Sunday, October 23, 2011

English Tapasvinī Kāvya Canto-8/ Harekrishna Meher

Original Oriya Epic Poem By : Poet Gańgādhara Meher (1862-1924)
Complete English Translation By : Dr. Harekrishna Meher
[Canto-8 has been taken from pages 113-130 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-8)
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In life, as juvenility grows further,
in the forest-environ
with gradual stride,
Spring became Summer-tide.
Heat of the Sun,
just like energy
of the youth, appeared there
more sultry.

Just as enjoyment of mundane pleasure
causes thirst inner,
the Sun-heat afront displayed
the charming mirage-maid.

Cotton fled away leaving Śālmalī tree,
like wealth from a miser’s treasury.
From Palāśa flower,
previous splendour has gone.
In the like manner,
transient is the mundane phenomenon.

By heat, Mallī bloomed dainty.
From her limbs, fragrance spread in plenty.
Heart of the noble
keeps unruffled and stable,
even in pains;
rather glory of peace amply remains.

Kuţaja flower with exhilaration
cast glances at Mallī.
With noble companion,
a noble one revels really.

In one heart, both took decision,
“During Summer season,
we’ll be spreading in cheers,
the fragrance nice.
At the advent of Rain,
cool the earth will remain.
All the creatures
will obtain peace.
Kadamba and Ketakī, as regards
offering fragrance, are not niggards
and they’ll gratify
all the world thereby.
Entrusting the onus
of pleasing the people, both of us
shall depart with cheers
from this world of trees and creepers.”

Lifting head, the up-stalked Lotus-maid
gladly supporting them said :
“With yourselves nigh,
I shall remain
and dedicate myself in the high
waves of time’s main.”

Mallī asked : “Oh ! This sort
how can you commit here ?
Sun, your consort,
shall shun you never.”

Lotus-maid told :
“My face, my loving mate
shall not behold,
when cloud will penetrate.

Passing some days in adversity somehow,
I shall finish my mundane vow.
Through the cloud-mass,
my dearest consort cannot pass.
For the world’s well-being
he endures suffering.

How shall I enjoy love and affection
of my dear companion
for some days more ?
I’ve no fortune therefore.
His holy feet I’ll be remembering,
and in time, Death
will take away my being
by offering the wreath.

In this life,
for some days, if
woes I undergo,
I shall be fortunate
to see the noble face of my mate
in the next birth also.”
When such words reached close
to the ears of knowledge, accepting those
as ideals of life, Sītā said :
“O Dear Lotus-maid !
You are verily
a devoted virtuous lady.
Vividly visible to you
is the path of virtue.

Myself, a sister
of yours, I deliberate.
Above this, I’ve the share
of alike fate.

In the happy abode of sylvan region,
I enjoyed my lord’s affection,
pure and nectar-imbued,
just as you are, My Dear !
in the home of beatitude,
watery and clear.

Day-lord Sun is the husband thine.
In his auspicious line,
has taken birth
my husband, the lord of the earth.

Whatever own future tells about,
I’ve attained already
the very route.
Blessed is your noble heart such.
You are blessed very much.
O Virtuous lady !
In my life, be kind
to give your pure mind.

Agonised by public calumny,
my husband has deserted me.
O Supernal-sighted ! Tell me please.
In future, shall my fate
be able to visualize
my lord, the life-mate ?”

Neath the petals of lotus cool,
in the water of deep blue-hearted pool,
afternoon the Chakora-couple spent ;
so did flamingo with his beloved in enjoyment.

From the grasp of Kāraņđava, surviving however, [1]
in the multitude of lotuses there,
giving long leaps above,
lobster nonplussed in the deep grove [2]
of wide-leafed mushrooms, at last,
became heron’s draught after prolonged fast.

Falling in the interior
of petals of the up-stalked lotus,
Śafarī fish, very courageous.
there gambolled into the water,

Hardly going to take
seat on the curve stalks of lily,
frog, afraid of water-snake,
leapt up speedily.

Sitting with desperation,
on the mango-bough
inside the leafage near the nest of crow,
cuckoo, thirst-enduring,
was not pouring
the ear-gladdening ambrosia.
As if for mania
from Chaņđala, it had remained hidden. [3]

Champā bird was not making [4]
his tail dance by spreading.
Adorned was the tail-tip with clusters
of coloured feathers.

Beholding own brother
in front of his sight,
against him, not enraged to fight,
he was present there,
expressing no indistinct chirpings
nor sportively shaking own wings.

Sheer food is the matter
that incites him for fray with his brother.
Otherwise, Lo !
How can a brother be the foe ?

The bird, full-bellied
and corpulent-bodied,
had sat with spree
on the bough of the huge Śāla tree.

In the Madhuka-forest, wantonly sitting,
under the pretext of food,
cutting the Madhuka fruits, parrots all,
bearing the twice-born Brahmin-hood, [5]
were astrologically counting
the heralds of rainfall.

On the bank of Tamasā river,
under the banyan tree,
cool was the site
with the shade of dense fresh leafage,
where in the cottage
filled with odour
of Kuţaja flowers, Summer with spree,
at the feet of Peace, finds respite.

Sitting thereon,
opening the knowledge-vision,
Vālmīki , the venerable ascetic,
was seeing the sacred Rāmāyaņa epic.

Among the hermits, some were
engaged in study elsewhere.
Some were furthermore
chanting the Vedic lore.

Languishing under the burdens
of weighty womb, Sītā, remaining in the environ
of hermit-maidens
and resting on a leaf-seat there
in the thick bower,
was enjoying peace with tranquil vision.

She resembled then
the encompassed disc of Moon that seeks
the setting mountain
after full-moon day’s valediction.

On her fair cheeks,
perspirations were just like
dews and tears of vision
were frost-like.

Making own dwelling
among the hermitesses here,
King Rāma’s devoted queen Sītā,
bringing into her memory
the behaviour-feature
of demonesses of Lańkā,
was deliberating on the divine feeling
of ascetic-maidens of monastery,
contrasted with the nasty hellish nature
of those demonesses there.

As warrior Hanumān, the son
of Wind-god, came to her recollection,
hearty homage to the Wind-god she did extend.
Of cool ripples, the felicitous favour,
there she obtained
by fanning the Palm-leaf-fan with ardour.

At this hour
Dame Thought, approaching her
humbly expressed : “O Illustrious Queen !
At the gateway are some,
awaiting with longing keen,
to see your gracious presence.
From great distance they have come.
To see your noble self hence,
their ardent desire has not a bit
counted the severe sun-heat.
Beholding their comely mien,
heart turns to be a mine of love benign.”

Said the Queen :
“Friend ! Them please usher in,
without being late further.
Blessed is my fate.
On me, so endearments they confer.
Their presence will exonerate
both eyes of mine
from sorrow and sin.”

By the bidding of Sītā,
someone meanwhile,
first arrived there
like a friend ever-familiar
and said with sweet soft smile
in loving words pouring ambrosia.

“O Esteemed Queen ! In your mind
does the by-gone episode
its way find ?
Noble feet, you had placed in my abode.
My body solely
by the radiance of your limbs holy,
has earned this opulence
of empyrean exuberance.

My brooks, in guise
of that exuberance,
always murmur,
overwhelmed with rapture.
Flowers with blooming countenance
ridiculously belittle the paradise.

Of several rivers, water
fraught with fragrance for ever,
heartily gladdens
all the riparian denizens.
The peacocks, bred
with your affections sacred,
highly lilt daily
your glory gaily.

With steadfast aspiration
for your gracious vision,
clouds in masses often coming in turn,
from cavern to cavern
moving and moving search verily :
‘Where is Sītā, the Beauteous Lady ?’

In deep sonorous tone, inquisitive
they ask; but do not believe,
when I give
the answer negative.

Again they continue searching,
holding the light of lightning,
convincingly confident,
that Beauteous Sītā is certainly present.

O Lady Illustrious !
Today do you recognize this hapless chap ?
I’ve come to your front gracious,
after a long gap.

