From My Commonplace Book - 18

from The Songs of Kabir


II. 22. man tu pr utar knh jaiho

To what shore would you cross, O my heart? there is no traveller before you, there is no road:

Where is the movement, where is the rest, on that shore?

There is no water; no boat, no boatman, is there;

There is not so much as a rope to tow the boat, nor a man to draw it.

No earth, no sky, no time, no thing, is there: no shore, no ford!

There, there is neither body nor mind: and where is the place that shall still the thirst of the soul? You shall find naught in that emptiness.

Be strong, and enter into your own body: for there your foothold is firm. Consider it well, O my heart! go not elsewhere,

Kabr says: "Put all imaginations away, and stand fast in that which you are."


Kabir (Indian, 1440-1518) was a mystic poet influenced by various religious traditions -- Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam.

Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali, 1861-1941), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, translated The Songs of Kabir.

Comments

Songs indeed Merry - this is joyful. Oh yes !. - you bring up such lovely things.
 
Thanks, Enid and L'engle.

I just hope people aren't distressed when I post darker work.
 
Flowers and scents from a UK Spring garden to you (hope in Ohio too). I recall many years ago a lovely piece of advice from the show "The Pajama Game" - "latch on to the affirmative, eliminate the negative". I still try - it's not easy.
 
How sweet, Enid! The forsythia is in bloom here, also the daffodils are starting. A little blue flower opened up near my front steps.

Can't think what the "The Pajama Game" is. Feature film or game show? I guess most of us having been playing a pajama game for quite a long time. Must stay positive. Yes.
 
The "Pajama Game" was on of those lovely shows like "Oklahoma" which came post WW2 to cheer us all here and I saw as a very young child quite smitten with the sheer musicality and cheerfulness of it all.
 
thanks for the poem, Merry. to me this is about the Buddhist principle of having no attachments. very timely.
 
And one sees and hears (despite all the problems for Tibet) the happy cheerful voice of the Dalai Lama who laughs much. And compassion a major part of Buddhism (and all religions too). I once heard a Hindu Sage (Advaita Vedanta - closely related) instruct all "be happy for me" - not easy but it helps.
 
P.S. Are your daffodils through yet ?. They have been so lovely here this Spring.
 
Enid;bt4671 said:
P.S. Are your daffodils through yet ?. They have been so lovely here this Spring.
Oh. Now I realize maybe you were asking Nico. But in case you were asking me, some daffodils are in bloom now -- just starting.

Some years ago, I attended a performance of Tibetan monks throat singing. When they weren't singing, they were giggling.

Thanks for the info on The Pajama Game. I had not heard of it -- or, if I did, I forgot.
 
And the Dalai Lama always looks happy too with all the problems in Tibet. I'm delighted to hear your Spring flowers bloom now.
 
Just read it again. I like it even better the second time and in light of everyone's comments. :)
 
L'engle -- we meet again! I hope the spring flowers are beginning to bloom where you are, and I hope you feel like singing. Tibetan throat singing or other. And when not singing -- laughing.
 
Enid -- in the fall my son gave me a scant handful of tiny bulbs. Worse than a squirrel, I can't remember for sure where I pushed them into the ground. But some small pale blue flowers with a blue stripe have just come up by the front steps, and I have identified them from online photos: striped squill. Very pretty. But if I were a flower I would not want to be called "squill".

Neither squill nor squirrel,
Merry
 
You might rename the Squill - it is a hoticultural "Scilla" in the Hyacinth family, we have in the same family a Chinodoxa otherwise known as "Glory of the Snows", so it seems yours could equally have such a lovely descriptive title. In keeping with your poetry and the season an extract from "The Songs of Solomon"

For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land

And so it is here and with you now.
 
Thank you, Enid, for the information on the flower (I'll search for an alternate common name) and for the lines from "The Song of Solomon." You have reminded me that when I was a teenager I liked those lines so much that copied the first two lines, and maybe a few more, on a card to decorate my bedroom.

Happy Spring to you, Enid!
 
Thanks Merry! I think me attempting Tibetan throat singing would lead to laughter all round! :D I'll let you know how it goes, hahaha.
 
A little poem you might enjoy Merry on the theme of music - Tennyson - the Choric Song from the "Lotus Eaters" often omitted on the Web and as a favourite from memory.
There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass
Or night dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite in a gleaming pass
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies
Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes
Music that brings sweet sleep
Down from the blissful skies
Here are cool mosses deep
And through the moss the ivies creep
And in the stream the long leaved flowers weep
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.

Not quite the heights of HH the Dalai Lama but Tennyson's exquisite use of the English language. If you've not heard - hope you enjoy. And be Merry ! And uplift us all.
 
Thank you, Enid. Sweet music indeed. From memory you did this! Wow.

I have yet to figure out how to subscribe to my blog so I'll get a notice when someone leaves a comment. Twice I thought I'd successfully subscribed, but no notices, ever. After I first post, I check for comments every day, for a few days; otherwise, I find them by accident when I'm looking for something else.

So, Enid, if you write something, and I don't get back to you, please don't think I'm ignoring you.

From the craggy ledge,
Merry
 

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