Tag Archives: assam

INTERESTING FACTS: NORTH EAST-THE DIMASA aka KACHARI KINGDOM

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Ruins of Dimasa Palace

    The Dimasa aka Kachari Kingdom also known as Kachari Hidimbā and Timisa kingdom was a major, late medieval, or an early modern kingdom in Assam—Northeast India, ruled by Dimasa kings, called Timisa in the Ahom Buranjis (the Ahom texts).

    The Dimasa kingdom and others (Kamata, Chutiya—kingdoms) that developed in the wake of the Kamarupa kingdom were examples of new states that emerged from indigenous communities in Medieval Assam, and that transformed these communities. The British finally annexed the kingdom: The plains in 1832 and the hills in 1834. This kingdom gave its name to undivided Cachar district of colonial Assam. Assam was a province of British India, created in 1912 by the partition of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Its capital was in Shillong. The Assam territory was first separated from Bengal in 1874 as the ‘North-East Frontier’ non-regulation province. It was incorporated into the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1905 and re-established as a province in 1912.

    After independence the undivided Cachar district was split into three districts, in Assam: Cachar, Dima Hasao and Hailakandi district, formerly North Cachar Hills, Cachar district, Hailakandi district. The Dimasa kingdom finds mention in Chinese chronicles. The Undivided Cachar district is congruous, to Govinda Chandra’s, the last king of the Kachari kingdom, a domain in the southern part of Assam.

    In the 18th century, a divine Hindu origin was constructed for the rulers of the Kachari kingdom and it was named Hidimba, and the kings as Hidimbesvar. The name Hiḍimba continued to be used in the official records when the East India Company took over the administration of Cachar.

    The origin of the Dimasa Kingdom is not clear. According to tradition the Dimasa had their domain in Kamarupa and their kings belonged to a lineage called Ha-tsung-tsa or Ha-cheng-sa, a name first mentioned in a coin from 1520. Some of them had to leave due to a political turmoil and while crossing the Brahmaputra some of them were swept away. Therefore, they are called Dimasa (son of the big river). The similarity in Dimasa traditions and religious beliefs with those of the Chutiya Kingdom a late medieval state that developed around Sadiya a town in Tinsukiya district of Assam, and adjoining areas in Arunachal Pradesh, supports this tradition of initial unity and then divergence. Linguistic studies too point to a close association between the Dimasa language and the Moran language that was alive till the beginning of the 20th-century, suggesting that the Dimasa kingdom had an eastern Assam presence before the advent of the Ahoms. The Dimasas had a tradition of worshipping Kechai Khaiti, the war goddess, common among all Bodo-Kachari people such as the Rabhas, Tiwas, Koch, Chutias, etc. According to an account in a Buranji, the first Ahom king Sukaphaa (1228–1268) encountered a Kachari group in the Tirap region (currently in Arunachal Pradesh), who informed him that, they along with their chief had to leave a place called Mohung (salt springs) losing it to the Nagas and that they were settled near the Dikhou river. This supports a tradition that the eastern boundary of the Kachari domain extended up to Mohong or Namchang (near Jeypore, Assam) beyond the river Dichang, before the arrival of Ahoms.

    It is perceived that the Chinese Ming dynasty had political interactions with the Dimasa Kingdom, which canonized it, as a tusi in 1406 named, “Di-ma-sa Pacification Superintendency.”

   According to a legend, Hachengsa or Hasengcha was an extraordinary boy brought up by a tiger and a tigress in a forest near Dimapur who replaced the existing king following some divine oracles, which indicates the emergence of a strong military leader able to consolidate power. Subsequently, the Hasengcha Sengfang (clan) emerged, beginning with Khorapha (1520 in Dimapur), the Dimasa kings continued to draw lineage from Hachengcha in Maibong and Khaspur till the 19th century. This legend of the origin of Hachengcha is recorded in an unpublished manuscript written by the late Rajkumar Janmejoy Barman, a member of the royal clan of the Dimasas.

