Bhanubhakta Acharya

Last updated
Aadikavi

Bhanubhakta Acharya
Bhanubhakta Acharya.jpg
First poet of Nepali language, Bhanubhakta Acharya
Native name
भानुभक्त आचार्य
Born1814 (1871 B.S.)
Chundi Ramgha, Ghasikuwa Tanahu District, Kingdom of Nepal
Died1868 (1925 B.S.)
Setighat, Tanahun District
Occupation Poet
LanguageNepali language
Nationality Nepali
Citizenship Nepali

Bhanubhakta Acharya was a Nepali poet, translator and writer. He was the first writer to translate the great epic Ramayana from Sanskrit to Nepali. Despite having other contemporary poets in the country during his time, he is revered and honoured with the title of Aadikavi of the Nepali language. His poems were later published by the famous poet Motiram Bhatta.

Contents

Early life

Bhanubhakta Acharya was born on 29 Ashadh 1871 B.S. (July 13, 1814) in Tanahu district of Nepal in a village called Ramgha. Acharya was born to a Brahmin family and received education at home from his grandfather. His father Dhananjaya Acharya was a government official and was the eldest of all brothers.

Education

Bhanubhakta received his education of Sanskrit at his home by his grandfather and later in Varanasi. [1] [2]

Career and writing

He is honoured with the title of Aadikavi (आदिकवि)for the contributions he made in the field of poetry and Nepali literature and for especially translating Sanskrit Ramayana in simple Nepali language which became popular among laymen. Every year, his birthday is celebrated as Bhanu Jayanti(13 July) when various literacy programs are organized to him.

A Statue of Bhanubhakta Acharya at Chowrasta, Darjeeling Bhanubhakta statue.JPG
A Statue of Bhanubhakta Acharya at Chowrasta, Darjeeling

South Asian languages including the Nepali language were limited mostly to an oral medium of language dissemination at the time with little written context and literary influence. As most of the written texts of South Asia were dominated by Sanskrit, it was mostly inaccessible to the general populace. As the Brahmins were the caste who excelled as teachers, scholars and priests, the access to all of the religious scriptures and other literary works was only limited to them and few who also could receive education and understand Sanskrit. Many poets had written poems in Sanskrit while Acharya started to write in the Nepali language which not only popularized the language but also gained him acceptance from the Rana Rulers. Acharya's benevolence towards Ram’s heroic exploits brought in him an urgency to make his tale accessible to the people who spoke Nepali. Since most of the people did not understand the Sanskrit language, he translated the epic into the Nepali language. Preserving the lyrical narration style of Ramayana his translations are believed by scholars to carry the same lyrical essence "Bhava and Marma" that rather than sounding like a poem sounded more like a song without distorting the regional influence or the inner meaning of the Ramayana.


He did not receive any western education nor was familiar with foreign literature which kept his work and experiential journey original to the vernacular literary system and brought strong Nepali flavour to his works. The key features of his writings were simple yet strong with a sense of religion, a sense of simplicity, and the warmth of his country that not many other poets had been able to be compared to. Belonging to a wealthy family, he never had any financial trouble and had an unremarkable life until he met a grass cutter who wanted to give something to society so he could be remembered after death too. The grass cutter's words were what inspired him to do something that would leave a mark in society. He wrote two masterpieces in his life among which, one is the Bhanubhaktey Ramayan and the other is a letter he wrote in verse form to the Prime Minister while he was in prison. He was made a scapegoat and sent to prison due to some misunderstanding in signing the papers. In prison, his health deteriorated and he was given false hopes of being set free but his case was not even heard. So, he wrote a petition to the Prime Minister requesting his freedom, which later became one of his great works. He not only won his freedom with his poem but was also given a bag of money (He wrote in the same language the then prime minister want to force the public to use). When he died in 1868, he did not know he would one day be one of the most revered poets of Nepal. His creation, however, was not published and he died without receiving credit for his contribution. His works were published by Motiram Bhatta in 1887 after he found the manuscript and took it to Benaras, India for printing. One of Acharya’s works is well known for its colourful, glowing praise of Kathmandu valley and its inhabitants. Although he is one of the most celebrated and revered poets of Nepal, his works are not as famous as other poets in the history of Nepali literature.

Recognition of him

Bhanubhakta Acharya is revered and honoured with the title of Aadakavi (The First-ever Poet) for the Nepali people of Nepal. Motiram Bhatta, first referred to him as Adikavi while writing Acharya’s biography in 1981. He clarifies that Acharya is not called Adikavi because he was the first poet in Nepal but he deserved the title as he was the first poet who wrote with an understanding of the marma (inner essence) of the poetry. [1] [2] [3]

Bhanu Jayanti

Bhanu Jayanti is a celebration of the birth anniversary of Bhanubhakta Acharya. It falls on the 29th day of the month of Ashad according to Nepali calendar. It is celebrated every year by the Government of Nepal and Nepalese people as well as by the Nepali speaking people around the world. cultural festival, prevalent among the Nepalese around the world in the remembrance of Bhanubhakta Acharya's birthday anniversary. It is generally celebrated on the 13th of July or the 29th day of the Nepali month of Ashadh.

