Indian Kåvya Poetry on the Far Side of the Himålayas
— Translation, Transmission, Adaptation, Originality —Dan Martin
Version: Dec. 21, 2004
The lake filled with Jinendra's liquid knowledgethe skillful workers churned, and born of their churning, the sun;the sun a blazing hood-ornament of a cobra from whichthe sign of killing the benighted ones' darkness,the swaying tendrils entwining the sword of insight, came,the sword that will and must protect us.
IntroductionThe opening homage verse, borrowed and translated fromBod Mkhas-pa's 1678
commentary on Daˆ
, is offered here for the same reason it was offeredthere, as a homage to the sources of inspiration and a hopefor insight. At the same time it supplies a relatively simplesampling of the types of problems commonly confronted inattempts to transmit Tibetan poetry of the Indian kind inEnglish medium. For the time being, I will not attempt toexplain every facet of this culturally complex verse by anauthor who is widely considered to be the most lucid and
Because the page is missing in Bod Mkhas-pa (1972), I have used another version of the same text in
Kåvya Texts from Bhutan
(1976: 282). Tibetanreaders may judge whether I have rendered this originally four-line verseaccurately enough. The 's' alliterations in my rather free translation arepartially justified in the 's' sounds in three of the verbs in the original (theverbs for 'churning,' 'killing' and 'protecting'), but they also seemed to gonicely with the image of the snake.
rgyal dbang mkhyen pa'i chu mtsho legsbyas kyis // bsrubs skyes nyi ma 'bar ba'i gdengs ka nas // rmongs pa'i mun pa gsod rtags shes rab kyi // ral gri'i khri shing g.yo ba des srungs shig.
Inmy footnotes I have attempted to balance the needs of Tibetologists,Indologists and non-specialists who might want to follow up on, criticize, or develop upon these research efforts, but with no pretense of completebibliographical coverage.