Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Saundarya Lahari- Mani Rao

 Mani Rao is a much accomplished lady and a much accomplished poetess. I remember meeting her in a couple of festivals - Pune and Bangalore -perhaps and dropped in at her event at the HLF 2023. Her new book 'Soundarya Lahari' intrigued me with its description - a poem written by Adi Sankaracharya about Sakti which is encoded with yantra, tantra and mantra, supposedly highly powerful. I said hello to Mani at the 'Meet the Author' nook and she said hello and did not place me though I tried to jog her memory. I finally gave up and said I found her new book interesting and she signed a copy for me. She told me its the simplest translation of the Sanskrit version. I had to buy it right then.

It's a fascinating book - poem. I read it in English though the effect of reading it in Sanskrit is supposed to be better. The first part of the book is praise for Sakti whom all the gods revere, at whose feet they serve. The second part describes Sakti's beauty from head to toe. The third is a few prayers to Sakti. From what I read Mani did extensive study of how it is written, pronounced and so on. 

It's amazing.

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