Articles & Essays Book Reviews Creative Writing

Consciousness, Literature and the Arts Volume 14 Number 1, April 2013
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Reworking Metaphors in Poetry: A Case Study of Maharshi Ramana’s Poetry by Kiran Sikka and Amrita Sharma
B.P.S.M.Vishwavidyalya. Khanpur Kalan, Sonipat (Haryana) India

Introduction Metaphor continues to command serious attention. A proliferation of books, conferences and discussion on the subject conspicuously exhibit it: philosophers, literary critics, linguists and scientists like Max Black in Models and Metaphors (1962), I. A. Richards in Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936), George Lakoff, and Mark Johnson in Metaphors We Live By (1980) have discussed a large number of issues connected with metaphor, such as.metaphor as a figure of speech, and as an embellishment;its relationship with other tropes; the universality of metaphor; its nature of being culture-specific and its making sense in particular contexts—these are the various aspects of metaphor discussed by scholars. Another major issue connected with metaphor is the kind of metaphor used in literature, particularly in poetry. Since metaphors used in poetry appear beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, the traditional concept of metaphor explained the use of poetic metaphor for rhetorical and artistic purposes, which made them look different and special. However, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, in the cognitive view of metaphor, challenged this aspect of traditional theory and described metaphor as a

valuable cognitive tool of everyday communication as well as poetic language (1980, 5). Metaphor—an overview The traditional school of thought describes metaphor as an intuitive perception of similarity in dissimilars. Aristotle talks of style that raises poetry from commonplace to unusual and lofty by using ornamental words. For Aristotle, poetry is a craft to be achieved by using linguistic devices such as metaphor, simile and alliteration. According to House, the greatest achievement by far, for the poet, is to be a master of metaphor (House1970, 121). The views of Aristotle continued to prevail for a long time until they were challenged by many scholars. I.A. Richards talked about poetry as the business of a poet where he gives order, coherence and freedom to a body of experience. Words act as its skeleton and structure by which the impulses that make up the experience are adjusted to one another and act together (1974, 22). The impulses and experiences are organized and adjusted within the framework of words by poets with the help of metaphor. The poets take recourse to restructure the already existing elements of conceptual metaphors in a new and innovative manner. The poetic genius turns the dayto-day ordinary metaphors into special ones. Cleanth Brooks also defines modern poetic technique by calling it the rediscovery of metaphor and the full commitment to metaphor. He calls a poem an organic whole, where poetic images are not merely assembled but related to each other just as blossoms are related to other parts of a growing plant. The beauty of a poem is like a flowering plant which needs all its parts—stalk, stem, leaves and roots (1974, 60). Brooks again refers to poetry as an organic whole when he talks about the poetic theme as “defined and refined” by the participating metaphors. Lakoff and Johnson discussed ordinary conceptual metaphors as prevailing in our day-to-day language. The

elaborating. 4). too.” (1980. Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By (1980) propagated the theory of conceptual metaphor where metaphors are an inevitable process of human thought and action (1980. rather they are part of everyday conversation of ordinary people. The commonly accepted features of traditional theory of metaphor have been challenged in the theory of conceptual metaphor. Hence the cognitive function of the metaphor lies in seeing and understanding about the world. we can dress them up in fancy clothes. Metaphors do not involve deliberate and conscious efforts of great writers. Poetic metaphors appear different. line them up nice and neat etc. 3). The language of poetry also drew forth from the same metaphorical concepts of our ordinary day-to-day life. combining and questioning to convert them into special ones. juggle them. Thus metaphorical language is interwoven into daily life. reasoning and judgment. 13).same metaphors were there in poetry. Metaphors are not mere embellishments used for artistic and rhetorical purposes. but reworked and modified in many ways: “Metaphorical concepts can be extended beyond the range of ordinary literal ways of thinking and talking into the range of what is called figurative. colorful or fanciful thought and language…If ideas are objects. Cognition is a group of mental processes that includes aspects such as awareness.” says Zoltán Kövecses (2010. To borrow the . poetic. metaphor is defined as understanding one conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain. prominent and striking by their poetic fancy as poets rework ordinary metaphors by extending. perception. Cognitive Theory of Metaphor “In the cognitive linguistic view. Conceptual metaphors seen in everyday lives not only structure our language but also shape the way we think and act. They are inner mental states from which understanding results.

exploring and developing his subject and conveying his meaning (1974. Metaphors in Everyday Life and Literature Metaphors in literature and everyday life are structured by the metaphorical concepts. Metaphor captures the world of a poet in totality. Language has a dual function. Grounded into human experience of each kind— cultural. Metaphor provides nourishment to the actual communication and turns it into intended utterances. Since the boundaries of language are not fixed.words from Arthur Osborne. Metaphor is a way to reveal “who we are and what kind of world we live in” (Kövecses2010. abstract ideas take the help of concrete experiences of the tangible world we live in.460). social and physical. creativity and richness of literary metaphors that makes them noteworthy by their special appeal and uniqueness. It helps to express concrete details of reality and moves beyond that reality into the . Here the technique is metaphor made up of experiences of our daily lives. it goes to the credit of a writer or a poet to make use of the boundless capability of metaphor to enter the world of reality and the world beyond reality—a world of senses. Mark Schorer calls this difference between content or experience and the achieved content as technique—a means of discovering. xiii). 71). It is the beauty. Susan Sontag in Aesthetics of Silence calls language a privileged metaphor for expressing the mediated character of art making and artwork (1976. perception and imagination. perceptual. 3). The various dimensions of human experiences in the outside world are manifested in the form of objective reality and expressed in the form of subjective imagination of the writer. we express the way we experience the world. The cognitive view of metaphor takes into view this faculty of human mind to translate the abstract via concrete. “the poet cries the truth of man and the thunderous silence of God” and opens up a world of wonder undefined (2000. The poets work on these metaphors to express these experiences in a better way. Hence. reasoning.

Thus language is a process by which it creates art and at the same time it is the final product of art which structures itself into metaphorical concepts. needs to be probed. Gibbs says that much of conceptualization of experience and cognition is metaphorical (1994. whereas “The Road not Taken” as a title to Robert Frost’s poem would suggest rich. particularly poetry. Writers do not create new metaphors but use already existing metaphors in new ways.project of transcendence. Raymond W. Of course. evocative details of choices in life. It is in metaphors that we think and hardly pay any attention to them. the writers seem to have a special skill and ability which turns ordinary metaphors into fanciful and beautiful ones. Metaphors constitute much of our experience and also constrain the way we think and act in ordinary lives. Gibbs in The Poetics of Mind concedes that figurative language has been fiercely at odds with literal language and clarity but also admits that the language of great poets has definitely been more creative and poetic (1994. Literary metaphors take shape from the experiences of ordinary everyday life as they are not born out of context. literary writers and ordinary users of language make use of same metaphors. there must be some effort on the part of the writers to either highlight or hide some elements of metaphors so as to make them perceptible and conspicuous. The question is: why do poetic metaphors have such an aesthetic appeal? Although no distinct boundaries separate poetic and the ordinary day-to-day metaphors. metaphors in our ordinary communication pass unnoticed as they are manifested in day-to-day life and become a part of routine conversation. 7). The relationship between metaphors of everyday language and the metaphors used in literature. Maharshi’s poetry does that—it moves beyond the ordinary range of perception with the help of metaphors. they are basically devices for understanding and . 3). If all language is essentially metaphorical. Metaphors do not stand in isolation. For instance “Is he on the road to recovery?” would go unnoticed. However.

etc. whereas poetic metaphors are made special by reworking conventional ordinary everyday metaphors. body and brain(2010. Since the cognitive view of metaphor tries to grasp one conceptual domain with the help of other conceptual domain. the conceptual mappings consist of two important elements of metaphor which Lakoff . as Lakoff and Johnson suggest. metaphorical utterances semantically become pluralistic. intuitions and emotions. 235) Since we are human and the language we use does not emerge in isolation but in our social. Senses. shape. Language becomes integral to our capability to express these experiences. texture.” (1980. Metaphor is an effective tool to reach the inner world of ideas. similes and personification. Thus. psychological. whereas the rest of it emerges indirectly from feelings. The statement seems to be made very cautiously as metaphors are not merely a matter of language but also of conceptual structure which involves “all natural dimensions of our sense experiences: color. sound. Brain has its role in modifying and transforming ideas. mental and physiological interaction with outside world. Zoltán Kövecses goes to the extent of saying that metaphor is not only in language and thought but also in our culture. partially structured by metaphors and partially extended in some ways. The multiplicity of meanings consists in layers of meaning in language used by poets. images. Thus metaphors take us on a journey of known to unknown. the human tendency is to understand the abstract concepts via concrete concepts. feelings and emotions create a world of their own and the literal language finds itself too restrictive to express them. explicit to implicit and obvious to suggestive reality. etc. whether metaphor or constituted by use of other tropes like symbols. Hence our concepts are. Much of our understanding emerges directly from our interaction and physical involvement with the environment. 311).communicating situations and experiences. Metaphors are continually at work to grasp and translate all those ideas which are beyond the reach of reality by ordinary language.

