muraqqa-e ibrat-06-brij narain chakbast

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the “English” or “Notes” tab.

brij narain chakbast (1882-1926) was born in faizabad into a kashmiri brahmin family who moved to lakhnau soon after his birth.  He received his early education from a maulvi, learning urdu, arabi and faarsi.  Later, he got a law degree and then practised law in lakhnau.  Unfortunately, he died very young of a stroke he suffered while traveling by train to argue a case in bareily.  His book was published posthumously.

He was politically very acutely aware and wrote many nationalistic poems also promoting communal harmony.  He was very active in the formation of Kashmiri Young Men’s Association.  Parts of this long nazm, “muraqqa-e ibrat” were written for the annual gathering of the association in kashmir, when he was barely sixteen years old.  Other parts, written later, were combined into a booklet.

“muraqqa” is an album, a collection of sketches/images. “ibrat” is meant to draw a moral lesson from something.  Thus, “muraqqa-e ibrat” is an exhortation for kashmiri youth on a collection of diverse topics.  It is extremely good in its literary composition even for a mature poet, but amazingly so for a 16 year old.  It is divided into 8 thematic sections for easy reading.

A word of caution.  urdu was chakbast’s primary language, his mother tongue.  He learnt it along with faarsi and arabi.  He uses islamic imagery/vocabulary even when describing completely secular topics.  Thus, his criticism of orthodoxy, written in islamic vocabulary, is meant to be a criticism of all, not just islamic orthodoxy.

1.  “tamheed” is a short introduction of 7 stanzas of six lines each praising his own abilities of versification, lyrically expounding on why he is writing this and transitioning into praising the region of kashmir. The language and the style is reminiscent of another great kashmiri brahmin, daya shankar naseem, in his own introduction of his ‘gulzaar-e naseem’.

2.  “kashmir” is a section of 9 stanzas describing the beauty of the hills, gardens, orchards, rivers, waterfalls of kashmir in lyrical metaphors and acknowledging his own debt to and love for his homeland.

3.  “qaum ki haalat” a very short section of 4 stanzas is full of pathos describing the sorry state of the community of kashmiris.

4.  “naujavaanauN ki haalat” of 11 stanzas is rich in its literary content and maturity.  You have to remind yourselves again and again that this is a 16 year old writing.  There is much hand-wringing about the wastefulness and self-absorption of the youth of kashmir.  He is laying the ground work to inspire them to join the freedom movement.

5.  “daulat” is a 13 stanza piece moralizing about the accumulation of wealth which is used for selfish pleasures rather than for helping others.  There is little recognition of dialectical/materialist ideas of socialism (chakbast wrote this in 1898) but there is keen awareness of maldistribution of wealth in a moral/ethical sense.  The literary quality is amazing giving every indication of genius.

6.  “aazadi o islaah” is 6 stanzas on freedom and reform.  He praises the reformers of Europe and chides his audience that they have not drawn the right lessons from their lives.

7.  “mazhab” is a short 7 stanza section deriding religious leaders as well as concepts of orthodoxy.  It is not just “daulat” and lack of understanding of “islaah” that blinds us, it is also orthodoxy.  Recall that because of his educational background the vocabulary and imagery he is using might sound like islamic, but it is entirely secular, equally critical of all orthodoxy.

8.  “taNbeeh” is the concluding section of 4 stanzas with exhortation but still very beautiful in its literary content.

