Sunday, May 11, 2008

शक्ति और क्षमा

Here is a poem that I read first when I was in STD 8th. It was a part of our Hindi coursebook. At that time, I didn’t know much about Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar or about his way of writing his poems popularly known as ‘वीर रस’। Even as today, I don’t know much about this ras but know something about Dinkar. A nationalist poem, known for his inspiring patriotic poems of the pre-independence era and a firm supporter of revolutionary activists in the Indian freedom struggle, turned into a gandhian later on, though he describes himself as ‘bad gandhian’ as he continued to have soft corner for the revolutionaries and their ideologies.

The kind of anger and arrogance that is exuded in his poems is a clear reflection of his revolutionary thoughts. The way he has narrated the whole story of Danveer Karna in his epic Rashmirathi, is simply superb. The anger of Karna for his mother and his love and respect for the same lady goes side-by-side in the poem. Such a great reflection of a friend’s loyalty is a special treat for every reader.

‘Kurukshetra’, another of his great creations, looks a bit contrary to his revolutionary thought, still he manages to keep his arrogance and anger intact there also. It’s a poem again on the context of the real epic of Hindu mythology “Mahabharat” as is Rashmirathi. (Seems that Mahabharat had a real impact on Mr. Dinkar.) Anyway, Kurukshetra is a poem that condemns war in all its senses, quite contradictory to the notion that revolutionaries love to fight for their right. Presently, I am going through it and will try to write about it in detail when it is over.

After going through part of Kurukshetra and also the poem here “SHAKTI aur KSHAMA”, it comes to the mind that Dinkar, in some way or other, does not feel that Duryodhana was a villain in Mahabharat, as is thought of or as is reflected by Ved Vyas in Mahabharat. For him Duryodhana does not seem to be a bad man. Everywhere, be it Rashmirathi or Kurukshetra or this poem, he refers to Duryodhana as Suyodhana--------- the difference of ‘dur’ and ‘su’ so superbly utilized to changeover the whole picture of the character. I don’t know whether it was Dinkar’s own creation or else is it we, who, wrongly have known Suyodhana as Duryodhana over the time. Can’t say much on this as everything I know about Mahabharat is courtesy Mr. B. R. Chopra who brought the epic in every house of the country with his tele-serial. Even he referred to Duryodhana as Duryodhana only.

Coming to the poem, Dinkar, here again has written the poem with Mahabharat as the backdrop. Somewhere, I had heard somebody telling me that it is an extract from the great Rashmirathi itself. I have not yet read that poem so can’t say much on that again. Does not it looks ironical that coming from a place just 1 k.m. away from Dinkar’s residence, I have not yet gone through his most famous and most acclaimed poem of all times?

Anyway, the poem is about the importance of power that, according to Dinkar, is the prerequisite not only for winning an enemy but also for forgiving him. The act of forgiveness, kindness, tolerance and sacrifice, everything is worth only when you have the power to crush your enemy or else it’s a sign of cowardliness. Dinkar has used the example of snake to put forth this point of his and has used the words so beautifully that I have not forgotten this stanza since I first read it:

kshama shobhati us bhujang ko

jiske paas garal ho,

usko kya jo dantheen,

visharahit,vinit,saral ho.

The use of Lord Rama in the poem is also a beautiful part to illustrate the importance of power as to what it can do when it is displayed to the enemy. This part of the poem illustrates how an enemy thinks of you as a coward until you display your power to him and how he comes down to his feet when you show your power to him.

All in all, this is one of the few poems from my coursebook that I still remember after even so much time has gone by. I loved it the first time I read it and since then I have always-always loved it. Here is a great lesson from the poem to bring down in your life. “First be capable of crushing your enemy down and then think of forgiving him.”

Get the full poem here clicking on the picture below:


jyotsna tripathi said...

Indeed "Kurukshetra" is very gud and motivative epic. It has essence of life also. Since we know through our Purayans's that life comes with fire and Same thought is supported by Dinkar in his Poems.

Lokendra said...

Hi, great posting. I just wanted to say one thing.

In this Dinkar's poem as I read or remember now, somehow my interpretation of the usage of word "Suyodhan" was that Lord Krishna used to refer Duryodhan as Suyodhan in order to mock him. The word Duryodhan means someone who is very hard to fight or hard to defeat, whereas Suyodhan means "easy to fight".

I may be totally wrong also because I read this poem 15 years back, and I have not read the full Kurukshetra or Rashmirathi. But yes, I have heard this that one of Dinkar's big contribution to litirature was to put across Mahabharata in a new form, which is from the viewpoint of Duryodhan who in Dinkar's view was probably the rightful heir of the throne being the eldest son of the Dhritrashtra. As Dhritrashtra gave the throne to Pandu so that Pandu can take care of the kingdom because he himself was a blind person. But this doesn't mean that his own son will lose that right to Pandu's sons.

Anyways, the point to be noted is that everyone respects Dinkar till date and also Periyar who came up with a similar version of Ramayana (showing positive aspects of Ravan). But the same freedom of expression is no more given to the contemporary artists, film-makers and writers of our times. Some or other fanatic group attacks them, their creations, or even disturb the law and order by making fuss about something in which they don't believe. My personal opinion is that it just brings shame for a moderate and forward looking civilizations like ours.

Aashu said...

Hi Lokendra, Thanks for the comment!
I can't say whether your interpretation of Suyodhan or Duryodhan is correct or not but Dinkar has used this notation in whole of Kurukshetra and the most elementary idea about Hindi literature gave me my interpretations of these wrords as good and evil as usually denoted by 'Su' and 'Dur'. Anyway thanks for your valuable point.
One more thing Dinkar has presented the theme of Mahabharat in viewpoint of Karna not Duryodhana. I think he was more interested in the unjust that Karna had to face despite being Kunti's son.

Jaspal Rana said...

Many different scholars have interpreted Mahabharata in their own way.As such,every character of this great epic is interpreted differently by different authors.
As per my knowledge,in Kuruvansh,a ruler was chosen not on the basis of his position in royal household but on the basis of his virtue and his ability to rule.
This was the reason that Bharat,the founder of Kuruvansh,did not pass the crown to his own sons,but to the son of a sage.
Duryodhan,while brave and clever was a hot headed man.So the ministers favoured Yudhisthir who was more levelheaded of the two

Sharat said...

Many also say that Duryodhan was actually "Suyodhan", and Dushasan was "Sushasan". When Pandawas won the war, they became the actual owner of all the history/literature which was going to be written, and they and their descendants changed the history/literature according to their meanings. Same thing was done by many leaders who became rulers. I feel that Mahabharata has been twisted as Pandawas wanted the world to see it. And Dinkar has done the out of the box thinking and he has actually tried to re-live the exact situation in this Poem. I will never forget this poem, as it tells me that written things can be wrong, and generations will believe those wrong things because of lack of evidence. But one can think of the logic and still interpret those wrong contents in a right way.