Original Oriya Epic Poem By : Poet Gańgādhara Meher (1862-1924)
Complete English Translation By : Dr. Harekrishna Meher
[Canto-6 has been taken from pages 69- 86 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 : http://hkmeher.blogspot.com/2007/08/tapasvini-of-gangadhara-meher-critical.html
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With beloved Chitrā, oneday,
Moon made an ascent
to the firmament.
In the woodland bloomed Navamallikā flowers.
By and by, Mallī creepers
of the hermitage looked gay
with comely clusters
of smiling flowers.
with the gladdening odours
of Mādhavī, Vakula, Mallī
and Niāli flowers,
bearing gentle pace,
in the meantime,
on the banks of Tamasā, Breeze,
enjoying hearty embrace
with the fair Moon-beam,
was rambling at ease.
Close to Jānakī’s cottage,
bearing many an image
in the shade of trees,
pieces of moon-beam there,
in a gentle manner
proceeding to the east,
were waxing, waning in the midst
and concealing their bodies.
From alcove at a short remoteness,
had sat with her friend hermitess
in the moonshine.
Near Sītā, the ambrosial moon-beams
seemed to be scattered from her limbs.
Resorting to a leaf, pair
of glow-worms were shedding light
more splendid and fair
than the moon bright.
Observing them, the Virtuous Queen
in her mind expressed :
“O Glow-worms ! In worm-life here,
you all are really blessed.
More than yourselves are creatures
in the world; but has anyone lustres
so beautiful like thine ?
From the lord of the world ere,
you had obtained boon
by great fortune.
Therefore your light
fills sight of the world with delight.”
Meantime there was heard
the voice of Chakravāka bird.
Ever and anon
there showered compassion.
Towards the cheek-shore,
the water of compassion
spread perforce afore
in the river of Sītā’s vision.
Soon that moment,
concealing it apace
from the hermitess-companion,
Sītā, with the hem of garment
cleansed her face
under the pretext of perspiration.
Knowing this matter,
the maiden-friend made query :
“O Lady of noble character !
Be pleased to tell,
‘At night why do Chakravākas cry ?
Inside the city,
do they dwell
and at midnight
wail in plight ?
Though they cry yonder,
hearing the wailing nearby,
what do the citizens ponder ?”
Sītā, hearing all these,
could not suppress tears in her eyes.
Voice made interruption
in her word’s expression.
Thus observing there,
the hermitess said to her :
“Friend ! This matter leave please.
For my obstinacy I apologise.
Indeed in vain,
I gave you much pain.”
Sītā expressed :
“My dear friend !
If untold is self-identity,
my life becomes embarrassed.
Aspiration I’ve to spend
the remaining life here in thy proximity.
My whereabouts if I don’t give,
me how would you believe ?
This when I’ll express,
abated will be the burden of my distress.
Therein you’ll realize
how the world really is.
Myself, a princess,
was bred up hence
in the cradle of opulence
on the sweet lap of royal palace.
The royal citadel was
with the cooings of flamingoes,
peacocks, cuckoos, parrots and mynas.
Chakravāka during night
mourns with plight;
but there in childhood innocent,
my heart was ignorant of woes.
After adolescence, My dear ! while
I stepped in the prime of spring juvenile,
I beheld, there came with enthusiasm
kings from many a kingdom.
My father had kept a bow bold,
bejewelled and very beauteous to behold.
One after another, the kings somehow
holding the bow,
pulling once, with defeated feats,
retreated to their seats.
Within own gemmed diadem,
hiding the hoary hairs,
there some of them
displayed all possible vigours.
Some with youthful lustres,
evincing their leonine gestures,
touching the bow
retreated, suffering overthrow.
Seeing the conceited gaits
and futile bravery of every king,
My dear ! at the straits
very much I was laughing.
Amid maiden-companions there,
myself remaining in the balcony of palace,
was observing with curiosity inner,
all that took place.
Lastly came yonder
a young prince, the crest-jewel
of Kshatriya pedigree,
excelling emerald by his physical splendour
shone near the bow.
In the form of a prince very well,
as if the Sun aglow.
When I gazed at him,
my heart kept affected inwardly.
In the life of hermitess, I deem,
that feeling is experienced hardly.
I had derision
at the kings there;
but my obstinate nature
Friend ! Beyond my imagination
was the matter
that fortunate would be my vision
to behold such charming figure.
On his feet rufescent,
my lucid heart rendered with ardent
love and devotion.
That I would be handed over
in wedlock to him whoever
would break the bow
was the proclamation of my father’s vow.
Myself thought :
‘The vow ended at the very day thither.
I’ll be an ascetic-maid, having brought
the bidding of my father.
Is there any sense sure
who would break the bow ?
This great warrior
has bought my heart now.
If heart loves a man and
some other one becomes husband,
verily in life and thereafter
would occur terrible disaster.
For him, whose handsome hands are fit
to be the object of the Flowery bow,
a mere humiliation is it
to hold this very bow.’
To my favourable fortune yonder,
the hero prince cut asunder
not only the bow very difficult to hold,
but also the distress of my heart untold.
Wedding ceremony of mine
was accomplished with the warrior great.
Earning his love divine,
myself felt blessed and fortunate.
There were three younger brothers
of the great warrior.
They espoused my three sisters
in grand wedlock there.
On the way, from my father’s land
to the capital of my husband,
Parasurāma, the great hero
of Bhŗigu’s pedigree and comet-banner
of Kshatriya clan, there offered
on the hand of my lord,
a brilliant bow
in a challenging manner.
Beholding the sight,
I became overwhelmed with fright.
I feared, whether my lord would gain
a lustrous lady again
and she might be an enemy
of love for me.
On the bow,
when my husband
braced an arrow,
to him all of a sudden,
the Heroic Beauty-maiden
of Paraśurāma, offered the garland.
Just as Sunshine
enhances love of the Lotus-maiden,
so did the Heroic Beauty heighten
the hearty love of mine.
About one thing, thinks mind free;
but otherwise becomes consequence.
My Friend ! In this world, hence
unintelligible is Destiny’s decree.
Hoisting in the firmament,
the heroic banner resplendent,
my great warrior lord
proceeded with mind enraptured.
My father-in-law’s edifice
forms the garden of opulence profuse.
When the auspicious zephyr of news
blew there very nice,
observing this, flowers of gaieties
bloomed in the trees of beauties.
Leafage of lustres
captivated the hearts of spectators.
Newly-wedded four warrior brothers
splendid with jewelled ornaments,
having bedecked the brides with adornments
more than theirs,
entered into the royal mansion
with extreme exhilaration.
My Friend ! In the mansion
was an old matron;
at that hour,
in speech formed a pleasure-shower.
Firmament of all the four quarters,
bearing the stellar splendours
today very well,
embellished the royal citadel.
Faces of my sisters had been rosy,
as came to my view,
with the blush of love, cosy,
fresh and new.
Fresh beads of sudors
arising there became
effulgent with lustres
of many a gem.
Reminiscence now in my mind gleams,
Friend ! seeing the moonbeams
on your forehead
with perspirations sweetly spread.
What the people construe
the opulence of heaven indeed,
ears accept as true
and in mind generate greed.
Hankering after heaven alone,
kings forsaking the royal throne,
practise austerity in the penance-wood,
and take sylvan fruits with roots as food.
My Dear ! What I saw
in the palace of my father-in-law,
I mused, might not be found even
in the citadel of Indra, the lord of heaven.
of my father-in-law and
along with the love of my husband
gave me the concept of heaven
just like a straw.
With pomp and ceremony exuberant,
numerous new festive occasions
were observed there.
I was ignorant
of such grand celebrations
in the worldly sphere.
I spent the time there
with the prime happiness of lustre
from my lord’s love-gem,
also from the gems of harem.
To hear Chakravāka’s plaintive plight
I had no time at day or at night.
In these ways
twelve years rolled on
and seemed as twelve days
in my deliberation.
Oneday approaching me, my lord quoth
with winsome smiling :
“Today let us both
observe the vow of purity, My Darling !
With the aspiration to make you effulgent
as heart’s auspicious ornament,
Dame Royal Wealth will endow
me with garland tomorrow.”
I told : “My Lord benign !
In me full was thy love divine;
hereafter will it so remain,
never divided in twain ?”
Explained he : “My Dear ! This incident,
though natural has been,
the head of Dame Royal Wealth becomes bent
at the feet of the virtuous queen.
Water of the ocean raising high
turns cloud in the sky,
and rendering weal of the world, enters
into the same waters.”
With auspicious ceremonial customs,
the night rolled on.
Of auspicious rite, the drums
immensely blared forth in the morn.
With the minister
my lord paid a visit to his father.
to me sorrowfully said there:
“O My Life-companion Dearest !
In thyself, keeping my life with rest,
today I’m preparing for forest
at my father’s behest.
Bharata, my loving brother,
will be the heir-apparent further.
Dame Royal Wealth, this time,
became inclined in love to him.
O Self-esteemed Lady ! Sans any pride
of being the eldest bride,
you’ll honour him henceforward
befitting the regal regard.”
I noticed, as beforehand
shining was the countenance
of my dear husband
with all its serenity and brilliance.
His mind was hurried
to proceed to the forest somehow;
but for me as though,
in bewilderment, his heart was worried.
His sayings at best,
I might have deemed a jest;
but from all around
there raised the wailing sound.
The royal citadel shivered
with desperate mourning scream.
Astoundingly in my mind occured :
‘What a strange dream !’
“My Lord !,” astonishingly I said,
“If you repair to the forest indeed,
in the palace, what’s the need
of this poor maid ?
I would have been
the Royal Queen;
but will be a beggar-maid now,
and wandering discreet
in the woodland somehow
I’ll serve thy holy feet.
In thy feet abides my mind.
At thy feet haven I find.
Sans thy noble self I cherish not even
for the opulent happiness of heaven.
Heir-apparent will be
your younger brother,
when yourself further
will smilingly go to the forest
and as Queen, honoured will be Maņđavī,
my sister dearest,
why shall I not follow
your foot-marks aglow ?
If that bliss is not attained,
Sītā’s life won’t be sustained.
Sans service to the feet of her lord ever
she deems the whole world utterly bitter.”
Whatever dolour haunted
in the mind of my lord,
by such words I stated,
Leaving father, mothers, brothers,
friends, servants, retinues and others,
taking me with him, my husband
set forth for the woodland.
Alone Lakshmaņa, a younger brother
of my husband, of his own accord,
in the life of forest-dwelling hither
became companion of my lord.
Flinging away the kingly enjoyment
into the river of oblivion,
with mood, fresh and jubilant,
we wandered in mountains and sylvan region.
Hermit-maidens of forest there
became my companions.
I merged in the water
of their love and affections.
On the holy banks of Godāvarī
in Pañchavaţī forest, with revelry
in life our heartfelt,
for many days we dwelt.
At the day-spring
fetching fragrance of sylvan flowers,
zephyr gently appearing
regularly permeated the cottage of ours.
Appearing as a royal chorister,
cuckoo used to shower
in our ear-cavities for long,
very dulcet melodious song.
Absorbed in dances, at dawn,
peacocks and peahens spreading plumage
used to adorn the lawn
of our sylvan cottage.
From my hands, to eat wild paddies
curiously the young babies
of deer regularly came there.
Leaving the lap of mother,
young ones of elephants further
receiving their food
from my hands, sported anear
with cheery mood.
With various flowers preparing garlands
as love-presentations by my own hands,
I used to bedeck
my husband’s neck.
