While he was studying the Saundarya Lahari, Nataraja Guru also studied various other texts of erotic mysticism.

We present here a partial commentary on Kalidasa's "Shakuntala", together with other texts by Kalidasa and other authors.


Properly called Abhijñānaśākuntalam, (Abhijnana means: "Leading toward knowledge", that is, her "recognition" by Dusyanta). this play by Kalidasa tells the story of King Dushyanta who, while on a hunting trip, meets Shakuntalā, the adopted daughter of a sage, and marries her. A mishap befalls them when he is summoned back to court: Shakuntala, pregnant with their child, inadvertently offends a visiting sage and incurs a curse, by which Dushyanta will forget her completely until he sees the ring he has left with her. On her trip to Dushyanta's court in an advanced state of pregnancy, she loses the ring, and has to come away unrecognized. The ring is found by a fisherman who recognizes the royal seal and returns it to Dushyanta, who regains his memory of Shakuntala and sets out to find her. After more travails, they are finally reunited.


"Greek drama is based on the dialectics between honour and duty; Indian drama is based on the dialectics between eroticism and asceticism." Nataraja Guru

This commentary is based on the somewhat dubious and punditical translation of the Motilal Banarsidas edition from which the Guru worked.

An even more dubious translation is here provided for lack of anything better.

The commentary is fragmentary and often repetitive,as it is drawn from several manuscripts, which have been left as they are, rather than risk losing important details by attempting to streamline them into a more lineal form. The Guru would often return several times to a passage and give slightly different interpretations each time. The reader will have to refer constantly to the text of the play to discover the passages referred to in the commentary; however, there is a lot to be learnt even from so partial a text, particularly from the structural methodology employed, together with the diagrams used to illustrate this.

Probably, the best way to grasp the commentary is to read the play first in its entirety, and then go through it with the commentary.



From roots to top, the Asoka has sprouts of a coral colour.
It is giving endless blossoms - when erotic mysticism is complete, there is a thrilling of the entire body.
Sadness overtakes a young girl in love, as a form of mysticism.

The Vikramurvasiyam of Kalidasa has the same situation: an Asoka tree waiting to flower requires the kick of a Princess.
There is a one-to-one correspondence between the élan vital of the tree and the queen.

Verse 85 of the Saundarya Lahari has a similar theme.
Kicking means to understand the one in terms of the other: she kicks it so that it can get married.
This is an equation between the Self and the Non-Self.
This kind of eroticism gives content to the notion of the Absolute.
The play is properly called Abhijnanashakuntala. Abhijnana means: "Leading toward knowledge", that is, her "recognition" by Dusyanta.

Kalidasa sets up the audience hypnotically before the beginning of the play.
For example, the charioteer's speech about the horses.

The lines hang loose; the steeds unreined
Dart forward with a will.
Their ears are pricked; their necks are strained;
Their plumes lie straight and still.
They leave the rising dust behind;
They seem to float upon the wind.

You are being transferred from the horizontal chariot to the soul of a horse.
The horses change horizontal space into vertical space.
Kalidasa wants you to do the same thing.



"That which is the first creation of the creator,
That which bears the offering made according to due rites,
That which is the offerer,
Those two which make time,
That which pervades all space,
having for its quality what is perceived by the ear,
That which is the womb of all seeds,
That by which all living beings breathe:
Endowed with these eight visible forms, may the supreme Lord protect you."

The benediction is a masterpiece of structuralism: a god with eight visible forms, both cosmology and psychology together.
1. The first creation is fire, the centre, as with Thales etc.
2. That which bears the fire (what is put into it as an offering) according to a certain order in the universe: some grains.
3. The Hotri, or sacrificant, who makes the offering.
4 and 5. "Those two who make time": the sun and moon, which are to be verticalized so as to rise and set in your consciousness as if presented to the five senses.
6. The visible world - i.e. attainable in a schematized form.
7. Whatever you call the horizontal world - the womb of all seeds.
8. That by which all things live - breath.





The existing translation (Motilal Banarsidas edition) of the Nandi proves to be inadequate, the Guru will translate the work.