53) by which metaphors become striking. On one side. The paper seeks to find this relation between ordinary day-to-day metaphors and the poetic metaphors in view of the categories listed by Zoltán Kövecses (2010. creative and novel. These categories are: extending. born in a South Indian family in Tiruchuzi in 1879. questioning. He went to stay with his uncle where he had an experience which changed his life forever. Maharshi’s poetry indicates that he draws his poems from everyday metaphorical concepts. they relate to a higher consciousness of life which is Swarupa—the infinite. The source domains are generally less abstract and simple as compared to target domains. his life changed when he was only twelve after his father’s death. yet intensely human in his dealings. was not a born poet. He was a Sthithaprajna—settled in divine consciousness. He had a sudden feeling of death despite feeling perfectly healthy. Maharshi’s poetry Maharshi Ramana. This made him realize the full force of his personality. elaborating. Swarupa or abidance of the primal. on the other side. combining or by personification and image metaphors. He came to know that consciousness of the Self is the only existing reality. It already exists and needs to be uncovered only.advocates for transference of meaning—the source domain and target domain. The next section of the paper discusses the main tenets of the cognitive theory of conceptual metaphor and relates them to the poems of Maharshi Ramana. absolute consciousness beyond time and space. Consequently all his explanations and writings were directed to . These two concepts formulate the basis of metaphors he used in his poetry. pristine and original state of the Self. cannot be gained anew. After having a normal childhood. the metaphors relate to the ordinary everyday life. His spiritual concerns kept him preoccupied all the time. It is the writer who transforms and restructures the already existing elements of metaphor to make them unusual.

4). (Sarnagathi July 2012. The only wrong thing is to desire it in the world outside whereas it is very much inside the man. There is a strong semantic link between the world as it is objectively external and subjectively within. The “Five Hymns to Arunachala”. Lokyate iti lokah that which is seen is the world. Metaphors capture this reality in totality in Maharshi’s poetry. which he called atma-vichara. they were written to celebrate the indissoluble union of human . objects and ego and the inner world of Self which is Atamswarupa—abidance in the Self. His poetry is a document of the journey of the body to the realized Self. “Reality in Forty Verses”. The eye sees the world with ego. He prescribed an innovative method of self-enquiry. There is nothing wrong with this desire as it is man’s nature. The thematic content of Maharshi’s poetry gives his poems a uniqueness which is reflected in the way he has modified and reworked his metaphors. Maharshi’s numerous poems articulate the realization of Self. this truth is obscured by self-limiting concepts of the mind. Thus metaphors in Maharshi’s poetry are representations of both what he saw and what he realized. However.convince his followers that this Swarupa was their true state. The technique is regarded as the most distinctive motif in his teachings. Beyond ego is the consciousness—the Self. Selected from the “Five Hymns to Arunachala” in The Collected Works (2007). He captures: the outer world—a world of senses. All of his poems were written either as answers to the queries by his devotees or written on their request. “Five Verses on the Self” and some miscellaneous poems like “The Song of Poppadum”. His poetry was not a deliberate and conscious effort but a documentation of the revelation of his inner Self. “The Essence of Instruction”. “Self Knowledge”. and “The Self in the Heart” exhibit this journey from outside world to the world within. The poems selected for present study are “The Marital Garland of Letters” and “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala”. says Maharshi. Letting go of these concepts would result in the truth being revealed. Maharshi says that everyone desires happiness.

