Mar 24, 2023
Mar 24, 2023
In Bengal the influence Jaimini’s Ashvamedhaparva was felt most powerfully. According to Dinesh Chandra Sen, the renowned historian of Bengali literature, Sanjaya, Kavindra Parameshvara, Srikara Nandi and almost all the later translators have recorded that they translated the Mahabharata following the Jaimini-Samhita. Little is taken from Vyasa, except a few references. Jaimini was a leader among the revivalists of Hinduism (Shankara came later). His disciple, Bhattapada, defeated the Buddhists in King Sudhanva’s court. Many ancient Bengali books contain references to the Jaiminibharata.
In the early 16th century AD Kavindra Paramesvara translated the Mahabharata in brief (so that it could be heard in a single day) up to Stri Parva (according to Munindra Kumar Ghosh up to Ashvamedhaparva, the later parvas being interpolations) under the patronage of Paragal Khan. This came to be known as theParagali Mahabharata and also as Pandavavijaya. This includes basically the battle stories, especially in the Ashvamedhaparva which, like Sanjaya, is from Jaimini. Deities and most of the stories of the original epic are omitted.
Dinesh Chandra Sen states that after this there are many translations of which the important ones are Dvija Abhirama’s Ashvamedhaparva, Ananta Mishra’s Ashvamedhaparva, Nityananda Ghosh’s Mahabharata, Dvija Ramchandra Khan’sAshvamedhaparva, Kabichandra’s Mahabharata, Shashthibar Sen’s Bharata, Gangadas Sen’s Adi and Ashvamedhaparva, Rameshwar Nandi’s Mahabharata, Kasiram Das’s Mahabharata, Trilochan Chakravarty’s Mahabharata, Nimai Das’sMahabharata, Dvija Krishnaram’s Ashvamedhaparva, Dvija Raghunath’sAshvamedhaparva, Bhriguram Das’s Bharata, Dvija Ramkrishnadas’Ashvamedhaparva and Bharat Pandit’s Ashvamedhaparva. W.L. Smith mentions complete Bengali versions of Ashvamedhaparva by Ghanashyam Das and Dvija Premananda and more recent versions by Rajaram Dutt (19th century), Kaliprasanna Vidyaratna (Jaiminibharata in verse, 1884). Chandranath Basu’sAshvamedhaparva in free prose came out in 1317 B.S. i.e. 1910-11 AD. Munindra Kumar Ghosh mentions Nandaram Das, Dvija Govardhan, Bhabani Das and Dvija Srinath among others. Asit Kumar Bandyopadhyay mentions the name of Dvija Haridas too. It is not clear whether these works are based on Vyasa or on Jaimini.
The most popular Bengali verse translation remains Kashiram Das’ Mahabharatawhich follows Jaimini’s Ashvamedhaparva. In him the influence of Chaitanya’s Vaishnavism is overwhelmingly perceptible. The work was a major influence on Bengali literature.
Kaliprasanna Singha (1840 or 1841—24 July 1870) authored the first prose translation of the epic. Educated in Sanskrit, Bengali and English, he left school in 1857 at the age of 16 and established the Vidyotsahini Theatre in his own house in which he enacted Venisamhara. Encouraged by its success, in the same year he translated Kalidasa’s Vikramorvashiya. In 1858 he wrote the play Savitri-Satyavan and in 1859Malati Madhava. These plays were staged in his theatre with him in the main roles.Purana-sangraha, a collection of Puranic stories from the Mahabharata was published between 1860-66. His greatest literary feat was his translation of theMahabharata into Bangla in 17 volumes, the first work of its kind in Bangla literature. The work was begun in 1858 with a team of seven pundits and completed in 1866 omitting and adding nothing. 3000 copies of each parva were printed, being unsure of the reception. He excluded Harivamsa as he found its composition to be plainly later than the epic. He had a plan to publish its translation along with those of the Puranas.
