صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Translation of the Song of Maʼnik Chandra.

1. Think on the name of Ráma, meditate on him with a single mind. If thou utterest the name of Ráma what can Yama do. 2. The wicked man did not utter the name of Ráma in the sloth of his tongue : and even though it was a receptacle of ambrosia, his body was devoured by poison. 3. Who walketh uttering the name of Ráma, along with him goeth a servant of Ráma armed with bow and arrow. 4. The ship that is called by the name of Ráma, hath for its pilot the Holy Master himself. Opening out his arms he crieth out “ Come, I will ferry thee across.” 5. I have placed the worship of Ráma upon my head. I pause awhile from considering his virtues, and sing the virtues of one who hath accomplished (his path of holiness). By praising him I obtain the accomplishment of my desires.

6. Mánik Chandra was a very pious king in Banga. Each month he used to collect a tax on each plough of seven and a half gandas* of Icáosis. 7. The people paid a tax of seven and a half gandas of Icáorís, and on the day of the Ashtamí pújá used to bring him a herd of goats. 8. The fuel-seller, who supplied him with fuel, had six months' taxes remitted to him in consideration thereof. 9. The leaf-seller, who supplied him with bundles of leaves, had six months' taxes remitted to him in that consideration. 10. Such a king was Mánik Chandra that his ra'iyats' feuces were built simply of thin reeds; the man who lived at hap-hazard, even he had a horse at his door. So proud were they, that not even the maid-servants wore sárís made of jute. 11. No one had need to use the foot-path of another, and no one had to drink the water of another's tank.

12. From the south there came a Bangálá with a long beard ; and that Bangálá, when he came, made money from the country. 13. Where the tax had formerly been 77 gandas he took 15 gandas. 14. They sold their ploughs, they sold their yokes, and some sold their ploughshares ; through the distress caused by the taxation, some even sold their children at the breast. 15. The misery of the poor unhappy widows became very lamentable; all through the country the villages became broken up. 16. The little ra'iyats said to the big ra'iyats "Brothers, let us all go to the pradhans."† 17. Saying, “What advice will all the pradháns give,” all the ra'iyats after consulting together, went to the house of the pradháns. 18. “What advice shall we adopt, brothers, and what course of conduct? The king within the kingdom hath become unjust.” 19. The Pradháns said to all the ra'iyats, “ This advice I have no power to give ; come to Siva. Let us see what command the mighty Bholánátha will give us." 20. All

* A budi is five gundas or twonty.
t 1. c., every one had his own private path to the hot, and his own private lank.

Tho Rungpuri term for the village head-man.

the ra'iyats after consulting together, went to S'iva's (temple). 21. Calling him “S'iva Thákur," they cried with a loud voice. S'iva Thákur was in the temple, and put his foot outside the door. * 22.

22. When they saw S'iva, all the ra'iyats made obeisance. Tying their clothes round their necks, did they make obeisance.

S'IVA SPAKE.

23. Long may ye live, long may ye live, O raʼiyats, may Dharma bless you. May the days of your life be as many as the sands of the sea. 24. Why, why O ra'iyats, have ye all come ?"

THE RA'IYATS SPAKE.

25. “ What advice shall we adopt, and what course of conduct. The king within the kingdom hath become unjust.” 26. The ancient S’iva meditated, and after meditating looked up, and found in the fate of the king that the limit of his life was six months distant.

S'IVA SPAKE.

27. “If ye tell this word unto Mayaná she will assuredly destroy my kingdom of Kailasa.”

THE RA'IYATS SPAKE.

28. “ One oath, two oaths, three oaths in the name of Hari. If we speak thy word, may we die in great sin.” 29. All the ra'iyats, after consulting together, went to Sríkalá háț30. They filled an earthen pot with incense and vermilion. They filled a coop with geese and doves. 31. They also took a white goat, tying him with a rope. Fasting on a Sunday, they took them to a tirtha on the Gangá.† 32. They tied the goat at a place sacred to Dharma on the banks of the Gangá, and sacrificed it there. I 33. They offered several geese at the gháț, and burnt incense and vermilion there. 34. They rooted up unblown binná grass and brought it. And then wringing out his languți, he (S'iva) gave vent to the curse ; and that curse they (the ra’iyats) took up in the corner of their garments.

35. On the Sunday Siva gave the people this curse. On the Monday the fever seized the king. 36. On the Tuesday the king became weak; on

# It is worth noting how entirely the ideas of the author of the poem are circumscribed by the incidents of his village life. Every one, God or man, acts and lives as if he were a simple Rangpuri villag'er. This verse is an instance. When one ra'iyat goes out to see another, it is the village etiquette, to bawl out to him, “He! so-and-so," while the visitor is yet a hundred yards or so from the house of him on whom he is about to call. If the latter is “at home,” he goes outside his door, and greets the

This latter action is called “putting one's foot outside the door.” Compare the English expression of " calling on a person.”

+ By the Gangá, is meant the Brahmaputra. Sea note to v. 159. | Lit. Dug a hole for the sacrificial post in the same.

comer.

the Wednesday he ceased to eat or drink. 37. On the Thursday the king gave up the ghost*: and on the following Tuesday, Chitra Govinda, the accountant of Yama, opened out his account papers. 38. He found in the account papers, that Mánik Chandra had six months to live ; and turning his head, he began to speak to Saman Rájá Yama,

YAMA SPAKE.

39. A king within his kingdom hath become unjust. Bring hither that king within the house of Yama.” 40.

. He began to call for A bál Yama. He sent a letter (for the king) by Godá Yama.

