Mithila ke Gaorav Vidyapati -Vidyapati The Great Poet of Mithila- Maithil Kavi Kokil Vidyapati -
Vidyapati wrote in Maithili,a language prevalent in north Bihar,which is very akin to Bengali.His songs relating to divine love of Radha Krishna became very popular in Bengal .Sri chaitanya ,who adored them,they gained a high status and wide circulation.Bengalis adopted Vidyapati as their own poet as Sri Chaitanya.Even Rabindranath Tagore composed poetry on the emotional style of Vidyapati under the pen name of Bhanu Singher padavali.
Sri aurobindo translated about 41 poems of Vidyapati from a very old Bengali version into English.This is an early work of Sri Aurobindo,while staying in Baroda soon after his return from England.
Sri Aurobindo passed 13 years from 8 Feb.1893 to18 June 1906 in the Baroda state service,first in the settlement and revenue department and in the secretariat work for the Maharaja,afterwards as professor of English and, finally,as vice principal in the Baroda college.These were years of self culture, of literary activity-for much of the poetry afterwards published from Pondicherry was written at this time-and of preparation for his future work.At Baroda he made up the deficiency of not having any contact with the culture of India and the east while staying in England , now he learnt Sanskrit and modern Indian languages like Bengali,Marathi and Gujarati.The last two being the official languages of Baroda state.
An exceptional mastery of Sanskrit at once opened to him the immense treasure house of the Indian heritage.He read the Upanishads,the Gita,the Puranas,the epics Ramayan ,Mahabharat and the dramas of Kalidas etc.
Here are some specimen of Vidyaptis songs translated by Sri Aurobindo & Anand K. Coomaraswamy
Shaisab youban duhu mili gel,ssravanak path duhu lochan lel
Vachanak chaturi lahu lahu haas,Dharaniye chand karat parkash
Mukur lei aab karat singar sakhi se puchhai kaise surat vihar
Nirjane uraj herai kata beri,hasat apan payodhar heri
Pahil badari sam puni navrang,dine dine anang agoral ang
Madhav pekhal aprup bala,shaisab youban duhu ek bhela
Sri Aurobindo's Translation
Childhood and youth each other are nearing
Her two eyes their office yield to the hearing.
Her speech has learned sweet maiden craft
And low not as of old she laughed.
Her laughter murmurs.A moon on earth
Is dawning into perfect birth.
Mirror in hand she apparelsher now
And asks of her sweet girl-comrades to show
What love is and what love does
And all shamed delight that sweet love owes.
And often she sits by herself and sees
Smiling with bliss her breast's increase,
Her own milk -breasts that,plums at first,
Now into golden oranges burst.
Day by dayLove's vernal dreams
Expand her lovely blossoming limbs.
Madhav I saw a marvellous flower
Of girls;childhood and youth one power,
One presence grown in one body fair.
Foolish maiden ,not thus declare
The oneness of these contraries
Rather the two were yoked,saya the wise