Gangadhar Meher

(9 August 1862 - 4 April 1924 / Barpali, Bargarh, Orissa / India)

Extracts From Canto-Iv Of English Version Of Tapasvini - Poem by Gangadhar Meher

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Auspiciously came
Usha, the blooming lotus-eyed dame,
in her heart cherishing keenly
thirst for a vision
of the virtuous Janaki.
Bearing dew-pearls as presentation
in her hands of leafage,
standing forward
in the outer courtyard
of Sita’s cottage,
in cuckoo’s tone spake she:
“O Chaste Lady!
Deign to give your sight;
Dawned the night.” (1)

The saffron costume
of auroral shine,
flowers’ smiling bloom
and tranquil mien
make a room
in the mind to presume:
Some goddess of Yoga reaching the place,
by sweet words giving solace
calls to render relief
from pangs of grief.
From heaven on earth as if
has descended to bestow a new life. (2)

Musical tune Zephyr sang swinging,
Black Bee played on lute charming.
By Usha’s bidding, in dance
rapt remained Fragrance.
Kumbhatua bird as a royal bard
began to eulogize forward.
As the panegyrist premier
Kalinga bird appeared there
and spake in voice gracefully sweet:
“Wake please,
O Queen of the empire of chaste ladies!
Dawned the night.” (3)

The Vedic lore chanted by ascetics there
reverberated the darksome penance-grove.
Transcending the sphere
the high OM sound raised above.
From the lute of Sarasvati, the Speech-Goddess,
the tune jingling,
giving hearty propitiation
to Vishnu, the Lord of heaven,
as if could find own access
into the ears of Ananta, the Serpent-King.
By and by, the forest bore
brightness more and more.
With the incantation-power
energy as if increased further. (4)

The celebate hermitess
ascetic-maid Anukampa
meantime came near Sita
and with sonorous words spake:
“O Vaidehi! please wake.
The delicate-limbed Usha
has now come here.
Giving thy sight duly gratify her.
Placing you once in lap, Tamasa
has awaited to attain happiness. ”(5)

From her bed got up Sita,
the devoted wife,
on the board of her mind perforated
by inner grief,
portraying the heroic image
of King Rama, like Sun’s reflection
in the dew-dropp rested
in the heart of Lotus-maid.
Extending salutation
at the feet of Anukampa,
humble homage
at Usha’s feet, she paid. (6)

With admiration
Sita addressed her:
“In this world, thou art harbinger
of the rising of Sun,
the darkness-dispeller.
Thy tender feet compile brilliance.
To them I consign with firm aspiration.
O Ye fond of fair fragrance!
On my lord, King Raghu’s scion,
auspiciousness kindly confer.” (7)

With heart eagerly restless
at the end of the night,
Tamasa, the hermitage-hostess,
limpid-limbed
and sacred-streamed,
strewing on the yard flowers pleasant,
sprinkling water fragrant,
kindling auspicious Lucifer-lamp bright,
with her fish-eyes frequently gazing thus
was awaiting Sita’s arrival gracious. (8)

Accompanied by Anukampa that moment,
Sita, the jewel among the chaste,
highly applauded in the world by the overflow
of endless endearment
rendered by hermit-maidens, in haste,
from the hermitage went to the river-flow.
Her on own lap Tamasa placed,
with the wave-hands lovingly embraced. (9)

In her tone sweet as ambrosia
expressed amply complacent Tamasa:
“Daughter dearest! In my mind
never was the hope that Sita, the necklace
of the heart of Royal Wealth-goddess
would fondly find
my lap as a sporting place
by forsaking the kingly pleasure-seekingness.
In this world, people all
solely because of your noble self will call
me very fortunate one
with words of appreciation. (10)

Wandering over several woods wide,
never wavering astray
by illusion of any gorge,
surmounting many an impediment
in my life limpid,
never deeming darkness
as a distress,
never thinking light
to be a delight,
for a remote way
ahead I’ve continued to forge
with my head humbly bent.
Gratifying every bank-dweller
with offering of water,
fruitfulness of my birth
I’m realizing worth. (11)

From the view-points
of all those attributes, my compeers
are Mandakini and Godavari;
still both have enhanced glory
by earning the imperishable opulence
of your holy foot-prints,
also your physical fragrance that confers
deity’s divine excellence.
To acquire those I had inner thirst;
Bereft thereof I was mentally accurst. (12)

Many a noble deed
I had done indeed.
Dharma betimes brought you therefore,
after discerning the earnest yearning
of my heart’s core.
Unattainable wealth I’ve got.
Heartful complacence
I’ll enjoy hence
by addressing and caressing
your sacred self on my lap everyday.
Aroma of your limbs will purge away
my life’s all the blot. (13)

Herons and flamingoes
roaming in rows,
cranes as well as sheldrakes couple-wise,
all these sportive players
of my lap beside me will reside for ever,
taking heartful drinks of my water
sanctified by ablution of your sacred body.
Singing your glory under the guise
of dulcet indistinct warbling-melody
immensely they’ll be pleasing my ears. (14)

To acquire sanctity
in touch with the body
of the devoted spouse,
flowers detached from creeper-house,
leaping and leaping
from remote regions,
will be rushing by floating forward
and will be moving
oft in your close proximity.
With your feet, O Compassionate Lady!
in my water during ablutions
them you’ll never discard. (15)

Stepping on my banks, My dear!
you’ll kindly meander
on pretext, presenting supernal splendour.
Earning this, the sylvan trees
will cheerfully bear
the pride of deities;
also peace they’ll grant.
In the foliage, sure,
will remain perpetually pure
the lustres, rosy, darkish and elegant.” (16)

Sita replied:
“Like the water of coconut
sweet is this limpid water;
nay, nay, not water, but
mother’s milk real,
flowing as the stream ambrosial,
from the mountain-breast
for Sita, the dead-like daughter.
Oh! In this land, you’re indeed
my mother dearest
incarnate as Tamasa having a heart
riven by my severe smart. (17)

Pierced by crack
has been your back;
the other side is seen.
Despite this, to delight the daughter,
opening the eyes of affections
you fondle and flatter
with the design
of words, lovingly sweet.
Effusive thanks, O Mother benign!
Sandy your heart has been
for the harsh heat
of my afflictions. (18)

Blemished by the vision
of denizens in King Rama’s empire,
Sita, ever-exiled, will ably stand
in your opinion
to sanctify in the world entire,
all the beings, movable
as well as immovable,
by virtue of own devotion to husband.
Mother verily knows
her daughter’s sorrows.
A burnt-faced daughter
looks moon-faced in the eyes of mother. (19)

Your banks have been, of course,
my permanent recourse.
In your serene lotus-feet
my hope finds a firm seat.
She, for whom, O My Darling!
the movable and the immovable ones
all turned nothing,
has her mother’s lap solely present
as the vast treasure of her endearment
in the mundane regions.
Having own gem-wombed mother
why would she seek shelter another? ” (20)

[Translated By Dr. Harekrishna Meher]


Comments about Extracts From Canto-Iv Of English Version Of Tapasvini by Gangadhar Meher

  • (9/22/2012 9:54:00 AM)


    These passages are from my book 'Tapasvini of Gangadhara Meher'
    (Complete English Translation of Oriya Kavya 'Tapasvini')
    published by R.N. Bhataacharya, Kolkata-700110 in the year 2009.

    Swabhava-Kavi Gangadhara Meher is well-known as 'Prakriti-Kavi', Poet of Nature, in Oriya Literature.
    His depiction of various aspects of Nature is very heart-touching, appealing and beautiful.

    * Dr. Harekrishna Meher
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 15, 2012

Poem Edited: Saturday, September 15, 2012


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