A distinguished scholar who has had a lifetime engagement with Sanskrit studies: ranging from the Vedic samhitas to contemporary criticism, Professor Davane here offers at once insightful, highly stimulating perspectives on diversely varied themes from classical Sanskrit literature, poetics, linguistics, dramaturgy, history, mythology and legendary narrative. And these apart, brilliant reinterpretations of the Vedic views of the moon, samudra(ocean), dreams and deep sleep.
Reviewing the gamut of Kavya definitions and its scope, in terms of the literary genres it encompasses, the book critically examines, for the first time, Rajasekhara’s view of Sabdaharana (verbal borrowings), kavisamayas (convertional poetic ideas) in Sahityasastra, and the progression of rasanispatti in classical Sanskrit literature. It also seeks to gauge Mahamahopadhyaya Dr.P.V.Kane’s contribution to Sanskrit poetics-rather than his oft-appraised work on Dharmasastra.
Dr.Davane marshals an astonishing mass of original literary sources to highlight the all-expansive influence of Kalidasa’s unparalleled Iyric: Megaduta, on classical writings, the richness of Banabhatta’s utpreksas (poetic imagination) the emergence of Sarasvati as a pantheonic deity, and how Sita the epitome of ideal womanhood, has been varyingly portrayed by over twenty Sanskrit playwrights. Also shown, in addition, are the legends/myths about Samudra- manthana, Amrtamanthan, Rahu-Ketu, Udayana and Dhanvantari, in their altogether fresh perspectives.
This composition of Prof. Davane’s writings is an essential reading for the scholars/ researchers of Vedic and Classical Sanskrit literature.
Miss G.V Davane, holding the Bombay University’s Ph D (Indian Linguistics) is a scholar of wide repute, with specialized interests in Vedic Studies, classical Sanskrit literature, and linguistics. Joining the Maharashtra Educational Service (MES) in 1947, she retired as Professor of Sanskrit from the Elphinstone College, Bombay, in 1980. And thereafter, for five years: 1981-86, she had been the Honorary Director, MM Dr.P.V.Kane Research institute-of the Asiatic Society of Bombay. Also member of the prestigious Bhandarkar oriental Research Institute, Pune, and the All India Oriental Conference, she has authored three books and numerous researches papers/book reviews.
Now, an Honorary Professor at the MM Dr.P.V.Kane Research Institute, Dr. Davane is persisting with her research in Vedic literature.
THE present Volume of studies by Professor Dr. Ms Gulab V. Davane brings into limelight her contributions spread over a thirty-year long career of researches in Sanskrit literature.
It should be stated here that these periodical writings have to be viewed as milestones in the History of studies in particular branches; and their (renewed) publication in a collected form today does not demand updating of their contents in the light of further researches in the interregnum.
The methodology adopted throughout Dr. Davane’ s writings is excellent and unquestionable. Under every theme of her enquiry are to be found up-to-date readings in earlier writings on the topic of study, unsparing work at thorough collection of evidences, their minute and rigorous analysis, their logical and objective interpretation coupled with original suggestions, and finally a systematic presentation of the conclusions arrived at.
Such an activity of disciplined search is exactly in consonance with the spirit that motivated the band of scholars of resurgent India in the first quarter of the present century, who in 1917 founded the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute and, through it, in 1919 founded a national forum for scholars in the form of the (present) All-India Oriental Conference. This act was animated by an urge to put a stop to the West’s monopoly of reaping away the harvest after tilling the ‘soil’ that properly belonged to Indians, namely the Ancient Literature of India. It is a matter of unmixed joy to see that this premier forum, functioning for the last three quarters of the present century, has fruitfully served the cause of co-ordinating and promoting the academic strivings of Indians young and old, by reviving the old Indian scientific spirit, through free, honest and objective discussion and dialogue that was the glorious tradition of the soil, as was recorded by 1gvedic sages in the famous words: set every five words saktum iva titaunapunanto yatra dlziril nzanasã vãcam akrata (X. 71. 2ab).
