English translation of the 14th century Indian historical poem Madhuravijayam

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Bhoja, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Bhoja

    Bhoja Regular Member

    Oct 8, 2011
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    [TD="class: alt1, bgcolor: #334450"]The poem was written by the poetess Gangadevi for the South Indian Emperor Bukka Raya of the Vijayanagar Dynasty in the 14th century. The poem describes in detail how Emperor Bukka Raya defeats the Muslim ruler of Madurai to liberate the city Madurai from Muslim occupation.
    This poem is very different compared to most other ancient and
    medieval Indian historical poems as it describes in detail the condition of the city Madurai
    under Muslim rule.

    The translation of the poem:

    O King! That city, which was called “madhurapurI”(Madurai) for its sweet beauty, has now become the city of wild animals, making true its older name “vyAghrapurI”, the city of tigers, for humans dwell there no longer. (1) The famed temple of Shrirangapattana has fallen to decay, and its structure being reduced to rubble. Wild elephants have now made the Shivalinga (Hindu deity) their plaything, and all but spider-webs are the decorations of his abode. (3) (when such is the state of those famous temples – ) how would other Devasthana (Hindu Temple) be any better! Moth have eaten away the once-beautiful wooden structures, the Mandapas (Pavilion) have developed cracks in which now grass grows, and Garbhagrihas (Hindu shrine) of many others are dilapidated and crumbling. My Lord, my heart is crying as I describe to you the situation of our beloved devatA-kula (deity). (4) Those Devamandiras (temples) which used to resound with the joyous and pious beats of Mridanga (rhythmic accompaniment), today only the echo of fearful howls of jackals can be heard there. (5) The mighty Kaveri river, which used to earlier flow in proper channels curbed with dams created by our noble rulers of past – she now flows like a vagabond without discipline like her new lords these Turushkas (Turks), her dams being breached beyond repair. (6)

    In our Agraharas (educational institutions) mighty columns of sacred Yajna ( a ritual of sacrifice) smoke used to curl up and reach the skies in mid of sonorous chants of vedic mantras. Alas! On this day from those same Agraharas emit only the despicable odours of animal meat being roasted by musalmaans (Muslims), and the vedic chants have been replaced by harsh noises of drunk goons. (7) The gardens of Madurai were once famous for its Nalikera-trees. The Turushkas (Turks) have chopped down the Nalikera-trees and replaced these with terrible iron Shulas (spears) upon which are adorned the garlands of human skulls to terrify the people. (8.) Those our streets which used to once echo with the pleasing sounds from the anklets of our young ladies playfully walking, those are now filled with the noises from iron shackle in which our Brahmanas are these days bound, sounds that pierce into our hearts like iron-thorns. (9) Spiders have taken over all our gopura-s (temples), and the beautiful sculptures of roof decorations now only support their cobwebs. (10)

    My Lord, The yards of the houses of nobles earlier used to be awash with the waters perfumed by sandal and camphor. My heart is filled with sorrow, seeing those very verandahs now being cursed by the streams of tears of shackle-bound Dvijas (Brahmins). (11) It is hard to say my King, whether we get more troubled by hearing the ill-ominous noises emitted by owls that now live in our abandoned gardens, or get more perturbed by the Persian language uttered by the pet-parrots from the houses of those musalmans (Muslims). (12) Earlier during the times of the Pandya Dynasty, our ladies used to bathe in Tamraparni (river in India), and her waters used to become white from the sandal-paste of their breasts. But now, my lord, she only wears the colour of red, from the streams of blood flowing into her, from the cows slaughtered all over the country by the sinful occupiers! (13) There is no agriculture left, as Lord Indra being angered has stopped sending rains. Those then, who escape the misery from Turushka (Turks) hands, prematurely meet Yamaraja (Lord of death ) through starvation. (14)

    My King! I am unable to bear the looks of those Dravida ladies who used to be once richly gifted in beauty. Raped by the ravaging Turushkas (Turks), those tender women now have dry lips and warm breaths, and their long undone hair is terrible to look at. I can not describe the dishonour and suffering always painted on their faces, knowing no hope of protection. (15) With Kshatrias (Warriors) gone, the Vedas have disappeared. With Dharmakatha gone, character has also departed. With Dharma and puNya-s gone, all nobleness has disappeared. Only in gain seems to be the person of kali, the promoter of vice. (16)

    Relating this way all the condition of madhurapura (Madurai) to Kampana (son of Emperor Bukka Raya), the lady then made to appear a divine sword, and approached the king. This lady petitioner now reveals that she is no other than the presiding queen of Madurai. (17)

    My king, this sword being unable to be wielded by other kings even in imagination, is now being invested into your lotus-hands by the providence. (30) Take this and go forth, chop down the heads of Turushkas (Turks) of lengthy hair, red eyes and terrible voice. Go, quickly cover the earth with their skulls. (31) Let the rising sun of your bravery diminish the moon-smiles of the drunken women of Turushkas (Turks). (32) This earth is tired of continuously oozing with the sweats of adharma( It means 'that which is not in accord with the law) burning from the fires of the ill-deeds of Turushka (Turk). Now quickly cool her down by showering over her the blood of these miscreants! (33) My dear King, Go forth then and let this sword of yours help the Pishachas (flesh eating demons) satisfy their thirsts to fullest from the wine that flows in the veins of those vidharmi(heretical) tyrants. (34)

    duritaikaparam tuluShka-nAtham drutamutkhAya jagat-trayaika-shalyam|
    pratiropaya rAmasetu madhye vijaya-stambha-shatAni bAhushAlin||

    O mighty and brave king! Go forth then, and without further delay uproot from my lands this Kingdom of Turushkas (Turks), pain to the three worlds. Go forth my dear Lord, and securing your victory, establish One Hundred Victory Pillars in middle of the famed RAmasetu! (35)
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