The Experience and Knowledge from our past arerecorded are manuscripts which have been handeddown to us over several thousand years. The Government of India, Through the Department of Culture, took note of the importance of the vast tangible heritage and, in order to Preserve and conserve as well as well as to make access to this wealth easy, established the National Mission for Manuscripts. In order to disseminate the knowledge content of Manuscripts, the mission has taken up several programmes such as lectures, seminars and workshops. The Mission has published the Proceeding of the above-said Programmes under the following series: Samrakshika (on conservation), Tattvabodha (comprises lectures based on some manuscripts delivered by eminent scholars), Samiksika (research-oriented papers as presented in the seminars),and Kritibodha (transcribed and edited text prepared at advance level manuscriptology workshops conducted by the NMM.
The National Mission for manuscripts has taken up a project for publishing rare and unpublishedmanuscripts in three formats -(a) Facsimile, (b) Critical edition (illustrated and single copy manuscript), and (c) Critical edition with annotation and translation. This new series has been named as PrakashikaNatyapradipa critically edited by Prof. Radhavallabh Tripathi comes under this Prakashika series. .
Natyapradipa is an unpublished and original works on the principles of dramaturgy. The author Sundaramisra flourished during the sixteenth and century. Besides Natyapradipa, he had also written a play Abhiramamani on Ramayana theme.
The unique quality of Natyapradipa lies in its comprehensive nature, it covers all the topics of dramaturgy and with an all-encompassing range and inclusivity evinces a sound understanding of the structure of Sanskrit drama. Sundaramisra offers novel interpretations on a number of aspects of drama. He has made a unique Proposition through theory of joint-dominance of two rasas in a play. He has also attempted a brilliant analysis of the pervasiveness of bindu(the point - amongst the natures of the plot) with respect to all the joints and acts of a play. He frankly and reasonably criticizes such stalwarts like Dhanika and Raghavabhatta. His contribution to sanskrit dramaturgy also lies in applying the whole theoretical framework of dramaturgy to several classical sanskrit plays and his own play Abhiramamani.
Natyapradipa is one of the richest storehouses of refrences to several Sanskrit plays and with the publication of this work, Sundaramisra joins the galaxy of great stalwarts in the field of the art of Drama and theatre.
Prof. Radhavallabh tripathi is known for his original contributions to literature as well as for studies on Natyasastra and Sahityasastra. He has published 162 books, 227 research papers and critical essays. He has received 35 national and international awards and honours for his literary contribution.
He has been referred in various research journals on Indology. Research for Ph.D. has been completed as well is being carried on his creative writings in sanskrit in a number of universities. three journals brought out special numbers on his writings. Seven books comparing studies on his creative and critical writings by other authors have been published.
THE seventeenth-century Natyapradipa of Sundaramisra which is a fine specimen of the uninterrupted tradition of Bharata's Natyasastra is one of the most important and comprehensive works on dramaturgy (natya) of that period. In this monumental work Sundaramisra covers all aspects of drama, including in-depth study of forms, structures and definitions relating to drama. Sundaramisra's novel interpretations, new definitions and detailed analysis of various plays are interesting and thought provoking. He effectively uses examples from various well-known plays including his own play Abhiramamani. On the whole Sundaramisra's Natyapradipa captures many aspects of dramaturgy which are key to a student's learning of drama and his understanding of Natyasastra.
It is for the first time that an attempt has been made to prepare a critical edition of this unpublished work by Prof. Radhavallabh Tripathi on the basis of two rare manuscripts. Prof. Tripathi's scholastic handling of the critical edition has resulted in a brilliant analysis of Natyapradipa. No one else could possibly have presented this better. In his elaborate introduction to the critical edition, Prof. Tripathi extensively explains how the author of Natyapradipa brings to the fore the correlation between the theory and practice of Sanskrit drama.
The National Mission for Manuscripts is pleased to present to the scholarly world this critical edition and we are sure scholars and students of Sanskrit drama will find this work of immense interest to them.
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