Today's Beautiful Gem: `Religion' by Kahlil
"And an old priest said, Speak to us of Religion. And he said:
Have I spoken this day of aught else? Is not religion all deeds
and all reflection, And that which is neither deed nor reflection,
but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while
the hands hew the stone or tend the loom? Who can separate his
faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations? Who
can spread his hours before him, saying, `This for God and this for
myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?' All your
hours are wings that beat through space from self to self. He who
wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin. And he who
defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires. And he to whom
worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet
visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
"Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you
enter it take with you your all. Take the plough and the forge
and the mallet and the lute. The things you have fashioned in
necessity or for delight. For in revery you cannot rise above
your achievements nor fall lower than your failures. And take with
you all men: For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their
hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
"And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your
children. And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the
cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His
hands in trees."
Note: Kahlil Gibran and Rabindranath Tagore are perhaps two of the
greatest mystic poets of the Orient in the twentieth century.
Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao