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Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute

SANSKRIT LITERATURE OF THE VAISNAVAS OF BENGAL Author(s): Chintaharan Chakravarti

Source: Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 10, No. 1/2 (1929), pp.

114-126

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SANSKRIT LITERATURE OF THE VAISNAVAS

OF BENGAL

BY

Chintaharan Chakravarti, M. A.

Vaisnavism, - the worship of Krsna Visnu - it cannot be

denied, has a long history behind it in Bengal. Excavations,

in Paharpur, Rajasahi, are reported to have brought to light

images of Rãdhã and Krsna, of the Gupta period testifying

to the prevalence of Vaisnavism in some form even in such an

early date. The Susunia Rock inscription1 also points to the

same conclusion. We meet with traces of Vaisnavism in the

epigraphic records of the Pala period as well. It seems to have

been almost in a flourishing condition during the Sena rule, as is shown, among other things, by the celebrated work of

Jayadeva-the Gltagovinda.2

This Vaisnavism got a fresh impetus and took a new turn

from after the rise of Caitanya in the 15th century, so much so

that Vaisnavism is now popularly believed to be nothing but what was preached by that great master. The new shape given

to Vaisnavism by Caitanya which may as well conveniently be

termed Caitanyism-had a good many important characteristics.

It is not the place to deal with them at any length here. What

1 Ep . 2nd, vol. XIII. p. 133.

2 It may be noted in passing that this produotion of a Bengali poet is one of the most popular works in the whole field of Sanskrit literature. An

idea of the enviable popularity enjoyed by it may be formed not only from the unusually large number of Mss. found of the work all over the country,

but also from the numerous commentaries of the work- more than forty

mentioned by Aufrecht in the Catalogus Cat alo gor um - composed by scholars hailing from different parts of India. It had even acquired the

sanctity of a religious work by the end of the 15th century ( S. K. Chatter ji -

Origin and Development of Beng . Lang, p. 216.). In consequence of its

widespread popularity works came to be composed by poets of different

parts of India in imitation of this. And about a dozen of these woaks

are known.

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Sanskrit Literature of the Vaisnavas of Èengat 115

we require for our purposes to note is its proselytising spirit which found expression, among other things, in the immense

literary activities of the followers of the great Vaisnava reformer.

A vast amount of literature both in Bengali and Sanskrit was

produced evidently with a view to popularise the teachings of

Caitanya and thus strengthen the new sect with fresh converts.

Quite an important place is occupied by the literature of the

Vaisnavas in the history of Bengali literature as a whole, and

it has already attracted the proper attention of scholars. But the

study of the Sanskrit literature of the Vaisnavas does not seem

to have spread to any appreciable extent beyond the members of the sect. And scholars outside Bengal seem to have very little idea of the vast extent or the nature of this literature, partly

owing to its sectarian character and partly on account of most

of the works, in Mss. or print, being in the Bengali script.

The importance of this extensive literature, however, in the

history of Indian literature as a whole cannot, of course,, ,be denied. For even here we occasionally meet with works that

decidedly have a universal appeal and deserve to be carefully and

critically studied by scholars. Looked at from the standpoint

of cultural history, it represents a line of development which,

whatever be its merit, should not be left out of account. And as

it embodies the dogmas and rituals of a sect which had and still

has an immense hold on not a negligible section of the people

of Bengal a thorough study of it is expected to throw much

lurid light on the obscure and chequered religious history of

Bengal. And it seems to be owing to these facts that

Mm. H. P. Shastri felt in the nineties the want of a systematic

account of the vast Vaisnava literature of Bengal ( Notices if

Sanskrit Mss -Vol. XI, Preface p. xi ).

This literature, sectarian though it was, did not consist

solely of purely religious works dealing merely with philosophy and ritualism. We have got works almost in every branch of

Sanskrit literature, - Kãvya, drama, grammar and even Poetics

written by the followers of Caitanya and all bearing the marks of the new faith. And this fact justifies a separate treatment of those

works. It is also an interesting study to see how they

could utilise all these heterogenous branches of study for convey-

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116 Aiutala qf the Bhandarkar Orientai Research InatUute

ing the teaohingg of their master to the masses. This literature is thus found to possess a peculiar ' communal ' interest too, as

it seems to indicate a desire on the part of the Vais nav a teachers

to be self-contained from a literary stand-point by creating an independent literature for themselves, in the various branches,

which preserved the peculiarities of the faith so that Vaisnava

children might imbibe the spirit of the faith from their very

student life.

It is now proposed to give a brief account of the literary out-

put of the followers of Caitanya in the different branches of Sanskrit literature. The Vaisnava literature of Bengal of the Fre-Caitanya period is small and has very little distinguishing

feature.

It will be noticed that this vast amount of literature covering

a variety of subjects was principally the work of about half a dozen scholars. Decidedly the major portion of it belongs to the two brothers Rüpa and Sanãtana who were the immediate disoiples of Caitanya and their worthy nephew JIva. It was

primarily they that fixed the rituals and philosopby-the two most

important things of a religious system-of Caitanyaism. They were all polymaths, having quite a huge number of works to the credit of each. The position occupied by them in the

Vaisnava hierarchy is highly honourable. All subsequent writers

are found to aooord even as much respect to them as to the great

founder of the sect. Of other important writers we may refer

to the names of Krsnadãsa Kaviräja, Kavikarnapüra and Višva- nãtha Cakravartl. The founder of the school- Caitanya-does

not seem to have composed any work expounding his dootrines.

Two works of his-which would have been of immense value

had they sur' ived-viz. a commentary on the Bhãgavata and a

commentary on some work on Nyãya-are believed to have been

either destroyed or concealed by the Great Master so that the

fame of others may not suffer by their publication {Mãnasl O Marmawyi Vol. XIX Pt. IL p. 54 ff). There is room for legiti- mate doubt as regards the authorship of several minor works

generally attributed to him.

A. peculiarity of most of the Vaisnava writers that may be

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Sanskrit Literature of the Vaisnavas of Bengal 117

noted here, is their extreme modesty1 whroh does not permit

them to explicitly specify their Dames in many a work of their

authorship. It seems to be on account of this that a good deal

of controversy is found to have centred round the authorship . of

a number of workš-specially those of Rüpa, Sanätana and Jiva.

Several instances of this kind of confusion have already been noted by Dr. S. K. De in his Studies in the Hist . of Sans . Poetics

( vol. I, p. 255. f. n. 3. ) We may here point out some more

instances. Hamsadüta , generally known to be a work of Rüpa

is found to have been attributed to Jiva (CS. vol. VI, No. 162) and

also to one Devadäsa in a Ms. of the work and a commentary

on it in the Dacca University ( which I had occasion to see ).

The Vaisnavatosinï, a commentary on the tenth Book of the

Bhãgavata , believed to be a work of Sanätana, is also ascribed to

Jiva and Rüpa ( Aufrecht I, p. 4026, IF, p. 917 ). The Haň -

nãmãmrta-Vyãkararia , supposed to be a work of Jiva is attributed to

Rüpa ( .Descriptive catatogue of Sanskrit M ss -in the A . SsB. - Gram.

R. L. Mitra-p. 70 ). But the names of the real authors may be

gathered from an elaborate account of the literary activities of

Rüpa, Sanätana and Jiva given by Jiva himself at the end of

his Laghutosini-o, commentary on the Vaisnava-tosini.

Every religion is found to have a philosophical system of

its own, on the basis of which the doctrines

Philosophy an(j tenets peculiar to it are sought to be

explained. And Neo-Vaisnavism of Bengal

was not an exception to this rule. It also evolved a full-fledged

philosophy of its own which, in course of time, came to be known

as the Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy. This is properly a sub-

school of Vedãnta, based primarily on the Madhva system,

though it was influenced by the Nimbärka and Vallabha schools

as well. But it has its points of difference from the school of Madhva. Thus, according to the latter, the object of adoration

is Visnu alone, no divinity being ascribed to his consort Laksmi.

