I am glad that the Sarasvati Mahal Library brings out a rare manuscript ‘MUKUNDA VILASA’ of a well known poet, Sri. BHAGAVANTARAYA. The work Mukunda Vilasa described the life of Lord krisha.
Generally Sanskrit Literature is based on either Ramayana or Mahabharata or Puranas except a few works like KADAMBARI, Dasa Kumara Charita etc. In this small piece of work, Lord Krishna’s birth, his playful acts in his childhood, his sportive dance with gopies fight with Jarasandha etc are narrated in 10 chapters, which is discussed at length in Sri mad Bhagavata by Sukacharya. To suit the definitions of Mahakavya the descriptions of seasons, Township, rise and set of the Sun and the Moon, the ocean etc also are mentioned in the text.
The introduction in three languages viz. English, Tamil and Sanskrit by the guest editor, highlights the subject matter of this work in a nutshell. My thanks are due to the guest editor Sri N. Venkata Ramanan B.Com., who is a retired Bank officer and has taken keen interest in editing this work.
I appreciate Sri S. Krishnamurthi Sastri, the Senior Sanskrit Pandit of Sarasvati Mahal who has reviewed the edited copy and improved the presentation of the subject matter.
Thiru. M. Uthirapathy, Administrative Officer of Sarasvati Mahal Library and Thiru. A. Panchanathan, M.A.M.L.I.S.. Publication Manager cum Librarian Grade-I of Sarasvati Mahal Library deserve appreciation for encouraging publication of rare Manuscripts of the Library.
Mukundavilasa of Bhagavantha Roya is a beautiful Kavya in Sanskrit with ten cantos. In a simple and delighted style it describes the story of lord Krishna strictly following the Dasama Skandha of Srimad Bhagavatham.
Kavya, indeed, is based only on the steady flow of Imagination of vision with clear thinking of expression of suitable situations and emotions. In this Mukunda Vilasa, it is clear that the Poet Bhagavantha possessed with all the characteristics - viz. Genius (Prathibha) - Vyutpatti (Knowledge) and abhyasa (Practice) which are quite essential for a poet. In poetic fancy and force of diction Bhagavantha’s genius is remarkable. His style and imagary are striky. Actually, the descriptions of seasons create brilliant images before our eyes. The importance of alankaras (Figures of speech) as stressed by Bhamaha, Kunthaka and other experts was fully felt by the poet. This Kavya is not only free from all defects (Doshas) narrated by eminent alankarikas, but is full of illustrious gunas which are said to be the life breath of Vaidarbhi styIe. The school of Vamana which emphasis the importance of “Riti” (word and sense) is also taken into account by our poet. In some places we can enjoy the influence of “Dhwani” (Tone) which is considered as the soul of Kavya according to Anandavardhana. Not only that what a beauty is, the handling of “Owchitya” (aptness) with full awarness is found in this Kavya. Really the art of beautifying the Kavya with Uthpreksha (Guess) alankara is worthy of aII praise. There can’t be second opinion as to the richness of the imagination in’ describing the nature, different kinds of seasons, raising sun, raising moon setting sun, ocean, city, war etc. etc. which are essential for a Maha Kavya.
The simple and lucid language with elegant style has been adopted in this Kavya in sweet and familiar matters.
The Poet Bhagavantha took materials from Srimad Bhagavatham of Sage Vyasa for the theme of his work. It is quite appropriate that he selected Lord Krishna as a hero of his work in the light of the Kavya-lakshanas. (Viz. the hero should be much popular either in Ithihasas or Puranas with outstanding good qualities). In this preface, only the story portion-hints are given leaving the description of nature etc. as untouched. But, detailed description is given in Tamil.
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