Recalling Chandidas: The first humanist poet of Bengal

0
77

Chandidas (1408 CE) was one of the most prominent and admired poets of Medieval Bengal. There is a total of four individuals found with the same name- Badu Chandidas, Dwija Chandidas, Din Chandidas and a one without any byname. As a consequence, a dispute has been there in Bengali literature to ascertain whether all four were the same or different identities. The earliest among them is Badu Chandidas, whose identification is somehow recognized. He was born in either Nanoor or Chattna at Birbhum district of West Bengal. He came from an upper-caste Barendra Brahmin Family and was an ardent devotee of Goddess Basholi or Bishalakshmi. He was deeply in love with a lower caste girl Rami or Ramitara, a cloth-washer’s daughter, inspiring him to compose his first poem. This infinite, divine, unstained, pure and spiritual bond between them made Chandidas ostracized from society.

(Rami and Chandidas)

The main identity of Badu Chandidas lies as the writer of the famous drama in verse, Shreekrishna Kirtana. Basanta Ranjan Roy Bidwatballabh discovered a manuscript of this masterpiece of Bengali literature in 1916 and published that under Bangiya Sahitya Parishad. Deriving its inspiration from Shrimad Bhagavatam, the poetry recounts the eternal love story between Radha and Krishna. Here, Radha’s longing for love is provided with a Bengali outlook and cultural mind-set and remains relevant till today.

(Radha and Krishna)

The verses holding the name of this first humanist poet of Bengal, have been recited at almost every home of Bengal for many times. Many dramas and movies are made on him. His famous saying “Sobar Upore manush sotyo, tahar opore nai” (Humanity is the ultimate truth above all, and nothing is beyond that) can be considered as the finest epitome to understand the sense of humanity and philosophy of Bengalis and Indians.

 

References:

https://www.freepressjournal.in/mind-matters/chandidas-the-great-vaishnava-poet

Devnath, Samaresh (2012). “Chandidas”. In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

Bhowmik, Dulal (2012). “Srikrishnakirtan”. In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

Stewart, T. K. (1986). “Book Review: Singing the Glory of Lord Krishna: The “Śrīkṛṣṇakīrtana””. Asian Folklore Studies. Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture. 45 (1): 152–154. doi:10.2307/1177851. JSTOR 1177851.

 

Image sources:

https://prachesta.djmthephotofactory.com/2020/03/history-of-shreekrishna-kirtana.html

https://printmyspace.com/radha-krishna-paintings-modern-art/

http://aviman75.blogspot.com/2013/05/rami-chandidas-geetinatya-download.html

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here