Naravāhanadatta who comes as a part of the Bṛhatkathā is special because of the streams of ‘knowledge’ he specialises in. There are stories where vāmācāra is practised and vetālas play prominent roles. They do not dazzle like the Pāṇḍavas who were filled with quialities of brilliant dharma and vīra. In the Bṛhatkathā, kāpālikas play a more important role as against the yājñikas. It is for this reason that Bāṇa-bhaṭṭa says:
समुद्दीपित कन्दर्पा कृतगौरी प्रसाधना।
हरलीलेव नो कस्य विस्मयाय बृहत्कथा ||
Kālidāsa designs his epic poem as though to bring out the philosophical journey first from the wholly material to the absolutely spiritual. The poem then tapers back to the material, but now bolstered by the spiritual. In other words, the poem begins with the most expansive elements of animated āhārya, moves on to the finer and personal elements of āhārya, proceeds into highs and lows of āṅgika and vācika and culminates in sāttvika.
The place of Kathā-sarit-sāgara in literature
The current series of articles attempts to examine the merits and difficulties in bringing Caturvidhābhinaya in classical literature. The epic poems, i.e., the mahākāvyas of Kālidāsa have stood the test of time and are known for their rich content, magnificent plots, impactful modes of expression and profound spirit. The Kumārasambhava, though smaller among the two mahākāvyas of Kālidāsa, gives aesthetic delight in a concentrated form in a shorter span.
If milk needs to get fermented into curd, both the milk and the curd should be of the right quality and quantity. Neither should cause imbalance – there will be no curd either if the milk is boiled too much or if the fermenting curd is sour – it is the same with a family – for it to function well, both the parties should gel well with each other – one person’s loss of wisdom is sufficient for the equilibrium to be disturbed. One party becoming crooked will sink the family.
Some people, even as they utter words as hurting as the kick of a donkey, say thus with knit faces: ‘I don’t retain any filth within; I don’t say one thing and mean another; I lay forth everything that’s inside, out in the open’. Saying so, they pat themselves in the back over their transparent and straightforward ways. This is not an admirable trait; for, after all, what issues out clearly shows what lay within, isn’t it? If one’s speech can hurt others, keeping it to oneself is the right thing to do; silence is golden.
“Lincoln who was the elected leader of America (1870) suffered because of the harsh words his wife spoke every minute, each day – it was as good as him dying. Her words churned his insides, but yet, he held on to his life. Lincoln’s wife troubled him just as one would torture one’s enemy. He tolerated it all, without speaking a word. Yet, we can say that she was a bit kinder than Tolstoy’s wife, who mercilessly humiliated her husband publicly – and quite often did so.