Banda Bir – বন্দী বীর – An eulogy by Rabindranath Tagore

This poem by Rabindranath Tagore describes the uprising led by
Banda Singh Ji Bahadur  against Mughal Empire and his eventual martyrdom on 9th June 1716

Bengali Original

বন্দী বীর

পঞ্চনদীর তীরে
বেণী পাকাইয়া শিরে
দেখিতে দেখিতে গুরুর মন্ত্রে
জাগিয়া উঠেছে শিখড্ড
নির্মম নির্ভীক।
হাজার কণ্ঠে গুরুজির জয়
ধ্বনিয়া তুলেছে দিক্।
নূতন জাগিয়া শিখ
নূতন উষার সূর্যের পানে
চাহিল নির্নিমিখ।

“অলখ নিরঞ্জন’
মহারব উঠে বন্ধন টুটে
করে ভয়ভঞ্জন।
বক্ষের পাশে ঘন উল্লাসে
অসি বাজে ঝন্ঝন্।
পঞ্জাব আজি গরজি উঠিল,
“অলখ নিরঞ্জন!’

এসেছে সে এক দিন
লক্ষ পরানে শঙ্কা না জানে
না রাখে কাহারো ঋণ।
জীবন মৃত্যু পায়ের ভৃত্য,
চিত্ত ভাবনাহীন।
পঞ্চনদীর ঘিরি দশ তীর
এসেছে সে এক দিন।

দিল্লিপ্রাসাদকূটে
হোথা বারবার বাদশাজাদার
তন্দ্রা যেতেছে ছুটে।
কাদের কণ্ঠে গগন মন্থ,
নিবিড় নিশীথ টুটে–
কাদের মশালে আকাশের ভালে
আগুন উঠেছে ফুটে!

পঞ্চনদীর তীরে
ভক্তদেহের রক্তলহরী
মুক্ত হইল কি রে!
লক্ষ বক্ষ চিরে
ঝাঁকে ঝাঁকে প্রাণ পক্ষীসমান
ছুটে যেন নিজনীড়ে।
বীরগণ জননীরে
রক্ততিলক ললাটে পরালো
পঞ্চনদীর তীরে।

Translation by 

On the banks of the rivers five,
His locks coiled upon his head,
Has risen the Sikh
Inspired by his Gurus’ writ
With unrelenting tread.
Waver or fear he does not.
“Hail the Gurus,” the quarters resound
With the cry that rises
From voices that in thousands abound.
Thus has the Sikh risen,
His gaze fixated unblinking
Upon the new sun of dawn.

“Alakh Niranjan,” –
The great cry breaks all fetters,
Scatters all fears.
While close to the breast,
With a joy so great,
Rattles the sword.
Today, all Punjab raises the roar
“Alakh Niranjan.”

Today is the day
When a million hearts
Know no doubts
Nor bear any debts.
Life and death
Are as slaves at their feet
Of all worries are their spirits freed.
Such a day has arrived indeed
Upon the ten banks bounding
The rivers five.

Upon the ramparts
Of the palace in Delhi
The Emperor worries
Unable to sleep –
‘Whose voices churn the heavens,
Shatter the night so silent and deep,
The fire from whose torches
The brow of the sky scorches?’

On the banks of the rivers five
Gushes blood devout
From a million hearts so stout.
As flocks of birds, souls so many
Rush to their nests.
The mothers of the braves
With blood anoint their brows
Upon the banks of the rivers five.

In war, each other
Mughal and Sikh face,
And fall
Clasping in a death embrace.
One the other battles
As a falcon, poison rent,
Battles a serpent.
In fray so terrible that day
“Victory to the Gurus,” the brave Sikhs say,
The cry from a deep store of peace hails.
While the Mughal, blood maddened,
“Deen, Deen” yells.

At the fort in Gurdaspur
Was Banda captured
By the Turani legion.
Chaining him
As they will a lion
Delhi’s road they take.
Thus of Banda in battle
A prisoner did they make.

