A large handsome evergreen conifer tree reaching upto 85 m in height, witth almost rough, black, furrowed bark and spreading branches; shoots dimorphic; leaves needle-like triquetrous, shrp, pointed; male cones solitary, cylindric at the ends of branchlets, female cones solitary at the ends of branchlets, composed of imbricating thin woody placental scales; seeds pale brown, wings longer than the seeds. The heartwood of deodar is light yellowish brown, turning brown on exposure. It is oily, fragrant and strong. Flowering-fruiting April to January.(Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.1 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p276)
भित्त्वा सद्यः किसलयपुटान्देवदारुद्रुमानां
ये तत्क्षीरस्रुतिसुरभयो दक्षिणेन प्रवृत्ताः ।
आलिङ्ग्यन्ते गुणवति मया ते तुषाराद्रिवाताः
पूर्वस्पृष्टं यदि किल भवेदंगमेभिस्तवेति ॥ १०४ ॥
The winds from the snowy mountain,
Opening all at once the folding sprouts of the Devadāru tree,
Will be fragrant with the streams of their sap.
I will embrace them when they come south, O Perfect lady!
They might have touched your body before. (104)
A large, evergreen tree with darkgrey fissured bark and dense spreading crown; leaves simple, oblong, glabrous, leathery with wavy margins; flowers white fragrant, axillary, solitary or fascicled; fruits ovoid berries, seed 1-2 per fruit, ovoid, compressed, freyish brown, shiny. Flowering-fruiting January to September. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.3 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p764)
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.]
A tortuous small tree or shrub, rarely erect with many aerial stilt roots; leaves glaucous-green, 90-150 cm long, coriaceous, marginal spines pointing forward and those of the midrib forward and backward; male flowers in numerous subsessile cylindric spikes with fragrant caudate-acuminate spathes, female flowers in solitary spadix; fruits oblong syncarps, yellow or red when ripe. Flowering-fruiting March to December. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.3 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p838)
पाण्डुच्छायोपवनवृतयः केतकैः सूचिभिन्नैर्
संपत्स्यन्ते कतिपयदिनस्थायिहंसा दशार्णाः ॥ २३ ॥
The country of Daśārna will rejoice your approach;
The Ketakas’ split points lighten the garden hedge white,
Sparrows start nestling and gay the sacred village trees
(while enjoying domestic oblations),
The Jambū forest at the border darkens with its fruits ripe,
And the Hamsa swans will stay for days. (23)
A large scandent, tomentose shrub with young branches clothed with velvety pubescence; leaves simple, opposite,ovate, more or less pubescent beneath, base rounded or often cordate, main nerves 4-6 pairs prtioles densely villous; flowers white, slightly fragrant, sessile in dense terminal capitate cymes at the short axillary branches; fruits black, globose berries surrounded by suberect calyx teeth. Flowering-fruiting July to February. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.3 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p652)
तामुत्तीर्य व्रज परिचितभ्रूलताविभ्रमाणां
पात्रीकुर्वन्दशपुरवधूनेत्रकौतूहलानाम् ॥ ४७ ॥
Your friends Daśapura women’s eyebrows shake like creepers,
As they raise their eyelashes shining with black-spotted radiance,
which steals the beauty of the bees following shivering Kunda flowers.
Their curious eyes will catch you leaving the river behind. (47)
In the cloud’s journey. The suttle movement of the eyelashes (and perhaps the reflection) are contrasted to the bees which hover around Kunda flowers.
हस्ते लीलाकमलमलकं बालकुन्दानुविद्धं
नीता रोध्रप्रसवरजसा पण्डुतामाननश्रीः ।
चूदापाशे नवकुरबकं चारु कर्णे शिरीषं
सीमन्ते च त्वदुपगमजं यत्र नीपं वधूनाम् ॥ ६५ ॥
There, in the women’s hand, is a red lotus to play with;
Her ringlet is adorned with young Kunda;
The grace of her face is made fair with the pollen of the Rodhra flowers;
On the braids at the head, fresh Kurabaka; on her hairs, lovely Śirīṣa;
And at the hairline, Nīpa which has sprung upon your approach. (65)
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)
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.]
A tall thorny bamboo upto 30 m in height with many stems, tufted on stout root stock, nodes prominent, the lowest rooting, internodes upto 45 cm long, stem sheath coriaceous, orange-yellow, streaked, glabrous or puberulous beneath, base rounded, ciliate, tip stiff, midrib narrow, leaf sheaths with a short bristly buricle, ligule short; spikelets glabrous, yellow or yellow-ish green, in very long panicles, often occupying the whole ste, floral glumes, 3-7 in number, the uppermost 1-3 male or neuter, lodicules 3, hyaline, 1-3 nerved, ciliate; fruits oblong grains, beaked by the style base, grooved on one side. Flowering – fruiting September to April. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.1 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p152)
शब्दायन्ते मधुरमनिलैः कीचकाः पूर्यमाणाः
संरक्ताभिस्त्रिपुरविजयो गीयते किंनरीभिः ।
निर्ह्रादी ते मुरज इव चेत्कन्दरासु ध्वनिः स्यात्
संगीतार्थो ननु पशुपतेस्तत्र भावी समस्तः ॥ ५६ ॥
Kīcakas ring in sweet sounds as the winds run through,
And the Kiṁnarī women sing passionately the victory over three castles.
