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art and architecture of India. Infact, these caves claim a distinction as the largest treasure house of prehistoric art in the country. Dr V. S. Wakankar, one of the most renowned of Indian archeologists, discovered these caves. It was by a fluke of luck that he noticed these caves dotting distant hills, while on his way to Nagpur, in 1958. The word 'Bhimbetka', derived from 'Bhim Baitka', has mythological connotation. These caves are named after 'Bhima', one of the five Pandavas of Mahabharata. The discovery of Bhimbetka caves has indeed opened the floodgate of the immense popularity of the region of Bhimbetka. The entire region peppers with caves, more than 600 in number. Shaded in a thicket of teak and sal, amidst rock-strewn cliffs, they find enlistment as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Some of these caves also preserve paintings that traverse various eras. There are enchanting rock paintings that dates back to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods adorning these caves. Infact, these cave paintings are the prime attractions of Bhimbetka and show striking similarity to the aboriginal rock paintings of the Savanna regions of Australia, the paintings done by pygmies of the Kalahari Desert and the Paleolithic Lascaux cave paintings of France. Since these caves actually formed dwellings for primitive people belonging to various ages, the paintings here demonstrate their lifestyle and mundane everyday activities. Inventive designs & deft handling of colors have brought to life the remote activities of our ancestors. Various community activities, like birth, burial, dancing, religious rites, hunting scenes, animal fighting and merrymaking, find a place in these paintings. Pictures of animals like rhinoceros, tigers, wild buffalo, bears, antelopes, boars, lions, elephants, lizards etc also find intense depiction. It is quite a marvel that the colors of the paintings at Bhimbetka have skillfully avoided the vagaries of time. Natural red and white pigments are common colors used in these paintings. Often green and yellow are also used. The colors are a combination of manganese, hematite, wooden coal, soft red stone, plant leaves and animal fats. These chemicals have, over the time, reacted with the rocks and contributed in preserving these precious artworks of Bhimbetka. Scrupulous observation shows differences in patterns, which are archetypal of various periods. Huge linear figures of animals are the trademark of Paleolithic paintings. With the passage of time, paintings became smaller, precise and more delicate. Slowly, religious images were interspersed, which delineates the change in psychological make-up of the people. The oldest of all the paintings dates back to around 12,000 yrs back, while the most recent is around 1000 yrs old. Out of the many caves in Bhimbetka, only 12 caves are open for visitors. These caves are like the colorful shards of a broken mirror that unite to provide a rich glimpse to the lives of our predecessors. If you plan a trip to Madhya Pradesh, Bhimbetka Caves definitely merits a visit.
THE TWO MINOR DRAMAS
I.--"MALAVIKA AND AGNIMITRA" Malavika and Agnimitra is the earliest of Kalidasa's three dramas, and probably his earliest work. This conclusion would be almost certain from the character of the play, but is put beyond doubt by the following speeches of the prologue:
Stage-director. The audience has asked us to present at this spring festival a drama called Malavika and Agnimitra, composed by Kalidasa. Let the music begin.
Assistant. No, no! Shall we neglect the works of such illustrious authors as Bhasa, Saumilla, and Kaviputra? Can the audience feel any respect for the work of a modern poet, a Kalidasa? Stage-director. You are quite mistaken. Consider: Not all is good that bears an ancient name, Nor need we every modern poem blame: Wise men approve the good, or new or old; The foolish critic follows where he's told. Assistant. The responsibility rests with you, sir.
There is irony in the fact that the works of the illustrious authors mentioned have perished, that we should hardly know of their existence were it not for the tribute of their modest, youthful rival. But Kalidasa could not read the future. We can imagine his feelings of mingled pride and fear when his early work was presented at the spring festival before the court of King Vikramaditya, without doubt the most polished and critical audience that could at that hour have been gathered in any city on earth. The play which sought the approbation of this audience
shows no originality of plot, no depth of passion. It is a light, graceful drama of court intrigue. The hero, King Agnimitra, is an historical character of the second century before Christ, and Kalidasa's play gives us some information about him that history can seriously consider. The play represents Agnimitra's father, the founder of the Sunga dynasty, as still living. As the seat of empire was in Patna on the Ganges, and as Agnimitra's capital is Vidisha--the modern Bhilsa--it seems that he served as regent of certain provinces during his father's lifetime. The war with the King of Vidarbha seems to be an historical occurrence, and the fight with the Greek cavalry force is an echo of the struggle with Menander, in which the Hindus were ultimately victorious. It was natural for Kalidasa to lay the scene of his play in Bhilsa rather than in the far-distant Patna, for it is probable that many in the audience were acquainted with the former city. It is to Bhilsa that the poet refers again in The Cloud-Messenger, where these words are addressed to the cloud:
a maid. who appear in the prologue. and taste the sweet. MALAVIKA. and win the lover's fee complete. with ripe rose-apples' darker show. and mute attendants. the glories of the Sunga dynasty were long departed. a Buddhist nun. later discovered to be a princess. BAKULAVALIKA. king in Vidisha. maid to Queen Iravati. There follows an analysis of the plot and some slight criticism. but is . The scene is the palace and gardens of King Agnimitra. nor can we see why the poet should have chosen his hero and his era as he did. the characters of the play are these: p. Love-rippling features of the river at thy feet. a clown. that the king is smitten with love. friend of Malavika.--After the usual prologue. Dasharna land is blest With hedgerows where gay buds are all aglow.At thine approach. With village trees alive with many a nest Abuilding by the old familiar crow. dancing-masters: GANADASA HARADATTA DHARINI. Yet in Kalidasa's day. known Afar. two court poets. GAUTAMA. NIPUNIKA. Malavika. the junior queen. There shalt thou see the royal city. So beautiful is one of these. From their conversation we learn that King Agnimitra has seen in the palace picture-gallery a new painting of Queen Dharini with her attendants. 111 AGNIMITRA. his friend. If thou subdue thy thunders to a tone Of murmurous gentleness. maid to Queen Dharini. With lingering swans. maids. a chamberlain. IRAVATI. A counsellor. ACT I. the maid Bakulavalika appears with another maid. a humpback. In addition to the stage-director and his assistant. the time a few days. KAUSHIKI. the senior queen.
