Treasure Island

Ananta Madhavan

'Tamas' or Torpor

I sometimes feel that people become stumps.
They move by millimeters,
Emitting a dull, hostile glimmer;
They gather up their feeble energies
And vaguely lunge at one another,
Not quite clashing,
Feeble stumps that vaguely prod and lunge.

- - - - - -
'Tamas' is a Sanskrit term to denote the
third of Three Types of character, ('Tri-Guna') ,
which is prominent in a person who is habitually
full of sloth, torpor or lethargy. This mode of
living is contrasted with 'Satva', the first 'guna' of
the virtuous; and the second 'guna' of 'Rajas', passion.

Submitted: Friday, June 20, 2014

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Topic(s): character

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I saw that people do change in temperament and behaviour. The Indian epics exalt the 'Satva' temperament as the best suited to life among fellow beings. But I found that 'accidie' (sloth, lethargy) and impulsive passion and violence are modes or tendencies hard to resist.

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