Monday, November 24, 2008

Celebration of Life - 'nahi punyachi mojani'

There are many ways in which the existence of the human being, or of any other creature for that matter, can be described. Each one of these ways has some uniqueness in its description. Well known Marathi poet B. B. Borkar described this existence as a sublime physical entity where upon a duty to undergo the cycle of life is entrusted by The Creator, Brahma as per the Hindu philosophy and beliefs. As per this philosophy, each of the creatures has a certain brahma-tatva inside him. The brahma-tatva can be best defined as the elemental extract of The Creator himself. This idea is not much different than the amber eyes inherited by the son from his father or the blonde hair inherited by the daughter from her mother. This brahma-tatva leads us to follow a certain destiny as per the philosophy. Poet Borkar has presented this philosophy in a metaphorical manner in the Marathi poem, ‘náhi puNnyáchi mojaNie’. The metaphors he has presented are simple but the message that his poem conveys is in sound conformation with the Hindu philosophy. In this article, I have made an effort to interpret the poem to the best of my ability and to present the same poem in English even though it is next to impossible for me to match the precision and economy of Poet Borkar. If the English version conveys the message even partly, I will consider it as a great achievement for my limited literary ability.

Celebration of Life

We don’t count any good deed
To no guilt we need to pay heed
Like the sacred waters of Ganga
Caressing the bed of rocks with a great speed.

We don’t involve us, nor do we indulge
No fear of disappointment, nor any grudge
Like the pollens traveling from flower to flower
Riding on the wind created by His power.

We’ve no form, no name, but the trance
Like the sky and its vast expanse
Incense stick to the blue fragrance
Filling His space with its pleasing advance.

We see us as the flowers offered to Him
Flowers celebrating their life at His feet
With a leap into the sacred water
Then in the womb of the Mother Earth, they enter
Till His next call, they will get sooner or later.

Original Marathi Poem

नाही पुण्याची मोजणी
नाही पापाची बोचणी
जिणे गंगौघाचे पाणी

कशाचा न लागभाग
कशाचा न पाठलाग
आम्ही हो फुलांचे पराग

आम्हा नाही नाम-रूप
आम्ही आकाश स्वरूप
जसा निळा निळा धूप

पुजेतल्या पानाफुला
मृत्यू सर्वांग सोहळा
धन्य निर्माल्याची कळा


गीत : बा. भ. बोरकर
संगीत : पं. जितेंद्र अभिषेकी


Musical rendering of the poem by Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki


  1. Sundar!
    To my understanding ,there is no deviation from the original poem, have given a different dimension and extracted the hidden "He" in the original version...
    (pahilya kadvyachi shevatchi ol thodi khatakli) me its not an interpretation,Its Original!


  2. Thanks Suyog. I've corrected the third and the fourth line of the poem. I should mention it here that removed the word Ganges and replace it with Ganga. Subsequently the fourth line changed.

  3. thanks for considering!
    and i think the alignment has got to do with the theme u choose.

  4. "If the English version conveys the message even partly,"
    i dont agree with this,it's conveying properly and effectively.
    But being marathi manus, original touches heart very easily !!
    -ashish gad

  5. Ashish, thanks for your encouraging words. The effort is to present the Marathi poem to non-Marathi speaking world. It is to tell them that such great thoughts have been discussed in very subtle ways, e.g. bhajans, folklores, in Marathi literature and to tell that such great thoughts have 'reached' the common man through simple words. Thanks to the poets like Borkar. I totally agree with your statement that the original poem touches heart of everybody who understands Marathi. :-)

  6. Prasadjiiiiiiiiiiiiii,
    Khupach chhan prayatn!!!
    Mala watate tu tuza ha gunahi vikasit karawas... khup lihit rahawes & aamhala te waachayala milawe...... itaranche feedbacks kasehi asot tyat guntuhi nako & lihayache soduhi nako.......
    --Asawari Waikar

  7. Bless you sir! That was pristine. Ghari marathi bolto aamhi - but i have always been struggling to comprehend the meaning of most songs that I've heard. I extend my greed a bit more and hope He provides you the inspiration to translate some abhangas as well.
    Best wishes...

  8. GREAT!!!!!Excellent Interpretation....

    Ashok Sapre

  9. वाह! मस्तच आपला अनुवाद, इंग्रजी रूपांतर फारच आवडले.
    या कामाला शुभेच्छा।

  10. I like that poem and the interpretation was very nice indeed.

    b&b prague

  11. origional gaane wachun angawar kaata ala. Tyat kahar mhanaje tu tyala dilele title - The celeberation Of life . APRATIM

  12. I disagree with this intrepretation of the poem. There is no Him in there. That is the issue. It is the Brahman within oneself. No external Him.

  13. @Anonymous: The poem mentions Pooja. And that's why there is 'Him' in my interpretation. 'He' may be brahman within oneself. Still I certainly believe that there is a scope to consider your thought. Thanks for that.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Hi,
    Would you happen to know, in what raga is this abhanga?

  16. I am not sure about your interpretation of "Mrityu Sarvanga Sohada" (मृत्यू सर्वांग सोहळा). I was looking for something like - Death is ultimate celebration but did not find the word "death" (mrityu) in your translation.

    1. Hello Raj,
      I thought, when I composed the presentation, that the last two lines were about the death. Also they are supposed to suggest the rebirth and the cycle of life and death. But thanks for considering this worth reading. :)
      - Prasad

  17. wah! khubach chhan!chhand hi julawun aanley!

  18. या गीताची वा किवतेची एक वेगळीच कथा आहे. ही किवता पूर्णपणे चार्वाक तत्त्वाची आहे.ऐिहक िवचाराची.. तर ते असो. तुम्हाला लागलेला अर्थ तसा ठीक म्हणता येईल का याचा िवचार करत आहे..

  19. धन्यवाद! खूप वेळा ऐकूनही इतकी वर्षे काहीही अर्थ लागत नसायचा. आज अर्थ समजला व पटला. परत एकदा धन्यवाद!


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