..

Non –Violence-Social Justice

Rama Rajya

Prasanna Patsani

Can the country

be changed through rallies

or slogans?

Woman on house arrest.

His Dusshashan of

the twenty first century

is trying to disrobe you

in the electronic court of the Kurus.

You are already disrobed.

You are being paraded

on the fashion ramp

with your shoulders

laden with the merchandise

of the tycoons from across the seas.

His majesty has

made repeated declarations

that the globalized

consumerist God

be worshipped,

and you be empowered.

Whether you are strong

or weak,

you yourself

know not.

For self-realization

you must see yourself

in the mirror

as mother, sister,

or wife.

And then,

to assume sakti,

ascend the throne.

Become Devi.

Become the Mother of the Universe.

All the ideologies

of the world are shut up

in such paper bags.

Can the nation be

changed through high platforms,

or lengthy speeches?

Let the those suffering

get their nourishment,

and the hungry stomachs

a few morsels of food.

That much will suffice.

Translated from Oriya by Sumanyu Satpathi.

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Non-Violence- Awareness of Responsibility of Citizenship/Helpfulness.

May India Beome an Ocean of Might

Sane Guruji

May India become an ocean of might

May she sparkle gracefully in the universe

I've solemnly vowed to renounce my life

for the service of the humanity

My life exists only for the cause of my country

Hark, I am happily prepared to die for this cause

I'll set my nation to glorious heights

I will

l dedicate all to my nation

I will annihilate this dense darkness

Come, brothers, come to help me in this cause

Joining hands, together,

uniting heart with heart,

harping on the string of unity,

Come, come to perform this great deed

Let us hold the divine pennants in our hands

Let us sing songs of dear India

Let us display valour in the universe

May Mother India rise to the glory of her own rank

Arise, let us do our best

Let us accomplish the divine valour

Or else, futile is this life

May the shiny sun of fortune glow for ever

India, our mother, will become great

She will look splendid with the divine glory

She will give peace to the world

May that golden day arrive.

Translated from Marathi by Pradeep Gopal Deshpande

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Non-Violence- Appreciation of Others’ Cultures.

Africa

N. V. Krishna Warrior

I stand on a seashore looking out

erasing the glow of early dusk.

Dark droves of autumn clouds roll in to fill

the sky. Like fierce water-snakes in a rage

dirt-hued tides rush to bite the shore, and, like

venom spat out, rises white foam. As cities, lakes

and gardens fill mirages, and past lives,-

a yogic trance, as terrors emanate

from a fevered brain a startling sight is

born out of this sky and these turbulent waves.

 

I see the forests, the leopards within,

the yellow and black heads of crocodiles

that float in pools, the hippopotami

that seem like mobile rocks in their muddy

abode, the antelope with gnarled antlers,

the long-legged giraffe, the green meadows

where the Masais' cattle graze, the Masais who

pull the lion by the tail to behead

it with their swords, the seven-foot tall Thusis

javelin throw, the fierce skirmish when spears shatter

in pieces by the speed of the throw before

they meet their prey. Like the incessant thump

of a primitive drum, the ancient routine of forests

throbs still, quite unchanged.

There the earth has no boundaries, the ocean has no shores;

the gods still roam over the earth; there the time is not

encased in a small container and tied on the wrist.

 

The wave recedes.

In the rocky Sahara in dew-drenched

Ruvansori on the grassy plains

where zebras move, 

from Morocco to Cape of Good Hope, 

in twenty million minds, like streaks of lightning in a dark sky, 

a fire smoulders. Coal, copper, iron, gold, diamond,

platinum, uranium, rice, wheat, cocoa, sisal:

what wealth does not Africa possess. Men there, however, are

slaves, Zulus and pygmies alike; their bosses

the white ones who came from other lands, five

million of them. Yes, ignorant are the natives

victims of a tsetse slumber and of yaws

and leprosy tliat chew up their lips or

nose to rot them, poor ones who bear within

their vitals lethal worms, whom hunger has

turned so cadaverous. Men who only eat

a full meal in their dreams.

 

But they are awake now. Naguib's footprints have

fallen on the sandy banks of Nile, on Gold Coast

Nkrumah makes history. In Kenya

a flaming spear is shut in by prison-walls

and yet it yields its warmth to the people

all day long.

 

In the wake of Livingstone,

the pathfinder, the white men

brought their alphabet to preach about Christ's

mercy, but it helped these men to know about equality and freedom;

about

the wars fought to earn these and of the great

triumphs of science over unfair providence.

