A commemorative postage stamp on Mahakavi Magha, a Sanskrit poet at the court of King Varmalata from Gurjara–Pratihara dynasty in Shrimala :
Issued by India
Issued on Feb 9, 2009
Issued for : India Post is happy to issue Commemorative Postage Stamp on Maha Kavi Magh.
Stamp & FDC : Neenu Gupta
Cancellation : Neenu Gupta
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nasik
Name : Māgha
Born on 675 A.D. at Bhinmal, Jalore district, Rajasthan, India
- Maha Kavi ‘Magh’ was born around 675 A.D. at Bhinmal in Rajasthan. He was son of ‘Dattak‘ and grandson of ‘Suprabhadeva‘ a minister of king, ‘Varmalata‘ of Gujarat.
- ‘Magh‘ was a perfectionist. Nothing would satisfy him except the very best. Therefore, he wrote only one epic named, ‘Shishupal Vadha‘, but such a masterpiece of literature that his name is taken alongside ‘Kalidas‘ and ‘Bharvi‘.
- ‘Shishupal Vadha‘ contains 1650 stanzas and is in 20 canto. It is based on an episode of ‘Mahabharat‘. During ‘Rajasuya yagya‘ performed by king Yudhisthir, there was altercation between Shishupal on the one hand, and Bhishma, Yudhisthir and Krishna on the other. Shishupal abused Krishna in a filthy language. The verbal duel acquired such a dimension that Lord Krishna was constrained to halt ‘Shishupal‘. It was but a small incident in the great story of Mahabharat. Magh‘s greatness lies in weaving a great epic covering all aspects of life around this small episode. He invested in this great work all his rich vocabulary, pure grammar, all-encompassing erudition and knowledge, command over the language, and ornate elegant style. For this great single work of his, he is remembered even today with greatest respect.
- His vocabulary was vast and limitless. So much so that, it is said that there is no word in Sanskrit dictionary which has not been used in the ‘Shishupal Vadha‘. In other words the ‘Shishupal Vadha‘ is a living dictionary of Sanskrit language, paying tribute to his prolific use of words. One commentator has aptly said:
“Nav Sarga gate maghe Navsshabda Na Vidyate“
- It means that even when one reads upto 9th canto of his work, one finds that no new word of Sanskrit is left to be discovered.
- Some poets concentrate on simile while others on style. But ‘Magh‘ was one great poet who used simile with great effect, had great felicity with the language, used meaningful words and was the master of ornate and exotic style. So it has been aptly said about him:–
“Maghe santi trayo Guna“
- It has been acknowledged by scholars that he combined in his persona, Kalidas‘s mastery over simile, Bharvi’s flair for drawing word-pictures and Dandi‘s elegant style of writing.
- He experimented with rare grammatical usage which shows that he was an artist and a great grammarian as well.
- Some of his verses are very fascinating and unique and they reflect his talent of playing with words. The following verse gives an idea of his talent:
“Raj Raji Jaje Jiraojojo jaro o Rajaah
Rejriju Rajo Jarji Rarajarjur Jarjar“
- In this Stanza he has mainly used two words named ‘Ra’ and ‘Jha’. This is not a mean achievement.
- A few to his stanzas can be read backwards as well and in the ordinary way.
- He has used forty one metre in his classic where as Bharvi used only twenty four metre. Thus his metrical profusion is wonderful.
- The ‘Shishupal Vadha‘ shows that Magh‘s knowledge was encyclopaedic. In fact he was a versatile genius. He was well versed in Shastras, was a master of polity and political science, was sensitive to understand the human frailties and human virtues and their impact on social interaction, had an eye for beauty, understood the effects of seasonal changes in climate and weather on human life and environment, had fair acquaintance with painting and sculptures, knew different philosophies and religions and was not unaware of human craving for eroticism. His reading encompassed among other subjects, Astrology, Astronomy, Vedas, Vedantas, dramatics and Science dealing with elephants and horses.
- ‘Magh‘ has described nature, mountains and rivers very vividly.
- His description of beauty is unique. According to him, thing which changes every moment and appears fresh is beautiful in his own words.
“Kshane Kshane Yannavata Mupalti,
tadaiv Rup Ramniyataya“
- Magh was not only a great poet but also a great human being. He received unaccountable wealth from his patron King Bhoj. At the same time he had also inherited substantial fortune from his father and grandfather, yet he died in poverty because he was very generous in helping the poor, sharing his wealth with needy and distributed money freely in charity. He was truly an egalitarian.
- Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.