In the Nandi only one god is praised: Ishana.
A Puranic interpretation of the eight forms listed in the Nandi would be wrong,

Kalidasa must be read as a Vedantin.The Gita, Brahma Sutras, and Upanishads must be referred to in order to understand his poetry and plays.

Shabda Pramana
means that "the words" (e.g. The words of an authority or scripture. ED) are taken as being true.

Other Pramanas (sources of valid knowledge. ED) are:
1. Pratyaksha - what is given to the senses.
2. Anumana - inference (where there is smoke, there is fire).
3. Upamana - analogy between two examples.
4. Sastrimitva - all Shastras would be wrong if there were no Brahman.

This is Shabda Pramana.
These are four of the ten Pramanas commonly accepted in Vedanta.


In the Nandi, we find:

1. Fire
2. Ghee (clarified butter used as an offering)
3. The Brahmin sacrificer (these two are interchangeable: "ya cha hotri...")
4 and 5. Time as sun and moon. There is an alternating figure eight.
Time mounts the vertical axis, like S and S' (see Bergson in "The Science of the Absolute" on this website)
They must be verticalized.
6. Substance, attribute, sound, "that even which we speak of as Nature".
7, 8. Manifestation itself is the last mentioned, together with prana "breath", it goes at the top; it is a nature-principle which gives breathing to all things.

Thus, here are eight presences that you can approach as being the visible universal concrete: also with the eight-fold content or aspects.

"Let this universal principle be your saviour - let it save you".
"I worship you and I want to be saved by what you see".
The same elements are used in the play: Shakuntala, a pregnant woman, is the centre, the king forgets her; this is the tragedy.
If you are not tuned to the Absolute, not completely verticalized, you will forget your own wife as Dusyanta forgets Shakuntala, which is the greatest injustice.

Dushyanta is horizontally oriented - thus he forgets his wife.
Shakuntala is vertical.




1. That creation which is the first of all created (things),
2. That which is the clarified butter.
3. That which is at the same time the sacrificer
4 and 5. Those two which make time
6. That ground in which inhere (stand established) quality, sound and substance
(i.e. the horizontal world), filling the whole universe (vyaya visvam)
7. That which is said to be the seed of all manifestation.
8. That which gives life to all living beings
May all of you be saved by the eight bodies (presences)
Let these, the eight manifestations of the Lord, attainable by what is given to the senses, save you.
(This is the Atman that is at the top of the vertical axis - the Omega point.






"The play is the thing" - what you see and what you feel must correspond, resulting in joy, a revealing of human nature with its echo in the soul, an equation between the Self and the Non-Self.
What you represent while being saved has one-to-one correspondence with the action of the play.

Fire is in the centre: tilt it to the Denominator and you will get Shakuntala.
The same structure will be evidenced.
There is a slight asymmetry of perspective as between the Self and the Non-Self.
The spectators are asked to put themselves in a certain mood. Tilt the camera from the positive side of the audience to the negative side of the unhappy Shakuntala.



The stage-manager says:

Why, sing about the pleasant summer which has just begun. For at this time of year
A mid-day plunge will temper heat;
The breeze is rich with forest flowers;
To slumber in the shade is sweet;
And charming are the twilight hours

Actress, sings:

The sirisa-blossoms fair,
With pollen laden,
Are plucked to deck her hair
By many a maiden,
But gently; flowers like these
Are kissed by eager bees.

He is describing the beginning of summer:
1. The days become delightful at evening.
2. To plunge in the water is so delightful.
3. The breeze is filled with perfume, blowing horizontally.
4. There is a boy sleeping in a deep shady place.

Kalidasa puts people in a proper mood by first singing to them, establishing a harmony between the people and the summer season in which the action is going to take place.
The actress sings: this gives a background for a tender, erotic context.
This is a delicate, contemplative tragedy.
Flowers kissed by bees are the most delicate.
This is the world of occasionalism.

The audience is immobilized, as in a picture: subject and object interpenetrate; interest is evenly balanced.

The wife tells the King the Denominator side.
The King is flying, so he is slightly absent-minded.
He is half-awake, to induce a similar state in the audience.
Then there is a gentle surprise - King Dusyanta is brought in and the Prologue ends.

