The Birth of Kumara by Kalidasa
(Clay Sanskrit Library)

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To read the Birth alongside old Sanskrit commentaries was to have a medieval guide to an ancient text. It was to be able to knit the past together.
-NPR

Synopsis

This court epic describes events leading up to the birth of Kumára, the war god who will defeat the demon Táraka. The gods try to use Kama, the Indian Cupid, to make the ascetic god Shiva fall in love with the daughter of the Himalaya mountain. Kama fails, and is burnt to ashes by the angry Shiva. Then Parvati, the daughter of the mountain, herself turns to asceticism to win the husband she longs for. She is successful, and the climax of the poem is the marriage and lovemaking of Shiva and Parvati, parents of the universe.

The greatest long poem in classical Sanskrit, by the greatest poet of the language, Kali·dasa's The Birth of Kumára is not exactly a love story but a paradigm of inevitable union between male and female, played out on the immense scale of supreme divinity. In this court-epic, the events are described leading up to but not including the birth of Kumára, the war god destined to defeat the demon Táraka.

Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation

For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org

 

About Kalidasa

See more books from this Author
George David Smith is clinical professor of economics, entrepreneurship, and innovation and is academic director of the executive MBA degree programs at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
 
Published February 1, 2005 by Clay Sanskrit. 360 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Aatish Taseer on Nov 05 2012

To read the Birth alongside old Sanskrit commentaries was to have a medieval guide to an ancient text. It was to be able to knit the past together.

Read Full Review of The Birth of Kumara (Clay San... | See more reviews from NPR

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