Gitanjali Poem No. 71 - Summary and Analysis

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That I should make much of myself and turn it on all sides, thus casting coloured shadows on thy radiance - such is thy maya.

Thou settest a barrier in thine own being and then callest thy severed self in myriad notes. This thy self-separation has taken body in me.

The poignant song is echoed through all the sky in many-coloured tears and smiles, alarms and hopes; waves rise up and sink again, dreams break and form. In me is thy own defeat of self.

This screen that thou hast raised is painted with innumerable figures with the brush of the night and the day. Behind it thy seat is woven in wondrous mysteries of curves, casting away all barren lines of straightness.

The great pageant of thee and me has overspread the sky. With the tune of thee and me all the air is vibrant, and all ages pass with the hiding and seeking of thee and me.

That I should make much of myself and turn it on all sides, thus casting coloured shadows on thy radiance - such is thy maya.
Gitanjali Poem no. 71


      The lyric is the realization of the God. Previously the theme of the poems was the quest of the spiritual power now the quest is over and the poet has realized the omnipresence of the God in every single creature of the God. The poet now sings about His presence and His maya.

      The poet says that God has created man. Man is a part of this Immanent, Supreme will but the maya (illusion) conceived by God makes him forget about his own origin and he attaches a great importance to himself and turns himself about on all sides and in this way throws coloured shadows on His radiance. The poet and other objects of creation are a part of God, himself. He puts a barrier in His own being and produces the creation. The God has separated His part from him and this poignant song of grief is echoed through the sky. The poet feels the defeat of God in himself.

      The maya-illusion created by the God comes between man and his Creator. Like a veil it hides the truth of God. It obscures the radiant white glow of the spiritual power from the eyes of man. This maya makes a man forget about Him. He becomes mysterious and infinite like a circle. God himself has painted this oblivion between man & Himself otherwise everyman has found the ultimate truth, the spiritual power. The God Himself has created a cover on the divine wisdom and man is searching that hidden truth. The God conceals the truth about Himself by His brush. The multi coloured painting, pageant of various forms conceals the Creator, the divine from the naked eyes of this innocent man. The play of hide and seek is still going on.

Critical Analysis

      The poet has realized about the truth of God which is not possible for everyone. Man himself is a part of this divine soul, he is a creation of the Creator still he cries for his union with the Almighty. The quest of God is going on by many. They are wishing for this holy, mystical union because they aren't realized with the ultimate truth. God, himself has created this maya. The illusion takes man away from the harsh reality and man is haunting for universal soul for oneness and completeness. The days come and go, ages pass and man is still searching for God tor reunion while the truth is that God is there in him.

"Thou settest a barrier in thine own being and then callest they several self myriad notes. This thy self separation has taken body in me."

      The poet's quest for God is now complete. Till now he was not aware of the truth. His soul was crying for union with the Divine and he has constantly searching for God. But now he actually feels His divine presence. He now knows the truth, the secret of oneness of him and the Omnipotent. He now learns that he is a part of the Great God. To create the illusionary world, the maya He has put a barrier in Himself and thus created man. Thus man can find God in himself. Besides living in this world, he can feel the great power with him, within him and this is the greatness and immortality in him.


      Make much of: considering the importance. Maya: illusion, the world is the 'maya' of God, beyond understanding. Thy radiance: glow of spiritual power, God. Myriad: various forms. Taken body: bodily, solid form. Poignant: biting, soul stirring. Pageant: show. Vibrant: resounding.

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