Tag Archives: himalayas

BOOK REVIEW: RUSKIN BOND: Captain Young’s Ghost–Ghostly Tales from the Indian Hills

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Neither can book lovers, step out of their homes, nor can they, order books online, due to the lockdown. So in this period of utter dilemma let me take you through an interesting book titled ‘Captain Young’s Ghost’ –Ghostly Tales from the Indian Hills by none other than Ruskin Bond. Friends, he is one author who has a universal appeal. He is read both by children and adults. Surely … there’s something about him.

    Ruskin Bond has created many unforgettable characters in his novels among them are ghosts and spirits that haunt the hills and foothills of the Himalayas. These ghosts are not always horrific. They are mysterious and often benevolent, or lonely creatures looking for company among humans. The collection in this book are new stories. The publisher is Speaking Tiger. Year of publication is 1918. It is available in all online stores.

    The book in all has, over twenty stories. Superb for light reading and also as bedtime stories. It’ll not be possible for me to relate to, all the stories in this short clip. But yes let me give you a glimmer of the title story that is, Captain Young’s Ghost.

    ‘Captain Young’s Ghost,’ is a story, set up, in the hills of Mussoorie, Barlowganj and Landour. It’s written in first person. Where, the narrator is sitting in a bar enjoying his Martini. It’s a cold day in February, and it’s been raining all along, when a person a visitor who looks familiar to the narrator walks up to him and requests if he can join him as the bar-cum-restaurant is practically empty. The narrator doesn’t say no.

    Thereafter, the visitor orders whiskey. The barman gives him a choice ‘Indian or Scotch.’ But the man orders Irish whiskey. The barman declines. He says, ‘No Irish, sir. Only Scotch is available.’ Finally with a certain amount of distaste the person settles for a Scotch.

    Thereafter the person settles in his chair, scans across the room, which is largely empty except for a pianist in the far corner, tinkling away to glory. He asks, ‘Why do they call it, Captain Young’s Bar? That’s an Irish name. Does he own this place?’ The narrator says no.

    Thereafter, the visitor, and the narrator, get into an interesting conversation. They discuss Captain Young at length. The narrator describes the military lives of one General Gillespie and Captain Young both in British Army, when there is a sudden commotion outside.

    It so happens that there is one Mr Foster whom the hotel has hired for a unique rendition. He often comes on a horse dressed as Captain Young’s Ghost, to entertain guests since it is perceived that Captain Young’s ghost is harmless. But since Mr Foster on that very day stumbles off his horse which is actually a pony the secret is unintentionally let out that Foster indeed is the protagonist dressed as Captain Young’s Ghost.

    In the meanwhile the Assistant Manager of the hotel asks the narrator if liked Mr Foster’s show. Narrator says he didn’t. But by the time he returns to his table in the bar he finds to his surprise that the person or the visitor who had joined him for a drink has vanished and he was heard saying, ‘he had  seen enough nonsense for one evening.’

    Finally, the narrator too, leaves the bar and while walking up the hill he comes across an old acquaintance Bahadur the chowkidar who recognises him as Captain Young’s Ghost and knows that he is harmless. But he comments, ‘sir how come you are not in uniform today and without your horse.’

    The story closes with the narrator walking up the steep hill. The mist gradually lifts and the moon comes out where he finds his white horse waiting for him as a homeless ghost, just like his master. He realises he shouldn’t have gone away to England, for this was the town he had created, and he should have breathed his last years here. Unfortunately that did not happen, so he keeps returning to his beloved town.

    The book overall is extremely interesting especially if you like short stories. I like them hell of a lot. I would give the book seven out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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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:

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

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now 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

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

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 its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 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. 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. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(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)

*****

 

 

 

ABOUT AUTHOR: NIRAD C CHAUDHURI

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    Nirad Chandra Chaudhuri – lifespan (23 November 1897 – 2001) was an English-language writer of Indian origin. He authored numerous works in English and Bengali. His oeuvre provides a magisterial appraisal of the histories and cultures of India, especially in the context of British colonialism of the 19th and 20th centuries. Chaudhuri is best known for ‘The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian’ published in 1951. Over the course of his literary career, he received numerous accolades for his writing. In 1966, his work ‘The Continent of Circe’ was awarded, the Duff Cooper Memorial Award, making Chaudhuri the first and the only Indian till date, to be given the prize. The Sahitya Akedemi, India’s national Academy of Letters, awarded Chaudhuri the Sahitya Akademi Award for his biography on Max Muller, Scholar Extraordinary.

    In 1990, Oxford University awarded Chaudhuri, who by then had become a long-time resident of the city of Oxford, an Honorary Degree in Letters. In 1992, he was made an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Although, he was highly critical of the post-independence Congress party establishment, Chaudhuri was more sympathetic to the right-wing Hindu nationalist movement in India. He refused to criticise the destruction of mosques. He wrote “Muslims do not have the slightest right to complain about the desecration of one mosque in Ayodhya. From 1000 AD every temple from Kathiawar to Bihar, from the Himalayas to the Vindhyas has been sacked and ruined. Not one temple was left standing all over northern India. They escaped destruction only where Muslim power did not gain access to them for reasons such as dense forests. Otherwise, it was a continuous spell of vandalism. No nation with any self-respect will forgive this. What happened in Ayodhya would not have happened had the Muslims acknowledged this historical argument even once.”

    Chaudhuri was born in Kishoregunj, Mymensingh, East Bengal, British India (now Bangladesh), the second of eight children of Upendra Narayan Chaudhuri, a lawyer, and of Sushila Sundarani Chaudhurani. His parents were liberal middle-class Hindus who belonged to the Brahmo Samaj movement.

