muraqqa-e ibrat-07-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.

مرقع عبرت ۔ پنڈت برج نرائن چکبست

مذہب

۱

سودائے محبّت میں اِنہیں کے نہیں خامی

خود بینی سے خالی نہیں مذہت کے بھی حامی

عرفاں کی خبر لاتی ہو گو طبع گرامی

ہے نفس کی منظور حقیقت میں غلامی

کچھ قوم کی پروا ہے نہ فکرِ کہ و مہ ہے

ہو جائے نجات اپنی تمنّا ہے تو یہ ہے

۲

عالم کے دکھانے کے لئے خاک نشیں ہیں

دعویٰ ہے کہ ہم مالکِ فردوسِ بریں ہیں

دنیا کی ترقّی پہ صدا چیں بہ جبیں ہیں

گویا کہ یہی رازِ اِلہیٰ کے امیں ہیں

جو اور ہیں وہ مغرتِ حق سے جُدا ہیں

بس ایک یہی بندۂ مقبولِ خُدا ہیں

۳

اِنساں کی محبّت کو سمجھتے ہیں یہ آزار

ہمدردیِ قومی سے اِنہیں آئے نہ کیوں عار

رہتے ہیں سدا فکر میں عقبےٰ کی گرفتار

دُنیا کے فرائض سے نہیں اِن کو سروکار

یوں جادۂ تسلیم و رضا مِل نہیں سکتا

اِن میں وہ خودی ہے کہ خُدا مِل نہیں سکتا

۴

کچھ اور ہی طینت کے ہیں پیرانِ نکو کار

کرتے ہیں وہ اخلاق سے مذہب کو سُبُکبار

کہنے کو تو ہیں دین کے حامی و مددگار

اور کرتے ہیں تلقین یہ سب کو سرِ بازار

قائم نہ رہو بہرِ خدا صِدقِ بیاں پر

جو دل میں تمہارے ہے وہ لاؤ نہ زباں پر

۵

منظور اِنہیں پیرویِ عہدِ کہن ہے

مذہب یہی اِن کا ہے یہی حُبّ وطن ہے

کوشش ہے کوئی نیک نہ تدبیرِ حسن ہے

ایمان کے پردے میں فقط پاسِ سخن ہے

اِن لوگوں کو دُنیا کی ستایش سے غرض ہے

مذہب نہ ہو مذہب کی نمایش سے غرض ہے

۶

لیکن نہیں اِخلاص سے کچھ اِن کو سروکار

یہ طرزِ عمل قابلِ تحسیں نہیں زِنہار

باطن میں جِس اِنسان کے اچّھے نہیں کردار

ظاہر کی نمایش سے وہ ہوتا نہیں دیندار

دل صورتِ آئینہ جو روشن نہیں ہوتا

زُنّار پہننے سے برہمن نہیں ہوتا

۷

مردہ ہے رواں روح ہو گر جسمِ بشر سے

کانٹا ہے جُدا ہو جو نزاکت گُلِ تر سے

ہے مثلِ خزف دُور صفا ہو جو گہر سے

آئینۂ بے آب اُترتا ہے نظر سے

مذہب بجز اخلاق روا ہو نہیں سکتا

معنی سے کبھی لفظ جُدا ہو نہیں سکتا

मुरक़्क़ा-ए इब्रत – पंडित ब्रिज नरायन चक्बस्त

मज़्हब

सौदा-ए मोहब्बत में इन्हीं के नहीं ख़ामी

ख़ुद-बीनी से ख़ाली नहीं मज़्हब के भी हामी

इर्फ़ां कि ख़बर लाती हो गो तब’अ गिरामी

है नफ़्स कि मन्ज़ूर हक़ीक़त में ग़ुलामी

कुछ क़ौम कि परवा है न फ़िक्र-ए कह-ओ-मह है

हो जाए नजात अपनी तमन्ना है तो ये है

आलम के दिखाने के लिए ख़ाक नशीं हैं

दावा है के हम मालिक-ए फ़िर्दौस-ए बरीं हैं

दुनिया कि तरक़्क़ी पे सदा चीं ब जबीं हैं

गोया के यही राज़-ए इलाही के अमीं हैं

जो और हैं वो मग़्फ़रत-ए हक़ से जुदा हैं

बस एक यही बन्दा-ए मक़्बूल-ए ख़ुदा हैं

