Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dynasty called Gehlots

Hundreds of years ago, in Birnagar lived Kamala and her son. She was not his real mother, but she had brought him up as her own son and given him good education. She had been the chief maid to Queen Pushpavati of Vallabhi, in present-day Saurashtra in Gujarat.

King Siladitya came from the great Surya dynasty. He ruled his kingdom well. He endeared himself to his subjects with his nobility and justice. Peace prevailed in the kingdom and the people enjoyed prosperity.

It was the time when the Tartars had invaded India. Their aim was only to plunder and loot. Soon, they were knocking at Vallabhi. Siladitya had a powerful army and would have easily defeated the marauders. The Tartars also knew that they would meet with stiff challenge from Siladitya. So, they played mischief. They bribed some of his ministers and, with their help, they made a pact with his commander-in-chief as well. They now waited for an opportunity.

That came when a son was born to Queen Pushpavati and the gates were thrown open for the people to come in and greet the prince. At the same time the Tartars decided to attack Vallabhi. King Siladitya found that his commander had deserted him. He mustered some soldiers and gave battle to the Tartars who outnumbered the forces of Siladitya.

King Siladitya was killed in the battle. When the news of his death reached the palace, Queen Pushpavati decided to escape with her son. Her maid Kamala and a few attendants accompanied her. At the outskirts of the city, the attendants were reluctant to proceed further and they went back to the city, leaving the queen and the newborn prince to their fate. But Kamala was loyal and she guided the queen to a temple where they stayed for the night. When morning came, they found a cave and took shelter there.

The long walk, without any food or drink, had exhausted the queen. She fell ill, but Kamala was helpless. In her presence the queen breathed her last, leaving the baby to her care. Kamala decided that she would bring up the prince as well as she could. After a long and tiresome journey, she managed to reach Birnagar where her own parents lived. They began calling the prince Goh.

Now Birnagar bordered where the Bhils had a territory for themselves. Their chieftain was Mandalik. As Siladitya had waived payment of tribute or taxes by the tribals, they had great respect for him. Following his death at the hands of the Tartars, Mandalik declared independence and continued as the ruler of the Bhils.

The young Goh made friends with the Bhil boys who taught him the use of the bow and arrow and initiated him into hunting. One day, Goh and his friends went a-hunting and soon found themselves in a thick jungle. Suddenly, a wild boar attacked the boys. They had only their bows and arrows with them. Goh threw away his bow and arrows and wrestled with the boar. The Bhil boys could now aim arrows at the animal which soon lay dead. 

hey carried Goh on their shoulders and presented him before their chieftain. Mandalik listened to their narration and was told how Goh had taken on the wild boar single handed. The boys were all praise for Goh, for he had saved them from being killed by the boar.

Mandalik was meeting Goh for the first time. So, he queried, “What’s your name, my young friend?”
“I’m Goh,” replied the prince simply. “Who are your parents?” asked the chieftain. Before Goh could reply, his Bhil friends said, “He’s a brahmin boy living in Birnagar. We’re friends. He plays with us and goes hunting with us, too.”
“You, a brahmin boy, could wrestle with a wild boar? It’s unbelievable!”

Goh smiled and suddenly felt shy. He raised his hand to cover his face. It was then that Mandalik noticed the amulet Goh was wearing on his arm. “Would you take off your amulet and show it to me?”

It was a practice in those days to tie newborn infants with an amulet which would contain details of himself and his parentage. During the birthday celebrations, Queen Pushpavati had tied an amulet on the young prince, and it had always remained on his arm. Goh appeared reluctant to take it off his person. “I’ve worn it ever since my birth and I don’t know whether I’m supposed to remove it at any time.”

“I merely want to examine it and it will again be tied,” assured Mandalik. He signalled to the Bhil boys and they now removed the amulet.
Mandalik opened the amulet and read the inscription inside. Suddenly, he jumped out of his stone throne and embraced Goh. “You’re the son of King Siladitya who was a good friend of the Bhils.” He called out to the tribesmen and women, who gathered in their hundreds. “He’s the son of our friend King Siladitya, who was killed by the evil Tartars. Prince Goh should be crowned.”

Meanwhile, some of the Bhil boys had gone to Birnagar to convey the glad news to Goh’s mother. Kamala and her father rushed to meet Goh whom they saw seated on the stone throne surrounded by chieftain Mandalik and Bhil men and women. Kamala shed tears of joy and described how Queen Pushpavati had escaped from Vallabhi with her infant son at the dead of night.
Now Mandalik and his men had no doubt about the idenitity of Goh. But he declared that he had no intention to go back to Vallabhi and would like to remain with his Bhil friends. At Mandalik’s instance, the coronation of Goh as the King of the Bhils was performed in a grand way. Later, Goh founded a dynasty called Gehlots, who at one time ruled over a large part of northwestern India. 
Ashok Ghelot, Chief Minister, Rajastan
Story Source :  http://www.chandamama.com/story/2/6/111/1575/1/the_bhils_get_a_king/stories.htm

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saurashtra in Dasarathas boundary

IN THE BEGINNING was the word. The first recorded word was the Veda. And the Veda is just ecstatic about the Sindhu, the cradle of Indian civilization.

``Sindhu in might surpasses all the streams that flow.... His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth; he puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light .... Even as cows with milk rush to their calves, so other rivers roar into the Sindhu. As a warrior- king leads other warriors, so does Sindhu lead other rivers.... Rich in good steeds is Sindhu, rich in gold, nobly fashioned, rich in ample wealth.''

Sindhu is too alive and too divine to be ``it''; and so Sindhu is ``he''!

When the Vedic seer invokes heaven and earth, he also invokes the Sindhu. The Veda refers to the Ganga only twice; but it makes as many as thirty references to the Sindhu.

This is the Great Sindhu that gave Sindh --- and Hind! --- its name. It is the oldest name in Indian history --- and in Indian geography. When Shiva carried the immolated body of his divine consort Sati over all the land, her skull-top with its Hingula (Sindhur) fell at what has been Hinglaj ever since. It is near Karachi on the Sindh-Baluchistan border. To this holy spot --- sanctified by the visit of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana --- went the great Sindhi Sufi poet-saint Shah Abdul Latif in the company of yogis. As long as East and West Pakistan were one state, a major attraction to the Bangladesh Hindus visiting the west wing was, Hinglaj.

Sindh was part of Dasaratha's empire. When Kekayi goes into a sulk, Dasaratha tells her: ``The sun does not set on my empire. Sindh, Sauvira, Saurashtra, Anga, Vanga, Magadha, Kashi, Koshal --- they are all mine. They produce an infinite variety of valuable articles. You can ask whatever you like.''

Of course Kekayi wants nothing short of the throne for her son, Bharata. The rest is epic history. When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Rama sent the vanaras(monkeys) to look for her, among other places, in Sindh with its ``remarkable swimming horses.'' Later, when all ended well, Rama gave Sindhu-Sauvira (the Sindh and Multan areas) to Bharata, who duly extended his rule farther north to Gandhara --- the home town of Gandhari of Mahabharata fame --- now Kandhar. His sons founded the cities of Peshawar (Pushkalavati) and Taxila (Takshasila).

Sindh emerges in a shady light in the Mahabharata. It is called ``paap-purna pradesh'' (a sinful province). And thereby hangs a tale. King Jayadratha of Sindh was married to Kaurava prince Duryodhan's sister, Dushhala. He was, therefore, all along on the side of the Kauravas --- an-l against the Pandavas. However, be it said to the credit of Jayadratha that he, like Dhritarashtra and Bhishma, opposed the disastrous game of dice between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

However, Jayadratha's hostility towards the Pandavas had deeper roots. At the time of Draupadi's aswayamvara (free choice of husband in an assemblage of princes) he was one of the disappointed aspirants. Later, when the Pandavas were spending their time in exile, Jayadratha accosted her while she was alone. Draupadi innocently enquired of him about the people of Sindhu- Sauvira. However, when she found him full of mischief, she asked him to get lost. Thereupon he forcibly carried her away. When Arjuna and Bhima caught up with him and liberated Draupadi, Bhima cut off his hair in five places --- to make him look ridiculous. And he would have killed him, but for his eldest brother Yudhisthara telling him that it would make their cousin- sister Dushhala a widow --- and grieve uncle Dhritarashtra and aunt Gandhari.

