Reborn In 17th century India with Black Technology

Chapter 143 Intellectuals Part: 2



143 Intellectuals Part: 2

Back in Wardha, Tukaram was given good hospitality in the town as he stayed there for a few days. The villagers no longer had a problem with him staying because the Mughals were no more. On the contrary, a lot of people went to visit him, pay their respects, and offer greetings. As the village opened up, many individuals from outside the village, who knew more about him, also came to visit and paid their respects. Surprisingly, after hearing about his principles and doctrines, even the lower caste people came to visit him, as he was an advocate for divinity for all equally, emphasizing that God belongs to everyone. Also He challenged societal norms and advocated for equality and justice, critiquing caste discrimination and urging spiritual awakening for all. This idea resonated well with the lower caste people. He continued to stay there as Satish was given orders to wait for a few more scholars to arrive at Wardha village and to depart at the same time.

...

In the dense forests of Telangana in the Warangal area, various dense huts are built by the Gondu tribe. The tribal leader Munda, who focuses heavily on enlightening the next generation, was teaching the youngsters of his tribe how to read and write.

He was suddenly disturbed by the policemen who came to meet him. Despite his suspicion, he still went out to greet the men. Later, he was given an invitation letter from the King of the Vijayanagar Empire, inviting him to attend some meetings. At first, he did not want to go, but when he read the latter part of the letter, he changed his mind. He came to know that various scholars from all over Bharat would be coming to attend. This, coupled with his curiosity, as he always wanted to discuss his insights with other people, drove him to make the decision.

The small part that led to it is also because of the posture the police officer showed. He could see the policeman's stubborn expression and guessed that once he rejected the offer, the policeman and his companion were not going to leave anywhere. They were going to pitch their tents here and start to pester him until he agreed. If anyone else did this, he had ways to deal with them, but the police were different. He couldn't just kill them; after all, it would be tantamount to challenging the majesty of the emperor, and that would be suicidal. So he decided to be invited rather than to be coerced.

...

In Palitana, Gujarat, besides the sacred Jain place of worship near the lake, a figure could be observed seated in meditation. This person was none other than Alok Jain. His serene contemplation was interrupted by a few visitors who had arrived in Palitana that morning. They were emissaries sent by the Vijayanagar Empire. When Alok Jain received an invitation for himself and his family to come to Vijayanagara, he was taken aback. Furthermore, the invitation came directly from the King of the Vijayanagar Empire, adding to his surprise. Perplexed about how to decline such a request, he contemplated the purpose of the emperor's interest in a Jain monk. Just as he was on the verge of refusing, the person extending the invitation, sensing his reluctance, expressed deep apologies, saying, "Your Highness, we sincerely apologize for our actions. However, the current situation compelled us to act in this manner. Your family awaits you in our carriage. Please accompany us."

...

In a Buddhist temple in Bihar, a monk called Kaya Dhamna is reading out the Buddhist scriptures in the temple. The temple could be seen to be in disrepair, and a few monks could be seen cleaning the premises of the temple, keeping it clean. But the temple was visited by the Vijayanagara guests, and the same scene happened again with Kaya. Soon, he was also convinced as he was brought away from Bihar under the radar of Mughal officials.

...

In Agiyari in Gujarat, a person could be seen praying inside the fire temple. This person's name is Farid Yazdi. He is a follower of Zoroastrianism, also called Parsis. They originated from the area where the Persian Kingdom ruled. Zoroastrianism was started by a transcendent saint called Zoroaster. But even before that, their religion existed. This is an ancient religion that shares a common root with most of the Dharmik religions. But because they were persecuted in their homeland, they had to seek asylum in India. Farid was also convinced and taken away by the Secret Service.

These weren't the only invitations extended by Vijayanagara; cultural centres were visited, and prominent intellectuals from various cultures were invited. Surprisingly, in most cases, they agreed amicably to the requests. However, occasionally, there were skeptical monks or intellectuals who were unwilling to comply. When they proved challenging to deal with, the simplest solution was to seek out someone else of similar stature. Yet, in instances where there was no suitable alternative, forceful invitations were extended to join the Vijayanagara Empire.

For the two important future figures, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Nandlal, their families received extended invitations. Since they were still young, significant decision-making authority rested with their families. Convincing their families, however, turned out to be less challenging than initially anticipated. They were swayed by the promise of a separate gurudwara for them to pay their respects, along with the opportunity to collaborate with other Sikh community members in Vijayanagara. Additionally, the families were granted 30 acres of tax-free farmland for the next 5 years—an unprecedented offer, considering they did not own even an acre of land back in their homeland. With these enticing benefits and the assurance that they could return to their hometowns whenever needed, both families agreed to the proposition.

Just like this, from various corners of the Indian subcontinent, intellectuals were gathered in droves in Vijayanagara. Upon their arrival, they were provided with good living conditions in the capital, allowing them to engage in discussions with each other to share their thoughts and insights from their diverse lives. Interestingly, it was observed that most, if not all, of the invited guests communicated with each other in Sanskrit. While the common thread connecting them was their status as intellectuals in their respective cultures, the major core philosophies of all Hindu cultures were written in Sanskrit. Consequently, many scholars in this era were proficient in Sanskrit.

Despite its prevalence among scholars, Sanskrit is not widely popularized due to its precision and complexity, similar to the traditional Chinese language, known for its difficulty. Sanskrit, however, could be considered even more challenging to learn. For example, even a simple fluid like water has 180 words to describe it in various scenarios, environments, and conditions. Different names are used for water in different situations, and in Sanskrit, there are 180 such words for representing water alone. Learning Sanskrit fully requires a significant investment of time, almost a lifetime. Sanskrit is a rich language compiled by thousands of Dharmic, philosophers, scholars, yogis, and gurus over the past 10,000 years at least. Hence, Sanskrit is viewed as a highly scientific language. Interestingly, in the 21st century, it is even used as a programming language in ISRO missions.

Anyway, Vijay let them discuss and quarrel among themselves, lessening whatever dissatisfaction they had with himself.

In the discussions, one of the most prominent figures was Tukaram, Sant Tukaram, born in 1609 in the village of Dehu near Pune in Maharashtra. He spent most of his life devoted to the worship of Lord Vittala, a form of Lord Krishna, considered an incarnation of one of the Trimurti, Lord Vishnu. Tukaram gained widespread recognition in scholarly circles for his ABHANGA poetry, expressing his musical gifts through these compositions. The Abhanga conveyed deep spiritual insights, earning admiration from his peers for his profound love for God and a philosophy centred on simplicity and devotion.

Tukaram is well-known among intellectual circles, even in the 21st century, as one of the best musicians and cultural figures of his time. His teachings emphasized the path of bhakti and underscored the importance of a personal relationship with the divine rather than settling for a superficial connection through ritualistic practices. Tukaram advocated for simplicity, humility, and the realization of the divine within oneself. His profound relationship with Lord Krishna transcended mere ritualistic practices.

Amidst love, there is also opposition, primarily from profit-driven monks who prefer elaborate rituals to demonstrate their devotion. Tukaram's teachings contradicted such practices, as they believed Tukaram's teachings went against the principles they preached. Fortunately, individuals with such motives were not invited, ensuring that only pure intellectuals deeply knowledgeable in a specific language and with experience in intellectual work in their respective fields were included.

Tukaram is held in high esteem within the Marathi community, to the point where even Kavya felt compelled to visit him and seek his blessings. However, Tukaram wasn't the sole focus of attention. Individuals from various fields, including Buddhists, Jains, and Sikh Gurus, garnered recognition simply for their diverse beliefs. Throughout the week they spent in the Vijayanagara Empire, a plethora of debates and discussions unfolded among these individuals, fostering an exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Amidst these discussions, unbeknownst to them, operations were underway in the shadows to eradicate the cancer of Vijayanagara.

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