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.”

 

–Subham–

 

 

 

Shakespeare and Kalidasa-Hindu Thoughts in Shakespearean Plays (Post No.3866)

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 30 APRIL 2017

Time uploaded in London:-11-29  am

Post No. 3866

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

We know that great men think alike; but some similarities in the plays of Kalidasa and Shakespeare make us believe that Shakespeare has read Kalidasa or heard about his plays. Innocent forest girl Shakuntala is incarnated as Miranda in The Tempest. Kalidasa’s Vidusakas (Jesters/comedians) are seen in several of Shakespeare’s plays. There are similarities in Othello, Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale as well.

 

Plays of Shakespeare were largely founded on Hellenic, Roman and and other foreign models, where as Kalidasa’s plays were based on Ramayana and Mahabharata.

 

Shakespeare puts in the mouth of one of his characters: –

“The self-same sun that shines upon his court

Hides not his visage from our cottage, but

Looks on’s alike”.

 

In describing the moral greatness of the Himalaya, Kalidasa gives expression to the idea as follows:

 

“He protects from the sun in his caves the darkness which through fear of light adheres to them for shelter; the care of the great is impartially bestowed on inferior and important personages alike”.

“Divaakaraad rakshati yo guhaasu

Leenam divaabheetam vaandhakaaram;

Kshudrepi noonam saranam prapanne

Mamatvam uchchais sirasaam sateeva”

Polonius Advice

Shakespeare students are familiar with the advice of Polonius to his son Laertes.

 

“Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion’d thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch’s, unfledged comrade. Beware…: (Hamlet Act I)

 

According to Kalidasa, the following is the advice that Shakuntala received from her foster father Kanva when she was leaving him to go to her royal husband’s home:

“Show due reverence to him and to your superiors; should others share your husband’s love, be an affectionate handmaid to them; should your husband displease you, let not your resentment lead you to disobedience. Be just and impartial to domestics, and seek not your own gratifications. By such behaviours young women become exemplary mistresses, but perverse wives are the bane of a family.”

There may be a difference of opinion, according to present ideas, as to this description of the duty of a wife; but there can scarcely be any difference of opinion as to the sentiments expressed by Kalidasa in the following verses:-

 

“The wicked are controlled, not by favour, but by punishment”.

 

“Of righteous acts good wives are certainly the fundamental cause”.

“Devoted wives never oppose the wishes of their husbands”.

“When there is seniority in virtue, youth is not taken into account”.

Hamlet and Manu Smrti

The king in Hamlet speaks of his inviolability thus:-

“There is such divinity doth hedge a king

That treason can but peep to what it would”

 

Manu explains royal divinity thus

“With eight elements of the gods is a king made; hence, by his lustre he subdues all creatures.”

Kalidasa describes a king of the Raghuvamsa, who went about without attendants thus:

“The race of Manu needed no bodyguard, but relied for safety on its own prestige and prowess.”

 

On Royal attributes, such as King Henry V defined and Cranmer prophesied of the infant Elizabeth, Kalidasa speaks in referring to a king of the Solar Race thus:

 

“Broad-chested, strong shouldered like a bull, long armed like a pine-tree, his physical frae was suited to the task of his royal birth; he was the embodiment of the virtues of the warrior caste”.

All the world is a stage

“I hold the world but as the world, Horatio

A stage where everyman must play a part”.

 

and again in As You like It

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,”

–As You Like It

I have given similar thoughts found in Tamil and Sanskrit in my post:–

Drama, Puppet Show, Folk Theatre in Tamil and Sanskrit Literature (Post No.3608); Date: 5 FEBRUARY 2017

 

The Winter’s Tale

The scene where the king (Shakuntalam), after dismounting from the is about to enter the grove of Marica’s hermitage and has his first glimpse of his son is a replica of the scene in Act One, where also the king after dismounting from the chariot at the fringes of the grove of Kanva’s hermitage, enters and see the boy’s mother for the first time. The finding of the lost son and heir precedes and leads to the recognition of the mother. An interesting parallel is provided in the last scene of Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’.

 

Othello and Sakuntalam

There is an interesting parallel in Othello. In the drama, proof of heroine’s chastity and love is demanded. Desdemona’s chastity hangs on a handkerchief; Sakuntala’s on a ring. Both heroines are blissfully unaware of the importance of the token. To them love is its own proof and a witness to their chastity.

 

In Ramayana, Sita was asked to prove her chastity by undergoing the ordeal of fire to allay the suspicions of the public: In Shakespeare’s Othello and King Lear where proof of fidelity and of filial love is demanded, we have a parallel.

 

A lot of Shakespeare’s quotable quotes have parallel in Sanskrit verses (I will give them separately).

 

Source Books:

Orient and Occident, Manmath C Mallick,1913

Kalidasa, The Loom of Time, Chandra Rajan, 1989

 

–Subham–

 

Modesty is the Ornament of the Wise! (Post No.3827)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 17 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 21-26

 

Post No. 3827

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com 

 

 

Two great poets of India Kalidasa and Tiruvalluvar say that Modesty is the ornament of the wise. Valluvar used ten couplets in Tamil to emphasise modesty and Kalidasa mentioned it in Sanskrit  at least  in three places in his work Raghuvamsa.