مُرقعِ عِبرت ۔ پنڈت برج نرائن چکبست

آزادی و اِصلاح

۱

آزادی و اِصلاح کے جب آتے ہیں افکار

تقلید ہو یورپ کی یہی رہتی ہے گفتار

موجود مگر اِن میں وہ جوہر نہیں زِنہار

مغرب میں جو تہذیب و ترقّی کے ہیں اَسرار

وہ حُبّ وطن خون میں شامل نہیں رکھتے

گو ولولے رکھتے ہیں مگر دِل نہیں رکھتے

۲

تھے خِطّۂ یورپ میں جو اِصلاح کے بانی

آزادیِ قومی پہ لہو کر گئے پانی

مُرجھا گئے کتنے ہی گُلِ باغِ جوانی

اِس نخل سے پر دور رہا رنگِ خزانی

سرگرمِ شہادت تھے وہ ایثار کی خُو سے

سینچا چمنِ قوم رگِ جاں کے لہو سے

۳

تھے یکّہ و تنہا پہ ہزاروں کو نہ سمجھا

عِشقِ گُلِ مقصود میں خاروں کو نہ سمجھا

سر کٹ گئے تلوار کی دھاروں کو نہ سمجھا

جَل جَل گئے شعلوں کو شراروں کو نہ سمجھا

بدکیش نمود اِن کی مِٹا اب نہیں سکتے

وہ آگ لگی ہے کہ بجھا اب نہیں سکتے

۴

بالعکس یہاں قوم کی ہمّت میں ہے پستی

وہ مرد کہاں ہیچ سمجھتے ہیں جو ہستی

یہ جوش فقط جہل و تکبّر کی ہے ہستی

اِصلاح کے پردے میں ہے بس نفس پرستی

آثار دِلوں میں ہیں کہاں دردِ نہاں کے

دِکھلاتے ہیں جوہر یہ فقط سیفِ زباں کے

۵

دکھلاتی ہے بس سیفِ زباں جوہرِ عالی

لاریب صدا دیتا ہے جو ظرف ہے خالی

اِصلاح کی تقلید ہے اِک اَمرِ خیالی

جب بانیِ اِصلاح ہو خود ضیغمِ قالی

گر حُسن نہیں، عِشق بھی پیدا نہیں ہوتا

بُلبُل گُلِ تصویر پہ شیدا نہیں ہوتا

۶

شکوہ تو یہ ہے قوم کی پرگشتہ ہے تقدیر

چلتی نہیں اِصلاح کی اَصلاً کوئی تدبیر

لیکن جو ہیں خود داری و خود بینی کے خُو گیر

اُن لوگوں کی گفتار میں کِس طرح ہو تاثیر

جو خود نہیں سرگرم کرے گا وہ بشر کیا

جب دل میں نہیں درد زباں میں ہو اثر کیا

मुरक़्क़ा-ए इब्रत – पंडित ब्रिज नरायन चक्बस्त

आज़ादी ओ इस्लाह

आज़ागी ओ इस्लाह के जब आते हैं अफ़्कार

तक़्लीद हो योरोप कि यही रहती हए गुफ़्तार

मौजूद मगर इन में वो जौहर नहीं ज़िन्हार

मग़्रिब में जो तहज़ीब ओ तरक़्क़ी के हैं अस्रार

वो हुब्ब-ए वतन ख़ून में शामिल नहीं रखते

गो वल्वले रखते हैं मगर दिल नहीं रखते

थे ख़ित्ता-ए योरोप में जो इस्लाह के बानी

आज़ादी-ए क़ौमी पे लहू कर गए पानी

मुरझा गए कितने हि गुल-ए बाग़-ए जवानी

इस नख़्ल से पर दूर रहा रंग-ए ख़िज़ानी

सरगर्म-ए शहादत थे वो ईसार कि ख़ू से

सींचा चमन-ए क़ौम रग-ए जां के लहू से

थे यक्का ओ तनहा प हज़ारौं को न समझा

इश्क़-ए गुल-ए मक़्सूद में ख़ारौं को न समझा

सर कट गए तल्वार कि घारौं को न समझा

जल जल गए शोलौं को शरारौं को न समझा

बदकेश नुमूद इन कि मिटा अब नहीं सकते

वो आग लगी है के बुझा अब नहीं सकते

बिल-अक्स यहां क़ौम कि हिम्मत में है पस्ति

वो मर्द कहां हेच समझते हैं जो हस्ति

ये जोश फ़क़त जहल ओ तकब्बुर कि है हस्ति

इस्लाह के परदे में है बस नफ़्स परस्ति

आसार दिलौं में हैं कहां दर्द-ए नेहां के

दिखलाते हैं जौहर ये फ़क़त सैफ़-ए ज़बां के

दिख्लाती है बस सैफ़-ए ज़बां जौहर-ए आली

ला-रैब सदा देता है जो ज़र्फ़ है ख़ाली

इस्लाह कि तक़्लीद है एक अम्र-ए ख़्याली

जब बानी-ए इस्लाह हो ख़ुद ज़ैग़म-ए क़ाली

गर हुस्न नहीं, इश्क़ भी पैदा नहीं होता

बुल्बल गुल-ए तस्वीर पे शैदा नहीं होता

