Page images


The Kiimém-Sambhava, eighth canto, with a commentary by Prema Chandra TarIcab¢i_qis'a. Calcutta, 1862.

It is generally believed that only seven cantos of the Kum:i1'aSambhava are extant, and some have said that Kélideisa died before he finished the work. Few European scholars are aware that the whole of the work exists in seventeen adhyayas,* but whether it really belongs to Kalidasa or not is a question which remains for future criticism to determine. The Professor of Rhetoric in the Sanskrit College has just published an edition of the eighth canto, the first of these doubtful sections, and he promises in the preface, that, should his labour be approved, he will publish the remainder in the same manner.

The present canto describes the loves of S’iva and Pzirvati, but in a manner which befits mortals alone ; and hence perhaps the oblivion into which the poem has fallen, as it violates a direct canon of Hindu criticismif Although, however, some of the opening verses, from their indelicacy, do not deserve to be published, this by no means applies to the greater part of the canto, which is chiefly occupied with a. very full description of the phenomena of evening and moonlight on the Gandhamadana mountains. Many of the verses are very beautiful, and as they have never before been published, we add a. few of those which seemed to us most worthy of being ascribed to Kélidésa. _

“ See! the declining sun, as it hangs on the edge of the western quarter of the sky, seems to make with its long reflected beams is golden bridge across the lake)’:

' There is a. MS. of it in the Sanskrit College Library, and Dr. Anfrecht gives an account of two MSS. in his Bodleiaii Catalogue. The last book ends with the destruction of the demon Téraka, as foreshadowed in the second book.

1' This is probably alluded to in Siihitya D. vii. p. 233 ; “yalha' ca’ lcumiirw aambhave, uttamadevatayoh pdrvati~parumes’warayoh sambh0_ga.s-’_rin_gzira.varg_m. mm. Idam pitroh sambhogavarnanam ivdtyantam anuchitam, it]/a'hu/i,"

1 spin vfiswfzvwiafiswr firfiin‘ fiinsiii fsaern I
ideal sinner H‘(Is‘R§T nissfiaiiiw =-zigins-i u _

VVe might almost compare these lines with the well-known passage of Moore.

“ And as I watch the line of light that plays
Far o’er the hushed wave toward the gleaming west,
I long to tread that golden path of rays
And think 'twill lead to some bright isle of rest."

“Yonder setting sun, bearing the day with him, plunges into the ocean, and the horses of his chariot bend down their necks, their eyes touched by the chowries in their ears and their manes pressed down by the yoke.”*

This description of the westering sun driving “ his downward team” amplifies the idea in Ovid’s lines,

“ Pronus ernt Titan, inclinatoque tenebat
Hesperium temone fretum."

“The western horizon wears a streak of the evening red, all the rest of the sunshine being gone, as a battle-field displays a bloody scimetar uplifted aslant.”T

“ Yonder moon, O fairfaced one, is united to its constellation with trembling light, as a bridegroom with his newly-won bride still trembling with fear at her new l0rd.”I

We do not remember to have ever seen before in Hindu poetry an allusion to the phenomenon of the rainbow over a waterfall, such as we find in the following lines.

“As the sun sinks, destroying the connection of his rays with the waterdrops, the cataracts of thy father Himalaya lose their rainbow-halo.”§

It would be premature to pass a definitejudgment on the authorship of the poem, until we have seen some of the other cantos. Dr. Aufrecht, in his Catalogue, has passed an unfavourable report on them, “ hi

[ocr errors]

libri utrum a Kélidasa profecti sint necne, in preesentia quidem dijudicare incautum esset; quee equidem legi, mirum in modum frigere mihi videbantur ;” but certainly though some verses in this eighth canto are unworthy of Kzilidésa, many would do him no discredit.