    By the 13th century, the Kachari kingdom extended along the southern banks of Brahmaputra River, from Dikhow River to Kallang River and included the valley of Dhansiri and present-day Dima Hasao district. Dimapur was built by Raja Chakradhvaj after being driven from Ghergaon (present-day Dergaon) in Jorhat district. According to the Buranjis who called the kings Khun Timisa, the Kachari settlements to the east of Dikhou withdrew before the Ahom advance. The Chutiya Kingdom existed in the Northeast, and the Kamata Kingdom and the Baro-Bhuyans, to its west.

    In Dimapur, the remains of the Kachari city are still evident. The locals around Dimapur refer to the remains as the “Chess Pieces” of Dima Raja or the King of Dimasa. Only a few ancient temples and that too, only in upper Assam, were then built of masonry, whereas, the remains at Dimapur, for instance, which flourished, centuries before the Ahoms arrived, show us that Kacharis knew, all about the art of brick making and permanent buildings.”

    The Ahoms settled in the track between the Chutiya and the Kachari Kingdoms that was inhabited by the Borahi and Moran people. The first clash with the Ahom Kingdom took place in 1490, in which the Ahoms were defeated. The Ahoms pursued peace, an Ahom princess was offered to the Kachari king, and the Kachari took control of the land beyond Dhansiri. But in the meanwhile the Ahoms were getting powerful and they pushed the Kacharis back, west. In 1526 the Kacharis defeated the Ahoms in a battle, but in the same year, they were defeated in a second battle. In 1531 the Ahoms advanced up to Dimapur, the capital. The Dimasas in accordance to their animistic faith believed cows (Mushu) to be “Gushu” (impure). This belief is still held by the Dimasas. When the Ahom army attacked the Kachari army, they took the cover of cows. The king of the Kachari Kingdom along with his mother and many royals were murdered after the Ahoms reached the city. The Ahoms later installed Detsung as the king of the Kachari Kingdom with yearly taxes of 20 Elephant and 1 lakhs of rupees (mudras). But in 1536 the Ahoms attacked the Kachari capital once again and ransacked the city. The Dimasa abandoned Dimapur and retreated south to set up their new capital in Maibang. “Mai” means “Paddy” and “bang” means “Plenty or abundance”.

    At Maibang, the Dimasa Kachari kings came under Hindu influence. The son of Detsung took a Hindu name Nirbhay Narayan, and established his Brahmin guru as the Dharmadhi that became an important institution of the state. The titular deity of the Dimasas changed from Kechai Khaiti to Ranachandi in the 16th-century as a result of Hinduisation. The royal family came under Hindu influence at Maibang, though the first conversion of a Kachari king to Hinduism is recorded in Khaspur, much later. According to a legend coined at that time, the royal family descends from the famous Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhima of the Mahabharata fame, and Hidambi, a princess of the Kachari people.

    Chilarai the younger brother of Nara Narayan, the king of the Kamata Kingdom in the 16th century, attacked the kingdom on or after 1564, during the reign of either Durlabh Narayan or his predecessor, and made it into a tributary of the Koch Kingdom. Where, the size of the annual tribute was— seventy thousand rupees, one thousand gold mohurs and sixty elephants, and that testifies to the resourcefulness of the Kachari state.

    A conflict with the Jaintia Kingdom over the region of Dimarua led to a battle and the defeat of the Jaintia king (Dhan Manik). After the death of Dhan Manik, Satrudaman the Dimasa Kachari king, installed Jasa Manik on the throne who manipulated events to bring the Dimasa Kacharis into conflict with the Ahoms once again in 1618. Satrudaman, the most powerful Dimasa Kachari king, ruled over Dimarua in Nagaon district long before it was ruled by Tiwa tribal chief Jongal Balahu, which included, North Cachar, Dhansiri valley, plains of Cachar and parts of eastern Sylhet. After his conquest of Sylhet, he struck coins in his name.

    By the reign of Birdarpan Narayan (around 1644), the Kachari rule had withdrawn completely from the Dhansiri valley and it had reverted to a jungle forming a barrier between their kingdom and the Ahom Kingdom. When a successor king, Tamradhwaj, declared independence, the Ahom king invaded Maibong and destroyed its forts in 1706 and the king had to take refuge in Khaspur.

    Kacharis had three ruling clans (semfongs): Bodosa (an old historical clan), Thaosengsa (the clan to which the kings belonged to), and Hasyungsa (to which the kings relatives belonged).

    The king at Maibang was assisted in his state duties by a council of ministers (Patra and Bhandari), led by a chief called Barbhandari. These and other state offices were manned by people of the Dimasa group, who were not necessarily Hinduized. There were about 40 clans called Sengphong of the Dimasa people, each of which sent a representative to the royal assembly called Mel, a powerful institution that could elect a king. The representatives sat in the Mel mandap (Council Hall) according to the status of the Sengphong that provided a counterfoil to royal powers.

    Over time, the Sengphongs developed a hierarchical structure with five royal Sengphongs though most of the kings belonged to the Hacengha (Hasnusa) clan. Some of the clans provided specialized services to the state ministers, ambassadors, storekeepers, court writers, and other bureaucrats and ultimately developed into professional groups, e.g. Songyasa (king’s cooks), Nablaisa (fishermen).

    By the 17th century, the Dimasa Kachari rule extended into the plains of Cachar. The plains people did not participate in the courts of the Dimasa Kachari king directly. They were organized according to khels, and the king provided justice and collected revenue via an official called the Uzir. Though the plains people did not participate in the Dimasa Kachari royal court, the Dharmadhi guru and other Brahmins in the court cast a considerable influence, especially with the beginning of the 18th century.

    The region of Khaspur, was originally, a part of the Tripura Kingdom, which was taken over by Koch (Koch dynasty of North East) king Chilarai in the 16th century. The region was ruled by a tributary ruler, Kamalnarayana, the brother of king Chilarai. Around 18th century Bhima Singha, the last Koch ruler of Khaspur, didn’t have any male heir. His daughter, Kanchani, married Laxmichandra, the Dimasa prince of Maibong kingdom. Once the last Koch king Bhima Singha died the Dimasas migrated to Khaspur, thus merging the two kingdoms into one. Kachari kingdom under the king Gopichandranarayan, and the control of the Khaspur kingdom, went to the ruler of the Maibong kingdom, as inheritance from the royal marriage and established their capital in Khaspur, near present-day Silchar. The independent rule of the Khaspur’s Koch rulers ended in 1745 when it merged with the Kachari kingdom. Khaspur is a corrupted form of the word Kochpur. Gopichandranarayan (reigning1745-1757), Harichandra (reigning1757-1772) and Laxmichandra (reigning1772-1773) were brothers and ruled the kingdom in succession.

    Connect with Hindu Mythology

    The widely believed legend that was constructed by the Hindu Brahmins at Khaspur goes as follows: In Mahabharat during their exile, the Pandavas came to the Kachari Kingdom where Bhima fell in love with Hidimbi (sister of Hidimba). Bhima married princess Hidimbi according to the Gandharva system and a son was born to princess Hidimbi, named Ghatotkacha. He ruled the Kachari Kingdom for many decades. Thereafter, kings of his lineage ruled over the vast land of the “Dilao” river (which translates to “long river” in English), now known as Brahmaputra River for centuries until 4th century AD. It is believed that Kacharies participated in the Mahabharat war too.

    British occupation

    The Dimasa Kachari kingdom came under Burmese occupation in the late early 19th-century along with the Ahom Kingdom. The last king, Govinda Chandra Hasnu, was restored by the British after the Yandabo Treaty in 1826, but he was unable to subjugate Tularam Senapati who ruled the hilly regions. Senapati Tularam Hasnusa’s domain was Mahur River and the Naga Hills in the south, the Doyang river on the west, the Dhansiri River on the east and Jamuna and Doyang in the north. In 1830, Govinda Chandra Hasnu died. In 1832, Senapoti Tularam Hasnu was pensioned off and his region was annexed by the British to ultimately become the North Cachar district. In 1833, Govinda Chandra’s domain was also annexed to become the Cachar district.

