Sunday, October 23, 2011

English Tapasvinī Kāvya - Canto-10/ Harekrishna Meher

Original Oriya Epic Poem By : Poet Gańgādhara Meher (1862-1924)
Complete English Translation By : Dr. Harekrishna Meher

[Canto-10 has been taken from pages 147-158 of my English Book
‘ Tapasvinī of Gańgādhara Meher ’
Published by : R.N. Bhattacharya, A-217, Road No.4, HB Town, Sodepur,
Kolkata-700110, India. First Edition : 2009, ISBN : 81-87661-63-1]
For Introduction, please see,
‘ Tapasvinī of Gańgādhara Meher : A Critical Observation ’ :
Link :

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Tapasvinī (Canto-10)
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Sītā, the virtuous wife,
blessed with twin-gems youngster,
rivetted her mind to foster
them more than own life.
Manacles of affections,
intensely fastened.
Even for a twinkling of an eye,
she didn’t leave the sons.
Burden of her life thereby,
she deemed somehow lessened. (1)

For ablution once only at day,
from them when she remains away,
she soon anxiously returns
in her drenched dresses.
Feeling lonely indeed
her life gets hurried
to see the lotus-faces
of her new-borns. (2)

Pulverizing the pride
of lunar digits, the twin bodies
acquired gradual growth.
Day by day, like full moon, faces both
formed repository of beauties.
They could recognize further
the face of their affectionate mother,
and on her lap became inclined to ride. (3)

They laugh sweetly
looking at the mother’s face.
Searching lap, they cry apace.
Them while affectionately
mother does cuddle,
in her lap-cradle
on the swing of joys
sportively play both the boys.
They, again and again, beholding her face,
often laugh and make her laugh with grace. (4)

In dream, she had never found out
nor had a trace of thought in imagination
that sweet smile would sprout
from her burnt face anon.
Ineffable smile of ineffable bliss rarest,
reigns spontaneously manifest.
But as her husband
could not partake of this happiness,
she does reprimand
her destiny in distress. (5)

Goddess Sarasvatī, in the lotus
of twin faces, appearing lustrous,
in the guise of teeth, displayed
her natural divine glow,
deriding Kunda flower, Moon, pearl and snow.
Her lute, she first played
with the tune ‘mā’, ‘mā’, ‘mā’, ‘mā’, [1] soft fine
and melodiously nectarine. (6)

In the form of zephyr, the tune divine,
keeps mother’s life
green sprig-filled.
The pink hue of tender leaf
on her lips is soon revealed.
Buds of their teeth
slowly grow therewith,
bearing the brilliance of moon-shine. (7)

The effulgent Mind, like Sun, [2]
occupying Indra’s throne of East
and proceeding forth
towards Kubera’s treasury of North,
with satisfaction
enhances the lustre of face,
and thinks further,
world’s all the happiness
with propitious fortune now exist
in own hand shining brighter. (8)

Of half-blown lotuses, bearing the lustres,
both the brothers began to express
lisping syllables, pleasant and very sweet.
Seeing the charming glances,
beauteous figures
and graceful gaits of the Speech-Goddess,
Sītā ’s life becomes replete
with inner horripilation.
Further alacrity dances
in her mind’s mansion. (9)

With the assistance
of their palms and thighs,
gradually the babies
learnt to sit
and stepped their feet
on earth’s surface.
Remaining at a distance,
calling them with gleeful grace,
she enhanced their stepping pace.
With curiosity thither
in smiling face,
the twins rush to the mother. (10)

Sometimes in hands holding lumps of clay,
dirtying their tongues they play.
When affectionate mother
makes them bear
some beautiful fruits anear,
they take thither
and fling those away anon
shaking their faces.
Fluttering thereon,
lovely locks of the babies
look like black bees
flitting on lotuses. (11)

They began to stand
supporting the mother’s hand.
Resting on own feet further
holding hands of mother together,
ahead they learnt to toddle.
To step forward by themselves, they tried
and falling in the middle
when both cry hurried,
the mother pleases them with kisses
on their delicate faces. (12)

