Space for Nature: Being in Nature to be the Cure of the Earth’s Haemorrhage:

Rereading Tagore’s Basundhara

Sanjit Sarkar

PhD Research Scholar, L. N. Mithila University, Kameshwaranagar, Darbhanga, Bihar 846004, India.
Email: sanjit3eng@gmail.com

Rereading Tagore

Abstract
 COVID-19 reproves that human beings are not the special in the world. The catastrophe even questions human hubris for environmental degeneration, and warns of human limitations. In anthropocene the catastrophe is a sign of extremity of human infringement on sacrosanct law of Nature. It is natural necessity in the juncture of evolutionary eco-calamity, and this breather must be speculated as a causal space for self-realization and self-introspection of haughty humanity for next survival. The pandemic signals us to return to the Earth for any relief and recovery, and the Earth is always inviting us to her lap. The heal-all of such malady lies in healing ourselves and in healing our deepening reconnection with Earth. Heal-all of the distressed Earth lies in co-living and co-inter-being with countless lives, organisms and species in interconnected symbiosis. Heal-all lies in realizing the laws, language, lessons, lays of the Earth, and understanding her intrinsic value. 

Keywords: anthropocentricism, self-realization, symbiosis, inter-being, harmony.

COVID-19 reproves that human beings are not the special in the world. Ironically, during the pandemic pandemonium, the masters of majesty and people of power were helplessly locked up, when the world of vegetation, wind, water, animals, birds, and insects were joyfully relieved with a sigh and sign of recovery and recuperation. The catastrophe even questions human hubris for environmental degeneration, and warns of human limitations. In anthropocene the catastrophe is a sign of extremity of human infringement on sacrosanct law of Nature. It is natural necessity in the juncture of evolutionary eco-calamity, and this breather must be speculated as a causal space for self-realization and self-introspection of haughty humanity for next survival. The pandemic signals us to return to the Earth for any relief and recovery, and the Earth is always inviting us to her lap. The heal-all of such malady lies in healing ourselves and in healing our deepening reconnection with Earth. Heal-all of the distressed Earth lies in co-living and co-inter-being with countless lives, organisms and species in interconnected symbiosis. Heal-all lies in realizing the laws, language, lessons, lays of the Earth, and understanding her intrinsic value. Heal-all lies in the realization that human beings as part of the universe are coevolving among millions of species and co-living in a world of contingent co-arising within harmony. I try to realize this Earth wisdom.

During the COVID-19 lockdown breather everyday at cock-crow I used to gaze at the earth,  and find her creepers, greeneries, flowers, rivers, mountains, woods, water, animals, insects and etc pleasedly meditative in sylvan spirit. The chirping birds and buzzing bees as well as butterflies blessed with limitless liberty and reinless rejoicing would greatly enchant me for a time. In their immortal music I would hearken the echoing web of eternal murmurs inherent in Nature. I realized the cosmos as orchestra gladdened and attuned with eternal law, rhythm and melody. I heard the whisper of joyous festivity in Nature. I earnestly felt life as an art to be lived with, and the life as a symphony expanding with the rhythm along with the rhythm of the universe. I realized the truth that nothing separate is meaningful, and living in division and individuation is nothing but a refusal of the communion with other creatures or refusal of truth. I craved to attend that ever celebration of unbroken Nature ceremony. But I could partially share that serene joy from the deepest core of my heart. I started to feel myself uneasy and unsteady for partial fulfilment of joy. I started to be jealous of the rapture the birds or bees enjoyed.

I realized a baffling bond bereaving me from enjoying that eternal bliss and luminous harmony of eternal life. That illusive impediment prevented me from realizing the law, language and rhythmic harmony of Nature. Sometimes I found myself destitute in that vale of bliss. To start with I tried to be intuitively more meditative for being Nature but unrest made sometimes me unstable.

 I would gradually gather myself to be patiently silent to listen to Nature. I stilled myself at my core shutting out negative affects. Slowly silence would calm me and solace me. I softly felt lightened, well interbeing, and well interconnected with the cosmos.  I could then be absorbed myself in meditation and I found Earth as single living whole and could merge myself in her lap. I felt my heart opening and the mind getting released. I realized all the ego-centric binaries and contradictions of my mind melting and loosening. The more I could unknot those binaries, I more I apprehended my expansion with the cosmos to enjoy the unified beauty and bounty.  The more I could merge myself, the more I found myself getting ever widened and ever broadened. The more I diffused, the more I started to feel for others. I realized love in my heart born. Looking at the sky radiant with peeping sun I felt myself getting ever widened. It seemed the white cloud passing through my sense of self. Pouring myself in the soil I recognized myself reflecting, and meditating silently upon soil and soul I realized life for awakening from soil to soul. I realized the Earth in the inmost shrine, and perceived the stream of lives passing through my veins and consciousness.

