Remember Sir Walter Scott’s Brignall Banks? ‘A maiden on the castle wall,Was singing merrily,-,”O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair, And Greta woods are green; I’d rather rove with Edmund there, Than reign our English queen.”
What a beautiful sentiment is being expressed there? Similar poems are available in hundreds in English Literature. But if you come across Sanskrit and Tamil literature thousands of Love poems will take you to a greater level.
Every single movement of a lover becomes a great epic! The poets left no stone unturned. In order to read all the poems and absorb the meaning we may need hundreds of years.
The love poems are analyzed threadbare by the great scholars and in these poems the sentiment or ‘rasa’ reigns supreme.
The emotion of love is inborn in human heart. But it will come to prominence once it finds an object for its activity.
Take a case of a charming youth. He happens to see a beautiful young girl. His emotion of love is aroused. He begins to think of her. Fortunately if he meets her in a secluded place and the mutual love is fully developed, they enjoy the ‘rasa’.
But in the poetry the ‘rasa’ even though developed in the characters in the poem, they are not enjoying or tasting it, but the readers are enjoying it.
The secret of the good poetry is to give that ‘rasa’ or sentiment to the reader.
Sanskrit love poems are always successful in giving this beautiful sentiment.
If you go in deep, the literature gives various aspects of love. Coding system is not a modern one. In ancient times, the lovers used this system. Only the lovers will understand their language. This has been described in love poems in detail. Also there is a sign language. The gestures gives different meanings. Meeting place, meeting time etc. will be communicated through this sign language. If there are some family members present in the gathering, the girl will communicate to her lover using this language. Their world is unique and there is no place for others.
In Sangam literature of Tamil, which is very old, there is a beautiful poem:
The lover asks his beloved, who is your mother and who is my mother? How your father and my father are related? When the rain drops on a red sand it merges with the sand. Likewise the hearts filled with love melts and merges.
The people of Tamilnadu had given equal importance to the valour and love. And hence we may find poems related to these two aspects of life.
The same is true in general with all other kingdoms of ancient India. There were 56 kingdoms in all. Poets like Kalidasa, Harsha, Bharavi, Dandi, Rajasekara composed poem of high order.
One would be surprised to note that in the ancient Vedas there is a famous love story of Nala and Damayanthi. Damayanthi, the great queen married Nala overcoming many obstacles. The Nala story is very famous and almost in all languages of India the poets have sung the glory of love between Nala and Damayanthi.
Given below is one sample poem of poet Bhavaka Devi:
Her breasts are brother kings, equal in nobility,
Reared together till they have reached the same altitude of fame;
And from their border warfare these monarchs of vast provinces
Have gained a cursed hardness.
One more poem:
With your large eyes having curved and sportive eye-brows which great men, however immovable by emotions, have you not, oh! Lady with charming limbs, brought to the state of emotional disturbance?
Think for a moment, if one could read the above poems in Sanskrit itself, how much ‘rasa’ and joy it will bring!
In this life, one should read some good poems every day to elevate our minds!