Translated by Matthew Kapstein
Foreword by J.N. Mohanty
“The Rise of Wisdom Moon” (Prabodhacandrodaya) was composed during the mid-eleventh century by Krishna·mishra, an otherwise unknown poet in the service of the Chandella dynasty, whose cultural and religious capital was Khajuraho. The early popularity of Krishna·mishra’s work led to its frequent translation into the vernaculars of both North and South India, and even Persian as well. Famed as providing the enduring model of the allegorical play for all subsequent Sanskrit literature, “The Rise of Wisdom Moon,” offers a satirical account of the conquest of the holy city of Varanasi by Nescience, the war of liberation waged by the forces of Intuition, and the freedom of the Inner Man that then follows the rise of Wisdom. But at the outset, when Nescience still has the upper hand, such developments seem unlikely. As one of his minions, Lord Lust, puts it:
Pleasing palace pavillions,
young beauties, vines buzzing with bees,
fresh jasmine blossoms,
moonlit night, perfumed breeze—
If these, my unfailing weapons,
win me the world by conquest,
of what use then is Wisdom’s rise,
what use Intuition’s bequest?
396 pp. | ISBN-13: 978-0-8147-4838-1 |
ISBN-10: 0-8147-4838-4 |
Co-published by New York University Press and JJC Foundation
About the Translator
Director of Tibetan Religious Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris) and Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of Chicago.
About the Foreword Writer
J.N. Mohanty is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Temple University. His latest book, Essays on Consciousness and Interpretation (Edited with an Introduction by Tara Chatterjee), will be published by OUP India in June 2009.