Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The sacrosanct nature of text (II)

Late Surachandra Sinha, father of poet Champalal Sinha, did give his own explanations to around nine to 10  poems of his son. The explanations of some of the poems have been retrieved so far. 

Teir ruphanor bhitore (In her beauty) is one of the poems that had been explained by late Sinha. Poet Champalal Sinha and his father were complementary even when the son was just a child insofar as intellectual skill and quality are concerned. It was through his son, with a gifted power of conception, that late Sinha studied the religious scriptures meant for sadhaks that he had inherited from his preceptor, Guru (late) Vidyapati Sinha of Bangladesh. In the process, the poet acquired knowledge that was generally not expected of a teenager. Theirs was a cottage redolent of spiritualism with  their round-the-clock conscious breathing (the ajapa japa). The poet has got accolades from various quarters for the depth of his poems and his way of presenting them, words chosen to convey the message he wants to give to his readers and his unique art of keeping the central idea concealed in a web of words by leaving only one or two keys for readers to grasp . His diction and technique make the task of the translator truly Herculean in the real sense of the term. When a poem or any other literary work is translated into another language, the translator has to see that the import of the original is not lost. He/she should challenge the cliché that a book or a literary work loses something in translation, no matter how successful he/she is.

A verse from ‘Naishabdar Buke Mi Chetan Satta’ by Champalal Sinha
Translated and annotated by Ramlal Sinha
In her beauty
(Teir ruphanor bhitore)

I’d a snooze in her beauty. 
Redolent of floral fragrance
Is the lustre of her craft,
Her breasts cradle an art
That glorifies the glory of
An encounter like the wish
Of the night with a zest for life
And her exclusive lustre.
Often she’s wont to play
A game of shredding
Of arts and crafts, and
When that engrosses her,
Her smile speaks 
Of an antique design,
I then become studious
And go through thoroughly
Syntactic details of lovemaking.
With the hope of some ‘realities’
That could be left out there
When I look at the white valley
A white hot breeze wafts along,
Lashes me thoroughly,
Makes me an analytical chemist;
I penetrate at ease the mystery
Of the chemistry of fire and water,
The mystery of the Creation
Only conveys deep reverence
Of the encounter, crystal clear!

Hints given by late Surachandra Sinha:
(1) Breasts: The chest. The poet sees God as his fiancée.
(2) Her: For many poets, God becomes someone very close to them like she, he, fiancé, fiancée, friend and the like.
(3)  Arts and crafts: The mystery of the Creation.
(4) Her smile: In common parlance, the smile of the fiancée of the poet. The spiritual meaning is ‘being witness to the divine qualities of God’.
(5) An antique design: The process of creation. The spiritual meaning is ‘the sacrosanct details of the Creation’. 
(6) Syntactic details of lovemaking:  Sexology (rotitattva) in common parlance. The hidden meaning is spiritual details of sadhan-bhojan.
(7) A snooze in her beauty: The poet immersing himself in the lustrous beauty of God.
The lustre of her craft is/Redolent of floral fragrance:  Communing with God is possible through the five rudiments and their corresponding senses – sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. Thus one can guess where and in what form God is.
(8) Encounter: Sexual encounter in common parlance. The spiritual meaning is to overcome the trying situations that a sadhak confronts.
(9) White valley:  Not explained. Explanation is fraught with the risk of infringement of the sacrosanct details of the text.
(10)  When I look at the white valley... Crystal clear: The readers need to feel it through their individual soul-searching exercise in accordance with the guidance of their gurus. Laying such a text bare is forbidden.

Explanation by the translator:
The hints given by late Sinha are enough for one to appreciate the sacrosanct content that fades into the woodwork of the poem. The poet treads quietly and cautiously a sacrosanct area by explaining details of the shadhan-bhajan vis-à-vis the secrets of the Creation under the cloak of his deftly accomplished woodwork that is strong enough to lead the reader (audience) to a superficial world. The superficial and the spiritual meanings of the poem are poles apart from each other. For a man of good humour, the woodwork of the poem is not opaque enough to conceal the spiritual meaning of the poem. Late Sinha, a sadhak, was a reader of good humour indeed. 

The hints speak volumes about the fact that the poet is in love with God whom he sees as his fiancée. While the apparent meaning of the poem leads one to all worldly pleasure, the spiritual meaning therein leads a man of good homour to the sacrosanct reality of the love between Prokriti (Mother Nature) and Purusha (cosmic male) who can be represented by any pair of fiancé and fiancée of mortal beings.
As interpreted by late Sinha, words like ‘breasts’  and ‘she’ render one unable to see the wood for the trees — hat the poet considers God as being very close to him like his fiancée. In fact, for many poets, God may be their fiancé, fiancée, friend and spouse. They consider God to be very close to them, and so He is no different from them.

With the phrase ‘arts and crafts,’ the poet keeps the sacrosanct mystery of the great Creation under the cloak of craftsmanship of a seemingly mortal fiancée. In fact, for many of us, the mystery of the Creation is inexplicable because of our ignorance or lack of awareness of ourselves and God.
By the phrase ‘antique design’ the poet wants to give the sacrosanct details of the Creation. How close the poet is to his ‘fiancée’ or God can be gauged from the very fact that he can read every smile or wink of his sweetheart.

As indicated by the poet’s father, the phrase ‘going through the syntactic details of lovemaking’ means the very activities of God or His game of the Creation makes him curious enough to unearth the reality. In fact, sexology (rotitattva), according to Vaishnavism, is a sacrosanct area where there is no room for any carnal desire. By the word ‘encounter’ the poet means a devotee’s encounter with the six passions of mind – kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobh (greed), moho (attachment) and mada or ahankara (pride), and his victory over them or the sort of activities a devotee does to make that happen. Rampant Westernisation has made Indian society deviate from the path it is supposed to follow leading to increasing sexual crimes. 

Late Sinha was silent on ‘white valley’ as he sought to avoid any infringement of the sacrosanctity of the area and so do I. This is an area that readers (audience) need to understand through soul searching exercise under the tutelage of their gurus.    To be concluded

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post
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