Posts tagged ‘medieval hindI’

January 20, 2011

Maharana’s puNya divasa

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

In 1597, on January 19, died mahArANA pratApa siMha, the foremost luminary in the galaxy of all Hindu leaders that raised the standard of tumult to answer the jehAd.  But before he died he fulfilled the mission of his life of regaining control over his mAtR^ibhUmi, and even at his deathbed he made his heir and his band of men swear by Lord Ekalinga to continue fighting the battle for Hindu independence.

Never did that dharmAbhimAnI compromise on Hindu liberty and never did he submit even to the lucrative offers of moghal tyrant.  His insignia read “जो दृढ राखै धरम कौ ताहि रखै कर्तार”: Those Who Stiffly Protect Dhrama find Protection of The Creator. It is by his grit and that of his followers that the sapling of Hindu revival was kept nourished, which would in next century become the mighty vaTa. Thus while negotiating treaty at Purandar with Jai Singh, cHatrapati recalled mahArANA and his hardships.

But for that vIra-pu~Ngava, all was lost beyond hope, as says surAyajI, a contemporary rAjasthAnI poet:

हिन्दू हिन्दूकार, राणा जे राखत नहीं
तो अकबर एकार, पहो सहो करत परतापसी
हिन्दूपति परताप, पत राखी हिन्दवाणरी
सहे विपति संताप, सत्य सपथ कर आपणी

[Had rANA not kept the Hindu flag independent,
Akbar had all but succeeded in crushing them to joining/becoming Moslems
But O Hindupati Pratap, You kept the Hindu pride undiminished
Even bearing hardships and pains, never did you waver from your grit]

Even a rAjpUt courtier of Akbar, ADhA dUrasA of sirohI, wrote in his “viruddha cHihattarI”:

एही भुजे अरीति । तसलीमत हिन्दू तुरक
माथै निकर मसीत परताप कै परसादसी
रोहै पाताल राण । जाँ तसलीम न आदरै
हिन्दू मुस्सलमाण एक नहीं ता दोय हैं

[When such is the usage of the day that Hindus have to bow low and perform Tasleem to Musalmans,
It is only in your country, O Pratap, that the temples are seen reconstructed where mosques were squatting
Only if, O Pratap, you hold the Hindu Banner high and don’t acknowledge (Akbar’s) suzerainty
Hindus will retain their independence and identity and not get merged with Musalmans]

रोकै अकबर राह । लै हिन्दू कूकुर लखां
बीअर तो बाराह पाडै घणा परताप सी
सुख हित स्याल समाज, हिन्दू अकबर बस हुए
रोसीलो मृगराज पजै न राण परताप सी

[Akbar obstacles the path of pratApa with help from a lakh Dog-Hindus (those who have gone to Akbars side)
But when did they stop the Boar-like march of pratApa! A single vArAha-Hindu is enough.
For sake of comfort some coward jackal-Hindus have taken Akbar as overlord
But when did Lion-Hindus like pratApa ever accept his suzerainty!]

लोपै हिन्दू लाज सगपण रोपै तुरकसूँ
आरज कुल री आज पूंजी राण प्रतापसी

[When Hindu honour has disappeared; they shamelessly give their daughters to musalmans;
O Pratap rANA, today You are the only refuge left for the Aryakula honour]

pratApa siMha, the standard forever of Hindu bravery, had no hesitation to denounce the cowardly deeds of his father and used to openly lament that had udaya not been born between his grandfather Sangram Singh the ‘Hindupat’, and himself, the Moslem rule in hindusthAn would have been wiped out in the time of bAbur himself.  (This is not a mere boast)

सांगो धरम सहाय बाबुर सूं भिडियो बिहस
अकबर कदमा आय पडै न राण प्रताप सी
मन अकबर मजबूत! फूट हिन्दवाँ बेफिकर
काफिर कौम कपूत! पकडूँ राण प्रताप सी

[If for the protection of dharma had rANA sAMgA gone to clash with bAbUr
It is for the same reason that pratApa does not give in to Akbar
Akbar’s mind is carefree and strong seeing the prevailing disunity among the Hindus
But even he knows that amongst Kafirs these are the black sheep; So he goes after Pratap]

Once a rumour was spread in Agra that mahArANA was willing to accept Akbar’s overlordship and had sent such communication to Patsah. Alarmed about this, a rAjpUt prince of bIkAner, Rai Prithviraj who was at Akbar’s court, wrote to pratApa seeking the truth of the matter. He wrote:

पातल जो पातसाह बोलै मुख हूता बयण
मिहर पच्छम दिस माह उगै कासप राववत
पटकूँ मुच्छाँ पाण कै पटकूँ निज तन करद
लीजै लिख दीवान इण दो महली बात इक

[I have been told that pratApa has started calling Akbar his Patsah,
which to me seems as impossible as the Sun rising from the west
But tell me O Regent (of EkaliMga) where I stand –
Shall I proudly put my fingers on my moustaches or sword on my neck?
Just write back which of the two is for me?]