But according to the Gaudiya school, Visnu together with his

consort should be worshipped. Devotion in conjunction with

1 A curious instance of this is supplied by the following colophon found at

the end of an anthological work, the Kaviratnãkara ( S. S. P )

fifí ÍS

16

<1

:

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118 Annata cf the Bhandarkar Orientai Research Institute

action, assert the Madhvas, lead to salvation. Devotion, pure

and unmixed, is the cause of salvation - this is the view of the

followers of Caitanya. According to the school of Madhva,

salvation can be attained by Brahman devotees alone, but the

Gaudlya school is more liberal and asserts the equal right of all-

irrespective of caste -to that supreme goal of life. The most

distinguishing features of the Bengal school of Vaisnavism are

( 1 ) the doctrine of acintya-bhedabheda ( incomprehensible difference-non-difference ) ( 2 ) Prominence given to the

Vrndãvana-lllã of Krsna in contra-distinction to the attitude of

the different Vaisnava schools of the South.

The work which the followers of this school regard as the

most important and authoritative is the Bhãgavata- Purãvía.

This Purãna, they suppose, wa« composed to elucidate the Vedanta Sütras and is regarded by them as the commentary on the said

Sutras. Thus not a negligible portion of the philosophical works

of this school is covered by direct commentaries on the Bhãgavata

and also by independent works composed to elucidate and systematically present the views of it. Of direct commentaries on it, mention may be made of the works of Sanätana, Jíva, Visvanãtha and Baladeva Vidyäbhösana. Besides these, the Brhad-bhãgavatãmrta of Sanätana and Laghu- Bhãgavatãrnrta of Rüpa, which is an abridgement of the former, deal with the teachings of the Bhãgavata.

The most important, popular and scholarly work that sets forth

in detail the philosophy of the Bhãgavata is the Bhãgavata9 or Sat -

Sandarbha of Jiva Gosvãmin ( Ed. by Syamlal Gosvamin,

Calcutta ). It consists of six books dealing with six different

topics viz. Tattva-Sandarbha, Bhãgavata % Paramãtma0, Brïhrsria3, BháktC , and Prttť. The present work is stated to have been based

on a work of Gopâla Bhatta, the famous disciple of Caitanya,

which appears to have been fragmentary and incomplete. An

abridgement of this voluminous work, presumably by Jiva him-

self, is the Sarasafhgraha ( CS. X. p. 96 ).

But works on the Bhãgavata alone could secure no recognition

for the Bengal Vaisnavas among those of other provinces -, for a

Bchool was required to have commentaries of its own on the

Vedänta-Sötras,[the Bbagavad-gitã and Upaniíads to entitle itself

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Sanskrit Literature of the Vaisnavas of Bengal 119

to that recognition, And, it is told, that it was to win that

recognition for this sohool that Balade va Vid yâbhûeaça composed

a commentary on the Yed&nta- Sutras, called the Oovinda-bhãsya

(Purãna Kãryãlaya, Calcutta 1301 B. S.).1 This embodies the

doctrines peculiar to the school. Baladeva flourished sometime in

the middle of the 18th century. Thus chronologically he was

about the last among the host of scholars who from time to time

wrote commentaries ( bhsaya ) on that highly popular work-the

V edânta-Sûtr as. But this was not the only work composed by Baladeva. Like Rñpa and Jíva he was a polymath, writing on a

variety of subjects. Other philosophical works composed by him

were : -

( 1 ) Commentary on the Bhagavad-glta ( published by the Gaudlya Matha, Calcutta ) ( 2 ) Commentary on the ten

Upanisads - Isa,* Ken», Katha, Prašna, Mundaka, Mindükya,

Aitareya, Taittirlya, Chãndogya, and Brhadãraryaka ( S )

Siddhãntaralna or Bhãsya-pltháka - ( Sarasvati Bbavan Series )

( 4 ) Prameya-ralnavalï ( S. S. P. Series ) an elementary treatise on

the Vaisnava philosophy of Bengal. This work follows the schcol

of Madhva in toto as is indicated by the author in the

introductory portions of his work. ( 5 ) Vedãnta-Syamantaka

which seems to deal with the elements of Vedänta philosophy.

