Dharmasuri and His Works (A Critical Exposition)
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Dharmasuri and His Works (A Critical Exposition)

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Item Code: NAP549
Author: Kalpakam Sankarnarayan
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788126041329
Pages: 408
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 520 gm
Back of the Book

The poet and Vedantin Dharmasuri 's standing has to be judged not merely in tones of his own individual contribution or enrichment of tradition but in the light of the significance of what Dharmasuri did to stabilise , strengthen and foster a live and lively consideration of nuances and representations not only of aesthetic vision and experience of the great poets and artists of Sanskrit Literature but also in the history of Advaita Vedanta and yoga Sastra. An unique feature of Dharmasuri is his deep knowledge of Caturdasavidya. While dealing with the definition in his Alamkarasastra , he authenticates his views or definitions or expressions in the light of Vedic or Upanitiadic statements , Panini's grammar, Patanjali's bhasya or Katyayana's Vartika or Amarakosa. In the same way while writing commentary either on Yoga or Sankara's Bhasya , he brings in the definition either of Sabdalankara or arthalamkara or Dhvani or Rasa. The use of Sutras and Sastric explanations not only prove the high scholarship of Dharmasuri but also show the accuracy with which a poem (kavya) or a science of Poetry (Sahitya) to be and how a vritti to be written on a commentary on Yoga Sutra.

The close association of the grammar did the Alamkara literature may well be expected and it is also justified by tradition, as the former deals with correctness of speech and the later with literary embellishments.

Thus the subject undertaken by Dharmasuri has its unique place not only in thejield of Atamkar Sastra ,-Drama Narakasuravijayavyayoga and Poetry {Hamsasandesa) but encompassed all branches of literature like his Philosophical Treatise viz. Brahmamrtavarsini and YogamaIi Prabha on, Yoga Sastra, etc. All the illustrated verses are composed by himself to exhibit his at most devotion to Iiis Supreme Lord Rama whether it is in his sahitva - Balabhagavata, Kamsavadha, Suryasataka„ Krsnastuti, Ratnaprabha, Hamsasandesa (a Prakrit poem) though not available row except the quotations found either in his Sahityaratnakara or in Narakasuravijayavyayoga ,or philosophical, treatise like Brahmamrtavarsini, and Yogamani Prabha which are available , have not been given the due importance as it actually deserves.


The general tendencies of Sanskrit writers as creative writers focus on detailed exposition for common people and also for the connoisseurs of the beauty. The charm of the expressions required some analytical acumen and deep probing scholarship. Especially Sanskrit writers made use of the contemporary Sastras like grammar, polity, poetics and etymology and thus they have enriched their works. Their genre is marked by cognateness and erudition. As an aid to the proper understanding of the texts, an erudite scholar uses brevity, precision and compactness of an unique style of writing to give rise to the literature of exposition and elucidation. Dharmasuri who has contributed to the various branches of Sanskrit Sastras, is no exception to this besides he is unique in his own way in utilizing his knowledge of various Sastras in his works though many of them are not available. Dharmasuri had not confined himself to only to Alamkara Sastra or to the Vyayoga (a Drama)' or Sandes'a Kavya but also had written a commentary on Yoga Sutra

and a treatise on vrtti on Sankarabha sya. We relied here on his contribution on Alainkara Slastra viz. Sahitya Ratnakard and a drama viz. Narakasuravijayavyayoga3 besides Yogarnatyprabha 4 on Yoga Sutra and Brahmarnrtavaryini a Vedanta Jastra which had thrown light on his erudite scholarship almost in all field of science of knowledge.

Sources from which we know of our Author Dharmasuri: P.V. Kane in his History of Sanskrit Poetics (H.S.P.) has covered almost all the works on Alarnkara Jastra dealing with all aspects with his original approach to add substantial additions to all the important works with the brief analysis of their contents and the chronology of writers on Alanikara S'Jstra. P.V. Kane has attempted to show how from very small beginnings various theories of Poetics were evolved with all theory of Poetics and traced the history of literary theories in India. He has mentioned Dharmasuri or Dharmasinha or Dharmapandita, son of Pervades or Parvatanatha as the author of Sahityaratnakara (S.R.)6, and the overall approach to all the works of Dharmasuri has been presented by E.V.Viraraghavacharya'; The name of the work SAityaratnJkara of Dharmasuri or Dharmasudhi, son of Parvatanatha in Ten Tarangas as in New Indian Antiquary' is referred to by Kane in his H.S.P.9.

We are able to know much about our author Dharmasuri and his works like NarakasuravijayavyJyoga (N.VV) and Sahitya Ratmikara (S.R.) (Three Parts) from those which have been published by Sanskrit Academy, Osmania University, Hyderabad in the year 1961 and 1972. In the publication of NarakiisurawjayavyJyoga, edited by D.G.Padhye, Kavyatirtha — SAityalankara, Sanskrit Academy, we get the details of the other works by Dharmasuri. Besides this reference we get further information from the published work SAitya Ratmikara of Dharmasuri along with its two commentaries viz., Nauka by Venkatasurit° and Mandara by Malladi Lakshmanasuri", edited by Sri. K. Rajanna Sastri who conducted research in Sanskrit Academy during the years 1964-1966 under the Government of India scheme of Research scholarships to the Products of traditional Sanskrit Pathagalas, 1962-63. Sri. Rajanna Sastri's work was supervised by Sri. D.G Padhye, Research Assistant, Sanskrit Academy who had edited Naraka-suravijaymryayoga. We are able to get more information about the date and works of Dharmasuri from the paper presented by Sri. E.V.V. Raghvacharya, in All India Oriental Conference and published in the journal of Oriental Conference in 1939.

The printed text of Narakasuravijayavyayoga of Dharmasuri was in Telugu script published in 1871. It is being printed in Devanagari script by Sanskrit Academy'2. This publication in Devanagari is based on a palm leaf manuscript deposited in Osmania University Library Collection, transcriptions of three palm leaf manuscripts No.R.321 (F), D.12528, R.3100© belonging to the Government Manuscripts Library, Madras. If we have such external evidences from the above'', we have authentic references by the author Dharmasuri himself in his works N. VV. and S.R., quoting from his works as examples or as illustrative verses to define certain rules of alamkaras'dstra, as internal evidence. In S.R. our author himself mentions the works written by him." Yogamaniprabha15 on Yoga Sutra and Brahmamrtavarsinl16, a Vedanta Sastra had thrown light on his erudite scholarship almost in all field of science of knowledge. These two works must have been written in the latter part of his life under the name Ramananda Sarasvati.


1 Introduction 7
2 Author and His Date 26
3 Dharmasuri's Works and its Content 51
4 An Analysis of the Content of Early Writers and Dharmasuri 72
5 An Analysis of the content of Rihitya Ratnakara 83
6 An Estimate of Dharmasuri's Contribution 391

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