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Upagupta Poem Questions and Answers, Notes, Summary
Before You Read
Buddha and Angulimala
Look at the picture given here. What comes to your mind when you see this picture?
We see Lord Buddha and Angulimala coming face to face. The divine light of Buddha is seen Angulimala feels blessed and happy because Buddha brought transformation in his life.
Write briefly your thoughts and feelings in these lines.
One should not be cruel. One should be merciful. Love should be our motto. Loving of mankind is most important. We should not attach to wordly affairs. We should think of good and helping others. That is real salvation.
C1. Work in pairs. Pick out the words/ phrases from the poem which tell you about the following. Write them in the space given. One is done for you.
|dark gloomy sky||The murky sky|
|ornamental chain is worn around the ankle of a lady||Those tinkling with anklets|
|a religious person who leads||religious leader|
|a simple and strict life||austerely beautiful|
|at an appropriate time||when the time is ripe.|
|flashes of lightning||black night’s teeth showed in a flash of high tening|
|fort like structure||rampart|
|made slightly wet||moistened|
C2. The important signposts of the poem are given in the box. Fill in the flowchart in the order in which the incidents occur.
|The dancing girl invites him to her home||He promises to visit her when the time is ripe.|
|Upagupta asleep on the dusty ground of Mathura.||Upagupta keeps his promise.|
|The woman driven away from the town|
C3. Some qualities of Upagupta are given, guote the appropriate lines from the poem to justify them.
|simplicity||sleeping on the dusty ground.|
|merciful||moitening her lips with water and smeared he body with sandal balm.|
|forgiving||stumbling over the body of Upagupta – Vasavadatta asking him to forgive her.|
|young and attractive||lowering her lamp she saw young face austerely beautiful|
|be true to his words||Upagupta says The time, at last, has come to visit you and, I am here”|
C4. Work in a small groups. Complete the summary of the poem with suitable words given in the bubbles.
Upagupta a disciple of Buddha, goes from one place to another. Once, while he is sleeping in a small town called Mathura, a dancing girl wakes him up and invites to her home.
Upagupta refuses but tells her, “I will visit you when the time is ripe.’’ A year later, Upagupta finds the dancing girl lying on the ground outside the town, having sores all over the body. She is driven away from the town. He gives her water and applies balm on her body. The woman asks who he is Upagupta replies, “Now the time has come to visit you and I am here.”
R1. Read the questions and discuss ‘ with your partner. Then write them in your notebook.
Why did Upagupta wake up started?
Upagupta woke up, because Vasavadatta, a dancing girl stumbled over his body.
“The dancing girl was rich.” Do you agree with this opinion? Justify your answer by quoting the text.
“The dancing girl was rich.” We agree with this opinion because she was proud of her beauty and wealth. Her feet were those thinking with anklets. This means her chains around the anklets were making a pleasant metallic sound. She was starred with jewels. This means precious ornaments were on her body. They were shining like stars.
“Why do you think the ascetic did not accept the invitation of the dancing girl?
‘The ascetic was the disciple of Buddha. His name was Upagupta. According to Buddhist principles, he was leading simple and strict ways of living. He had sacrificed the material world. On the other hand the dancing girl was proud of her youth and wealth. She was to lead her life splendidly. But the ascetic did not want such a life. Therefore he did not accept the invitation of the dancing girl.
How is the spring season described in the poem?
The spring was warm. The branches of the trees on the wayside were full of beautiful flowers. Gay notes (light heartening notes) of the flute carhe floating in the warm spring of air from far away distance. Thus the spring is described in the poem.
“The time, at last, has come to visit you” What do you understand by this?
“These are the words of Upagupta. He told these words to the dancing girl who he had promised her that he would visit her when the time was ripe. She was lying on the ground. Her body was spotted with sores of smallpox. Upagupta sat by her side and took her head on his knees. He gave her water and made her lips wet. He applied her body with sandal balm. The dancing girl asked who he was, the merciful one. He replied The time, at last, has come to visit you, I am here”. This means he was true to his words.
Read the lines last stanza Does the description suggest anything about the ascetic?
The lines 38 to 41 are the description of Upagupta, the ascetic. The disruption suggests that how he nursed the dancing girl who was struck with black deadly epidemic disease. He sat by her side and took her head on his knees. He gave her water and made her lips wet. He applied her body with sandal balm.
R2. Imagery is the use of language to evoke pictures in the minds of the readers or listeners. Sit in pairs, identify the images used in the poem and write them down.
