Tuesday, 4 April 2017

‘Christha Purana’ and ‘Goenchem Savasarikikan’ released (Navhind)

NT BUZZ

Educationist and writer Suresh Amonkar’s two Konkani books--‘Christha
Purana’ and ‘Goenchem Savasarikikan’ -- were recently released by art and
culture secretary, Daulat Hawaldar along with Goa University
vice-chancellor Varun Sahni, Fr Francis de Britto of Shirlai (Vasai)
Church, writer and environmentalist, director of Art and Culture Department
Prasad Lolayekar and Kiran Budkule, former HoD of English department, Goa
University at Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji.

Director of Art and Culture, Prasad Lolayekar in his welcome address stated
that these books are a perfect representation of merger of Marathi and
Konkani (Devnagri and Romi script) language. The book Christha Purana was
originally written by Fr Thomas Stephen S J around 400 years ago in Romi
Marathi and it has now been translated in Devnagri Konkani by Amonkar. This
is the seventh edition of Fr Stephen’s Christha Purana as the original was
written in 1616 in Rachol.

Amonkar in his address stated that he is paying homage to Fr Thomas Stephen
who was known as Apostle of Salcete. He added: “But now Goa has forgotten
him [Fr Thomas Stephen] and I don’t know why. He deserves a feast which we
need to celebrate every year.”

While speaking about the history related to Christha Purana he said it was
used for 70 years in churches of Bardez, Tiswadi and Salcete but then it
was withdrawn in 1684. Fr Stephen had learnt the Konkani/ Marathi from
Brahmins of Salcete in order to write the *Christha Purana* in Romi
Marathi. Amonkar informed that at that time Marathi was the written
language and Konkani the spoken language in Goa. The new converts had only
two prayers in Konkani. So, there was lot of vacuum. In the year 1907 the
fourth edition of the Purana was released in Mangalore. Amonkar described
Fr Stephen as the real author who understood the need of the time.

The second book ‘*Goenchem Savasarikikan*’ throws light on the
socio-religious conditions prevailing in Goa during the 16th and 17th
century. While speaking about it he said: “I have looked upon the encounter
between East and West as a process of globalisation. I would like people to
consider the encounter in the context of indirect influence of Renaissance,
Reformation and counter-Reformation, not just conversions.”

Budkule while analysing these books in her address stressed that Amonkar
has imported the mind and creativity of Fr Stephen while writing these
translations.

Hawaladar in his speech spoke at length about the role of translators and
the original writers. He said: “Fr Stephen in *Christha Purana* is telling
story of Christ in a receiving language and in a receiving culture. When we
remember great writers we also remember their translators. Amonkar is
translating from dominant language to vernacular language which takes
techniques from oral traditions. It is to communicate a thought. It is
adding value to his and our lives.”

Varun Sahni in his address stated that due to this book there is a
communication between various ‘*bhashas*’ or languages of the country,
which is very important in today’s times.

Fr Francis de Britto said that this book is an example of inter-religious
dialogue. He focused on the current climate of polarisation and hate and
that’s why we need to celebrate such literary works. He said that Amonkar
is a real Goenkar as he has done this job of translation. He said that
*Christha
Purana* was possible in Goa as this place is a cradle of many religions
like Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. He stated that basic human values
are nurtured here. He also emphasised on the role of mother-tongue and its
promotion.

These books were released on March 22, which also happened to be Amonkar’s
82nd birthday, which was celebrated with the dignitaries and his well
wishers.

http://www.navhindtimes.in/christha-purana-and-goenchem-savasarikikan-released/ 


Monday, 6 March 2017

Suresh G. Amonkar's Konkani translation of Thomas Stephens' Khristapurana

Just came across this piece of news: a new translation of Thomas Stephens' Khristapurana, this time into Konkani. The news item does not carry any reference to Nelson Falcao's rendering into modern Marathi and then into English. As of today, no other news seems to be available on the net about Amonkar's book.


Christian epic in Marathi by English Jesuit translated to Konkani

Kristha Purana was read in Churches up to 1684, until the linguistic policy of the Church and state changed.


posted 2 March 2017

Panaji: 
With his translation in Devanagri Konkani, 81-year-old educationist Suresh G Amonkar has breathed new life into an almost forgotten 17th century Christian epic on the coming of Jesus Christ.

Written in Marathi with a profusion of Konkani words in the Roman script by an English Jesuit Fr Thomas Stephens, Kristha Purana was published in Rachol in 1616.

Amonkar who has already translated four Buddhist, three Hindu, two Christian and one Sikh scripture into Devanagri Konkani, devoted seven hours a day over five years while battling cancer relapses to complete the colossal task of translating the 10,962 verses written in ovi metre or quatrains, a poetric metre used in narrative poems in Marathi.

