Kumar Sambhav

Topics: Shiva, Parvati, Sanskrit words and phrases Pages: 9 (2911 words) Published: March 13, 2011
Kumarsambhav :the birth of war god
Kumārasambhava is a Sanskrit epic poem by Kālidāsa; the first eight cantos (sargas) are accepted as his authorship [1], the last nine may be later additions. The period of composition is uncertain, Kalidasa is thought of as having lived in the 5th c. AD. Kumarsambhava is widely regarded as one of Kalidasa's finest works, a paradigmatic example of Kāvya poetry. The style of description of spring set the standard for nature metaphors pervading many centuries of Indian literary tradition[ Kumārasambhava literally means "Birth of Kumara", i.e. Kartikeya. This epic of seventeen cantos entails Shringara Rasa, the rasa of love, romance, and eroticism, more than Vira rasa (the rasa of heroism). Tarakasur, a rakshasha (or demon) was blessed that he could be killed by none other than Lord Shiva's son, however, Shiva had won over Kama-deva (the god of love). Parvati performed great tapasya (or spiritual penance) to win the love of Lord Shiva. Consequently, Shiva and Parvati's son Kartikeya is born and kills Tarakasur to restore the glory of Indra, the king of Gods.

One of Kalidasa's greatest works is 'Kumarasambhava'. Critics maintain that Kalidasa wrote only the first eight chapters of the epic poem. The work describes the marriage of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. It begins with a fine description of that giant among mountains, the Himalaya. Kalidasa writes: "Himalaya is rich in life. Living there are the Siddhas. Kinnaras and Vidyadhara beauties. Clouds in front of the caves look like curtains. You can trace the track of lions' by looking at the precious stones spilled from the heads of elephants and not by bloodstains. You have to know the paths they tread by recognizing 'Sarala' trees against whose stem the elephants rub themselves attracted by the sweet milk exuded by the trees. All the things needed for a sacrifice ('Yajna') are available here. Brahma (the God of creation) himself has made this the king of the mountains." It is not only a place for lovers who want to find happiness in life; it is also an ideal retreat for those who want to meditate.

Parvati is the daughter of Parvataraja, the King of the Himalayas. In course of time she blossomed into a girl of matchless beauty. She was very good-looking, like a fine portrait drawn by a master-painter. Women wear jewelry with a feeling that their beauty is enhanced by it. But the neck of Parvati appeared to enhance the beauty of the necklace itself. Parvati's speech was sweet as the playing of the Veena. And her bearing reminded one of a deer.

Narada, a great sage in our epics, is a wandering minstrel. He once came to the court of Parvataraja, and predicted that the king's daughter would marry Lord Shiva. But Parvataraja was doubtful whether Lord Shiva would accept the bride. Neither he volunteered to ask Shiva nor did the latter came forward to ask for the hand of Parvati. Shiva was in penance atop one of the biggest mountains in the Himalayas. Parvataraja sent his daughter to serve the Lord who acquiesced to have her near him. Parvati served him with utmost, pure hearted devotion; she would daily cleanse his place of penance, and keep ready the articles of 'Tapas' like pure water, leaves of grass, flowers, etc.

While Shiva sat thus in penance, a 'Rakshasa' named Tarakasura began to trouble the Devas. They, in panic, went to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, and sought salvation. He told them that Parvati had. To marry Lord Shiva and that the son born out of their wedlock would be able to defeat demon Taraka. But then, how to make Lord Shiva, in deep penance to awake physically and consent to marry Parvati?

Devendra is the king of the Devas. One of the Gods at his court was Kama (Manmatha) whose wife was the beautiful Rati. Kama had the capacity to make any one desire to marry.Devendracommanded him to see that Lord Shiva would develop a wish to marry Parvati. Kama, Rati and their friend Vasanta...
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