It’s a City-showman’s Show!: Transcendental Songs of Anandghan
The monsoon night passes like a knife— again and again the heart is cut away The seventeenth-century ascetic Anandghan (Cloud of Bliss) is one of the outstanding poets of Jain vernacular literature. His transcendental songs have been popular for over three centuries and remain part of the Jain devotional canon even today. Anandghan’s songs—which even inspired Mahatma Gandhi—are not restricted to Jain themes alone but illuminate how religious differences are superficial in comparison with the inner experience of the Self. The poet’s use of striking and fresh imagery vividly conjures the world of seventeenth-century India even as he persuades listeners to grasp the transcendental dimensions of their lives within the everyday struggles of material existence. This rigorous new translation mirrors the raw immediacy of Anandghan’s songs and highlights their universal appeal.
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