Mahābhārata: - Saṃnyāsa, Yajña-dāna-tapas

This article is part 16 of 22 in the series Vacana Bhārata by Prof A.R. Krishna Sastri


Saṃnyāsa, Yajña-dāna-tapas

By the time of the Mahābhārata, it seems that several people had given up worldly life and had taken up saṃnyāsa; they practiced abstinence and lived on roots and fruits in āśramas (hermitage) that they constructed in the wild. It was common for the kings to take up the lifestyle of a muni (sage, ascetic) during old age. Saṃnyāsa is the fourth āśrama (stage of life).


Even when slightly perturbed, Yudhiṣṭhira repeatedly spoke words of detachment; he often exclaimed in despair that he would give up everything and walk away. Standing between the two armies ready for battle, at a crucial moment Arjuna says that he would take up saṃnyāsa and walk away from the war. Kṛṣṇa does not approve of saṃnyāsa that is devoid of discernment and it is for this reason that he counsels Arjuna in many words. Kṛṣṇa says that if Arjuna gives up war and takes up saṃnyāsa, it would certainly violate dharma and would lead to sin. Bhīma says the same thing in his typical rustic manner, “If such renunciation leads to the highest heaven, then even deer, pigs, birds, and other animals would easily attain the highest; mountains, plants, and trees too would acquire perfection, for they are eternal saṃnyāsis, forever restrained. They cause no harm to anyone! Therefore, each one needs to adhere to the karma prescribed to them; work leads to perfection, not staying away from it!”


A similar discussion occurs in the eighteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā. Discretion in the execution of kāmya-karma (action motivated by desire) is saṃnyāsa; true renunciation is karma-phala-tyāga (giving up attachment to the fruit of action) (See BG 18.2 – काम्यानां कर्मणां न्यासं संन्यासं कवयो विदुः। सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं प्राहुस्त्यागं विचक्षणाः॥ “Saṃnyāsa is giving up actions driven by selfish desire. Tyāga is giving up attachments to the results of all actions.”)


None should abstain from yajña, dāna, and tapas; those are the prescribed duties. True renunciation is not the abandoning of sva-karma considering it to be difficult. We have seen earlier what Kṛṣṇa means by yajña. Dāna refers to ‘giving;’ sāttvika-dāna is giving with the spirit of sharing, keeping in mind the appropriateness of place, time, the receiver of the gift and nature of the gift. Rājasika- dāna is giving with the expectation of something in return or with certain vested interests and feeling that giving is a burden. Tāmasika-dāna is giving something while paying no heed to the place, time, the recipient or the gift.


दातव्यमिति यद्दानं
देशे काले च पात्रे च
तद्दानं सात्त्विकं स्मृतम्॥


यत्तु प्रत्युपकारार्थं
फलमुद्दिश्य वा पुनः।
दीयते च परिक्लिष्टं
तद्दानं राजसं स्मृतम्॥


अदेशकाले यद्दानम्
अपात्रेभ्यश्च दीयते।


Bhagavad-gītā 17.20-22


It is needless to say that sāttvika-dāna is the best. This has been discussed in detail in the Anuśāsana-parva. Here, the receiver of the gift, or ‘pātra’ does not merely refer to a brāhmaṇa. Just as receiving gifts is prescribed for brāhmaṇas, it is also expected of them to perform sāttvika-dāna. Even today (c. 1950), brāhmaṇas with integrity refuse to take mahā-dāna (a great gift far above their needs) and durdānas (an inappropriate gift); even if they are obligated to receive the gift, they will put aside a significant share for the deva-brāhmaṇas (brāhmaṇas of a superior kind); they perform japa (chanting) and tapas (penance) to absolve themselves from the sin of accepting a gift. In the Mahābhārata, there is not a single account of a brāhmaṇa becoming rich through the receipt of gifts. (This is also possibly true of ancient and modern Hindu society). Nowhere does the epic mention that Droṇa and Kṛpa —archery tutors to the crown-prince Duryodhana—were wealthy. The Mudrārākṣasa describes Cāṇakya, the minister of Candragupta-maurya as living in a hut (and not enjoying royal comforts).

