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    5: Realisation of Love

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    Chapter 6
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    We come now to the eternal problem of co-existence of the
    infinite and the finite, of the supreme being and our soul.
    There is a sublime paradox that lies at the root of existence.
    We never can go round it, because we never can stand outside the
    problem and weigh it against any other possible alternative. But
    the problem exists in logic only; in reality it does not offer us
    any difficulty at all. Logically speaking, the distance between
    two points, however near, may be said to be infinite because it
    is infinitely divisible. But we _do_ cross the infinite at every
    step, and meet the eternal in every second. Therefore some of our
    philosophers say there is no such thing as finitude; it is but a
    _maya_, an illusion. The real is the infinite, and it is only
    _maya_, the unreality, which causes the appearance of the finite.
    But the word _maya_ is a mere name, it is no explanation. It is
    merely saying that with truth there is this appearance which is
    the opposite of truth; but how they come to exist at one and the
    same time is incomprehensible.

    We have what we call in Sanskrit _dvandva_, a series of opposites
    in creation; such as, the positive pole and the negative, the
    centripetal force and the centrifugal, attraction and repulsion.
    These are also mere names, they are no explanations. They are
    only different ways of asserting that the world in its essence is
    a reconciliation of pairs of opposing forces. These forces, like
    the left and the right hands of the creator, are acting in
    absolute harmony, yet acting from opposite directions.

    There is a bond of harmony between our two eyes, which makes them
    act in unison. Likewise there is an unbreakable continuity of
    relation in the physical world between heat and cold, light and
    darkness, motion and rest, as between the bass and treble notes
    of a piano. That is why these opposites do not bring confusion
    in the universe, but harmony. If creation were but a chaos, we
    should have to imagine the two opposing principles as trying to
    get the better of each other. But the universe is not under
    martial law, arbitrary and provisional. Here we find no force
    which can run amok, or go on indefinitely in its wild road, like
    an exiled outlaw, breaking all harmony with its surroundings;
    each force, on the contrary, has to come back in a curved line to
    its equilibrium. Waves rise, each to its individual height in a
    seeming attitude of unrelenting competition, but only up to a
    certain point; and thus we know of the great repose of the sea to
    which they are all related, and to which they must all return in
    a rhythm which is marvellously beautiful.

    In fact, these undulations and vibrations, these risings and
    fallings, are not due to the erratic contortions of disparate
    bodies, they are a rhythmic dance. Rhythm never can be born of
    the haphazard struggle of combat. Its underlying principle must
    be unity, not opposition.

    This principle of unity is the mystery of all mysteries. The
    existence of a duality at once raises a question in our minds,
    and we seek its solution in the One. When at last we find a
    relation between these two, and thereby see them as one in
    essence, we feel that we have come to the truth. And then we
    give utterance to this most startling of all paradoxes, that the
    One appears as many, that the appearance is the opposite of truth
    and yet is inseparably related to it.

    Curiously enough, there are men who lose that feeling of mystery,
    which is at the root of all our delights, when they discover the
    uniformity of law among the diversity of nature. As if
    gravitation is not more of a mystery than the fall of an apple,
    as if the evolution from one scale of being to the other is not
    something which is even more shy of explanation than a succession
    of creations. The trouble is that we very often stop at such a
    law as if it were the final end of our search, and then we find
    that it does not even begin to emancipate our spirit. It only
    gives satisfaction to our intellect, and as it does not appeal to
    our whole being it only deadens in us the sense of the infinite.

    A great poem, when analysed, is a set of detached sounds. The
    reader who finds out the meaning, which is the inner medium that
    connects these outer sounds, discovers a perfect law all through,
    which is never violated in the least; the law of the evolution of
    ideas, the law of the music and the form.

    But law in itself is a limit. It only shows that whatever is can
    never be otherwise. When a man is exclusively occupied with the
    search for the links of causality, his mind succumbs to the
    tyranny of law in escaping from the tyranny of facts. In
    learning a language, when from mere words we reach the laws of
    words we have gained a great deal. But if we stop at that point,
    and only concern ourselves with the marvels of the formation of a
    language, seeking the hidden reason of all its apparent caprices,
    we do not reach the end--for grammar is not literature, prosody
    is not a poem.

    When we come to literature we find that though it conforms to
    rules of grammar it is yet a thing of joy, it is freedom itself.
    The beauty of a poem is bound by strict laws, yet it transcends
    them. The laws are its wings, they do not keep it weighed down,
    they carry it to freedom. Its form is in law but its spirit is
    in beauty. Law is the first step towards freedom, and beauty is
    the complete liberation which stands on the pedestal of law.
    Beauty harmonises in itself the limit and the beyond, the law and
    the liberty.

