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Ragini-Ragamala-HANDMADE-Painting-Rajasthani-India-Ethnic-Folk-Paper-Fine-Art-190775005906ಅಮರುಕ ಎಂಟನೇ ಶತಮಾನದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಒಬ್ಬ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ಕವಿ. ಈಗ ಕಾಶ್ಮೀರದ ರಾಜನೆಂದೂ,  ಮಾಹಿಷ್ಮತಿಯ ರಾಜನೆಂದೂ ಪ್ರತೀತಿಯಿದೆ. ಇವನು ಅಮರುಶತಕ ವೆಂಬ ಹೆಸರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಖ್ಯಾತವಾಗಿರುವ ಒಂದು ನೂರು ಪದ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾನೆ. ಈ ಪದ್ಯಗಳ ವಿಷಯವೆಂದರೆ ಗಂಡು ಹೆಣ್ಣಿನ ನಡುವಿನ ಪ್ರೇಮ. ಅಮರುಕನ ಒಂದೊಂದು ಬಿಡಿಪದ್ಯವೇ ಒಂದೊಂದು ಕಾವ್ಯದಷ್ಟು  ರಸವತ್ತಾಗಿರುತ್ತದೆಂದು ನಂತರದ ಕವಿಗಳು, ವಿಮರ್ಶಕರು ಹೊಗಳಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಗಂಡು ಹೆಣ್ಣಿನ ನಡುವಿನ ನವಿರಾದ ಪ್ರೇಮ ವಿರಹ ದುಗುಡ ಮೊದಲಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಚಿತ್ರಿಸುವುದರಲ್ಲಿ ಅಮರುಕನಿಗೆ ಅವನೇ ಸಾಟಿ. ಇವನ ಕಾವ್ಯದ ಹಲವು ಹಸ್ತಪ್ರತಿಗಳು ದೊರತಿದ್ದು ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಮೂರು ಪಾಠಾಂತರಗಳಿವೆ – ಇವುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುವ ಪದ್ಯಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ಒಂದೇ ಆಗಿಲ್ಲ. ಅಲ್ಲದೆ, ನಂತರದ ಕೆಲವು ಕವಿಗಳೂ ಅಮರುಕನದ್ದೆಂದು ಕೆಲವು ಪದ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ತಮ್ಮ ಕಾವ್ಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಉದಾಹರಿಸಿಯೂ ಇದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇವೆಲ್ಲಾ ಸೇರಿಸಿ, ಅಮರುಕನದ್ದೆಂದು ಹೇಳಲಾಗುವ ಸುಮಾರು ೧೬೦ ಪದ್ಯಗಳಿವೆ.

ಇವನ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಕಥೆಯೂ ಇದೆ. ಮಂಡನಮಿಶ್ರರ ಹೆಂಡತಿ ಉಭಯಭಾರತಿಯ ಜೊತೆ  ಆದಿಶಂಕರರ ವಾದ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಗ ಆಕೆ ಸಾಂಸಾರಿಕ ಜೀವನದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಮಾಡಲು, ಬಾಲ ಸನ್ಯಾಸಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದ ಶಂಕರರು ತಮ್ಮ ಅನುಭವದಿಂದಲೇ ಆ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗೆ ಉತ್ತರಿಸಲು ಅಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಸತ್ತು ಹೋಗಿದ್ದ ಅಮರುಕನ ದೇಹದಲ್ಲಿ  ಪರಕಾಯ ಪ್ರವೇಶಮಾಡಿದ್ದರೆಂದೂ, ಆ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವರು ಬರೆದ ಪದ್ಯಗಳೇ ಈ ಅಮರುಶತಕವೆಂದೂ ಕೆಲವು ಶಂಕರ ವಿಜಯ ಕಾವ್ಯಗಳು ಹೇಳುತ್ತವೆ. ಇವುಗಳ ಸತ್ಯಾಸತ್ಯತೆ ಹೇಗೇ ಇರಲಿ  – ಅಮರು ಬರೆದ ಪದ್ಯಗಳು ಸಾವಿರದಿನ್ನೂರು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ನಂತರವೂ ರಸಿಕರ ಮನ ಸೆಳೆಯುತ್ತಿವೆ. ಅಂದ ಹಾಗೆ , ಎಸ್ ಎಲ್ ಭೈರಪ್ಪ ಅವರ ’ಸಾರ್ಥ’ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯನ್ನು ಓದಿದ್ದವರಿಗೆ ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವ ಅಮರುಕನ ಪಾತ್ರ ನೆನಪಾದರೂ ಆಗಬಹುದೇನೋ.

ಅಮರುಕನ ಪದ್ಯಗಳು ಅವುಗಳ ಲಾಲಿತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಹೆಸರುವಾಸಿ. ಹಾಗಾಗಿ ಅವುಗಳ ಅನುವಾದ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಕಷ್ಟವೇ ಆದರೂ, ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಬಹಳ ತೃಪ್ತಿ ಕೊಡುವಂತಹವು. ನಾನು ಮಾಡಿರುವ ಅನುವಾದಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲವನ್ನು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದೇನೆ.

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ಯಾವಾಗಲೋ ಒಮ್ಮೆ ನಾಯಕಿ ತನ್ನ ನಲ್ಲನಲ್ಲಿ ಹುಸಿಮುನಿಸು ತೋರಿದಳು. ಆದರೆ ಅದು ಸುಳ್ಳು ಎಂದರಿಯದ ಅವನು ದೂರವಾಗಿಬಿಟ್ಟ. ಈಗ ಇವಳಿಗೆ ಉಳಿದಿದ್ದೇನು? ಬರೀ ಒಂಟಿತನ. ತನ್ನ ಕೊರಗನ್ನು ಹೇಳಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಒಬ್ಬ ಗೆಳತಿಯಿದ್ದಾಳಲ್ಲ, ಸದ್ಯ! ಇಲ್ಲದಿದ್ದರೆ ಇವಳ ಪಾಡು ಏನಾಗುತ್ತಿತ್ತೋ!  (ಅಮರುಶತಕ: ೧೫)

ಯಾವುದೋ ಹುಸಿಮುನಿಸಿನಲಿ ನಾ ಸುಮ್ಮನೇ ಹೋಗೆನ್ನಲು
ಕಲ್ಲು ಮನದಾ ನಲ್ಲ ತಟ್ಟನೆ ಸಜ್ಜೆ ಯಿಂದಲಿ ಎದ್ದು ತಾ
ಭರದಿ ಪ್ರೇಮವ ಗೆಳತಿ ಹೇವದಿ ಮುರಿಯುತಲಿ ದೂರಾದರೂ
ನಾಚದೀ ಮನವವನೆಡೆಗೆ ಹೋಗುವುದಕೇನನು ಮಾಡಲೇ?

ನಲ್ಲನಿಗೆ ತನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಮೊದಲಿದ್ದ ಪ್ರೇಮ ದೂರವಾಗಿದೆ ಎಂಬ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆ ಇವಳಲ್ಲಿ. ಆದರೆ ಅವನನ್ನೇ ನೆನೆವುದನ್ನೂ ಬಿಡಲಾರಳು. ತನ್ನ ಅಳಲನ್ನು ತನ್ನ ಗೆಳತಿಗಲ್ಲದೇ ಇನ್ನಾರಿಗೆ ತಾನೇ ಹೇಳುವಳು? (ಅಮರುಶತಕ – ೩೮)

ಒಲವಿನಾ ಕಟ್ಟುಗಳನೆಲ್ಲ  ಕಳಚಿ
ಬಲುದೂರವಾಗಿಸಿದ ಪ್ರೀತಿಯಾದರವ
ನಲುಮೆ ಭಾವಗಳನ್ನು ಹಿಂದೆ ಸರಿಸಿ
ಸಲೆ ಹೊಸಬನಂತವನು ದೂರ ಹೋದ!

