By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

PRAJANAN or Procreation is an inborn instinct of a living being. Humans, animals, fish, fowl and Vanaspati or Vegetation leave behind numerous living beings of their kind before they depart for good.

Right at the beginning of the Creation, Ishwar had given the Vedas to the Rishis for the guidance of human beings to lead a life of righteousness. Along with the Gyan of Life and desire to have children was the knowledge of providing stability of social order. Human beings stabilized process of procreation by formalizing the social institution of Vivah or marriage to bring in order and discipline  through sublimation of sex. The Vedic injunction against sex for pleasure by allowing copulation between lawfully wedded husband and wife at an appropriate time only to beget children continues to hold in check humans running amuck for wild sex.

Many a time varied reasons like death and disease cause separation between the husband and wife at a young age when they are childless, so what is the way out to enable the separated man or woman to fulfill the religious duty of leaving behind a son or a daughter so that the human race not only survives but prospers. Well the answer is NIYOG.


When a widow wishes to have children after the demise of her husband, she lets the social order know of her desire and selection of a male member for copulation as per Vedic Vidhan to beget a child, it is termed as Niyog. In the case of Niyog “ the widowed woman remains in the house of the deceased husband…..children born of Niyog are not called children of the begetter, nor belong to his family, nor has he any claim over the children.” This excerpt is taken from the Satyarth Prakash chapter four written by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in Hindi and translated into English by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay.

In this context it is important to make clear the claim of the child born of Niyog on the property of the man who begot him or her. A child begotten in Niyog will continue the lineage of the deceased husband of the widow and get a share in the property of the deceased husband of the widow concerned and live in her marital home. Thus one may say that a child begotten in Niyog has no legal share in the property of the man whose sperm fertilized the egg of his mother to bring him into this world. Similarly, the begetter of the baby in Niyog will never ever lay a claim of any kind at birth or thereafter. In the eye of law, no relationship moral, spiritual or financial will exist between the begetter and the baby.


A doubting Thomas may raise a doubt about the legal validity of Niyog by pointing out the erroneous thought and labeling Noyog as adultery. Let it be understood that Niyog is not a sin nor an adulterous act. Niyog is willful and consensual act of sex between  a man and a woman with the sole intent of begetting a baby and it is done within the knowledge of the social order that the two belong to. It is not a hush-hush affair done for fun at night under the cover of darkness. The common point between a lawful marriage and a Niyog is  : Both are made known to the social order that the man and the woman belong to. Well, a question may arise: what happens if the first attempt to impregnate a woman fails? Well, there is no embargo on making a second or a third attempt. One should remember that the declared desired intention of the man and the woman concerned is to have a baby and everyone in the neighbourhood knows about it. So, Niyog is not a sin or a crime because it is not done under the cover of darkness or in secrecy. On the other hand, adultery is a nocturnal affair where sex is performed for fun away from the prying eyes of the social or moral police, what to say of the State Police.

It would be a good idea to quote from the Satyarth Prakash  what Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati wrote in reply to a question about procedure to be followed in Niyog :

     “ Just as marriage is performed by proclamation, so is NIYOG. As marriage requires sanction of the society and consent of the couple, so does Niyog. When a man and a woman want to perform Niyog, they ought to declare before men and women of their families that they want to enter into Niyog relation for the sake of issues, that they will sever their connection when the purpose of Niyog is fulfilled, that they should be counted as sinners and be penalized by the society and the State if they do otherwise, that they will meet for intercourseonly once a month and will abstain from intercourse for a year after the conception.

 ( The translation from Hindi into English is done by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay, an eminent Vedic scholar and preacher par excellence)

The Rishivar, a great religious and social reformer, was determined to apprise people of Bharat and later of the world the correct concept of Vedic Dharma and encourage both the Vedic Dharmis and others to follow what the Vedas laid down. That is the only way our human race may show an improvement.The observant Swami knew what way the sinners were going and reforming them was his duty, he thought. He advocated Niyog with the same fervor as the age-old institution of marriage – the Vedic Vivah. He equated the two procedures as the way to procreate. Sexual intercourse was the only way to procreate and one should not have a sense of shame or Lajja in advocating propagation of Niyog.

In the fourth chapter of the Satyarth Prakash dwelling on Niyog, Rishivar wrote and I quote him in original Hindi :

      “ Niyam se Vivah hone se ( stree-Purush ka sambhog – bracketed words are mine) vyabhichar nahi kahata, to niyampoorvak NIYOG hone se vyabhichar nahi kahavega………Ved shastrokt Niyog mein vyabhichar, paap, lajja na manana chahiye”

A free rendering into English would run thus: If a man and a woman are married as per the laid down procedure( their cohabitation would not be called promiscuity), likewise Niyog done as per procedure would not be termed promiscuity.      Niyog performed as per Vedic and Shastriya procedure would not be termed promiscuity entailing sin and shame.

