Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam (3 Volumes): By N. Raghunathan. Vighneswara Publishing House, Linghichetty Street, Madras-1. Price: 3 Volumes Rs. 175.

It requires more than normal capacity in a person, however well-equipped in literature, to translate into English an immortal epic such as the Valmiki Ramayana. Unless the translator is highly-knowledgeable both in Sanskrit and English, his task merely by enthusiasm alone will not attain the excellence the reader would expect. The late Sri N. Raghunathan achieved an all-absorbing study of both the Srimad Ramayana and Srimad Bhagavatam which led him to devote himself to translate both his favourites into English so that a wider public may share his precious harvest of experience which epic poetry can always provide.

In three volumes (the first two Kandas in one, the next three in the second and the final Yuddha Kanda along with Uttara Kanda” in the third) the entire epic has been rendered with faithfulness to the text and adequate care not to step beyond the paramount purpose of knowing the poet close enough, particularly by those who have little knowledge of Sanskrit.

In a brief essay or Foreword of his own in the first volume, the author touches upon the controversial authorship of the Uttara Kanda and adds his conviction that” ... if it was not Valmiki, it was one next only to him in sheer poetic magic and in prising out the secrets of the human heart.” Again, he would add that when Valmiki entitled the epic with a third caption as “Sitayaascharitam mahat”, he should have himself been conscious of the Uttara Kanda containing some of the finest poetry in the epic, for example, the story of Sita’s entry into the bowels of the earth and the unearthly magnificence of the appeal she makes to her mother, the mother of us all.

In his appraisement of the hero of the epic, Raghunathan’s interpretation draws us to the sublimity of thought behind “Compassion and renunciation - these are the two poles round which the universe revolves. And Sri Rama is the axis that upholds it in essential Truth (Satya) and in the integrity of its undeviating order (Rita).”Of Hanuman also Raghunathan’s verdict is worth-dwelling upon. In the same Foreword to the first volume the author mentions: “It was Hanuman, the Nitya Siddha, who discovers the inner truth and unity. The one cha­racter in the epic who had no doubts about him (Rama) and no fears of him, had seen him with the direct gaze of the mystic.”

Raghunathan’s intuitive perception of Valmiki’s words and phrases enriches much the value of the English rendering. While not deviating at all from the text, he would penetrate the meaning of a word or sentence in such a way that the reader begins to understand better Valmiki. For instance, of    (Ayodhya Kanda, Sarga 2) the translation runs: “For it is the thinking of the uncommitted men that discovers the highest good from the clash of opposing view­points.” The reference is to the type of men in the assembly gathered by Dasaratha to seek counsel with regard to the crowning of Rama as Yuvaraja. The translation evidences the perspicacity of the author’s intellectual power peering into the significance of the words.

In translating phrases such as vratasnaata viditaatmanaa, the rendering as “One who has taken the lustral bath after discharging the student’s vows and attained self-knowledge” the purport underlying them have gained due clarity which may be left out in the general trend of translations.

The portrayal of Rama’s physique and looks by Hanuman in the Sundara Kanda induces us to go to the original more than once to ascertain their exactness because of the very detailed description vividly laying bare Valmiki’s undiluted realism.

Sri Raghuna than has accomplished a task not easily within the reach of many a litterateur. There have been effective translators; both in verse and prose of the Ramayana. In South India particularly the late KirtanacharyaC. R. Srinivasa Aiyengar, who was a writer with finish both in Tamil and English had, to, the satisfaction of many, given a good rendering in English of the Ramayana without the long Yuddha Kanda. He too in various instances had not preserved the strict codes of a translator due to his flamboyant diction and adding of frills to the original. It takes our breath away to find Raghunathan never omitting any minute details of the weapons, armouries, individual fights as well as the group fightings, apart from the names of each and every Astra and Sastra used by every one of the assailants so meticulously in a manner that normally could turn one’s task to sheer disgust.

If the feather on the cap of Raghunathan was won earlier when he successfully translated into English (in two volumes) the Srimad Bhagavatam, this one decorating with no less a resplendent plume will for long retain him in the hearts of thousands of readers.


The New Hindu Movement: By Rakhal Chandra Nath. Minerva Associates, 7-B, lake Place, Calcutta - 700029. Price: Rs. 75.

“Hindu revivalism” is a term that carries some odium these days. But the usage is not something new. It has a history. When a spontaneous movement of resurgence of the Hindu Religion started in Bengal in the last quarter of the 19th century, the Christian Missionaries and the unthinking admirers of the West in that province dubbed it as Hindu revivalism meaning thereby that it was a movement of reactionaries who sought to restore the superstitions and outmoded institutions in the Hindu society that had been shaken by the massive impact of the Western culture. The author of this book gives a history of this Movement from 1866 to 1911 and traces its impact not only on developments in Bengal but in the whole country.

Following Bankim Chandra Chatterji’S: lead, he calls this a New Hindu Movement which aimed not at restoring the old, out­-of-date values but at restating the fundamentals of this eternal religion and introducing such changes in their application as called for by the Time-Spirit. He defines three broad features of this Movement: “The idea of a Rational Religion, that of Personal illumination through Religion, and that of an ancient Indian Civilisation which was thought to be of paramount relevance to the India that was going the Western way.”

After describing the state of spiritual unrest in the 1870s, he assesses the role of Keshub Chander Sen, Bijoy Krishna Goswami and Debendranath Tagore in sponsoring a reorientation of the Hindu society. He pays high tribute to the work of Bankim Chandra who had not only a far vision but also a strong common­sense for the essentials of the situation. The advent of Sri Ramakrishna and the revolutionary work of Swami Vivekananda receive their due attention in the presentation. The author underlines the services of Vivekananda in giving a social and economic content to religious reform and regrets the opposition he met at the hands of his colleagues in the Ramakrishna Order.

The political outgrowth of this enlargement of religious and social concerns is next studied. Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, Bipin Pal and other stalwarts are listed and their respective contributions in giving nationalism a religious flavour are des­cribed. The writer notes how Sri Aurobindo’s triple programme of Boycott-Swadeshi-Non-co-operation anticipated and prepared for Mahatma Gandhi.

In the last chapter the author deals with the impact of this Movement on literature, art and education. All told, the thesis is well-argued, documented and thought-provoking.


Sri Aurobindo: His Life Unique: By Rishabhchand. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. Price: Rs. 50.

“There are moments when the Spirit moves among men and the breath of the Lord is abroad upon the waters of our being; there are others when it retires and men are left to act in the strength or the weakness of their own egoism. The first are periods when even a little effort produces great results and changes destiny; the second are spaces of time when much labour goes to the making of a little result ...

“Unhappy is the man or the nation which, when the divine moment arrives, is found sleeping or unprepared to use it because the lamp has not been kept trimmed for the welcome and the ears are sealed to the call...

“In the hour of God, cleanse thy soul of all self-deceit and hypocrisy and vain self-flattering that thou mayst look straight into the spirit and bear that which summons it.”

These are extracts from a remarkable piece of writing by Sri Aurobindo. He indicates that the hour of God, a time when humanity could make immense progress, has arrived. Of course, by progress is meant man’s spiritual growth – man taking rapid strides towards realisation of his goal of perfection.

If the hour of God is knocking on .our door, how is our age marked by so much chaos and disharmony? Sri Aurobindo’s answer is significant. Mankind is passing through an evolu­tionary crisis. Man, so long chiefly characterised by his mind, has achieved whatever he could through the means of his mind. The time had come when he must aspire to transcend the mind and allow a new consciousness to manifest in his being. Sri Aurobindo terms this new consciousness as the gnostic or the upramental consciousness.

In Sri Aurobindo’s vision, the dichotomy that exists between spirit and matter, between the so-called worldly life and the life spiritual, are bound to disappear when man rises to the next stage in his evolutionary destiny. Mind with all its wit and wisdom cannot bring any real harmony in our being, but harmony is the keynote of the supramental consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo, born in 1872 in Bengal and educated in England from his childhood till he passed his Tripos in Cambridge and at his father’s wish appeared for the Indian Civil Service examination but absented himself from the riding test in order to get disqualified for the Service at his own wish, returned to India in 1893. While serving as a Professor at Baroda he began to explore the mystic heritage of India, mastering all the doctrines and scriptures as well as practising Yoga and getting results at incredible rapidity. Simultaneously he began providing leadership to the Indian Freedom Movement, at first secretly, but coming out to the open in 1905. He was the first to give the call for an unconditional freedom of the country. The British dreaded him “as the most dangerous man in the whole of India” while multitudes were prepared to lay down their lives at his command. Non-co-operation, boycott of British goods, etc., – the principles with which India fought for freedom till its achievement – were formulated by him.

The British imprisoned him for a year in 1908, confining him to a solitary cell during which he had his profound spiri­tual experiences. In 1910, he saw in his seer-vision the freedom of India as a fait accompli. In accordance with an inner inspi­ration, he went over to Pondicherry in South India, then a French Colony. There he remained engrossed in his Yoga, in visualising the spiritual – the only real – solution to the riddle of life. The Mother, French by birth, who had revelations similar in nature to those of Sri Aurobindo, met him in 1914 and joined him for good in 1920. It is she who gave shape to the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry.

Sri Aurobindo warned that any bid to reconstruct his life based on external events would be an exercise in futility. It is because the most significant discoveries and actions of his belonged to the realm of consciousness – not for the people to see. As the Mother puts it, “What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme.”

His Life Unique – there could hardly be a better or more precise description of a biography of Sri Aurobindo. The author has given a highly well-organised account of the episodes in Sri Aurobindo’s life, in a style that is remarkable forits flow, elegance and dignity. The narration is interspersed by quotes from Sri Aurobindo’s prose and poetry. Rich with documents and pictures, the volume is excellently produced.

Tales of Bengal: By Santa Devi and Sita Devi. Writers Workshop,       Lake Gardens, Calcutta - 45. Price: Rs. 20.

The two sisters who are among the pioneer women writers of Bengal captured the psychological depths of the characters in this book. They at once bloom with life. The writers comment upon the social evils objectively and it makes the themes universal. The intellectual liberal-thinking fostered by their scholarly father and their sojourn at Shantiniketan enabled the authors to deal a poetic style in their prose pieces. Their satire is intended to chastise the people who err on the wrong side.

Santa’s “The Ugly Bride” brings out the difficulties of marrying off a plain looking poor girl. She rightly points out that basically people are greedy and opportunistic everywhere though they seem to be genial and altruistic outwardly. Tara ­didiin this story is such a typical old lady who does not have any qualms over cheating others to marry off her daughters or others’ daughters. But when her own daughter-in-law happens to be poor, she sheds her genial nature and rejects the ugly bride. The story, “Loyalty” is the agony of a young girl whose birth is stigmatised and hence is rejected by the high caste in marriage. The “Cake-Festival” and the “Wedding Dress” of Santa are the stories of personal relationships of the goody-goody type.

Unlike Santa’s soft style, Sita’s is brisk and her sarcasm biting. Her stories, “The Letter” and “The Broken Lily” are in first person narrative. She points out that people who talk much of the ideals never practise them and they are cowards at heart. Animesh of “The Letter” and the school teacher of “The Broken Lily” are the examples. Probodh, the school teacher’s brother, does what his brother fails to do. He comes forward to marry a poor girl, when her marriage was stopped in the marriage pandal.

All the stories deal with the influence of social customs, narrow societal outlook tempered with petty prejudices on inter-personal relationships of people and sustain our interest throughout. Like Jane Austen, the two sisters dare not enter into serious themes of greater strides and bold their characters and situations in their perfect grip. The tales make stimulative reading as tragi-comedies of manners.


26 Poems: By Keshav Malik. Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Rs.5.
Grey Tones: By K. Raghavan Pillai, Samkaleen Prakashan New Delhi-55. Price: Rs. 15.
Fragment Memories: By K. R. Rao. Samkaleen Prakashan. Rs. 12.
Continents of Silence: By K. R. Rao. Price: Rs. 20.
The Crescent God and Other Poems: By B. N. Raina. Rs. 20.
Broken Fingers: By Kishore Chatterjee. Price: Rs. 15.
Mainly in the Winds: By Taposh Chakravarty. Price: Rs. 30.
The Inexpressible Nothing: By Deepak Chakrabarty. Price Rs. 20.
Oh City City: By Mihir K. Sen. Price: Rs. 20.
Milestones to the Sun: By Gopi Krishnan. Price: Rs. 20.
Blue Vanda: By Emmanuel Narendra Lall. Price: Rs. 20.
An Outline: By Subrata Sinha. Price: Rs. 20.
Narcissus Wept: By Ishwar Kanwar Puri. Price: Rs. 20. (Numbers 4 to 13 are published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta)

