Chittadhar Hridaya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chittadhar Hridaya
Chittadhar portrait.jpg
Chittadhar Hridaya, one of the greatest literary figures from Nepal in the 20th century.
Born Chittadhar Tuladhar
(1906-05-19)May 19, 1906
Nyata Tunchhen
Died June 9, 1982(1982-06-09) (aged 76)
Language Nepal Bhasa, Nepali, Hindi
Nationality Nepalese
Ethnicity Newa
Genre Prose, Fiction
Literary movement Nepal Bhasa renaissance
Notable works Sugata Saurabha, Mimmanahpau

Chittadhar Hridaya (Devanagari: चित्तधर हृदय) (born Chittadhar Tuladhar) (19 May 1906 – 9 June 1982) was a Nepalese poet. He is regarded as one of the greatest literary figures from Nepal in the 20th century.[1]

The title of Kavi Keshari (Lion among Poets) was conferred on him by King Mahendra of Nepal in 1956.[2] He wrote primarily in Nepal Bhasa but has created works in Nepali and Hindi too.

Hridaya dedicated his life to serving his mother tongue, rejecting a flourishing ancestral business and suffering imprisonment by an autocratic government. In 1941, he was jailed for five years by the Rana regime for writing a poem in Nepal Bhasa in a crackdown against the language.

Early life[edit]

Hridaya was born Chittadhar Tuladhar[3] at Nyata Tunchhen (न्यत तुंछें) in Kathmandu to a family of hereditary Lhasa Newar traders. His father was Drabya Dhar Tuladhar and his mother was Gyan Laxmi Tuladhar. His sister Moti Laxmi Upasika was also a writer.[4]

The family owned a business house in Lhasa, Tibet.[5] Hridaya did not join the ancestral occupation but worked to develop Nepal Bhasa literature. In 1920, he was married to Gyan Prabha Kansakar.[6]

Imprisonment[edit]

Hridaya was a member of the Nepal Bhasa renaissance. He began his literary career when the Ranas did not permit writing in Nepal Bhasa, so authors published their works from abroad.[7]

Hridaya wrote his first poem Buddhopasakya Pap Deshana which was printed in 1925 in Buddha Dharma magazine published from Kolkata, India.[8] In 1930, he signed a petition to open a public library, and was arrested and fined along with the rest of the signers.

In 1933, an anthology of poems by Hridaya entitled Padya Nikunja was published from Kalimpong, India by SP and DP Upasak. He wrote under the pen name Hridaya to avoid harassment by the government.[9] The government did not like his literary activities, and all the copies were confiscated by customs at Chisapani Gadhi before they could reach Kathmandu.

The anthology contained a poem entitled Mother which he had written while mourning his mother's death. He had signed the poem "Motherless child" which the government took to mean that it had deprived the Newars of their mother tongue.[10] For this reason, the poem was deemed subversive; and in 1940, he was sentenced to six years in jail.[11]

Hridaya began his sentence on January 20, 1941. His fellow inmates poets Siddhicharan Shrestha and Phatte Bahadur Singh had also been imprisoned for producing works in Nepal Bhasa.[12]

Sugata Saurabha epic[edit]

Chittadhar Hridaya, sketched in jail, ca. 1944.
Statue of Chittadhar Hridaya erected at Kalimati intersection in Kathmandu in 2008.
Hridaya's room at the memorial museum.

While in jail, Hridaya produced his greatest work Sugata Saurabha, an epic poem on the life of the Buddha.[13] He had to write in secret in prison, and his sister Moti Laxmi Upasika smuggled out the scraps of paper on which he had scribbled the verses when she brought him his food.

It was completed in 1946 after his release from prison, and published from Kolkata in 1949. The epic has been described as providing an aesthetically pleasing and doctrinally sound comprehensive account of the Buddha's life,[14] and also a magnum opus in Nepal Bhasa literature.[15]

While in jail from 1941 to 1945, Hridaya came into contact with artist Chandra Man Singh Maskey.[16] Hridaya trained under Maskey in secret, as he hid his writings from the prison guards. He has produced a number of paintings in water color, pencil and ink. They depict Buddhist and Hindu deities and genre scenes.[17] The color illustrations in Sugata Saurabha were done by Maskey.

