ACK-023: Karttikeya; & ACK-024: Panchatantra-How the jackle ate the Elephant

Karttikeya, Lord Shiva's eldest son, is the God of the War, the war-lord of the Deva (God) army. He replaces both Indra and Agni who, in the early stages of Hinduism, were considered to be gods of battles. In his role as defender of the gods Karttikeya is more single-minded than any of his predecessors. Hindu myths profess that he is interested in nothing but battles and warlike adventures.He was conceived by his father's sprem alone. Then he was nurtured by Agni, Ganga, Sharavana (forest of reeds) and the Krittikas (six celestial nymphs, the Pleiades) in turn.

His vahana (vehicle) is a peacock.

Other names are Dvadasaksha (twelve-eyes), Dvadasakara (twelve-hands), Gangaputra (Son of the Ganga), Guha, Kumara (the Boy), Mahasena, Murugan, Rijukaya, Sarabhu, Skanda, Subramanya, Swaminatha, Trakajit.


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The original text, of the Panchatantra in Sanskrit was probably written about 200 B.C. by a great Hindu scholar, Pandit Vishnu Sharma. But some of the tales themselves must be much older, their origin going back to the period of the Rig-Veda and Upanishads (from 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C.). According to some scholars of the Indo-European languages, the Panchatantra is the oldest collection of Indian fables surviving.

In course of time, travellers took these stories with them to Persia and Arabia and finally through Greece, they reached Europe. It is surmised that a version of the Panchatantra was composed in the Pahlavi language of pre-Islamic Iran sometime in the 6th century A.D., being followed by an Arabic one in the 8th century A.D. The Greek translation was made towards the close of the 11th century A.D, from which it was translated into various European languages. This accounts for the fact that to many Westerners, some of the stories have a familiar ring. So far it has been translated into 50 or more languages of the world.

The gypsies, whose Indian origin is well established, also helped in spreading these tales in Europe.

The Panchatantra. is essentially connected with one of the branches of science known by the Indians as the 'Nitishastra' which in Sanskrit means 'A book of wise conduct in life'. It attempts to teach us, how to understand people, bow to choose reliable and trustworthy friends, how to meet difficulties and solve problems through tact and wisdom, and how to live in peace and harmony in the face of hypocrisy, deceit and many pitfalls in life.

The Panchatantra is woven round the frame of a tale of a king who entrusts his three 'dud' sons to a learned man, a Brahmin, called Pandit Vishnu Sharma, to enlighten their minds within six months. The Brahmin promises to educate them and takes them to his 'ashrama' (hermitage). There he recites to them his specially composed tales divided into five tantras (in Sanskrit: Pancha=five and tantra=systems or parts) of how to deal with people in life.

The language of the author is both artistic and elegant. The tale is narrated in prose while the exposition of a philosophical and moral theme is put in verse, maxims or wise sayings are also expressed in verse, which either sums up the narration or introduces the next tale.

The story-teller's art sugars the pill of his sober philosophy. He sets story within story and keeps us waiting for the sequels and so leads us on through the five 'tantras.' As one fable follows another, people and animals are constantly changing places and they share the same characteristics of love and hatred, compassion and wit, selfless courage and base cowardice, generosity and meanness. Each story has a moral and philosophical theme which has stood the test of time and so is true even in modern times - an age 'of atomic fear and madness.

The Panchatantra is a rare book, we can find in it philosophy, psychology, politics, music, astronomy, human relationship, etc., all discussed together in such a simple and yet elegant style. This is exactly what Pandit Vishnu Sharma had in mind, to give as much knowledge to the princes as possible. And no doubt not only the princes but also millions of listeners and readers for the last 2,200 years have benefited from this most unique book.

Many many thanks to “Ajnaabi” for providing ACK scans.

ACK-021: Oz Ka Zadugar; & ACK-022: Pareekshit

A rare ACK

Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author, actor, and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator W. W. Denslow, of one of the most popular books in American children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago in 1900), better known today as simply The Wizard of Oz.

The Story Behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Its author, L. Frank Baum, was the editor of a South Dakota newspaper and a supporter of William Jennings Bryan who stood three times, unsuccessfully, as a U.S. Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.

