Truth-Spirit of Enquiry


Sri Aurobindo


My breath runs in a subtle rhythmic stream;

It fills my members with a might divine:

I have drunk the Infinite like a giant's wine.

Time is my drama or my pageant dream.

Now are my illumined cells joy's flaming scheme

And changed my thrilled and branching nerves to fine

Channels of rapture opal and hyaline

For the influx of the Unknown and the Supreme.


I am no more a vassal of the flesh,

A slave to Nature and her leaden rule;

I am caught no more in the senses' narrow mesh.

My soul unhorizoned widens to measureless sight,

My body is God's happy living tool,

My spirit a vast sun of deathless light.



The Song of India

What song shall I sing of you, my Mother?

I asked.

'Shall I sing

Of the Himalayas with their snow-born peaks,

Of the three seas that wash your palm?

Shall I sing

Of your clear dawn with its pure gold-streaks?'

Said the Mother imperturbable, calm;

'Sing of the beggar and the leper

That swarm my streets.

Sing of the filth and the dirt

That foul my sylvan retreats.'

'What song shall I sing of you, my Mother?'

I asked.

'Shall I sing

Of your rock-cut temples, epics in stone,

Of your children that died to call you their own,

Their very own?

Of the seers and prophets that hewed the straight path

For the man that pilgrims alone?

Said the Mother in indignant words

That beat into my ears like gong,

That flew about me, a pitiful thing,

Like great white birds:

'Sing of the millions that toil.

Sing of the wrinkled face

Indexing ignorance.

'Sing of the helpless child

Born in a bleak, dark home.

Nervous, I yet would ask,

Deeming it my task:

'What song shall I sing of you, my Mother?

What song?

Shall I sing of the dam and the lake?

Of steel mills, the ship-building yard?

Of the men that work hard

To technologiese, to put you on the page

Of the Atomic Age?

Said the Mother: '0f these you may sing.

But sing also of the strikes, early

and late,

Of iron men that come in their wake,

Of class-war and its correlate.'

Querulous, I said:

'Is there no song that I can sing of you,

Heart-whole, unalloyed'?

A song bathed in the stainless blue

Unvapouring in the void?'

At that the Mother rose, draped in blue sky.

Milk-white oceans heaved round her. Their waves

Were the entrancing and enthroning light

On which she sat and wrote the Book of the Morrow.

Her forehead opened like earth's destiny

Yielding the sun-god, cancelling all sorrow.

It was clear dawn. Like a nightmare fled the night

And the sun-beam was as the Hand that saves.



Blow the garden of my life into bloom

Sane Guruji


Lord, blow the garden of my life into bloom

A skilled gardener that you are.

keep the garden

Propitiate in it the celestial grace

The bother of the past abounds here

Set the bird free to fly

Spite and malice are the stones

Break them and make the tree of love bloom

Sexual passion and carnal desire

are sure to eat away this garden

With the baton of renunciation,

banish them away

Raise here a beautiful temple

of dauntless faith and the worship of the virtue

Spatter here the jigging fountains

of ardour and joy

Bring into being the cool and serene arbour

of rectitude and sanctity

Blowing the garden into bloom. Lord. dwell there.

and blow then your sweet flute.


Translated from Marathi by Pradeep Gopal Deshpande


Truth-Respect for All Religions

The Only True Religion

Sane Guruji

To offer love to the world

is the only true religion

The mean and the extremely base in this world,

the meek and the downtrodden in this world

should be sought and uplifted

Give love to the world

Those that are forever miserable and most helpless

Those that are oppressed by all

should be sought and lit by laughter

Give love to the world.

Do not rack anyone for no reason

Do not slight anyone for no reason

Regard all as your brothers

Give love to the world

All are children of God

All are dear to him

Do not look down upon anyone

Give love to the world

This is the essence of religion

This is the essence of truth

Die for the weal of others

Give love to the world


Translated from Marathi by Pradeep Gopal Deshpande.


Truth-Service to others

The Voice of Man



Today I have heard the voice of man.

Filled with life's passion,

Vibrant, flushed with emotions,

Surging forward like a wave of molten steel.

The voice of man, not a few howling madmen,

Grim, violent, terrifying,

Hissing like venomous snakes

Swirling on the shoulder of death.


Today I have heard the voice of man

In burgeoning fields, in fat pastures,

In the perpetual pulse of factories,

In long veins of mines underground,

Ploughs scoring the earth's bosom,

Crackling limbs of giant machines,

Vast ships cleaving the surging seas,

Song, dance, books, buildings, statues,

Countless lips, innumerable eyes,

All crying out for justice now.


Today I have heard the voice of man.

My desires, my heart,

Every fibre of my being

Longs to dissolve in this voice.

0 watchdogs of religion,

0 flag-bearers of cruel politics,

You tremble when you hear the voice.

But I - I weave my song

From the strands of the voice of man.


Translated from Urdu by Baidar Bakht and Kathleen Grant Jaegar.



Truth-Respect for All Religions

Dream of Dawn (Khwab-e-Sehar)

Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz


For ages has the radiant sun been shining in the skies,

But human mind has always struggled in the shade of night.


Darkness has held its sway since the world began,

Not a ray was allowed to light the head or heart of man.


Religion too from time to time has made her vain forays,

The rain of revelation too has purified this place.


Angels too from time to time have descended on this earth,

Noble souls have also been displaying their precious worth.


Moses, Umraan, Mary's Jesus-all showed their spiritual might,

Ram, Gautam, Faroun, Haaman, all have their hands tried.


Wielders of the pen and sword have also walked this globe,

The world has been graced by unnumbered reverend folk.


For centuries has the human heart to idols been a prey,

Islam too, like vernal cloud, has fertilised this clay.


Mullahs have been sermonising in the holy mosques,

Brahamins have been chanting hymns in their synagogues.


Man has been supplicating saints and sages wise,

Human misery, all the same, has all recipes defied.


Human brow has always bent at this or that threshold,

Humanity has always suffered inequities untold.


There has been no dearth of leaders, or of prophets wise,

Greed for gold has plied its trade wearing religious guise.


