पश्चिमी भारत वेस्ट इण्डीज में
IN WEST INDIES– the India of the West.
On the 12th of July Swami Gangeshwaranandji Maharaj traveled to West Indies and arrived in Montego in the island country of Jamaica to bless His disciples who had been waiting for Gurudev to visit them. They have been living in Montego since many years and it was now their Home.
West Indies—An introduction.
It will be very encouraging and a matter of great pride for every Bharatiya to know that many years ago explorers and voyagers were on the look out for a sea route to India as they had heard its glories.
While touring the world if they saw any place that was not like their own they would exclaim and say that it is INDIA.
Ptolemy has described some of the islands on the Pacific Ocean प्रशान्त महासागर as Indonasis meaning the islands of India and now these islands are known as Indonesia.
Elsewhere these islands were known as Indo-China.
In the same way he called the islands in the Atlantic Ocean अंध महासागर
as West Indies. Actually it will not be incorrect if we call these islands the ‘second India of the West!’ The reason for this is that the people of West Indies are called West Indians so that they can be differentiated from the Indians of India.
The story of the natives of the United States is also interesting as they are called Red Indians!
Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, Granada, Barbados, Surinam and Guiana are called West Indies.
The natives or the indigenous people of these islands are ‘Caribs’ and that is why the islands are also called CARIBBEAN.
However, the name West Indies is more popular.
How did these islands get a large Indian Population?
This story is also very interesting!
After establishing their reign in India, the Britishers also ruled over many of the countries and the islands on the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans.
The indigenous people of these places were not able to uproot themselves from their nomadic life and they did not know farming either!
The countries ruled by the Dutch, British and French faced a peculiar problem. Their Authorities अधिकारी were not able to make use of the fertile land
उर्वरा भूमि and this became a dilemma for them !
First of all they brought in the native Africans( Negros) and then the Chinese and the Indonesians also to do the farming .
But none of these races were able to utilize the land to its best capacity.
These fields were very congenial for growing sugar cane.
Finally, the Britishers took people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and their efforts to till the land proved very successful.
As a result in the last century in the 1840’s or around that time a large number of Indian labourers were taken to these islands and thus this system of getting people from India was established.
The Indians were skilled in farming and had the traditional knowledge.
It is a well known, fact that the first king was Ikshvaku. ईक्षवाकु
Ikshvaku ( इक्ष्वाकु, ikṣu, meaning ‘one who speaks sweetly‘), one of the ten sons of Manu Vaivaswata, was the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty, known as Surya vamsh. Ikshwaku clan is a descendant of the rulers of ancient India
The word Ikshvaku is composed of the word-
IKSH ईक्ष which means Sugar cane!
Sugarcane farming was an Indian discovery and was the integral part of the people of North East India.
It is for this reason that they were successful cultivators in the islands where they were taken as labourers whereas the other races of the world were most unsuccessful.
Great numbers of Bharatiya people were brought here and slowly their numbers increased in these islands.
Their skills also flourished here and the explorer who discovered this island happened to call it WEST INDIES .
It can truly be called the India in the WEST because of the culture and lifestyle and prosperity of the Indians who now live here.
All these islands are now independent!
जमैका मोण्टेगो बे में
In JAMAICA—MONTEGO Bay .
On 12th of July Gurudev arrived in Montego Bay from Jamaica with His entourage.We stayed at the residence of Shri Bhagwandas Dadlani.
That night there was Satsang and Bhojan at Saroj Arjundas Daswani’s home.Gurudev also visited the homes of His disciples Hassu Samtani and Hassu Arjun Harjani. Gurudev were in Montego Bay for two days.
किंग्सटन में In KINGSTON.
On 14th of July Gurudev arrived in the capital city of Jamaica –Kingston.
Here we stayed at the residence of Shri Chetandas– an old disciple of Gurudev. There was Satsang at his home that same night.
On 15th of July was the Ved Sthapana at the home of Shri DayaBehan Narayandas Daswani.
The consecration ceremony was after the Satsang and discourse of Gurudev.
This family is extremely dedicated and has immense faith in Gurudev.Their eldest son Shri Prakash’s nature is like that of a Virakt Sant.
Like a devoted son he asked several questions and was eager to obtain knowledge from Gurudev. He expressed his desire to obtain Self Realization and Gurudev answered all his questions very patiently.
Gurudev also visited the homes of other disciples –namely—
Shri Kisan, Renu Dhanrani, Govind, Sangeeta Mahtani, Rochi and Leela Dadlani. The stay in Montego was for four days,
It is a known fact that the majority of the population of Jamaica are native Africans.
In the capital city of Kingston nearly 50 thousand Hindu families live here.
Even though they are rich and flourishing in their businesses and other professions they are not united as a community.
