• Parabaas
    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Rabindranath Tagore | Essay
  • Selections from Santiniketan: The One Commandment [Adesh - Santiniketan Vol I] : Rabindranath Tagore
    translated from Bengali to English by Jyoti Prakash Datta , Edited by Nandan Datta

    Religious texts have circulated lists of what should not be done by men and women, purporting such acts to have been specially prohibited by God.

    These are propagated as promulgations by God, which would bring forth divine wrath upon whoever infringes them. I cannot accept this interpretation because I find it to be too narrow and artificial. To my thinking, God has made only commandment - the only one He has made upon all that have their being in the entire universe.

    This only commandment from God has been to reveal one's true nature. In accordance with this command, the sun has sent forth radiance, the earth has cradled life, humankind has revealed its soul.

    Whenever, in whichever corner of the world, this commandment is not fulfilled - buds of hope wither, rivers of life stagnate - bondage, decay and destruction set in.

    After meditating sorrowfully on the reasons for bondage, decay and destruction in life, the Buddha was enlightened with knowledge of the same commandment. Salvation lies in the soul expressing its true nature. Whenever this expression is thwarted, there visit sorrow and sin upon humankind.

    However, to start with, the Buddha did dispense some rules of conduct such as covet not what is not yours, shun violence in all its forms, and do not indulge in material luxuries of life. The only purpose of following these austerities would be to remove the enveloping shrouds of daily habit so that the soul is awakened to a perception of its true self.

    What is the true nature of the soul? The soul manifests itself neither in emptiness, nor in inaction but in amity, compassion and love towards all. The Buddha called for renunciation of our desires only to extend our love everywhere. Through dispensing love alone does the soul express its true nature just as the sun fulfils itself by emitting radiance all around.

    The nature of God is to express Himself in the universe just as it is the nature of human soul to express itself. Such a religion rooted in purity and without sin, is complete because it has entry everywhere.

    Once we are able to lay down this burden of our sin, we too will gain entrance everywhere - living in joy, ruling our own minds, freeing ourselves from the slavery of external circumstances, to reveal ourselves ultimately in our own light. Thus in our thought, speech and actions, we will reveal our souls restful in peace and welfare. While being at one with the universe, we will no longer be fragmented in greed and desire.

    The sage Maitrayee, in her well-known prayer, prayed for this self-expression. This is the eternal prayer of the human soul as also of the flower buds as they blossom, the tender leaves as they burst forth in luxuriance of foliage, the atoms and molecules as they form into matter of the universe. May I reveal my self, may I find self-expression. My self is concealed under untruth, reveal me in truth; my self is hidden in darkness, reveal me in light; my self is overwhelmed by death, reveal me into Life Eternal. O self-revealing One, as you reveal yourself to me, may my own self also find its true expression in you without any hindrance; so that I gain salavation for ever, if such is your pleasure in me.

    The Buddha had also prayed for this salvation through self-expression of every human being - no other prayer can be greater than this one.

    (Chaitra 9)

    Published in Parabaas May 7, 2020
  • Introduction | In the morning | Night | Three Storeys | The All Pervading Presence | The Abode That Ever Abides Within | Stregth at Work | Seeing the Truth | Creation | The One Commandment
  • এই লেখাটি পুরোনো ফরম্যাটে দেখুন
  • মন্তব্য জমা দিন / Make a comment
  • (?)