Ardorously adorning my braid
with comely flowers inlaid,
my lord with me used to meander
in the flower-garden yonder.
“My Beloved !,” he did extol,
“You are my love-idol,
the sole life-mate of mine
and the glory of happiness divine.”
I replied : “O Esteemed Life-lord !
Trivial happiness of heaven, I deem,
cannot be compared
with your love supreme.
Oneday preparing canopy flowery,
with flowery pillars,
throne adorned with Kadamba flowers,
flowery parasol, flowery chowry,
flowery fan, beautiful and marvellous,
I furnished further
the crown with petals of Ketakī flower,
pranking flowers comely,
as gems numerous,
expressed humbly :
“My Lord ! I do cherish
to worship thy holy feet alone.
Kindly ascend once and embellish
this flowery throne.”
There my high-minded husband
smilingly replied :
“My Darling !
For me indeed
inhibited have been
all the formalities of kingly brand.
Today I’ll make thy good self the Queen
of Sylvan Flowers charming.”
Saying thus, my hands perforce he held
and with flowers adorned me unveiled.
Piercing my objections into pieces
with his words of promises,
standing in my front, he
ogled at me steadily.
Closed became my eyes
with bashful ecstasies.
Melted there I remained
on the flowery shrine obtained.
At that moment
in joyous countenance,
my lord, the great lover of sentiment,
said with words nectarine :
“Please cast a gracious glance,
O Flowery Queen ! ”
Observing his blithe mien thus,
there I humbly said :
“O Crest among the scrupulous !
Unbecoming is it.
Can the object which is unfit
for the worship
of the feet of your lordship
be enjoyed by this trifle maid ?”
He explained : “It’s the manner
of the beloved and the lover.
Enhancing one’s honour,
the other enjoys happiness inner.”
From the mouth of my lord,
such words of love when I heard,
I deemed my destiny blessed that moment
and with rapture remained reticent.
Eventide approached by and by.
Moon shiningly appeared in the sky.
Clasping my hand,
my dear husband
roamed with love,
hither and thither in the grove.
To delight my mind he began telling
apropos the happiness of forest-dwelling.
Not far away from that place,
meanwhile my life-lord, having heard
the pathetic cries of Chakravāka bird,
suddenly kissed my face.
About the cause when
I curiously made query,
what he explained then,
now occurs in my memory.
Said he : ‘My dear Jānakī !
Destitute of his beloved Chakravākī,
here Chakravāka laments now,
consumed by the fire of sorrow.
For the whole day, he enjoys union
with his beloved companion;
but from her now separated
deems his life bitterly frustrated.
If you would not have been my companion,
Sweetheart ! in this sylvan region,
I would have been burning with distress,
wandering in the wilderness.
All the happiness
about which I’m telling
would have been making my life tasteless.
With bewilderment, naturally laden
is a lover’s life, bereft of the beloved maiden.
For a perplexed life, entire earth
seems to be of no worth.
When an animate being keeps afloat
in the world’s main,
hope lies in the beloved bride-boat
to cross it amain.’
I had no experience
of pangs of estrangement.
Hearing those words hence
I laughed bashfully bent.
Alas ! After some days spent,
the dreadful disaster
subjugated my life there
cent per cent.
An experienced one verily knows
what are other’s sorrows.
Today Chakravāka’s cries
made tears flow from my eyes.”
the hermit-maid :
“Dear Friend ! So far
the fact I could understand,
heart of your husband
forms the receptacle of love-nectar.
Like Chakravāka, the King
might be woefully suffering.
May the night of your misfortune
end very soon.
To the doom, at this time,
your golden world has become a victim.
Why did occur this evil-discretion dire ?
How could the King cherish desire
to discard his legal wife
whom he had made the be-all of life ?
Fie on the foul decision
on Fate ordaining catastrophe
whatever and whenever liked he.
Some poignant poison
he further brought
and poured upon the nectar-pot.
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( Canto - VI of Tapasvinī ends)
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