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The Bhaktimandakini : An Elaborate Fourteenth-Century Commentary by Purnasarasvati on the Visnupadadikesastotra Attributed to Sankaracarya

English translation of the Stotra with Notes by N.V.P. Unithiri, H.N. Bhat and S.A.S. Sarma, French Institute of Pondicherry, 2011, li, 186 p, ISBN : 9788184701883, $35.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

The Bhaktimandakini : An Elaborate Fourteenth-Century Commentary by Purnasarasvati on the Visnupadadikesastotra Attributed to Sankaracarya

The Bhaktimandakini is a commentary by the Keralan exegete Purnasarasvati, a Saiva ascetic who is well known for his learned and aesthetically sensitive commentaries on works of belles lettres in Sanskrit. The commentary expounds the Visnupadadikesastotra, a hymn of fifty-two intricately elegant verses that describe every detail of Visnu from his toes to his hair, as well as his spouses and his various weapons (conch, discus, sword, etc.). This literary stotra, composed in sragdhara metre, is traditionally ascribed to the non-dualist philosopher Sankara.

In this publication, we furnish a new critical edition of the Bhaktimandakini (that of 1911 being now long out of print) based on four manuscripts and we also provide a text of the stotra as read by the commentator. In the introduction to the edition, the authorship of the stotra, the life and works of Purnasarasvati, as well as the theology of the commentary are discussed. A running translation of the stotra follows the introduction and the book concludes with an index for the quarter verses and a list of the figures of rhetoric (alankara) identified by the commentator. Keywords: Visnu, Stotra, Bhakti, devotional literature.

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