The particular concern of both Baum and Bryan was the nature of the money supply then prevalent in the United States, and in the Mid-Western States in particular.

In America during the 1890s, as in Britain, there had been a severe depression. Many businesses had gone bankrupt, farmers forced to sell up, factories closed and workers made unemployed. True, some farms in the Mid-West were suffering from drought, but most were still capable of growing food; the businesses and factories were still capable of providing the things that people needed; the workers still wanted to work to provide those things, and people would still want the goods and services produced if they had the money to buy them.

The money in the USA then, as now, was entirely created by the private banking system. The pretence existed then that money was based on gold. (Even now some people still think that it is!) The major banks, based on the East and West coasts, could vary the amount of money in circulation, lending more to encourage commercial activity, then fore-closing on loans to put people out of business, enabling the banks to acquire their businesses cheaply.

Baum and Bryan wanted money to be based on silver, not gold, as silver was more readily available in the Mid-West, where it was mined. Such a money supply could not be manipulated by the banks. So the story of the Wizard of Oz starts with a cyclone in the form of imagined electoral success for Bryan...

Dorothy, a sort of proverbial ‘Everywoman’, lands on the Wicked Witch of the East (the East-coast bankers), killing her, so freeing the Munchkins, the down-trodden poor, but the Wicked Witch of the West (the West-coast bankers) remains loose.

To deal with her and to get back to Kansas (normality), the Good Witch of the North, representing the electorate of the North (this is less than 40 years after the civil war), tells Dorothy to seek out the Wizard of Oz (‘oz’ being short for ounce, the means of weighing both gold and silver). She also gives her a pair of silver slippers (as they were in the book - they became ruby ones in the film). Only these silver slippers will enable her to remain safe on the yellow-brick road, representing the bankers’ gold standard, as she heads towards the Emerald City, representing Washington DC.

On her journey, Dorothy encounters a Scarecrow, representing the farmers, who do not have the wit to understand how they can end up losing their farms to the banks, even though they work hard to grow the food to feed a hungry nation. If only they could think it through!

Next, she encounters a Tin Woodsman, representing the industrial workers, rusted as solid as the factories of the 1890s depression, and who have lost the sense of compassion and co-operation to work together to help each other during hard times. Also, a spell cast upon him by the Wicked Witch of the East meant that every time he swung his axe, he chopped off a bit of himself - he downsized!

Then the growing party encounters a Cowardly Lion, representing the politicians. These have the power, through the power of Congress and the Constitution, to confront the Wicked Witches, representing the banks, but they lack the courage to do so.

Dorothy is able to motivate these three potent forces and leads them all towards the Emerald City, whence ‘greenbacks’ had once come, and an encounter with the omnipotent and wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Wizard of Oz is initially quite majestic and apparently awesome, but he turns out to be a little man without the power that people assume he possesses. He does, of course, represent the President of the United States. With the Wizard’s illusion of power shattered, he is replaced by the Scarecrow who would ‘be another Lincoln’.

The Wicked Witch of the West, fearful for her own power, then attempts to destroy Dorothy but is herself dissolved in a bucket of water, as rain relieves the Mid-West drought, saves the farmers’ livelihoods and prevents repossession by the banks.

The Good Witch of the South, representing the Southern electorate, tells Dorothy that her silver slippers, silver-based money, are so powerful that anything she wishes for is possible, even without the help of the Wizard. Dorothy wishes to go home. There all is now well, because the land has a stable and abundant money supply.

Download original story English- PDF (570.38 KB)

Many many thanks to “Ajay Misra” for providing rare ACK scan.

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An out of print ACK

Pareekshit or Parikshit is in the Mahabharata epic the successor of Yudhisthira to the throne of Hastinapura. His name came from the Sanskrit verb root pari-kṣi = "around-possess" (or, less likely here, "around-destroy"). He was also referred to as the "King of the Kurus".

King Pareekshit, son of Abhimanyu and Uttaraa, grandson of Arjun and Subhadraa, married to Iraavatee (Daughter of Uttar - Viraat's son and Uttaraa's brother). He had four sons, including Janamejaya.

