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Rashmirathi (रश्मिरथी), meaning 'the Sun's charioteer', is one of the most popular epic poems of the great Hindi poet, Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'. It is one of the most appreciated works of Dinkar other than "Kurukshetra".

Contents

About the poem

Karna was first born son of Kunti whom she had abandoned at birth as he was an illegitimate son. Karna grew up in a lowly family, yet became one of the best warriors of his time. In the Great Mahabharata war, Karna was obliged to fight from the side of Duryodhana as Duryodhana recognizing his merits had made him a king and adopted him as a close friend. Karna fighting from Kaurava's side was a great worry of Pandavas as he was reputed to be unconquerable in war. The way Dinkar has presented the story of Karna with all hues of human emotions trapped in moral dilemmas, is simply marvelous. The rhythm and meter is lilting. Choice of words and purity of language is exhilarating. The work has a timeless relevance and is a must read.

On the eve of Mahabharata War, Kunti went to Karna and requested him to diffuse the war by leaving Duryodhana and coming over to Pandava's side as he was her first born and it was only appropriate for him to fight from the side of Pandavas. A part of Karna's reply in words of Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' is given below. Karna says that even as he foresees a defeat for Kauravas, he must fight from the side of Duryodhana. He says that the war is quite pointless yet it is a destiny that has to be fulfilled.

Recent hindi movie "Gulaal" directed by Anurag Kashyap, has got rendition of Dinkar's poem "Ye dekh gagan mujh mein lay hai" from rashmirathi chapter 3, performed by Piyush Mishra.

दो न्याय अगर तो आधा दो, और, उसमें भी यदि बाधा हो,
तो दे दो केवल पाँच ग्राम, रक्खो अपनी धरती तमाम।
हम वहीं खुशी से खायेंगे,
परिजन पर असि न उठायेंगे!

लेकिन दुर्योधन
दुर्योधन वह भी दे ना सका, आशीष समाज की ले न सका,
उलटे, हरि को बाँधने चला, जो था असाध्य, साधने चला।

हरि ने भीषण हुंकार किया, अपना स्वरूप-विस्तार किया,
डगमग-डगमग दिग्गज डोले, भगवान् कुपित होकर बोले-
'जंजीर बढ़ा कर साध मुझे,
हाँ, हाँ दुर्योधन! बाँध मुझे।

यह देख, गगन मुझमें लय है, यह देख, पवन मुझमें लय है,
मुझमें विलीन झंकार सकल, मुझमें लय है संसार सकल।

सब जन्म मुझी से पाते हैं,
फिर लौट मुझी में आते हैं।

यह देख जगत का आदि-अन्त, यह देख, महाभारत का रण,

मृतकों से पटी हुई भू है,
पहचान, कहाँ इसमें तू है।


English Translation

Aur hai, ranivas chala vapas jab rajbhavan ko,
sabke peechhe chali ek vikalaa masosati man ko.
ujad gaye ho swapn ki jaise haar gayi ho daon,
nahi uthaye bhi uth paate they Kunti ke paon.

And alas, when all the queens were returning to their palace, Behind them all walked a mourner, with her heart wrenched with pain, As if all her dreams had shattered, who had lost all at stake, No effort could lift Kunti's feet.

This verse is used after the episode in which Karna challenges Arjuna at the assembly of princes.

Main unka aadarsh, kahi jo vyathaa na khol sakenge,
poochhega jag, kintu, pita ka naam na bol sakenge;
jinka nikhil vishv mein koi kahin naa apna hoga,
man mein liye umang jinhe chir-kaal kalapna hoga.

I am their ideal, of those who cannot speak of their pain, whom the world will question, but who can't tell their parentage, who have none in the entire cosmos to call their own, and yet will suffer this painful desire till eternity.

This verse is spoken by Karna as he tries to describe his anguish.

After five days of war, when Arjun mortally wounded Bhishma and made him lie down on a bed of arrows(shar-shayya) Karna goes to the battlefield to ask for Bhishma's blessings to join the battle

Giri ka udagra gauravadhar, gir jaaye shring jyon mahaakaar
Athva soona kar aasmaan , jyon gire toot ravi bhaasmaan
Kaurav dal ka kar tej haran, tyon gire Bhishma alok varan

Kurukul kar deepit taj gira, jab thak kar boodha baaj gira
Bhoolonthit pitamah ko vilok, chaa gaya samar mein mahaa shok
Kurupati hi dhairya na khota tha, Arjun ka man bhi rotaa tha

Ro dho kar tej naya damka, doosra surya sir par chamka
Kauravi tej durjeya utha, rann karne ko radheya utha
Sabke rakshak guru arya hue, sena nayak acharya hue

Radheya kintu jinke karan, tha kiye abtak maun dharan
Unka shubh ashish pane ko, apna saddharma nibhane ko
Wah shar shayya ki or chalaa, pag pag ho vinay vibhor chala

Chhoo Bhishma dev ke charan yugal, bola Radheya vaani saral
He taat! aapka protsaahan, paa sakaa nahin jo lanchhit jan
Yah wahi saamne aaya hai, uphaar ashru ka layaa hai
Aagya ho to ab dhanush dharoon, rann mein chalkar kuchh naame karoon
Dekhoon hai kaun pralay utraa, jisse dugmug ho rahi dhara
Kurupati kp vijay dilaaoon mein, athva swayam veergati paaoon main

Anuchar ke dosh kshama kariye, mastak par varad paani dhariye
Akhiri milan ki vela hai, mann lagtaa badaa akela hai
Mud-moh tyagne aaya hoon, pad-dhooli maange aaya hoon

Bhishma ne kho nij sajal nayan, dekhe Karna ke aadra lochan
Badh kheench paas mein laa kar ke, seene se use lagaa karke
Bole- ab panth kya vishesh rahaa? Betaa aansoo hi shesh rahaa

Main rahaa roktaa hi kshan-kshan, par hai hathi yah Duryodhana
Mere kahne mein rah na sakaa, ankush vivek ka sah na sakaa
Krodhandha, bhrant, mud mein vibhor, le hi aaya sangram ghor

Ab kaho aaj kya hotaa hai, kiska samaj yah rotaa hai
Kiska gaurav, kiska suhaag, jal rahaa pankti ke aar paar
Kiska vann-baag ujarta hai, yah kaun maarta-marta hai
Phootta droh-drav ka paavak, ho jaata sakal samaj narak
sabkaa vaibhav, sabke suhaag, jaati dakaar yah kutil aag
Jab bandhu virodhi hote hain, saare kulwaasi rote hain

Isliye putra, ab bhi rukkar socho, mann mein yah mahaa samar
Kis or tumhein le jaayega, phal alabh kaun de paayega
Manavta hi mit jaayegi, phir vijay siddhi kya laayegi?

O mere pratidwandi maani! Nischal, pavitra gunmaya gyani
Mere mukh se sun purush vachan, tum vritha malin karte the mann
Main nahin niraa avanshi thaa, mann hi mann badaa prashansi thaa
So isliye bhi ki Duryodhana, paa sadaa tumhin se aashwasan
Mujhko na maan kar chalta thaa, pag pag par rooth machalta thaa
Anyatha tumse badh kar main kise maanta, veer pravar?

Parthopum rahi, dhanurdhari, keshav samaan rannbhar bhaari
Arjun ko mile Krishna jaise, tum mile Kauravon ko waise
Par hai kya veerta ka sambal, rah jaayega dhanu hi keval?
kya shani hetu shuch-shram bhi karenge veer param?
jwala bhi kabhi bujhayenge, ya ladkar hi mar jaayenge?br>

Chal sake Duryodhana par yadi vash betaa, lo jug mein nayaa suyash
Ladne se badh yah kaam karo, aaj hi band sangraam kari
Yadi ise rok tum paaoge, jug ke traata kehlaaoge

Ja kaho veer Duryodhan se, kar door dwesh vish ko mann se
Wah mile Paandavon se jaakar, marne de mujhe shanti paakar
Meraa antim balidaan rahe, sukh se saari santaan rahe

Listen to the poem

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