The story of Hensman Anthony Firingi and Soudamini~~

Anthony Firingi
At a kavigaan

There are love stories and then there are LOVE STORIES. You have heard of Romeo and Juliet right? Two young lovers, star-crossed, die because of unwarranted hate between their families.

But today, I will tell you about a love story that is way more spiritual and revolutionary than Romeo and Juliet. In fact, it is one that has touched such a raw nerve in my heart that I strongly believe I have experienced this first-hand in some way.

The love story that I describe is not of two adolescents, but of two extremely spiritually developed people. They were twinflames here to raise the frequency of the people. But again, their love was destroyed by pure xenophobia, bigotry, racism and hate. This is a love story seldom told and it is now time for people from all over to see the beauty of this union where even the devastating tragedy that followed could not dim or lesson the love involved in any way.

He was born in Portugal in 1786 and came to Bengal with his father who was a merchant. Now before I delve into the story of this young Portuguese musician(he must have been into music because you do not start composing such tunes and sonnets if you were not into it  in some way), let me expose the story of my beloved country circa 1800.

India was the most coveted country that the European powers craved to dominate. The Spanish, the English, the French, the Dutch, the Danes and the Portuguese were all vying for power in respective states. We know how the English managed to drive every one away and pillage, plunder and rape India for over 200 years. That is another story…

Let me set the scene for you. Hensman Anthony, a young lad, came with his father, a Portuguese merchant to trade in the port city of Chandannagar which was called Farashdanga. The Portuguese were on their last legs as they were getting hardcore competition from the Dutch and the French. Eventually the Dutch lost the plot to the French by 1825. The French managed to hold onto India till about the very end, but the British were definitely the undisputed rulers of the subcontinent.

So this young Portuguese lad is anyway on hostile territory where his people and country are on their last legs. He is no powerful English Officer, he is just the son of some Portuguese trader. There is competition and aggression from the other Europeans and from such a turbulent historical period came one of the greatest Shakta tantrics who wrote and sang some of the most moving hymns to the Goddess Kali/Durga.

How is this possible? How did a Portuguese lad learn Bengali? Not in the rudimentary level, but good enough to compose complex and intense poems which he performed in kavigans. Kavigans were literally poetry face off. Two poets would go head-to-head and spout their philosophy and tunes. The crowd would decide who was the more woke guy and they felicitated him.

This tradition of bard-face-offs have been discovered in most societies. It is not a product of Comedy Central. lol. Firstly, Anthony’s father was just a merchant, well to do, maybe…but then again, just a merchant and he must have wanted the young man to follow in his footsteps, not become some freaky bard who sang in Bengali. Like seriously???

But Anthony was more interested to escape into the heart of pastoral Bengal where he would play his lute and listen to the local poets sing passionately to invoke the Goddess.

Something snaps in his brain as he pulls a chillum. He hears the lingering words of the poet Ramprasad’s Shyamasangeet and it tugged at his heart in ways he could not understand. He would spend much of his time with the poets and other yogis he discovered on his travels. He begins to meditate and do sadhana.

Anthony also begins to learn Bengali, a language he falls in love with. Now let me mention here, that Anthony’s Bengali had to be really as good as any literate Bengali poet’s, otherwise he would never be allowed or able to compete, let alone win a kavigan.

Here was a man who learnt a foreign language to the expertise of the local intellectuals. Not only that, he began to compete with them, finally wining his bout most of the times, even with the most famous poet Bholamoira.

Bengali’s are extremely picky about their language and they are never happy with a foreigner being better at it than most of them. Kinda like the French. No one can speak French better than a Frenchman. But when the kundalini awakens, all knowledge becomes available.

Anthony had lived countless lifetimes in the heart of pastoral Bengal and he knew everything about it. The Bengali Brahmins ridiculed him for dressing like them, made fun of his devotion to Kali, teased him about Jesus Christ and the Church, to which he responded by saying, There is no difference in Christ and Kali my brothers…

Hello! Wtf do you say to a man like that? How does a European get here? This is not easy let me remind you. I for one know a woman from London who has lived in Bombay for over thirty years and she can barely say five words of Hindi.

And this is not like learning the language in a University and taking exams, then returning to your country and publishing books from there. Ah what a great Orientalist! Nope. This is no internet certification that now you are a certified Bengali poet.

This was raw, this was life, this was reality. He not only stayed and worked in Bengal, but he excelled at what he did in a foreign country he chose to call home. He lived in Bengal, amidst the Bengali’s and composed some of the most touching Shakta poetry they had ever heard!

And Bengali Brahmins were a closed, snobbish, gated society who considered Europeans mlecchas or untouchables. They would not even let Anthony drink water in their houses. My peeps, this is the situation in which this young man not only awakened his kundalini, but also gave us one of the greatest spiritual love stories to treasure.

I learnt of Firingi Kalibari when I was a child. My grandmother told me and I remember how enchanted I was to listen about a Portuguese man compose these sonnets and poems in Bnegali to the Goddess Kali. It always moved me to tears.

It was much later that I discovered the true greatness of this man. Now back to a history lesson and it is pretty macabre.

