Mahatma (Repost)

Just sharing my first post on this site posted two years back.

“Don’t know how to begin… A sad day for India… 30th January Martyrs Day here in India… The day the Mahatma was killed in cold blood… Cannot support the thought of killing him… My ‘namaskaar’ to the ultimate sacrifice…

At the same time, do think that what would have happened if the Mahatma had lived? Am confident that he would have done some constructive work in India… Revered Pandurang Shastriji Athavale (founder of Swadhyay movement) believes so…

Villages and cottage industry are/were the hub of economics in just liberated India. That was overlooked in the race of technological revolution. The 5 year plans were a complete hogwash to misguide us, Indians. From the day of independence, successive governments talk of development and technology, but do they care for Humanity? The cradle of Humanity, the Indian civilisation, is lost in all this…

So on this day, remembering and saluting all who in their own small way tried to contribute to Humanism. Maybe this is the only way to remember the Mahatma…

Asatoma Sadgamaya

Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya

Mrutyorma Amrutamgamaya…”

During this journey of two years, am happy that I could write down my thoughts in the form of blogs and express myself clearly.

Am a God centric person, my “namaskaars” first to Him, who takes care of me and gives me ideas to write.

I am deeply grateful to all those who follow me here and also those who read my blogs, comment and give constructive suggestions too.

Am also deeply grateful to my parents, especially my mother who inculcated a habit of reading, which has opened up my mind and help me think.

Also grateful to Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji as He has moulded my thoughts very carefully on the right path.

At the same time, His daughter, Param Pujaniya Dhanshree Athavale- Talwalkar for shaping up those thoughts and helping me express myself.

At last cannot forget my wife and kids who have given a constant support to my reading and also have been bearing my late night reading lights which have disturbed their sleep.

Have written 79 blogs till date (this being my 80th) and hope to write many more in the future. I share a wish with you all, that some day I would love to see these blogs in a shape of a book. A book which might be helpful for the coming generation to understand the importance about the country and the festivals celebrated across the country. Still have many more to describe.

I once again thank you all and especially Word Press for providing me a platform to express myself.

Happy Reading!

Have a nice day!

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मैं तुम्हें आजादी दूंगा ।

क़दम-क़दम बढ़ाये जा
खुशी के गीत गाये जा
यह ज़िन्दगी है कौम की
तू कौम पर लुटाये जा
क़दम-क़दम बढ़ाये जा…

तू शेर-ए-हिंद आगे बढ़
मरने से कभी न डर
उड़ाके दुश्मनों के सर
जोश-ए-वतन बढ़ाये जा
क़दम-क़दम बढ़ाये जा…

हिम्मत तेरी बढ़ी रहे
ख़ुदा तेरी सुनता रहे
जो सामने तेरे अड़े
वो ख़ाक मे मिटाये जा
क़दम-क़दम बढ़ाये जा…

चलो दिल्ली पुकारके
कौमी निशां सम्भाल के
लाल कीले पे गाढ़ के
लहराये जा लहराये जा
क़दम-क़दम बढ़ाये जा…

वंशीधर शुक्ल का यह गीत, सुभाष बाबू को इतना पसंद आया की उन्होंने उसे आजाद हिंद फौज का मार्च गीत के तौर पर स्वीकार किया।

आज नेताजी सुभाष चन्द्र बोस का जन्मदिन । उन्हें शतशः प्रणाम कर, उनके लिए अपने मन की बात रखने की कोशिश करता हूं ।

सुभाष बाबू एक ऐसे महामानव हैं जो आज भी युवा वर्ग को प्रेरित करते है एवं बुजुर्गों में सीना तान खडे रहने की हिम्मत भर देते है। एक बहुआयामी व्यक्तित्व जो आई सी एस अफ्सर बना। लेकिन देश के शत्रु के लिए काम करना मंजूर नहीं, यह सोचकर भारत के स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में अपने आप को झोंक दिया। अपना सारा जीवन उसी हेतु समर्पित कर दिया। यहाँ तक की मृत्यु का भी स्वीकार किया।

बचपन में ही, रामकृष्ण परमहंस तथा स्वामी विवेकानन्द के विचारों से प्रभावित हुए। अपनी माताजी के पास से धार्मिक एवं आध्यात्मिक शिक्षण पाया। अपने गुरु चित्तरंजन दासजी से प्रकर्ष राष्ट्रवाद उन्हें विरासत में मिला।

शुरूआती कुछ साल, वह कांग्रेस में रहे। ऐसा कहा जाता है की नेहरू जी के साथ उनकी गहरी दोस्ती थी। 1930 के कांग्रेस अधिवेशन में प्रस्तुत पूर्ण स्वराज्य के दस्तावेज को बनाने में उनका भी योगदान रहा। आगे जाकर वह पार्टी के अध्यक्ष भी बने। गांधीजी समर्थित उम्मीदवार पट्टभी सिद्धरमैय्या को मुंह की खानी पडी। किन्तु पूर्ण स्वराज्य की मांग को लेकर, गांधीजी से मतभेद होने के कारण, उन्होंने कांग्रेस पार्टी का अध्यक्ष पद और सदस्यता दोनों छोड़ दिए।

थोडे सालों में ही, जापान ने द्वितीय महायुद्ध में पकड़े भारतीय सैनिकों एवं पूर्वी आशिया में रह रहे भारतीयों को साथ लेकर आजाद हिंद फौज का गठन किया। उन सैनिकों को संबोधित करते समय उन्होंने जो अपने संबोधन के अंत में कहा, वह यहाँ उद्धृत करता हूँ ।

“आगे जो काम है उसके लिए अपनी कमर कस लीजिये. मैंने मेन, मनी, मटेरिअल के लिए कहा था। मुझे वो पर्याप्त मात्र में मिल गए हैं. अब मुझे आप चाहियें। मेन, मनी मटेरिअल अपने आप में जीत या स्वतंत्रता नहीं दिला सकते। हमारे अन्दर प्रेरणा की शक्ति होनी चाहिए जो हमें वीरतापूर्ण और साहसिक कार्य करने के लिए प्रेरित करे।

सिर्फ ऐसी इच्छा रखना की अब भारत स्वतंत्र हो जायेगा क्योंकि विजय अब हमारी पहुंच में है एक घातक गलती होगी। किसी के अन्दर स्वतंत्रता का आनंद लेने के लिए जीने की इच्छा नहीं होनी चाहिए। हमारे सामने अभी भी एक लम्बी लड़ाई है।

आज हमारे अन्दर बस एक ही इच्छा होनी चाहिए- मरने की इच्छा ताकि भारत जी सके- एक शहीद की मृत्यु की इच्छा, ताकि स्वतंत्रता का पथ शहीदों के रक्त से प्रशस्त हो सके। मित्रों! स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में भाग ले रहे मेरे साथियों ! आज मैं किसी भी चीज से ज्यादा आपसे एक चीज की मांग करता हूँ। मैं आपसे आपके खून की मांग करता हूँ। केवल खून ही दुश्मन द्वारा बहाए गए खून का बदला ले सकता है। सिर्फ ओर सिर्फ खून ही ही आज़ादी की कीमत चुका सकता है।

तुम मुझे खून दो, मैं तुम्हेंआजादी दूंगा।”

(स्त्रोत – AcchhiKhabar.com)

बस फिर क्या ! ‘चलो दिल्ली’ के नारे के साथ फौज चल पडी और देखते ही देखते मणिपुर को अंग्रेजों के चंगुल से मुक्त करवाया। उसी समय जापानी फौजों ने अंदमान तथा निकोबार द्वीप समूह को जीता। नेताजी को सार्वभौम भारत देश की सरकार गठित करने का मौका मिला। वह स्वतंत्र भारत के प्रथम प्रधानमंत्री बने। उन द्वीप समूह में से दो द्वीप का नाम शहीद और स्वराज रखा गया। यह युद्ध छेड़ने से पहले नेताजी ने बर्मा से भारतवासीयों को संबोधित किया था। इसी संबोधन में उन्होंने गांधीजी से होनेवाले युद्ध के लिए आशीर्वाद मांगते हुए उन्हें “राष्ट्रपिता” कह संबोधित किया था।

