‘Lament of a Helpless Child’ – A Poem
There are times, our scriptures mention,
When a sage’s curse has made one mad.
I sure deserve to be cursed by them
for my countless sins and deeds so bad.
If I were ever cursed to be mad,
I have just one heartfelt plea,
That mad I become for Nama, and Nama only,
Since that will be the best for me.
As I see the world around
By pain, suffering and grief it is wound.
Stroke, autism, cancer, paralysis
the names of diseases are an endless list.
So many people suffer and die
from accidents which they cannot survive.
The elderly are left uncared and alone,
No one caring for them, not even at home.
So many lives are in tatters
Caught fighting in legal matters.
This makes me realise
that worldly life is nothing
And to attain the Divine
is indeed everything.
Lazy I am, this realization despite
To embark on my spiritual trail
It is indeed Maya in all her might
Working to make my determination frail.
India is a holy land which countless Mahans have adorned,
From north to south, and east to west, ever since time dawned
They all echo one thing, out of compassion for the human kind
“If even one jiva were to benefit, let me be born time and again.”
Can I please be a fortunate jiva
Who benefits by your descent?
Would you please bestow jnana bhakti and vairagya
As alms to me from your abodes in heaven?
There are so many diseases
for which there is no cure
And every afflicted person
knows he is going to die for sure
He knows there’s no way out
of this dreaded terminal disease
And all he can do
Is plea, plea, plea!
For a miracle by God
That would set him free
I am caught too, in one such dreaded disease,
The one called Maya from which I cannot break free
The sadhanas I do, go completely in vain
Because from maya’s trap I am unable to refrain.
I helplessly cry to the Lord above
to cure me by His mercy and love.
There was a man who climbed a tree,
Seeing a cobra there, he had to flee
He jumped down to see a sight he dread
He saw a wild bear and again he fled.
He ran and ran and bumped into an elephant in fury
Who seemed very ferocious, mean and angry
He jumped into a river that ran beside,
And it seemed like he safely reached the other side.
But to his dismay, it was a lion he met
And he had to run again to escape from the jaws of death
He sank unknowingly into a pool of quicksand
And could do nothing but to pray for God’s helping hand.
In the same way I have tried to escape from many a pain
Only to find myself caught up over and over again
I tried all I can to escape desire
Only to find jealousy burn in me like fire.
I fought jealousy, but ended up angry,
To get rid of anger was another malady.
I fought in anger to attain name and fame,
And the quicksand called maya, played her game.
She lured me deep into her confine
And I am stuck her, and in pain I pine.
Every misery I experienced in life,
I felt was my end, and I would never survive.
Each time God saved me by His unfailing Grace
Removing every sorrow without a trace.
My heart swelled in gratitude and my will grew strong
To never ever do a deed that is wrong.
As time rolls by, my gratitude fades
And before I know it I fall back to my old ways.
My pride and ego convince me I am the best of all,
But I stoop lower and lower and again I fall.
I recount the troubles Meerabai had to endure
From her husband who did not understand her bhakti so pure!
Prahlad too was thrashed and beaten
By his father, by whom he was forsaken!
So many women have suffered silently and long
Their devotion not understood by the society where they belong!
While for me there is nobody who says, ‘Don’t chant, Don’t do bhakti!’
But I still fail to chant the nama and do Krishna bhakti
In trying to control my senses
I sometimes feel that I have won
But each time I realise
I am losing the battle even before it has begun!
I often feel like giving up
And going my own way
But I struggle and pick myself up
‘cos I should eventually do this some day!
I chant so much nama, so many kirtans I sing
I feel I am still a toddler, I find myself never progressing!
Is attaining God such an arduous and formidable task?
Or do I remain ignorant, since my sadhana is full of flaws?
These thoughts leave me clueless, I don’t know where I stand
In this Divine journey, the most purposeful one I have ever planned.
It is said in our scriptures, that as we take our last breath
Krishna or Guru would come, to liberate us from this cycle of birth and death
May I believe this only due to my faith in Guru and God
May this not be an excuse to laze without chanting the names of the Lord.
I am so full of impurities that I detest myself completely,
With all the hate I have on myself, I wonder how you will ever like me!
It is by your compassion, that you love this undeserving,
It is because of your love, that I still remain hovering.
You know that if you hate me, I would have nowhere to go,
As you are the only shelter for me, that I surely know,
A mother would have many children, but only the one will need her more,
who is physically and mentally challenged, and cannot manage on its own
I am a helpless child, who is incapable, ignorant and weak,
The warmth of your merciful embrace, is all that I seek.
I always thought I was simple, good and honest
But when I sit in a Mahan’s presence, my mind is never at rest.
It is only at this time I see my thoughts surfacing,
Dozens and dozens of them…ugly and disgusting!
Shame engulfs me that moment, I am unable to withhold,
These thoughts seem like hidden snakes coming out of a hole.
Until I came to a Mahan, little did I know,
I was not so good, was putting up a show!
In spirituality it is said, one should be practical and real,
It is not wise to tread what seems assumptive and surreal
We hear of many Mahans who have realised their self
By treading a path where not just the destination but the journey is sweet in itself!
I wish to tread this practical path shown by these great souls
To attain God and achieve the human birth’s goal!
– by Karuna Mai, Sydney