Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Madhya Prades State
UjjainUjjain pronunciation (help·info) (also known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantikapuri), is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River (Hindi: क्षिप्रा), today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.
In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini. As mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, Ujjayini was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom, and has been the Prime Meridian for Hindu geographers since the 4th century BCE. Ujjain is regarded as one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus. It is one of the four sites that host the Kumbh Mela (also called the Simhastha Mela), a mass pilgrimage that attracts millions of Hindu pilgrims from around the country. It is also home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva. An ancient seat of learning, Ujjain is the place where Lord Krishna, along with Balarama and Sudama, received his education from Maharshi Sandipani.
There is an interesting tale behind the sanctity of the city. Its origin is ascribed to the mythological legend of Sagar Manthan (churning of the primordial ocean to discover the pot of nectar). The story goes that after the nectar was discovered, there was a chase between the gods and the demons to have the nectar first so as to attain immortality. During this chase a drop of nectar spilled and fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred. According to legend, the river Kshipra that flows across Ujjain is regarded to have originated due to the churning of the gods and goddesses.
Apart from the mythological legends, the city has a long and distinguished history: it has witnessed legendary rulers including the renowned king Chandragupta II, great scholars such as Brahmagupta and Bhaskaracharya, and literary gems like Kalidasa.
Today, however, Ujjain represents an interesting blend of an age-old legacy and the modern-day lifestyle: even as the city and its people move forward on the path of rapid change and development, they are faced with the intriguing challenge of not losing touch with the cultural heritage of this ancient city and its unique place in the history of Indian civilization.
History of UjjainThe early history of Ujjain is lost in the midst of hoary antiquity. By the 6th century B.C. Avanti with its capital at Ujjaini, is mentioned in Buddhist literature as one of the four great powers along with Vatsa, Kosala and Magadha. Ujjain lay on the main trade route between North India and Deccan going from Mathura via Ujjain to Mahismati (Maheshwar) on the Narmada, and on to Paithan on the Godavari, western Asia and the West. The Northern black polished ware—the NBP as it is often called which is technically the finest pottery of the time, with a brilliantly burnished dressing almost of the quality of a glaze in colour from jet black to a deep grey or metallic blue and iron—found their way to the northern Deccan from the Gangetic plains through Ujjain. The articles of export to western Asia such as precious stones and pearls, scents and spices, perfumes, silks and muslin, reached the port of Brighukachcha from the remote north through Ujjain.
The earliest references to the city, as Avantika, are from the time of Gautama Buddha, when it was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom. Since the 4th century B.C. the city has marked the first meridian of longitude in Hindu geography. It is also reputed to have been the residence of Ashoka (who subsequently became the emperor), when he was the viceroy of the western provinces of the Mauryan empire.
In the Post-Mauryan period, the city was ruled by the Sungas and the Satavahanas consecutively. It was contested for a period between the Satavahanas and the Ror Sakas (devotees of Shakumbari), known as Western Satraps; however, following the end of the Satavahana dynasty, the city was retained by the Rors from the 2nd to the 4th century CE. Ujjain is mentioned as the city of Ozene in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, an antique Greek description of sea ports and trade centers in the western Indian Ocean. Following the enthroning of the Gupta dynasty, the city soon became an important seat in the annals of that empire. Ujjain is considered to be the traditional capital of King Chandragupta II, also known as Vikramaditya, at whose court the nine poets known as the navaratna (nine jewels) of Sanskrit literature are said to have flourished.
In the 10th and 11th centuries, Ujjain was a major centre of mathematical and astronomical research. The famous mathematicians who worked there included: Brahmagupta, whose book Brahmasphutasiddhanta was responsible for spreading the use of zero, negative numbers and the positional number system to Arabia and Cambodia; Varahamihira, who was the first to discover many trigonometric identities; and Bhaskaracharya, or Bhaskara II, whose book Lilavati broke new ground in many areas of mathematics.
Ujjain was invaded by the forces of the Delhi Sultanate led by Iltutmish in 1235. Under the Mughal emperor Akbar it became the capital of Malwa. During the last half of the 18th century Ujjain was the headquarters of the Maratha leader Scindia. The Scindias later established themselves at Gwalior, and Ujjain remained part of Gwalior state until Indian Independence in 1947. Gwalior state became a princely state of the British Raj after the Maratha defeat in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, and Gwalior, Ujjain, and the neighboring princely states were made a part of the Central India Agency. After Indian independence, the Scindia ruler of Gwalior acceded to the Indian Union, and Ujjain became part of the Madhya Bharat state. In 1956 Madhya Bharat was merged into the Madhya Pradesh state.
MahakalOne of the twelve jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at Mahakaleshwar is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself) deriving currents of power (shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti. The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the south. This is a unique feature upheld by tantric traditions to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the twelve Jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nag Panchami. On the day of Maha Shivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple and worship goes on through the night.
Kumbh MelaMaha Kumbh is the largest religious congregation on earth. History of this festival is given in holy scripture Bhagavata Purana.It is said that when demons become powerful and demigods(in charge of material administration)become too weak than Lord Brahmä and Lord Shiva advice them to pray to the supreme personalty of Godhead Lord Visnu Ujjain is one of the holy city where this event is organised and next kumbh mela will be held in year 2016.
Ancient monuments and places of interest in Ujjain
- The Mahakal Temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, is a famous and venerated Shiva temple. It derives its name from "kaal" meaning end of life - death; the word Mahakaal means Lord of Death. Lord Mahakaleshwar is the presiding deity of the city. The Shivling in this temple is supposed to be the only Jyotirlinga which faces south and hence it is known as Dakshinmukhi or the south-facing lingam. Every year on the day of Maha Shivratri, huge crowds of devotees throng the temple for "darshan". The temple attracts a large congregation of Shiva devotees on the day of Naagpanchami in the month of Saavan. On every Monday of "Saavan", the Lord Shiva idol is taken out in a grand procession through the city which is attended by large numbers of devotees from around the country.
- The Harsidhhi temple is one of the Shaktipeeths, situated at 52 places in India. It is dedicated to the goddess Annapurna and houses the Shri Yantra, a symbol of "shakti" or power.
- Kal Bhairav is a temple on the banks of the Kshipra that is dedicated to the worship of Kal Bhairav, the chief of the eight Bhairavas described in Saivite tradition.
- The Chintaman Ganesh temple is an ancient temple of Lord Ganesha.
- The Mangalnath temple is situated away from the bustle of the city and looks down upon a vast expanse of the Kshipra River. It is regarded as the birthplace of Mars (mangala in Hindi), according to the Matsya Purana.
- The Sandipani Ashram is where Puranic traditions say Shri Krishna received his education, along with Balarama and Sudama, in the ashram of Maharshi Sandipani.
- Gadkalika, situated about two miles from the present town, the deity in this temple is believed to have been worshiped by Kalidasa.
- Siddhavat is an enormous banyan tree on the banks of the Kshipra, considered sacred since the medieval ages.
