वसन्त ऋतु – Spring

wp1It’s spring in India. And while the illustration above* is all mildness and white (and indeed the kunda finds mention in a lot of Sanskrit spring poetry) the flowers of spring that are emblematic of the season are quite red on the whole.

The spray of red asoka as spring begins
is a public notice writ by love. Manovinoda, translated by Ingalls.

The month of Chaitra begins on 6 March 2015.  The month is associated with spring and in ancient India with the worship of the Asoka tree.

The Asoka constantly recurs in ancient Indian art and literature from the Asoka vatika to Buddhist folklore (with the Buddha said to be born under the Asoka tree or sometimes the Sal) to sculpture (also see X) to spring poems. The last of this often plays on tree flowering and women.

Pics above:  miniature painting of a maiden under a Asoka tree; cover of Amar Chitra Katha’s Malavikagnimitram, sculpture of a young woman pressing a Asoka tree with her foot and Asoka flowers painted by Zain-ul-Din.

wp1All around kimsuka groves blaze fiery red,
trees swaying in the breeze bend low flower-laden;
instantly transformed by Spring, the earth glows
like a radiant young bride in her robe of red silk. Ritusamhara (6-19) as translated by Chandra Rajan.

The kimsuka (Sanskrit, ‘like a parrot’ due to the flower resembling the beak of a parrot) or flame of the forest is a tree that flowers in spring.  The tree in bloom is a mass of orange and the branches and trunk sometimes leafless and dark giving rise to fire similes. Consequently it appears both in war poetry and classical love poetry.

The painting above is Spring by Avik Chakraborty.  As for that lotus bloom, classical Sanskrit poetry also describes ponds blooming with lotuses in spring.


About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in Ancient India, Art, Asia, Contemporary, Costume, Culture, Flora, Flowers, historical art, historical costume, historical dress, historical fashions, History, Illustration, indian art, Indian Dress, Indian History, Indian Illustrators, miniature paintings, Paintings, Poetry, Sanskrit, Sculpture, South India, Vintage, vintage art, Vintage Blouse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to वसन्त ऋतु – Spring

  1. Rohaka says:

    Hi i nominated you for Liebster award please check here : https://rohaka.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/liebster-award/

  2. N says:

    Lovely 🙂
    My favourite time of year

  3. Pingback: #DailyHaikuChallenge: Sashay – a cornered gurl

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