Overview for Sahaj Prakash: The Brightness of Simplicity
The book introduces the work of the relatively unknown Hindi devotional poet Sahajo Bai to readers of Indian literature and those interested in Hinduism through the provision of a contemporary translation of her major work Sahaj Prakash. The original text is also given for comparative purposes. Sahajo was a leading disciple of Charandas, one of the great Hindu spiritual masters of eighteenth century Delhi. Her very name suggests â€œsimplicityâ€ , â€œeaseâ€, and â€œnaturalnessâ€. In accordance with these characteristics, the poetry she wrote is marked by its simplicity of style and its directness of emotional expression. Osho Rajneesh, whose discourses focused new attention on Sahajo Baiâ€™s poetry during the 1970â€™s has described her as "a very ordinary, simple-hearted womanâ€, with no pretensions to literary or philosophical greatness. Rajneesh spoke on her work, however, because he believed that â€œshe was awakenedâ€. The style of her poetry is marked by naturalness and directness. Its major themes are human experience, service of the guru, and the company of the holy ones. As the American scholar Daniel Gold has written: â€œSahajoâ€™s guru devotion is legendaryâ€. The poetry delicately hints at the complexity of the relationship between the young woman devotee and her powerful Master.
Harry Aveling (Author)
Harry Aveling is Associate Professor of Asian Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne (Australia) and Adjunct Professor of Southeast Asian Literature, Ohio University. he holds the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy from the National University of Singapore, and Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. With Mrs. Sudha Joshi, formerly Head of the Department of Hindi at that university, Harry Aveling has also edited and translated The Last Morning Star, discourses by Osho Rajneesh on the poetry of Daya Bai (Rebel Publishing House, Pune 2000), and Sahaj Prakash: The Brightness of Simplicity, the poetry of Sahajor Bai (Motial Banarsidass, Delhi 2001).
Sahajo Bai (Author)
Harry Aveling Ph.D. (National University of Singapore), of La Trobe University, served as Visiting Associate Professor of English in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland (College Park) during 1999.