The twin brothers, with fun,
call the sylvan birds,
seeing their charming colours.
Cherishing for the plumes of peacocks, they run
after them to catch anear.
Holding the herds
of fawns, both gaily play there
adorning them with flowers. (13)

In hilarious moods,
ascetic-maids and ascetics
accompanying the brothers,
make them meander
there in the woods.
Decorating their heads and cheeks
with garlands of flowers,
they spring the offspring
in the sweet swing
of flowery creepers yonder.
Making the buds of gaieties
bloom there, both the babies
with eagerness insistent remain,
saying ‘again’, ‘again’. (14)

In the swings of flowers,
the splendid darkish bodies
of twin brothers
gladden the eyes.
Dame Sylvan Beauty as though bedecks
with green gems and makes
the charming swings
move with love and fondlings.
Therewith the tree-boughs
sway with elation.
By the gestures
of her own eye-brows,
she, with derision,
laughs at the loveliness of others. (15)

With the vigours of lions,
adorning the sons
gradually elapsed five years.
The twins rambled freely in rivers,
gardens, groves and places
abounding in green grasses.
Their intrepid mind, not in the least,
counted dread of any wild beast. (16)

With proper conventional custom,
accomplishing the tonsure ceremony of the offspring,
Sage Vālmīki, the ocean of learning,
brought and made them lions
in the inaccessible woods of wisdom.
Both the brave ones
wandering thither, killed
the elephants of ignorance wild. (17)

Plenteous is the Epic-mountain
with gems of sentiments.
There majestically roams Rāma -Lion.
Forming murmuring fountain,
blood-stream of Rāvaņa-Elephant flows further.
Residing in a cavern, there laments
the Lioness suffering affliction
by tusk-tossing of the tusker. (18)

Witfully causing the sons
to climb the mountain-summit,
the great noble hermit
made them play like fawns.
But Rāma’s scions
sported like lions.
The whelps playing with exhilaration
knew Rāma as lion,
without recognizing thither
their own father. (19)

Beside their mother,
they sing the Rāmāyaņa epic
composed by Vālmīki, the great ascetic.
In proper accompaniment
of measure, concord and melody refined,
playing on lutes, rivetting their mind
in the devotional sentiment
for Rāma, the hero-emperor,
and being restless by love-waves, the babies
move their heads and eyes. (20)

Warning, roaring, mourning
and laughing are revealed
in every tone of song very well.
Their chests and arms do swell.
From their eyes,
sometimes tears stream at ease.
The inner poetic feeling, forming lightning,
enters profound into their lives joy-filled. (21)

In the tongues of the twin offspring,
Goddess Sarasvatī, newly appeared,
sacred, effulgent and comely-figured,
displaying her dance,
sweet, graceful and marvellous with elegance,
in happy moods,
bestowed immense cheers
that forming sonorous clouds
in every living being,
were sprinkling the ambrosial showers. (22)

With Sītā, other hermit-maids for long,
drinking the nectar of sacred song
immensely felt bliss, distress,
peace, grief, sorrow and happiness.
Hearts melted with pains and gaieties.
Tears streamed down from their eyes. (23)

The twins could not know
that Sītā, the mid-jewel of necklace
on the heart of Rāma, the Rāmāyaņa’s hero,
was their mother dwelling in the forest-place
on the banks of Bhāgīrathī river.
The fact was kept hid,
as the bidding of the great seer
had already forbid. (24)

Of Rāma and Sītā, the virtues and glories,
the twins gracefully sing
with eagerness extreme.
Sītā, the jewel among the devoted spouses,
hearing all these,
bashfully immerses
her mind in ecstasy.
There attentively keeping
her identity in secrecy,
as an ascetic-maid, she spends the time. (25)

Hearing the charming Rāmāyaņa epic,
herds of deer in enchanted mood,
concentrated thereon
with leaning ears and steady vision,
like wooden deer oblivious of food,
quenching thirst and enjoying frolic.
With the listening-opulence,
birds filled their hearts, observing reticence. (26)

Filling the rose-gay of flowers
in the plaits of full vessels, there trees
merged in emulating the songs of babies,
by gesticulating own hands of creepers.
Enraptured, maddened with joy ineffable,
Tamasā rolled restless and unstable. (27)

