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AVANTISUNDARI (Ninth-Tenth CENTURY)


Avantisundari, an accomplished Chahamana or Chauhan princess, was a rhetorician, poet and writer. She inspired her husband Rajashekhara, a court poet of the Gurjara Pratihara King Mahendravarman and later of the Kalachuri King Yuvaraj I. Avantisundari wrote in Sanskrit and Prakrit and her views on aesthetics were treated with respect. Her husband cited her views on poetics in his famous work Kavya-mimansa. According to her, a poetical composition that gives pleasure to connoisseurs should be looked upon as perfect. Though she and her husband had different views, they nevertheless seem to have been able to work and write together. Rajashekhara quotes Avantisundari as saying that a suitable subject for poetry is made so by the possession of several traits or qualities, and that the expression of one or more of these traits constitutes the style and eloquence of a poet. Three of Avantisundari’s stanzas are cited in Hemchandra’s Desi-namamala, where the meanings of certain Prakrit expressions are illustrated. Unfortunately no more of her work has been discovered.
 
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