Stage manager:

To tell the truth, madam,
Until the wise are satisfied,
I cannot feel that skill is shown;
The best-trained mind requires support,
And does not trust itself alone

The Stage Manager or Sutradhara says the words have to meet the acting: conceptualism meets perceptualism.
That twilight zone of consciousness between them is where the drama can flourish - not too vague, not too definite.


The "Pinaka-Wielder",  in the Sanskrit text,  means Shiva. This brings to mind the archetypal hunter - this is to fulfil the same purpose of revealing Brahman.
This gives the drama its place in the Indian context.
First get the horizontal line clear.
The charioteer is in the centre and speaks.

Your Majesty,
I see you hunt the spotted deer
With shafts to end his race,
As though God Shiva should appear
In his immortal chase

Then the King speaks:

His neck in beauty bends
As backward looks he sends
At my pursuing car
That threatens death from far.
Fear shrinks to half the body small;
See how he fears the arrow’s fall!
The path he takes is strewed
With blades of grass half-chewed
From jaws wide with the stress
Of fevered weariness.
He leaps so often and so high,
He does not seem to run, but fly.

See! The horses are gaining on the deer.
As onward and onward the chariot flies,
The small flashes large to my dizzy eyes.
What is cleft in twain, seems to blur and mate;
What is crooked in nature, seems to be straight.
Things at my side in an instant appear
Distant, and things in the distance, near.

The King's speech indicates the horizontal vanishing point;
The King sees a jumping, zigzag line.
This is a philosophical reflection on the notion of horizontal existence.
Hunting was a necessity in the time of Shiva, at the origin of human life.
So, the hunter reveals a horizontal line.

The infinity of space and relative speed is indicated here.

There is a Fitzgerald Contraction, a telescoping; grass is falling half-eaten out of the deer's mouth.
It moves lightly; the horizontal line is mathematical.
It is bounding; this indicates the vertical and gives the zigzag line of Bergson.
It shows fear of the horizontal.
The first axis is delineated here.
The King's mind is horizontal; the deer's is vertical.
Beauty is the sinus curve of its neck.
The deer was grazing vertically until the King appeared.
The dropped grass is a schematic, dotted line of tragedy and sympathy.
"Level ground" - the King is impatient of the speed of the chariot and wants to establish reciprocity between horses and chariot in pure motion.

Once reciprocity is established in motion, then the vertical is marked by a description of the chariot and the vision of the King.
Space and time are put into the melting pot: this is a "monde affiné", as in Bergson.
"Objects...," means the speed is great. Non-dual means vertical.
Bent becomes straight.
"So great the speed...": reciprocity abolishes all perspective.
He acts fixing an arrow, only fixing the arrow, not shooting.

Then from behind the scenes comes a voice saying that the deer must not be killed, it belongs to the hermitage.

A voice, offstage:

O King, this deer belongs to the hermitage, and must not be killed.



Your Majesty, here are two hermits, come to save the deer at the moment when your arrow was about to fall.



Stop the chariot.



Yes, your Majesty. (He does so. Enter a hermit with his pupil.)



O King, this deer belongs to the hermitage.

Why should his tender form expire,
As blossoms perish in the fire?
How could that gentle life endure
The deadly arrow, sharp and sure?

Restore your arrow to the quiver;
To you were weapons lent
The broken-hearted to deliver,
Not strike the innocent.



It is done. (He does so.)



A deed worthy of you, scion of Puru’s race, and shining example of kings. May you beget a son to rule earth and heaven.



I am thankful for a Brahman’s blessing.


The two hermits:

O King, we are on our way to gather firewood. Here, along the bank of the Malini, you may see the hermitage of Father Kanva, over which Shakuntala presides, so to speak, as guardian deity. Unless other deities prevent, pray enter here and receive a welcome. Besides,
Beholding pious hermit-rites
Preserved from fearful harm,
Perceive the profit of the scars
On your protecting arm.



Is the hermit father there?


The two hermits:

No, he has left his daughter to welcome guests, and has just gone to Somatirtha, to avert an evil fate that threatens her.



Well, I will see her. She shall feel my devotion, and report it to the sage.

