This week’s verse, taken from Kālidāsa’s well-known Raghuvaṃśa, employs the kavi samaya that snakes’ hoods contain jewels and that snakes eat air. It is taken from a rather lovely passage in which Rāma, recently re-united with his beloved Sītā, describes to her the lands they fly over as they journey back to Ayodhyā in their flying machine, Puṣpaka.
वेलानिलाय प्रसृता भुजङ्गा महोर्मिविस्फूर्जथुनिर्विशेषाः ।
सूर्यांशुसंपर्कसमृद्धरागैर्व्यज्यन्त एते मणिभिः फणस्थैः ॥
See how those serpents,
laying themselves out to feed on the breeze from the shore,
are hidden by the tumult of the breakers.
It is only the jewels set in their hoods,
glowing pink in the rays of the young sun,
that betray them.
13.12 of Kālidāsa’s Raghuvaṃśa
Sorry for our absence last week, but we do have good news – Rasāla’s general editor, Dr Shankar, has won the Karnataka Sanskrit University 2012 prize for best poem. The poem in question is his Devīdānavīyam, which he composed entirely in various citra-bandhas (specific shapes and patterns established by the tradition) – testament to his skill as a kavi.