Shankaracharya & Authorship of Stotra

A:

Do we know who was बुधकौशिक who composed the रामरक्षास्तोत्र or  पुष्पदन्त who composed the शिवमहिम्नस्तोत्र?  These strotras as recited by thousands each day but we do not know how old they are, who composed them and when and where.

 

L:

At least we know that puShpadanta was a gandharva. Time, etc. are not known. Now, it is another thing that the new way to go is to say that there is nothing called gandharva and these are mere stories to eulogise.

But, even then the recitation generates dharma, because it is eulogy of devatA. That needs name of author as R^iShi. But, for accruing puNya, it is never said that his family and birth-place should be remembered. So, people don’t give that much importance to that and they become lost with time. That doesn’t affect result, puNya.

If even that is not acceptable, then accept that some type of pleasure is obtained by reciting them. That doesn’t need knowledge of author’s history.

A:

In the absence of any known history, legends get attached to the popular stotras.  One such legend is to attach the name of आदि शंकराचार्य to a popular stotra.. Counting all peethas, there have been hundreds of शंकराचार्यs  over the last 12 centuries, many of them quite erudite and also with the poetic faculty.  A stotra composed by any one of them would be called श्रीमच्छंकराचार्यविरचितम्.  Taking off from there, we presume that it was composed by आदि शंकराचार्य.  But what is the historical evidence for saying so?

 

L:

It is quite evident that no sha~NkarAchArya uses the word ‘sha~NkarachArya’ apart from this sannyAsa name, as someone uses sha~NkarAchArya bharata-tIrtha. So, it is not acceptable that their usage of ‘same word’ may have contributed to the present problem.

Some gentlemen go a few more steps and say that those sha~NkarAchArya-s knowingly did it, so that there composition becomes famous. I don’t know how much ignorant such persons are and how much wicked at heart. Because, only those who are ‘very familiar’ with crookedness can superimpose their ‘own quality’ on a sannyAsI whose vrata is to say truth, and who is adorning a respected seat.

If someone wants to say that scribes were lazy and they left some parts from puShpikA, even then it is difficult to accept that all scribes from all different places and times did the same mistake.

We may however blame the unavailability of manuscripts ‘written by sane scribe’. But, this should be done only after it is proved that these are not works of sha~NkarAchArya or any such person. Before that it is mere speculation based on other set of speculations, as authors style is not same, etc. Even my writings on different subjects at different times are very different, and if I don’t mention my email address it will be difficult for you to ascertain my authorship.

A:

he thinks are unworthy of आदि शंकराचार्य:

1) A conscious effort to create a sound effect – सुरेश्वरं निधीश्वरं गजेश्वरं गणेश्वरंमहेश्वरं … V.2

2) Inappropriate use of a word and an unnecessary use of पादपूरक to balance the meter – महागणेशपञ्चरत्नमादरेण योऽन्वहंप्रजल्पति प्रभातके ह्रदि स्मरन् गणेश्वरम् ॥  v. 6

Here,  प्रजल्पति strictly means ‘;jabbering.’  To use it in the sense of ‘reciting’ is beneath आदि शंकराचार्य.   In प्रभातके,  the पादपूरक  के is added only to balance the requirement of the meter.  It makes the language very inelegant.

3) In V.5, ह्रदन्तरे निरन्तरं वसन्तमेव योगिनांतमेकदन्तमेव तं विचिन्तयामि संततम् , the use of एव twice is superfluous and undeserving of आदि शंकराचार्य.

 

L:

1) I think any such conscious effort is called poetry. And trying to get similar sound is not something out of range of poetry. If you think that some other poets or you could have done better, even then why not accept that sha~Nkara was not at his best at that time. Why expect that a person will write in same style with same quality at all times. Our capacities are limited and so were his. Why expect super-human like capacities from him at all times in all areas. First you imagine that ‘he must perform in a specific way’ and then you blame him for not performing. I think there is some serious problem in your thinking.

Moreover, it is evident that some other poets are/were better than sha~Nkara. Isn’t it? I’m not ready to accept that his all poems are best of all times. Even later advaita works are clearer than his bhAShya-s. It is another thing that they polished the same base which was provided by him.

2. For प्रजल्पति , I don’t think that there is any problem. If jabbering like recitation can produce results, what to say about any sincere repetition. BTW, जल्पः doesn’t mean वृथाप्रलापः only, it means कथनम्  also. I think that person was trying too hard to establish things!!

