The Seers of Truth - Literature, Responsibility
and Brave Hearts.
excerpts from - P. R. Sarkar
The aim of artistic creation is to impart joy and bliss.
The bestowers of this bliss, the servers of the people,
cannot keep their daily lives aloof from commonplace
events, mingled with pleasures and pains, smiles and
tears. The children of the soil of this earth are those
with whom literature must remain inseparably associated
- and the writer is also one of them.
A Writer's Responsibility
People seek deliverance from the whirlpools of darkness;
they aspire to illumine their lives and minds with ever-new
light. In all their actions, in all their feelings,
there is an inherent tendency to move forward; therefore
the creator of art cannot remain idle or inert. Yet
human beings on their journey through life may sometimes
stop short in fear or apprehension. Sometimes their
knees give way and they sit down fatigued and frustrated.
At such times the responsibility of the gifted writer
becomes all the more significant. And when the writers
sing their songs of forward movement, they have to be
very cautious about one more thing: after every artistic
creation they must look back carefully to determine
whether those for whom they have sung their marching
songs are capable of moving forward with them - whether
their thought-waves are touching the core of the people's
hearts, whether their service is really doing good to
In the literary world, the garland of glory goes only
to those who are ever-aware of their responsibilities
as writers. Real writers are not only the beacons of
the present, they are also the minstrels of the past
and the messengers of the future. They are capable of
providing proper leadership for the future only after
grasping the relational flow between the past and the
present. Past, present and future must become beautifully
interwoven in their compositions: only dreaming of a
bright future will not suffice. One must remember that
all the potentialities of the future lie embedded as
seeds in the womb of the present, just as the blossoms
of the present were sown in the past.
Good literature, in order to fulfill the demands of
the time, must move in unison with society, keeping
control over its speed. The writers may move a step
or two ahead, for they are the guides of society; but
they should not move too far forward. Movement is the
characteristic of life, and so everything must move.
Writers cannot fling humanity into the stagnancy of
death, for in this there is no thought of benevolence.
So moving together with the people they will continue
singing their marching songs - they will go on filling
the human mind with the sweet nectar of eternal life.
Writers must prove their sense of responsibility through
every line of their pens. Command over language and
ideas is not sufficient. Something more is needed: the
power to delve deeply into any matter - the earnest
effort to identify the mind with the minds of all, to
penetrate into the essence of truth. Those who, possessed
with a little superficial knowledge of life, are mere
jugglers of language, cannot produce ideal literature.
In the language of the Vedas a writer is called Kavi
or seer of truth. Only such seers can create true literature;
for the task of a writer is to hint at the future, and
the ability to look into the future belongs to the seers
of truth alone.
Literature Expresses the Dynamism of Humanity
The world is the thought projection of the Cosmic Mind,
and so there is no question of any pause, even for a
moment, in this eternal flow. Whether humans may desire
it or not, society will have to move forward through
ceaseless environmental changes. Literature is the psychic
expression of this dynamism of humanity. It is for this
dynamic humanity that literature has been created, and
so it cannot be static, nor shall it ever become static.
The thought-provoking expressions that are created with
the brush of the artist and the pen of the writer are
changeable, and so the artist and the writer should
always keep vigilant eyes on these changing currents
in society. Although the momentum of society depends
on various factors, it is largely determined by psychological
and cultural transformations.
Writers must not remain intoxicated with the colourful
spell of their imaginations, nor should they drive humanity
to despair by constantly harping on the failures of
the practical world, or singing the songs of frustration.
Writers must be closely attuned to the changes in both
the psychological trends and the cultural evolution
which remould the social structure. Not only the writers,
but all the creators of art should wield their pens
or brushes with a synthetic outlook. Artistic endeavour
may be justified only when it results in the all-round
development of society.
Artists need Courage
So real artists or writers before wielding their brushes
or pens, should understand clearly in which way the
society is moving and why it is moving in that direction
- what are the fundamental causes of its inherent weakness
- and from which doctrines the depraved propensities
which are infecting the society emanate. And merely
understanding will not suffice: the artists may have
to resist the surging current of destruction single-handedly.
