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Yayati: A Classic Marathi Novel by V.S. Khandekar



Yayati: A Classic Marathi Novel by V.S. Khandekar




Yayati is a classic Marathi novel by V.S. Khandekar, who won the Jnanpith Award for this work in 1974. The novel is based on a mythological story from the Mahabharata, but with a modern twist and a profound message. The novel explores the themes of love, lust, desire, duty, sacrifice, and redemption through the lives of four main characters: Yayati, Devayani, Sharmishtha, and Kacha.


Yayati is a king who is cursed by his father-in-law Shukracharya to become old and decrepit before his time. He can only regain his youth by exchanging it with someone who is willing to take his old age. He asks his five sons, but only the youngest one, Puru, agrees to do so. Yayati then indulges in sensual pleasures with his two wives, Devayani and Sharmishtha, who are rivals and friends. Devayani is the daughter of Shukracharya and Sharmishtha is the daughter of Vrishaparva, the king of the Asuras. They both love Yayati, but in different ways. Devayani is possessive, jealous, and proud, while Sharmishtha is generous, loyal, and humble.


Kacha is the son of Brihaspati, the guru of the Devas. He goes to Shukracharya's ashram to learn the secret of Sanjivani, the art of reviving the dead. He falls in love with Devayani, but she rejects him because he is her brother's rival. Kacha faces many trials and tribulations in his quest for knowledge and love. He also becomes friends with Sharmishtha, who helps him in his troubles.


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The novel depicts the complex relationships and emotions of these characters as they face their destinies. It also shows how Yayati realizes the futility of his desires and renounces them for a higher purpose. He returns his youth to Puru and abdicates his throne. He then wanders as an ascetic in search of peace and enlightenment.


Yayati is a masterpiece of Marathi literature that has been translated into many languages and adapted into films and plays. It is a timeless story that resonates with readers across generations and cultures.


If you want to read this novel for free in Marathi, you can download the PDF file from this link [^1^] or this link [^2^]. You can also buy the hard copy from Amazon or Flipkart.


The novel has been praised by critics and readers alike for its literary merit and its philosophical depth. It has been translated into several languages, including English, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu. It has also been adapted into films and plays, such as the 1962 Marathi film Yayati Ani Devyani, directed by Raja Paranjpe, and the 1979 Hindi play Yayati, written by Girish Karnad.


The novel is not a mere retelling of the ancient story, but a reinterpretation and a critique of it. Khandekar challenges the traditional values and norms of the patriarchal society and exposes the hypocrisy and injustice of it. He also explores the psychological aspects of the characters and their motivations. He shows how Yayati's lust is not only a physical craving, but also a spiritual emptiness and a lack of self-knowledge. He shows how Devayani's pride is a result of her insecurity and her father's manipulation. He shows how Sharmishtha's generosity is a sign of her strength and dignity. He shows how Kacha's wisdom is a product of his suffering and his sacrifice.


The novel also raises some universal questions about human nature and destiny. What is the meaning of life? What is the role of free will and fate? What is the difference between love and lust? What is the value of renunciation and detachment? What is the source of happiness and peace? The novel does not provide any easy answers, but invites the reader to reflect on them. 29c81ba772


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