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Meghadhuta of Kalidasa.
Kalidasa’s Meghadhuta
(With a brief annotation in English)

The Meghadhuta also known as Meghasandesam is one of the beautiful works of Kalidasa. It is a poem in Sanskrit Language consisting of 117 verses. It is actually one of a few minor compositions of Kalidasa. The ideas contained in this poem is simple but romantic. Alaka is a mountain in the Himalayas. The god of wealth, Kubera is the king of this place. He has a group of divine attendants working for him. These attendants are known as Yakshas. One of these Yakshas was very much smitten and obsessed with his wife. Hence, he ignored his duties. Kubera, therefore, cursed him and banished him into the woods on planet Earth. The Yaksha came to a mountainous place called Ramagiri named after Lord Rama near the present state of Chattisgarh in India and was residing in an ashram there. The Yaksha spent several months on the mountain. Thoroughly dejected, the love-lorn Yaksha keeps thinking about his wife. His wife also keeps thinking about him all day and all night. It is the time of monsoon. The Yaksha sees a rain cloud passing by. He requests the cloud to carry a message to his wife. The Yaksha then starts to describe the route that the cloud should take to meet his lover. This forms the crux of the verses of this poem. The works of Kalidasa are synonymous with the beauty of nature, lyrical poetry, dramatic stories, great heroes and sensuous heroines. The Meghadhuta focusses mainly on sensual love and the beauty of nature. Kalidasa’s genius lies in making these two subjects flow into each other in this work. For example, Kalidasa picturises the rivers as sensuous women, and he advises his friend namely the cloud to take interest in the rivers along the way on his journey from the plains to Alaka.

Sri Ramodantam
Sri Ramodantam Slokas

Valmiki Ramayana, as we all know, consists of 24000 verses. This is written in Sanskrit by Sage Valmiki. There are other works on the life and deeds of Sri Rama in other languages Like the Ramayana of Kamban in Tamil known as Kamba Ramayanam and the Ramacharitamanas of Goswamy Tulsidas in Awadhi Language. Another scholar has composed in just 200 verses in Sanskrit, the seven chapters of the Ramayana that were written by sage Valmiki. This is known as Sri Ramodantam. In Sri Ramodantam, the author has presented the entire Ramayana in a very simple format. It is said that one Parameshwara Kavi has composed this in the 15th century. Though it is not very clear who the author of this work is, it is a remarkable composition because of its brevity and simplicity. The term Sriramodantam is composed of two words ‘Srirama’ and ‘Udantam’ meaning ‘the story of Srirama’. Like the Valmiki Ramayana, it has seven chapters called Kandas starting from Bala Kanda and ending with Uttara Kanda. In this audio book, I have given the summary of each Kanda as presented by the poet followed by recitation of the slokas.

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