Post Mortem

Why Gorkhas of Nagaland celebrate Bhanu Jayanti as Gorkha Festival? (1814 – 1868)

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/9/2020 1:03:15 PM IST

 Bhanu Bhakta Acharya was born in 13th of July, 1814 in Chundi Ramgha village of Tanahu district in Nepal. Though he received Sanskrit education from his grandfather, he was motivated to do something to make his name eternal from a grass cutter of his neighborhood.  After a long thought, he concluded that he can be successful in translating the then Sanskrit language written Ramayana long Hindu lord Ram related epic into Nepali language. Thus, he began transcribing the whole Ramayana in a beautiful and rhythmic manner into Nepali language. He had used Nepali script for the first time to write a Nepali poem. Finally, he translated all the seven parts Ramayan into Nepali language. 

The motivation he received from the grass cutter has been expressed in one of his creation and translated to English by Pallav Ranja in the following manner: He gives his life to cutting grass and earns little money, He hopes to make a well for his people, So he will be remembered after death, This high thinking grass cutter lives in poverty, I have achieved nothing though I have much wealth. I have neither made rest houses nor a well, All my riches are inside my house. This grass cutter has opened my eyes today, My life is worthless if the memory of my existence fades away.

Today, these books have become so popular that the people in and outside Nepal, especially in rural areas, have made it a friend of happiness, sorrow, inspiration and problem. If one visits the rural religious rites, rituals and marriages, one can find people reciting the rhythmic rhymes of the epic. Even the people in the deep forest, where they graze their cattle, keep reciting the verses rhythmically. This literary creation of Bhanu Bhakta has remained in the tongue, heart and hand of the people. And because of his noble work Bhanubhakta and Nepali language became synonym in Nepali literature.

Bhanu Bhakta did not just translate the Sanskrit written Ramayan into Nepali, but also composed many poems in a beautiful and rhythmic patterns. His poems like Prashnottar, Kantipuri Nagari, etc. are also popular among the Nepali literateure.  

The following is an English translated piece by Pallav Ranjan from Nepali Kantipuri Nagari: After so many days I have seen the Balaju water gardens again, And I write that underneath earthly skies this is a Heaven, All around me are birds that sit or swing upon vines, Maybe with soft voices they intend to steal my mind.

Today the Nepali Common Language that we are speaking is the creation of Bhanu Bhakta. Bhanu Bhakta Acharya is regarded as Aadi Kabi, means the beginner poet or the first poet of Nepali language. It is his creation that Nepali language has become very popular among our community people. It is his creation that laid the foundation of Nepali literature. Thus, people pay due respect and honor him every year on 13th July as Bhanu Jayanti. People recite poems and organize poem recitation competition. In his reverence, in many places, statues and idols are made. In many places the street and roads are called after his name.

Today, all over the worlds, where there are Nepali speaking people are residing, commemorates his birth anniversary every year. Gorkhas of Nagaland also observed his Birth anniversary on 13th as Bhanu Jayanti, the birthday of Nepali pioneer poet “Adikavi” Bhanubhakta Acharya, it is celebrated on July 13 every year as a symbol of nationality by Nepalese who are in and outside the country.

We the Gorkhas of Nagaland also commemorates his anniversary though he was not born to Nagaland soil we celebrate his birthday as a Gorkha Festival because we are speaking the language, of which foundation was laid by him. Gorkhas of Nagaland people still recite his creation and utmost love and respect. They too have used the books – especially the Ramayana as their friend. Whether they are in problem, happiness or sorrow, they recite the rhythmic verses of Ramayana. He is very popular in the Gorkha community.

Thus, Nepali speaking Gorkhas of Nagaland celebrate his anniversary with self-volunteerism, as we feel that he owes this respect and honor. We celebrate his anniversary in respect to the foundation of language laid by him. It will not be sufficient just on publishing poems and literary works on his name, we should also make our coming generation to know about him and pay respect to him through at least commemorating his anniversary every year as a symbol of reminiscing our Cultural and Identity.

Jacob Sundas, Chumukedima, Dimapur

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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