Acharya Chatursen

Acharya Chatursen was a sanskrit scholar who wrote extensively in hindi. Thanks to a hefty discount I purchased 3 books by him from Landmark. वैशाली की नगरवधू , वयं रक्षामः  and सोमनाथ. In the book वयं रक्षामः , the protagonist is Ravan., the dreaded villain of Ramayan. Acharya Chatursen gives an entirely different perspective on the whole life story of Ravan.

The genre of his books is Historical Fiction. In my opinion historical fiction is interesting if it connects historical facts through fiction to give us a fabulous story. If you bend history to suite the convenience of your story the whole story is so less appealing. A good example of how a good story gets ruined by shoddy research of history is “Immortals of Meluha”. Acharya Chatursen however does a very good job, at least for an untrained person it is very difficult to figure out which of his assumptions are not consistent with known facts. You have to also keep in mind that the books were written more than 50 years back.

There are very few Indian authors who have dared to venture into the genre of historical fiction, especially related to the ancient history. When I was reading through वयं रक्षामः  I could visualize an India that resembled so much to Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypso”. I am sure a good competent person can make some fascinating movies out of Chatursen’s novels.

Another aspect of his books is the very high Sanskrit influence. The only book with so much Sanskrit influence I have read before is “Banabhatta ki Atmakatha” by Hazari Prasad Dwivedi.

Respect for this man.

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