Story of Kalidasa


This is the story of Kalidasa which I had heard from my father.

There was a girl of great beauty and knowledge and daughter of a King.

She decided that she would marry only that man who would
defeat her in knowledge.

The King arranged a big hall. This was divided into two portions.
In one portion sat the princess and in the other portion the contenders
and many pandits. In between there was a big screen.

Even after debates for many days, there was no one who could defeat
the princess. A few of them wanted to play a trick on her. Why they
were traveling they found one shepherd cutting the branch of a tree
sitting on the wrong side. If the branch would be cut the person cutting
also would fall down. The pundits thought that this person was the best
fool available. They invited him to come down and wanted to him to the
princess, He was given a good dress and was asked not to speak anything.

He was taken to the debating hall. There was a big curtain between the princess
and the audience. There was a big painting on the curtain of Ravana. As soon as
the shepherd saw the painting he shouted "abbabbata raabhanaa".

The princess objected to the pronunciation "raabhana." The scholars assembled
there said that it was the correct way saying –

"bhakaarah kumbhakarnesti
bhakaarosti vibhishane /
tasmat rakhasa rajoyam
raabhano na tu raavanah //

They declared the princess defeated. She had to marry that fool.

The princess pondered over her fate. She asked the fool to go the
Kali temple and shut himself inside the temple and wait for Kali.
Kali had gone on her midnight tour. When she returned the shepherd
did not open the door. Kali asked him what he wanted. He said he
wanted knowledge. She asked him to show his tongue. She then
wrote something on his tongue. Immediately he became a poet
and started reciting "shyamalaa dandakam. This is his first composition.
Then onwards he was called Kalidasa.

After becoming Kalidasa he went to his princess wife. She asked him
"asti kaschit vaagarthah". Do you have any knowledge.

Then Kalidasa composed three poems –

astyuttarsyaam disi devataama etc. Kumarasambhava.

kaschit kaanthaa viraha gurunaa etc Meghasandesa

vaagarthaaviva sampriktau etc Raghuvamsa.

Kalidasa is the highest of all Sanskrit Poets.

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