Womens’ Ecstatic Visions of God – Poems And Faith

 

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Next week, I will be on holiday and far away from the computer. Gosh! I need a break, time away to relax and indulge myself in photography. I leave you with this post on Truth as seen by several ancient women poets whom I admire greatly. Hoping  you will all enjoy this post as much as I did writing it.   I do enjoy comments, if only a one liner once in a while. They provide me with valuable feedback, without them, I am lost to know what to write and publish here. Here we go with my last post for a while.

 

I
n every spiritual tradition, the same truth appears: I am sure you have all noticed that at some time or another. Writing on spiritual matters as I do, I honestly can say, there are as many paths to the divine as there are people.

 

While it is necessary to undertake specific practices in spiritual life – prayer or meditation, the vows of right behaviour and right speech, all the many paths that lead to “being awake and aware at the core of our being” – such practices do not create anything that was not there from the beginning. They only open the door to what is already present within us. We do not pray or meditate or engage in good works in order to reach a goal or to become some way “better,” but because these activities are the fundamental expression of the heart freed of the distortions of ego and dualistic thinking. Nothing we do can bring the Sacred into existence and nothing we do can destroy it: this is the message the mystics have always brought to us.

What follows in this post are several poems from different traditions and different times – all from women, yet each points to this idea of the hidden treasure of Truth that does not change.

 


A small image of Lal Ded
A small image of Lal Ded

The first poem is from Lalla Ded, a fourteenth-century Kashmiri poet. she was also a mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite Sect. She wrote many devotional and mystic poems, expressing her longing for the Divine.

I was passionate,

filled with longing,

I searched far and wide.

But the day that the Truthful One

found me,

I was at home.

To learn the scriptures is easy,
to live them, hard.
The search for the Real
is no simple matter.

Deep in my looking,
the last words vanished.
Joyous and silent,
the waking that met me there.

– Lalla Ded

 

 


 

Sun Bu-er (1124?) was the most famous woman teacher of Chinese Taoism. She began spiritual practice only at the age of fifty-one, when after raising three children to adulthood, she and her husband undertook study of the Way. Each became a fully realized being and teacher, and SunBu-er left behind a number of Taoist treatises and poems.

Cut brambles long enough,
Sprout after sprout,
And the lotus will bloom
Of its own accord:
Already waiting in the clearing,
The single image of light.
The day you see this,
That day you will become it.
-Sun Bu-er

 

Rabi'a
Rabi’a

 

 

Interestingly, the inner sacred is almost never desribed as residing in a temple, but as being at home, kept from public view behind closed doors, in the inmost rooms of the self. Here is one example of such a poem, by the Sufi saint Rabi’a (717-801), a freed salve who lived in the simplest of huts on the outskirts of Basra, in what is now Iraq.

O my Lord,
the stars glitter
and the eyes of men are closed.
Kings have locked their doors
and each lover is alone with his love.
Here, I am alone with You.

-Rabia al Adawiyya

 


Painting of Mirabai by GR Sharma
Painting of Mirabai by GR Sharma

From an early age Mirabai felt an irresistible attraction and devotion to Sri Krishna. As a young child she was given a Krisha doll, which she worshipped as if it embodied the living presence of Him. Although people misunderstood her, she considered Krishna to be both her best friend, lover and husband.  Swami Sivananda said of Mirabai  ‘It is extremely difficult to find a parallel to this wonderful personality – Mira – a saint, a philosopher, a poet and a sage. She was a versatile genius and a magnanimous soul. Her life has a singular charm, with extraordinary beauty and marvel.’

That dark Dweller in Braj
Is my only refuge.
O my companion,
Worldly comfort is an illusion,
As soon you get it, it goes.
I have chosen the Indestructible for my refuge,
Him whom the snake of death
Will not devour.

My Beloved dwells in my heart,
I have actually seen that Abode of Joy.
Mira’s Lord is Hari, the Indestructible.
My Lord, I have taken refuge with Thee,
Thy slave.

– Mirabai

The Master’s Boon – Myths and Legends

 

elephant drawing

 

The Master’s Boon

 

The young devotee, Meher, approached the Master, Maha Ramdas with awe and a great deal of humility. “Will you let me sit at your feet and learn from you, Oh wise one?” he asked.

“Of course,” replied Maha Ramdas . “But you may not like my method of teaching, it might not agree with you.” Meher answered, “Great Master, I want to learn and I am willing to undergo any task to find God.”

