An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods by Vedantadesika

By Vedantadesika

During this better half quantity to ]i]Singing the physique of God[/i] (Oxford 2002), Steven P. Hopkins has translated into modern American English verse poems written through the South Indian Srivaisnava thinker and saint-poet Venkatesa (c. 1268-1369).

These poems, in 3 diversified languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, and Maharastri Prakrit -- composed for one specific Hindu god, Vishnu Devanayaka, the "Lord of Gods" at Tiruvahindrapuram, shape a microcosm of the saint-poet's paintings.

They surround significant issues of Venkatesa's devotional poetics, from the play of divine absence and presence on the planet of non secular feelings; the "telescoping" of time prior and destiny within the everlasting "present" of the poem; love, human vulnerability and the impassible perfected physique of god; to the devotional event of a "beauty that saves" and to what Hopkins phrases the paradoxical coexistence of asymmetry and intimacy of lover and loved on the center of the divine-human stumble upon.

Moreover, those poems shape not just a thematic microcosm, yet a linguistic one embracing all 3 of the poet's operating languages. just like the remembered global of Proust's Combray within the style of madeleine dipped in tea, or Blake's international in a Grain of Sand, we flavor and notice, during this one specific position, and during this one specific kind of Vishnu, quite a few protean types and powers of the divine, and hint a veritable summa of theological, philosophical, and literary designs.

Each translated poem kinds a bankruptcy in itself, has its personal person brief Afterword, besides exact linguistic and thematic notes and remark. the amount concludes, for comparative purposes, with a translation of Tirumankaiyalvar's luminous cycle of verses for Devanayaka from the Periyatirumoli.

As a lot a controversy as an anthology, this ebook should be of curiosity to scholars and students of South Asian reports, comparative faith, and Indian literatures.

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These poems, in 3 varied languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, and Maharastri Prakrit -- composed for one specific Hindu god, Vishnu Devanayaka, the "Lord of Gods" at Tiruvahindrapuram, shape a microcosm of the saint-poet's paintings.

They surround significant issues of Venkatesa's devotional poetics, from the play of divine absence and presence on this planet of non secular feelings; the "telescoping" of time prior and destiny within the everlasting "present" of the poem; love, human vulnerability and the impassible perfected physique of god; to the devotional event of a "beauty that saves" and to what Hopkins phrases the paradoxical coexistence of asymmetry and intimacy of lover and loved on the center of the divine-human stumble upon.

Moreover, those poems shape not just a thematic microcosm, yet a linguistic one embracing all 3 of the poet's operating languages. just like the remembered global of Proust's Combray within the flavor of madeleine dipped in tea, or Blake's international in a Grain of Sand, we flavor and notice, during this one specific position, and during this one specific kind of Vishnu, a variety of protean types and powers of the divine, and hint a veritable summa of theological, philosophical, and literary designs.

Each translated poem types a bankruptcy in itself, has its personal person brief Afterword, besides precise linguistic and thematic notes and observation. the amount concludes, for comparative purposes, with a translation of Tirumankaiyalvar's luminous cycle of verses for Devanayaka from the Periyatirumoli.

As a lot a controversy as an anthology, this booklet could be of curiosity to scholars and students of South Asian stories, comparative faith, and Indian literatures.

Extra info for An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods

Example text

Otherwise, we are back to the impossible transparencies of Borges’s Menard, his comic though quietly terrifying book of mirrors, a total introjection of the other. Difference and even a certain incongruity in translation need hardly be betrayal (alone), but is, potentially—as an act of beholding that preserves the ongoing particularity of the original while creating something new in the receiving language, most loyal and, strangely perhaps, most loving. Meaning-content of the work translated can be enhanced by the very motion of linguistic transfer, however free or literal, and each (potential) return to the original is made richer by contact with other tongues in the charged fields of its translations.

9 The foster mother speaks to her mother: We are utterly confused by our girl slender as a creeper her long eyebrows curved like bows, the very image of god’s Red Lady sitting in the Lotus. She stands there hungry for mercy; she hears with wonder of his dwelling in the town of the serpent king— our god the only cure for the sickness of bad karma one with the holy hill. 31 O first cause! Primal Father who came at the Elephant’s first cry. Afterword We begin this anthology with the first of two of Ven˙katesa’s surviving Tamil poems for Devanayaka, mentioned in the account of his vision of the Lord near the river Peppai: his Mummapikko¯vai.

Introduction 11 with multiple religious communities—Buddhist, Jain, Hindu—and a decidedly cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city had deep roots in transregional brahminical Sanskrit learning, though it also fostered the development of regional cosmopolitan literatures, most notably in Pali and Tamil. Along with working in three major languages of his southern tradition— Sanskrit, Tamil, and Maharastrı¯ Prakrit—Vexkatesa was a master of many __ _ genres of philosophical prose and poetry. He wrote long ornate religious poems (ka¯vyas) in Sanskrit; a Sanskrit allegorical drama (na¯taka); long religious _ lyric hymns (stotras and prabandhams) in Sanskrit, Maharastrı¯ Prakrit, and in __ Tamil; as well as commentaries and original works of philosophy, theology, and logic in Sanskrit and in a hybrid combination of the Sanskrit and Tamil languages called maniprava¯la (‘‘ jewels and coral’’).

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