A HAPPY TEA ADDICT COUNTRY

Hindu sages and saints have contributed a lot in the independence of India. Many social reforms were also initiated by sages and saints. Tea revolution in the eighteenth, nineteenth centuries (under which the style of drinking tea in India changed forever.
Tea was recognized as the beverage of the common Indian from the beverage of the Europeans)

“I believe tea has helped us, as a nation. At least, our tea drinkers outnumber those who consume alcohol, One may even go so far as to claim that the spread of alcoholism has been arrested in this country because of tea.” SANKAR THE MONK AS MAN

How hard it is to believe that we Indians were unaware of tea (chai) a few centuries ago. Now hardly any Indian starts the day without tea. (The people of South India are lucky in this case that they have the option of choice, they can choose between tea or coffee according to their convenience) It is a matter of happiness that today in the use and production of both tea and coffee, India is one of the major countries of the world. According to a national survey, fifteen cups of tea are consumed in India compared to one cup of coffee.

Gradually tea became a part of our daily life. It is also like that we Indians were unaware of potato, and tobacco,(Potato &Tobacco was introduced by Portuguese ) today without them the daily life of many Indians cannot be imagined.

Herbal tea has a centuries-old history in India. Even today there is a lot of custom in India to drink it, but today this drink is also called Kaadha. Consumption of decoction has its benefits. Herbals like black pepper, mint leaves, basil leaves, liquor ice, cloves, ginger etc are used in the decoction. India has historically been a stronghold of natural medicines and spices, so it is common for such beverages to become popular. Similarly, lemon tea is also very popular in India. In recent years, the increasing awareness of people towards natural beverages has made Kaadha very popular. It has been used as a medicine in colds. In recent times, its popularity has increased a lot in the outbreak of Corona. There will be hardly any home or hospital in India where this herbal drink is not being used.

CHAI

The extraordinary story of ordinary tea The story of tea was written in India during the Bengal rule of the East India Company. And within a few years it turned into a mass movement.
The East India Company was a commercial company, whose main reason for its arrival in India was the trade of spices. After the Battle of Plassey in Bengal, the East India Company’s feet were firmly established in Bengal. During this time, efforts were made by the people of East India Company to grow tea in India. It is believed that tea plants were first planted in 1787 by a British, Mr. Kydd, in a garden called Shivpur in Howrah. This was a failed attempt. Later at one place Mr. Kydd admitted that the climate of Howrah was not suitable for the growth of tea leaves. By the year 1820, some prominent Bengali families (Prince Dwarkanath Tagore) were also engaged in the tea leaf business in Assam in an effort to grow tea leaves in Bengal and its surrounding areas.

In 1864, India’s tea leaves were sold for £3 million by the Assam Company at an auction in Mincing Lane, London, England. This was just a beginning.

This was the effort of the East India Company and the famous Indian businessman of that time to capture a part of the tea market in England. Gradually these efforts paid off, by 1870 the share of China’s tea market in England was 90%, after thirty years it was 10%, this was possible due to the development of tea gardens in India and Sri Lanka. Till then the practice of drinking tea had not started among Indians, it is believed that the trend of tea was slowly starting in the city of Kolkata, India. Kolkata was then a rapidly growing British city in India. The political and economic capital of India. Kolkata was also called the White City in those days because the population of white people in the main area of ​​Kolkata was more than the native people, and Kolkata had more white people than any city in Asia. The British people had a habit of drinking tea according to their English tradition, gradually this habit was being adopted by the elite Indians also. In those days, association with British families and eating with them was common in the famous and prosperous houses of Kolkata, as a result many customs and traditions were adopted conveniently by the noble Indians, among them the habit of drinking tea. was involved.

Tea and Nationalism

In those days a new industry was also spreading rapidly in Bengal. That was the printing industry. For the first time in India, the trend of books, newspapers was increasing, many British and Indian businessmen of Kolkata were also seeing the possibility in this new business. Due to the spread of education, the number of educated people in India was also increasing. The old gurukul system of education (which was largely based on Hindu traditions) and Muslim education which was based on madrasas was now getting out of date. Western education and employment based on western education were increasing, a new intellectual class was emerging among Hindus. (Muslims were keeping distance from this education system) This new intelligentsia was to some extent British in language, lifestyle and food, but inspired by Hindu culture, religion, and the spirit of patriotism. Many of these intellectuals did not accept to work under the British government and started working independently in journalism, Hinduism and social reformer. There was also a lot of drinking tea among such people, due to which soon the tag of white people’s beverage was removed from tea.

Tea Break চা বিরতি

Bengalis have tea in their and blood and nobody can do anything about it. Bengalis will never forget that coffee smells like burnt shal leaf, while Darjeeling tea tastes like champagne. Sankar- The Monk as MAN

Rabindra Nath Tagore, a prolific nationalist of the time, and world-renowned Writer, Poet, Philosopher ( first Indian who received the Nobel prize of Literature )
Dwarka Nath Tagore was his grandfather, who started the tea business in India with the British people. He was counted among the tea lovers of that time. He has shared his love of tea with people many times.

