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Go Not to the temple - a poem by Tagore

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tks

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Go not to the temple~
by RabindranathTagore:

Go not to the templeto put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your ownhouse with the Fragrance of love and kindness.

Go not to the templeto light candles before the altar of God,
First remove thedarkness of sin , pride and ego,
from your heart...

Go not to the templeto bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bowin humility before your fellowmen.
And apologise tothose you have wronged.

Go not to the templeto pray on bended knees,
First bend down tolift someone who is down-trodden.
And strengthen theyoung ones.
Not crush them.


Go not to the templeto ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive fromyour heart those who have hurt you!
 
Go not to the temple~
by RabindranathTagore:

Go not to the templeto put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your ownhouse with the Fragrance of love and kindness.

Go not to the templeto light candles before the altar of God,
First remove thedarkness of sin , pride and ego,
from your heart...

Go not to the templeto bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bowin humility before your fellowmen.
And apologise tothose you have wronged.

Go not to the templeto pray on bended knees,
First bend down tolift someone who is down-trodden.
And strengthen theyoung ones.
Not crush them.


Go not to the templeto ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive fromyour heart those who have hurt you!

LOL.

Yesterday I went to the temple lit a lamp, lit an agarbaththi, bowed my head and said

"Thank you God. All these days I followed Tagore's advice and reached nowhere because the world is so large. Whatever I did, I could still find the need to do more and I found myself not upto the task. I could not give up either. You gave us Tagore and through him these advices and I have come here to thank you for that. I did all that Tagore asked me to do in that poem and ultimately realised that I am an insignificant speck. So I surrender--sarva dharmaan parithyajya--and plead that I be accepted. Giving me good sense and appropriate behavior even after your acceptance of me till the final call for me comes(uttara krityam) is also in your hands. Thank you".
 

Raji Ram

Active member
Dear TKS Sir,

One honest and genuine doubt!

Can't a person be as told in the poem, after regular visits to temples? :)
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear TKS Sir,

One honest and genuine doubt!

Can't a person be as told in the poem, after regular visits to temples? :)
I think the point is being virtuous is better than going to temple and worshiping God.

Those who have real faith in God will do all that is told in the poem and those who do not have real faith in God but go to the temple are not likely to heed to the advice in the poem.
 
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I think the point is being virtuous is better than going to temple and worshiping God.
Those who have real faith in God will do all that is told in the poem and those who do not have real faith in God but go to the temple are not likely to heed to the advice in the poem.

sravnaji,

You are judging. Not called for here.

I can be very virtuous and may feel inadequate. I will go to God and pray for making more people virtuous so that all the miseries of the world are removed. The two are two different processes and mixing them is bad.
 

mskmoorthy

Active member
From the comments in blogs from the poem Go Not to the temple is posted, it is claimed that the poem is not by Tagore. I did a search through Tagore's poems (Not an exhaustive search and I could not find the poem (Do not Go t posted in Tagore's collections). If the poem Go Not to the temple was indeed Tagore's poem, I will like to have a source/reference for it

Here is the closest I see from Tagore (translated by Yeats https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/gitanjali-i-found-wisdom-lost-it-and-found-it-again )
Ref: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/tagore/gitnjali.htm

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 pathmaker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put of 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 for ever.

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.


Tagore wrote about Diety of the Ruined Temple (Poem 88 in Gitanjali) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnzIv9gXndE
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

0
From the comments in blogs from the poem Go Not to the temple is posted, it is claimed that the poem is not by Tagore. I did a search through Tagore's poems (Not an exhaustive search and I could not find the poem (Do not Go t posted in Tagore's collections). If the poem Go Not to the temple was indeed Tagore's poem, I will like to have a source/reference for it

Here is the closest I see from Tagore (translated by Yeats https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/gitanjali-i-found-wisdom-lost-it-and-found-it-again )
Ref: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/tagore/gitnjali.htm

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 pathmaker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put of 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 for ever.

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.


Tagore wrote about Diety of the Ruined Temple (Poem 88 in Gitanjali) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnzIv9gXndE

Dear Sri mskmoorthy,

I do not have reference to this poem. It was shared with me by someone and seemed to have the right message.
What you have found and presented may be more authentic as far as attribution to Tagore goes

Thanks,
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

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Dear TKS Sir,

One honest and genuine doubt!

Can't a person be as told in the poem, after regular visits to temples? :)

Smt Raji,

It is not either/or situation.

It comes to truly understanding what Isvara is, what Bhakthi is and why feel this sense of limitation.

Just going to temples and ignoring the message of Tagore (perhaps with the corrected version presented by Sri Mooorthy) is of limited value.

If we are fortunate (have this so called 'grace') we will grow in understanding and the world at large itself will appear as a temple.
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

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I think the point is being virtuous is better than going to temple and worshiping God.

