Rajashekhara (Sanskrit poet)

Rajashekhara (IAST: Rājaśekhara; fl. 10th century[1]) was an eminent Sanskrit poet, dramatist and critic. He was the court poet of the Gurjara Pratiharas.[2]

Rajashekhara wrote the Kavyamimamsa between 880 and 920 CE. The work is essentially a practical guide for poets that explains the elements and composition of a good poem.[3] He is most noted for the Karpuramanjari, a play written in Sauraseni Prakrit. Rajashekhara wrote the play to please his wife, Avantisundari, a woman of taste and accomplishment. Rajashekhara is perhaps the only ancient Indian poet to acknowledge a woman for her contributions to his literary career.[1]

In his Bālarāmāyaṇa and Kāvyamimāṃsa, Rajashekhara referred himself by his family name Yāyāvara or Yāyāvarīya. In Bālarāmāyaṇa, he mentioned that his great grandfather Akalajalada belonged to Maharashtra. In the same work, he described his father Durduka as a Mahamantrin (minister) without providing any details. He mentioned in his works that his wife Avantisundari belonged to the Chahamana (Chauhan) family. In his works, he described himself as the teacher of the Gurjara-Pratihara king Mahendrapala I.[4]