"इदमार्यचाणक्यगृहम्। यावत् प्रविशामि। This is the house of Ācārya Cāṇakya. I shall enter it.

अहो राजाधिराजमन्त्रिणो विभूतिः। Oh look at the grandeur of the minister of the king of kings!

तथाहि। This is it:


उपलशकलमेतद्भेदकं गोमयानां
बटुभि रुपहृतानां बर्हिषां स्तूपमेतत्।
शरणमपि समिद्भिः शुष्यमाणाभिराभि-
र्विनामितपटलान्तं दृश्यते जीर्णकुड्यम्॥ (Act 3, verse 15)

Here’s a stone for breaking cow-dung cakes
Here’s a heap of sacred grass brought by disciples
The lower ends of the roof of this house with dilapidated walls seem to
bend under the weight of the sacred wooden sticks left to dry in the sun (Mudrārākṣasa, Act III, verse 15)


Vidyāraṇya, the minister of the Vijayanagara Empire and Ramadāsa from the Marāṭha empire were both saṃnyāsis. In the past, brāhmaṇas carried out their secular and spiritual activities with royal patronage. The epic says that Dharmarāja was nourishing thousands of snātakas (fresh graduates). Even a person like Jarāsandha had regard for snātakas. Duryodhana was jealous that he could not match Dharmarāja in the nourishment of brāhmaṇas. Because of such patronage, brāhmaṇas could dedicate their time and energy to study and teaching without any other worries; the Vedas and the śāstras were firmly established; they grew extensively; knowledge spread widely.


Now, we shall say a few words about tapas. Just like yajña, tapas too spread widely once upon a time. At the end of the Mahābhārata, there is a detailed and subtle description of the tapas undertaken by Vidura. There might be people who bow down to tapas merely by reading this description! Different scholars have given different meanings to the word ‘tapas;’ however, its primary connotation is ‘a tireless effort, constant practise;’ it does not refer to meaningless struggle. The essence of tapas is the following:


One must not fatten the body; if one does that, it will be like crop with excess manure; in such crops, there will be an excess growth of leaves; it will neither bear fruits nor flowers; that said, one should not emaciate the body; in a dried up crop, no leaves are present, let alone fruits. Along with a light and healthy body, the intellect must also be sharp and life should be full of activity. If the intellect becomes dull, then the vision of this Self behind is also blurred. Therefore, mindful physical toil is essential, as is mental work; this is tapas. Meaningless toil, torture of the body, non-activity and lethargy don’t amount to tapas. (See BG 17.6 – कर्शयन्तः शरीरस्थं भूतग्राममचेतसः। मां चैवान्तःशरीरस्थं तान्विद्ध्यासुरनिश्चयान्॥ “They foolishly torture the body and also the divine spirit within. Know them to be of a demonic resolve.”).

Due to improper food habits, the rājasika and tāmasika tendencies increase resulting in heaviness of the body, dulling of the mind and general instability. This is something we know from our own experience. If the intellect gets blurred and becomes unstable, the Self does not awaken and get enlightened. Self is like the fire that is hidden in the araṇi (fire producing sticks). To extract fire, one must forcibly rub the fire-sticks and put efforts; it first appears as a tiny spark; one needs to preserve it with care just like a child; having preserved it so, subsequently, we can use the fire for performing any yajña, or burning anything. Therefore, food, enjoyment, sleep, wakefulness, work and leisure – all of these must be appropriate. It should never cross limits.


नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति
न चैकान्तमनश्नतः।
न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य
जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन॥

(Indeed yoga is not for one who eats too much or too little. It is also not for one who sleeps too much or stays awake for too long.)


युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु।
योगो भवति दुःखहा॥

(Whereas, yoga destroys all sorrows for one who takes the right measure of food, is moderate in sleep and in staying awake, works in a disciplined manner, and enjoys moments of recreation.)

