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I came across a poem titled, Saathi, Sab Kuch Sahna Hoga (You have to tolerate this all, my friend) by Harivansh Rai Bachchan. I read this poem years ago and it is taken from an older book. Here is an excerpt of this poem:

मानव पर जगती का शासन, (Human is being ruled by the earth)
जगती पर संसृति का बंधन, (This world is bound by this Universe)
संसृति को भी और किसी के प्रतिबंधों में रहना होगा! (This universe has to be ruled over by someone else)
साथी, सब कुछ सहना होगा! (You have to tolerate this all, my friend.)

Was Bachchan referring to any specific historical circumstances or personal situations, and if so, what were they?

NOTE: I translated this myself and it is not guaranteed to be perfect.

  • 2
    Just a comment on the translation: बंधन can be bonding or binding (as in, a constraint), so the second line could be: This world is bound by this Universe. I'm not qualified to say which it is in this case, though. I suppose bonding could also be interpreted that way, but it feels awkward... – muru Jan 30 '17 at 0:47
  • Yes, this can work as well. – A J Jan 30 '17 at 1:22
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Please note: Since there is no source available which states on which year exactly this poem was written, it becomes difficult to predict what exact situation poet might be referring to. But considering the lifespan of poet and the meaning of the poem itself, I have written my own assumptions. If you find the year at which the poem is written, I will happily edit the answer accordingly.


Notes on translation

The translation is not correct. First, let me clarify the meaning of a few words and improve the translation of this poem which will automatically clarify its central meaning:

  1. जगती does not mean Earth, it means "Develop" (You confused जगती with जगत)
  2. संसृति does not mean Universe, it means "Convergence or merging into one or unity" (You might have confused संसृति and सृष्टि)
  3. बंधन and प्रतिबंध do not mean "ruling over", they mean "being restricted or constrained or pressurized"

Therefore, a proper translation of the poem is:

मानव पर जगती का शासन, - There is a constant pressure of (so called) development on humans

जगती पर संसृति का बंधन, - Development is restricted by unity (being one)

संसृति को भी और किसी के प्रतिबंधों में रहना होगा! - Anyone else will oppose (restrict) convergence (unity)

साथी, सब कुछ सहना होगा! - (And therefore) You will have to tolerate this all, my friend.

So, the central meaning of the poem is:

  1. Humans are in blind race of so called development (material, architectural, ornamental development) instead of maintaining peace, harmony and religious oneness (unity, convergence). There is no coordination but a fierce competition (of proving which nation is stronger and better than other). (Line 1)
  2. This constant pressure of "developing" restricts unity (among humans and nations). (Line 2)
  3. The leaders (politicians) manipulate the definition of "unity" and restricts the very meaning of "Development of All" policy by keeping races, and nations divided.(Line 3)
  4. Therefore, ironically, the same humans have to tolerate this all (Line 4)

Summing up

True development is not in proving how powerful a nation or race is, but in unity, oneness and convergence. But convergence and unity are manipulated (restricted) by the same humans to get power (personal development). This ultimately leads the same humans to suffer.

Coming to question.. What circumstances the poet is referring to?

Well, I found no source which shows the exact year in which this poem was written. But Harivanshrai (born in 1907) was living in that era where India was ruled over by the British, and the entire World went to war twice (the First and Second World Wars). So we can assume, that the poem might be referring to those wars and worthless conflicts happening.

On a personal note, We can also assume that this piece would have been written for his son Amitabh Bachchan when he was dumped by the same people who had made him a star.

  • 2
    That's a wonderful explanation. Thank you. – A J Feb 11 '17 at 6:16
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I appreciate both the question raised and the clarificatory reply provided by Karan Desai. Having been a student of Hindi Literature I would like to provide as full a reply as possible.

Harivansh Rai Bachchan had in 1926 married Shyama and she expired in 1936. Prior to marrying Amitabh Bachchan's mother Teji in 1941, Harivansh Rai went through a depressive phase, wherein some of his best poetic works were created. In 1938 Harivansh Rai published a collection of short poems under the title "Nisha Nimantran" [Invitation to Night/Darkness]. The above mentioned poem is for this compendium. The whole poem is reproduced below:

(1) मानव पर जगती का शासन,

जगती पर संसृति का बंधन,

संसृति को भी और किसी के प्रतिबंधों में रहना होगा!

साथी, सब कुछ सहना होगा!

(2) हम क्या हैं जगती के सर में!

जगती क्या, संसृति सागर में!

एक प्रबल धारा में हमको लघु तिनके-सा बहना होगा!

साथी, सब कुछ सहना होगा!

(3) आओ, अपनी लघुता जानें,

अपनी निर्बलता पहचानें,

जैसे जग रहता आया है उसी तरह से रहना होगा!

साथी, सब कुछ सहना होगा!

This poem refers to Harivansh Rai's own despondence on the death of his wife Shyama and it took him nearly five years to get over this tragedy. In this poem he talks about the arrows and pains the world (read fate) has shot at him and as a being he has no option to bear the slings and stones thrown at him. The second stanza makes it clear "What are we on the head of the world, what are we in the ocean of creation - in a strong current we flow along like twig wherever the current takes us".

I hope this answers user AJ's question satisfactorily.

  • Thanks for the clarification. I recommend this to be accepted answer since it is directly from expert of the field :) – Karan Desai Jul 10 '18 at 9:03
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    A translation (not necessarily literary, just enough to get the meaning across) would be nice for those of us without the command of Hindi :) – Gallifreyan Jul 10 '18 at 9:42
  • @ Karan Desai Thank you for your appreciation – Suresh Ramaswamy Jul 11 '18 at 4:50

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