I have realized that the aesthetics of love has bound us with Earth. With the realization and expansion of self, love is released and widened. Lustre of love frees one from being ego-centric, and binds one for being ecocentric. I have realized love as the deepest lustre for awakening the whole universe and for delving us into a deep current of subtle truth to understand the very essence of oneself, and to understand our connection with deeper dimensions of reality. Love awakens one to naturally love Nature as self-same. One can join the joy of Nature when the lustre of love dissolves all egoic binaries of mind. Love is the bond of harmony and connectedness; love stables inner balance. The more love we have with the universe, the more harmony we can enjoy. Getting connected with the rhythm of Earth I feel myself bound with love with tree, the mountain, the river, the sky. I enjoy unlimited rapture, freedom and well interbeing in Nature. Behind love of life, there lies the healing of the Earth.

Then, I tried to understand the language of Nature, language of birds, language of trees, language of rivers and etc. I patiently started to learn and listen to their language, I felt it is the universal language and eternal language with which they would like to communicate with us but we do not like to listen to them. I realized the language deeply hidden in Nature and deeply hidden in my mind. I felt the language in the deepest layer of my existence, in the murmuring web of the cosmos, in the rustling of leaves, in the rushing river, in silently meditative mountains and in the gravitational rotations. It is the language of unity and oneness; it is the language of melody; it is the language of balance. It is the language arranged in accordance with the eternal praxis and programme of the cosmos. It is ecological language which tells us the subtle law of nature which we should follow. 

Finally I realized that it is not always sounding language; it is basically an implied language of silence. Silence is the sound of this language. If we silently gaze at the bounties of Nature, we feel blessed to listen to that language. I silently merge myself in silence and I silently still myself at the core of existence only when I become free from any egoic sounds, which buzz the binaries loaded with egoic sounds. I am now purified, sublimated and elevated in silence. Now I feel every tiniest life-pulse of nature in the deepest core of my heart. I have now a deeply green life comprehension for limitless circle of life. In silence I can now awake to contain the whole universe in myself to nourish and to find everything self-same.

Now, my heart beats along with swaying grass, murmuring rivulets, moving stars and planets. I find myself with same rhythm of the universe, with same music and movement of nature. I feel wonderful joy and happiness in this intimate connection with nature.  I understand the primordial language of nature and hear the great cadence of the world. I know the mathematics of beauty of ecology, and her lesson how to live in harmony with her. I apprehend intrinsic and inherent value in nature; above all, her law and rhythm, her moods and pulse. Now, I wish to become a part of Mother Earth. This realization fills me with reinless joy and love. I feel that it is the joy of harmony and love; it is the joy of unity; it is the joy of liberty; it is the joy of celebration of oneness and interbeing; it is the joy of non-attachment

Now, I wish to claps the ascending green twigs, trees, smiling flowers, rivers, swelling mountains, flowing wind  and green fields in my heart, and I pour my heart in them. I would like to be one with them, and I crave to return to the lap of mother Earth for safe shelter. I would like to recite from 

Tagore’s Basundhara:
Earth, take me back,
your lap-child back to your lap
in the shelter of your sari’s voluminous end.
mother made me of Earth, may I
live diffused in your soil; spread
myself in every direction like spring’s joy;
burst this breast-cage, shatter this stone-closed
narrow wall, this blind dismal jail
of self; swing, hum, shake,
flop, radiate, disperse,
shudder, be startled by
sudden lights and thrills,
flow through the whole globe-
edge to edge, north to south, east to west; burgeon
with secret sap in moss, lichen, grass,
branch, bark, leaf; touch
with rippling fingers cornfields bent with the weight
of golden ears; privily fill
new blossoms with colour, aroma, nectar;
fill too, with blue waters of vast seas
and dance to ceaseless waves on quiet beaches;
hurrah language from wave to wave everywhere;
lay myself like a white scarf on mountain-tops,
in lofty regions of solitude, (Tn. by Dyson  97)

I realize myself in harmony with beauty and abundance of Earth.  The beauty of Earth lifts my mind to the higher beauty of Earth and the feeling of unlimited joy. I again recite-
“Beautiful earth, as I have looked upon you,
how often has my spirit leapt into song
with huge happiness! How I have craved
to get a firm grip on your ocean-girdled waist
and keep it pressed to my breast;
to spread myself in every direction, as pervasive
and boundless as the morning sun; to dance
all day long upon forests, upon mountains,
on the undulations of trembling leaves; to kiss
every flower that buds; to embraces
all the tender densely growing greenswards;
to oscillate as on a swing of delight
on every wave; and quietly at night 
with hushed footsteps to come as cosmic sleep,
stroking the eyes of all your birds and beasts 
with my own fingers, entering every bed,
Nest, home, cave, den that there is, spreading myself…” (Tn. by Dyson)

I feel the innermost connection with every particle of Earth and enjoy the ecstasy reciting the verse of Tagore. 

         I’ll circle you; I shall dwell among
your own kinsfolk; as birds, beasts, worms,
trees, shrubs, creepers you’ll call me again and again,
draw me to your warm throbbing bosom;
age after age, life after life you you’ll press
your breasts to my mouth, assuage the million……
hungers of my lives with the dripping ambrosial milk
Of a million delights, emptying yourself
and making me drink with your deepest tenderness. (Tn. by Dyson 103)

Wandering in deep delight in nature’s abundant bounty I feel myself merged in mysteries of the universe, and I start to sing in my own way. I feel ecstatic as I find myself in every reflection of nature. Bird’s song, murmur of wind and water, rustle of leaves vibrate in myself. I feel myself creative, nature makes me lyre. I find every aspect of Nature as living poetry, and every facet of Earth as an art- work for poetic expression. I desire to enjoy every delight of Earth being unified with her. I read and enjoy-

I would, if I could, drink again and again
The manifold wines of joy that overflow
All the goblets that this cosmos holds. (Tn. by Dyson 100)
I long to perennially remain enclosed with Earth:

A hundred years hence
will not my spirit quiver in this lovely forest’s
layers of leaves? (Tn. by Dyson 102)
Finally, I wish to be always one with Earth. I recite-

Mother, hold me, please,
Within the firmest embrace of your arms.
Make me your own, one who belongs to your breast:
That secret source from where the fountain rises-
Of your vast vitality and varied delights-  
Do take me there. (Tn. by Dyson103)

Now, I am Earth. Now, I speak to trees, listen to birds, bees and butterflies identifying myself in them, and understand the art, laws, language, lessons and the lays of Nature. Now, Nature is my source of unlimited joy, source of life, source of myself. I discover a new way of life that can bring healing to our Earth and people. My new nature life and visionary engagement is now my daily routine, my daily gift of Covid-19 period, my daily instinct. My life is now a life of unbridled joy, a life of full harmony, a life of well interbeing and interfeeling , a life from greed to compassion and arrogance to humility, a life in being the cure of the Earth’s haemorrhage. The poetry of Earth attunes me with the living universe in harmony with every existence. I find the true meaning and purpose of life in conscious alignment with evolving live Earth, when Earth guides me to act in harmony with Nature and the laws of Nature.

Note: Basundhara (Earth), a poem of two hundred and twenty seven lines, was composed on 11th November 1893, and compiled in the Sonar Tori, a collection of poems written when Tagore was living in the boathouse on the bank of the River Padma at Shilaidaha(now in Bangladesh), which immensely influenced Tagore’s ecosophy and his creative minds. The mysterious Padma, green cornfields, endless horizons, diverse sounds and colours of cyclic seasons enchanted the life of Tagore and deepened his ecosophy. The poem articulates the poet’s intense fascination and longing for Earth and to be fused with her. 

Works cited
Ketaki Kusari Dyson, translator.  I Won’t Let You Go- Selected Poems of Rabindranath Thakur, Penguin Books, 2011. 97-103. Print.
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Bio-data of the author
Sanjit Sarkar is a PhD Research Scholar in the Dept of English at L. N. Mithila University,  Darbhanga, Bihar. His areas of interest include Ecosophy, Rabindranath, Eliot’s works, Sri  Aurobindo’s works, Vedanta and  British Romantic literature. He has attended and presented papers in quite a few seminars and conferences of both National and International level. He has published some research articles on T. S. Eliot, William Wordsworth, John Donne, Henry Derozio, Thakur Panchanan Burma, Vedantic Ecology, Deep Ecology and Transpersonal Ecology.
Setu, January 2021

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