Rasamanjari is one of the most favourite and widely circulated Sanskrit works on the classification of nayikas and nayaks (literary heroines and heroes) according to their temperament and behaviour. It was composed in the first half of the 16th century by Bhanudatta of Mithila region. Due to its delicate and vivid delineation of the persons of these nayikas and nayaks, it has drawn the attention of the artists and painters all over India with the result that today we have illustrations of Rasamanjari in a number of schools of painting. The present album of Rasamanjari brings to light the beautiful illustrations of this wonderful work in the Maratha School of Art at the time of its full bloom during the second half of the 18th century.
The contents of the Rasamanjari continue to stir the mind and heart of the lovers, for providing the nectar to the soul. The Srigara rasa a poetic relish excels among other rasas and reigns supreme, as it plays with the sensational and sensuous mysteries of love, lovers and beloved. The love itself is a mystery which like the women is blessed with a miraculous powerful feeling. It heals all the souls and takes one to heavenly pleasures, which is also spiritual and divine, and hence immortal. Basically nayak and nayika are the natural causes of the irresistible rasa, srngara, depends as it is on them.
The Mysteries of Love unveils and reveals variously the thirst (of love) dissatisfaction (of sex), curiosity for extra material sex, lack of complementing each other in physical and emotional matter causing a variety of nayikas and nayaks as reflected in the Rasamanjari. The author must have experienced, watched, observed and contemplated a lot on the subject, apart from having a keen insight into the subject under the study. This Rasamanjari speaks these matter better.
The illustrator (unknown) tried his best to present the romantic text of the Rasamanjari through the visual forms. The art lovers would rather relish the attempt of revelation of these Mysteries of Love, being presented in this album of Maratha Miniatures of the Rasamanjari in a beautiful manner.
About the Author :
Dr. Satya Vrata Tripathi; born at Siddharth Nagar (Basti), U.P. 1957; in a family of Sanskrit scholars as the second son of late Smt. Madhavi and Pt. Buddhi Sagar Tripathi, Principal of a College; Early education at Allahabad; Graduation (Sanskrit, Ancient History & English Lit.) Faziabad (Awadh University) 1975; Masters in Sanskrit, Gorakhpur University, 1977; Ph.D. from G.N. Jha, Central Sanskrit Research Institute, Allahabad, 1981, under the guidance of Prof. G.C. Tripathi; Certificate Course in Manuscriptology, University of Poona, Pune, 1992; Certificate Course in Russian, University of Poona, Pune, 1992.
Serviced as Research Assistant (Manuscriptology), G.N. Jha Central Sanskrit Research Institute, Allahabad, 1981-93; Dy. Keeper (Manuscripts) National Museum, New Delhi, since June 1993. Curated and Assisted in organizing several exhibitions of the National Museum, New Delhi, in India and abroad.
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