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International Reflective Writing




Krishnamurti was a renowned writer and speaker on philosophical and spiritual subjects. His subject matter included: psychological revolution, the nature of the mind, meditation, human relationships, and bringing about positive change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.

Krishnamurti on Peace

Only when you are directly in touch with the problem, when you see that without peace today you cannot have peace tomorrow, when you have no reason for peace but actually see the truth that without peace life is not possible, creation is not possible, that without peace there can be no sense of happiness - only when you see the truth of that, will you have peace. Then you will have peace without any organizations for peace. Sir, for that you must be so vulnerable, you must demand peace with all your heart, you must find the truth of it for yourself, not through organizations, through propaganda, through clever arguments for peace and against war. Peace is not the denial of war. Peace is a state of being in which all conflicts and all problems have ceased; it is not a theory, not an ideal to be achieved after ten incarnations, ten years or ten days. As long as the mind has not understood its own activity, it will create more misery; and the understanding of the mind is the beginning of peace.

War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday life, is it not?

War is merely an outward expression of our inward state, an enlargement of our daily action. It is more spectacular, more bloody, more destructive, but it is the collective result of our individual activities. Therefore, you and I are responsible for war and what can we do to stop it? Obviously the ever-impending war cannot be stopped by you and me, because it is already in movement; it is already taking place, though at present chiefly on the psychological level. As it is already in movement, it cannot be stopped- the issues are too many, too great, and are already committed. But you and I, seeing that the house is on fire, can understand the causes of that fire, can go away from it and build in a new place with different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce other wars. That is all that we can do. You and I can see what creates wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war.

An American lady came to see me a couple of years ago, during the war. She said she had lost her son in Italy and that she had another son aged sixteen whom she wanted to save; so we talked the thing over. I suggested to her that to save her son she had to cease to be an American; she had to cease to be greedy, cease piling up wealth, seeking power, domination, and be morally simple – not merely simple in clothes, in outward things, but simple in her thoughts and feelings, in her relationships. She said,” That is too much. You are asking far too much. I cannot do it, because circumstances are too powerful for me to alter.” Therefore she was responsible for the destruction of her son.

Circumstances can be controlled by us, because we have created the circumstances. Society is the product of relationship, society changes; merely to rely on legislation, on compulsion, for the transformation of outward society, while remaining inwardly corrupt, while continuing inwardly to seek power, position, domination, is to destroy the outward, however carefully and scientifically built. That which is inward is always overcoming the outward.

What causes war – religious, political or economic? Obviously belief, either in nationalism, in an ideology, or in a particular dogma. If we had no belief but goodwill, love and consideration between us, then there would be no wars. But we are fed on beliefs, ideas and dogmas and therefore we breed discontent. The present crisis is of an exceptional nature and we as human beings must either pursue the path of constant conflict and continuous wars, which are the result of our everyday action, or else see the causes of war and turn our back upon them.

Obviously what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money; also the disease called nationalism, the worship of a flag; and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a dogma. All these are the causes of war; if you as an individual belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce a society which will result in destruction. So again it depends upon you and not on the leaders – not on so-called statesmen and all the rest of them. It depends upon you and me but we do not seem to realize that. If once we really felt the responsibility of our own actions, how quickly we could bring to an end all these wars, this appalling misery! But you see, we are indifferent. We have three meals a day, we have our jobs, we have our bank account, big or little, and we say, “For God’s sake, don’t disturb us, leave us alone”. The higher up we are, the more we want security, permanency, tranquility, the more we want to be left alone, to maintain things fixed as they are; but they cannot be maintained as they are, because there is nothing to maintain. Everything is disintegrating. We do not want to face these things, we do not want to face the fact that you and I are responsible for wars. You and I may talk about peace, have conferences, sit round a table and discuss, but inwardly, psychologically, we want power, position, we are bound by beliefs, by dogmas, for which we are willing to die and destroy each other. Do you think such men, you and I, can have peace in the world? To have peace, we must be peaceful; to live peacefully means not to create antagonism. Peace is not an ideal. To me, an ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is - which we will go into presently, in another talk. [not on this website] But to have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin, not to live an ideal life, but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need – food, clothing and shelter – is destroyed. We are seeking psychological security, which does not exist; and we seek it, if we can, through power, through position, through titles, names – all of which is destroying physical security. This is an obvious fact, if you look at it.

