About this text

Introductory notes

Ardhakathanaka, written by a Jain merchant named Banarasidas(1586-1641) is probably the first ever autobiography in an Indian language. In consists of 675 stanzas and is composed in a mixture of Braj Bhasha and Khari Boli. It is named Ardhakathanaka (or "half story")as it records the details of the first fifty-five years of the life of Banarasidas, while in Jain tradition the life-span is believed to be of one hundred and ten years. It is an important text as it is set against the backdrop of Mughal history and provides an account of the life of a common citizen. The text was published for the first time in 1943 by Nathuram Premi. It was later translated and published as "Half a Tale" by Mukund Lath in 1981. It has been recently translated into Hindi and English by Rohini Chowdhury.

Our selection here contains excerpts from the text which focus on famine, political unrest, asceticism and charity.

Primary Reading Banarasidas, Ardhakathanaka, trans.Rohini Chowdhury, (Navi Mumbai: Penguin Books,2009)


A Half Story



[Page 2]
पानि जुगुल पुट सीस धरि मानि अपनपी दास |
आनि भगति चित जानी प्रभु बंदौ पास सुपास॥१॥
गंग मांहि आइ धसी द्वै नदी बरुना असी
बीच बसी बनारसी नगरी बखानी है |
कसिवार देस मध्य गांउ तातै कासी नांउ
श्रीसुपास पास की जनमभूमि मानी है ||
तहां दुहू जन सिवमारग प्रगट कीनौ
तब सेती सिवपुरी जगत मैं जानी है |
ऐसी बिधी नाम थपे नगरी बनारसी के
और भांति कहै सो तौ मिथ्यामत बानी है॥२॥
जिन पहिरी जिन जनमपुर नाम मुद्रिका छाप |
सो बनारसी निज कथा कहै आपसौं आप॥३॥
जैनधर्म श्रीमाल सुबंस | बानारसी नाम नरहंस ॥
तिन मन मांहि बिचारी बात | कहौं आपनी कथा बिख्यात॥४॥
[Page 3]
With folded hands upon my forehead
And adoration in my heart
I,humble devotee of Parshva and Suparshva
Salute them.(1)
The Baruna and the Asi, two rivers, flow into the Ganga;
Between them lies Banaras,a city known far and wide
It lies in the land of Kasiwar, and so is also called Kashi
The birthplace of Suparshvanath and Parshvanath,
This is where the two revealed the shiva path
Since then the city has been known as Shivpuri in the world of men
In this manner did the city of Banaras acquire its many names
Those who may otherwise speak falsely and in ignorance.(2)
He who bears the name of the birthplace of the Jinas
Stamped upon him like the seal of a signet ring,
That same Banarasi will now relate
His own story to you.(3)
A Jain from the noble Shrimal family,
That prince among men, that man called Banarasi,
He thought to himself
'Let me know make my story known to all.(4)
[Page 4]
जैसी सुनी बिलोकी नैन | तैसी कछु कहौं मुख बैन ॥
कहौं अतीत दोष गुणवाद | बरत मानतांई मरजाद॥५॥
भावी दसा होईगी जथा | गयानी जानै तिसकी कथा ॥
तातै भई बात मन आनि | थूलरूप कछु कहौं बखानी॥६॥
मध्यदेस की बोली बोलि | गर्भित बात कहौं हिय खोली ॥
भाखूं पूरब दसा चरित्र | सुनहु कान धरि मेरे मित्र॥७॥
[Page 5]
'All that I have heard, and seen with my own eyes,
Let me tell of those matters in my own words.
Let me tell of my past faults and virtues,
Keeping in mind the limits of custom and decorum.(5)
'That which will happen in the future,
Only those who can see the future know.
Therefore, let me recall only the events that are past
And describe them in broad outline.(6)
'I shall tell my tale in the common speech of Madhyadesh.
I shall reveal that which is hidden
And describe my past life and character.
Listen carefully, my friends.'(7)


[Page 8]
मालवदेस परम सुखधाम | नरवर नाम नगर अभिराम ॥
तहां मुगल पाई जागीर | साहि हिमाऊं कौ बर बीर॥१५॥
मुलदास सौं बहुत कृपाल | करै उचापति सौंपै माल ॥
संबत सोलह सै जब जान | आठ बरस अधिके परबान॥१६॥
सावन सित पंचमी रबिबार | मूलदास घर सुत अवतार ॥
भयौ हरख खरचे बहु दाम | खरगसेन दिनौं यहु नाम॥१७॥
सुख सौं बरस दोइ चलि गए | घनमल नाम और सुत भए ॥
बरस तीन जब बीते और | घनमल काल कियौ तिस ठौर॥१८॥
[Page 9]
Malwa was a peaceful and prosperous land,
And Narwar a pleasant and beautiful city.
It was there that the Mughal officer had been given his jagir-
Being one of the chosen ones among European Humayun's soldiers.(15)
The Mughal treated Muldas with great favour.
Muldas ran a moneylending business, giving the Mughal all he made.
Know that when from Samvat 1600,
Eight more years had passed,(16)
On the fifth day of the bright half of the month of Sawan, on Sunday,
In Muldas's home, a son was born.
There was joy and great rejoicing. Muldas spent large sums of money.
And named his son, Kharagsen.(17)
[Page 10]
घनमल घन दल उड़ि गए काल पवन संजोग ॥
मात तात तरुवर तए लहि आतप सुत सोग॥१९॥
लघु सुत सोक कियौ असराल | मूलदास भी कीनौ काल ॥
तेरहोत्तरे संबत बीच | पिता पुत्र कौ आई मीच॥२०॥
खरगसेन सुत माता साथ | सोक बिआकुल भए अनाथ ॥
मुगल गयौ थो काहू गांउ | यह सब बात सुनी तिस ठाँउ॥२१॥
आयौ मुगल उतावलो सुनि मूला कौ काल |
मुहर छाप घर खालसै कीनौ लीनौ माल॥२२॥
माता पुत्र भए दुखी कीनौ बहुत कलेस |
ज्यौं त्यौं करि दुख देखते आए पूरब देस॥२३॥
[Page 11]
Time and Destiny carried Ghanmal away
As the wind blows clouds away.
His mother and father were left, two trees
Scorched in the fierce sun of their grief.(19)
Muldas mourned his younger son unceasingly
And in his grief he died.
Thus in Samvat 1613,
Death came to both father and son.(20)
Kharagsen, the older son, with his mother now remained.
Orphaned and helpless, mother and son were distracted with grief.
The Mughal was away in some village,
It was there that he heard the news.(21)
The Mughal returned forthwith
Upon hearing of Muldas's death.
He seized his house and sealed it shut,
And snatched away all Muldas had owned.(22)
Mother and son, wretched and miserable,
Lamented loud and long,
Somehow,great suffering and many difficulties later,
They found their way to the land that lay to the east.(23)
[Page 12]
पूरब देस जौनपुर गांउ | बसै गोमती तीर सुठाउं ॥
तहां गोमती इहि बिध बहै | ज्यौं देखी त्यौं कविजन कहै॥२४॥
प्रथम हि दक्खनमुख बही पूरब मुख परबाह |
बहुरों उत्तरमुख बही गोवै नदी अथाह॥२५॥
गोवै नदी त्रिविधिमुख बही | तट रवनीक सुविस्तर मही |
कुल पठान जौनासह नांउ | तिन तहां आइ बसायो गांउ॥२६॥
कुतबा पढ्यौ छत्र सिर तानि | बैठि तखत फेरि निज आनि |
तब तिन तखत जौनपुर नांउ | दीनौ भयौ अचल सो गांउ॥२७॥
चारौं बरन बसें तिस बीच | बसहिं छतीस पौंनि कुल नीच|
बांभन छत्री बैस अपार | सूद्र भेद छत्तीस प्रकार॥२८॥
[Page 13]
In that eastern land, the city of Jaunpur lies
At a vantage point on the Gomti's banks.
There the Gomti flows in such a manner
As may best be described in a poet's words.(24)
At first towards the south it flows,
Then to the east it turns,
And again, to the north it flows-
The Gomti River, deep and fathomless.(25)
The Gomti River thus in three directions flows.
Its banks are wide and pleasant.
In times past, a Pathan named Jauna Shah,
To that spot came and founded a city.(26)
He declared himself king, assumed the insignia of royal power,
And mounting the throne, proclaimed his rule and authority.
He named his new capital Jaunpur,
And made it into a strong and impregnable city(27)
[Page 14]
सीसगर दरजी तंबोली रंगबाल ग्वाल
बाढ़ई संगतरास तेली धोबी धुनिया |
कंदोई कहार काछी कलाल कुलाल माली
कुंदीगर कागदी किसान पटबुनिया ॥
चितेरा बिंधेरा बारी लखेरा ठठेरा राज
पटुवा छप्परबंध नाई भारभूनियां|
सुनार लुहार सिकलीगर हवाईगर |
धीवर चमार एई छत्तीस पउनियां॥२९॥
नगर जौनपुर भूमि सुचंग | मठ मंडप प्रासाद उतंग ॥
सोभित सपतखने गृह घने | सघन पताका तंबू तने॥३०॥
जहां बावन सराइ पुरकने | आसपास बावन परगने ॥
नगर माहि बावन बाजार | अरू बावन मंडई उदार॥३१॥
[Page 15]
Glassworkers, tailors, betel-leaf sellers, dyers, milkmen, carpenters, stone-cutters, oil-press workers and oil-sellers, washermen,cotton-carders,
Confectioners, water-carriers and palanquin bearers, vegetable growers and vegetable-sellers, wine sellers,potters,sellers of flowers and flower garlands, fullers,paper-makers,farmers,weavers,
Painters,workers in pearls and precious stones,makers of platters and containers from leaves,lac workers, coppersmiths,builders,weavers of gold and silver threads, thatchers,barbers,grain-parchers,
Goldsmiths,blacksmiths,knife-sharpeners,firework makers,fishermen,leatherworks-these were the thirty-six paunis.(29)
The city of Jaunpur was magnificent and splendid
With its lofty temples,pavilions,palaces
And its many grand houses with seven floors,
Bedecked with canopies and innumerable flags.(30)
Within the city were fifty-two sarais;
Fifty-two parganas surrounded it.
In the city were fifty-two marketplaces,
And fifty-two great mandis.(31)
[Page 16]
अनुक्रम भए तहां साहि | तिनके नांउ कहौं निरबाहि ॥
प्रथम साहि जौनासह जानि | दूतिय बवक्कर साहि बखानी॥३२॥
त्रितीय भयौ सुरहर सुल्तान | चौथा दोस महम्मद जान ॥
पंचम भूपति साहि निजाम | छट्ठम साहि बिराहिम नाम॥३३॥
सत्तम साहिब साहि हुसैन | अठ्ठम गाजी सज्जित सैन ॥
नवम साहि बख्या सुल्तान | बरती जासु अखंडित आन॥३४॥
ए नव साहि भए तिस ठाउ | यातें तखत जौनपुर नांउ ॥
पूरब दिसि पटनालौं आन | पच्छिम हदया इटावा थान॥३५॥
दक्खन बिंध्याचल सरहद्या | उत्तर परमित घाघर नद्या ॥
इतनी भूमि राज विख्यात | बरिस तीनी सै की यहु बात॥३६॥
[Page 17]
One after another,nine kings ruled the city.
Banarasi relates their names in order:
The first was Jauna Shah, as known,
The second, Bawakkar Shah.(32)
The third who ruled was Surhar Sultan,
The fourth as Dost Muhammad was known.
The fifth king was Shah Nizam,
The sixth Shah Birahim by name.(33)
The seventh ruler was Shah Hussain,
The eighth was Gazi Sajjit Sain.
The ninth king was Bakhiya Sultan
Whose authority was undisputed.(34)
These were the nine kings who had ruled that land
Whose capital city was called Jaunpur.
To the east the land reached Patna,
Its western boundary was Itawah.(35)
To the south the Vindhya mountains hemmed it in;
To the north the Ghaghra River was its end.
So much was the territory of this extensive kingdom.
'But,' says Banarasi, 'all this that I speak of was three hundred years ago.(36)


[Page 34]
तेतीसै संबत समै गए जौनपुर गाम |
एक तुरंगम एक रथ बहु पाइक बहु दाम॥७३॥
दिन दास बीते जौनपुर नगर मांहि करि हाट|
साझी करि बैठे तुरित कियौ बनज कौ ठाट॥७४॥
रामदास बनिया धनपती| जाती अगरबाला सिवमती ॥
सो साझी कीनौं हित मान | प्रीति रीति परतीति मिलान॥७५॥
करहिं सराफी दोउ गुनी | बनजहिं मोती मानिक चुनी ॥
सुख सौं काल भली बिधि गमै | सोलह सै पैंतीस समै॥७६॥
खरगसेन घर सुत अवतरयौ | खरच्यौ दरब हरस मन धरयौ ॥
दिन दसम पहुच्यौ परलोक | कीना प्रथम पुत्र कौ सोक॥७७॥
[Page 35]
In Samvat 1633
Kharagsen left for Jaunpur town.
He took with him a single horse, a single marriage,
Many attendants and much wealth.(73)
Ten days after reaching Jaunpur
He opened his shop in the city.
He entered into a partnership at once
And prepared for business.(74)
Ramdas, a wealthy bania,
An Agrawal of good temper,
Had entered into partnership with Kharagsen, looking upon him as a friend
It was a union based on affection, trust and understanding.(75)
These two worthy men began to trade in gold and silver,
Pearls, rubies and the dust of precious stones.
Time passed well in peace and happiness.
It was now Samvat 1635.(76)
In Kharagsen's home a son was born.
Delighted, he spent large sums in celebration.
Ten days later, the child died.
Kharagsen mourned his firstborn son.(77)


[Page 38]
एकादसी बार रबि नन्द | नखत रोहिनी वृष कौ चंद ॥
रोहिनि त्रितीय चरन अनुसार | खरगसेन घर सुत अवतार॥८४॥
दीनौं नाम विकरमाजीत | गावहिं कामिनी मंगल गीत ॥
दीजहि दान भयौ अति हर्ष | जनम्यौ पुत्र आठएं वर्ष॥८५॥
एहि बिधि बीते मास छ सात | चले सु पार्श्वनाथ की जात ॥
कुल कुटुंब सब लीनौ साथ | बिधि सौं पूजे पारसनाथ॥८६॥
[Page 39]
On the eleventh day, a Saturday,
When the moon was in Taurus and the reigning nakshatra Rohini
Was in the third quarter,
In Kharagsen's house a son was born.(84)
The child was named Vikramjit,
The women sang songs of celebration,
Kharagsen, ovejoyed, gave alms generously-
A son had been born after eight long years.(85)
In this manner,some six or seven months went by.
Kharagsen then set off on a pilgrimage to Parshvanath.
He took his entire family with him.
They offered ritual puja to Lord Parshvanath.(86)
[Page 40]
पूजा करि जोरे जुग पानि | आगे बालक राख्यौ आनि ॥
तब कर जोरि पुजारा कहै | बालक चरन तुम्हारे गहै॥८७॥
चिरंजीवी कीजै यह बाल | तुम्ह सरनागत के रखपाल ॥
इस बालक पर कीजै दया | अब यहु दास तुम्हारा भया॥८८॥
तब सु पुजारा साधै पौन | मिथ्या ध्यान कपट की मौन ॥
घड़ी एक जब भई बितीत | सीस घुमाइ कहै सुनू मीत॥८९॥
सुपिनंतर किछू आयौ मोहि || सो सब बात कहौं मैं तोही ॥
प्रभु पारस जिनवर कौ जच्छ | सो मोपै आयौ परतच्छ॥९०॥
तिन यहु बात कही मुझ पांहि | इस बालक कौं चिंता नांहि ॥
जो प्रभु पास जनम कौ गांउ | सो दीजै बालक कौ नांउ॥९१॥
तौ बालक चिरजीवी होइ | यह कहि लोप भयौ सुर सोइ ॥
जब यहु बात पुजारे कही | खरगसेन जिय जानी सही ॥९२॥
[Page 41]
With folded hands they offered puja
And placed the newborn child before Him.
The Pujari, with folded hands, then said,
'This child is at your feet.(87)
'Give this child long life.
You are the protector of all who come seeking shelter.
Have compassion on this child,
He too is now your slave.'(88)
Then the pujari held his breath.
In feigned meditation and false silence.
When almost half an hour had passed,
He turned his head and said,'Listen, friends,(89)
'I saw a vision,
Which I shall now relate to you:
The yaksha who serves Lord Parshva,
Appeared before me.(90)
'This is what he said to me:
"There is no worry for this child.
Give to the child the name
Of the city of Lord Parshva's birth.(91)
'"If you do so,the child will live long."
Saying this,the yaksha vanished.'
When the pujari spoke these words
Kharagsen felt in his heart that they were true.(92)
[Page 42]
हर्षित कहै कुटुंब सब स्वामी पास सुपास |
दुहु कौ जनम बनारसी यहु बनारसी दास॥१३॥
[Page 43]
In joy the whole family cried out,
'Parshva and Suparshva are out lords!'
Both were born in Banaras,
This child must be surely be Banarasidas!'(93)


[Page 46]
भई सगाई बावनें परयौ त्रेपनें काल ।
महघा अन न पाइयै भयौ जगत बेहाल॥१०४॥
गयौ काल बीते दिन घने । संबत सोलह सै चौवने ॥
माघ मास सित पख बारसी । चले बिवाहन बानारसी॥१०५॥
करि बिवाह आए निज धाम । दूजी और सुता अभिराम ॥
खरगसेन के घर अवतरी । तिस दिन वृद्धा नानी मारी॥१०६॥
नानी मरन सुता जनम पुत्रबधू आगौन ।
तीनौ कारज एक दिन भए एक ही भौन॥१०७॥
[Page 47]
Kharagsen accepted Kalyanmal's daughter's hand in marriage for his son,
Formalizing the engagement with a tilak on Banarasi's forehead.
He wrote back saying that the wedding should take place two years later
And fixed an auspicious date for the wedding day.(103)
Banarasi's engagement took place in Samvat 1652;
In Samvat 1653 there was a famine.
Grain became dear, and was even then was not available.
People were desolate.(104)
The famine ended and many days passed.
In Samvat 1654,
On the twelfth day of the bright half of the month of Magh
Banarasi set off to get married.(105)
After his wedding Banarasi returned home.
A second beautiful daughter was born
In Kharagsen's home
And his old nani died on the same day.(106)
A grandmother's death, a daughter's birth,
The coming home of a daughter-in-law-
All three events took place on the same day
In the same house.(107)
[Page 48]
यह संसार बिडम्बना देखि प्रगट दुख खेद ।
चतुर चित त्यागी भए मूढ़ न जानहि भेद॥१०८॥
इहि बिधि दोई मास बीतिया । आयौ दुलिहिनि कौ पीतीया ॥
ताराचंद नाम श्रीमाल । सो ले चलयौ भतीजी नाल ॥१०९॥
खैराबाद नगर सो गयौ । इहा जौनपुर बीतिक भयौ ॥
बिपदा उदै भई इस बीच । पुरहाकिम नौवाब किलीच ॥११०॥
तिन पकरे सब जौहरी दिये कोठरी मांहि ।
बड़ी बस्तु माँगै कछु सो तौ इनपै नाहि ॥१११॥
एक दिवस तिनी कोप करि कियौ हुकम उठि भोर ।
बांधि बांधि सब जौहरी खड़े किए ज्यौं चोर ॥११२॥
[Page 49]
The irony of this world of illusions
Is clearly manifest in such grief and sorrow.
Wise minds renounce it;
Foolish ones cannot recognize it.(108)
In this manner two months passed.
The bride chacha he came to Jaunpur.
A Shrimal, his name was Tarachand,
He took his niece away with him.(109)
To Khairabad city they went.
Here in Jaunpur,
A calamity arose meanwhile.
The city's governor was Nawab Qilich.(110)
He arrested all the jewellers,
Had them thrown into prison.
And demanded of them some great amount of wealth,
Which the jewellers did not have.(111)
One day, enraged and furious,
He ordered upon walking
That all the jewellers must be chained
And lined up before him like thieves.(112)
[Page 50]
हने कटीले कोररे कीने म्रतक समान ।
दिये छोड़ तिस बार तिन आए निज निज थान॥११३॥
आइ सबनि कीनौ मतौ भागि जाहु तजि भौन ।
निज निज परिगह साथ ले परै काल मुख कौन॥११४॥
यहू कहि भिन्न भिन्न सब भए । फूटि फाटी कै चहुंदिसि गए॥
खरगसेन लै निज परिवार । आए पच्छिम गंगापार॥११५॥
नगरी साहिजादपुर नांउ । निकट कड़ा मानिकपुर गांउ ॥
आए साहिजादपुर बीच । बरसै मेघ भई अति कीच॥११६॥
निसा अंधेरी बरसा घनी। आइ सराइ बसे गृह धनी ॥
खरगसेन सब परिजन साथ। करहिं रुदन ज्यौ दीन अनाथ॥११७॥
[Page 51]
He had them flogged with thorny whips
Till they were almost dead.
But this time he let them go,
And the jewellers returned to their homes.(113)
Upon morning, they conferred amongst themselves
And decided to leave their homes,
Taking with them their wealth and possessions.
After all, who wanted to walk into the jaws of death?(114)
Thus saying, they separated
And leaving Jaunpur,each on his own, scattered in the four directions.
Kharagsen,taking his family with him,
Went towards the west and crossed the Ganga.(115)
Across the river is the town of Shahzadpur
Close to the village of Kara Manikpur
Kharagsen reached Shahzadpur.
It was pouring with rain, the ground was muddy and wet.(116)
The night was dark and the rain was heavy.
At last he came to a sarai, where he stopped.
Kharagsen, with all the members of his family,
Wept and cried like the poor and helpless.(117)
[Page 52]
पुत्र कलत्र सुता जुगल अरु संपदा अनूप ।
भोग अंतराई उदै भए सकल दुखरूप॥११८॥
इस अवसर तिस पुर थानिया । करमचंद माहुर बानिया ॥
तिन अपनी घर खाली कियौ । आपु निवास और घर लियौ॥११९॥
भई बितीत रेंनि इक जाम । टरै खरगसेन कौ नाम ॥
टेरत बुझत आयौ तहां । खरगसेनजी बैठे जहां॥१२०॥
रामराम करि बठयौ पास । बोल्यौ तुम साहब मैं दास। ॥
चलहू कृपा करि मेरे संग । मैं सेवक तुम चढ़ौ तुरंग।।१२१॥
जथाजोग है डेरा एक । चलिए तहां न कीजै टेक ॥
आए हित सौं तासु निकेत । खरगसेन परिवार समेत॥१२२॥
[Page 53]
His son,his wife, his two daughters,
And his unparalleled wealth,
All became a cause of distress;
Th result of his antaraya karma.(118)
At this juncture, a resident of that town,
One Karamchand Mahur, a bania,
Vacated his house for the use of Kharagsen
Taking another house for his own use.(119)
One watch of the night had passed
When Karamchand Mahur, calling Kharagsen's name
And inquiring for him, arrived
At the sarai where Kharagsen had stopped.(120)
'Ram Ram', he said in greeting and sat down beside Kharagsen.
He said, 'You are the master, I am your slave.
Please come with me.
I am there to serve you. Please mount of horse.(121)
'There is a house that is worthy of you.
Come,let us go there, do not delay or hesitate.'
In friendship thus Kharagsen came to his house-
Kharagsen with his family.(122)
[Page 54]
बैठे सुख सौ करि विश्राम । देख्यौ अति विचित्र सो धाम ॥
कोरे कलस धरे बहू मात । चादरि सोरि तुलाई खाट॥१२३॥
भरयौ अंन सौ कोठा एक। भख्य पदारथ और अनेक ॥
सकल बस्तु पूरन करि गेह। तिन दीनौं करि बहुत सनेह॥१२४॥
खरगसेन हठ कीनौ महा । चरन पकरि तिन कीनी हहा ॥
अति आग्रह करि दीनौ सर्व । बीनय बहुत कीनी तजि गर्व॥१२५॥
घन बरसै पावस समै जिन दीनौ निज भौन ।
ताकी महिमा की कथा मुख सौं बरनै कौन।।१२६॥
खरगसेन तहां सुख सौं रर्है । दसा बिचारि कबीसुर कहै ॥
वह दुख दियौ नवाब किलीच । यह सुख साहिजादपुर बीच॥१२७॥
[Page 55]
There he sat and rested peacefully.
He saw that the house was magnificent and marvellous.
There were brand new metal utensils and much earthenware
And sheets, quilts and coverlets on the beds.(123)
One storeroom was filled with grain;
There were many other kinds of food and drink
The house had an abundance of everything.
Karamchand gave Kharagsen great affection.(124)
Yet Kharagsen resisted his offer with great obstinacy.
Karamchand fell at his feet,
And insisted that he accept all that he was giving.
His entreaties were made with humility and without pride.(125)
In the heavy downpour of the rainy season
The man who gives to another his own home,
The story of the greatness of such a man
Who can adequately recount!(126)
Kharagsen lived there in peace and contentment.
If a great poet were to reflect upon his condition, he might say:
There Nawab Qilich gave him such grief,
Here in Shahzadpur he found so much peace.(127)
[Page 56]
एक दिष्टि बहू अंतर होइ । एक दिष्टि सुख दुख सम दोइ ॥
जो दुख देखै सो सुख लहै । सुख भुंजै सोई दुख सहै॥१२८॥
सुख मैं माँनै मैं सुखी दुख मैं दुखमय होइ ।
मूढ़ पुरुष की दिष्टि मैं दीसै सुख दुख दोइ॥१२९॥
ग्यानी संपति विपती मैं रहै एकसी भांति ।
ज्यौं रबि ऊगत आथवत तजै न राती कांति॥१३०॥
करमचंद माहुर बनिक खरगसेन श्रीमाल ।
भए मित्र दोऊ पुरुष रहैं रयनि दिन नाल॥१३१॥
[Page 57]
From one point of view there is great difference between the two;
From another point of view, joy and sorrow are the same.
For, the one who has been sorrow, is the one who can feel joy,
And the one who has experienced joy, only such a one can know sorrow.(128)
The man who believes that in times of joy he is happy,
And that in times of sorrow he is sad,
In the eyes of such an ignorant person
Joy and sorrow appear to be different from each other.(129)
The wise man, in times of plenty and in times of misfortune
Stays the same,
As the sun, whether rising or setting,
Retains its ruddy lustre.(130)
Karamchand Mahur, bania,
Kharagsen Shrimal
The two men became friends
And spent all their time together.(131)
[Page 58]
इहि बिधि कीनौ मास दस साहिजादपुर बास।
फिर उठि चले प्रयागपुर बसै त्रिबेणी पास॥१३२॥
बसै प्रयाग त्रिबेनी पास। जाकौ नांऊ इलाहाबास ॥
तहां दानि वसुधा पुरहूत । अकबर पातिसाह कौ पूत॥१३३॥
खरगसेन तहां कीनौ गौन । रोजगार कारन तजि भान ॥
बनारसी बालक घरि रह्यौ । कौड़ी बेच बनिज तिन गहयौ॥१३५॥
एक टका द्वै टका कमाइ । काहू की ना धरै तमाइ ॥
जोरै नफा एकठा करै । लै दादी के आगें धरै॥१३५॥
दादी बाटे सीरनी लाडू नुकती नित्त ।
प्रथम कमाई पुत्र की सती अऊत निमित्त।।१३६॥
[Page 59]
Thus Kharagsen spent ten months
In Shahzadpur.
Then he set off for the city of Prayag
And settled beside the Triveni.(132)
Kharagsen started living beside the Triveni in Prayag
Also called Allahabad
The governor of Allahabad then was Daniyal
The son of Badshah Akbar.(133)
That is where Kharagsen went
Leaving his home for the sake of a livelihood.
The boy Banarasi stayed back at home.
By selling cowrie shells, he began to trade.(134)
He earned two rupees for one
Keeping back no one's money.
He collected the profits
And handled them to hisdadi (135)
His dadi distributed sweetmeats-sirni
Laddu,mukti-in joy and thanksgiving.
Her grandson's first earnings
She dedicated to Sati Aut.(136)


[Page 64]
मास दोइ बीते इस बीच | सुनी आगरे गयौ किलीच ॥
खरगसेन परिवार समेत | फिरि आए आपनै निकेत॥१४७॥
जहां तहां सौं सब जौहरी | प्रगटे जथा गुपत भौंहरी ॥
संबत सोलह सै छप्पनै | लागे सब कारज आपनै॥१४८॥
बरस एक लौं बरती छेम | आए साहिब साहि सलेम ॥
बड़ा साहिजादा जगबंद | अकबर पातिसाही कौ नंद॥१४९॥
आखेटक कोल्हुबन काज | पातिसाही की भई अवाज ॥
हाकिम इहां जौनपुर थान | लघु किलीच नूरम सुल्तान॥१५०॥
ताहि हुकम अकबर कौ भयौ | साहिजादा कोल्हूबन गयौ ॥
तातै सो किछू कर तू जेम | कोल्हुबन नहिं जाय सलेम॥१५१॥
[Page 65]
Two months passed.
They heard that Nawab Qilich had left Jaunpur for Agra.
Kharagsen with his family
Returned home to Jaunpur.(147)
The other jewellers, from whenever they had gone,
Returned as though emerging from secret subterranean
It was now Samvat 1656.
Everyone went back to work again.(148)
One year passed well.
Then came Sahib Salim Shah,
The eldest prince,
Son of Badshah Akbar.(149)
Ostensibly he had come for a hint in the Kolhuban forest.
Then came the Badshah's orders.
The governor of Jaunpur
Was the younger Qilich, Nurum Sultan.(150)
To him came Akbar's command,
'The prince has gone to Kolhuban.
Use any means you can to
Make sure that Salim does not go to Kolhuban.'(151)
[Page 66]
एहि बिधि अकबर कौ फुरमान | सीस चढ़ायौ नूरम खान ॥
तब तिन नगर जौनपुर बीच | भयौ गढ़पती ठानी मीच॥१५२॥
जहां तहां रुधि सब बाट | नांउ न चलै गौमती घाट ॥
पुल दरवाजे दिये कपाट | कीनौ तिन विग्रह कौ ठाठ॥१५३॥
राखे बहु पायक असबार | चहु दिसि बैठे चौकीदार ॥
कोट कंगूरेनह राखी नाल | पुर मैं भयौ ऊचलाचल॥१५४॥
करी बहुत गढ़ संजोवनी । अंन बस्त्र जल की ढोवनी ॥
जिरह जीन बंदूक अपार । बहु दारु नाना हथियार॥१५५॥
खोलि खजाना खरचे दाम । भयौ आपु सनमुख संग्राम ॥
प्रजालोग सब ब्याकुल भए | भागे चहू ओर उठि गए॥१५६॥
[Page 67]
This was the manner of Akbar's firman
Which Nuram Khan took upon himself to fulfil.
He turned Jaunpur city into a fort;
As its commander he prepared to face death.(152)
All roads leading to and from Jaunpur were blocked,
Boats were no longer allowed to stop at the ghats along the Gomti,
All bridges and gateaways into the city were closed.
Nuram Khan prepared for battle.(153)
Many foot soldiers and mounted men were deployed,
Guards were posted everywhere,
And artillery set up on the walls and ramparts of the city.
There was bustle and confusion in the town.(154)
Many other preparations were made within the city walls.
Grain,clothing and water were laid by
As well as armour for the men, saddles for horses,guns
Much wine, and many kinds of weapons(155)
Nuram Sultan threw open the treasury and spent great sums of money.
He was ready to face battle.
The people, overcome with fear,
Left Jaunpur and ran away in all directions.(156)
[Page 68]
महा नगरि सो भई उजार । अब आई अब आई धार ॥
सब जौहरी मिले इक ठौर । नगर मांहि नर रह्यौ न और॥१५७॥
क्या कीजै अब कौन बिचार । मुसकिल भई सहित परिबार ॥
रहे न कुसल न भागे छेम । पकरी सांप छुछुंदरि जेम॥१५८॥
तब सब मिलि नूरम के पास । गय जाइ कीनी अरदास ॥
नूरम कहै सुनहु रे साहू । भावै इहां रहौ कै जाहु॥१५९॥
मेरी मरण बन्यौ है आइ । मैं क्या तुमकौ कहौं उपाइ ॥
तब सब फिरी आए निज धाम । भागहु जो किछु करहि सो राम॥१६०॥
आपु आपकौं सब भगे एकहि एक न साथ ।
कोऊ काहूकी सरन कोऊ कहूं अनाथ॥१६१॥
[Page 69]
The great city of Jaunpur was now deserted and desolate.
Salim could attack at any moment.
All the jewellers gathered together in one place -
No man wanted to live in the city any more.(157)
What should they do now, they wondered.
It was a difficult situation, and it affected their families too.
Whether they strayed, or whether they ran, there was no safety anywhere.
No matter which part of a snake a muskrat attacks, the muskrat is in danger.(158)
Then,all together, to Nuram
They went with a petition.
Nuram said, 'Listen O merchants,
You are wondering whether to stay or go.(159)
'My own end is before me.
What solution can I give you?'
The jewellers returned home
And decided to run away-placing themselves in God's hands.(160)
The jewellers left Jaunpur, each on his own
No one with another.
Some found shelter with others,
Some were alone and friendless.(161)
[Page 70]
खरगसेन आए तिस ठाउं । दूलह साहु गए जिस गांउ ॥
लछिमनपुरा गांउ के पास । तहां चौधरी लछिमनदास॥१६२॥
तिन लै राखै जंगल मांहि । किनौं कौल बोल दै बांहि ॥
इहि बिधि बीते दिवस छ सात । सुनी जौनपुर की कुसलात॥१६३॥
साहि सलेम गोमती तीर । आयौ तब पठयौ इक मीर॥
लाला बेग मीर कौ नांउ । ह्वै वकील आयौ तिस ठाउं॥१६४॥
नरम गरम कहि ठाढ़ौ भयौ । नूरम कौं लिबाइ लै गयौ ॥
जाइ साहि के डारौ पाइ । नीरभै कियौ गुनह बकसाइ॥१६५॥
जब यह बात सुनी इस भांति । तब सब के मन बरती सांति ॥
फिरि आए निज निज घर लोग । निरभै भए गयौ भय रोग॥१६६॥
[Page 71]
Kharagsen reached the same village
That Dulah Sahu had taken shelter in.
This village was near Lakshmanpura
And its headman was also called Lakshmandas.(162)
Lakshmandas hid Kharagsen in the forest
And promised to give him help and support.
In this manner some six or eleven days passed
Till they heard that all was well in Jaunpur.(163)
Salim Shah, upon reaching the banks of the Gomti,
Had sent a high-ranking nobleman, a Mir
Called Lala Beg
To represent him in Jaunpur.(164)
The Mir, sometimes forbearing, sometimes severe, persuaded
Nuram and took him with him to meet the prince.
Nuram flung himself at Salim Shah's feet
Who reassured and pardoned him.(165)
When the people of Jaunpur heard of this event
They breathed a sigh of relief
And returned, each to his own,
No longer afraid, their fears dispelled.(166)
[Page 72]
खरगसेन अरु दूलह साह। इनहू पकरी घर की राह ॥
सपरिवार आए निज धाम । लागे आप आपने काम॥१६७॥
[Page 73]
Kharagsen and Dulah Sahu
Set out for Jaunpur
And with their families, returned home
Each went back to his work again.(167)


[Page 78]
भए पंचदस बरस के तिस ऊपर दस मास ।
चले पाउजा करन कौ कवि बनारसीदास॥१८२॥
चढ़ि डोली सेवक लिए भूषन बसन बनाइ ।
खैराबाद नगर विषै सुख सौं पहुचे आइ॥१८३॥
मास एक जब भयौ बितीत । पौष मास सित पख रितु सीत॥
पूरब करम उदै संजोग । आकसमात बात कौ रोग॥१८४॥
भयौ बनारसिदास तनु कुष्ठरूप सरबंग।
हाड़ हाड़ उपजी बिथा केस रोम भुव भंग॥१८५॥
[Page 79]
Now fifteen years old
And ten months more,
To fetch his bride went
The poet Banarasidas.(182)
Riding in a palanquin, with servants and attendants,
And dressed in jewels and expensive clothes,
Banarasi, to the town of Khairabad,
In ease and comfort came.(183)
When one month had passed,
In the bright half of the month of Paush, in winter,
Banarasi's past deeds appeared as Fate.
He was, without warning, afflicted with a morbid attack of vata (184)
Banarasidas's body
Became like that of a leper.
His very bones ached
And his hair began falling out.(185)
[Page 80]
बिस्फोटक अगनित भए हस्त चरण चौरंग ।
कोऊ नर साला ससुर भोजन करै न संग॥१८६॥
ऐसी असुभ दसा भई निकट न आवै कोई ।
सासू और बिवाहिता करहि सेव तिय दोइ॥१८७॥
जल भोजन की लहि सुध दैहि आनि मुख माहि ।
ओखद लावहि अंग मैं नाक मुंदि उठि जांहि॥१८८॥
इस अवसर नर नापित कोइ । ओखद पुरी खाबावै सोइ ॥
चने अलूनै भोजन देइ । पैसा टका किछू नहि लेइ॥१८१॥
चारि मास बीते इस भांति । तब किछु बिथा भई उपसांति ॥
मास दोइ औरौ चली गए । तब बनारसी नीके भए॥१९०॥
[Page 81]
Innumerable boils and blisters appeared
Upon his hands, his feet, and his four limbs.
No man, including his brother-in-law and his father-in-law,
Would eat with him.(186)
His condition became so vile and dreadful
That no one would go near him.
His mother-in-law and his wife
Were the only two who looked after him.(187)
They took care of his needs for water and food,
Which they would bring and put in his mouth.
They would anoint his body with ointments and medicines.
They would minister to him holding their noses, and once done, would get up and leave.(188)
At this point a barber prescribed a cure.
He gave Banarasi medicines to take
And advised him to eat only parched gram and salt-free food.
Taking not a single-rupee or paisa in return for this treatment.(189)
Four months passed in this manner.
Then at last, Banarasi found some relief from his distress.
Two more months went by
And Banarasi was well again.(190)
[Page 82]
न्हाइ धोइ ठाढ़े भए दै नाऊ कौं दान।
हाथ जोड़ि बिनती करी तू मुझ मित्र समान॥१९१॥
नापित भयौ प्रसंन अति गयौ आपने धाम।
दिन दस खैराबाद मैं कियौ और बिसराम॥१९२॥
फिरि आए डोली चढ़े नगर जौनपुर मांहि ।
सासु ससुर अपनी सुता गौंने भेजी नांहि॥१९३॥
आइ पिता के पद गहे मां रोइ उर ठोकी।
जैसे चिरी कुरीज की त्यौं सुत दसा बिलोकि॥१८४॥
खरगसेन लज्जित भए कुबचन कहे अनेक।
रोए बहुत बनारसी रहे चकित छिन एक॥१९४॥
[Page 83]
Banarasi rose from his sickbed, bathed and dressed, and how fully recovered,
Gave the barber many gifts,
Which, with folded hands, he begged him to accept, and said,
'You are as a friend to me.'(191)
The barber was very pleased
And returned home content.
Ten days more in Khairabad
Banarasi rested.(192)
Then,riding in a palanquin, he returned
To Jaunpur city.
His mother-in-law and father did not send their daughter
Back with him.(193)
Returning home, Banarasi fell at his father's feet
His mother beat her breast and cried
Like the kurari bird
When she saw her son's condition.(194)
Kharagsen was ashamed of his son
And called him many names.
Banarasi wept and wept.
He was in shock and could not say a word.(195)
[Page 84]
दिन दस बीस परे दुखी बहुरि गए पोसाल।
कै पढ्न कै आसिखी पकरी पहिली चाल॥१९६॥
मासि चारि ऐसी बिधि भए । खरगसेन पटनै उठि गए ॥
फिरि बनारसी खैराबाद आए मुख लज्जित सविषाद॥१९७॥
मास एक फिरि दूजी बार । घर मैं रहें न गए बजार ॥
फिरि उठि चले नारि लै संग । एक सुडोली एक तुरंग॥१९८॥
आए नगर जौनपुर फेरि । कुल कुटुंब सब बैठे घेरि ॥
गुरुजन लोग दैहि उपदेस । आसिखबाज सुनें दरबेस॥१९९॥
बहुत पढ़ै बांभन अरू भात । बनिकपुत्र तौ बैठे हाट ॥
बहुत पढ़ै सो मांगै भीख । मानहु पूत बड़े की सीख॥॥२००॥
[Page 85]
He remained miserable for some ten or twenty days,
Then he again returned to the upshraya,
Learning and Love.
He went back to his old ways.(196)
Four months passed in this manner.
Then Kharagsen went away to Patna.
Banarasi returned to Khairabad,
Ashamed and unhappy.(197)
On this second visit he stayed for a month.
He stayed at home and did not step out even to the marketplace.
Then he left Khairabad, this time with his wife,
A palanquin and a horse for the journey.(198)
Banarasi returned to Jaunpur city.
The members of his family sat him down
And the elders lectured him on the error of his ways,
'Listen, you dervish in love!(199)
'Learning is meant for brahmin and bards;
The sons of merchants sit in the marketplace.
Those who spend all their time in learning go hungry.
Listen,son,to what your elders tell you.'(200)


