Verses, prayers and quotes of choice. If you come across something you find inspiring, please post it here. You can also start threads on a particular theme and regularly post in something related.
Kavya kona -
Jagat - Tue, 29 Jun 2004 07:05:26 +0530
The bare bones of a poem
The world is a world of metaphor—
No thing is a thing in itself.
If horses had gods, their gods would be horses,
said someone with a Trojan horse laugh.
And ever since, each day a sad child grows
to find there is no Santa Claus,
no beardy grandpa on a celestial throne,
no shining blue boy playing a flute—
"These tales are all a bit too cute;
I am no child," he says.
How astute the human brain!
Horse gods, blue gods, or bearded gods--
just food for the hopelessly insane!
The phone booth out behind my fence
is where Clark Kent in secret
kicks off his outer pants!
It's where a broken-hearted girl
tries one last time to retrieve her man.
It's where a trembling toxicomane
scours the towers for another horse to ride.
It's where an exhausted wheeler-dealer
grasps at one last straw to get a loan,
and, failing that, does not go home,
but rings a local whore’s phone.
It’s here the ingenue got the nod;
It’s here that someone talked to God.
I have eyes! I am not blind
It’s just aluminum and glass,
wires, metal, square ugliness—
No Central Square of miracles!
But these are empty eyes
of aluminum and glass
wires, metal, ugliness.
They see empty truths, and those are lies.
Naked facts are the sound of one hand clapping,
They are the tree falling in an empty forest,
They are bones without the flesh of meaning,
while meaning gives flesh to the barest bones.
And this is why I worship stones.
Talasiga - Tue, 29 Jun 2004 07:30:48 +0530
Does one need to be
A corny Kavi
To post in Kavya Kona ?
Jagat - Wed, 30 Jun 2004 01:39:42 +0530
Just heard this line by Leonard Cohen:
"Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and broken hallelujah."
Jagat - Wed, 30 Jun 2004 01:40:43 +0530
Corny? No. Full kobi !
Talasiga - Sat, 03 Jul 2004 15:42:14 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ Jun 29 2004, 01:35 AM)
The bare bones of a poem
Let others decide what they will
what will make the heart still .....
Madanmohan das - Tue, 06 Jul 2004 15:31:35 +0530
Here's a verse stolen from Pope.
Read Rupa once and you can read no more,
For all books else seem so mean, so poor;
Study well and still persist to read,
And Rupa's will be all the books you need.
'Tis hard, my friend, to write in such an age,
As damns not only poets, but the stage;
That sacred art, by Heaven itself infused,
Which Rupa, Sanatana and Raghunath have used,
Is now to be no more, the Muses foes
Would sink Lord Hari's praises into prose.
(stolen from Dryden)
Madanmohan das - Tue, 13 Jul 2004 19:18:57 +0530
Here's a few lines from Dryden's "The Flower and the Leaf" ,which sounds like a description of a Vrndavan bower.
.....Who twining leaves with such proportion drew,
They rose by measure, and by rule they grew;
No mortal tongue can half the beauty tell:
For none but hands divine could work so well.
Both roof and sides were like a parlour made,
A soft recess, and a cool summer shade:
The hedge was set so thick, no foreign eye
The persons placed within it could espy:
But all that passed without with ease was seen,
As if nor fence nor tree was plac'd between.........
Madanmohan das - Mon, 19 Jul 2004 04:13:28 +0530
What light through yonder bower breaks?
Has the regal goddess of love before me come?
Yet she treads the ground as by her feet
Impressions soft, yet showing her divinity are seen.
As the hero and the herione upon the play-bed lie,
The sakhis, peering through the vines, the luscious sceene espy;
On Kesi-ripu's left arm fair Radha rests her head,
And clasped about his neck her tendril arms are spread.
Hari's left knee does on Radha's right thigh rest,
Her prodruding bosom 'gainst his ample bosom prest.
And by the lustre of their faces, closing cheek to cheek,
The radiance of a pair of moons becomes quite dull and weak.
Madanmohan das - Mon, 19 Jul 2004 04:25:05 +0530
A blue cloud on the Earth now rowls,
Forsaking his luxurious bed,
What remedy avails 'gainst Cupid's heat,
When so much tears are shed?
