Monday, August 07, 2006



The ‘poems’ in this volume were written in self-expression, flowing from an inner life and world.

“…to join in harmony
the voices gathering through the ages
that speak of timeless truth.”

But I also shared the poems with others, who liked them and urged publication so as to enable wider dissemination.

Many of the poems included here were written in 1997, when I was host to an inner vision and audition, accompanied by a felicity to transcribe and render this in verse. The articulation and transcription was a fulfillment in itself. They document a little of the real, intensive, powerful and all-defining subjectivity experienced by the writer.

“… Re-kindling sensibility, re-joining the psyche
re-integrating personality and community,
re-introducing homage,
re-uniting the family of humanity and all living beings,
respiritualising man, regreening earth, resacralising life.

Renewing civilisation, culture and civics,
rebuilding city and citadel,
discovering metropolitance,
fulfilling sovereignty and governance,
re-establishing dominion of the Lord
over sense and self.”

The poems are very allusive. However, just as there is the very personal context, there is also the wider, universal context. It seemed to me that folk ditties, jokes, epithets, vulgar expressions, profanities and the like, and even everyday words - are mediums for transmission of precious wisdom, like coded messages to future generations, hidden in expressions that are sure to be in common currency, heard by and embedded in the minds of nearly everyone, so that some time someone, somewhere may also reach through to and grasp the inner meaning.

But for that matter, everything in the wide universe around us – can appear exalted, sacred, serendipitous, present specifically to create such a perception, so as to again enable renewal ...

I did consider including in the volume, as ‘Notes’, a personal commentary on the poems, sharing the experiences underlying them, unraveling the allusions, the tales from Indian epics and mythology, and the mischievous play with words and languages, the symbols, expressions and hidden meanings. But on further reflection it seemed that this would only serve to limit readers’ own possible experience. Like with a Zen koan, meanings of riddles arise in one’s own consciousness, are understood in a uniquely personal, self-defining way.

Similarly, while the expression is in English, the underlying experience is fundamentally Indian – Bengali, Hindustani, Tamil, Malayali; Sanskritic, Buddhist, Muslim; brahmin, and folk. English is here sought to be used specifically to express the Indian. Again, while symbols that speak to us are culturally specific, they are also part of the symbolic universe that lies within the collective sub-conscious of humanity at large. Like the friendship of ancient trees, like the overlapping canopies of huge trees in a forest – there is a passage between the mythologies, the cognitive and linguistic universe of different peoples. After all the human family is one.

Hence – a collection of mystic verse. The poems appear here more or less in chronological order.

For their interest, appreciation and encouragement at various times, I must express my sincere thanks to Joy Sen, Revathy Gopal, VS Gopalakrishnan, Sita Venkateswar, Dipali Bhattacharya, Mary Ann Dasgupta, Lou Gelehrter, Ram Ray, Nandita Palchoudhuri, Cdr Arun Prakash Bhattacharya, James Aboud and Amit Chaudhuri. I am sure I forget several more names, so sincere thanks also go to all these un-named friends. Prof P Lal, respected savant, poet, transcreator of epic verse and publisher, considered my poems worthy of publication, and that helped to overcome my own diffident reluctance. This collection owes its publication to Rajashi Mukherjee, my wife, whose repeated requests to get the poems published I consistently disregarded.

Some of the poems appeared in,, and I am grateful to the editors of these websites for publishing them.

Six weeks ago, I began my web-log - and was thus initiated into self-publishing on the internet. I had posted some of my poems in my blog, and this elicited positive response from a few people. That encouraged me to put up my collection of poems on the internet.
I am deepy grateful to Mr IK Shukla for contributing a Foreword to this collection.

The publication of this collection is an acknowledgement and a commemoration of the experience of the transforming, loving activity of the Holy Spirit.

7 August 2006

Thank you so much for the opportunity to comment on your poems. I see their quality, I see something of the experience which shines through them.

But when you say:

re-establishing dominion of the Lord
over sense and self

I realise that we are meeting on the path whilst going in opposite directions. I've just come back from where, according to your poems, you want to go. I am re-establishing sense and self over dominion of the Lord, and this makes it difficult to walk with you on your poems' journey.

It would be tempting to say that it's merely a question of different language and imagery. That word "mere"! The last line of your poem "The Prison of Mirrors" has a "mere" in it:

Awaiting the shattering of mere echo and image

and I think you are speaking of death. Is this life "mere echo and image"? I just got my life back, and I love it.

But you say somewhere that most of the poems were written in 1997. How does it feel to you, looking back on them?
Hullo Yves, thanks for taking the time to visit the site and read the poems.

Whether we are walkng on diverging paths; whether re-establishing dominion of the Lord
over sense and self; or whether re-establishing sense and self over dominion of the Lord - who knows what you feel, what I feel, whether they are different or the same? Do words and discussions matter at all?! But yes, I can confirm that there is no "GOD" out there, whom I believe in; I don't practice any existing organised religion; I have a view of what Religion is (or Dharma, which is like natural law, or "virtue") vis-a-vis the basic human project of self-discovery and self-expression. I can see magnificent visions in various religions, their practices, their rituals. And I can feel deep devotion towards and humility before something undefinable, I can go on pilgrimages to particular places (of various faiths) and weep in ecstasy at visions of awesome things... But all that is just my personal subjectivity. Everone else is entitled to have their subjectivity too! Privided all these subjectivities don't do any harm to anybody!

Coming from India, where there is a fecundity of mythic imagination and symbolism and linguistic expression of these - may make someone like me somewhat different from someone like you. But didn't Jung write so much about symbolism etc in western culture as well?!

In this context, I'd like to get your reaction to the piece "Bejeweled universe".

"Awaiting the shattering of mere echo and image" - is not about death at all, or yes death of one's "normal" self, and the birth (rebirth?!) of the true self. The "mere" here emphasises that life and the universe is only echo and image; we are the one's to give it meaning; when we exercise our will, seeing ourselves as alive cosmic beings - then we break the mirror, and enter another dimension.

Yes, several of the poems were written in 1997. I went through a specific experience then. A lot has happened since then, my circumstances have changed, time and experience has brough wisdom and quietude. But something fundamental happened then - I shattered / entered the mirror!

The collection of poems - for me its like codified personal experience of a very powerful and meaningful kind. I don't disavow them, I acknowledge them, and consider them an important part of my life.

Best, rama
Also: when I write "...acknowledgement and a commemoration of the experience of the transforming, loving activity of the Holy Spirit" - I don't mean the Holy Spirit that the dear Pope in Vatican refers to! I mean simply "holy", and "spirit". I have a sense of the sacred. I can see why the supposedly "sacred" is supposed to be sacred. Again, pure personal subjectivity, and that's all. No GOD-club, no organised religion. rama

Appreciate all that you say.

As you will see, I have appended comments to "Bejewelled Universe". Thanks for suggesting that one. It has repaid a closer reading!

What a wonderful form of literature blogging is, for in dialogue, there is no distinction between writer and reader, teacher and student!
axmxdbjI think there is a great similarity in our paths, I too walk a solitary path to experience all that is holy. I see you and nod in recognition of a fellow traveller climbing the mountain.

By the way, your poetry should be published!!!


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Thanks for the opportunity to comment on your poems. I see their quality, I see some of the experience that shines through it.
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