The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

The invitation

with 5 comments

Translated from the शार्ङ्गधर-पद्धति by Octavio Paz:

The invitation

Traveler, hurry your steps, be on your way:
the woods are full of wild animals,
snakes, elephants, tigers, and boars,
the sun’s going down and you’re so young to be going alone.
I can’t let you stay,
for I’m a young girl and no one’s home.

Translated from the गाहा-सत्तसई (= गाथा-सप्तशती) by Andrew Schelling:

sleeps over there
so does the
rest of the household but
    this is my bed
    don’t trip over
    it in the dark

Written by S

Tue, 2011-06-21 at 18:51:21

5 Responses

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  1. If you want more like this —

    Both the above are single, free-standing poems from anthologies, the former from a Sanskrit anthology and the latter from a Prakrit anthology. Sources, originals, and alternative translations:
    1. The first above is quoted from (page 180 of) A Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry in English Translation, compiled by A.N.D. Haksar, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, 2002. ISBN 81-7541-116-8.
    2. The second is quoted from Dropping the Bow: Poems from Ancient India, translated by Andrew Schelling, White Pine Press (Companions for the Journey Series Volume 15), Buffalo, New York, 2008 (1991). ISBN 978-1-893996-92-2.

    The first, translated by Daniel Ingalls from सुभाषितरत्नकोश — page 254 of An Anthology of Sanskrit Court Poetry: Vidyākara’s Subhāṣitaratnakoṣa, translated by Daniel H. H. Ingalls, Harvard University Press (Harvard Oriental Series Volume 44), 1965 — verse 810:

    Quicken your step, oh traveler, and be upon your way.
    The woods before you swarm with wild beasts,
    with elephant and serpent, boar and wild ox;
    the sunlight now is fading and you a youth alone.
    I cannot give you room within the house,
    for I am a young girl and I live unguarded.

    The original is in शार्दूलविक्रीडितम् metre — see page 149 of The Subhāṣitaratnakoṣa Compiled by Vidyākara, edited by D. D. Kosambi and V. V. Gokhale, Harvard University Press (Harvard Oriental Series Volume 42), 1957:

    पान्थ स्वैरगतिं विहाय झटिति प्रस्थानमारभ्यताम्
    अत्यन्तं करिसूकराहिगवयैर्भीमं पुरः काननम् ।
    चण्डांशोरपि रश्मयः प्रतिदिशं म्लानास्त्वमेको युवा
    स्थानं नास्ति गृहे ममापि भवतो बालाहमेकाकिनी ॥
    pāntha svairagatiṃ vihāya jhaṭiti prasthānam ārabhyatām
    atyantaṃ karisūkarāhigavayair bhīmaṃ puraḥ kānanam /
    caṇḍāṃśor api raśmayaḥ pratidiśaṃ mlānās tvam eko yuvā
    sthānaṃ nāsti gṛhe mamāpi bhavato bālāham ekākinī // VidSrk_24.4 *(810) //

    The second, from page 154 of Poems on Life and Love in Ancient India: Hāla’s Sattasaī, translated from the Prakrit by Peter Khoroche and Herman Tieken, State University of New York Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7914-9391-5.

    Here’s my mother-in-law’s bed,
    Here is mine,
    And there those of the servants.
    Traveler, you won’t see in the dark,
    So do be careful not to fall into mine. [669]

    The Prakrit original from GRETIL:

    ettha ṇimajjaï ettā ettha ahaṃ ettha pariaṇo saalo / HSS_669ab
    paṃthia rattīaṃdhaa mā maha saaṇe ṇimajjihisi / HSS_669cd
    From page 382 of the Sanskrit translation Gāthā Saptaśatī, with commentary, by Bhaṭṭa-śrī-mathurā-nātha-śāstri (published by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan):
    एत्थ णिमज्जइ अत्ता एत्थ अहं एत्थ परिअणो सअलो ।
    पंथिअ रत्तीअंधअ मा महँ सअणे णिमज्जिहिसि ॥
    Sanskrit equivalent (like chāyā):
    अत्र निमज्जति श्वश्रूरत्राहमत्र परिजनः सकलः ।
    पथिक रात्र्यन्ध [क] मा मम शयने निमङ्क्ष्यसि ॥
    And translation:
    श्वश्रूरत्र निमज्जत्यत्राऽहं चात्र परिजनः सकलः ।
    रात्र्यन्ध पथिक मा मा शयनीये नौ निमङ्क्ष्यसि हि ॥ ७.६७ ॥
    The commentary you can click on the link and read for yourself.


    Wed, 2011-06-22 at 00:45:33

    • Translation by Ingalls of the second (in his translation of Anandavardhana+Abhinavagupta):

      Mother-in-law sleeps here, I there;
      look, traveler, while it is light.
      For at night when you cannot see,
      you must not fall into my bed.


      Thu, 2014-06-12 at 01:19:59

  2. love both piece.
    Thanks for the heads up.



    Thu, 2011-06-23 at 21:13:54

  3. Heh. I’ve kept this post as “unread” on Reader and take a look at it once in a while. Stays just as trippy and as tantalizing every single time.


    Thu, 2011-07-07 at 01:28:20

    • Yes. :)
      Perhaps that’s one working definition of “good art” — stuff you don’t get bored of.


      Thu, 2011-07-07 at 06:52:09

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