نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی

10.22111/jsr.2013.1195

چکیده

میرزا اسدالله خان غالب، یکی از برجسته‌ترین چهره‌های ادبیات اردو، فروزان‌ترین ستاره‌ی سپهر شعر اردو، و متفکّر و نویسنده‌ای شهیر است. وی در سرودن غزل و بعضأ قصیده استاد می‌باشد. غالب را امروزه با اشعار اردویش می‌شناسند، و این در حالی است که دوست نمی‌داشت او را با دیوان اردویش مورد قضاوت قرار دهند (وی این اشعار را بی‌رنگ می‌خواند). وی به اشعار پارسی‌اش علاقه ی خاصی داشت و معتقد بود که این اشعار به تنهایی، قادر به مشهور ساختن اوست. وی حدود یازده مثنوی به پارسی سرود. در این مقاله، به بحث درباره ی اسطوره‌شناسی هندی گنگا و بنارس، و عدد مقدّس 108 و دیدگاه غالب و تحلیل آن  در مثنوی «چراغ دیر» می پردازیم.
 

کلیدواژه‌ها

عنوان مقاله [English]

Ghalib’s Masnavi Chiragh-i-Dair and the Indian Myth, Ganga and Banaras and the Holy Number of One Hundred and Eight

چکیده [English]

One of the greatest figures in the Urdu literature, the brightest star in the firmament of Urdu poetry and the thinker and prose writer of eminence, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib is a master of ghazal but he has also written influential odes in the Urdu language. Nowadays, Ghalib is more famous for his Urdu ghazals though he did not want to be judged on his Urdu Divan which he calls colorless; he took legitimate pride in his Persian works which alone he thought would enhance his reputation. He wrote about eleven masnavis in Persian. In this present article we discuss the presence of the Indian myth, Ganga and Banaras, and the Holy number of 108 in Ghalib’s Masnavi Chiragh-i-Dair.

کلیدواژه‌ها [English]

  • Ghalib
  • Masnavi
  • Chiragh-i-Dair
  • Banaras
  • Ganga
  • Holy Number of One Hundred and Eight

Abstract

One of the greatest figures in the Urdu literature, the brightest star in the firmament of Urdu poetry and the thinker and prose writer of eminence, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib is a master of ghazal but he has also written influential odes in the Urdu language. Nowadays, Ghalib is more famous for his Urdu ghazals though he did not want to be judged on his Urdu Divan which he calls colorless; he took legitimate pride in his Persian works which alone he thought would enhance his reputation. He wrote about eleven masnavis in Persian. In this present article we discuss the presence of the Indian myth, Ganga and Banaras, and the Holy number of 108 in Ghalib’s Masnavi Chiragh-i-Dair.

 

Key words: Ghalib, masnavi, Chiragh-i-Dair, Banaras, Ganga,Holy Number of One Hundred and Eight

 

     Introduction

  Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan Ghalib (27 December 1797_ 15 February 1869) was one of the greatest classic Urdu and Persian poets from the Mughal Empire during the British colonial rule. He used the pen name (takhallos) of ‘Ghalib’ (both in Urdu and Persian) that means ‘dominant’ and ‘Asad’ (Urdu/Persian) meaning ‘lion’. Ghalib is regarded as a master of prose and poetry in the Persian literature and his name is associated with some of the greatest literary figures of India in the Persian language– khusru, Faizi, Naziri, Bedil, and Hazin. Ghalib received education in Persian and Arabic at a young age. When Ghalib was in his early teens, a newly converted Muslim tourist from Iran (Abdossamad, originally named Hormuzd, a Zoroastrain) came to Agra and stayed at Ghalib’s home for two years and taught him Persian, Arabic, philosophy and logic. 

