Bodhasāra is a poetic treasure celebrating a surprising awareness. Written by Narahari in the 18th century on the very eve of British colonisation, it is a jewel of fresh perception, which shows what an indigenous modernity in India could have been like if colonisation had not intervened. Though set in the ancient Vedic, Tantric and Yoga traditions and based on Indian culture and stories, it speaks with a modern voice, full of confidence and wit. Literary devices, such as the personification of words into intriguing stories, bring this awareness to life. The recent successful interpretation of Bodhasāra into contemporary music by 5 professional western composers and the expression of it in Indian Bharatanatyam dance are clear demonstrations of the success of this English translation in conveying Bodhasāra’s vision. Though informative for those wishing to understand Hindu culture, Bodhasāra is not religious doctrine but an unfolding of the poet’s experience of surprising awareness. As a lens changes what is seen, without any change in the seeing, so this awareness changes perception of who I am, without any change in who I am. An Awareness that consciousness of external objects, the sense of self and the ideal of universal existence are one and the same changes the experience of being. The title Bodhasāra means ‘Awareness which is the essence’, or more poetically ‘The surprise of awareness’. 

This Edition is a revision of the original 2010 translation, the first ever into English. The initial book enabled further reflection and brought about valuable opportunities for discussion with traditional Sanskrit Pandits. The revised edition is more than a translation. Over many years of study and several evolutionary translations, the authors have become ‘same-hearted’ with Narahari. While remaining true to the Sanskrit, it makes the poetic and philosophic richness of the source Sanskrit welcoming to a 21st century international readership not necessarily familiar with the traditional Hindu origins. Insights helpful to uncover the intent of Bodhasāra are given in the Introduction and an index has been added for ease of reference. This revised edition is published in this English only version as well as a Sanskrit/English volume.

When it arrives,

make it welcome.

Do not hinder it as it goes.

As it comes, gladly accept all.


Bodhasāra begins with an opening prayer for success of the work, which has remained potent for more than two centuries. May it continue to be successful!


Copyright © 2010 Jennifer Cover and Grahame Cover