Docstoc

CDocuments and SettingsAdministratorMy DocumentsThe Banished.pmd

Document Sample
CDocuments and SettingsAdministratorMy DocumentsThe Banished.pmd Powered By Docstoc
					The Banished   English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma




                  The Banished
                        [English version of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini]

                                                   By
                                     Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma
                                   (State Sahitya Academy Awardee )




                                                                  Edited By:
                                                           Prof. Minaketan Purohit
                                                                   Bargarh

                                                                     Publisher:
                                                       Prasanna Kumar Dash, H.M.
                                                    At/Po/Dist.-Bargarh-768028 (Orissa)
                                                          Ph. No.- (06646)230323

                                   Internet Edition Available at
                                www.navratnanews.com
                          for details contact : surendrahota@gmail.com


         Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE
The Banished   English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma


       “Tapaswini’ in Oriya”                        CONTENTSCONTENTS                   Page

               Writer:
                                                     Dedication                             03
    Swabhava kabi Gangadhar Meher
                                                     Publisher’s Note                       03
             ‘The Banished’
                                                     Introduction                           04
               Translator
    Late Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma                  The Old Preceptor                      06
            Bargarh (Orissa)
                                                     A Note On Translator’s Job             07

              Publisher:                             A Note On Translation                  08
         Prasanna Kumar Dash
                                                     The Charm Of ‘The Banished’            09
  College Road Bargarh768028 ORISSA
                                                     A Rare Transcreation                   10
               Copy rights
                                                     Dedication By Gangadhar Meher          10
          Er. Asim Ku. Mishra,
        Lecturer PKACE Bargarh                       Preface By Gangadhar Meher             10
              First Edition:
                                                           Canto-I                          11
         Feb, 2006, 400 Copies
                                                           Canto-II                         14
                 D. T. P.
                                                           Canto-III                        16
            DASH Computers
       Proprietor- Prayas K. Dash                          Canto-IV                         18
      College Road, Bargarh-768028
                                                           Canto-V                          21

               Printed at: -                               Canto-VI                         24
            Falguni Publicity
                                                           Canto-VII                        27
        Bargarh, Ph.9337-310904
                                                           Canto-VIII                       31
        Printed Book Available at
                                                           Canto-IX                         33
         Banishree Book Store,
         College Road, Bargarh                             Canto-X                          37

    This ebook is available in the net                     Canto-XI                         39

         www.navratnanews.com                              Glossary                         42
  with the permission of the publisher Sri
          Prasanna kumar Mishra
 We are also thankfull to Er.Asim Ku.Mishra




               Surendra Hota
                  Director
              Navratna news
      email: surendrahota@gmail.com


          Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 02
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



                                                        This long-cherished wish of Sri Mishra Sharma
                 Dedication                             created an impulse in my mind to publish ‘The
                                                        Banished’, the English version of ‘Tapaswini’. I
       ‘The Banished’ is dedicated to the sacred        approached Professor Minaketan Purohit who
memory of Padmashree Dr. Krutartha Acharya, an          happens to be the student (1944-48) of Sri Mishra
illustrious son of Orissa and contemporaneous to        Sharma in George High School, Bargarh. To my
Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma. As the foster father        good fortune he gladly accepted my request and
of the tie-and-dye technique of weaving, Dr. Acharya    with high enthusiasm and interest he went through
raised this traditional art to unprecedented            Sri Mishra Sharma’s handwritten manuscript and
excellence as a result of which Sambalpuri fabrics
                                                        with much seriousness and sincerity he edited the
earned international reputation. Dr. Acharya was the
greatest benefactor of the down-trodden weaving         translation with some minor changes in no-time. It
communities of Western-Orissa. As a magnanimous         is he who is the pioneer of the publication of ‘The
connoisseur of art and literature. Padmashree           Banished’. I am very much grateful to Prof. Purohit
Krutartha Acharya admired creative genius of            for his acceptance of editorship and pray to God
Gangadhar Meher, the immortal poet of Orissa.           for his sound health and long life.
Above all he was a legendary figure, worthy of
emulation by men of all walks in the society.                   As a publisher I cannot forget Dr. Antaryami
                                                        Tripathy, Professor in English. Women’s College,
                             Er. Asim Kumar Mishra      Bargarh, a great admirer of Meher’s literature. He
                              Lecturer, P.K.A.C.E.,     went through the manuscript of Sri Mishra Sharma,
                        Shibananda Nagar, Bargarh       made some valuable changes and gave a note on
                                                        translation with a sweet comment and praise. I am
                                                        grateful to him for the pains he has taken for the
 Publisher’s NotePublisher’s No te                      publication of ‘The Banished’.
                                                               Sri Durga Prasad Mishra, Retd. Tr. and the son
         Late Sri Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma, our       of Sri Mishra Sharma h as ki ndly given me
 revered teacher was serving in George High School,     permission for the publication of ‘The Banished’
 Bargarh from 1917 to 1967. For nearly one year         for which I am grateful to him and indebted as well.
 (1918-19) he was deputed to middle vernacular                 Dr. Jogeshwar Rath, an illustrious son of
 school (VII) of Barpali where Gangadhar Meher, the     Bargarh, now stationed at Safford, Arizona, USA as
 renowned Oriya-poet was the secretary. Sri Mishra      a reputed physician of international fame has been
 Sharma came in close contact with the poet and         a great source of inspiration for me to publish ‘The
 developed a pure love towards Meher’s literature.      Banished’. I am grateful to my friend Dr. Rath but
 From that time he started translating many of his      for whose inspiration and encouragement, this work
 small poems and the poet’s masterpiece ‘Tapaswini’     could not have been accomplished.
 in English. A booklet named ‘Gleanings from                         Also I convey my indebtedness and
 Gangadhar’ was published in his life time (1960)       gratefulness to Sri Prasanna Acharya M.P., Dr. N.
 having only 6 poems and in his note he has             K. Dash, Dr. L. R. Nayak, Sri N. Pruseth, Dr.
 expressed as follows- ‘Great men pour out their        Ramaballav Mishra, M.S., Sri N. B. Pradhan, Er. Asim
 hearts, not for one nation or country but for the      Ku. Mishra, Sri Prayas Ku. Dash & Sri R. Rana for
 entire human race. But they do so in one language.     their profuse help and guidance for the publication.
 Now this language is a great barrier to the study of   Last but not the least let me repeat the desire of the
 great minds of all times and climes. So our great      great poet that he has expressed in the preface of
 poets like Upendra Bhanja, Radhanath Ray and           his original work, “Wise readers, I only wish each
 Gangadhar Meher etc are unknown to those who           one of you to recall Sita’s splendid, unsullied and
 do not know Oriya language. It is with the idea of     sacred character imprinted in your memory plate
 introducing these poets to others that I have made     and enlighten the heart of womenfolk at large
 a humble attempt to translate into English a few       without eyeing at the success or failure of my
 selected portions from Gangadhar’s works. My           composition.”
 attempt will be amply rewarded if at least one non-
 Oriya’s mind is attracted towards the study of                                            The Publisher
 Gangadhar, our immortal poet.’



             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 03
The Banished     English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



                                                    during this period. Lal Rajendra Singh, the
              Introduction                          zamindar of Rajborasambar was a patron of
Gangadhar Meher: - Gangadhar Meher was              art and literature. Gangadhar loved the place
born on August 9, 1862 at Barp ali in the Bargarh   and the people so much that he continued to
                          distr ict. His father     stay in Padampur even after his superannua-
                          Chaitanya Meher was       tion. He returned to his native place to spend
                          a weaver by profes-       the last years of his life in peace and happi-
                          sion. His mother          ness. He had maintained through the vicissi-
                          Sebati Meher was a        tudes of life, miseries, drudgeries, bereave-
                          pi ous Hi ndu lady.       ments, and humiliations. He dedicated himself
                          Gangadhar Meher           to the service of the suffering humanity. He
                          studied upto class V in   utilised his time and energy in bringing social
                          the vil lage primary      reforms. Gangadhar had cultivated great vir-
 school. As his father’s pecuniary condition        tues like honesty, sincerity, integrity, purity, dig-
 was not sound he had to work at the loom           nity and nobility. He was a great soul. Humility
 during the day-time and studied late into the      and simplicity were the distinguishing traits of
 night. He borrowed books from the teachers         his character. The great soul passed away on
 of the village school. He studied the Vedas,       the no-moon day of April 4, 1924. He was born
 Upanishads, Puranas and the ancient Oriya,         on the full-moon day of Shravana. Was it a
 Hindi, Bengali, Sanskrit literature. He was a      coincidence! Or did his birth and death signify
 voracious reader. He followed the principle        joy and grief of mankind!
 of ‘earning and learning simultaneously’. He              Gangadhar was a noble poet, a poet of a
                                     n
 wrote his first poem ‘Rasa-Rat akara’ in           very high order. His vision was an idealistic
 1882. The book narrates a romantic tale in         vision. He had firm belief in a beneficent cos-
 eight cantos. It is written in the ornate riti-    mic order. His masterpiece ‘Tapaswini’ in-
 style already popularised by eminent poets         scribes the idealistic vision and the cosmic
 li ke   Bha nja, Samantasi nghar              d
                                              an    order.
 Dinakrushna Das. The poem received wide
 applause from readers and contemporary             Tapaswini: - Tapaswini is Gangadhar’s major
 writers. He wrote ‘Ahalya-Stava’ in 1892 in        narrative. It was completed in 1913 and pub-
 the same ornate riti-style introducing the dif-                                 lished the following
 ficult measures and rhythms of the ancient                                      year. This p oe m
 Sanskrit poetry. However his well-wishers                                       marks the culmina-
 advised him to adopt the more modern style                                      tion of Gangadhar’s
 popularised by contemporary po         ets like                                 poetic powers. It is
 Radhanath, Madhusudan and Nandakishore.                                         the consummation
 After one year Gangadhar wrote ‘Indumati’                                       of his poetic genius.
 in the modern verse form and poetic style
 whose verve and exuberance app ealed to the          It is his masterpiece. ‘Tapaswini’ narrates the
 poets and readers alike.                             sad story of Sita’s life among the hermits in
        Gangadhar in the mean-time had be-            Valmiki’s hermitage. The theme has been
 come a full-time weaver. Poverty stood in the        derived from the works of great poets like
 way of his literary and intellectual pursuit as      Val miki , Kalidas and Bhababhui. But    t
 an insurmountable obstacle. However his ap-          Gangadhar introduces some original ele-
 pointment to a post of Aumin and then to a           ments in the delineation of
 clerical post under the Government relieved          characters of Rama and
 him of his financial constraints to a great ex-      Sita, and in the description
 tent. He worked in the capacity of a junior          of the beauty of nature and
 government official till 1917 and retired from       natural el ements. The
 service in Padampur. His stay in Padampur            poem is written in eleven
 is memorable. He published his masterpiece


            Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 04
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



 cantos. It has a marvellous structural design.            Kumar Dash, publisher of the u          npublished
 It exhibits the wonderful craftsmanship of the            works of Shashibhusan will very soon bring it
 poet. Sita is presented as a mundane lady with            to the light of the day in its printed form. Trans-
 great virtues. She passes through the hard                lation of a narrative poem from the source lan-
 austerities of the ascetic’s life in the hermit-          guage to the target language is a difficult as
 age and ascends to the radiant and resplend-              well as delicate task. Language through which
 ent seat of a goddess. As there is a steady               a poem finds a form and a meaning, besides
 development of character so there is a corre-             objects and ideas, has a tone, a rhythm and a
 sponding development of emotion- from sor-                nuance which differ from place to place, com-
                                       i
 row to serenity, and from deprvation to                   munity to community and from author to author.
 fulfillment. Gangadhar in delineating Sita’s              The translation whether it is word-for-word
 character brings together past, present and               translation or sense-to-sense translation, it can-
 future- presenting eternal time. At the end he            not easily overcome the trans-cultural barriers.
 presents Janaki in her radiant glory illuminat-           It can hardly retain the sweetness and charm
 ing all the four quadrants of the infinite space.         of the nuances and the emotive and evocative
                                                           power of the original. A translation is likely to
 T he Banished: - ‘The Banished’ is the                    be as interesting and fascinating as the origi-
 English version of ‘Tapaswini’. Shashibhusan              nal if the translator is an adept in both lan-
 Mishra Sharma, a teacher of Ge     orge High              guages and acquainted with both the cultural
                                    School Bargarh         milieu having an artistic temperament which is
                                    made a humble          in tune with that of the author. Mishra Sharma
                                    attempt to trans-      was a poet and a scholar. He was also a re-
                                    late into English a    puted translator. He was primarily a Mathema-
                                    few selected por-      tician. But literature and especially poetry was
                                    tions           from   his first love. He continued assiduously to nur-
                                    Gangadhar’s            ture his love of literature. He was a voracious
                                    works including        reader. Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth and
                                    ‘Tapaswini’ with a     Tennyson were his favourite poets. He had ac-
              Translator:-          view to introduc-      quired working knowledge in English prosody.
  Late Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma
         Born on 25th Mar. 1896
                                    ing the immortal       Fidelity to the original was his chief concern.
        Expired on 5th Jun. 1976    poet to the non-       He tried to manage in English the structured
                                    Oriya readership       musicality of the stanzaic form, metrical pattern,
                                                           alliterative-assonantal arrangements, culture-
 of India and the world. Six short poems were
                                                           specific evocation of the original. So he trans-
 published in ‘Gleanings from Gangadhar’ in
                                                           lated the different chapters in couplets, quat-
 1960. Unfortunately ‘The Banished’ could not
                                                           rains, octave and sestet and s uch other stanzaic
 be included as funds were not available for
                                                           form and pattern. He used rhymed verse. But
 publication of a bigger volume. However the
                                                           he was not averse to blank-verse or free-verse.
 English version of Gangadhar’s poems at-
                                                           He exhausted almost all the rhetorical devices
 tracted the attention of the elite. Dr P. K. Pati,
                                                           of English poetry in ‘The Banished’. He made
 Professor of English, Revenshaw College in a
                                                           all possible efforts to recapture in his transla-
 letter of congratulation writes “Mishra Sharma
                                                           tion the sweetness and incanta          tion of the
 has succeeded in rendering into English not
                                                           evocatives like ‘je’, ‘he’ and ‘go’ by using words
 merely the idea and the feeling but also the
                                                           containing soft consonants and liquid vowels
 sweetness, beauty and melody of some of the
                                                           and by repeating phrases and expressions to
 masterpieces of Gangadhar.” Dr. Pati had seen
                                                                                                s
                                                           bring about the desired effect . There is a
 the manuscript of the English version of
                                                           French saying that a translation when faithful
 ‘Tapaswini’. Mishra Sharma had translated it
                                                           is homely, and faithless when lovely. Mishra
 in the early fifties of the last century. The manu-
                                                           Sharma has left no stone unturned to make his
 script had been lying hidden from the readers’
                                                           translation both homely and lovely. Yet he has
 eyes for more than half a cent ury. Sri Prasanna
                                                           never sacrificed fidelity to the original.

              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 05
The Banished     English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Editor’s Gratitude:- My thanks are due to            The insolvent pecuniary condition of the family
Dr. Nanda Kishore Dash, Dr. An taryami Tripathy      put a full stop to his studies for degrees and
and Sri Durga Prasad Mishra bu t for whose help      diplomas but not to his sagacity for acquiring
and co-operation I couldn’t have been able to        knowledge that remained with him throughout
edit ‘The Banished’. I extend my gratitude to        his life. He joined George High English School,
Sri Prasanna Kumar Dash, publisher of ‘The           Bargarh in 1917 as an assistant teacher and
Banished’ for giving me honour to edit the first     was destined to work there til l he retired in 1967,
translation of ‘Tapaswini’ by Sri Shashibhusan       even though some of his studen became    ts
Mishra Sharma. I take this occ asion as a golden     headmasters of this school. A brilliant teacher
                                     t
opportunity to pay homage to h e sacred              for the students and a bright example for the
memory of Sri Mishra Sharma, m revered y             teaching community he could teach all the sub-
teacher and well-wisher.                             jects of teaching with equal dexterity. For him
                                                     any time was study time and in terested students
                                                     were welcome to clarify their doubts and solve
                                  The Editor.        problems with him. Inspectors of Schools of-
                                                     ten advised teachers of other schools to follow
                                                     his style of teaching. However, he was most
           The Old Preceptor                         popular in the teaching of Mathematics and
                                                     Geography for he taught them i ngeniously with-
       Sri Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma, a re-         out being strictly bookish. His bearded coun-
nowned teacher of Orissa, was born to parents        tenance, his sublime demeanour, his head with
Sri Harihar Mishra and Srimati Gundichadevi          its bald scalp, his dwarfish structure, his dhoti
of village Talsirgida in the district of Bargarh     and kurta and all presented the serene picture
on 25th March 1896. As his father was then a         of a ‘guru’ (a spiritual preceptor) of some her-
teacher in a Middle Vernacular School (M.V.          mitage of the days of yore. Widely read, he
School), it was but natural that he should take      was a veteran scholar who could participate in
great interest in the education of his son. Sri      any intellectual discussion with authority. But
Mishra Sharma right from his c hildhood showed       he was never a swaggerer. The school has
precocity and perseverance in studies espe-          adopted one of his devotional poems as the
cially in Mathematics. During the entire span        prayer-song of the school- indeed a rare hon-
of his M.V. School career, year after tear, Sri      our for a teacher par excellence. People in
Mishra Sharma received the sch          olarship     general befittingly referred to him as the ‘Old
awarded by Sri Swapneswar Dash who was a             Preceptor’ (Budha Mastrey). He received ac-
great poet as well as a teacher in the M.V.          colades from the State Sahitya Academy, Gov-
School at Bargarh where Sri Mishra Sharma            ernor’s award and other awards for his accom-
prosecuted his studies. Owing to the lack of         plishments.
provision for English education at Bargarh then,
Sri Mishra Sharma attended diligently the cost-            His family life was nothing but a curse in-
free private classes held by Sri Laxminarayan        cluding death of three sons, the only daughter
Pattnaik, the local Munshif and father of Biju       and the consequent mental derangement of his
Pattnaik, who taught English voluntarily. He was     wife. In addition to this hell of a life entirely
so assiduous in the study of English and could       uncongenial for peaceful and creative works
earn so much knowledge in it that he could           his constant companion was financial con-
easily qualify at the entrance test held for ad-     straints. Yet it is really amazing that he could
mission into the Zilla School at Sambalpur.          find the required time and the mind-set to in-
From this High English School he appeared at         dulge in literary activities of no mean order in
the Matriculation Examination of the Calcutta        all branches of literature. In all his activities
University in the year 1915 and got a first class.   his objective was to uplift the society through
In 1917 he passed Intermediate in Science from       didacticism and the people through advice and
Ravenshaw College, Cuttack and there also a          admonition. ‘The Banished’, the English ver-
first class was his due.                             sion of ‘Tapaswini’ the magnum opus of

            Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 06
The Banished      English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Swabhavakabi Gangadhar Meher, one of the              adept in uttering epigrammatic expressions of
greatest poets of Orissa, corroborates the fact       which the following two stand out. One in Eng-
that Sri Mishra Sharma was an appreciator of          lish that reads “Prayer, Purity and Patience-
belles-lettres. In his professional career, for a     these three lead to Essence.” The other one
period (1918-1919), he was chosen and taken           is in Oriya. When translated it may read:
on loan by Sri Meher to teach English at Barpali
M.E. School where Sri Meher was the secre-            In this world wonderful
tary. This speaks of the profi ciency of Sri Mishra   Instances are so plentiful
Sharma in English language and literature.            Of sons of men of thousands
Probably as a tribute to Sri Meher’s blessings        Are nothing but tramps and vagrants,
Sri Mishra Sharma translated the masterpiece          Of men of millions and their sons
of the poet so that his lovely piece of literature    Are none but wealth-guarding demons
gets its legitimate place in world literature. Sri    And of sons of men of billions
Mishra Sharma also translated and published           Not getting even rice and onions.
some of the beautiful poems of Gangadhar as
a bo okle t captioned ‘Gleanings from                     Sri Shashibhusan Mi shra Sha rma
Gangadhar’. Sri Prasanna Kumar Dash has               passed away on 5th June 1976.
published some of the poems of Sri Mishra
Sharma in two booklets. In another booklet Sri              I am indebted to Sri Prasanna Kumar
Mishra Sharma’s translation of the first two          Dash, publisher of ‘The Banished’ for giving
chapters of Bhagvatgita and in another his            me the opportunity to draw a short life sketch
translation of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam both          of Sri Mishra Sharma who was my revered
into Oriya respectively named ‘Oriya Gita’ and        teacher but for whose admonition I would not
‘Pritipatra’ have been published by the said          have had the education I received and natu-
publisher. Very many other works including an         rally neither would have had the noble profes-
English translation of Utkalamani Gopabandhu          sion of teaching I pursued in life.
Das’s ‘Bandira Atmakatha’ and a drama in Eng-
lish on Gandhiji are awaiting publication. In his
native tongue Kosli Sri Mishra Sharma was one
of the earliest writers. The booklets mentioned                        Dr. Nanda Kishore Dash
above include some of his beautiful poems in           Retd. Principal, Women’s Co llege Bargarh
his native tongue Kosli. In this respect it is a
misfortune that the manuscript containing some          A Note On Translator’s Job
1200 Kosli proverbs were eaten away by ter-
mites and the manuscript of a Kosli–to-Oriya
                                                            It is a strange business- transforming and
                                    h
dictionary sent to Dr. Kunjabi ari Tripathy,
                                                      recreating the magic and mystery of one lan-
H.O.D. Oriya & Sanskrit, Ravenshaw College,
                                                      guage into an alien language. Translation and
Cuttack was neither published nor was returned
                                                      interpretation form difficult and often baffling
to the author.
                                                      concepts for linguists and critics of all ages.
                                                      Often do we try to limit translation to the purely
      In epitome Sri Mishra Sharma was a leg-
                                                      written mode, where as interpretation is asso-
endary teacher for the students and spiritual
                                                      ciated with the verbal mode. We attempt at
preceptor for the society at large. He can best
                                                      drawing a complete barrier between the two
be described as ‘A man with mind untroubled
                                                      and that is probably the reason why often,
by sorrows, who has done with desire for pleas-
                                                      translated works do suffer. Ho wever, it is easier
ures, from whom liking and wrath and fear have
                                                      said than done. Interpretation and translation
passed away, such is the sage whose under-
                                                      not just involve a linguistic shifting but also do
standing has become founded in stability.’ (Sri
                                                      require a deep sense of socio-cultural under-
Aurovindo’s translation of Bhagvatgita, 2.56,
                                                      standing which is the most crucial job in the
quoted in his Essays on The Gita p.95). Last
                                                      process. A translator has to keep in mind the
but not the least Sri Mishra Sharma was quite
                                                      literary as well as the cultural demand of not

            Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 07
The Banished      English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



just the original script but also of the language      simplicity and transparency of emotion that can
into which the work is being translated and the        be located in Gangadhar Meher is unusual in
technicalities of his own times. And there does        contemporary poetry. There is a strange spon-
lie the difficulty and intricacy in the job.           taneity in his poetic muse which can be only
                                                       found in an individual having a genuine poetic
       Translating a poet like Gangadhar Meher         sensibility. What is all the more charming is
and his masterpiece ‘Tapaswini’ is not just an         that one hardly finds any pseudo intellectual
opportunity, but also an experience of a life-         effort in Meher’s works. It is rather, the poetry
time. This particular work carries the melody          that bears the effulgence of a pure and unam-
and the harmony of music of unusual splen-             biguous heart. ‘Tapaswini’, any one who reads
dour in the Oriya language. Therefore, taking          the poem shall be touched by the beauty and
upon its translation is not only difficult but also    truthfulness in the depiction of the austerity of
full of unpredictable risks. This translated ver-      womanhood. It celebrates the essence of pu-
sion is merely a humble attempt at capturing           rity and magnificence of dignity that is woman.
and recreating the glory of this wonderful nar-
rative poem in English- the language that shall              Within a very limited scope and knowl-
be extremely close to the Asian populace in            edge of the nuances of English language,
the time to come. However, jus t because trans-        Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma has attempted
                                s
lating him carries difficultie and dangers,            to recreate the charm of the enigmatic narra-
should not mean that a poet li ke Meher be kept        tive. But it gives immense joy and satisfaction
closeted under one geographic and semantic             to see it completed at last. This humble effort
entity. The charm and beauty of the writings of        is a sincere tribute to Gangadhar Meher, the
poets like Gangadhar Meher need to be rec-             master craftsman of Oriya literature. The effort
ognized and appreciated by succeeding gen-             of the translator is commendable. May the
erations, and that should be the major reason          translator live long in the memory of the read-
to translate him into as many languages as             ers of the English version of ‘Tapaswini’!
possible.
                                                                             Prof. Minaketan Purohit
        The correct interplay of words and                                   Editor, “The Banished”
thoughts is a Herculean task in the translation
process. Often the beauty and seriousness of
the original version is lost while put in the grind-       A Note On Translation
ing stone of a new language. For instance, the
depiction of Sita in ‘Tapaswini’ is much in ac-              Gangadhar Meher ’s ‘Tapaswini’ is a
cord with the cultural and natural framework of        masterpiece. It has received accolade and ap-
the land of Orissa. Gangadhar Meher’s imagi-           preciation from so many sensible and sensi-
native plane revolves around the typical Oriya         tive readers. The subject-matter of this great
landscape, yet his approach is Universal. But          classic of modern Oriya literature is taken from
interpreting this Universality of his theme in the     Indian mythology. The second exile of Sita in
English language is what has been the most             Valmiki’s hermitage, the birth of the twins and
trying aspect of this work. However, it can only       the invitation relating to horse-sacrifice of Lord
be regretted that none of the translators can          Rama are depicted here. The epic sings the
claim a complete success in their endeavour.           glory of Sita’s fidelity and chastity, Rama’s ideal
The rhapsody and symphony in the rhyme and             duty as a king and the tradition of monks and
lilt of words can only be felt in the original ver-    nuns in Indian soil. Nature in this great work
sion.                                                  has been personified by the poet to act as an
                                                       important character in various sublime forms
       Maintaining the rhyme and rhythm in Eng-        like hills, mountains, rivers, woodlands as well
lish language is much more difficult than in the       as humble forms like small flowers and plants,
regional languages like Oriya, which has im-           nondescript birds and insects. The native read-
mense possibilities of a rhythmic felicity. The        ers can enjoy this work with ease by feeding


            Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 08
The Banished     English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



their emotion and intellect. But it is not wise to   translation of poetry is more onerous. Crea-
confine this literary creation only to the narrow    tive imagination, the theme and the rhythm
boundary of the native soil. With this noble in-     expressed in a different cultural setting of one
tention in mind Sri Shashibhus Mishra an             language may not be the same i n another lan-
Sharma had this ambitious plan of translating        guage when translated. Therefore a faithful
it into English a few decades ago. His long cher-    rendering requires deep understanding of the
ished aspiration got materialized towards the        contents, words, metrical patterns and struc-
end of his life and unfortunately the great trans-   ture of language of the original work and per-
lator passed away before the translated ver-         fect command over both the languages.
sion could be brought out.
                                                     Shashi babu has successfully p       roved his
      However, it is a matter of great pleasure                                         a
                                                     transcreating genius in his tr nslation of
                                    f
th at the Eng lish- tr ansl ation o the epic         ‘Tapaswini’. I shall cite two examples to show
‘Tapaswini’ is published at present by the de-       his skill, sincerity and brilliant use of word-
voted and dedicated efforts of some enthusi-         power to convey the inner mean ing, sweetness
asts like Sri Prasanna Ku. Dash, Retd. Head-         and musicality of the original text. The first
master, Bargarh.                                     stanza of CANTO-IV in ‘Tapaswini’ is
                                                     mangale aila usha
       Translation of a literary work of art, that   bikacha-rajiba drusha
too, poetry is a tough job as the translator has     janaki-darshana-trusha hrudaye bahi,
to remain faithful to both the source and target     kara pallave nihara-
language which is a highly challenging task.         mukta dhari upahara
Sri Mishra Sharma has evidenced to maintain          satinka basa-bahara-prangane rahi,
the fidelity to the best of his capability. Subse-   kalakantha-kanthe kahila
quent editions of this are thus highly solicited     “Darashana dia Sati, rati pahila”.
as it is a reproduction of his manuscript with a
little amount of correction, omission and addi-      The English rendering is:
tion.
             Dr. Antaryami Tripathy                  At a time auspicious came Dawn
      Dept. of English Women’s College,              With eyes of a lotus full-blown
             Bargarh. Dt 01.10.2005                  She came with a thirst in her heart
                                                     To have a sight of Janaki apart.
  The Charm Of ‘The Banished’                        Offering pearls of dew in the hands of foliage
                                                     She waited in the courtyard of Sita’s cottage
                                                     And through the cuckoo’s melodious voice,
       Late Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma was
                                                     said
a creative writer in Oriya and Sambalpuri lan-
                                                     ‘Arise, Noble Queen and appear, for the night
guages. Writing was inseparable from his blood
                                                     is ended.’
and bone, and became an organic part of his
                                                     The second one is from CANTO-VII where the
being. As if for him, ‘To write poetry is to be
                                                     original Oriya stanza:
alive’. (Rilke) He was also a committed trans-
lator. After translating some poems of Shake-
                                                     mo tanu dagdha hele hebata khara,
speare, Wordsworth, Alexander Pope, Henry
                                                     tahaku karaiba padape sara;
Wolten, Samuel Johnson, H. W. Longfellow,
                                                     se taru kastha dei bardhaki haste
Davies and Omar Khayyam into O        riya lan-
                                                     karai deba Prabhu paduka mate he |
guage, he had translated six immortal poems
of great muse Swavab kavi Gangadhar Meher.
                                                     is translated into English as:
‘The Banished’ is the English translation of
Meher’s classic creation in Oriya ‘Tapaswini’.
                                                     ‘When my body is burnt to ashes
                                                     Use the same as manure to a tree
     Translation is an arduous job and faithful


            Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 09
The Banished     English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Give the timber to a carpenter                       by accepting this as small tree only for shade
To make a pair of sandals for my Lord’s feet.’       without the hope of flowers and fruits.

The English readers will not find it difficult to                  With regards
enjoy the content and beauty of these stanzas
without going through the original. Such was         Padampur                Yours gratefully forever
his proficiency at translations. Late Mishra         05.10.1914              Sri Gangadhar Meher
Sharma will be ever remembered by English
readers who would have missed the charm of
‘Tapaswini’ without ‘The Banished’.
                                                                      Preface
                                                            Rama’s and Sita’s greatness- f or Rama
             Narayan Pruseth                         became a forest-dweller to upkeep his father’s
Retd. Principal, Women’s College Bargarh             solemn vow and Sita followed and trod upon
                                                     her husband Rama’s footsteps- that had
      A Rare Transcreation                           blossomed forth became fragrant at Sita’s
                                                     banishment. As Sita’s devotion for her
                                                     husband got brilliance through her endurance
      Seeing the trans-creation of Gangadhar         of pangs of banishment, Rama’s love for his
Meher’s ‘Tapaswini’ by the celebrated literary
                                                     wi fe became il lumi nated throug th e     h
                                   a,
genius of Sambalpur, nay Oriss Late Sri
Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma, I was moved to           performance of the ‘Horse-sacrifice’ with the
tears, thrilled with rare joy and inspiration.       golden image of Sita beside hi m. After all both
Those who have helped in bringing out this           were worthily made for each ot er. Evenh
unique literary achievement, though a belated        though Sita had been exiled by her husband
attempt, deserve for the delectation and edifi-      only because of a false scanda Sita didl,
cation of the readers resulting therefrom, pro-      realise her master’s love towards her that he
fuse praise and congratulation which cannot be
                                                     bore at his heart of hearts. T he ultimate object
adequately expressed in words, but deeply felt
at the inner layers of the mind.                     of the book is to unravel as to how, having
                                                     accepted the bani shment as a h ee r         s
             Sri Netrananda Pujari                   misfortune Sita made her loyalty to her sire
 Retd. Prof. (English) Bargarh 10.10.2005            firmer and exalting and having converted the
                                                     banishment to a husband’s welfare-serving-
                                                     penance, she lived her life as a recluse. As
                Dedication                           Sita had abandoned all hope of regaining her
                                                     husband’s mercy so also I have given up all
                                                     hopes of painting a faithful picture of her lofty
To                                                   character. Nevertheless Rama could perform
     Adorable Sriman Ramnarayan Mishra.
                                                     the Sacrifice having beside hi self them
                              M. A. B. L.
     A humble submission                             captivating statue made of his h ea rt-
                                                     enlightening moonbeam in lieu of Sita the
Esteemed Sir,                                        anchorite flesh and blood. Wise readers, I
                                                     only wish each one of you to r        ecall Sita’s
      I have come to know that you have wid-         splendid, unsullied and sacred character
ened and cleared the way of learning for poor
                                                     imprinted in your memory plate and enlighten
students by giving financial help. As various
                                                     the heart of womanfolk at large without eyeing
small trees are necessary to plant on the road
side I similarly offer this book named ‘Tapaswini’   at the success or failure of my composition.
in your lotus hand. You will make me obliged

            Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 10
The Banished    English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



       In conclusion I am duty-bound to record                    CANTO-I
that the vigorous encouragement extended to
me by my dear friend Sri Brajamohan Panda is
simply matchless and for that I express my deep
sense of gratitude towards him.

Padampur                   Humbly yours
05.10.1914             Sri Gangadhar Meher




                                                    Who art thou, radiant one, with white attire
                                                    And with deep blue hair that surpasses the sapphire?
                                                    Thy radiance pierces through the white gossamer
                                                    And gladdens the heart that it touches.

                                                    Art thou moon-beam solidified into a human form?
                                                    Thy hair in the form of darkness, licks thy feet.
                                                    Fair and lustrous stars and planets
                                                    Adorn thy form like jewelled ornaments.

                                                    Countless white flowers woven into garlands
                                                    In a strangely artistic design adorn thy neck.
                                                    Entranced is the world with fragrance of your body,
                                                    Cheerfulness is perceptible in every life.

                                                    What is it thou pourest with thy hands
                                                    That men drink and look like gods?
                                                    With thy incantation a chosen few
                                                    Dispel darkness and emit light anew.

                                                    There bloom white lotuses at thy feet;
                                                    So to call Thee moon-beam does not hold good.
                                                    The lake of my life is filled with slime of poverty
                                                    Worldly affairs fill my belly with dirty water.




           Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 11
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



                                                      Wild flowers leapt from stems and rolled
Looking at thy autumn-like face                       With dust-smeared bodies wrestled in duels.
It becomes, of its own, clearer and clearer.
The lotus in the heart blossoms and charms me.        Enraged creepers tore the gossamers to pieces
Is it blessed, O Divine, with touch of thy feet?      As if they were the enemy’s agents and nets;
                                                      Broken clouds rushed with their followers
The touch of thy feet has charmed my life.            With blazing eyes and rumbling thunders.
Now please do what thou thinkest proper.
My mind runs to the hermitage of Valmiki              Sprinkling droplets of cool water on Sita’s face,
Longing for a glimpse of the banished Sita.           They brought slowly back to her senses.
How did she stitch her torn heart into one whole?     Seeing the sad plight of the daughter-in-law of the race,
How did she live, with whom and how long?             The Sun was so ashamed that he hid his face.
O Gracious One, give me the power to see the sight;
Let me purify my heart by writing about it.           The presiding deities of the sky’s quarters sat morose
There flows the sacred Ganga through the woods        Shocking the whole sky their loud lamentation rose.
Striking its waves against the western bank,          Regaining her consciousness Sita looked round
Running with eager feet to see sylvan beauty          To all directions in misery and despair.
And plodding its weary way with trouble.
                                                      Rama in all directions did she observe,
Sita stood on the same bank in deep distress          Sitting in silence with grief in her heart.
Looking eastward with steadfast eyes,                 Lakshmana, standing speechless with folded hands;
Tears flowed from her eyes in continuous stream       Streams of tears flowing from the eyes of both.
Wetting the top of her breast ceaselessly.
                                                      Neither could Rama ask Lakshmana about Sita,
Just as masses of cloud rise in the west              Nor could Lakshmana open his mouth to speak out.
And flood the western mountain with incessant rain    Turning towards the Sun, Sita saw Rama in his lap
Or as an elephant with water of its trunk             With his head bowed and placed on his hands.
Wets the evening lotus in the tank.
                                                      Casting her glance at Bhagirathi she saw Rama
With tender piteous cries “O, my Lord!”,              Accompanying Bhagirathi in the rear
She sank on the earth under her feet;                 Tears ran down Rama’s eyes like the Ganga’s flow,
She fell unconscious on the ground                    In which at times he sank and then he floated.
But none was there to render her help.
                                                      Contemplating on the baby in her womb
Hundreds of maids once served her feet                A flood of tears, gushed from her eyes.
But none was there to see her sad plight              The sight of lush green grass made her shrink,
How dangerous are the ways of destiny!                She wished to set herself on a bed of rock.
Who will not tremble with fear at such sights?
                                                      She went not there due to some thought in mind
The forest cried through the voices of birds.         But she could control her sobs no more.
A strong wind blew as its inhaling breath,            From her pain-stricken face came a cry so piteous
And its exhaling produced a murmuring sound           That even the forest itself was stunned.
While leaves floated in the waves of anguish.
                                                      Repentant Janaki in agony implored,
Bewildered, the deer looked this way and that         “O, Lord of my being! Thou, cloud of mercy!
Stood motionless, apprehending unknown danger.        In what an evil moment, thou held my unlucky hand
As children behave, hearing their mother’s cry        That sorrows and sufferings made an abode of Thee.
Not being able to understand and tell why?
                                                      And I, unaware of thy boundless glory
The palm tree lifted the sword in hand                Had looked to the bow with pride and vanity
Roaring in anger to fight with Fate.                  Thou broke it into two pieces like a sugarcane
And shaking the weaver-nest again and again           And savoured me, My Lord! as its sweet juice.
Brandished the arrows of leaves out of the quiver.
                                                      O hero of heroes, I am fetters of your feet,
Droplets from the waves raised in the river           But you transformed the same into a chain of love.
Leapt the wave-crests to hit the bank                 You took this hindrance with you to the forests,
Did angry Bhagirathi fight with Providence            And went round holy places and hermitages.
Firing lead-bullets from machine-guns of waves?
                                                      How can I forget your love and care, my dear!
Lotus flowers in the tank moved to and fro            How can I forget, for it has filled my life?
Forming an army of black beetle to fight              You gathered fruits and roots from early hour
                                                      Lest this slave of yours should suffer from hunger.

             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 12
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma


 You made a swing in the cradle of your arms,              Yet you uttered not a single unkind word
 Lest this worthless maid should sleep on a bed of grass   And filled my heart with hope, as you banished me
 For love of this unlucky woman you crossed the ocean      The sins I earned are causes of my grief
 And waged a war with the ten-headed demon.                Those very sins now flash across my mind’s screen.

 You bore the assault of dreadful arrows,                  I took him, my glorious Lord, for a man like us
 And embraced the wounds as beads of necklace.             Believing the cry, ‘Save me, Lakshmana’ to be his
 Considering me to be its central bead                     Mean-minded as I am, I mistook Lakshmana
 You treasured me, O Lord! as its crowning gem.            And forced him to go to the woods to protect my Lord.

 I shuddered with fear at the sight of the scars,          The sin I committed deserved punishment
 You consoled me with your nectar-sweet words.             My Lord’s glory banished me for atonement.
 You said; “I sacrificed blood on the altar of war,        Oh, how I rebuked blameless Lakshmana
 And achieved you, my beloved, as the precious gift”.      This banishment is its befitting reward.

 The scars made by arrows are still so fresh               I struck his heart with thunderbolt of words,
 But I, the unfortunate one, am already separate!          And I forced him to go away from my presence.
 Wipe off my memory from your heart-board                  That Lakshmana, falling flat at my feet in devotion,
 Or else you’ll feel pangs of agony each moment.           Speaking sweet words left me there all alone.

 Forget this worthless maid, may your subjects flourish    Ravana showed a severed head, detached from body
 Let me die, but may your blemishes vanish.                Mistaking it to be my husband’s, I wept aloud.
 Plant in your heart the eternal form                      That I didn’t court instant death at the sight
 Of immortal fame that will emerge from this.              Is the very sin for which I suffer death in life.