ಕಣ್ಣಾರೆ ಕಂಡರೂ ಈ ಕಡೆಗಣಿಕೆಯನ್ನು
ಮುನ್ನದಾದಿನಗಳನೆ ಮತ್ತೆ ನೆನೆನೆನೆದೂ
ನುಚ್ಚುನೂರಾಗದೆಯೆ ಉಳಿಯಿತೇಕೆ
ಎನ್ನೆದೆಯು ಎಂಬುದನು ನಾನರಿಯೆ ಗೆಳತಿ!

ಆ ಗೆಳತಿಯೋ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಲೋಕದ ರೀತಿ ನೀತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಅರಿತವಳು ಅಂತ ಕಾಣುತ್ತದೆ. ಅವಳು ಕೊಡುವ ಸಲಹೆಯೇನೋ ತಕ್ಕದ್ದೇ. ಆದರೆ, ಪ್ರೇಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿದ್ದವಳಿಗೆ ಆ ಸಲಹೆ ಒಪ್ಪುತ್ತದೆಯೇ? ( ಅಮರುಶತಕ: ೭೦)

ಬಾಳನೆಲ್ಲವು ನೀನು ಮುಗುದೆತನದಲ್ಲಿಯೇ
ಹಾಳು ಮಾಡಲು ಹೊರಟಿರುವೆಯೇಕೆ ಹೆಣ್ಣೆ?
ಬಿಟ್ಟು ನೇರದ ದಾರಿ ತುಸುಸೆಡವು ತೋರಿಸುತ
ದಿಟ್ಟೆಯಾಗುವುದಿಂದು ನಿನಗೆ ಬಹು ಒಳಿತು!

ಮುದದಿ ಗೆಳತಿಯು ಹೀಗೆ ಕಿವಿಮಾತು ಹೇಳಿರಲು
ಬೆದರುಮೊಗದಲ್ಲೀಕೆ  ಮರುನುಡಿಯುತಿಹಳು
ಮೆಲ್ಲ ನುಡಿ ಸಖಿ ನೀನು! ಕೇಳಿಬಿಟ್ಟಾನವನು
ನಲ್ಲ ನೆಲೆನಿಂತಿರುವನೆನ್ನ ಎದೆಯಲ್ಲೆ!

ಕೋಪ ಕಳೆದು ಮತ್ತೆ ಬರುವನೇನೋ ಪ್ರಿಯಕರ ಎಂದು ಇವಳು ಕಾದದ್ದೇ ಬಂತು. ಅವನು ಬರಲೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಕೋಪ ಮೀರಿ ಗೆಳತಿಗೆ ಈತನನ್ನು ಮರೆಯುತ್ತೇನೆಂದು ಅವಳು ಹೇಳಿದ್ದು ನಿಜವೇ? (ಅಮರುಶತಕ: ೭೩)

ಗೆಳತಿ! ನನ್ನೆದೆ
ಒಡೆದರೂ ಸರಿ ;
ಎನ್ನೊಡಲ ಆ ಮದನ
ಸೊರಗಿಸಿದರೂ ಸರಿ ;
ಒಂದೆಡೆ ನಿಲ್ಲದವನಲ್ಲಿ
ನಾನದೆಂತು ಒಲವನಿಡಲೇ?

ಹೀಗೆ ಸಿಟ್ಟಿನಲಿ
ಸೆಡವಿನಲಿ ನುಡಿಯುತ್ತಲೇ
ನಲ್ಲನ ದಾರಿಯ
ಕಳವಳದಲಿ
ಬಿಡದೇ ನೋಡಿದಳು
ಚಿಗರೆಗಣ್ಣಿ!

