Bharat Ek Khoj 53: Epilogue

Bharat Ek Khoj 53: Epilogue

For so many days I was
preoccupied with the Discovery of India What did I eventually gain from
it? Was it mere impertinence on
my part that I wanted to remove the mask
from India’s face to reveal what its true face is
and what it was in the past! Today, India is a country of 80
crore men and women each lost in his own world of
thoughts Given this situation today, it
would be even more difficult to
understand the past of so many people and
races Yet, there is something which binds them together even today
by an invisible thread India is a geographical and
economic entity whose culture has been unity in
diversity a bundle of contradictions held together by strong but
invisible chains It has the captivating power of
legend It is a fantasy It is a thought, a dream, a
symbol At the same time it is a
concrete reality Existent and all-embracing ! Rabindranath Tagore had said:
love India Not because I cultivate the
idolatry of geography nor because I happened to be
born in her soil but because she has preserved
through tumultuous ages the living words that have
issued from the illuminated
consciousness of great ones Since earliest times, Indian
philosophers began to think of Nature’s mysteries The questions raised by the
Rigveda in the Nasadiya Sukta are very close to those being raised
by modern scientists There was not then ‘what is’nor
‘what is not’ There was no sky, and no
Heaven beyond the sky What power was there? Where? Who was that power? Was there an abyss of
fathomless waters? There was neither death nor immortality then! No signs were there of day or
night! The one was breathing by its
own power, in deep peace There was no one There was nothing beyond the
Only One All was fluid and formless, in
the void arose the One And in the One arose Love, The first seed of sou The truth of this the sages
found in their hearts They found the bond of union
between Being and Non-Being Bearers of seed there were and
mighty forces Thrust from below and forward
move above He was divided in the form of
male and female Above is the giver and he is the
enjoyer Below is the earth to be enjoyed Who knows who created this
universe? From where has it come Who can tell us whence and
how it arose? The Gods do not know as they
came later than its beginnings Who knows therefore whence
comes this creation? Who is the creator of the
Universe? Only that formless God Up in the highest Heaven Who presides over all Knows whence comes this
Universe He only knows, or perhaps he
knows not! The post-Vedic Upanishads
advance this thought What is the soul? Is the Creator separate from the
Creation? The Nachiketa-Yama dialogue
in Kathopanishad attempts to answer these
questions My Lord! What is beyond right
and wrong? Beyond what is action and
detachment? What is beyond past and
future? The status and goal which is
praised by the Vedas for which penance is performed for which rituals are performed for which men conduct
intensive studies All is contained in one word The word is ‘Om’! This word is the Brahman This is everlasting The one who understands this
fulfills all his desires This word is the supreme
means of Salvation It is the enlightened sou It is the soul, beyond knowledge It is never born and never dies It is ever-lasting. Never born
and eternal After death, the body dies but the soul is eterna If the slayer thinks he has killed
and the slain thinks he is dead then they are both wrong and
ignorant The Eternal in men cannot kill
or die In the epic era of Ramayana
and Mahabharata issues of truth and morality were seriously discussed in
Shanti Parv and Geeta Krishna’s advice to Arjun
clarifies these issues After that every era searched
for new meanings of the Geeta O Krishna ! O Krishna ! When I see my own people
arrayed and eager to fight, my limbs quai my mouth goes dry, my body
shakes and my hair stand on end The Gandiva slips from my
hands and my skin is burning all over I am unable to stand steady My mind is reeling I see evil omens all around O Keshava! I foresee no good in slaying my
own people in the fight I do not want such a victory or
kingdom or pleasures Of what use is such a kingdom
or enjoyment or even life? For those whom we desire
kingdom and pleasures stand here in battle renouncing
lives Teachers, fathers, sons and
grandfathers! Uncles, grandsons, in-laws and
other kinsmen No, these I would not consent
to kill though they may kill me Let alone the earth, even for the
kingdom of the three worlds I will not slay
them Arjun! Why this despair in this hour of crisis? Strong men know not despair such thoughts bring infamy Yield not to unmanliness! It does not become you! Cast off this petty
faint-hearted ness Arise, O Destroyer of Foes! Madhusudan ! How shall I strike Bhishma and
Guru Drona with arrows in battle? They are worthy of my
veneration! It is better to live by begging rather than slay these honoured
elders My very being is stricken with
self-pity and cowardice My mind is bewildered I am straying from the path of
my duty Hence, O Krishna! Show me
the path of righteousness I am thy disciple, I seek thy
refuge. Guide me! Your tears are for those who are beyond tears! And are your words, words of
wisdom? The wise grieve not for those
