About the Book
Samrajyalaksmipithika is a unique agama text belonging to the akasabbairavakalpa tradition of South Indian Tantricism. It is also acclaimed as Mahasaivatantra. Written in a style befitting a text on Tantra, it seeks to safeguard and enhance the prosperity of a state or kingdom through the rightful propitiation of the presiding goddess Samrajyalaksmi. Besides giving the mantra, yantra (mystic diagram) of the goddess, the text contains informations on a number of topics useful for the king. Such topics are seen to very considerably from castrametition and Hypology to expedition and pilgrimage undertaken by a righteous ruler.
The author of the present work has critically studied for the first time such an important text as this and brought to fore the unconnected link between the Vijayanagara kings and the present work.
About the Author
Dr. Artatrana Sarangi, the author of the present w.ork was born on 31st August, 1947 in Nuapara ill the Kalahandi district of Orissa. Dr. Sarangi obtained his M.A. (Sanskrit) degree from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar in 1970 and was awarded R.G. Gold Medal for being the best M.A. of the year. He successfully completed his Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the University of Poona and was awarded the degree in 1985 to his thesis “Samrajyalaksmipithika: A study.”
Dr. Sarangi has served the state of Orissa as a college teacher in Sanskrit in different colleges for more than two decades. He is an established writer who writes in English, Sanskrit and Oriya. He represented the state as a member to the Curriculum Development Committee in Sanskrit sponsored by the U.G.C. from 1986-1988. Dr. Sarangi is presently working as a Reader in the Post Graduate Department of Sanskrit of the premier autonomous college of the State, namely, Gangadhar Meher College, Sambalpur.
Besides teaching Dr. Sarangi is guiding research on projects like:
(1) Encyclopaedic texts in Sanskrit Literature.
(2) Omens: Origin and Development.
Samrajyalaksmipithika represents a new genre of encyclopaedic literature in Sanskrit, written for the use of a ruler or a king. It covers vital aspects of life and provides essential informations on them. As such, it contains a variety of topics ranging from science of rituals of Goddess Samrajyalaksmi to instructions on how to destroy an enemy. Descriptions on a number of vratas and utsavas, sixty-four arts and crafts, seventy-two royal officers, four-fold army, fortification and castramatation, construction and ornamentation of war-chariots, horse and elephant lores, weaponry, dress and ornaments and various sports and sources of royal entertainments are described in the text with gusto. And, therefore, it comes to epitomize the essence of the common culture in general and royal culture in particular of the concerned period.
Samrajyalaksmipithika, though in many ways subscribes to the category of royal literature. Yet, it is not without its distinctions. It is interesting to note that there is no specific mention of the author of the text. In stead, it is projected to be a part of the great mass of tantric literature, which flourished in South India, known as Akasabhairavakalpa. As such, it also contains tantric rituals essential for a king. The role of such rituals practised by the foremost man-the king, is undoubtedly believed to be rewarding.
Samrajyalaksmi, the goddess of the wealth of Empire, is the presiding deity for the text and naturally the text describes a host of rituals performed in her honour. Other rituals performed at the time of royal coronation, consecration of a new palace and throne etc., also get full justice at the hand of our author. Unlike, Manasollasa or Sivatattvaratnakar, which deal at length about royal enjoyments, Samrajyalaksmipithika lays a lot of stress on the duty and obligations of a king which is a singularly significant matter.
Sanskrit works, in India, have often been written for the guidance of a ruler. These works like the Arthasastra of Kautilya, generally contain elements of polity more than anything else. Samrajyalaksmipithika, on the other hand, appears to be written for an ideal Hindu Emperor, who is guided to expand his Empire and stabilize it through the adherence of a path of moral rectitude as enunciated by the author of the text.· This is obtained by the tantric worship of goddess Samrajyalaksmi.
For the first time this text provides an anthropomorphic picture of the goddess and gives the details of her worship at various occasions and the goddess is aided, as it were, to the pantheon of Hindu goddesses.
General Introduction, Manuscripts, Authorship, Date etc.
Samrajyalaksmi and Rituals connected with her
General Ritual mentioned in Samrajyalaksmipithika
King and his paraphernalia
Forts, Catrametation and the Royal Army “
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