Monday, November 16, 2009

Chapter 3: Ushaji's Birth


There is never a lack of saints in this world. They appear for the well-being of mankind. Often God sends his close ones for giving direction to devotees hungering for him. Whatever these personages say is seconded by the shastras and their acts form the essence of scriptures.Their speech in simple dialect is followed by the bhaktas and their characters, manners and dispositions abound with the pride of religious devotion.


Shri Manmohan Swarup Bhatnagar was the only son of his father, Vishnu Swarup,a tahsildar of Muzaffar Nagar. His sister was married and living with her son at present. There was no financial constraint since his father was had a government job with British Rule. Manmohan Swarup went to Lahore for acquiring higher education.


And he returned to Ambala after his studies. Inspite of accolades and interacting with people impressed by western civilization, he had implicit faith in Indian culture. Manmohanji was passionate about reading the shastras or holy scriptures.


Thereafter he got married to Shyamaji, daughter of an affluent man of Sikandarabad,Bulandshahr. Her life also abounded with the bhakti bhava. Living in Ambala Cantonment with his mother and wife, a spiritual scene was predominant in the house. Shyamaji had great interest in going for darshan to the temple and listening to sermons of saints and kathas of the Shastras and Puranas. Manmohanji narrated several divine lilas to Shyamaji when she was carrying Usha Bahenji.They had a great impact on her, just like the tale of penetrating the chakravyuh had on Abhimanyu when he was in his mother's womb.


At present Manmohanji was residing in a lane next to the Bengali Muhallah, near the Sanatan Dharm Temple. It was not a very modern house but had all the basic amenities. In the courtyard some flowers were planted for offering to Thakurji (svarupa of Lord Krishna). A tulsi plant was resplendent at one end. Shyamaji did tulsi pujan and kept vratas with conviction. Another family of bhaktas lived nearby and the two families interacted religiously.


In this manner the year 1925 began. The fragrant spring scene of Cait (first month lunar of the Hindu year March-April) gradually vanished and the summer season stepped in. In Asaarh (fourth month of the Hindu year June to July) nature changed its course yet again. Fatigued, it stretched out its legs and darkness shaded the clouds. Summer retreated and welcomed the rainy season. The cuckoos sang, enchanted peacocks danced in joyous abandon and deers skipped about in enchantment.


The month of Shravan (fifth lunar month of the Hindu Calendar,July to August) took over. Dense clouds gathered,swings were put up on trees and young girls dressed in brightly coloured finery frolicked with tinkling anklets. The clouds had rained heavily since morning on the ashtami of shukla paksha (from new to full moon) and winds blew at full blast. A wave of delight overwhelmed family members, relatives and dear ones. At midday, a girl child was born precisely at six minutes past one.


A distinctive joyous scene prevailed since she was the first girl child. Bells began ringing instinctively at the neighbour's house. Congratulations poured in from all over. Pleased and excited, various sorts of people dropped in. Some of them whispered that it would have been far better if it was a boy. But Manmohanji's enthusiasm never encouraged such baseless comments.


Songs were sung and loads of sweetmeats distributed generously. Such enthused exultation at the birth of a girl child was a rare spectacle. Possibly the entire scene had been destined earlier by the Supreme Being.


Her horoscope was made and the configuration of planets left everyone stupefied. Jupiter signified topmost education, sun meant absolute fame, the moon implied abundance of religious devotion and Saturn pointed towards renunciation. It was an unprecedented combination.


The infant girl wept inconsolably on birth. People said that she was blissful from where she had come and separation from her earlier joy hurt her. Her fair-complexion, large eyes, high forehead, beautiful nose, budding cheeks and curly hair invariably attracted all.


Several religious observances were adopted for her long life. Her grandmother had pujan done at the Ma Kali Temple in Ambala and made her wear the Ma's prasadi garment to avert the evil eye. It is believed that the instant she was clad in the cloth,the infant's complexion became dark but she retained a certain charm. Her inner bhava or love flowing towards the Lord which gushed forth later on was apparent. It touched everyone's heart and drew them to her.

1 comment:

alok bhatnagar said...

Awesome Effort!Please keep the good work up!