    Chaudhuri was educated in Kishorganj and Kolkata (then, Calcutta). For his FA (school-leaving) course he attended Ripon College in Calcutta along with the famous Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. Following this, he attended Scottish Church College, Calcutta, where he studied history as his undergraduate major. He graduated with honors in history and topped the University of Calcutta merit list. At Scottish Church College, Calcutta, he attended the seminars of the noted historian, Professor Kalidas Nag. After graduation, he enrolled for M.A. at the University of Calcutta. However, he did not attend all of his final exams, and consequently was not able to complete his M.A. degree. From 1937 to 1941 he worked as a secretary to Sharatchandra Bose (Subhas Chandra Bose’s brother).

    After studies, he took a position as a clerk in the Accounting Department of the Indian Army. At the same time, he started contributing articles to popular magazines. His first article on Bharat Chandra (a famous Bengali poet of the 18th century) appeared in the most prestigious English magazine of the time, Modern Review.

    Chaudhuri left his position in the Accounting Department shortly after, and started a new career as a journalist and editor. During this period he was a boarder in Mirzapur Street near College Square, Kolkata, living together with the writers Bibhuti Bhushan Banerjee and Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder. He was involved in the editing of the then well-known English and Bengali magazines Modern Review, Prabasi and Sonibarer Chithi. In addition, he also founded two short-lived but highly esteemed Bengali magazines, Sama-samayik and Notun Patrika. Fed up with Bengali insularity, he later left Calcutta to settle down in Delhi, and took up a government job there. He worked for All India Radio from 1941 to 1952. But sadly he found Delhi, too, was full of Philistines.

    In 1932, he married Amiya Dhar, a well-known writer herself. The couple had three sons.     In 1938, when Chaudhuri obtained a job, as a secretary, to Sarat Chandra Bose, a political leader in the freedom movement of India. He was able to interact with political leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the brother of Sarat Chandra Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose (also known as Netaji).

    Apart from his career as secretary, Chaudhuri continued to contribute articles in Bengali and English, to newspapers and magazines. He was also appointed as a political commentator on the Kolkata branch of the All India Radio. In 1941, he started working for the Delhi Branch of the All India Radio.

    He was a prolific writer even in the very last years of his life, publishing his last work at the age of 99. His wife Amiya Chaudhuri died in 1994 in Oxford, England. He too died in Oxford, three months short of his 102nd birthday, in 1999.         He lived at 20 Lathbury Road from 1982 until his death, where, a blue plaque is installed by the Oxfordshire Blue Placks Plaques Board in 2008.

    Student historian Dipayan Pal wrote some interesting things about Nirad C. Chaudhuri in The Statesman in 2016. Why was he always in love with England, though he had never visited the land before the age of 57? These questions perplexed me and the only answer I could decipher is that perhaps Nirad Chaudhuri was in search of a home that he could call his own. And perhaps this street in Oxfordshire of 1980s took him closer to the novels of Hardy and Austen. Lovers of literature not only see texts through their lives but also sculpt life through the texts they read. His textual affinity was coupled with the colonial aura he grew up with. We must remember that he spent his first 50 years in an empire where the sun never set.

    His England was a realisation of certain dominant sensibilities and visions he idealized but they were far from reality. Places like 20, Lathbury Road makes me wonder why people choose to migrate and why certain places receive more sanctity than others. For Nirad Chaudhuri, England was sacred as for some America is. The solution to this onerous puzzle cannot be found in better living standard or socio-economic conditions of higher wages.

    Furthermore, certain places celebrate certain people. Nirad Chaudhuri would have been immensely happy if he knew about the blue plaque as it would fit his sensibilities perfectly. Even Oxford County Council was happy enough to remember this person who was, “an original thinker, forthright in his opinions and an internationalist, in the sense of one who embraces the best of all cultures but never loses his own.”

    His masterpiece, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, published in 1951, put him on the long list of great Indian writers. Chaudhari had said that The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian is ‘more of an exercise in descriptive ethology than autobiography.’

    The book describes Kishanganj, the country town in which he lived till he was twelve. Bangram, his ancestral village, and Kalikutch, his mother’s village. A fourth chapter is devoted to England, which occupied a large place in his imagination. Later in the book he talks about Kolkatta, the Indian Renaissance, the beginnings of the Nationalist Movement, and his experience of Englishmen in India, as opposed to the idyllic pictures of a civilization he considered perhaps the greatest in the world. These themes remain his preoccupations in most of his works, as does his deterministic view of culture and politics. He courted controversy in the newly independent India due to the dedication of this book to the British Empire that said, ‘To the memory of the British Empire in India,
Which conferred subject hood upon us, but withheld citizenship. To which yet every one of us threw out the challenge: “Civis Britannicus sum.” Because all that was good and living within us was made, shaped and quickened by the same British rule.

    The dedication infuriated many Indians, particularly the political and bureaucratic establishment. “The wogs took the bait and having read only dedication sent up howls of protest,” commented Chaudhuri’s friend, editor, historian and novelist, Khushwant Singh. Chaudhuri was hounded out of government service, deprived of his pension, blacklisted as a writer in India and forced to live a life of penury. Furthermore, he had to give up his job as a political commentator in All India Radio as the Government of India promulgated a law that prohibited employees from publishing memoirs. Chaudhuri argued that his critics were not careful-enough readers; “the dedication was really a condemnation of the British rulers for not treating us as equals”, he wrote in a 1997 special edition of Granta a magazine. Typically, to demonstrate what exactly he had been trying to say, he drew on a parallel with Ancient Rome. The book’s dedication, Chaudhuri observed, “was an imitation of what Cicero said about the conduct of Verres, a Roman proconsul of Sicily who oppressed Sicilian Roman citizens, who in their desperation cried out: “Civis Romanus Sum.”

    In 1955, the British Council and the BBC jointly made arrangements to take Chaudhuri to England for eight weeks. He was asked to contribute lectures to the BBC, and wrote eight of these. His impressions of England and Europe were later collected in his book ‘A Passage to England.’ on the other hand ‘The Continent of Circe,’ published in 1965, traces Chaudhuri’s doggedly independent-minded ideas on the social, geopolitical, and historical aspects of sub-continental India across millennia. An extended sequel to his famous autobiography, titled, ‘Thy Hand, Great Anarch’ was published in 1988. His last book Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse, was published in 1997, coincided with his hundredth year.

    At the age of 57, in 1955 for the first time Chaudhari went abroad. After coming back he wrote a novel Passage to England (1959). In this novel he talked about his visits, and an account of five weeks in England, two weeks in Paris and one week in Rome.

    Chaudhuri was deeply distressed by what he saw as the deep hypocrisy in Bengali social life and in particular those that resulted from class and caste distinctions. His historical research revealed to him that the rigid Victorianesque morality of middle class Bengali women was a socially enforced construct, that had less to do with religion, choice and judgment, but more to do with upbringing, social acceptance and intergenerational transference of values.

    His prose was highly influenced by Sanskrit and the older version of the Bengali language, the Shadhu-bhasha. He had little respect for the proletarian language, Choltibhasha, which he regarded as being common in taste and scope. He avoided the use of words and very common expressions originating from Arabic, Urdu and Persian in modern Bengali.

Controversies

Nirad C Chaudhuri is accused of being in secret connivance with the British and leaked information about the whereabouts of Sarat Chandra Bose. This may have led to arrest of Sarat Bose in 1941. He was awarded DLitt from Oxford University in 1990. Sahitya Akademi Award in 1975.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

*

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:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now 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

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

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 its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 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. 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)

(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)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: TOPAZ BY RUSKIN BOND

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Ruskin Bond as we all know, is an Indian author of British descent. He has made exemplary contribution in the field of children’s books and even ghost stories. Topaz is one such story that I’ve picked up for you. The story is set up in the backdrop of Himalayas. It is written in first person. Where, at a point the narrator or the protagonist confirms he is a writer, and that, in a way also confirms that it is the author himself narrating the story.

    The story opens in the pine-clad slopes of the Himalayas. The protagonist, is, in his room, listening to some music that reminds him of the strains of “The Blue Danube” and concurrently the wonderful sight of Pine-clad slopes of Himalayas. He has a new record player with old records that he has picked up from the junk-shop behind the Mall.

    Below the pines there are oaks. Surprisingly, one oak-tree in particular catches his eye. It is the biggest of the lot and stands by itself on a little hillock below his cottage. There is breeze but not strong enough to sway its heavy branches. There is also something moving, swinging gently from the tree, keeping pace with the music of the waltz, dancing ….

    It appears as if someone is hanging from the tree.

    A rope oscillates in the breeze, when a dead body turns slowly, turns this way and that way, is when he sees the face of a girl, her hair hanging loose, her eyes sightless, hands and feet limp; just turning, turning, while the waltz plays on.

    He turns off the player and runs downstairs.

    Down the path through the trees, and on to the grassy hillock where the big oak stood.

    A long-tailed magpie takes fright and flies out from the branches, swooping low across the ravine. In the tree there is no one. A great branch extends half-way across the hillock, and it is possible for him to reach up and touch it. But a girl could not have reached it without climbing the tree. He thinks.

    As he stands there, gazing at the branches, someone speaks to him from behind.

    ‘What are you looking at?’

    He swings around. Only to see a girl standing around in the clearing, facing him. A girl of seventeen or eighteen; alive, healthy, with bright eyes and a tantalizing smile. She is indeed lovely to look at. He hadn’t seen such a pretty girl in years.

    ‘You startled me,’ he says. ‘You came up so unexpectedly.’ he added.

    ‘Did you see anything—in the tree?’ she asked.

    ‘I thought I saw someone from my window. That’s why I came down. Did you see anything?’ said the writer.

    ‘Oh no!’ She exclaimed and shook her head, the smile escaping her face for a moment. ‘I don’t see anything. But other people do—sometimes.’

    ‘What do they see?’ asked the writer.   

    ‘My sister?’ she replied.

    ‘Your sister?’ rebounded the writer.

    ‘Yes she hanged herself from this tree. It was many years ago. So, sometimes you can see her hanging there.’ She answered in a mechanical fashion.

    She spoke matter-of-factly: whatever had happened seemed very remote to her.

    After which they moved some distance away from the tree. Above the hillock, on a disused private tennis-court (a relic from the hill station’s colonial past) was a small stone bench. She sat on it: and, after a moment’s hesitation, the writer too sat down beside her.

    ‘Do you live close by?’ he asked.

    ‘Further up the hill. My father has a small bakery.’

    She then discloses her name as Hameeda. She also says she has two younger brothers.

    ‘You must have been quite small when your sister died.’ says the writer.

    ‘Yes. But I remember her. She was pretty.’

    ‘Like you.’ interjects the writer.

     She laughs in disbelief. ‘Oh, I am nothing to her. You should have seen my sister.’

    ‘Why did she kill herself?’

