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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gangalahari (5-7)

 गङ्गालहरी (५-७)
स्मृतिं याता पुंसामकृतसुकृतानामपि च या
हरत्यन्तस्तन्द्रां तिमिरमिव चण्डांशु सरणिः ।
इयं सा ते मूर्तिः सकलसुरसंसेव्यसलिला
ममान्तःसन्तापं त्रिविधमपि पापं च हरताम् ॥ ५ ॥
If you are remembered even by those who have not done any good deeds, you dispel their internal lassitude like the ray of sun dispels darkness. May this form of yours whose waters are resorted to by all the divine beings take away the triads of my internal agony and my sins.
( The triads of agony –taapatraya-are aadhyaatmika, aadhidaivika and aadhibhautika. They refer to agonies attributable to one’s own internal state, to divine wrath and to external physical causes respectively.) 

अपि प्राज्यं राज्यं तृणमिव परित्यज्य सहसा
विलोलद्वानीरं तव जननि तीरं श्रितवताम् ।
सुधातः स्वादीयः सलिलभरमातृप्ति पिबताम्
जनानामानन्दः परिहसति निर्वाणपदवीम् ॥ ६ ॥
Mother, the happiness of those persons who relinquish great kingdoms considering them (worthless) like grass  and take shelter on your banks, where bamboo- grass sways and drink your waters till satiated is sweeter than ambrosia and mocks the state of salvation.

प्रभाते स्नान्तीनां नृपतिरमणीनां कुचतटी-
गतो यावन् मातः मिलति तव तोयैर्मृगमदः ।
मृगास्तावद्वैमानिकशतसहस्रैः परिवृता
विशन्ति स्वच्छन्दं विमलवपुषो नन्दनवनम् ॥ ७ ॥
Mother, when the musk-fragrance applied to the breasts of royal women-folk mingles with your waters while they take bath, the musk deer, (whose musk the women had applied) enter care free the celestial garden of Indra surrounded by hundreds of  plane-going divine beings!  
( The poet’s imagination seems to run riot here. Simply because fragrance applied by women mingles with Ganga waters, musk deer from where the fragrance originates become eligible for the world of Indra!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gangalahari (3-4)

गङ्गालहरी (३-४)

कटाक्षव्याक्षेपक्षणजनितसंक्षोभनिवहाः ।
भवन्तु त्वंगंतो हरशिरसि गङ्गातनुभुवः
तरङ्गाः प्रोत्तुङ्गा दुरितभवभङ्गाय भवताम् ॥ ३ ॥
When Parvati, mother of Ganesha cast her glance, which imitated the glow of the rising sun, at Ganga who was (caught) in the locks of Siva’s head, Ganga’s turmoil took the form of high waves emanating from the head of Siva. May those waves destroy your sinful world.
(When Bhagiratha wanted to bring Ganga to the world to sanctify the ashes of his forefathers, Ganga fell on the locks of hair of Siva and could not get out of it. The poet imagines that Parvati jealous of Ganga looked at her with anger and the turmoil of Ganga that ensued has caused the high waves of Ganga.)

तवालम्बादम्ब स्फुरदलघुगर्वेण सहसा
मया सर्वेऽवज्ञासरणिमथ नीताः सुरगणाः ।
इदानीमौदास्यं भजसि यदि भागीरथि तदा
निराधारो हा रोदिमि कथय केषामिह पुरः ॥ ४ ॥
Mother Ganga, based on your support, becoming very haughty all other divine beings were neglected by me. Now if you show detachment towards me, I am support-less. Tell me in front of whom shall I cry?

Monday, July 25, 2011


पण्डितराजजगन्नाथकृत गङ्गालहरी
(Gangalahari of panditajagannatha)
Jagannatha Pandita who lived during the reign of emperor Shahajehan (1592-1666) in Delhi for several years under his patronage was a Telugu Brahmin whose father Perubhatta was an erudite scholar. Jagannatha, endowed with sharp intellect, acquired deep knowledge in various fields of learning under the tutelage of his father. It is said that he first went to Tanjore to establish himself. But failing in his effort he moved North ultimately landing in Delhi where Shahjehan recognized his merit and offered him his patronage. His fame spread far and wide.
A story goes that young Jagannatha fell in love with a Muslim girl –emperor’s daughter- and married her.
He has authored a number of well known works, the most famous of which is “Rasagangadhara”- a treatise on poetics. He was also a contemporary of Appayaadikshita, author of “Kuvalayananda”- again an authoritative work on Figures of speech. Appayyadikshita was Jagannatha Pandita’s literary rival and he severely criticized Appayyadikshita in his work.
There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, connecting these two great authors. Jagannatha who was old then was sleeping on the banks of Ganga with his Muslim wife when Appayyadikshita came there for a bath. Inadvertently Appayyadikshita stepped on Jagannatha and exclaimed
किं निश्शङ्कं शेषे शेषेवयसि त्वमागते मृत्यौ
“Why are you sleeping without any care when Death is knocking at your doors?”
Quickly he recognized Jagannatha and said
अथवा सुखं शयीथाः निकटे जागर्ति जाह्नवी भवतः
“Or do sleep comfortably. Ganga is awake by your side.”
Jagannatha wrote “Gangalahari” eulogizing Ganga perhaps to expiate for his sin of marrying a Muslim woman. It has 52 verses and it is said that as he recited verse after verse Ganga rose up steadily one step for a verse and on the 52nd verse Ganga touched Jagannatha washing away his sins.
Now let us get to know this fine piece of poetry. I have taken guidance from the Sanskrit commentary on Gangalahari authored by Late. K N Varadaraja Iyengar.
गङ्गालहरी (Wave of Ganga or Flow of Ganga)
समृद्धं सौभाग्यं सकलवसुधायाः किमपि तत्-
महैश्वर्यं लीलाजनितजगतः खण्डपरशोः ।
श्रुतीनां सर्वस्वं सुकृतमथ मूर्तं सुमनसां
सुधासौन्दर्यं ते सलिलमशिवं नः शमयतु ॥ १ ॥
You are the complete fortune of the whole world. You are that un-describable wealth of Siva who playfully created the world. You are the sum and substance of the Vedas. You are the good fortune and personified beauty of ambrosia for the divine beings. May your waters destroy our sins.
दरिद्राणां दैन्यं दुरितमथ दुर्वासनहृदाम्
द्रुतं दूरीकुर्वन् सकृदपि गतो दृष्टिसरणिम् ।
अपि द्रागाविद्याद्रुमदलनदीक्षागुरुरिह
प्रवाहस्ते वारां श्रियमयमपारां दिशतु नः ॥ २ ॥
If the pitiable state and sin of the wretched, whose heart is full of past sinful actions receives your glances even once, they get removed at once. May your water-current which is the anointed preceptor for quickly uprooting right up to the tree of avidyaa (illusion) provide us unlimited prosperity.
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Hello to all

I propose to put out Sanskrit text of generally lesser known works in Sanskrit literature along with a simple rendering in English. It will not be a literal translation. I plan to run a few works concurrently over a period of time. Each post will generally carry one or two verses of a work.
GSS Murthy