KALIDASA , the most illustrious name among the writers of the secondepoch of
See also:Sanskrit literature, which, as contrasted with the age of the Vedic
See also:hymns, may be characterized as the
See also:period of artificial
See also:poetry . Owing to the
See also:absence of the
See also:historical sense in the
See also:race, it is impossible to
See also:fix with
See also:chronological exactness the lifetime of either Kalidasa or any other Sanskrit author . Native tradition places him in the 1st century B.C.; but the evidence on which this belief rests is worthless . The
See also:works of the poet contain no allusions by which their date can be directly determined; yet the extremely corrupt
See also:form of the
See also:Prakrit or popular dialects spoken by the
See also:women and the sub-
See also:ordinate characters in his plays, as compared with the Prakrit in inscriptions of ascertained age, led such authorities as Weber and Lassen to agree in fixing on the 3rd century A.D. as the approximate period to which the writings of Kalidasa should be referred . He was one of the " nine gems " at the
See also:court of
See also:Vikramaditya or Vikrama, at
See also:Ujjain, and the tendency is now to regard the latter as having flourished about A_D . 375; others, however, place him as
See also:late as the 6th century . The richness of his creative
See also:fancy, his delicacy of sentiment, and his keen appreciation of the beauties of nature, combined with remarkable
See also:powers of description, place Kalidasa in the first
See also:rank of
See also:Oriental poets . The effect, however, of his productions as a whole is greatly marred by extreme artificiajity of diction, which, though to a less extent than in other Hindu poets, not unfrequently takes the form of puerile conceits and plays on words . In this respect his writings contrast very unfavourably with the more genuine poetry of the Vedas . Though a true poet, he is wanting in that
See also:artistic sense of proportion so characteristic of the Greek mind, which exactly adjusts the parts to the whole, and combines form and
See also:matter into an inseparable poetic unity . Kalidasa's fame rests chiefly on his dramas, but he is also distinguished as an epic and a lyric poet . He wrote three plays, the plots of which all bear a general resemblance, inasmuch as they consist of love intrigues, which, after numerous and seemingly insurmountable impediments of a similar nature, are ultimately brought to a successful conclusion .
Of these, Sakuntala is that which has always justly enjoyed the greatest fame and popularity . The unqualified praise bestowed upon it byGoethe sufficiently guarantees its poetic merit . There are two recensions of the text in India, the
See also:Bengali and the Devanagari, the latter being generally considered older and purer . Sakuntala was first translated into
See also:English by
See also:Jones (
See also:Calcutta, 1789), who used the Bengali recension . It was soon after translated into German by G .
See also:Forster (1791; new ed .
See also:Leipzig, 1879) . An edition of the Sanskrit
See also:original, with French
See also:translation, was published by A . L . Ch6zy at
See also:Paris in 1830 . This formed the basis of a translation by B . Hirzel (Zurich, 1830) ; later trans. by L .
Fritze (Chemnitz, 1876) . Other
See also:editions of the Bengali recension were published by Prema Chandra (Calcutta, 1860) for the use of
See also:European students and by R . Pischel (2nd ed.,
See also:Kiel, 1886) . The Devanagari recension was first edited by O .
See also:Bohtlingk (
See also:Bonn, 1842), with a German translation . On this were based the successive German
See also:translations of E . Meier (
See also:Tubingen, 1851) and E . Lobedanz (8th ed., Leipzig, 1892) . The same recension has been edited by Dr C . Burkhard with a Sanskrit-Latin vocabulary and
See also:short Prakrit
See also:mar (
See also:Breslau, 1872), and by
See also:Professor Monier
See also:Williams (
See also:Oxford, 2nd ed . 1876), who also translated the drama (5th ed., 1887) . There is another translation by P .
N . Patankar (
See also:Poona, 1888– ) . There are also a South
See also:Indian and a Cashmir recension . The Vikramorvasi, or Urvasi won by Valour, abounds with
See also:fine lyrical passages, and is of all Indian dramas second only to Sakuntala in poetic beauty . It was edited by R . Lenz (Berlin, 1833) and translated into German by C . G . A .
See also:Hofer (Berlin, 1837), by B . Hirzel (1838), by E . Lobedanz (Leipzig, 1861) and F . Bollensen (
See also:Petersburg, 1845) .
There is also an English edition by Monier Williams, a metrical and
See also:prose version by Professor H . H .
See also:Wilson, and a literal prose translation by Professor E . B .
See also:Cowell (1851) . The latest editions are by S . P . Pandit (Bombay, 1879) and K . B . Paranjpe (ibid . 1898) . The third
See also:play, entitled Malavikagnimitra, has considerable poetical and dramatic merit, but is confessedly inferior to the other two .
It possesses the
See also:advantage, however, that its hero Agnimitra and its heroine Malavika are more ordinary and human characters than those of the other plays . It is edited by O . F . Tullberg (Bonn, 1840), by Shankar P . Pandit, with English notes (1869), and S . S . Ayyar (Poona, 1896) ; translated into German by A . Weber (1856), and into English by C . H . Tawney (2nd ed., Calcutta, 1898) . Two epic poems are also attributed to Kalidasa . The longer of these is entitled Raghuvamsa, the subject of which is the same as that of the Ramayana, viz. the
See also:history of Rama, but beginning with a long account of his ancestors, the
See also:ancient rulers of Ayodhya (ed. by A .
F . Stenzler,
See also:London . 1832; and with Eng. trans. and notes by Gopal Raghunath Nandargikar, Poona, 1897;
See also:verse trans. by P. de
See also:Johnstone, 1902) . The other epic is the Kumarasambhava, the theme of which is the
See also:birth of Kumara, otherwise called Karttikeya or Skanda,
See also:god of war (ed. by Stenzler, London, 1838; K . M . Banerjea, 3rd ed . Calcutta, 1872; Parvanikara and Parab, Bombay, 1893; and M . R . Kale and S . R . Dharadhara, ibid . 1907; Eng. trans. by R .
T .Griffith, 1879) . Though containing many fine passages, it is tame as a whole . His lyrical poems are the Meghaduta and the Ritusamhara . The Meghaduta, or the
See also:Cloud-Messenger, describes the complaint of an exiled
See also:lover, and the
See also:message he sends to his wife by a cloud . It is full of deep feeling, and abounds with fine descriptions of the beauties of nature . It was edited with
See also:free English translation by H . H . Wilson (Calcutta, 1813), and by J . Gildemeister (Bonn, 1841); a German adaptation by M .
See also:Muller appeared at
See also:Konigsberg (1847), and one by C . Schutz at
See also:Bielefeld (1859) .
It was edited by F .
See also:Johnson, with vocabulary and Wilson's metrical translation (London, 1867) ; later editions by K . P . Parab (Bombay, 1891) and K . B . Pathak (Poona, 1894) . The Ritusamhara, or Collection of the Seasons, is a short poem, of less importance, on the six seasons of the
See also:year . There is an edition by P. von Bohlen, with prose Latin and metrical German translation (Leipzig, 1840) ; Eng. trans. by C . S . Sitaram Ayyar (Bombay, 1897) . Another poem, entitled the Nalodaya, or Rise of Nala, edited by F . Benary (Berlin, 1830), W .
Yates (Calcutta, 1844) and Vidyasagara (Calcutta, 1873), is a treatment of the
See also:story of Nala and Damayanti, but describes especially the restoration of Nala to prosperity and power . It has been ascribed to the celebrated Kalidasa, but was probably written by another poet of the same name . It is full of most absurd verbal conceits and metrical extravagances . So many poems, partly of a very different
See also:stamp, are attributed to Kalidasa that it is scarcely possible to avoid the
See also:necessity of assuming the existence of more authors than one of that name . It is by no means improbable that there were three poets thus named; indeed
See also:modern native astronomers are so convinced of the existence of a triad of authors of this name that they apply the
See also:term Kalidasa to designate the number three . On Kalidasa generally, see A . A .
See also:Macdonell's History of Sanskrit Literature (1900), and on his date G . Huth, Die Zeit
See also:des K . (Berlin, 1890) . (A . A .
Kalidasa is called The Lord of Poetry and his famous play Sakuntala recently translated into arabic by Dr Philip Attiya and published in Series of World Theatre in Kuwait.We must mention here his great poem Megadutta which means cloudy messanger which talkes about Yaksha The soul who complains his deportation as an unjustfiable order of his master Kaffera The Lord of Wealth and please the cloud to carry his passion and love to his wife.Kalidasa himself married a princess .
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