Swami Vivekananda A young sannyasi(MONK) whose popularity was at its peak in those days, a voice that was a ray of hope among the nationalists, was a tea lover. This young monk left an impact on the world’s finest minds of his time.
The uncivilized image of Hindus and India in the West and America, which was based on some prejudices, was broken by this great sannyasi, not only kept the true picture of India in front of the world, but also introduced the world to yoga and meditation for the first time. The great scientist Nikola Tesla, writer Aldous Huxley, Tolstoy, Ja de Salinger Rockefeller, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Arvind Ghosh, Nivedita, Jamshedji Tata, Vimal Mitra Shachindranath were influenced by his ideas. Vivekananda’s habits were always the subject of discussion in those days, especially among the youth and the intelligentsia in Kolkata. Swami Vivekananda, along with other poets, writers, and intellectuals associated with the Rama Krishna Mission, have mentioned the popularity of tea at many places due to Vivekananda’s influence. Swami Sardananda once jokingly told Swami Vivekananda’s younger brother Mahendranath that the habit of drinking tea to the people associated with the Math is due to your brother Vivekananda. For more information related to this topic please visit:- https://nithinks.com/2021/01/11/is-vivekananda-still-relevant-today-national-youth-day/

BELUR -MATH HOWRAH (KOLKATA )

Tilak the Chaiwala of Belur :-

Once Tilak, (LOKMANYA BALGANGADHAR TILAK)the great nationalist of that time, came to Kolkata. Tilak came to Belur Math to meet and discuss with Swami Vivekananda. On the request of Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak made tea for all the people present in the Math. Undoubtedly, this tea party is ranked among the most historic tea parties in India.
This incident is mentioned by Shankar in his famous book the monk as man
Giving the details of this incident, Sankar has told that’ Tilak had brought nutmeg, mace ,cardamom ,cloves, and saffron with him. He boiled these things together, added the tea leaves, milk and sugar ,and made tea.’ This incident shows that Our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose father had a small tea shop, and whose childhood is spent selling tea, he is not the only chaiwala in Indian politics.

BODHI- DHARMA

There is a belief in china that in the fifth-sixth century, a monk from India, Bodhidharma, reached China for the propagation of Buddhism. He is credited to propagate Buddhism in china. It is believed that Bodhidharma spent nine years meditating in a cave, due to constant waking and not sleeping, Bodhidharma was feeling sleepy, due to which Bodhidharma cut off his eyelid in anger and threw it away. A few days later a tree grew at the same place. The leaves of that tree had a special quality – drinking a drink made from the leaves of that tree did not cause sleep and felt energized. This was the first tea plant.

Tea Capital of India :- Undoubtedly Kolkata is the tea capital of India. From the planting of tea leaves to the cultivation, export, acceptance of tea in the society, everything is built in the history of Kolkata itself. Although tea shops will be found in every city, nook, street square of India, but the variety of tea found in Kolkata is rare. The way of serving tea is also varied. From plastic glasses, glasses, fancy cups, to clay pots.
Many shops in Kolkata still make tea in the old style kiln, but the tea found at these shops is usually strong tea. (This is the Indian version of Britain’s sailors tea) The taste of tea in a cup made of clay changes completely, the smell of earthy aroma in strong tea – wonderful.
In Kolkata, the use of milk in tea is also less, in Kolkata tea leaves are more important, after taking a few sips of tea, it is understood that the whole game here is of tea leaves.


Cultural Capital of India & Some very unique tea shops:- Varanasi is not only the cultural capital of India, it is also called Mini Kolkata or Mini Bengal. The reason for this is a large number of Bengalis here. Most Bengalis live in one city outside the state of Bengal, then it is Varanasi. The trend of tea in Varanasi has come from Kolkata itself. Here too many old tea shops serve tea in earthen cups. (KULLHADA) But there is a fundamental difference in the tea found here – milk is used more in the tea here. Apart from this, basil leaves, ginger, bay leaves are commonly used in tea here. In their taste and aroma, it reduces the taste of tea leaves . There is one more thing that is worthy of praise at the tea stalls in Varanasi – the special attention to cleanliness. A small tea shop on the side of the road also washes the utensils used for making tea with hot water several times a day. In Varanasi, tea is a beverage to be consumed at any time, and at any place.

“I think Banaras (Varanasi) is one of the most wonderful places I have ever seen. It it has struck me that a westerner feels in Banaras very much as an oriental must feel while he is planted down in the middle of London”. (MARK TWAIN)

MAHASAMASHAN AND TEA SHOPS

If one is not familiar with the traditions and philosophy of Hindu religion, then the tea shops and tea drinking places in Varanasi can surprise him.
The most unique seems to be the hundreds of tea shops on Samashan. In Hinduism, the last rites of a dead person are performed on the banks of rivers or water bodies, in Varanasi also on the banks of the holy Ganges there are two very ancient ghats Manikarnika and Harishchandra, both these ghats are used for cremation. There are many tea shops on both the ghats. On Manikarnika, there are more tea shops than shops of materials used in cremation. The funeral rites never stop on Manikarnika, day and night. Similarly, tea is available at any time at the tea shops here. The well-wishers of the deceased who come to attend the last rites can also be seen drinking tea at the time of the last rites of the deceased. To know the thousands of years old tradition of Varanasi’s Samashan, Aghori please visit:- https://nithinks.com/2021/03/26/rangbhari-ekadsi-masan-holiashes-of-dead-persons/ This is a normal reaction. The use of tea was once banned in Hindu monasteries considering it to be a stimulating beverage, today drinking tea is a common practice among Hindus in any religious activity. Many Hindus do not consume grains during the fast, they only survive on fruits, but tea is also drunk during this time. To know the story and tradition related to fasting in Hindu festivals please visit:- https://nithinks.com/2021/03/14/mahashivratrishiv-barat-and-varanasi/ I would like to end this post with these words of Swami Vivekananda.

READ THE VEDAS AND UPNISSHADS, AND DRINK TEA –NO HARM IN IT!


Dawn of civilization and shiva (SHIVA, GANGA & VARANASI)

In Shiva, who is the Lord of this Universe, Or Vishnu, its soul, I see no difference, But still, my love is for Him

Who has the young moon on His forehead.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Oh when will that time come,

When in a beautiful full-moon night, Sitting on the banks of some river, And in a calm, yet high notes repeating

“Shiva! Shiva! Shiva!” All my feelings will come out through the eyes In the form of tears?

