महाजनो येन गतः – उदय प्रकाश

महाजनो येन गतः - उदय प्रकाश
The way of moneylenders / great ones* - Uday Prakash

इसी पथ से गये हैं महाजन
On this path the great one [/moneylender] went
यही पथ है
This is the path 

अभी तक हिल रही हैं
Till now are moving
अँधेरा अभी तक काँप रहा है
Dark, till now is trembling

यह है उनकी अशर्फी
This is his coin
ये हैं ख़ून के दांग
These are bloodstains
ये रहे चिड़ियाँ के डैने
These are bird wings
यह है उनका निशान
This is his mark

महाजन जिस पथ से जाते हैं
The great one leaves his trail
अपने निशान छोड़ जाते हैं ।
He goes by this path.

चिड़ियाँ अभी तक चीख़ रही हैं
Till now birds are screeching
सो नहीं रहे हैं बच्चे
Children still not sleeping
छर्रे अभी तक हवा में हैं ।
Till now shrapnell is in the air.

ये हैं चूड़ियों के टुकड़े
These are pieces of bangles**
ये रहे कुछ फूटे हुए अंड़े
Here are some broken eggs
यह है अख़बार का एक पन्ना ।
This is one page of newspaper.

उसी तरफ
That way
जहाँ संगीत है
Where there is music
उसी तरफ़
That way
जहाँ शब्द माँजे जाते हैं
Where words are polished
जहाँ मन्त्रों की तरह पढ़ी जाती हैं कविताएँ
Where poetry is read like mantras
जहाँ गढ़ी जाती हैं अमाजुषिक कलाएँ
Where inhuman arts are excavated

उसी तरफ़
In that direction only
जहाँ क़ानून है।
There is law.

यही है पथ
This is the path 
जिधर से महाजन गये हैं
By which the great one went
यही है पथ
Here only is the path
इसी पथ से आओ
Come on this path!

पीछा करें उनका।
Follow him.

उदय प्रकाश, अबूतर कबूतर, २००५, स्वर्ण जयंती, दिल्ली
Uday Prakash, Abutar Kabutar, 2005, Svarn Jayanti, Delhi

Many thanks to Juli Perczel for corrections and improvements!


*This is a quotation from the Mahabharata in which it is said that the divine or natural law cannot be described but only recognised by following ‘wise people’.  Mahaajan is also used to refer to money lenders or business people.  There may be some irony here.  The similarities in the text of the Aranya Parvana to Buddhist scripture and Prakash’s interest in Buddhism are unlikely to be incidental.  (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vana_Parva, compare https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhammapada).  This is further highlighted by the symbolism in the poem of the wise one who has taken a path which others should follow, echoing reference to Gautama Buddha as the tathagata or ’thus gone one’.  The references to war and violence in the forest might be considered in reference to conflict and Sanskritisation in tribal majority areas of India, such as those in Madhya Pradesh where Prakash grew up.

The Mahabharata text is from the Vana Parva or Aryana Parva, the third book of the epic which describes the time the Pandavas spent in exile in the forest.  The passage reads:

तर्कोऽप्रतिष्ठः श्रुतयो विभिन्ना, नैको ऋषिर्यस्य मतं प्रमाणम् । धर्मस्य तत्त्वं निहितं गुहायां, महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः ।। { महाभारत-वनपर्व ~ ३१३-११७ }

तर्क अप्रतिष्ठित है, श्रुतियां परस्पर भिन्न अर्थ वाली हैं, किसी एक ऋषि का अर्थ भी प्रमाणिक नहीं माना जा सकता है । वास्तव में धर्म का तत्त्व अत्यन्त रहस्यमय और गुप्त है । इसलिये महापुरुष जिस मार्ग पर चले आये हैं, वही धर्म का मार्ग समझना चाहीये ।

Logic is devoid of conclusions and not foolproof, the scriptures have many derivative meanings, there is no one wise person whose philosophy can be termed as authentic or complete. In reality, the essence of Dharma is mysterious and hidden. Therefore only this can be said that the path on which great realized souls have traversed, is the path of Dharma. { Mahabharat-Vanparva ~ 313-117 }

[Translations from Sanskrit to Hindi and English by Amit Pachauri at http://jeevan-sutra.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/path-traversed-by-great-souls-is-path.html]


** Broken bangles symbolise divorce or a broken marriage