 The originator of the race, the sun of days,              Belittling the joy of serving your feet
 Blesses the whole creation with his bright rays.          I longed for enjoying the hermitage’s sight
 The perennial Ganga is the glory of your race,            That sin separated me from your august presence
 She nurses all who live in time and space.                Saying, “Sinner, do as you like, it is my vengeance.”

 You forsook me, my Lord, at the call of honour,           You spent so many happy days in my company
 This indeed O Lord, is worthy of your stature.            Forgetting the solicitations of Ajodhya’s royal goddess.
 What an irony of fate it is that the picture              The goddess could no more bear the pangs of separa-
 Of this sinner should stain your glorious banner.         tion
 I am ashamed, my Lord of spotless character               She used a mischief monger as her companion.
 You were slandered for the sake of this sinner
 Quitting shelter at thy feet, where shall I live?         The jealous goddess looked for vengeance
 Fire doesn’t burn me; oh, I cannot survive.               And she removed me from your august presence.
                                                           In Ajodhya the second wife has boundless powers,
 This durba grass carries your grace and splendour         The husband’s influence is no match to hers.
 How can I renounce it, and where can I take shelter?
 O gracious Lord, even the stone receives your favour,     The day queen Kaikeyi established her power
 Why shall it sustain me and court disfavour?              The royal goddess reigned supreme there.
                                                           Lord of my heart! Forget not the sacred vow
 You have placed a precious jewel in my womb               You made before the great sage Ashtabakra:
 But you have said nothing how to preserve it safe.        “I can banish Sita who is dearer than my life,
 I have cherished high hope in my heart                    If needed for the pleasure of my subjects”
 To adorn my Lord’s lap with this jewel.                   You are ever so happy in obeying your father’s words,
                                                           Let me not retreat from honouring my consort’s wishes.
 Will my forlorn hopes elude me!
 Fate, I bow thousand times to Thee!                       Only then shall I deserve the title of your wife-
 What have you, O Destiny, planned for the successor       This my heart will understand and console me.
 Whose father is the world-renowned emperor?               You have pledged yourself to serve your subjects,
                                                           And I, your worthy wife, must follow your footsteps.
 It is true that lightning strikes the mountain
 But alas! The innocent creatures are destroyed.           Let my exile serve to appease your subjects
 Glory to you Lord; your mouth is the spring of nectar,    Let my Lord’s virtues and fame remain unsullied.
 Your heart too ‘O Lord,’ is the rock of icy nectar.       At Sita’s lamentation the wind stopped blowing.
                                                           Land, water and sky kept on grieving.
 Whatever torment and torture strike the heart,
 From your mouth flows nothing but nectar.                 The waves in the Ganga came to a stand still.
 When the shameful rumour was whispered                    The chirpings of birds in the forest were hushed.
 What terrible agony you must have suffered;

             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 13
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma


Not a single leaf of any tree trembled,                    Perturbed, Queen Peace looked for a chariot,
All frolic stopped and the creepers fumbled.               To carry her to the mourner on the spot.
                                                           The hermit girls were tending the torn creepers,
Birds on branches pricked up their ears                    Sita’s piteous cries then entered their ears.
And filled their hearts with streams of tears.
The fawns with mother’s teats in their mouths              It was a strange new sound, not the cooing of dove,
Remained still, forgetting to suckle.                      Nor the sound of harp or conch, or a veena’s strains.
                                                           Certain it was that the cry sprang from a woman’s throat.
Deer and does not chewing grass in their mouths,           Peace found her chariot in the hearts of the girls,
Bent their necks to hear the doleful sounds,               Riding on the chariot she drove to the river bank,
Motionless stood peacocks, peahens with their young        What a lovely sight it was! the anchals waving in the air
ones,                                                      like banners.
Looking like pictures as if painted on the canvas.
                                                           Stunned, though she was at the sight of the wailing
Forgetting their way to the Ganga, quietly stood           maiden,
The elephant families, as if they were pieces of wood.     She ventured to go near her, others waited at a
                                                           distance,

            CANTO-II                                       Startled, one thought, ‘This is indeed strange,
                                                           That a woman of such rare beauty be in the forest’.
                                                           Is she a heaven’s goddess fallen due to curse?
                                                           Or is she Indrani fallen from Airabata’s back?
                                                           Another thought, she is Ganga incarnate flooding the
                                                           earth with tears,
                                                           Or she is compassion herself melting in pity for the suf-
                                                           fering of others.
                                                           Or she is a star descending on the earth with a spring.
                                                           It is not rumbling thunder following lightning nor star-
                                                           tling cries,
                                                           How could a harsh summer day of chirping cricket
                                                           Become dew-raining moon-lit night of cooing cuckoo’s?

                                                           If she had a veena in her hand we might call her
                                                           Saraswati
                                                           Crying piteously at the pain of separation from Vishnu.
                                                           The hermit-girls each in her conjecture
                                                           Thought diversely and went to weeping Sita,
                                                           But none could dare console her.
                                                           How can Nirmala cleanse Mahanadi’s water in the rains?

                                                           As Ib, Ang and Tel increase the volume of water of
                                                           Mahanadi
                                                           So did the presence of the girls heighten Sita’s sorrow
                                                           They stood around her but couldn’t speak.
                                                           Love chained their feet and they couldn’t leave,
                                                           Sita gazed piteously at their peaceful eyes,
Peace rules in the hermitage kingdom of Valmiki            Her tormented soul floated in a flood of her tears.
Her store is full of shades of trees offered as revenue,
Offered are the same according to their own measure.       Was it a she-swan singing a sad song,
In their fight with nature, they behave like soldiers,      Amid lotuses wetted by the geese-spray?
Covering their bodies with armours of thick foliage        A sensitive girl, unable to see the scene any longer
Regaining light and strength from exercise in sun and      Ran to Valmiki and in a voice choked with emotion, said,
rain.                                                      “O Father! A woman in the forest as if a figure of butter,
                                                           Weeps piteously recalling her husband’s honour and
The realm they protect from aggression of winter’s cold    affection.
Some embracing fire, others becoming arrows of flame.
Vanquished nature propitiates with gifts of flowers and    A red orb of vermilion beautifies her forehead,
fruits                                                     As though it’s a full-moon to her lotus-like face.
The dew drops holding in their wombs,                      Glittering bangles set with jewels adorn her hands,
The star gemmed ocean sky                                  Instead of sinking in the sea of sorrow, dazzle on the
Belittle Agastya’s glory and preserve lunar orbs.          shore.
                                                           Clad in wet lotus-cloth she is a bud in half-bloom,
Sita’s lamentation pierced all of a sudden                 Hard it is to discern whether she is divine or human.”
Shaking terribly lady-peace’s mansion.


             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 14
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Hearing the news the hermit shut his eyes,                  Striking the sandals on obstacles’ head, Valmiki walked
Holding his body erect, sat still for a while.              ahead,
Opening his eyes, he stepped out, saying “Let us see”.      Looking in ochre robes like Anuru, the Sun’s chariot-
His disciples followed him close upon his heels.            eer,
Hermit-daughters and sages accompanied the girl,            Sita, the image of Rama’s love, gliding like sun-ray,
Who had come to the hermitage to break the news.            Alas! The sun-ray was drowned in the sea of sorrow.
                                                            But Anuru stood out with splendour.
The bucks, does with young ones followed in a line,         Birds silently listened to the sage and the virtuous
The cuckoos, peacocks, herons jumping from tree to
tree                                                        Seeing them proceed towards the hermitage
Wag-tails, parrots, sharikas and doves,                     Overwhelmed with joy they sang sweet songs.
Sailed across air-waves of the space-ocean.                 It looked as though, Peace celebrated her victory
The heroic army of Peace marched forward,                   In the form of deer’s dance to the tune of the drum.
As a flood to the rock-barrier of Sita’s grief.             Deeming Sita’s face to be a sea of affection,
                                                            They were looking wistfully at it again and again.
Mahanadi flowing over Rameswar stone-heap,
Quakes and whirls, taking another course.                   Sita, Rama’s beloved rising from the sea of misery
The rocks wouldn’t topple, only the flow rages,             Entered the city of peace like the goddess of victory.
And losing its direction it headlong falls.                 Spreading coloured plumes peacocks marched in line,
Will Peace meet the same fate in her march?                 Baby elephants marched with lotuses at the trip of the
How long will she be able to maintain her pride?            trunks.
                                                            Leaves hung from trees full of flowers,
Advancing a little the sage stood by Sita,                  Sitting on them snow-white herons looked like ban-
W hile others crowding on the ground, boughs                ners.
and the sky.
Valmiki in matted hair and ash-smeared body
Stood like the snow-capped Himalayas
And the virtuous one like Uma in deep meditation
Sat motionless under the snow-capped mountain.

At the approach of the sage, stopped Sita’s lamentation
And the cycle of her thought whirled no longer
Said the hermit to Sita, “I have come to know, my
daughter,
Of the reverse course of your separation-danger
The course of the current leads towards the sea;
Jumping over hills and hillocks that bar the way.

When it falls into the sea, it forgets all troubles
And not the slightest difference exists between the two.
If a sand-dune separates the river from the sea,
The river doesn’t die, but keeps its burden in a lake
Same is the case with you, my daughter, on this earth;
Think not about it, it may act like a pyre.

Your father-in-law is my friend and so is your father
Stay here cheerfully forgetting all worldly cares.
You will have nothing to think about in this place,         Cuckoos sang sweet and auspicious songs;
Do not be worried about the babies to be born.”             The deep chorus of black bees sounded as victory
Hearing the sage’s words, Sita fell at his feet, and then   conches.
Rose, brushing and wiping her cheeks with the ends of       Flocks of parrots soared from the trees,
her cloth.                                                  And showered petals on their path.
                                                            The evening star shone like a congratulation lamp,
Blessing her with words “Be the mother of heroes,           And the star of Rama’s eyes sparkled in the ashrama.
my daughter.”
The sage consoled her with words sweet to her ears          On the sage’s orders, one girl carried Sita’s packets
Added the Sage, “Come, come, do not terry any longer,       Another washed clean the Virtuous woman’s face.
Come with these girls and make life sweeter.”               Yet another was going to wash her feet,
Vying with each other the girls picked Sita’s baggage       Sita took the jug and washed her feet herself
And surrounding her proceeded to the hermitage.             Seating her on a seat of fresh leaves, another girl
                                                            Placed before her a plate of fruits and roots.



             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 15
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Anukampa, the old woman of great austerities,            The entire earth was bright under the cloudless sky
Took Sita in her lap wiping tears from her cheeks.       The hour Lakshmana abandoned Sita on the bank of
Filling Sita’s heart with love and affection             Bhagirathi
And looking at her face again and again,                 The Sun, as it were, spread out a white curtain
Said in endearing and soothing words,                    As if, to hide the shameful treatment meted out to Sita
“Fortunate I am, my dear, indeed very fortunate”.        Probing this mystery, twilight removed the curtain
                                                         And revealed the evils of the Solar race.
“Noble queen, you have filled your golden palace with
gloom,                                                   No sooner did the birds chirp than the stars
And you have come to illuminate my poor home.            Appeared on the vast sky, one after another.
I know, you have not had any food all day                They saw Rama, descendant of the Sun,
And I guess, the baby in the womb might be striking      Sitting all alone, with mournful face and tearful eyes.
legs,                                                    Brooding over power and pelf he said,
Eat my girl, don’t feel shy; it is your mother’s home,   “The high office is nothing but a slavery”.
See, how anxious are your companions about you.”
                                                         If hundreds of subjects tell a lie and repeat it,
With these words, Anukampa fed her with her own hands    The king is bound to accept it as truth, though it is but a
She peeled oranges, bananas                              lie.
She offered jackfruits, date palms and berries all       A king’s happiness is sacrificed for his subjects’ peace,
Saying in soft voice, “Eat my daughter, eat all          Tied are his feet tightly to the hard chords of duties.
Repeating, “Eat my dear, eat two more, only two more”,   The coronation of the king is just a ceremonial bath,
Thus the elderly she-hermit fed her eight or ten plums   The ritualistic fanning is a ruse to drive away the flies.
more.
                                                         Happiness and unhappiness can’t co-exist in god’s heart,
Sita lived through mother’s love in Valmiki’s hut        So the kings drink fame-nectar as greater gods.
Which she had not realised in childhood,                 The subject’s blood rises as vapour to form the cloud,
After meals she rinsed her mouth                         The king is the cloud that rains for the subject’s good.
And putting a cardamom in it, sat on a stool,            As there is thunderbolt in the cloud but not in the water,
A girl made a bed of straw and deerskin                  So there is mace in the king’s hands and not in the hands
Two of them stayed with her, others repaired to their    of subjects.
huts.
                                                         Though burnt by lightning the cloud must rain,

           CANTO-III                                     Renouncing all joys the King must please his subjects.
                                                         Kingship on earth is the topmost rung to heaven’s lad-
                                                         der,
                                                         The king who strays from virtues, falls to abysmal depth.
                                                         Like a magician he treads carefully on the kingship-rope,
                                                         Baton in hand, impartial in mind and forgetting all dan-
                                                         gers.

                                                         If he fails to walk, spectators will clap and mock,
                                                         They will laugh at him and the drummer will chide.
                                                         If pangs of separation will make me indifferent to duties,
                                                         The whole world will consider me unworthy of Raghu’s
                                                         race
                                                         It is not yet time for me to take to Banaprastha,
                                                         And Bharata would not agree to shoulder my duties.
                                                         Love for an object held in one’s lap loses appeal
                                                         Day by day when seen again and again,
                                                         But in its absence love increases ten times as does
                                                         A zero added to the right multiplies the number.
                                                         The gross body is not immortal, immortal only is the
                                                         mind,
                                                         In the union of the minds, lies the perfect happiness of
                                                         life.

                                                         Has anyone forever lived in real luxury?
                                                         Has he lived for ever with a crown on his head?
                                                         Fame and slander, defying time, become his opponents.
                                                         Some are destined to go to hell and others to heaven,
                                                         Only the mean-minded care not for public opinion.
                                                         They hanker after transitory worldly pleasures.

             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 16
The Banished         English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Though my beloved is away from me,                             Said Rama, “Oh, stars, escaping from the love-prison of
Yet the lotus-bud has blossomed in my heart.                   the moon
My mind-bee is sucking the sweet honey                         You serve the Creator’s will and keep the sky in motion;
O, my eyes, why are you shedding tears in misery?              You suffer the unbearable pangs of separation,
If the pool dries up, my lotus will totter                     Yet you do your duty forgetting all your pain.”
Ah, my heart, be a dam and check the flow of tears.
                                                               “Oh admirable stars, go to Valmiki’s hermitage,
Blow gently, O breath, let my dear not tremble!                Where the moon of my heart is alone in her cottage.
My ears, be not impatient, Lakshmana will come                 Listening to the sad strains of shelduck crying,
You will hear all about my dear Sita                           My sensitive Sita might lose all zest for living.
O heated skin; the breeze will blow to alleviate sweat,        Give her, O stars! the example of the lagoon and the
Carrying the fragrance of Sita’s body, with the lotus-scent.   lilies,
Unite with mind and revel upon the lake-like heart.            Explain, how lilies live, though the moon doesn’t rise.

My life-lotus in a new form blooms for ever,                   Tell her that re-union is not a serious problem.
Like the Sun of memory that ever shines and never sets.        Convince her how soothing is the union of hearts.
Indulge not in it, my tongue, do not long for that joy,        Now that you witness my feelings, convey the same.
You feed upon the wealth of your subjects                      The lotus-eyed Sita shouldn’t think otherwise.
And do not react against your well-wishers.                    As a rivulet of my soul is joined to her womb,
This life is mine as I still survive to do good to men.        My feelings conveyed by you, will sound reasonable.

Or else how could I melt thunder?                              Could a certain lightness have touched Rama’s heart at
And could sip the juice as if it was butter?                   this?
Let me wait till the day dawns.                                But in vain the stars showed no sympathy and raised a
I shall set free the parrot and the parakeet,                  film of darkness.
They will no more utter Sita’s name                            Those who find fault with the virtuous, are destined to
Their calls of “Sita” won’t excite you any more.               suffer,
                                                               Though seated on high platform, they can’t escape the
The young deer shall join the one with alata decorated         ironies of fate.
feet,                                                          The stars hoped to derive pleasure from Rama’s taints,
The red silken collar around the neck resembles the alata      But humbly bowed and went down, when they saw his
streak.                                                        traits.
Why should the peacock and peahen stay any longer?
The mocking bird will not be able to imitate her voice         Sympathising with Rama’s grief, the sorrowful moon
any more.                                                      Rose from the milk ocean after the night had fallen
Why should the harp produce sweet harmony?                     Teasing and taunting the sheldrake, the Partridge said,
Where is the musician to enjoy the symphony?                   “Grieve not in vain; you are ordained to suffer.”
                                                               He thus scorns, for fate has filled his mouth with nectar.
Rama shut his eyes for a while and in meditation sat,          The rich always applaud at the miseries of the poor.
Observing Time’s terrible spectacle, rushing like currents
Displaying and hiding all things, animate and inanimate.       Banished Sita on the other immersed in her sorrow of
Some objects like bubbles stay for a moment,                   separation,
Others occupied their position for a few days                  Bereft of the comforts of the glittering palaceSat on a
In the fierce flow, only the mountain of fame stood erect.     dear-skin in her leaf-made cottage,
                                                               Recalling in her memory all the events of the past.
The mountain of fame thrust upwards,                           Loving words, spoken sweetly and softly by her Lord
Kissing the sky, the feet of the Lord                          Like melodies entered into the gramophone of her hearts.
That is vast and limitless.
On the top of the mountains strolled wedded couples,           Absorbed deeply in her thought, she came upon a vision
With radiant robes on happily for thousands of years.          Of the emerald-bright Rama in resplendent glory
And on jewelled thrones sat crowned kings.                     And reflected in the mirror of memory, Lakshmana,
                                                               Who stood alone with bow in hand, guarding them at
Who wore garlands of heavenly flowers,                         night.
Those who had elevated themselves through hard pen-            Then as she thought her husband and brother-in-law
ance.                                                          exiled her
The poets singing in their praise came to escort them,         Her eyes like frost-bitten lotuses began shedding tears.
But tormented the tyrants by their bolt-like fists.
At the sight of their sad plight, Rama opened his eyes,        As the date-palm struck by the toddy collector
And saw the entire earth covered by darkness. The smil-        Sheds its juice, so was Sita’s condition, being stabbed
ing stars twinkled on the vast blue sky.                       inside.
The absence of the moon didn’t hamper their mirth.             The lover and the beloved recollecting the feeling for
                                                               one another

              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 17
The Banished          English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Sat on grief’s seat, cutting the night with patience’s sword.   The pheasant in the somber voice began with notes of
Owing to head heaviness, her soul’s sweat ran down,             praise
Washing thick eye-lashes and drenching her cheeks.              The wagtail assuming the role of the announcer
                                                                In a voice sweet and elegant said,
The night began to screech in the guise of an owl;              “Arise, Oh Queen of chastity! arise,
Flooding the sky with blood, she went away.                     For now the darkness of the night is gone.”
The stars surrendered their vanity at the lover’s feet,
And dropped in the guise of flowers seeking refuge.
Rama, the Preserver of All, protected their honour
Uttering the boon, “my head is your eternal shelter.”



            CANTO-IV

                                                                Vedic chants of hermits and sages
                                                                Rang through the woods and hermitages.
                                                                Piercing the skies, rose the sound
                                                                The sonorous OM reverberating all around.
                                                                Giving pleasure to Vishnu’s and Ananta’s ear
                                                                Saraswati played on her veena with cheer.
                                                                From time to time brighter became the forest
                                                                As does Life-force swell with spell’s behest.
At a time auspicious came Dawn                                  Just then Anukampa, the she-hermit of great austerity
With eyes of a lotus full-blown.                                Stood before Janaka’s daughter and said in gravity:
She came with a thirst in her heart                             “Arise Vaidehi! here is tender-bodied Dawn
To have a sight of Janaki apart.                                Give her, Vaidehi, the joy of thy darshan.
Offering pearls of dew in the hands of foliage                  Tamasha is waiting eagerly in a river’s shape,
She waited in the courtyard of Sita’s cottage,                  Give her the happiness of holding you once in her lap.”
And through the cuckoo’s melodious voice, said,
“Arise, Noble Queen and appear, for the night is ended.”

