Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Parvati in Kumarasambhava

It is the beginning of one of Kalidasa's greatest works - Kumarasambhava. It is really very beautiful poem. In general, the work describes the marriage of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. Kalidasa's descriptions are vivid and heart-warming; it is as if we are seeing the events happening before us. Kalidasa's portrayal of Parvati's grace magnificently shows his ability as a poet and inexpressible beauty of the Goddess.

Canto I. 

1. There is, in the northern quarter, the deity-should lord of mountains, by name Himalaya (the mansion of snow), who stands like the measuring rod of the earth, spanning (the distance between) the Eastern and the Western oceans.

2. Whom, all the mountains, having fixed upon as the calf, while mount Meru, clever in milking, stood as the milker, milked from the earth ( in the shape of a cow ), as directed by Prithu, brilliant jewels and great medicinal herbs,

3. Snow could not be a destroyer of beauty in the case of him who is the source of countless jewels; for one blemish is lost in a host of virtues, like the spot on the moon in her rays.

4. Who bears on his peaks, a richness of metals, appearing like an untimely twilight, which, with its colours
reflected into the pieces of clouds, leads to the amorous decking of the Apsarases (heavenly nymphs).

5. To whose sunny peaks the Siddhas repair (for comfort) when troubled by showers, after having enjoyed the shadow fallen on the peaks below the clouds floating round the mountain's zone,

6. Where the Kirtas (mountaineers) track to spoor of the lions that have killed elephants by the pearls rooping from the cavities of their claws, though they do not see their foot-marks, the blood stains being washed away by the stream lets of melted snow.

7- Where the barks of the birch trees, having characters written on them with mineral fluid, and so esembling the red spots on (the bodies of full grown) elephants, become useful to the Vidyadhara damsels for amatory

8. Who, as if wishes to play an accompaniment to (swell the music of) the Kiuuaras, singing in a high pitch, by filling the holes of the bamboos with the wind breathed from the mouths of the caves.

9. Where the odotir, bora of the milky juice flowing from the cedar (Satala) trees, rubbed against by elephants to ease the itching sensation of their temples, makes the peaks fragrant.

10. Where the (phosphorescent) herbs with their lustre shed into the interior of the caves, serve, at night, as lights requiring no feeding of oil, at the time of the amorous sports of the forest dwellers accompanied by fair females.

11. Where the Asvamukhi women do not leave off their lazy gait, bowed down as they are by (the weight of) the hips and full breasts difficult to bear, on the path on which the snow has formed into blocks, and which therefore bites the sides of the toes and the heels.

12. Who protects from the sun (the maker of light) in his caves darkness, hiding there for shelter, being as it
were afraid of light (like the night-bird ) ; indeed, with the exalted, a feeling of kinship (that he is their own) extends to the lowliest suppliant seeking their protection as to the (most) excellent.

14. Where the clouds, with their forms accidentally hanging over the entrances to the caverns serving as houses become the screens for the women of the Kinnaras, shy at their garments being snatched away.

16. Whose lotuses, growing in the lakes on the highest summits and left after being collected by the bands of the seven sages, the sun, moving on a lower level, blossoms by rays shooting upwards.

17. On observing him as the source of sacrificial requisites, and his strength as capable of holding up the earth, the Lord of creation himself conferred on him the sovereignty of the mountains with a share in the sacrificial offerings attached to it.

18. To maintain the continuity of his line, he, a kinsman of Meru, knowing rectitude, married, according to
proper rites, equal to himself and respected of the sages.

19. In course of time, as they began to enjoy connubial life worthy of their (respective) charms, the consort of the Mountain-lord, possessed of charming youth, conceived a child.

21. Then the chaste Sati, the daughter of Daksha and the former wife of Bhava (Shiva ), who, driven by the insult offered by her father (to her lord) had abandoned her body by (means of) yoga, resorted to the Mountain's consort for rebirth.

22. That blessed one (Uma ) was begotten on her, who was always self-restrained (or, devoted to
the performance of holy rites), by the Mountain-lord, as prosperity is produced by the quality of energy from policy not failing in its operation on account of its being well  directed.

23. Her birthday conduced to the happiness of embodied beings, both movable and immovable ; a day when the quarters brightened, when the wind blew but without dust, and wherein there was a shower of flowers following close upon the music of conches.

24. The mother ( lit. the progenitor ) shone very brightly by her daughter, having a halo of refulgent lustre ; as shines the land adjoining the Turquoise hills by the rays of gems shooting up at the roar of the new clouds.