[Page 86]
बनारसी कैं बेटी हुई । दिवस छ सात मांहि सो मुई ॥
जहमति परे बनारसिदास । कीनैं लंघन बीस उपास॥२०५॥
[Page 87]
A daughter was born to Banarasi;
She died within six or seven years.
Banarasidas fell ill.
He fasted for twenty days.(205)


[Page 88]
लागि छुधा पुकारै सोइ । गुरुजन पथ्य देइ नहि कोइ ॥
तब मांगै देखन कौं रोइ । आध सेर की पुरी दोइ॥२०६॥
खाट हेठ ल धरी दुराइ । सो बनारसी भखी चुराई ॥
वाही पथ सौं नीकौ भयौ । देख्यौ लोगनि कौतुक नयौ॥२०७॥
साठै संबत करि दिढ़ हियौ । खरगसेन इक सौदा लियौ ॥
तामैं भए सौगुने दाम। चहल पहल हुई निज धाम॥२०८॥
[Page 89]
He would feel hungry and call out in distress,
But the elders would give him no food.
In desperation he begged, if not to eat, then to look at food.
He was given two rotis, each weighing half a ser (206)
Banarasi hid the rotis under his bed
And ate them secretly.
This unusual diet cured him.
Everybody marvelled at this new wonder.(207)
Also in Samvat 1660, with firm resolve
Did Kharagsen enter into a new business deal,
In which he made a hundredfold gain.
His family rejoiced and celebrated his gain.(208)


[Page 104]
संबत सोलह स बासठा । आयौ कातिक पावस नठा ॥
छत्रपति अकबर साहि जलाल । नगर आगरे किनौ काल॥२४६॥
आई खबर जौनपुर मांह । प्रजा अनाथ भई बिनु नाह ॥
पुरजन लोग भए भयभीत । हिरद ब्याकुलता मुख पीत॥२४७॥
अकसमात बानारसी सुनी अकबर कौ काल ।
सीढ़ी परि बठ्यौ हुतो भयौ भरम चित चाल॥२४८॥
आइ तवाला गिरि परयौ सक्यौ न आपा राखि।
फूटि भाल लोहू चल्यौ कहयौ देव मुख भाखि॥२४९॥
लगी चोट पाखान की भयौ गृहांगन लाल।
हाइ हाइ सब करि उठे मात तात बेहाल॥२५०॥
[Page 105]
Samvat 1662.
Came the month of Kartik and the end of the rainy season.
The great Emperor Akbar
Died in the city of Agra.(246)
The news of his death reached Jaunpur.
The people, bereft of their emperor, felt orphaned and helpless.
The townsfolk were afraid,
Their hearts troubled, their faces pale with fear.(247)
Banarasi suddenly
Heard of Akbar's death.
He had been sitting on the stairs,
The news struck him like a blow upon the heart.(248)
He swooned and fell,
He could not help himself.
He cracked his head and began bleeding profusely.
The word 'God' slipped from his mouth.(249)
He had hurt his head on the stone floor
Of the courtyard, which turned red with his blood.
Everyone began making a great fuss;
His mother and father were frantic.(250)
[Page 106]
गोद उठाय माइ नै लियौ । अंबर जारि घाउ मैं दियौ ॥
खाट बिछाइ सुबायौ बाल । माता रुदन करै असराल॥२५१॥
इस ही बीच नगर मैं सोर । भयौ उदंगल चारिहु ओर ॥
घर घर दर दर दिए कपाट । हटवानी नहिं बैठे हाट॥२५२॥
भले बस्त्र अरू भूसन भले । ते सब गाड़े धरती तले ॥
हुंडवाई गाड़ी कहूं और। नगदी माल निभरमी ठौर॥२५३॥
घर घर सबनि बिसाहे सस्त्र । लोगन्ह पहिरे मोटे बस्त्र ॥
ओढ़े कंबल अथवा खेस। नारिन्ह पहिरे मोटे बेस॥२५४॥
ऊंच नीच कोउ न पहिचान । धनी दरिद्री भए समान ॥
चोरि चोरि दीसै कहुं नांहि । यौं हि अपभय लोग डरांहि॥२५५॥
[Page 107]
His mother held him in her arms,
Applied a piece of burnt cloth to his wound,
Then, making up a bed, she laid her son upon it
His mother wept unceasingly.(251)
Meanwhile there was chaos in the city,
Riots broke out everywhere.
People sealed shut the doors of their houses,
Shopkeepers would not sit in their shops.(252)
Fine clothes and expensive jewellery-
These, people buried underground.
Books recording their business transactions they buried somewhere else,
And hid their cash and other goods in safe and secure palaces.(253)
It every house, weapons were gathered.
Men began to wear plain clothes
And casting off fine shawls, wrapped themselves in rough blankets.
The women too began to dress plainly.(254)
No one could tell the difference between the high and the low.
The rich and the poor were alike.
No thieves or robbers were to be seen anywhere,
People were needlessly afraid.(255)
[Page 108]
धूम धाम दिन दस रही बहुरौ बरती सांति ।
चीठी आई सब निक समाचार इस भांति॥२५६॥
प्रथम पातिसाही करी बावन बरस जलाल ।
अब सोलह सै बासठे कातिक हूओ काल॥२५७॥
अकबर कौ नंदन बड़ौ साहिब साहि सलेम ।
नगर आगरे मैं तखत बैठौ अकबर जेम॥२५८॥
नांउ धरायौ नूरदी जहांगीर सुलतान ।
फिरी दुहाई मुलक मैं बरतै जहं तहं आन॥२५९॥
इहि बिधि चीठी मैं लिखी आई घर घर बार ।
फिरी दुहाई जौनपुर भयौ सु जयजयकार॥२६०॥
[Page 109]
The chaos and confusion continued for ten days.
Then peace returned:
A letter came from Agra saying that all was well.
This was what the letter said-(256)
'The great Akbar was emperor
For fifty-years.
Now in Samvat 1662,
He died in the month of Kartik.(257)
'Akbar's oldest son
Sahib Shah Salim
Has, in the city of Agra, assumed the throne
In Akbar's place.(258)
'He has taken the name of Nuruddin
Jahangir Sultan.
This news is being given all over the kingdom,
In every place where the emperor's authority holds sway.'(259)
This was the news of contained in the letter
Which was read from house to house
And spread round Jaunpur
Causing the people to give thanks in relief.(260)


[Page 110]
खरगसेन के घर आनंद । मंगल भयौ गयौ दुख दंद ॥
बानारसी कियौ असनान । कीजै उत्सव दीजै दान॥२६१॥
[Page 111]
There was joy in Kharagsen's house
A state of well-being prevailed, gone were sorrow and strife;
Banarasi recovered and bathed;
The family rejoiced and gave alms generously in their joy.(261)


[Page 114]
तिस दिन सौं बानारसी करै धरम की चाह ।
तजी आसिखी फासिखी पकरी कुल की राह॥२७१॥
कहैं दोष कोउ न तजै तजै अवस्था पाइ ।
जैसे बालक की दसा तरुन भए मिटि जाइ॥२७२॥
उदै होत सुभ करम के भई असुभ की हानि ।
तातै तुरित बनारसी गही धरम की बानि॥२७३॥
नित उठि प्रात जाइ जिनभौन । दरसनु बिनु न करै दंतौन ॥
चौदह नेम बिरति उच्चरै । सामाइक पड़िकौना करै॥२७४॥
हरी जाति राखी परवांन । जावजीव बैंगन पचखान ।।
पूजबिधि साधै दिन आठ । पढ़ै बीनती पद मुख पाठ॥२७५॥
[Page 115]
From that day on Banarasi
Began to yearn for righteousness and virtue.
He gave up love and its pursuit
And began to follow the ways of his family.(271)
No man will give up his faults and vices merely because they are pointed out to him.
It is only when his condition changes that he changes.
As the childish behaviour of a child
Disappears upon the child becoming a youth.(272)
As good karma dawns
So bad karma destroyed.
Which is why Banarasi immediately
Heard the call of dharma.(273)
He would wake everyday at dawn and visit the Jain temple;
He would not even clean his teeth without first visiting the temple.
He observed the fourteen vows of Jainism,
And practised the Jain rites of samayik and pratikraman.(274)
He gave up green vegetables,
And, for the rest of his life, brinjals and the five fruits forbidden to Jains.
For eight days a year he performed ritual puja to the tirthankars
And recited from memory the sacred Jain texts.(275)


