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Kalidasa (Sanskrit) Kālidāsa The greatest poet and dramatist of historic India, one of the “nine gems” that adorned the court of King Vikramaditya at Ujjayini. He is the true or reputed author (although the name Kalidasa has been given in Indian literature to several poets) of Sakuntala, Meghaduta, Malavikavnimitra, Vikramorvasi, etc. Whether all the works attributed to this Kalidasa are really to be ascribed to him or not, the fact remains that they are among the finest specimens of Indian poetry.


Kalidasa (Sanskrit) Kālidāsa The greatest poet and dramatist of historic India, one of the “nine gems” that adorned the court of King Vikramaditya at Ujjayini. He is the true or reputed author (although the name Kalidasa has been given in Indian literature to several poets) of Sakuntala, Meghaduta, Malavikavnimitra, Vikramorvasi, etc. Whether all the works attributed to this Kalidasa are really to be ascribed to him or not, the fact remains that they are among the finest specimens of Indian poetry.

Candragomin. (T. Btsun pa zla ba). Fifth-century CE Indian lay poet and grammarian, who made substantial contributions to Sanskrit grammar, founding what was known as the CAndra school. A junior contemporary of the great KAlidAsa, Candragomin was one of the most accomplished poets in the history of Indian Buddhism. His play LokAnanda, which tells the story of the BODHISATTVA king Manicuda, is the oldest extant Buddhist play and was widely performed in the centuries after its composition. He was a devotee of TARA and composed several works in her praise. Tibetan works describe him as a proponent of VIJNANAVADA who engaged in debate with CANDRAKĪRTI, but there is little philosophical content in his works that can be confidently ascribed to him. Among those works are the "Letter to a Disciple" (sisyalekha), the "Confessional Praise" (DesanAstava), and perhaps the "Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattva Precepts" (BodhisattvasaMvaraviMsaka).

upamasu kalidasah ::: Kalidasa for similes.

Urvasi (Sanskrit) Urvaśī [from uru wide, broad + the verbal root aś to pervade] Widely extending; in the Rig-Veda a beautiful divine nymph who, cursed by the gods, settled on earth and became the wife of Pururavas, the grandson of Soma (the moon) and son of Budha (esoteric wisdom, Mercury). Their love is the subject of Kalidasa’s drama, the Vikramorvasi. Urvasi originated in teachings connected with the human buddhi principle, the center and source or mother of all spiritual and intellectual beauty in the human constitution; cosmically therefore Urvasi is mahabuddhi (cosmic buddhi).

Yaksha (Sanskrit) Yakṣa [from the verbal root yakṣ to devour] A class of ethereal, astral, or semi-astral beings, regarded as attendants of Kubera or Kuvera, the deity of riches; occasionally they are associated with Vishnu. The yakshas are variously described as the sons of Pulastya, Pulaha, Kasyapa, Khasa, or Krodha. One legend represents them as springing from the feet of Brahma, while one Puranic account shows them as springing from the body of Brahma with the rakshasas and immediately attempting to devour his body. However, frequently the yakshas are regarded as beings beneficent to humans. In Kalidasa’s Meghaduta, the hero is a yaksha, represented as a banished lover who employs a cloud to bear a message to his beloved.

QUOTES [1 / 1 - 7 / 7]

KEYS (10k)

   1 Sri Aurobindo


   4 Kalidasa

1:1st row Homer, Shakespeare, Valmiki
2nd row Dante, Kalidasa, Aeschylus, Virgil, Milton
3rd row Goethe
I am not prepared to classify all the poets in the universe - it was the front bench or benches you asked for. By others I meant poets like Lucretius, Euripides, Calderon, Corneille, Hugo. Euripides (Medea, Bacchae and other plays) is a greater poet than Racine whom you want to put in the first ranks. If you want only the very greatest, none of these can enter - only Vyasa and Sophocles. Vyasa could very well claim a place beside Valmiki, Sophocles beside Aeschylus. The rest, if you like, you can send into the third row with Goethe, but it is something of a promotion about which one can feel some qualms. Spenser too, if you like; it is difficult to draw a line.

Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth have not been brought into consideration although their best work is as fine poetry as any written, but they have written nothing on a larger scale which would place them among the greatest creators. If Keats had finished Hyperion (without spoiling it), if Shelley had lived, or if Wordsworth had not petered out like a motor car with insufficient petrol, it might be different, but we have to take things as they are. As it is, all began magnificently, but none of them finished, and what work they did, except a few lyrics, sonnets, short pieces and narratives, is often flawed and unequal. If they had to be admitted, what about at least fifty others in Europe and Asia? ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Poetry And Art,


*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness. ~ Kalidasa,
2:Please subdue the anguish of your soul. Nobody is destined only to happiness or to pain. The wheel of life takes one up and down by turn. ~ Kalidasa,
3:He who seeks beauty will eventually find it, and discover that the Persians are not entirely deceived in their Hafiz, nor the Hindoos in their Kalidasa. ~ F Max M ller,
4:The autumn comes, a maiden fair In slenderness and grace, With nodding rice-stems in her hair And lilies in her face. In flowers of grasses she is clad; And as she moves along, Birds greet her with their cooing glad Like bracelets' tinkling song. ~ Kalidasa,
5:Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn! Look to this Day! For it is Life, the very Life of Life. In its brief course lie all the Verities and Realities of your Existence. The Bliss of Growth, The Glory of Action, The Splendor of Beauty; For Yesterday is but a Dream, And To-morrow is only a Vision; But To-day well lived makes Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope. Look well therefore to this Day! Such is the Salutation of the Dawn! ~ Kalidasa,
6:1st row Homer, Shakespeare, Valmiki
2nd row Dante, Kalidasa, Aeschylus, Virgil, Milton
3rd row Goethe
I am not prepared to classify all the poets in the universe - it was the front bench or benches you asked for. By others I meant poets like Lucretius, Euripides, Calderon, Corneille, Hugo. Euripides (Medea, Bacchae and other plays) is a greater poet than Racine whom you want to put in the first ranks. If you want only the very greatest, none of these can enter - only Vyasa and Sophocles. Vyasa could very well claim a place beside Valmiki, Sophocles beside Aeschylus. The rest, if you like, you can send into the third row with Goethe, but it is something of a promotion about which one can feel some qualms. Spenser too, if you like; it is difficult to draw a line.

Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth have not been brought into consideration although their best work is as fine poetry as any written, but they have written nothing on a larger scale which would place them among the greatest creators. If Keats had finished Hyperion (without spoiling it), if Shelley had lived, or if Wordsworth had not petered out like a motor car with insufficient petrol, it might be different, but we have to take things as they are. As it is, all began magnificently, but none of them finished, and what work they did, except a few lyrics, sonnets, short pieces and narratives, is often flawed and unequal. If they had to be admitted, what about at least fifty others in Europe and Asia? ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Poetry And Art,
7:I had once gone to Ujjaini
On the banks of the river Shipra
Far far away in that land of dreams
To seek the first love of my former life.
She had lodhra* powder on her face
A lotus she playfully held in her hand
She stuck buds of kunda in her ears
And kurubak flower in her hair
Her slim body she dressed in red
With a knot at her waist
Anklets gently jingled on her feet.
It was on a day in spring
To find my way I had to travel long
In that unknown land.

In the temple of Mahakal
The evening prayer bell rang
The crowded roads were now empty
The dusk was falling
And the rooftops were glowing
With the rays of setting sun.

My beloved's home
On a lonely narrow serpentine street
Was difficult to reach.
On the door was painted
A conchshell and a discus
On either side of its entrance
Grew two young mango trees
Like two beloved sons
On a white pillar at the gate
The statue of a lion stood.

Her pigeons had returned home
And on a golden bar
Her peacock had gone to sleep
With a lamp in her hand
My Malabika slowly came down.
She descended the stairs like a goddess
Holding an evening star in her hand.
The scent of flowers and her body
Fell on me like warm breaths
Her half-slipped dress
Revealed her left breast
Painted in chandan paste.

Seeing me my beloved
Put down the lamp on the stairs
And stood before me.
She held my hand
And silently asked with her anxious eyes,
'How are you, my friend?'
Looking at her I tried to reply
But no words came.
I had forgotten her language
Both of us tried hard
But failed to remember our names.
Only silent tears
Trickled down our eyes.

