Archive for ‘Life’

April 20, 2011

mAnasa-taraMgiNI !

by Sarvesh K Tiwari


मानस तरंगिणी ! मानस तरंगिणी !!


वितण्ड-पाश खण्डिनी !
पाषण्ड-तिमिर भण्डिनी !!
सुधी-मति मञ्जनी मानस तरंगिणी !!!


स्वधर्म-देश दर्पिणी !
दुष्ट-दम्भ दंशिनी !!
दुन्दुभि अभिहन्तिनी मानस तरंगिणी !!!


इति-गति निरूपिणी !
आगत प्रब्रूतिनी !!
नवचेतन-सूतिनी मानस तरंगिणी !!!


अनुश्रुति-चिर पोषिनी !
अभिनव-अपि तोषिनी !!
स्वस्ति-मार्ग घोषिनी मानस तरंगिणी !!!


गुह्यतम् प्रवल्हिनी !
सान्ध्य-वाच गुञ्जिनी !!
अचिन्त्य शब्द-कोषिनी मानस तरंगिणी !!!


नाना प्रसङ्गिनी !
बहुधा मति-रञ्जिनी !!
कुतूहल-आसञ्जिनी मानस तरंगिणी !!!


अकस्मात् लोपिनी ?
किम्-निमित्त रोषिनी ??
भवतु सदा संगिनी मानस तरंगिणी !!!


mAnasa-taraMgiNI! mAnasa-taraMgiNI!!


vitaNDa-pAsha-khaNDinI !
pAShaNDa-bhrama-bhaNDinI !!
sudhI-mati-ma~njanI mAnasa-taraMgiNI !!!


svadharma-desha-darpiNI !
duShTa-dambha-daMshinI !!
dundubhi-abhihantinI mAnasa-taraMgiNI !!!


iti-gati-nirUpiNI !
Agata-prabrUtinI !!
navachetana-sUtinI mAnasa-taraMgiNI !!!


anuShR^uti-chira-poShinI !
abhinava-api-toShinI !!
svasti-mArga-ghoShinI mAnasa-taraMgiNI !!!


guhyatam-pravalhinI !
sAndhya-vAcha-gu~njinI !!
achintya-shabda-koShinI mAnasa-taraMgiNI !!!


nAnA-prasa~NginI !
bahudhA-mati-ra~njinI !!
kutUhala-Asa~njinI mAnasa-taraMgiNI !!!


akasmAt-lopinI ?
kim-nimitta roShinI ??
bhavatu sadA saMginI mAnasa-taraMgiNI !!!


mAnasa-taraMgiNI is back. Revel! Rejoice!!

December 3, 2009

Some ancient kumAra vigraha-s of North India

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

In the days of our childhood, which now seem like light-years away, our loving grandmother would perform offerings to kArttikeya and ShaShThIdevI on certain occasions, drawing their images near the gaushAlA by dipping her finger in turmeric and milk paste, and murmur some prayers for the wellbeing of us kids. Years later, we used to be reminded of it, when now living in the draviDa country we would flock to the lush hillock of the kongu-s and find ourselves at the ancient shrine of the fierce surasenApati. We would often wonder why the charming deity was almost forgotten by the hindU-s of North India, not knowing the answer. Still later, reading a hindI novel ‘jaya yaudheya’ written by the marxist scholar, we learnt how kumAra was indeed a very popular deity, a principal deity of North, in an era long gone by. But it is not until we read the encyclopedic essays by the AchArya of mAnasataraMgiNI that we learnt more about the kumAra traditions (Read several kumAra-related essays, starting with some discursion on skanda tantra-s and bAlagraha-s)

In our travels to rAjapUtAnA, mathurA and magadha in recent months, we have come across some ancient kumAra vigraha-s; posting here the pictures.

The following is a surprisingly intact and marvelous vigraha of skanda from abhanerI of dausA, datable to 700s:

This one has got to probably be the oldest available intact kumAra vigraha from anywhere in North India. From mathurA, 1st century of the CE, the age of the shu~Nga-s:

Also from mathurA, kept in the UP state museum there, is this 2nd century terracotta figure of ShaNmukha kumAra riding a flying mayUra, which has got broken into two pieces:

From the same age is this other figure where kumAra holds his shUla in the right hand and embraces his mayUra with left.

Our relatives settled in magadha country took us to this ancient temple on the shores of gaNDakI, at the meeting point of darabha~NgA and samastIpura, where true to his name skanda oozes out from shivali~Nga. There is no way to tell the date, but to us it seems like from roughly before the jehAd of bakhtiyAr khaljI.

