Kamayani is one of the greatest epics which portrays the intricacies and complexities of modern life against the background of the advancement of technological society. Jaishankar Prasad has used one of the ancient Indian myths, which is reflected in the Christian as well as Islamic mythology, and an ancient school of Indian philosophy - The Kashmiri school - of Shaivism to express his understanding and perception of the modern society in terms of its problems and their possible solutions.
Broadly speaking, the text of Kamayani can be categorized into three components - the descriptive part, the imagery and the intellectual aspect. The translator has rendered very good translation of the descriptive parts of Kamayani as can be seen in the description of the Deva's culture or that of beauty of the Himalayas.
In short, Kamayani portrays an amazing breadth and depth of multidimensional meaning of modern life as seen in continuity with the finest elements of Indian, nay, human and cultural tradition.
Just as a painting cannot be recreated even by the best of painters, so also an epic cannot be recreated through translation. But attempts of translating significant works of literature have been made and will continue to be made because it is only through translation that men can know and assimilate all that is best in human tradition. Apart from this, a translation gives a clear idea of the very creative excellence of the work that is being translated inspite of very serious limitations which become all the ore difficult in an epic like Kamayani.
This translation is able to capture and communicate the creative excellence of the work, and this feature distinguishes this translation from other, earlier English translations of the Kamayani.
About the Author
JAI SHANKAR PRASAD has been one of the outstanding poets of Hindi literature, born in the holy city of Varanasi. Prasad was a profound scholar of Sanskrit literature possessing an extra ordinarily deep insight into Indian philosophy and Mythology. A novelist, a story writer and a play Wright of distinction, Prasad earned immortal fame by his renowned epic Kamayani, which dramatizes the culture and philosophy of India.
Prasad is a chayavadi lyricist and a Nature's poet. His hills, rivers, trees, stars, nights, dawn and dusk appear as live and life size figures in the literary presentation of the narrative.