पर भारत की नियति में कुछ और ही लिखा था। एक काले दिन, जब नेताजी हवाई जहाज से जा रहे थे, तब अचानक उनका जहाज क्षतिग्रस्त हुआ और गिर गया। नियति के क्रुर पंजों ने भारत से उसके लाड़ले पुत्र को छीन लिया। आज भी उस हादसे के बाद क्या हुआ, इस बात को लेकर विवाद बना हुआ है।

पर भारत ने एक दृष्टा खो दिया।

एक क्रांतिकारी खो दिया।

ऐसे नेताजी सुभाष चन्द्र बोस के जन्मदिन हम उन्हें नमन करते हैं और उनके बताए रास्ते पर चलने का निश्चय करते हैं ।

Poem #8

Unseen Paths….

A new beginning is always exciting,

Distance to be covered is ever increasing,

No crying, No hurting, No envying,

The fun of life is just beginning…

Let us learn to love life and enjoy,

Let us demonstrate to live life and, o boy,

The rays of light illuminate our path,

To Him, on the sailing buoy…

Makar Sankranti

Haiku #2

Let our kites fly high,

Into the blue open sky looking infinite,

Trying to find the light…

Sankranti means the movement of the Sun from one zodiac / constellation to the next. So when the Sun enter the zodiac of Makar (Capricon) it is called Makar Sankranti.

In all, there are 12 zodiacs or constellations divided into equal segments. According to the Vedic tradition, the movement of the Sun through these zodiacs is divided into 2 equal distances i.e. 6 zodiacs each. One movement is called the Dakshinayan, the movement of the Sun towards South and Uttarayan, the movement of the Sun towards North. (If we observe the Sun rise or set everyday, we will see it rises or sets in different directions around the year). The Lord too describes the two events in Chapter 8 of His divine song, Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta.
अग्निर्ज्योतिरह: शुक्ल: षण्मासा उत्तरायणम् |
तत्र प्रयाता गच्छन्ति ब्रह्म ब्रह्मविदो जना: || 24||
धूमो रात्रिस्तथा कृष्ण: षण्मासा दक्षिणायनम् |
तत्र चान्द्रमसं ज्योतिर्योगी प्राप्य निवर्तते || 25||

(Those who know the Supreme Brahman, and who depart from this world, during the six months of the sun’s northern course, the bright fortnight of the moon, and the bright part of the day, attain the supreme destination. The practitioners of Vedic rituals, who pass away during the six months of the sun’s southern course, the dark fortnight of the moon, the time of smoke, the night, attain the celestial abodes.)

At this point, let me also clarify that Makar Sankranti and Uttarayan are two different celestial phenomenon.

Uttarayan, is movement of the Sun towards North. It begins on the 21st or 22nd of December, every year.

The movement of the Sun from the constellation of Sagittarius (Dhanu) to the constellation of Capricon (Makar) is called Makar Sankranti. It falls on the 14th or 15th of January.

Let me not be too astronomical too. As it would bore you, all, my readers. But the above difference and understanding is a must for all of us. As I always use to call Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan in my younger days, till the time I came to understand the above.

Makar Sankranti is celebrated all over India, with different names.

In UP, Bihar it is celebrated as “Khichadi“.

In Punjab and Haryana, the day before is celebrated as “Lohri” and the day itself is celebrated as “Maghi“.

As “Shishur Saenkraat” in the Kashmir Valley.

Magh Bihu” or “Bhogi Bihu” in Assam.

Pousha Sangkranti” in West Bengal.

Makara Sankranti” in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Manipur, Sikkim, Tripura, Goa and Uttarakhand.