The Mughal soldiers lead the way,
Upon the road, clouds of dust appear.
The severed heads of Sikhs they display
Impaled upon spears.
Seven hundred Sikhs, their chains rattling,
In the soldiers’ wake walk following.
Multitudes gather by the way, jostling for space,
Many windows are thrown open, many eyes gaze.
The Sikhs roar, “Victory to the Gurus,”
For their own lives, they do not sorrow.
Thus, today,
Mughal and Sikh walk Delhi’s way

The Sikhs jostle in impatience
To be the first to die,
As a day ends,
And night draws nigh
Line they up and at terminator’s hands
Saying “Victory to the Gurus”
A hundred braves give up their hundred heads.

Thus, a week was past
And the seven hundredth life
Was taken at last.
Then a Qazi put on Banda’s lap
One of his sons.
“With unconcern
Must you slay your son,”
The Qazi said.
With these words, his hands fettered,
Was Banda his little son given.

Banda’s speech lay at rest.
Tenderly, his little son
He drew to his breast.
For a moment, he put his right hand upon the boy’s head,
Once Banda kissed his turban red.
Then from his girdle
He pulled his dagger.
Looking upon his son, “Victory to the Gurus,”
Banda whispered in his ear,
“Fear not my son,” said he.

That form so new
Shone with fervour.
A song from that young voice flew
Over the court which was a-tremor.
“Victory to the Gurus, all fear is a mirage,”
Sang the little boy
Looking at Banda’s visage.

Then Banda curled his left arm
Around the boy’s neck.
While his right hand, unwavering, firm
With a dagger did the child’s breast rake.
“Victory to the Gurus,” the child cried
And fell upon the earth and died.

The court stood silent!
Banda’s form
The terminator did rend
With heated tongs.
Banda died a death stoic,
Not once did the brave moan,
He was a man heroic.
Not once did Banda in pain cry.
Of the onlookers,
Horror shut every eye
In stunned silence, the court watched by.

Source of Translation : SikhNet by Saumya Dey

Advertisements

The meeting point in India shall be specifically Hindu -Rabindranath Tagore

” To feel unity in diversity, to establish unity amidst variety – this is the underlying religion of India. India does not regard difference as hostility, she does not regard the other as enemy. That is why without sacrifice or destruction, she wants to accommodate everybody within one great system. that is why she accepts all ways and sees the greatness of each in its own sphere.  

Image Courtesy : Shubnum Gill

 

Because of this virtue in India, we shall not hesitate to consider any society as our opponent. Each fresh conflict will enable us to expand ourselves. The Hindu, The Buddhist,The Muslim and The Christian will not fight each other and die in India – here they will find a meeting point. That meeting point will not be non-Hindu, but very specifically Hindu.  ” 

– Rabindranath Tagore in Swadesh Samaaj ( Original in Bengali, translated by Anasuya Guha ) 

Read More

Mecca Masjid Blast Case

11 years after the blasts at Mecca Masjid, on 16th April, 2018,  a special NIA court acquitted Swami Aseemanand and others in the Mecca Masjid blast case. This was after examining over 200 witnesses and over 400 documents.

It is unfortunate that the then Congress government chose to use the blasts to create a bogey of #HinduTerror and popularising the word  #SaffronTerror coined by the commie mag Frontline. The dragged the name of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh into it.

In 2010, we had written about how some sections of media playing into the hands of their political paymasters was happening through our article ” RSS, Bomb Blasts & Media Credibility

Some of the accused like Swami Aseemanand were held captive without a chargesheet for years together on multiple cases . Swami Aseemanand was especially targetted for the extensive work he was doing among the tribal communities and working as a bulwark against the Christian missionary organisations which were allegedly also the key funding agencies for the Congress party.

In their attempt to somehow discredit the Hindu organisations, clear terror links to outside the country were brushed aside .  Read – The Enigma of Aseemanand

 

Now, the task of the government is to find the real perpetrators of the blast so that those & whose families who have suffered the blasts get solace.

