(The cultural background of ancient Marathi literature)

Vishvakarma Sahityalaya,
Published in 1977,
(Pages 335).

The book is a dissertation for the doctoral degree of Dr. Dhere. It is suitably modified as a book. Chakrapani metaphorically means Vishnu and the Shulapani means Shiva. According to Dr. Dhere, the first phase of Marathi literature was influenced by Vishnu. Generally all the religious leaders were the followers of Shiva. However they had accepted devotion of Vishnu as well. Changdeo Raul, Chakradhar and Changa Vateshwar all had an alternative name as Chakrapani. Hence the book carries a title 'Chakrapani'.
The author explains the background of carrying out research, the help and support of many persons and organizations.
In addition to the doctoral work, an essay on Chakradharswami and Dnyandeo is included. A comprehensive and critical overview of the work by a renowned thinker late Narhar Kurundkar brings about shortcomings according to Kurundkar. He has also underlined the importance of the work done by Dr. Dhere.
The work starts with explaining objectives of the study and the means used or can be used to achieve the objectives. He discusses the search for the new evidences such as manuscripts and inscriptions. Some of the important personalities influential during the initial phase of Marathi literature are introduced. Their historical existence and importance is traced. Those personalities include Visoba Khechar, Allamprabhu, Gorakhnath, Shivayogini Muktai, Changa Vateshvar. The importance of Harishchandragad as a centre of Shiva and Shakti cult is discussed. The search traces the contact of Chakradhar with other Sidhdhas.  They include Changdeo Raul, Gundam Raul and Udhalinath. The inter-relations of Chakradhar- Harinath, and Harinath- Changdeo Raul are discussed. Through a common thread of Triambakeshvar, a place of importance to both Chakradhar and Dnyandeo, their intersection is examined.
At the end scope for future work in the light of present dissertation is glanced.
The appendices furnish the information on the genealogy of the mentors, the succession of Nath sect, the description of mountain Shri as appearing in Kalpasamuha. It gives bibliographical details. It adds genealogies and sketches and photographs relevant to the matter discussed in the book.

Forword- by Narahar Kurundkar.
At the outset Kurundkar stresses the prominent position of Dr. Dhere as a researcher of literature and its history. He notes that literary evidences that are published in print are generally used by the researchers. Exceptional researchers contribute to the search of the old manuscripts, referring to the manuscripts that are available but not edited and printed. He expresses satisfaction that Dr.Dhere is amongst such rare researcher.
While studying the literature, two directions in the study are well attempted by Dr. Dhere. He takes overview of literature, and integrates it in the cultural context at that time. In addition to the two routes, he also adds yet another dimension due to the study of folk culture. Many a times the researcher concentrates on the prominent facets and overlooks the lesser known inter relations. Dr. Dhere does not fall prey to the trap.
In the field in which he is active, purely historical method is not sufficient. Hence the historical and sociological explanation is another peculiarity of Dr.Dhere. The dissertation for the doctoral degree was a unique in many respects. Such occasions are not frequently observed. The dissertation included original text of Shatsthal of Visoba Khechar. It is not included in the present book.

Kurundkar has noted other directions to the study of the works like Shatsthal. Then he notes some of the points over which he does not fully agree with the conclusions drawn by Dr. Dhere. However, he stresses that it is not a shortcoming of Dr. Dhere or a lacunae in his studies. Kurundkar admits that it was a limitation of such studies. It can never be complete in real sense. He has noted the shortcomings or the other directions along which the study can shade more light on the topic. He does so, because he is confident that the work of Dhere will be used as a path breaking point. Hence such possible directions would be helpful to the future researchers. At the end he has mentioned that the thesis was appreciated by the examiners such as Pandit Khuperkar and V.B.Kolte, the doyens in their own fields underlines the importance of the thesis. He describes that the work is potentially strong enough to create rounds of discussions and counter discussion in the field.

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