Michael Hahn hahn.m at T-ONLINE.DE
Thu Feb 1 21:53:29 UTC 2007

Dear Prof. Nair,

1) What are the pancamahakavyas? 

Of course I know some traditional classifications. But I don't think
they make sense. Nowadays one should separate the four early (partially)
extant specimens of Asvaghosa and Kalidasa from the later fully fledged
mahakavyas with their overt artistic elements. Of them we have 6 or 7
until the 12 th century AD: Janakiharana, Kiratarjuniya, Bhattikavya (?),
Sisupalavadha, Haravijaya, Kapphinabhyudaya, and Naisadhacarita. And one
could/should also include the Prakrit poems like Ravanavaha (Setubandha)

2) What is a morphological analysis? Do you mean "grammatical" or
"structural" analysis? 

There are, of course, scores of studies, detailed as well as
comprehensive. Did you consult Warder's "Indian Kavya Literature" or
Lienhard's "A History of Classical Sanskrit Poetry?" Do you know David
Smith's excellent study of Ratnakara's Haravijaya? Or Prof.  Jani's
study of the Naisadhacarita? Tenkshe's study of Magha? Except for
Lienhard all these works were published in India. These are are just a
few examples.

As for the least known mahakavya, Sivasvamin's Kapphinabhyudaya, I would
like to point to Gauri Shankar's editio princeps and its learned
introduction (Lahore 1937), its reprint with a postscript by M. Hahn
(Delhi 1989), my two papers on the poem (details upon request) and the
introduction to my forthcoming new critical edition (Kyoto, Hozokan 2007)
which also contains a facsimile of the oldest manuscript (probably 11th
century) of the work.

It would be a great help if someone compiled a bibliography of Indian Ph.
D. theses on these mahakavyas, published as well as unpublished, taking
as a kind of model Prof. S. Narang's bibliographies.  This will be a
difficult and time-consuming task, no doubt. However, for someone living
outside India it is even more difficult to trace and ultimately get
access to these studies.

Michael Hahn

On Thu, 1 Feb 2007 23:34:57 +0530
Maheswaran Nair <swantam at ASIANETINDIA.COM> wrote:

> Dear list members,
> Has anyone done the morpgological analysis of the Sanskrit  
> Pancamahakavyas wholly or separately? Pls tell me.
> Thanks in advance.
> K.Maheswaran Nair
> Dept. of Sanskrit
> University of Kerala

Prof. Dr. Michael Hahn
Fachgebiet Indologie und Tibetologie
FB 10, Philipps-Universitaet Marburg
Wilhelm-Roepke-Str. 6
D-35032 Marburg
Tel.: +49-6421-282-4740 or 4741
Fax: +49-6421-282-4995
E-mail: hahnm at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list