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Mahakavi Pravarasena’s Setubandham
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Mahakavi Pravarasena’s Setubandham
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About the Book

 

‘Setubandham’ also named as ‘Ravanavaho’, ‘Dahamuhavaho’ and ‘Ramasetu’ is the oldest and ‘most monumental court epic’ of Maharastri Prakrit. It is one of the most beautiful works of not only Prakrit but entire ancient Indian literature. It is only its poetic perfection that lead not only its erudite commentator Ramdasa Bhu-pati but some other scholars also to attribute its authorship to kavikulaguru Kalidasa. Though the internal and external evidences are enough to prove that it has been composed by Pravarsena II of the Vakataka dynesty.

 

The perspicuity of language, the picturesque and colourful style of descriptions, portrayal of not only external actions or gestures but also the innermost feelings of all the living beings, excellent uses of figures of speech, highest flight of poetic fancy and above all the aesthetic perfection of the epic are the features that are enough to attract astonished appreciation of aesthets be he Acarya Dandi or Vanabhatta.

 

Unfortunately this marvellous epic could not get the attention of modem day scholars which it deserves. Absence of any fully annoted bilingual translation was the main force behind presentation of this work. The meticulous translation and annotations will particularly be useful for non Prakrit knowing scholars and students who intend to relish the beau- ties of Pravarsena’s superb poesy.

 

About the Author

 

Dr. (Mrs) Ashakumari an exponent in Sanskrit and Prakrit, has acquired special experience in editing and translating works of different fields of know ledge, since she had a keen interest in literature of various languages from her very early student days, she developed proficiency in different languages, which is an essentiality for an incisive and meticulous translation that can bring forward the beauties and the real soul of original work, before the reader.

 

During her work tenure in NIST ADS (project on history of science and technology during medieval period) she worked on manuscripts of different branches of knowledge like Ayurveda, Astronomy, Architecture etc.

 

As a published translation work this is her third venture, the first being translation of the autobiography of Dr. capt. Laxmi Sehgal from English to Hindi. ‘Yogacandrika’ a treatise of Ayurvedic treatment (Presently prescribed in Ayurvedic graduation course) was her second endeavour. Apart from these works she has been writing articles, poems and stories in diffrent journals and magazines on literary, social and cultural subjects, some of which have been translated in different Indian languages. Her source of inspiration has always been ancient Sanskrit literature.

 

Foreword

 

It is a matter of very great pleasure to me that Smt. Dr. Asha Kumari has edited the text and Chaya, translated into Hindi and English and annotated the poetic excellence of the Setubandham, the most monumental court epic of Maharastn Prakrit. This accomplishment of Dr. Asha marks her oceanic Zeal and Herculian effort in bringing forward to our lips the nectar of superb poesy in each stanza of the Mahakavya. I wish the authoress continues her literary appreciation of other important conglomerations of the National poetic aspiration of Sanskrit and Prakrit master minds.

 

Preamble

 

This work i.e. Translation of Setubandam is a forty year old dream of the authoress. It took so much of time to muster courage to present it. It appears that centuries ago the erudite commentator Sri Krsna’ s proclamation was in fact meant for the dare-devils like me that-

 

“The purport of Pravarsen is so profound that even sagacious ones can not follow it, then what to talk of ignorants like me”.

 

But almost absence of any translation of Setubandham in any modem language kept on goading me to take up this arduous task. Though Dr. Raghuvansha’s hindi translation is available but that appears to be just a substance of the verses that too at times incomplete. So only the authoress could dare to present this bilingual translation of this marvellous Rama Kavya according to her capacities only banking on the words of saint Tulsidas-

 

“My work is devoid of all the qualities but one quality is universally obvious, considering that only the wise ones, who have pious thought, will hear it. And the quality is that the work consists of Rama’s noble character which is sacred and is the essence of all the puranas and vedas.”

 

Now it is upto the scholars to judge its perfection or imperfection. While translating the epic there has been conscious effort to maintain possible nearness with the text. If explanation of any particular point was needed, brackets have been used to say anything other than the text. There is a separate column for special comments. As for as possible Desi words and figures of speech have been mentioned.

 

Nirnaya Sagara publication has been accepted as the basic text but the text edited by Dr. Radhagovind Basak also has been consulted. Nirnaya Sagara edition contains Sri Ramdasa Bhupatis commentary which is to a great extent burdened with eroticism of the Moghal period and the commentary available in the Basak edition is too brief and sometimes incomplete, Only these two commentaries and Dr. Raghuvansha’s hindi translation were there as help for this work. The authoress is grateful to these great authors for the help their scholarly works provided.

 

When it comes to expressing gratitude first of all faces of all the teachers flash before my eyes for it were only their affectionate blessings that’ enabled me to hold my pen. Yet two of them shine brightest, particular mention of whom is not only the authoress’s obligation but also provides her the honour of being their pupil. One of them is late reverend Munshi Dilvar singh who taught me the first lesson of alphabets. Sweetness of the Kaserus (a small rhyzome), he brought to inspire the two and half-year old me for reading and writing, even today fills my eyes with brackish tears. Likewise the methodical way of working respected Dr. Motilal Rastogi guided me during my research work, is the main source behind this petty effort, words like ‘gratitude’ look too tiny before their affection and favour. One can only pray for their blessings with folded hands and bent head.