    In the world-poem, the discovery of the law of its rhythms, the
    measurement of its expansion and contraction, movement and pause,
    the pursuit of its evolution of forms and characters, are true
    achievements of the mind; but we cannot stop there. It is like a
    railway station; but the station platform is not our home. Only
    he has attained the final truth who knows that the whole world is
    a creation of joy.

    This leads me to think how mysterious the relation of the human
    heart with nature must be. In the outer world of activity nature
    has one aspect, but in our hearts, in the inner world, it
    presents an altogether different picture.

    Take an instance--the flower of a plant. However fine and dainty
    it may look, it is pressed to do a great service, and its colours
    and forms are all suited to its work. It must bring forth the
    fruit, or the continuity of plant life will be broken and the
    earth will be turned into a desert ere long. The colour and the
    smell of the flower are all for some purpose therefore; no sooner
    is it fertilised by the bee, and the time of its fruition
    arrives, than it sheds its exquisite petals and a cruel economy
    compels it to give up its sweet perfume. It has no time to
    flaunt its finery, for it is busy beyond measure. Viewed from
    without, necessity seems to be the only factor in nature for
    which everything works and moves. There the bud develops into
    the flower, the flower into the fruit, the fruit into the seed,
    the seed into a new plant again, and so forth, the chain of
    activity running on unbroken. Should there crop up any
    disturbance or impediment, no excuse would be accepted, and the
    unfortunate thing thus choked in its movement would at once be
    labelled as rejected, and be bound to die and disappear post-
    haste. In the great office of nature there are innumerable
    departments with endless work going on, and the fine flower that
    you behold there, gaudily attired and scented like a dandy, is by
    no means what it appears to be, but rather, is like a labourer
    toiling in sun and shower, who has to submit a clear account of
    his work and has no breathing space to enjoy himself in playful
    frolic.

    But when this same flower enters the heart of men its aspect of
    busy practicality is gone, and it becomes the very emblem of
    leisure and repose. The same object that is the embodiment of
    endless activity without is the perfect expression of beauty and
    peace within.

    Science here warns us that we are mistaken, that the purpose of a
    flower is nothing but what is outwardly manifested, and that the
    relation of beauty and sweetness which we think it bears to us is
    all our own making, gratuitous and imaginary.

    But our heart replies that we are not in the least mistaken. In
    the sphere of nature the flower carries with it a certificate
    which recommends it as having immense capacity for doing useful
    work, but it brings an altogether different letter of
    introduction when it knocks at the door of our hearts. Beauty
    becomes its only qualification. At one place it comes as a
    slave, and at another as a free thing. How, then, should we give
    credit to its first recommendation and disbelieve the second one?
    That the flower has got its being in the unbroken chain of
    causation is true beyond doubt; but that is an outer truth. The
    inner truth is: _Verily from the everlasting joy do all objects
    have their birth._ [Footnote: Anandadhyeva khalvimani bhutani
    jayante.]

    A flower, therefore, has not its only function in nature, but has
    another great function to exercise in the mind of man. And what
    is that function? In nature its work is that of a servant who
    has to make his appearance at appointed times, but in the heart
    of man it comes like a messenger from the King. In the
    _Ramayana_, when _Sita,_ forcibly separated from her husband, was
    bewailing her evil fate in _Ravana's_ golden palace, she was met
    by a messenger who brought with him a ring of her beloved
    _Ramachandra_ himself. The very sight of it convinced _Sita_ of
    the truth of tidings he bore. She was at once reassured that he
    came indeed from her beloved one, who had not forgotten her and
    was at hand to rescue her.

    Such a messenger is a flower from our great lover. Surrounded
    with the pomp and pageantry of worldliness, which may be linked
    to Ravana's golden city, we still live in exile, while the
    insolent spirit of worldly prosperity tempts us with allurements
    and claims us as its bride. In the meantime the flower comes
    across with a message from the other shore, and whispers in our
    ears, "I am come. He has sent me. I am a messenger of the
    beautiful, the one whose soul is the bliss of love. This island
    of isolation has been bridged over by him, and he has not
    forgotten thee, and will rescue thee even now. He will draw thee
    unto him and make thee his own. This illusion will not hold thee
    in thraldom for ever."

