Mahfil. v 7, V. 7 ( 1971) p. 245.

Graphics file for this page

RABINDRANATH TAGORE. GitanjaH'h. Sanskrit translation by Pullela Shri Ramachandra. Hyderabad: Osmania University, 1962 Rs. 3/-;

Special Edition Rs- 4/-,

This work has come to our notice only now, but it still seems appropriate as a help to any future translators to consider the value of the attempt. One hundred and three poems of the English version of G^tanjali have been translated into Sanskrit in mandakranta (^-LJ, uju,-;"-j-,) a traditional meter Tagore himself never used in his compositions. The result is excellent Sanskrit but poor translation.

In the selection of a meter appropriate to the translation of a lyric^ the following considerations pertain; refrains of the original should be included; different ideas, each complete within its own short line, ought not to be merged into a single line of translation;

the lines must follow a lyrical rhythm; the moods evoked in different poems should be conveyed in the various tunes employed by a singer, The translators mandakpanta fails all these requirements. The stanzas in the translation have no rhyme and no refrains, no short lines can build up their themes and emphases to merge into a refrain and all ideas are condensed together. There can be no variations of rhythms and tunes to express different moods to be evoked by the poe^s original work

Until Jayadeva created Gitagovinda^ Sanskrit poets had not experimented with the lyric. Previous to that time meters suffered from the inability to express simple distinct ideas in separate lines;

the verses often have to be analyzed and broken up by a learned commentator to make them accessible to the reader^s appreciative faculty. On the other hand, Sanskrit has, throughout history, enriched itself from trends in the more widely spoken languages of various periods Many contemporary Sanskrit poets are experimenting with the meters used in the poetry of today^ spoken Indian languages. No doubt, the translators own language, Telugu, would have provided him with a number of lyrical meters. The Sanskrit texts on prosody (vide Pzhgata" chandassutram^ commentary by Halayudha, sub-commentary by Jivananda Vidy^sagara [Calcutta: 1928] p. 408) have worked out 134, 217, 726 meters of one to twenty-six syllables to a line. This list does not include the dandakas which are longer, Mixed meters after the manner of upajati can also be employed. An orthodox Sanskritist can thus reassure himself thai contemporary meters are not alien to Sanskrit tradition; however complex and "original" a meter one may employ, it can be found somewhere In the above-mentioned list.

Back to Mahfil/Journal of South Asian Literature | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Monday 18 February 2013 at 18:41 by
The URL of this page is: