Item Code: IDD226
by Krishnakanta HandiqueHardcover (Edition: 2001)
D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd.
Size: 8.9" x 5.9"
Weight of the Book: 470 gms
Price: $35.00 Shipping Free
Indian literature abounds in a variety of myths and legends narrating allegorical/historical stories with moral teachings where celestial or semi-celestial beings, in particular the apsarases, occupy an important place. Of such legends, a few have become much popular and they reappear in the course of the history of literature at various stages. One such legend is that of Urvasi and Pururavas which is one of the most ancient legends of India, owing its origin to the Rgveda.
This scholarly work, based on extensive original sources - primary, comprising ancient Sanskrit texts, commentaries and glosses and modern literary pieces, kavyas and plays, as well as critical writings on these original works, studies the origin and development of the institution of apsarases and their characteristics as described in the vast corpus of Vedic, Epic-Puranic and classical works. In this context, it undertakes an interesting survey of the concept of nymphs (apsarases) in Indo-European, especially Greek mythology. Dr. Handique then thoroughly examines the depiction of the legend of Urvasi and Pururavas - a favourite theme that has been immortalized in literary masterpieces in Indian literature as a whole: from the ancient Vedas and Puranas, the Harivamsa and Vikramorvasiyam to modern works like Urvasi Janani and Abhisapta Urvasi and stray poetic pieces.
Presenting anew angle to the study, the book attempts to explore aspects of an age old tradition that bears close affinity with the institution of the apsarases in terms of mode of living worship and ideals - like system of the devadasis.
The book will prove invaluable to scholars of Indian mythology, culture and literature as well as interest general readers of ancient India's legends and tales.
About the Author
Dr. Krishna Kanta Handique is a reputed scholar of Sanskrit and folk literature who has presented research papers and represented the country in world conferences. His published works are Dvatrsaputtalika, Nagananda, Drama by Sriharsa, Uduyana: Vasavadutta and Bohe Brahmadaka Bhedi.
Preface Abbreviations 1. INTRODUCTION
Part I Apsarases in Indian Literature2. ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF APSARASES ORIGIN OF THE NYMPHS IN INDO-EUROPEAN Literature Characteristics of nymphs Apsarases' relation with the gandharvas Origin of the nymphs or apsarases in Indian literature Apsarases in the Ramayana: Post-Vedic period The Apsarases in the Mahabharata The Apsarases in the Puranas Apasarases in the Katha Literature Apsarases in the Kath-sarit-sagara Part II The Legend of Urvasi and Pururavas3. LEGEND OF URVASI AND PURURAVAS IN VEDIC LITERATURE The dialogue hymn of the RV Urvasi and Pururavas in the YV Urvasi: One of the female seers of the Vedic mantras Urvasi-Pururavas: Akhyana theory The legend is an allegory The dramatic element in the legend A love legend Analysis of the word, 'Urvasi' and 'Pururavas' Urvasi and Pururavas in Brhaddevata Urvasi and Pururavas in Nitimanjari Urvasi and Pururavas in Vedarthadipika 4. THE LEGEND OF URVASI AND PURURAVAS IN POST-VEDIC PERIOD Urvasi and Pururavas in Ramayana Urvasi and Pururavas in the Mahabharata Urvasi and Pururavas in the Puranas Urvasi and Pururavas in the Harivamsa Urvasi and Pururavas in the Katha-sarit-saara Urvasi and Pururavas in the Upapuranas Urvasi in the holy places Urvasi in the fairy tales Urvasi: Incarnation of Durga Urvasi and Pururavas in Vikramorvasiyam of Kalidasa 5. LEGEND OF URVASI AND PURURAVAS IN MODERN LITERATURE Urvasi Janani Urvasi: Ramdhari Singh Dinakar Abhisapta Urvasi 6. URVASI AND DEVADASI Temples and devadasis Citrangada Devadasi: Profession prevailed in Kerala Evidence of devadasis and Siva temples Devadasi and Sankaradeva Yogini Tantra and devadasi Ahom queen Phulesvari was originally a devadasi The origin of Bharat Natyam Madhava Kandali's Ramayana Devadasi: A holy tradition Devadasi: Social evils and Indian women Devadasi: Source hailed from Western countries 7. CONCLUSION Appendices 1. Genealogy of the Lunar Race 2. An alphabetical list of apsarases Bibliography Index