One fourth of a world shadowed by haughty Malan

nurtured a bitterness, yearned for vengeance.

 

Africa, this monumental beast, Africa, bellows, dipping

its face. The roar echoes in Sahara,

In each hamlet each town and each sea shore.

In one of Nairobi's bars, a white guard keeps

awake, armed with a rifle while

a double-edged Simi sword, skins the dark

night outside. Another white man,

a Belgian in Congo, enters his

room and trembles in anticipation of a black foe under his bed.

To board a bus, to join a school,

to walk along a street, to earn a wage

for work done, to build a home, to sow in fields,

to immortalize one's soul in a mate's body united by love,

men fight on; their united strength

slowly fills the land.

 

To keep off the blacks,

the whites built walls around themselves

with guns and laws. What now? Those who did

imprison are in prison now, the freed

ones yell aloud in joy, their fists unclenched.

 

Africa, awake, mother-earth, your own

children shall embrace the light, and along

the equator prosperity shall reign.

United we shall be, though different

in beliefs and life-style, like a song sung

together our effort shall make life bloom.

Where man is manacled, my arms ache. Where

there is flogging the whip falls on my back.

Where man struggles to rise, there I shall be. Africa, today

you are my land, in your grief I weep.

 

The beach, the forest and the land fade now.

The eye can no longer see far. The tides

rise and recede but the heart is strong and

serene. When a man strives to fight injustice,

I am the unvanquished, my life becomes

meaningful, for I know that I am he.

Translated from Malayalam by Kamala Das.

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Non-Violence- Awareness of Responsibility of Citizenship

After a Murder

Rabindra Sarkar

When like one distracted

I scoured the ends of the dead city

harrying someone

no tell-tale blood stared me in the eye

even after such murder

only fear, doubt and misgivings

What may crop up, what wouldn't.

In the park a few corpses talked

of bygone days.

of the birth of civilisation,

of death

the sky was singed

by their yellow exaltations.

 

There was no song anywhere

no birds chirped at dawn and dusk

the vicious water had driven the people

to the tops of dykes

thinking thoughts green as trees

they talked of new homes

of another birth after birth

one by one we picked

the bits and bones of the past

the debris of dead mistakes.

 

Some door somewhere may open

may be we will find a ladder

to lead us to the source

of the stream inside

even on our impugned thoughts will sprout

new blades and saplings.

Translated from Assamese 

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Non-Violence-  Awareness of Responsibility of Citizenship.

Might Ahead of the Mind

Kulo Thungan

You split the atom and gained an

insight into its potential

we acknowledge and admire your studies;

Having succeeded in harnessing the earth's resources.

you have taken up expeditions to explore the space.

You have transcended spatial barriers:

We bow before your amazing achievements.

 

You have enhanced the power of the eyes to see

and ears to hear.

You have transformed the world into a

federation of countries and

a small habitat of races.

 

You have overcome nature's boundaries:

For us today, mountains are no barriers

and the oceans are no blocks;

Rivers and forests are no longer a fortress.

The power of knowledge is near supreme.

We have evolved and advanced;

Yesterday we moved from

house to house.

Today we move from country to country.

 

Having broken the barriers of nature,

we have erected wall of our own;

Pettiness of mind , violence in every land,

Undeclared wars--- a daily event;

Every habitat a den of guns and bombs,

Hearts brimming with hatred and dislike:

Army of refugees all over the globe

in search of an asylum;

The sufferings of the second class citizens---

The minorities in their own motherland,

The undignified pettiness of the majority groups;

The sight of a few enjoying

unlimited facilities and pleasures on one side and

an increasing crowd with emptiness around,

burning hunger within and poverty as unfailing companion;

Life to them a great ordeal, endless struggle

even for liquid gruel and leafed roof.

The cruel fact of numerous countries

accepting all these as routine and normal---

These agonies grow; the sobs and wailing

of the downtrodden grow louder and wider!

 

Are wonders of science for the advanced nations

a matter of entertaining fireworks in space,

ignoring the plight of the masses and the

burdens of the world?

Science that was seen as a boon,

a servant to serve humanity and

a powerful companion in need:

has that become a fiction and a dream?

 

Have we in our progress, developed our might

ahead of the mind failing to seek wisdom

and believing that capacity to do things,

in the external world is all virtue and wealth?

Should the creator be killed, for the tools

and by the tools he created, as

flies in a swarm and birds in a flock?

