Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Prabuddha XIX

He felt love,

self-love, pride.

‘In the beginning there was nothing

just existence,’

he told himself. 

‘May I multiply

to countlessness.’

And thus did he extrapolate

thus did he expand self

and release forth the universe,

and thus did he enter

each and every other creature.

The essence, the soul

of all things that exist

resides within him now,

is resident only within himself.

O Brahman!

Thou art without form

and yet creator thou art

of innumerable forms

and having created them

thou gatherest them all into thyself.

Fill us then

with thoughts of thee.

Thou are fire

the sun too is thee

wind too though art

and so too the moon

the start filled sky

and water of course

thou art in thine singularity


creator of all

and if any query was raised

that too was thee.

‘Did you hear what I said?

What are you thinking about so much?

What’s the point of all this thinking?

Let’s just live with whatever we have;

it won’t be like this for ever, after all.

The bad times will pass by and by

I overheard at the fair

that Rahu had moved

to some place else.

It’s supposed to be good.

And if you really tried hard

even you could go abroad

get a scholarship or something.

I read in one of your philosophical books

people in Japan attain Buddhahood


in this, yes this very lifetime;

Sen? Satori? Or ws it Kon?

I’m not sure, something like that.

Since you are so engrossed

in philosophy

why don’t you go to Japan

or even West Germany

do some research

about Buddhism in such places;

you can return with a car

and of course other things –

you could sell the car alone

for about a hundred thousand.

Anyway, listen!

The older girl will attain age

one of these days –

it would be good

to get her a necklace

earrings or bangles,

what do you think?

I have no thoughts but of the children

the future,

don’t you think of such things?

My dear, dear child!

That is my very problem:

I just can’t think!

Is there something called the future?
Is it a projection of the past, if so?

Is time but the past that has passed away?

Is it the remnant of a cause-effect principle?

Will there be something called time

when all thoughts have ceased?

Is time but thought and nothing else?

What now?
Why do you cry Niranjala?

I was just joking,

come, come dear one,

okay, let’s get a necklace.

I think of the children

all the time

just like you do,

I often tell myself

‘if only we had a small house to call our own…’

a place you will all be safe in

for we cannot live on rent forever.

I know you must be scared

that I would depart from here as well


On the other hand

we have this at least

for these days

there are many

with even less. 

Some swallow pebbles

to satisfy hunger

some consume pieces of glass

and others twist serpents around their necks

and stuff their heads into their mouths,

cut pieces of flesh

apply medicinal balms

display wounds and all

wherever people may gather:

‘Give us this day our daily bread!’

And the multitude that looked on

with the wide open eyes of wonderment

when thus solicited

surreptitiously move away

miserliness having entered heart

or else out of their own poverty.

A young girl shows embroidered slip

peeping out of a white hem of short skirt

not knowing where she goes.

Treading with trepidation

through the pathways of Sansara

yearning to capture someone’s eye

longing for help for security even

that’s poverty, nothing else,

lust it is most certainly not.

A young man

with thick-rimmed

owl-like black glasses

tight jeaned with pockets

here, there and everywhere

but not one cent inside,

sits by her for a moment,

and having been warmed


for poverty that forbids

the taking of her hand

and not, certainly not

out of slyness. 

‘Is there no way

to subdue their sorrows

all the sorrows

of all these people?’

Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta!

May all beings be happy.

Having arisen from the brahman posture

opening window to the rising sun

in the lotus position I meditate.

Ditta va ye va addittha

ye cha dure vasanti avidure.

Seen or unseen,

remote or living nearby.

The sound of the mail train

rises gradually

and gradually falls.

Niranjala sleep

the child in her arms.

She heaved a heavy, heavy sigh. 

Breathe in

breathe out

breathe in

breathe out

breathe in

breathe out

‘Five hundred rupees for a necklace

a pair of bangles three hundred and seventy five

everything costs money


I can get a necklace

and a pair of bangles too

I can sing third rate songs

earn a lot of money

‘Got to get the money

whichever way I can!’

Oh yes sir!

I could earn a thousand

in just a fortnight,

but how could I

how could I

stoop so low?

What am I thinking?

What am I thinking?

The mind is a wild horse

requiring capture and taming

tethered by the mind

employed by wisdom.

‘Pooraka – Pooraka //

Kumbhaka- Kumbhaka ////

Rechaka – Rechaka //[1]

This however is no meditation

just the murmuring of a mantra.

I inhale, I exhale.

Should not think, ‘this is inhale’

should not think, ‘this is exhale’

should not think

should feel


Is this abdication

is this a fleeing from life

would this any fruit bear?

Will this result in the revelation of truth

will this yield liberation, will it emancipate?

No, this is not transcendental

this is self-delusion. 

It is not moving towards some infinity
it is both infinity and journey.
[This is the nineteenth part of the translation of Mahagama Sekera's epic poem 'Prabuddha', an exercise that has the permission and blessings of the immediate family of Mahagama Sekera. Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI , VII, VIII,  IX, X , XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII and XVIII can be found in]  


[1] A yoga exercise involving breathing

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