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hell

Laplanders regard with dread and awe-the icy howling wind- the wiiliwaw;

To Northern races like the eskimos, Hell is a place of eternal snows.

Tropical tribes fear the heat and light- their Hell is a place where fires burn bright.

I pondered over this tangled knot, was Hell frozen over or burning hot?

Why should we fear the afterlife ;think it an extension of fear and strife

If it is true that the soul is set free  to adventure into eternity?

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Marghazi continued


         Margazhi  day 21
The Light that roused the Cosmos,
How can You still feign sleep
When we come to praise you
With a devotion that’s so deep
That we’ve forgotten ourselves.
The sun radiates vast cataracts of energy
A drop is enough to feed, fuel, give  life birth
Mighty rivers gush forth to nourish the rich fields of earth
The milch cows of Brindavan pour from their udders
So much milk that the pots overflow
And the milkmaids’ lovely faces also glow bright
In the dawn’s auroral light.
Unasked, this bounty we’ve received,
Yet, greedy for more–
For a glimpse of Your corporal form–
We wait by your open door.

          Marghazi  day 22

Famous, wealthy, powerful kings,
Realizing that your blessing
Is worth more than anything
They could own, have given up  kingdoms and crowns
To stand here with us.
Your eyes that flash red fire
To sear evil,
Can also glow gently when they alight
On your devotees, so that all of us,
Like the lotus at dawn,
Burst out of tightly closed buds,
Of ego and self-esteem,
Shall unfurl our petals,
Realise our potential
As part of your Creation and You!

     Marghazi day 23

Monsoon months bring in their wake,
A deluge of drenching downpours,
Monks meditate, and great beasts hibernate.
Inside a mountain cave,
A great Lion,
Mightiest of beasts, opens his eyes-
Flecked with amber- red sparks,
Shakes his mane, shakes off sleep,
Stretches mighty limbs.
Straightens his majestic form.
Then He regally paces
To His throne-room and seat of state,
We gaze at His power and strength with awe
His ability to be many things to many men
And admire His complexion —
Krishna’s beautiful blue-lotus glow.
From that exalted state
He glances down and  listens
Our petty sorrows evaporate
Like mist dispelled by the sun,
As we lose our identities
And all that is left is His grace.

Marghazi contd

    Marghazi day 13

The morning star has risen
As the others have set in the west
We, who have been serenaded by birdsong
While splashing in cool clear waters,
Have been doubly blest
Our hearts filled with love and devotion,
Our heads with awe at This Creation.
Shake off the blankets that cocoon you
The comfort of ignorant inertia
The cold waters of reason shall wake you
To a higher plane of existence.

Among the white buds of the fragrant water lilies,
Among the red buds of the lotus,
Among the iridescent winged ones
With multi-faceted eyes
Let our ornaments tinkle underwater,
As our beings crystallise
In the image of the Creator.

       Marghazi day 14

Emulate  the dark red lotus in your pond
Whose thousand petals have unfolded
Open your mind and heart to the infinite
To nature, who has shaped
The peaceful pearly White Conch whose clarion call
May arouse heroes to battle,
To artifice, which has created the Whirling Wheel
Whose great speed lends it stability,
Makes it seem poised, static, stable.
The saffron-robed ones let fall pearls of wisdom
As they move to higher, rarefied heights.

Golden ornaments, gold laburnum flowers,
Glowing golden energy sources.
You soul-sparks, no less effulgent than suns,
Let the cold waters strip away the dust of ingrained sloth
To let the gold of the soul grow, to glow brighter.

        Marghazi day 15

Your eyes are open, though sleep still holds you in thrall
You’re like a caged parrot, capable of speech and flight
Come, realise yourself, let us seek together
The Destroyer of the elephant who was drunk on mindless power
That Creator of Light.
You seek security in numbers, come count and see for yourself
How many stand at your doorstep and how many are gone ahead.
Push aside the fleecy blankets of oblivion
Do leave your devitalising bed!

Once you’ve sung praises of the Creator
You’ll never be the same again
Your tears shall spring forth to clear your eyes
Nothing can deter or threaten you, once you’ve stripped off your disguise
Cast aside your identity,  your ego,
To merge with the Cosmic flow
of energy
Lesser men may sneer at your viewpoint..
Call you a slave to your beliefs, or even deem you mad!