It is through clashes that power finds expression.
In a life which is averse to fight - where the urge
for fight is feeble - there life's expression also remains
vague and indistinct. Human intellect is indeed awakened
through various kinds of natural, social, psychic and
economic struggles. Those who seek the awakening of
their intellects should not be afraid of struggle. Each
of the social, economic and psychological principles
of human life keep on changing from age to age. Endowed
with the strength of past experiences, human beings
seek to create their future wealth: this is an undeniable
In order to give full expression to this continuous
flow of humanity's true nature, then insight, power
of expression, and boldness - all three are necessary.
The creation of ideal literature is not possible for
those who are ever ready to yield to the pressures of
Art as Service
The author's literature and the artist's creation of
art are indeed dedicated to the service of humanity,
and so the writer and the artist must always deeply
remember this truth. They will have to delineate their
subject or theme in such away that people, while assimilating
it, may not feel any impediment in the path of their
development. Interest must be created through natural
expression. The suggestion of subtle hints, interest
and humour that exists even in the crudeness of ordinary
life has to be adroitly held up before the eyes of the
people - a touch of its colour must be conveyed to their
It is easy to talk, but difficult to act; for in spite
of mental characteristics being the same in all persons,
they are expressed differently at different times, at
different places, and in different persons due to variations
of reactive momenta or environmental peculiarities.
If the artist's mind can be made to touch the innermost
hearts of others - if their human sentiment can be synchronised
with others' sentiments - then alone can people determine
which path will be truly beneficial for them, which
road will lead to the greatest unfoldment of their potentialities.
If the potentialities of individual or collective development
are not clearly understood, the psychic wealth of humanity
may be misused at any moment.
The Apex of Artistic Practice
Whatever be the profound, philosophical implications
of the word love, or prema in sanskrit, the true characteristic
of prema is supra physical -beyond the bondage of any
limitation. When artists, absorbed in the essence of
love, try to convey it to the people through their language,
rhetoric and subtle suggestions, the sweetness of their
artistic genius reaches the apex of expression.
But then this creation of the artist cannot be regarded
as popular literature or art, because the subtle sense
which is capable of comprehending that transcendental
feeling is, indeed, undeveloped in most people. We do
find at places in the literature of Rabindranath Tagore
some semblances of this pure, supra-physical love, but
whenever Rabindranath tried to give expression to it,
he became unintelligible to the mass. The transcendental
thoughts and ideas of the sweet, graceful shlokas of
the Upanis'ads are also incomprehensible to the common
This sublime prema or love has established itself for
all eternity beyond the limits of time, space and person.
Infinite love is the ultimate ecstatic expression of
finite love. This very sense that artists try to awaken
in the popular mind - when they devote themselves to
the task of establishing the link between the finite
and the infinite, between the mundane and the transcendental
- this very awareness though not purely transcendental,
verily bears the highest importance in the realm of
art. Through expressions which are comprehensible to
ordinary intelligence, it gradually leads the sweetness
of the human mind to a supra-sensible dreamland.
Knowledge of the Cosmic Mind
The greatest obstacle in the collective progress of
the human race is the ignorance of the individual mind.
Knowledge is for all - it should be open and free like
the light and air of the sky. I would say that an artist
should try to convey whatever they know to the hearts
of the people in an easily understandable manner.
The sole cause of the internal weakness of human society
is its ignorance. The superlative intuition that removes
this ignorance is nothing but the thought of the Cosmic
Mind. Art or literature is one of those sources from
which common people get the opportunity to become established
in the Cosmic Mind. If the mind of one fails to know
the minds of others, if the minds of many are not comprehended
by the mind of one, then how is the establishment of
unity possible? The endeavour (sa'dhana') of the artist
or the writer has been continuing through the ages,
and its aim is to see One among many, and to lead the
many to the path of One. In this effort there is no
imposition, no injunction of the Law, nor the imperious
pressure of any administration, only a sweet and cooperative
relation. Though separated by many countries, many states,
many religions, many communities and many languages,
the human race is an indivisible entity.