Showing posts with label Bhartrhari. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bhartrhari. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Bhartrhari?




Bhartrhari is a 5th c. C.E.  Sanskrit poet and philosopher who wrote the Shatakatrayam (“Three Hundred”), a three-part collection of poetry on politics, love, and renunciation. 



Bhartrhari was the son of the brahmin Vidyasagara and his shudra wife, Mandakini, according to tradition. 


  • Vidyasagara was the king of Kalinga's advisor, and when the monarch died, he was granted the kingdom; following Vidyasagara's death, Bhartrhari's brothers recognized him as king. 
  • Bhartrhari was ecstatic till he discovered that his wife was cheating on him. 
  • When her secret was out, she attempted to blackmail him. 
  • Bhartrhari, completely disillusioned, abandoned the world and became an ascetic, at which time he is said to have written his poems. 
  • Bhartrhari was most likely a courtier, despite the fact that this is a nice tale. 





Many of these poems emphasize the degradation inherent in courtly life. 


  • All of life's traditional purposes are addressed in his poetry. 
  • The first two parts deal with strength (artha), sensual desire (kama), and virtuous conduct (dharma), while the third section deals with the ultimate goal, or soul liberation (moksha). 





Barbara Stoller Miller (trans. ), The Hermit and the Love-Thief, 1978, has further information.



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