Poems of Rajnarain Bose on Dr. Krishnadhan Ghose

Dear Friends of Overman Foundation,

It has been decided that we shall share with you from time-to-time some of our archival treasures. And to begin with, we are publishing four poems written by Rajnarain Bose (1826—1899), Sri Aurobindo’s maternal grandfather and the famous leader of the Brahmo Samaj, on Dr. Krishnadhan Ghose (1844—1892), his eldest son-in-law and Sri Aurobindo’s father. 

These poems were written sometime in the year 1869 when Dr. Krishnadhan Ghose had gone to England to study medicine.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee,

Chairman,

Overman Foundation.

                                                          (1)

                             Go, son belov’d! as pilgrim bold to lands

                             Beyond the stormy ocean’s wide domain,

                             Where Commerce, Art and Science freely rain

                             On freemen blessings rare with lib’ral hands.

                             Thou art not tied by false religion’s bonds,

                             Her chains are not round thee; thou ‘rt nobly free:

                             Thou art not one who fears to cross the sea,

                             And on the beach by her spell-bound stands.

                             I’hv freedom I esteem though my excess

                             I check oft. Go, but still as ours remain.

                             Be not like apes who change their manners, dress

                             And language, of their trip becoming vain.

                             They England for their home do shameless call,

                             And reckon mother-land and tongue as gall.

                                                            (2)

                              Go, son belov’d! as pilgrim bold to lands,

                              Where nature’s servant and interpreter,

                              Man, wields over elements a God-like pow’r

                              As slavish tools in his controlling hands.

                              Go, vent’rous youth! where Goddess Science’ bands

                              Most wondrous feats perform on land and sea;

                              There monuments of art thou rapt will see,

                              A marvel in itself each tow’ring stands.

                              Go there, and feast your eyes on men as things;

                              Great Herschel, Mill and Tennyson divine;

                              And others too whose fame in India rings,

                              Bright lights that in far England’s firm’ment shine.

                              Go, losing not yourself, learn from the west

                              And come back to your weeping father’s breast.

                                                               (3)

                              My son! when thou reach England, thou shalt see

                              Our kin in faith who, not adoring man

                              And book, lead boldly true religion’s van

                              Proclaiming Theism’s creed in discourse free:

                              Strong Newman, superstition’s enemy

                              Uncompromising, kinder e’en to doubt

                              And doubters than the hero-making rout;

                              Him and our sisters[1] on whom blessing be,

                              The Brahmavad’nis[2] of the Islands far,

                               Know as the White[3] in our Puranas old;  

                               Who, like our Maitreyi[4], Old India’s Star,

                               Such noble truths in noble words have told

                               As by her said: “From things that do not give

                               Eternal life, what joy can I derive”?

                                                                (4)

                               When thou to England go, our brethren greet

                               Of Wakefield[5]; tell them they do well to preach

                               Theistic truths in Christian dress, to teach

                               Our countrymen those truths we think it meet

                               To clothe them in a Shastric garb. To seat

                               Celestial truth in hearts of people weak,

                               We should this plan pursue, until we break

                               The ranks of error strong and her defeat,

                               Our faith the same though vested different;

                               As Englishman and Hindu both are men

                               Though diff’rent clad. Religion true at end

                               Will win the fight, such forms need perish then,

                                But now let us all work, though slow yet sure,

                                As God Himself does work, to end secure.   

                                                                       *


[1] Miss Frances Power Cobbe and Miss Elizabeth Sharpe.

[2] Female discoursers of God, so called in the Vedas.

[3] Colonel Wilford in the Asiatic Researches conjectures the British Isles to be the Sweta Dwipa or the white Isles of the Puranas.

[4] Refer to the story of Maitreyi and Yajnavalkya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

[5] The Free Unitarian Church or the Theistic Congregation of Wakefield. 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Prema Nandakumar said,

    October 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Dear Anurag:
    Thanks for making these poems available. They are indeed so full of love and admiration. Prema

  2. Prof.A.Purushotham Rao said,

    November 3, 2010 at 10:11 am

    The poems are really inspring and truly nationalistic. Thanks for sending them.

  3. Amit kumar Guha Niyogi said,

    December 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    My dear Anurag,

    Yours mail only helped to know the the poem “LIGHT” by Sri Aurobindo. I am thankful to you that you have remembered me to send this lovely link which is growing up like a child in a mothers lap — surely it can share the light of the Divine Mother and the Master to all in the days to come. I always praise yours unceasing effort to make this site more and more rich presenting all the invaluables that our Mother and Master kept for us.

    Amit da.

  4. November 12, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Thank you very much for making these poems available to us. As his great grandson, I am indeed grateful to have theses poems penned by Rajnarain Bose. If you have more, do share them with me/us. Thanks once again.


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