 

Tiru Valluvar says,

Is not Modesty (sense of shame) an ornament to the wise? If not present, a stately strut is a disease (Kural 1014)

 

Food, Clothing and the like are common to all men; but modesty is the chief feature of the good (1012)

 

In blessed modesty the worthy find a tower of strength. For such a rare jewel, they hold the world well lost. (1016)

Kalidasa in his Kavya Raghuvasa says,

 

तस्य संस्तूयमानस्य चरितार्थैस्तपस्विभिः।
शुशुभे विक्रमोदग्रम् व्रीडयावनतम् शिरः॥ १५-२७

tasya saṁstūyamānasya caritārthaistapasvibhiḥ |
śuśubhe vikramodagram vrīḍayāvanatam śiraḥ|| 15-27

 

He (King Shatrughna) gracefully held his head high by his heroic deed; when the object-accomplished hermits eulogised him he modestly bent it down; even then it looked more graceful. [15-27]

 

 

`स्तूयमानः स जिह्राय स्तुत्यमेव समाचरन्।
तथापि ववृधे तस्य तत्कारिद्वेषिणो यशः॥ १७-७३

stūyamānaḥ sa jihrāya stutyameva samācaran |
tathāpi vavṛdhe tasya tatkāridveṣiṇo yaśaḥ|| 17-73

 

He (King Atithi)  who did what was but praiseworthy became suffused with shame when praised for it; however, the reputation of him as the hater of those who praised him only increased his fame. [17-73]

 

तस्याभवत्सूनुरुदारशीलः शिलः
शिलापट्टविशालवक्षाः।
जितारिपक्षोऽपि शिलीमुखैर्यः
शालीनतामव्रजदीड्यमानः॥ १८-१७

tasyābhavatsūnurudāraśīlaḥ śilaḥ
śilāpaṭṭaviśālavakṣāḥ |
jitāripakṣo’pi śilīmukhairyaḥ
śālīnatāmavrajadīḍyamānaḥ || 18-17

 

King Pariyatra had a son named Shila possessing a generous disposition, and having a broad chest like a slab of stone; although he had vanquished divisions of the enemies’ armies by his arrows still he was abashed when he heard himself praised. [18-17]

Parimel Azakar, the most famous commentator of Tirukkural, quotes a Sanskrit saying about modesty:- Gunadyasya satah pumsah stutau ajjaiva Bhushanam.

A virtuous person becomes abashed when he is praised and it is an ornament for him.

 

Virtuous people feel shy when they are praised; even though their heads bow down, their fame go sky high!

 

Raghuvamsa slokas are from sanskritdocuments.com; thanks.

 

–Subham–

 

Hindu Sages and Hermitages in Kalidasa’s Works (Post No.3779)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 1 April 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 16-27

 

Post No. 3779

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Kalidasa is superb in describing the conditions of the Tapovanams (Ashram/Hermitage) in ancient India. He is very good in describing the appearance of Hindu seers and their penance. One would love to live in such a condition where there was peace everywhere. Even the animals who have natural enmity between themselves behaved very well. He portrays seers who are not Brahmins as well. He shows us some women seers too.

 

From his seven works, we come to know that people from other castes also did penance and they had obtained equal power. We have such examples earlier in our epics in the characters of Viswamitra, Vrtra of Rig Veda, Ravana and others.

 

In the Valmiki Ramayana and Raghuvamsa (of Kalidasa) we have two examples: one who cursed Dasaratha because he shot down his son mistaking him for an elephant. Another one at the end of the book, who was doing penance hanging upside down. All these portrayals explode the myths of Aryan, Dravidian divisions. Everyone could do penance and obtain powers. Women also did penance as we see in Vikrama Urvasiyam and Kumarasambhava.

Here below are some quotations from his books:-

 

Sakuntalam Act I

King:“Suta, urge the horses on and let us purify ourselves with a sight of the holy Hermitage.

Suta: As your Gracious Majesty orders

King: Suta, even without being told, it is palin that we are now at the outskirts of the penance-groves.

Suta: How can you tell, my lord?

King: Do you not see, sir? Right here:

Grains of wilde rice fallen from tree-hollows

where parrots nest, lie scattered under trees;

those stones here look moist, glossy, from the oil

of Ingudi-nuts split and pounded on them;

all around, deer browse in their tranquil haunts,

unafraid of the chariot’s approach; yonder,

droops of water dripping off the edgs of bark-garments

in long line, trace the paths to pools and streams.

and you see futher

Rippling beneath a passing breeze, waters flow

in deep channels to have the roots of trees;

smoke drifts up from oblations to the Sacred Fire

to dim the soft sheen of tender leaf buds;

free from fear, fawns browse lazily in meadows

beyond where Darbha shoots are closely cropped”

 

This brings us a picture of their simple life. No electricity, no tansport, no mobile internet or TV or Radio! A world full of peace and happiness.

Later Shakuntala , the forest beauty, shows all her love and affection towards he plants and animals in the forest.

 

Act II of Sakuntalam has another beautiful description of the forest and the hermits:-

King: “Let bisons plunge into forest-pools and revel splashing,

striking the water repeatedly with their mighty horns;

let the herds of antelopes clustering in groups in the shade,

chew the cud undisturbed;

and let wild boars lining up round puddles

where the marsh-sedge grows fragrant, root peacefully in the mud

and let this my bow with its loose-knotted string

be allowed to enjoy its well-earned repose.

