Kathāmṛta - 83 - Śaśāṅkavatī-lambaka - The Story of Kamalākara and Haṃsāvalī, and Bhīmaparākrama's adventures

The prince rode with his army to the borders of Vidiśānagara and sent word through an emissary to king Meghamālin seeking the hand of princess Haṃsāvalī. An elated Meghamālin himself came to meet Kamalākara and said “O prince! You need not have ridden so far for this. You had to but only send a missive expressing this noble wish of yours. I am indeed in favour of this alliance. Let me tell you why. When Haṃsāvalī was only a little girl, I was worried as to who might someday marry her. So much, in fact, that I became bedridden with fever.

Kālidāsa - 4

Kauśikī’s words of praise upon seeing Mālavikā perform are noteworthy. Her response is in the form of a verse, whose second half provides incredible insights into all major forms of art including poetry. She says: bhāvo bhāvaṃ nudati viṣayād rāgabandhaḥ sa eva (2.8). It roughly means: “One emotion inspires the next, covering the whole range of feelings. This is how a passionate recital looks like!” We can broadly relate this to literary aesthetics in the following manner. Bodily movements in dance can be likened to words that constitute the form of poetry.

Kathāmṛta - 82 - Śaśāṅkavatī-lambaka - The Story of Māyāvaṭu, The Story of Bhīmaparākrama, and The Story of Kamalākara and Haṃsāvalī

Now, I will explain the meaning of the phenomenon you saw in the lake. The incidents there indicate what will befall Mṛgāṅkadatta in the future. He is the lion cub; his ministers are his ten arms. His father, who is like the hunter shooed him away from his kingdom, i.e., the forest, out of anger. He heard of the fame of Śaśāṅkavātī, who is born in avanti; as he rushed towards her, he got stuck in a whirlwind, symbolized by the net and lost his arms which were the ministers. Following this, Vināyaka put them all back in place and he regained his original state.

Kathāmṛta - 81 - Śaśāṅkavatī-lambaka - The Story of Śrutadhī and The Story of Vimalabuddhi

He was delighted to see Vinayavatī who was gathering flowers on the river bank while he was on the way to take bath. He bathed and by the time he came back, the parents of Vinayavatī - Tārāvalī and Raṅkumālin- had arrived. Raṅkumālin welcomed him and gave his daughter’s hand to him in marriage and also gave him a divine chariot. ‘Rule the earth bound by the four oceans with Vinayavatī!’, blessed Vijitāśu.

Kālidāsa - 3

Unless poetry caters to people with varying tastes, it will not find a strong footing. It naturally follows that the poet should know the ways of the world well. He should be capable of portraying its various dimensions in subtle and intricate ways as the occa-sion demands. Now the question arises: How does a poet acquire this ability? By gaining an insight into the forces that propel the activities of the world—the three guṇas—sattva, rajas and tamas.