|Anant Pai (17 September 1929 - 24 February 2011)|
|Anant Pai (17 September 1929 - 24 February 2011)|
"चन्द्रशेखर की मृत्यु से मेँ आहत हुं ऐसे व्यक्ति युग में एक बार ही जन्म लेते हेँ। फिर भी हमे अहिंसक रुप से ही विरोध करना चाहिये।" - महात्मा गांधी
"चन्द्रशेखर आजाद की शहादत से पूरे देश में आजादी के आंदोलन का नये रुप में शंखनाद होगा। आजाद की शहादत को हिदुंस्तान हमेशा याद रखेगा।" - पण्डित जवाहर लाल नेहरू
"पण्डितजी की मृत्यु मेरी निजी क्षति हेँ मेँ इससे कभी उबर नही सकता।" - पण्डित मदन मोहन मालवीय
"देश ने एक सच्चा सिपाही खोया।" - मोहम्मद अली जिन्ना
Photo taken immediatel
Labels: Modern History
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?
Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.
That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.
And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.
To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill-will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.
The appointed day has come-the day appointed by destiny-and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning-point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.
It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed!
We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and many of our people are sorrowstricken and difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.
On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the Father of our Nation [Gandhi], who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we but succeeding generations will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.
Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death.
We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good and ill fortune alike.
The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.
We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.
To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.
And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.”
|Nehru along with Mountbatten on the first Independence Day in Delhi on August 15, 1947.|
|Mountbatten swears Jawaharlal Nehru in as Prime Minister of India on August 15, 1947.|
|After swearing in as the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru gives his first speech holding an Indian flag on August 15, 1947.|
Pandit Nehru addressing people from the Ramparts of Red Fort- Aug 15, 1947.
|Dividing up a library at the time of 1947 partition [Photo: Life Magazine, August 1947]|
Samudra Gupta was followed by his elder son Ramagupta (375-380AD) who was a bit of blot on that proud family's good name. Apparently he was having immense trouble with the central Asian Saka invaders who refused to budge from borders of the empire and threatened to come in. Rama Gupta sued for peace, and the Saka king agreed on one condition that his queen Dhruvadevi be surrendered to him. Which was okay with Ramagupta, but not his younger brother Chandragupta who, disguised as the queen, entered the Saka camp and killed their king. After this Chandragupta also killed his brother and married Dhruvadevi and succeeded the throne.
Chandragupta ascended the throne of Patilaputra (now called Patna, the capital of state Bihar) in about 375AD. Four days after the Hindu festival of Diwali is the Padwa or Varshapratipada, the day on which the coronation of King Vikramaditya is believed to be held.
Chandragupta II was a conqueror like his father Samudragupta. Conquests (though not many since Samudra Gupta had pretty much already conquered all there was to conquer), able administration, the arts flourishing, literature being produced in huge quantities, relations with foreign kings being excellent. Inheriting a large empire, he continued the policy of his father, Samudra Gupta, by extending control over neighbouring territories. Westward from 388 to 409 he subjugated Gujarat, his greatest victory came when he managed to quash the stronghold of the Rudrasimha III of Shaka (also called Satraps or Kshatrapas or Indo-Scythians) dynasty and annexed their kingdom in Gujarat ( the region north of Bombay (Mumbai), Saurastra (now Saurashtra), in western India, and Malwa, with its capital at Ujjain). Saka (called the Saka Satraps), whose ancestors were Scythian tribes from the regions around Lake Balkhash (Balqash) in Kazakhstan.
On the eastside, he crushed the Cheifdoms of Bengal creating a coast to coast unified Empire. He created a second capital at Ujjain. In the north west he subjugated Presians, Huns and Kambojas in areas east and west of Amu Darya in Afganistan.
His diplomatic tactics in giving his daughter Prabhavati (by his other queen Kuberanaga*, a Naga princess) in marriage to Rudrasena II. The Vakatakas (Vakattaka) king of Deccan helped greatly in securing the vital territory for himself, which could prove advantageous in the event of an attack upon the Saka- Kshatrapas of the west from the north. When Rudrasena II died in 390 AD, Prabhavati acted as regent for her two sons, thereby increasing Gupta influence in the south. Therefore this period in history is called the Vakataka -Gupta age.
His victory over Rudrasimha III provided exceptional wealth, which added to the prosperity of the Guptas. The Guptas at his period had sea trade with the countries of the west. Broach, Sopara, Cambay were ports that facilitated trade. During this period, Ujjain appears to have been the inland centre upon which most of the trade routes converged. Chandragupta occupied the throne for nearly forty years. Pataliputra was a flourishing city.
The emperor may also have made a matrimonial alliance with a dynasty in Mysore. After this, his empire began from the mouth of the Ganges to the mouth of the Indus River, which is now the region from North Pakistan down to the mouth of the Narmada.