From him Bakulavalika learns that Malavika is a wonderfully proficient pupil. The rival monarch had imprisoned a prince and princess. It is agreed that each shall exhibit his best pupil p.prevented by the jealous queen from viewing the original. and the learned Buddhist nun. and listens to a letter sent by the king of Vidarbha. the clown. Queen Dharini. he declares that the princess has escaped. He is in turn quite ravished. cousins of Agnimitra. After this introductory scene. 112 before the king. is made mistress of ceremonies. finding her far more beautiful even than the picture. each abusing the other vigorously.--The scene is laid in the palace garden. and in response to Agnimitra's demand that they be set free. ACT III. so the belief runs. He has stirred an envious rivalry in the bosoms of the two dancing-masters.--The scene is laid in the concert-hall of the palace. while he learns from her that Malavika had been sent as a present to Queen Dharini by a general commanding a border fortress. dances. Gautama. and sings a song which pretty plainly indicates her own love for the king. Malavika is thereupon introduced. This letter so angers Agnimitra that he despatches an army against the king of Vidarbha. The court poet announces the noon hour. The nun determines that Ganadasa shall present his pupil first. The clown manages to detain her some little time by starting a discussion as to her art. the queen's brother. and the exhibition of the other dancing-master is postponed. both she and the king are deeply in love. At this point the dancing-master Ganadasa enters. This kind of tree. and claiming for himself the pre-eminence in their art. the king enters. can be induced to put forth blossoms if touched by the foot of a beautiful woman in splendid garments. informs Agnimitra that he has devised a plan for bringing Malavika into the king's presence. From the conversation of two maids it appears that a favourite ashoka-tree is late in blossoming. and when she is finally permitted to depart. who is in the secret of the king's desire. . but that the prince shall not be liberated except on certain conditions. Kaushiki. and the queen's jealous opposition is overborne. The nun. ACT II. who soon appear.
ACT IV. but cannot appease the young queen. engraved with the figure of a serpent. Presently the maid Bakulavalika appears. Thus there are three groups upon the stage: the two girls believe themselves to be alone. and berates the king. sent thither by Dharini to touch the ashoka-tree with her foot. He bids the king wait upon Queen Dharini. and her maid Nipunika. Malavika enters. Another sudden change is brought about when Iravati. who readily parts with her serpentring. . This time the king is saved by the news that his little daughter has been frightened by a yellow monkey. and then brings about a meeting with Agnimitra in the summer-house. he awakens genuine sympathy in the queen. 113 to express his love for Malavika. the king enters with the clown. the young Queen Iravati. and declaring that he has been bitten by a cobra.--The clown informs the king that Queen Dharini has locked Malavika and her friend in the cellar. but neither of these two pairs knows of the presence of the other. They also conceal themselves to spy upon the young girls. his confidant. mad with jealousy. the king and the clown are aware of the two girls. somewhat flushed with wine.When the girls depart. Imploring the king to care for his childless mother. supposed to be efficacious in charming away the effects of snake-poison. as are also the queen and her maid. after listening to the king's lovelorn confidences. and presently rushes into their presence. Needless to say. But he declares that he has devised a plan to set them free. The act ends with the announcement that the ashoka-tree has blossomed. The king and the clown hide in a thicket. he uses the ring to procure the freedom of Malavika and her friend. and has given orders to the doorkeeper that they are to be released only upon presentation of her own signet-ring. and will be comforted only by him. and swing with her. which changes its character when the king starts forward p. who leaves him with words of bitter jealousy. sends the two girls away. But now a third pair enter. The love-scene which follows is again interrupted by Queen Iravati. showing his thumb marked with two scratches. to feast their eyes upon her. and thus encourage it to blossom. reminds him that he has agreed to meet his young Queen Iravati in the garden. to adorn Malavika for the ceremony. This situation gives rise to very entertaining dialogue. and engages her in conversation about the king. joins the group. The clown. But before the queen's arrival. He excuses himself as earnestly as a man may when caught in such a predicament.
In dozens of plays we have the same story: the king who falls in love with a maid-servant. for it is completely conventional. it is easy to see the griffe du lion in this. to the arrangements made. the jealousy of his harem. as in all heroes of his type.--It now appears that Queen Dharini has relented and is willing to unite Malavika with the king. there comes a letter announcing that his son by Dharini has won a victory over a force of Greek cavalry. She tells how her brother. p. the eventual discovery that the maid is of royal birth. who had been taken from the robbers by Agnimitra's general and sent as a present to Queen Dharini. a purity. of the Yaksha's bride. her brother killed. the earliest work of the greatest poet who ever sang repeatedly of love between man and woman. in stanzas of poetical description. and of Shakuntala. When the play is approached in this way. and that in the spoil are included two maids with remarkable powers of song. troubled for a time but eventually happy. for she invites him to meet her under the ashoka-tree. To complete the king's happiness. the counsellor of the captive prince. because of a prophecy that Malavika should be a servant for just one year before becoming a king's bride. and inviting the court to be present at the sacrifice which was to follow the victory. and had started for Agnimitra's court. a delicacy. These maids are brought before the company gathered at the tree. . had rescued her and Malavika from the king of Vidarbha. now to be supplanted by Malavika. and in giving abundant opportunity for graceful music and dancing. This recital removes any possible objection to a union of Malavika and Agnimitra. though somewhat ungraciously. something contemptible. there is in Malavika a sweetness. 114 On the way they had been overpowered by robbers. In writing a play of this kind. yet even she consents. For though there is in Agnimitra. She had thereupon become a nun and made her way to Agnimitra's court. and had there found Malavika. and she herself separated from Malavika. [paragraph continues] Criticism of the large outlines of this plot would be quite unjust. and the addition of another wife to a number already sufficiently large. "Our princess!" Here the Buddhist nun takes up the tale. the poet frankly accepts the conventions. and includes Malavika among her attendants. of Indumati. his ingenuity is shown in the minor incidents. She had not divulged the matter sooner. Thus every one is made happy except the jealous young Queen Iravati. Word is brought that the army despatched against the king of Vidarbha has been completely successful.ACT V. where they surprise every one by falling on their faces before Malavika with the exclamation. that make her no unworthy precursor of Sita.
CRITRALEKHA. her maid. NIPUNIKA. the nymphs inform him that two of their number. A charioteer. AUSHINARI.--"URVASHI" The second of the two inferior dramas may be conveniently called Urvashi. his friend. Their cries are answered by King Pururavas. In response to his inquiries. have been carried into captivity by a p. 116 . a chamberlain. queen of Pururavas. ACT I. and he were willing to repeat himself. her friend. a heavenly nymph. When and where the play was first produced we do not know. a hermit-woman. even that it was never produced in his lifetime. a clown. AYUS. various nymphs and other divine beings. The scene shifts as indicated in the following analysis. and invites a fuller criticism.--The prologue only tells us that we may expect a new play of Kalidasa. who appear in the prologue. who rides in a chariot that flies through the air. after an outline of the plot has been given. his son. Between acts four and five several years elapse. another nymph. In addition to the stage-director and his assistant. as if the poet's imagination had grown weary. The time of the first four acts is a few days. in small matters as well as in great. It has been thought that it was the last work of Kalidasa. though the full title is The Tale of Urvashi won by Valour. URVASHI. Urvashi and Chitralekha. Some support is lent to this theory by the fact that the play is filled with reminiscences of Shakuntala.II. MANAVAKA. the characters of the play are these: PURURAVAS. Yet Urvashi is a much more ambitious effort than Malavika. king in Pratishthana on the Ganges. for the prologue is silent as to these matters. and attendants. A company of heavenly nymphs then appear upon Mount Gold-peak wailing and calling for help.
