Gunamala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Gunamala (Assamese: গুণমালা) is an scripture written by Sankardev within one night at the request of Koch king Nara Narayan in 1552.[1][2] It is an abridged version (handbook) of Bhagavata Purana capturing in racy, rhyming and sonorous verses. The poet recounts many incidents from Lord Krishna's life making them easy to remember in this book.[1]

A copy of Gunamala, in the museum of Bengenati Sattra written in Sachipaat

Background[edit]

One day, King Naranarayan held some debates in his court between the Pandits and Sankardev. King Naranarayan once asked the court poets to give him, in one day, a condensed version of the entire ten cantos of the Bhagawat Purana. When all Pundits said it was not possible to do so in such a short time, Sankardev took up the challenge and accomplished the feat in one night.

After he had condensed the substance of the ten chapters of the Bhagawat Purana into a small booklet, he put it into a small wooden box. Then he painted the box with hengul-haital (yellow and red) an elephant squeezed inside a circle. He called it Bhurukaat Haathi- meaning an elephant squeezed in the Lime-pot (in Assamese: হাতী মাৰি ভুৰুকাত ভৰোৱা)! The pleased King Naranarayana honoured Sankardev.

Translation[edit]

In 1923, Benudhar Rajkhowa translated this book for the first time into English subtitled as Garland of Praises in verse.[3]

Again the English translation of this book in prose subtitled as Garland of Virtues was released on 7 April 2013. The translation has been done by Dr. Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti, who has translated Sankardev’s Borgeets and Madhavdev’s Namghosha few year back.[4]

In 2010, Devi Prasad Bagrodia translated this book into Hindi and published keeping the same name Gunamala in both book as well as audio CD form.[5]

Usage[edit]

This book is greatly revered by the followers of Eka Sharana Nama Dharma, who keep it at the Guru asana (altar) in the congregational prayer-house called Namghar as the symbol of God.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gunamala". atributetosankaradeva. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  2. ^ Neg Maheswar (1980). Early History of the Vaiṣṇava Faith and Movement in Assam: Śaṅkaradeva and His Times. Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. pp. 182–. ISBN 978-81-208-0007-6. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Sankaradeva; Benudhar Rajkhowa (1923). Gunamala. Assam Commercial. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "English translation of Gunamâlâ released". Assam Times. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  5. ^ http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=may2114/state05

External links[edit]