शिक्वा तो ये है क़ौम कि बरगश्ता है तक़्दीर

चलती नहीं इस्लाह कि अस्लन कोइ तदबीर

लैकिन जो हैं ख़ुददारि ओ ख़ुद बीनी के ख़ूगीर

उन लोगौं कि गुफ़्तार में किस तरह हो तासीर

जो ख़ुद नहीं सरगर्म करेगा वो बशर क्या

जब दिल में नहीं दर्द ज़बां में हो असर क्या

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926). See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
1
aazaadi o islaah1 ke jab aate haiN afkaar2
taqleed3 ho yorop ki yahi rahti hai guftaar4
maujood5 magar in meN vo jauhar6 nahiN zinhaar7
maGhrib meN jo tahzeeb-o-taraqqi8 ke haiN asraar9
vo hubb-e-vatan10 Khoon meN shaamil nahiN rakhte
go valvale11 rakhte haiN magar dil12 nahiN rakhte   
1.reform 2.thoughts 3.follow, imitate 4.conversation 5.present 6.abilities 7.absolutely not 8.civilization and progress 9.secrets 10.love of homeland 11.passion/sloganeering 12.heart, courage
Whenever thoughts of freedom and reform are brought up the conversation turns to imitating Europe. But they absolutely do not have the ability to do this. They do not understand the secrets of what it took to achieve progress in Europe. They don’t have love of homeland in their blood. They shout enthusiastically but have no courage.

2
the Khitta1-e yorop meN jo islaah2 ke baani3
aazaadi-e qaumi pe lahu kar gaye paani
murjha gaye kitne hi gul-e baaGh-e javaani
is naKhl4 se par duur raha raNg-e-Khizaani5
sargarm-e-shahaadat6 the vo eesaar7 ki Khoo8 se
seeNcha chaman-e qaum rag-e-jaaN9 ke lahu se   
1.region 2.reform 3.founders 4.tree 5.autumn 6.willing to sacrifice themselves 7.consideration of others 8.nature 9.jugular vein
The founders of the reform movement in Europe spilled their blood like water for freedom. How many flowers of the garden of youth wilted away, but this tree (of freedom) never dried up. They were ready to lay down their lives out of consideration for others. This was in their nature. They watered the garden of their homeland with the blood from their jugular.

3
the yakka-o-tanha1 pe hazaarauN ko na samjha2
ishq-e gul-e maqsood3 meN KhaarauN4 ko na samjha
sar kaT gaye talvaar ki dhaarauN ko na samjha
jal jal gaye sholauN ko sharaarauN5 ko na samjha
badkesh6 numood7 un ki miTa ab nahiN sakte
vo aag lagi hai ke bujha ab nahiN sakte   
1.all alone 2.‘na samjha’ is used to mean ‘did not care’, dare 3.desire, objective 4.thorns 5.sparks 6.malevolent, vengeful 7.emergence
They were all alone, but dared to confront thousands. In the love of the desired rose, they did not fear thorns. They lost their heads not caring for the sharp edge of the sword. They were burnt alive confronting flames and sparks. Now their emergence/accomplishment cannot be erased. They have lit such a fire that cannot be put out.

