Portrait of Upendra Bhanja

Oṛiā Saṅgīta-Sāhitya

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Caupadī Ratnākara

ka | kha | ga | gha | ṅa
ca | cha | ja | jha | ña
ṭa | ṭha | ḍa | ḍha | ṇa
ta | tha | da | dha | na
pa | pha | ba | bha | ma
ẏa | ra | ḷa | va
śa | sa | ṣa | ha | kṣa



1. Ka (Kr̥ṣṇa’s thoughts)
rāga: Purabī
kr̥ṣṇa-kuñcita cāmara-keśā
krīṛācapaḷakuraṅgādr̥śā
kanaka-kaḷita
ketakī-daḷita
gaurāṅgī ekā mo bharasā
āre kundahāsi
kaḷākalloḷinī-keḷi-kaḷahaṁsī /1/

kiśorīkulakirīṭamaṇi
kr̥śodarī kaḷa-kaṇṭha-bāṇī
komaḷa bayase
kāhũ śikhilā se
keḷitiki jiṇibāra ṭhāṇi
se mo kutukinī
kāma-raṇa samaye mo anīkinī /2/

kaḷpile kaḷpānta ẏāe kabi
kuhāyiba nāhĩ tāhā chabi
ke abā boliba
baṛhāi tridiba
bāmāku baḷiba mo bāndhabī
se mo kamaḷākṣī
koṭi-kaḷākara-kamanīya-mukhī /3/

kusuma-bāsinī bāmā pāśe
karante sañcāra mũ nimiṣe
kañja-bana-cārī
miḷindara pari
kaḷebara goṭiẏāka base
se mo kānti-sindhu
kuñja-niḷaya-bhūṣā mo prāṇabandhu /4/

kāḷindī-kūḷa saṅketa sthāne
kiśoracandra śrīmatī dhyāne
karante śaradhā
miḷigale rādhā
priya sahacarī se bipine
se mo karabhoru
kahe rase kabirabi rāyaguru /5/
Dark, curly locks of hair,
With eyes like a deer’s, ceaselessly playing;
Golden,
More so than the screwpine flower,
The fair-skinned one is my sole refuge.
O laughing lotus,
Swan playing on the black river! (1)

The crown jewel of young women,
Slender-waisted, with a voice like the cuckoo’s,
In tender youth.
From whom did she learn
The victorious pose in amorous sports?
She is devoted to my pleasure,
My ally in the battle of love. (2)

If the poet composed until the end of time,
He would not cause that image to speak;
Who would speak
Having destroyed happiness?
My beloved is the most contrary of women.
She is my lotus-eyed-one,
With a face as beautiful as countless moons. (3)

To the flower-scented woman
I move in an instant,
Wandering in the forest of lotuses
Like the black bee—
Her whole body emits a fragrance;
She is my ocean of beauty,
The ornament of my secret place in the grove, my dearets beloved. (4)

At the trysting place on the bank of the Kāḷindī [= the Yamunā River],
Kiśoracandra [= Kr̥ṣṇa] meditates on Śrīmatī [= Rādhā],
Longs to meet Rādhā,
dear companion, in the forest;
She is my karabhoru, Kabirabi Rāyaguru says with devotion. (5)

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2. Kha (Kr̥ṣṇa is speaking to Laḷitā)
rāga: Toṛiparaja
kheḷā-khañjarīṭa-dr̥śā
mo bandhu
khaṭaā mote tā beharaṇa-phula khaṭataḷe dibāniśā /pada/

khilāi mātraka bindumita madhu bandhuka-bandhu-adharu /
khiāla-rasa-prasaṅga saṅginīṅka gaṇe mote jaṇe karu /1/

khamaṇi-maṇḍaḷa asta hebā kāḷa nagi koka jāgarūka /
khañjuthibi sūnasajaṛā maṇḍana maṇḍu mo aṅkapalaṅka /2/

khila khila dari khuāibi śirīmukhe karpūra biṛiā /
khali mr̥gamada citribi pramodabhare uraja naṛiā /3/

khaṇḍa sahodara madhura tā gira baratana boli bhābi /
khuṇa na thibāra alakatasāra citra pade lekhuthibi /4/

khaṭā leśa cite na rakhi laḷite ghenāa bāḷāpūrate /
kharāpa nuhẽṭi paraupakr̥ti kabirabi bole gīte /5/
With eyes like a playful wagtail bird,
My friend,
Bind me to that flower sleeping on the grass, day and night continuously. (refrain)

Feeding a tiny drop of honey from [your] bandhuka-red lips, friend,
Consider making me a member of the group of [Rādhā’s] companions. (1)

When the koka is awake, having watched the setting of the sun,
I shall have set well-arranged flowers, while ornamenting [her?] body and bed. (2)

After making khilas, I shall have fed her a camphor biṛiā;
After grounding up musk, I shall have painted her delightful, coconut-like breasts. (3)

Considering that voice like a piece of candy [sahodara] as payment,
I shall have drawn pictures on her feet with the pure essence of lac-dye. (4)

Without any sorrow in the heart, Laḷitā, persuade the woman;
Helping another is not wicked, said Kabirabi in this song. (5)

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3. Ga (Laḷitā is speaking to Kr̥ṣṇa)
rāga: Kedāra
guṇa-ratnākara he /
galāni ki sari se kiśorī kuḷācāra he /pada/

gopāḷaṅka kuḷaśīḷ gaṅgāru gabhīra he /
gospadaru uṇā maṇila ki baṁśīdhara he /1/

gaṇṭhidhanu gupata mo sakhīra ābura he /
gagana-kusuma pari heba ki ethara he /2/

gopa-nr̥pa-baḷaru na thile hele ḍara he /
gaṛaku nikaṭa parā e tumbha nagara he /3/

griṣṭha pratāpī kaṁsa śuṇile khabara he /
gobarddhana-giri-guhāpuṭa ẏiba jūra he /4/

gale mũ cittaku sabu hoiba gocara he /
gīte bole kabirabi sarbaṁsahāsura he /5/
O ocean of virtues,
Did that young lady not dispense with family custom? (refrain)

Proper conduct for the cowherd families is deeper than the Gaṅgā;
Did you feel shame because of the fear of daybreak, O player of the flute? (1)

My friend’s honor is more protected than the most valuable treasure;
Will it now become like a heavenly flower [= an unreal thing]? (2)

Even if you did not fear the power of the King of Gopa,
This town of yours is certainly near Gaṛa. (3)

If the greatest mighty Kaṁsa heard the news,
The refuge of Gobarddhana Mountain would be destroyed. (4)

If I go [you] will realize everything,
Said Kabirabi, sage of the earth [= Brahman], in this song. (5)

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28. La
rāga: Sāberī
lāgilā re lābaṇyanidhi ki śyāma laṭa /
locane dekhile loka
mukuṭacandaka-ẏāka /
lākṣāre hebāre naṭapaṭa /pada/

labaṅgalatā bhabane
byasta hoi nidhubane
paṛiachi puṇi phulakhaṭa /
lohita sudhāṁśu-kaḷā
nīḷalohita bahilā
pari puṇi diśe stanaghaṭa /1/

laḷitā dekhilā puṇi
lāgi hebāra kācheṇī
kari nīḷaceḷa nūānaṭa /
lahake puṇi kiśorī-
ratana cetā pāsori
pindhi pakāilā pītapaṭa /2/

lajjā hebāru prabaḷa
hele hele anukūḷa
rāji na karibāru ulaṭa /
lakṣa parimita āna
pakāi sehi bidhāna
hebā-ẏāe kale puṇi haṭa /3/

lekhādhipa maṇimaya
diśuchi śaśi udaya
samaye arẏamājemātaṭa /
laḷita śampāballarī
jiṇi tāhā madhye śirī
biḷasuchi puṇi jhaṭajhaṭa /4/

luḷigalāni nikuñja-
sañcāru caraṇa-kuñja
kahe kabirabi madhuliṭa /
lucāuthāe ẏubatī-
ratana mohana prīti
na jāṇai boli mũ nipaṭa /5/
Did Śyāma trouble the beautiful lady?
People saw
The crown of peacock feathers
Smeared all over with lac. (refrain)

In the abode of creepers,
Being occupied with love-play,
[She] has fallen again on the bed of flowers;
The pitcher-like breasts appear like Nīḷalohita [= Śiva] bathed in red moonlight. (1)

Laḷitā further saw
[Them] putting on [their] waist-cloths:
The young dancer [= Kr̥ṣṇa] putting on [Rādhā’s] blue cloth,
The jewel among young women [= Rādhā] bends,
Being unaware,
And puts on the yellow cloth. (2)

Beyond being ashamed,
Even if agreeable
[Being] contrary by not agreeing,
Taking a hundred thousand oaths—
Being like that [she] was sportive again. (3)

The rising moon seems [as if] made of sapphire
While on the bank of the sun’s daughter [= the Yamunā River];
The arrow, having conquered the tender creeper of lightning,
Shines forth again, glittering. (4)

[Her] lotus-feet became fatigued from the path to the grove;
Says Kabirabi, the black bee,
The jewel among young women conceals her love for Mohana—
I am not perceiving or saying anything at all. (5)

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X ACKNOWLEDGMENT
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After flattering and cajoling: that is, after flattering and cajoling Kr̥ṣṇa on behalf of Rādhā.
amarī: a.k.a. “apsarā,” a heavenly nymph
Epithets for Āṭhagaṛa
Āṭhagaṛa (lit. “eight forts”), the princely state (in what is now the Ganjam district of South Odisha) where Kavisūrya composed KCC, has been given many names derived from its characteristics or historical role. These include:

Aṣṭadurga: “eight forts,” a synonym of Āṭhagaṛa.

Śaraṇa Dharaṇī: “the land that gives shelter.” The kings of Khurda, the main power center in the Odisha region from 1568 to 1803, are said to have taken refuge in Āṭhagaṛa from time to time during foreign invasions. During the Muslim invasion of the 18th century even Lord Jagannātha was hidden there for a time.
the blue lotus-eyed one: having eyes like blue lotuses, an epithet for Rādhā. Kalicharan Pattanayak’s version has “unnidra śatapatranetrā” (Campū-Prabeśa [Cuttack: United Book House, (1962?)], 20), “the sleepless/restless lotus-eyed one.”
Candramukhi: a term of endearment for females, literally “moon-faced one”; also the name of a heavenly nymph
Śyāmaḷa tāra (“dark-colored gem”) also can be read as śyāmaḷatāra (“of darkness”). The line could then refer to “The radiance of the darkness within the keḷikadamba creepers on the bank of the Ravisutā.”
dark blue: “śyāma,” a name for Kr̥ṣṇa.
enchanting beauty: “mohana līḷā,” also perhaps referring to the “sporting of Kṛṣṇa (a.k.a. Mohana).”
flame lily: jāṅgaḷa, which can refer to Gloriosa superba or Hydrolea zeylanica. Members of the Gloriosa genus are called “flame lily,” “fire lily,” “glory lily,” “creeping lily,” and so on in English. They are toxic but are also used in preparing traditional medicines.
Gaṅgā: a.k.a. the Ganges, to Hindus the most sacred river in India. Bathing in the river is considered a spiritual act causing, among other things, the remission of sins and facilitating liberation from the cycle of life and death.
ghee: traditional South Asian clarified butter, i.e., butter that has been cooked and filtered until it becomes translucent. Used in cooking and ritual, ghee solidifies when cool but melts with heat.
kadamba: Neolamarckia cadamba, a tropical evergreen tree.
kaḷā nāga: a very poisonous cobra of dark color
Epithets for Kāmadeva, the God of Love/Desire
Jhaṣadhwaja (aka Jhaṣaketana): lit. “mark of the fish.” After Kāmadeva was burnt up by Śiva (having distracted the latter from his meditation), he was reborn as Pradyumna, a son of Kr̥ṣṇa (in his later life) and Rukmiṇī. As an infant the demon Sambara threw Pradyumna into the sea whereupon he was swallowed by a large fish (the fish was later caught and presented to Sambara, whose wife—or a servant in some versions—later discovered and then raised the child inside).

he with the arrow: like his Roman counterpart, Cupid, Kāmadeva wields a bow and arrow
keḷikadamba: A type of tree (Nauclea parvifolia) on which grow fragrant, pale-colored flowers. Kadamba trees figure often in stories about Kr̥ṣṇa, and their blossoms are sometimes compared to Rādhā.
khañjanākṣi: a woman whose eyes are dark and quickly-moving like the wagtail bird (khañjana)
khañjarīṭa: a species of wagtail bird
Epithets for Kr̥ṣṇa
Chief among the Naughty Youths (“nūānaṭapaṭaḷīmukuṭa”): Kr̥ṣṇa is renowned for his mischievous activities as a child.

Mohana: lit. “infatuating,” “charming,” “attractive”

Patron of the Cowherds (“gopa-saṅkhāḷi”): Kr̥ṣṇa grew up in a cow-herding community and participated as a cowherd.

Śyāma: lit. “black” or “dark blue,” referring to Kr̥ṣṇa’s complexion.
Lebbeck-tree-body: body having soft limbs like the Lebbeck tree (Albizia lebbeck, śarīṣa in Odia).
the old woman: here referring to Rādhā’s mother-in-law, Jatila.
outside and inside: body and mind/soul.
rasa: lit. “juice” or “essence.” In aesthetic theory rasa is the dominant emotion of an artwork, or the sentiment that is evoked in and savored by the audience. Here it may mean more generally a strong emotion or delight in existence. Or, on the other hand, in this context the term could be used in the sense devloped by Rūpa Goswāmī (1489-1564), an associate of Caitanya, who gave rasa theory a spiritual component. In this framework bhakti (devotion) is the primary sentiment to be evoked through “art” (if that is still the proper term), particularly by means of representations of Kr̥ṣṇa-līḷā, the divine play of Kr̥ṣṇa (as described in various Purāṇas and related works).
re: every line of this and several other songs end in this word, an interjection meaning something like “O” or “Friend.” In some interpretations of some songs “go,” having a similar meaning, is used instead. I have often omitted this term from the translation, as the repetition sounds strange in English.
Śrī Bālukeśa: The ruler of Āṭhagaṛa (crowned in 1810) in southern Odisha, at whose court Kavisūrya composed KCC. Kavisūrya served there as dewan (chief administrator) and poet.
standing embrace: “ubhā rati,” love-making in the standing position.
sura taru: a heavenly tree
tamāḷa: a type of tree with dark wood; it is typically associated with Kr̥ṣṇa (as opposed to the kadamba, associated with Rādhā).
this desire: Rādhā is being compared to lightning and Kr̥ṣṇa (and Rādhā’s hair) to the dark clouds. Rādhā’s desire is apparently to play in the embrace of Kr̥ṣṇa like the lightning playing in the clouds.
ẏāma: a period of about three hours.
Epithets for the Yamunā River
Ghasranāthanandā: lit., “daughter of the lord of the day (i.e., the sun).” In Hindu mythology Yamunā is the daughter of the sun god Sūrya.

Ravisutā: lit., “daughter of the sun.”