Born into an old, cultured, and affluent family, both his education and literary output were broad and varied. He studied literature under "the foremost teacher of his time, the celebrated Shaiva philosopher and literary exponent Abhinavagupta". He also studied — and wrote about — both Vaishnavism and Buddhism. His literary career extended from at least 1037 (his earliest dated work, Brihatkathāmanjari, a verse summary of the lost "Northwestern" Bṛhatkathā; itself a recension of Gunadhya's lost Bṛhatkathā — "Great Story") to 1066 (his latest dated work, Daśavataracharita, "an account of the ten incarnations of the god Visnu"). In addition to the genres listed below, Kshemendra also composed plays, descriptive poems, a satirical novel, a history, and possibly a commentary on the Kāma Sūtra (all now known only through references in other works).
- Ramāyaṇamanjari — Verse abridgement of the Ramayana (Sanskrit)
- Bhāratamanjari — Verse abridgement of the Mahabharata (Sanskrit)
- Brihatkathāmanjari — Verse abridgement of the Brihatkatha (Sanskrit)
- Auchitya Vichāra Charchā
- Kalāvilasā — "A Dalliance with Deceptions"
- Samaya Mātrikā — "The Courtesan's Keeper" (Sanskrit)
- Narmamālā — "A Garland of Mirth"
- Deśopadeśa — "Advice from the Countryside"
- Stūpavādana — See Saratchandra Das (ed.), 'Stupavadana', Journal and Text of the Buddhist Society of India, vol.11, pt.1, p. 15.
- Avadānakalpalatā — Former lives and good deeds of Buddha (English)
- Daśavataracharita — Ten incarnations of Vishnu (Sanskrit)
- Kshemendra 2011, p xv.
- Kshemendra 2011, pp xv-xvi.
- Kshemendra 2011, pp xvii-xviii.
- Kshemendra 2011, p xvii.
- Kshemendra 2011, pp 153-154.
- Kshemendra (2011), Three Satires from Ancient Kashmir, Haksar, A. N. D. (translator), Penguin
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