TRANSFORMATION(Sprit of enquiry)
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,

THE SONG OF INDIA(Discrimination)
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
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.

Sane Guruji

The Only True Religion….
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

Sane Guruji

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 venemo
us 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 ot 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.


Dream of Dawn (Khwab-e-Sehar)
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 predous 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 fertilise

d this clay.

Mullahs have been sermonising in the holy mosques,
Brahamins have been chanting hymns in their synogogues.

Mehar sadion se chamakta hi raha iflaak par,
Raat hi taari rahi insaan ke idraak par.

Aql ke maidaan mein zulmat ka dera hi raha,
Dil mein taariki, dimaaghon mein andhera hi raha.

Ik na ik mazhab ki sai-e-khaam bhi hoti rahi,
Ahl-e-dil par baarish-e-ilhaam bhi hoti rahi.

Aasmaanon se farishte bhi utarte hi rahe,
Nek bande bhi khuda ka kaam karte hi rahe.

Ibn-e-Mariam bhi uthe, Moosa-o-Umraan bhi uthe.
Ram-o-Gautam bhi uthe, Faroun-o-Haaman bhi uthe;

Ahle-e-saif uthte rahe, ahl-e-kitab aate rahe,
Een janb aate rahe, aur aanjanab aate rahe.

Hukamraan dil par rahe sadion talak isnaam bhi,
Abr-e-rahmat ban ke chhaya dahr par islaam bhi.

Masjidon mein maului khutbe sunaate hi rahe,
Mandiron mein brahamin ashlok gaate hi rahe.

Asrar-ul-Haq Majaj

Words, and Words
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.

Nirmalaprabha Bordoloi

The Guru
True of tongue are the truly holy;
Truth never from their speech is far;
Truly within their heartts Thou dwellest
Trith 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, wothout,
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.


If Your Steps Slacken
My dear heart :you keep rolling in dust and revelling
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
energised endeavour 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 procreat. 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,endeavour 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 belong.
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.

Kulo Thungan

The Rebel
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 <1>
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 terible floating mine !
I am Shiva with his flying locks <2>
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 <4> 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 <5> that blasts fiercely,
I am the castanet and the trident of Shiva,
I am the staff of justice of the Great Just. <6>
I am the fearsome din of the primeval Om,

I am the wheel and the great conch of Vishnu <7> !
I am a disciple of the mad sages Durvas and
Viswamitra, <8>
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
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 lotuts-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 buring torment in the soul of love outthrown!

I am the numbing pain in the offended, long -aggrieved
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
I am the etrenal 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,<9>
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, <10>
I catch with my hands the flaming wings of the angel
Jibrail !<11>
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
I am the flute in the hand of Krishna.<13>
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! <14>
I am lawless, a meteor, malevolent saturn,
I am the comet's terrific heat , the venomous killer 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 <17> 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 batte---
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 footprints
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.

Translated from Bengali by Basudha Chakravarty

<1>. 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 plains.
This act is said to have made Gangetic civilisation possible.
Manifold aspects of Shiva have been touched upon in this poem.

<2>. The reference is to Shiva in the tandava episode when his berserk dance threatened
the destruction of the universe.

<3>. Indian musical modes evocative of joy and tranquillity.

<4>.Hindu ritual in honour of gods before the lighted fire.

<5>. Arab name for the archangel Raphael.

<6>. Dharamaraj ,or Yama ,dispenser of divine justice.

<7>. 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.

<8>. Two irascible rishis of mythology, destructively bent.

<9>. Mythical winged horses in Arab and Hindu mythologies respectively.

<10>. The Great Snake of mythology with a thousand heads.

<11>. The archangel Gabriel.

<12>. The Olympian flutist of Greek mythology.

<13>. Krishna , the divine flutist, whose music in his boyhood made the maidens of Braj delirious with love for him.

<14>.The reference is to Lakshmi and Saraswati , goddesses of Plenty and Knowledge

<15>.A manifestation of the Supreme Sakti in extreme abandon, when she severed her own
head and danced with it in her hand.

<16>. An incarnation of Vishnu who liquidated the Kshatriyas, i.e. the martial caste.

<17>. Balaram, elder brother of Krishna who wielded the plough as his insignia and was said to possess unlimited strength.

Kazi Nazrul Islam

The Lunar Eclipse
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 slipeed stealthily.

emerging from the pure waters of Cauveri, 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
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,

H.M. Channaiah

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 Waters---
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 dull---
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.