And still they come, these books of verse. There’s seeming variety, and also a sameness – even tameness – in the variety. Speaking of his “poetry” contributors, an Editor once remarked that they ranged from Maharajahs to boiler-makers. Versify­ing is the most democratic of vocations (or aberrations) and versifying in English is, for an Indian, a strangely and irresistibly attractive hobby (or compulsion). Not for him (or her) any more the discipline of metre, rhyme or even language. Not for him (or her) “high seriousness”, the great theme, the tremendous confrontation of race, nature or soul. The “new” Indo-Anglian poet, according to Keki Daruwalla, “is no longer seer, prophet, shaman, freedom-fighter, philosopher, all rolled in one ... he often huddles into himself from the cold ofexterior reality around him.” He is for the “small-scale”, for insularity, for the egoistic prison-house. The only trouble is he insists on laying bare his private sores and aches to the public eye. But that’s the lyric poet’s privilege – or, perhaps, his cross. For the reader or Rasika, too, there’s sometimes a katharsis that he may value.

What shall we call this body of writing? Indo-Anglian? Indo-English? Indian English? We have an answer from Dr. Raghavan Pillai, one of the more senior practitioners:

Shall we call you Indglish then
And commend you to every writer’s pen?
It’s at least a single word
And sounds English when cleverly said.

(Prof. Raj Kumar has suggested even a simpler word, “Indish”!) On the subject of Indian verse in English, Dr. B. N. Raina writes confessionally:

I am the Indo-English poet.
I know not
what language is my own,
or where my country lies.

With a name like “Indglish” and a know-nothingism like Raina’s, the reader is half-scared away. But patience pays its own modest dividends.

Of the 12 poets listed above, Keshav Malik is almost a veteran with no mean record of achievement. 26 Poems is a coat of divers colours, for reality is not single-hued or a monolith. The filia­tions between Life and Nature are subtly indicated, and there’s an undercurrent of sadness and acceptance as well. “Publishing poetry in India professionally”, says Malik, “has Kafkaesque undertones. “         And      this,      notwithstanding P. Lal’s massive Writers Workshop organisation to publish and push IWE (Indian Writing in English) with an almost indiscriminate extravagance. Raina’s expression of thanks (“Finally, without Professor P. Lal none of this would have come about”) does indeed permit of a general application, since 10 of the 13 books listed above bear the W. W. imprint. Flexied (or hard ed) in colourful sari cloth, plastic-jacketed, these W. W. books catch the eye and since the books are usually slim and are sparsely printed, one can read them through without much strain.

Of Dr. K. R. Rao’s two volumes, Fragment Memories claims to project “a unified approach” to the poet’s “well-balanced ideology.” Actually, he frankly says in one place:

and I, a poet, chasing miragesa–
­My wife calls me a breeder of
children and feeder of dreams...

He says elsewhere:

I’m a dealer in words
and can only string my
words into metaphors...

But of course one can beyond words by silence, as suggested in the companion volume, Continents of Silence. But silence too can be broken by sounds – noises – cacophonies. But any criticism or comment becomes redundant when a poet says:

Why not leave me
my critics
my friends
to my fate?

Of the nearly 60 pieces in Dr. Raina’s volume, except for the “Hymn” (the title poem), the rest are short lyrics. The “Crescent God” is Shiva, who is thus apostrophised:

Prince of anti-thesis,
clad in mantle of mortal ash, you are
as well the Lord of catastrophe.

The lyrics, understandably enough, are unequal in their inspiration and articulation, but quite a few read well. Thus, for example, “Seminars”:

Look how with information boom
seminars stretch and range:
no government did ever groom
a superior employment exchange.

“Summer” and “Christ and Nietzsche” are among Raina’s more successful efforts.

Kishore Chatterjee is a communications specialist, but as a poet his medium is the imagination, more potent as well as more elusive than the usual media. These 18 lyrics try to fuse – though not quite successfully – into a distinctive voice. It is a song of sorts of longing, of frustration, of flawed fulfilment:

Is this where it all ends?
Like a dream that coils wards
I move down a stream of a thousand tongues
Your hand reaching towards me
Drope fingers ...

The note on Taposh Chakraborty gives his year of birth as 1973. Surely he isn’t a 9-year old poetic prodigy! But, then, misprints are a metaphorical mode in W. W. publications, and the Rasika should take them all in his stride. The dedication is “To the winds, mainly.” Most of the 50 items are short and snappy, sometimes just 3 sharp lines:

Watch me evaporate,
molecule by molecule.

A whole page, 3 lines, 7 words, 14 syllables! The longer poems are somewhat more meaty, or at least fruity, as in:

Eat an orange at lunch time
and sleep in the winter sun...

