Introduction to the Sacred Cento
This remarkable poem contains a hundred especially flowing and harmonious verses of varying metres. These are divided into ten decades, and the whole are connected by the law which requires that the last word of each verse shall begin the following verse. The whole ten lyrics with their hundred verses are thus linked together. This arrangement, which is very common in Tamil, is called AnthAthi, which I venture to translate ‘anaphoretic verse’. This cento is intended to exhibit the progress of the soul through the successful stages of religious experience till it loses itself in the rapture of complete union with the Supreme. The general titile given by one editor is equivalent to ‘The Varying Phases of Religious Enthusiasm’ at least this is the nearest expression for it that I can find in English. The poem is supposed to have been composed in Tiru-peran-turai immediately after the departure of the Saints, for some time MAnikka-VAcagar’s companions, who passed through fire and went home to Civan. From the border of the tank, where the divine conflagration had arisen, into he midst of which his companions had thrown themselves, he returned to the Kondral tree, where he spent a long period in solitary meditation, of which these poems are the sum. He surveys his past experiences, contemplates the work assigned him and while he begins the series of sacred poems by which he was to establish the Caiva system n the hearts of his fellow-countrymen, he never ceases to complain in most touching language, that he is not permitted at once to follow his Master and brethren into the rest and glory of Paradise. This is indeed the burthen of much of his poetry.
The titles of the ten decades, into which the poem is divided, indicate in some measure the course of his thoughts and the character of his mental conflicts. There is a most pathetic alternation of rapturous and realising devotion with coldness and apathy, and even, it seems of temporary abandonment to gross sensuality. It is to be doubted whether the whole of these verses are of one period, and I should prefer to think that they really embody his meditations and solloquies up to the period of his final settlement in Cithambaram.
THE COGNITION OF THE TRUE:
1) Humble access to the New Master
My frame before Thy fragrant foot is quivering like al1 opening bud;-
My hands above my head I raise; while tears pour down, my melting soul,
The false renouncing,, praises Thee; with songs of triumph praises Thee,-
Nor suffer I adoring hand to rest;-O Master, look on me ! || 4 ||
2) Self-surrender. He accepts the ascetic life.
I ask not bliss of Indra, MAl, or Ayan;-though my house and home
Be ruin’d, friendship form I none save with Thine own; though hell’s abys
I enter, I unmurmuring go, if grace divine appoint my lot;-
O King I no other god save Thee I ponder, our Transcendent Good ! || 8 ||
3) He is despised as a mad enthusiast.
Transcendent Good ! Owner and Sire ! Thy servant melting thinks on Thee.
In raptures meet I utter forth my fever’d soul’s ecstatic joys,
Still wandering from town to town; while men cry out, ‘A madman this;’
And each one speaks, with mind distraught, discordant words. O, when come death ? || 12 ||
4) None to be worshipped but Civan
Erewhile was Dakshan’s offering death. They ate the flesh, and poison feared
‘ Our Father,’ cried our friends and worshipt Him with suppliant voice.
And yet ‘Three are the gods that rule in heaven and earth,’ they vainly deem.
What sin is this your haughty minds breathe out, ye errirng penitents ? || 16 ||
5) I plead no merit- am no real devotee.
No penance have I done, nor bowed, with hand unstinting scatt’ring flowers;
Born all in vain,-to ‘ cruel deeds ‘ a thrall,-the bliss of Civan’s heav’n,
Amongst Thy loving ones, I’ve fail’d to gain; see, and in grace bestow
On me, Thy slave, consummate life beneath Thy feet, Supernal Lord ! || 20 ||
6) Grace unfailing to the faithful
They roam’d and cull’d choice varied flowers to lay in worship at Thy feet,
They deemed that all they sought they should obtain; and from these loving
In mystic guile Thou hidest still, abiding not ! In grace bestow,
Love to Thy glorious foot, that I may ceaseless praise with perfect song ! || 24 ||
7) Civan was an ascetic,as am I now.
Erewhile the Maker’s-maker bowed, brought blooming flowers, and everywhere
Sought for Th’ All-seeing One, nor found. Our mighty One, Who dwells beyond,
Here in the wilds with demons danced, a homeless, friendless one; and there
In tiger-skin arrayed Himself, as madman wand’ring to and fro ! || 28 ||
8) Save Thy servants in the day of doom!
The wand’ring wind, the fire, the flood, the earth, the heaven,-a time shall be
When these adown the gulf shall go ! After that hour unknown has come
The deeds-mighty the soul to bind-Thy slave in wand’ring days has done
Let the time come for these to pass ! Guard us from these, our Guardian then ! || 32 ||
9) Bhavan’s our Lord.