It was probably about the time of Baladeva that Anůpa-

nãrãyana Širomani who was apparently a follower of the school

of Caitanya, wrote a gloss entitled the SamañjasU-vrth 8 on the

Vedänta-Sütra. At the end of his work he dedicates it to Caitanya

and refers to Rüpa and Svarñpa in respectful terms. But

probably owing to the fact that he was not one of the recognised

gesvãmins ( teachers ) held in high respect by the Vaisnavas that

his work received scant appreciation and is now little known.

Similar fate seems to have attended several other works as

well which appear to have been composed from time to time. Of these reference may be made to the Tattvadipika - a 'short Vaisnava treatise of great interest by Väsudeva Sarvabhauma,

1 Introduction to Prameya-ratnãvati ( S. S. P. Serie« ).

2 A Ms. of this work i« ip the Library of the Sanskrit Sahitya Pari»hM,

Çalcutt^.

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120 Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute

the well-known Naiyãyika and teacher of Caitanya ( Saraevati

Bhavan Studies vol. IV. p. 68 ).

The most important ritualistic work of the V aisnavas is the

Haribhakti- Vilãsa > or Bhagavad-bhakti-vilasa

Rituals ag sometimes called ( Baharampur,

Radharaman Press ). The work seems to

have been composed by Sanãtana as is recorded at the end of the

Laghutosini of Jîva as also in Caitanya- Caritãmrta of Krsnadãsa

( Bk. II, chapter 24 ). It is this work which still regulates the

religious rites of the Vaisnavas.1 If any proof of its popularity

was needed, it is supplied by an early metrical Bengali translation

of the work by one Kãnãi Däsa, a Ms. of which work is reported

to have recently been acquired by the Dacca University (Ind. Ant .

1928, p. 2 ). It is a very big work consisting of 20 vilãsas and is

composed in verses, small prose lines occurring only as introduction to extracts quoted from other works. It lays down, among other

things, rules for the defferent festivals to be observed by the Vaisnavas in honour of Krsna. It scarcely refers to any festival

connected with any god beyond the pale of Vaisnavism. It is

curious that of all other popular festivals belonging almost

exclusively to the Saivas or Sãktas ( like Durgäpüjä etc.) it is

found to prescribe Šivaratri - a festival in honour of god Siva - for

the Vaisnavas. This may be owing to the immense popularity of

it which rendered it impossible to be neglected.

It should here be noted that the work does make no reference

to Satyanãrãyaria or offerings ( strni ) made to him. The omission

does not seem to be accidental, but might in all probability have

been a significant one pointing to the fact that this god-who is

generally supposed to have been the result of an amalgamation of

Satyapira of the Moslems with Nãrãyana of the Hindus-had not

yet found any important place in the Hindu pantheon. It does

not also refer to the well-known festival of rãsa-yãtrã in honour

of Krsna.8

1 It does not, however, cover all rites, as no section is devoted to SaniBkara

( sacraments ) or Srãddha ( funeral rites ) though a section is set apart

for difesa or initiation.

2 The festival ia not also found to have been referred to in the ytttrü-tattvß

pf Raghunandana,

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Sanskrit Literature of the Vaisnavas of Bengal 121

Of minor works reference may be made to the Sarasathgraha -

dipikã by Rãmaprasãda Devasarmã (HPS III, 343). It deals

with the worship of Krsna pointing out its excellence. It is stated

to have a section on Vaisnava Šraddha. Works like Šri-Radha

Krsna-Pujãpaddhoti-nibandha ( CS X. 102), Vaisnavãhnikapaddhati

( CS X. 116 ). Samksepa-Bhakti-Sãdhanapaddhati ( CS. X. 114 )

though anonymous seems to have originated in Bengal being found only in Bengali characters. But they have got very little deserving a critical analysis.

The Vaisnava Kãvyas and dramas the number of which is

almost a legion deal almost exclusively with

Kãvyas ^ gj.ory 0f ^sna and his associates, while

there aie a few which seek to depict the

life story of Caitanya. Very few of them, it must be admitted,

have got any poetic excellence in them which can attract the

attention of non- Vaisnavas. They were composed either to

demonstrate the divinity of Krsna or the superiority of Caitanya

to the ordinary human beings, and though some of them aim at

displaying artificial beauty, they have got very little intrinsio

merit in general.

Änandavrndävnacampü of Kavikarnapüra is a campii^ or a

Kãvya work in prose and poetry mixed, in 22 stavakas or chapters dealing with the life story of Krsna (Pandit Baijnath Pustakalaya,

Mathura ). Muktãcaritra of Raghunãthadãsa ( Brindavana

Caitanyäbda 422 ) describes the amours of Rãdhã and Krsna.

Raghunãthadãsa was earlier than Jiva Gosvämin, who mentions

him in the first verse of his Gopälacampö. It is a campu Kãvya

consisting both of prose and poetry. Govindalllämrta of

Krsnadãsa Kavirãja who is well-known as the author of the

Bengali work Caitanya- Caritamrta, which was composed in

1503 S. E. ( Baharampur, Radharaman Press, 1308 B. S. ). The

work is complete in 23 sargas . This seems to have been one of the

most popular Vaisnava kãvyas • It was translated into Bengali

verses by Yadunandana Dãsa as early as the year 1610 A. D.

Numerous Mss., found in various places and noticed and de-

scribed by various scholars, also testify to its popularity. But

curiously enough there has been a confusion with regard to its authorship. It h fis bpen attribute either to Baghu&ätha Bhatta

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122 Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute

or to Baghunätha Daga by various scholars though the name of

the author is definitely given as Krsnadäsa in a verse of the work

( XXIII, 95 ) and in the Bengali translation of it just referred

to. And tradition current among the Vaisnavas confirms this

ascription.1 Oopâlacampû of Jívagosvãmin is another work,

depicting the life story of Krsna ( Ed. by Basa-Bihari Samkhya-

tirtha, Baharampur). It is a very big work complete in two parts-

pUrvacampü in 33 pur anas and uttaracampü in 37 puravas. The

first part was completed in 1510 S. E. and the second in 1514 S. E.

Viévanãtha CakravartI whose commentary on the Bhãgavala was

completed in 1626 S. E. composed the Sríkrsna-bhãvanãmrta in 20

cantos ( Ed. by Nit y a Svarüpa Brahmacãrin-Caitanyãbda 428 ).

There is, besides these, a huge nnmber of smaller and minor

works, too numerous to mention here. The Dvtakãvyas not only

of Bengal but of other places also were in no small degree in-

fluenced by Vaisnavisin and were principally the productions of Vaisnava poets.8

There are several dramatic compositions of the Vaisnavas. Of

these three at least belong to Büpa, namely, Lalitamãdhava,

Vidagdhamãdhava and Lãnakeli-kaumudh They all describe the

story of the life of Krsna.

Historical kãvyas or caritakãvyas as they may more properly be

designated deal almost exclusively with the life-story of

Caitanya. Works of this type were produced in large numbers both in Sanskrit and Bengali. Some of them are highly popular

even to this day. The most popular of them is the Caitanyacaritã-

mrta by Krsnadfisa Kavirãja composed in 1503 S. E., which,

though written in Bengali, is interspersed with Sanskrit verses

either of the poet's own composition or taken from various works

of other authors. The work had become so much popular that

even these were gathered together exactly in the order in which

they occur in the original and treated as a separate book under

the title Élokasamgraha or Caitanya-caritãmrta-élckasaihgraha. Mss.

of this latter work are met with occasionally. A manuscript of

1 This has been made clear in a note on the authorship of the Govinda-

Hlãmrta Ind . Ant . ( Nov. 1928).

2 See my article on the Origin and Development of DutakUvya Literatury

fy Sanskrit . ( Indian Historical" Quart erly, vol . JJJ, ppt 27 Sff ).

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Sanskrit Literature of the Vacavas of Bengal 123

a commentary on these verses by one Vrndãvanacandra Tarkãl- amkãra has also come down in a fragmentary form ( CS. X, 41 ).

Of works written exclusively in Sanskrit almost all were

written by men who were contemporaries of Caitanya. Thus a

Caitanyacarita is said to have been composed by Gopïnâtha Kavi-

kanthãbharana, son-in-law of Vísnudãsa, maternal uncle of

Caitanya.1 Vãsudeva Sãrvabhauma, originally teacher and then

a disciple of Caitanya is also stated to have composed a Caitanya -

Carita ( Bangìya Sãhitya Parisat- Patrika, vol. IV, p. 201 ).

Krsna-Caitanya- Sarita was composed by Murari Gupta in 1425

S. E., as is expressly stated in the concluding verse of the work ( Published by Mrinal Kanti Ghosh from the Partika Press,

Baghbazar-Caitanya era 426 ). This is one of the earliest avail-

able works on the life-story of the great Vaisnava teacher of

Bengal. The book is a fairly long one being complete in four

sections, each of which consists of several cantos. The first section contains 14 cantos, the second 18, the third 18 and the

fourth 26. From the very beginning we get a deified picture of

the great master who is represented as an incarnation of Lord

Visnu and as such his birth was acclaimed by all the gods who

came to Sacï, his mother, just after her conception to pay their homage to her as she was to be the exalted mother of the Lord.

The book is full of the description of the supernatural powers of

the Master and his unparallelled devotion to Visnu. The work

is written in the epic style not improbably to give it an epic

appearance and earn for it the respect which is due to an epic. It

has a good many instances of the lapsus lingua which is a charac-

teristic feature of the epic literature of Sanskrit. The Caitanyacaritãmrta Mahãkãvya is another work of this

type ( Baharampur-Radharaman-Press-1332 B. S. ). The author

of the work is believed to have been the well-known poet Kavi-

karnapüra though nowhere in book his name is found to occur.

It was composed in 1464 S. E.

The sectarian character of even some of the more well-known

grammars is clearly betrayed by the illus-

Grammars trations given by the different grammati-

cal functions. Thus the Vaisuavite Mugdha •

1 An extract from this work giving the ancestry of Caitanya is quoted i u

V anger Jãftya lit'ÄSsa-H. Basu- vol. III, p. 218ff.

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1Ž4 Annata of the Êhndcirfcar Oriental Research Inehture

bodha is always found to refer to Krsna and his associates in

all his examples. In the non-Brahmanic Kalapa not a single

reference to any of the mythological persons or stories is found.

But the spirit of sectarianism seems to have been carried to its

furthest extreme. And the best known example of this is the

Haririãmãmrta Vyãkarani . a grammar of some populiarity among

the more orthodox Vaisnavas of Bengal. It is generally attri-

buted to Jîvagosvâmin, nephew of the celebrated Rùpa. He

completed his Gopäla-Campü in 1514 S. E. A manuscript in

the Asiatio Society of Bengal is however found to ascribe it to

Rùpa ( Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Mss. of the A . S. i?. -Gram.

R. L. Mitra. Gram-p. 70 and 163 ). The peculiarity of this work

lies not only in its reference to the acts of Krsna etc. in the

illustrations of grammatical functions but also in indicating the various technical terms of grammar by the difft reiit names of Krsna, Rãdhã and their associates, the mere utterance of which

is supposed to earn religious merit for the reader. Thus the

climax is reached here in the attempt to popularise the religious tenets through various branches of literature.

