Maharshi Vinod

A poet at heart:

"Oh! Flash Of Lightning!", it was this poem which eventually brought Nyayaratna to the prestigious Elphinston College, Mumbai. He had composed it for his school magazine but it caught the eye of Mr. Sison, the then Principal of the college. Considerably impressed by Nyayaratna's command over the language, he complimented him and insisted that he should come to the college after his matriculation (equivalent to Higher Secondary School Exam). This very poem was offered to the matriculation students by the authorities of the Aryan Education Society for reading appreciation.

It was during those four years between 1921 to 1925, Nyayaratna's poetic intelligence flowered in the wonderful atmosphere at the Elphinston college. Nyayaratna had a yearning for infinity right from the age of eighteen. The verses he wrote in search of infinity makes one realize the depth and expanse of his mind, its sensitivity, divinity and its craving for God. The continuous contemplation, constant perusal of great literature and an inner strong urge to search for the eternal truth were the three powerful forces behind his poetic outpourings. So much was his creative urge that in those days, he would write on any piece of paper he could lay his hands on. Of all the types of poetry, he particularly loved the Abhangas (special kind of devotional poems). These Abhangas used to find place in the magazine called 'Vividh Dnyan Bhandar'. His imaginative similes like Devi Anantata (the Goddess of Infinity), Devi Shudrata(the Goddess embodied in the downtrodden). The simplicity and sweetness of his poetry would enthrall even the great poets, philosophers and thinkers of his times. There was not a single Elphinston Magazine, which did not have at least one of his poems, either on the cover page or on the foremost page.
During this time, Smt Mrinalini Chattopadhyay, sister of Sarojini Nayadu-a noted personality in India's freedom struggle, used to publish an internationally renowned English magazine 'Shyama' from Chennai(formerly Madras). Many of Maharshi Vinod's poems and Abhangs were translated into English and then published in this esteemed magazine.

The first person to read these verses would be Prof. Damle. It was he, who collected all those Abhangs and published a volume called The 'Abhang Sanhita' in 1968.
This collection was very well received and appreciated by both, the common people & the critics. Mr. P. L. Deshpande a well-known and distinguished writer in Marathi, wrote a letter to Prof. Damle: 'Reading your collection of Abhangas was ecstatic experience. Nyayaratna's simile of "Infinity for God" is in line with the glorious tradition of Bhakti Literature (Devotional Literature) in Marathi language written by the great saints during middle ages to describe Vedanta in simple terms. Creation of such highest quality of literature is not possible unless one sees nothing but God everywhere. It is truly a stream generated at the confluence of poetry of Gurudev Tagore and Marathi saints'.

Acharya Atre, the great genius of Marathi literature, wrote an editorial, showering flowering accolades on this collection: 'Since Nyayaratna Maharshi Vinod represents the epitome of creative intelligence, excellent mastery over the language, compassion and philosophical insight of the highest level, his poetry exudes the beauty, truth, sensitivity and empathy of the highest order'.

In the years 1937 & 1938 began an esoteric era in Nyayaratna's life. In those days, many mystics and saints would visit Sardar Barrister Mehendale's home. Barrister Mehendale, who had hailed from a royal family, was a distinguished citizen of Pune, whose doors were always open for noble souls. Nyayaratna Maharshi Vinod used to be a frequent visitor to his home. At his home, Nyayaratna used to transcend the realms of time and go into a deep state of meditation. Many verses of a mystique and lyrical quality would then outpour from his lips. Barrister Mehendale would write every verse with utmost care and respect. Soon, he had with him a huge collection of these couplets which he later handed over to Nyayaratna. Of these couplets a small verse called Gurupadukodayastotra along with Nyayaratna's commentary has been published. All other mystic poetry has remained unpublished till date.

आमचा पत्ता

Dr. Samprasad and Dr. Mrs. Rujuta Vinod Shanti-Mandir, 2100, Sadashiv Peth, Vijayanagar Col. Behind S. P. college Pune - 411030 

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