Feeling hearts have tried to leaven knowledge with the light of love,

The clouds of darkness, nevertheless, have always hung over this earth,


Such struggle, such suffering, such heinous carnage!

How long has man been to superstition a slave!


Human mind has at last awakened from its heavy sleep,

In the stormy night of life, in the superstitious deep,


Has at least dreamt a dream of the golden dawn,

Looked at last towards the East, where none before glanced.


Translated from Urdu by K.C. Kanda


Truth- Spirit of Enquiry

Words, and Words

Nirmalaprabha Bordoloi


I am in the midst of words

In the midst of words I

The words are in my midst.


With words I see

I recognise

I introduce myself

I smell

I touch

Each tremble

I perceive closeness.


Words make me stand

On many levels

At the same moment

I become he

He becomes myself

Just in a moment

The fragrance of sky

Gives me wings

I enter into the depths of the perfume

With a tree I become tree

With a river, river.


The sound make me sicken

Distressed, stunned

They make me excited

They arose the thousand 'I's in me

Like a murmuring breeze

Like a thing seen in flash

Like a sound faintly heard.


I become agitated

I run to touch me

To turn my face away

I search for 'Amitabha'

I search for 'Adityabarna'

I search for 'Nilanjana'

Where are you all?


I want to become blue

I want to be of the colour of gold

I want to burn my body to ashes

So much blood in words

So much fire in words.


Translated from Assamese by Ajit Barua.


Truth- Discrimination

The Guru



True of tongue are the truly holy;

Truth never from their speech is far;

Truly within their heart, Thou dwellest

Truth that is true, all things that are

Truth, unto them Thou truly teachest,

Truth this is true without a doubt.

Falsehood never have I abandoned:

False one am I,within, without,

Falsehood not knowing as but falsehood,

Falsely that I should say and do

Falsehood of all falsehoods the falsest

Falsehood not seen to be untrue,

Thy doing all who in me being

My mind at Thy behest and beck

Movest, What can I do all helpless?

Thou art the Guru round whose neck


Dark blue the ring of drunken poison

For ever burns, Siva. Thou art

The Guru who as Vishnu camest

To men Thy wisdom to impart.

Thou sittest on Thy seat of lotus

Expounder of the Vedas four,

Brahma, whose head the four-ways faceth.

Four -faced who is from ever more.

In all the creeds to calling voices

The gracious Guru comest Thou;

And to Thy saints whose cry Thou hearest,

Foresake us not,O, succour now,

Thou Love, to loving ones, becomest,

Wise Counsellor in doings all,

O Source of Grace, in joy past thinking,

That dancest in high Wisdom's Hall.


Translated from Tamil by T.Isaac Tambyah.


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry

If Your Steps Slacken

Kulo Thungan


My dear heart: you keep rolling in dust and reveling

in fifth like a worm ; do not seem to

aspire for anything of value.


You do not aim to soar and swim in

the sky and fly in space----

You are cuddled in the

prison--house of your flesh and blood:

The one that moves on the stomach

can never attain any great height.


I see no urge, no throbbing, no

energized endeavor on your part:

You do not seem to seek the

light of learning ,yearn for

goals that transcend human bounds.

You have no pride---

Cannot shun the petty, nor

Entertain any longing for a surging life and  glory

You seem to be happy living in dizzy darkness.


The grass, the shrub, the worm

and lifeless stone---all have a story of their own:

To be born, to grow, to procreate.

To wither with age and die,

is common to every life:

Endowed with a boundless mind, able to dream

and imagine

you are the peak of all creations.


You are the perennial spring of

ambitions and emotions that break all

chains and continue the onward march..

Yours is the scripture that proclaims

that the inaccessible and the impossible

have no place in your faith.


You are like a poet who wanders singing in the sky

and in space ;who moves in the

world of the moon and beyond.

You are as free and exuberant as

the lark in a wooded forest.

You mix the golden rays of the

sun, enjoy the company of the clouds with

the flash of lightning and

there you sing your songs of

liberty and liberation.


Yours is a mind that has the

majesty of logic and reason;

What has so far been impossible for you,

has not been found possible for anyone else.

From the beginning of life, the journey that

you undertook ,you continue tirelessly.

You are he creator of all the angels, god and

Other heavenly beings that the world talks about;

You are also the father of the sciences

that destroyed many myths.


We do not know till today

whether it is for good or bad,

with a purpose or without one,

why this world came into existence.

But from all the we know of,

it is humanity that devised the means , the method

and form for growth , and you continue to grow:

In the path of progress you used the tools of logic,

inquiry, endeavor and courage as your companions.


You made a conquest of nature but in harmony with it

could make the forces of nature do your bid:

Humanity today stands above everything that

the world knows of and

you are one among its heirs.

If there be one that is omnipotent,

who has seen any so far excepting your race?

Your tradition and legacy are great:

Great is the heritage that you have to

sustain and transmit.

Your fame and accomplishments have a

long ancestry;

Where pettiness, hatred and avarice do not


You are as great as your goals:

With the majesty of a mountain,

with a mind clear as the rays of the sun

and calm as the pleasant moon,

move ahead and keep moving ahead;

smash all the obstacles, and never should you rest.

My dear heart, if your steps move forward,

the world moves forward: if your steps

slacken the world will stagnate.


Translated from Tamil by the author.


Truth- Respect for All Religions

The Rebel

Kazi Nazrul Islam


Say, courageous one---

Say, high I hold my head!

The Himalayas look up at mine and humbly bow their


Say : I pierce through the great sky of the universe,

I reach above the moon, the sun, the planets and the stars,

I break through the limits of earth and all the heavens

And even the seat of God almighty,

And rise ever higher

To the eternal surprise of the Ruler of the Universe.

On my brow shines Shiva the Destroyer

as the benedictory seal of the triumph of king of kings !

Say, courageous one---

My head remains ever high!


I am ever irrepressible, impudent and merciless:

I am the dancing Shiva of the Great Cataclysm,

I am cyclone, I am destruction,

I am mortal terror, I am the curse of the earth,

I am irresistible,

I destroy everything to bits!

I am the negation of all rule, I am reckless,


I trample down all restraints, all bonds of do's

and don'ts!

I obey no law,

I sink vessels laden to the brim,

I am the torpedo and the terrible floating mine!

