Today's Beautiful Gem: `Upama and Rupaka' by
Kalidasa and Vyasa.
uttaras'yAM dis'i devatAtmA
himAlayo nAma nagAdhirAjah:
pUrvAparau toyanidhI vaghAya
stitah: pRthivyA iva mAnadaNDah:"
"duryodhano manyumayo mahAdrumah:
skandah: karNah: s'akunis tasya s'AkhAh:
duh:s'Asanah: puSpaphale samRddhe
mUlaM rAjA dhRtarASTro 'manISI
yudhiSTiro dharmamayo mahAdrumah:
skando 'rjuno bhImaseno 'sya s'AkAh:
mAdrIsutau puSpaphale samRddhe
mUlaM kRSNo brahma ca brAhmaNAs' ca"
"In the north is the soul of gods,
| the superlative mountains of Himalayas,
| spanning the eastern and the western oceans,
| situated to measure the earth as a rod."
| "Duryodhana is the great tree of furious temper;
| Karna is the trunk, Sakuni the branches;
| Duhs'asana the plentiful flowers and fruits;
| and the unwise Dhrtarashtra the root.
| "Yudhishtira is the great tree of righteousness;
| Arjuna is the trunk, Bhima the branches;
| the sons of Madri the plentiful flowers and fruits;
| and its roots are Krshna, Brahman and Brahmanas."
Note: The first poem is the opening stanza in Kalidasa's famed
Kumarasambhava. The second long poem occurs in Mahabharata. Among
the sixty-four arts and sciences is one called alaMkAra s'Astra or
the science of figures of speech. The first one is an example of upama
or simile (remember the saying: upamA kAlidAsasya) and the second one is
an example of rUpaka or metaphor. In fact, there is a famous treatise
called candrAloka by Jayadeva (the author of Gitagovinda) on the figures
of speech. In upama, the objects compared and compared to are quite
distinct and bear an isomorphic relationship. In rUpaka they are almost
Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao