Starting today, we are hoping to post, as frequently as possible, a few verses from the play
Uttararamacharitam by Bhavabhuti.
The idea is to have the whole play translated, in due course.
ACT I – CHITRADARSHANAM
इदम् कविभ्यः पूर्वेभ्यो नमोवाक्यम् प्रशास्महे /वन्देमहि च ताम् वाचम् अमृताम् आत्मनः कलाम् //१//
idham kavibhyaha pUrvEbhyO namOvAkyam prashAsmahE / vandhEmahi cha thAm vAcham amrthAm Athmanah kalAm // 1 //
Let us begin by expressing our respect to the poets of yore and saluting the Goddess of Speech, Saraswati, who is like nectar and who is an aspect of the Almighty.
सूत्रधारः – अलम् अतिविस्तरेण / अद्य खलु भगवतः कालप्रियानाथस्य यात्रायाम् आर्यमिश्रान् विज्ञापयामि / एवम् अत्रभवन्तो विदांकुर्वन्तु / अस्ति तत्रभवान् काश्यपः श्रीकण्ठपदलाञ्छ्नॊ भवभूतिर्नाम /
यं ब्रह्माणम् इयं देवी वाग्वश्यॆवानुवर्तते / उत्तरं रामचरितं तत्प्रणीतं प्रयुज्यते //२//
एषोस्मि कार्यवशाद् आयोध्यकस्तदानींतनश्च संवृत्तः / (समन्तादवलोक्य) भो भोः / यदा तावदत्रभवतः पौलस्त्यकुलधूमकेतोर्महाराजरामस्यायम् अभिषेकसमयो रात्रिंदिवम् असंहृतनान्दीकस्तत् किमद्य विश्रान्तचारणानि चत्वरस्थानानि /
sUthraDHAraha: alam athivistharENa I adhya khalu bhagavathaha kAlapriyAnATHasya yAthrAyAm AryamishrAn vignyApayAmi I Evam athrabhavanthO vidhAnkurvanthu I asthi thathrabhavAn kAshyapaha shrIkaNTapadhalAnCHanO bhavabhUthirnAma I
yam brahmANam iyam dhEvI vAg vashyEvAnuvarthathE I uththaram rAmacharitham thathpraNItham prayujyathE // 2 //
ESHOsmi kAryavashAdh AyODHyakasthadhAnInthanashcha samvrththaha I
bhO bhOho I yadhA thAvadh athrabhavanthaha paulasthyakulaDHUmakEthOr mahArAjarAmasya ayam abhiSHEkasamayO rAthrimdhivam asamhrthAnandhanAndhIkasthath kimadhya vishrAnthachAraNAni chathvarasTH AnAni I
(After the prayer)
SUTRADHARA: Let me not take too much time to give you the details. Today, on the occasion of the festival in honour of Lord Kalapriyanatha, I wish to make a submission before this august audience. Hear this, all of you: There is, in the lineage of Kashyapa, one called Bhavabhuti, who has been conferred the title ‘Srikanta’.
This brahmin is followed everywhere by the Goddess of Speech as though she is under a spell. We will now enact Uttararamacharitam written by him.
Now, because of my job, I have become a citizen of Ayodhya and have gone back in time.
(Looking all around)
Oh people! During the coronation of the great Rama, who came like a comet of misfortune to Ravana’s family, the popular centres of the town were full of activity day in and day out. How is it that the streets are deserted now?