Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sadhana, the realization of life

"There is a bond of unity between our two eyes which makes them act in unison."  Sadhana; the Realization of Life by Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet, mystic and writer known for his elegant, lyrical writing style; he also is known for his Nobel Prize win for literature in 1913. Written in his philosophical prose style, Tagore's  book, Sadhana, the Realization of Life, addresses many aspects of the Self and the world. He writes for example, that opposites do not bring confusion; in reality they bring harmony. Rhythm can never be born of disharmony, or of  "the haphazard struggle of combat."

This principle is the chief mystery of all unities. Unity in Tagore's mind could be viewed as: the one which appears as the many. And while seeming to be opposite, it is the truth, a paradox of sorts. He writes of a great poem, as a compilation of most pleasing sounds, yet if one stops to hear the import of those sounds, something more emerges; 'the inner connects to the outer [meaning].'

In the following poem below Tagore writes a bit of this and other ideas further discussed in prose style in his book, Sadhana. The poem is 'a thing of beauty which transcends grammar, laws' and becomes unto itself.

By Rabindranath Tagore

I wonder if I know him
In whose speech is my voice,
In whose movement is my being,
Whose skill is in my lines,
Whose melody is in my songs
In joy and sorrow.
I thought he was chained within me,
Contained by tears and laughter,
Work and play.
I thought he was my very self
Coming to an end with my death.
Why then in a flood of joy do I feel him
In the sight and touch of my beloved?
This 'I' beyond self I found
On the shores of the shining sea.
Therefore I know
This 'I' is not imprisoned within my bounds.
Losing myself, I find him
Beyond the borders of time and space.
Through the Ages
I come to know his Shining Self
In the 'If ' of the seeker,
In the voice of the poet.
From the dark clouds pour the rains.
I sit and think:
Bearing so many forms, so many names,
I come down, crossing the threshold
Of countless births and deaths.
The Supreme undivided, complete in himself,
Embracing past and present,
Dwells in Man.
Within Him I shall find myself -
The 'I' that reaches everywhere.

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