4
bil-aks1 yahaaN qaum ki himmat meN hai pasti2
vo mard kahaaN hech3 samajhte haiN jo hasti4
ye josh faqat jahl-o-takabbur5 ki hai hasti
islaah6 ke parde meN hai bas nafs-parasti7
aasaar8 dilauN meN haiN kahaaN dard-e nihaaN9 ke
dikhlaate haiN jauhar ye faqat saif10-e zabaaN ke   
1.as opposed to 2.inferiority 3.nothing, no value (in the sense of willing to give up) 4.life 5.ignorance and hubris 6.reform 7.self-promotion 8.indications, symptoms 9.hidden 10.sword
As opposed to this (European tradition), the courage of our nation is inferior. Where are the braves who think nothing of their lives. Their passion is based only on ignorance and hubris. Hidden behind the veil of reform is self-aggrandizement. There is no indication of hidden pain/love in their hearts. The only ability they display is a sharp tongue.

5
dikhlaati hai bas saif1-e zabaaN jauhar-e-aali2
la-raib3 sada4 deta hai jo zarf5 hai Khaali
islaah6 ki taqleed7 hai ek umr-e Khayaali
jab baani8-e islaah ho Khud zaiGham9-e qaali10
gar husn nahiN, ishq bhi paida nahiN hota
bulbul gul-e tasveer pe shaida11 nahiN hota   
1.sword 2.great abilities 3.without a doubt 4.sound 5.capacity 6.reform 7.imitation 8.imaginary undertaking 9.founders 10.lion 11.rug 12.lover
Only their sharp tongues show great abilities. No doubt they make a lot of noise (as in empty vessels make the most noise). Reform is only an imaginary undertaking when the founders of reform movement are “lions on rugs”. If there is no beauty (of spirit), love cannot develop. The bulbul cannot fall in love with a picture of the rose.

6
shikva1 to ye hai qaum ki bargashta2 hai taqdeer
chalti nahiN islaah ki aslan3 koi tadbeer4
laikin jo haiN Khud-daari5 o Khud-beeni6 ke Khoo-geer7
un logoN ki guftaar8 meN kis tarah ho taseer9
jo Khud nahiN sargarm10 karega vo bashar11 kya
jab dil meN nahiN dard zabaaN meN ho asar9 kya  
1.complaint 2.opposed, rebellious 3.in reality 4.scheme 5.self-love 6.self-regard 7.habituated, by nature 8.speech 9.effect 10.active 11.person
The problem is that the fate/future/direction of the nation is opposite (of reform). No scheme/proposal of reform can succeed. How can the words of people who are by nature self-loving and self-regarding have any effect. The person who is not in the field of action himself cannot do anything. When there is no love in the heart, words cannot have any effect.

panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926).  See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
1
aazaadi o islaah1 ke jab aate haiN afkaar2
taqleed3 ho yorop ki yahi rahti hai guftaar4
maujood5 magar in meN vo jauhar6 nahiN zinhaar7
maGhrib meN jo tahzeeb-o-taraqqi8 ke haiN asraar9
vo hubb-e-vatan10 Khoon meN shaamil nahiN rakhte
go valvale11 rakhte haiN magar dil12 nahiN rakhte

1.reform 2.thoughts 3.follow, imitate 4.conversation 5.present 6.abilities 7.absolutely not 8.civilization and progress 9.secrets 10.love of homeland 11.passion/sloganeering 12.heart, courage

Whenever thoughts of freedom and reform are brought up the conversation turns to imitating Europe.  But they absolutely do not have the ability to do this.  They do not understand the secrets of what it took to achieve progress in Europe.  They don’t have love of homeland in their blood.  They shout enthusiastically but have no courage.
2
the Khitta1-e yorop meN jo islaah2 ke baani3
aazaadi-e qaumi pe lahu kar gaye paani
murjha gaye kitne hi gul-e baaGh-e javaani
is naKhl4 se par duur raha raNg-e-Khizaani5
sargarm-e-shahaadat6 the vo eesaar7 ki Khoo8 se
seeNcha chaman-e qaum rag-e-jaaN9 ke lahu se

1.region 2.reform 3.founders 4.tree 5.autumn 6.willing to sacrifice themselves 7.consideration of others 8.nature 9.jugular vein

