मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, March 03, 2014

I am Forlorn and Destitute, and Misery is My Ultimate Lot

Today March 3 2014 is 307th Death Anniversary of Emperor Aurangzeb who ruled most of India/ South Asia from 1658-1707, a record that may never be broken.

World's leading historian John Darwin says:

"...Aurangzeb’s reign came to be seen by later historians as the climax of the Mughal era, and his death as the signal for a new dark age of imperial collapse, from which India was rescued by British intervention after 1765..."

('After Tamerlane / The Global History of Empire since 1405', 2007)

Emperor Aurangzeb in front of soldiers and an elephant, 1672 

By:  Olfert Dapper (c 1635-1689), A Dutchman who never travelled outside the Netherlands!

Courtesy: Wellcome Library, London  (Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 2.0, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

 John Keay, 'India A History', 2000/2010

"...In 1705 Aurangzeb fell seriously ill. A frail and shrouded spectre dressed ‘all over white’, as a visitor put it, with turban and beard of the same ghostly pallor, he was installed in a palanquin and carefully carried back to Ahmadnagar. Even then he was a long time dying. Embittered and isolated, he prayed hard, bemoaned the state of affairs, and found fault with his officials; he had already despaired of most of his progeny. As for himself, ‘I am,’ he wrote, ‘forlorn and destitute, and misery is my ultimate lot.’ The misery ended in 1707, his ninetieth year. His funeral expenses were supposedly met from the sale of the Qurans he had copied and the caps he had stitched. True to his wishes, he was buried not beneath a stylish mountain of marble and sandstone at the heart of the empire but in a simple grave beside a village shrine dear to the Muslims of the Deccan. At Khuldabad, not far from Aurangabad, a neat little mosque now flanks the small courtyard in which stands the least pretentious of all the Mughal tombs. There is barely room for a vanload of pilgrims. And instead of a great white dome, a dainty but determined tree provides the only canopy..."

Painted seal of Mughal Emperor Awrangzib ibn Shah Djahan I, Abul Muzzaffar Muhammad Alamgir surrounded by the names of his predecessors c. 1669

Courtesy: Wellcome Library, London  (Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 2.0, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ )