A search for the meaning of life
‘Spirituality and Beyond’, a collection of poems by Krishnanand Guptar, was launched last week by Hon Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, in the presence of Lady Sarojini Jugnauth and Mrs Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, former Speaker of the National Assembly and Sir Bhinod Bacha, and other distinguished guests.
Presenting the book of poems, the author said that it is the third phase of his spiritual journey in life. In the first phase, he was pitched between humanism and spirituality as expressed in his similar book ‘Between Earth and Sky’, written in 1975. In the second phase, he moved from ‘Humanism to Spirituality’, which is also the title of the book he released in October 2021. The present collection of poems expresses his reflections on spirituality, probes further into the inner self and tries to decipher what lies beyond spirituality.
As conveyed in the poem “Treading Down the Memory Lane” spirituality was ingrained in him since his childhood days:
“When chanting spiritual hymns
Was the paroxysm of pleasure,
When teachings of moral rhymes
Were absorbed with zealous desires”
According to Mr Guptar, spirituality involves a search for the meaning of life, the root cause and purpose of life. In his poem “The True Purpose of Life”, he expresses the view that the goal of life is to elevate mankind, make the world a better place to live in and to be at peace with oneself. In fact, a thread of spirituality runs through all the 30 poems in this collection, which includes poems such as “The March of Time”, “Time is a Precious Gift”, What is this World if Full of Stress”, “Prisoners” and “It is not Enough to feed the Human Body”.
In the poems “Staying Connected”, and “Message to a Young Person”, the author conveys messages for the attention and benefit of the younger generation. The moral and spiritual precepts that he transmits therein are those that he has personally experienced and practised in life. “The First Step”, “You Reap What You Sow”, “Karma” and “Just one Word” carry messages that are relevant to everybody. “Liberation”, “Journey of the Soul” and “Beyond Spirituality” express the inner wish of the poet, which is not to be born again:
“But to be ever free from the cycle
Of birth and death and its daily hassle,
Free from the earthly web of illusion
And to seek divine unification.”
The book, to some extent, bears the imprint of his readings of Vedic philosophers of India and great spiritual poets, such as Rabindranath Tagore and Shri Aurobindo Ghose. However, according to the author, the emotions, thoughts and perceptions he has articulated in his poem book have been shaped by what he has personally lived, experienced and felt during his journey of life.
Mr Guptar has opted for poetry as a medium of expression as, in his view, it is the best vehicle to express the utterings of the soul and enables us to convey profound messages and deep emotions in a few words. According to him, perusal of poems, particularly spiritual poems, confers genuine pleasure and leads to the peace of mind of readers.
Taking the floor after him, Hon Ramano and Sir Bhinod Bacha congratulated the poet for coming out with such a refined collection of poems. They also highlighted his highest degree of commitment and integrity as a professional serving the state for a long period of time as well as his modesty and simplicity. They both looked forward to seeing him come out with further such poetry in the near future.
‘Spirituality and Beyond’ is available at Nalanda Bookshop and will shortly be available in the book stores of Editions de l`Ocean Indien.
Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 31 March 2023
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