Controversy of Kaalidaas
There were 3 Kaalidaas stated by Raajashekhar in his Kaavya Meemaansaa.
नकेनचित ्। शृङ्गारे
A fourth person Harishen also
had a pseudonym as Kaalidaas as stated in Krishn Charit of Samudragupt.
(1) One Kaalidaas was in the
court of Vikramaaditya. He has stated in his Jyotirvid Bharan (34 BC) that
prior to that he had written 3 epics (Raghuvansh, Kumaar Sambhav, Meghadoot).
Date given by him has been disputed by S B Dixit, but if one analyses
reasons and logic of change of month from bright half to dark half (Poornimaant
month) in Vikramaaditya period, his dates are highly accurate. Details are
in 'Vikramaaditya'. (2) Second Kaalidaas was the author of 3 dramas during
the period of Agnimitra (151-141 BC) as indicated in ending sentence of Malavikagnimitram.
--Harishen was slightly before Shree Harsh (456 BC) whose Raghu Charit was
the basis of Raghuvnash.
--Maatrigupt was with Shree Harsh who had made him king of Kashmeer for 5
years after the death of Pravarasen who was without any son (Raaj Taranginee)
(3) Third Kaalidaas was contemporary of Raajaa Bhoj, the King of Maalava who
had helped Prophet Mohammad, as per Islaamik history published by Ahmadiyaa
organization. He was a Taantrik and Ashu-kavi whose stray poems are famous
as dialog between Raajaa Bhoj and Kaalidaas. In his "Chid-gagan Chandrikaa",
he has stated his place near Poonaa of Mahaaraashtra.
Kaalidaas has been a great poet of his
times. Although the time of his existence is not certain, but he is believed to be the
poet in Vikramaaditya's court.
Bhavishya Puraan, 3/17
says that he was living in the court of Raajaa Bhoj of Shaalivaahan Vansh. He holds
the same status in Indian literature as Shakespeare hold in English literature. His works
are based on Hindu religious literature. Not much is known about him and is life except
How Kaalidaas Became a Poet?
There is another interesting story about how he became the great poet. It is similar
to the story of
There was a very learned woman named Vidyottamaa. She was so learned that
she was always on the look out of more learned person than herself. Finding
many people less learned than herself, she declared that she would marry only
that boy who will be more learned than herself. Many boys came but nobody could
compete with her abilities. So a few defeated boys thought as she was very
proud of her wisdom, she should be made fool somehow. They started looking for a
fool so that they can manage to marry her with that fool. Once they were passing
through a forest that they saw a man cutting the same branch of a tree on which
he was sitting. They thought "who can be a greater fool than him who is
cutting the same branch on which he was sitting", so they asked him to come
down from the tree and explained the whole matter. They told him they would marry
him to a very good woman if he will do what they say to him.
The man got very happy to
hear this and agreed with their condition. Their main condition was that
during the conversation or discussion he would not speak at all, he would
use only signals to convey his thoughts or ideas. So those men took him to
that girl's house and invited her to have discussion with Kaalidaas. The
girl got ready with all their strange conditions. She showed her one finger
to him with the purpose to say that "God is one". Kaalidaas thought,
"she wants to pierce my one eye, so I will pierce her both eyes";
thinking thus he showed her his two fingers. On asking its meaning the men
replied that he wanted to say that "God are two - Aatmaa and
In the same way the discussion
proceeded with signals and the men were able to convince her that she had
lost. So she had to marry Kaalidaas. But when she tried to talk to him in
Sanskrit language (as it was the language at that time), he could not even
talk properly. Vidyuttamaa got very angry at this and in anger he sent Kaalidaas
out of the house saying, "Do not come here until you can defeat me."
Kaalidaas also went out and got very sad abut the whole situation. He started
his studies and became very learned.
Later one night, he knocked at
Vidyottamaa's door and said "Open the door" in Sanskrit. Vidyottamaa
opened the door. She did not recognize the man so she asked in Sanskrit - "Who
are you?" And Kaalidaas replied her in beautiful Sanskrit. She was very
much surprised and delighted to see her husband back and then they lived together
How Kaalidaas Became a Poet-Another Story
Wikipedia gives one story. According to it, Kaalidaas was very handsome which brought
him to the attention of a princess who married him. However, as legend has it, Kaalidaas
had grown up without much education, and the princess was ashamed of his ignorance and
coarseness. A devoted worshipper of Kaalee (by other accounts she was Goddess Saraswatee),
Kaalidaas is said to have called upon his goddess to help him when he was going to commit
suicide in a pond after he was humiliated by his wife, and was rewarded with a sudden and
extraordinary gift of wit. He is then said to have become the most brilliant of the "nine
gems" at the court of the king Vikramaaditya of Ujjain. Legend also has it that he was
murdered by a courtesan in Sri Lankaa during the reign of Kumaar Daas.
Kaalidaas in the King Bhoj's Court
Read his two stories in
His characters of his plays are from Shung Dynasty only, still people believe that
he was one of the nine gems of Vikramaaditya's court. His works include -
(1) Maalavikaagnimitra - This is the story of Maalavikaa and Agnimitra of
Shung Dynasty who
sat on the throne in c 152 BC, this proves that he did not live before 152 BC.
Besides the dialect of Praakrit language used by some of his minor characters
show that he could not have lived before the 3rd century AD. One scientist
conducted a thorough research on Kaalidaas and after analyzing 627 archaeological
evidences which included 104 sculptures, 30 pictures and 493 scriptural words
determined that Kaalidaas lived in the period 370-450 AD.
(2) Vikramorvasheeyam - A play
about Pururavaa and Urvashee
(3) Kumaarsambhav - An epic poem. It is about Kaarttikeya, the son of Shiv
and Paarvatee. Kumaargupt was the son of Chandragupt II Vikramaaditya. This
play could be the tribute to any of these two.
(4) Raghuvansh - An epic poem. The mention of
Hoon in Raghuvansh could be a veiled reference to the victory of Hoon over Skandgupt.
Alternatively the campaign of Raghu may have been modeled on Chandragupt Vikramaadity's
(5) Abhigyaan Shaakuntalam (of Shakuntalaa recognized by a token)
(6) Ritu Sanhaar - describes the six seasons by narrating the experiences of
two lovers in each of the seasons.
(7) Meghdoot - Megh (Baadal or clouds) as messenger, story of a Yaksh trying to send a
message to his beloved through clouds. Set this poem into the "Mandaakraantaa"
meter (Chhand) known for its lyrical
sweetness. It is one of Kaalidaas' most popular poems and numerous commentaries on the
work have been written.
Kaali Daas has written a book as "Jyotirvid Aabharan" and that is the only
text which indicates that Raghuvansh, Kumaarsambhav and Meghdoot were written by Kaalidaas,
not stated in those texts themselves. The 3 epics are being taught as Kaalidaas work on
that basis only for 2000 years with commentaries by Malla Naath etc.