MANAS SUNDARI
manas sundari

MANAS SUNDARI

MANAS SUNDARI

Vision of Loveliness

Steeped in lyricism this poem is essentially an ode to Beauty in its universal aspect, although the golden image of Beauty is cast by the poet with the gold of his desires, in the mold of the individuality of his own mind.

The vision of loveliness of the poet’s mind whom he has described as his “Manasi”, as one born in mind, has its appeal for the universal mind as it has positively attained perfection.

The poet’s “Manasi” in his intense perception is some¬time an abstract idea when she has been more aptly des¬cribed as ‘My muse, my vine of fancy’ and he makes her debut as a perfect poem embedded in deepest emotion, for universal adoration.

At some other time, “Manasi” is the sweet-heart of the poet and a matchless beauty and indeed a heart-throb for the whole world, although she appears in a garb peculiarly Indian in origin.

The poet has described his “Manasi” elsewhere in a sonnet of the same name which is set out herein for comparison:

Created not by God but from the creator of God, Oh woman

Man has molded you transfusing comeliness

From his own heart. Devoted poets

Have woven your wear with golden yams of imageries.

Endowed with a new glory

The everlasting Image by the artist.

What show of colors, what fragrance,

what a variety of adornments 1 The pearls come from the seas and gold from the mines, Heaps of flowers come from the spring-forest.

Insects sacrifice their lives for coloring the feet.

Provided with very shame, decor, and cover You have been made rare and kept in seclusion.

The burning desire of man has fallen on you—

Half of you are female, the other half is fancy’s creation.” 

No work for the day!

Keep aside all rhyming poesy and song;

Come to my dearest beauty, my muse, my vine of fancy,

For ever was strove I was life long

Just for once sit by my side.

Today is for our crooning and cooing,

Drinking in silence the golden wine of the glow of dusk

Until veins of the heart

Swell with the flow of radiant beauty,

Till joints of suffering from Sunder is a fantasy,

I forget all—which desires of the heart remain unfulfilled, Which symphony is hushed to silence,

What nectar of joy has dried up Reaching so near the fringe of the lip With the hunger of the heart unsatiated?

Let this quietude, this harmony impart,

On sorrows, indigence, and insatiety Of a life morose and serene,

A piteously soft glow that is profound and pleasant.

come to my fantasy of luxuriousness with your bare hands around my neck and relief them.

A feather touch like a lotus heals the nook of my heart

Beating breast quivers, eyes moisten,

Bewitched body almost faints,

getting heartbeats to its high

the bonds among senses are present surely.

Spread half of your skirt

And make me sit with all care besides you.

Call me by the sweetest of endearing names,

Say “my beloved”, say “my most beloved”.

Reposing on my breast your face

Covered with disheveled hair

Go on pouring into the ears of my heart.

In lowest pitch aside, anything that occurs in your mind— Meaningless emotive words.

O my dearest, when I beseech you for a kiss,

Do not bend your neck smiling, do not turn your face,

Keep within the pouch of your lips

one complete kiss,

fill with joy it brings radiant in my heart.

thy devoted humble-bee, Charming and luscious smiles in clusters.

Lift your face like a newly blossomed flower Tilting the curved neck like a matchless stem;

Let your two large eyes so heavily shaded by the lashes Gaze on my face emitting joyous glow,

In calm confidence and complete reliance.

If tears moisten the eyes we shall weep together,

While sitting on my lap, if your tender Cheeks are suffused with a smile,

Then smile silently with half-closed eyes,

Embracing my bosom with your bare arms And resting your face on my shoulder.

If you feel like talking, then prattle

in tingling tone With Sowing jollity as like a brook,

For the better part of the night, 

Numberless stories and memoirs, ripples of fancy Cooing of a honeyed voice.

If you like singing, then start your song.

If with a heart charmed you prefer to sit silent Calm and quiet gazing at the horizon So shall we remain, my dearest.

Yonder, we shall have a glimpse of the Padma, Beneath her steep bank

Reposing her outstretched body in the declining light On her outspread skirt like a languid beauty.

The darkness descends on the eyes Like the lids of the eyes.

The evening star makes her cautious silent appearance On the river bank at the edge of the forest.

The night unrolls her bed—

A sheet of darkness over all the world.

We shall gaze in the darkness insurmountable. Nothing else is palpable anywhere,

Only your hand is within my hand,

Only two souls too near

In the midst of limitless solitude!

A mournful mass of separation has enveloped All else in creation—only in a corner,

Steeped in utter dissolution,

There is yet to be an anxious union—

Two hands, two hearts beating fast Like a scared pair of pigeons!

Only one fear has its sway over two hearts,

One hope and one modest tearful love.

This night would then wear out in luxurious indolence,

O thou devoid of vanity,

O thou first love of my life,

O thou comely moon in the firmament of my destiny, Can’ st thou recall, in our early childhood We used to meet in some blossoming jasmine bed,

Only half is known to each other.

You were the maiden of a neighbor of this earth.

What a sport you had with this restless child of the earth,

my friend;

With the dawn, you cam smiling, wearing a white rob, appearing fresh

 and groomed in the light of morning dew

your face appears out of a full-grown flower

The day is going to rise, pushing me away, where are these shefali flowers.

many times you had distracted me from duties, I threw my books and pencil away,

And snatching my chalk from me.

Can you release me from the prison of school and guide me away.

To some corner of the house,

To a solitary place that was a mystic chamber On an empty roof under the sky.

How you used to play

Beguiling me with your varied tales

That was as enchanting

And yet as meaningless as dreams;

only you can know what is true or false.

pearls are swung through your ears, your hands are like a bracelet.

Touched with two cheeks, playful around in the shimmered rays of light Like the shattered beams in a transparent brook. Even before we knew each other well In care-free confidence,

So often we played and romped together Babbling—our clothes in complete disarray.

Being unaware when you came in my life, the hustling winds bring me your fragrance

A hundred new desires were blossoming,

I was startled by my own music,

Astonished to discover thy Goddess

Of my inner heart, make your advent

in the depth of my heart from the playfields

And you were now sitting in majesty

Like a queen in your ante-chamber.

Who welcomed you at the entrance,

Who uttered the auspicious sound Hulu,

Who had showered, from her brimming skirt, fresh flowers On your bowed head with joyous adoration 7 What festivities were celebrated in my world With the sweet tune of the flute, piping

the charming Sahana rag,

The day you first entered forever

in the inmost niche of my heart, A bride with your mien tinged with bashfulness,

Wearing scarlet raiment

By the path strewn with blooming flowers.

In that secret chamber, the inner voice is wakeful Watching over my pleasures and sorrows Where reside my shame, my hopes, and fears In their trembling existence, so delicate That they cannot bear a contact.

You were my playmate,

But now you are the lady of my heart,

The presiding deity of my life.

Where are now those meaningless smiles and tears?

The restlessness is gone and with it that needless prattle. Your look of tender serenity is as fathomless

as the clear blue sky— Your smile is without a ripple laved by the dew of tears; Your full-fashioned body is like the bloom-laden creeper; Love and affection ring in the deep resonance of music From the strings of a golden lyre Tingling with strikes carrying forth endless agony.

Since then, my dearest, I have remained amazed And find no end of you while I gaze upon you.

Where beyond the pale of this earth is your place of birth?

How far shall your music carry me—

In which fairy-land would it impound me—

Like a deer charmed by the thrill of music?

This very pain—has it, O dear, any expression?

This desire—has it any satiety?

In the midst of this wide ocean, as pilot You kept your bonnie boat afloat;

From all directions ever and anon

What a message unintelligible to me

The subdued murmurs convey—has it any shore?

the treasure of pain or sea of beauty

That speeds the boat of mind,

That gale has made me fear again and again That the sail of my heart was about to be torn,

I feel comforted on seeing your large eyes Full of fearless hope.

A large measure of confidence rises in the mind

Great Shores of budding beach beautified.

house for both of us in the beach of desire

You smile silently with your gaze set on my face,

O sweetly mysterious one, what message

would you like to impart?

O my love-sick lady of vermilion-marking,

What would you like to convey to me?

Not Necessary to tell me everything.

Only cover my entire mind and body with your skirt. Kidnap me from me with all thy force.

With thy bosom placed on your bare breast,

I want to hear the inner mysterious voice

The tremors of your heart like fingers Would strike the strings of my heart;

And waves of music would well up Spreading over the length of life,

a-quivering.

Let me not realize anything,

Let me say nothing,

Let me compose no songs,

Let me walk not over the path strewn with rhymes, Rudely forcing the bashful heart to the outer world.

I will tremble with the weight of the music

oblivious of the message.

I shall shiver and burn like a star in an unsteady glow,

I shall disintegrate like a wave towards

the wave that is you, Either I shall live or die, I shall do nothing else.

Allow me to possess

That vast current with which I would, in a trice,

fill up the life

And shall depart speechless like one

mad without any bound.

Your form is of the mind, O my dearest;

You reside in my desire;

You are donned with the robes of light;

You speak in your silence;

Would you, my dearest, be born in a form feminine With matchless beauty in your re-incarnation

in a human abode? Now you glide amidst endless space;

You course between the points of heaven and earth;

You dye your skirt in the golden hue of dusk And make your waist-chain

from the molten gold of the russet dawn; You have un-rolled your dainty youth A-murmuring unto the length of the brim-full river;

In the zephyr of the spring, your scented breath sighs Expressing the anguish of your fleeting desire;

In the somnolent full-moon night, Alone you spread out your lonely milk-white bed With your tired hands on a solitary sky.

You gather Shefali flowers at the break of dawn in the autumn,
unconcerned with forgetful the hair uncurled deep-shallows of the forest,
Casting the flowers aside without breathing them into a garland.

In the evening under the sweet Baku! tree You weave your scarf with tremulous fingers Applying gleaming light and shadow.


In the swooning light of the declining day
You descend slowly from anywhere, then sing Multan

In the plaintive voice of the pigeon Stationed in the thickly foliaged bower on the left-bank.


Yet another time, coming unawares, you put my heart
Out of gear by your jocund touch,

And move swiftly away With a ringing laugh enkindling
limitless desire in my heart;

When I endeavor to grasp the end of your raiment You get a part, a fleet of foot, deriding And vanish into the azure of the sky.

