His translations from the Sanskrit include Hitopadesa, Simhasana
Dvatrimsika, Subbashitauali, Kama Sutra, The Courtesan's Keeper,
Raghuuamsam and most recently Chanakya Niti, all published in
The earliest reference to this work, so far known, is from
the ninth century commentary Dhvanyaloka (IIL7), by the
famous Sanskrit critic Anandavardhana of Kashmir (c. 850 AD).
In his words as translated, 'Amaru proves that a poet can, in
a single stanza, convey so much sentiment that each appears
like a whole poem." Vamana, an earlier scholar statesman,
also from Kashmir (c. 800 AD), has quoted some verses of
Amaru in his own work, but without naming him.
The oldest existing recession of Amaru Shatakam3 was
made and commented on by Arjuna Varma Deva (c. 1215 AD),
a princely descendent of the celebrated scholar-king Bhoja
from central India. Much respected, it is still in use, including
by this translator. It has 102 verses with some others, later
added by its editor in an appendix drawn from subsequent
collections. Half a dozen of these are also included in the
present translation. Other recessions date from the succeeding
centuries." The contents of each also vary slightly. But all of
them, together with individual verses found in various old
anthologies, indicate a continuing Indian interest in Amour’s
poetry, stretching over a long time and from many different
parts of the country.
A picturesque example of this interest is found in legends
that link Amaru with the great Indian philosopher and seer
Adi Sankara (c.788-820 AD). That story first appeared'
in his fourteenth century biography Sankara Digvijaya by
Madhava Vidyaranya, one of his many followers.
Broadly, it is as follows. As is well known, the sage
Sankara travelled all over the country, to propagate and
discuss his thoughts. At a discussion in Kashmir he was
questioned about erotic matters with which, as a celibate,
he was unfamiliar. In order to understand them, using his
yogic powers he entered and temporarily brought back to life
the just deceased body of the local king Amaru, and visited
his harem several times. Thereafter he composed for future
record the verses still known by that king's name.
This tale was retold with other embellishments, including
in a later Amaru recession, whose editor also considered that
the verses had dual meanings, both physical and mystic. But
the story has been rejected by modern scholarship over the
last century. Also, there is no trace of any king Amaru in the
history of Kashmir.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Children’s Books (475)
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