[Page 140]
तब घर मैं बैठे रहैं जाहिं न हाट बाजार ।
मधुमालति मिरगावती पोथी दोइ उदार॥३३५॥
ते बांचहिं रजनी समै आवहिं नर दस बीस ।
गावहिं अरू बातैं करहिं नित उठि देंहि असीस॥३३६॥
सो सामा घर मैं नहीं जो प्रभात उठि खाइ ।
एक कचौरिबाल नर कथा सुनै नित आइ॥३३७॥
वाकी हाट उधार करि लेंहि कचौरी सेर ।
यह प्रासुक भोजन करहिं नित उठि साँझ सबेर॥३३८॥
[Page 141]
He would sit at home all day;
He had stopped going to the marketplace.
Madhumalati and Mirgavati-
He began reading these two works.(335)
Every evening he would read from these works
To a group of ten or twenty men who could come to hear him
He would sing the poems, and talk about them.
His listeners would bless him every day.(336)
Banarasi had reached a situation where did not even have food in the house.
To eat when he woke in the morning.
A kachauriwala
Used to come to hear him read every evening.(337)
From his shop, Banarasi took on credit
A set of kachauris.
This same food Banarasi
Ate every day, every evening and morning.(338)
[Page 142]
कबहू आवहिं हाट मांहि कबहू डेरा मांहि ।
दसा न काहू सौं कहैं करज कचौरी खांहि।।३३९॥
एक दिवस बानारसी समौ पाइ एकंत ।
कहै कचौरिबाल सौं गुपत गेह बिरतंत॥३४०॥
तुम उधार दीनौं बहुत आगे अब जिनि देहु ।
मेरे पास किछु नहीं दाम कहां सौ लेहु॥३४१॥
कहै कचौरिबाल नर बीस रुपया खाहु ।
तुम सौं कोउ न कछु कहै जहं भावै तहं जाहु॥३४२॥
तब चुप भयौ बनारसी कोउ न जानै बात ।
कथा कहै बैठौ रहै बीते मास छ सात॥३४३॥
[Page 143]
Banarasi would sometimes go to the market,
Sometimes stay at home.
He told no one of his situation
But lived on the kachauris he bought on credit.(339)
One day Banarasi
Finding some time alone
With the kachauriwala, told him
Of his true circumstances which he had so far concealed from everyone.(340)
'You have given me a lot of credit.
Now, don't give me any more.
I have nothing.
How will you recover the cost of your kachauris from me?'(341)
The kachauriwala replied,
'Eat twenty rupees worth.
No one will say a word to you.
Come and go as you please.'(342)
Then Banarasi said no more.
No one knew of this.
Every evening he would recite poetry, during the day he would do nothing.
Some six or seven months passed.(343)
[Page 144]
कहौं एक दिन की कथा तांबी तारचंद ।
ससुर बनारसिदास कौ परबत कौ फरचंद॥३४४॥
आयौ रजनी के समै बनारसि के भौन ।
जब लौं सब बैठ रहे तब लौं पकरी मौन॥३४५॥
जब सब लोग बिदा भए गए आपने गेह ।
तब बनारसी सौं कियौ ताराचंद सनेह।।३४६॥
करि सनेह बिनती करी तुम नेउते परभात ।
कालि उहां भोजन करौ आवस्सिक यह बात॥३४७॥
यह कहि निसि अपने घर गयौ । फिरि आयौ प्रभात जब भयौ ॥
कहै बनारसि सौं तब सोइ । उहां प्रभात रसोई होई॥३४८॥
तातें(?) अब चलिये इस बार। भोजन करि आवहु बाजार।
ताराचंद कियौ छल एह । बानारसी गयौ तिस गेह॥३४९॥
[Page 145]
Relating the events of a particular day, Banarasi says:
Tarachand Tambi,
Banarasi's father-in-law's younger brother,
And the son of Parbat Tambi,(344)
Came one evening
To Banarasi's house
While the others were still there,
He kept silent.(345)
Once the others had taken their leave
And left for their own homes,
He greeted Banarasi
With great affection(346)
With affection he earnestly invited him,
'Please come to my house in the morning.
Take your meals there tomorrow.
You must come, do not refuse.'(347)
So saying, Tarachand left for his own house that night.
He returned next morning
And said to Banarasi,
'Food is ready at home.'(348)
'So come with me now.
Eat first, and then you can go the marketplace.'
This was Tarachand's ploy to get him away,
For as soon as Banarasi left for his house,(349)
[Page 146]
भेजयौ एक आदमी कोइ । लटा कुटा ल आयौ सोइ ॥
घर का भाड़ा दिया चुकाइ । पकरे बानारसि के पाइ॥३५०॥
कहै बिनै सौं तारा साहु। इस घर रहौ उहां जिन जाहु ॥
हठ करि राखे डेरा मांहि । तहां बनारसि रोटी खाहिं।।३५१॥
इहि बिधि मास दोइ जब गए । धरमदास के साझी भए ॥
जसु अमरसी भाई दोइ। ओसवाल दिलवाली सोइ।।३५२॥
करहिं जबाहर बनज बहुत। धरमदास लघु बंधु कपूत ।।
कुबिसन करै कूसंगति जाइ। खोवै दाम अमल बहू खाइ।।३५३॥
[Page 147]
He sent one of his own men there.
The man packed Banarasi's meagre belongings and brought them to Tarachand's home
He also settled the rent that had been outstanding.
Tarachand fell at Banarasi's feet.(350)
With great humility Tara Sahu said,
'Please stay here, don't go back there.'
He stubbornly refused to let him go, and made Banarasi stay with him.
Banarasi began living in his house, and taking all his meals there.(351)
In this way when two months had passed,
Banarasi went into partnership with Dharamdas.
Jasu and Amarsi were two brothers.
They were Oswals from Delhi(352)
And ran a large and successful business in jewels and gems.
Dharamdas was the son of the younger brother, and a degenerate.
He had many vices and kept bad company;
He spent money too freely, and was addicted to opium.(353)


[Page 180]
बानारसी नरोत्तम मित्त । चले बनारसि बनज निमित ॥
जाइ पास जिन पूजा करी । ठाढ़े होइ बिरति उच्चरी॥४३४॥
सांझ समै दुबिहार प्रात नौकार सहि ।
एक अधेला पुन्न निरंतर नेम गहि ॥
नौकरवाली एक जाप नित कीजिये ।
दोष लगै परभात तौ घीउ न लीजिए॥४३५॥
[Page 181]
The two friends, Banarasi and Narottam,
Left for Banaras with the purpose of setting up business there.
Upon reaching Banaras, they first offered puja to Lord Parshvanath.
They stood in front of His image, and took the vows of fasting and abstinence.(434)
They vowed to eat only twice a day-at dusk, and in the morning after reciting the Namokar mantra,
To give away half a paisa everyday forever in charity,
To chant the Namokar mantra at least once every day,
That if they did not fulfil their vows on any day, in reparation they would abstain from taking ghee that day.(435)
[Page 182]
मारग बरत जथासकति सब चौदसि उपवास ।
साखी कीनैं पास जिन राखी हरी पचास॥४३६॥
दोइ बिवाह सुरित द्वै आगै करनी और ।
परदारा संगति तजी दुहू मित्र इक ठौर॥४३७॥
सोलह सै इकहत्तरे सुकल पच्छ बैसाख ।
बिरति धरी पूजा करी मानहु पाए लाख॥४३८॥
[Page 183]
They promised to observe their vows even while on the road.
They vowed to fast every chaudash.
Lord Parshvanath was their witness.
They also vowed to give up fifty kinds of green vegetables.(436)
They would not marry more than twice,
Though the future may hold something else.
They would not keep company with the wives of other men.
Both friends, together, in the same place,(437)
In Samvat 1671,
During the bright half of the month of Baisakh,
They made these vows and offered puja to Lord Parshvanath,
And felt they had a fortune.(438)


[Page 202]
नवपद ध्यान गुन गान भगवंतजी कौ
करत सुजान दिढ़ग्यान जग मानियै ।
रोम रोम अभिराम धर्मलीन आठौ जाम
रूप धन धाम काम मूरति बखानियै ॥
तनकौ न अभिमान सात खेत देत दान
महिमान जाके जस कौ बितान तानियै ।
महिमानिधान प्रान प्रीतम बनारसी कौ
चहुपद आदि अच्छरन्ह नाम जानियै॥६८६॥
[Page 203]
Navpad meditation, and praise of God, occupies this wise and learned man;
Acknowledge him as a man of steadfast knowledge,
Religion occupies all eight watches of his day.
Of immense beauty, comeliness and wealth reside in him; praise him as the very image of the god of love. No
Trace of conceit is there in him. Seven fields did he give away in charity.
To the whole world, spread his fame.
A man glorious and great, beloved as life to Banarasi.
Make up his name using the first letter of each line.'(486)


[Page 228]
लोभ मूल सब पाप कौ दुख कौ मूल सनेह ।
मूल अजीरन ब्याधी कौ मरन मूल यह देह॥५५१॥
[Page 229]
Greed is the root of all evil.
The root of sorrow is love.
Indigestion is the root of disease,
And the root of death is this body.(551)


[Page 238]
इस ही समय ईति बिस्तरी । परी आगरै पहिली मरी ॥
जहां तहां सब भागे लोग । परगट भया गांठि का रोग॥५७२॥
निकसै गांठि मरै छिन मांहि । काहू की बसाइ किछु नांहि ॥
चूहे मरहिं बैद मरि जांहि । भय सौं लोग अनं नहिं खांहि॥५७३॥
नगर निकट बांभन का गांउ । सुखकारी अजीजपुर नांउ ॥
तहां गए बानारसिदास । डेरा लिया साहु के पास॥५७४॥
रहहिं अकेले डेरे मांहि । गर्भित बात कहन की नांहि ॥
कुमति एक उपजी तिस थान । पूरब कर्म उदै परवांन॥५७५॥
[Page 239]
When the bundle of Jaunpuri cloth arrived,
Banarasi added it to his stock.
Every day at dawn, he would go to the marketplace,
To sell the cloth, adding what he earned to his capital.(571)
It was the at this time that a calamity occured-
The First Plague broke out in Agra.
People ran away in panic.
The 'disease of the knots' spreads across the city.(572)
Knot-like lumps would appear on the body, and almost instantly the person would die.
No one could stop or control the disease.
Rats were dying, and so were the doctors.
People stopped eating out of fear of infection.(573)
Near the city was a village of brahmins,
A peaceful place called Azizpur.
That is where Banarasidas went to escape the plague;
He rented a house close to that of another merchant.(574)
He lived alone in that house
A secret matter that is not to be told-
Banarasi was guilty of an indiscretion there,
The result of his past deeds.(575)
[Page 240]
मरी निबर्त्त भई बिधि जोग । तब घर घर आए सब लोग ॥
आए दिन केतिक इक भए । बानारसी अमरसर गए॥५७६॥
[Page 241]
The plague ran its course and died out,
People returned to their homes.
Many days passed by;
Then Banarasi went to Amarsar.(576)