    ‘Because she did not want to live. She was to have been married but she loved someone else, someone who was not of our own community. It’s an old story and the end is always sad, isn’t it?’

    ‘Not always. But what happened to the boy—the one she loved? Did he kill himself too?’ asked the writer.

    ‘No, he took up a job in some other place. Jobs are not easy to get, are they?’

    ‘I don’t know. I’ve never tried for one.’

    ‘Then what do you do?’

    ‘I write stories.’ said the writer.

    ‘Do people buy stories?’

    ‘Why not? If your father can sell bread, I can sell stories.’

    ‘People have to have bread. But they can live without stories.’

    ‘No, Hameeda, you’re wrong. People can’t live without stories.’

        By now infatuation had made way in the writer’s heart for Hameeda. He couldn’t help loving her. Although, no fierce desire or passion had taken hold of him. He was happy by just looking at her, watch her while she sat on the grass outside his cottage, her lips stained with the juice of wild bilberries. She chatted away—about her friends, her clothes, her favourite things.

    ‘Won’t your parents mind if you come here every day?’ the writer asked.

    ‘I have told them you are teaching me.’

    ‘Teaching you what?’ he asked.

    ‘They did not ask. So, you can tell me stories.’

    As a result the writer told her some stories.

    It was midsummer.

    The sun glinted on the ring she wore on her third finger: a translucent golden topaz, set in silver.

    ‘That’s a pretty ring,’ remarked the writer.

    ‘You wear it,’ she said, impulsively removing it from her hand. ‘It will give you good thoughts. It will help you to write better stories.’

    She slipped it on to the writer’s little finger.

    ‘I’ll wear it for a few days,’ he said. ‘Then you must let me give it back to you.’ he added.

    On a day that promised rain the writer took the path down to the stream at the bottom of the hill. There he found Hameeda gathering ferns from the shady places along the rocky ledges above the water.

    ‘What will you do with them?’ he asked.

    ‘This is a special kind of fern. You can cook it as a vegetable.’

    ‘Is it tasty?’ he asked.

    ‘No, but it is good for rheumatism.’

    ‘Do you suffer from rheumatism?’

    ‘Of course not. They are for my grandmother, she is very old.’ she said.

    ‘There are more ferns further upstream,’ he said. ‘But we’ll have to get into the water.’

    They remove their shoes and start paddling, up stream. The ravine becomes shadier and narrower, until the sun is completely shut out. The ferns have grown right down up to the water’s edge. They bend to pick them up but instead find themselves in each other’s arms; and sink slowly, as if in a dream, into the soft bed of ferns, while overhearing a whistling thrush burst out in dark sweet song.

    ‘It isn’t time that’s passing by,’ it seemed to say. ‘It is you and I. It is you and I …’

    Post that the writer waits for her the following day, but she doesn’t come.

    Several days pass without, he being able to see her.

    Is she sick? Has she been kept at home? Has she been sent away? He doesn’t even know where she lives, so he cannot ask. And, if at all, he is able to ask, what would he ask?

     Then one day he sees a boy delivering bread and pastries at the little tea-shop about a mile down the road. From the upward slant of his eyes, there is a slight resemblance with Hameeda. As he leaves the shop, the writer follows him up the hill. And, when he comes abreast of him, he asks: ‘Do you have your own bakery?’

    He nods cheerfully, ‘Yes. Do you want anything—bread, biscuits, cakes? I can bring them all to your house.’

    ‘Oh of course. But don’t you have a sister? A girl called Hameeda?’

    His expression changes suddenly. He is no longer friendly. He looks puzzled and slightly apprehensive.

    ‘Why do you want to know?’

    ‘Because, I haven’t seen her for some time now?’ replies the writer

    ‘We have not seen her either.’

    ‘Do you mean she has gone away?’

    ‘Didn’t you know? You must have been away a long time. It is many years since she died. She killed herself. You did not hear about it?’ said the boy.

    ‘But wasn’t that her sister—your other sister?’ asked the writer.

    ‘I had only one sister—Hameeda—and she died, when I was very young. It’s an old story, ask someone else about it.’

    With that he turned away and quickened his pace, and the writer was left standing in the middle of the road, with his head full of questions that couldn’t be answered.

    That night there was a thunderstorm. Writer’s bedroom window kept banging in the wind. He got up to close it and, as he looked out, there was a flash of lightning and he saw that frail body again, swinging from the oak tree.

    He tried a make out the features, but the head hung down and the hair was blowing in the wind.

    Was it all a dream? He thought.

    It was impossible to say. But the topaz ring on him glowed softly in the darkness. And a whisper from the forest seemed to say, ‘It isn’t time that’s passing by, my friend. It is you and I … ‘

    So that’s all for today. It’s a neat little story with a tinge of enigma for you to discover. I would give the story seven out of ten.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now 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

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

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 its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 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. 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)

(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)

*****

 

 

 

THE TWELVE JYOTIRLINGAS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Just in case you have not read Shivpurana let me tell you it is all about Lord Shiva. It contains 24,000 verses divided into twelve Samhitas. Out of these one of them Roudra-samhita narrates the following story.

    Once, Brahma tried to claim superiority over the trinity of Shiva, Mahavishnu and Brahma himself. He vented this thought of his to Mahavishnu. When, suddenly, a huge column of fire, burst out of the earth, between the two and rose into the sky. Brahma flew upwards on his swan to see the tip of the fire while Vishnu as a boar dug deep into the earth to see the lower end of the pillar of fire. Both failed in their mission and returned. It was then that Shiva appeared at the centre of the fire column. This was the first Jyotirlinga.