 Wearing the saffron clothes of the rising sun
 And blooming with a flowery sheen
 Her serene form arouses in the mind a belief
 That she is a goddess with yogic powers.
 She has descended from the heavens
 To mitigate the sorrows of the suffering millions
 And to soothe them with endearing words
 Offering them the gift of new life on earth.




                                                                Sita rose from her seat with heroic Rama’s figure
                                                                Painted on her mind-board moistened with tear.
                                                                As is the sun mirrored in a drop of dew
                                                                So was Rama mirrored in her lotus heart.
                                                                The Chaste Sita then rose from her bed
                                                                And bowed at the feet of Anukampa
                                                                Then she bowed at the feet of Dawn with all humility.
  The sweet breeze sang melodious songs.
  The black bee played on the harp.                             Praising Dawn, she said, “Thou Destroyer of darkness,
  The morning’s fragrant scents danced on Dawn’s                Harbinger of the Sun’s advent to the earth!
  orders.                                                       I surrender myself under your feet.


               Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 18
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Your tender feet collect light                              Embracing and rocking Thee in my lap
I take refuge in them with hopes bright                     And addressing and caressing Thee again and again
O Lover of fragrance and whiteness!                         I shall enjoy peace and happiness
Bring good fortune to the heirs of Raghu’s race.”           I shall remain ever contented.
                                                            The innate purity and sanctity of Thy physique
Tamasha, the hermitage’s nurse at the end of the night      Shall wash away all the vices and sins of my life.
With a heart both cheerful and light,
Threw sprays of fragrant water
With flowers on the yard lying near.
The morning star she made the auspicious lighting
With fish eyes Tamasha looked at Sita’s coming.

Floating in flood of hermit-girl’s ardour,
Lustrous Sita was admired the world over,
With Anukampa, the hermitage’s mother
Janaki hastened for a bath in Tamasha’s water.
With her wave-like hands Tamasha embraced,
And to virtuous Sita she fondly caressed.”

With a voice as sweet as nectar, she said:
“My child, no hope had I ever cherished
That Sita, the necklace of royal wealth
Would renounce the pleasures of the world
And come to play upon my bosom.
The whole world will acclaim me the fortunate one.
People will sing in praise of me
And for your sake, they will honour me.




I am meandering through dense forests
Overcoming numerous whirlpools and obstacles,
Never do I count darkness as my sad plight,                 The cranes, ganders, sheldrakes and herons
Nor am I overwhelmed with the joy of light.                 That are ever in my lap in playful moods
I move on with bowed head                                   Shall sip and drink the sacred water
And endeavour to reach the goal of my life                  Purified by the touch of your sacred form.
Pleasing all those who live on my banks,                    And shall ever remain by my side.
With shelter and gifts of sweet water.                      Through their chirping, cooing and crying
                                                            They shall sing sonorous songs in your praise.
Mandakini and Godavari are crowned in glory                 And please my ears for ever.
Having gained the inexhaustible wealth of thy footprints.
The fragrance of thy body has endowed divinity              Flowers would abandon their abodes in creepers
Oh Chaste One! I too craved for the same grace              And jump into my water from far
But without that I had to court all disgrace.               Floating and dipping they would hurry along
                                                            To purify themselves with touch of Thy holy form.
Oh Virtuous One, as I had performed pious deeds.            They would be circling around, O Chaste One!
Dharma who can read the minds of all beings                 As you bathe in my clean water
Brought Thee to me in times of my need.                     Oh Kind and Compassionate One,
What a rare treasure I have received!                       Do not push them away.
Now my life will be fulfilled

             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 19
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Trees and plants will glow with light and lustre          A mother alone can fill the daughter’s grief in her
Acquiring Thy glamour and splendour                       own heart.
Upon my sacred banks you shall wander                     To the mother’s eyes the daughter’s burnt face appears
Lending to the flora Thy eternal splendour.               As lovely and lovable as the moon-face.
Trees would acquire the strength of divinity
And the flowers the exquisiteness of beauty               Ordained by fate, thy bank will be my lasting refuge,
Leaves of the trees would remain ever green               And thy lotus-feet will be the perennial source of peace.
Imparting eternal peace and bliss.”                       For one whose world is empty, your bank is a mother’s
                                                          lap
Adoring Tamasha said Sita, “Thy stream is clear           That is the only abode of love on the earth
Thy water is as tasteful as the coconut water.            When one’s mother has stored jewels in her womb
It is not water, but the breast milk of the mother;       Why should the daughter go in search of other places?”
From the mountain-breast it flows as a stream of nectar
Towards Sita who is lifeless and in need of succour.      Tranquil, clear and cool was Tamasha’s water.
Oh Tamasha, thou art no other than my mother              The hermit daughters were of the same nature.
Riven is thy heart with grief for thy daughter,           Agile was Tamasha in affection,
In the garb of a river, thou art indeed my mother.        Taking on the guise of their reflection
                                                          Mingled in their bodies and looked like them
                                                          Embracing them in deep ardour.
                                                          Tamasha got the opportunity she was looking for,
                                                          She had Sita by her side to watch her grace.

                                                          Through intellect she made herself many-eyed
                                                          And gained numerous hearts and various forms.
                                                          Their heart’s desires increased in number,
                                                          When they joined to others of like mind and nature.

                                                          Their bath being over, they returned to the hermitage
                                                          And worshipped the holy feet of the great sage.
                                                          Valmiki, bestowing blessings on them said, “OM
                                                          Living an austere life, acquire the wealth of wisdom.”
                                                          Showering his blessings on Sita, said the great Seer,
                                                          “Be the mother of great heroes, my daughter!”

                                                          My daughter, take care and tend the plants of the gar-
                                                          den,
                                                          With love and affection as if they are children
                                                          Constant practice will make experience richer,
                                                          Regular habit will render understanding sharper.
                                                          You will learn to understand sooner
                                                          How precious is a son to his mother.
                                                          Anukampa will always be there beside you
                                                          To look to all your needs and comforts.”



 Deep is the fissure and the backside is visible
 Still thou vow to please thy daughter
 Thou speakest loving and adoring words
 And look at me with loving eyes, fondling me
 You possess a large, kind and compassionate heart
 Oh Mother!
 Full of sand to absorb my burning grief.

 Sita who in the eyes of the people of Rama’s kingdom
 Was considered to be tainted, and banished for ever.
 The same Sita you think, to be steadfast in her Dharma
 And will, in thy opinion, be able to purify
 All the fauna and flora of the world
 With the help of her marital devotion and chastity
 A mother alone can read the daughter’s grievous heart.


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 20
The Banished         English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma


 At the sage’s behest the girls went to their
 respective firms
 Carrying water-pitchers in their lotus-soft arms.
 Janaka’s daughter outshone them all in
 resplendent glory,
 Like a glittering diamond among transparent stones.
 Then the hermit-girls repaired to the hermitage’s
 garden,
 And the beauty of the garden surpassed that of a
 paragon.

 At the door of the sylvan deity stood the Virtuous One,
 And the goddess embellished herself with the rays of
                                                                            CANTO-V
 the Sun.
 Smiling with her leaf-lips and mahua-teeth                    The waves of beauty-ocean which rushed to the shore
 The goddess decked herself to attract Sita’s mind.            With a crown of flower-foams on their crest,
 Offering red salmali flowers as arghya                        To wash whose shore-feet in the sea of royal gardens
 Washed her feet with dew-drops of the durba grass.            And kissing the luminous pearls of her nails.
                                                               Her auspicious visit to the hermit’s garden,
 Then she offered a lotus-made seat, welcoming her             Gladdened its trees, creepers and their blooms.
 Through the melodious calls of the shari.
 Made fresh lotuses bloom in autumnal lakes                    As it was spring time, the golden rays of the rising sun
 And with the humming of bees greeted the she-swan.            Dazzled on the dew-drenched leaves of the trees.
 Said she; “The night of my sorrow is over, O Magnani-         Playing in multi-coloured tints in the drops of dew
 mous Queen                                                    Formed a dome of diamonds, pearls and rubies.
 With the touch of your sun-bright radiant feet.

 Fortunate am I, as I saw you by sheer luck
 A dream came true, filling my heart with joy.
 It followed your life in Chitrakuta valley
 In the hermit-inhabitated Dandaka woods
 And in the Ashoka garden of Lanka beyond the seas
 Placing you as a model for fourteen years.

 As you flew through the sky on the Puspaka
 I kept looking up sadly through the eyes of the deer;
 With flowers in hand, imploring with peahen’s calls
 And went on calling till you disappeared from my vision
 Have you come to me, dear! after fourteen years,
 Recalling the nostalgic feelings of an old friend of yours?   The feet of Sita that robbed
                                                               The glories of Ravana’s crown
 Unable to bear the pangs of separation any more               Adorned with sun-bright rubies
 I became an anchorite and took shelter here.                  In the hermit-garden, defeat the rubies’ pride.
 Seeing myself in the mirror of thy loving heart,
 I extend my cordial welcome to thee;                          Sita’s heart, painted by tints of green-hued Srirama,
 Accept thou, my gratitude, Oh dear!                           Was stolen by trees that made them green in time
 For, you have fulfilled my wish and desire.                   Her mind bound to her husband was borrowed by
                                                               flowers
 The company of the good is good and lasts long,               That made them lustrous with the lustre of her limbs.
 As the blue tint of the sky dies not, but lives long.
 Desires lie not unfulfilled in virtuous hearts,               The black bee took the lustre of her hair,
 So it is that I am able to see thee today.                    The Champaka took the radiance of her body,
 It is Fate which brings good fortune,                         To the Mandara went the elegance of her lips,
 Fortune smiled upon me for my love for thee.”                 And so to the others went other tints as per their choices.
                                                               All objects of nature were filled with a splendour
 Enchanting Sita’s mind the sylvan beauty                      And it appeared as if all the riches of heaven,
 In the form of a newly risen mass of cloud                    Came down to the earth
 Entered the burning heart of the Chaste One                   To make the garden beauteous.
 To extinguish the fire of separation
 And to cool the burning pain,                                 The charm of Sita was just like nectar
 In the woodlands of her heart.                                The same collected as honey in the flower
 To the sylvan deity, said Janaka’s daughter:                  Her tenderness and beauty went to flowers
 “I am your prisoner for life, my dear.”                       And there they lived for ever.

              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 21
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



But the Chaste One, void of juice and colour
Became an abbess and lived as a forest dweller.             It seemed as if the love-emanating heart of Rama
                                                            Being restless upon the royal throne
To extend a warm welcome to the virtuous guest              Had rushed to the hermit’s garden
The spiders worked throughout the day and night.            To end Sita’s agony and affliction.
They made an exquisite canopy                               The auspicious light of the eyes and the lustre
Draping the same with golden flowers:                       Formed love-pearls in Sita’s heart as in Swati star.
Ripe oranges and golden balls
Hung in hundreds from the marvellous mantles.




There stood banana plants in rows                           Jackfruit groves on one side, mango groves on another
Like beautiful maids with banners of leaf                   And like waters of a lake, the sky spreads all over.
Kunda, Muchukunda, Bakula and Niali plants                  It seems as if shoulders of hundreds of trees
Stood gracefully with creepers of sweet scents.             Together lift up the ashrama’s forest with one mind;
The young tube rose was there with them
Her head decorated with bunches of blooms.                  As if hermits with burdens of trials and tribulations
                                                            Had waited in this peaceful bank in seclusion.
When Janaki with her companions came nearer                 Solemnly and silently they waited, in eagerness
In soft breeze they cheerfully scattered flowers on her.    To mitigate sufferings of Sita under the moon and the
Some embraced her, others kissed her head;                  sun.
Some fell at her feet, others shook her hand.
                                                            Elsewhere Ingudi trees built a green mansion
Parijata stretched her tongue to lick her coloured feet     In which the Shyama bird pours out a mellifluous note:
The pomegranate opened her mouth to kiss her nails.         The newly-married bride
The Chinichampa borrowed the green colour                   Decorates her home with blue sapphire
In the sweet memory of the green-hued Rama.                 As if commanded by Indra, his wife Sachi
                                                            Invites the Virtuous One to worship her.
Soft, pale-white tender plants soft as the moon-beams
Raised their heads to see the Chaste Sita over the fence.   How beautiful was the forest of Punnaga trees?
Those who could not raise themselves over the fence         With blue, bright and velvety leaves
Peeped through the holes of the fence.                      Did the lovely trees fly from Orissa
                                                            To gladden the grieving heart of Sita?
Perching on the trees, the Chanchi and Phulchuin            Or was it Rama, in the guise of blue mountain
Looked at Sita, calling out again and again,                To feel the waves of Sita’s love sea?
Wagging tails out of joy,
And waiting for Sita to water the plants,

So that they would drink the water
From the pit of the plants without fear.

The spider fell at her feet and went up the tree
Jumping from branch to branch to show its artistry
The Sun in the role of the painter
Made the multi-coloured gossamer.
The leaves of the trees, by nature are green.
Sitting on the branch the emerald-hued Thinthiny
Scraping its body with beaks looks resplendent
Like sunrays looted by the waves of dark blue sea.

              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 22
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Sita with her companions wandered in the garden:         Deceit and guile have not touched your heart,
Was it Ganga with tributaries flowing in the plain?      How can illusion come near you?
The glittering path was beautifully levelled             Your charming serene form shows that
Humbling Kubera’s garden in which fairies revelled.      You have shunned all desires for worldly affairs.
 Carrying Tamasha’s water they filled pits around the
plants                                                   From the very first sight of your form I noticed
As if heaven’s maidens watered the Nandana from Ganga.   That you are ordained to be an inmate here.
Or was it the cloud lifting the water of the ocean       Your heart is purified through penance,
To flood the surface of the earth with it?               Your soul is sanctified through austerity;
                                                         You are a flower on the creeper of righteousness
                                                         Customary work of the newly-initiated is not for you.

                                                         Staying with these girls, fetch a gourdful of water,
                                                         And rekindle the lamp of their ardour.
                                                         My daughter, I have given them necessary instructions
                                                         They’ll never leave you; they are your best compan-
                                                         ions.
                                                         Do not bear with thirst and hunger
                                                         They will give you whatever you desire for.

                                                         When the girls will be busy in their work
                                                         You must yourself take complete rest.
                                                         You may wander in the garden by yourself
                                                         And pluck any flower or fruit you wish,
The hermit-girls tied their skirts to their waist        Whenever you desire anything ask those daughters
And carried the pitchers on their dishevelled heads.     They are instructed to fulfil your desires.”
They walked on with quick steps
As sweat ran down from their foreheads:                  At the end of the seventh hour the girls returned,
They wiped them with their hands,                        And keeping the empty pitchers, near Anukampa set-
Paused at times for the slow-moving queen.               tled
                                                         With their sweating limbs they appeared as bunches of
Anukampa then, came to the spot and said:                fruits
“My Sita does not know how to fetch water,               On a cluster of dew-drenched dhustura-buds.
Let her not work hard; she is tired.
Let her sit and look around.                             Then they rose and finishing their second bath
                                                         Repaired to their respective dwellings.
Come dear, we will sit in the shade                      There they took the fruits and roots, collected by the
I shall tell you all about this place.”                  hermits
They sat together in the shade,                          And spent the noon in studies and discourses.
And the girls went on with their work.
                                                         The joy of love and affection received from monks and
Accosting Sita, Anukampa said, “My dear                  nuns
Man works with interest and devotion.                    Dispelled the agony and grief of the Virtuous One.
As different flowers have different scents               The memories of the pleasures of the palace
So different men have different interests.               Never came to her even by chance.
They come under three broad categories-                  In her heart pond’s cool and clear water,
Divine, human and demoniac.                              Frolicked Rama, the handsome royal swan for ever.
Just as action and love differ from person to person
So also they bear fruits diverse and the results vary.

Those who practise austerities as demons
With pride, arrogance and passion
In anger and wrath, they torture their soul
To achieve physical strength and prowess.
By nature you are kind and compassionate
You adore Brahmins, gods and the wise preceptors
With reverence, respect and devotion,
Demoniac penance is not possible in your nature.

Soothing truth and pleasant words
Are the best embellishments of your life.


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 23
The Banished         English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma

                                                            The story of my life will lessen the burden of agony,
                                                            And you will know what the world is like.

                                                            Oh friend! I am a princess born and brought-up in a
                                                            palace,
                                                            I spent my days, rolling in luxuries and comforts.
                                                            Swans, peacocks, parrots and cuckoos sang day and
                                                            night
                                                            The royal palace was resounded with their songs.
                                                            The sheldrake used to cry out at night,

           CANTO-VI                                         But it failed to produce agony in my heart.
                                                            My childhood was over and I attained youth
                                                            I saw one day an assembly of kings in the capital
One night, Chitra rose with the moon in the sky,            A jewelled bow, was kept by my father,
And the white jasmines blossomed in joy.                    That surpassed all the world’s splendour.
Carrying the fragrance of Madhavi, Bakula, Malli and        Kings and princes tried their luck
Niali                                                       But failing to lift the bow, returned to their seats
And embracing the moonlight, a breeze blew on the coast     Old kings hiding their white hair under ornate crowns
of Tamasha.                                                 Attended the Swayambara to show off their might.
Patches of moonlight before Janaki’s cottage                Some young princes stepped forward in the lion-like mien
In varied shapes, danced under the trees of the             But failing to string the bow retraced their steps.
hermitage                                                   Their proud footsteps but vain attempts,
Advancing towards the eastern horizon                       Made me laugh my dear, to my heart’s contents.
Shrunk and lengthened, then facing extinction.              Sitting in the balcony with my companions
                                                            I observed and laughed at their humiliations.
At a short distance from her moon-lit cottage,
Sat Sita with a girl of the hermitage.                      Then my eyes dazzled to see a prince of rare radiance
Sitting on the ground in the moon-lit night,                The first among the best of the Kshyatriya race.
The Virtuous One appeared radiant with light.               He approached the bow in heroic splendour,
On a leaf glowed two luminous fire-flies,                   And his own radiance subdued the emerald’s glitter
More luminous than the luminous moon.                       Was he the Sun himself in the guise of a prince!
Looking at them, the Virtuous One said to herself:          My heart melted of its own as I looked on the prince.
“Fortunate are you among insects, Oh, fire-flies!”          Such an experience is rare in the life of a nun.
There may be creatures in the world superior to you,        At the sight of the prince my childishness was gone.
But is there anyone with lustrous body as yours?
You are fortunate to have the creator’s boon                Never had I imagined that my eyes would see such
So your refulgence pleases people’s eyes.                   a prince
                                                            My heart worshipped his glowing feet with love and
Just then the love-calls of the sheldrake came floating     reverence.
Like the showers of sorrow repeatedly striking.             My father had made a solemn vow
Tears of pity flowing from the lake of Sita’s eyes,         That he would give me in marriage
Overflowed the bank and spread over the shore of the        With him who would string or break the bow
cheeks.                                                     I thought, oath ended to make me an anchorite
Janaki hid her face from her friend                         For, who knows who would break the bow?
Wiping her tears, brushed her cheeks with the sari’s end.   This prince has already won my heart.
But her friend knew, and said: “Tell me, O Chaste One!      If the heart goes to one and she weds another,
Why does the sheldrake at night mourn?                      Her life is ruined both here and here-after.
Does this bird live in towns and cities too?
Does it cry out in despair when night comes?                Soft were the prince’s hands meant for the flowers-bow
If so, what do people of the city feel                      And insult it was for him to break this heavy bow.
When they hear its plaintive notes?                         It was my good fortune, my friend! He broke the bow
                                                            And with it ended my fears and my father’s vow.
At this Sita could not check the flow of tears,             Fortunate was I to wed to the crowned hero,
Her throat was choked and she would speak no more.          Blessed was I to have his love divine.
Seeing her sad plight, her friend repeated,                 The hero had three heroic brothers
“Forgive me, my friend! Forget what I said.”                Wedded they to my three beautiful sisters.
With tears in her eyes Janaki said: “Forgive me, my         On my way from my father’s house to my husband’s,
friend!                                                     I saw Parashurama holding a shining bow in hands.
I have as yet not told you all about me.                    A terrible warrior he was, a comet to the warrior race,
As I hope to spend the last days of my life with you        Giving a resplendent bow to my husband, looked at his
I must confide my feelings to you, or else you will not     face.
trust me.                                                   I took it for a bad omen,
                                                            And doubted he might win another woman


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 24
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Who would become a rival to my love.                        And rendering good service to the world, mingles
But gone was my doubt in the twinkling of the eye.          in the sea.
No sooner did my husband fix an arrow to the bow            Customary rituals were observed throughout the night
Than the heroic glory of Bhargava embraced Raghava.         And auspicious instruments were sounded in the
As the sunrays increase the beauty of the lotus,            morning.
So did his heroism elevate my love for him.
                                                            My husband along with the minister went to meet
The heart thinks in one way, result moves in another        the King
Inscrutable is the way of Providence: and it’s not clear    But, coming back, said in grief-stricken voice:
Unfurling the dazzling banners of glory in the sky.         My dear partner, leaving behind my life with you,
We entered the capital city of Ajodhya.                     I am leaving for the woods today, at my father’s
                                                            behest.
My father-in-law’s palace was a forest of wealth,           Bharata, my younger brother would be the crowned
When the breeze of good news blew across the city,          prince
Flowers of joy bloomed on elegant vines                     The Royal Goddess has been pleased with him
And leaves of splendour stole man’s minds.                  Oh sensitive One, do not regard Bharata as inferior
The newly married heroic brothers,                          in anyway
Brightly adorned with glittering ornaments,                 Give him all regards as are due to a crowned king.”
With their wives even more gorgeously attired
Entered the jewelled palace in pageantry.
Friend, there was a good old lady in the palace,
Who made sweet remarks and did rejoice:
“All the four quarters of the star-studded space
Came down to adorn the interior of the palace.”
The beautiful faces of my sisters, I noticed,
With bashfulness of love crimson-tinged.
And fresh beads of sweat on their faces bore
The dazzled lustre of the ornaments’ they wore.
The moonlight that dances on your sweating forehead,
Brings back the events to memory, my friend.
Much has been said about the happiness of heaven
For which, even kings abdicate the throne.
The ears cherish the same as truth,
Which tempts the minds of men and for which
The kings perform penance in the woods
Living on fruits and roots with the hope to go to heaven.