इन्सां कि मोहब्बत को समझते हैं ये आज़ार

हमदर्दी-ए क़ौमी से इन्हें आए न क्यूं आर

रहते हैं सदा फ़िक्र में उक़्बा कि गिरफ़्तार

दुनिया के फ़राएज़ से नहीं इन को सरोकार

यूं जादा-ए तस्लीम ओ रज़ा मिल नहीं सक्ता

इन में वो ख़ुदी है के ख़ुदा मिल नहीं सक्ता

कुछ और ही तीनत के हैं पीरान-ए निकू-कार

करते हैं वो अख़्लाक़ से मज़्हब को सुबुक-बार

कहने को तो हैं दीन के हामी ओ मदद-गार

और करते हैं तल्क़ीन ये सब को सर-ए बाज़ार

क़ाएम न रहो बहर-ए ख़ुदा सिद्क़-ए बयां पर

जो दिल में तुम्हारे है वो लाओ न ज़बां पर

मन्ज़ूर इन्हें पैरवी-ए अहद-ए कोहन है

मज़्हब यही इनका है यही हुब्ब-ए वतन है

कोशिश है कोई नेक न तदबीर-ए हुस्न है

ईमान के परदे में फ़क़त पास-ए सुख़न है

इन लोगैं को दुनीया कि सताएश कि ग़रज़ है

मज़्हब न हो मज़्हब कि नुमाएश कि ग़रज़ है

लैकिन नहीं इख़्लास से कुछ इन को सरोकार

ये तर्ज़-ए अमल क़ाबिल-ए तहसीं नहीं ज़िन्हार

बातीन में जिस इन्सान के अच्छे नहीं किरदार

ज़ाहेर का नुमाएश से वो होता नहीं दींदार

दिल सूरत-ए आईना जो रौशन नहीं होता

ज़ुन्नार पहन्ने से बरहमन नहीं होता

मुर्दा है रवां रूह हो गर जिस्म-ए बशर से

कांटा है जुदा हो जो नज़ाकत गुल-ए तर से

है मिस्ल-ए ख़ज़फ़ दूर सफ़ा हो जो गोहर से

आईना-ए बे-आब उतरता है नज़र से

मज़्हब बजुज़ अख़्लाक़ रवा हो नहीं सकता

मु’आनी से कभी लफ़्ज़ जुदा हो नहीं सकता

 

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
sauda1-e mohabbat meN inhiN ke nahiN Khaami2
Khud-biini3 se Khaali nahiN mazhab ke bhi haami4
irfaaN5 ki Khabar6 laati ho go7 tab’a-e-giraami8
hai nafs9 ki manzoor10 haqiqat11 meN Ghulaami
kuchh qaum ki parva hai na fikr-e kah-o-mah12 hai
ho jaaye najaat13 apni tamanna14 hai to ye hai   
1.trade, affairs 2.immature 3.self-regard, self-love 4.defenders, champions 5.mysticism, wisdom 6.awareness 7.even though 8.respected nature 9.self 10.acceptable, desirable 11.reality 12.big and small (issues) 13.deliverance, reward 14.desire
It is not only their (the youth) whose concept of universal love is immature. The champions of religion are also not free of selfishness/egoism. Even though their “respected nature” brings awareness of mystic knowledge (of universal love), in reality, they are slaves of self-interest. They don’t care for the nation, nor for its affairs. Their only desire is reward for themselves.

