The Ocean of Mirth
Reading Hāsyārṇava-Prahasanaṁ of Jagadēśvara Bhaṭṭāchārya, A Political Satire for All Times
The Ocean of Mirth brings together an English translation and an analytical interpretation of a singularly crucial, but obscure, Sanskrit medieval text, the Hāsyārṇava-Prahasanaṁ of Jagadēśvara Bhaṭṭāchārya. As a political satire, the volume finds significant resonances among contemporary questions of politics and society across the world, and examines the tension inherent in the clash of ideas such as freedom and order. In an unabashed celebration of disorder as the only way to fight violence, tyranny and autocratic impulses, Hāsyārṇava suggests no return to a Golden Age or to the rule of an iconic king; nor is there a promise of a saviour—a political farce that ends without any denouement in sight. One of the first authentic English translations of a neglected Sanskrit text from medieval India, this translation throws up interesting questions regarding values such as freedom, violence, order, chaos and disorder.
This volume will be a major intervention in the discovery of a significant non-canonical text of classical literature and will be indispensable for students, scholars and researchers of politics, philosophy, sociology, Indian literatures, Indology, comparative literature and culture studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. A note on the text and translation 3. Names of characters in Hāsyārṇava in order of appearance 4. English translation of Hāsyārṇava-Prahasanaṁ 5. Sanskrit translation of Hāsyārṇava-Prahasanaṁ
Jyotirmaya Sharma is Professor of Political Science at the University of Hyderabad, India. In 2015–16, he was Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. Between January and June 2012 he was a Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, and Fellow of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg at the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany, in 2012–13. He was also a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the French Network of Institutes for Advanced Study, RFIEA, between 2013 and 2016. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study, Germany.