Sunday, February 03, 2008

Samslesha (elation by union) and vislesha (depression by separation)

This element of suffering as revealed in the pangs of separation, receives an added momentum in mysticism and mystic poetry. The two moods of mystics, namely Samslesha (elation by union) and vislesha (depression by separation) are beautifully depicted in Prabhu’s sayings. The mood of Samslesh recalls the elephant’s intoxication rallying in a rut. Prabhu says that there is a peculiar charm in an elephant’s intoxication rallying in a rut (Aneya mada bedagu). When an elephant is affected with rut it becomes so intoxicated by self consciousness that it forgets for a while the external world. The fear of goad that often haunts the elephant is absent and is replaced by the alternate emotion of joy. Similarly, when the mystic reaches the state of ecstasy, all sense and feeling of duality disappear. In that ecstatic state, the mystic undergoes an unique experience; an experience that destroys all norms and remnants of egoism and the spirit soars to the sublime bliss.

Fling not Oh Cupid, fling not thy arrow!
How canst thou burn one
Who is already burnt
By the pangs of separation from
Guheshwar.

This saying of Prabhu brings into bold relief the mood of Visleasha. It is in the pangs of separation that divine sorrow overtakes the human soul. The very memory of sorrow is a gentle benediction that broods over man; like the stillness that comes after a dedicated prayer. It is the veiled shadow of sorrow that plucks away one thing after another hobbling and binding men with a sense of ease and security. Yet the vanishing of these beloved objects reveal the abode ofd their affection and peace of mind. Out of the burring fire of separation, emerge the strongest souls. Martyrs have set their coronation robes glittering with fire and their tears have shown the gates of Heaven to the sorrowful. Thus, sorrow is the initiator that ushers man into the life of the spirit. Huntington’s beautiful remark is worth noting: "Sorrow is our John the Baptist, clad in grim garments with rough arms, a son of the wilderness, baptizing us with bitter tears, preaching repentance and behind comes the gracious, affectionate, healing Lord, speaking peace and joy to the soul."




From: Alama Prabhu: A Literary Genius

His Holiness Sri Kumarswamiji
Tapovana, Dharwad 3, Karnataka, India

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