Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the mystic poet and India’s first and the only Nobel laureate in literature, had his life dedicated to social causes We are ever grateful for his gracious uplifting of the downtrodden and the oppressed women and highlighting the tragic incidents of the so-called low-caste people of India.
‘Punishment’, one of his more powerful books with a social message for corrective measures, is a treatise on social horrors.
But, it is his Nobel-winning book, Gitanjali, that deals with divine and human love, and makes him a messenger of peace and love across the globe.
With his “song offerings”, Tagore turned himself into an instrument in making the world realise that truth is God and God is truth.
Tagore stood for humanity and humility, and for him God did not dwell in temples and other places of worship; for him God was with the poor and the workers and the tillers in the field. In other words, Tagore wanted to make us realise that work is worship and, therefore, God’s presence is among the humble and those who toil for an honest and truthful living.
Rabindranath Tagore believes that God pervades the whole of the human existence and man is nothing but an instrument in the hands of God, a servant whose duty it is to carry out the commands of his master. The human body is like a frail of a vessel which God empties again and again and then fills it ever with fresh life. Man dies and takes birth in another shape. In this way, human life is constantly renewed. this shows Tagore’s faith in the Hindu doctrine of transmigration.
He compares his body to a flute, made of reeds. God is the musician and He plays upon it everywhere, over the hill, as well as, in valleys. He always plays new and fresh melodies. Tagore believes it is under divine inspiration that he is always able to sing fresh and new songs. As God is everywhere and in every object of Nature, he gets His inspiration everywhere and sings over hills and dales.
Whenever God touches his soul with His immortal hand I.e. whenever He inspires him, he sings with immense joy, forgetting his own physical limitations. He loses his identity in his union of man and God, the eternal soul gets absorbed in Infinite.
God’s bounty knows no limit. His gifts are numerous and He has scattered them everywhere for ages. But the human soul is too little to enjoy in full abundance and profusion of divine bliss. again human soul is compared to a little child, whose hands are too small to hold the gifts which his parents offer to him. God has been bestowing His gifts upon His slaves for ages and still, His blessings are not exhausted. God’s gifts are endless.
This is the first poem from the collection of poems “Gitanjali” by Rabindranath Tagore.
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure, this frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new. At the immortal touch of thy hands, my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable. thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still, there is room to fill.
Deliverance is not for me in renunciation.
Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight. Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colors and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim. My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple. No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight. Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.
Just a taster for anyone unfamiliar with Rabindranath Tagore and his wonderful creative spirit and genius.
Long time Face Book friend, Eva rider, wrote this piece yesterday. I found it deeply moving so feel a need to share. The world today is to my mind, a reflection of Dante’s Inferno. Although not in the sense of after-life atonement, but in the physical realm of every day life that’s being played out before our eyes.
“Trump is indeed a hot air balloon. He is a spokesperson for the deep racial shadow heretofore hidden in the American psyche. Dante’s Inferno would describe him as The Phlegethon in waiting – a deep dark river of blood that may well spill over and from which we have very little power to halt. However, I cannot perceive this rise of evil and violence here and around the globe as a force for the positive any more than what we have already experienced in the rise of Hitler or Mussolini. I perceive that we are seeing is the slow collapse of the Patriarchy in its ugliest and most brutal form. The utter disregard for life in any form, propagated by the lust for greed and power can have no positive outcome. I am haunted by Jung’s words toward the end of his life when he spoke all too clearly to the threat of the devastation to come were consciousness not attained in balancing the tension between the polarities. This transformation would posit humanity into the transcendent third. “The world hangs by a thin thread and that thread is theconsciousness. What happens if something goes wrong with the Psyche?” and “Where there is will to power there is no love, where there is love, there is no will to power”.. (excuse my loose quoting)
We are moving into a realm of insanity. Trump is mad. The world seems to have lost its center. This is one of, if not the most dangerous times in the history of life on the planet.
It is time to wake up from our complacency and realize that the time to create conscious community is now. Our children’s lives, the live of all species and the planet as we have known it in her glorious, fecund wonder will not tolerate our abuses. We are on the brink of hunger, poverty and war are upon us. Children and all innocent life is being exiled and slaughtered. I see nothing redeeming about the rise of Trump and the other demagogues now rising to power. Narcissism is an apt, but very incomplete diagnosis but Impulse control disorder and rampant Sociopathy is even more terrifying and rarely mentioned.”
