Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi – Sāyaṇācārya, the Author

This article is part 2 of 4 in the series Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi

2. The Author

2.1. Lineage, Teachers

Sāyaṇācārya was the second son of a pious brāhmaṇa couple, Śrīmatī and Māyaṇa. He belonged to the Bhāradvāja-gotra, Bodhāyana-sūtra and Yajuśśākhā. Traditional belief holds that Sāyaṇācārya’s family hailed from the Hoysaḻa-karṇāṭaka sect of brāhmaṇas. People of this denomination were largely concentrated in South-western Karnataka, in districts such as Hassan, Shimoga and Chikmagalur in the Malnad region.[1] These places are situated close to Sringeri, where Sāyaṇācārya went on to study. His elder brother was the illustrious Mādhavācārya, who later became an ascetic and assumed the name Vidyāraṇya. His younger siblings were Siṅgalè and Bhoganātha.[2] Commenting on the age-difference among Māyaṇa’s children, scholars opine that Sāyaṇācārya was only a couple of years younger than Mādhavācārya, while Siṅgalè was younger than them both. Bhoganātha was born much later and was the youngest of the children.[3]

Some verses in the present treatise provide an insight into Sāyaṇācārya’s family life. We learn that he had three sons: Kampaṇa, Māyaṇa and Śiṅgaṇa.[4] Kampaṇa was perhaps named after Sāyaṇācārya’s patron-king. Māyaṇa is a corrupt form of Mādhava, which was the name of Sāyaṇācārya’s father and elder brother. According to R Narasimhachar the name of Sāyaṇācārya’s wife was Himavatī,[5] but the text in its present form does not mention this anywhere. We surmise that some among the illustrative verses should have stated this detail, and the palm leaves containing these have been damaged over the years. This is why we do not find the name Himavatī in the extant manuscripts. 

To arrive at the date of Sāyaṇācārya, we have to rely upon records related to Mādhavācārya  / Vidyāraṇya, for no direct evidence regarding the former is available. After much scholarly discussion it is now established that Mādhavācārya took up saṃnyāsa in the year 1377 CE.[6] We learn that he was then eighty years old. This leads us to conclude that the year of his birth was 1295 / 1296 CE. The year of his leaving the mortal coil and attaining videha-mukti is 1386 CE.[7] Going by these details we infer that Sāyaṇācārya was born around 1297 / 1298 CE and that he shed his mortal coil after his elder brother. He lived a full life of ninety years, of which he spent more than seven decades in literary, philosophical and administrative activities.

Because Mādhavācārya and Sāyaṇācārya were almost of the same age, the brothers developed great affection for each other. They worked in tandem, each complementing the other. They shared noble thoughts and strove together to revitalize Sanātana-dharma. One brought into fruition what the other willed. In the history of the world there are hardly any examples of brothers like these who thought with one mind and spoke a single voice. The brothers studied under the same Guru, Vidyā-tīrtha, the tenth adhipati of the Sringeri maṭha. They had immense respect for their Guru and considered him an incarnation of Maheśvara or Śiva.[8] Although Sāyaṇācārya has expressly named only Vidyātīrtha as his preceptor, we surmise that he had studied under all of Mādhavācārya’s teachers as well: Bhāratī-tīrtha, Śrīkaṇṭha and Śaṅkarānanda.[9]

Like his illustrious elder brother, Sāyaṇācārya was a consummate polymath. He was well-versed in the Vedas, Vedāṅgas, Dharma-śāstra, Artha-śāstra, Āyurveda, Gāndharva-veda, various Darśanas, Itihāsas and Purāṇas. From the works he has authored in most of these disciplines we understand that his scholarship was deep and wide. It would not be wrong to conjecture that he spent the first two to three decades of his life attaining mastery over various branches of knowledge. His understanding of statecraft was not limited to theory alone; he was a trained warrior and a master strategist. Several verses of the present treatise bear ample testimony to these facts, as we shall see.

2.2. Political Acumen

Mādhavācārya and Sāyaṇācārya, like many of their ancestors, were the preceptors of the Saṅgama family. The five sons of Saṅgama—Harihara I, Kampaṇa I, Bukkarāya, Mārappa and Muddappa—were the army-heads of the Hoysaḻa monarch, Ballāḻa III. They were stationed at Hospet, the northern capital of the Hoysaḻa Empire. By the year 1330 CE, the king Ballāḻa III had grown old and weak, and his son Ballāḻa IV was not competent to administer the kingdom. The whole of South India including the Hoysaḻa Empire was in disarray tormented by Islamic invasion. The Saṅgama brothers utilized this opportunity to establish the Vijayanagara Empire under the guidance of Mādhavācārya. The transfer of power from the Hoysaḻas to Saṅgamas took around fifteen years – from 1330 to 1345 CE. Śrīvīra Kekkāyi, Ballāḻa III’s queen, oversaw the smooth transfer of power.[10]

While Mādhavācārya primarily guided Harihara I and Bukkarāya, Sāyaṇācārya guided Kampaṇa I and his son, Saṅgama II.[11] After Mādhavācārya became an ascetic, Sāyaṇācārya took over his political responsibilities and began to guide Bukkarāya and his son, Harihara II.[12] Kampaṇa I, stationed at Udayagiri, was impressed by Mādhavācārya’s dedicated efforts at making Vijayanagara a prosperous kingdom, and sought his guidance to lead the Empire to further glory. At the behest of Mādhavācārya he appointed Sāyaṇācārya as his minister in 1346 CE.[13] In the ensuing years Kampaṇa I was tormented by diseases, and he requested Sāyaṇācārya to look after the young prince, Saṅgama II.[14] During 1346–65 CE, Sāyaṇācārya stayed in Udayagiri and bore the onerous responsibility of acting as a regent to the prince and protecting the kingdom.[15] In 1352 CE, the Coḻa king Campa Śāmbhuvarāya gathered news of the ailing Kampaṇa I and planned to annex the Vijayanagara kingdom. Sāyaṇācārya came to know of this through his elaborate network of spies. Wasting no time, he outfitted a huge army and marched towards Madurai. In a battle fought at Kāñcī, he ousted the enemy and secured victory for Vijayanagara.[16]

Sāyaṇācārya continued to act as Saṅgama II’s regent until 1355 CE. And when the prince ascended the throne,[17] he continued as the chief minister (1355–65 CE). After ensuring that the kingdom was secure, Sāyaṇācārya directed his younger brother Bhoganātha to assist the king, and relocated to Vijayanagara.[18] In the course of time Bhoganātha became Saṅgama II’s narma-saciva, confidant and companion in amusement.[19]

By this time (1355 CE) Harihara I’s rule had terminated and Bukkarāya had become the monarch under Mādhavācārya’s guidance. As the king and preceptor had a grand plan of resuscitating Sanātana-dharma, they entrusted Sāyaṇācārya with the responsibility of composing commentaries on all the Vedas. Sāyaṇācārya discharged this sacred duty and also continued to author treatises on various disciplines in the ‘Sudhānidhi’ series, which he had started earlier. The series continued even after the demise of Bukkarāya and saw its completion during the regime of Harihara II.

2.3. Literary Accomplishments

By the time Sāyaṇācārya began his literary activities, almost all branches of Indian knowledge had reached their summit in theory and practice. Apart from the Vedic corpus, a staggering body of work had emerged in disciplines such as philosophy, grammar, literary aesthetics, the arts, science, mathematics, medicine, ethics, morality, economics, polity and statecraft. The time was ripe for stock taking. Besides, the barbaric invasion by Islamic fanatics posed a threat to the traditionally accumulated fund of knowledge. Sāyaṇācārya admirably responded to the call of time at this critical juncture.

Endowed with prodigious scholarship and talent, he had all the requisite qualities to author independent works. But he charted a different course and composed digests, compendiums, compilations and commentaries in a simple yet authoritative style, with the sole objective of consolidating knowledge, preserving it intact and passing it on to posterity. Nor did he indulge in hair-splitting debates that eclipse the spirit of the śāstras. Further, Sāyaṇācārya could have easily hogged credit by authoring works in his individual capacity; but he chose to assemble a huge team of scholars and work collectively. On the one hand, knowledge had to preserved, and on the other, scholars who had been devastated by the inhuman Islamic invasion had to be given a sanctuary of peace. Indeed, the literary milieu of the Vijayanagara period, as long as it remained within Svāmī Vidyāraṇya’s pale of influence, was suffused with the same spirit: concerted effort by selfless savants to safeguard tradition.

Around a thousand years earlier the Guptas had ushered in the Golden Age of India by achieving political stability, economic prosperity, cultural vibrance, intellectual rigour, artistic sensibility and spiritual profundity. They succeeded in giving a definite shape to Sanātana-dharma. The Vijayanagara Empire, guided by Svāmī Vidyāraṇya and Sāyaṇācārya, walked on the same path as the Guptas and gave a fresh lease of life to the ageless Sanātana-dharma. Hindu Dharma as we understand and practise it today owes much to the matchless service rendered by Svāmī Vidyāraṇya and Sāyaṇācārya.