    In the early nineteenth century, after being dislodged from Meitrabak (present-day Manipur), its princes made Cachar a springboard for the reconquest of the territory. In 1819, the three brothers occupied Cachar and drove Govinda Chandra Hasnu out to Sylhet (now in Bangladesh). The kingdom of Cachar, divided between Govinda Chandra Hasnu and Chaurajit in 1818, was repartitioned after the flight of Govind Chandra among the three Meitrabak princes. Chaurajit got the eastern portion of Cachar bordering Meitrabak which was ruled from Sonai. Gambhir Singh was given the land west of Tillain hill and his headquarters was at Gumrah, Marjit Singh ruled Hailakandi from Jhapirbond. The British annexed the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom under the doctrine of lapse. At the time of British annexation, the kingdom consisted of parts of Nagaon and Karbi Anglong; North Cachar (Dima Hasao), Cachar and the Jiri frontier of Manipur.

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15,2020;

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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NAMAMI BRAHMAPUTRA-BIGGEST RIVER FESTIVAL OF INDIA

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THEME SONG

… Namami Brahmaputra,

Kabhi shaant bahe kabhi rudra,

Pal pal mein ek naya chitra,

O Zindagi ke sakha

Yu he behna,

Dur hai shristi,

Brahma tere pita  …

    When the end gets nearer, life gets dearer, childhood comes closer and memories get thirstier. The song brings about wild nostalgia and takes me back in time, some 45 to 50 years when I used to sojourn in Guwahati circuit house, located near the High Court, on the banks of mighty Brahmaputra while driving down from Shillong, then capital of Assam, on my way to Kolkatta with my Parents. So, one can’t help but reminisce those wonderful times after hearing this beautiful song cranked by Mr Bachchan. I was very young then …

    I had not seen the mighty sea, but yes I was seeing the powerful Brahmputra in its shaant and rudra expanse as the song goes. The view from the circuit house was just tantalizing. Each morning as I woke up, I used to rush to the lawns and thereafter run to the railings that divided the circuit house from the long and wide embankment of the river.  As the sun rose, one could see herds of cattle flocking around the shore for water and pasture and their herdsmen, with their long crooks on their shoulders singing those folksongs, perhaps to please the rising sun. A few bare feet—bare chested Deswali milkmen too, passed my sight with their soiled dhotis tied around their slender waist. Generally in conversation, trying to describe the might of the river, while comparing it with the humble brooks in their distant village in faraway states.

    Even, when, it was hazy. From the embankment one could get a vivid view of the lush green Uma-Nandi islet, located in the centre of the river. It had tall trees and a few boats anchored around. From a distance, it appeared as a humble abode for some rural families involved in small time farming. Where, one could distinctly hear, calls of languri bandars (monkeys) coming from there, that could be heard right up to the rooms of the circuit house. The fierce flow of the river made that rhythmic splash at regular intervals, when it hit the shore, while it kept under wraps, its strong undercurrents. Something, that we humans also need to learn. To keep our raucous mood swings under check.

    All around there were hills and hillocks some tall and some not so tall. At a distance one could see a flurry of dinghies and even a couple of ferries carrying people across. By now the sun had arched up and its mirror image could be seen in the river water. The entire panorama is still so fresh in my mind as if it was captured by some high pixel camera about half a century ago.

    I jumped the railings to be on the other side of the circuit house that gave me a feel as if I had touched the river. But the flow of water was still at a distance. From here it looked blue and foamy. I walked the distance and up to the shore without anyone noticing me. Where, I dipped my hands to finally touch Brahmaputra. He was cold. Yet he was the biggest warmth around, for the civilisation. The passing herdsman yelled at me to get back, as the river had strong undercurrents. Meanwhile, his carefree children raced across to me. They appeared ace swimmers. The elder one jumped into the river and swam for a while. The others pointed their fingers towards the circuit house. ‘Yes I’m from there.’ I said. They clapped and asked for some money to buy ‘chanajor garam’ early in the morning. They were four so I gave them eight annas. And they immediately ran away, thinking, I might ask them to return the money as there was no one selling chanajor early in the morning. But soon I saw them at a close by tea stall.

