“The Ocean of the Rivers of Story” by Somadeva (Volume 2)
"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."
"Published in the geek-chic format."
"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."
”Now an ambitious new publishing project, the Clay Sanskrit Library brings together leading Sanskrit translators and scholars of Indology from around the world to celebrate in translating the beauty and range of classical Sanskrit literature. . . . Published as smart green hardbacks that are small enough to fit into a jeans pocket, the volumes are meant to satisfy both the scholar and the lay reader. Each volume has a transliteration of the original Sanskrit text on the left-hand page and an English translation on the right, as also a helpful introduction and notes. Alongside definitive translations of the great Indian epics 30 or so volumes will be devoted to the Maha·bhárat itself Clay Sanskrit Library makes available to the English-speaking reader many other delights: The earthy verse of Bhartri·hari, the pungent satire of Jayánta Bhatta and the roving narratives of Dandin, among others. All these writers belong properly not just to Indian literature, but to world literature.”
”The Clay Sanskrit Library has recently set out to change the scene by making available well-translated dual-language (English and Sanskrit) editions of popular Sanskritic texts for the public.”
The frame narrative in “The Ocean of the Rivers of Story” is so swamped in the flood of stories that it is not until volume two of the CSL edition, 3,000 verses into the text, that Nara·váhana·datta, the protagonist, is born. Shiva has foretold his birth and said that he is a partial incarnation of the god of love and will become the emperor of the sorcerers. From here on the main narrative and many of the tales pouring into it describe the exploits of sorcerers and lovers. This volume ends with the events preceding the birth of Mádana·máñchuka, Nara·váhana·datta’s first and greatest love.