When, wearing only the Kaupina, Lying on the sands of the holy Ganges in Benares,(Varanasi) When shall I weep aloud, “O Lord of ghouls”, Saying this, and whole days shall pass like moments?(Swami Vivekananda -The Complete Works)

Dawn of human civilization:- The unique relationship between Shiva, Ganga and Varanasi.

In Hinduism, there has been an ancient concept of city God and village God. According to this concept, there is a belief in Hinduism that every city, village was built by a different deity for people to live. Perhaps our expression of economic, social freedom of the villages also developed from similar sentiments. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2020/12/03/hindu-philosophy-and-the-importance-of-peace-9-11-1893-9-112001/

Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru

Glimpses of world history: ———– “Some old inscriptions from south India tell us how the members of the panchayats were elected, their qualifications and disqualifications. If any member did not render accounts of public funds he was disqualified.  Another very interesting rule seems to have been that near relative of members were disqualified from office. How excellent if this could be enforced now in all our councils and assemblies and municipalities.” (Jawaharlal Nehru)

This question will probably be one of the most difficult questions in human history, who first came into existence in Shiva, Varanasi and Ganga? It is impossible for a very ordinary person like me to answer this question, and I have no such attempt. My effort is just an attempt to shed light on the sacred relationship of Varanasi, Ganga and Shiva and its historicity. Mark Twain is probably the best on this subject.

As we mentioned the city deity – Shiva is honored with the city deity of Varanasi (Banaras, Kashi) is one of the oldest cities in the world. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2019/12/31/oldest-living-city-happy-new-year/ The Ganges river goes a long way until it reaches the sea from the Himalayas.(About fifteen hundred miles) Many ancient and religious cities of North India developed on the banks of river Ganges.(HARIDWAR,PRAYAGRAJ-Allahabad, KANPUR,VARANASI,MIRZAPUR,FARRUKHABAD,KANNAUJ,BHAGALPUR,PATNA,HAJIPUR,MUNGER,KOLKATA etc.) But the way the river Ganges behaves in Varanasi is not seen anywhere else. For more information about this subject please visit :-

Rajghat :- Remains of ancient Varanasi city found in archaeological excavations.
Lal Khan’s tomb amidst these ruins shows the influence of Islamic imperialism on Varanasi. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2019/10/07/islamic-imperialism-breaking-of-idols-hindu-struggle-past-present/

Almost all the great historians are of the opinion that ancient Varanasi city was near Rajghat. Near Rajghat, the Varuna River meets with the Ganges River, due to this river, the city got its name Varanasi. And in ancient times this river got its name due to the Varan (a species of trees) The river Varanavati is mentioned in the Atharva Veda.( period:-1000-900BCE)

Standing on a bridge built on the river Ganges near Rajghat, the crescent structure of Varanasi city is clearly visible. Always has a tradition of showing the Ganges River and the crescent moon on the forehead of Shiva. Beyond the imagination, amazing thousands of years old Shiva’s image, the unique SANGAM (GANGES MEETS VARANASI) of Ganges and Varanasi can be seen even today. Our ancestors, who had imagined such beautiful, accurate images of Shiva’s human form thousands of years ago, would undoubtedly have good knowledge of geography, mathematics and literature. It is a miracle that the seals of many Shiva temples have been found in the excavation of Rajghat, which has confirmed the Shiva-temples mentioned in the Puranas.(DATE:c 250 CE )

I love the area where the holy river Ganges flows in Varanasi. (SHIV Matsya Purana)

Many historians, archaeologists have estimated from the material obtained from the excavation of Rajghat that the ancient Varanasi city existed in 11th or 12 century BC.

Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same—-Walt Whitman

Markandeya Mahadev: – On the border of Varanasi-Ghazipur, another holy river, Gomti, meets with the Ganges. The place of this confluence is located in a village called Kathy. The importance of this place, and the antiquity can be inferred from the fact that the description of this temple is also mentioned in Mahabharata. —-

‘मार्कण्डेयस्य राजेन्द्रतीर्थमासाद्य दुर्लभम् ।

गोमतीगङ्गयोश्चैव सङ्गमे लोकविश्रुते॥

(MAHABHARAT -PAGE 241)

The temple building has been changing over time, some historians believe that the Sangam place was also at some distance in ancient times. I personally feel very attached to this temple, because my mother’s village is near this temple, she used to come here since childhood, her habit continued in the later days as well. It seems to me that my mother used to feel connected to her ancestors in this temple more than religious significance.

My father was a civil engineer, (He was a graduate of India’s most prestigious civil engineering college and Asia’s oldest civil engineering college, Roorkee.)He also had reverence for the temple. Father’s scientific thinking about rivers, soils, and excellent knowledge of history used to make the journey to any historical, religion place interesting.


Visiting this temple in Shiva-Ratri is of great importance. Many stories related to Hinduism, are prevalent about this temple. Many stories related to here are also mentioned in Hindu, Buddhism, Jainism religious texts. There is a deep reverence for the temple in the surrounding area.

This freedom came from the feeling that all human lives were interrelated, a certainty that they flowed into each other—a happy feeling that all events took place not only on the earth, in which the dead are buried, but also in some other region which some called the Kingdom of God, others history, and still others by some other name.(Boris Pasternak)

Veereshwar Mahadev: – The mention of this temple of Varanasi is also found in the Kashi Khanda. This temple was of great importance in ancient times. This temple is situated on the banks of the Ganges near Scindia Ghat. The event of the birth of Swami Vivekananda, the world-renowned philosopher of modern times, is also associated with this temple. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2020/07/05/the-unknown-life-of-swami-vivekananda/

Birth of Vivekananda, Shiva temple and Varanasi.