The probable chronological order of Sāyaṇācārya’s works is as follows:

  1. Subhāṣita-sudhānidhi – An anthology of standalone verses organized according to the four puruṣārthas
  2. Prāyaścitta-sudhānidhi (Karma-vipāka) – A work on Dharma-śāstra dealing with expiatory rites
  3. Mādhavīyā Dhātuvṛtti – A treatise on Sanskrit grammar, expounding the meanings of verbal roots and their various forms
  4. Āyurveda-sudhānidhi – A manual on Āyurveda
  5. Alaṅkāra-sudhānidhi – A treatise on Poetics
  6. Puruṣārtha-sudhānidhi – A compendium of verses and tales from the Purāṇas that capture the essence of the puruṣārthas
  7. Vedārtha-prakāśa – Commentaries on the Vedas
  8. Yajña-tantra-sudhānidhi – A work on Vedic rituals.

Sāyaṇācārya authored the first five works during the regimes of Kampaṇa I and Saṅgama II; the sixth and some portions of the seventh during the regime of Bukkarāya. He completed the seventh and took up the next during the regime of Harihara II.

Vedārtha-prakāśa is a commentary on all the Vedas. It is a work that has immortalized the name of its author. This monument of traditional learning is peerless in the category of Vedic exegesis. Sāyaṇācārya wrote the texts under this umbrella term in the following order:

  1. Taittirīya-saṃhitā, Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa, Taittirīya-āraṇyaka
  2. Ṛgveda-saṃhitā, Aitareya-brāhmaṇa, Aitareya-āraṇyaka
  3. Sāmaveda-saṃhitā, Tāṇḍya-brāhmaṇa, Ṣaḍviṃśa-brāhmaṇa, Sāma-vidhāna-brāhmaṇa, Ārṣeya-brāhmaṇa, Devatādhyāya-brāhmaṇa, Chandogya-brāhmaṇa, Saṃhitopaniṣad-brāhmaṇa, Vaṃśa-brāhmaṇa
  4. Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa, Kāṇva-saṃhitā
  5. Atharva-saṃhitā.

In authoring these works, particularly Vedārtha-prakāśa, Sāyaṇācārya must have received help from other scholars. He must have scoured the entire country to identify scholars proficient in various branches of traditional knowledge, invited them to Vijayanagara,[20] secured the king’s help in making arrangements for their stay and rewarding their work,[21] discussed intricate issues of śāstra with them, sought the guidance of his elder brother Mādhavācārya in settling debates, encouraged scholars to author works in their individual capacity apart from working collectively, reviewed and edited their works, engaged himself in serious study and writing every day. It is thrilling to just imagine this great endeavour!



[1] Ref: Karnāṭakadalli Smārta-brāhmaṇaru (Kannada), p. 152

[2] श्रीमती जननी यस्य सुकीर्तिर्मायणः पिता। सायणो भोगनाथश्च मनोबुद्धी सहोदरौ॥

यस्य बौधायनं सूत्रं शाखा यस्य च याजुषी। भारद्वाजं कुलं यस्य सर्वज्ञः स हि माधवः॥ (Mādhavācārya’s commentary on Parāśara-smṛti, 1.6–7; p. 3)

Avaraṃ balabahadrācyutarivarènè janavavara taṃgi siṃgalè bhuvanastavanīyacarite santatamavanītaḻadoḻ subhadrèyènipudu pirideṃ (Kannada; South Indian Inscriptions, No. 267; A.R. No. 38 of 1889. pp. 60–66)

[3] A verse in the present treatise mentions Bhoganātha as a precocious child: सृष्टान्यर्भकभोगनाथकविना काव्यानि गीतान्यपि।; Vidyāraṇyara Samakālīnaru (Kannada), p. 200

[4] वत्स व्यञ्जय कम्पण व्यसनिनः सङ्गीतशास्त्रे तव प्रौढिं मायण गद्यपद्यरचनापाण्डित्यमुन्मुद्रय। शिक्षां दर्शय शिङ्गण क्रमजटाचर्चासु वेदेष्विति स्वान् पुत्रानुपलालयन् गृहगतः सम्मोदते सायणः॥

[5] Ref: Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department, 1908. p. 27

