Sanskrit poetry offers scope for several studies from the purely literary and aesthetic point of view but unfor- tunately the pre-occupation of Indology with the use of Sanskrit literature for the setting up of historical and chronological skeleton-frames has deadened, so to say, the finer sensibilities and enjoyment of the Sanskrit muse in her rich and variegated expressions in the epics, the long and short poems, and in prose and drama. The earliest impact, abroad, of Sanskrit was in the purely literary world and today the interest in its literary values is increasing as seen in the continuous production of translations of Sanskrit poems, plays and narratives.
In the midst of my pre-occupation with manuscripts- survey and the New Catalogus Catalogorum, I have been, off and on, making contributions to the literary study of Sanskrit creative writings, but have not been able, so far, to do more in this line. Of the several subjects of this kind, one that had long been on my mind is the idea of Rtu and the beauty and appeal of Rtu-poetry in Sanskrit. My thanks are due to the authorities of the Sri L. B. S. Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapitha, Delhi for giving me an opportunity to take up this subject and deal with it in a course of three lectures under their annual Saradiya Jnana Mahotsava endowment.
To Dr. R. K. Sharma, Director of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Samsthan, Ministry of Education, to Sri Chapa- lakanta Bhattacharya, M. P., Chairman, and Dr. Mandan Misra, Principal, L.B.S. Kendriya Samskrta Vidyspitha, I must express my gratitude for the arrangements they made for these lectures and the interest they evinced in their publication. It is a matter of gratification to all of us that this book could be brought out on the occasion of the first International Sanskrit Conference of the Ministry. Dr. S. S.Janaki, my former student, helped me with the reading of the proofs and the checking of the Indexes. The M. L. J. Press (Private) Limited is to be thanked for the printing of the work.
I have great pleasure in introducing 'Rtu in Sanskrit Literature' representing the learned lectures delivered by Dr. V. Raghavan during the Saradiya Jnana Mahotsava held in 1971 under the auspices of the Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Delhi, one of the leading Sanskrit institutions in the country working under the Rashtriya Sanskrit Samsthan.
Right from the constitution of the Sanskrit Commission, there was not a single activity for the propagation and development of Sanskrit undertaken by the Ministry of Education in which Dr. Raghavan has not given his valuable contribution. As a scholar par excellence and as an intellectual giant, he has an International reputation extending over four decades, As an ardent student of Sahitya and himself a composer, and as a connoisseur of art and music, he has placed his versatile gifts at the service of several cultural organisations in the country. Nobody could have been a better choice than Dr. Raghavan for delivering these lectures on the Seasons as depicted in Sanskrit Literature, under the auspices of the Vidyapeetha. He has fulfilled this assignment admirably. The Vidyapeetha authorities have great pleasure publishing the lectures delivered by him.
Not only did he take the trouble of delivering these lectures and agreed to get them published, but even the honorarium that was paid to him for these lectures was donated by him for the benefit of the Vidyapeetha. The Rashtriya Sanskrit Samsthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha are therefore both indebted to him in more ways than one. We look forward to many more such opportunities when the fruits of his long years of ceaseless endeavour in the field of Sanskrit research will be made available to us. I may assure him that the Vidyapeethas and the Samsthan are always ready to make his researches available to the wider Sanskrit world.
R. K. Sharma
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