Sunday, April 26, 2015


If raping women is a fair game then I withdraw in some totally closed up monastery


The long introduction and the numerous notes are necessary for us to estimate the value of this long poem. In English it sounds wordy. Is it really?

The translation, from the excerpts in Sanskrit given in the notes, misses one essential point of this poetry: its Sanskrit musicality. A bilingual edition would have been a lot fairer. The Sanskrit language in the various songs has two characteristics: the musicality of the vowels that are repetitive in many ways and the rhythm of the consonants that are repetitive too. Sanskrit poetry is based on the syllable whereas the English language is based on the tonal stressed and unstressed syllables. The consonances and assonances of Sanskrit cannot be kept in English, and what’s more the syllabic rhythm cannot either. We miss this dimension enormously.

In fact the poem is a serties of short poems that tell the story in-between the songs themselves that are incantations which means these songs have to be repetitive since they are both a homage to the loved one or ones and a sort of prayer to some kind of god of love. They thus use the tantric form of that type of ritualistic poetry  of the mantra and each stanza has a repeated burden of one or two lines turning the songs into prayer mills. This repetitive character founds the love rite that is behind this poem.

And that’s the most surprising element. It is no love. It is only desire and sex. The images (and in English that’s all that is left) are nothing but some nice wrapping added to that purely animal, physiological sexual intercourse. Krishna takes any woman he can find and pretends he only loves one. In fact we can think he is a perverse rapist who tries to make the one he wants jealous by taking others till she yields to his advances. Krishna is pitiful and pathetic and we seem to miss that dimension because the repetitive form of the songs without the musicality and the rhythm makes it in a way humdrum if not boring. In fact we just jump this repeated lines that bring nothing at all once we have read them one time.

In fact since Krishna is a god of his own he is a model literally imposed onto the psyche of any man in that ritualistic cultural field: you have to take women because you are a man and you have to use these women as some kind of bait for the one you pretend you love in order to conquer her and submit to her own desire to satisfy yours and eventually submit her to your own domination. Where is love in all that? That’s nothing but rape and possession (two meanings intended). It is such a deeply ingrained religious vision that explains the narrow minded heterosexuality in this cultural field and the ritual cult dedicated to raping women that is finally coming to the attention of the world in India.

That kind of tyrannical attachment of males to the satisfaction of their physiological drives and impulses is nothing but “tanha” and that is the fundamental behavior rejected by Buddhism. The Buddhist tradition is the total flushing down of such attitudes, actions, and even mental visions that are nothing but blind flesh and blood thirst and hunger. There is no love there because there is no compassion, no empathy, no respect of the other, no mental dimension except if we consider being haunted by sexual impulses is a mental activity. For me it requires a long sojourn in a mental hospital or clinic more than any respect at all.

It is difficult to say anything about this poem since we miss the original music and rhythm and we only have some ranting of a pubescent teenager who is sowing his own wild and irresponsible oats everywhere. Such an attitude deserves the firmest rejection and condemnation that Buddha himself leveled at such people unworthy of any attention. But imagine a society where their gods are like that. Shakespeare and his sonnets are blushing with shame at this total lack of love and the reduction of man’s and woman’s most beautiful passion to nothing but an animal drive. And animal metaphors are galore everywhere, though the poet seems to love bees drunk on their own over-sweet honey.


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