Saturday, 30 December 2017

I asked God…..

I asked God to give me strength,
He made me weak so that I might learn to obey.
I prayed for health to accomplish worldly duty;  
He made me infirm so that I might respect others.
I asked to be affluent so that I might keep others’ happy;
He made me poor so that I might know the pain of others’.
I prayed for authority so that I might serve people;
But he made me weak so that I might need the God.
I asked for abundance so that I might enjoy time;
He gave me nothing and gave me life.
I got everything, I prayed for;
My prayers were accepted,
And He made me man, most abundantly blessed.
O, God!  I have been perfected,
As an incarnation, of His image;
For being cherished and for love
Then I would need to shine the guilt,
The foam in my spirit, revamp my countenance.
Esteem my Self with an aroma, bouquet.
My self’s echo should be aware,
Like the Sun to shine and blaze.
My words should worship Him.
I am held by the ache, the heal is He.
I am a slave, a servant, unworthy of Him.
He knows about everything, I know nothing.
His blessings and generosity surround me.

Friday, 29 December 2017

His Grandeur

So many of His creations,
Are slaves and caged;
For the gratification and ease
Of fellow creations created by Him.
If not for His designs, how can this happen?
We are also incarcerated and controlled
To play the song of His pick;
For His gratification, for His compassion
For His generosity, for His benevolence.
This rotation of time spins endlessly.
Why vex and annoyed? Why moan?
For a crumb of food, we struggle.
Force our stride to the nameless,
To unbolt, new panoramas for majesty.

World as Maya

This world is an illusion for me,
Staring from my closet with my eyes,
The vividness and the mystery of the cosmos;
The ensign of diverse shades, the flora;
The marvels and the unfamiliar around me;
Nothing but Maya and a delusion.
My words extol the celestial unity,
Elegance encases me, grandeur lifts my spirit.
When I have been fascinated by splendour,
Devotion creating matchless emotions, obsessions;
When I am passive, incarcerated and caged;
When Angels sentry me and enfold me;
When compassion and generosity has besieged me;
Then no space for sin and who is looking for pardon?
But images of heaven and perdition of gulf is a mere illusion!

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Wasteland of life

What floods this aching heart?
Who can carry the timers of adore?
Where is the passion of my heart?
Where is my strength of love?
Where do the words not sigh in memory?
Where in each chamber a blazing ache
Where my corpse blazes in love
O Life! Your devotion hugs my heart.
Your longing is my aim.
My lust, to dissolve in you,
To rest in my existence,
Fade like a haze,
Dissolve like a lovable aroma.
In this wasteland of time,
Let my tears of love be my present to you.
I hunted far and wide but got you in me.
He is the Master, who spare neither man nor God;
Waste not your tears for life, it is not yours,
Doing cruel things with life for fun,
Thank the God, end is there; this son of soil,
Death is his inseparable companion. 
Here Krishna, Here Krishna, Krishna-Krishna Here-Here; 
Here Rama, Here Rama, Rama-Rama Here-Here.

