Tag Archives: Rabindranath Tagore
(41) “A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.” (Chanakya)
(42)“Laxmi (goddess of wealth) and Sarswati (goddess of education) cannot live together”. (By Author based on a line of a Gujarati poem)
(43)“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
(44) “Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.” (A dialogue from Shakespeare’s play)
(45) “God is not in idols. Your feelings are your God and the soul is your temple.” (Chanakya)
(46) “Honest hearts produce honest actions.” (Brigham Young)
(47) The honest man thinks honestly, speaks honestly and works honestly. (Valibhai Musa)
(48) “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”(Socrates)
(49) “The ultimate end of man is to find the One (God) which is in him, which is his truth, which is his soul, the key with which he opens the gate of the spiritual life, the heavenly kingdom.” (Rabindranath Tagore)
(50) “Whoever knew his soul, knew his Lord.” (Hajarat Imaam Ali)
(51)“In knowing Thee, O Wonder of the Cosmos, the mind is weakened all the while; Whenever my reason comes a span closer to Thee, it surely flees a mile.” (Unknown source)
(52) “Man has overcome steam and electricity; but he could not overcome his mind. He reached the planets, but could not reach his inner soul.” (By author based on a stanza of a Gujarati poet)
(53)“Say not, ‘I have found the truth’; but rather, ‘I have found a truth’.” (Khalil Gibran)
(54)“Soul made intention of leaving. I said, ‘Do not leave’. It said, ‘What can I do? The house is falling apart’.” (A poetic quote from an unknown source)
(55) “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, and it is destroyed when you are cruel.” (King Solomon)
(56) “Kindness is the root of Dharma (Religion).” (Saint Tulsidas)
(57)“To overcome evil with good is good; to resist evil by evil is evil.” [Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)]
(58) “The uplifting of soul depends on uplifting of the character. We are now approaching a global economy, a global culture. Now let us globalize this mission of ‘Humanity’ to establish Universal Peace. Souls of individuals make the soul of a nation; and souls of the nations make the soul of the universe. To make the universe glorious, the individuals will have to promote their souls towards advancement and perfection.” (Valibhai Musa)
Click here to read in Gujarati
In Sanskrit, there is a verse (Shloka) as “साहित्य संगीत कला विहीन, साक्षात् पशु, पूच्छविश्नहीन” (Sahitya sangeet-kala vihin, sakshat pashu poochchh vishna-hin). Its translation is as “A man, not interested in Literature, Music (Classical – as it is the ancient verse) or any Art, is just like an animal without a tail and horns.” Here, I am going to discuss only literature in context to human life. Literature is an indispensable necessity of human life. It is an eye opener, a driving force to mould our life and a preacher to understand human life, human love, human nature and overall to say humanism. The literature helps a man to come out from animalism and adopt humanism. Gift of intellect from God to a man makes him different and superior to all other creatures. The study of literature, inclusive of religious ones and other sciences, not only sharpens the intellect of a human; but also provides him inspiration and aptitude to know everything, visible or disguise, in the universe. With reading the works of poets, philosophers and intellectuals and also religious literature of spirituality, divinity and mysteries of the universe and its Creator, a man can become capable to uplift himself to be a super human from simply a human. The literature feeds the human mind and soul such a food with which it can enrich own thoughts to make own life successful and think for the good of the whole mankind of the universe.
A matured man or woman who remains indifferent towards literature is just like a kid of a famous poem of Rabindranath Tagore titled as ‘Authorship’. I know that to spare more space for this side reference in my brief essay is not appropriate, but I can’t withhold myself as I am sure that the poor level of the kid of the poem to understand literature will compel my Readers to admit that the people, matured but passive towards literature, are like this kid unable to understand literature with the only difference that they people do not play with toys and swing in cradles. Let us enjoy some pieces of thoughts of the kid of above poem here below.