Every year Bhanu Jayanti is celebrated as a mega event with literary seminars, and programs and amid a remarkable presence of Nepalese writers, novelists, and other literary figures/enthusiasts. [2] [4] [5] [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Laxmi Prasad Devkota

Laxmi Prasad Devkota was a Nepali poet, playwright, and novelist. Honored with the title of Mahakavi in Nepali literature, he was known as a poet with a golden heart. He is considered to be the greatest and most famous literary figure in Nepal. Some of his popular works include the best selling Muna Madan, along with Sulochana, Kunjini, Bhikhari, and Shakuntala.

Tanahun District District in Gandaki Province, Nepal

Tanahun District, a part of Gandaki Province, is one of the seventy-seven districts of Nepal. The district, with Damauli as its district headquarters, covers an area of 1,546 km2 (597 sq mi) and has a population (2011) of 323,288. Previously the town of Bandipur was its district headquarter. This district lies in the middlemost of country Nepal. The postal code of Tanahun is 33900.

Nepali literature Literature of Nepali language

Nepali literature refers to the literature written in Nepali language inside Nepal as well as in any part of the world. The Nepali language has been the national language of Nepal since 1958.

Nara Nath Acharya

Pandit KavirajNara Nath Acharya (1906–1988) was the author of the Authentic (True) Biography of Bhanubhakta Acharya (1814–1868), first published in 1960. The second edition of the book was published in 1979. His biography of pioneer poet Bhanubhakta is the second most important after the one by Motiram Bhatta (1866-1896) the first biographer of Bhanubhakta. Naranath has tripled the information on the pioneer poet. He elaborated Bhanubhakta's works by publishing many of the poet's work for the first time and threw some new lights in the poet's life. He had published the historical facsimile of Bhanubhakta's letters for the first time. He was a grand nephew of Bhanubhakta Acharya. He was a Pandit and a Kaviraj by profession.

Madhav Prasad Ghimire Nepali poet

Madhav Prasad Ghimire was a Nepali poet and scholar. He was honoured as the Rashtrakavi by the Government of Nepal in 2003. Some of his acclaimed works include Gauri, Malati Mangale, Shakuntala and Himalwari Himalpari.

Motiram Bhatta

Motiram Bhatta or was a Nepalese poet, born in Kathmandu, Nepal. At the age of six he left his birthplace, Kathmandu, to receive education in Benaras, India. He learned classical Sanskrit language and took some music lessons at the age of fifteen. He became attracted by Nepalese folk songs and rhythm.

Bhanu Bhakta Memorial Higher Secondary School is a pioneer school in the Kathmandu Valley, located at Panipokhari, Kathmandu, opposite to the Japanese Embassy, Nepal. It was established in 1966 to the memory of the pioneer poet late Bhanubhakta Acharya – a figure of Nepali literature. In 2016, the school completed 50 years of its establishment, and has celebrated its golden anniversary. It is a co-educational and English medium school, catering for children with the age group of 3 (Nursery) to 18, as well as college level students. The school follows modern methods of teaching having recently installed smart classes and closed circuit television cameras.

Lekhnath Paudyal

Lekhnath Paudyal is regarded as the founding father of modern Nepali poetry literature in the twentieth-century. His most important contribution is believed to be to the enrichment and refinement of the language rather than to its philosophical breadth. The best of Lekhnath's poems adhered to the old-fashioned conventions of Sanskrit poetics (kavya). Lekhnath, the first modern Nepali poet, wrote in the classical style of Nepali poetry. His poems possessed a formal dignity that had been lacking in most earlier works in Nepali; many of them confirmed in their outlook with the philosophy of orthodox Vedanta, although others were essentially original in their tone and inspiration. His poems are very much popular, and often mentioned contemporary social and political issues. It is believed there were the first glimmerings of the poetic spirit that was to come after him.

Nepal Academy

The Nepal Academy, formerly Royal Nepal Academy, is an autonomous apex body in Nepal established for the promotion of the languages, literature, culture, philosophy and social sciences of Nepal. The academy commissions research and aims to promote the development of cultural and intellectual endeavour by coordinating national and international activities. The current chancellor of the academy is Mr. Ganga Prasad Upreti and Prof. Jagat Prasad Upadhyaya is the member secretary.

