Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fool's Friend

Some poems of Manikkavachakar (Manikkavasagar), Hindu mystic and poet-saint of Shaivism.

Fool's friend was I, none such may know
The way of freedom; yet to me
He shewed the path of love, that so
Fruit of past deeds might ended be.
Cleansing my mind so foul, He made me like a god.
Ah who could win that which the Father hath bestowed?
Thinking it right, sin's path I trod;
But, so that I such paths might leave,
And find His grace, the dancing God,
Who far beyond our thought doth live,
O wonder passing great!
To me His dancing shewed.
Ah who could win that which the Father hath bestowed?

"His form is smeared with ashes white;
The snake His strange adornment is;
The secret scriptures utters He:
What kind of god, my friend, is this?
"Why talk of ash-smear, holy speech,
adornment strange? This only know,
This god, of every living thing is the true nature. Chāḷalō."
"My father and my master, He of all men Lord supreme, is clad
With but a hanging loin-cloth stitched;
Pray tell me, friend, is He not mad?
"The Vedas four with meaning fraught,
The everlasting shastras, know
That these are but the threads whereof is wove His loin-cloth. Chāḷalō."
The burning-ground's His temple fine;
The tiger's skin His raiment is;
Father or mother hath He none;
He's all alone; my friend, see this.''
"Though He no parents hath, no kin,
Yet should His anger kindle, lo,
The whole wide world would straightway turn to dust and ashes. Chāḷalō."
"Though I am but a cur, yet when
I turned to Him who hath no end,
Into a sea of bliss He made me sink
Overwhelmed; see this, my friend."
"Those holy feet that sank thee
In the sea of bliss overwhelmed, know,
Even to the very gods in heaven they're richest treasure. Chāḷalō."

No comments: