When the Lord is waiting
   Date :04-Jan-2022

When the Lord is waiting
 Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
By Vijay Phanshikar :

The song I came to sing
Remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in
Stringing and in unstringing
My instrument

The time has not come true,
The words have not been rightly set;
Only there is the agony
Of wishing in my heart ...

I have not seen his face,
Nor have I listened to his voice,
Only I have heard
His gentle footsteps
From the road before my house ...

But the lamp has not been lit
And I cannot ask him into my house,
I live in the hope of meeting with him;
But the meeting is not yet ...

- Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
THE spiritual metaphor of this wonderful poem cannot be missed -- though some may not sense it at all. ‘Yes, I am eager to meet Him -- my Lord. And all the time, I am readying myself for that rendezvous. My instrument is yet not ready. I try to string it to perfection, and then unstring it so that I string it back again better. I also have a song in the mind for Him, but the words elude me. Of course, I am yet to see My Lord’s face. I have also not heard His voice, as well. But wait, I have heard and sensed His footsteps outside the door. That was -- and is -- so wonderful a feeling. His footsteps, my Lord’s! I have been longing to meet Him, but the meeting is still to happen. My longing will continue. My stringing the instrument will continue. My searching right words will continue -- so that I can sing a right song to a right instrument to a right rhythm to a right note to a right lyric...! ‘But wait still, my house is not lighted enough to host my Lord within.  
That light is what I now wait for. For, in the darkness within, I cannot take my Lord in. My longing continues ...!’ That is the spiritual message rephrased -- from Gurudev’s poem ‘Waiting’: The Lord cannot be hosted in an unlighted house, cannot be soothed with wrongly-worded songs, cannot be held hostage of love with an improperly-stringed instrument. Hence all the preparation. Hence all the waiting -- during which one readies oneself to receive, welcome and host the Lord.
This is what every devotee has done -- across lands, across cultures. Of course, it is said popularly -- and colloquially -- that the Lord does not need any formality of welcome; that He does not wait for the right song to be sung in His reception; that He is not worried if your instrument is not tuned well ... That may be true. Nay, that is true -- let us agree. Yet, every devotee is also conscious that his -- or her -- Lord is special and needs a special welcome.
So the haste and hassle of preparation -- of the instrument and of the house where to host the Lord. In other words, all this preparation tantamounts to the process of cleansing self -- so that the Lord has a good place to perch. The Lord may not need a five-star temple, thus. But He does need a clean and cleansed place, may be belonging to a non-descript devotee. For that welcome, the Lord also waits! That is when the Lord becomes the real master -- of one’s inner self! Because that is when the Lord and His seeker become one!