Bhavan’s our Lord, Whose garland is the cool vast moon, of heavenly one
The Prince. Civan’s our Lord,Who made me His, my meanness though He saw
Our Lord Supreme is He, and I, His lowly servant, thus declare !
That earth may know, sound out that Bhuvan is our Lord ! || 36 ||
9) ‘Tis wondrous grace that sought me out.
Unmeet was I to enter ‘mongst Thy loving ones, my flawless Gem !
Ambrosia rare ! The way Thou took’st me for Thine own and mad’st me meet
The very meanest lifting high, Thou didst the heav’nly ones bring low !
What Thou our Lord to me hast done is as a play men laugh to see ! || 40 ||
THE IMPARTATION OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE
11) A prayer for perfect love-
‘Midmost of Thy devoted ones, like them in mystic dance to move;
Within Thy home above to gain wish’d entrance, lo, I eager haste !
O golden-glorious Hill of gems ! Give grace, that ceaseless love to Thee.
Our Master, in my heart of hearts, melting my very soul, may ‘bide. || 44 ||
12) Longing for grace alone.
I dread not any birth. To death what should I owe ! Nor do I crave
Even heaven itself to gain. No power to rule this earth do I esteem.
O Civan, crowned with cassia-flowers that sweets distil; our PerumAn !
Our only Lord! I fainting cry: ‘ When comes the day I find Thy grace ?’ || 48 ||
13) Without Thy presence I pine
I ever pine Thy flow’ry feet to see, -Thy slave, dog though I am !
I sit, no fitting flowers present, my tongue no rising raptures speaks.
Thou Who the well-strung golden bow didst bend ! Ambrosia of Thy grace
If Thou give not, I PINE,-a wretch forlorn,-what other can I be? || 52 ||
14) Deadness of soul.
My inmost self PINES not, as were befitting, for Thy sacred Foot;
Nor melts in love; I bring no wreath; speak out no worthy word of praise
Within the shrine of Him, the King of gods, perform no service due;
Nor move in dance. To death I haste ! Thou Whom true wisdom bringeth nigh! || 56 ||
15) God all in all
Thou art the Heaven; Thou art the Earth; Thou art the Wind;Thou art the Light!
The Body Thou; the Soul art Thou; Existence, Non-existence Thou;
Thou art the King; these puppets all Thou dost make move, dwelling within
That each one says: ‘ Myself and mine. ‘What shall I say? How render PRAISE || 60 ||
16) My praise is pure. Free me from embodiments.
The heavenly ones adore Thee still heaven’s bliss to share ! Their minds to Thee
They lowly humble that, on high exalted, men may worship them;
Thou round whose flower-wreath hum the honey-bees ! Thy slave, I praise
Thee, even I, that Thou may’st save from idle round of earthly birth ! || 64 ||
17) The bliss of Civan’s heaven of presence.
The heavenly dwellers chaunt Thy praise; the fourfold VEdas utter song;
She of the shining locks that shed perfume is sharer of Thy seat;
There in true love Thy servants all commingling dwell; there, more and more,
Thy feet with sounding anklets girt do they behold, Thou hard to know ! || 68 ||
18) This abandonment is unendurable.
Thou Whom ’tis hard to know, in sky and in the golden court revealed,-
Our mighty One ! beneath the jewelled feet where I was made Thine own,
No more I scatter fragrant flowers, nor wondering weep, nor melt in love.
‘Tis past my power to bear ! How can it be ? I die, insooth, I die ! || 72 ||
19) He is above; we earthly still.
With flow’ry arrows in the spring-time comes the god of soft desire,
And witching smile of maidens fair, with rosy mouths and flower-wreathed locks !
Poor soul, that pants and melts through these, Who made thee His, and thrilled thy frame,
To-day hath gone and dwells in heaven; yet see, thou still art lingering here ! || 76 ||
20) O soul be wise!
O soul, that livest here in joy ! Of life’s true joys bereft, in mire
Thou sink’st of ‘mighty deeds ‘! Him Who guards men from sinking praisest not !
Thou art devising ruin to thyself,I tell thee so full oft;
Thou’rt sinkcing even now beneath the FLOOD of the distressful sea! || 80 ||
DYING TO SENSE AND SELF
This decad describes the mystic experience known by Caiva Siddhantha, as NAna-Carithai, in which the devotee, though able to discern God in and above and beyond all things, continues to perform outward rites || Carithai || and to avail himself of all means of grace. See Civa-PragaCam II.48. Since Civan so deigns to manifest, and yet vell, His presence, the devotee is assiduous n performance of all prescribed acts of worship, while his soul transcends the visible, and by Nanam || in this connection = divine faith || sees God.