Vishnu Raj Atreya Nepalese writer

Vishnu Raj Atreya was a Nepali writer and poet, who wrote in Nepali language, Sanskrit language and Awadhi language. He used the title Latosaathi in his poetry works since 1963 A.D. He is considered to be the first person to start writing Haiku in Sanskrit language.

Madan Mani Dixit was a Nepalese novelist and a winner of the Madan Puraskar.

Bhanu Municipality Municipality in Gandaki Pradesh, Nepal

Bhanu is a municipality of Tanahun District in Gandaki Zone of western Nepal. The municipality was established on 19 September 2015 by merging the existing Bhanu village development committee or VDC, Barbhanjyang VDCs, Rupakot (VDC), Tanahunsur Village Development Committee, Purkot VDC, Mirlung VDC, Satiswara VDC, Risti VDC, Basantapur VDC and Chok Chisapani VDC. The center of the municipality is establish in former VDC Office of Bhanu. After merging the population of all of the VDCs, it had a total population of 46,179 according to 2011 Nepal census. After the government decision the number of municipalities has reached 217 in Nepal. Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya was born in Bhanu Municipality. It was name after him.

Chundi Ramgha

Chundi Ramgha is a village which lies in Bhanu Municipality, Tanahun District, Nepal. Actually Chundi is the name of river, which flows through the lower lands of Ramgha base.

<i>Bhanubhakta Ramayana</i> Nepali translation of Ramayana, the ancient Hindu epic

Bhanubhakta Ramayana, commonly known as Ramayan, is the Nepali translation of Valmiki Ramayana by Adikavi Bhanubhakta Acharya. It was posthumously published in its complete form in 1887. It is widely considered to be the first Nepali epic. The prose style of the epic has been termed Bhanubhaktiya Laya since it was completely original in Nepali literature, being the first work. Due to this distinction, the author, poet Bhanubhakta Acharya is known as Adikavi in Nepal.

The epic is considered to have been a major first step to "democratising" Hinduism in Nepal as it allowed the general public access to one of the two pillars of Hindu Itihasa in their native language, diminishing the hegemony of learned Brahmin priests in the study and interpretation of sacred texts. On the other hand, many denounce the role the work played as an instrument to establishing the hegemony of the Nepali language and literature in Nepal at the expense of other indigenous languages.

The book and the poet is held in high regard in ethnic Nepali communities outside Nepal as well, especially in Darjeeling.

Kul Bahadur KC

Chhanda kaviKul Bahadur K.C. is one of the most significant Nepali poets. He is known for his well-rhymed poems that related to the social and economic problems of the common people who form the vast majority of the population in Nepal. He believed that the problems of the poor and the neediest had to be addressed at first so that they would be able to contribute to the sustained economic growth and the development of the country in the long run. He is known for his works "Mero Maato(मेरो माटो) from (Bijay Unmukh Achhyarharoo ", "Mutuka Jhilka ", "Garib Ustai Chha ", "Ashauch Bardaichhan Kabitaharoo ". "Poet Kul Bahadur KC was a patriot and naturalist poet, he wrote against the feudal, suppressing and exploiting nature prevalent in the society." said the contributors on the Memory book of Kul Bahadur KC

Professor Jaya Raj Acharya was ambassador of Nepal to the United Nations and a well known scholar of Nepal. He lectures at Tribhuvan University, has written many books, and is a prominent foreign policy expert especially in Nepal's relations with India and China. He's raised awareness of Nepal's education, state of Nepali politics etc. in international forums. He's done numerous TV appearances in the Nepali Media.

Ghansi Nepali grass-cutter

Ghansi or Ghasi was a Nepali grasscutter who is best remembered for inspiring Bhanubhakta Acharya to translate the Sanskrit epic Ramayana into the Nepali language. He made money by cutting grass and selling it. Ghansi built a well in order to be remembered after his death. Not much is known about him except that he belonged to the Pantha caste and lived near the well. He has been portrayed by multiple actors in film, and the tourist destination Ghansikuwa was named after him.

References

  1. 1 2 Ācārya, Naranātha; Śivarāja Ācārya; Sāmbkslo thiyoarāja Ācārya & Jayaraj Acharya (1979). Ādikavi Bhānubhakta Ācāryako saccā jı̄vanacarittra. Tanuṅa: Naranātha Ācārya. OCLC   10023122.
  2. 1 2 3 "Adikabi Bhanubhakta Acharya". Kathmandu: Boss Nepal. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  3. Bishnu K.C. (2006-07-14). "Bhanubhakta: The First Poet Of Nepali language". Oh My Newsl. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  4. "Development Boards for Kami, Damai, Sarki announced". Darjeeling. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  5. "PM Oli urges new generation to follow ideals of Bhanubhakta". Kathmandu. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  6. "Morning procession to mark Bhanu Jayanti". Kathmandu. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-21.