We are extremely happy in placing in the hands of the lovers of Sanskrit poetry a unique Campu from the pen of the poet Raghavacarya who flourished in the last quarter of the 18th and the first quarter of the 19th century. Raghavacarya was a follower of Visistadvaita. He hailed from Gangadharapur near Kumbhakonam and after renouncing the world and adopting the Samnyasa, lived in the Ahobila monastery (in Karnatak) as the Abbot of this Matha under the name Viraraghavavedantayatindra. He seems to have been born around 1770 A.C. and died in the year 1831 after composing not less than 25 works mostly dedicated to religious and philosophical subjects connected with the etc. He has also composed a number of Stotras in the praise of Vaisnava deities which abound in high literary merit. Two of his works viz. Kaveisangamavaibhavan and Vaikunthavijeyacampu are, however, purely literary works though, of course, they exhibit the same kind of religious fervour and staunch devotion to Visnu as his stotras do.
The prime purpose of Vaikunthavijayacampu is to glorify the Vaisnavite Ksertras and holy places mainly of the South with which he was not only thoroughly acquainted and to which he was deeply attached, but also of North which play an important role in Visnuism and which he must have visited as a pilgrim. There is hardly any doubt as to the fact that he in composing this work drew inspiration mainly from the Visvagunadarsacamju of Venkatadhavari who had flourished about a hundred years before him. However, in all fairness it must be said that the scope of the Visvagunadarsacampu is much wider than the Campu of Raghvacarya and that Venkatadhavri is perhaps more imaginative a poet. The Editor of this work in his introduction has as ably pointed towards the borrowings of Ragnava from Venktadhvari (Pp 8-15) as well as from others, especially from Vadantadesika (Pp 16-21).
The critical edition of this work has been prepared on the basis of two manuscripts deposited in the Govt. Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras as well as a printed edition which appeared long ago ( around 1900 A.C.) in Grantha characters from Kumbhakonam. Our thanks are due to the GOML, Madras for kindly making the two manuscripts available to us.
No one else in our Institute could have been more suisable a person to undertake the editing of this work then Dr. K.E. Govindan who is a staunch Srivaisnvva himself and who has deep personal knowledge of all the places and locales mentioned and described in this work since he hails from a place very near to the original home of the author. He has also visited the monastery in which our poet lived n the last part of his life as its head and collected information about is family, religious training and date etc. He has also put in personal efforts to procure the manuscripts from Madras while he was there on a visit to his family. He has carried out the task of editing in an excellent manner and has appended a valuable introduction in chaste Sanskrit to this work which contains almost everything which is known about the author. I extent him any sincere thanks and congratulate him upon this erudite production.
I hope that this critical edition of the Vaikunthavijayacampu available for the first time in the Devanagari script shall be helpful in bringing back this literacy work in the mainstream of Sanskrit learning and research.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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