Jarasandhavadha Mahakavyam

by Pankaj L. Jani | 2010 | 82,365 words

The English translation of the Jarasandhavadha Mahakavyam: a Sanskrit epic poem written by Goswami Hariraiji. The story revolves around the story of Krishna’s vanquishing of the Magadha King, Jarasandha. The soul message of this epic Jarasandhavadha is “where there is righteousness there is victory”. The sources for this story include the Mahabhar...

Part 3 - Goswami Hariraiji and His Contribution to Sanskrit Literature

Goswami Hariraiji Maharaj is a retired principal of Government Sanskrit Pathshala, Jamnagar. He has achieved distinction and wielded considerable influence in each of the fields he worked. National recognition of his genius came with many awards and distinctions.

Being a Pushtimargiya Vaishnav, his poetry elevates and uplifts us. He has himself lived a life of purity and austerity, thus his poetry bears the unmistakable stamp of the nobility of his character. He is a moralist -a teacher and preacher. His outlook on life is coloured by moral and virtuous thoughts. He believes in the triumphs of virtue and good life. He hates evil and low thoughts. He believes that man can achieve success and glory in his life by treading the path of virtue, goodness and temperate life. The soul message of this epic Jarasandhavadha is 'where there is righteousness there is victory'.

Lord Krishna rightly says, “Jarasandha should certainly be slain and fully deserves it. He has unjustly cast eighty-six princes in prison. He has planned to immolate a hundred kings and is waiting to lay hold of fourteen more. If Bhima and Arjun agree, I shall accompany them and together we will slay that king by stratagem and set free the imprisoned princes.” (Mahabharata, C. Rajagopalachari: 86)

Goswami Hariraiji belongs to the glorious tradition of Shri Vaishnavism. He is a spiritual leader of the highest order, leading thousands of its followers by carrying forward the values and principles, as propounded and promoted by Lord Shri Krishna. Goswami Hariraiji was born at Champaseni in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan on 22nd May, 1950 Jyeshtha Sud Pancham, Vikram Samvat 2007, according to Hindu calendar. His father was Goswami Vrajbhushanlalji and mother Smt. Vrajlata Vahuji. His father was an Ayurvedacharya and a great Sanskrit scholar.

Goswami Shri Hariraiji is a great scholar of Vedant, Sahitya, Nyaya, Falit Jyotish and Vyakaran. Basically he is a teacher and poet at heart. He relishes teaching and delivers lectures for students, teachers, trainees and even research scholars. He is a profound scholar and a prolific writer. He is an eminent poet and littérateur of contemporary times. His contribution to Sanskrit literature is so massive that it would take several volumes to compile it.

His woks branch off into several directions and thus give a glimpse of his versatility. His publications include collections of poems, four epic poems, books on Literary Criticism, gazals, books on Vedant Dharm Shastras etc. His important literary works are as follows–


Pranay Parinayam
Purush Sambhavam

Vedant Dharm Shastra:

Bhasha Laxanam
Gadyamantra Teeka
Brihad Dan Lila Piyushbhashayam
Svadharm Vivek
Ashray Vimarsh
Utsav Vimarsh
Mandal Mandanam

He has dedicated himself to the cause of Sanskrit and 'Samskaras'. Even during his professional career he never gave up his love for poetry and there is hardly any form of metrical poetry which did not draw his attention. His deep understanding of human relations, the subtlety and delicacy of love, is reflected in his compositions. He is one of the leading poets of the modern age who has added new dimensions both to its form and content.

He is one of the few individuals who have maintained a uniform high standard in all fields of his working. He is a good teacher, a professional scholar, an excellent poet and is well known for his gentle nature and balanced personality. ‘Bhagwad Sewa’ and ‘Nam Sewa’ as he says, is the sole aim of his life.

Goswamiji was a precocious child and sparkled as a child prodigy reciting with utmost ease, even difficult hymns. His grasping and retention capacity of any topic were superb. He indulged in knowledge seeking and dissemination even as a child and actively participated by discussing, singing, reciting in festivals and functions.

He delivers his lectures in Sanskrit, Gujarati and Hindi on very complex subjects like Shrimad Bhagavatji, Ramayanasara, Vishnutatva, Bhagavad-Gita and other scriptures. He embarked on profound philosophical discussions on issues like Way of life, the Purpose of Creation, Soul and its Mystery etc. In his school life also, he was more interested in offering lectures rather than listening. In the year 1992, during the ‘Pushti Siddhant Charcha Sabha’ at Mumbai, there were delightful and stormy sessions, which received much appreciation and applauds and he was honoured by the title of “Pushti Siddhant Samraxan Shiromani”.

He delivers his lectures on variety of subjects like: Sanskrit, Gujarati and Hindi literature, Vaishnavism -Karma, Gnana and Bhakti Yog, Indian Music, Patanjali and Krishna, Essence of Indian Philosophy, the Vedas, the Upanishads and their Message, Purusha Suktha, Narayana Suktha, Shri Suktha, Vishnu Sahasra Nama, Sankhya Yog–Gita, Shrimad Valmiki Ramayana etc. He is a limitless reservoir of wisdom and knowledge–ancient as well as contemporary–that is far beyond the capacity of any normal human being.

He is a bridge between 'Para' and 'Apara Vidya', materialism and spirituality, abstract theories and hard facts, tradition and modernity, old and new, east and west, 'maya' and reality, mundane and profound. In fact, in this world of duality, he can connect the opposites in theory and practice. He can interpret the most intricate and complex situations and explain the unknown in understandable language to the layman.

All, who interact with him or listen to him, including scholars and experts, have unanimously exclaimed that it is humanly impossible to acquire such knowledge, but derived only from divine sources. Goswamiji is actively involved in the development, progress and spreading of the principles of the International Pushtimargiya Vaishnav Parishad of Shri Vallabhacharya Gurukul of Junagadh. He is an active member of the ‘Vishva Hindu Parishad’ and he is the prime mover of the various programmes of the Parishad in Jamnagar. At personal level, he aims at the betterment of the entire humanity with special focus on the upliftment of the weaker and marginalised sections of the society.

He is involved in activities like conducting of youth training camps, women empowerment programmes, medical camps, especially eye camps, blood donation camps, cattle camps, renaissance of ancient art and cultural forums. Goswami Shri Hariraiji has established the religious Charitable organisation, for the propagation of Vaishnavism and for revival of lapsed temple rituals and festivals. He has also established Moti Haveli Pathshala at Jamnagar. He played a very vital role in the construction of the Vaishnav Community Hall and in the renovation of the Moti Haveli at Jamnagar. His contribution in rehabilitating the people of Dhutarpur village in the Kutch district after the devastating earthquake, is really unique.

Goswamiji has won several awards and has been conferred several titles. Recognizing his greatness, uniqueness, infinite potential and contribution in the field of Sanskrit literature he was honoured by the Rajasthan Sanskrit Academy by a very prestigious award the ‘Magh Puraskar’ in 1983. In the same year i.e. in 1983 the Uttar Pradesh Sanskrit Academy awarded him another prestigious award the ‘Kalidas Puraskar’ for his great epic Jarasandhavadha. Goswamiji’s such a great success and achievement was celebrated with great splendor, amidst rituals, recitations and cultural concerts by his devotees.

The Bhagvat Vidyapeeth Ahmedabad has also conferred the highest honour, the title ‘Mahakavi’ in 1984. In 1989 the Maharaja Mewad Foundation Udaipur, Rajasthan, felicitated him by the ‘Harit Puraskar’.

As a spiritual leader Goswamiji’s compassion, outlook, concerns and activities have always been boundless, transcending the narrow boundaries of caste, creed, status, region or religion. In spite of being a staunch and chaste Vaishnavite, he believes in inter-religious harmony without losing religious dignity. He is a messenger and promoter of peace. Goswamij is a great connoisseur of music, dance, drama and other art forms, including folk variety. He is a good singer, composer, and a gifted poet in many languages. One thing worth-mentioning about Goswamiji is his love for Indian classical music. He is the follower of the Champaseni tradition (gharana) and literally teaches the students to keep this tradition alive and at the same time for the progress and development of this gharana. Apart from skills like drawing, painting etc, he has deep interest in Vedic Mathematics and Logics.

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