With the dusts of your feet, crest-crown
I’ve embellished my own.
Blessed have been on that account
myself Chitrakūţa Mount.”

Then came a lady newly adorned,
comely-limbed with lustres bright and neat.
Sha has courageously churned
the affliction wrought by severe heat.

Of sylvan damsels,
she is a life-long comrade.
Garnished her neck has been
with garlands of Girimallikā fine.
Madhuka flowers as crest-jewels
have beautified her forehead.

Her ear-ornaments are the blue
gems of fruits of Jambu.
Her girdle is made of oysters.
Minds of sages, the forest-dwellers,
she has nicely attracted.
Further she has decorated
very beautifully
the black braid comely and curly.

Before Sītā, she appeared
with enraptured mien
and expressed word
soft, gentle, nectarine.

“O Noble-natured Queen !
Deign to accept my gratitude.
The debt of affections benign,
I owe you for good.
How shall I repay these ?
I’m incapable. O Virtuous One !
Oblige me please
accepting my hearty devotion.

Aren’t here many
in this world, like me ?
But who has been
blessed with your such grace divine ?

With your auspicious glance,
my sands turned into dusts of gold and [6]
you made my heart the diamond-land, [7]
as it gave, in sportive observance,
ecstasies of delight
to your supernal sight.

From Vishņu’s feet, beautifully appearing,
Though there is ever-flowing
holy Gańgā, the daughter
of Himālaya, the mountain-lord,
still with the epithet conferred
on me by your good lady,
I’m Mahānadī,
the Great River.”

Thereafter came
Godāvarī, fair-limbed dame
with impaired appearance,
shrouded by despondence,
bursting tears in bewilderment,
and cleansing oft
her lotus-eyes soft,
with the hem of garment.

Numerous pictures
marvellously portrayed
with brilliant colours,
she had brought with her.
At Sītā’s behest, she displayed
openly layer by layer.

Somewhere flowers,
fallen from creepers,
have turned pallid
by the sultry sun-heat.
With filthy figures, rid
of jubilant spirit,
clumps of trees have occupied
the beds of leafage arid.

A broken bough,
unable to abandon
the body of tree anyhow,
has sought shelter on grasses there,
kissing someone’s head, further
holding feet of someone.

Whitened has been someone’s body
by the leafage filled with birds’ ordure.
Covering face with the web-clothes filthy,
certain leaf has lost rapture.

Seeing the prowess of herons,
frogs are suffering exhaustion acute,
by gambols frequently done.
Some of these,
concealed under stones,
sitting quiet and mute,
are giving satisfaction
to their bellies.

Somewhere herds of bisons wild,
are making pond’s water
muddy and defiled.
By their feet, are thrown up there
the lotuses grim,
wallowing in slime.

Somewhere near water, to catch food,
python has fallen like a log of wood.
Casting wistful looks to the avenue
of herds of deer, the big tiger,
in a clandestine clue,
licks the lip-corners, very eager.

Further appeared before Sītā’s eyes,
the furious forest-fire
with smoke-gloom covering the woodland entire.
With countless branches,
stupendous flames leaping above in pieces
are vanishing away in the skies.

The burning leafage,
rising up in the skies,
are moving on smoke-carriage.
Sitting on the remote trees,
apprising the tidings thereafter,
those are being burnt by heat severe.

Impaired in the path upper,
leafage a few,
are vanishing in the firmament there
beyond the range of view.

Some birds flying
in the firmament are fleeing,
while some are falling
in the dire womb of fire swelling.

Herds of bisons, tuskers,
rabbits, boars, bears,
jackals and deer,
in smoke all engrossed,
seeing the fire, being nonplussed
with heartfelt fear,
are unable to determine way
of direction to flee away.

The afraid amazed monkeys,
however, are escaping
themselves leaping and leaping
from trees to trees.

Through smoke, however,
in quest of river,
some monkeys are running,
carrying their offspring
on back and armpits thither.
Bewildered beasts have covered the river
in its streams and sands
upto both the strands.

