Creation from Shunya - Book Review
New Consciousness is Arriving!
Creative Response to Shunya poems: My experiments with Corporate Rhymes
By Dr. Subhash Sharma-
IBA Publications (2010)
“From the Shunya we emerge, in the Shunya we merge
Evolution and involution are this world’s final urge”
Shunya -the Sanskrit word denotes a metaphysical reality. It is on account of Shunya that everything becomes possible. Sometimes represented as the dot the centre of the energy vortex, it also incorporates the idea of zero. It is nothing yet it is everything. It is called Shunya meaning absolute void, and bindu, the seed, the source of all energy.
Shunya poems can be seen as the reflections of an author who has in a unique way an experience of association with many ‘Creations from Shunya’, particularly in the management education field in India. These institutions are now well known at the regional, national and international levels. Educated in India and USA, Dr Subhash Sharma holds PhD from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad with earlier background in science. His significant academic contributions towards a creative synthesis of Western and Eastern concepts in management and social thought have received wide attention and acknowledgement by many reputed scholars.
If you have come across a small book with a very attractive black cover page depicting the big bang, and the first poem as “Shunya se Srishti ka Sarjan” ;you have probably laid your hands on the most recent book by the author Prof Subhash Sharma titled “Shunya Poems :My experiment with Corporate Rhymes” which presents new ideas and mantras in management and social thought in the form of collection of 21 poems. It is not often that one comes across something that is so insightful that meets perfectly the adage of ‘small is beautiful’. This book offers a collection of poems that are characterized by easy insight into simple human relations, gentle irony and a realistic view of the world in which we live. In his work he expresses his thoughts, vision and comments over the contemporary society and state, but what gives you pleasure reading this is its simple and easy way of narrating the thoughts that are surprisingly refreshing and enjoyable though they are about simple and very ordinary country people and their commonplace problems and wishes.
Influence of a number of sources can be seen in his poetry. These include the spiritual as well as the scientific traditions and their possible merger. The poet beckons current reality and then transforms it to tomorrow’s dream-dawn by way of his beautiful expression. The book is a wonderful rendition of word play and peaceful meditations. None of the poems are more than a single page long, which makes them easy to read. Shared below is one of my favorite poems – ‘I am a free verse’ which is a wonderful treat as it leaves the reader with a feeling of self-empowerment and strength that one can shape the destiny as he/she wants; somewhat describing the characteristics of individuals having an internal locus of control, emphasizing the need to have faith in oneself. It also enthuse the reader with a positive feeling of a liberated self somewhat akin to Vivekananda message in his last Para of his song titled- “The song of the free” (quoted below: Table 1).
Prof Subhash Sharma- I am a free verse (2010)
Swami Vivekananda (1895)– The Song of the Free
I am a free verse
Moving freely in the universe
I am a free bird
Moving star ward 2.18.1
I am my own cult
I am my own ism
I am my own mirror
I am my own prism…I am a free verse. 2.18.2
From dreams awake, from bonds be free
Reading the book gives a feeling that the poems are a collection of poems from over a lifetime experience of the author and that they were put together in a single volume for preservation. However, don’t look for a common theme that holds the entire collection together. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the poems is the universality in themes. Prof Sharma does not just write about himself and his world. He writes about the world from his unique perspective and has a distinctive cultural voice that is worth noting. Invest an evening in the reading of this book ‘Shunya Poems’ and you will soon realize that it is worth several re-readings as each poem touches an emotion deep within the reader.
As you flip through the pages of the book you will be surprised at the skill of the author of taking you in different world at the same time. For instance, as you read the poem. ‘Ye Kis Kavi ki Kavita’ it will force you to think about the ironies of the existing world and visualization of GOD. The poet articulates GOD in, yet another poem titled “GOD: Great order and Disorder” where he writes;
Once Nietzsche, Darwin, Marx and Gandhi met
Nietzche said, God is dead
Darwin repeated, God is dead 2.15-1
A farmer said, God is in cowshed
A poor men said God is in bread 2.15-2
As I overheard the conversation
I also said, God is not dead
Because God is nature’s Great Order and Disorder
Always creating a new order
Expanding its cosmic consciousness
Nature is alive and nature is not dead 2.15-7
The author has added footnotes for the ease of understanding of the reader and to further facilitate the thinking process.