    If we happen to be awake then, we question him: "How are we to
    know that thou art come from him indeed?" The messenger says,
    "Look! I have this ring from him. How lovely are its hues and
    charms!"

    Ah, doubtless it is his--indeed, it is our wedding ring. Now all
    else passes into oblivion, only this sweet symbol of the touch of
    the eternal love fills us with a deep longing. We realise that
    the palace of gold where we are has nothing to do with us--our
    deliverance is outside it--and there our love has its fruition
    and our life its fulfilment.

    What to the bee in nature is merely colour and scent, and the
    marks or spots which show the right track to the honey, is to the
    human heart beauty and joy untrammelled by necessity. They bring
    a love letter to the heart written in many-coloured inks.

    I was telling you, therefore, that however busy our active nature
    outwardly may be, she has a secret chamber within the heart where
    she comes and goes freely, without any design whatsoever. There
    the fire of her workshop is transformed into lamps of a festival,
    the noise of her factory is heard like music. The iron chain of
    cause and effect sounds heavily outside in nature, but in the
    human heart its unalloyed delight seems to sound, as it were,
    like the golden strings of a harp.

    It indeed seems to be wonderful that nature has these two aspects
    at one and the same time, and so antithetical--one being of
    thraldom and the other of freedom. In the same form, sound,
    colour, and taste two contrary notes are heard, one of necessity
    and the other of joy. Outwardly nature is busy and restless,
    inwardly she is all silence and peace. She has toil on one side
    and leisure on the other. You see her bondage only when you see
    her from without, but within her heart is a limitless beauty.

    Our seer says, "From joy are born all creatures, by joy they are
    sustained, towards joy they progress, and into joy they enter."

    Not that he ignores law, or that his contemplation of this
    infinite joy is born of the intoxication produced by an
    indulgence in abstract thought. He fully recognises the
    inexorable laws of nature, and says, "Fire burns for fear of him
    (i.e. by his law); the sun shines by fear of him; and for fear of
    him the wind, the clouds, and death perform their offices." It
    is a reign of iron rule, ready to punish the least transgression.
    Yet the poet chants the glad song, "From joy are born all
    creatures, by joy they are sustained, towards joy they progress,
    and into joy they enter."

    _The immortal being manifests himself in joy-form._ [Footnote:
    Anandarupamamritam yad vibhati.] His manifestation in creation
    is out of his fullness of joy. It is the nature of this
    abounding joy to realise itself in form which is law. The joy,
    which is without form, must create, must translate itself into
    forms. The joy of the singer is expressed in the form of a song,
    that of the poet in the form of a poem. Man in his role of a
    creator is ever creating forms, and they come out of his
    abounding joy.

    This joy, whose other name is love, must by its very nature have
    duality for its realisation. When the singer has his inspiration
    he makes himself into two; he has within him his other self as
    the hearer, and the outside audience is merely an extension of
    this other self of his. The lover seeks his own other self in
    his beloved. It is the joy that creates this separation, in
    order to realise through obstacles of union.

    The _amritam_, the immortal bliss, has made himself into two.
    Our soul is the loved one, it is his other self. We are
    separate; but if this separation were absolute, then there would
    have been absolute misery and unmitigated evil in this world.
    Then from untruth we never could reach truth, and from sin we
    never could hope to attain purity of heart; then all opposites
    would ever remain opposites, and we could never find a medium
    through which our differences could ever tend to meet. Then we
    could have no language, no understanding, no blending of hearts,
    no co-operation in life. But on the contrary, we find that the
    separateness of objects is in a fluid state. Their
    individualities are even changing, they are meeting and merging
    into each other, till science itself is turning into metaphysics,
    matter losing its boundaries, and the definition of life becoming
    more and more indefinite.

    Yes, our individual soul has been separated from the supreme
    soul, but this has not been from alienation but from the fullness
    of love. It is for that reason that untruths, sufferings, and
    evils are not at a standstill; the human soul can defy them, can
    overcome them, nay, can altogether transform them into new power
    and beauty.

    The singer is translating his song into singing, his joy into
    forms, and the hearer has to translate back the singing into the
    original joy; then the communion between the singer and the
    hearer is complete. The infinite joy is manifesting itself in
    manifold forms, taking upon itself the bondage of law, and we
    fulfil our destiny when we go back from forms to joy, from law to
    the love, when we untie the knot of the finite and hark back to
    the infinite.

