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The Birth of Kumára by Kalidasa
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The Birth of Kumára

by Kalidasa

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I love the Clay Sanskrit Library. The books are similar to the Loeb Classical Library and if you're a book geek like I am, there's nothing better than this. The Birth of Kumara is one of Kalidasa's major works and outlines the courtship of Kumara's parents -- Shiva and Parvati -- prior to his birth. I'm no Sanskritist, but I still wish they'd include the actual Devanangari scrip in these editions, but I guess the cost of doing so might make the editions cost too much. The language of the text is beautiful and engaging. It's great that these sort of texts -- pretty much ignored in the west -- are now available. ( )
  dmcolon | Sep 15, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0814740081, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:16 -0400)

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