Monday, 25 December 2017

A peepal tree in the Temple

About five kilometres from the big city of Aligarh, in Utter Pradesh, on the road leading to Aligarh Muslim University, stands an old temple that was last occupied by a Brahmin priest named Pundit Brahma Nand Shukla.  Since 1992, no one has visited nor did Pundit Ji live in it and nor is anyone likely to live in or visit it again.
Demographic changes, time and the disrespect of people dwelling there almost changed the scenario and once a beautiful and revered temple converted into a rather picturesque ruin. An observer very well familiar with the history of the temple would not place it into the type of "haunted temple," yet in all the area surrounding Muslims made such of its' evil reputation. Its windows are without panels, its entrance without any gate or door; there are large breaks in the pebbles roof, and due to lack of paint and polish the boards and furniture became a dun older. But these reliable symbols of the weird are fairly masked and significantly diminished by the plentiful plants of a large trailing plant overflowing the complete structure. Apart from these vines, a peepal, burgad and mango trees also grew in the temple premises. These vines, which have no botanical names, have a key part of the temple.
The Shukla family consisted of Pundit Brahma Nand Shukla, his wife Tulsi, Km Sita, who was her sister, and two young kids. Pundit Brahma Nand Shukla was a quiet, good -mannered learned priest who made many friends in the vicinity and actually cared everybody. He was about fifty years old, careful and hardworking, and made a living from the temple and by performing Hindu rituals in the homes of the modest area which is now densely populated with the arrival of Muslims in the area, as most of the Muslims have a large number of children. He and his sister-in-law Sita were openly criticized by their new neighbours, who seemed to believe that they were seen too often together--not wholly their fault, for at all these times they never challenge their evil watching.  The religious or moral cypher of urban Aligarh Muslims is pretended as strict and tough although they all have more than one wife. Moreover, eve teasing was a sport to them.
At some time in 1992, it came to be known that Tulsi had gone to visit her father and a holy bath in Ganga River, in Varanasi. That was what her husband Pundit Brahma Nand Shukla said in reply to inquiries, and his way of replying it did not push for any further inquiries. Tulsi never came back, fearing the new neighbours. Almost three years later, without handing over the charge of the temple to anyone or selling anything that was his, or appointing a new priest to look after the temple, or taking his household items, Pundit Brahma Nand Shukla, with the rest of his family, said goodbye and left the temple and the city. Nobody has any idea where he went; nobody at that time bothered. Unsurprisingly, whatever was movable in the temple soon vanished and the abandoned temple declared, "haunted" by the people of the area.
One winter evening, six or seven years later, another priest Pundit Dev Prayag Bhardwaj, from Haridwar,  and a local priest named Pundit Hari Ram Dubey met, while on a walk in front of the temple. Having religious issues to talk about, they looked for roaming cows and visiting the temple, they sat on the raised platform to talk. Some amusing allusion to the sad reputation of the temple was made and elapsed as soon as expressed, and they talked and discussed their religious matters until it became almost dark. The evening was harshly cold and foggy, the air dull.
Suddenly both religious men stood from their places in surprise: a huge peepal tree that covered half the frontage of the temple and swung its branches from the border of the veranda above them was clearly and noticeably shaken, trembling fiercely in every stem and leaf.
"There is a storm," Bhardwaj Ji yelled.
Pundit Hari Ram Dubey said nothing, but mutely directed the other's attention to the plants to the next of peepal tree, which demonstrated no movement; even the fragile tops of the branches exhibited against the dark and cloudy sky were unmoving. They speedily moved inside the temple steps to what had been a small jungle and looked upward at the peepal tree, whose complete huge size was now visible. The violent storm was continuous, yet they could recognize no worrying reason.
"Let us leave," said Pundit Dev Prayag Bhardwaj.
