Life and works of Author :

The authorship of the ancient Indian lovestory Kadambari is to be given to Banabhatta and his son Bhusanabhatta. However, Banabhatta claims more credit as the principal author of the text The narrative was initiated by the seventh century author Banabhatta who passed away leaving it incomplete and then his son Bhushanabhatta took the challenge to complete the same with great labour and perseverance. The work is thus divided into two sections: ‘purbabhaga’ and ‘uttarabhaga’ denoting the parts composed by Banabhatta and Bhushanabhatta respectively.

Banabhatta is a renowned literary figure in the history of Sanskrit literature. He was born in a village in modern day Chhapra district in Bihar, India in 7th Century AD. it is said about him that he had lost his mother at an early age and had to struggle hard for sustenance and recognition for quite a long time.

Later on King Harshavardhana came to know about his literary talent and he became the major poet in his royal court. Certain auto-biographical elements are beautifully inserted into the text of Kadambari when Vaishampayana, the parrot narrator of the story describes his own tragic situation of losing his mother in his very childhood and being brought up by father in the Vindhya forest. That poor father too is brutally slaughtered in the hand of the hunters and the severely traumatised Vaishampayana looses all directions in life till he comes to the hermitage of Jabali.

The reason why Banabhatta is a landmark in Indian literary history is his writing of the Harshacarita, which is a priceless historical document depicting entire society in the time of King Harshavardhana with maximum neutrality possible. We also come to know about the greatness of the king and importance of Kannauj, his kingdom in contemporary Indian politics. Kadambari, on the other hand is a rather complementary approach towards a romantic story that becomes as famous as a myth. His compositions are considered by Sanskrit critics as the finest specimen of Panchali style of composition. He is notably the very first prose writer in Sanskrit literature.




Considered as one of the earliest examples of novel in world literature, Kadambari, composed by Banabhatta and subsequently finished by his son Bhushanabhatta stands out as a remarkable love-story where two separate couples undergo a lot of hardship and separation in order to complete their respective course of curse and finally reunite after their journey through several rebirths. Though the Unity of Time seems to have been compromised a bit, the occasional divine interventions and the characters’ being wards of demi-gods make the story line neatly tight.

In an interesting manner the narrator of the major part is a parrot named Vaishampayana to a powerful king, Shudraka. Incidentally it happens such that these two characters are discovered to have been closest friends in their previous birth; which had blessed them with two lovers of their heart, namely Mahasweta for Vaishampayana or Pundarika and Kadambari for Shudraka or Chandrapeeda. They are still waiting for their soul mates to complete their love. Finally all mysteries are solved with the appearance of Goddess Lakshmi and the moon God and all the bereaved souls are given their due justice proving the sentiment of love to be much superior and beyond mere boundaries of life and death.




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