- The throne of Maharaja Vikramaditya, known as the "seat of judgment (salabanjika throne)" is located in the Rudra Sagar lake.
- The Kaliyadeh Palace, located on the north of the city, is an ancient site that was restored by the erstwhile royal Scindia family of Gwalior. It is believed that there was once a majestic Sun temple at this site.
- The Bharthari caves is an ancient site which has some interesting legends associated with it. It is said that it holds tunnels which lead directly to the four ancient dhams (char dham). These ways were later shut down by Britishers.
- The Observatory (Vedha Shala) built by a Rajput king, Raja Jai Singh II, in the 1720s, is one of the five such observatories in India and features ancient astronomical devices.
- The Siddha Ashram, located between Ramghat and Narshinghat, is known for research in Ayurvedic medicine and Kundalini Shaktipat.
- Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan Temple, of the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) or Hare Krishna Movement, also has a guest house and restaurant, and is a major attraction for tourists, though it is very new on the map of Ujjain.
- The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan museum, located near Chamunda tower, houses many antique objects.
- Canopy (Chhatri or Dewali) of Veer Durgadas Rathore "the Great Warrior and protector of Marwar" at Chakratirth.
- Jain temples: Jai Singh Pura Atishay Kshetra, Tapobhoomi, Avanti Parshwanath, Hanumant Baag, Manibhadradham Bhairavgarh.
- The Kothi Palace presents a sight worth watching in the evening.
- Other important temples are Gopal Mandir, Triveni (Nav Graha Shani Mandir), Maa Waageshwari, Siddhhanath, Prashanti Dham and Shiv Shakti,Gebi Hanuman.
Among seven holy cities of IndiaMoreover, Ujjain is one of seven most holy places for Hindus in India where Varanasi is considered as the holiest of the seven holy cities.
Ayodhyā Mathurā Māyā Kāsi Kāñchī Avantikā IPurī Dvārāvatī chaiva saptaitā moksadāyikāh II — Garuḍa Purāṇa I XVI .14
A Kṣetra is a sacred ground, a field of active power, a place where moksha, final release can be obtained. The Garuda Purana enumerates seven cities as giver of Moksha. They are Ayodhya, Mathura, Māyā (Haridwar), Kāsi (Varanasi), Kāñchī, Avantikā (Ujjain) and Dvārāvatī (Dvārakā)
Various names of UjjainSince Ujjain is one of the oldest cities in India, it has been known by many names:
Story Behind Kumbh MelaHistory: It is described that while Durvasa Muni was passing on the road, he saw Indra on the back of his elephant and was pleased to offer Indra a garland from his own neck. Indra, however, being too puffed up, took the garland, and without respect for Durvasa Muni, he placed it on the trunk of his carrier elephant. The elephant, being an animal, could not understand the value of the garland, and thus the elephant threw the garland between its legs and smashed it. Seeing this insulting behavior, Durvasa Muni immediately cursed Indra to be poverty-stricken, bereft of all material opulence. Thus the demigods, afflicted on one side by the fighting demons and on the other by the curse of Durvasa Muni, lost all the material opulence’s in the three worlds
Lord Indra, Varuna and the other demigods, seeing their lives in such a state, consulted among themselves, but they could not find any solution. Then all the demigods assembled and went together to the peak of Sumeru Mountain. There, in the assembly of Lord Brahma, they fell down to offer Lord Brahma their obeisances, and then they informed him of all the incidents that had taken place.
Upon seeing that the demigods were bereft of all influence and strength and that the three worlds were consequently devoid of auspiciousness, and upon seeing that the demigods were in an awkward position whereas all the demons were flourishing, Lord Brahma, who is above all the demigods and who is most powerful, concentrated his mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus being encouraged, he became bright-faced and spoke to the demigods as follows.
Lord Brahma said: I, Lord Siva, all of you demigods, the demons, the living entities born of perspiration, the living beings born of eggs, the trees and plants sprouting from the earth, and the living entities born from embryos—all come from the Supreme Lord, from His incarnation of rajo-guna [Lord Brahma, the guna-avatara] and from the great sages [rsis] who are part of me. Let us therefore go to the Supreme Lord and take shelter of His lotus feet.
For the Supreme Personality of Godhead there is no one to be killed, no one to be protected, no one to be neglected and no one to be worshiped. Nonetheless, for the sake of creation, maintenance and annihilation according to time, He accepts different forms as incarnations either in the mode of goodness, the mode of passion or the mode of ignorance.
after Lord Brahma finished speaking to the demigods, he took them with him to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is beyond this material world. The Lord’s abode is on an island called Svetadvipa, which is situated in the ocean of milk.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead directly and indirectly knows how everything, including the living force, mind and intelligence, is working under His control. He is the illuminator of everything and has no ignorance. He does not have a material body subject to the reactions of previous activities, and He is free from the ignorance of partiality and materialistic education. I therefore take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, who is eternal, all-pervading and as great as the sky and who appears with six opulence’s in three yugas [Satya, Tretä and Dväpara].
When offered prayers by Lord Siva and Lord Brahms, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Visu was pleased. Thus He gave appropriate instructions to all the demigods. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Ajita, unconquerable, advised the demigods to make a peace proposal to the demons, so that after formulating a truce, the demigods and demons could churn the ocean of milk. The rope would be the biggest serpent, known as Vasuki, and the churning rod would be Mandara Mountain. Poison would also be produced from the churning, but it would be taken by Lord Siva, and so there would be no need to fear it. Many other attractive things would be generated by the churning, but the Lord warned the demigods not to be captivated by such things. Nor should the demigods be angry if there were some disturbances. After advising the demigods in this way, the Lord disappeared from the scene.
One of the item come from the churning of ocean of milk was nectar which will give strength to demigods. For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the gods and demons fought in the sky for possession of this pot of Amrita. From this nectar some drops spills at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik while they were fighting for nectar . So on earth we celebrate this festival to get the pious credits and meet the purpose of life that is going to back to godhead our eternal home where our father is waiting for us. This is opportunity we get after associating with saints or holy man who follow scriptures.
Kumbh mela provides us this great opportunity to purify our soul by bathing in holy river and serving saints
Ujjain is home to Vikram University, which is the second oldest university in Madhya Pradesh, established in 1957. Ujjain Engineering College (UEC) is a government-aided institute that ranks amongst the best engineering colleges in Madhya Pradesh. There are 7 private engineering colleges in the city. The city also has Maharshi Panini Sanskrit aivam Vaidik University. There are two medical colleges in the city: the government-aided Govt. Autonomous Dhanvantri Ayurveda College and R.D. Gardi Medical College, which is a private institute.
SandipaniSandipani, which means "Sage of Gods", was a guru of Lord Krishna. Sandipani was a rishi/muni/saint of Ujjain.
