Hari Bhau Ji's entered the literary world as a poet and his first published poem had been mentioned earlier. He was a sentimental poet
A poet is a messenger and representative of past, present and future. In 1917, in Juhee, based on Shri Arvind’s English poem, following is the translation of his poem which forecasts the independence of country with great confidence.
Certainly one day this old body will be destroyed,
A new born life definitely will bring joy and happiness to the world.
These three are one---- Ishwar, independence and immortality,
Their equality if not today then tomorrow willbe prven.
Shri Ram Nath Ji wrote "After the death of his first wife Dropadi, Hari Bhau JI's poems demonstrated a new quality which comes only after a heart break or acutely felt absence of a loved one."
Gandhi Ji's close contact also had influenced his poems and as a result he started writing patriotic poems. In 1924, 'Maalav Mayoor' published his sentimental poem dedicated to Lok Manya Tilak at the time of his death. Following is the translation of that poem.
O! Champion of independence! Inspiration and representative of public,
Noted for skill and scholarship, authors of great tomes,
Song of Patriotism, guardian of political field,
Morning of virtuous traits and ray of individual's rights protection,
Heavenly tree of intellect, unique accomplisher of courageous deeds
My memories Bow to you respectfully, please accept my reverential offering.
Friend of modernity and respectful of traditions,
Meritorious in theology and promoter of Ancient Hindu religion.
Leader of bright scholars and owner of situations
Master of sacrifice and disciplines, best for eloquent Arya,
O! Great radiant National leader,
With heavy heart, and in emotionally choked voice,
Gratefully, I offer this, please accept my reverential offering.
Even during his activities in Rajasthan, he continued writing poems. Two of his poems 'Oh jug umer Rajasthan and Maalav Bhoomi, published in 'Doorvadal' and its translation became quite popular. The latter poem was frequently sung in official functions. Despite being in jail and being busy with the administrative and political responsibilities, he continued to write poems throughout his life. Hari Bhau Ji's poems have covered a variety of subjects such as beauty of nature, patriotism and spirituality etc. In all these, his sentimental feelings dominate. The analysis of his poems confirms the above which is precious and unique.
Hari Bhau Ji's pseudonym for literary poems was 'Maalav Mayoor', and for patriotic poems 'Bharat Bhakt' and later he also published some poems with pseudonym of ‘Khad’.
In his own words “Even if I am not a poet, I do have some thoughts about poetry. I think poetry is not a one sided affair. Simple process of writing, its flavor, the way the words are strung together, and the format in which it is written does not make a complete poetry but they are different parts of it. The poem walks closely with the human life as a companion. It is born from the heart’s tender feelings and with its continuous smooth flow; it makes human life sweet and it showers happiness." These are important ideas. A collection of his poems has been published as 'Doorvadal'. Following are comments regarding 'Doorvadal'. It has been divided into seven sections. 'Prakriti Poojan' ('Worship of Nature' English translation of Doorvadal) contains poems about nature. In 'Vidhi Vidhan' ('Rules of creation' English translation of Doorvadal) writer accepts the destiny with a warning to nature
Laugh at me ------------------------------------------------universe.
This poem was written in Indore in 1920. The author of the poem at that time was restless and struggling. To get some calmness to the heart, he went to a park, but he felt that there everything was ridiculing him. Then his sad heart warned them that their troubles are also in near future. He told the flowers,
Today you can laugh
But tomorrow when you will be crushed under the feet;
I will ask you how much you can laugh now.
He tells moon, yes, you can play hide and seek at my pitiable situation,
But there is a dark cloud approaching to cover you in the darkness.
Poet accepts the inevitability of destiny.
In 'Basant' ('Spring', English translation) the soft tender leaves herald new life, Cuckoo wakes us up with her sweet song and the entire nature enthusiastically welcomes the spring.
In ‘Basant ka Swagat’ ('Welcome spring', English translation) poet enthusiastically welcomes spring and addresses it as bestower of newness in nature.
‘Gulshan’ ('Garden', English translation) incorporates 'Urdu' influence. The beauty of garden evokes the overpowering feeling of existence of Ishwar (God) throughout the nature. The language in which is written has a soft musical quality.