To which pratApa siMha wrote back the below lines which are proudly memorised by every true Rajput:

तुरक कहासी मुख पतो इण तन सौं इकलिंग
ऊगै जाहीं ऊगसी प्राची बीच पतङ
खुसी हूँत पीतल कमध पटको मूच्छा पाण
पछटन है जेतै पटौ कलमा सिर केवाण
सांगा मूड सहै सको समजस जहर सवाद
झड पीतल जीतो झलाँ वैण तरकसूँ वाद

[By Lord Ekalinga, I shall call Akbar Turak alone (and not Patsah),
as surely as the Sun would rise tomorrow from the East.
You may, O Prithviraj, continue proudly stroking your moustaches
As pratApa’s sword continues to dangle on the Mughal heads, and,
Let the Sanga’s blood be on my hands if I ever rest before crushing them
You would, Prithvi, no doubt, have the better of this quarrel of rumours at the court.]

When the news of pratApa’s death reached Akbars court, it is said that Akbar mourned for his death (so say also the persian sources). At this, a rAjasthAnI poet at Akbar’s court expressed his homage to pratApa like this:

अस लैगो अनदाग पाघ लैगो अणनामी
गौ आडा अवडाय जिको बहतो धुर बामी
नवरोजे नह गयो न गो आतसाँ नवल्ली
न गओ झरोखा हेठ दुनियाण दहल्ली
गहलोता राणा जीती गयो दसन मून्द रसना डसी
निसास मूक भरिया नयन मृतु शाह प्रतापसी !

[Kept his horses unbranded (of mughal seal), Head unbowed and fame untarnished
Carried on his fight against vidharmI yoke merely by his singular fortitude
Never went to Navroz and Atish festivals of Patsah nor mounted guard at his jharokha darshan
O rANA the guhilota! The victory be yours. Even in death you make Patsah speechless and blind
Breathless, Patsah’s tongue is stuck in throat and blinded, as his eyes are moistened from sadness]

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October 30, 2009

bhUShaNa: sivAjI na hoto tau sunnati hota sabakI

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

देवल गिरावते फिरावते निसान अली ऐसे डूबे राव राने सबी गये लबकी
गौरागनपति आप औरन को देत ताप आप के मकान सब मारि गये दबकी
पीरा पयगम्बरा दिगम्बरा दिखाई देत सिद्ध की सिधाई गई रही बात रबकी
कासिहू ते कला जाती मथुरा मसीद होती सिवाजी न होतो तौ सुनति होत सबकी

सांच को न मानै देवीदेवता न जानै अरु ऐसी उर आनै मैं कहत बात जबकी
और पातसाहन के हुती चाह हिन्दुन की अकबर साहजहां कहै साखि तबकी
बब्बर के तिब्बर हुमायूं हद्द बान्धि गये दो मैं एक करीना कुरान बेद ढबकी
कासिहू की कला जाती मथुरा मसीद होती सिवाजी न होतो तौ सुनति होत सबकी

कुम्भकर्न असुर औतारी अवरंगज़ेब कीन्ही कत्ल मथुरा दोहाई फेरी रबकी
खोदि डारे देवी देव सहर मोहल्ला बांके लाखन तुरुक कीन्हे छूट गई तबकी
भूषण भनत भाग्यो कासीपति बिस्वनाथ और कौन गिनती मै भूली गति भव की
चारौ वर्ण धर्म छोडि कलमा नेवाज पढि सिवाजी न होतो तौ सुनति होत सबकी

When temples were demolished by those marching under nishAn-i-alI [1], rAvals-rANA-s had been tamed and every Hindu intimidated
When foresaken by gaura-gaNapatau themselves, the Hindus becoming timid were afraid even to come out from their homes
When renouncing their siddhi, siddha-s and digambara-s were happy to become pIra and paigambara, and talk was heard only of ‘raba’
kAshI was losing its kalA, mathurA becoming a masjid, and everyone was about to lose his foreskin, had shivAjI not been born!

