This is a pre-recorded video lecture course on the prose kavya, Kadambari composed by Bana Bhatta. In these audio lectures, Ms. P. R. Gayathri explains the poem in simple Tamil, focusing on the poetic elements and the beauty of language. These lectures are extremely useful for students who are preparing for exams, and to those who wish to explore the beauty of gadyakaavyas in Sanskrit.
Medium of Teaching – Tamil
In these audio lectures, the teacher deals with the text with consummate skill, efficiently explaining the complex samasa words that occur in the text. Clarity and uncomplicated explanations are her hallmarks and she inspires all with her enthusiasm for Samskrita and its glorious literature.
We thank Ms. P. R. Gayathri for allowing us to share these lectures through our portal.
Kadambari is the masterpiece of Banabhatta and is the most popular gadyakavya of Samskrita. Bana weaves a magical tale spanning several births of multiple characters, fascinating both from the point of view of the story and the language. The descriptive powers of Bana are in full-flow in this epic novel, giving rise to the adage “Bāṇocchiṣṭam jagatsarvam” (The entire world is nothing but chewed remnants left behind by Bana). Truly it is said, “Kādambarīrasajñānām āhāropi na rocate” (Those who have known the taste of Kadambari do not even like their food).
Banabhatta was a court poet of King Harshavardhana of Kannauj. This king has flourished in the first half of the seventh century A.D. The two celebrated prose works of Banabhatta are Harshacharita and Kadambari. A devotional poem, Chandishataka which consists of 102 stanzas in praise of Chandi, is also believed to be written by Bana. A drama named Mukutataditaka, which is not available now, is probably written by him.
Bana stands unrivaled in the field of gadya kavya. If the ‘Harsha-charita’ brought the author immediate recognition, worldly wealth and royal favour, ‘Kadambari’, a gem of a prose-romance named after heroine, enshrined him in the hearts of posterity as the uncrowned king of Samskrita prose. It is said that Bana died leaving his ‘Kadambari’ incomplete, which was finished by his son, variously called Bhushanabhatta or Pulinda.
The storyline of Kadambari is inspired by Gunadhya’s Bruhatkatha. Kadambari mainly focuses on the three characters- Shudraka, parrot and horse respectively Chandrapida, Vaishampayana and Kapinjala in the previous births. The poet narrates the story of a Shuka (parrot) and how a sage namely Pundarika was reborn as Vaishampayana, minister of a king Chandrapida and then by the curse of Mahashveta, took birth as a parrot. This Kavya sheds light on the great love of Pundarika towards Gandharva kanya Mahashveta and the struggle of multiple births to attain a life with her. Poet also weaves a story of King Chandrapida and his eternal love for the Gandharva kanya Kadambari, extended through several births.
Very well known “Shukanasopadesha” is also a part of this gadya kavya.
Ms. P. R. Gayathri is a passionate teacher, who has several years of experience in teaching Sanskrit at various levels. She has been a teacher in CBSE schools and PU colleges. She is also teaching texts like Narayaneeyam and Prataparudriyam to students taking up various examinations.
Ms. Gayathri is an active blogger since 2008, writing on Sanskrit literature in the blog संस्कृते लिखामः (http://samskrute.blogspot.com).
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