Author: Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
Publisher: Ravi Dayal
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0863112536
Through this work, readers of English will at last have access to translations that capture the splendor and subtlety of the Gathasaptasati , one of the earliest surviving anthologies of Indian poetry.
Reputed to have been compiled in the 2nd century, it is a celebrated collection of 700 verses in Maharashtri Prakrit and composed in the compact, distilled Gatha form. The anthology has attracted several learned commentaries and been widely translated .
This volume contains translation by the author of 207 verses from the anthology. Together with the poems in English, the book reproduces the Prakrit text in the Devanagri script of each verse translated, with the Prakrit appearing above the relevant translation. The volume also contains an elegant and stimulating Translator's note and incisive comments by the translator on some of the poems.
Martha Ann Selby of the University of Chicago has provided an Afterword which, in a mere eleven pages, provides an admirable introduction to Prakrit literature in general and Gathasaptasati in particular.
Commenting on the translation, A K Ramanujan observed: They read beautifully. The translations are witty, terse, spare, memorable. At last the Gathasaptasati has found a translator.