    Jyotirlingas, represent the beginningless and the endless Stambha or Pillar, indicating the infinite nature of Shiva. In India, there are twelve Jyotirlinga shrines as follows:

  1. SOMNATH

    The Somnath Temple of Gujarat, is near Veraval in the Kathiawad district of Saurashtra. This is a Jyotirlinga shrine. This region is also known as Prabhasa Thirtha. According to the Shivpurana, the Moon God married all the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. However, he liked Rohini more than others. Rohini’s sisters complained to Prajapati, who cursed the moon. As a result, the moon lost his radiance. So, he went to Veraval and prayed to Lord Shiva in a temple. And by the Lord’s grace, he regained his lost shine. Since then, the temple came to be known as Somnath Mandir. It was ransacked and destroyed as many as seventeen times by Muslim invaders, and each time, it was resurrected.

  1. MALLIKARJUNA

    This Jyotirlinga can be seen in Shrishailam Mountain, on the banks of the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh. According to Shiva Purana, Lord Ganesha got married before Kartikeya. So, an angry Kartikeya left the place and went to Shri-shailam. Seeing their son offended, Shiva and Parvati followed him there. Shiva assumed the form of a Jyotirlinga and resided there as Mallikarjuna. Where, Mallika means Parvati, while Arjuna is another name for Shiva.

  1. MAHAKALESHWAR

    This Jyotirlinga is located on the banks of river Kshipra in the dense Mahakal forest in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. It was known as Avantika in ancient times. Legend has it that a five-year-old boy by the name Shrikar was amazed at the devotion of King Chandrasena of Ujjain towards Lord Shiva. Shrikar took a stone and started worshipping it as Shiva. Many people tried to discourage him in different ways, but his devotion only grew. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva assumed the form of a Jyotirlinga and decided to stay in the Mahakal forest.

  1. OMKARESHWAR

    This Jyotirlinga is also in Madhya Pradesh. It is situated on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada River. The island is shaped like an ‘Om,’ as written in Sanskrit. Omkareshwar means ‘Lord of Omkara,’ the sacred syllable Om. Once, when the Asuras defeated the Devas, the latter prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with their prayer, the Lord emerged in the form of Omkareshwar and defeated the Asuras.

  1. VAIDYANATH

    Also known as Vaijnath or Baidyanath, this Jyotirlinga is located at Deogarh in Jharkhand. This place is also called Chitaa-bhoomi. According to a well-known legend, Ravana once requested Lord Shiva to reside in Sri Lanka permanently. Shiva gave him a Jyotirlinga and told him that he should not place it on the ground before reaching Lanka. On the way, however, Ravana felt an urgent need to relieve himself. When a young boy who appeared there offered to hold the lingam in the meantime. The boy, was no one else but Vishnu in disguise, placed the lingam on the ground and disappeared, for he knew that Shiva’s presence would make wicked Ravana’s Lanka invincible. The lingam got fixed to the spot. On his return, Ravana saw what had happened. To propitiate Shiva, he cut off nine of his ten heads. But Shiva joined the severed heads of Ravana’s body, like a Vaidya. Hence the name of the Jyotirlinga became Vaidynath.

  1. BHIMA SHANKAR

    This Jyotirlinga is located on the banks of Bhima River in the Sahyadri region of Pune, Maharashtra. Legend has it that Kumbhakarna’s son, Bhima, vowed to take revenge on Lord Vishnu who, in His incarnation as Rama had killed his father. He began a severe penance and Lord Brahma was pleased and granted him immense power. Soon, Bhima the demon started creating havoc in the world. In the end, Lord Shiva reduced him to ashes. The Gods were overjoyed. On their request, Shiva made the place one of his abodes and manifested himself in the form of Bhima-shankar Jyotirlinga.

  1. RAMESWARAM

    This Jyotirlinga is located on the island of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. On his way to Sri Lanka, Sri Rama had stopped at Rameswaram, and worshipped a linga that he had made out of sand. Lord Shiva blessed Rama and then remained at Rameswaram in the form of Jyotirlinga.

  1. NAGESH

    The Nageshwar or Nagnath Jyotirlinga is situated on an island near Dwarka in Gujarat. The place is also known as Daaru-kavan. This Jyotirlinga is known far and wide for protecting devotees from poisons of all kinds. As per the legend in the Shivapurana, a demon by the name of Daruka imprisoned Supriya, a devotee of Shiva. On Supriya’s advice, the other prisoners began chanting, ‘Aum Namah Shivaya.’ Daaruka was enraged on hearing this chant. He sprang forward to kill Supriya. Suddenly, Lord Shiva appeared and put an end to the demon. He then remained on the island as a Jyotirlinga.

  1. VISHVANATH

    The Jyotirlinga at Vishvanath temple is located in Varanasi or Kashi, one of the most ancient cities of the world. It is believed that it was here that the pillar of fire representing Lord Shiva’s endless power broke through the earth’s crust and splayed towards heaven. The faithful are certain that those who die here attain salvation. The original Visvanath temple was destroyed and rebuilt many times. Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple for the last time and built the Gyanvapi Mosque in its place. Later Ahilabai Holkar constructed the present temple adjacent to the mosque.

  1. TRIMBAK

     The Trimbakeshwar temple is located about 30 km from Nashik in Maharashtra, near the Brahmagiri Mountain. It is from this mountain that the river Godavari, also called the Gautami Ganga flows. Long ago, Maharishi Gautam, through his penance, had obtained an everlasting supply of grains. Some Gods became envious of the Maharishi and sent a cow to the granary. The cow was accidentally killed by the sage. On realising this, Maharishi requested Lord Shiva to get the premises purified. Shiva asked Ganga to flow through Nashik and He himself remained there as Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga.

  1. KEDARNATH

    At a height of 3,583 metres (12,000 feet) in Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath temple is located on the Rudra Himalaya range. It opens for only six months in a year, from May to November. During the other months, all the mountains here get fully snow clad. It is believed that in ancient times, Lord Shiva, pleased by the penance of Rishis Nara and Narayana, who were incarnations of Lord Vishnu, made a permanent abode in Kedarnath in the form of a Jyotirlinga. Many believe that the Pandavas had come here after the Mahabharta war to pray to Lord Shiva.

  1. GHRISHMESHVAR

    The Ghrish-meshvar or Ghush-meshvar Jyotirlinga is located in a village named Verul, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The place is not far from the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves. According to Shivapurana, there was a man named Sudharm, who had two wives, Sudeha and Ghush-ma. They were sisters. When Ghushma bore a son to Sudharm, Sudeha became jealous and threw the baby into a lake. Ghushma, a devotee of Shiva, prayed to the Lord and got her son back. On Sudharm’s request, Shiva manifested himself in the form of Jyotirlinga at that spot and assumed the name Ghush-meshvar.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now 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

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

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 its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 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. 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)

(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)

*****

 

 

 

   

INEFFACEABLE HOLIDAY: JAMMU-PATNITOP-SANASAR CIRCUIT

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

20151106_133409
wonderful Sanasar

 

I recently covered Jammu-Patnitop-Sanasar circuit as a vying tourist with my family. It was an electrifying experience. I had not known what I was missing in life, till I actually got to see this paradise that remains unruffled from the poison of planet erosion even now.  Let me take you through this interesting journey that may motivate you too, to visit these fizzy tourist spots that remain huddled in scenic landscapes and keeps lazing around in idyllic settings.

20151106_122406
picturesque Shivalik range

The hilly region of Jammu spreads across the middle Himalayas and the Shvaliks in the Jammu & Kashmir state. It presents a variety of attractive features and is home to several tourist resorts and pilgrimage centres. These include the Holy Cave Shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi (so famous that I dare not discuss in the passage) nestling in the folds of the Trikuta hills which is one of the most venerated Hindu Pilgrimage destinations of northern India, visited by millions every year. Also hidden away amongst the surrounding mountains are a number of hill resorts, the most famous among these being the beautiful meadows of Patnitop & Sanasar towards northeast of Vaishnodevi. These present an opportunity to recoup, after the strenuous pilgrimage, amidst an enchantingly beautiful and salubrious environment, with a variety of other tourist attractions/pilgrim centres to see en route before returning to Jammu, the City of Temples, on way home.

 

Chidai Muttal

As one embarks towards Patnitop, 12 kms from Katra, is Chidai Muttal, famous for its wells and well side sculptures. An ancient temple stands beside a small garden here, shaded by Chinar trees normally associated with Kashmir. A brief stopover at this place refreshes one’s soul and mind.

20151106_122350
Middle Himalayas

Krimchi

After travelling a further 25 km towards Patnitop, a short detour of 8 km from the National Highway near Udhampur, leads to Krimchi, the site of one of the oldest temple complexes of Jammu. Believed to have been constructed between 11th-12th century AD. This group of temples, is locally known as the Pandava Temples, has some interesting architectural features, which resemble the Orissan style of temple architecture.

 

 

Udhampur

An important town in the hilly areas of Jammu region, Udhampur is the farthest rail head of Northern India so far. The ancient Raghunath Temple located next to the sacred underground river, Devak is one of the oldest temples of the region. Accommodation is available in the PWD Dak Bungalow and several private hotels. The ancient temple of Jallandri Mata at Ladden Kotli is believed to have been abode of the Pandavas for some time during their exile. The hidden chambers in its roof, sculptures on its walls and the nearby springs tell a unique story. Mini Hydel Project Chenani, is at a short distance, and an ancient fort provides the backdrop of the temple. 10 kms from Udhampur towards Patnitop, at the way side station of Samroli, one can enjoy Kaladi Sandwhich (a local cottage cheese produced in the interiors of hilly areas) with a hot cup of tea.

Kud

The first hill resort on this circuit, Kud (1738 meters), is a picturesque town located just 9 kms short of Patnitop. This resort commands a panoramic view of the terraced valley downwards and the mountains beyond, specially, from the Mall Road, presently under construction. Besides enjoying a cool climate in summers, it is also famous for Patisa a speciality sweet preparation and waters of a spring. A number of hotels and guesthouses besides the Tourist Bungalows of the JKTDC here provide decent accommodation for a comfortable stay in the hills.

Patnitop

20151106_144621.jpg20151106_13263820151106_132508

By far the most populous of Jammu’s hill resorts, 87 kms from Katra, Patnitop (2024 meters) is perched on a beautiful plateau across which the Jammu-Srinagar highway passes. It comprises of several meadows enveloped by thick forests of Deodar & Kail trees and affords peaceful walks amidst pine groves, beautiful spots for enjoyable picnics and breathtaking views of the Chenab basin and the Pir Panjal range beyond. For solace one can visit the beautifully located Nag Mandir. Other activities include horse rides and short treks into the surrounding hills. One can also drive through thick forests 12 kms downhill to Batote, an old hill station also known for apple orchards, Amar Cheshma and other springs. From here one can also visit the Dam site of the Bagliar Hydro-Electric Project 10 kms away, with permission of the authorities.

In winters (January-February) the snow covered slopes of Patnitop provide opportunities for various snow games including amateur skiing and sledging. Visitor facilities at Patnitop include good quality accommodation in hotels, guesthouses, the JKTDC’s tourist bungalows, and recreational facilities in the Patnitop Club. Accommodation for youth and students is available in the Youth Hostel. The JKTDC’s luxury huts-self contained timber cottages tucked away amidst pine trees- provide an idyllic ambience for a quiet and memorable stay surrounded by sights and sounds of nature.

The most exciting feature of the beautiful resort of Sanasar (2079 meters), 19 km west of Patnitop, is a sprawling cup shaped meadow, 1 surrounded by gigantic conifers, which has been developed into a 9-hole golf course. Besides enjoying exciting pony rides amongst the groves and the other smaller meadows, one can also take treks up the surrounding hills from here. Sanasar is also ideal for paragliding, while Natha Top on way to Sanasar affords scenic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. For those desirious of experiencing a quiet stay surrounded by the tranquillity of nature, there are self-contained huts and a Tourist Bungalow managed by JKTDC at Sanasar.

Sankhpal

At an altitude of 10,000 ft, 10 kms from Sanasar, the misty meadow of Sankhpal offers the most exciting trek from Sanasar. It takes about two and a half hours of exciting trekking through scenic mountain slopes to reach here. One can also hire ponies upto Sankhpal. Food etc., should be carried from Sanasar. At one side of the meadow is the small old temple of Sankhpal Devta. On a clear day trekkers can be rewarded with breathtaking views of the mountain peaks.

This highly revered Shiva temple (1225 mtrs) is located at a distance of 42 kms from Patnitop and 112 kms from Jammu. Legend has it that after bathing at a spring called Gauri Kund, just short of Sudh Mahadev, the Goddess Parvati would worship the Shivling here that is believed to be at least 3000 years old. The temple also houses a black marble statue of Lord Shiva and Parvati. A trishul (trident) of Lord Shiva is also preserved here. Pilgrims in large number visit the Shrine on the full moon night of Sawan (July-August) to participate in the festival to worship Lord Shiva. The mystical underground stream, Devak believed to be as sacred as the Ganges originates at Sudh Mahadev and disappears among the rocks some distance downstream. Also of interest are wooden sculptures, crafted locally. Accommodation is available in Tourist Sarai managed by J&K Tourism Development Corporation and Dharmshala managed by the Dharmarth Trust.

Mantalai Temple

A few kilometres further ahead of Sudh Mahadev is Mantalai (1450 meters) surrounded by lush Deodar forests. As per legend, it is a place where Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati. Besides the Shiv temple here, one can also visit the complex created by Swami Dhirendra Brahmchari which includes a tree shaped house, an air strip, a hostel and a number of other unfinished projects. An excursion through the woods to Naina Devi 5 kms from Mantalai provides excellent views of the mountains landscape all round.

Kali Mata Mandir

While returning to Jammu one can visit the Kali Mata Mandir, located next to a waterfall near Manthal, 40 kms from Jammu. A highly revered location for travellers driving on the National Highways, it provides a cool and refreshing stopover point for the traveller especially during the summer season.

Jhajjar Kotli

Further ahead, 35 kms short of Jammu on the National Highway is the Jhajjar Kotli, Tourist Complex, built on the banks of the Jhajjar rivulet. The crystal clear, cool waters of Jhajjar attract picnickers in large numbers especially during summers. A Tourist Cafetaria, a Bar and a small Tourist Bungalow are provided here by JKTDC. Moving further towards Jammu, one can also stop at the ancient Rani ka Talab.

Kol Kandoli (Nagrota)

The ancient temple of Kol Kandoli located, 9 kms from Jammu is considered to be the first darshan of the Holy Goddess of Mata Vaishnidevi was performed entirely on foot, the first of the 6 nights, halts after Jammu used to be at this temple.

***

 

 

STORY- THREE TESTS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

three tests 2 three tests three tests1

Maharishi Vashist was a renowned Mahatma. Many people from far of places used to come to him for help and guidance in education and spiritual knowledge. One day a visitor who had come to see him said, ‘Maharishi I have heard a lot about your spiritual powers. I want to learn Brahma-gyan (complete-knowledge) from you, so kindly bless me with the knowledge.

On hearing this all the shisyas (pupils) who were present there started smiling sarcastically thinking it was not all that simple as they too were at the service of the Maharishi with the same objective for years now. Maharishi heard the request and peacefully said, ‘sure! I will definitely pay attention to your request but for that you need to first do tapasya (intense meditation) for a year, and after completing that come to me. The Bhakt (disciple) turned visitor was extremely happy considering the spiritual knowledge that some people couldn’t attain all their lives was now going to come to him in a year. And assimilating Maharishi’s advice he left the place happily for his mission when all other pupils out there looked stunned.

After completion of a year the Bhakt came back to the ashram and along with other visitors he was waiting to meet the Maharishi. But while he was waiting one pupil who was carrying litter in a basket slipped and fell and the entire litter fell on him. This enraged the Bhakt and he bashed up the shishya for dirtying him. Later he met the Maharishi who then smiled and said, ‘son you have failed in your first test.’ Shunning violence is the first lesson of Brahma-gyan. Your entire tapasya has gone for a waste but I will still give you one more opportunity. Go and perform tapsya for one more year and then come back to me.’

The Bhakt was quite dejected. But obeying the command of the Maharishi was his duty so he left for the second round of tapsya for a year. After a year he returned again, but as ill luck would have it this time one servant by mistake poured dirty water that drenched and dirtied his clothes.