There were Spanish Jesuits, Portuguese and Italian missionaries but only Fr Stephens undertook the mammoth task of studying the local language and writing in it, perhaps because of his gumption and scholarship. He went on to master not only Konkani and Marathi but Kannada and Sanskrit too.

"Fr Stephens realized the importance of the local language in spreading the new faith. He felt the Kristha Purana would enlighten new Christians and have their faith deepened and strengthened," Amonkar says.

Calling the Jesuit's magnum opus the best example of inculturation, he feels Stephen was the first to follow the principles of inculturation to make the Christian faith acceptable to new converts.
The former chairman of Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Amonkar studied Marathi for only four years in school but he continued to pursue it.

His study of the Bible in college too helped him translate the text. He opted to attend scripture classes along with his protestant classmates much to the surprise of his principal at St Wilson's College, who permitted him only after he produced written consent from his father who was a liberal.

Today he has a number of Bibles in his collection.

Kristha Purana was read in Churches up to 1684, until the linguistic policy of the Church and state changed. Instead of being celebrated, Fr Stephen's work was sidelined and withdrawn. One of the reasons for this, Amonkar believes was because he was ostracized by the Portuguese. "If it were a Portuguese or Spanish who had written it, they would have been put on a pedestal with a feast celebrated in their name every year," he says.

Kristha Purana is even more relevant today than it was 400 years ago since it was first published, Amonkar believes. "It is important today because services are held in Konkani in churches."

The book has been scheduled for release on March 22 with Amonkar, a 'cancer survivor par excellence' eagerly looking forward to its release.

Source: Times of India
http://www.ucanindia.in/news/christian-epic-in-marathi-by-english-jesuit-translated-to-konkani/34225/daily

Monday, 31 August 2015

Glen D'Silva and the Khristapurana in song

The scene was Arambol, one of the frontiers of Goa, 500 years
ago. A family mourns the passing away of its eldest member.
That night a man was summoned. Known by the locals as
'Purankar', he had to sing the verses of a holy text called
the 'Krista Purana' for the entire night.

Such was the scene half a millennium ago, when Goa's natives
embraced Christianity. The influence of Latin culture had not
yet reached Goan shores, and the new converts sang their
hymns to the beats of the dholak, ghumot and other folk
instruments.

          The 'Krista Purana' translates as the 'The
          Christian Puranas', an epic poem on the life of
          Jesus Christ written in a mix of Marathi and
          Konkani by Fr Thomas Stephens, SJ (1549-1619).
          Adopting the literary form of the Hindu Puranas, it
          retells the entire story of mankind, from the
          creation days to the time of Jesus in lyrical verse
          form. The Christian Puranas comprise 11,000 stanzas
          of four verses.

Three years ago, Fr Glen D'Silva, who served on the executive
board of Kala Academy, met its member secretary, Shrikanth
Bhatt, who told him, "Father, someone must revive the Krista
Purana."

Those words stuck in his mind, and he began to look for the
book, learning later that a handwritten copy lies in the
Pilar seminary museum, while a new edition of the book was in
the possession of the Don Bosco educational complex in
Panaji.

D'Silva certainly had illustrious predecessors to follow. Fr
(Dr) Nelson Falcao had translated the works into English,
while Padmashri Suresh Amonkar, educationist, social worker
and writer had worked on the Konkani translation.

Eleven thousand verses dwelling in 49 chapters divided into
the old and new testaments, D'Silva worked steadfastly in his
mission to revive the almost-defunct 500-year-old 'Krista
Purana'.

          "My main aim in reviving the 'Krista Purana' was to
          bring about a cultural integration. It is important
          for us Goans to know our rich musical heritage in
          order to appreciate our own culture and
          traditions," says D'Silva, who, at present, serves
          the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Vaddem-Curdi as
          its parish priest.

Two years ago, in March 2013, D'Silva sang the first 11
verses in a public performance at the XVI Bhakti Sangeet
Samaroh held at the Kala Academy.

D'Silva is also former director of the Pilar Music School and
he was instrumental in starting music schools in Porvorim,
Moira and Margao. His labour of love in revitalizing the
devotional songs materialized in the release of his album 'O
Namo', comprising 11 songs which is symbolic of the 11,000
verses in the 'Krista Purana'.

The album comprises the songs, 'O Namo' (Oh! Hail to thee),
'Tu Parmananda' (You are the absolute bliss, pervading the
universe), 'Tu Sakshat Parmeshvaru' (You are the very God,
Eternal and Infinite), 'Tu ani Tuzaa Ekach Sutu' (You and
your only Son), 'Namo Visvachiye Dipti' (I bow to you, the
light of the universe), 'Namo Spirita' (Hail to you, Oh! Pure
and Holy Spirit), 'Tu Sapta Divya Dannacha Dataru' (You are
the giver of seven divine gifts), 'Jaisa Baap Taisa Putr'
(The Father as well as the Son), 'Teenazanache Ekach Tatva'
(The three are made of one substance); 'Putr to Baapa Pasuni
Vartala' (The Son, of course, came from the Father); 'To
Amchaa Svami' (He is Jesus Christ our Lord).

