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HEAVEN, IF YOU ARE NOT ON EARTH - Class 2nd PUC English Textbook Solutions

 CHAPTER: - 10

The  poem  'Heaven  if  you  are  not  on  earth',  originally written  by  Kuvempu  in  Kannada  has  been  translated  by C.Naganna.  The  entire  poem  is  divided  into  3  stanzas  and the first two lines appear to be distinct.  The poet feels that heaven cannot be anywhere  else  except on  earth because  it is  believed  that  heaven  is  supposed  to  be  on a  higher  field far away from earth & it is only the blessed who can reach them.   Added  to  it,  nobody  who  has  visited  heaven  has come  back  to  report  the  nature  of  it  and  it  remains  a mystery.  That is the  main reason people are advised to  do good to reach heaven.  The poet feels that heaven cannot be anywhere  else  other  than  on  earth.   He  continues  with  the same  idea  &  further  feels  that  if  we  cannot  be  gods,  then there  can  be  no  gods  &  the  same  with  heavenly  nymphs (Angles).   He  expresses  this  idea  with  a  strong  belief  that human  beings  are  a  combination  of  divine  and  demonly qualities & the  moment the  divine  qualities  excel;  he  turns to be almost to an angel.   Beautiful description of nature is presented.   A  river  or  stream  rushes  fast  & reaches  the  sea &  loses  its  identity  &  the  waves  roll  back  as  surf  onto  the shore.  The sunshine  is  quite tender & acceptable  to nature and  this  sunshine  is  spread  throughout  the  green  garden.  When  we  see  a  combination  these  beautifully  working  in nature,  them  it  is  equated  to  heaven.   The  poet  tries  to describe  the  joy  of  good  harvest  as  experienced  by  the farmers  and  when  it  is  night,  the  presence  of  the  moon further  tries  to  create  heavenly  atmosphere  and  this beautiful nature as experienced by the poet is converted into words and written in the form of a lyric or a poem and this creature of literature is bound to create heaven on earth and in  this  circumstance,  the  poet  who  creates  heaven  through his poetry or song.
'Heaven  if  you are  not  on Earth' is a poem  in translation where  Kannada’s  national  poet  Kuvempu  highlights  nature and describes how human beings with their behavior might try to reach divinity.  
The  poet  in  an  extraordinary  way  tries  to  proclaim  that heaven is supposed to be  here  on  earth and not somewhere far away and very lightly justifies it.  
The  gods according to the poet are supposed to be  here  on Earth  and  he  equates  it  to  good  behavior  and  concern  of  a few people, rightly so with the heavenly nymphs too.  
The poet describes nature and tries to concentrate on a few divine  aspects  as  per  his  analysis.   He  focuses  on  the concept  of  a  river  trying  to  negate  its  existence  while  it merges  in  the  ocean  or  sea  and  how  beautiful  the  entire atmosphere  is  when  the  waves  reach  the  shore  forming  a surf.   On  the  other  hand,  the  tender  sunshine  is  spread  on the  greenery  and  this  beautiful  spectacle  is  equated  to  a heavenly experience on earth.
The  poet  in  the  last  stanza  tries  to  how  the  nature  around us  appears  to  be  very  lovely  and  especially  so  during  the harvest  time  when  the  farmers  rejoice  as  they  have  had  a very good yield and this enjoyment comes to life on a full moon  day and such a spectacle is  equated to  heaven.   The poet tries to  imbibe and spill the  essence  of  nature so  that the  readers  who  are  unable  to  enjoy  nature  the  same  way as the poet does will get an opportunity to visualize nature through the poet’s description.  To conclude, the poet feels that  it  is  the  poet  through  a  beautiful  narration  of  nature has created heaven on this earth.

I.    Answer  the  following questions  in  a word, a  phrase or a sentence each: -

1. Who creates heaven according to Kuvempu?
a. Man    
b. Poet      
c. God

Ans: (b) Poet  

2. Where is the heaven found?  
When does the poet see heaven?

Ans: Heaven lies all over.  

3. Where does the sunshine lean?
Ans: The sunshine leans on verdant gardens.  

4. What are the creations of human mind?

Ans: All divine entities like god, heaven and nymphs are the creation of human mind.  

5. When according to the speaker can there be Gods in Heaven, if you are not on Earth'?
Ans: Only if we become Gods.  

6. Who areheavenly nymphs?
Ans: We ourselves the human beingsare the nymphs.  

7. How is the stream presented in the poem?
Ans: The stream is roaring and rushing fast.  

8. According to the poet we find heaven precisely in …………………
a. Ourselves    
b. Nature    
c. Earth

Ans: (b) and (c)  

9. What does heaven spill all around?
Ans: The heaven spills around the song of nectar.

10. How is sun described in the poet?
Ans: The sun is described as gentle.  

11. Who creates heaven on earth?       
Ans:The poet creates heaven on earth

12. According to the poet Kuvempu, 'Heaven' is ............                     
(a) with in us
(b) on earth

(C) no where
Ans:(b) on earth

13. According to the poet............... Makes this earth heaven.                 
a) heavenly nymphs
(b) gods
(c) gentle sun

Ans:(c) gentle sun  

14. 'In the splendour of harvest and of moonlight. Heaven lies all over!' the phrase refers to ………….                                                                              
(a) harvest and moonlight are no match to heaven
(b) splendour is only in heaven
(c) heaven can be seen in the harvest and moonlight

Ans:(c) heaven can be seen in the harvest and moonlight

II.    Answer the following questions in a paragraph of 80 – 100 words each:  
III.    Answer the following questions in about 200 words:  

1.    How is nature presented in the poem, 'Heaven, If You Are Not Here On Earth'?

Ans:  The  poet  says  that  man  can  become  god,  nymph  and make  this  earth  as  heaven,  only  if  he  is  in  union  with  the nature. The poet personifies the entities from the nature. He hears the stream roaring, and sees the sunshine leaning. The poet perhaps  wants to attribute  human  qualities  component of  human  life.  The  poet  continues  to  personify  nature  and mentions  how  man  in  communion  with  nature  is responsible for heaven to be on earth. In the splendor of the harvest and in the beauty of moonlight on the nature which form important we can see heaven.  

2.    Describe the  beauty in  nature that  makes the earth  a heavenly place?
Ans:The poet brings out his rationalistic outlook of heaven. He  suggests  that  one  should  perceive  divinity  and  enjoy heavenly  bliss  in  the  company  of  nature  itself.  Hence  the poet argues that we need not to seek heaven after death. We can  enjoy  heavenly  bliss  in  look  at  nature  on  this  earth itself. The poet tries to introduce us to the different forms of heaven  that  exists  on  earth.  The  poet  emphatically  states that  the  bliss  that  one  experiences  while  looking  at  the streams  that  are  leaping  down,  roaring  from  the  top  of  the hills,  the  waves  that  come  rolling  across  the  sea  carrying surf at their edges, the tender rays of sunlight falling on the the sprawling  green  garden and the  gentle sun  warming up the earth make this earth a heavenly place.  

3.    Why  does  the  poet  feel  that  earth  is  more  beautiful than heaven?
Ans:According to the poet there is no heaven in reality, and strongly  believes  that  Heaven  and  earth  are  not  separate entities.  The  poet  refers  to  our  beliefs  about  'God'  and 'heavenly  nymphs'.  He  expresses  his  conviction,  that  there is  no  God  and  it  is  man  himself  who  is  God.  He  firmly believes that we ourselves are the nymphs, and the nymphs are  to  be  nowhere  else  but  on  this  earth  only.  Heaven  and God  are  merely  of  man's  imaginations.  He  tries  to  tell  us, the  different  forms  of  heaven  that  exists  on  earth  like  the green forests, the stream that leap down the hills, the waves that roll across the sea, the moonlight and splendor of harvest appears more beautiful than imaginary descriptions of  man.  Hence  he  suggests  that  one  must  enjoy  the pleasures of heaven looking at nature.