Somewhere, somehow, may be a trifle

unaware , unintended we have made a wrong turn.

Translated from Tamil by V.C. Kulandai Swamy

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Non-Violence- Helpfulness

Deliberation

Kailash Vajpeyi

No! You will not cry.

 

No country is worth living in.

No time convenient to die.

 

Why should everybody be happy?

Why shouldn't there be bombs?

Why should there be a limit to misfortune?

Why can't the gloom be versatile?

 

Look ! the desert is expanding

misanthropists are being praised.

 

Genius is bogged

males are sleeping with males.

A woman from the East

is eating her child...alive;

In Canada

an eleven- year -old grew old

and died.

The body is just a change.

 

Change?

You thought you could change?

Save your breath!

Siddhartha, Christ

even Gandhi had the same illusion.

And each one died a dog's death.

 

A blind man pushing

Millions of blind men

Into a black hole---- history

That's what it is called.

And the pusher and the pushed

Till dissolved--midway

Never realised

They were wrong.

 

Still you think you can embrace the void

Heal the wound of the wind

Make a mark on the sands of time,

Repeat the legend of Midas.

 

Well, tragedy is rather off-beat,

Plot .. surrealistically contrived.

Slush has taken over the sea

Fever has become the norm.

The face of night has a celestial glow

Torture --- depersonalised.

 

A villain stabs the anti-hero

And carries the cross,

Asking spectators

If they need an oxygen -mask.

And why not.

After all it's a perennial dream

Where green is green

Till you have seen

The image of horror.

 

Look into the mirror!

A whole civilisation screams and sobs.

Only you will not yell.

Try and forget

The world…I

 

There are many versions of hell.

Translated from Hindi by the author.

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Non-Violence-Readiness to co-operate

The Call of the Nation

Dr. Chennaveer Kanvi

Through crevices of flowery green

Hisses the yellow dragon.

It crawls at the very foot of the peaks.

The Himalayas are wide awake.

 

Cool and deceiving is its body

But fierce hatred burns in its heart.

'Tis out to drink fresh, innocent blood,

Bring Bhima's mace and kill the python.

 

If the Himalayan valleys call,

Sahyadri peaks will gird their loins.

India will offer her very life-blood,

And pour her treasures at the Mother's feet.

 

Freedom's not a toy to break, my child.

The hawk haunts our borders.

What safety is a hedge to a growing garden

When the wild bull roams?

O my people! How long will you sleep?

 

Will you build your nests in dingy wells

Of oblivion and rot there for ever?

The snow-capped mountains thrill to the dawn

And hold the tri-colour sky-high.

 

India rises , sinking her differences.

Her gallant battalions guard her freedom,

Oiling their torches with their own blood.

Come, bow down to martyrs!

 

Who dares assault a million hands

When hands are turned into fists?

Our strength is in our hills and rivers.

Our motherland's name itself is strength.

 

Communism ,the bull-dozer,

Crushes seedlings numberless.

Hold your heads high, breathe the mountain air

And be men, O comrades!

 

Plough the field and feed the factory

While our comrades march ahead.

Peace flows from the nation's soul

And all hearts will hail its coming.

The Mother calls!

Translated from Kannada by Dr. V.K. Gokak.

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Non-Violence- Democracy

The Children of India

Dr. Betgari Krishna Sharma

We are the children of India.

We conquered our enemies with truth and love

And ruled on earth with charm and grace,

Rejoicing as a noble race.

 

We are the children of India.

We found joy in renunciation.

We frolicked with the Master of yoga

And discovered many paths to Reality.

 

We are the children of India.

When the world's multitudes

Were groping for the Lord,

We plunged into recesses of our being

And realised Him in our very core.

 

We are the children of India.

We fluted with our hearts in our throats

And revelled in ethereal notes.

Playmates of the Divine,

We trampled death and pain.

We are the children of India.

Translated from Kannada by Dr.V.K.Gokak.

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Non-Violence- Compassion to all forms of life

The Death of a beggar boy

Sitakant Mahapatra

By morning he was gone,

Like a feeble bird his body was resting

on the soft fawns of the public park.

Not once in his life had he

received such a gentle touch from anyone.

 

All through the night

a host of stars watched over him,

perhaps to grasp the despair

and sadness of the dying flame.

Or, to listen at least once

to the feeble words of his mild complaint.

 

But he was quiet,

continuing to look at those

myriad earthen lamps of the sky

with his failing eyes.

He had nothing to say.

He had no strength to speak.

