Prachin Marathi Vangmaya: Shodha ani Samhita
(Ancient Marathi literature:  search of text and context)

Book Abstracts »
  Anjali Prakashan,
(pages 171),
Published in 1991.


It is a compilation of ten essays written during 1961-81. Three of them are forewords written for books by other authors. Some of the essays are research papers bringing hitherto unknown literature to light, composed by poets in medieval period. One of the first autobiographical verses by a Marathi woman, a niece of Namadeo, is reviewed and published in an essay. Some essays which were not included in Dr. Dhere’s previous books on the Nath sect and other topics (‘Natha Sampradayacha Itihas’, ‘Chakrapani’ and Shodhashilpa) are included in the present compilation.

The book includes Dr. Dhere’s comments on hitherto unknown verses of Mahipati Maharaj Taharabadkar and Shivaram Akolkar.

In the preface, the essays are reviewed by the author himself. He expresses his dismay at the neglect of material available for study. According to him, the prolific devotional literature published in the last century was rather well disseminated among readers of religious works, but failed to be noticed by students and scholars. The scholars were characterized by a lack of awareness that the literature was the very basis for the study of the period.

The book deals with what might well be the very first ‘autobiography’ in Marathi, in the form of a composition in verse by Nagari, a niece of Namdeo. It further discusses Maharashtra and the literature of Nathasidhdha. Also discussed is a biographical account of Nathasidhdhas - Dnyanakaivalya, yet another philosophically filled account of Sidhdha- Nathaleelamruta. It introduces Ganganath and his works.

It also covers an essay on Mahipati and his assorted works; it discusses a work of versified Vedanta, the Chidratna. Another essay quotes two aaratis, and in the last essay it discusses issues related to the research of ancient Marathi literature.







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