3] GENERAL AESTHETIC OBSERVATIONS ~ Narayanan Raghunathan
I have written on a few brief personal observations on Haiku in an intertwined aphoristic form ~ My aim is to clarify by pointing ~ It is neither to define Haiku [definitions carry the burden of the limitations of the Euclidean Structures and Infinitely regressing definitions extending for every undefined word into pre-primordialities ~]
Haiku is a gentle ritual of observing a Vast Moment that subtly resonates with the evanescence of the unfolding world around us ~
Haiku is seeing a simple inter-relatedness of somewhat unrelated things but related deeply in an intrinsic Zen Way ~
Haiku is a child's way of pointing out the intense wonder of a delicate universal moment experienced ~
Haiku is a little playfull chat between friends who still show great astonishment at even what is considered trivia by many observers ~
Bodha is Cosmic Awareness ~ The Full Awareness Of The Moment Is Bodha Enveloping Us ~ It Is not Necessary to write about Bodha ~ Majority do not write anything ~ A Few Feel Inclined To Share this Moment Of Bodha with others ~ So A Haiku ~
Haiku is actually "nearly" conversational yet poetic ~ It is also an oral genre ~ [Generally I think all good poetry is also an oral genre ~]
Haiku is preferably generally unintellectual ~ Not A brilliant aphorism or even a mystic koan generally ~ That is to say its terrain is not purely intellectual ~ I sometimes think that active intellect may be even a hindrance for perceiving a Zen-Haiku Moment ~ But surely, Koan like and intellctual Haiku too have their place somewhere in the Haiku Spectrum.
Ideally Haiku attempts to hint at the Great Void [Mahaa Shoonya] underlying and uniting all and transcending all too ~
Zen is "baby-seeing" ~ Haiku is "baby-writing" by adults who refuse to grow up or become babies [at least occasionally] again in their perception ~ The innocence of baby writing is pre-thought, post all thought too ~
Paraphrasing what Dr. S Radhakrishnan said about Hinduism, I may say that "Zen is not a religion but a way of life" ~ Zen Is The Pathless Path Leading Into MahaaNibbana [ Mahaa Nirvana or Satori [ Samaadhi ] in The Infinite Mandalas of The Great Bodhisaattvas ~ Haiku are the wonderfull sights on the Way one shares with Another One on the Way" ~ [ Only A tiny percentage of practising Zen Buddhists write Haiku and now many who write hybrid-haiku in languages other than Japanese and Japanese too are far from being Zen Buddhists even in distant spirit !!! ]
Haiku is generally [ though not necessarily ]ahistorical ~ The "Great Present " obliviates All Pasts And Futures ~ Yet the history of Haiku is implicitly present in each Haiku.
If you carry contempt for The Buddha, Buddhism in general and Zen in particular Haiku may look irritatingly silly ~
Aananda [Supreme Delight ] is the secret of Haiku ~ just A simple smile of wonder, if I may say so and a simple friend to share it ~
All Here Is Eternally New ~ The Sun ~ The Moon ~ The Innumerable Stars ~ The Clouds ~ The winds ~ The Waters ~ The Reflections ~ The Dew-Drops ~ The Well ~ The Ocean ~ The Lake ~ The Pond ~ The Light ~ The Shadows ~ The Fire ~ The Darkness ~ The Myriad Butterflies ~ The Silences ~ The Smile ~ The Countless Coloured Musical Birds ~ Universe Of Insects ~ The Cows ~ The Dogs ~ The Frogs ~ The Donkeys ~ The Pigs ~ The Elephants Etc.! ~ The Bells ~ The Resonances ~ The Crazy Words ~ The Flowers ~ Lotuses ~ Chrysanthemums ~ Jasmines ~ Cherry Blossoms ~ Roses ~ Gul Mohrs ~ Etc~ The Water Falls ~ The Jungles ~ Winter ~ Spring ~ Summer ~ Autumn ~ Christmas ~ New Year ~ Easter ~ Festivals ~ Balloons ~ Incenses~~~~ Beautiful women ~ Children ~ Dreams ~ Buddha Statues ~ The River ~ The Waterfall ~ Rains ~ Breeze ~ ~~~~~~
The Sun Yesterday Is Not The Sun Today ~ Nor is The Sky Nor The Innumerable Activities of The Earth ~ Every Moment Is Eternally New in This Universe of Wonder Forms and Activities ~ This also Naturally hints that The Word "Sun" The Word "Moon" or Any Word Eternally Signifies A New Quality To It-Self With A different Utterance In A different Cosmic Situation ~ All Situations Are Cosmic because we live in The Cosmos ~Every-time The Same Word Hints A Different Situation ~ Every Word Is A Unique Universe ~
The Haiku Tries To See A Mystic Unity In All That Flows Around Us in This Ever-Changing Cosmos Engulfing Us ~ This was the Mystic Unity that was designated as Brahman In Vedic-Upanishadic traditions. "Sarvam Hyetad Brahman" ["Verily All This Is Brahman" ] Mandukyopanishad.
Two Empty Minds Reflect On A Simple Moment and share ~ That is perhaps A Haiku ~
Haiku Is The Delicate Ritual Pointing Indicating to a friend the joyous inexplicable nature of a Fused Moment of Eternity ~ Perhaps It Is Not strictly poetry in the conventional canons of poetry yet it is another silent form of poetry ~
[ Note ~ Metaphor, simile, alliteration, metre, rhyme, allegory, symbolisms, mythological symbols, intellectual ideas etc. used abundantly may be treated as tentatively conventional ~ The poetic devices surely exist in Haiku too but play a very subdued and perhaps subtler function in Haiku when used. Haiku which use various poetic devices more explicitly are classified as "gendai"[ modern style] in contrast with shasei [drawing as it is ] in the Japanese tradition]
Haiku Is A Divine Gift Of Zen And The Miracle Of The Japanese Language ~ There Are many thousand Kigo [season related words] in Japanese ~ [For a list of 500 season words in Japanese [In Roman Script] and their elaborate elucidations in English ~
World Haiku Club is constructing an elaborate kigo data base and Saijiki [ An encyclopedia of season words and things with examples of haiku too ] for each region of the earth based on the Japanese tradition of compilation. Check the following sites for more details and references.
Clearly All Haiku in Languages other than Japanese are a hybrid reaction and really a unique genre in each of the concerned Language each taking absorbing a different tonality in the intrinsic etymological cultural phonetic geographical historical subtleties of the language in a unique way ~ We will tentatively name these hybrid haiku as The Class Of Universal Haiku] ~ [It is a difficult and unrewarding task to translate many Universal Haiku in one language into another language ~ I specially say this because my Haiku in English cannot be satisfactorily rendered in the other languages I know ~ Similarly some Haiku I wrote in Malayalam or Tamizh and even Sanskrit, loose some of their depth and subtlety when rendered in English ~ I hope to elucidate this point taking a few examples and elucidating them in another essay ~ " Culture Geography Language Etymology ~ The Class Of Universal Haiku"] ~
Every word must become inevitable irreplaceable in a Haiku or attempt to be so ~ This principle is true for all poetry and even prose ~ But structurally the Haiku being a tiny genre this becomes more significant ~
In the trivial behold The Great Whole ~ The Haiku Motto ~
Verily Every Moment Is A Perfect Haiku Moment ~ Wordlessly They Vanish Into Eternity ~
Intricate Connections Of The Moment in its Vast Splendour said in a breath ~ A Haiku ~
I am ~ I see ~ I am Not ~ Haiku Empties To Show ~
The Essence Of The Cosmos in the Vast Moment ~ All In It ~ Nothing In It ~ The Wonder Haiku Splash ~
Wordless eloquence in a few words ~ Haiku ~
Cataloging The Maha Shoonya with a golden tag ~ A Haiku ~
The keyless gate opens to the seamless perfection of the Haiku ~
In humility see the butterfly ~
Dissolve Memory ~ Dissolve Word ~ Let The Great Moment Reword Itself into a new Haiku ~
In the hidden pauses in the sublime silences behold the subtle cadence of the Haiku ~
Water the moon and make a new sun ~ See a Haiku ~
Senses fuse into the perfect unity of rapture in Haiku ~ One sees silences hears colours smells light ~
Simply see state and let it Be ~ A Haiku ~
Haiku shows what is Itself commentary free ~
Haiku is a subtle multiply invocative moment finding an embodiment in a few well-formed words and a few sacred silences ~
There is no originality in Haiku ~ All of it seems ancient by the yet unborn Buddha !
Poetry is narrative poetry generally ~ Haiku has no time to narrate ~ It simply hints at a delicate spot of simple delight of perception or drops the seed for a narration ~ But the reader has to make the tree(s) and garden(s) out of the seed.
Haiku is preferably not a proclamation ~ It gently unfolds reveals ~
The True Haijin sees the honest spirit even behind a tentatively ill-formed Haiku ~
Don't learn Haiku ~ Unlearn Haiku ~
From the Vast enter the Detail ~ In the Detail see the Vast ~
Remember and forget the Great Spirit Of hundreds of Great Haiku by Great Masters and reflect ~
Let A Haiku moment be seen and noted well ~
Haiku tries to see all Eternity here Now ~ Haiku dissolves Eternity in the gentle bliss of The Vast Moment ~
Recognize The Cosmos As your Own Projection ~
Every Moment Perceive It as The Absolute Moment ~
Centre to the details in the cosmos ~ Vastly Spread ~ From The Vastness Centre Again ~
See the splendid inter-relatedness of things each enhancing The Great Moment Of Cosmic Perception ~
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