No eagerness.

He nursed not even an iota of grievance

against this wide world.

 

The moon, with her gentle rays,

caressed him as had his mother long lost.

The stars, like shiny,

small coins,

dropped into his aluminum bowl,

which lay there like an empty skull.

 

Caressed thus, as he was at his infancy,

he lay listening to lullaby of the

breeze

(come dearest moon,

gently drop into my child's lap...),

until endless sleep overpowered him.

He was gone by the morning

The morning was gone by then.

Translated from Oriya by Sumanyu Satpathi.

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Non-Violence- Appreciation of others

May brotherhood dwell

Saint Tukdoji Maharaj

May brotherhood dwell forever in India

Give me such a boon....

 

May all these sects and schools look one

May there be no diversity of thought

May the rich and the poor thrive together in harmony

May they well be Hindu or Christian or Muslim,

may the happiness of freedom dwell among them all

Give me such a boon.

 

May all realise the humanity and nationhood

May a mass prayer be sung in chorus everywhere

May here be seen the industrious and upright youth

Give me such a boon ....

 

May all of us unite dissolving communal sentiments

May the untouchability be uprooted radically from the world

May truth and justice dwell

even in the mind of the crooked and the reviling

Give me such a boon ....

 

May heavenly grace linger in every house

May misfortune, fear and oppression be annihilated

May Tukdya forever be engaged in this sacred service

Give me such a boon .

 

Translated from Marathi by Pradeep Gopal Deshpande.

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Non-Violence- Compassion to All Forms of Life

Hail thee, O Goddess Liberty

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Hail thee O holiest of the holy

You are replete with auspiciousness

The giver of the good, 0 Goddess Liberty.

May I pay obeisance to you.

 

You are the personified spirit of the nation

You are the sanctifier of the fortunes.

0 Liberty the goddess, you are the queen of these

glories.

In the sky of subjection,

you become the sparkling star dazzling high.

Goddess Liberty, you are the blush

on the flowers of cheeks or the cheeks of flowers

You are the luster of the sun

and you are the solemnity of the ocean.

0 Goddess Liberty, its you who exist,

or else will befall the eclipse.

 

of annihilation

 

Redemption and salvation

are only your forms.

Goddess Liberty, sages and ascetics

call you 'Parabramha' in the Vedas

Whatever is excellent, august, lofty

and the sweetest. 0 Liberty, becomes your

companion

 

You are fear-stricken by England though,

my mother is not a helpless woman,

0 ocean, now she'll relate all this to Agasti

who, in a mere ritual, swallowed you up

in a single gulp

0 ocean, my soul is in agony ....

 

I'll conquer and live on this earth

Battlefield is merely a play-ground for me

Whether the sword befalls my head,

or a crown is placed on my head.

Service to the nation

is service to God - I believe

In my heart dwells unwavering faith

Soldier is my name...

.

Fearlessness swells up in my heart

and in my eyes -- fire

My head is held high

 

My hand holds a weapon

with hundred iron-spikes

So do I stand day and night

Let me see, which enemy - and from where-

dares to wage an attack

Soldier is my name.

Translated from Marathi by Pradeep Gopal Deshande

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Non-Violence- Social Justice

Palestine

Navakanta Barua

We housed them in prisons

For they wanted a home,

We killed them for they wanted eternal life

Then bulldozed their prisons into fields of corn.

 

What's that hand sticking out from the earth?

Other hands will sprout from it....

And tickle us to death.

Translated from Assamese by Pradip Acharya

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Non-Violence- Awareness of Responsibility f Citizenship

The Earthen Lamps

Hirendra Nath Dutta

Let the earthen lamps go floating down

With the current of the river

Each earthen lamp is a sacramental offering

Made by pouring out the heart

They are going ahead--the earthen lamps

Taking the water route

In search of inter-stellar spaces.

At some moment

Darkness would pull in

The last earthen lamp,

Will the earthen lamps mingle

with the stars

Found under water at night?

 

The waves which carry the

earthen lamps

Are the photographs of my songs

At the limits of my songs also

There is a red-blue-yellow

festival of lights:

My song is a finely chiseled face

Decked with the light and shade

of well-arranged locks of hair.

Or is it a flower of the night's dew

That dropped through stricken darkness

Into the place for throwing refuse?

 

My song is a seed planted in the uterus

of the inter-stellar spaces---

Gems filling the river -bed at night?