Sitting under the tree
We thought and thought
As a bird seeks its nest at the day's end
Her hands sought mine
Like a lotus bending on its stem
She slowly bent her head on my breast
And our warm eager breaths
Silently mingled.
In the darkness of night
Ujjaini was lost
At the gate
The lamp went out
In the temple
On the banks of Shipra
The prayers stopped.
*Lodhra is the name of a tree, the powder of its ground bark was used by women in poet Kalidasa's time for beautification. Kunda and Kurubak are names of flowers while Chandan is sandal wood.
Transcreation of the poem ''Swapna' from the collection Kalpana by Rabindranath Tagore. Transcreation by Kumud Biswas.
Translated by Kumud Biswas
~ Rabindranath Tagore, A Dream


   31 Integral Yoga
   4 Yoga
   1 Poetry
   1 Philosophy
   1 Mysticism

   27 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   5 Sri Aurobindo
   3 Sri Ramakrishna
   3 A B Purani

   13 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07
   5 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02
   4 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01
   3 Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo
   2 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04

01.02 - The Creative Soul, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Let each take cognisance of the godhead that is within him for self is Godand in the strength of the soul-divinity create his universe. It does not matter what sort of universe he- creates, so long as he creates it. The world created by a Buddha is not the same as that created by a Napoleon, nor should they be the same. It does not prove anything that I cannot become a Kalidasa; for that matter Kalidasa cannot become what I am. If you have not the genius of a Shankara it does not mean that you have no genius at all. Be and become yourselfma gridhah kasyachit dhanam, says the Upanishad. The fountain-head of creative genius lies there, in the free choice and the particular delight the self-determination of the spirit within you and not in the desire for your neighbours riches. The world has become dull and uniform and mechanical, since everybody endeavours to become not himself, but always somebody else. Imitation is servitude and servitude brings in grief.
   In one's own soul lies the very height and profundity of a god-head. Each soul by bringing out the note that is his, makes for the most wondrous symphony. Once a man knows what he is and holds fast to it, refusing to be drawn away by any necessity or temptation, he begins to uncover himself, to do what his inmost nature demands and takes joy in, that is to say, begins to create. Indeed there may be much difference in the forms that different souls take. But because each is itself, therefore each is grounded upon the fundamental equality of things. All our valuations are in reference to some standard or other set up with a particular end in view, but that is a question of the practical world which in no way takes away from the intrinsic value of the greatness of the soul. So long as the thing is there, the how of it does not matter. Infinite are the ways of manifestation and all of them the very highest and the most sublime, provided they are a manifestation of the soul itself, provided they rise and flow from the same level. Whether it is Agni or Indra, Varuna, Mitra or the Aswins, it is the same supreme and divine inflatus.

01.04 - The Poetry in the Making, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   But the Yogi is a wholly conscious being; a perfect Yogi is he who possesses a conscious and willed control over his instruments, he silences them, as and when he likes, and makes them convey and express with as little deviation as possible truths and realities from the Beyond. Now the question is, is it possible for the poet also to do something like that, to consciously create and not to be a mere unconscious or helpless channel? Conscious artistry, as we have said, means to be conscious on two levels of consciousness at the same time, to be at home in both equally and simultaneously. The general experience, however, is that of "one at a time": if the artist dwells more in the one, the other retires into the background to the same measure. If he is in the over-consciousness, he is only half-conscious in his brain consciousness, or even not conscious at allhe does not know how he has created, the sources or process of his creative activity, he is quite oblivious of them" gone through them all as if per saltum. Such seems to have been the case with the primitives, as they are called, the elemental poetsShakespeare and Homer and Valmiki. In some others, who come very near to them in poetic genius, yet not quite on a par, the instrumental intelligence is strong and active, it helps in its own way but in helping circumscribes and limits the original impulsion. The art here becomes consciously artistic, but loses something of the initial freshness and spontaneity: it gains in correctness, polish and elegance and has now a style in lieu of Nature's own naturalness. I am thinking of Virgil and Milton and Kalidasa. Dante's place is perhaps somewhere in between. Lower in the rung where the mental medium occupies a still more preponderant place we have intellectual poetry, poetry of the later classical age whose representatives are Pope and Dryden. We can go farther down and land in the domain of versificationalthough here, too, there can be a good amount of beauty in shape of ingenuity, cleverness and conceit: Voltaire and Delille are of this order in French poetry.
   The three or four major orders I speak of in reference to conscious artistry are exampled characteristically in the history of the evolution of Greek poetry. It must be remembered, however, at the very outset that the Greeks as a race were nothing if not rational and intellectual. It was an element of strong self-consciousness that they brought into human culture that was their special gift. Leaving out of account Homer who was, as I said, a primitive, their classical age began with Aeschylus who was the first and the most spontaneous and intuitive of the Great Three. Sophocles, who comes next, is more balanced and self-controlled and pregnant with a reasoned thought-content clothed in polished phrasing. We feel here that the artist knew what he was about and was exercising a conscious control over his instruments and materials, unlike his predecessor who seemed to be completely carried away by the onrush of the poetic enthousiasmos. Sophocles, in spite of his artistic perfection or perhaps because of it, appears to be just a little, one remove, away from the purity of the central inspiration there is a veil, although a thin transparent veil, yet a veil between which intervenes. With the third of the Brotherhood, Euripides, we slide lower downwe arrive at a predominantly mental transcription of an experience or inner conception; but something of the major breath continues, an aura, a rhythm that maintains the inner contact and thus saves the poetry. In a subsequent age, in Theocritus, for example, poetry became truly very much 'sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought', so much of virtuosity and precocity entered into it; in other words, the poet then was an excessively self-conscious artist. That seems to be the general trend of all literature.

01.05 - Rabindranath Tagore: A Great Poet, a Great Man, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Tagore is in direct line with those bards who have sung of the Spirit, who always soared high above the falsehoods and uglinesses of a merely mundane life and lived in the undecaying delights and beauties of a diviner consciousness. Spiritual reality was the central theme of his poetic creation: only and naturally he viewed it in a special way and endowed it with a special grace. We know of another God-intoxicated man, the Jewish philosopher Spinoza, who saw things sub specie aeternitatis, under the figure or mode of eternity. Well, Tagore can be said to see things, in their essential spiritual reality, under the figure or mode of beauty. Keats indeed spoke of truth being beauty and beauty truth. But there is a great difference in the outlook and inner experience. A worshipper of beauty, unless he rises to the Upanishadic norm, is prone to become sensuous and pagan. Keats was that, Kalidasa was that, even Shelley was not far different. The spiritual vein in all these poets remains secondary. In the old Indian master, it is part of his intellectual equipment, no doubt, but nothing much more than that. In the other two it comes in as strange flashes from an unknown country, as a sort of irruption or on the peak of the poetic afflatus or enthousiasmos.
   The world being nothing but Spirit made visible is, according to Tagore, fundamentally a thing of beauty. The scars and spots that are on the surface have to be removed and mankind has to repossess and clo the itself with that mantle of beauty. The world is beautiful, because it is the image of the Beautiful, because it harbours, expresses and embodies the Divine who is Beauty supreme. Now by a strange alchemy, a wonderful effect of polarisation, the very spiritual element in Tagore has made him almost a pagan and even a profane. For what are these glories of Nature and the still more exquisite glories that the human body has captured? They are but vibrations and modulations of beauty the delightful names and forms of the supreme Lover and Beloved.
   Tagore the poet reminds one often and anon of Kalidasa. He was so much in love, had such kinship with the great old master that many of his poems, many passages and lines are reminiscences, echoes, modulations or a paraphrase of the original classic. Tagore himself refers in his memoirs to one Kalidasian line that haunted his juvenile brain because of its exquisite music and enchanting imagery:
   Mandki nirjharikarm vodh muhuh-kamPita-deva-druh

01.11 - The Basis of Unity, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   However, coming to historical times, we see wave after wave of the most heterogeneous and disparate elementsSakas and Huns and Greeks, each bringing its quota of exotic materialenter into the oceanic Indian life and culture, lose their separate foreign identity and become part and parcel of the common whole. Even so,a single unitary body was formed out of such varied and shifting materialsnot in the political, but in a socio-religious sense. For a catholic religious spirit, not being solely doctrinal and personal, admitted and embraced in its supple and wide texture almost an infinite variety of approaches to the Divine, of forms and norms of apprehending the Beyond. It has been called Hinduism: it is a vast synthesis of multiple affiliations. It expresses the characteristic genius of India and hence Hinduism and Indianism came to be looked upon as synonymous terms. And the same could be defined also as Vedic religion and culture, for its invariable basis the bed-rock on which it stood firm and erectwas the Vedas, the Knowledge seen by the sages. But there had already risen a voice of dissidence and discord that of Buddha, not so much, perhaps, of Buddha as of Buddhism. The Buddhistic enlightenment and discipline did not admit the supreme authority of the Vedas; it sought other bases of truth and reality. It was a great denial; and it meant and worked for a vital schism. The denial of the Vedas by itself, perhaps, would not be serious, but it became so, as it was symptomatic of a deeper divergence. Denying the Vedas, the Buddhistic spirit denied life. It was quite a new thing in the Indian consciousness and spiritual discipline. And it left such a stamp there that even today it stands as the dominant character of the Indian outlook. However, India's synthetic genius rose to the occasion and knew how to bridge the chasm, close up the fissure, and present again a body whole and entire. Buddha became one of the Avataras: the discipline of Nirvana and Maya was reserved as the last duty to be performed at the end of life, as the culmination of a full-length span of action and achievement; the way to Moksha lay through Dharma and Artha and Kama, Sannyasa had to be built upon Brahmacharya and Garhasthya. The integral ideal was epitomized by Kalidasa in his famous lines about the character of the Raghus:
   They devoted themselves to study in their boyhood, in youth they pursued the objects of life; when old they took to spiritual austerities, and in the end they died united with the higher consciousness.

02.02 - Rishi Dirghatama, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Today I will speak of one of the Vedic rishis. Some names of great Vedic rishis must have reached your earsVashishtha, Vishwamitra, Atri, Parasara, Kanwa (I do not know if it is the same Kanwa of whom Kalidasa speaks in his Shakuntala), Madhuchchanda. All of them are seers of mantra, hearers of mantra, creators of mantra; all of them occupy a large place in the Veda. Each one of them has his speciality, each one delivers a mantra that is in its tone, temper and style his own although the subject matter, the substance, the fundamental realisation is everywhere the same. For example, Vashishtha is characterised by a happy clarity, Vishwamitra has force and energy, Kutsa is sweetness, Dirghatama is well known for his oblique utterances, his paradoxical apopthegms.1
   Today precisely it is of Dirghatama that we will speak. Dirghatama does not mean as the word would indicate to the layman, one who is verytalllaprmurmahbhuja in Kalidasa's phrase. Tama is not the superlative suffix (most), it istamas, darkness. So, from the name itself one may naturally expect that the person was not of an ordinary category. Indeed the amount of stories and legends that have been woven around the name is fantasticqueer, odd, unbelievable, impossible in every way. I need not open that chapter.
   I shall speak only of what seems to me probable and believable and likely and it must be this that he passed a long time in darkness, engulfed in obscurity. The legend says that he was in his mother's womb long past the due time and it seems it was of his own will. His mother's name was Mamata and his father was Uchathya. When he came out of the darkness and saw the light, it was a light strangely glimmering with all the vibrations of the long obscurity to which he had been accustomed. It was indeed the Light beyond the confines of all darkness, nescience, and yet carrying a mystic imprint of the mysteries of darkness. So he started his quest with this questioning:

02.03 - The Shakespearean Word, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   All these images however, or most of them, belong to one category or genre. They are painted pictures,still life, on the whole, presented in two dimensions. Kalidasa himself has described the nature or character of this artistic effect. In describing a gesture of Uma he says, 'she moved not, she stopped not' (na yayau na tasthau); it was, as it were, a movement suddenly arrested and held up on a canvas. The imagery is as though of a petrification. The figures of statuary present themselves to our eyes in this connection-a violent or intense action held at one point and stilled, as for example, in the Laocoon or the Discabolo.
   This is usually what the poets, the great poets have done. They have presented living and moving bodies as fixed, stable entities, as a procession of statues. But Shakespeare's are not fixed stable pictures but living and moving beings. They do not appear as pictures, even like moving pictures on a screen, a two-dimensional representation. Life in Shakespeare appears, as in life, exactly like a three-dimensional phenomenon. You seem to see forms and figures in the round, not simply in a frontal view. A Shakespearean scene is not only a feast for the eye but is apprehended as though through all the' senses.
   In the world of poetry Dante is a veritable avatar . His language is a supreme magic. The word-unit in him is a quantum of highly concentrated perceptive energy, Tapas. In Kalidasa the quantum is that of the energy of the light in sensuous beauty. And Homer's voice is a quantum of the luminous music of the spheres.
   The word-unit, the language quantum in Sri Aurobindo's poetry is a packet of consciousness-force, a concentrated power of Light (instinct with a secret Delight)listen:

02.05 - Robert Graves, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   We may ask in this connection which deity does our poet invoke here, to whom does he raise his offerings, to whomkasmai devya? One need not be startled at the answer: it is the toadstool. But the mushroom growth assumes a respectable figure in the guise of its Sanskrit name,chatraka. Kalidasa did one better. His magic touch gave the insignificant flora a luminousrobeilndhra, a charming name. The great poet tells us that the earth is not barren or sterilekartum yat camahmucchilndhrmabandhym. The next pertinent question is: why does the poet worship a toadstool? What is his purpose? Does a toadstool possess any special power? This leads us to a hidden world, to the 'mysteries' spoken of by the poet himself.
   In ancient days and in some spiritual practice and discipline this fungus had a special use for a definite purpose. Its use produces on one a drowsy effect, perhaps a strong and poisonous intoxicating effect. What is the final result of this drugging? We know that in our country among the sadhus and some sects practising occult science, taking of certain herbal drugs is recommended, even obligatory. Today Aldous Huxley has taken up the cue, in the most modern fashion indeed, and prescribed mescalin in the process of Yoga and spiritual practice. Did the Vedic Rishis see in the same way a usefulness of Soma, the proverbial creeper secreting the immortal drink of delight? However, the Tantriksadhaks hold that particular soporifics possess the virtue of quieting the external senses and dulling and deadening the sense organs, and thereby freeing the inner and subtler consciousness in its play and manifestation.

03.01 - The Malady of the Century, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The ancients, on the contrary, knew not many thingsnot so many as we know; but what they knew they knew well, they were sure of their knowledge. Their creations were not perhaps on the whole as rich and varied and subtleeven in a certain sense as deep as those of modern humanity; but they were finished and completed things, net and clear and full of power. The simple unambiguous virile line that we find in Kalidasa or in the Ajanta, in Homer or in the Par thenon, no longer comes out of the hands of a modern artist. Our delight is in the complexity and turbidity of the composition; we are not satisfied with richness only, we require a certain tortuousness and tangledness in the movement. We love the intermingling of many tints, the play of light dying away into haze and mist and obscurity, of shades that blur the sharpness of the contour. Our preoccupation, in Art, is how to create the impression of the many in its all-round simultaneity of forms and movements. The ancients were more simple and modest; they were satisfied with expressing one thing at a time and that simply done.
   The ancient Rishis were worshippers of the Sun and the Day; they were called Finders of the Day, Discoverers of the Solar World. They knew what they were about and they sought to make their meaning plain to others who cared to go to them. They were clear in their thought, direct in their perception; their feelings, however deep, were never obscure. We meet in their atmosphere and in their creative activity no circum-ambulating chiaroscuro, nothing of the turbid magic that draws us today towards the uncertain, the unexpected and the disconcerting. It is a world of certitude, of solid realityeven if it be on the highest spiritual levels of consciousness presenting a bold and precise and clear outline. When we hear them speak we feel they are uttering self-evident truths; there is no need to pause and question. At least so they were to their contemporaries; but the spokesman of our age must needs be a riddle even to ourselves.

