Bhrngadutam

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भृङ्गदूतम्
Ramabhadracharya Works - Bhrngadutam (2004).jpg
Cover page of Bhṛṅgadūtam, first edition
Author Jagadguru Rambhadracharya
Original title Bhṛṅgadūtam
Country India
Language Sanskrit
Genre Dūtakāvya (Messenger Poetry)
Publisher Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University
Publication date
30 August 2004
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 197 pp (first edition)
This article is part of a series on
Rambhadracharya

Bhṛṅgadūtam (Sanskrit: भृङ्गदूतम्) (2004), literally The bumblebee messenger, is a Sanskrit minor poem (Khaṇḍakāvya) of the Dūtakāvya (messenger-poem) genre composed by Jagadguru Rambhadracharya (1950–). The poem consists of 501 verses in the Mandakrāntā metre divided in two parts. Set in the context of the Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa of Rāmāyaṇa, the poem describes the message sent via a bumblebee by Rāma, spending the four months of the rainy season on the Pravarṣaṇa mountain in Kiṣkindhā, to Sītā, held captive by Rāvaṇa in Laṅkā.

A copy of the poem, with the Guñjana Hindi commentary by the poet himself, was published by the Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University, Chitrakuta, Uttar Pradesh. The book was released on 30 August 2004.[1]

Narrative[edit]

Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa on mount Pravarṣaṇa, the setup of Bhṛṅgadūtam
The path of the bumblebee in Bhṛṅgadūtam goes through all the places associated with the Rāmāyaṇa.

Like Meghadūtam of Kālidāsa, Bhṛṅgadūtam is divided in two parts. The first part is titled Pūrvabhṛṅgaḥ (literally, the earlier journey of the bumblebee) and consists of 251 verses. The second path is titled Uttarabhṛṅgaḥ (meaning the later journey of the bumblebee) and is composed of 250 verses. The actual message from Rāma is contained in 174 verses (2.71–2.245) of the Uttarabhṛṅgaḥ.

Part I: Pūrvabhṛṅgaḥ[edit]

One day while residing on the Pravarṣaṇa mountain with Lakṣmaṇa, Rāma comes to a lake to perform the morning Sandhyā. After the ritual, Rāma chooses a bumblebee (Bhṛṅga), a manifestation of his mind, as his messenger (Dūta) to Sītā. Rāma asks the bumblebee to have a pilgrimage of the pure land of Bhārata, before embarking on his journey to Laṅkā, saying the pilgrimage of this holy land absolves one of all sins. He asks the bumblebee to first visit Mithilā, to take some dust for Sītā from her birthplace. After seeing all the vividly described people and places of Mithilā related to the events in the Bālakāṇḍa of Rāmāyaṇa, the bumblebee is instructed to see all the rivers, hermitages and forests en route to Ayodhyā, which are described in detail by the poet. In 75 verses, various places and people of Ayodhyā are described, and the bumblebee is asked to bow to each one of them. Then after seeing Bharata and Śatrughna performing penance with their wives in Nandigrāma, the bumblebee is asked to fly over the route of Rāma's journey to Citrakūṭa as described in the Ayodhyākāṇḍa – the Śṛṅgaverapura kingdom of Guha; the confluence of the rivers Gaṅgā, Yamunā and Sarasvatī at Prayāgarāja; and finally Citrakūṭa are described in detail. The Pūrvabhṛṅgaḥ ends with the bumblebee asked to depart southwards from Citrakūṭa.

Part II: Uttarabhṛṅgaḥ[edit]

In the initial part of the Uttarabhṛṅgaḥ, the places of the events starting from Araṇyakāṇḍa are described. The poet presents the narrative of Rāmāyaṇa along with the directions Rāma gives to the bumblebee for his. The hermitages of various sages, whom Sītā, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa met, are first described, leading to the banks of the river Godāvarī. The bumblebee is then instructed to see the locations of Jaṭayū's liberation and the Āśrama of Śramaṇā (the Śabarī woman). The locations of Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa come next – the description of the Ṛṣyamūka mountain, (where Hanumān and Rāma met) and other places in Kiṣkindhā. Then the bumblebee is asked to fly further south over the kingdoms of Karṇāṭaka, Āndhra, Madra and Kerala to Laṅkā. The bumblebee is asked to recognise Sītā in Laṅkā by her emaciated and weakened, yet lustrous, appearance.

The message for Sītā, to be delivered by the bumblebee, starts at verse 71 of the Uttarabhṛṅgaḥ. The message first describes the pathos of separation. This is followed by an assurance about Rāma heroism, which will convince Sītā to hold on to her life till Hanumān arrives to Laṅkā with another message and a ring from Rāma. The message ends at verse 244 of the Uttarabhṛṅgaḥ, and the poem ends in the next six verses.

Poetic features[edit]

Play on Sanskrit grammar[edit]

The work has several verses which deal with Sanskrit etymology, wherein the composer poetically explains derivations of names of characters and places of the Ramāyaṇa. Some examples are –

Two origins of the word Ūrmilā and how they fit the character of Ūrmilā (1.120)

The derivation (Prakriyā) of the word Lakṣmaṇa, and how it is apt for the character of Lakṣmaṇa (1.121) –

Suggestion of alternate names apt for Nandigrāma (1.153) –

The meaning and Prakriyā of the word Gaṅgā, and how the name is apt for the name of the river (1.196) –

Four origins of the word Grāma, and how they suit the village of Guha (1.202) –

Three origins for the word Kāmada, and how they fit the Citrakūṭa mountain (1.247) –

How the Samāsa Sītārāma is both Samānādhikaraṇa and Vyadhikaraṇa (2.234) –

Comparison with other Sanskrit Dūtakāvyas[edit]

Some features of the epic compared with previous Dūtakāvyas
Poem Composer Metre Parts Verses (poem) Verses (message) Messenger Sender Recipient Messenger's journey
Meghadūtam Kālidāsa Mandākrāntā 2 114 12 A cloud An unnamed Yakṣa An unnamed Yakṣī Rāmādri to Kailāsa (Central and Northern India)
Haṃsasandeśaḥ Vedāntadeśikācārya Mandākrāntā 2 110 16 A swan Rāma Sītā Pampā lake to Laṅkā (Southern India)
Haṃsadūtam Śrīla Rūpagosvāmī Śikhariṇī 1 142 75 A swan Lalitā, a companion of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa Vraja to Mathurā (Northern India)
Bhṛṅgadūtam Rāmabhadrācārya Mandākrāntā 2 501 174 A bumblebee Rāma Sītā Pravarṣaṇa to Laṅkā, via Mithilā, Ayodhyā, Citrakūṭa and Daṇḍakāraṇya (Northern, Central and Southern India)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rambhadracharya 2004

References[edit]

Rambhadracharya, Swami (30 August 2004). Bhṛṅgadūtam (Saṃskṛta Khaṇḍakāvyam) [Bhṛṅgadūtam (A Sanskrit minor poem)]. Chitrakuta, Uttar Pradesh, India: Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Vikalang Vishvavidyalaya. 

External links[edit]