Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

Poems and pictures

middle aged man in Rajasthan

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.

Holi fest. Inzamam Azez Raad

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.

Depy’s photos –

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.

Radha Krishna

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.

~Tagore

Curious eyes

Just a taster for anyone unfamiliar with Rabindranath Tagore and his wonderful creative spirit and genius.

One God, Many Forms – Guru Purnima Memory

Sathya Sai Baba

“God’s limitless compassion for humanity, makes him descend to earth in human form, to show the world the path of divinity and righteousness. All the spiritual Masters, who have established dharma, (righteousness) and have shown the world the spiritual path at all times, in all parts of the world, are such incarnates. There is an intrinsic bond between ones individuality and God-consciousness, it is God-Consciousness alone that manifests itself in all forms of life. Divinity and God-consciousness are latent in every living entity.”

~Sathya Sai Baba

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 – A Guru Purnima Experience –

A devotee’s story
  
He has an uncanny style of teaching and many a time it comes in the most realistic way, inducing us to stir our thought process. A devotee from Australia had such a wonderful experience during a Gurupurnima Festival at Prasanthi Nilayam in the mid seventies that the devotee learned the greatest lesson that God was (Is)  One and the entire creation was blessed to be within His Aura !



My friend and I were sitting fairly centrally, about one third of the way back despite the invitation to sit near the front and towards the side: the position was fortunate as otherwise, I doubt if the following wonderful experience could have been possible.

In His Divine discourse, with Dr Bhagavantham translating, Swami spoke about prophets and teachers of the great faiths, showing that the Sai faith embraced them all. Later on, Swami discoursed on the role of the Guru, but I heard little or nothing of this, because apparently inexplicable, my mind seemed to wander and I wondered casually if I could see Dr Bhagavantham’s aura. The dark background curtain absorbed the aura; so I switched attention to Swami to see if His aura could be discerned despite the curtain and concentrated hard to see at least His aura.

Suddenly, unbelievably, Swami’s hair seemed to have disappeared! His hair had become a sort of clear transparent aura. Amazed, my concentrated gaze then discerned within this frame a quite different head of hair, shoulder length, black, with a slight wave, and Swami’s face became the face of Christ, a Jewish Christ, not the blonde Christ of the Medieval Italian artists. I gazed at this phenomenon with great interest and no religious emotion. As I gazed, the face became that of someone I could not place—possibly Zoroaster or Buddha or perhaps some teacher unfamiliar to me — and throughout the subsequent events these two animated faces recurred, to assure me that I was not inducing these visions.Having thus gained and held my attention, Swami then gave a great blessing and an emotional jolt, for there was my revered Ramana Maharishi, white haired and slender faced, utterly unlike the former visions. I was a devotee of the Maharishi, whose writings have given glimpses of reality, and had been feeling disloyal because of the new found devotion to Baba. Baba settled this disquiet by showing that there was no difference between Gurus. This indeed was the main purpose of this blessed experience.


The following visions were brief and were mostly of the Hindu deities or personalities which had become meaningful to me. Rama, a brief but distinct and repeated glimpse of Ganesha, Shirdi Sai Baba and Lord Shiva. Recently I had seen a photograph of Sathya Sai Baba in which He had been depicted as Durga on Her lion, and I wondered if I might be able see Baba in this Goddess form ever. Instead, I had a breathtaking vision of Tripura Sundari — Lalita — Goddess of the Three Worlds, exquisitely beautiful and very alive.

I was wondering why Krishna did not appear. Then there was Krishna! Periodically I yearned to see Baba Himself, with interesting consequences: I saw Him at His various ages, His face always an oval of Light; at times He dissolved into pure Light with no form at all. Now and again, in response to mental request, I saw Baba superimposed over other visions of Him talking animatedly. His face—how could I adequately describe it? —clearly visible but not of solid matter, more, like a series of points, the nucleus of matter.What was Baba’s purpose in allowing these visions?

So many lessons were learnt that evening, apart from the precious knowledge that Ramana was one with Baba, that all were One and we were one with The One. Maya, illusion—the unreality of constantly mobile matter and its reality as pure Light. The Formless God who could assume any form He liked and the response of those forms to our own mental creativity.