Asked there Godāvarī :
“My Dear Child !
Did you see the condition
of Daņđaka, defiled
with utter misery
after your valediction ?”

Having compassion
for the grief of other,
Sītā there replied :
“Alas ! O Daņđaka ! Abode splendid,
of my sportive play !
Grateful I would be for ever,
if your pacification,
Fate would kindly render,
by the water
of my eyes sans delay.”

Ere Sītā, then Ayodhyā came
and meeting her
began to read the letter
written by Royal Wealth Dame.
Faltering through distress,
in the voice choked by agony’s excess,
with shivering lips, she expressed
the words shamefully depressed :

“Friend ! Myself Night;
You were Moonlight.
Closing my eyes
of blooming lilies
afar you went.
No more thence
remains for me in your absence
even a vestige of pleasure.
I’ve borne the figure
of a woman rid of ornament.

Today the royal palace
has turned into a wild place.
Your severe separation
has become forest-conflagration.
Entering there all it has ruined.
So how can one find
there any more
beauty and brilliance as before ?

Burnt have been the huge trees
of noble hearts, abundant
in the leafage of gaieties.
There flowers fragrant
with smiling bloom,
alas ! have easily gone to doom.

Herds of Does
of Peace, and Tuskers of Patience
with their lives distorted
by the smokes of woes,
have immersed neck-deep, resorted
to the womb of river of forbearance.

Hearts of the villains are
the beasts, vigorous and dire.
Even them, so far
the peril has not spared.
In the unfathomable core
of King Rāma’s heart-ocean, furthermore,
that alone has entered
as the submarine fire.

Like Moon swallowed by Rāhu, [8]
the illustrious king
has borne mere figure with suffering
after severe separation from you.

In the jewelled palaces
murk has shrouded,
just as cloud encompasses
the sky star-studded.

Mothers-in-law have borne
their hearts torn
like ponds waterless, dry.
For all of them,
you’re more than a gem,
the apple of she-serpent’s eye.

Doors have been
closed in the pleasure-garden.
There how can be seen
flowers by anyone ?

Grown Mustaka grasses, like perfumers,
are withering the fallen flowers.
All vines and trees
are feeling dry in miseries,
remembering your noble self always.
Seats have been occupied
by the leaves arid,
on the marble-splendid alleys.

Younger brothers, obedient
to the words of the Emperor,
have their heads bent with the load
of terrible torment,
just like serpents
powerless by incantation, or
like elephants
afraid of sharp goad.

Cheeks of sisters
on their lotus-hands are leaning.
Delicate limbs of theirs
are decreasing in plight,
day by day, like Moon waning
in black fortnight.

Maiden-mates of concert, rid of grace,
have kept themselves mum,
without touching the face
of ‘muraja’, the musical drum.

Just like musty flowers, shorn
of their colour,
maid-servants have borne
their lives with deep dolour.”

Without completing
the letter-reading,
Ayodhyā, with pallid figure,
there sat down in languor.

Compassionate Sītā,
seeing such plight of Ayodhyā,
herself felt upset
with grief and fret.

Now the day came to an end.
Guests retreated to their own places.
Lovingly accompanying Sītā, the hermitesses,
engaged in own works, remained.
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(Footnotes :
[1] Kāraņđava = A kind of duck.
[2] Lobster = A kind of fish ; Prawn ; ‘Chinguđi’ in Oriya.
[3] Chaņđāla = a low-graded person, killer of birds and beasts.
[4] Champā bird = A kind of fighting bird ; Bulbul.
[5] Cutting Madhuka fruits by parrots is supposed to fortell rainfall. Here original word ‘Dvija’ means ‘Twice-born’ which implies ‘Brahmin’ as well as ‘Bird’.
[6] Dusts of gold are said to be found in the sands of Mahānadī.
[7] Diamond-land = Hīrā-kshetra, Hirakud situated near Sambalpur.
[8] Rāhu = A mythical demon and planet that astrologically causes eclipses by swallowing Sun and Moon.
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(Canto – VIII of Tapasvinī ends.)
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