    The human soul is on its journey from the law to love, from
    discipline to liberation, from the moral plane to the spiritual.
    Buddha preached the discipline of self-restraint and moral life;
    it is a complete acceptance of law. But this bondage of law
    cannot be an end by itself; by mastering it thoroughly we acquire
    the means of getting beyond it. It is going back to Brahma, to
    the infinite love, which is manifesting itself through the finite
    forms of law. Buddha names it _Brahma-vihara_, the joy of living
    in Brahma. He who wants to reach this stage, according to Buddha,
    "shall deceive none, entertain no hatred for anybody, and never
    wish to injure through anger. He shall have measureless love for
    all creatures, even as a mother has for her only child, whom she
    protects with her own life. Up above, below, and all around him
    he shall extend his love, which is without bounds and obstacles,
    and which is free from all cruelty and antagonism. While
    standing, sitting, walking, lying down, till he fall asleep, he
    shall keep his mind active in this exercise of universal goodwill."

    Want of love is a degree of callousness; for love is the
    perfection of consciousness. We do not love because we do not
    comprehend, or rather we do not comprehend because we do not
    love. For love is the ultimate meaning of everything around us.
    It is not a mere sentiment; it is truth; it is the joy that is at
    the root of all creation. It is the white light of pure
    consciousness that emanates from Brahma. So, to be one with this
    _sarvanubhuh_, this all-feeling being who is in the external sky,
    as well as in our inner soul, we must attain to that summit of
    consciousness, which is love: _Who could have breathed or moved
    if the sky were not filled with joy, with love?_ [Footnote: Ko
    hyevanyat kah pranyat yadesha akaca anando na syat.] It is
    through the heightening of our consciousness into love, and
    extending it all over the world, that we can attain
    _Brahma-vihara,_ communion with this infinite joy.

    Love spontaneously gives itself in endless gifts. But these
    gifts lose their fullest significance if through them we do not
    reach that love, which is the giver. To do that, we must have
    love in our own heart. He who has no love in him values the
    gifts of his lover only according to their usefulness. But
    utility is temporary and partial. It can never occupy our whole
    being; what is useful only touches us at the point where we have
    some want. When the want is satisfied, utility becomes a burden
    if it still persists. On the other hand, a mere token is of
    permanent worth to us when we have love in our heart. For it is
    not for any special use. It is an end in itself; it is for our
    whole being and therefore can never tire us.

    The question is, In what manner do we accept this world, which is
    a perfect gift of joy? Have we been able to receive it in our
    heart where we keep enshrined things that are of deathless value
    to us? We are frantically busy making use of the forces of the
    universe to gain more and more power; we feed and we clothe
    ourselves from its stores, we scramble for its riches, and it
    becomes for us a field of fierce competition. But were we born
    for this, to extend our proprietary rights over this world and
    make of it a marketable commodity? When our whole mind is bent
    only upon making use of this world it loses for us its true
    value. We make it cheap by our sordid desires; and thus to the
    end of our days we only try to feed upon it and miss its truth,
    just like the greedy child who tears leaves from a precious book
    and tries to swallow them.

    In the lands where cannibalism is prevalent man looks upon man as
    his food. In such a country civilisation can never thrive, for
    there man loses his higher value and is made common indeed. But
    there are other kinds of cannibalism, perhaps not so gross, but
    not less heinous, for which one need not travel far. In
    countries higher in the scale of civilisation we find sometimes
    man looked upon as a mere body, and he is bought and sold in the
    market by the price of his flesh only. And sometimes he gets his
    sole value from being useful; he is made into a machine, and is
    traded upon by the man of money to acquire for him more money.
    Thus our lust, our greed, our love of comfort result in
    cheapening man to his lowest value. It is self deception on a
    large scale. Our desires blind us to the _truth_ that there is
    in man, and this is the greatest wrong done by ourselves to our
    own soul. It deadens our consciousness, and is but a gradual
    method of spiritual suicide. It produces ugly sores in the body
    of civilisation, gives rise to its hovels and brothels, its
    vindictive penal codes, its cruel prison systems, its organised
    method of exploiting foreign races to the extent of permanently
    injuring them by depriving them of the discipline of self-
    government and means of self-defence.

    Of course man is useful to man, because his body is a marvellous
    machine and his mind an organ of wonderful efficiency. But he is
    a spirit as well, and this spirit is truly known only by love.
    When we define a man by the market value of the service we can
    expect of him, we know him imperfectly. With this limited
    knowledge of him it becomes easy for us to be unjust to him and
    to entertain feelings of triumphant self-congratulation when, on
    account of some cruel advantage on our side, we can get out of
    him much more than we have paid for. But when we know him as a
    spirit we know him as our own. We at once feel that cruelty to
    him is cruelty to ourselves, to make him small is stealing from
    our own humanity, and in seeking to make use of him solely for
    personal profit we merely gain in money or comfort what we pay in
    truth.

