इस पर भी खूब तालियाँ पिटीं और विदेशी विशेषज्ञ भी मान गए कि हमें कोई कुछ नहीं सिखा सकता
We often find Mahatma Gandhi’s photographs wth his charkha (spinning wheel). Charkha was his revolutionary idea. What was his thoughts behind the charakha movement?
Mahatma Gandhi himself had written about it in magazine Young India in issue dated 21.08.1924. This article titled “Waste of Energy?” was written in order to address criticism on his hand-spinning movement. Let us get a glimpse of Gandhi’s mind.
Waste of Energy? – by Mahatma Gandi
A friend has invited my attention to an article in the Welfare of May last which is an examination by Mr. M. N. Roy of Acharya Ray’s address at the opening of the khaddar exhibition at Cocanada. The copy has been lying among my papers for fully two months. I am sorry that I have not been able to read the article before now. Having read it I feel that Mr. Roy’s refutation of Dr. Ray’s contentions has been often refuted in these pages. But as readers have short memories, it is perhaps as well for me to re-state the arguments in a connected form. Dr. Ray’s critic considers that all the effort made on behalf of the charkha is “a waste of energy”. The central point in Dr. Ray’s argument is that the charkha has a message specially for the peasant in that it enables him to utilize his idle hours. The critic contends that the peasant has not any idle hours to utilize. What leisure he has, he needs. If he is idle for four months, it is because he has over-worked himself for eight months and that if he is made to work the four months at the wheel, his efficiency for eight months’ work will deteriorate from year to year. In other words, according to the critic, the nation has no leisure for the charkha.
It appears to me that the critic has little if any experience of the peasantry of India . Nor has he been able to picture to himself the way the charkha would work, and indeed is working today. The peasantry does not need to slave at the charkha. It affords a pleasant variety and recreation after hard toil. As a permanent institution, it is presented to the women of India . They will spin during odd moments. If the majority of the toilers were to give on an average half an hour per day they would spin enough yarn for themselves and to spare for the rest. Such worker would add to his or her income at least Rs. 1-11-0 per year—not a bad addition to the income of a starving person. It is admitted that there are enough handlooms and weavers today in India to weave all the cloth we may require. The only question is therefore that of hand-spinning. If the peasantry would take to it, the problem could be solved without any great outlay of capital, of India becoming self-supporting for her cloth. This would mean at least sixty million
rupees circulating among the millions of spinners and thousands of carders and weavers of India working in their own cottages and to that extent raising the earning capacity of the peasantry.
It is the experience all the world over that peasants need a subsidiary occupation to supplement their earnings or occupy their leisure hours. It must not be forgotten that not very long ago India ’s women spun during spare hours all the yarn it required. Revival of spinning has demonstrated the truth of the statement in a most striking manner. It is an error to suppose that the movement has failed. The workers have indeed partly failed. But wherever they have done their work well, it has continued. It is true that it has not yet acquired stability. This is because of incomplete organization and also because the spinners are not yet sure of being steadily employed. I invite Mr. Roy to study the conditions in the Punjab , Karnatak, Andhra, parts of Tamilnad and he will find out for himself what possibilities spinning has.
India is a land of famines. Is it better that men and women should break stones, or card and spin? Through chronic famine conditions, the people of Orissa have been reduced to beggary. It is the most difficult thing now even to make them work. They are slowly dying out. Revival of spinning is their only hope.
Mr. Roy lays stress upon improved agriculture. This is neces- sary. But spinning is not to replace the contemplated improvement. On the contrary it will herald it. This improvement has tremendous difficulties in its way. We have to surmount the unwillingness of the Government, the want of capital and the obstinate refusal of the peasant to take to new methods. What is claimed for spinning is that
1. it supplies the readiest occupation to those who have leisure and are in want of a few coppers;
2. it is known to the thousands;
3. it is easily learnt;
4. it requires practically no outlay of capital;
5. the wheel can be easily and cheaply made. Most of us do not yet know that spinning can be done even with a piece of tile and a splinter;
6. the people have no repugnance to it;
7. it affords immediate relief in times of famine and scarcity;
8. it alone can stop the drain of wealth which goes outside India in the purchase of foreign cloth;
9. it automatically distributes the millions thus saved among the deserving poor;
10. even the smallest success means so much immediate gain to the people;
11. it is the most potent instrument of securing co-operation among the people.
The difficulties in the way are want of faith among the middle- classes which alone can supply the required number of workers. The greater difficulty still is the disinclination of the people to take to khaddar in the place of the fine-looking mill-made cloth. The dearness of khaddar during the transition stage is an additional difficulty. If the people respond to the spinning resolution in sufficient numbers, khaddar can be made to compete with mill-made cloth . There is no doubt that the movement does require for its success a little sacrifice on the part of the people. Even this direct sacrifice will not be necessary if we had our own Government mindful of the wants of the peasants and determined to protect them against foreign competition. Voluntary sacrifice for a time by the middle- class can do that the Government would do if it was national.
There is no question of waste of energy. Have the thousands of our sisters, to whom Dr. Ray was previously giving doles of charity and is now giving honourable employment and making them partly or wholly self-supporting, wasted their energy? They have no other occupation save that of begging or starving. Is it waste of energy for young men to be going to the villages, studying their wants, feeling for them and helping them onward? Is it waste of energy for thousands of well-to-do young men and women to think of the poor half-fed millions and for their sakes to set apart half an hour religiously to spinning on their behalf? If one man or woman spins for a few pice, when he or she has no other occupation, it is so much gain; if one man or woman spins as a sacrifice, it is also so much gain. If there is one activity in which it is all gain and no loss, it is hand- spinning.
Today morning when I left for office, the weather looked pleasant. From last fifteen days or so, sun was scorching hot. It was so hot that birds dropped on earth from the middle of their flight and died immediately, I heard. Some sensitive guys had started keeping water in earthen pot in verandah and on doors for these poor animals and birds. Thank God, today the weather was all set for a pleasant change; at least it showed promise for it. Mercifully, the weather changed and it changed really quick. Dark coloured clouds just appeared from nowhere and covered the whole sky. Stormy wind which was also surprisingly cool painted the stage refreshingly and subsided in background, leaving the scene to be controlled by first drizzle of the season.
I purposefully kept window of the car open while I drove. Drizzle pushed by soft air touched my face and refreshed me. How gently it touched me, as if I was a delicate flower! The touch swept me away years back in the past. It was so close to the touch of my mother’s finger on my chin, while she used to comb my wet hair at time of dressing me up for school.
Rains are so beautiful. It renews everything and infuses refreshing music in the tired environment. It washes off dust from trees and gives them a saturated colour. Roads are washed, as if some monarch is to tread on them. Buildings are washed in preparedness of coming festivals. Plants and many new flowers sprout from here and there. Birds chirp joyfully. Crickets sing to give mystical touch to the darkness in night. The things around us which cannot move look so contented and happy just being there and that which can move looks so joyful and agile. As if nature has turned into a cobra which has just shed its old skin and is looking so fresh and mesmerizing.
In evening, when I came out of office I found it was still raining although very slowly. In fact it had rained for the whole day. This was not a heavy pouring, but a slow and steady rain with cool breeze. The continuity had brought very welcome coldness in the climate. When I turned my car from main road and took a left turn I noticed people have gathered at Budhan Chaiwalla ’s shop and enjoying the change in weather with sip of tea. It was not very late today in the office and I thought I can spare some time for a refreshing tea even if it meant a repeat cup at home.
“Ek chai” I asked Budhan.
“Budhan, you must be happy on this change in weather. Your earnings must have been increase ten folds.” Someone quipped.
Budhan could not suppress his smile. After some thoughts he replied –“Of course, my sales increases in rainy season and winter but it also brings some unwelcome expenses for me. I am afraid now my roof will start leaking and I will have to get that mended.”
“How nice it could have been if it continued raining. Many a times this rain shows a glimpse and then vanishes for long. Today this is such a nice weather and tomorrow we may find ourselves again in pinching summer.” Someone said sipping his tea.
“Bhai , rain should fall with discipline. The first rain should be just enough to make the fields soft to plough. Then it should fall in next installment a little much in quantity so that we can sow our seeds. Then it should stop for some days giving opportunity for seeds to sprout. After that it may fall in full swing and we would re-plant our crops and hope for a good harvest. Uncontrolled rain from the onset brings bad luck.” A person, who must be a farmer, objected to the wishful thinking. I had heard that Indian agriculture was heavily dependent on monsoon but I understood that good monsoon meant heavy rains. This discipline in monsoon was a new discovery for me. I was trying to understand the monsoon, suddenly a speeding motorbike passes honking coarsely. The arrogant wheels scattered muddy water from road and before I could move away some of it landed on my pants.
“Why these idiot teenagers drive so recklessly?” I fumed inside, “They begets accidents for themselves as well as for other. They perhaps think that some girl on road or from some roof would see them driving like that and fell in love with them. Fools! If government becomes a little strict then 90% driving license will get cancelled.”
