Much Ado about Religion

320 pages

February, 2005

ISBN: 9780814719794

Subjects:

Literature

Part of the Clay Sanskrit Library series

Authors

All books by Bhatta Jayanta

All books by Csaba Dezsö

This play satirizes various religions in Kashmir and their place in the politics of King Shankaravarman (883–902). The leading character is a young and dynamic orthodox graduate, whose career starts as a glorious campaign against the heretic Buddhists, Jains, and other antisocial sects. By the end of the play he realizes that the interests of the monarch do not encourage such inquisitional rigor.

Unique in Sanskrit literature, Jayánta Bhatta's play, Much Ado About Religion, is a curious mixture of fiction and history, of scathing satire and intriguing philosophical argumentation. The play satirizes various religions in Kashmir and their place in the politics of King Shánkara·varman (883-902 CE). The leading character, Sankárshana, is a young and dynamic orthodox graduate of Vedic studies, whose career starts as a glorious campaign against the heretic Buddhists, Jains and other antisocial sects.

Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation

For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org

Reviews

  • “The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres: aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance.”

    —Willis G. Regier, The Chronicle Review

  • “No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality, the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian language accessible to a modern international audience.”

    The Times Higher Education Supplement

  • “The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little volumes.”

    New Criterion

  • “Published in the geek-chic format.”

    BookForum

  • “Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit Library may remedy this state of affairs.”

    Tricycle