Today's Beautiful Gem: "Love with a
Foreigner" by Jagannaatha PanDita,
my transcreation based on the translation by Merwin and Messon.
s'ayaneeye neeyate yadi kadaacit
avaneetalam eva saadhu manye na
vanee maaghavanee vinodahetuh:"
|| "If I lead
this woman of foreign blood,
| with beauty and grace to marital bed,
| my love will be here on this earth,
| Indra's garden will be of no great worth."
Note: Jagannatha Pandita, an Andhra Brahmin, was in the courts of
the Mughal emperors in the north. He fell in love with a Muslim
woman. After their love affair was discovered, Jagannatha was
evicted (bahiSkaara) from the company of Brahmins. He went to
the banks of Ganga and delivered in extempore slokas in praise of
Mother Ganga and with each verse, the river rose and finally
reached the topmost step where he was standing. After witnessing
this event that signified the acceptance of Jagannatha and his actions
by Ganga, known for purity, the other Brahmins relented and brought
him back into their fold. Jagannatha was perhaps the first orthodox
Sanskrit poet who married a Muslim woman and convinced his peers that
it was indeed acceptable. His nickname for her was Lavangalata,
or Lavangi for short.
om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao