The DSA (Sanskrit),]adavpur University, feels extremely happy for the opportunity to bring out the present work comprising articles presented by scholars at the National Seminar "On Early Bengal Epigraphs and Cultural Life", held in March, 2004. Epigraphy being recognised as one of the thrust areas of study and research by the University Grants Commission, the seminar was timely and relevant.
Scholars from different parts of West Bengal have , contributed their earned articles based on inscriptions and these arranged together and thoroughly edited in a work like this are sure to form a storehouse of the best literature on the political, social and cultural history of early Bengal. It is noticed that our glorious past has been very well reflected in the articles. The value of the work has been enhanced considerably by the inclusion of the "Inaugural Address" by Prof. Dr. A. N. Basu,: Vice-Chancellor, Jadavpur University, highly scholastic "Key-note Address" by Prof. Dr. B. N. Mukherjee, Former Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta, and the learned "Presidential Address" by Prof. Dr. Samaresh Bandyapadhyay, an eminent Indologist attached to the Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta. We are grateful to Prof. Dr. A. N. Basu, Prof. Dr. B. N. Mukherjee and Prof. Dr. Samaresh Bandyopadhyay. We are also grateful to Prof. Dr. Samaresh Bandyopadhyay for taking the trouble of meticulously editing the articles included in this volume and also for seeing the work through the press
Sometime in the month of February, 2004, the Co- ordinator, . Department of Special Assistance (Sanskrit) jadavpur University, Prof. Dr. Manabendu Banerjee informed me about a National Seminar, sponsored by the University Grants Commission, on "Early Bengal Epigraphs and Cultural Life" then being organized by his Department from March 29 to 30, 2004, and requested me in writing to be present at its Inaugural, Session as the Chief Guest and at its Academic Sessions as the President and deliver a suitable address. I readily accepted the invitation, considering the same as a reward for my association with the epigraphical studies for a 'little over four decades, as a teacher of the Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta, being initiated in the field in 1961 by my esteemed teacher Prof. Dr. D. C. Sircar, one of the greatest epigraphists that the world has ever seen.
After the "Address of Welcome"} by Prof. Dr. Manabendu Banerjee, the seminar was inaugurated/ with an inspiring address by the Vice-Chancellor,jadavpur University, Prof. Dr. A. N. Basu. A former distinguished colleague of mine, Prof. Dr. B. N. Mukherjee,_ former Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta, delivered the "Key-Note Address'S' and the "Presidential Address+ was delivered by my humble self. Dr. Sm. Bijoya Goswami extended "Vote of thanks' at the end of the Inaugural Session. Attended by scholars from the University of Calcutta, Burdwan University, The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, Government Sanskrit College, Jadavpur University, etc., the seminar proved to be a success, quite a large number of papers having been presented at its four Academic Sessions all of which were presided over by me.
Subsequently, in another letter, Prof. Dr. Manabendu Banerjee also requested me "to go through the papers and edit them so that a prestigious book may be published under the banner of DSA (Sanskrit)". The implicit faith graciously placed upon me served as an encouragement for accepting the work of editing J:?ough at first there was reluctance to do so on my part since I do not belong to Prof. Bandyopadhyay's Department.
The revised papers reached my hands through the office of Prof. Bandyopadhyay sometime in August, 2004, and on a scrutiny most of them were found to require further modification and, accordingly, their contributors were again advised to revise them as per my directions. Encouragingly enough, the contributors fairly quickly complied with the request andby the end of October, 2004, the press-copy of most of the papers could be made ready and in the beginning of November, 2004, they were sent to the press. The material incorporated in the present work, has been divided into two parts, Part I being devoted to the different speeches delivered by the dignitaries present at the Inaugural Session of the Seminar and Part II to the papers presented at its Academic Sessions. The titles of the papers incorporated in Part II leave little room for doubt that a wide range of topics has been covered by the papers and our efforts have always been to present them in such a way that they may be useful to scholars and, though we do not know whether it has been possible for us to come up to the expectation of publishing a prestigious work, if the volume is received well we will consider our efforts amply rewarded. We sincerely apologise for the printing mistakes that are still there though we tried our best to remove them. The press has also tried to satisfy us in all possible ways and thanks are also due to them.
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