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Rubaiyat in Sanskrit and Telegu, and a Spiritual Interpretation

January 21, 2014

Sehdev Singh from Visakhapatnam, a city in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India has sent us information about a rare translation of the Rubaiyat, and some comments on a Spiritual Interpretation of the verses.

In a historic town of Vizianagaram, just 55 kms. from Visakhapatnam, during the twentieth century, there lived a great scholar by the name, Sri Adibhat Narayandas who was proficient in Sanskrit and many other languages. He was a great devotee of God and publically sang the praises and the stories of the Lord. When he read Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of “The Rubaiyat,” he decided to learn Persian and then study the master-piece.  In his translation of the book, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khaiyam, published in 1932, he writes: “By a deep study of Omar’s original quatrains, and Edward Fitzgerald’s English translation thereof, I translated both of the texts into Sanskrit and Atchha-Telugu verse…..I translated Fitzgerald into Sanskrit of the Anustub metre, into Telugu of the Kandam metre, and the original text (Persian) into Giti and one of the Bhujangi metres of Sanskrit.”

Sri Narayandas’  book has been out of print for quite a quite long time.  Sehdev Singh reports ‘It took me four years to locate this book and only recently I found it in the Central Library of Andhra University. I was allowed to take a photocopy of the entire book. I gave one copy of the photocopied book to Mr Marcel Bassirian and his wife Nadia Azzizadeh of Iran who attended a workshop on Sunyoga organized be me here in Visakhapatnam last month.’

Sehdev Singh adds: ‘The most important and divinely authoritative work of interpretation of the Rubaiyat, I believe, was done of India’s great yogi, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda in his book entitled “Wine of the Mystic – The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – A Spiritual Interpretation.” It is published by Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, founded by him in 1920 [there is an edition published in Los Angeles in 1994, with extensive illustrations].   In this book, Sri Yoganda has given spiritual interpretation along with practical application of the verses of the Rubaiyat.    I recommend this book to your readers.’

Finally, Sehdev Singh asks whether it is possible to have an official version in Persian of all the available verses of “The Rubaiyat” along with English transliteration and English translation?  Comments please.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2014 10:38 am

    To give a quick answer to Sehdev Singh’s final question, to our knowledge there is no ‘official’ version in Persian of the verses of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, basically because there is no firm evidence that the historical Omar Khayyam (the astronomer and mathematician of 11th/12th century Nishapur) actually wrote any of the verses that have been attributed to him. This question has been discussed in many commentaries on the Rubaiyat including our own – see ‘Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Famous Poem and Its Influence’, edited by William H. Martin and Sandra Mason, London, Anthem Press, 2011. pp 94-96 (partial text is available via Google Books).

  2. Jos Coumans permalink
    January 25, 2014 11:19 pm

    Maybe it is relevant to some of the readers to know that there is an online version available at archive.org of “Rubâiyât of Omar Khaiyâm with English translation by by E. FitzGerald. Translated into Sanskrit and Desyandhram [and transliterated] by A. Narayanadas”. (British India Press,1937).

    https://archive.org/details/Rubaiyat_Of_Omar_Khaiyam_Persian_English_Sanskrit_Telugu-A_Narayana_Das_1937

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