Radhavallabh Tripathi The first edition of the Bibliography of Modem Sanskrit writings was published by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in 2002. It was edited by the present author in collaboration with Ramakant Pandey and Dharmendra Kumar Singhdeo. It had 2098 entries, covering works published up to 2000-2001. The present revised edition of Adhunikasamsskrtasahitya- sandarbhasuci is being published with 5040 entries, (3360 in the main list and 1680 in the appendix). Of these, 306 are Mahakavyas. 763 plays or collections of plays, 567 Khandakavyas, 1620 collections of lyric poems, 350 anthologies of poems; 113 novels, 337 collections of short stories, 227 translated works covering various genres and 23 titles belong to the category of literature for children. RemaininRg 417 titles belong to the category of scientific and philosophical literature. The aim of bringing out this bibliography with detailed introduction is to present a panorama of modern Sanskrit writings - original works in all forms of literature. Books written and published in Sanskrit between 1850 to 2011 - original writings only - have been included.
I am confident that this bibliograpy with the detailed introduction being given for this new edition will not only serve as a reference work, but it will also establish the authenticity of creativity in Sanskrit in our age.
Contrary to popular belief, there is an astonishing upsurge of creativity in Sanskrit today. Many of the modern Sanskrit writings are qualitatively of such high order that they can easily be treated at par with the best of classical Sanskrit works, and they can also be judged in contrast to the contemporary literature in other languages. The enormous quantity of the published works in Sanskrit composed during the past two centuries encompasses all forms of literature and variety of genres.
The latter half of the nineteenth century marks the beginning of a new era in Sanskrit literature. Authors of Sanskrit displayed an awareness of a changing socio-political scenario. In Kerala, Rajraj Verma (1863-1918) a nephew of King Kerala Verma, had composed a play in Sanskrit entitled Gairvanivijaya (Victory of Sanskrit). In this play, Sanskrit Language appears as a character and thwarted by the overpowering impact of English and Anglicization, she desperately approaches Brahma for the redressal of her grievances. At Brahma's orders, various Indian languages and English enter the Brahmaloka for presenting their case. English language stages her entry in the form of a European lady Nirada eloquently silences her by recounting her deficiencies. In the end, Brahma settles all the disputes by making a plea to all the languages to live peacefully and make room for each other's growth.
Mukutabhisekam is a play composed by Narayana Diksita who was a traditional pundit teaching in a Sanskrit pathshala at Chennapuri. We here fmd a traditional pundit trying to comprehend the changing socio-political scenario. The play depicts the event of coronation which happened on 12th December 1911 at Delhi. Several new words have been used in Mukutabhisekam. The author is known to have composed several Stotras and Satakakavyas besides this play.
Another noteworthy example of the new perspective emerging in Sanskrit literature is Dililsamrajyam - a play by Mahamahopadhyaya Laksmana Suri. Suri was a renowned pundit of Mysore. He composed two more plays- Paulastyavadham on Ramayana theme and Ghosayatra- a Dima type of play on Mahabharata theme; and three Gadyakavyas- Bhismavijayap, Bharatassangrahah and Nalopakhyanasangrah. Jarjasatakam a poem and Krsnalilamrtam a Mahakavya In Dililsamrajyam he has depicted the events during the period of Harding's Viceroyship, the arrival of George V and his coronation in Delhi. Excellence of classics thus embraced a global perspective.
The emphasis in the new writings during 1850-1947 in Sanskrit is shifted to the presentation and the interpretation of history and contemporary society with a global perspective. Vasudev Sharma Latkar wrote the biography of Shahu Rajaram (1874-1922) in Sahucaritam (1939). Madhusudan Tarkalankar wrote a grammar book of English in Sanskrit inglaindiyavyakaranasarah (1835). Pt. Vinayak Bhatta in Angrejacandrika (Madras, 1801) and Itihasatamomanih produced books of history in the modern sense of the term. Attempts to create an understanding of European wisdom were made by the pundits. One Sanskrit Pundit translated Bacon's book under the title Bekanlyasiitravyakhyanam. "Principles of Human Knowledge" by Burkley was translated under the title Jnanasiddhantacandrika; Lock's Essays concerning Human understanding were translated under the title Manailyajnanavisayakasastram. Even the English missionaries started writing in Sanskrit for the propagation of Christianity. Rozario published a monograph on dialogue between a Brahmin and a Catholic entitled Bekanlyasiitravyakhyanam. Ram Roy Basu vehemently criticised Hinduism in his Isaivivaranamrtam and Jnanodya Around two dozens of translations or adaptations of Bible came out during nineteenth century.
Sanskrit language and diction assumed new proportions, embracing satire, humour and irony. Dikshit Watve published a Purana presenting a critique of the new age in his kalpitakavirttadarsapuranam in 1900. He was followed by several authors. New forms were adopted but the outlook remained unchanged; sometimes the form and the content both changed. Nrisimhacharya Punekar wrote Mrttikavrsabhapujakatha (1904) and Shrinivas Shastri brought the wailing of Kaliyuga in his Kaliparidevanasatakam (Samskrtacandrika, 1890). Rangiladas wrote Kangresagita (1905) caricaturing the Surat convention of the Indian Congress in parody of Srimadbhagavadgita. The most outstanding satire of the past century was produced by Mahamahopadhyaya Pt. Ramavatar Sharma, an extra-ordinary scholar and a prolific author. He created a unique parody of Kilidasa's Meghauita in his Mudgaradutam. Ramavatar Sharma was emulated by C.R. Sahastrabuddhe in his Kakadutam (Dharwad, 1917). Rajgopal Ayengar also wrote a parody under the same title, where a thief sends message to his wife from Jail. K.V. Krishnamurthy wrote Svanadutam, making a Jail inmate send his message through a dog. The romantic and erotic elements of ancient literature were replaced by piquant satire.
As the British Government, after the failure of the revolt of 1857, took steps to satisfy the Indian subjects, Sanskrit authors also expressed their faith in the 'Raj'. Appa Shastri Rashivadekar, a doyen amongst Sanskrit journalists, welcomed the announcements by Queen Victoria in one of his editorials in Sunrtavadinl (1.15) entitled Cakravartinya ghosanapatram. Panegyric and eulogies in favour of the British rule were published in profusion during this time. Bharatendu, a veteran Hindi writer, presented an anthology of prasastis entitled Manasopayanam in the honour of Queen Victoria. It contained writings in Sanskrit by 66 pundits. Some of the poems in this anthology bring out the milieu and social realities. He edited another anthology under the caption Sumanonjalih and presented it to the Duke of Edinburgh on his arrival in India in 1870. It contained 15 poems in Sanskrit. But very soon, the faith in British Raj was shaken and feelings of dejection and despair over the rule of tyranny and oppressions found their expression in this new Sanskrit literature.
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