In a moment when I am deeply engrossed in work Your uncovered blonde beauty casts in my eyes the blinding glare Of the naked lightning and vanishes in a twinkle with a sparkle.

Sitting beside the window in the darkening evening.

When for long I shed tears covering my face With my hands like an orphan, longing for a ray of affection.

And I wish that this faint line of meaningless existence of mine.


Is wiped out from the canvas of creation By the flowing darkness of night,
Then thy merciful self appears silently

From one end of the still night aglow with her star-lamps
And wipes off my tears with the end of her skirt;

You look at my face with your soulful eyes Revealing affectionate queries;
You then kiss my eyes,

Massage my brow with your balmy hands And, unnoticed, you repair silently Speechless after imparting solace And inducing sleep in the eyes of your poet.

The self-same presence, would you take a tangible form?
approve the pink feet of yours To contact this earth?

Would you encompass yourself within a sweet form In a quiet comer of the earth having withdrawn Your immanent self from within and from without,

From the universe—land, sea, and space—everywhere?

Would you borrow your rhythm from the river and the creeper.

And pass it over your limbs in manifold curves With a delicate motion,

waving over your arms And tilting over the nape of your neck,
Fully expressive of emotions?

In what azure robe would you be attired, beauteous one?

What wristlets would you wear on your shapely wrists?

What would be the style of your coiffure

In the braid arranged with skill and care?

How the tender locks would swing with gentle breeze Touching your snow-white neck as like the delicate Shirts flower?

The tender and serene look that manifests itself.

In the cluster of clouds That gather in the far end of the horizon.

In the month of Shravan And which is so freshly bluish and so comely—
Guess, in what shape would it blossom in the eyes of a woman!

the eyelashes in the shadow long dark hair glows get closer to the bewitched inner mind,

A night of bliss. Would your lips silent and immobile Remain eager to part with nectar Laden with the completest of messages!


In clusters of charm, how the body Bursts forth in the bud and then blossoms

To exult in irresistible beauty of youth un-endurable.
I know, my friend, for certain,

If we chance to gaze upon each other On a path of the life beyond,
We shall be taken aback,

The slumbering past would tremble with a start,
on awaking.

Those black eyes, I know, would peer into my mind Full of everlasting cognizance Like pole stars of my life eternal.

Deriving light from my eyes And drawing desire from my soul,
My secret love has given shape to this face.

Would you know me in your heart of hearts? Shall we, both of us, ever unite?

With your two hands, maiden, will you ever Place a garland around my neck Wreathed from spring flowers?

Shall I ever fill my breast,
O Queen of my heart,

By enfolding you in the deepest embrace?
Closest touches we shall exchange Engulfed in sweetest enchantment,
On the door-steps of our two forms.

Each day of my life would be tinged
with your radiance unceasingly, Each night would be delicious with your grace.

Your tune shall resound all through my form and my mind, Over each weal of life you will be beaming blithely.

On each sorrow, you will drop your tears,
In all works, your two blessed hands will be present And you will ever keep the hallowed light burning at home.

Is it a vain entreaty of desire,
A deception of my fancy?
Who has such a knowledge divine?


Who can tell me with certain proof that in some previous life You were not a blossoming beauty in the bloom of love In a feminine form in the bower of my life?

You remained my friend, in one place While you were in union with me;
now boundless in separation,

You pervade all creation; I can see you everywhere. Incense has burnt out,
The scented vapor has now filled all four corners.

You were the lady of the house, now having discarded it, You have made your advent As the muse of the universe.


Still a mysterious attachment, O eternally caressed one,
Has made you reveal yourself to my heart Invoking within me diverse moods of song Tinged with memory ever-lasting.


So even now hope eternal rises in my breast That I shall find you within my embrace.


Such is the way with the world,
That, like the glow of the fire-fly,
Now gleams, now fades, without count,
In the process of creation and annihilation—
Sometimes an idea and some time a form.
Now deep in the night and the lamp is burning low.


On the distant bank of the Padma in the western sky Long ago the last golden ray of the setting sun has effaced itself, Stars of the Saptarshi constellation have appeared in the dark sky.


After filling her last pitcher, The young bride has gone back to her home.
The night is of the dark half of the moon In her eleventh phase,
The path is long, the meadow lonely,


So the wayfarer sojourns
in the village in a farmer house
Long since the din and bustle

From the peasant colony over the field has ceased.
In the old peasant’s decayed hut in seclusion
On the river-bank, how long ago the evening lamp shone,
And when it died out I know not.
I missed what I was saying,

My dearest, semi-conscious as a sleep-walker
as I wandered within my mind.
Did you hear anything, could you make out anything of it, My dear, has this got any meaning?

I have clearly forgotten the whole episode;
Only the endless ocean of tears in my heart Swells in a deep roar,
While I find myself in the periphery of this drowsy night.
Come O sleep, O peace, O my beloved,

With your silent and compassionate mien, enthralled; Draw me to your bosom, with loving care,
Put me to neat sleep of oblivion,
Serene as death.

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