Friday, January 30, 2009

Gopinath Kobiraj was close to Dilip Kumar Roy

Anurag Banerjee

Sri Anirvan (1896-1978) was a great yogi and man of immense learning. He was a linguist and proficient in the Vedas and Buddhism but he called himself a Baul and preached the ideal of humanity. In childhood he was blessed with the Darshan of the Divine Vedmata as a six year old whom he named Haimavati as in the Kena Upanishad. Since then she had been the main source of inspiration for him. He translated Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine into Bengali and penned masterpieces like Vedamimangsha (in three volumes) which earned him the Rabindra Puraskar, Gayatri Mandala (in six volumes), Upanishad Prashanga, Kaveri, Patralekha to name a few.

Gopinath Kobiraj (1887-1976) was a disciple of Swami Vishuddhananda Paramahansa. A brilliant scholar of Indian philosophy, he authored more than seventy books. Born in the district of Dacca, he had his early education in Jaipur and then in the Government Sanskrit College of Benaras under Dr. Arthur Venis who understood and recognized his pupil’s brilliance and offered him the post of the Librarian when he earned his M.A. degree in 1914. Eventually, he became the Principal of the College and renowned, not only a scholar, but also as an “explorer of the realms of consciousness.” He was close to Dilip Kumar Roy. His last years were spent in the Ashram of Anandamoyee Ma at Bhadini on the banks of the Ganges.

Khitish Chandra Sen was the Judge of Bombay High Court and also a poet and litterateur who had translated Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem on Sri Aurobindo into English. He was introduced to Dilip Kumar by Shahid Suhrawardy.

Annadashankar Roy (1904-2002) was a noted poet, novelist and essayist of Bengal and his contributions to Bengali literature earned him the Padmabhushan, Rabindra Puraskar and Vidyasagar Puraskar. He was the Founder-President of Paschim Banga Bangla Academy and was also associated with PEN (international club of Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Editors and Novelists).

Kanailal Ganguly came to the Ashram in 1923 when he was twenty two years of age. He was the Ashram tailor.

Satyendranath Bose (1.1.1894-4.2.1974) was a Bengali physicist, specializing in mathematical physics. He was best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s and provided the foundation of Bose-Einstein statistics and the theory of BOSON. He also made deep study in chemistry, geology, biochemistry, zoology, anthropology and engineering. He was elected the General Prseident of Indian Science Congress in 1944 and Fellow of the Royal Society in 1958.

Atulprasad Sen (1871-1934) was a Bengali lyricist and composer who carved out a distinct style of his own in Bengali music. Dilip Kumar had popularized his songs.

Kazi Nazrul Islam (25.5.1899—29.8.1976) was a Bengali poet and musician whose poetry and songs revolutionized the Bengali literature and also earned him the title of ‘Bidrohi Kavi’ meaning the ‘Rebel Poet’. Born in a poor Muslim family, he enlisted himself in the Indian Army in 1917 and was posted to the Karachi cantonment where he penned his first prose and poetry. His first work in prose Baunduler Atmakahini (The Vagabond’s Autobiography) was published in May 1919 and his poem Mukti (Liberation) was published in Bangla Mussalman Sahitya Patrika (Bengal Muslim Literary Journal) in July 1919. He left the Army in 1920 and settled in Calcutta; in the same year he published his first novel Badhanhara (Free of bondage). On 12 August 1922 he started the bi-monthly magazine Dhumketu (The Comet). He was the first lyricist to compose ghazals in Bengali and in due course he wrote and set tune to almost 2600 songs. He was diagnosed with the Pick’s Disease which made him lose his voice and memory. He was shifted to Bangladesh where he was declared the ‘National Poet’, his song Amar Sonar Bangla became the national song of the country. Among the many awards and titles he received were Jagattarini Padak from the Calcutta University in 1945, Padmabhushan in 1960 and D. Litt by the University of Dhaka.

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