Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Poem by Ravidas 

When I existed,

By Ravidas
(1398? - 1448?)

English version by Nirmal Dass

When I existed,
You did not.
Now You exist
and I do not:
as a storm lifts waves
from water --
still they are water
within water.

O Madho,
how can we describe
this illusion?
What we believe does not exist.

A mighty king sleeps
on his throne
and in his dream
becomes a beggar.
Seeing his kingdom vanish
before him
he greatly mourns --
such is our condition.

Like the tale
of the serpent
and the rope --
I know a little
of the secret.
Seeing many bracelets
we think gold has many forms --
but it is always forever gold.

In all things
exists the Lord,
assuming countless shapes;
in each pore he plays and sports.
Ravi Dass say,
He is nearer than my hand.
All that comes to pass
is by His will alone.

from Songs and Saints from the Adi Granth, Translated by Nirmal Dass


Thought for the Day:

It takes immense effort
to remain distracted.
Your natural state is bliss.
Stop working so hard to forget this!

Ivan Granger

Ivan has recently published his daily Sayings in a lovely e-book, which he is offering on the internet, asking only donations from readers. Here is the title:

The Silence Will Teach You
Sayings and Artwork by Ivan M. Granger

Go to his Poetry Chaikhana for further information (see link on sidebar).

And here is what Ivan tells us about Ravidas:

Ravidas lived in Varanasi (Benares) and is generally thought to have been a younger contemporary of Kabir. In his poetry, he describes himself as a leather worker, someone whose contact with dead animals would have marked him as an untouchable in Indian society. Yet he is revered by both Sikhs and Hindus.

According to some sources, Ravidas was initiated by Kabir's famous guru Ramananda. And some traditions assert that Ravidas was, in turn, the guru of the great female poet-saint Mirabai.

Because of his untouchability, Ravidas has become an important figure for oppressed castes in India today, his followers calling themselves Ravidasis.

A warm blessing this weekend to all the outcasts... which is all of us, when we are honest. Have a beautiful weekend!


Thanks to you, Ivan, for all you give to the spiritual community, particularly those of us who are in love with poetry.

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