Layla and Majnun

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Author: Narsingh SrivastavaWP_20160324_15_22_12_Pro
Pages: 200
Year of Publication: 2015 (Second edition, revised and corrected)
Price: Rs 350
ISBN:
978-93-5045-108-3 (9789350451083)

About the Author:
Born in 1931, Dr Narsingh Srivastava taught English at the University of Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, from where he retired in 1993. His academic books include The Flames of Faith: Lectures on Religious Poetry (1970), The Impersonal Agony: A New Approach to T.S. Eliot (1970), W.H. Auden: A Poet of Ideas (1978), The Mind and Art of Raja Rao (1980) and The Poetry of T.S. Eliot: A Study in Religious Sensibility (1990). He has published two collections of ghazals, nine volumes of poetry in Hindi and four in English: Layla and Majnun and Other Poems (1984), The Dance of Shiva (1985), Nachiketas (1987) and A Few Days in Bombay (WRITERS WORKSHOP, India, 1990). He has translated Eliot’s poems into Hindi and Urdu ghazals and rubais into English. The Hindi Sansthan of Uttar Pradesh has conferred two awards on him.

About the Book:
Dr Srivastava’s deep and layered scholarship in Sufi literature informs his rendition of this famous Islamic story of true and ideal love. In his preface to the book, Dr Srivastava writes:

A book or a long poem on Layla and Majnun I had never conceived of till a memorable morning of April 1982, when an eminently exalted saint, my friend, philosopher and guide, commanded me to take up this work which he had entrusted to one of his dedicated devotees, Lakhpat Rai, M.A. (Oxon), former Chief Conservator of Forests, Madhya Pradesh, who had already brought out, under the guidance of the Master, a laudable book: Sarmad: His Life and Rubais (1978). Lakhpat Rai breathed his last in March 1982, before he could start the work, and that is why the great saint commissioned me to do the work. I joyfully accepted the task, taking it as a service to my Master and also as a way of self-purification. To the blessed soul of Lakhpat Rai I am deeply indebted because the books on Layla and Majnun in English, Persian and Urdu he had collected proved of immense value and use to me… Considering that a book on Layla and Manjnun in prose would go nothing beyond an imitation of the English translations of the great Persian and Turkish poets, Nizami and Fuzuli which I found in the small collection left by Lakhpat Rai, I decided to write a long poem of epical design.”

Layla and Majnun is prefixed by a comprehensive analysis on the meaning and nature of true love. In the introduction, he observes, “In fact, true love can be fully and properly understood only when it is interpreted as a manifestation of the Divine love which attracts all souls to Itself and unites the whole cosmos in a unity and harmony. In the human world it operates as an embodiment of the Divine play of love which is eternally active both in the visible and the invisible world.”

Contents:
Preface / 7
Introduction / 11
Invocation to Lord Krishna / 45
Invocation to Goddess Saraswati / 47
Layla and Majnun / 49
Glossary / 199

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