 

This pen will ever remain endebted to father like revered Abdi papa (Late prof. Wazir Hasan Abdi), respected pt. Akhilesh mishra, respected Dr. Kripashankar shukla, revered prof. P.V. Sharma and reverend prof. Ramji Upadhyay, for but for their affectionate encouragement it would have remained obtuse. The authoress bows her head in revernce before them. I once again greet prof. Upadhyay with great respect for his blessings that he extended through the foreword of this book.

 

Though it appears a little odd to express gratitude for one’s own family members yet not to acknowledge the support one gets from them, too can not be justified. First of all I would bow to my late grand parents smt. Sukhdevi and Pt. Mahadeo Prasad Tewari, who were pioneers in kindling the light of learning in their area and my late parents Smt. Rama Devi and pt. Ramashankar Tewari the torch bearer of learning, for I owe every single bit to them that I could achieve ·in my life. Grand father and mother had been only abstract emotional inspiration but my grand mother and father were all friend, philosopher and guide for me. Apart from them my bhabhi ji respected Smt. Pratibha Rastogi’s affection and her support during all odds meant so much for me that had it not been with me probably this work would not have come to existence. Likewise without strong support of my elder sister prof. Km. Premvati Tewari and my son Akshay this pen was simply invalid, this work is a result of their continuous inspiration and practical help. Blessings of my elder sisters Dr. Puspavati Tewari and Prof Tewari and love of my children Atul, Kanaka, Anjali, Alok, Anshu, Gopal and Akshay have always been a mainstay for me. The very word life partner connotes mutual support by the counter parts, but the way my husband Sri Yashwant Singh extended his practical, moral and emotional support, bearing troubles of lonely life, this pen fails to coin words to express gratitude for that. I am grateful to our grand child Achintya who gave new dimensions and direction to my life.

 

Young enterprising publishers Sri Sunil gupta and Ashok gupta deserve applause for taking up publication of this book without caring for their financial profit or loss.

 

Last but not least the authoress is endebted to al’ the authors whose scholarly works helped in shaping this work. I could very humbly request the learned readers to ignore my ignorance and only relish the excellent poetic beauties of Mahakavi Pravarsena and ecstatical Ram Katha.


Sample Page



Mahakavi Pravarasena’s Setubandham

Item Code:
NAH252
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2002
Language:
Sanskrit Text with English and Hindi Translation
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
866
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 950 gms
Price:
$40.00
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$30.00   Shipping Free
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About the Book

 

‘Setubandham’ also named as ‘Ravanavaho’, ‘Dahamuhavaho’ and ‘Ramasetu’ is the oldest and ‘most monumental court epic’ of Maharastri Prakrit. It is one of the most beautiful works of not only Prakrit but entire ancient Indian literature. It is only its poetic perfection that lead not only its erudite commentator Ramdasa Bhu-pati but some other scholars also to attribute its authorship to kavikulaguru Kalidasa. Though the internal and external evidences are enough to prove that it has been composed by Pravarsena II of the Vakataka dynesty.

 

The perspicuity of language, the picturesque and colourful style of descriptions, portrayal of not only external actions or gestures but also the innermost feelings of all the living beings, excellent uses of figures of speech, highest flight of poetic fancy and above all the aesthetic perfection of the epic are the features that are enough to attract astonished appreciation of aesthets be he Acarya Dandi or Vanabhatta.

 

Unfortunately this marvellous epic could not get the attention of modem day scholars which it deserves. Absence of any fully annoted bilingual translation was the main force behind presentation of this work. The meticulous translation and annotations will particularly be useful for non Prakrit knowing scholars and students who intend to relish the beau- ties of Pravarsena’s superb poesy.

 

About the Author

 

Dr. (Mrs) Ashakumari an exponent in Sanskrit and Prakrit, has acquired special experience in editing and translating works of different fields of know ledge, since she had a keen interest in literature of various languages from her very early student days, she developed proficiency in different languages, which is an essentiality for an incisive and meticulous translation that can bring forward the beauties and the real soul of original work, before the reader.

 

During her work tenure in NIST ADS (project on history of science and technology during medieval period) she worked on manuscripts of different branches of knowledge like Ayurveda, Astronomy, Architecture etc.

 

As a published translation work this is her third venture, the first being translation of the autobiography of Dr. capt. Laxmi Sehgal from English to Hindi. ‘Yogacandrika’ a treatise of Ayurvedic treatment (Presently prescribed in Ayurvedic graduation course) was her second endeavour. Apart from these works she has been writing articles, poems and stories in diffrent journals and magazines on literary, social and cultural subjects, some of which have been translated in different Indian languages. Her source of inspiration has always been ancient Sanskrit literature.

