Short paragraph on Kalidasa (Sanskrit Poet and Dramatist) Kalidasa

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Short paragraph on Kalidasa (Sanskrit Poet and Dramatist)


Kalidasa (also Kalidas) was the most brilliant literary figure of the Gupta age who shed enduring luster on the secular Sanskrit literature. His literary works were primarily revolved around an ancient Hindu text called ‘Puranas”.

Kalidasa was the greatest poet and dramatist that ever lived in India and his works have been enjoying an unparalleled reputation and popularity through ages, which remain undiminished even today.

Unfortunately we have no definite idea about the time in which he flourished nor any knowledge about his life. Scholars differ as to the date of Kalidasa, but the general opinion is in favor of regarding him as the court poet of a Gupta Emperor, most probably Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, tradition ascribed Navaratna, i.e. nine gems of literature with King Vikramaditya of whom Kalidasa was the most resplendent. But most scholars think that all nine gems could not have been Kalidasa’s contemporaries.

A close study of his work shows that Kalidasa ‘was a pious Brahmin of Ujjain and a liberal Saiva by belief, who had acquired knowledge of the various branches of Brahmanical learning”.

He was familiar with Sankhya, Yoga, Dharmasastras, Kamasutra, Natya-Sastras, Vyakarana, Jyotihsastra, even fine arts, music and painting.

The greatest and best work of Kalidasa is his drama Sakuntala (Abhijnanasakuntalam), which is considered not only the best in Sanskrit literature, but is the literature of the world . The story of King Dushyanta and his wife Sakuntala is vividly narrated in this play.

Two of his earlier works were:

  • Malavikagnimitram: In this work, Kalidasa narrates the story of King Agnimitra.
  • Vikramorvasiyam is about the story of King Pururavas and Urvashi.

Two of his epics Raghuvamsa and Kumarasambhava and his lyrical poem Meghaduta ‘are universally regarded as gems of Sanskrit poetry”.

Kalidasa is unquestionably the ‘finest master of Indian poetic style” and both in drama and poetry he stands unsurpassed and unrivaled even today. He is inimitable in the use of the metaphor and simile.

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