"Killing" is the last word that suggests horizontality: now, the drama is about to begin as a contest between the horizontal and the vertical.
The vertical must not be forgotten.

A voice says: "the deer must not be slain"
The Brahmachari (Ashram disciple) is an agent of the Guru.

The Ashram is an island of neutrality, it is vertical, and there is no killing there.
This is treated with much respect, even by a king, who complies and puts away his bow.
This is an epoch-making statement: a Brahmachari (Ashram disciple) is greater than a king.

The hermits are a point of insertion of the vertical.

The hermit's speech: "...perish as blossoms perish in the fire..".
Agni (fire) is brought in. A sacrifice may be necessary in the outside world, but not according to the vertical ahimsa (non-hurting) of the Ashram. Throwing flowers is a part of many rituals.

"Burning" is for the verticalisation of the horizontal.
"Puru": this is the archetypal pattern for all city-kings; weapons should be for decreasing, not inflicting, suffering.

He wishes:" May thou have a son", the King says, " It is accepted " and bows.
Somatirtha (the ashram) is a place on the vertical line, which intersects with the horizontal.
Kanva has gone there to rectify something about the birth of Shakuntala.
She is the daughter of Menaka, fathered by a forest Rishi; she could not be taken to heaven and so went to Kanva's ashram.
Kanva goes to determine Shakuntala's fate, but her fate is decided at Kanva's Ashram itself.
Kanva knows there is an evil fate in store for her, and has gone to Somatirtha, which is more vertical, to alleviate it, but there are certain things which are in the hands of providence.
The King's devotion - he is also innocent. (? ED)
The King's speech on entering the Ashram: there are two descriptions: one is Jaina, or pre-Vedic, and the other Vedic, he wants to put them together.


Charioteer, drive on. A sight of the pious hermitage will purify us.


Yes, your Majesty. (He counterfeits motion again.)

King(looking about).

One would know, without being told, that this is the precinct of a pious grove.


How so?


Do you not see? Why, here

Are rice-grains, dropped from bills of parrot chicks

Beneath the trees; and pounding-stones where sticks

A little almond-oil; and trustful deer

That do not run away as we draw near;

And river-paths that are besprinkled yet

From trickling hermit-garments, clean and wet.


The roots of trees are washed by many a stream

That breezes ruffle; and the flowers’ red gleam

Is dimmed by pious smoke; and fearless fawns

Move softly on the close-cropped forest lawns.


It is all true.

King(after a little).

We must not disturb the hermitage. Stop here while I dismount.


I am holding the reins. Dismount, your Majesty.

King(dismounts and looks at himself).

One should wear modest garments on entering a hermitage. Take these jewels and the bow. (He gives them to the charioteer.) Before I return from my visit to the hermits, have the horses’ backs wet down.


Yes, your Majesty. (Exit.)

King(walking and looking about).

The hermitage! Well, I will enter. (As he does so, he feels a throbbing in his arm.)

A tranquil spot! Why should I thrill?

Love cannot enter there—

Yet to inevitable things

Doors open everywhere.


1. Some cereal grains, placed by parrots in the holes of trees, are overflowing: there is abundance and peace - the Jainas will never hunt or disturb living beings.
(See the Gymnosophists described by the Greek historian, Herodotus, in his account of Alexander the Great).
2. Ingudi is a nut crushed on stones for oil for lamps. This is a self-sufficient economic system, it is simple.
3. The deer in an Ashram know no fear and are full of confidence. The animals are protected absolutely.
4. There are lines from the washing of the clothes of the Sannyasins that mark the water level. This is inferential as are the signs described in 1 and 2; only 1 is visible.


There are three kinds of inference here; he may be showing the Pramanas.
The above belongs to the Jaina context, what follows belongs to the Vedic context.
Kalidasa inserts himself into these two, before presenting Vedanta.

The King must protect the Rishi performing the fire sacrifice in the forest.
The second description is closer to the altar, since the grass is cut away, this is more of a cultivated garden.
These two descriptions form a pedestal of two concentric circles on which to place the fire of the sacrificer. Then the vertical axis can be built from there to the voice from heaven, which will be heard by the Hotri, or sacrificer.
The clipped Dharba grass means that it has been put into the fire by the Brahmin.