25. As days rolled by, she, who had got her birth, growing i developed extraordinary graces as does the newly risen crescent of the moon waxing day by day in her lustre.

26. Her, the darling of her relatives, they called by the patronymic name of Parvati ; the maiden ofa pleasing
face came to be called Uma afterwards, when forbidden by her mother to do penance with the words ' K Uma  (O, do not)."

27. The eyes of the Mountain-lord, though having a son, were never satiated with resting on this his child ; the row of bees, indeed, is more fondly attached to the mango tree (blossoms), though the vernal season blooms with countless flowers.

28. By her he received (additional) sanctity and was also glorified, even as the lamp is by its exceedingly
brilliant flame or the heavenly path by the Ganges or the wise by refined speech.

29. In childhood surrounded by her companions, she, entering, as it were, into the spirit of sport often played with balls and dolls and with altars built on the sands of the Ganges.

30. To her, whose impressions (of the previous life) were permanent, the lores, acquired in the past life, came at the time of instructing her, as do the flocks of swans to the Ganges, in autumn, or their own lustre to the medical herbs at night.

31. Now she reached an age, beyond childhood, which is in itself an embellishment, not artificial, to the
slim body, a cause of exhilaration not known as wine, a missile of K6rua (but) other than the flowery one.

32. Her body, charming in its perfect symmetry, was unfolded  by fresh youth like a painting gradually growing under the brush (of a painter), or like a lotus blooming under the rays of the sun.

33. Her feet, while treading, gave to the earth the ever-shifting beauty of land-lotuses in the shape of the
radiance of her raised great toe and nails emitting, as it were, red colour.

34. She, with a body stooping Con account of the weight of her breasts, was instructed, as it were, in the
matter of her gait, wherein the tread appeared graceful through playful gestures, by the royal swans, themselves desirous of receiving instruction in return as they wanted to learn the music of her anklets.

35. The Creator, after he had fashioned her beautiful thighs, not very long, rounded and symmetrical, had to
make an effort, as it were, for the production of excellent beauty when forming her other limbs.

36. The trunk*; of lordly elephants through toughness of skin and the plantain-stalks through their extreme coldness were unfit as standards of comparison for her thighs, though having a plump, rounded shape.

37. The beauty of the resting place of the zone of her, who was faultless, could, indeed, be Inferred from this that it was placed, in after times (i. e. after her austerities were over), by Girisha, (Shiva) on his lap which it was not possible even to be coveted by another female.

38. The delicate line of down which entered her deep navel after passing the knot of her garment (at the waist), appeared like the shooting ray of the central gem of her zone which was other than white (a sapphire).

39. She, with a slender waist resembling the middle of an camp, had three charming folds of skin (on her waist) as if they were a flight of stairs raised there by blooming youth for the God of love to ascend.

40. Of her, the fly-eyed one, the two breasts, yellowish white, having black nippies and pressing against each other, were so rounded that as much space as could be occupied even by a lotus fibre was impossible to be found between them.

41. I fancy her arms were more delicate than even the Sirtsha flower, since they were thrown as chains round the neck of Hara by the fish-bannered God, although vanquished.

42. In the case of her neck gracefully elevated over her breasts and her encircling pearl -necklace, the condition of being the adorned and the adorner was indifferently exchangeable owing to each bringing beauty to the other.

43. The unsteady Goddess of beauty, could not enjoy (possess) the charms of the lotus when with the moon, top of the lunar graces when with the lotus ; but when she be took herself to the face of Urad, she enjoyed the pleasure (coming from the charms ) peculiar to both.

44. If a white flower were laid upon a young tender leaf or a pearl were to rest on the richest coral, then only could either vie with the sweet smile that played about her rosy lips.

45. While she, who had a musical sound, spoke in a voice that distilled nectar as it were, even the koil ( lit.
bred by others), was to the ears of the listeners full of jarring notes, like a harp, out of tune, when played upon.

46. The timid (unsteady) glances which were not dissimilar to the blue lotus in a strong wind, did the female fawns borrow from her, or she with elongated eyes from them ?

47. On seeing the beauty, charming in its sportiveness, of her long arching brows, pencilled as it were with black paint, the bodiless God gave up all pride in the beauty of his (curved) bow.

49. In short she was created by the Creator of the universe with great effort, as if with a desire to see all beauty combined in one form, by gathering together ail the standards of comparison and placing them, each in its place.

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