Wisdom in verse | Book Review: “Shadows of the Fragmented Moon” by Shubhrangshu Roy
That the ancient Indian texts possess valuable wisdom still waiting to be discovered is a fact known to many. When an author tries to translate these texts or writes his teachings from these treasures of wisdom, the text becomes invaluable. With 108 meditative poems about experiencing reality based on two Indian texts – Yoga Vasistha and Ashtavakra Gita – Shadows of the Fragmented Moon by Shubhrangshu Roy is a collection of poems that appeal to the reader on a subconscious level.
According to the book, poetry rejuvenates the weary mind to think and finally speak frankly. The author uncovers the different layers of being human, verse by verse, delving deep into the complexities of the mind and the meaning of existence.
“Layer upon layer, your mind
Create choices, Rich in imagination
Deep asleep when, awake wide open
To experience everything he builds, thought by thought
Knowing this, do what you want, knowing well, it’s all in the mind,” writes Roy, putting into words the gymnastics of the mind – how thought becomes imagination and continues to develop, even if it is only and entirely in the mind. The author evokes the illusion of the mind which creates reality when it is awake and fantasies when it dreams. It talks about the swirls of time emerging and dissolving in the imagination and how the mind is a small fragment of the universe – still largely unknown and eclipsed from the human eye.
Through his poem titled Brahman, he expresses the fact that age, valor, arrogance, religious identities are all cogs in the beautiful mind. “Brahman Am I, Mussalman also Am I, Hanuman Am I, Superman also Am I,” he writes to define how identities are attached to beings when they become part of the mortal world. The author explores the idea of God as in the mind, the idea of life and death as perceived by the mind – the pain that accompanies it. It subtly suggests readers to drop worldly illusions and “just be” and exist in freedom. After all, as Roy says towards the end of the book, “rituals are for demons, gods are truly free.”
Shadows of the Fragmented Moon
Random penguin house
212 pages, 350 rupees