It can be safely said that the Seer of the Arya Samaj knew that the sexual instinct of human beings led them astray. The Hindu widows were at the receiving end and quite oppressed socially. Their social and economic condition would improve if they were socially permitted to beget children and have a hope in the future. Therefore, Maharishi Dayanand strongly advocated through his writings and speeches the reintroduction of Niyog in our socio-religious order.


As of now the social acceptance of Niyog in the Hindu social order is rather dismal. The forward looking socio-religious organization like the Arya Samaj, founded by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 in Mumbai did not spearhead the movement. In 1877 with the establishment of the Arya Samaj in Lahore, the Punjab became its citadel. However, it was rather unfortunate that the Arya stalwarfs including Pradhans of the Arya Samaj Anarkali, Lahore like Lala Saindas, Mahatma Hansraj and others were rather lukewarm to the concept of Niyog. It was socially unacceptable in the open parlance but practiced clandestinely without flying the flag of Niyog.

Like the Garbhadhan Sanskar, the Niyog too could not gain popularity as men and women devoted to the Ten Principles of the Arya Samaj were rather diffident in declaring that on a particular day or night they would be sharing the bed with the avowed aim of begetting a child. What if the effort failed and conception did not take place? The couple might become the laughing stock of the persons known and unknown. Thus performing a Havan for Garbhadhan or with the declared intention of Niyog requires a lot of social courage that they lacked. Therefore, both these SANSKARS REMAINED A THEORETICAL EXERCISE CONFINED TO THE PAGES OF THE SANSKAR VIDHI AND THE SATYARTH PRAKASH.