So hasten Radha, don't delay,
Thy lord, in anguish, thee awaits;
For him each moment torments high,
And curses thus the adverse fates.
Madanmohan das - Mon, 19 Jul 2004 04:47:56 +0530
Dark of hue like a laden cloud,
His ears with blooming champa graced;
Like an opening lily, his face reveals
A mild and gentle smile.
Attired in lustrous golden silk,
And a peacock feather head-dress,
I praise that indeterminate essence,
The tender child of the cowherdess.
vikasita nalinAsyam visphuran manda hAsyam/
kamapi nikhilasAram naumi gopIkumAram //
(Sri Rupa. StavamAlA)
Madanmohan das - Mon, 19 Jul 2004 18:43:21 +0530
Here's the catusloki Gita from the metric rendering of the late C.Caleb.
aham sarvasya prabhavo....etc.
" I am the source of all; from me all creatures are evolved,
In rapt emotion, thinking thus, the wise do worship me.
" Minds fixed in me, lives giv'n to me, each praising me to each,
Of me conversing always they, with joy and peace are filled.
" To those who ever are attuned, and woship me with love,
That knowledge do I freely give, whereby they come to me.
" A all for love of them, indwelling in their very hearts,
With wisdom's light resplendant I, their darkness do dispel.
Where the metre of the original changes Caleb has also used a differant metre. As Gita is mostly in anustub, which i dare to call common metre as in English the iambic pentametre is so called. Anyway there are a few slokas in Gita that use a longer metre with more feet as in Visvarupa darsan. The well known sloka beginning "na jAyate mriyate vA kadAcin.....etc., is one such sloka that varies the metre and Caleb does this;
"He never enters birth, nor doth he die,
And having been, he cannot ceace to be;
Eternal, primal, changeless and unborn,
He is not killed, though killed the body be.
and then reverts back to anustub thus;
" O Prtha's son, how can that man who knoweth him to be unborn,
Eternal and immutable, kill anyone or have him killed.
" Like to the man who casts off garments old,
And clothes himself in other raiment new,
So too, doth he, the dweller in these frames,
Discard the old to live in bodies fresh.
Jagat - Mon, 19 Jul 2004 19:06:28 +0530
For comparison's sake, here is Sir Edwin Arnold on the same passages:
Wherefrom who comprehends My Reign of mystic Majesty--
That truth of truths--is thenceforth linked in faultless faith to Me:
Yea! knowing Me the source of all, by Me all creatures wrought,
The wise in spirit cleave to Me, into My being brought
Hearts fixed on Me; breaths breathed to Me; praising Me, each to each,
So have they happiness and peace, with pious thought and speech.
And unto these--thus serving well, thus loving ceaselessly--
I give a mind of perfect mood, whereby they draw to Me;
And, all for love of them, within their darkened souls I dwell,
And, with bright rays of wisdom's lamp, their ignorance dispel.
Arnold also switches meter, but not consistently it would seem--
Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never
Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are but dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever;
Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.
Who knoweth it exhaustless, self-sustained,
Immortal, indestructible--shall such
Say, "I have killed a man, or caused to kill?"
Nay, but as when one layeth
His worn out robes away,
And, taking new ones, sayeth,
"These will I wear today!"
So putteth by the spirit
Lightly its garb of flesh,
And passeth to inherit
A residence afresh.
I gained fresh appreciation for Arnold's version here. English poetry certainly reached its apex in the 19th century. (Not to minimize all those who preceded.) Not that Arnold is a Byron or a Wordsworth, but he nicely transposes the Gita nicely into those classical forms, which seem the most suited to a classical text like the Gita.
By the way, the Dover Thrift Edition of Arnold's Gita is available for 1.25 in the UK, 1.50 in the USA. Cheap! And it is, of course, on the Internet.
Madanmohan das - Thu, 22 Jul 2004 23:39:47 +0530
That's nice, never saw Arnold's version before. Caleb one is in good metre but no rhyme. It used to put me off if it did'nt rhyme, but then I found that measure was much more important and that very often rhyme becomes a sort of cop-out to support lame metre or trivial subject. This is what Marvell says about Milton's Paradise Lost;
"I too, transported by the mode, offend,
And, while I mean to praise thee, must commend.
Thy verse, created, like thy theme sublime,
In number, weight, and measure, needs not rime."