For प्रभातके, if पादपूरणम् is done by क without altering meaning and at same time giving it rhyme; what is the problem. This is allowed in व्याकरणम् and काव्यम् both. Only a person, who doesn’t understand these things, limit of creativity, etc., superimposes super-human-qualities and expects results which he desire (from author), can say such things.

It is clear that whatever his ‘thesis’ mentions are not एकान्तहेतवः, and that which is not अव्यभिचारि can’t prove anything. It falls in category of speculation. Moreover, it is against unbroken sampradAya, accuses adultery on part of people who were sannyAsin-s(striving to stay truthful), and superimposes his own illusions on others. So, his ‘reasons’ become very weak.

I think that those who want to study ‘AchArya and elders’ critically, fail to critically examine their own ideas, and ‘traditional-s’ somehow fail to give any reply to them, so they are being considered as ‘absolutely correct and scientific’ now.

A:

These are some of the reasons, for which he thinks that the गणेशपञ्चरत्नस्तोत्र is unlikely to have been composed by आदि शंकराचार्य.  There are other reasons too, the chief among them being that the अद्वैत philosopher in him would not descend yo the level of offering devotion to any physical deity and composing poetry,, extolling the virtues of this or that deity.

 

L:

This reason just shows that he didn’t study advaita and he fails to grasp that advaitin-s accept veda-s as pramANa and don’t refute karma-upAsanA. purANa-s are also accepted as pramANa, because they are AptapraNIta and shIShTa-parigR^ihIta. But, that doesn’t make sense to ‘these people’, because they may be in hurry to prove something.

For more you may head to Advaita-l Group, where archives will help you understand few things related to this last ‘reason’.

Sanskrit .dictionary files for Mac OS

I was able to convert a few StarDict dictionaries to .dictionary files which are compatible with native dictionary application.

These are :

  1. vAchaspatyam-sa (वाचस्पत्यम्)
  2. kalpadruma-sa (शब्दकल्पद्रुमः)
  3. AkhyAtachandrikA (आख्यातचन्द्रिका)
  4. Apte-bi (Dictionary by Apte)
  5. Apte (Dictionary by Apte)
  6. Amara-Onto (अमरकोशः)
  7. Amara-Context2 (अमरकोशः)
  8. Amara-Context (अमरकोशः)
  9. Amara (अमरकोशः)

These will allow to find you any definition of any word which occurs in those dictionaries. It’s a boon for Sanskrit lovers to have these big/bulky dictionaries in digital/searchable form.

  1. Downloadable files are available HERE. Download them.
  2. If you get files with .dictionary extension, then fine. If you get any other compressed format (.7z, .zip, .rar), then un-compress them.
  3. Open Dictionary Application from Launchpad.
  4. Go to menu bar — File > Open Dictionaries Folder
  5. Copy those .dictionary files there by dragging.
  6. Close the Dictionary Folder.
  7. Go to Dictionary Application.
  8. Go to menu bar — Dictionary > Preference
  9. Select your desired dictionaries.
  10. Close (Command+W).
  11. Type Words.
  12. Enjoy.

The base file which was used is located HERE. Thank to Sanskrit-Coders who are developing many Open-Source programs for Sanskrit.

The software which was used to convert these is DicUnifier (free). Thanks to the developer
Jiang Jiang.

Some StarDict files converted easily, while others were taking ages. So, those which were successfully converted are being put on Mediafire.

If some of you succeed to convert those, please share files with us.

There are a few benefits of using native application instead of ColorDict/GoldenDict on Mac OS. First, the appearance is very good, clean. Second, it allows you to look up words from many applications.

Although we have pop-up option for GoldenDict available, I prefer native application for security reasons too. GoldenDict is not avvailable in AppStore and you need to disable protection to install it. I don’t like this.

Please, check these websites for more clarity and help:

  1. David’s Logbook
  2. Amrta
  3. Amrta
  4. Xdxf

Here is a snapshot from the Dictionary Application showing active dictionary files:

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-07-20-00

medhA – for Mac OS

Here I present medhA keyboard layout for Mac OS.

This follows the same scheme which we are following on other platforms. So, if you are shifting to Apple computers, it will make you feel at home.

It is still being developed. So, please wait for more features.

It appears that we might be able to get more benefit from the keyboard layout in Mac OS, as the software allows many combination of keys to get different results.

