MANIKARNIKA (POEM)

Manikarnika Ghat…Vanarasi…people do come here for salvation. It’s a cremation ghat, life ends here. It’s the city where Hindus prefer to die and this Ghat is always blazing due to burning pyre.
From Ganga river, sitting on the boat, we could see the whole ghat with burning bodies, a scene which left an indelible mark, scratching the soul.
The boatman stopped rowing the oars and pointed at the place and said in a calm voice,”yehi jeevan ka satya hai, hareek ka isse tarah aanth hai.” (This is the truth of life, everyone has to die).


We all are aware of this fact, but accepting it is not easy. We hoard things as if we will live forever. We live as if we will never die…


I silently prayed there…God, help me to let go all the negativity, help me to forgive all those who have hurt me, help me to be a better me…
Jotting down few lines in a poetic form, which went on screaming in my mind..


मणिकर्णिका


अग्नि ने जब तांडव रचा
निश्ब्द वो शरीर जला
आग मे जो रूप ढला
राख का एक ढ़ेर बना।


प्रश्न फिर एक चहक उठा
मौत के उस घाट पे
अहंकार क्या साथ जला
या छुट गया उस राख मे।


राग द्वेष क्या कम हुआ
काठ के उस सेज पे
क्रोध क्या फिर घी बना
या लोभ ने कोई रास रचा।


प्रश्न अनेक पर जवाव एक
तपती सेज पर ना रहा कुछ शेष
साथ अपने क्या चला?
इस सत्य की खोज है विशेष।

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Abhijit Ray says:

    Profound!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Promod Puri says:

    Well expressed and very true. In fact, you gave an added meaning to the ritual. One needs to visit the site in one’s life, much before the final rites, to wash off all the sins and wrongs in which we are usually wrapped and finally burnt along in the “fire’.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. sutapa says:

      Yes, I agree with you, one need to visit the site at least once, to come out of all the illusions. Thank you so much for reciprocating.

      Like

  3. Pushpa Rishikesh says:

    Kya baat hai sutapa.bahuut badiya.tumhare rachanao me sabse behtareen hai.aankon ke saamne poora manikarnika dikha. jab sareer jalne se pehle hi ahankar raag dwesh krodh sab jeete hi apna sareer se nikal jai.once again 👏👏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sutapa says:

      Thank you Pushpa. If such happens then series of miracles will start happening in our life. Let’s pray for that🙏

      Like

  4. Rajan Michael says:

    Bahut khubsurati se darshaya h jiwan ki ek kadwa sach ko. Shubhkamnaye.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sutapa says:

      I agree, truth is always bitter. Thank you so much for liking the poem.

      Like

  5. Alisha Roy says:

    Amazing blog. Lovely pictures.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Alisha Roy says:

        You are welcome, Sutapa… Good work!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Deepali chordia says:

    Your expression of ultimate truth that nothing goes with us , neither materialistic things not our love and hatred for anyone.Every thing withers away. Such a wonderful explaination. I can’t even express the beauty of words.. just loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sutapa says:

      Yes, nothing goes with us…so let us live today…love today…be happy today. Thank you for the beautiful comment.

      Like

  7. yaasotaa says:

    Well explained….the way u described was beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sutapa says:

      Thank you so much🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yaasotaa says:

        You’re most welcome😊

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Supriya says:

    Vo hasi chahera, logon ka dil pe choda hua chaap….Is ke alava jindagi kuch nahi. …raaja ho ranka sab ko apanaya ek bara bar. Ma’am you expressed d ultimate truth in such a way it’s simply amazing. Keep it up .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sutapa says:

      Thank you so much! It means a lot😶

      Like

  9. Anupama Gour says:

    Wow! Simply superb. Very beautifully explained the ultimate and the only truth of life……

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sutapa says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely words!

      Like

  10. Praveen Dave says:

    Respected Madam,
    I want to touch your feet. Your perception is exceptional. How do you think , pl let me know.
    Extraordinary 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sutapa says:

      Praveenji, I am overwhelmed by your response…God bless you🙏

      Like

  11. JayParkhe says:

    👍👍👍🙏🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  12. rajesh dhamge says:

    MANIKARNIKA
    Your blog has served us with an elegiac incitement under caption MANIKARNIKA, which is a name now palatably lingering in the minds of ours & thus is currently appearing to be quite homonymous now for Indians because recently a big blockbuster movie on Queen of Jhansi was screened (1st Indian mutiny against British in 1857) with same name MANIKARNIKA. The word MANIKARNIKA thus carries lot of vigor with itself and also relates something to do with cremation facilities at Varanasi at its riverfront. As per mythology Varanasi is deemed holy because when Shiva portrayed an ignominious act after his victory over Bramha & carried his slain head it fell down & got disappeared.