I noticed that sanskrt verse uses little or no rhyme at least in Vyasa's works, but later it comes in and Bengali seems dependant on it, though it seems that finding rhyming words in Bengali not difficult.
Have you seen Ramesh Datta's Ramayana and Mahabharat?
Rich in royal worth and valour, rich in holy Vedic lore,
Dasaratha ruled his empire in the happy days of yore.
Loved of men in fair Ayodhya, born of ancient Solar race,
Royal Rsi in his duty, saintly Rsi in his grace.
Jagat - Fri, 23 Jul 2004 00:12:09 +0530
I was once inspired to try my hand at translating in verse, but it came out sounding too much like doggerel and so I abandoned it. Here was one such attempt (CC Madhya 21.137-141):
Sanatan! Just contemplate the sweetness of the Lord!
A mellifluent sea of mead
For which my mind in lusty greed
Has come and sits in waiting by its shore.
And thinking it will quickly drink its fill
Is fated but to know it never will.
Misfortune comes dressed up in doctor’s guise
and allows it not one drop, despite its cries.
Pray tell, can sweetness be still more than sweet?
And then more sweet, a sweetness even more complete?
With just one drop, the entire cosmos fills
And drowns within those lovely honey swills;
In sweetness all directions merge and meet.
The smiling rays of camphor touch his lips,
The smile melts from his misty mouth and drips
Ent’ring by force the ears of all the skies
Beguiles, and ravishing it ties
The hearts of all, and most of all, the girls.
Just hear about that dulcet flute’s disgrace!
It steals wives from their husbands’ sweet embrace,
Destroys their dharm and their chasteness vows.
And Lakshmi too in heaven is aroused,
So what hope have we poor gopis to save face?
It looses the brides’ clothes before their grooms,
Makes them leave their chores unfinished in their rooms;
It makes them dance as if tied to a string
Forgetting fear, shame and every thing,
And drags them where the lotus lord’s smile blooms.
Sri Krishna’s arms like jewelled bars of steel--
No! Not arms but cobras black who steal
Between the furrows of the gopis’ breasts
To pierce their hearts and put their fangs to rest,
And leave a wound that only he can heal.
Any suggested improvements would be welcome.
Talasiga - Fri, 23 Jul 2004 09:22:38 +0530
|QUOTE (Madanmohan das @ Jul 22 2004, 06:09 PM)|
It used to put me off if it did'nt rhyme, but then I found that measure was much more important and that very often rhyme becomes a sort of cop-out to support lame metre or trivial subject. ...................................
Yes, if poetry was rhyme, almost every utterance in Hindi and other Sanskrit derived languages would be poetry.
Many languages are very regular and have consistent phonemic sentence endings on acount of syntax and so on.
Let me explain: in my mother tongue, the verb will always be the last word in the sentence and most verbs in the same tense will have similar endings (subject to gender etc).
Rhyming is more difficult in English and more likely a marker
of poetic creativity than in Hindi or Bengali.
A lot of people notice the rhyming in Hindi, Bengali etc
and conclude it must be poetry when it is not.
The other mistake is to confuse syllable count with metre, or more precisely, to think that every matra (beat) = a syllable. This is often not the case in either Indian poetry or music .
Talasiga - Fri, 23 Jul 2004 09:28:24 +0530
|QUOTE (Talasiga @ Jul 23 2004, 03:52 AM)|
| The other mistake is to confuse syllable count with metre, or more precisely, to think that every matra (beat) = a syllable. This is often not the case in either Indian poetry or music . |
For instance, here is an 8 beat (matra) rhythm cycle called Keherva
in different patterns (theka)
Dha Ga Dhin Na | Na Ga Thin Na = 8 matra
Each of the above mnemonic syllables represents a matra.
Now a very simple Keherva pattern elaboration:-
Dha Ga Dhin Na | Tere Kete Thin Na = 8 matra
There are ten syllables in this 8 beats with the 2 syllabled "tere" and "kete" each = 1 matra
And look at this:-
Dha - Dhin - | Na Ga Thin -Five stretched out syllables = 8 matra
Just a few simple examples.
You can sing or recite other than 8 syllable utterances within 8 matra.
This happens a lot particularly in Sanskrit prosody.
