Thursday, 31 October 2013

2 Jewels from the Goldmine called Shiva Bavani

When it comes to descriptions of feats of Shivaji Maharaj, no one comes close to the fantastic descriptions given by Kavi Bhushan. These Veer Ras poems capture your imagination, and once you get hang of the written language(Braj), you cant help but read in awe of both Shivaji Maharaj and Bhushan. Shivaji Maharaj is described by so many adjectives and pseudonyms that I will run out of time writing them all. His is a personality that inspires everyone even today. We need to absorb the essence of Shivaji Maharaj and act accordingly, that is sufficient to set straight the falling standards of cultural life in our country. Shivaji Maharaj can only be called as a Yugapurusha. 

On the other hand, Bhushan inspires awe for his brilliance. The metaphors, personifications, comparisons from vedas, puranas, mahabharat and ramayan that he uses to build the character of Shivaji Maharaj takes your breath away. Ive never read such rich and ornate poetry. Saraswati herself resides in Bhushans poems. 

Recently I was reading a collection of 52 chhands (poems) of Bhushan which is titled Shiva-Bavani. 52 verses on Shivaji. The descriptions I found in the text are amazing. Im sharing two of them in this post- verse 38 and 39. Bhushan uses some stories from Puranas which a reader may not be familiar with, so I will try to explain the background of the comparison where needed.

Most of the words are Sanskrit/Sanskrit inspired and/or not commonly used, I have provided the meaning of those words. The translations are obtained from a translation of Shivabavani by Pandit Harishankar Sharma,  Publishers: Ramprasad and Bros., Agra. Ive provided phonetic version of the verses, as obtained from Google translate to make it easier for those who cannot read devnagari script.

Anyway, here goes:

सक्र जिमि सैल पर अर्क तमफैल पर बिघन की रैल पर लम्बोदर देखिये|
राम दसकंध पर भीम जरासंध पर, "भूषन" ज्यों सिन्धु पर कुम्भज बिसेखिये||
हर ज्यों अनंग पर गरुड़ ज्यों भुजंग पर कौरव के अंग पर पार्थ जो पेखिये|
बाज जो विहंग पर सिंह ज्यों मतंग पर म्लेंच्छ चतुरंग पर सिवराज देखिये||

साक्र = इंद्र; सैल=पर्वत; अर्क=सूर्य; तमफैल=अंधकार; बिघन=विघ्न; दासकंध=रावण; सिन्धु=समुद्र; कुम्भज=अगस्ती; हर=शिव; अनंग=कुबेर; पार्थ=अर्जुन; बाज=ससाणा; विहंग=पक्षी; मतंग=हत्ती; चतुरंग=हत्तीदळ; घोडदळ, पायदळ व रथदल असलेले चतुरंगी सैन्य.

Sakra jimi saila para arka tamaphaila para bighana kī raila para lambōdara dēkhiyē
Rāma dasakandha para bhīma jarāsandha para bhūṣaṇa jyō sindhu para kumbhaja visēkhiyē
Hara jyō anaṅga para garuṛa jyō bhujaṅga para kaurava kē aṅga para pārtha jyō pēkhiyē
Bāja jyō vihaṅga para sinha jyō mataṅga para mlēn̄ccha caturaṅga para sivarāja d

Sakra(Indra) tackling mountains[1], Sun tackling the darkness and Ganesha tackling obstacles,
Like Ram killing Ravana, Bhim killing Jarasandh and Agasti swallowing the sea in one gulp[2], 
Like Shiv annihilating Kubera, eagles ruthlessly attacking serpents, and Arjun defeating the Kauravas
Like a bird that flees when pursued by a falcon or the same act done by an elephant on seeing a lion, in Similar way, the fourfold[5] army of the Mlencchha run away at the sight of Shivaji .

इंद्र ज्या प्रमाणे पर्वतावर, सूर्य ज्या प्रमाणे तिमिरावर, व लंबोदर ज्या प्रमाणे विघ्नावर,
 राम रावणावर, भीम जरासंधावर, किंव्हा अगस्ती जसा समुद्रावर, 
शंकर जसा मदनावर, गरुड जसा भुजंगावर किंवा अर्जुन जसा कौरवांवर, 
काकोल जसा विहंगावर, केसरी जसा मतांगावर तुटून पडतो, 
त्याच प्रमाणे हा शिवाजी राजा चतुरंगी म्लेंच्छसेनेवर तुटून पडतो.

