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Natya Shastra Set of 2 Vols.


Author Manomohan Ghosh
Publisher Chaukhambha Sanskrit Series Office
Language English
Edition 2018
Pages 825
Cover Hard Cover
Size 14 x 4 x 22 (l x w x h)
Item Code CSSO0683
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Natya Shastra Set of 2 Vols. Though there was a constant demand for it, the translation of the Näşyaśāstra vol. I (I-XXVII) which was out of print in 1959, could not be published earlier for a variety of reasons. The most important of these was that the text which was reconstructed earlier and made the basis of translation, had to be revised very carefully after a study of the materials which accumulated during the years following its publication. These include not only the volumes III and IV of the Baroda edition of the Natyaśāstra, but also some other works. Among these latter mention should be made of Dr. Indu Slicklhar’s Sanskrit Drama (Leiden, 1960) in which he has made an up to date study of certain aspects of the history of ancient Indian theatre.

This work based on all available materials is highly suggestive, and will prove useful to scholars. The next work of importance is an annotated translation of the Nataka-laksana-ratnakoia by Professor Dillon and others (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series vol. 50, Part 9. Philadelphia). It is a meritorious work. Besides, it shows clearly to what extent a text compiled in the lines of the Nätyasästra more than six centuries before our time, has become unintelligible. From the fact that the three learned authors of this work could not be unanimous on a number of points, one will easily appreciate the difficulty of editing and interpreting the basic work which was compiled most probably more than two milleniums ago. Besides these works, there are a few articles on some relevant topics which appeared in different journals.

Publication of the present author’s critical text of the Nätyaśāstra vol. II (XXVII-XXXVI) has also made the revision more fruitful. It may be mentioned here that due to the very corrupt nature of this part of the text treating of music and some aspects of theatre, it was not possible to prepare earlier a tolerably critical version of this; and at one stage of the work, it was seriously thought that the attempt should be given up. But fate willed otherwise. Alter a second thought I reconciled myself with the sorry state of the MSS, as well as printed materials, and decided to place the resultsof my studies, however, imperfect they might be, at the disposal of scholars.

It was regretted in the beginning that due to serious reasons the vol. I of the text could not be issued in 1951 along with the translation. For, the text not being available, scholars were very much handicapped in using the translation, although the essential variants as well as sources from which the text was made out, had been men- tioned in the footnotes more or less in detail. Now having revised the unpublished critical text (issued in a separate volume) I have no longer any complaint that the publication was delayed so long. Readers, I may hope, will have at present a better work. As for the first edition of the translation, this can be said that in spite of its drawbacks due chiefly the comparative inadequcy of the basic text, it has not been altogether fruitless. For, the extent to which it has stimulated during the last sixteen years the study and researches in the Natyaśāstra, may be considered a sufficient defence for its publication.


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