The undaunted spirit of poet is revealed in 'Kya Hoo' ('who am I', English translation)
I am that minute diamond particle,
That smiles and shines,
After taking hard beating of the hammer.
I am that minute particle of life
That refuses to be destroyed by death
And lives again and again
In 'Heera and Koyla' ('Diamond and coal', English Translation), the poet regards the lowly coal to be superior due to its utilitarian function emphasizing that the value of work is more than glamorous objects.
The neglected subject of 'Khad' manure is viewed in a different light by the poet. In 'Khad' ('Compost', English translation)
What was thrown away outside the house as a waste for being,
Dirty, smelly, useless and rotten,
But after getting crushed, decayed and sacrificing its life,
It gave youth, beauty and new life,
To the earth,
By producing green leaves, lovely fragrant flowers, and delicious fruits.
In 'Nadan' ('Ignorant', English translation) asks honeybees
Why do you always fly from one flower to other
After sucking sweet nectar from the first one?
In 'Budbud' ('Bubble', English translation)
I am neither the precious gem of a mine of knowledge,
Nor at the top of a poetic tower.
I am just a tiny water bubble of a huge salty ocean.
In 'Banuga' (I will be, English translation) the poet prefers to be a piece of coal for its power.
In 'Babool aur Gulab' ('Babool and Rose’, English translation) the poet continues with his utilitarian view point and finds Babool to be superior to Gulab.
In 'Deepak' ('Lamp', English translation) poet considers those fortunate who give their lives to enlighten the world.
In 'Neeve & Shikhar' (Foundation & the Top, English translation) when the stone at the top ridicules the stone in the foundation, the latter is self assured about his role as he is the foundation.
In 'Vidroh' ('Rebellion', English translation) poet has drawn a picture of rebellion by the stars.
In 'Mangal Raj' (Blessed Kingdom, English translation) the poet envisions utopia.
The second section "Bhav Poojan" ('Worship of ideas', English translation) contains 17 poems. It starts with 'Bhet' ('Offering', English translation) the poet says:
From where can I get perfect flowers to offer and poem ends with I offer sharp thorns at your feet.
We must offer our best to Bhagwan (God). This poet offers his best which are thorns, even if he tries to get flowers. So what can he do? He offers the thorns to Bhagwan (God). “Bhagwan I offered You what I got from You.”
In ‘Kavita’ ('Poem', English translation), the poet defines poem as:
A swan started its journey from
Deep within the lake of a heart,
Flies high in the wide open sky
It sings and showers elixir that
Flows smoothly to the earth
And transforms itself into a poem.
In ‘Yeh Kya’ ('What is this?’ English translation) the poet complains to Ishwar (God) why are You watching but not helping me my Ishwar (God)?
In 'Sacchi Mata' ('True Mother,' English translation) the poet considers death as the true mother when he says
Our own mother
Increases our miseries and sorrows
By giving birth to us,
But you free us from
All the miseries in the end.
In 'Unterbodh’ ('Inner Knowledge', English translation) the suffering of the poet is touching.
The poet considers life without freedom is worse than death and welcomes death in "Mrityu Ka Ahavan" ('Welcome Death', English translation).
The poet does not want happiness in ‘Sukh Ki Chah’ ('Desire for Happiness', English translation)
I do not have
The desire for happiness.
One forgets to
Care for others.
The poet considers himself as a salty bubble in ‘Khara BubBud’ ('salty water bubble', English translation).
The poet welcomes New Year in ‘Nootan Varsh’ ('New Year', English translation).
Come New Year.
Come and bless Bharat (India) and the world,
With progress, joy, happiness
And bring prosperity
To all homes.
In ‘Kyo Khojate ho?’ ('Why Search for me?’ English translation), the poet says:
Why do you search for me?
I am your wish.
Look behind you,
I am your shadow.
In ‘Duvidha’ ('Confusion', English translation) after seeing a wonderfully carved idol the poet is confused as he does not find Ishwar (God) in it
But there is no love and life
I do not see God in it.
Now I am confused.
Whom should I worship?
Love and life
Or this idol?
In ‘Mera Apmaan’ ('My Insult?’ English translation) the poet says
Who insults others
Feels miserable in the end.
Knowing that if I try to change that,
Then I am a fool
And lack judgment.
In ‘Mangal Vardaan’ ('Auspicious boon from Auspcious Bahgwan', English translation) Poet has experienced auspiciousness in deities and demons and heard chanting of Shiv Shiv (God) everywhere in the created nature.
In ‘Kya Paya’ ('What did you achieve?' English translation) the poet asks what did you achieve when all your created creatures are suffering wrapped in illusion?
In ‘Vish and Amrit’ ('Poison-Elixir' English translation) the poet uses his slogan of 'Walk alone' and inspires as he wants to take poison himself and give elixir to others.
In the section of ‘Rashtra Poojan’ ('Worship of Nation', English translation), in the poem ‘Purusharth’ ('Spirit of man', English translation), the poet challenges those who say “Whatever has to happen, will happen”
And then mentions the secret motto of the loyal crazy patriotic people.
“Why shouldn’t I do it”?
“I will do it”
Is the song that comes
From the heart of the heroes.
The poet regards the doers as brave ones.
In ‘Adesh’ ('Command', English translation) the poet advises
Reach to your goal
Or die in the attempts of reaching it
The poet conveys the message in "Sandesh" ('Message', English translation)
To act firmly on the decisions,
Is the path to victory”
Is a secret message of faith.
In ‘Kya Arth Hai?’ ('What does this mean', English translation) the poet advises to discard the excuses and in ‘Balidaan’ ('Sacrifice', English translation) and ‘Vijay Mantra’ ('Victory Hymn',English translation) he identifies sacrifice as the source of success. In "Amrit Santan" ('Immortal Child', English translation) the poet inspires awareness. In ‘Maalav Bhumi’ ('Ode to Maalav Bhoomi', English translation) and ‘Rajasthan’ ('Ode to Rajasthan', English translation) is glimpse of optimism and bright future. In ‘Jeevan Nisar’ ('My life to you', English translation), he finds source of his inspiration
Your every particle
Eternally evokes awareness in me.
The poet' vision is clear in "Jeevan Mantra" ('Hymn of life', English translation)
And new sacrifice
With new determination
Is the hymn of my life.
In ‘Kaisey’ ('How', English translation) the poet considers victory achieved by violence as defeat and asks how can I sing a victory song?
In 'Prem panth’ ('Path of love', English translation) the poet gives his goal of life.
“Die to make the world live”
Is the path of lovers of motherland."
In ‘Andha Sansar’ ('Blind world', English translation) the poet criticizes the way the modern world works to solve the problems.
National or international
Consultations are sought.
But no one notices that
Houses are empty and
The lamps in the homes are no more lit.
His displeasure and unhappiness is crystal clear here, as his only desire is to help real the needy.
In the section of ‘Daridra Poojan’ ('Worship of Poor', English translation), in a poem "Khadi" ('Khadi', English translation), the poet emphasizes the importance of Khadi and his advice is
Discard the foreign goods
And wear Khadi
Is the easy way to achieve freedom.
In ‘Pralayagni’ ('The fire of dissolution', English translation), the poet welcomes the end of this world for a better one.
In ‘Mera Vishram’ ('My resting place', English translation), the poet's desire for helping the poor without expectation of fame is obvious.
I do not want,
My name to be written
In the history books.
I do not want,
To be mentioned
In the pride patriotic poems and songs.
I wish always to,
Remember your auspicious name.
I wish to live to,
Help the sad and unhappy lives.
And may my final resting place
Always stays with them.
In ‘Nahi Chaihye’ ('Do not wish', English translation) the compassion for the untouchable is expressed.
In ‘Kaidi’ ('Prisoner', English translation) the poet has described the pitiable conditions of political prisoners at the time of British Government.
"Power of powerful lies in greed, deceit and weapons while the powerless derived their strength from Ram (God)” this feeling is expressed in ‘Nirbal Ke Bal Ram’ (Strength of helpless is Ram', English translation)
Weak ones get the power
From the creator and manager
Of the universe Almighty Bhagwan (God).
In ‘Shubeccha’ ('Best wishes', English translation), the poet wishes for all to be:
May we all stay truthful,
Fearless and pure.
May we perform
Our duties and
Do not get defeated
By sorrows and unhappiness.
In the next section ‘Guru Poojan’ (‘Worship of Mentor’ English translation), the first poem ‘Punyah’ ('End of good deeds’, English translation) was written on the day of Gandhi ji's imprisonment. Next three poems he has praised his mentor Gandhi Ji.
In the next section, ‘Dev Poojan’ ('Worship of God', English translation) in the poem ‘Hairan’ ('Amazed', English translation) when God visits devotee, she is surprised to find
His memories are better than Himself (vision).
I ask myself
Why there is no satisfaction
In the memories.
In ‘Kyo’ ('Why', English translation) the poet asks in frustration
Why should I try to please You?
Whenever I come
You shut the door at me.
After multiple requests and not getting any response, in despair, poet asks
In ‘Kab’ ('When', English translation) 'When will You hear my request?'
When fed up with world's ridicule and troubles, poet seeks God’s pardon in ‘Kshmapan’ ('Forgiveness', English translation)
I have come to Your shelter;
Please forgive all my faults, Prabhu (God).
Confused and surprised poet, sometimes, requests, sometimes gets upset and then asks for forgiveness. Finally he reaches to his correct goal and says in ‘Mangal Naam’ ('Auspicious name', English translation)
I live to look at Your lovely form,
I live to see the affection in Your eyes,
I live with Your sweet memories in my heart
And I live to always chant your auspicious name.
However, when Bhagwan (God) came, devotee is afraid of His greatness, power and brilliance and says in ‘Aaoge’ ('Will You really Come', English translation)
Do not come as a master for You will oppress me but
Come as a friend and You will be victorious and conquer my heart.
In ‘Charano Mey’ ('At your feet', English translation) the poet expresses his desire thusly
I do not wish for flattering words,
Songs of success, praise
I do not want
I wish to have a little place
In your heart.
I only want to be at
Your those feet which
Shelter many shelter-less.
In ‘Kar Tham Lo’ ('Hold my Hand', English translation) the poet requests God
I offer my life, Take it,
But please hold my hand.
In ‘Adhikar’ ('Right', English translation) poet laments the difficulty of reaching him through the path of love and similar feelings are expressed in ‘Maun Pukar’ ('Silent Call, English translation).
In ‘Poojan’ ('Worship', English translation) the poet questions as to whom to worship " Should I worship body or heart?" and finally decides
Only by offering my life;
I may get my precious treasure
He tries to appease God in ‘Kyo Rooth Gaye’ ('Why are you upset', English translation) and complains to God in "Ulhana" ('Complain', English translation)
What is my fault Oh Bhagwan (God)?
Why is the door of Your vision is closed for me?
Poet is dazzled by the God's supreme beauty in ‘Teri Preeti’ ('Your Love', English translation)
If I could find you, I would forget the whole illusionary world.
In ‘Geeta aur Meera’ ('Geeta and Meera', English translation)
"Meera reached me with her true love
And devotion ,
Not with her supreme knowledge.”
The power of love over knowledge
And found shelter in Meera’s feet.
The poet finds that the path of love & devotion superior to the path of knowledge in finding God.
Sometimes, poet has felt unity with Bhagwan (God). At last he finds Bhagwan’s (God’s) love. Although poet started with a lifeless idol of God, he progresses to become aware of the supreme consciousness and the divine love. When God says “ask for a boon” devotee becomes thoughtful “what should he ask? Are prayer and worship performed in order to get something?” When Bhagwan insists, she says in ‘Abhilasha’ (‘Wish’, English translation)
Keep on asking and let me continue thinking.
How beautifully devotee asks for the continued company of Bhagwan (God) during this dialogue!
In the last section ‘Abhed Poojan’ ('Devotee and Divine', English translation), in the first poem "Arpan" ('Offering', English translation) The devotee offers all his good or bad actions to God.
In next poem ‘Too aur mai’ ('You and I', English translation) the poet reveals the realization of oneness of Brahm and Jeeve (part of the God exists as soul in live being).