Ghalib was extremely courteous and genial and had a host of friends and admirers. He was always a regular and prompt correspondent and corrected the verses of his pupils and replied to the letters of his friends with unfailing punctuality to the last day of his life. He was possessed of broad sympathies and was a man of extremely tender, loving and loveable nature as is revealed by his letters and verses. He translated the prejudices of religion and stood against bigotry and fanaticism. He was, in fact, a latitudinarian caring neither for creed of various Islamic sects nor for the so-called infidelity of the Hindus. His best friends and pupils were amongst the Hindus, the most notable of them being Munshi Hargopal Tufta, a remarkable writer of the Persian verse. (Sammiuddin, Abida, 2007: 229-230)

 

 

Masnavi   

 Masnavi is a form of verse in which the two misras (half verses) of a couplet are rhymed. All the couplets have likewise internal rhyme, but the rhyme keeps on changing with every couplet. Thus, the rhyme composition of the couplets of a masnavi is an aa, bb, cc, etc. As the composer has to care about two rhymes only at a time, it is possible to compose any length of poem in this form. Because of this facility, all the long poems in Persian and Urdu are clothed in the masnavi form, e.g., the great Persian Shahnameh of Firdowsi. Masnavi is found in all sizes, ranging from two to about 60,000 couplets. In the Urdu literature it is common to come across poems in masnavi form consisting of 10 to 100 lines with all sorts of themes.

The Persian masnavi could be written in one of the seven prescribed meters. Urdu followed the pattern as far as long masnavi are concerned with the sole exception of Shahnameh-ye-Islam of Hafiz Jullunduri which is in a different meter. Even short masnavis were written in the prescriber meters but in recent times this rule is not being adhered to. There is no logical reason why masnavi should be confined to any prescribed meters. (Ibid, vol. II, 399)

The themes of Urdu masnavis are not as variegated as those of the Persian masnavis. Unlike the epic and mystic masnavis in Persian, in Urdu, almost all the long masnavis are love romances. They are hardly any epic or mystic masnavis of the first order in Urdu.

Thematically, the most of the Urdu masnavis can be classified into two types: 1. comparatively shorter masnavis depicting the intensity of love sentiments, the frame-story being very slim, a mere excuse to give expression to all pervading emotions, 2. verse stories (dastans) telling the love exploits and amorous escapades of a knightly hero who is always a prince. These masnavis have supernatural elements like fairy, giant. (Ibid, 400)

 

Discussion

Banaras, Varanasi, Kashi

As Hinduism’s pre-eminent centre, Varanasi is home to every one of the three hundred and thirty million Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Harvard Professor of religion, Diana Eck, calls it the sacred circle of all the Gods.

The name Banaras appears in texts much later, Kabir (15th century) uses the name, referring to a mythical magnate, Raja Banar. Later, the British archaeologist, James Prinsep, also states that Banaras was governed by a certain Raja Banar, who was defeated by one of Mahmud’s generals in 1017 A.D. Varanasi finds mention in the more ancient Mahabharata and the Jataka Tales.

Varanasi refers to the area that lies between the Varuna in the north, Assi in the south, Delhi Vinayaka in the west and the Ganga in the east even though the Assi can hardly be called a river -it is at best an apology of a drain. (Fowler, 2004: 76)

 

 

 

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Banaras (Varanasi)

Banaras is the most famous centre of pilgrimage. It is situated on the left bank of the Ganges, at the point near where the tributary of the Ganges the Yamuna or Yaruna, joins it. Confluences of rivers are considered to be particularly auspicious sites for temples and have traditionally been associated with asrams, the homes of famous Hindu sages. Banaras is especially associated with the God Šiva who is believed to have lived there as an ascetic. Also at Banaras, the thirty-day enactment of the Ramayan takes place each year at the Dussehra/Desera Festival. Banaras is associated with Vedic and Sanskrit scholarship, so Indian scholars travel there. The place is considered to be so sacred that if one dies there and has one’s ashes thrown into the Ganges, purification and release from Samsara is achieved. The Padma Purana states, “The Varuna and the Assi are two rivers, set there by the Gods. Between them is a holy land (Khsetra) and there is none more excellent on earth.”

 

 

Kashi

Kashi is the oldest name of the city; it is mentioned in the most ancient of the available texts, and there are three suggestions on its etymology, each quite different. The common one takes from the Sanskrit ‘Kasha’, which means ‘to shine, to look brilliant or beautiful’. It is written in the Kashi Rhanda, “Because that light, which is the unspeakable Shiva, shines (kashate). One version suggests that the name came from an ancient king, Kasha; the tall silver flowering grass that grows aplenty along the banks of the Ganga.” ( kunal, 2004: 19)

Some accounts in the Puranas describe Varanasi as a city that resets on the three points of Shiva’s trident. The city is thus divided from north to south into the three Khandas of Omkara, vishweswara and Kedara, which were seen at on time as the peaks of three hills. A millennium age, the Omkara temple was an imposing structure, occupying the entire hill top.

 

Ganga, Banaras and Masnavi ‘Chiragh-i-Dair’ (Temple Lamp)

  Ages ago, the Ganga was a river that flowed in the heavens, and it is said to be mentioned only twice in the Regveda. The Puranas represent the Viyadganga, or heavenly Ganges, flowing from the toe of Vishnu and has been brought down from heaven by the prayers of the saint Bhagiratha to purify the ashes of the sixty thousand sons of king Sagara, who had been burnt by the angry glance of the Sage Kapila. From this early parent the river is called Bhagirahi. Ganga was angry at being brought down from heaven, and Shiva, to save the earth from the shock of her fall, caught the river on his brow and checked its course with his matted locks from this action. He is called Gangadhara, upholder of the Ganges. The river descended from Shiva’s brow in several streams, four according to some, and ten according to others; but the number generally accepted is seven, being the Sapta-Sindhara, the seven Sindus or rivers. The Ganges proper is one of the numbers. The descent of the Ganges disturbed the Sage Jahnu while performing a sacrifice, and in his anger he drank up the water, but he relented and allowed the river to flow from his ‘ear’, hence, the Ganges has the name of Jahnavi personified as a Goddess, Ganga is the eldest daughter Himavat and Menā, and her sister was Uma. She became the wife of king Santanu and bore a son, Bhisma, who is also known by the metronymic, Gangeya, being also, in a peculiar way, the mother of Kavtikeya. She is called Kumarasu, Gold, and according to Mahā bharata, she was born by the goddess Ganga to Agni by whom she had been impregnated. Other names and titles of the Ganges include: Bhadrasoma, Gandini, Kirati, Devabhuti (Produced in heaven), Harasekhara (crest of Shiva), Khapagā (flowing from heaven), Mandakini (gently flowing), Tripathaga or Trisrotah (triple flowing, running in heaven, earth and hell). (Dowson, 2005: 112-113)

To the Hindu, Ganga is a mother. She nurtures, gives life, dispenses grace, must be worshipped and ultimately takes you back in the form of your ashes. Banarasis calls her Ganga maiya. (Kunal, 2004: 93) The Ganges is the most sacred river and is a gift from heaven and a bath in it or drink from it is highly purifying. So all Hindus hope to bath in the Ganges once in their life time and hope that their ashes will be cast into it. (Ibid, 77)

 

The names and titles of the Ganga are:

Bhadrasoma, Gandini, Kirati, Devabhuti: produced in heaven,

Harašekhara: crest of Shiva,

Khapaga: flowing from heaven,

Mandakini: gently flowing

Tripathaga: triple flowing- running in heaven, earth and hell. (Iyengar, T.R.R. , 2003)

 

Ghalib also talks about the Ganga, Banaras, Kashi, in 108 verses in the Masnavi,‘Chiragh-i-Dair’ (Temple Lamp).

 

 

1

                تناسخ مشربــان چون لب  گشایند

                بــه کیش خویش کاشی را ستایند

                که هر کس کاندر آن گلشن بمیـرد

  

     دگــر پیــونــد جسمــانی نگیــرد      

(Masnavi Chiragh-i-Dair,  p.44)

 

 

                      2 

به سـامـان دو عـالـم گلستـان رنگ

ز تــاب رخ چــراغــان لــب گنگ

3                                     

ز بس عــرض تمنـا می کند گنگ

زمــوج آغــوشهـا وا می کند گنگ

                         4

سخــن را نــازش مینــو قمــاشی                            

ز گلبـانگ ستــایشهــای کــاشـی

                         5

بنـارس را کسـی گفتـا چنیـن است

هنـوز از گنگ چینش بر جبین است

                           6

بنـارس را مگـر دیـدست در خـواب

کـه می گـردد ز نهرش در دهن آب

                         7

مگر گـوئی بنــارس شاهدی هست

ز گنگش صبح و شام آئینه در دست

                                  8

بــه گنگش عکس تا پرتو فکـن شد

بنــارس خــود نظیر خویشتــن شد

                                  9                       

ســـوی کــاشی بــانــداز اشـارت

تبســم کــرد و گفتـا ایـن عمـارت

                                10       

بلنــد ­افتــاده تکمیـــل بنــــارس

بــود بــر اوج او انـــدیشــه نارس

 

 

 

                                   11

فرو ماندن به کاشی نــارسائیست

خـدا را این چه کافر مـاجرائیست

 

12                                     

بـه کاشی لختی از کـاشانه یـادآر

دریــن جنت از آن ویـرانه یـادآر

 

--------------------

This is the end of the Masnavi Chiragh-i-Dair.                                             

 

 

ز الا دم زن و تسلیــم لا شـو

  بگــو الله و بــرق ماسوا شـو                     

 

The Ganga also provides salvation to the dead and purifies the living. Even if one cannot be cremated on her banks, it is deemed a privilege for one’s ashes to be scattered in the river. Even the Beatles’ member, George Harrison, wished that to happen. Pilgrims from far away wait, for the moment when they can immerse themselves in the river and drink its water. Her wares are called ‘amrita’_ the nectar of immortality. ( Kunal, 2004: 94)

 

The 108 Names of the Ganges:

 

1. Ganga                                  Ganges

2. Vishnu-padabja-sambhuta    Born from the lotus-like foot of Vishnu

3. Hara-vallabha                      Dear to Hara (Shiva)

4. Himacalendra-tanaya           Daughter of the Lord of Himalaya

5. Giri-mandala-gamini            Flowing through the mountain country

6. Tarakarati-janani                   Mother of[the demon]Taraka’s enemy                                                             (i.e. Karttikeya)

7. Sagaratmaja-tarika             Liberator of the [60,000] sons of Sagara                       (who had been burnt to ashes by the angry glance of the sage Kapila).

8. Saraswati-samayukta      Joined to [the river] Saraswati (said to have                                               flowed underground and  joined the Ganges at Allahabad) 

9.      Sughosa                       Melodious (or: Noisy)

10.  Sindhu-gamini               Flowing to the ocean

11.  Bhagirathi                      Pertaining to the saint Bhagiratha (whose                                                        prayers brought the Ganges down from the Heaven).

12.  Bhagyavati                          Happy, fortunate

13.  Bhagiratha-rathanuga          Following the chariot of Bhagirat                        (who led the Ganges down to Hell to purify the ashes of Sagara’s sons)

14.  Trivikrama-padoddhuta       Falling from the foot of Vishnu

15.  Triloka-patha-gamini           Flowing through the three worlds                                             (i.e.Heaven, earth and the atmosphere or lower regions)

16.  Ksira-subhra                       White as milk

17.  Bahu-ksira                           [A cow] which gives much milk

18.  Ksira-vrksa-samakula         Abounding in [the four] ‘milk trees’       (i.e. Nyagrodha (Banyan), Udumbara (glamorous fig tree), Asvattha (holy fig              tree), and adhuka (Bassia Latifolia)

