Bāṇabhaṭṭa

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Bāṇabhaṭṭa
OccupationPoet, writer, author

Bāṇabhaṭṭa (Sanskrit: बाणभट्ट) was a 7th-century Sanskrit prose writer and poet of India. He was the Asthana Kavi in the court of King Harsha Vardhana, who reigned c. 606–647 CE in north India first from Sthanvishvara (Thanesar), and later Kannauj. Bāna's principal works include a biography of Harsha, the Harshacharita (Deeds of Harsha),[1] and one of the world's earliest novels, Kadambari. Bāṇa died before finishing the novel and it was completed by his son Bhūṣaṇabhaṭṭa. Both these works are noted texts of Sanskrit literature.[2] The other works attributed to him are the Caṇḍikāśataka and a drama, the Pārvatīpariṇaya. Banabhatta gets an applause as " banochhistam jagatsarvam" meaning Bana has described everything in this world and nothing is left.

Life[edit]

A detailed account regarding his ancestry and early life can be reconstructed from the introductory verses attached to the कादम्बरी and the first two ucchāvasas of the Harṣacarita, while the circumstances behind the composition of the Harṣacarita are described in the third ucchāvasa of the text. Harsacarita is considered as the first Indian work which may be regarded as historical biography. It gives a vivid picture of the life in the countryside.[3]

Bāna was born to Chitrabhānu and Rājadevi in the village of Pritikuta on the banks of the Hiraṇyavāhu in a Bhojaka family of Vātsyāyana gotra in the current district of [[Aurangabad[4]]] in modern-day Bihar. After the death of his father, Bāṇa led a wandering life for a period but later came back to his native village. Here, on a summer day, on receiving a letter from Krishna, a cousin of King Harsha, he met the king while he was camping near the town of Manitara. After receiving Bāna with mock signs of anger, the king showed him much favour. . In Harshacharit, Bana Bhatta describes himself as Vatsyayana Gotriya and Bhriguvanshi who used to reside in a village called Pritikoot. He has also described his childhood in Harshacharit. Bana Bhatta describes Pritikoot as a village on the banks of the River- Son i.e. Hirnybahu. Pritikoot (now Piru) village is located in Haspura block of Aurangabad district on the eastern bank of River Son. Its distance is about 15 kilometres from Bhrigu Rishi's historical ashram (Bhrigurari), located in Goh block of Aurangabad district. According to the first chapter of [[Harshacharit>Dr. Keshavrao Musalgaonkar, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Institute, Varanasi</ref>]], Bana Bhatta has associated himself with Goddess ‘Saraswati’. According to him, due to the curse of Durvasha Rishi, once 'Saraswati' had to leave Brahmaloka and stay on earth. Her stay on earth was to end at the sight of her own son's face. Saraswati made her debut on the western bank of the Son River presently known as Shahabad region. Soon she fell in love with Dadhich, son of Bhrigukul-Vanshi- Chyawan, who used to come to meet her crossing the reiver Son. According to Harshacharit, Dadhich's father's house was situated across (in the east of) the River Son. Soon Saraswati got a son from the union with Dadhich, whose name was Saraswat. With his birth, Saraswati was freed from the curse and went back to Brahmaloka. Distracted by this separation, Dadhich handed over his son to his own Bhrigu-Vanshi brother for upbringing and himself went for penance. With the blessings of mother Saraswati, her son Saraswat knew all the Vedas and scriptures. He settled Pritikoot and later he too went to join his father to do penance. Later in the same clan, Munis, like Vatsa, Vatsyayan and then Bana Bhatt were born. This description shows that Bana Bhatta was the resident of the eastern bank of the Son River. Chyavan Rishi's ashram is also situated in the village- Deokund under the Goh block of Aurangabad district. The literary meaning of the word ‘Son’ or ‘Hiranya’ is ‘Gold’. Sand of the Son River contains particles of Gold. That’s why it is called River- Son or Hirnyabahu. Historian P.C. Roy Chaudhary (The Gaya Gazetteer-1957, Govt. of Bihar) also has called the river ‘Son’ as ‘Hirnyabahu’.

Works[edit]

  • Bana (1898). The Parvati Parinaya of Banabhatta, with Sanskrit Commentary, English Notes and Tr., by T.R. Ratnam Aiyar. Madras.
  • Bana (tr. G. Layne), Bāṇabhaṭṭa Kādambarī. A Classic Sanskrit Story of Magical Transformations (New York: Garland, 1991). Scan at archive.org

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sthanvishvara (historical region, India)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ Amaresh Datta (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: devraj to jyoti. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 1339–. ISBN 978-81-260-1194-0.
  3. ^ Sreedharan, E, "A Manual of Historical Research Methodology." Trivandrum, Centre for South Indian Studies, 2007, ISBN 978-81-905928-0-2 [1]
  4. ^ The Mysterious hills Umga written by Premendra Mishra

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]