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Kalidasa’s Meghaduta 1: undertaking a translation. with a leaning towards reflection and speculation unlike anything in Chinese, or indeed in English, {7} we. Digitized by Google. Digitized by. Page 2. Digitized by Google. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page 9. Page Page Page Page Read Kalidasa’s Meghdoot book reviews & author details and more at of Kalidasa: Text with Sanskrit Commentary of Mallinatha, English Translation, Notes.

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Introduction The Meghaduta or Cloud Messenger is a masterpiece of Sanskrit literature, and was composed by the court poet Kalidasa some time before AD in northern India.

Under this fiction, Kalidasa presents a sympathetic portrait of northern India, and weaves in the various moods of love traditional in classical Sanskrit poetry. Early translations sacrificed the meaning to the exigencies of English verse.

The Megha duta; or, Cloud messenger (Das edition)

Later translations are close to the prose sense of the Sanskrit, but employ free-verse styles that give no hint of Kalidasa’s elevated and harmonious language. The version here by the poet Colin John Holcombe is taken from the standard Hultzsch text, and employs accomplished English verse to render the simple magnificence of the original while remaining faithful to the meaning.

About its author, who wrote five or six other great works, little is known, but he may have served one of kalids pre-Gupta rulers of northern India at Ujjain. The poem is written in unrhymed stanzas of four lines in the slow-moving Mandakrata measure.


English Literature: Meghdootam: Kalidasa

Many translations exist, generally in the style of their period, some being designed to help Sanskrit students understand the grammar and vocabulary of Kalidasa’s elevated and harmonious language. The work here adopts the Hultzsch text, and uses five-line stanzas of rhymed pentameters to render the simple magnificence of the poetry while remaining faithful to the prose sense.

The few occasions where my intrepretations differ from those of previous translators, or I have been unable to fully encompass the meaning in a particular stanza, are noted in the Appendix, which also contains a short treatment of metrical issues, an introduction to Sanskrit poetry, and a glossary of unfamiliar words and allusions. The translation is for the general reader, and includes a brief treatments of alternative readings, metrical issues, the aims of Sanskrit poetry, and a glossary of unfamiliar words and allusions.

A free e-book in pdf ebglish. Excerpt Opening of Meghaduta A year from amorousness: And mixed his pleasure as a cloud came down so playfully to hug the summit mist, as elephants in heat will butt the ground.

In tears withheld he took his fall from grace, from wealth keghdoot on the King of Kings.

The otherworld that brimmed in cloudy air was still discomfort when far longing brings a breath to hold him to that neck’s embrace. With now the rainy month stood close at hand, to fresh Kutaja blooms he adds his plea and asks most courteously the cloud bring news of welfare to his loved-one — words that she, revived to hear of him, will understand.


How can a cloud so moving, mixed and got of water vapour, fire and wind be used by Yaksha appropriately as messenger? But he in eagerness and grief confused mistakes as sentient a thing that’s not. Such clouds the ending of the world presage; you minister to form at will. Though kin I plead for are by power detained, better to be by majesty refused than win an approbation of base parentage.

For you the women look through tangled hair with men-folk travelling and take their cheer from unions urged on by your path of air, while I still distant and to blame appear a hapless prisoner to another’s care. References and Sources I have found these to be the most useful in making the translation: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon.

A Sanskrit Grammar for Students O. Kalidasa’s Meghaduta or The Cloud Messengerhttp: The Transport of Love: Kalidasa’s Megadhuta Berkeley, His Style and Times N.