Body - Mind - Heart - Spirit
Read the entire book at http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/tagore/sadh/index.htm
Amazon.com Customer Review:
"In My Top Ten of World Spiritual Classics,"
By Joel Freiser
Like the constancy of the great cellestial constellations, Tagore's Sadhana delivers the message of the human connection to universal transcendance in hauntingly beautiful English prose.
Perched as he was at the cusp of the Twentieth Century, Tagore saw with penetrating insight the fallacies of the age of science when he wrote,
" The man of science knows, in one aspect, that the world is not merely what it appears to be to our senses; he knows that earth and water are really the play of forces that manifest themselves to us as earth and water -how, we can but partially comprehend. Likewise the man who has his spiritual eyes open knows that the ultimate truth about earth and water lies in the apprehension of the eternal will which works in time and takes shape in the forces we realize under those aspects. This is not mere knowedge, as science is, but it is a perception of the the soul by the soul. This does not lead us to power, as knowledge does, but it gives us joy, which is the product of kindred things. The man whose acquaintance with the world does not lead deeper than science leads him, will never understand what it is that the man with the spiritual vision finds in these natural phenomena. The water does not merely cleanse his limbs, but it purifies his heart; for it touches his soul. The earth does not merely hold his body, but it gladdens his mind; for its contact is more than a physical contact, -it is a living prsesence."
When I first read these words over twenty years ago, they took my breath away.I have read and re-read Sadhana many time since then. Each reading or re-visting of favorite passages is as fresh as the first.He says much more that is worth reading in this 164 page gem.
Sadhana is also an excellent primer on classical Hinduism, as Tagore beautifully quotes the Vedas and Upanishads with Sanskrit transliteration to convey the lovliness of the vocal cadences of that ancient tongue.
Sadhana ranks with Psalms, the Tao De Ching, the Dhammapada, Zen Mind Begginers Mind and other enduring classics of world spiritual literature for its directness, simplicity and beauty of expression. My copy is beginning to fall apart so I am delighted to find it is again in print.
Finally, I thank Dr. Purshotam Lal of Calcutta for having introduced me to Tagore as Visiting Professor at Hofstra University in the 1960's. Lal, a Tagore Scholar, also produced a lovely translation (or as he preferred, a "transcreation") of the Dhammapada then published by Farrar Straus in New York. Thanks again, Lal.
Joel Freiser Hoboken, New Jersey