वारिधि के कुंभ भव घन बन दावानल, तरुन तिमिर हू के किरन समाज हैं|
कंस के कन्हैया कामधेनु हू के कंटकाल कैटभ के कालिका बिहंगम के बाज हैं||
भूषन भनत जम जालिम के सचीपति, पन्नग के कुल के प्रबल पच्छीराज हैं|
रावन के राम कार्तबीज के परसुराम दिल्लीपति दिग्गज के सेर सिवराज है||

वारिधी=समुद्र; कुंभ=अगस्ती; दावानल=वणवा; तरून=घोर; कंटकाल=काटेरी कुंपण; कैटभ= एक असुर ज्याचा कालीने वध केला; जम=यम; जम जालिम= वृत्रासुर; सचीपति=इंद्र; पन्नग= नाग; पाच्छीराज= गरुड; कार्तबीज=सहस्रार्जुन;

Vāridhi kē kumbha bhava ghana bana dāvānala, taruna timira hū kē kirana samāja haiṁ|

Kansa kē kanhaiyā kāmadhēnu hū kē kaṇṭakāla kaiṭabha kē kālikā bihaṅgama kē bāja haiṁ||
Bhūṣana bhanata jama jālima kē sacīpati, pannaga kē kula kē prabala pacchīrāja haiṁ| 
Rāvana kē rāma kārtabīja kē parasurāma dillīpati diggaja kē sēra sivarāja hai||

Like Agasti is to the sea[2], Clouds are to a forest fire, and sun rays to darkness,
Like Krishna was to Kans, like a thorny compound for Kamadhenu, Like Kali for Kaithab[3] and falcons to birds,
Like Indra is to Vrutrasura[4], Eagles are to serpants, Ram is to Ravan and Parshuram is to Sahasrarjun, in similar way, Shivaji is the lion and is sworn enemy of the nobles sitting in Delhi.

समुद्रास अगस्ती, वणव्यास जलाधी अन तिमिरास प्रकाश जसा अरी,
विहंग कैटभ कामधेनु च कंस यांस काकोल कालि कंटक कृष्ण हेच अरी,
भुजंगास पक्षिराज अन रावणास राम का  वृत्रास जसा वज्रपाणी अरी  
तसा हा द्विजरामरुपी  शिवाजी दिल्लीपतीला सहस्रार्जुनपरी संहारी. 

In both these verses, Bhushan directly compares celebrated duels from Vedas and Puranas with the enimity between Shivaji and Aurangzeb, and ends the verse by describing Shivaji as a victor. 

Video of Babasaheb Purandare presenting 2 chhandas of Kavi Bhushan, one of which is Sakra Jimi Saila par, given in this text.

Some stories which may be helpful in the context of comparisons(Upama) .

[1]In the first verse, Indra is described as attacking mountains. This comes from the well established story of Aravali Mountains, which could fly. Indra cut off its wings and made them sedentary. The blood that came out from the points where the wings were cut gives the Aravali mountains a reddish tinge. 
[2] A group of underwater demons used to come out at night and slaughter sages and other tapasvis and retire to the seabed at morning. In order to kill them, the Devas approached Vishnu who advised to take Agasti Munis help. Agasti drank the whole sea in one gulp so that the Devas could attack and kill the demons.
[3] Madhu and Kaithab were two Asuras who were born to destroy Brahma. Mahamaya was created by Brahma to kill them and She managed to kill Kaitabh while Madhu was killed by Vishnu, which gave him the name Madhusudan.
[4] Vrutrasur was a powerful person whose penance shook Indras throne. Scared, Indra attacked him while he was unarmed and blew his body to bits, only to later spend time expressing remorse over this attack. Another story says that Indra is infact Surya and Vrutrasur is megh and the story is that of the Water Cycle.
[5] Foufold army consists of divisions containing Cavalry, Elephants, Chariots and Infantry.

I have taken a liberty and tried to to translate the into marathi with a meter(2nd one) on the go. But I know I can do much better. This is only a draft version of translation, and when I think of something good, I will update the post with the same.

Shivabavani, Pt. Harishankar Sharma. Ramprasad and Bros, Agra.
Google Translate.


  1. धन्यवाद
    ५२ कडवी कुठे सापडतील ?

  2. Dear Mr. Datar ,

    Thanks for a wonderful descriptive account . You can download the whole Shiva Bavani at ....