Here are different images to understand the usage:

  1.  Normal State

medhA-macOSX.1.5-NormalState

  1. Shift State

medhA-macOSX.1.5-ShiftPressed

  1. Caps Lock

medhA-macOSX-CapsLockNormal

  1. Caps Lock + Shift

medhA-macOSX.1.5-CapsLockShift

 

Here is the keyboard file –

Download – medhA-macOSX.1.3. (Link Removed)

Download – medhA-macOSX.1.5

 

How to Install :

  1. Download the file
  2. Unzip
  3. Place the file in “\Library\Keyboard Layouts” folder.
  4. Go to – System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources
  5. Search ‘Sanskrit’
  6. Select medhA keyboard.
  7. Done.

 

Manuscript Repositories in India – 2

‪#‎Manuscripts‬ Narendra Modi Smriti Zubin Irani
There is a manuscript repository which is not government-funded. The organization somehow get some precious manuscripts.

When I approached, they said that only specific administrator is authorized to grant access to manuscripts.
When asked about that person, it was told that he comes only two days in a week, that too for 2-3 hours.
When we managed to meet him and gave an application, he asked to come after a few days because the person who looks after manuscripts comes only when asked.


When I went after some days, the price-list was shown which was very different from that of any other repository. I was shocked!! Add to it, they didn’t show me manuscripts so I couldn’t check if they are actually needed!!

When asked about such rate-card, the answer was that they have saved manuscripts for so many years and since they were not government-funded, so they are charging in this way.
OK.

But, that was only handling charges. The price to get a xerox or scan is to be given separately.

I asked if they had these manuscripts scanned, just to save me from labor of taking snaps. BTW, who will prefer to give so much money and stand hours to take snaps.
They have scans. Thanks to NAMAMI(www.namami.org), a Government of India enterprise.
But, they insisted that it is impossible to find desired scans in DVD-s because there is no proper list on DVD-s and the number of DVD-s is very big. Thanks to NAMAMI for doing their work so unprofessionally. In a way Government of India is wasting money with such unprofessional IT companies(those who scanned for NAMAMI).

I offered that I’ll sit on PC to find desired books on DVD-s, yes 400+DVD-s.
I was asked to come after few days, for the person who takes care of them comes only when asked.
OK.

I went after a few days and met the person. The person started to say me that it is impossible to find books in DVD-s, they don’t have name, etc. Then he showed me two of them. I checked and found that they were labelled. When I showed it to them, they said that each DVD has many books and all of them are not on label.
OK.

I said it is fine. At least we have some clue to find books.
They agreed hesitantly. But, they said that there is no person to check DVD-s for me, so I should spend some more money to get them xeroxed.
Calculating my budget and number of books I wanted(which may need a million), I said that I will go for scans.
They repeated same argument. I offered to sit and do the work myself. They agreed.
But, next problem is there. When I asked to give a PC to sit and check DVD-s, they said that there is no person to sit with you. 😛  (God! save me.)
Anyway, I suggested them to copy all DVD-s to a Hard Disk, because any small scratch on DVD-s can make them unreadable and hence useless. They agreed to raise the request to administrator.

I said that I’ll meet the senior administrator again regarding present problems and need of HDD.

I called on the day to confirm presence of administrator. He was there but ready to leave(there is no fixed office hour).
I asked the person on phone to give the call to administrator. He didn’t give!! He said that he will not tell ad I have to call on other number to talk to the person. (I can’t say if this is helping attitude).
I called again and asked him to wait and went to meet him.

He repeated that there is no person to sit with me. And, then he said that if you directly copied from DVD-s, the quality of scans will be degraded. He said that they will copy them to their hard disk and then I should copy for best quality!! (Do they think I’m dumb just because I’m in traditional cloths).

I agreed, just to avoid any useless debate with such people.(remember that even an idiot administrator is an administrator and can harm/obstruct you in many ways.)

I asked the approx time after which I could call them. They bluntly said 2 months.

I’m waiting. 😛

Manuscript Repositories in India – 1

‪#‎Manuscripts‬ Narendra Modi Smriti Zubin Irani
I’m frequently visiting manuscript repositories in Pune and Chennai. Some of these are Government funded, while some are not.
Government controlled ones have not seen any appointment in near past and are struggling for manpower. Non-government repositories are struggling for funding.

