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Bahina Bai: A Translation of her Autobiography and Verses

Justin E Abbott (Author)
Synopsis The Maratha people can point with pride to many of their poet-saints who were women of literary ability, wise in philosophy and godly in character. Such have been Mukta Bai, Jana Bai, Venu Bai, Baya Bai, Amba Bai, Chima Bai, and Bahina Bai. But, poetry is natural to Indian women. As in the early morning they grind the flour for the day’s meals, they sing aloud, often composing words to fit the metres they enjoy. The subjects of their song may be philosophy, religion, personal and or happy experiences, a prayer, or words that have little sense, but please the ear. All through the centuries the women have sung at their hundmills, before the sun has risen, and while their men folk were fast asleep. They were too modest to record their own verses, the men folk too indifferent to do so, but all the same all through the centuries Indian women have composed verses and sung them down to the present day. Bahini, is believed by Maratha scholars, to have been born in 1628 and died in 1700, at the age of 72. Her autobiography, unique in Marathi literature, supplies all that is known of her. Her name is mentioned with respect by later poets, but she alone has furnished the details of her life. Her autobiography covers only the details of the early years of her life. For her later years with their mental struggles, temptations, perplexities, and thoughts of approaching death, one has to gather from her verses such details as she has made possible. .... Her verses show her to have been a most thoughtful woman. By tradition and by her own thinking she was a believer in the vedantic Philosophy, but she was not without doubts, and she passed through such mental strains that she even contemplated suicide. She felt the handicap of being a woman, and not allowed the freedom of study and speech that men enjoyed. As she approached the end of her life, at the age of seventy-two, her bark floated on peaceful waters, and she was ready to face the hour of death, that would take her to the great Beyond.
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Bibliographic information

Title Bahina Bai: A Translation of her Autobiography and Verses
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1996
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8120813340
length xx+301p., Glossary; 19cm.
Subjects Biography