(Last Updated on : 10/05/2011)
Raghuvanga is an epic poem composed by Kalidasa
. However it is inferior if compared to Kumarasambhava
. The chief protagonist is Lord Rama
. However as per the title of the poem the history of the dynasty of sun born kings is sketched. The wide theme of the poem gives a description of war and coronation of a king, choosing of mate, marriage rite and so on. The poem takes the readers to a strange atmosphere. Dilipa is a childless king. He realizes that when returning from a visit to Lord Indra
he has not shown reverence to his sacred cow, who has cursed him.
He determines to follow in worship the movements of her daughter, Nandini. He carries out his vow, saves her from a lion by offering his own body in exchange and Nandini grants him the wish of his heart. The young Raghu is given the rank of Crown Prince. Dilipa gives to his son the white parasol that is the emblem of control, and he retires to the life of an ascetic in the forest. In Canto four the knightly adventures of Raghu as conqueror of India have been elucidated. He defeats the princes of Bengal, and erects pillars of victory on the islands of the Ganges. He also invades the Pandyas. Thereafter he advances to wards the north through seas and mountains. As a pious s king he also advances against the Persians and the Yavanas and the Greeks. He is also able to overthrow the Huns and Kambojas.
It is visible how the poet wit customary changes the theme in canto five. Samudragupta
's conquests have been depicted here beautifully. In canto six the choosing of mate by Swayamvara
has been described. Her marriage to Aja takes place; the young pair set out home, but the shamed prince plans revenge and resolves to take away by force the princess. Aja fights a battle with them, in the end the Gandharva's gift prevails and takes from his foes their honour though spare their lives. His reign is fortunate; however his wife dies early. He is highly depressed and nothing seems to console him and eventually dies. Dasaratha
takes over the throne. After a beautiful description of spring in the poem, the fatal hunt of Dasaratha has been narrated. He in pursuit of an elephant wounds a Brahmin boy and in the process gets the curse of his parents.
In the tenth canto the realities of life have been mentioned in order to understand the magic incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the sons born to Dasaratha. In canto eleven Rama's youth, his visit to Vishvamitra's hermitage where demon Taraka has been killed, his journey to King Janaka
's court, where he wins Sita in the Swayamvara are rapidly recounted. The banishment of Lord Rama by Kaikeyi
, the life of Rama and Sita in the forest, Sita's capture by Ravana
, search for Lanka, and the events following that have been described in vivid colours. This brings us to Canto twelve in which Kalidasa's describes the sights of India as seen from the aerial car on which Lord Rama and Sita return to Ayodhya
The effective and pathetic picture of Sita's end and the return to heaven of Lord Rama is the conclusion of the poem. Valmiki
is the chief creditor of Kalidasa in this epic poem. His description of the return to Ayodhya is marvellous.