In the titanic battle of Mahabharata, when Abhimanyu, Draupadi's son, got killed, Jayadratha ``pushed'' his body with his foot. Arjuna was furious. He vowed to kill ``Sindhu-Pati'' Jayadratha that very day, before the sun set. Jayadratha wanted to flee the field, but it was too late- He died an inglorious death.

In India, right up to the time of Shivaji, Pratap, and Guru Govind Singh, the traditional royal flag was some shade of bhagwa (ochre) or kesari. This was the case in the days of the Mahabharata also. The only difference was in the symbol on the flag. lnterestingly enough, Jayadratha's symbol was a silvery boar --- the wild pig, that the Rajputs love to hunt to this day.

Jayadratha's other love was milk and condensed hot milk (the Sindhi khirni). When announcing his determination to kill Jayadratha. Arjuna said: ``Jayadratha is a relation, but he is evil; he has been brought up on kshir and kshirni, but now I'll cut him to pieces with my arrows.''

One can only hope that the Mahabharata referred to Sindh as ``sinful'' because of its king and not because of its .people. (For the same reason, Karna refers to Shalya's Madraraj in similar terms.) In the ``Bhishma Parva'' of the Mahabharata, the Sindhu is referred to as the great protector which must be remembered day and night. Obviously the mighty river was a mighty defence line of the country. The ``Anushasan Parva'' of the Mahabharata prescribes Sindhu-bath for going to heaven after death.

Interestingly enough, the Bhagvad Gita is based on an earlier sermon involving Sindh! Once upon a time, the king of Sindh had defeated young prince Sanjay of Sauvira. Sanjay had lost heart and wanted to forget all about his kingdom. But his brave mother Vidula had shamed him into action. She had told him to remember his ancestry, remember his responsibilities to his people, uphold dharma, and live nobly or die nobly. At a time when the Pandavas were dispirited and did not want to fight, their mother Kunti reminded Krishna of the story of Vidula and asked him to repeat it to her sons --- to move them to action. The result was the immortal sermon of the Gita.

Dushhala also did a great good turn to Sindh. Since the movement of the centre of Indian civilization from the Sindhu to the Ganga, the former had obviously become a rough frontier tract subject to frequent invasions. Dushhala was pained to find the tribes of Jats and Medes in Sindh quarrelling endlessly. She therefore requested Duryodhana to send some Brahmins to tone up the socio-cultural life of Sindh. Duryodhana was good enough to send 30,000 Brahmins to Sindh. It was these Brahmins who later formed the backbone of resistance to Alexander. But of that, later.

Kalidas says in the Raghuvamsha that on the advice of his maternal uncle Yudhajat, Rama conferred Sindh on Bharata. Rama's ancestor Raghu's triumphant horses had relaxed on the banks of the Sindhu.

Another great Sanskrit poet, Bhasa, had done a whole play, ``Avimark'' on the romance of prince Avimark with princess Kurangadi of Sindhu-Sauvira.

The Bhavishya Purana says that Shalivahana, the grandson of Maharaja Vikramaditya of Ujjain, established law and order in ``Sindhusthan'' and fixed his frontier on the Sindhu.

Anshnath, the eleventh Jain Tirthankar, was a Sindhi. He died in Bengal.

The Jaina Dakshinyachihna (eighth century) speaks of the Sindhis as ``elegant, with a lovely, soft and slow gait. They are fond of songs, music and dance and feel affection for their country.''

There is a legend that the great Buddha had graced Sindh with his visit. Finding the climate extreme, and the area dry and dusty, he had permitted the bhikshus to wear shoes here. He had also permitted the use of padded clothing, forbidden elsewhere. Here Sthavirtis, the prince of Rorik or Roruka (Aror or Alor near modern Rohri) became his disciple.

When the Buddha went round his native Kapilavatsu in a chariot, it was mentioned that the ``four auspicious horses, of lotus colour, had come from Sindhudesh.'' To this day, historic Buddhist stupas are found in Sindh. No wonder when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had become President of Pakistan, even he adorned his office with a statue of the Buddha.

The Divyavadana (Tibetan version) reports: ``The Buddha is in Rajgriha. At this time there were two great cities in Jampudvip (north India): Pataliputra and Roruka. When Roruka rises, Pataliputra declines; when Pataliputra rises, Roruka declines.'' Here was Roruka of Sindh competing with the capital of the Magadha empire. When Bimbisara was king of Magadha, he sent Rudrayan, king of Sindhu-Sauvira, a rare portrait of the Buddha. The two powerful ministers of Sindh at the time were Hiroo and Bheru, their names still common among the Sindhis!

Chandragupta Maurya first won Sindh and the Punjab. It was from this base that he displaced the Nandas, occupied Pataliputra and established the great Mauryan empire

Kashmir's ancient royal history Rajatarangini has many references to Sindh and the Sindhis- Kuya's son Sindhu rose to lead the elephant brigade of Kashmir- He was adviser to the good Queen Dida. A top honour in Kashmir was ``Sindhu Gaja'', Elephant of Sindh.

Obviously, Sindh was quite at the centre of things

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Veer Hamirji Movie & Saurashtra Veer

‘ Veer Hamirji – Somnath ni Sakhate’

Brief Description:

Inspired by literary compositions of Great poet Sri Zaverchand Meghani, Kalapi, Sri Jaymal Parmar and Deepak Vyas, written by Sri Deven Shah and directed by Nilesh Mohite, "Veer Hamirji"the movie is based on historical story of great warrior ' Hamirji Gohil ' who fought and sacrifices his life to save the great 'Somnath Temple'. Hamirji Gohil is a legend amongst Rajputs and Gohil samaj of Saurashtra ( like Shivaji in Maharashtra). There is a monument to his memory in front of the temple of Somanath in Veraval, Saurashtra, Gujarat.

Flavors of movie:

- This movie is supported by lots of research of historical books through it’s based on real story

- Major part of the actors are from performing arts and all important roles are played by well-known famous actors of the Industry ie. Mrs Sonya shah, Mr.Pramthesh Mehta, Mr. Cetan Doshi,

- Movie directed by Mr. Nilesh Mohite famous TV cum Film actor of Gujarati film Industry and Gold Medalist MPA

- This will be the first international movie that will be released first in Guajarati.

About Music

Music is the key strength of this movie, we have developed good situational and melodious songs.

We obtained permission to use ‘Kasumbi no rang’ Well-known folk song written by National poet Mr. Zaverchand Meghani. This song is never used as a film song till now and it’s very much popular in Gujarat. This song is sung by Mr. Kirtidan Gadhvi who is famous folk singer of Gujarat.

Esteemed well known singers such as Ms Aishwarya Majmoddar ( Amul Star voice of India winner) and Mrs. Vatsala ben patil, welknown folk singer of Gujarat as well as others provided the voice to the songs. Music is directed by Mr. Samir Rawal, Dolphin Studio, Ahmedabad.

The music includes Arti, garbo, romantic song, bhil song, shaurya geet and duhas. The Audio CD is available for purchase at Major music stores. or Contact Sandeep Pathak at 09898183187.

The Main attractions are ...

Somnath Dada ni Aarti
Mataji no Garbo
'Kasumbi no Rang' folk song and Duhas
Shaurya Geet Developed for Veer hamirji
Melodious Romentic song and Bhil Song

Details for movie Saurashtra Veer

Name  :  Saurashtra Veer
ColourBlack and White
Hero : Parshwanath Yeshwant Altekar
Heroine : Amir Banu
Cinematographer : Bhogilal Dave
Director : Nanubhai Desai
Release Date : 01-Jan-1926
Format : 35MM
Language : Hindi
Produced by : Sharada Film Co.