03.12 - TagorePoet and Seer, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   A great literature seems to have almost invariably a great name attached to it, one name by which it is known and recognised as great. It is the name of the man who releases the inmost potency of that literature, and who marks at the same time the height to which its creative genius has attained or perhaps can ever attain. Homer and Virgil, Dante and Shakespeare, Goe the and Camoens, Firdausi in Persian and Kalidasa in classical Sanskrit, are such namesnumina, each being the presiding deity, the godhead born full-armed out of the poetic consciousness of the race to which he belongs. Even in the case of France whose language and literature are more a democratic and collective and less an individualistic creation, even there one single Name can be pointed out as the life and soul, the very cream of the characteristic poetic genius of the nation. I am, of course, referring to Racine, Racine who, in spite of Moliere and Corneille and Hugo, stands as the most representative French poet, the embodiment of French resthesis par excellence.
   Such a great name is Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali literature. We need not forget Bankim Chandra, nor even Madhusudan: still one can safely declare that if Bengali language and literature belonged to any single person as its supreme liberator and fosterer savitand pit is Rabindranath. It was he who lifted that language and literature from what had been after all a provincial and parochial status into the domain of the international and universal. Through him a thing of local value was metamorphosed definitively into a thing of world value.

05.12 - The Soul and its Journey, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   We may try to illustrate by examples, although it is a rather dangerous game and may tend to put into a too rigid and' mathematical formula something that is living and variable. Still it will serve to give a clearer picture of the matter. Napoleon, evidently was a child of Mahakali; and Caesar seems to have been fashioned largely by the principle of Maheshwari; while Christ or Chaitanya are clearly emanations in the line of Mahalakshmi. Constructive geniuses, on the other hand, like the great statesman Colbert, for example, or Louis XIV, Ie grand monarque, himself belong to a family (or gotra, as we say in India) that originated from Mahasaraswati. Poets and artists again, although generally they belong to the clan of Mahalakshmi, can be regrouped according to the principle that predominates in each, the godhead that presides over the inspiration in each. The large breath in Homer and Valmiki, the high and noble style of their movement, the dignity and vastness that compose their consciousness affiliate them naturally to the Maheshwari line. A Dante, on the other hand, or a Byron has something in his matter and manner that make us think of the stamp of Mahakali. Virgil or Petrarch, Shelley or our Tagore seem to be emanations of Beauty, Harmony, LoveMahalakshmi. And the perfect artisanship of Mahasaraswati has found its especial embodiment in Horace and Racine and our Kalidasa. Michael Angelo in his fury of inspirations seems to have been impelled by Mahakali, while Mahalakshmi sheds her genial favour upon Raphael and Titian; and the meticulous care and the detailed surety in a Tintoretto makes us think of Mahasaraswati's grace. Mahasaraswati too seems to have especially favoured Leonardo da Vinci, although a brooding presence of Maheshwari also seems to be intermixed there.
   For it must be remembered that the human soul after all is not a simple and unilateral being, it is a little cosmos in itself. The soul is not merely a point or a single ray of light come down straight from its divine archetype or from the Divine himself, it is also a developing fire that increases and enriches itself through the multiple experiences of an evolutionary progressionit not only grows in height but extends in wideness also. Even though it may originally emanate from one principle and Personality, it takes in for its development and fulfilment influences and elements from the others also. Indeed, we know that the Four primal personalities of the Divine are not separate and distinct as they may appear to the human mind which cannot understand distinction without disparity. The Vedic gods themselves are so linked together, so interpenetrate one another that finally it is asserted that there is only one existence, only it is given many names. All the divine personalities are aspects of the Divine blended and fused together. Even so the human soul, being a replica of the Divine, cannot but be a complex of many personalities and often it may be difficult and even harmful to find and fix upon a dominant personality. The full flowering of the human soul, its perfect divinisation demands the realisation of a many-aspected personality, the very richness of the Divine within it.

10.32 - The Mystery of the Five Elements, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The material world, as the ancient sages viewed it, is composed of five elements. They are, as we know, (I) earth (kiti), (2) water (ap), (3) fire (tej), (4) air (marut), and (5) space or ether (vyom), mounting from the grossest to those that are more and more subtle. The subtlest, the topmost in the scale is space or ether. As we descend in the scale, each succeeding element becomes more and more concrete than the preceding one. Thus air is denser than space, fire is denser than air, water is denser than fire and earth is the densest of allsolidity belongs to earth alone. Water is liquid, fire gaseous, air is fluid, and ether is the most tenuous. Now this hierarchy can be considered also as a pyramid of qualities, qualities of matter and the material world tapering upward. The first one, the topmost, space, possesses the quality of sound or vibration; it is the field giving out waves that originate sound.1 The next element is air, its special quality as found in the ancient knowledge is the quality of touch: it gives the sensation of touch, you can touch it, it touches you and you recognise its existence in that way. Touch however is its own, its primary quality but it takes up also the quality of the previous, the subtler element, in order to become more and more evolved, more and more concrete, that is to say, in the material way. Air has thus a double quality, sound and touch It is tactile, and it is sonorous. The third one, fire, has the quality of possessing a form; it has visibility in addition to the two qualities of the two previous elements, which it takes up: thus fire is visible, it can be touchedyes, it may burn also and it gives out sound. The fourth element, water, adds a fourth quality which is its own, namely, taste. Water has taste, very delightful taste to mortals. A Greek poet2 says water has the best taste, hudor men ariston. So you can taste water, you can see its form, you can touch it, you can hear it gurgle. Coming to the last, earth has all these, qualities: in addition, what it has is, curious to say, smell. So you can hear earth's vibrations, you can touch it, see it, taste it for some earth has a very savoury taste but its own special quality is smell: it is odorous, it is sweet-scented. Kalidasa speaks with ecstasy of the strange scent that the earth emits when the fresh rains fall upon it.
   So, the five senses open out to the five elements, each sense linked to its own element, each sense presenting a particular aspect of the material universe. Thus ether, the subtlest element, is present to the ear, the organ of hearing, air to the skin (twak) the organ of touch, the fire-element (radiant energy) to the eye, the liquid to the organ of taste, and earth is given over to smell. Earth is linked with smell, perhaps because it is the perfume of creation, the dense aroma of God's material energy. Also earth is the summation of all the elements and all the qualities of matter. It is the epitome of the material creation. The physical beauty of earth is well-known, the landscape and seascape, its rich variegated coloration, we all admire standing upon its bosom, but up in the air, in the wide open spaces earth appears with even a more magical beauty to which cosmonauts have given glowing tri bute. But even this visible beauty pales, I suppose, before the perfume it emits which is its celestial quality, that can only be described indeed as the sweet-scented body of the Divine Substance.

1.035 - The Recitation of Mantra, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  In Indian tradition, we have the mantras which are also associated with certain factors other than merely a combination of words, one aspect of which is what is known as chandas. This a peculiar feature of the formation of a mantra. A chandas is a particular method of combining words according to a rule called ghana shastra, which is known in mystical circles in India. A particular word, when it is combined with another particular word, produces a particular effect. Rhetoricians are well acquainted with this subject. Great novelists and poets in India, especially those endowed with special genius and charged with divine power, such as Kalidasa, followed this technique of ghana shastra, and knowing the power of words, composed their poems or their works in such a way that they follow the rules of accepted rhetoric. Ordinary literature is not acquainted with this secret of Sanskrit literature. The greatness of a poet can be judged from the way he starts the work. How does he start the work? What is the word that he uses in the beginning? It is the belief among great writers in India that the initial phrases at the commencement of the work tell upon the nature of the entire work that is to follow.
  This system of the combination of particular words with other words of the requisite character is followed in the composition of a mantra, which literally means, 'that which protects a person who thinks of it'. Mananat trayate iti mantrah a mantra is that which protects us when we chant it. It protects us like armour, like a shield that we wear in a war, by generating in us a resisting power against any kind of influence which is extraneous in nature, and which is unwanted for the purpose on hand. Chandas is the peculiar chemical combination of the letters, we may say. Particular chemical substances produce special results or effects when they are combined with certain types of other chemical components. But when they are mixed together, they may create a third force altogether.

