Theme: Rabindrasangeet

Tryst with Thee, Off and On

Tomay natun kore pabo bole
Harai kshne khan 
O mor bhalabashar dhan

To get anew again
I lose Thee now and then;
O my precious love, Thy flight
Is only to be back to my sight.
Thou art not to remain,
Endlessly behind the curtain;
Mine Thou art for ever –
Drown in the temporal for frolic mere.
On Thy search trembles my mind,
Passion waves my love thou to find.
Endless Thou art
So delude as null to covert;
Such is Thy pleasure
To leave me in desolation tear.


With our limited perceptions we lose sight of God in our daily life. However, we do glimpse Him at times to realize that He is our dearest who had created humans to whom He occasionally flashes the mysterious intent behind his wonderful creation of life, but only to be left again to the mundane. Is this hide and seek His mirth, never giving us the final answer to our eternal quest of mystery behind our existence? I would also be inclined to invoke the scientists’ Big Bang theory here behind God’s Creation for occurrence of the lines -

"Endless Thou art
So delude as null to covert"

- if of course it means that the debut of myriad proliferation in Nature, as we see, started from explosion of a single atom and the Universe, now in an expansion mode will start shrinking again when it will reach the maximum point of inflation as its physical elasticity will permit and then will start its reverse course to be again reduced to an atom. My earnest request to the readers is they may please take my interpretation of the Big Bang theory with many a pinch of salt, if not with a lot of laughter too. However, assuming I have marginally grasped the Big Bang, are we not still dwelling on the mundane?

Where is the spiritual dimension?

I got a lot of spiritual stuff in an article by Dr. Jaba Chatterjee (Faculty in Bengali literature at Rishi Bankimchandra College at Naihati, not far away from Calcutta). Her subject is influence of Vaishnava cult on Tagore. In her essay she has mentioned the above song of Tagore and also another close to it (- see "Thy Eeternal Journey". She also gives examples of a good number of songs of Tagore influenced by the Vaishnavite poets (e.g. from Joydeb’s (12th Century) Geetagovinda (in Sanskrit) & Bidyapati of 15th Century (who wrote in Maithili) and quoted them in their respective languages in original, in vogue in those periods in Eastern India, including Bengal.

The crux of Dr. Chatterjee’s paper is, though human enigma about evolution of life on this earth is primordial going with an awe, the devotional blend in it assumed Tsunami height in Bengal, history of which is nearly a millennium old whose impact deeply influenced Tagore literature since mid 19th Century onward which may be noted in a large number of his songs, which, quite a few in my book of Tagore translation "The Eclipsed Sun" illustrate (besides the 2 nos. mentioned in this passage) and the reader may hopefully relate this introduction to those. I am thankful to Dr. Chatterjee for making available her erudite paper to me without which my introduction in this Internet version of my book would remain deficient as in my original publication in January 2002.


More By  :  Rajat Das Gupta

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