Kalpavṛkṣa カルパヴリクシャ

Kalpavṛkṣa is one of the five sacred trees of Indra, which also grows in other heavens. In Buddhist literatures, too, is depicted to grow in the countries of Buddhas. It is believed that Kalpavṛkṣa produces anything one would desire, and hence anything celestial beings need, such as clothes, ornaments, and foods, would spring out of the trees. Not only in literature but also in paintings, it is illustrated with clothes and necklaces hung on the branches(Kimura 1962: 252). Kale (1999: 107) translates, “the wish-granting tree”. [Reference: Kale, M. R. 1999. The Meghadūta of Kālidāsa. Corrected Edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited.; Kimura, Hideo 1962. Kālidāsa Literature Series No.1: jojōshi kisetsushū kumo no shisha. Kyoto: Hyakka-en.]

हेमाम्भोजप्रसवि सलिलं मानसस्याददानः

कुर्वन्कामात्क्षणमुखपटप्रीतिमैरावणस्य ।

धुन्वन्वातैः सजलपृषतैः कल्पवृक्षांशुकानि

च्छायाभिन्नः स्फटिकविशदं निर्विचेः पर्वतं तम् ॥ ६२॥

Drink the water from Mānasa lake where golden lotuses grow,
And give shade to the face of Airāvaṇa, Indra’s elephant, as you wish;
Shake the fine white garments of Kalpa tree with winds full of water,
And enjoy dividing the crystal-bright peak with your shades. (62)

望むまま インドラの白き象[アイラーヴァナ]の面[おもて]の、束の間の日よけになり
清冷な水晶のような峰を、影で分かち 楽しめ(六二)

At Kailāsa, Śiiva’s sacred home-mountain, in the cloud’s journey. Coming to the north (as it can be seen from the ‘crystal-pure peak’), it is almost reaching the Yakṣa’s hometown Alakā.

यस्यां यक्षाः सितमणिमयान्येत्य हर्म्यस्थलानि

ज्योतिश्छायाकुसुमरचनान्युत्तमस्त्रीसहायाः ।

आसेवन्ते मधुरतिफलं कल्पवृक्षप्रसूतं

त्वद्गम्भीरध्वनिशु शनकैः पुष्करेष्वाहतेषु ॥ ६६ ॥

There, the palace floor consists of moon stones,
On which starlight paints flowers;
Yakṣas arrive with the best women,
And enjoy the Ratiphala wine extracted from Kalpa trees.
Puṣkara drums are beaten gently, resembling your deep roar. (66)


A description of the Yakṣa’s hometown Alakā. Vallabhadeva (in Kimura 1962: 253) writes that the wines produced from Kalpavṛkṣa stimulates pleasure but does not cause fights.
[Reference: Kimura, Hideo 1962. Kālidāsa Literature Series No.1: jojōshi kisetsushū kumo no shisha. Kyoto: Hyakka-en.]


(c) Tomomi Sato 2013

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