September 1, 2009

kaliyuga at a traffic signal

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

update: translation added below


दस्यु-प्रपीडिता राजन् काका इव द्विजोत्तमाः
कुराजभिश्च सततं करभार-प्रपीडिताः
धैर्यं त्यक्त्वा महीपाल दारुणे युगसंक्षये
विकर्माणि करिष्यन्ति शूद्राणां परिचारकाः

dasyu-prapIDitA rAjan kAkA iva dvijottamAH
kurAjabhishcha satataM karabhAra-prapIDitAH
dhairyaM tyaktvA mahIpAla dAruNe yugasaMkShaye
vikarmANi kariShyanti shUdrANAM parichArakAH
(bhArata, araNya parvan, 188.61-62)

{O King, the brAhmaNa-s harrassed by the barbarians and (contempted against like) the crows,
Suppressed to no end by bad governments and tortured with burdening taxes,
Shall in that terrible yuga of Destruction finally abandon all their patience, O Monarch,
to take up various occupations unworthy of them and become the servants of the shUdra-s.}

January 24, 2009

On the shores of sacred puShkara

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

It was on the day of amAvasyA during the fortnight which one spends in the sacred memory of one’s ancestors, coinciding too with somavAra, making the day even more auspicious, that we had the fortune to be on the shores of the sacred lake of puShkara, that famed tIrtha, where perpetually reside, as purANa-s describe, all the Adityans, all the vasu-s, all the rudra-s and all the mAruta-s!

It was on these very shores, says dwaipAyana, that janArdana had dwelt for many years, engaged in arduous tapa-s, that slayer of madhu the asura!

It was here, where the third of the pANDava heroes had sojourned during the last one of his twelve fugitive years of exile from khANDavaprastha.

It was here where sheSha had performed the feat of penances which had pleased prajApati to free him up from his sinful association with his nAga brethren of ill deeds, and where he acquired for himself the eternal anugraha of viShNu.

Indeed, one acquires not by the performance of the agniShToma and other yaj~nas, that much merit which one aquires by a sojourn to this tirtha, so describe our purANa-s, in particular the padma, garuDa, vArAha, skanda and vAmana.

It was here, so inform us our traditions, where one of the twin droplets of the divine tear befell on earth, from the lashes of that most benevolent deva of deva-s, the Supreme Ascetic, the cause of all the causes and the end to all the ends, that Lord of umA who had cried and danced in His divine anguish. It was that one drop of tear that became the reservoir of puShkara, whereas the other tear caused sacred kaTas, its sibling lake on the borders of sindhudesha and pA~nchanada, now in the terrorist country.

It was here, that the illustrious grandsire of all creation, who has lotus for his seat, had dwelt with great pleasure, and performed his grand yaj~na. And it was here that invited by prajApati, saraswatI had appeared, that foremost of all the rivers in the world, the mother most magnanimous and nourisher of sudhI-s, and she was called here as supravA by the sages, thereby blessing puShkara with first of her seven subsequent incarnations through which she nurtured the creation.

Indeed, as the slayer of madhu is regarded the foremost of all the celestials, so also this puShkara the foremost of all the tIrtha-s. And yet, wonders the great bhArata, why this tIrtha goes by the name of “puShkara”, with its three white hillocks and three springs, famed from the remotest times!

Therefore, as we beheld the marvel of this sacred lake, we wondered howmany generations of our forefathers too would have similarly beheld this lake, and would have offered tarpaNa to their forefathers, like we did to them!

And then, as a sudden pang, this old thirteenth century song surfaced in our memory, translation of which we had once read in the ‘Autobiography of An Unknown Indian’ by Nirad C Choudhury, and which was a sad lamentation of a Hindu poet, whose heart was crying over turuShka defilement around the sacred lake. The song went something like this:

puShkara, once the abode of bramhA,
Now home of the mlechcHa…

bramhA bathed there after concluding his yaj~na
Now mlechcHa removes in its waters the fatigue of demolishing our sacred temples…

Once this lake was the repository of the tears of joy of viShNu
Now a bin for the waste of mlechcHa’s meals…

Once warmed up by the fire of the eyes of The Eleven rudra-s
Now steaming with the hot tears of persecuted brAhmaNa-s…

apsaras were forbidden to enter its waters,
Even indrANI considered it not proper to bathe here,
Now becomes the wallowing pool for turuShkanI women in their menses…

Once deva-s quenched their thirst from it,
Now supplies to these barbarians who dont hesitate to slaughter their horses to quench their thirsts in the desert…

And even as we were taken to the famed shrine of prajApati, and also the place where sagacious dayAnanda of blessed memory, the founder of Arya samAja, had spent his early years in learning the veda-s — we hardly recovered from the torment.

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