One of the aspirants who got inspired and attracted to the assemblies of scholars at the periodical sessions of the All-India Oriental Conference is Prof. Dr. G.V. Davane, through whose long-spread and active participation therein has emerged the present rich volume of studies as an index of her lifelong dedication to Sanskrit learning. I have every confidence that the world of scholars will be quick to discover the sterling value of the varied contributions made by Dr. Davane in the advancement of learning
Originally most of these essays were written for the various sessions of the All India Oriental Conference. I had taken a lot of pains for every article and there is an attempt to make out some significant elements in each one. The Sanskrit research-scholars of the younger generation are not likely to have read them for they were published long before. Moreover, such collection is convenient and becomes available to more readers. These are some reasons which made me very happy to have my papers and articles published in a book form.
While reading the book one comes across a few words, which are not likely to be understood by those, who are not acquainted with Indian culture. For the sake of such readers a ‘Glossary’ has been provided at the end.
I am heartily thankful to Dr. S.D. Laddu for having written ‘Foreword’ to this book. It was really very kind of him to have written it in spite of his heavy engagements.
I am happy that M/s D.K. Print world (P) Ltd. Have enabled me to publish my collection.
If this book inspires Sanskrit students and research scholars to take great pains over every research-article, I shall feel amply rewarded.
OUT of the essays appearing here five entitled ‘Influence of the Meghaduta on Sanskrit Literature’, ‘ Utprekstls of Bnabhatta,”The Goddess Sarasvati in Sanskrit Literature,’‘Good and Bad Verbal Borrowing according to Rajaekhara’, and ‘Sita in Sanskrit Plays’ were published in Journal of the University of Bombay, in September 1964, September 1965, October 1968, October 1971, and 1978, respectively. The article ‘M M. Dr. P. V. Kane’s Contribution to Sanskrit Poetics’ appeared inM.M; Dr. P. V. Kane’s Commemoration Monograph, brought out by the University of Bombay in 1974. There are five presentations, viz., ‘Poetic Conventions in Sanskrit Literature’, ‘The Fourteen Gems in the Legend of Samudra Manthana’, ‘The Moon in the Vedic Literature’, ‘Apavarya and janantikam in Theory and Practice’ and ‘Uáijai in the Tgveda’, published in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay in 1974,. 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1986, respectively. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, in their ‘Bharaflya Vidya’ published a couple of articles, i.e., ‘The Process of Rasanispatti’ in 1979 and ‘Rgvedic Rsi Nabhaned istha’ (as ‘A Note on the Rgvedic seer Nabhãnedistha’) in 1988. A presentation ‘The Rãhu-Ketu Myth’ appeared in the Journal of the Vishveshvaranand Vishva Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, in 1975. The essay ‘A Critical Study of Dhanvantari’ appeared in Annals of the BhandarkarOriental Research Institute, in 1976. Another article ‘Dreaming-sleep and Deep-sleep in the Vedic Literature’ was published in the Proceedings of the 31st Session of the All India Oriental Conference, in 1984. Another essay entitled ‘The Legend of Udayan&Jirst appeared in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-graduate and Research Institute, in 1958. The article entitled ‘Samudra in the 1gveda ‘appeared as ‘An Analytical Study of Saniudra in the Igveda’ in Vaidika Santiodhana Mandala, Golden Jubilee Volume, in 1981.
I feel my duty to mention the dates of original readings of these papers, which are mentioned below with chapter detaIls:
1. Vlkram University, Ujjain, October 1960.
2. Seminar organised by Sanskrit Deptt., University of Bombay, March 1973.
3. AbC, Guwahati, January 1965.
4. AbC, Aligarh, October 1968.
5. AbC, Jadavpur, October 1969.
6. International Congress of Orientalists, Delhi, January 1964.
7. AIOC, Dharwar, November 1976.
8. AbC, Jaipur, October 1982
9. AbC, Ahmedabad, October 1985.
10. AIOC, Calcutta, October 1986.
11. AbC, Delhi, December 1957.
12. AbC, Srinagar, October 1960.
13. AbC, Kurukshetra, December 1974.
16. AIOC, Bhuvaneshvar, October 1959.
18. AIOC, Pune, June 1978.
19. Seminar organised by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, 1978.
I am heartily thankful to the Editors Publishers and concerned Authorities for having allowed me to include these articles in this composite volume.
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