Vasudevavijaya of Vasudeva (Study)

by Sajitha. A | 2018 | 50,171 words

This page relates ‘Preface’ of the study on the Vasudevavijaya of Vasudeva from the 11th century A.D. The Vasudevavijayam is an educational poem belonging to the Shastra-Kavya category of technical Sanskrit literature. The Vasudevavijayam depicts in 657 verses the story of Lord Krishna while also elucidates the grammatical rules of the Ashtadhyayi of Panini (teaching the science of grammar). The subject-content of the poem was taken from the tenth Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.


Śāstrakāvya literature has a great tradition in India. The poem which illustrates the principles of a śāstra is generally termed as Śāstrakāvya. The earliest full-fledged specimen for Śāstrakāvya is Bhaṭṭikāvya or Rāvaṇavadha of Bhaṭṭi of 6th century A.D. Other important works of this category are Rāvaṇārjunīya of Bhāṭṭabhīma, Kavirahasya of Halāyudha, Kumārapālacarita of Hemacandra, Lakṣaṇādarśa of Divākara, Nakṣatramālā of Śivarāma Tripāṭhi, Vibhaktivilāsa of Maṅgaleśa etc.

The Śāstrakāvya tradition was well developed especially in Kerala and it was a peculiar branch of knowledge in the field of study of śāstra. Thus it is an undoubted fact that Kerala has contributed immensely to the Śāstrakāvya literature. Subhadrāharaṇa, Vāsudevavijaya, Dhātukāvya, Pāṇinīyasūtrodāharaṇakāvya, Śrīcihnakāvya, Rāmavarmamahārājacaritra, Surūparāghava, Sugalārthamālā etc. are prominent Śāstrakāvyas from Kerala, which were written to illustrate the grammatical rules.

Vāsudevavijaya is an important contribution of Kerala to the Śāstrakāvya tradition. The poem is generally ascribed to Vāsudevakavi who belonged to Peruvanam near Trichur. The work comprising altogether 657 verses in seven cantos. The author depicts the story of Lord Kṛṣṇa and at the same time it illustrates the grammatical rules of Pāṇini. Padacandrikā is an auto commentary on this work.

The present thesis entitled Vāsudevavijaya of Vāsudeva—A Critical Study is comprised of five chapters inclusive of introduction and conclusion. The first chapter deals with the history of Śāstrakāvyas. The Śāstrakāvyas in general, Śāstrakāvyas from Kerala, Śāstrakāvyas related to other śāstras are studied here. The second chapter gives an account on the date, authorship and theme of the poem. The controversy lying on the authorship of the poem is examined in detail. Similarly, the deviations found in the poem from the source i.e. Bhāgavata are also included here. The third chapter studies the grammatical aspects and peculiarities of the poem. This chapter comprises some examples for each sections of Aṣṭādhyāyī viz. Saṃjñā, Sandhi, Strīpratyaya, Kāraka, Samāsa, Lakārārtha etc. The Uṇādis and Vārtikas dealt within the poem are also studied here. The fourth chapter forms a literary appreciation of the poem. It gives a peep into the beautiful verses of the poem and tries to bring forth the importance of Vāsudevavijaya among other Keralite Vyākaraṇaśāstakāvyas. The fifth chapter deals with the impact of other disciplines in the Vāsudevavijaya The proficiency of Vāsudeva in the sciences other than grammar is examined here. Similarly it shed light on the grammarians referred to in the poem. The concept of Bhakti philosophy reflected in the poem is also discussed here. The conclusion brings forth some observations formed through this study. Besides, an appendix is also included which gives some tables to show the rules and their illustrations employed in the poem.

I wish to acknowledge my deep gratitude to my Supervising teacher, Prof.P.Narayanan Namboodiri, Professor (Rtd), Department of Sanskrit, University of Calicut, who always encouraged me with valuable comments and motivation. His proper guidance helped me a lot in accomplishing the task of preparing the thesis. I am profoundly grateful to Prof.N.K.Sundareswaran, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, for his incessant inspiration. I gratefully remember the constant support received from all other teachers of the Department viz. Prof.C.Rajendran, Prof.T.K.Narayanan, Prof.K.K.Geethakumary and Dr.K.K.AbdulMajeed. I am extremely thankful to my colleagues Dr.P.I.Ajithan and Dr.T.V.Jayalakshmi for their constant encouragement. I am really grateful to Dr.P.M.Vrinda for her valuable suggestions and moral support.

For my research work, the librarians of Department of Sanskrit and CHMK library of University of Calicut; Thunchan Manuscripts Repository, Department of Malayalam and Kerala studies, University of Calicut; Adayar Library and oriental manuscript library, Madras; rendered help in all respects. I take this opportunity to thank all the authorities of these libraries for their kind help.

I would like to express my gratitude to my family and friends for their inspiring support.

Sajitha. A


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