[6] Ref: The Nāgalāpura stone inscription that mentions the yoga-paṭṭa (ascetic title) Vidyāraṇya for the first time: “Vidyāraṇyaśrīpādaṃgaḻa samakṣadiṃ” (Kannada; Epigraphia Carnatica, vol. 6. p. 304). Prior to this year all the literary and epigraphic sources use the name Mādhavācārya. To know more, refer: Vibhūti-puruṣa Vidyāraṇya (Kannada), pp. 23–31, 99–100

[7] Ref: The Sringeri copper plate inscription of Harihara II (1386 ce; Mysore Archaeological Report, 1933, pp. 138)

[8] यस्य निःश्वसितं वेदा यो वेदेभ्योऽखिलं जगत्। निर्ममे तमहं वन्दे विद्यातीर्थमहेश्वरम्॥(Sāyaṇācārya’s commentary on Kṛṣṇa-yajurveda-saṃhitā, introductory verse 7)  

[9] श्रीमायी जननी पिता तव मुनिर्बोधायनो मायणो ज्येष्ठो माधव[भट्ट]भूष्णुरनुजः श्रीभोगनाथः कविः। स्वामी सङ्गमभूपतिः कविवरः श्रीकण्ठनाथो गुरुर्भारद्वाजकुलेश सायण गुणैस्त्वत्तस्त्वमेवाधिकः॥ (Epigraphia Indica, vol. 3, p. 118)

सोऽहं प्राप्य विवेकतीर्थपदवीमाम्नायतीर्थे परं मज्जन् सज्जनतीर्थसङ्गनिपुणः सद्वृत्ततीर्थं श्रयन्। लब्धामाकलयन् प्रभावलहरीं श्रीभारतीतीर्थतो

विद्यातीर्थमुपाश्रयन् हृदि भजे श्रीकण्ठमव्याहतम्॥ (Mādhavācārya’s commentary on Parāśara-smṛti, 1.2; p. 1)

नमः श्रीशङ्करानन्दगुरुपादाम्बुजन्मने। सविलासमहामोहग्राहग्रासैककर्मणे॥(Vedānta-pañcadaśī, 1.1)

[10] Early Vijayanagara: Studies in its History and Culture, pp. 13–26

[11] Reference to Kampaṇa I:

स कदाचित्समासेन कम्पभूपं कलानिधिम्। अश्रावयदनूनश्रीर्निःश्रेयसकरं परम्॥(Subhāṣita-sudhānidhi, 1.13)

Reference to Saṅgama II:

अस्ति श्रीसङ्गमक्ष्मापः पृथ्वीतलपुरन्दरः। यत्कीर्तिमौक्तिकादर्शे त्रिलोक्या प्रतिबिम्ब्यते॥(Mādhavīyā Dhātuvṛtti, 1.4)

[12] Reference to Bukkarāya:

इति प्रसाद्य राजानं सायणार्यमुदैक्षत। सायणार्योऽग्रजन्मत्वात्प्राह बुक्कमहीपतिम्॥(Puruṣārtha-sudhānidhi, 1.1.10)

Reference to Harihara II:

इति श्रीमद्राजाधिराजपरमेश्वरवैदिकमार्गप्रवर्तकश्रीवीरहरिहरभूपालसाम्राज्यधुरन्धरसायणाचार्यविरचिते॥(Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa, colophon, p. 1447)

[13] Beginnings of Vijayanagara History, p. 98

[14] A verse in the present treatise informs us that Kampaṇa I passed away when his son ‘was a mere child who could not even wield a weapon: सङ्गमेन्द्र नरेन्द्र त्वय्यकृतास्त्रपरिग्रहे। निधायोर्वीधुरमगात्स्वाराज्यं कम्पणः कथम्॥

[15] Two verses in the present treatise describe how Sāyaṇācārya took Saṅgama II under his wing and educated him in the traditional lore comprising Nyāya, Dharma-śāstra and Vedānta

आन्वीक्षिक्यामधिकविहृतौ हर्षशोकव्युदासे मार्गोल्लेखं विदधति नृणां मानवे धर्मशास्त्रे। सम्यक्छिक्षां सचिवगमितः शैशवे सायणार्य प्रौढिं गाढां प्रकटयति ते सङ्गमेन्द्रः प्रयोगे॥

लोकोद्वेगकरद्विषद्विहतये प्राबोधयस्त्वं प्रभो पार्थं प्रागधुनाप्यपार्थसुमनःकार्पण्यविच्छित्तये। बाल्येऽपि प्रतिबोधयस्यवहितं श्रीसङ्गमक्ष्मापतिं बोधैकास्पद सायणार्य भगवद्द्व्यासावतारस्तथा॥