Here is a lovely poem which I read during my school days. This inspirational poem by Dwarka Prasad Maheshwari (Table 2) emphasizes unity in diversity which seems to be lost in the multiplying divisions that the world is currently witnessing. Taking this idea of unity forward the author Prof Sharma attempts to chart a new story of development when he tries to give a new identity to the people by coining the term “Saarcistaan” in his book Shunya Poems that indeed echoes a new Vani (voice).
Dwarka Prasad Maheshwari
Prof Subhash Sharma
Hum sab suman ek upvan ke
Ek hamari dharti sabki
Jiski mitti se janme hum
Seenche gai ek jal se hum
Pale hue hain jhool jhool kar
Palno me hum ek pavan ke
Hum sab suman ek upvan ke…
Pakistani sindhustani hindustani
Mai kehta hoon tum sab sun lo ek nai vani. 2.3.1
Sadion se hum sabka hai apas me dana pani
Mai kehta hoon tum sab sun lo ek nai vani 2.3.4
Pakistani hindustani saarcistani
Mai kehta hoon tum sab sun lo ek nai vani 2.3.7
The unconscious was considered by Freud throughout the evolution of his psychoanalytic theory a sentient force of will influenced by human drive and yet operating well below the perceptual conscious mind. For Freud, the unconscious is the storehouse of instinctual desires, needs, and psychic actions. One of the deep hidden desire of the author to unite people with a common thread, probably operating at his unconscious level can be seen manifested in different poems shared in this book. For instance:
(1) The poem ‘Ek nai vani’ (table 2) will ignite the readers heart with the feeling of universal unity.
(2) The author gives a new raga to sing in another poem where he writes:
“Boli bharat desh ki janta
Raam Allah god Ananta” 2.4-1
Yehi to hai naya ‘Raga Ananta’
Raam Allah god Ananta” 2. 4-8
This poem is a powerful act of conscience that explores the fragile yet common soul of all humanity.
(3) The following poem gives the message for racism in a very powerful yet implicit way:
“White is black and black is white
They are the two forms of the same light” 2.20-6
(4) People who create differences on the basis of religion/caste must read this beautiful poem that starts with;
“Sab Dharmon ka ek hi taraf ishara hai
Ram bhi hamra aur Rahim bhi hamara hai” 2.5-1
The above was just a glimpse of one aspect of the author relating to “We are One” that I couldn’t resist sharing. This small book will take you on a journey about life, people, relationships, self-reflection, capitalism, liberation, a state of consciousness, positive energy and imagination. After all bustle of your active life you can really find this book a source of refreshment yet leaving you with thoughts to ponder. It is heartening to note that many of the author’s corporate rhymes have become institutional songs which are covered in the Part III of this book. ‘Step by step’- the song of success has been adopted by the students of IBA Greater Noida and Bangalore. The song of creativity, optimism and wisdom titled ‘Light in my Heart’ has been adopted by the students of WISDOM Banasthali Vidyapith. The song of leadership ‘Matter and anti-matter’ is the song adopted by students of SVAYASA, Bangalore. One striking point to notice is that each poem ends with three symbols –a circle, a triangle and a square that gives a mystical effect which has many connotations including the earth, universe and the cosmic consciousness.
It is said that inside each human being there is a poet. The poet in Prof. Sharma has attempted to touch upon the loftiest heights of truth and has tried to create from his visualizations a positive movement in the world. He has not tried to seek out something which is extreme or exotic yet leaves the readers with thoughts that will last. I can’t resist quoting these few lines from this book that will give you a picture of the heart of the poet in him (somewhat answering the question ‘Who am I’ which was a part of the exercise that I did as a psychology student), describing him best and rest I leave it to you to be mesmerized by the whole range of small poems in this book aptly titled Shunya Poems.
“Na manas ,na budhi na ahankara
Mai to hoon sirf ek aumkara 2.6-1
Behti hai jaise ganga ki dhara
Mai to hoon sirf ek aumkara 2.6-2
Choo loon mai dharti choo loon kinara
Mai to hoon sirf ek aumkara2.6-3
Ek aumkara ek aumkara
Mai to hoon sirf ek aumkara”…2.6-4
© Naqvi Farah (2010) “Shunya Poems: My Experiments with Corporate Rhymes” by Dr. Subhash Sharma, in 3D IBA Journal of Management and Leadership. Vol.2, No-1, pp. 131-134