who live nor for those who are dead Because we all have been for
all time I, you and these kingsmen And we all shall be for all time we all for ever and ever! As a man casts off his old
garments and puts on new ones so also the soul casts off worn
body and takes on another that is
new Therefore, falter not in your
duty for there exits no greater good for a
warrior than a battle enjoined by duty To action alone you have a right
and never at all to its fruits Let not the fruits of action be
your motive! Neither let there be in you an attachment to inaction Later, Lord Buddha preached
that Later, Lord Buddha preached
that it was wrong to follow tradition
blindly That which is recognised by
logic and accepted by intelligence is right Believe nothing Merely because you have been
told or because it is traditional or because you have imagined
it Do not believe what your
teacher tells you merely out of respect for the
teacher Examine it! Subject it to due
analysis If you find it conducive to the
good or of benefit to the welfare of all living things believe that doctrine and cling to
it That will be your guide That faith will be self-created and hence, well- determined Tissa! Lord Buddha’s disciple King
Ashoka’s intelligence was challenged by the issues of non-violence, misuse of power
and fellow feeling! Victory to the King! Victory! Defeat! They are
meaningless words now good that you came here At least you got peace of mind So restless even after winning
such a big war? What’s wrong, brother? Tell me, Tissa! Did my child die because of
God’s wrath? Am I being punished for my
sins? What sins? I am responsible for millions of
deaths Do the dead want to punish
me? You are burning in the fire of
repentance Good! The soul is not yet dead You are not responsible for your
child’s death But you are responsible for the
soldiers’ death What could I do? I had to do that to protect the
Empire Empire? Lord Buddha says: A King who has conquered one
piece of earth will try for more After conquering the Earth he’ll
try for the sky Thus, desires are never fulfilled He dies with his desires
unfulfilled No treasures go with him No one else dies with him Born with closed fists we die
with open palms What shall I do, brother? Seek refuge in Lord Buddha Therein lies your salvation Lord Buddha’s teachings are
contrary to my duty as a warrior As an Emperor, I have some
responsibilities Buddha says: Love everyone,
Treat all as equals Will that allow me to punish
criminals? Why not? Each should get what he
deserves A criminal is punished for his
evil deeds not because the King wishes it And the bloodshed in war? Worthy of censure if it was
unnecessary However, if a king wages war after exploring all other paths of
peace then he is not to be blamed He may even be killed by the
enemy If he is victorious he must realise the ephemerality of
earthly things He should know nothing is
permanent Even his victory is not his! There’s only one way: To remain calm and remove
hatred from the mind To give equal status to one’s
enemy, saying: Come! Let’s live in peace as
brothers! Ash oka! You have won great
success in the Kalinga war But when you score a victory
over yourself that will be your greatest
success You have recognised the
essence of Truth Return to the palace with me as my Teacher That’s not possible Nor am I worthy of it The rains are over. It is now
time to travel You can travel later Return to the palace with me
now Lord Buddha has framed some
rules we must obey them All right! Then I’ll go with you! If you can live the life of a monk
come with me If you can come and beg for
your food If you can sleep under the open
sky and walk on rough roads, then come
with me Enough Tissa! I’ll come along! Then came saints like Saint
Appar who rejected castes, rituals and
all such disparities who forsake the tradition of
social status and who rejected the need of an
intermediary between Man and God What use are ritual and fasting? He’s not only mad but also an
atheist He propagates sin O King ! Leave the palace and listen to
the people They say they fear the priests because they cannot
understand them They fear those who talk of
non-violence because they are cruel beyond
imagination They say God has forgotten
them! You teach them to forsake all
that is holy I only teach them. They do not
need any middlemen if they want to relate
to God You teach the low caste people
to perform temple ritual God is much more merciful
than we imagine He is not afraid of low caste
persons or women so that we should hide him from
these people Aren’t you afraid of anything? Exile? Death? Nobody can stop me I do not fear death or hell I have taken refuge in God! He will take care of me ! Wait! Where are you going? Back! To God’s refuge Follow me, if you can Life has no meaning I have no right to live Every moment, every day, that
comes by, is such that it makes me commit a hundred
sins After the advent of Islam India
found a new stream It was an Arab culture
influenced by Greek and Iranian elements Thinkers like Alberuni refused
to accept the Sultan as Zill-e-Subhani or
the embodiment of God So, what should be done unto
thee? I am not here of my own free
will prisoner cannot express
desires Is this the way to talk to a
Sultan? Have you ever thought of what
a Sultan is? A Sultan is one who helps
