Clay Sanskrit Library Newsletter: July 2006


These four new volumes are now available to order. You can also read excerpts from these volumes.

The Epitome of Queen Lilávati (volume two of two) by Jinaratna
Richard Fynes (Download excerpt)

Five Discourses on Worldly Wisdom
Patrick Olivelle (Download excerpt)

Messenger Poems by Kālidāsa, Dhoyī, and Rūpa Gosvāmin
Sir James Mallinson
Download excerpt

Ramáyana Book Three: The Forest by Vālmīki
Sheldon I. Pollock
Download excerpt


These four new volumes are provisionally scheduled for December 2006. You can also read translators’ Insights on these volumes.

“The Lady of the Jeweled Necklace” & “The Lady who Shows her Love” by Harṣa
Wendy Doniger
King Harsha, who reigned over the kingdom of Kanauj from 606 to 647 CE, composed two Sanskrit plays about the mythical figures of King Udayana, his queen, Vásava·datta, and two of his co-wives. The plays abound in mistaken identities, both political and erotic. The characters masquerade as one another and, occasionally, as themselves, and each play refers simultaneously to itself and to the other.
Read Translator’s Insights

Maha·bhárata Book Four: Viráta
Kathleen Garbutt
“The Book of Viráta” details the Pándavas’ 13th year in exile, when they live disguised in King Viráta’s court. They suffer the humiliation of becoming servants; a topic explored both through comedy and pathos. Having maintained their disguise until the very end of the year, then their troubles really begin. Bhima is forced to come to Dráupadi’s rescue when King Viráta’s general, Kíchaka, sets his sights on her. Duryódhana and the Tri·gartas decide to invade the defeated Viráta’s kingdom, unaware the Pándavas are hidden there. In the ensuing battles the Pándavas play a crucial role, save Viráta and reveal their true identities. The book ends in celebration, with the Pándavas ready to return from exile and reclaim their kingdom. However, the battles in “Viráta” foreshadow the war to come, proving it will not be easy.
Read Translator’s Insights

Maha·bhárata Book Eight: Karna (volume one of two)
Adam Bowles
“The Book of Karna” relates the events of the two dramatic days after the defeat of the great warriors and generals Bhishma and Drona, in which Karna – great hero and the eldest Pándava – leads the Káurava army into combat. This first volume of “Karna” depicts mighty battles in gory detail, sets the scene for Karna’s tragic death, and includes a remarkable verbal duel between Karna and his reluctant charioteer Shalya, the king of the Madras, as they hurl abuse at each other before entering the fray.
Read Translator’s Insights

“The Ocean of the Rivers of Story (volume one) by Somadeva
Sir James Mallinson
Soma·deva composed his “Ocean of the Rivers of Story” in Kashmir in the eleventh century CE. It is a vast collection of tales based on “The Long Story,” a now lost (and perhaps legendary) repository of Indian fables, in which prince Nara·váhana·datta wins twenty-six wives and becomes the emperor of the sorcerers. There are tales within tales within tales. By turns funny, exciting, or didactic, they illustrate points within the frame narrative or are told simply to provide entertainment for the protagonists. Its twenty thousand plus verses are written in simple but elegant Sanskrit and it has long been used as an introductory text for students of the language.
Read Translator’s Insights


Rāmāyaṇa Book I: Boyhood Full Introduction by Robert P. Goldman is now available here. This is also a general introduction to the whole Ramáyana.


The 13th World Sanskrit Conference will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 10th–14th July, 2006. Come and visit our display, where you will be able to browse all our current volumes. You will also be able to order our books and set up standing orders.


A new review of the Clay Sanskrit Library appeared in Chronicle of Higher Education (00095982, 3 March 2006, Vol. 52, Issue 26). Follow this link to read.