Vidyapati (1352 - 1448) was a Maithili poet and a Sanskrit writer. The name Vidyipati is derived from two Sanskrit words, Vidya if (knowledge) and Pali (master), connoting thereby, a man of knowledge. He wrotein Maithili, a language spoken by over five million people residing in the eastern part of Bihar bordering West Bengal. Vidyipati is noted for his 800 Vaishnava and Saivite padas or songs, which were rescued from various palm-leaf manuscripts. He was a scholar of Sanskrit, Abahattha (Apabhramsa) and Maithili. His lyrics are full of picturesque, miniature-like descriptions of feminine charm and grace. Rabindranath Tagore has remarked that "Vidyapati was a poet of happiness and love was the essence of the world for him." He had also set his songs to music, as he was a court-poet in Shiva Singha's regime for 36 years. Besides his sonorous lyrics, Vidyapati also wrote on other topics including ethics, history, geography, and law Some of his works include: Purusa Pariksa, Bhu-Parikrama, Vibhagasara, Danavakyavali, Gangavakyavali, Varsakrty, Durgabhaktitarangini, Saivasarvasvabara, kirttipataka and Goraksba Prakarb, Kirttilaki.
Ramanath Jha (1906-1971) author of this monograph was a widely acclaimed scholar and critic of Maithili. He was also the convener of the Maithili Advisory Board and a member of the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi. He could not complete this monograph owing to his sudden demise in December, 1971. In homage to his memory the text of the monograph has been published as he had left it.
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