Madanmohan das - Sun, 25 Jul 2004 18:09:44 +0530
Interesting, but a bit difficult to understand the measure. I think one great distinction between English verse is that the measure is counted by stressed and unstressed sylables whereas in sanskrt it's by long and short vowels, but still called feet or pada; there being so many feet in a line. In referance to what was said before about rhyme, it being a literary device to embelish expression, but verse is only verse when the measure is tight, though even great poets sometimes have more feet in lines or less.
Iambic pentametre for example;
and ONE/and TWO/and THREE/and FOUR/and FIVE
To be or not to be, that is the question.....
Jagat - Sun, 25 Jul 2004 18:29:40 +0530
Madanmohan das - Tue, 27 Jul 2004 07:51:50 +0530
Thanks for that. Today arrived my "Song Celestial" of Sir Edwin Arnold, and having just finished reading up to the end of chapter eleven, am delighted.
This is from OBL Kapoor's "Life of Love" page 72, originally from CC.
"How now? How here? Who brings me here?
I was with Krsna and all that is dear.
I went to Govardhan, and there I found
Krsna and his cattle on the fields around.
He climbed the hill and played on his pipe,
Radha came, leaving her kinsfolk to jibe.
The graces of her person I cannot describe,
They entered the cave, the honey-sucker's hive.
The maids came on, and waited without,
You raised a row and the vision died out.
Why do you vex me? You give me pain,
I strive to find Krsna, but Oh! in vain.
Madanmohan das - Thu, 05 Aug 2004 07:07:09 +0530
Let Sweet Eloquence* her sacred succor bring,
That I may on the endless deeds of Krsna sing;
Now the bees suck nectar from the flowers,
And hover round the grove, and fill the fragrant bowers
With their dulcet drone; now peacocks mew,
And parrots perched in vines late songs of love renew.
What joy could with this compare, what word express or it describe,
When Radha's glance on Krishna lights, from eyes as lotus-petal wide?
Should Cupid all at once release a thousand florid darts perchance,
'Twould not so deep a wound inflict as Radha's side-long glance.
Hari's captivating smile ne'er fails proud damsels pride to quell;
Yet now himself the captive made, when Radha's eyes upon him fell.
Madanmohan das - Mon, 09 Aug 2004 23:53:03 +0530
tvam rUpamanjarI sakhi prathitA pure'smin
pumsah parasya vadanam na hi pasyatIti /
yatte vyadhayi kim u tacchuka pungavena //
O sakhi, Rupa Manjari!, here in this town,
For thy chastity thou enjoy'st such high renown;
And ne'er at the faces of other men wouldst glance.
Thy husband is abroad, but notwithstanding that,
Thy bimba-berry lips are bruised and cut; perchance
The foremost of parrots hath accomplished this,
Thinking, "This a very ripe and juicy berry is."
Jagat - Tue, 10 Aug 2004 02:19:26 +0530
Madanmohan das - Thu, 12 Aug 2004 00:11:23 +0530
Ha Gaura ! Now in russet garment clad,
Left behind thy yellow cloth, and bad
Farewell to hearth and home to seek
The lord who dwells on Nilacacal's peak.
Madanmohan das - Thu, 12 Aug 2004 12:00:43 +0530
Jagat - Thu, 12 Aug 2004 22:05:32 +0530
Shaped through and through by Gaura Hari's love--
that is a Gaudiya Vaishnav.
Madanmohan das - Thu, 12 Aug 2004 22:33:39 +0530
This is from a Bengali versification of the famous Gita Govinda song "priye carusile...etc.
"Hear me most belov'd and accomplished beauty,
Forsake your baseless pride, what joy
Do you take in my sorrow? I cannot bear
The pain of our separation; the fire of passion
Rages in me, sorely scorching my frail heart.
In Cupid's fever my body burns, now bring
The nectar of your lovely lips that I may drink.
If you would save me gentle Radha, then soothe
My soul's too hot passion, and administer
The sweet nectar of your lovely lips.....
Madanmohan das - Thu, 12 Aug 2004 22:57:58 +0530
Here's the concluding portion of Caleb's Gita;
"My stupor, changeless lord, has fled,
And by Thy grace I've wisdom gained-
No doubts have I : I am convinced,
What Thou dost bid, that I will do.
