My appointment as Professor of Sanskrit in the Acharyya Brajendra Chandra Seal College, Coochbehar in 1976 was a matter of divine dispensation. The small native state of Coochbehar witnessed a period of all round cultural efflorescence during the 12th-17th centuries under the rule of kings like Naranarayana, Ramanarayana and Laksminarayana when scholars from different parts of India converged in Coochbehar and engaged themselves in the study of Smrti, Nyaya, Jyotisa, Kavya and Vyakarana as well as of Tantra. Vestiges of their scholarly contributions still survive in the Manuscript Collections of the Sahitya Sabha, Coochbehar. Out of this precious heritage I discovered a copy of the Tantrapradipa of Maitreyaraksita hitherto unpublished. I have made it clear in my study of the Manuscript material that I could not secure any copy of the Manuscript of Tantrapradipa lying in the former Varendra Research Society and now forming a part of the Rajshahi University Museum. I began to copy this Ms preserved in the Sahitya Sabha of Coochbehar in the leisure hours of my service. Fortunately my wife Dr. Mrs Kripamayee Kanjilal who joined the A. B. N. Seal College as Assistant Professor on transfer from the Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta took up the mantle of copying the manuscript of the Tantrapradipa extending over 220 foliae. The editing of this manuscript has become possible only due to her wholehearted devotion and critical study in each step. She could not survive to see the work published. But thanks to the appreciative spirit of Sri Debashis Bhattacharyya of the Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar who could gauge the merit of such a pioneering work and to accept the charge of its publication.
The work Tantrapradipa along with another work the Dhatupradipa were composed by Maitreyaraksita also called Maitreya who was the greatest authority among the grammarians of the school of Panini in Bengal. He appeared sometime between 1075-1175 A.D. The Bengal school of grammarians included inter alia 1. Jayaditya c. 650 A.D. and 2. Vamana c. 700-750 A.D. and 3. Jinendrabuddhi c. 800-850 A.D. According to tradition Jayaditya composed his commentary known as the Kasikavrtti upto the 5th Chapter of the Astadhyayi and Vamana who appeared a little later completed it upto the 8th Chapter. The commentary was composed at Benaras (Kasi) for which it earned the designation Kasikavrtti.1
Jinendrabuddhi, the Buddhist author composed his elaborate and scholarly commentary known as the Kasikavivaranapanjika or Nyasa sometime in between 800-850 A.D. Bhagavrtti composed by one Vimalamati was the next authority belonging to the Bengal school of Panini who it is believed, wrote the commentary in between 800-850 A.D. and slightly after Jinendrabuddhi. Then came Indumitra who has been mentioned by Saranadeva2 in his Durghatavrtti and as such Indumitra can be placed sometime in the 11th century A.D. Then came Maitreyaraksita the most celebrated authority in the Bengal school.
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