    One day I was out in a boat on the Ganges. It was a beautiful
    evening in autumn. The sun had just set; the silence of the sky
    was full to the brim with ineffable peace and beauty. The vast
    expanse of water was without a ripple, mirroring all the changing
    shades of the sunset glow. Miles and miles of a desolate
    sandbank lay like a huge amphibious reptile of some antediluvian
    age, with its scales glistening in shining colours. As our boat
    was silently gliding by the precipitous river-bank, riddled with
    the nest-holes of a colony of birds, suddenly a big fish leapt up
    to the surface of the water and then disappeared, displaying on
    its vanishing figure all the colours of the evening sky. It drew
    aside for a moment the many-coloured screen behind which there
    was a silent world full of the joy of life. It came up from the
    depths of its mysterious dwelling with a beautiful dancing motion
    and added its own music to the silent symphony of the dying day.
    I felt as if I had a friendly greeting from an alien world in its
    own language, and it touched my heart with a flash of gladness.
    Then suddenly the man at the helm exclaimed with a distinct note
    of regret, "Ah, what a big fish!" It at once brought before his
    vision the picture of the fish caught and made ready for his
    supper. He could only look at the fish through his desire, and
    thus missed the whole truth of its existence. But man is not
    entirely an animal. He aspires to a spiritual vision, which is
    the vision of the whole truth. This gives him the highest
    delight, because it reveals to him the deepest harmony that
    exists between him and his surroundings. It is our desires that
    limit the scope of our self-realisation, hinder our extension of
    consciousness, and give rise to sin, which is the innermost
    barrier that keeps us apart from our God, setting up disunion and
    the arrogance of exclusiveness. For sin is not one mere action,
    but it is an attitude of life which takes for granted that our
    goal is finite, that our self is the ultimate truth, and that we
    are not all essentially one but exist each for his own separate
    individual existence.

    So I repeat we never can have a true view of man unless we have a
    love for him. Civilisation must be judged and prized, not by the
    amount of power it has developed, but by how much it has evolved
    and given expression to, by its laws and institutions, the love
    of humanity. The first question and the last which it has to
    answer is, Whether and how far it recognises man more as a spirit
    than a machine? Whenever some ancient civilisation fell into
    decay and died, it was owing to causes which produced callousness
    of heart and led to the cheapening of man's worth; when either
    the state or some powerful group of men began to look upon the
    people as a mere instrument of their power; when, by compelling
    weaker races to slavery and trying to keep them down by every
    means, man struck at the foundation of his greatness, his own
    love of freedom and fair-play. Civilisation can never sustain
    itself upon cannibalism of any form. For that by which alone man
    is true can only be nourished by love and justice.

    As with man, so with this universe. When we look at the world
    through the veil of our desires we make it small and narrow, and
    fail to perceive its full truth. Of course it is obvious that
    the world serves us and fulfils our needs, but our relation to it
    does not end there. We are bound to it with a deeper and truer
    bond than that of necessity. Our soul is drawn to it; our love
    of life is really our wish to continue our relation with this
    great world. This relation is one of love. We are glad that we
    are in it; we are attached to it with numberless threads, which
    extend from this earth to the stars. Man foolishly tries to
    prove his superiority by imagining his radical separateness from
    what he calls his physical world, which, in his blind fanaticism,
    he sometimes goes to the extent of ignoring altogether, holding
    it at his direst enemy. Yet the more his knowledge progresses,
    the more it becomes difficult for man to establish this
    separateness, and all the imaginary boundaries he had set up
    around himself vanish one after another. Every time we lose some
    of our badges of absolute distinction by which we conferred upon
    our humanity the right to hold itself apart from its surroundings,
    it gives us a shock of humiliation. But we have to submit to
    this. If we set up our pride on the path of our self-realisation
    to create divisions and disunion, then it must sooner or later
    come under the wheels of truth and be ground to dust. No, we are
    not burdened with some monstrous superiority, unmeaning in its
    singular abruptness. It would be utterly degrading for us to
    live in a world immeasurably less than ourselves in the quality of
    soul, just as it would be repulsive and degrading to be surrounded
    and served by a host of slaves, day and night, from birth to the
    moment of death. On the contrary, this world is our compeer, nay,
    we are one with it.

