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About Manasa Mangal
Manasa Mangal, also known as Manasamangal Kavya, is a famous medieval Bengali narrative poem composed by the poet Bipradas Pipilai. It is considered one of the earliest and most significant works of Bengali literature. The Manasa Mangal is dedicated to the worship of the serpent goddess Manasa, who is revered as a protector against snakebites and a bringer of fertility and prosperity.
The poem revolves around the life and adventures of the legendary folk hero Chand Sadagar and his wife Behula. Chand Sadagar, a wealthy merchant, incurs the wrath of the snake goddess Manasa by refusing to worship her. As a result, his ship is destroyed by a storm, and he and his entire crew perish, except for Behula. Behula, determined to save her husband, embarks on a perilous journey through various realms and encounters a series of challenges and tests of faith.
Throughout the Manasa Mangal, the poet explores themes of devotion, faith, and the power of the divine. It vividly portrays the trials and tribulations faced by Behula as she battles with supernatural forces and overcomes obstacles in her quest to bring her husband back to life. The poem also highlights the importance of familial bonds and the strength of a wife’s love and devotion.
The Manasa Mangal is written in the form of Mangal-kavya, a narrative genre in Bengali literature that combines mythology, legends, and folk traditions. It is characterized by its lyrical and descriptive style, rich imagery, and rhythmic verses. The poem is primarily written in the Brajabuli dialect, a mixture of Sanskrit, Bengali, and other regional languages prevalent during that era.
The Manasa Mangal holds great cultural and religious significance in Bengal. It is traditionally recited or performed during Manasa Puja, a festival dedicated to the worship of Manasa Devi, which takes place primarily in rural areas of West Bengal and Bangladesh. The poem has also influenced and inspired subsequent works of Bengali literature and has become an integral part of the cultural heritage of the region.