Brij Narayan Chakbast, also spelled Brij Narain Chakbast, (Kashmiri: बृज नारायण चकबस्त, Urdu: برج نارائن چکبست) was an Urdu poet.
Chakbast was born in a Kashmiri Pandit family settled in North India in 15th century A.D.. Chakbast was born in Faizabad (near Lucknow) in 1882. His father Pandit Udit Narayan Chakbast, was born at Lucknow in, circa 1843, and he was also a poet. Pandit Udit Narayan was deputy collector, the highest post that any Indian could have at that time. After the death of his father in 1887, the family moved to Lucknow and they started living in Kashmiri Mohalla of Lucknow. Chakbast was educated in Lucknow, and he became a successful lawyer. Chakbast married in 1905, but lost his wife and first child in 1906. He married again in 1907, and settled down as a practising lawyer at Lucknow. In 12 February 1926, he collapsed at the railway station in Rae Bareli and died few hours later at the age of 44.
Chakbast made a thorough study of Urdu poetry. He defended Daya Shankar Kaul Nasim when it was suggested that he was not the author of the epic Gul Bakawali. He was actively involved in social and political affairs, and was a strong proponent of the Home Rule and actively participated in the Home Rule Movement.
Chakbast's early education was in Faizabad. After his father's death his family moved to Lucknow, and it was here he completed his remaining education. He earned his degree of B.A. in 1905, and L.L.B. in 1907, from Canning College, Lucknow, which was affiliated with Allahabad University at that time. Later, he became a successful lawyer.
Chakbast was primarily a poet but his prose is also considered at par with his poetry. Chakbast's premature death was a great loss for Urdu but whatever he left is exemplary and is considered among the gems of Urdu literature. He was strongly influenced by Ghalib, Mir Anis and Aatish. Chakbast was primarily a nazm poet. He began his poetic career with a nazm in 1894. He wrote nazms, mathnavi, a play, and about 50 ghazals. His Ramayan ka ek Scene is strongly remniscent of marasi of Mir Anis. His verses from his ghazal
Zindagi kya hai anasir mein zahur-e tarteeb,
Maut kya hai ini ajza ka pareshan hona
are considered to be an umatched description of life and death by any poet. On Kashmir he wrote
"Zarra Zarra hai mere Kashmir ka mehmaan nawaaz,
raah mein pathar ke tukdoon ne diya peene ko pani mujhe".
Subh-e Watan is collected works of Chakbast as its title and many of its poems reflect about his intense patriotism, predominantly a central theme of his poetry.
Gulzar-e-Naseem a masnavi,
Ramayan ka ek scene musaddas
Nala-e-Yaas,and a play named
Kulliyate-Chakbast and Maqalaat-e-Chakbast is the complete collection of Chakbast's works in poetry and prose that was published posthumously on the birth centenary of the poet, compiled by Kalidas Gupta 'Raza' around 1983.