1. Sprouts of grass indicate the horizontal axis.
2. Leaves made vague indicate the Vedic world of ghee (clarified butter used as a sacrificial offering) and the Hotri, or sacrificer.
3. "Roots bathed..." indicates the denominator side, the Alpha point source, the elementals.
4. Young fawns....

The river is horizontal.
Ripples; fire-bather-Brahmin (? ED).
The root is the source of the vertical axis.
This is a gentle attempt to verticalize the scene.

The King descends; he is going to meet Shakuntala.
He is leaving one level and going one step down; he leaves the horses there.

The King enters - the doors of possibility can open anywhere in this world.
You do not have to wait for possibilities that do not present themselves: what happens to you is in the scheme of the best of possible worlds.

The King's arm throbs: this is traditionally a signal of disaster: the right arm for women and the left arm for men. Unhappiness is going to start now. There is a jolt in the machinery - a delicate cybernetic balance is disturbed.

The damsels with pets - there is a dialectical relationship between the young girls and their pets, there is an equation between them, they sit like a baby in their lap.
...contains sinus curves. It is like the breasts of a woman, each is different.
The beauty is in the reciprocity.

The two girls.
Anasuya (lit. "without jealousy"): Kanva loves plants more than does Shakuntala: they represent the negative side of the vertical axis.

Priyamvada (lit. "praising, agreeable")

"The affection of a sister" - there is a unity of life, even plants, all is the Absolute.


Reciprocity is established here between Shakuntala and the flower.
Note that Vedanta never postulates something that you cannot see.
She cares for the plants through, by, for and in herself: this Atman is the same as that:

Advaita comes alive.

Do not talk metaphysics without its lived counterpart.

The sami cut by a lotus leaf - The King says Kanva should not discipline Shakuntala, who has all her tenderness expressed as a flower.
Ascetic discipline is not for a young girl who is like a lotus leaf.
The diamond (tapas or renunciation) is at the Omega point.
Dusyanta can see this from the horizontal.

Shakuntala's bark garment - this is a study in contrast, he purposely plays on the bark garment and the growing breasts of a young girl.
The joking between the girls is only meant to set off the sublimity of the King's poem.
"The beauty of women shines the more by contrast".
The one sets off the other, like the spot on the moon.
The two opposites cancel.
She shines by double negation - the bark garment,
and by double assertion - her own beauty.
She does violence to her own nature and becomes more beautiful; she accepts the renunciation of Shiva - she wears the simple bark cloth of the Ashram disciples, rather than luxurious silk.



What is it that could not serve as an ornament?
The paradox is transcended by her beauty.

The Kesara tree and the creeper: the moving leaves seem to beckon to her.

Priyamvada sees the same beauty as the King; it is absolute beauty; both agree.

"Dusyanta is calling you" that is the dvanyarta (saying one thing in terms of another).
The creeper hangs on the tree for support while putting out flowers.
This is also schematic.

The bark garment - why is it tied with delicate knots?
"Both spoiling the beauty, as also acting as an ornament".
This means that the dress is embellished from the Numerator and detracted from by the Denominator.
Beauty is brought out by contrast, as in the case of the spots on the moon or a lotus next to moss.
A leaf can cover a flower in its tender state; it can also be an ornament to its beauty. Both are presented here.
The King purposely leaves the paradox here.
The delicate knots are supporting the breasts from the numerator side, from the shoulders.


To appreciate the beauty of Shakuntala, approach her from the austere side, her youth comes from below, there is a tragedy when youth and austerity meet.

Shakuntala is like a mango sprouting young leaves, or a creeper putting forth flowers.

There is a dialectical relationship between them; the marriage of plants at the proper season, a gentle conspiracy of nature.
One must be attuned in order to appreciate these factors.
There is a pre-established harmony (cf. Leibniz) between the mango and the creeper.

Nature is full of occasionalism, especially in the spring.