Following his release from prison on 11 November 1945, Hridaya produced a flurry of works in different genres. He was a pioneer in writing modern short stories. His Six Short Stories published in 1947 was a landmark in contemporary Nepal Bhasa literature.[18]

Nepal Bhasa Parishad[edit]

In 1951, Hridaya got together with other prominent poets and writers and established Nepal Bhasa Parishad (Nepal Bhasa Council) to promote institutional development of Nepal Bhasa. It was inaugurated on 7 June 1953 by Buddha Maya Kansakar, the wife of poet Yogbir Singh Kansakar, amid a ceremony at the home of Tara Bir Singh at Chhetrapati.[19] Its office was later moved to his own home at Nyata Tunchhen. Hridaya subsequently bequeathed the property to the council.[20]

Hridaya was editor of Nepal Ritupau published by Nepal Bhasa Parishad from 1952 to 1956.[21] He also lobbied with the government to have Nepal Bhasa included in the school and college curriculum. It was included in the course of study at the high school level in 1954, at the intermediate level in 1960, bachelor level in 1962 and Master's level in 1979.

Hriday suffered a stroke leaving his right hand and leg paralyzed. He taught himself to write with his left hand and continued to produce poetry and essays. On 9 June 1982, Hridaya collapsed while presiding over a meeting of Nepal Bhasa Parishad.[22]

Legacy[edit]

Nepal's Postal Services Department issued a commemorative postage stamp bearing a portrait of Hridaya on 31 December 1992 to mark the tenth anniversary of his death.[23]

Coinciding with World Poetry Day, the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature celebrated the centenary of Chittadhar Hridaya on March 21, 2007.[24]

On 8 November 2008, a statue of Hridaya was erected at Kalimati crossroads in downtown Kathmandu. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal unveiled the life-sized image.[25] Chittadhar Marg, a street in central Kathmandu, was named in his honor by Kathmandu Metropolitan City.[26]

Memorial Museum[edit]

Hridaya's home was renovated in 2010 with Indian assistance to house a museum dedicated to the poet and his works.[27] The Chittadhar Hridaya Memorial Museum opened on 20 July 2013. It contains photographs, books, sketches, personal belongings and household items. The room where Hridaya lived and worked has been maintained in its original form. Located in the historical section of Kathmandu, the house is also a specimen of traditional Nepalese architecture with Newar windows of carved wood. It encloses a typical courtyard containing shrines and a well.

Notable works[edit]

Hridaya wrote epics, dramas, poetry, novels, short stories, history and grammar.