    Through our progress in science the wholeness of the world and
    our oneness with it is becoming clearer to our mind. When this
    perception of the perfection of unity is not merely intellectual,
    when it opens out our whole being into a luminous consciousness
    of the all, then it becomes a radiant joy, an overspreading love.
    Our spirit finds its larger self in the whole world, and is
    filled with an absolute certainty that it is immortal. It dies a
    hundred times in its enclosures of self; for separateness is
    doomed to die, it cannot be made eternal. But it never can die
    where it is one with the all, for there is its truth, its joy.
    When a man feels the rhythmic throb of the soul-life of the whole
    world in his own soul, then is he free. Then he enters into the
    secret courting that goes on between this beautiful world-bride,
    veiled with the veil of the many-coloured finiteness, and the
    _paramatmam_, the bridegroom, in his spotless white. Then he
    knows that he is the partaker of this gorgeous love festival, and
    he is the honoured guest at the feast of immortality. Then he
    understands the meaning of the seer-poet who sings, "From love the
    world is born, by love it is sustained, towards love it moves, and
    into love it enters."

    In love all the contradictions of existence merge themselves and
    are lost. Only in love are unity and duality not at variance.
    Love must be one and two at the same time.

    Only love is motion and rest in one. Our heart ever changes its
    place till it finds love, and then it has its rest. But this
    rest itself is an intense form of activity where utter quiescence
    and unceasing energy meet at the same point in love.

    In love, loss and gain are harmonised. In its balance-sheet,
    credit and debit accounts are in the same column, and gifts are
    added to gains. In this wonderful festival of creation, this
    great ceremony of self-sacrifice of God, the lover constantly
    gives himself up to gain himself in love. Indeed, love is what
    brings together and inseparably connects both the act of
    abandoning and that of receiving.

    In love, at one of its poles you find the personal, and at the
    other the impersonal. At one you have the positive assertion--
    Here I am; at the other the equally strong denial--I am not.
    Without this ego what is love? And again, with only this ego how
    can love be possible?

    Bondage and liberation are not antagonistic in love. For love is
    most free and at the same time most bound. If God were
    absolutely free there would be no creation. The infinite being
    has assumed unto himself the mystery of finitude. And in him who
    is love the finite and the infinite are made one.

    Similarly, when we talk about the relative values of freedom and
    non-freedom, it becomes a mere play of words. It is not that we
    desire freedom alone, we want thraldom as well. It is the high
    function of love to welcome all limitations and to transcend
    them. For nothing is more independent than love, and where else,
    again, shall we find so much of dependence? In love, thraldom is
    as glorious as freedom.

    The _Vaishnava_ religion has boldly declared that God has bound
    himself to man, and in that consists the greatest glory of human
    existence. In the spell of the wonderful rhythm of the finite he
    fetters himself at every step, and thus gives his love out in
    music in his most perfect lyrics of beauty. Beauty is his wooing
    of our heart; it can have no other purpose. It tells us
    everywhere that the display of power is not the ultimate meaning
    of creation; wherever there is a bit of colour, a note of song, a
    grace of form, there comes the call for our love. Hunger compels
    us to obey its behests, but hunger is not the last word for a man.
    There have been men who have deliberately defied its commands to
    show that the human soul is not to be led by the pressure of wants
    and threat of pain. In fact, to live the life of man we have to
    resist its demands every day, the least of us as well as the
    greatest. But, on the other hand, there is a beauty in the world
    which never insults our freedom, never raises even its little
    finger to make us acknowledge its sovereignty. We can absolutely
    ignore it and suffer no penalty in consequence. It is a call to
    us, but not a command. It seeks for love in us, and love can
    never be had by compulsion. Compulsion is not indeed the final
    appeal to man, but joy is. Any joy is everywhere; it is in the
    earth's green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky;
    in the reckless exuberance of spring; in the severe abstinence of
    grey winter; in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame;
    in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; in
    living; in the exercise of all our powers; in the acquisition of
    knowledge; in fighting evils; in dying for gains we never can
    share. Joy is there everywhere; it is superfluous, unnecessary;
    nay, it very often contradicts the most peremptory behests of
    necessity. It exists to show that the bonds of law can only be
    explained by love; they are like body and soul. Joy is the
    realisation of the truth of oneness, the oneness of our soul with
    the world and of the world-soul with the supreme lover.
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