The Sandipani Muni ashram is located 2 km outside Ujjain, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The area near the ashram, known as Ankapata, is popularly believed to have been the place used by Lord Krishna for washing his writing tablets. The numerals 1 to 100 found inscribed on a stone are believed to have been engraved by Guru Sandipani. Near the ashram is the Gomti Kund, a staircased water tank where Krishna supposedly summoned all the holy waters from various centres so that his old Guru, Sandipani Muni would not have to travel other holy places.
The two brothers- Sri Krishna, Balarama and Sudama, while staying as students at Guru Sandipani’s residence, learnt every thing in a single lesson. Upon completion of their studies, they persuaded the teacher to ask for the preceptor’s dakshina (fees) of his liking. Sandipani asked for, as his dakshina, the restoration of his child lost in the ocean at Prabhaas. The two brothers went to Prabhaasa and found that the son was taken by the demon "Shankhasur", who had a HOLY conch named "Paanchajanya", lived under the waters in the shape of a conch. Not finding the son within the conch, Sri Krishna and Balarama took the conch and went to Yama, and blew the conch. Yama worshipped both of them saying, ‘O Vishnu (the all-pervading Lord), disguised as a human being by way of leela (sport), what can we do for you both?’ The glorious Lord said: ‘Impelled by My command, O great ruler, fetch My preceptor’s son, who was brought here as a result of his own Karma.’ Being brought back to life, they handed over to their preceptor his son. Shri Krishna obtained the HOLY conch "Panchajanya" from "Shankhasur". Shri Krishna blew conch Panchajanya along with Arjun's conch devdatta signalling the start of the Mahabharata
Chandragupta IIChandragupta II The Great (Sanskrit: चन्द्रगुप्त विक्रमादित्य; candragupta vikramāditya) was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta empire in northern India. His rule spanned c. 380–413/415 CE, during which the Gupta Empire achieved its zenith, art, architecture, and sculpture flourished, and the cultural development of ancient India reached its climax. The period of prominence of the Gupta dynasty is very often referred to as the Golden Age of India. Chandragupta II was the son of the previous ruler, Samudragupta the Great. He attained success by pursuing both a favorable marital alliance and an aggressive expansionist policy in this which his father and grandfather (Chandragupta I) set the precedent. Samudragupta set the stage for the emergence of classical art, which occurred under the rule of Chandragupta II. Chandragupta II gave great support to the arts. Artists were so highly valued under his rule that they were paid for their work — a rare phenomenon in ancient civilizations.
From 388 to 409 he subjugated Gujarat, the region north of Mumbai, Saurashtra, in western India, and Malwa, with its capital at Ujjain. Culturally, the reign of Chandragupta II marked a Golden Age. This is evidenced by later reports of the presence of a circle of poets known as the Nine Gems in his court. The greatest among them was Kalidasa, who authored numerous immortal pieces of literature including Abhijñānaśākuntalam. The others included Sanskrit grammarian Amara Sinha and the astronomer-mathematician
Mentions in literatureNot much is known about the personal details of Chandragupta II. The most widely accepted details have been built upon the plot of the play Devi-chandraguptam by Vishakadatta. The play is now lost, but fragments have been preserved in other works (such as Abhinava-bharati, Sringara-prakasha, Natya-darpana, Nataka-lakshana Ratna-kosha). There even exists an Arabic work, written in Persia near the Indian subcontinent, Mojmal al-tawarikh (12th century CE) which tells a similar tale of a king whose name appears to be a corruption of 'Vikramaditya'. The name 'Vikramaditya' holds a semi-mythical status in India. India has many interesting stories about King Vikramaditya, his guru Manva-Patwa and his queens. It is widely believed that the great poet in Sanskrit, Kalidasa was one of the jewels of Vikramaditya's royal court.
Early life and coronationChandragupta II's mother, Datta Devi, was the chief queen of Samudragupta the Great. After Samudragupta's death his elder son, Ramagupta, took over the throne and married Chandragupta II's fiance Dhruvaswamini by force. The fragment from Vishakadatta's "Natya-darpana" mentions the king Ramagupta, the elder brother of Chandragupta II, deciding to surrender his queen Dhruvaswamini to the Saka ruler of the Western Kshatrapas Rudrasimha III (r. 388 - 395 CE), after a defeat at the Saka ruler's hands. To avoid the ignominy the Guptas decide to send Madhavasena, a courtesan and a beloved of Chandragupta II, disguised as the queen Dhruvaswamini. Chandragupta II changes the plan and himself goes to Rudrasimha III disguised as the queen. He then assassinates Rudrasimha III and later his brother Ramagupta. Dhruvaswamini is then married to Chandragupta II.
Historians still don't know what liberties the author Vishakadatta took with the incidents, but Dhruvadevi was indeed Chandragupta II's Chief Queen as seen in the Vaisali Terracotta Seal that calls her "Mahadevi" (Chief Queen) Dhruvasvamini. The Bilsad Pillar Inscription of their son Kumaragupta I (r. 414–455 CE) also refers to her as "Mahadevi Dhruvadevi". Certain "Ramagupta" too is mentioned in inscriptions on Jain figures in the District Archaeological Museum, Vidisha and some copper coins found at Vidisha.
The fact that Chandragupta II and Dhruvadevi are the protagonists of Vishakadatta's play indicates that marrying his widowed sister-in-law was not given any significance by the playwright. Later Hindus did not view such a marriage with favour and some censure of the act is found in the Sanjan Copper Plate Inscription of Rashtrakuta ruler Amoghavarsha I (r. 814-878 CE) and in the Sangali and Cambay Plates of the Govinda IV (r. 930-936 CE).
Vakataka-Gupta AgeThe Allahabad Pillar Inscription mentions the marriage of Chandragupta II with a Naga princess Kuberanaga. A pillar from Mathura referring to Chandragupta II has recently been dated to 388 CE.
Chandragupta II's daughter, Prabhavatigupta, by his Naga queen Kuberanaga was married to the powerful Vakataka dynasty ruler Rudrasena II (r.380-385 CE)
His greatest victory was his victory over the Shaka-Kshatrapa dynasty and annexation of their kingdom in Gujarat, by defeating their last ruler Rudrasimha III.
Chandragupta II's son-in-law, the Vakataka ruler Rudrasena II, died fortuitously after a very short reign in 385 CE, following which Queen Prabhavati Gupta (r. 385-405) ruled the Vakataka kingdom as a regent on behalf of her two sons. During this twenty-year period the Vakataka realm was practically a part of the Gupta empire. The geographical location of the Vakataka kingdom allowed Chandragupta II to take the opportunity to defeat the Western Kshatrapas once for all. Many historians refer to this period as the Vakataka-Gupta Age.
Chandragupta II controlled a vast empire, from the mouth of the Ganges to the mouth of the Indus River and from what is now North Pakistan down to the mouth of the Narmada. Pataliputra continued to be the capital of his huge empire but Ujjain too became a sort of second capital. The large number of beautiful gold coins issued by the Gupta dynasty are a testament to the imperial grandeur of that age. Chandragupta II also started producing silver coins in the Saka tradition.
Visit of FaxianFaxian (337 – c. 422 CE) was the first of three great Chinese pilgrims who visited India from the fifth to the seventh centuries CE, in search of knowledge, manuscripts and relics. Faxian arrived during the reign of Chandragupta II and gave a general description of North India at that time. Among the other things, he reported about the absence of capital punishment, the lack of a poll-tax and land tax. Most citizens did not consume onions, garlic, meat, and wine.
End of Chandragupta IIChandragupta II was succeeded by his second son Kumaragupta I, born of Mahadevi Dhruvasvamini.
ReligionFrom Chandragupta II kings of Gupta dynasty are known as Parama Bhagavatas or Bhagavata Vaishnavas.
The Bhagavata Purana entails the fully developed tenets and philosophy of the Bhagavata tradition wherein Krishna gets fused with Vasudeva and transcends Vedic Vishnu and cosmic Hari to be turned into the ultimate object of bhakti.
Main article: Vikram SamvatThe next day after the Hindu festival Diwali is called Padwa or Varshapratipada, which marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya. He was a Hindu king who ruled in first century BCE. The title 'Vikramaditya' was later used by Gupta king Chandragupta II and 16th century Hindu king Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya as well. Vikram-Samvat calendar starts from 57 BCE. The Hindu Vikram-Samvat calendar is celebrated as New Year's Day in Nepal where Vikram Sambat is the official calendar.
INDIAN HINDU & NEPALI
HistoryThis calendar derives its name from the original king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. After the rise of the Rana oligarchs in Nepal, Vikram Sambat came into unofficial use along with the official Shaka Sambat for quite some time. They discontinued Shaka Sambat in its 1823rd year, and replaced it with Vikram Samwat for official use since then to date. Vikram Sambat came into official use in its 1958th year. The calendar is widely in use in western India, where it is known as the Vikram Samvat.
The date is supposed to mark the victory of king Vikramaditya over the Sakas, who had invaded Ujjain. Alternatively, it has been thought by some scholars to correspond to the Azes era, of the Indo-Scythian king Azes I, but this seems to be now thoroughly discredited by Falk and Bennett who place the inception of the Azes era in 47/6 BC.
The story is described in "Kalakacharya Kathanaka", a much later work by a Jain sage called Mahesara Suri (probably circa 12th century CE). The Kathanaka (meaning, "an account") tells the story of a famed Jain monk Kalakacharya. It mentions that Gardabhilla, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati who was the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought the help of the Saka ruler, a Sahi, in Sakasthana. Despite heavy odds (but aided by miracles) the Saka king defeated Gardabhilla and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated, although Gardabhilla himself was forgiven. The defeated king retired to the forest, where he was killed by a tiger. His son, Vikramaditya, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana (in modern Maharashtra). Later on, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away the Sakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the Vikrama era. This story seems to be somewhat jumbled, as the original Vikramaditya began his rule from Ujjain, and not from Pratishthana. The Ujjain calendar started around 56 BCE to 58 BCE, and the subsequent Shalivahan Saka calendar was started in 78 AD at Pratishthan.
CultureThe traditional New Year of Bikram Samwat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes, and participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It occurs in mid-April each year, and coincides with the traditional new year in Assam, Bengal, Maharashtra,Burma, Cambodia, Kerala, Manipur, Orissa, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand.
In addition to Nepal, the Bikram Sambat calendar is also recognized in northern India, eastern India, and in Gujarat among Hindus. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Vesak, known as Visakah Puja or Buddha Purnima in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, Visakha Bucha in Thailand, Waisak in Indonesia and Wesak in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It commemorates the birth, Enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha on the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June. Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays typically fall in the same month (Baishakh) of the Bengali, Hindu, and Theravada Buddhist calendars, and are related historically through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in South Asia.
In Gujarat, the fourth day of Diwali is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar
Bhāskara IIBhāskara (also known as Bhāskara II and Bhāskarāchārya ("Bhāskara the teacher"), (1114–1185), was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. He was born near Vijjadavida (Bijāpur in modern Karnataka). Bhāskara is said to have been the head of an astronomical observatory at Ujjain, the leading mathematical center of ancient India. He lived in the Sahyadri region (Patnadevi, Jalgaon, Maharashtra).
Bhāskara and his works represent a significant contribution to mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the 12th century. He has been called the greatest mathematician of medieval India. His main work Siddhānta Shiromani, (Sanskrit for "Crown of treatises," is divided into four parts called Lilāvati, Bijaganita, Grahaganita and Golādhyāya. These four sections deal with arithmetic, algebra, mathematics of the planets, and spheres respectively. He also wrote another treatise named Karan Kautoohal.
Bhāskara's work on calculus predates Newton and Leibniz by half a millennium. He is particularly known in the discovery of the principles of differential calculus and its application to astronomical problems and computations. While Newton and Leibniz have been credited with differential and integral calculus, there is strong evidence to suggest that Bhāskara was a pioneer in some of the principles of differential calculus. He was perhaps the first to conceive the differential coefficient and differential calculus
FamilyBhaskaracharya was born into a family belonging to the Deshastha Brahmin community. History records his great-great-great-grandfather holding a hereditary post as a court scholar, as did his son and other descendants. His father Mahesvara was as an astrologer, who taught him mathematics, which he later passed on to his son Loksamudra. Loksamudra's son helped to set up a school in 1207 for the study of Bhāskara's writings.
MathematicsSome of Bhaskara's contributions to mathematics include the following:
- A proof of the Pythagorean theorem by calculating the same area in two different ways and then canceling out terms to get a² + b² = c².
- Solutions of indeterminate quadratic equations (of the type ax² + b = y²).
- Integer solutions of linear and quadratic indeterminate equations (Kuttaka). The rules he gives are (in effect) the same as those given by the Renaissance European mathematicians of the 17th century
- A cyclic Chakravala method for solving indeterminate equations of the form ax² + bx + c = y. The solution to this equation was traditionally attributed to William Brouncker in 1657, though his method was more difficult than the chakravala method.
- The first general method for finding the
solutions of the problem x² − ny² = 1 (so-called
"Pell's equation") was given by
- Solutions of Diophantine equations of the second order, such as 61x² + 1 = y². This very equation was posed as a problem in 1657 by the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat, but its solution was unknown in Europe until the time of Euler in the 18th century.
- Preliminary concept of mathematical analysis.
- Preliminary concept of infinitesimal calculus, along with notable contributions towards integral calculus.
- Stated Rolle's theorem, a special case of one of the most important theorems in analysis, the mean value theorem. Traces of the general mean value theorem are also found in his works.
- Calculated the derivatives of trigonometric functions and formulae. (See Calculus section below.)
- In Siddhanta Shiromani, Bhaskara developed spherical trigonometry along with a number of other trigonometric results. (See Trigonometry section below.)
ArithmeticBhaskara's arithmetic text Lilavati covers the topics of definitions, arithmetical terms, interest computation, arithmetical and geometrical progressions, plane geometry, solid geometry, the shadow of the gnomon, methods to solve indeterminate equations, and combinations.