    Relevance is very common inevitably with the movie’s protagonist and your provocation to scribble this verse in your blog under title MANIKARNIKA… it seems that you had taken a sojourn/refuge around the holy city with a boat ride, which is known to be probably one of the oldest settlements, having its chronicles inked for over more than 3000 years…. Both works seems to be swamped by the banks of Ganges at Kashi/Benarus/Varanasi… since ages Ganges has been revered and is deployed to be a network connecting land with seas ….strangely Allahabad, Varanasi, Gaya or Gangasagar along Ganges all have some or other importance for the salvation rituals as prescribed in Garud Puraan and Rig Veda. In short your stupendous work is in utmost brevity & simplicity which deluges our mind to deliberate more and more…..however I am fond of doing so too much.

    MANIKARNIKA (pure Hindi noun) is lexically referred for a bejeweled erring (kaan ki baali) & MANIKARNIKA (proper noun in Hindi) with regards to crematorium (ghat in Hindi) is a place at Varanasi, which has been since ages resorted as destination for last rites for salvation. It is said that if we spend our last days absorbing the magnetism of this riverfront then the death becomes painless and consequently one gets enlightened enough not to delve more upon their eventual death. Chronicles records MANIKARNIKA ghat’s glory in 5th BC during Gupta dynasty. The other reference drags us to Lord Shiva’s sorrows when he was carrying Parwati after she had resorted to self-immolate herself on holy fire thereby causing her body parts fall at various places. It is believed thus the earring did fall here. There are parallel other anecdotes but all are around the divine couple Shiva & Parwati for MANIKARNIKA.

    Cremation is the event which you have witnessed there and it has a lot to do with the Hindus if someone of their dies. However the last rites/funeral is not mandatorily cremating someone by consigning it to fire but burial is also taken up in certain cases. When a toddler or an innocent little soul dies or a pious soul dies, burial is resorted. If the mother has died during delivery & the child has died in the womb, it is said that the child is taken out & buried but the mother is cremated through holy fire. It has been observed that Hindu saints have also been buried but then they are placed in a lotus posture. It is certain now to deduce that these tender pure ones who haven’t sinned or haven’t performed mundane human karma are deemed to be taken back to rest on the lap of their Mother Earth softly and taken care of again by Her, (…. Innocent Abhyudaey can thus be deemed synonymous word/entity in Hindi… for a divine soul who couldn’t see the light & thus is expected to be back again & resurrect no sooner the Mother Earth feels fit to call…) and those who have grown up and performed their life are consigned to holy fire but before doing so certain rites are practiced by the survivors of family to purify the mortal remains of the dead and then offer the body to holy fire. It means the souls after having indulged with their karmic destinies are sent back to earth in form of ashes once the corpse is purified, later burnt & then doused in Ganges.

    I think now you have got most of the answers to the questions raised by you in the poem with the foreground as elaborated above, which did intrigue you while witnessing the funeral of third parties or WHATEVER. We are at such an age that we have by now witnessed many funerals & lost our dear & near ones and simultaneously discovered to some extent the significance & purpose of life. Due to call from undertaker we have lost plenty of souls and we may now be lamenting their goodness or maybe we have been soulfully scathed by their bad behaviors during their existence….. May be due to their nature, attitude or whatever… as a result we may recollect them by condoning their deeds or pity them or just still feel frustrated about them. However in your prologue you have specifically written that how we actually perceive life and what did you pray to the Almighty at MANIKARNIKA GHAT while looking the scene at the banks of Ganges in Varanasi .…. You have with all modesty chosen to exonerate all who might have muddled up with you … but I can still gauge the intensity of your scream burning inside your soul and mind and body (as mentioned in your prologue …because you further write that this poetic gospel notion got inseminated into your soul while it screamed over your mind…) … THAT NEEDS TO BE DISSIPATED…I MEAN YOU SHOULD SEEK FORGIVENESS FROM THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE FORGIVEN….its bit typical… if I dare to be honest with you. I can see the turbulence within you…. but to your dismay nothing remains there in the ashes…it has served its purpose to be as pure as element earth. Soul can’t enter in the dead & then unquenched sinister soul can’t enter ashes either logically … scientifically ashes are said to be inert for quite few things…but that question on ego, a reference to Holy Bhagwat Gita Chapter 2, verse 22 is solicited… (Akin to changing of worn out clothes in our life time, soul after death changes its attire and enters a new entity) … verses 17, 20 & 27 in same chapter advocates that soul is imperishable.