Pareekshit was killed in womb by Ashwattthaamaa's Brahm Astra, but Krishna gave him life. He was named as Vishnuraat because he was saved by Vishnu Himself.

He was the first king of Kali Yug. He thought that he wouldn't allow Kali Yug to live in his kingdom, but cunningly Kali got the permission and asked the dwelling place for himself. Pareekshit gave him four places - Where people play dice games, bars, where man meets a woman, and violence. So four types of A-Dharm exist in these places - untruth, pride, attachment, and cruelty. He asked other places also to live so Pareekshit gave him "gold" also. As soon as Pareeksit said "gold", he sat in the gold crown of Pareekshit. Only he inspired Pareekshit to put dead snake in the neck of Shameek Muni which resulted in the Shaap from Muni’s son Shringi Rishi that Takshak Naag will bite him on the seventh day from the day he put the snake in his father's neck.Exulting in the Self Knowledge that he received from sage Sukadeva, King Pareekshit gave up his body without any qualms on the seventh day, as predicted in the curse.

In symbolic terms, we are all Pareekshits too. We too will die sometime between Sunday and Saturday (seven days!).

Many many thanks to “Ajnaabi” for providing ACK scan.

ACK-018: Himbala Aur Sat Baune; ACK-019: Hitopdesha How Friends are Parted; & ACK-020: Velu Thampi

The Flag of my country
Furls very high,
We belong to India, a nation of pride
& we say-"HINDU, MUSLIM, SIKH, ISAI, SAB HAI BHAI BHAI."
jai hind!!!




"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance .... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again."

- Jawaharlal Nehru (Speech on Indian Independence Day, at the stroke of midnight August 15, 1947).

The day when India woke up to freedom back in 1947 was a day of great celebration. A country got rid of her foreign yoke and became a sovereign nation, she celebrated her sovereignty on this day - the triumph of numerous martyred souls. It was a day of fulfillment, it was the day of a new beginning, a birth of a nation.On the stroke of midnight, a country came into life again as the British handed over the governance of India to the Indian leaders.The long and difficult struggle had borne fruit at last, though the happiness was marred by the fact that the country was divided into India and Pakistan and the violent communal riots had left the countries permanently scarred.

That was the price that India paid for her dearly bought freedom. The British government declared the country independent and left for their own shores. On the 15th of August, 1947, India became completely independent. It was on this historic date that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime Minister of India, unfurled the Indian tricolor on the ramparts the magnificent Red Fort, symbolically marking the end of the British colonial rule.

August 15 is the 227th day of the year (228th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 138 days remaining until the end of the year.

