Monday, March 08, 2010

That explains it

Bhartrhari is one of those Sanskrit poets who leaks vitriol and fire wherever you touch him. His angry rants about fools, full of the most delightful, full-mouthed, heartily aspirated mahaapraanas, are an absolute treat for those days when you just hate the world.

I was wondering why the poor chap had so much ... (wait for it)... negative energy (yes, my job involves a dangerously large management component) when I chanced upon this verse of his:

यां चिन्तयामि सततं मयि सा विरक्ता
सा अप्यन्यम् इच्छति जनं स जनो अन्यसक्तः |
अस्मत् कृते च परिशुष्यति काचिद् अन्या
धिक् तां च तं च मदनं च इमां च मां च ||

yaaM chintayaami satataM mayi saa viraktaa
saa apyanyam ichChati janaM sa jano anyasaktaH |
asmat kRRite cha parishuShyati kaachid anyaa
dhik taaM cha taM cha madanaM cha imaaM cha maaM cha ||

"The girl who I think of all day totally doesn't dig me, and she's after some other guy. That dick is after some other chick, and meanwhile because of my doing (of rejecting her? more?) one other girl is suffering. To hell with her, him, Love, this other one, and me!"

There. Clearer than Swami Nityananda's dedication to ananda-yoga.


I found this when I was searching for more fundaes about this absolutely fantabulously unbelievably epic bit of very old school wit, which I found via - who else? - Shreevatsa. Among the little gems of wit one collects with the bleak hope of flooring that super-cute chick in the bus the day one will finally manage to make eye contact and (gasp!) conversation with her, this one is verily the Koh-i-Noor:

There's metre iambic
and metre trochaic
and metre that's tender in tone.
But the metre
that's neater
and sweeter
is meet her by moonlight, alone.



Vimal said...

"because of my doing, one other girl is suffering.." I think it could be the fact that another girl is after this guy, but he has someone else in mind, who has someone else in mind. Maybe the (vicious) circle completes. Hey, even last week's HIMYM episode had a similar story!

Regarding moonlight: hmmm.. :) nice one.

KVM said...

It's bad enough without it being a closed loop, give the poor guy a break! One finds it hard to appreciate ironic closed love loops when one's darling dearest can't stop raving about some choot :-)

KVM said...

Linking too much: As an old subhashitakara would have said if he'd stepped into a time machine,

priya weblink pradaanena sarve tushyanti jantavah
tasmaat tadeva kartavyam href-i kaa daridrataa? :-)

asmat krite - My basis for saying it means 'my doing' is that I think 'asmat krite' is a locative absolute. ParizuSyati is easy enough - 'pines' (lit. dries up). My problem with accepting 'she pines for me' is that I don't see a simple 'for me'. (I'd have written 'matkaaranaadeva parizuSyati kaachidanya' while still adhering to the metre, but that's probably why I'm a world famous poet and Bhartrhari is an unknown, mostly nonsensical blogger :P ). Further, the 'my doing' bit is too juicy to resist, you must concede ;-)

Thanks for the 3 translations - I did look up a few before writing this, but I try to make it a point to write my own. All 3 have taken quite some liberty with the original. There is even disagreement about the number of females involved, though if the last line is to be taken as exhaustive there are only 2 females and only More's cracked it. The poem itself is confusing in this (the kaachit in the 3rd line kills everything) - maybe the poor chap was too heartbroken to explain the full topology of the network clearly :-)

Thanks also for the Neetishatakam translation comparison - I've long wanted to read it fully, and my technical lead is giving me ample opportunity to deeply appreciate the the poetry, especially the rants. Btw, what encoding is the Sanskrit in in that document?

tejeshkinariwala said...

just read your post after HIMYM 316 (coincidence?)
loved the meter poem too..too good :)

S said...

I think in practice "तस्य कृते" is more often than not used to mean something like "for him". (Google) For "asmat-kṛte", a German dictionary gives "um unsertwillen", "for our sake", and for "tvat-kṛte", Lanman gives "for the sake of thee" and the dictionary "um deinetwillen, deinetwegen", "for your sake" (but also "on your account"). (And well, MW says, under kRte, "ind. on account of , for the sake of , for (with gen. or ifc. e.g. मम कृते or मत्-कृते , on my account , for me)". So I said "for me", but the locative absolute/sati saptami is also meaningful as you said. :-) Looking at some commentaries, they seem to sort-of agree, though the variant "परितुष्यति" also exists. Anyway, none of them is clear on how many people were present, and whether it was a circle. :-)

The translations diverge from the meaning quite liberally, yes. :-) Note how Ryder perfectly keeps the confusion of the original: his third line has "another maid", but the last line has only two "her"s. The translations are not really worth reading relative to the original; Google Books (linked above) has good copies. The encoding used is... er, either IAST (the standard, like ed) or UTF-8, depending on what you meant. :-)

KVM said...

Glad you liked it :-)
I really should start seeing HIMYM sometime - I seem to be the only person on earth who doesn't follow it :-)

S said...

कृते is just an avyaya (ind. stands for indeclinable, I presume) that means "for". Beyond what the dictionary says, I don't know how to find more about etymology -- for instance, out of curiosity from here, I'm trying to find out whether "tree" is a cognate of "तरु"... well, OED says 'tree' is a cognate of Sanskrit "dru" and "dāru" (both meaning tree, wood, log, etc.), but now I don't know whether in Sanskrit "dru" and "taru" are related. :-)

UTF-8 is the encoding -- now that you point it out, I see the garbled characters the first time in Firefox too (the file doesn't specify its encoding and auto-detection messes up and thinks it's ISO-8859-1). In Firefox, go to View -> Character Encoding -> UTF-8; other browsers must have similar ways. It somehow seems to remember this, so that's a good thing.

Mahesh Mahadevan said...

5. I forgot this one - the usage 'krte' seems very much like 'sati saptami' only without the 'sati' :-) . 'Sati saptami' is when an explicit typecast of saptami (usually followed by 'sati') is done to indicate an "on account of" relation. Seems like stretching the meaning of "on" ;-)

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