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71 Pages

Telling Bodies

Sanskrit humorous and satirical works display a large gallery of interesting bodies-both human, symbolic and divine-caught in the most diversifi ed activities.

The episodes chosen to illustrate some of these motifs come from two of the ancient bhān.as (monologue plays) of the Caturbhān. ī collection, the Pādatād. itaka of Śyāmilaka and the Ubhāyābhisārikā of Vararuci, both probably composed around the sixth century C.E. Then from a more recent one, the Śāradātilaka of some Śan·kara, possibly belonging to the period between the fourteenth and the sixteenth century. And fi nally from some satires of Ks.emendra, the polymath of the eleventh century (Narmamālā, Deśopadeśa, Samayamātr. kā). Portions of hymns from the R. gveda and Atharvaveda collections are also quoted.