When Go·várdhana composed his "Seven Hundred Elegant Verses" in Sanskrit in the twelfth century CE, the title suggested that this was a response to the 700 verses in the more demotic Prakrit language traditionally attributed to King Hala, composed almost a thousand years earlier. Both sets of poems were composed in the arya metre. Besides being the name of a metre, in Sanskrit arya means a noble or elegant lady, and Go·várdhana wished to reflect and appeal to a sophisticated culture. These poems each consist of a single stanza, almost as condensed and allusive as a Japanese haiku. They cover the gamut of human life and emotion, though the favorite topic is love in all its aspects.
Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation
For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit
"Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit Library may remedy this state of affairs."
-Tricycle "The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres: aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance."
-Willis G. Regier,The Chronicle Review "No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality, the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian language accessible to a modern international audience."
-The Times Higher Education Supplement "The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little volumes."
-New Criterion "Published in the geek-chic format."
Dewey Decimal Classfication (DDC)