Vaishnava Poetess Padmapriya
 
Home  
Ajali Tora Neog  
Ambika Goswami  
Amiya Chakraborty  
Amrit Priya Devi  
Annada Devi Barkataky  
Anu Baruah  
Anuradha Das  
Aroti Saikia  
Bani Pathak  
Bimal Bhagawati  
Bishnu Priya Devi  
Bishnu Priya Dutta Barua  
Braja Bala Devi  
Chandrabala Baruah  
Chandrawati Devi Kotoky  
Chandra Prabha Saikiani  
Dharmalata Baruah  
Divya Prabha Bharali  
Eliza Whitney Brown  
Fatema Khatun  
Gyana Bala Barua  
Heera Prabha Baruah  
Hemalata Baruah  
Hema Prabha Hazarika  
Hema Prabha Saikia  
Hema Prabha Das  
Hema Prabha Goswami  
Hemalata Dutta  
Hemnalini Goswami  
Himala Boruani  
Hiranyamoyi Devi  
Hirawati Gohain Barua  
Jumuneshwari Khatonier  
Kabya Bharati Dharmeshwari Devi Baruani  
Kamalalaya Kakoty  
Kamalini Borbora  
Kanaklata Chaliha  
Khirada Kumari Baruah  
Krishna Priya Hazarika  
Kunjalata Devi  
Malabika Goswami  
Manorama Bhattacherjee  
Mini Amonz  
Nalini Bala Devi  
Neelima Dutta  
Nikunjalata Chaliha  
Nirupama Baruah  
Nirupama Kotoky  
Nirupama Phukan  
Padmakumari Borgohain  
Padmapriya  
Padmawati Devi Phukanani  
Phuleswari Dutta  
Pranita Devi  
Pratibha Devi  
Rajbala Das  
Raseswari Khatonier  
Sabitri Borgohain  
Saradabala Das  
Sarojbala Dutta  
Saruj Kumari Padmapati  
Shashi Prabha Dutta  
Shudha Baruah  
Sneh Devi  
Snehalata Devi  
Soshme Nurjahan Begum  
Soujanyamayee Bhattachryya  
Suprabha Devi  
Suprabha Goswami  
Suprova Dutta  
Swarnalata Barua  
Tarini Devi  
Trailokeswari Devi Baruani  
Usha Bhattacharyee  
Usha Barthakur  
Umeshari Goswami  
Puspalata Das  
Xhirada Neog  
Basundhara Saikia  
 Champa Kalita  
 Nirupama Hagzer  
 Manikee Bordoloi  
 Hemalata Borah  
 Uma Baruah  
 Hareswaree Hajowaree  
 Suchibrata Raychaudhuri  
Runu Baruah  
 Doli Talukdar  
 Nirmal Prava Bordoloi  
 Nirupama Borgohain  
 Lakhya Hira Das  
 Hironmoyi Devi  
 Nilima Baruah  
 Shakina Khatun  
 Devika Saikia  
 Swarna Goswami  
 Anima Dutta  
 Annada Saikia  
 Phuleswari Pegu  
 Shovaneswari Devi Goswami  
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Vaisnava Poetess Padmapriya

Through out the whole of ancient Assamese literary history there is reference of only one lady poet and she was Mother Padmapriya the daughter of Gopaldeva (Bhabanipuriya). Gopaldeva, the founder of the ‘Kalasamhati’ was one of the foremost apostles of Sri Madhavadeva. The reference of this Padmapriya can amply be found in different biographical works on the two ‘Gurus’. It can be assumed that she might be the youngest daughter of Gopaladeva as there is no certain historical evidence except some references in the biography of Gopaldeva written by Pyrnananda. It is stated there as:

‘Bhaila ekajana aro duhita uttama | 307

Tana gune samastare mana santosila |

Ati dayatare Padmapriya name dila ||’

(She had satisfied everybody with her merits and excellences and was named as Padmapriya due to access of affection)

