Vagarthaviva, a Magical Verse from the Great Poet Kalidasa: One Prayer, 25 Meanings – Part 2

Shridevi and Hinrinity- Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva(Credit: Lightgrid)

The Divine Mother Shridevi with Hindu Trinity – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva(Credit: Lightgrid)

We understood from the earlier post, the greatest Sanskrit poet Kalidasa wrote a magical first verse in his epic Raghuvamsha. We also learned thatShri Kalidasa prays Shri Devi and Lord Shiva in that mystical sloka(verse). Before we  understand various meanings, let us know more on  the deities addressed and the goals of the prayer.

Which deities are we praying in the verse?

The verse is addressed to many deities depending on how we interpret it. Thus:

  1. Parvathi parameshwarau  means divine Mother Parvathi and Lord Shiva. Very simple! This is the original intended meaning by Shri Kalidas.  All other meanings are our interpretations. Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye vagarthaviva sampriktau jagatah pitarau parvatiparameshwarau vande |
  2. Sampruktau Parvathi Parameshwarau:  inseparable or conjoined (samprukatu) Lord Shiva and Shri Devi. What is the deity? Lord Ardha Nareeshwara! i. e. the deity in which right half is Lord Shiva and left half is Shri Devi. Just amazing! Right?  Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye  jagatah pitarau vagarthaviva sampriktau parvatiparameshwarau vande |
  3. Parvathipa – rameshwarau: Pravathipa means Lord Shiva and Rameshwarau means Lord Vishnu. In other words, it represents popular deity Hari –Hara(Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). sampriktau suggests that Hari and Hara are intricately connected together. Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye  jagatah pitarau vagarthaviva sampriktau parvatipa-rameshwarau vande |
  4. Parvathipa – rameshwarau: Parvathipa means Lord Shiva accompanied with Parvathi Devi. Rameshwaru means Lord Vishnu with Ramaa(Shri Lakshmi). Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye  jagatah pitarau vagarthaviva sampriktau parvatipa-rameshwarau vande |
  5. Vagarthau parvathipa rameshwarau:  Saraswati Devi is Vak and Artha is Brahma. Parvathipa : Parvathi Devi and Lord Shiva. Rameshwarau: Shri Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. This is par excellence! It represents the Hindu Trinity Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva along with their consorts Saraswati Devi, Lakshmi Devi and Parvathi Devi. Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye  jagatah pitarau iva(sthithau),  sampriktau, vagarthau parvatipa-rameshwarau (cha) vande | Here Vagartha indicates Brahma accompanied by Saraswati Devi. Samprikta refers to Lord Brahma and Lord Hari-Hara. It says, Lord Brahma, Hari(Lord Vishnu) and Hara(Lord Shiva) are intricately connected together.

What is the goal of the prayer? In other words, what are we requesting in the verse?

Again, it depends on how we interpret! Let us see.

  1. Vagarthah  pratipattaye:  Vak also means word and speech. Artha means meaning. So, the entire phrase says – To know the word and its meaning. In other words, to get expertise in literary skills.  It also means – to know speech and its meaning to get proficiency in oratory skills. This is the original meaning  as intended by Shri Kalidasa.
  2. Vak also means The Holy Vedas. So, the word vagartha means: meaning of the Vedas. Now, vagartha pratipattaye means to access the meaning of the Vedas. All others below are our insights.
  3. Pratipaataye vagartha:  Pratipattaye means to access. Vagartha :  inseparable Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi. They together form the Universal Self. Accessing means to merge with them. In other words, we intend to merge with the Universal Self, i.e. to achieve liberation(moksha).  This is the real goal of yoga and the highest purpose of human life.
  4. Vak-artha, pratipattaye: Vak also means Shri Devi  or Kundalini Devi  who gives liberation(moksha) and artha  means prosperity or material enjoyment(bhoga). Shruti(The Vedas) says – Devim vacham ajanayanta devah etc. Remember, Shridevi is the consort(power) of Lord Shiva who is the ruler of liberation(moksha). It is well-known that Shri Lakshmi is the presiding deity of prosperity and material comforts.
  5.  Vak, artha  and pratipattaye: As said earlier, Vak  symbolizes liberation(moksha), Artha  is material enjoyment(bhoga) and Pratipatti means Knowledge.  Together, these three represent three presiding deities Parvathi Devi, Lakshmi Devi and Saraswati Devi respectively. Caution: This meaning is based on vagartha (word and its meaning) only. So, may not be grammatical.

Mathematically, how many meanings are possible now? 5 x 5 = 25! You may pick your combination and pray now! Is it not magical and amazing!?  Hats off to the Great Poet Shri Kalidasa!!

Caveats on Interpretations and Humble Request

We have a very high regard and respect to Shri Kalidasa and his contribution to Sanskrit literature. In fact, we are in his fan club!

Among these several interpretations, the first meaning is the original meaning intended by him. All others are our interpretations from our own insights.  Our intention is provide an expanded  view of the verse from different spiritual perspectives to highlight the greatness of Kavikulaguru Shri Kalidasa and not to limit the original meaning given by Shri Kalidasa in any way, neither to contradict him.

As always, at Rudraksha Yoga, we are committed to provide authentic information to our readers strictly in line with our Hindu traditions. We recognize that we do not have enough expertise  in Sanskrit grammar and related disciplines like poetics, prosody etc. to comment on great works of famous personality like Shri Kalidasa. Our humble request to Sanskrit scholars is to inform us about errors(if any) in the interpretation. We will acknowledge the help and refine the article accordingly.

Back to discussion. Somebody is asking: Can we have some samples of complete meaning? Sure. Why not? But in the next post. Please stay tuned to this blog!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

- Kalidas

Highlights from our archive:

1. Are you a scientist who is curious in Hindu spirituality? Or

Would you like to understand some key differences in scientific and spiritual thinking?

To know more, read our article on conversation of experts: a scientist, Bozon and a Great Realized Master, Shri Sujnana Giri. We are sure you will get some serious messages amid  fun and laughs!

2. Would you like to know more on power of mantras and chanting? Or

Do want to know how and why mantras work?

If so, you must check our article series on mantra yoga.

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