We get mention of two other grammars of the Vaisnavas of

Bengal, namely Caitanyãmrta ( Colebrooke - Miscellaneous Essays ,

Ed, by Cowell - 1873, vol. II, p. 44 ) and Vyãkararia-kaumudi of

Baladeva Vidyäbhüsana. The former of these seems to have

been a sectarian one as the name clearly shows. Sectarian

grammars also seem to have been known even when Jiva wrote,

as Vitthalãcãrya (1st half of the 16th century) in his commentary on the PrakriydrKaumudl is said to have often referred to a Lama-

Vyãkarava ( Colebrooke - op. cit., p. 49 ), which from its name

seems to have been sectarian. A sectarian grammar of the

Saivas probably by a Bengalee is the Prabodha-prakãéa ( I. O. II, 911, • R. L. Mitra, op. cit., p. 70 ). The author of this work is Balarãma Pañcanana. This work is also of the type of Hari -

nãmãmrta.

It is curious that though Bengal had evolved a style of her

own from a very early period her contribu-

tions to the theories of poetic composition cannot be said to be much. In fact, we scarcely meet with any works on poetics in Bengal before the

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Sanskrit Literature of the Vaisnavas of Bengal 125

15th century. From after the 15th century Bengal produced

several original works on poetics. Most of these are the works

of Vaisnava teachers arid are sectarian in character. They have

nöt therefore attained much popularity among the people in

general, and their studies are confined within the Vaisnavas alone.

Thus the works of Bengal could not supersede well-known

standard works like the Kãvyaprakãêa of Mammata which

continued to be studied here as elsewhere and this is proved by the commentaries by Bengalees on these works. But in spite of

their sectarian character the rhetorical works of the Vaisnavas

of Bengal are found fo have made important contributions on the

topic of rasa ( sentiment ). They count bhakti ( devotion ) as a separate rasa and deal with it in full detail. The illustrative

verses of these works, again, mostly deal with the life-story of

Krsna and his associates.

The earliest work of Bengal on poetics seems to have been the

Vaisnavite Ujjavalanilamayi ( Kãvyamãlã and Baharampur ) of

Rõpagosvãmin, an immediate disciple of Caitanya and a

Vaisnava writer of much renown. In his work Rûpa describes

Bhakti ( devotion ) as a separate rasa. The work has got several

commentaries of which those of his nephew Jíva (Baharampur

1889 ) and Vis vanãtha CakravartI (Kãvyamãlã, 1913) are well

known. An independent work was also composed by Büpa with the sole object of fuller exposition of the

sentiment of Bhakti . This is his Bhaktirasãmrtasindhu (Baharam-

pur ). Rüpa had also a work on dramaturgy called Nãtaka- candrikã ( Cassimbazar - 1313 B. S. ). The work is definitely

stated to have been based, on the Sastra of Bharata and also on a

work called Basa-sudhakara. Just at the beginning the author

utters a fling against the celebrated work the SãhHya-Barpana

which, he says, is full of inacurracy and gees against the view

of Bharata. The work deals with only one form of Drama,

namely, Nãtaka. The examples given in the work are from

various Vaisnava books of which some are of his own composi-

tion. As a matter of fact most of these are taken from the

Lalita-Mãdhava so much so that it might as well be supposed to have been composed to elucidate the dramatic technique of

the latter.

17

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126 Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute

One more important work on Poetics by a Vaisnava writer is

Alatiikãra-kaustubha of Kavikaryapura , another famous writer

(Baharampur 1899; also V. R. S. series' The use of the study and

composition of a kãvya according to this author, is not fame etc.

alone, as other rhetoricians have it, tut the enjoyment of that bliss which results from the absorption of the heart in the story of the amours of Krspa ( I. 8 ). He counts bhakti, vãtsalya and prema

under rasa ( V. R. S. ed. p. 148 ). He finds fault with his prede-

cessors without mentioning their names as regards the definition

of kavya which he defines as 1 the composition of a poet ' ( Kavi •

wň-nirmitih kavyam ).

List of Abbreviations used in the above article

Ep. Ind. - Epigraphia Indica.

CS - Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit

Manuscripts in the Library of the

Government Sanskrit College,

Calcutta.

Ind. Ant. - Indian Antiquary. I. O. - Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit

Manuscripts in the India Office Library, London.

S. S. P. - Sanskrit Sahitya Pariphat, Calcutta.

V. R. S. - Varendra -Research Society, Raj-

shahi, Bengal.

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