Those who have real faith in God will do all that is told in the poem and those who do not have real faith in God but go to the temple are not likely to heed to the advice in the poem.

I would say those who have the deepest desire to understand Isvara will naturally act along the lines Tagore has stated. Virtuous etc are labels that could be misunderstood.

This does not mean going to temples and doing some religious rituals is negative. It simply reflects the state of understanding of a person.
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

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The objective of Tagore's poem is to increase understanding of what worship of Isvara means.

Let me use an example to make this point.

The summary verse of B.Gita - verse 18.66 starts as 'sarva dharmaan parithyajya'. This is taken to mean that there is a God person (Sri Krishna) who is waiting for one to surrender. It is fine to think that way since a person feels some limitations and feel like 'surrendering' all his limitations to a God.

As one grows in understanding one will question why this verse is in Chapter 18 and not earlier. The entire B.Gita can be dispensed with by saying this in the beginning. There are some 'acharyas' who preach this 'easy' solution.

That verse is profound because it is actually a summation of all that is taught in the earlier chapters of B. Gita. If one does not know the teaching in other chapters and cannot see the connection in a crystal clear manner to this verse that sums it all of B.Gita teachings, then they have lost an opportunity to use the endowments of human birth. Sri Sankara has extensive Bhashya on this verse because mistaken notions are easily possible. Even though the commentaries for this verse are relatively extensive, without proper person in a teacher role it is easy to miss the message.

Verses like those of Tagore can make people think which is why shared it with members here.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Hey why no one writes a Poem "Go Not to the Mosque or Church?"

Its only Hindus who try to act "intellectual" and belt out poems like Go Not to the Temple etc.

Personally I haven't gone to a temple more than 1 year now..but certainly I do not find anything wrong in anyone going to the temple...its a matter of a personal choice of an individual.

Also all these talk of being virtous..love thy fellow man..forgive everyone only sounds good in poems!LOL

I real life sometimes hell can break lose.

Best is just to not try too hard for anything...follow what the heart says..sometimes the Mind can be one's worst enemy.

If our heart tells us to go to a temple...GO.

If our heart tells us NOT to go...DONT Go.

I guess its best not to be rigid..freedom is still the best.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Go not to the templeto light candles before the altar of God,




Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,

Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,

I have a serious doubt here!

Which temple lights Candles, Kneel for prayers and ask forgiveness for sins?

This sound like some Catholic Church!LOL
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Vaagmi, Shri TKS,

One does certain things when in a place of worship like putting flowers. kneeling, lighting candles etc. These have a certain symbolic meaning, in general removal of negativity and promotion of positivity but actually done as a ritual. The poem asks us to directly work on doing away our negativity and cultivate positivity. That I think is the gist of the poem.
 

Raji Ram

Active member
Hey why no one writes a Poem "Go Not to the Mosque or Church?" ......
Dear Renu,

Because all of know that Hindus are only iLichchavAy-s! :lol:

For example when J J amma was depicted as Goddess Durga, everyone was elated! :dance:

When she was depicted as Virgin Mary, it was promptly removed by that community, after lot of :rant: !
 
I have a serious doubt here!

Which temple lights Candles, Kneel for prayers and ask forgiveness for sins?

This sound like some Catholic Church!LOL

Now you can gauge the level of infection of this virus called copy-pasting. People do not even reflect before they start sharing the copy pasted stuff. All that is required for passing off the spurious stuff is to give its ownership to some known personality.
 
The objective of Tagore's poem is to increase understanding of what worship of Isvara means.

My observation:

You go on expanding the scope of an author's writing to cover even those aspects which do not seem to be in the ambit of the author (a la Tagore) in this instance. You couch them under similies or metaphors or examples.

In your previous postings you had touched upon sandhyA-vandanam at least a few times. None of the actions performed during sandhyA-vandanam nor any of the mantrAs uttered during sandhyA-vandanam or even the famed gAyatri mantram say anything even remotely what this supposed poem of Tagore seems to be saying (or in the expanded meaning you have given by way of an example).

I have no issues if the extended or enlarged scope of a poet or bard or author appeal to you, but it can be just your impression and can not be construed as a world view.

To put it in the language of a mathematician or a physicist, notwithstanding the utility of square root of minus one, s = a + i has no applicability in human genome theory.
 
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Hey why no one writes a Poem "Go Not to the Mosque or Church?"

Its only Hindus who try to act "intellectual" and belt out poems like Go Not to the Temple etc.

Personally I haven't gone to a temple more than 1 year now..but certainly I do not find anything wrong in anyone going to the temple...its a matter of a personal choice of an individual.

