This exquisite poem is often called ‘Salutation to the Dawn’ or ‘Invocation to the Dawn’. I read it at first, in my school days in Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. It touched me profoundly. I have so often pasted this classic poem, in my mails and on black-boards of classes I have attended. I used to do so when I was serving in the capacity of ‘a quote a day’ agent of my class. The poem was originally written by great Indian poet Kalidasa. Kalidasa was greatest of Sanskrit dramatists.
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!
Well, having said that, it is not that I wanted to discuss about this poem in this post. It’s a particular line from this poem “The very life of life”, which resonates well with the idea of life.
What is this “Very life of life”; in the poem?
Yes, it’s this day. The present; this very moment is quintessence of life and the only thing which would ever be. Eckhart Tolle has written a comely but profound book called “The Power of Now” about this subject.
If you have contemplated about life, you know that many people have many definitions of it. I often contend with conventional usage of ‘life’ as in the sentence “My life has been a sad story”; especially when we are talking about philosophical questions.
The present moment, quintessence of life, has a singular brightness about it. You find it more real than either past or future. What is it that imparts such vividness to it? Past and Future are memories but present seems to be a live stream. What is that which makes it so vibrant? The answer to this question leads you to the answer of the question “What is life”? Or “What is very life of life”?
The present moment is so alive because of you. It’s you who impart reality to this moment. Your presence makes it so vibrant and real. You are quintessence of life and only you are alive. You are life and everything happens to you. The story which is woven with the figments of imagination is not life. That is just a story-plain fiction. You are the cause of life and you are the life. That is the very reason why death cannot happen to you. Death cannot touch life; therefore you cannot ever experience death. There will always be talk about death. You will always hear myriads of things ‘about’ death; but, you will never ever really witness your own death, because, you’re life and you are always going to be with yourself.
You are the very life of life!