Women are Cuckoos: Kalidasa and Tamil Poets agree! (Post No.3881)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 5 May 2017


Time uploaded in London: 14-12


Post No. 3881


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


Women are Cuckoos (Koels) say Kalidasa and other poets. Is it a compliment or a complaint? Both, I would say.

When the poets want to praise them, they say that women’s voice is like the Koel (Cuckoo). When they wanted to attack their cunningness, they say women are as cunning as a cuckoo!


There is a popular couplet in Sanskrit:

“The crow is black and the cuckoo is black. What is the difference between the two? It is when spring arrives that the crow is identified and the cuckoo is identified as cuckoo” (by their harsh and sweet voice)


kakah krsnah pikah krshnah ko bedhah pikakakayoho

vasanta kale samprapta Kakah kakah pikah pikah


Kalidasa in his most famous work, Shakuntalam says, “king Speaks,

Intuitive cunning is seen even in females

of lower creatures; what then of those

endowed with reason and understanding;

the cuckoo, as we know, has her young reared

by other birds before they take to the air”

(Shakuntalam Act 5- 22)


The voice of cuckoo is sweet but cuckoo is cunning by nature. In the Raghuvamsa (12-39), Surpanakha speaks in sweet voice as that of a cuckoo. But she is planning cunningly to capture Rama and Lakshmana by her magical wile.


in the Shakuntalam drama women are portrayed as tricky as cuckoo. Intuitive cunningness exists even in females other than humans (species of animals and birds). What then in regard to those that possess power of understanding? The female cuckoos indeed, cause their offspring to be reared by other birds, before flying in the sky (AS 5-22 and Malavikagni Mitram 3-41)


In hundreds of places, the poets described the voice of women is as sweet as a cuckoo.


In one of the verses in Niti Venba, a collection of didactic poems by an anonymous author, the poet says “a person’s nature can’t be known by his appearance but known only by his speech like we know a crow from a cuckoo from its difference in voice.”






Follow the Habits of a Crow: Tamil Poets’ Advice (Post No.3878)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 4 May 2017

Time uploaded in London: 22-07

Post No. 3878

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

Tamil poets use several birds or their habits to teach certain morals to the society. Tiruvalluvar, the author of the Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural’ send us two messages using the crow:

The crow does not hide what it has got, but cries out to is fellows, before it eats

Prosperity among men will come only to those who have this disposition (Kural 527)

The message is “Go to the crow and learn, you selfish man”.

In another couplet, he says,

“A crow may overcome a much stronger bird, the owl, during day time,

Even so, at the right opportunity, the king could succeed easily in his campaigns” (481)

It is said that in the nocturnal fight, the owl could easily beat the crow; but if the fight takes place during the day time, the crow will be the victor. There is a story to this effect in the Panchatantra. Asvattama also used this tactic to kill important Pandava family members (see below my Mahabharata article link)

Follow the Six Points

Another Tamil poet lists six points in a four-line verse:

1.Get up early in the morning

2.Do sex like the crows, unseen by anyone

3.Take a bath everyday like the crow

4.When you have food call everyone

5.Come back to ‘your house’ (don’t go to other women)

6.Socialise like crows (they sit in a line and caw)

The crying of crows when it sees food and sharing it with others have been noticed by many other poets. They also praised the crows.


My articles on Crows


What can a Crow Teach You?

Date : 5  August  2015

Strange Belief about Crows in India and Britain!!

Research Article No. 1678; Dated 26 February 2015.


Strange Bird Stories in Mahabharata!

Research Article no. 1711; dated 12 March 2015


பிரிட்டனில் கா கா ஜோதிடம்! மேலும் ஒரு அதிசயம்!!

Research Article No. 1679; Dated 27 February 2015.


கா…கா…கா…!!! கா..கா..கா..!!!

28 March 2013



What can a Crow Teach You?

காகா காதலோ

Article No. 2046

Written by London swaminathan


Date : 5  August  2015

Time uploaded in London : – 17-13

So long as a man clinging hard to the transitory objects of life, he can never know true peace and happiness. This is exemplified the story of the crow and the piece of bread.

Once a crow got somehow a piece of bread. With the bread in its peak, it wanted to fly to a tree, and sitting on its branch, make a quiet meal of it. But a number of other crows pursued this crow to wrest the bread out of it. The crow with the bread flew with all its speeds in order to escape from the clutches of the others. It flew and flew hotly pursued by other crows, in all directions to save the bread in its beak. This went on for two or three hours.

The crow with the bread was dead tired as a result of its continuous flying and felt it would be well to drop the drop the piece of bread which was picked by another crow, which in turn was pursued by the other two crows. The first crow, having thrown away the piece of bread, flew to the branch of a tree and sitting under its cool shade, attained perfect rest and tranquillity.


Peace truly comes when we give up desire for the perishable things of the world.

Moral: Give up desires to gain peace.

Strange Belief about Crows in India and Britain!!


Bird Omens: Cries of Crows-Part 1

Written by London swaminathan

Research Article No. 1678; Dated 26 February 2015.

After going through hundreds of books about all the ancient civilizations, now I can tell anyone that Sanskrit is the only ancient language that has got all the subjects in its ancient literature. We know for sure there is no book about sex like Kamasutra, grammar like Asthadyayi, index like Vedic Anukramani, no airplane manual like Vaimanika sastra of Bharadwaja, no epic like Mahabharata, no dictionary like Amarakosa, no story book like Katha Sarit Sagara, last but not the least no anthology like the Rig Veda. There are innumerable subjects dealt with in these books from Astronomy to Zoology!

It is no wonder that they hired Kikkuli to teach them about Asvashastra (Horses) around 1400 BCE in Turkey and Syria. And it is no wonder we see Sanskrit in Turkey, Syria and Egyptian inscriptions around 1400 BCE.

Everyone must study Sanskrit and Tamil before talking or writing about Indian culture.

Now back to Varhamihira’s Brhat Samhita, the Sanskrit encyclopaedia ( We have already published several articles from this book):


Cries of Crows (Chapter 95):–

“For the people of Eastern countries the sight of crows to their right and of the Karayika (small kind of crane), to their left is favourable. This is to be reversed in other countries. The demarcation of countries is to be understood duly from convention”

(Varahamikhira has dealt with the geography of India in Chapter 14. So he knew that there were difference of opinion even about the cries of crows in India!)

“If a crow builds its nest in an unspoilt tree in the month of Vaisakha (May), there will be plenty of food and happiness (as well as prosperity); if in a condemned or thorny tree, there will be danger of famine in the country”.

Then he describes the location of crow’s nest and its effect on rains:

Crow’s nest on eastern branch of a tree= Good rain in Autumn

Western branch = rain in rainy season only

South or North branch = Rain between two seasons

Top of the tree= Copious rains for 4 months (Sravana to Kartika, i.e. August to November)

South East = Sporadic rain

South West = Autumnal crops would flourish

Other two corners= Plenty of Food grains

Nest in North Western branch of the tree= Rats would multiply enormously.

(This is a very interesting observation. They have watched the nesting and found out some links. But we would know whether he is right or wrong only after observing it closely and document it).

If the crow builds its nest on reeds, bushes or house or temple the country will be denuded being afflicted with robbers, drought and disease.

raven 2

Raven in Tower of London

Change of Government!

A crow with two, or three or four fledglings confers abundant food; with five, brings about change of rulers; one throwing away the eggs or laying a single egg or no egg at all, is not all auspicious.

If crows congregate without any cause in the middle of the village and caw aloud, there will be danger of famine; if they fly in a circular group, the village will be besieged; if they appear in several groups, there will be disaster.

If the crows attack people fearlessly with their beaks, wings or kicks, there will be increase of enemies; if they fly at night, destruction is indicated.

If crows fly in clockwise fashion, the person concerned will have trouble from his own kinsmen; if in the anti-clockwise manner, from enemies; if in a very disorderly fashion, there will be whirlwind.

When the crow’s beak is filled with sand, corn, wet clay, flower there will be gain of wealth; when it takes away vessels or treasures from a place, there is danger in store.

If the crow strikes a vehicle or weapon, slipper, shade of the umbrella or man himself, the person concerned will face danger. If it ‘’worships’’ with any of these, he will get honour. If it passes excreta on it, he will get food

A person will gain or lose the same article as has been brought or taken away be yellow in colour, it will be gold; if cotton- clothes, if white- silver.

The belief about crows and its relative ravens is worldwide. Ravens are the most favoured birds in the United Kingdom!

raven 1

Ravens in Tower of London

In the Tower of London, which houses the famous Kohinoor diamond and other crown jewels, lives six to eight ravens. Ravens are bigger in size and darker in colour, but they belong to the Crow family (Corvus family). British people believe that “if the ravens leave the tower of London, the monarchy would fall”.

From the days of Charles II, they have appointed one staff – Ravens master – who is in charge of the ravens in the tower. Each one is fed 170 grams of meat and biscuits soaked in blood. All tourists flock to this area when they go into the tower. There is an entrance fee to see the Tower of London which has a 980 year history.

All the ravens are named and they are treated as royal soldiers. During Second World War, Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered more ravens to be brought in for the survival of Britain!! Now the raven population is eight. There must be at least six birds at any time. Now and then British Newspapers publish news items about the most famous birds of Britain.

In 2013, two birds were eaten by a fox who intruded into the tower in the early morning. Another time a bomb sniffing dog bit one raven and then it died. Since the superstition is so strong no one wanted to take any risk of losing the ravens. Tourists take photographs of the ravens with the raven’s master.

When the fox killed ravens named Grib and Jubilee, security was beefed up at the Norman tower where the birds live.

This is what the British newspapers reported on 28th October, 2013:–

“ A spokesman for Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that cares for the birds, said it had been a ‘lucky escape’ because the hungry fox had almost taken the number of ravens below six.  The dead birds were found by keepers at dusk and tests showed they were killed by a fox.

Grip was named after the raven in Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge that inspired a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, while Jubilee was chosen to honour the Queen. The two new birds brought in as replacements have been given the same names.

Catherine Steventon, of Historic Royal Palaces, said: ‘The ravens are put to bed each evening in secure enclosures to  minimise these risks, however sadly a fox captured two of the ravens before they were put to bed.

‘At dusk we couldn’t find them. Eventually, they were found within the inner walls… Currently we have eight ravens at the Tower. The legend mentions six ravens and we like to have two extra.’