Uttarayan” in Gujarat.

Suggi Habba or Makar Sankramana” in Karnataka.

Thai Pongal” in Tamil Nadu.

Makar Sankranti has it’s own set of rituals, including that of Sun worship. The people of India will descend at the Sangam Teerth, Prayagraaj (a confluence of three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) for a bath in the Sangam. Prayers are also offered to the Sun. This year is also the year of Ardh Kumbh (a 6 yearly congregation of all the Sadhus / saintly people of India following the Vedic tradition). A place where all get to gather and discuss the work done during last 6 years and to be done in the next 6 years. The work of Spreading the message of Vedas and instilling their thoughts in individual lives and trying to live on its principles is all reviewed here. It’s a phenomenon to be witnessed. I have never been to the Kumbh, but yes, the memories of bathing in the Ganges, at Haridwar and Hrushikesh, are still very strongly etched. The cold waters of the Ganges cleanse the mind and purifies the soul. The roar of the flowing Ganges at Hrushikesh is something to be heard and witnessed too.
In Maharashtra on Makar Sankranti day people exchange multicoloured halwa (sugar granules coated in sugar syrup) and til-gul laadoo (sweetmeats made from sesame seeds and jaggery). Gulachi poli/puran poli (गुळाची पोळी / पुरण पोळी) (flat bread stuffed with soft/shredded jaggery mixed with toasted, ground til [white sesame seeds]) and some gram flour, which has been toasted to golden in pure ghee, are offered for lunch. While exchanging til-gulas as tokens of goodwill people greet each other with the words “तिळगुळ घ्या, आणि गोड-गोड बोला (til-gul ghyaa, aani god-god bolaa” meaning ‘Accept this til-gul and utter/speak sweet words’). The underlying thought in the exchange of til-gul is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends. At the same time, the combination of Sesame seeds and ghee serves as a lubricant for the joints of the bones during the winter season. The sesame seeds helps create a lot of heat in human body which keeps the person active, hale and hearty.

Uttarayan, as Makar Sankranti is called in Gujarati, is a major festival in the state of Gujarat which lasts for two days. 14 January is Uttarayan. The next day is Vaasi-Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan).

Gujarati people keenly await this festival to fly kites, called ‘patang‘. Kites for Uttarayan are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and are mostly rhombus shaped with central spine and a single bow. The string often contains abrasives to cut down other people’s kites. Again it has it’s own climatic effects. The kite fliers with their families stay one whole day on the roof top / terraces exposing themselves to the Sun, which in turn helps synthesize Vitamin D under their skin. It does tan the skin, but the tan wears off in a few days. In the major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, and Jamnagar the skies appear filled with thousands upon thousands of kites as people enjoy these two full days on their terraces. When people cut any kites they yell words like “kai po chhe” and “lapet lapet” in Gujarati. The lunch in the afternoon consists of Undhiyu (spicy, baked mix of winter vegetables) and chikkis (made from til (sesame seeds), peanuts and jaggery) are the special festival recipes savoured on this day. From a last few years, the state government of Gujarat has been celebrating International Kite Flying Day, during these days. Participation from different countries has been ecstatic.

The Hindu Sindhi community in western regions of India, that is also found in southeastern parts of Pakistan, celebrate Makar Sankranti as Tirmoori. On this day, parents send sweet dishes to their daughters.

The celebrations all over India have it’s own significance and will write in detail in the coming years. Will end today with the following lines sung in Northern India,

Meethe Gur me mil gaya Til,
Udi Patang aur khil gaye Dil,
Jeevan me bani rahe Sukh aur Shanti,
Mubarak ho aapko Makar-Sankranti.

Wishing you all a very Happy Makar Sankranti and Happy Kite Flying.

Mindset of a Traveller – 2

Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re,
Tobe ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo, ekla cholo re.

Jodi keu kotha na koe, ore ore o obhaga,keu kothana koi
Jodi shobai thake mukh phiraee shobai kore bhoe, jodi shobaai thake mukh phiraae shobai kore bhoi—
Tobe poran khule
O tui mukh phute tor moner kotha ekla bolo re.