Shri Dada Apte of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had asked them to build a Hindu temple when he was there two years ago as this would serve as a platform to bring them together and be united!
He was happy to know that this temple was now nearing completion and during this trip he was able to see that his suggestion had materialized.
The deities were to be consecrated in the temple very soon.
Dada Apte was with Gurudev on this tour of Ved Sthapanas.
He spoke to the businessmen and others and advised them to complete the project as soon as possible!
He promised them that once the temple was ready then BHAGWAN VED too would be consecrated here.
जार्ज टाऊन( ब्रिटिश गयाना में).
In GEORGE TOWN ( BRITISH GUYANA).
On 16th of July Gurudev arrived in George Town from Kingston.
At the airport Gurudev were greeted by the Chair Person of the Vidhan Sabha -Shri Shesh Narayan , Shri Murli Kriplani, Shri Murat Prasad Dubey and eminent members of the Sanatan Dharma Sabha .
From the airport we all went directly to the residence of Shri Murli Kripalani for lunch.
This was the only place during the entire trip where the arrangements for our stay were made in a famous hotel as we did not know any one who would host us.
On 17th July the President of Guiana Sir Edward Lakhu invited Gurudev for a meeting.
A notable member of the society and the learned President greeted Gurudev with respect and honoured Him.
The President very humbly made a request that a Vedic Prayer for the Lord should be chanted before the meeting could proceed further!
Gurudev chanted a Vedic prayer and even explained it to everyone. Shri Dada Saheb translated it in English for Sir Edward.
The President Sir Edward called his wife and children to come and take the blessings of a learned Vedic Rishi and also to have His darshan.
The entire family offered their obeisance with great respect.
During his conversation with Dada Saheb Sir Edward said that their family is actually Indian by origin and possibly they hail from Poona.
On the same day at 6 pm in the evening Gurudev consecrated BHAGWAN VED at the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha’s temple.
Later at the Community hall of the city Gurudev gave a discourse on the topic of Vedas.
There was a huge crowd of people to hear Gurudev. The minister of the Sanatan Dharma Sabha Shri Shiv Sahay and the chair person of the Vidhan Sabha Shri Shesh Narayan were also there besides the general public.
Gurudev prasied the Sanatan Dharma Sabha and the Brahmin Samaj. Gurudev said that it has been the Brahmin community that has been largely responsible for preserving the Vedic literature and teachings.
They have retained the purity of chanting and its correct pronunciation.
On 18th of July was the consecration of Bhagwan Ved in Barbados’s Maha Sabha. This was across the river Dunn.
Gurudev sent Dada Saheb Apte as His representative for the Sthapana because on the next day they had to travel to Surinaam and the hectic schedule had set in a bit of exhaustion.
In this country where there are many Hindus the Maha Sabha is very large and has more than 100 branches and 2500 active members.
On the same day the Indian Ambassador came to visit Gurudev. In the afternoon the kunch was at the residence of Shri Shesh Narayan ji
On 19th of July was the BHAGWAN VED Stpanan at he National Guiana Library and that afternoon the lunch was hosted by Shri Murat Singhji
In the evening Shri Murli Kriplani insisted that the dinner should be at his home and later after dinner we proceeded to Surinaam by car.’
On the night of 19th July 1975 Gurudev arrived in Paramaribo which is the capital city of Suriname. At the airport Gurudev along with His Mandali were welcomed by the main Organiser of the Vishnu Temple and a group of the Pandits of the city.
From the airport we were taken to the guest house of the Vishnu Mandir where very good arrangements were made for our stay.
There was an attractive and large idol of Bhagwan Vishnu in the temple.
Suriname has probably stemmed from the word ‘Surya Naam’.
It is one of the countries in West Indies and has a large Indian population. We can see the influence of the Hindi language and culture here,
Earlier it was a colony of the Dutch people and this country had very recently got its independence.
Suriname has two national languages.
Hindi and Dutch.
There is a large population who speaks Hindi and it is understood by many of the people here.
The broadcasting studio here is called RADHIKA!
Several programs in the Hindi language are broadcast from here and Dharmik Chantings are also relayed.
On 20th July Gurudev perfomed the BHAGWAN VED Sthapana at the local Vishnu Mandir.
One copy was also presented to the local Arya Samaj Community.
One copy was given for the Suriname Sanatan Mandir which is in Amsterdam ( Holland).
There was a large turnout of people at the Bhagwan Ved Sthapana function.
Gurudev spoke on the esoteric teachings and the meanings of the Vedas. Gurudev acknowledge and applauded the people for preserving the Hindi language and the culture of Bharat.
There was no need for a translator here as everyone understood Hindi!
The people of Suriname were lucky to hear the discourses of Gurudev.
The smiles on their faces can be likened to a full bloom lotus flower!
The Suriname Television Studio had invited Gurudev and the Mandali to the studio so that the Vedas and the mission of Gurudev could be highlighted and relayed on TV.
Gurudev spoke on the importance of the Vedas and related the names of the Rishis who had channeled these great teachings.
He also said that this knowledge is universal and consists of science, arts and has a vast body of literature.
Gurudev told the television audience the relevance of Vedic studies in the current scenario. He expressed a desire that all mankind should rise above the differences of colour, caste , creed and country and stride forward and unite .
The Governor of Suriname and his family came to invite Gurudev to their house.
There was an invitation from a local successful business man who has a very aware and conscious personality. His name was Shri Kirpalani ji and he had settled down here much before the Partition of India.
The other families who invited Gurudev were Pandit Jagdev, Prayag Mishra Prabritim.
Guurdev blessed their homes and the other members of their family.
On 21st July there was a Bhagwan Ved Sthapana under the chairmanship of Shri Divakar Sabha of the Arya Divakar Sabha.
That day in the evening there was Gurudev’s Pravacahan at the Sanatan Dharma Sabha.
The Vedic mission in Paramaribo( Suriname) concluded on a successful note and the credit of the success goes to Shri Vijay Kirpalani ji who is Sant Sevak.
ट्रिनिदाद, पार्ट आँफ स्पेन में
IN TRINIDAD—Port of SPAIN.
Trinidad was the last stop in this tour of Ved Prachar.
On 23rd of July Gurudev and His Mandali arrived at the Trinidad Airport.
During the three days stay in Trinidad we all stayed at the residence of Shri Ram Kirpalani.
He is an extremely gracious host and has an immense attitude of service and respect for others.
In Trinidad the ‘Hindu Sanatan Dharma Sabha’ is a recognised institute.
There are several Purohits and learned Brahmins and they are called ‘Maharaj’.
There is a temple for almost every locality and this organisation runs 50 schools.
The well -known freedom fighter the late Shri Pandit Rudranath ji’s younger brother is a respected Barrister here and is responsible for the unity in the Hindu Samaj and is very well loved by the people of Trinidad.
This Sabha has a huge Vishnu Mandir.
As soon as Gurudev reached Trinidad the BHAGWAN VED Sthapana was performed at this Vishnu Mandir
The program was very well organised and was one of a kind in the history of Trinidad.
On 24th of July ‘Bhagwan Ved’ was presented to the Trinidad University.
The Vice Chancellor of the University Shri Jordan expressed his gratitude and thanked Gurudev profusely for this gift.
The program at the University was one of its kind and needs to be mentioned here.
More than 600 people welcomed Gurudev when He arrived for the consecration ceremony and this was a very rare occasion for the city.
The High Commissioner उच्चायुक्त of Bharat Shri Barkat Ali Ahmed also attended this program and added further grace to the occasion.
He sat near Gurudev close to His feet and paid his respects in the traditional Indian pose and bowed and expressed his gratitude and showed respect to Gurudev.
The Epic Book of the Hindus was accepted by a Christian member of the University and the chief guest of the occasion was a Muslim!
Seeing this strange co-incidence Gurudev were extremely encouraged and immediately said that the High Commissioner Shri Barkat Ali should be the one to receive the Granth.
Shri Barkat Ali instantly came forth and accepted the revered ‘Granth’ with his hands and handed it over to a Christian lady of the University.
Gurudev applauded the unprecedented Sangam or coming together of different religions and the tolerance सहिष्णुता of the Hindus and their acceptance and graciousness!
He praised the peace -loving nature of the people and brotherhood among the local people.
Speaking on the occasion the High Commissioner said-“A Hindu Sanatani Sant asked me –a Muslim to hand over the Revered Vedas to a Christian lady is indeed an exceptional gesture!
This is an ideal example of living life with brotherhood and love for one and all and all mankind can follow this example.”
There was a thunderous applause at the end of the function.
Shri Barkat Ali Ahmed also informed and applauded the tremendous efforts of the Hindus to preserve and carry forward this ancient Knowledge.
He also mentioned that when the Christians decided to publish the New Testament there were several lives lost in the many conflicts that followed the decision to bring the New Testament out.
Huge amount of money was also spent for this endeavour.
Gurudev have been able to bring out an Epic Book of the ancient Knowledge of the Rishis without any problem or conflict with the single motive of spreading Universal Brotherhood.
On 25th of July there was a Sabha of the Pandits of Trinidad and Gurudev spoke on the following topic—
‘The responsibility and the duty of the Pandits in this age and time’.
Gurudev spoke to them about Vedic Dharma and the ways to follow the principles therein according to different situations depending on
the country, time and circumstances.