To bring about peace in the world, to stop all wars, there must be a revolution in the individual, in you and me. Economic revolution without this inward revolution is meaningless, for hunger is the result of the maladjustment of economic conditions produced by our psychological states – greed, envy, ill-will and possessiveness. To put an end to sorrow, to hunger, to war, there must be a psychological revolution and few of us are willing to face that. We will discuss peace, plan legislation, create new leagues, the United Nations and so on and on; but we will not win peace because we will not give up our position, our authority, our money, our properties, our stupid lives. To rely on others is utterly futile; others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will bring peace is inward transformation which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not a withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace.

To put an end to outward war, you must begin to put an end to war in yourself. Some of you will nod your heads and say, “ I agree”, and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be stopped only when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself; peace will come only when you yourself are peaceful, when you yourself are at peace with your neighbour.

Source: 1948, second public talk, Bangalore, India; Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Vol V, CD-Rom code BA48T2

Jiddu Krishnamurti on Peace in Our time

In his later years, J. Krishnamurti spoke at the United Nations in New York, on the 11th April 1985, where he was awarded the United Nations 1984 Peace medal.

In November of 1985, he revisted the places he had grown up in India, holding a last set of farewell talks between then and January 1986. These last talks were on fundamental principles of belief and lessons. J. Krishnamurti passed away two and a half months later at the age of 90 from pancreatic cancer. His remains were cremated and scattered by friends and former associates in the three countries where he had spent most of his life, India, England and United States of America.

Speech Delivered to the United Nations

Probably since the beginning of man, human beings have had no peace at all. And there have been a great many oganizations, including this organization, to bring about peace in the world, pacem in terris. But there has been no peace. For various obvious reasons: nationalism, which is glorified tribalism, various opposing religions, divisions of classes, races and so on. There have been divisions on the earth from the beginning of time: the family, the community, bigger community, the nation, and so on. And also from what one observes, religion has been one of the causes of wars. One sees the Israelis and the Arabs, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Americans and the Russians, ideas against ideas, ideologies opposing ideologies, the communist ideology and the so-called democratic ideologies. Why is it, after all these millenia upon millenia, why is it that human beings throughout the world don't live in peace? Why is it our society in which we live, whether it is the American society, the European, or Indian, or Japanese, that society has not given us peace either. That society, the culture, the tradition, is created by all human beings. We have created this society. We are responsible for this society, which is corrupt, immoral, violent, divisive, cruel and so on. We have created this, this society in which we live. We are the society.

Please the speaker is not a communist in the orthodox sense of that word. We are what we have made of the society. So we are society. That is a fact, not an exotic or stupid, irrational thought. We are society. Each one of us have made this terrible confusing, contradictory, brutal society. And until human beings, each one of us, radically transforms himself we will have perpetual wars, there will be no peace on earth. Religions have talked about it endlessly. The popes, the priests, local parish clergyman, have talked about peace. This Institution, with all its power, with its position, with its international grasp, this Institution has not brought about peace either. Forgive me for saying this, if you don't mind. And will institutions, foundations, will they ever bring peace on earth? Or it doesn't lie in that field at all - organisations or institutions, propaganda and all the rest of it? Or do we realize, each one of us, I am asking this most respectfully, do we realize that we are responsible for this? Not intellectually, or verbally, or just accepting a theory, but we are responsible for this horror that is going on in the world; every form of violence, terrorism, wars, we are responsible for it. War is not in Beirut, it is in our hearts and minds. This has been said so often, one is rather bored by all that. And we human beings seem to be incapable of living peacefully in our relationship with each other, living peacefully without any dogmatism, ideals, concepts. Because beliefs, faith, conclusions, ideals, have separated man. And man apparently has not been able to live without any of those bondages. Man is conditioned, human beings right throughout the world are conditioned. Their brains have been moulded according to a particular tradition, various forms of superstitions called religion. And is it possible for human beings wherever they live to be free of their conditioning? The conditioning as an American, as a European, Hindu and so on, is it possible for us, who are so advanced in technology, is it possible for us to radically, fundamentally, bring about psychological change? This is really a very, very serious question. This is what the biologists, bio-technologists are trying to do - trying to bring about a radical change in the very brain cells themselves so that human beings can live peacefully, not everlastingly fight each other.

So facing all this, not abstractly, as a human being, what is he to do actually? Form another group? Another religion? Another Institution? Or as a human being become aware of his conditioning? Be concerned with his conditioning and free the brain from that conditioning? Otherwise we are going to have perpetual wars, there will be no peace on earth in spite of all the religions, in spite of every institution. It must begin with us, not without somebody else out there. So is it possible to bring about a deep mutation in the very brain cells themselves? Why are human beings so conditioned - Germans, French, Russians, Italians, British, Americans, Hindus and so on, why? Is it because we want security, both external and inward? Is there such security inwardly, psychologically to be safe? Is there such security? Or psychological security is an illusion? We can go into all this in detail but our time is very, very limited. So is there psychological security, either in the family, in a group, in a community, in a nation and internationalism and all that business? Is there any kind of security inwardly? And that is, if we are not sure about that, certain, clear, we try to seek security outwardly, externally, through nations, through religious oganizations, through some ideologies. So it is very important, it seems to one, that we should talk over together now and discover for ourselves if there is an inner security - security in our relationships with each other, however intimate it may be, between man and woman, security in community and so on. Is there security in our relationship with each other, man and woman, wife and husband? If there is security why is there such contention between man and woman, wife and husband, such conflict in their relationship, each one pursuing his own ambitions, his own fulfilments, his own desires and so on. Is it not important to find out for ourselves if there is such security in relationship. If there is such security in this then that security is the beginning of peace. If there is no security in our relationship with each other that is the beginning of conflict, war.