"Thus did I hear, O mighty king,
This dialogue most wonderful,
That made my hair to stand on end,
'Tween Vasudev and high-souled Parth.
"Through Vyasa's favour did I hear
This highest and most secret yog
By Krsna's lips divine proclaimed-
Yea, by the lord of Yog himself.
"Remembering o'er and o'er again
This holy dialogue, O king
Of Keshav with prince Arjun. I
Rejoice again and yet again.
"Remembering o'er and o'er again
That wondrous form of Hari too,
Great is my wonder king, and I
Rejoice again and yet again.
"Where'er is Krsna, lord of yog,
Where'er the archer Arjun is,
Forever there doth fortune dwell,
And vict'ry, power and righteousness.
Jagat - Mon, 16 Aug 2004 00:13:07 +0530
The author of this well-known song, Sydney Carter, died recently. The song reflects something of the eternal spirit of the Rasa dance, don't you think? Or was he inspired by Nataraj Shiva? There is no scripture where Jesus dances like this, but see how this image has capture minds in Christendom. Our God does chant and he does play a flute. So chant, dance and be happy.
The Lord of the Dance
I danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
I had my birth.
Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he
I danced for the scribe
And the pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn't follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John -
They came with me
And the Dance went on.
I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me on high,
And they left me there
On a Cross to die.
I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black -
It's hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried my body
And they thought I'd gone,
But I am the Dance,
And I still go on.
They cut me down
And I leapt up high;
I am the life
That'll never, never die;
I'll live in you
If you'll live in me -
I am the Lord
Of the Dance, said he.
Madanmohan das - Mon, 16 Aug 2004 06:12:29 +0530
Should anyone like to write a sonnet, here is a sonnet by Richard Watson Gilder showing the format of a sonnet. I could imagine sonnets depicting the name, beauty, attributes and divine exploits of Gaura-Govinda would be like English equivelent to the padavali kirtan that you get consisting of a few lines of payar or 3 or 4 tripadis but so deep but brief. Anyway;
What is a sonnet? 'Tis the pearly shell
That murmurs of the far of murmuring sea;
A precious jewel carved most curiously;
It is a little picture painted well.
What is a sonnet? 'Tis the tear that fell
From a great poet's hidden ecstacy;
A two edged sword, a star, a song - ah me
Sometimes a heavy tolling funeral bell.
This was the flame that shook with Dante's breath;
The solomn organ whereon Milton played,
And the clear glass where Shakespear's shadow falls;
A sea this is - beware who ventureth!
For like Fiord the narrow floor is laid
Mid ocean deep sheer to the mountain walls.
Talasiga - Mon, 16 Aug 2004 10:18:22 +0530
|QUOTE (Madanmohan das @ Jul 25 2004, 12:39 PM)|
| Interesting, but a bit difficult to understand the measure. I think one great distinction between English verse is that the measure is counted by stressed and unstressed sylables whereas in sanskrt it's by long and short vowels, but still called feet or pada; there being so many feet in a line. In referance to what was said before about rhyme, it being a literary device to embelish expression, but verse is only verse when the measure is tight, though even great poets sometimes have more feet in lines or less.|
Iambic pentametre for example;
and ONE/and TWO/and THREE/and FOUR/and FIVE
To be or not to be, that is the question.....
Yes, it would be difficult because you have not taken into account
the nature of the language. IE Latin and Sanskrit are metrical measured languages
whereas the Germanic languages are accentually measured.
The metrical based (Latin) scansion of English poetry is a credited misapplication
but tolerated and adjusted to the accentual language (English) for want of a better system to date.
In turn, the application of a metrical based (Latin) scansion, BUT in terms of its application within an accentual English context, onto a sister metrical language system (Sanskritic) is really a sort of a double flip.
Here is what Dr Clive Probyn (Professor of English, Monash University, Victoria, Australia)
|QUOTE (Clive Probyn @ "English Poetry" Longman York Press, ISBN 0-582-79271-1, p.20)|
Classical metrics was quantitative (i.e. the metre depends not on stress but on the quantity or duration of a syllable, and the foot consists of "long" and "short" syllables). English has an accentual - syllabic stress system, which means that unlike Latin it cannot make a short syllable long by metrically stressing it, nor can an absence of metrical stress make a long syllable short.
(underlining by Talasiga)
English can't but Latin can make a short syllable long by metrical stress.
