Swami Vivekananda called himself “first and foremost” a poet. B. Sulochana Nair explains how. In the book Swami Vivekanandante Mystic Kavithakal, she has gone deep into the philosophy of poetry and spirituality and found “poetry to be a sort of meditation”. How can such a heart, drunk in the beauty of the soul, not sing?
This, she says, is why poets of repute have displayed a self that effaces into the thoughts which shaped their words; Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ is an example. This could also be why spiritual giants such as Jelauddin Rumi, Meera, Kabir, and Milarepa penned poems that are reservoirs of love and ecstasy. Swami Vivekananda, was no different from them, says Sulochana Nair, because only an unfettered soul like him, who has found the same crux in all beings, could write a work as lofty as ‘In Search of God’.
In the poem, Vivekananda talks about the yearning to find his self, the only best friend a man has. She touches upon Vivekananda’s view that it is only through steadfastness and strength that love – “That seems to thrill in unison, with all the chords of my soul” – could be explored.
The book has some poems translated into Malayalam, keeping intact the simple, prose style that Vivekananda himself followed while writing in English, Bengali and even Sanskrit. They unravel the romantic in Vivekananda, drenched in the showers of love, but just that the sphere of his love transcended the frontiers of mundane love. May be because of this, his poems, like Rumi’s, linger on in the reader, with a soft touch of peace that is both nostalgic and fulfilling. The marked sensitivity in him is heady, and even surprising, as he writes, “I look behind and after, and find that all is right. In my deepest sorrow, there is a soul of light.”
The last part of the book is a critical analysis of the poems translated. It gives the context in which they were written and the subtlety behind the words. Rummaging through his poems, she discovers Vivekananda, the dispassionate “Hindoo monk” (as the western press called him), revelled in that beauty.
Swami Vivekanandante Mystic Kavithakal