Realm of Beauty and Truth - An Exploration of Aesthetics of Human Life by Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar SignUp

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Realm of Beauty and Truth
- An Exploration of Aesthetics of Human Life
by Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar Bookmark and Share

Realm Of Beauty And Truth (A collection of poems) Poet: Vijay Kumar Roy
Publisher: Authorspress,
ISBN-13: 9789352072507
Year of Publication: 2016
Pages: 84, Price in Rs. 175.00

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," –that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. “

- Ode on a Grecian Urn " by John Keats

Realm of Beauty and Truth is a collection of poems by Vijay Kumar Roy who is also the author of Premanjali (2009) (A Collection of Poems in Hindi), and Aesthetic of John Keats: An Indian Approach (2010), besides editing a dozen of other books. All the poems deal with the traditional themes of beauty, truth, love, spirituality, patriotism, peace and universal brotherhood, and other contemporary issues. He has rightly written in the Epilogue of the books that “Real beauty is that which makes our heart beautiful we seek beauty (goodness) in everything. We think good thoughts; we see goodness in everything. We hear only the good. When goodness captivates our soul, we are bound to do only good deeds. This is the way to reach the Truth.”

In most of his poems, his staunch faith in divinity in man is manifested with great reverence. Imbued with a sense of romantic spirituality he recounts his experience in beautiful words. His reflection on divine entity of soul finds wonderful articulation in his poem “The Consequences “-

The divine spark
And the mortal image of the immortal
Being poured all reason
Is the Crown and glory of Creation!

He tends to be a man of values of life. Degradation of values in the contemporary society is crux of his concern. Depicting a realistic picture he makes caustic remark in the same poem-

The serpent is adored in every nook and cranny
And reaps his long cherished fruits in disguise.  (The Consequences)

He is critical of the unwanted ways of gaining profits and reaping undue mileage. Some people are taking resort to foul means and thus misusing and abusing the divine riches of life-

Pleasing and pleasure have become the ultimate goal
And His paved path been misused and abused.  (The Consequences)

“Eternal Game” is another beautiful poem dealing with lot of the people. Destiny sometimes plays crude joke with the people. He accepts this hard reality-

We are made to play the eternal game
Where failure has been forbidden to enter
And victory is the only verdict

Since he is an academician, he is aware of the significance of quality education that needs to be imparted to one and all. Modern education seems to have lost its sole objectivity. He holds that learning or teaching should be scientific, innovative and experimental rather than a traditional methodology that seems to have rotten to the core. Good learning, done in a better and honest way, is sure to lead the learner to demystify the mystery of existence-

Learning engenders an innovative
Its devotion delves us deep
Into the realm of Delight
To enter and behold the One
To sit and drink
The milk of all mystery  (Learning)

He further makes us realize that true education is a mission. Striving for this is a process of realization. Good Education paves the ‘way to attain self-realization’, ‘to embrace the Light’ by eliminating ‘the Darkness’. He reiterates-

Pleasure and plain have the same feeling;
Theist and atheist have the same goal
And great and small get the same reverence.  (Education is a Mission)

He is very saddened to see the present plight of the country that has been ‘a land of the origin of four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism’. In the poem "The Unique Land", he merits our attention to the glorious past of India, well known for the global philosophy and wisdom of vasudhaiva kutumbkam. She has also been a ‘golden bird’ and the ‘mother of republic’.

However, loss of morality and humanity in the country bothers the poet. In the poem “Goal”, he depicts a realistic and sardonic picture of the corruption and crimes which have become order of the day. His vehement satire against the people greed for power and pelf is quite palpable here:

Terror, murder, crime, rape, loot, cheating and befooling
Have become vehicles to achieve power and prosperity.

His concern for the depletion of humanity also gets reflected in his insightful and mythopoetic poem “Change”. He expresses his bewilderment-

The rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer.
Mushrooming vices have weakened the soul of humanity.
Time has changed, mind has changed,
Definition of development has changed
Now the change will change the face of change

As a result, everything systematic tends to be unsystemised due to erosion in the educational values. Chaotic situation prevails everywhere, in every nook and corner. The poet remarks:

All are busy in this race
Moving, moving and moving
No direction, no end....... (Goal)

He takes a dig at the present condition of modern education which leads man nowhere in the world. He highlights the academic evils prevailing in modern society:

Where fraternity lacks love
Prosperity lacks peace
Knowledge lacks wisdom  (Modern Education)

Today modern temples of learning are commercially controlled with a view to making money and power. It is very sad that ‘Wealth and influences get victory over the latent talents’. With bitter satire and irony, the poet bemoans:

Sale and purchase
Alluring and cheating
And entangling in a lasting mesh
Strengthen the fervour of this profession.  (Modern temples of Learning)

Erosion of values from the life of the people is yet another concern of the poet who, with heavy heart, expresses the sad reality of contemporary times in his poem “Loss or Gain”-

Honesty weeps bitterly
Morality repents for its fate
Spirituality hides in a corner
Virtue has lost its power
Values change their track.

True, without the human, moral, social values life is nothing but a mechanical pull of materialistic carcase! He highly highlights the sole purpose of life which has got a mission. He has preponderance of heart over mind.  “Life on a Mission” is an eye-opener in this regard-

Life on a mission doesn’t state with wealth and powers
Its shelter is peace and blissful hours.

Abstract is truth, concrete a mere shadow
When mind does muddle, heart should be followed

There is a paradigm shift in his poetry from physical aspect of existence to the metaphysical and spiritual existence of being. He believes that it is through the fulfilment of earthly aspiration that one reaches the plain of soul’s ecstasy. His “The Love for Mortals leads to the Immortal” is a very beautiful poem that sums up his thoughts on this philosophy life:

There is divine presence in all
So they descend on earth and call
To preserve a seat in His lap
And enjoy the eternal sap
 ...   ...   ...
This journey leads to eternal bliss
And inspires to achieve divine kiss
Rapt in rapture on this way
Truth embraces and does teach
The love for mortals leads to the Immortal

Besides, beauty and life, love and truth are other beautiful cornerstones of his poetry. The poet holds the opinion that entire things in the world are ‘controlled by One’- the Supreme Spirit in three forms- Generator, Operator and Destroyer. ‘Human being is His model’ and love has special power to touch one and all as it is a precious gift of God. He remarks in his poem “A Truth”-

Love is the rarest wealth
That neither can men praise
Nor muses too much, nor epic.

He further remarks –

Lovers are not fools
To love is a divine act,
A rare gift to rare beings. (Lovers are not Fools)

He is a poet of love and beauty. His perception of love and beauty are awesome. He gives a new definition to love and its shaping role in human life. It is a very rare thing, a gift of God. He avers-

Love is a gem in precious life
That grows humanity and delight.
It’s enough to lead a life
And above the truth, a coif. (Love)

“Fruit of Love” is yet another beautiful poem of love dealing with grandeur of love. He rightly articulates that ‘the force of love is the mightiest/And most ethereal/Among all prime forces /Within one’s ken’. The poet further gets personal and reveals-

I enjoyed all elements in its core-
kiss, caress, and embrace much more
learning a lesson of beauty, the dearest
and found sweet pearl, the rarest.

Only a ‘worshipper of beauty’ can enjoy and relish this fruit of love. Here he resounds the perennial power of love and beauty fused together to give meaning to life.

Critical of vain vanity in life, the poet is all for purity of heart. Love revitalises life in this world of miseries.  His loving dreams has ‘ an endless beam of delights’. That’s why he remarks-

..................I will raise my pure
Heart to win a realm of grandeur
And might be a hedonistic ruler (A Vain Reliance)

As for the beauty, the poet, in the epilogue of the book under review, writes – Beauty is Truth. It pleases every great heart. But what is real beauty? This has, to some extent, a hidden meaning.’ He asks the question and tries to answer this through his poetic utterances. His poem “Beauty is the Essence of Life” also encapsulates it-

Beauty is the essence of life.
It dwells in imagination,
leaves shadows in perception
and strengthens my dedication
for welfare of earthly creature

He spiritualises his concept of beauty and regards it as a soothing and comforting form of divinity-

Beauty is His presence
That enlivens one’s urge
And compels one to love one’s love
Who comes often
In the sanctified dreams of mirth  (Lovers are not Fools)

Death is the ‘ultimate reality’, yet ‘one desires to live long.’ The poet praises both life and death which are mutually complimentary to each other. Death is inevitable. It is only after unfolding the mystery of death that we can understand life better. He regards both life and death as ‘two needs’ the fulfilment of which results into our intensive and extensive experience that helps us realise the ‘presence of divine’ in each and every element of nature. He philosophises the idea of death in a positive way-

Death relieves from tiredness of life
And makes soul incarnate, like a bud of rose,
pouring incense of beauty and innocence (Life and Death)

To the poet imagination is also a great source of perceiving beauty in external aspect of nature. Journey to a place provides ample opportunity to sharpen this sense of beauty. The poet feels imaginatively attracted to ‘beautiful hills, tress and bushes’, ‘cascades’,’ chirping of colourful tiny birds’, floating of clouds etc. All these, he divulges,-

.....................charm one’s soul
And imagination wanders to enter the realm of Infinite. (Ethiopia)

and all the objects of beauty

Console the distressed immigrant
And open the gate of gaiety (Ethiopia)

The beauty of nature and innocence and purity of heart always help us demystify the intricate mysteries of life and death. The poet also remarks that all of them ‘lead to resolve the mystery of life/That years of perusal fail to do.’

The poet envisions a Utopian society for ushering in all the love, peace and a global family with true realisation of self and soul. In spite of having romantic, philosophical and imaginative bent of mind, he is a poet of realism and earthy sensibility. He regards leaning as a heralder of global harmony-

Ample learning keeps him bent to the earth
Enabling him to harmonize the earth and the sky
And enter into a world of intellectual elite
Where politeness is the reigning monarch, (My Pride)

And further suggests in the same poem that

Love and truth teach the intruders and infiltrators
Darkness fears to enter this realm of light
To serve in this kingdom is my pride.

With his prophetic vision he dreams of an age free from ‘all kinds of evils’ and that is possible only when we look back at the glorious past of our country and its amicable culture. He remarks-

To herald a new age of peace
We should delve in ancient India (New Age)

Besides, personal and family relations also find beautiful expression in his poetry. He expresses his love and respect for mother, sister, father, friends, wife and the great person of greater importance he has met. Her sympathy for woman is quite appreciable. He writes-

Having imbibed the values
Personal, social, moral and professional,
She best exemplifies
A true wife, mother and professional (Eternal Bliss)

To sum up, Vijay Kumar Roy‘s Realm of Beauty and Truth, thanks to beautiful poems as contained in the anthology, successfully sharpens our perception of love and beauty, of life in the world and beyond and goes a long way in fulfilling, to a greater extent, the long-cherished dream of establishing a utopian society based on the values of all kinds. It is an exploration of aesthetics of human life; love is a connecting factor in the realm of beauty and truth in Elysium-

Now far away let’s leave this world
To us, no mortals might then scold
We may pass and be called love’s deities
And can bless in disguise our all devotees (An Expected Dream)

Realm of Beauty and Truth is highly recommended for the personal and library collections for frequent visit to the realm of beauty and truth from the grim realities and squalor of mundane existence.

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