Irrespective of controller of these organizations, scanning of manuscript is not completed in many of these repositories.
Libraries where people from Government went to scan manuscripts, it was seen that they were handling manuscripts carelessly in unprofessional way and hence damaging manuscripts. So, some organizations stopped scanning. Scanners were also putting scans 1
unorganized.


Some manuscript libraries don’t have any option to allow independent scholars like me, a monk of-course. They only allow PhD 1
students, which I’m not.

Some libraries have rate cards so absurd that you can only laugh on them and then cry on your lack of money.

I think that these repositories took these manuscripts from our ancestors and maTha-s(मठ , आश्रम), etc. assuring that they will be saved from moths, etc. and will be provided to scholars easily, so that they could study and research.
I can’t see any trait of this idea in many curators/rules of libraries.

I’ve seen that many palm-leaves are decaying from decades, and people sitting in libraries are not even trying to transcribe to paper.
I’ve seen paper manuscripts falling from hand and turning to dust, while people handling them don’t seem to have any shame/pain.
I’ve seen ink of paper manuscripts fading to extent of illegibility, and people who are there to save it do not care to transcribe/scan it.
I’ve seen that after damaging them or losing them, libraries just mark them misplaced, so that they could use it as eternal excuse for future generation of researchers/ scholars.

It must be noted that many manuscripts have/may have a single copy left in this world. In that condition, any type of damage/decay is just ensuring that it will be lost for ever.

Palm-leaf manuscript give you very small chance to recover any work in it’s entirety.
And, about every manuscript has been missing a page or two or two hundred of them.
So, you can never recover a work with manuscript in many cases.

So, I request all people to go to manuscript libraries you know, use your camera/scanner, use your money to take pictures/scan of these manuscripts or get a xerox copy of them.

These libraries are themselves poor or lack manpower/or have irresponsible persons in power; so let us try to get most important/most interesting/most decayed manuscripts first.

Some libraries have scanned manuscripts, but they sell them on such a high price that only an art-collector could buy them.
Government has them scanned, but it doesn’t appear that it will be sharing with us easily.

Please, help us get our thing back from these libraries and save them.

khaNDana-khaNDa-khAdya with shAradA commentary

khaNDana-khaNDa-khAdya(खण्डनखण्डखाद्यम्) of shrI-harSha(श्रीहर्षः) is studied by advaitin-s after acquiring proficiency in laghu-prasthAna(upaniShad, gItA, brahma-sUtra).
It is dedicated to refute the whole thinking system of naiyAika-s, the followers of gautama(गौतमः).
It goes to an extent where anything said to define anything seems polluted with flaws.

And, the state of things having no perfect definition or marks, is what
vedAntin-s know as anirvachanIyatA(अनिर्वचनीयता). This is the nature of this whole
world and it’s cause – avidyA(अविद्या).
This nature is common to things seen in illusion. So, vedAntin-s call this world illusion.
As
illusion of any kind is found to be refuted by correct knowledge of it’s
adhisThAna(अधिष्ठानम्), the substratum(the thing which was not known); hence
vedAntin-s say that this illusory world and it’s cause are destroyed and
refuted by knowledge of brahman(which is substratum of this illusion).

The
khaNDana-khaNDa-khAdyam(खण्डनखण्डखाद्यम्) helps vedAntin-s reach the decision that world
is similar to illusiory things and dream by refuting validity of every
possible definition of things which we grant as real and permanent.

As
the work was created when technical language of naiyAyika-s(नैयायिकाः) was quite
simple, it refutes only those definitions which were based on that
simple language.

As a result of this treatise the whole logic
system of that time collapsed. This caused naiyAyika-s(नैयायिकाः) to think about
errors in their definitions and the language used. As a result a new
complicated language was born in mithilA(मिथिला). ga~Ngesha-upAdhyAya(गङ्गेश उपाध्यायः) was the
man who first used such language. He is hence known as starter
of a new era of tarka-shAstra(तर्कशास्त्रम्). His famous work is tattva-chintA-maNi(तत्त्वचिन्तामणिः)
which was in a way answer to vedAntin-s(वेदान्ती).

As mere change of language
didn’t cause change in definitions, so vedAntin-s neglected refutation of this new work. Actually, new generation of naiyAyika-s(नैयायिकाः)
came near to vedAntin-s(वेदान्तिनः) while trying to define things more correctly. They reached many
times the same conclusion which was familiar to vedAntin-s(वेदान्तिनः), but to save
themselves from this incapability they named it akhaNDopAdhi(अखण्डोपाधिः).
vedAntin-s(वेदान्तिनः) hence didn’t get bothered.

But, in some places new logics were presented to refute anirvachanIytavam(अनिर्वचनीयत्वम्) and they were not refuted by older vedAntin-s(वेदान्तिनः) properly.
Moreover, some works of shrI-udayanAchArya(उदयनाचार्यः), such as laxaNAvalI(लक्षणावली), were complex in nature and hence became base for new tArkika-s(नव्यतार्किकाः).
Seeing
all this a scholar paramahaMsa-saMnyAsI(विद्वान् परमहंसः संन्यासी)
shrI-sha~Nkara-chaitanya-bhAratI(स्वामी शङ्करचैतन्यभारती), who was a devI-upAsaka(श्रीविद्योपासकः) and knower of kAshmIra-shaiva-Agama (काश्मीरशैवागमविशारदः), started to write a refutation.

He took
khaNDana-khaNDa-khAdya(खण्डनखण्डखाद्यम्) as base and started to write a commentary on it.
He explained it at places where it was obscure or appeared
wrong.(Actually khaNDana-khaNDa-khAdyam is really such a difficult work
to study for anyone). He adopted language of navya-naiyAyika-s(नव्यनैयायिकाः). While
taking in consideration the refutation of khaNDana(खण्डनखण्डखाद्यम्) by navya-naiyyAyika-s(नव्यनैयायिकाः)
at all places he presented refutation of their amendments(परिष्कारः). They were
mostly the same definitions but with more complex words and assumptions.
So, it took some more space to refute them. New logics presented by
tArkika-s(तार्किकाः) were also refuted by this saMnyAsI(संन्यासी) with his ingenious logics(नूतनोद्भावनाः).
Nothing was left. It was complete in every way.

As the commentary
shAradA(शारदा टीका) also appeared difficult to understand and explain at some
places, the author(शारदाकारः) wrote a sub-commentary called rAjahaMsa(राजहंसः). It’s like
Tup-TikA(टुप्टीका) of shrI-kumArila-bhaTTa(श्रीमान् कुमारिलो भट्टः) in nature.

Both these, shAradA(शारदा) and rAjahaMsa(राजहंसः), were published by apAranAtha-maTha(अपारनाथमठः) of vArANasI(वाराणसी) in 1938-1940. Author(शारदाकारः) himself was the editor. (I heard that author was only 24 years old at that time!!!!)

In
addition to it, the author wrote an introduction to this book(added in
second volume), titled darshana-sarvasvam(दर्शनसर्वस्वम्), which took shape of another
book in future because of it’s depth and newness of style. Again
the language of this was so difficult that it needed a commentary rAjahaMsa(राजहंसः) by the
author(दर्शनसर्वस्वकारः) himself at some places. Later it was commented by his grand-disciple
shrI-sudhAmshu-shekhara-shAstrI(सुधांशुशेखरशास्त्री). He also translated it and published.
This work was taught at BHU, Varanasi(बनारस हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय) and
sampUrNAnanda-saMskR^ita-vishvavidyAlaya(सम्पूर्णानन्दसंस्कृतविश्वविद्यालयः) at
AchArya-level(M.A.).(Although, BHU has removed it from it’s syllabus as
they have no capable teacher for it. Shame !!)

An interesting event took place after it was published. shrI-ananta-kR^iShNa-shAstrI(अनन्तकृष्णशास्त्री) saw
it at that time and doubted it’s originality and flawlessness. He said
that such language and work is not possible in present time and this
commentary must be work of some old person which is popularized by the
saMnyAsI in his name. He wrote letter to saMnyAsI and challenged him to
prove his ability. shrI-sha~Nkara-chaitanya-bhAratI(शङ्करचैतन्यभारती) said that he may
come to vArAnasI, but he shouldn’t expect any shAstrArtha(शास्त्रार्थः). Anyway, shAstrI
came to vArAnasI at lalitA-ghATa(ललिताघाट). svAmI met him in the temple of
shrI-rAjarAjeshvarI(राजराजेश्वरीमन्दिरम्)(which is very famous even now). shAstrI asked him to
explain something related to vedAnta. svAmI explained. He again asked.
He again replied. He then said that svAmI is actually capable of
writing such thing. After he showed his contentment, svAmI started to
talk again and showed many errors in his own explanations, which were not
caught by shAstrI. shAstrI was amazed. He prostrated before him and
went.
This is a famous story we know.