Violence related to the Supreme Court’s decision on the SC/ST atrocities act is deplorable.

During the so-called #BharatBandh of 2nd April 2018, it is clear that many mercenaries were put into action by some people who want to take political advantage by Breaking Bharat. One of their strategy is to defame the nationalist forces by indulging in propaganda. In the wake of the violence and the propaganda on the RSS, the Sarkaryavah of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh issued a statement calling the society to maintain social harmony ;

Statement issued by RSS Sarkaryavaha Shri Suresh ( Bhayya ji ) Joshi

The violence related to the Supreme Court’s decision on the SC/ST atrocities act is deplorable. The misinformation being spread about RSS under the guise of this decision is baseless and condemnable. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is in no way connected with this verdict.

RSS has always opposed any kind of discrimination and atrocities in the name of caste. Acts and regulations made to stop such atrocities must be strictly enforced. The decision to file review petition by the Central Government, expressing disagreement with it is a right timely step.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh appeals to all the enlightened sections of the society to come forward in maintaining social harmony and also appeals to the society to maintain mutual goodwill and trust without being provoked and getting victimised by the false propaganda.

Source

Hanuman – The True Role Model for You(th)

Hanumanji

  • By Shravan Dantu

Today is one of the most auspicious days for the followers of Sanathana Dharma. Today is Hanuman Jayanthi – The birth day of Lord Hanuman!  When you visit devalayas or public gatherings today, I am sure that you will hear the following verse:

buddhihīna tanu jānikai sumirau pavanakumāra।
bala budhi bidyā dehu mohi harahu kalesa bikāra॥

This is the second doha in Hanuman Chalisa. I have transliterated it in English as that has, unfortunately, become the common language for communication. But many of us might still not understand what the above words actually mean, so, here is a simple translation in English.

Knowing my body to be devoid of intelligence, I remember Hanuman, the son of Vāyu. Give me strength, intelligence and knowledge and remove all ailments (kalesa) and impurities 

There will not be a single one from today’s youth, who, in their childhood, would not have prayed to Hanuman. When, as a child, you were scared and alone, you asked him to give you strength and company. And he did. During exams time, when you were tensed and wanted a self-assurance that “all is well” and will be well, you prayed to Hanuman and all tuned out to be well. When you were not focused on studies or the tasks that your parents wanted you to be focused on, the local devalaya purohit, gave you a Hanuman locket to wear and whenever you had to complete an important task, you kissed that locket… and lo!,  that important task was done.

Ah! Those were the days of childhood. You did many things without knowing why you should do them, but you did and you are now a confident, successful young person, ready to take on more responsibilities.  And it was in those days that when your uncle or aunty asked you who you admired the most, you inadvertently said that you wanted to be  like Hanuman – Strong, Fearless, Successful and yes, Playful and Lovable also.

Your Role Model was Hanuman.

But alas! Now that you have grown up, your role model may have changed. It could now be a Hollywood or Bollywood Hero/ Heroine or a cricketer. It is not wrong to admire your Bollywood star or a cricketer, for they, have achieved that success with a lot of hard work and that is why, they are popular in their field. But “in their field” is very important to note.  So, they are not, cannot and should not be a role model, when you are molding your entire life.

So, on this auspicious day of Hanuman Jayanthi, I think it is the right time to re-learn and really learn on why Hanuman is one of the apt historical characters who has walked (and continues) to walk this land of vedas, to be the Role Model for you.  I will talk about 5 (a handful) qualities that you and I can imbibe, to start with.

  • Like who you are and be what you are!

When Hanuman leapt to catch the Sun, thinking that it is a red apple, Indra struck him with his Vajra. Baby Hanuman fell and his Jaw got disfigured. And that is one of the reasons that he came to know as Hanu-man. So, it was this disfigured face that gave Hanuman, a name and a unique distinction. He did not try to change it. He did not try to hide it. He was what he was!

