(Last Updated on : 06/01/2009)
Kumarasambhava is a legendary Sanskritic poem written by the medieval Sanskrit litterateur Kalidasa. It is one of the most foremost and substantial examples of 'Kavya' (English: epic poem, refers to artificial Sanskrit literary mode used by Indian court poets prospering from the first half of 17th century A.D.) poetry. Kumarasambhava literally stands for "Birth of the War-god", i.e. Kartikeya
, Shiva's first son. This epic of seventeen cantos involves Shringar Rasa, the rasa of love, romance and eroticism, more than Vira rasa (the rasa of Heroism).
The epic poem, Kumarasambhava essentially talks about the courtship of Lord Shiva
and Parvati. The bulk of chapters have enormous details about the love and romance between Shiva and Parvati
. It is stated that a powerful demon named Tarakasur was blessed with the boon that only the child of Lord Shiva could vanquish him and no other. Likewise, Shiva had cut short the desire for love through passionate meditation. Due to Parvati's brilliant efforts and after much penance, she won the love of Lord Shiva.
After sometime, Shiva and Parvati were blessed with a son whom they named Kartikeya. He grew up and slew the demon Tarakasur and re-established peace and glory of Lord Indra
and the divine world. Thus was ended the beautiful Kumarasambhava penned by Kalidasa.
Looked upon as one of the greatest literary works of all times, Kumarasambhava has devoted attention to every minute detail of courtship between two people. Kalidasa had left home to attain worldly knowledge and turn the 'enlightened one'. On his return, his wife asked, "Asti Kashchit Wagvisheshah", standing for, "Have you attained any palpable knowledge that should make me give you a special welcome?" Kalidasa gave her a fitting reply and spanning a period of few years, he wrote three great epics based on three letters spoken by his wife. From "Asti" he produced "Kumarasambhava"; from "Kaschit" he penned "Meghaduta" and from "Wagvisheshah" he wrote "Raghuvansha
". It is also believed that Kalidasa was struck by leprosy when he wrote the eighth chapter and the rest of the poem was finished by a different writer.