Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Guru of Cusswords

I can't believe I haven't posted this...I've intended to since...late 2005!!!!!!!!!
And maybe I did...I don't think so...

my brain these days, these Cupid spring melting into Bacchanalian summer days, is a
Commodore 64 trying to run Office 2007... not to compare the Divine Mother to Bill Gates, mind you...

anyhow--
this comes from Christopher Isherwood's My Guru and His Disciple, an excellent memoir about a doubting Westerner drawn into Eastern spirituality...Isherwood is especially good on why Hinduism appealed to him as an intellectual who was constitutionally averse to religion... I posted on that a little...

but the following was probably my favorite thing in the whole book: an anecdote about Ramakrishna and one of his followers,
Girish Ghosh, an artistic genius and dissipated sensualist that many of Ramakrishna's more "religious" associates strongly disapproved of:

Swami talked about Ramakrishna and Girish Ghosh. They once had a competition to find out which of them knew the bigger number of risqué words. (It was amusing to hear this corny French adjective pop up out of Swami's vocabulary.) After they had both said all the risqué words they knew, Girish bowed down and told Ramakrishna, "You are my guru in this also."

Ramakrishna danced with winos in the street because their staggering reminded him of his own intoxication with God; he (again, to the horror of the "religious") bowed down to prostitutes who, in his sight, were Kali Herself. Though Girish was notorious for his drinkin' and whorin', Ramakrishna never asked him to abstain, never reproved him or quoted scripture at him or warned him of dire reincarnations. It isn't that the saint didn't care for the fate of the sinner's soul, it was just that, for him, the world was so thoroughly permeated with Kali--so thoroughly was Kali--that in his eyes the sinner was a saint already...in his mouth, the foulest words could be a whisper of grace, saying to the sinner: they're not curses, just words...you're not evil, just asleep...

2 comments:

  1. grigorss3:08 PM

    This is one motherf**kin' illuminating #@!**# post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. one can only wonder what the bengali version of the "tube bar tape" would be like...
    K

    ReplyDelete