Poems by Neera Kashyap
1. I see why
I see why you wrote the bridal garland of letters to the Lord.
I see why Parvati was sent to earth to do tapas.
Yes, because she playfully closed her Lord’s third eye
Unleashing destruction on earth, so she had to repent;
She came down so she could do penance and worship
So she could reach her sage to practice what he taught.
She practised and pined; practised and pined.
Then she heard her sage sing of love for his Lord
Sage Gautama’s song of love
She realized the Lord because she heard this song
It ended all pining, all prayer, all practice.
Her Lord was everything
And a blazing column of light
The nameless and formless assuming name and form
I see why you wrote the bridal garland of letters to the Lord
by Neera Kashyap
(First published in the Golden Jubilee Souvenir, Ramana Kendra, Delhi, 2014)
2. A garland that ensnares
Your union of letters to garland the Lord;
a union of the heart and your teaching to us
Your letters create a deep longing in the heart:
a surging restlessness of waves,
ebbing and flowing
in an endless pattern:
flowing with hope, ebbing in despair.
Something draws me away from the waves,
as if to witness the waves that hope and despair.
The pain returns but so does the witness
in an endless pattern
of hoping, despairing, witnessing.
The garland murmurs in the heart,
a union of letters conveying your love for us:
Turn your gaze inwards to the Heart;
Dive beyond the waves?
Beyond the wave that witnesses?
The wake follows the waves – suffering, witnessing, diving;
In an endless pattern
of wave and wake; suffering, witnessing, diving.
Something is holding me captive; not wave, not wake;
not suffering, not witnessing, not diving.
It is a garland – a union of letters that ensnares the heart,
(first published in Kritya, 2015)
3. So we may be happy
A bridal garland of letters to the Lord,
a poem you wrote a hundred years ago, Lord Ramana.
You asked Arunachala to protect helpless persons like yourself
so they may be happy.
Not yourself but us, so we may be happy.
You wrote –
appealing, praying, challenging, threatening, pining, anguishing for the Lord;
so we too could appeal, pray, challenge, threaten, pine and anguish for Him.
He kept his distance
till we tired of ourselves, our threats and accusations, our pinings and prayers;
knowing the limits of our strength, our capacities.
‘How is it that Thou hast become famous
from Thy constant union with the poor and humble, O Arunachala?’
Of course you would be famous
if you are to be the magnet of Love to our iron of holding to,
sheer holding to.
Poor, humble and devoted.
Then you no longer stay aloof but come of your own.
Rush to our succour
to protect helpless persons like myself
so we may be
by Neera Kashyap
(first published in Direct Path, Sept-Oct 2014 issue)