Indian Impact On Western Literature

The mystical experience, intuition and self-knowledge-all these characteristics are indispensable for writing poetry with a moral seriousness. All great poets are ever in quest for knowing a universal god -- or the spirit of love in everyone.

This worldview is the essence of occultism, and this is simply a new version of ancient Gnosticism and the mystical "Jewish" Kabbalah.

This mysticism began to spread into mainstream culture through famous poets and authors such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Blake, George McDonald, Tolkien, Charles Williams, W.B.Yeats, T.S. Eliot and C. S. Lewis The hidden mysteries were laid bare by these poets

to a thrill-seeking world hungry for an exciting spirituality.

The Nobel Laureate W.B. Yeats was highly influenced by the Eastern philosophy. He was deeply attracted by the “Gitanjali” written by the Indian Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore who stayed with him as his guest in London in 1912. The Vedant philosophy and Buddhism made a great impact on his poetic sensibility. With famous Vedantist scholar Purohit Swami’s help, he translated ten principal Upanishads. Erica Davis Aptly comments about these translations by Yeats: “The Ten Principle Upanishads," is a beautifully translated work, cared for by

one of our most treasured poets. It was released in 1937, fifteen years after Yeats received the Nobel Prize in Literature and two years before his death.”

Another Nobel Laureate T.S. Eliot was highly fascinated by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. His most famous poem The Waste Land concludes with the Sanskrit word “Shantih” (Peace that transcends understanding).

R.W. Emerson was quite fascinated by the Hindu philosophy. He has been called “Boston Brahmin.” The impact of Hindu religion on Emerson’s poetic sensibility is vividly substantiated in the following lines written in praise of Vyasa, the author of the classical Hindu epic “Mahabharata”:

Such was thy strain, Vyasa, saint and sage,
Th' immortal Berkeley of that elder age.
Like him, with flames of holiest rapture fir'd,
To thoughts sublime thy daring mind aspir'd,
And, nature opening to thy ardent glance,
Saw God alone through all the vast expanse.

Article Written By peter09

peter09 is a blogger at

Last updated on 25-07-2016 107 0

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