Kālidāsa’s The Birth of a War God (in English Translation)

War god

Another great poetry must read includes Griffith‘s translation of Kālidāsa‘s The Birth of a War God: a fantastic epic of which only the first seven cantos remain extant.

The ancient prophecies foretell a hero’s birth: the son of Shiva the Destroyer. Shiva’s son will be a mighty warrior: and as the prophecies make clear that the boy’s prowess will render essential aid to the gods in their ongoing struggle with malignant deities, his birth is eagerly awaited.

Yet an insurmountable problem remains: Shiva is untouched by love, having committed himself to years of ascetic austerities in hermetic seclusion. Focused exclusively upon the spiritual, Shiva studiously avoids all contact with others.

  • Can Uma – the exquisitely beautiful, but demure daughter of the Himalayas – succeed in her love-suit proffered to the most fearsome of heaven’s deities? Even with the aid and assistance of Heaven?

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