No work on the Sanskrit literature of Bengal (West Bengal and Bangladesh taken together) has as yet been published in English. The result is that the non-Bengali elites and the foreign indologists know very little about it beyond excepting what is written in stray articles published in different journals particularly in the English works on the history of Bengal. So, a sustained account of the Sanskrit literature, produced in Bengal, is a desideratum.
The cultural heritage of Bengal represented in the Sanskrit works is vast, varied and valuable. There is hardly any branch of Sanskrit literature, to which Bengal did not make substantial contribution. What is remarkable is that the scholars of this region left the impress of their originality in several domains of which the most prominent are Navya-nyaya, Navya-smrti and Tantra. In fact, these are three colossal pillars on which rests the gargantuan edifice of the culture of medieval Bengal. In the domain of the poetical literature, too, the Bengali literatures developed a new literary style, known as Gaudi-riti. Till today, Bengal appears to be the pioneer in the realm of Sanskrit anthological literature.
A historical study of Bengal’s contribution to Sanskrit literature reveals the close cultural relation of this province with Nepal and Tibet, the latter preserving, in Tibetan translation, quite a number of Buddhist philosophical and Tantric works, the Sanskrit originals of which have been lost. The present book is a comprehensive account of the Sanskrit literature, produced and cultivated in Bengal since the earliest times. One volume is not sufficient for a detailed treatment of the subject of this work, therefore, the author has tried to make the book as brief as possible and amply documented.
About the Author:
S.C. Banerji born on 1917 in Bengal. He is M.A. (Dacca), and Ph.D. (Calcutta), is a retired Professor of Sanskrit, a Fellow of Asiatic Society, Calcutta and recognized by International Biographical Centre, Cambridge’s. England, as International Man of the Year 1997/98, is a dedicated Indologist. He has, to his credit, about sixty books, on different aspects of Indology, in English, Bengali and Hindi.
Among his English works are A Companion to Sanskrit Literature, A Brief History of Tantra Literature, Studies in the Origin and Development of Yoga, A Companion to Indian Philosophy, New Perspectives in the study of the Puranas, A Brief History of Dharmasastra, Historical Survey of Ancient Indian Grammars (Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit), Principles of Hindu Jurisprudence (2 Vols.), Studies in the Mahapuranas, Cultural Reciprocation between India and the World, etc.