    Fire has been your concern for the queries you did face for cremation at MANIKARNIKA GHAT, & this drags us towards RigVeda-Mandala10/hymns 16 (all 14 shlokaas), which states that the dead body is subjected to oblation before fire, beseechingly that this entity can reach to their father so that they can attain life that waits for them. Fire is propitiated so that the cremation enables Sun & Wind to receive their share and depending upon the karmic merit let their movements be towards heaven/earth/water. It is further invoked to the glowing splendor of fire, so that the portion of relevant flesh is consumed and with the fierce flames the entity is harbored to piousness. Then it is also sought further so that after wearing new life the new entity is enabled to increase its lineage. It is thereafter endeavored to appease Gods/Deities and so on. Later it is resorted to cool the fire so that a new eco-system is developed encompassing gleefulness. Thus your poem MANIKARNIKA is analogous to what has been described in the scriptures long back, that fire reduces the deceased into ashes and yet if we have to refer what were the consequential stages of the soul while cremation, then it is quite pertinent to note that entity has to eventually catch up with divinity at some point of time after death. THUS I would say that your MANIKARNIKA is contemporary preface to the mandala 10 of RigVeda. But with perfect brevity you have questioned your readers at last to delve abysmally low in quest of seeking the truth behind death & after.

    However we need to dig deeper into GARUD PURAAN to get answers to your questions. It deals with death, life after death, pain afflicted with death, situation after death or issues with rebirth and finally where we do head after our death. It is said that 4-5 hours BEFORE DEATH sole chakras of life situated beneath feet gets disconnected from earth so that Yama(Lord of death) at time of departure can guide the soul, body gets disconnected with soul. Later a magnetic pulling up is there which is due to death, which is owing to connection between soul through astral cord. Consequently the physical body ceases and soul hears voices from all around who are near it & to their response it also tries to communicate, but in vain. Soul then hovers above body till it is cremated. After cremation the soul realizes that the body has been merged with 5 elements and has perceived the infinite freedom yet it moves about its places of interests for 7 days and then it ascends higher, leading to complete detachment. Later to reach to the astral plane one has to take 12 days passing through a tunnel, so during this time the survivors should seek for FORGIVENESS from the soul, so that the soul doesn’t carries any negativities along, at least from near & dear ones. So instead when you admit of having condoned the departed ones I solicit that you still seek FORGIVENESS from them, it will help you & them. On 11th & 12th day soul meets its ancestors as a result of rituals (homa)/prayers and then starts the reviewing of the past life. Soul while reviewing its past delves and seeks justice for their misfortunes/miseries but also seeks punishments for their wrongdoings. But since soul is not BOUND BY BODY & EGO the final judgment becomes the basis of next lifetime. Therefore WE MUST FORGIVE & SEEK FORGIVENESS because this alleviates the level of guilt within the soul. The blueprint for next life is formed & thereafter the cooling period starts. It is said that we get birth on parity basis subjected to agreements we make for the blue print and thus the cooling period’s duration is dependent upon the urgency to evolve. Thereafter we get chance to choose our parents and with the final blue-print which is basically our horoscopes, we are back into the world with perfect time, place and destiny. With this rebirth we are still able to remember our past life for another 40 days which enables us to laugh and cry following which we completely forget our pasts. Thus we are back to earth plane with our sole chakras gets intact with earth. This has its inherent effects on us as a result of which we have some difficulties while actually manifesting the judgment in form of pains as laid in blue print and in the realm of the agreements made by us then, thus it would be not fair to curse Gods later for such hardships. So what all is being faced is like honoring our agreements made and therefore it should not be breached. Thus parents/spouses/children/friends/relatives/foes all are selected through our blue print with the agreements as basis to evolve further. Thus dead ones need healing/prayers to be free and not be earth bound and thus proper rituals enable the astral disconnection smoothly. Obviously the spirits shouldn’t be left earthbound as they are compelled to exist miserably then, even if they are not negative or harmful. Prayers by whole of the family are thus vital and we all should take death seriously. So we shouldn’t be sad over death of somebody, rather it’s a momentary break because we are bound to meet again after a break in the cycles of birth & death.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sutapa says:

      Your incredible knowledge on the subject, your command on the language and your penchant to dig deep into the subject is fantastic. ..beyond words. Thank you so much for such a marvelous comment 🙏

      Like

  13. Mallika Mukhopadhyaya says:

    অসাধারণ …… খুব সহজে এ জীবন এর সত্য টা কে বর্ণিত করেছেন আপণী … সত্যি ওখানে গেলে মন টা বিষাদ এ ভরে জাযে । আমব বাবা র কা জ হোএছিলো এখানেই । সেই মুহূর্তে টাভেসে উঠল চোখের সামনে 🙏
    খুব সুন্দর কবিতা ।🙏👌
    আপনা কে অসংখ্য ধন্যবাদ ও শুভেচ্ছা তীন বছর পূর্ণ করার জন্য । 💐 আপনাকে অনুরোধ করছি জে আপনী এই কবিতা টী কে আবৃত্তি করে আমাদের সোনাবেন😊
    অপেক্ষা রইলাম 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  14. sutapa says:

    Thank you so much for your best wishes! The fact that your Baba was cremated in such a holy place, overwhelmed me…his soul must have found salvation🙏
    I will surely come up with the vocal rendition of this poem soon, as per your desire🙂

    Like

    1. sutapa says:

      Thank you🙏

      Like

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