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Rama Panivada has composed Kamsavaho (in 233 Prakrit verses divided into four cantos) to celebrate the incident of the slaying of Kamsa by Krsna. The author has practically given the biography of Krsna upto his slaying of Kamsa. Taking into consideration the able delineation of the subject, the successful handling of the language and the well-decorated presentation of poetry seen in Kamsavaho it can be said that Rama Panivada deserves a respectable seat in the gallery of his predecessors like Pravarsena, Vakpati, Rajasekhara and Gunacandra. The author has himself added the Chaya to make his work intelligible even to those who did not possess the first hand knowledge of Prakrit.
The inclusion of the Chaya and the addition of the English translation and the critical and explanatory notes would go a long way to facilitate the understanding of the text. The introduction is occupied with a critical study of the various aspects of Kamsavaho after describing material and the method of text - constitution. The details about Rama Panivada are critically set forth and the source, model, the Prakrit dialect and Kamsavaho are thoroughly scrutinized.
Kamsavaho of Rama Panivada, though listed by OPPERT and mentioned by AUFRECHT at the close of the last century, did not attract the attention of Prakrit scholars till a Ms. of it from the Madras Oriental Library was lately described in the Triennial Catalogue of Mss., Volume VI - Part I. Sanskrit, Madras 1935.
Rama Panivada is a genuine poet with a confident grip over his expression ; he has inherited the spirit of classical Sanskrit authors whose models he closely follows; though he belongs to the closing period of Prakrit literature, his work can be creditably ranked with the mediaeval Prakrit poems ; and his language is a fine specimen of literary Prakrit handled after closely studying the Sutras of Prakrit grammars.
The detailed results of my study of the two Mss. That were accessible to me I have presented here. The constitution of the text was attended with many difficulties, but I have faithfully handled the material and never trespassed it limits. This limited material almost forced me to offer some emendations which are marked with asterisks in the text ; and my suggestions on the Chaya are put in the foot-notes within square brackets. The inclusions of the Chaya and the addition of the English Translation and the critical and explanatory Notes, I hope, would go a long way to facilitate the understanding of the text. The Introduction is occupied with a critical study of the various aspects of Kamsavaho after describing the Ms. material and the method of text-constitution. The details about Rama Panivada are critically set forth ; and the source and model, the Prakrit dialect and the style of Kamsavaho are thoroughly scrutinized. With all modesty the Introduction aims at enlightening the readers on the position of Kamsavaho in the realm of Prakrit literature in particular and Indian literature in general.
The Syndicate of the University of Bombay have been pleased to select me as the Springer Research Scholar to conduct research in Prakrit literature, and here, I record my sense of gratitude to the Syndicate for enabling me to make my study about Rama Panivada and his Kamsavaho so exhaustive.
I offer my thanks to various scholars who helped me in the preparation of this edition. Pt. K. SAMBASHIVA SHASTRI, Trivandrum, kindly made the Travancore Ms. accessible to me ; Prof. M. R. BALAKRISHNA WARRIER, M.A., Trivandrum, favored me with a valuable summary of his Malayalam articles about Rama Panivada and his activities ; Rao Saheb Mahakavi Ullur S. PARAMESVARA AIYAR, M.A., B.L., and Mr. C. K. NARAYANA KURUP, Trivandrum, kindly sent to me some notes about Rama Panivada and his compositions ; my friend Dr. V. RAGHAVAN, M.A., Ph.D., Madras, helped me with important references about our author's works ; and my friend Prof. M. V. PATWARDHAN, M.A., Sangli, spared his valuable time and made important suggestions in the Translation and Notes : to all these scholars I offer my sincere thanks. My thanks are also due to my pupil and friend Mr. J.N. DANI, B.A., B.T., Kolhapur, who helped me in arranging the Glossary.
I record my sense of gratitude to the Prime Minister, Kolhapur Government, Kolhapur, for the help given towards the publication of his book.
I feel much obliged to Pt. NATHURAM PREMI, Bombay, for his valuable assistance in the publication of this book. I should also note with satisfaction the kind cooperation that I received from the New Bharat Press and the Karnatak Press which have ably discharged their responsibility.
I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to the University of Bombay for the substantial financial help it has granted towards the cost of the publication of this book.
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