1.03 - The House Of The Lord, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
  Now, the part of the time that remains unaccounted for was the night. For a number of years, especially during the last ones, it was the most interesting period. For gradually, attending to Sri Aurobindo's meal, his walking and his sleep became very complicated since these activities had to depend on the Mother's round of work. I have said before that, like life, our daily routine was continually changing. The midday meal shifted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We had to be guided by her clock. She had thousands of things to attend to in addition to the organisational work of the Ashram. Now she had also to bear additional responsibility for Sri Aurobindo. No wonder her time had to be very flexible. And too subtle, elusive and quick are her movements for our human calculation! Can we imagine her holding collective meditation at 11 p.m., sometimes even at 1 a.m.? Consequently Sri Aurobindo's supper began to shift from normal hours to as late as 11 p.m. after which she would go down for meditation. But if she was late, then the meal had to be served after the meditation. Later on the meditation was followed by a regular Pranam attended by more than three hundred individuals. Then the Mother would come to Sri Aurobindo's room to attend to his walking, normally at 11 p.m., but there were occasions when she came even at 1 a.m.! Then she would come half an hour or one hour later to give him an eye-wash with a blue liquid called "blue water", and to rub lightly his upper body with a perfumed white cream. That was her last service of the day. We naturally had to keep awake till then, awaiting the soft tread of her feet in the corridor, for there was no knowing when she would turn up. Of course whenever possible, we did snatch a cat-nap in between, but it had to be "conscious sleep"! Purani, whose duty began at 2.30 a.m., sometimes found us awake! I am sure that it was Sri Aurobindo's radiant Presence which was the source of all our energy and kept us fit as a fiddle, in spite of many days of scanty sleep. I have read in Kalidasa that during Shiva's deep meditation, a constant stream of energy Tapas went out to fill his two attendants to enable them to keep vigil over the world of Nature. Even after the Mother's departure, Sri Aurobindo kept awake and only when he had learnt that she had retired, did our lights go out; that was at about 2 a.m. It was my duty to switch off the last light. The switch was above the foot, of his bed. Putting my hand on it I would look at him: he gave his impersonal sweet smile in return and the light went off. A night lamp was kept burning. Then we too would retire, sleeping in the same room. Once I had a frightful nightmare and screamed. Sri Aurobindo called me, "Nirod! Nirod!" and I woke up. Very often, Purani said, when he came he found me snoring. Champaklal amended, saying, "No, he snores even long before!" "That is perhaps in anticipation of Purani's arrival!" added Sri Aurobindo.
  In spite of there being a swarm of mosquitoes, Sri Aurobindo was not in the habit of using a mosquito net. Instead, mosquito-coils imported from China were lighted and placed around the bed. These coils burn slowly, emitting a thin white trail of smoke with a smell of burnt hay or dry leaves. Its somewhat sharp odour is supposed to stave off the invasion of the invincible army of tiny pests. Chinese discovery indeed! But the smoke-line, I fear, was not impregnable and some of the wily pests would, under the cover of night, plunge their keen short proboscis into Sri Aurobindo's bare tender skin producing angry weals or scarlet buttons. Some Insectol had to be applied to prevent sepsis. During the breeding season when the army division was at its height, the Mother would bring a globe-like thing and burst, as it were, a 'gas bomb' from it, just before she took her leave at night. A huge volley of white smoke with a strong smell would fill the whole room and clear up soon after. With the installation of the ceiling-fan, these crude devices were of course dispensed with. In the daytime, when the mosquitoes were flying and humming around him, or about to sit on his legs, we would rush to kill them with a clap of our hands. Sometimes he would ask, "Got it?" and on our answering "Yes", an approving smile would be our reward.

12.06 - The Hero and the Nymph, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   A note on Kalidasa's "The Hero and the Nymph" (translated by Sri Aurobindo), staged at the Ashram Theatre on December 1st and December 3rd 1971.
   The story of Kalidasa's "The Hero and the Nymph" is the eternal legend of the marriage of heaven and earth upon earth. The Heavenly Beauty can descend upon earth and be united to a human soul only, as it appears, under a malediction; for heaven and earth are normally understood to be opposites and contradictories. The malediction means that the union can happen under certain limitations. First of all, there is the limitation of time, that is to say, the union does not last long, it can be only for a more or less short duration: even the span of human life is too long for it. It is not in the nature of supreme love to linger long on our murky earth:
   "Only a little the God-light can stay:"||1.39||
   Secondly the limitation is that of a mixture, a dilution. The quality and nature of Divine Love entering earth suffers an alteration, a diminution and pollution. It is mixed with baser elements of human nature. Kalidasa too mentions theseforemost of all is jealousyjealousy that caught Urvasie like a wild fire and made her run helter-skelter and enter straight into the arms of self-oblivion and infra-consciousness she turned into a soulless plant. Thirdly, the limitation that the very intensity and turbulence of passion bringit is not only turbulence but turbidity, love gone mad, love becoming lunacy that is Pururavas and his cry:
   "Halt, ruffian, halt! Thou in thy giant arms
   This cry almost verges on King Lear's heart-rending frantic yell: "Blow, winds and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!"2 relieved, one may say in Kalidasa, by his sheer poetry but in Shakespeare also not less so, although in a different hue and tune. This tumult of the soul, the raging raving wild thing that man becomesthis seems to be, in Kalidasa, the price that mortality has to pay for a touch of divinityit is the churning of the ocean that yields at last immortality. It may be suggested here that the queen is a foil, a hark back to wisdom and poise, to steadiness and normalcy. She symbolises also the consent of the mere human to the divine Dispensation.
   A Shakespearean tragedy Kalidasa avoids by finding a way out of the impassea happy marriage between heaven and earth is possible if with heaven agreeing to come down upon earth, earth too on its side agrees to go up to heaven. The heavenly Bride can stay here on earth as companion to Pururavas only if Pururavas agrees to go up to heaven, consents to take up the gods' work.
   The earthly mixture presumably gives to the pure heavenly love a zest, a strange homely taste which otherwise it could not have. The white diamond with this immixture of the earthly ray becomes as it were a ruby.

1.rt - A Dream, #Tagore - Poems, #Rabindranath Tagore, #Poetry
  *Lodhra is the name of a tree, the powder of its ground bark was used by women in poet Kalidasa's time for beautification. Kunda and Kurubak are names of flowers while Chandan is sandal wood.
  Transcreation of the poem ''Swapna' from the collection Kalpana by Rabindranath Tagore. Transcreation by Kumud Biswas.

2.05 - On Poetry, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Disciple: Do you find the psychic element in Kalidasa's poetry?
   Sri Aurobindo: Psychic? I don't think there is much psychic element in his poetry. Vital and aesthetic if you like, that he has in an extraordinary degree and you find even a certain dignity of thought.

2.11 - On Education, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Aurobindo: The time of Kalidasa, for instance. You see the subjects women had to study in those days. You will see there were so many arts and accomplishments they had to learn. Then there was a time when Buddhist Universities like Nalanda, Takshashila were in vogue. They were like the Schools in mediaeval Europe.
   Disciple: What was the system of education in Europe at that time?

2.11 - WITH THE DEVOTEES IN CALCUTTA, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER (quoting a proverb): "Man's worries over bread and butter are simply amazing; they make even Kalidasa lose his wits."
  BALARM: "Narendra frequently visits his friend Annada Guha of the family of Shiva Guha." - The World's Greatest Poets, #Letters On Poetry And Art, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  You once spoke of Goe the as not being one of the worlds absolutely supreme singers. Who are these, then? Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Valmiki, Kalidasa? And what about Aeschylus, Virgil and Milton?
  I suppose all the names you mention except Goe the can be included; or if you like you can put them all including Goe the in three rowse.g.:
  2nd row Dante, Kalidasa, Aeschylus, Virgil, Milton
  3rd row Goethe
  and there you are! To speak less flippantly, the first three have at once supreme imaginative originality, supreme poetic gift, widest scope and supreme creative genius. Each is a sort of poetic Demiurge who has created a world of his own. Dantes triple world beyond is more constructed by the poetic seeing mind than by this kind of elemental demiurgic powero therwise he would rank by their side; the same with Kalidasa. Aeschylus is a seer and creator but on a much smaller scale. Virgil and Milton have a less spontaneous breath of creative genius; one or two typal figures excepted, they live rather by what they have said than by what they have made.
  31 March 1932

2.25 - List of Topics in Each Talk, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   | 04-09-40 | Kalidasa's poetry |
   | 17-09-40 | Space: non-existence, curving, expanding, the sun's weight |

30.01 - World-Literature, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   But they are to be seen from a higher, a transcendent plane. It is for this reason Kalidasa, a poet of physical joy and sensual pleasure, Valmiki, a poet of vital feeling and enchantment of the heart, and Vyasa, a poet of intellect and thinking power, are poets of all ages and countries.
   We were dealing with the natural and the genuine in literature. That alone is real literature which sees a thing whatever it may be - in the great words of Spinoza, sub specie aeternitatis,under the figure of Eternity. This is the fundamental principle, the bedrock of real literature or of world-literature. Sub specie