From what I found in my father-in-law’s palace
I surmised, that might not be found anywhere in space.
My husband’s love and my in-laws’ affection
Made me think very lightly of the riches of the heaven.
All kinds of festivals were celebrated on the occasion,
These festivities were beyond my imagination.
My hours were illumined by the opulence of the palace
And my days passed happily in my husband’s love.
So absorbed was I that I had no time, my friend!            I observed my husband’s face
To hear the plaintive notes of the Chakrabaka.              I saw it as calm and content as ever.
Thus passed twelve years after marriage,                    His mind was eager to journey to the forest
Appearing as only twelve days to me.                        For my sake only his soul was in torment.
                                                            Friend, I would have ignored these words as a joke,
One evening, my husband in confidence said:                 But believed it when people in numerous voices spoke.
My dear, we shall observe some ritual tonight:              Waves of lament swept from all sides,
The Royal Goddess will crown me tomorrow,                   Shaking the palace with exclamations of alas, alas!”
With the hope that you would be the crowned jewel of        Shocked and stunned as I was in a solemn voice I said:
her heart.”                                                 Lord! if you go to the forest, what use is this palace for
With doubt in my mind, I asked, “My Lord!                   me?
Would the Goddess share the heavenly love with me?”         Instead of being a queen, I shall be a beggar-maid
My Lord replied: “Your doubt is not unnatural.              And serve your noble feet wandering in the woods.
But the Royal Goddess bows at the feet of a virtuous        My mind and heart are bound to thy holy feet,
wife.”                                                      Your noble feet are my only refuge;
The water of sea rises up forming clouds in the sky         Apart from thy feet, I seek not heaven’s affluence.


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 25
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Your radiant feet possess my soul and all my being.”      With these words, he forcibly held my hands.
If you can go to the woods with a smiling face,           He decked me with wild flowers,
Why can’t I your footsteps embrace?                       Overriding all my protests with oaths
Let your younger brother, Bharata be the crown prince,    Then standing before me, gazed and gazed
My sister, Mandavi would be the prince-consort.           I had to shut my eyes out of sheer shyness.
Bereft of that happiness, Sita cannot remain alive,       Then my husband, King among the lovers, said:
Without serving your feet, she can not survive.”          “Oh Goddess of Flowers! Cast a side-long glance at me.”
                                                          Stealing a side-long glance at his smiling face, I said:
The burden of anxiety vanished from his mind,             “Oh, kind and considerate Lord! it is indeed improper.”
We went to the woods leaving all relatives behind.        How can your maid be worthy of it,
Only my younger brother-in-law, Lakshmana,                Which is not permitted at the worship of your feet?
Joined us as my husband’s companion.                      My husband said: “Such are the ways with the lovers.
Casting royal happiness in the river of forgetfulness     By elevating one’s glory, another gets pleasures.”
We roamed through forests with new-found happiness.       Hearing from my husband’s lips words endearing,
The hermit-daughters were my friends in the woods,        I praised my fortune and sat without speaking.
I enjoyed their sweet company in happy moods.             Evening came and the moon appeared in the sky.
Many happy days we spent in the Panchabati                We walked in the woods hand-in-hand.
Many happy days we stayed on the bank of Godavari.        He kept on describing sylvan beauty
At dawn, the wind filled, my hut with the fragrance       And went on explaining secrets of austerity
of flowers,                                               He did so to cheer up my spirits,
And the cuckoo as the king’s eulogist sang in our         And hearing the sheldrake’s cries planted a kiss.
bowers.                                                   As I was amused, I asked him the reason
                                                          And what he said is fresh in my memory.
                                                          He said: “My dear one, now this sheldrake is alone.
                                                          He suffers the pangs of separation.”
                                                          He enjoys her company all-day long
                                                          At night he sings the mournful song
                                                          Had you not been in the forest with me,
                                                          I would have been burnt in the fire of grief.
                                                          Whatever I describe as the pleasures of exile,
                                                          All those would then have made my life desiccated.
                                                          How painful is a husband’s life,
                                                          Separated if he is from his dear wife!
                                                          One who floats on the waves of the sea of life,
                                                          Hopes to be rescued by his virtuous wife.
                                                          No experience of separation had I earlier,
The peacocks and peahens came in the morning,             I bowed my head and resorted to laughter.
And adorned the premises of my hut with dancing.          Alas! As time passed that agony returned
The fawns came to the premises of my cottage              Twisting and tormenting my entire being!
And out of curiosity ate rice from my hands.              The sufferer only knows the sufferings of others;
Baby elephants used to leave their mother’s side,         So the sheldrake’s cries unleashed my tears.”
And dance by me to take food from my hands.
I used to weave garlands of multi-coloured flowers,       The hermit-daughter intoned; “Friend, I know
To place round my husband’s neck as love’s offer.         Your husband’s heart is a store-house
My husband, in return, decked my braids with flowers,     Of love-nectar; That magnanimous king
And we roamed together in Nature’s bowers.                Might be crying out like the Chakrabaka.
He used to say: “You are an idol of my life, dear,        May the night of your misfortunes come to its end!
Companion of my life and joy, here and here-after.”       Ah! What a golden-family has been set at naught!
In reply I used to say: “My lord of life, revered dear,   Who has done this terrible injustice and why?
Compared to heaven’s joy, your love is far superior.”     Shame, shame on the judgement of Providence!
One day I built a throne of flowers,                      Sita whom the king loved more than his life,
With pillars and canopy, made of flowers.                 Who persuaded him to renounce that virtuous wife?
The plume and umbrella were all of flowers,               Fie, Fie, Providence! How foul is your decision?
And designed an exotic fan from exquisite petals.         Into the pot of ambrosia, why did you pour poison?
Besides, I prepared a crown of Ketaki leaves,
With fair flowers at the ends as jewels.
I begged him, “I would worship you, my Lord!
Please come to the throne and be seated.”
My magnanimous husband, smiled and said:
“Forbidden are such pomps and ceremonies.
But I shall make you the queen of forest flowers.”


             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 26
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma


          CANTO-VII                                      Valiant Lakshmana was there by my side;
                                                         I said; “Brother, see, if there is danger.”
                                                         To pacify my anxious mind, he said:
                                                         Do not fear, this is not the voice of Srirama.
                                                         A hero alone can understand heroic nature,
                                                         I saw Lakshmana as calm as ever.
                                                         Frail indeed is a woman’s heart
                                                         And I was all the more agitated at his answer.
                                                         I made entreaties and then spoke harsh words,
                                                         I compelled him to go in search of my husband.

                                                         My peace, happiness and good fortune
                                                         Were at once swept away in Lakshmana’s course.
                                                         Then misfortune, in the guise of a sanyasi
                                                         Stood begging at my cottage door.
                                                         The devil, instead of waiting till my husband’s return
                                                         Persisted me to give him alms instantly,
In a mourning voice said Sita, “My friend,               As I offered him alms, he pulled my hand
My ill luck is the author of all my grief;               And forcibly pushed me into a flying car.
Providence is not to blame for my fate,                  How piteously I begged, protested and cried!
And my husband by nature is an ocean of kindness.        But he paid no heed to my entreaties and threats.
Never had I believed for a moment                        I realised then, dress is no index of inner virtue,
That, separated from my husband, I could remain alive;   Though outwardly a saint, he was different inside.
Hoping to see his lotus feet, I bore the agony           People think that Dharma inspires good Karma.
Hope whispered hymns of solace and kept me alive.        But a few know that Yama is another name of Dharma.
But that hope now dies of its own,
And my heart burns as I think of it.”                    The devil flew the chariot towards the South,
                                                         And the sky was reverberated in the noise.
Amazed, said the girl; “I could not follow, my friend    I cried louder and louder
How was the hope, and why did it die?                    But my scream was lost in the chariot’s roar.
Virtuous you are and your grief is intense               Wild peacocks looked up to me and wept,
Yet you do not blame Providence; it is strange!”         Herds of deer with startled eyes looked upwards.
                                                         A bird blocked his path and fought with him;
Answered Sita: “Friend lend your ears to my story,       But the ten-headed monster severed its wings.
And you will understand the whole mystery.
The way I invited the most dreadful suffering,           Even the wind, blowing from the opposite side
And the manner in which my hope died.”                   Could not prevent the evil-minded devil.
One day near our cottage in the Panchabati               The mountains raised their heads
Merrily danced a glittering golden deer;                 But couldn’t block the flying chariot.
Spotted was its body, glossy and graceful                Hoping to send a message to people of the earth,
Glittering brightly in the rays of the sun!              I flung my ornaments amidst the chariot’s roar.
The splendour of the spotted deer enticed my mind        I watched the rivers over-powered by grief
For, never had I seen a deer of that kind.               Went lean, becoming still in their slender bodies.
I thought! When I would return to Ajodhya’s capital,     Tall and gigantic trees shrank their bodies
I would take with me this exquisite animal.              And embraced one another out of fear,
Exhibiting this deer, I would astound the people,        Birds and beasts went into hiding,
Describing together the marvellous beauty of the         And the whole earth slowly moved towards silence.
forest.
I offered a handful of grass to tempt the deer,          The three quarters of the sky, east, west and south
But startled and frightened, it didn’t come near.        Gradually assumed the deep blue hues.
Enticing my mind and bewitching my eyes,                 No sign of land was visible anywhere,
The deer ran again and again into the woods.             Still the wicked one flew the chariot there.
Noticing my eagerness to have the creature,              The horizon in front gave off a glare,
My husband said; “I shall bring the lovely deer.”        Alas! I took it for a forest fire!
                                                         As the chariot went nearer and nearer,
Then he took the bow and the quiver                      The luminous objects increased in number.
And made haste to chase the strange deer.                Were they stars that forsook the sky,
No sooner did he go out of my sight,                     And gathered together in clusters during the day,
Then a cry ‘Save Lakshmana’ rang through the forest.     Did they spurn the starlit dome, on parting from the moon
Perplexed and alarmed I pricked up my ears,              Lighting the separation-fires in their hearts?
And once again heard the cry, ‘Save me, Lakshmana.’      Or was it that my earthly activities had ended,


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 27
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



And I was entering the realm of Yama?                         Brooding thus and with my mind fixed upon
My eyes caught sight of dazzling palaces,                     My husband’s form, I lost all consciousness.
Looking exquisitely beautiful with pitcher of gold on tops.   I know not how long I lived there and how,
A golden city it was, with dazzling palaces and gardens,      Only I know, my husband was constantly in my mind.
Shining in the refulgent Sun, dazzling and bright Yama.       The days and nights in that kingdom,
Knowing intuitively the Yogi to be the messenger of Yama      Appeared to be long like those of gods
I made up my mind to face him with my devotion to             I thought it was some heavenly abode,
Srirama.                                                      And I filled my mind with divine courage.
                                                              I prayed to God for heavenly strength
At the outskirts of the town the Sanyasi brought down         And for devotion to my husband worthy of a goddess’s
the chariot,                                                  heart;
And walked along a path leading to the Ashoka garden.         I depended on the nectar of my husband’s feet,
The path had been decorated with marble stones                And hence paid no heed to hunger and thirst.
And the garden looked beautiful with flowers and fruits.      Various kinds of apparels and ornaments,
                                                              Delicious and sweet drinks were brought to me;
An Ashoka tree surpassed in beauty,                           The maids flattered me in high-sounding phrases,
With its flowers in full bloom.                               But nothing could induce my mind.
Inside the garden stood a glittering mansion,
Adorned and embellished with splendoured-gems.                In course of time I came to know from the maid’s talks
The Sanyasi said; “Stay here in this golden land,             That Ravana was a conqueror of the three worlds
And forget the pangs of separation from your husband;         And Lanka, the sea-moated kingdom was his realm
The hardship of your forest life are now at an end,           At whose name even Indra, the king of gods quailed.
Enjoy heavenly pleasures and adorn this land.                 I had been carried to that kingdom
For all that is rare in the three worlds,                     By that wicked demon in a Yogi’s attire.
Will instantly be yours on demands.                           His capital was a magnificent island
Thousands of tender-limbed girls will serve                   Inaccessible to both men and gods.
Your lotus-feet as your bonded slaves.                        The gods of the heaven were mortally afraid of him,
Then he summoned one thousand maids                           And they lost no time in carrying out his orders,
And spoke to them in words of command:                        Whenever his eyes turned red in anger,
“Remember that she is the queen of my heart,                  Even Brahma, the Creator of the world quailed in fear.
Serve her well with full devotion.”                           Hearing the name of Ravana I recalled,
Fulfil her wishes day and night,                              How his pride was humbled by Shankara’s bow.
And narrate stories of my greatness before her.               And I wondered how the dog had the audacity
Take care to attract her mind,                                To wish for holy nectar of the sacrifice.
To my prowess, pelf and opulence.”
                                                              One day the devil came to the garden
With these words the Yogi disappeared,                        And standing before me in his fiery form,
And my heart was filled with amazement.                       Puffed up in pride and vanity
I couldn’t guess who the Yogi was                             Kept on pouring sinful words.
And why he had brought me to that strange land.               Seeing the tears streaming down the massed clouds
How, did I become the queen of the Sanyasi’s heart?           Of my grief, he withdrew with darkness of pride.
Wasn’t I still the daughter-in-law of the Raghu’s race?       The terrible lightning flash of his hope,
I had not died, my memory was still very strong,              Burned in the shuddering cloud-mass.
And the son of Kaushalya was my only refuge.                  From the day I realised, my friend,
Then I resolved firmly in my heart,                           That the sinner had touched my hand,
That I shall never be afraid of the Yogi, whoever he might    An unbearable fire rising from the point of touch
be,                                                           Coursed through me and tormented my being.
So long as I remain in full consciousness,                    I felt, as though all the hair over my body
The son of Kaushalya would be my only refuge.                 Are poisoned arrow-heads over me;
Be it the abode of Yama or be it heaven,                      Ah, what pain do the does suffer
Be it the enchanted garden of the gods;                       When the hunter’s arrows pierced their bodies!
None can succeed in bewitching my mind and heart,             I bore in my heart this unbearable agony,
The son of Kaushalya is my only refuge.                       And held my mind firm in righteousness:
Why would I need a thousand slaves,                           I kept the faith firm in my heart
When I have no need for bath and food?                        That righteousness is the valour of a pious woman.
My Lord and master will be roaming in the forest,             Once I stretched out my hand unknowingly
And my mind would be bound to his feet.                       Offering alms to the demon in disguise.
Even if a hundred Muses come                                  If he tried to drag me by force again, I thought
And play on their harps and lyres,                            Either I would kill him or be killed by him.
Could their celestial music be as sweet as
One sweet word whispered by my husband in my ears?            If Dharma really prevails in this world



              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 28
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



 The world will witness my amazing action.                 True that I was a captive in the city of the sinner
 Even if the cotton of sin is heaped like a mountain,      But if ever I was tempted to commit any sin,
 Only one spark of piety is enough to burn it down.        Burn me, Oh, Fire! So that I shalln’t be able to see
 My friend, Dharma is a great saviour,                     The lotus feet of my Lord for ten million births.
 Into my being Dharma poured the life-saving nectar.       You do not distinguish between virtuous and vicious,
 A monkey brought me news of my husband,                   And by your Dharma, consume each one’s life.
 And returned after humiliating Ravana.                    If Dharma in this world is true for ever,
                                                           My Dharma must save me from public slander.
 Very soon Rama built a bridge across the ocean            Oh Dharma! Stay with me in thy real nature,
 And crossed it with a vast army of monkeys.               Fear not and with me into the fire enter;
 They struck terror in the heart of the demon-king,        If not in this life, in death at least,
 And then started the terrible war-sacrifice.              Make me a slave at my Lord’s lotus-feet.
 Lanka trembled with shrieks and shouts of the             When my body is burnt to ashes,
 monkeys                                                   Use the same as manure to a tree;
 All warriors of Ravana’s clan were butchered in the       Give the timber of the tree to a carpenter,
 sacrifice.                                                To make a pair of sandals for my Lord’s feet.
 Only one was there on the righteous path,
 Who took refuge at the holy feet of Srirama.              Looking up, at my master’s noble face,
 He stood firm like a pillar in that sacrifice,            I entered fearlessly into the flames of the fire
 Blessed with a garland of salvation around his neck.      The gem of Raghu’s race wept at the sight and so did
 The volume of demon’s blood flowed in the war,            Lakshmana
 Measured ten million times the tears of my eyes.          And a loud wail of lamentation rose from the soldiers.
 Ravana, floating in terror on a sea of misery,            Tears flowing from countless eyes,
 Fell into the crocodile-jaws of my husband’s arrows.      Drowned me in the waters of pity,
                                                           And the burning fire seemed strangely cool inside.
 The Lord of Raghus called me to his side,                 The firmament was filled with exclamations of grief.
 And looking at me without affection, said:                A voice from the heaven was heard in my favour,
 “There is no greater sin in the world than evil company   Convincing my Lord that I was chaste and righteous.
 Contact of an evil man brings immense sufferings.         Fire extinguished under Dharma’s sway
 You lived in the sinful cell of lust-smitten devil        And my life was saved by Dharma’s power.
 Your mind would have been touched by sin
 I am not able to take you back again                      All my sorrows and sufferings were burnt to ashes,
 In case I do so, it might bring a public scandal.         And my good fortune helped me to serve my Lord.
 Once water comes down from the cloud,                     As I had kept my life through all the pain,
 Can the cloud keep it back again?                         I could regain the lotus-feet of my Lord.
 If it burns flame-like in the fire                        My Lord seated me in the royal chariot,
 It will rise up to merge with the cloud again.            Along with the chosen band of warriors,
                                                           Made his return journey to Ajodhya,
 I thought, “I had kept myself alive,                      Rejoicing in victory on the airy path.
 So that I might serve my husband’s lotus-feet;            Having crossed the dry desert of separation
 What need have I of that life now,                        I found an ocean of love in my shrivelled heart;
 If I am not fit to touch the lotus-feet.                  A flood of joy swept through all my being,
 I will burn this body with my eyes set on his             And the whole world seemed to be saturated with
 elegant face                                              delight.
 What greater happiness than this can I ever have?
 If the body is burnt, I am sure, my soul                  When there is unhappiness in one’s life,
 Would merge in the soul of my husband.                    One can not see happiness anywhere.
 If, by the power of Dharma, this body is saved,           But when there is happiness in one’s life,
 I shall receive my master’s love two times more.          The world appears to overflow with pleasure.
 Then said I, “May the holy fire be lit,                   I stepped on the same chariot in my prosperity,
 So that this maid of yours may bathe in it.”              Which at one time was a well of adversity.
 Lakshmana then reluctantly lit a pyre,                    Looking at those scenes my joy knew no bound,
 The flames swaying in the wind rose to the sky.           Which a year ago had made me weep aloud.
 With wistful eyes I looked on the lotus-face              Wonderful was the flight of the gem-lit chariot,
 And standing before the fire with a determined will,      With clouds above and the ocean below;
 Said aloud: “O Sun, Moon, Wind, Sky and Fire!             Rivers, lakes, mountains, and trees,
 You in-see the hearts of all living beings.               Became a love-maze for my eyes.
 In case my heart had been attracted even a whit           All those places where we stayed before,
 Towards any one but the sun of the Raghu’s race           Charming hills and enchanting bowers
 Then, reduce me to ashes instantly, Oh, Fire!             Smoke-palled hermitages that I love
 For, you are capable of consuming all.                    Kept calling my mind and heart as we flew above.