--The act opens with a comic scene in the king's palace. She discovers the secret ingeniously. victorious. It appears that Urvashi had taken the heroine's part in the drama just presented there. impelled by love for the king. but without much difficulty. commissioned by the queen to discover what it is that occupies the king's mind. 117 had thereupon cursed her to fall from Paradise. and lets it fall before him. The king is compelled to decline an invitation to visit Paradise. but he and Urvashi exchange loving glances before they part. ACT II. but as soon as she has greeted the king. When she has heard enough to satisfy her of the king's passion. she and her friend are called away to take their parts in a play that is being presented in Paradise." Heaven's stage-director p. and now stands near. which has been neglected during the past few minutes. which has been confided to him. and after offering her ironical congratulations. But the leaf has blown away. . she writes a love-stanza on a birch-leaf. and was then to return. only to be picked up and read by Nipunika. The king and the clown then appear in the garden. bursting with the secret of the king's love for Urvashi. has come down to earth with her friend Chitralekha. who. listening but invisible. but this curse had been thus modified: that she was to live on earth with Pururavas until he should see a child born of her. The queen can hardly be deceived by the lame excuses which the king makes. His reception of this token is such that Urvashi throws aside the magic veil that renders her invisible. The latter part of his lament is overheard by Urvashi herself. and has rejoined her joyful friends. The clown appears. and gleefully departs. "On whom is your heart set?" had absentmindedly replied. ACT III.demon. and when asked. jealously leaves him. with the two nymphs. who at that moment enters with the queen.--The act opens with a conversation between two minor personages in Paradise. He is joined by the maid Nipunika. The king and the clown hunt for Urvashi's love-letter. "On Pururavas. and presently returns. The king darts in pursuit. As soon as Urvashi recovers consciousness. and the king expresses at some length the depth and seeming hopelessness of his passion. it is made plain that she and the king have been deeply impressed with each other's attractions.
a mountain-echo. Chitralekha departs after begging the king to make her friend forget Paradise. a bee. and Pururavas has only one sorrow--that he is childless. and in a long poetical soliloquy bewails his loss and seeks for traces of Urvashi. a cuckoo. Urvashi and Chitralekha enter from Paradise. which he takes to be a bit of bloody meat. and an antelope. Several years have passed in happy love. and when he embraces it. Presently the queen appears and with humble dignity asks pardon of the king for her rudeness. had left her husband. a ruddy goose. and one who possesses it will soon be reunited with his love. Pururavas enters. and flies off with it. She was straightway transformed into a vine. The king betakes himself thither with his friend. Urvashi creeps up behind the king and puts her hands over his eyes.The scene shifts to Pururavas' palace. the chamberlain enters. a swan. inviting him to meet the queen on a balcony bathed in the light of the rising moon. With the gem in his hand. adding that she will welcome any new queen whom he genuinely loves and who genuinely returns his love. Urvashi. After she has explained to him the reason of her transformation. 118 ACT V. p. In the early evening. One day a vulture snatches from a maid's hand the treasured gem of reunion. and had inadvertently entered a grove forbidden by an austere god to women. escaping before he can be killed. and when about to throw it away. During their honey-moon in a delightful Himalayan forest. In the midst of a dialogue concerning moonlight and love. we learn that a misfortune has befallen Pururavas and Urvashi. the chamberlain brings the king a message.--The scene of the concluding act is the king's palace. is told by a hermit to preserve it: for this is the gem of reunion. the clown. The scene of what follows is laid in the Himalayan forest.--From a short dialogue in Paradise between Chitralekha and another nymph. At last he finds a brilliant ruby in a cleft of the rocks. an elephant. ACT IV. While the king and his companions lament the gem's loss. bringing the gem and an arrow with which the bird had . while Pururavas is wandering through the forest in desolate anguish. in a fit of jealousy. He vainly asks help of the creatures whom he meets: a peacock. a river. they determine to return to the king's capital. Pururavas comes to a vine which mysteriously reminds him of Urvashi. he finds his beloved in his arms. wearing as before veils of invisibility. When the queen departs.
" Though at last she comforts him with vague hopes of a future happiness. through no fault of the man. These principal changes are: the introduction of the queen. She rejects his p. it is told in many widely differing forms. A hermit-woman is then ushered in. which Kalidasa has treated dramatically. When Urvashi is summoned to explain why she had concealed her child. austere features of the tale. She consents to live with him on earth so long as he shall not break certain trivial conditions. by her love for her child. She explains that the lad had been entrusted to her as soon as born by Urvashi. has changed the nymph of heaven into a member of an earthly harem. these conditions are broken. all have the tendency to remove the massive. She had therefore sacrificed maternal love to conjugal affection. Some time after the birth of a son. declaring that there can be no lasting love between mortal and immortal. even by a threat of suicide. by her duty as a wife. sees and loves the nymph Urvashi.been shot. He has made of it an ordinary tale of domestic intrigue. and the whole . This splendid tragic story Kalidasa has ruined. and to substitute something graceful or even pretty. a tragedy--the tragedy of love between human and divine. godlike. He determines to give up his kingdom and spend the remainder of his life as a hermit in the forest. and that it was he who had just shot the bird and recovered the gem. the clown. Pururavas. and she leaves him. and pleads with her. of which the oldest and best may be summarised thus. the story remains. son of Pururavas and Urvashi. bearing heaven's decree that Urvashi shall live with the king until his death. The tale of Pururavas and Urvashi. finds her. she reminds the king of heaven's decree that she should return as soon as Pururavas should see the child to be born to them. the king's new-found joy gives way to gloom. Their hearts are the hearts of hyenas. who brings a lad with her. a mortal. On the arrow is written a verse declaring it to be the property of Ayus. even adding: "There are no friendships with women. But the situation is saved by a messenger from Paradise. A troop of nymphs then enter and assist in the solemn consecration of Ayus as crown prince. The more important changes made by Kalidasa in the traditional story. He wanders disconsolate. It is thus one of the few tales that so caught the Hindu imagination as to survive the profound change which came over Indian thinking in the passage from Vedic to classical times. as indeed it must remain. Upon this. 119 entreaties. is first made known to us in the Rigveda. As might be expected from its history.
