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Krishna Srinivas: Quest for Reality

Among the post –Savitri Indian English poets, Krishna Srinivas (b. 26 July 1913, d. 14 December 2007) stands as a learned poet, writing with the intuitive intellect. He as a seer of poetic truth composes with the soul-force, expressing the variety of spiritual experiences and knowledge to emphasize the essential inward existence vis-à-vis the outward existence as the basis of true life and living. He explores the intricacies of nature, its secrets and surprises, with a penetrating vision and comprehends the totality of life in a soul-realizing language.

Inwardness is his strong sign: His message has the all-embracing and all-transcending texture of the Indian soul and inner contemplation of Eternity which has been the Indian path throughout the centuries. His ideal is not to withdraw from life but to live life by the light and power of the spirit. He shows preference, not for the fleeting or momentary, but for the everlasting, eternal, and wants to utilize human life for realizing the immortal spirit, the infinite consciousness in him. The world is the individual writ large, the Platonic magnified man. He searches it through and within him, and thus tries to symphonize the natural and divine, the outer and the inner, the limited and the absolute, the mental desires and the fullness of peace and eternity. Peace and harmony are his passion and synthesis out of chaos his forte.

As a poet of inner aspiration–the aspiration to know, to feel, to communicate the Reality that pervades the universe–he explores the unity in diversity which is, to quote Rabindranath Tagore, the “inmost creed of India.” Like Sri Autobindo or Tagore, he attempts at creating a spiritual basis of our life and being with the awareness of unity with all beings. He wants us to change the outer existence by the inner influence so that universal love, friendship and peace could reign the earth.

It is his quality of the mind and attitude towards the problems of life, as expressed in his twenty or so volumes of poetry that render him a distinctly Indian English poet, remarkable for vision and creative power. His poems of medium length such as River, Wind, Ageless Fire, Earth, and Void which later appeared in an abridged form as Five px7 primal flow reviews Elements (1981) drew world attention for their epic and cosmic dimension. Though these may defy understanding “except in primordial terms,” as K.R.S. Iyengar points out, what is attempted is strictly beyond attainment. In fact, he creates mantra of words with total consciousness and maintains poetry as a “state of being,” a whole distinct way of life, of living, of approach to life. What he writes is also spiritual philosophy, assimilating subtle psychological, social and intellectual truths.

The poet tries to weave webs of relationship between the cosmic, the historical, the scriptural, the mythical, and the personal, and the reader is often thrilled and baffled, edified and exasperated. Moses and Buddha, Valmiki and Neruda, the Waste Land and the Solitary Reaper, Zen and dhyan, East and West-all tumble together, and one feels exposed to a variety of echoes and intimations from the poets, prophets, and philosophers of all time. He appears to be involved in a mystic venture to unite all differences into one illimitable permanence.

His art consists in his departure from the general vein of writing in the 1970s and 1980s. The significance of Krishna’s poetry lies in the greatness and worth of its substance, the value of its thought. It is forceful in its substance, art and structure. Krishna’s poetic perception is characteristically the interplay of Indian mind and spirit, rich in symbolized experience and creative capacity, including the history of man’s past, present and future.

Like any ancient Indian thinker, Krishna points to the unchanging inner, spiritual aspect of man. His spiritual imagination discovers that one is more than mere human body, and human body is the abode on non-material essence, the Soul, which is beyond the physical laws of the world. The soul is truth consciousness and bliss, which is all pervading, and is the cause and sustaining force of this universe. He perceives that the power which created the external world is just a manifestation of that power, Brahman. This spiritual motive dominates his poetic creation throughout. He strives for a socio-spiritual reformation, when he writes about the ultimate truth of the spirit, and wants people to refine their actual life in the light of the truth of the spirit.