In conclusion we may add that there are several allusions to this eighth canto in Hindu literature. Thus the Sahitya Darpana (Book iii. 218), in its account of menu or ‘amantium inc,’ refers as its example to Pérvatfs displeasure at the description of the:evening by S'iva, and his Wish to perform the evening rites, and quotes it as from the Kuméra-Sambhava. The Das’a Riipa in book 12, quotes anonymously the lines beginning—

[ocr errors]

which are the fifth S’ loka of the present edition. But the most important reference is one in the second book of the Sankshipta Sara, which, in its account of namadhatus, gives the following sutra and commentary.

[ocr errors]

(s'l. 31,) but as mentioning the poet’s name. E. B. O.


Since writing the above we have learned that Dr. Bhau Diljl is printing these cantos of Kzilidésa in Bombay. He has succeeded in finding Mallinatha’s Commentary to the eighth.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The Monthly General Meeting of the Asiatic Society of Bengal was held on the 2nd instant.

A. Grote, Esq., President, in the chair.

Presentations were received :—

1. From Dr. Hunter, under instructions from His Excellency Sir W. Denison, a set of Capt. Tripe’s photographs of Tanjore, Trivady, Madura, Poodoocottah, Trichinopoly, Rya Kotta and Seringham, of an inscription around the basement of the Binanum of the Great Pagoda at Tanjore, and of the Elliot marbles and other

objects in the Madras Central Museum.

2. From Mr. C. Metcalfe, an inscribed_ slab from Rajshahi recording a grant of land made by Vijaya Sena, a monarch of the Sena dynasty of Bengal.

3. From Capt. E. Smyth, skins of a yak, a thar, a burral and

a musk deer.

41. From Major Anstruther Thomson, a young cuttle fish, in spirit.

5. From Capt. F. W. Stubbs, a small silver coin of Alexander the Great.

With reference to this coin the following note was communicated by Mr. E. C. Bayley :—-

“ N 0 small coin of Alexander the Great so minute as the present has as yet been certainly found in India. Coins of the same size, however, of the Bactrian kings Demetrius and Eukratides are not uncommon. I am inclined to think the present type was struck in Alcxander’s Eastern possessions.”

.6. From Major S. R. T-ickell, a specimen of a Turtle, (Sphm-_qis O'oriacea).

7. From Mr. Becket, Gurhwal, a collection of specimens of birds consisting of Tibetan Gallinacew.

8. From Mrs. Major Turnbull, two stuffed squirrels.

9. From Major J . L. Sherwill, several boxes of specimens of coal, limestone, and minerals from Pundeeni mountain in the Manbhoom district.

10. From Mrs. Brandis, two bird skins.

11. From J . G. Thompson, Esq., two bird. skins.

A rare silver coin of Altumsh, found in re-excavating a. tank -at Kandi in the Moorshedabad district, lent by Babu Gour Doss Bysack, was exhibited ; in reference to which Mr. Bayley communicated the following remarks :—

“ The coin is curious, for it gives the Khalif’s name wrong, i. e. Jfostanser be amr illak instead of ll/[ostanser billah, and it is also curious as wrong, the word for the denomination of the coin al s11/ca not al dirhem as is usual. I have never I think met “ al sika,” save on a later gold coin. The date is A. H. 680.

The following notice was submitted on the part of the Council :—'

The Council beg to notify that they propose, for the consideration of the Society, the following additions and amendments in the Code of Bye-Laws:——

1. To amend Rule 43 by the insertion of the words “ unless originated by the Council” after the word “ then” in line 5.

2. To add the following clauses to Rule Q6 :-—

The Council shall have the power of appointing any other day not later than that day fortnight for the Annual Meeting.

After the termination of the regular business of the Annual Meeting, the Meeting may be considered an ordinary general meeting.

3. To omit clause 1 of Rule 60 which provides that the names of the ‘visitors allowed to be present at the meeting shall be read

aloud by the chairman. Ordered that the amendments, &c., be referred to the Council for

report, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 413. Mr. Oldham gave notice that he should move at the next meeting that the following clauses should-be added after Rules 78 and 86

respectively :

« PreviousContinue »