On PleasurePleasure is a freedom-song,But it is not freedom.It is the blossoming of your desires,But it is not their fruit.It is a depth calling unto a height,But it is not the deep nor the high.It is the caged taking wing,But it is not space encompassed.Aye, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all and they are judgedand rebuked.I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek.For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone;Seven are her sisters and the least of them is more beautiful thanpleasure.Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for rootsand found a treasure?And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongscommitted in drunkenness.But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement.They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they wouldthe harvest of a summer.Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor oldto remember;And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures,lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.But even in their foregoing is their pleasure.And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quiveringhands.But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly thestars?And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire inthe recesses of your being.Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will notbe deceived.And your body is the harp of your soul,And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.And now you ask in your heart, How shall we distinguish that whichis good in pleasure from that which is not good?Go to your fields and your gardens and you shall learn that it is thepleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasureis a need and an ecstasy.
Kahlil Gibran
Christian missions to India imply that India is a land of heathens and, therefore, stands on the same level with the Andaman or the Fiji Islands. That a country which has been recognised in all ages the world over as the mother of all religions and the cradle of civilisation should be considered as pagan, shows how much ignorance prevails in Christendom. Since the Parliament of Religions, I have been studying Christian institutions and I have also studied the way in which the Christian ministers and the missionaries are manufactured in this country and have learned to pity them. We must not blame them too severely, because their education is too narrow to make them broad-minded. I grant that they are good-hearted, that they are good husbands and often fathers of large families, but generally they are very ignorant, especially of the history of civilisation and of the philosophy of religion of India. Most of them do not even know the history of ancient India.We know that in this age of competition, centralisation and monopoly, very many people are forced out of business. The English say, 'The fool of the family goes into the Church'; so that when a youth is unable to make a living, he takes to missionary work, goes to India and helps to introduce among the Hindus the doctrines of his church, which have long since been exploded by science.
Virchand Gandhi