The Ramayana in Classical Sanskrit and Prakrt Mahakavya Literature

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Foreword

It gives me great pleasure to place before the elite audience, the book on Ramayana in classical Sanskrit and Prakrt Mahakavya Literature by Dr.V. Raghavan. This topic was a series of lectures delivered by the eminent professor under Prof. P.D. Gune's Endowment at the University of Poona in 1977.

These lectures are based on an analysis of the contents of the classical Sanskrit Poems : the Rahguvamsa of Kalidasa, Janakiharana of Kumaradasa, Ramacarita of Abhinanda, Ravanavadha of Bhatti, Ramayapacampu of Bhoja, Ramayanamailjari of Bhoja and the Prakrt kavya, Setubandha of Pravarasena.

The epic Ramayana has had a strong influence on the minds of people of India and especially the classical Sanskrit poets. Dr. V. Raghavan, former Professor and Head of the Dept. of Sanskrit and renowned for his research abilities, has to his credit several studies on the Ramayana. To mention a few 'Some old lost Rama plays; Tattvasangraha Ramayana, Ramayana other than Valmiki's (Ananda, Adbhuta etc.), The greater Ramayana and The Ramayana in greater India are some of his noteworthy studies.

Ramayana in Greater India (1975), a series of lectures delivered under an Endowment (Rao Bahadur Kamala Shankar Pranshankar Trivedi Memorial lectures) at the South Gujarat University was published in 1975. These lectures covered the different versions prevalent in Ceylon, Far-east, Burma and other Middle Eastern Countries.

Ramayana Trivepi is a comparative study of the Characters in the Ramayana of Valmiki, Kamban and Tulsidas.

This book presented here, is a study on the Poems in Classical Sanskrit and Prakrt which points out the different versions of these poets in the story of Rama. The influence of the Valmiki Ramayapa on the Kavyas of these poets is well known. These poets have made some changes in the story to suit their poems. Dr. Raghavan has made a thorough study of the Kavyas mentioned above and pointed out meticulously, the differences in the story from the original. Some of these poets have introduced even new elements to make their works quite appealing.

A perusal of the book will place before the minds of scholars not only the ability of these poets but also the depth of the study and analysis made by Dr.V. Raghavan who thus brought to light the special features found in these poems which make them individualistic.

My association with Dr. V. Raghavan started with my joining the Sanskrit Dept, University of Madras in 1951 to assist him in the New Catalogus Catalogarum project. After becoming the Secretary of the Sarnskrta Ranga founded by him in 1958, this association became more closer. Under his able guidance, work on the New Catalogus Catalogorum and the activities of the Sarnskrita Ranga were continued with sincere, committed efforts. This bondage between the preceptor and the disciple is being thus furthered even after his demise.

The Dr. V. Raghavan Centre for Performing Arts and in particular the efforts of Smt. Nandini Ramani, daughter of Dr. V. Raghavan is to be appreciated for bringing out this publication.

**Contents and Sample Pages**