Sunday, 9 March 2014

Prabuddha XX*

When perishes
all treasure houses of knowledge
gathered through the ages,
when stops
all thoughts
the conjuring of images
and the commerce of words,
then alone it arises
and never upon command
that state above states
that jhana
like a river that breaks banks
and overflows
and like the music of silence. 

Lying down on a bed
the perfect stillness
receives visitor –
a bell tolls
from a distant temple
the ring
it stayed
and left by and by
leaving nothing behind.

For a moment the mind stopped.

This morning
this day of Enlightenment
the ascension of Siddhartha Gauthama the Buddha,
this public holiday
all citizens stay home,
homes built
in competition
with one another
and according to ability,
where the earth is parceled out
divided into pieces
thirty, thirty-five or forty perches
encased in barbed wire
seven-eight rounds
reinforced with high walls
brick upon brick
of reinforced incarceration
replete with gate and iron lock
they burned their days
inside the prisons
they themselves built. 

The fiery sun having set
the full moon arose
brighter than usual
plump in full sphericality
and one by one
here and there
there was lighting of lantern
colored glow
wavering through foliage
swaying from sunshade.

I stepped out.  Looked.
Was amazed!
Bathed in the blessed glow
of a myriad Vesak lanterns
barbed wire and wall
that had carved up the earth
they were all gone

The world is one seamless open field.

Earth and sky
tree, branch and leaf
everything, everything
for a moment rendered
as a property commonly held
belonging to us all
in a moment.

Sukho Buddhanang Uppado
The birth of a Buddha is cause indeed for happiness.

Prisoners imprisoned
step out into the streets
and in a magnificent movement
of the multitude
flow and flow
towards the viharaya

as one. 

The exalted cry
of one and all
he hears
for a moment.

Gaha karaka dittosi
Punna gehang naka hasee!

Thou art seen
Thou shalt not build this house again.

*[This is the twentieth 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,  XVIII and XIX can be found in]  

1 comment :

  1. One finds artless kindness and support in the home; sometimes, sadly, it takes years to see it. Houses are complicated things. They involve too many questions. Eg how not to build when ones with resources or why build when there’s one already or maybe its just about renovation.