When your thunder shakes the great cliff like a Muraja drum,
There the mighty orchestra of the Beast Lord Śiva will assemble. (56)
In the cloud’s journey. The soft clattering sound of the bamboo leaves makes the bamboos musicians of Śiva.
तन्मध्ये च स्फटिकफलका काञ्चनी वासयष्टिर्
मूले नद्धा मणिभिरनतिप्रौढवंशप्रकाशैः ।
तालैः शिञ्जद्वलयसुभगैर्नर्तितः कान्तया मे
यामध्यास्ते दिवसविगमे नीलकण्ठः सु्हृद्वः ॥ ७६ ॥
And in the middle is a golden perch with a crystal bench,
Fastened to the ground by gems shining like a young Vaṁśa;
Your friend the blue-throat peacock dances
To the auspicious tāla rhythms of my lover’s rattling bracelets,
And enjoy the evening there. (76)
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.]
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)
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
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.]
A stout herbaceous plant with underground hemispherical depressed dark brown corm; leaves compound, large, solitary, petiole stout, mottled, 60-90 cm long, leaflets 5-12.5 cm long of variable width, obovate or oblong, acute, strongly and many-nerved; male and female inflorescences contiguous, neuters absent, appendage of spadix subglobose or amophous, equalling or longer than the fertile region, spathe campanulate, pointed, strongly, closely veined greenish, pink externally, base wihtin purple, margins recurved, undulate and crisped, male inflorescence subturbinate, female 7.5 cm or more long; fruits obovoid 2-3 seeded red berries. Flowering-fruiting April to June. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.1 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p90)
नीपं दृष्ट्वा हरितकपिशं केसरैरर्धरूढैर्
आविर्भूतप्रथममुकुलाः कन्दलीश्चानुकच्छम् ।
दग्धारण्येष्वधिकसुरभिं गन्धमाघ्राय चोर्व्याः
सारङ्गास्ते जललवमुचः सूचयिष्यन्ति मार्गम् ॥ २१ ॥
Nīpas appear green and red with the half-grown stamens;
The first buds of the Kandalīs emerge at the bank;
And the fragrance of the earth in the burnt wilderness increase;
Recognising them, the antelopes will show the path for you, the water-pourer. (21)
A tall herb with aerial pseudo stem dying after flowering, leaves simple, long, oblong, narrowed do base; flowers compound in spadix, drooping, bracts conspicuous, dull brown, falling off in succession; fruits berries in several clusters, golden yellow colour on ripening. Flowering-fruiting major part of the year. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.3 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p786)
On the bank is a play-hill, the summit of which consists of charming Indranīla sapphires,
Surrounded by a fence of golden Kadalīs and is spectacular.
It was my wife’s favourite! O friend, when you appear with flashing thunder,
That is the very sight that my agitated mind remembers. (74)
It is the bank of the Mānasa lake in Alakā, the Yakṣa’s hometown. The combination of the dark bluey cloud and the shining thunder reminds the Yakṣa of the wife’s favorite play-hill with sapphires and golden bananas.
वामो वास्याः कररुहपदैर्मुच्यमानो मदीयैर्
मुक्ताजालं चिरपरिचितं त्याजितो दैवगत्या ।
संभोगन्ते मम समुचितो हस्तसंवाहनानां
यास्यत्यूरुः सरसकदलीस्तम्भगौरश्चलत्वम् ॥ ९३ ॥
Or her left thigh would shake like a milky finger of a fresh Kadalī;
Freed from the claw marks of my nails,
Forfeited the long-familiar pearl chain by the force of fate,
And it was accustomed to the massage by my hands at the end of pleasure. (93)
The cloud has reached the Yakṣa’s wife, and he is imagining what sort of response would his wife show. The metaphoric use of banana stem for the thigh perhaps implies the hidden-ness of it (that it is covered by cloth), as the banana stem too is covered by banana skin. Only the husband who uncovers it knows the fairness of it.
A medium to large-sized deciduous tree with clean cylindrecal stem, horizontal branches and rounded crown, bark dark grey with longitudinal fissures peeling off in thin scales; leaves simple, elliptic-oblong or ovate, 30 cm long and 15 cm broad, pubescent beneath; flowers yellow or orange, in globose heads; fruits globose rseudocarps, yellow when ripe. Flowering-fruiting May to February. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.1 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p110)
नीचैराख्यां गिरिमधिवसेस्तत्र विश्रामहेतोस्
त्वत्संपर्कात्पुलकितमिव प्रौढपुष्पैः कदम्बैः ।
उद्दामानि प्रथयति शिलावेश्मभिर्यौवनानि ॥ २५ ॥
You should stop by a mountain called Nīca for rest;
Coming in touch with you, Kadamba flowers bloom as if thrilled with joy.
There, the rock-abode is perfumed with the pleasure of prostitutes,
revealing the unstrained youth of urbane men. (25)
In the cloud’s journey. Kadambas here are the expression of happiness, of the personified Nīca mountain. Kadamba flowers, with their bright yellow center and white filaments around, effectively show the excitement of the mountain, from having the cloud. Kadamba has sweet fragrance, and is also used for perfume, which is probably linked to the perfume of the women, and also the joy of youth.(Reference for Kadamba flower: 1 / 2)