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'A joyful rendition of an iconic text' - Arundhathi Subramaniam
Saundarya Lahari is a popular Sanskrit hymn celebrating the power and beauty of Sakti, the primordial goddess. In one hundred verses, it underlines the centrality of the feminine principle in Indian thought.
Attributed to Adi Sankaracarya, Saundarya Lahari is a valuable source for understanding tantric ideas. Every verse is associated with yantras and encoded mantras for tantric rituals, and specific verses in the hymn are considered potent for acquiring good health, lovers, and even poetic skills.
Mani Rao's Saundarya Lahari is an inspired, lyrical translation that renders the esoteric immediate and the distant near.
'Mani Rao's translations have a hard-won simplicity and ripeness. This joyful rendition of an iconic text will offer its share of literary delight, as well as a key to a deeper alchemy. These translations with their ease and lightness of touch will resonate with lovers of poetry as well as travellers on the path of the Divine Feminine.' - Arundhathi Subramaniam, author of When God Is a Traveller
Mani Rao is the author of ten poetry books including Sing to Me, New & Selected Poems, Ghostmasters and Echolocation. Her books in translation from Sanskrit include Bhagavad Gita and Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader. She did immersive fieldwork among tantric communities in Andhra–Telangana for Living Mantra: Mantra, Deity and Visionary Experience Today. Mani has an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Religious Studies.