The Inexpressible Nothing by Deepak Chakrabarty – who is but 27 years old – is also a bag of brevities. Chakrabarty teaches English (of course!) in a college, and in his “Triology”, he thus describes his encounter with flies and mosquitoes:

a togetherness
out of the blue, fills the sky,
it’s night already, a human and two insects
forge a triology.

As a poet he is at the pathetically fumbling stage, stumbling far more often than standing his ground with ease. But he should persevere.

Prof. Mihir K. Sen is a critic of standing and an authority on Robert Lynd, and the 30 poems in Oh City City have a mature cast. Here is a vivid evocation of Dalhousie Square:

Eventime descends on betel-nut rows.
Pavement-typists, race-book hawkers, traffic town
Jolt into a halt...

But College Square only recalls old memories:

The boat of life stops here short
For a while and gives
Maalavika to me.

For Gopi Krishnan, an officer in the Reserve Bank, a poem is “a child, a sensuous woman, an orgy or just stone;” and it is left here “simply because he (the poet) does not know what else to do with it.” And the reviewer too reads it because there’s no escape. Child, woman, orgy, stone, all are here. Thus of “Flora Fountain” (Krishnan is a Bombayite):

Looking down a memory
of Flora Fountain
where you meet a girl
and fall in love...

The poem on “Neruda” is good, and “Roses” too: altogether a cultured voice.

Dr. Emmanuel N. Lan has taught (English again!) in India and U. S. A., and his writing reveals feeling as well as sophistication, and a fair control of language. On “The Ganga is Varanasi”, Lall says with a painstaking particulariyy:
It leaves the banks
in miniature urns
of brass, copper, pewter,
even clay...

He can also be just matter of fact and almost puerile as in “When two mortals bed.” Subrata Sinha is a biochemical researcher, and the quality of his writing is not unfairly represented by the following:

Writing on a dead afternoon
No words came.
Only sounds
In foreign chorus
Talked me away from paper.

Last of our singing birds, Ishwar Kanwar Puri, born 1952, an engineer by training, takes poetry rather more seriously than do some of the academics. He has something to say evidently and tries to say it with becoming gravity:

When the brain aches to write sometimes: I with
pencil clutched futilely between my fingers,
Very often, in my hands, the longer poem collapsed:
house of cards.,
Mosaic imagery ... is abandoned (more and more)
into shorter lines.

Well, well, there’s plenty here no doubt – may not be God’s plenty – yet plenty, which is a sign of vitality.


The New Age Force Gayatri: By Ashok Rawal. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay-7. Price: Rs. 15.

One half of the world, it is said, does not know what the other half does. We do not know what excellent work has been turned in India to usher in a new era of civilization based on eternal spiritual values. As we are zealots of industrial civilization, we think the ancient culture of India is old-fashioned and at variance with the modern teachings of science. The little book is a mine of information regarding the aims, objectives, achievements and future plans of Brahmavarchas Sansthan, Hardwar, under the guidance of Pandit Sriram Sharma Acharya, the Rishi of our times.

The contents of the book comprise of I. (i) The Divine Gayatri. (ii) The Twenty-four Shaktis of Gayatrit (iii) The Greatness of Gayatri. II. Brahmavarchas Sansthan. III. Scientifically presented spiritual literature. IV. (i) India: Leader of the New Age (ii) Yug Nirman Yojana’s solemn pledge for social regeneration. V. The Founder. VI. Sriram Sharma Acharya ­– A Hymn to Gurdev. VII. 1980-2000: The Dawning two Decades of a New Age – A Message. The message reads: “Gayatri is the panacea for all problems and difficulties. It is the Divine Bliss of all potentialities of the age to come.”

The next twenty years, i.e., 1980-2000, which are the years of transition of the present era, could bring vast destruction, loss of life and misery to our world. Gayatri Mantra Yajna would create cosmic vibrations, which could to a considerable extent mitigate the effects of the catastrophic events the world is likely to experience during this 20-year period of transition.



Suresvara’s Vartika on Yajnavalkya Maitreyi Dialogue: By Shouhn Hino. Price: Rs. 125.
Asparsa Yoga – A Study of Gaudpada’s Mandukya Karika: By Colin A. Cole. Price not mentioned.
Motilal Banarsidass, 7 Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, Delhi-7.