 

Like sun-crystals cool to the touch

vomit fiery sparks from deep wthin

if struck by another luminous power,

so, hermit’s rich in holiness

in whom Tranquillity presides,

have hidden deep a blazing energy

that leaps out to burn when aroused.

xxx

 

From his Raghuvamsa Kavya,

While the glades are darkening litters of wild boars are coming up from ponds, peacocks are turning towards the trees of their habitation, herds of deer are settling on swards – seeing such back-to-home scenes DilIpa too advanced homewards. [2-17]

xxx

Oh proud lady, this is that pleasure-lake named pacnha-apsara of sage shAtakarNi, which is surrounded with woods, and which appears, on account of the great distance, like the orb of the moon vaguely seen from among the clouds. [13-38]

 

 

Here is the unexcelled ascetic by name sage sutIkShNa, a self-controlled in his action practising asceticism in the centre of five-fires, namely four well-fuelled fires around him and the seven-horsed one, namely the Sun, scorching the forehead as the fifth fire in five-fire method of ascesis. [13-41]

 

Here that sage sutIkShna lifting up his right arm aloft, which has a rosary of rudrAkSha-s for a bracelet, which scratches the deer, and which cuts the sharp needle-ends of kusha-grass, favourably greeted my arrival at his place. [13-43]

 

This sage is a constant sun-gazer and there occurred a momentary disturbance in his gaze when an aircraft passed before his sight; then nodding at my salutation, for he bridles his speech, he again fixed his sight on the thousand-rayed sun.  [13-44]

 

This sanctifying penance-grove which is the refuge of every-body belongs to the sage named Sharabhanga who kept sacred fire and who having propitiated it with the sacred sticks for a long time ultimately offered his own body sanctified with hymns into that ritual fire. [13-45]

 

Now, after Sharabhanga had immolated himself, the task of according hospitality to guests devolved upon the trees of hermitage which were, as it were, the well behaved sons of the sage that removed the fatigue of a journey by offering their shade and that afford abundant fruits of any cherish. [13-46]

 

Oh, curvaceous lady, this chitrakUTa mountain with its mouth of a valley sending forth gurgling sounds of rapids, mud-like rainclouds attached to its horn-like apices, thus resembling a proudish bull whose cavern mouth sends forth a continuous bellowing and the tips of whose horns are smeared with mud dug up while indulging in butting against the side of a mountain, rivets my sight. [13-47]

xxx

 

Sages don’t waste their energy by cursing:

Beholding Rama on throne, the sages did not strike at the demon with their yogic-power; for, it is only in the absence of a protector that the curse-armed ones spend their asceticism. [15-3]

xxx

 

Shudra doing penance

 

Now, the descendant of Ikshvaku saw a certain individual practising asceticism, with bloodshot eyes from smoke, dangling upside down from the branch of a tree. [15-49]

 

On coming to conclusion that this individual deserved execution for his unauthorised performance of asceticism that resulted calamitous to other subjects, then the controller Rama took up his weapon. [15-51]

Rama caused his head, on which the beard and moustache have been singed by the sparks of fire and which therefore resembled a frostbitten lotus with smudged filaments, to be lopped off from the tube-like throat. [15-52]

xxx

Earlier Dasaratha was cursed by a Shudra saint that he would also die of longing for his son.

xxx

From Kumarasambhava (Canto V.15/17)

 

Now let us turn to Kumarasambhava Kavya of Kalidasa:

“And the fawns, fondled by being given handfuls of forest grain, trusted her (UMA) so far, that out of curiosity she could measure the length of her own eyes with theirs before her friends.

 

“Sages came there, desirous of seeing her, who used to take a sacred bath, to offer oblations to the fire, to wear a bark as her upper garment, and to recite sacred texts; age is no consideration in the case of those who are old in spiritual attainments.

 

“The sacred grove, too, became holy, where the previous antipathy between warring beasts was abandoned, where the guests were well gratified with the gifts of desired fruit by the trees, and where the sacred fires were kindled in newly built huts of leaves”

 

One more couplet (V-33)

 

 

Uma is asked:

“Are sacrificial wood and Kusa grass easily obtainable for holy rites? is the water suitable for your bathing? And do you practise austerities proportionate to your strength? For your body is the ultimate means of performing religious duties”

 

This shows not all the people are expected to severe penance. It should be proportionate to one’s physical and mental capacity. But women are also allowed to do penance.

 

There are many more remarks about the penance, penance- groves and seers and sages. My above quotations were only examples to show the attitude of commoners and kings towards sage and their dwelling places.

(For Kalidasa’s works, I have used various English translations–swami)

–Subham–

 

 

 

 

Three Stories about Stupid Shepherds! (Post No.3701)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 7 March 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 20-41

 

Post No. 3701

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Shepherds of India were uneducated and ignorant. There are lot of stories about their stupid acts. The most famous shepherd story was about Kalidasa. There was a king who had a very educated intelligent, but arrogant daughter. She refused to marry anyone because all of them were defeated by her in debates. The ministers lost their patience. So they were looking for a fool who can be presented as the greatest scholar and thus insult the arrogant princess.

 

As they were going through the country side they saw a shepherd who was sitting on upper branch of a tree and cutting down the lower part. They got hold of him and trained him in gestures. He learnt the sign language quickly because there were only two signs. They told him that he would get a big reward from the king if used the gestures to answer any question put to him.

The shepherd was taken in a palanquin to present him as the scholar cum prince of a neighbouring country. For every gesture princess showed he used the two gestures he was taught. Since ministers taught him the gestures they had ready  explanations for his gestures. They gave big philosophical explanations for both the gestures. The princess was very much impressed with his scholarship and married him.

 

During the first night, the princess came to the bridegroom’s chamber. But to her surprise he was fast asleep and snoring! She waited for several hours and yet he did not get up. The princess tried to wake him up by sprinkling some scented water. At that time the shepherd (scholar) was dreaming about his sheep. When he felt the sprinkled water, he was shouting to his sheep (in dream). When she threw some flowers on him, he was saying, “ Get away, you foolish sheep”.

 

Now the princess knew for sure that something went wrong. She understood that she was married to an idiot. She drew off her sword and woke him. She told him,”Tell me the truth. Who are you? If you do not speak now, I shall kill you.”

 

He confessed that he was a shepherd and he acted according the ministers’ instructions. Immediately the princess gave him some money and asked him to run away from the palace.

 

The shepherd felt ashamed and went and slept in a Kali (goddess) temple on his way. He started praying to her to give him true knowledge. Goddess also felt very sorry for him. She knew that he was punished for no fault of his. She asked him to open his mouth and wrote a magic spell on his tongue. From that moment he started composing poems. Later he became the most celebrated poet of India – Kalidasa.

 

Second Story

But not all the shepherds were as lucky as Kalidasa. There was a shepherd at the foothills of Western Ghats. He followed the trade of his forefathers. One day he missed a lamb when counting his flock. At once he started off in search of his lamb. He wandered about till mid-day. In the afternoon, he felt exhausted and thirsty. He looked down into a well for water holding one of his lambs on his neck. When he looked down into the well he saw his own reflection and the lamb in dim light deep inside the well. He grew angry and shouted, “Oh, robber; I have got you at last. Bring up my lamb, otherwise I will throw huge rocks into the well”. When he stooped down to pick up stones, his lamb on his neck fell into the well. Later he regretted his foolish action.

 

Shepherd and Robbers!

The third story is about a money lender and a shepherd. There was a money lender in a village who was in the habit of taking money to different villages. On a certain day, he took lot of cash and hired the service of a shepherd to take him through the forest. Shepherds knew those routes very well. Half way through, it became dark and so they had to lie down under a tree. Moneylender was afraid of the robbers and told his shepherd companion to lie down in a place without making any noise. He went to a nearby tree and slept under it. About mid night a gang of robbers passed that way. One of them said: “Look here! take care here is a log of wood lying down on our way; don’t knock against it”.

“You, idiots; Talk sensibly. Am I a log of wood? Will a piece of log in your town have hundred rupees in a piece of cloth around its waist?” – said the shepherd who was lying down. “Oh, here is fellow, catch him!” said the robbers. The shepherd lost his 100 rupees. One of the robbers had some doubt about the currency note. I wonder whether this note is false or true”.

 

The ignorant shepherd grew angry and shouted at the robbers, “What do you mean? If you have any doubt about the currency note, ask my Chettiar friend who deals with money every day. He is lying there.”

 

“Ho, ho, there is another person with money, hiding in the bush. Catch him”, sad the robbers. The money lending Chettiyar was caught and beaten unmercifully. He lost all his money.

 

He returned to his village the following morning, having learnt a bitter lesson by taking an ignorant shepherd as his companion.

 

–Subham–

Number Seven in Kalidasa and Kamba Ramayana! (Post No 3615)

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Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 7 FEBRUARY 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 18-51

 

Post No. 3615

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

I have already explained the significance of Number 7 in my two articles as given in the Vedas, Indus valley Seals and verses of Vaishnavite saints known as Alvars. Please read the details in the following two articles:

1).Mystic No.7 in Music!! posted on 13th April 2014

2).Number Seven: Rig Vedic link to Indus Culture, posted on 21 November 2014

 

Now let us look at some verses of Kalidasa and Kamban. Kamban wrote the Ramayana in Tamil.

 

Kalidasa says in the Tenth sarga (Chapter) of Raghuvamsa Kavya; it is in praise of Lord Vishnu:-

 

सप्तसामोपगीतम् त्वाम् सप्तार्णवजलेशयम्।
सप्तार्चिमुखमाचख्युः सप्तलोकैकसम्श्रयम्॥ १०-२१

saptasāmopagītam tvām saptārṇavajaleśayam।
saptārcimukhamācakhyuḥ saptalokaikasamśrayam || 10-21

 

They have praised Thee who hast been glorified by seven hymns; a recliner on the waters of seven seas; having seven-flames for thy mouth and as a Being the only support of the seven worlds… [10-21]

 

The seven hymns: gAyatra, rathantara, vAmadevya, bR^ihatsAma, vairUpa, vairAja, shakvarI.

