The stories in this collection are from the Kathasaritasagara, or trhe ocean of the streams of stories.
It is an eleventh century Sanskrit classic by Samadeva, dazzling in its variety. Humour, wit, romance, adventure and myth all find their place here, often in the same tale. It tells stories of ordinary people, as well as of the making of Kingdoms.
The Kathasaritasagara is said to be derived from a more ancient text, the Brihat Katha, which is now last.
Ratnadatta, a merchant of Ayodhya, is upset because his daughter Ratnavati refuses to marry any of the highly eligible princes who have asked for her hands.
In another story, when Upakasha’s betrothed, Vararuchi, goes away from Pataliputra, he leaves money for her with a merchant. But the wily merchant decides to cheat her. Also, with Vararuchi out of town, three other men are importuning her to marry them. Upakosha thinks up a plan to rid herself of all her troubles at one go!
These lively and compiling stories are taken from the Kathasaritasagara, the ocean of the streams of stories. They describe life in the bustling cities of Ayodhya and Pataliputra, filled with a variety of characters: rogues, adventures and wits.
A wondering bard, named Manorathasiddhi, happens to be in Vidisha when the princess, Hamsavali, is to give a dance performance. He is so enchanted by her skill and beauty, that he decides that she must marry prince kamalakara of Kasala. The next morning, he sets in motion a complicated plan hoping they will fall in love with each other, not realizing that one of Hamsavali’s companions is platting to marry6 the prince herself.
The story of Hamsavali is taken from Samadeva’s 11th century classic, the Kathasaritasagara. It is a collection of fables, legends, and folk tales. The name ‘Kathasaritasagra’ means the ocean of the streams of stories.’ Hamsavali
Born by the blessing of the Goddess Shri or Lakshmi, Shridatta leads a charmed life. He has loving parents, an excellent education and an honoured place as a companion to prince Vikramashakti of pataliputra.
But then the prince gets jealous and has Shridatta’s parents Killed. Homeless but determined of stories. The hundreds of adventures, romances, fables and legends that make up the Kathasaritasagara deal with bath the stories of kingdoms and the everyday troubles of ordinary people.
King Virabhuja, the generous and just king of Vardhamana, is unaware of the turmoil in his palace. For of his hundred wives, ninety-nine are conspiring to destroy the chief queen and Virabhuja’s favourite, Gunavara, and her son, Shringabhuja. Tricked by the other princes, Shringabhuja has to leave the palace in search of his father’s favourite golden arrow and into the Kingdom of the fearsome demon, Agnishikha.
The story of Shringabhuja is taken from the Kathasaritasagara, the repository of ancient Indian tales. Though the Kathasaritasagara contains a huge variety of fables, folk-tales and legends, it is said to be from an earler, even longer collection, the now-lost Brihat Katha.
Blessed by Shiva, Putraka is a wealthy king, until the father and uncles who abandoned him even before he was born,return. They scheme to murder Putraka. Putraka leaves them his kingdom and walks into the forest, determined to create a new life for himself.
Putraka tells the legend of the founding of the vibrant city of Pataliputra (modern-day Patna). It was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Magadha to many powerful rulers- the Mauryas, the Guptas and Ashoka.
The stories in this collection, which also contains Punyasena aand The right Moment, are taken from Samadeva’s classic, the Kathasaritasagara.
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