    I waved and they waved back. Soon I was immersed in my own thoughts. Why are some places so beautiful and some so ugly? Why can’t fishes be out water and live with me? Why can’t I walk through the water and go to Uma-Nandi to see those langurs? Why do I need to always do, what others tell me, and not what I want to do?

    Suddenly, I could hear the voice of my Dad’s office boy. He was darting at me, finding me alone and that too on the banks of such a powerful river. The serene and enchanting morning was thus over but it had left a mark in me. I wish I could carry the mighty Brahmaputra with me in my pocket was the last thought.  

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     Namami Brahmaputra is the biggest river festival of India. It was organized across 21 districts in Assam from March 31-April 4, 2017. Brahmaputra is the only male river by name in India and the fifth most powerful river of the world with very strong undercurrents.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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A day with Dad

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    I knew for sure. This ever changing world around me will only change further. But I just didn’t know how much. Ever since you left us on this very day many years ago. I have stayed away from Lucknow. And after many years I’m home around this time. Thinking, I would sight the changing times myself. So, on this serene and dismal morning I went out for a morning walk. Pursuing, quite the same route. That, you once frequented. And it gave me a feel as if I was following the same trail that you had left behind.

     To be frank. I wasn’t surprised when I saw. The old surroundings had really sprung up to the hilt, leaving no niche for that stilly calm. The flow of river Gomti has receded and it isn’t what it used to be in your times. It has thinned down. Like the plait of an ageing lady. The chirping Gauraiyas are nowhere to be seen. And no one knows where they have gone. Did you see them by any chance? Did they come to you? Meanwhile some Gods have grown in stature but some remained where they were. The temple of Hanuman Setu has exalted both in pomp and spirits, just like you. But the small Shivalaya near the banks has only greyed. It still emanates of that salt and pepper looks. The overarching, Banyan tree there, has spread all around the Shivalay. As if, protecting, the God of the poor, residing in it. That reminded me of the days when you protected all of us.

     The chauraha has become quite psychedelic as everything out there has changed. The famous samosawalla—Phullu who had his makeshift shop in the middle of it is nowhere to be seen—the samosas are there but the walla has changed. No one knows where he has gone. Some say he is no more. One, Good Samaritan has converted her home into an institution. I wish. Many were like her.

     The chauraha gossips are no more vociferous. The morning newspapers have swapped positions and with that even the feel. From Swatantra Bharat it is now Dainik Jagran and some others. What has grossly depleted over the years is ‘time.’ People don’t have time but enough to whine. Where, morals have declined.

    Even in the faint trickle and rustle of the holy river. I could hardly hear the serenading calls of those joyous koel in the colourful months of spring. That used to be so piercing earlier. It has now been overtaken by the roar of the swarming vehicles thriving on the embankment. That sadly pollutes the vicinity, all along the scorching day. Lots of people walk up to the newly resurrected Mandirs, Ashrams and even a Masjid nearby for peace of mind. Perhaps, someday, their temples within, shall also kindle to the call of the Almighty.

    Most bright children in and around have left for good. I now only find their parents whiling away their time in obsolescence. Is when, I wonder what I got from you and what I gave to my child. If the equations are not comforting peace shall always elude me.

    So much has changed over the years. Yet a few things haven’t changed. Just as, the day and night take their turn. The sun still rises and the rain comes when it has to come. Seasons too, alternate when they have to. But more importantly the chord we struck during our lives will never ever change.

    What I continue to learn from you is, pillars should not change. But they should allow  the change.

    May, you rest in peace.

    By Kamlesh Tripathi: Homage to Babuji (K.P. Tripathi). He left us this day in 1984.

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REMEMBERING MY FATHER- THE POWER OF YOGA

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

t1

 

 

Some 32 years ago, on 14th of April I lost my father. He peacefully passed away in his sleep. Since then every morning I pray to God, ‘may he rest in peace.’ I did the same today.

He was an avid lover of Yoga. So, below is verse from Gita that takes you to shunya (emptiness) yet it holds and triggers your mind; and today is quite an appropriate day to convey it to all those who may not have read it.

