BOOK REVIEW

Sanskrit litterateur

RAMABHADRA DIKSHITA AND HIS WORKS — A study: A. Thiruvengadathan; Pub. by the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, 84, Royapettah High Road, Chennai-600004. Rs. 250.

RAMABHADRA DIKSHITA was the court poet of Sahaji, the Maratha king who ruled Tanjavur during 1684-1712 A.D. Sahaji was a great patron of scholars. He invited scholars from different parts of the country and settled them here.

Dikshita was one of the seven outstanding scholars held in high admiration by him. The period in which Dikshita flourished is normally considered to be one of literary decadence.

Very few could think originally and write independently. A few were given to literary gymnastics like the difficult "Chitra" and "Bandha" variety of poetry. Appayya Dikshita and Nilakanta Dikshita are notable exceptions to this general trend in literary output. It is against this background that Ramabhadra Dikshita's contributions have to be evaluated. His contributions to Sanskrit literature are significant and of a very high order. He was a disciple of Nilakanta Dikshita who was the minister of Tirumala Nayaka of Madurai. He drew encomiums from Nilakanta Dikshita himself for his beautiful literary style.

He wrote about 20 works, which include Patanjalicharita, a Mahakavya, Janakiparinaya, a drama, one Rupaka called Sringaratilaka Bhana and several hymns and works on grammar also. Dikshita, though a follower of Advaita Vedanta advocating the philosophy of Nirguna Brahman, was a great devotee of Lord Rama.

The present study is thorough in all respects. Various facets of the genius of Dikshita — as a devotional poet, a Mahakavi, a dramatist, a grammarian and a literary critic — have been brought out very well. The author deserves felicitations for this splendid work. The Kuppuswami Sastri Institute is to be commended for this publication.

M. NARASIMHACHARY

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