Bhartrihari occupies a prominent place among the ancient poets of Sanskrit literature. He belonged to the eminent tradition of Valmiki, Vyasa, and Kalidasa, the greatest poet and dramatist of Sanskrit literature.
Bhartrihari's output was not very large, but it had a brilliant quality of thought and imagination. He wrote prose as well as verse as it pleased him. But all his writing is pithy, compact and original in imagery. There is a remarkable depth in his thinking on subjects as diverse as polity in a civilized society, erotica and total renunciation. He has an admirably sharp and penetrating wit.
Bhartrihari was a king, a jilted lover, a ladies' man and a gifted poet. His Sringarashatakam is erotic filigree delicately carved in rich detail. In this anthology, Bhartrihari deals with the themes of love, separation, of deceit, of rendezvous and of burning passion. From the innocent to the well versed, Bhartrihari has something to ignite and yet entertain the mind of anyone aesthetically inclined. Sringarashatakam is different from Kamasutra: it excites because it deals subtly with human emotion of love and rejection.
Bhartrihari's Sringarashatakam has the colour of palaash and saffron, fragrance of sandal, kewra, juhi and mogra flowers, song of the koel and of the dancing peacocks, kingly gait of the swans, and music of the droning black bees and the slanted naughty glances of doe like damsels. Rich in details, warm in colour, soothing in the after glow of love, Sringarashatakam shlokas cannot be put down
Rajendra Tandon's translation of Sringarashatakam in modern English captures the soul of Bhartrihari's writing and brings out its distinct flavour for the connoisseur. The West discovered Bhartrihari in 1651. it is time for rediscovery with a modern English translation.
About The Author
Rajendra Tandon is deeply interested in nature and its myriad manifestation. His interests include plants, flowers, birds and their distinct sounds, astronomy, Indian and western classical music, painting, sculpture and ancient monuments. He watches human interaction among those surrounding his with the detached eye of an artist and takes delight in the study of individual idiosyncracies. The three shatakas of Bhartrihari have provided Rajendra Tandon a perfect canvas on which he could delineate all the above in the poet's own words translated into the English language.
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