The Satakas are an original work. They are three in number, viz. Sringara, Niti and Vairagya.
They must have been composed by the poet after he had renounced the world. Probably the Niti
Sataka was written first, then followed the Sringara and lastly the Vairagya Sataka.
In the Niti Sataka Bhartrhari inculcates certain principles intended to guide men in their daily
life. First and foremost of these is Self-respect. He points out the value of independence and asks his readers not to lose self-respect in the midst of even overwhelming difficulties and trials in slokas couched in very impressive language. Another virtue to which the poet draws attention is
perseverance. Men of firm minds, says he, carry to a successful conclusion whatever they undertake. A third virtue which he holds up for our admiration and imitation is Benevolence or service of our fellow-men. This lofty virtue he inculcates in verses which are at once beautiful and instructive.
In the Vairagya Sataka the poet inculcates the principle of renunciation. He tells us to undermine
desire, in verses which hold out the greed of worldly men to ridicule and the arrogance of the rich to contempt. He exhorts his readers to turn from worldly pleasures which give not lasting happiness but often disappoint, and to seek mental calm in the solitude of the forest. The poet often draws a glowing picture of the perfect happiness which men who have renounced the world enjoy.
This volume comprises two of the three famous Satakas (collection of one hundred stanzes) of the famous poet philosopher Bhartrhari. The first of them the Niti Sataka is proposed to guide people in their daily life and it lays emphasis on the moral virtues such as self-respect, perseverance, benevolence and moral courage etc. The second, Vairagya Sataka exhorts the readers to turn away from worldly pleasures and seek mental calm in the solitude of the forest. It is edited by M. R. Kale who has added a simple commentary in sanskrit and english translation and copious notes.
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