Bhubaneswari was worshiping lord shiva in one of the houses in that locality. At the close of the her worship , she prayed to Shiva everyday while offering pranam, “o Shiva , give me a son on my lap.” she had a few daughters already . but how could she live without a son? so, she offered daily worship to Shiva for a son . she had even asked one of her old relatives at Benares (Varanasi)to offer daily worship to Vireswar Shiva there on her behalf . god heeds to whatever is asked of him with devotion in a simple heart . Bhubaneswari’s prayer was also granted. In the early morning of January 12,1863, she gave birth to a son .the child was named  Vireswar after Vireswar Shiva as his mother believed that she was granted her son as a boon from the lord . but the name was too difficult to be used as a nickname.so everybody in the house used to call him as a Biley.  he was named NarendraNath Dutta at the annaprasshana ceremony but still he remained the same Biley for all .(Vivekananda for children -publisher : Sri Ramkrishna Math Chennai)

Panch Ganga Ghat: – a is among the five major and oldest ghats of Varanasi. This place is described in the Matsya Purana as an area of ​​influence of Vishnu .Its ancient name was Bindumadhav Ghat. This Ghat got its name from the ancient temple of Bindumadhav (Lord Vishnu). In the seventeenth century, this ancient temple was demolished by the Islamic ruler Aurangzeb, and a mosque was built from the rubble of that ancient temple. Since then the name of this place became Panch Ganga in place of Bindumadhav. For more information about this subject please visit :—

Indus Valley Civilization :- (2350-2000 BCE)

The remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, Shiva are also there. Shiva also has a name Pashupati. Pashupati means God of animals. Under the Indus Valley Civilization, a stone seal was found at a place called Mohenjodaro, in which Shiva is in a yoga pose (AADI YOGI) and is surrounded by a variety of animals. Shiva’s crown is like a trident, this seal is kept in the museum of Delhi.

One thing is clear that according to our convenience, we call Shiva by religion, civilization culture, deity and nature by any name Shiva is prevalent among all. Man himself is a creation of prehistoric times. The imagination of man’s prehistoric period, the sequence of development, Shiva is included in himself.
According to Hindu religion philosophy, God is omnipresent. Shiva is the history of human development journey from the beginning of nature till date. Shiva is the symbol of power – the combined power. Shiva is the symbol of any endeavor for the welfare of human life.
Shiva is the symbol of the communication of spiritual power. Shiva is the basis of nature and human relations, , and these cooperation.

BENARES(Varanasi) REBELLION (15,AUGUST 1781)

“ANY MAN WHO TELLS YOU THAT AN ACT OF ARMED RESISTANCE-EVEN IF OFFERED BY TEN MEN ONLY-EVEN IF OFFERED BY MEN ARMED WITH STONES-ANY MEN WHO TELL YOU THAT SUCH AN ACT OF RESISTANCE IS PREMATURE,IMPRUDENT,OR DANGEROUS,ANY AND EVERY SUCH MAN SHOULD BE AT ONCE SPURNED AND SPAT AT,FOR REMARK YOU THIS AND RECOLLECT THAT SOMEWHERE AND SOME HOW AND BY SOMEBODY A BEGINNING MUST BE MADE AND THAT THE FIRST ACT OF RESISTANCE IS ALWAYS AND MUST BE EVER PREMATURE , IMPRUDENT AND DANGEROSUS”

The “Benares Rebellion” could not leave a significant mark in its history due to lack of vision and inability to take decisions in the King of Banares.

In order to shed light on this incident and its importance, I have made the basis of the letters of the British officers of that time, their statements, buildings and ruins connected with this incident in and around Benares. Indian intellectuals (especially Sampurna Nand)You were a great educationist and was also the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and the Governor of Rajasthan. (Your great-grandfather Sadanand ji was the divan of King Chet Singh.)

WARREN HASTINGS

Warren Hasting himself wrote that —
“If Chet Singh had not run away at this time and would have attacked the garden of Madhodas, I would surely have been killed and thus rebellion would have spread all around”.

SELECTIONS FROM THE STATE PAPERS OF THE GOVERNORS-GENERAL OF INDIA :WARREN HASTINGS (George Forest Page 160)

IMAGE SOURCE:-(KASHI KA ITIHAS, DR. MOTICHAND) BHARAT KALA BHAVAN (B.H.U) VARANASI .CHET SINGH (MAHARAJA OF BENARES)
A locality and some buildings in Varanasi are still named after you.
IMAGE SOURCE :- (WIKIPEDIA) WARREN HASTINGS.

WARREN HASTINGS WAS THE FIRST GOVERNOR OF THE PRESSIDENCY OF FORT WILLIAM, THE HEAD OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF BENGAL, THE FIRST DE FACTO GOVERNOR GENERAL OF INDIA .WARREN HASTINGS CREDITED ALONG WITH ROBERT CLIVE FOR LAYING THE FOUNDATION OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN INDIA.

On July 7, 1781, Warren Hastings left Kolkata for Banaras (Varanasi) with his men. On the way, Warren Hasting also stopped at Bhagalpur and Buxar.
On August 15, 1781, Warren Hastings arrived in Varanasi. Warren Hasting came to Varanasi to investigate complaints against Maharaja Banaras Chet Singh.

MADHODAS BAG OR MADHODAS GARDEN HOUSE NOW KNOWN AS RADHASWAMI BAAG OR SWAMI BAAG (RADHASWAMI GARDEN OR SWAMI GARDEN)
(IMAGE:- Dinesh Seth.)

Warren Hasting reached Varanasi and stayed in a garden named Madhodas.
This garden of Madhodas is presently known as Radhaswami Bagh or Swami Bagh in Varanasi.

