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The beginning of the end.
When the king left his home, his two queens retired from the outer world and shut themselves up in a well-guarded palace. The hundred concubines appear to have become the willing property of a foundling called Khetu, whom Mayaná had cherished and brought up together with her son. This man had subsequently entered Gopí Chandra's service, in
the days of his power.
Aduná and Paduná set themselves to playing dice, for they knew that as long as lucky numbers were thrown, the king their husband was well.
The dice continued to fall prosperously until the king fell into the Karatoyá, and then they fell in disarray. A parrot and his mate beheld the tears of their mistresses, and consoling them, offered to go in search of Gopí Chandra.
After some days* the birds found their master, and gave the message of his queens. The king, thereupon wrote a letter on the leaf of a wild plant which grew by, and sent it by them to his mother, who on receiving intelligence of her son summoned the Háḍi, who in his turn went to the king.
The Háḍi then proceeds to distribute poetical justice all round. All the woes which Hírá had inflicted upon Gopí Chandra, she is made to suffer herself. He then cut her in two, her upper half becoming a bat, and her lower half a minnow.
The Harlot's maid-servant was cursed to become as her mistress had been, and in her old age to marry a peon, who would beat her every day of her life. Finally we have the fruit of all the king's penance in his being imbued with a knowledge of the magic art by his eating a filthy mess of the Hádi's concoction, and he returns home, still however wearing his pilgrim's weeds. His maid-servant was the first to see him, but she did not recognize him. His own wives wavered in their recognition when he denied his identity. The only being that did not hesitate, was his faithful elephant who made obeisance to him while he was yet afar off.
After the usual festivities Gopí Chandra again ascended the throne, and made his subjects happy by fixing the land revenue again at the old rate of thirty káoṛís.
Such is the epic of Rangpur, containing here and there a tiny pearl of interest, hidden amidst the rubbish, which is mainly presented to our view. I have ventured to write so much about it, and to submit it to the Society for three reasons.
*There is considerable confusion horc amid dates.
First, I believe that men more competent than I, may be able to add a little to the history of the Pála kings, after considering it. Second, because it exhibits a curious, and most instructive lesson as to how a purely S'aiva hero celebrated by men of a Saiva sect has given rise to a poem of S'aiva foundation, but of Vaishnava superstructure, and sung by the descendants of these same men. Nay more, how a distinctly Saiva sect, has become to all intents and purposes a Vaishnava one, while it still retains its old gods, and its old heroes. It would not be difficult to find parallel transformations in more modern religious history. Thirdly, and more for this reason than any other, because it is a very fair specimen of the peculiar Rangpurí patois. And here it may be noticed, that any parts purely and distinctly Vaishnava interpolations or additions (e. g. the introductory lines) are written in a Bengálí much more classical, than the rude language of the S'aiva ground-work. This will be evident to any one who pays attention while reading.
The song is usually sung by four men,-and in parts, not in unison. I am not sufficiently acquainted with Hindu music to give the technical name of the chant. It certainly is the only song I have heard in this country in which harmony is introduced. The top notes of the chant are as follows:
To be sung an octave lower than written.
This is sung chant-like, so as to go once to each line, but leaving the three last notes without words. To these last three notes, the words "He! Rájá !” “He! Mayaná!" "He! Yame!" or some such apostrophe which depends on the person whose adventures are being immediately narrated, are sung as a sort of burden. An example will make this clear. Take the first line of verse six. It is sung thus
I do not give the harmonics of this, because I cannot. I tried to reproduce them on a harmonium, but though I believe I got the separate notes of each part correctly first on a violin, from the mouth of each
singer, when I tried them together I got nothing, but a common-place sort of chant, containing one or two consecutive octaves, and not a particle of the spirit of what I had just heard sung. The above is the music of the narrative portion of the poem. Each "duyá," has a separate melody of
As the song is sung, the upper part is accompanied in unison on the saringa, of which an illustration, taken from Buchanan is appended.
and the higher notes are formed by pressing down the wire on the various projecting knobs over which it passes.
In conclusion, as I stated in my former paper, the poem is in many places unintelligible to every body I have met. In such places (satya yuger kathás) the singers have sometimes traditional interpretations. In one or two cases, however, they do not profess even to such: and, I trust, that I may be pardoned under such circumstances for giving a literal translation, without attempting to educe sense out of the arrant nonsense thus arrived at.
एकतन येकतन कैरे ये खाइके तार दुग़ारत घोड़ा ।
घिने वान्दि नाहि पिन्टे पाटेर पाकड़ा ||
कारो माड़ाल केह ना यायु
कारो पुष्कनीर जल केह ना खाय ॥
१ । यमे । Tho usual form for Nom. Sing. in Rangpuri. Sco my “Notes.” Most of the irregular grammatical forms contained in this poem will be found therein, and henco I shall not usually draw attention to them here. ॥ २ । जीभेर चालिसे जिहेर बालस्ये 1 गरासिल = ग्रास करिल ॥ ४ । पसरिया = प्रसरिया | । १० । एकतन येकतन = एमन येमन, अर्थात् येमन तेभन । घिने बान्दि = ष्टणा बान्दिया, अर्थात घृणा करिया ॥
येत रायुत परामस करिया प्रधानेर वाड़ी वैले चेले गेल
असति राजा हइल राज्येर भितर ॥
प्रधान वले रायुत सकल ए वुद्धि नाइ आमार वरावर ।
यत रायत परामस करिया गेल सिवेर वरावर ॥
सिव ठाकुर वैले ताले छाड़े राज्यो ।
घरे छिल सिव ठाकुर वाहिरे दिले पायो ॥
सिवके देखिया रायत जन करे परनाम |
जी जी रायत धर्म्म देउक वर ।
केमन वृद्धि करि केमन चरिचर |
छय् मासेर परमाइ राजार कपाले नागाल पाय ॥
केल्ल = करिल ॥ १९ । वोला = भोला || २६ । धेयाने
१५ । छन=उच्छिन्न ||
२२ | एरनाम
ध्यान । परमाइ ===
परमायुः। नागाल is connected with the dhútu