The child complains to its mother with some charges put upon its father, an author. Firstly, it says that the father writes a lot of books but what he writes is beyond its (kid’s) understanding. It tries to make its mother agree with that she is also in same position unable to understand what he writes. The child considers the mother superior to the father as she can tell nice stories which the father can’t write. A very cute question is asked whether he has not heard the stories of giants, fairies and princesses from his own mother or has forgotten them all. Further, the child says that the father is crazy towards writing books as if he plays at making books. The child complains also that she does not allow it to make the slightest noise in the house that may disturb him. In child’s view, the writing of books is nothing more than its own writing of the alphabets just as a..b..c..d..e in its notebook. We can see the humorous argument of the child in a climax that the father wastes heaps and heaps of papers and she does not allow it (kid) to take a single sheet of paper to make a boat with. Here, my summary of the poem is over but I recommend to my Readers to read original text of the said poem to enjoy it nicely.
Now, I once again come to my main track of the theme of my essay. Today, the Reading of literature has decreased to a considerable rate. Two factors have played their rolls in this regard; one, other forms of entertainment such as TV, Movie, Sports etc. have become popular and, two, human life has become strenuous in gaining money for survival of the family. In such situation, the Reading is going to become a lost art and that is not a good sign for the future of the world.
Modern means of entertainment which have taken place of Reading of literature are merely aimed to give pleasure, luxury and time-pass only. They are far away from teachings of any moral lessons or developing any wisdom in the minds and souls of the people. No doubt, all these are the various forms of an Art, but they are deficient and imperfect for cultural advancement of the people.
For centuries, a debate on art, divided into two schools of thought as ‘Art for art’s sake’ and ‘Art for life’, has been going on without any conclusion. Concept of ‘Art for art’s sake’ may be good for artists themselves as they are the monopoly holders of saving art, but the common men need something more that may uplift them in all aspects of their lives, something that may empower them to strengthen their inner thoughts, something that may realize them the realities of life rather than flying high in the sky of imaginations. Any art whether it may be even literature must have the aim of bringing some change in human behaviors and morals. Modern popular arts such as western noisy music, vulgar performance of dance, nude painting and photography, violent and sexy movies and TV serials are just like slow poisons for the new generation capable enough to throw them deep down into the valley of decline. We can distinguish the basic difference between literature and other arts in a very simple way that literature teaches us what to enjoy and other arts teach us how to enjoy.
Literature opens the windows of our mind through which we can gaze towards the unknown inner and outer world which we have not yet seen. The works of great writers have changed the thinking directions of the people with their writings. They have sown the seeds of social awareness and ethical reformation in the minds of the people and many revolutions such as developing ideas of democracy, abolishing slavery and hatred towards so called untouchables, avoiding discriminations of all kinds, uplifting the status of a woman in society etc. have been possible covering the most part of the world and its numerous communities. It is the role of literature that has changed the most of the false traditions throughout the globe. To maintain the size of my Article, I cannot catalogue all those books both literary and religious which have played a vital role in changing the values of human life.
Literature is capable to change our beliefs if they have been falsely hammered into our minds. It makes us a mentally matured person to grow high towards understanding. An American historian and author – Barbara W. Tuchman quotes on books of literature as “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled (lame), thought and speculation at a standstill.” For expansion of horizons of knowledge, no any alternative other than books can be so effective and result oriented.
My humble request and counseling to parents worldwide is that they should encourage their children to read some good books or cultural magazines. In modern social system, birthdays of children are celebrated by giving them various gifts. Should we not add at least a single good book to the list of gifts?
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd.: May 5, 2008
In my previous Article “My Lyrics – I” ; I had given you, in a single sentence, the definition of lyric that it is a poem that expresses the personal feelings of the lyricist. Here, I would like to add somewhat more into that regard that the lyric is related to a category of poetry that expresses not only the feelings but also the thoughts of the poet in a song like style or form. A successful poet leads the Reader to such a climax of his lyric that it becomes a wonderful piece of workto enjoy by heart. Before I go to my two lyrics, I am going to represent a short poem written by Rabindranath Tagore. I am little bit afraid of any breach of copyright of this poem, but I assure to who-so-ever is concerned to withdraw it from my Article in case of any objection brought to my knowledge. ( My email Id is already under my first Introductory Article “About me”. ) Well, some critics may not agree with me, but I’ll categorize Tagore’s quoted poem under the form of a lyric. Let us enjoy together a poem written by a great poet and also a Noble Prize winner for his poetry “Geetanjali”.
It is as follows:
The fish in the water is silent,
the animals on the earth is noisy,
the bird in the air is singing.
