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For the past few days I have been immersed in Hindi poems. Pure Hindi, not the Hinglish or Bambaiyya variety which is all we speak now unfortunately, is such a beautiful language.

Image source: http://www.chopra.com/article/shakti-universal-force#sm.0011qf12v12i5djt10323t5dde4ef

Sharing one such poem from my textbooks from my school days, Shakti aur Kshama (शक्ति और क्षमा ) by the famous poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. Below I also attempt a translation of the same.

क्षमा, दया, तप, त्याग, मनोबल
सबका लिया सहारा
पर नर व्याघ सुयोधन तुमसे
कहो कहाँ कब हारा?

Forgiveness, mercy, tact, sacrifice

you followed them all

but when did Suyodhan ever give up?

क्षमाशील हो ॠपु-सक्षम
तुम हुये विनीत जितना ही
दुष्ट कौरवों ने तुमको
कायर समझा उतना ही

The more forgiving you got, 

the more the Kauravas assumed that you were a coward

अत्याचार सहन करने का
कुफल यही होता है
पौरुष का आतंक मनुज
कोमल होकर खोता है

This is the result of tolerating injustices

the fear of machismo is lost when man becomes gentle 

क्षमा शोभती उस भुजंग को
जिसके पास गरल है
उसका क्या जो दंतहीन
विषरहित विनीत सरल है

Forgiveness is becoming of the snake who has venom

but no one fears the toothless, non – poisonous kind

तीन दिवस तक पंथ मांगते
रघुपति सिंधु किनारे
बैठे पढते रहे छन्द
अनुनय के प्यारे प्यारे

For three days Ram kept requesting the ocean for passage

he sat there requesting with the sweetest words

उत्तर में जब एक नाद भी
उठा नही सागर से
उठी अधीर धधक पौरुष की
आग राम के शर से

When the ocean refused to acknowledge Ram’s pleas

a raging fire of resolve consumed Ram

सिंधु देह धर त्राहि-त्राहि
करता आ गिरा शरण में
चरण पूज दासता गृहण की
बंधा मूढ़ बन्धन में

The ocean assumed a human form & supplicated to Ram

Touched his feet, became subservient, a slave

सच पूछो तो शर में ही
बसती है दीप्ति विनय की
संधिवचन सम्पूज्य उसीका
जिसमे शक्ति विजय की

Truth be told it’s in the quiver that lies the gleam of modesty

only his peace offers are respected who is capable of victory

सहनशीलता, क्षमा, दया को
तभी पूजता जग है
बल का दर्प चमकता उसके
पीछे जब जगमग है

The world worships tolerance, forgiveness & compassion 

only when they are backed by the glow of strength.

 

Though giving examples from the Ramayan & Mahabharat, this poem is relevant even today. Everyone who preaches peace should understand one basic rule of the world: peace offers from the weak are meaningless (V.D. Sawarkar). If you want to have peace, you need to be strong. The world respects strength & anyone who doesn’t have it will be trod upon & ground mercilessly.

 

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