What is her caste? - his conscience is his own Pramana, his heart will only be attracted by a certain type of woman.
She must be, among other things, fully horizontal and vital.
The King belongs to the horizontal context, so the wife cannot be like a peasant, below the line on the negative side.
How can a vertical girl meet the horizontal king?
He is puzzled by the one-one correspondence in the Ashram.

The King's speech about the bee - dvanyarta (see above)
- the King is describing his own intentions through the reality of the bee.
The bee is flying between the ears and eyes and the lower lip.
This is the square root of minus-one: the beauty of a woman is to be found on the negative side.

The bee is a universal principle of honey seeking; the buzzing noise is meant for nature to hear that it is seeking something.
It is touching the throbbing eye - the eyes are like the Sapharika fish: the seat of gossip is between the eyes and the ears - between what you see and what you hear. The lover will be doing the same thing, kissing the eyes and the ears and whispering - just like the bees: put them together and you will get a mystical world which can take in the Absolute with all its implications.
If the bee appreciates her face, then it is Absolute Beauty.

The King is alluded to - the whole of nature conspires.
Shakuntala feels emotions not fit for an Ashram, she knows they are horizontal.
The King says that he is on duty.


There is a sparkling light - trembling beauty comes from the hypostatic side; it cannot come from the "surface of the earth".
This relates to Shakuntala being born of a heavenly nymph.
Shakuntala's beauty is not only sprung from nature, but descends as well from the Numerator: real beauty comes from the two sides - there is a glow that is not from chemistry, but it is faster than the velocity of light.





Movement begins to build up vertically.
The chariot and the charioteer cancel into Zeno's Paradox.
Vertical values begin to prevail, the ascent begins. The dotted circle is magic, inside it there is no fear.
The second pedestal is created by bringing in the horses; actual speed is transformed into psychological speed.
There are three deer: afraid; not afraid; not sacrificed,

There are two pedestals:
1. Jaina - referring to space
2. Vedic - referring to time
This refers to history, not geography: one is in the mind and the other is outside it.



To bring in the reciprocity of movement, you bring in the horses, who are afraid of the speed of the chariot: not just A > B, but A B
Then it becomes vertical.
Now two O Points have been created as two pedestals.



The ripples on the river are the hairs upon the mother's skin - she descends from above to feed the baby: this is a Vedic heaven, which nourishes the child.
The river surface glistens from the sun above, not from below.

The O Point here is the navel of the mother.
The Sun God shines on the river, the nourishment is sucked up by the tree.
There is a fire at the O Point, a fire of hunger or of sacrifice.
So there are two pedestals: one proto-Aryan and one Vedic.



This is the structure of the first description for comparison
Anyway; the two pedestals are constructed.
Bhur-, Bhuvar- and Svar-lokas (the three worlds of earth, heaven and in between) correspond to:

1. Cognition
2. Dusyanta's forgetfulness, the breaking of the continuity
3. Re-cognition.

The second pedestal also contains fawns - for kindness is also there.
The smoke rising makes it into a "Monde affiné" - a refined version of the world - see Bergson..
Contemplation requires subjectivity.

Glistening is most important: the skin of a woman is where nourishment comes from; the glands that produce hair are closely related to those which produce the mother's milk; the hair on a mother's stomach is holy: it comes from above.
"The soul of a child is its rosy behind".

The Vedic world is brought in for need of a voice from heaven for his cosmology and for the telling of the story.
The deer are innocent: note their willingness to believe... this is not Jaina.

"Tremulous beams" - their origin is in the sun and the moon, not the earth, so he recognises the hypostatic side: Saraswati.
See V75 in the Saundarya Lahari of Sankara.

The hermits may be questioned: they have no reserve, no cheques to cash.
No conventional barriers; "contemplatives are not bothered by conventions".

"Having eyes like her own": female deer and Shakuntala.
The bright eyes are very vertical. A husband is not needed.
This is the Absolute from the negative side. It is vitalistic.

Is she going to continue vertically, or is she going to spread out to the horizontal?

That is: will she continue as a disciple in the Ashram, or will she leave to get married and produce children?

She is dependent on another; she will not make her own decision.
If the horizontal had not interfered, she could have continued vertically like the deer, as a Brahmacharini (ashram student), this is the implication.