[Page 248]
बहुरौं चमत्कार चित भयौ । कछु वैराग भाव परिनयौ ॥
ग्यान पचीसी कीनी सार । ध्यान बतीसी ध्यान विचार॥५९६॥
कीनैं अध्यातम के गीत। बहुत कथन बिबहार अतीत ॥
सिवमंदिर इत्यादिक और । कबित अनेक किए तिस ठौर॥५९७॥
[Page 249]
Then a miracle took place within Banarasi's heart.
A desire for renunciation began to arise within him.
At this time he composed the Gyanpachisi,in which he wrote about the meaning of knowledge.
And the Dhyanbatisi,in which he pondered the path to meditation.(596)
He also composed songs of spiritual life,
In which he related many aspects of past behaviour;
As well as theSivamandir
And many other poems.(597)
[Page 250]
जप तप सामायिक पड़िकौन । सब करनी करि डारी बौन ॥
हरी बिरति लीनी थी जोइ । सोऊ मिटी न परमिति कोइ॥५९८॥
ऐसी दसा भई एकत । कहौं कहां लौ सो बिरतंत ॥
बिनु आचार भई मति नीच । सांगानेर चले इस बीच॥५९९॥
बानारसी बराती भए । तिपुरदास कौ ब्याहन गए ॥
ब्याहि ताहि आए घर मांहि । देवचढ़ाया नेबज खांहि॥६००॥
कुमती चारि मिले मन मेल । खेला पैजारहु का खेल ॥
सिर की पाग लैहि सब छीनि । एक एक कौं मारहिं तीनि॥६०१॥
[Page 251]
The outward forms of worship, the rites of samayik and pratikraman-
Banarasi stopped observing them all.
The vow that he had taken to give up green vegetables-
That too he forsook. There was no limit to his disillusionment with ritual.(598)
This state of mind made Banarasi feel very alone.
There is little point in relating the story of those days in detail.
Without any rules of conduct or rituals to follow, Banarasi became a low and vile person.
During this period, Banarasi went to Sanganer(599)
As part of the marriage party
To get Tripurdas married.
After the wedding, Banarasi returned home.
He was by now so disillusioned with ritual that he could even eat the food placed as an offering to the gods.(600)
Then, four foolish and weak-minded men came together.
They would fool and horse around, playing a game with their shoes:
They would snatch the turbans off each other's heads,
And strike each other three times with their shoes.(601)
[Page 252]
चन्द्रभान बानारसी उदैकरन अरू थान ।
चारौ खेलहिं खेल फिरि करहिं अध्यातम ग्यान॥६०२॥
नगन होहिं चारौं जनें फिरहिं कोठरी मांहि ।
कहहिं भए मुनिराज हम कछु परिग्रह नाहिं॥६०३॥
गनि गनि मारहिं हाथ सौं मुख सौं करहिं पुकार ।
जो गुमान हम करत हे ताके सिर पैजार॥६०४॥
गीत सुनैं बातैं सुनैं ताकी बिंग बनाइ।
कहैं अध्यातम मैं अरथ रहैं मृषा लौ लाइ॥६०५॥
पूरब कर्म उदै संजोग । आयौ उदय असाता भोग ॥
तातैं कुमत भइ उतपात । कोऊ कहै न मानै बात॥६०६॥
[Page 253]
Chandrabhan, Banarasi,
Udaykaran and Than-
The four would lark about,
And say that they were trying to understand Adhyatma.(602)
The four, divesting themselves of their clothes,
Would dance around the room
Declaring, 'We have become munis!
We have no material possessions!'(603)
They would smack each other with their hands,
And call out loudly,
'Those who doubt us,
Our shoes upon their heads!'(604)
They would hear songs and sayings,
And parody them,
And say that the substance of Adhyatma
Was false and untrue, that its meaning could not be found even with a lamp.(605)
Banarasi's past deeds appeared as Fate.
Untruth and sensuality appeared in his life,
Because of which his mind sank further into perversity, and he continued in folly.
He refused to listen to the counsel of others.(606)
[Page 254]
जब लौं कर्मबासना । तब लौं कौं बिथा नासना ॥
असुभ उदय जब पूरा भया । सहज हि खेल छूटि तब गया॥६०७॥
कहहिं लोग श्रावक अरू जति । बानारसी खोसरामती ॥
तीनी पुरुष की चलै न बात । यह पंडित तातैं विख्यात॥६०८॥
निंदा थुति जैसी जिस होइ । तैसी तासु कहै सब कोइ ॥
पुरजन बिना कहे नहि रहै । जैसी देखै तैसी कहै॥६०९॥
सुनी कहै देखी कहै कलपित कहै बनाइ ।
दुराराधि ए जगत जन इन्हसौं कछु न बसाइ॥६१०॥
[Page 255]
As long as his inclination to folly, the result of his karma, persisted,
No one could destroy the anguish in his heart.
When this unfortunate result of his karma had run its course,
His foolish clowning disappeared on its own.(607)
Everybody-shravak and jati-
Said Banarasi was empty-headed;
And that his word could not be relied upon.
He might be learned, but even so, he and his three friends were disreputable and infamous.(608)
If someone is disparaged and reviled,
That is how everybody begins talking of him.
The townsfolk cannot hold their tongues.
They will gossip about and comment on everthing they see.(609)
They will talk of what they have heard, and of what they have seen,
And even gossip about stories they may have made up themselves.
This is a bad habit that the people of this world have,
No one can do anything about it.(610)
[Page 256]
जब यहां धूमधाम मिटी गई । तब कछु और अवस्था भई ॥
जिन प्रतिभा निंदै मन भांति । मुख सौं कहै जो कहनी नांहि॥६१२॥
करै बरत गुरु सनमुख जाइ । फिरि भानहि अपने घर आइ ॥
खाहि रात दिन पसु की भांति । रहै एकंत मृषामदमांति॥६१२॥
यह बनारसी की दसा भइ दिन हु गाढ़ ।
तब संबत चौरासिया आयौ मास असाढ़॥६१३॥
भयौ तीसरी नारि कै प्रथम पुत्र अवतार ।
दिवस कैकु रहि उठि गयौ अलप आयु संसार॥६१४॥
[Page 257]
When all this fuss died down,
There came a change in Banarasi's condition.
In his heart he would scorn the images of the tirthankars,
And with his mouth would utter words that should not be said.(611)
He would take vows and make promises in front of his elders,
And would break them all upon returning home.
He would eat all day and all night like an animal;
He became isolated from others, and remained drunk on falsehood.(612)
Banarasi's state
Worsened day by day.
Then came Samvat 1684,
And the month of Ashadh.(613)
To Banarasi's third wife
Her first son was born.
He lived for a few days and died.
This world is so transient.(614)
[Page 258]
छत्रपति जहांगीर दिल्लीस । कीनौ राज बरस बाईस ॥
कासमीर के मारग बीच । आवत हुई अचानक मीच॥६१५॥
मासि चारि अंतर परवांन । आयौ साहिजिहां सुल्तान।
बैठ्यौ तखत छत्र सिर तानि । चहु चक्क में फेरि आनि॥६१६॥
सोलह सै चौरासिए तखत आगरे थान ।
बैठ्यौ नाम धराय प्रभु साहिब साहि किरान॥६१७॥
फिरि संबत पच्चासिए बहुरि दूसरी बार।
भयौ बनारसि के सदन दूतिय पुत्र अवतार॥६१८॥
बरस एक द्वै अंतर काल । कथा शेष हूऔ सो बाल ॥
अलप आउ ह्वै आवहिं जांहि । फिर सतासिए संबत मांहि॥६१९॥
[Page 259]
Emperor Jahangir, lord of Delhi,
Had ruled for twenty-two years.
On his way back from Kashmir,
He suddenly died.(615)
Four months later,
Shahjahan Sultan
Ascended the throne, assumed the insignia of royal power,
And proclaimed his authority in the land.(616)
In Samvat 1684
The throne of Agra,
Did he ascend, and took for himself the title
'Sahib Shah Quran'(617)
In Samvat 1685,
For the second time
In Banarasi's house,
A son was born.(618)
Within a couple of years,
The boy's story came to an end.
Banarasi's sons all had short lives-they would be born and they would die.
Then in Samvat 1687(619)
[Page 260]
बानारसीदास आबास । त्रितिय पुत्र हूऔ परगास ॥
उनासिए पुत्री अवतरी । तिन आऊषा पूरी करी॥६२०॥
सब सुत सुता मरनपद गहा । एक पुत्र कोऊ दिन रहा ॥
सो भी अलप आउ जानिए । तातैं मृतकरूप मानिए॥६२१॥
क्रम क्रम बीत्यौ इक्यानवा । आयौ सोलह सै बानवा ॥
तब तांई धरि पहिली दसा । बानारसी रह्यौ इकरसा॥६२२॥
आदि अस्सिआ बानवा अंत बीच की बात ।
कछु औरौं बाकी रही सो अब कहौ बिख्यात॥६२३॥
चले बरात बनारसी गए चाटसू गांउ ।
बच्छा सुत कौं ब्याह कै फिरि आए निज ठांउ॥६२४॥
[Page 261]
In Banarasidas's home,
A third son was born.
In Samvat 1689 a daughter was born.
These children,too,completed their lives quickly.(620)
All of Banarasi's sons and daughters embraced death.
One son lived a little longer,
But he too had a short life.
With this grief, Banarasi himself became as though dead.(621)
Samvat 1691 passed slowly and steadily.
Then came Samvat 1692.
Banarasi's condition was the same as before,
He did not change.(622)
From the beginning of Samvat 1680 to the end of Samvat 1692-
Banarasi has given an account of the events of this period.
Some matters remain to be told;
These he will now relate.(623)
Banarasi joined the barat
And went to Chatsu village
For the wedding of Bacchha's son;
He returned home after the wedding.(624)
[Page 262]
अरु इस बीचि कबीसुरी कीनी बहुरि अनेक ।
नाम सुत्तिमुकतावली किए कबित सौ एक॥६२५॥
अध्यातम बत्तीसिका पैड़ी फागु धमाल ।
कीनी सिंधुचतुर्दसी फूटक कबित रसाल।।६२६॥
शिवपच्चीसी भावना सहस अठोतर नाम ।
करमछतीसी झूलना अंतर रावन राम॥६२७॥
बरनी आंखै दोइ बिधी करी बचनिका दोइ ।
अष्टक गीत बहुत किए कहौं कहा लौं सोइ॥६२८॥
सोलह सै बानवै लौं कियौ नियत रस पान ।
पै कबीसुरी सब भई स्यादवाद परवांन॥६२९॥
[Page 263]
And in this period he composed
Much poetry.
He composed the Suktimuktavali,
Which contains about a hundred verses,(625)
As well as the Adhyatam Battisika,
Paidi, and Phagu Dhamal
He wrote the Sindhu Chaturdasi
And some miscellaneous poems.(626)
He also composed Sivapachisi Bhavna,
Sahas Athotar Nam
Karam Chhatisi, and Jhulna
In which he discusses the differences between Ravan and Ram(627)
He composed Ankhen Doi Vidhi
And wrote two vachanikas,
As well as many ashtak and songs-
There is little point in listing them all here.(628)
Till Samvat 1692
All that Banarasi wrote was related to the rasas or sentiments;
But from then on his poetry
Began to show glimpses of Syadvad, the Jain doctrine of relativism.(629)
[Page 264]
अनायास इस ही समय नगर आगरे थान ।
रूपचंद पंडित गुनी आयौ आगम जान॥६३०॥
तिहुना साहु देहुरा किया । तहां आइ तिनी डेरा लिया ॥
सब अध्यातमी कियौ बिचार । ग्रंथ बंचायौ गोमटसार॥६३१॥
तामैं गुनथानक परवांन । कहयौ ग्यान अरु क्रिया बधान ॥
जो जिय जिस गुन थानक होइ । तैसी क्रिया करै सब कोइ॥६३२॥
भिन्न भिन्न बिबरन बिस्तार । अंतर नियत बहिर बिबहार ॥
सबकी कथा सबै बिधी कही । सुनि कै संसै कछुव न रही॥६३३॥
[Page 265]
At this time, suddenly
To Agra city
Came Pandit Rupchand, a learned man,
Well-versed in Jain scriptures.(630)
Tihuna Sahu had had a temple built.
That is where Pandit Rupchand stayed.
All the Adhyatamis asked him to interpret for them
And read, the Jain text Gommatsar,(631)
Which explains the gunasthanas through which the soul must pass on its way to salvation.
It also discusses right knowledge and right conduct for the attainment of moksha.
A person's actions are determined by
The particular gunasthana which his sould is occupying.(632)
Thought and action have been explained extensively, and in diverse ways,
As has the relationship between self-restraint and outward actions.
All this has been explained from different angles and points of view.
After listening to the Gommatsar, all doubts disappear.(633)
[Page 266]
तब बनारसी औरै भयौ । स्यादबाद परिनति परिनायौ ॥
पांडे रूपचंद गुर पास । सुन्यौ ग्रंथ मन भयौ हुलास॥६३४॥
फिरी तिस समै बरस द्वै बीच । रूपचंद कौं आई मीच ॥
सुनि सुनि रूपचंद के बैन । बानारसी भयौ दिढ़ जैन॥६३५॥
तब फिरि और कबीसुरी करी अध्यातम मांहि ।
यह वह कथनी एकसी कहुं विरोध किछु नांहि॥६३६॥
ह्रदै मांहि कछु कालिमा हुती सरहदन बीच ।
सोऊ मिटी समता भई रही न ऊंच न नीच॥६३७॥
अब सम्यक दरसन उन्मान । प्रगट रूप जानै भगवान ॥
सोलह सै तिरानवै वर्ष । समैसार नाटक धरि हर्ष॥६३८॥
[Page 267]
Then Banarasi underwent another change.
He understood the meaning of Syadvad.
Hearing his guru, Pande Rupchand,
Read the Gommatsar, Banarasi's heart filled with joy.(634)
Within two years of that period,
Rupchand died.
Listening to Rupchand's teachings
Had made Banarasi a firm Jain.(635)
Banarasi then composed many works,
This time in the spirit of Adhyatma.
The works he had written earlier, and those he wrote now, was similar-
There was no conflict or contradiction between them.(636)
There had been some darkness in Banarasi's heart,
In his devotion.
That had now been wiped out, and had been replaced by harmony,
So that everything was equal, there was no high or low.(637)
Banarasi now perceived the meaning of Samyagdarshan
And-as God is his witness-he understood it fully.
In Samvat 1693,
He picked up the Samaysar Natak with joy.(638)
[Page 268]
भाषा कियौ भान के सीस । कबित सात सै सत्ताईस ॥
अनेकांत परनति परिनयौ । संबत आइ छानवा भयौ॥६३९॥
तब बनारसी के घर बीच । त्रितिय पुत्र कौ आई मीच ॥
बानारसी बहुत दुख कियौ । भयौ सोक सौ ब्याकुल हियौ॥६४०॥
जग मैं मोह महा बलबान । करै एक सम जान अजान ॥
बरस दोइ बीते इस भांति । तऊ न मोह होइ उपसांति॥६४१॥
कही पचावन बरस लौ बानरसि की बात ।
तीनि बिवाही भारजा, सुता दोइ सुत सात॥६४२॥
नौ बालक हूए मुए रहे नारि नारि नर दोइ ।
ज्यौ तरवर पतझार ह्वै रहैं ठूंठ से होइ॥६४३॥
[Page 269]
Bhanchand's student, Banarasi, rendered the Samaysar Natak into Bhasha,
In seven hundred and twenty-seven verses.
He had now understood relativism fully.
It was now Samvat 1696.(639)
In Banarasi's house,
Death came to the third son,
Banarasi mourned his son deeply.
He was distracted with grief.(640)
In this world, attachment and affection have great power.
They reduce the wise and the foolish to the same level.
Even after two years had passed in this manner,
Banarasi received no respite from the grief he felt for his son.(641)
The fifty-five years
Of Banarasi's tale have now been told.
He married three wives,
And had two daughters and seven sons.(642)
Nine children were born and died.
The husband and wife remained, two alone,
Like trees that shed their leaves in autumn,
And are left bare and leafless.(643)
[Page 270]
तत्वदृष्टि जो देखिए सत्यारथ की भांति ।
ज्यौं जाकौ परिगह घटै त्यौं ताकौं उपसांति॥६४४॥
संसारी जानै नहीं सत्यारथ की बात ।
परिगह सौं मानै बिभौ परिगह बिन उतपात॥६४५॥
अब बनारसी के कहौं बरतमान गुन दोष ।
विद्यमान पुर आगरे सुख सौं रहै सजोष॥६४६॥
भाषाकबित अध्यातम मांहि । पटतर और दूसरौ नांहि ॥
छमावंत संतोषी भला । भली कबित पढ़िवे की कला॥६४७॥
पढ़ै संसकृत प्राकृत सुद्ध । विविध देसभाषा प्रतिबुद्ध ॥
जानै सबद अरथ कौ भेद । ठानै नही जगत कौ खेद॥६४८॥
[Page 271]
If one looks at the real nature of things,
At their true meaning,
It is clear that the more a man gives up material possessions,
The greater the peace of mind he attains.(644)
But worldly men do not know
The true meaning of this world.
They think they have achieved status and glory with material possessions;
Without their wealth and riches they feel themselves in turmoil.(645)
Now will be related Banarasi's
Present virtues and faults.
He lives in the city of Agra,
In peace and contentment,with his wife.(646)
In the composition of poetry on Adhyatma, in Bhasha,
There is no pandit greater than him.
A good, forgiving and contented man,
Great is his art in reciting and reading poetry.(647)
He can recite Sanskrit and Prakrit correctly,
And is accomplished in several other languages.
He knows the distinction between words and their meanings,
And is not easily swayed by the sorrows of the world.(648)
[Page 272]
मिठबोला सब ही सौं प्रीति । जैन धरम की दिढ़ परतीति ॥
सहनसील नहिं कहै कुबोल । सुथिरचित नहिं डावांडोल॥६४९॥
कहै सबनिसौं हित उपदेस । ह्वदै सुष्ट न दुष्टता लेस ॥
परमनी कौ त्यागी सोइ । कुबिसन और न ठानै कोइ॥६५०॥
हृदै सुद्ध समकित की टेक । इत्यादिक गुन और अनेक ।।
अलप जघन्न कहे गुन जोइ । नहि उतकिष्ट न निर्मल कोइ॥६५१॥
कहे बनारसि के गुन जथा । दोषकथा अब बरनौं तथा ॥
क्रोध मान माया जलरेख । पै लछिमी कौ लोभ बिसेख॥६५२॥
[Page 273]
He is sweet-spoken, and shows friendship towards all.
He is a firm believer in Jainism.
He shows great tolerance and forbearance, and does not speak ill of anyone.
He is of steady and resolute mind, and does not vacillate.(649)
He gives good and friendly counsel to all.
His heart is virtuous, without the smallest trace of depravity or wickedness.
He does not consort with other men's wives,
And has no other vices or bad habits.(650)
His heart is pure; equilibrium and balance are important to him.
These are his various virtues,
Both small and great, related here;
None of them is outstanding, and none without its faults.(651)
Banarasi's virtues have been related here.
Now his faults will also be told.
He has little anger, pride or artifice in him,
But his greed for wealth is great.(652)
[Page 274]
पोतै हास कर्म का उदा । घर सौं हुवा न चाहै जुदा ॥
करै न जप तप संजम रीति । नही दान पूजा सौं प्रीति॥६५३॥
थोरे लाभ हरख बहु धरै । अलप हानि बहू चिंता करै ॥
मुख अवघ भाषत न लजाइ । सीखै भंडकला मन लाइ॥६५४॥
भाखै अकथ कथा बिरतंत । ठानै नृत्य पाइ एकंत ॥
अनदेखी अनसुनी बनाइ । कुकथा कहै सभा मंहि आइ॥६५५॥
होइ निमग्न हास रस पाइ । मृषावाद बिनु रहा न जाइ ॥
अकस्मात भय ब्यापै घनी । ऐसी दसा आइ करि बनी॥६५६॥
कबहूं दोष कबहूँ गुन कोइ । जाकौ उदौ सो परगट होइ ॥
यह बनारसीजी की बात । काही थूल जो हुती बिख्यात॥६५७॥
[Page 275]
He lacks restraint by nature-the result of his past deeds.
He does not want to be away from his home.
He does not practise any rites or rituals, nor does he practise self-restraint.
He does not give alms, nor does he perform puja.(653)
A small gain brings him great joy,
And a small loss makes him worry extensively.
He does not hesitate to say that which is unspeakable;
He has studied the art of jesters and clowns with great concentration.(654)
He tells of matters that should not be told.
Sometimes, finding himself alone, he breaks into a dance.
He makes up stories of things not seen, not heard,
And relates these stories in gatherings.(655)
He is attracted to funny or comic situations,
He cannot refrain from telling lies,
And feelings of great dread and fear overtake him without warning.
Such is his state and character.(656)
Sometimes a fault, sometimes a virtue-
Whichever is meant to appear does so.
This is Banarasiji's tale.
All that is well-known, has been told in broad outline.(657)
This is a selection from the original text


authority, famine, food, gram, vice, virtue, wealth, काल, चने

Source text

Title: Ardhakathanak

Subtitle: A Half Story

Author: Banarasidas

Editor(s): Rohini Chowdhury

Publisher: Penguin Books India

Publication date: 2009

Original compiled 1641

Original date(s) covered: 1586-1641

Edition: 1st Edition

Place of publication: Navi Mumbai

Provenance/location: Original compiled 1641 Original date(s) covered: 1586-1641

Digital edition

Original author(s): Banarasidas

Original editor(s): Rohini Chowdhury

Language: Braj bhasha, English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 2 to 5
  • 2 ) pages 8 to 17
  • 3 ) pages 34 to 35
  • 4 ) pages 38 to 41
  • 5 ) pages 42 to 43
  • 6 ) pages 46 to 59
  • 7 ) pages 64 to 71
  • 8 ) pages 72 to 73
  • 9 ) pages 78 to 85
  • 10 ) pages 86 to 87
  • 11 ) pages 88 to 89
  • 12 ) pages 104 to 109
  • 13 ) pages 110 to 111
  • 14 ) pages 114 to 115
  • 15 ) pages 140 to 147
  • 16 ) pages 180 to 183
  • 17 ) pages 202 to 203
  • 18 ) pages 228 to 229
  • 19 ) pages 238 to 241
  • 20 ) pages 248 to 275


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.