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Home » , » Trace the elements of mysticism in A Passage to India?
Mysticism implies a belief in the existence of unseen, spiritual forces in the universe. E.M. Forster presents the unseen and invisible forces interpenetrating the seen by contriving and controlling events and by influencing and revealing character. Again in Forster we find a blend of agnosticism and mysticism. That is his mystical tendencies have to fight against his agnostic faith. In other words, his mysticism is held in check by his rational beliefs, producing an impression vagueness.
 the elements of mysticism in A Passage to India

The mystical elements in A Passage to India may be traced mainly in the character of Mrs. Moore, her experience in the cave and its effects on her, the character and philosophy of Godbole.

A devout Christian, Mrs Moore is fully responsive to the religious sentiments of the Indians. She is quite aware of the presence of God in the precincts of the mosque and so she readily takes off her shoes before entering it. Her love and sympathy transcends all barriers and limitations. Even a wasp is not denied to her all embracing universal love. She openly expresses her love and sympathy for Aziz despite the annoyance and displeasure of her son Ronny. Mrs. Moore has a terrifying experience in the caves. She almost faints, hitting against something and gasping like a fanatic. An echo of "boum" or "bo-um" appears to haunt her mysteriously undermining her very hold on existence.

Professor Godbole, the Hindu Brahmin has been portrayed as a votary of Krishna and a mystic. He is portrayed so because of Forster's own bent towards mysticism. Godbole sings the milk-maiden's song, addressed to Lord Krishna, with perfect sincerity and fervour. Fielding is astonished at Godbole's indifference to Aziz's arrest but actually this professor is very peaceful and coolheaded in the midst of the crisis that affects Aziz primarily and all the Indians indirectly. In fact, he is indifferent to everything. He gives a discourse on good and evil, and says that both of them are aspects of the Lord Almighty. The festival of Gokul Ashtami heightens his philosophical mysticism, love of devotional songs and general sense of kinship with all living beings not even excluding a wasp. He remembers a wasp which he had seen perhaps on a stone. He feels that he loved the wasp as much as he loved Mrs. Moore.

We cannot say for certain, whether Forster was unduly influenced by Hindu mysticism. But certainly he has depicted it as one providing a sort of long range vision making human barriers sink and unite people in a sort of universal love.


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