Hindu critical opinion has always rated the Urvashi very high. the concluding solemn consecration of the crown prince by heavenly beings--these scenes show that Kalidasa was no closet dramatist. It was a new and daring thought--to present on the stage a long lyrical monologue addressed to the creatures of the forest and inspired by despairing passion. and the final removal of the curse. and its modification.human paraphernalia of a court. and I have long hesitated to make adverse comments upon it. the forest through which the king wanders in search of his lost darling. and too much of a woman to be a nymph. one can but wish that he had chosen another subject. Nor must it be forgotten that this play. The terrified nymphs gathered on the mountain. And indeed. is an opera. for we judge it by the text alone. undramatic as it is. It is just a place where they never shut their eyes--like fishes!" [paragraph continues] Again. in spite of his divine lineage and his successful wooing of a goddess. The music and the dancing are lost. This violent twisting of an essentially tragic story has had a further ill consequence in weakening the individual characters. even as modified. And finally. the play offers an opportunity for charming scenic display. Urvashi is too much of a nymph to be a woman. and we may well believe that no successor of Kalidasa could hope to present a tragedy on the stage. If. We judge it perforce unfairly. the invention of the gem of reunion. in no way different from fifty others. The fourth act particularly. Pururavas is a mere conventional hero. in spite of these obvious objections. It is true that the Indian theatre permits no tragedy. there is here and there such poetry as only Kalidasa could write. There is no lack of humour in the clever maid who worms the clown's secret out of him. far overtopping his predecessors. But might not Kalidasa. the curse pronounced on Urvashi for her carelessness in the heavenly drama. the palace balcony bathed in moonlight. is full of a delicate beauty that defies transcription. he would find in Urvashi much to attract and charm. it is a failure possible only to a serene and mighty poet . in spite of all. 120 "Who wants heaven? It is nothing to eat or drink. the Urvashi is a failure. for it is surely true that every nation is the best judge of its own literature. like all Indian plays. There is no lack of a certain shrewdness in the clown. Yet. as when he observes: p. If not. The other characters are mere types. if one could but forget plot and characters. have put on the stage a drama the story of which was already familiar to his audience as a tragic story? Perhaps not.
the time when he flourished always has been an unsettled question. and established the Sunga dvnasty.. are either by lesser poets bearing the same name or by others of some intrinsic worth. Undetermined also is the place of Kaalidaasa's principal literary activity. King Agnimitra. Pushhpamitra. Most of them.D.C. which held power for more than a century. during the reigns of Chandragupta II Vikramaaditya and his successor Kumaaragupta. Plays.Kalidasa: life and works A collection from various sources Last update: January 16. whose works simply chanced to be associated with Kaalidaasa's name their own names having long before ceased to be remembered. a work concerned with palace intrigue. as the frequent and minute geographic allusions in his works suggest that he traveled extensively. The Vikramorvashiiya ( Urvashii Won Through Valor) is based on the old legend of the love of the . although most scholars nowadays favor the middle of the 4th and early 5th centuries A. Numerous works have been attributed to his authorship. (kaalidaasa). India's greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist. Only seven are generally considered genuine. wrested the kingship of northern India from the Mauryan king Brihadratha about 185 B. In spite of the celebrity of his name. however. It is of special interest because the hero is a historical figure. the earliest of which is probably the Malavikaagnimitra ( Malavikaa and Agnimitra). whose father. 1996 Kalidas From: Encyclopedia Americana Written by: Walter Harding Maurer University of Hawaii at Manoe KALIDASA. There are three plays.
but these versions seem crude and primitive when compared with Kaalidaasa's polished and refined treatment of the story. But love for Paarvatii has been aroused. It was the first work of Kaalidaasa to be translated into English from which was made a German translation in 1791 that evoked the often quoted admiration by Goethe. Weinggartner. The couple are later reunited. The influence of the AbhiGYaanashaakuntala outside India is evident not only in the abundance of translations in many languages. But like the Kumaarasambhava. Obliged by affairs of state to return to his palace. The spell is subsequently broken by the discovery of the ring. the last nine cantos of which are clearly the addition of another poet. The raw material for this play. The third play. daughter of the Himaalaya. Poems. commencing with its earliest antecedents and encapsulating the principal events told in the RaamaayaNa of Vaalmikii. pregnant with his child. he burns Kaama to ashes with a glance of his third eye. who would help them defeat the demon Taaraka. The gods induce Kaama. and Alfano. and all ends happily. This union was desired by the gods for the production of a son. god of love. god of war. whom he marries in the hermitage by a ceremony of mutual consent. The former is concerned with the events that lead to the marriage of the god Shiva and Paarvatii. AbhiGYaanashaakuntala ( Shakuntalaa Recognized by the Token Ring). is contained in the Mahaabhaarata and in similar form also in the PadmapuraaNa. and it culminates in their marriage. while on a hunting expedition. But when Shakuntalaa comes to the court for their reunion. the Kumaarasambhava ( Birth of Kumaara) and the Raghuvamsha ( Dynasty of Raghu). meets the hermit-girl Shakuntalaa. to discharge an amatory arrow at Siva who is engrossed in meditation. promising to send for her later. Dushhyanta fails to acknowledge her as his wife because of a curse. In bare outline the story of the play is as follows: King Dushhyanta. In addition to these three plays Kaalidaasa wrote two long epic poems. The Raghuvamsha treats of the family to which the great hero Rama belonged. he gives Shakuntalaa his signet ring. the Raghuvamsha . Kumaara.mortal Pururavaas for the heavenly damsel Urvashii. which usually is called in English simply Shaakuntala after the name of the heroine. Angered by this interruption of his austerities. but also in its adaptation to the operatic stage by Paderewski. which Shakuntalaa had lost on her way to the court. The legend occurs in embryonic form in a hymn of the Rig Veda and in a much amplified version in the ShatapathabraahmaNa. is the work by which Kaalidaasa is best known not only in India but throughout the world.