The waves undulate the earthen lamps

The wind makes the flames dance,

My songs are also versified

By thoughts of the public and my own

individual speed

Although throughout the world

Arms practice for hitting the right target

is going on

The earthen lamps, that is, the sacramental

offerings

Made by pouring out the heart

Are going like a reeling boat,

Then the blinding light of weapons

Cannot devour the light of these

earthen lamps

For, even after all the wielding of arms

is ended

The need for setting adrift the reeling

earthen lamps

Would come upon us.

 

Being desirous of salvation

Even then one well have to go on looking

At the flickering and yet again flickering

Eternal earthen lamps,

At the dead-alive stars

Found on the river-bed at night.

Chakibor,1992

Translated from Assamese by Ajit Barua.

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Non-Violence-Friendship

Wind

Nilim Kumar

Wind has come leaving the trees

From this bank from that bank of the river

From the bird's nests from the hollows of the

trees

Wind has come down

The gentle wind of the field has come

Leaving the green

The wind of thorny bush

Has come out silently

The wind sleeping beneath the fallen leaves

In the bamboo-grave had also come out

The wind of sorrow has also come

Leaving the sailing-boats of evening.

 

In an empty field

Wind is dancing unfurling her hair

Hand in hand

She had uncovered her breast in the sky.

 

What a spring time festival is there today!

Translated from Assamese by Pradip Khataniar.

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Non-Violence- Unwillingness to Hurt/Social Justice.

Thief

Nilim Kumar

My father caught him

In the betel-nut garden

And he rubbed his eyes and

Acting them out

Keeping time to our burst of shouting

And to the little swishes of our bamboo twigs.

We also became strong that day

With the vapour of Father's proud and swelling chest.

We bound him and foot

In the Saturday-market, that was the punishment fixed for him.

The whole of the midday he shines

In the bunches of ripe betel-nuts.

 

He is an ancient thief

In the creases of his rough skin

Sleeps the marks left by the beating of bamboo twigs.

He jumps about in the betel-nut leaves

Faster than the birds.

Pitchers for carrying water, small water pot

Choppers and axes and sometimes

The shining white dhoti of someone

Is also the marked out thing in the twinkling of his eyes.

And what a charming scene

When the villagers chase him

He jumps and jumps over the bamboo gates

Drain after drain

With what abandon his 'dhoti' flies

Tearing the green

How his sweaty muscles glisten and go out of sight

Raising a tide of mysterious joy in our mind and body

Thus he becomes our own

The whole village, all the householders.

Trees and creepers are all cages

And search for his vigorous arrival in the dark.

 

And he laughs un the horizon

With his pale face lined like the face of a sage

And sticking out cheekbones.

With his wild way of life

He becomes the most mysterious being

In my tiny green world.

And did he soak, did he soak me up also

With his primitive dance-posture?

For stealing from under my grandfather's pillow

I brought him 'bidis'.

 

My deserted homestead of my past

Is now devastated and of concrete.

Trees and shrubs of stone and brick

Breath with leaves of glass panes

In this jungle of glass

Where is it lost, where is it lost

That mysterious ancient being of mine?

I want that he steals

From my dining table the iron apples

The bronze grapes, the fleshy chopper

And from the fridge the white cold laughs.

Translated from Assamese by Ajit Barua.

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Non-Violence- Unwillingness to hurt

Crimson Clouds

Dinesh Das

So long as the earth turns red

With the blood of innocent victims

So long shall the blue sky turn crimson

In mute sympathy

And flaming clouds give way to gusty storm

Storm!

Why fear, my friend?

We are but groves of silent trees

It's the storm which gives us voices

A name and recognition

I know full well

This gale intense shall break us all

Tearing our hearts, uproot old weeds

Blowing away the piled up refuse of years.

 

Why fear, my friend?

We shall not die

Dissolving into atoms, we shall blend

With the land, the sea, the sky

The distant horizon.

 

We are immortal!

The raging storm of revolution

Shall hear our laughter

So long there falls

A single drop of blood upon this earth

We shall arrive

So long there falls a solitary teardrop

We shall remain!

Translated from Bengali by Swapna Dutta.

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Non-Violence- Compassion to all forms of life

Pets

Prabhakar Machwe

At first he had a few pups

they grew up and strayed away.

 

Then he had some kittens

he gave them away to neighbours.

 

he had red fish as pets

they died.

 

then, he had a parrot---

One day when it was out of the cage

the neighbour's cat picked it up.

 

In this way his habit

of keeping pets did not die.

