The Kumarasambhavam epic opens with a magnificent hyperbole describing the great Himalayan mountains:. We can look at a few descriptions of Parvati. The Himalayas was both sanctified as well as decorated by his daughter Parvati. She was to him like a bright flame is to a lamp; like the river Ganges is to the paths of the heavens and like a refined language is to the intellect. And then, when the gods approach Lord Brahma to help them overcome the demon Tarakasura, Lord Indra implores his preceptor bRuhaspati to communicate the request.
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The poet begins with a description of the mountain Himalaya, deservedly called as the King of all mountain ranges, for his resourcefulness. Himavan had a son named Mainaka and a daughter called Parvati, who in her former birth was Lady Sati Devi, the daughter of daksha-prjApati and the wife of Shiva.
Parvati's childhood and budding youth are then described. When she has attained the marriageable age, the Sage Narada, who is on a visit to Himalaya, foretells that she would win Shiva for her husband. Relying on this prophesy, Himalaya does not particularly bestir himself to search for bridegrooms for his daughter Parvati. In the meanwhile, the god Shiva, after he had lost his wife Lady Sati, had betaken himself to a peak on the Himalaya and was practising ascesis there.
When Himalaya comes to know of this, he assigns his daughter Parvati, accompanied by two of her handmaids, to wait upon Shiva in the daily chores of Shiva's ascesis. Notes and commentary of Raghunath Damodar Karmarkar, M. A, Ph.. Gajendragadkar's edition, on this 1st canto is made available here 4. On the northern frontier of this country that forms the heartland of gods, intercalating himself into eastern and western oceans like a measuring stick of earth, there stands the sovereign of snowy mountains renowned as Mt.
More than one stanza having a syntactical connection have particular names in Sanskrit; thus two stanzas form a yugma ; three stanzas a visheShaka ; four stanzas a kalApa ; and the number of verses ranging from five to fifteen a kulaka. Here stanzas 1 to 16 is a kulaka and eka anvaya ; as the poet is using this grouping to portray the nature of Mt.
Once all mountains making Mt. Himalaya as a calf, Mother-Earth as cow, while the expert milker Mt. Meru stood as a milker, made the calf called Mt. Himalaya to suckle glittering gemstones and medicinal herbs from the cow called Mother Earth, in the trend earlier set by Emperor Prithu, who was an expert milker of many benefits from such an earth-cow at his times, such a Himavan is there in the North. Whose snow has not become a despoiler of his exquisiteness for he is the fountainhead of innumerous products of high value; why because, a single blemish cannot be fingered when umpteen virtues are present; just like a speckle in the moon that does not despoil his exquisiteness, but wanes in the exquisite moonlight; such an unblemished Himavan is there in the North.
Further, he who bears peaks full with ores of ochry colour of sunset that spreads over the slivers of clouds floating atop it, which in turn makes a confused state among celestial damsels, for they hurriedly decorate their ornaments inappropriately; i. Whereon the barks of birch trees will be in crimson red, like that of the skin-rash developed on the skins of ruttish elephants in age, and which barks will be useful for celestial beauties to write love letters using the colours of minerals as ink, such a mountain which is a lovers paradise is there in the North.
He who is filling the airspaces between the holes of bamboos with the winds emerged from the mouths of his caves, appears to be a willing flutist at the ready, to attune the high octave singing of celestial singers that are ready to sing gAndhAra grAna , a high octave musical note; such a king of mountains with such fluty bamboo grooves is there in the North. Where the elephants used to thoroughly scrape the cedar trees to disencumber themselves from the itching of their temples make the latex of those trees to discharge; but the fragrance emanated from the discharged latex is making the prominences of that mountain fragrant, and such a fragrant mountain, a homeland for elephants and trees together with their fragrance, is there in the North.
Where interiors of homelike caves are catching the luminescence form self-luminescent herbs when the tribal lovers are in intimacy with their ladyloves in nights, those herbs themselves are becoming oil-less lamps, and such a nightly self-luminous mountain is there in the North.
Where the celestial damsels are unable to desist from their usual leisurely walking even if their toes and heels are disquieting to tread on the pathways condensed with snow, appurtenance to the slowed down pace owing to the weight of their broad hips and beamy bosoms, that sort of leisure-mountain is there in the North. He who safeguards the lowly darkness that burrowed itself in his caves, as though that darkens is frightened from the day making sun, is objectionable insofar as his propriety as a shelterer is concerned; but that objection is voidable, as noblemen ought to protect anyone or anything seeking shelter as his own person.
