Gitanjali Poem 30 || Summary and Analysis

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I came out alone on my way to my tryst. But who is this that follows me in the silent dark? 
I move aside to avoid his presence but I escape him not.
He makes the dust rise from the earth with his swagger; he adds his loud voice to every word that I utter.
He is my own little self, my lord, he knows no shame; but I am ashamed to come to thy door in his company.

I came out alone on my way to my tryst. But who is this that follows me in the silent dark?  I move aside to avoid his presence but I escape him not.
Gitanjali Poem no. 30

Summary

      The theme of conflict is continued from the earlier poem into this poem. Again Tagore talks about pride and worldly attachments stopping him from coming into God's presence. He says in the voice of the beloved, that he had started out to meet his lover God at the appointed place but then he saw that some body was following him silently in the dark. This other person walks with a proud superior air and raising dust. To every word that the poet utters he adds his loud voice. Then the poet pleads with God, that this other person following him is his own self, his own inner pride and ego and this part of his self has no shame but, the poet, addresses God that he is ashamed to come into God's presence with this self accompanying him.

Analysis

      Tagore talks about how the baser self of man, his pride and ego stops him from his attempt to find total communion with God. The theme here is against reminiscent of the conflict portrayed in the earlier poem and bring out how man is made up of good and bad parts, how he has a baser self and a superior, spiritual self.

      This petty self is portrayed as an impediment in the poet's quest for an union with God. And the message that Tagore wishes to convey is that this petty self fills man's life with unwanted elements (dust) and need to be given up in order that man can fulfill his quest for spiritual salvation. Tagore also conveys the idea that man is aware of this and therefore cannot come into God's presence.

"I came out alone on my way to my tryst. But who is this that follows me in the silent dark? I move aside to avoid his presence but I escape him not. He makes the dust rise from the earth with his swagger; he adds his loud voice to every world that I utter"

      The poet is ashamed of his accompanying ego in his spiritual voyage. But he cannot help it. It is difficult to escape from one's ego. It echoes everything he says. It is the little self of the poet. According to Vedanta the root cause of everything that binds man is ego. It is this which gives one the feeling "I" and "mine". This petty "I", the individual, the prisoner, his environment seeks to shut off the poet from contact with the sublime universal soul. He arises pride, avarice and spiritual luxury that block the progress of the neophyte.

Annotation

      Tryst: appointment fixed between lovers. Swagger: walking with a superior air. He is my own little self: his pride and his ego is part of his own self.

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