Kamayani Vibhuti
कामायनी विभूती
Jai Shankar Prasad

This site is a homage to Jai Shankar Prasad and his 1936 epic, Kamayani.

Shri Jaishankar Prasad (1889–1937), fondly called Prasad Ji, is not merely a great poet but a phenomenon with no parallel in Indian literary history.

In 1991, India Post issued a stamp commemorating Jaishankar Prasad.

He was born on 30 January 1890, in an aristocratic family of Varanasi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He was admitted to a pathshala, a small school, run by Master Mohini Lal. But his parents’ early passing away cut short his formal education to eight years of school. At home, eminent teachers were hired to teach him Hindi, English, Sanskrit and Persian. He gained deep knowledge by studying Indian history, Sanskrit, literature, philosophy and the Hindu scriptures by himself.

Prasad Ji drew inspiration from Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads, to create the epic poem Kamayani, which has inspired many generations of scholars and intellectuals. He is one of the most eminent four pillars of the Chhaayavad movement, which emphasised spiritualism, humanism and romanticism, in Hindi literature. His contributions to Chhaayavad have a spiritual base and universalism that touches the human heart. Prasad Ji’s literary output straddled the genres of poetry, drama and fiction. He pioneered historical drama set in ancient India.

When Prasad Ji’s glory was at its peak, he developed tuberculosis, which had no remedy at that time. Chanting the name of Lord Shiva, he breathed his last on 15 November 1937. The moment of his death occurred during Brahma Mahurta, an auspicious period of forty-eight minutes that ends forty-eight minutes before sunrise and is considered the most auspicious period for meditation in Hindu thought. He was an ardent devotee of Shiva.

Legions of Prasad Ji’s fans believe that he had attained enlightenment. There is a divine element in his thought, which has a spiritually uplifting effect on the reader.

We created this website in 2011, and launched a new translation of Kamayani in August 2013. In 2021, we re-launched the site with help from JF Koh and Wee Yeh Tow. We hope to make this a useful forum for lovers of Kamayani. Do look up the resources we have compiled, and please send us your submissions for the essays page.