             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 29
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



The hermit-daughters with dishevelled hair,                At the feet of my three mothers-in-law.
Heard the noise of the chariot from afar.                  Seeing my Lord with Lakshmana and me
And looked up to the azure sky in astonishment             Bharata lost himself in the river of joy.
Arousing in my heart a longing for the past and the        Returning the sandals to the feet of Srirama,
distant.                                                   He worshipped his feet with due custom.
Their pure love, their cordial welcome,                    My husband became the king and I his queen,
Their sweet lips that made sweet and simple talk,          I served his lotus-feet in keeping with his wish.
Their simple form, serene eyes, and loving nature
Rained nectar on the lush green meadows of my memory.
The old familiar names of those good friends of mine,
Returned to my memory like the blooming of lotuses.
In my mind’s pond, as a day of happiness dawned,
After the departure of the deep dark night.
The fragrant and sweet memory of their old love
Created a commotion of delight in my heart;
Barely had the sylvan beauty satisfied my desire
When the chariot moved forward very fast.
My mind could not forget the enchanting woods,
The store-house of infinite beauty.
Though the mind was on the chariot, sailing in the sky,
It flitted to the holy feet of my mother-in-law at home.
It revelled with my dark-hued husband,
And played upon the three planes,
Acquiring a semi-circular form,
Behaved like a rain-bow in a new cloud.

The king of Ajodhya, my father-in-law                      No sooner did I desire for something
In the absence of his son who was the very essence         Than my husband lost no time in fulfilling.
of his soul,                                               Seated in a boat of love, we the royal couple,
Hurried to Indra in the land of the heavenly gods,         Used to sail merrily in the sea of bliss:
As the oil from the lamp of his life was exhausted.        Floating on the waves of good fortune,
As Ajodhya was without a king                              We forgot for many years life’s stress and strain.
Bharata rushed to my husband                               Who knew, that sorrow was inscribed on my brow,
And with folded hands begged him to be the king.           Ordained by Fate, it was bound to be so,
We were then living in the woods of Chitrakuta.            Who knew, that calamity of a terrible fire
Bharata entreated my husband to return to Ajodhya          Was waiting to rise from the sea as all-destroyer.
But Raghava turned down all his appeals.                   As the sky at the end of the day looks radiant,
He enjoined: Father did not break his word,                So at the end of my good fortune I was pregnant.
He sacrificed his life to keep his word.                   My husband showed me more kindness
How can I wring the neck of Dharma’s crane,                And fulfilled all my desires with fondness.
My f ather so righteously nurtured, ignoring my
conscience?                                                One day I expressed my desire to go to the forest
Bharata wept aloud, falling flat at Rama’s feet,           To spend a few days in the company of the old friends.
And begged: “Allow me then, to serve your feet             Before the night had ended, before the day dawned,
When the Sun, leaving the earth, goes to set,              My husband sent me to the forest with Lakshmana.
Can his rays then abandon him?”                            Alighting from the boat on the bank of the Ganga,
My Lord rejoined: Oh Bharata, the cool rays of the moon    Lakshmana spoke,
Dispel the sorrows of the earth at night,                  There, the Virtuous One broke off, her voice was choked.
Then Bharata answered with calm humility,                  Brooding over the impending sufferings ahead,
“The moon receives the rays of the sun.                    She wept, as though cast upon an endless stream of tears.
As does Sesha bear the burden of the earth,                Her companion embraced her and held her close,
So will your sandals sustain the kingdom.                  She too wailed piteously, her face touching the Chaste
When gems of the sandals shine on my head                  One’s.
Enemies would take me for a poisonous serpent.             All other nuns heard the sound of the cries
My Lord put his sandals in Bharata’s hands                 And came running to the spot to lead them to the hut.
Which Bharata placed upon his head:                        They spoke various things to divert their minds,
Returning from Chitrakuta with tearful eyes                Talking too of the usual morning chores.
Bharata brushed off the sufferings of the royal goddess.   They talked of watering the plants and plucking the
                                                           flowers.
At the end of fourteen years,                              Thus all were slowly induced to lie on the lap of sleep.
He stood waiting for our return.
Alighting from the chariot, I bowed

             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 30
The Banished          English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma


          CANTO-VIII                                            And making an end of this life, I shall vanish.
                                                                My husband can not look through the cloud
                                                                And suffers pain for the world’s good.
                                                                I can not enjoy my husband’s love for long,
                                                                Fate has so ordained and it can not be wrong.
                                                                I shall remember my Lord’s feet in this life,
                                                                And death will lead me to the next life.
                                                                If I suffer for a few days in this life,
                                                                I shall see my husband’s face in the next life.”

                                                                As these words fell in Vaidehi’s inner ears,
                                                                She considered them as her life’s ideal,
                                                                And said; “O Lotus; you are indeed a virtuous lady,
                                                                So you could see the path of piety before you.
                                                                Lotus dear, in a sense I happen to be your sister
                                                                For, I too share your fate, my dear sister.
                                                                I enjoyed ambrosial happiness like you at home,
As childhood changeth in human life yielding place              I enjoyed my husband’s love in the woods.
to youth,                                                       Your husband, the bright Sun is the Lord of the day,
So did spring unfold itself into summer in the forest.          My husband, born of the same race, is Lord of the earth.
Just as youth becomes more vigorous day by day,                 All that you say about the future course of action
So did the summer’s heat become more intense                    Has already befallen to me and I too walk on the path.
day by day.                                                     Blessed are you, O Chaste One, Praise to Thee!
As man’s longings for worldly pleasures extend to all           Lend me a portion of thy purity and fill my mind with it.
sides,                                                          Honouring his subjects’ words my husband
So does the charming mirage stretch its arms to the             abandoned me,
harizon.                                                        Accepting the misfortune, he suff ered pangs of
Just as the miser’s riches pass into other’s possession         separation.
So do the cotton-wisps fly into the nothingness of              Tell me, O Chaste One, with the help of your foresight
the sky.                                                        Whether I shall be able to see my husband in my
Just as the palasha flower is bereft of its colour and scent,   next life?”
So are all worldly things transitory and evanescent.
With the increasing heat the jasmine in the abundance           Under the canopy of the cool lotus leaves,
bloomed,                                                        And in the azure bosom of the pond’s water,
With the fragrance of the flowers the atmosphere was            The sheldrake couples spent their happy noon,
surcharged.                                                     So did the gander and the goose spend their
Just as a goodman’s heart remains steady in suffering,          mid-summer noon.
So also the fame of serenity goes on increasing.                The shrimp leapt across the clumps of lotus-leaves,
The vine-jasmine watched with joy the blooming jasmine,         But couldn’t dodge the beaks of the duck and became
Just as one good man enjoys the company of another              its food.
good man.                                                       The minnow jumped from the lotus leaf,
Discussing and deciding mutually in one mind,                   The frog leapt in fear of the water-snake.
Both continued to give off scents of the same kind.             Upon the mango branch the mournful cuckoo sat,
“Rains will bless the earth with longed for coolness,           Hiding herself behind the crow’s nest.
And birds and beasts will get peace and happiness.              Suffering from thirst, she stopped singing,
Kadamba and Ketaki lack not in sweet scent,                     As if afraid of the wicked ones, she kept herself hiding.
They will give off fragrance to man’s full content.             The wagtail did not wag its tail
Let us assign them the task of creating smiles on               Nor did it display the bright-red-feathers of its tail
people’s faces,                                                 Not even ruffled its wings with war cries
Then we shall renounce the world of f lora with                 At the sight of its brother birds.
smiling faces.”                                                 It is hunger that pushes one to fight with another.
                                                                Why else should a brother be the foe of a brother?
The lotus flower raising its head,                              He sat with his slender body and full belly
And supporting the proposal, gladly said:                       Merrily on the branch of a tall sal tree.
“I shall always remain with you,                                Flocks of parrots in mahua trees,
And plunge into the high waves of the sea of Time.”             Peeled the mahua fruits, while eating.
The jasmine asked her: “Can you do so?                          Were they predicting the advent of the monsoon rains
For, the Sun, your husband will never let you go.”              As do Brahmins study the almanac to presage
The lotus replied: “When the clouds pervade the sky,            future rains?
My husband can not see my face and I sigh;
Passing a few days in agony and anguish                         There in the cool shade of the dense leaves


               Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 31
The Banished         English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Of the banyan tree on the bank of Tamasha,                    Do you recognise, O Devi, this unfortunate one?
Lies a cottage that smells sweet with the fragrance           Forgive me for coming to meet you after ages
of Mallika                                                    I am Chitrakuta, where live the holy sages
Surrendering midsummer heat at the feet of Peace.             You adorned my crown with the dust of your feet.”
Opening his eyes of wisdom, sage Valmiki sat there
Pondering over the holy Ramayana.                             Then came a resplendent lady of exquisite beauty
Some hermits kept themselves busy with their studies,         In radiant form, eternal companion of the sylvan deity.
While others were engaged in chanting the vedas.              Wearing a garland of wild jasmines in her neck
Surrounded by a group of she-hermits                          She adorned her forehead with the dazzling mahua blos-
Sita sat on seats of leaves under the bowers,                 soms.
As she was heavy with child, she looked tired,                Eartops made of black berries glittered like blue gems,
And regained tranquility at the sight of the flowers.         Girdle made of oyster shells dazzled in the sun.
Was it Sita’s tranquil gaze or the moon’s orb at              With her beautiful locks of silken hair
night’s end                                                   The exquisite lady enticed the hearts of the hermits.
With its fading halo on the other side of the setting hill?   With a cheerful face and in a soft voice,
It was a swathe of sweat on her pale and dry cheeks,          She sweetly said; “Accept my gratitude, O Gentle One!
And tears flowing from eyes like droplets of cold dew.        For, I am indebted to you for your love.
                                                              How can I repay the same, for, love can not be repaid?
There, the Chaste One, surrounded by the abesses              Nor have I the strength to repay your affection.
And recalling the ways of Lanka’s demonesses                  Oblige me, Oh Virtuous One, and accept my devotion.
Pondered over the divine qualities of the abesses             Are there not many like me on this earth’s surface
And compared with the diabolical nature of the giant-         But who else has received so much of your grace?
esses.                                                        Oh Virtuous One, you blessed me with your holy sight
Then she remembered the heroic deeds of Hanumana,             And transformed my sands into particles of gold.
Conveying gratitude to the worthy son of the wind-god.        As my sporting spirit fascinated your sight,
And fanning gratefully with a palm-leaf fan                   You converted my bosom into a diamond field.
Received a gust of cool breeze in return.                     There is Ganga, the daughter of the mountain-king,
Just then appeared a lovely lady named Thought                She has sprung from Vishnu’s feet.
And with endearing words spoke to Janaki humbly;              Yet, Oh Virtuous One, you called me Mahanadi,
“O Devi, at thy door are gathered many strangers              And I still own that title you bestowed on me.”
Desirous of catching sight of thy holy person.
They hav e come a long way, beating the heat                  Next appeared Godavari, the wide-bodied Dame
of the sun,                                                   The shadow of sorrow looming large on her face.
Their charming forms arouse one’s affection.                  Tears of grief ran from her eyes,
Vaidehi said, “Bring them, friend, bring them soon,           And wiped the same with the end of her saris.
Fortunate I am, for, I shall receive their boon.              She had with her a large number of pictures,
To see the noble ones my eyes are so keen,                    Painted with various tints of brilliant, fast colours;
For, their sight will surely wash away my sin.”               She displayed the pictures one by one,
                                                              And showed the same to the Virtuous One.
With the permission of Sita, one came forward,                One picture showed flowers fallen from vines
Bearing a smile on her familiar face.                         Withered in the scorching heat of the sun,
Sprinkling the sweet and nectarine words                      Another picture showed trees on dry beds
In a tone of intimacy uttered the words:                      And dirty dresses, losing lustre of their own.
“Oh Pious Devi, do you recall the event of the past?          Some broken branches still stuck to the tree
Do you remember that you set thy feet in my hut,              Seek shelter of grass, and some kissing its head
Lending from your lustre divine beauty to me,                 Fall flat at its feet, leaves covered with birds’ excrements
As a result of which my springs flowed in glee.               Make some trees appear all white.
Hosts of flowers with blooming faces float on my water,       Some trees had cobwebs all over,
Shaming those of Nandana Kanana with taunting                 And lost their usual cheer.
laughter.                                                     The toads at the sight of the offensive heron,
Acquiring your fragrance, the water of my stream,             Became tired by plunging in water off and on.
Gives new life to those who live on my banks.                 Others hiding themselves behind the stones,
Flocks of peacocks brought up by you                          Lie still for fear of the offensive herons.
Sing in praise of your virtues each day,                      Elsewhere wild buffaloes ran hither and thither,
Hoping to see you again and again,                            Rushing into the ponds and mudding the water.
The clouds come to the hill and the mountain.                 As the buffaloes wallow in the water,
Moving from cave to cave in search of you,                    Mud-smeared lotuses are cast ashore.
With what eagerness they ask, “Where Sita is.”
Asking me in rolling thunderous rumblings,                    Somewhere by the water the python like a log
They believe not my negative answers of ‘No’.                 Lies waiting for its prey, the frog.
Lighting the torch of lightning they search on,               At the sight of the deer-track nearby,
With the certitude that Virtuous Sita is there.               The tiger licks its lips, hiding close-by.

              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 32
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



A fearful picture of forest fire was there too               Like a mass of dark cloud in the starry sky.
Bringing to fauna and flora untold woe.                      Your mothers-in-law sit brooding with broken hearts,
Fearful flames rising from countless trees,                  Like reservoirs with their water dried up.
Leapt upward to reach the blue-sky.                          For, you are more precious to their hearts
Rise piles of half-burnt leaves rose in the air,             Than the dazzling ruby is to the cobra.
And convey the message to the distant tree                   Closed are the gates of the luxury garden,
Many leaves get paler on the way                             Now the flowers are seen by none.
Then disappear in the sky                                    The ‘cyperus rotundus’ as a trader of perfumes,
Numerous birds fell into the womb of the fire                Spreads out the fallen flowers to dry up.
If fail to escape the flames.                                Trees and creepers dry up grieving,
Herds of deer, buffaloes, boars and bears                    And thinking of you, friend, they are withering.
Elephants, jackals, foxes and other creatures,
Were engulfed in smoke and fire,                             Beautiful paths of conch-white marble,
Not knowing how to flee and where.                           Remain covered over with dried leaves.
Bewildered and frightened, herds of monkeys                  Your brothers-in-law at their Lord’s behest,
Jumped from tree to tree and escaped death.                  Bending their heads in sadness take rest.
Carrying their young ones ran to the river,                  As serpents are deadened by magic spells
And crossing the bank stood near the water.                  Or mighty elephants silenced by iron prods
The sandy river bed presented a picture,                     Your sisters rest their cheeks on lotus palms,
Of terrified animals crowding together.                      Their lustrous bodies languishing day by day.
Godavari rejoined: “My dear, you saw Dandaka’s               As the moon wanes through the dark fortnight,
picture,                                                     Your musician-friends no more play on the mridanga.
And all this happened after your departure.”                 No more are they interested in singing.
Out of sympathy for poor Dandaka, said the Virtuous          No more do they sing or speak anything.
One,                                                         Your maid servants live in deep depression,
“Oh, Dandaka, where is your glory and where is the vi-       Like yesterday’s flowers, plucked from the garden.”
sion?
I would propitiate Providence by my prayers,                 Unable to read the letter till the end
To grant you peace in exchange with my tears,                Lady Ajodhya sank into the earth beside her friend.
Ah, My favourite field of sport, where are your varieties?   Compassionate Sita was overwhelmed with grief
I would feel gratified to restore your lost beauties.”       Sympathising with Ajodhya in her sad plight.
                                                             As the end of the day approached,
Then came Ajodhya with a letter in hand,                     The guests to their respective homes returned.
Written by the goddess of royalty.                           To the Virtuous One, the hermit-daughters escorted,
And read out the letter with trembling lips,                 And to their own duties, they reported.
In a voice choked with shame and anguish.
“Friend, I was the night and you were the moon;
You left me, Oh dear, shutting the lilies of my eyes.
In your absence I know not even a moment’s happiness,
I appear as a bride without the bridal ornaments.
                                                                        CANTO-IX
The royal palace has become an ugly jungle
Your absence like a fire has destroyed all.
Nothing of the former magnificence is left behind,
Burnt are the luxuriant trees in the compassionate
hearts of the gentry.
Covered with thick foliage these at one time bubbled
with life,
Gone are now the sweet-smelling flowers and their glory.
Deer-herds of Peace and elephants of Patience
Were bewildered in the thick smoke of sorrow.
Running breathlessly into the river of fortitude,
The helpless animals drowned upto their necks.
Even the arrogant and revengeful animals couldn’t
escape,
They too, became easy victims of the disaster.
Only the fathomless deep Srirama’s heart
Has retained the burning flame as a Badaba fire.
Ah, Friend! The king without you, is reduced to a            As days passed by, Sita’s womb
mere shape,                                                  Grew heavier and heavier;
As is the moon in Rahu’s mouth in the lunar eclipse.         It was hard for her to rise from her seat,
His bejewelled palace is filled with deep darkness           In case she stood, she couldn’t hold herself erect.



              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 33
The Banished         English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



The rains approached to beat the summer’s heat,              How can the same be darkened by people’s scandals?
Apprehending that it might cause suffering to Sita.          Even if the bees cease to come to me for fear of thorns,
Masses of clouds rose from all the four directions           Should I cease to boast of the promise of my fragrance?
To impart strength to the tired limbs of the Chaste One.
They spread a blue canopy on the sky above,
With a view to shutting out the sunrays from above.
The Canopy’s splendour produced by lightning’s flash,
Dazzled and startled the wink of the eyelid.
Deities of the sky’s quarters made their blue plaits,
Decking them with strings of pearl-like cranes.
Collecting jewels from the bottom of the ocean,
Gods of the sky’s four quarters decked the archway.




