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Rama Saraswati – 16th Century Poet of Assam

Aniruddha was the original name of Rama Saraswati, a 16th century poet of Assam. King Narayana, the great Koch king, who commissioned him to render the Mahabharata into Assamese patronized him. He did not translate all the verses of Mahabharata but only the essential ones.

Rama Saraswati, under different names such as Aniruddha, Kavichandra, Bharatbhusan, and Srinath Brahman translated about 30,000 verses of the Mahabharata, covering the Adi, Sabha, Vana, Virata, Udyoga, Bhishma, Drona, Karna parvas, while the junior poets who assisted him translated another 3000.

The name Rama Saraswati was a title conferred on him by the king. He was the foremost among all the Mahabharata poets of Assam. He was given the title Bharatbhusana for this monumental work.

Bhim Chairta is another famous, humorous work of Rama Saraswati, in which an episode of Bhima’s life as described in Adi Parva of the Mahabharata is dealt with.

He also wrote an Assamese version of Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda. It is not a literal translation but contains some episodes of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana.

He also composed poems depicting the heroism of the Pandavas during their exile in the forest.