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Poems from ‘Daasarathii Satakam’ – 2

Poetry, for the most part, I consider, is all about making the reader pleasantly exclaim to himself at the end and say to himself ‘Oh, how well he said!’   One can say for sure that poems which fulfill this quality will stand in time and remembered for years by one and all.

There definitely would be poems of this nature in every language since it would be wrong to think that poets who could not write to meet this standard would not be there in any language. In Telugu language too there are any number of poems which fulfill this quality and any number of poets who told poems of this kind.

The poem being discussed now here is from ‘Daasarathii Satakam’ believed to have been written by Kancharla Gopanna, also popularly known as ‘Bhakta Ramadaasu’ who lived in 17th Century AD.  He was a staunch devotee of Lord Sri Rama and the ‘Daasarathii Satakam’ contains poems praising the highly commendable qualities of Lord Sri Rama and the resultant miraculous things that happened out of the virtuous qualities He possessed.

This poem is the 65th poem from ‘Daasarathii Satakam’:

charaNamu soekinaTTi Sila javvani ruupaguTokka viMta, su
sthiramuga niiTipai girulu telinadokkaTi viMtagaani, mii
smaraNa danarchu maanavulu sadgati jeMdina deMta viMta? yii
dharanu, daraatmajaaramaNa, daaSarathii, karuNaapayoenidhii!

చరణము సోకినట్టి శిల జవ్వని రూపగుటొక్క వింత, సు
స్థిరముగ నీటిపై గిరులు తెలినదొక్కటి వింతగాని, మీ
స్మరణ దనర్చు మానవులు సద్గతి జెందిన దెంత వింత? యీ
ధరను, దరాత్మజారమణ, దాశరథీ, కరుణాపయోనిధీ!

Wonder was it when a rock touched by your foot became a youthful woman [1],
Wonder was it when a multitude of boulders floated on water in steadiness [2],
But, what wonder it is when a man by constant thinking of you obtains salvation? on
This earth, pleasant one to the daughter of earth [3], Daasarathii, ocean of kindness!

Notes: [1] Allusion here is to a woman named ‘Ahalya’, in the epic Ramayan, who, due to one unfortunate occurrence, cursed by her own husband Rishi Goutama, becomes a rock.  She gets back her own form by the touch of Lord Sri Rama’s foot, when the time for the termination of the curse arrived, as delivered by the same Rishi Goutama, duly convinced of her innocence  in the unfortunate occurrence.

[2] Allusion here is to the long bridge constructed on the Indian Ocean to facilitate the army of Lord Sri Rama, mainly consisting of multitude of ‘men belonging to the woods’ – vaanara sainyam – to reach Lanka, the abode of the rival king Ravana.  During the process of the construction of this bridge,  now known popularly as ‘Rama setu’,  boulders huge in size and weight  are made to float, by the touch of Lord Sri Rama, on the sea waters to facilitate the completion of construction of the bridge without much trouble.

[3] Allusion here is to Sita, the divine consort of Lord Sri Rama. As per Hindu mythology she is known as ‘ayoenija’ which means one who has not taken birth from a woman’s womb. Epic Ramayan describes Her as taken birth from the earth, also considered a mother Goddess in Hindu mythology.

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