Upmiti Bhava Prapañca-Kathā, is a tenth century Sanskrit narrative work unique in the world of literature. It is the largest (about 18,000 couplets) allegorical work. The author, Siddharshi, was an illustrious author from Rajasthan. He was a disciple of the renowned scholar Acharya Haribhadra Suri. His detailed biography, Shri Siddharshi, was written by Shri Motichand Girdhar Lal Kapadia after a comprehensive research.

The credit of editing and publishing this unique work, for the first time, goes to the famous German Indologist Herman Jacobi. A German translation of this work by W. Kirfel was published in 1924. According to Jacobi ‘Upmiti Bhava Prapañca-Kathā is the first voluminous allegorical work in Indian literature.’ On further research, Acharya Devendra Muni ‘Shastri’ found that it is, in fact, the first exclusively allegorical work in world literature.

Prakrit Bharati Academy published the Hindi translation of this unique work in 1985 with the hope that it would gain popularity and scholars would take it up as a topic of research. We are pleased to present to our readers this analytical study of Upmiti Bhava Prapañca-Kathā by Dr. Priyadarshana Jain. She has divided it into five parts — discussion on Indian narrative literature, life and times of the author, the story, literary appraisal, and observations on the text and their relevance in our life. It is an exhaustive work with a special emphasis on canonical and non–canonical as well as Jain and non-Jain narrative literature. We are sure it will be received well by scholars of philosophy as well as those of literature.

Our thanks to Dr. Jayanti Lal Jain for the foreword and all others connected with publication of this book.

Devendra Raj Mehta
Founder and Chief Patron
Prakrit Bharti Academy, Jaipur

Samyakjnana Pracarak Mandal,

Research Foundation
for Jainology,

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