The Song of the Sannyasin

July 30, 2007 Kamala Amma's Grace

Dearest Friends and Family,

We wanted to share this with all of you. This is the only direction open to us, otherwise, our existence will be a never ending nightmare. What follows is a poem written by Swami Vivekananda, in New York in 1895. You may recall that Vivekananda was the Sanatan Dharma’s first Spiritual Ambassador to the west in recent history. [ Sanatan Dharma means Eternal Truth – the name that Indian’s gave their religion. The British, with their unfortunately woeful ways of pronunciation, had followed the Persian epithet – Hindu. As I understand it, the word Hindu is another mispronunciation by the Persians, who found the Indian people living on the side of the Sindhu river, but had difficulty pronouncing ‘S”s. So, they called those people Hindus, their language – Hindi, and the British followed suit with ‘Hindu-ism’. We do see that the ancient Zorastrians worshipped the same aspects of God mentioned in the Rig Veda, for example- Surya – which Persians called, Hurya, etc. I don’t know why I mentioned all this. I must be in a chatty mood.]

When in the USA, Vivekananda gave a fantastic speech at the Chicago Conference of Religious Liberals – the Parliament of World Religions, the same year that he wrote this poem. The deep common sense that he was able to evoke among the people there, caused great interest to grow in the US towards the metaphysical sciences of India. 100 years later, in 1995, Amma addressed the same yearly gathering. I think Her talk then was called, Unity is Peace, not certain on that though. Please pray for us, we need your prayers to find the Reality, where our Anni abides.

Loving you, Kamala – poem follows.

Song of the Sannyasin, by Swami Vivekananda, 1895

Wake up the note! The song that had its birth
far off, where worldy taint could never reach,
In mountain caves, and glades of forest deep,
Whose calm no sign for lust or wealth or fame,
Could ever dare to break, where rolled the stream
Of knowledge, truth, and bliss that follows both,
Sing high that note, Sannyasin bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

Strike off thy fetters! Bonds that bind thee down,
Of shining gold, or darker, baser ore
Love, hate – good, bad – and all that dual throng
Know, slave is slave, caressed or whipped, not free,
For fetters though of gold, are not less strong to bind,
Then off with them, Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat Om!”

Let darkeness go, will-o’-the wisp that leads
With blinking light to pile more gloom on gloom
This thirst for life, for ever quench, it drags
From birth to dath, and death to birth, the Soul
He conquers all who conqers self. Know this
And never yeild, Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat Om!”

“Who sows must reap,” they say, “and cause must bring
The sure effect, good, good, bad, bad; and none
Escape the law. But whoso wears a form
Must wear the chain.” Too ture, but far beyond
Both name and form is Atman, ever free.
Know thou art That, Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

They know not truth, who dream such vacant dreams
As father, mother, children, wife and friend.
The sexless Self! Whose father He? Whose child?
Whose friend, whose foe is He who is but One?
The Self is all in all, none else exists;
And Thou art That, Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat Om!”

There is but One – The Free – The Knower – Self!
Without a name, without a form or stain,
In Him is Maya, dreaming all this dream.
The Witness. He appears as nature, soul.
Know thou art that, Sannyasin Bold!
Say – “Om Tat Sat, Om!”

Where seekest thou? That freedom, friend, this world
Nor that, can give. IN books and temples vain
Thy search. Thine only is that hand that holds”
The rope that drags thee on. Then cease lament,
Let go thy hold, Sannyasin bold! Say –
“OmTat Sat, Om!”

Say, “Peace to all! From me no danger be
To aught that lives. In those that dwell on high,
In those that lowly creep. I am the Self in all!
All life both here and there, do I renounce,
All heavens, and earths and hells, all hopes and fears.”
Then cut thy bonds. Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

Heed then no more how body lives or goes,
Its task is done. Let Karma float it down,
Let one put garlands on, another kick
This frame; say naught. No praise or blame can be”
Where praiser, praise, and blamer, blamed are – one.
Thus be thou calm, Sannuasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

Truth never comes where lust and fame and greed
Of gain reside. No man who thinks of woman
As his wife can ever perfect be;
Nor he who owns the least or things, nor he
Whom anger chains, can ever pass thro’ Maya’s gates.
So give these up, Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

Have thou no home. What home can hold thee, Friend?
The sky thy roof, the grass thy bed, and food,
What chance may bring, well cokked or ill, judge not.
No food or drink can taint that noble Self
Which knows Itself. Like rolling river free
Thou ever be, Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

Few only know the truth. Ther est will hate
And laugh at thee, great one, but pay no heed.
Go thou, the free, from place to place, and help
Them out of darkness, Maya’s veil. Without
The fear of pain or search for pleasure, go
Beyond them both, Sannyasin Bold! Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

Thus, day by day, till Karma’s powers spent
Release the soul for ever. No more is birth,
Nor I, nor thou, nor God, nor man. The ‘I’
Has All become, the All is ‘I’ and Bliss
Know thou art that, Sannyasin Bold!” Say –
“Om Tat Sat, Om!”

No Responses to “The Song of the Sannyasin”

  • refractor says:

    Karma is used to justify the subjugation of lower castes by upper castes. I disagree with the duty concept.

  • Raji(Rajeswari Arun) says:

    Actually i dont know if i should write this now,but This song reminds me of the poem Master has sung in one of his cassettes-the Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson. They r different in their own ways,but somehow ,reading Swamiji’s peom freshened up my thoughts about Master’s recital…Maybe because that is one poem which i think is equally liberating as this one.

  • Divya says:

    Om Namah Sivaya

    Hi Kamala and Link,

    I have with me a copy of Amma’s address at the 1993 Parliament of Religions, “May Your Hearts Blossom.” Towards the end of the booklet is Amma’s “The Message of Sanatana Dharma.” For me, this short speech gives the essence of Amma’s teaching. Amma teaches us about the nature of the mind, about compassion, and the purpose of religion.

    I’m a bit scared of “Song of the Sannyasin” for its very boldness. Slowly, slowly I’m trying to cultivate that equanimity. I’m finding that spiritual practices, time, Grace, and insights are healing deep, old wounds. My path has always involved a lot of pain—and what can I say other than it drives me towards God/the Self. Thank God that even the worst nightmare is ultimately only a passing dream. And what is Real never changes. How fortunate we are to have such a Motherly Master, patiently guiding our steps. Om Tat Sat.

    In Amma, Divya

  • Link says:

    Sister Divya has found the correct reference for Amma’s Speech at the World Parliment of Religions, 100 years after Swami Vivekananda.

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