The two books under review, which are studies on Advaita philosophy and which are theses for Ph. D. and M. A. degrees of Poona and British Columbia Universities, are by two foreign research scholars.

Brihadaranyaka, as its very name indicates, is the greatest of the upanishads. Suresvara is a direct disciple of Sankara and his Vartika on Sankara’s Bhashya on this upanishad is an important one in that it shows Suresvara’s deviations from his teacher and also refers to some important views of pre-Sankara Vedantins. But a full translation of this Vartika was not taken up so far by anyone. This work which contains English transla­tion of the Vartika on the Bhashya on chapters 2.4 and 4.5 containing the dialogue of Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi, which part again is considered as the quintessence of the upanishad, is the first step to fill up that lacuna.

The second part contains text, translation and critical notes. The first part which is introductory is very valuable in that in ten chapters it gives a critical and comparative estimate of Suresvara’s philosophy. That this Vartika meets the requirements of a definition of Vartika is established in one chapter. Corres­pondences of the stages leading to salvation as found in this Vartika and “Naishkarmya Siddhi”, an original work of Suresvara, and as described by Sankara, are also dealt with in this chapter. Suresvara opines that “Nidbidhyasana” is the culmination of the practice of Sravana and Manana and it does not mean meditation but knowledge.

The Method of Anvaya vyatireka as a means of knowing Jnaana and Vijnaana-distinction between them, use of illustra­tions in philosophical writings, Suresvara’s indebtedness to his predecessors, and Suresvara and Samkhya are the other subjects discussed in other chapters. Select glossary, bibliography and verse-index are appended. In all, we have herein a scholarly treat­ment of Suresvara’s philosophy based mainly on these two chapters.

Asparsa Yoga: Gaudapada is a great preceptor and the first systematic exponent of Advaita philosophy. His main work “Mandukya Karikas” is treated on a par with upanishads, and is commented upon by Sankara. There are many translations and studies of these Karikas. All of them gave importance to the metaphysical aspect only and ignored the religio-spiritual and pragmatic approach found herein.” The text, in this study, is looked at on a predominantly religious basis. Chapters II-V deal with Gaudapada as a religious preceptor, analyse the text for its stylistic elements, and sum up Gaudapada’s philosophy. Remaining chapters present a description, analysis and interpretation of the religious theory, and describe the actual practices advocated in the Karika. Date and works of Gaudapada and a summary of the contents of Mandukya Upanishad and Karikas and other relevant matters are also given. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 deserve a careful study. English translation of Karikas dealing with Upadesa aspect, and showing integral unity of the Karika are collected in two separate indexes. This readable work serves as a good introduction to the deep study of the Karikas. The translation of Samskrit words “Nischita” as “proper inquiry” (P. 40) and “Saamanyadharma” as “identification or equation” (P. 96) is to be reconsidered.

–B. K. RAO


Amara Bharati: By Josyula Suryanarayana Murthy. Bharati Sadanam, Avanigadda, Krishna Dt. Price Rs, 10.

This is a collection of thirteen essays pertaining to literary works and a playlet by the author. The first two essays are based on Srimad Ramayana. With select quotations from the original, the first one delineates the character of Sita as the bone, so to say, of the great Epic and maintains the meaning of Sitayana. The second one upholds the epithet “Purushottama,” one that has gained all-India, if not universal, approbation by devotees of Rama as well as litterateurs. The third one brings out poetico-Yogic elements in. Sri Sankaracharya’s Soundarya Lahari, pointing out how they have been pictorially and diagramatically adapted even by Western scholars. The fourth one depicts how Dharma – the one untranslatable word in the world – is upheld by Kalidasa in his various works. The next one deals with the importance of the fifth act of Abhijnana Sakuntalam, wherein the king rejects his wedded spouse, showing how this Act serves as purificatory ground for the final re-union of the hero and the heroine. The next one on Meghadutamof Kalidasa sets for the metaphysical nuances and subtleties of the poem. The Dhvani (suggestion) enhances the madhura sringara element of the forlom lover (s). The next one on Bhavabhuti and his Uttararamacharitastresses how the poetic element comes to the aid of dramatic content quality.

Bhasa’s Avimaraka– a not so well read playlet – is dealt with in the next essay. Krishna Mishra’s Prabodha Chandrodaya, an allegorical play, is the theme of the next essay.