ಇವಳ ಪುಣ್ಯವೋ ಅವನ ಪುಣ್ಯವೋ, ಕೊನೆಗೂ ಪ್ರಿಯತಮ ತನ್ನಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಮರಳುತಿದ್ದಾನೆಂಬ ಸಿಹಿ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಹೇಗೋ ಇವಳಿಗೆ ಮುಟ್ಟಿತು. ಆದರೆ ಬಂದವನನ್ನು ಹಾಗೇ ಕರೆದು ಅಪ್ಪಿಕೊಂಡುಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ಅದು ಇವಳ ಅಭಿಮಾನಕ್ಕೆ ತಕ್ಕುದೇ? ಶಾಂತಂ ಪಾಪಂ! ಸರಿಯಾದ ತಯಾರಿಯನ್ನೇ ನಡೆಸಿದ್ದಾಳೆ ಈಕೆ. ಆದರೆ ಗೆಲುವು ಯಾರದ್ದು? ಕಾಯ್ದು ನೋಡುವುದೊಂದೇ ದಾರಿ (ಅಮರುಶತಕ: ೯೨)

ಹುಬ್ಬು ಗಂಟಿಕ್ಕಿದ್ದಾಯಿತು

ಬಹುಕಾಲ
ಕಣ್ಮುಚ್ಚಿರುವುದನು
ರೂಢಿಸಿದ್ದಾಯ್ತು

ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಅಳುವುದ
ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಕಲಿಸಿದ್ದಾಯಿತು
ನಗುವನೊತ್ತಾಯದಲಿ
ಮೌನದಲಿ ನಿಲಿಸಾಯ್ತು

ಮನಸ ಹೇಗೋ
ಗಟ್ಟಿ ಮಾಡುತ್ತ
ಕಡುದಿಟ್ಟತನದಲಿ
ಕಟ್ಟಿರಿಸಿದ್ದಾಯಿತು

ಹಮ್ಮು ಬಿಡದಿರಲಿಕೆ
ಎಲ್ಲ ಅಣಿಗೊಳಿಸಾಯ್ತು
ಇನ್ನು ಗೆಲುವನು
ದೇವರಿಗೇ ಬಿಟ್ಟಾಯ್ತು

ಅಂತೂ ಕಾತರದಿಂದ ಕಾಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದವಳಿಗೆ ನಲ್ಲ ಬಾಗಿಲಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದುದು ಕಂಡಿತಲ್ಲ. ಏನು ಮಾಡುವಳು  ಅವಳೀಗ? ನೇರವಾಗಿ ಅವನನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪುವಳೇ? ಅಪ್ಪುವಳೇ? ಮತ್ತೆ ಹುಸಿಮುನಿಸು ತೋರಬಾರದಲ್ಲವೇ? ( ಅಮರುಶತಕ: ೧೫)

ನಲ್ಲ ಬಂದುದ ನೋಡಿ ನಿಂತು ಸ್ವಾಗತಿಸುತ್ತ
ಪಕ್ಕದಲಿ ಕೂರುವುದ ತಪ್ಪಿಸಿದಳು ;
ತಾಂಬೂಲವನು ಕೊಡುವ ನೆವದಿಂದ ಒಳಹೋಗಿ
ಅಪ್ಪುಗೆಗೆ ಅಡ್ಡಿಯನು ತಂದಿಟ್ಟಳು ;
ಜೊತೆಯ ಪರಿಜನರೊಡನೆ ತೊಡಗುತ್ತ ಸೋಗಿನಲಿ
ಅವನ ಮಾತಿಗೆ ತಾನು  ಸಿಗದಿದ್ದಳು ;
ಮಾಡುವುಪಚಾರದಲಿ ಕೊರತೆಯನು ಕಾಣಿಸದೆ
ಚದುರೆ ಮನಸಿನ ಮುನಿಸ ಮೈವೆತ್ತಳು !

ಇಷ್ಟೆಲ್ಲಾ ನಡೆದರೆ ಅವನಿಗೆ ಪ್ರೇಯಸಿಯ ಅಂತರಂಗ ತಿಳಿಯದೇ ಹೋದೀತೇ? ಇವಳು ಏನು ಜಾಣತನ ಮಾಡಿದರೂ, ಅವನು ಬಳಿಗೆ ಬಾರದೇ ಹೋಗುವನೇ? ( ಅಮರುಶತಕ: ೪೪)

