An Invocation – Tagore’s The World Has Gone Mad

My father and I must be of the same mind. It always surprises me how he always seems to know. After all the furious facebooking/gmailing I did this morning on caste and capital punishment, I find this translation pop up in my inbox. I haven’t spoken to him in weeks. Just got off the phone with him.

Photo by Jennifer Gentzyel

The world has gone mad with envy
Each day a new agonizing conflict breaks out
It’s sadistic path blocked with inextricable greed.

The oppressed are longing for a new start
O Lord, please wipe out despair
Bring the message of eternal hope
By unfolding your lotus of love
O Peaceable, O Free, O Eternally Pure,
Please rid this world of shame

Come, Great Giver, initiate us with the difficult concept of forgiveness
O Greatest of Beggars, please accept our alms of pride
Allow humanity to forget sorrow and remove this pride
Let knowledge shine like the rising sun in the morning
Let our hearts receive everyone and allow the people who see to accept those who do not
O Peaceable, O Free, O Eternally Pure,
Please rid this world of shame

Our heart, heavy with cries, still shines with burning light
Unsatiated by the abnormal coveting of poisonous material possessions
Country after country worships the shame of blood
Please bring your blessed conch in your right hand
To invoke forgiveness and bless us with beauteous song
To wipe out envy
O Peaceable, O Free, O Eternally Pure,
Please rid this world of shame

(Tagore’s poem translated by Gopal and Pampi Das on 9/15/2011)