YAMA SPAKE.

41. “I tell thee Godá Yama, and take thou heed unto my words. Bring Mánik Chandra Rájá here, with his hands and neck tied.” 42. He took his leathern rope and his iron hammer, and tied them in a knot; and then Godá Yama started on his journey. 43. Many miles he went, many roads he met. He went a great distance and reached the house of Mánik Chandra. 44. During the six months' illness within the palace, the fair Mayaná did not enquire about the true state of affairs.

THE KING SPAKE.

45. 'O Nenga my servant, I tell thee, carry my message : go to Mayaná and tell her about this. 46. Say, 'For six months the king hath been ill within his palace. The King of Kings wisheth to see thee.'” 47. Nengá heard these words and did not tarry. He went off to the palace of Mayaná. 48. Inside the door the Lady Mayaná was playing dice, and through the lattice of the door Nengá made obeisance to her.

[blocks in formation]

50. “ Hear, O lady, hear the news; for six months the king hath been ill within his palace. The King of Kings wisheth to see thee.” 51. The lady Mayaná became absorbed in contemplation, and, in her contemplation, her eyes fell upon Yama. 52. She took a bangálá betel-nut and sweet mítha bhari pán leaf, and divided the nut into two pieces with a knife. 53. In the pán leaves she put a little lime, and folded together the heț khili and the upar Ichili.† 54. She put sixteen scores of charms on the top of it; and put the plate of pán on the head of the maid-servant. 55. The Lady Mayaná went out, seeing that it was a lucky time, and arrived at the palace of the king.

* Or perhaps “lost his power of sensation.”

+ The little conical shaped parcels of prepared pán, which we see in the bazárs, enclosing a piece of betol-nut and some lime, are called kchilis. The outside wrapping is made up of two leaves, of which the lower onc is called the heț khili, and the upper one, the upar khili.

MAYANÁ SPAKE.

56.

Why and wherefore did the great king summon me ?”

THE KING SPAKE.

57. « The king hath been ill for six months in his palace, and the fair Mayaná did not enquire about him.”

MAYANÁ SPAKE.

58. “Hear, O king of kings. Learn the magical arts which I have acquired, and then the river of my life will dry up upon thy shoulder. * 59. In my life time great trees will live and die, and we two shall live together in everlasting youth."

THE KING SPAKE.

60. “Hear, O Mayaná: let Yama carry off me, Mánik Chandra; but nevertheless let not the knowledge of a woman be heard by me.”+ 61. The king, although offered the arts of women, neglected them; and at exactly midday Cuckold I Yama started. 62. He brought the thirsts of death and struck him with them. The king arose crying

The king arose crying “Water, water. 63. Give me, o give me water, O fair Mayaná. Give me one vessel of water, and save my life."

MAYANÁ SPAKE. 64.

“There are a hundred queens in thy palace. Drink water at their hands, O king of kings."

THE KING SPAKE.

65. Water, at the hands of even a hundred queens, would smell of fish. It is when I drink at thy hand, that I find great solace.”

MAYANÁ SPAKE. 66. “If I go now to bring thee water, that cuckold Yama will bind thee and carry thee away."

* 1. e, thou wilt live as long as I. + Lit. my womb.

I The word Bháduyó is an abusive term, and means, moro correctly, a man who makes money by the sale of his wife's person,

THE KING SPAKE,

67. "List O Mayaná. . Take heed to my words. Place the knife for sacrificing goats upon my bed. 68. When that cuckold Yama cometh, like a Daitya, or a Dánava, him will I strike and slay with the sacrificial knife.” 69. As soon as the Lady Mayaná took the vessel in her hands, many men were heard to sneeze, * and many death-watches sounded. 70. Just as the Lady Mayaná passed outside the house, seven men from the seven quarters came in with a noise like thunder. 71. They tied him with leathern thongs, and with an iron mallet they began to beat him.

THE KING SPAKE. 72. " Who beateth me so often? The Lady Mayaná hath gone to fetch me water. Let me fill my belly with one vessel of water."

THE YAMA SPAKE.

73. “Thy wife hath got a boon from Gorakh Náth. If Mayaná meet us, little good will it bode us. She will kneel upon us, and beat us this very midday.” 74. Being unable to bear the beating of Yama, the king gave up the ghost, nttering the name of Mayaná. 75. That ghost took Godá Yama and tied it up in his languți, and to the seven quarters went off the seven men.

76. But Mayaná went to the banks of the Gangát and spake " Hear, O Gangá, I make known unto thee my petition. 77. There is a king whose worship thou hast enjoyed for these twelve years; give one vessel of water and save his life. 78. For one vessel of water thou shalt have forty-two vessels; therefore do thou restore to life a pious king."

GANGÁ SPAKE.

“For whom thou art taking thy vessel full of water ; that pious king hath himself been taken away.” 80. On hearing this Mayaná began to weep, and hurled away her vessel worth a lákh of rupees. 81. Mayaná dived fourteen fathoms beneath the water, and sat in contemplation, and saw that the vermilion on her forehead had become discoloured. 82. She saw that her shell bracelets had turned black, and she broke on her head the two bracelets worth a likh of rupees.

79.

THR BURDEN OF HER SONG.

83. “I have lost my Lord. How many days must I wait and watch for him."

84. Mayaná walked to the palace. When the Lady Mayaná entered the temple, she lit both the front and the rear lamps. 85. Mayaná walked

* Sneezing is a sound of ill omon.
+ See note to y, 159.

« السابقةمتابعة »