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From: “Imagination”

From: “Imagination” (Laxmi Nibandha Sangraha. 3rd. ed. 1963. pp167-168.)
(Translated by Padma Devkota)

To me, Bharat does not mean that heap of earth, which is the Himalayas, and which, standing as a wall in the north, is bound on three sides by the sea. I see Bharat as an imprint on the canopy of the heart. Genuine Bharat shines in the imagination of Vyasa, in the poetry of Valmiki, in the works of Kalidas, and in the imaginative quest and true conclusions of the sages. My Bharat is vast and no other country can vie with it. The beautiful stories of origin of our ancestors, the flashes of Vedic truths, the true enlightenments of ancient men, those billions of statues and idols that reflect eternal truth, skills and pictures, those exquisite expressions of devotion and sentiments that are the culture and civilisation of Bharat— in these I find the true identity of Bharat. To me, Shakuntala is not an imaginary woman, nor can Yudhisthira be just a shade to me. The race of Bharat survives even today on the dynamic reality and legitimacy of Shree Ramchandra. The Englishman’s cleverness is trying to teach us to call Krishna a historic person or an ancient king; but Bharat is alit with the universal truth of Krishna. If I can fully impress people with the belief that Lord Krishna does not exist, then I can bid farewell to twenty million souls of the Hindus from this world. To me the same truth of which Vyasa spoke still exists in Brindavan. I cannot live in a Hindu world with the belief that Saraswati is an imaginative idol of spiritual power. To me, the swan-mounted mother is just as real as that awareness of truth, and of faith, with which I spoke to her in my dream some day. She told me, “Write poetry.” I replied, “I don’t know how.” Then she herself wrote one stanza in red letters, like those of my late father’s, and recited it. This I immediately learnt by heart. O, the pang of forgetting that stanza! Perhaps the world would have gazed with awe at that truth become impenetrable as a dream stanza, but to me there would linger a great magic in truth. There I would often have lovingly read an expression where the meaning of eternity could not be found. But alas! Because of my own negligence, I lost the four-line treasure that was slimmer than mantra and deeper than meaning.