Spiritual Quest in the Haiku of Taneda Santoka
This research paper entitled: “Spiritual Quest in the Haiku of Taneda Santoka” aims to present the spiritual
journey on which Santoka embarked and composed numerous Zen haiku, which portray his unquenched thirst to find his true
self and what he wants from life. His Haiku belong to the freestyle school of structuring as compared to the traditional strict
method of writing Haiku, which was very much like his life, free of every bondage and responsibility, wandering wherever
the road took him.
Santoka Taneda was a Japanese wandering monk whose life embodies the Zen spirit in three ways viz. no duplicity, no
imitation and simplicity of expression. The Zen Haikus of Santoka Taneda gradually lead us towards a higher level of
thought where the visible objects of the material world assume a higher, spiritual significance, making us pause and
contemplate about life and its mysteries.
The Haiku of Santoka Taneda provide us with a means through which we can initiate our journey on a spiritual quest. The
spiritual quest as well as celebration of life feature constantly in Santoka Taneda’s Haikus which are captivating,
engrossing and capable of moving us deeply.
Haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven and five, traditionally evoking images of the
natural world. The thought provoking, ennobling and captivating haiku of this wandering Zen monk indeed lead us all on an
inward journey on our own spiritual quest.
Keywords— Buddhism, Captivating, Enlightenment, Haiku, Moksha, Nirvana, Quest, Spiritual, Wandering Monk, Zen.