Vishwamitra in Javed Nama by Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Vishwamitra in Javed Nama by Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Vishwamitra was an legendary Indian sage in the ancient times who lived the life of a hermit in a forest near Bijnor in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. He was a Rishi [Jogi], and he had vowed that he would never go near a woman.

Vishwamitra was tempted by a beautiful woman Menaka who was as beautiful as the moon. One day Menaka came to the Ashram to seek the blessings of the sage.

Vishwamitra fell in love with Menaka and he asked her to stay with him. She agreed and they lived as husband and wife. Menaka died giving birth to a daughter.

Vishwamitra realised that he had sinned and he abandoned the child. According to legend the child was reared by a pair of sakuntas. The girl came to be called Sakuntala. To seek atoonment from his sins, Vishwamitra goes to the highest mountain of Himalayas and prayed for a thousand of years and was regaded as the wiseman of his time.

Iqbal Vishwamitra Javidnama

Vishwamitra in Iqbal’s Javidnama

 

In their celestial journey in ‘Javid Nama’, Iqbal and Rumi meet the spirit of Vishwamitra on the moon, whom they call ‘Jahan Dost’, a wise man.

The Indian ascetic lived in a cavern of the moon. Like a blind man with his hand on the shoulder of Rumi, Iqbal placed his foot within the deep cavern.

According to Iqbal no cerulean sky spanned the moon. No twilight painted its margin crimson and gold.

In the words of Iqbal: “there light was not in the chains of darkness, there no mists enveloped dawn and eventide.

What follows is the questions from Vishwamitra to Iqbal, whom he answered as below:

 

What is the death of reason was the first question and Iqbal said that the death of reason lay in giving up thought.
What was the death of the heart asked the sage, and Iqbal said that the death of the heart lay in the giving up of remembrance.
What was the body asked the sage, and Iqbal said that it was born of the dust of the road.
What was the Soul was the next question, and Iqbal said that it was the symbol of one God.
What was Man asked the sage, and Iqbal said that Man was one of God’s secrets.
What was the world was the next question, and Iqbal said that it stood face to face.
What was science and art enquired the sage and Iqbal said that these were mere husk.
What was the proof asked the sage, and Iqbal said that the proof was the face of the beloved.
What was the commons’ religion asked the sage and Iqbal said that it was just hearsay. ‘
And what was the gnostics’ religion to which Iqbal replied that it was true seeing. 

 

The sage was well pleased with the replies of Iqbal.

Thereafter the sage spoke some subtle words of wisdom. He said:

The world is not a veil over the essence of God.
Conquer Time and Space and be immortal.
We know more of the science of death than God.
Time is a sweet mingled with poison.
Unbelief is death
The infidel with a wakeful heart praying co an idol is better than a religious man asleep in the sanctuary.
The sun never beholds the night; a man of God never sees sin and error.
Mire makes the seed a tree, but it makes a man dirty.
Lust as the rose takes colour and scent from the wind and the earth, thus should a man make his life purposeful.

 

 

 

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