The inscription on the wall of Radhaswami Bagh is hidden somewhere in shops. The story of Warren Hasting’s stop at this rockplate is described.
( Image:- Dinesh Seth)

SHIVALA BHAVAN NOW KNOWN AS CHET SINGH OR CHAIT SINGH GHAT
( Image:- Dinesh Seth)
IMAGE SOURCE:- WIKIMEDIA ( SHIVALA BHAVAN, NOW KNOWN AS CHET SINGH GHAT ) WILLIAM DANIELL R A,(1769-1837)

On the banks of the Ganges, Shivala Bhavan, now known as Chet Singh Ghat, the Maharaja of Benares was arrested and detained here by order of Warren Hastings.The disobedience of Maharaj by the soldiers of Warren Hastings provoked the soldiers of Maharaj’s army and then the people also joined the soldiers of Maharaj.

The rockplate at Shivala Bhavan, from where Maharaja Benaras had escaped from Warren Hastings. (Image:-Dinesh Seth)

The english army suffered a major loss in the encounter of the english and the native army at Shivala. Some British officers, many English and native soldiers were killed. ( Image:- Dinesh Seth)

LieutT Arch.Scott 1s Battalion sepoys,

LieutT Jer Symes2nd Battalion sepoys

Lieut J Stalker Resd. Body Guard

WHO WERE KILLED WITH 200 SEPOYS AUGUST (17TH 1781)

NEAR THIS SPOT,DOING THEIR DUTY.

(SEPOY:-INDIAN FOOT -SOLDIER, esp. IN THE SERVICE OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY .)

Ram-Nagar (Varanasi)

Padaav Ramnagar encounter:

1-Here 30 foreign soldiers, 150 native soldiers were killed, and 100 men were wounded in the struggle between British and Maharaja Varanasi soldiers.

Only two soldiers of Maharaja Varanasi died.

2-An officer named Captain Mayfair marched into the city of Varanasi, a troop of his army, where he was surrounded, the public beaten Mayfair and his soldiers badly in the streets of Varanasi. Mayfair was killed along with 36 white soldiers, 108 native soldiers were also killed, 42 soldiers were injured.

I AM NOT AFRAID OF AN ARMY OF LIONS LED BY A SHEEP,I AM AFRAID OF AN ARMY OF SHEEP LED BY A LION.

(ALEXANDER )

The public was very excited by this incident and was ready to avenge the insult of the king. At this time the people needed a skilled leadership, but unfortunately the king could not lead such enthusiastic people either.

At such a time, instead of leading the public, it was very sad for the king to run away like cowards and only worry about himself and family.

This shameful attitude of Maharaja soon led to the loss of trust of the people and the army from his Majesty.

CHUNARGARH: Chunar’s ancient and historical fort( Image:-Dinesh Seth)

Warren Hastings was very frightened to see himself surrounded in Varanasi and decided to leave Varanasi at the earliest.
Decided to go to Chunar, located just a few kilometers away from Varanasi, because this fort was in the possession of the East India Company.
Warren Hasting, along with some confidant men, made the journey to Chunar in the night somehow.

IMAGE SOURCE : WIKIMEDIA NORTH VIEW OF THE FORT OF CHUNARGARH ON THE GANGES FROM ACROSS THE RIVER . IT IS IN THE MURSHIDABAD STYLE AND ON ITS BACK IS INSCRIBED ” FROM A PAINTING BY “DANIELS. DATE :1795 BRITISH LIBRARY.
This kothi was built by the company(EAST INDIA COMPANY) in Chunar Fort. Warren Hasting had to stay here until he got help from Allahabad and Kolkata. (Image Dinesh Seth.)

The problem of lack of leadership in India continued even further.

The only reason for the failure of the first freedom struggle of 1857 was the lack of skilled leadership.

Swami Vivekananda has mentioned this

A LEADER LEADS BY EXAMPLE:

AN English friend of mine, named General Strong, was in India during the sepoy mutiny. He used to tell many stories about it. One day, in the course of conversation, I asked him how it was that the sepoys who had enough of guns, ammunition’s, and provisions at their disposal ,and were also trained veterans, came to suffer such a defeat.

Sepoy Mutiny(Later on, it got the status of India’s first independence struggle.)

He replied that the leaders among them ,instead of advancing forward , only kept shouting from a safe position in the rear , fight on brave lads, and so forth but unless the commanding officer goes ahead and faces death , the rank and file will never fight with heart. It is the same in every branch. a captain must sacrifice his head they say. If you can laydown your life, for a cause ,then only you can be a leader . But we all want to be leaders without making the necessary sacrifice. and the result is zero-no body listen to us!.

(THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA,7:325-26 )

These major events of Indian history provide two very important lessons.

1. When the leadership becomes ill-informed, then the public should lead themselves.

2 . The immediate decision of renunciation is necessary to maintain independence. In the future, we will take care of these things only then we can maintain independence.

Vivekananda(warrior monk)Varanasi

विवेकानंद ने अपना शरीर त्यागने से कुछ दिन पहले अपने आराध्य शिव की नगरी में जहाँ कुछ समय बिताया. ( गोपाल लाल विला) राजा काली कृष्ण ठाकुर का garden house

GOPAL LAL VILLA(VARANASI)

1971 भारत पाकिस्तान युद्ध के   नायक  hero” मानेकशॉ” ने एक बार कहा था कि”भारत की सबसे बड़ी समस्या भ्रष्टाचार,राजनीति-दुर्बलता, जनसंख्या(Corruption, political will ,Population) नहीं वरन जिम्मेदार नेतृत्व का न होना  है”.

सिकंदर ने कहा था कि “मुझे शेरो की उस सेना से डर नहीं लगता जिसका  नेतृत्व एक भेड़िये के हाथ मे हो मुझे  भेडियो की  उस सेना से डर लगता है जिसका नेतृत्व एक  शेर के हाथ मे हो”. इन  बातों से नेतृत्व के महत्व का पता चलता है. परन्तु  लीडर  बनने  के लिए जरूरत होती है त्याग की, बलिदान की. अगर किसी बड़े काम को करने के लिए कोई व्यक्ति  जान देने को तैयार  हो तो  ही  वह सच्चा  लीडर  हो सकता है. विवेकानंद ने 1857 की क्रांति के असफल होने  का प्रमुख कारण  सच्चे  नेतृत्व का अभाव  बताया है इसी  कारण  से शायद , उन्होने  देश  को प्रतेक  क्षेत्र  मे सच्चा  नेतृत्व प्रदान करने वाले लोगो को जागृत  केर देश  सेवा  मे लगा दिया .  

  सैकड़ो वर्ष की गुलामी मे अपने धर्मं, भाषा, संस्कृति,  सभ्यता को हीन (inferior) समझने वाले और कुरीति, आडम्बर, ढकोसला (malpractice ,hypocrisy) को ही धर्म समझने वाले लोगो को किस प्रकार से उन्होनो जागृत (awake) किया, जिम्मेदार नेतृत्व में ये याद दिलाया, की तुम श्रेष्ठ हो किसी से कम नहीं.( तुम शुद्ध हो, मुक्त हो, महान हो) और वर्तमान में उसकी क्या उपयोगिता है जिससे मज़बूत भविष्य की नींव रखी जा सके. “गुलामी बुरी चीज़ है”(slavery is a bad thing) मद्रास में ये बात उन्होने कही जो एक नयी बात थी अभी तो देश में लोगों ने ऐसा सोचना शुरू भी नहीं किया था. वास्तव में स्वामी जी नायको के नायक थे. महात्मा गांधी, सुभाष चंद्र बोस, अरविन्द घोष, निवेदिता, जमशेद जी टाटा, विमल मित्र शचीन्द्रनाथ सान्याल दो बार आजीवन कारावास की सजा पानेवाले (“हिंदुस्तान प्रजातंत्र संगठन” hindustan republican association H.R.A की स्थापना आप ही के द्वारा की गयी, जिनकी पुस्तक क्रांतिकारियों की बाईबिल “बंदी जीवन” के नाम से से जानी जाती थी और जिसका दो दर्जन से ज्यादा भाषा मे अनुवाद हुआ .आगे चलकर त्रैलोक्य चक्रवर्ती ,भगवती चरण वोहरा, चंद्रशेखर आजाद, नलिनी किशोर गुह, बाबा पृथ्वी सिंह, भगत सिंह, रास बिहारी बोस, सुखदेव, राजगुरु, लाला हरदयाल, अजीत सिंह आदि इन के  सहयोगी रहे ). राजनीतिक कारणों  से इस महापुरुष  को हम लगभग भुला ही  चुके हैं. वर्तमान मे अन्ना हजारे, नरेंद्र मोदी और अनगिनत लोगों के विवेकानंद प्रेरणा स्रोत हैं और रहेंगे. अलग अलग क्षेत्र के लोगों को एक व्यक्ति के द्वारा प्रभावित होना एक  दुर्लभ घटना है उन्होने सबसे पहले गरीब,दलित, महिलाओं (poor,depressed) की बात की. अनेक संत आए साधु आए, पर गरीब के बारे  मै ऐसी बाते किसी ने नहीं कही थी “दरिद्र नारायण” गरीब की सेवा ही सबसे बड़ा धर्म है यही मातृभूमि की सेवा है और मातृभूमि की सेवा ही सब से बड़ा कार्य .” विश्व का एक व्यक्ति  भी जब तक भूखा है प्रत्येक  व्यक्ति  तब तक गुनहगार है।“ उन्होने कहा की  हिन्दू धर्म केवल एक बर्तन धर्मं “मुझको मत छुओ”(don’t touch) पर आ कर रुक गया है उस समय हिन्दू धर्म मे खास कर ब्राह्मणो मे छुआछूत का बड़ा बोलबाला था. और सारा धर्म केवल खाने का बर्तन तक  सीमित हो कर रह गया था. किसी दलित के साथ खाना खाना तो दूर उसके बरतन को छू जाने से भी धर्म का नाश हो जाता था, इस प्रकार की परिस्थितियां  ईसाई धर्म प्रचारकों (Christian missionaries) और अंग्रेज़ों को बहुत भाती थी अकाल, गरीबी भूखमरी के कारण बंगाल मे आम लोगों का जीवन बहुत कठिन हो गया था  मृत्यु एक सामान्य घटना थी घर के पुरुष की मृत्यु पूरे परिवार को बेसहारा और लाचार बना देती थी. परिवार के अन्य सदस्य या विधवा हो चुकी औरतों जिनके पास कफन खरीदने के पैसे भी नहीं होते दाह संस्कार का खर्च और धार्मिक आडम्बर पाखंड धर्म भीरू समाज के डर से जीवित रहने के लिए धर्म परिवर्तन का सरल रास्ता अपना लेंती थीं हिन्दू धर्म की कुरीति, आडम्बर, ढकोसला छुआछूत (malpractice ,hypocrisy, untouchability) वास्तव मे हिन्दू धर्म के सबसे बड़े दुश्मन थे ये धर्म की सार्थकता (significance) को दीमक की तरह खा रहे थे. बंगाल के शिक्षित लोग केवल अंग्रेजों की खुशामद करना (flattery)और हिन्दू धर्म की बुराई कर अपने काम का अंत समझ लेते थे. बंगाल और देश के प्रतिष्ठित लोगो का समर्पण बंगाल में होने वाला ईसाई  धर्म परिवर्तन देश की आज़ादी को कितना नुकसान पहुंचाते ये सोच से भी परे है. इसी कारण से महात्मा गांधी और सरदार पटेल ने भी धर्म परिवर्तन का पुर ज़ोर विरोध किया, अफ्रीका महाद्वीप के अनेक देशों को धर्म प्रचारकों की मदद से फिर प्रशासन के गंदे खेल ने “मूल धर्म”(basic religion)  और “परिवर्तित धर्म”(converted religion) के लोगों में जो आग लगाई कि आज भी अनेक देश उस आग में झुलस रहे हैं .