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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Prince Philip,97, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, crashed his self driven car into another car where a lady and child were injured. The lady fractured her wrist in the accident. The prince’s car toppled over but he escaped unhurt, although badly shaken by the accident. The Prince is leading a self proclaimed retired life but is quite hale and hearty.
The said accident has stirred up a debate in legal and journalistic world. What action, if any, should the constabulary of the area take against the Prince despite the fact that the injured lady, a citizen of the United Kingdom, did not lodge a Police complaint nor pressed any charge nor file a suit in a criminal court. Of course, she said that she was deeply disappointed because Prince Philip had not tendered an apology for fracturing her wrist in that accident where the almost Centenarian Prince Philip was in the wrong on more than one count.
To set the record straight it must be mentioned that the Police family liaison officer called Emma, the injured lady who was in her car with a nine month old baby and a friend, and said “ The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would like to be remembered to you”. The injured lady felt hurt and passed a critical comment saying “That’s not an apology or a well-wish. She added that the message that the Police passed on did not make any sense. The accident had occurred when the Duke had pulled out of a side road to go on the main road.
The Norfolk Constabulary said, “ As is standard procedure with injury collisions, the incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken”. This may be a form of Police-Legal report but to a common man it makes no sense.
There is an aspect of humour too. A statement issued by the Police said that Prince Philip has been spoken to for driving without a seatbelt. “ Suitable words of advice have been given to the driver”. It may be mentioned again that the driver was no one else but Prince Philip himself. These guarded words of advice by the Police lead us to another aspect of the incident. Is Prince Philip having immunity from prosecution in the case of a motor accident where a lady passenger in the other car had her wrist fractured?
Legally speaking, only a Sovereign enjoys immunity from prosecution and the Police is not empowered to question or detain a Sovereign or take him or her to a court of law. The old saying is “ A king does no wrong.” The law evolved this way to keep the dignity of the office of a Sovereign or a Head of State. Not only that, no relative of a Sovereign may be arrested or prosecuted as long as he or she is standing or sitting in close proximity of the Sovereign. A King or a Queen is above civil or criminal law.
In olden days the Sovereign was the fountainhead of Justice. Of course, he or she no longer administers justice in a practical way, he or she retains an important symbolic role. It is in the King’s or queen’s name, Justice is carried out, law and order maintained. Therefore, a Sovereign is above Law and cannot be prosecuted as long as is on the Throne. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the said immunity from Law does not extend to the spouse of the sovereign.
As for as members of the royal family are concerned they are all subject to prosecution for any wrong doing and no exemption is given or asked for. It may be recalled that Princess Anne, a daughter of Queen Elizabeth II submitted herself to the jurisdiction of courts of law for infringement of traffic rules and sought no mercy nor was any given. Whenever fined for infringement of traffic rules, other members of the Royal family made it a point to pay. The Queen makes it a point to impress on members of the British Royalty to observe law of the land like other citizens do. Thus the Rule of Law prevails in the United Kingdom.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
The Republic Day Parade walks away with the cake. It has the pride of place among all military parades in Bharat and the surrounding areas. In 2019, there are three big guns on Parade. One is the Guest of Honour or the Chief Guest and the other two will have the focus of attention as they would augment the fire power of the Indian Artillery in the battlefield. The Indian Army needed them so badly and after faux pas of the Rajiv Gandhi Congress government in their financial management that their effectiveness in battle, especially the Kargil battles of 1999, took a back seat. Consequently the Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army was starved of long range fire power for almost three decades.
First thing first. Our Chief Guest of the 70th Republic Day is an eminent person, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa. It is a matter of significance that Bharat chose to invite a Black President from a non-aligned country where Mahatma Gandhi had begun his political career during the apartheid rule of the Whites. By the way, Bharat is celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji this year. A happy coincidence indeed.
It is a well known fact that the Government of India had initially invited Mr Donald Trump, President of the United States of America as the Chief Guest of the Republic Day Parade but he declined on account of preoccupation with matters of State in America. Barak Obama is the only President of USA who has been our R Day Chief Guest and that was in 2015.
Mr Cyril Ramaphosa became President of South Africa after his predecessor was asked to quit office under political pressure because of his personal indiscretions. Mr Ramaphosa married three times, one wife at a time, and is known to have five children. He is an intellectual and pursues his hobbies with single minded attention. It is hoped that his brief sojourn in our country will strengthen the political ties between Bharat and South Africa.
Let us now shift the focus to the military hardware, the artillery guns. The one that attracts me most is the US made M 777 ultra light howitzer that can be airlifted to difficult terrain by a military helicopter. Thus its strategic deployment is a prime factor in its favour besides its range of 28 Km and capability to pound the enemy position incessantly without giving him breathing time. Thus both the inimical troops on our eastern and western borders will remain in mortal fear of these American howitzers.
Now we come to what we call K9 VAJRA. Imagine a small country like South Korea making a long range big gun that will be pounding enemy targets 30 Km away. It is self propelled in contrast to M777 that is towed. Of course, both types are expensive but were badly needed to augment our artillery’s fire power that was depleting day by day. No new gun was inducted into the Regiment of Artillery, Indian Army after the purchase of Bofors guns where Italians like Quattrochi, call Q in short, made money at the cost of our Indian tax payers.
It is hoped that the Modi government will continue augmenting fire power of our Armed Forces in more ways than one and compel the inimical forces across the borders to keep their heads down, nay buried in sand.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Am I touching the hornet’s nest and inviting the ire of a powerful segment of the society who live and die in the news world? No, not at all. I am making an endeavour to show the mirror to newshounds who generate their own newsdom, live and die in it. The rest of the society moves around it but never in it. The men and women who make journalism their bread and butter swear by what they write and publish. The rest of the human society is news hungry; they swallow whatever is given to them as the News. Thus here is a wide scope for journalists, their paymasters and media moghuls to generate and circulate what goes by the name News but is not the News. It is woven around a self-serving central point and presented to the Readers as the News but is actually Fake News.
