BHARATA SINDHU RASHMI — Part II: V. K. Gokak; IBH Prakashana, No.77, RamaRao Layout, II Main, BSK 3rd Stage, Bangalore-560085. Rs. 450.

THIS MODERN epic won the prestigious Jnanpith award. This book is the second half of the epic consisting of seven chapters (6 to 12) subdivided into 75 sandhis.

Based on Vedic literature, this long poem depicts life in the Vedic age besides giving a vivid picture of the geographical details of the vast peninsula.

It re-interprets the story of Viswamitra on a wider canvas with an assimilation of cultural, historical, mythological, societal and economical aspects of the land. Viswamitra came to the rescue of Trishanku, a prince banished from the kingdom. He failed in his attempt to send Trishanku to heaven alive but created one by using his ascetic power and finally a place was given to Trishanku in the sky.The character of Trishanku is viewed from different angles relevant to modern civilisation.

The poet in this philosophical poem symbolically portrays man’s struggle to evolve into a state of perfect harmony with the universal will and purpose. Vishwamitra’s ego is sublimated for the welfare of mankind.

The style of language used in the work is simple modern Kannada; the pattern of prosody adapted is complex with a combination of several metres set to blank verse. Some Vedic hymns are translated into simple Kannada verses. The appended notes on text and prosody are useful.