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Sanskrit version of Kirtan Ghosha published
AJIT PATOWARY
 GUWAHATI, July 6 – Kirtan Ghosha, the magnum opus of Srimanta Sankardev, is now available also in Sanskrit. Dr Maheswar Hazarika, a retired Associate Professor in Sanskrit of the Dibrugarh Hanumanbux Surajmal Kanoi College, has translated the holy book into Sanskrit and the Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture, Guwahati, has published it.

 Kirtan Ghosha, which is said to be containing the gist of the Bhagavata Purana, is the masterpiece of the great Vaishnavite saint who was a great poet, too. He composed it in such a manner that it became suitable for chanting at religious gatherings, said Dr Hazarika.

He told this correspondent that he had rendered it in Sanskrit verse openly, without strictly sticking to the literal translation, adding to it his own contents, too, for the sake of meter, wherever required. However, utmost care had been taken to keep the meaning of the original intact, he said. Moreover, no omission of the original content was made, “except in some very rare cases,” for the sake of meter, Dr Hazarika said.

Explaining the reason behind this, he said Sanskrit is a synthetic language and hence it can express many things with a few words, while Assamese is an analytic language and hence it usually splits a Sanskrit sentence into more sentences for easy understanding. Srimanta Sankardev adopted this very policy while composing the Kirtan, he said.

Though the portions of the Bhagavata found in the Kirtan are strictly the translations of the original done by Srimanta Sankardev himself, qualitatively the Kirtan has not remained a mere translation. It has rather become an adaptation of the Puranic stories in short cantos, termed as kirtan, which are suitable for chanting at religious gatherings or singing in various melodies in accompaniment with musical instruments like khol, mridanga, taal, nagra, etc., said Dr Hazarika.

The verses in a canto range from four to 16. In very rare cases, that number reaches 18 to 24. The Kirtan is compared to a honeycomb by the critiques, because it is so sweet that the common people of Assam get immersed in the sea of devotion while chanting the poems in accompaniment with musical instruments, he said.

Many meters like chabi, dulari, lechari, jhumura, pada, etc., have been used in the book by the poet. It should be noted that Sankardev did not take into account the philosophical portions of the purana, but depicted playful affairs of the life of Lord Krishna, which could produce emotion in the hearts of the devotees.

Dr Hazarika said he has employed this technique while rendering the Kirtan in Sanskrit.

It is not possible to use the Assamese meters in Sanskrit. Therefore, Dr Hazarika has resorted to the Sanskrit anustup meter in most cases. Very rarely, he said, he has used other meters, which are not so easy to a man of his status. In some cases, he said he has used some new meters not available in traditional Sanskrit.

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