Of the 11 songs, 'O Namo', 'Namo Spirita', and 'To Amchaa
Swami' are his favourites. "'O Namo' is a rare composition in
Raag Bhupali, 'Namo Spirita' is Raag Hem Kalian. These are
unheard of by today's generation and 'To Amchaa Swami' is in
Raag Shaym Kalyan, which is my favourite raag," he says.

          "The 11 songs comprise the first chapter of the
          Krista Purana with 25 verses. It is difficult to
          measure the hours and time which I have put in. It
          was an inspiration and God's grace that worked. I
          have not done any great research as such, but,
          whatever I learned in Indian music, I applied it in
          the compositions," adds D'Silva.

The music in 'O Namo' features the harmonium, tabla,
electronic tanpura and the violin, which D'Silva has played
himself. "The audio CD is available at music stores. It has
been produced by Brian D'Silva, who is my brother," he says.

          "Fr Thomas Stephens began writing the 'Krista
          Purana' while he served as parish priest of
          Benaulim almost 500 years ago. Having roots in
          Salcete myself, I felt that God provided me a task
          to preserve, propagate and promote the 'Krista
          Purana' through 'O Namo'," says D'Silva, who is a
          native of Carmona.

"When I completed the first chapter comprising 11 songs, I
realized that my efforts were supported by divine grace as
the 'Krista Purana' itself comprises 11,000 verses," says
D'Silva, who doesn't forget to appreciate the support given
by his congregation. "My love, devotion and gratitude will
always remain second to none to the Society of Pilar," he says.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/A-new-life-into-a-purana-text/articleshow/48628678.cms

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Thomas Stephens' Khristapurana: new material

Thomas Stephens. Birth and Childhood of Mother Mary, St John the Baptist and Jesus Christ in the Kristapurana of Father Thomas Stephens, S.J. Tr. and ed. Nelson Falcao. Bengaluru: Kristu Jyoti Publications, 2014. 6+154 pp.

Thomas Stephens. Fadar Thomas Stiphanskrta Khristapuranatila pavitra Mariya, santa Yohana Baptista va Prabhu Yesu Khristaci janmakatha va balapana. Tr. and ed. Nelson Falcao. Bengaluru: Kristu Jyoti Publications, 2014. 6+154 pp.

Nelson Falcao. Fadar Thomas Stiphanskrta Khristapuranatila Prabhu Yesu Khristace duhkhasahana. DVD.

Nelson Falcao. Fadar Thomas Stiphanskrta Khristapuranatila Prabhu Yesu Khristace punarutthana. DVD.


Nelson Falcao. Fadar Thomas Stiphans Khristapurana. Tr. and ed. Nelson Falcao. DVD.

Pär Eliasson. "Mukti in Kristapurana. How Thomas Stephens S.J. (1549-1619) conveys a Christian message of salvation in words with Hindu connotations." MA thesis, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. 2015.  Available online a the university site https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/40770



Saturday, 27 December 2014

Goa Old Book Digitisation Project (1/2)

Published on 25 Dec 2014
Dr Ananya Chakravarthi has been working on a project to digitise old records from Goa. On December 22, 2014 she outlined the work done in this direction and what could be done ahead. A recording of the talk. Part 1 of 2. This has been taken up under the 
aegis of the British Library Endangered Archives Programme. It is hoped this work would prove to be a useful resource for scholars and others interested in the history of Goa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG2cI-HXaUc#t=82

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Ananya Chakravarti's digitization project

Frederick Noronha, 25.12.2014, [Goanet-News] EventsInGoa: Words from the Kristapurana * Goanet meet on Dec 29 * Aparant Maand postponed * Britto OBA dance tonight * Goapex prizes


A scholar of Bengali origin Dr Ananya Chakravarti
[ananya.chakravarti at aucegypt.edu] translated and shared
via Facebook the centuries-old words of the Kristapurana:

          "To give us the wealth of your mercy, lord of
          Vaikuntha [heavenly abode of Visnu],
          you have come to take birth on this earth as a
          frail man
          Now take the wretch’s garment and cover your pure body
          and pass safely through the difficulties of winter."

          Thus did Mary speak and, taking freshly washed clothes,
          she covered the infant Jesus.
          Then, like unadulterated marble, like a precious pearl,
          she took out her lustrous breast to nurse him.
          Holding the infant Jesus to her heart, she placed
          her breast in his mouth.
          He drank: ghutughutam.
          Jesus drank Maria’s milk, while Maria did dhyana
          [meditation] of Jesus
          and received the amṛta [other-worldly nectar] of
          Vaikuntha in her heart.
          Jesus’s pure bhakti-face alone arose before the Virgin.
          Giving him amrta-milk, she gazed at her child.

