by Andy Douglas
Western audiences have fallen in love with the mystical poetry of Rumi, Hafiz, and Kabir. In a similar vein, the poems in this book are translations, from the Bengali language, of some of the 5000 songs composed between the years 1982 and 1990 by Indian philosopher, activist and spiritual teacher Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar. Known as Prabhat Samgiita or Songs of the New Dawn, they were a remarkable achievement, marvels of rhythm, melody, and lyrical inspiration. Sarkar’s metaphors for the spiritual life are rich and wide-ranging, his depictions of the natural world beautiful, and his vision of social justice stirring. Most of all, his songs movingly depict the intimate relationship between human lover and Divine beloved. Grounded in the devotional tradition of bhakti yoga, which depicts an embodied Divine, the songs sometimes take the form of conversations, even arguments, between lovers.