astrologers like you A Sultan is one who without
right seizes a kingdom Then, under the guise of
religion seeks to legitimise his claim by
asking the Caliph He will endanger many families,
tribes and old supporters to protect and
preserve his throne He forgives a few and has the
rest killed He imprisons a few and
beheads the rest without realising he’ll have to
answer on the day of judgment You are an intelligent man
Alberuni but unaware of the rules of my
game In mediaeval Islam’s Sufi
tradition Human love is a means to
achieve God’s love of achieving Godhead Extending obsession to the limit
of insanity is an element of the path of
Worship as is obvious in Khusro’s
Persian-Hindi poetry as is obvious in Khusro’s
Persian-Hindi poetry I cannot bear separation where
are thy embraces? Who will tell the beloved of my
longing? How can I pass the dark night
without my beloved? I am caught in the web of love,
o Khusro! Only my beloved can cure this
pain of love Ours are Ram Rahim, the
creator How can Allah and Ram be
different? Bismillah and Bishambhar are
one. There is none other! The north Indian Saint-poets
challenged tradition In particular Kabir who denied
differences of religion, caste and accepted only a formless God! Stop! What’s going on here? Kabir’s congregation gathers
here There is Kabir himself Call him here. I want to meet
him The Emperor is calling you So, you are Kabir I have heard a lot about you I wanted to meet you What are you doing here? Remembering the Lord! Do you also work apart from
preaching? I mean, do you beg for a living? I am a weaver, sir. I weave cloth This is my colleague Raidas.
He’s a cobbler He’s a barber and Bashira is a
water-carrier So, you are not a fakir, a
renouncer! You merely worship the Lord You’re a worldly man! I am merely a devotee of the
Lord My religion is love for God and
my fellowmen Which is the God you pray to? I pray to the God who is in
every heart In this vessel are gardens and also the gardener In this vessel are the seven
oceans and also nine lakh stars In this vessel are pearls and also the valuer In this vessel is the eterna In this the fountain rises Says Kabir here resides my Lord But that doesn’t answer my
question I’ll ask one more time: what is
your Religion? I’ve renounced all religions Renounced all religions! How
can that be? You were just talking about the
Lord God is not religion Religion is worship Religion is rituals, fasts and
ceremonies So? One who does not offer namaz
is not a Muslim One who does not fast is not a
Hindu That’s right! I don’t think of a person as a
Hindu or Muslim A Hindu is a Hindu. A Muslim is
a Muslim A Hindu’s son will be a Hindu! But they are all humans by birth A Brahmin is not born with the
mark of priesthood just as a Muslim is not born
circumcised What nonsense is he talking? Your ideas won’t take you far I don’t want to go far I want to merely reach the Lord! I want to reach from one heart
to the other! This man insults religion ! condemns roza and namaz ! He talks nonsense on the steps
of the mosque I was thinking of taking you to
Delhi to meet Sheikh Taqi Saheb but I can see you are an insane,
eccentric man disturbing the peace of the city Speak! What’s your religion? The one eternal God is mine! Neither Hindu nor Muslim is
mine! I offer neither the namaz nor
the pooja I worship the formless God in
my heart Neither Haj nor pilgrimage do
go When one is there why the
other? Says Kabir all religion is an
illusion Concentrate on the one eternal
God! Throw him out of the city. Remove these people! I shall sing fearlessly of the
Formless one! Where do you look for me? I am so close to you Not in the temple or the mosque or in Kaba or Kailash! Today is a special day I have called all of you here
because you are all close to me Mughal Emperor Akbar extended Kabir’s ideas of
brotherly love and fellow feeling between men Do you realize the meaning of
the Din-e-Elahi, I am going to announce Raja Mansingh! Do you accept this new faith? I have always taken risks all my
life What further proof must I give? But if it means accepting
another faith ust say I am a Hindu However, if you wish it, I’ll
embrace Islam I only know of these two
relgions Raja Mansingh! There’s no
need to be afraid There is no compulsion to accept this new faith,
Din-e-Elahi Your answer clearly shows that
the people have some misunderstanding
about the new faith Din-e-Elahi is merely about
man’s duty I’ll even say that for a king there’s no greater worship than justice and good administration Strife is caused when rulers ignore state affairs and concern
themselves with extraneous matters Just like when religious men
want to guide state affairs Our state should not be an
instrument of orthodoxy used to further the cause of one
particular religion No kingdom can prosper in this
manner Nor can the state progress if
rulers are torn between the state and
religion Very well put, my lord! That is why we have announced
a new faith, Din-e-Elahi Those who accept it must be
ready for four sacrifices The four things are such that they are very dear to every man Tell them! Those who accept the new faith must willingly sacrifice to the
king their property, life, fame and
religion Tell me, who among you will be
the first convert to Din-e-Elahi may I be the first to be
