Thursday, 24 October 2013

Of Temples, Poetry and Life

A Poem and A Song - VI: A Series to Celebrate Art in All Forms 

It is actually quite amazing when you find the same thought being expressed through a picture, a poem, a song, or even a gesture.
Perhaps it happens because the thought has sunk deep into you, at least for the time being, and you just view a certain picture, read a certain poem and hear a certain song as expressions of that singular thought.
Or perhaps they really are conveying the same thought, but in different shades and hues. 
And it just so happens that when that very thought captured your attention, certain pictures, poems and songs also appeared before you allowing you to delve deeper into the thought and let it reveal its deeper essence to you.
Regardless of how it happens, it is always a moment to relish and cherish the beauty. The beauty of the picture, the song, the poem. The beauty of the experience. The beauty of the moment.


The evolutionary idea in the Indian view of Life, the gradual progression made - through one and several lifetimes - towards self-finding or finding of the Divine has been on my mind lately. Could be because of my recent visits to several magnificent Chola and Pallava temples in different parts of Tamil Nadu. The deep symbolism behind the design and layout of these temples, the rich abundance of detail and ornamentation - both inside and outside the temples, the long pathways, often meandering, to the inmost sanctum santorum for the darshan of the Diety - to see and to be seen by the Lord, all this can be a powerful symbolic reminder of the inner view of Life, namely, that all that we do, experience and go through in life works as means to grow in life, mind and soul. The more we grow in awareness and become conscious, the more we begin to see it all as a gradual, evolutionary path to progress.


Gangaikonda Cholapuram (Photo by Suhas Mehra)

I am reminded today of some beautiful lines from Savitri, the epic poem of  Sri Aurobindo where he speaks so beautifully about a view of life that is centered in the supremacy of Spirit and a Divine Presence that guides all life and everything in it :

Our outward happenings have their seed within,
And even this random Fate that imitates Chance,
This mass of unintelligible results,
Are the dumb graph of truths that work unseen:
The laws of the Unknown create the known.
The events that shape the appearance of our lives
Are a cipher of subliminal quiverings
Which rarely we surprise or vaguely feel,
Are an outcome of suppressed realities
That hardly rise into material day:
They are born from the spirit's sun of hidden powers
Digging a tunnel through emergency.
But who shall pierce into the cryptic gulf
And learn what deep necessity of the soul
Determined casual deed and consequence?
Absorbed in a routine of daily acts,
Our eyes are fixed on an external scene;
We hear the crash of the wheels of Circumstance
And wonder at the hidden cause of things.
Yet a foreseeing Knowledge might be ours,
If we could take our spirit's stand within,
If we could hear the muffled daemon voice. 
Book I, Canto IV, p. 52

And then, there are moments in that Book Called Life when all that is needed is a simple, melodious ghazal in the silky voice of Jagjit Singh....




Other posts in this series:

Remembering the Mother      On the Road      Who is that Presence?     Only You     Reckless Lovers

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Linking this post with ABC Wednesday - T: T is for Temple