Monday, October 24, 2011

English Tapasvinī Kāvya Canto-9/ Harekrishna Meher

Original Oriya Epic Poem By : Poet Gańgādhara Meher (1862-1924)
Complete English Translation By : Dr. Harekrishna Meher
[Canto-9 has been taken from pages 131-146 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-9)
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Weight of Sītā’s womb gradually
crossed the limit
of more burden and
seemed most burdensome.
When she happened to sit,
it became very difficult to stand.
When she stood therefrom,
onerous became her body.

‘Sītā might suffer
at this hour,’
thinking thus Rain succumbed Summer.
Clouds appeared in all four directions
to give vigour and inspirations
in the life worried with languor.

In upper direction,
obstructing the heat of Sun,
all over the sky,
Clouds spread black canopy.
Of the canopy, the lustres,
by streak of lightning,
astounded the eyes of spectators
in a twinkling.

The Direction-maids
adorning their black braids,
therein made decorations
with pearls of arrayed herons.

Lifting up the jewel-dusts from waters
of ocean, the jewel-mine,
all the lords of quarters
decorated the doorway fine.

Without feeling ashamed,
cherishing selfish motive somehow,
Indra, the Lord of East, claimed :
“Mine is that bow.”
Intolerant of this,
Varuņa, the Protector of West
and Lord of oceans, claimed :
“With my jewels best,
the bow has been framed.
With me it would remain; I can’t miss.”

Other lords of directions,
adhering to the noble duty, came
and once for each by turns,
with the bow, endowed both of them.

Rain poured water
on the head of Earth afflicted by countless
heat of distress
fallen to her daughter.
Irrespective of mountain,
woodland, lake and river,
on the heads of all, Rain
freely sprinkled fresh water.

Earth’s horripilations
were manifested as germinations
of grasses with grains
and as Kadamba-blossoms in rains.

Water filled the bosom of Earth.
Crossing the banks, Tamasā rushed forth.
Seeing the confinement
of Jānakī imminent,
in all their hearts’ abode,
Joy as though overflowed.

Forests and mountains forsook fire
from their hearts; furthermore,
washing off their bodies entire,
bore figures, blooming and galore.

Dwelling in the thorny fort, Ketakī,
with thorny limbs spreading smile
there as if hailed
and said : “O Dear Jānakī !
Confined in the woods of peril,
please don’t worry.
In the thorn-grove I myself am nailed;
but attain the worship of glory
given by the world very well
for my odoriferous smell.
Being an Ascetic-maid
in the sylvan state of hermitesses,
Yourself, O High-minded Lady ! will be paid
by the world, adorations endless.

Conjured by the cynics’ eyes
what can the blemish do,
when one’s own noble qualities
form a divine ornament true ?
Seeing my thorns,
with repugnance,
if black-bee from me returns,
shall I forgo the pride of fragrance ?”

Flower Krishņachūđā, beautifully efflorescent,
with her appearance alluring,
captured mind and eyes of spectators.
Rajanīgandhā, staying since advent
of the juvenile Spring,
intimated Rain about the tidings of flowers.

The matter of Mallikā, Kuţaja and Lotus
became most interestingly rapturous.
Deeming them
each a precious gem,
Rain everyday took much care;
but who would dare
to violate the Creator’s decree ?
In the mouth of death, fell all the three.
Rain, by her own valour,
became unable to be their saviour.

From this concern,
Sītā came to learn :
A noble one, till the last hour
of life, deserves no dishonour.

Spangled with flowers, Creepers Jūhī
celebrated the anniversary.
For hearty amusement of Vaidehī,
there was made as if a fragrance-repository.

Of Śrāvaņa month, Dame Night,
clad in dark cloud-costume,
holding in her hands and head with delight
Yūthikā and Rajanī flowers in bloom,
was standing sleepless
in the courtyard of Sītā’s cottage
to affectionately assuage
all her distress.

Symptom of Sītā’s confinement
became revealed there every moment.
Bearing Sītā’s pangs of travail,
frogs with quandaries,
not far away, in pathetic wail,
oft spread their cries.
Taking Sītā’s drouth,
Chātaka bird with open-mouth,
repeatedly begged water
from clouds in the sphere.

