I have great pleasure in introducing to lovers of Sanskrit, Dr. M. D. Paradkar's monograph on Malavirag-nimitram, the first of the three plays written by the Kavi-kula-guru. I am sure the critical study of the play presented in the following pages will be appreciated by students who have to read the play as their prescribed text as well as the general reader. Dr. Paradkar gives in the first chapter of his study information about Kalidasa. While doing so. he dismisses the legends about the poet that have received a wide currency as `certainly interesting and ingenious but hardly convincing '. Dr Paradkar brings the same critical attitude to bear on the questions pertaining to the date of Kalidasa and the place from which the poet hailed. After dealing with several views about the date of the poet and indicating why they cannot be accepted, the author of this critical study sets forth the two important theories known as the' Traditional Theory ' and the Gupta Theory' and concludes Between the two theories.’ viz. the Traditional theory and the Gupta theory, the former speaks in terms of mere probabilities; while the latter has much circumstantial evidence in its support and has to be favoured in the present state of our knowledge. This last phrase `in the present state of our knowledge clearly indicates that the attitude of the author is far from dogmatic.
From the fourth chapter onwards to the end a number of topics are dealt with; they do justice to the plot, the characters, the historical element in the play and its source. A separate chapter is devoted to the dramatic significance of some events. The Viskambhakas and Pravesakas, humour in the play, the time-element, society depicted in the drama, the question whether the play in consideration is a Nataka or a Natika, receive full consideration and are sure to be helpful to any one desirous of making a critical study of the play.
Kalidasa's plays are very popular all the world over. They are prescribed for the second degree examination by some Universities. Readers will, therefore, eagerly await similar help by Dr. Paradkar in regard to the remaining two plays of Kalidasa.
The present study serves the purpose of initiating students into the critical method which can be usefully applied to any other play and on this account is sure to be hailed by them.
Kalidasa has received unstinted praise from all lovers of literature in every nook and corner of the globe. He has been acclaimed as the Prince of poets ever since he wrote his immortal Sakuntalam. Lovers of Sanskrit literature especially owe a deep debt to him, a debt which in my opinion, can hardly be repaid. As a teacher of Sanskrit in colleges, I had a close, loving and unremitting association with the literary masterpieces of this gifted poet. Recently I got an opportunity of reading his plays with the post-Graduate students of the Bombay University. This resulted in giving an impetus to present a study of the three plays of this great poet Kalidasa's Malavikagnimitram—A Critical Study—is a modest beginning in this direction.
I do not claim much originality, but I trust that students as well as discerning readers will find that I have utilised all the information available on the play and have also tried to present an outlook in appreciating this drama of Kalidasa. I express a deep sense of gratitude to all the Nava—saris in the field. It is needless to add that I have acknowledged my debt to all scholars whose views have been referred to in the book. I owe, however, a special debt, to MM. Dr. V. V. Mirashi, Prof. R. P. Kangle, Prof. G. C. Jhala, Dr. T. G. Mainkar and Dr. G. K. Bhat.
I have no adequate words to thank my Guru Professor R. R. Deshpande, M. A., Head of the Department of Sanskrit, R. R. College, Bombay No.19, for having consented to write a foreword to this book at a very short notice. As I was initiated into Sanskrit studies by him, I am very happy to get encouragement from him.
I take this opportunity of sincerely thanking my friend Dr. K. P. Jog, M. A., Ph. D., of the C. A. S. S. Poona, who made valuable suggestions and took the pains of seeing through the proofs. I have to specially thank Dr. S G. Moghe, M. A. LL. B., Ph. D., now Lecturer in Government College of Arts and Science, Aurangabad, for preparing a typed copy of the text, as well as the Errata. He made some useful suggestions also. Above all, I have to thank my students with whom I have read the text of the dramas and have derived very great pleasure in appreciating the works of the author.
Due to the printing press being away from Bombay, I am sorry to note that many printing mistakes have crept in the book; mistakes regarding headings printed at the top of the pages have also remained in the book. I crave the indulgence of the discerning readers for the same.
I am particularly thankful to Sau. Nirmala V Avati, for Rajeeva Prakashan, 21 La Repose Building, Bombay No 12, publishing this book. I also thank Mr. M B. Joshi, B. A., Dnyanavilas Press, Poona, for the help extended to me while the book was in the press. Finally, I will feel my efforts rewarded if the present book proves useful to those who are interested the plays of Kalidasa.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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