Purana Bharatha Kosha of Pandit Yajnanarayana Udupa is a very well-known work in Kannada. It is a reference book for the artists, especially Yakshagana artists. Such works should not be confined to one language. The Pradhikara got this work translated into English with the objective of enabling non- Kannadigas to appreciate it and to benefit those non-Kannadigas who would like to do research and to undertake deeper study of Kannada literature and Indian Puranas.
I do not have the knowledge or the right to write the preface to this unique book. This book is created by a long-term effort and in the form of a lifelong gift by Mr. Yajnanarayana Udupa. He is the son of Mr. Airody Shivaramayya; who was the reason for my interest in Kannada. This is the only reason I agreed to write a few words about this book.
I have already said that this work is the result of the nonstop efforts of Mr. Udupa. He too ventured in the same path of his father. He too has referred to the old Kannada books of literature that he could acquire and took up lecturing as a profession just like his father. Hence, he served Kannada just like his father. Thus, he knows about the many similarities in Kannada literature, about the kings, gods and other characters very well. But the common man will not be able to know about them. Hence this book was much needed.
In the past the university of Mysore had published a book by the name of Purananama Choodamani and some might question the need of this particular book. Only because some names are similar in two books, it does not mean that the narration and descriptions are similar too. But the narration and presentation in both the books are quite different. This depends on the books referred by the authors, the way in which the matter is interpreted, the way it is presented and also the proofs/references given.
This great work entitled "Purana Bharata Kosha", originally in Kannada has now been rendered into English by his grandson who is a doctor by profession, but lover of literature and arts at heart, and has shown astonishing powers of perseverance, patience and literary talents in the course of this elegant and enticing translation into English.
The original author, Sri Airody Yajnanarayana Udupa hails from a distinguished family of lovers of art and particularly Kannada literature, and has shown great powers of learning and coordination of historical details in the preparation of his work published first in 1972. Since then, the work has run into several reprints, showing the popularity of it among the learned and the lay.
A lexicon could be a mere dictionary of words, or an index of various kinds and in various fields. A Concord so to say of the first words of all Vedas was prepared by Wilson, and was published in the Oriental series long ago. A Puranic Index in the name of MacDonnell is now available in three volumes. Index to the Slokas of Mahabharata, and a similar one on Ramayana are also available. Puranic Encyclopedia by Vettam Mani, originally in Malayali, published in 1964, and now translated into English and published by Motilal Banarsidas is now available (1996). This matchless work running into some one thousand pages (in Demi 1/4 size) is very bulky but exhaustive and free from errors in representation and interpretation. There is also an index to the names in the Mahabharata by S.O' Renson running into a similar size and published by the same publishers (First ed.1904 and reprints in 1963, 1978 and 2006). These are sealed books for Kannada speaking enthusiasts to date.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Children’s Books (95)
Brahma Sutras (87)
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