Events
  • 778 - The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, in which Roland is killed.
  • 927 - The Saracens are conquered and destroyed Taranto.
  • 1040 - King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth. The latter succeeds him as King of Scotland.
  • 1057 - King Mac Bethad is killed in the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.
  • 1185 - The cave city of Vardzia is consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.
  • 1248 - The foundation stone of the Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid. Construction eventually completed in 1880.
  • 1261 - Michael VIII Palaeologus is crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.
  • 1309 - The city of Rhodes surrenders to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island, and rename themselves as the Knights of Rhodes.
  • 1461 - The Empire of Trebizond surrenders to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II. This is the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David is exiled and later murdered.
  • 1517 - Seven Portuguese armed vessels led by Fernão Pires de Andrade meet Chinese officials at the Pearl River estuary.
  • 1519 - Panama City, Panama, is founded.
  • 1534 - Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates took initial vows that would lead to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September of 1540.
  • 1537 - Asunción, Paraguay, is founded.
  • 1540 - Arequipa, Peru, is founded.
  • 1549 - Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier comes ashore at Kagoshima (Traditional Japanese date: July 22, 1549).
  • 1599 - Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass - Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O'Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, were sent to relieve Collooney Castle.
  • 1760 - Seven Years' War: Battle of Liegnitz - Frederick the Great's victory over the Austrians under Ernst von Laudon.
  • 1824 - Freed American slaves form Liberia.
  • 1843 - The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii is dedicated. Now the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, it is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States.
  • 1843 - Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 1863 - The Anglo-Satsuma War begins between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).
  • 1869 - Meiji government establishes six ministries below Pardication in the bottom of Cabinet, officer-of-Shinto-Worship, and jurisdiction of Cabinet.
  • 1891 - San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed.
  • 1914 - A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright set fire to the living quarters of the architect's Wisconsin home, Taliesin, murdered seven people, and burned the living quarters to the ground. It is unknown if the servant was arrested or not.
  • 1914 - The Panama Canal opens to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.
  • 1920 - Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw - Poles defeat the Red Army.
  • 1935 - Will Rogers and Wiley Post are killed after engine problems during takeoff in Barrow, Alaska.
  • 1939 - 13 Stukas dive into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer. No survivors.
  • 1942 - World War II: Operation Pedestal - The SS Ohio reaches the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island defenses.
  • 1944 - World War II: Operation Dragoon - Allied forces land in southern France.
  • 1945 - World War II: Victory over Japan Day - Japan surrenders.
  • 1945 - World War II: Korean Liberation Day.
  • 1947 - India gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth , Jawaharlal Nehru addresses the nation with the Indian Declaration of Independence and takes office as the first Prime Minister of India.
  • 1947 - Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.
  • 1948 - The Republic of Korea is established south of the 38th parallel north.
  • 1950 - Srikakulam district is formed in Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • 1952 - Devon, United Kingdom A flashflood drenches the town of Lynmouth, killing 34 people.
  • 1960 - Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) declares its independence from France.
  • 1961 - Conrad Schumann flees from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.
  • 1961 - Keiyo Road is specified to be the first driveway in Japan.
  • 1962 - James Joseph Dresnok defected to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, running across the Korean DMZ. Dresnok still resides in the capital, Pyongyang.
  • 1965 - The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, marking the birth of stadium rock.
  • 1969 - The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opens.
  • 1971 - President Richard Nixon completes the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.
  • 1971 - Bahrain Independence Day.
  • 1973 - Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends.
  • 1974 - Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea is killed amid an apparent assassination attempt upon President of South Korea, Park Chung-hee, during the anniversarial ceremony of the Liberation day.
  • 1974 - Turkish invasion of Cyprus continues, and the 37% of the island is now under Turkish control.
  • 1975 - Military coup in Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman killed along with all family members, except Haseena Wajid.
  • 1975 - Miki Takeo makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by a sitting prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
  • 1977 - The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by The Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, receives a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the "Wow! signal" for notation made by a volunteer on the project.
  • 1999 - Beni Ounif massacre in Algeria; some 29 people killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border, leading to temporary tensions with Morocco.
  • 2003 - Global oil production begins a four-year plateau (and subsequent decline) in the face of rising demand, causing the start of the Oil price increases since 2003.
  • 2007 - An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastates Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.
Holidays and observances
  • VJ Day / VP Day (Victory over Japan Day/ Victory in the Pacific Day)
  • India – Independence Day (from the United Kingdom, 1947).
  • Egypt – Flooding of the Nile Day.
  • Italy, Ferragosto, remembrance of an ancient Roman holiday in honor of Augustus (Feriae Augusti).
  • Korea – Gwangbokjeol (Liberation Day).
  • Tuva – Naadym.
  • Costa Rica– Mother's Day.
  • Eastern Orthodoxy – Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the commemoration of the death of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  • Feast day of the Assumption of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Holy Day of Obligation. Public Holiday in: Austria, Belgium, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, East Timor, France, Greece, Guatemala, India, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia and Spain.
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Friends, these are the first 10 ACK, please add these in ACK list. These were based on famous fairy tales:
#1.Jack & The Bean Stalk
#2.Little Red Riding Hood
#3.Cinderella
#4.The Magic Fountain
#5.Aladdin & His Lamp
#6.Pinochhio
#7.The Three Little Pigs
#8.The Wizard of Oz
#9.The Sleeping Beauty
#10.Snow White & Seven Dwarfs

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Himbala Aur Sat Baune
(Snow White & Seven Dwarfs)

The Brothers Grimm, Jakob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were German academics who were best known for publishing collections of folk tales and fairy tales and for their work in linguistics, relating to how the sounds in words shift over time (Grimm's Law). They are among the best known story tellers of novellas from Europe, allowing the widespread knowledge of such tales as Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel.
The German version features elements such as the magic mirror and the seven dwarfs, who were first given individual names in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).


