The Birth and Growth of Pārvatī
Another noteworthy element visible in Kathā-sarit-sāgara is the amiability within society - even those days there were religions, castes, occupations, and good and bad people; but they did not clash due to these differences; even the principles of Buddhism which are termed Cārvāka or Nāstika (atheist), merged with Hindu traditions like milk and water. Within the same families there were people who followed different paths; wonder why people should brawl over this! What do we have to profit from bickering over which god is great?
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.