Some of his silver coins bear the title Vikramaditya (“Sun of Valour”), which suggests that he was the prototype for the king Vikramaditya of later Hindu tradition.
The Chinese Buddhist traveller-pilgrim Faxian (Fahien), who visited India during Chandra Gupta II’s reign, spoke highly of the system of government, the means for dispensing charity and medicine (the emperor maintained free rest houses and hospitals), and the goodwill of the people. From his description it is known that capital punishment was absent during the reign of Vikramaditya. Poll-tax, land tax and the presence of a strongly embedded caste system. However, he never visited the emperor or his court.
He is almost certainly the King Chandra eulogized in the Sanskrit inscription on iron pillar in the Qūwat al-Islām mosque in New Delhi`s Qutub Minar campus, which dates back to 4th century. This pillar bears an inscription, which states that it was erected as a mark of respect for the Hindu god Vishnu and in the memory of Chandragupta II. The pillar also highlights ancient India's achievements in metallurgy. The pillar is made of 98% wrought iron and has stood more than 1,600 years without rusting or decomposing.The government erected a fence around the pillar to prohibit the popular tradition of standing with your back to the pillar, making your hands meet behind it, as a token of good luck.
A pillar from Mathura referring to Chandragupta (Candragupta) has recently been deciphered, dates back to 388 CE.
*The Allahabad pillar inscription mentions the marriage of Chandragupta with a Naga princess Kuberanaga.
It is said that Chandra Gupta II was a devout Hindu, but he also tolerated the Buddhist and Jain religions.
His son Kumara Gupta I succeeded after Chandragupta II.
Labels: Ancient Indian History
(This story is related on the fourth day of the bright half of the lunar month, Bhadrapada, the sixth month of the Indian Calendar. Lord Krishna observed this fast to redeem himself from the stigma of telling a lie. )
In good old days, Lord Krishna built a beautiful city named Dwarka amidst the sea. There lived a man named Ugra who had two sons. Their names were Satrajit and Prasenjit (Prasena).
Briefly, Satrajit worshipped the Sun god for a long time. The god was pleased with him & gifted Syamantaka Gem. The God disappeared after gifting him the gem. Satrajit put the gem around his neck. When he entered Dwarka, everybody was surprised to see the heavenly gift. It was dazzling like sun. This gem produced gold eight times of its weight when needed. Satrajit did not part with it with king Ugrasen even when Krishna asked for it saying it would be safe with Him. Prasena, the brother of Satrajit went out hunting wearing the jewel but was killed by a lion. Jambavan (Jambavanta) of Ramayana fame killed the lion and gave it to his son to play with.
Prasena did not return to Dwarka and people were wondering what had happened to him. Satrajit suspected that Krishna might have killed Prasena in order to attain the gem. Krishna, in order to prove his innocence, gathered a search party and went into the forest. A few hours later, they found Prasena's body. Krishna noticed lion tracks around the body and assumed that a lion must have killed Prasena. On following the lion tracks, they came across the body of the dead lion. Krishna noticed that the lion had the marks of a bear's claws and noticed that there were bear tracks around the body. On following the bear tracks Krishna reached Jambavan's cave. Krishna sensing the danger ordered the rest of the party to stay outside while he entered the cave alone and found it in Jambavan's cave, with his child. Jambavan attacked Krishna thinking Him to be an intruder who had come to take away the jewel.
They fought each other for 28 days, when Jambavan, his whole body terribly weakened from the hammering of Krishna's fists, finally recognised Him as Rama.
I now know You. You are the life in all creatures, virility, grit and strength. You are Vishnu, the Primeval Lord, All-prevailing, the Supreme Lord (of the worlds). (Bhagavata 10.56.26)
He Who built a bridge (across the ocean) that is a standing monument to His fame, set Lanka ablaze, and with His arrows severed the heads of Rakshasas, which fell to the ground.
As repentance for his having fought Krishna, Jambavan gave Krishna the jewel and also his daughter Jambavati in marriage. Krishna returned to Dvaraka with Jambavati and the jewel, and returned it Satrajit. Satrajit felt ashamed for casting false aspersions on Lord Krishna. He offered his daughter Satyabhama to him as his wife.
The story of Syamantaka Gem did not end here. Once Krishna was out on a long tour. Satadhanwan (Satdhanwa) and Akrur were two brothers. They were jealous of Satrajit. Some sources (as this Amar Chitra Katha) say that they were angry due Satyabhama’s marriage. Satadhanwan killed Satrajit and snatched the Symantak. On his return Satyabhama told the whole story to Lord Krishna.