What is the definition of the Fake News? Is there a way for a reader to distinguish between the Real News and the Fake News? In my opinion it is hard to tell where the dividing line lies. Like definition of Terror, definition of Fake News is elusive. The United Nations Organization could not let the world know what Terror actually is. So, terrorists are having a good time because they cannot be legally caught and prosecuted. Likewise, Fake journalists generate Fake News and circulate so extensively that the real news gets lost. The Media, both print and electronic, succumb to pressure of vested interests and make Fake News look like, sound like the real News and becomes acceptable to the social order in general. The vice-like grip of the Fake News on the human society is getting stronger day by day. The real News like the real Wife is pushed into a corner where it just fades away into oblivion.
What can a Reader do about it to receive and read the real News? Well, the poor old man is up against a mighty wall made of myriad objects collected by personnel of the kingdom of Untruth who resist hard against its demolition. The Upanishad vouches for triumph of Truth, SATYAMEV JAYATE NANRITAM, but the Truth lies elsewhere. The generators, circulators of the Fake News will also vouch for victory of the Truth but will work hard to demolish the domain of Truth or whatever is left of it. The poor reader goes through columns of Fake news carried by the Daily that he reads and after sometime believes in the mirage created by the empire of Fake news.
There is a unholy nexus of political power, muscle power and the media moghul that even the State is vary of taking on the might of Fake News. Many organs of the State exploit this unsavoury situation to serve their selfish interests. Ravana, Kansa and their ilk became strong by founding en empire of Untruth of which a by-product is Fake News, and made the simple society of Gopas believe that what they said had the authority of Veda Vakya. It needed a Rama and a Krishna to demolish the Fake empire founded on the Fake news.
A reader should have the capacity to think critically to distinguish between Real News and Fake News. If an article has gone overboard to praise a politician who most of citizens feel is just a dud, the said article is Fake News. Possibly it is a piece of Paid News to bolster the image of a person whose name is down in the dumps. An intelligent reader, after reading a paragraph or two would be able to make out if the said piece has been sponsored by an interested party but the editorial board has been prevailed upon to give it a place in a column of general news. In this way, a reader’s mind would not be affected and his independent judgement not vitiated.
Fake News – the phrase was much in circulation in the US media just before election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. A section of the society, rightly or wrongly, had felt that Hillary Clinton should have been successful at the hustings. However, when the declared result was contrary to their expectation they cried their throats hoarse by blaming Fake News put out in Trump’s favour to boost his image. Of course, the Russian Federation was also mired in a controversy of publishing Fake News against Hillary Clinton to unduly influence minds of voters. The Trump camp fought tooth and nail against the Fake News lobby and finally carried the day.
Many an article was published and TV discussions were organized in USA and other parts of the English speaking world to throw light on what Fake News was. Listeners were advised to keep their eyes and ears open to separate Fake News from Real News. However, it must be mentioned that this was indeed hard nut to crack. Political Pundits too are at times led up the garden path and savour the forbidden fruit by failing to distinguish between Fake News and Real News.
Are we back to square one? What is Fake News? In my opinion, if a news item is heavily loaded in favour of an individual, a political party or a religious group, it may be safely surmised that money has changed hands in putting the piece in question in circulation in the media. It would be in the fitness of things to put into circulation another article correcting the imbalance caused by the Fake News. Pragmatically speaking, the opinion reflecting the Real News, rarely finds a place in print nor is carried by a channel in its prime time broadcast. It is also seen that if a correction is mandated to be published, it is done so unobtrusively that the aim of letting citizens know the Real News is defeated.
The war between Real News Versus Fake News is still raging. Many battles have been won, some battles were fought and lost. Nevertheless, a Mr Clean may hope for the Truth to win and falsehood to lose. The unsavoury controversy will go on and on as long as Man lives on Planet Earth. We may fire the final shot by announcing from housetops what the UPNISHAD bequeathed to us:
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
I love my garden. It is known as UPVAN to both friends and foes alike. My garden has helped me fall in love with Nature and recite the Ved mantra known as the Shanti Path. I chant it every now and then while sowing seeds or harvesting what I had sown many months ago. The very look of my garden motivates me to chant the mantra and the mantra brings me close to the Nature. The net result is – happiness. It is happiness that many men and women miss in their daily life doing chores. Gardening, as a hobby, takes me and my family away from our mundane activities to something that is so dear to our hearts.
I retired from active Army service more than a quarter of a century ago. It was the year of our Lord 1990. I continued to stay in a spacious house on the Shanti Path, New Delhi courtesy our friends in the Raksha Mantralaya for one calendar year and then moved into the present single unit house in Noida. I must pay compliments to the Army Welfare Housing Scheme for building well located spacious houses with a little piece of land left to plant a handkerchief lawn. Indeed our ingenuity helped us to extend the area under green cover by clearing rubbish from waste land and converting it into a real Upvan or garden. The support of my wife, children and neighbours with a green finger were some of the plus points not figured in advance.
Love grows in a garden. So does envy. When the area was just a wasteland where casual visitors and sundry labourers eased themselves, foul smell emanated with a passing whiff of air, snakes and other reptiles slithered to and fro at will, not many men and women living around the waste land bothered to better the environment. When the waste land was changed into an attractive garden by hard work of a few residents who loosened strings of their purses to buy seeds, manure and hire gardeners for hard manual work, lazy fellows and mischief mongers loomed large to block the greening process on flimsy and untenable grounds.
Discard the Evil; Imbibe the Noble – so says the Ved mantra. We did just that. Help came from the well intentioned officers of the Noida administration and it gave a boost to our greening projects. Luckily the Garden Brigade of ours had asked for no financial support from the Authority and, therefore, the wily opponents dared not raise an accusing finger at us for financial mismanagement. In a nutshell the green Garden Brigade marched on triumphantly ignoring the evil forces around. Ishwar is Omniscient said we at the end of the day.
God helps those who help themselves. True indeed! We planned ourselves and executed the plan too. Neighbourly cooperation has indeed been a great asset. Since there was no pooling of money, there was never ever a charge of embezzlement leveled against anyone. GOOGLE GURU was indeed always available to guide us whenever guidance was needed. While reading experiences of other enthusiasts placed in similar circumstances, care was taken to avoid anecdotes of Europe, North America and other countries located in cold climate zones. Of course, we needed to follow into footsteps of gardening stalwarts of tropical countries. Of course, predecessors of our own Bharat were the best people to fall back upon. Cow dung sun dried and compost manures were best suited to our needs and these were easily available without much hassle. Prices differed from area to area and we avoided entering into transactions with hi-fi shops that believed in much ado about nothing. Good quality seeds at moderate prices were always available at the Krishi Bhawan outlet. If one did not mind the distance involved from Noida, the Agricultural Institute, Pusa, New Delhi was the best bet.
