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The Sungskrit inscription at the Kothoutiga gate of the fort, alluded to by Buchanan, page 432, was, I believe, brought to Chuprah by Mr. Walter Ewer, and is at present in the grounds of Mr. Luke's house. I shall endeavour either to forward the original, or a copy to the Asiatic Society.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,
E. L. RAVENSHAW. 21st April, 1839.
P. S.-Since writing the above Mr. Luke has promised to forward the slab by a boat which is about to start for Calcutta.
ART. II.- The “ Mahimnastava," or a Hymn to Shiva ; with an
English translation. By the Rev. Krishna MOHANA BANERJI.
The well-known invocation to Saiva, of which an English translation is presented to the public, together with the original, in the following lines, is held in high repute among the Hindus. It purports to be written by PUSHPADANTA, chief of the Gandharvas, who was in the habit of stealing flowers, for the purpose of worshipping Shiva with them, from the garden of king Va'hu, unseen by the keepers of the garden. As he was gifted with the power of walking in the air he baffled for a long time all the efforts of the keepers to catch him, who observed every morning large quantities of flowers stolen away, but could not ascertain how the thief got into the garden by night, in spite of all their watchful vigilance. They suspected at last that it was a being capable of flying that committed the robbery night by night, and left in several places some holy flowers sacred to Shiva, with the hope that the thief might tread upon them in the dark and be depriv. ed of his supernatural powers, in consequence of the curse which such an insult to those sacred mysteries would necessarily bring upon him. The plan had the desired effect. The Gandharva trod upon the sacred flowers, and lost his power of riding on the wind. He was accordingly caught and taken into custody, when, through fear of the king whom he had offended by stealing his flowers, he offered the following supplication to Shiva.
In the translation of this composition I have consulted the scholia of a learned commentator, as well a version in the Bengalee language, both of which have been printed with the text. As all classes of the
Hindus are allowed the privilege of worshipping Suiva, this hymn is distinguished from invocations to other gods by the liberty with which it may be read and repeated even by the Shudras, and it is therefore more widely known among the natives than the other prayers and mantras with which the Brahmins alone are familiar, because they alone are allowed to use them.
महिम्नः पारन्ते परमविदुषो यद्यसदृशी
स्तुतिब्रह्मादीनामपि तदवसन्ना स्त्वयि गिरः । अथावाच्यः सर्वः स्वमतिपरिणामावधि गृणन्
ममाप्येष स्तोत्रे हर निरपवादः परिकरः ॥१॥
If the offering of praise by one that does not comprehend the supreme limits of thy glory be unworthy of thee, then the language even of Brahma' and the other gods must be deficient. No one therefore that sings according to the measure of his understanding is culpable-and this attempt of mine too, O HARA ! to celebrate thy praise, may be excused.
अतीतः पन्थानं तव च महिमा वाङ्मनसयो
रतड्यावृत्या यं चकित मभिधत्ते श्रुतिरपि । स कस्य स्तोतयः कतिविधगुणः कस्य विषयः
पदे त्वाचीने पतति न मनः कस्य न वचः ॥२॥ Thy glory, incapable as it is of any definition, and described with awe even by the Vedas, surpasses the utmost stretch of thought and expression. Who then can duly set forth its praise? Who can compre. hend its nature and properties ? And yet as to its figurative illustrations, vouchsafed by thee in condescension to the infirmities of the faithful, who would not set his mind upon them and give expression to them?
मधुस्फीतावाचः परमममृतं निर्मितवतः
स्तव ब्रह्मण किंवागपि सुरगुरोविस्मयपदं । मम त्वेतां वाणी गुणकथनपुण्येन भवतः
पुनामीत्येतस्मिन् पुरमथन वुड्विर्थवसिता ॥३॥
Can the word even of the chief of gods (BRAHMA') be a matter of wonder to thee who art the cause of the nectar-like sweets of language? My mind is thus bent upon this invocation, O thou destroyer of TRIPURA, to the end that I may purify my language by the virtue of recounting thy attributes.
त्रयीवस्तु व्यस्तं तिसृषु गुणभिन्नासु तनुषु । अभयानामस्मिन् वरद रमणीयामरमणीं
विहन्तु व्याक्रोशीं विदधत इहैके जडधियः ॥४॥
Thy godhead, celebrated in the Vedas, and displayed in the threefold forms of BRAHMA', VISHNU, and Shiva, distinguished severally by the three properties of Sattra Rajas, and Tamas, is the cause of the creation, preservation, and annihilation of the universe; and yet there are certain foolish and stupid men in the world who oppose this thy godhead in an abominable way, however acceptable that way may be to the wicked.
किमीहः किं कायः सखलु किमुपाय खिभुवनं
किमाधारो धाता सृजति किमुपादान इतिच । अतर्केश्वर्ये त्वय्यनवसरदस्थो हतधियः
कुतकों यं कांश्चिन्मुखरयति मोहाय जगतः ॥५॥
" What is his attempt? What his form? By what means-with what implements-of what materials does the Creator form the universe?" Vain questions like these, unworthy of thy incomprehensible glory, and therefore wicked, pass the lips of some infatuated men for the delusion of the world.
अजन्मानो लोकाः किमवयववन्तोपि जगता
मधिष्ठातारं किं भवविधिरनादृत्य भवति । अनीशोवा कुर्य्याङ्गुवनजनने कः परिकर
यतो मन्दा स्त्वां प्रत्यमरवर संशेरत इमे ॥६॥ Can this embodied universe be uncreate? Could its existence proceed from any one except the Creator of the world? Or who else but the Lord could attempt the production of the world? The wicked, regardless of these considerations, indulge in scepticism concerning thee, O thou supreme of immortals ! त्रयी साॉय योगः पशुपतिमतं वैषणवमिति
प्रभिन्ने प्रस्थाने परमिदमदः पथ्यमितिच । रुचीणां वैचिच्यादृजुकुटिलनानापथजुषां
नृणामेको गम्य स्त्वमसि पयसा मर्णवईव ॥७॥ While the Vedas, the Sánkhya philosophy, the Yoga shástra, the system concerning the creature and the creator, the doctrine of the Vaishnavas, &c. involve many conflicting theories and sentiments of which some follow this, some that-and while there are consequently different kinds of men pursuing various paths, straight, as well as crooked, according to the diversity of their opinions—thou art alone the one end of all these sects, as the sea is of different rivulets.
महोक्षः खट्टाङ्गं परशुरजिनं भस्म फणिनः
कपालञ्चेतीयत्तव वरद तन्त्रोपकरणं । सुरास्ता न्ता मृड्विं दधति च भवदभूप्रणिहितां
नहि स्वात्मारामं विषयमृगतृष्णा भ्रमयति ॥८॥ A large bull, a wooden staff, an axe, a tiger or elephant's hide, ashes, snakes, and a skull-these, O thou dispenser of blessings, are thy principal ornaments and furniture. The other gods are indeed tenacious of this and that enjoyment, all which thou mayest call forth by a mere turn of thy eye—but a feverish thirst after such objects cannot disturb a self-contented being.
ध्रुवं कश्चित् सर्व सकल मपर स्त्वध्रुवमिदं
परो धौयाधौवे जगति गदति व्यस्तविषये । समस्ते प्येतस्मिन् पुरमथन तैर्विस्मित इव
स्तुवन् जिहेमि त्वां न खलु ननु धृष्टा मुखरता ॥६॥ One philosopher" says that every thing is eternal ; anothert says that every thing here is perishable; while a third | maintains that in
* KAPILA, the founder of the Sankhya philosophy.
† Buddha, the last pretended incarnation of the Deity, from whom originated the sect which goes by his name.
GOUTAMA the founder of the Nyaya philosophy.
this universe, composed of various materials, some things are eternal, others perishable.-Although I am in a manner bewildered by these speculations, I am not still ashamed of setting forth thy praise, for my tongue cannot be held. तवैश्वयं यत्नाद्यदुपरि विरिञ्चिहरिरधः
परिच्छेत्तुं यातावनल मनिलकन्दवपुषः । ततो भक्तिश्रद्दाभरगुरुगृणयां गिरिश यत्
स्वयं तस्थे ताभ्यां तव किमनुवृत्ति न फलति ॥१०॥ In order to estimate thy glory, who art fire and light, BRAHMA attempted in vain to measure its upper and Vishnu its lower part.But when they sang thy praise with faith and devotion, then thou didst manifest thyself unto them. Can then thy service ever be pronounced futile or fruitless ? अयत्नादासाद्य त्रिभुवन मवैरव्यतिकरं
दशास्यो यदाहनभृत रणकण्डुपरवशान् । शिरः पद्मश्रेणीरचितचरणाम्भोरुहवलेः
स्थिराया स्त्वद्भते स्त्रिपुरहर विष्फुर्जितमिदं ॥११॥ It was only owing to the unshaken faith with which he worshipped thy lotus-feet with his heads, as with so many rows of lotuses, that, O thou destroyer of TRIPURA, the ten-headed RA VANA having gained unrivalled and undisturbed possession of the world exerted the strength of his arms, ever itching for war. अमुष्य त्वत्सेवासमधिगतसारं भुजवनं
वलात् कैलासेपि त्वदधिवसतौ विक्रमयतः । अलभ्या पाताले प्यलसचलितङ्गाष्ठशिरसि
प्रतिष्ठा त्वय्यासीत् ध्रुव मुपचितो मुह्यति खलः ॥१२॥ When he (RAVANA) exerted against Kailasha, even thy dwelling, the power of those very arms which he had got as a reward for his services to thee, (so true it is that the wicked forget themselves in prosperity !) it would have been impossible for him to find any resting place, even in hell, hadst thou only slightly moved the tip of thy toe. [But thy long-suffering remembered his former devotions, and spared