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Poems from ‘unavailable works’ in Telugu literature – (1)

In Telugu Classical literature, it is by now a known fact – rather a proven fact – that more than half of the classical literature created by the poets belonging to the period from 11th Century AD to till 18th and 19th Centuries AD, has been lost and has become unavailable to the present day reader. The volume of this kind of poetic works has grown to such an extent that in Telugu classical literature a separate category of poetry with the name ‘alabdha padya kaavyamulu’ which means ‘poetic works which have become unavailable’ has been created and the small number of poems available (which have stood the test of time due to their citation by poets who have quoted them as examples in their works that dealt with the intricacies of Telugu prosody and grammar in detail) from these works have to this day been remembered and revered as the remains of the venerable past.

This important and intriguing category of poetic works that were lost in time also include works belonging to prominent poets like nannaya, tikkana, errana (known as kavitrayam the poet-trinity for Telugu literature) SreenaathuDu etc., and the small number of poems now available from their lost works (which are now considered unattainable in any case) make them all the more important and precious for the one interesting reason that each one of them once was part of a completed work, a kaavyamu, and at the designated place in the full work each one f them played its intended part with full justification and meaning.

Amongst such lost works, a work named krishNa Satakamu is one which was popularly believed to be told or written by one of the kavitrayam (poet-trinity) for Telugu literature, tikkana soemayaaji. As the name of the work suggests, it is a compendium of 100 and odd number of poems written extolling the godly qualities of Lord KrishNa. Out of all the 100 and odd poems in the Satakamu only one poem remained defying oblivion to this day and any person who reads this poem would instantaneously understand the reason for this and as has been praised by any number of persons down the ages he will also praise the way the poem has been composed by tikkana soemayaaji; the humble way of expressing the desire by the devotee that he be protected by the Almighty.

 

arayan SaMtanuputrupai vidurupai nakruurupai  gubjapai
narupai droupadipai  guchealunipayi nnaMdavrajastriilapai
baragaM galgu bhavatkRpaarasamu naapai  goMtaraanimmu nii
charaNaabjaMbulu namminaaDa jagadiiSaa! kRshNa! bhaktapriyaa!

అరయన్ శంతనుపుత్రుపై విదురుపై నక్రూరుపైఁ గుబ్జపై
నరుపై ద్రౌపదిపైఁ గుచేలునిపయి న్నందవ్రజస్త్రీలపైఁ
బరగం గల్గు భవత్కృపారసము నాపైఁ గొంతరానిమ్ము నీ
చరణాబ్జంబులు నమ్మినాఁడ జగదీశా! కృష్ణ! భక్తప్రియా!

Understandably, the kindness you had showered on the son of Santanu, on vidura,
On akruura, on kubja, on arajuna, on droupadi, on kucheala and on the multitude
Of the women of nanda clan, let some part of it directed on to me, I am at your
Lotus feet with belief, Oh the Lord of Universe!  Krishna!  Loved-one of all devotees!

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