Satirical works of Kshemendra (study)

by Arpana Devi | 2017 | 60,954 words

This page relates ‘Kshemendra’s Family’ part of the study on the Satirical works of Kshemendra: an 11th century poet from Kashmir, who composed three satirical works. Kshemendra himself says that in composing the satirical works his only motive is to reform the mindset of the people.—He exposes all the vices and follies prevailing in the society with the intention to reform it.

The colophons of Kṣemendra’s works inform that the name of Kṣemendra’s father was Prakāśendra and the name of his grandfather was Sindhu.[1] In the Introduction to the Bauddhāvadānakalpalatā[2] Somendra puts more light on the genealogy of Kṣemendra’s forefathers. The work informs that Bhogīndra was the father of Sindhu, Sindhu’s son was Prakāśendra, Prakāśendra was the father of Kṣemendra and Kṣemendra’s son was Somendra. Whether Kṣemendra had another offspring other then Somendra, is not known specifically.

Bhogīndra is said to be the descendant of Narendra, a minister of king Jayāpīḍa of Kashmir. But other descendants between Bhogīndra and Narendra are nowhere mentioned. In the Rājataraṅgiṇī, the name of Narendra is not met with as a minister of Jayāpīḍa. It is probable that he was one of the many ministers but his name did not find place in the Rājataraṅgiṇī as he held some unimportant office.[3] Somendra mentions Narendra as a man having a good intellect (sumati). Somendra also mentions the qualities of Bhogīndra in the Introduction to his Bauddhāvadānakalpalatā He says that Bhogīndra is a man of immense power or strength (sattvanidhi).

Bhogīndra’s son Sindhu is described by Somendra as a treasure of all qualities (guṇaratnagaṇāśrayaḥ). Sindhu is mentioned as śrīmān i.e fortunate one.[4] In the Daśāvatāracarita[5] of Kṣemendra, Sindhu is said to be greater than ocean (sindhuradhikaḥ sindhoḥ).

Prakāśendra is also well praised by his son Kṣemendra as well as his grandson Somendra. Prakāśendra was so named due to his glorification of superior qualities.[6] He was a person having abundance of wealth. He became well known for his charity to the Brāhmaṇas. According to Pādatāḍitaka M.K Shastri, the title Indra in the name of Prakāśendra was conferred on account of the handsome gifts he made to the Brāhmaṇas.[7] Kṣemendra praises Prakāśendra as the second moon, whose popularity was spreading in the earth like the moon light.[8] Like the wish-yielding tree (kalpavṛkṣa) he granted the desires of those who wished for something.[9] He always arranged feast for the Brāhmaṇas in his own residence.[10] It is mentioned that he spent twenty five laces on Gods, Brāhmaṇas and in constructing various maṭhas.[11] During solar eclipse he offered three black buck skin (kṛṣṇājina) to the Brāhmaṇas along with three lacs to each one.[12] Somendra eulogises Prakāśendra by saying that his grandfather earned the virtues of Bodhisattva through the merits achieved by his charity.[13] Prakāśendra was truly a devotee of god Śiva. It is mentioned that he died embracing the idol of lord Śiva.[14] Thus, it can be said that Kṣemendra was born in a very rich and reputed Brāhmaṇa family. His forefathers enjoyed a good position in the community.

Again one Cakrapāla is mentioned as the brother of Kṣemendra. The expression yathā caitad-bhrātuscakrapālasya mentioned in the Kavikaṇṭhābharaṇa[15] indicates that Kṣemendra had one brother called Cakrapāla. The expression finds place just after quoting one verse of poet Muktākaṇa.[16] The pronoun etad in the word etadbhrātuḥ occurring in the above quoted statement obviously refers to poet Muktākaṇa mentioned just before in the said context, so that Cakrapāla, appears to be Muktākaṇa’s brother and not Kṣemendra’s.[17] Moreover, the name itself sounds strangely unusual, being out of tune with the names of the other near members of the family, viz., Prakāśendra, Kṣemendra and Somendra.[18]

On the basis of the information provided by both Kṣemendra and his son Somendra the family tree of Kṣemendra may be shown as follows-

