by Kartik Pandya | 2011 | 48,028 words | ISBN-10: 8171101966
The English translation of the Bhishma Charitra, an important Mahakavya (epic poem) consisting of 20 cantos. This book details the life and legends of Devavrata Bhishma: a major character in the Mahabhara and relative to both the Pandavas and Kauravas. The Bhisma Charitra (Bhismacaritam) was written by Dr. Hari Narayan Dikshit, an important author...
1. I bow down to that Goddess who is the bestower of the boon, maker of something auspicious and who is engaged in removing the sins of devotees.
She, full of compassion and affection, always protects my body.
2. In order to obtain the poetic skill and intelligence, I bow down to the Lord Śaṅkara, who is the lord of the lords, who removes the hindrances of the people praying Him, who is always easily pleased, revered by Brahmā and Viṣṇu, worshipped on the day of Śivarātrī and the lord of Pārvatī.
3. I, the composer of the poem, pay homage to Goddess Sarasvatī, who is respected by all the gods, being worshipped in the entire world by animate and inanimate beings, for the fulfilment of my cherished desire.
4. To Lord (known as) Gaṇeśa, expert in destroying difficulties, the sea of compassion, the best guide to show the real path, the best brother and the son of goddess Pārvatī, I devotedly bow down for the successful completion of this epic poem.
5. To my revered teacher (Śrī Vidyānanda Sarasvatī Mahārāja), whose grace is always on me and who always protects me from the calamities, I pay homage with bent head to achieve the success in the composition of the epic.
6. Though my intellect is not able to see anything completely nor my learning is enough to understand the reality of the world nor the situations of my life are in my favour, still I dare to compose this epic.
7. I do not have any poetic-power or any expertise resulting by the study of the scriptures nor do I have served any poet; still I expect the fame which is gained by a poet.
8. I compose this epic poem by the grace of Lord though being nothing and of lower intellect. Can a man, who has covered his legs by wearing shoes, not walk on the path full of thorns?
9. By whose grace the dumb people become good orators and the stones start floating in the water, that God of the steady and unsteady world please bestow upon me.
10. I know that the goddess of the world, who always protects me in the calamities, will surely help me out in composing the epic poem and will thus oblige me.
11. After this I bow down again and again to the great poet and sage Vyāsa, the composer of the Purāṇas, and thus start writing on the life-sketch of Bhīṣmapitāmaha and hope that he will guide me in this direction.
12. That my grand nation India is shining, which is praised by both gods and demons, which is always perfumed by the fuming of the fire of the scriptures, which is engaged in the performance of the meritorious deeds and which is full of humanity.
13. That my grand country India by name is shining, whose steps are washed by an ocean, of who’s the Himālaya Mountain has become the crown and whose mind is purified (sanctified) by the sacred river Gaṅgā.
14. I hope that such great country India that of the sovereign King Bharata remains superior most, whose land is blooming by the crops and the fruits, which is full of prosperity and happiness, and where the lamp of knowledge is lightening.
16. In the country India, the holy places viz., Kāśī, Mathurā, Gayā, Ayodhyā, Ujjain, Prayāgarāja, Kāṅcīand Badarikāśrama are constantly removing the physical, divine and corporeal distress of people.
17. Vedic literature which is beneficial and auspicious, purāṇas and many classical poetical literature are always inspiring Indians to perform good deeds from time to time.
19. He was the son of (King) Pratīpa, his form was good, he was bright like Indra, he was capable in destroying the enemies, he was liked by people and he also liked them, he was good in ruling the kingdom, and he was very famous in the entire country India by his benevolent deeds.
20. In his justified and valourous ruling, no one was unhappy nor anyone was harassed; no one was poor nor was unemployed; no one was terrorised.
21. In the rule of King Śāntanu, no one was illiterate nor was a beggar; no one was thief nor was a fraud; no one was hopeless nor was a murderer.
22. During the time of his ruling, the Brāhmins were always busy in learning the scriptures; Kṣatriyas were always busy in protecting the society and thus our nation; Vaiśyas were always busy in farming, trading etc.; and Harijanas (i.e. Śudras) were happily serving the people.
23. In those days men were not harassing the women, nor a person of higher class was harassing a person that of lower class. Neither any father was insulting his son nor was his son insulting his father on any occasion.
24. During the ruling of King Śāntanu on the earth, earning was made by people for the sake of righteousness in those days and even the human goal desire (i.e. kāma) was served for the sake of righteousness; and righteousness was for humanity.
25. In the ruling of the King Śāntanu, the teachers were always keeping their minds in teaching their students and the students were always following their advices. In this way both the teachers and the students were staying in harmony with one another.
26. The teachers of that time were not finding faults in other teachers nor they were overstocking one another by passing unnecessary comments; they were never encouraging the students for any kind of wrong deed.
27. No any government employee was asking for the bribe to do a work (from his side) nor plotting any conspiracy to harass an innocent person. No one was cheating others while giving the thing which is to be given to a
28. Specifications of rules and regulations made by King Śāntanu were very apt. Therefore, there was not any kind of castism or communalism; there was not any kind of distinction between higher class and lower class nor was there any sway of terrorism.
29. At that time all were happy by the performance of their respective duties. And there was a constant and continuous growth in crops as well as in wealth and prosperity in the entire nation.
30. All neighbour kings have accepted his sovereignty by looking and understanding King Śāntanu’s irrepressible valour, war-plans quadripartite army and unbiased strategies.
32. He won against all the enemy-kings and spread his popularity. And by extending various development programmes he became famous amongst people in India.
33. He was well honoured everywhere. He became the sovereign king of the entire India. During his time people started living in pomp and the small kings of the respective provinces were also free from fear of enemies.
34. Though he was ruling the earth up to the end of the sea, the king Śāntanu was devoid of mental peace. Because his wife Gaṅgāhas disappeared from his life and that was the reason of his unhappiness.
35. (How it so happened? listen) Once his prosperous wife Gaṅgāgave birth to a son who was bright like Vasu. For a long time with love and affection she kept on kissing him. After this he handed over that child into the hands of the king Śāntanu and very politely spoke to the king thus.
36. O revered one! After this no longer your beloved wife, I am able to stay with you. That is why accept your dear son. Now the time has come to get separated from each other.
37. O dear one! If any mistake is committed from my side (i.e. by me) while serving you then please forgive me in this difficult time of separation.
38. The happiness of seeing the child’s play is not destined to me. I do not see any one in this world who can change his destiny.
39. I bless your desired child that he acquires all kinds of teachings and learning including the science of politics.
40. (I wish that) Becoming an archer, he will become undefeated warrior in any fierce battle on this earth. He shall acquire the best, never ending and wonderful fame and live on the earth as long as he desires.
41. Saying so her sense of organs became distressed and her consciousness started disappearing. Seeing such condition of dear wife, the King got nervous and spoke quickly thus.
42. O dear one! Have some patience in your mind. No one can separate us from each other. The weakness that has arose because of the pain after pregnancy will disappear soon. O my dear one! Do not get nervous.
43. The royal doctors who are so intelligent like the famous Lord Dhanvantari, and who know the actual condition of the body, are staying nearby you only so as to cure you soon. Therefore do not get nervous.
44. And o lady! Take care of our child as he is constantly looking at your face. You are the only support to him. And there is no doubt that a kindhearted mother never leaves her child alone.
45. O Gaṅgā! How shall I survive without you? O dear one! You are the only hope to me and to this young child. Therefore get awakened quickly.
46. And to protect and nurture this offshoot of my family tree, you are surely supposed to hold your life. A woman keeping attachment with her husband like you never gives any kind of pain to her husband.
47. O dear one! O goddess of the temple of my mind! O compassionate! Ever loving me o dear one! You are the only ferry who can drive me away from here on the opposite shore of this sea of the world. O free-minded one!
Do not leave me in between.
48. O deer-eyed! Do not close your eyes. O sweet-spoken! Speak auspicious word. My mind which is attached with you is trembling badly by looking at this your bad condition.
49. A faithful and virtuous wife Gaṅgā, loving her husband and befall in comma because of death, could not come out of comma even though by merciful words coming from the tender heart of the King Śāntanu.
50. When the King Śāntanu realised that his dearest wife is no more now, then he fell in to the deep ocean of pathos. At that time a light and hearttouching breeze of calamity flew everywhere in the royal palace.
51. The King saw the beautiful form of her dearest wife in the tender body of his son. And thus a drowning man hoped to save his life by catching a bit of stalk of grass in water.