blessed This was the bone of contention
between Akbar’s great grandson
Auragzeb and Shivaji Shivaji, you left the court in a
huff. May I know the reason? Does it behove you to put the King of Deccan among petty
rulers? Obviously, you are not ready to
accept such small position It’s a mistake of our officials I wish for your friendship You are like my younger brother I know well how you treated
your brothers Shivaji, I admire your
outspokenness I do not wish to enhance enmity
with the Marathas I will grant whatever you wish, I am willing to sanction your
coronation You mean I need your
permission to rule my own kingdom? You flare up so easily ! The tradition of two hundred
years in this country will have to continue The Empire itself is not two
hundred years old And the tradition that other Kings should remain
subservient to the Empire is not even 100
years old ! But in these 100 years no one
has dreamt of an independent kingdom After many years we have
established a kingdom in the Deccan Before that, it was a lawless, no
man’s land You hold us responsible for the
lawlessness there? when was that your kingdom? All you did was to move away
from the heritage of your ancestors I do not need to know from you
what my ancestors did By following the policies you
have adopted, can never do any good to the
country Shivaji !How dare you to talk of
my ruin, in my presence ! Had I not given my word to Raja
Jaisingh I would have had you executed
for this impertinence You may leave! You don’t want our protection?
Don’t take it! Even I don’t want to see your
face Keep him in Salawat Khan’s
mansion under strict guard! My lord! My father Then a new power came to
India European imperialism of the
18th century made the British so proud and
selfish that they soon became the masters
of India The effects of European
industrialisation were felt in many parts of India,
particularly Bengal and Maharashtra However, traditional north
Indian society opposed it resulting in the Revolt of 1857 The soldiers had become
restless A lion named Mangal Pandey
came to the fore Are you all bangle-wearing
women! An oath on your God! An oath on your family! How long will you bear this
oppression? Open your eyes and see! Will you wake up when your
faith is polluted? Come out! What are you doing? Are you mad? Call the soldiers! Ring the
alarm! Are you blind? The white man’s army is
coming They are camping on the other
shore They may attack any time They will massacre all of us! All those who refuse to open
the cartridges with their mouth Let’s go! What has happened? The time to pick up your rifle
and fight back has come or it will be too late A force of 5000 white men is
coming Kill the bastards! Why are you just standing? Will you lose your faith and
to Hell? Raise your rifles and kill the
Englishmen Victory to Goddess Kali! Victory to Hanuman! Hail AN! Hey ! Who are you? I am Mangal Pandey Why are you here, bloody fool! Why are you here? Are you
drunk? Shut up! Now your reign is over Go back to your country I give you two minutes Impertinent chap! Go catch
him! He has a loaded rifle Bloody cowards! Natives are
born cowards Saw how easy that was! We can finish the white man There’s no need to be afraid Come on! Let’s finish them! Wait! Let her be! Leave her ! Reformers like Raja
Rammohun Roy and Vivekananda knew that the British can be opposed with ideas, not weapons! Until we bring about changes in
our society we will not be independent However, in spite of changes
independence eluded us Casteism is a social custom All our great preachers have
tried to break it down Every sect, from Buddhists
downwards, has preached against casteism
and yet every time the chains of
casteism have only strengthened Everyone from Buddha to
Rammohun Roy mistakenly thought of casteism
as a religious edict and therefore tried to oppose
religion down with caste and always failed! In spite of all the ravings of the
priests casteism is a crystallised social
system which after rendering its service
is now filling the atmosphere with
stench It can only be removed by giving back to the people their lost social individuality The present religion of the
Hindus is neither the path of salvation and
knowledge nor that of reason It is don’t touch-ism! Don’t touch me! Don’t touch
that! That exhausts its description Sometimes I feel the urge to
break its barriers to go at once and call out: Come all who are poor,
miserable wretched and downtrodden Come together all of you! You are also human beings like
us! and you have all the rights that
we have Unless they rise our Mother will also not wake
up Social reforms continued but mere reforms were not enough The real issue was
independence The Congress Extremists were
the first to ask for it Last year, the flag of Freedom
was unfurled by the Grand Old Man of India Dadabhai Naoroji My goal is freedom Freedom is my birth right and I will have it! fact, Non-Violence means
conscious suffering It does not mean meek
submission to the will of an evildoer but putting one’s Soul against the
will of the tyrant Thus, it is possible for a single
individual to defy the whole might of an
unjust empire to save his honour, his belief,
his soul and lay the foundation for the
empire’s fall or regeneration I do not want India to practice