In Bengal, we practised some deadly misogynistic rituals….let Wikipedia dose you up.

Sati or suttee is an obsolete funeral custom where a widow immolates herself on her husband’s pyre or commits¬†suicide in another fashion shortly after her husband’s death..~WIKI

My peeps, in less than 1 percent cases, did the woman actually want to commit suicide, but she was forced. By societal constructs, by tradition, by women like her mothers and sisters, enablers of patriarchy themselves. It was coercion. Nothing else.

Sati was ultimately abolished because of Brahmin reformers like RAJA RAMMOHAN ROY, bless his soul as it is his birthday today. Do you see how society has been burning women in different cultures, under different pretences since time immemorial!

Why did Sati even exist you ask? Because these Brahmin women could not find husbands. They were only allowed to marry a Kulin Brahmin of Bengali origin. So me love, because of my surname Mukerji, 300 years ago, I might have been burnt on my dead husband’s pyre. Yes, I am born in a Brahmin family and this is what they have been doing to my mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers.

Most of these women were forced to marry a single Brahmin patriarch, because there were no Brahmin men available. Bengali Brahmin aristocratic women were not allowed to even gaze upon a Brahmin, say from UP or Bihar. Forget a European.

My grandmother tells me how some English officers would come to meet her father. The women were never allowed to even glance at a European man. They lived in a different segment of the house anyway called ANDARMAHAL. She told me that there was an Englishman called Robert who really liked her. I think he sent her a letter through her maidservant and of course, all hell broke loose.

Not that my grandmother would have even reciprocated. You see, for them European men were strange creatures whom they did not consider as mates. It was literally that simple.

I am harping on the time-frame so you get a good understanding of how dangerous it was for Anthony to fall in love with a Bengali widow during such turbulent times. This is way more dangerous than the Romeo Juliet saga.

Anthony saves Soudamini from self immolation and takes her to his place. Now after laying the groundwork, I do not need to stress how dangerous an action this is.

Most of the intellectuals are pissed as he is doing so well in his kavigan face-offs. How dare an upstart European sing hymns to the Goddess? How can he have any knowledge of the Goddess? He is a Christians. And then he goes and rescues a Brahmin Bengali woman.

There have been cases of rape and molestation when European men and Indian women have been concerned. But I think this was the first time, in recorded history, a Brahmin woman consensually began to live with a European man openly, not giving a fuck as to what the villagers have to say.

They were twinflames who dedicated their life to awakening the kundalini, practiced tanta and even worked on developing the kali temple together. Their sadhana deeped and gathered a small following. This was no interracial love story of today where any person can get married to anyone as long as it is legal and sanctified by a court.

But here, there was no court, no law to allow a Brahmin widow to remain at the side of her European lover/partner. Their lives were plagued by attacks from the conservatives.

In the kabiyan competitions, Anthony’s rival poets often brought up Soudamini’s name to taunt and ridicule him. It upset him tremendously, but he learnt to take in in his stride.

This was 1830’s or so, it is now 2017 and not much has changed. Even today, in India, you can get attacked if you are in love with a man from a different faith or caste or whatever. I shared a video recently of a Hindu girl attacked by a woman politician for falling in love with a Muslim. So as you see my love, nothing has really changed.

At least they don’t burn us any more openly and call it sati. They would if they could. After all we need to be chaste and if we are truly chaste and not little whores then the fire would not burn us, would it? What Sita had to go through centuries ago, is very much an active wound in our unconscious.

Anthony and Soudamini were blooming in their creative, spiritual love nest they had created. Anthony had composed the AGAMANI SONGS, for which he became noted and this is like synchronicity on steroids because these hymns were written to Goddess Durga as she comes to visit Earth from her heavenly abode.

Guess what my love. That time is now. Goddess Durga or the KUNDALINI has just stirred and she is making her ascent at this time as I type. The Bengali’s celebrate Durga Puja now and it is the most important festival for them.

The Agamani Songs are to be hymned now and I think the spirit of Hensman Anthony is urging me to tell you his story. He wants you too know how much he loved the woman they took from him.

The world is truly cruel.

His wife Saudamini was burnt to death, for being a widow and re-marrying Anthony, who was a foreigner. ~~Wiki

There, that’s what the Brahmin puritanical conservatives did. They burnt her and their ashram while he was away. He may have returned home from one of his biggest wins to see his whole reality and the love of his life burnt to crisp.

Ominous, isn’t it? Soudamini was pregnant.

This is what bigotry does. This is the scope of fanaticism. As we head into the new Era, let us consider this as a cautionary tale. Maybe they took this karma upon themselves to show us what hatred can do. But in this there is a message…

Even after three hundred years, a random blogger/lifecoach finds this story to tell you at this very precise point in time?!? It means that hate did not win. Ultimately it is their love that won. It is their spiritual mission that is still standing as the Firingi Kalibari where millions of Shakta’s go to invoke the kundalini.

Love wins all my Beloved…

Find a man who will love you like Anthony loved Soudamini. Love a man who will go against all establishment to join with you in sacred union. Or else stay single.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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