Although, the visitor remembered and regretted what he had done last time, he did not beat up the servant but he reprimanded him nice and proper. Later he met the Maharishi and complained about the servant and conveyed to him of the incompetence and indiscipline in the ashram.

Maharishi said, ‘son again this time you have not succeeded in your exams, because to shun anger, should be the second biggest step towards your objective where you’ve failed. So again your tapasya has gone for a waste. But I will give you one last chance. Go back and perform your tapasya for another year.’

This time the Bhakt was filled with repentance and gloom and started doubting if he really required this Brahmya-gyan for the journey of his life. But since he didn’t want to cross the Maharishi, he again set himself out for the tapasya and after a year he returned again. This time also by an unfortunate chance the dustbin of the kitchen in the ashram fell on him.

But, the surprising part this time was neither did the Bhakt get angry nor hassled on the contrary he cheerfully started helping the shishya who was carrying the dustbin to clean up the place; and he didn’t even mention about it to the Maharishi. And some other pupil informed the Maharishi about this incident.

When the Maharishi met the Bhakt he smiled and said to him, ‘all the three tests were taken at my behest. And I’m happy this time you’ve cleared your test and now you are heading towards your objective. Now you are away from anger, violence and hate. Your mind is filled with love, trust and kindness. My best wishes are with you.’

Upon hearing this the Bhakt fell on Maharishi’s feet and offered his pranam and thereafter he very happily left; so happy that he didn’t even enquire about Brahma-gyan. Rest of the shisyas were dazed at this behaviour of the Bhakt. They enquired from the Maharishi; the objective with which he came to the ashram was not even fulfilled so how could he leave before that.

Maharishi very politely said, ‘any person who is peaceful about himself and the world and trusts his Guru completely and who has love for mankind need not run after Brahma-gyan. In fact Brahma-gyan will run after him. A righteous person gets knowledge and wisdom even from the best wishes of his Guru.

This story tells us how we can obtain Brahma-gyan without running after it.

***

STORY: TAPOBAL (The power in meditation)

Copyright@shravancharitymission

tapobal 1 tapobal 2 tapobal

    ‘Mother I too need to drink milk as my cousin, and it should be as sweet as his milk.’ Requested Upmanyu. As he returned home from his cousin’s place and sat on his mother’s lap. For just a little while ago he had seen his cousin relishing a big glass of milk while he got only a gulp to taste.

    ‘Son we are poor. We don’t even have grains at home to feed ourselves, where will we get milk from.’ Explained, her mother. But Upmanyu, her adamant son in the peak of childhood, was in no mood to relent.

    To satiate her son, she grounded some grains lying at home and after mixing it with water, she gave it to her son as milk.

    ‘No mother this is not milk. For milk is sweet.’ Upmanyu, stopped drinking the moment he tasted and even started crying. When his mother uttered in some desperation.

    ‘Son, in this world you have everything from stones to diamonds. But then, everyone gets what he gets, only as per his own fate and destiny. We are the unlucky ones and so even pure milk is difficult for us to get. Lord Shiva is very resourceful. If Bholenath is happy he won’t hesitate in gifting you, even the Kshirsagar (ocean of milk). But only after you are blessed by him, will your desires be fulfilled. And you can only win him over by tapasya.’ Upmanyu’s mother thus gave him a tip.

    ‘Mother! Then I will do intense tapasya. With that I will make my presence felt and it’ll even shake the throne of the Lord of all Gods that is Shiva, and as a blessing he will surely grant me the Kshirsagar.’ And with that in mind Upamnyu could not even for a moment stay at home and left for the mountains.

    Soon Upmanyu was into deep and prolonged tapasya in the Himalayas. To please Mahadev he even stopped consuming water and food. The entire world got a sense of well being from his tapasya. Lord Vishnu along with other devatas visited Lord Shiva in Mandarachal and said, ‘relieving child Upmanyu from his harsh tapasya and reassuring the world about kindness can only be done by you.’

    ‘This harsh tapasya is not meant for you, kid!’ said Indra, while getting of his elephant ‘Airawat’ and introducing himself.

    ‘You have purified the ashram by your arrival!’ Upmanyu welcomed Lord Indra and requested him for his guidance in finding Lord of Gods—Shiva.

    ‘It is extremely difficult to find Shiva. I rule all the three lokas. So, why don’t you come under my blessings, as I will let you experience and enjoy everything that the world has.’ Indra tested Upmanyu.

    ‘Indra! You just can’t be critical of Lord Shiva. And it appears you are some rogue disguised as Indra. You have come to hurdle my tapasya. You are a Lord Shiva baiter, I guess. I will therefore kill you as you have criticised my most respected Lord Shiva.’  With that Upmanyu ran to kill him, but then he suddenly stopped.

    ‘With the power of your tapobal you have obtained my blessings, I’m happy vatsya!’ said Shiva in Indra’s disguise, while blessing him. Upmanyu recognised Shiva and lay prostrate in front of him, regretting his aggression.

    ‘I was testing you.’ said Shiva. And by blessing his bhakt Upmanyu with Kshirsagar he fulfilled his wishes. After that he placed Upmanyu in the lap of Goddess Parvati and said ‘Parvati is your mother and I’m your father.’

    Lord of Gods Shiva then blessed Upmanyu with treasures of riches and the divine knowledge. Upmanyu was overwhelmed at that. He started singing their praise, is when Lord Shiva along with Parvati vanished from there.

***

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now 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

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

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 its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 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. 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

(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)

*****