Flowers bloomed in season and gave us Joy unadulterated. Roses walked away with the cake. The Udyan Vibhag of the Authority was more than helpful in planting quality roses and also advising on other winter flowers like Paperflower, Nasturtium, Lily, Aster and what have you. Bougainvillea is planted by one and all. It is easy to grow and its multi-coloured flowers attract attention. Basil has always been popular with people looking for medicinal herbs and leaves to boil and drink as a substitute for roasted brown tea. The Chinese example of drinking green tea was emulated by figure conscious boys, girls, men and women.
Vegetables found favour with vegetarians. Even meat eaters love to have a green vegetable on the platter to eat a balanced diet. Organic vegetables and fruits are the rage of the age. We are indeed proud to say with a sense of honesty that our products are indeed Organic. Since no item is for sale and all items are for home consumption, great care is taken to ensure that chemicals are not used by our paid Malis to add chemical manure in the sun dried cow dung to enhance the produce. Urea is a taboo for the edibles. We do not mind using it to make the lawn look lush green.
Fruits are available in summer season. We grow only mangoes, jamun, kachnar for flower-vegetable, guavas, aanwala, and that is it. This year, 2016, our Upvan has ben bereft of mangoes. The trees did not flower at all; the question of fruiting did not arise at all. Never mind, it flowers and fruits alternate years, so opined an old hand from a neighbouring village. Thus gardening teaches us not to fume and fret for what is not seen on the tree branches. Nature takes its own course and a real gardener has to be patient with the Nature. I may recall that last year it was a good harvest of mangoes. We hope to reap a bumper harvest of mangoes next year. Man lives on hope.
Our garden produce is health promoting. Seasonal vegetables are health promoting. One may pickle cucumber and eat it much after the season is over. Moreover pickled cucumber improves the gut health too. Kakari comes out of the vegetable bed in plenty. It is enough for a small family for the day. Moreover, neighbours keep on exchanging their garden produce and promote comradeship. Never mind the small quantity or number; it is the spirit behind the gesture that matters. It is fraternizing that matters most.
Going by the aforesaid description of plants, flowers, trees, one may surmise that ours is a good orchard bearing native fruits, vegetables and flowers. Well, it is a good orchard but not a big one. It is a mini garden grown on waste land and the area presents a good and clean look. Obnoxious smell has been eliminated and those who come by for a morning stroll or a leisurely walk in both summer and winter are not disappointed. Of course, dogs are not allowed for obvious reasons inside the Upvan. There is a dog’s corner provided but the stray dogs prefer to use Upvan and cause quite a headache. Life goes on like that.
Good gracious garden has indeed many lessons for us. When a crop fails, our money and labour go waste. We are not saddened. We remember Maharana Pratap who lost the biggest battle, Haldighati but did not lose heart. Eventually he won back most of his forts but Chittorgarh. In gardening one may be down but one is never out. Gardening attracts and motivates us to be at it, never say die.
I am overjoyed when I sit under a mango tree in my garden. I am elated when I see Roses of different colours – white, yellow, pink and red. Mango fruits are not there this year but the Nightingale has put in an appearance with its extended family. Its family chat may not be intelligible but the sound certainly gives us joy unbound.
We miss some, we gain some. As said earlier, never lose Hope. If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
“Are you lonesome tonight” sang Frank Sinatra in 1956 and listeners loved the song. Elvis Presley followed suit in 1969 and was a hit wherever he sang. Although the evergreen song was written in 1926 by Roy Turk but it reached every nook and corner of the English speaking world when Frank Sinatra rendered it in his golden voice three decades later. Since then it is being sung by men and women who are lonesome both by day and night. Every human being feels lonely sometime or the other in life and some souls are perpetually lonesome. If a human being has the feeling of loneliness as long as he or she breathes, the lonely individual needs help from fellow human beings to survive in this world.
One should cultivate friendship with fellow human beings. Friendship is like food which one must have to keep going in life. Humans need friends to survive. Social interaction helps in living a healthy life. Health is the bedrock of Happiness. Thus one must move around in the company of human beings to live a healthy and happy life. Health and Happiness are sine qua non of longevity. Thus these human needs are so inter-dependant that forsaking one may mean collapse of one’s life like a house of cards.
Meeting men and women to make friends is indeed a social need. A human being must have friends to survive. A failure to cultivate friendship will leave a void in life. This unmet social need may cause problems of health – physical, mental and spiritual. A recurring problem of unfulfilled social need like friendship may render life unlivable and bring it to an unpleasant premature end. An individual who wishes to live a successful long life has no other option but to lead a social life where exists no chasm. Loneliness has to be kept at bay.
When an individual fails to lead a healthy social life, he may transfer the cause of loneliness from self to society. If a lonely man blames the social set up around and not a failure of self to be a part of the social set up, there is every chance that he or she may develop anti-social behavior. Sliding into delinquency is just a step away. It will indeed be an unpleasant experience to have a brush with law and step in and out of incarceration.
Loneliness may cause depression. The very thought of an individual that no one loves him or her leads to a dangerous depression resulting in suicidal tendency. Among various reasons of an individual entertaining the idea of taking his own life is indeed loneliness leading to deep depression. A mentally weak person may find solace in drinking alcohol leading to alcoholism that may bring life to a premature end. The gloomy situation has a savior in social interaction that drives loneliness away. One should never nurture loneliness and term it as revenge against the existing social order for some actual or imagined wrong done to him in distant past. Nursing the feeling of Revenge with wine may lead to homicide and ultimately to gallows. One must not mix up a feeling of imagined hurt with alcohol because this deadly cocktail ends up with death and destruction.
Spiritualism is an antidote to Loneliness. One who longs for a nearness to the Almighty Ishwar will make an endeavour to be near Him in word and deed. An achievement in the realm of Spiritualism will never let a human being live with loneliness. Spiritualism and Lonesome Life cannot cohabit. Spiritualism will invariably drive loneliness away. What a magic potion it is!. Fine but please do not equate it with magic. A spiritualist will keep magic far away from him. Just court spiritualism to drive away whatever is harmful to life.
Pray, how do we go about living a spiritual life? Please keep Clean in Thought and Action. Entertain no evil thoughts, evil action will not be generated. One should cleanse one’s body and mind to lead a spiritual life. A relevant Veda Mantra runs thus:
The mantra means in brief: BANISH THE EVIL, IMBIBE THE NOBLE.
One should keep it as a guiding principle, a beacon light to sail over uncharted sea and not become lonesome ever. A cleansed individual will attract the company of other human beings so that they develop mutual respect, repudiate selfishness and generate joy. Birds of a feather flock together, so goes an old adage. When cleansed men and women get together to exchange spiritual experiences, how can anyone there be a lonely man or woman. The joy generated by the get together of spiritualists will not let evil of loneliness creep in.
Insomnia is another bye product of loneliness. A sleep disorder does not let an individual’s personality grow. If the quality of sleep is reduced, it may lead to a reduction of quantity of sleep. The two reductions may cause havoc with a person’s life. Lack of proper sleep will not let an individual lead a full life where excellence is needed. Never mind a repetition in saying that Man is a social being and not an island. A human being cannot live alone. Deprivation of interaction with good men and women will entail an irreparable loss of quality in life. It may cause deterioration in every field of life.
A man is made of flesh and blood. So, cater to the requirements of your body too. A man or a woman is what he or she eats. Paying attention to the intake of quality and quantity of food intake will have a bearing on the man’s thought and action. A guideline given by Vedic sages of yore is as good today as it was many millennia ago. The VAIDYA RAJ said:Hitbhook, Mitbhook, Ritbhook. It means that one should consume whatever is of use to the body, eat in moderate quantity and eat food that has been bought with money earned by sweat of the brow honestly. It needs no underlining that if this principle is observed in letter and spirit, one will never go wrong. One may be reminded of the fact that alcoholic drinks are forbidden to those who wish to excel physically, mentally and spiritually.
Love plays a major role in a man’s life. One needs a partner of the opposite sex for cuddling with healthy sex thrown in. Of course, it needs no emphasizing that creature comfort has to be attended to a controlled manner and measure. Excess of everything is bad and the good old saying is applicable here too.
Prayer plays a role in keeping loneliness away. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, the great religious and social reformer of the 19th century Bharat prescribed recitation of Veda Mantra in Sandhya twice a day- morning at daybreak and evening when the day has not departed and night is yet to set in. It is the meeting point of day and night when an Arya concentrates on the Vedic Sandhya. The Veda mantras do not let the devout Arya be lonesome because the devotee is in communion with Ishwar.
Recitation of Vedic Hymns let the devotee be in company with the giver of the hymns, that is God Almighty right at the beginning of human creation. How can one be lonely when he is being benefitted by the divine knowledge, the Vedas.
The Vedic Trinity talks of Parmatma or God, the Jeevatma or soul and Prakriti or the Matter. The mundane world around is Prakriti or made by God with Matter. With a view to being healthy and happy an individual should gel with Nature too. When we green the area around as our Dharma or sacred duty, we live with trees, foliage, shrubs, saplings etc. Man becomes healthy and happy when he is in the midst of Nature. He does not feel lonely. What better company can a Man have than Nature in its pristine glory. The freshness of the leaves and their rustling with the breeze makes a man there happy. Man is in good company when he along with his family is in the midst of his self grown garden. A good garden generates happiness for man that is beyond description.
Companionship with Nature means company par excellence. The trees give us a lot but never demand anything in return. Man has invested in them enough right from the stage of germination of seeds, transplanting of saplings, nurturing saplings with good earth, manure and water, not forgetting wind and the grown up trees give in return much more than what man had invested in sowing seeds. What you sow, so must you reap is the ancient saying that helps us in every age.
When a Man is in the company of Nature, the Man is never lonely. The question “ Are you Lonesome Tonight” has already been answered. Man who lives by the Vedic tenets will never be lonely; he will always be in the company of Divine Knowledge – the VEDAS.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Raghupati Sahay, better known as Firaq Gorakhpuri was indeed an eminent Urdu poet, a man of many parts who lived well but died a lonely man. His life is fascinating and leaves all readers of his poem spell bound. Of course, in the present age, not many men and women of the new generation are familiar with Firaq’s life and work in the realm of Urdu poetry but he will live on in the memory of men of letters as long as Urdu poetry and Philosophy of the East last. His life and poems are etched in our hearts because we lived and studied in the Allahabad University when Firaq Saheb taught us English Literature and recited his poems both on the campus and in the Mushairas.
Firaq in Arabic means Quest, it also means separation. Our poet was incessantly in quest of Truth and was separated from falsehood. He lived and worked in his own style and brooked no nonsense. Known for his mastery of the art of repartee and command of languages like English, Urdu, Hindi and Persian, he never fell short of vocabulary to express his ideas. His appreciation of beauty, both male and female, brooks no competition. Right from the days of his adolescence, he was enamoured of ROOP or physical female appearance and found great joy in clothing his ideas with words. His work ROOP bears a witness to it. He never hesitated in using Hindi and Sanskrit words in his Urdu poems and the outcome was always a success.
One might wonder how Firaq was fond of feminine beauty when his fondness for boys or handsome young men brought him into the category where litterateurs like Oscar Wilde, some eminent poets of Urdu and Persian stood. Firaq never made an attempt to shake off the dust of homosexuality and never made an endeavour to put a stop to his sheltering youngsters like Ramesh Dwivedi in whose company he found Love. The poet goes to any length to prove that the Beloved in Persian and Urdu poetry was always a boy; so was saqi. In his own case he preferred to continue his relationship with Ramesh even after the latter got married and fathered two children. Let us let this issue rest at that for the time being.
Firaq’s nephew ( sister’s son) did justice to his Mama’s life and works when he wrote his comprehensive biography FIRAQ – THE POET OF PAIN AND ECSTASY. Ajai Mansingh did justice to both the life of loneliness and Himalayan heights of his poetry. Firaq was honoured with the prestigious JNYANPITH AWARD for his magnum opus GUL-E- NAGHMA in 1969. Of course, he was also honoured with the Sahitya Academy Award for his meritorious contribution to the Urdu poetry. It is interesting to note that the award was personally given to Firaq by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India.
Nehru and Firaq were very close to each other from the pre-independence days when the former appointed the latter as Under-Secretay of the All-India Congress Committee and asked him to live on the premises of the Swaraj Bhawan in Allahabad on a salary of Rs 250.00 per month. Firaq worked there for about four years and came in close contact with many national leaders like Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Pt Motilal Nehru, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and so on. Firaq had resigned from the Civil Service and joined the Freedom movement. He was jailed for a year and a half for boycotting the reception of the Prince of Wales, son of King George the Fifth but he had no regrets for leaving the slavery of the British government. He prided himself in being a part of the Freedom Movement.
Firaq took pride in being eulogized by the men of letters and the masses. But he felt very lonely all his life. Many a night he would spend without a wink of sleep and turn in bed sleepless. The cause was his lawfully wedded wife, Kishori Devi whom he could not bear to look at or sleep with lovingly. They did have three children in the wedlock but it was just a sexual and biological necessity as he himself acknowledged. She was ugliness personified, had no interest in literature of any language and was married by a stratagem of near relatives. Firaq never accepted her as a loving better half. He lamented in these words:
Of course, in conversation with loved ones, he confessed that his wedded wife was a GRIHINI, not an ARDHANGINI – a housewife but not a life partner. She was indeed the tragedy of his life. He said so without any inhibitions and the words are:

Firaq looked for beauty and close company but in Kishori found None. Naturally, aloofishness became his nature. He found no joy nowhere and admitted it thus:
“ logon ki samajh mein na aa saka, kuchch mujh ko bhi hai taajub sa,
Suun meri Udaasi ka karan Aye Humdum, BAHUT AKELA HOON.”

In his despondency Firaq found solace in comparing his predicament to that of the Hindu deities. He compared himself to SHIVA taking poison to save humanity. He wrote:
Main bhi Aye Dost Pi Gaya AANSOO.”

Firaq loved to drink alcohol to his heart’s content. Many a time he could not recite his own poems in a state of intoxication and faltered. He had to be helped to his bed for the night’s sleep. But he derived solace from the historical facts of many men of letters who loved the wine cup and what was therein. He wrote:
Nevertheless, Firaq was too much full of himself. He thought he was the best in every sphere and was second to none. In a literary gathering , a compere crossed the LAKSHMAN REKHA and said that Dr Amar Nath Jha was the best man in every sphere there. Firaq got up and said “ Jha Saheb is an old friend of mine. I know he hates to hear a false praise of his persona.” There was a stunning silence.
Firaq loved to write in Hindi too. He knew that poets were always short of cash and yet kept themselves and others happy. He expressed thus:
“ Nirdhan kavi ke paas kya – Kuchch peeda kuchch preet
Kuchch andekhe sapne hain – dard bhare kuchch geet.”
He wrote English prose too and excelled in his style. He was always down to earth and man in the street admired him immensely.
Alas! He wasA more lonesome towards the evening of his life. He had a major fall due to weakness, was admitted to the AIIMS in New Delhi where he breathed his last on 3rd March 1982 at the age of 85 years.
Firaq will always be remembered as a great poet who expressed his thoughts well that the common man understood and loved him for it. He wrote:
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Blog by Chitranjan Sawant

Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

The sangathan sukta mantra was given to all ladies and gentlemen on pilgrimage. They recited it before beginning the day’s walking tour. Within a week or so all members were on talking terms with one another. They also shared the goodies that they had brought from their hometowns. Such is the motivating power of the mantra. Indeed, seeing is believing. Long years ago while on active service in the Army in Ladakh, My soldier friends and I were stuck on a makeshift road along the Pangong Tso, one of the biggest fresh water lakes in high altitude, on account of a sudden snowfall. Again the famous Yajurved mantra, so dear to Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, was taken recourse to. Aum Vishwani Dev Saviturduritani Parasuv, Yad Bhadram Tann Asuva motivated us to act. The” durit” or the impediment in our path was removed and thereafter the patrolling was just smooth sailing. It was a personalexperience of the efficacy of mantra motivation in the military.

The motivation mantra lies in the lines of the poet when he wrote : How else can a man die better than facing fearful odds For the ashes of his forefathers and temples of his gods. Isn’t that the finest form of mantra motivation? Indeed it is. FEAR is the greatest enemy of a fighting man. Fear of the unknown demotivates. Fear lowers the morale to such an extent that highly trained soldiers turn their tales when the battle is joined. In the 1962 India-China war in the NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh), many a battle hardened infantry units and senior officers just ran away from the battlefield. There was no Mantra motivation. No one had disabused minds of men of the element of unknown fear. No one had recited the relevant mantra, what to say of meditation, of the Yajurveda which runs thus : Abhayam Mitradabhayam Amitradabhayam Gyatadabhayam Parokshat, Abhayam naktambhayam Diva Nah Sarva Asha mum Mitram Bhavantu. May God make us strong enough not to be afraid of a friend or a foe. May we not be afraid of the known and the unknown . May we be fearless by day and by night. May we all make friends with one and all. Indeed many a man who knows this mantra and meditates on it certainly swears by its efficacy. This mantra motivates both in war and in peace. This mantra will motivate men and women of all age groups in all walks of life to be Fearless and develop a highly motivated personality. Cohesion is another important factor helpful in winning a war, what to say of a battle. The second mantra of the last sukta of the Rigveda comes in handy in building cohesion. It is effective in the civil life too. While on an Akashvani sponsored mission to do a five-part feature in Hindi for broadcast I found the batch of pilgrims a divided lot. There is never a compromise on this issue because all commanders wish to win. No prize for losers, never! A mantra, in the form a talk or a recitation or a community singing is the biggest single factor in raising morale of men and winning battles. The word Mantra has passed into the English lexicon and is used across the seven seas. Napoleon, Emperor of France and a great strategist , said : Morale is three times as important as physical numbers. It steels the will to win. Pray, tell me who would not like to win. Indeed there is a tremendous stress , both mental and physical, among officers and men when they are in a theatre of war. Before a battle is joined in, there is a waiting period. That is the time of tremendous stress on minds of men. Here priests and purohits, besides officers at various levels, come into picture. They have to recite mantras, explain meaning and encourage greenhorns to meditate to make morale as uncrackable as finest steel. Indeed, a well delivered sermon on our soul being unperishable and that the soul is Anadi as well as Anant, motivates a martial man to make the supreme sacrifice for the noble cause he is fighting for. It is indeed helpful in motivating a man to act correctly. A mantra, recited and meditated upon, raises morale of military men sky high. A mantra motivates military men to go in for decisive action. Gaurav Sawant, formerly a print journalist and now an electronic media man, had the privilege of being in the Kargil war for its entire duration of 9 weeks in 1999. He has mentioned in his book, Dateline Kargil that before launching a frontal attack the soldiers prayed in makeshift temples and priests recited mantras from the Vedas and shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita to motivate them , raise their morale and instil in them a burning desire to WIN. Yogeshwar Shri Krishna was quoted time and again : Tasmad Uttishth kaunteya Yudhaya Krit Nishchayah , was the bottom line of sermons. It worked wonders. India won the war defeating Pakistan decisively. Indeed mantras motivated. When an army unit or a formation goes into battle, it has to win. Be a winner, a winner throughout. There is no prize, what to say of a trophy, for a runners up in a battle. A soldier who has no mental make up for a victory must be weeded out of the army lest he makes the will to win of other soldiers weak. A bad sheep infests the whole flock, so goes an old adage. It is as true today as it was in days of yore. No wonder commanders at all levels and at all times take suitable steps to raise morale of men sky high. Factors impeding building of a high degree of morale are eliminated ruthlessly. The Kargil war between Bharat and Pakistan was in full swing. The enemy had gained an advantage by occupying high hills and dominating peaks stealthily. The Indian Army had brought in heavy howitzers and field guns, besides crack infantry units to dislodge the Pakis. In the pre-attack tete-a-tete with commanders of lower formations, the date and time of opening the blistering attack on the Paki enemy was to be decided. The commanding general, an enlightened man, set a date. Other officers demurred. It happened to be a Saturday. The next day was 13th of the month, not auspicious either said some. The General had a Vedic background. He knew that Saturday or shanivar was based on the word Shanaishchar which was indeed Parmatma’s Vedic name and it taught men and women to inculcate patience. The ill-omen associated with the word was a bye- product of a superstitious belief. He, therefore, ordered the battle to begin on that Saturday. The Indian troops fought well, beat the Pa! kistanis and won the battle. The mantra about Shanaishchar had motivated the commanding general to keep superstition at bay and vanquish the foe. In the first chapter of the Satyarth Prakash , Swami Dayanand Saraswati has dealt with the subject at length.
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