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OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO


AUTH

BOOKS

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
00.04_-_The_Beautiful_in_the_Upanishads
01.02_-_The_Creative_Soul
01.04_-_The_Poetry_in_the_Making
01.05_-_Rabindranath_Tagore:_A_Great_Poet,_a_Great_Man
01.11_-_The_Basis_of_Unity
02.02_-_Rishi_Dirghatama
02.03_-_The_Shakespearean_Word
02.05_-_Robert_Graves
03.01_-_The_Malady_of_the_Century
03.12_-_TagorePoet_and_Seer
05.12_-_The_Soul_and_its_Journey
10.32_-_The_Mystery_of_the_Five_Elements
1.035_-_The_Recitation_of_Mantra
1.03_-_The_House_Of_The_Lord
1.17_-_The_Transformation
12.06_-_The_Hero_and_the_Nymph
1970_05_02
1.rt_-_A_Dream
2.05_-_On_Poetry
2.11_-_On_Education
22.05_-_On_The_Brink(2)
2.2.1.01_-_The_World's_Greatest_Poets
2.25_-_List_of_Topics_in_Each_Talk
2.30_-_2.39_-_THE_MASTER_IN_VARIOUS_MOODS
30.01_-_World-Literature
30.03_-_Spirituality_in_Art
30.04_-_Intuition_and_Inspiration_in_Art
30.05_-_Rhythm_in_Poetry
30.08_-_Poetry_and_Mantra
30.10_-_The_Greatness_of_Poetry
30.11_-_Modern_Poetry
30.12_-_The_Obscene_and_the_Ugly_-_Form_and_Essence
30.13_-_Rabindranath_the_Artist
30.14_-_Rabindranath_and_Modernism
30.16_-_Tagore_the_Unique
33.01_-_The_Initiation_of_Swadeshi
33.03_-_Muraripukur_-_I
36.07_-_An_Introduction_To_The_Vedas
4.3_-_Bhakti
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2
The_Coming_Race_Contents

PRIMARY CLASS

author
SIMILAR TITLES
Kalidasa

DEFINITIONS

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.



QUOTES [1 / 1 - 7 / 7]


KEYS (10k)

   1 Sri Aurobindo

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   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,

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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


IN CHAPTERS



   31 Integral Yoga
   1 Yoga
   1 Poetry
   1 Philosophy
   1 Mysticism


   28 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   5 Sri Aurobindo
   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 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.
  

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.
  

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.
  
  --
  
   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:
  

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:
  

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.
  

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.
  
  --
  
   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.
  

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.
  

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.
  

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.
  

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.
  

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.
  

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.
  

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.
  

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:
  
  --
  
   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:
  
  --
  
   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.
  

1.rt - A Dream, #Tagore - Poems, #Rabindranath Tagore, #Poetry
  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.

2.05 - On Poetry, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
  
   Disciple: Do you find the psychic element in Kalidasa's poetry?
  

2.11 - On Education, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
  
   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.
  

2.2.1.01 - 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?
  
  --
  1st row Homer, Shakespeare, Valmiki
  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.
  

2.25 - List of Topics in Each Talk, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
  
   | 04-09-40 | Kalidasa's poetry |
  

2.30 - 2.39 - THE MASTER IN VARIOUS MOODS, #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."
  

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.
  

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?
  

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 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.
  

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:
  

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,
  
  --
  
   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.
  
  --
  
   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.
  

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.
  

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:
  

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.
  
  --
  
   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:
  

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 -.'
  

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.
  

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