English can't but Latin can make a long syllable short.
Once again the tabla bol
Dha - Thin - Na Ga Dhin - = 5 syllables but 8 matras (mAtra-s)
Madhava - Mon, 16 Aug 2004 17:42:22 +0530
Talasiga, when you aren't writing poetry, could you please not cut the lines short like that? Just write like the rest of us.
Madanmohan das - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 04:25:46 +0530
Dear Talasiga, pranam.
That was exactly the point being made regarding the distinction twixt verse that is measured with long and short vowels and that measured by stressed an unstressed sylables. Many Greek and Latin works and Sanskrt works have been rendered successfully into English verse. If you have read Chapman's or Pope's Homer and Dryden's translations from Latin, which, though with no knowledge of Greek or Latin, I read and thought that if that could be done so well, then the sanskrt and Benagali works could also be rendered in English verse. Of course these were great poets of by-gone days the like of which I don't see these days.
I hope you don't think I was being pedantic.
Talasiga - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 05:46:20 +0530
|QUOTE (Madhava @ Aug 16 2004, 12:12 PM)|
| Talasiga, when you aren't writing poetry, could you please not cut the lines short like that? Just write like the rest of us. |
No I won't.
1. Justified block is hard to read.
2. My posts are conversational and I want to convey the spaces and the lulls.
3. The poetic sensibility is not monopolised by poesy.
Istagosthi.org had a problem with dots and you have a problem with uneven endings. If you have a problem with the space my posts are taking up - just think:
Every picture is worth a thousand words and most of my haikus are pictures and there are a lot of them and they are very short. Most of you use too many words and long quotations to convey scant meaning.
I choose to represent the silences with broken lines.
there is a rhythm in my prose and the spaces are part of the count.
Dha - Thin - | Na Ga Dhin - = 5 syllables in 8 spaces
Madanmohan das - Thu, 19 Aug 2004 20:16:24 +0530
Inwardly assuming identity with Radha,
Outwardly, her fair complexion,
Gaura, by day and night, explored
The depths of her devotion.
Madanmohan das - Mon, 04 Oct 2004 22:34:26 +0530
Winter in Panchavati, from Ramesh Datta's verse translation of Valmiki Ramayana.
Came and passed the golden Autumn in the forest's gloomy shade,
And the northern blasts of Winter swept along the silent glade,
When the chilly night was over, once at morn the prince of fame,
For his morning's pure ablutions to the Godavari came.
Meek-eyed Sita softly followed with the pitcher in her arms,
Gallant Laksmana spake to Rama of the Indian Winter's charms;
"Comes the bright and bracing Winter to the royal Rama dear,
Like a bride the beautious season doth in richest robes appear,
Frosty air and freshening Zephyrs wake to life the mart and plain,
And the corn in dewdrop sparkling makes a sea of waving green,
But the village maid and matron shun the freezing river's shore,
By the fire the village elder tells the stiring tale of yore!
With the Winter's ample harvest men perform each pious rite,
To the fathers long departed, to the gods of holy might,
With the rite of agrayana pious men their sins dispel,
And with gay and sweet observance songs of love the women tell,
And the monarchs bent on conquest mark the Winter's cloudless glow,
Lead their bannered cars and forces 'gainst the rival and the foe!
Southward rolls the solar chariot, and the cold and widowed North
Reft of "bridal mark" and joyance coldly sighs her sorrows forth,
Southward rolls the solar chariot, Himalaya, "home of snow",
True to name and appellation doth in whiter garments glow,
Southward rolls the solar chariot, cold and crisp the frosty air,
And the wood of flower dismantled doth in russet robes appear!
Star of Pushya rules December and the night with rime is hoar,
And beneath the starry welkin in the woods we sleep no more,
And the pale Moon, mist enshrouded, sheds a faint and feeble beam,
As the breath obscures the mirror, Winter mist obscures her gleam,
Hidden by the rising vapour faint she glistens on the dale,
Like our Sun-embrowned Sita with her toil and penance pale!
Sweeping blasts from western mountains through the gorges whistle by,
And the Saras and the Curlew raise their shrill and peircing cry,
Boundless fields of wheat and barley are with dewdrops moist and wet,
And the golden rice of Winter ripens like the clustering date,
Peopled marts and rural hamlets wake to life and cheerful toil,
And the peaceful happy nations prosper on their fertile soil!
Mark the Sun in morning vapours - like the Moon subdued and pale,
Brightening as the day advances peircing through the darksome veil,
Mark his gay and golden lustre sparkling o'er the dewy lea,
Mantling hill and field and forest, painting bush and leaf and tree,
Mark it glisten on the green grass, on each bright and bending blade,
Lighting up the long drawn vista, shooting through the gloomy glade!
Thirst impelled the lordly tusker still avoids the freezing drink,
Wild duck and the tuneful hansa doubtful watch the river's brink,
From the rivers wrapped in vapour unseen cries the wild curlew,
Unseen rolls the misty streamlet o'er it's sandbank soaked in dew,
And the drooping water lily bends her head beneath the frost,
Lost her fresh and fragrant beauty and her tender petals lost!...........
Madanmohan das - Mon, 04 Oct 2004 23:09:08 +0530
Now my errant fancy wanders to Ayodhya's distant town,
Where in hermit's barks and tresses Bharat wears the royal crown,
Scorning regal state and splendour, spurning pleasures loved of yore,
Spends his Winter day in penance, sleeps at night upon the floor,
Aye! perchance Sarayu's waters seeks he now, serene and brave,
As we seek, when dawns the daylight, Godavari's limped wave!
Rich of hue, with eye of lotus, truthful, faithful, strong of mind,
For the love he bears thee, Rama, spurns each joy of baser kind,
"False he proves unto his father who is led by mother's wile",_
Vain this ancient impious adage - Bharat spurns his mother's guile,
Bharat's mother Queen Kaikeyi, Dasaratha's royal spouse,
Deep in craft, hath brought disaster on Ayodhya's royal house!
"Speak not thus",so Rama answered, "on Kaikeyi cast no blame,
Honour still the righteous Bharat, honour still the royal dame,
Fixed in purpose and unchanging still in jungle wilds I roam,
But thy accents, gentle Laksman, wake a longing for my home!
And my loving mem'ry lingers on each word from Bharat fell,
Sweeter than the draught of nectar, purer than the crystal well,
And my righteous purpose falters, shaken by a brother's love,
May we meet again our brother, if it please the gods above!"
Waked by love, a silent tear drop fell on Godavari's wave,
True once more to righteous purpose Rama's heart was calm and brave,
Rama plunged into the river 'neath the morning's crimson beam,
Sita softly sought the waters as the lily seeks the stream,
And they prayed to gods and fathers with each rite and duty done,
And they sang the ancient mantra to the red and rising Sun,
With her lord, in loosened tresses Sita to her cottage came,
As with Rudra wanders Uma on Kailasa's hill of fame!
Madanmohan das - Tue, 02 Nov 2004 01:06:56 +0530
Thakura Bhaktivinoda's Ode to Haridas
O! born of Moslem parents, Haridas!
And trained in youth in Moslem creed,
Thy noble heart to Vaisnav truth did pass!-
Thy holy acts thy candor plead!
Is there a soul that cannot learn from thee,
That man must give up sect for god?-
That thaughts of race and sect can ne'er agree
With what they call religion broad.
Thy love of god and brother soul alone
Bereft thyself of earthly friends,-
Thy softer feelings oft to kindness prone,
Led on thyself for higher ends!
I weep to read that Kazis and their men
Oft persecuted thee, alas!
But thou didst nobly pray for the wicked then,
For thou wert Vaisnav, Haridas!
And god is boundless grace to thee, O man!
United thee to one who came
To save the fallen souls from Evil's plan
Of taking human souls to shame.
And he it was that led you all that came
For life eternal, - holy, - pure!
And gave you rest in Heaven's enduring name,
And sacred blessings ever sure!
Thy body rests upon the sacred sands
Of Swargadwara, near the sea;
Oh! Hundreds come to thee from distant lands
T'enjoy a holy thrilling glee!
The waters roar and stormy winds assail
Thy ears in vain. Ah! Vaisnav soul!
The charms of Vrndavan thy heart regale;
Unknown the wheel of time doth roll!
He reasons ill who tell that Vaisnavs die,
When thou art living still in sound.
The Vaisnavs die to live, and living try
To spread the holy life around!
