16-sita haran-panDit bishweshar nath munavvar lakhnavi

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the tabs marked “Roman” or “Notes”.

The ramayan has fascinated minds in India and worldwide for millennia, for the beauty of its literary composition, for its fascinating story content as well as for faith and reverence.  It is not surprising then that the Ramayan has been translated not only into all major languages, but also into unexpected ones like Polish, Norwegian and Swedish.  What is surprising is that there are more than twice as many poetic translations/trans-compositions of the ramayan in urdu as there are of the qur’aan and that the ramayan was translated into urdu even before the qur’aan was.

A book “urdu meN hindu dharm” (Hindu Religion in Urdu), Ajai Malviya,  written in Urdu, catalogues in detail urdu translations of the vedas (66), ramayan (103), mahabharat (38), bhagwad gita (83), puranas (44), manu smriti (4), biography of vashisht (14) and miscellaneous other religious compositions (472) spanning about 200 years of publications.

Why has this significant piece of literature been relegated to a neglected and ignored heap of disdain?  This needs to be corrected.  The sheer number and the high poetic and linguistic quality of this literature surprised me as I worked to string together representative parts of urdu nazm/poems of ramayan by different poets, like pearls strung in a necklace, into a near complete story.

A close reading of urdu ramayan translations offers some fascinating lessons about mingling of cultures in India, the origins and “ownership” of Urdu language, the power of the pen across languages and cultures and the universality of basic human emotions.  One is struck deeply by the acceptance and seamless adoption of multiple religious traditions as indicated by the observation that many ramayan renderings (even some by hindu poets) start with “bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim” and a “hamd” (an ode and/or expression of gratitude to god).  Since god, like language, has no religion, these odes/hamd/vandana are entirely secular/universal. 

It is highly contentious to say that urdu is a muslim language (as if a language has religion) or even to say that urdu is a language of muslims.  There are large numbers of muslims (Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) who do not know/speak urdu.  One of the important reasons that East Pakistan separated and declared baNgladesh was that it did not want urdu to be imposed on it in preference to its own language, beNgali.

Of the 100 or so translations/re-compositions of the ramayan in urdu more than 80 were written/composed by hindu writers/poets.  In most, if not all cases the poets were orthodox, believing, practicing hindus.  Why were they writing the ramayan in urdu?  I speculate that there must have been a large section of literate hindu population who considered Urdu their primary language, not because of political favours but because it was naturally their language.  Some of the poets who re-composed tulsidas’ ramcharitmanas suggest that because it was written in “bhaaka or bhaasha” and not easily available to everyone.  Therefore, they translated/re-composed it in urdu, perhaps implying that this is more comprehensible than “bhaaka/bhaasha”.  Apparently by the 1800s neither avadhi nor braj bhaasha were considered a common language.  To show the role urdu played in devotional traditions of north Indian hindus, I paraphrase from a book by bishweshwar parshad munavvar, himself a poet and son of dwaarka parshad ufaq (another poet of renown, who composed a full urdu ramayan).  He writes that, because of the effort of munshi jagannath Khushtar (1809-1864) and munshi shankar dayal farhat (1843-1904) in translating hindu religious texts into urdu, the teachings of the ramayan saved the hindu religion from further decline.  Before we run away with the image of an alien force coming down to “save” hinduism, it might be useful put this quote in perspective.  We have to make an effort to understand that what he might have meant is that there was a substantial community of hindus to whom religious texts were not comprehensible because they were written either in sanskrit or avadhi while their primary language of learning was urdu.  Thus, these translations made religious texts available to them.

Surely these poets, most of whom were believing and observant hindus must have had an audience/readership of similarly devout believers, who revered the composition itself and must have had the linguistic finesse to enjoy its literary excellence.  It draws a picture of a large section of literate hindu population who considered urdu their primary language, not because of political favours but because it was naturally their language.  We do not have any data taken by ‘pollsters’ to show that this was the case.  But we can make some speculative estimates by numbers of publications and the content of those publications.  I am unable to compile a scholarly accounting of such magazines and the numerous contributions of urdu writers.  Suffice it to present to you names of some daily, weekly or monthly publications, “sanaatan dharm pracharak”, “tej”, “aarya veer”, “veer India”, “arya Gazette”, “bande maataram”, “jain sansaar”, “sher-e hind”, “raajput Gazette” and even “agarwal hiteshi” that were published in urdu, some as late as the 1940s.  All had editors and contributors who were hindu (at least by name).

The compositions and publications of urdu ramayan cover roughly 1825-1980.  These poets also wrote secular/romantic Ghazal, nazm as well as other devotional pieces to krishn, lakshmi and many others.  The question needs to be asked, but remains unanswered because of lack of documentary evidence, whether these poets, steeped in urdu poetic culture, also recited parts of the ramayan in the mushaa’era that they participated in.  What was the composition of the audience?  They also composed bhajans in urdu.  Were these bhajans sung in religious gatherings.  We know that bhajans composed by syed ibrahim ras Khan (1548-1628) in braj bhaasha, proto-urdu, are sung to this day in prayer meetings.  There is every reason to believe that urdu compositions of ramayan were also recited, heard and enjoyed in public gatherings whether they may be called mushaa’era or not.

Well over twenty samples from urdu ramayan composed by different poets over nearly two centuries have been selected in story sequence and strung together like the beads of a tasbiih/jap-mala.  This study of the urdu ramayan shows the versatility, beauty and power of urdu, its ownership by a wide range of communities of India, and the easy and seamless acceptance, adoption and cross pollination of one another’s traditions by all faith systems.  Alas, somewhere along the way, we have lost this unique syncretic tradition.  It is my fervent hope that such studies will contribute a little to its revival.

 

سیتا ہرن ۔ بشویشور پرشاد مُنوّرؔ لکھنوی

۲

ترکِ وطن کا دشت نوردؤں کو غم نہیں

کچھ چرخِ دوں سے شکوۂ جور و ستم نہیں

محرومیِ سریرِ شہی کا الم نہیں

صحرا کسی طرح یہ اِنہیں گھر سے کم نہیں

سیتا کو پران ناتھ کی سیوا سے کام ہے

لچھمن کو جبّہ سائی سے مطلب مدام ہے

۴

بن باسیوں کے حسن کا شہرہ ہے دُور دُور

چھایا ہے ذرّہ ذرّہ پہ اِک عالمِ سُرُور

کرتا ہے کسب مہرِ مُنوّر جبیں سے نور

ہے اِک حیاتِ نو کا ہر اِک چیز سے ظہور

پیدا وہ بجلیاں ہیں رُخِ تابناک سے

گرمی سوا ہے شوق کی دیدارِ پاک سے

۵

اک روز سیرِ دشتِ بہاریں سے شادکام

سیتا کے ساتھ جلوہ فگن تھے جنابِ رام

اتنے ہی میں کہیں سے اِک آہوئے تیز گام

خوش رنگ مشک ریز سیہ چشم و زرد فام

آکر دواں دواں کہیں سَن سے نکل گیا

جادو بلا کا جس میں تھا وہ چال چل گیا

۷

بولیں یہ ہاتھ جوڑ کے بھگوان رام سے

لا دیجئے پکڑ کے ہرن آپ یہ مجھے

دلچسپیوں کا دشت میں ساماں بہم رہے

واری چرن کمل پہ ہوں میں پران ناتھ کے

میں اِس کی چال ڈھال سے مسحُو ر ہو گئی

عرضِ طلب کو اِس لئے مجبور ہو گئی

۹

رام اِس طرف شکار کے پیچھے رواں ہوئے

سُرعَت وہ تھی کہ چشم زدن میں نہاں ہوئے

ناوک جو تھے کمان میں برقِ تپاں ہوئے

چٹکی سے جس طرف گئے آتش فشاں ہوئے

تھا راکشس بنائے جو صورت غزال کی

نیرنگ اک دکھا کے نیا اور چال کی

۱۲

سوامی پکارتے ہیں لکھن جلد جاؤ تم

جس حال میں ہوں ناتھ، یہاں اُن کو لاؤ تم

تکلیف میرے واسطے اتنی اُٹھاؤ تم

بپتا پڑی ہے اب مری بگڑی بناؤ تم

بھائی کا دُکھ بٹاؤ مصیبت کا وقت ہے

اس وقت کام آؤ مصیبت کا وقت ہے

۱۴

رام اور صرفِ آہ و بُکا ہوں محال ہے

بیکا ہو بال بھائی کا یہ اک خیال ہے

اُن کے مقابلے کی کسی کو مجال ہے؟

شاید یہ راچھسّوں کی شرارت ہے چال ہے

ترکِ گمانِ بیکسیٔ رام کیجئے

آپ اِنتظارِ واپسیِ رام کیجئے

۱۵

اُلجھن تھی جانکی کو لکھن کے جواب سے

سیماب کی روش تھی عیاں اضطراب سے

واقف نہ تھی نگاہِ کرم گو عتاب سے

اُٹھتی نہ تھی کسی کی طرف بھی حجاب سے

لیکن جو مدّعا تھا وہ لچھمن سمجھ گئے

سنبل کی طرح دشتِ بلا میں اُلجھ گئے

۱۶

پھر یوں گہر فشاں ہوئے ماتا خطا معاف

اِرشادِ پاک سے ہو مجھے تابِ اِنحراف

لیکن جو اصل بات تھی کہہ دی وہ صاف صاف

اس راز کا ابھی کئے دیتا ہوں انکشاف

کرتا نہیں پسند کبھی خودسری کو میں

جاتا ہوں صرف آپ کی فرمانبری کو میں

۱۷

مانا پلٹ کے آنے میں کچھ دیر ہو اگر

رگھنات جی کی جلد نہ شاید ملے خبر

صحرائے پُر خطر ہے یہ اِک راچھسوں کا گھر

آنے نہ پائے دل میں خیالات منتشر

بولے خط ایک کھینچ کے پھر اپنے تیر سے

باہر قدم نہ رکھئے گا آپ اِس لکیر سے

۱۹

آ پہنچا بن میں مکر سے لنکیش فتنہ گر

کاسہ بدست صورتِ درویشِ خوش سیر

دیکھا نظر بچا کے کچھ اُس نے اِدھر اُدھر

دی پھر صدا یہ سامنے سیتا کو دیکھ کر

مل جائے دان اگر کوئی مائی کا لال ہو

دے گا دعا فقیر جو پورا سوال ہو

۲۱

لنکیش نے نہ تحفۂ سیتا کیا قبول

بولا کہ دانِ پُن کا کیا ہے یہی اُصول

اِس در پہ مانگنا ہی تھا میرے لئے فضول

ردّ سوال سے مجھے تم نے کیا ملول

ہے اِجتناب ایک گدائے غریب سے

دینا اگر ہے دان مجھے دو قریب سے

۲۳

سیتا بصد ادب ہوئیں پھر اُس سے عذر خواہ

لیکن نہ حیلہ ساز کی سیدھی ہوئی نگاہ

ماتھے پہ ہاتھ رکھ کے بھری ایک سرد آہ

چلنے لگا یہ کہہ کے کہ ناحق ہوا گناہ

دانی وہ کیا نہ آکے جو نزدیک دے سکے

بھوکے فقیر کو بھی نہ یوں بھیک دے سکے

۲۴

سیتا پہ کید و مکر کا یہ وار چل گیا

دل خدمتِ کمال کے سانچے میں ڈھل گیا

فوراً ہی موم کا سا کلیجا پگھل گیا

یعنی زباں سے کلمۂ طاعت نکل گیا

معصوم تھیں فریب نشاچر سے کھا گئیں

فکرِ خطِ کشیدہ نہ کی، باہر آ گئیں

۲۵

سیتا کے پاؤں رکھتے ہی باہر لکیر سے

مکّار ہو گیا وہ نشاچر فقیر سے

آیا نہ باز معرکۂ دار و گیر سے

ظلم و ستم میں اب تھا سوا چرخِ پیر سے

سیتا کو لے کے گود میں مفرور ہو گیا

ایسا اُڑا اِک آن میں کافور ہو گیا

सीता हरन – बिश्वेश्वर परशाद मुनव्वर लखनवी

तर्क-ए वतन का दश्त नवर्दौं को ग़म नहीं

कुछ चर्ख़-ए दूं से शिक्वा-ए जौर ओ सितम नहीं

महरूमी-ए सरीर-ए शही का अलम नहीं

सहरा किसी तरह ये इन्हें घर से कम नहीं

सीता को प्रान-नाथ की सेवा से काम है

लछ्मन को जब्बा-साई से मत्लब मुदाम है

बनबासियौं के हुस्न का शोहरा है दूर दूर

छाया है ज़र्रे ज़र्रे पे एक आ’लम-ए सुरूर

करता है कस्ब महर-ए मुनव्वर जबीं से नूर

है एक हयात-ए नौ का हर एक चीज़ से ज़ुहूर

पैदा वो बिज्लियां हैं रुख़-ए ताबनाक से

गर्मी सिवा है शौक़ कि दीदार-ए पाक से

एक रोज़ सैर-ए दश्त-ए बहारीं से शाद-काम

सीता के साथ जल्वा फ़िगन थे जनाब-ए राम