Priyamvada says that Shakuntala is meant for marriage; thus the King is not violating Shakuntala's svadharma (destiny).

The vertical line of light is to be broken.
The King asks: " Is she going to live the rest of her life like the female deer, with half-drunk eyes?"
She has certain traits, which show she wants a husband badly.

The King wants to say that Shakuntala is perfect both vertically and horizontally; thus the event has to take place exactly at the O Point.
It is possible for her to pass through the horizontal without incident, but Kanva intends her for a normal marriage.
This means that the two axes, vertical and horizontal, must combine and merge properly.
Do not say that one is good and the other bad.
Take what the King says, what Priyamvada says and what Kalidasa says and put them all together in the scheme of the Nandi: get salvation.
A woman has to be dependent on her father's wish:
this is the saddest of truths. She has to be dependent.
Why is a father's soul so concerned about his daughter's chastity?


If you neglect the father's wishes there will be disaster.
The fire and the gem: the King thought that Shakuntala was a fire which could not be touched; but instead she was a gem.

Poetic justice requires that the King be correct; his duty is now clear to him; it is almost a categorical imperative that he make love to her.
But he will forget, as the first dimension causes the fourth dimension to be lost.
Neither of them is a yogi:
the King is non-innocent and horizontal,
Shakuntala is innocent and vertical.

Life is a paradox, understand that and it dissolves itself in the liquid of unitive understanding.
The obstructions seemed to have been removed from the King's social conscience. Kalidasa seems to be approving.
Gautami is the mother superior of the convent; it has to have supervision.
The first-dimensional touch of anger is to be there: there is no idealism in Vedanta: it is apodictic and realistic.

Bodily movements, etc. - there is little difference between intentional movement and actual movement:
"as if he had gone and come back again".

This is a situation where intentionality dominates: he thinks of going, then changes his mind.
Actual going and coming has the same status as mental going and coming.

Shakuntala is spoken of as a "hermit's daughter" in order to bring in the fourth dimension, making her a universal concrete.
So, the intentional and the actual have the same status in phenomenological epistemology.
The girls are all interested in Shakuntala's love.
The Absolute is participated in by everybody.
There is some Absolutist interest.

Priyamvada turns her back; she does not want to leave.
A beautiful pose - we will deal with this later.

The King's ring - She must be tired from carrying water, the King will pay the debt with his signet ring.
Description: both her hands are red from lifting the two pots
There are two trees to be watered, her hands droop, her breasts heave, etc.
Thus is dvanyarta again (saying one thing in terms of another), the O point in a woman's life has been touched: the whole of nature conspires to unite her with Dusyanta.

Instead of watering the plants for her, he gives her the ring - this needs more attention.
The debt of Shakuntala is "paid": the whole thing is conceptual and nominalistic.
Shakuntala says: "I do not belong to that world - settle your disputes
- I am on the Denominator side, and that is another order of existence.



The alarm is sounded - the harsh, horizontal world intervenes.
The elephant is Ganesha, who must be propitiated if the forest is to be peaceful: space and wind can create trouble: the elements in turmoil are Ganesha.
Shakuntala is held back: nature conspires to have its own way.
Does it really conspire? Nature can laugh at you.
Nature can both protest and conspire.
At a given moment in a woman's life it becomes absolutely necessary for her to have a child.
When nature conspires against a man, he should know how to propitiate the elephant god.





The power of the King is bright and is derived from the Numerator side.
Shakuntala gets caught in a tree, while the others fall faster.
She says: "I am an ontological reality, why do you (illegible: "plore"? ED) for me?"

The King derives his power from the sun and moon.

"Holding hair": she is trying to keep a connection with the Numerator side by pretending to be held back.
She is naturally falling down, but the tree is holding her.

The two plants to be watered mean two children.
Water is at the Alpha point.
Perspiration is cancelling the Sirisa flower.
She is panting, in a completely negative state.
Her red hands mean that she is completely healthy - it is not due to bad health.

You have to worship the elephant to calm the situation.
The horizontal zone is forgetfulness. Memory is vertical.
The whole mistake was caused by the King coming to the Ashram.
The King kills deer, why come to the ashram?
Shakuntala is like a deer.

