Sanskrit drama is associated with divinity and it is equally applicable to Poems written in Sanskrit as well as Maithili. Vidyapati was a very influential Poet and his works were circulated in Maithili, Abahatta and Sanskrit. Kalidasa considers the four Vedas to be the source of amusement and enlightenment. Kalidasa’s Nataka Vikramorvashiyam is in fact an episode of Pururava and Urvashi taken from Rgveda. Vidyapati has also been influenced by Vedas and it is interesting to find that the elements of love in Vidyapati and Kalidasa are parallel to each other. It is one of the reasons that they are widely read and circulated not only in India but abroad. Kalidasa’s divinity and Vidyapati’s spirituality is a matter of concern because it leads to the foundation of love for the almighty. Ages will come and go but the creations of these two great personalities will remain as fresh as nature itself. Virah-Vedna or anguish of separation has been depicted both by Kalidasa and Vidyapati and after reading them it seems that love without separation is meaningless to each other. Love is in its purest form when covered by separation.
Scholars and critics believe that Kalidasa was born in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is also believed that he lived in 1st Century B.C. However, it is still a matter of debate but it is known to us that Vidyapati was born in 1352 in Bisfi, a village situated in Madhubani district of Bihar. Love has always been a serious concern for poets and writers. In every age people have tried to define the feeling of love but it is correct that it is not an easy task. During the time of Kalidasa elements of love were expressed through the Rasa theory and it is practiced still today in Indian Literature especially in Sanskrit Literature. It is believed that Kalidasa was a predecessor of Ashvaghosha who was a Buddhist philosopher and poet under the patronage of king Kanishka. Works of Kalidasa shows that he belonged to the period of Vedic ritualism where Sanskrit was spoken widely. Bharta once said while narrating the origin of Natyasastra that-
“Brahma meditated in solitude and finally decided to compose a fifth Veda incorporating all the arts and sciences, and enlightening too. This he did by taking words from Rigveda, music from Samveda, movements and make-up from Yajurveda, and emotional acting from Atharvanaveda.”
It means symbolically that drama originated and became popular from the Vedic times. Love was an essential component of drama which was incorporated by great writers like Kalidasa and Vidyapati. Both these writers popularized their thoughts expressed through poetic lines. Both of them have their own thoughts regarding beauty. Kalidasa the great poet of Sanskrit has written about the beauty of Shakuntala that God has created her with hands of delicacy. She is so soft and serene that beauty might itself feel shy on its serenity. Vidyapati has gone beyond this description and has written on the same topic, that is, beauty of Shakuntala. He has described her saying that her face has been created by the twinkling of the stars and the moon. When we analyze such beautiful images created by writers like Kalidasa and Vidyapati, we can find that Sringara-Rasa is at its height. Now coming to the Vipralambha Sringara, first of all we should understand about this term Vipralambha. It is a kind of love which is evoked in separation. Several philosophers have said that the intensity of love can be measured in separation. There is no scale to measure love yet separation acts like a tool which can make a lover or a beloved sick enough to dive in life and feel lifeless. In the writings of Vidyapati, we can see the conditions of a lover and a beloved when they separate from each other. This condition can be termed as love sick condition. Kalidasa has also written much on such conditions of life which we call Vipralambha Sringara. There are several comparisons between Vidyapati and Kalidasa. It is needless to say that both are the greatest writers of their time, yet Vidyapati cannot attain the poetic beauty of kalidasa. Opinions may vary from person to person yet several scholars agree that Kalidasa was a much refined poet. Vipralambha is a more frequent rasa of Sringara Rasa and it has been used vividly by Kalidasa and Vidyapati. We can notice that the theme of Meghdutam written by kalidasa is Vipralambha Sringara. In Abhijnanasakuntalam, the actual union of Shakuntala and Dushyanata has been written in detail but we can see that most of the time Dushyanta is in a love sick condition. This condition of love sickness is heightened when Dushyanta sees the ring. Now he remembers the time he has spent with Shakuntala. In separation, he feels sick and the chamberlain describes his exact condition. This condition of love can be seen frequently in Virah Vedna poems of Vidyapati. The opening lines of his poems has become celebrated songs of not only Maithili speaking people but it has been translated in so many languages. The lover is named Madhav which is also a name of Lord Krishna. The opening line of the poem conveys that Madhav has gone to a far flung area and the beloved is trying to know about his condition. She curses her own destiny that she is away from him and there is nobody who can tell her about the well wishing of her lover. The poem is lovely and it appeals directly to the heart of the readers. The poem has a theme that separation is not bearable both for the lover as well as the beloved. Kalidasa has talked about love between Dushyanta the great ruler and Shakuntala the child of nature. This love is deepened in separation. When king Dushyanta understands that it was the destiny when he got separated from his beloved he becomes sad. This sadness reaches to a climax where he becomes love sick. Similar is the condition with Shakuntala. She cannot forget Dushyanta because she loves him more than her own life. It is the greatness of Kalidasa and Vidyapati that both of them have written exclusively on virah-vedna. That is none other than a feeling of anguish in separation.