In presenting the Balabodhini, a Sanskrit commentary on the Pratyaksa Khanda of the Muktavali (also known as Bhasapariccheda), popularly ascribed to Visvanatha Battacarya but believed to have been composed by one Krsnadasa Sarvabhauma towords the beginning of the 16th century according to modern Authorities on Nyaya, I have a feeling of double satisfaction: on the one hand the satisfaction of bringing a hitherto unknown commentary on the said work to light and on the other, the satisfaction of doing a humble duty as a son towards my respected father who authored this work more then sixty years ago as a young scholar of Sanskrit but who could unfortunately not get it published in his life-time—
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathomed waves of ocean bear!
The work on Balabodhini must have been started by my revered father, Dr. Ram Sharan Shastri, M.A. (Hindi, Sanskrit), Ph. D., Kavyatirth, (1 08-1977 A.D.) in the years 1928-30 A.D. when he was a student of Uttara Madhyama Bholanatha Sanskrit Vidyalaya in the village Ukni at Jaunpur. I have been told that the Pratyaksa Khanda of Muktavali was then prescribed as a text-book for the students of Grammar studying at the Madhyama standard of the Govt. Sanskrit College, Benares.
It seems that he jotted down in his notebook the salient features of the instructions which he received from his Guru and later elaborated it in the form of a regular commentary on in the Shri Ramanama Sanskrit Vidyalaya at Chitrakuta. The press-copy of this work was made partly in the year 1932 and partly in 1933 when he was residing at Rajim, Raipur, M.P., preparing for the Kavyatirha examination, since the press copy in its later portion has some pages written in the hand of his elder brother Shri Pt. Muktadatta Tripathi who was then the Principal of Shri Rajivalocana Sanskrit Vidyalaya at Rajim.
Father was born at the end of the year 1908 (on the 30th of December). This means that he started work on this commentary when he was hardly 20 years of age and finished it when he was barely 22 and had passed only the Madhyama examination of Benares. It is amazing to note what high standard of Sanskrit learning the students of those days really have had. Today you cannot expect of a student of Madhyama that he even copies out his Prasnottari correctly while cheating in the examination hall ! The Balabodhini especially its Prasnottari section, demonstrates not only a good command over Nyaya of its Author but also his excellent knowledge of Vedanta, Samkhya and Bauddha Philosophy.
Balabodhini is most probably the first work of the Father, along with his Siddhantarsa and the Rajivalocani Vyakhya on certain Sutras of the Kaumudi (both are still unpublished) which wre all composed before he left for Lahore in July 1933 in order to continue his studies for the Shastri degree at the Oriental College there.
For the details of his further academic achievements and the course of his life, the reader is referred to his short biographical sketch published in the Dr. Ram Sharan Shastri Commenmoration Volume of the Journal of the Ganganatha Jha Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (Vols. XXXVIII-XXIX,Pp. i-xvi). After serving as the Head of the Sanskrit Dept. at K. G. K. College, Moradabad he left for his heavenly abode at the holy city of Prayag on the 4th of December 1977.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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