Gitanjali Poem no. 88 || Summary and Analysis

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Deity of the ruined temple! The broken strings of Vina sing no more your praise. The bells in the evening proclaim not your time of worship. The air is still and silent about you.

In your desolate dwelling comes the vagrant spring breeze. It brings the tidings of flowers - the flowers that for your worship are offered no more.

Your worshipper of old wanders ever longing for favour still refused. In the eventide, when fires and shadows mingle with the gloom of dust, he wearily comes back to the ruined temple with hunger in his heart.

Many a festival day comes to you in silence, deity of the ruined temple. Many a night of worship goes away with lamp unlit.

Many new images are built by masters of cunning art and carried to the holy stream of oblivion when their time is come.

Only the deity of the ruined temple remains unworshipped in deathless neglect.

Deity of the ruined temple! The broken strings of Vina sing no more your praise. The bells in the evening proclaim not your time of worship. The air is still and silent about you.
Gitanjali Poem no. 88

Summary

      The song sings the ill fate of the ruined temple and its forsaken idol of God. The poet laments that in the ruined temple there is no more hymns of praise for the God. The broken strings of vina, the silent air, motionless bells all depicts the ill fate of the ruins of the temple. In the deserted dwelling of the deity the wandering breeze of the spring comes. It brings the news of flowers - the flowers that are no longer offered in worship of this deity. The old worshipper of this deity is wandering here and there with hope and longing in his heart which he ever fails to achieve. He returns to the ruined temple at night, but no lights, no lamp and no worship is offered to the idol installed there. He comes with a hungry heart. Festivals come and go, but there is no worship in the ruined temple. Many new idols are shaped by skillful artists and are forgotten in course of time. But the idol of God remains in the ruined temple, unworshipped and neglected.

Critical Analysis

      The ruined temple and ruined idol symbolized the forsook ideals and values. Like the God of this temple they were once in praise but not totally out of interest. God and religion are eternal, but they are neglected in this materialistic age. The weary devotee symbolizes the pathetic condition of religious man in this world of corporal and materialistic interests.

Annotations

      Vina: musical instrument embodiment of goddess Saraswati. Desolate: deserted. Vagrant: wandering. Tidings: news. Longing: desiring. Eventide: time of evening. Gloom: darkness. Wearily: tiredly Hungry heart: unsatisfied heart. Cunning: skillful. Oblivion: forgetfulness.

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