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Srngaramanjari of Saint Akbar Shah (Based on Sanskrit Manuscripts in Devanagari and Telugu Scripts)

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Item Code: NAP157
Author: Dr. V. Raghavan
Publisher: Dr. V Raghavan Institute of Performing Arts, Chennai
Language: Sanskrit Only
Edition: 2012
Pages: 220 (11 Pages B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 11.0 inch X 9.0 inch
Weight 910 gm
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Saint sayyid Shah Kalimullah Husaini alias Akbar Shah and Bade Sahid, a scholar, linguist, philosopher, poet and versatile genius who died young, flourished in Hyderabad City during he later half of 17th Century A.D. Due to passage of time and general slackness of interest in academic pursuits, he was totally forgotten. So much so, that today it is hardly possible to get any information about him in the city where he lived and died. Thanks to the indefatigable efforts and scholarly zeal of my friend Dr. Raghavan, Head of the Sanskrit Dept, Madras University, the Sanskrit version of his valuable work on an aspect of the rhetoric of love called Srngaramanjari is now being being presented to the scholarly world for the first time. It is based on two manuscripts discovered by him at intervals, one in the Government Oriental Library, Mysore, and the other in the Maharajah Serfoji Sarasvati Mahal liberary, Tanjore. Excepting for a few references in the prologue of this book, the life of the author is shrouded in mystery. The veil is partly lifted through the generous help of his descendants Hazrat Sayyid Shah Haidar Husaini, present Sajjada Nashin of Shah Raju’s Tomb nearHyderabad, an d bearer of the spiritual torch that has been kept aflame by the family for about six hundred years in the Deccan. He has kindly pointed out to me the unpretentious and modest tomb of Bade Sahib (Plate A) which is situated to the South-east of his father’s manificent mausoleum (Plate B) in the open courtyard.

Here it may be added that each Qutb Shahi king vied with his predecessor in building a more dignified mausoleum for himself. Tana Shah was an exception to this. There is no evidence of his having embarked on such an enterprise. The incomplete mausoleum at Golconda, wrongly said to have been built by tana Saha for himself, has been cleared of debris. I t has revealed a sarcophagus in the middle bearing the name of Nizamuddin, brother in-law and rival of Tana Shah for throne, who died during the latter’s reign. Hence, it is obvious that this tomb was not being built for Tana Shah. But he did build his preceptor Shah Raju’s tomb mentioned above, which though in need of finishing touches here and there, is loftier and more impressive than any of he tombs of the Qutab Shahi Kings. Hazrat Haider Husaini Sahib also lent me for a few days life time miniature paintings of the author and his reverend father, together with two Sanads, one granted by Abul Hasan Tana Shah and the other confirming the first Sanad, by Aurangazeb. This valuable material has directly and indirectly thrown much light on the life of the author.

The paintings that were lent to me are very good specimens of late Century Deccan art. The portrait of saint Akbar Shah (Plate C) represents him as a handsome person in the flush of youth wearing a costly turban with a “turra’ used mostly by royalty, dressed in a gold embroidered coat withbeautiful rose flower and leaf designs upon it in red and green, holding a delicate flower in his hand and all showing the high social status he might have been enjoying. The inscription in the right hand top corner, reads Hazrat Janab Sayyid Shah Kalimullah Qaddasa Allah Sirrahu. The last words Qaddasa Allahu sirrahu mean ‘ May God make his spiritual abode celestial’ and establish that the paintings might have been specimen of late 17th Century Deccan art and fortunately it preserves of the artist as Rahim Khan.

The sanad granted by Abul Hasan Tana Shah is dated in 1086 A. H. ( 1675 A.D.) i.e., within two or three years of his accession to throne. It is remarkable for its illumination and records that grant of several villages to Hazrat shah Raju and his family. But out of respect for the saint it is the name of one of his sons Hazrat Sayyid Husain alias Shah Sahib. As it is not in the name of his eldest son Bade Sahib it is to be presumed that he might not have been alive at that time, and must have expired in or earlier than 1086 A.H. (1675 A.D).

The sanad granted by Aurangazeb (Plate D) is dated in 1105 A.H. (1693 A.D.) The sand granted by Aurangazeb (Plate D) is dated in 1105 A.H. (1693 A.D). It also does not make any mention of Bade Sahib. No reliable evidence regarding the dates of birth and death of Bade Sahib is forthcoming. However,t he internal evidence of the book and material supplied by Hazrat Haider Husaint Sahib throw enough light on these problems. From the prologue to the Srngaramanjari it appears that the author was a friend of Abul Hasan and had studied with him. Therefore, he must have been born in or about the same year as Abul Hasan i.e., 1056 A.H. (1646 A.D.). The prologue is also clear on the point that when the book was being translated from Telugu into Sanskrit Bade Sahib was alive and that Tana Saha, who ascended the throne in 1083 A.H. (1672 A.D.), was the ruling king. The above referred to Sanad of Tana shah granted in 1086 A.H. (1675 A.D.) implies that Sahib was dead that time. Consequently, his death must have occurred some where between 1083 A.H. (1675 A.D.) implies that Bade Sahib was dead by that time. Consequently, his death must have occurred somewhere between 1083 and 1086 A.H. Thus he was hardly 30 years of age at the time of his death and during this short span of life his book Srngarmanjari was produced in Telugu and translated in Sanskrit.

In contrast to the above it will not be out of place to mention here the present day general apathy of the muslims of India towards Sanskrit and regional languages. The Khalifs of Baghdad had arranged for the translation of several Sanskrit books into Arabic and scholars like alberuni had specialized in the study of Sanskrit. In the Deccan itself there are several instances of muslims having evinced keen interest in regional languages. Some of them have been referred to by Dr. Raghvan, in his Introduction to this book. Among these Saint Akbar Shah holds a glorious position and it is hoped that the publication of his Srngaramanjari will be a land mark in making the cultural ties ties stronger and in inducing people to attain proficiency in each others’ languages.

I am giving, below the geneology of Bade Sahib and secured from the archieves of Shaikh-ka-Rauza, Gulbrga, which are in the charge of the Sajjada Sahib of that tomb. I believe that this is more correct at least so far as the spellings of the names are concerned.


Publisher's Note For The Second Edition v - vi
Preface To The First Edition vii - x
English Introdction 1 - 116
Sanskrit Text ? - ??
Addtional Notes I - VI
Indexes VII - XXVI
Tomb of Hazrat Sayyid Akbar Shah Husaini, Hyderabad. Plate A
Tomb of Hazrat Sayyid Shah Raju, Hyderabad. Plate B
Hazbat Sayyid Akbar Shah Husaini, Alias Bade Sahib (Author of Srngaramanjari) Plate C
Hazrat Sayyid Shah Raju (Preceptor of Abul Hasan Tana Shah). Plate C
Abul Hasan Tana Shah's Sanad and Aurangazeb's Sanad Plate D
A page and leaf from the Mysore and  
Tanjore Mss. Of the Srngaramanjari P . 3 (Introduction)
Tomb of Gesu Daraz and othere saints at Gulbarga P . 4 (Introduction)
Nayikas - Mugdha and Navodha P . 2 (Text)
Nayikas - Parakiya Svadhinapaika and Kalahantarita P . 16 (Text)
Vasakasjjika P . 19
Virahotkanthita P . 20 (Text)
Prositapatika P . 36 (Text)
Abhisarika P . 36 (Text)

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