[16] Mysore Gazetteer, vol. 2, part 3. pp. 1463–64. The present work records Sāyaṇācārya’s victory:

दिष्ट्या दैष्टिकभावसम्भृतमहासम्पद्विशेषोदयं जित्वा चम्पनरेन्द्रमूर्जितयशाः प्रत्यागतः सायणः। रथ्यास्थापितरत्नतोरणरणत्सौवर्णघण्टामिलत्स्वर्गङ्गाजलपुष्पलाजनिवहैः पुण्याहघोषैरपि॥

[17] The Biṭraguṇṭa copper plate (1356 CE) refers to Saṅgama II as king (Epigraphia Indica, vol. 3, p. 24)

[18] Sāyaṇācārya contributed to the overall development of Vijayanagara in a large measure. This is borne out by the fact that Kṛṣṇadevarāya had gifted a village named Sāyaṇāpura to his Guru, Sage Vyāsarāya in 1513 ce (South Indian Inscriptions, vol. 4, p. 72)

[19] Ref: The Biṭraguṇṭa copper plate (1356 CE) composed by Bhoganātha himself: इति भोगनाथसुधिया सङ्गमभूपालनर्मसचिवेन। (Epigraphia Indica, vol. 3, p. 24)

[20] A verse in the present treatise informs us that the scholars working under the guidance of Sāyaṇācārya represented the crème de la crème of scholarship:

गङ्गायां निवसन्ति ये मुनिवराः श्रीसायणार्य प्रभो तेऽपि त्वत्कसभास्तरैर्विदधते स्पर्धां न पुण्यादिकैः। एते ते द्विजपुङ्गवास्त्रिचतुरान् वेदान् षडङ्गान्वितान् व्याख्यातुं प्रभवः पृथक्पृथगितो वेदान्तविद्या अपि॥

[21] Several epigraphic evidences support this fact. For instance, Harihara II donated lands to three Vedic scholars: Nārāyaṇa-vājapeyī, Narahari-somayājī and Paṇḍhari-dīkṣita (Mysore Archaeological Report, 1908, p. 14); Harihara II set up an agrahāra named Bonnalapura in his mother’s memory and donated it to thirty-six scholars. The first among the donees was Sāyaṇācārya. In a generous act befitting his personality, Sāyaṇācārya gifted the land to a Vedic scholar named Rāmacandra-bhaṭṭa (Mysore Archaeological Report, 1914–15, p. 42).

References

 

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  22.     Sayana. Modak, B R. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1995
  23.     South Indian Inscriptions (Vol. 4; Ed. Sastri, Krishna H). Madras: The Superintendent, Government Press, 1923
  24.     Subhāṣita-sudhānidhi (Ed. Krishnamoorthy, K). Dharwar: Karnatak University, 1968
  25.     Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa (Vol. 3; Ed. Godbole, Shastri Narayana). Pune: Ananda Ashram, 1979
  26.     Uttankita Sanskrit Vidya-Aranya Epigraphs (Vol. 1, Vidyaranya). Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1985
  27.     Vibhūti-puruṣa Vidyāraṇya (Kannada). Ganesh, R. Hubli: Sahitya Prakashana, 2011
  28.     Vidyāraṇyara Samakālīnaru (Kannada). Gundappa, D V. Hubli: Sahitya Prakashana, 2023

To be continued.

 

Author(s)

About:

Dr. Ganesh is a 'shatavadhani' and one of India’s foremost Sanskrit poets and scholars. He writes and lectures extensively on various subjects pertaining to India and Indian cultural heritage. He is a master of the ancient art of avadhana and is credited with reviving the art in Kannada. He is a recipient of the Badarayana-Vyasa Puraskar from the President of India for his contribution to the Sanskrit language.

About:

Shashi Kiran B N holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Sanskrit. His interests include Indian aesthetics, Hindu scriptures, Sanskrit and Kannada literature and philosophy.

Prekshaa Publications

Among the many contributions of ancient Indians to world thought, perhaps the most insightful is the realisation that ānanda (Bliss) is the ultimate goal of human existence. Since time immemorial, India has been a land steeped in contemplation about the nature of humans and the universe. The great ṛṣis (seers) and ṛṣikās (seeresses) embarked on critical analysis of subjective experience and...

