Indian art of memory

Allen Thrasher athr at
Mon Sep 18 15:53:47 UTC 1995

I think I have got a little more information on the book on 
the art of memory discussed by Shailendra Raj Mehta. A computer search of 
the Library of Congress database (LOCIS) turned up the following: 

Tripathi, Rudradeva.  Bharatani eka virala vibhuti Sri Dhirajalalal
Saha. Mumbai: Satavadhani Pandita Sri Dhirajalala Tokarasi Saha
Amrtamahotsava Samiti, 1981. In Gujarati. LCCN 81-903830, LC call
no. BL1373 .S48 T74 1981 (Orien Guj). See especially section
Smaranakala (on a work of his by that title), p. 245-246 and
chapter Satavadhanakala, p. 285-32. In the bib. of Shah's works,
the title Smaranakala is listed and it is said that a Hindi trans.
is forthcoming.  There is no citation of a publisher of either the
Gujarati or the Hindi ed.  As far as I can make out it says that
Ramanlal Vasantlal Desai (a prolific Gujarati author, according to
LOCIS) was the translator, but I do locate any title that sounds
like this from a search under his name.  I will ask the Delhi
office of LC to try to track down whether the book was published
and will advertise the publication information on the net if it is.

Satavadhana is apparently a genre of extemporaneous composition in
Telugu poetry, and persons capable of it are called Satavadhani. 
See the following works:

Rajamannaru, Karyampudi. Satavadhani Rajammannaru (1846-11916)
jivita sahityalu.  Haidarabad: Sudharma Pracuranalu, 1990. In
Telugu. Biography of Karyampudi Rajamannaru.  LCCN 91-909125, LC
call no. PL4780 .9 .R2652 Z85 1990 (Orien Tel).

Subbanna Satavadhani, Si. Vi. Satavadhana prabandhamu. Proddutturu:
Sri Rayala Sahitya Parisattu, 1977- <1991  >. <v. 1-2, more
expected.>. Poems. In Telugu. LCCN 78-905799, PL4780 .9 .S746 S2
1977 (Orien Tel). 

Subbanna Satavadhani, Si. Vi. Avadhana vidya. Hairabadu: Telugu
Visvavidyalaya, 1987. In Telugu. Study of extemporaneous poetic
composition performances (Satavadhana) in Telugu. LCCN 88-903070.
PL4779 .S83 1987 (Orien Tel). 

I found no hits under Sahasravadhana/i.


Nakaracan, Karu. Avatanakkalai. Cennai: Tamilp Patipppakam, 1982.
On the art and practice of avadhana (attentiveness to develop
miraculous memory); includes brief biographies of scholars endowed
with great memory.  In Tamil. LCCN 83-903152. BF385 .N25 1982 Orien

Perhaps someone could get some of these works published in English,
or visit the authors and persuade them to publish some tips.

I have also found several titles in English from India that look as if 
they may have some information on the art of memory, but will page and 
examine them to see if they indeed do so before I post them.

Allen W. Thrasher
Senior Reference Librarian
Southern Asia Section
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4774
tel. 202-707-5600
fax  202-707-1724
Email: athr at


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