Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kalidas: a brief Introduction

Date of birth-4th-5th century AD

KALIDAS is the greatest known Sanskrit dramatist and poet and in his hands Sanskrit literature had reached its zenith.He flourished during the reign of the Gupta rule,Chandragupta Vikramaditya.Kalidas was one of the Navaratnas at the Court of Chandragupta Vickramaditya.Kalidas works include plays,epics and lyrics.His play Abhijnana Sakuntalam is the most well-known of all his works and it has been translated into various languages of the world.dIn all,7 works of Kalidas are available today. These are Malavikagnimitra, Vikramoravasiyam and Abhijnana Sakunthalam (play) Raghuvansa and Kumarsambham (epics) Meghdoot and Ritu Samhara (lyrics).

As far as literary merits are concerned, Meghdoot (cloud Messenger) is the most excellent work. The readers are fascinated by the simplicity of its diction, portrayal of nature and delicate expression of love jkand the agony of love.Meghdoot has also been translated
Into various languges of the world.On the other hand, Ritu samhara is totally devoted to nature and its changing mood through different seasons.

There is no unanimity about the time in which Kalidas lived. The scholars however commonly agree that Kalidas was a contemporary of the Gupta ruler Chandragupta Vikramaditya (4th-5th century A.D.)

The legend goes that early in his life,Kallidas was illiterate and a dullard.Some Pandits was had been defeated in discourse by a highly intelligent princess Vidyottma got herself married to Kalidas in a deceitful manner out of jealousy. When the reality came out ,she felt very disturbed and annoyed.It is said that she strongly admonished Kalidas for his ignoranced.On getting admonished by his wife ,Kallidas was very much shocked and he now took a vow to become a learned man.So he left his home in this pursuit and returned only after he had become a man of profound teaming.

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