                                                             The exquisite gulmohars bloomed in clusters,
                                                             Enchanting both eye and mind with beautiful colours.
                                                             The queen of the night had been waiting since spring,
                                                             To hand over the flowery epistle to the monsoon rain.
                                                             The letter contained delightful news about
                                                             Lotus, jasmine and Kutaja flowers.
                                                             The rain considered them as precious gems,
                                                             But who can alter the laws of Providence?
                                                             The rain could not save them in spite of its great strength.
Shaking off all shame, Indra, the king of the gods           Nature’s law dragged them to the jaws of death.
Claimed this bow to be his own.                              The Virtuous One came to realize,
But Varuna, the god of the seas, unable to tolerate,         That the good are not neglected for the whole life.
Claimed it was his, for, it was made of the gems of the      The jasmine creepers their anniversary celebrated,
sea.                                                         Decorating their bodies with profusion of flowers.
Other guardians of the sky, well-versed in rules of right-   As if to entertain the Virtuous-One
eousness,                                                    Was fashioned thus a palace of blossoms.
Allotted the ownership of the bow by turns.                  Wearing a cloud-blue apparel the Shrabani night,
                                                             And holding in hand, a bouquet of Gajadanta flowers,
The rains poured down on earth’s head                        Stood in the courtyard of Janaki’s cottage,
Which was burning due to the sorrow of her daughter.         Keeping watchful vigil to alleviate Sita’s pain.
It went on raining indiscriminately
Upon rivers, ponds, hills, mountains all.                    Sita’s labour pain appeared in quick succession,
Bathing in the showers, the earth was delighted              Sharing the pain the frogs croaked in despair.
With sprouting grass, and blooming Kadambas.                 The Chataka in order to quench the thirst of the Virtuous
The rain water flooded the earth’s surface,                  One,
Tamasha ran overflowing her banks;                           Begged the cloud again and again for rain.
Was it that she was overwhelmed with joy,                    Elderly abbesses surrounding the Virtuous One
In anticipation of Sita’s child birth so near at hand?       Did all that was needed for the occasion.
Hills and forests gave up the heat of the fire in them       At midnight Sita gave birth to twin sons
And scrubbing and washing, looked clean and fresh.           Whose lustre surpassed the lustre of the moon.
Residing in her thorny citadel, Ketaki of the prickly        Mingling with lightning the radiance of the princes
frame,                                                       Illumined all the ten quarters of the sky.
With a sweet smile on her face, said; Oh, Vaidehi,           Indra, the King of the gods, fired his cannon in joy
Thou art now living in this forest of misfortunes,           Ignorant people thought, it was bolt from the heaven.
But fear not, Chaste One, I too live in the house of         The hulahuli modulated by the celestial ladies,
thorns.                                                      Blended together harmoniously with the rumbling
Aren’t I adored for my perfume all over the world            of clouds.
Though I am always pierced by dreadful thorns?               Forests, hills and hillocks began showering flowers,
Thou too, living as a nun among the nuns,                    Rivers, ponds and meadows danced in joy.
Will be worshipped for thy purest mind, by all people.       Desirous of having a sight of Sita’s sons
If one’s virtues are divinely bestowed and sparkle as        Clouds descended in the form of rains.
jewels,                                                      The rivers with eagerness and anxiety in their hearts


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 34
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



To see the babies, overflowed their banks.                  Seeing the radiance of her son’s beauty,
To see the princes, the fish abandoned the ocean            Sita’s heart was filled with pure happiness.
Joining the rivers and ponds danced they in jubilation.     She set her eyes on the prince’s beauty
The mudskipper climbed to the top of the palmyra tree       And did not like to look at other things.
Surpassing all other fishes in eagerness to see.            Receiving the affection of the heart from the mother’s
                                                            eyes,
                                                            The infants looked far more lustrous than before.
                                                            A belief though strange, entered into her eyes,
                                                            That her sons were incarnations of the sun and the moon.
                                                            Then Happiness placed a throne in her mind
                                                            And sat on it to manifest her sovereignty.
                                                            Anukampa, cut the umbilical cords of the infants,
                                                            And bathing them in purified water, observed their rites.
                                                            At the sight of the new born babes, the abbesses
                                                            In jubilation sang and danced.
                                                            The young sons of hermits began chanting
                                                            The glories of Rama to the rhythms of dancing.
                                                            It was a chance coincidence that Shatrughna
                                                            Pursuing the invincible demon, Lavana
                                                            Had halted in the hermitage of Valmiki.
                                                            He too was drowned in the river of celebration.
Seeing the twin princes, Valmiki thought                    Praising the Virtuous One in high-sounding words
As if Jupiter and Venus had come together.                  Shatrughna said: “Thou sanctifier of Raghu’s race!
The heart of the sage was filled with joy,                  Like, thy mother, thou art also all-enduring;
As is dawn, filled with the scent of the flowers.           Oh, daughter of the Earth, you preserved the finest gems
Taking a blade of kusha grass in hand,                      in thy womb.
The sage with a spell broke it into two pieces.             These jewels thou gifted to Raghu’s race today,
Then the great hermit to Anukampa said:                     Would shine on the head of Ajodhya’s royal goddess.”
Perform now the customary birth rites of the infants;       In the festivities and rejoicings of the hermitage,
Sweep the body of the first born with the upper half        Joined herds of deer and flocks of birds.
And use the lower half for the younger one.                 The dark and dreadful Shrabani night,
Anukampa, the she-hermit did as was instructed,             Soon ended with the advent of the dawn’s twilight.
Observing the rites to ward off the evils, as was needed.   Offering obeisance at the feet of the great sage,
As the infants were swept ritually by the grass,            Shatrughna in chase of Lavana, left the hermitage.
Their bodies looked more resplendent than gems.
As fire becomes brighter with addition of fuel,             Sita wished to please all by offering rich presents
Or the dawn’s rising sun freed from the sea-waves.          But where had she the riches after her desire?
When Sita looked at the faces of her sons,                  She had herself taken shelter in the forest.
Both happiness and sorrow entered her heart.                She had brought with her only a few jewels.
With an exclamation said Happiness: “Blessed are you        The moonlight always longs to please the world
O, Queen,                                                   But the irony is that the clouds cover the sky.
That you in your womb held these two princes,               When the Virtuous One left the palace,
They are like the sun and the moon, praised are you!        She had thought she would return soon;
There is no greater fortune than this on earth.”            She had brought a few ornaments and clothes,
Refuting the statement of Happiness, said Sorrow:           To offer as gifts to the daughters of the sages.
“These princes would have adorned a jewelled palace;        She offered the gifts with humility and hesitation,
They would have delighted the hearts of the king and his    And pleased the monks and nuns of the ashrama.
subjects;                                                   They accepted the gifts as if they were moonbeams,
They would have removed the penury of the poor and          And the oceans of their hearts widened with joy.
the needy.                                                  Whatever fruits and rice she had in her store
The poor would have received gifts according to their       She distributed the same to the birds and deer.
need,                                                       They struggled with one another to eat the same
In the shape of coins, apparels, jewels and lands.          Some birds flew away with food in their beaks.
Auspicious sounds would have resounded in the city          The young ones sat with open mouths,
And the sky’s quarters would have reverberated with         The mother-birds distributed the food among them.
echoes.                                                     The peacock couples danced in tandava-form
Ah, the misfortune! The princes born in the hermitage,      And the cuckoo spread the news from land to land.
Will take shelter here as the children of a sage.”          The royal swan flew with joyous sounds to Kailasa
                                                            To tell the good news and to win Gouri’s trust.
Stealthily taking two tear-streams from Sita’s eyes,        She took a letter in the form of a lotus leaf,
Woeful Sorrow left the mother to herself and her filial     Full of rejoicings, Gouri came with Hara’s consent.
love.

              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 35
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Gouri flew in the form of Goddess Shasthi,
With the hope to be worshipped by Sita.
Under the flash of lightning, among resplendent clouds,
She flew through the sky to Valmiki’s hermitage.
Assuming the radiant forms of Seven Mothers,
Through the ashrama girls, she was worshipped by Sita.
Blessing the twins with the strength of the lions,
The goddess also destroyed all possible afflictions.

It was the twenty-first day of the babies,
The auspicious naming ceremony was to be held.
The gods descended from their celestial homes,
The goddesses also followed them in their chariots.
It was time for the autumn’s sway,
                                                           To the accompaniment of cymbal and drum.
So the clouds were making way.
                                                           The daughters of the hermits played on the veena,
They came in the radiant chariots with the rays of the
                                                           Singing songs sweeter than heaven’s nectar.
sun,
                                                           Gods and goddesses in the shape of flowers,
And in the guise of fragrance settled upon the flowers.
                                                           Danced, spreading perfume from the bowers.
With half-smiles, they spread their divine form
                                                           Herds of deer and doe stood beside them,
And in jubilation entered the hearts of the hermits.
                                                           Watching the show with awe-struck eyes.
                                                           The forest added its echo to the great up-roar,
At Valmiki’s behest went into forest,
                                                           And spread the joy of the festival in the whole atmos-
All monks and nuns with double delight,
                                                           phere.
To collect all sorts of flowers and leaves
                                                           Angels in the guise of trees and creepers,
And to erect an exquisite floral altar.
                                                           Assumed the roles of celestial musicians.
The hermitage was illuminated at the first hour of the
night,
With lamps full of Ingudi oil, poured by the ascetics.
Trees, plants and creepers all around,
Revelled in the midst of the waves of light.
It was a night of the festivities for the flowers,
And Gajadanta was the proudest of all the flowers.
Sitting among the hermits on the pedestal
Valmiki shone as the ocean of milk among the seas.
Or as Indra among the gods in grandeur
Or as towering Everest among the peaks of the
Himalayas.

Sita and Anukampa came to the altar,
Holding the princes in their lotus arms,
Like Chhaya and Sangyan carrying Ashwinis
It was a magnificent sight for gods to see.
The morning star came close to the waning moon
                                                           The entire hermitage was bright and gay,
On the thirteenth dark night in the sky,
                                                           But there was a tinge of darkness on Sita’s lily-like face,
It seemed as if the eastern sky was proud to have
                                                           For, Rama was not there to share the joy
The reflections of both the moon and the star.
                                                           So her festival night was a dark night of the moon.
Companions of Sita, the ashrama’s virgins
                                                           Yet the very same darkness increased her splendour,
Of innocent hearts and cheerful faces,
                                                           Does not darkness make moonshine longed for?
Wearing the garments she had gifted them
                                                           The twin princes glittered like jewels,
Sat happily beside the Virtuous One.
                                                           As if they were caverns in a gem-studded hill.
It looked like a forest of lotuses by the side of Dawn.
                                                           God and sages together observed the festival,
Having received fresh light from the rays of the rising
                                                           Enhancing the glory of the Virtuous One.
sun.
                                                           This is the divine way of the world’s nobility
                                                           They are happy in honouring the noble ones with all hu-
Gods were worshipped in vedic rites,
                                                           mility.
Conches and trumpets were sounded.
                                                           The magnanimous sage Valmiki
Blessing the first-born, the sage declared,
                                                           Pronounced his blessings on the twins,
He has been sanctified with the upper part of the grass.
                                                           And gods seated in the hearts of hermits
As Kusa he would be a goad to the elephant-like foes,
                                                           Said along with trees and creepers “May it be so!”
The younger son was named as Lava,
                                                           The presiding deities from all quarters of the sky,
All other ascetics sang together the glories of Rama,
                                                           Said in solemn support of the blessing: “Let it be so.”


             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 36
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



           CANTO -X                                        Just as the vernal breeze brings leaves to the trees,
                                                           So also this divine music brought new life to Sita.
                                                           On her lips blossomed hues of coral red,

                                                           The flowering buds of their teeth
                                                           Grew up with touch of the moon-beams.

                                                           As the sun, moving from east to the north
                                                           Brightens the face of the earth more and more,
                                                           So did Sita’s flaming mind look brighter
                                                           As if happiness and fortune came to her hands.

                                                           The princes spoke in childish babbles,
                                                           Resembling lotuses in half-bloom.
                                                           Their sweet prattle, charming looks,
                                                           Half articulated words, attractive movements,
                                                           Fascinating attire and loving postures
                                                           Filled the mother’s heart with ecstatic joy.

                                                           In time the princes learned to sit
                                                           And crawl on their legs on the earth.
                                                           Standing at a little distance, Sita called them
                                                           Encouraging and bracing their strength,
 Considering her sons more precious than her life,         The princes used to crawl fast to their mother,
 Sita utilized all her time in bringing them up.           With sweet and exhilarating smiles in their faces.
 Bestowing on them all her love and affection
 She began to feel her life’s burden lighten.              At times they used to take mud and clay
                                                           Soiling their faces and tongues,
 Reluctant to leave them behind her,                       If the mother offered them ripe fruits,
 She went out only once for a bath,                        They shook their heads and threw them away.
 But came back quickly with wet clothes on                 Their lovely unruly, curly lock of hair
 To see the lotus-faces of her sons.                       Like flower-tossed bees would fly in the air,

 Surpassing the moon’s growth in bright fortnight          They learned to stand by holding their mother’s hands,
 The limbs of the babies grew bigger and bigger,           And they learned to walk all by themselves.
 In course of time, their faces looked like full moon      When they fell down and cried aloud,
 With the lustre and glory, their faces shone.             The mother consoled by kissing their faces.
 As they began to recognize their mother’s face,
 They cried aloud to climb to her lap.                     Delighted at the sight of the coloured birds
                                                           The princes called out to them.
 Gazing at their mother’s face, they smiled                Fascinated by the splendour of the peacock’s tail
 And cried aloud to roll on her lap.                       The princes would chase the bird with the hope to catch.
 They looked at their mother’s face and smiled again.
 The mother too smiled, and they smiled again and again.

 Sita hadn’t thought even in her dream
 That a smile would ever sprout on her burnt face.
 It was a rare smile of rarest happiness
 Coming automatically, it showed itself.
 She would have shared this happiness with her hus-
 band,
 But fate was against her and she blamed her fate.

 The Muse in the form of teeth came to their mouths,
 With the brilliance that surpassed that of moon, snow
 and pearl.
 The goddess played softly on the strings of the veena,
 And the babies produced the melodious notes of Ma,
 Ma, Ma.




              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 37
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



They would catch hold of a deer                           Sweet words uttered from sweeter tongues,
And deck it with wild flower.                             Clear cadences with sweeter enchantment
The monks and nuns decked their hair with flowers,        Graceful dances with sweet smiles,
And rocked them in swings of flower-ladden creepers.      Dispensed cheer and pleasure to all alike.
Bursting out in glee and wishing more pleasure,           Pleasure assuming the shape of the cloud
The princes would repeat, “Once, more, once more.”        Poured nectar-like water into the hearts of all.

                                                          They drank the nectar from the song and dance,
                                                          Into joy and grief melted their hearts at once.
                                                          Sita’s companions experienced joy and grief
                                                          And their hearts melted in delight and dejection.

                                                          Yet, the princes knew not that Janaki, their mother
                                                          Was the central gem in the necklace of Raghava’s heart.
                                                          And she lived in the forest on the bank of the holy river
                                                          It was kept a secret by the magnanimous seer.




Brightly green, the limbs of the princes,
Looked captivating in their flowery swings.
It seemed as if the sylvan deity in amusement,
Coyly moving her nose-ring set with emerald,
And in the guise of trembling branches of trees
Laughed at other beauties by moving her eyebrows.

During the first five years of their childhood,
The princes grew stronger and stronger like lion’s cubs
And roamed around rivers, lakes and woods freely
Not bothering about dangers of the wild beasts.

Valmiki, the hermit of austerity and wisdom,
Performed the customary rites of the princes
And admitted them to the impenetrable woods of
learning
Enabling them to lay low the elephant of ignorance.
                                                          The princes sang in praises of Rama and Sita,
The new epic Ramayana bubbling with all sentiments,       Sita heard these songs bashfully exulting in her soul
Resembled a mountain peak studded with gems,              But she took great care to hide her identity,
Where Rama was the lion and Ravana, the elephant          Passing her time in the forest in pious humility.
From where flowed blood-stream in resounding cascades.
The lionesses confined themselves to the cavern           So exquisite were the verses of the new epic
Weeping and crying aloud in agony and pain.               That even the bewildered deer would stand transfixed,
                                                          Like wooden deer, forgetting food and drink.
The sage made the princes scale the summit                Flocks of birds were enchanted by the song.
And taught them to play as lion’s cubs,                   Trees as dancing girls decked in flowers,
They knew from the epic that Rama was the lion            Danced to the tune of the princes’ songs.
But didn’t know, they were themselves the lion’s cubs.    Overwhelmed by the enchanting songs
The princes would sing before their mother,               Helpless Tamasha rolled down in ecstatic joy.
The Ramayana composed by the great seer,                  Pouring streams of nectar of the earth’s breast,
Playing on the veena in keeping with the rhythm and       Grateful Tamasha danced again to offer thanks.
tone,                                                     The forest dwellers coming from all over
Their minds absorbed in Srirama’s devotion.               Floated cheerfully in the stream of nectar,
When singing they tossed their heads and eyes,            The stream, after filling numberless ear-holes,
Being deeply agitated by the waves of love;               Flooded, the celestial city of gods and goddesses.
For, the songs expressed all kinds of sentiments,
Defiance, challenge, devotion and laments.                Hearing the songs, Brahma, Indra and Rudra,
Feelings and emotions surging up and sinking down         Offered their grateful felicitations
Drowned the princes’ hearts in sublime sensibility.

             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 38
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



The heavenly maids danced with the apsaras and              She thought: “If I could look upon my husband’s sacred
gandharvas                                                  feet
And danced the deities of all directions.                   I would leave my twins in his glorious hands.
                                                            Then the deer of my soul would flee from the bondage
Narada, the nomadic seer travelling in the universe         To dwell in its original abode in the woodlands of
Proclaimed the exquisiteness of Valmiki’s new verse.        freedom.”
Singing in praise of Rama, Sita and the princes,
Praised the sweetness of the Princes’ nectar-raining
voices.

Narada, whose veena was renowned in the universe
Proclaimed the excellence of the princes’ veena,
How magnanimous was the heart of this hermit of gods!
He became more virtuous by praising the virtues of
others.

A virtuous man makes his tree bear fruits.
The arrow is pushed forward by the bowstring.
The gentle breeze carries the fragrance of the flowers,
And gives delight to all creatures of the world.
At the age of eleven, the thread ceremony was performed
                                                               CANTO - XI
The princes studied and acquired knowledge of the
                                                            One day, the sun was tired of revolving round the
Vedas,
                                                            earth,
And Janaki surrendered her sorrow and grief,
                                                            His radiance was dimmed with the sweat of his brow.
At the feet of the genius of her talented sons.
                                                            To the western sea he went,
                                                            And sank himself in the blue water.
In their early youth the charming princes,
                                                            Unable to bear the pangs of separation from her hus-
Resembled the dazzling waters of Jamuna
                                                            band
Was it that the sun, borrowing the gems from the
                                                            The day followed him without waiting for a moment.
sea-god,
                                                            But the innocent lotus didn’t leave her home,
Decorated skillfully the blue limbs of the princes?
                                                            For, she didn’t know the torments of separation.
                                                            Stealing from her treasury of pink apparel
Their words of wisdom uttered in courteous language
                                                            Night covered the sky with a twilight carpet.
Purified both the ear and the heart of the listener
                                                            Seeing the insult inflicted on the lotus-dame,
Imbibing rare divinity in minds and hearts
                                                            The Shirisha tree let its leaves wither in shame.
They developed personalities that dazzled in grandeur.
                                                            After sunset, the great sage worshipped the fire god,
Hearing the holy verses from the lips of her sons,
                                                            And inwardly invoked the blessings of Lord Siva.
The mother’s heart was filled with the light of joy.
                                                            Sitting on kusha grass in his own hermitage,
And the dark nights of her sad memories
                                                            On Rama’s bountiful rule contemplated the sage.
Became more and more pleasant with the passage
                                                            He thought of various instructions imparted to the sons,
of time.
                                                            And of ways to unite the father and the sons.
Only a grieving heart can assess the worth of happiness,
                                                            Again he mused: The sons by now reached the age,
Which the ever-happy man can never do.
                                                            When they should be taught archery and politics.
                                                            If they live here in the ashrama with hermits,
The lustrous forms of the princes was a store-house of
                                                            Their precious time would be wasted in vain.
gems,
                                                            If the princes are not skilled in princely duties,
And their praises a spring of nectar to the mother,
                                                            Their virtues would be as useless as barren trees.
Her husband’s glory was rising step by step,
                                                            If the hero’s sons cannot do heroic deeds,
And the virtuous wife thought, it was a ladder to heaven.
                                                            A despicable stigma will be attached to the race.
As the twins roamed in the countryside without fear,
                                                            Who can say that one day, the throne of Koshala,
Sita engaged herself in penance with deep fervour,
                                                            Wouldn’t need the jewel-like son of Rama?
Surrendering her mind at her husband’s feet,
                                                            If they fail then to protect royal honour,
She prayed to God to cut short her life.
                                                            Ignorance of ethics will manifest for certain.
                                                            How can the princes, living in the forest
She grew leaner like the river in summer,
                                                            Learn the statecrafts without the right ideals?
Like the waning moon she fixed her gaze on the night of
death.
                                                            The kings of Raghu’s race are especially known for
But she believed that her husband was the sun,
                                                            their charity,
And she was optimistic about her future union.


