Men from whom my ways begin,
Here I know you by your ground
But I know you not within –
There is silence, there survives
Not a moment of your lives.
Edmund Blunden, ‘Forefathers’
The genealogical tree of my family shows that we had our roots at Sakradih, now a small desolate village not very far off from my present village Kurson. I have not visited the place though I have heard a lot about it. But one becomes nostalgic when one thinks about one’s roots. I wish some day to visit Sakradih wherefrom strides were made by my family in the recorded times. In fact, I wish some day to visit the valley of the river Omo in Ethiopia near Lake Rudolf where man is believed to have evolved first: from where odyssey of the humans might have begun to become a Sisyphus or a Prometheus, a Gandhi or a Hitler, or just a fragile beach ball kicked hither and thither by the torrents of circumstances!
Reflections on my Family-tree (Vamnsa Vriksha) take my mind to the Cosmic tree (Samsara Vriksha) about which Bhagavad-Gita says in the first three Slokas in its chapter 15. When we reflect over the roots of the Sansarvrikhsa , spreading with branches and leaves luxuriating down below we are amazed at the sublime creativity of God. Mind goes to the stimulating idea of Prof Gould who said: “Homo sapiens as a tiny, effectively accidental, late-arising twig on an enormously arborescent bush of life”. A Vansa Vrikhsa presents a rich imagery suggesting the pattern of life itself. Persons come, spend sometime in the Sansarvriksh and than leave for some unknown abode. The birds come, create their nests, and then they desert them, or see them wither, without qualms. The idea underlying the process is beautifully stated in the Bhagavad-Gita (II.28)
tatra ka paridevand
[Being are unmanifest in their beginnings, manifest in the middles and unmanifest again in their ends, O Bharata (Arjuna), what is there in this for lamentation?]
It is interesting to note that whilst writing his Ecclesiastical History the Venerable Bede (672-735) expressed similar ideas thus:
“ Such O king, seems to me the present life on earth, as if…. on a winter’s night a sparrow should fly swiftly into the hall and, coming in one door, instantly fly out through another…. Somewhat like this appears the life of man. But of what follows or what went before we are utterly ignorant.”
At my request, late Pandit Kritinath Jha Panjikar of Koilakh (District: Madhubani) drew up the genealogy of my family. He was, perhaps, the most distinguished Panjikar of his time. It is very comprehensive, and it explores various near and distant branches. I have abstracted my direct line which you can see on my website www.shivakantjha.org. Perhaps, the detailed genealogical chart may help some researchers. But I must mention that I have not verified the correctness of the information that the Panditji had gathered.