The drooping Sirisa flower means unhappiness - a negative suffering.
If the Devi's eyebrows vibrated, Shakuntala would be lifted up.




Shakuntala has the fatigue of a woman who is not married.
The Sirisa flower's glow is disturbed - it is numerator and disturbed by the denominator perspiration.
The flower is not happy, because she is unhappy inside.

She is almost like a dying person, she is panting.
Do not ask her not to get married.
There is delicately woven language here;
2 plants = 2 children
2 pots = 2 breasts
2 waters = 2 milks


The most important thing is that nobody asks Shakuntala what she wants.
She has to say, "Do not settle my debts"
Who is concerned with Gomati's happiness?
A civil suit for debt allows the King to enter the dispute.

The signet ring - the two friends see and read it: this is the horizontal conventional world of the King:
Shakuntala does not see it.

The King asks; "Does she feel towards me as I feel towards her?"

She pretends not to listen, but hears every word; though her body is turned away from the object of interest, her eyes and ears are really interested.
So there is a link: there is ground for hope.
This is the same as the deer turning, but this is a verticalized version.

Then the hermits' voices are heard: here the horizontal is inserted again.
The peaceful aspect of the Ashram is disturbed.
The dust is horizontal, the Sannyasis' cloth is vertical: put them together.
The dust becomes a patch of colour - take LSD to understand this.
It is a twilight scene; magenta colour prevails - this signifies the Absolute.

There are two magentas: the Sannyasis' cloth is vertical, and the dust and sunset are horizontal.
The King's officers search for him: there is a conflict of horizontal and vertical interests.

The two friends say: "We are afraid, we are going back"
"Honoured by the sight of you" this is the perceptual side, not words.
Shakuntala is caught: "Wait until I loosen it" - she delays.

"A banner against the wind": "I am related to the vertical, the heart, not to the horizontal body".
She is not interested in horizontal movement, but respects the reciprocity of the two movements – which is vertical.
This is the reciprocity of horizontal movement (see Bergson).

End of Act I.



(The following notes will cover these scenes again, for clarification of the schema and re-examination.)


From Shakuntala about to go away.



Shakuntala wants to leave but Priyamvada "forces her back": she says she has a "debt" of two plants to water.
The King will pay back the debt:
Kalidasa wants to give an ordinary, conventional scene; the ordinary, the horizontal axis is here exposed.
Physical fatigue.
Einstein will be brought in later.
The King desires to give her a ring: he wants to pay wages for labour; the ring has some value.
He is a gentleman as well as a King.
Reading the signet ring absolves from the debt.
"Who are you to send me away or hold me back? You are bargaining as if in a market-place or in a bank; I am real, existential."
Eyes and ears: a perfect picture of reciprocity - she turns away - and yet still looks by side-glances and listens with her ears.
The alarm is sounded: untrained elephants are raising havoc - horizontal values are prevailing.

Act II begins.
Enter Vidushaka (the buffoon): he is the embodiment of sarcastic wit: he is bitter and dissatisfied with everything.
We should take the value-content of what he says.
He leans on his staff, feigning paralysis.
He represents a sterile world, the opposite of Shakuntala.



The conceptual world is sterile and empty of content: there is no Omega Point.

No shade, some water, no sleep, wakened by the sons of the slave-girls. (hard work, activity), his joints are painful.
He belongs to one right angle of the scheme.
He is leaning on a staff - this is the structural key.
The King is on the horizontal axis with the tiger, bear, deer, the sons of the slave-girls, Yavanas, girls, etc.
The King's speech: a man in love interprets everything with himself as a reference.
You can guess from this that he is in love.
Fat hips: this is the negative vertical representing the feminine psyche.




All love affairs involve a reciprocity between two people on the vertical axis.
The law of reciprocity is like the law of gravity - there is bipolarity.
He is abstracting and generalising about all people anywhere who are in love: he is sure to use himself as a reference and invert with one-to-one correspondence.
"She is behaving with complementarity and reciprocity to my mind."
So there is one-to-one correspondence with four aspects.
The relationship is perfectly vertical.
The Vidushaka goes on to cross the horizontal - with its own quaternion.