Bhagavad-gītā 6.16-17


Tapas is not closing the eyes and sitting quietly for a few moments, but is to constantly practised in thought, speech and action. The Gītā says:

पूजनं शौचमार्जवम्।
ब्रह्मचर्यमहिंसा च
शारीरं तप उच्यते॥

(Simplicity, self-restraint, purity, chastity, benevolence, and respect for gods, dvijas, gurus, and the wise – this is austerity of body.)


अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं
सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत्।
स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव
वाङ्मयं तप उच्यते॥

(Speaking words that are truthful, pleasant, beneficial, and not causing distress or anxiety, as well as the study and recitation of scriptures – this is austerity of speech.)


मनःप्रसादः सौम्यत्वं
तपो मानसमुच्यते॥

(Silence, serenity of mind, self-control, gentleness, and purity of thought and being – this is austerity of mind.)

Bhagavad-gītā 17.14-16


This is not something that is extremely difficult or terrifying; it is possible for everyone. It is this kind of tapas that Sāvitrī also did; in addition, meditation, regulation of food intake and service to elders.


In summary, it would not be incorrect to say – attaining mokṣa through jñāna and by not abandoning karma that is undertaken in alignment to our innate temperament (sva-dharma) and increasing sattva while reducing rajas and tamas in all aspects of our life is the dharma prescribed in the Gītā and it is the dharma of the epic as a whole.


[“The Purusha is hidden behind the veils of corruptible flesh and restless mind, all of which offer hindrances to the method of yoga.” – Dr. S. Radhakrishnan; Indian Philosophy, Volume II, p. 352]


Dharma results in peace. It is not to be undertaken with a utilitarian mindset or with a specific goal in mind. Yudhiṣṭhira says this clearly to Draupadī – “One must not think of dharma as raising a cow with the purpose of milking it.” However, in general, we all have the feeling that if we adhere to dharma, we will attain happiness. Draupadī complains that ‘dharma, ahiṃsā (non-violence), kṣamā (tolerance), ṛjutva (straightforwardness), dayā (compassion) – these never help man.” Bhīma adds, “a person who blindly followed dharma never gained kingdom, wealth, or prosperity; one who undertakes a profitless business is just rubbing the back of a donkey!”


[For a similar discussion on the aspects of dharma, compare the śloka

‘शुभे वर्त्मनि तिष्ठन्तं त्वामार्यविजितेन्द्रियम्।

अनर्थेभ्यो न शक्नोति त्रातुं धर्मो निरर्थकः॥’ –

Lakṣmaṇa tells Rāma, “Just because you tread a noble path and have subdued the senses, (blind adherence to) dharma cannot protect you from adversities; such dharma is meaningless.” – Yuddha-kāṇḍa 83.14.]



Dharmarāja consoles them saying that their utterances are a result of rājasika tendency. Their intention, however, was to incite him to action; it is not sufficient if he merely stands in the realm of dharma; he should also move about in the realms of artha and kāma. In that case, what is the nature of sattva and what role does ahiṃsā play in our lives?


To be continued.

Thanks to Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh for his astute feedback.



Prof. A R Krishna Sastri was a journalist, scholar, polyglot, and a pioneer of the modern Kannada renaissance, who founded the literary journal Prabuddha Karnāṭaka. His Vacana-bhārata and Kathāmṛta are classics of Kannada literature while his Saṃskṛta-nāṭaka and Bankimacandra are of unrivalled scholarship.



Arjun is a writer, translator, engineer, and enjoys composing poems. He is well-versed in Sanskrit, Kannada, English, Greek, and German languages. His research interests lie in comparative aesthetics of classical Greek and Sanskrit literature. He has deep interest in the theatre arts and music. Arjun has (co-) translated the works of AR Krishna Shastri, DV Gundappa, Dr. SL Bhyrappa, Dr. SR Ramaswamy and Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh


Hari is an author, translator, editor, designer, and violinist with a deep interest in philosophy, education pedagogy, literature, and films. He has (co-)written/translated and (co-)edited some forty books, mostly related to Indian culture.