PRAYANKALE MANSACHLEN BHAKTYA YUKTO YOGBALEN CHAEV

BHRUVORMARDHAYA PRANMAVEHSYA SAMYAKAH SA TAM PARAM PURUSHMUPAITI DIVYAM

It says at the time of death, a person who is able to steady his pran (breath of life) between his eyebrows with the power of yoga, and with a firm mind can devote himself at the feet of the Parmeshwar, (Almighty) he for sure will dissolve in the divinity of the Parmeshwar.

In the verse it is also clarified that during the time of death the person’s mind should be ready and steady to assimilate with the power of God. People who practice yoga regularly, for them it is recommended that they get their pran (breath of life) between their agya-chakra—bhavain (eyebrows). And it is recommended to practice and concentrate on the ‘Shat-Chakras” that refers to the six Chakras in the human body: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipra, Anahata, Vishuddha and Ajna.

But a person who forever is immersed in Krishnabhavnaamrit (the elixir of Lord Krishna) and who is a always a pure devotee of Krishna, with the help of Lord’s blessings and without yoga-abhyas too can reach God but that is only possible through Bhaktiyoga.

In the verse (word) ‘yogbalen’ (power of Yoga) has been used which is of utmost significance because without yoga whether it is shatchakrayog or bhaktiyog—man at the time of death cannot achieve divinity. No one at the time of death can suddenly remember or pray to God. He needs to practise and depend on some form of yoga for this, especially the bhaktiyoga. Because, at the time of death, a person’s mind is extremely restless, and therefore, for assimilating into the divinity at the time of death; he must during his lifetime practice yoga and through yoga he must practice spiritualism as that alone will help him see his end.

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MEMORY LANE: HIS HOLINESS DALAI LAMA’S ESCAPE AND EXILE TO INDIA

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HH Dalai Lama with my father next to him and a journalist
HH Dalai Lama received in Tezpur by my father standing next to him, and a journalist asking questions. And don’t miss his radiant smile … that speaks about his courage even after being exiled.

One of his recent pictures
HH- One of his recent pictures

HH entering India, and behind him in the 2nd spot is my father
HH entering India, and behind him in the 2nd spot is my father.

MEMORY LANE: HIS HOLINESS DALAI LAMA’S ESCAPE AND EXILE TO INDIA

    The picture in the middle is a rare photograph of the 14th Dalai Lama. In the year 1959 during the Tibetan uprising, fearing for his life. The Dalai Lama and his retinue fled Tibet with the help of CIA’s Special Activities Division, crossing into India on 30 March 1959. Reaching Tezpur in Assam on 18 April. Where, he was received by my late father Mr Kamakhya Prasad Tripathi, a Minister then in the Assam Government. What is truly striking about the picture is the radiant smile of the 24 year old Dalai Lama (Real name: Lhamo Dondrub) who inspite of having lost his kingdom wears that courageous smile.

    Dalai Lama was born on 6 July 1935 at Taktser, China. He is a recipient of 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Truly, a nostalgic moment, to see my father receiving and welcoming HH Dalai Lama into India.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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REMEMBRANCE

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(Late K.P. Tripathi: 1910- 14.4.1984)

(Ex-Member of 1 st Parliament, Finance Minister of Assam, Vice-President INTUC, Chairman National Textiles Corporation)

Exactly this day, 31 years ago you left us; but you are as fresh and relevant in our lives even today. And that is the making of a noble and great soul.

Every now and then, after a couple of steps I halt to reminisce your teachings and will continue do so.

May you rest in peace.

O MY FAIR LADY!

