Acharya Ramlochan Saran
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Acharya Ramlochan Saran (1889 – 1971) was a Hindi littérateur, grammarian and publisher. He founded the Pustak Bhandar in Laheriasarai and Patna in 1915, which made the little known place like Laheriasarai prominent in Indian publishing. He shifted his publishing activities to Patna in 1929.
He also founded a number of magazines like Balak magazine (1926–1986), Himalaya (1946–1948) and Honhar (Hindi and Urdu) (1939). Through his publishing efforts he encouraged many other Hindi littérateurs like Ramavriksha Benipuri, Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar', Acharya Shivapujan Sahay, and Pt. Harimohan Jha.He guided Upendra Maharthi the artist to develop his talents through work under him for over a decade. He was a pioneer in encouraging young authors of Bihar and through his editing standardised the Hindi language. His Hindi primer Manohar Pothi is still the finest effort ever made to teach Hindi alphabets to beginners. He also published Some Eminent Bihar Cotemporaries by Sachidanand Sinha, books by Mahatma Gandhi and other Gandhian literature in Hindi and English. He published Tolstoy and Gandhi by Dr. Kali Das Nag in English. His classic Maithili rendering of all the books written by Goswami Tulsidas is unique. He edited and published Sidhant Bhasya in four volumes on Ramacharitamanasa by Tulsidas which is permanent contribution to the spiritual literature. He was first to start printing Maithili books in Maithili script. The golden jubilee celebration was the occasion of RAMLOCHAN’S fifty years of successful publishing and the literary and cultural contribution. It was a service to the human kind .It brought an appreciation from Mahatma Gandhi the greatest Indian leader. He sent a message: “ Brother Ram Lochan. I appreciate your work. Keep on with such service. Blessing of Bapu” He told those who came to honour him: “I came to this city 33 years ago. Neither I knew anyone here nor did any one know of me. My small abode was my world. Nevertheless, I found the LORD here! The Almighty gave me everything! I don’t know what good deeds I did in this life! Now I am enriched with bounties: the Divine Gifts. Some of you called me PIONEER, Entrepreneur, mentor, industrious. I don’t myself know what I have done. God spun me like a top As He wished desired energized me as an instrument I performed. I do not consider myself learned. Alternatively, even a LITERARY PERSON! I ONLY KNOW THAT WITH ALL MY MIGHT AND Dedication I SERVED MY MOTHER TONGUE.WHICH ARE GENERALLY BEAUTIFIED BY ARTISTS, I HAVE HUMBLY offered some raw flowers. Even in my dreams, I never knew these would be ever appreciated. However, the true service of the literature has been my past time. I never tried as a commercial activity for the market place. I have always disregarded self-publicity promotion or being allied to some clique. MY MANTRA: “DEVOTED SERVICE TO LITERATURE ONLY!” Some called me CHIEF of the PUBLISHING ENTERPRISE, I never considered myself so. The DIVINE powers created me and evolved the enterprise to serve from for service. I truly believe within my core: I am just means to Divine design. Each event has unfolded according to such a script for the present drama that has unfolded. My inner experience gave insight MY FAITH becoming firmer: acquisition of worldly grandeur, honour, or label is not so valuable. They are made and unmade with the passing of time. The eternal truth unchanging, indestructible is the persistent application of intelligence and efforts bring pure happiness: SATVIC ANAND! One principle ran my life: ANASAKT KARMAYOGA! Always did duty the KARMA without craving or attachment for the fruits of my work. (Karmanyewadhi karastey, ma faleshu kada chinah) As an innocent babe, I obeyed God’s dictates and left the rewards to HIM only. MY unshaken belief being: Whoever loves Him is always protected and taken care of! I may have committed many mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. I may have brought pain to some. As I consider myself ever at the feet of the DIVINE COUPLE (SITA-RAM/RADHA-KRISHNA), I feel confidant that all those who have surrendered to HIM receive FORGIVENESS!
- Siya Ram may sabjag jani, Karahu Pranam Jor Jug pani.
Laheriasarai on the world map became a hub of publishing by RAM LOCHAN JI. His company was employing five hundred locals. They were trained by him in editing, production and marketing operations for best planned effort in South Asia including BALAK magazine and innumerable valuable creative projects. He was catalyst to canalise the energy released by the nationalist creative talents for freedom in our country, through transformation in to literature, informative inspiring books for the masses: 100 essential books for rural Libraries. The Almanac, inspiring books on Indian civilization were mass-produced, efforts of think tank for renaissance in India. Ramlochan was regularly playing host to saint, artist poet, philosopher, social worker educationalist, policy planners, and bureaucrats of the region. RAJA and the princes of Darbhanga Raj publicly honoured his contribution in the city and the development of intelligentsia’s creative artists, writer poets, and spirituals.
On his death President of India V.V.Giri mentioned Achayaji's service to children's literature will always be remembered as it will always inspire the coming generations. The noted English daily Indian Nation wrote in its editorial, “Had Ramlochan Saran not been born in Bihar the progress of Hindi Literature would have been delayed by a decade or two.” He was born on 11 February 1889 in Muzaffarpur district of undivided Bengal and died on 14 May 1971 in Darbhanga, Bihar.