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.
In This issue we are publishing the
poems related to rainy seasons
The muddy rivers with enhanced vigour,
Ahoy! the bewitching cloud
moves like a wild elephant,
fresh showers it captivates the hearts,
lightning roars resonant
like the beat of drums.
Enthralling the lustful hearts
with lovely splendour
cloud with his lightning standard
the sky like an Emperor proud.
Sweet heart, the rainy season has come.
Lustrous like a lotus blue
or diffused stratums of sooty black,
or deep blue like a pregnant woman's teats,
pervaded the entire sky.
Thirsty chatakas implore incessantly
for the cool drops of Swati,
Fanned by the Zephyr, with myriad streams,
the hulking clouds reverberate with pleasing notes.
Thunder strikes like drums.
With rainbow in his hand,
Echoing his twanging bow-string of lightning flash,
showering sharp drops of rain like piercing shafts. T
rend as under the love-lorn hearts.
Musically Cackling peacocks
spreading their lovely long iridescent feathers,
kiss and embrace their peahens with honour
and dance with an elegant gait,
in the sky.
uprooting the trees from their banks,
go to their lover the Ocean
with a furious speed
like immodest wanton women.
Again and again the clouds
roar with an unbearable echoing violent force,
And winds howl in the dark blind night.
Yet a stray streak of dazzling lightning flash
indicates to the lewd dame the path to the renderbous.
Terrible and mighty thunderous roar
swells from the clouds,
And fills in the lightig - distressed-hearts
spanless unbounded echo's fright.
And young dames in their bed chambers
embrace their lovers,
forgetting their delinquencies,
as the echo throes their hearts
with an excited zeal.
Tears drip from the lovely, blue, lotus
And drench the tendril like rosy lips.
No more do they bedaub their bodies
with saffron and musk,
nor wear ornaments or garlands redolent,
he love lorn dames lament.
The frightened frogs behold with awe
the muddy roaring waters
gliding fast, with a python's gait,
yellowed by leaves and insects afloat.