Thursday, 7 February 2013

The sacrosanct nature of text (V)


Verse
Naishabdar Buke Mi Chetan Satta by Champalal Sinha
Translated and annotated by Ramlal Sinha


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. ‘In the pull of Eternity’(Anadi anantar akarshane) is one of the poems that had been explained by late Sinha. 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 won 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. As stated by the poet in one of his poems in this series – Chhabihan (The Imago) his numerous experiences and thoughts are reflected in his poems which have been left unpublished for years on, making them victims of the voracious rudiments of panchabhut — air, water, fire, land and the sky — that are strong enough to reduce his manuscripts to their constituent elements of paper and ink. In that verse, the poet describes the fate of his numerous unpublished poems that could otherwise add to his oeuvre had they been published on time. The unpublished works of the poet seem to keep staring at him for their release or mukti as they are under the evil influence of the panchabhut. Such phrases, when compared with the ground reality, throw light on the fact that his nine books of poetry are not even 1/30th of the volume of his literary works. The penury-ridden poet, who has been writing since the era of Fagu (a defunct Bishnupriya Manipuri literary magazine), has a large body of unpublished works. His are manuscripts that get destroyed right before his eyes. 


The spiritual poems of Champalal Sinha and the depth of their import make it very difficult for one topigeonhole him under one bracket, along with his contemporary poets, though his poetry has many themes common with theirs. 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 essence 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. 
In the pull of Eternity
(Anadi anantar akarshane)

Hand in hand
We inch towards
A new world
Kindling idée fixe
Starlit galaxy is brilliant
We’ve shaped our destiny;
Waiting we’re with
Floral tributes
For the destined
Made for each other we’re
Timeless and impeccable is
Our bond as sought by us
And hope springs eternal;
Our hopes and aspirations
Thirst and appetite
Are all oblation
To the shapeless Imago
The Eternity will be
A god incarnate a day
By hypnotising us
With his radiation
That very moment of the world
Will be the travel expenses
For the timeless and endless
Route to – boundless love.
Hints by late Sinha:



Though the diction of this poem is simpler than that of the rest of poems in this series, yet making out the meaning waded in the woodwork of the verse is not that easy. In the line ‘oblation/ To the shapeless Imago’ (amurta pratichhabit nibedita korechhi ami), the word ‘shapeless’ (amurta) takes us to a mysterious world redolent of light and dark. (Amurta means without shape i.e. shapeless. What is even more mysterious is: how could there be the imago of an entity that has no shape? How can one devote one’s hopes and aspirations, appetite and thirst, et al to the imago of the shapeless entity? What does the word amurta actually 
signify?
Here is what great men say –
Arupete eto rup/keba janere,/Ankhi je polok na mane/Pran kande re 
Tears keep trickling down his sunken cheeks –
“Our hopes and aspirations/Thirst and appetite/Are all oblation/To the shapeless Imago/The 
Eternity will be/A god incarnate a day”.
“Radhe! Radhe!(Well done!) Will incarnate a day? Nay, Mastor, it has already incarnated (late Sinha fondly called his poet son as Mastor). Purnang karati putra (One who makes one’s parents complete individuals is their real son. I don’t know what my Gurudev’s will is. At the fag end of my life I have been suffering the worst, being deprived of sadhan-bhajan. Your poems, full of elixir, have compensated for what I’ve been deprived of over the years.)
Let’s appreciate the poem.
“Hand in hand/We inch towards/A new world”
“Towards a new world” (Yugantoror bede salochhi ami ate at dhoria — yug+antor = yugantor/yug means convergence (milan), antor means afterwards. Going by this derivation, yugantor means something like change of a yug (an era)or in a changed era, but what does the poet exactly want to convey with these phrases? The next line says ‘Kindling idée fixe’ (bhabona chintare koria uddipto. Uddipto – very bright (ingal-ngal)(ut i.e. urdho (up), urdholuk i.e. anandaluk or Heaven). Deep means splendour or radiance i.e. pure pleasure or happiness or delight. Ta means tai i.e. elixir (amrit), thus uddipto means the elixir of anandaluk or Heaven. ‘Hand in hand/We inch towards/A new world/ Kindling idée fixe’ thus makes it crystal clear that we i.e. the devotees are always thirsty for the elixir of Heaven (anandaluk). With the strength of his/her devotion and untiring sadhan-bhajan, a devotee inches towards the anandaluk certainly, step by step. This is the reason why the poet has used the word uddipto 
instead of prodipto in his original vernacular verse.
In the sentence ‘Starlit galaxy is brilliant’ (hagnahat tera ingal-ngal)the poet terms the great men (mohajon) stars. He means to say that one who follows with devotion and sadhan-bhajan the right path shown by the great men can reach amritdham (Heaven) and can quench his thirst for the elixir of Heaven. Taking a firm stand on his line of thinking and practice, the poet says that one can ascertain while staying in this world itself if he/she can reach the poroluk (the other world that is referred to as anandaluk or amritluk or Heaven in this poem).



The sentence ‘We’ve shaped our destiny’ (bhobitabyare ami korechhi nirman) speaks volumes about the determination of the poet or any other sadhak who sticks to his belief, practice and power. The devotion-deliquesced, full of love, modest yet proud revelation of a determined sadhak (devotee) is the ajapa-japa —sohong. The power of this conscious breathing, according to the great sages, is limitless. Explanation by the translator: In the sentence ‘oblation/To the shapeless Imago’ (amurta pratichhabit nibedita korechhi ami), the word ‘shapeless’ (amurta) really takes us to a mysterious world redolent of light and dark. How could there be images of shapeless objects. Such remarks make one go back to the sakar-nirakar tattva. Since guru and the Parambrahma are shapeless they take the shape of their respective placeholders (containers), and this is 
possible only for a true devotee who gets his/her third eye (inner eye) activated through sadhana. 



As stated by Late Sinha Arupete eto rup/keba janere,/Ankhi je polok na mane/Pran kande re the beauty of the shapeless can keep a devotee mesmerised. Shaped or shapeless makes no difference to a devotee who has got his/her inner eye activated, and thus he/she can see the Imago of even a shapeless entity. He/she can even communicate with such entities, going much ahead of what our sensory organs can respond to. Thus it is possible for such a devotee to offer everything that apparently seems to be his/hers, such as hopes and aspirations, thirst and appetite as oblation to the ‘shapeless Imago’i.e. God.While the poet says ‘The Eternity will be/A god incarnate a day’, a confident late Sinha said:” Nay, Mastor, it has already incarnated.” A devotee making such a claim is scripting a success story. Late Sinha had to suffer from an itchy skin disease that engulfed his entire body, and that deprived him of his sadhan-bhajan for a long time. It’s in this context that late Sinha said: “Purnang karati putra (One who makes one’s parents complete individuals is their real son. I don’t know what my Gurudev’s will is. At the fag end of my life I have been suffering the worst, being deprived of sadhan-bhajan. Your poems, full of elixir, have compensated for what I’ve been deprived of over the years.”


The poet, a determined sadhak himself, says when a sadhak continues his spiritual sojourn under the guidance of his guru in accordance with the path shown by the great men (great sadhaks) he/she can achieve God. With confidence he says that God is bound to shower His blessings on such a devotee, and that very moment remains as the travel expenses of the devotee for his timeless and endless route to boundless love. 

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post 
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