kama (physical desires ) and moksha (ultimate piritual salvation). “The Marital Garland of Letters” makes use of the metaphor of Hindu marriage where the bridegroom and the bride exchange garlands with each other. It is a spread of 108 stanzas interspersed and dotted with similes. The lengthy poems not only provide ample opportunity to go through the metaphors which are in abundance. The other poem . The number signifies 108 beads of a rosary and 108 philosophical Hindu texts of Upanishads. It is important to state here that Hindus consider 108 as a sacred number. One of the earliest poems written in absolute bliss of union of human soul and God. The title is also metaphorical as it is a marital garland of words to solicit union with God. Maharishi seems to have made a garland of 108 stanzas to be recited in Arunachala ‘s praise. “The Marital Garland of Letters” and “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala” “The Marital Garland of Letters” is a poem of 108 stanzas. Thus the selection of only two poems for the present paper is justified. The conceptual metaphor of marriage is taken from everyday Indian life and is reworked by Maharshi to reach the transcendent world of spirituality. but also command attention for their profound and emotional thematic content. However in the poem. but Maharshi has other reasons for using this sacred number. “The Marital Garland of Letters” is a very long poem consisting of 108 stanzas and approximately 296 lines.. The ceremony in marriage symbolizes the physical and spiritual union of two persons. The poems depict the emotional attitude of devotion and aspiration without changing into doctrinal. the sought union is about the aspiration of soul seeking the God. artha (possessions ). it is a profound and moving poem ever written by Maharshi. The relationship is considered sacred in Hindus where the two individuals pursue dharma (duty). images and symbols. “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala” is also a poem of 11 stanzas and 72 lines.soul and God.

The paper now elaborates the use of various devices to render the metaphors aesthetically appealing. Oh Arunachala! (83) . In “The Marital Garland of Letters” there is a conventional metaphor “The strumpet mind” which when extended makes it unusual and extraordinary. Of course the efforts to convert metaphors of everyday life into poetry may not have been intentional and premeditated since he wrote it more as spiritual instructions. Both the poems make use of the following poetic devices by reworking the conventional everyday metaphors already existing in human consciousness so as to make them look novel and special: · Elaborating · Extending · Questioning · Combining · Personifying · Image metaphors · Extending Extending can be defined as bringing a new conceptual element in the source domain of conceptual metaphor with the help of new linguistic means to make conventional metaphor novel.“Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala” also makes use of various metaphors and similes from daily life. The strumpet mind will cease to walk the streets if only she find Thee. The similarity between two items selected by the poet is further extended in a novel way and makes them unusual. The poets do it—whether deliberately or unintentionally is a matter of further discussion. The ideas have been reworked by Maharishi. Disclose thy beauty then and hold her bound.

and stays there. Man is overpowered by mental states and submerges . Mind becomes quiet only after it finds its source as Arunachala—the God. Fruit shriveled and spoilt is worthless. Maharshi himself explains that the self is like a man ‘swayed and dominated by lewd woman. it is spoilt. Ripe fruit is enjoyed by everyone — this is the convention accepted by everyone. The normal meaning associated with the word is given an unexpected twist. take and enjoy it ripe.Movement and directions are common source domains drawn from basic human experience (Kövecses 2010. Ripe fruit is the realized Self free from ego. In Vivekachudamani. The similarity drawn between a prostitute wandering in streets and mind distracting in ego. the contiguous words have their role in preparing the context however. What is fascinating is that a metaphor can conceptualize in just two words. attachments and worldly involvements. Usually a prostitute will go on with her acts. ‘Strumpet’ is the source and metaphorically stands for ‘mind’ which wanders in many directions with different thoughts arising. 22). of whom he is enamored” (2010. Nobody would like to eat a fruit which is raw or overripe. Maharshi uses both of them unconventionally. attachments and senses is apparent. 245). The novelty lies in the element of surprise culled from the normal meaning of a prostitute. a translation of Sankaracharya’s work. The self also slips and enters into the other things. Oh. What is unusual in the source domain is that even a prostitute can find someone who can hold her permanently so that her search may stop. A “ripe fruit” is the other metaphor drawn from food we all eat daily. The compound word “strumpet mind” consists of only two words-both nouns but the first noun works as an adjective to another noun. Arunachala! (89) Fruit shriveled is the mind involved in sense enjoyments of the world. Hence. The mind is metaphorically referred to as “strumpet”—a female prostitute.