All hearts were deluded, and faith in deities evaporated, such were the days that I speak of
Akbar the earlier pAtisAh had shown regard for the Hindus, even shAhajahAn will bear witness to it
The grandson of bAbur[2], and also humAyUn, had follwed the policy of not allowing the creed of Qoran to consume up the sacred religion of the veda-s
But now? kAshI was losing its kalA, mathurA becoming a masjid, and all were about to lose their foreskin, had shivAjI not happened!

Awrangzib, the very devil incarnated, the perpetrator of the genocide of mathurA in name of ‘Rab’
When he was uprooting abodes of devI-s and deva-s, and converting millions upon millions to mahomedanism across the cities and mohalla-s, have you forgotten that day?
bhUShana had thought that even mahAdeva, the Lord of kAshI, had fled away renouncing the world to its own, counts who else!
All four varNa-s were about to renounce dharma to read kalamA and do namAz and everyone was ready to lose his foreskin, had shivAjI not happened right then, that is!

Notes:
[1]nishAn-i-alI, also known as the nishAn-i-haydar, is today the highest award of military honour in terrorist country.
[2]bhUShaNa uses the epithet ‘babbara ke tibbara’, we think for Akbar. ‘tibbar’ can be from trivara, and might be used for ‘third one’, ‘third time’, ‘third generation’, or grandson.

July 9, 2009

A Homosexual turned Bhakta

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

kahA kahUM ratiyA kI kathA batiyA kahi Avata hai na kacHU rI
Ayi gopAla liyo bhari a~Nka kiyo mana bhAya piyo rasa kU rI
tAhI dinA soM gaDI aMkhiyAM rasakhAni mere a~Nga a~Nga me pUrI
pai na dikhA.i parai aba bAvari dai ke biyoga bithA kI majUrI
(prema-vATikA.114)

{How do I describe that night dear, for words are escaping my tongue;
gopAla came, took me in his embrace, did what he liked, and we tasted the nectar;
And since that day, as if every pore of rasakhAn’s body has become eyes, waiting for him –
As he has not returned since, and I am left with this gift of his, this madness, this pain, this agony…}

The recent discussions on homosexuality brought to our mind that great poet of braja-bhAShA, Syed Ibrahim Piyani turned vaiShNava sAdhu rasakhAna, for whom his homosexuality itself had become the vehicle to reach kR^iShNa-devotion.

There are of course many unknown things about rasakhAna, including his parentage and early life, and we have no intentions to go into much of those details, in brief what stands almost certain from internal evidence of his own writings is that he was a homosexual, was a paThAna, used to live in dillI, and most scholars of Hindi history consider him a contemporary of Akbar. We however feel that he was an old man by the time of Akbar, and must have rather seen those times when himU had suppressed the last of Afghans and was crowned in dillI. (We have seen some hints of its mention in a couple of his lines, but that will require more analysis.)

The vaiShNava hagiography by gokuladAsa called ‘dosaibAvana vaiShNavan kI vArtA’ (Discussion on 252 vaiShNava-s) recounts the life of rasakhAna, and provides some details about rasakhAna’s homosexual beginning and how through it he turned to devotion. Reproduced below is the relevant part of the prose (#218):

“so vA dillI me eka sAhUkAra rahato hato | so vA sAhUkAra ko beTo baDo sundara hato vA cHoro so rasakhAna ko mana laga gayo | vAhI ke pIcHe phiryA karai vAko jhUTo khAve ATha pahara vAhI kI naukarI karai |… eka dina chAra vaishnava milaki bhagvadvArtA karate hate | karate karate aisI bAta nikasI jo prabhu me aisa lagAvanA jaise chitta sAhUkAra ke beta me lagyo hai…”

In summary, he used to live in dillI and been in homosexual relationship with a certain vaishya’s son, with whom he used to spend day and night and the story of their scandalous affaire was well known in the town. Once he was passing by a group of vaishnava sAdhu-s and got curious overhearing their discussion. (One sAdhu said that one must develop love for the Lord like this paThAna loves that vaishya boy). His curiosity drew him to them and when he asked he was shown a picture of kR^iShNa in shrI-nAtha form (some other descriptions mention it in muralI-manohara form, although little difference it makes). The image was so attractive that rasakhAna’s heart was immediately struck by its beauty, and he fell in love, as rasakhAna himself says in one of the dohA-s recorded in prema-vATikA: ‘prema-deva kI cHabi lakhi, bhaye miyA rasakhAna’ – one glance at the image of the Lord of Love, and miyA became rasakhAna.

He then visited vR^indAvana, and started roaming around in the company of vaiShNava vairAgI-s, eventually taking dIkShA in puShTi mata from the son of famous vallabhAchArya, composing and singing love songs for his new love, and eventually becoming the famous rasakhAna. His poems are mostly in the savaiyyA meter, and present an entirely unique strain of devotion. Above all, one can find such expressions in his work that would easily remind one of his homosexual beginnings.

It seems Moslems did not take kindly to his conversion, and some complained against him with the emperor (Akbar?), although there is no mention of any persecution of rasakhAna except for this line that he wrote: “kahA karai rasakhAna ko ko.U chugala-labAra | jo pai rAkhana-hAra hai mAkhana-chAkhana-hAra” (What harm can these petitioners bring to rasakhAna, for his protector is now none lesser than kR^iShNa himself.)

According to janaShRuti, towards the end of his life he once heard a recitation of rAma-charita-mAnasa (which must have been composed just recently by young tulasIdAsa), and took to its reading and hearing very lovingly.

His immortal, famous last-wish:

mAnusa hauM tau vahI rasakhAna basauM mili gokula gaoM ke gvArana
jo pasu hauM tau kahA basu mero charauM nita nanda kI dhenu majhArana
pAhana hauM tau vahI giri kau jo dharyo kara cHatra purandara kArana
jo khaga hauM tau basero karauM mili kAlindI kUla kadamba kI DArana

(If reborn as a human, then wish to be reborn as rasakhAna, living among those shepherds of gokula;
And if I have to be reborn as an animal, for what control do I have in it, then wish to be born as a cow that would graze together with the cows of nanda;
And if I be sent as a stone, then let me be on that hill, which my Lord picked up due to the wrath of purandara;
And if I become a bird, then I wish I shall make home on the branches of those kadamba trees that grow on the banks of holy yamunA)

bhAratendu records about rasakhAna in his uttara-bhaktamAla, and counting him among other moslem-turned-Hindu devotees, he ecstatically concludes: “ina musalmAna harijanan pai koTina hinduna vAriye”: (the gain of such hari-jana musalmAns makes cheaper to me the loss of a million Hindus.)

June 12, 2009

bhUShaNa: chaNDI grows fat!

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

dADhi ke rakhaiyan kI DADhi sI rahati cHAti bADhI marjAda jasa hadda hinduvAne kI!!
kaDhi gaI raiyati ke mana kI kasaka saba miTi gaI Thasaka tamAma turakAne kI!!
bhUShaNa bhanata dilIpati dila dhakadhakA suni suni dhAka sivarAja mardAne kI!!
moTI bhayI chaNDI binu-choTI ke chabAya sIsa khoTI bhaI sampati chakatA ke gharAne kI!!

Chests of the bearded fellows burn like bonfire, such now are growing the bounds of the Hindu Nation!!
Hopes of people are all answered, such is being demolished the vainglory of the turuShka-s!!
bhUShaNa says this hearing the hartbeat of the dillI-king in awe of shivA the manly —
Overfed chaNDI grows fat chewing the shikhA-less heads, and lays in waste the wealth of the house of chakatA (moghuls)!!

veda rAkhe vidita purAna rAkhe sArayuta rAmanAma rAkhyo ati rasanA sughara mai!!
hindun kI choTI roTI rAkhI hai sipahiyan kI kAndhe mai janeu rAkhyo mAlA rAkhI gara mai!!
mIDi rAkhe mugal maroDa rAkhe pAtasAh bairI pIsi rAkhyo varadAna rAkhyo kara mai!!
rAjan kI hadda rAkhI tega bala sivarAja deva rAkhe devala svadharma rAkhyo ghara mai!!

Protected the veda-s renowned, and the essence of purANa-s, keeping the name of rAma at your worthy tongue;
Protected the shikhA of Hindus, and empoy of the warriors, keeping yaj~nopavIta on your shoulder and a mAlA in neck;
Kept mughals wrenched, pAtishAha writhed, and crushed all enemies, with the divine-boon in your hand;
Blessed be you and empowered your sword O shivarAja rAjan, that the deities are protected in temples and swadharma in homes.

December 31, 2008

sarajA shivAjI rAma hI ko avatAru hai [shivarAja-bhUShaNa 166]

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

…and rAma setu also finds mention in the annals from the pen of the favourite poet of cHatrapati shivAjI.

