The Poems of Suradasa

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Item Code: IDE313
Author: Krishna P. Bahadur
Language: English
Edition: 1999
ISBN: 8170173698
Pages: 365 (B & W Illus: 8)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.6" X 5.7"
Weight 600 gm
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Book Description


From the Jacket:


Suradasa, the blind saint-poet, lived in the sixteenth century during the establishment of the Mogul empire in India by Babur and its consolidation by Akbar. A Vaishnava of the Pushtimarga, he was spiritually inspired by Vallabha-charya and composed his outstanding work, the Surasagara 'Ocean of Poetry', closely following the Bhagavata which narrates the deeds of Krishna, whose staunch devote he was. His numerous padas composed I Brajbhasha are a treasure-house of the very best Hindi poetry on level with that of Tulasidasa, the author of the Ramayanabut unfortunately his poems remain comparatively much less known to the Western world. This English translation of some of the verse of his Surasagara endeavours to provide the reader with a representative selection from the various selection of this work English verse along with the transliterated version of the text, and in English prose for the narrative portions. The selection highlights Krishna as the Lord and as the amorous lover of Radha and the milkmaids of Braj.


About The Author:


Krishna P. Bahadur was born in Allahabad on 21 February 1924 and received his early education in St Joseph's and St Mary's Allahabad and La Martiniere, Lucknow. He did his M. A. in English from the Allahabad University.

He Served in the Indian Administrative Service on various senior posts including District Magistrate (for 10 years), Commissioner and Secreatory Harijan & Social Welfare and 20 Points Programme, Inspector General Prisons and Chairman Administrative Tribunals and Vigilance Commission.

Bahadur has written over fifty books on various subjects - Philosophy and Religion, History, Sociology, Biography, Fiction, Humour, Translations and Juveniles. His prominent works are the Wisdom of India series 7 vols., History of Indian Civilization 6 vols., History of the Freedom Movement in Indian 5 Vols., Castes, Tribes & Cultures of India 7 Vols., A Source Book of Hindu Philosophy, The Definitive Gita, the Raj and After, Aspects of the ramacharitamanasa, Folk Tales of Uttar Pradesh and six translations in the UNESCO collection [Rasikpriya, Selections from Ramachan-drika, Rural Songs of India, The Parrot & the Starling, Love Poems of ghanananda and the Satasai of Bihari (pub. Penguin Classics, London and New Delhi)]. He has also taken part in the International Seminar on the Gita and contributed to World Authors St James Publications, London.

Bahadur is recipient of the following honorary awards: Vidya Visharada, Vidya Ratnakara, Rotary award for outstanding public service. He is a biographer of Who's Who in the World, Contemporary Authors, International Book of Honor (all pub. USA); Dictionary of Interna-tional Biography, Who's Who in the Commonwealth Men of Achievement, International Who's Who of Contemporary Achievement (all pub. England); Contemporary Personalities (Academia Italia, Italy).

closely follows the Bhagavata.

Suradasa has often been compared with Tulasidasa, the mahdkaui (great poet), the author of the Ramacharitamdnasa 'The Lake of the Deeds of Rama' (manasara = 'a large lake'). This is not fair either to Sura or to Tulasi, for they sang about two different avatars of Vishnu who were poles apart. What closeness could there be between the sedate Rarna and the amorous heartbreaker, Krishna? Nonetheless as the two poets, Sura and Tula i and their respective creation , are considered to be on the same level, it is surprising that Tula I is far more popular and familiarly known than Sura. Tulasi's Ramayana has acquired a sanctity among Hindus [there are variations in almost all the regional languages of India-Krittivasa (Bangala) , Kambana (Tamil), Valmiki (Sanskrit), Ranganatha (Telugu) and so forth]. The Manasa of Tulasi is sung in practically every Hindu home and on special occasions recited in its entirety at one sitting. So much so is its esteem that on the occasion of the celebration of Krishna's birth, the Janmashtami, the hymn which is recited in quite a few Hindu homes at midnight when he is believed to have come on earth as Devaki's son, is not from the Bhagavata but from Tulasi' Manasa. The Riimiiya1J-a, unlike the Sarasagara, has crossed the ocean to countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Turkistan, Italy, France, the U.K and other lands. It has been translated into Latin, French, Italian and other European languages.

Krishnaism, too, has in some measure evoked interest in the West, as in the Hare-Krishna devotees and particularly in Krishna' message in the Bhagavadgita but Suradasa who sang about Krishna with such great devotion in his Surasagara, remains comparatively unknown. There are a number of books in Hindi about his poetry and poetic art and various recensions of Surasagara, but there is very little about his life or works in English, and though some verses of his have recently been translated into English by Jaikishandas Sadani, there is still need for a representative translation of the verses on various diverse topics in the padas of this 'Sun of Hindi poetry' (surya = the un). The present English translation of some of Sura's poems in the Surasagara has been produced in order to illustrate these various trends of the poet's work. arrative portions have been rendered into English prose, without the transliterated version of the Hindi text. For verses which were considered to be suitable for a verse to verse translation, the rendering is in English verse and the transliterated text with the usual diacritical marks has been given along with the English version. The Hindi text has also been given along with the English transliteration in passages which are in verse. The English transliterated version will be able to give Western readers unfamiliar with Hindi some idea about the original text.

A word about the problems involved in translation. Hindi has little linguistic similarity to English. Where in English one would say 'by the house', in Hindi it would be 'house by'. Taking a concrete example, verse 680 of chapter 10 Surasagara: nanda gae kharikahim hari linhe/ dekhi taharn radhikii tharhi boli lie tihim cinhe/ Literally translated this would read, word for word, as follows:' Nanda went to the grazing ground, Krishna taking. Seeing there Radha stand called her recognized'. Thus instead of 'taking Krishna along with him', in Hindi it would read 'Krishna taking', and instead of 'recognizing Radha he called (asked) her to come and join them', 'called her recognizing'. Very often Hindi verse has a strong trochaic beat which jars on Western ears rendering it unsuitable according to the modern concepts of English verse which does not favour any strongly stressed metre, even the common iambic, considering it to be unpoetic affectation. There are many such difficulties faced by a translator. Hindi verse is conventional in style, having a Miltonic ring and using metre and rhyme and shackled by rigid rules of versification, much as the old style of the English romantic poets. Modern English verse does not have that conventional style and is more or less like free verse unfettered by metre and rhyme, 'deliberately idiosyncratic and heavily colloquial'. One has therefore to convert in translation both language and style from the old to the new and that too near enough to the present day one; and at the same time remain faithful to the original, for any departure from the purport of the Hindi text would not really be translation. It is for this reason that the transliterated version has been given. It might help the English reader to savour some of the niceties of the original Hindi verse which the translation would inevitably fail to capture and convey.

The edition of Surasagara from which the verses have been selected for translation is the one by Dr Haradeva Bahari and Dr Rajendra Kumara, Allahabad: Lokabharati Prakashan, 1991, 2 vols. (comprising ten sections). Wherever possible the verse numbers of this edition have also been given along with the serial number.

The author wishes to express his gratefulness to the publishers for bringing out this book in these difficult times and for the excellent format.

Preface 11
Acknowledgements 15
Pronunciation Guide 17
Problems in Reconstructing the Live of Saints     21  
Suradasa's Dates of Birth and Death     22  
Name, Caste, Parentage and Family     26  
Education     34  
Political Scenario     36  
Society     40  
Religion     45  
Surasagara     50  
Surasaravali     53  
Sahityalahari     54  
Devotion (Bhakti)     55  
    Krishna as Ishvara     55  
Love     56  
Meeting     59  
Parting     59  
Parental Love (Vatsalya)     63  
Krishna     66  
Radha     68  
Diction     73  
    Brajbhasha Words     73  
    Sanskrit Words in Vernacular Form     74  
    Words from other Language     74  
Alankara     74  
    Shabda-alankara     75  
    Artha-alankara     75  
Comparisons (Metaphors and Similes)     75  
    Onomatopoeia     77  
Descriptions of Nature     77  
    Nature in its Gentle Aspect     78  
    Nature in its Stormy Aspect     78  
Idiom and Repetition     78  
Hyperbole     79  
Pictures of People and their Behaviour     80  
Invocation     89  
Worship of the Formless and of God with form     90  
Merciful Krishna     91  
The Lord Helps His Devotees     92  
Gracious Krishna     94  
The Deeds of Krishna     96  
The Lord's Love for His Devotee     97  
Krishna's Bountry     98  
The Lord's is His Devotees' Slave     100  
Love Conquers All     102  
The Bestower of Bliss     103  
The Guru Shows the Way     106  
Prayer and Worship     108  
MAYA 109
Maya, the enchantress     110  
The Gods are also Victims of Maya     112  
The Wavering Mind     113  
Maya's Slave     114  
The Noose of Maya     115  
Maya's Net     116  
Nascent Devotion     117  
Chant God's Name     118  
Stupid Man     119  
Ignorant Jiva     121  
Vain Resolve     122  
Deceitful Maya     123  
A Life Wasted     124  
Be Detached and Accept Fate     125  
Wayward Mind     126  
The Foolish Ruler     128  
Fruitless Existence     130  
God the Protector     131  
Late Repentance     132  
Only Krishna, no other     133  
Seek God within Yourself     135  
Live for Krishna Only     136  
The Redeemer     137  
Krishna is the Saviour     138  
Krishna is Your Support     139  
God, Your Friend     140  
Missed Opportunity     142  
The World is Selfish     143  
Remember God while there's yet Time     144  
Who Gets Emancipation     145  
Have True Love for God     146  
Ephemeral Life     147  
Only Krishna will help you when Death Comes     148  
Do not Pride Yourself on Your body     150  
Death's Abode     151  
The Two Letters of Rama's Name     152  
Rama's Name is the Only Wealth     154  
The Ace Sinner     155  
The Lord Listens to His Devotee's Prayer     156  
Maya Triumphs     158  
Surrender to Krishna     160  
Belated Regret     161  
The Man Who's Wedded to Ignorance     163  
Cross-grained Mind     165  
The Fear of God is a Salutary Thing     166  
Sinful Man and Merciful God     167  
The Priceless Gem of Hari-devotion     169  
The Vain Search     170  
Forgiveness     172  
The All-forgiving Lord     173  
A Challenge to God     174  
The Rebellious Senses     176  
Mighty Maya     177  
The Lord of Lords     178  
The Lord is the Only Resort     180  
No One is yours in the World     181  
Futile Repentance     182  
A Sinful Life     183  
Foolish Mind     184  
Awake, O Mind, Awake     185  
Devotion to God is the Only Way to Salvation     186  
A Life Lived in Disgrace     187  
The Bane of Sense-pleasures     188  
Maya's Intricate Knot     189  
Irrevocable Fate     191  
Seek Krishna's Benediction     192  
The Vicissitudes of Life     193  
Hypocrisy     194  
The Generous Lord     196  
Changing Fortunes     197  
The Master of Universe     198  
Be a Winner in Life's Game     199  
Legends from Hindu Mythology     201  
    Pururava and Urvashi     201  
    The Story of Sage Cyavana     205  
    The Story of King Ambarisha     206  
    The Story of Subhari Rishi     207  
    How Parashurama's Avatar Came About     208  
    The Story of the Descent of the Heavenly Ganga     209  
    The Story of Yayati     210  
Awake O! Prince of Braj     214  
Nanda Beholds Krishna's Face     215  
The Formless Brahma has Incarnated as Krishna     216  
Krishna Awakes     217  
The Welcome of the Women of Braj     218  
The Invigorating Dawn     219  
Breakfast     220  
Krishna goes to the Woods     221  
Nanda's Darling ChildAwake     222  
The First Meeting of Radha and Krishna     225  
The Course of Love     226  
Radha is Won Over     227  
They Make Love     229  
The Lovemaking of Radha and Krishna     233  
Excuses     234  
Radha Finds Favour with Yashoda     237  
The Meeting of the Lovers in the Cattle-yard     238  
Krishna Gazes at Radha     239  
Lovemaking on the Yamuna-bank     241  
The Gopis Complain to Yashoda     243  
Krishna Steals the Gopis' Clothes     246  
Audacious Krishna     250  
The Dance's Delight     259  
The Ceremony     261  
The Night of Love     267  
Krishna disappears leaving Radha Alone     271  
Radha's Anguish     272  
Krishna Returns     272  
The Rasa Begins Again     273  
The Rasa Catches on Tempo     276  
Krishna's Love for Radha     277  
Radha in Krishna's Lap     279  
Krishna Sports with the Gopis in the Yamuna     280  
Krishna's Love for theGopis     281  
Krishna Fondles Radha's Breasts     283  
Why and How did Krishna Incarnate in Braj     286  
Surdasa's Prayer     289  
Radha Beauty     291  
Radha's Bare Breasts     293  
Lovemaking and Afterlove     296  
Nakhshik Varnan (Radha's Lovely Body from Head to Feet)    298  
More about Radha's Beauty     299  
A Coquettish Gopi Enthrals Krishna     299  
Krishna Flirts with the Gopis     300  
Exchanges between the Gopi and Krishna     301  
The Gopi Surrenders to Krishna     304  
Krishna's Lst for the Gopis     309  
Breasts Like Golden Jars     311  
Krishna Gets More Daring     312  
Strange Toll!     314  
Krishna Flirts Boldly - The Girls Pretend Annoyance     314  
The Loveliness of the Gopis     319  
Radha Reprimands Krishna     320  
Krishna Reveals Himself as th All-Knower     323  
The Sing Krishna's Praises     325  
The Gopis are Won Over     327  
The Noose of Love     329  
The Gopis' Apology     330  
Krishna Threatens - The Gopis Relent     333  
Krishna, the Lord's Avatar - God-Realization     337  
Krishna Departs - The Gopis' Anguish     341  
The Gopis' Pangs of Separation     345  
Notes 349
Bibliography 365


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