इतने हि में कहीं से एक आहू-ए तेज़-गाम

ख़ुश रंग मुश्क रेज़ सियह-चश्म ओ ज़र्द-फ़ाम

आकर दवां-दवां कहीं सन से गुज़र गया

जादू बला का जिस में था वो चाल चल गया

बोलीं ये हाथ जोढ के भगवान राम से

ला दीजिये पकढ के हरन आप ये मुझे

दिलचस्पियौं का दश्त में सामां बहम रहे

वारी चरन कमल पे हुं मैं प्रान-नाथ के

मैं इस की चाल ढाल से मस्हूर हो गई

अर्ज़-ए तलब को इस लिये मज्बूर हो गई

राम इस तरफ़ शिकार के पीछे रवां हुए

सुर’अत वो थी के चश्म-ज़दन में नेहां हुए

नावक जो थे कमान में बर्क़-ए तपां हुए

चुटकी से जिस तरफ़ गए आतिश-फ़शां हुए

था राक्शस बनाए जो सूरत ग़ज़ाल की

नैरंग एक दिखा के नया और चाल की

१२

स्वामी पुकारते हैं लखन जल्द जाओ तुम

जिस हाल में हों नाथ, यहां उन को लाओ तुम

तक्लीफ़ मेरे वास्ते इतनी उठाओ तुम

बिपता पढी है अब मेरी बिगढी बनाओ तुम

भाई का दुख बटाओ मुसीबत का वक़्त है

इस वक़्त काम आओ मुसीबत का वक़्त है

१४

राम और सर्फ़-ए आह ओ बुका हों मुहाल है

बेका हो बाल भाई का ये एक ख़याल है

उन के मुक़ाबले की किसी को मजाल है

शा’एद ये राछसौं की शरारत है, चाल है

तर्क-ए गुमान-ए बेकसी-ए राम कीजिये

आप इन्तज़ार-ए वापसी-ए राम कीजिये

१५

उल्झन थी जानकी को लखन के जवाब से

सीमाब की रविश थी अयां इज़्तराब से

वाक़फ़ न थी निगाह-ए करम गो इताब से

उठती न थी किसी की तरफ़ भी हिजाब से

लेकिन जो मुद्दुआ था वो लछमन समझ गए

सुंबुल की तरह दश्त-ए बला में उलझ गए

१६

फिर यूं गुहर फंशां हुए माता ख़ता मु’आफ़

इर्शाद-ए पाक से हो मुझे ताब-ए इन्हराफ़

लैकिन जो अस्ल बात थी कह दी वो साफ़ साफ़

इस राज़ का अभी किये देता हुं इन्कशाफ़

करता नहीं पसंद कभी ख़ुदसरी को मैं

जाता हूं सिर्फ़ आप की फ़र्माबरी को मैं

१७

माना पलट के आने में कुछ देर हो अगर

रघुनाथ-जी कि जल्द न शा’एद मिले ख़बर

सहरा-ए पुर-ख़तर है ये एक राछसौं का घर

आने न पाएं दिल में ख़यालात मुन्तशर

बोले ख़त एक खैंच के फिर अपने तीर से

बाहर क़दम न रखियेगा आप इस लकीर से

१९

आ पहुंचा बन में मक्र से लंकेश फ़ित्ना-गर

कासा ब-दस्त सूरत-ए दर्वेश-ए ख़ुश-सियर

देखा नज़र बचा के कुछ उस ने इधर उधर

दी फिर सदा ये सामने सीता को देख कर

मिल जाए दान अगर कोई माई का लाल हो

देगा दुआ फ़क़ीर जो पूरा सवाल हो

२१

लंकेश ने न तोहफ़ा-ए सीता किया क़ुबूल

बोला के दान-ए पुन का क्या है यही उसूल

इस दर पे मांगना हि था मेरे लिये फ़ुज़ूल

रद्द-ए सवाल से मुझे तुम ने किया मलूल

है इज्तनाब एक गदा-ए ग़रीब से

देना अगर है दान मुझे दो क़रीब से

२३

सीता ब-सद अदब हुईं फिर उस से उज़्र-ख़वाह

लैकिन न हीला-साज़ की सीधी हुई निगाह

माथे पे हाथ रख के भरी एक सर्द आह

चलने लगा ये कह के, के नाहक़ हुआ गुनाह

दानी वो क्या न आ के जो नज़्दीक दे सके

भूके फ़क़ीर को भी न यूं भीक दे सके

२४

सीता पे कैद ओ मक्र का ये वार चल गया

दिल ख़िद्मत-ए कमाल के सांचे में ढल गया

फ़ौरन हि मोम का सा कलेजा पिधल गया

या’नी ज़बां से कलमा-ए ता’अत निकल गया

मासूम थीं फ़रेब नशाचर से खा गईं

फ़िक्र-ए ख़त-ए कशीदा न कीं, बाहर आ गईं

२५

सीता के पाऊं रखते हि बाहर लकीर से

मक्कार हो गया वो नशाचर फ़क़ीर से

आया न बाज़ मा’रका-ए दार ओ गीर से

ज़ुल्म ओ सितम में अब था सिवा चर्ख़-ए पीर से

सीता को ले के गोद में मफ़्रूर हो गया

एसा उढा एक आन में काफ़ूर हो गया

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. munshi bishweshwar prasad munavvar lakhnavi (1897-1970). He was a scholar of arabi, faarsi, urdu, and hindi. His father, munshi dwarka prasad ufaq was also a great poet who recomposed the ramayan in urdu using the same qaafiya for more than 6000 ash’aar. He himself re-composed the bhagwad gita in chaste urdu. He credits urdu with “saving the hindu religion” because of the many translations of hindu religious texts into urdu because that was the language that more north Indian hindus could relate to, rather than avadhi or sanskrit. This is a shorter musaddas that bishweshwar parshad composed about the kidnapping of sita, published in 1927 in ‘avadh aKhbaar’, lukhnau. I have de-selected 10 stanzas for abbreviation. The original sequence number is retained to help those who want to search and read the full version.
2
tark-e-vatan1 ka dasht-navardoN2 ko Gham nahiN
kuchh charKh-e-duuN3 se shikva4-e jaur-o-sitam5 nahiN
mahroomi6-e sariir-e-shahi7 ka alam8 nahiN
sehra9 kisi tarah ye inheN ghar se kam nahiN
sita ko praan-naath10 ki seva11 se kaam hai
lachhman ko jabba-saaii12 se matlab13 mudaam14 hai   
1.leaving homeland 2.wilderness wanderers 3.ill-natured sky=ill fate 4.complaint 5.cruelty and oppression 6.deprivation 7.royal throne 8.sorrow 9.wilderness 10.lord of life 11.service 12.bowing head, obeying 13.concern 14.always
This is a description of raam, sita and lakshman. They wander the wilderness without feeling sad about the loss of homeland. They do not complain about the cruelty and oppression that the sky/fate has visited upon them. They are not sorry about being deprived of the royal throne. The wilderness is no less than a home for them. All sita wants to do is serve her lord. lakshman constantly thinks of obedience to raam.

4
banbaasiyoN1 ke husn2 ka shohra3 hai duur duur
chhaaya hai zarre-zarre4 pe ek aalam-e-suroor5
karta hai kasb6 mahr-e-munavvar7 jabiiN8 se noor9
hai ek hayaat-e-nau10 ka har ek cheez se zuhoor11
paida12 vo bijliyaaN haiN ruKh-e-taabnaak13 se
garmi14 siva15 hai shauq16 ki deedaar-e-paak17 se   
1.forest dwellers 2.beauty 3.fame 4.every grain of dust 5.state of ecstacy 6.obtain, get 7.shining sun 8.forehead 9.brilliance 10.new life 11.appearance, manifestation 12.born, emerge 13.bright face 14.enthusiasm 15.beyond, exceeding 16.desire 17.divine sight
The fame of the beauty of the (new) forest dwellers spread far and wide. Every grain of dust was in a state of ecstacy. The shining sun received the gift of brilliance from the forehead of raam. There was a manifestation of new life in everything around. There is such lightning/brilliance emanating from the shining face (of raam) that there is exceeding eagerness in everything to catch a glimpse of the divine.

5
ek roz sair-e dasht1-e bahaariiN2 se shaad-kaam3
sita ke saath jalva-figan4 the janaab-e raam
itne hi meN kahiN se ek aahu5-e tez-gaam6
Khush-raNg, mushk-rez7, siyah-chashm8 o zard-faam9
aa kar davaaN-davaaN10 kahiN sunn11 se guzar12 gaya
jaadu balaa ka jis meN tha vo chaal chal gaya  
1.wilderness 2.flowers 3.happy 4.casting image, present 5.deer 6.fast 7.spreading musk 8.dark eyes 9.gold colour 10.quickly 11.zipping 12.passed
One day, raam was seen sitting with sita, looking at wildflowers in joy. In the meantime, suddenly from somewhere a deer ran past at high speed. It had a golden sheen, dark eyes and spread the fragrance of musk. It appeared and rapidly passed through the glen, working its magic.

7
boliiN ye haath joR ke bhagvaan raam se
laa diijiye pakaR ke haran aap ye mujhe
dilchaspiyoN1 ka dasht2 meN saamaaN baham3 rahe
vaari charan-kamal4 pe huN maiN praan-naath5 ke
maiN is ki chaal-Dhaal se mas’hoor6 ho gaii
arz7-e talab8 ko is liye majboor9 ho gaii   
1.entertainment, staying interested 2.wilderness 3.available 4.raam’s feet are referred to as ‘lotus feet’ 5.lord of my life 6.enchanted 7.appeal 8.desire 9.helpless, forced
‘charan pe vaari hona’ is an expression meaning ‘be grateful forever’. This (sita) folded her hands and said to raam. Catch this deer and bring it to me. Thus means of entertainment in the wilderness will be available. I am enchanted/captivated by its gate and forced to appeal/beg to fulfil my desire.

9
raam is taraf shikaar ke piichhe ravaaN1 hue
sur’at2 vo thi ke chashm-zadan3 meN nihaaN4 hue
naavak5 jo the kamaan meN barq-e-tapaaN6 hue
chuTki se jis taraf gaye aatish-fishaaN7 hue
tha raakshas8 banaaye jo suurat Ghazaal9 ki
nairaNg10 ek dikha ke naya aur chaal ki    
1.run after 2.speed 3.blink of an eye 4.hidden, disappeared 5.arrow 6.lightning flash 7.raining fire 8.demon 9.deer 10.deception
raam ran after the prey with such speed that he disappeared in the blink of an eye. The arrow in his bow flashed like lightning, leaving his finger tips and raining fire. The demon who had taken on the shape of the deer perpetrated a new deception to play a trick.

12
swami1 pukaarte haiN lakhan2 jald3 jaao tum
jis haal4 meN hoN naath1, yahaaN un ko laao tum
takleef5 mere vaaste6 itni uThaao tum
bipta7 paRi hai ab meri bigRi banaao tum
bhaaii ka dukh baTaao musiibat ka vaqt hai
is vaqt kaam aao, musiibat ka vaqt hai  
1.lord 2.a version of lakshman 3.quickly 4.condition 5.inconvenience 6.for my sake 7.misfortune
(The demon disguised as a deer played a new trick, screaming for help in the voice of raam. sita heard this and said to lakshman). O, lakshman, my lord calls, go quickly. Whatever condition he is in, bring him here. Bear this inconvenience for my sake. A misfortune has fallen, help me out. Share this sorrow. This is a time of great difficulty, be of help.

14
raam aur sarf1-e aah-o-buka2 hoN muhaal3 hai
beka-ho-baal4 bhaii ka ye ek Khayaal5 hai
un ke muqaabele6 ki kisi ko majaal7 hai
shaa’ed8 ye raachhasoN9 ki sharaarat10 hai, chaal11 hai
tark12-e gumaan13-e bekasi14-e raam kiijiye
aap intezaar15-e vaapasi16-e raam kiijiye   
1.spend, busy 2.sighing and sobbing 3.difficult 4.even a hair get hurt 5.imagination 6.confront 7.dare 8.perhaps 9.demons 10.mischief 11.trick 12.quit, give up 13.suspicion 14.helplessness 15.wait 16.return
(lakshman replies) It is difficult to think that raam would engage in moan painfully. It is mere imagination to think that even a hair of his would be hurt. Who can dare confront him. Perhaps this is a mischief, a trick played by the demons. Give up any suspicion of raam’s helplessness. Just wait for his return.

15
uljhan1 thi jaanki2 ko lakhan3 ke javaab se
siimaab4 ki ravish5 thi ayaaN6 izteraab7 se
vaaqif8 na thi nigaah-e-karam9 go10 itaab11 se
uThti na thi kisi ki taraf12 bhi hijaab13 se
laikin jo muddua14 that vo lachchman3 samajh gaye
sunbul15 ki tarah16 dasht-e-bala17 meN ulajh18 gaye  
1.confusion, irritation 2.another name of sita 3.version of lakshman 4.mercury 5.gait, posture 6.apparent 7.restlessness 8.familiar 9.kind glance 10.even though 11.anger 12.towards 13.modesty 14.intention, wish 15.grass 16.like, similar to 17.calamitous path 18.entangled
sita was not very happy with lakshman’s answer. Her restless reflected the qualities of mercury. Even though her kind eyes were unfamiliar with anger, even though out of modesty she never raised her glance to look at anyone, lakshman could clearly see/figure out her wishes. He got entangled between competing demands like twisted reeds of grass.

16
phir yuN guhar-fashaaN1 hue, maata Khata2 mu’aaf
irshaad-e-paak3 se ho mujhe taab4-e inheraaf5
laikin jo asl6 baat this kah di vo saaf saaf
is raaz7 ka abhi kiye deta huN inkeshaaf8
karta nahiN pasand kabhi Khud-sari9 ko maiN
jaata huN sirf10 aap ki farmaa-bari11 ko maiN
1.pearl scattering 2.mistake, transgression 3.respected words 4.strength, courage 5.disagreement 6.real 7.secret 8.reveal 9.obstinacy 10.only 11.obedience
Then, speaking wise/loving words (like scattering pearls) he said, O, mother, pardon my insolence. How can I have the courage to disagree with your honored words. But, he went ahead and spoke what really was in his mind. I do not like obstinacy. I am going only to obey you. It may be that he is referring to sita’s obstinacy and protesting that he leaves only to obey her or is it that he is referring to his own obstinacy (adhering to raam’s instructions).

17
maana palaT ke aane meN kuchh der ho agar
raghunaath-ji1 ki jald2 na shaa’ed3 mile Khabar4
sahra5-e pur-Khatar6 hai ye ek raachhasoN7 ka ghar
aane na paayeN dil meN Khayaalaat8 muntashar9
bole Khat10 ek khaiNch ke phir apne tiir se
baahir qadam11 na rakhiyega aap is lakiir se  
1.another name of raam 2.quickly 3.perhaps 4.awareness, knowledge 5.wilderness 6.full of danger 7.demons 8.thoughts 9.stray, scattered 10.line 11.step
It is possible that there may be a delay in coming back. Perhaps I may not quickly learn where raam is. This wilderness is home to demons. Do not let stray thoughts come into your mind. Then, drawing a line of the ground with his arrow, he said, do not step outside this line.

19
aa pahuNcha ban1 meN makr2 se laNkesh3 fitna-gar4
kaasa5 ba-dast6 suurat7-e darvesh8-e Khush-siyar9
dekha nazar bacha ke kuchh us ne idhar udhar
dii phir sadaa10 ye saamne sita ko dekh kar
mil jaaye daan11 agar koii maaii-ka-laal12 ho
dega dua faqiir jo puura savaal13 ho   
1.forest 2.cunning 3.king of laNka, raavan 4.mischief-maker, evil 5.begging bowl 6.in hand 7.like, similar to 8.mendicant 9.good natured 10.call 11.alms 12.used here to mean honourable person 13.question, ask, request
The evil-maker, raavan, arrived in the forest with a cunning plan. He had a begging bowl in hand and looked like a good natured mendicant. Here carefully looked around and then spotting sita gave out this call … may I get alms, if there is anyone honourable around. This beggar will offer blessings if his call is answered.

21
laNkesh1 ne na tohfa2-e sita kiya qubool3
bola ke daan4-e pun5 ka kya hai yahi usool6
is dar7 pe maaNgna hi tha mere liye fuzool8
radd9-e savaal10 se mere tum be kiya malool11
hai ijtenaab12 ek gadaa13-e Gharib se
dena agar hai daan4 mujhe do qariib14 se  
1.raavan 2.gift 3.accept 4.alms 5.virtue, reward 6.way, method 7.door 8.useless 9.rejection 10.question, ask, request 11.sad 12.avoidance, abstain 13.beggar 14.near
(sita laid out something on the ground beyond the line that lakshman had drawn) – raavan did not accept the gift that sita offered. He asked, is this the way to earn virtue by giving alms like this. It was useless for me to ask at this door. You have made me sad by rejecting my request. Why this avoidance of a poor beggar. If you want to give alms, give them from up close.

23
sita ba-sad1 adab2 huiN phir us se uzr-Khwaah3
laikin na heela-saaz4 ki siidhi hui nigaah5
maathe pe haath rakh ke bhari ek sard6 aah7
chalne lagaa yeh kah ke, keh naahaq8 hua gunaah
daani9 vo kya jo aa ke na nazdiik10 de sake
bhooke faqiir ko bhi na yuN bhiik de sake  
1.with a hundred 2.respect 3.asking to be excused 4.deceitful 5.sight 6.cold, sad 7.sigh 8.used here to mean – unnecessarily 9.generous 10.near
With much respect, sita asked for forgivenss. But the deceitful raavan could not see straight. Placing his hand on his forehead, he let out a sad sigh and started to walk away saying I wasted my virture unnecessarily. What kind of generosity is this that you cannot come near to give, not giving alms to a hungry beggar.

24
sita pe kaid1 o makr2 ka ye vaar3 chal gaya
dil Khidmat4-e kamaal5 ke saaNche6 meN Dhal7 gaya
fauran8 hi mom9 ka sa kaleja10 pighal gaya
y’aani zabaaN se kalama11-e taa’at12 nikal gaya
maasoom13 thiiN, fareb14 nashaachar15 se khaa gayiiN
fikr16-e Khat-e-kasheeda17 na kiiN, baahir aa gayiiN
1.deceit 2.cunning 3.blow, trick 4.service 5.perfection 6.mould 7.cast 8.immediately 9.wax 10.liver/heart 11.declaration 12.obedience 13.innocent 14.deceit 15.demon 16.worry 17.confining line
This trick of deception and cunning worked on sita. Her heart was cast in the mould of good service (to brahmin mendicants). Her heart melted as if made of wax. She declared her willingness to obey. Innocent that she was, she came under the deceitful spell of the demon. She did not worry about the boundary line (that lakshman had drawn) and stepped outside.

25
sita ke paauN rakhte hi baahir lakiir se
makkaar1 ho gaya vo nashaachar2 faqiir se
aaya na baaz3 maa’reka4-e daar-o-giir5 se
zulm-o-sitam6 meN ab tha siva7 charKh-e-piir8 se
sita ko le ke goad meN mafroor9 ho gaya
aisa uRa ek aan10 meN kaafoor11 ho gaya   
1.trickster 2.demon 3.withhold 4.confrontation 5.struggle, push and pull 6.cruelty and force 7.beyond, exceeding 8.ancient sky – metaphor for cruel fate 9.flee, escape 10.moment 11.expression meaning – disappear
As soon as sita stepped out of the line, the trickster turned from a mendicant into a demon. He did not hold back from confrontation and a struggle of push and pull. He went beyond the cruelty and helplessness that fate visits on us. Picking sita up in his lap he fled such that within a moment he disappeared.

munshi bishweshwar prasad munavvar lakhnavi (1897-1970).  He was a scholar of arabi, faarsi, urdu, and hindi.  His father, munshi dwarka prasad ufaq was also a great poet who recomposed the ramayan in urdu using the same qaafiya for more than 6000 ash’aar.  He himself re-composed the bhagwad gita in chaste urdu.  He credits urdu with “saving the hindu religion” because of the many translations of hindu religious texts into urdu because that was the language that more north Indian hindus could relate to, rather than avadhi or sanskrit.  This is a shorter musaddas that bishweshwar parshad composed about the kidnapping of sita, published in 1927 in ‘avadh aKhbaar’, lukhnau.  I have de-selected 10 stanzas for abbreviation.  The original sequence number is retained to help those who want to search and read the full version.
2
tark-e-vatan1 ka dasht-navardoN2 ko Gham nahiN
kuchh charKh-e-duuN3 se shikva4-e jaur-o-sitam5 nahiN
mahroomi6-e sariir-e-shahi7 ka alam8 nahiN
sehra9 kisi tarah ye inheN ghar se kam nahiN
sita ko praan-naath10 ki seva11 se kaam hai
lachhman ko jabba-saaii12 se matlab13 mudaam14 hai

1.leaving homeland 2.wilderness wanderers 3.ill-natured sky=ill fate 4.complaint 5.cruelty and oppression 6.deprivation 7.royal throne 8.sorrow 9.wilderness 10.lord of life 11.service 12.bowing head, obeying 13.concern 14.always

This is a description of raam, sita and lakshman.  They wander the wilderness without feeling sad about the loss of homeland.  They do not complain about the cruelty and oppression that the sky/fate has visited upon them.  They are not sorry about being deprived of the royal throne.  The wilderness is no less than a home for them.  All sita wants to do is serve her lord.  lakshman constantly thinks of obedience to raam.
4
banbaasiyoN1 ke husn2 ka shohra3 hai duur duur
chhaaya hai zarre-zarre4 pe ek aalam-e-suroor5
karta hai kasb6 mahr-e-munavvar7 jabiiN8 se noor9
hai ek hayaat-e-nau10 ka har ek cheez se zuhoor11
paida12 vo bijliyaaN haiN ruKh-e-taabnaak13 se
garmi14 siva15 hai shauq16 ki deedaar-e-paak17 se

1.forest dwellers 2.beauty 3.fame 4.every grain of dust 5.state of ecstacy 6.obtain, get 7.shining sun 8.forehead 9.brilliance 10.new life 11.appearance, manifestation 12.born, emerge 13.bright face 14.enthusiasm 15.beyond, exceeding 16.desire 17.divine sight

The fame of the beauty of the (new) forest dwellers spread far and wide.  Every grain of dust was in a state of ecstacy.  The shining sun received the gift of brilliance from the forehead of raam. There was a manifestation of new life in everything around.  There is such lightning/brilliance emanating from the shining face (of raam) that there is exceeding eagerness in everything to catch a glimpse of the divine.
5
ek roz sair-e dasht1-e bahaariiN2 se shaad-kaam3
sita ke saath jalva-figan4 the janaab-e raam
itne hi meN kahiN se ek aahu5-e tez-gaam6
Khush-raNg, mushk-rez7, siyah-chashm8 o zard-faam9
aa kar davaaN-davaaN10 kahiN sunn11 se guzar12 gaya
jaadu balaa ka jis meN tha vo chaal chal gaya

1.wilderness 2.flowers 3.happy 4.casting image, present 5.deer 6.fast 7.spreading musk 8.dark eyes 9.gold colour 10.quickly 11.zipping 12.passed

One day, raam was seen sitting with sita, looking at wildflowers in joy.  In the meantime, suddenly from somewhere a deer ran past at high speed.  It had a golden sheen, dark eyes and spread the fragrance of musk.  It appeared and rapidly passed through the glen, working its magic.
7
boliiN ye haath joR ke bhagvaan raam se
laa diijiye pakaR ke haran aap ye mujhe
dilchaspiyoN1 ka dasht2 meN saamaaN baham3 rahe
vaari charan-kamal4 pe huN maiN praan-naath5 ke
maiN is ki chaal-Dhaal se mas’hoor6 ho gaii
arz7-e talab8 ko is liye majboor9 ho gaii

1.entertainment, staying interested 2.wilderness 3.available 4.raam’s feet are referred to as ‘lotus feet’ 5.lord of my life 6.enchanted 7.appeal 8.desire 9.helpless, forced

‘charan pe vaari hona’ is an expression meaning ‘be grateful forever’.  This (sita) folded her hands and said to raam.  Catch this deer and bring it to me.  Thus means of entertainment in the wilderness will be available.  I am enchanted/captivated by its gate and forced to appeal/beg to fulfil my desire.
9
raam is taraf shikaar ke piichhe ravaaN1 hue
sur’at2 vo thi ke chashm-zadan3 meN nihaaN4 hue
naavak5 jo the kamaan meN barq-e-tapaaN6 hue
chuTki se jis taraf gaye aatish-fishaaN7 hue
tha raakshas8 banaaye jo suurat Ghazaal9 ki
nairaNg10 ek dikha ke naya aur chaal ki

1.run after 2.speed 3.blink of an eye 4.hidden, disappeared 5.arrow 6.lightning flash 7.raining fire 8.demon 9.deer 10.deception

raam ran after the prey with such speed that he disappeared in the blink of an eye.  The arrow in his bow flashed like lightning, leaving his finger tips and raining fire.  The demon who had taken on the shape of the deer perpetrated a new deception to play a trick.
12
swami1 pukaarte haiN lakhan2 jald3 jaao tum
jis haal4 meN hoN naath1, yahaaN un ko laao tum
takleef5 mere vaaste6 itni uThaao tum
bipta7 paRi hai ab meri bigRi banaao tum
bhaaii ka dukh baTaao musiibat ka vaqt hai
is vaqt kaam aao, musiibat ka vaqt hai

1.lord 2.a version of lakshman 3.quickly 4.condition 5.inconvenience 6.for my sake 7.misfortune

(The demon disguised as a deer played a new trick, screaming for help in the voice of raam.  sita heard this and said to lakshman).  O, lakshman, my lord calls, go quickly.  Whatever condition he is in, bring him here.  Bear this inconvenience for my sake.  A misfortune has fallen, help me out.  Share this sorrow.  This is a time of great difficulty, be of help.
14
raam aur sarf1-e aah-o-buka2 hoN muhaal3 hai
beka-ho-baal4 bhaii ka ye ek Khayaal5 hai
un ke muqaabele6 ki kisi ko majaal7 hai
shaa’ed8 ye raachhasoN9 ki sharaarat10 hai, chaal11 hai
tark12-e gumaan13-e bekasi14-e raam kiijiye
aap intezaar15-e vaapasi16-e raam kiijiye

1.spend, busy 2.sighing and sobbing 3.difficult 4.even a hair get hurt 5.imagination 6.confront 7.dare 8.perhaps 9.demons 10.mischief 11.trick 12.quit, give up 13.suspicion 14.helplessness 15.wait 16.return

(lakshman replies) It is difficult to think that raam would engage in moan painfully.  It is mere imagination to think that even a hair of his would be hurt.  Who can dare confront him.  Perhaps this is a mischief, a trick played by the demons.  Give up any suspicion of raam’s helplessness.  Just wait for his return.
15
uljhan1 thi jaanki2 ko lakhan3 ke javaab se
siimaab4 ki ravish5 thi ayaaN6 izteraab7 se
vaaqif8 na thi nigaah-e-karam9 go10 itaab11 se
uThti na thi kisi ki taraf12 bhi hijaab13 se
laikin jo muddua14 that vo lachchman3 samajh gaye
sunbul15 ki tarah16 dasht-e-bala17 meN ulajh18 gaye

1.confusion, irritation 2.another name of sita 3.version of lakshman 4.mercury 5.gait, posture 6.apparent 7.restlessness 8.familiar 9.kind glance 10.even though 11.anger 12.towards 13.modesty 14.intention, wish 15.grass 16.like, similar to 17.calamitous path 18.entangled

sita was not very happy with lakshman’s answer.  Her restless reflected the qualities of mercury.  Even though her kind eyes were unfamiliar with anger, even though out of modesty she never raised her glance to look at anyone, lakshman could clearly see/figure out her wishes.  He got entangled between competing demands like twisted reeds of grass.
16
phir yuN guhar-fashaaN1 hue, maata Khata2 mu’aaf
irshaad-e-paak3 se ho mujhe taab4-e inheraaf5
laikin jo asl6 baat this kah di vo saaf saaf
is raaz7 ka abhi kiye deta huN inkeshaaf8
karta nahiN pasand kabhi Khud-sari9 ko maiN
jaata huN sirf10 aap ki farmaa-bari11 ko maiN

1.pearl scattering 2.mistake, transgression 3.respected words 4.strength, courage 5.disagreement 6.real 7.secret 8.reveal 9.obstinacy 10.only 11.obedience

Then, speaking wise/loving words (like scattering pearls) he said, O, mother, pardon my insolence.  How can I have the courage to disagree with your honored words.  But, he went ahead and spoke what really was in his mind.  I do not like obstinacy.  I am going only to obey you.  It may be that he is referring to sita’s obstinacy and protesting that he leaves only to obey her or is it that he is referring to his own obstinacy (adhering to raam’s instructions).
17
maana palaT ke aane meN kuchh der ho agar
raghunaath-ji1 ki jald2 na shaa’ed3 mile Khabar4
sahra5-e pur-Khatar6 hai ye ek raachhasoN7 ka ghar
aane na paayeN dil meN Khayaalaat8 muntashar9
bole Khat10 ek khaiNch ke phir apne tiir se
baahir qadam11 na rakhiyega aap is lakiir se

1.another name of raam 2.quickly 3.perhaps 4.awareness, knowledge 5.wilderness 6.full of danger 7.demons 8.thoughts 9.stray, scattered 10.line 11.step

It is possible that there may be a delay in coming back.  Perhaps I may not quickly learn where raam is.  This wilderness is home to demons.  Do not let stray thoughts come into your mind.  Then, drawing a line of the ground with his arrow, he said, do not step outside this line.
19
aa pahuNcha ban1 meN makr2 se laNkesh3 fitna-gar4
kaasa5 ba-dast6 suurat7-e darvesh8-e Khush-siyar9
dekha nazar bacha ke kuchh us ne idhar udhar
dii phir sadaa10 ye saamne sita ko dekh kar
mil jaaye daan11 agar koii maaii-ka-laal12 ho
dega dua faqiir jo puura savaal13 ho

1.forest 2.cunning 3.king of laNka, raavan 4.mischief-maker, evil 5.begging bowl 6.in hand 7.like, similar to 8.mendicant 9.good natured 10.call 11.alms 12.used here to mean honourable person 13.question, ask, request

The evil-maker, raavan, arrived in the forest with a cunning plan.  He had a begging bowl in hand and looked like a good natured mendicant.  Here carefully looked around and then spotting sita gave out this call … may I get alms, if there is anyone honourable around.  This beggar will offer blessings if his call is answered.
21
laNkesh1 ne na tohfa2-e sita kiya qubool3
bola ke daan4-e pun5 ka kya hai yahi usool6
is dar7 pe maaNgna hi tha mere liye fuzool8
radd9-e savaal10 se mere tum be kiya malool11
hai ijtenaab12 ek gadaa13-e Gharib se
dena agar hai daan4 mujhe do qariib14 se

1.raavan 2.gift 3.accept 4.alms 5.virtue, reward 6.way, method 7.door 8.useless 9.rejection 10.question, ask, request 11.sad 12.avoidance, abstain 13.beggar 14.near

(sita laid out something on the ground beyond the line that lakshman had drawn) – raavan did not accept the gift that sita offered.  He asked, is this the way to earn virtue by giving alms like this.  It was useless for me to ask at this door.  You have made me sad by rejecting my request.  Why this avoidance of a poor beggar.  If you want to give alms, give them from up close.
23
sita ba-sad1 adab2 huiN phir us se uzr-Khwaah3
laikin na heela-saaz4 ki siidhi hui nigaah5
maathe pe haath rakh ke bhari ek sard6 aah7
chalne lagaa yeh kah ke, keh naahaq8 hua gunaah
daani9 vo kya jo aa ke na nazdiik10 de sake
bhooke faqiir ko bhi na yuN bhiik de sake

1.with a hundred 2.respect 3.asking to be excused 4.deceitful 5.sight 6.cold, sad 7.sigh 8.used here to mean – unnecessarily 9.generous 10.near

With much respect, sita asked for forgivenss.  But the deceitful raavan could not see straight.  Placing his hand on his forehead, he let out a sad sigh and started to walk away saying I wasted my virture unnecessarily.  What kind of generosity is this that you cannot come near to give, not giving alms to a hungry beggar.
24
sita pe kaid1 o makr2 ka ye vaar3 chal gaya
dil Khidmat4-e kamaal5 ke saaNche6 meN Dhal7 gaya
fauran8 hi mom9 ka sa kaleja10 pighal gaya
y’aani zabaaN se kalama11-e taa’at12 nikal gaya
maasoom13 thiiN, fareb14 nashaachar15 se khaa gayiiN
fikr16-e Khat-e-kasheeda17 na kiiN, baahir aa gayiiN

1.deceit 2.cunning 3.blow, trick 4.service 5.perfection 6.mould 7.cast 8.immediately 9.wax 10.liver/heart 11.declaration 12.obedience 13.innocent 14.deceit 15.demon 16.worry 17.confining line

This trick of deception and cunning worked on sita.  Her heart was cast in the mould of good service (to brahmin mendicants).  Her heart melted as if made of wax.  She declared her willingness to obey.  Innocent that she was, she came under the deceitful spell of the demon.  She did not worry about the boundary line (that lakshman had drawn) and stepped outside.
25
sita ke paauN rakhte hi baahir lakiir se
makkaar1 ho gaya vo nashaachar2 faqiir se
aaya na baaz3 maa’reka4-e daar-o-giir5 se
zulm-o-sitam6 meN ab tha siva7 charKh-e-piir8 se
sita ko le ke goad meN mafroor9 ho gaya
aisa uRa ek aan10 meN kaafoor11 ho gaya

1.trickster 2.demon 3.withhold 4.confrontation 5.struggle, push and pull 6.cruelty and force 7.beyond, exceeding 8.ancient sky – metaphor for cruel fate 9.flee, escape 10.moment 11.expression meaning – disappear

As soon as sita stepped out of the line, the trickster turned from a mendicant into a demon.  He did not hold back from confrontation and a struggle of push and pull.  He went beyond the cruelty and helplessness that fate visits on us.  Picking sita up in his lap he fled such that within a moment he disappeared.

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