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The Lotus by Sarojini Naidu

O mystic Lotus, sacred and sublime,
In myriad-petalled grace inviolate,
Supreme o’er transient storms of tragic Fate,
Deep-rooted in the waters of all Time,
What legions loosed from many a far-off clime
Of wild-bee hordes with lips insatiate,
And hungry winds with wings of hope or hate,
Have thronged and pressed round thy miraculous prime
To devastate thy loveliness, to drain
The midmost rapture of thy glorious heart
But who could win thy secret, who attain
Thine ageless beauty born of Brahma’s breath,
Or pluck thine immortality, who art
Coeval with the Lords of Life and Death?

What does Sarojini say in The Lotus Dedicated to M.K.Gandhi? The lotus is a lotus, a thing of beauty, purity and goodness, the lotus of thought, idea, and sublimity, so the man towering above with a saga beyond the touch of mortality, serene, sacrosanct, indelible, and sublime. The poem is a tribute to a great personality, a great man as Gandhi was frail in appearance, but simple in bearing, but so much austere in morality. Without describing Gandhi, the poetess just through the symbol of a lotus which is so much sacrosanct in Hinduism discusses it all the intrinsic qualities of the great fellow.

The Lotus Dedicated to M.K. Gandhi is one of those Gandhi poems which were written years and years before just as a mythical text, just as a tribute to the great soul in sublimity of thought and expression, is one of those Gandhi poems which remind us of the poems about him and if we make a comparative study of that it will be interesting to discuss.

What does a lotus symbolize? The red lotus symbolizes passion whereas the blue wisdom and logic, as the saying goes on, the hearsay. A symbol of serenity, purity, freshness, verve and enlightenment it is really a thing of satyam, shivam, sundaram and so the things to make a soul a great soul, a man a great man and these naturally inherent in the great soul. As the lotus grows, blooms over the waters, bearing the gusts of the wind, rough weather and soft weather so the times and testing of life; the hardships and troubles, tribulations and sufferings, struggles and sacrifices made, undergone and borne by a great man. The mystic lotus is really a mystic, a great soul, a great man of the world so simple and beautiful, so calm, serene, pure, confessional, good and great just like a lotus, a lotus blooming, an aquatic freshwater plant. The storms of Tragic Fate, Hungry Winds and Wild Bees with their hordes and raids keep hovering around to malign the spirit, but the lotus remains still and unaffected, with the petals and the layers of it opening one by one, the dew drops sliding over or scattered upon looking as pearls. The roots lie in lain into the deep waters of time.

There is nothing as that to question about its loveliness. There is nothing to say about its calm composure. It is ever calm, ever lovely, ever tranquil. As the lotus stands in with the midmost raptures of its own so the things of the great heart and soul. The secrets of it which none but the lotus-born Brahma knows it well.

The lotus has but been referred to as a symbol, the lotus of the mind, the lotus of the heart and the soul and the inner self in salutation to the larger heart seen in Gandhi the great man and soul. What it is true is good and what it good is beautiful. Whatever say we, the lotus will remain a lotus unto the end. The poem speaks of the reverence implied within and is in other words a great tribute to a great soul ever written, ever composed, so full of regards and homage to the Father of the Nation. Whatever be the criticism of his, he is above it all.

The title is as such that it speaks in volumes rather than annotating the text in full. The word, The Lotus silences it all. Whose lotus? What lotus? How the lotus born? What it about Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara? How truth entwined? How beauty and goodness? And with the lotus the vision of Gandhi conjuring up upon the mind’s plane, so noble, virtuous and pure.

The first two lines tell about his address:

O mystic Lotus, sacred and sublime,
In myriad-petalled grace inviolate,

The next two lines tell of the faring of the rough weather:

Supreme o’er transient storms of tragic Fate,
Deep-rooted in the waters of all Time,

The last four lines of the poem also speak of the same Grace Divine:

But who could win thy secret, who attain
Thine ageless beauty born of Brahma’s breath,
Or pluck thine immortality, who art
Coeval with the Lords of Life and Death?

In the lotus image lies the image of something sublime, extraterrestrial, and divine. The Image here too in the context of Gandhi is that of a superhuman being, the Divine Being in a mortal frame. The poetess means to say it that the sacred things will sacred forever, the things of reverence will always be upheld with reverence. Truth can never be smudged. Beauty can never be stained. Goodness can never be blotted.

The poem is itself a lotus paid in reverence to Gandhi. If the heart is pure, why to be afraid of, if the heart is good? A good soul can stand it all. Immortality is beyond the question of common understanding. So, make your heart just like a lotus, let you not defile it by the mud of the bad feeling. The good will always remain good which but the bad cannot smudge with however be its implications and intricacies to trap and make fall it within. The lotus of meditation, how to share with? It is a thing to be felt within; not to be shared with. The lotus is for to see and feel.

The poem draws the pictures of the bodily frame and personality, principle and philosophy, spirituality and beliefs of Gandhi as well as conjures upon the pictures and images of the lotus blooming into waters.

The heart is purer, the heart is a temple of God and you will be as your feelings will be. Try to make it lotus-like and as such was Mahatma Gandhi, the Divine Spirit in a mortal frame, as such was his simplicity, purity and goodness, a votary of satya, ahimsa and shantih, an apostle of; a world class humanist unfazed by vile criticism, rising above of petty considerations of man which are doing the rounds now.

Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask—Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,

Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,
Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place,
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foil'd searching of mortality;

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honour'd, self-secure,
Didst tread on earth unguess'd at.—Better so!

All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.

        — Matthew Arnold in Shakespeare


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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