Selections from Santiniketan: Creation

[Srishti - Santiniketan Vol I]

Rabindranath Tagore

Translated from the original Bengali by

Jyoti Prakash Datta

Here we are again this morning - a few of us sitting around to worship together. May we first realise that this circle of our worship too, is in itself a creation wherewithin dwells the self-revealing One.

We say that we have been doing this ever since the few of us talked ourselves into this ritual of a worship circle.

Though it is true that this is what actually took place with us sometime ago, the Truth does not end there. By itself quite a common event, but in truth it is a surprising event nonetheless. And the surprise has not ceased for it having been happening day after day. In truth, innumerable circles like ours have been formed before us by strangers coming close to worship together through the ages. This is the Truth.

We may think that when we go away to take up other chores of our daily life after offering our words of worship sitting together in this circle, we finish our worship for the day. No, not so! As we go away - to read, teach, eat, walk around - in whatever we do, the work of creation continues through us. It is as if there was no other work for the Creator but to tend our circle of worship so that it grows ever-increasingly to encompass entire humankind in a worshipful unity of existence. This creative unity continues to work within ourselves through our sleep and through periods of forgetfulness when awake - because there cannot be any moments of non-action when Truth of Unity is in action.

Just as because this Truth exists in the universe that we find order all around us, it is because of this Truth working among us that every morning finds the few of us regularly gathered here for worship. We perceive the universe itself as rendering obeisance to that eternal Truth which is the centre around which all that exists revolves and has its being. We perceive the distant realms of light where neither our senses nor our telescopes can ever reach, as offering obeisance to the Truth of their own existence. So it is that in our own circle of worship we too find ourselves gathered around this Truth personified as God. He sits as close amongst us, as He does in the heart of the universe. In this, He does not only dispense consciousness to each one of us. He is also the source of that creative force which keeps so many of us, with diverse natures, cultures and education, united in a circle of mutual care. We will continue to belong to this circle even after we are physically separated to go our individual ways.

So, as we are about to leave this circle of worship, let us in our turn offer our obeisance to the self-revealing One around whom we had gathered to worship for the while. And on every occasion such as this when we part company, may we reinforce our common realisation that creation of this little worship circle of ours is a part of the infinite miracle of Creation itself manifested in ceaseless joy of existence.

(Chaitra 3, BE 1315)

Published in Parabaas May 7, 2020.

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