Mandāra マンダーラ

Erythrina variegata
(Indian coral tree)


A medium sized quick growing tree ataining 18 m in height armed with dark coloured, conical prickles, bark yellowish, smooth, shiny, paperly; leaves trifoliolate, leaflets 10-15 cm long and nearly as broad, rhomboid ovate; flowers coral red, in dense race3mes, corolla papilionaceous; fruits pods, torulose, 15-30 cm long, containing upto 12 seeds; seeds red to dark purple or brown. Flowering-fruiting January to May. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.2 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p502)


कॢप्तच्छेद्यैः कनककमलैःकर्णविभ्रंशिभिश्च ।

मुक्तालग्नस्तनपरिमलैश्छिन्नसूत्रैश्च हारैर्

नैशो मार्गः सवितुरुदये सूच्यते कामिनीनाम् ॥ ७० ॥

When the sun’s aurora reaches, on the way are
Mandāra flowers fallen from ringlet;
Golden lotuses torn, falling off from ears;
And necklaces, their threads broken, scattering pearls fragrant from the perfume on breasts;
Which indicate the nightly path of the love-afflicted women. (70)


A description of the Yakṣa’s hometown Alakā. Mandāra is said to be one of the five sacred trees of the heavens, thus the use of the golden lotus and Mandāra indicates that this is a place of higher beings (Kimura 1962: 255). [Reference: Kimura, Hideo 1962. Kālidāsa Literature Series No.1: jojōshi kisetsushū kumo no shisha. Kyoto: Hyakka-en.]

तत्रागारं धनपतिगृहानुत्तरेणास्मदीयं

दूराल्लक्ष्यं तदमरधनुश्चारुणा तोरणेन ।

यस्योपान्ते कृतकतनयः कान्तया वर्धितो मे

हस्तप्राप्यस्तवकनमितो बालमन्दारवृक्षः ॥ ७२ ॥

At the north of the Wealth Lord Kubera’s palace,
Our abode will be recognised from faraway;
The splendid arched gate resembles a celestial bow.
The young Mandāra tree there is my adopted son,
Who leans so that his mother, my beloved’s, hands can reach the clustered blossoms. (72)

弓門の神の弓[にじ]の如き素晴らしさは 遠くからでも分かるだろう
その近く、我が愛しのひとの育てる養い子 若きマンダーラ樹は

A description of the Yakṣa’s home. At Kālidāsa’s time, to take in plants or animals as adopted children was one of the ways to express sympathy to them (Kimura 1962: 256). [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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