Earlier this month, I narrated the story of the valor and bravery of Veer DurgaDas Rathore. https://kreately.mars-cdn.com/veer-durgadas-rathore/ On 22 November 1718, on the banks of the Kshipra river at Ujjain, aged 81 years, Veer Durgadas Rathore breathed his last, with only a handful of his loyal friends by his side to witness his departure.
As is the case with most of our Hindu Heroes, their memory and memorials stay buried in sand, neglected by the government and forgotten from the collective consciousness of our nation.
The samadhi of Veer Durgadas also was no different and when my grandfather, the late Thakur Akshay Singh Ratnu went to Ujjain in the 1950s, he noticed the neglect of the memory of Durgadas Rathore and that his Samadhi lay in utter ruins for almost two and a half centuries.
My grandfather decided to take it upon himself to remedy this grave neglect and wrote at least 300 letters to different Rajput organizations to rebuild the samadhi. Sometime in the 1980s, the present-day Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh, a fine and compassionate soul, took the trouble to go to Ujjain and got the Jeernoddhar (renovation) done. Renamed the Chakrateertha, the samadhi of Durgadas was rebuilt in red sandstone.
Durgadas Ki Chhatri is a distinctive monument in the temple town of Ujjain. Built in the form of Chhatri in the memory of Veer Durgadas. A legendary figure in the history of Rajputana, Veer Durgadas fought against the Moghuls after the death of Maharaja Jashwant Singh and helped Ajit Singh to ascend the throne of Jodhpur against the wishes of Aurangzeb.
The monument resembles the Rajput style of architecture and is one of the famous spots for tourists. The Chhatri was built by the rulers of Jodhpur in order to consecrate his memories. There are many who believe that the monument glows like a small jewel as the surrounding landscape is completely lush in nature.
My personal trip to Ujjain
I went to Ujjain in 2005. It took me 4 hours to find the monument as it wasn’t on the tourist map. Ultimately, meandering thru a crematorium (shamshaan), I reached the most sacred place for a Kshatriya!
I stood spell bound, looking at the proud Chhatri for a real man, the passage of time had not diluted the impact of Veer Durgadas on my being. I asked my auto driver to arrange for a broom. As I cleaned the place of dust and cobwebs, I called up my father, late Karni Singh Ratnu. He asked me to describe how it looked and if it was well kept!
Both of us cried on the phone when I told him about the barrenness and the filth in which the grand old man’s memory lay! Papa asked me to sit there and meditate for a while. The auto driver, a Muslim, came up to me with a bottle of water and asked – “Sir, is this a Chhatri of one of your ancestors”? I looked back at him and replied – “Yes! A Chhatri for our ancestors, both yours and mine“. He then heard the whole story. He folded his hands in reverence and both of us cleaned the place. A so-called ‘small’ man had the wisdom to understand the value of timeless valour and loyalty, something which evades our so-called educated masses and intelligentsia!
We Hindus can never regain our lost pride and glory till we are obsessed with pseudo morals of ahimsa and peace, shorn of contextual application with dharma. Men of honor have to fight for truth to prevail in this wide, wicked world; the valorous are duty-bound to keep barbarians at bay from our motherland!
If one Durgadas could confront the supposedly mighty Moghul empire, imagine the fate of this country if even one of the Riyasats of Rajasthan had joined hands with him! Alas, that was not to be! And sadly the same myopic attitude and infighting continue even today, one of the most dangerous times for our civilization!
History never looks back kindly at those who do not learn from it!
After sharing this story with my friends, I got a response from a doctor colleague who said she will read out this story to her son. I wrote back saying – “Yes, you must! No matter, what these leftist historians might shove down our throat, tell him that his ancestors were valorous and loyal. Tell him that the Mughals did not have a cakewalk over our motherland. Tell him that they will watch over him when he conducts himself with dignity and pride. Tell him that a word, a shabd, is (para)brahman itself, and is worth laying our life for. Tell him that the values one lives for, make a man out of him. Riches, fame, and respect follow such men wherever they go, as the shadow follows one’s body, in this life and after”
If we can stand up and clap for Western heroes, then let our children look up to our past too with pride and draw inspiration from the likes of Veer Durgadas! That we resisted against wrong! That we chose to die rather than be taken slaves! That we stood up, not for selfish gains, but for the motherland. From that confidence alone shall Hindus rise and claim their rightful place in the league of nations!
-By Dr. Omendra Ratnu
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