30.03 - Spirituality in Art, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   We have already said that the fundamental principle of art is the expression of the infinite truth. This truth is vast, all-pervading. There is a hidden truth in everything which may appear beautiful or ugly to the eyes, which may appear attractive or repulsive to our disposition or which may appear good or bad to our intelligence. The truth of a thing consists in its quality, in its uniqueness and speciality and in the part it has to play on the stage of the world. This truth itself is eternal and full of delight. The artist tries to manifest the essence of this truth. Whatever there is in the world may not appear conducive to welfare or convenient to a sadhu or a religious reformer. But there is nothing that is absolutely untrue. Everything manifests itself through some truth in the core of its being. This truth is the solid delight itself, and therein lies its beauty and this itself is the image of God in it. The manifestation of this God is the aim of the artist. The ability of the artist that can awaken the spirit of an absolute renunciation is the same as that which can awaken the thirst for action in the man of action. The artist's prestige does not suffer even when he depicts the madness of lust in a lustful man. There is no conflict between art and true spirituality. Rather, spirituality is the life-breath of art and its alpha and omega. Spirituality means things related to the Self. The quintessence of the yogi lies in his yoga and that of a carnal man in his carnality. The artist will reach the acme of his art if he can bring out the quintessence of yoga in the picture of a yogi and the quintessence of carnality in the portrait of the carnal, and godliness in the picture of the gods and beast-hood in the likeness of the beast. In this sense the artist alone is the true spiritual man. An artist may depict Lord Buddha, the Incarnation of compassion, but that is no reason why the atrocious Nadir Shah's picture should be banished from the domain of art. In the pen of Kalidasa is found the spiritual description of sex-appeal. If this picture proves tendentious to some readers, then, is the fault to be ascribed to Kalidasa the poet? His very purpose was to give expression to this idea. Under certain circumstances this idea may prove an obstacle to spiritual practice, but for that reason who can say that it is fundamentally untrue and ugly?
   The picture of a naked woman is offensive to our eyes and not only to our sense of morality but also to our aesthetic sense. For the picture we often see is not verily a work of art but only a photograph, an exact imitation of nature. What is ugliness? Ugliness is that which shows only the outer form of a thing, phenomenon, and which fails to show the raison d'treof the thing, noumenon. A photograph of anything is often ugly, be it of a naked woman or a saintly man. For we see therein only a naked woman and not the nakedness of a woman. We see therein a sadhu's lock of hair and the bark for his loins and not his saintliness. If we judge from an artistic point of view then the pictures of the gods and the goddesses drawn by Ravi Varma are as ugly as the worthless novels of the street. Where there is only body and where we do not get the meaning of the body in some deeper truth behind it, the other-worldliness of the saint is an object of contempt equally to the moralist's sense of decency and the artist's aesthetic sense.

30.04 - Intuition and Inspiration in Art, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The following line of Kalidasa is an embodied figure of truth and beauty:
   The fir trees shiver in the sprays cast by the descending torrents of the Bhagirathi.
   The rhythmic swinging movement as described by Kalidasa more dearly reveals and fixes a static form; the picture that floats on the horizon of our mind through the lines of Shakespeare seems to fling far the waves of a dynamic movement.
   In a way, the creators of the East seem to proceed more by intuition, while the creators of the West by inspiration. And it is here that we get some explanation for the charge that the East is inert and conservative in contrast to the dynamic and progressive West. The East is after beautiful static forms in her creations and the West is fond of sprightly flow.

30.05 - Rhythm in Poetry, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   At the very outset I shall speak of Sanskrit, the mother of languages which first gave voice to the Word, and here I shall take as its representative the great poet Kalidasa. You have no doubt heard about his Meghaduta.The whole of this Meghadutais composed in a wonderful metrical form, and how sweet is the very name given to this metre, mandakranta;the name itself carries in its sound and movement the suggestion of its rhythm. Mandakrantaliterally means, "one that moves with slow deliberate steps." But this does not imply a simple rolling motion. The steps move with a faster beat at appropriate intervals, purposely in order to accentuate the general slowness. The results have been astonishing. Slow motion in verse implies the use of long vowels or double measures. Now listen to this movement in mandakranta:
   kascit kanta / -viraha-guruna / svadhikara-pramatta...

30.08 - Poetry and Mantra, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Let us now focus our attention on something else. When we study the Gita or the Upanishads or the Vedas, the idea never flashes across our mind that we are reading poetry; our consciousness enjoys a delight which surpasses that of poetry. Here is a clear proof. When we speak of genuine poetry, we hardly think of the Veda-Upanishad-Gita. To serve our purpose we immediately resort to the works of Valmiki, Kalidasa and Bhavabhuti. Yet, as a matter of fact, the Gita, the Upanishads and the Vedas can easily stand on the same footing with the greatest poetry. However natural or mundane may be the delight in poetic creation, it can never surpass the poetic greatness of the mantra. Neither the ancient poet Valmiki nor even Homer or Shakespeare are an exception. It is said that "the highest art is to conceal art". The famous poets of to-day cannot so easily conceal themselves in their poetic creation as did the poets of the Veda-Upanishad-Gita. When the Upanishad says,
   "This is the highest Refuge, the Refuge supreme,
   Kalidasa is a great poet - he stands in the vanguard of the world's greatest poets. He really deserves this place. Yet he is only a poet and does not seem to be a seer or creator of mantras like the poets of the Upanishads.
   What Matthew Arnold said of the poet Wordsworth we all know. In places where Wordsworth's poetry, he says, reaches the acme of perfection one feels as if the poet has disappeared: Nature herself has used his pen. I would like to say that the speciality of all the mantras lies in this impersonality. The poet cannot claim to be a seer or creator of mantras so long as there is the stamp of an individual ego in his creation. In such a case he is nothing more than a poet. When the poet is fully conscious of himself as a poet and nothing more, he rarely forgets the excellence of his creation. That is why with a heart full of pride Bhavabhuti could declare:
   From this point of view Milton and Virgil may be looked upon as mere poets. Those who consider Shakespeare, Homer and Valmiki superior to Milton, Virgil and Kalidasa come to such a conclusion from a subtler consideration. One group of poets makes use of vaikhari vak, while the other of pasyanti vak.
   Seer as poet and poet as poet are different, because of their difference in speech. Vaikhari vak is the word that stands in its own value and glory, maintains its own separate dignity and greatness, giving free scope to the inherent power of sound, voice and articulation. Hence the inner Being, the true Being of delight, does not always relish even the sweet noise - as Hamlet speaks out: it is all words, words, words - or as Jayadeva declares:

30.10 - The Greatness of Poetry, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   In his artistic creation the poet's inner Self comes to the fore. That is why it is said that the subject-matter and the way of expressing it are nothing but the real Being in the poet. The outer manifestation of this Being is of course diverse and manifold. The inner soul of Shakespeare is wide and magnanimous. It has, as it were, the quality of water. It takes up the form of that very vessel in which it is put and assumes the colour thereof. Milton's inner Being represents height, density, weight and seriousness. Dante's inner Being represents intensity, virility and Tapasya (askesis). Kalidasa's inner Being represents beauty, while that of the Upanishadic seers represents luminosity.
   The truth of the inner Being escapes both character and morality. It can be grasped only through one's manners which reflect the innate nature of the inner Being. In the absence of decorum vulgarity looms large. For countless mistakes a man may be pardoned. But the vulgarity in one's manners takes man away from his status of manhood. Similarly if manners - the influence of the inner Being- are visible in the artistic creation, then despite many minor flaws it will look beautiful, great and precious.

