Hachan Raja : Poet, mystic and a man much ahead of his age

Syhlleti folk tradition will be like Hamlet without his dialogues if Hac^han Raja is not mentioned. He remains as a figure of tremendous influence and one of whose bemused reader was none other than Rabindranath Tagore himself. When Tagore came in Syhlet, he came to know of Raja's song and as he was so interested that he managed to collected 83 songs of the poet. In 1925, the great poet has remembered Hach^an Raja while composing his lyrical poems.
Most probably Hacha^n Raja lived somewhere in late sixteenth century near Biswanath Thana of Syhlet. His poetry or rather songs were reflecting not only his own poetic originality as a lyric poet but shows a harmoniuous mixture of Sufism, Bhakti-cult centering around Radha-Krishna where the Vasihnav lyric poets have been potetically potent enough to transform the adolescent flirtation of a boy and girl into epic and cosmic proportion of human soul searching for a hyper-soul or the Ultimate reality. Raja's some poems sound like pages from hoary Adwita Vedanta and in some of his poems, the sign of Sufi mysticism sparkle like poetic illumination when he asks and answers ;
Hachan Raja asks who's that Kanai the man ?
And thoughtfully he finds - lo - Kanai is Hachan.
In his personal life he was an unkempt man and his own works suggest that mocking tone of tempting woman and he was almost always successful. But without these personal reference there shines that poetic imagination and mystic simplicity where great truths are uttered simply, just as a feeling and so concisely. He wrote on a purer form of Syhlleti and we produce some of his works where he proves to us, the post-modern readers that work of creative imagination is sometimes the most faithful morror of contemporary Life and Times and also of the Time that lies outside it.

The Vaishnav influence on Syhlet was prominent since Sree Chaitanya himself whose father and lots of the Inner Circle of Mahaprabhu were actually from Syhlet and later migrated to Navaidweep - gret centre of Sanskrit learning at that time. After the advent of Sha Jalal mystic tradition of Persia blended and in this subcontinent left one of the most enduring legacies of the interaction of a civilization of Persia and India - Urdu and Sufism. In Syhlet, the blending was more specific and historically interesting - here the apostles of Sha Jalal from the begining took Bengali as the language and Sufi mysticism was wriiten in Bengali by inspired poet-seers. The representative and the best rolled into one. He was Hachan.

Here, in the first poem is the unmistakable Sufi imprint where the lover denies and equates Heaven and Hell and tells that without the soul mate both are same and inconsequential. This feeling was the feeling of Gopis for Krishna, was the feeling of Mahaprabu, was the feeling of Beethoven and in more recent times - for the Jeevan-devata of Tagore. This love for something beyond, something for which nirvana seems like childish desire fires creative imagination and they turn not only poets but seers, the faithful, the believers and in their prophetic and poetic potency, we also do believe.
Unfortunately, many of his songs will perhaps never see human eyes. We reproduce below some of his poems which anybody reading Bengali/Syhlleti will immediately feel that harmony of feelings and the rare art of putting them into words. These poems are osciallations of human mind from mundane rustlings to crescendo of unification where Everything dissolves in the song, including the singer.

We hope that more work will be done on this poet-seer and in his vision lies that germ of unification and cultural harmony that history offered us and we are thankful.