By old hermit-matrons present,
Sītā was attended with timely care and treatment.
Of her, were born at night,
twin sons bearing lunar lustre bright.

The lustres of twin offspring,
accompanied by lightning,
spread waves of light in ten directions.
With exhilarations,
Indra, the Lord of heaven, made anon
the sound of cannon.
Those who knew not about this, yonder
said it to be thunder.

Of clouds, the rumbles profound
became corroborated
with the auspicious ‘hulahuli’ sound [1]
uttered by Direction-damsels, heartily elated.
Mountains and forests there offered
showers of profuse flowers.
In dances became enraptured
corn-fields, ponds and rivers.

With earnest yearning,
to get a sight of Sītā’s twin offspring,
clouds came below with cheers
bearing the shape of showers.

Over the banks swelled there
the anxious rapid rivers,
ardently very eager
to behold the twin brothers.

Leaving the sea-waters,
fishes danced along with rivers.
Raising from the surface
of water of lakes, meres
and corn-fields, there apace
fishes danced in cheers.

Anxiously with aspirations,
surpassing all, Keun fish on the hop
to have a sight of the twin sons
of virtuous Vaidehī,
leapt up to the top
of Palm tree.

Soon arriving thither
Vālmīki, the great sage,
beheld the twins and surmised thus:
‘Jupiter and Venus
both the planets appeared together
in the firmament of hermitage.’

With the rich fragrance from flowers
of ecstatic cheers,
heart of the great ascetic
became permeated, dawn-like.

The esteemed seer,
holding in hands a bundle of Kuśa grasses,
by chanting incantations there
cut it into two pieces.

Those pieces he handed over
to Anukampā and stated :
“Let the babies be consecrated.
Use the front piece for the elder.
By the rear piece, sanctify the body
of the younger baby.”

At the behest of the great hermit,
Anukampā accordingly accomplished it
along with the protective amulet fit
for averting all the evil-spirit.
Their bodies consecrated by Kuśa and Lava thus [2]
excelled polished jewel in splendour,
and shone very lustrous,
like fire united with grasses, or
like Rising Sun
freed from the waves of ocean.

When Sītā fixed her eyes
in the faces of the babies,
Happiness and Sorrow occurred together
synchronously in her heart thither.

Happiness said :
“She, who in her womb bred
the charming lovely twins
resembling Sun and Moon,
is truly blessed for hundred times.
In the mundane region,
there is no other fortune
more than this concern.”

Sorrow said :
“Of the great king,
these twin boys
would have today shone scintillating
in the bejewelled palace,
and would have permeated
King’s heart with joys.
Further they would have eradicated
poverty of the populace
who are distressed and dismayed.

Denizens would have got
today wealth a lot,
jewels, garments
along with ornaments.
Reverberated would have been the city
by the sounds of auspicious hilarity,
also the wide skies
with notes of auspicious melodies.

Since misfortune has befallen,
alas ! the twins as hermit-children
sought their shelter
in the abode of hermits here.”

Taking two flows of water
from Sītā’s eyes, later
offering filial affection,
Sorrow took valediction.

By the twin frame,
Sītā’s heart became
immensely imbued
with lucidity and beatitude.
She didn’t cherish
even a little relish
to cast a glance towards anything
except the twin offspring.

Oft illuming the bodies of twin sons,
the effulgent hue of affections
emitting from the eyes of mother
brought in the very eyes thither
the surmise to view :
‘Arose as if Sun and Moon anew.’
In her mind, placing the throne
evinced own sovereignty, Bliss alone.

The navel-cutting of the babies,
Anukampā accomplished with ecstasies.
Finishing thereafter
their ablution with the water
sanctified by incantations,
she performed all the due functions.

There seeing the twin boys,
hermitesses kept absorbed in resonant joys.
Group-wise the hermit-boys became
engrossed in dance,
accompanied by sańkīrttan with the utterance
of King Rāma’s sacred name.

On the way of expedition
to conquer Lavaņa,
the invincible formidable demon,
that night, warrior Śatrughna,
had made a sojourn by providence,
in Sage Vālmīki ’s holy residence.

Enjoying the high hallo of exhilarations
of the hermitage-environs,
himself he rivetted verily
in the river of glee.
Admiring Sītā, he expressed with elation :
“O Mother-like Revered One !
Thy holy Majesty
forms sanctifier of King Raghu’s dynasty.
All-enduring thy mother is.
All-enduring thou art likewise.

O Esteemed Lady ! O Dear Daughter
of the Treasure-trove Earth !
Thy noble self had preserved the treasure
of immense worth
in own sacred womb, sure,
owing to our fortune of favour.

Today the treasure that you
bestowed on the race of King Raghu,
will remain beautifully effulgent
with noble name,
on the crescent
of Ayodhyā’s Royal Wealth Dame.”

In the merry noise
of the hermit-boys,
there participated all the herds
of deer along with birds.
Of Śrāvaņa month, the dreary
and rainy night,
like a twinkling of an eye,
made afar its flight.

Paying hearty homage at the feet
of the great noble hermit,
Śatrughna resumed the expedition
towards Lavaņa demon.

In her mind, Sītā had sincere yearning
to give satisfaction
by presenting something
to the hermits and hermitesses of sylvan region.
But where was the wealth wanted by her ?
Now forest has been her sole shelter.
To gratify the world entire,
Moonbeam does desire;
but that moment,
clouds shrouded in the firmament.

While she left palace,
she had thought that apace
she would retreat
from the forest-site.

To give presentations
to the hermitess-companions,
she had brought some garments
and some ornaments.
Distributing those in modest manner
with bashfulness,
she pleased thither
the mind of every hermit and hermitess.

Ocean of their hearts spread
the waves of delight,
by receiving ahead
those things like moon-light.

Fruits and wild paddies whatever
she had accumulated,
among birds and deer
all she distributed.
Pulling among themselves in hurry,
they ate those things with revelry.
In beaks, birds few,
taking the food, away flew.

In happy mood,
Myna doled out food
among her young nestlings dearest,
who had sat open-mouthed in the nest.

Uttering joyous cries
on the trees
there immensely danced, the flocks
of peahens and peacocks.
Meandering miles
over lands and isles,
Cuckoo, rapturous,
spread the news auspicious.

With cheerful cries,
Flamingo flew to Kailāsa to apprise
the auspicious message.
To convince Goddess Gaurī, from there
he had borne the letter
of lovely lotus-stalks with fresh foliage.
Enraptured on receiving the message,
intimating God Śiva, her husband,
leaving Kailāsa mountain
and cherishing desire to obtain
worship from Sītā’s own hand,
Goddess Gaurī as Shashţhī Devī, [3]
in the disguise of lightning-flash effulgent,
accompanied by clouds in the firmament,
hastily reached the hermitage
of Sage Vālmīki.

Shining as Seven Mothers
in the bodies of seven hermit-lasses,
on the sixth day, with ardours,
accepting worship from Sītā’s hands,
the boon-handed Goddess
left there bestowing vigour of lions
on the twin sons
and destroying all their evil trends.

There arrived, by the way,
the twenty-first day,
auspicious occasion of Name-giving
of the twin offspring.
To hear the names of Sītā’s sons, gods came
leaving the heaven’s city.
Group-wise goddesses followed them
with same avidity and curiosity.

For autumn’s auspicious advent,
Cloud was clearing path in the firmament.
Along with the sun-shine
all of them with gaieties,
ascending on the chariots, refulgent divine,
came by that way at ease.
Reaching the hermitage, own resorts
they took in flowers of different sorts,
by revealing the heavenly splendour
in the form of alluring aromatic glamour
with winsome smile
under the pretext of efflorescence juvenile.
Into the hearts of hermits and hermitesses there,
some of them entered with rapture.

At the behest of the Sage,
hermits and hermitesses with gaieties
entered the pleasure-garden of hermitage,
and bringing varieties
of flowers and foliage,
built many a splendid stage.

