Books written by Wise Kings of India!


Bhoja statue in Bhopal: Bhoja wrote 84 books on all subjects beating Leonardo da Vinci

Research Paper written by london swaminathan


Research article No 1611; Dated 30th january 2015


King Viswamitra “composed” Vedic Hymns

King Manu wrote Manu Smrti

King Krishna gave Bhagavad Gita

King Harsha (590-647) wrote Nagananda, Ratnavali and Priyadarsika

Emperor Mahendra Pallava (600-630 CE) wrote a comedy “Matta vilasa Prahasam”

Queen Ganga Devi(1357-1374 CE) wrote Madura Vijayam

King Krishna Deva Raya(1510-1529 CE) wrote Amuktamalyata in Telugu

King Bhoja (Tenth Century CE) wrote many poems and 84 books

Kashmir King Poet Matrugupta wrote Hayagrivavadha, commentary on Natyasastra (100 CE) etc.


Emperor Vikramaditya (1st Century BCE) ‘wrote’ Vikram and Vetal

King Janaka (8th Century BCE)gave several passages in the Upanishads

Tamil Kings (1st to 3rd Century CE) composed several Tamil Sangam Poems

Asoka (Third Century BCE)made edicts with Buddha’s teachings


Other  Royal Authors who wrote books were:


Yasovarman 735 CE

Kalachuri Mayuraraja 800 CE

Vigraharajadeva 1153

Nepalese king Amogavarsa, 8th century


Every language in the world boasts of excellent books written by excellent writers. We read about Vyasa, Valmiki, Kalidasa, Homer, Virgil, Plato, Shakespeare, Ilango, Kamban and hundreds of other great authors. But we dont hear about many books written by kings. Why?


Because they spent most of the time in administration or wars or fun and festivals. But the picture is very different in ancient India.In spite of their hectic routine, the kings found time to write immortal works. This shows the high literacy amongst the Indian kings and the general public. India must have been the most literate country in the ancient world! Before Moses and Homer were born, India was the only one country in the world with a huge volume of literature. Sumer, Babylonia and Egypt  had written materials, not literature. (Sumer has 60,000 lines in Emegir dialect alone; scholars think that another dialect emesal may have another 60,000 lines! Egypt had huge volumes written in hieroglyphs). The Vedic literature was there well before other countries put something in writing. Hindus believe that it happened at least 6000 years ago. Westerners give them different dates between 4000 BCE (Jacobi) and 1500 BCE (Max Muller).

If Emperor Asoka writes big things on huge rocks in hundreds of places, it means the common man is literate and he can read every bit of it. If no one can read such things, Asoka would not have written it from the northern most point of Afghanistan to southern most Karnataka (unfortunately his edics at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu were destroyed in invasions). Brahmi script is found even in southern Sri Lanka. Probably India was the only country in the world with a common script that spread over 1.5 million square miles. I mean the ancient Akand Bharat (now the area is 1.22 million square miles).


Sanskrit and its spoken  form Prakrit were used throughout Indian sub continent. An incredibly vast geographical area! There is no comparison in the world.


The Sanskrit dramas of Bhasa,Kalidasa, Shudraka, Visaka datta, Harshavardhana, Mahendrapallava and others show that people were eager to watch and read. A South Indian can easily understand Sanskrit is proved by Pallva’s drama and Kovaln reading the Sanskrit letter in the streets of Pumpuhar (Vide.Silappadikaram). In those days India was the largest country in the world. The amazing thing about that vast land was all can read Brahmi script! It is found even in Tamil Nadu 2300 years ago! Brahmi means Sarasvati — Goddess of Knowledge!


Recently they have discovered a fifth century BCE Brahmi inscription with the Sanskrit word Vairam (diamond). According to Tamil Grammar rules, Vajra is written as Vaira (E.g.Jamam=Yamam, Jesus= Yesu, Jew=Yuudha, Jatra=Yatra etc).


Asoka just copied Buddha’s teachings. So it is not litearture. But Bhoja and Manu were ancient writers. Manu is mentioned in the Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world. King Bhoja was mentioned in the Vedic literature Aitareya Brahmana (VIII.8-12.14). A prince by name Bhoja was also mentioned in several places. We know from the Rig Veda that several Manus were there.


Bhoja was a popular name that every intelligent king in India chose as his own. Indian history has recorded many kings with Bhoja’s name. The greatest Indian poet and palywright Kalidasa was in the court of Emperor Vikramaditya of first century BCE. But Kalidasa’s name is associated with another king Bhoja. It may be another name of Vikramaditya or successor of Vikramaditya. In India we see the same poets singing about five or six kings. In Sangam Tamil litearture we come accross great poets Kabila and Parana singing about five or six kings. Poets outlive kings.


Bhoja of Dhara was a polymath and his knowledge is exhbited in a large variety of works including Ramayana campu,SARASVATI KHANDABHARANA, Yuktikalpataru, Calihotra, Canakyaniti etc. He wrote 84 books on several technical matters. He beat Learnado da Vinci!!


I have already written about the Sanskrit inscription of Bhoja found inside a mosque in Dhara, Madhya Pradesh. Please read the follwing link for further details:


Old Sanskrit Inscriptions in Mosques and on Coins


Harshavardhana who lived in the seventh century wrote three beautiful Sanskrti plays Nagananda, Ratnavali and Priyadarsika. He wrote many Buddhist works as well. Ratnavalai and Priyadarsika are love stories. Naganada was about the Jimutavahana and the Nagas. Though Harsa dealt with the same old Udayana-Vasavadatta love story he introduced some new elements. Moreover when people of the country come to know that its their own king who wrote the drama, they would gather in huge numbers to watch his dramas.

Mahendravaraman, Pallava king, wrote Mattavilasaprahasanam ( A Farce of Drunken Sport) , a satire on hypocritical saints. It pokes fun at Kapalikas, Buddhist and Jain saints.


Krisnadeva Raya’s (1510-1529) Amuktamalyada in Telugu describes the divine love of Andal towards the God of Sri Rangam.

ratnavali of harsa

Ganga Devi, the queen who accompanied her husnand Kumara Kampanna, described the condition of Madurai under Muslim rule in 14th century and her husband’s victory over them. This is the first live commenatry of a war time ‘correspondent’!


Kalhana in his Rajatarangini refers to Bhoja, King of Malawa,

Bhoja, son of Harsa and Bhoja son of Salhana.


First king Manu wrote Manu Smrti, the first law book in the world.Even if some argue that Hammurabi’s (1792 to 1750 BCE) laws were there before Manu, we know that it was not a “book”.

No where in the world we see so many kings composing poems, writing dramas and kavyas. This is uniqe to India.


Poems composed by Sangam age Pandya, Choza and Cera kings

are incorporated into sangam literature. They were great poets of 400+ poets and they themselves composed poems.


Kings of India wrote those books in good faith that it would be read by generations to come. It is our duty to read and appreciate them.


Long live the Indian Kings and their immortal Kavyas!!




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