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In: Consecration Rituals in South Asia
Being the Earliest Commentary on the Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa. Volume I
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For more than a millennium Kalidasa's long poem Raghuvarnsa ("The Lineage of Raghu") has been acknowledged as one of the masterpieces of Sanskrit literature. Many thousands of manuscripts survive, transmitting versions of the text, which often differ considerably, and many classical commentaries. Most of these have not yet been consulted by modern scholars, and as a result there is still no truly authoritative edition of the poem. This volume presents a critical edition of the first six chapters of the oldest commentary known to survive, by the Kashmirian scholar Vallabhadeva (10th century). This commentary has never before been published, so this is the first time that one of the most important sources for the text and the interpretation of Kalidasa's poem has been made available. Vallabhadeva's work is also of intrinsic value as one of the earliest commentaries in Sanskrit on a belletristic work. Kashmirian manuscripts of the poem have not hitherto been used by editors: ten have been collated, and their readings, which are often supported by Vallablhadeva's commentary, reported in the critical apparatus. The apparatus also records the readings of the six pre-modern commentaries that have appeared in print. The notes discuss problems of textual criticism and some questions related to the interpretation of the poem; they also report the readings of two other unpublished commentaries that are transmitted in palm-leaf manuscripts preserved in Nepal: those of Srinatha and Vaidyasrigarbha. A lengthy Introduction discusses the transmission of the poem and the commentary and the distinctive style of the latter.
The Bawd's Counsel: Being an Eighth-century Verse Novel in Sanskrit
Volume Editors: and
In this unique verse novel, "The Bawd's Counsel", Dāmodaragupta paints a vivid tableau of eighth-century urban life in Northern India. Instead of the gods, sages and heroes of legend that people the Sanskrit literary epics, here gurus, princes and merchants jostle upon the streets of Benares, Patna and in the gardens of Mount Abu with bawds, prostitutes, rakes and rustics, and they are shown grappling with matters of life, death, love, lovelessness and livelihood. These mortal actors have been woven into tales that are narrated with considerable grace and wit. The author, a minister at the court of a Kashmirian king, evinces particular empathy with those who have drawn the shortest straws—the abandoned prostitute in love, for instance, or the married woman seduced into a socially ruinous adulterous relationship. Caustically irreverent humour, meanwhile, is meted out to religious hypocrites, to the tiresomely self-important, and to men of rank with more money than sense. In spite of the intrinsic interest of the work—both as a piece of literature and as a document of the social history of its time—it has not received much attention in recent years, either in India or elsewhere. A German translation of an incomplete nineteenth-century edition was published in 1903, which was in turn rendered into French and the French then into English, and there have been translations into Hungarian and Japanese. This volume, which contains not only a fresh edition that draws on a hitherto unconsulted Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript of the thirteenth century, but also a metrical English translation, aims to bring this novel to the wider audience it deserves.

The string of territories called Campā, lying in what is today Vietnam, has yielded about two hundred and fifty inscriptions spanning over ten centuries, from ca. 400 well into the fifteenth century ce. These inscriptions have not yet drawn much attention from the point of view of the shared religious history of South and Southeast Asia. In the present contribution, we focus on a group of seven short Sanskrit inscriptions issued by a king named Prakāśadharman-Vikrāntavarman who ruled in the seventh century. A careful reading of these texts, in parallel with related Sanskrit texts from South Asia, reveals something of the intellectual and religious cosmopolis of which the poets behind these inscriptions were a part, suggesting for instance that tantric Śaiva scriptures had reached Campā by the late seventh century.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
In: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions
In: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions
In: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions