Author Topic: The First Poet Of Nepal : Bhanubhakta Acharya + (Ramayan - full download)  (Read 15282 times)

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Bhanubhakta (1814-1868)

The poet translated the great epic 'Ramayana' from Sanskrit to Nepali.

Birthday - Ashar 29, "Bhanujayanti"(July 13)

"Neplaka Adikavi"(Nepal's original poet).

Many Nepali wrote poetry that was too heavily Sanskritized before him. Bhanubhakta was definitely "the" writer who gained the acceptance of a wide range of people and his creations played a key role in popularizing the written form of the Khas language.

Bhanubhakta was a young boy from a wealthy family and was leading an unremarkable life until he met a grass cutter who wanted to give something to society so that he could be remembered after death too. After listening to the grass cutter Bhanubhakta felt ashamed of himself. So by the inspiring words of the grass cutter, he wrote these lines:

    He gives his life to cutting grass and earns little money,
    he hopes to make a well for his people
    so he will be remembered after death,
    this high thinking grass cutter lives in poverty,
    I have achieved nothing, though I have much wealth.
    I have neither made rest houses nor a well,
    all my riches are inside my house.
    This grass cutter has opened my eyes today,
    my life is worthless if the memory of my existence fades away.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 10:25:38 AM by kurakani »


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Re: The First Poet Of Nepal : Bhanubhakta Acharya
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2008, 10:18:32 AM »
Apart from the popular Ramayan another of his masterpiece is a letter he wrote in verse form to the prime minister while in prison. Due to some misunderstanding in signing the papers, he was made a scapegoat and put into prison. His health became bad and he was given false hopes of being set free. For a long time his case was not even heard. So he wrote a petition to the all-powerful prime minister requesting his freedom.

    Everyday I see kind authorities and they get rid of my worries.
    I am at peace and at night I watch dances for free.
    I do what my friends - mosquitoes, fleas, and bedbugs - say:
    the mosquitoes sing and the ticks dance, I watch their play.
    I was jobless, wealth-less, my hard-earned food came from the spade,
    I served those people so everyone would notice me and give me respect.
    Without wavering I served and they were pleased and they gave
    overflowing attention that is never, ever, taken away.
    I am 40, I have a son who is eight years old.
    The time for celebrating his manhood-ceremony is close.
    I am rotting inside these four walls, so what can I do, my Lord?
    How can I complete the ceremony in this darkness-filled world.
    The secret of success should be given by the father,
    the lessons of life should be given by the mother,
    my child has yet to study the Vedas and serve his teacher,
    therefore to you, my Owner, I repeat my prayer.
    Even while a great ruler like you own this earth,
    a Brahmin's rituals of manhood are being delayed.
    Whose feet do I have to place my sorrow at except yours?
    Please take pity on me and decide my case for better or worse.
    My body is weak, it is made of grain and water.
    How shall I say what has befallen me here?
    I have suffered much sorrow, my body grows heavy,
    and I have been ill for many days.
    I was imprisoned for a long time at Kumarichowk,
    illness came upon me there and after much trouble I went home.
    When I became well they brought me here,
    now you, my Owner, you are my only hope.
    Whatever I explained to the authorities in writing is true.
    But others' answers and written proofs, I am told,
    have proved wrong all that I have said.
    I told them I would pay their fines a thousand-fold.
    But they say they have signatures on papers and letters,
    they say their witnesses have many more tales.
    I said I would not plead, I would rather be false,
    I will say anything that gets me outside these walls.
    I have no wish to spend the rest of my life in this quarrel.
    I have no wish to become a millionaire and fill my house with treasures.
    Days pass by uselessly and I cannot comfort myself
    if you would decide my case it would be a great help.
    I have talked with the warden and he does not speak.
    Even if he does, his: "tomorrow, tomorrow," sounds like a joke.
    What are these tomorrows? It would be better to know I won't be freed.
    Many tomorrows passed. Please fill this empty bag of mine, I beg.

Bhanubhakta not only won his freedom with his poem, but was given a bag of money as well.


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Re: The First Poet Of Nepal : Bhanubhakta Acharya
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 10:19:44 AM »
He died in 1868 as a simple man who did not know he would be among the most revered poets of Nepal. Perhaps, it is only he and Laxmi Prasad Devkota that have become literary gods in this country. The only difference between the two is that Devkota's works continue to enjoy as much celebrity as the great poet himself, while Bhanubhakta's fame tends to overshadow his writings.

However, his creation was not published and he was to die without receiving credit for his contribution. It was in 1887 that Moti Ram Bhatta found his manuscript and printed it in Benaras, India. (Based on an article of Bishnu K.C.)


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Re: The First Poet Of Nepal : Bhanubhakta Acharya + (Ramayan - full download)
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 10:38:01 AM »
Ramayan first verse (English translation)

Narad sage went to the Land of Truth one day,
wanting to bring back something good for the creation.
Brahma the Creator was there and the sage
sat at his feet and pleased him with devotion.

Ramayan (Nepali) can be download in PDF format here:


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Re: The First Poet Of Nepal : Bhanubhakta Acharya + (Ramayan - full download)
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 10:38:55 AM »
Poem about Kathmandu when he first arrived here.


Lively young women with flowers in their hair
walk about me with their friends.
They walk in dreams that are all their own
in this garden-like city that the gods have built.

The rich in this place are uncountable,
each person's mind is filled with joy.
Kathmandu is an ocean of happiness,
this may be the golden city that the demons once built.

Some places like Lhasa, London, or China,
some dark alleys like those of Delhi,
some places that rival mighty cities of India
are in this city that light has filled.

Swords, hatchets, knives, and khukuris,
decorated by pistols and even rifles,
brave and strong men fill all its streets.
Could another place like Kathmandu exist?

There is no anger, deceit, or falsity,
there is no limit to dharma and nobility,
the Lord of Animals protects this city,
this is the land of God Shiva, the land of immortality.

After so many days I have seen the Balaju water gardens again
and I write that underneath earthly skies this is a Heaven.
All around me are birds that sit or swing upon vines,
maybe with soft voices they intend to steal my mind.

If I can stay here and make many verses
what better thing or pleasure could I ever wish?
If there were a beautiful maiden to dance before me,
Lord Indra's paradise I would never miss.


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Re: The First Poet Of Nepal : Bhanubhakta Acharya + (Ramayan - full download)
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2008, 10:42:00 AM »
The eulogy that the Mahakavi (Greatest Poet) Laxmi Prasad Devkota wrote to Bhanubhakta Acharya a century later follows.

The Grass Cutter
by Laxmi Prasad Devkota

A tired young man,
his head on a pillow of rock,
sleeps underneath a tree.
A grass cutter sharpens his blade
near him leisurely.
A sweet song of the forest
steals into a gentle dream.
A heart flies towards Heaven
from the clear world of the living.

Wakening, the bright youth asks,
"What are you doing grass cutter?"
He replies smiling,
"Well, we all will go our way,
every person alone.
There is no one in my heart
for whom to tire my fingers.
So I sell this grass and collect money
to build a rest house and a tap for my people.
If we do not sow, how will anything grow?
And how long will we play with toys?

The sickle dances
and the grass cutter continues,
halting, collecting moments
as if they are bright jewels.
"This forest belongs to the gods
and this is a ripe field to be cut.
I reap my fruit and pay rent to the earth.
This life is two days of sun and shade,
so I give to the gods
the rest house and the watering place."

Magnetized, the youth stares at him.
It is as if lightning flashed.
Leaves rustle and forest birds
fly into the darkness of the trees.
"Oh", from somewhere a thin sound,
"The worth of this grass cutter's life."

The person who slept in the forest
is shaken awake, he is shaken awake.
His eyes are moist,
his breasts rise and fall,
two tear drops fall upon the rock.
The tear drops from a caring heart
make the forest's colors strange
and writing on the stone like pure waves
sing beautifully like the birds
of the forest,
the home,
and of the cage.

Surroundings drink the elixir of immortality
and the hills hum among themselves.
Cool floods, and shades of happiness,
heat and thirst are gone today.
O wonderful star of Saturn,
O these first sounds of Nepal.
May such grass cutters fill the grounds
beneath the skies of my Nepal.
This language, strange and endearing,
welcome like the broken voice of a child.
Shy syllables, these first tender sounds,
simple, transparent, and filled with light.

O birthday of my people's language,
come down! come down to this earth again!
It has been many days since you left
and this whole country has become thirsty again.
What a wonderful past!
Why would the smells not be gentle?
Why would the world not be bright?

(source -