We are not different from each other;
I am just what You are.
Can a water drop be different from the ocean?
I am only what You are.
In ‘Ekakar’ ('Meditation', English translation), the poet experiences
While lost in nothingness
I found myself complete.
The world is lost,
I found unity in differences.
Differences and struggles vanished,
And I found pure eternal peace and complete blissful joy.
In ‘Armaan’ ('Desire', English translation), when God grants a wish, the devotee asks
My desire is that
I may continue to sink deeper and deeper
In that ocean of Your love
And never come to the surface.
The same sentiments is expressed in ‘Sacchi Preeti’ ('True Love', English translation),
Today I have found true love.
I lost my physical form
But my heart found eternal happiness
Provided by king of seasons----the spring.
Suddenly my sorrows and unhappiness
My self-centered chains of worldliness and poisonous spells of demons
As I reached
The highest level happiness.
Success came from love,
From the knowable unknowable came
And from my heart You came in this divine kingdom.
The poet finds happiness in discovering minuteness in massiveness, movement in stillness and Bhagwan in man. This happiness is expressed in ‘Priya ka raj’ ('My Beloved’s kingdom',English translation)
Be ready to welcome Bhagwan
“Who has permeated the entire universe
Which is one of the forms of my beloved,
For me He has come to my humble door
Discarding his glorious crown”
I realized that
He exists in everything and everywhere;
In the flowers, in fragrance,
And in lamps.
Wherever I see,
I find Him.
It is all due to His love.
Today it is the difference only of words
In this loving world,
Whether He is the beloved
Or I am.
Serving God through service to poor is brought out in ‘Thahro Prabhu Ji' ('Wait God',English translation). In ‘Such Kya’ ('What is Truth',English translation), the poet requests God to remove the illusions.
When finally devotee found Bhagwan (God) then he started to question Him. Now in this friendly relationship it seems normal to ask, in ‘Mahan Kaun’ ('Who is great?',English translation)
Tell me, if you are the great one or I am great?
If you are the great one then what favor you did by creating everyone smaller than you?
Bhagwan (God)! How come you are great? The great ones are those who make others greater than them. You did not make anyone even equal to You. It requires an immense effort to reach to You. Devotee, who is considered smaller than You, is better, as he runs to help others in need.
Unable to find God, poet asks in ‘Kaha Chipe’ ('Where are you hidden',English translation) inquires 'where are you?'.
Realizing that God can have many forms, poet asks in "Tum Ho Ek" ('You are one',English translation)
You may change into many forms,
But assure me that
You are only one.
A question that comes to mind is if Bhagwan (God) is alone and can be reached through knowledge then why is there this creation of universe and illusions? He asks in ‘Kya Fark’ ('What is the difference?',English translation)
If this charming creation is only one of Your form,
Then what is the difference
If I stay trapped in this illusion
Or try to get myself free from it?
In ‘Yeh Raj’ ('This secret',English translation) poet feels the Omni presence of God and in ‘Chalne Aaya’ ('Came to trick me',English translation) he feels God's presence even in snake bite.
In ‘Nyay ya Daya’ ('Justice or compassion',English translation) he finds answer of his earlier question
When destiny is determined by prior actions,
then what is the significance of justice and compassion?
I just understood the secret;
Tell me if it is true.
Justice is for daily life routine;
A code of conduct
And compassion is
For special circumstances.
In ‘Saccha gyan’ ('True Knowledge',English translation) Poet asks as to why we should worship the formless God when He has unlimited forms
Life, universe and Ishwar (God); these three,
Nature and creator (Self) these two
Are all many forms of You?
Or just You, manifested in these forms?
Please tell me.
Are there many or just one of You?
And then he gives answer in true knowledge
"With my eyes I can see three,
But when I actually think, there are two
And with the experience,
The true knowledge comes that
You are only one.
In ‘Madhur Milan’ ('Sweet Union' ,English translation) union with God is celebrated but poet wonders in ‘Kyo Lalchao’ ('Why tempt me',English translation) why is that Brahm(God) creates virtual reality which distracts Jeev (soul of individual) from discovering the underlying unity. Yet Jeev (soul). unable to comprehend it, searches everywhere and waits to discover God and this is beautifully illustrated in ‘Kiski Rah’ ('Wait for whom',English translation) as:
For whom are you that sad,
Unhappy and lonely?
He lives in your heart
For a long time.
Look inside your heart.
See the lights of several lamps lit by Your dear.
And having glimpsed this truth, he joyously writes in ‘Nidhi Payee’ (Found Treasure,English translation)
I have found my own treasure.
I found my own auspicious treasure.
This collection of 101 poems are like pearls in a necklace and the variety of ways and the beauty of language makes it a valuable gift to the Hindi literature.In commenting on "Doorvadal", it has been written that “This collection of poems deals with three main themes 1. Justice 2. Patriotism and 3. Spirituality.The first two themes depict Gandhiyian views while the last one is inspired by the philosophy detailed in Hindu Vedic literature. Besides "Doorvadal" there are several unpublished poems and these include spiritual themes and about the family members. He has written about the divine love in couplets. He has written in variety of formats of art of poetry writings like Geet, chand, pud , muktak (song, non metrical, metre, and lyrical verses) and has expressed different sentiments. He also has written some, where the first line is written by a well known old song prayer/song writer e.g. Meera, Soor Das, Kabeer or Tulsi Das writer and the rest of it is written by him. These are beautiful and express the sentiments of poet's individual sensibility, symbolism and mysticism. In these, there is a unique mix of Kabeer's uninhibited care freeness, Tulsi,'s Meera's and Soor's humbleness and devotion. ?
Hari Bhau Ji did not write Gadya Geet (Prose written with sentiments and art of poetry writing) but sometimes one can feel their presence in his writing e.g.
In’Meera’ he writes
You are devotion, in devotion, there is strength and in devotion and strength there is liberation of soul. Give us devotion, liberate us from the current troubles and bondage.
You are love, treasure of the world where love dominates. Give us love, give us treasure of love, give us the strength of that crazy love which gives the strength of drinking poison……
In the first issue of Tyag Bhoomi he wrote
Rajasthan is like ancient religious book of sacrifice. Rajasthan is a temple of martyrs. Women of Rajasthan are the flame of a lamp of their self sacrifice. Rajasthan is planet venous of Johar (an ancient tradition of women sacrificing their lives in burning fire instead of being ill treated by the conquerors when there is signalfrom the fighting soldiers that the war is lost) Rajasthan has Meera's devotion and Pratap's intense feeling of liberation.(A historically well known unyielding king who did not surrender to Muslim King).
‘The following is the recitation of poems in the car while travelling from Ajmer after spending a few good days in Hatundi back to Jaipur. In the back seat were respected Hari Bhau Ji, Ratlam's devoted Yogini Meera Bai (name assumed by a current devotee) and this writer. After a few minutes of silence suddenly Da sahab said " Pankaj, recite some of your poems" It was not unusual for him to ask for that as he had done just recently in Hatundi in a function arranged by the students. It was not possible for me to refuse, so I sang one of my recent poems written in Hatundi. Both Da Sahab and Meera JI liked the song. Da Sahab asked for another one. I did not want to keep on singing in front of the car audience who were serious philosophical Da Sahab and spiritual devotee Meera Bai whose lovely songs I had the opportunity to hear in Hatundi. I requested her to sings some songs. Da Sahab also joined me in that request. Then there was a continuous flow of her lovely prayer songs, some even written by her in Malvee, Hindustani and Rajasthani. It seemed like original Meera herself was there. I especially liked the song I will persuade my body and you take care of my heart.
Then she requested me for the same. How could I break that atmosphere of spirituality and devotion? So I requested Da Sahab to recite some of his poem. He was probably not prepared for that. But he did not deny my request and recited some of his new and unpublished poems. When he stopped, both I and Meera Bai's requested some more. His poetic self was awakened; he pulled out his diary and recited poems with intensity. The poems had blend of devotion of Meera, simplicity of Soor, Tulsi's modesty and Kabeer's spirituality and submission to God. Although these poem's words were simple yet the meaning was deep. This was very pleasant and inspiring journey that I will always cherish.’