ISBN 9788129105660,Ardhakathanaka: Half A Tale

Ardhakathanaka: Half A Tale


Mukund Lath


Rupa & Co



Rupa & Co

Publication Year 2005

ISBN 9788129105660

ISBN-10 8129105667


Number of Pages 300 Pages
Language (English)


The "Ardhakathanaka" is a remarkable work. Written during the heyday of the Mughal rule in 1641 A.D., it is perhaps the only autobiography in the Indian tradition. Banarasi, its author, was evidently working without precedence. Yet he was surprisingly cognizant of the complexity of his task and the depth of introspection it needed. "A man's life has much that is subtly secret and profoundly beyond grasp. Even within the tiny span of a day he passes through myriad states of consciousness. The Omniscient Tirthankara, perhaps, sees it all, but even he cannot report it in its fullness." This was his comment at the end of his narrative. Born in a merchant family that had migrated from Rajasthan to Jaunpur in eastern U.P., Banarasi spent an eventful life in many Mughal towns, finally settling in Agra where he wrote "Half a Tale" at the age of 55. He died about two years later. Mukund Lath has written and translated several works, including an English translation of Kalpasutra, an ancient biography of Mahavir, originally in Prakrit. He received the Shankar Puraskar for his Sangita Evam Chinatan, a unique depiction of the nature of thought on the analogy of Indian ragas. Mukund Lath studied music under several gurus, including Pandit Jasraj, with whom he travelled through the Uttarkhand Himalayas on foot, studying music.