Satadhanwan passed on the Symantak to his brother Akrur and asked Akrur to proceed on a long pilgrimage. Lord Krishna and Balram thought that the gem was with Satdhanwa. Satdhanwa rode a horse and left the city. Krishna and Balram followed him. Krishna killed Satdhanwa and looked for the gem. It was not there. Balram became suspicious of Krishna’s designs. He thought that Krishna was greedy and a sinner. He killed innocent people. He left Krishna alone and went his own way.
When Krishna returned to Dwarka alone, people again became suspicious. They whispered to each other that Krishna had exiled Balram from Dwarka for the sake of the gem. Lord Krishna again felt dismayed.
Incidentally Narada visited Dwarka. He found Krishna in a sad mood. He asked him about his anxiety. Krishna said, “Respected Narada, people cast aspersions on me. Can I ever steal? Can I ever tell a lie? Am I a man subject to suspicion? I do not know what curse has befallen me. Kindly help and guide me”.
Narada smiled and said, “you have seen the moon on the fourth day of the bright half of the lunar month, Bhadrapada. Looking at the moon on that day is forbidden”.
“How is it? People see, appreciate and bow before the moon on the second day of the bright half of the lunar month. Why are they forbidden for looking at it on the fourth day?” asked Krishna.
Narada said,” Lord Ganesh, cursed the moon on that day. Anyone who sees moon on that day gets the curse. So a curse has befallen you”.
Once, Ganesh partook of a huge meal of modaka (a sweet greatly favoured by him) and was riding home on his vehicle, the mouse. Suddenly, the mouse was tripped by a snake. Ganesh fell off the mouse and his over-full stomach burst open and out tumbled the modakas.
(Another version of this part is: One day while travelling round the universe on his rat, Ganesha came to Chandraloka (the realm of the Moon)).
The Moon saw him. The Moon, very handsome, was proud of his appearance. On seeing the elephantfaced, big-bellied Ganapati riding on a rat, he laughed at Ganesha with contempt.
This was an insult and Ganesha was very angry about the Moon. He pronounced a curse "Oh Moon, your handsome appearance has made you too vain. Fool, I am worshipped in all the worlds, but you laugh at me. Receive now the fruits of your foolish pride. Let your beauty, which is the cause for your arrogance and ignorance vanishing! From now on, whoever sees you on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month, the day of my birth, will suffer because of unjust accusations."
The curse shattered the Moon's pride. He realized his mistake, and felt sorry. Standing devotedly with folded hands before Ganesha he prayed to him. "Sir, forgive me and my ignorance. Take back the curse and protect me."
Then the kind Ganesha grew calm. He consoled the unhappy Moon. He said, "Moon, you have realized your fault. What is important is the destruction of your pride. Anyhow, my curse cannot be in vain. But those who are subjected to false accusations will be saved and regain their good name if they see you on the second day of the bright fortnight also." The Moon was satisfied.
Lord Krishna said, “How can I free myself from this curse?”
“Observe fast on every fourth day of the bright half of the lunar month. Worship and make offerings to Lord Ganesh or Siddhi Vinayak, according to your status. You will be free from this sin”, was Narada’s reply.
Lord Krishna acted upon Narada’s advice and became free from the sin.
(Note: there are many variations of both part of this story. However main concept remains same.)
Siddhi-Vinayaka Vrata-the worship of Ganesha-is performed on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada. This belief exists to this day, and people carefully avoid looking at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi (Chaturthi is 4th day which comes after the new moon), the day of the festival of Ganesh.The devotees on this day, get up early in the morning and take bath in water mixed with `til’ or sesame seeds. They worship the earthern or metallic idol of Ganesha and keep a fast. The devotees also believe that those who see the Moon on that day will not suffer, if they listen to the story of the Syamantaka.
Read: Vishnu Purana: Book IV: Chapter XIII (original source of this story),
Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 10 Chapter 56 (Summary)
Syamantaka Ruby OR Shyamantaka Sapphire?
Of course most devotees already know this story, but a mistake of spelling wrongly as "Shyamantaka" has led to the incorrect idea that Syamantaka was a blue sapphire (Saturn's gem). Even Amar Chitra Katha comic books in India, as well as BBT artists make this mistake, and they spell as Shyamantaka and show the Sun God is giving a blue sapphire to Satrajit. This is completely incorrect. If anyone looks at the Sanskrit they will see it is not spelled Shyamantaka, the real spelling is "SYAMANTAKA" which means the Ruby (Sun's gem) after which this story is named. The story also describes how the people mistook Satrajit "as the Sun God" whenever he wore the gem, so it was surely not a blue sapphire (Saturn's gem).
(By Richard Shaw Brown- read full article Here)
This Amar Chitra Katha is first Contribution by Rajeev Sharma.
This time only Hindi version I’m posting. English will come later.