We discover or re-discover ourselves only through our travels and unplanned travel is the most exhilarating experience. Getting lost on the journey and refinding our path again is all part of the bigger journey called life. I truly believe that not all those who wander are lost even though we may think so. But for the ones who are lost, wandering is the only way to find themselves. So each little journey we embark upon and each adventure we take, is a smaller part of the whole – that bigger adventure that becomes us. We are our journey. Eve
“Stop ye travellers as you pass by
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, soon you shall be –
Prepare yourself to follow me.
To follow you
I am not content —
How do I know which way you went?”
To this day we use flowers to communicate feelings and messages. In reality, there are no rules to what flower represents a purpose for giving; it’s the sentiment and thought that represents each occasion. Sometimes a specific flower or color will trigger a memory, special event or personal meaning. Others love to send flowers specifically for their language or meaning. With Valentine’s day just around the corner, you might expect that red roses imply romance and love, pink roses as an expression of admiration, and yellow roses stand for friendship and devotion. But with the wide variety of flowers and colors available, different flowers represent different forms of affection and messages.
The following meanings from Blossom Town website:
Red Roses: A red rose is an unmistakable expression of love. Red roses convey deep emotions – be it love, longing or desire. Red Roses can also be used to convey respect, admiration or devotion. A deep red rose can be used to convey heartfelt regret and sorrow. The number of red roses has special romantic meanings associated with them. 12 red roses is the most popular of all which conveys “Be mine” and “I love you” White Roses: White is the color of purity, chastity and innocence. White flowers are generally associated with new beginnings and make an ideal accompaniment to a first-time bride walking down the aisle.
Yellow Roses: Yellow roses are an expression of exuberance. Yellow roses evoke sunny feelings of joy, warmth and welcome. They are symbols of friendship and caring. The yellow rose, like the other roses, does not carry an undertone of romance. It indicates purely platonic emotions.
Pink Roses: There are a lot of variations of the pink rose. Over all, pink roses are used to convey gentle emotions such as admiration, joy and gratitude. Light pink rose blooms are indicative of sweetness and innocence. Deep pink rose blooms convey deep gratitude and appreciation. Pink roses also connote elegance and grace.
A variety of meanings. Who knows!
“There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.” ― Shannon L. Alder
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
For these pics. I used a Lumix XL7 camera on macro setting.
My trip is half over now, must say the time went by quickly. I have been busy taking pics. – lots of them.The heat is well into the 30 degree range with rain sometimes. It’s really too hot to do anything. I have enjoyed my stay in Prashanthi Nilayam and so enjoy the Vedas and the bhajans, also other chants. Oh! how sublime it is here, away from the daily drudge of cleaning, washing and doing the shopping. I have many stories to share with you all, but they will have to wait until my return. My most pleasant surprise has been the superb food, not usually what I expect on my trips here to Puttaparthi.
– love eve xxxx
I’ve dragged out another old document with a travel story from long ago. I can’t remember just what year I visited Pinnawela? I guess it was at least 12 years back. I’d forgotten I’d written this yarn. This adventure, is one worth sharing, although not really in keeping with my blog. I could blog it under Ganesha, I suppose, the Hindu Elephant God Ganesha – the remover of obstacles. I love reading myths about Ganesha, still there’s nothing like a real elephant. To see them is to love them dearly.
Such A Perfect Day at Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage – Sri Lanka
Although the mini-bus was fully air-conditioned and comfortable our three-hour drive from Kandy to Pinnawela proved exhausting.
The boiling sun roasted the countryside making the air thick with dust. Also the war had taken its toll on the roads where we encountered numerous pot-holes and rough patches that caused our stomachs to roll over. Our driver manoeuvred our vehicle to avoid them but it was an “un-perrrrrfect” skill on his part.
My friend Karon who lives in Sri Lanka, helped to make the drive interesting by pointing out favourite landmarks along the way, telling me their history. She also insisted that our driver play her favourite cassette tape. The cassette had only one song – “A Perfect Day,” by Eric Clapton. The song amused me with its endless repetitions of the same four words – dare I repeat them, “Just A Perfect Day.” But after an hour or so our poor driver sighed and pulled at his hair,
“Enough!” he wailed. “Enough, enough, enough.”
I nodded quietly agreeing with him.
We continued our journey to the steady rhythm of Enya singing “In Memory of Trees”.
Our driver gave a mischievous grin, “Wonderful!” he exclaimed and began to sing along, but horribly out of tune.
At exactly 11.40 a.m. the driver informed us we were entering the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. He hurriedly parked the mini-bus and urged us to go quickly because at noon the baby elephants were to be fed.
