Tagore, Rabindranath - Song XXXXXXXXXX to end, Gitanjali
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
When I go from hence let this be my parting word, that what I
have seen is unsurpassable.
I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on
the ocean of light, and thus am I blessed--let this be my parting
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here
have I caught sight of him that is formless.
My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is
beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come--let this be
my parting word.
When my play was with thee I never questioned who thou wert. I
knew nor shyness nor fear, my life was boisterous.
In the early morning thou wouldst call me from my sleep like my
own comrade and lead me running from glade to glade.
On those days I never cared to know the meaning of songs thou
sangest to me. Only my voice took up the tunes, and my heart
danced in their cadence.
Now, when the playtime is over, what is this sudden sight that is
come upon me? The world with eyes bent upon thy feet stands in
awe with all its silent stars.
I will deck thee with trophies, garlands of my defeat. It is
never in my power to escape unconquered.
I surely know my pride will go to the wall, my life will burst
its bonds in exceeding pain, and my empty heart will sob out in
music like a hollow reed, and the stone will melt in tears.
I surely know the hundred petals of a lotus will not remain
closed for ever and the secret recess of its honey will be bared.
From the blue sky an eye shall gaze upon me and summon me in
silence. Nothing will be left for me, nothing whatever, and
utter death shall I receive at thy feet.
When I give up the helm I know that the time has come for thee to
take it. What there is to do will be instantly done. Vain is
Then take away your hands and silently put up with your defeat,
my heart, and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still
where you are placed.
These my lamps are blown out at every little puff of wind, and
trying to light them I forget all else again and again.
But I shall be wise this time and wait in the dark, spreading my
mat on the floor; and whenever it is thy pleasure, my lord, come
silently and take thy seat here.
I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, hoping to gain
the perfect pearl of the formless.
No more sailing from harbour to harbour with this my weather-beaten
boat. The days are long passed when my sport was to be tossed on
And now I am eager to die into the deathless.
Into the audience hall by the fathomless abyss where swells up
the music of toneless strings I shall take this harp of my life.
I shall tune it to the notes of forever, and when it has sobbed
out its last utterance, lay down my silent harp at the feet of
Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs. It was they
who led me from door to door, and with them have I felt about me,
searching and touching my world.
It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt;
they showed me secret paths, they brought before my sight many a
star on the horizon of my heart.
They guided me all the day long to the mysteries of the country
of pleasure and pain, and, at last, to what palace gate have the
brought me in the evening at the end of my journey?
I boasted among men that I had known you. They see your pictures
in all works of mine. They come and ask me, 'Who is he?' I know
not how to answer them. I say, 'Indeed, I cannot tell.' They
blame me and they go away in scorn. And you sit there smiling.
I put my tales of you into lasting songs. The secret gushes out
from my heart. They come and ask me, 'Tell me all your
meanings.' I know not how to answer them. I say, 'Ah, who knows
what they mean!' They smile and go away in utter scorn. And you
sit there smiling.
In one salutation to thee, my God, let all my senses spread out
and touch this world at thy feet.
Like a rain-cloud of July hung low with its burden of unshed
showers let all my mind bend down at thy door in one salutation
Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a
single current and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to
Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day back to
their mountain nests let all my life take its voyage to its
eternal home in one salutation to thee.