Suvannavira is Triratna’s emissary to Russia. Living in a hostel in Moscow, he teaches Dharma and meditation - and publishes Sangharakshita’s books in Russian, and has translated all the Foundation Year materials for the mitra study course! He writes:
“Poets and poems have long been loved and revered in Russia. Most dear is Alexander Pushkin, considered the Russian Shakespeare. Be careful if you are asked by Russian if you ‘know’ the poems of Pushkin. They don’t mean ‘do you know of’ the said poems, they mean ‘do you know them by heart?’ and they may well expect you to start reciting them!
Given this love, it’s not surprising to find that there’s a keen interest here in Sangharakshita’s poetry.
So we’ve published translations of a hand-picked selection of 12 poems, starting with ‘Life is King’ which in Russian is Жизнь – это царь, and including other favorites like “Secret Wings” (Тайные крылья); “The Bodhisattva’s Reply” (Ответ бодхисаттвы); and “New” (Новое). Translation is by Evgenia Zharkova, who has become a very experienced and faithful translator of Triratna Dharma texts into Russian.
In Russian culture the colour of royalty is red, hence the cover of this slim booklet that includes both the Russian translation and original English side by side. Yellow going well with red, the final product has a rather Soviet appearance!
I hope the book will interest those who know Russian or are learning it, or are simply curious.
Other Russian translations in the pipeline are: Прорыв в состояние Будды (Breaking through into Buddhahood), Реактивный и творческий ум (Mind: Reactive and Creative), and Символика цвета и мантрический звук (The Symbolism of Colour and Mantric Sound).