30.11 - Modern Poetry, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The fundamental principle of this procedure is that the thing and the event which are subjects for poetry should be developed along with their characteristic nature and virtue. That is to say, the thing and the event should be shown as speaking for themselves without the poet speaking for them. Perhaps, it will not be much of a mistake to say that here lies the difference between the moderns and the ancients. For example, if a wastel and is taken for the subject-matter, then we do not look for the poet's account or his description of it as in the case of Kalidasa's Himalaya. If a wastel and could speak for itself, then the poet would be the organ of his speech, the poet could identify himself and be one with it. Similarly if 'hollow men' are the poet's theme, then we do not require their introduction, nor a delineation of their character. We expect such a co-ordination of rhythm, sound and sense as would suggest dryness, despair and emptiness. The wastel and must float right before our eyes; not only that, we must feel like physically walking through it when we hear:
   A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

30.12 - The Obscene and the Ugly - Form and Essence, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   And the pen of Kalidasa gloriously proves that obscene things are not always bound to be ugly.
   When does the obscene happen to become ugly? On coming down to a particular stage of nakedness? It does not seem to be so. The obscene may have an inseparable relation with nakedness, but surely not with ugliness. Even extreme nakedness may turn out to be supremely beautiful, owing to the attitude of the observer, by virtue of the delicate touch of the artist's brush. On the other hand, the decent appears ugly when one identifies it with untouchability; that is to say, it is so to an acute moral sense, to a profession of good taste, to prudishness; in other words, when we do not give a thing its innate, its soul value, when we fail to appreciate its proper nature and function in the universal play, but sever it from its setting in the whole and assign a false value to it, sometimes too much, sometimes too little. A thing begins, on the contrary, to grow beautiful when it imbibes a universal rhythm, wears the supremely blissful smile of creation. In the bosom of Nature everything is beautiful. The ugly is only that which is artificial and perverse. The decent is ugly when it is merely an outward show of purity without reflecting any inner truth. Indeed often in an inordinate attempt to protect the body from exposure, decency amounts almost to indecency.
   Kalidasa has excelled in depicting the beauties of form. Shakespeare sought not beauty but the wide surge of vital truths. Petrarch abounds in the beauty of form. He created more and yet more beauty of form. But Dante is to be appreciated rather through the poetic truths that stood out as unmoving rocks, the tremendous energy petrified as it were in the form. Our Indian poet Vidyapati was mad after the beauty of form. He expressed the pangs of his heart thus:
   "Since my birth I have been seeing beauty after beauty, yet my eyes are not satiated."

30.13 - Rabindranath the Artist, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The dance, the rhythmic movement have given whatever form beauty has. On the whole we can describe the goddess of poetry of Kalidasa as standing, in his own words, 'immobile like a movement depicted on a picture,' but in the creation of Rabindranath we see that 'the singing nymph passes by breaking the trance -.'
   In every turn of all these' varied forms of cadence and vibration there is an ecstasy, the dying curve of a soft tune that gathers in its fall all the sweetnesses that the movement was carrying - the whole merging as it were into a sea of rich peace and silence. The poet's eloquence is most intimately married to his silence. On one side, his vital being, athirst for delight, is overwhelmed with the mass of Nature's wealth, luxuriant in colours and smells, in peals of laughter and rhythms of dance; his senses enamoured of beauty are eagerly prone to hug the richness of external things; he wants to seize upon the Self, God, through the embrace of the senses and the fivefold life-force. Still, there is the other side where through all these varied vicissitudes, his aim finally settles in "the vast peace that lies in the core of peacelessness."

30.14 - Rabindranath and Modernism, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   I do not say the indulgence of the lower nature, the physical propensities and the sense-objects is less prevalent in our country. The teeming wealth of sensuality that is found in Kalidasa and Jayadeva has hardly any parallel in the literature of any other country. But the oriental approach is quite different from the occidental. The consciousness and the attitude with which Europe has accepted and embraced the sense-world or the material world are profane, pagan - the enjoyment of pleasure in the grossest and the most materialistic way, pleasure for the sake of pleasure. The fount of tears pent up in the core of every transient object ("sunt lacrymae rerum"),so said Virgil, the great poet of Europe. The artistic mind of Europe derives its inspiration from there. The Indian consciousness even after accepting the material objects could not completely exhaust itself in the earthly relation only. As the Upanishad says, the husband, the wife or the son is dear to us not because of their own sake but for the delight of one's soul. It is not that the spiritual basis of consciousness is directly or actively manifest in all Indians or even all creative artists of India. But this perception permeates the atmosphere, the firmament, the air, land and water of India. And this idea, on the whole, brought about a special outlook and tone in the style of her creative arts. The works of Vaishnava poets are replete with earthly love, at places only nominally associated with God; and yet even this nominal or tacit association is a very characteristic and special feature. And it cannot be put in the category of mere earthly and human outlook as known to us. At least earthly things and sense-objects have not been presented solely with their own norms and values. They have been assessed in relation to the values of something else, their truth has been' determined as a help or an impediment to some other truth. Not that artists of this type are totally absent in Europe. There also - although it is the exception rather than the rule as here - we come across a few who have the experience of the Imperishable in the perishable, and the realisation of Consciousness in Matter. The experience of silence, for example, was in some so overwhelming as to render names and forms secondary - insignificant - and to reduce them to mere shadows. Thus to Wordsworth all natural truths and beauty are inherent in the power that presides over Nature which he calls Spirit.
   Tagore wanted to seize the object as a real object and touch the body physically, with the sense of touch. Unlike the spiritual seers he could not remain content with embracing the object in and through the soul alone and the person through the impersonal. As a mortal he sought to taste the delight of-mortal things. And yet he established the Immortal in the mortal. He looked upon the body as body and yet was united with it in and through something of the formless soul. The uniqueness of his realisation consists in the synthesis of the duality, the contrary. Like the pagan he maintained intact the terrestrial enjoying, even made it more intense, yet he brought down into it something of the supraphysical. And for this harmonisation he resorted to the consciousness of the Upanishads which is innate to his country. The thing that has bridged the gulf between the physical and the supra-physical, between the body and the soul, between the inmost within and the outmost without is the heart of the devotee - the emotional fervour of the Vaishnavas, adorers, lovers and those who have the fine sense of beauty and delight.

30.16 - Tagore the Unique, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   IT is no hyperbole to say that Tagore is to Bengali literature what Shakespeare is to English, Goe the to German, Tolstoy to Russian, or Dante to Italian and, to go into the remoter past, what Virgil was to Latin and Homer to Greek or, in our country, what Kalidasa was to ancient Sanskrit. Each of these stars of the first magnitude is a king, a paramount ruler in his own language and literature, and that for two reasons. First, whatever formerly was immature, undeveloped, has become after them mature, whatever was provincial or plebian has become universal and refined; whatever was too personal has come to be universal. The first miracle performed by these great figures was to turn a
   parochial language and a parochial literature into a world language and a world literature. The second was to unfold the inner strength and the deeper genius of the language to reveal and establish the nature and uniqueness of a nation's creative spirit as well as the basic principle of its evolution and culture. These two ways, one tending to expansion, the other to profundity, are in many cases mutually dependent and are often the result of a sudden or rapid outburst.
   Ballad and folklore are the infant or immature form of a language and literature. Polished and powerful language and literature develop out of that and only subsequently attain their full blossoming. In this respect Dante's marvel is almost without parallel. The language he used in clothing his poetry was a popular dialect; one among various other popular dialects - this he turned into the language of Italy as a whole, the Italian language as it stood before the eyes of the world. A music and rhythm of a great and lofty consciousness infused itself into the elements that had lain neglected in the dust. The voice confined within the four corners of the household and the village underwent a miraculous change in the mouth of a magician; it became a voice of the universe. And, in a language and a literature that are not so immature but have already attained development and elegance, a creative vibhutihas brought about a second type of-transformation. Virgil, Shakespeare, Goe the and Kalidasa did a work of this category. It cannot be said that English was undeveloped or quite rustic before Shakespeare, although the image of the grandly real, something truly familiar and intimate that Shakespeare evokes in the heart of foreigners is not given by Spencer, Chaucer or even Marlowe. Shakespeare has revealed something of the universal in the very special style he created - here was a diversity, a plasticity, a suggestiveness, a magic all its own.
   There is some difference between the history of French literature and that of any other. First, the French language and literature have grown and matured not through a sudden change or a revolutionary transmutation - their growth and development are the result of a slow and steady process of evolution. In English, on the other hand, the sense of growth seems to consist of a rapid change. In the political field, however, the English and the French have pursued quite reversed policies. The battle for liberty by the English continued from precedent to precedent - the French had always to win freedom through revolutions. But the other speciality of the French literary spirit is the fact that there was no single person who had a kind of all-in-all authority, - although in politics, in old France at least, it was often one man's rule, the tradition of the Roman Imperator, that prevailed. In the literary field among the instances cited we find that each nation had a single person of authority, a specially gifted one who moulded its language and literature by the magic touch of his own genius or made them fully mature and self-sufficient. The French are a very social race - they are proud to be called republican, so it is by the combined effort of many, the contri bution of more than one genius, that their language and literature have been formed and enriched. Corneille, Racine, Molire, La Fontaine (or up the stream to Rabelais) - they are a goodly company; among these whom to exclude and whom to include? And yet here too, perhaps only one can be taken as France's representative spirit. He can be only Racine. Racine embodies in himself, as no other does so completely, the special characteristic of the French and reflects the heart of the French people. What is that characteristic? In one word, the culmination of elegance and sensitiveness. To be sure, this is not the only aspect of the French. Corneille has contri buted to another aspect - severity, virility, high seriousness, austere self-control, strictness and bareness. But this may be considered a special quality of a branch line, as it were, of the French language and literature, as if it was an acquired capacity, the sign of a growth towards a greater possibility - but in regard to the other it may be said that what Racine is the French language and literature; their inherent quality is a spontaneous formation out of the inner soul of this great creator.

