Kaustubha das

Franny and Zooey and Kirtan

Something I read today from J.D. Salinger’s novel “Franny and Zooey”. Zooey is trying to convince his sister Franny that she is taking shelter of the Jesus prayer with the wrong motivation based on her misunderstanding of the character of Jesus. I thought it had some interesting implications regarding how we understand kirtan and mantra chanting.

“If God had wanted someone with St. Francis’s consistently winning personality for the job of the New Testament, he’d’ve picked him, you can be sure. As it was, he picked the best, the smartest, the most loving, the least sentimental, the most unimitative master he could possible have picked. And when you miss seeing that, I swear to you, you’re missing the whole point of the Jesus prayer. The Jesus prayer has one aim and one aim only. To endow the person who says it with Christ-consciousness. Not to set up some little cozy, holier-than-thou trysting place with some sticky, adorable divine personage who’ll take you in his arms and relieve you of all your duties and make your nasty Weltschmerzen and Professor Tuppers go away and never come back.”


One Response to “Franny and Zooey and Kirtan”

  1. But I’ll tell you a terrible secret — Are you listening to me? There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady. That includes your Professor Tupper, buddy. And all his goddam cousins by the dozens. There isn’t anyone anywhere that isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady. Don’t you know that? Don’t you know that goddam secret yet? And don’t you know — listen to me, now — don’t you know who that Fat Lady really is? . . . Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It’s Christ Himself. Christ Himself, buddy.

    Franny and Zooey
    J.D. Saliger

    Thank You, Kaustubha Das

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