Manimekhalai: The Dancer With the Magic Bowl

by Merchant-Prince Shattan, translated by Alain Daniélou

Category: Classics, Fiction

The Manimekhalaï is one of the great classics of Indian culture. A second-century Tamil verse epic, it is a sequel to the Shilappadikaram, which was also masterfully translated into prose by the acclaimed musician and scholar of Hinduism, Alain Daniélou. Rich with details of the period’s arts, customs, and religions, the Manimekhalaï provides an extraordinary picture of an age that suddenly comes back to life. It is the story of a beautiful young dancer who decides to forego her looming career as a courtesan in order to dedicate her life (with the aid of gods, demigods, and a magic bowl called the Cow of Abundance) to charity and to attaining the ‘bright light of knowledge’.

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About the Author

ALAIN DANIÉLOU (1907-1994) was a French historian, intellectual, musicologist, Indologist, and a convert to and expert on Shaivite Hinduism. In 1991, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.

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