Aurel Stein
  The Sanskritist
  Manuscript Treasures
  Kashmiri Scholarship
  Interface of Scholarship
  The Adopted Home
  Unfinished Tasks
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Supported by:
  Heritage Lottery Fund, Cambridge.
  Bodelian Library, Oxford.
  Nityanand Shastri Library Collection, Delhi.
  Kashmir Bhavan Centre, Luton.
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The Motif of Rajatarangini
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Stein was awed with satisfaction on the completion of the task that had eluded his teacher, Professor Georg Buhler. Rajatarangini had fascinated his keen orientalist mind. He made a promise. “I hope to give in the second volume of this edition, exegetical notes on the text of the Rajatarangini with running commentary on those points of Kalhana’s narrative which are of interest for the history, archaeology and topography of Kashmir. It will also contain an introduction to the work, complete indices and if possible a map showing ancient geography of Kashmir as ascertained from the Rajatarangini and other Kashmirian texts. The second volume will be published as soon as the scanty leisure I can spare from my teaching and office duties will permit me to complete the arrangement of the materials which I have collected during last four years”.

Stein’s promise had the strength of the execution. He was assured of the committed collaboration of Pandit Govind Kaul and Pandit Mukandram. He knew that with their help the task was within his means. The second scholarly weave in the motif of Rajatarangini was on the anvil.

After the Sanskrit edition of Rajatarangini in 1892, Aurel Stein expressed the intention of embodying the materials he had collected for the interpretations of Kalhana’s text in the form of commentary to be published as second volume. He had a necessity too. Heavy official labours and other literary duties did not allow Stein to approach this portion of his task until the summer of 1895, when an arrangement between the KashmirDarbar and Punjab University adopted on the recommendations of the Xth International Congress of Orientalists, secured him the necessary facilities. Stein availed himself two months of special duty and extended grants of summer vacations of 1895, 1896 and 1898 in which he was able to complete the annotated translation of the chronicle.

In the course of these inquiries, Stein utilised to his best ability the special advantages for the study of ancient Kashmir.

Stein was fortunate that he was able to conduct many of these inquires and in particular those connected with Pandit traditions and customs and manners of Bhraman population with the help of his friend and co-worker Pandit Govind Kaul.

Sparing no efforts, both Stein and Govind Kaul served into the final result of these joint labours which at the end found mention with the publication of translated version of Kalhana’s text with commentary, indices and maps in 1900. The final manuscript was prepared by Pandit Govind Kaul in 1895 - 1896 and the miscellaneous notes on the translation in English were prepared by Stein in 1898- 1899. The work could not have been completed but for the help and support of others also. The State Council of Jammu and Kashmir was generous to grants of aid for the project. Successive British Residents of Kashmir, to name, Colonel D.W.K. Barr, Mr. H.S. Barnes and Sir Adelbret Talbot granted their support. Sir W.R. Lawrence, the former Settlement Commissioner of Kashmir helped Stein and Pandit Govind Kaul with advice on modern conditions of the valley. However, the much important proof-reading for seeing the work through in press, on which more than decade of exacting scholarly effort was spent by Pandit Govind Kaul and Stein with mutual respect and lasting friendship, was ably done by Maurice Winternitz. The successful technical execution of maps of ancient Kashmir were mainly due to the co-operation of Major General J. Waterhouse, then Assistant Surveyor General of India, and map work was done by Mr. W. Griggs.

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