While I was cursing dilly-dally traffic discipline, I noticed my own car was not parked correctly, at least it was not parked exactly according to a traffic manual, if there was any.
I paid to Budhan and moved ahead. Another cup of hot tea welcomed me at home. I strolled in my balcony sipping tea and watching lovely movement of milky-white and powdered rain drops which was dancing on tune of friendly tug of war between eastern and western wind.
“I love you, rains. I hope you may manage a delicate balance; a balance so that I get enough joy of your beauty, that farmer gets correct amount of water to raise his crops and Budhan gets an opportunity to skip this years expenses on roof mending by moving his cot and other belongings a little from here to there in his room.” I wished.
Yesterday, I was taking lunch when my son came and started playing at the dining table. He was playing with bowl and glass. Then he dragged me in the game and asked me to tell him in which item tomato was hiding – in glass or in bowl. Like all little children, he learns such tricks from his friends- either from real life friends or from friends of animation serials. Having not much interest in this child’s play, just to amuse him I said – “in bowl”. He lifted the bowl. I was wrong. There was no tomato in the bowl. I continued taking my food. Also, my mind was engaged somewhere else, but the magic-game continued. My son moved the bowl and glass from left to right, up and down then round –round and again came the question. This time, I replied –“Glass”. It was not there, again. Game continued. I choose Glass again, after all probability is something and sticking to same answer seemed to me correct in blind games like this one. But I was wrong again. My son was elated. My wife sitting on the adjacent chair laughed. Now, the game drew my attention. I concentrated on the movement of the utensils. “Bowl” –I made a guess this time. I was wrong nonetheless, but this time I kept concentrating. My son lifted the bowl to show me that there was no tomato under it but he had not lifted the Glass. So tomato was lying under the Glass. He continued but now I was relaxed. The puzzle was solved. “Glass” I said this time and retired to a winner’s body language. Glass was lifted, and lo, it was empty. My son and wife laughed. I was puzzled. Then my son lifted both utensils and ended the game. There was no tomato. Neither under the Glass nor under the Bowl. The tomato was lying near the jug which my son lifted and started eating. It was out of both boxes.
So, is this the all much talked-about game of “thinking out of box”? If God play such games with us then I pray- may He grow up someday…
Antariksh bhi nahin, aakaash bhi nahin thaa
chhipaa thaa kyaa, kahaan, kisne dhakaa thaa
us pal to agam, atal jal bhi kahaan thaa
Kartaa hain vaa akartaa
Oonche aakash mein rahtaa
Sadaa adhyaksh banaa rahtaa
Wohin sach mooch mein jaantaa..Yaa nahin bhi jaanata
Hain kisi ko nahin pataa
This poem composed by Vanraj Bhatia for Shyam Benegal’s TV serial was actually translation of 1st and 7th verse respectively of 129th Hymn of the 10th Book of Rig Veda. This Rig Vedic hymn was composed by Rishi Parmesthi Prajapati and it talks about the origin of the universe. Yes, this musing about the puzzle of universe has a history, which extends up to the RigVeda age!
This hymn is known as Nasadiya Sukta, having got its name from the first word of the hymn i.e. Nasadasinno. The hymn contains total 7 verses. Let us go through it. We will see two translations of each verse, one by Ralf Griffith and other by Swami Vivekanand. Griffith’s translation of Rig Veda is widely used, whereas Swami Vivekanand’s translation is necessary to understand meaning of verses from Indian line of thinking, of which western translators are not supposed to have a correct understanding always.
nasadasinno sadasittadanim | nasidrajo no vyoma paro yat |
kimavarivah kuhakasya sharmann | ambhah kimasidgahanam gabhiram \\1||
Existence was not then, nor non-existence,
The world was not, the sky beyond was neither.
What covered the mist? Of whom was that?
What was in the depths of darkness thick?
Then was not non-existent nor existent : there was no realm of air no sky above it.
What covered in, and where ? and what gave shelter? Was water their, anfathomed depth of water.
na mrutyurasidamrutam na tarhi | na ratrya ahna asitpraketah |
anidavatam svadhaya tadekam | tasmaddhanyannaparah ki~jchanasa || 2 ||
Death was not then, nor immortality,
The night was neither separate from day,
But motionless did That vibrate
Alone, with Its own glory one-—Beyond That nothing did exist.
Death was not then, nor was then aught immortal, no sign was there, the day and night divider.
That one thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.
tama asittamasa guhlamagre praketam | salilam sarvamaidam |
tuchchenabhvapihitam yadasit | tamasastanmahina jayataikam || 3 ||
At first in darkness hidden darkness lay,
Undistinguished as one mass of water,
Then That which lay in void thus covered
A glory did put forth by Tapah!
Darkness there was : at first concealed in darkness, all this was indiscriminate chaos.
All that existed then was void and formless: by the great power of warmth was born that Unit.
kamastadagre samavartatadhi | manaso retah prathamam yadasit |
sato bandhumasati niravindanna | hrudi pratishya kavayo manisha || 4 ||
First desire rose, the primal seed of mind,
(The sages have seen all this in their hearts
Sifting existence from non-existence.)
Its rays above, below and sideways spread.
Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire the primal seed and germ of spirit.
Sages who searched with their heart’s thought discovered the existent’s kinship in the non existent.
tirashchino vitato rashmireshamadhah | svidasi duparisvidasi |
retodha asanmahiman asanna | svadho avastat prayatih parastat || 5 ||
Creative then became the glory,
With self-sustaining principle below.
And Creative Energy above.
Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above in then, and what below it?
There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder
ko addha veda ka iha pravochat | kut ajata kut iyam visrushtih |
arvagdeva asya visarjanaya | atha ko veda yata ababhuva || 6 ||
Who knew the way? Who there declared
Whence this arose? Projection whence?
For after this projection came the gods.
Who therefore knew indeed, came out this whence?
Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?
The Gods are later than this world’s production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?
iyam visrushtiryata ababhuva | yadi va dadhe yadi va na |
yo asyadhyakshah parame vyomann | so amga veda yadi va na veda || 7 ||
This projection whence arose,
Whether held or whether not,
He the ruler in the supreme sky, of this
He, O Sharman! knows, or knows not He perchance!
He, the first origin of the creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,
Whoes eyes control this world in the highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps knows not.
Let us see, without going deep in philosophy, what are the minimum points which we can extract from the Sukta.
1. Apparent universe was not there initially (ref :existence was not there, verse1)
2. Sky and Sky-beyond (antariksha) was not present (ref : verse1)
2. But something was present (ref : non-existence was also not there, verse1)
3. That something was infinitely dense (ref :gahanam-gamphiram, last word of verse 1)
4. Apart from that “something” there was absolutely nothing. (ref :verse 2)
5. That un-understandable was hidden in unknown way (ref : Darkness there was : at first concealed in darkness, verse 3)
6. Whatever that “something” was that was void and formless. (ref : verse 3)
7. Due to HEAT it came into being (ref : verse 3). i.e. The Universe had in fact a “beginning”.
8. Then due to DESIRE, universe started unfolding. (ref : Verse 4)
9. Gods came only after the existence came into being (ref : verse 6).
10. It is not known, whether there was a creator or it came into being on its own, randomly. (ref : Verse 7)
11. After giving these clues, a Great Doubt has been expressed by the rishi, that whether the puzzle of existence would be solved at all. (ref : verse 6 and 7)
After getting a glimpse of what the ancient seers thought about origin of universe, it is interesting to know about our understanding on the issue in current times especially after remarkable developments in the field of science. After many discoveries in the field of astronomy, in 1929 Edwin Hubble made a wonderful observation that all galaxies are moving away from us. From this observation it has been deducted that universe is expanding and, as it is expanding, once upon a time, it is calculated to be 13.7 billion years ago, the Universe started expanding from infinitesimally small state. This is Big-Bang theory, the most acceptable scientific theory of origin of universe.
Let us give a glance on main premise and findings of the Big Bang Theory-
1. There was a “beginning” of our Universe.
2. It started from infinitesimally small, infinitely hot and infinitely dense state. This state has been given a name – “singularity”.
3. After coming into existence, it started expanding and is expanding till date.
4. From where “singularity” came, why it came, where it appeared etc is unknown.
5. The singularity did not appeared in space, as space was not there in beginning. In fact, space began inside the “singularity”. Before singularity there was nothing- neither space, nor time, nothing.
As neither Nasadiya Sukta nor Big Bang Theory claims to have solved the mystery of the creation of the Universe, rather Nasadiya Sukta expresses a big doubt that whether we would ever be able to solve the mystery, when it expresses “perhaps even He known not (verse 7)”, the quest will be on. But what is really interesting is the convergence of thoughts of Rig Vedic rishis and modern scientist in the quest, despite adopting radically different methodologies and despite being separated by a time span of 10,000 years. Also, how wonderful is the proclamation in a religious book that “God was created after the creation of Universe”!
