Kshetra-Gna

My form is made to apprehend
the myriad things that shift and bend

The lunar sphere which shines beyond
a nearby shrub beside a pond…

may consist in all or nothing both
yet to my form they surely boast…

of Logos, which, both here and there
creates the world and shews the care…

with which He makes the All collapse
into a portrait strewn perhaps…

with patterns, signs, motifs, and sounds
that reveal His nature, which few have found…

Yet all perceive His glory here
and no excuse have those who shear…

the Truth with empty words and lies!
And justice due will be reprised…

For Light and Life are in the Word
and all with ears have surely heard…

that leavened in full will be the world
The Life of God will be our pearl

On a Dark Night

It seems to count for little
what I’ve heard, what I’ve read
for the mysteries of God are yet left unsaid

In earnest I search the scriptures
and every word, like a thread
by intellect is woven, that light might be shed

But to weave in one fashion seems akin to all others
In this one respect, all threads seem like brothers
that each, in their turn, seem plausible at best
yet far am I from certain in which I may rest

Still, intellect itself
where Grace is concerned
will serve but a little
afore all is unlearned

For the thread which is spoken is not the true thread
The intellect, to all concepts, in Truth must be dead

Dispensation

St. Peter’s dome is girded round
with carven shapes, their form profound

From underneath, its awesome swell
wrought with pains too great to tell…
bespeaks of order, grand and pure
the weight of time its beams endure

Atop the dome is fixed the Cross
From age to age it greets the lost

The cornerstone is Jesus called
and by His word are men enthralled

Yet Logos reigns beyond the base
The work entire is had by Grace

For whether in power he makes the Earth
or grants to man the gift of birth…

Christ himself obeys the Lord
and makes his Will a thing out-poured

The Banyan Deer

The deer had a chief in the green banyan grove
His ego was bloated with self-loving throes

He thought to himself…
my antlers are fine
my haunches are hard
and I have a keen mind

His long days were spent eloping with does
and taunting young bucks, in the green banyan grove…

But it once came to pass that he fell fast in love
A doe struck his heart like a dart from above

Not a fortnight had passed, and she carried his fawn
He’d sired three-dozen, but he thought them cheap spawn

This time, however
his soul felt a pang

The mother, he loved
and the fawn would bear his name

Yet on a day long ordained
before the hour of birth-pains
five hunters drew near to the grove

Bows at the ready
their hands naught but steady
the hunters came stalking the does

They found her alone
She stood like a stone
the mother who bore the chief’s fawn

By design, he was near
His heart filled with fear
at the sight of five bows that were drawn

She dared not to run
Her limbs had gone numb
She knew not how to process the danger

But the chief was abhorred
He’d seen this before
To the threat, he was ought but a stranger

Heedless of pain
or the danger to himself
afore his love, he sped, and there reeled

In this circumstance
he’d give her a chance
by using his body as a shield

The darts were then loosed
deadly as any noose
They punctured his body with ease

His scream split the air
It raised hackle and hair
The lament unbuckled her knees

It was then that she ran
there outpacing every man
She’d be damned lest her fawn see his life

He watched as she left
there gasping for breath
the Chief who ran not from the scythe

Yet amidst his sharp pain
he felt peace all the same
For once, his intent had been pure

Though spilling his blood
the earth turned to mud
his demise was now all but sure

He then gave up the ghost
His psychic-nature did boast
a vast myriad of thoughts and impressions

From this life, and that
he swirled in a vat
of images, sounds, and reflections

Then, in a blink
his mind on the brink
the Lord stood before him, as one clothed

His voice came as water
the tidings of a Father
To this One, the Chief was betrothed

He stammered in speech that he knew not before
To him this new Lord was a thing of adore!

“My Master” he said
there nursing his dread
“For your servant, what doom do you plan?”

The Lord broadly smiled
His voice, soft, as a child’s
“My son, you’re now fit to be Man.”

The Proxy

Call me the proxy
I’m a fiddle with strings

Contemplation is the luthier that makes me to sing

Of all the thoughts, impressions, and trifling things
spinning round my head
in constant concentric rings…

There’s not a one may boast on any account
Mighty God alone is the prodigal fount

God’s Basin is like an imperceptible abyss
When I receive naught from that ocean, I know something’s amiss

And the moment I attribute His Grace to myself
it is then I abuse my spiritual health

Walk Into the Day

It’s go-ing on two decades now
the darkness that has beat your brow

For most of it, I wasn’t there
And by God’s own face, it isn’t fair

The oppressive night, you’ve known too long
Your heart is stripped of joy and song

But happiness will find her way
She’ll bring her warmth astride the Day

The Day is like a Sun-kissed field
It’s rimmed by trees that never yield

I speak it true
doubt not the Scroll
The Day can be within your soul

It’s here, and there, and everywhere
The Day pervades like wholesome air

The darkness, though, is like a blight
It lives alone, like sores on-site

It has no truth or permanence
It’s doomed to die in Holy rinse

The hour is nigh
You will be sane

Walk Into the Day
and there remain

Strength of the Soul

As all the great mystical traditions of the world have affirmed, ascetic discipline is the means by which internal equanimity is established: a contented state of being that abides without regard for external conditions or circumstances. However, it must be said that equanimity, in itself, is not the supreme object of the mystical ascetic as he subjects himself to renunciate discipline. Rather, as he approaches his goal with ever-increasing profundity, unconditional contentment becomes indicative of his progress. As we proceed it will be prudent to discuss the method by which the ascetic approaches his goal, and the nature of the goal itself.

