Far Below Flowed

Fruit Gathering (Poem Number 12)

By Ravindranath Tagore

Far below flowed the Jumna, swift and clear, above frowned the jutting bank.
Hills dark with the woods and scarred with the torrents were gathered around.
Govinda, the great Sikh teacher, sat on the rock reading scriptures, when Raghunath, his disciple, proud of his wealth, came and bowed to him and said, “I have brought my poor present unworthy of your acceptance.”
Thus saying he displayed before the teacher a pair of gold bangles wrought with costly stones.
The master took up one of them, twirling it round his finger, and the diamonds darted shafts of light.
Suddenly it slipped from his hand and rolled down the bank into the water.
“Alas,” screamed Raghunath, and jumped into the stream.
The teacher set his eyes upon his book, and the water held and hid what it stole and went its way.
The daylight faded when Raghunath came back to the teacher tired and dripping.
He panted and said, “I can still get it back if you show me where it fell.”
The teacher took up the remaining bangle and throwing it into the water said, “It is there.”

Leave This Chanting

Gitanjali (Poem Number 11)

By Rabindranath Tagore

Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!

He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the path-maker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!

Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found? Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation; he is bound with us all forever.

Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense! What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained? Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.