Is Earth, the centre of Universe? Perhaps it is at least 400 years late to ask this question. In first decade of 17th Century, Galileo constructed telescope and started observing the space. Of course, Galileo was not inventor of telescope but he constructed his own telescope known as Galileo Telescope. His was the first telescope which could be used to observe stars. His observations revealed that other planets are not orbiting Earth. With this we came to know the humbling truth that Earth is just an ordinary member of the cosmos.
Actually, 100 years before Galileo, Copurnicus presented the idea that it is actually Sun which is at the centre, and other planets do orbit it. Copurnicus circulated his ideas secretly and anonymously to avoid the wrath of Church. The idea was a blasphemy in those days.
Long back ago, Aristotle enlightened the human race with his contemplations, which told us that Earth is at the centre of the universe and Sun, Moon, other planets and stars move in circular path around it. Human race carried this knowledge for around 2000 years, till Galileo, Copurnicus etc started giving proofs in contrary to the idea. The theory was later augmented and strengthened by Ptolemy, who identified spheres of planets around Earth. According to Ptolemy Model of Universe, Earth was at the centre, then there was sphere of Moon, then in sequence were spheres of Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. After that was sphere of stars. Three other planets viz. Uranus, Naptune and Pluto were not known in those days.
Very recently, in the beginning years of 20th century, scientists discovered that our solar system is a part of vast assembly of stars. It was the discovery of first galaxy, our own galaxy named as Milky Way. This galaxy contains many billions stars. Sun was just an ordinary star in the galaxy. Soon, along with development in field of telescope more and more other galaxies started revealing themselves to us. As of now, Hubble Space Telescope, most sophisticated telescope constructed till date, has observed 3000 billion visible galaxies. Yes 3000 billion! And, as this number is increasing this is not the final figure. Mind blowing vastness, is not it! Our solar system, comprising of Sun at the centre and planets including Earth orbiting it, is located in an uncelebrated corner of our galaxy. Forget Earth, not even our total solar system gives any impression of being at the centre of our galaxy. And our Galaxy in turn does not seem to be positioned anyhow privileged among the galaxies. So, it was one of the most embarrasing thoughts to consider Earth as centre of the Universe.
But wait a minute! What may be the total area of the universe which contains 3000 billion galaxies ? Light traveling with a speed of 186000 miles /sec takes 8 minute to reach the Earth from sun. Such is the distance between Earth and Sun and when we see this distance with reference to total area of universe, it seems like placed as close as two immediate sand particles at a sea beach. Only one word can describe the stretch of our universe and that is INFINITY.
Now, as distance of infinity from any point is always infinity, any point in infinity may be considered as its centre. Of course, no point in infinity can take away privilege of any other point in infinity to be considered as centre. Now, why we cannot consider Earth as centre of this infinite universe?
After we realize the vastness of universe and our excessively tiny position in the whole set up, it becomes an obvious thought that there may be many more earths like ours and some of them must have “intelligent life” also. It is only matter of time that we find them. But, and this is a big but, if God has chosen only our Earth to be blessed with his wonderful experiments exhibited in form of ocean, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, ice, atmosphere etc and 1.5 million types of flora and fauna including that “intelligent life”, then we may be absolutely sure that the Earth is the centre of the universe!
So, we have understood also through theory of relativity that the world is MAYA. Then, is it all Maya only? When I kept thinking further, I find myself challenging the concept of Maya.
The whole concept of Maya understood through theory of Relativity is due to the presumption that an answer to the “tennis ball” question should be in static terms. If we are ready to shrug off this presumption, the puzzle itself vanishes. Take another example, “what is the exact shape of water?” When it is put in a pitcher it becomes spherical, when it is put into glass it take a shape of cone and when we throw it on floor it takes any unknown shape. We may say that the shape of water is FLUID. We take it for granted and don’t take it as Maya, because it is too common for our understanding. Since this world has been created by God (or has sprouted itself – “swaimbhu”) in a way that it exist in fluid co-ordinates of time and space (as explained by theory of relativity), it becomes very ordinary thought that there is no fixed answer to the “tennis ball problem”. Like we very clearly understand that there is no fixed shape of water.
So, we can understand the puzzle like it – this world is real and Maya is its property.
“Jagan-mithya”- the world is an illusion, is knowledge much talked about in Indian religion and philosophy. How we can refute this claim? Simple; bang your hand on a wall, the resultant pain will reveal to you that this world is real and not an illusion. Alas, the existence is not so simple. Related religious philosophy is too obscure, so I tried to understand the concept of illusion by help of theory of relativity.
