by Nandi Timmana
translated by Harshita Mruthinti Kamath and Velcheru Narayana Rao
Harvard University Press
Paper: 978-0-674-29591-9 | eISBN: 978-0-674-29742-5


The first English translation of a thousand-year-old story of Krishna and his wife Satyabhama, retold by the most famous court poet of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Legend has it that the sixteenth-century Telugu poet Nandi Timmana composed Theft of a Tree, or Pārijātāpaharaṇamu, to help the wife of Krishnadevaraya, king of the south Indian Vijayanagara Empire, win back her husband’s affections. Timmana based his work on a popular millennium-old Krishna tale.

Theft of a Tree recounts how Krishna stole the wish-granting pārijāta tree from the garden of Indra, king of the gods. Krishna takes the tree to please his favorite wife, Satyabhama, who is upset when he gifts his chief queen a single divine flower. After battling Indra, he plants the pārijāta for Satyabhama—but she must perform a rite temporarily relinquishing it and her husband to enjoy endless happiness.

This is the first English translation of the poem, which prefigures the modern Telugu novel with its unprecedented narrative unity.

See other books on: Epic | Hinduism | Narayana Rao, Velcheru | Theft | Tree
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