Monday, November 10, 2008

Cloud Messenger

One work which I immensely enjoyed reading is Kalidasa’s Megdoot or ‘cloud messenger’. In this work, the role of the cloud as the messenger to bring to fruition a union of the Yaksha and his beloved is beautifully depicted. The characteristics that facilitated the cloud to play this role is its ability to traverse large distances in quick time and its capacity to transfigure itself to overcome obstacles in its path. This is not a mere human love story but a portrayal of the human seeking the union with the divine beloved. Just as Radha pines for the love union with Krishna so also a male, female union in sacred literature is a mystical depiction of the soul seeking divine merging.

The following part of the Megdoot is very apt in mapping the quality of the cloud to that of Shiva.

Clothing thyself in twilight's rose-red glory,

Embrace the dancing Shiva's tree-like arm;
He will prefer thee to his mantle gory
And spare his grateful goddess-bride's alarm,
Whose eager gaze will manifest no fear of harm.

Yaksha says; the black cloud, painted with twilight red, is bidden to serve as a robe for Shiva, the god entrusted with continuous creation through annihilation, instead of the bloody elephant hide (mantle gory) which he commonly wears in his wild, and destructive (pralaya) dance. This dance transforms the subtle energies into gross manifestation. The cloud would be better attire as it will become integral with this specific attribute of Shiva; namely transformation. This is the reason that the poet says Shiva’s eager gaze will not bring about any fear. Fear is associated with lack of fore knowledge. But as the cloud is capable of any form of manifestation due to its both subtle as well as gross nature, it is already in the realm of the fruit of ‘Rudrha Thandavam’ (Destructive dance of Shiva)
Vedic cosmology had a very deep understanding of the concept of continuous creation and assigned a trinitarian character to the Godhead as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All these three roles are basically same at the most fundamental level as what we perceive are emanations from an implicate order which is all pervading.

Love to you all


  1. "மேகம் / முகில் விடு தூது" என்று பள்ளியில் படித்தது நினைவுக்கு வருகின்றது.

    பிற Messenger-கள் :.
    காற்று, கடலலை, புறா etc.

  2. சார்,
    மிகவும் பொருத்தமான, அழகிய படங்கள்.

  3. Chandrayan, thanks for appreciating the pictures posted with the blog.

    Yes! Nature provides many messengers, all that one has to do is to keep your intuitive channels open.

    The wind through the bamboo grove sighs,
    A thousand woes of life's lows and highs,
    On the sandy coast, breaking surf a commotion,
    Portrays a broken heart of turbulent emotion.