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 39
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



How can a hermit’s hut provide that facility?                Addressing the boarders, Valmiki said:
The forms of the princes resemble those of Rama              “We are leaving for Ajodhya tomorrow morning.
They are Rama’s images reflected on the mirror.              Keep ready all your requirements dear novices
From a mere look, Rama will recognize his sons               Dear Lava and Kusa, carry the veena with you,
Shatrughna would be there to remove suspicions.              And make your learning fruitful by singing verses.
He would accept the princes presented by me,                 Rama, the hero of Ramayana, who is your favourite
And then nobody would find fault with me.                    hero
Again the sage mused: Rama knew that Sita was chaste,        It is he, who is performing the ‘Ashwamedha Yagna.’
Yet under a pretext he sent her to the forest.               Kings of various countries would come to see the
Impossible it seems to have filial love                      Yagna,
After a period of twelve years as such                       Bibhisana, the king of Lanka must have come with
His filial love to his subjects he has passed on             soldiers.
He would seek their consent.                                 Crossing the surrounding sea
If he has no confidence in his beliefs,                      Angada and Sugriba would have come with the he-
It is futile to explain to him one thousand times.           roes.
I think it would be most proper,                             Hanumana, the great hero might have graced the oc-
To consult Vasistha and Lakshmana on this matter.”           casion
Just then from Ajodhya came the king’s messenger,            By his kind presence, with the necklace gifted by Sita.
And bowing at the feet of Valmiki, presented a letter
Going through the contents the sage was convinced            Nishadas of the woods, accompanied with Guha,
That his wish was going to be fulfilled.                     Would come to Ajodhya with garlands of feathers.
                                                             You will see Bharata, the incarnation of fraternal de-
King Ramachandra had invited the inhabitants of the          votion,
ashrama,                                                     Who spurned the love-embrace of the royal goddess
To attend the Ashwamedha Yagna, he planned to                And worshipping his brother’s sandals on the throne,
perform.                                                     Lived on fruits and roots for fourteen years.
The chief of the sages thought: Look, how kind is Provi-     Bharata, who wore a knot of matted-hair and rose high,
dence!                                                       With resplendent glory like the sun in the sky
To take me to the shore while floating in the sea of         The Himalayan peaks looked up to his height,
turmoil.                                                     The same Bharata would be there, performing the rite.
The princes shall go with us to the site of the sacrifice    There you will see Lakshmana with your eyes,
In the hermit’s garbs and the disciple’s guise.              The hero whose equal the world has as yet not pro-
Visiting holy places, on this occasion,                      duced.
Lava and Kusa will recite the epic Ramayana.                 He who ground under his feet the pride of Meghanada
The story of Rama has a spontaneous appeal of its own        Meghanada who terrorized even the god of thunder.
And people of Ajodhya will listen with rapt attention.       The news of Meghanada’s death like a burning flame
Observing the prince’s resemblance with Srirama              Entered Ravana’s heart and burned furiously.
People would believe they are Rama’s sons.                   His physical strength added fuel to the fire,
Rama in the prince’s forms would see his reflection,         Infuriating the demon-king and increasing his ire.
And drown himself in the well of nectarine affection.        In a fit of anger, he hurled his horrible missile
If Rama hesitated to accept the princes,                     Lakshmana bore and still bears the scars on his chest.
Wouldn’t Kaushalya roll on the earth’s surface?              You will see all of them about whom you have read,
Everyone would be happy to learn from Ramayana               And sing of them in the Yagna’s assembly.
That Vaidehi had not been sullied by Ravana.                 Hundreds of hermits halloed by austerities
And that she had passed through an ordeal of fire,           Would listen to your songs with rapt attention.
Would not the hair stand in wonder at this?                  If anyone among the listeners question your identity,
The words of Ramayana would emit bright light                Answer simply: ‘We, the twins are Valmiki’s disciples.’
To shake off the darkness of the scandal from three          In case, Ramachandra calls you
worlds.                                                      Go and sing Ramayana in his presence.
                                                             If however he questions your identity
Overwhelmed with these good thoughts the chief sage          Answer simply, ‘We, the twins are Valmiki’s disciples.’
Arranged for the comforts of the king’s messenger.           If he offers you gifts, humbly refuse, saying:
Then he went joyfully to meet the mother                     “What shall we do with wealth in the hermitage?”
Narrating all that he had heard from the messenger.
He said: “The twin princes would go with the novices,        Hearing of the horse-sacrifice from Valmiki’s lips,
And sing the epic in his disciples’ guises.                  Vaidehi felt a searing pain in her heart.
They will meet the hermits and receive their blessings.”     She said to herself: “Certain it is that the crowning gem
Sita’s heart was filled with joy at the sage’s suggestions   Of Raghu’s race has taken a second wife in his lap.
She made over to the sage, the responsibility of her sons.   Fortunate is she that in the tree of her penance
                                                             Grew, as fruit, the sea-moon of Sagara dynasty.
                                                             What severe penance did she perform, and how:


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 40
The Banished        English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



My heart longs to do more severe penance than hers.         The very songs that sear the heart of this poor woman.
Who would reveal to me the mysteries of the rites?          If it is not heard, my heart longs to hear it,
Great sages like Vasistha might have known it               And the longing becomes so strong that I cannot re-
Or else how did they nominate her as the new queen?         press it.
Would they tell me of the secrets of her previous pen-      O Wise One, if on hearing the story
ance?                                                       The memory of poor Sita returns to your mind,
My Lord must have married the queen on their advice,        Then think of Vaidehi’s love as but a dream,
And I must have that secret spell by some means.            Looking at the cheerful face of your new queen.”
                                                            She went on pouring her heart’s miseries in the letter
With thoughts like these, Sita wrote a letter               But her tears kept on washing the words of the letter.
To Rama “whose banner protects all dependents               Then she pondered over what more to write,
And who acts as an iron rod to control wicked elephants,    While Lava and Kusa came to her smiling.
Whom people regard as a thunderbolt against the moun-
tain of sorrow.                                             They said: “Oh Mother! Magnanimous indeed is the Lord
At the lotus feet of that great emperor,                    of Raghus,
This poor maid bows and worships from afar.                 And most blessed is his beloved, the fortunate chaste
In distress, she sends an appeal from the woodlands         one.
For tearing darkness surrounding her bright hopes.          The king is performing an Ashwamedha Yagna,
Oh, king of kings, initiated you are for a grand rite       And his messenger has come with an invitation.
With your new consort gracing your left lap.                Oh Mother! We came to know from the messenger,
Your virtues must be waxing hundred times larger,           That the entire world is blessed because of
To make the rapt heart of your wife still more joyous.      Ramachandra.
You will be giving away in the observance of the rites,     Rama loved Sita more than his life,
Boundless wealth, and apparels, to the poor and the         Yet he banished her, to silence a public scandal.
needy.                                                      Now he has kept a golden statue of Janaki as his wife,
O Lord! An humble appeal rises in my heart                  To perform the rituals of the grand sacrifice.
Do not be miserly, do not my request thwart!                Was it impossible, for him, mother, to find a wife?
                                                            O no, Janaki’s husband didn’t desire another wife.
You are ocean of benevolence, O Lord!                       Mother, where did Janaki go? May be she is not alive;
Your heart is full of the milk of human kindness.           That, we could not glean from the Ramayana.
Desire not to know who I am; it is not necessary.           The great sage is willing to take us with him.
Are not you the destroyer of the anxieties of the ascet-    We shall go, mother, and see his lotus-feet.
ics?
There is nothing in the world that you ever refuse a her-   The words of the princes created a sea of nectar,
mit,                                                        And virtuous Sita plunged in the water of the sea.
Do not then ignore me, my Lord! I am a poor nun.            Her heart that had turned to a bed of hot sand,
The entire world must be watching with respect              Was flooded by the cool waters of Rama’s sea of love.
The One who is worthy of being your consort.                She said to herself: “Oh, what a great sinner I am!
What severe penance had she performed in the past,          I am writing words that would have scorched his heart.
What mantra did she chant, where and how long!              What a frail, weak woman I am!
This much only, my Lord! Please let me know,                And how deep and boundless is my Lord’s compassion!
For, I have no need of any other wealth.                    Forgive me, my Lord! Thou ocean of forgiveness!
I shall deem it to be far more precious                     Destiny has made me to be the poison of thy heart!”
Than all the wealth distributed in a million sacrifices.    Hiding the letter and feigning cheerfulness, she said:
There is only one more fervent request                      Go, my sons, go to see the lotus-feet of the king.
The twin sons of this unhappy woman are quite               The sage proposed that you would be singing Ramayana,
innocent,                                                   This new epic itself is the nectarine ocean.
They have not had the good fortune to sit on their
father’s lap,                                               At the sacred place of the sacrifice will flow the nectar,
Nor have they known their father’s affection since their    Spreading from heart to heart, it will saturate the inte-
birth.                                                      rior.
They only know how to make the mother weep                  If called by Rama, bow at his feet,
Singing Ramayana to the tune of the veena’s strings.        Offer homage at the feet of his brothers.
Who with human heart, wouldn’t weep at the plaintive        Do not forget to take on your heads,
notes,                                                      The dust of the lotus-feet of the queen-mothers.
Which makes even plants and creepers to shed tears?         Consider Janaki’s sisters as if they are Janaki each,
Enamoured themselves with your great deeds,                 And offer due homage at the feet of each.
My sons are going to meet you with the great sage.          If anyone asks you whose sons you are,
Their own minds have enticed them                           Say in reply: “We are a nun’s treasure.”
For a glimpse of thy lotus-feet.                            Delighted were the princes with the mother’s advice,
They will sing sad songs narrating sorrows of your life,    Filling their minds with excitement and joys.


              Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 41
The Banished       English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



 No more were they interested in food and sleep,           Sita-Rama.’
 Glorious pictures of the sacrifice danced in minds.       The victory cry was heard from the dusk to dawn,
 As the twins went on discussing Rama’s glorious deeds,    It was heard in homes, cities, hills and vessels of the
 Sleep came stealthily and closed their eye-lids.          ocean.
                                                           From the hearts of the rich and the poor.
 Janaki’s soul floating on the flood of devotion           In their joys and sorrows went up the cry, ‘Victory to
 Whirled helplessly around a whirlpool.                    Sita-Rama.’
 Goddess Sleep couldn’t take her to her lap,               Sita, the most virtuous woman of the universe
 And Sleep prayed to Jogamaya for help.                    Watched the scene and heard the cry in a state of
 “Oh, Goddess, now the soul of Janaki                      trance.
 Has crossed all limits of the human heart.
 For twelve years she flooded the bed with tears of her
 eyes,
 And she came to my lap at least once.
                                                                          The End
 But tonight I am inviting her with honeyed words,
 Alas! She pays no heed and retreats to the heaven.
 Her two sons, the very pupils of her eyes,
 Would soon be out of her sight.
 And all the ten directions will look dark in her eyes
 There is no happy sunrise for her in this life.
 What did she gain from devotion to her husband?
 Oh Goddess, brighten her future; Let her see it.
 A poor woman grew a garden of devotion for her
 husband
 Pouring tears of her eyes in the pits of life’s roots,
 But the plants neither flowered nor bore fruits.
 Oh, how very sorrowful would that life be!”
 Then Jogamaya enjoined: “Let us go, my dear friend,
 The cool night is very soon coming to its end.
 Let us go and meet Rama’s devoted wife,
 Let us reveal to her the mystery of her future life.                      GLOSSARY
 Accompanied by Goddess Sleep, Jogamaya came               Agastya         Sage, famous for sucking an ocean dry
 And entered Sita’s cottage, made of leaves.               Airabata        Indra’s elephant
                                                           Ajodhya         The capital city of Rama’s Kingdom
 Resplendent became the f orest with celestial             Alata           A red liquid applied by women round the boarders of
 splendour                                                                 the sole of feet and the toe-nails
 And fragrant became the mundane earth and water.          Ananta          The mythical serpant Sesha on whom Lord Vishnu
 Janaki’s soul was filled with a rare fragrance,                           remains reclined
                                                           Anchals         The ends of a woman’s sari(cloth)
 And she closed her eyes at the all-pervading radiance.    Ang             small river, tributary to the Mahanadi
 Her lustrous form dazzled with splendoured brilliance     Angada            Nephew of Sugriba
 Illuminating the entire cosmos with her radiance.         Anukampa         An old female anchorite in the hermitage of Valmiki
 There sat Sita and Rama upon a jewelled throne,           Anuru           Charioteer of the Sun-god
                                                           Apsaras          Celestial nymphs
 Illuminating the three worlds with the radiance of        Arghya          Oblation
 Rama’s crown.                                             Ashoka          A kind of tree having red flowers (Jenesia)
 Kusa sat in Ramachandra’s lap, Lava in Sita’s,            Ashrama          Hermitage
 Urmila’s husband stood there with the umbrella in hand.   Ashtabakra      A sage
                                                           Ashwamedha YagnaHorse-sacrifice
 Bharata was there too, waving a fine chowry               Ashwinis        The twin sons of the Sun-god
 An elegant moon-white chowry of silken fineries.          Badaba          Submarine fire
 Shatrughna stood on the other side, with a fan in hand,   Bakula          A kind of flower/mango-bud
 Fashioned and embroidered on peacock’s feathers.          Banaprastha     The third stage of life when a person renounces
                                                                           home for meditation in woodlands
 And the light of their lives flowed fast to the future,   Bhagirathi      The Ganges
 Like the fast-moving currents of a great river.           Bharata         The brother of Lord Rama
 Millions of men and women bathed in the river,            Bhargava        Parashurama, the warrior-sage
 Considering it to be the most sanctified water.           Bibhisana       The younger brother of Ravana
                                                           Brahma          The first God of the sacred Hindu trinity
 The stream of humanity moved towards the farthest         Chakrabaka      Sheldrake/ruddy goose
 ocean of eternity                                         Champaka        A yellow flower of sweet fragrance
 Spreading its banks more and more with the move-          Chanchi         A small bird
 ment of time.                                             Chataka         Name of a bird supposed to live on rain-drops
                                                           Chhaya          One of the wives of the Sun-god
 God and fairies showered flowers from the heaven,         Chinichampa     A green flower with sweet fragrance
 Demons, serpents and humans cried ‘Victory to             Chitra          One of the stars of the Zodiac
                                                           Chitrakuta      Name of a hill near Prayagwhere Rama, Sita and




             Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 42
The Banished              English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma



Lakshmanaspent some days of exile                                          Punnaga       A kind of tree
Dandaka          A woodlands where Rama and Sita stayed                    Puspaka       Mythical chariot
Darshan          Auspicious appearance                                     Raghava       Lord Rama, the successor of Raghu dynasty
Devi             Goddess                                                   Raghu         The great grand father of Lord Rama
Dharma           Pity/Cosmic law/Synonym of Yama                           Raghus        Members of Raghu dynasty
Dhustura-buds    A kind of flower                                          Rahu          Mythical demon supposed to swa   llow and disgorge
Durba            Bent grass, Panic grass                                                 the sun and the         moon causing eclipses
Gajadanta        A kind of fragrant white flower                           Rama          Lord Rama, the king of Ajodhya
Gandharvas       Celestial musicians                                       Ramachandra   Lord Rama
Ganga            The river Ganges                                          Ramayana      The story of Rama, an epic composed by Valmiki
Godavari         A holy river in southern parts of India                   Rameswar      A place near Sambalpur where the river
Gouri            (Uma) The wife of Lord Siva                                             bed is full of intricate rocks
Guha             A tribal chieftain and a friend of Lord Rama              Ravana        The demon king of Lanka
Gulmohar         A kind of flower                                          Rudra         Lord Siva
Hanumana         The monkey-god, a devotee of Lord Rama                    Sachi         Wife of Indra
Hara             Lord Siva                                                 Sagara        A dynasty
Hulahuli         A shrill sound produced by flapping of tongues by         Sal           A kind of tree with hard and strong trunk and
                 women on auspicious occasions                                           branches
Ib               A small river, tributary to the Mahanadi                  Salmali       A tall tree
Indra            The chief of gods in heaven                               Sangya        One of the wives of Sun-god
Indrani          The wife of Indra                                         Sanyasi       A renunciant
Ingudi           A kind of tree                                            Saraswati     The goddess of learning
Jamuna           A river, tributary to the Ganges                          Sesha         Ananta
Janaka           King of Vaideha/Mithila                                   Shankara      Lord Siva
Janaki           Sita, daughter of Janaka                                  Shari         A kind of bird(Gracula Religiosa)
Jogamaya         The power of God in the creation of the world per         Sharikas      Mynas(Gracula Religiosa)
                 sonified as a deity                                       Shasthi       The presiding deity of infants
Kadamba          A kind of flower                                          Shatrughna    One of the brothers of Rama
Kaikeyi          The second one of the three qu   eens of King Dasaratha   Shirisha      A kind of tree
Kailasa          The mount which is the abode of Lord Siva                 Shrabani      Relating to the month of Shrabana, the rainy sea
Karma            Action, also fate                                                       son
Kaushalya        The mother of Lord Rama/the first one of the three        Shyama        A bird of black colour
                  queens of King Dasaratha                                 Sita          Wife of Lord Rama
Ketaki           A kind of flower                                          Sita-Rama      The couple of Lord Rama and his wife Sita
Koshala          The kingdom of Lord Rama                                  Siva          The third God of the sacred Hindu trinity
Kshyatriya       A member of the military or the second caste              Srirama       Lord Rama
Kubera           he god of wealth, deity of northern quarters              Sugriba       The monkey-king, friend of Lord Rama
Kunda            A sweetly scented small flower                            Swati         A star in Zodiac
Kusa             Elder of the twin sons of Lord Rama                       Swayambara    A gathering of princes in which a princess selects
Kusha            A kind of grass used during religious rites                             her husband
Kutaja           A wild jasmine                                            Tamasha       A small river near the hermitage of Valmiki
Lakshmana        The brother of Lord Rama                                  Tandava       The cosmic dance of Lord Siva
Lanka            The kingdom of demon king Ravana                          Tel           A river, tributary to the Mahanadi
Lava             Younger of the twin sons of Lord Rama                     Thinthiny     A bird of darkblue colour
Lavana           A demon killed by Shatrughna                              Uma           The wife of Siva
Ma, Ma, Ma       The babbling of children to call mother                   Urmila        The wife of Lakshmana
Madhavi          A kind of flower                                          Vaidehi       Sita
Mahanadi         The longest river of Orissa                               Valmiki       The great sage who composed the Ramayana
Mahua            A kind of tree-Bassia-latifolia, syn- Madhuca-Indica      Varuna        The sea-god, Lord of western quarters
Malli            Jasmine flower                                            Vasistha      The great sage who was the preceptor of Lord
Mallika          A kind of flower                                                        Rama
Mandakini        A holy river in Chitrakuta                                Vishnu        The second God of the sacred Hindu trinity
Mandara          A kind of flower(china-rose)                              Yagna         Vedic sacrifice
Mandavi          The wife of Bharata                                       Yama          The god of death
Mridanga         A kind of drum or tabor
Muchukunda       A kind of flower
Nandana Kanana Paradise
Narada           Mind-born son of Brahma
Niali            A kind of flower
Nirmala          A fruit that can make impurities in water settle down
Nishadas         Forest-dwelling tribes
OM               Cosmic chant
Orissa           A province in India
Palasha          Dhak flower blooming in spring season
Panchabati       A woodlands where Rama and Sita stayed
Parashurama      Warrior sage/An incarnation of Lord Vishnu
Parijata         A red flower
Phulchuin        A small bird




                  Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 43
The Banished   English Translation of Gangadhar Meher’s Tapaswini By Shashibhusan Mishra Sharma




         Internet Edition By www.navratnanews.com contact surendrahota@gmail.com PAGE 44

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:17
posted:11/7/2011
language:English
pages:44