Burning Sands Of Sind
COMMENT OF SWAMI OM OF SRI SITARAM ASHRAM, DEHRADUN:
The Burning Sands of Sind is a textbook for humanity for all times. This noble effervescence of mythology, history and the art of rendering them into a novel will, one day, take on board, all of us, the heretic and the conservative, the liberal and the sectarian, the infidel and the barbarian and the believer, all alike. Nirmal is a sage and a seer. Posterity shall honor this rishi, this chosen soul, who walked on earth when needed most…… Through him have spoken, collectively, Vyas and Valmiki, Yagyavalka and Maitreyi, Buddha and Mahaveer, Jesus and Mohammed, Socrates and Confucius…
“The Burning Sands Of Sind” should be translated in all languages. It should be made available to our children. They should not be denied their freedom for this trans-religious journey in the open sky of the Truth. This book should be a part of our prayers. It will put heart in all our actions.
Like Adi Shankar, Nirmal is destined to bring all humanity together. He is the savior of the soul of humans. He will leave behind his footprints on the sands of time. We are blessed, indeed, to have seen him in flesh and blood.
Burning Sands of Sind is the story of every man or woman who chooses to walk in the faint but sure light of their soul, and shun both choosing and submitting to the vagaries of chance or destiny. Far above the sphere where destiny operates on human life, blows the wind that helps us walk on the path that the light of the soul reveals, step by step.
The story is set in the eighth century, when the Arabs invaded India. It was not an ordinary invasion, like the earlier invasions of the Iranians, the Greeks, the Shakas and the Huns. All earlier invasions were born of greed or adventure. The Arab invasion was armed with a sinister mission. It aimed at wiping out the civilization of the Indus valley that had graduated from being a sophisticated settlement into a spiritual culture. It was an extraordinary experiment for the time and age whereby a culture strived to nurture humanity by its intrinsic values, without taking any help from deceit, cunning and cruelty. It aimed at giving total spiritual freedom to every individual. The Arabs wanted to change the very structure of the natural personality of the Indians. In order to fit the world to their newly discovered model of man and society, the Arabs did not care while chopping and tailoring parts of the human personality they believed to be in excess of the measurements that their code approved. They indulged their appetite and massacred in the most populated cities of Sind, like Brahmanabad and Multan. They genuinely believed that they were doing so to improve humanity so that it came up to the standards of their newfound faith.
This gory event in India’s history coincided with the brief life span of Shankaracharya, who remains arguably one of the world’s greatest rationalists. He was, however, not a sworn rationalist, like Hume or Hegel, for he found that when judged rationally, everything seemed transitory and unreal. He did not strain his mind to take rationalism beyond its frontiers with superhuman efforts. He found that if one waited patiently, when the intellect stopped taking oneself any step further, a deeper faculty called Pragya grew in the mind. It grew only after the soul sacrificed itself to the Absolute. Every self-sacrifice strengthens the soul, since it is immortal. Self-sacrifice only increases its courage. Finally, it dared to face the terror that the Arabs had perpetrated in Sind. It gave the people the secret of conquering fear and all negative emotions.
I had met Shri Nirmal Kumar as back as 1967 wandering like a Philosopher but meticulously dressed which is unlike a Philosopher. I met him again after a very long time in 1987 in the Chief Secretary office neatly dressed and same philosophical aura. At that time I did not know that he has unfolded the soul of Indian culture and civilization. After some time I retired and settled in Vasant Vihar, Dehradun. There one day while walking I saw Shri Nirmal Kumar in philosophic mood and suddenly wishing somebody. I then became curious to know him. I asked him did he know that person. He told no. I wished him because of Narain seated in him. He then talked of Narain Hari guiding him and it is Narain Hari who is guiding him daily to write a book “The Burning Sands of Sind”. I found Shri Nirmal Kumar one who in the midst of the crowd keeps, with perfect sweetness, the independence of solitude. Shri Nirmal Kumar believes that what he has written is under the guidance of Narain Hari and that he is engaged in every activity for the grace of God. I found him writing all his books with this motto of engaging himself for the grace of Narain Hari.