I am Shiva with his flying locks

who ushers the untimely nor'wester of summer,

I am the rebel, the mutinous child of the Goddess

of the universe !

Say, valiant one: my head remains ever high!


I am the storm, the tornado,

I go on pulverising whatever comes in my way.

I am dance-mad rhythm,

I dance on to my own time-beat,

I am uninhibited joy of life---

I am the ragas Hambir, Chhayanat, Hindol<3>

I am quick with movement, I go my way

with quick gestures and sudden leaps and bounds---

I am Hindol with its lightning -quick arias.

So, friend, I do whatever my mood dictates,

I embrace adversaries or wrestle with them---

I am violent mad, I am the sudden storm!

I am the plague, the terrifier of the earth.

I am the ruler's terror, am mass destruction,

I am burning hot, ever restless.

Say, brave warrior---

Ever high stands my head.


I am ever reckless, ever ungovernable

I am irrepressible, the cup of my life

is always , yes always, full to the brim,

I am the sacrificial fire,

I am the Yamadagni who kept the sacred fire ever alive,

I am Yagna  and the officiating priest,

I am Agni, the god of fire!

I am Creation, I am Destruction,

I am human habitation and the cremation ground,

I am the termination, the end of night!

I am the son of the Queen of gods with the moon

in my hand and the sun on my brow,

One hand holds the curved bamboo flute

and the other the trumpet of war.

My throat is black from the ocean of pain!

I am Shiva who catches in his matted locks

the mad water of the cascade at Gangotri---

Say, fearless one: my head stands ever high.


I am the Bedouin, I am Chengis,

I salute none but myself.

I am thunder, I am the sound of Om on Shiva's horn,

I am the trumpet of Israfil that blasts fiercely,

I am the castanet and the trident of Shiva,

I am the staff of justice of the Great Just.

I am the fearsome din of the primeval Om,

I am the wheel and the great conch of Vishnu

I am a disciple of the mad sages Durvas and


I am the forest fire and shall burn down the universe!

I am open-hearted laughter and exaltation,

I am the Dragon's Head engulfing the Twelve Suns

at the Great Destruction!

I am serene sometimes, sometimes restless, ruthlessly


I am Youth with red blood, I am he that humbles God.

I am the ebullience of the storm, the ocean's great din,

I am bright, shining ever bright,

I am the rippling surge of water and the roll of moving waves!


I am the plaited braid of the heart –free maiden's locks,

and the fire in the eyes of the girls of winsome shape.

I am the wild love blossoming lotus-like

in the heart of the sweet sixteen----

Blessed am I!

I am the absent mind of the indifferent,

the tearful sigh in the widow's heart

and the lament of the despairing yearner,

I am the sorrow of deprivation living in the heart

of the homeless wanderer living on the road,

I am the heart-pangs of the humiliated, and again,

the burning torment in the soul of love out thrown!


I am the numbing pain in the offended, long-aggrieved heart,

I am the trembling stealer of imagined kisses

and the quaking first touch of the virgin.

I am the lightning glance of the secret beloved

and the repeated looks on every pretence,

I am the love of the restless girl and the jingle of her bracelets.

I am the eternal child, the eternal boy,

I am the hem of the garment, the breast –cloth and the

scarf of the village maiden timorous of her youth

I am the north wind, the breezes of spring

and the east wind that cause the mind to stray,

I am the deep melody of the wayfaring bard

and the music of the bamboo flute.

I am the raging thirst of summer, the blazing sun,

I am the trilling spring in desert oases

and the kaleidoscope of joy---

What madness! I am mad!

I have suddenly discovered myself, and all my bonds

have fallen off!


I am rise and fall, the consciousness in inert minds,

I am the banner of victory over the gateway of the world.

I rush, fleet as storm, clapping my hands that hold heaven

and earth ---

My carriers, the spirited Borrak and Uchchaisrava,

sprint with challenging neighs!


I am the volcano in the bosom of earth,

the forest fire ,the holocaust of doom,

and the reverberations of the surging sea of fire

in bowels of the earth !

I climb the lightning and fly, leaping, snapping my fingers,

I set sudden earthquakes on and terrify the world.

I clasp to me the fangs of Vasuki the snake,

I catch with my hands the flaming wings of the angel Jibrail!

I am a heavenly cherub, I am ceaselessly active,

I am impudent and tear with my teeth

the garment of the Mother of the Universe !

I am the magic flute of Orpheus<12> --- its music lulls

the heaving ocean into drowsy forgetfulness ,

and in sleep it kisses the earth and soothes it to complete silence.

I am the flute in the hand of Krishna.

As I rage and rush, enveloping the boundless heavens,

The fires of all the hells down below flicker and die in panic!

I am the carrier of rebellion all over the earth.


I am the deluge and floods of Sravan,

I make the earth sometimes beautiful,

sometimes blessed in destruction---

I shall snatch away the twin ladies from Vishnu's breat!

I am lawless, a meteor, malevolent saturn,

I am the comet's terrific heat, the venomouskiller snake!

I am Chandi of the severed head,<15>

the goddess of war who causes absolute ruin,

I sit in the fires of hell and smile the smile of flowers!


I am of the earth made, I am formed of the spirit,

I am ageless, immortal, inexpendible, inexhaustible !

I am the terror of men and demons and the gods,

I am ever unconquerable in the universe,

I am the God supreme over the God of the universe,

The all-transcendent Truth,

I dance my way madly over heaven, hell and earth!

I am mad, I am mad!

I have discovered myself, and today all my bonds are off!


I am the ruthless axe that Parasuram<16> carried

and will rid the world of its tribe of warriors

and usher calm, generous peace !

I am the plough on Balaram's  shoulders

and will uproot with effortless ease this world

in chains ,in the joy of creating it anew.

And I shall rest, battle -weary rebel, only on

the day

when the wails of the oppressed shall not rend

the air

and sky,

and the scimitar and the sword of the oppressor

shall not clang in the fierce arena of battle---

That day my rebel self,weary with fighting,

shall rest appeased.


I am Bhrigu the rebel, and I stamp

my footprints on the bosom of God !

