The Lokaprakāśa by well-known Kashmirian author Kṣemendra (fl. 1050 CE) is a unique Sanskrit text that deals with details of public administration, from the king down to the village level. It includes private sale and mortgage documents as well as marriage contracts—documents that are little attested outside medieval Kashmir.
In the first decade of the 20th century, famous explorer and Kashmiri specialist Sir M. Aurel Stein asked his friend, learned Kashmiri Pandit Sahaja Bhaṭṭa, to prepare an edition of this significant text with commentary explaining many otherwise obscure terms. The manuscript was originally projected to be published by Stein and Charles Lanman in the early 1930s, in a facsimile edition. Long lost, the manuscript has been recovered in the Société Asiatique in Paris and is now published here. The text fills a large gap in our knowledge of private life and public administration in medieval India and will greatly interest Sanskritists and historians alike.
Michael Witzel is Wales Professor of Sanskrit in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University.
7 x 10 inches
Harvard University Department of South Asian Studies