author's personality and the time and surroundings in which he lived. A brief analysis of his sources, methods, and style will show us in outline the aims and principles which guided him in his labours. Finally we may endeavour, by a critical examination of Kalhana's narrative and chronology, to ascertain the value of the several portions of his work as sources of historical information.

**Contents and Sample Pages**




























Kalhana's Rajatarangini -A Chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir (Set of 3 Volumes)

Item Code:
NAS238
Cover:
HARDCOVER
Edition:
2019
ISBN:
9788183153461
Language:
Sanskrit Text With English Translation
Size:
9.50 X 7.50 inch
Pages:
1898
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 3.44 Kg
Price:
$205.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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About the Book

First time Publish text with English translation, Notes & Index Kalhana's Rajatarangini for Indian history generally lies in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes nearest in character to the Chronicles of Medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. Together with the later Kasmir Chronicles which continue KaIhanas narrative, it is practically the sole extant specimen of this class.

A Kavya in, form and conception the Rajatarangini has yet a scope and aim widely different from that of the Caritas we have previously noticed.

Its authoris object is to offer a connected narrative of the various dynasties which ruled Kasmir from the earliest period down to his own time. He begins with the legends which represent the popular traditions of the country regarding its earliest history. These he follows up by a narrative of subsequent reigns taken from older written records and arranged in a strictly chronological order. The final portion of the work, considerable both in extent and historical interest, is devoted to an account of the events which the author knew by personal experience or from the relation of living witnesses. These events are narrated from the point of view of a more or less independent Chronicler and by no means with the purely panegyrical object of the court-poet, which reigns supreme in the Caritas.

Introduction

PRELIMINARY

Historical Literature in India

It has often been said of the India of the Hind us that it possessed no history. The remark is true if we apply it to history as a science and art, such as classical culture in its noblest prose-works has bequeathed it to us. But it is manifestly wrong if by history is meant either historical development or the materials for studying it. India has never known among its Sastras the study of history such as Greece and Rome cultivated or as modern Europe understands it. Yet the materials for such a study are equally at our disposal in India. They are contained not only in such original sources of information as inscriptions, coins and antiquarian remains generally; advancing research has also proved that written records of events or of traditions concerning them have by no means been wanting in ancient India.

This is not the place to examine the causes which in India have prevented the growth of a historical literature in the Western sense of the word. They are most closely connected with deep-rooted peculiarities of Indian thought and culture which have rendered the mind of the Indian scholar indifferent to the search for the bare truths of historical facts and have effectively prevented it from arriving at the perception of historical development and change.

It is a direct result of these causes that we find the great mass of what we must call records of Indian history, in departments of literature which to the student of European history would appear distant from the field of his research. Much of what popular tradition had retained of the events of an early past, has found its way, overgrown and interwoven with myths and legends, into the Indian epics, the Puranas, and the fable literature. The object to which we owe such records of traditional lore, was didactic and religious, but not historical.

Historical Kavyas

On the other hand we find that artificial Sanskrit poetry has availed itself, probably from an early date, of historical themes. They serve in this case mainly as a framework for the display of all the subtle poetic art and rhetorical embellishment which constitute the characteristic object and raison d' etre of the Kavya. It is no mere chance that almost all 'historical Kavyas' (Caritas) which have yet come to light, deal with the exploits of the poets' princely patrons or the latters' immediate predecessors. Sanskrit poetry of the Kavya type has always been an artificial product, dependent more than any other branch of Indian scholarship for as such we must class it+on courtly patronage. If then the Kavi had enough originality to choose his theme outside the hackneyed spheres of mythology and romance, what subject more suitable could he find than the life of the ruler who was likely to reward his labours?

This restriction of the subject of the historical Kavya has effected in two directions its value as a source of historical information. The fact that it treats of contemporary events represents an undoubted advantage. But this is impaired to no small extent by the obvious limitations implied by the panegyrical character of these poems. As the events described are supposed to be well known to the reader, the author's skill is not directed towards a lucid exposition of the facts and their causes, but rather towards their poetic embellishment. Hence results a striking want of accurate details without which the narrative cannot attain true historic reality, and an equally striking abundance of obscure allusions, the point of which must necessarily often escape us.

This character of the Caritas directly accounts for their rare preservation. Written for the delectation of a particular court and period, they were bound soon to lose popularity if they ever attained it. When no longer read by the Pandits, these works ceased to be copied, and the few extant manuscripts were exposed to all the risks attending Indian libraries. We can hence scarcely feel surprised that so few only of these texts should have come down to us.

Character and Scope of Kalhana's Chronicle

The interest of Kalhana's Rajatarangini for Indian history generally lies in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes 'nearest in character to the Chronicles of Medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. Together with the later Kasmir Chronicles which continue Kalhana's narrative, it is practically the sole extant specimen of this class.

A Kavya in, form and conception the Rajataranginl has yet a scope and aim widely different from that of the Caritas we have previously noticed. Its author's object is to offer a connected narrative of the various dynasties which ruled Kasmir from the earliest period down to his own time. He begins with the legends which represent the popular traditions of the country regarding its earliest history. These he follows up by a narrative of subsequent reigns taken from older written records and arranged in a strictly chronological order. The final portion of the work, considerable both in extent and historical interest, is devoted to an account of the events which the author knew by personal experience or from the relation of living witnesses. These events are narrated from the point of view of a more or less independent Chronicler and by no means with the purely panegyrical object of the court-poet, which reigns supreme in the Caritas.

Kalhana nowhere claims the merit of originality for the plan and form of his work. On the contrary, he refers to various earlier compositions on the history of Kasmir kings which he had used. But none of these older works has come down to us. Nor has Sanskrit literature in any other part of India preserved for us remains of Chronicles similar to the. Rajatarangini, though indications of their former existence have come to light in various quarters. The complete loss of such texts makes it impossible for us to ascertain what Kalhana's work owed to an earlier development, or to judge of its character and its value for historical research by a comparative standard.

If we wish to throw light on these points, we can only turn to the Chronicle itself. From the indications scattered through the narrative we can gather some instructive facts regarding the author's personality and the time and surroundings in which he lived. A brief analysis of his sources, methods, and style will show us in outline the aims and principles which guided him in his labours. Finally we may endeavour, by a critical examination of Kalhana's narrative and chronology, to ascertain the value of the several portions of his work as sources of historical information.

**Contents and Sample Pages**




























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