Friday, April 17, 2009

Sanskrit verses in Chandi Das's SKK

There are a lot of Sanskrit verses in the SKK, but they are mostly just rather ordinary anushtup shlokas meant to bridge between songs and introduce the speaker and give a little narrative... very little to tell the truth.

Since Chandi Das's language is so simple and unpretentious, it is rather easy to get fooled into thinking that he is just an ordinary country guy. But it seems to me that his knowledge of the puranas, though understated, is fairly extensive. And occasionally he comes up with a pretty good verse in Sanskrit, too.

शिखिज्वलितमानसो निसरसो वशगोऽस्मि ते ।
ततो वितर राधिकेऽधरसुधां मयि द्रुतं
भृत-सुखे सुखं मम सुखेतरवधैषिणि ॥

shikhi-jvalita-mAnaso nisaraso vashago’smi te
tato vitara rAdhike’dhara-sudhAM mayi drutaM
bhrita-sukhe sukhaM mama sukhetara-vadhaiSiNi

The fire of love that is burning me up, Radhe, is more terrible that the most terrible hole-dwelling snake's poison. I am drying up and have taken shelter of you. Please quickly give me the nectar of your lips. If you wish to destroy my sufferings, remember that the happiness of a master depends on the happiness of his servants.

I am not yet convinced that Chandi Das is directly familiar with the Bhagavata connection, but the words vitara adhara-sudhAm sound very like the Gopi-gita 10.31.14. Only Krishna instead of gopis doing the begging this time.

It is a little difficult to know when the Bhagavatam actually became known in Northern and Northeastern India. My suspicion is that it was relatively late, although I cannot prove it. There are several reasons that spring to mind (off the top of my head):

  1. Sridhar's Sad-ukti-karnamrita has one Bhagavatam verse (12.13.1) in it, but it is ascribed to someone else.
  2. A Bengali lexicon of the period has no references to Bhagavatam, though it quotes from many other puranas.
  3. It is doubtful that the Gita Govinda was directly influenced by the BhP.
  4. A manuscript in Vidyapati's own hand is the oldest MS of the BhP in Northeastern India.
  5. The first translation is Sri-Krishna-vijaya, which dates to 1472, if I remember correctly.
  6. Numerous other Bengali translations of the BhP appear in the late 15th and early 16th centuries (Gopala-vijaya, Prema-tarangini, etc.)
  7. Numerous commentaries start appearing only from the time of Chaitanya.
  8. Sridhara's commentary from the early/mid 15th century appears to be at the root of this popularization.

So if it is the case that Chandi Das was building on a folk tradition with elements from the older puranas (Harivamsa and Vishnupurana, etc.), then it seems natural that the impact of the Bhagavatam and the purification tendency would have been felt. Anyway, the above verse raises a suspicion.

Another possibility is that some parts of the Bhagavatam would have been known--without necessarily the kind of theological sophistication that the Goswamis brought to the discussion. OK. Alam for now.


dr.jaya said...

शिखिज्वलितमानसो निसरसो वशगोऽस्मि ते ।
ततो वितर राधिकेऽधरसुधां मयि द्रुतं
Sri Jayadeva Kaviraja has said:
vadasi yadi kiJchid api danta ruchi kaumudI harati dara timiram ati ghoram
sphurad adhara sIdhave tava vadana chandramA rochayatu lochana chakoram
priye cAruzIle priye cAruzIle muJca mayi mAnam anidAnam
sapadi madanAnalo dahati mama mAnasam dehi mukha kamala madhupAnam

Jagat said...

It was more the "vitara" that had me thinking. "adhara-sIdhu" is pretty ordinary by itself.

dr.jaya said...

भृत-सुखे सुखं मम सुखेतरवधैषिणि
Sage Narada has said:
.... tat-sukha-sukhitvam
Jaya Radhe!

dr.jaya said...

...adhara sudhA rasam upanaya bhAmini jIvaya mRtamiva dAsam | Here, the so called Servant Krishna requests 'life' from the Mistress Radha,
not 'sukham', भृत-सुखे सुखं मम
while it was said in Bh.P. that the 'lifeless' gopis became 'alive' upon Krishna's return to Maha Rasa!
Radhe Radhe...