Overview for Somadeva's Yasastilaka: Aspects of Jainism, Indian Thought and Culture
Yashastilaka by Somadeva, composed in ce 959, is a Jaina religious romance written in Sanskrit prose and verse. It is notable as an encyclopaedic record of literary, socio-political, religious and philosophical data that throws light on the cultural history of the Deccan in early medieval India. This volume presents a critical study of the work, providing a comprehensive picture of the life and thought of the time of Somadeva. It begins with a discussion on Somadeva and his age and gives a synopsis of Yashastilaka. it examines the Yashastilaka as a prose and a religious romance, a socio-political record and as an anthology of Sanskrit verse. The book discusses various philosophical doctrines in Indian thought. With many detailed references and footnotes, it reveals the Yashastilaka as a work that expounds the cardinal teachings of Jainism. It throws light on Jaina dogmatics, religious poetry, moral and religious stories, and myths and legends in the process of examining the work. The volume also has supplementary notes incorporating the results of studies on Somadeva's relations with the Vemulavada Calukyas and the locality in which he wrote his masterpiece.