Over the years a vast body of critical literature has grown around Kalidasa, the greatest of the classical Sanskrit writers. Prof. G.C. Jhala, in this small monograph on Kalidasa, which is a happy combination of scholarship and literary sensibility, provides several remarkably new insights. The presentation, moreover, makes the book a sheer delight and the author’s apprach to the subject is unorthodox yet authentic, popular yet authentic, popular yet scholarly.
Prof. G.C. Jhala’s Kalidasa is a good introduction to the prince among the poets of India and will benefit a common reader as well as the advanced students of the subjects.
Professor G. C. Jhala was indeed a rare personality in the field of Sanskrit learning, combining in himself sound scholarship with penetrating literary perception. He served the cause of Sanskrit studies, teaching and research with unflinching devotion, for more than four decades. His innumerable articles in Englih and Gujarati on various aspects of Sanskrit studies and his editions of some cantos of the Raghuvamsha and Bhaminivilasa stend as tesimony not only to his fine literary sensibility but also to his amazing range of scholarship. He was equally at home in the field of the Vedic studies as in classical literature. ASHVINA IN THE RIGVEDA and KALIDASA amply illustrate this point. Apart from his being a sincere and gifted teacher, as many of his students will reverently and fondly remember, his contribution to the world of Sanskrit letters was remarkable, which proved him as a scholar of international standing. His critical edition of the 'SUNDARAKANDA' of Ramayana brought out by the Oriental Institute, Baroda, is a lasting monument to his profound scholarship and critical acumen.
When, at the invitation of Messrs. Padma Publications Ltd. to contribute a small volume on Kalidasa in their Life and Letters Series, I undertook to write this monograph, I had two conditions to fulfil one, the book was intended for the lay reader: and second, it was not to exceed a certain page limit. The latter condition has been violated because the book as it is now published far exceeds the originally contemplated size. It could hardly be otherwise if a book on Kalidasa such as this one is to claim anything like completeness- not, indeed, of treatment but-of outline of the various problems and aspects of the subject-matter. This book briefly deals with the different aspects-historical and critical-of Kalidasa's life and works. The fact that it is intended for the general reader has necessitated the substitution of the austere impersonal style of a scientific work by one more direct and personal. The summaries of the contents of the different works are not merely factual--they are rather given in detail and are intended to give the reader glimpses into the beauty of conception or richness of imagination of the poet and thus to stimulate his curiosity to see the originals. Quotations in Sanskrit are not infrequently given. They can be passed over by a reader who does not know Sanskrit: the continuity of the matter in English would not be affected. There is sufficient critical matter in the book which will be useful to University students. Indeed, it may be modestly claimed that the book is not without interest to advanced students of Kalidasa.
I tender my thanks to Hillebrandt, Keith, Ryder, Nandargikar, Pandit and other scholars whose works have been consulted by me in the preparation of this work. I am greatly indebted to my esteemed friend and colleague, Prof. K. M. Shembavnekar, M. A., whose article, The Date of Kalidasa, deserves to be better known. I mention with pleasure the name of my young friend and pupil, Mr. B. H. Bhukhanwala, B.A., LL. B.o who has taken keen interest in the present work and has besides obliged me by correcting the proofs. Finally, the Associated Advertisers & Printers Ltd, deserve my best thanks for the neat elegant printing of mixed characters and diacritical marks.
|Chapter I.||Kalidasa--When did he live?||1|
|II||His life and character||23|
|III||His works Poems||29|
|His works Dramas||101|
|IV||His conception of Love||184|
Item Code: NAN386 Author: G C Jhala Cover: Paperback Edition: 1983 Publisher: Sanskrit Seva Samiti Language: English Size: 7.0 inch X 5.0 inch Pages: 216 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 165 gms