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The Kathasaritsagara of Somadeva with Meena Arora Nayak

One of India’s greatest epics, the Kathasaritsagara is thought to have been compiled around 1070 CE by Somadeva Bhatt, during the reign of Raja Ananta of the Lohara dynasty of Kashmir. It is foundational for many of India’s best-loved folk tale traditions, such as Vetala Pachisi and Panchatantra, and it has influenced many of the world’s best-known classics, including One Thousand and One Nights and The Canterbury Tales.

Within its vast frame, the Kathasaritsagara has several hundred stories that owe their origin to India’s limitless storehouse of myth, scripture, and folklore. Snake gods rub shoulders with enchanted princesses, and heroic warrior-kings battle rakshasas tall as the sky and wide as the ocean. And through this skein of stories contained in eighteen books, Somadeva spins tales of love, infidelity, death, rebirth, sacrifice, fulfilment, courage, cowardliness, honesty, sadness, and much, much more.

Catch Meena Arora Nayak LIVE on LHI Circle as we dive deep into the fascinating tales of one of India’s greatest epics and understand how it influenced literature across the world.

Meena Arora Nayak is a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College, USA. She is also the author of the novels In the Aftermath (1992), About Daddy (2000) and Endless Rain (2006).

Here’s the recording of the LIVE Discussion with Meena Arora Nayak that happened on 4th September 2021.