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Kalidasa: The Poet of Nature

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LITERATURE AND SOCIETY IN EARLY INDIA

Kalidasa: The poet of nature

(Seminar discussion)

Literature is an integral part of any civilization. Soon after the settlement of humans as a thinking being; literature came into existence. Literature is part of a wider phenomenon called Arts.

The concept of Arts is based upon intellect and an aesthetic sense.

Indian civilization is rich in literary artistic expression and it is endowed with many super ability masters of letters. The literary tradition of India is ancient and glorious. This is the reason for our multiple heritages. From ancient time onwards literature has shaped the fate of our society. The vividness of language and culture is due to our ancient heritage of letters. To cite a few examples we have for instance the multiple versions of Ramayana and Mahabharata in almost every major language of India and south-east Asia. The works of Sanskrit literature have been variously translated not only in Indian languages but in other world languages too. All these achievements have constituted to the understanding of India as the literary capital of the world. Literature is the best expression of humanity as it enables an individual to reflect, introspect and articulate thus developing person's potentials and creating a permanent literary asset that profits generation for long. With this short appraisal of Indian contribution to its own growth plus in the growth of universal literary assets. Now moving on to my topic specific i.e. Kalidasa: the poet of nature and the worshipper of natural beauty, I shall begin by stating that Kalidasa is one of the best poets of the world. He had mastered the Sanskrit language and expressed it in such a manner that it became immortal and golden. Kalidasa has used nature and its beauty to ornate his works. There exists a close relationship between his works and nature. The themes selected by the poet are undoubtedly indebted to the nature. The works of Kalidasa are like the nature's work: real and fresh. It is said that literature is a mirror and it reflects what it sees. It is true that when we study kalidasa's work , the kind of similes and metaphors used are too realistic and natural that it enables the reader to actually realize the scenic beauty of Indian flora and fauna and other natural phenomenon that prevailed during that period. It is an accepted view that 'UPMA KALIDASASYA' is the best of its kind. Kalidasa had mastered the art of comparison between two or more than two things and could instill life in the lifeless objects through his creative imaginations. In this small paper I will look into the aspects of nature that Kalidasa has used to ornate his works and will try to relate the various types of nature i.e. nature itself and the nature of human beings. Kalidasa has heavily borrowed from the flora and fauna of India, and if we go through his works then we actually have the original view of Indian natural beauty. Kalidasa has written in a very natural mood. Whatever he saw in the nature has been penned down relating it with the human experiences. Kalidasa has taken the natural phenomenon such as the changing rhythm of day and night as well as change of seasons as similar to the changing mood of the person. The reason behind the incorporation of nature has a deliberate purpose. Through his pen, Kalidasa is making nature closer to the human world. For Kalidasa, nature is not mechanical and impersonal. It still had its enchantment. The characters which are portrayed by Kalidasa are sensitive towards the natural world. For example, in the play "Abhigyanamsakuntalam", the heroine named Shakuntala had sympathy and a sisterly affection with the animate as well as the inanimate objects of the nature; be it the trees, plants, animals, birds or insects. Apart from Shakuntala, in meghaduta i.e. the cloud messenger also Kalidasa has portrayed the Indian natural beauty brilliantly. Being the superb custodian of Indian literary traditions he has successfully incorporated nature's and human feelings and desires. In the meghaduta, Kalidasa has used a cloud: the very natural phenomenon to become the messenger of the yaksha, who was spending an ascetic's life devoid of his wife's love without which he was unable to live happily. Kalidasa has successfully described the natural human feelings of delight and agony and has also generously used various similes as well as metaphors to show the degree of delight and agony (in the meghaduta the poet has used various kinds of rasas such as the sringara Rasa, karuna Rasa and so on).Moving back to Abhigyanamshakuntalam, the poet has described Shakuntala as the daughter

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