The English translation of Srimanta Sankaradeva’s famous scripture Gunamâlâ ' is now available to the readers. Subtitled as ‘Garland of Virtues’, the English version of Gunamâlâ was released by former President of Asom Sattra Mahasabha, Bhadrakrishna Goswami on April 7 in Nagaon Press Club at Nagaon. The translation has been done by Sankari scholar Dr Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti, who has earlier translated Srimanta Sankaradeva’s Bargeet and Madhavadeva’s Nâmghoshâ too. Bhadrakrishna Goswami appreciated the work of Dr Borkakoti and said that a long-felt need was fulfilled. He hoped that the English translation would help non-Assamese people to understand the ideology of Srimanta Sankaradeva. Researcher of Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha, Kailas Das said that it required considerable skill as well as knowledge of two languages at the same time to embark on such translation work.
It may be mentioned that Srimanta Sankaradeva wrote ‘Gunamâlâ’, the abridged version of Bhâgavata in 1552 at the request of Koch king Nara Narayana. The saint was on a visit to Kochbehar. Nara Narayana was earlier unhappy with Srimanta Sankaradeva as some priests had incited him against the saint. But the king was thoroughly impressed by the saint on meeting him personally. ‘Gunamâlâ’ was completed by Srimanta Sankaradeva within one night when Nara Narayana requested him to abridge the scripture Bhâgavata. This book is greatly revered by the followers of Eka Sharana Nâma Dharma, who keep it at the Guru âsana (altar) as the symbol of God. He himself read it out to Nara Narayana the next day. Since then it has been immensely revered by his followers.
The hard bound edition also contains English transliteration of the original verse with diacritical marks. This has been done by Jadav Chandra Mahanta, eminent Sattriya artist from Bogi Ai Alengi Sattra, Titabor. He elucidated briefly the ideas embedded in Gunamâlâ. Governor of Assam J.B. Patnaik sent his greetings for the translation work. The book has been published by ‘Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva’, which earlier published English translation of Srimanta Sankaradeva’s Bargeet under the title ‘Great Songs’. The publication of the Gunamâlâ’s English edition (Garland of Virtues) has been sponsored by Bhoirob Chandra Mahanta of Thukubil Sattra, Golaghat. He was felicitated on the occasion. The Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva made him a Patron Member of the Society in recognition to his patronage.
Litterateurs Krishna Dulal Barua and Kalpana Gayan were present in the function. Eminent artists Guna Mahanta and Chittaranjan Bora attended the function. President of Sanmilita Yuva Tirtha Utpal Goswami, President of Kalangporiya Alochana Chakra Akanmai Devi and Nagaon district secretary of Asom Sattra Mahasabha Kushal Mahanta were also present. Pradip Hazarika, Co-ordinator of ‘Society for Srimanta Sankaradeva’ compered the meeting. General Secretary of the Society, Neilh Gautam offered vote of thanks.