By ekah of course is meant Kalida'sa, the author of Abhijna'nas'akuntala, Raghuwamsa, etc., and it is him we are here concerned with. Of his personal history very little is definitely known. The name itself signifies 'a servant of the goddess Durga' it is probable that like so many other names it was bestowed without any reference to its original signification. But on it is based a tradition which represents him to have been an illiterate person, till by the favour of the goddess he suddenly found himself endowed with the poetic gift. Ka'li-da'sa is curiously reticent about himself in his works; nor are any records of him by other hands now available. Whatever we can say about his life is based on external and secondary sources and must necessarily remain a matter of more or less guess-work. His birth-place was probably somewhere in Malwa and from his glowing description of Ujjayini it would appear that he was a resident of that city. Legends are current about his having been a court-poet of King Vikramaditya, (a matter to which we shall refer further on); and his works, it is true, show considerable acquaintance with court life. He was a Bra'hmana by caste and a devout worshipper of Siva, though by no means a narrow-minded sectarian. He seems to have travelled a great deal throughout India; his graphic description of the Himalayan scenes reads very much like that of an eye-witness.
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