Satirical works of Kshemendra (study)

by Arpana Devi | 2017 | 60,954 words

This page relates ‘Kshemendra’s Birth Place’ 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.

3. Kṣemendra’s Birth Place

Kṣemendra was born in the land of Kashmir. In some of his works, Kṣemendra is found showing his respect and reverence for his native land. He praised his motherland as a place which is superior even to the abode of Indra. He said that Kashmir is the foremost among the blessed places, wherein were born many wise people.[1] But, Kṣemendra did not mention definitely anything about his place of residence. In the colophons of Aucityavicāracarcā[2] and the Bṛhatkathāmañjarī[3], it is mentioned that Kṣemendra’s father Prakāśendra established the idol of lord Śiva at Svayam, near Nijihāmā in Handawara Tahsil.[4] He died there embracing the image of lord Śiva. Hence, it is not sure but probable that Svayam was his birth place.

Again Kṣemendra’s last work Daśāvatāracarita[5] informs that he composed the said work in the Tripureśa Mountain. Hence, it may be assumed that Tripureśa was the birth place of Kṣemendra. But there is no definite evidence to prove that Tripureśaśaila was his birth place or usual place of residence. The position of the sacred site of Tripureśa can be fixed with great probability near the modern village of Triphar, at a distance of about three miles from the letter.[6] In the Nilamata Purāṇa, Tripureśa is stated as one of the prominent tīrthas in Kashmir.[7] Rājataraṅgiṇī also mentions the name of Tripureśa in several places due to its sanctity to be believed by the people of ancient days.[8] In one place of the same book it is mentioned that king Avantīvarman having suffered from illness proceeded to the site which adjoins the shrine of Śiva situated at the Tripureśa hill.[9]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

asti svastimatāmagryaṃ maṇḍitaṃ budhamaṇḍalaiḥ/
khaṇḍitākhaṇḍalāvāsadarpaṃ kaśmīramaṇḍalaṃ// Narmamālā ,I.2

[2]:

yaḥ śrīsvayambhūbhavane vicitre lepyapratiṣṭhāpitamātṛcakraḥ/
gobhūmikṛṣṇājinaveśmadātā tatraiva kāle tanumutsasarja// Aucityavicāracarcā ,Upasaṃhāra,2

[3]:

svayambhūnilaye śrīmān yaḥ pratiṣṭhāpya devatāḥ/
Bṛhatkathāmañjarī ,Upasaṃhāra,4

[4]:

Sastri, Pt. M.K.,The Deśopadeśa and Narmamālā of Kṣemendra, Introduction, p.21

[5]:

Daśāvatāracarita , Upasaṃhāra, 3

[6]:

Rājataraṅgiṇī , Vols. I-V.46 (fn.), p.192

[7]:

tripureśāgrataḥ puṇyāmavagāhya tu māhurīṃ/
mahādevagiriṃ dṛṣṭvā rudraloke mahīyate// Nilmata Purāṇa , 1371

[8]:

Rājataraṅgiṇī , V.46, VI.135, VII.151, 526,956

[9]:

Ibid., V. 123

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