     Margazhi  day 16

We are all finally awake and at the threshold
But the door set with bright bells stands barred
Which Guru can help us across this final barrier
That stands between us and God?
The promise of great riches within
That great spiritual treasure
Has led us poor mortals, here,
We who measure
Our worth in land and cows,
And physical pleasure.
Gatekeeper, pray open the door, and let us in.
We have sloughed off both sloth and the odour of sin.

As we look at the dark clouds which have arisen
From the seas as vapour
As we flinch at the forked lightning that blinds us
And the deafening roll of thunder,
We wonder whether on a higher plane of existence
These are but as a soft glow and tinkle of bells
And we pray that we may cast off our outer shells
To merge with Energy Incarnate.

         Marghazi day 17

The door has finally opened,  and I see the form
Of a father, who protected, provided,
And a mother, whose love and care
Nurtured the Child whose intellect spanned
The Here and the Everywhere.
I see a sibling, a companion, who was present at work, in play,
And I appeal to all of them to guide and show me the way
That, in their vaster experience, they
Have already traversed.
My eyes are now wide open and I have been shown
That what I come seeking, I have already loved and known.

The bliss we seek in the four directions resides inside our heart
That which energises us can also destroy every fault
That prevents us from seeing the truth.
May we rise like the red lotus, through the muddy waters
In which we’ve taken root.

      Marghazi day 18

You who have entered with honor,
Help me cross this threshold
You’ve been accepted by the Master of great beasts
And heroic men.
You have free entry to this sanctum,
Teach me the passcode, the clue
So that I may enter at will,
Let me be as you.
The rooster, and musical cuckoo
Who sits amongst jasmine blooms
Have announced the break of day.
I hear the sweet chimes of your bangles
Do open the door, don’t delay
Any more.

The gems on crowned heads seem to fade
When petty rulers bow
To their Emperor
As do the brilliant stars who are cast in the shade
When the sun begins to glow.
All distinctions are burned away
In that pure white light
Confusion thrives in the dark of night,
Divisions of gender, of creed, of class:
Evaporate with the nightdew on grass.
Let me, too, lose myself in that bright Sun’s Light.

         Marghazi  day 19

In my ignorance I attribute human traits
To the Primal Energy source
I assume that, like a king,  my Creator
Has access to every resource
And luxury this land can provide.
I think He is unaware that I stand at the door
I believe he’s partial to those who’ve gone before
Me, into the sanctum of faith, of knowledge,  of surrender.
And these favored ones I envy, till I realise
That we are all one, in our Creator’s eyes.

And in Whose warm, sheltering hands
We are nurtured, encouraged to grow…
What can we give in return
But service and devotion?

            Marghazi day 20

Your will, oh, Creator, acts on the Cosmos
And all beings, to clear doubt and fear
Independent of Time, aware of All,
Do you not see us supplicants here?
We call to those who’ve merged with the Creator:
You, so perfect in body and mind,
Help us lesser mortals who’ve been left behind.
Give us a mirror that we may identify surface stains
And wash them away, and a fan to dispel distractions
To keep them at bay.

We praise the flowers of creation
Their beautiful, gentle grace
In their radiant glow, we trace
Your glory. We offer them to you
What else can we offer that’s so pure?



Marghazi

   Marghazi  day 1

These misty mornings,
Goosebumps ghosting over arms,
Fresh faces..
Doorsteps with
intricate kolams.
Winter solstice.
Dormancy for plants
Hibernating animals,
A slowing down of life processes.

A time for the human mind to  contemplate on what’s past and gone
To gear up for what’s to come.
To let spiritual energies flow
In this Marghazi morning’s early glow
When the day is new-born..
And the dark segues into the dawn.

Marghazi  day 2

In the cold dark of the Cosmos
A stream of energy appeared…

Some personified it as a pillar of fire-
The One with no beginning or end
And called it Siva.
Some called it an effulgent ocean
From which all life began
On which Vishnu reclines
He, whose single footstep had once spanned
The entire universe.

The cold of winter recalls the chill
Before the beginning of time
And to anticipate the spring
Voices are raised in song
As silver and bronze bells chime.

The longest night of the year
Is gone
As the days grow warm again. 
The winter solstice passing
Is marked with singing and dancing
And early morning chanting
Of songs to Siva and Vishnu.

In winter’s cold dark nights,
Orion strides the sky,
At his left heel, blue Rigel blazes
On his right shoulder Betelgeuse
Glows red.
The full moon is closest in December
To this hunter’s head.

Ancient indian traditions are based
On these cycles of the moon and sun
And inspired great saints whose hymns
Were handed down to be sung
In this month of Marghazi.

Marghazi day 3

Awaken to your destiny
You who have been formed
From random strands of protein
Reflect on what you have become,
Where you now stand
On evolution’s ladder, halfway between
A single -celled amoeba
And a self-realised being.

Warm and cosy is your bed
Your dreams are real, in your head.
From your comfort zone, arise!
For your immortal soul, its just a step
Forward…from the mud to the skies!

Dont fritter away this daybreak
The glow of reason’s dawn
Come let us join minds and hearts
To move upward and along.

  Marghazi Day 4

From the ocean’s depths, rises a shining light
A conch, all dazzling, pearly white.
It summons life, with a clarion call.
A great golden wheel spins in sync
To energize and create all
Life.
Together they call forth the thunder showers
That rejuvenate the earth.
Brown soil explodes with grass and flowers.
All around is light and sound.

Green parrots streak across the skies,
Their raucous meaningless cries
As loud as mankind’s chatter
Across social media –
But what does this white noise matter
To souls that must be awoken, inspired,
To rise from where they now lie mired
In ignorance. To shake off sloth
And move along the one true path
That leads to Truth.

   
Marghazi Day 5

Gita Bharath

The creator of illusion, of Maya, is called Mayan
The Formless one, taking on many forms,
Babe, naughty urchin, cowherd, philosopher
Diplomat, advisor, unique charioter,
All offerings we make of fruit or flowers
Thinking they belong to us, as ours
Are part of your creation.
And when we realise this truth, it shall sear
All false illusion and wickedness here
On earth.

Silver tongued, glib, with the arrogance of  youth,
You mortal, who  claimed you’ve seen this great truth,
Yet lie asleep. Open your eyes, open your mind’s door
Jettison your ego, let your soul soar.

       Marghazi day 6

Temple bells chime, white conches are blown,
Birds twitter, a great eagle zooms upward in the dawn.
Minds that are fresh and pure now meditate
On their inchoate
Understanding of energy that is at once static
And dynamic.
Omnipotent, omniscient might
Quiescent in the midst of its creation.

Alert and restless, deer-like,
The mind always anticipating
Reward and danger.
Unaware that both are all around
From the orbiting planets
To orbiting electrons
A symphony of sound-
The music of the spheres
— Om—-

     Marghazi day 7

The milkmaids’ ornaments tinkle
As the butter froths up in the churn
As white as the flowers in their hair.
In the woods, each sparrow takes its turn
To serenade the pre-dawn light.

But sleep lies heavy on eyelids
Of mortals who can scarce differentiate
Between illusory day and night.
Voices call out in vain
To those still fast asleep –
“Rise up from the deep
Sloth of ignorance.
Open your door, let in the Light!

   Marghazi day 8

The low horizon begins to
brighten in the east
And dull dun buffaloes amble out to feast
On dew-drenched blades of grass.
Why wait for the night to pass?
Let’s go forth instead to greet the sun
To receive the benison
Of being part of quickening life.

The cockscrow is prelude
To the music of the white conch and lute
That sing of Creation and the Creator
Is he apart or a part of all?

    Marghazi day 9

We are of one blood, cousin, you and I,
I think I’m awake yet, you still sigh
Caught up in the warm folds of Maya
In a dream world of nacreous light.
I shall call to you in myriad tongues
And speak of our creator.

He is the Ageless, the Eldest, too,
He permeates what we call ‘me’ and ‘you’,
Formless, and yet, taking on new forms
Does that make him the Youngest, who
Dances, and makes Time dance to the beat of his drum
Makes our hearts reverberate to the thrum
Of Life, of Love.

Marghazi Day 10

The rewards that accrue
To the pure and true
Through cycles of birth and death
Are also to be renewed
So, wake and restring
The fresh garland of holy basil leaves
Shake off the demon of sleep.
Or the energy-circuit that courses through all will break.

With our limited view
We try to comprehend the limitless.
The male and female components,
The celestial and mundane.
Pinning down a Name, a Form, a Something
That we can look up to, worship..

Marghazi day 11

That dark cowherd Krishna
Omnipotence in human form,
Has milked the cows and vanquished foes
Whilst you were still asleep.
The celebrations are on
This early morn
Under the golden orb of the sun.
We are singing and dancing in joy
How can you sleep through it all?

The Cosmic Energy- red fire and ash
created a symphony this dawn
Of jewelled dragonflies
Buzzing and darting
Over pink and white lilies
Come dip your palms in the cool water
And realise the blessing
Of just being….

Marghazi day 2

Marghazi  day 2

In the cold dark of the Cosmos
A stream of energy appeared…

Some personified it as a pillar of fire-
The One with no beginning or end
And called it Siva.
Some called it an effulgent ocean
From which all life began
On which Vishnu reclines
He, whose single footstep had once spanned
The entire universe.

The cold of winter recalls the chill
Before the beginning of time
And to anticipate the spring
Voices are raised in song
As silver and bronze bells chime.

The longest night of the year
Is gone
As the days grow warm again. 
The winter solstice passing
Is marked with singing and dancing
And early morning chanting
Of songs to Siva and Vishnu.

In winter’s cold dark nights,
Orion strides the sky,
At his left heel, blue Rigel blazes
On his right shoulder Betelgeuse
Glows red.
The full moon is closest in December
To this hunter’s head.

Ancient indian traditions are based
On these cycles of the moon and sun
And inspired great saints whose hymns
Were handed down to be sung
In this month of Marghazi.

Marghazi day 1

   Marghazi

These misty mornings,
Goosebumps ghosting over arms,
Fresh faces..
Doorsteps with
intricate kolams.
Winter solstice.
Dormancy for plants
Hibernating animals,
A slowing down of life processes.

A time for the human mind to  contemplate on what’s past and gone
To gear up for what’s to come.
To let spiritual energies flow
In this Marghazi morning’s early glow
When the day is new-born..
And the dark segues into the dawn.

Mind works

You can show me the ruins
of Harappa, Mohenjodaro
The parthenon, Machu Pichu
The  pyramids, the enigmatic sphinx,
Tell me of wonders that men wrought
Those giants of bygone ages.
Can we ever know how
their minds worked…
Were their thoughts attuned to greater things
Were these their dreams that had been given wings
Surely the soaring spires and gorgeous art
Could not have been a part
Of a greedy, selfish, cruel race.
Like ours.
Are we devolved from heroes?

India


DESERT

In Rajasthan I’ve have flown on hot air balloons
Seen palaces, forts and magnificent sand dunes .
In the white desert of Kutch, among dry reeds
Thousands of greater flamingos breed.
Hospitable, hardworking, these people never shirk
They wear huge turbans and skirts with mirror-work.
Crowds attend the 5 day long Pushkar Camel Fair,
Bajra rotis, Mohan dal and kachories are favorites there.
India is the land of deserts for me
So much to do, so much to see.

RAINFOREST

I’ve traveled from the North East to the Ghats of the South West
India is surely the land of the rain forest.
Elephants march through elephant corridors
Hornbills, Hoolock Gibbons, rhinos and wild boars
And even the Sangai, the world’s unique dancing deer
Is found on floating islands only in Manipur, here.
A wood more precious than diamonds or gold
The Agar, is found in North east India, behold!
Rare orchids  and some of the largest butterflies are found here too.
In the south, kurunji flowers cover whole mountains in blue.
The Andaman Rainforest has some unique vegetation
That isn’t found anywhere else in the Indian nation.
India is the land of rainforests I think,
Between animals and men, a vital link.

COASTS AND

7500 Kilometres and hundreds of sandy beaches
Also, mangroves, coral reefs, marshes, sea grasses!
Two and a half lakhs Olive Riddley turtles came to nest
They found the Odisha coast The safest and best place.
Bengal has the world’s largest mangrove area
Royal Bengal tigers, fishing cats, crocodiles and hundreds of birds and fish live here.
India’s first marine park is in the gulf of Cambay
A dugong or sea cow reserve is being set up in the southern Palk Bay.
Near Chennai, an annual surf festival takes place
There is music and food and sailboat and kayak races.
With such long coasts and sunshine and sand
For me, India is The coastal land.

PLAINS

Mighty rivers have carried rich silt down
To create rich farmland and village and town.
Wheat, rice and dals, vegetables, tuber roots,
Spices and nuts and flowers and fruits
Oh, also mulberry for silks and cotton and jute.
All these,  and rich minerals, too, are found
On India’s vast plains and underground.
Many a life giving river is
worshipped as a deity,
For it generates both health and prosperity.
The world’s second oldest dam is across the Cauvery
This Kallanai was built of stone in the first century.
Monsoons or glaciers feed the rivers and plains
Indian railways is Asia’s largest network of trains.
Because the plains were fertile and could nurture
People, they had time to develop education and culture
That is why I think it’s the plains of India that make it whole,
Feeding its people, feeding its soul.

MOUNTAINS

Not only do the Himalayan ranges have the highest elevation
But almost every state of India has its own  hill station.
The eastern and western Ghats, the Sahyadri,
The chhotanagpur plateau, the Aravalli,
Pir panjal, Khasi, Garo, Jaintia hills,
Offer mountaineering , trekking, rafting thrills.
The Western Ghats has the “hottest hotspot” of biodiversity
One of only eight,  per UNESCO’s latest study.
Without the mountains,  there can be no rivers or rain
No fertile farms or city-filled plain.
The Himalayas are the youngest mountains on earth
Only forty million years ago did they take birth.
Hills provide refreshment and respite
Cool and energizing spots of delight.
Once rishis went up the hills to meditate in silence
To them we owe knowledge of Yoga, and Ayurvedic science.
If ancient Indian culture endures still
I think it’s because it was born in tranquil hills.

India


Vande Mataram Lyrics in English
Vande Maataram… Vande Maataram… Maataram… Sujalaam Sufalaam Malayaj Sheetalaam Sasyashyaamalaam Maataram Vande…
Shubhrajyotsna Pulakit Yaaminiim Phulla Kusumita Drumadal Shobhiniim Suhaasinim Sumadhura Bhaashhinim Sukhadaam Varadaam Maataram…

Vande Maataram Sapta Koti Kantha Kalakala Ninaada Karaale Nisapta Koti Bhujaidhruta Kharakarvaale Sapta Koti Kantha Kalakala Ninaada Karaale Nisapta Koti Bhujaidhruta Kharakarvaale Ka Bola Ka Noma Eith Bole Bahubal Dhaariniin Namaami Taariniim Ripudalavaariniin Maataram Vande mataram.

 
I praise thee, mother,

You are the mother
Of pure waters, good yields,
Mountain-born cool winds
Emerald green fields.

Mother, I praise thee,

You are the glow of moonlight
In the mysterious dark night,
You are full blown flowers on leafy trees
Beautiful are your smiles
Your sweet speech beguiles all.
Bestower of joy, granting boons generously

Mother, my praise is all for thee.

Seventy million throats resound with your praise
For you, their arms with swords are raised.
Who dares to call you weak, Embodied power and force
Destroying all evil, defeating many foes.

I praise thee, my Mother

   Tiger

The largest of cats, who roars,
Not purrs,
With a coat of black-and-gold-striped fur
A lonely powerful hunter in the night
With eyes that see in the dimmest light.
A false eye design behind each ear
Makes ambushers draw back in fear.
Lord of the jungle, mighty and free..
The tiger, our symbol of strength, of liberty.

  Lotus

From the mud, that’s dirty brown,
I rise up, a bud, to bloom, full blown.
Red or pink or dazzling white
I glow with the sun’s own pure light.
I signify both purity and truth
Ageless wisdom and innocent youth.

  Peacock

I dance, my tail spread in all its splendor
As clouds pile up to the crash of thunder
Most gorgeous of birds that have ever been seen
I flaunt the royal purple, gold and green.
I blend vibrancy and colour, in glad celebration,
Of unity in diversity, the ethos of our nation.

    Banyan

In myself , I am an eternal forest,
Spreading my branches, sending down roots,
I provide shade and oxygen and tiny red fruits.
I shelter insects, lizards,birds, mammals,
My red figs are bitter but provide many a cure
That’s why I’m called a kalpavriksh in folklore.
I am a banyan, spreading wide and tall,
Like my country India, that shelters, nourishes all.





Communication


The grounded glowworms gleam
Stars twinkle in the night
On treetops fireflies flicker
Using a tiny blinking light
To send signals of love and hope.

Linked to communication satellites
And devices, humans try to cope
But the multitude of wavelengths tangle
And we only misunderstand and brangle
With each other!
GB

With a chip implanted in your brain
No typing, no talking, a flow of thought
Controlling devices communicating clearly
World without conflict? Is this what we’ve sought
Or aspired to evolve to, or ought
We to step back and just
Talk to each other, interface
As a human with the human race?
GB

Ai

To go from grunt to word
It took thousands of years
From cave art and jumping around
To dance and music
Now the world fears
To evolve…
For that which we must next seek
With a bold resolve-
A man-machine interface.
An AI powered human race!
It’s time to plan how we’d like to advance
Not react to nature or luck or blind chance!