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Nineteenth-century prose

Chandrakāntā by Devaki Nandan Khatri (selection from the novel) Urdu
Premsāgar by Lallulal (selection)
Literary criticism by Bhartendu Harishchandra, “Hindī bhāshā” and “Urdū kā syāpā”

Twentieth-century prose

“Sadgati” by Premchand
“Dudh kā dām” by Premchand Urdu
“Urdū, Hindī, aur Hindūstānī” by Premchand Urdu
“Malbe kā mālik” by Mohan Rakesh
“Tanāv” by Rajendra Yadav
“Dillī mẽ ek maut” by Kamleshwar
“Paccīs caukā deṛh sau” by Omprakash Valmiki
Apne-apne pinjare by Mohandas Naimishray Urdu
“Lājwantī” by Rajinder Singh Bedi Urdu


Two Braj Bhasha poets:
  • Kabir Urdu
  • Rahim Urdu
Selections from Braj works: The Chayavad movement, with
  • Selection from the critical essay “Kalpnā ke kānan kī rānī” in Chāyāvād by Namwar Singh
  • “Vishva chavi” by Sumitranand Pant
  • Nīrajā by Mahadevi Varma (selection)
Old Avadhi texts: selections from
  • the Rāmcaritmānas of Tulsīdās
  • the Madhumālatī of Manjhan

Rasikapriyā chapter 3
by Keśavdās

Keśavdās composed his first Rītigranth (text of method), the Rasikpriyā, in 1591 for the Orchha court. This work was an early attempt to vernacularize Sanskrit aesthetic theory. In his Rasikpriyā   the poet alternates between lakṣaṇ (definition verses) and udāharaṇ (example verses). While the lakṣaṇ verses do not generally refer directly to the Kṛṣṇa-Rādhā bhakti paradigm, the udāharaṇ verses are understood to refer inherently to the Kṛṣṇa-Rādhā romance at the backdrop of Braj bhakti. Keśavadās's devotional rendition of Sanskrit aesthetic theory is a departure from the earlier tradition, but its versification in a Braj register resonates perfectly with the bhakti extension to the older genre. Allison Busch and her Fall 2012 class prepared the following glossary for the text.

-Justin Ben-Hain

On this page

PDF availableThe Braj text is available as a PDF

If the Hindi words below appear as boxes or nonsense, please see the introduction page for help.


Rasikapriya 3, vv. 15-21, 45-52

v. 15
अथ - a particle used at the beginning of works mostly as a sign of auspiciousness, can be translated as 'here begins' or 'now begins'.
स्वकीया, f. a type of nāyikā or a heroine/female character in a dramatic or literary work; it also means a woman who is faithful to her husband, or 'one's own wife' (स्वकीय, a. - one's own, belonging to one's own family).
लक्षण, m. a distinguishing feature, definition, accurate description, topic, subject.
मरत - 'मरते वक़्त', 'at the time of dying'
अनुहार, vt. to imitate, resemble; अनुहारि, f. has a sense of 'form' and here may mean तरह, प्रकार, or जैसा.
सुकीया, f. this appears to have the same meaning as स्वकीया above.
मन-क्रम-बचन - thought-deeds-words' (क्रम = कर्म)

v. 16
भेद, m. difference, distinction, division; स्वकीया-भेद - the classification of the various svakīyā nāyikās.
मुग्धा, f. a sub-type of svakīyā nāyikā who is classified as an immature and child-like young girl, one who is attractive by means of her youthful simplicity and is not yet acquainted with love (मुग्ध, a. simple, artless, innocent).
मध्या, f. a sub-type of svakīyā nāyikā who has an equal amount of passion (काम) and shyness/modesty (लज्जा); in classical aesthetic theory she is classified as a woman in the middle (madhya) of her youth.
प्रौढ़/प्रौढ़ा, f. a sub-type of svakīyā nāyikā who is a bold and mature woman, no longer bashful or timid.
गति, f. movement, behavior, manner, way of acting.
तीनि, m. three.
चारि, m. four.

v. 17
नवलबधू, f. a young wife who is full of youth (नवल, a. full of youth; बधू/वधू, f. a wife).
नवयौवना, f. youth, prime of life.
नवलअनंगा, f. a sub-type of mugdhā nāyikā who is very shy and is afraid to go near a nāyaka.
लज्जाप्राय, f. a sub-type of mugdhā nāyikā who is shy or modest and loves her husband; at the end of a compound प्राय may be translated by 'for the most part', 'generally', 'mostly', 'abounding in' or 'rich in', 'full of', etc.
बाम, f. woman, strī, aurat.

v. 18
नवबधू, f. see नवलबधू above.
सयाने, a. wise, clever, samajhdār, buddhimān.
लोइ, m. people, log.
दुति, f. light, splendor, prakāś.
दूनी, f. दुगुना or two-fold.
बरनि, 'having described' (वर्णन करके).
कबि/कवि, m. poet.

v. 19
मोहिबो, m. this is the infinitive of मोह (to allure, charm) as a masc. noun.
बैन, m. speech, word, declaration, order, command, vacan, ādeś.
धौं - a particle expressing doubt: cf. 'न जाने', 'कौन जाने', 'ज़रा', or 'या.' This particle appears to be related to the 'किधौं' particle in Braj, which expresses doubt and is translated as 'या' or 'या तो'.
ओप, f. light, luster, spark, gleam, camak (ओपना, vi. to be polished, be lustrous).
उरोजनि, f. breast (of a woman).
उपजें - either a present tense form, or a subjunctive-present form (पैदा हो or उत्पन्न हो).
मढ़ - मढ़ना, vt. to cover, spread.
अँगिया, f. bodice, blouse, brassiere, colī; a woman's jacket, kañcuk.
गूढ़, a. hidden, secret, mysterious, abstruse.
चलाचल, a. movable and immovable, unsteady, restless.
अकास, m. the sky, the heavens, ākāś, āsmān.
माई, f. mother
माइगी - cf. समाएगी (समाना, vi. to be contained or held in, to take up the available room or space, pervade).
दीपति, f. light, beauty, prabhā.
द्वै, a. two.
इहि भाँति, adv. in this way, इस तरह, इस प्रकार (भाँति, f. way, manner).

