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"Death of Sanskrit" (Re: Asiatic Society, Calcutta & Bombay)

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  • ymalaiya
    Some interesting information on Kavindracharya Sarasvati, Panditaraj Jagannath etc can be seen in Pollock, Sheldon s article The death of Sanskrit available
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 2003
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      Some interesting information on Kavindracharya Sarasvati, Panditaraj
      Jagannath etc can be seen in Pollock, Sheldon's article 'The death
      of Sanskrit' available at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/sanskrit/papers/.

      It is an account of continuation of literary activity in Sanskrit:

      "One evening in about the year 1140, a literary gathering took place
      in a private home in Pravarapura (present-day Srinagar), in the Vale
      of Kashmir. The host was Alankara (also called Lankaka), an official
      of the Kashmir royal court and the older brother of the poet and
      lexicographer Mankha, in whose honor the event was arranged. Man?
      kha was to give a reading of his recently completed courtly epic on
      the god Siva, the Srikanthacarita (The Deeds of Siva). It is in fact
      from the autobiographical narrative in the last chapter of this work
      that we learn about the literary evening. As the poet makes his way
      through the audience hall, he greets the various guests and briefly
      describes their accomplishments in the world of Sanskrit culture.
      And an extraordinary assembly it was. Foremost among the scholars
      present was Ruyyaka, Mankha's teacher, whose Alankarasarvasva
      (Compendium of Rhetorical Figures) had secured him a reputation as
      the greatest authority on tropology in the century since Mammata
      wrote his famous textbook Kavyaprakasa (Light on Literature [ca.
      1050]). Kalhana was there — Mankha calls him by his formal Sanskrit
      name Kalyana— in the course of writing the Rajatarangini (River of
      Kings), the most remarkable historical poem ever composed in the
      Sanskrit language.

      Altogether more than thirty guests were in attendance: philosophers,
      theologians, architects, physicians, ambassadors, including one from
      the court of the Gahadavalas of Kanauj, then at their zenith, and
      another from the Silahara court on the southwest coast. In short,
      this was an assembly that embodied all the intellectual force and
      expressive power and refined cosmopolitanism of Sanskrit literary
      culture at its most brilliant, a group of men who could look back
      ten centuries and more and see themselves as equals of the greatest
      literati of the past. It was, to be sure, a brilliance of the sort
      Kashmir had produced repeatedly for more than half a millennium, at
      least from the time of the celebrated poet Bhartrmentha in the sixth
      century. What makes this particular generation of Sanskrit poets so
      noteworthy is that it turned out to be Kashmir's last.

      Within fifty years the creative Sanskrit literary culture of Kashmir
      had disappeared. The production of literature in all of the major
      genres (courtly epic, drama, and the rest) ceased entirely, and ...."

      Yashwant


      --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "vishalsagarwal"
      <vishalsagarwal@y...> wrote:
      > The Asiatic Society of Bengal really has rare and unique
      manuscripts,
      > such as the oldest manuscript of RV, and unique manuscripts of
      > Anupada Sutra of Samaveda (attributed to Jaimini),
      Kalpaanupadasutra
      > of Samveda, and an Arshanukramani of Bashkala Rgveda. Besides, it
      has
      > a manuscript of Shankhayana Shakha Samhita of Rgveda.
      >
      > Several manuscripts in the collection bear the signature of the
      > famous Kavindracharya Sarasvati, who had created a fabled
      collection
      > of Hindu religious texts in Varanasi in the reign of Shah Jehan.
      >
      > Vishal
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