Prekshaa Publications

Indian Perspective of Truth and Beauty in Homer’s Epics is a unique work on the comparative study of the Greek Epics Iliad and Odyssey with the Indian Epics – Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Homer, who laid the foundations for the classical tradition of the West, occupies a stature similar to that occupied by the seer-poets Vālmīki and Vyāsa, who are synonymous with the Indian culture. The author...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the sixth volume of reminiscences character sketches of prominent public figures, liberals, and social workers. These remarkable personages hailing from different corners of South India are from a period that spans from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Written in Kannada in the 1970s, these memoirs go...

An Introduction to Hinduism based on Primary Sources

Authors: Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh, Hari Ravikumar

What is the philosophical basis for Sanātana-dharma, the ancient Indian way of life? What makes it the most inclusive and natural of all religio-philosophical systems in the world?

The Essential Sanātana-dharma serves as a handbook for anyone who wishes to grasp the...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fifth volume, episodes from the lives of traditional savants responsible for upholding the Vedic culture. These memorable characters lived a life of opulence amidst poverty— theirs  was the wealth of the soul, far beyond money and gold. These vidvāns hailed from different corners of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom and lived in...

Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam represents the quintessence of Sage Bharata’s art and Bhārata, the country that gave birth to the peerless seer of the Nāṭya-veda. Padma’s erudition in various streams of Indic knowledge, mastery over many classical arts, deep understanding of the nuances of Indian culture, creative genius, and sublime vision bolstered by the vedāntic and nationalistic...

Bhārata has been a land of plenty in many ways. We have had a timeless tradition of the twofold principle of Brāhma (spirit of wisdom) and Kṣāttra (spirit of valour) nourishing and protecting this sacred land. The Hindu civilisation, rooted in Sanātana-dharma, has constantly been enriched by brāhma and safeguarded by kṣāttra.
The renowned Sanskrit poet and scholar, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R...

ಛಂದೋವಿವೇಕವು ವರ್ಣವೃತ್ತ, ಮಾತ್ರಾಜಾತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಷಣಜಾತಿ ಎಂದು ವಿಭಕ್ತವಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬಗೆಯ ಛಂದಸ್ಸುಗಳನ್ನೂ ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳ ಸಂಕಲನ. ಲೇಖಕರ ದೀರ್ಘಕಾಲಿಕ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯ ಸಾರವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ಈ ಹೊತ್ತಗೆ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಛಂದಸ್ಸಿನ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತೌಲನಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಗಳ ತೆಕ್ಕೆಗೆ ಬರುವ ಬರೆಹಗಳೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಕಾರನಿಗಲ್ಲದೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತನಾದ ಕವಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸ್ಫುರಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಹೊಳಹುಗಳು ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೌಲಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಈ...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fourth volume, some character sketches of the Dewans of Mysore preceded by an account of the political framework of the State before Independence and followed by a review of the political conditions of the State after 1940. These remarkable leaders of Mysore lived in a period that spans from the mid-nineteenth century to the...

Bharatiya Kavya-mimamseya Hinnele is a monograph on Indian Aesthetics by Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sharma. The book discusses the history and significance of concepts pivotal to Indian literary theory. It is equally useful to the learned and the laity.

Sahitya-samhite is a collection of literary essays in Kannada. The book discusses aestheticians such as Ananda-vardhana and Rajashekhara; Sanskrit scholars such as Mena Ramakrishna Bhat, Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar and K S Arjunwadkar; and Kannada litterateurs such as DVG, S L Bhyrappa and S R Ramaswamy. It has a foreword by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh.

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective to every discussion. These essays deal with the philosophy, history, aesthetics, and practice of...


इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।


अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...


ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...


“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...