v. 20
नवयौवना-भूषिता-मुग्धा - a type of mugdhā nāyikāwho isn’t necessarily unaware of her own approaching state of youthfulness, but as a मुग्धा she certainly does not know much; this is a compound with the literal meaning: 'an artless and immature girl (मुग्धा) who is adorned/decorated/ornamented (भूषिता) with youthfulness(नवयौवना)'.
बाल दसा (बाल की दशा), f. boyhood, childhood, laṛakpan.
निकसे - 'निकले'
जोबन (यौवन), m. youth, adolescence.

v. 21
फूलि - फूलना, vi. to flower, flourish, bloom.
नची - perfective form of नच (vt. to dance; नाचना).
भृकुटी, f. eyebrow.
कटि, f. waist, waist (of a garment), kamar.
लूट, vt. to plunder, loot
नितंब, m. buttocks (usually of a woman).
काली, f. derived from काल, time
बननि, m. same as vacan (plural here). The alternate reading, बैननि, is better.
सँकोच, m. 'लज्जा,' in the sense of hesitation
धरौ - धारण करो (धारण, m. holding, maintaining, carrying, wearing, assuming).
मिलिबो, m. the infinitive of मिल forming masculine noun.
अयान, m. not knowing something, ignorance, stupidity; a. ignorant, stupid; from अज्ञान or 'lack of knowledge (jñān)'; glossed in the Keśavkoś as भोलापन (innocence, simplicity).
उर, m. chest, bosom, chātī.

v. 45
मध्याधीरादि = मध्या + धीरा + आदि;
मध्या - young woman of equal shyness and passion, as noted above
धीर/धीरा - gentle, mild, soft; cool, calm; steady, patient
आदि - beginning, opening
यथा - thus
सिगरी <-- सिगर <-- सगर <-- सकर <-- सकल - all, whole
बिधि <-- विधि - way, manner
अधीर - unsteady. impetuous; in this case ‘quick to blurt out whatever is on her mind’
बरन - वर्णन करना

v. 46
बक्र - crooked, i.e. sarcastic
बिषम - disagreeable
उराह <-- उरह - to reproach

v. 47
This verse recurs in Keśavadāsa's Kavipriya (12.4) and there is quite a helpful commentary on it (start at the top left)
हुलास - joy, gladness
बिलास - pleasure, delight, enjoyment
निवास - dwelling
अवरेख्यो= अवेख्य - अवलोकन किया, or simply देखा
भ्रम - confusion, bewilderment; whirling, roaming, straying
भयो - became
भ्राँति - whirling around, wandering, going astray
सीत - cold, chilliness
बिसेख <-- विसेष - particular, special
मुद्रित - sealed, stamped, impressed
साँचु = साँच- (n) true, truth, and also an adj, सच/ सच्चा
लेख्यो - considered, regarded
अरबिंद - lotus

v. 48
तात - father
मोह - allure, charm
भायो - from भा- was pleasing to
थल - dry ground
अचल - mountain
सील - modesty
अनल - fire
अमल - pure, unsullied
तेज - brilliance
गायो - from गा- sang
बसत - dwells
अकास - आकाश
प्रकास - clear, apparent
घोष - the Keshav Kosh glosses this as घोषणा or ध्वनि, proclamation/sound
घैरु - घैरु is malicious gossip, ill-repute
घन - cloud; also an adj, meaning dense. (Probably a pun is intended)
रति - passion

v. 49
कान्ह - Krishna
उमह्यो - from उमाह - a verb, a perfect form of उमहना, to be enraptured/immersed/sunk. Note the strong tendency for the rhymes to be morphologically/grammatically parallel too.
लह्यो - from लह- लिया
मिलिबो - मिलना
बैननि - words
सखीनि - female friends; sometimes these become Krishna's 'friends', too, much to the consternation of the nāyikā.

v. 50
चतुर्बिधि - four ways/manners
कोबिदा - fem. of कोबिद - knowing, experienced, skilled
बिभ्रमा <-- विभ्रम - beauty, grace
आक्रामित <-- आक्रम - surmounting, superior, surpassing
लुब्धापति = लुब्धा + पति - desirous of/longing for a husband
सुभ <-- शुभ - auspicious, beautiful, bright

v. 51
बखानि - बखान- to praise, describe
भावै - भाव- to feel
प्रीतमहि - प्रीतम को
दानि - giver

v. 52
सलोनी - lovely
बास - clothing; fragrance
सोँध- fragrance
सुहा- to be charmed, pleased
सोभा - splendour, beauty
सुभाउ - from सुभाना - to impart grace or elegance, to make beautiful, to give pleasure; this can also be a Brajification of the noun
स्वभाव, nature/character.
दामिनी - lightning
कामिनी - desirous, impassioned, loving
देबी <-- देवी
मानवी - of humankind
दानवी - of a class of demons
भानवी - born of the sun.
हाव-भाव - being-feeling
साधन -take closely with the previous word, "means" [of contentment]
मैन - Kamdev
मेनका - an Apsara, wife of Himavat, mother of Parvati, and famously the mother of Shakuntala by Vishvamitra

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This site last updated by Justin Ben-Hain on 5 November 2013.