I shall kill the Creator and shall cleave the heart

of capricious God, who smites with grief and anguish!

I am Bhrigu the rebel and will stamp my


on the bosom of God !

I will cleave to the bosom of that capricius

being--- God !


I am the courageous, rebel eternal---

Alone, I tower over the universe with my head unbowed.

In Hindu mythology, Shiva is the Supreme

Deity lording it over destruction and

dissolution. He is also the Preserver guarding

over the welfare of all and sundry. One of his

beneficent acts was to hold in his matted locks

the rushing cascade of the River Ganga as she

descended from the Himalayan hill into the


This act is said to have made Gangetic

civilisation possible.

Manifold aspects of Shiva have been touched upon

in this poem.

 The reference is to Shiva in the tandava

episode when his berserk dance threatened

the destruction of the universe.

 Indian musical modes evocative of joy and


Hindu ritual in honour of gods before the

lighted fire.

 Arab name for the archangel Raphael.

 Dharamaraj, or Yama ,dispenser of divine


In the hands of Vishnu, the wheel is the

weapon of destruction of the wicked and

the conch is for sounding the warning of the

start of a campaign for this purpose.

Two irascible rishis of mythology,

destructively bent.

Mythical winged horses in Arab and Hindu

mythologies respectively.


The Great Snake of mythology with a

thousand heads.

The archangel Gabriel.

The Olympian flutist of Greek mythology.

Krishna , the divine flutist, whose music

in his boyhood made the maidens of Braj

delirious with love for him.

The reference is to Lakshmi and Saraswati ,

goddesses of Plenty and Knowledge


A manifestation of the Supreme Sakti in

extreme abandon, when she severed her own

head and danced with it in her hand.

An incarnation of Vishnu who liquidated

the Kshatriyas, i.e. the martial caste.

Balaram, elder brother of Krishna who

wielded the plough as his insignia and was said

to possess unlimited strength.


Translated from Bengali by Basudha Chakrabarty


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry

The Lunar Eclipse

H.M. Channaiah


That was a lunar eclipse then--- the telescope

might have raised its head and turned towards him---

even the moon might be remembering it:

the illicit taste of the sweet embrace,

the frank talk, and the fear that he would come.

look, the earth that has smeared moon's face with ink

must have laughed.


when it struck one , the dog barked at the moon,

the cat overturned vessel, "it's late, let me

go, he might come", you said

and the impish stars winked knowingly at the

tips of your breasts

and the moon laughed heartily in the necklace of

black beads;

the wind slipped stealthily.


emerging from the pure waters of Caveri, he,

shivering in wet clothes, in vibrant voice,

chanted the ritual words which would propel him

to heaven,

slipped down the curved hips of the hills,

and the moon liberated from Rahu smiled

in the crystal-clear water at the fringe of the lake.

he chanted the ritual words---

in Kailash , the ascetic Shiva blessed him.


again turning into a child, burying the face in

soft breasts,

I played on the slopes beneath,

you said I was the one you had loved with all heart,

and so I, too, said.

It struck six, the bells in the temple rang,

celebrating the release from the evil of the eclipse,

the sun rose separating the red fusion of the thighs of

earth and sky,

the tightness of the link between our bodies and souls,



Translated from Kannada by K. Raghavendra Rao


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry

Under the Clock



Who knows since when it is working---

This clock;

Seconds, minutes, hours-- the hands mark

Night and day.

Hourly, half-hourly, rings its moan

While the snow rolls in the veins;


Snow or sunshine (does it matter?)

The stars roll in the blue vault


Ceaselessly the river flows to the ocean.

But the dark thirst of the salt waves

Is never slaked

For all the sweetness in the river flows.

The cremation ground is thick with the ashes of

burnt lives;

Over a hundred graves the green grass grows!

In the forts and battlements half-ruined


The bat's leathery wing;

While underneath,

Excavating the remnants of lost cities,

The archaeologist's spades



In the dead mid-dark he sat bolt upright;

In the darkness' roar;

And heard

The gnashing of white teeth in the Dark


Tick, tick, tick,

The wristwatch near the pillow

Shattering his bones.


The dawn-wind and the cock-crow called for

a morning walk.

But now the path of bloom and bud is over;

The stark, bare avenue awaits him

With a guard of honour by the skeleton-trees.

He has walked over the dead leaves,

The dry leaves,

And now the shadow falls

Of the sixtieth milestone.


Leaving his walking-stick in the corner

He stood before the mirror:

Head stamped with winter, cheeks sunk, eyes


His own portrait!

On the wall is hung his photo

Taken in the gold light of youth.

It is on that the clock is ticking,

The huge clock, tick, tick, tick.


It is a great temptation to stand before the mirror

Plucking out the grey hair one by one;

Or better, to dye it black,

And well combed,

Walk the streets in the old suit new pressed.

But the radio blares:

" Think of the Lord, O fool, think of the Lord."


He slumped into the chair engrossed

Shutting out the tick of the clock

But his little grandchild came lisping


At that sweet sound

The golden dawn light flashed

Brightening the evening skies.


Translated from Kannada by K.S. Yadurajan.


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry

Flowers, Blood and Darkness Too

Hiren Bhattacharjya


Man is a rice -field

We named it life,

The boatman mind looks upstream and downstream

Even over roaring torrent.

In foothill full of mist and smoke

The slender leaves of light, parting, take


The evening sky is like a basket of flowers


The night is awake after washing the flowers and

leaves with blood.

and the journey is long.


For what are so many flowers

what perennials of the lamp-lighted past future?


Like light

Flowers, blood and darkness too

Are quivering.


Translated from Assamese by Ajit Barua


Truth- Discrimination

Someone Else

Harekrishna Deka


Am I the same seen right now in the mirror?

Am I quite really?

Hair greying, extended chin, shrunken eyebrows

And several furrowy lines on the forehead:

Is this the very same one

Who is myself most intimately


On occasions I doubt

I know not this man.

Is he hideous or handsome

Is he a good for nothing coward

Or one brave and sagacious?


My familiar fellows, my friends

My spouse, my daughter, son and brothers

You my bosses, the providers of my bread,

My obedient juniors,

I have been striving to become

Just what you have asked me to become

Yet, yet myself I know not still.


