muraqqa-e ibrat-08-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 panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926).  See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
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.

مُرقۂ عبرت ۔ پنڈت برج نرائن چکبست

تنبیہ

۱

ہشیار ہو اے قوم یہ غفلت نہیں اچّھی

یہ خیرگیِ نشۂ دولت نہیں اچھّی

معزولیِ آئینِ شرافت نہیں اچھّی

یہ دشمنِ اخلاق شریعت نہیں اچھّی

مانا شبِ ادبار کا ہر سمت اثر ہے

گر خواب سے بیدار ہو اب بھی تو سحر ہے

۲

ہاں ابرِ کرم سے چمنِ قوم ہو شاداب

واللہ یہی حُسنِ شرافت کا ہے آداب

حیوان بھی رکھتے ہیں سب شغلِ خور و خواب

تہذیب کا آئین ہے دل سوزیِ احباب

محروم اِسی خُلق سے حیوان ہوا ہے

اِنسان اِسی بات سے اِنسان ہوا ہے

۳

خالق نے دئے ہیں جنہیں اوصافِ حمیدہ

ہوش اُن کے نہ ہوں نشۂ نخوت سے پریدہ

لللہ کریں قوم سے دامن نہ کشیدہ

لاتی نہیں پھل پھول کبھی شاخِ بُریدہ

احباب کی صحبت کو بشر کھو نہیں سکتا

ناخُن سے کبھی گوشت جُدا ہو نہیں سکتا

۴

واجب نہیں مذہب کے مسائل میں بھی حجّت

بازیچۂ اطفال ہیں ہفتاد و دو مِلّت

بس قابلِ تسلیم اُسی کی ہے شریعت

جس دل میں ہو اِنساں کے لئے دردِ محبّت

تہذیب پسندیدۂ آفاق یہی ہے

مذہب یہی، مِلّت یہی، اخلاق یہی ہے

मुरक़्क़ा-ए इब्रत – पंडित ब्रिज नरायन चक्बस्त

तम्बीह

हुश्यार हो अए क़ौम ये ग़फ़्लत नहीं अच्छी

ये ख़ीरगि-ए नशा-ए दौलत नहीं अच्छी

म’आज़ूलि-ए आईन-ए शराफ़त नहीं अच्छी

ये दुश्मन-ए अख़्लाक़ शरिय्यत नहीं अच्छी

माना शब-ए इद्बार का हर सम्त असर है

गर ख़्वाब से बेदार हो अब भि तो सहर है

हां अब्र-ए करम से चमन-ए क़ौम हो शादाब

वल्लाह यही हुस्न-ए शराफ़त का है आदाब

हैवान भि रख्ते हैं सब शुग़्ल-ए ख़ुर ओ ख़्वाब

तहज़ीब का आईन है दिल सोज़ी-ए अहबाब

महरूम इसी ख़ुल्क़ से हैवान हुआ है

इन्सान इसी बात से इन्सान हुआ है

ख़ालेक़ ने दिए हैं जिन्हें औसाफ़-ए हमीदा

होश उन के न हों नश’अ-ए नख़्वत से परीदा

लिल्लाह करें क़ौम से दामन न कशीदा

लाती नहीं फल फूल कभी शाख़-ए बुरीदा

अहबाब कि सोहबत को बशर खो नहीं सक्ता

नाख़ुन से कभी गोश्त जुदा हो नहीं सक्ता

वाजेब नहीं मज़्हब के मसाएल में भी हुज्जत

बाज़ीचा-ए अत्फ़ाल हैं हफ़्ताद ओ दो मिल्लत

बस क़ाबिल-ए तस्लीम उसी कि है शरिय्यत

जिस दिल में हो इन्सां के लिए दर्द-ए मोहब्बत

तहज़ीब पसन्दीदा-ए आफ़ाक़ यही है

मज़्हब यही, मील्लत यही, अख़्लाक़ यही है

 

