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Tenth. The tenth book that I am going to talk about now is again not a so-called religious book. It is religious only if you meditate over it...if you don’t read it, but meditate over it. It is as yet untranslated being still in the original Hindi, The Songs of Dayabai
. I was feeling a little guilty because I had mentioned Rabiya, Meera, Lalla, Sahajo, and I have left only one more woman worth mentioning: Daya. Now I feel relieved.
The Songs of Daya. She was a contemporary of Meera and Sahajo, but she is far more profound than either of them. She is really beyond numbers. Daya is a little cuckoo – but don’t be worried.... In fact in India the cuckoo is called koyal, and it does not have the meaning of being nuts. Daya is really a cuckoo – not nuts, but a sweet singer like the Indian koyal. On an Indian summer night, the distant call of the cuckoo; that’s what Daya is...a distant call in the hot summer of this world.
I have spoken on her; perhaps someday it will be possible to translate it. But I am afraid it may not be possible, because how can one translate these poets and singers? The East is pure poetry, and the West and all its languages are all prose, pure prose. I have never come across real poetry in English. Sometimes I listen to the great classical Western musicians...the other day I was listening to Beethoven, but I had to stop in the middle. Once you have known Eastern music then there is nothing comparable to it. Once you have heard the Indian bamboo flute then everything else is just ordinary.
So I don’t know whether these singers, poets and madmen of whom I have spoken in Hindi will ever be translated, but I cannot resist mentioning their names. Perhaps the very mentioning will create the situation for their being translated.