 

Now we hear he has human pets,

(abundant, redundant);

 

Probably the neighbour's bombs

will take care of them

 

Even so they will show no sign

of diminishing in numbers.

Translated from Hindi by the author.

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Non-Violence- Democracy

Freedom

Dr. D. R. Bendre

We march on to keep our freedom.

Who dares confront us?

Liberty is the breath of life.

Without it man is a weakling.

How can we rest

When our freedom is in peril?

And so we march to keep our freedom.

Freedom blesses our Mother's progeny.

Freedom sheds glory on her name.

Freedom outlasts fame.

And so we comrades march ahead

To keep our freedom inviolate.

An alien yoke but oppresses the neck.

To throw it off is nectar to the soul.

This is what makes the Mother happy.

Otherwise the earth is a prison.

We march to keep our freedom.

Birds have their pathways in the sky.

And fish their high roads on high seas.

Rivers forge their path through mountains.

Why in duress should we be?

We march to keep our freedom.

Our blood seethes,

Our hearts are heavy with shame.

O, Father , test us, our strength.

Stand by us in our hour of trial

As we march to keep our freedom.

Translated from Kannada 

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Non-Violence- Appreciation of other cultures.

We are one

R. S. Mugali

Indians, we are one.

We are all one.

Parents of a new Republic,

Our today is the begetter

Of an unprecedented tomorrow.

 

If only we threw our feuds to the winds

And danced like waves of the self-same sea,

As kinsmen in spirit,

The heavens themselves will be

in the palm of our hand.

 

Father!

You blessed us with health and wealth,

With the plenitude of harvests

And mined gold and silver.

My children, you said,

Live and be happy.

 

Freedom is the dreaming spire,

Of all religions and creeds.

Our one prayer is the happiness of all,

The harmony of all.

 

Man, the seeker,

Is bent on his unending quest.

The myriad melody of our land

Sweetens the song.

Translated from Kannada by Dr. V.K.Gokak.

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Non-Violence-Devotion

If One Wants that Bird

A. K. Ramanujan

You know,

there was a king in Mongolia,

who once invaded some

distant kingdom, where

he heard a new bird singing,

and wanted the song for himself.

For the sake of the song , he wished to capture

the bird , with the bird its nest,

the branches that held the nest,

the trunk of the tree, the tree itself ,

the roots, the earth that held the roots,

the village,

the water,

the surrounding land,

the country,

the entire kingdom......

 

Wanting to take them all

he gathered together all the remaining

elephants, horses, chariots

and soldiers,

conquered the entire kingdom,

annexed it to his empire

 

and never returned home.

Translated from Kannada by S.K.Desai

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Non-violence- Social Justice and Communal Strife

Home

Ramnik Agrawat

This world is not of my liking

But what can I do?

My home is rooted in this land

It is not built simply in a day

Who gets a dwelling without ordeals?

And is every house really home?

 

Building my home is an experience for me.

 

Brick by brick has been laid by the rhythm of heartbeats

 

The roads surrounding my home are convoluted and poisoned

and yet I like them

Wandering about them I return home

After leading me round and round

and tiring me

they drop me at my door

But I am no less

Spewing spittle, smut, spleen over them

I have abhored them warily

Loved them from the bottom of my heart.

 

Remaining within home I have repeatedly run away far

I had deserted it two-three thousand years ago

and had stopped again for alms at the doorstep of Yashodhara

The same home while trailing me for fourteen fourteen years

has wandered and withered

From Panchavati to Dandakaranya to Kishkindha

to Demon-city

and who knows where else !

 

Look, with these same hands I have torched Khandav-van

Smashed by the mace of Jarasandh, I have seen this home

rising again in Dwarika.

 

But I do not wish to stretch that for

Just a few centuries ago

mounting it in bursting bags on horses elephants camels

I have slaughtered my home in Arabian sands

Carrying in crammed ships and steam boats

I have squandered it over England and Europe

But I do not wish to go even that far.

 

On some sixth December

with thousand hands

I have massacred it

I have been annihilating it with

weapons treachery pain tears reason swindle

And still I feel it within

right at this moment

inside the ribs

on the left

scorching me.

Translated from Gujarati by Dileep Jhaveri

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Non-Violence- Social Justice

The Ashoka-Grove

Dileep Jhaveri

We fixed the wall

When Seema was born.

 

There is a calendar, a poster

with a deadly terminator of a film hero

and perhaps two embroidered hares.

 

When Sameer was born

We put in a glass window.