On whom the thick furred animals, chAmara, wave their tails spreading breeze in the quality of moonbeams; in doing so they appear to be fanning a royal with furred fanning instruments, and thus they render the title of 'king of the mountains' more meaningful to that mountain that is there in the North.
Where the clouds dangling on the doorways of homelike caves are luckily becoming door curtains for the much-abashed celestial womenfolk when their upper cloths are suddenly snatched away by their males, such a romantic mountain is there in the North. On which the breeze wafts the spays of River Ganga's watercourses wobbling the deodar trees time and again, whereby peacocks apprehensive of rainfall outspread their plumage, and commingling all the other perfumes that breeze becomes enjoyable to the tribal people that are fatigued in their hunting, such a breezy mountain is there in the North.
Both the actions are in hyperbole. Neither the sages in highest constellation can bend down, nor the sun with downward sunrays can possibly shoot his rays up. This is only to show the loftiness of Himalayas.
Whose plenteousness to provide sacred material like special firewood, Soma creepers etc to Vedic rituals, and whose capacity and perseverance to bear the earth is clearly examined by Brahma, whereby Brahma personally ordered for oblational share of oblations in Vedic rituals to him along with the lordship on other mountains, such a munificent mountain BHimavan is there in the North.
He who is the provisioner to Vedic rituals with sacred material like special firewood, Soma creepers etc, and whose capacity and perseverance to bear the earth is clearly examined by Brahma, whereby Brahma personally ordered for oblational share of Vedic rituals to Himavan along with the lordship on other mountains, such a beneficent mountain is there in the North. Such a well-mannered lord of the mountains Himavan who is the friend of Mt.
Meru customarily married Lady Mena Devi, the daughter of manes called agniShvAt et al, an estimable girl even for sages, thus becoming a worthy maiden for himself for the flourish of his dynasty. Then after some time when those two commenced on matrimonial bliss befitting to their youth and its charm, she that beautiful wife of the king of mountains, namely Lady Mena, became pregnant relative to her youthfulness.
Mainaka, gave birth. Mainaka, who is a pleasurable husband of nAga damsels, who secured a firm friendship with ocean, and who knows not the pain of gashes even if enraged Indra uses his Thunderbolt to cut deep gashes on his body. Mainaka resides underneath the ocean and gave hospitality to Hanuma when he leapt the ocean while going to Lanka in search of Seetha.
At that time Shiva's former wife, a husband-devout lady and daksha-prjApati's daughter, namely Sati Devi, incited at her father's dishonouring her husband Shiva discarded her body through yoga; to take a rebirth she made her appearance before Mena Devi, the wife of the king of mountains. The lord of mountains who pledged to beget right progeny engendered that most auspicious Sati Devi from Mena Devi, as with prosperity seeded with principles of perfect enduing and with fervour for enterprise will be unfailing.
With tranquil quarters, dustless breezes, blaring conches followed by drizzling flowers, the birthday of that baby-girl of Lady Mena Devi remained pleasurable to all mobile and sessile beings. As with the shining forth of fringe lands of Mt.
Obtaining emergence the single-digited moon day by day waxes into full moon where all his digits imbue into the overall charm of moonshine; so also, obtaining birth that baby-girl burgeoned day by day where the charm of her individual limbs culminated into the overall charm of her beauty.
As a dear child of kith and kin she was affectionately called by her patrilineal name pArvati for she is the daughter of a parvata-rAja ; when her mother trying to dissuade this girl with a delicate lineament from high ascesis addressed her as u mA , meaning "oh, girl, don't do it"; later this sobriquet remained her proper name.
Though Himavan has many sons and daughters his outlook towards this baby-girl remained insatiable; that said, though the vernal season is laden with innumerable flowers stings of honeybees have a yen for mango blossoms alone. As to how an intensely flaring light embellishes the lamp, tri-coursed River Ganga sanctifies the path to heaven, perfected speech distinguishes a scholar; thus Himavan is both glorified and graced with that girl.
In the disport of girlish plays she in her childhood used to play along with her playmates on the sandbeds of River Ganga with play-balls and matching up toys of boys and girls on the raised podia of sand. As with swans galore compulsively winging towards River Ganga from mAnassa-sarovar during autumn, education galore came up to her self-revealingly at the time of her schooling, by virtue of her unambiguous conversance and scholarliness belonging to her previous birth; night-lambent herbs will become auto-effulgent with the nightfall, isn't it.
