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translated by Sri Aurobindo
Translations - Vikramorvasie or The Hero and the Nymph.jpg
PDF (105 pages)
translated by Arthur W. Ryder
Shakuntala translated by Arthur W. Ryder.jpg
PDF (96 pages)
Cloud Messenger
translated (with annotations) by H. H. Wilson
Cloud Messenger translated by H. H. Wilson.jpg
PDF (167 pages)

(Sri Aurobindo:) “Being the most variously learnéd of Hindu poets he draws into his net all our traditions, ideas, myths, imaginations, allegories; the grotesque & the trivial as well as the sublime or lovely; but touching them with his magic wand teaches them to live together in the harmonising atmosphere of his poetic temperament; under his touch the grotesque becomes strange, wild & romantic; the trivial refines into a dainty & gracious slightness; the sublime yields to the law of romance, acquires a mighty grace, a strong sweetness; and what was merely lovely attains power, energy & brilliant colour. His creations in fact live in a peculiar light, which is not the light that never was on sea or land but rather our ordinary sunshine recognisable though strangely & beautifully altered.”[1]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “While we read, we feel ourselves kin to & one with a more beautiful world than our own. These creatures of fancy hardly seem to be an imaginary race but rather ourselves removed from the sordidness & the coarse pains of our world into a more gracious existence. This, I think, is the essential attraction which makes his countrymen to this day feel such a passionate delight in Kalidasa; after reading a poem of his the world and life and our fellow creatures human, animal or inanimate have become suddenly more beautiful & dear to us than they were before; the heart flows out towards birds & beasts and the very trees seem to be drawing us towards them with their branches as if with arms; the vain cloud & the senseless mountain are no longer senseless or empty, but friendly intelligences that have a voice to our souls. Our own common thoughts, feelings & passions have also become suddenly fair to us; they have received the sanction of beauty. And then through the passion of delight & the sense of life & of love in all beautiful objects we reach to the Mighty Spirit behind them whom our soul recognizes no longer as an object of knowledge or of worship but as her lover, to whom she must fly”[2]

  1. Early Cultural Writings, p.213, “Vikramorvasie: The Characters”
  2. Ibid., p.215

See also