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Go Not to the temple - a poem by Tagore

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zebra16

Well-known member
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?
 

tks

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.
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
 

tks

Well-known member
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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tks

Well-known member
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.
 

tks

Well-known member
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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mskmoorthy

Well-known member
Here is Saint Tyagaraja's (One of the Carnatic Music Trinity) take on going to temple https://sriramv.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/tyagaraja-and-temple-processions/and http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/Rejoicing-in-temple-processions/article17032488.ece

Sriram judiciously chose a positive title instead of a negative title to his Hindu piece. Saint Tygaraja liked the temple procession.

Quoting Mr. Sriram from his blog:


"Tyagaraja clearly did not lay much store by visits to temples. In his Darshanamu Seya (Narayana Gaula), he makes fun of the behaviour of the standard temple-goer – seeing the gopuras, the massive pillars, the stone idols, the dancing girls, the rows of lights, the beautiful processional mounts, making 16 circumambulations – the mind focused eternally on external delights, including slandering others and ogling at the women who are visiting! It is no wonder then that he did not go to many shrines."

You can read the song and its translation here.

http://www.karnatik.com/c2249.shtml
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Here is Saint Tyagaraja's (One of the Carnatic Music Trinity) take on going to temple https://sriramv.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/tyagaraja-and-temple-processions/and http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/Rejoicing-in-temple-processions/article17032488.ece

Sriram judiciously chose a positive title instead of a negative title to his Hindu piece. Saint Tygaraja liked the temple procession.

Quoting Mr. Sriram from his blog:


"Tyagaraja clearly did not lay much store by visits to temples. In his Darshanamu Seya (Narayana Gaula), he makes fun of the behaviour of the standard temple-goer – seeing the gopuras, the massive pillars, the stone idols, the dancing girls, the rows of lights, the beautiful processional mounts, making 16 circumambulations – the mind focused eternally on external delights, including slandering others and ogling at the women who are visiting! It is no wonder then that he did not go to many shrines."

You can read the song and its translation here.

http://www.karnatik.com/c2249.shtml
That is a beautiful post.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Bhakti is intensely personal. Each one may have a different experience. But to loudmouth one's own experience to the world as the right one is arrogance. Whoever it may be, I am unable to have respect for their words if they project their intensely personal experience as the right one to the world. I also do not agree with those who applaud such loudmouthed expositions.

As bhakti is pure love for God, it can be experienced and expressed in multiple ways. But if there is someone who mocks it saying your bhakti is just ritualistic nonsense and no bhakti, it is something else. i will always stand up to that arrogance--whosoever it may be Tagore or Thyagaraja--even if it is in enjoyable Narayana Gaula.

It is better not to be judgmental about bhakti of others.
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
Dear Vaagmi Sir,

Thyagaraja writes as if he himself has committed the wrongs, while visiting the temple, though he might not have done so! This is

not the only song. In the second pancharathnam in GowLa rAgam, he describes many mistakes as if those are all committed by

himself. In a few other keerthanAs he mocks at the way some people pray without bhakthi but have divine appearance outwardly.

Eg: 'manasu nilpa' in AbhOgi; 'entha muddhO' in BindhumAlini; 'theliyalEru RAmA' in DhEnuka; 'entha nErchina' in Udhaya

Ravichandrika.

They are all gems of the Saint composer imho. :)
 
Siva Vakkiya Siddhar has written many poems on this line:

கோயிலாவது ஏதடா ? குளங்களாவது ஏதடா?
கோயிலும் குளங்களும் கும்பிடும் குலாமரே
கோயிலும் மனத்துளே குளங்களும் மனத்துளே
ஆவதும் அழிவதும் இல்லைஇல்லை இல்லையே.

"நட்ட கல்லை தெய்வம் என்று நாலு புஷ்பம் சாத்தியே
சுற்றி வந்து முனுமுனுவென்று சொல்லும் மந்திரம் ஏதடா?
நட்ட கல்லும் பேசுமோ நாதன் உள்ளிருக்கையில் ?
சுட்ட சட்டி சட்டுவம்கறிச்சுவை தான் அறியுமோ?"
 

tks

Well-known member
In my understanding, the message by anyone quoted, is not about NOT going to a temples and doing rituals.
It is not about anyone approving or doubting whatever 'devotion' one may have. It is not about putting anyone down.

Hypocrisy is possible with any acts of rituals especially when there is a violation of intention of a ritual.

A true understanding (and not belief) of Isvara will change our relationship to Isvara, temples and rituals. The messages of Thyagaraja or SivaVakkiyar or Tagore will resonate with those that are ready to set aside their long held beliefs and be open to examining what is being said.
 

auh

New member
Siva Vakkiya Siddhar has written many poems on this line:

கோயிலாவது ஏதடா ? குளங்களாவது ஏதடா?
கோயிலும் குளங்களும் கும்பிடும் குலாமரே
கோயிலும் மனத்துளே குளங்களும் மனத்துளே
ஆவதும் அழிவதும் இல்லைஇல்லை இல்லையே.

"நட்ட கல்லை தெய்வம் என்று நாலு புஷ்பம் சாத்தியே
சுற்றி வந்து முனுமுனுவென்று சொல்லும் மந்திரம் ஏதடா?
நட்ட கல்லும் பேசுமோ நாதன் உள்ளிருக்கையில் ?
சுட்ட சட்டி சட்டுவம்கறிச்சுவை தான் அறியுமோ?"
The term "உள்ளிருக்கையில்" can have many meanings... imo
 

renuka

Well-known member
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.
This is not really a weakness.

Nature has its way of making us gravitate towards those who share similar interest,IQ,traits and characteristics.

It's a primal instinct for survival of species cos venturing into unknown territory might be met with dire consequences.

Perfectly normal..Ma Suchah(Don't worry).
 

tbs

Well-known member
Siva Vakkiya Siddhar has written many poems on this line:

கோயிலாவது ஏதடா ? குளங்களாவது ஏதடா?
கோயிலும் குளங்களும் கும்பிடும் குலாமரே
கோயிலும் மனத்துளே குளங்களும் மனத்துளே
ஆவதும் அழிவதும் இல்லைஇல்லை இல்லையே.

"நட்ட கல்லை தெய்வம் என்று நாலு புஷ்பம் சாத்தியே
சுற்றி வந்து முனுமுனுவென்று சொல்லும் மந்திரம் ஏதடா?
நட்ட கல்லும் பேசுமோ நாதன் உள்ளிருக்கையில் ?
சுட்ட சட்டி சட்டுவம்கறிச்சுவை தான் அறியுமோ?"
hi

hi

உள்ளிருக்கையில்




may be ANTHAR YAAMI TOO,,,,
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Sidhdhars are poor souls lost for ever in a Black Hole of sidhdhies. However hard they tried they could never come out of that situation. That is the reason why our acharyas carefully avoided getting into that Ashtamaa sidhdhi trap.

So we need not attach much importance to the words of Sidhdhas, who were superhuman beings. They were super human beings who could not get on with the script written for them by God.

I smile reading the line "நட்ட கல்லை தெய்வமென்று நாலு புஷ்பம் சாத்தியே, சுற்றி வந்து முணுமுணுவென்று சொல்லும் மந்திரம் ஏதடா" and continue with my nithyaradana of God, chanting உளனெனிலுள னவன் உருவமிவ் வுருவுகள், உளன் அலன் எனில் அவன் அருவ மிவ்வருவுகள், உளனென இலனென இவை குணமுடமையில், உள னிரு தகைமை யோடு ஒழிவிலன் பரந்தே (நம்மாழ்வார்).
 

tks

Well-known member
Sidhdhars are poor souls lost for ever in a Black Hole of sidhdhies. However hard they tried they could never come out of that situation. That is the reason why our acharyas carefully avoided getting into that Ashtamaa sidhdhi trap.

So we need not attach much importance to the words of Sidhdhas, who were superhuman beings. They were super human beings who could not get on with the script written for them by God.

I smile reading the line "நட்ட கல்லை தெய்வமென்று நாலு புஷ்பம் சாத்தியே, சுற்றி வந்து முணுமுணுவென்று சொல்லும் மந்திரம் ஏதடா" and continue with my nithyaradana of God, chanting உளனெனிலுள னவன் உருவமிவ் வுருவுகள், உளன் அலன் எனில் அவன் அருவ மிவ்வருவுகள், உளனென இலனென இவை குணமுடமையில், உள னிரு தகைமை யோடு ஒழிவிலன் பரந்தே (நம்மாழ்வார்).
Siddhar is what people called Sivavakkiayar. It is really immaterial whether people of his time thought he possessed any powers.
What matters are his writings available today that reveals he was not an atheist and his message is aligned with the message of the Vedas. His message in the referenced verse is about நட்ட கல் which is really Siva Lingam but in broader sense represent all deities cast in the form of stone. It is not about worship in exclusion he is talking about, it is about worshiping the stone while forgetting or disrespecting the essence of Isvara that represents as Antaryami in all beings.

So I am unable to understand how this specific message from நாலாயிரத் திவ்வியப் பிரபந்தம் at its essence different from the message of Siva Vakkiyar who is not an atheist in the way that word is understood today (if one reads his all his verses).

If I get the meaning approximately right, நம்மாழ்வார் is saying that regardless of what people say (He exists or not exists), both in form and as formless he pervades everything. But a person (a religious ego) caught in the shackles of ignorance can focus only on the form (where he thinks Godhead exists ) while abusing other beings which also represents the same Godhead. Siva Vakkiyar is talking about those exhibiting that rank hypocrisy.
 
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