ದೂರದಿಂದಲಿ ಹುರುಪಿನಲಿ
ಬಂದರೆಲ್ಲಿಗೋ ಜಾರಿದವು
ಮಾತನಾಡಿಸಲು
ಥಟ್ಟನೇ ಬಿರಿದವು
ಅಪ್ಪಿಕೊಂಡರೆ
ಕೆಂಪಾದುವು
ಉಡುಗೆಯನು  ಹಿಡಿಯೆ
ಸಿಟ್ಟಿನಲಿ ಹುಬ್ಬ ಗಂಟಿಕ್ಕಿದವು

ಪಾದವೇ ಗತಿಯೆನುತ
ಅವಳಡಿಗೆ ಬೀಳಲು
ಚಣ ಮಾತ್ರದಲಿ
ನೀರು ತುಂಬಿದವು

ಹಾ! ಏನಚ್ಚರಿಯೊ!
ಇವಳ ಕಣ್ಣುಗಳು
ನಲ್ಲನ ತಪ್ಪಿಗೆ  ತಕ್ಕ
ಚತುರತೆಯ ತಾಳಿಹವು!

ಅಂತೂ ಅವನು ಇವಳ ಕಾಲಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದನಲ್ಲ? ಇನ್ನು ಮುನಿಸೇಕಿರುವುದು? ಅಂತೂ ಇಂತೂ ಕಥೆ ಸುಖಾಂತ!

(ಕೊ: ಅಮರುಶತಕದ ಪದ್ಯಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ಬಿಡಿಹೂಗಳಂತೆ, ಬಿಡಿಮುತ್ತುಗಳಂತೆ. ಅವುಗಳಿಗೆ ಮುಕ್ತಕಗಳೆಂದೇ ಹೆಸರು. ನಾನು ಕೆಲವನ್ನು ಒಂದಾದರೊಂದು ಬರುವಂದೆ ಸೇರಿಸಿ, ಒಂದು ಕಥೆಯಂತೆ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದೇನೆ ಅಷ್ಟೇ! )

Picture courtesy: http://www.artnindia.com/wp-content/uploads/imported/Ragini-Ragamala-HANDMADE-Painting-Rajasthani-India-Ethnic-Folk-Paper-Fine-Art-190775005906.jpg

(ಕಳೆದ ತಿಂಗಳು ನಿಲುಮೆ.ನೆಟ್ http://www.nilume.net/  ಗೆಂದು ಬರೆದ ಬರಹವನ್ನು, ಇಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಇಂದು ಹಾಕಿದೆ)

 

 

20140320_081528[1]Today is officially the start if the spring season – The spring equinox (also called the Vernal Equinox occurs today at 9:57 am PDT. (March 20th, 14:57 UTC).

According to Indian mythology, the spring season personified as Vasanta is a friend of Manmatha, the God of Love. Manmatha arrives along with Vasanta during the spring season to Earth. Manmatha carries a bow made of sugarcane, and arrows of five types of flowers, that are abundant during the season. How can any one hit with these arrows not fall in love?

Spring has been the inspiration of poets for ages. Here are a few Samskrta verses from Bhartrhari’s Sringarashataka and Kalidasa’s Rtusamhara, which have translated to Kannada:

ಕುಸುಮಿಸಿಹ ವೃಕ್ಷಗಳು ಕೊಳದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಮಲಗಳು
ನಸುಗಂಪು ಗಾಳಿ; ಜೊತೆ ಬಯಸುವೆಣ್ಣುಗಳು
ಮಸುಕು ಸಂಜೆಯ ನಲಿವು ಹಾಯಾದ ಹಗಲುಗಳು
ಎಸೆದಾವು ಮಿಗೆ ಗೆಳತಿ ಹಿತ ವಸಂತದಲಿ!
(Rtusamhara 6-2)

ಕೆಂಬಣ್ಣದಾ ಚಿಗುರ ಹೊತ್ತು ತಲೆಬಾಗಿರುವ
ಕೊಂಬೆಕೊಂಬೆಗೆ ಹೂತ ಮಾಮರಗಳೀಗ
ತಂಬೆಲರಿನಲಿ ತೂಗಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಸಿದ್ದಾವು ಮಿಗೆ
ಹಂಬಲವ ಹೆಣ್ಣುಗಳ ಮನದಿ ತವಕದಲಿ
(Rtusamhara 6-15)

ಹೊಮ್ಮಿರುವ ಮಾಂದಳಿರ ಮೊನಚು ಬಾಣಗಳನ್ನು
ಚಿಮ್ಮಿಸಲು ದುಂಬಿಸಾಲಿನ ಬಿಲ್ಲ ಹೆದೆಯ
ಹಮ್ಮುಗೊಳಿಸುತ ಯೋಧ ಬಂದಿಹ ವಸಂತನಿವ-
ನೊಮ್ಮೆಗೇ ಪ್ರಣಯಿಗಳ ಮನವ ಪೀಡಿಸಲು
(Rtusamhara 6-1)

ವಸಂತದಲಿಂಪಾದ ಕೋಗಿಲೆಗಳ ಗಾನ
ಮಲೆನಾಡ ಗಿರಿಗಳಲಿ ಸುಳಿವ ತಂಗಾಳಿ
ಅಗಲಿ ನೊಂದವರ ಜೀವವನೇ ಸೆಳೆದಾವು
ಕೇಡುಗಾಲದಲಮೃತವೂ ಆದಂತೆ ನಂಜು!
(Srngarashatakam – 38)

ಬೀಳ್ವ ಮಂಜನು ಬೀಳ್ಕೊಡುವುದಕೆ ಋತು ವಸಂತನು ಬಂದಿರೆ
ಹೂತ ಮಾಮರದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೆಲ್ಲಗೆ ಕೊಂಬೆರೆಂಬೆಯನಲುಗಿಸಿ
ಕೋಗಿಲೆಯ ಸವಿದನಿಯ ಹಾಡನು ದಿಕ್ಕುದಿಕ್ಕಲಿ ಪಸರಿಸಿ
ಮಂದ ಮಾರುತ ಹೃದಯಗಳನೂ ಜೊತೆಯಲೇ ಸೆಳೆದೊಯ್ದನೆ!
(Rtusamhara 6-22)

-neelanjana

p.s: Just noticed that I had a post with the same title a few years ago!

(Found this text of a speech I gave at my Toastmasters club (named “Innovators”, sometime in 2011, when I was organizing folders on my PC. Posting as is)

images

I come from India. If you did not know already, India is a land where you’ll find people speak hundreds of language and there are at least 30 languages with more than a million speakers. It is not hard to find people who can speak more than one Indian language. Typical of many urban Indians, I can speak in several of Indian languages too.

But there is one language that I can’t claim to speak, but I can understand quite well. This language is Samskrta. It is the oldest known language of India, and possibly one of the oldest surviving languages of the world. This language has influenced every other language in India to a varying extents, and has a literature that spans over four millennia. Even though it is not claimed as a mother tongue by any, due to the antiquity, and the influence it has on the vocabulary on Indian languages, it is still one of the 22 official languages of the country. Till the time of the colonization of India by the British in the 18th century, it was in fact the pan-Indian language for communication among the educated class. A great number of texts about yoga, Ayurveda (or the science of medicine), Jyotisha (or astronomy) and Ganita (Mathematics) etc are written in this language.

When I was in my elementary school, my parents enrolled me to Samskrta classes. I don’t remember being asked if I wanted to go to those classes, and I don’t know if I had any other opinion, it would have mattered! It was not a language that was taught in my grade school. These classes were held throughout the year, without even a summer break! What this meant was that I had to wake up early, take a shower, go to the class, come back home and then head out for my school. Sometimes, there were additional classes in the evening too. Going to these classes were the routine for me from the time I was in my kindergarten to about my junior year in high school. Since I lived in a small town, I could walk or bike to the classes quickly, so that was not a big problem. But I had to be always aware of these extra two hours needed in my day, when it came to preparing for tests or other work at my school, because I could never use the last couple hours before school to finish up anything!

Over the years, I passed through several levels in these Samskrta language classes. The classes were grouped based on the level, and not on the age. Since I started out early, I was almost always the youngest student in my class! Since Samskrta is not really a widely spoken language, there wasn’t much thrust in learning to speak the language, but the emphasis was on understanding the structure of the language, grammar and and appreciating literary texts. Some texts, specifically poetry had to be memorized too. As we all know, things that are committed to memory at a young age generally remain with us till much later in my life. Although I stopped going to my Samskrta classes during mid-high school, I still remember those verses memorized years ago.