In this clever kavitta, with a marvelous turn of phrases, our king of poets bhUShaNa churns out a dual-meaning (shleSha) poem.  On one hand, he offers a description of rAmachandra, and on the other that of shivAjI’s, and in the last line equates the two.  Here is the kavitta in manaharaNa meter variety:

सी-ता संग सोभित सुलच्छ्न सहाय जाके
…भू पर भरत नाम भाई नीति चारु है
भूषन भनत कुल-सूर कुल-भूषन हैं
…दासरथी सब दास जाके भुज भुव भारु है
अरि-लँक तोर जोर जाके संग बन्दर हैं
…सिन्धु रहैं बान्धे जाके दल को न पारु है
तेगहि कै भेंटै जौन राकस मरद जानै
…सरजा सिवाजी राम ही को अवतारु हैं !!

The two different meanings are in the subsequent lines in different colours:

Whose presence is ever embellished by Sita by His side and graced by lakShamaNa to His assistance
Whose side shrI never leaves, and who is always assisted by the generals of good lakShaNa
Whose brother named bharata is always eager to spreads benevolence on earth in his name
Whose name this earth takes with affection as a “bhartA”, the nourisher
Says bhUShaNa, He Who is the real crown-jewel of all sUrya-kula
Says bhUShaNa, He Who is the real crown-jewel of all shUra-s (braves)
That son of dasharatha, whose arms are supporting the weight of entire earth
In whose service are valorous rathI-s (Lieutenants) to support the weight of the kingdom
To fame of whose might is destruction of laMkA in collaboraton with vAnara-s
Who breaks the very back of the enemy, such are whose mighty arrows
Who even constructed a bridge over ocean, whose army has no count
At doors of whose forts are always dwelling elephants, whose army has no count
Who knows how to slay rAkShasa-s when encountered
The Very embodiment of manliness who meets his enemies only with his sword
That shivAjI, the Lionheart, says bhUShaNa, is none other than another incarnation of rAmachandra!

Do notice the turn of words… “sindhu rahain bAndhe” means ‘constructed setubandha’ and since sindura also means elephant, the phrase becomes “sindhura hain bAndhe”, ‘Elephants are tied’ too!  Likewise, “marada” while means ‘slaying’ in one sense, but also ‘Manliness’ in the second…

It is not without a reason that bhUShaNa has always left us mesmerized!

December 30, 2008

cHUTyo hai hulAsa… [shivarAja bhUShaNa 150]

by Sarvesh K Tiwari

Words of fire from kavirAja bhUShaNa have always held us captivated since the days of boyhood.  Whenever we heard from our teachers and elders, his terse cHappaya or kavitta in unadulterated braja, we were quickly transported to some other world with our heartbeats accelerated and those hormones further soaring that run high during youth.  Our childhood memories associate bhUShaNa with one of our AchArya-s in school who used to teach us hindI and saMskR^ita, and who transmitted this contagious bhUShaNa-fascination to many of us.

This magnum-opus, shivarAja-bhUShaNa, the fiery poetic annals of the life of the cHatrapati founder of the hindavI swarAja written by bhUShaNa, his contemporary, appears to have quickly lost out these days in popularity, probably since his kliShTa braja is hard to understand even for an average speaker of Hindi, what to say of non-Hindi speakers, in this age when all our languages, indeed the whole cultural continuum, seems to be suffering a major, lasting, and deliberate disruption. While we can do little about that, what we shall do for our own pleasure is to reproduce and translate in English, some of these words, although we are not upto the task to preserve even to a small fraction, the original fire that the lines of bhUShaNa radiate.

So, here goes the first episode (in no particular order of SB):

छूट्यो है हुलास आमखास एक संग छूट्यो
…हरम सरम एक संग बिनु ढंग ही
नैनन तें नीरधीर छूट्यो एक संग छूट्यो
…सुखरुचि मुखरुचि त्यों ही मनरंग ही
भूषण बखानै सिवराज मरदाने तेरी –
…धाक बिललाने न गहत बल अंग ही
दक्खिन के सूबा पाय दिली के अमीर तजें
…उत्तर की आस जीव आस एक संग ही ॥
(SB.150, ‘sahokti’ alaMkAra in kavitta meter of the ‘manaharaNa’ vareity)

With all excitement evaporated; matters of palace and forts interest no more;
Harem and chivalry have suddenly lost meaning;
Pride has left the glances so also bravery the heart;
Tastes and Pleasures, ‘ve all dried up; face paled…
O shivarAja, how should bhUShaNa speak of your manliness!
Effect of your terror is such, that
No boastfulness (of their bravery, by their bards) brings life back to the Amirs of Delhi,
When ordered to march to the Southern Provinces,
Indeed cease both at once: hopes of ever returning back to the North, and desire of life!

The poem describes the terror of the founder of marahaTTA nation in the hearts of the Imperial officers of Delhi, when they hear about their posting in the South.

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