One of the two great epics of India and arguably the most popular epic in the world, the Ramayana has enchanted generations of people not just in Greater India but the world over. In less than three hundred pages The Essential Ramayana captures all the poetic subtleties and noble values of the original and offers the great epic in an eminently readable form that will appeal to the learned and...

The Bhagavad-gītā isn’t merely a treatise on ultimate liberation. It is also a treatise on good living. Even the laity, which does not have its eye on mokṣa, can immensely benefit from the Gītā. It has the power to grant an attitude of reverence in worldly life, infuse enthusiasm in the execution of duty, impart fortitude in times of adversity, and offer solace to the heart when riddled by...

Indian Perspective of Truth and Beauty in Homer’s Epics is a unique work on the comparative study of the Greek Epics Iliad and Odyssey with the Indian Epics – Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Homer, who laid the foundations for the classical tradition of the West, occupies a stature similar to that occupied by the seer-poets Vālmīki and Vyāsa, who are synonymous with the Indian culture. The author...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the sixth volume of reminiscences character sketches of prominent public figures, liberals, and social workers. These remarkable personages hailing from different corners of South India are from a period that spans from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Written in Kannada in the 1970s, these memoirs go...

An Introduction to Hinduism based on Primary Sources

Authors: Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh, Hari Ravikumar

What is the philosophical basis for Sanātana-dharma, the ancient Indian way of life? What makes it the most inclusive and natural of all religio-philosophical systems in the world?

The Essential Sanātana-dharma serves as a handbook for anyone who wishes to grasp the...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fifth volume, episodes from the lives of traditional savants responsible for upholding the Vedic culture. These memorable characters lived a life of opulence amidst poverty— theirs  was the wealth of the soul, far beyond money and gold. These vidvāns hailed from different corners of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom and lived in...

Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam represents the quintessence of Sage Bharata’s art and Bhārata, the country that gave birth to the peerless seer of the Nāṭya-veda. Padma’s erudition in various streams of Indic knowledge, mastery over many classical arts, deep understanding of the nuances of Indian culture, creative genius, and sublime vision bolstered by the vedāntic and nationalistic...

Bhārata has been a land of plenty in many ways. We have had a timeless tradition of the twofold principle of Brāhma (spirit of wisdom) and Kṣāttra (spirit of valour) nourishing and protecting this sacred land. The Hindu civilisation, rooted in Sanātana-dharma, has constantly been enriched by brāhma and safeguarded by kṣāttra.
The renowned Sanskrit poet and scholar, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R...

ಛಂದೋವಿವೇಕವು ವರ್ಣವೃತ್ತ, ಮಾತ್ರಾಜಾತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಷಣಜಾತಿ ಎಂದು ವಿಭಕ್ತವಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬಗೆಯ ಛಂದಸ್ಸುಗಳನ್ನೂ ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳ ಸಂಕಲನ. ಲೇಖಕರ ದೀರ್ಘಕಾಲಿಕ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯ ಸಾರವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ಈ ಹೊತ್ತಗೆ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಛಂದಸ್ಸಿನ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತೌಲನಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಗಳ ತೆಕ್ಕೆಗೆ ಬರುವ ಬರೆಹಗಳೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಕಾರನಿಗಲ್ಲದೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತನಾದ ಕವಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸ್ಫುರಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಹೊಳಹುಗಳು ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೌಲಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಈ...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fourth volume, some character sketches of the Dewans of Mysore preceded by an account of the political framework of the State before Independence and followed by a review of the political conditions of the State after 1940. These remarkable leaders of Mysore lived in a period that spans from the mid-nineteenth century to the...

Bharatiya Kavya-mimamseya Hinnele is a monograph on Indian Aesthetics by Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sharma. The book discusses the history and significance of concepts pivotal to Indian literary theory. It is equally useful to the learned and the laity.

Sahitya-samhite is a collection of literary essays in Kannada. The book discusses aestheticians such as Ananda-vardhana and Rajashekhara; Sanskrit scholars such as Mena Ramakrishna Bhat, Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar and K S Arjunwadkar; and Kannada litterateurs such as DVG, S L Bhyrappa and S R Ramaswamy. It has a foreword by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh.

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective to every discussion. These essays deal with the philosophy, history, aesthetics, and practice of...

Yaugandharam

इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...

Vanitakavitotsavah

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Vaiphalyaphalam

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Nipunapraghunakam

इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।

Bharavatarastavah

अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...

Bharatilochana

ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...

Vagarthavismayasvadah

“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...