Luckily, my interest in this language did not wane even after I stopped going to those classes. About five or six years ago, I tried to translate some poetry from Samskrta, to Kannada, my mother tongue; generally I started out by those poems that I knew by heart, from my age old classes! I started a blog to post these translations, and the positive comments from readers encouraged me to try out more. Then I had to look for other poems that I did not know before. Now that I am not that young anymore, and and can not commit these verses to memory, it was indeed a good idea for me to try translating whenever I found a new verse that sounded good to me!

To make a long story short, sometime back I was asked if I would like to publish a collection of my selected translations, and a book was published this year! The book is titled “Hamsanaada” and it is in Kannada. It got some favorable reviews in the press too.

As the verse on the opening page of my book says, needless to say translated from an age old Sanskrtit saying – “Start your kids on good things, when they are really young. The pictures etched on a wet mud pot will stay even after you use it for cooking for a long time!”

Dear Innovators, start off your kids to some good things – be it sports,or arts like music and dance, or learning a new language, or whatever else that they can grow up with, and take into their adulthood. With the current life styles, it may be a hard choice to put kids into many activities, and the kids may even resent them now. But I am sure you can find one or two activities apart from the regular schooling, that they’ll like or at least lean to not hate! I’m sure they will be thankful for what you did for them, later in their adult life, because the pictures etched on a wet mud pot, indeed stay forever!

-neelanajana

p.s: Excerpts from my book Hamsanada is now available on Google Play as well as on  iTunes Store as a free app. Download and read it on your mobile device.

In my post a few months ago, I had written about why Indus Valley Civilization be better termed as Saraswathi-Sindhu Civilization, and it’s relation with the people who composed the Vedas.

16_1_title

Recently, I listened to a lecture of Dr R Ganesh on the topic of the Myth of Aryan Invasion – A myth that was the brainchild of colonialists of the 19th century to best suit their beliefs of those times – but unfortunately carried down even to this day, when all the scientific evidence shows otherwise.

This lecture was held at Rasadhwani Kalakendra, Benagluru, and I thank the organizers for agreeing to share the recording. The lecture is in Kannada and runs for about two hours.

Here is a link to to download the lecture for your listening pleasure.  : The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India by Shataavadhani Dr R Ganesh

If you have Google Chrome Apps such as DriveTunes or TwistedWave, you can listen to the lecture online as well from the same link.

You can get in touch with the people at Rasadhwani Kalakendra at rasadhwani.kalakendra@gmail.com, or by going to their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/rasadhwani.kalakendra)   for information about their future events and lectures.

-neelanjana

Most ancient civilizations flourished in river valleys and flood plains. So when the digging for construction of a railway line in Northwestern British India revealed remains of an ancient civilization, archaeologists were not very surprised! Since the first two sites found were Harappa, and Mohen-jo-Daro, in the vicinity of the river Indus (Sindhu) and it’s tributaries, the civilization came to be known as the Harappa civilization or the Indus valley civilization.

Detailed excavations at these sites revealed that these indeed were huge cities with remains of several layers of city living, with the latest layers dated from around 2000 years before Christ, and the oldest, to about 3500 years before Christ.

A View of Mohen-jo-Daro

A View of Mohen-jo-Daro

Detailed excavations at these sites revealed that these indeed were huge cities with remains of several layers of city living, with the latest layers dated from around 2000 years before Christ, and the oldest, to about 3500 years before Christ.

The cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, as well as other smaller sites that were found later on, were very well planned with streets running at right angles, and laid with burnt bricks. The cities and had a sanitary system of well connected drains to carry the waste from every house.  The sites from this civilization occupied a vast area spread across in an area that now corresponds to parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.  19th century Indologists and archaeologists postulated that invading nomads from central Asia brought this civilization to an abrupt end, since most the sites showed a decline around about 1800-1500 BC, with no continued habitation in those locations.

indusmap

As more sites were found by  archaeologists, they observed something strange found more and more sites, they found a strange thing.  A vast majority of them were in the area that now comprises of the Thar desert, far from the Sindhu (Indus) river system of Punjab, but along a dry river bed, what is now called as the Hakra or Ghaggar river. The Ghaggar is a seasonal stream which flows for a few months and which ultimately dries up in the desert without reaching the sea! This was a perplexing indeed.