Many many thanks to “Ajay Misra” for providing rare ACK scan.

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Hitopdesha
How Friends are Parted & other stories

One of the most widely read Sanskrit books in India, Hitopadesha tales are short stories that have the priceless treasure of morality and knowledge.

Hitopadesha has been derived from two words, hita and upadeśa. It basically means to counsel or advice with benevolence. The author of Hitopadesha, Narayana (11~12 th centuryA.D.) says that the main purpose of creating the Hitopadesha is to instruct young minds in a way that they learn the philosophy of life and are able to grow into responsible adults. The stories are very interesting and youngsters not only find it interesting, but also accept it easily.

The Emperor Akbar, impressed with the wisdom of its maxims and the ingenuity of its apologues, commended the work of translating it to his own minister Abdul Fazel. He accordingly put the book into a familiar style, and published it with explanations, under the title of the Criterion of Wisdom. He followed the Emperor's suggestion that the incantions which often interrupt the narrative be abridged.

Many many thanks to “Ajnaabi” for providing ACK scan.

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An out of print ACK

Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi (1765 - 1809) was the Dalawa or Prime Minister of the Indian kingdom of Travancore between 1801 AD and 1809 AD during the reign of His Highness Maharajah Bala Rama Varma Kulasekhara Perumal. He is best known for being one of the earliest individuals to rebel against British supremacy in India. He was an exceptional administrator and led a daring rebellion in 1808 against the British Resident Macaulay’s intervention in the affairs of Travancore.

In his famous Kundara proclamation, in 1809, Velu Thampi made an impassioned plea to the people to rise up against the British. In the beginning, he had many allies including Paliath Achan, the Diwan of Cochin. But in the later stages he fought a lonely battle as his army stood no chance against the modern weaponry of the mighty British. At the brink of defeat, he chose to kill himself than submit to a humiliating surrender. The British made a public display of his corpse in the gallows at Thiruvananthapuram.

Many many thanks to “Ajnaabi” for providing ACK scan.

ACK-016: Krishna and Rukmini; & ACK-017: Manduka- The Lucky Astrolger

In Hinduism, Rukmini (other names: Ruciranana, Vaidarbhi) is the principal wife and queen of Krishna at his city of Dwarka. Krishna heroically kidnaps her from an un-wanted marriage at her request* (described in the Bhagavata Purana). Of Krishna's 16,108 queens, Rukmini is the first and most prominent. Rukmini is also considered to be an avatar of Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune.

The first son of Queen Rukmini was Pradyumna, and also born of her were Charudeshna, Sudesna and the powerful Charudeha, along with Sucharu, Charugupta, Bhadracharu, Charuchandra, Vicharu and Charu, the tenth (SB 10.61.8-9). Of them, Pradyumna was the crown prince of Dwaraka.

*Message of Rukmini¹

O the infallible and the most handsome One! Having heard Your qualities, which enter through the path of ears and absolve away the pains of life, and having heard about Your handsome appearance, which is the only asset of the eyes of living beings with eyes, my heart is accepting You as a consort leaving behind shyness.||1||

O Mukunda, the lion (best) among men! Given a chance, which composed girl from a good lineage will not wish for You as a consort; You, Who is the happiness of the minds of people, Who is the happiness of the world, and Who is incomparable from any viewpoint — be it lineage, nature, beauty, knowledge, energy, wealth, or abode.||2||

Therefore, O Lord! I have indeed accepted You as a consort and I have submitted myself to You. O lotus-eyed Krishna! Please arrive here [and accept me]; so that the prince of Cedi (Sisupala) does not takes away the property of brave You — just like a jackal should not take away the prey of a lion.||3||

If I have revered the all pervading Paramatman by social welfares (digging wells), oblations, obeying rules, penance, and serving demi-gods, saints, and preceptor, then O Gadagraja (Krishna)! You accept me after holding my hand — instead of anyone else like the son of Damaghosa (Sisupala).||4||

O Lord, Who is unconquered! Arrive secretly in Vidarbha one day before my marriage. Then after defeating all the army-commanders from the regions of Cedi and Magadha (Sisupala and Jarasandha), marry me with the ways of demons by showing Your valor and conquering power.||5||

If You are wondering that how will you conquer me without killing the women and relatives inside my palace, then I am telling You a way out. As per an old tradition, there is a grand fair before the marriage, during which the bride goes out to the temple of Girija for prayers.||6||

O lotus-eyed Krishna! If I don’t achieve the dust of Your feet, which is sought after by incomparable Ones like Umapati (Siva), then I will destroy my life. If the service of Your feet is not achieved in this life, then I will take hundreds of birth and do penance; I am sure I will achieve Your lotus feet some day.||7||

Notes:

¹This letter was sent to Krishna by Rukmini. It is a beautiful eulogy in which love for the divine is evident. The letter was carried by a Brahman, who was a trustee of Rukmini. The eulogy appears in tenth-book and fifty-second chapter of the Bhagavat Purana.

(Source:Bhagavat Purana)

Download Comics (17.29 MB)

Many many thanks to “Ajnaabi” for providing ACK scan.

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An out of print ACK

Kathasaritsagara is a famous 11th century AD collection of Indian legends, fairy tales and folk tales by Somadeva. It means in Sanskrit The ocean of the streams of stories.

It consists of 18 books of 124 chapters and more than 21,000 verses in addition to prose sections. The principle tale is the narrative of the adventures of Naravahanadatta, son of the legendary king Udayana. A large number of tales are built into this central story to make it the largest collection of Indian tales.

Not much is know about him except that his father's name was Rama and he composed his work (probably during the years 1063-81 AD) for the entertainment of the queen Suryamati, a princess of Jalandhara and wife of King Ananta of Kashmir. The queen it is said was quite distressed as it as time when the political situation was 'one of discontent, intrigue, bloodshed and despair'.

Though he was a Shaiva Brahmin, he was respectful of Buddhism and some of the tales in the Kathasaritsagara show Buddhist influences.

Somadeva, its author, is said to have included in this tome many stories which he had heard from others and which, in fact, had their origin in folk-literature. The Kathasaritsagara, which may justly be called a treasure of folk tales, has had considerable influence on countries which were in close touch with India during the Middle Ages. The Katha-sarit-sagara claims to be a mainly based on Gunadhya's Brhat-katha written in Paisachi dialect from the south of India. But the Kashmirian Brhat-katha from which Somadeva used material maybe quite different from the Paisachi one as there exist two versions of the Brhat-katha in Kashmir, in addition to Brhatkatha-sloka-samgraha of Buddhasvamin from Nepal. Like the Panchatantra, tales from this (or its main source book Brhat-katha) travelled to many parts of the world.

"Although its dates have not been conclusively established, the Kathasaritsagara is said to have been compiled b a Kashmiri Saivite Brahmin called Somadeva in AD 1070. Legend has it that Somadeva composed the Kathasaritsagara for queen Suryavati wife of King Anantadeva who ruled Kashmir in the eleventh century. The stories in this book are retold from ten of the eighteen books of the original Kathasaritsagara. The main narrative, or frame story, deals with the adventures of Naravahanadatta. The most remarkable feature of the Kathasaritsagara is that unlike other classics of the time, it offers no moral conclusions, no principles to live by and is throughout a celebration of earthly life...it is also an exhilarating anthology of stories. Thus we have promiscuous married women and clever courtesans; imbecile Brahmins and incompetent kings; and men and women who are cursed and granted boons and experience exciting adventures..."

R.K.Lakxman

Enjoy this ACK which is based on two stories from Kathasaritsagara.

Many many thanks to “Ajay Misra” for providing rare ACK scan.

About this blog

Our goal is rediscovering historical facts & mythological details, and share with all.

All materials used here, for informational purpose only.


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