This is a very important thing to learn. You need not be perfect. No one is. Do not be cowed down by bullies who accuse you of being short or fat or tall or thin. Especially, in this stage of your life, you have to face extreme peer pressure. So, just be yourself and figure out how you can make that perceived shortcoming, a strength for yourself and may be, make a name out of it, literally.

Be focused on the task at hand and do not waver till that is done!

When Hanuman was crossing the ocean to find Sita Mata, a mountain king wanted him to rest on his peak. Hanuman politely declined and moved on without wasting time.  A rakshasi stopped his flight and challenged him to a duel. Hanuman only humored her by decreasing his body size so that he can enter via mouth and exit via her ear so that the rakshasi understood his strength. But he did not stop his flight to engage her and waste time.

This is another very important thing to learn. When we are studying hard, we face numerous distractions like movies, friends, games, etc. But there is a time for those and now is the time for you to focus on the task at hand, which is to study. Little wonder that Hanuman Jayanti comes during our exam times, I guess, so that we learn this great quality from Hanuman himself.

  • Understand the larger picture and work towards solving the bigger task!

When Hanuman was trying to search for Sanjeevini herb, he was confused as he could not identify the right herb. The bigger task at hand was to save Lakshmana and the only knowledge that he had, was that he was at the right mountain which had the herb. He did not spend any more time for research but used all his strength to carry the entire mountain so that the lifesaving medicinal herb could be reached to Lakshamana in time.

What you can learn from here is that while exams and marks are important, exams are only a means to the end. The end is what you make out of what you have learnt and how you can use it to contribute to the larger society and your country, which has given you all that you needed.

  • Communicate clearly, knowing what the other party knows what they need to know!

When Hanuman returned from Lanka after finding Sita Mata, the first person that he saw was Jambavan. When Jambavan, who was his grandfather’s age, asked him about his exploits, like a little kid, speaking to his grandfather, he narrated all things that he had done – how he destroyed the Ashoka Vanam with his extra-ordinary strength; how he escaped right under the nose of mighty Ravana and set his beautiful Lanka on fire, etc. Just like you would take your sweet time to talk about your escapades with your friends or family.  But when he was before  Sri Rama, the King, he shared only what Rama wanted to know, in brief and crisp sentences, saying that he found Sita Mata, that although she was sad before he met her, she was now happy knowing that Rama would come and teach Ravana a lesson and that that she would be united with her Swami.

It is important that you should know what to speak, when to speak, why to speak and who you are speaking to, so that you mould your message accordingly.

I think there are several other qualities like his humility, strength, wisdom that we can learn from Hanuman but I will come back to point 4 and elaborate further, since we Indians often lack in clear communication.

  • Communicate so that your purpose is achieved!

When Hanuman finally came across Sita Mata in the Ashoka Vanam, he had hardly a few minutes to convince her that he was Sri Rama Doota. Sita Mata was in an enemy land, she already was witness to several mayavi tricks from Ravana, she was hoping against hope (but with firm belief) that Sri Rama will come to save her, but nevertheless, in such situations, it would be extremely difficult to convince her that he was not another maya/trick of the Rakshasa, but a genuine soldier of Sri Rama and that the times would now really change for the good.

What you need to learn is that you do not always have the luxury of time. Now that you will be completing studies and interview for jobs, you have to learn how you to package your communication so that your purpose is served  – which is that the interviewer knows who you are and what you can do.

I think that is a lot of moral lessons for now. But do realize that each festival in our sanathana dharma is celebrated so that we can remind ourselves of our great historical giants and learn something from them.  And what better day to remind ourselves that Hanuman is the best Role Model that we can have, during this Hanuman Jayanthi.

Since I started with a doha from Hanuman Chalisa, let me also end with one. One which tell us more about science – the distance between Earth and Sun, in a simple, easy way to understand.

juga sahasra jojana para bhānū।
līlyo tāhi madhura phala jānū॥ 

Jai Shri Ram!!!

Swasthi.