Banabhatta and Kadambari
Banabhatta is the most illustrious example of prose writer in Sanskrit. He belongs to the 7th century India. He is a towering figure in classical sanskrit literature. It is he who is the celebrated author of Kadambari and Harshacharita. Kadambari is his masterpiece. He was the court author and poet of a very famous Indian Emperor named Harshavardhan.
Banabhatta's Kadambari is one of the best romantic fictions. It is a detailed, exquisite novel in the Sanskrit language. It is one of the world's earliest novels. The title of this fiction is named after its heroine. The presentation is made in seven chapters. It is an imaginative romantic story of love in the katha form.
Kadambari is a fantastic prose romance. This work transcends the bounds of mortal existence. It moves through three- lives until deep and passionate love attains its fulfilment. In due course Banabhatta has depicted the fanciful fusion of the world. Here animals, birds, human beings, semi divine and divine characters merge. The earth and the heavens combine in the universal bound of love. The entire creation is thus held together. It is these unique qualities of the heart and faith that distinguish this classic of Banabhatta from others.
The plot of Kadambari is very impressive. It deals with the three lives of the characters. It presents a beautiful love story. Kadambari, the heroine of the novel, was the daughter of a king. Mahasweta was one of her companions. One day she met a young man named Pundarika near Acchoda Lake. Pundarika fell in love with Mahasweta. In due course Pundarika and the Moon coursed each other. In the next birth the Moon was born as Chandrapida and Pundarika was born as Waishampayan. In this birth the lovers could not achieve their beloveds. In the next birth Chandrapida married Kadambari and Pundarika married Mahasweta. All lived happily thereafter. Chandrapida spent his time partly in his own hometown of Ujjayini, partly at Hemekuta, the home of Kadambari. In fact, he was an incarnation of the moon.
Thus Kadambari is really an excellent composition by towering figure and celebrated author of Sanskrit literature. About this composition there is a well known statement, ' Kadambari rasajnanam ahropi na rochate.' It means while savoring Kadambari, readers do not find interest in food. Here Banabhatta appears as a grand stylist and as a master of art.