Leave This Chanting And Singing
"Leave This Singing and Dancing" is a poem written by the renowned Bengali poet and polymath Rabindranath Tagore. The poem was included in the syllabus for grade 10 students in many educational systems. It was first published in Tagore's collection of poems titled "Gitanjali," which earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. The poem delves into the theme of spiritual awakening and urges the reader to look beyond the materialistic pleasures of life and embrace the ultimate truth. With its simple yet profound language, "Leave This Singing and Dancing" continues to inspire readers across generations.
Summary of the poem Leave this singing and Dancing
"Leave This Chanting and Singing" is a poem written by Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali polymath who was one of the most important cultural figures of modern India. The poem urges the reader to abandon superficial expressions of faith and instead seek a deeper, more authentic connection with the divine.
The first stanza of the poem sets the tone by calling out the "chanting and singing" of religious rituals as being empty and meaningless if they are not accompanied by a sincere devotion to the divine. The speaker urges the reader to abandon these superficial expressions and instead focus on finding the true source of spiritual fulfilment.
In the second stanza, the poem turns to nature as a source of inspiration and guidance. The speaker suggests that the natural world can offer a glimpse of the divine, and encourages the reader to seek out this connection by immersing themselves in the beauty of the world around them.
The third stanza is perhaps the most enigmatic, as the speaker seems to suggest that the divine is present within each individual, but can only be accessed through a deep understanding of oneself. The lines "Know thyself, and therein lies the truth" suggest that self-knowledge is the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe.
Overall, "Leave This Chanting and Singing" is a poem that encourages the reader to seek a deeper, more authentic connection with the divine by abandoning superficial expressions of faith and instead focusing on self-knowledge and an appreciation of the natural world. It is a powerful call to look beyond the surface and find meaning in the depths of one's own being.
Chanting - repetitive singing or speaking of religious or spiritual words or phrases
Contextual meaning: The speaker is urging the listener to stop their religious rituals and focus on doing good deeds instead.
Tiller - a person who tills or prepares land for planting
Contextual meaning: The speaker is telling the listener that God is not just in a temple, but also in the fields where the tiller is working hard.
Path-maker - a person who makes or clears paths or roads
Contextual meaning: The speaker is saying that God is also present where the path-maker is working to make the path easier for people.
Garment - a piece of clothing
Contextual meaning: The speaker is suggesting that God is present in the fields, covered in dust just like a person's clothes would be after working hard.
Mantle - a loose sleeveless cloak or shawl
Contextual meaning: The speaker is telling the listener to shed their holy mantle or clothing, and get down to work like the tiller and the path-maker.
Meditations - deep thoughts, often in a religious or spiritual context
Contextual meaning: The speaker is urging the listener to stop focusing solely on their own meditation and prayer, and instead focus on doing good deeds for others.
Incense - a substance that is burned to produce a fragrant scent
Contextual meaning: The speaker is telling the listener to leave aside their offerings of incense, and instead go out and do good deeds for others.
Tattered - torn, ragged, or worn out
Contextual meaning: The speaker is suggesting that the listener need not worry about their clothes becoming tattered or stained while doing good deeds for others.
Toil - hard work, especially physical labor
Contextual meaning: The speaker is telling the listener to stand by God, even during hard work and toil, and to sweat in doing good deeds for others.
Literary Devices Used in the Poem
Imagery: The poet uses vivid sensory details to create images in the reader's mind. For example, "the tiller is tilling the hard ground," "the path-maker is breaking stones," and "his garment is covered with dust."
Metaphor: The poet uses metaphorical language to compare the worship of God in a temple to the real presence of God in the world. For example, "Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee! He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the path-maker is breaking stones."
Symbolism: The poet uses symbolic language to convey deeper meanings. For example, "Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil" symbolizes the need to leave behind religious rituals and connect with God in the real world.
Personification: The poet personifies God by describing his garment as covered with dust, suggesting that he is present in the world and engages in physical labor.
Alliteration: The poet uses alliteration to create a musical effect and emphasize certain words. For example, "Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads!"
Repetition: The poet repeats certain phrases, such as "Leave this chanting," to emphasize the central message of the poem.
Contrast: The poet contrasts the worship of God in a temple with the real presence of God in the world. For example, "Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!"
A. Find the words from the poem which have the following meanings.
a. a small piece of glass or stone threaded with others to make a necklace.........
b. to prepare and use the land for growing crops.........
c. a piece of clothing .........
d. a layer of something that covers a surface .........
e. the state of being rescued from danger, evil or pain..........
f. a substance that produces a pleasant smell when you burn it .........
g. covered with marks.........
h. hard unpleasant work that makes you very tired.........
B. Find the modern equivalents of the following archaic words used in the poem.
a. dost - do
b. thou -you
C. Answer the following questions.
a. Who is the poem addressed to?
The poem is addressed to those who engage in chanting, singing, and telling beads in a temple with closed doors.
b. What does the speaker advise people?
The speaker advises people to abandon traditional forms of worship such as chanting, singing, and performing rituals. Instead, the speaker suggests that people should recognize the divine presence in everyday life, in the hard work of farmers and labourers.
c. Where do people try to find the god?
People try to find the god in temples and other places of worship, as indicated by the reference to a "lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut."
d. Where, according to the speaker, does the god actually reside?
According to the speaker, the god actually resides among ordinary people engaged in everyday work, such as farmers and pathmakers.
e. How can people have a glimpse of god?
People can catch a glimpse of god by recognizing the divine presence in everyday life, by opening their eyes and by seeing god in the work of others.
f. Why can't the god rescue people?
The speaker suggests that god cannot rescue people from their troubles because the divine is bound up in the same struggles as human beings, taking on the "bonds of creation" along with everyone else.
g. What does the speaker ask people to do in the last stanza?
In the final stanza, the speaker asks people to abandon their meditations, leave aside their flowers and incense, and join the god in the toil and sweat of everyday work. He suggests that people should not be afraid to become dirty or stained in the process, but rather should meet the god where he is.
A. Match the following imperative sentences with their functions.
a. Kindly tell me where the bus park is.-vii. making a request
b. Go straight and take the first turn on your right.-i. giving direction
c. Cook the rice in medium heat until it turns tender.-vi. giving instruction
d. Please join us on the tour.- viii. making an invitation
e. Don't feed the animals in the zoo!- ii. warning
f. Wear warm clothes.- iv. giving advice
g. Put your hands up!-iii. making a command
h. Get out of here at once. - v. making an order
i. Let's go for a walk. - ix. suggesting
B. Change the following imperative sentences into negative.
a. Turn left at the junction.
Don't turn left at the junction.
b. Please open the door.
Please, don't open the door.
c. Let him tell a story.
Don't let him tell a story.
d. Put out the light.
Don't put out the light.
e. Let's play a friendly football match.
Let's not play a friendly football match.
f. Please help the man get out of well.
Please, don't help the man get out of well.
g. Instruct the people about how they should work.
Don't instruct the people about how they should work.
B. Write a set of rules and regulations for the visitors in the following places. You may use the expressions given below.
......... is/are ........(not) allowed to .......... strictly prohibited/forbidden to ......., can/cannot ........ is/are required/expected to ....., must /must not ......
a. A Set of Library Rules and Regulations:
- Food and drinks are not allowed inside the library.
- Mobile phones must be put on silent mode and calls must be taken outside the library.
- Visitors are not allowed to make loud noises or engage in disruptive behavior.
- Borrowed books must be returned on or before the due date.
- Visitors must handle library materials with care and report any damages.
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products are strictly prohibited inside the library.
- Visitors must not engage in any activities that are not related to academic or research purposes.
- Visitors are required to show their library cards or identification upon request.
b. A Set of Hospital Rules and Regulations:
- Visitors must not bring in any food or drinks without the permission of the hospital staff.
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products are strictly prohibited inside the hospital.
- Visitors must not disturb or interfere with the medical treatment of patients.
- Visitors are required to follow the hospital's visiting hours and limit their stay to a reasonable amount of time.
- Visitors must not take photographs or videos without the permission of the hospital staff.
- Visitors must not bring in any weapons, illegal drugs, or other prohibited items into the hospital premises.
- Visitors must not engage in any activities that are disruptive to the hospital's operations or to the well-being of patients.