What the BORI editors of the critical text of the Mahabharata have done now, Kaliprasanna did in 1858 all by himself, collating manuscripts from the Asiatic Society, Shobhabazar Palace, the collections of Asutosh Deb, Jatindramohon Thakur, and his own great-grandfather Shantiram Singha’s collection in Kashi. He acknowledges with gratitude the help he received in resolving contradictions in the texts and making out the meaning of knotty Vyasakuta verses from Taranath Tarkavacaspati teacher at the Calcutta Sanskrit Vidyamandir. He records with profound gratitude that Ishvarchandra Vidyasagar began a translation of the epic and had published some parts of it in the Brahmo Samaj’s Tattavabodhini magazine, but stopped the work on hearing of Kaliprasanna’s project. Vidyasagar not only went through Kaliprasanna’s translation but supervised the printing and the work of translation in his absence. Kaliprasanna writes that he has no words to express the benefits Vidyasagar showered on him. He gives special thanks to several friends viz. the famous poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt for promising to turn the best parts of the translation into Amritakshar metre and a play; the Purana expert Gangadhar Tarkabagish, Raja Kamalkrishna Bahadur, Jatindramohon Thakur, Rajendralal Mitra, Dvarkanath Vidyabhushan (editor of Somprakash), Rajkrishna Bandopadhyay (professor of Bengali literature in Presidency College), Nabinkrishna Bandopadhyay (former editor of Tattvabodhini), Dinabandhu Mitra (the playwright of Nil Darpan), Kshetramohon Vidyaratan (editor of Bhaskar). Deploring the death of 10 members of his team of translators he thanks by name those engaged till the end and the proof readers (mentioning all their names). Daily at evening the translation as it progressed was read out to Raja Radhakanta Deb and other prominent leaders of Hindu society like Raja Kamalkrishna Bahadur and Rajkrishna Mitra. In villages, he writes, the translation is read out in important gatherings morning and evening. He pays a fulsome tribute to Kashiram’s translation in Bengali verse, regretting that details of his life and dates are not recorded anywhere. He leaves out discussion and summaries of Sanskrit literature based on Asiatic researches and Max Muller’s edition of texts to avoid any controversy that might harm the unrestricted acceptance of his translation.
Kaliprasanna dedicated his translation to Empress Victoria in gratitude for the British rescuing Bharatavarsha from the mortal clutches of the Mughals. He compared his offering to the gods offering the Parijat flower churned out of the ocean to Purandara. The intention behind the translation was a faith that it would redound to the country’s good. He hoped that Hindusthan would be lit up during her reign by hundreds of lamps of Sanskrit literature as it was during Vikramaditya’s reign by Kalidas etc. and in Queen Elizabeth’s reign by Shakespeare etc. to make her reign unforgettable.
* This article draws heavily on the research by Maj. Gen. S.K. Sen VSM whose generous assistance is acknowledged with gratitude.
More by : Dr. Pradip Bhattacharya
|Pampa’s Bharata is incomplete and is not a translation being a tribute to his king.|
|I'd like to point out that Pampa composed the Vikramarjuna Vijaya in Kannada in the early 10th century, followed soon after by Ranna's Saahasabhima Vijaya. It is therefore incorrect to state that the translations first started in Bengal in the 13th c. and then spread to the South. It is rather the other way around.|
|mahabharatha is an unfathomable ocean. the treasures in the form of stories is immeasurable just enjoy it all, with no preconceived mindset and prejudices|
|Here many question I want to find out result|
1.Who won the World Chess Championship 2013 ?
2.The right which is legal but not a fundamental right
3. The first bengali translator of Mahabharata was
4.The major constituent of Air is
5.Essential oils are purified by
|May I purchase a copy of the MAHABHARATA in Bengali?|
|You dont have any knowledge of Kannada. The 9th Century work VIKRAMARJUNA VIJAYA by Pampa is an adaptation of mahabharata and he mentions several works before him that interpreted mahabharata. 10th century is called the GOlden Age in kannada as various epics were written and they are avaialable in their original form. 11th ce saw the transformation of old kannada into medival kannada and during 12th C the Vachana movement led by Basavanna and the veerashaivas was at peak. 13th ce onwards we have the transition phase and 14th ce brought in the Dasa parampara. when you are talking about the first translation of mahabharata into bengali in 16th century kannada had seen several literary movements and hundreds of works already available.|
|I LIKE IT.|