As it is already a
long time since it was published, the shAradA(शारदा) was unavailable for many
of us.

The introduction part, darshana-sarvasvam(दर्शनसर्वस्वम्), though got extra
attention of shrI-sudhAmshu-shekhara-shAStrI(सुधांशुशेखरशास्त्री), Retd. Prof. of vedAnta, BHU and
was published with a new sanskrit commnetary and hindi explanation by
shrI-shAstrI. It was also taught at some Universities. So, it withstood
extinction.

shAradA(शारदा) was not so lucky. In a scenario where
khaNDana-khaNDa-khAdyam(खण्डनखण्डखाद्यम्) is not studied by more than handful people due
to complexity of subject and language, what could we expect about study
of shAradA(शारदा). This lack of study causes absence of demand of book and
hence the book was never published again, until shrI-shAstrI took the
work again.

He started to translate the khaNDana-khaNDa-khAdyam(खण्डनखण्डखाद्यम्)
according to shAradA commentary(शारदा). rAjahaMsa(राजहंसः) of shAradA(शारदा) was published as a
different book in original edition with reference to corresponding pages in the
shAradA-publication. It caused difficulties for AchArya and shiShya-s
both, and probably for Goddess shAradA(देवी शारदा) too as she was bereft of her beloved
rAjahaMsa(राजहंसः). So, shrI-shAstrI took rAjahaMsa(राजहंसः) to shAradA(शारदा) and created a single
book comprising both works.

shAstrI is old and a devotee of
shrI-vishvanAtha(श्रीविश्वनाथः). He spends long time at shrI-vishvanAtha temple, his
guru’s place and upAsanA. So, the translation work was slow.

One
of the saMnyAsI students of shAradA-kAra(शारदाकारः), shrI gaNeshAnanda jI(स्वामी गणेशानन्दगिरिः), motivated shrI
shAstrI to complete the work sooner and helped in many ways. The first
volume was out within a few years.

shrI-shAstrI was teaching
brahmachArI bhUmAchaitanya(ब्रह्मचारी भूमा चैतन्यः) the recently published first volume and
working on second volume since five years.
Due to his old age and
illness, etc. the second volume took a little long to get completed. It
was just published a few moths ago.

I was excited about it. I thought this post will help shAradA(शारदा) to live long with us in this world. Why I’m saying this ? Because, no more than a few people study or can understand it, and hence it is not required by many. In this case the book is not taken by sellers and purchasers and sits in stores of publisher till destroyed. I’m just wishing to let more scholars and interested people know about it.

Here is a post by svAmI abhiShekachaitanya on darshana-sarvasvam.

gomatIdAsaH -15

The edition of the first two poems is based on a paper transcript in the possession of shrI rAmasvAmI ayyar (रामस्वामी अय्यर) ; for editing the AryAdvishatI (आर्याद्विशती) , a malayAlam (मलयालम्) edition printed seventy years ago (from 1962, i.e. 1892) was taken as the basis, and a palm-leaf manuscript belonging to brahmashrI subrahmaNya vadhyAr (ब्रह्मश्री सुब्रह्मण्य वढ्यार ?) of shenkotta (शेनकोट्ट) was also consulted; and the last two pieces are based on a paper transcript made by me (G. Harihara Shastri) in 1900 from the author’s own manuscripts.