According to its inherent nature, the human “will”, lacking ascetic discipline, becomes shackled to various pleasures, sensations, and (above all) the fantasy of personal possession. Henceforth, we shall refer to this phenomenon of self-will as the “ego”. So long as it is able to gratify its conditioned desire for pleasure and extract validity from those aspects of the external world it perceives itself to be in possession of (property, status, esteem, etc.), the ego can remain contented after a fashion. If once these external conditions are removed, however, the egoistic mind will become frantic. And no wonder, for it had made its peace and happiness contingent upon circumstances, sensations, and illusions. Apart from its ability to gratify conditioned need, the ego is without rest or sanity. Desiring liberation, the ascetic seeks to detach himself from this bondage of conditioning; but in doing so he must renounce his attachment to all pleasures of sense and every pride that life has to offer. What then shall we conclude? Does the ascetic, by virtue of his asceticism, take refuge in a void, an oblivion of all passion? By no means.

To quote Thomas Merton, the entire work of asceticism is undertaken in an effort to “direct all the strength of the soul to God”. This is no less true of the Hindu ascetic as he meditates on the all-pervasive reality, Brahman. This Brahman may be described as the supreme Soul, the divine support residing within each and every creature. Having severed all desire to squander vital energy (the strength of the soul) in pursuit of egoistic gratification, the ascetic is enabled to take delight in those things that refer to the Soul, pursuing instead the bliss of final liberation. In other words, he is consumed by the only passion that can be said to harbor permanent significance. Through his discipline, the ascetic disposes himself to receive the divine knowledge upon which equanimity is established; and the unseen nature of equanimity is described by no one better than Sri Krishna: “The Lord dwells in the hearts of all creatures and whirls them round upon the wheel of maya. Run to him for refuge with all your strength, and peace profound will be yours through his grace…” (The Bhagavad Gita 18:61-62, Easwaran translation).

As the ascetic, full of faith, matures into the realization of the changeless, eternal Lord within himself, he rests his spirit in that intimate knowledge alone. The Gita states persistently, such a one is alike in pleasure and pain, honor and dishonor, being completely fulfilled. Ascetic renunciation, far from obliterating one’s capacity for joy and passion, places completely at man’s disposal the profound strength of his unencumbered faculties. With the clear, spiritual vision born of his renunciate freedom, the ascetic devotee launches this strength at the glorious, cosmic quasar of divine bliss: the primordial singularity (God) that reaches out to penetrate the entirety of creation with unfathomable Love; but the spiritual maturity entertained herein is largely inconceivable. All the exalted spiritual masters who have graced the Earth with their footsteps have insisted that the path to freedom is a harrowing journey trodden only by a few. To attain the fullness of God, of Nirvana, of the everlasting Self, the most radical form of surrender is required. As Jesus proclaimed to his disciples, the one who desires liberation must seek the Kingdom first. It seems as if we are called to a task of nearly impossible magnitude. How will even the most ardent faith persevere with the cosmic invitation? We must look to the noble ones who have gone before us: to those who consummated the purpose of life and heralded the joy of their attainment to all with ears to hear and eyes to see. To them was given the inheritance, the immortal bliss, the resurrection and the life.

Kingdom

The Avatars are one with God
Each Scepter stings our grim facade

Ensnared by things
the separate- self
revels long in passing wealth

But some whose minds are free and clear
pierce right through this thin veneer

With glory strained into the eyes
they see God in his disguise

First, among the masters great
the Avatars with causal weight

Next, among the Earth so green
each fern is like an astral beam

And finally, within the Self
where unity is God’s true wealth

This wisdom has been passed through time
and all who seek will come to find

inside the heart, its reaches deep
there lies God, the Self to seek

The Invitation

A thicket sprouts
with bramble sharp
encroaching fast around the heart

It strangles there
my every joy
and weak I am to halt its ploy

There is no front
but calm within
to hack its thorns and rout the din

So

when striving ebbs
by Eloi’s grace
the mind grows dim and slows its pace

All murmurs gone
like unto smoke
his comfort stirs and dons the yoke

A burden light
is shouldered then
Some gentle load brings rest within

Come unto me
spake once the Lord
The deeps of pain, I’ll see you ford