33.01 - The Initiation of Swadeshi, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   I was now reminded of the story of Parvati in the Kumarasambhavaof Kalidasa. Mahadeva comes in disguise to beguile her mind. He says, "What you have set your heart on is but a ghost, a goblin, a dirty creature. Is it meet to have such a low despicable thing for a husband? And Parvati answer back, You may say what you like, but my mind is set, it will not be shaken. The mind had settled on its one attraction, mamatra bhavaikarasam manah
   sthitam,it had now no other way.

33.03 - Muraripukur - I, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The household arrangements at our Gardens were of the most simple, natural and unpretentious sort, the aim being to avoid all unnecessary complications and save our time and labour. The cooking was done perhaps only once a day and almost every day it was Khichri. For the second meal, something ready-made bought from the market was found enough. We did the cooking ourselves and washed the dishes. The dishes and utensils were not of brass, they were all ear thenware vessels, I believe. And the washing was done in the waters of the pond. What kind of pond it was could only be described by a Kalidasa, but perhaps some idea could be had from Bankimchandra's description of the Bhima tank: "The dark shades of the palms dancing to the rhythms of the dark waters" and so on. That is to say, it had more of weeds and mud than water, not to speak of the fish and the frogs and other animal species, including a fair complement of serpents and things. But to us it seemed good enough and we used to take our dips there with great glee. In fact I had my first lessons' in swimming in that very pool. There were actually two of them and not one, and it would be difficult to decide which was the more "untouchable" of the two. The gardens around were in an equally poor condition. They were no gardens at all, for all was primitive jungle, a tangle of shrubs and trees and creepers, with all sorts of insects and reptiles roaming within. And the house where we were supposed to live was in ruins.1
   But in spite of all, the place was absolutely quiet and silent, a reason being that it was practically outside the city limits. The lire we lived in such surroundings could be compared with that of nomads. The strange thing is that despite such irregular habits, or rather the habitual irregularities of our life there, we never fell ill. The abundance of vitality and the enthusiasm and joy kept at bay all attacks of disease. It was very similar to the kind of life we lived here in Pondicherry during the first few years. Motilal when he saw us then exclaimed in utter surprise, "What! Is this the way you live? And you keep him (Sri Aurobindo) too like this?" Perhaps some day I may give you a picture of that life of ours, that life of utter freedom which looked so rustic in the eyes of "civilised" people.

36.07 - An Introduction To The Vedas, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 08, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   What is then the proper way to be followed for the right understanding of the Vedas? We have, in this respect, to adopt the same principle which forms the key to all ancient literatures. We needs must be acquainted with the texts of the Vedas proper with an unbiased mind empty of all preconceived notions. The commentators, the annotators, the grammarians, the rhetoricians join, as it were, to create a world of confusion. Far from getting an access to the sanctum we get lost in wandering mazes. That is why we have been deprived of getting a first-hand knowledge of the Vedas. The commentators may be at most helpers. But if we attach too much importance to their commentaries, it will inevitably turn them into an obstacle. First, it is of paramount importance to know the central idea of the Vedas, the viewpoint of the, Rishis. The help of the commentators and the annotators may be necessary later on when we go into details. Needless to say that if we get into the bitter controversies of commentators, we are sure to be deadly confused. So at the very outset we have to be acquainted with the bare texts of the Vedas. This method is applicable to all literatures. We must read poetry in the original in order to appreciate its true spirit, leaving aside all criticisms on it. For, men endowed with the power of true appreciation of poetry are rarely found in the present generation. We are more familiar with the commentaries on the works of Shakespeare and Kalidasa than with their originals.
   However, to be at home in the central theme of the Vedas, the method that we should follow is: to proceed from the known to the unknown. In the Vedic texts we often come across some important words that admit of no ambiguity. With the help of the obvious meanings of these words we have to find out the implications of the words partly obscure or totally obscure. In the Vedas there are such mantras (incantations), sentences and words in abundance which reflect modern ideas and appear quite familiar to the present-day intellect. It is at once advisable and reasonable to accept such self-evident meanings. It is of no avail to leave aside such clear meanings and seek out roundabout abstruse meanings on the ground that what we are dealing with are the Vedas, the writings of hoary antiquity. Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti (The one Truth is expressed differently by the men of knowledge) or, tat Visno param padam...diviva cakuratatam (That is the supreme Status of Vishnu, as if an Eye wide open in the heavens) or, Brhaspatih prathamam jayama mano jyotisah parame Vyoman (Brihaspati being born first as a great Light in the supreme Heaven)-the meanings of these words are by no means obscure or ambiguous. The meanings as well as the ideas with which these words are infused are quite plain and clear enough. These expressions convey no indication of the lisping of the babe or an aborigine or an uncultured mind or even a ritualistic mind. Here we find expressions of a mature mind enlightened with knowledge flowing from a profound realisation of Truth. Neither the befitting rhythm nor rhyme is missing. Further,

4.3 - Bhakti, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  506. Kalidasa says in a daring image that the snow-rocks of
  Kailasa are Shiva's loud world-laughters piled up in utter whiteness & pureness on the mountaintops. It is true; and when their image falls on the heart, then the world's cares melt away like the clouds below into their real nothingness.

9.99 - Glossary, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
     Kalidasa: The great Sanskrit poet and author of Sakuntala.
    Kalighat: A section of northern Calcutta, where is situated the famous temple of Kali.
    Kumara: Sambhava A famous book by Kalidasa.
    Kumari Puja: (Lit., the worship of a virgin) A ritualistic worship prescribed by the Tantra, in which a virgin is worshipped as the manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe.
    Raghuvamsa: The name of a Sanskrit treatise by Kalidasa.
    Raghuvir: A name of Rama; the Family Deity of Sri Ramakrishna.
    Sakuntala: A celebrated play by Kalidasa.
    salagram: A stone emblem of God worshipped by the Hindus.

Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (text), #Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  with Kalidasa, who, from the state of an ignorant rustic, became at once, through the grace of Mother
  Saraswati, the greatest poet of India.

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 1, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
  language is epic. Valmiki, Vyasa, even classical poets like Kalidasa, Bharavi
  and others have all achieved epic heights.
  But it is a pity I lost two translations of poems. One of them was a trans lation of Kalidasa's Meghaduta in terza rimas. It was rather well done.
  NIRODBARAN: Yes, indeed a pity.

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 2, #Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
  Then there was some talk about Kalidasa's Raghuvamsha and Kumarasambhava. It seems that X found Raghuvamsha full of problems, questions of morality and immorality.
  SRI AUROBINDO (to Purani): Have you been struck by a great number of
  problems in Raghuvamsha? Kalidasa being concerned with morality and immorality?
  PURANI (laughing): I thought Kalidasa was the last person to be concerned
  with them. He was more concerned with beauty, the aesthetic aspect. No
  he read Kalidasa he would squirm with agony.
  PURANI: For such people everything should be simple, bare, austere and

The Coming Race Contents, #The Coming Race, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  anything that I cannot become a Kalidasa
  for that matter Kalidasa cannot become what
  I am. If you have not the genius of a
  epitomized by Kalidasa in his famous lines
  about the character of the Raghus :


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