  • Sugata Saurabha ("The Fragrant Life of the Buddha"), his most famous work, tells of the life of the Buddha in 19 cantos in a Newar cultural setting.[28] It has been translated into English by Todd T. Lewis and Subarna Man Tuladhar.[29] An earlier English translation done by Tirtha Raj Tuladhar was published by Nepal Bhasa Academy in 1998.
  • Mimmanahpau ("Unburnt Letter") is a novel-length letter from a merchant in Lhasa to his wife in Kathmandu. Published in 1968, it describes the cultural and social observations of a Newar trader in the Tibetan capital and his feelings for his family separated by a great distance. Mimmanahpau has been translated into English by Kesar Lall.[30] Childless Hridaya called Sugata Saurabha his son and Mimmanahpau his daughter.[31]
  • Six Short Stories. Hridaya's short stories are influenced by his interest in cultural revival and social reform. A number of his short stories including three from Six Short Stories have been translated into English by Tej Ratna Kansakar.[32]
  • Jhi Maca ("Our Child"), published in 1947 from Varanasi, India by Dharmodaya Sabha, is a collection of children's stories that provide an intimate sense of what the culturally vibrant and densely settled Newar society looks like from within. It has been translated into English by Todd T. Lewis.[33]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sugata Saurabha: An Epic Poem from Nepal on the Life of the Buddha by Chittadhar Hridaya". Oxford Scholarship Online. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Sthapit, Arhan (25 February 2008). "Oxford publishes Nepali epic in English". The Rising Nepal. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Lall, Kesar (2002). Mimmanahpau: Letter from a Lhasa Merchant to his Wife by Chittadhar Hridaya. New Delhi: Robin Books. ISBN 81-87138-55-6. Page 5.
  4. ^ LeVine, Sarah and Gellner, David N. (2005). Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01908-3, ISBN 978-0-674-01908-9. Page 39.
  5. ^ Turin, Mark (20–26 September 2002). "Lovesick, homesick or simply sick of Tibet". Nepali Times. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Bajracharya, Phanindra Ratna (2003). Who's Who in Nepal Bhasa. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Academy. Page 41.
  7. ^ Lienhard, Siegfried (1992). Songs of Nepal: An Anthology of Nevar Folksongs and Hymns. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. ISBN 81-208-0963-7. Page 4.
  8. ^ Shrestha, Ishwari Mainya (2007). Chittadhar Hridayaya Kriti Dhalah (A List of Works by Chittadhar Hridaya), Chittadhar Hridaya Sachchhidan Budin Lumantipau (Chittadhar Hridaya Birth Centenary Souvenir). Kathmandu: Bhintuna Guthi. Page 75.
  9. ^ Tuladhar, Prem Shanti (2007). Kavi Keshari Chittadhar Hridayaya Mhasika (Profile of Kavi Keshari Chittadhar Hridaya), Chittadhar Hridaya Sachchhidan Budin Lumantipau (Chittadhar Hridaya Birth Centenary Souvenir). Kathmandu: Bhintuna Guthi. Page 2.
  10. ^ Bajracharya, Phanindra Ratna (2006). Kavi Keshari Chittadhar Hridaya. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Parishad. Pages 38-40.
  11. ^ Tumbahang, Govinda Bahadur (September 2009). "Process of Democratization and Linguistic (Human) Rights in Nepal". Tribhuvan University Journal. Retrieved 1 March 2011.  Page 8.
  12. ^ Lienhard, Siegfried (1992). Songs of Nepal: An Anthology of Nevar Folksongs and Hymns. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. ISBN 81-208-0963-7. Page 4.
  13. ^ Lienhard, Siegfried (1992). Songs of Nepal: An Anthology of Nevar Folksongs and Hymns. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. ISBN 81-208-0963-7. Page 4.
  14. ^ "Sugata Saurabha: An Epic Poem from Nepal on the Life of the Buddha by Chittadhar Hridaya". Oxford Scholarship Online. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Singh, Mahendra Man (8 January 2011). "Reading the 'Kavi Kesari'". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Chandra Man Maskey". Interactive Mapping and Archive Project: Cultural Mapping of Kathmandu Valley. Retrieved 6 March 2011. 
  17. ^ Chitrakar, Jagadish (1984). Chittadharya Chitrakala (Chittadhar's Paintings), Nepal Ritupau. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Parishad. Page 70.
  18. ^ Tuladhar, Prem Shanti (2005). Contemporary Writing in Nepal Bhasha. Kathmandu: The Foundation for Literature. ISBN 99933-2-704-2. Page iii.
  19. ^ "Nepal Bhasa Parisadko Udghatan" (PDF). Gorkhapatra. 12 June 1953. Retrieved 8 May 2012.  Page 5.
  20. ^ Tuladhar, Prem Shanti (2007). Kavi Keshari Chittadhar Hridayaya Mhasika (Profile of Kavi Keshari Chittadhar Hridaya), Chittadhar Hridaya Sachchhidan Budin Lumantipau (Chittadhar Hridaya Birth Centenary Souvenir). Kathmandu: Bhintuna Guthi. Page 8.
  21. ^ Bajracharya, Phanindra Ratna (2003). Who's Who in Nepal Bhasha. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Academy. ISBN 99933-56-00-X. Page 41.
  22. ^ Bajracharya, Phanindra Ratna (2006). Kavi Keshari Chittadhar Hridaya. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Parishad. Pages 16-17.
  23. ^ "Rajan's Postage Stamps of Nepal Page". Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  24. ^ "Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature". Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  25. ^ "Nepali people will create prosperous Nepal: PM". The Rising Nepal. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Addressed Road Network Map". Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "Sood unveils revamped NBP building". The Himalayan Times. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  28. ^ "Sources and Sentiments in Sugata Saurabha". University of Toronto. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  29. ^ Lewis, Todd T., and Tuladhar, Subarna Man (2009). Sugata Saurabha - An Epic Poem from Nepal on the Life of the Buddha by Chittadhar Hridaya. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534182-9.
  30. ^ Lall, Kesar (2002). Mimmanahpau: Letter from a Lhasa Merchant to his Wife by Chittadhar Hridaya. New Delhi: Robin Books. ISBN 81-87138-55-6.
  31. ^ Turin, Mark (20–26 September 2002). "Lovesick, homesick or simply sick of Tibet". Nepali Times. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  32. ^ Kansakar, Tej R. (1977). Chittadhar's Nepal Bhasa Short Stories. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Parishad.
  33. ^ Lewis, Todd T. (1989). "Childhood and Newar Tradition: Chittadhar Hridaya's Jhi Maca" (PDF). Asian Folklore Studies. Retrieved 7 March 2011.  Pages 195-210.

External links[edit]