I had recently been thinking deeply about Maya, and in Ooty I had mentally, half seriously asked Baba to show me His real form. “God can be seen in concrete form—but it is still only in the devotee’s mind. Form and appearance is determined by the mind of the devotee. Minds and interpretations differ.” (Teachings of Ramana Maharishi: Osborn ) “Visions of God are as real as your own identity. Objects bear relation to the state of the seer. Visions of God have their place, below the plane of Self-realization.” (Talks with Ramana Maharishi.) Beloved Baba, to give so much to one as ‘unworthy’ and unprepared as I am! And to how many of those many thousands did He communicate, while delivering what I could only presume to have been a profound discourse?

How blessed are we to be within His aura! Beloved wonderful Baba!II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II

– Courtesy SSB Central Trust – Puttaparthi
Swami

I chose this story because it rang true for me. I have also seen Swami’s aura. You can find the story on this blog. Swami’s Halo:

Have a very happy Guru Purnima 2021 – Sai Ram

Life is a game, play it – Sathya Sai Memories

 

 

Sathya Sai Baba in the early days. Under the old Banyan Tree in Whitefield

 

 

“Life is a challenge, meet it!

Life is a dream, realise it!

Life is a game, play it! Life is love, enjoy it!”

– Sri Sathya Sai Baba

 

 

A long time ago story about Sai Ram. I think the year was 1996. I arrived in Bangalore late one evening, and got a taxi to Whitefield. It had been a hell of a journey from London. The hot sun, after the cold and wet English weather, cheered me up but I was still not in a good mood. Actually, I wanted to go home! With some reluctance, I went to darshan the very next morning and found a row to sit in and reflect on why I was there. I sat there quietly pondering on why I would choose to put myself through endless lineups and cramped floor seats for endless weeks at a time. Was I stupid? What was making me torture myself like this? Sighed and sat with head down thinking: ‘this is not me, is it?’ It’s my heart. My heart wants to be here but my head is screaming ‘no, no, no!’  I dreaded more back row seats and those hot sweaty bodies and the sour bad breath that comes after long sits in the heat.

 

 


Then I spotted the seva dal with the bag full of seating numbers. I knew from countless visits before, this game of chance probably would not favour me! Too right! Our line was in the double digit category. I surrendered. When we eventually stood to be seated in the Sai Ramesh hall, I found a place as far away as possible from the central aisle. It was over by the chair ladies, in the last but one block. I could not be seen and I, myself, could not see anything but backs of heads !

Swami arrived that morning as usual. He did not enter the hall by the VIP entrance at the front but, unusually, by the second entrance in the middle of the ladies blocks. Instead of turning toward the VIPs and front as usual, he decided to go the other way, walking down the small narrow aisle, where sick and disabled ladies sat. He strolled all the way down to our block and stopped right in front of me !!!  


I sat there with mouth open, in-deed shock!  Of course, he never looked at me, but took letters from those nearby. He, later, strolled to the very back, walked along to centre aisle and up toward the front. “You can’t hide from Swami” – that’s the lesson here!

 

Shams of Tabriz – Persian Sufi, roaming dervish and Scholar

Rumi

Rumi: “… And Your Soul Trembled”

by  Anne bayliss | Nov 9, 2019

Readers familiar with the Coleman Barks versions of Rumi’s work think of Rumi as a man who deftly celebrated love’s ecstasies… and he did. To imagine, however, that Rumi wrote verse only to praise wine or kisses, is to forget that he evoked those human delights as metaphors for something transcendental. Rumi was a devout Muslim cleric, and he wrote in celebration of unity with God. Yet even in his day, his personal life caused misunderstanding and scandal.

– Anne Bayliss

What do we know about Shams? He is mentioned only briefly and, often, only as the teacher of Rumi. But Shams, was more than just a wandering dervish or “poor man of God.”  A Shafi’i Sunni Muslim, he had traveled restlessly after leaving his hometown of Tabriz, visiting Baghdad, Damascus, Aleppo, and other places, working as a tutor, weaver, or day-laborer, and seeking out interesting lectures on Islamic theology as well as philosophy. 

Yet, according to Franklin Lewis, author of ‘Rumi, Past and Present, East and West’, Shams was also an accomplished Islamic scholar, and had devised a method for learning the Koran in three months. He was thus both a faqir, a Sufi practicing spiritual poverty, and a faqih, or scholar of Islamic law. Lewis suggested that Shams had “probably spent much of his life…sitting in on the lectures of famous teachers, most of whom he found disappointing in one respect or another.”

In the company of Rumi, Shams wrote, “‘I come for friendship, relief.’” According to some writers, “Shams searched long and hard and found none but Rumi who could tolerate his un-hypocritical and unconventional pursuit of truth.” Shams called Rumi “Mowlana (Master),” and says he would be “‘a fitting shaykh, if he would agree.’” 

Lewis, Franklin: Rumi Past and Present, East and West.

from Oneworld (2000) pp. 143-147
[3] Lewis pp. 154-164

Last Sai Baba Darshan

 

blessings

“God is in you,

around you.

behind you,

beside you.”

★ ✿ Ṱℏαᾔк УỚυ ✰✿ ♥ ♫ ♥ ☼ ´¯`•.♥ღℒℴνℯღ ☆ ★ ♥

 

 

My last darshan, I kid you not, was in my armchair in my house in France. The date, 24th November, 2010. I was watching t.v, and the time around 5.30 p.m. Then, all of a sudden, Sai’s presence was right there beside me, although not visible. The Darshan almost knocked me off the chair!  I had to go and lay down afterwards. It was such a lovely feeling of peace and being extremely comfortable. So hard to describe here. Anyway, I could not speak for about  20 mins. That’s how strong the feeling of his presence was.

How I remember
Sai Baba

 

The story of that last darshan goes as follows :

Early that same year, March 2010, during my annual  visit to Puttaparthi, I was sitting in the darshan area. Sai Baba was not coming out for darshans, he’d all but given up on public appearances. We devotees gathered all the same and sat in the peaceful vibrations, just as we had always done. Although we missed him, the feeling of love was ever present.

 

There were acquaintances there who i used to talk to from time to time. Most I knew by name but others only by sight. One devotee, a blond lady from Australia, around 58 years old, very dedicated to Sai, was visiting at the same time. I had seen her on many of my past visits. She sat opposite me by the chair ladies. I didn’t  know her personally. I’d never spoken to her. Then one morning she sat across from me, in her usual place near the wheelchair devotees. Suddenly, she looked over at me with huge eyes. I could feel her stare penetrate me, like she was looking at my soul. It was the oddest feeling. When darshan time was over we all stood to leave. She followed me out of the hall, then caught up with me and said: 

me in 2008


You must come for the birthday! It’s a very special time. Do come.— I am not sure she did not elaborate more or repeated it. But what she said stuck in my mind as odd, as did her strange penetrating look.

 


Well, there’s no way I would or could attend a birthday. I don’t like crowds and I didn’t have the money anyway. I never did attend those birthday festivals. Still, i had no idea that the next birthday would be Sai’s last. I thought no more about it. Then all those months later, 24th November, the armchair darshan happened. Out of the blue! I will never forget it… By the way Sai baba’s birthday is 23rd November, my last darshan was 24th November, the day after..

Okay more memories later. Eve

Michael de Rupe, Brentor Tor, Dartmoor

video of St Michael de Rupe – Brentor

.

Standing on an an ancient tor which was once a volcano with amazing views over Dartmoor and West Devon is one of the world’s most stunning and best located churches. The church of St Michael de Rupe stands within the Dartmoor National Park in Devon. This church takes in some amazing views including Dartmoor and West Devon. Cornwall, the sea around Newton Abbot and Exmoor can also all be seen in the distance. The church was founded in 1130 and is the fourth smallest parish church in Britain. It also claims to be the highest church in England which is still in use. The church which can be seen today dates from the 13th and 14th century however it is built on the original 12th century foundations. Brentor Village’s main church is a more recent 19th century building with the dedication of Christchurch which can be found in the village however St Michael De Rupe Church still remains the parish church with the parish of Brentor being bordered by the parishes of Coryton, Lewtrenchard (by a margin), Lydford, Mary Tavy, Lamerton, and Milton Abbot. Although there is this church (which is much more easily accessed), Brentor Church is still in use for services. Brentor Church is 37 feet long and 15 feet wide with a tower containing five bells of a height of 40 feet. This church is truly amazing and definitely is worth a visit, even if you’re not on Dartmoor. Music by Adrian Von Ziegler –

You tube music is in the link below the image

https://www.youtube.com/user/adrianvo

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

After watching the Brentor You Tube Last Year, I dearly wished to visit St. Michael de Rupe on Dartmoor. Our journey began in the market town of Tavistock on a quiet Sunday afternoon, taking the easiest route through the tiny villages of Peter Tavy and Mary Tavy towards the vast open moorland. It’s an enchanting route through narrow lanes lined with wildflowers, trees and quaint old houses, and occasional picturesque pubs.

Dartmoor is entered through wide wooden gates, where sheep graze carelessly beside the road without a thought to the traffic. The famous Dartmoor ponies graze nearby. These beautiful creatures show no fear of cars or visitors; some are tame enough to allow you to stroke them. The colour of the ponies are varied from all black, to black and white, brown, or brown and white or all white. Extremely pretty, with long manes, thick eye lashes, woolly tails, that sweep the ground, they are much beloved by everyone that visits.

Lost on Dartmoor

Brentor in the far distance

Dartmoor
The entrance to Dartmoor from Tavistock

Down the road some two miles, we come to an old gate and sign that marked the entrance, official one that is, to Brentor church. It’s baffling because the climb up to the little ancient church looks easy, but it is deceptive. It can be dangerous if you take a wrong turn and I did.

So anxious was I to begin the climb up to the church, I left my handbag in the car but grabbed my camera. Entering the old gate, a couple were walking toward me.They stopped to talk. They said the climb was easy enough, to just follow the upward stone path, “It’s no sweat”, they smiled. I took their advice, stopping along the way to take photos but that was my undoing. By not concentrating on the path, I found myself on the shadow side of the hill. I knew I had lost my way when I saw the large rocks and boulders in front of me. The daunting prospect of climbing over those made me want to turn back but the church looked so near! I continued on but an eerie feeling came over me, for I was circling the Tor where no path existed. Which way to go was now something to consider. It was late in the afternoon.

Finally reaching the point just below the summit, a faint path appeared before me. Phew! What a relief! Then the church came into full view once more so I trudged on. But then, between me and the church’s refuge, more giant rocks stood tall and foreboding. I had lost the path again! In the distance, I could see several people walking along the church boundary, but they were too far away for me to call to. The wind was pretty high at this level and my legs ached. I sat down on a rock to catch my breath. The views all around were awesome.Certainly, I lost no time in taking plenty of photos. The photos below are from there.

looking up from my rock seat to the church, i was never to visit

looking down over the moors

the church again just as I turned to climb down
the descent

The gorgeous views kept me captivated. Then the sun rays disappeared behind the church -and it occurred to me that “late afternoon” was turning to dusk. I didn’t want to leave but leave I must. So I got up from my rock seat, shook myself down and began the descent. But the strangely compelling beauty of the moment kept my attention on those views, again I found myself far from the entrance from where I had begun my climb. Instead, I found myself in a bog-filled field that stretched out for miles.

So here I was – lost again! Time was passing fast, the thought of being left out on Dartmoor away from anyone, filled me with dread. I trudged on for half an hour when a road came into view. Not only a road, but a white house appeared in the distance! Now I had a landmark. So with as much speed as I could muster, I walked in that direction. But I took a wrong step and slipped into a shallow bog and lost my shoe! Recovering it was not easy; the soggy mud stuck to the shoe. ‘Darn it!’ I thought to myself but managed to slip it on. With a very uncomfortable gait I walked briskly on. Eventually, I came to a farmer’s gate. Ahh! at last a way out and onto the road!

The gate was locked! Darn it! The area was anything but safe for curious tourists and a firm ‘no entry’ sign was clearly visible on the road side. What to do? The thought of climbing over the gate came to mind but by now exhaustion had set in. Then I struck lucky. The old lock was one I knew and when I pressed my thumb onto the steel spring-loaded lock hard enough, it gave way. Freedom at last! Yay, I was back to civilisation! A ‘B’ road where surely cars would pass. None did, but the white house appeared just ahead.


The bog field
The church from the road

The house was quiet – no answer came from my relentless banging the door. But as luck would have it, a car approached and then pulled over. “Are you okay?” A kindly man asked. Breathlessly, I answered that I was not. He said, “Lost? Where is your phone?” I told him I didn’t have one, nothing but my camera. A look of alarm crossed his face but then came a kindly smile. “Never mind, jump in. I will take you back to the church entrance.”

This is where I had left my husband who now anxiously waited with a search party. What a day and what memories. It was all worth it.

On the walk to the white house,me and my shadow

Until later Eve

Ghosts Around Bodmin Moor

We moved to Cornwall last year. To Launceston and very close to Bodmin Moor. It’s a beautiful area with its hills, misty valleys, tiny villages, meandering lanes and moorland that seems to stretch for miles. Out on the moor, mysterious places suddenly appear like magic. There we find half pulled down houses, feral cats, the sound of barking dogs and many sheep. Yes, sheep are everywhere, cows too and streams, bogs and brooks. It’s like a fairy tale place where rays of light shine through trees, then suddenly a thicket turns everything into shade. Bodmin Moor is a mysterious place where every turn manifests its own particular landscape. Sometimes we see alarming scenes too, like dead dogs or cats, road-kill, that touches our own inner dread, that may happen to us. Maybe it is the silence, or the isolation, I don’t know – but one get’s a feeling of entering a different realm.

Bodin Moor – path to the Holy Well – St. Noet’s

There are unseen presences too; those around Roughtor report manifestations of misty figures as if watching you and sometimes touching you – although invisible to the eye. The Tors themselves, high up and breezy, have a feeling of being lost and alone. The sounds and smells of the moor are still the same strange stuff of yesteryear. The supernatural seeds are sewn right there and then!

Author Dame Daphne du Maurier once said, while standing in a field on the edge of the moors, that she felt like an astronaut in time. I remember walking down those little pathway toward the holy well in St. Neots last year, when a similar feeling came over me too. I felt I was walking away from planet Earth as I left that small village behind, even though the day was fine and sunny. I decided to stop there and then; to turn back to the village without ever seeing it.

Our next stop was the ‘Jamaica Inn’. Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name has immortalised this Inn forever. When we arrived, it was lunch time. The Inn was full and even with Covid, every table was taken. We squeezed into tiny seats beside the door – just across from us, the plaque marked the place where Joss Merlyn had been murdered. He had been the villain in D. du Maurier’s novel Jamaica inn, he being the cruel owner of the Inn, and central character of the story. It’s a book worth reading! Was the Jamaica Inn such a bete noir of the paranormal? Could this busy sunlit Inn have been the centre of so many intriguing activities? Well here’s something from Michael Williams’ booklet on Jamaica Inn from his own experiences..

Ghosts – around Bodmin Moor

“In Oct. 1998, I was a member of the Ghost Club Society term which investigated Jamaica Inn. That night, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., there was almost a kind of psychic electricity in the atmosphere. We had a remarkable sighting.

The small bar, where nine of us were present, was dark but some light was reflected from the main bar. Five of us saw a man sitting in a chair or it might have been on a wooden bench. Two of us were unsure about the sighting and the last two did not see anything. When the lights went back on, the man had disappeared and, significantly, I noticed that a collection of logs in a container stood before the area where the man had been seen. At the time of the sighting, I was not aware of the logs and, then when the lights revealed the present day geography of the room, there was no sign of a chair or a bench. We had quite simply experienced a time slip – and had viewed that part of the room as it had once been many years ago.

The man had not belonged to modern times. He was dark but not that distinct – like a painting that had faded somewhere through age. He was there – I have no doubt about that – and he somehow generated the impression of a person of business. “

– Joss Merlyn was a man of business – a wretched business – hardly bares mentioning.

eve.


Highly recommend the booklet ‘Ghosts around Bodmin Moor’ – Michael Williams

outside of Jamaica Inn 2020
plaque of where Joss Merlyn was murdered

Holy ‘well – St. Noets

Jamaica Inn photos – below

Outside the Gift Shop – Jamaica Inn
Inn – St. Noets
Ancient Stone Wall

Spirit is the heart of matter;

matter is the ensoulment of spirit.

-Gaston Bachelard

More photos to follow in another post..