Upagupta sleeping on the dusty ground. He was an ascetic and a follower of the Buddha. Usually, Buddhist monks lead a simple and strict way of life. They do not lead a luxurious life. They need a simple way of living. So Upagupta was a monk. He slept on the dusty ground. When he was sleeping it was a dark night. A dancing girl holding a lamp in her hand was walking on the road, without noting Upagupta, she stumbled over his body. She asked his pardon for what happened she requested him to come to her home. Upagupta refused to do so. But he told her that he would visit her when the time was ripe.
R3. In groups of four discuss what might have happened next in the story of the poem “Upagupta”. Share your answer with the rest of the class.
Vasavadatt thanked Upagupta. She took him to her house where she worshipped him and feel very happy. She might understand the various ways of divinity. As told, Upagupa met her in her pitiful condition. One should understand that Beauty is skin deep. So we should not proud of our beauty. She would have understood this reality and worshipped Upagupta.
Upagupta Additional Questions and Answers
Four alternatives are given below each question/incomplete statements. Choose the most appropriate one.
Upagupta was a:
(d) ancient scientist
Vasavadatta was a:
(a) Singing girl of Mathura.
(b) Dancing girl of Ayodhya.
(c) Dancing girl of Mathura.
(d.) Monk of Mathura.
(c) Dancing girl of Mathura.
Upagupta wakes up because:
(a) Of severe cold
(b) Vasavadatta stumbles over him.
(c) Of thirst.
(d) Vasavadatta called him.
(b) Vasavadatta stumbles over him.
After a year Upagupta saw the woman who was struck with
Answer the following questions.
Who is the author of the poem ‘Upagupta’?
Rabindranath Tagore is the author of the poem Upagupta.
Why was the dancing girl driven out of the town?
She was struck with smallpox. It was deadly epidemic disease. To avoid getting infected by that poisonous contagious, disease, she was driven out of the town.
How did Upagupta treat the suffering dancing girl?
He sat by side, took her head on his knees, and gave her water and applied Sandal balm on her body.
Upagupta Poem Summary in English
This poem is about the story of Buddhist monk Upagupta, a disciple of Lord Buddha and the dancing girl of Mathura Vasavadatta. She was a famous and beautiful dancer. She was proud of her beauty, youth, and her wealth. Upagupta was an ascetic, and. the epitome of kindness, wisdom and selflessness.
One dark night Upagupta, the disciple of Buddha that slept on the dusty road by the city wall of Mathura city. Everywhere it was calm and quiet, Lamps were all out of light. The doors were all shut. Everyone had slept. It was quite dark everywhere. Above all stars were hidden by dark cloud in the sky.
Vasavadatta, a dancing girl was walking with a lamp in her hand. Without noticing down on the ground, she stumbled over the body of upagupta who was sleeping on the dusty ground. Suddenly he woke up and was extremely surprised. The light from a woman’s lamp fell on his merciful eyes and he saw a beautiful woman standing before him.
The woman was shining with her jewels, she had put on a blue loose piece of clothing without sleeves. She was young and beautiful. She was proud of her youth and beauty. As she lowered her lamp, she saw a young man whose face was reflecting the charming of a simple and strict way of living.
The young woman begged a pardon for stumbling over his body without noticing him in the darkness. She requested him kindly to come to her home saying the dirty ground was not fit for him. Upagupta told her gently to go on her way back to her home and told her that he would meet her when the time was ripe. Suddenly the black night showed its teeth in a flash of lightning. A terrible storm arose from the corner of the sky and mode a long deep sound. The woman trembled in fear of some unknown danger and hurried towards her home.
A year has not yet passed since Vasavadatta, a dancing woman met Upagupta, a monk. It was the evening of a day in April in spring season. The branches of the trees on the wayside were heavy with flowers. The light-hearted musical tone of a flute came floating in the warm spring air from far away distance.
Upagupta passed through the city gates and stood on the base of city walls built for protection. Suddenly he saw a woman lying at his feet in the shadow of the grove (a group of trees).
She was none other than Vasavadatta, a dancing woman. She was struck with the black deadly epemedic disease. Her body was spotted with sores of small-fox. She was removed (driven out) from the city because the poisonous disease might spread by her contact.
Upagupta sat by her side and took her head on his knees. He applied her body with sandal balm. He made her lips wet with water. The woman asked him who the merciful man was. He replied to her that at the last the time had come to visit her and he was there.
Upagupta Poem Summary in Kannada