Lilavati is divided into 13 chapters and covers many branches of mathematics, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and a little trigonometry and mensuration. More specifically the contents include:
- Properties of zero (including division, and rules of operations with zero).
- Further extensive numerical work, including use of negative numbers and surds.
- Estimation of π.
- Arithmetical terms, methods of multiplication, and squaring.
- Inverse rule of three, and rules of 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
- Problems involving interest and interest computation.
- Indeterminate equations (Kuttaka), integer solutions (first and second order) . His contributions to this topic are particularly important , since the rules he gives are (in effect) the same as those given by the renaissance European mathematicians of the 17th century , yet his work was of the 12th century. Bhaskara's method of solving was an improvement of the methods found in the work of Aryabhata and subsequent mathematicians.
AlgebraHis Bijaganita ("Algebra") was a work in twelve chapters. It was the first text to recognize that a positive number has two square roots (a positive and negative square root) . His work Bijaganita is effectively a treatise on algebra and contains the following topics:
- Positive and negative numbers.
- The 'unknown' (includes determining unknown quantities).
- Determining unknown quantities.
- Surds (includes evaluating surds).
- Kuttaka (for solving indeterminate equations and Diophantine equations).
- Simple equations (indeterminate of second, third and fourth degree).
- Simple equations with more than one unknown.
- Indeterminate quadratic equations (of the type ax² + b = y²).
- Solutions of indeterminate equations of the second, third and fourth degree.
- Quadratic equations.
- Quadratic equations with more than one unknown.
- Operations with products of several unknowns.
TrigonometryThe Siddhanta Shiromani (written in 1150) demonstrates Bhaskara's knowledge of trigonometry, including the sine table and relationships between different trigonometric functions[ . He also discovered spherical trigonometry, along with other interesting trigonometrical results . In particular Bhaskara seemed more interested in trigonometry for its own sake than his predecessors who saw it only as a tool for calculation . Among the many interesting results given by Bhaskara, discoveries first found in his works include the now well known results for and :
CalculusHis work, the Siddhanta Shiromani, is an astronomical treatise and contains many theories not found in earlier works . Preliminary concepts of infinitesimal calculus and mathematical analysis, along with a number of results in trigonometry, differential calculus and integral calculus that are found in the work are of particular interest.
Evidence suggests Bhaskara was acquainted with some ideas of differential calculus. It seems, however, that he did not understand the utility of his researches, and thus historians of mathematics generally neglect this achievement. Bhaskara also goes deeper into the 'differential calculus' and suggests the differential coefficient vanishes at an extremum value of the function, indicating knowledge of the concept of 'infinitesimals'.
- There is evidence of an early form of Rolle's theorem in his work :
- If then for some with
- He gave the result that if then , thereby finding the derivative of sine, although he never developed the notion of derivatives.
- Bhaskara uses this result to work out the position angle of the ecliptic, a quantity required for accurately predicting the time of an eclipse.
- In computing the instantaneous motion of a planet, the time interval between successive positions of the planets was no greater than a truti, or a ⅟33750 of a second, and his measure of velocity was expressed in this infinitesimal unit of time.
- He was aware that when a variable attains the maximum value, its differential vanishes.
- He also showed that when a planet is at its farthest from the earth, or at its closest, the equation of the centre (measure of how far a planet is from the position in which it is predicted to be, by assuming it is to move uniformly) vanishes. He therefore concluded that for some intermediate position the differential of the equation of the centre is equal to zero. In this result, there are traces of the general mean value theorem , one of the most important theorems in analysis , which today is usually derived from Rolle's theorem . The mean value theorem was later found by Parameshvara in the 15th century in the Lilavati Bhasya, a commentary on Bhaskara's Lilavati.
AstronomyUsing an astronomical model developed by Brahmagupta in the 7th century, Bhaskara accurately defined many astronomical quantities , including, for example, the length of the sidereal year , the time that is required for the Earth to orbit the Sun, as 365.2588 days which is same as in Suryasiddhanta. The modern accepted measurement is 365.2563 days, a difference of just 3.5 minutes.
His mathematical astronomy text Siddhanta Shiromani is written in two parts: the first part on mathematical astronomy and the second part on the sphere.
The twelve chapters of the first part cover topics such as:
- Mean longitudes of the planets.
- True longitudes of the planets.
- The three problems of diurnal rotation.
- Lunar eclipses.
- Solar eclipses.
- Latitudes of the planets.
- Sunrise equation
- The Moon's crescent.
- Conjunctions of the planets with each other.
- Conjunctions of the planets with the fixed stars.
- The patas of the Sun and Moon.
- Praise of study of the sphere.
- Nature of the sphere.
- Cosmography and geography.
- Planetary mean motion.
- Eccentric epicyclic model of the planets.
- The armillary sphere.
- Spherical trigonometry.
- Ellipse calculations.
- First visibilities of the planets.
- Calculating the lunar crescent.
- Astronomical instruments.
- The seasons.
- Problems of astronomical calculations.
LegendsHis book on arithmetic is the source of interesting legends that assert that it was written for his daughter, Lilavati In one of these stories, which is found in a Persian translation of Lilavati , Bhaskara II studied Lilavati's horoscope and predicted that her husband would die soon after the marriage if the marriage did not take place at a particular time. To alert his daughter at the correct time, he placed a cup with a small hole at the bottom of a vessel filled with water, arranged so that the cup would sink at the beginning of the propitious hour. He put the device in a room with a warning to Lilavati to not go near it. In her curiosity though, she went to look at the device and a pearl from her nose ring accidentally dropped into it, thus upsetting it. The marriage took place at the wrong time and she was soon widowed.
Bhaskara II conceived the modern mathematical convention that when a finite number is divided by zero, the result is infinity . In his book Lilavati, he reasons: "In this quantity also which has zero as its divisor there is no change even when many [quantities] have entered into it or come out [of it], just as at the time of destruction and creation when throngs of creatures enter into and come out of [him, there is no change in] the infinite and unchanging [Vishnu]".
KālidāsaKālidāsa (Devanāgarī: कालिदास "servant of Kali") was a renowned Classical Sanskrit writer, widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language. His floruit cannot be dated with precision, but most likely falls within 4th Century AD.
His plays and poetry are primarily based on Hindu Puranas and philosophy
LifeOne sunny day, Kalidasa was sitting on a branch of a tree, trying to saw it off. But the dimwitted man was sitting on the wrong end of the branch, so when he finally sawed through the branch, down he tumbled! This act of sheer stupidity was observed by some shrewd pundits minister passing by.
Now these pundits wanted to play a trick on the arrogant princess, to teach her a lesson. She was determined to marry someone who would defeat her in a debate about the scriptures. The princess had heaped considerable abuse on them over a period of time, and they were determined to extract their revenge. So, when they chanced upon Kalidas, they decided to present him to the queen as a suitable match for her.
