Archive for category Uttar Pradesh
There were some key phrases, poems and slogans that made up an important instrument in invoking a deep feeling of patriotism and love in the minds of those fighting for India’s freedom from the British. One such beautiful poem was “Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna”, written by Ram Prasad Bismil – an exceptionally passionate and brave freedom fighter. While merely reading this poem can summon such passion in the minds of the reader, it is rather difficult to imagine what transpired in the heart of the poet Ram Prasad Bismil during the composition of this beautiful poem.
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है
देखना है ज़ोर कितना बाज़ुए कातिल में है
Upagupta, the disciple of Buddha, lay sleep in
the dust by the city wall of Mathura.
Lamps were all out, doors were all shut, and
stars were all hidden by the murky sky of August.
Whose feet were those tinkling with anklets,
touching his breast of a sudden?
He woke up startled, and a light from a woman’s
lamp fell on his forgiving eyes.
It was dancing girl, starred with jewels,
Wearing a pale blue mantle, drunk with the wine
of her youth.
She lowered her lamp and saw young face
“Forgive me, young ascetic,” said the woman,
“Graciously come to my house. The dusty earth
is not fit bed for you.”
The young ascetic answered, “Woman,
go on your way;
When the time is ripe I will come to you.”
Suddenly the black night showed its teeth
in a flash of lightening.
The storm growled from the corner of the sky, and
The woman trembled in fear of some unknown danger.
* . *
A year has not yet passed.
It was evening of a day in April,
in spring season.
The branches of the way side trees were full of blossom.
Gay notes of a flute came floating in the
warm spring air from a far.
The citizens had gone to the woods for the
festival of flowers.
From the mid sky gazed the full moon on the
shadows of the silent town.
The young ascetic was walking along the lonely street,
While overhead the love-sick koels uttered from the
mango branches their sleepless plaint.
Upagupta passed through the city gates, and
stood at the base of the rampart.
Was that a woman lying at his feet in the
shadow of the mango grove?
Stuck with black prestilence, her body
spotted with sores of small-pox,
She had been hurriedly removed from the town
To avoid her poisonous contagion.
The ascetic sat by her side, took her head
on his knees,
And moistened her lips with water, and
smeared her body with sandal balm.
“Who are you, merciful one?” asked the woman.
“The time, at last, has come to visit you, and
I am here,” replied the young ascetic.
I would like to start this post with a wonderful rendition of one of Swami Tulsidas’ popular bhajans – “Shri Ramchandra Kripalu Bhajaman”
Saint Tulsidas was among the several others who reinforced the Bhakti Movement (devotion to God) in medieval India when the people’s faith in the divine was being intensely tested by the plundering foreign invaders. Tulsidas was born to a Brahmin family in Rajpur, in Uttar Pradesh in 1532 CE. When he was a child the first word he ever uttered was “Ram” and hence he was called RamBola (literally translated to “he said Ram”) by all the villagers.
Our sacred India time and again produces great mystics who travel, teach and deeply touch the lives of all the people they meet. There is never a dearth of these great souls, who out of immense compassion for mankind incarnate again and again in order to uplift mankind from the meaningless drudgery of life into a life with clarity of purpose filled with bliss. One such great saint was Neem Karoli Baba, who lived until 1973 in Uttar Pradesh, and touched the lives of countless men through his life and preaching.
Even a very tiny spark is capable of growing into a ferocious forest fire, if that tiny spark has the strength. That small spark could potentially destroy all impurities by burning them all to ashes. In the same way, a ferociously strong personality, with deeply imbibed virtues, has the capability to cleanse society of evils and moral depredations, by setting a righteous dharmic example to human kind. This post is about one such person, who sacrificed his life to nation building, renouncing all wealth, name and fame. He was a true karma yogi, he did not care for glory, but he made a deep impact on the foundations of society and politics. He spent all his life traveling to every nook and corner of the Indian country, serving the people and motivating them to stick to the path of dharma. It is unfortunate that many youngsters of today do not even know the name of the person who was the philosophical backbone of one of the political parties of India – The Jana Sangh, which now has grown into the Bharatiya Janatha Party. Read the rest of this entry »
There a single common great man connecting the following – the Uttar Pradesh district that hosts the famous Gita Press’s headquarters; the only mountain in Sindh, Pakistan that receives snowfall every winter; the people of the Gurkha clan in Nepal and he also appears in the tragic Punjabi love story of Heer and Ranjha. Any guesses? – He is the famous Guru Gorakhnath (Gorakshanath in Sanskrit).