India and America: A Comparative Study of Mysticism

Nature never expresses itself in its complete form. It has surprised every thinker,
philosopher and even layman with its varying shades. In nutshell, one can say that Nature
has concealed many secrets within its heart. Man like nature also conceals many hidden
secrets. The term ‘mysticism,’ comes from the Greek μυω, meaning “to conceal.”
Mysticism means direct intuitive experience of the ultimate reality, by an individual. This
reality could be God or self. In Hinduism, salvation is possible to any person who strives
hard for mukti or liberation, i.e. total freedom from sorrow and ignorance. Spiritual discipline
or penance in the individualistic way or under an able guru helps one to attain this stage.
Mukti is not allowed or recognized in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Absolute faith in the
prophets who founded these religions followed by morality is considered supreme. Those
who do not accept superiority of the teachings of their Prophets or ‘non believers’ are denied
salvation, and are condemned to go to hell.
India is a land of mystics. In India God is seen in numerous forms but in America,
Christianity has influenced the majority. The objective of this paper is to compare mysticism
in the poetry of Sri Aurobindo, Sarojini Naidu, Emily Dickinson and Thomas Merton and to
show how their significant works were inspired by the spiritual revelation and struggles.



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