Saturday, August 23, 2008
The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran
First of all, thanks to Anu for presenting me this book.
The following is what Claude Bragdon had to say about this work. I couldn’t agree more.
“This power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life else it could not have been so universal and so potent, but the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own.”
It’s not only a beautiful but great work of poetry by Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931), Lebanese – US Arabic novelist, essayist, poet and painter. I was reminded of Tagore’s Gitanjali.
It’s almost sacred.
The author has expressed his thoughts on various subjects like love, marriage, children, giving, good and evil, judgment etc… The narration takes the form of questions and answers exchanged between Almustafa and the people of Orphalese. The 115 pages include twelve drawings by the author.
Following are some of the lines that appealed to me most.
Think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Stand together, yet not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart. The Oak and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
They are the result of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts for they have their own thoughts.
You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
Buying and Selling
The earth yields her fruit and you shall not want if you know how to fill your hands.
When in the market place you toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weavers and potters and the gatherers of spices, - invoke then the master spirit of the earth to come into your midst and sanctify the scales and the reckoning that weighs value against value.
And before you leave the market place, see that no one has gone his way with empty hands.
Crime and Punishment
As a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree, so the wrong doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
When one of you falls down, he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
And he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
The guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured.
If he must know the ebb of your tide let him know its flood also.
What is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
A must read for all.