Unraveling Motives. Exploring Key Themes in Bana's "Kādambari"

Unraveling Motives. Exploring Key Themes in Bana's "Kādambari"

04 Dec 2023
Julianne Arteha
3:18 m read
Unraveling Motives. Exploring Key Themes in Bana's "Kādambari"

Kadambari by Bana is an ancient Indian romantic novel that unfolds against the backdrop of divine realms and mortal existence. The story revolves around the profound and timeless love between Kādambari, a celestial being, and Candrapida, a mortal prince. As the narrative weaves through celestial abodes, earthly kingdoms, and spiritual quests, the characters grapple with destiny, self-discovery, and the transformative power of love.

Love as a Transformative Force:

At the heart of “Kādambari” lies the motif of love as a catalyst for transformation. The central characters, Kādambari and Candrapida, are entwined in a cosmic love story that transcends time and mortality. Bana uses their love as a vehicle to explore the profound impact of emotions on personal growth and destiny.

A story tender with the charm of gracious speech, creates in the heart joy full of fresh interest; and it comes of itself, with native feeling, to its lord’s possession, like a fresh bride.
The Kadambari of Bana, Bana Open book

Quest for Knowledge and Wisdom:

The characters in “Kādambari” are not only driven by romantic love but also by a deep thirst for knowledge and wisdom. Bana infuses his work with philosophical undertones, portraying characters who embark on intellectual journeys, seeking to unravel the mysteries of life, death, and the universe.

Fate and Destiny:

The concept of fate and predestined paths is a recurring motif in “Kādambari.” Characters grapple with the idea that their lives are part of a larger cosmic design, with destiny playing a pivotal role in shaping their experiences. This theme adds layers of complexity to the characters' motives and actions.

Fate is all-powerful. Destiny is strong. We cannot even draw a breath at our own will.
The Kadambari of Bana, Bana Open book
even the wisest man cannot change destiny. Let all be done that may be done in this mortal life.
The Kadambari of Bana, Bana Open book

Sacrifice and Selflessness:

The novel explores the theme of sacrifice and selflessness, emphasizing the profound impact of putting others' needs above one's own. Characters make choices that reflect a deep sense of duty and a commitment to something greater than themselves, adding a moral dimension to their motives.

Symbolism and Allegory:

Bana employs rich symbolism and allegorical elements throughout “Kādambari.” Motifs such as celestial beings, divine interventions, and mythical creatures contribute to the multi-layered narrative, allowing readers to interpret the text on both literal and symbolic levels.


Bana's “Kādambari” stands as a literary marvel that transcends time, offering readers a glimpse into the complexities of human motives and the universal themes that bind us all. Through love, knowledge, destiny, sacrifice, and symbolism, Bana weaves a narrative that continues to resonate with readers, inviting them to ponder the timeless questions that lie at the heart of the human experience.