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 ~

See ~

1] http://renku.home.att.net/500ESWd.html

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.

2] http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/

3] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WHCworldkigo/

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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