Viswanatha Satyanarayana’s two playlets, Gupta Pasupatam and Amrita Sarmishtham are introduced to Sanskrit literary criticism for the first time in a full-fledged essay. The critique on the former explains the reason why and how the weapon Pasupata was sought to be used in the Mahabharata battle.

Sri Krishna’s supremacy as godhead is the theme of the thirteenth one. The last, as has already been said, is a social play by the author wherein the value of tradition is shown superior to modernity.

Apt quotations culled from the originals enhance the value of each of the essays. They also serve to induce the reader to enjoy the originals in a refreshing light.



Andhra Tamila Kannada Tdbhasha Nighantuvu: Editors: Vedam Venkataraya Sastry, Dr. C. R. Sharma and Tirumala Rama­ chandra. Price: Rs. 35.
Balavyakaranoddyotamu, By Vajjhala China Sitaramasastry. Price: Rs. 12.
Telugu Bhasharharitra: Edited by Dr. Bhadriraju Krishna Murty. Price: Rs. 16.
Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Akademi, Saifabad, Hyderabad-4.

Tribhasha Nighantuvu: A knowledge of Tamila and Kannada languages is a sine qua non to all students of Telugu language and linguists in particular. Hence a dictionary of the three languages, Telugu, Tamila and Kannada, is a long-felt desideratum. This dictionary prepared by three reputed scholars is mainly intended for Telugu students. Most popular and well-established words, Tatsama, Tadbhava and Desya in Telugu are collected and their equivalents in Tamila and Kannada are given herein. Different meanings of a Telugu word, if any, and words denoting the same meaning in the other two languages are also given. In a scholarly introduction Sri Venkataraya Sastry traces out the origins of the three languages. Their mutual relation and their relationship with Sanskrit and Prakrit, especially that between Tamil and Sanskrit is discussed. Letters of the Tamil alphabet are given and their pronunciation is indicated. This publication is highly useful not only to research students in Dravidian linguistics, but even to those that have a smattering knowledge of Tamil and Kannada and desire to improve it.

Balavyakaranoddyotamu: The author of this monumental work was rightly hailed as a Bhashyakara of the great work Balavyakaranaof Chinnayasuri. He attempted to correct Chinnayasuri and Sitaramacharya wherever, according to him, they went wrong or were defective or deficient in their wording of the Sutras or illustrating them. At the same time he explained the Sutras also in a lucid manner at first, so that a student can grasp the meaning thereof. He has taken special interest in including and elucidating the rules in Samskrit grammar regarding Sandhi, Samasa, Taddhita and Krit suffixes. Telugu students need not study Samskrit grammar separately now. It may however be noted here that this author, while explaining Samskrit grammar, follows Mugdhabodha mainly. Every page reflects the author’s wide and deep reading. The book has its intrinsic value and every student or scholar of Telugu grammar has to study this before pronouncing his views on this subject. This book has long been out of print and the Sahitya Akademi has done great service by publishing it.

Telugu Bhashacharitra: Study of languages, scripts, their origin and evolution is as fascinating as that of any science. For the first time now we have a work of this kind on Telugu language containing research papers of eminent linguists in Andhra Pradesh. The first essay on “Andhra Tenugu and Telugu” concludes that Andhras were a mixed race of Aryas and Anaryas. Originally denotative of a race, the word Andhra gradually expressed a region and then a language. The word Telugu, another form of a word Tenugu, denoting a quarter or direction has nothing, to do with the word Trilinga. The second essay on “Telugu and other Dravidian languages” points out that Telugu originally formed part and parcel of parent-central-Dravidian language, (Mula Madhya Dravida Bhasha) from which evolved parent Telugu as its scion. “Old Andhra (language) evolution of Inscriptional language” in the third chapter is a summary of an unpublisheid thesis for doctorate. Evolution of the languages in all its aspects is described herein. Evolution of Andhra language in inscriptions between 1100 and 1399 A .D., forms the subject matter of the fourth chapter “Kavya Bhaashaparinama” from 600-1899 A. D:, Vaikrita words or words derived from Samskrit and Prakrit languages, words borrowed from languages of other regions and countries like Urdu, Persian and English etc., evolution of Telugu script, classical and spoken language, a brief description of modern Telugu, Telugu dialects and standard language, Semantics and a Simhavalokana of Telugu Bhashacharitra – are the subjects dealt with in other chapters. Conclusions arrived at in all these chapters are sub­stantiated with illustrations. This book is indispensable to all post-graduate and research scholars in Telugu language.


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