Tuesday, 21 June 2011

introdouction of kavitavali.

The Kavitavali is another major composition of Tulsidas’ that deserves merit. In this, Tulsidas has sung the Ram Katha similar to that in the Maanas but the Katha structure is somewhat different. Like the Maanas, it is divided into seven Kaands or cantos, and is devoted to setting forth the majestic side of Shri Ram’s character.

It has a total of 325 verses of which 183 alone belong to the Uttar Kaand. The Ram Katha has been sung throughout the first six Kaands (Baal, Ayodhya, Aranya, Kishkindha, Sundar and Lanka) as normal. In the Uttar-Kaand however, Tulsidas has briefly mentioned Lord Ram’s coronation at the beginning.

He then starts to describe the Raam Naam Mahima (importance), Ram Prem, Kali Varnan (description of), Ram Bhakti and then sings the glories of Chitrakut, Gangaji, Prayag and offers praises to Maa Annapurna and Lord Shiv too. He also describes the ‘Mahamari’ that took place in Kashi – again scholars assume that with this in mind, Tulsidas may have composed the Kavitavali in the later stages of his life.

The Uttar Kaand in the Maanas is quite different to that in the Kavitavali. Whereas in the Maanas, Tulsidas has described the Kali-yug, he has briefly sung of it in the Kavitavali; however, the entire episode of Bhushundi that comprises most of Uttar Kaand in the Maanas has completely been omitted from the Kavitavali.

In the Kavitavali, the language used is Braj Bhasha and the usage of Kavit, Chhapya, Julnaa, Ghanaakshari, Chaupai and Savaiya metres are all present.

Tulsidas has described a lot of the episodes of Lord Ram’s life metaphorically. In the Sundar-Kaand for example, when Hanumanji burnt Lanka, Tulsidas describes the burning as a sacred Yagna performed by Hanumanji. He explains that Lanka is the Yagna Kund, the wealth of Lanka is the firewood, Hanumanji’s tail is the spoon with which ghee (purified butter) is offered and the people of Lanka are the Yagna Saamagri (materials) itself. Hanumanji has picked people up with his tail and thrown them into the fire whilst chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ which is the Yagna Mantra.

Thus, Tulsidas has described such episodes with objective and metaphoric meaning.

jai shree Raam

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