 

Seven seas: lavaNa, ikshu, surA, sarpis, dadhi, kshIra, jala – sAgarAH.

 

Seven tongues of fire: karAli, dhUmini, shveta, lohita, nIla-lohita,

suvarNa, padma-rAga – through which offertories are received in Vedic-rituals.

Seven worlds: bhU, bhuvar, suvar, maharloka, jana, tapo, satya – lokAH.

cbb9b-number-7-c

Valmiki’s Description of Seven Trees Test

 

Valmiki briefly describes how Rama pierced the Seven Trees:-

 

“Hearing Sugriva’s gracious speech, Rama, in order to inspire him with confidence, took up his bow and a formidable arrow, and taking him, pierced the Sala trees, filling the firmament with the sound”.

“Loosed by that mighty warrior, the arrow, decorated with gold, passed through the seven Sala trees and entering the mountain, buried itself in the earth. In the twinkling of an eye that shaft with the speed of lightening, having pierced the seven trees with extreme velocity, returned to Rama’s quiver”.

Chapter 12 of Kishkinda Kanda of Valmiki.

(I have already explained in another article that Hindus were the inventors of Boomerang. Krishna’s Sudarsana chakra and Rama’s arrows come back after hitting the target. They were scientifically designed to come back to its original position. They were angled like boomerangs of Australian aborigines.)

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Kamba Ramayana in Tamil

Kamban has some beautiful imagination in Kishkinda Kanda. His imagination runs riot:-

 

“Rama’s arrow pierced the seven trees then went through the seven worlds underneath. Since there was nothing with the suffix number seven under the earth it came back to Rama. If it sees anything with SEVEN, it will definitely pierce them; it would not leave them”

 

“Seven seas, seven ascetics (Sapta Rsis), seven worlds above the earth, seven mountains, seven horses in the Chariot of Lord Sun, Seven Virgins (sapta mata) – all these were shivering and shaking because they all had seven as a suffix in their names!”

 

“But yet they calmed themselves saying that Rama is the embodiment of Righteousness; so he wouldn’t harm us.”

 

—from Kamba Ramayana

 

Hindus believed that Seven is the most sacred number. So they have classified the seas, mountains, upper worlds, lower worlds, ascetics, virgins, clouds and many more things into  groups of seven.

Source: Valmiki Ramayana by Hariprasad Shastri

Raghuvamsa: Sanskritdocuments.org

–subham–

 

Bhagavad Gita Simile used by Ancient Tamil Poets! (Post No.3514)

Research Article written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 4 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:-  20-56

 

Post No.3514

 

 

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If one studies the similes used by ancient Sanskrit poets and Tamil poets one will find out that Indians had a unique culture spreading over a vast landmass, that was the largest country in the world 2000 years ago. The simile used by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita is found in the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam and Sangam Tamil literature. Kalidasa and other Sanskrit poets also used the simile in umpteen places. This explodes the divisive Aryan- Dravidian Race Theory. Hundreds of similes are unique to Tamil and Sanskrit literature which are not found in any other literature or culture in the world.

 

Lord Krishna says (Sutra Manigana Iva) :

There is nothing whatsoever higher than Me, O Dhanjanjaya. All this strung in Me, as clusters of gems on a string 7-7

 

Commenting on this couplet Swami Chinmayananda says: “To show that the Self is one and the same in all forms, it has been said that the Lord is the common factor in all forms in the universe. He holds them all intact as the string holds all the pearls in a necklace. These words have deep significance. Not only is it beautiful in its poetic suggestion, but it has also a very exhaustive philosophical implication. The pearls in the necklace are necessarily uniform and homogenous, and its thread, which is generally unseen, passes through the central core of every pearl, and holds them all, the big and the small, into a harmonious ornament of beauty. Here is an instance wherein we see Shri Veda Vyasa typically expressing himself as the poet-philosopher of the world.

 

Tolkappaiam written by Tolkappiar, is considered the oldest book available in Tamil. It is dated around First Century BCE. Definitely later than Bhagavad Gita. We find the simile in Tolkappiam as well. Like Sanskrit, Sutra means a book and a thread in Tamil also; in Tamil the word used is Nuul= Thread or Book.

 

Tolkappiar used the word Sutra following Panini. He never hesitated to use a Sanskrit word. In the Sutra 1426:

Like orderly arranging the gems in a string, arranging the same types is called Othu.

 

Tamil Veda Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar also used the Bhagavad Gita simile:-

There is something that is implied in the beauty of this woman, like the thread that is visible in a garland of gems.

 

Thus Krishna’s “Sutra Manigana Iva” simile has become popular 2000 years ago. Avadhutopanishad also has this.

Kalidasa used this imagery in His Raghuvamsam and Vikrama Urvaseeyam:-

Though a dunce, I have a way in through the epic already rendered by Valmiki like the thread that easily goes through the diamonds already bored- (Raghuvamsa 1-4)

 

This King of Anga made the wives of his enemies to throw off their ornaments and weep for their husbands shedding tears larger than pearls on to their breasts which appeared like pearl necklaces. The king took the real necklace and gave them tear necklace- Raghu.6-28

 

A lady was halfway through her stringing of gems for her girdle. The thread was tied to her thumb. When she came to know about Aja’s visit she rushed to the window to see him. All the gems fell and scattered leaving only the thread still knotted to her thumb 7-10

 

These women engrossed at splashing water on each other are unable to give a thought to the severance and slithering of their pearl necklaces from their bosom, for the water drops as large as pearls are hopping on their bosoms which they think necklace of pearls – 16-62

These similes of Raghuvamsa were used by Tamil poets in Sangam literature.

Sangam Tamil poets used the similes in the following places:

 

Kudavayil Keerathanar has used this imagery twice in his poems in Akananuru (289 and 315)

 

Eyinanthai Ilankeeranar (Akam.225) used the broken pearl necklace image in his verse.

 

Kurunthokai Poets Kundriyanar and Kavan Mullai Poothanar and  Marudan Ilanagan of Marudakkali also followed his predecessors.   All of them used the unstringed or broken necklace images.

 

Thus, we see One Thought- One Culture from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Before the foreigners came they didn’t know any divisions in the community such as Aryan or Dravidian races.

-Subham-

 

 

Kalidasa’s Famous Quotations

kali1

Indian Postal Stamps on Kalidasa’s works

Compiled by London swaminathan

Article No.1921; Dated 9 June 2015.

Uploaded at London time: 20-51

I give power and knowledge to him I love;

In invest him with Holy Power;

I make him a sage, a seer— Rig Veda 10-125-5

Kalidasa is one of the greatest poets of India. He is the most famous poet of ancient India. He has used over 1000 apt similes in his seven works. And there are quotations in his works which are used by the Sanskrit knowing general public in their every day conversations; his seven works are

POEMS

1)Meghadutam (MES)

2)Rtusamharam (RTS)

3)Kumarasambhavam (KS)

PLAYS

4)Malavikagnimitram (MA)

5)Vikramorvasiyam (VU)

6)Abhijnana sakuntalam (AS)

EPIC

7)Raghuvamsam (RV)

He is a dramatist, a writer of epic and a lyric poet of extraordinary scope. In his hands the language attained a remarkable flexibility, becoming an instrument capable sounding any moods and nuances of feeling – says Chandra Rajan in her book Kalidasa- The Loom of Time.

Here are twenty five of his quotations (source Suktisudha published by Chinmaya International Foundation):

kalidas-encyclopedia

Excess Affection

Deep affection often hits upon the specific remedy (VU)

Ati snehah khalu kaaryadarsi

Excessive affection suspects that evil will happen (to loved ones)

Ati snehah paapasanki (AS 4)

Authority / Power

The office of the government knows no rest (AS.5)

Avisramoyam lokatantraadhikaarah

Thoughtlessness

Which heartless soul will sprinkle scalding water on the tender Navamallika creeper? (AS.4)

Ka idaaniimsnodakena Navamaalikaam sincati

Misfortune

Misfortune enters through a miniscule loophole in an uncompromising truth (AS.6)

Randhropanipaatinonarthaa iti yaducyate tadavyabhicaari

kalidas-cinema-song-book

Hope

Hope makes bearable even the intense sorrow of separation (AS.4)

Gurvapi virahaduhkhamaasaabandhah saahayati

Senses

The senses toe the line of fate (VU3)

Bhavitavyataanuvidhaayin indriyaani

God

None has understood the real nature of Lord Siva (KS 5-77)

Na santi yathaarthyavidah pinaakinah

Nectar turns into poison, and poison into nectar, if the Lord so choses (RV 8-46)

Visamapyamrtam kvacid bhavedamrtam vaa visamiisvarecchayaa

Daughter/ unmarried girl

A daughter is another’s wealth (AS 4-22)

Artho hi kanyaa parakiiya eva

The daughter wedded to a virtuous groom will never be a source of grief to her father (KS 6-79)

The girl should be given to a virtuous man (AS 4)

Gunavate kanyakaa pratipaadaniiyaa

Action/ work/ deed

Will not he who undertakes a futile task become a butt of ridicule? (MES 1-54)

Ke vaa na syuh paribhavapadam nisphalaarambhayatnaah

Efforts, when directed towards a meaningful end, bear fruit (RV 3-29)

Kriyaa hi vastupahitaa prasiidati

A spirit tired by toil gets refreshed by reward (KS 5-86)

Klesah phalena hi punarnavataam vidhatte

kali2

Russian stamp to honour Kalidasa

Love/ desire

The desirous are self-centred (AS 2-2)

Kami svataam pasyati

Time

Requests submitted to bosses by the proficient at the opportune time will surely be granted (KS 7-93)

Kaalaprayuktaa khalu kaarya vidbhir vijnaapanaa bhartrsu siddhimeti

Anger

What else can scorch better than fire? (AS 4)

Ko nyo hutavhaaddagdhum prabavati

Warrior caste

All the exertion of warriors is to safeguard dharma (RV 15-4)

Dharmasamraksanaayaiva pravrttirbhuvi saarnginah

Virtue

Virtues are set foot everywhere (RV 3-62)

Padam hi sarvatra gunairnidhiiyate

The creator is averse to bringing together a totality of positives in a single soul – (KS 3-28)

Praayena saamagryavidhau gunaanaam paraanmukhi visvasrjah pravrttih

Guru /spiritual teacher

Question not the preceptor’s precepts (RV 14-46)

Aajnaa guruunaam hyavicaaraniiyaa

 

Senseless

The numb at heart do not recognise virtue (AS 6-13)

Acetanam naama gunam na laksayet

Factual knowledge

Fie on the transience of the lives of men (RV 8-51)

Dhigimaam dehabhrtaamasaarataam

Fear

Place a wreath on a blind man’s brows and he tears it off, fearing it to be a snake (AS 7-24).

Humility of Indian poets! Varahamihira, Kalidasa, Kamban & Purandaradasa

Bend it like Modi ( More you bow, More you Grow)

Written by London swaminathan

Research Article No: 1831

Date: 27 April 2015; Uploaded in London at 17-29

Sanskrit and Tamil poets were great poets and yet they were very humble. We may find several examples in our literature that show their humility. Let us look at a few examples:

VARAHAMIHIRA

Varahamihira who authored two encyclopaedic works’ Brhat Jataka’ and ‘Brhat Samhita’ among others, says in the concluding chapter of Brhat Samhita,

Jyotih sasstrasamudram pramathya matimandaraadrinaatha mayaa

Lokasyaalokakarah saastrasasaangkah samuthksipthah

“Having churned the ocean of astrology with the Mandara mountain of my intelligence, I have taken out the moon of science that affords light to the world.

Then in the next verse he says,

“I have not discarded the works of ancient seers while writing this scientific work. Hence, O ye good men, you may by all means compare mine with theirs, and accept whichever you like

He continues,

“Good men, on finding some excellence, though slender, in an ocean of faults, proclaim it, while the mean minded do the contrary. This is the nature of the good and the wicked

Durjanahutaasataptam kaavyasuvarnam visuddhimaayaati

Sraavayitavyam tasmaaddusta janasya prayatnena

 

“The gold of poetry being heated by the fire of wicked men gets purified. Hence, it should be read to the wicked by all means”.

KALIDASA

Kalidasa, the greatest of the Indian poets, in his Raguvamsa Kavya, says,

“The dynasty originated from Sun; with the meagre intellect of mine,  I am wishing to go across this unnavigable ocean called the solar dynasty by a small boat.

“Will I become the butt of ridicule if I were to covet the celebrity of an eminent poet, like a short fellow overstretching his arms for a fruit obtainable only by the tall, because I am still a dunce in this subject matter?

“But my course in depicting this dynasty might as well be easy through the gateway already crafted by the earlier poets, like a diamond bore holed by a diamond-edged tool for an easy passage of thread”.

In Malavikagnimitra, he says,

“Every old poem is not good simply because it is old; nor is a poem without charm, because it is new; sound critics favour the one or the other, after proper examination; while a blockhead is guided by another’s judgement”.

KAMBAN

Greatest of the middle age Tamil poets Kamban in his Tamil Ramayana says in Balakanda,

“I wanted to write the story of Rama. My desire is like a cat licking the milky ocean (thinking it could drink the full ocean).

“Are you people wondering at my endeavour of writing the great story done by Valmiki– full of penance? He wrote the story of great Rama who pierced the seven strong trees with a single arrow which never miss the target like the curse of great people.

“I know the world will ridicule me; but my intention is to highlight the greatness of Valmiki who wrote flawless divine poetry”.

PURANDARADASA

The famous Kannada saint and composer Purandaradasa says in one of his songs

“There ought to be traducers. Without them the glory of the virtuous would not gain celebrity. For example the paddy grain would be worthless without its slender thorn”.

Varahamihira  concludes by saying

“With my intellectual power blessed by the Divine Sun, the sages and my preceptor, as a result of my having made obeisance to their feet, I have only summarized this science. Hence I offer salutations to the ancient authors”.

Bowing Modi

“Gunaprakarso vinyaadavaapyate”

“All virtues are enhanced with humility” – Subhasita ratna bhandakaram 3-869

Octogenarian Manmohanji Namaskar!

Did Hala copy Kalidas in GSS?

Umamaheshwara

Research Paper written by london swaminathan

Research article No 1561; Dated 9th January 2015.

 

Gatha Sapta Sati (GSS) is a Prakrit book of 700 erotic verses. It is dated  as a first century CE work. Satavahana king Hala compiled 700 good verses from the works of Prakrit poets. But in the present form it cant be a work of first century CE.  There is anachronism. There are lot of anonymous poems as well. Poets who are not popular or unknown to many of us have copied Kalidasa, the most famous poet of the classical age.

 

Even Hala who contributed 44 verses to GSS, has imitated Kalidas, at least in one of his poems where he describes an erotic scene. Lord Siva takes off the clothes of Uma. She immediately closed the eyes of Siva with her two hands to save her honour. Immediately Siva opened his third eye. Uma was so clever that she closed his third eye under the pretext of giving a kiss on the third eye.

 

Kalidasa, who lived in the first century BCE and served as the  Poet Laurate of Emperor Vikramaditya, described the scene in his Kumara sambhava even before Hala composed his verse:

 

“In private, with her garment taken off, she closed Siva’s two eyes with her two palms; but as his third eye on the forehead continued looking, she had her efforts foiled and became helpless” — sloka 7 of canto 8

 

Hala improved it by adding one more line by saying that she kissed on his third eye.

radha-krishna-om

But this is not the only one that will decide the date of Kalidasa and Hala. There are many more things:

 

1.There is a mention of Tuesday in one of the verses. Days of the week appear very late in Indian litearture. Older poets never used the days of the week. In Tamil it appeared for the first time in the Tamil epic Silappadikaram. Madurai city was burnt down by Kannaki on a Friday. This reference and many other things in the epic made the scholars to doubt the date second century CE given to the epic. Later Thevaram hymn of Sambandhar listed all the seven days from Sunday to Saturday. Though the epic story happened in second century CE, it was put in present form in fifth to seventh century. If we apply the same principle to GSS, it will be dated to fifth to seventh century.

 

2.Mention of Lord Ganesh in one of the verses also take GSS to a later age. Older poets like Kalidasa never mentioned Lord Ganapathy. Statues of Ganesh came to the South only after fifth century CE.

 

3.Hora is a word used in GSS and the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam. Prof. Vaiyapuri Pillay argued that this word is of Greek origin and so Tolkappiam in its present form must be placed after Greek contact in the South. If we apply the same rule GSS may be later than first century.

  1. Vikramaditya’s distribution of gold coins to his soldiers is mentioned in one of the GSS verses. Kalidasa was the court poet of Emperor Vikramaditya.


uma siva

5.Hala was said to have married Leelavathy, daughter of Sri Lankan King Seelamegha. Seelamega ruled between 200 and 600 CE according to V V Mirashi. This means that we have to look for more than one Halan!

 

6.There are 14 commentaries on GSS; but there are  seven different versions of GSS. Out of the 700 verses, only 430 are common to all. The total number of verses from the seven editions are 1066. So this is not reliable (Source: Mr Patwardhans translation of GSS).

 

7.One of the famous similes of Kalidasa is Deepa sikha. This was copied by GSS and other Sanskrit poets. It is found even in Maduraikanchi, part of Tamil Sangam literature. Had Kalidasa copied this simile and the above Uma-Siva episode, the ancient poets would not have praised him the Kavikulaguru.Kalidasa would not have become the greatst of the Indian poets. Tamil litearture has more than 200 similes of Kalidasa

8.But there are lot of similarities to prove that the main authors of GSS

lived at the age of Sangam litearture, i.e the first few centuries of CE.

 

9.The big difference between the Tamil love poems and GSS erotic poems is that the description of bad family women. Though Tamil literature has lot of references to courtesans, there was no immoral family women. But GSS depicts such women having pre marital and post (extra) marital sex with strangers.

10.Some poets of GSS such as Paliyathan ( also of Puram 387), Brhmachari (also of Natrinai 34) are found in Sangam Tamil literature as well. There may be others such as Kayamanar (Gajan in GSS) and  Ulochanar (Trilocana in GSS). Paliathan of Gundukat (Gundakkal) was a good friend of Hala. Satavahanas were good friends of Cheran Senguttuva, one of the great Sera kings of Tamil Nadu. Paliyathan sang about Selvakatungo Vaziyatha, a Sera king. All these prove that Hala and Paliathan were contemporaries of Cheran Chenguttuvan and his immediate follwers. But lot of new verses were interpolated in GSS at a later age.

 

  1. One GSS poest addresses the cloud, an imitation of Kalidasa’s Megaduta kavya.

 

12.There are many poets with Naga suffix in both Sangam and GSS.

radha unjal

13.Though Sangam Tamil literature mentioned Gopis and Krishna on rthe banks of Yamuna (Thozunai in Tamil), GSS mentioned Radha with Krishna in several places. So it must be of a later age.

Interesting Names of Raja, Deva, Swami, Sena

 

Name search gives much interesing information to researchers.

 

At least 28 poets with RAJA suffix such as Raviraja, Rathiraja, Maharaja, Ahoraraja, Anuraja, Andhraraja etc.

 

At least 8 names with SWAMI suffix: Govindswami, Chandraswami, Meenaswami, Satyaswami etc.

 

Five have SEELA, five have SIMHA, six poets have DEVA suffix

 

At least 8 names with SENA suffix: Pravarasena, Satyasena, Mallasena, Makarandasena.

 

The interesting thing about SENA is that it is a suffix for kings. Sangam Tamil literature project several kings as poets. In the same way, many of the Andhra kings or commanders of army might have composed poems. Moreover I have written elsewhere that several Sumerian kings have this Sena suffix as SIN. Sin also mean moon (Chandra) in Sumerian. Eitherway it is typical Hindu to have Sena or Chandra as suffix in names (Eg.Mahabharata has 24 kings with Sena suffix. Also we have Hari Chandra, Udaya Chandra, Chandramati as royal names).

 

Last but not the least is the number of poetesses. Sangam Tamil Literature and world’s oldest literature the Rig Veda can boast of at least 20 poetesses each. But GSS has approximately 12 women poets:

Andhralakshmi, Sarasvati, Sasiprabha, Girisudha, Reka, Reva, Gramakuddika, Chadraputtika, Revathy, Gunamukta, Tharangamathy,Jakkurangy

 

Strangley GSS did not mention Ganga, Himalaya and Lord Skanda. Both Kalidasa and Sangam Literature have lot of references to them. There is lot of scope for reaserch by comparing GSS with Tamil literature.

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