“BHU: The Cambridge of East “A day at Varanasi 29.1.09
Varanasi maybe called the oldest city of the world and it is said to be on the Trishul of Lord Shiva. Varanasi is between two rivers, Varuna ‘ and Asi.
Kash is on the bank of River Ganga and near Gaudaulia Chowk is Dashshwamedha Ghat where I had taken bath thrice before also. My brother Shubhakar, a superintendent in DLW was with me and I had a bath and puja there.
Kashi Vishwanath is the most important Jyotirlonga and I had occasions to have darshana at least 4 times- first in 1977 which is fading in my memory when I had gone there for founding a national organization of medicos (NMO on 5.11.1977 this founded); second time I had been there for long when Dr. Lal Chnadra was student of MD there; in 2003 to attend APICON when my train was 25 hours late and I could have a Pradosh Puja in the temple and fourth on 29.1.09. I had gone in the queue in December 2008 also but ex-PM, DeveGowda had come there and after sometimes I returned back.
Second time when I had gone I had a query for JnanVapi and when I asked a policemen where that mosque was ,he chided me that it was in fact the true Temple of Vishwanath. This time also a Madam Police helped me and hinted me to enter the que and my time was saved.
Then I had gone to Annapurna Mandir also and finally on that Thursday puja of Guru Brihaspati too in the temple on the roadside.
The whole temple complex is very congested. The streets of Varanasi is famous. Sometimes I imagine whether it would be ever possible to relocate all shops in distant multistoried buildings by an ordinance to make free Baba Vishwanath without hurting anybody.
After Darshan we had food and incidentally we met a Maithil shop vendor there who was from village jajuar of Mithila. He told me that Neelkanth was quite near where I went to meet some Maihtils of Maithil Seva Samiti who wanted to have a dharmashala there and are celebrating an annual function every year. Once long back I had visited there the Sanskrit Scgool had visiting students for 1-2 hours and teachers are sitting on gaddis full time 9 to 5 and in between people come for satyanarayan puja, grah shanty etc. The atmosphere was Maithili there. I also contributed a little for the function and came out.
I had to meet a person Dr. mukund Lal D-56/37 K-A Meer Bagh, Aurangabad, WHICH IS IN Varanasi itself. Varanasi-10 not in Bihar or Maharashtra! He had sent me a speed post few days back reading a pamphlet or membership form of the NMO his friend had given him 12 years back. He wanted to know whether the address was still relevant. I got the letter on my changed address and had written a postcard also and sent a copy of Aayurvigyan Pragati also and desired to see him personally. Though it was quite near from temple area I could not go for paucity of time.
I had to visit BHU for meeting some Maihtils.
Prof. sushant Jha whom I had informed had to go Madhubani for some urgent work and had directed Prof.jay Shankar Jha. I went there in the department of English where came Pawan Singh of Ranchi who had done Linguistics course . he could not come to receive me at station though last time he had come and was with me full day.
With Prof. Jha I went to the Department of German where Prof. Abhay Mishra talked with interest and I hope soon BHU will have a unit of the AMP.
We talked a lot on Maithili and Mithila’s problems.
I once more had the glimpse of University which always looked me live and active. True it is so. With pawan, I strolled the campus. I had to got o meet Dr. Vijayendra in the IMS’s Child Surgical Ward and in the way I saw the Herbal Garden. I entered into that and had a memore of my childhood days for herbal collections. There the gardener told that they have Nag keshar also and I went near the tree but could not recognize the same which in childhood I was plucking flowers in huge quantity for days and weeks in the vicinity of Forbesganj, my birthplace!
There was Chitra and many others. Many years back I was in such a garden of Tirupati Ayurvedic College. I had been in the Ayurvedic hostel of the IMS also and I knew Dr.Udupa’s name who was originally an ayurvedic physician on his hame I saw au auditorium this time.
I also from the outside saw Hindi Bhavan and Mahamana Malviya’s house once more which is preserved as Museum.
He was great. He established BHU but became its vice chancellor later on.
Some excerpts from webs on BHU:
BHU was established by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1916
Banaras Hindu University is an internationally reputed temple of learning, situated in the holy city of Varanasi. This Creative and innovative university was founded by the great nationalist leader, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, in1916 with cooperation of great personalities like Dr Annie Besant, who viewed it as the University of India. Banaras Hindu University was created under the Parliamentary legislation - B.H.U. Act 1915. It played a stellar role in the independence movement and has developed into the greatest center of learning in India. It has produced many great freedom fighters and builders of modern India and has immensely contributed to the progress of the nation through a large number of renowned scholars, artists, scientists and technologists who have graced its portals. The area of the main campus of this premiere Central University is 1300 acres, having well maintained roads, extensive greenery, a temple, an air strip and buildings which are an architectural delight. The Air Field of the campus was started for military training for flying during the second world war.
Another campus of the university at Barkachha , in Mirzapur district, covering an area of 2700 acres is coming up. The university comprises 3 Institutes, 14 Faculties 124 Departments, 4 Inter displinary Centers a constituent college for women's and 3 Constituents Schools, spanning a vast range of subjects pertaining to all branches of humanities,social science,technology, medicine ,science, fine arts and performing arts. It has 6 centres of Advanced Studies, 10 Departments under Special Assistance Programme and a large number of specialized Research Centers. Four Degree Colleges of the city are affiliated to the University. Bharat Kala Bhavan, the reputed museum of the university, is a treasure trove of rare collections. The 927 bed hospital of the University is equipped with all the modern a menities. The university provides a wide range of facilities for sport and hobbies, has large playgrounds, a big auditorium, a flying club and many auxiliary services and units like Printing Press, Publication Cell,Fruit Preservation Center, Subsidized Canteens, Employment and Information Bureau, Security etc. The University family consists of about 15000 students belonging to all streams of life, castes and religions and races, about 1700 teachers, and nearly 8000 non-teaching staff A large number of students from foreign countries like the U.S.A, the countries of Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa etc., come to study here. The university has taken a leadership role in promoting new ideas, the spirit of integration of the world, and cultivation of intellect and culture. Banaras Hindu University is small Virtually the universe in microcosm.
Dr. Sir Sunderlal 1.4.1916 - 13.12.1918
Dr. P.S. Siwaswamy Aiyar 13.4.1918 - 8.5.1919
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya 29.11.1919 -6.9.1938
Dr. S. Radha Krishnan 17.9.1939 - 16.1.1948
Dr. Amar Nath Jha 27.2.1948 - 5.12.1948
Pandit Govind Malaviya 6.12.1948 - 21.11.1951
Acharya Narendra Dev 6.12.1951 - 31.5.1954
Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Aiyer 1.7.1954 - 2.7.1956
Dr. V.S. Jha 3.7.1956 - 16.4.1960
Shri N.H. Bhagwati 16.4.1960 - 15.4.1966
Dr. Triguna Sen 9.10.1966 - 15.3.1967
Dr. A.C. Joshi 1.9.1967 - 31.7.1969
Dr. K.L. Shrimali 1.11.1969 - 31.1.1977
Dr. M.L. Dhar 2.2.1977 - 15.12.1977
Dr. Hari Narain 15.5.1978 - 14.5.1981
Prof. Iqbal Narain 19.10.1981 - 29.4.1985
Prof. R.P. Rastogi 30.4.1985 - 29.4.1991
Prof. C.S. Jha 1.5.1991 - 14.6.1993
Prof. D.N. Mishra 8.2.1994 - 27.6.1995
Dr. Hari Gautam 2.8.1995 - 25.8.1998
Prof. Y.C. Simhadri 31.8.1998 - 20.2.2002
Prof P.Ramchandra Rao 20.2.2002-19.2.2005
Prof Panjab Singh 03.05.2005-07.05.2008
Prof D.P. Singh 08.05.2008 to.....
Yesterday I read, Allahabad University as ‘Oxford of East,” which if it is so BHU ,I will like to call, “Cambridge of the East.”
By 3 Pm Vijayendra had left department though he had told me that he wil be till 5 pm.Anyway who waits for a simple man like me? I was tired and Pawan bade me bye in an auto where a passenger from nearby Sasaram was having trace of albumin in urine and Nephrologists of BHU could not convince him the matter and treatment. He asked me whether I knew a homeopath?
I explained him the process of investigation but I could not take up the case in the auto.
Question is whether a high institute can come to the expectations of a common semi-literate Indians?
Whether BHU can come to the desires of Mahamana?
Can it bring leaders in different fields in India not only in the Purvanchal it had discussed in Alumni association going on when I visited?