Monday, September 21, 2015

For Radhashtami: The glory of Radha Nam

anullikhyānantān api sad-aparādhān madhupatir
mahāpremāviṣṭas tava parama-deyaṁ vimṛśati
tavaikaṁ śrī-rādhe gṛṇata iha nāmāmṛta-rasaṁ
mahimnaḥ kaḥ sīmāṁ spṛśatu tava dāsyaika-manasām

Krishna discounts even an unlimited number
of great offenses to the sadhus and,
being completely overwhelmed with love,
puzzles over what great gift he can bestow
on the person who simply pronounces
your immortal nectar-like name,
O Sri Radhe!

Who then could ever reach
the outer edges of the glory
of those whose minds are entirely
devoted to your service? (RRSN 156)

I often translate purely as a technician, making sure all the parts fit and that the car (for the sake of the metaphor) is remade in the mother tongue, rolls off the tongue. At least in a rationally sequential model. Rather than rasa, is what I mean. My primary goal is purely technical rather than artistic.

But that long run on sentence, and then the second one, has a rather "Sanskrit" effect to it in the way it rhythmically builds up that whole sequence of ideas until it is too much. It really is the way that Sanskrit works. So I am pleased to read this translation after many years of writing it and see that I can learn from myself.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Each sanskrit word is multivalent in meaning, the sum of its many parts in form; etymologically bound to its oldest equivalent in English translation; within its vowels and consonant's a practical guide, a polyptych painted upon both sides when in meter alongside other Sanskrit words. Each word may also encompass hidden meanings gleaned from astronomy, astrology, geometry, folklore and a great many other things.

In translation a man must know many things, above all else he must know himself.



Prem Prakash said...

Hey Jagadananda das, if are learning from yourself, across time and space, you better keep it to yourself. The good people of the bhakti world might start thinking you you an advaitan! :-)

Anonymous said...


"Dwelling in the skies I have made my home the self-born void.

My heart is rapt in the music within.

Rare is the yogi who hears it."


Namdev - Circa 1270-1350