force. a common source domain cited by Zolton Kövecses (2010. my raft capsized and the waters came over me. God exerts force to draw . (99) Thus. God draws man near with cords of his grace. There is an unexpected twist in the conventional metaphor of raft used for journey of soul. As he is about to reach his destination. In “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala” Maharshi uses another metaphor of physical force. On seeking Thy Real Self with courage. Have mercy on me. Man lives in this world of senses and often loses himself in the sea of worldly distractions. The element of ripeness already exists in man but he needs to strive in this direction make it acceptable by God. This state metaphorically speaking is that of a ripe fruit and will be accepted by God. It is only when he dives deep in his heart that he realizes this Self-eternal and pure bliss. However.in the fathomless ocean of saṃsara. Maharshi makes use of yet another metaphor of “raft” to extend it further to convey his meaning. He starts seeking Self which is another form of God. therefore the fruit is spoilt and not accepted by God. there is an element of surprise in store for him when God decides to kill him out rightly. Oh Arunachala! (88) It is with his grace and mercy that he can save himself from being submerged in the sea of world. Thou didst decide to kill me outright. although I had not even dimly thought of Thee. his raft capsizes in the sea. The raft used for this spiritual journey is God’s grace. Drawing me with the cords of Thy grace. God does not accept man as an entity now sinking and now rising in the world. 22) is in metaphorical conceptualization of Maharshi.

There is a very interesting metaphor of “dog” who follows his master even after he has no idea of his scent. God decides to feed upon his soul. Oh! Arunachala! (86) The faithfulness of dog and his characteristic to search his master by his smell are the existing elements in the source domain but the same are elaborated when Maharshi follows God even when he has no idea of how to follow him.Maharshi near him when he does not even expect it. Force of any type whether physical or mechanical brings changes and affects the objects and persons in many ways. It is said that a dog can smell his master and find him. (100) There is an unexpected twist and change in the the given element of conceptual metaphor of “lodestone”. arrests the movements of anyone who so much as thinks of it. God decides to kill him when he is expecting salvation. Here the change is in the form of a distressing situation. Elaborating Another device used by poets is elaboration. to feed upon his soul thus ripened. Ripe soul is again another metaphor from food. This is the usual and assumed characteristic of a dog. Am I then worse than a dog? Stead fastly will I seek Thee and regain Thee. and fixes him motionless like itself. Another example of elaborating the already existing conceptual element in a new way is from “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala”-I have discovered a new thing! This hill. Killing is a new conceptual element introduced in the metaphor represented by force. the lodestone of lives. associated with mankind since the beginning of . draws him face to face with it. Instead of showering his grace. The new conceptual element is that after drawing near. The poet does not introduce a new element in the source domain of metaphor but elaborates already existing element in source in an unusual way.

In “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala”.humanity. love. Oh. Thus the already existing element of a lodestone attracting another metal and keeping him near is elaborated in a different way. Thou causest grace to well up in abundance and pour forth as a stream! (98) In the first part of the stanza. “Lotus” is a metaphor for heart of the devotee which opens with the “sunlight” of grace of God. can the lotus blossom without the sight of the sun? Thou art the sun of suns. Oh Arunachala! ! (85) The two conventionally accepted metaphors in the ordinary life are: light is life and events are actions. ‘lotus’ is again a prominent metaphor. A person living in the pool of worldly activities can remain . in the shape of Arunachala. there are oft-repeated common metaphors of lotus and Sun. Maharshi combines two different metaphor “lotus” and “stream”. It helps in going beyond the everyday conceptual system using the same materials of everyday thought. It is only by the grace of God Arunachala (metaphorically Sun) which bestows light to open the lotus of heart. These two metaphors make the idea of spiritual ripeness clear. Lotus in Hindu mythology stands for both beauty and non-attachment as it remains pious and pure even when it lives in mud and water. It is the sunlight which gives life to mankind and plants. The poet combines both. Combining The most powerful mechanism in conceptual metaphor is combining several everyday metaphors. Maharshi combines the two metaphors to demonstrate the way to live in the world. open the lotus of my Heart. I pray. In “The Marital Garland of Letters” combines two metaphors: Dazzling Sun that swallowest up all the universe in Thy rays. This is how man should live in the world—discharging duties without attachment. Lotuses in the ponds open with the Sun rising in the morning.

however. explains the knowledge of consciousness as he wishes to be a honeybee which sucks from the blossoms of heart. The next metaphor is that of a stream flowing with water. Kindness and grace of God accumulate in abundance to pour out like a stream. the poet says: Entering my home and luring me to Thine why didst thou keep me prisoner in thy heart’s cavern. like a frog (which clings) to the stem of the lotus. blossom of the heart are the other conceptual metaphors. The metaphor symbolizes kindness and of water. a metaphor. (99) The first line contains a simile of a frog which clings to the the stem of lotus. Thus. honeybee symbolizes the conscious man. In another instance from “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala”. stem of lotus represents worldly possessions. make me instead a honeybee which (from the blossom of the Heart) sucks the sweet honey of Pure Consciousness. I am ever at Thy feet. there are four metaphors and one simile from conventional metaphors combined together. Frog represents ignorant man. . In stanza third of the “The Marital Garland of Letters”. Questioning In the poetic device of questioning the poets call into question the appropriateness of a conventional metaphor . The honeybee. blossom is the heart striving for God and honey is pure consciousness. then I shall have deliverance. Man ignorantly clings like a frog to the stem of lotus to save himself as he is only conscious about his body and the worldly pursuits related to the body.detached from the same if he reaches the ideal pristine state of Self just as a lotus can preserve its beauty even while living in mud. Maharshi combines four conventional metaphors. the honey of consciousness. The next line.

Oh Arunachala! (83) The metaphor is evocative of physical unity. where is thy chivalry. The metaphor represents the struggle of the devotee to realize Self. the question is put forth more directly: After abducting me. In “Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala. women were abducted by men. Maharshi again asks: Who was it that threw mud to me for food and robbed me of my livelihood. However the appropriateness of normal code of behavior is questioned as Maharshi inquires his status of still being kept prisoner in the activities of the world. In ancient times. The question in the last line shows his mental agony.Oh! Arunachala! (83) God has tempted Maharshi to his home which mentally prepares him to attain a state of permanent bliss—the ripe state of soul to be one with the God. The regret is that he is still hanging between life and death. Metaphorically the image used is that of a woman held by her abductor. The traditional code of conduct expected that of a chivalrous man is questioned. The question is—why he is now not ready to accept him? Thus the duality in treatment met is questioned. the poet asks: How then has one so weak as I offended Thee that Thou dost leave the task unfinished? Why dost Thou torture me thus. . In the next few lines. keeping me suspended between life and death?(99). Oh Arunachala?(92) The deeper meaning of the expression is that it was God Arunachala who picked him for a spiritual union. but she is not embraced which does not behove a man. if Thou dost not embrace me.

Sadness of man here highlights the spiritual suffering of man because God does not bestow his grace on him. The experience shows his inability to achieve bliss which would make him stand before God with head high. Maharshi says: . Maharshi’s poetry is no exception.Image metaphors All poetry abounds in images which can be arranged by the poet as he wishes. In “The Marital Garland of Letters” Maharshi says: Lord! Thou didst capture me by stealth and all these days hast held me at Thy feet! Lord! Thou hast made me (to stand) with hanging head. struggling like a deer that is trapped. ‘In’ and ‘out’ are also widely used spatial images by Maharshi. Maharshi makes use of the same image when he is standing before God with head down. (dumb) like an image when asked what is Thy nature. Two altogether different images are there—the first image is that of a person ashamed because of his shortcomings and the second image is that of a deer struggling to free himself. Another image used by the poet is of a man standing with his head down. We generally associate happiness as ‘up’ and sadness as ‘down”’. Although Maharishi’s poetry is deeply spiritual still the physical imagery of ‘in’ and ‘out’ has a very important place in Self-enquiry. They also use them as a source domain for understanding other experiences. Lord Arunachala! What can be Thy will? (99) Many images mark the above stanza. The poets make use of images to provide a structured understanding of various patterns of experiences. There are a number of examples of image metaphors in both the poems. To capture someone stealthily. He is standing there ignorant and ashamed. to stand with hanging head and to struggle like a deer—all the images show the suffering of a man who is struggling for union with God. Lord! Deign to ease me in my weariness.

Hard is Thy lot. But the distinction between inner and outer is only with reference to the body. In “The Marital Garland of Letters”. shriveled fruit. However such spiritual imagery abounds throughout the poem. (my maintenance is now Thy burden). in truth. and the mind is called the inner sense because it is inside. there is neither inner nor outer. raft capsizing in the water. a flower bee. The orientational image of coming in refers to the soul coming to God. Personification There still remains a device used by literary writers to use the knowledge about themselves to comprehend other aspects of world. The conceptual metaphor relates to call someone home and then not taking care of him. personification “allows us to comprehend a wide variety of experiences with non-human entities in terms of human motivations. Maharshi makes use of conventional metaphors to convert them into unconventional and novel. and so they are called outer senses. characteristics. a lotus waiting for Sun and a mirror showing reflection to a nose less man. a dog searching for its master. Of course similes of lodestone. Maharshi makes use of this image again. Maharshi intersperses it with other image metaphors like the Sun. Although the image used by the poet brings to mind the Gods calling human soul and then shoving him away. 33). and activities. Didst Thou not call me in? I have come in. ether.”(1980. (9) One has to recognize the images of directions which lead man to BeingConsciousnesss-Bliss inside the body. Now measure out for me.As instruments for knowing the objects the sense organs are outside. Oh Arunachala!(93) Here the image is more concrete. Arunachala is a hill in South India . a tender creeper needing support and a ship caught in storm fill in the gap and serve the purpose of linkages. To quote Lakoff and Johnson.