We rushed to the entrance paid our 50-rupee each fee, then sped to the enclosure where the babies were kept. Oh! What a beautiful sight met our eyes. Miniature elephants of varying size stood eagerly waiting their morning meal. Several really small ones, stomped their feet anxiously as they waited.
Others moved their heads up and down in an attempt to draw attention to their hungry bellies. The older ones trumpeted with undisguised impatience; they had to wait until last. We struggled to get nearer to the orphans but there was a large crowd.
Eventually we managed a front row spot, where I could stretch out my hand to stroke one of the smallest babies. The infant still covered with baby hair felt like a brillo pad! I continued to stroke him/her, but he/she wasn’t having it. He/she roared at me, until I withdrew my hand. The infant although appealing still looked dangerous. The keeper seeing my concern came over and began to feed the baby elephant, who took the bottle greedily. The little thing closed her eyes, her long lashes looked almost like false ones. They were long and thick.
We tried to find out more about the orphans but the keepers were too busy. Our friendly bus driver joined us and offered intriguing details about the orphans. He had been bringing people here for years and had a wealth of knowledge he could share. He told us that most of the orphans had lost their parents in the continuing war in Northern Sri Lanka. We heard that one youngster had been found wandering with a group of wild buffalo and was eventually rescued and brought to the centre only a few days earlier. Another teenager elephant, crippled by a land mine, had been saved by soldiers and brought to the orphanage where the vets had amputated a back leg. The injury had taken three years to heal. The injured elephant had little trouble following the rest of the herd to the river, even on three legs.
After the baby orphans had been fed we made our way down to the river, where the joyful trumpeting of the adults was heard as they wallowed in the water. The elephants were divided into groups to aid them in establishing new family herds. They rubbed and trunk-hosed each other fondly, trying to keep cool in the soaring temperatures. Several youngsters caught my eye as they stood heaving their trunks over their backs splattering mud and water everywhere.
Fascinated by these gentle beasts, I wanted a closer view. I removed my shoes and with Karon’s help, climbed down the steep incline to the riverside. From my new vantage point, I could see that the river run deep in the middle, while flanked on both sides by a steamy jungle. A perfect setting for the wild elephants. Directly in front of me two huge adults, were lying on their sides in the river, being lovingly scrubbed by their keepers. Being within hearing range, I could hear the keepers giving commands to the great beasts who followed them attentively.
“Come closer,” one of the keepers shouted to me.
“Oh! no,” I cried. “It’s too muddy and I may slip.” Being close to the elephants was treat enough but I didn’t want to push my luck.
“Beautiful creatures,” I yelled. “What’s their names?
“This one is Lila.” The keeper nearest to me shouted back while pointing to the beast lying in the water beside him. “I’m the mahout.” (keeper)
Lila eyed me curiously, rolled over, and stood up. He was of gargantuan size!
“Oh!” I exclaimed, gingerly stepped backwards. “Is Lila dangerous?”
The keeper laughed and called a command to Lila who trudged towards him through the thick mud.
He can be dangerous but not with me in charge.” Assured the mahout with a chuckle.
From the rocks. A good vantage point for seeing the elephants in the river
Karon stretched out her hand, “Here take your camera,” she said. “And be careful.” I took several photos of Lila until he came a tad too close. At which time I made a speedy retreat through the rocks. From the safely on the riverbank, I waved to the mahout who continued to brush and wash the elephant.
“Now you’ve been close to a wild elephant,” Karon joked, her eyes twinkling with mischief. “Maybe you will be brave enough to ride one.”
Wiping the sweat from my face, I answered that I only might consider it. Karon took several more photos then we made our way to the cafe overlooking the river. We remained there sipping our ice-cold cola for sometime, watching the elephants. The younger ones as they played with each other, provided us with a glimpse of how elephants inter-act in the wild. The older ones explored the far side of the river, trumpeting as they went. The babies, farther down the river, enjoyed lessons in “elephant hygiene” given by their keepers.
One sad looking male stood chained to a rock. We were told he was ready to mate. He stood in the water, roaring ominously. Very upset with the hoards of tourist. We felt sorry for him as he stood there looking at the females, who flirted outrageously with him. Several of the elephants appeared to be sick, due to the terrible ordeals they had been through. We could only hope that with time and care they would recover and lead normal elephant lives.