non-violence because it is weak, but because I want it to realise its strength
and potential training in arms is required
for this We seem to need it because we seem to think we are but a
mere lump of flesh I want India to recognise that
her soul cannot perish It can rise above every physical
weakness and defy the might of the whole
world Let me not be misunderstood Strength does not come from
physical capacity It comes from an indomitable
will Victory to Mahatma Gandhi! Long live the Revolution Gandhi’s ideas spread to
villages and in 1930 men, women and
children all treaded the path of sacrifice Don’t come forward or we’ll fire We are non-violent! Whatever you are! You can’t
come to this side of the field These fields are ours! They are sold! This land is ours! You are also
our own! We are all children of Mother
India For the last time ! Go away or I’ll fire! March ahead! Long live the Revolution! Everything is gone Thimmayya! Let nothing fall in the hands of
the British government! When Gandhiji gave the call of
‘Do or Die’ in 1942 all the leaders were arrested Yet, the agitation went on
spreading rapidly Brothers! We have stopped the
train If the British don’t quit, we’ll halt
the whole country We are pleased to have a
leader from Benaras I request him to speak about
Gandhiji’s new movement Long live the Revolution! Victory to Mahatma Gandhi! Friends! I have come from
Benaras Like you, the people there are
enthusiastic and angry You all know that Gandhiji has
been arrested and kept in an unknown place The British are trying to break
the link between the people and their
leaders But, they don’t know that
Gandhiji has said that this is his ultimate battle in
which every one will be his or her own
leader Friends! In this ultimate battle,
Gandhiji has given us one slogan one
mantra : We refuse to live as slaves any
more Gandhiji has said: ‘Do or Die’ We must remember one thing that is, Non-Violence Gandhiji has said: ‘Do or Die’ not ‘Do or Kill’ So, we’ll sacrifice our own lives
but we’ll not take anyone else’s life we’ll not hurt anyone! But what should we do? Gandhiji has said: Consider
yourself free from now! Refuse to be the slaves of the
British Refuse to co-operate with the
British government, its institution and its stooges We have called for a total strike
in Ballia Till the British quit India the market and offices will
remain shut The British can jail us or
behead us! Victory to Mahatma Gandhi! Long live the Revolution! India became free on August
15,1947 India became free on August
15,1947 Years ago we made a tryst with
destiny and now the time comes when we shall
redeem our pledge not wholly but very substantially At the stroke of the midnight
hour when the whole world sleeps India will awake to a new life
and freedom A moment comes, but rarely in
history when we step out from the old
to the new when an age ends when the Soul of a nation,
long-suppressed finds utterance At the dawn of history India started on her unending
quest Trackless centuries are filled
with her striving and the grandeur of her
success and failure Through good and ill fortune she has never lost sight of that
quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength which gave her strength What you are and what you make of India on this depends the future of
India We are not the citizens of an
ordinary nation We are proud of our land our nation, our culture and our
traditions This pride does not mean that
we should worship our past like some
romantic epic and alienate ourselves from
other nations refusing to understand their
way of life I’ll end with a prayer from Rabindranath Tagore’s
Geetanjali: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where the world has not been
broken into fragments by narrow walls Where knowledge is free Where words come out from
the depth of truth Into that heaven of freedom,
Father let my country awake! Where tireless striving
stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of
reason has not been lost in the dreary desert of dead
habits Where the mind is led forward into ever-widening thought and
action Into that heaven of freedom,
Father ! et my country Bharat awake !

You May Also Like

About the Author: Emmet Marks


  1. Completed today watching all episodes. Its nearely two months. Full of information. Thanx to Shyam Benegal Sir and entire team of this series.

  2. The Quit India Movement was a complete failure much like Mr Gandhi and his absurd ideology of non-violence. The entire freedom struggle from 1939 onwards and definitely after the British had ruthlessly crushed the Quit India Movement in 1942 was carried out by Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army. The INA Trials in 1946 and the uprising it caused in India actually broke the backbone of the British Empire. But given the man Nehru was, he would never have mentioned it in his book.

  3. Nehru tried to mimic Ashoka (making peace with enemies and not building up army ) and his Bhai bhai policy with China, albeit Ashoka was bhikahuk but Nehru was enjoying all comforts and pleasures of life. That’s why Asoka became the great and Nehru became worst PM with so many failures, Kashmir UN , China war , UN Security Council sweat and what not

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *