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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā, part 5

Sangam in the 1970s - courtesy of Acyutananda

I have added idiom to this, the 5th and final part of the Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā:

2.116 I believe that there are two things in the second half of this verse – a kuñja named Kāma Mahātīrtha and a jewelled pavillion named Mandara, or perhaps with Mandara (trees), though the Bengali translator and Bhūmipati say it is one thing.

2.117 Kuśakrath says anaga, this is probably a typo. It should be anaṅga.

2.119 Kuśakrath’s maru maruta should be madhu māruta, perhaps a typo.

2.120 maṇibandha means the wrist (as the place on which jewels are fastened) according to the dictionary, so Kuśakrath is not necessarily wrong, but I believe that Bhūmipati’s translation is correct and Maṇibandha is the name of the ends of the bow, because of the three items the last and the first have a name and the middle one should then have one too.
Idiom: karmana = magic vilāsa, the bow he may keep at home for sporting.

2.121 kartari means knife or scissors, but I don’t think it means either chopper (Bhūmipati) or scissors (Kuśakrath) because it seems to me that a cowherd needs neither of those tools. It may mean a knife for cutting the calves’ ropes. Tuṣṭidā means ‘giver of satisfaction’.

2.122 Idiom: madana jhaṅkṛti - twanging of Cupid's bow
muralī - sarala - the flute is straight in form but not in function.

2.123 kākalī means a soft sweet sound. mūki or dumbfounding is not explained by Kuśakrath, hence Bhūmipati’s version should get the benefit of the doubt.

2.124 Bhūmipati makes typo here – maṇḍala instead of maṇḍana. maṇḍana means decoration. Kuśakrath forgets that Rādhā-mantra is Kṛṣṇa’s sādhya, or goal.

2.126 About the yellow cloth being named Nigama Śobhana, Kuśakrath may be right just because there are four items in the verse and the other three were named, so the yellow cloth should also get a name, while this is not done in Bhūmipati’s translation. Bhūmipati instead says ‘extensively described in all the śāstras’. Śobhana does not mean famous but beautiful. It is most reasonable to accept Kuśakrath’s verdict here. The meaning given by Bhūmipati is not necessarily wrong, though.

2.127 Bhūmipati says a Kuraṅga is a bird while it is a deer.
Idiom: haṁsa - gañjana means ‘excelling swans’.

2.128 Kuśakrath says there is a picture in the locket and Bhūmipati says reflection. Both could apply. From the common sense point of view it should be reflection and not picture because Kṛṣṇa’s superiors would get suspicious if Kṛṣṇa wore Rādhā’s image at home.

2.129 The nāga-patnīs giving Kṛṣṇa the Kaustubha gem is a special līlā, just as Paraśūrām gave Kṛṣṇa the Sudarśana Cakra in Sandīpanī Muni’s school and Viṣṇu got the Kaustubha-gem and Lakṣmī during the Samudra Manthan. Actually these items eternally belong to Him.

2.130 Both the meaning, given by Bhūmipati, and the name, given by Kuśakrath, are all right. Bhāmipati first speaks of one earring and then in a new sentence of two earrings, as if there are two items discussed there, but that is not so.
Kuśakrath says cuḍa means crest jewel and Bhūmipati says turban, but cāmara is ‘plume’, and ḍāmara is ‘extraordinary’, so cūḍa most probably means a topknot of hair, as sanskrita.org/wiki says - that would explain the hairy meaning of cāmara ḍāmara.

2.131 Bhūmipati provides a handy translation of nava ratna viḍamba here.
Idiom: dṛṣṭi-mohana = captivating the eyes.
rāga-valli = vine of passion due to red colour of guñjā.
vaijayantī - garland= a decoration for victors

2.132 Kuśakrath speaks of one garland, named Vaijayanti, while Bhūmipati speaks of two garlands – Vanamālā and Vaijayanti. The word tu indicates that Bhūmipati is right.

2.134 Kuśakrath’s translation is good and Bhūmipati’s is not.

2.136 Idiom: śaibyā most probably related to a river as females tend to be named after rivers
pālikā can mean cheese, which is related to vaiśya dharma, but I believe it means obviously protectress. candra-śālikā means moonlight.

2.138 Idiom: śāradākṣi = shy-eyed, or white-lotus-eyed, viśāradā = beautifully autumnal
śivā = Durgā, river, or a musical metre.

2.141.Bhūmipati has lumped in 140, in which Rūpa Gosvāmī changes the topic, with 136-139, which deals with Candrāvalī’s group. In 141, however, a general description is given, including Rādhā. That Rūpa Goswāmī changes the topic is lost if verse 140 is lumped in with 136-139. Kuśakrath has rightly disconnected 140 from 136-139, so the change of topic is clear there.

