This volume contains five Kavyas of Kalidasa: Srngaratilaka, Rtusamhara, Meghaduta, Kumarasambhava and Raghuvamsa.
Srngaratilaka and Rtusamhara display the poetic imagination of his early youth. The Meghaduta is the work of his advanced years. The Kumarasambhava and Raghuvamsa are the works of his mature age. His kavyas are praised for the happy choice of his subjects, for his illustrations derived from nature and human life. In this volume the text is followed by English translation. Each and every kavya is prefixed with an English Introduction or an Editorial Note. The general introduction has been incorporated in the Introduction to the text of Raghuvamsa to which notes are added to discuss the passages where the commentators differ in their interpretation.
Kalidasa is known as the best of Indian poets and dramatists. Part I of his works was published by us in 1966. It was reprinted in 1972, 1977, 1981. That part contains his three plays: Malavikagnimitram, Vikramorvasiyam and Abhijnanasakuntalam. Therein Sanskrit Text is printed side by side with English translation and followed by notes at the end. A short introduction is prefixed to each play while an alphabetical list of verses and a metrical table are put in appendix.
The present part (no.2) treats of the Kavyas of Kalidasa- Srngaratilakam, Rtusamharam, Meghadutam, Kumarasambhavam and Raghuvamsam. The general pattern being the same, this part deviates from the previous one in certain respect, for instance, here the order of arrangement is governed by chronology and not by preference. Srngratilaka and Rtusamhara are the productions of the poet's early youth, Meghaduta is a work of his youthful day, Kumarasambhava and Raghuvamsa are the works of his advanced age. In regard to the serial order of these works scholars have differed. But we have followed the chronological order as accepted by most scholars. To mention a few more deviations, Sanskrit text in this part is followed by English translation verse by verse, exhaustive notes have been added to Raghuvamsa to discuss, in particular, the passages where the commentators have differed.
The reader should also note that each and every kavya in this part is prefixed either with an introduction or an editorial note. As to the general Introduction, it may be stated that the same has been incorporated in the introduction to the text of Raghubamsa. It has been considered unnecessary to repeat the same in the preliminary pages of this book.
It is possible that the reader may not agree with the translator on the interpretation of certain passages. But he will certainly admire the translators originality of thought and the elegance of expression in the rendering of controversial text. We find that ancient Sanskrit commentators too have differed in the exposition of certain verses. Then why not our learned translator?
We are extremely grateful to scholars who have offered their suggestion for improving this work. They will be pleased to note that most of their suggestion have been adopted in this text.
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