Ultimately, they left. They forgot the right direction and travelled a long way to reach their residence. They stayed together. They went to the old city where they narrated their weird incident to a number of prudent friends.  The next day, same time in the evening, accompanied by four other friends they were again in the temple, and yet again the mystifying phenomenon happened: the peepal tree was not fiercely agitated while below the adjoining scrutiny from root to tip, nor did their united strength applied to the trunk serve to budge it. After about two hours watching they again went back, no less prudent, it is visible, than when they had come to see it.
It required no persuasion, nor long time for these curious truths to stir the curiosity of the entire neighbourhood. By day and by night mass of persons gathered at the temple "looking for a poof."  All failed to get any proof or sign, yet so convincing were the eyewitnesses brought up that none has any suspicion about the authenticity of the "warning signs" to which they gave evidence.
By either a blissful inspiration or some vicious curse, one day it was proposed to clean the temple of vine, bushes and creepers but no one appeared to know from whom the idea came- -to clean the temple premises, and without any debate and opposition, all joined to clean the temple. Nothing was found in the courtyard and in the outer area of the temple, yet nothing could have been more weird and wonderful!
For nine five or ten feet from the sanctum sanctorum, (The garbhagriha) which had at the exterior of the red bricks floor, a diameter of some meters, it ran around the sanctum sanctorum, solitary and straight, encircling the sanctum sanctorum,  cracks in the floor; then it separated and subdivided into wallless chambers, pillars and interiors, most inquisitively intermingled. When cautiously cleaned of the soil and bushes, it showed an outstanding structure. In the structure and on the walls tiles themselves, they made a dense arrangement, having in dimension and figure a wonderful similarity to the figures of humans, animals and birds. Head, chest and other body parts were there; even the fingers and toes were markedly clear, and many appear to see in the shapes and figures the display of the holy figures in the spherical mass representing the identity of Hindu deities or a fantastic idea of their shape. The figures were vertical and horizontal, and all gave a meaning and message of the creation of this universe.
In point of likeness to the human form of those images were so imperfect, as if the temple was never abandoned.  At about eight inches from one of the elbows, the shape forming that arm had gradually made straight and shaped their course for proper growth. The figure had the right arm also.
Now, all moved to the outer room or outer entrance of the sanctum sanctorum were standing two cows, as if they were guarding the sanctum sanctorum against the wicked visitors. On the threshold of the sanctum sanctorum, were seated two monkeys like two dutiful guards. A parrot welcomed all the curious and unknown visitors with chanting Om!  It rang the temple bell hanging above the smiling deity of Lord Krishna as if He (deity ) was welcoming all.
I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop.
It was a magical scene. All were mesmerized by the blissful scene inside the "Holy of Holies" The garbhagriha. I was blessed to be a witness to that scene. All were silent and could not utter even a single syllable.
There was but one opinion --the clear one; but in the resulting pleasure as many lines of action and advice were planned as there were many wise co scholars and counsellors. The issue was settled by Pundit Hari Ram Dubey of Aligarh, that Pundit Dev Prayag Bhardwaj, from Haridwar, will be the permanent priest of the abandoned temple and it was also decided that the renovation work will be carried out in the temple with the help of the devotees.
Later, investigation carried out, brought only one fact of relevance and consequence: Mrs Tulsi had never visited her father and other relatives in Varanasi and took Jal Samadhi (Water Grave) while taking a holy dip in the holy river Ganga tired of the tantrums of the new neighbours of the vicinity but no one knew that why and where was supposed to have done so.
Of Pundit Brahma Nand Shukla and the rest of his family, nothing is known. The temple again started vibrating with blissful reputation, but the watered and worshipped peepal tree is as orderly and well behaved a tree as tired devotees and persons could wish to sit under in a satisfying place. Now temple became a talk of the town about its' immemorial disclosures and the mystical environment denoted the idea of Holier than the Holy about it.