shrI k. v. sharmA (श्री के वी शर्मा) of the Madras University (मद्रास यूनिवर्सिटि) procured for collation manuscripts of ashvatthagaNanAthAShTaka (अश्वत्थगणनाथाष्टकम्) , tripurasundarIgIta (त्रिपुरसुन्दरीगीतम्) and lalitAgIta (ललितागीतम्) from the library of the late mahAkavI ullUr S. parameshvara aiyar (उल्लूर एस परमेश्वर अय्यर) of trivendram (त्रिवेन्द्रम्) , through the kindness of the latter’s son shrI P. rAmanAthan (श्री पी रामनाथन). To both these friends my thanks are due.
The Sanskrit Text has been reproduced(in original book) in tamil (तमिल) transliteration for the benefit of those who are not conversant with devaAgarI (देवनागरी) script. The first letter of each of the five classes of saMskR^ita (संस्कृत) consonants is marked with 2, 3 and 4 to indicate respectively the second, third and fourth letters of the particular classes; and for sibilants , the tamil grantha (तमिल ग्रन्थ) characters are made use of.
I’m thankful to shrI rAmasvAmI ayyar (श्री रामस्वामी अय्यर) to have invited me to associate myself with the present edition and write this introduction on the life and works of the author. This task is also a matter of pleasant duty for me, since I’ve had the good fortune to be related to the family of illatUr rAmasvAmI shAstrI (इलत्तूर रामस्वामी अय्यर) , to have seen him during my young days and to have been initiated into saMskR^ita (संस्कृतम्) studies by my uncle shrI yaGYanArAyaNa shAstrI (श्री यज्ञनारायण शास्त्री) who was one of his direct disciples. The publication has blessings of His Holiness jagadguru shrI sha~NkarAchArya (जगद्गुरुः श्रीशङ्कराचार्यः) of shR^i~ngerI shAradA pITham (श्रीशृङ्गेरीशारदापीठम्) and of His Holiness jagadguru shrI sha~NkarAchArya (जगद्गुरुः शङ्कराचार्यः) of kA~nchI kAmakoTI pITham (काञ्चिकामकोटिपीठम्) .
It is hoped that this volume will be welcomed by the saMskR^ita (संस्कॄतम्) loving public and especially by those interested in the cult of shrIvidyA (श्रीविद्या) .

गोमतीदासरचिता श्रीमातुः स्तोत्रमालिका ।
कामेश्वरीभक्तलोककण्ठाभरणमेधताम् ॥

Madras,
20-2-1962                                                                                                                G. Harihara Sastri

gomatIdAsaH – 14

The works of the poet are little known to the Sanskritist outside kerala (केरलम्). After his death the bulk of his works was left uncared for a long time. It is one of the ironies of fate that a grandson of the poet and a budding Sanskritist who began to resuscitate the works was snatched away in the bloom of his youth, a few decades ago (count this from the date of this article, i.e. 1962).

The only work which was brought to light during the poet’s life time was vR^ittaratnAvalI (वृत्तरत्नावली). It was printed in malayAlam (मलयालम्) characters in trivendram (त्रिवेन्द्रम्) , but it had no publicity beyond kerala (केरलम्).
Fortunately the descendants of the poet are now busying themselves in rescuing the remnants of their family heritage. shrI rAmasvAmI aiyar(श्रीरामस्वामी ऐय्यर), B. A., L.T, of ilattUr (इलत्तुर), a pious grandson and namesake of the poet, and an earnest devotee of shrIvidyA (श्रीविद्या) is presenting in this volume (in which this introduction was published) some of the stotra-s (स्तोत्राणि) of the author which are held in great veneration by his disciples and those in their line.The volume now issued (of which this introduction was a part) contains the following stotra-s (स्तोत्राणि) :

    1.   ashvatthagaNanAthAShTaka (अश्वत्थगणनाथाष्टकम्)
    2.   dharmasaMvardhanIstotra (धर्मसंवर्धनीस्तोत्रम्)
    3.   AryAdvishatI (आर्याद्विशती)

      1.   AryAShTottarashatakam (आर्याष्टोत्तरशतकम्)
      2.   AryAshatakam (आर्याशतकम्)

    4.   tripurasundarIgIta (त्रिपुरसुन्दरीगीतम्)
    5.   lalitAgIta (ललितागीतम्)

To gaNanAtha (गणनाथः) is given the first place, because he is the God to be worshiped first and also because , he is the presiding deity of the temple at the foot of the ashvattha (अश्वत्थः) tree at ilattUr (इलत्तूर) , which is hallowed by the memories of author.

