Do we really want the end of our sorrows?
We are rather proud of them.
We don’t find consolation
When we are told
Our deepest pains contain nothing
That is everlasting and real –
It hurts our feeling of pride.
Life keeps its treasures
Strewn on the path of time
Even our deepest sorrows get crushed
Under its ever turning wheels
With the passage of time
They fade and become indistinct.
The death of my dearest demands only one thing,
It says, ‘Please don’t forget.’
But the demand of life is endless
It comes to us from all directions;
In the crowd of the present
Who knows when that past fervent request is lost!
Its words may last
But its pain is forgotten.
Yet our hurt feeling wants to deprive life –
When life sends its unending calls
In great arrogance it refuses to respond.
The field of life is fertile
It grows various crops
In its midst
It creates an endowment to its sorrows
It makes it a dear desert
And refuses to pay life its rent.
Citing all its bereavements
It complains against time
But all its cases it always loses.
Without admitting defeat
It buries the mind in a grave
Dug with its own hands.
All pride is bondage
The greatest bondage is the pride of sorrow.
They are all delusions -
The lust for wealth and status
And attachments to dear ones -
But greatest of them all
Is the infatuation with one’s own sorrows.
Translation of poem 18 from the collection Shesh Saptak by Rabindranath Tagore.