In order to conceal his stupidity, the pundits asked Kalidas to pretend that he was a great sage, who was observing a vow of silence. Kalidas readily agreed, and they presented him to the queen, saying that Kalidas would only communicate by way of gestures. When the queen asked Kalidas a few questions to test his intelligence, Kalidas gesticulated wildly and the astute pundits 'interpreted' these gestures as extremely witty answers and retorts. The princess was suitably impressed, and the couple was married without much delay.
Kalidas's stupidity could be concealed for only so long, and the night of the wedding Kalidas blurted out something inane. The princess realized that she had married a prize fool. Furious, she threw him out of her palace, and her life.
The dejected Kalidas wandered around, till he came to the bank of the river. He contemplated taking his life when he suddenly saw some women washing clothes on the edge of the river bank. He observed that the stones which the women were pounding with clothes, were smooth and rounded, while the other stones were rough and ragged. This observation hit him like a thunderbolt, and it dawned upon him that if stones could be worn through and change their shape by being pounded upon by clothes, then why couldn't his thick brains change, by being pounded upon by knowledge!
Kalidas thus grew determined to become the wisest and most learned man in the country, and to achieve this end he started indulging in intellectual pastimes, reading, meditating and praying to his goddess Kali to grant him divine knowledge. His wish was fulfilled.
This is one of the most popular legends about Kalidas. There are several other stories but they lack authenticity. It is likely that "Kali" in his name refers not to goddess "Kali" (the dark one), but to God Shiva, also called Maha Kaal (the great destroyer. "Kaal" meaning time in Sanskrit refers to the end-time, as in your time has come). This is supported by the fact that all his works starts with an invocation to God Shiva and that Ujjain's most famous temple is the "Mahakaleshwar" temple, one of the Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Siva.
It appears Kalidas was at the court of emperor Vikramaditya. The place and time of this king are also not definite. But it can be said with some certainty that Kalidas lived before the 6th century A.D., i.e., about 1400 years ago. But when exactly he lived before the 6th century is not firmly established. Though a deep affection for the city of Ujjain is discernible in his works, it cannot be said with certainty that he lived there. But we can assume that, wherever he may have been born, he had lived at Ujjain.
Kalidas, however, had good knowledge of the whole of Bharat. In his poem 'Meghaduta', his descriptions of mountains and rivers and cities and villages stretching from Ramagiri in Central India up to Alakanagari in the Himalayas are very beautiful. In another epic poem 'Raghuvamsha', Kalidas, while portraying the conquests of emperor Raghu, describes the places and peoples, their modes of living, food-habits and trades and professions, rivers and mountains in almost the whole country—Assam, Bengal and Utkal in the East; Pandya and Kerala in the South and Sind, Gandhara and other places in the North-west.
Reading these pen-pictures, one cannot help but conclude that the poet must have had a personal knowledge of these areas. In short, he must have traveled widely across the length and breadth of the land, seen those places, talked to the people and studied their modes of living.
Kalidas possessed that distinct intellect which makes one a great poet. He was a scholar and his works display his poetic genius as well as scholarship. Also they are marked by a belief of what is good in life and people's noble goals of life. He could describe the rich and wealthy life of a royal palace and the serene, simple and peaceful life at a hermitage with equal understanding. He could, likewise, describe the joys of the marital life of a man and his spouse as well as their pangs of separation. He creates scenes of a serious and thoughtful nature as also hilarious scenes of light comedy. In his works is found an excellent combination of art-consciousness, unmatched wordpower and an unparalleled capacity for vivid portrayals.
DateA terminus ante quem is given by the Aihole Prashasti of 634 AD, which has a reference to his skills; and a terminus post quem can be presumed from his play Mālavikāgnimitra in as much the hero, King Agnimitra of the Shunga dynasty, assumed the throne of Magadha in 152 BC. The linguistic features of the Prakrit dialects used by some of the minor characters in his plays have been adduced to suggest that he could not have lived before the 3rd century AD. There has been great ambiguity regarding the exact date of Kālidāsa but in 1986, Sanskrit scholar Ramchandra Tiwari of Bhopal claims to have conducted a thorough research on Kalidasa and after analysing 627 archaeological evidences which included 104 sculptures, 30 pictures and 493 scriptural words determined that Kalidasa lived in the period 370-450AD
In his works, Kālidāsa did not mention any king as his patron, or any dynasty other than the Shunga dynasty, but several historians have credited the traditional account of Kālidāsa as one of the "nine gems" at the court of a king named Vikramāditya. There were, however, several kings in ancient India by that name. One among them was the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain who founded the Vikrama Samvat following his victory over the Sakas in 56 BCE. Scholars have noted other possible associations with the Gupta dynasty, which would put his date in the range of 300-470 AD:
- His play about a couple in Vedic Puranas, Pururavas and Urvashi, being titled Vikramorvashīya, with "Vikram" for "Pururavas", could be an indirect tribute to a patron possibly named Vikramāditya.
- The mention of Huns in his epic poem, Raghuvaṃśa, could be a veiled reference to the victory over them in 455 of Kumāragupta's son and successor, Skandagupta. Alternatively, the campaign of Raghu in this poem may have been modeled on the celebrated campaigns of Chandragupta II Vikramāditya's father, Samudragupta.
LocationScholars have speculated that Kālidāsa may have lived either near the Himalayas or in the vicinity of Ujjain or in Kalinga. The three speculations are based respectively on Kālidāsa's detailed description of the Himalayas in his Kumārasambhava, the display of his love for Ujjain in Meghadūta and his highly eulogistic quotes for Kalingan emperor Hemāngada in Raghuvaṃśa (sixth sarga).
WorksKālidāsa wrote three plays. Among them, Abhigñānaśākuntalam ("Of Shakuntala recognised by a token") is generally regarded as a masterpiece. It was among the first Sanskrit works to be translated into English, and has since been translated into many languages.
- Mālavikāgnimitram ("Mālavikā and Agnimitra") tells the story of King Agnimitra, who falls in love with the picture of an exiled servant girl named Mālavikā. When the queen discovers her husband's passion for this girl, she becomes infuriated and has Mālavikā imprisoned, but as fate would have it, Mālavikā is in fact a true-born princess, thus legitimizing the affair.
- Abhigñānaśākuntalam ("Of Shakuntala recognised by a token") tells the story of King Dushyanta who, while on a hunting trip, meets Shakuntalā, the adopted daughter of a sage, and marries her. A mishap befalls them when he is summoned back to court: Shakuntala, pregnant with their child, inadvertently offends a visiting sage and incurs a curse, by which Dushyanta will forget her completely until he sees the ring he has left with her. On her trip to Dushyanta's court in an advanced state of pregnancy, she loses the ring, and has to come away unrecognized. The ring is found by a fisherman who recognizes the royal seal and returns it to Dushyanta, who regains his memory of Shakuntala and sets out to find her. After more travails, they are finally reunited.