 

Foreword

 

It is a matter of very great pleasure to me that Smt. Dr. Asha Kumari has edited the text and Chaya, translated into Hindi and English and annotated the poetic excellence of the Setubandham, the most monumental court epic of Maharastn Prakrit. This accomplishment of Dr. Asha marks her oceanic Zeal and Herculian effort in bringing forward to our lips the nectar of superb poesy in each stanza of the Mahakavya. I wish the authoress continues her literary appreciation of other important conglomerations of the National poetic aspiration of Sanskrit and Prakrit master minds.

 

Preamble

 

This work i.e. Translation of Setubandam is a forty year old dream of the authoress. It took so much of time to muster courage to present it. It appears that centuries ago the erudite commentator Sri Krsna’ s proclamation was in fact meant for the dare-devils like me that-

 

“The purport of Pravarsen is so profound that even sagacious ones can not follow it, then what to talk of ignorants like me”.

 

But almost absence of any translation of Setubandham in any modem language kept on goading me to take up this arduous task. Though Dr. Raghuvansha’s hindi translation is available but that appears to be just a substance of the verses that too at times incomplete. So only the authoress could dare to present this bilingual translation of this marvellous Rama Kavya according to her capacities only banking on the words of saint Tulsidas-

 

“My work is devoid of all the qualities but one quality is universally obvious, considering that only the wise ones, who have pious thought, will hear it. And the quality is that the work consists of Rama’s noble character which is sacred and is the essence of all the puranas and vedas.”

 

Now it is upto the scholars to judge its perfection or imperfection. While translating the epic there has been conscious effort to maintain possible nearness with the text. If explanation of any particular point was needed, brackets have been used to say anything other than the text. There is a separate column for special comments. As for as possible Desi words and figures of speech have been mentioned.

 

Nirnaya Sagara publication has been accepted as the basic text but the text edited by Dr. Radhagovind Basak also has been consulted. Nirnaya Sagara edition contains Sri Ramdasa Bhupatis commentary which is to a great extent burdened with eroticism of the Moghal period and the commentary available in the Basak edition is too brief and sometimes incomplete, Only these two commentaries and Dr. Raghuvansha’s hindi translation were there as help for this work. The authoress is grateful to these great authors for the help their scholarly works provided.

 

When it comes to expressing gratitude first of all faces of all the teachers flash before my eyes for it were only their affectionate blessings that’ enabled me to hold my pen. Yet two of them shine brightest, particular mention of whom is not only the authoress’s obligation but also provides her the honour of being their pupil. One of them is late reverend Munshi Dilvar singh who taught me the first lesson of alphabets. Sweetness of the Kaserus (a small rhyzome), he brought to inspire the two and half-year old me for reading and writing, even today fills my eyes with brackish tears. Likewise the methodical way of working respected Dr. Motilal Rastogi guided me during my research work, is the main source behind this petty effort, words like ‘gratitude’ look too tiny before their affection and favour. One can only pray for their blessings with folded hands and bent head.

 

This pen will ever remain endebted to father like revered Abdi papa (Late prof. Wazir Hasan Abdi), respected pt. Akhilesh mishra, respected Dr. Kripashankar shukla, revered prof. P.V. Sharma and reverend prof. Ramji Upadhyay, for but for their affectionate encouragement it would have remained obtuse. The authoress bows her head in revernce before them. I once again greet prof. Upadhyay with great respect for his blessings that he extended through the foreword of this book.

 

Though it appears a little odd to express gratitude for one’s own family members yet not to acknowledge the support one gets from them, too can not be justified. First of all I would bow to my late grand parents smt. Sukhdevi and Pt. Mahadeo Prasad Tewari, who were pioneers in kindling the light of learning in their area and my late parents Smt. Rama Devi and pt. Ramashankar Tewari the torch bearer of learning, for I owe every single bit to them that I could achieve ·in my life. Grand father and mother had been only abstract emotional inspiration but my grand mother and father were all friend, philosopher and guide for me. Apart from them my bhabhi ji respected Smt. Pratibha Rastogi’s affection and her support during all odds meant so much for me that had it not been with me probably this work would not have come to existence. Likewise without strong support of my elder sister prof. Km. Premvati Tewari and my son Akshay this pen was simply invalid, this work is a result of their continuous inspiration and practical help. Blessings of my elder sisters Dr. Puspavati Tewari and Prof Tewari and love of my children Atul, Kanaka, Anjali, Alok, Anshu, Gopal and Akshay have always been a mainstay for me. The very word life partner connotes mutual support by the counter parts, but the way my husband Sri Yashwant Singh extended his practical, moral and emotional support, bearing troubles of lonely life, this pen fails to coin words to express gratitude for that. I am grateful to our grand child Achintya who gave new dimensions and direction to my life.

 

Young enterprising publishers Sri Sunil gupta and Ashok gupta deserve applause for taking up publication of this book without caring for their financial profit or loss.

 

Last but not least the authoress is endebted to al’ the authors whose scholarly works helped in shaping this work. I could very humbly request the learned readers to ignore my ignorance and only relish the excellent poetic beauties of Mahakavi Pravarsena and ecstatical Ram Katha.


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