Now let the candid man who seeks to live,
Follow thy ways on shores of time,
Then posterity sure to him will give,
Like one song in simple rhyme!
Madanmohan das - Tue, 02 Nov 2004 01:28:35 +0530
Argument to Skandha 10, book 1
The gods call council, and there debate
The plaint of Earth, her dire estate;
They to the Milky-ocean address their course,
There to consult the almighty lord and source
Of all, what remedy might give relief,
To ease Earth's burden, and soothe her grief.
Madanmohan das - Wed, 15 Dec 2004 00:52:53 +0530
Happy the man, who can with ease,
His preceptor and the vaisnavas please;
Who, in Hari's tidings takes his sole delight,
And contemplates his lila, all through the day and night.
Madanmohan das - Tue, 21 Dec 2004 00:39:57 +0530
From Ramesh Datta's Mahabharata.
Silent sat the listening chieftains in Hastina's council hall,
With the voice of rolling thunder Krishna spake unto them all:
"Listen, mighty Dhrta-rashtra, Kuru's great and ancient king,
Seek not war and death of kinsmen, word of peace and love I bring!
'Midst the wide earth's many nations Bharats in their worth excell,
Love and kindness, spotless virtue, in the Kuru elders dwell,
Father of the noble nation, now retired from life's turmoil,
Ill beseems that sin or untruth should thy ancient bosom soil!
For thy sons in impious anger seek to do their kinsmen wrong,
And withhold the throne and kingdom which by right to them belong,
And a danger thus ariseth like the comet's baleful fire,
Slaughtered kinsmen, bleeding nations, soon shall feed it's fatal ire!
Madanmohan das - Tue, 28 Dec 2004 04:36:11 +0530
When charming Gaurahari, with attendants all around,
His sable curly tresses with pearls and flowers bound,
And seated on an ample throne, tastefuly arrayed
With pendant wreaths, the moon's ascent surveyed,
And called to mind the sports that he before had played.
And as the moon amongst the stars doth in the Heavans shine,
So Gaura glows resplendant 'midst associates divine.
Some flutes and drums, others gongs and cymbels bring,
And all now, in chorus, on the deeds of Krsna sing;
How the cloud-comlextioned youth by the Jamna strayed,
And stole the milk-maid's hearts while on the flute he played.
Now in lovely triple-bending posture Sacisuta stands,
And slow begins to dance, and gesture with his hands.
All are in the transporting rapture of Vraja gopis lost,
And in the surging billows of love's boundless ocean tost!
Madanmohan das - Fri, 21 Jan 2005 20:27:17 +0530
Sri Krsna Caitanya, fair-limbed, with eyes
Love-lorn and languid, weeps and cries
Day and night, for love hath made him mad,
And now he sobs inconsolate, as Radharani had.
" Wherefore hast thou thus from us gone hence?
All thy affection gone, and all thy eloquence?
Madanmohan das - Fri, 21 Jan 2005 20:34:23 +0530
Stired by love and waves of passion, Radha to Govinda came;
Left behind her kin and duty, left behind her fear and shame.
She came unto a moon-lit arbour, rich in floral wealth, more rare,
Than dwellings of the bright immortals, or Vaikuntha's garden fair.
Madanmohan das - Sun, 24 Apr 2005 22:19:10 +0530
Upon a splendid throne th' eternal lovers sit,
And one the other flatters with dexterity of wit;
While to their offices, the duteous maids attend,
Lalita and Visakha, their expedience commend.
Having here in Vrndavan refuge gained,
My perterbed soul weeps and yearns;
I must needs my heart reveal, and show
The wounds that scorching tears have made. (Utkalikavallari 1)
Madanmohan das - Sun, 12 Jun 2005 17:07:47 +0530
Happy the man whom this world loves,
His wife adores, and society approves;
Happy next him who finds delight
In pleasures by day, sound sleep by night;
But, O friend, if this be your ideal and need,
Then Vrndavana Mahimamrta do not read!
Madanmohan das - Sat, 09 Jul 2005 01:54:54 +0530
O, where a mind disposed to contemplate
The raptures of Krsna bhakti, is for sale,
'Tis meet that thou sould'st make purchase;
A rare commodity, for which your craving
Is the only price; for which a million million
Lives of pious deeds would be of no avail.