Later, passing the age of childhood comeliness of youth has come upon that sylphlike girl, which with her own natural beauty needed no accessorial embellishment; which with the causation of exultation in the onlookers cannot be called as liquor-intoxication, but which by itself is the non-flowery dart of flower-arrowed Lovegod. With the advent of youth her physique burgeoned squarely and shapely as if an artist has given final touches to the painted beauty with his paintbrush, and bloomed like the day-lotus blooming with the sunrays.
When she placed her feet on ground the ruddiness from inside the little raised big toe and other toenails used to spread thereabout; when she started to move it looked as if the red-lotuses grown on terrain are on the move. Raised toenails according to sAmudrika shAstram are indicative of high birth fit enough to become an empress. Royal swans covetous of learning the jingling sound of her anklets, which is more euphonic than their own cackling, seemed to have taught their graceful walking to her, for her pacing with a little bent body is more ravishing than that of swans, while the incidental jingling of anklets sounded like answer-calls of calling swans; otherwise, how this girl can stride with the grace of royal swans!?.
It seems the Creator is exhausted of all his paraphernalia to create handsomeness when he created round, perfectly tapering and not too long shanks of hers; in the course of creating her other limbs he must have made more efforts firstly to forgather requisites causative of more prettiness and then he might have embarked on creating other limbs of this girl. Though the limber trunks of great elephants and sleek stems of plantains acquired excessive poetic extolment in the world while comparing them to the thighs of womenfolk for their pleasingly plumpy state, it is out of context to compare the thighs of this girl with them, for the indelicacy of elephants' trunks, or the perpetual chilliness of plantain stems are inapposite apropos her thighs.
The charm of the hipline of this immaculate girl whereon her girdle domiciliates is conjecturable by a single fact that no less than god Shiva ensconced that hip on his lap at a later time, which remained an undreamt happenstance to any other women.
The new row of sparse shoots of hair on her lower abdomen crossing the knot of saree and creeping into her sunken navel scintillate as if they are the sapphires centrally studded in her waistband. Very fine micro-shoots of hair on a girl's lower abdomen are indicative of her non-cumbrous motherhood.
Like the concavity of fire-altar that girl's waist is medially slender; on which equally slender and charming triple folds are there on either side of her flanks, which seemed as a staircase crafted by new juvenescence for the ascension of Lovegod. The ocherish pair of bosoms with black nipples of that lotus-eyed girl grew so thick rubbing one against the other that even a tender stalk of a lotus is unaccommodating in their cleavage. More exquisite are her arms than the dainty shirISha flowers; thus I posit; why because, trounced Lovegod made those arms as headstalls on the very neck of his trouncer, namely Shiva.
If an eligible young man is living a carefree life, the elders will say: "tie some girl round his neck; then he will come to path So, manmatha used her arms as shackles round the neck of Shiva to bring him round to married life. As to how the strings of spheric pearls tossing on her roundish bosoms from her beautiful slender neck gave elegance to her, so does her rotund bosoms endowed beauty to those globoid pearls; this resulted in the reciprocity of ornament-ornamented syndrome, for her neck bearing a nonpareil natural beauty became an adornment to the adornment proper.
When vagrant goddess of splendour becomes the splendour of moon she could not relish in the fragrance, beauty etc factors of a day-lotus; so she goes to the lotus; paradoxically when she becomes the splendour of a day-lotus she could not equally revel in the pageantry of moonshine; so she comes back to the moon; but when the very same goddess of splendour took possession of Uma's face she gladly enjoyed both the factors simultaneously; thus this girl's face has both the grandeur of moonshine and fragrance of lotus.
The immaculate smile spreading brilliance on her roseate lips is beyond compare; however, a whitely white flower placed among a spray of coppery leaflets, or a pearl placed among a handful of corals may, at best, simulate it. When she talks with mellifluous voice nectar seems to flow, and in the meantime if it betides to listen to the birdcall of best-voiced kokila, it becomes raucous as with the noise produced by pounding a tuneless string stringed amiss to a musical instrument.
It is anybody's guess whether female deer acquired their darting glances from this girl or vice-versa, for this wide-eyed girl has unsteadily ricocheting glances not dissimilar from the wigwagging blue-costuses in the puffs of wind. Lovegod had to compulsively apostate his pride of possessing a unique flowery-bow on espying the splendidness of graceful movements of the curvilinear eyebrows of this girl ranging from her temple to temple, as if that brow-line is painted with black mascara by the brushwork of the Creator.