Labels: Ancient Indian History
Ugadi is derived from ‘Yuga adi’ where ‘yuga’ means time, era or period and ‘adi’ means beginning. Gudi in marathi is a Bamboo stick which is decorated and at the top of which a cup or a glass is placed and Padwa means the ‘adi’ described earlier.Note: It falls on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April).
Indian drama is analyzed by Bharata in the Natya Shastra, probably from the third century CE or before. Bharata ascribed a divine origin to drama and considered it a fifth Veda; its origin seems to be from religious dancing. In the classical plays the Brahmins and noble characters speak Sanskrit, while others and most women use Prakrit vernaculars. According to Bharata poetry (kavya), dance (nritta), and mime (nritya) in life's play (lila) produce emotion (bhava), but only drama (natya) produces "flavor" (rasa). The drama uses the eight basic emotions of love, joy (humor), anger, sadness, pride, fear, aversion, and wonder, attempting to resolve them in the ninth holistic feeling of peace. These are modified by 33 less stable sentiments he listed as discouragement, weakness, apprehension, weariness, contentment, stupor, elation, depression, cruelty, anxiety, fright, envy, arrogance, indignation, recollection, death, intoxication, dreaming, sleeping, awakening, shame, demonic possession, distraction, assurance, indolence, agitation, deliberation, dissimulation, sickness, insanity, despair, impatience, and inconstancy. Causes, effects, and moods manifest the emotions. The spectators should be of good character, intelligent, and empathetic.
This bumper issue is based on three great Sanskrit plays:
1. Ratnavali by Emperor Harsha.
2. Mrichchakatikam ( The Little Clay Cart) by Shudraka.
3. Svapnavasavadatta by Bhasa.
Kalidasa refer to Bhasa with reverence. Therefore Bhasa belonged to a period, a hundred or two hundred years before Kalidasa(of the fourth century A.D.). Mrichchakatikam by Shudraka revolves round the love of Vasantasena for Charudatta, the impoverished merchant. Ratnavali is attributed to Emperor Harsha, who ruled from Kanauj in the seventh century A.D.
Little is known of Sudraka, and he is known through only his attributed contributions to Sanskrit literature. Sudraka was an Indian King. Three Sanskrit plays are ascribed to him -Mricchakatika (The Little Clay Cart) [or Mrcchakatika or Mricchakatika or Mrichchhakatika is the play written in the 2nd century BC. It is set in Pataliputra (modern-day Patna)] , Vinavasavadatta, and a bhana (short one-act monologue), Padmaprabhritaka.
The Little Clay Cart refers to the toy cart with which the son of Charudatta, who has been reduced to poverty, plays.
Rife with romance, sex, court intrigue and comedy, the plot of the play has numerous twists and turns. The main story is about a young man named Charudatta , and his love for Vasantasena , a rich courtesan or nagarvadhu. The love affair is complicated by a royal courtier, who is also attracted to Vasantasena. The plot is further complicated by thieves and mistaken identities, and thus making it a hilarious and entertaining play.
Recommend to read an article: www.sandeepweb.com
#125 (#621) Udayana
ACK Udayana is adapted from Bhasa's Svapnavasavadatta (Vision of Vasavadatta)
One of the greatest pioneers of classical Sanskrit drama, Bhasa is said to have lived around 3rd Century A.D. He is one of the earliest known Sanskrit dramatists of ancient India. An Indian scholar, Mahamahopadhyaya Ganapati Sastrigal, rediscovered thirteen of his plays in the year 1912. Most of these surviving works are romances taken from the famous epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, although two of Bhasa's plays do boast original plots: Avimaraka and Charudatta which became the basis for a later play, The Little Clay Cart, possibly written by the legendary King Shudraka.
Not much is known about the life history of Bhasa. There are no written records of his life nor is there a biography of Bhasa. Bhasa deviated from the accepted dramaturgical practices of the day by depicting battle scenes and murder on stage. He had a profound influence on the dramatists that would follow him, including India's greatest poet, Kalidasa. His influence is seen in the works of the great dramatist Kalidasa, who consciously imitated and improved upon some of Bhāsa’s literary motifs.
Perhaps the most noted play of Bhasa is Svapnavasavadatta (Vision of Vasavadatta). The story revolves around King Udayana who is pressurized by his state minister to marry the daughter of a very powerful ruler in order to gain power to protect his kingdom from foreign invasions.
The King, however, is too devoted to his wife to consider such a marriage. But the Queen, ready to sacrifice herself to save the kingdom, stages her death in a palace fire, then secretly returns to wait upon the new queen and be near her husband. The play is so well constructed that a 9th century critic is said to have remarked that "when the whole of Bhasa's plays were thrown into the fire, the Svapnavasavadatta alone remained unconsumed by the flames!" The play is so well written that it won the hearts of the sternest critics.
Read more about Bhasa www.absoluteastronomy.com, Wikipedia,
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