Even though it goes without saying, it needs to be stressed that when the poem ends with the invocation of Datta, Dayadhvam, Damyata, it is invoking them in terms of a certain resolution implied in the poem's elaboration of these mantras -- the elaborations having a close bearing on what has transpired in the course of the poem.
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands
These invocations are supposed to usher in "a peace that passeth understanding", which peace is then ritually invoked.
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Shantih shantih shantih
Thanks for that most valuable pointer, Rickard.
Incidentally, a most cogent and lucid exposition of the poem, in this regard, remains one by David Chinitz. One may not entirely agree with his view of the poem's closing section, though. Well, here's a link:
Eliot’s Notes on The Waste Land explain “the title,...the plan, and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem” by referring readers to the legend of the Holy Grail, whose history was traced in Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance, and to the fertility rites inventoried in James G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough. Most treatments of the poem since the 1970s have downplayed the importance of this material to the extent that earlier readings made it central. That much of the Grail-quest material was added late, and that it hardly underlies a
“plan” for the entire poem, is demonstrable, and Eliot himself expressed “regret [for] having sent so many enquirers off on a wild goose chase” after his sources (1957: 110). The fact remains, though, that Eliot’s use of symbolism drawn from Frazer and other anthropological sources is already visible in the poems, such as “Sweeney among the Nightingales” and “Gerontion,” that precede his composition of The Waste Land. Such material was thoroughly enmeshed in Eliot’s thought and perception, and it is integral to the themes and methods of The Waste Land as well (Crawford 1987: 127–49).
Don't forget the note mentioning Frazer and Weston. They were dealing in ritual.
On Wed, 5 Sep 2012 12:45:10 -0700, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]
>Modes of Ritual in 'The Waste Land'
One of the radical poetic experiments most obvious in the composition of The
Waste Land is to see if the rehearsing of certain rituals imposes patterns
of coherence and order on certain chaotic fragments of a wasteland. It is
well worth taking into account rituals, implicit as well as explicit, that
are discernible in the body of the text. No critical account, I suppose, can
afford to set aside such a consideration in any meaningful appreciation of
the work. Here's a tentative outline. It is remarkable that these rituals
cease to operate in a wasteland, not without, however, making their absence
rather painfully through their
memory. Their invocation is finally
answered, though, in terms of rain.