Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A hymn by Narsihn Mehta

Narsihn Mehta was a great Gujrati saint and a poet. Born somewhere in 15th century, he was a pioneer of Gujrati literature but little is known about his life and time. Most of his life has kind of become a folklore with several writers writing about it differently and then Bollywood making movie on it.

There are no manuscripts of his work but they were carried down orally across generations and were later put on paper first time (most probably due to non-availability of any earlier ones) somewhere in 17th century. "Vaishnav jan to" has nearly become a synonymous to his work due to its immense popularity.

वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये, जे पीड़ परायी जाने रे
पर दुखे उपकार करे तोये, मन अभिमान न आने रे

सकल लोक मान सुहाने वन्दे, निंदा ना करी केनी रे
वाच काछ मन निश्चल रखे, धन धन जननी तेनी रे

सम-दृष्टी ने तृष्णा त्यागी, परस्त्री जेने मात रे
जिह्वा थके, असत्य ना बोले, पर-धन नव झाले हाथ रे

मोह माया व्यापे नहीं जेने, दृढ वैराग्य जेना मन मा रे
राम नाम शु ताल रे लागी, सकल तीरथ तेना तन मा रे

वा ना लोभी ना कपट रहे रहित छे, काम क्रोध निवार्या रे
भने नारसैयो तेनो दर्शन करता, कुल एकोतर तरया रे

Rough English Translation

He is the true Vaishnav who knows and feels another's woes as his own.
While he serves those who are suffering, he does not entertain pride in his mind about it.

He respects everyone, and denounce nobody.
He keeps his speech, deeds, and thoughts pure; blessed is his mother.

Viewing all equally, he rids himself of covetousness, and reveres every woman as though she were his mother.
His tongue would fail him if he were to attempt to speak an untruth. He does not covet another person's wealth.

Material attachments do not occupy his mind, it being deeply rooted in renunciation.
Every moment he is intent on reciting the name of Rama. All the holy places are ever present in his body.

He has conquered greed, deceit, lust, and anger.
Says Narasi, the sight of such a Vaishnav saves a family through seventy-one generations.

1 comment:

Nandan Jha said...

I didn't know this. Thanks.

And much more for the English translation. Thanks again.