Also all these talk of being virtous..love thy fellow man..forgive everyone only sounds good in poems!LOL

I real life sometimes hell can break lose.

Best is just to not try too hard for anything...follow what the heart says..sometimes the Mind can be one's worst enemy.

If our heart tells us to go to a temple...GO.

If our heart tells us NOT to go...DONT Go.

I guess its best not to be rigid..freedom is still the best.

When Bengal fell into the grip of left ideology and communism right from the start of 20th century, the leftists (who masquerade as liberals) realized that they had to get around three big icons, Sri Arubindo, Sri Tagore and Swami Vivekananda who lived in the 20th century and were shapers of public opinion par excellence, if they had to stand any chance of surviving.

One of the easy methods was to pass on spurious stuffs supposedly authored by them and flood it into the market by way of handouts, articles, speeches etc. after they passed away and these unsubstantiated stuffs and articles found their natural path in the big world of internet.
 
The objective of Tagore's poem is to increase understanding of what worship of Isvara means.


The summary verse of B.Gita - verse 18.66 starts as 'sarva dharmaan parithyajya'. This is taken to mean that there is a God person (Sri Krishna) who is waiting for one to surrender. It is fine to think that way since a person feels some limitations and feel like 'surrendering' all his limitations to a God.

As one grows in understanding one will question why this verse is in Chapter 18 and not earlier. The entire B.Gita can be dispensed with by saying this in the beginning. There are some 'acharyas' who preach this 'easy' solution.

Verses like those of Tagore can make people think which is why shared it with members here.

I also wonder why is there a slOka (# 18.67) immediately after this which states :

(summarising) " You should never disclose this to someone who is devoid of austerities, one who is not devoted, one who is adverse to spiritual advancement and one who is envious of Lord Krishna".

Why exclude someone who is not austere?
Cant devotion come after hearing the Bhagwad-GeetA?
What is meant by spiritual advancement? Everyone gangs up on Sravana whenever he even mentions the word "spiritual"
and lastly who is that person who can be envious of Lord Krishna (may be some asurA or a rAkshasA)?

Does BG mention anywhere about going to temples and why should Tagore write about not going to temples to bring out the message of BG?
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

0
Dear Shri Vaagmi, Shri TKS,

One does certain things when in a place of worship like putting flowers. kneeling, lighting candles etc. These have a certain symbolic meaning, in general removal of negativity and promotion of positivity but actually done as a ritual. The poem asks us to directly work on doing away our negativity and cultivate positivity. That I think is the gist of the poem.

Sri Sravana,

Yes, you are right that many ritualistic acts have symbolic meaning. Negativity and its opposite are subjective and hence I will phrase it differently. 'Inner purification' is the goal of some of our rituals. For someone whose mind is more clear of impurities they will naturally act along the lines of the message of this poem regardless of who it is attributed to
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

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I posted this in Chit-Chat session because it came to be via a whatsapp message and the poem regardless of one's specific religious orientation has a valuable message. It has the potential to make us think.

However, we see the world the way we are.

One may see flower on a plant and want to pluck it to put it in their home. Another may not pluck it so as to not cause harm to the plant, however small the harm may be. Yet another may simply appreciate the beauty of nature. Another may see Isvara's glory in seeing the flower.

You can either take this poem in the spirit of the message (much like Sri Sravana did) or view this as Hindu/Muslim/Christianity divisions and conspiracy. Or focus exclusively on its origin and attribution which another may view that as totally superfluous. Or use this opportunity to do name calling of members. In the end it speaks about you.

I think it is rather childish to name call anyone here. The only requirement to be a member is an email address. People contribute here in many way - some simply read, some create content, some copy and paste, some simply provide thoughtful response, some divert message and kills threads while providing drama and entertainment, some provide scatter brain responses. Like a rainbow made up of all colors, the forum is a place where people exchange views in many ways. But respect has to be an underpinning value for a successful forum experience.

If some of you go after Sri Prasad for copying and pasting , how long will it take to assign a unique and derogatory name to each of you and make it stick? It is a slippery slope to go down that path.

In that name calling you are revealing more about yourself though some of you may pat each other for doing so.

If Sri Prasad is a C&P person, what about Sri vgane, Sri PJ and host of others? I think they all have provided great service by bringing valuable content. It is possible some references may not be reliable or useful but that can be critiqued on a message by message basis. It is not like many of you calling such names have great original content here and bringing such a original content is not a requirement here either.
 
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OP
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tks

tks

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My observation:

You go on expanding the scope of an author's writing to cover even those aspects which do not seem to be in the ambit of the author (a la Tagore) in this instance. You couch them under similies or metaphors or examples.

In your previous postings you had touched upon sandhyA-vandanam at least a few times. None of the actions performed during sandhyA-vandanam nor any of the mantrAs uttered during sandhyA-vandanam or even the famed gAyatri mantram say anything even remotely what this supposed poem of Tagore seems to be saying (or in the expanded meaning you have given by way of an example).

I have no issues if the extended or enlarged scope of a poet or bard or author appeal to you, but it can be just your impression and can not be construed as a world view.

To put it in the language of a mathematician or a physicist, notwithstanding the utility of square root of minus one, s = a + i has no applicability in human genome theory.

I see a universal message in that small poem regardless of who it is attributed to. In almost all religious practices, focus is placed on rituals than on the intent of rituals or on understanding what God/Isvara is.


If you are not able to relate to that, so be it.

I don't understand your comment about Sandhyavandanam. If I provided link somewhere to that thread, it was to a specific post (and few more that follow them) on what the term Shraddha means.

In certain matters there is no such thing as a world view. Please see my prior post. If there was a forum of people who have studied B.Gita properly they will have no problem relating to this poem.

Human Genome theory is not static and the understanding is evolving. In fact today advanced mathematics, models, machine learning etc are used to expand our understanding in that field. In fact one of the ventures, my children are involved is in that area. Advanced mathematics certainly includes many of the theorems of complex variables that are taken for granted. So the connection exists but to know that one needs more context.
 
OP
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tks

tks

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I also wonder why is there a slOka (# 18.67) immediately after this which states :

(summarising) " You should never disclose this to someone who is devoid of austerities, one who is not devoted, one who is adverse to spiritual advancement and one who is envious of Lord Krishna".

1.Why exclude someone who is not austere?
2.Cant devotion come after hearing the Bhagwad-GeetA?
3.What is meant by spiritual advancement? Everyone gangs up on Sravana whenever he even mentions the word "spiritual"
4.and lastly who is that person who can be envious of Lord Krishna (may be some asurA or a rAkshasA)?

5.Does BG mention anywhere about going to temples and why should Tagore write about not going to temples to bring out the message of BG?

I have numbered your questions so that I respond in reference.
This sloka defines pre-requisites by defining who have not met them. These prerequisites only makes sense when one has understood the message itself somewhat.

1. In translation into English like the word Tapas into the word Austere, we lose a lot of context and meaning. Tapas itself has been described somewhat in detail in earlier verses. In this context, it means someone who has discipline achieved by observance of Nithya Karmas for example.

2. The word Bhakthi has many related meanings based on context. In this context, the teachings cannot make sense to one that lacks Shraddha and some understanding of what Isvara is. Without this apriori knowledge, B.Gita can only confuse people.

For example, for one who has some rudimentary love for humanity this poem can somewhat make sense. For others it can come across as mockery of Hindu traditions. Suppose there are many more such poems, one will only get more turned off.

Similarly, Bhakthi is not going to grow if minimal pre-requisites are not met.

3. I do not read all the posts here and I am not into superstitions, magic etc. The word spiritual is abused and the word conveys different things to different people. I have not ganged up on Sri Sravana so I cannot relate to your comment.

'adverse to Spiritual advancement' in my view is poor translation to 'न चाशुश्रूषवे'

It is more about someone who is unable to listen and process information and such a person cannot relate to the message B.Gita.

4. In the entire B.Gita, Vyasa presents Sri Krishna as Bhagavan. There is never a line that says 'Sri Krishna uvacha'
For many Sri Krishna is portrayed as Mr Krishna who did magic. They may have no regard for his views because they cannot relate to him as Isvara. When Bhagavan says "No one is superior to Me" etc, it can rub one's ego the wrong way if they take Sri Krishna as another egoic person. For such people teaching will not make sense.

I have learnt from this forum that certain messages such as those in B.Gita or Upanishad cannot be received at all by some and the best is to take advice of Sri Krishna and shut up. My weakness is that I keep forgetting this, only to engage with people with no Shraddha and find once again that it was a wasted mental energy.

5. B.Gita does not mention about going to temples. I am not sure when temples appeared in ancient India. In Vedic culture the emphasis was more on agni based rituals. B. Gita does mention about simple act of worship (Pushpam, Phalam, Thoyam etc) .

Verse 9.26 describes this

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति ।
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः

There is not separate message of B.Gita vs those of other scriptures or by other teachers.
There is one message and many perspectives are offered.

What the poem is telling you is the essence of what it is to worship Isvara. It is not to say - do not go to temples, or church or synagogue or mosque. It says that in contrast to ignoring other things - like not being able to see the presence of Isvara of the beggar who is begging in front of the temple entrance.

Even in B.Gita, Sri Krishna does not start the teaching with acts of Bhakthi but about Sankhya (Knowledge) and then Karma Yoga etc.
They are all related concepts and that is why understanding what Bhakthi is requires an open mind.
 
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