19.  Trilocana-jata-vasini         Dwelling in the matted locks of Shiva.

20.  Rna-traya-vimocini        Releasing from the Three Debts, viz. Brahma-carya (study of the Vedas) to the Rishis, sacrifice and worship to the Gods, and procreation of a Son to the Manes

21.  Tripurari-siras-cuda          The tuft on the head of the enemy of Tripura (Shiva) (Tripura was a triple fortification, built in the sky, air and earth of gold, silver and iron respectively, by Maya for the Asuras, and burnt by Shiva)

22.  Jahnavi                   Pertaining to Jahnu (who drank up the Ganges in a rage after it had flooded but relented and allowed it to flow from his ear)

23.  Nata-bhiti-hrt                   Carrying away fear

24.  Avyaya                             Imperishable

25.  Nayanananda-dayini        Affording delight to the eye

26.  Naga-putrika                    Daughter of the mountain

27.  Niranjana                          Not painted with collyrium (i.e. colorless)

28.  Nitya-suddha                    Eternally pure

29.  Nira-jala-pariskrta            Adorned with a net of water

30.  Savitri                               Stimulator

31.  Salila-vasa                        Dwelling in water

32.  Sagarambusa-medhini     Swelling the waters of the ocean

33.  Ramya                             Delightful

34.  Bindu-saras                     River made of water-drops

35.  Avyakta                           non-manifest, non-evolved

36.  Vrndaraka-samasrita         Resort of the eminent

37.  Uma-sapatni                    Having the same husband (i.e. Shiva) as Uma (Parvati)

38.  Subhrangi                           Having beautiful limbs (or body)

39.  Shrimati                              Beautiful, auspicious, illustrious, etc.

40.  Dhavalambara                    Having a dazzling white garment

41.  Akhandala-vana-vasa         Having Shiva as a forest-dweller(hermit)

42.  Khandendu-krta-sekhara   Having the crescent moon as a crest

43.  Amrtakara-salila                 Whose water is a mine of nectar

44.  Lila-lamghita-parvata         Leaping over mountains in sport

45.  Virinci-kalasa-vasa            Dwelling in the water-pot of Brahma (or Vishnu, or

Shiva)

46.  Triveni                            Triple-braided (i.e. consisting of the waters                                                               of three rivers: Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati)

47.  Trigunatmika                       Possessing the three gunas

48.  Sangataghaugha-samani      Destroying the mass of sins of Sangata

49.  Sankha-dundubhi-nisvana      Making a noise like a conch-shell and drum

50.  Bhiti-hrt                                  Carrying away fear

51.  Bhagya-janani                          Creating happiness

52.  Bhinna-brahmanda-darpini     Taking pride in the broken egg of Brahma

53.  Nandini                                     Happy

54.  Sighra-ga                                Swift-flowing

55.  Siddha                                      Perfect, holy

56.  Saranya                                   Yielding shelter, help or protection

57.  Sasi-sekhara                            Moon-crested

58.  Sankari                                   Belonging to Sankara (Shiva)

59.  Saphari-purna                          Full of fish(esp. Cyprinus Saphore a         kind of bright little fish that glistens when darting about in shallow water – or carp)