And this I realized when I had gone through his book “The Burning Sands of Sind”. I could never have imagined that this book can be about Shri Sankracharya whose Mahabhashya I have studied for my M.A Degree in Sanskrit and for which I was rewarded gold medal. I did not know nothing about that Sankaracharya whom people correctly say “God! Yeh to Bhagwan hain”. Without the book of Shri Nirmal Kumar we could never have known that Sankracharya was a great social reformer. He raised hopes in that century in the minds of physically molested women in Sind during invasion;that he fought for the stopping of Nar Bali and Pashu Bali; that he fought for “India” at that time by establishing four Mathas and he gave his body to Sankara in Kedarnath when he found four Sankaracharya fighting for their supremacy as we find today. The book written by Shri Nirmal Kumar has opened our eyes to the true religion Sanatan Dharma.
He has done a great service to the country by opening our eyes to the fact that “India” is not a new thing in the world. ”INDIA”, as we call it now, was brought into existence by Shri Sankracharya ,who people of India still worship by visiting Chardham for Moksha once in the lifetime. I have no words to praise Shri Nirmal Kumar. He is superb in thought in the English language. Lively, smoothly written, soul touching, it is the best and the only book by far on this Great Saint of India,. It is, indeed, a great contribution to Humanity. His all other works are profound and stimulating, the product of a great mind. His books bring to us the picture of India and its great civilization. The books written by him are mandatory reading for our generation to know about this great country ‘India’ and its saints of all religions who made this Great country and every Indian should read his works.
No writer in free India has written about India’s culture, philosophy and human values so convincingly as Shri Nirmal Kumar has done. To read his works is to feel the heart of Mother India within one’s heart. Talking of ‘Burning Sands of Sind’, the characters he draws are live sketches and the story makes one so inspired by his remaining close to truth in his heart that all my acquaintances who have read it say, “It must have happened so.” This book of about 600 pages is based upon the very scanty information that is available about Sankaracharya. The fact that the live details of his life have come from Shri Nirmal Kumar’s imagination, shows that not only his ideas, emotions and sensations, his imagination, too, all his powers have but one common source – Truth. It is not in vain that he says that all his 35 published books and his unpublished books too are the writings of the Divine. His role is only that of a steno. With a firm belief that soon one day he shall be given the highest award and honour that are long his due,
Suresh Kumar Sharma, Ret. I A S
176,, Phase – 2, Vasant Vihar
Dehradun – 248006
Tel. 0i35 – 2763785
The Burning Sands of Sindh is the story of the beginning of India’s decline, and enslavement of a thousand years, set in the eighth century. It contains a vast range of human experiences and emotions from the bizarre to the sublime. It is the story of every man and woman who chooses to walk in the faint but sure light of the atman. It is the story of those that do not want to live by the vagaries of chance or destiny. The modern rationalists have confined reason to a combination of sense-observations and logic. It is a neat method adopted by genuine seekers of knowledge, yet it lacks the joy that knowledge brings to the human heart. The expectation of the heart is not a whim, for nobody suffers more due to lack of this joy than those that lie in the Procrustean bed of empirical knowledge.
Intellect of Indian philosophers was not only empirical. It evolved from Dhi (empirical) to Medha, i.e. the intellect aware of sources other than empirical, to Pragya, i.e. the intellect intimate with immortality, to Ritambhara, i.e. the intellect that integrates the other three and discovers nature of the material truth in the mundane world. Beyond these lie the transcendental truth that includes everything – the material and the transcendental – and satisfies the mind completely. Man needs to investigate the way to happiness. Nirmal Kumar has offered in this book a way to it, which may fit in the definition of rationality of a majority of the modern people.
This story is set in the eighth century, when the Arabs invaded India and enforced Islam for the first time. It was not like the earlier invasions of the Iranians, the Greeks, the Shakas and the Huns. The Arab invasion aimed at wiping out India’s spiritual culture, which did not use deceit, cunning and cruelty. The invaders aimed at changing the human personality from natural to artificial. They wanted humans to fit in the measurements of their newfound faith. They wiped out the most populated cities of Sind that resisted them. This gory event in India’s history coincided with the brief life span of Shankaracharya, one of the world’s great rationalists.He taught that when the intellect stops taking one further towards truth, a deeper faculty, Pragya intellect brings intimations of immortality to the mind. It grows only after the soul sacrifices itself to the Absolute. After Pragya, the Ritambhara intellect grows. It integrates the mortal body and the immortal soul. Self-sacrifice only introduces the soul to its immortality. It gave the people the secret of conquering fear and all negative emotions in those troubled times.