Padmapriya was very beautiful, meritorious, wise and an inquisitive learner. She learnt the knowledge of reading and writing from her father and later on she was able to compose many religious songs. She was very dear to her father and references are available in the ‘Gpoaldeva Carit’ that she was able to abate the anger of his father through her religious songs. According to the narrative of the ‘Carit’, a very interesting incident took place referring to the anger of Gpoaldeva that one day the wife of Gopaldeva was very late in preparing supper as she was enraptured in listening to Bhagawata Path. At this Gopaldeva was very angry and said that he will not take his meal that night. Padmapriya was there and immediately she composed a rhyme and sang before her father. The anger of Gopaladeva vanished and he ate the meal very contentedly:

Gunara lubudha Gopale annake

Bhunjila harisha mane |

Padmapiriyara sadagune dekhi

Prasangshila sarvajane ||

The humble nature of Padmapriya and her submissive quality to her preceptors was best expressed in a story narrated in the ‘Katha Gurucarit’ and other biographical works of her time. The story says that towards the last part of the sixteenth century when Madhavadeva was in the Barpeta Satra, one of his chief apostles, Gopaldeva went to Barpeta by boat to obtain scriptural knowledge. His daughter Padmapriya always asked him to take her with him so that she can also see and meet the Guru. Being annoyed Gopaladeva agreed to take her with him on the condition that if did not mind to bow down to the maid servants of the Guru. Padmapriya agreed to that and accordingly they went and arrived at the abode of Madhavadeva. On the threshold of the abode of his guru they saw a maid sweeping the open yard. Padmapriya immediately made bow to that maidservant. Madhavadeva saw all these asked Gopaladeva about the young girl. When he knew that the young girl was the daughter of Gopaladeva he was very much pleased and began o praise the humble behavior of Padmapriya.

Purnanda in his ‘Gopaladeva carita’ narrated the story in a slightly different manner. He narrated that once Gopaladeva was ready to go to Purusottama Thakura, the grandson of Sankaradeva. Padmapriya asked her father to take her with him so that she can have a chance to see the mother goddess, the wife of Sankaradeva. Then:

‘Gopale bolante tok niba paro tebe |

Amara vacana karibaka para jebe ||

(Gopala told her that he could take her there only if she could be able to do according to his direction)

Padmapriya promised to do as has been said to her by her father. Gopaladeva then said to her:

‘Gopale bolante aika pachese dekhiba |

Dasi sakalaka age darasana paiba ||

Tasambaka dekhi yadi para ologita |

Chaliyoka etikshane amara lagata || 865

(Gopala said that she can see the mother only after seeing the maids. If she does not hesitate to worship the maids first then and then only he can take her with him.)

After that they arrived at the house of the ‘Thakur’ and:

Ejana dasika gaiya paila darishan || 866

Dhanya guti barhanire sariya achila |

Pacha hante Piriyaye gaiya olagila ||

(They went there and saw a maid who was sweeping the yard and Padmapriya bowed her from behind)

When Padmapriya bowed down her, the maid servant was very much sad and worried and began to weep kneeling down before her complaining her so as to why she had done that. Gopala propitiated her with sweet words. Then Padmapriya went inside the household and bowed down the wife of Sankaradeva. The mother goddess embraced her with kisses and praised her much for her noble nature and behavior.

This story has also been narrated in the same way in the ‘Carita’ composed by Dwija Ramananda. In the ‘Carit Puthi’ of Gopaladeva composed by Purnananda it is recorded regarding marriage of Padmapriya that Gopaladeva had cherished the desire to give her daughter’s hand to Jadumanideva, the founder of the Gajala Satra. But incidentally the same thing was happened to the desire of Gopaladeva what had happened to Sri Sankaradeva when he had wanted to give her daughter’s hand to Sri Madhavadeva. It is recorded as:

Gopalara bani Sunu Jadumani

Mane bimarisi chaila |

Bolante ethata Bisaya Karile

Mora kono kama nisijila ||

Hena mane guni Bapa Jadumani

Uthi agabarhi gaila |

Padmapiriyaka Sewa karilanta

Matri buli Sadariya || 689

(On hearing the words of Gopala, Jadumani began to think that if he will have to do according to the words of his preceptor all his meditation will fall asunder. Considering like this he moved forward and bowed down at the feet of Padmapriya)

In this way the record of refusal made by Jadumani to marry his preceptor’s daughter can be found in biographical works. Of course later this Jadumani had entered in household by marrying some other girl. Excluding this no other evidence regarding the marriage of Padmapriya can be traced throughout the whole biographical literature of mediaeval Assam. Tradition goes that Padmapriya married a worshiper of Durga after obtaining initiation in the Vaisnava religion from her father. But unfortunately her marital relation broke due to difference of faith and she came back to her father’s abode.