Dancing with the canorous tune of paean,
nectar flowed on the bosom of earth.
Denizens of forest-environs,
arriving from all four directions,
floated in the stream nectarean.
Covering all the ear-cavities,
the stream in mirth
permeated the city of deities. (28)

Hearing the song sweetest,
hearty thanks of commend
Brahmā, Indra and Rudra did extend.
Direction-Damsels of East, West,
South and North,
delightfully danced forth.
With Gandharva-companions,
the celestial nymphs danced in elations
sportively spreading there
the pride of music-fare. (29)

Rambling in many a country,
Sage Nārada frankly expressed revelry,
admiring the sentiments of Vālmīki’s poetry
and Sītā - Rāma’s sacred glory.
He also praised the song of twin offspring,
also the lilt of lute nectar-showering. (30)

The great lutanist Nārada whose lute
has earned high repute,
now enraptured with the lutes of twin brothers,
declared those as unique and peerless.
Immense thanks to the celestial ascetic
who in cheers enthusiastic,
singing praise of others,
heightened his own greatness. (31)

Despite own virtues profuse,
someone with heart free,
adept in appreciating other’s virtues
verily fructifies own virtue-tree.
Moved forward is the arrow
by the string of bow.
Wafting the fragrance of flowers,
zephyr confers on the world more cheers. (32)

At the age of eleventh year,
accomplished was the ceremony of thread-bearing
of the twins having handsome bodies.
Delved into the Vedas later on,
they acquired the wisdom-vision.
Seeing the genius of sons, with no peer,
well-versed in Vedic studies,
Sītā discarded all her suffering. (33)

Just as Sunshine adorns the water
of Yamuna, Sun’s daughter,
there the newly charming juvenile beauty,
bringing jewel-lustres
as debt from ocean, Varuņa’s treasury,
embellished gently in luxury
the twin dark figures
with marvellous dexterity. (34)

Their speech refined with learning
sanctified hearts and ears.
Behaviour followed the speech.
With divinity, conduct became rich.
Speech, limbs and mind, all shining,
in life created waves of lustres. (35)

Bearing the verses recited
by the twin boys,
mother’s life became permeated
with the light of joys.
Night of woeful reminiscence more and more
inspirited her mind’s core.
A distressed one does realize
the value of being blithe.
Happiness of the ever-happy is
never comparable therewith. (36)

The twin figures,
cheerful and new,
seemed heaps of gems in mother’s view.
In her ears,
admiration of sons entered
as the stream of nectar.
Arrays of auspicious fame
of her life-lord,
therewith became
ladder to the heaven afar. (37)

Leaving the lap of mother,
caring no fear,
since the day when the twins wandered,
she practised regularly
the penitential rite.
With mind dedicated at the sacred feet
of her dearest lord,
herself Maithilī,
the virtuous devoted wife,
merged to pass the rest of her life. (38)

Like river-stream in summer,
Sītā’s life turned thinner and thinner.
Like Moon of black fortnight,
it awaited death, the New-moon night, [3]
and considering her husband as Sun
aspired there for union. (39)

Mused the Virtuous lady :
‘Once by any means,
casting a glance complete,
at my husband’s holy feet,
also entrusting to him the twins,
I would shatter
the shackle of my body.
My life-deer rushing anon
would make home for shelter
in that sylvan state of salvation.’ (40)
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(Footnotes :
[1] ‘Mā’ is the fourth tune among the seven musical tunes known as ‘sā’, ‘re’, ‘gā’, ‘mā’ ‘pā’, ‘dhā’ and ‘ni’. The word ‘Mā’ also means ‘mother’. Babies’ addressing their mother as ‘mā’ is depicted here.
[2] Mind is personified here. In case of Sun, the original word ‘kara’ implies ‘ray’ or ‘shine’. Indra’s throne means East direction. Kubera’s treasury means North direction. Pun is presented here. Mind enjoys the lordship of heaven and acquires the affluent riches of Wealth-god Kubera.
[3] In the moonless night (amāvasyā) of black fortnight, both Sun and Moon are united.
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( Canto - X of Tapasvinī ends.)
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