4.    How does the  poet break  the  myth of  heaven in  this poem?

Ans:In  this  poem,  Kuvempu  urges  us  to  understand  the power  and  beauty  of  nature  which  we  see  through  our eyes. The poet considers concepts like 'God', 'nymphs' and 'heaven' as myths are created by humans. In the poem, the poet is quite radical in his approach that he is denying the existence  of  gods  which  we  adore.  He  strongly  feels  that God  resides  in  everybody  and  we  ourselves  are  gods.  He believes  that  only  humans  as  gods  live  on  this  heavenly earth.  For  him  heaven  is  not  something  beyond  the boundaries  of  this  world,  since  earth  itself  possesses  all that  the  so  called  heaven  promises.  In  order  to  break  the illusion  of  heaven  in  man's  mind,  he  presents  before  us charming  sights  of  nature  and  argues  that  nothing  can  be more  heavenly than forms  of  nature  which  lie all  over. In the first two lines, he makes a direct address to nature and declares  that  if  heaven  does  not  exist  on  the  earth  where else  can  it  be.  He  justifies  his  statement  referring  to  the streams  that  leap  down  roaring  from  the  top  of  the  hills, the  rolling  surf  at  the  edge  of  waves,  the  tender  rays  of sunlight falling on the  green  garden, thus sun  makes  earth a heaven.  

5.    How does the poem celebrate the power of the poet?

Ans:The  poet  tells  the  reader  that  the  poets  who  enjoy such heavenly sights imbibe the beauty of nature and spill the  nectar  of  heaven  on  earth  and  celebrates  the  joys  of heaven through his poetry. The poet tells that if at all there exists  an  entity  called  heaven,  it  exists  only  on  this  earth. The  poet  presents  before  the  reader’s  beautiful  imageries of  nature.  In  the  last  stanza,  the  poet  states  that  one visualizes scenes of heaven lying all over in the splendour of  harvest  and  of  moonlight.  He  concludes  the  poem celebrating  poetic  talent.   Poetry  is  the  rhetoric  act.  Poet brings  beauty  by  using  right  poetic  devices  which  surely hypnotize  the  readers.  Thus  we  have  been  enjoying reading  poems.  There  is  a  famous  saying  that  poet  sees what can’t be seen by sun, it means poet has such a vision that  he  can  go  beyond  the  capacity  of  sun.  The  poet  can only bring the heavenly world in front of the readers. Thus poet  tells  that  poet  imbibes  and  spills  the  song  of  nectar over the readers. The nectar itself makes the works eternal and  those  works  pleases  the  minds  who  read.  Therefore, the poet says that poet creates heaven on earth.

6.    How according to  the speaker can we create  heaven on  earth  in  the  poem  ‘Heaven  if  you  are  not  here  on earth’?
How,  according  to  the  speaker,  can  we  create  heaven on earth?     
Human effort alone can create heaven on earth. How is this  brought  out  in  ‘Heaven  if  you  are  not  here  on earth’?             
‘Heaven  can  be  created  on  Earth’,  Justify  with  the Poet’s point of view.            
Ans: In this poem, the poet Kuvempu stresses and warns his readers gently that heaven is not somewhere in the skies but here  on  this  beautiful  earth.  He  gently  questions  us,  as  a poet, if heaven is not here on our earth where else it can be. He  wonders  if  we  the  human  beings  with  all  our  traits  of humanism,  compassion,  love  and  forgivingness  cannot  be Gods, who else can we think God is. He points us to watch the beautiful streams rushing past and the rolling bubbles of water  can  be  seen  and  the  soft  sun  lighting  our  green gardens,  especially,  the  radiant  sun  make,  us  feel  that  the earth is heaven. He asks us to view heaven when the gentle moon  spills  milky  white  light,  during  the  full  moon  on  the heaps  of  grains  harvested  and  think  that  heaven  is  here  on the  earth. He tells us that a poet inspired by all this  natural beauty, writes beautiful poetry which are as sweet as nectar. By  writing such poetry the poet creates  heaven  on  earth  or inspires us to think that earth is like heaven.  


  The speaker says that if heaven is not on earth, it is not elsewhere.
  If the people themselves are not gods, there are no Gods
  If the people are not nymphs, they are no nymphs
  Murmuring stream, the surf at the end of the waves, the tender  sunshine  in  the  green  gardens  and  gentle  sun- allmake this earth heaven.
  Heaven  is  scattered  everywhere  in  the  form  of  harvest and moonlight
  The  poet  drinks  the  nectar  of  song  and  creates  real heaven on earth.


• The theme of nature and beauty
•  Transformation of human beings into gods
•  Developing divine qualities
•  Changing the earth into heaven •  Beautiful objects of nature-roaring stream, rolling surf
•  Harvest and moonlight •  Poet creating heaven through sweet

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