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SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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Stotras

Stotras

Laudatory writings are prominent in Sanskrit literature. To this class belong the stotra, hymns or liturgical poems in praise of the deities, and prayers addressed to them. It was only the bards of vedic times who had the art of composing great religious eulogiums. The later stotras, little more than sectarian hymns of praise addressed to the object of one's particular worship, were with few exceptions tedious panegyrics without literary merit. Traditionally, most orthodox Sanskrit writers, especially of medieval times began their treatises with a mangala 'auspicious', consisting of a short preamble, paying homage and dedicating the work to the patron deity.

Poems of praise are also addressed to kings and even to localities. The prashasti a dedicatory and laudatory poem inspired by feelings of loyalty, glorifies the king or patron by allusion, analogy and comparison, attributing to the royal benefactor almost divine qualities. The prashasti are often quite long and written in the kavya style.