Katha Saritsagara(Ocean Of Sreams Of Stories)

Katha Saritsagara is a famous  11th century collection

of Indian legends, folk and fairy tales written by  poet Somdeva

Bhatta in Sanskrit. The work was compiled for the entertainment

of  the queen  Suryamati, wife of king  Ananthadeva of Kashmir (1063-81).

C.H.Tawney translated them into English under the title,  ”Ocean of Streams

of Stories”  in 1880.The legend says that a saint–poet named Gunadhya had

composed 7 lakh verses which contained a series of interesting stories

in a vernacular language and sent those to  a particular

Satavahana (name of a dynasty) king, who was his

contemporary, through two of his disciples.

King refused to listen to those because the verses were

not written in Sanskrit. Deeply frustrated, Gunadhya went

to forest and read out the verses to the birds and animals

and started burning those one after another. Meanwhile

the king’s health began to deteriorate, as the food was not

nourishing him.He asked the cook, ”what’s wrong?” Cook

but depended on the hunter for the supply of meat. Hunter

was called in. The hunter disclosed that the birds and animals

were feeding themselves on the stories of Gunadhya. What

nutrition they would get from those? The king felt ashamed of

himself. He went to forest and apologised to Gunadhya. Alas!

by then 6 lakh verses were  burnt to ashes. The remaining one

lakh were saved by the king. Later based on those, Somdev Bhatta

wrote the Katha Saritsagara in Sanskrit.



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