For the solution of this problem, we have to go to ancient Indian texts called Vedas. Veda means Knowledge, derived from the verb, vid – to know, are the oldest poems in this world that are still extant. The Vedas, instead of talking about the five rivers of Punjab, spoke about “sapta sindhu” or the seven rivers, and the most important river among the seven was Saraswathi. The Rig Veda called Saraswati the “ Most beloved of mothers, the mightiest of all rivers, and the best among Goddesses.” It is also described as a river flowing from the Himalaya mountains to the ocean.  But today, the Saraswathi  river is  a small tributary to the seasonal Ghaggar.

As early as during early 1800s,  archaeologists who  had found parts of a dry river beds in the desert  had postulated a great river must have flown there. interestingly this river bed they had found  is the continuation of the Ghaggar, into which the current day Saraswathi river flows as a tributary.

The width of the dry riverbed is generally more than a mile wide, and at places it is as wide as 7-8 miles. But what was the source of the water to fill this huge river?  The current source of river Saraswathi could not have provided that vast amount of water!

Now science comes to the rescue: The satellite imagery from the late 20th century has ascertained these earlier observations. These have also confirmed the existence old river beds   belonging to two other major rivers, Yamuna, and Satluj which are now part of the Indus andSarasvati Ganges river systems, that once flowed into the old bed of now dry Ghaggar.

So what caused the drying up of Ghaggar or the historic Saraswathi? Sometime between the 6000 and 4000 years, due to tectonic movements the rivers Yamuna and Sutlej that were the main feeders for Saraswathi changed course.

The glacier fed Sutlej  moved westwards, and started flowing into the Indus river. The other glacier fed tributary of  Saraswati, the Yamuna started flowing eastward, into the Ganga river instead of Saraswathi. These events thus deprived Saraswathi a perennial water source.

Probably to support this movement of Yamuna  is the common belief held in India even today that the river Saraswathi flows as an invisible river, and joins the Ganga and Yamuna at their confluence at Prayaga (Allahabad).

With this river migration understood, we can easily understand  why there are far greater number of archaeological sites in the desert along the dry Saraswathi river compared to the Indus river valley. When the rivers migrated, the people living in the Saraswathi river area had to move to newer locations, and they did so.  There is no need to bring  in any fictitious “nomads from central Asia”  to describe a bloody and sudden ending to the civilization. Indeed a study of later archaeological sites shows that several aspects of the these sites were adapted there as well.

22-235-1-PB

22-236-1-PB

Today, the river Sarswathi may flow from the Himalaya all the way to the ocean. It may have become just a small monsoon rivulet. Or if you go by the  popular mindset,  the river Saraswathi might have become invisible.  But the culture of the people lived on it’s banks is still alive and well! For example, its very easy to find  artwork from this civilization, that looks almost the  same as some of the artworks created by current day craftsmen and artists!  This is but one of the many aspects where such parallels can be drawn.

Given all these facts, it truly befits to call this as the Saraswathi-Sindhu civilization rather than Indus Valley civilization or the Harappa civilization!

-neelanjana

(All photo credits belong to their respective copyright holders)

(p.s: Enough material is available on the Internet about the Saraswathi-Sindhu civilization. Then question may arise why this post :) This was a speech I gave at my Toastmasters Club as part of the “Speaking to Inform” advance speaking manual. The project was : The Speech to Inform)

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A Collection of  Samskrta Subhashitas, translated to Kannada

http://www.saarangamedia.com/product/hamsanada

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My Book Hamsanada, on Google Play

My Book Hamsanada, on Google Play

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Ramaprasad K V

Ramaprasad K V

ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ. Musicphile. Bibliophile. Astrophile. Blogophile. Twitterphile.

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