The latter. as perhaps nowhere else So plentifully in Kaalidaasa's works. Finally there are two lyric poems. In the intervening three centuries between Asvaghosha (who had a profound influence on the poet) and Kalidasa there was some literary effort. It is of tangential interest. Kalidasa From: The Hindu World Part I Written by: Benjamin Walker. to convey a message of consolation to his beloved while on its northward course. water. a Yaksha. has been sent by his lord into yearlong exile in the mountains of central India. the yaksa opens his heart to a cloud hugging close the mountain top. delight imagerry and fancy. that the Ritusamhaara. At the opening of the poem. and a oneness with the phenomena of nature. profound insight into the emotions. as it is distinguished by rather exaggerated and overly exuberant depictions of nature. must surely be regarded as a youthful composition. was the first book to be printed in Sanskrit. A short poem of 111 stanzas. it is founded at once upon the barest and yet most original of plots. if at all a genuine work of Kaalidaasa. the Meghaduuta. published in Bengal in 1792. He requests it mere aggregation of smoke. and the first great name in Sanskrit literature after Ashvaghoshha. however. are an unvarying� freshness of inspiration and charm.ends rather abruptly. where his wife languishes amid her memories of him. lightning. 1968 Kalidasa (AD ?350-600?) the greatest of the sanskrit dramatists. far away from his beloved wife on Mount Kailasa in the Himaalaya. and wind that it is. a feature all the more remarkable for its inevitable loss in translation. The Yaksha then describes the many captivating sights that are in store for the cloud on its way to the fabulous city of Alakaa. until the 1960's hardly known outside India. On the other hand. particularly distraught and hapless at the onset of the rains when the sky is dark and gloomy with clouds. the Meghaduuta ( Cloud Messenger) and the Ritusamhaara ( Description of the Seasons). god of wealth. suggesting either that it was left unfinished by the poet or that its final portion was lost early. is in many ways the finest and most perfect of all Kaalidaasa's works and certainly one of the masterpiece of world literature. For some unexplained dereliction of duty. Throughout the Meghaduuta. or attendant of Kubera. the fluidity and beauty of the language are probably unmatched in Sanskrit literature. Moreover. but nothing that could compare with . such as are not elsewhere typical of the poet.
expressing tender and passionate sentiments with gentleness and moderation. Radhakrishnan says. Dr S. His devotion to the brahminical creed of his time may betray the zeal of a convert. Remarkably enough. which have no historical value' (II. Numerous legends have gathered round his name. and that the king of Ceylon in grief burned himself to death. so lacking in most Indian literary works. The play contains an account of the raajasuuya sacrifice . an ardent worshipper of Kali. called upon his goddess to help him. Malavikaagnimitra (Malavika and Agnimitra) tells the story of the love of Agnimitra of Vidisha. rich in creative fancy. for the beautiful handmaiden of his chief queen. and orthodox Hindus avoided its use. and we cannot therefore be sure of his authorship of many works attributed to him. ii). Kalidasa speaks very little of himself. including politics and astronomy. His name is unusual. he was supposed to have been a very dull child. Through the match-making efforts of a scheming minister he was married to a princess who was ashamed of his ignorance and coarseness. with a theme borrowed from the Mahabharata. It is a masterpiece of dramatic skill and poetic diction. is not accepted by his biographers. is a drama in seven acts. We do not know any details of his life. p. There is strong reason to believe that Kalidasa was of foreign origin. Shaakuntal. Virtually no facts are known about his life. The apocryphal story that he ended his days in Ceylon. and died at the hands of a courtesan. whereas there is a fund of information both historical and traditional about hundreds of lesser literary luminaries. and altogether he appears to have been a product of the great synthesis of Indian and barbarian peoples and cultures that was taking place in north-western India in his day. Indian tradition has no reliable data concerning one of its greatest poets. Listed below are the chief works attributed to Kalidasa. It received enthusiastic praise from Goethe. and was rewarded with sudden gifts of wit and sense. Kalidasa (Kall's slave).the maturity and excellence of Kalidasa's poetry. The stigma attaching to the suffix `dasa' (slave) was very strong. Physically handsome. king of the Shungas. `Whichever date we adopt for him we are in the realm of reasonable conjecture and nothing more. His knowledge of scientific astronomy was manifestly gleaned from Greek sources. He became the most brilliant of the `nine gems' at the court of Vikramaditya of Ujjain. In the end she is discovered to be of royal birth and is accepted as one of his queens. and even the legend suggests that it was adopted. and grew up quite uneducated. although colourful legends abound. Kalidasa was well acquainted with contemporary sciences and arts.
Raghuvamsha (Raghu's genealogy). a drama of the troTaka class relating how king Pururavas rescues the nymph Urvashii from the demons. Rituu-samhaara. his plays do not reflect the tumultuous times in which he lived.e. his work is overburdened with description. Kumaara-sambhava (Kumaara's Occasioning). wordy and at times coarse. but this does not amount to much. Vikramorvashi (Urvashii won by Valour). There are many long descriptions. It is not a play of the first order. a mahaakavya. Greeks and Europeans. being of an excessively erotic nature. likewise won the admiration of Goethe. his envoy being a megha or cloud. it contains several verses in Prakrit. and is sentimental. together with a record of his ancestors and descendants. (Seasonal Cycle). The last few cantos are usually omitted from printed versions. treats of the life of Rama. Meghaduuta (Cloud Messenger): the theme of this long lyrical poem is a message sent by an exiled yaksha in Central India to his wife in the Himalayas. After many trials the lovers are reunited in a happy ending. and a rather tiresome exposition of a theory on music and acting. Max Muller declares. Its beautiful descriptions of nature and the delicate expressions of love in which passion is purified and desire ennobled. regarded by Indian critics as Kalidasa's best work. usually translated `The Birth of the War-god'. Apart from the extraordinary soliloquy of the demented lover in search of his beloved. Agnivarna. large parts of which are contrived and artificial. Within his range he was unsurpassed by any of the dramatists who wrote in the Sanskrit language. Arabs.performed by Pushyamitra. he felt no sympathy for the lot of the common man. Summoned by Indra he is obliged to part from her. Karttikeya) the god of war to destroy the demon Taraka. Comparing his works with those of the Persians. Great as Kalidasa was. for the general standard of Sanskrit drama is not on a par with the best elsewhere. This is especially true of Canto VIII where the embraces of the newly-wedded divine couple are dwelled upon in vivid detail. a poem describing the six seasons of the year in all their changing aspects. He showed no interest in the social problems of his day. The fourth act on the madness of Pururavas is unique. Only one king in this pious dynasty fails to come up to the ideal standard. and by the same strict standards of criticism. . namely. a mahaakavya relating how Parvati won the love of Siva in order to bring into the world Kumara (i. it has been observed that he had his literary weaknesses.
