An anthology of devotional songs

Suraj Krishan Koul

Name of the Book – SUSHAMNA
Poet – Bansi Lal Koul ‘Bansi’
SUSHAMNA – Book under review is a collection of fifty odd bhajans published in one bind both in the Nastaliq and Devanagari scripts. The book has hit the stands recently and has been widely appreciated. Bansi turns out to be a bhakta and lover with sharp and intense longing for the union with divine. It finds expression in lovely bhajans rich in substance and musical in form and texture. Inner horizons seem to be expanding with tilitating romance of sorts and creeping desire to have face to face encounter with the divinity. The poet is really intoxicated.
Wuzan yes lolah narich reh,
Galan tus chey nainder tay neh,
Bansi chai che nahkech teh,
Madeno waen kateu dimiyo.
Laleh az saalay unmai chalay
Rangdar posh maineh waray phol,
Dukh daed me sari chali,
Rangder posh maineh waray phuli.

There is clear indication to the gradual opening of the inner gates welcoming peace and harmony. I loved my Lala, the beloved and his love opened me up to beauty and truth. All my ailments vanishd in thin air. The depth of thought can be gauged from the following verse.
Gul phali mei suli wuznovum,
Bozeh novum loleh wanuvun,
Karun bedar gantai thasey,
Hosh darou hessey roz.
Make haste to be on the path of devotion and righteousness. There should be a soulful longing for Him. Ensure your voice has sufficient energy and the soul and spirit has awareness to ensure your Love comes your way.
The poet describes the transitory nature of human existence in these touching and beautiful words.
Bansi yeti kus rood,
Zyade kathan no sood,
Gardish karan nav greh,
Nataev te naraev che.
Make use of available time and seek the nectar of the union with your Beloved.
Simple diction and loaded thought make the verses more attractive, readable and enduring.
Aeb daras me rachtam laaj,
Triloki peth chui che raaj,
Gaer chus seeran chukh me sar posh,
Dim sharan pamposh padan tal.
The poet has a definite perspective which advocates becoming and behaving as a concerned human being in real and practical terms rather than having a bookish knowledge of religious texts. He believes that God is omnipresent, omnipotent and hence the scope of His realization is vast and encompasses everything around. He does have faith that love is the sole object which needs to be cultivated, shared and distributed without looking for context. He is driven by the concept of God as being light and love, life giving and life sustaining source.
One has to be a person of equipoise and equilibrium and that alone can guarantee a disciplined and meaningful life.
The poetry is illustrative of the warmth and humility which the poet and his persona has in tremendous measure. With warmth and humility, we have simplicity and piety woven into the fabric of words soothing to ears and the soul.
This simplicity and piety has chosen for itself the genre of bhajans to give expression with devotion and deep love for something as untangable as God but stitched firmly into the imagination and psyche of the poet. This piety and simplicity in diction and thought makes the flow of verse not only musical but natural as well.
There is something special about Bansi and that is his grasp of the basic human emotions and feelings which differentiates us from other species. He is compassionate, considerate, conscious and conscientious in his relationship towards humans, humanity and God. Life is something precious for him and he wants to use it for a superior cause and that is, love of God.
P.N. Shad in his foreward to the book has found the bhajans ringingly musical, highly devotional and brilliantly expressive of deep faith. The bhajans have been addressed to the Hindu Pantheon including Shiva, Shakti and Vinayaka.
Daek Badi maiyani Vinayko,
Goun chain gavith hakaay no,
Sanmokh aasvun chukh hariharray,
Dyan chon daryo manye manz.
This Bhajan Sangreh has quality printing and spiritually enlightening painting on either side of the cover. Both Nastaliq and Devnagri scripts have been well presented with almost no corrections required.