May be this figure inside the mirror

The one that is frosted by and by

Is my own shadow

You all know him of course

All of you have recognised him to be sure.


But there is an unseen called I within his brain-pan

And it recurringly groans out of the fear

That the total healing touch

Of your healthy hands

Would be laid on it.


Do you get at this?


Anyone, anyone, amidst you all.


Translated from Assamese by Hirendranath Dutta.


Truth-Sprit of Enquiry

Worship the Indweller



I cannot in thy temples worship,

Or, there before Thy symbols bow,

Or pluck. Thy dew-kissed flowers of offering

For in the flower's heart art Thou.

How can I press my palms together,

My body bend to worship Thee,

Since it is all imperfect service,

For thou in dwellest, Lord , in me ?

Thou art the vastness of the ether,

The elements, the primal sound

The Vedas four, the goal of Vedas,

The quest beyond all seeking found,

The quest sublime, its key, its secret,

Thou of all seeing art the sight,

And of all knowing art the knowledge,

Of sight and sense the inner light,

The word and its interpretation,

Form of the silent, saving call,

O Source of Grace in joy past thinking

That dances in high Wisdom's Hall.


Translated from Tamil by T. Isaac Tambyah


Truth- Respect for All Religions




The pot is a god. The winnowing

fan is a god. The stone in the

street is a god. The comb is a

god. The bowstring is also a

god. The bushel is a god and the

sprouted cup is a god.


Gods, gods, there are so many

there's no place left

for a foot.

There is only

one god. He is our Lord

of the Meeting Rivers.


Translated from Kannada by A.K.Ramanujan.


Truth-Sprit of Enquiry

A Prayer

Sukanta Bhattacharya


O Sun! Sun of wintry days!

Icy cold through the long night

we keep waiting for you,

the way the eager eyes of the peasant

wait for the thrilling days

when to scythe their sheaves of paddy.


O Sun, you would surely know

how poorly protected we are

against winter's cold

what pains we take the livelong night

to resist the cold,

sitting by a fire of twigs and straw,

our ears covered up

with a piece of dirty rag.


A slice of the morning sun

appears more precious to us

than even a bit of gold!

That is why we run helter skelter

out of our hovels,

thirsting after a patch of the sun.


O Sun ! give light and warmth

to our damp and wet shelters,

and a little of your heat

to that naked boy by the roadside.

O Sun ! give us a little

out of your warmth , we pray.


You are a veritable ball of fire

we are told.

If you indulge us in our prayer

and give us out of your heat,

day after day,

some day we , too, might become,

each one of us,

a ball of fire.

And when that resultant heat

burns up our agelong inertia,

we might perchance be able

to enrobe that naked boy by the roadside

with all the winter garments he may need.

But, as of this day,

O Sun!

we are your humble supplicants

for an unmiserly gift

of your heat and warmth.


Translated from Bengali by Kshitis Roy



The Firefly

Nirendranath Chakrabarty


You leave the ground with happy ease

I can't, like you---

I don't lose knowing the other's weak

The way you do.

Does this only mean that I

Am not so choosy, nor so high?

I reach out for the sky, no doubt

But to the earth I, am true.


The fish love water, birds the sky

But I love just this earth

I'm homely, I don't venture out

Of tempters there's no dearth-

Does that mean I don't like risk?

A little makes me glad and brisk

My days roll by in my own den

Whatever be they worth!


But when at daybreak countless stars

Glow on sky's range

My breath comes quick, my heart's astir

With something strange---

Does that mean that this same "I"

Am someone when the day is high

But when it's dusk,to someone altered

I do change?


My mind is busy counting words

The whole day long

But it unearths gold in dust

At evensong

I know not why at break of day

A firefly swims and skims away

Within my heart and in my soul

In raptures strong.


Translated from Bengali by Swapna Dutta


Truth-Simple Living

Firm Convictions

Sunil Gangopadhayay


I have not walked in the sky flooding moonlight

For a long, long time

Nor have I stood beside the river

Or scattered grass flowers

On its rippling waves--

For a long time

A long, long time!


And yet I know

That even now the moonlit sky

Waits for me

The sandy bank of the river

Still keenly awaits

The touch of my feet


The grass flower softly sways in the breeze

Waiting for me

To pick it up

The rippling waves

That gush along the river

Will call me

They will send for me some day.

And so I live--

I live because of these firm convictions!


Translated from Bengali by Swapna Dutta


Truth-Respect for all Religions

Religious Harmony

Ghulam Ahmed Mahjoor


Forget your squabbles and love each other,

distribute true amity among yourselves.


Cleanse your hearts, forget your disputes,

shun vengeance, confide in one another.


As Kashmiris you share some land, ethos,

don't alienate one another for naught.


Muslims are milk and Hindus sugar,

mix milk and sugar in sweet accord.


With Hindus at the helm, Muslims to row,

thus will our boat flow smoothly.


Shed ignorance and reckon who are

friends and foes of our motherland.


Aliens can't damage your prestige, only

you should not dishonour each other.


Don't invite strangers to mediate in

internal feuds, resolve them yourself.


Never wish ill to one another, and

never lose each other's goodwill.


No one can harm you if you are united,

don't suffer by tearing yourself asunder.


Don't become enemies of one another,

never create a chasm among yourselves.


O 'bulbuls'! Don't earmark flowers and

trees; enjoy the garden as a whole.


Brothers should not get angry with

each other; unite the knot of your hearts.


Teach good conduct to your unwise

brethren, and give them courage.


Bring succor to those who may be poor,

remain united in love like brothers.


Mahjoor has given a lesson in unity,

remember it and teach it to one another.


Translated from Kashmiri by T.N. Kaul




Ghulam Hasan Beg Arif


Arif, do not with baser metal alloy your gold!

What the touchstone rejects is never pure,

When you lie molten o'er the fire, take heed

Against contamination even by a grain of copper.


Translated from Kashmiri by Trilokinath Raina.


Truth- Spirit of Enquiry


Rahman Rahi


Whether my words have meaning tomorrow,

Tomorrow’s critics will decide;

But I’ll find the gushing waters eternal

If they relieved you of present pain.


Translated from Kashmiri by Trilokinath Raina.



A Poem

Kunwar Narain


Around ten o'clock every day

the same incident recurs.

The same people, in the same way

leaving their wives and children alone

come out of their homes.

Its no earthquake.

While its growing dark,

the same people


to the same homes,

worn out, defeated

appareled in gloom.


I know

this way the earth won't rock.

Nothing will happen this way.

These people are sick and stiff

because of some other reason.

All these

repeatedly, reaching the same conclusion

already reached;

will realise

that falsehood is a fine art

and each man an artist;

maddened through trying to give some meaning


not to the reality

but to his reality.

Now and then

while coming back home in the evening;

the frightening glimpses

of an abstract art

burst from the sky

in my mind.

As if

grinding together

all the discoloured men and things,

someone had spread them on a flat surface.

And against the apparent risk of blood

all the suppressed colours

of man

had emerged on their own.


Translated from Hindi by Apu Vajpeyi and J.Thronton.


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry


Gopal Krishna Adiga


Lord, plying the well-known pumps of heraldic praise

your hirelings bend double; others, gouty wagtails,

lick the land for crumbs; one snuffs his candle out

and seeks like an eunuch leech

the warm marshes in the cracks of light;

another sissy gives his back to the time-fed rumps

and sheathes his dagger deep. Lord, I am not of these.

Here's one who grins inside,

triumphing that his lifted lantern lit the face of dawn;

he cannot bend, this fat-faced cock of the walk:

Lord, cut open this dropsic bulge.

Sleepless water skins join night to day in his belches

drawing long paean-notes with each: run thy sickles

clean in Thy kindness through this miasmic crop,

and turn his daily bread into turning blood;

give the poison-vapours natural vents

and give every one outlets into privacy,

lest they vent their gall on paper-virgins.

More that all, teach them the first lesson

in the hygiene of mastication, two and thirty times

processed and blent in the saliva stream:

even if you do not teach them this, teach them

to learn that they have not learned. Shear the illusion

that onions bring their throats the smell of musk;

O, whenever words are blown to balloon in the Mind

pinpoint O Lord the precision of Thy truth.


Arrest the automation of the dream-sense

as it switches open all the sluices

while inaccessible giant thighs

play fast and loose; do not rouse us to self-abuse

when peris, jostle in a disembodied striptease

in the wind, and in thy infinite mercy

send us frequently reality's women; for the self

to wrestle with and nuzzle in, send real thighs and taut new skins.

At every retreat from the winds outside, do not send

for your guerrilla packs of extinct selves.

Let the guests come home with their bodies full- fleshed;

save me from the pest of the skinless guest.

See every ship to its haven, let no whale-hips swallow

the vessel, keep them going from harbour to harbour.

Keep the going poised against the coming to the very end.

Still, keep the ancestral flames of the wisdom of desire

burning clear and high, untouched by the English pox.


The taper wavers in the wind. Even electric lamps

are vulnerable to a blow. Your mountain of vapours

condenses to a seminal drop and digs into the earth

in its arrogance and spills itself everywhere.

For liquefaction's ecstasy even thorn is as grass.

For a moment's fulfilled desire, days, months, years,

even aeons of desire evaded, turned wrong side

out, twisted.

Father, teach us to produce the full nine-month carnal marvel.

Teach us not to bend, and to bend;

to let the flame dig against the cheek of dawn

and to stay in patience wavering with the wind.

Teach the neighing pride of the wild horse

never to become a hackneyed colt,

give it the habit of bearing upon its back

the airy thighs of the immense world.

Forgetful of the little bedchamber upstairs,

you are the one, the only one with the seminal sap

rising to burgeon in no common loins, nor

waking to pour it between compatible legs.

Awareness such as this, my prince, is an egg

half-brooded over; let the Great Hawk

come bursting through his shell

churning the winds like a silver-gleaming staff

while the burdens loosen under your haunches.


Translated from Kannada by A.K. Ramanujan


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry

A Photographer

B.R. Laxman Rao


I go to take pictures of a wedding

for money, for pleasure.

The place is full of people---hustle, splendour

And gaiety,

the rustling of sarees, the beating of drums,

food, coffee, hospitality.......

None invites me to eats and coffee.

I sit in an empty chair in a corner and watch:

the dry chatter of the old, bent with age;

the chirping vanity of over-ripe maidens;

the anxiety of men.


The kashiyatra, dhare, mangalya-dharana etc.---

by the time the various ceremonies are over

I get to know

the lotus-faces of a number of female-jewels---

their glances, laughter, dramatics

and their names.

My side-whiskers, goggles, silk shirt

tight pants, pointed shoes

and Tony Curtis smile excite

the curiosity and admiration of a number of


and the dumb jealousy of a number of boys.

When I lift my head,

my camera eye sees

a girl, leaning against the stairs,

absorbed, lifting her leg---

and up it goes till

the naked, white flesh of her thighs

and stops thrilled somewhat.


When they call me for food,

for politeness' sake

I say, 'No thank you.'

In the evening

in the hustle of the reception,

in the bustle of the music concert,

they gather round me,

shower their affection,

burn with desire,

show off, smile sweetly

smiles of acquaintance,

lift an eyebrow, throw a side glance

and make me feel

my life's fulfilled----

these women, these beauties.


I click the flash at every edge and every curve

and suck in their beauty

into my camera.

At night, before sleeping

I recall their faces one by one

and ruminate:


I invite the dreams

in vain, in vain!


At last

the next evening

I hand them over

their respective photographs;

they run their eyes with mutual admiration,

with a catch in the throat they laugh

and go away to their respective places,

leaving behind with me

the fading memories

the negatives



Translated from Kannada by S.K.Desai


Truth-Respect of All Religions


Imtiaz Dharkar


A year of fortune lies

across my neck.

It is promised. It will come,

ripening in its season

under a scheming sun. Sweet

juice will burst through skin .

and stain my breast.

There will be no rest

from harvesting.

The blessed touch again.

will warm the flesh,

with the season, into fullness

when my year of fortune comes.

I can feel the promise

glinting at my throat.

On the edge of the knife

(Prepare the lamb, the goat), sweet

song will burst through stun,

sliced, quite perfectly,

between each remembered sin

and sacrifice,

a saviour thrusting in.


Truth- Discrimination

The Last Stop Before the Destination



I shall keep on going like this

Through this green and black,

And red and white earth.

Is there someone?

Is there someone with me?

No, no one.

I rid myself of even the dust

That clung to my feet

During the course of the journey.

Whatever was yours,

I have returned to you-

Anyone else should also claim

What belongs to him.

Don't tell me tomorrow

That I was untrue.

Don't tell me tomorrow

That my intentions were evil.


Translated from Urdu by Baidar Bakht and Kathleen Grant Jaegar.


Truth-Respect of all religions

Grant me no other boon


God, grant me no other boon

Some have gathered around me

or I have gathered some around me

Grant me at least enough strength to fulfill their needs

God, grant me no other boon

Somewhere some little child weeps

Somewhere some family sinks in sorrow

To cheer them up instantly,

give me the mind

God, grant me no other boon

If at all a crucial moment comes

and from everywhere rise cries-

"Awake, folk, and save us from disgrace"

give me a weapon in the hands

God, grant me no other boon

When, beneath the rain of blows,

the body bathes in blood,

and people groan and moan

May the dread of death not demoralize me

God, grant me no other boon.


Translated from Marathi by Pradeep Gopal Deshpande.


Truth-Respect for all religions

Lead our life, God, from darkness to light



You are the catholic soul dwelling in every being

You are the vivifying purity of beauty

Accept this obeisance

Lead our life, God, from darkness to light

Its you who bloom through flowers

Its you who blossom in the sky through stars

In all the just and the religious in this world

its you who dwell

You are present everywhere

in all the forms, I know

Lead our life, God, from darkness to light

Its you who toil in the fields

Its you who labour with the workers

Its you who wipe the tears

of the distressed and the tormented

Your foot rests, 0 holy one,

wherever is selfless service

Lead our life. God, from darkness to light

You are the sword

in the hands that fight for justice

You are the lamp in the hearts of those

who walk in the dark for their goal

You become the fulfilment of the sages

that suffer austerities to seek knowledge

Lead our life. God, from darkness to light

Endowed with your compassion,

0 kind one, I know no fear

On the path ahead

1 shall always seek your foot-prints

Always shall I nurture creativity

fearlessly in my heart

Lead our life. God, from darkness to light


Translated from Marathi by Pradeep Gopal Deshpande.



My Master

Vallathol Narayana Menon


The whole world is his home;

Even the plants and grass and grubs are his kin;

Renunciation his only earning;

His very lowliness his eminence;

So reigns my Master,-the sage of mystic wisdom.

It does not mind if it is decked with star-gems;

It does not mind if it is smudged with cloud-mud

all over;

Nothing sticks to it, nothing besmirches it;-

The sky is always invariably immaculate;

So is my Master!

A river of rare holiness, uninvested by dread


A sacred lamp of smokeless flame,

A vast treasure trove not haunted by serpents,

Limpid moonlight that casts no ominous shadow-

That is my Master!

Without weapons, he wages righteous wars

Without texts, he gives lessons to godliness

Without drugs, he cures diseases,

Without causing the least hurt, he performs


My Master!

Absolute non-violence is the solemn vow of his


Peace has been his special deity from early days;

He is used to saying: 'The matchless armour of


Will blunt the deadly edge of even the hardest


The inspiring utterances of my Master are the


Intimate words of Dharma to his mate whom he has

found at last.

The symphony of the court of supreme truth,

The chimes of the bejwelled anklets of Moksha.

For this warrior who conquers the world with love

The mystic Om is the bow, the soul the arrow,

Brahma the target.

He goes on refining and refining even Omkam,

And takes only the Finest, ultimate spirit of it!

If you wish to see the renunciation of Lord


The strategy of Lord Krishna in defence of Dharma,

The ahimsa of Lord Buddha, the intellectual might

of Sri Sankara,

The infinite riercy of Rantideva, the truthfulness

of Harischandra,

And the intrepidity and constancy of Mohammed,

Blended in perfect harmony in one single person,

Go to my Master, or at least read his story.

Just one glimpse of his feet-and the coward turns

a hero,

The cruel turns merciful, the miser munificent,

The harsh-tongued sweet-spoken, the unclean


The indolent untiringly industrious!

Before this godly ascetic of boundless peace

The assassin's sword is a garland of blue lilies,

The sharp-fanged lion a fawn,

The vast ocean violently battering its shores

A harmless little pool!

To this leader deliberating on matters of moment,

Even the forest is a gilded council chamber.

To this mystic wrap in deep meditation,

Even the heart of the city is the interior

Of a mountain cave!

The good work of this farmer of Dharma

Is raising crops of pure gold from every field;

But the eyes of this great Seer see gold

As but the yellow sand of this earth!

To this man of supreme detachment, august imperial splendour

Is but the devil grinning through the waving chowry;

This king of men who spreads velvet on the rugged

Path of freedom

So that tender feet may not get hurt

Lives always half naked, wrapping himself

In a piece of some coarse bark!

Only the land that gave birth to the Gita

Could bring forth a karmayogi of this calibre;

Onlyin the region between the Himalayan

And the Vindhyan ranges,

Could be found a lion so disciplined in peace;

Only in the land washed by the holy Ganges could flourish

A kalpaka tree which bears so much unmixed good!


Translated from Malayalam by Kainikkara M. Kumara Pillai.



The Belt of the Spinning Wheel

Navakanta Barua


The corded belt of my mother's spinning wheel

was a mystery to me

spool after spool is used up

the distended bobbins pile up in the basket

the empty reel takes a spin or two and stops

But the belt of the spinning wheel is unending

I don't see its ends, just see it move

spelling it out carefully, I write on my slate


One day the cord of the spinning wheel

became quite another thing

I saw a bare string lying on the cement floor

And after that

We bore mother to the ground and burnt her

Now the spinning wheel turns

but the bobbins won't,

in the reel a knotted skein of thread ....

Sitting in the dark of my mind

Gingerly, in Rabindric character

entered in the ledger.


in the morning light,

the stammering poet, me, read



Translated from Assamese by Pradip Acharya


Truth-Respect for All Religions

Everyone's God is one

Kavi Dalpatram


He is Sadashiva and He is Allah

He is the Allmighty He is Helleluiah

Do not discern the Creator to be different

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Worship Krishna and Christ with love

Nor is he different for Jains

God is one but has several names

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Some one will say aqua and others water

But wise do not find this at variance

The ignorant hit their heads at hard rock

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Formless chant some and others incarnate

Some say Father and others Mother

He is assumed according to aspiration

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Somebody imagined God to be

And the eyes saw what is not a thing

Remember the instance of the blind men's rift

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

As there are different dialects in different domains

The Word was revealed uniquely in diverse ideologies

And again, extol what you like

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Even if we live in separate nations

We are the progeny of the same own Father

All are corn harvest growing from the same seed

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

There is no different process of birth or death

Be one Hindu Chinese or Jew

One that gives up scorn and squabble is wise

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Neither Heaven or Hell are different for all

Not is our universe different from others'

Where will you go alone when this globe is one!


My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Liar thief and killer are impious

Kind and honest religious

One-eyed may spot two moons

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

There is no variance in judging right and wrong

Besides male and female there is no third kind

Enjoy the bliss in mutual harmony

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate

Pure rhythms are composed by Dalpatram

Reading them will enlighten all

Then the King of the universe will be pleased at heart

My friends, do not dwell on this idle debate.

Translated from Gujarati by Dileep Javeri.  


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry


Dr.Radhavallabh Tripathi

Let my world be destroyed immediately

Let the dry leaves and flowers fall completely,

I will stay alone and lonely like a dry trunk at a crematorium

bare and branchless, deprived of all hopes

What is stolen-

If a beautiful wine-eyed lady will not come

to pour my body with mouthful of win

what is lost-

If a young lady will not kick her left-leg

adorned with jingling anklet?

Black with lost hopes, neglected by future

I am standing like a burnt wood,

like skull-hand Lord Kapali

I live alone

What is the harm to me?

I don’t wish to die slowly and constantly

by throwing down

leaf by leaf

by dropping down flower by flower.

It is better that-

I will die suddenly

surrounded by flames

I am eager to turn into

Particles of ash very soon

to mingle with clay of dear earth.

No, no…I will not die,

though left by people

since my roots are strong

deep-delved in the earth

I will create shinning of sapphire,

spreading my new leaves and bunch of flowers

people, having returned from crematorium

and after burning their relatives

will take shelter

under my shade,

They will see me hopefully

to inspire themselves to live.


Translated from Sanskrit by Dr. Harshdev Madhav.


Truth-Spirit of Enquiry

Slowly and Gently

Bbhiraj Dr. Rajendra Misra

Oh! Dear Brother!

Nourish Love-Plant gently

oh! my dear friend!

Entertain Friends’ minds softly.

The hurricane may not happen because of you,

My dear! Blow speech-breeze slowly and slowly.

Here all around are the huts of the poor.

Dear Friend! Kindle the Holi-fire carefully and gently.

All round the deep rivers and in front are the mountains,

oh my beloved!

Finish the travel by and by.

Unripe Fruits fall with ripe ones

Therefore shake the branch gracefully.

I, mingled with you, have become unconscious

oh sweetheart! make loose your embrace slowly…

The great rishi Viswamitra might curse you to lose your Caste(like Trishanku)

So that Speak truth thoughtfully

and with courtesy.

Love Affairs with Unknown Hearts

Turn into Enmity.

Therefore oh my loved one!

give your heart step by step.

Co-wife relation is like strong iron chain

cut it with love oh Dear! Slowly and softly.

Fame can be achieved by begging

but is given my gentlemen;

Strengthen yourself with blessings without any haste.

Having heard Abhiraj’s Poem respectfully in Sanskrit-‘the Devdhasha’

Be strong with devotion O’ Dear Brother! Slowly and Slowly…


Translated from Sanskrit by Dr. Harshdev Madhav.



The Burning Truth

Nolini Kanta Gupta

I have now learnt to love the sun,

even the sun of the burning desert….

Once I drew back from it

and liked the shade and the glade,

Cool pleasant walks and humid grottos,

 All that is darksome, dank and moist,

The rippling curtain of ceaseless rains,

The chilliness and haze of a grey winter sky,-


All that narrowed down the being

To its smallest stature,

Hid from it far visions and wide extensions,

All that shrank from the touch of the warm empty


For I chose to close the blinds and lie screened,

In the cosiness of ignorant moments,

level with the sap and the ooze of earth.


But now as I open my eyes with the rise of the sun,

Scales fall off and I feel of a glowing clarity

coursing in my veins,

I yearn to scan and traverse, eagle-like,

The vastness that lie bare under the glare

of the noon.

The torrid heat and the scalding sands

and the steaming air

Throb with a naked and palpitating life,

clean and ardent and vigorous…..

Even so the burning Truth brings me a male delight,

It has drained and dried the marshes of small desires,

Scattered the fog and mist of doubting fearsome mind,

A glorious veilless heaven it has branded upon my earth.


Truth-Spirit of Enuiry

Oh, The All-Forgiving Lord Of The Universe

Ramakrushna Nanda


Oh, the all-forgiving lord of the universe!

Accept, oh merciful, my humble entreaty.

You, whose power is manifest

in land, in sea, forests, hills, skies alike,

aren’t you known to instill noble thoughts?

And don’t you guide all in the right path?

Pray, make my action righteous.

Irradiate my face with everlasting mirth.

Bestow in me strength and courage in times of crisis.

I shun those with wicked hearts.

Please turn me away from them.

Do let me move with the wise.

Let piety and humility be my adornment.

Let me not hurt others’ feelings.

Grant me strength to arms and feet

to serve the destitute and suffering.


Why should I be afraid of telling the truth?

May I die, rather, in the service of truth.

This much do teach me, almighty!

I need neither riches nor dominion.


Translated from Oriya by Sumanyu Satpathi.





Sheikh Bhik

Bhika, the theme is deep, beyond debate and say-so,

Those who know do not say, those who say do not know.

Translated from Punjabi by Rakshat Puri