The founders of the reform movement in Europe spilled their blood like water for freedom.  How many flowers of the garden of youth wilted away, but this tree (of freedom) never dried up.  They were ready to lay down their lives out of consideration for others.  This was in their nature.  They watered the garden of their homeland with the blood from their jugular.
3
the yakka-o-tanha1 pe hazaarauN ko na samjha2
ishq-e gul-e maqsood3 meN KhaarauN4 ko na samjha
sar kaT gaye talvaar ki dhaarauN ko na samjha
jal jal gaye sholauN ko sharaarauN5 ko na samjha
badkesh6 numood7 un ki miTa ab nahiN sakte
vo aag lagi hai ke bujha ab nahiN sakte

1.all alone 2.‘na samjha’ is used to mean ‘did not care’, dare 3.desire, objective 4.thorns 5.sparks 6.malevolent, vengeful 7.emergence

They were all alone, but dared to confront thousands.  In the love of the desired rose, they did not fear thorns.  They lost their heads not caring for the sharp edge of the sword.  They were burnt alive confronting flames and sparks.  Now their emergence/accomplishment cannot be erased.  They have lit such a fire that cannot be put out.
4
bil-aks1 yahaaN qaum ki himmat meN hai pasti2
vo mard kahaaN hech3 samajhte haiN jo hasti4
ye josh faqat jahl-o-takabbur5 ki hai hasti
islaah6 ke parde meN hai bas nafs-parasti7
aasaar8 dilauN meN haiN kahaaN dard-e nihaaN9 ke
dikhlaate haiN jauhar ye faqat saif10-e zabaaN ke

1.as opposed to 2.inferiority 3.nothing, no value (in the sense of willing to give up) 4.life 5.ignorance and hubris 6.reform 7.self-promotion 8.indications, symptoms 9.hidden 10.sword

As opposed to this (European tradition), the courage of our nation is inferior.  Where are the braves who think nothing of their lives.  Their passion is based only on ignorance and hubris.  Hidden behind the veil of reform is self-aggrandizement.  There is no indication of hidden pain/love in their hearts.  The only ability they display is a sharp tongue.
5
dikhlaati hai bas saif1-e zabaaN jauhar-e-aali2
la-raib3 sada4 deta hai jo zarf5 hai Khaali
islaah6 ki taqleed7 hai ek amr-e-Khayaali8
jab baani9-e islaah ho Khud zaiGham10-e qaali11
gar husn nahiN, ishq bhi paida nahiN hota
bulbul gul-e tasveer pe shaida12 nahiN hota

1.sword 2.great abilities 3.without a doubt 4.sound 5.capacity 6.reform 7.imitation 8.imaginary undertaking 9.founders 10.lion 11.rug 12.lover

Only their sharp tongues show great abilities.  No doubt they make a lot of noise (as in empty vessels make the most noise).  Reform is only an imaginary undertaking when the founders of reform movement are “lions on rugs”.  If there is no beauty (of spirit), love cannot develop.  The bulbul cannot fall in love with a picture of the rose.
6
shikva1 to ye hai qaum ki bargashta2 hai taqdeer
chalti nahiN islaah ki aslan3 koi tadbeer4
laikin jo haiN Khud-daari5 o Khud-beeni6 ke Khoo-geer7
un logoN ki guftaar8 meN kis tarah ho taseer9
jo Khud nahiN sargarm10 karega vo bashar11 kya
jab dil meN nahiN dard zabaaN meN ho asar9 kya

1.complaint 2.opposed, rebellious 3.in reality 4.scheme 5.self-love 6.self-regard 7.habituated, by nature 8.speech 9.effect 10.active 11.person

The problem is that the fate/future/direction of the nation is opposite (of reform).  No scheme/proposal of reform can succeed.  How can the words of people who are by nature self-loving and self-regarding have any effect.  The person who is not in the field of action himself cannot do anything.  When there is no love in the heart, words cannot have any effect.

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