At four p.m. the elephants were rounded up and led in a single file back to the orphanage. We stood captivated as each one filed past. Last but not the least; the three-legged teenager strolled by lapping up all the extra attention tourist gave him.
“Ah,” we cried, ” he’s so sweet.”
Sweet, yes, but powerful and majestic beyond measure.
From my travels…………
Properly taken from the Cafe – overlooking the river.
I have no idea what Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is like today. I hear different reports, some suggesting the elephants are not treated too well. On my visit The elephants looked very well cared for considering a cruel war was waging. the orphanage lacked funds, often relying on volunteers to help out. Might add the photos are not mine. They come from the Internet. My photos are on film.
The Meaning of Ganesh in Japan
Ganesha assumes 30 distinctive forms in Japanese iconography, often as a dual entity. One erotic form, specific to Shingon Buddhism, features two embracing male and female forms with elephant heads and human bodies. These are rare idols, worshipped with secret rituals inside temples. Typically, they are made of metal as they must be immersed in oil during worship. Gumyo-ji, an 8th century temple in Minami, Yokohama has one such image. Often, Japanese temple doors feature two long-robed, elephant-headed figures in an embrace.
Young Japanese popularly worship Kangiten as a symbol of conjugal bliss. Many entrepreneurs, especially those whose business involves food and drink, worship Ganesha as Shou Ten, a benevolent obstacle-remover and enhancer of wealth.
Many thanks to the Ganesh blog for details.
Have you made it to the end of this epic read? Need a break? Here’s Lou Reed with “SUCH A PERFECT DAY..” ~ Karon, if you are still reading my blog, this one is for you and Sam!
And it was a perfect day – as Lou Reed describes !
Sathya Sai Baba with Dear Sai Geeta – now passed on.
I do hope Sai devotees and others will enjoy this sweet letter from Ted Henry. (with thanks.)
Love as Thought is Truth.
Love as Action is Right Conduct.
Love as Understanding is Peace.
Love as Feeling is Non-violence.
Duty without love is deplorable.
Duty with love is desirable.
Love without duty is Divine. -Baba
~ THE MAIN EVENT
All is well here. Sai Baba is everywhere and his hand hand can be seen here in everyone’s lives. From dawn to dusk people talk of amazing first person experiences, from dawn to dusk my head spins from what I hear, see, learn and understand. Enough said.
~ LIFE IS BUT A BREEZE
Somewhere from deep within the Deccan Plateau comes an evening breeze that regularly cools off the still tiny town of Puttaparthi. Following the evening bhajans and darshan, the walkway back to Round House 1 is a good place to catch the breeze that always seems to bring the day’s best relief from the hot winter sun. Yes, it is winter here, but who would know? Daily the temp climbs to the high 80s with seldom a cloud in sight.
I do tend to go on about the ambiance of Sai Baba’s beautiful ashram. Actually I can’t help it. The late day’s devotional singing in the open air prayer hall clearly sets the stage for the brief program that remains at the end of each day here, a good dinner and a long read of one of the hundreds of Baba books available in the ashram. Jody is the chief reader in our apartment, but I manage to get in some good reading as well. And to my credit, as of heading into our sixth week here, I have yet to read a single word in any of the novels I brought to India with me.
The evenings are anything but lively here. You’ve got the sound of the crickets outside, the occasional howling dog off in the distant, and the ever present whirring of the two ceiling fans in our flat.
~ SOULJOURNS INTERVIEWS
We spent time with Jay Jethna yesterday. Jay is from Austrailia and works for the United Nations. On video he told us three amazing stories, not the least of which occurred back in 1968.
Jay was 13 at the time living in Uganda, where he was born. A friend told him that he had heard that God was coming to town in two days. Jay couldn’t wait and was extremely excited even though he had no idea if “The Blessed One” had a name or what he looked like. Jay and his family showed up to wait for Baba at the 6 pm appointed hour. It wasn’t until 1 o’clock in the morning that the country’s important guest finally arrived. Several people got out of the car but there was no sign of Him. When Jay asked someone about this he was told that the man in the orange clothes with fuzzy hair was who everyone was waiting for and that his name was Sai Baba. Jay had seen this man get out of the car earlier but thought he was one of the security guards.
The next day Jay sneaked into the backyard of the people hosting Sai Baba trying to get another view of the important visitor. Baba was blessing people in the yard when he spotted Jay in the back. When he went up to Jay, Baba told Jay that he was not well, which was true since Jay had suffered from a serious life long asthma condition.
And then Baba said, “Go”, but Jay thought this meant Baba wanted him to leave, to go back to school. But Baba wanted to see Jay for an interview, of course and later, once inside the host’s home Baba produced a fluid from the palm of his hand and applied it to Jay and said, “Go, no more sickness”.
Jay left and from that day forward he has never suffered from asthma again in his life. Twenty two years passed before Jay gave much thought to Baba again. At the age of 33, he was visiting a shopping mall with his wife in Hong Kong. On the sign board were the words, “Sai Baba and this made him think.” This prompted Jay and his wife to visit the tenth floor offices of the local Sai Baba center. As they entered, bhajans were underway, something Jay and his wife, Julie had never been exposed to, but they stayed anyway and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Needless to say, Jay reconnected with Sai Baba in his life and has become an ardent devotee coming to Prasanthi countless times since turning 33. Jay has two additional stories to share on Souljourns, both of which are blockbusters. Look for them soon at vimeo.com/souljourns and/or youtube.com/souljourns.
Also look for the many other Souljourns interviews we’re recording in India. So far we have about 30 of them recorded, and in their own way they’re all powerful. Many of them include useful guidance for additional spiritual growth.
I came upon a child of God He was walking along the road And I asked him, “Where are you going?” And this he told me…
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s Farm, I’m gonna join in a rock and roll band. I’m gonna camp out on the land. I’m gonna get my soul free.
We are Stardust. We are Golden. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Since that time of Woodstock, where hippies gathered to celebrate their new-found shining selves (The Shining Ones), we have held a fascination for The Light. This is true of many of us who shunned the Church and its traditional teachings for something more appealing and often found in far flung places. By our thousands we turned instead to the New Age gurus both near and far, to point us towards The Light. Be it in a yoga meditation class, where light meditation ended each class, or while sitting meditating quietly on our own, we rekindled The Light within. We wanted to become the “New Shining ones”, the redeemers of the age.
Who are The Shining Ones? I had an “aha” moment of sorts when reading about them. Seems like The real passé Shining Ones have not been around lately. Perhaps they are keeping a low profile for the moment. We have to consult the Holy Books to fully understand the Shining Ones. I mean, what exactly was that blinding luminous vision of Christ that Saul of Tarsus saw on his way to Damascus, or Arjuna’s vision of Lord Krishna in Kurukshetra ? The experience of the transcendental Reality has often been associated with brilliance, splendor and light: The Bhagavad Gita states:
“If a thousand suns should rise all at one In the sky,
Such slender would resemble
The splendour of that great Being..
Who was filled with amazement,
Whose hair was standing on end,
Bowing his head to the Lord
With joined palms, said:
…With infinite power, without
Beginning, middle, or end,
With innumerable arms, the moon and
Sun being Your eyes,
I see You, the blazing fire Your mouth,
Burning all this universe with Your radiance..”
Chap. 11 v.12,14,19. Bhagavad Gita
Fascinating and awesome as such visions might be, the experience of light ought not be the final goal. If that were so, The Bhagavad Gita would have ended with the Eleventh Teaching. But it does not. According to Krishna Himself, the Supreme state is that which the sun does not illumine, nor the moon, nor the fire, for it is the Light of Pure Consciousness. These worlds are analogous to those found in the Svetasvatara (6.14) and the Katha Upanishad. (5.15).
Here is an excellent example of Light from Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur, known as Babuji to his associates. For almost fifty years he taught meditation on the ‘divine light in the heart’, according to the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga. In the Voice Real, he writes:
“Every saint has used the word ‘Light’ and that is the best expression for Reality. But that creates some complications, because when we talk of ‘light’, the idea of luminosity becomes prominent and we begin to take it as glittering. The Real Light carries with it no such sense and may be represented as ‘light without luminosity.’ It refers only to the real substance or, more appropriately, to
‘substance-less, substance,’ which is associated with neither light nor darkness but beyond both..”
So until the substance-less, substance, “The Ultimate Reality” is realized in all its splendor, just let Your Little Light Shine. Just saying. 🙂
Here’s one of the most important prayers in the Hindu Tradition:
Asoto ma sat gamaya,
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya,
Mrityor ma amritam gamaya.
From falsehood lead me to Truth,
…From darkenss lead me to Light,
From death lead me to Immortality.
– The Pavamana-Mantras, from the Brihadaranyaka Unipanishad.
♥☼♥ BєấUŦI₣UŁ . …..
La grande finale, JoniMitchell. ~l’excellencedela chanteuse
Link to my new blog with photography. Hope you will visit.