 

A torn bed sheet that served as curtain,

the tinkling sound of Panwallah's shop,

And into the late night, the light

Of the street lamp settling down

And refusing to leave.

 

The third time in the third month

A miscarriage.

 

The scattered debris

of unrecognizable household things;

rags, tatters, bricks, bamboos,

The mirror, soot.

Cinders smouldering in a puddle

 

The tin-sheets of the roof

Were rotten.

 

The same old sky.

Translated from Gujarati by the author.

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Non-Violence- Awareness of Responsibility of Citizenship

Grant Us This One Boon

Umashankar Joshi

Grant us this one boon. Liberty

That this mind may never have ignoble aims

That this heart may never despair

Let all our actions be consumed by upward flames

But not netherward

Let the speech be not harsh without reason

The sight not obscured by mist of temptation

The luster of love may not dim in the eyes

The earth may not become like barren cow

The wealth dwelling in commerce

May not solicit self-ruin in selfishness

The women may not stray away from grace

Nor youth age before time

The pristine smiles of children may not be blighted

The leaders holding reins for people

Would take the last remaining place at the banquet

And brahmins - the placid intellectuals

Do not purport to be priests of power

Being a poet I plead

Do not permute our poets into your captive parrots

Prattling pleasing platitudes

Liberty, grant us this one boon.

Translated from Gujarati by Dileep Javeri

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Non-Violence -Social Justice

At The Age of Eighty Nine

Priyakant Maniar

The wagon proceeding

From Charlestown to Johannesberg

From Charlestown

From Charlestown to reach Pretoria is the goal

From Charlestown races the wagon

rolling rocking rushing

abruptly halting halfway

on roadless land

few adjacent towns

few scattered villages

barely contained above below

and yet here everyone is suitably seated

on several thrones

And the standing are dozing

awake sleepy everybody smoking

From the smoke-clouds

an eighty nine year old frame

is trying to catch a breath of air

In the rolling rocking rushing wagon

the firm steadying eye grows red at corner

ripe smile slides drops from the lips

The wagon proceeding from Charlestown to Johannesberg

He Ram!

Translated from Gujarati by Dileep Jhaveri.

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Non-Violence-Respect for All Religions

The Immortal Friend

J. Krishnamurthi

O friend

Tell me of God,

Where is He, by what manner do I find Him?

Among what climes, in what abodes?

Tell me, I am weary.

 

Read the Vedas,

Do tapas, meditate,

Perform rites and ceremonies,

Practise austerities and renounce,

Pray at His temple, among flowers and incense,

Bathe in the sacred rivers,

Visit the holy places,

Be a devotee and pure of intelligence,

In Kailas is His abode-

There you will find Him, cried many.

 

Obey the Law,

Take refuge in the Order,

Kill not, steal not and commit no sin.

Go to the shrine.

Enter Nirvana-

There you will find Him, cried many.

 

Read the Holy Book,

Pray at His Church-there be many-

This church will lead to Him but beware of that,

Serve, sacrifice,

Do not judge, be merciful,

In Heaven is His throne-

There you will find Him, cried many.

 

Read the only Book

Of the only God,

Visit His abode on earth,

Pray at the mosque,

At the setting of the sun worship Him,

Bahist is His abode-

There you will find Him, cried many.

Work, work for humanity,

Serve, serve your fellow-creatures,

Follow this but beware of that path,

Do the will of God,

Follow blindly for I hold the key to His abode,

Grasp this opportunity that He offers you,

Sorrow and happiness lead to Him-

If you do this, your search will end-

Then you will find Him, shouted many.

 

I am weary, tried by the passage of time,

Travelling on no path, I have come to Thee,

Thou hast revealed Thyself to me.

 

O! Thou art the round stone

That grinds the rice in the peaceful village

Amidst songs and laughter.

Thou art the graven image

That men worship in temples,

With chants and solemn music.

Thou art the dead leaf

That lies torn on the dusty road,

Trodden by the weary traveller.

Thou art the solitary pine

That stands majestic

On the lonely hill.

 

Thou art the lame and mangy creature

That comes to my door, with a haunted look, hungry,

That men abhor,

Thou art the mighty elephant

That is gaily robed,

Carrying the nobles of the land.

 

Thou art the naked beggar

That wanders from house to house,

Wearily crying for alms.

Thou art the great of the land

That are rich in possessions and books,

That are well-fed and satisfied.

Thou are the priests of all temples

That are learned, proud and certain.

 

Thou art the harlot, the sinner, the saint and the heretic.