So we ought to really seriously enquire into this question. That is, become aware, conscious, of our relationship with each other because to go very far we must begin very near. And the nearest is man and woman, wife and husband. In that relationship there is conflict as there is now, then that conflict is spread, ultimately war. We have never given thought to this, that as our house is burning, which is society is burning, declining, degenerating, are we all so degenerating? To slide, slip down, implies our whole life is a routine, our whole life is a series of battles, struggles, conflicts. If we don't alter there, how can you bring about peace on earth. It seems to logical, so rational, sane, but we don't do that. So could we, as human beings, not as Americans and all the rest of that business, could we as human beings become aware, pay attention to our intimate relationship because unless the psychological world is quiet, sane, peaceful, that psychological state will always overcome every kind of organization, whether it be communist organization, totalitarian, or so-called democratic organization. The psyche is far more important than the external legislation, governments and so on. I wonder if one realizes all this? Do we, sitting here, peacefully, so-called peacefully, realize our responsibility as human beings? The wars that are going on in the world is our war, because our consciousness - if I can go into all this much more deeply - our human consciousness, which is made up of biological reactions, fears, hurts, pleasure, beliefs, dogmas, rituals and endless suffering, that is the content of our consciousness. If you observe this closely it is a fact that every human being throughout the world shares this, every human being suffers, every human being has fear, pleasure, sense of loneliness, despair, anxiety, confusion, every human being, whether they live in the Far East, or here, or in Russia, or in other places. We have been brought up, educated to consider ourselves as individuals. Is that so? Is that a fact? Because we share the consciousness of humanity, because we all suffer, we all go through great agonies, boredom, every form of uncertainty. You may have great talents, great capacities, but behind those capacities lies the ordinary, daily consciousness of all humanity. So each one is humanity, not separate individuals. I know you will not accept this because you have been conditioned from the beginning by religions, by society, by culture, that each one is separate individuals, separate soul. And therefore he must seek his own salvation, his own expression, his own fulfilment. And this so-called separate individuality is creating havoc in the world, which does not mean that we all become the same automatic, turned out in the same mould. On the contrary, freedom is the highest form of existence. It is the greatest art, to live freely. But we are not free. One thinks one is free to do what one likes, specially in this country, each individual thinks he is supreme to do what he wants. His own fulfilment, the expression of his own desires and so on. But if we examine closely and seriously, we share the consciousness of the entire humanity. Because this is a fact. Individuality may be an illusion. And to that illusion we are committed. But when you travel around and observe very closely, every human being, whether he has great position, great deal of money, status, power, he is like the rest of the world psychologically, he goes through great pain, desperate loneliness and all the rest of the psychological world of uncertainty, confusion. And we are the rest of humanity. We are not Africans and Europeans and all that nonsense. We are humanity. Unless we realize that one major fact in our life, we are the rest of humanity, black, white, purple or whatever colour they be, psychologically we are one. Unless human beings deeply realize that we are going to have wars, we are going to be eternally in conflict, as we are now. And no organization in the world is going to change that fact. We have had religions all over, various types of religions, Catholic and Protestant, and the division in Protestantism. There have been religions of various types in Asia. All invented by thought. And thought has made man separate because thought is the result of experience, knowledge, memory and so thought is always limited. It is never complete, it can never be complete because it is based on knowledge and knowledge is always finite, limited. It can expand, it can change but it is still within the field of knowledge. And knowledge is always limited. And we try to change the world through our knowledge. And this experiment to change the world through knowledge has never succeeded.

So what is a human being to do, if you are serious, concerned, with the world, with your own life? What is a human being to do? Form innumerable oganizations, with their bosses and their secretaries and so on? Or each one of us is responsible because we have created this society, we are responsible for every kind of war. So is it possible, not merely intellectually, but actually, in our daily life, radically to change, bring about a deep mutation? Unless we are capable of doing that we are going to have perpetual wars. No organization in the world has prevented any wars. For the last historical process there have been practically wars every year for the last five, six thousand years, all over the world. And man has been responsible for these wars. You may not have a war in America, in this part of the world, but you have wars in other parts of the world because we are divided, as Americans and Russians, and English and French and all the rest of it, not only nationally but religiously, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus. So there is this constant division, both outwardly and inwardly, it is bringing about great conflict. We are one human being, not separate. We don't seem to realize that. You suffer, you go through great anxieties, uncertainties, so does every other human being in the world. And we haven't been able to solve that basic issue, whether we can live with ourselves peacefully. Peace doesn't begin on the other side of the world, whether we live peacefully, without conflict.

And I think this is a very important question which we must put to ourselves: why is it that human beings who have lived on this earth perhaps fifty thousand years, we have done extraordinary things technologically, we have done practically nothing in our relationship with each other? We are perpetually in conflict with each other, man and woman, and this conflict is extended into war. So we are asking a most fundamental question: why do human beings who have lived on this earth for so many millenia, who have done extraordinary things technologically, who have brought about good health for people, we have done the most incredible things externally, but inwardly we are savages. Forgive me for using that word. We are fighting each other, even in our most intimate relationships. So how can one have external peace in the world, pacem in terris, if one is not peaceful in oneself? We never answer that question, we are always trying to bring changes in the outer, but we never ask of ourselves why we live this way, perpetually in conflict. It is fairly obvious when you ask that question seriously, not casually, we never spend a day trying to find out why we live this way, building a vast network of escapes from this basic fact. And we are still going on. We never seem to realize that unless each one of us fundamentally changes radically there will be no peace on earth as long as you are an American, Russian, different ideologies, different concepts, different gods, and so on, we will never have peace on this earth.

So it behoves us, and each one of us, to find out why we live this way. And whether it is possible radically to change our whole psyche. If there is not a revolution there, mere outward revolutions have very little meaning. We have had communist revolution, French revolution, other forms of revolution throughout the world and we remain what we are, self-centred, cruel and all the rest of it.

I have finished sirs.


Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu was a distinguished poet, renowned freedom fighter and one of the great orators of her time. She was famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India). Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.

Naidu joined the Indian national movement in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905. She came into contact with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Annie Besant, C.P.Rama Swami Iyer, Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru. She awakened the women of India. She brought them out of the kitchen. She traveled from state to state, city after city and asked for the rights of the women. She re-established self-esteem within the women of India.

In 1925, Sarojini Naidu presided over the annual session of Indian National Congress at Kanpur. Sarojini Naidu played a leading role during the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhiji and other leaders. In 1942, Sarojini Naidu was arrested during the "Quit India" movement and was jailed for 21 months with Gandhiji. She shared a very warm relationship with Gandhiji and used to call him "Mickey Mouse".

After Independence, Sarojini Naidu became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. She was India's first woman governor. Sarojini Naidu died in office on March 2 ,1949.

Source: Indian Heroes;

In Salutation to the Eternal Peace

Men say the world is full of fear and hate,
And all life's ripening harvest-fields await
The restless sickle of relentless fate.

But I, sweet Soul, rejoice that I was born,
When from the climbing terraces of corn
I watch the golden orioles of Thy morn.

What care I for the world's desire and pride,
Who know the silver wings that gleam and glide,
The homing pigeons of Thine eventide?

What care I for the world's loud weariness,
Who dream in twilight granaries Thou dost bless
With delicate sheaves of mellow silences?

Say, shall I heed dull presages of doom,
Or dread the rumoured loneliness and gloom,
The mute and mythic terror of the tomb?

For my glad heart is drunk and drenched with Thee,
O inmost wind of living ecstasy!
O intimate essence of eternity!

Susheel Kumar Sharma

Susheel Kumar Sharma has been teaching English almost for 25 years in various Indian Universities. He takes keen interest in social issues and human developement programmes. He has published three books, 24 research articles, 27 book-reviews and has attended more than 50 seminars and presented papers there-in. A collection of criticism on his book of poems has been published  in 2008.

Three Poems on the Gulf War


The white birds
Sitting on the seashore
Have lost their colour
In their effort
To swim across the sea.
They bear the brunt
Of heavy oily waves
And look like the
Pieces of a letter
That has been torn and thrown into water
For bringing the message of death.

The letter does not
weep on a death.
On the death of the sea
The birds not only weep
But also die - -
Perhaps they die knowingly.
So that the
Angels of destruction and death
May take pity
On the sea
And, also, on them.


In the school
I was taught the Song of Peace
And not the Song of War.

In the school
I was taught to play carom
And not the tricks of war.

In the school
I was taught the lesson of hard work
And not the one of cheating.

In the school
I had taken a vow to serve people
And not to kill the innocent.

Were my teachers wrong
In imparting me such an education?

Perhaps, they were.
Therefore, their lessons
Could not be used
I and my country
Lost the war.

Then, where should I
Send my son for schooling - -
To my alma mater
To the Camper’s school?


Are you angry
and you, too, o sister
only because
I have not written you a letter.
I want to, but
am unable to write.
I bring a piece of paper
and also a pen
and, now, I am able to
sit in a chair too.
But, words start metamorphosizing
when I recollect
soldiers with guns in their hands
tanks ready to crush human beings
souls trying to leave the bodies.
The letter turns red.
Your tears only are there
on the piece of paper
trying to wash bloody spots.
My pen moves on
but the letter remains a piece of paper
a piece of paper
which you don’t need
but I will
once again I’ll make
an attempt.

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which attempted a revival of the ultimate monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads. He was educated at home; and although at seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, he did not finish his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he managed the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity and increased his interest in social reforms. He also started an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education. From time to time he participated in the Indian nationalist movement, though in his own non-sentimental and visionary way; and Gandhi, the political father of modern India, was his devoted friend. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 19, but within a few years he resigned the honour as a protest against British policies in India.

Tagore had early success as a writer in his native Bengal. With his translations of some of his poems he became rapidly known in the West. In fact his fame attained a luminous height, taking him across continents on lecture tours and tours of friendship. For the world he became the voice of India's spiritual heritage; and for India, especially for Bengal, he became a great living institution.

Although Tagore wrote successfully in all literary genres, he was first of all a poet. Among his fifty and odd volumes of poetry are Manasi (1890) [The Ideal One], Sonar Tari (1894) [The Golden Boat], Gitanjali(1910) [Song Offerings], Gitimalya (1914) [Wreath of Songs], and Balaka (1916) [The Flight of Cranes]. The English renderings of his poetry, which include The Gardener (1913), Fruit-Gathering (1916), and The Fugitive (1921), do not generally correspond to particular volumes in the original Bengali; and in spite of its title, Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), the most acclaimed of them, contains poems from other works besides its namesake. Tagore's major plays are Raja (1910) [The King of the Dark Chamber], Dakghar(1912) [The Post Office], Achalayatan (1912) [The Immovable], Muktadhara (1922) [The Waterfall], and Raktakaravi (1926) [Red Oleanders]. He is the author of several volumes of short stories and a number of novels, among them Gora (1910), Ghare-Baire (1916) [The Home and the World], and Yogayog (1929) [Crosscurrents]. Besides these, he wrote musical dramas, dance dramas, essays of all types, travel diaries, and two autobiographies, one in his middle years and the other shortly before his death in 1941. Tagore also left numerous drawings and paintings, and songs for which he wrote the music himself.

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969


from Gitanjali

When I leave from hence let this be my parting word, that what I have seen is unsurpassable.
I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on the ocean of light and thus am I blessed - let this be my parting word.
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play, and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.
My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come - let this be my parting word.

The Oarsmen 

Do you hear the roar of death through the listening hush of distance.
And that awful call midst fire-floods and poison clouds and the wrestling of earth and sky in mortal combat.
- The Captain's call to steer the ship towards a shore yet unnamed?
For that time is over - that stagnant time in the port - 
Where the same old store is bought and sold in an endless round.
Where dead things gather in the exhaustion and emptiness of truth.
They wake up in sudden fear and ask 'Comrades, what is the hour of the night? When shall open the golden gate of the new dawn? The murky clouds have blotted out all stars - 
Who are there to see the beckoning finger of the day.
They rush out with oars in hand, the beds are emptied in the house,
the mother prays, the silent wife watches by the door.
The wail of separation sweeps the sky like rushing wings of night birds,
And there rings the Captain's voice in the dark,
'Come, sailors, for the time in the haven is over!'
All the black evils in the world have overflowed their banks,
Yet, oarsmen, take your places with the blessing of sorrow in your souls!
Whom do you blame, brothers! Bow your heads down!
The sin has been yours and ours.
The heat growing in the heart of God for ages - 
The cowardice of the weak, the arrogance of the strong, the greed of fate prosperity, the rancor of the deprived, pride of race, and insult to man - 
Has burst God's peace, raging in storm.
Like a ripe pod, let the tempest break its heart into pieces, scattering thunders,
Stop your bluster of abuse and self-praise, my friends,
And with the calm of silent prayer on your brows sail forward to the shore of the new world.

We have known sins and evils every day and death we have met.
They pass over our world like clouds mocking us with their transient light night laughter.
Suddenly they have stopped, growing stupendous,
And men must stand before them saying -
'We do not fear you, O Monster! For we have lived every moment of our life by conquering you,
'And we die with the faith that peace is true, and God is true, and true is the eternal One!'

If the deathless dwell not in the heart of death,
If glad wisdom bloom not bursting the sheath of sorrow,
If aim do not die of its own revealment,
If pride break not under its load of decoration,
Then whence comes the hope that drives these men from their homes in [...]ars rushing to their death in the morning light?
Shall the value of the martyrs' blood and mothers' tears be utterly lost in the dust of the earth, not buying Heaven with their price?
And when Man bursts his moral bounds, is not the Boundless revealed that moment?

The Trumpet

The trumpet lies in the dust.
The wind is weary, the light is dead. Ah, the evil day!
Come fighters, carrying your flags and singer with your songs!
Come pilgrims, hurrying on your journey!
The trumpet lies in the dust waiting for us.
I was on my way to the temple with my evening offerings.
Seeking for the heaven of rest after the day's dusty toil;
Hoping my hurts would be healed and stains in my garments washed white,
When I found thy trumpet lying in the dust.

Has it not been the time for me to light my lamp?
Has my evening not come to bring me sleep?
O thou blood-red rose, where have my poppies faded?
I was certain my wanderings were over and my debts all paid
When suddenly I came upon thy trumpet lying in the dust.

Strike my drowsy heart with the spell of youth!
Let my joy in life blaze up in fire.
Let the shafts of awakening fly piercing the heart of night and a thrill of dread shake the palsied blindness,
I have come to raise thy trumpet from the dust.

Sleep is no more for me - my walk shall be through showers of arrows.
Some shall run out of their houses and come to my side - some shall weep,
Some in their beds shall toss and groan in dire dreams:
For to-night thy trumpet shall be sounded.

From thee I had asked peace only to find shame.
Now I stand before thee - help me to don my armour!
Let hard blows of trouble strike fire into my life.
Let my heart beat in pain - beating the drum of thy victory.
My hands shall be utterly emptied to take up thy trumpet.

Summmer's Pioneers

Tired of waiting, you burst your bonds,
Impatient flowers, before the winter had gone
Glimpses of the unseen comer came into your wayside watch
And you rushed out running and panting,
O restless jasmines, O troop of riotous roses!

You were the first to march to the breach of death.
Your clamour of colour and perfume troubled the air.
You laughed and pressed and pushed each other,
Bared your breasts and dropped to the ground in heaps.

The summer will come in its time
Sailing in the flood tide of the South Wind
But you never counted slow moments to be sure of him.
You recklessly spent your all in the road in terrible joy of faith

You heard his footsteps from afar
And flung your mantle of death for him to tread on.
Your bonds break even before the rescuer is seen,
You make him your own ere he can come and claim you.

Where the Mind is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.



Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy, the internationally acclaimed author ofThe God of Small Things, addresses issues of democracy and dissent, racism and empire, and war and peace in a collection of essays, War Talk. The eloquence, passion, and political insight of Roy’s political essays have added legions of readers to those already familiar with her Booker Prize-winning novel.

Excerpts from the Book War Talk

In the last ten years of unbridled corporate globalization, the world's total income has increased by an average of 2.5 percent a year. And yet the numbers of the poor in the world has increased by one hundred million. Of the top hundred biggest economies, fifty-one are corporations, not countries. The top one percent of the world has the same combined income as the bottom fifty-seven percent and the disparity is growing. Now, under the spreading canopy of the War Against Terror, this process is being hustled along. The men in suits are in an unseemly hurry. While bombs rain down on us, and cruise missiles skid across the skies, while nuclear weapons are stockpiled to make the world a safer place, contracts are being signed, patents are being registered, oil pipelines are being laid, natural resources are being plundered, water is being privatized, and democracies are being undermined.

Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's minds and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.

Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. 

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. 

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. 

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” 

Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They're usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then of course, there's the business of war. Protecting its control of the world's oil is fundamental to U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. government's recent military interventions in the Balkans and Central Asia have to do with oil. Hamid Karzai, the puppet president of Afghanistan installed by the United States, is said to be a former employee of Unocal, the American-based oil company. The U.S. government's paranoid patrolling of the Middle East is because it has two-thirds of the world's oil reserves. Oil keeps America's engines purring sweetly. Oil keeps the free market rolling. Whoever controls the world's oil controls the world's markets.

And how do you control the oil? Nobody puts it more elegantly than the New York Times' columnist Thomas Friedman. In an article called "Craziness Pays," he says "the U.S. has to make clear to Iraq and U.S. allies that. . .America will use force, without negotiation, hesitation, or UN approval." His advice was well taken. In J the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the almost daily humiliation the U.S. government heaps on the UN. In his book on globalization, The Lexis and the Olive Tree, Friedman says, "The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas.... And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

Perhaps this was written in a moment of vulnerability, but it's certainly the most succinct, accurate description of the project of corporate globalization that I have read.


Kavita Jindal

Kavita Jindal writes fiction and poetry. She also writes reviews, essays and articles on the Arts. Her work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies and newspapers including The Independent, The South China Morning Post, Dimsum, The Mechanics' Institute Review, Cha, In Our Own Words, Asia Literary Review and Not A Muse. Her poetry collection, Raincheck Renewed, was published to critical acclaim in 2004. Kavita was born in India and has lived in both Hong Kong and England for several years. Her work is inspired by her observations of different cultures, landscapes and people.

That's War

At the end, you wonder how 
you bombed a truckload of civilians, 
just following orders.   At the end, you declare 
if you had your time as a genius again 
you would not have invented the atomic bomb.   At the end, you ask 
why your life is easily snuffed out 
while the world watches on TV.   At the end, you say
how is it politicians 
don’t step on to battlefields?   Who decides at the end 
who is honourable and who is not?
Those who make weapons sell to all sides. 



Tulsidas is considered to be one of the greatest of the Hindu saints of India.  He is one of the most famous representatives of the Bhakti school of Hinduism.

Details of his early life are life are a bit sketch.  Some say that he was born in 1589, while others say that it was in 1532.  There is however, an agreement that he was born in Rajpur India, in present day Uttar Pradesh.  He was born to Atmaram Shukla Dube and his wife Hulsi.  As a younster, his name was Tulsiram and / or Ram Bola.  (Even today in India it is not unusual for a person to have different names, at different times of their life, and to different people).

His introduction into the principals of the bhakti school came when Tulsidas was a young boy in Sukar-Khet.  There he heard the story of Rama, which would form the basis for much of his later literary work.  This was from Narhari Das who was a very influential saint.

Tulsidas' family life was not unusual.  As is the custom, he lived for a time as a householder, and assumed the normal duties of raising and supporting a family.  He was married to a woman by the name of Buddhimati (Ratnavali).  She bore him a son by the name of Tarak.

However his life as a householder was to be short-lived.  He left home and took sanyas (the life of a renunciate).  For the next 14 years he visitied various pilgrimage places.  Afterwords he settled down and started an ashram where he taught, and composed his literary works.

His literary work was most impressive.  He was a Sanskrit scholar, but he is known for his works in Awadhi (A dialect of Hindi).  He his particularly known for his Tulsi-Krita Ramayan, this is also known as Ramacharitamanasa.  He is also well known for his Hanuman Chalisa.  In all, he composed 22 major literary works in his lifetime.

He died about 1623 in Asighat in Varanasi (Benares).


from The Ramacharitamanas

This and this alone
Is true religion-
To serve Thy brethren:
This is sin above all other sin,
To harm Thy brethren:
In such a faith is happiness,
In lack of it is misery and pain:
Blessed is he who swerveth not aside
From this straight path:
Blessed is he whose life is lived
Thus ceaselessly in serving God:
By bearing others' burdens,
And so alone,
Is life, true life, to be attained:
Nothing is hard to him who, casting self aside,
Thinks only this-
How may I serve my fellow-men?


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