Kathamrtanidhi,A Fresh Version of Pancatantra

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Kathamrtanidhi,A Fresh Version of Pancatantra
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Katham tanidhi is a book of didactic tales called out and adapted from the Pancatantra. One more version of the famous book of Pañcatantra, the manuscripts of which exist only in west and none in its native land, which had not so far seen the light of the day through press in India or anywhere else makes the work valuable.
The work is criticaly edited and studied in various aspects viz. picture of society, political philosophy, compa rision of stories with world-literature etc. The identification of old geographical situations with modern ones is an intriguing point; and an original approach to the location of MAHILAROPYA which was considered to be a hypothetical and imaginary city, to MIHRPUR in Bengal with proofs and reasonings is praiseworthy. Various appendices and quotations from other sources and authors etc. go to prove the great value of the book.

About the Author

Dr. Rama Saksena was born in Delhi on 18th April 1929. She retired as a Reader in Sanskrit from Lakshmi Bai College, University of Delhi. She was also taking Post-graduate classes in Sanskrit Deptt. University of Delhi and had been a Guide to the Ph.D. students. She was throughout a first class from Higher secondary to M.A.. studies in Delhi. She also passed 'Sahityacārya' examination from Sanskrit University, Varanasi in first Division and Kivya-Tirtha' from Calcutta. She has done 'Jyotisha-Visharada' of Indian Council of Astrological Sciences, Madras from Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, New Delhi. During her studies she won many prizes and scholarships. In 1960 she went to W. Germany on a scholarship from Alexander-Von-Humboldt Stiftung and did her Dr. Phil. from Georg August University at Göttingen under the able guidance of Late Prof. Dr. E. Waldschmidt. She studied German, French, Russian besides English, Sanskrit, Hindi and Bengali.
She has edited a no. of books, viz. Binabhatta's Sukanäsopadela" & Hinduon Ki prabuddha Rachnayen 'Candraprabhacaritan, Bhasa's 'Dutaväkyam' a Hindi translation of Goldstücker's Inspired writings of Hinduism.


The idea of the present work developed when I joined in the year 1960 the Indologisches Seminar at the University of Göttingen for my higher studies in Indology as Alexander von Humboldt scholar. While discussing over the subject and the plan of my proposed work during my stay in Deutschland, it was the choice and the pleasure of my revered Professor, Dr.E. Waldschmidt to suggest that I should work upon Anantabhatta's Kathamṛtanidhi, a critical edition of which has been a long-felt desideratum. This suggestion was all the more welcome to me, for I have been interested in the study of the Katha literature in Sanskrit, ever since my post-graduate studies were over in India, as a result of which I had made a modest beginning with bringing out an edition of Banabhatta's Sukanasopadeśa with critical notes and introduction followed by a similar edition of Sankaralala's Camiraprabhacaritam.
Thereafter when I took myself to collecting all the manuscripts of the Kathamṛtanidhi, I could get two Manuscripts from the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Tübingen, one from the India Office Library, London and one more from the Harvard University Library, Cambridge, Mass.. U.S.A. I contacted several Institutes in India having Sanskrit Manuscripts and referred to the Descriptive catalogues, but it was amazing to find that no copy of this work was found in its own native land. This fact made it all the more interesting to collate all the manuscripts available in the West and prepare a critical edition of the text of the Kathamṛtanidhi, which is a book of didactic tales culled out and adapted from the Pañcatantra. It made me more inquisitive to evaluate this adaptation in view of the fact that the popular book of Pañcatantra found in so very many versions had one more version which had not so far seen the light of the day through press in India or anywhere else. Not much critical notice of the text was also taken until late Prof. Hertel did so in his most valuable work, Das Pañcatantra, seine Geschichte und seine Verbreitung. Thus the task appeared well worthy of an undertaking of which the scheme was soon prepared, and the present dissertation is its fruit.

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