It is easier to explain abstract domains like senses. where the poet calls mind strumpet. became a permanent abode for Maharshi and played a very important role in transforming his life. Maharshi has made use of another device of personification. ’ The worldly pursuits and distractions are personified as fascinating women. life.which is referred to as God and a living entity throughout his poetry. Maharshi personifies five senses as thieves. death. which the writer of this paper had the good fortune to visit. Reality in the form of everyday metaphors is already there. Maharshi requests God Arunachala to “Save me from the cruel snares of fascinating women and honour me with union with Thyself” (84). These are the senses which draw man to worldly distractions. The poet takes them all to the source . The aspects of religion are already metaphorical whether we talk about eternity. In the already quoted stanza under heading extending. It is interesting to bring to notice that the hill Arunachala. bliss and liberation. It is the realization of the presence of God Arunachala which may help him to achieve the liberation from the worldly Self. Oh Arunachala?(84). That explains the reason of Maharshi referring to Arunachala as God throughout his poetry. art Thou not still in my Heart. Conclusion Maharshi Ramana’s poetry is a proof that the creative genius of a poet can transform the everyday ordinary conceptual metaphors into artistic wonders. Maharshi refers to senses as thieves which rob him of his blissful state of union with God. materialistic pursuits and distractions by personifying them. In “The Marital Garland of Letters”. Even when the thieves of the five senses break in upon me. soul. In yet another instance of personification.

The creative genius does wonders by transforming them in one or the other ways cited above. Hence the main tenets of cognitive theory of metaphor prove that the experiences of life do not go waste but provide the righteous ways to live. Zoltán . Contexts of all types. Raymond W. Kövecses. direction. Cleanth. 1970. Nothing comes from vacuum. Aristotle’s Poetics. food or plant—they all serve as the basic experiences by which poets “rework” wonders. 1980. Humphry. The experiences of life are the concrete source domains by which poets reach abstract target domains. 1994. movement is still there although in the direction of God and freedom is there from the darkness of a cavern into the sunlight of God’s grace. Ludhiana: Kalyani Publishers. Lakoff.William J. 1976. Handy and Max Westbrook. but life is still a journey—may be spiritual. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. George and Mark Johnson.domains of journey. path. Gibbs. Poets rework on them and they appear original. Twentieth Century Criticism: The Major Statements. ‘Irony as a Principle of Structure’. Oxford: Oxford University Press. orientation and directions. make use of abundant conceptual metaphors from everyday life. Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Light and Life Publishers: New Delhi . House. To conclude we can say that the religious texts—in this case Maharshi Ramana’s poetry. concrete experiences of routine life and the pictures we see all around formulate the basis of conceptual metaphors. Metaphors We Live By. It may be a movement. ed. Poetics of Mind. Works Cited Brooks. . 2010. Of course the subjective emotions and feelings may play their role in making the poetry exceptional. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

1993. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Osborne. Tiruvannamalai: Sriramanasramam. Richards. Light and Life Publishers.Ortony. Susan. Andrew. July 2013. Sontag. Twentieth Century Criticism. ‘Aesthetics of Silence’. I. 2007. ed. Be Still! It is the Wind that Sing. A. Tiruvannamalai: Sriramanasramam. ed. 1-9 Schorer. Arthur. The Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi. 1974.Handy and Max Westbrook. ‘Technique as Discovery’. Twentieth Century Criticism. Mark.. The Major Statements. 2000. ‘Pseudo-Statements’. Light and Life Publishers: New Delhi. 1976. 1976. New Delhi. Tiruvannamalai: Sriramanasramam. The Major Statements. Twentieth Century Criticism: The Major Statements. . Metaphor and Thought.Handy and Max Westbrook. Light and Life Publishers: New Delhi. Sarnagathi. William J.William J.