Experiments with Translation

Translating life's journey in poetry, prose and pictures

śatakatrayam 1.77: varaṃ śṛṅgotsaṅgāddhimaśikhariṇaḥ (far better that this body falls)

वरं शृङ्गोत्सङ्गाद्धिमशिखरिण: क्वापि विषमे
पतित्वायं काय: कठिनदृषदन्ते विदलित: ।
वरं न्यस्तो हस्त: फणिपतिमुखे तीक्ष्णदशने
वरं वह्नौ पातस्तदपि न कृत: शीलविलय: ।।७७।।

far better that this body falls
from a snowy mountain peak
and is crushed by big rugged boulders,
or that a venomous snake
crushes this hand with its fangs,
or that fire scorches it,
than to be an immoral person. ||77||

śatakatrayam 1.76: kadarthitasyāpi hi (a fortitudinous person may)

कदर्थितस्यापि हि धैर्यवृत्ते
र्न शक्यते धैर्यगुणं प्रमार्ष्टुम् ।
अधोमुखस्यापि कृतस्य वह्ने
र्नाध: शिखा यान्ति कदाचिदेव ।।७६।।

a fortitudinous person may
be repeatedly abused,
but will remain resilient;
thus is it that–
when you attempt to stamp out a raging fire,
its flames still burn upward. ||76||

śatakatrayam 1.75: kāntākaṭākṣāviśikhā (his lover’s arrow-like gaze)

कान्ताकटाक्षविशिखा न लुनन्ति यस्य
चित्तं न निर्दहति कोपकृशानुताप: ।
कर्षन्ति भूरिविषयाश्च न लोभपाशा
लोकत्रयं जयति कृत्स्नमिदं स धीर: ।।७५।।

his lover’s arrow-like gaze
does not rend asunder his heart,
anger’s fire-like fury
cannot consume him,
nor can the
all-consuming sensual world.
he is a resolute man
who has completely mastered
all the three worlds. ||75||

śatakatrayam 1.74: nindantu nītinipuṇā (one day the pundits will applaud)

निन्दन्तु नीतिनिपुणा यदि वा स्तुवन्तु
लक्ष्मी: समाविशतु गच्छति वा यथेष्टम् ।
अद्यैव वा मरणमस्तु युगान्तरे वा
न्याय्यात्पथ: प्रविचलन्ति पदं न धीरा: ।।७४।।

one day the pundits will applaud,
the next day they will criticize;
money being fickle will come and go at will;
death may come today or after a thousand years,
but those who are determined should not
deviate from the appropriate path. ||74||

śatakatrayam 1.73: kvacitpṛthvīśayyaḥ (you may have the bare earth)

क्वचित्पृथ्वीशय्य: क्वचिदपि च पर्यङ्कशयन:
क्वचिच्छाकाहार: क्वचिदपि च शाल्योदनरुचि: ।
क्वचित्कन्थाधारी क्वचिदपि च दिव्याम्बरधरो
मनस्वी कार्यार्थी न गणयति दु:ख न च सुखम् ।।७३।।

you may have
the bare earth
or a plush upholstered couch
for a bed,
withered greens
or delectable food
for your meal,
and rags or
sumptuous silks
to cover yourself with.
the truth is —
if you need to get things done,
you cannot count
minor comforts or discomforts. ||73||