In the course of my researches while I was engagd in writing my English Translation of the Kamasutra of Sri Vatsyayana, I came across with this pretty little work called Rati-ratna-pradipika (The illuminator of the precious abject viz., Love). Two renowned Euro-pean Scholars Gustov Oppert and Theodor Aufrecht have referred to this work in their famous Sanskrit Catalogues. Dr. Oppert was able to trace the existence of a single manuscript, copy in the possession of one Youganandabhatta at Melkote. After the establishment of the Oriental Library, in Mysore, a very old, complete copy of the work was secured. This is however very much damaged by worms; but with the aid of two other incomplete copies and with patient study and scrutiny along with other parallel works on subject, I have been able to bring out this edition of the whole work.
The authorship of this work is ascribed to Devaraja, an ancient ruler of the Karnata Kingdom, who should have been one of the two Mysore kings of that name who ruled successively from 1659-1704 A.D., most probably the first, as in one of these manuscripts and title "Rajaparamesvara" is attributed to another, with which title, his tory tells us, Sri Doddadevaraja Wodayar used to be acclaimed on grand occasions. As Sanskrit learning has all along found liberal patronage at the hands of the enlightened kings of Mysore-the tradition now being maintained in a much more liberal scale by the present illustrious ruler, works on Kama, as one of the four-fold objects of man (Dharma, Artha, Kama an Moksa), also found encouragement. The author has based his work on the ancient authors of the that science, such as Nindikesvara, Gonipatra and Vatsyayana.
I cannot close this preface without thankfully acknowledging the valuable assistance rendered in the preparation of this edition, by Pandit Srinivasagopalachar of the Mysore Oriental Library.
Original Tantric Texts (25)
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