Kuṭaja クタジャ

Holarrhena antidysenterica (Ivory tree)

A small laticiferous, deciduous tree with woody branches; bark thick, brown, rough, with abundant milky white latex; leaves simple, opposite,ovate to elliptic, membranous with 10-14 pairs of conspicuous nerves;flowers white, in terminal corymbose cymes; fruits long, narrow, cylindric, pendulous, follicles often dotted with shite spots, seeds linear-oblong, tipped at the apex with a spreading deciduous coma of brown hairs. It’s seed is called Indrajava. Flowering-fruiting January to November. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.3 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p606)

प्रत्यासन्ने नभसि दयिताजीवितालम्बनार्थी
जीमूतेन स्वकुशलमयीं हारयिष्यन्प्रवृत्तिम् ।
स प्रत्यग्रैः कुटजकुसुमैः कल्पितार्घाय तस्मै
प्रीतः प्रीतिप्रमुखवचनं स्वागतं व्याजहार ॥ ४ ॥

The month of Nabhas was approaching; through the thundering cloud,
He will send the tidings of his well-being, to support the life of his beloved one.
As it deserves oblation, he prepared fresh Kuṭaja flowers,
And made greetings with affectionate words, with much delight. (4)

ナバス月の近く、愛しきひとの命 支えるため
雷雲に 己の音信を託して送ろうと

This is when he has just seen the cloud. Nabhas month is in the rainy season. Kale (1999: 13) writes, “The Kuṭaja is a small plant bearing white flowers of an inferior kind and not having a pleasing smell. But the Yaksha took up those flowers as he had them at hand being the flowers of the season”, while Kimura (1962: 184) writes that it is a small flower with weak but nice fragrance, which flowers in the rainy season. [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.]


(c) Tomomi Sato 2013

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