Sunday, January 11, 2009

JK's poem and The Bhagavad Gita

I was talking about J.Krishnamurthi's views on names and his poem in my earlier post. Here is the full poem:

I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
I have no shelter;
I am as the wandering waters.
I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;
Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.
I have no sacred books;
Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars,
Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.
I am neither in the graven image,
Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.
I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies,
Nor held in the power of their sects.
I am neither low nor high,
I am the worshipper and the worshipped.
I am free.
My song is the song of the river
Calling for the open seas,
Wandering, wandering,
I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.

A beautiful poem in simple words. This poem I believe is about God or maybe the "real God". It can also be thought to be about truth or life. In one way we can also think of this as the song of the free soul which has attained salvation. Not sure what your interpretation is.

"I am the worshipper and the worshipped" seems to convey that god resides in everyone and one has to look inwards for answers.

I find a lot of similarities between this poem and what Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, particularly in chapter 7, Gnana Vigyana Yoga. This is the chapter I have blogged about earlier and the one I learnt, courtesy my daughter's Gita competition.

Here is an extract from Chapter 7, verses 7-11:

O Arjuna, there is nothing higher than me
Everything in the universe is strung on me
Like pearls on the thread of a necklace.

O Arjuna, I am the pleasant flavour in the water,
I am the radiance in the sun and the moon,
The sacred syllable OM in all the Vedas,
The sound in the ether,
And the manhood in men.

I am the sweet fragrance in the earth.
I am the heat in the fire,
The life in all living beings,
And the austerity in the ascetics.

O Arjuna, know Me to be the eternal seed of all creatures.
I am the intelligence of the intelligent,
And the brilliance of the brilliant.

I am the strength, that is
Devoid of lust and attachment, of the strong.
I am the desire (Kaama) in human beings
That is in accord with Dharma, O Arjuna.

Elsewhere in the Gita it is also said that:
The Atma is neither born
Nor does it die at any time,
nor having been it will cease to exist again.
It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval.
The Atma is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.

The only difference is that superstitions have sprung in between and distorted the message of the Vedas and Upanishads (of which the Gita is an essence).

I think that though JK in one way has only reinforced the message of the past, his poem is also about condemning the superstitions that have crept in during the centuries in between and have become the order of the day.

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