6th century AD. Fargusen says that 6th century AD.`Kalidasa's plays are not superior to many plays that have been allowed to rest in dust and peace on the shelves of our libraries'. See how historians/literatureresearchers tackle such simple questions as when was Kalidasa born. started `Vikramsamvat' calendar. I am leaving aside technical details. Kalidasa by Shashikant Joshi Kalidas!!!! Wow! What do I say about him. There is lot of descrepancy about his life time. using words like `jaamitra'. This is clear from `mandasor' `shilaalekha' (stone writings) of VatsabhaTTi. ecidences are as follows: • • • 1. never tok the title of Vikramaaditya 2. there was a king Vikramaaditya in Ujjayini (present day Ujjain). `Vikram-samvat' calendar was in vogue since 1st century BC as `maalav-samvat'. Dr . SO. Kalidasa was familiar with Greek astronomy. Flaw: Y. he defeated Shakas. Praduman Pandey. starting it 600 years back 57BC. Kalidasa was in 6th AD onwards. Greek astronomy/geometry was popularised by AryabhaTTa who was in 5th century AD. The main logics. place of birth and even some of his works!! Kalidasa's Life Time There are eight hypothesis about his lifetime. translated by Pt. Dr. My main aim was to give the story of Kalidasa's gaining wisdom. Prof. 3. He is my idol!! Here are some extracts from the `prastaavanaa' (preface) of Kumarasambhavam. where did he live. Flaw: There was no king by name VIkramaaditya in 600 AD in India. Max Muller basing on this said that Kalidasa was in the court of this Vikram. but I find some other stuff to be of general interest. Yashodharman defeated Mihirkul of HooN clan. Harnely says this Yashodharman is kalidas's Vikramaaditya.
It is said that he was a dumb fool to start with. She showed her the palm with fingers extended like in a slap. He says that `dinnaaga' and `nichula' words refer to Buddhist philosophers `dinnaaga'. He thot she will poke his one eye. 4. so he didn't popularise Greek astronomy. They said that he (Kalidasa) only does mute debates. Based on this some scholars put kalidasa in 6th century AD `coz kalidasa's contemporary `dinnaaga' was disciple of Vasubandhu who was in 6th century AD. Kali was appeased with him and granted him profound wisdom. He showed her the fist. some of Bengal and others of Ujjain. 7: some more complex conjuctures :-)) Finally this is what can be said about his lifetime: Kalidasa in his drama `Malvikaa-agni-mitra' makes Agni-mitra his hero. fire. [ The debate explanations are also apparently later additions] So they get married and she finds he is a dumbo. his wife (the learned) . This is Kalidasa's lower bound. 5. VaaN.bhaTTa was in early 7th century AD. She accepted it as valid answer. Kalidasa's Life Many tell tales are there for his life. head shaven and kicked out of country on a donkey. (The punishment part might be later aditions!) SO.bhaTTa in the preface of his kaadambaree mentions Kalidasa. Flaw: Vasubandhu was apparently in 400 AD `coz his books were translated in Chinese around 475-525 AD. She said `five elements' and he said `make the body' (earth. He straightaway went to Kali's temple and cut his tongue at her feet. 6. Mallinaath (the most famous commentrator on Kalidasa) gives two meanings to Meghadoot's 14th verse. The princess showed him one finger saying `shakti is one'. water. When he returned to his house. This is his upper bound. So she kicks him out of the house. VaaN. and void). so he showed her two fingers. Anyone who gets defeated will be black faced. some of Vidarbh. Some call him native of Kashmir. the pundits took Kalidasa (whom they apparently saw cutting the tree branch on which he was sitting) for debate.• McDonald refutes this saying `Romaka-siddhaanta' was prevalant before AryabhaTTa. since `shakti' is manifest in duality (shiv-shakti. air. The king's daughter was a very learned lady (equality of women ! :-) ) and said that she will marry him who will defeat her in `shaastraartha' (debate on the scriptures). who was the son of Pushamitra Shunga who was in 2nd century BC. nar-naaree etc etc). She accepted it as answer to her question.
bhoga = to enjoy.Raghuvansha and Kumaar-sambhavam. Sometimes he has used `haasya' (comedy) and `karuN.e. i. ``are you now an expert in speaking''). and Malavikaa-agnimitra are considered his works for sure. And the great Kalidasa wrote three books starting with the 3 words: with asti = asti-uttarasyaam dishi = Kumara-sambhavam (epic) with kashchit = kashchit-kaantaa = Meghdoot (poetry) with vaag = vaagarthaaviva = Raghuvansha (epic) Another story says that he was the friend of Kumardas of Ceylon. Meghadoot is immersed in the `vipralambhashringaar'. Kalidasa's comdey brings a gentle smile. `khanDakaavyaa' Meghadoot. Kalidasa's work mainly his epics . visheshaH = expert. vaag = speech.abhigyaan-shaakuntalam. and dramas . Vikrama-uravasheeya. beauty) His works is brimming with shringaara-rasa.' (pathos). so sambhoga = the being together.that of separation Kalidasa was expert at both. ``asti kashchit vaag-visheshaH'' (asti = is. (Bharata in his NaTya-shaastra mentions 8 types of comedy from the crudest of physical comedy resulting in guffawing loud laughter to the most subtle where the heart smiles). He was killed by a courtesan once when he visited his friend in Ceylon. not a loud guffaw.-rasa' (pathos). kashchit = when. the happy love poems etc) `vipralambha' . Characteristics of Kalidasa's works Kalidasa is considered as the greatest poet of `shringaar' (or romance. Apart from that `Ritusanhaar and Shruta-bodh are considered his works as well. the romance of being together. Alankaraa (figure of speech) is of two types `shabda-alankaara' = beauty of sound `artha-alankaar' = beauty of meaning . Kumara-sambhavam's 8th chapter is epitome of `sambhogashringaar'. There are two aspects of `shringaar' `sambhoga' (sam = together. 4th chapter of KumarS (Rati-vilaapa) and 8th chapter of Raghuvansha (aja-vilaapa) are superb examples of `karuN. Kalidasa's comedy is of the highest order. as in questioning.asked. consume as in consumer.
He loves Himalayas more than the Vindhyaachal (both mountain chains). Among the objects of metaphors. Kalidasa loves the softer side of nature.Kalidasa uses artha-alankaar more than the former.Nam paxmasu taaDita-adharaaH payodhara-utsedhanipaatachur. In continuation to the shlok (about The great rishi asking parvati's hand from Himalaya for Shiva). Kalidasa knew the human psychology deeply. This brings extra dimension to his work (Remember the shlok about Parvati counting the lotus leaves when her marriage proposal was being discussed?). here is a shlok about Parvati meditating hard to win Shiva: stithaaH xa. He also knew women's psychology very well.N naabhim prapedire prathama-oda-bindavaH = first water drop tasyaaH = her .Nitaa valeeshu skhalitaaH chire. he knows exactly how much importance to give to which one. `anupraasa' (alliteration).N naabhim prathama-odabindavaH prose: prathama-oda-bindavaH tasyaaH paxmasu xa. women's oppression is a pretty later development) Kalidasa expresses inner world and the external world equally well. What humans think in what situation. His observation is sharp and subtle. He knows the nature and human nature in and out. ``and then Himalaya glanced at Mena'' It is uderstood that he was seeking Mena's approval ``as every good householder should include his wife's opinion in every decision''. Indian pundits say.Nam stithaaH taaDita-adharaaH payodhara-utsedhanipaata-chur. cuckoo etc. e. He mentions serene and beautiful ashramas. His upamaa are clear. bumblebee. (So. `yamaka' (same word repeated with different meaning). river banks. palaces. He has used some `shabda-alankaar's as well. and `shlesha' (pun. complete and beautiful. gardens. deer. He also maintains the chronological order of events (else you get what is called kaaladosha = time decrepancy). He only describes the major attribute of the thing being compared. one word two meanings). He is famous for his `upamaa' (metaphor?). ``upamaa kaalidaasasya'' (upamaa like Kalidasa's).g. He is a master of expressing emotions through actions. He has a sound knowledge of the scriptures. His `utprekshaa' (simile) and `arthaantaranyaas' (transfer of meaning) are also very beautiful.Nitaa valeeshu tasyaaH skhalitaaH prapedire chire. Kalidasa says.
and) for completing the meter. His language is very chaste as per the grammar. In one chapter he uses only one meter.Nam = momentarily stithaaH = stayed taaDita-adharaaH = fell on the lips payodhara-utsedhanipaata-chur. of . 2-1-1. The next chapter is in a new meter.N = in a long time naabhim = in the navel prapedire = disappeared i. cha. a mark of beauty) skhalitaaH = slid chire. shattered on her hard breasts and trickled down her triple fold and after a long time disapperaed in her navel.paxmasu = on eyelids xa. He has COMPLETE control over language. moxa. Easy to understand (yet the trickery of hinting the cause through mention of effect and vice versa is very common). Kalidasa was follower of the Vedic Sanatana dharma. His words are very select. Notice the time order of events! Sanskrit pundits have accepted three style of writing gauDee = big huge samaasa (word conjugations) paanchaalee = small samaasa vaidarbhee = no samaasa kaavya (loosely poetry) has three features: oja = harsh words and long samaasa maadhurya = sweet words with small samaasa prasaada = scarce samaasa and easy to understand Kalidasa is of the vaidarbhee style. He doesn't use words like `hi. The whole of `Meghadoota' is in `mandaa-krantaa' meter (2-2-2. When he uses them. 2-2-1.Na-aashraam' social order (four ``castes'' and four `aashraama' (stages of social life) ) He believed in dharma. he has a purpose! Kalidasa's verse knowledge is immensely deep. He advocates `tyaaga' (opp. He believed in the `var. 2-2-1. 1-1-1. 2-2).e. He has used most of the known meters (chhanda) in Sanskrit. The first drop of rain stayed momentarily on her eyelids. Then dharma. kaama. artha. Then comes kaam. vaa' (also. dropped on her lips. Moxa was his eternal goal.Nitaa = shattered on hard breasts valeeshu = in the tri-vali (triple fold on the belly.
gatech. he considers this small life as a great gain.indulgence) and `tapasyaa'(austerity). The original file is directly loadable to ITRANS for devanagari printout of sanskrit portion.utah. The meaning is quite straightforward. Kalidas. The next day he called his courtiers and gave the puzzle to solve ``ThaaThaM ThaThaM ThaM ThaThaThaM Tha ThaM Thaa.cs. But as she reached the stairway she stumbled and dropped the vessel. Notes to contributors Search for hrule to separate the items in the above file.. sopaana maargeNa karoti shabdaM ThaaThaM ThaThaM ThaM ThaThaThaM Tha ThaM ThaaH . when asked. he is a Shiva devout and remembers Shiva in all his openings of works (mangala-aachara. The King listened to the noise made by the vessel and it gave him an idea. He prefers `tapovana' (forest aashramas) instead of palaces.edu) raamaabhishheke jalamaaharantyaaH hastaachchyuto hemaghaTo yuvatyaaH . The observation provided him the insight into the solution and he gave the above mentioned answer. He observed Bhoj's daily schedule minutely for those two days. He prays here and there for world peace.edu that you want a postscript file giving your email address at the end.N). he is optimistic. send a message on email@example.com'' None was able to solve it. . Once King Bhoj lying on his bed saw a young beautiful girl on her way to fetch water. He puts society above the individual. Even though he considers death as natural and life as a deviation from that. If you do not have ITRANS installed but if you have a postscript printer. PS: anyone is free to use this translation as long you give the credit for translation and typing and extra comments :-))) Samasyaapuurtii by Sameer Mahajan (sameer@cc. demanded two days of time or the solution.
to this file. 4) Anything else you can think of? 5) What is the complete story about the samasyaapuurtii line Translation of Abhijnana-Sakuntalam act 1. who loved to travel far and wide in search of food and visit new places. Royal guests would stand by the golden cage and admire the birds. Soon. all attention that was reserved for the parrots was now Kalabahu’s. Radha and Potthapada were the toast of the king’s palace. . Life was very comfortable for them until the day a huge ape was brought to the palace. They were fed the choicest foods everyday. Nobody cared whether they were fed on time or not. BothRadha and Potthapada were brought before the king. Kalabahu became the center of attraction of all the royal guests and palace officials.Your contribution will be added. The king ordered his men that the birds be kept in a special cage made of gold. As a result. 2) Stories of Kalidasa and Vikramaditya or Bhojaraja mostly in samasyaapurtii style. 3) Collect references on his work. both the parrots started feeling neglected. These two beautiful birds were brothers named Radha and Potthapada. It may be useful to add following items: 1) A humorous poem by Ravindranath Tagore on Kalidasa will be interesting. who just could not keep his eyes off the stunning birds. Kalidasa as playwright The Tale of the Two Parrots This is a story of two parrots. They would pour in to have a good look at the ape and his antics that made everyone roar with laughter. with credits. they entered the palace gardens and were caught in a trap laid for birds.Notes. The ugly ape was named Kalabahu. People had not seen such a huge ape before. Once.