60.  Bharga-murdha-krtalaya    Having Bharga’s (Shiva’s) head as an abode

61.  Bhava-priya                      Dear to Bhava (Shiva)

62.  Satya-sandha-priya           Dear to the faithful

63.  Hamsa-svarupini              Embodied in the forms of swans

64.  Bhagiratha-suta                Daughter of Bhagiratha

65.  Ananta                              Eternal

66.  Sarac-candra-nibhanana   Resembling the autumn moon

67.  Om-kara-rupini                 Having the appearance of the syllable Om

68.  Atula                                  Peerless

69.  Krida-kallola-karini           Sportively billowing

70.  Svarga-sopana-sarani        Flowing like a staircase to Heaven

71.  Ambhah-prada                  Bestowing water

72.  Duhkha-hantri                  Destroying sorrow

73.  Santi-santana-karini           Bringing about the continuance of peace

74.  Darirya-hantr                     Destroyer of poverty

75.  Siva-da                              Bestowing happiness

76.  Samsara-visa-nasini           Destroying the poison of illusion

77.  Prayaga-nilaya                    Having Prayaga (Allahabad) as an abode

78.  Sita                                     ‘Furrow’_ name of the eastern branch of the four mythical branches into which the heavenly Ganges is supposed to divide after falling on Mount Meru

79.  Tapa-traya-vimocini                 Releasing from the Three Afflictions

80.  Saranagata-dinarta-paritrana    Protector of the sick and suffering who come to you for refuge

81.  Sumukti-da                   Giving complete [spiritual] emancipation

82.  Siddhi-yoga-nisevita     Resorted to (for acquisition of successor magic powers)

83.  Papa-hantri                    Destroyer of sin

84.  Pavanangi                     Having a pure body

85.  Parabrahma-svarupini   Embodiment of the Supreme Spirit

86.  Purna                            Full

87.  Puratana                       Ancient

88.  Punya                           Auspicious

89.  Punya-da                      Bestowing merit

90.  Punya-vahini               Possessing (or producing) merit

91.  Pulomajarcita              Worshipped by Indrani (wife of Indra

92.  Puta                             Pure

93.  Puta-tribhuvana           Purifier of the Three Worlds

94.  Japa                             Muttering, whispering

95.  Jangama                      Moving, alive

96.  Jangamadhara              Support of substratum of what lives or moves

97.  Jala-rupa                     Consisting of water

98.  Jagad-d-hita                 Friend or benefactor of what lives or moves

99.  Jahnu-putri                  Daughter of Jahnu

100. Jagan-matr                 Mother of Bhisma

101. Siddha                        Holy

102. Ramya                        Delightful, beautiful

103. Uma-kara-kamala-sanjata         Born from the lotus which               dreaded Uma (Parvati) (presumably a poetic way of saying that they were sisters)

104. Anjana-timira-bhanu       A light amid the darkness of ignorance

105. Sarva-deva-svarupini        Embodies about the continuance of peace

106. Jambu-dvipa-viharini        Roaming about or delighting in Rose- apple - tree Island (Siva)

107. Bhava - patni                Wife of Bhava (Shiva)

108. Bhisma - matr               Mother of Bhisma 

     Conclusions

Masnavi Chiragh-i-Dair, Mirza Ghalib's book, contains 108 couplets and verses. The number 108 is a significant number among Hindus, especially Hindus of the sacred city of Banaras; it is said that this number has spiritual sanctity; according to Hindu traditions the number of holy powers of man is 108; most of the Hindu goddesses like Gansha, Shiva, Lakshemi, Saraswati, Krishna, Durga, Ganga,… also have 108 divine characteristics. It is interesting to know that Hindu and Buddhists' beads have 108 marble beads. Being aware of such religious culture and knowledge of his own motherland, Mirza Ghalib creates his Masnavi Chiragh-i Dair, which is the very city of temples or Banaras, Varanasi or Kashi.

 He believes Banaras as the place for man's salvation and freedom from body, and ascension of man's spirit to the heavens.

By this study we found out that the 108 divine characteristics, beads and manifestations of goddesses and gods in Hinduism prepared the conditions for recitation of Chiragh-i Dair.

In this way, Ghalib considers Benaras as the Ka'ba of India. This masnavi is the sound of peace and tranquility which frees Ghalib's spirit from the shackles of pain, sorrow and friends' lack of attention in Delhi. He releases his spirit in Banaras through application of particular similes, metaphors and allusions.

                                                

 

 

 
 
 
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