Sarasvatichandra Part IV: The Dreamland of Sarasvatichandra and the Culmination
Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi and Tridip Suhrud (tr)
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

A novel of epic proportions written in four parts from 1887 to 1901, Sarasvatichandra is both the enactment and the embodiment of the life philosophy of one man, and his sole mission.

A witness to the intense upheaval that British India was undergoing at the turn of the nineteenth century, Govardhanram’s objective in writing this novel was to educate his readers on key issues of his times and help them find ‘their way out of the darkness into some kind of light’. Part IV, The Dreamland, brings to a culmination the philosophical and narrative concerns explored in Parts I, II, III. At the heart of it lies the question of dharma and right conduct in the realms of state, society, family and love; and widow remarriage, a concern central to late nineteenth-century reform. It offers a utopia—both personal and societal—in the form of Kalyangram, where the ideal and desirable dominate over the real and possible. Sarasvatichandra and Kumud, separated in Part I, meet at last on Sundargiri and travel together in a dream.

The novel holds up a fascinating mirror to Gujarati society, the role of women in polity and life in the native states against the backdrop of India, pre-Independence, in transition—culturally, politically and ideologically. Before Gandhi, arguably no other work has so profoundly influenced the ethos and imagination of Gujarat as Sarasvatichandra. Tridip Suhrud, who has also translated Parts I, II and III, is an acknowledged scholar of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Gujarat.

The Author
Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi (1855–1907) was born at Nadiad, Gujarat. He is also the author of Snehmudra (1889), The Classical Poets of Gujarat and Their Influence on Society and Morals (1894), and Lilavati Jivankala (1905).

The Translator
Tridip Suhrud works at the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Translator’s Acknowledgements
Translator’s Introduction

  1. Subhadra
  2. Sarasvatichandra’s Initiation
  3. The Garden of Beauty and Kusum’s Coming of Age
  4. Do We Need Native States? An Acrimonious Debate between State Officials and Visitors from Bombay
  5. A New Night
  6. Sarasvatichandra’s Anguish
  7. Twin Sisters: The Spinster and the Widow
  8. Flora and Kusum
  9. Saubhagya Devi’s Auspicious Death
  10. Kusum’s Cloister
  11. Malla Mahabhavan or the Political Observatory of Ratnanagari and the Discourse on Mahabharata
  12. Chandrakant’s Confusions
  13. Starry-eyed
  14. Pilgrimage to Surgram
  15. Kusum’s Penance
  16. The Moon and the Moonstone
  17. Prison
  18. Passions Unseen and Palpable Vows
  19. Sweet Concerns for Sweeter Madhuri
  20. Companion
  21. Diagnosis and Remedy
  22. Subtle Desires of a Subtle Body
  23. Sarasvatichandra and Chandravali
  24. Vishnudas’ Authority or Ways of Attaining Fulfillment of Sarasvatichandra’s Subtle Body
  25. Sanatan Dharma or the Five Elementary Sacrifices of Ascetics
  26. Moonrise on Chiranjiv Shrunga
  27. On the Other Side of the Bridge
  28. Songs of Desire
  29. Hearts Revealed
  30. A Journey through the World of Immortals and their Blessings or A Dream of Pure Love
  31. Reflections of Indian Society in Pitamahpur and the Benediction of the Gems
  32. Host or Guest? Or the Authority of Selfless Intellect in Considerations of Virtue and Vice
  33. The Social Aspects of Subtle Love
  34. Arjun’s Chariot and the Forest Fires
  35. The Immortals of Kurukshetra and the Future of India
  36. The Final Blow on the Sandalwood Tree
  37. Friend or Lover?
  38. A Woman’s Heart and her Power
  39. The Dream World of Duties towards the Country
  40. The Power of Justice and the Delicacy of Social Affection
  41. Dust-covered Gems
  42. A Searing Heart
  43. Summons from Court
  44. Uncertainties
  45. Some Decisions and a Resolve
  46. Blowing of the Conch in the Temple of the Unmanifest and the Fulfillment of Life
  47. Mohini Maiya’s Right
  48. A Curtain Breached
  49. Daughter
  50. Ganga-Yamuna
  51. Return to Source
  52. Aarti
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