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Kalidasa is most famous for being a Sanskrit playwright who wrote plays based on stories from Hindu scripture. But Kalidasa also composed epic poetry on the same subject, most notably Raghuvamsa, an epic poem about members of the Raghu dynasty, including Rama.

My question is, what are the specific Hindu scriptures that Raghuvamsa is based on? Did Kalidasa ever mention what sources he relied upon to compose it? Or have later scholars surmised where the content of Raghuvamsa originates from?

I assume that the Valmiki Ramayana was one of the sources used, particularly the Uttara Kanda, but what other sources were used?

  • What do you mean by "scriptures" here? Of course Kalidasa was acquainted with the Veda and Upanishads, as with various shastras (of dharma, artha, kama, also vyakarana etc) and their influence is visible throughout his works. (Dr. Ganesh's "Kalidasana Kavya-samskriti" (in Kannada) is wonderful on this topic.) If you mean works on the Ramaya specifically, then V. Raghavan's The Ramayana Tradition in Asia and Sanskrit Ramayanas Other Than Valmiki's are useful references (most are later than Kalidasa though). Of course as a mahakavi Kalidasa also used his own creativity to draw from. – ShreevatsaR May 3 '15 at 18:45
  • @ShreevatsaR I'm specifically interested in the sources Kalidasa used for information about Rama and his ancestors. He might have taken artistic license in certain places, but to the extent that he drew from existing sources I want to know what those sources were. – Keshav Srinivasan May 3 '15 at 21:59
  • Ah ok, thanks for the clarification. I'll keep an eye out, and if I come across the answer to this somewhere in my reading, I'll make sure to come back here and post an answer. Regards, – ShreevatsaR May 3 '15 at 22:50
  • Do we need tag for literature in addition to scripture? – Pandya Dec 3 '16 at 17:43

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