Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Title: The Home and the World Author: Rabindranath Tagore (Selected excerpts)
"We, men, are knights whose quest is that freedom to which our ideals call us. She who makes for us the banner under which we fare forth is the true Woman for us. We must tear away the
disguise of her who weaves our net of enchantment at home, and know her for what she is. We must beware of clothing her in the witchery of our own longings and imaginings, and thus allow her to distract us from our true quest..."
"Women realize the danger," I replied. "They know that men love delusions, so they give them full measure by borrowing their own phrases. They know that man, the drunkard, values intoxication more than food, and so they try to pass themselves off as an intoxicant. As a matter of fact, but for the sake of man, woman has no need for any make-believe..."
"Today I feel--if a man needs must have some intoxicant, let it not be a woman..."
"Save me, Truth! Never again let me hanker after the false paradise of Illusion. If I must walk alone, let me at least tread your path. Let the drum-beats of Truth lead me to Victory..."
"Woman knows man well enough where he is weak, but she is quite unable to fathom him where he is strong. The fact is that man is as much a mystery to woman as woman is to man. If that were not so, the separation of the sexes would only have been a waste of Nature's energy..."
"What a wealth of colour and movement, suggestion and deception, group themselves round this "me" and "mine" in woman. That is just where her beauty lies--she is ever so much more personal than man. When man was being made, the Creator was a schoolmaster--His bag full of commandments and principles; but when He came to woman, He resigned His headmastership and turned artist, with only His brush and paint-box..."
"One can understand nothing from books," I went on. "We read in the scriptures that our desires are bonds, fettering us as well as others. But such words, by themselves, are so empty. It is only when we get to the point of letting the bird out of its cage that we can realize how free the bird has set us. Whatever we cage, shackles us with desire whose bonds are stronger than those of iron chains. I tell you, sir, this is just what the world has failed to understand. They all seek to reform something outside
themselves. But reform is wanted only in one's own desires, nowhere else, nowhere else!"
"We think," he said, "that we are our own masters when we get in our hands the object of our desire--but we are really our own masters only when we are able to cast out our desires from our
"We cannot see Beauty till we let go our hold of it. It was Buddha who conquered the world, not Alexander--this is untrue when stated in dry prose--oh when shall we be able to sing it? When shall all these most intimate truths of the universe overflow the pages of printed books and leap out in a sacred stream like the Ganges from the Gangotrie?"