गृह युद्ध(civil war) में लाखों  लोग मारे जा चुके हैं प्राकृतिक संसाधन(natural-resources) पर अपरोक्ष (through)रूप से यूरोप के देश कब्ज़ा किये बैठे हैं. हिन्दू धर्म मे खुद को श्रेष्ठ समझने का भ्रम पाले बैठी जातियों को अपने सम्बोधन मे कहा की “ये अपने लोग हैं( दलित अछूत) इनसे कैसी नफरत ?जिस दिन तुम्हारे गलत व्यवहार से ये तुम्हारे विरोधी हो गए बचने का रास्ता नहीं मिलेगा .“अपने इन्हीं कामों के कारण स्वामी जी हिन्दू  धर्म के पाखंडी, धर्म का धंधा करने वालों तथा  ईसाई  धर्म प्रचारकों दोनों को खटकने लगे, इन लोगों ने स्वामी जी को उल्टा सीधा कहने और गाली गलौज करने का कोई मौका नहीं छोड़ा. पर स्वामी जी अपने गुरु “रामकृष्ण परमहंस”,के बताए रास्ते पर मुट्ठी भर समर्थित बिना साधन के कुछ युवाओं के साथ देश सेवा और गरीबों और दुखियारों की सेवा मे लगे रहे. अपने  अमेरिका और  इंग्लैंड  प्रवास के समय उन्होने वहां अपनी संस्कृति ,धर्म का सच्चा अर्थ आम  लोगों  तक पहुंचाने  का  काम किया (1893 The parliament of the world’s religions) मे हिन्दू धर्म पर उनके विचार तो “अमृत वचन” हैं .हज़ारों  साल पुरानी हमारी सहिष्णुता,(tolerance) सहनशीलता योग, ध्यान से विश्व को अवगत (aware) कराया यही नहीं ईसाई धर्म प्रचारकों (Christian missionaries)  द्वारा भारत को अँधेरी दुनिया (dark world)और भारतीयों को असभ्य बता कर अमेरिका मे उन्हे सभ्य  बनाने का पुण्य काम (holy work) का दावा और चन्दा इकट्ठा करने की साजिश का भी खुलासा किया, अपने स्वभाव के अनुरूप अमेरिका और यूरोप  के अनेक क्षेत्रों  के विद्वानो को प्रभावित किया. महानतम वैज्ञानिकों मे से एक निकोला टेस्ला, ऐलडस हक्सले,टालस्टॉय,जा डी सेलिंगेर जैसे लेखक रॉकफेलर जैसे धनकुबेर(very rich)  उनके विचारों  से प्रभावित हुए रॉकफेलर जैसे धनकुबेर पूंजीपति का समाज की भलाई के इतनी ज्यादा मात्रा मे धन दान करना अपने आप में  एक अनोखी घटना थी  विवेकानंद को केवल सन्यासी मानना  गलत होगा वो एक योद्धा सन्यासी (warrior monk)थे. एक ऐसा युवा  योद्धा  सन्यासी जो अपने देश के लिए, धर्म, संस्कृति  सभ्यता, भाषा के लिए संपूर्ण  मानवता, के कल्याण के लिए और इनकी रक्षा के लिए आजीवन कहीं  भी लड़ने से पीछे नहीं हटा अल्बर्ट आइंस्टीन ने एक बार कहा था कि” मै एक लड़ाकू शांतिप्रिय हूँ,  शान्ति  के लिए मैं  बुरे लोगों से हर वक़्त लड़ने को तैयार रहता हूँ. “विवेकानंद पर भी यह बात उतनी  ही सही बैठती है.

र्तमान में भारत की और विश्व  की अनेक समस्याए हैं- इस्लामिक टेररिज्म , इस्लामिक चरमपंथी,   i.s.i.s का उदय देश मे ईसाई धर्म प्रचारकों, धर्म परिवर्तन का गंदा  खेल, राजनीतिक बैर, वोट  बैंक  की राजनीति, अंधविश्वास, धार्मिक पाखण्ड और  हर शहर गाँव मे फैला पाखण्डियों का मायाजाल (हाल के वर्षों मे बाबा और गुरु जी)लोंगो की कारगुजारियों से  हम सब ही परिचित हैं. ये हमारी संस्कृति सभ्यता के सबसे बड़े दुश्मन हैं.  इन समस्याओं से समाज को किसी योद्धा  की तरह लड़ने की जरुरत है  विवेकानंद की मूर्ति  को माला  पहनाने से कुछ नहीं होगा.  उनके योद्धा की तरह किये गए कामोँ  को आने वाली पीढियों को बताना होगा , और उनकी ही तरह  लड़ना होगा  जब विश्व “सभ्यताओँ के संघर्ष (clash of civilization)” का एक खुला मैदान बन गया हो, तो अपनी सभ्यता संस्कृति  को बचाने  के लिए लड़ना ही पड़ता है. जो अपने महापुरुषों  से इतिहास  से नहीं सीखता उसको सभ्यताओँ के संघर्ष में  जीतने वाली सभ्यता से सीखना पड़ता है और ये सीख  आने वाली पीढियों  को बहुत भारी पड़ती  है.

                                विवेकानंद  और बनारस (वाराणसी)

एक चित्रकार (KRIPA) की कल्पना GOPAL-LAL VILA (1902)

 

GOPAL LAL VILA (VARANASI)

सिस्टर निवेदिता ने एक बार एक घटना का जिक्र करते हुए  बताया की विवेकानंद  की माँ भुवनेश्वरी देवी की एक पुत्र की इच्छा  थी जिस कारण  से बनारस मे अपने एक रिश्तेदार  को उन्होने बीरेश्वर महादेव (शिव मंदिर )में रोज़ उनके लिए पूजा करने का आग्रह किया 12 जनवरी 1863 को पुत्र  होने के बाद इसी कारण  से उसका नाम बीरेश्वर रखा गया परन्तु बोलने मे कठिन होने के कारण नामकरण के समय उनका नाम “नरेंद्र नाथ दत्त” (नरेन्) रखा गया लेकिन अपने घर वालों के लिए वो सदा “बिली” के नाम से ही जाने जाते रहे।  बाद मे अनेकों बार विवेकानंद  का बनारस आना हुआ विवेकानंद भूदेव मुखोपाध्याय, तैलंग-स्वामी से भी मिले.1890 गाजीपुर (बनारस के निकट ) इलाहाबाद भी इनका आना हुआ और इन स्थानों पर समय व्यतीत किया “भय पर विजय की शिक्षा” भी उन्हे यहीं मिली.  दुर्गाकुण्ड  मंदिर  से आते समय बंदरों से सामना होने पर एक साधु के कहने पर आप ने बंदरों से डर   के भागने के स्थान  पर बंदरों को भगाया ये छोटी घटना से स्वामी जी ने सच और डर का सामना करने का का अनोखा पाठ पढ़ा. इस छोटी घटना का उन पर बहुत प्रभाव पड़ा, और इसका जिक्र उन्होने अनेक स्थानों पर किया.  प्रमादादास मित्रा,  जिनसे विवेकानंद  की मित्रता थी, और उनसे उन्होने संस्कृत का भी  ज्ञान लिया था. प्रमादादास मित्रा जी ने गीता का इंग्लिश मे अनुवाद भी  किया था. स्वामी जी वाराणसी आने  पर इनके ही घर रुका करते थे. 1902  मे विवेकानंद  का आना एक  दूसरा अर्थ रखता था, अब वो स्वामी विवेकानंद विश्वप्रसिद्ध ,दार्शनिक और विद्वान थे, परन्तु बेहद कमज़ोर और बीमार, बंगाल के प्रसिद्ध लेखक शंकर ने अपनी किताब the monk  as man में chapter 4पेज 175 ,176  मे  उनकी 31 बिमारियों के बारे मे और  इन बिमारियों से दृहता से लड़ते हुए  सामाजिक भलाई मे लगे रहने का जिक्र  किया है.  स्वामी जी इस बार बनारस आ कर  राजा  काली  कृष्ण ठाकुर  के गार्डन हाउस गोपाल लाल  विला  मे रुके स्थानीय लोग  इस जगह  को सोंधा बास  भी कहते थे  यहाँ विवेकानंद जी लगभग एक महीना तक रुके राजा  काली  कृष्ण ठाकुर  के गार्डन हाउस गोपाल लाल  विला  का अपने पत्रो मे जिक्र करते हुए इस स्थान को स्वास्थ्य के अनुकूल बताया, स्वास्थ्य  ख़राब होने के बाद भी यहाँ  सामाज़िक  गतिविधियों मे लगे लोगों से मिलते रहे  स्वामी जी से प्रभावित हो कर “दरिद्र नारायण सेवा समिति” “poor men’s relief association”  का गठन करने वाले चारु चंद्र दास सहयोगी सदाशिवनन्द(आप ही ने स्वामी जी की इस बार बनारस में आगवानी की और गोपाललाल विला में उनके प्रवास के बारे मे स्वामी विवेकानंद संस्मरण नाम से एक लेख लिखा) लगभग प्रतिदिन मिलने आते थे आप लोगों के अनुरोध पर स्वामी जी ने संगठन का नाम” the Ramakrishna home of service”  कर दिया जो आगे चल कर और वर्तमान में वाराणसी का एक प्रमुख हॉस्पिटल है. समाज सेवा मे लगे उदय प्रताप से भी उनके गार्डन घर पर जा कर मिले.  केदार घाट के पुजारी से भी मुलाकात .की यहाँ से जाने के कुछ महीनों बाद ही(4july 1902) स्वामी जी मृत्यु हो गयी. स्वामी जी के अंतिम दिनों  का साक्षी उनका निवास स्थल वर्तमान मे गोपाल लाल विला एक खण्डहर बन चूका है क्या ही अच्छा होता की सरकार भारत की सांस्कृतिक राजधानी(cultural capital of India) वाराणसी मे इस खण्डहर को एक धरोहर रूप प्रदान करती, भारत की सांस्कृतिक राजधानी मे  भारत की संस्कृति को बचाने वाले और सम्पूर्ण विश्व को भारत की संस्कृति से परिचित कराने वाले योद्धा सन्यासी (warrior monk) विवेकानंद की इस धरोहर को बचाने का प्रयास तो होना ही चाहिए. वाराणसी  का पुराना नाम काशी है जिसका अर्थ होता है प्रकाश.  पर यहाँ प्रकाश का अर्थ ज्ञान से है कृत्रिम प्रकाश से नहीं. मालवीय जी ने भी वाराणसी को सर्व विद्या की राजधानी कहा था. गौतम बुद्ध महावीर स्वामी, कबीर, तुलसी, न जाने कितनो को इस शहर ने प्रभावित  किया देश ही नहीं विदेश मार्क ट्वेन,  स्टीव जॉब्स, जॉर्ज हैरिसन इस शहर से प्रेरणा लेते रहे. इस प्रकार से न जाने  कितने अनगिनत व्यक्तियों  प्रेरणा देने वाले शहर मे अनगिनत व्यक्तियों को प्रेरित करने वाले व्यक्ति का स्मारक  एक  पुनीत कार्य(holy work) होगा और ये स्वामी जी के प्रति हमारी सच्ची श्रद्धांजलि.(tribute)