Jodi shobai phire jae, ore ore o obhaga,shobai phire jai
Jodi gohon pothe jabar kale keu phire na chae, jodi gohon pothe jabar kale keu phire naa chaai—
Tobe pother kata
O tui roktomakha chorontole ekla dolo re

Jodi alo na dhore, ore ore o obhaga,
Jodi jhor-badole adhar rate duar dee ghore—
Tobe bojranole
Apon buker pajor jalie nie ekla jolo re.
Jodi tor dak shune keu na ashe tobe ekla cholo re…

English Translation (by the poet himself) –
If no-one heeds your call – then walk alone
If no-one speaks (to you), O unlucky one, if non-one speaks (to you),
If everyone turns away, if everyone fears (to speak), then with an open heart without hesitation speak your mind alone
If everyone walks away, O unlucky one, everyone walks away
If no-one looks back towards the (your) unpredictable path, then with thorn pricked (of the path) bloodied feet, walk alone
If no-one heeds your call – then walk alone
If no-one shines a light (on the path), O unlucky one,
If the dark night brings a storm at the door – then let the lightning ignite the light in you alone to shine on the path
If no-one heeds your call – then walk alone

I have purposely started with the Tagore poem as it pushes us to travel, even if we are on our own and alone. Maybe it will not strike a chord at the first reading itself. So one needs to reread and reread and reread. It has a personal, inter-personal as well as an intra-personal context. Gurudev is a little too harsh about the path but at the same time a shining light guiding the traveller to be confident and adventurous. The tone of the poem may sound negative, but it has a positive message hidden in it.

In my first blog I had asked a few questions and at the end, urged that we initiate a conversation. And what an overwhelming response it has been! Am surprised by the response from unexpected quarters. The way, you, my readers have expressed and shared your thoughts is mind blowing. Frankly I have corrected myself and my understanding about today’s generation after receiving the responses. Again this correcting is all about my mindset. The way we think and the way we live are two different things, today.

I, work amongst the younger generation of today. My interactions with them keep me young at heart. The one thing I learnt from them is that they do not shun the new and are ever ready to try it out. And this is the key, my friends. Till the day we are ready to accept the new, to think over it and if right incorporate it in our thought process, we stay young. The moment we stop this, we are old.

Secondly, this generation is always experimenting. And I know many who accept their mistakes if their experiments fail. But at the same time, many new things have seen light too. Experimentation helps growth. The moment we stop, it leads to wilting.

Am sharing a few of the responses I have received, in today’s blog. Will keep sharing the others in my blogs to come.

It all depends on our perspective.

It all depends upon how we think.

It all depends on how we observe, what we observe and how do we take it in our stride.

The first response is from a 17 year old girl, from whom I didn’t expect this kind of a response. It’s absolutely mind blowing for her age.

The second response is from a 25 plus boy who has his own perspective about the blog and just shared his thoughts for which I am grateful.

The third and the fourth responses are from a mother of two kids. An excellent perspective and She is going to write more on this. Am waiting for more in anticipation.

(Let me make myself very clear that am not going to comment on the responses I have received as I respect the readers perspective)

The answers are varied. But they all move around the questions asked. I would say they all are right in their own ways as we all are together in this quest.

A quest to find ???…

Is what I leave upto you all to answer. Let us continue our conversation. Waiting to hear your side.

Travellers together as we walk,

To find The unknown, infinite and endless,

Into the light from darkness….

Poem #7

How fast we grew up?

Just a few days, the school goers,

We inspired by Bachhan and Khanna,

Used to imitate to live that life…

Now we, the grown ups,

Learned the hard way of life,

And try to guide our next generation,

On the ways to live…

Were we wrong then?

And are we right now?

It is all so mixed up,

For us to decide…

Let us be free today,

From this cast moulding belief,

Let us let them live their way,

Just be there to stop them from sway…