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5-Mahaakavi Kaalidaas
See also    Kaali Daas

Kaalidaas has been a great Kavi (poet) of all times in India. An interesting story is in vogue as how he became a Kavi.

There was a girl named Vidyottamaa who was very intelligent. Her parents were looking for a groom for her, but she was so intelligent that she did not want to marry any boy who was less intelligent than her. So she had put a condition that she will marry only that boy who will defeat her in Shaastra discussions. Many boys who wanted to marry her, came to her but got defeated and thus could not marry her. Vidyottamaa's parents were also very sad and worried at this, but they could not help.

After a while some boys who were not able to marry her, got together and planned to marry her with a fool. So they set off on their journey in search of a fool. One of them happened to be in a forest. He saw a young boy cutting the same branch of the tree on which he was sitting on. He thought for a while and came to conclusion that nobody could be a greater fool than him, who was cutting the same branch on which he was sitting on.

So he called him and trained him not to speak anything whatever happened, but to use only signs to express himself. This will lead him to marry a very intelligent girl. After the boys had trained him, and got assured that he would do whatever they had told him to do, they took him to Vidyottamaa and said - "He is a very intelligent boy but he does not speak. You can have your Shaastra discussion with him." So the discussion started.

Vidyottamaa started the discussion and she showed him one finger, with the intention that "God was one". The boy thought that she wanted to pierce his one eye, he got angry at this and he immediately showed two fingers at her, with the intention that "if she would pierce his one eye, he would pierce her both the eyes. "Vidyottamaa asked his friends what did he mean by showing her his two fingers. They explained her that he believed in "Dwaitvaad" - that there were two - God and Soul. They both had some more questions and answers but finally the boys made the foolish boy win and both got married.

As they lived together, Vidyottamaa knew that she has been deceived and she has been married to the most foolish boy of the world. One day she got so frustrated that she threw him out of the house saying that unless he becomes worthy to be her husband, he should not show his face to her and when he will come to him, she would ask him "Asti Kashchid Vaagaartiyaam" - means "Is there anything special in expression?" If his answer would satisfy her, their relationship would continue. The boy left the house and went away.

Lot of time passed. The boy composed three verses at the beginning of "Kumaarsambhav", "Meghdoot" and "Raghuvansh" which start with "Asti" (there is), "Kashchid" ("something" and "Vaak" (expression), to prove himself to his wife. One midnight a knock came on the door of Vidyottamaa and a voice was heard "open the door" in a very refined Sanskrit. She thought who could be at her door at this odd hour. She got up and opened the door, Lo, her husband was standing at the door. She could not believe her ears, she welcomed him in her house and then both lived happily.
[This story is written in a 5-act play written by Dr Krishna Kumar in Sanskrit language - "Asti Kashchid Vaagaartiyam", means "Is there anything special in expression?"]

The same boy was known as Kaalidaas. He is Shakespeare of Sanskrit language. He has written many dramas in Sanskrit language, his most known works are -
"Abhigyaan Shaakuntalam" (Play: about King Dushyant and Shakuntalaa),
"Maalvikaagnimitra" (Play: story of King Agnimitra and Princess Maalvikaa),
"Vikramovasheeya" (Play: story of Pururavaa and Urvashee),
"Meghdoot" (Poem: Clouds as messenger),
"Kumaarsambhav" (Poem: story of getting a son by Shiv and Paarvatee - Kaartikeya),
"Raghuvansh" (Poem: story of Raam)

Nothing much is known about him except his works, as where he lived or when he lived. Some historians attribute that he was one of the 9 gems of Vikramaaditya's court in Ujjain. (the same Vikramaaditya whose Vikram and Vaitaal stories are famous). Legend also has it that he was murdered by a courtesan in Sri Lankaa during the reign of Kumaardaas.

Two stories  Incident-1 and Incident-2 are very famous about him in relation to Raajaa Bhoj.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/05/13