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    Our formative years were full of fun and coupled to them was a careless, happy –go- lucky lifestyle that went naturally with it. The gay abandon and freedom we enjoyed was all within the family for we enjoyed doing things together. Life was simple and modes of entertainment simpler. No Cineplex, no DVDs, or play stations or speed dating. A good game of cricket followed by a refreshing ice soda, topped by a steaming cup of coffee with a bun, perhaps, was the ultimate luxury. My interest in movies as a source of entertainment was influenced by my uncle who belonged to the era of Douglas Fairbanks, Spencer Tracey, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and a host of others who gave that aura of sheer mysticism and glamour to Hollywood, which makes it what it is today. Uncle was particular about the movies we saw, especially the English movies. He out rightly discouraged the slam-bang-wham types, excepting, of course, the Westerns starring John Wayne, Gary Cooper and the ilk. Uncle acquainted us with the top genre movies including the noire category made by Hollywood. The list of films ranged from Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music to Scapegoat, Stagecoach and Gunfight at O.K. Coral. However, my all time favourite is The Sound of Music. ‘Do Re Me Fa…’ , ‘I’m sixteen going on seventeen….’, oh, what numbers, simply out of this world-or mind blowing by today’s parlance. For sheer magic of music and visual excellence the movie is miles ahead of its genre.

But for unalloyed intellectual treat My Fair Lady takes the cake. Elders at home took great pains to explain the essential hypocrisy of the British and their unique trait of laughing at themselves. That, perhaps, has moulded my present opinion. Based on Pygmalion by the great English dramatist, GBS, this captivating musical, a Twentieth Century Fox Production, won the best film Oscar(1964). The name Pygmalion refers to the king of Cyprus who fell in love with a statue of his own making. The beautiful statue was bestowed with life and turned into a more beautiful maiden whom Pygmalion married, or so the story goes. Henry Higgins is an English linguistics professor without peer. He is also a misogynistic bachelor-brash, arrogant but totally committed to his work. The Covent Garden scene where he meets scruffy Eliza Dolittle, superbly portrayed by Audrey Hepburn, a common flower girl with a Cockney accent, is uniquely scripted and refreshingly filmed.

Professor Higgins takes on Eliza under his tutelage in order to transform her from a rustic flower girl to a lady who captures the majesty and grandeur of the English language with impeccable articulation. They train together and enter into a cantankerous relationship where Eliza threatens Higgins, “Just you wait Henry Higgins”. Eliza has to work unceremoniously as part of his innovative speech devices much to the anguish of Col Pickering who sympathises with the girl for the ordeals she suffers. Higgins bets with Pickering that he will be able to pass Eliza off as a Duchess in six months time. The big day finally arrives. Pretenders, masqueraders, and polyglots arrive incognito to de-mask Eliza. They tease, torment and taunt Eliza who stands unnerved by their verbal sallies. Eliza steals the show with His Majesty leading the dance with her, much like the Cindrella of the fairy tale. Eliza transcends expectations beyond measure. Higgins finds it difficult to believe in his own handiwork and concedes defeat, saying: “ I have grown accustomed to her face”.

Astonishing sets, captivating costumes and excellent photography together with immortal tunes like’ “Get me to the church in time”, “I could have danced all night” transform the movie into a classic. Down to this day the movie ranks as an all time favourite for our entire family. The supporting cast in the form of Alfred Dolittle (Stanley Holloway) in the role of Eliza’s eccentric yet charismatic father is no less endearing. Alfred delivers some of the finest lines in the film, and remains my favourite character to this day. Our own Bollywood has many a times borrowed thematic contents from Hollywood classics of the early sixties and seventies. Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi and picked up its theme from It Happened One Night, while The Sound Of Music provided the concept for Parichay. Devanand’s Manpasand adapted substantially from My Fair Lady. In doing so the Bollywood  attempt was bold but not a patch on the great movie. However, Devanand as Higgins and Girish Karnad as Col Pickering just manage to keep the movie afloat.

Going back to my favourite, the most exciting part of the movie is where Higgins and Eliza sing the ditty “The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly in the Plain”.  Suddenly Eliza discovers that the tone, timbre and modulation of her voice have acquired the Queen’s accent. The exhilaration and joy of the Professor is a delight to watch. Even Pickering and the house maids join in the fun as the song goes on and on. The scene is one of the high point of the movie. The acerbic wit in the allegory authored by the redoubtable GBS is commendably brought out in the film which for me remains a moving experience.

A.K.Tripathi,                                                                                                                                        Guwahati-Assam

March-2015

First published in Local Area Magazine titled ‘Nava Arunodoi’ in 2009. The article has since been re-edited.