KĪRTAN ILLUMINATIONS

TĀTALA SAIKATE

Prayers on the shore of life and death

By Śrī Vidyāpati

 

The following translation and commentary is formatted in this order:

  1. The original text of each verse of Śrī Vidyāpati’s composition in Vrajabhuli in Bengali script,
  2. Translations of non-Bengali words into Bengali in Bengali script,
  3. The original text  of each verse in roman transliteration,
  4. Translations of non-Bengali words into Bengali in Roman script,
  5. A word by word gloss of each verse,
  6. A prose translation of each verse,
  7. Commentary on particular phrases in each verse.

Verse 1

তাতল সৈকতে বারি-বিন্দু-সম
সুত-মিত-রমণি-সমাজে ।
তোহে বিসরি মন তাহে সমর্পল
অব মঝু হব কোন কাজে ॥১॥

তাতল: তপ্ত; সৈকতে: বালুকাময় নদী-তীরের ভূমিতে; তোহে: তোমাকে; বিসরি: বিস্মৃত হইয়া; সমর্পল: সমর্পন করিলাম; তব: তখন; মঝু: আমার; হব: হইবে ।

tātala saikate vāri bindu-sama
suta-mita-ramaṇī-samāje
tohe visari mana tāhe samarpala
taba majhu haba kona kāje [1]

tātala: tapta; saikate: bālukāmaya nadī-tīrera bhūmite; tohe: tomāke; visari: vismṛta ha-iyā; samarpala: samarpana karilāma; taba: takhana; majhu: āmāra haba: ha-ibe.

visari–Forgetting tohe–You, samarpala–I have offered [my] mana–mind tāhe–to them— samāje–to the association suta–of children, mita–friends, [and] ramaṇī–women— [who are] sama–like bindu–a drop vāri–water [on the] tātala–searing saikate–beach. [Of] kona–what kāje–use haba–will they be majhu–to me taba–now?  [1]

Forgeting You, I have offered my mind to the association of children, friends, and women, who are like a drop of water on the searing beach. What use will they be to me now?

vāri bindu-sama: “Like a drop of water on the searing beach.” As a drop of water dries up within an instant on hot sand, so children, friends, and women are fleeting—they are here and then they are gone. This is the intent of the metaphor. Vāri bindu-sama may also be read as referrent to the mind, in which case the meaning of the verse is: “Forgetting You, I have offered my mind to the association of children, friends, and women like a drop of water onto the searing beach. How now will I be delivered?” This is to say, “As a drop of water cast onto hot sand immediately goes dry and meets with destruction, so my mind upon being cast into the association of children, friends, and women has gone dry and I have become undone. I have given myself to them and served them with great attachment, neglecting to serve You entirely. How now will I be delivered?” [1]

Verse 2

মাধব ! হাম পরিণাম নিরাশা ।
তুহুঁ জগ-তারণ দীন দয়াময়
অতয়ে তোহারি বিশোয়াসা ॥২॥

হাম: আমি; তুহুঁ: তুমি; অতয়ে: অতএব; তোহারি: তোমার; বিশোয়াসা: বিশ্বাস ।

mādhava! hāma pariṇāma-nirāśā
tuhu̐ jaga-tāraṇa dīna-dayāmaya
ataye tohāri viśoyāsā [2]

hāma: āmi; tuhu̐: tumi; ataye: ataeva; tohāri: tomāra; viśoyāsā: viśvāsa.

mādhava!–O Mādhava! pariṇāma–Finally, hāma–I [have become] nirāśā–hopeless. tuhu̐–You [are] tāraṇa–the liberator jaga–of the universe [and] dayāmaya–merciful dīna–to the fallen. ataye–Thus, [my] viśoyāsā–assurance [is] tohāri–in You alone. [2]

O Mādhava! Finally I have become hopeless. You are the liberator of the universe and merciful to the fallen. Thus, my assurance is in You alone.

pariṇāma: “Finally.” This is to say, “In my final days as death approaches.”

nirāśā: “Hopeless.” This is to say, “I feel devoid of any hope for liberation from ignorance and future good fortune.”

tohāri viśoyāsā: “My assurance is in You alone.” This is to say, “You are my only shelter. I cannot rely upon myself whatsoever; I can rely only upon You. I have faith in You and Your grace, and I feel the assurance that You will deliver me.” [2]

Verse 3

আধ জনম হাম নিদেঁ গঁয়াওল
জরা শিশু কত-দিন গেলা ।
নিধুবনে রমণী- রসরঙ্গে মাতল
তোহে ভজব কোন বেলা ॥৩॥

আধ: অর্দ্ধ; নিদেঁ: নিদ্রায়; গঁয়াওল: কাটাইলাম; মাতল: মত্ত হইল, মাতিল; তোহে: তোমাকে; ভজব: ভজন করিব ।

ādha janama hāma nide̐ ga̐yāola
jarā śiśu kata-dina gelā
nidhuvane ramaṇī- rasa-raṅge mātala
tohe bhajaba kona belā [3]

ādha: arddha; nide̐: nidrāya; ga̐yāola: kāṭāilāma; mātala: matta ha-ila, mātila; tohe: tomāke; bhajaba: bhajana kariba.

hāma–I ga̐yāola–have spent ādha–my janama–life nide̐–in sleep, [and] kata–so many dina–days gelā–have passed śiśu–as a child [and] jarā–in old age. (In the meantime,) mātala–I have been intoxicated nidhuvane–by love affairs [and] raṅge–the play rasa–of passion ramaṇī–for women. [At] kona–which belā–time bhajaba–will I serve tohe–You? [3]

I have spent half my life in sleep, and I have passed so many days in childhood and old age. (In the meantime,) I have been intoxicated by love affairs and the play of passion for women. When will I serve You?

ādha … mātala: “I have spent ….” This is to say, “So much of my time has been lost in the course of worldly affairs, and the precious time I did have to serve You I used only to pursue my own selfish enjoyment in a shameless and sinful manner. I have utterly failed to serve You.”

tohe bhajaba kona belā: “When will I serve You?” This is to lament, “I have no time left to serve You now that I feel the necessity of doing so.” [3]

Verse 4

কত চতুরানন মরি মরি যাওত
ন তুয়া আদি অবসানা ।
তোহে জনমি পুন তোহে সমাওত
সাগর-লহরী সমানা ॥৪॥

চতুরানন: ব্রহ্মা; যাওত: যাও; তোহে: তোমা হইতে, তোমাতেই; জনমি: জন্মিয়া; সমাওত: প্রবেশ করে, লীন হয় ।

kata chaturānana mari mari yāota
na tuyā ādi avasānā
tohe janami puna tohe samāota
sāgara-laharī samānā [4]

chaturānana: Brahmā; yāota: yāo; tohe: tomā ha-ite, tomātei; janami: janmiyā; samāota: praveśa kare, līna haya.

kata–So manu chaturānana–Brahmās mari mari–are dying [and] yāota–passing away, [but] tuyā na–You have no ādi–beginning [or] avasānā–end. janami–Taking birth tohe–from You, [they] puna–again samāota–enter tohe–into You samānā–like laharī– the waves sāgara–of the ocean. [4]

So many Brahmās are dying and passing away, but You have no beginning or end. Taking birth from You, they are again absorbed in You like the waves of the ocean.

kata chaturānana … avasānā: “So many Brahmās are dying ….” This is to say, “Everything in this material world and even its creator, the most ancient being within it, are transitory and fast passing in and out of existence within eternal time. Only You are eternal and true.”

sāgara-laharī samānā: “Like the waves of the ocean.” This is to say, “As the waves of the ocean come out from the ocean and then return back into the ocean, so the innumerable creators of the innumerable material universes, along with everything throughout their creations, take birth from You and then re-enter You in never-ending cyclic flow.” [4]

Verse 5

ভণয়ে বিদ্যাপতি শেষ শমন ভয়
তুয়া বিনু গতি নাহি আরা ।
আদি অনাদিক নাথ কহাওসি
অব তারণ-ভার তোহারা ॥৫॥

ভণয়ে: কহে, বলে; শমন: যমরাজ; বিনু: বিনা; আরা: আর, অপর; কহাওসি: বলাও; অব: এখন; তোহারা: তোমার ।

bhaṇaye vidyāpati śeṣa śamana bhaya
tuyā vinu gati nāhi ārā
ādi anādika nātha kahāosi
aba tāraṇa-bhāra tohārā [5]

bhaṇaye: kahe, bale; śamana: Yamarāj; vinu: vinā; ārā: āra, apara; kahāosi: balāo; aba: ekhana; tohārā: tomāra.

vidyāpati–Vidyāpati bhaṇaye–says, [“At śeṣa–last, [I feel] bhaya–fear śamana–of Yamarāj. vinu–Without tuyā–You, [I have] nāhi–no ārā–other gati–shelter. [You] kahāosi–are said [to be] nātha–the Lord [of that which] ādi–has a beginning [and that which] anādika–has no beginning, [and] bhāra–the responsiblity tāraṇa–for [my] deliverance [is] aba–now tohārā–Yours.” [5]

Vidyāpati says, “At last, I am stricken with fear of Death. I have no shelter other than You. You are said to be the Lord of that which has beginning and that which has no beginning, and the responsibility for my deliverence is now Yours.”

śamana bhaya: “I am stricken with fear of Death.” This is to say, “I fear death itself, and I fear whether I can maintain my attachment to You as I undergoe the death of the body and the destiny I am administered thereafter by Yamarāj.”

aba tāraṇa-bhāra tohārā: “The responsibility for my deliverence is now Yours.” This is to humbly imply, “O Mādhava, please now deliver me. Even though I feel I have spent my entire life in vain, because of my repentance for my previous actions and my sincere faith in You, O Lord, I still have the hope the You will deliver me.” [5]

Note

Dr Dolgobinda Shastri recalls in in The Divine Servitor singing this song together with Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj during their youth:

“Gradually our intimacy was transformed to a level of friendship, and when we both were alone we would chant bhajans. Mostly there were three songs—vadasi yadi kiñchid apiMādhava! bahuta minati kari Toya, and Tātala saikate—that, from his sweet tone, would drench us both in tears. The element of divine love of the highest stage was his natural instinct.”

2018-05-31T15:51:01+00:00 Tags: , , , , |
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