gomatIdAsaH – 13

tripurasundarI gIta (त्रिपुरसुन्दरीगीतम्) or tripurasundarIkeshAdipAdastava (त्रिपुरसुन्दरीकेशादिपादस्तवः) is an exquisite poem in twenty stanzas portraying the beauty of the Goddess from head to foot.
lalitAgItam (ललितागीतम्) or lalitAprAtaHsmaraNastava (ललिताप्रातस्स्मरणस्तवः) is a song in praise of the Goddess to be sung at dawn.
kR^iShNadaNDaka (कृष्णदण्डकम्) depicts the eternal divine love of shrIkR^iShNa (श्रीकृष्णः) and gopI-s (गोपी) of bR^indAvana (बृन्दावनम्) .
aShTaprAsashatakatraya (अष्टप्रासशतकत्रयम्) or a century of stanzas each, in praise of devI, shiva and viShNu respectively. They are composed extempore at the instance of vishAkham-tirunAl (विशाखं तिरुनाल्) . The meter employed throughout is shArdUlavikrIDita (शार्दूलविक्रीडितम्) . In each stanza an identical syllable recurs eight times in fixed places; and this alternative scheme is maintained in alphabetical order in each shataka (शतकम्) .
{
This stotra (स्तोत्रम्) is published in devanAgarI (देवनागरी) by shrI R. Harihara Subramani, 14, Brahman Street, Saidapet, Madras-15.
}
A good number of stray verses , full of wit and beauty of expression , have been composed by the author, on diverse occasions and they are in memory of village elders in kerala (केरलम्) .

gomatIdAsaH – 12

xetratattvadIpikA (क्षेत्रतत्त्वदीपिका) is a work on geometry in saMskR^ita (संस्कृतम्) in the light of Hutton’s Geometry in English.
ma~njubhAShiNi (मञ्जुभाषिणी) is a commentary on the shrI-kR^iShNa-vilAsa-kAvya (श्रीकृष्णविलासकाव्यम्) of sukumAra-kavi (सुकुमारकविः). This was written at the instance of vishAkham tirunAl (विशाखं तिरुनाल्) in the year 1872.
The author is said to have composed devotional songs on the deities of all the sacred shrines he visited; these are numerous and only a few of them are noticed here.
ashvatthagaNanAthAShTaka (अश्वत्थगणनाथाष्टकम्). When the construction of a temple was undertaken for gaNapati (गणपतिः) at the foot of an ashvattha tree (अश्वत्थवृक्षम्) at ilattUr (इलत्तूर) , the author composed the stotra (स्तोत्रम्) invoking the blessing of the God for its successful completion. The poem contains nine stanzas in sragdharA (स्रग्धरा) meter, each beginning with one of the syllables, in order, of the mUla mantra (मूलमन्त्रम्) of the deity and the long drawn line of twenty one syllables in each quarter breathing an air of plaintive appeal to the God.
dharmasaMvardhanIstotram (धर्मसंवर्द्धनीस्तोत्रम्) in fifteen stanzas in shArdUlavikrIDita (शार्दूलविक्रीडितम्) is an eulogy of the tutelary Goddess at ilattUr (इलत्तूर). Each stanza begins with one of the syllables, in order, of the AdividyA (आदिविद्या) of the shAkta-tantram (शाक्ततन्त्रम्).
AryAdvishatI (आर्याद्विशती) consists of two stotra-s (स्तोत्रम्) , AryAShTottarashataka (आर्याष्टोत्तरशतकम्) and AryAshatakam (आर्याशतकम्). The first contains 109 AryA-s (आर्याः), each one being a separate prayer to the Goddess as in the AryAshataka (आर्याशतकम्)  of mUka-kavi (मूककविः). The second following the model of saundaryalaharI (सौन्दर्यलहरी) of shrI-sha~Nkara (श्रीशङ्करः) , describes, in the first forty-one AryA-s (आर्याः) the bliss derived by the meditation of shrIpura (श्रीपुरम्), the nine chakra-s (नव चक्राणि) , the sixteen nityA-s (षोडश नित्याः) and the presiding Goddess, tripura-sundarI (त्रिपुरसुन्दरी), and in the remaining verses (42-102) the beauty of the Goddess from head to foot. This lyric poem is full of rhythmic melodies surging up from faith, devotion and spiritual ecstasy. In simplicity of style, elegance of diction and spontaneous alliteration adding to the lightness and rapidity to the flow of verses , it compares favorably with the poems of mUka (मूकः). There is another AryAdvishatI (आर्याद्विशती) also called lalitAstvaratnam (ललितास्तवरत्नम्) and shR^i~NgAravimarsha (शृङ्गारविमर्शः) , in 213 smooth-flowing AryA-s (आर्याः) attributed to the sage durvAsas (महामुनिः दुर्वासाः). It dwells upon the layout of shR^i~NgAra (शृङ्गारम्) and the beauty of the Goddess. It is possible that our author was familiar with this devotional poem.