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Book: Puntanam and Melpattur: Two measures of Bhakti – English Translations of Jnanapaana and Narayaniyam

The book ‘Puntanam and Melpattur: Two measures of Bhakti’ contains the English translations of the Malayalam Jnanapaana poem by Puntanam and Sanskrit Narayaniyam of Melpattur. The book also contains a small poem by Mahakavi Vallathol. The verse translation in English of the poems is done by Vijay Nambisan. The book is published by Penguin Books India and is part of the Penguim Classics.

Jnana Paana by Puntanam and Narayaniyam of Melpattur is considered to be gems of medieval Indian literature.

Narayaniyam is a Sanskrit classic and is dedicated Lord Guruvayoorappan (Lord Krishna). It is a condensation of the Bhagavad Purana in 1036 shlokas (stanzas).

Jnanapaana is a Malayalam classic and is an important literary work in the Bhakti tradition.

Apart from the translations, the book also contains a detailed introduction on these literary gems.

The flyer of the book says

For four centuries, Jnana-paana and Narayaniyam have been touchstones of faith in Kerala. Puntanam’s Jnana-paana may claim to be the first original modern poem in Malayalam; simple and innocent, it still speaks directly to the reader. Melpattur’s Narayaniyam is ‘the last great hurrah of classical Sanskrit’ in India; the poem excerpted here, majestic in its humility, describes a vision of the Lord.

Nambisan explores the dynamics of Malayali culture; places its literature in context; studies matters of prosody; and questions the attitude of an elitist language to a regional one.

Puntanam and Melpattur: Two measures of Bhakti
Translated by Vijay Nambisan
Published by Penguin Books India
Price: Rs 150/-