There once lived a great (as he was considered by his contemporaries) philosopher, Bertand Russel by name. He thought the idea of becoming one with the ocean (i.e. a person’s spirit becoming one with God/Brahman) “conventional stuff and unmitigated rubbish”. He wrote about R. Tagore’s lectures: “I regret I can not agree with Tagore. His talk about the infinite is vague nonsense”.
What would you tell Bertand? Would you agree or disagree? In case of the latter, what explanation would you use to contradict him?..
Ok, no more questions… only the last one: are you interested in what Tagore (1861-1941) answered him?
TAGORE’S LETTER TO BERTRAND RUSSELL
37 Alfred Place W, South Kensington, London, 13 October 1912
Dear Mr. Russell,
…I read your article on the Essence of Religion in the last issue of the Hibbert Journal with very great interest. It reminded me of a verse in the Upanishad which runs thus:
Yato veiche nivartante aprapya manasa saha Anandam Brahmano Vidvan na vibheti Kutushchama.
“From him words, as well as mind, come back baffled. Yet he who knows the joy of Brahman (the Infinite) is free from all fear”.
Through knowledge you cannot apprehend him; yet when you live the life of the Infinite and are not bound within the limits of the finite self you realize that great joy which is above all the pleasures and pains of our selfish life and so you are free from all fear. This joy itself is the positive perception of Brahman. It is not a greed which authority imposes on us but an absolute realization of the Infinite which we can only attain by breaking through the bonds of the narrow self and setting our will and love free.
Thought for the day: “Why are you wasting so much time with trivial and unimportant nonsensical things? What is your destiny?” (Shri Mataji)