2.142 Bhūmipati forgets mṛgī-dṛśa, doe-eyed gopīs.

2.143 Bhūmipati forgets that Gandharvā is a name from the Śruti śāstra but he adds instead that “She possesses all the talents of a Gandharvā such as singing, dancing and playing upon musical instruments”, whereas this again is not mentioned in the original verse.

2.145 Bhūmipati’s ‘amorous pastimes’ is strictly not in the śloka.

2.147 Bhūmipati’s “reflected” is not in the verse, nor is “swinging back and forth”. Vicitram is forgotten – it means wonderful. Kuśakrath’s translation is OK here.

2.148 Bhūmipati’s ‘pearl string’ and ‘flower garland’ are singular, not plural. Kuśakrath takes Rādhā to be the central topic of this verse, but it is Her hair instead, so the garland and pearls decorate Her hair separately here, apart from those around Her neck.

2.149 Bhūmipati translates citra-patra with ‘tilak’ while Kuśakrath does not mention it at all.

2.150 Bhūmipati fails to translate anaṅga-daṇḍa, Cupid’s staff, though that is mentioned both in the śloka and in the Bengali translation that he followed.

2.151 Bhūmipati forgets they are lotus-eyes. Kuśakrath wisely says ‘almost’ up to the ears because totally up to the ears would not be beautiful, although Rūpa Gosvāmī literally does say that (ā-karṇa) he obviously does not mean it literally.

2.153 oṣṭhādhara means both the lower and the upper lip, not just the lower. According to my VS Apte dictionary tāḍaṅka means earring or ear-ornament which would make Kuśakrath right and Bhūmipati (nose-ring) wrong.

2.154 Kuśakrath misses the point that the tongue increases the beauty of the teeth, and he forgets the Bimba (cherry-lips) as well.

2.155 cibuka means chin, not cheeks. Bhūmipati has that wrong.

2.159 Bhūmipati forgets that the lotus-hands are red.

2.160 Bhūmipati’s heading is wrong here – it should be Rādhā’s hands, not Her feet.

2.161 Kuśakrath says: “These auspicious marks are manifest in various ways” it comes from nānā citra virājita, which means ‘various images exist on Her hand in the form of these signs’, not that one image manifests in different ways.

2.162 udara means neither waist (Kuśakrath) nor lower part of the body (Bhūmipati), it means belly. Neither translator has properly translated the words madhu-lābaṇya (honey and glittering beauty). Bhūmipati also fails to translate sudhā rasa pūrṇa, ‘filled with nectar-juice.’

2.163 Bhūmipati forgot ‘vali-trayi latā baddha’, it is bound by a creeper of three folds of skin, which is included by Kuśakrath.

2.164 The meaning of the word rasākarau is not clear to me, so I don’t really know which translation is correct here.

2.165 Kuśakrath’s “toe rings as beautiful as the treasure of Varuṇa.” Is interesting. It must refer to the word baṅkarāja, which has been a problematic word for me when I was translating Bengali songs for Ananta Dāsjī’s books in the past. The dictionary gives no entries to this word, which I always thought was Bengali and not Sanskrit. If we enter vaṅka instead of baṅka we get ‘roamer, tramp’, but ‘the king of tramps’ seems an unlikely name for toe-rings. vaṅka can also mean crooked. It is still unclear if that refers to Varuṇa and Kuśakrath cannot be questioned on it anymore, unfortunately.

2.166 Bhūmipati calls ‘Domara’ a fig and Kuśakrath calls it a drum. It seems Kuśakrath is right here.

2.168 Yaśodā loves Rādhā more than millions of mothers in general, there is no mentioning of Rādhā’s mother, as Bhūmipati did. The text just says mātṛ, which could be stretched into meaning Rādhā’s mother but that is a far-fetched interpretation. mātṛ just means mother. The same is mentioned in Vilāp-kusumāñjali's verse 66.

2.170 Bhūmipati forgot Rādhā’s third uncle, Ratnabhānu.

2.172 According to the Bengali translator and Bhūmipati, the husband of the first lady is mentioned last and of the last lady is mentioned first. Kuśakrath did that the wrong way around.

2.176 Kuśakrath writes Mātalī instead of Mālatī and Mankiundala instead of Maṇikuṇḍala.

2.183prāya’ means ‘in a sense’. The Bengali translator explains the word prāya with: they assume separate forms for the pastimes, but in svarūpa they are one. Kuśakrath translated ‘prāya’ as ‘for the most part’ which is not very clear.

2.185 sakhī bhāva viśeṣa bhāk means she has a clear-cut, explicit feeling of a sakhī. Bhūmipati’s translation of this is not very clear.

2.186 If we are to believe the Bengali translator both Kuśakrath and Bhūmipati are wrong here – it should be that Bindumati and Nāndīmukhī arrange for the reconciliation of the divine Pair after They fell out with Each other.