Who’s afraid of Ghosts?

Each year, when my family hits upon any ground to get together—for some holiday, festival, birthday, special day, graduation, and sometimes, just because—when the special dishes are prepared and food and curry are cooked. The neighbours see smoke churns from the kitchen chimney, sky-bound from burning gas and incense; it is believed that the ghost of Pt.Ram Nath Shukla comes home to eat.
The fact that Pt.Ram Nath Shukla had been cremated, but people were not ready to believe that he was dead: he had been a tough man to die so soon. That he actually was cremated, the evidence of his wits forced everybody became suspicious of his death. His body lay horizontal, flat upon his backside, with his hands tied tightly with his body. The body-tied with the ladder that he simply cannot get up even with the help of some divine power, capable of changing the circumstances, the firm detention of his complete self, the sad gloom and deep quiet, made a body of confirmation, unfeasible to refute and he died without quibble.
Before any family members or guests are permitted to eat or even taste, my mother arranges a plate of food, her all the dishes — like steamy rice, vegetable noodles fried with spices and butter, steamed bread buns—and my father lights a large number of incense sticks.
Putting all the things on an altar, we all pray to the spirits of our dead and departed relatives and ancestors and invite them to the feast. These spirits are the spirits of our dead and departed relatives and ancestors, village people, my uncles and aunts, our priest and teachers, our business persons, our soldiers who died in wars protecting our motherland and off course Pt.Ram Nath Shukla. Some of them are the restless and unattended ones who cross-oceans and continents and died there, but felt safe, happy and comfortable on the foreign lands. They are the ones who unfortunately could not have the rites according to the Hindu customs and traditions while they were living.
Whether it was by luck or by destiny, most of my family members remained safe. When Islamic and Naxal terrorism tore India, we got on a bus that drove us to safety and life. A bus, that brought us to Delhi, far from the blazing villages and the rumbling of bombs, breaching earth, but not distant enough to get away from the past that returns every moment and every year to haunt us and scare us.
On December 25, 1979, the Islamic terrorists and Jihadi invaded the Hindu villages, forcing those; they could not murder to walk for days to safe camps in Jammu. In distant places of the country, those who stay alive were forced to live in camps like beggars as part of secular leaders’ blueprint to build a classless, caste-less, secular, society and nation. But we are paying the price of that romantic exploration.
I was too young to bear in mind that time around some three decades ago, when my family was forced to leave our home, our land, our farms and our state, and our lives changed instantly and perpetually.
Pt.Ram Nath Shukla had not married. He was almost fifty and he had not yet married. His fair skin was not good reason (many men with his colour had married and it was added attraction for girls) nor wits it his name. That is the slightest significant stuff in marriage, and anyway, such men are occasionally called by the typical names of fruit: his one of the friend Mango had married last y Destiny? Misfortune? Or was it Pt.Ram Nath Shukla ‘s stubbornness which had rebuffed and constantly to decline to hoist the marriage flag on the head? Although it was almost necessary to hoist upon the time of young boy’s first appearance of a moustache on the face and it was expected in the society. However, Pt.Ram Nath Shukla had refused. His mother had begged, barren cried, hiding grin face, saying to his thin father, please does not. I don't want it.' His mother used to think that Pt.Ram Nath Shukla was self-conscious that everybody old and young person in the town should learn that he flat! Above family and society. Therefore, she discussed the situation with her husband, who understood everything and left Pt.Ram Nath Shukla alone.
Then Pt.Ram Nath Shukla knelt and hoist the temple flag on the top of the temple, thinking all the while that the town was small and gave up the idea of marriage that there were few lifeless humans and that there was no matchmaker. Pt.Ram Nath Shukla left all the hopes and never went down the stairs and moaning, sat down to await a knock at tile door.
However, he was dead -- yes; he was only serious, very ill. He had, casual, the suicidal indifference and did not seriously worry about himself, about the unusual destiny that had been destined for him. He was neither a philosopher nor a dreamer -- just a pure, ordinary human being talented, for the time being, with a pathological apathy: the appendage that he dreads outcome consequences with was stagnant. Therefore, with no special fear for his near hope, he went for the sleep and all was quiet with Pt.Ram Nath Shukla. Everything was over for him. There was no world for him.
Nevertheless, not everything was normal. However, unusual things were going on in the clouds. It was a gloomy winter night, shot through with the occasional glitter of lightning noiselessly firing a cloud flying low in the north and threatening of a hurricane. These short, faltering lighting, created a frightening sharpness of the shrines and tombstones of the crematorium, which appeared to set them, dancing. It was such a horrible night in which no sober onlooker was probably to be wandering outside about a crematorium, so there were only a few mourners who were there, performing the last rites of Pt.Ram Nath Shukla, who also felt logically insecure.
Three of them were young orphans from an orphanage near the temple of Pt.Ram Nath Shukla; the fourth one was an old saint Prabhu das. For several years, Prabhu Das had been living in the temple as a kind man-of-all-work and it was his preferred wit that he was known to 'every soul in that area.' From the pattern of what he was now, doing it was understood that the place was not heavily populated as its record may have revealed it to be.
Outside the temple, at some distance from the temple ground, at a safe distance from the public road, where some people waiting for the items used in the last rites.
The work of cremation was very difficult because of the numerous religious rituals involved in it. The pyre is to be arranged very meticulously on the earth with which the wood and manure cakes had been loosely filled to let the air pass for quick and good fire so that the body is burnt completely and quickly. It is arranged at that time itself to burn the body quickly and was soon everything was over. Removal of the body from the ladder was not very difficult, but it had to be removed out, for it was a necessary, as the bamboos cannot be burnt with the body as per Hindu belief. People opened the cord very carefully as if Pt.Ram Nath Shukla was alive and laid it aside, revealing the body in white new clothes.
At that moment, the pyre was lit and it sprang to flame, a furious shock of noise trembled the bewildered mourners Pt.Ram Nath Shukla unperturbedly sat up. All the mourners with faltering howl fled in horror, each in a different direction. For nothing on earth could those mourners have been convinced to revisit. However, Pt.Ram Nath Shukla was of a different kind.
In the early morning, the three orphan students, pale and exhausted from fretfulness and with the dread of their escapade still pounding in disorder in their heart and mind, met at the Ashram.
'Did you see it?' howled one.
'Oh, God! Yes -- what should we do now?'
They rushed to the rear part of the ashram, where they saw a cow, tied with a huge peepal tree, hold up to a gatepost near the entrance of the room of Pt.Ram Nath Shukla. Instinctively they entered the room. On a cot in the darkness lying Prabhu Das, He got up, smiling and rubbing his face and showing his teeth.
'I'm waiting for Pt.Ram Nath Shukla to get my monthly salary,' he said.
Inside the dark room, stretched naked on a big cot lay the corpse of Pt.Ram Nath Shukla, the head besmirched with blood and mud from a gust with a spade.
In the weary moonlight, Pt.Ram Nath Shukla raised his face to the sky as if looking for a place in the space and called upon God to be his protector and companion.
I wish I’d been there earlier. It might have made all the difference. So all I can tell you is why he was murdered.