G.S. Shivarudrappa

Flowers, Blood and Darkness Too
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 leave,
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.

Hiren Bhattacharjya

Someone Else
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.

Harekrishna Deka

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 indwellest ,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.


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.


Six Poems from Gitanjali
Light ,oh where is the light? Kindle
it with the burning fire of desire!
There is the lamp but never a flicker
of a flame,--- is such thy fate, my heart!
Ah, death were better by far for thee!
Misery knocks at thy door, and her
message is that thy lord is wakeful, and
he calls thee to the love-tryst through
the darkness of night.
The sky is overcast with clouds and
the rain is ceaseless .I know not what
this is that stirs in me---I know not its

A moment's flash of lightning drags
down a deeper gloom on my sight, and
my heart gropes for the path to where
the music of the night calls me.

Light,oh where is the light! Kindle
it with the burning fire of desire ! It
thunders and the wind rushes screaming
through the void. The night is black as
a black stone. Let not the hours pass by
in the dark. Kindle the lamp of love
with thy life.

This is my prayer to thee, my lord---
strike ,strike at the root of penury in my
Give me the strength lighty to bear
my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love
fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown
the poor or, bend my knees before
insolent might'.
Give me the strength to raise my mind
high above ,daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender
my strength to thy will with love.

If thou speakest not I will fill my
heart with thy silence and endure it. I
will keep still and wait like the night.
with starry vigil and its head bent low
with patience.
The morning will surely come, the
darkness will vanish, and thy voice pour
down in golden streams breaking through
the sky.
Then thy word will take wing in
songs from every one of my birds
nests, and thy melodies will break forth
in flowers in all my forest groves.

Light, my light ,the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening
light !
Ah, the light dances,my darling ,at
the centre 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. Lillies and jasmines
surge up on the crest of the waves of
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.

Let all the strains of joy mingle inmy
last song-- the joy that makes the earth
flow over in the riotous excess of the
grass, the joy that sets the twin brothers,
life and death , dancing over the wide
world, the joy that sweeps in with the
tempest, shaking and waking all life
with laughter, the joy that sits still with
its tears on the open red lotus of pain,
and the joy that throws everything it
has upon the dust, and knows not a

Thou art the sky and thou art the nest
as well.

O thou beautiful, there in the nest it
is thy love that encloses the soul with
colours and sounds and odours.
There comes the morning with the
golden basket in her right hand bearing
the wreath of beauty, silentlly to crown
the earth.
And there comes the evening over
the lonely meadows deserted by herds,
through trackless paths, carrying cool
draughts of peace in her golden pitcher
from the western ocean of rest.
But there, where spreads the infinite
sky for the soul to take her flight in
reigns the stainless white radiance.
There is no day nor night, nor form nor
colour, and never, never a word.

Rabindranath Tagore

A Prayer
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.

Sukanta Bhattacharya

The Firefly
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.

Nirendranath Chakrabarty

Firm Convictions
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!

Sunil Gangopadhyay

Religious Harmony
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.

Muslisms are milk and Hindus sugar,
mix milk and suugar 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 anither, 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 succour 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.

Ghulam Ahmed Mahjoor


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.

Ghulam Hasan Beg Arif

A Poem
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
apparelled 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 gladly
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.

Kunwar Narain

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 waterskins 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 precison 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-
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
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,
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.

Gopal Krishna Adiga

A Photographer
I go to take pictures of a wedding
for money, for pleasure.
The place is full of people---hustle, splendour and
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 girls
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
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

B.R. Laxman Rao


My spirit a vast sun of deathless light.

SACRIFICE(Respect of all religion)
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.

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.


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 fulfil 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 demoralise me
God, grant me no other boon


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


My Master
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 creatures,
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 sacrifices,
My Master!
Absolute non-violence is the solemn vow of his life;
Peace has been his special deity from early days;
He is used to saying: 'The matchless armour of non-violence
Will blunt the deadly edge of even the hardest steel!'
The inspiring utterances of my Master are the sweet,
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 Christ,
The strategy of Lord Krishna in defence of Dharma,
The ahimsa of Lord Buddha, the intellectual miglit of Sri Sankara,
The infinite riercy ofRantideva, 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 immaculate,
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 guilded council chamber.
To this mystic wrapt 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!

Vallathol Narayana Menon (1878 - 1958)

The Belt of the Spinning Wheel
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

Navakanta Barua