Should animals have a sense of opprobrium in their hearts, then it is certain that Yaks which pride themselves on their long-fur tails, beholding the plaits of headhair of this mountain-princess will put that predilection to perdition. But why so many words At certain time the volitional wanderer divine sage nArada spotting this girl in the proximity of her father Himavan, they say, he affectionately predicted that this girl achieves a unique wifehood by partaking half of the physique of Shiva.
Her father Himavan therefore remained without searching for any other bridegroom though the girl has come of age; his standpoint is indeed correct, for the offertory sanctified with hymns is affordable in the flare of ritual fire, but not in the glare of other material like gold, silver etc. Himavan has become unproficient to make Mahadeva to accept his daughter as his wife because that god has not showed any inkling in this regard; at the same time, sage Narada's presage should not go waste; in unison, the girl's age is mounting; so, sitting on these hot-coals he waited for time to solve this treble-blind, why because, gentlemen prefer mediocrity for fear of discomfiture at the denial of their requisition, howsoever equitable it might be.
From the time this pretty-teethed girl immolated herself in yogic fire, as dAkShAyaNi in her previous birth, in retaliation to her father's disesteem towards Mahadeva, thence forward Mahadeva pretermitting conjugality remained unmarried.
Clad in leatherwear that self-restrained god Mahadeva resorted to a peak of Mt. Himalayas for his ascesis where River Ganga's streams spindrift deodar trees, ambience filled with musk's fragrance and where kinnara-s, the georgic singers, descant dulcified croons.
Adorning divine punnAga flowers as chaplets, swaddling in the soft barks of bhUrja trees, and spangling their bodies with mineral ores, the affiliates of Mahadeva, pamatha-gaNA-s , settled themselves on the asphaltic tablelands of that peak ready at the beck and call of their master.
Rasping petrified knolls with its hooves, bellowing haughtily yet listenably, Nandi, the bull of Shiva, intolerant of lion's roars gave counter-roars while other animals of the same species watchfully observed it. He himself being the endower of fruits of ascesis that octagonal god Mahadeva started to undertake ascesis with some inscrutable object in his mind on that peak of Himalayas devising yet another form of his, which he worshipped in a regular way of alighting ritual fire enkindling it with sacred firewood and the like.
The eight forms of Shiva are: five subtle elements, sun and moon and the Vedic-ritualist. Offering a collection of worship items like water, flowers, milk etc himself to that most precious god Shiva whom no less than heaveanians hold in high respect, that lord of mountains, Himavan, has assigned his self-restrained daughter Uma to minister to him along with two of her handmaidens.
Even though woman is a stymie for unswerving state of concentration Shiva accepted her assistance in his ascesis; only those are conscientious whose minds do not deflect despite the proximal existence of cause for such deflection. She that Uma with a comeliest hairdo rendered service to Shiva day after day by procedurally ferrying heaped up flowers, sprucing up fire-altar, fetching up water and sacred darbha-grass and the like, for she is skilful in religious etiquette; should she be fatigued anytime in these daily chores, it was mitigable with the puny moonshine of crescentic moon ensconced in the matted hairlocks of Shiva.
Next chapter 2.
Among the five most outstanding Mahakavyas in Sanskrit literature, Indian scholarship includes two compositions of Kalidasa, viz; Kumarasambhava and Raghuvamsa. While Bharavi, Magha and Sri Harsa have each the honour of having one of their Mahakavyas included in this ranking, Kalidasa has the rare distinction of having two of his included therein. Although the Raghuvamsa is a later and therefore mature work of Kalidasa, yet the Kumarasambhava has not failed to appeal probably its appeal is greater even to non-Indian scholars by its poetic beauty, wealth of natural description, varying situations, and human interest. The poem is not preserved in a uniform length : in some Mss, it ends at the seventh canto.
The Origin of the Young God: Kumarasambhavam
The poet begins with a description of the mountain Himalaya, deservedly called as the King of all mountain ranges, for his resourcefulness. Himavan had a son named Mainaka and a daughter called Parvati, who in her former birth was Lady Sati Devi, the daughter of daksha-prjApati and the wife of Shiva. Parvati's childhood and budding youth are then described. When she has attained the marriageable age, the Sage Narada, who is on a visit to Himalaya, foretells that she would win Shiva for her husband. Relying on this prophesy, Himalaya does not particularly bestir himself to search for bridegrooms for his daughter Parvati. In the meanwhile, the god Shiva, after he had lost his wife Lady Sati, had betaken himself to a peak on the Himalaya and was practising ascesis there. When Himalaya comes to know of this, he assigns his daughter Parvati, accompanied by two of her handmaids, to wait upon Shiva in the daily chores of Shiva's ascesis.