A large, evergeen tree with buttressed trunk and spreading crown with drooping branches, bark smooth, grey outside and flesh coloured inside, flaking off in large flat pieces; leaves simple, subopposite oblong or elliptic, coriaceous, crenate, pale dull green above, pale brown beneath, often unequal sided nerves, 10-15 pairs, reticulate; flowers white in panicles of spikes with linear bractoles; Fruits ovoid or oblong with 5-7 short, hard angles or wings, the lines on the wings oblique and curving upwards. Flowering-fruiting January to June. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.4 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p1102)
उत्पश्यामि द्रुतमपि सखे मत्प्रियार्थं यियासोः
कालक्षेपं ककुभसुरभौ पर्वते पर्वते ते ।
शुक्लापाङ्गैः सनयनजलैः स्वागतीकृत्य केकाः
प्रत्युद्यातः कथमपि भवान्गन्तुमाशु व्यवस्येत् ॥ २२ ॥
I foresee, O Friend, though quickly you wish to go for my dear one,
The sweet fragrance of Kakubha will steal your time at every mountain;
And the peacocks will welcome you crying, filling the white corners or their eyes with water.
Somehow you must compel yourself to move forward quickly. (22)
A perennial, much branched handsome tendril climber, roots sometimes tuberous; leaves simple, deltoid or sub rotund, angled or lobed, bright green above and pale beneathpalmately 5 – nerved from a cordate base with circular glands between the nerves; flowers white, large, unisexual; fruits ovoid or oblong or ellipsoid berried with white streaks, bright scarlet red when ripe; seeds ovoid, compressed, yellowish grey. Flowering-fruiting major part of the year. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.2 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p342)
तन्वी श्यामा शिखरदशना पक्वबिम्बाधरोष्ठी
मध्ये क्षामा चकितहरिणीप्रेक्षणा निम्ननाभिः ।
श्रोणीभारादलसगमना स्तोकनम्रा स्तनाभ्यां
या तत्र स्याद्युवतिविषये सृष्टिराद्येव धातुः ॥ ७९ ॥
Her body is slender, her teeth are sharp, and her lips are like the ripe Bimba fruits;
She is thin in the middle, her eyes are that of a frightened deer, and her navel is deep;
Her gate is dull due to the heaviness of her hip, and she leans slightly because of her breasts:
The woman who would be there, is like the first of the woman-kind to be created by the Creator. (79)
A large, spreading, evergreen tree upto 45 m in height with a heavy doom shaped crown, straight, stout bole and thick rogh dark grey bark; leaves simple, crowded at the end of branches, linear-oblong, or elliptic lanceolate, acute, acuminate or sub-obtuse; flowers small, pungently odorous, reddish-white or yellowish-green. in large many-flowered pubescent panicles, longer than the leaves; fruits large, fleshy drupes, green, orange, yellow or red in colour, seed solitary, enclosed in a hard compressed fibrous endocarp. Flowering-fruiting January to June. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.3 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p732)
छन्नोपान्तः परिणतफलद्योतिभिः काननाम्रैस्
त्वय्यारुधे शिखरमचलः स्निग्धवेणीसवर्णे ।
मध्ये श्यामः स्तन इव भुवः शेषविस्तारपाण्डुः ॥ १८ ॥
The mountain’s surface is covered by the shining ripe fruits of the wild Āmras;
Your ascending on its immobile peak will resemble an oiled ringlet resting on it.
Truly a sight to bear witness by the immortal pair;
You dark in the middle like the nipple of the earth, amidst the pale spread of the rest. (18)
At the Āmrakūṭa mountain in the cloud’s journey. The literal translation of the first line would be: “The surface which is covered by the wild Āmras, of which leaning fruits are shining”. And that shining becomes the “pale spread”, resembling the fair skin of women’s breast not burnt by the sun.
A medium-sized handsome evergreen tree upto 9 m in height with numerous spreading and drooping glabrous branches; leaves pinnate, 30-60 cm long having 2-3 pairs of lanceolate leaflets; flowers orange or orange-yellow in dense corymbs, very fragrant ; fruits flat black pods, leathery, compressed; seeds 4-8 per pod, ellipsoid, oblong and compressed. The bark is dark brown to grey or black with a warty surface, fresh cut ends are pale yellowish red. The thickness of the bark varies from5 mm to 1 cm. The entire cut surface turn reddish on exposure to air. Flowering-fruiting January to July. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.4 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p1010)
रक्ताशोकश्चलकिसलयः केसरश्चात्र कान्तः
प्रत्यासन्नौ कुरबकवृतेर्माधवीमण्डपस्य ।
एकः सख्यास्तव सह मया वामपादाभिलाषी
काङ्क्षत्यन्यो वदनमदिरां दोहदच्छद्मनास्याः ॥ ७५ ॥
The red Aśoka tree’s fresh leaves are wavering and Kesara is lovely
Near the hedge of Kurabaka and the pavillion of Mādhavī.
The former longs for the left foot of your female friend my lover, just like me;
The latter desires her mouthful of wine, pretending it yearns to bloom. (75)
Somewhere near the Yakṣa’s home in Alakā. The first is Aśoka and the other is Kesara. According to Kale (1999: 132), “The Aśoka is said to put forth flowers when kicked with her left foot by a beautiful woman” and Kesara “is poetically described as putting forth blossoms when sprinkled over with mouthful of wine by young ladies”.
[Reference: Kale, M. R. 1999. The Meghadūta of Kālidāsa. Corrected Edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited.]