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
hoshiyaar1 ho aye qaum ye Ghaflat2 nahiN achchhi
ye Kheeragi3-e nash’a-e-daulat4 nahiN achchhi
m’aazuli5-e aaiin-e-sharaafat6 nahiN achchhi
ye dushman-e-aKhlaaq7 shariyyat8 nahiN achchhi
maana shab-e-idbaar9 ka har samt10 asar11 hai
gar Khwaab se bedaar12 ho ab bhi to sahr13 hai   
1.careful 2.forgetfulness, carelessness 3.dazzled by 4.intoxication of wealth 5.suspend, dismiss 6.noble traditions 7.opposed to ethics/human values 8.orthodox rituals 9.night of difficulties 10.direction 11.effect 12.awake 13.dawn, day
Be cautious, O , people, this carelessness is not good. It is not good to be dazzled by wealth. It is not good to discard noble traditions (of universal humanity). Narrow orthodox rituals that ignore universal ethics are not good. I agree that a night of difficulties surrounds us, but if we wake up from our slumber, there still can be dawn.

2
haaN abr-e-karam1 se chaman-e qaum ho shaadaab2
vallaah yahi husn-e-sharaafat3 ka hai aadaab4
haivaan5 bhi rakhte haiN sab shuGhl6-e Khur-o-Khwaab7
tahzeeb8 ka aaiin9 hai dil-sozi10-e ahbaab11
mahroom12 isi Khulq13 se haivaan5 hua hai
insaan isi baat se insaan hua hai   
1.blessed cloud 2.verdant 3.beauty/finesse of noble thought 4.tradition 5.brute animal 6.pastime 7.eating and sleeping 8.culture 9.tradition 10.sympathize, empathize 11.friends 12.devoid 13.nature, characteristic
O, blessed cloud, rain kindness, so that this garden of my community be verdant. By god, the tradition of noble values demands this. He is a mere animal whose only pastime is eating and sleeping. The tradition of culture demands that we sympathize with/love our friends/neighbours. It is brute animal that is devoid of this nature. Humans have humanity because of it.

3
Khaaleq1 ne diye haiN jinheN ausaaf-e-hamida2
hosh un ke na hoN nash’a-e naKhvat3 se parida4
lillaah kareN qaum se daaman na kasheeda5
laati nahiN phal phool kabhi shaaKh-e bureeda6
ahbaab7 ki sohbat8 ko bashar9 kho nahiN sakta
naaKhun se kabhi gosht juda10 ho nahiN sakta   
1.maker, god 2.admirable qualities 3.pride, hubris 4.disappear, lost 5.pull back 6.cut, severed 7.friends 8.company 9.human 10.separated
Those to whom the maker has bestowed admirable qualities, may their senses never be lost in the intoxication of hubris. By god, may they never pull the hem of their robe away from the community. A severed branch does not bear flowers or fruit. Human being cannot give up the company of friends. The nail cannot be separated from its finger (there is a saying in urdu the nail and finger … meaning strong attachment).

4
vaajib1 nahiN mazhab ke masaa’el2 meN bhi hujjat3
bazeecha-e-atfaal4 haiN haftaad-o-do5 millat6
bas qaabil-e-taslim7 usi ki hai shariyyat8
jis dil meN ho insaaN ke liye dard-e mohabbat
tahzeeb9 pasandeeda-e-aafaaq10 yahi hai
mazhab yahi, millat yahi, aKhlaaq11 yahi hai    
1.necessary 2.problems, questions 3.argumentation 4.children’s playground 5.seventy two 6.communities 7.deserving of acceptance 8.code of conduct, ethics 9.culture 10.beloved of the skies/heavens 11.manners, ethics, values
It is not necessary to argue about questions of faith. The division into 72 communities is but immature children’s play. Only that code of conduct is acceptable which has the love of humanity in its heart. This is the only culture that is beloved of heavens. This is the only faith, the only community and the only ethics.

panDit brij narain chakbast (1882-1926).  See “Overview” tab for a more complete introduction.
1
hoshiyaar1 ho aye qaum ye Ghaflat2 nahiN achchhi
ye Kheeragi3-e nash’a-e-daulat4 nahiN achchhi
m’aazuli5-e aaiin-e-sharaafat6 nahiN achchhi
ye dushman-e-aKhlaaq7 shariyyat8 nahiN achchhi
maana shab-e-idbaar9 ka har samt10 asar11 hai
gar Khwaab se bedaar12 ho ab bhi to sahr13 hai

1.careful 2.forgetfulness, carelessness 3.dazzled by 4.intoxication of wealth 5.suspend, dismiss 6.noble traditions 7.opposed to ethics/human values 8.orthodox rituals 9.night of difficulties 10.direction 11.effect 12.awake 13.dawn, day

Be cautious, O , people, this carelessness is not good.  It is not good to be dazzled by wealth.  It is not good to discard noble traditions (of universal humanity).  Narrow orthodox rituals that ignore universal ethics are not good.  I agree that a night of difficulties surrounds us, but if we wake up from our slumber, there still can be dawn.
2
haaN abr-e-karam1 se chaman-e qaum ho shaadaab2
vallaah yahi husn-e-sharaafat3 ka hai aadaab4
haivaan5 bhi rakhte haiN sab shuGhl6-e Khur-o-Khwaab7
tahzeeb8 ka aaiin9 hai dil-sozi10-e ahbaab11
mahroom12 isi Khulq13 se haivaan5 hua hai
insaan isi baat se insaan hua hai

1.blessed cloud 2.verdant 3.beauty/finesse of noble thought 4.tradition 5.brute animal 6.pastime 7.eating and sleeping 8.culture 9.tradition 10.sympathize, empathize 11.friends 12.devoid 13.nature, characteristic

O, blessed cloud, rain kindness, so that this garden of my community be verdant.  By god, the tradition of noble values demands this.  He is a mere animal whose only pastime is eating and sleeping.  The tradition of culture demands that we sympathize with/love our friends/neighbours.  It is brute animal that is devoid of this nature.  Humans have humanity because of it.
3
Khaaleq1 ne diye haiN jinheN ausaaf-e-hamida2
hosh un ke na hoN nash’a-e naKhvat3 se parida4
lillaah kareN qaum se daaman na kasheeda5
laati nahiN phal phool kabhi shaaKh-e bureeda6
ahbaab7 ki sohbat8 ko bashar9 kho nahiN sakta
naaKhun se kabhi gosht juda10 ho nahiN sakta

1.maker, god 2.admirable qualities 3.pride, hubris 4.disappear, lost 5.pull back 6.cut, severed 7.friends 8.company 9.human 10.separated

Those to whom the maker has bestowed admirable qualities, may their senses never be lost in the intoxication of hubris.  By god, may they never pull the hem of their robe away from the community.  A severed branch does not bear flowers or fruit.  Human being cannot give up the company of friends.  The nail cannot be separated from its finger (there is a saying in urdu the nail and finger … meaning strong attachment).
4
vaajib1 nahiN mazhab ke masaa’el2 meN bhi hujjat3
bazeecha-e-atfaal4 haiN haftaad-o-do5 millat6
bas qaabil-e-taslim7 usi ki hai shariyyat8
jis dil meN ho insaaN ke liye dard-e mohabbat
tahzeeb9 pasandeeda-e-aafaaq10 yahi hai
mazhab yahi, millat yahi, aKhlaaq11 yahi hai

1.necessary 2.problems, questions 3.argumentation 4.children’s playground 5.seventy two 6.communities 7.deserving of acceptance 8.code of conduct, ethics 9.culture 10.beloved of the skies/heavens 11.manners, ethics, values

It is not necessary to argue about questions of faith.  The division into 72 communities is but immature children’s play.  Only that code of conduct is acceptable which has the love of humanity in its heart.  This is the only culture that is beloved of heavens.  This is the only faith, the only community and the only ethics.

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