Narendra (Minister to king Jayāpīḍa of Kashmir)


Footnotes and references:


a. āsīt prkāśendra iti prakāśaḥ kāśmīradeśe tridaśeśvaraśrīḥ/
abhūd gṛhe yasya pavitrasatramacchinnamagrāsanamagrajānāṃ// Aucityavicāracarcā ,Upasaṃhāra,1
b. kaśmīreṣu babhūva sindhuradhikaḥ siṅdhośca nimnāśayaḥ/
prāptastasya guṇaprakarṣayaśasā putraḥ prakāśendratāṃ// Daśāvatāracarita ,Upasaṃhāra,2
c. kaśmīrako guṇādhāraprakaṇḍaścābhidho'bhavat/
nānārthijanasaṅkalpapūraṇe kalpapādapaḥ// Bṛhatkathāmañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,1
d. kāśmīrako guṇādhāraḥ prakāśendrābhidho’bhavat/
nānārthisārthasaṅkalpapūraṇe kalpapādapaḥ// Bhāratamañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,1
e. kaśmīreṣvabhavat sindhujanmā candra ivāparaḥ/
prakāśendraḥ sthirā yasya pṛthivyāṃ kīrtikaumudī// Rāmāyaṇamañjarī ,Upasaṃhār,1


narendranāmnaḥ sumateḥ śrījayāpīḍamantriṇaḥ/
vaṃśe babhūva bhogīndro bhogīndra iva bhogavān//
tasya sattvanidheḥ śrīmān guṇaratnagaṇāśrayaḥ/
sūnurvāṇīsudhāsūtiḥ sindhuḥ sindhurivābhavat//
tasya putraḥ prakāśendraḥ prakāśendranibho bhuvi/
babhūva dānapuṇyena bodhisattvaguṇocitaḥ//
kṣemendrastanayastasya kavīndraḥ kīrticandrikā/
candrasyevoditā yasya mānasollāsinī satāṃ// Bauddhāvadānakalpalatā ,Introduction,1-4


Suryakanta, Dr., Kṣemendra Studies, p.9


tasya sattvanidheḥ śrīmān guṇaratnagaṇāśrayaḥ/
sunurvāṇīsudhāsūtiḥ sindhuḥ sindhurivābhavat// Bauddhāvadānakalpalatā , Introduction,2


kaśmireṣu babhūva sindhuradhikaḥ sindhośca nimnāśayaḥ/
Daśāvatāracarita ,Upasaṃhāra,2


prāptastasya guṇaprakarṣayaśasā putraḥ prakāśendratāṃ/


Shastri, Pandit M.K.,The Deśopadeśa and Narmamālā of Kṣemendra, Introduction,p.21


kaśmīreṣvabhavat sindhujanmā candra ivāparaḥ/
Rāmāyaṇamañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,1


kāśmirako guṇādhāraprakaṇḍaścābhidho’bhavat/
nānārthijanasaṅkalpapūraṇe kalpapādapaḥ// Bṛhatkathāmañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,1


agaṇeyamabhūd gehe yasya bhojyaṃ dvijanmanāṃ/


svayambhūnilaye śrīmān yaḥ pratiṣṭhāpya devatāḥ/
dattvā koṭisaturbhāgaṃ devadvijamaṭhādiṣu// ibid., Upasaṃhāra,4


sūryagrahe trivirlakṣairdattvā kṛṣṇājinatrayaṃ alpaprado’smītyabhavat sa lajjānatakandharaḥ// ibid., Upasaṃhāra,3


babhūva dānapuṇyena bodhisattvaguṇocitaḥ/
Bauddhāvadānakalpalatā , Introduction,3


pujayitvā svayaṃ śambhuṃ prasaradbāṣpanirbharaḥ/
gāḍhaṃ dorbhyāṃ samāliṅgya yastatraiva vyapadyata// Bṛhatkathāmañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,5


Kavikaṇṭhābharaṇa , II. P.71


ibid., II. p.70


Dattary, Rajatbaran, A Critical Survey of the Life and Works of Kṣemendra, p.62



Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: