In the galaxy of Indian poets-cum-critics, Jagannatha occupies a formidable position by virtue of his creative imagination and critical study. His age, no doubt synchronises with appearance of other literary geniuses and scholars. But Jagannatha is unparalleled in the field of Sanskrit poetry on account of his dynamism and versatile intellect. In the sphere of Indian aesthetics his contribution has not been fully assessed only because he is a modern writer with a stigma attached to his name and also doctrine to traditional poetics have been firmly established. He has written good poems from the aesthetic point of view but not from a mere rhetorical one. He has done this with his power of close reasoning inspired by the subtle logic of the neo-logicians and he imported the technical language of Navy Nyaya for accurate expression. Panditaraja also has based Indian aesthetics on metaphysical foundation of the Vedanta Philosophy and has done it ably with the help of technique of Navya Nyaya. His treatment of some poetic principles like rasa, guna and alankara exhibits the salient features of Indian aesthetics and adds new values to all of them. Here a modest attempt has been made to judge Jagannatha in his dual aspects, viz. (1) a critic, and (2) a poet. His personal life and his literary contributions are discussed in a critical and comparative method and is assessed from the view point of Indian poetics and propounded by him in his Rasagangadhara. The work traverses a virgin field of literary work and I claim originality in exposition of the interpretations of the principles of literary criticism and critical estimates of a neglected great figure in Sanskrit literature.
Dr. Narendra Nath Sarma (b. 1933) graduated with Honorous in Sanskrit from Gauhait University in 1954and passed M.A. Examination of the Calcutta University in Kavye Group in 1958. He was awarded the Degree of Doctor and Philosopy of the Calcutta University in 1973 for his work on “Appreciation of Panditaraja Jagannatha from the Aesthetic Point of View.” He served as a Lecturer in Sanskrit in A.D.P. College, Nowgong (Assam) and Nalbari College, Nalbari (Assam) for seventeen years upto 1974, joined as the Asstt. Inspector of Schools for Sanskrit Education, Assam in 1974. He was promoted as the Deputy Director for Sanskrit Education, Assam and became Secretary, Assam Sanskrit Board in 1984. A prolific writer he has many outstanding books to his credit. He edited the Prayoga Ratnamala Vyakarana with the unpublished commentary of Sarvananda under the auspices of the Assam Sanskrit Board, the Kavyadarsha of Dandin with the unpublished commentary of Sawn Saran (in the press) under the auspieces of the Assam Sanskrit Board and Prachya Bharati, a half yearly Sanskrit magazine of the Assam Sanskrit Board since 1979. He is the author of several articles in English, Sanskrit and Assamese, published in standard journals. At present he is working on a project – “A Brief Survey of Assam’s Contribution to Sanskrit Literature”, independently.
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