Suppose, a man is sitting in a moving train and is playing with a tennis ball. He is throwing the ball perpendicularly above and catching it when it comes down. Now the train is moving with a speed of 60 km/hour i.e. 16.6 m/sec and time taken by ball in going up and coming down in the hand of the player is 2 seconds. To the man playing with ball, the ball’s movement will seem as a straight line i.e. ball is moving up and down. But to an observer who is standing in a field, the ball will travel a distance of 33.2 meter to come back in the hand of the man playing with the ball. (Train will move 33.2 meter in that 2 seconds). So, to him the ball will be moving in a wave like path.
Now add to it, the facts that earth is also moving and the speed at which earth is moving is also relative when we know that Sun, to which earth is orbiting, is also not stationery and is moving. In fact the whole universe is moving and expanding. As if this was not enough, this is also known to us that length and time is also relative. When we move with a very fast speed, say 90% of the speed of light, the length of an object in the direction of movement contracts. Again when we move with a speed 90% of the speed of light our 1 second becomes about of a duration of 10 seconds and when we move exactly with the speed of light the time stops. So, coming back to our example, what is the exact shape of the movement of the ball? There is no answer to this question. It will seem different to observers at different locations and different to the observers moving with different speeds and all of them, at the same time, are correct as well as wrong. So, our rishis were so correct when they say that this world is nothing but Maya. We have just understood this through theories of science also. When the person at the train says that ball’s movement is straight up and down he is in Maya and when the person standing out of train says the shape of movement is wave-like he is also in Maya.
Hmmm.., but before I could relax on results of my musings, 02 thoughts sprang in my mind-
1. When whole universe is moving (and is not stationery) and any location in this universe has dimensions in space and time, there is no way, till we exist in this universe, to come out of the illusion (Maya).
2. Of course, we can understand that we exist in illusion but when we cannot come out of the illusion and cannot do anything about this illusion, what is practical utility of the knowledge that we exist in Maya (illusion)!
SHIVA MANAS PUJA
(Just too good to be retained with ourselves)
Shree Adi Shankaracharya, the great exponent of Aadvaita school of philosophy, has composed many hymns in praise of God. One of them Shiva Manas Puja i.e. mental worship of Shiva, has a unique concept of playing ritualistic worship of Shiva in one’s imagination.
Saints say that your body is a temple, God is within you and worship is nothing but bhava. I found this hymn an approval to this philosophy. Just understand this hymn and sing that – closing your eyes and imagining doing just what are you singing. Oh God, a perfect puja occurs!
The hymn is as under-
manas puja (click link to read the hymn in pdf format)
शिव मानस पूजा
रत्नै: कल्पितमासनं हिमजलै: स्नानं च दिव्याम्बरं
नाना रत्न विभूषितं मृगमदामोदान्कितं चन्दनम् ।
जातीचम्पक बिल्व पत्र रचितं पुष्पं च धूपं तथा
दीपं देव दयानिधे पशुपते हृत्कल्पितम गृह्यताम् ॥
सौवर्णे नवरत्नखण्ड रचिते पात्रे घृतं पायसं
भक्ष्यं पन्च्यविधम पयोदधियुतं रम्भाफलं पानकम् ।
शाकानामयुतं जलं रुचीकरं कर्पूरखण्डोज्जवलं
ताम्बूलं मनसा मया विरचितं भक्तया प्रभो स्वीकुरु ॥
छ्त्रं चामरयोर्युगं व्यजनकं चादर्शकं निर्मलम्
वीणा भेरी मृदंगकाहलकला गीतं च नृत्यं तथा ।
साष्टांगं प्रणति: स्तुतिर्बहुविधा ह्येतत्समस्तं मया
संकल्पेन समर्पितं तव विभो पूजां गृहान प्रभो ॥
आत्मा त्वं गिरिजा मति: सहचरा: प्राणा: शरीरं गृहं
पूजा ते विषयोपभोगरचना निद्रा समाधिस्थिति: ।
संचार: पदयो: प्रदक्षिणविधि: स्त्रोताणि सर्वा गिरो
यद्यत्कर्म करोमि तत्तदखिलं शम्भो तवाराधनम् ॥
करचरणकृतं वाक्कायजम कर्मजं वा
श्रवन नयनजं वा मानसं वापराधम् ।
विहितमविहितं वा सर्वमेतत्क्षमस्व
जय जय करुणाब्धे श्री महादेव शंभो ॥
A rough translation of the hymn may be like this –
” In my mind, O lord-
I offer you a throne made of jewels
I offer you a bath of Himalaya-dew
I offer you divine clothes
I adorn you with all jewels
I offer you fragrance of musk and of sandal
I offer you belpatra and flowers
I offer you dhupam and deepam
O merciful, the lord of all being, please accept these offerings,
as I have imagined for you, in my heart.
I offer you in a vessel embedded with nine metals-
Kheera and Ghee
I offer you panchamrit made of milk, curd and all
I offer you sweets
I offer you scented water
I offer you betal nut and betel leaf
I offer you an aratee of burning camphor
O my lord please accept all these, as I have imagined for you, in my devotion.
I offer you a lifted stage
I offer you decorative fans
I offer you shining mirror
I offer you resonance of veena, bheri, mridung and of kettledrums
I offer you songs
I offer you dance
I offer you many prayers
I offer you a full prostration
O my Lord please accept these, as I have imagined for you, in my worship
O my lord
My soul is thy temple
My inclinations are thy attendants
My living body is thy abode
My indulgence is thy worship
My sleep in a deep meditation on thee
My walk is thy perambulation
My words are thy prayer
Me lord, I do whatever, is just my devotion to thee
Oh benevolent Lord, O my great Lord
Please save me from effects of all my deeds –
Which I have committed from my hand, feet and body
Which I have committed by hearing, by seeing and by thinking
Please save me from effects of all my deeds-
Auspicious and inauspicious
Oh lord Shambhu
I pray to thee.”
Sanskrit hymns have a spiritual resonance which can be felt by hearing it in voice of a practiced orator only. Shri Ramesh Bhai Oza has sung the hymn in a great manner. Listen and learn how to sing it properly before you practice this in your mind. The music file is attached to complete this nice treat of spirituality !
(Click link below to listen the hymn in voice of Shri Ramesh Bhai Oza)
While undergoing this hymn exercise, when God bless us, even for a moment, with that divine state of realizing His presence in our heart, we return to the hymn again and again, yearning for one more such moment. The taste of divine nectar is just like that !
Ratanpur, thought in state of obscurity today, was once an important seat of power. Kalchuri Kings commanded Dakshin Koshala, area covering major part of Chhattisgarh state today, from Ratanpur. Thus Ratanpur was historic capital of Chhattisgarh and as such it has an important place in history and culture of Chhattisgarh state. In fact, even before Kalachuri Kings started ruling from Ratanpur, it has its own importance of being a city having its existence in all four yuga. It was known as Manipur in Stya Yuga and Dwapar Yuga, as Heerapur in Treta Yuga, as Ratnapur in early Kaliyuga and as Ratanpur in modern times.
Ratanpur as a mythological city –
Ratanpur city has been mentioned in Ashwamedha Parva of Mahabharat has links with Ramayana and has also been mentioned in Satyanarayan Katha.
There are many mythological stories connected to Ratanpur –
a) Kapardidev, husband of Ravana’s sister Surpanakha was ruling from this place in Treta Yuga. He kidnapped devi Parvathi and consequently was killed by lord Shiva. Surpanakha wept so much on her husband’s bereavement that tears rolling from her kajal decorated eyes formed a pond of dark coloured water. This pond is known as Kajal Talab of Ratanpur.
b) This place is considered birth place of Kaushalya, mother of Lord Rama.
c) During Mahabharat period King Murdhwaj was ruler of Ratanpur. His son prince Tamradhwaj stopped the horse of Ashwamedha Yajya of Pandav King Yudhisthir and defeated great warrior Arjun in following battle.
d) Mythology also has it that the shoulder of Lord Shiva’s consort Sati fell at Ratanpur making it one of the shaktipeeths.
Ratanpur as a historical city –
Major role of Ratanpur in history started with Kalachuris. Kalachuris were one of the most prominent Rajput rulers of Medieval India. They ruled in various parts of India between 7th century to 18th Century. They had many branches. Most prominent ones are known as Kalachris of Mahismati, Kalachuris of Tripuri, Kalachris of Suryapur and Kalachuris of Ratanpur. Near 1000AD prince Kalingaraja of Tripuri branch established his capital at Tamman and thus founded Ratanpur dynasty of Kalachris. This branch of Kalachris also called themselves Haihaivavanshis. Around 1050 AD King Ratandev shifted capital of Kalchuri kingdom from Tumman to Ratanpur. Various Kings of this dynasty ruled over Dakshin-Koshala (the area now known as Chhattisgarh) for over 700 years from Ratanpur. The rulers of the dynasty was as under- Kalingraja→Kamalaraja→Ratnadev→Prithvidev→Jajjwaldev→RatnadevII etc. Among later kings Kalyan Sai was most prominent who was contemporary of Mughal King Jehangir. During their long rule Kalchuris left various powerful imprints in the area, which can be traced in and around Ratanpur.
Lets stroll around Ratanpur :
1. RATANPUR FORT :
This is entrance of the Ratanpur Fort also known as Gaja Kila. This fort was built by King Prithvi Dev.
Just after entering the gate at right side we find many sculpture carved on wall. This one is depicting a mythological story when Ravana, to appease Lord Shiva, offered his ten heads during penance. The sculpture is of 13th century AD and is made of purple sandstone.
This is Ganesh Gate of the Fort. The wall of the Gate is ornamented with a series of small size statues which was mark of almost all medieval age Rajput architecture.
Jagannath temple and Lakshmi Narayan Temple are most prominant temples of theFort. This is inside view of Laksmi Narayan Temple. Idols are of Narayana, Lakshmi and Garud. The idols are made of white marble.
This one is another temple adjacent to Lakshmi Narayan Temple.
There is no idol in this temple. Someone has stolen it. But the structure signifies the Nagar style of temple architecture prevalent in those days.
There are many structures inside the fort built in different eras, maximum portion of all of them has collapsed today and are in dilapidated conditions.
This one though also in dilapidated conditions looks imposing. Like a fort inside the fort.
In one of the palace while almost all of the structure has collapsed, these stairs has withstood the onslaught of time. The stairs are very narrow as was prevalent in forts of medieval India.
Childeren play cricket inside the fort and unknowingly damage these important ruins which has a very important place in history of Chhattisgarh.
One of those innumerable Lalits has tried to immortalise his name by scrubbing them on one of the walls of the Fort. We Indians have to go a long way before our history and civilisation could be proud of us.
The Fort is also being used as general pathway by local people and sadly this area is also being used as a public tiolet.
This remains of a huge structure is placed at the Gate of the Fort. This is supposed to be image of Kalyan Sai, one of the prominent king of the dynasty.
2. This is Budhheshwar Mahadeo Temple.
The temple was built by Prithvidev II. The linga here is swayambhu (i.e. created by nature). This linga is unique in the way that no matter how much water is poured on this linga water level does not increases. Also in summer when adjacent locality suffers from scarcity of water, level of water in linga remains constant. The priest of the temple informed that actually this is not linga but jata i.e. hair lock of shiva.
This is close up view of the Shiva Jata of Budhheshwar Mahadeo Temple.
MAHAMAYA TEMPLE –
Ratnapur is a sacred place mainly due to Mahamaya Devi temple. This is a shaktipeeth. Mythology of Shaktipeeths is that once King Daksha father-in –law of Lord Shiva observed a yajna. He invited various kings but not Lord Shiva. Sati considering it an insult of his husband jumped in sacrificial fire and died. Enraged Shiva held the charred body of Sati and started Tandav Nritya with intention to destroying the whole universe. Lord Vishnu with benevolent intention of saving the universe and bringing back Lord Shiva out of the trance threw his sudarshan chakra and cut the body of sati in pieces. These pieces fell at 51various places on the earth forming 51 shaktipeeths. It is believed that shoulder of Sati fell at Ratanpur and the area became a shaktipeeth. Ratnadev I constructed Mahamaya Temple in around 1050AD. The temple has dual idol of Mahalaksmi and Mahasaraswati in garbhagriha. The idol-duo is unique. A small idol of Mahakali is installed at back of the temple completing the sacred trio of goddesses. The temple has been a place of tantric practices from ancient time. Rise of the temple has been decorated with symbol of human skull.
Photography of the Garbhagriha of the temple is prohibited but photographs are available at internet. One of them can be viewed at http://www.mahamayaratanpur.com/photos.htm
There is a story behind shifting of Kalchuri capital from Tumman to Ratanpur. Once king Ratnadev was on a hunting expedition and was in area where Mahamaya Mandir of Ratanpur is located when night fell. As the area was a deep forest and full of wild animal the king decided to spend the night at branch of a tree rather than returning to his capital. During the night the king saw Goddess Kali holding her court with other goddesses beneath the tree. After returning to Tumman the following night the king again saw Goddess Kali in his dream and considered it as call of Goddess and decided to shift his abode from Tumman to Ratanpur. More interestingly, around 1000 years on, the tree is still traceable and is located in Mahamaya Temple complex.
to be continued……