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Some of the best poems from Nannaya’s ‘Mahabharatam’ (1)

vimalamatiM buraaNamulu viMTinaneakamu lardha dharma Saa
stramula teraMgeriMgiti nudaattarasaanvita kaavya naaTaka
kramamulu pekku suuchiti jagatparipuujyamulaina yiiSvaraa
gamamulayaMdu nilpiti prakaaSamugaa hRdayaMbu bhaktitoen.

ayinanu naaku nanavarataMbunu Srii mahaabhaarataMbunaMdula yabhipraayaMbu peddayai yuMDu.

విమలమతిం బురాణములు వింటిననేకము లర్ధ ధర్మ శా
స్త్రముల తెఱంగెఱింగితి నుదాత్తరసాన్విత కావ్య నాటక
క్రమములు పెక్కు సూచితి జగత్పరిపూజ్యములైన యీశ్వరా
గమములయందు నిల్పితి ప్రకాశముగా హృదయంబు భక్తితోన్.

వ. అయినను నాకు ననవరతంబును శ్రీ మహాభారతంబు నందుల యభిప్రాయంబు పెద్దయై యుండు.

With clear mind I listened to past stories of epochal value;
Understood the intricate theories of Justice and Economics; 
Witnessed plays embellished with finest of hearty feelings;
Dedicated my heart to deeds concerning the Almighty, always.

Even then, I always held in my heart the opinion about Sri
Mahabharata very high.

Translation of the epic ‘Mahabharat’ composed by the ascetic Vyasa in sanskrit, into Telugu language has stated in 11 century AD. It started in Rajamahendravaram (now Rajahmundry), the capital city of the Eastern Chalukyan king Rajaraja Narendra (1019-1061 CE). He was primarily a lover of peace and his period of reign was known as the period of revival of social and cultural heritage.  Though he was a devout follower of Lord Shiva, he also supported followers of Jainism too.

The above poem is one of the introductory poems that described the mood and circumstances in a small way that paved way for the arduous task of translating the great work Sanskrit Mahabharat into Telugu.

One day, peacefully placed in all his royal splendor amidst and among the learned men of his royal court, Rajaraja Narendra expresses his desire to see in his life-time the epic work ‘Mahabharat’ translated into Telugu language.

This poem aptly describes the high regard Rajaraja Narendra was having in his heart for the great work ‘Mahabharat’.

Translation of Mahabharat from Sanskrit to Telugu was carried out in a style known as ‘champu’ which means it is a mixture of poems (composed following rules of Prosody and meter) and free verse (which also is known as ‘gramdhika vachanam‘ – may be called as ‘literary verse’) which means even though it appears as free verse, it too followed certain rules of prosody and meter that gave the verse a bit of tightness and made it rhythmic). The above poem is in ‘champaka mala’ meter followed by a sentence of free (literary) verse.

2 thoughts on “Some of the best poems from Nannaya’s ‘Mahabharatam’ (1)

  1. Mahabharatha, called the Fifth (panchama) Veda, is a complex epic in Sanskrit, authored by Veda Vyas. Very few dared to undertake its complete translation into Telugu in verse form. The first venture was initiated by Nannaya, the Aadi Kavi, patronised by Rajaraja Narendra. The work was abandoned due to the abrupt demise of Nannaya. The same was completed later on by Tikkana and Errapragada. In 20th Century the entire epic was translated into Telugu anew by the then Poet Laurate of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Sripada Krishnamurthy Sastry. Some parts of the greatest epic of all times were taken as themes for drama, yakshagana, harikatha etc. The poem now reminds the fact that great patrons stimulate great works. Today the civilized society should patronise such efforts in respect of any literary/cultural form….Thank you, Venkat ,for the poem and all that work you did!….dvnm.

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