Rama’s Later History – Bhavabhuti (1915)


Rama’s Later History – Bhavabhuti (1915)


Title: Rama’s Later History or Uttara-Rama-Charita, An Ancient Hindu Drama
Author: Bhavabhuti, Shripad Krishna Belvalkar (trans)
Publisher: Harvard University Press, 1915. 1st edition, limited to 1000 copies.
Condition: Hardcover. Some foxing to title pages and some rubbing to cover. Gilt to top edge. More about our copy below.

About our copy:

Our copy is wonderfully inscribed with the words:

“Kenneth Ballard Murdock. With kindest regards, C. R. Lanman. Harvard College. May 30, 1916.”

Kenneth Ballard Murdock would later become the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Harvard University, and this book was presented to him by the great Sanskrit scholar Charles Rockwell Lanman, who was most probably his teacher at Harvard. Murdock received this book the year he graduated, i.e., 1916, possibly as a graduation present.

Lanman was the editor of the Harvard Oriental Series, which this book is Vol. 21 of. The translator, Shripad Krishna Belvalkar, dedicated the book to Lanman, who was his teacher, and the words “To Charles Rockwell Lanman, my honoured teacher” are printed in a dedicatory notice, along with a Sanskrit verse. Thus this particular book, dedicated to Lanman, was also inscribed by Lanman, and presented to Murdock, whom the American Antiquarian Society names “the foremost authority on early American literature”.

About the translator:

Shripad Krishna Belvalkar translated this book while he was still a graduate student at Harvard University, under the tutelage of Lanman. Later, he went on to write many books on the Sanskrit language and literature, and Indian philosophy. His translations include portions of The Mahabharata, including The Bhagavad Gita. Many were published by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Puna.

About Bhavubhuti and the book (from Wikipedia):

Bhavabhuti (Sanskrit: भवभूति) was an 8th-century scholar of India noted for his plays and poetry, written in Sanskrit. His plays are considered equivalent to the works of Kalidasa. Bhavbhuti was born in a Deshastha Brahmin family of Padmapura, Vidarbha, central India, in Gondia district, on Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh border. His real name was Srikantha Nilakantha, and he was the son of Nilakantha and Jatukarni. He received his education at ‘Padmapawaya’, a place some 42 km South-West of Gwalior. Paramhans Dnyananidhi is known to be his guru. He composed his historical plays at ‘Kalpi’, a place on banks of river Yamuna.

He is believed to have been the court poet of king Yashovarman of Kannauj. Kalhana, the 12th-century historian, places him in the entourage of the king, who was defeated by Lalitaditya Muktapida, king of Kashmir, in 736 AD.

Rama’s Later History describes the coronation of Rama, the abandonment of Sita and their later reconciliation.