But man has in him the silence of the sea,
the noise of the earth
and music of the air.
– R. Tagore
Now, go to my Gujarati Lyrics (ઊર્મિ કાવ્યો) here below :-
ચંચુ મહીં તૃણ ગ્રહી
નિજના અર્ધાપર્ધા સર્જાયા એ
ધસમસતા કપોત તણી
તત્પરતામાં તન્મય થઈ,
હું ય ચહું;
ગ્રહવા નિજ ઓષ્ઠ મહીં
તુજ બંધ પોપચાં
સ્વપ્નસભર – જે સ્વપ્ન તૃણશાં
રહ્યાં આજ લગ,
નવ બનિયાં એ અમ જીવનનીડ.
રખે ઓષ્ઠસ્પર્શે તું જાગે,
દુજી આંખ તુજ ઝબકી ઊઘડે,
ખરી પડે એ સપનતણખલાં !
હું ય ચૂગું
સૌ સાથ, થૈ પારેવડું !
પણ ચણ નહિ,
મારે તો ચણવી
છાપ તમ પગલાં તણી !
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. 12th November, 2007
Click here to read in Gujarati
Some of my Readers, having gone through my previous blog ‘,Inspired Knowledge’ contacted me by various means and requested that I may write some more Articles like that of appealing to spirituality or philosophy. Prof. Vinayak Raval, a friend of mine, was once of the same opinion after his review of this particular story. ‘Inspired Knowledge’ is written in a typical style as the debate of some philosophical issues; but, today, I am going to represent my study about ‘soul’ in the form of an essay in brief; rather it is like to fill an ocean into a very small earthen pot.
The supreme aim of human life is to know the God. Rabindranath Tagore has quoted, “The ultimate end of man is to find the One (God) which is in him, which is his truth, which is his soul, the key with which he opens the gate of the spiritual life, the heavenly kingdom.” Ali Ibn Abu Talib (AS) also said, “Whoever knew his soul, knew his Lord.” The man has acquired knowledge in various sciences, but the profound philosophy of truth regarding God, soul, universe, life, death etc. has not yet ended with any concrete conclusions unanimously. Out of various topics mentioned here, the knowing of God is rather difficult due to the certain limitations of the human mind. Somebody has said, “In knowing Thee, O Wonder of the Cosmos, the mind is weakened all the while; Whenever my reason comes a span closer to Thee, it surely flees a mile.” A Gujarati poet has also said, “Man has overcome steam and electricity; but he could not overcome his mind. He reached the planets, but could not reach his inner soul.” Khalil Gibran’s quotation in this regard is also significant: “Say not, ‘I have found the truth’; but rather, ‘I have found a truth’.”
My preamble is over here and, now, I start to step further into my subject of soul, today. The very first basic belief about soul, in view of many scholars and also religions, is that it is a creation. Creation is always dependent of the Creator. Here, I put an example thought out myself to go further into the subject. The example is of a wooden chair, a creation; and the carpenter, its creator – better to say ‘maker’ of the chair. The chair came into existence (formation) with the workmanship of the carpenter. He designed it and gave the shape or mode of the chair using wood. This is simply an example and, by no way, the carpenter can take the place of the Creator and also the chair of the soul. All the four are quite different with their respective pairs.
Let us go further some deep into the illustration. The chair is dependent of the carpenter. It came into existence from the wood and the work of the carpenter. The Creator is eternally in existence and the rest other than Him came into existence from non-existence as His work. Thus, the Almighty God is on one part and all the rest visible or invisible in the universe are on the other part on our thinking platform. They are known as the Creator and the creations respectively. Soul is also the part and parcel of His creations. Everything including soul is from Him. The carpenter made the chair from the matter (wood); but soul is created by the Creator without any matter (object).
Further, we divide our hypothesis into two possibilities how the God has created soul. (1) Soul might have been created by his order, commandment or authority. Here it is not to be meant as any utterance of any words as we do, but His will is sufficient for anything He wishes to do. (2) Creation of soul would have been His work or task. Here also any workmanship or labor is not to be understood, but simply to say that soul is His work, a created thing and not at all self-existent.
Here, I would like to clarify that the opinions regarding the subject in discussion may vary wildly according to some religions and philosophies and also extremely contradictory. Some consider the soul as immaterial, while others consider the soul possibly having a material component. Dr. MacDougall has scientifically tried to establish that the soul has the weight of some ¾ of an ounce or 21.3 grams through his experiments on dying persons. The theory of the soul having material form and also weight has been discarded not only by religions bent people but also the scientists. Whatever the difference of opinion may be in this regard, but it is interesting that human has been trying to know the mystery of these philosophical issues for the numerous centuries or perhaps millenniums.
Now, we come to our track of the subject. Previously in my preface of ‘Inspired Knowledge’ I had put an equation to explain existence of Human with combination of body and soul. Here below, we will try to know about the functions of both body and soul specifically.
Let us take first body in debate. The properties (characteristics) of the body are mainly growth and decay. Body requires food and it is kept securely in stomach. Its next functions are digestion and removal of the waste through urine, stool, perspiration and air etc.. Food turns into blood which circulates in the body through veins. Thus the body exists living until death comes. Body is the house of the soul and when it falls down, the soul leaves it at once. Somebody has said in a poetic style, “Soul made intention of leaving. I said, ‘Do not leave’. It said, ‘What can I do? The house is falling apart’.” Now, where the soul goes is not our subject here and if God wishes we may perhaps discuss it separately later on.
Our discussion about body still continues. We tried to understand in general the internal system of body with functions of internal organs. Now, we shall see in brief the function of one more internal organ which is called brain in Anatomy. In terminology of spirituality it is called mind. Our brain (mind) is the assistant of our soul and the master of the body. This assistant may play a roll of either an angel (friend) or a devil (enemy) of our soul. Further to clarify, it can be said that the brain has five employees under it that can be named as eyes, ears, nose, tongue and finger tips. These are the media of sensations respectively; sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch. When the brain experiences all these sensations, it can be said that the brain is in a state of animation or living; otherwise it is called as dead brain. Thus, the properties of the functions of brain are love and hate. My intelligent Readers can understand how our feelings of love and hatred lead us towards good or evil deeds.
Thinking, memory and knowledge are the vital functions of the brain. Immediately after these abilities of the brain, the two functions of soul start; and they are forbearance and dignity. These two positive virtues of soul work as the initial driving force to still superior advancement of spirituality which may be known as Divinity of the soul. It is named also the Tranquil soul and it is the highest stage of its perfection. This perfection can be acquired with good deeds. King Solomon has said, “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, and it is destroyed when you are cruel.” Saint Tulsidas has also said in a verse,’ “Kindness is the root of Dharma (Religion).”
Let us go further. The soul of Divinity is now capable to have powers such as (1) To be immortal in morality (2) To get bliss in adversity (3) To find honor in disgrace (4) To be poor in riches; and (5) To have patience in woes. With these virtues, the soul achieves the most valuable state of faith as to accept the will of God and submit to His commands. This Tranquil soul conquers not only its worldly desires but also the desire of the paradise too. It becomes apart from temptation of Heaven and fear of Hell. In view of this Tranquil soul, the Heaven and Hell are also creations and its supreme goal is the Creator – to get His nearness and to have His mercy.
The theories invented by human minds regarding soul are many. Religions are many, but they all are unanimous in differentiating good deeds and evil deeds. The fundamental principles of all religions are the same. These common principles may make a new school of thought and behavior. This ideology may be named as ‘Humanity’. The motto of this ‘Humanity’ may be laid out as ‘Live and let live.’ The true followers of any religion are of the opinion of ‘self reform’. After the self reformation of own, they propagate for good and forbid to evil. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has said in a tradition, “To overcome evil with good is good; to resist evil by evil is evil.” The uplifting of soul depends on uplifting of the character. We are now approaching a global economy, a global culture. Now let us globalize this mission of ‘Humanity’ to establish Universal Peace. Souls of individuals make the soul of a nation; and souls of the nations make the soul of the universe. To make the universe glorious, the individuals will have to promote their souls towards advancement and perfection.
Summing up, this Article is the collective work of my own ideas, a little bit my inspired knowledge, memory of my reading in past in the subject and also the support of recently referred book ‘Journey to the unseen world’.
May God unite all humans in their various complexions, nationalities, races and lineages.
Dtd.: 3rd August, 2007