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KUMARA SAMBHAVAM- Canto -2

English articles on Sanskrit Mahakavya Kumarasambhavam of Kalidasa by Prof. Radhakrishnan (Rtd Vivekananda College) for benefit of devotees and those interested to have a glimpse of our literature.

The gods are so much oppressed by the haughty and aggressive Tarakasura that they are led by Indra to present their case to Lord Brahma. They reach the abode of Brahma. The Creator appears in front of them, like the morning son. The faces of the gods were pale due to anxiety and anguish. Kalidasa compares their position to the faded look of the lotuses before the sun rise:

तेषामाविरभूद्ब्रह्मापरिम्लानमुखश्रियाम्।
सरसांसुप्तपद्मानांप्रातर्दीधितिमानिव​॥
Teshaamaavirabhootbrahmaa
Parimlaanamukhasriyam.
Sarasaamsuptapadmaanaam
Pratardeedhitimaaniva.
Kalidasa is known for the usage of the Alankara or figure of speech called Upama or Simile. Hence the saying:
उपमाकालिदासस्य​
Upamaakaalidaasasya
How aptly it is used by the poet here.
The gods praise Lord Brahma :
“ Salutations to you, O Lord ! You are the form of Trimurti. You are the sole cause for the creation, sustenance and destruction of the Universe. You created the world out of world. With one half of your body, you created Man and with the other, the Woman. Your time is divided into two as the night ( Ratri) and day (Divasa). When you sleep, it is Pralaya or deluge of the world and when you are awake, the world is activated .
( According to the Sastras and Puranas, the Day of Lord Brahma is reckoned as follows:
One Divine year is equal to 360 human years.
The Yugas are Four, namely :

  1. Krta Yuga              4800 divine years
  2. Treta Yuga             3600 divine years
  3. Dvapara Yuga       2400 divine years
  4. Kali Yuga               1200 divine years

A full cycle of these Fouryugas is called one Mahayuga.  Thousand such Mahayugas constitute One Day of Brahma. An equal number of Yugas form the Night ! )
“ O Lord ! You are the source of the Vedas which are chanted with the three modes of accent called the Udātta( high), Anudātta( Low) and Svarita ( Circumflex). The Vedas commence  with the sacred Syllable OMand the result is a place in the heaven:
उद्घातःप्रणवोयासांन्यायैस्त्रिभिरुदीरणम्।
Udghaatahpranavoyaasaam
Nyaayaihtribhihudeeritam
After listening to their stotra, Brahma spoke to them through his four faces, justifying the four-fold nature of Sabda:
पुराणस्यकवेस्तस्यचतुर्मुखसमीरिता।
प्रवृत्तिरासीच्छब्दानांचरितार्थाचतुष्टयी॥
Puraanasyakavehtasyachaturmukhasameeritaa
Pravrttiraaseetsabdaanaamcharitaarthaachatushtayee.
(According to Indian philosophical and grammatical traditions, the Speech has four aspects namely Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari. While, Para is the most subtle form of Speech, it is the Vaikhari which the men speak out. )
Lord Bahma said:
“ Your faces look pale like the stars whose luster is not seen due to haze created by snow. The Vajrayudha of Indra appears to be devoid of shine. The rope, as a weapon, in the hands of Varuna appears like a snake under the control of the spell of Mantra. The hand of Kubera, devoid of the Gada or mace, speaks of his defeat, like a tree whose branch is broken. How is it that even Aditya, cooled and devoid of luster, appears as if drawn in a picture.  Tell me, hence, as to what you seek from me. I do only  thecreation of  the world and the  protection of the world is vested with you.”
Soon after this, Lord Indra looked at Brihaspathi, with an intention  to apprise Brahma of the purpose their  visit. Brihaspathi said to Lord Bahma:
“How is it that you are not aware of the fact that all our position and power have been usurped by the demon Tarakasura.having got the boon granted from you, he has become very aggressive and is like a meteor for the destruction of the world. The moon is always at his service. The wind is waftingvery gently near him, out of fear. The seasons behave like his gardeners and produce flowers of all seasons at a time. The sea produces gems to be given to him as a gift.  Serpents like Vasukithow light on his path in the night, with the gems on their hoods. Even Indra brings him flowers from the Kalpadruma, the celestial tree. Tarakasura has taken away the horse UcchaisravasfomIndra. The Sudarsana Chaka of Lord Vishnu is just like an ornament around the neck of this demon. We, therefore quest you to create a warrior who will destroy him , like those with a desire for Moksha wish to gain Dharma in order to destroy the bondage of birth:
तदिच्छामोविभोसृष्टंसेनान्यंतस्यशान्तये।
कबन्धच्छिदंधर्मंभवस्येवमुमुक्षवः॥
Tadicchaamovobhosrashtumsenaanyamtasyasaantaye
Karma bandhachidamdharmambhavasyevamumukshavah.
( Kalidasa has beautifully used the Upamaalankara here. )
Having heard that speech, Lord Brahma replied:
“You desire will be fulfilled. But you need to wait for some time. But I cannot do anything for the creation of such a warrior. For, he got the boon from me and I cannot be responsible for his death, just like a person who has :
इतः स दैत्यःप्राप्तश्रीर्नेतएवार्हतिक्षयम्।
विषवृक्षोऽपिसंवर्ध्यस्वयंछेत्तुमसाम्प्रतम्॥
Itahsadaityahpraaptasrihnaitaevaarhatikshayam.
Vishavriksho’pisamvardhyasvayamchettumasaampratam
The demon can be killed only by a son born to Siva.  Hence, you make an effort to divert the mind of Siva to  be attracted towards Uma like the metals towards the magnet:
अयस्कान्तेनलोहवत्
Ayaskaantenalohavat.
For, only Uma or the water can bear the creative fire of Lord Siva”.
Having said this, Lord Brahma disappeared as did the gods. Lord Indra immediately thought of the God of Love, Manmatha . Cupid also appeared at once in front of him, with his bow, resembling the eye-brows of women and the arrows, consisting of five flowers, accompanied by his friend Madhu( spring season)

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