Ancient Futures
Ancient Futures
Timeless Tongues – Suhas Mahesh

Timeless Tongues – Suhas Mahesh

Love poems by monks, and other engaging translations from Sanskrit

What makes old languages sing without changing their tune? This is the challenge facing any translator of ancient texts, including those about yoga. For Suhas Mahesh and Anusha Rao – co-editors of a new book of verse titled How to Love in Sanskrit – the art of translation is “a game of compromise”.

Suhas Mahesh and How to Love in Sanskrit

Unlike many scholars, Suhas and Anusha are dismissive of “excessive attention to irrelevant detail”, and focus instead on making words come alive. For example, they turn a female lament from 2,000 years ago into: “Dear God, make him hang out with other women more. He does not seem to realise what a catch I am.”

So if linguistics isn’t your thing, don’t be deterred – this is a rich conversation about life in general. We talk about why monks write love poems, the pitfalls of marrying academics, and all sorts of other topics, including:

  • What to look for when choosing translations.

  • The extent to which Sanskrit is a living language.

  • Where to find advice on love beyond the Kāma Sūtra.

  • Whether some ancient words are untranslatable.

  • Why Rumi quotes are rarely what they seem.

The book is available in hardback, and makes a great gift. Indian readers can order it here (among other portals), or try here if you’re in the U.K., or here in the U.S. You can email Suhas here and Anusha here if you have any suggestions for future translations – they’re already at work on the next compilation.

For a similarly modern perspective on yogic traditions, join me for a course called The Path of Knowledge (early bird rates end June 15).

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Ancient Futures
Ancient Futures
Timeless wisdom for modern dilemmas, combining yoga philosophy, practical insight and critical thinking. Hosted by Daniel Simpson.