mortality

November 15, 2007

The long line of philosophers!
None could out talk mortality;
Born out to die; all suffered
Inevitable dusty change;
Their bones are piled as high as
Mount Vipula, lapped by vast seas
Of weeping, pain and parting,
Proving that no philosophy
Can break the wheel of birth and death

-Tanshan

‘Tanshan’ which means Cold Mountain, was the pseudonym adopted by an unknown poet who lived in China as a hermit 1,200 years ago.

All it needs is belief

November 5, 2007

All it needs is belief. And this, as I might have guessed, is how it is done. We give the gods a name and they quicken in us, they rise in their glory and power and majesty out of minds, they move forth to act in the world beyond, changing us and it. So it is that the beings we are in the process of becoming will be drawn out of us. We have only to find the name and let its illumination fill us. Beginning, as always, with what is simple.

An Imaginary Life
A novel by David Malouf

I was at one with the rest of the earth, that grass grew green upon me, that the autumn sun fell on me and under its rays the warm scent of youth wafted from every pore of my far-flung evergreen body. As my waters and mountains lay spread out through every land, dumbly soaking up the radiance of a cloudless sky, an elixir of life and joy was inarticulately secreted from the immensity of my being. So it is that my feelings seem to be those of our ancient planet, ever germinent and efflorescent, shuddering with sun-kissed delight. The current of my consciousness streams through each blade of grass, each sucking root, each sappy vein, and breaks out in the waving fields of corn and in the rustling leaves of the palms.

I am impelled to give vent to this sense of having authentic ties of blood and affection with the earth. But I know that most people will not understand me and think of my idea distinctly queer.

A 24 year old Tagore (year 1892), in a letter to his niece, Indira.

na main dharmi nahi adharmi

November 1, 2007

na main dharmi nahi adharmi na main jati na kami ho

na main kehta na main suntan na main sevak swami ho

na main bandha na main mukta na nirbandh sarvangi ho

na kahu se nyara hua na kahu ka sangi ho

na hum narak lok ko jate na hum sarag sidhare ho

sab hi karam hamara keeya hum karman ten yare ho

ya mat ko ki birla bujhe so satguru ho baithe ho

mat kabir kahu ko thape mat kahu ko mete ho

 – Kabir

nothing but thy love

October 31, 2007

Yes, i know, this is nothing but thy love, O beloved of my heart – this golden light that dances upon the leaves, these idle clouds sailing across the sky, this passing breeze leaving its coolness upon my forehead.

The morning light has flooded my eyes – this is thy message to my heart. Thy face is bent from above, thy eyes look down on my eyes, and my heart has touched thy feet.

– Tagore, in Geetanjali

Naina

October 20, 2007

I am ready, baby. What can I promise you that will bring you to birth?

Tell me you will love me into being. Tell me you will not be afraid.

That would be untrue, baby.

Then tell me you will live with your fear and your doubt and even so, bring me to light.

-Shauna Singh Baldwin

a short excerpt, from the short story, ‘Naina’ from the book, ‘The HarperCollins Book of New Indian Fiction’. A short introduction, you can find on my other blog at,
http://www.delhidreams.blogspot.com

will be posting more from this wonderful collection.

Sit…

October 19, 2007

Sit, drink your coffee here; your work can wait awhile.
You’re twenty-six, and still have some of life ahead.
No need for wit; just talk vacuities, and I’ll
Reciprocate in kind, or laugh at you instead.

The world is too opaque, distressing and profound.
This twenty minutes’ rendezvous will make my day:
To sit here in the sun, with grackles all around,
Staring with beady eyes, and you two feet away.

– Vikram Seth