Literature

Kālidāsa and Similes (Part 1)

Kālidāsa is known as the master of similes. The Sanskrit tradition has proclaimed it as ‘Upamā Kālidāsasya.’ The variety, depth and appropriateness of his similes remains unsurpassed to this day. A study of his similes is itself an education in many branches of knowledge. Instead of confining ourselves strictly to the similes, we can look at the superset called sādṛṣyamūlālaṅkāra. Dṛṣṭānta (Analogy) and atiśayokti (hyperbole) also fall into the same category. The following selection from his works will be a veritable treat to rasikas.

Rasa and Imagination in Classical Indian Poetry

III

We shall now turn to the role of idiomatic language in poetry. As we all know, idiom is the life of any language. It is the hallmark of a great poet to employ idioms in his verses. At the same time, this is also a challenge, as idioms are generally easier to fit into a prose passage. Here are a few examples from languages other than Sanskrit:

Emotions and Imagination in Classical Indian Poetry

The focus of this article, as evident from the title, is on the role played by meter, idiom, diction and figures of speech—features that enrich the total aesthetic appeal of a poem—in classical Indian poetry. Art is created when emotions are sublimated and imagination is brought into action. Emotions moulded by imagination (pratibhā)—with or without the assistance of erudition (vyutpatti) and practice (abhyāsa)—result in a work of art, while mere emotions end up in their worldly destination of pain and pleasure.

Kālidāsa and India

Perhaps there is no other poet in Sanskrit or any other Indian language who has described the mythology, knowledge, geography, flora and fauna of our country in such vivid and intimate detail as Kālidāsa has. This is the primary reason why he should be our national poet. For him, no place was just a mass of land; no river just a mass of water; no city just a mass of people; and no Indian value just a thought. This can be seen from many illustrations in his works.

Kālidāsa – Our National Poet

India is home to a unique and vibrant civilization. It is unique for being the only ancient civilization to have survived the test of time. The ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Assyrian cultures are only of academic interest today. Even the not-so-ancient Greek civilization has been wiped out clean from its homeland. But the Vedic civilization of India, which has its origins in the Sindhu-Saraswati river basins, is very much alive today.

The New ‘Aṣṭādhyāyī’ – A 21st Century Approach to Sanskrit Learning (Part 1)

This paper by Shashi Kiran B N and Hari Ravikumar was presented at the international conference New Frontiers in Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge in June 2017 organized by the Chinmaya International Foundation.

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Abstract

Sanskrit, one of the greatest gifts of India to the world, is unique in many ways. The Pāṇinian system of grammar, logical in its structure and exhaustive in its delineation, gave the language great strength in terms of word-generation ability, brevity, and freedom from ambiguity.