In the first ‘prahara’ of night,
hermitage looked beautifully bright
with the lines of lamps well-lit.
From the hands of many a hermit,
by looting Ińgudī oil a lot,
the lamps got a bumper plot.

In all four quarters,
trees and creepers, effulgent with flowers,
were smiling in delight
receiving the waves of light.

It was the season
of flowers’ festive occasion.
Chakravartinī’s pride [4]
was in hasty stride.

Among the oceans, like Milk Ocean,
Like Indra, the lord of heaven,
among the deities,
like Gaurī-Śańkara among the lofty peaks [5]
of Himālaya, the noble Sage
having the treasure of great austerities,
shone among the ascetics,
occupying a seat in the stage.

Sītā and Anukampā,
with their lotus-hands charming,
holding both the offspring,
just like Chhāyā and Sajñā
with Aśvinī-kumāras twin,
in the altar entered.
With bold mien
Beauty there appeared.

In the thirteenth day of dark fortnight,
near Moon, in the firmament
has arisen Lucifer effulgent.
In the womb of lake, having laid
their reflections aright,
as though East-maid
has stood there
in a proud figure.

Sītā’s companions,
the hermit-maidens,
simple-hearted, blooming-figured,
having covered their bodies
with the attires offered
by the Virtuous Sītā,
sat around her with ecstasies,
just as lotuses in arrays
obtaining new rays
bestowed by Dame Ushā,
rejoice with gaiety
in her proximity.

With the Vedic ritual,
worship of gods was performed there.
With instruments śińgā, musical,
there rolled the conch-blare.

On the elder son,
best benediction
Sage Vālmīki bestowed
and expressed in ecstasy :
“Sanctified has been this baby
with the tips of Kuśa grass now,
so bearing the name ‘Kuśa’, he will be the goad
for many a huge tusker, the foe.”

The younger baby
was named ‘Lava’ likewise,
by Sage Vālmīki,
the great among the wise.

Hermits uttered there
King Rāma’s name with sound musical,
from drum, tambour
along with cymbal.
Playing on lutes, hermit-girls did sing
sweet songs, ambrosia-surpassing.

Embodied as fragrance,
gods and goddesses rivetted in dance,
meandering with exhilarations.
In all four directions,
herds of deer and hinds gazed
with their eyes amazed.

With the great elated
constant merry-making
of the hermitage, Forest participated
under the pretext of echoing.
Creepers and Trees,
bearing the glories
of Vidyādharas and their ladies,
there merged in melodies.

Blissfully bright, the hermitage shone;
but darkness pervaded the Lily
of Sītā’s face, bereft of Rāma-Moon alone.
Her festival was verily
amāvasyā, the moonless night.
Darkness enhanced her greatness.
Lovable is the Moonlight
solely because of darkness.

Like Sumeru Mountain charming,
with the jewelled deep caverns,
Sītā shone with gems of offspring,
the delicate new-borns.

There unitedly, seers and deities
enhanced her glory observing festivities.
Natural trend of the noble person
implies their hearty exhilaration
that lies in paying homage
to the befitting personage.

The high-minded hermit finally
bestowed benisons
and best wishes on the twin sons.
Enshrined with glee
on the lotus-heart of every hermit,
gods uttered ‘So be it.’

Sylvan trees with creepers,
all enraptured,
‘So be it,’ sonorously uttered.
The Direction-Protectors
uttered ‘So be it’ with cheers
from all the quarters and bye-quarters.
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(Footnotes :
[1] ‘Hulahuli’ or ‘Ululu’ sound is uttered by females on auspicious occasions such as child-birth, marriage, worship of gods etc.
[2] ‘ Kuśa’ means Front piece of a grass-bundle and ‘Lava’ means Rear piece of it.
[3] Shashţhī Devī = Goddess of the sixth day of birth of a child.
[4] Chakravartinī = Gajadanta flower.
[5] Gaurī-Śańkara = Mount Everest.
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( Canto-IX of Tapasvinī ends.)
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