Of Spirit and Poetry
I must apologise for not posting anything for a while. Life got in the way. As it sometimes does. But I am back now and there is some good news to share. My very first book, a collection of poems and art goes to the printers today. Super excited!
With poetry still on my mind, I am reminded of all the wonderful songs and verses by the poet saints of India. In the spirit of the moment I am sharing a few of my favourites here for you to enjoy.
All religions have a wonderful spin-off – inspired creative expressions that come from depths of the soul. Whether it is in art and architecture or literature and music some of the most fantastic works in history have come from a deeply religious or spiritual place.
On this blog I hope to keep bringing you both sublime and awesome works from ancient and contemporary Hinduism.
But for now the poems.
These are taken from the book Women in Praise of the Sacred and are by two well known women saints of India, Mirabai and Mahadeviyakka.
What Use for Words
By Mahadeviyakka, 12th Century.
I do not call it his sign,
I do not call it becoming one with his sign.
I do not call it union,
I do not call it harmony with union.
I do not say something has happened,
I do not say nothing as happened.
I will not name it You,
I will not name it I.
Now that the White Jasmine Lord is myself,
What use for words at all?
(Mahadeviyakka was born in the Indian village of Udatadi, and wrote in the Kannada language. A devotee of Shiva she gave up conventional dress along with conventional life, and traveled the countryside alone. Stories say that when she died in her twenties she disappeared into a burst of light.)
It’’s True I Went to the Market
by Mirabai, 15th Century.
My friend, I went to the market and bought the Dark One.
You claim by night, I claim by day.
Actually I was beating a drum all the time I was buying him.
You say I gave too much; I say too little.
Actually I put him on a scale before I bought him.
What I paid was my social body, my town body, my family body,
and all my inherited jewels.
Mirabai says: the Dark One is my husband now.
Be with me when I lie down; you promised me this in an earlier life.
( Mirabai the most famous of all the Northern Indian women bhakti poets, was married to the crown prince of Mewar. But, like Mahadeviyakka three centuries before, soon came to reject any husband but her Lord- Krishna also known as Giridhar.)