India's greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist. In spite of the
celebrity of his name, the time when he flourished always has
been an unsettled question, although most scholars nowadays
favor the middle of the 4th and early 5th centuries A.D., during
the reigns of Chandragupta II Vikramaaditya and his successor
Kumaaragupta. Undetermined also is the place of Kaalidaasa's
principal literary activity, as the frequent and minute
geographic allusions in his works suggest that he traveled
Numerous works have been attributed to his authorship. Most of
them, however, are either by lesser poets bearing the same name
or by others of some intrinsic worth, whose works simply chanced
to be associated with Kaalidaasa's name their own names having
long before ceased to be remembered. Only seven are generally
Rituu-samhaara, (Seasonal Cycle), a poem describing the six
seasons of the year in all their changing aspects.. It is a
genuine work of Kaalidaasa, must surely be regarded as a
youthful composition, as it is distinguished by rather
exaggerated and overly exuberant depictions of nature, such as
are not elsewhere typical of the poet. It is of tangential
interest, however, that the Ritusamhaara, published in Bengal in
1792, was the first book to be printed in Sanskrit.
With the blazing sun, the longed for moon,
Tranquil cupid, beauteous close of day,
Emptying the reservoirs by repeated baths,
Sweet love! now summer is come.
Lovely fountains play in
Chandra Kanta1 jems dangle
loosely in the windows,
Men besmearing sandal on their bodies
The breaths of the sweetheart fragrant,
thrill and make the drowsy cupid smart,
And charms that stream with the lyre’s note
tinkle on. the fragrant palace roofs —.
Nay, give the lovers restless lust encore.
Strings of pearls dangle on the women’s
quivering sandal smeared breasts,
Clean bathed bodies of the damsels are scented sweet,
Fleshy hips are covered with thin raiment
and girdle of gold,
Dark tresses of hair play with the breeze,
gratifying the desirous lovers, beauty speaks —
Nons avons change tout cela.
Like swan’s sweet chuckle
nupurs jingle on the Laksha2-painted feet,
When the damsels with heavy rumps do move
the dangling girdles tinkle sweet.
And when dew white pearl strings shake
On their quaking sandal smeared breasts,
Oh ! whom do they not enchant ?
Perspiring women quickly remove perplexed
their heavy garments
and wipe off their underarm’s - sweat.
And in thin gauzy vests do cover
their shapely upraised snow-white breasts.
Cool breeze of the fans
drenched with sandal perfumed water,
Lovely plump breasts of women
Covered with flower garlands,
And notes from the lyre vibrating last,
Ring a thrill In the formless love.' god's heart.
Perusing the faces of damsels sweet
sleeping with content on the crystal harem’s roofs,
The envious moon wanes of shame
consumed in the dawn,
And goes tired and lost with a pale face.
Dust storms rage,
Loo slaps with a dash,
The scorching sun burns the earth enlaced,
Insufferable torture to lovelorn hearts
this grievous heat becomes,
and more in