learning: Haiku in Indian Languages - Sanskrit

Updated: Sep 12, 2021


HAIKU IN SANSKRIT editor: Vandana Parashar Sanskrit is an old Indo-Aryan language. As one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Luwian, Old Avestan and many other living and extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. It traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan, Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-European languages.

Sanskrit is also one of the liturgical languages of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism.


The body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, music, drama, scientific, technical and other texts.


Harshadev Madhav (born 20 October, 1954) is credited with introducing Japanese haiku and tanka, and Korean sijo, into Sanskrit poetry. He is a Sanskrit and Gujarati language poet and writer who won the Sahitya Akademi Award for Sanskrit in 2006 for his work of poetry, Tava Sparshe Sparshe.

Some of his haiku translated by himself and Priya Narayan are:

सन्त्यवकरे

बालश्रमिकस्वप्ना-

श्चायचषकैः।

in the dust bin

with discarded cups

a child-labourer's dreams



***


कठोरे वृक्षे

स्निग्धाङ्गः कृकलासः

सरागो वृष्ट्याम्।

hard tree branch

a soft-bodied chameleon

red and lustrous in the rain

***

श्राद्धपक्षे$स्मिन्

पिण्डदानं करिष्ये

छिन्नवृक्षेभ्यः।

shraddh fortnight

I shall offer oblations

to dead trees


***

श्मशाने श्वानो

युध्यन्ते लड्डुकार्थं,

प्रदीप्ता चिता।

crematorium

dogs fight for rice balls

around a corpse on fire

***

'अपरिचितो

व्योम्नि तारक:' -एष

परिचयो मे।

an unknown star

in the sky - it is

my introduction

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