In another story related in the ‘Ramakrishnadeva Carita’ of Hariballabha the deep devotion and honor to devotees of Padmapriya is extolled beautifully. Once in the month of Baisaga at the time of the anniversary of Gopaladeva, Padmapriya was suffering from a fracture in her leg at the time when she was living by the side of the Baraimara brook. Then Ramakrishnadeva, the grandson of Gopaladeva sent eight devotees to bring her on a Dola (palanquin) so that she can attend the anniversary of her father. But Padmapriya refused to come because:

Bolanta bhaktara kandhata cariya

Naparo mayi yaibaka |

Hari bhakatara kandha bagai kene

Nashiboho apunaka. ||

(She told that she will not go there mounting on the shoulder of devotees because who will call one’s destruction by climbing the head of a devotee of the God)

But due to her cousin’s repeated insistence she agreed to attend the function and was ready to ride on the palanquin after offering the devotees meal and hospitality. She rode the palanquin with a very sad and guilty feeling.

Padmapriya was neither a prophet nor was engaged in spread of religion. But under the perspective of the age when women were held in an inferior status, she was able to establish herself as an educated and active woman through her learning and application which revealed through her creations.

But it is unfortunate that till to-day no anthology of the creations and compositions of Padmapriya have been edited by any of the scholars of Assam. But a few poems of Padmapriya, collected by late Kalidasa Khataniyar was in the custody of this writer and a humble effort has been made to estimate the literary value of the creation of Padmapriya depending upon these poems. Undoubtedly many more things may be revealed if a proper investigation is made to find out the literary contribution of this learned lady.

In one of her song composed in the ‘Ramagiri Raga’ Padmapriya glorifies Srimanta Sankaradeva as:

‘ Jayati Sankara jagata iswara ++

Purnabrahma avatara’

(Let victory come to Sankara the Lord of the Universe, the incarnation of the supreme soul)

According to the poet Sankara, Madhava and Gopala were the incarnation of the Lord. Towards the end of the poem it can be found that:

Anadi ananta Prabhu bhagawanta

Tomara ananta lila |

Sankara Madhava Gopala swarupe

Nija yasha pracarila ||

(O Lord! your sports has no end, it is unfathomable; you have extended your sacred fame in the form of Sankara, Madhava and Gopala)

In another song composed in the ‘Ramagiri Raga’ Padmapriya glorifies her father Gopala in the form of the Lord Gopala. In other words the spiritual unity of the Guru and the personal God has been established in the same plane in this song. In one of the couplets of this song the resonance of Purusottama Thakura’s ‘Na Ghosha’ can distinctly be felt:

Sankara swarupe pradipaka thaila Madhabese barhailanta

Tela banti diya sampurna kariya Gopalese jwalailanta ||

(The lamp of devotion was enkindled by Sankara and the same was nurtured by Madhava, and Gopala, fulfilling the mission, has put oil into it.)

Again in another song of the same raga poet Padmapriya sings the transistorized of this world and submits herself to the feet of the Guru:

Gurupada nubhulibi Tai man

Gati mora gurura dui pawe |

Bhava Baitarani tarite tarani

Anamate keva pare ||

(O mind! Do not forget the feet of the preceptor, because it has the only capability to rescue one in the river of affliction of this world.)

And in the conclusion of the poem the poet sings with deep devotion:

Bisayata man Sudriha bandhan

Maya mahapasha jari |

Padmapiriyai Kahe abhipraya

Gopalara pawe pari ||

(The dreadful bondage of Maya drags one deeper into the whirlpool of this worldly attraction and Padmapriya has warned all falling at the feet of Gopala.)

Through out the poems use of alliteration and simile is poignantly expressed and the diction is also used in a befitting manner.

Regarding the literary proficiency of the first women poet of Assamese literature no investigation is made neither any study is being initiated till this day. So there should be some systematic study to explore the merit of this woman poet who undoubtedly be considered as the place of pride for the women of Assam.

 

 
Copyright ©SM Computer Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Guwahati, India '1998-2016'