The jackal filled with false pride ran down the hill and pounced upon the elephant from above.” Radha. The king also found his acts offensive. “As you wish. O' King. The jackal was indeed happy.” And. but he warned the jackal to leave the elephant alone. the younger of the two parrots. wiser of the two. All animals are scared of me. praise and blame. One day. From that day on. The angry elephant lifted the jackal in his trunk and banged . Seeing the animals feeling scared of him. He confided in his elder brother. The other animals in the forest started to fear him because he was close to the lion. as he began misbehaving and fooling around a bit too much. and ordered Kalabahu to be sent back to the forest. Although he was strong.Potthapada. the animals started respecting the jackal. who came to him and said.” The next day. Moral: True worth and ability are always given their due ultimately. people started disliking the ape. replied. “O' King. He pointed to the distant elephant and said. I have been feeding on your leftovers. Soon. a huge lion lived in the forests of the Himalayan mountain range. “Potthapada. the jackal served the lion and in return always had a full meal from the leftovers. you are the mightiest of all animals. Please accept me as your humble servant. And. The jackal would even go to the forest and bully the small and big animals alike. “I am getting powerful. sure enough. as he never had to go in search of food in the dense forest. after hunting down a buffalo and having a hearty meal. I will hunt down the elephant for you. As there was nothing they could do. was deeply hurt. O' jackal. Soon. So far. my brother.” The jackal was smart because he knew he would not have to hunt anymore. “Let us leave here and go elsewhere. and will live on the leftover of the lion's meals. did you know who the intelligent Radha was? He wasBuddha in one of his earlier births. The Tale of the Lion and the Jackal In ancient India. the jackal thought. the starving jackal became fat and strong. Only the king is stronger than I in the entire forest. Attention. do not feel so sad. people will get tired of the ape’s antics and know your true worth.” The lion was kind and said. He met a jackal on the way. he never troubled other animals without reason. but today you will feed on mine.” The lion was shocked at what he heard. the lion was returning to his cave. People started paying all their attention to the well-behaved and beautiful parrots once again. the jackal saw a lonely elephant in the forest. Nobody cares for us anymore. and honor and dishonor are temporary facets of life.
This effectively placed Alexander. Sir William Jones (1746 – 1794) was the founder of the Asiatic Society and one of the first individuals to suggest an existence of a group of languages now known as Indo-European languages (he wrote a book called “The Sanscrit Language” in 1786 in which he suggested that Sanskrit. So where were the Mauryans actually ruling and who is Chandragupta Maurya? . How do we explain such a major Indian empire coming into existence just 15 years after Alexander’s arrival at the Beas River? In Greek and Latin Chandragupta Maurya is known as Sandrokottos or Androcottus. Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka in Eastern India. 2010 | 6 comments The story of Alexander the Great is very familiar to most Indians (at least we think we do). The jackal died at once. Porus was defeated but Alexander spared his life and allowed him to rule the area under his name. Alexander the Great and Chandragupta Maurya Hari | May 15. We are taught in history classes that Alexander invaded India in 326 BCE. Very little is known about him or his lineage. Noted Indian historians like Dr. Ranjit Pal (Ph. Chandragupta Maurya (340 BCE to 298 BCE) is credited with founding the Maurya Empire and establishing the first “Indian” empire by defeating the Greek Satraps.D from IIT Kharagpur and life member of “Indian Society for Greek and Roman Studies”) are now beginning to make a compelling case about revising the history of India during the time of Alexander (I recommend reading his book “Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander). Over the course of time many of these Satraps became emperors controlling large tracks of land themselves. Greek and Latin had a common root which we now know to be true). But history is murky. Others claim that he was raised by peacock tamers. Some Indian historians claim that he is the illegitimate child born to a Nanda prince and a maid. Alexander then reached the Beas River in Himachal Pradesh and decided to turn back after his army started revolting (many people in the ancient world including the Greeks also believed that India was the end of the world and it would not make sense to keep advancing). But he also made a claim that Pataliputra (Palibothra) is Patna (Bihar). As Alexander started his long journey back to Macedonia he awarded most of the lands captured by him to various Satraps (Persian name for governors). Till date no relic of any Mauryan King including the great Ashoka or the Greeks has been found in Patna. He fought a fierce battle with King Porus (battle of the Hydaspes River) in modern day Pakistan. Indian history teaches that the Mauryan Empire came into existence immediately after Alexander’s arrival in northwestern India. But many Indians would be surprised to learn that this theory is based on very thin evidence. The wise lion was none other than the Buddha himself. Unfortunately very little is taught in Indian schools about these satraps appointed by Alexander or the lasting legacy that they left on the long history of India. This is true for the Nanda kings who the Mauryans supposedly captured. Moral : The path of false pride always leads to trouble.him against a tree. This is called the “Jonesian Theory” and is widely accepted as a fact in India and elsewhere. The dates attributed to reign of Chandragupta Maurya are not set in stone and that is what makes his story very interesting. The main area of contention is the location of the city of Pataliputra (which is mentioned in the classic work by Greek writer Megasthenes called Indica).
The names of many Indian cities can also be found in other countries and names like Patali. Diodorus (ancient Greek historian) indicates that it was Tridates who handed the Persian treasury over to the Greeks after Alexander defeated the Persian Empire led by King Darius III. This Persian was an important member of Alexander’s conquests.Dr. Alexander left the city under the control of one of his Satraps known as Orontobates (some accounts indicate that Orontobates was a Persian. Alexander’s army just like most armies in the world today had soldiers and generals from lands that they captured). Gujarat is part of Western India and close to Iran where Patali is). . and Salem are good examples (it would be a mistake to assume that these Indian cities are older. Ranjit Pal argues that Palibothra of Megasthenes is not Patna of Bihar but Patali (near the city of Kerman in Iran). The name Patel which is popular among people in Gujarat is likely related to Patali. After capturing Taksila (city in Pakistan). Orontobates was also known as Tridates. He later on assumed the name of Sasigupta (known in Greek as Sasicottos). Sashi and Chandra means moon in Sanskrit. It is more likely that Patali (Iran) is much older than Patna (India). This will mean that the Mauryan Empire was mostly an empire that existed in Northwestern India (including Pakistan. Why did Chandragupta revolt against his longtime friend Alexander? Did he secretly continue to resent the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks under Alexander after all these years? Did he participate with other Persians in Alexander’s army to poison and kill their leader? If you believe in the ancient Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa the answer is a resounding yes. So if Megasthenes was talking about Patali in Iran and not in India then that would mean that Alexander never visited India that we know today.a.k. Instead of Chandragupta Maurya setting up the Mauryan Empire following Alexander’s retreat there is evidence to show that Chandragupta was a contemporary of Alexander and fought and lost a major battle with Alexander in Patali. Konarak. Afghanistan and Iran) and probably did not exist in modern day Central and Eastern India (which could be the reason why the archeological evidence is missing). Many historians now believe that Orontobates a. Sasigupta is none other than Chandragupta Maurya (this explains why there is very little information in the Indian context as to who Chandragupta was before he became emperor of “India”).
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