[Stephens, Kristapurana, Book II, chapter 7, verses 81-88]

More about the Krista Purana on Wikipedia:

Krista Purana Krista Puranna (1654).jpg
The third edition of the Krista Purana (1654)
Author Fr. Thomas Stephans (1549-1619)
Country           India
Language          in a mix of Marathi-Konkani
Subject           Christianity
Publisher         College of Rachol, Goa
Publication date  1616
Media type        manuscript
Preceded by       Krista Purana (first edition) in 1616
Followed by       Doutrina Christam em Lingoa Bramana Canarim

Krista Purana ("The Christian Puranas") is an epic poem on
the life of Jesus Christ written in a mix of Marathi and
Konkani by Fr.Thomas Stephens, S.J.  (1549–1619).  Adopting
the literary form of the Hindu puranas it retells the entire
story of mankind, from the creation days to the time of Jesus
in lyrical verse form.  The Christian Puranas -- 11,000
stanzas of 4 verses -- were very popular in the churches of
the area where they were sung on special occasions up to the
1930s.  Although no copy of the original edition has yet been
discovered, it is believed to have been published at Rachol
(Raitur) in 1616 (while the author was still living), 1649, and 1654.

          GOANET SPECIAL: Goa Old Book Digitisation Project
          Dr Ananya Chakravarthi has been working on a
          project to digitise old records from Goa.  On
          December 22, 2014 she outlined the work done in
          this direction and what could be done ahead.  A
          recording of the talk.  Part 1 of 2.  This has been
          taken up under the aegis of the British Library
          Endangered Archives Programme.  It is hoped this
          work would prove to be a useful resource for
          scholars and others interested in the history of Goa.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG2cI-HXaUc
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3apK4-dQqgE

Stevens, the Kristapurana ... and negotiating religious
space in past centuries
Ananya Chakravarti holds a PhD in History by the University
of Chicago. Her dissertation, The Empire of Apostles: Jesuits
in Brazil and India considers the lives of six Jesuits in
Brazil and India during the sixteenth and seventeenth
century. Her research interests include the intersection of
religion and empire in the early modern Portuguese world and
cross-cultural encounters in colonial Brazil and early modern
India. Here she talks about her PhD and also Thomas Steven's
Kristapurana. The text is so rich and the poetry is
beautiful, she says.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo5PRLtxUDM

ON THE WIKIPEDIA:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krista_Purana

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Libraries in Goa

Maria Pia de Menezes Rodrigues. Texts, Tomes, Treasures: The Evolution of Goa's Publica Livraria (1832-2005)
[Goanet-News] New book stresses importance of libraries, books to Goa
PANJIM: On World Book Day (April 23), a new book just published here notes
that Goa's public library is among the oldest across India.  It was set up
way back in 1832, even before Calcutta and other cities had public
libraries.
It is also well known that Goa had the first Gutenberg-type printing press
in the whole of Asia.  Private libraries, municipal libraries, and other
initiatives have taken the book to the reader in Goa, suggests this book,
which is authored by Maria Pia de Menezes Rodrigues, former Curator of the
State Central Library Goa.
It reminds us that the library can play the role of being a "people's
university", and that libraries have been in India, in various shapes and
forms, since the Indus Valley Civilisation, and during the British Raj.
Post-Independence, special efforts were made to promote the spread of
libraries.
In Goa itself, besides initiatives in the colonial state capital, there
were municipal libraries running out of Mapusa, Salcete, Ponda, Panjim, and
elsewhere.
A string of private libraries were started around the early 20th century,
some of which like the Saraswati Mandir Library in Panjim, and the Gomant
Vidya Niketan Library, Margao, continue to function even today.
But much remains to be done to spread the libraries effectively to serve
all areas of Goa, specially rural Goa.
Goa's Publica Livraria, as the institution was first known, has changed and
morphed much during its 18 decades of existence.  It now has plush new
premises at Pato, at the entrance to the Goan State capital.
This 160-page book documents the changes over time of the institution now
known as the Krishnadas Shama State Central Library.
This book also includes 14 pages of photographs of various other libraries
today -- including Mahalaxmi (Mala), Sharada Mandir's, Livraria Confidant
(Margao), NIO, Saraswati Mandir, Kala Academy, DMC Library (Assagao), the
Archbishop's Archives, and Bookworm (Taleigao).
The photos, with an essay appreciated the importance of the book, are by
Gabriella D'Cruz, a young student.  The 160-page book is priced at Rs 200
and available at Confidant (Margao) and other outlets.