 “Yes, I know how you feel,” said the Master. “But you will find my commands and the discipline of this Ashram very difficult to follow – many have come before, and left because of my strict methods.”

Meher, though, was convinced that he would be perfectly obedient to anything the Master commanded. After only a few months of living with the Master, however, he had grown discontent and was no longer sure. The Master, although renowned for his wisdom, was often capricious and even cruel; all the last-minute changes in plans and schedules,the relentless discipline, the uncertainty of how the Master would react to anything, the intense effort to fathom his ways in the hopes of pleasing him, proved too much for Meher and he ran away.

Although he had run away from the great Master, he did not want to give up his search for God. One lonely night he prayed for a new Master, and to his surprise, the next morning he was guided to a great Yogi who was another prominent teacher of the day. He asked the Yogi to be his new teacher and Master.

 “Perhaps I have found my true teacher at last,” he thought to himself. But that night, as Meher was looking at the moon, he saw, to his amazement, the face of Maha Ramdas shining back at him.

Sorrow gripped him as he returned to the Yogi’s house to rest. The next morning he bluntly asked the Yogi: “Are you going to make my life miserable; will you be a hard task master…?” “Never,” said the Yogi – looking at him with a wry smile. Meher  relaxed a little.

“Then you will accept me as your disciple?”

 “First ask me why I won’t be strict with you and make your life miserable,” said the Yogi. This surprised Meher, “Well, tell me why?”

 “Because I would not love you and care for your well-being as Maha Ramdas cared for you. And whether you like it or not, he not I, still commands your heart, so it really is of little use asking to become my disciple. You should return to your Master who is waiting for you.”

Meher knew these wise words were true. He sadly left the Yogi, and returned to the Ashram of Maha Ramdas who accepted him back with much love. Soon he learnt to surrender to the wisdom of Maha Ramdas’s ways, and in time he became a great saint.

– Anon

Two Sathya Sai Experiences – More Sathya Sai Memories

 


During my visit in 2008, I had the good fortune to sit for morning bhajans at the back  door entrance to the bhajan temple. (Swami sits opposite the back entrance in his wheelchair during bhajans. ) Swami came out  that morning to give darshan. It gave us all such joy. After some time he was wheeled into the Temple. We sat there motionless staring at him. He, as usual, appeared to be  in bliss. The bhajans continued for some time. During the bhajan singing, Swami called several students for a short discussion then dismissed them. He sat once more in bliss.. Swami  then  glanced over to where we were sitting and smiled.  Suddenly out of nowhere, a bunch of Jasmin flowers fell from the air into my hand! I don’t know where they came from. There were none around the temple door.  I immediately pinned them in my hair, removing the artificial rose that I had pinned into my hair that morning.  I don’t think Swami likes artificial flowers…..

p.s. During 2009 Swami ceased to sit inside the temple for bhajans. He sits outside on the veranda for all to see .



LEARN¸.•´* ♥ become aware of soul lessons*`•.¸(¯`•.•´¯)¸.•´* ♥ LET
GO¸.•´* ♥MOVE ON¸.•´* ♥ with joy •, LOVE ♥ gratitude•



Divine Intervention by Vibuthi
Influenza once spread like wild fire in the Sri Sathya Higher Secondary School in Prashanti Nilayam. Nearly 200 students were affected. After the evening bhajan concluded, Swami asked Dr Alreja to pay a visit to the School. The doctor found about 200 students suffering from high temperature, cough and vomiting. The infection seemed to be beyond control. It was then 8 pm. As the doctor made his way back to his room, he thought that as Swami’s room would be closed at that hour, he would report to Him next morning. At 8.30 pm, a volunteer came to tell him that Swami was waiting for him. The doctor hurried into Swami’s presence. Baba asked him, “I was waiting for you. Why have you not come to Me immediately? ” The doctor replied, “Swami, by the time I returned, it was 8 pm. I thought that your door would be closed by that hour. About 200 students are suffering there from flu. I find it impossible to arrest its spread. I am afraid, at this stage, no medicine can help. Only You can save them!”Next morning, Baba visited the school and the hospital. He walked through every single veranda and classroom. He went up to the roof also despite the Principal’s protestations that it was not properly cleaned up. Swami then called for a stainless steel bucket filled with water. He materialized vibhuthi in immense quantities and poured it into the water. He asked one of the teachers to carry the bucket around and serve the vibhuthi water to every teacher and every student. The disease spread no further from then on. Within a space of four days, every single patient recovered fully.

A.Anantha Vijaya