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Monday, May 17, 2010

Some important corrections to Govinda Līlāmṛta

Govindaji Temple in Vrindavan in 1865. Photo by Samuel Bourne

I have been going through the translation work of my friend Haricaraṇa recently and this helped me to correct my own humble bid at translating śāstra a bit. These are some of the main improvements I made in my Govinda Līlāmṛta translation-

6.24 Original version: "Looking all around Him, Kṛṣṇa became glad and agitated by thirst from seeing the ripe grapefruits, pomegranates, Bael fruits and oranges, imagining them to be the beautiful breasts on Śrī Rādhikā's body."

6.24 Corrected version: "Looking all around Him, Kṛṣṇa became glad and agitated by thirst from seeing the ripe grapefruits, pomegranates, Bael fruits and oranges. Imagining them to be the beautiful breasts on Śrī Rādhikā's body, He wondered if Her body was all-pervading!" (vibhūtvaṁ saśaṅke)

6.43 Original version: Kṛṣṇa considered the six martial arts of conquering the great kingdom of Rādhā's bodily association (making allies, scattering the enemy, surrounding the city, performing battle, making peace and riding out against the enemy), consulting experts like Vṛndā, Dhaniṣṭhā, Subala and Madhumaṅgala.

6.43 Corrected version: Kṛṣṇa considered the six strategies of conquering the great kingdom of Rādhā's bodily association (making allies, scattering the enemy, marching, halting, division and annexing), consulting experts like Vṛndā, Dhaniṣṭhā, Subala and Madhumaṅgala.

6.69 Original version: "Today Candrāvalī will hold a festival for Durgā's worship and she has sent me here to invite Rādhā!

6.69 Corrected version: "Today Candrāvalī will hold the concluding festival for Durgā's worship and she has sent me here to invite Rādhā! (udyapa = concluding)

6.72 Original version: Having come there, She was entrusted with all the responsibilities for the festival's execution, along with all of Her girlfriends.

6.72 Corrected version: Having come there, She was humbly entrusted with all the responsibilities for the festival's execution, along with all of Her girlfriends. (vinayaiḥ = humbly.)

7.119 Original translation: All this can be seen in its real form (svarūpa) by those who are favorable to these pastimes and by practising devotees, but others see it as just a material place.

7.119 Corrected translation: All this can be seen in its real form (svarūpa) by those who are favorable to these pastimes (nitya siddhas) and by practising devotees (who have developed bhāva bhakti), but others see it as just a material place.

This new translation is based on the commentary of Vṛndāvana Cakravartī – līlānukūleṣu ye teṣu nitya-siddheṣu janeṣu tathā sādhaka-bhaktānām utpanna bhāveṣu citteṣu svarūpataḥ.
Yadunandan Thākur (who was manifest before Vṛndāvan Cakravartī) glossed 'favorable' also as 'parikara-gaṇa' (Kṛṣṇa's eternal associates). It shows that ‘favorable to the pastimes’ does not refer to your regular hippie visiting Rādhākuṇḍa from Poonah, saying Rādhe Rādhe while smoking a bīḍi on the bank of the kuṇḍa. It refers to nitya siddhas no less, and the sādhaka bhaktas mentioned in the verse, are on the bhāva bhakti stage, which makes sense, since all ācāryas have taught that on the stage of bhāva bhakti things become revealed. These corrections, along with a number of minor adjustments, are added to the digital correction sheet on my website.

2 comments:

  1. Corrections also to the Krishna Bhavanamrita:

    3.52 “His pearl necklace started dancing of joy when it saw the Kaustubha-gem dancing on His chest, rising like the sun”

    becomes

    ‘The Kaustubha-gem, surrounded by His dangling pearl necklace, resembled the orb of the rising sun”

    The point of 3.59 is expressed in the final joint word sadaiva,
    in Haricharan's words:

    "When a neighbor unexpectedly gains great wealth, it always
    causes pain to those living nearby."

    ReplyDelete