The Wordsworth of Hindi Literature – Sumitranandan Pant

By Priyanjali Bhalla

         स्तब्ध ज्योत्स्ना में जब संसार,

         चकित रहता शिशु सा नादान,

         विश्व के पलको पर सुकुमार,

         विचरते हैं जब ,स्वप्न अजान,

         न जाने,नक्षत्रों से कौन ,

         निमंत्रण देता मुझको मौन ।

                                               ( मौन निमंत्रण )

Sumitranandan Pant is known as one of the best writers of Chayyawad genre in hindi literature and poerty. He was born in Almora ,amidst the Himalayas. The beauty of the Himalayas is reflected in his ‘chhayawad’ poetry. When he was seven he started writing such deep and reflective poetry that was hard for that young a child to even understand and think over. But he was gifted with  extraordinary command and understanding of literary rhythm, form and art that he worded down the immense beauty of the natural world in his poems. He thought the nature as his God Almighty and drove inspiration and teachings from the natural world. In first eighteen years of his literary career he wrote chhayawad (shadowism) literature. In his poems he made a beautiful combination of words and rhyme and painted a vivid picture of the magnificent nature.Wordsworth Sumitranandan pant

Shadowism literature was the era of neo romanticism in hindi literature, particularly hindi poetry (1917 -1938) and was marked by the upsurge of humanistic and humaniatic content. Chhayawad was marked by a renewed sense of the self and personal expression with themes of love and gratitute . Sumitranandan Pant provided a new direction to hindi poetry and started a new era of poetic world. He majorly wrote motivating poems which inspired generations. His poems sang praises about the power of nature and how man should delve deep into nature and learn from it. According to him nature taught us love ,respect ,cooperation and humanity. In one of his poems ( Aah Dharti Kitna Deti Hai ) he describes how he once sowed money in expectation to see a money tree as its reep. But actually in the process he sowed seeds of beans which grew in time ,ripened and yielded money when sold . Through this poem he described how nature listens and fulfills every need of man , there is just the difference of perspective and lack of power to understand the magic of nature when  we cannot see it happening to us.

Second phase of his literary career has works based on progressive attitude. When he was studying in college, Mahatma Gandhi called in for his countrymen to fight along side him in Satyagraha and Dandi March. Sumitranandan Pant left his college and became a part of the freedom struggle. During that time he studied Sanskrit, Bengali and English languages and works of Rabindranath Tagore, Keats ,Tennyson etc. He was even influenced by the Marx idealogies and those of Sigmund Freud. At the time of freedom struggle he studied humanity very closely . He understood the darkness and plight of human life and those who were supressed under British rule. In his poem Aakhen he describes their condition as

 

          अंधकार की गुहा सरीखी,

          उन आँखों से डरता है मन,

          भरा दूर तक उनमे दारुन ,

          दैन्य दुरत का नीरव रोदन ।

                                          ( आँखें )

 

He wrote such poems as to inspire human minds to rise above the basic definitions of good and bad, happy and sad . He wanted people to value the beauty of this human life and learn from nature the art living.

 

          कातो अंधकार तन मन का,

          नव प्रकाश के रजत स्वर्ण से,

          बुनो तरुण पट नाव जीवन का,

          युग युग के बहु भेदों को धुन ,

          बर्बरता पाशवता को चुन ,

          नाव मानवता से ढंक दो है,

          कुत्सित नग्न रूप जान जान का ।

                                                                          (काटो अंधकार तन मन का)

  In 1938 he started a progressive monthly publication by the name रूपाभ (Rupabh) in order to bring hindi literature to new heights.  After independence he  visited  Aurobindo Ashram in Chennai and his literature from that point of time had more of humanistic, philosophical and spiritual theme. In Aurobindo he found true realisation of life. He found the spirit and knowledge of a philosopher and a yogi in him. After meeting Aurobindo all earlier influencial figures seemed to fade away. He drifted away from marxism and other western ideologies. He found depth in knowledge and understanding not just floating principles .Now he was able to harmonize the outer and the inner worlds more strongly and represent through his poetical talent. He was also associated with artist Udayshankar with whom he sought the spiritual knowledge of Sri Aurobindo and even helped in making of a film named Kalpana based on the union of outer and inner world. After his visit he wrote Lokyatma, his longest poem about the union of the two worlds.

 

अहै विश्व! ऐ विश्व-व्यथित-मन!
किधर बह रहा है यह जीवन?
यह लघु-पोत, पात, तृण, रज-कण,
अस्थिर-भीरु-वितान,
किधर?–किस ओर?–अछोर,–अजान,
डोलता है यह दुर्बल-यान?

                               (जीवन यान)

Sumitranandan pant in kausaniSumitranandan Pant is considered as one of the major pillars of Chayyawaadi school of hindi literature along with Mahadevi Verma , Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, Harivansh Rai Bachchan ,Jaishankar Prasad and Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. He is even referred as Prakriti ke Saumya Sant ( saint of nature ) for his Chhayawad hindi poetry. His creations epitomised the true meaning of the term Satya Shivam Sundaram( the true, the ggoo and the beautiful) in his poems . He brought hindi poetry to new heights and set a milestone in hindi literature through his immortal creations . He even composed the kulgeet for IIT Roorkee – Jayati Jayati Vidya Sansthan and coined the term Doordarshan for First Indian television channel. In his memory the Indian government introduced a memorial stamp as well. His best creation is  Pallav, a collection of 32 poems written between 1918-1925,  containing Chhayawad poems .

His creation Veena is also very widely popular.Pant authored twenty eight published works including poetry, verse plays and essays. His other famous works include Desh prem ,Yugant ,Yugani, Chidambra,Kritiaya, gunjan and granthi .Pant was honoured with the prestigious Padma Bhushan(1961) ,Jnanpith (1968), Sahitya Akademi and Soviet Land-Nehru Awards for his immense contribution to the Hindi poetry and literature. He will always be remembered for his contribution to hindi literature .His marvellous creation of poetic reflections on nature ,beauty ,love ,humanistic, philosophical and spiritual values is a huge aspiration to hindi literature.

 

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