 

My search is at an end.

In thee I behold all things.

I myself, am God.

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Non- Violence-Unwillingness to Hurt

Terrorism

Harshdev Madhav

1.      Terrorism

is a servant of anger

It is a prisoner of cruelty.

It is dependent of inhumanity

It is suffering from

the disease of violence.

It is lame due to jealousy

In spite of its living,

It is half dead

on account of prejudice.

2.      How can

Impotent terrorism create

Revolution?

Insects take birth

Is dung of meanness,

-not Mahatmas (profound religious persons).

3.   Terrorism has no father

its mother’s name is cruelty.

4.  Terrorism is thirsty

so it drinks human-blood

Terrorism is hungry

So it eats pieces of human flesh

Terrorism may know

Its devilry

If it can see itself in a mirror!

5.   The hurricane of terrorism

tries to destroy

The lamp of faith.

Have you any hand

To resist its force?

Translated from Sanskrit by the author.

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Non-Violence-Democracy

To the Hands Destroying the Wall of the City of Berlin

Dr. Harshdev Madhav

Revenge creates curtains of interruption,

Bitterness wishes to divide love

with the bricks of hostility.

Is the story really not decent

In which the hearts blossom like lotuses?

The black thoughts of people

Fall like leaves in autumn

May the soft breeze of friendliness give warmth.

May the light spread

From the torch of ‘The Statue of Liberty’

May this darkness of wrath vanish.

O’ Hands! Blow the wall!

Break the wall!

May your blows become softer and cooler than sandal-paste

Today

The nails from the crucified body

of Jesus Christ

have pulled out.

Virgin Mary

wipes her tears.

May the harmony of the people

of East Germany and West Germany

become a great quantity of love.

May the two pieces of a single heart

be united for ever.

Translated from Sanskrit by the author.

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Non-Violence-  Awareness of Responsibility of Citizenship.

Couplet

Baba Sheikh Farid

Walking in arrogance

Of wealth and power, in

Youth’s confident swagger,

 

They go as rain

On sand, leaving no trace

Here.

Translated from Punjabi by Rakshat Puri.

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Non-violence-Social Justice

Song of Justice

Cherabanda Raju

We battered the mountains

and crushed the rocks

With our muscle stones

built barrages

But who got the riches

and whose was the labour?

 

We cleared the stones

and tilted the wastelands

With our sweat streams

watered the crops

But who got the food

and whose was the seed?

 

We built our looms

and spun each thread

With our nerve yarns

wove many a cloth

But who donned it in fashion

and whose was the effort?

 

We worked the machines

and produced plentiful

With our blood current

ran the factories

But who built the mansion

and who lived in the hut?

 

Knowing the reason

we’ve taken to arms

We’ll rise up as one

for an unceasing fight

Victory will be ours

and death yours.

Translated from Telegu by Dr. V. Rama Murthy.

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Non-Violence-  Rejection of Untouchability.

Postponement of a Birth

Satish Chander

My heir always poses on question:

“When should I be born?”

I stand before the dressing mirror

and see not a heap of limbs

but a series of humiliations.

 

When I look at my thick curly hair

I remember the painful twigs

of my great grandfather’s hair

rejected by knives and scissors.

I brush through my hair with a ruthless comb.

 

The two ears like oil saucers

hide the flaming music

haunted as they were by imaginary crime.

to avoid the lead from being poured into them

I cover my ears with mass of hair.

 

When the folded lips open out with a smile

I remember the beauty queens of the past

handing over vessels of poison to my ancestors

as gifts of broken love

I emit kisses on my own reflection in the mirror.

 

When I fix buttons to my shirt-sleeves

I remember the wild-clothes worn by mother.

On second thoughts

I look at my own shoulders

again and again.

When I tighten the belt round my waist

I get a glimpse of someone with a broom in his hands

attempting to make me wipe out

my own history

and I subject myself to scrutiny.

 

When I tie up laces to my shoes

I feel the naked feet of my father

shrieking in pain

though kissed the Mother Earth.

I salute to my feet as I get up.

When I start touching the moustaches

I suddenly remember the talented officer’s words:

“Do these reservation people deserve all this?”

I cannot digest the present

born of the past.

 

My heir repeats the question:

“When should I be born?”

I bring down the drum hung on the wall

and play on it

seemingly without end.

 

With the sound of miscarriage

a birth gets postponed.

Translated from Telegu by K. Damodar Rao.

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Non-Violence-Cont.