Category Archives: Poetry

Life can be a ritual, this whole universe the altar…

A simple and profound poem based on the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita from our friend from Brazil, Bharadvaja, who kindly accepted to share it on this blog.

Go further :

From the Series on Videos ‘The timeless teaching of the Bhagavad Gita‘, on Youtube

14. Chapter II, Verse 47 – You have a choice over action but not over the result

15. Chapter II, Verse 48 – How is sameness towards situations or results of action possible?

16. Chapter III, Verse 9 – Interconnectedness and seeing oneself in larger scheme of things

Links to website Vedanta, Being alive to what is

[1] Article in pdf format, The vision of Vedanta

[2] Maturity & knowledge, The individual and the total

[3] Maturity & knowledge, How life become a means to gains maturity & Being in harmony with the universal ethical order

[4] Action and result, What is karma yoga?

Surround me with your presence & In amazement I wake up…Rabindra Sangeet

Two more poems of Rabindranath Tagore, that Nandita and Shubhra kindly translated from Bengali to English and shared with us. They are both from Gitobitan, a collection of songs written and put to music by Tagore, popularly known as Rabindra Sangeet.

The first poem is a prayer to the Friend which invites Him to ‘be in my heart’ , ‘through joys and sorrows’, ‘in all I do in this world’.

During meditation, by invoking Him and seeing very intimately its Presence in one’s life, one can assimilate  the knowledge of the nature of this all knowledge and power (Isvara) unfolded by the Upanishads. This is how we can make our understanding of Isvara complete, an understanding that sinks in, permeates our whole being and thereby transforms us.

Stay with me dear Friend,

In all I do in this world,

Knowingly or in prayer;

Be in my heart;

Come slowly dear Lord,

Through my joys and sorrows,

In my laughter and tears;

Surround me with your presence,

In all I do in this world;

Be in my heart through knowledge,

Or when in prayer.

In the second poem, the poet expresses his wonder as he sees the presence of all knowledge and power manifested in the form of the order pervading the sky and stars, his own body and the nature around him.

The sky abounds with suns and stars,

The world with life,

I have found my place in the midst of it all;

So in amazement my music blossoms

And I sing my song.

The rhythm of timeless time, with which

The universe swings,

Runs in my veins too, pulling me through,

In amazement, I wake up and sing my song.

I have tiptoed on grass, on my way to the forest,

Surprised by flowering scents,

Elated to see these joyous gifts strewn around,

In amazement I wake up and sing my song.

I have put my ears to the ground,

I have heard the music

I have poured my soul into the earth’s bosom,

I find The Unknown in the midst of all that is known,

In amazement my mind awakens and I sing my song.



Facing death, Two Poems from Naibedya, Rabindranath Tagore

These two poems are part of a collection of 100 poems called Naibedya, Dialogues with the Lord of the Heart, by Rabindranath Tagore.  This collection has been translated in English from Bengali by Shailesh Parekh and published by A Writers Workshop Saffronbird Book, 2002, Ahmedabad. They evoke in a few deeply moving words the way one can face death with an awareness of the presence of the Lord of Life and Universe.

Naibedya 18

Today, you have sent a messenger of death to my door.

Carrying your invitation, he has crossed the ocean and come to this shore.

Today, the night is dark

and my heart is anxious with fear.

Yet, with a lamp in my hands,

I will open the door and greet him humbly.

Today, you have sent a messenger of death to my door.

With folded hands,

I will worship him with my anxious tears.

I will worship him

by offering the wealth of my heart at his feet.

Carrying out your command, when he returns,

leaving my morning dark,

I will sit in my vacant place and offer myself at your feet.

Today, you have sent a messenger of death to my door.

Naibedya 1

O Lord of my Life,

I shall always stand before you.

O Lord of the universe,

with folded hands, I shall stand before you.

Under your endless sky,

in solitude and humility in the heart

and tears in my eyes,

I shall stand before you.

In your bewildering and varied hued world,

on the shores of the ocean of action,

amidst all the people of the world,

I shall stand before you.

When my purpose in this world is served,

O king of kings,

without a word,

I shall stand alone before you.

Rabindranath Tagore & the vision of Upanishads (2)

Two other poems belonging to the series of poems by Tagore. They express one of the essential themes of the Upanishads : the relation that we have with the world, with others. The first poem gives a striking image of the walls through which I close myself to what is around me. My subjectivity, fears, anxieties, arrogance, are indeed invisible but at the same time tangible walls that I erect between the universe and myself. May this narrow perspective of the world, which is only self-centered, disappear. The more objective I am to the presence of what is, the more clarity, transparency, openness I can enjoy.

How far should I go in this process of gaining objectivity? Should I disappear totally as an individual? Is it possible and even desirable? The poet replies in the second poem: ‘Let only that little be left of me, by which…’

Dungeon

He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon.

I am ever busy building this wall all around;

and as thus wall goes up into the sky day by day,

I lose sight of my true being in its dark shadow.

I take pride in this great wall, and I plaster it with dust and sand

at least hole should be left in this name;

and for all the care I take I lose sight of my true being.

Rabindranath Tagore

Little of me

Let only that little be left of me whereby I may name thee my all,

Let only that little be left of my will whereby I may feel thee on everyside,

And come to thee in everything, and offer to thee my love every moment,

Let only that little be left of me whereby I may never hide thee,

Let only that little of my fetters be left whereby I am bound with thy will

And thy purpose is carried out in my life,

and that is the fetter of thy love.

Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)


Go further with the following links to Discover Vedanta

[1] Maturity & Knowledge,  Becoming a mature human being

[2] The equation ‘You are that’, the nature of ‘that’

[3] Articles in pdf format; Bringing Isvara into your life, Bonding with Isvara


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Rabindranath Tagore & the vision of Upanishads

I found a few poems of Rabindranath Tagore in my notes. They express very beautifully the vision filled of wonder of the person who is awake to the presence of the Lord in his life, in nature and in himself.

These poems give us precious clues on how to integrate and assimilate the teaching of the Upanishads about Isvara, the Lord, in our lives. It is thus enabling us to be aware of the presence of a Being, to which I, the world and all human beings are fundamentally ‘connected’ to or in which all is ‘united’.

Because in reality, there is only one Being who is, and who is manifest as the multiple forms of the universe, and who is including me as an individual. All these forms are always changing within this all intelligence and power, and are never separated from Him at any time.

To understand this vision completely, what we have heard from the teaching has to percolate in the depth of ourselves, go much beyond a superficial understanding of the concepts of material-intelligent cause or manifest-unmanifest, maya, etc. The presence of Isvara can indeed become a reality, a fact we are alive to. There is no place for imagination here, nor a blind assent to a system of beliefs. But rather a slow personal work, a process of unveiling, a relation with Isvara which grows patiently and leads to a silent inner revolution, with appreciation of the  presence of His grace with us all along.

This particular type of poetry is a real bridge which enables us to see the presence of Isvara in everything and in our life, when it is allied with a proper teaching. More I think about it, more I believe that it is impossible to bypass Isvara if one wants to gain serenity, joy and ultimately freedom.

tagore

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
.’

Rabindranath Tagore


Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light,
heart-sweetening light!
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.
The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.
The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion.
Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure.
The heaven’s river has drowned its banks
and the flood of joy is abroad.
.

Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)

Go further with the following links to Discover Vedanta, Being alive to what is

[1] The equation ‘You are that’, the cause of the universe

[2] The equation ‘You are that’, the nature of ‘that’

[3] Article in pdf format, the vedic vision of God

[4] Maturity & knowledge, the individual and the total


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