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Bal Prashna

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Bal Prashna


Sumitra Nandan Pant


Sumitra Nandan Pant (1900-1976) ‘Bal Prashna’ (A child’s question). It was composed with the backdrop of Swamiji’s trip to Almora in 1897. This forms a part of the book ‘Veena.’ Here is a translation of the poem:

‘O Mother!

You say that when the Seer-King Vivekananda came to Almora,

then the whole path was paved with velvet,

and the city was brightly illumined

like in Dipavali.


Mother! Does it mean that he cannot walk on unpaved ground?

Why was the town illumined?

Did he possess poor eyesight?’


‘My child!

Swamiji moves fearlessly

on hard paths,

and with his divine eyesight

he has traversed many a thorny way.

In fact the widespread velvet

was the symbol of the devotion

of the people’s heart.


And Swamiji himself

is an enlightened one,

therefore those illumined lamps

were arranged only

in the spirit of his worship.