Friday, January 28, 2011

A Poet's Gratitude

Often I write at first,
then in wonder I read!
And more often than not,
I simply cannot believe.

All the marvels
that You doled
All the planets
that You rolled

Passing through so
many generations,
You make me play
perfect emotions,

have me scribe words
that fit just right
in sacred poetry
You make me write.

- Shiv

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is there life after death?


Some curious person asked
what comes after life?
Are there beds of roses,
or laden thorns of strife?

All the wise men surmised
but the man was dissatisfied
until one quiet soul
hearing everyone replied:

"If there is life before death,
then so it must be after death.
but in the city of the living dead
there is nothing behind, nor ahead!"

Live!

Credit: God, Guru Nanak

Death undone

That doesn't die
that hadn't taken birth.
And that isn't born
that will not die.

The only way to escape
both life and death
is to remove I's birth
in the first place!

Then the communion
with the ONE
is called perfect
and Death undone.

Credit: God

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hungry


From the day I was born
I was hungry.
I cried for mommy
and she understood.
She understood before I
even could say anything.
And She fed me!

When I grew up
She cooked for me.
And cooked she well
because whatever she made
was so delectable,
so succulent.
Just the right spices
salt and water.
She chose the purest,
the best ingredients.

She still does.
I can eat outside too
but there is
no better cook than mommy
and there is
no better kitchen than hers
and no one had
as many pots as she.

She has pots of brass
those made of steel
She has expensive
ones made in silver
and even delicate
earthern pots.

Her food prepared
in different pots
tastes slightly different
even when
the main ingredients
remain the same.

But what remains the same
is not the pot;
the pot is merely to prepare
and then to serve.
what remains the same
is the lingering taste;
it has the same amount of
unending love in it
the best you ever had.

Yes I am grown up
but still live with mommy
because my hunger
has grown too with me
and she is the only one
who can feed.

My mommy is my Guru
and for an eternity
she has prepared
the same dish ...
the dish of truth!

But its not bland
Its very colorful
because she uses
multilingual pots
every pot even adds
a new, different flavor
to her dish.

But the truth remains
Her food tastes awesome
it used to sate me then,
it removes my hunger now.
And will forever!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love Union


Just Needs

I need just enough ears 
to hear your call
I need just enough tongue 
to answer you back

I need just enough feet 
to walk towards you
I need just enough arms 
to embrace you tight

I need just enough head 
to lay down at your feet
I need just enough heart 
for you to live there
And shiv, I need just enough sight, 
to see you everywhere

An older Translation

With just enough space in my heart,
You, my love, can live forever where,
and just the right sight in my eyes
to see Your reflection everywhere,

my hand intently funnels my ear
to hear Your warm and passionate call
and my tongue promptly answers back:
"Yes, Yes, I want Your affair!"

So in my hands holding the yarn
that already binds the two of us,
with quick, yet very confident feet
closer towards You, I tear.

On Your sight my head slowly swells
bowing naturally down at Your feet;
I shed all loans of my life*,
leaving in union, me, just bare.

Inspiration: God, Bhai Nand Lal Goya

*loans of life = every breath we take has been borrowed; its not ours, because we don't get to keep it -- it is the Creator's. Without breath, after life, the body goes while the soul remains. It is only the soul that unifies with the Creator, not the body, therefore in union one has to be "bare". From the readings I have done, this is a poetic way to explain our connection with unity, not necessarily a definition of the truth (so I don't expect a soul to magically fly towards heaven after death or hover about in my backyard to trouble me).

Other Notes:
It is impossible to translate poetry, especially beautiful Farsi (Persian) poetry. I have just taken the essence of a Farsi poem written by Bhai Nand Lal and from that inspiration written this poem. Like the poems of my dear Gurus, his poems ooze love for the supreme mystery. I am the 10th descendent of Bhai Nand Lal, so his poetry remains special to me personally.

Bhai Nand Lal, despite being a Hindu, was considered to be an authority on the holy Quran during Mughal ruler Aurangzeb's time (17th century) and was hired to teach Farsi to Aurangzeb's kids (specifically Bahadur Shah) to prepare them for the throne. However, Bhai Nand Lal opposed Aurangzeb's fanaticism and intention to forcibly convert the population to Islam, and left to become a disciple and poet laureate of my dear Guru Gobind Singh. His poems are sung in the Golden Temple and across the world even now. He is a great example, in my mind, of someone who favored Truth over falsehood, and for that, is remembered till date.

Truth Meditation - 真理冥想 (Chinese)

在真正开始
在过去的真实
真的现在是
真的将永远是

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mool Mantra Truth

That,
the Only One entity
in the form of Om
named "Truth"
creates
without fear or enmity
living at all times
before birth, beyond death
self sufficiently,
has been revealed
by my Master

My Master guides me
to become one with
the one entity,
the song of Om,
so I am Truth too,
and my purpose is
to create more truth
without fear or enmity
remaining beyond time,
remaining free from
the painful cycle
of birth and death
of false desires
and thus
remaining
self sufficient.

I'm indebted to
my master for
his revelation
of truth.

Credit: God, Guru Nanak, Bhai Gurdas

Bhai Gurdas says "Guru Nanak read the mantra of Truth" refering to Mool Mantra.

Guru Nanak's Mool Mantra says (with literal meanings):
Ek Omkaar, Satnaam, Karta Purakh,
Nirbhau, Nirvair, Akaal Moorat,
Ajuni, Saibhang, Gur prasaad

Because this is a mantra, I am not putting a period at the end ... "Gur prasaad" is followed by "Ek Omkaar" forever. Similarly the first sentence in my translation can be read continuously from beginning to end.

Ek Omkaar - one Om shape
Satnaam - true name
Karta Purakh - Creator Purakh (Purakh or Purush is a vedic term for the creator)
Nirbhau - Without fear
Nirvair - Without enmity
Akaal Moorat - Timless shape
Ajuni - pronounced Ajooni, Joon is cycle of birth of death, Ajooni is "one who is unaffected by the cycle of birth and death"
Saibhang - Self existing (from vedic 'svyam bhu' -- self existing)
Gur prasaad - Guru's blessing or gift (attained by Guru's blessing)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Истина - Truth (Guru Nanak)

Изначально истинное,
было истинным,
сейчас истинное,
во все времена было истинным

- Гуру Нанака (Russian, translated by Svyatos Albireo)




In the beginning True,
For ages has been True,
In the present is True,
Will forever be True.

- Guru Nanak (English, translated by Shiv)

Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach
Hai Bhi Sach, Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach.

- Guru Nanak (Gurmukhi original)

A fling with Truth


Legend talks of Mount Falserest's corrie
with water that would any thirst quell,
only if someone could go, imbibe its glory,
and came back to the valley to tell.

On this tall mound I too tried to climb,
traversed terrain that no pardon would give;
but aghast near the top was I to find
there was no water, not even air to live.

Knocked down by deceptions so many
I now trust my tryst that a fling fells
me as I sing plain truth in the valley
not needing to remember anything else.

Credit: God, Guru Nanak, Mark Twain

Notes:
Mount Falserest: A mount, as tall as mount everest, but instead of rock, made of a tall order of falses (many deceptions).

A corrie is a lake close to the summit of a mountain. Usually of breathtaking beauty like the one in the picture above(that one is from Ireland): calm, serene, and peaceful!

World's concept of success is like Mount Falserest; we all try to climb Mount falserest; and we can never reach the corrie on the top, because it is a myth; there is no peace on the "top."

One has to fall to the valley of truth for peace of mind. A fling with truth is liking falling in love the conception of truth; in this case one is falling from Mount falserest. "Trusting my tryst" is apt because its suggests living in God's will.

Once you have fallen to the valley of truth, you don't have to remember anything else; you are in bliss. Just like when you tell the truth, you don't need to remember all the stories you made up to support the false corrie of Mount Falserest.

We try to climb Mount Falserest for peace, when it lies right here with us in the valley.

On a personal note, I love the reference to Mount Everest because I was born in Kathmandu, Nepal!!!

Guru Nanak:
In the beginning true
Throughout the ages true
Even at present true
Forever shall be true

Mark Twain:
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

True Love tones

Some do Do,
some sing Sa;
some say So;
Others play Pa.

Somewhere cuckoo sings;
somewhere koyal kooks;
kukushka bliss brings;
elsewhere carol kakukks.

Some love in vermelho,
in some red flows,
some bleed rosso,
in others rouge grows.

Love tones enthralled
are everywhere the same;
they are just called
by many a different name.

Har Allah God Raam
Sung whichever way
makes soft souls calm
and hale hearts play

Credit: God, Rig Veda

Notes:

Sa and Pa - 1st and 5th notes in Hindi Octave
(Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa)
Do and So - 1st and 5th notes in English octave

This comes from solfege or solfeggio system which assigns each note a particular syllable. The notes 're' 'mi' 'fa' and 'la' come from syllables from words from the "Hymn of St John" written in the 8th century -'do, 'ti' and 'so' added later


cuckoo -- english
Koyal kooks - hindi
kukushka - russian
Kakukks - hungarian

vermelho - italian
red - english
rosso - portugese
rouge - french

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Truth Meditation



Rising with the sun
What was true
Will be at sunset
Still golden truth

Its Summer's warmth
Grey winter's dew
Autumn's red fall
And Spring's life too

Like hours pass
So Seasons do
Grey has a range
But Truth stays true

So In this new year
Last year's white truth
Like bygone millennia
will again ring true

Its reign will sustain
With it's royal blue
For ages and eons
Forever true

So Hold still my dear
As Vapor Flows through
You too will Be clear
In a moment or two

Why shy away from
Truth's boldness due,
And Why seek outside
For what's inside true?

Credit: Guru Nanak, George Couttolenc

"From Beginning's Dawn True
to whichever Age True
In Today's Morn True
And Forever Will be True"
- Guru Nanak