2
aalam1 ke dikhaane ke liye Khaak-nashiN2 haiN
daava3 hai ke hum maalik-e firdaus-e-bariN4 haiN
duniya ki taraqqi pe sada chiiN-ba-jabiN5 haiN
goya6 ke yahi raaz-e-ilaahi7 ke amiN8 haiN
jo aur9 haiN vo maGhfarat-e-haq10 se juda11 haiN
bus ek yahi banda12-e maqbool13-e Khuda haiN   
1.world 2.dust-dweller, poor 3.claim 4.high heaven 5.wrinkled brow, frown 6.as if 7.divine secrets 8.keepers 9.other 10.divine absolution 11.separate 12.creature 13.acceptable, beloved
To show the world, they are ‘dust-dwellers’. They claim ownership of high heavens. They frown upon the (scientific) progress of the world, as if they alone are the keepers of divine secrets/knowledge. The “other” is not deserving of divine forgiveness. They alone are the beloved of god.

3
insaaN ki mohabbat ko samajhte haiN ye aazaar1
hamdardi-e qaumi se inheN aaye na kyuN ‘aar2
rahte haiN sada fikr meN uqba3 ki giraftaar4
duniya ke faraa’ez5 se nahiN in ko sarokaar6
yuN jaada7-e tasleem-o-raza8 mil nahiN sakta
in meN vo Khudi9 hai ke Khuda mil nahiN sakta    
1.pain 2.shameful 3.after-life 4.captive 5.duties, obligations 6.concern 7.path 8.acceptance and agreement (by god) 9.ego
They (champions of religion) think that (universal) love is a pain. They think that sympathisizing with all countrymen is shameful. They are always captive of thoughts of the hereafter with no concern for the obligations here. This is not the path of divine acceptance. There is so much ego here that you cannot find god.

4
kuchh aur hi teenat1 ke haiN piiraan2-e niku-kaar3
karte haiN vo aKhlaaq4 se mazhab ko subuk-baar5
kahne ko to haiN deen ke haami6 o madadgaar
aur karte haiN talqiin7 ye sub ko sar-e baazaar
qaa’em8 na raho bahr-e-Khuda9 sidq-e-bayaaN10 par
jo dil meN tumhaare hai vo laao na zabaaN par   
1.nature 2.elders 3.virtuous action 4.courtesy, universalism 5.off-load, separate 6.champion 7.teaching 8.stand on, basis 9.for god’s sake 10.sincerity in speaking
These “virtuous elders” are of a different/strange nature. They off-load universal love from religion. They say that they are champions and helpers of religion. But they openly teach hypocricy. They ask people to ignore their conscience. The implication here is that universal love is a part of everyone’s nature and conscience and champions of religion (rituals) ignore it.

5
manzoor1 inheN pairavi2-e ahd-e-kohan3 hai
mazhab yahi in ka hai yahi hubb-e-vatan4 hai
koshish hai koi nek5, na tadbir-e-husn6 hai
eemaan ke parde meN faqat paas-e-suKhan7 hai
in logoN ko duniya ki sataa’esh8 ki Gharaz9 hai
mazhab na ho mazhab ki numaa’esh10 ki Gharaz hai   
1.acceptable 2.advocacy 3.ancient times 4.love of homeland 5.virtuous 6.scheme of improvement/progress 7.regard/pride of (their own) word 8.praise 9.desire, greed 10.exhibition
The only thing they talk about is ancient glory. This is their faith, this alone goes for love of homeland. They make no good effort, have no scheme for progress. Behind the veil of faith, they seek the glory of their own word. They seek praise. They don’t have faith, only an exhibition of faith.

6
laikin nahiN iKhlaas1 se kuchh in ko sarokaar2
ye tarz-e-amal3 qaabil-e-tahsiiN4 nahiN zinhaar5
baatin6 meN jis insaan ke achchhe nahiN kirdaar7
zaaher8 meN numaa’esh9 se vo hota nahiN deeNdaar10
dil soorat11-e aaiina jo raushan nahiN hota
zunnar12 pahnne se barhaman nahiN hota   
1.consideration for others 2.concern 3.way of behaviour 4.deserving of praise 5.absolutely not 6.inward 7.character 8.outward 9.exhibition 10.person of faith, virtuous 11.similar to, example 12.ceremonial thread
But they (orthodox elders) have no concern with (human) consideration for others. This kind of behaviour is definitely not deserving of praise. One whose character inwardly is not good, cannot become virtuous by outward exhibition. Unless the heart is clean and polished like a mirror, tying a ceremonial thread does not make a brahmin.

7
murda hai, ravaaN1 rooh2 ho gar jism-e-bashar3 se
kaaNTa hai juda4 ho jo nazaakat5 gul-e-tar6 se
hai misl-e-Khazaf7 duur safa8 ho jo gohar9 se
aaiina-e be-aab10 utarta11 hai nazar se
mazhab bajuz12 aKhlaaq13 ravaa14 ho nahiN sakta
mu’aani se kabhi lafz juda4 ho nahiN sakta   

1.departed, 2.spirit, soul, humanity 3.human body 4.separate 5.delicacy 6.blooming flower 7.like a clay shard 8.shell 9.pearl 10.without lustre, dull 11.nazar se utarna is a phrase to mean no longer good 12.except for 13.ethics 14.proper, lawful
If the spirit of humanity is gone, the human being is a mere living corpse just like if delicacy is gone, even a flower is like a thorn, or a shell is a mere piece of clay if the pearl is gone. A dull mirror is not desirable. Religion/faith without (universal human values) ethics cannot be considered proper. Meaning (essence) cannot be separated from word.

panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926).  See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
1
sauda1-e mohabbat meN inhiN ke nahiN Khaami2
Khud-biini3 se Khaali nahiN mazhab ke bhi haami4
irfaaN5 ki Khabar6 laati ho go7 tab’a-e-giraami8
hai nafs9 ki manzoor10 haqiqat11 meN Ghulaami
kuchh qaum ki parva hai na fikr-e kah-o-mah12 hai
ho jaaye najaat13 apni tamanna14 hai to ye hai

1.trade, affairs 2.immature 3.self-regard, self-love 4.defenders, champions 5.mysticism, wisdom 6.awareness 7.even though 8.respected nature 9.self 10.acceptable, desirable 11.reality 12.big and small (issues) 13.deliverance, reward 14.desire

It is not only their (the youth) whose concept of universal love is immature.  The champions of religion are also not free of selfishness/egoism.  Even though their “respected nature” brings awareness of mystic knowledge (of universal love), in reality, they are slaves of self-interest.  They don’t care for the nation, nor for its affairs.  Their only desire is reward for themselves.
2
aalam1 ke dikhaane ke liye Khaak-nashiN2 haiN
daava3 hai ke hum maalik-e firdaus-e-bariN4 haiN
duniya ki taraqqi pe sada chiiN-ba-jabiN5 haiN
goya6 ke yahi raaz-e-ilaahi7 ke amiN8 haiN
jo aur9 haiN vo maGhfarat-e-haq10 se juda11 haiN
bus ek yahi banda12-e maqbool13-e Khuda haiN

1.world 2.dust-dweller, poor 3.claim 4.high heaven 5.wrinkled brow, frown 6.as if 7.divine secrets 8.keepers 9.other 10.divine absolution 11.separate 12.creature 13.acceptable, beloved

To show the world, they are ‘dust-dwellers’.  They claim ownership of high heavens. They frown upon the (scientific) progress of the world, as if they alone are the keepers of divine secrets/knowledge.  The “other” is not deserving of divine forgiveness.  They alone are the beloved of god.
3
insaaN ki mohabbat ko samajhte haiN ye aazaar1
hamdardi-e qaumi se inheN aaye na kyuN ‘aar2
rahte haiN sada fikr meN uqba3 ki giraftaar4
duniya ke faraa’ez5 se nahiN in ko sarokaar6
yuN jaada7-e tasleem-o-raza8 mil nahiN sakta
in meN vo Khudi9 hai ke Khuda mil nahiN sakta

1.pain 2.shameful 3.after-life 4.captive 5.duties, obligations 6.concern 7.path 8.acceptance and agreement (by god) 9.ego

They (champions of religion) think that (universal) love is a pain.  They think that sympathisizing with all countrymen is shameful.  They are always captive of thoughts of the hereafter with no concern for the obligations here.  This is not the path of divine acceptance.  There is so much ego here that you cannot find god.
4
kuchh aur hi teenat1 ke haiN piiraan2-e niku-kaar3
karte haiN vo aKhlaaq4 se mazhab ko subuk-baar5
kahne ko to haiN deen ke haami6 o madadgaar
aur karte haiN talqiin7 ye sub ko sar-e baazaar
qaa’em8 na raho bahr-e-Khuda9 sidq-e-bayaaN10 par
jo dil meN tumhaare hai vo laao na zabaaN par

1.nature 2.elders 3.virtuous action 4.courtesy, universalism 5.off-load, separate 6.champion 7.teaching 8.stand on, basis 9.for god’s sake 10.sincerity in speaking

These “virtuous elders” are of a different/strange nature.  They off-load universal love from religion.  They say that they are champions and helpers of religion.  But they openly teach hypocricy.  They ask people to ignore their conscience.  The implication here is that universal love is a part of everyone’s nature and conscience and champions of religion (rituals) ignore it.
5
manzoor1 inheN pairavi2-e ahd-e-kohan3 hai
mazhab yahi in ka hai yahi hubb-e-vatan4 hai
koshish hai koi nek5, na tadbir-e-husn6 hai
eemaan ke parde meN faqat paas-e-suKhan7 hai
in logoN ko duniya ki sataa’esh8 ki Gharaz9 hai
mazhab na ho mazhab ki numaa’esh10 ki Gharaz hai

1.acceptable 2.advocacy 3.ancient times 4.love of homeland 5.virtuous 6.scheme of improvement/progress 7.regard/pride of (their own) word 8.praise 9.desire, greed 10.exhibition

The only thing they talk about is ancient glory.  This is their faith, this alone goes for love of homeland.  They make no good effort, have no scheme for progress.  Behind the veil of faith, they seek the glory of their own word.  They seek praise.  They don’t have faith, only an exhibition of faith.
6
laikin nahiN iKhlaas1 se kuchh in ko sarokaar2
ye tarz-e-amal3 qaabil-e-tahsiiN4 nahiN zinhaar5
baatin6 meN jis insaan ke achchhe nahiN kirdaar7
zaaher8 meN numaa’esh9 se vo hota nahiN deeNdaar10
dil soorat11-e aaiina jo raushan nahiN hota
zunnar12 pahnne se barhaman nahiN hota

1.consideration for others 2.concern 3.way of behaviour 4.deserving of praise 5.absolutely not 6.inward 7.character 8.outward 9.exhibition 10.person of faith, virtuous 11.similar to, example 12.ceremonial thread

But they (orthodox elders) have no concern with (human) consideration for others.  This kind of behaviour is definitely not deserving of praise. One whose character inwardly is not good, cannot become virtuous by outward exhibition.  Unless the heart is clean and polished like a mirror, tying a ceremonial thread does not make a brahmin.
7
murda hai, ravaaN1 rooh2 ho gar jism-e-bashar3 se
kaaNTa hai juda4 ho jo nazaakat5 gul-e-tar6 se
hai misl-e-Khazaf7 duur safa8 ho jo gohar9 se
aaiina-e be-aab10 utarta11 hai nazar se
mazhab bajuz12 aKhlaaq13 ravaa14 ho nahiN sakta
mu’aani se kabhi lafz juda4 ho nahiN sakta

1.departed, 2.spirit, soul, humanity 3.human body 4.separate 5.delicacy 6.blooming flower 7.like a clay shard 8.shell 9.pearl 10.without lustre, dull 11.nazar se utarna is a phrase to mean no longer good 12.except for 13.ethics 14.proper, lawful

If the spirit of humanity is gone, the human being is a mere living corpse just like if delicacy is gone, even a flower is like a thorn, or a shell is a mere piece of clay if the pearl is gone.  A dull mirror is not desirable.  Religion/faith without (universal human values) ethics cannot be considered proper.  Meaning (essence) cannot be separated from word.

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