G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”
H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"
Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”
Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”
John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."
Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”
विलास सारंग: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Saturday, July 10, 2010
The First Great Writer in Hindi was a Marathi?
Vinoba Bhave (विनोबा भावे) gives a fascinating account of Saint Namdev (1270-1350?)'s (संत नामदेव) life in his book "Namdevanchi Bhajane" (नामदेवांची भजने), 1946.
(p.s. Please see earlier posts on Namdev here and here.
In this post, I am sharing more information that I have learnt since then.)
Vinoba argues that Namdev spent almost twenty years in Punjab because Islam there was spreading very fast and Namdev wanted to convey to masses how Hinduism too had the same qualities that were attracting followers to Islam...And he succeeded in his mission big time.
Vinoba also argues that Namdev was the first great classical writer in Hindi ('पहिला अभिजात उत्तम लेखक').
Remember, Nanak (1469–1539) came almost two hundred years after Namdev. Guru Arjan Dev (1563–1606) , who followed another hundred years later, edited and compiled bhajans that went into the Guru Granth Sahib.
It means Namdev's bhajans had already lasted for three hundred years thanks to their popularity among masses of Punjab! Today, 660 years later, they are as popular, if not more.
Think about it. Which Maharashtrian celebrity amongst us will be as popular in 2670CE as he/she is today? And then think again of Marathi Bhakti saints!