The four gems from Kalidasa:--
They say that among the poetic creations in Sanskrit, drama is the most enchanting..
Among the dramas, Shakuntalam of Kalidasa is the masterpiece.
And the greatest part of Shakuntalm is its Fourth Act,
And the four stanzas appearing in that part of the beautiful drama are sublime beyond any comparison..
Kaavyeshu naatakam ramyam tatra shaakuntalam matham
shaakuntaley chaturtho angaH tatra sloka chathustayam
काव्येषु नाटकं रम्यं तत्र शाकुन्तलं मतं
शाकुन्तले चतुर्थो अङ्गः तत्र श्लोक चतुष्टयं
The four slokas are explained below
The occasion it the departure of Shakuntala to the Palace of Dushyantha, her husband.. Her adopted father Sage Kanva is sending her away from his hermitage for the first time ..
1.The pangs of separation felt by a father when sending away his daughter is expressed in this sloka
Yasyathyadhya sakunthalethi hrudayam samsplustamutkandayaa
kandah sthambitha bashpavrithhi kalushachintha jadam darsanam
vaiklyabhyam mama thaavatheedrusamaho snehad aranyaikasah
peedyanthey grihinah kadham nu thanaya vishlesh dukhaih navaih
यास्यत्यद्य शकुंतलेति हृदयं संस्पृष्टमुत्कंठया
कंठ: स्तम्भित बाष्पवृत्तिकलुषः चिन्ताजडं दर्शनम् ।
वैक्लव्यं मम तावदीदृशमहो स्नेहादरण्यौकसः
पीड्यन्ते गृहिणः कथं नु तनया विश्लेष दु:खैर्नवैः ॥।
Sakunthala starts for her husband’s abode today. Even for a person who prides himself in equanimity and penance, the throat is gone dry and soundless because of anxiety, the thoughts have gone blunt. If such intense sorrow overtakes me a recluse. what will be the depth misery for the wordly father who sends his daughter away for the first time and that too expecting her to spend her life in a completely alien household?
2. That child Shakuntala was very affectionate to the plants and trees of the hermitage, and Kanva is requesting them to bid his daughter Bon Voyage.
paathum na prathamam vyavasyathi jalam yushmaasu apeetheshu yaa
na aadhaathey priyamandanaapi bhavaathaam snehena yaa pallavam
aadhyey vah kusumaprasoothisamayey yasyaah bhavathyutsavah
sa iyam yaathi sakunthalaa pathigruham saarvairanjnayathaam
पातुं न प्रथमं व्यवस्यति जलं युष्मास्वपीतेषु या
नादत्ते प्रियमण्डनापि भवतां स्नेहेन या पल्लवम् ।
आद्ये वः प्रथमप्रसूतिसमये यस्या भवत्युत्सवः
सेयम् याति शकुन्तला पतिगृहं सर्वैरनुज्ञाप्यताम् ॥
Kanva addresses the trees and saplings of his hermitage, and requests their permission to send Shakunthala who is leaving to join her husband Dushyantha
“she never thinks of even drinking water before watering your roots and quenching your thirst,
she never plucked your tender and beautiful leaves even though as a hermit girl interested in ornaments they must have been her first target,
because she loved you so much, she made it a grand celebration when you sprouted the first floweres of the season,
such lovely and considerate Shakunthala is leaving for her husband’s house, oh trees give her a proper send off.”
3. Kanva is sending Shakuntala to the palace of Dushyanta. This is the message he has to convey to the king..
asmaan saadhu vichinthya samyama dhanaan uchchaih kulam cha aatmanah
twayi asyay kadhmapi abhandhavakritham snehaprvrithim cha thaam
saamaanya pratipatthi poorvakamiyam dhaareshu dhrisya twaya
bhagyaayathamathah param na khalu thad vaachyam vadhoo bandubhih
अस्मान् साधु विचिन्त्य संयमधनानुच्चै: कुलं चात्मन-
स्त्वय्यस्या कथमप्यबान्धवकृताम् स्नेहप्रवृत्तिं च ताम् ।
सामान्यप्रतिपत्तिपूर्वकमियं दारेषु दृश्या त्वया
भाग्यायत्तमतःपरं न खलु तद्वाच्यं वधूबन्धुभिः ||
This is my message to King Dushyanth.
Oh King, Please consider the fact that we the people of Shakuntala have no wealth other that penance and patience.. Simultaneously please keep in mind the lofty status of your own royal clan.. This girl has fallen in love and has somehow entered into a marriage with you own her own without taking the counsel of her own relatives. My request to you is that you should treat her with at least moderate affection which you are expected to show towards your wife.. I leave the rest of the matter in tha hands of the goddess of fortune..
The relatives of the bride should not talk anything more than this.
4. While sending the darling daughter to her husband’s abode, this is the advice Kanva has for her
shushroosaswa guroon kurupriyasakheevrittim sapatneejae
bharthurviprakrutaapi roshanatayaa maa sma pradeepam gama
bhhooyishtam bhava dakshinaa parijaney bhaagyeshvanutsekinee
yaanthyevam gruhineepadam yuvathayaH vaamaaH kulasyaadhayaH.
शुश्रूषस्व गुरून् कुरु प्रियसखीवृत्तिं सपत्नीजने
भर्तुर्विप्रकृतापि रोषणतया मा स्म प्रतीपं गमः
भूयिष्ठं भव दक्षिणा परिजने भाग्येष्वनुत्सेकिनी
यान्त्येवं गृहिणीपदं युवतयः वामाः कुलस्याधयः
My dear daughter, this is my advice to you.
You serve and look after the elders in the family with utter devotion.
Please treat the other wives of your Royal husband as your own dear friend.
Never, never forget yourself and throw tantrums even if your husband vents his anger on you.
Be very generous to your servants and helping hands in your new residence.
Please do not get arrogant, nor exhibit such arrogance, which is likely to follow the great fortunes you attain in life.
And I tell you, the girls given in marriage to other households go on to become the respected controllers of those home by the above process of attuning themselves to the fresh environ there. And the girls who fail to behave properly become eternal source of worry and misery for the clan in which they were born..