- Vikramōrvaśīyam ("Pertaining to Vikrama and Urvashi") tells the story of mortal King Pururavas and celestial nymph Urvashi who fall in love. As an immortal, she has to return to the heavens, where an unfortunate accident causes her to be sent back to the earth as a mortal with the curse that she will die (and thus return to heaven) the moment her lover lays his eyes on the child which she will bear him. After a series of mishaps, including Urvashi's temporary transformation into a vine, the curse is lifted, and the lovers are allowed to remain together on the earth.
- Raghuvaṃśa is an epic poem about the kings of the Raghu dynasty.'Raghuvamsha' depicts Indian ancient, historical culture and tradition. Indian ancestors had discussed in detail about such matters as to who could be a good ruler, who is a man of 'tapas' (penance), how one should lead a good, purposeful life and the like. The poet has portrayed diverse characters like Vashishta, Dileepa, Raghu, Aja and others. Agnivarna is an example of a king who could be termed as 'depraved'.
- Kumarasambhava One of Kalidas's greatest works is 'Kumarasambhava'. Critics maintain that Kalidas 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.
- Ṛtusaṃhāra describes the six seasons by narrating the experiences of two lovers in each of the seasons.
- Meghadūta or Meghasāndesa is the story of a Yaksha trying to send a message to his lover through a cloud. Kalidasa set this poem to the 'mandākrānta' meter known for its lyrical sweetness. It is one of Kalidasa's most popular poems and numerous commentaries on the work have been written.
Kālidāsa's poetry is celebrated for its beautiful imagery and use of similes. The following are some specimen verses from his works.
One celebrated example occurs in the Kumārasambhava. Umā (Parvati) has been meditating even throughout the summer, and as the monsoon arrives, the first raindrop falls on her:
nabhaścareṇendhanasaṃbhṛtena ca ।
tapātyaye vāribhir ukṣitā navair
bhuvā sahoṣmāṇam amuñcad ūrdhvagam ॥
sthitāḥ kṣaṇaṃ pakṣmasu tāḍitādharāḥ
valīṣu tasyāḥ skhalitāḥ prapedire
cireṇa nābhiṃ prathamodabindavaḥ ॥
— Kumārasambhava 5.23–24
Still sat Umā though
scorched by various flame
Of solar fire and fires of kindled birth,
Until at summer's end the waters came.
Steam rose from her body as it rose from earth.
With momentary pause the first drops rest
Upon her lash then strike her nether lip,
Fracture upon the highland of her breast,
Across the ladder of her waist then trip
And slowly at her navel come to rest.
— translation by Ingalls
The beauty of this verse is held to result from "the association through suggestion of numerous harmonious ideas". Firstly (as described in Mallinatha's commentary), the description suggests signs of her physical beauty: long eyelashes, pouting lower lip, hard breasts large enough to touch each other, deep navel, and so on. Secondly (as described in Appayya Dikshita's commentary ), it suggests her pose as a perfect yoginī: her motionlessness through pain and pleasure, her posture, and so on. Finally, and more subtly, in comparing the mother goddess to the mother earth, and the rain coursing down her as it courses over the surface of the earth, it suggests earthly fertility. Thus the verse harmoniously brings to mind beauty, self-restraint, and fertility.
In another work, King Aja grieves over the death of Indumati and is consoled by a hermit:
na pṛthagjanavac chuco vaśaṃ vaśinām uttama gantum arhasi ।
drumasānumatāṃ kim antaraṃ yadi vāyau dvitaye 'pi te calāḥ ॥
O king! you are the
finest among men with self-control. It is not fit of you to be struck by
sorrow like the ordinary folk. If a great wind can move a tree and a mountain
equally, how is the mountain better?
anāghrātaṃ puṣpaṃ kisalayam alūnaṃ kara-ruhair
anāviddhaṃ ratnaṃ madhu navam anāsvādita-rasam।
akhaṇḍaṃ puṣyānāṃ phalam iva ca tad-rūpam anaghaṃ
na jāne bhoktāraṃ kam iha samupasthāsyati vidhiḥ॥
— Abhijñānaśākuntalam 2.10
She seems a flower whose
fragrance none has tasted,
A gem uncut by workman's tool,
A branch no desecrating hands have wasted,
Fresh honey, beautifully cool.
No man on earth deserves to taste her beauty,
Her blameless loveliness and worth,
Unless he has fulfilled man's perfect duty—
And is there such a one on earth?
— translation by Arthur W. Ryder
saṃcāriṇī dīpaśikheva rātrau
yaṃ yaṃ vyatīyāya patiṃvarā sā।
narendramārgāṭṭa iva prapede
vivarṇabhāvaṃ sa sa bhūmipālaḥ ॥
— Raghuvaṃśa 6.67
As Indumati walked past
each king and went to the next king (in a ceremony of choosing her husband),
the king's face would turn bright and then pale. It was like watching a line
of houses in the night as a dazzling lamp passed by.
— literal translation
And every prince rejected
while she sought
A husband, darkly frowned, as turrets, bright
One moment with the flame from torches caught,
Frown gloomily again and sink in night.
na sa rucirakalāpaṃ bāṇalakṣyī cakāra।
sapadi gatamanaskaś citramālyānukīrṇe
rativigalitabandhe keśapāśe priyāyāḥ॥
Dasaratha saw many beasts
as he was hunting. Although he saw a peacock fly very close to his chariot,
he did not shoot his arrow. For, as the peacock spread its tail feathers
before him, it reminded him of his wife's hair adorned with flowers of
different kinds and how it would become disarranged during their lovemaking.
sā paurān paurakāntasya
pratyekaṃ hlādayāṃ cakre kulyevodyānapādapān॥
— Raghuvaṃśa 2.13
The news of the beloved
Rama being crowned as king gave special joy to every citizen, like a stream
that wets every tree in a garden.
pranayakŭpitā dhāturāgai shilāyāha।
mātmānm te charanapatitam yavdichhami kartum।
astraistravanmuhu upchitairdrushtirālŭpyate me।
krurastasminnapi na sahate sangamam naŭ krutantāh॥
Similarly the beauty-symbols of a woman has been so beautifully shown in a verse of Kalidasa's Meghadūta as follows -
- ॥tanvi shyamā
shikhari dashanā pakwabimbādharóshthi।
madhye kshāmā chakithariniprekshanā nimnanābhi।
shronibhārāt alasagamanā stoknamrā stanābhyām।
yā tatrasyatdyŭvati vishaye srushtirādyev dhatooh॥
- tanvi - slim
- shyamā - 'aprasuta bhavet shyama, tanvi ch navayauvana - comment' - a grownup woman who has not yet enjoyed the sex with some male and thus has not yet any experience of pregnancy and the like...
- shikhari dashanā - a woman having, well arranged clean white teeth
- pakwabimbādharóshthi - having the color of her lips like the color of a morning reddish Sun
- kshāmā - having her waist so short
- chakithariniprekshanā - having the glimpse of a frightened deer
- nimnanābhi - having a deep navel
- shronibhārāt alasagamanā - a slow walker, due to heavy hips
- stoknamrā stanābhyām - slightly bent forward, due to good enough weight of her grown up breasts
- and for the last line the meaning is: such a woman is the idol of beauty for any woman.
Later cultureMany scholars have written commentaries on the works of Kālidāsa. Among the most studied commentaries are those by Kolāchala Mallinātha Suri, which were written in the 15th century during the reign of the Vijayanagar king, Deva Rāya II. The earliest surviving commentaries appear to be those of the 10th-century Kashmirian scholar Vallabhadeva. Eminent Sanskrit poets like Bāṇabhaṭṭa, Jayadeva and Rajasekhara have lavished praise on Kālidāsa in their tributes. A well-known Sanskrit verse ("Upamā Kālidāsasya…") praises his skill at upamā, or similes. Anandavardhana, a highly revered critic, considered Kālidāsa to be one of the greatest Sanskrit poets ever. Of the hundreds of pre-modern Sanskrit commentaries on Kālidāsa's works, only a fraction have been contemporarily published. Such commentaries show signs of Kālidāsa's poetry being changed from its original state through centuries of manual copying, and possibly through competing oral traditions which ran alongside the written tradition.
Kālidāsa's Abhijñānaśākuntalam was one of the first works of Indian literature to become known in Europe. It was first translated to English and then from English to German, where it was received with wonder and fascination by a group of eminent poets, which included Herder and Goethe.
Willst du die Blüthe
des frühen, die Früchte des späteren Jahres,
Willst du, was reizt und entzückt, willst du was sättigt und nährt,
Willst du den Himmel, die Erde, mit Einem Namen begreifen;
Nenn’ ich, Sakuntala, Dich, und so ist Alles gesagt.
Wouldst thou the young
year's blossoms and the fruits of its decline
And all by which the soul is charmed, enraptured, feasted, fed,
Wouldst thou the earth and heaven itself in one sole name combine?
I name thee, O Sakuntala! and all at once is said.
—translation by E. B. Eastwick
"Here the poet seems to be in the height of his talent in representation of the natural order, of the finest mode of life, of the purest moral endeavor, of the most worthy sovereign, and of the most sober divine meditation; still he remains in such a manner the lord and master of his creation."
—Goethe, quoted in WinternitzKālidāsa's work continued to evoke inspiration among the artistic circles of Europe during the late 19th century and early 20th century, as evidenced by Camille Claudel's sculpture Shakuntala.
Koodiyattam artist and Natya shastra scholar Māni Mādhava Chākyār (1899–1990) choreographed and performed popular Kālidāsā plays including Abhijñānaśākuntala, Vikramorvaśīya and Mālavikāgnimitra.
Mohan Rakesh's play in Hindi, Āshad ka ek din (1958), tries to capture the conflict between the ethereal beauty repeatedly portrayed in Kālidāsa's works and the harsh realities of his time.
The Kannada films namely Mahakavi Kalidasa (1955), featuring Honnappa Bagavatar, B. Sarojadevi and later Kaviratna Kalidasa (1983), featuring Rajkumar, were made. V. Shantaram made the Hindi movie Stree (1961) based on Kālidāsa's Shakuntala. R.R. Chandran made the Tamil movie Mahakavi Kalidas (1966) based on Kālidāsa's life. Chevalier Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan played the part of the poet himself.
Surendra Verma's Hindi play Athavan Sarga, published in 1976, is based on the legend that Kālidāsa could not complete his epic Kumārasambhava because he was cursed by the goddess Pārvati, for obscene descriptions of her conjugal life with Lord Shiva in the eighth canto. The play depicts Kālidāsa as a court poet of Chandragupta who faces a trial on the insistence of a priest and some other moralists of his time.
Asti Kashchid Vagarthiyam is a five act Sanskrit play written by Krishna Kumar in 1984. The story is a variation of the popular legend that Kālidāsa was mentally challenged at one time and that his wife was responsible for his transformation. Kālidāsā, a mentally challenged shepard, is married to Vidyottamā, a learned princess, through a conspiracy. On discovering that she has been tricked, Vidyottamā banishes Kālidāsa asking him to acquire scholarship and fame if he desires to continue their relationship. She further stipulates that on his return he will have to answer the question, Asti Kashchid Vāgārthah" ("Is there anything special in expression?"), to her satisfaction. In due course, Kālidāsa attains knowledge and fame as a poet. Kālidāsa begins Kumārsambhava, Raghuvaṃśa and Meghaduta with the words Asti ("there is"), Kashchit ("something") and Vāk ("speech.")
Dr. Bishnupada Bhattacharya's "Kalidas o Robindronath" is a comparative study of Kalidasa and the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore
ClimateUjjain experiences a warm sub-tropical climate, typical of the North Central India. Summer starts in late March with temperatures rising to 45°C at its peak in May. In addition, hot winds (called loo) may blow in the afternoons, adding to the discomfort. The monsoon arrives in the middle of June and continues till early October. About 870 mm (35 inches) of precipitation is received during those months, though some years may see the figure climb up to 40 inches.
The rest of October generally is very warm and with high humidity. Winter starts in the middle of November and is pleasant and cool with daytime temperatures typically 20°C, though temperatures can drop significantly in the night. January takes chilli winds (called Sheet-lehar) with it, and sometimes daytime temperature rise only up to 15-17°C, and minimum temperature fall to 3C, 0°C is the lowest temperature recorded in the city in January 1982 and 1965. The morning dew in the outskirts of the city, and fields and farms turns ice because of some nights of freezing points, which results in damaged crops almost every year
TransportUjjain is well-connected by rail and road. It is on the Western Railway and is connected by direct train to most major Indian cities. The road network is developed with other parts of Madhya Pradesh. Ujjain is connected to Indore through SH-27 and SH-18 Dewas-Badnawar passes through it. Unfortunately Ujjain is the largest city that has no National Highway connectivity.
- A private airstrip, situated on Dewas road is being used as a pilot training institute. It has no commercial scheduled air services.
- The nearest airport is the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport at Indore (50 km away)
Railway stationsThere are four railway stations:
- Ujjain Junction main (Back side of this station is known as Madhav Nagar Rly.Stn.)
- Vikram Nagar
- Chintaman (Metre Gauge)
- Matana Buzurg
- Dewas Gate (Shaheed Raja Bhau Mahakal bus stand)
- Nanakheda (Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay bus stand)
Major roadsIndore Road, Dewas Road, Kota Road,Badnagar Road, Maksi Road, Nagda Road, Tarana Road Via Undasa Dam, Chintaman Road which is connected to four-lane state highway from Badnagar to Sanwer
Local transportUjjain City Transport Services Limited (UCTSL) runs the city bus service that operates 40 buses plying on all important routes in the city. Besides the bus service, auto rickshaws, taxis, and other transport vehicles - locally referred to as 'tempo' and 'Tata Magic' - are also easily available for travelling within the city
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )