sarajA shivAjI rAma hI ko avatAru hai [shivarAja-bhUShaNa 166]

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

…and rAma setu also finds mention in the annals from the pen of the favourite poet of cHatrapati shivAjI.

In this clever kavitta, with a marvelous turn of phrases, our king of poets bhUShaNa churns out a dual-meaning (shleSha) poem.  On one hand, he offers a description of rAmachandra, and on the other that of shivAjI’s, and in the last line equates the two.  Here is the kavitta in manaharaNa meter variety:

सी-ता संग सोभित सुलच्छ्न सहाय जाके
…भू पर भरत नाम भाई नीति चारु है
भूषन भनत कुल-सूर कुल-भूषन हैं
…दासरथी सब दास जाके भुज भुव भारु है
अरि-लँक तोर जोर जाके संग बन्दर हैं
…सिन्धु रहैं बान्धे जाके दल को न पारु है
तेगहि कै भेंटै जौन राकस मरद जानै
…सरजा सिवाजी राम ही को अवतारु हैं !!

The two different meanings are in the subsequent lines in different colours:

Whose presence is ever embellished by Sita by His side and graced by lakShamaNa to His assistance
Whose side shrI never leaves, and who is always assisted by the generals of good lakShaNa
Whose brother named bharata is always eager to spreads benevolence on earth in his name
Whose name this earth takes with affection as a “bhartA”, the nourisher
Says bhUShaNa, He Who is the real crown-jewel of all sUrya-kula
Says bhUShaNa, He Who is the real crown-jewel of all shUra-s (braves)
That son of dasharatha, whose arms are supporting the weight of entire earth
In whose service are valorous rathI-s (Lieutenants) to support the weight of the kingdom
To fame of whose might is destruction of laMkA in collaboraton with vAnara-s
Who breaks the very back of the enemy, such are whose mighty arrows
Who even constructed a bridge over ocean, whose army has no count
At doors of whose forts are always dwelling elephants, whose army has no count
Who knows how to slay rAkShasa-s when encountered
The Very embodiment of manliness who meets his enemies only with his sword
That shivAjI, the Lionheart, says bhUShaNa, is none other than another incarnation of rAmachandra!

Do notice the turn of words… “sindhu rahain bAndhe” means ‘constructed setubandha’ and since sindura also means elephant, the phrase becomes “sindhura hain bAndhe”, ‘Elephants are tied’ too!  Likewise, “marada” while means ‘slaying’ in one sense, but also ‘Manliness’ in the second…

It is not without a reason that bhUShaNa has always left us mesmerized!

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