2.188 Kuśakrath forgets Smaroddhurā-sakhī and that the sakhīs sing songs of Gandharvā or Rādhā.

2.189 Kuśakrath forgets Premavatī devī.
Idiom – kusuma-peśala means flower-decorated.

2.190 There are not four but five kinds of sakhīs. Bhūmipati and the Bengali translator forgot the first class – Sakhīs. They are a separate group, it is not a collective term.

2.191 Divākīrti means barber but it could also be someone’s name. I think it is the former, thus Bhūmipati would be right here.
Idiom – mañjiṣṭhā is a purifying herb growing on vines. It has red flowers, because Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī says in Caitanya Candrāmṛta (73): eko devaḥ kaṭi-taṭa-milan-mañju-māñjiṣṭha-vāsā  “He is one God who wears a lovely dress colored like a Mañjiṣṭhā, on His waist.” And Prabodhānanda speaks of Mahāprabhu’s Purī-svarūpa throughout, so the Mañjiṣṭhā flower is red or saffron coloured, the color of His sannyāsa-cloth.

2.192 tāriṇī could mean protectress, which is included in Bhūmipati’s translation.

2.193 It is unclear from my dictionaries whether haḍḍipa means sweeper or potter. It could be interpreted to mean either.

2.194 Kuśakrath says that the Pulindīs could be in Rādhā’s group too, perhaps he read cāsyāḥ (and these) for cānyāḥ (and others…). Bhūmipati says they are all in Kṛṣṇa’s parivāra (community).

2.196 Idiom: Piśaṅgī means reddish-brown. Kala-kandalā means tender sprig or vine. An alternative spelling for sandhā is nandā, which means delight.

2.197 Kuśakrath failed to note that the first class of cows give birth to calves each year.
Idiom: sunadā – making nice sounds or a nice river (nadī). Bahulā can mean indigo plant or lunar digit. It is also a prototype name for a cow. Kakkhaṭī comes from kakkhata, which means hard.

2.198 Kuśakrath speaks of a pet elephant which of course Rādhārāṇī does not have. Instead it is a peahen (mayūrī). He mistakes the word mayūrī (peahen) for mādhurī (his imaged name of the imagined elephant).

2.199 I prefer Kuśakrath’s translation – its more charming.

2.200 Bhūmipati mistakes the ghrāṇa muktā (nose-pearl) for a necklace, and here the two translators again disagree about the meaning of tāḍaṅka, Kuśakrath saying (rightly, see 2.153) they are earrings and Bhūmipati (wrongly) saying they are bangles.

2.201 Kuśakrath says that Rādhā’s locket contains a picture of Kṛṣṇa, but the word prati-chāyā means reflection and that also makes more sense. See verse 2.128

2.202 Kuśakrath’s “Her anklets are called caṭaka-rava because their tinkling sounds resemble the warbling of Caṭaka-birds.” Is clearer than Bhūmipati’s translation, but Bhūmipati is again clearer than Kuśakrath about the bracelets – they are called maṇi kurvara “because it is studded with colorful jewels.” Idiom: karbura is variety.

2.203 Idiom: kāñcana citrāṅgī means a wonderful golden female body.

2.205 darpa really means pride, as Kuśakrath says, and not ‘beauty’ as Bhūmipati says.

2.206 Bhūmipati and the Bengali translator call Narmadā a hairpin, Kuśakrath says it is a stick for applying eyeliner. Kuśakrath is right, and he is also right on the material of the comb – it is jewelled (ratna-kaṅkatī) and not golden (as Bhūmipati says). Hair-pin in Sanskrit is roma-sūci, not śalākā. Idiom – kuhalī is something like a magic trick.

2.207 It seems the Bengali translator mistook the word nīpa (Kadamba-tree) for nīla (blue), so the mistake of blue platform comes into being, whereas it is a platform under a Nīpa- or Kadamba-tree. Kuśakrath again does not mention the platform but he does mention the Kadamba tree.

2.208 The Bengali translator and Bhūmipati say that Rudra-Vallakī is the name of Rādhā’s Vīṇā, while Kuśakrath says it is the name of a dance. Kuśakrath is wrong here.

2.210 Like Bhṛgu Muni Dāsjī said, the book indeed ends rather abruptly. Bhūmipati has nāthayo wrong, it is not the singular Lord of Śrī Rādhā, but the dual lords, or rather Lord and Lady of Vṛndāvana, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Kuśakrath’s monarchs is more or less all right. It is sweeter to consider Nanda-Yaśodā the monarchs of Vṛndāvana rather than Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, who in the nara-līlā should be just a boy and a girl.

It is sad but true that there is hardly any verse in this important booklet which has been properly translated by both translators. This review is probably far from perfect too, but hopefully it has set a number of things straight.

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