21) I have relapsed into apathy.
Through Thine expanding locks the FLOOD pours down;
the Bull is Thine, Lord of the heavenly ones ! –
They sang, and stood, with panting, melting souls,
like torrent, plunging in th’ abyss ! and I,
With yearning soul I heard ! Thou mad’st me Thine ! Yet now
from head to foot, I melt not;from my eyes
The rushing waters pour not down;my heart
is stone;both eyes are wood to SINFUL me ! || 84 ||
22) Deadness has come over me.
Thou ent’ring stood’st by me fast bound IN SIN;
as one who says, ‘ I’m sin’s destroyer, come !’
Thyself announcing thus, Thou mad’st me Thine,-
becam’st my mighty Lord. Like iron statue, I
Now sing no praise, nor dance, nor weep, nor wail,
nor faint with bliss. Behold, O Primal One,
To Thee I make my plaint; nor know how this
with me shall end, Thou Who art First and Last ! || 88 ||
23) Very vile, but Thine, save me!
Thou’rt Ayan, Thou the fourfold VEdas’ Lord;
I know Thee,-I, lowest of men that live;
I know,-and see myself a very cur;-
yet Lord, I’ll say I am Thy loving one !
Though such I was, Thou took’st me for Thine own
Thy saints are here no longer, only I,
Vile wretch ! and is it thus Thy greatness shines ?
Our PerumAn, what shall I say to Thee ? || 92 ||
24) Thy votary, though full of sin.
And if I spake, ‘ Thou’rt ICan, Father, Sire
great PerumAn ;’ thus have I ever said;
If I besmear’d, ’twas sacred ash alone
I smear’d, still praising Thee, our PerumAn;
Who erst made those Thine own who’d passed by love
o’er birth and death. In torrent plunged of lust
And guile, behold me, spotless Hill of gems !
Father ! ‘Twas such an one Thou mad’st Thine own ! || 96 ||
25) The mystery of His being.
Thy colour is not red,-nor white Thy form;-
Thou’rt Many, One; Atom, than Atom far
Subtler; the heavenly host in ‘wildered thought
know not the way, Father, to reach Thy feet.
Thou showd’st Thy form, Thy beauty didst display
didst show Thy now’ry feet ! Me wandering, Thine
Thou mad’st, safeguarding me from future ‘ birth ‘ !
Our Peruman, what shall I say, what THINK ? || 100 ||
26) Wonders of grace.
Thou mad’st my THOUGHT Thy THOUGHT ! Of me, mere cur,
Thou mad’st the eye rest on Thy foot’s blest flower,
Thou mad’st me bow before that flower alone ! My mouth
Thou mad’st to speak abroad Thy gem-like word !
My senses five to fill Thou cam’st, and mad’st me Thine.
Ambrosial Sea of magic might ! O Mount ! Thyself
Thou gav’st, Thy form like wild of roseate lotus flowers,
to LONELY helpless me. Thou Only-Light ! || 104 ||
27) The voyage
I, LONELY, tost by billows broad of anguish sore,
on the great ‘ sea of birth,’ with none to aid;
Disturbed by winds of mouths roseate like ripened fruit,
lay caught in jaws of the sea monster lust !
‘ Henceforth,what way to ‘scape ? ‘ I frequent cried ! then thought,
and seiz’d the raft of Thy Five Letters ! So to me,
O Primal One, Thou showd’st a boundless fertile shore,
and mad’st the rash insensate one Thine own ! || 108 ||
28) What He did for me.
Him none by hearing know; He knoweth no decay;
He hath no kin; naught asking, heareth all !
While people of the land beheld, here on this earth
to me, a cur, He gave a royal seat;
To me, a dog, all things not shown before, He showed;
all things not heard before, He caused to hear;
And guarding me from future ‘ birth,’ He made me His.
Such is the wondrous work our Lord hath wrought for me ! 112
29) His appearing.
The WONDER this ! Say, is there aught like this ?
He made me servant of His loving saints;
Dispell’d my fear, ambrosia pouring forth, He came,
and while my soul dissolv’d, in love made me His own;
The Sire, Male, Female, Neither, Ether pure, was He;
as wondrous Fire; as End of all; beyond all far;
His body like a flower of golden hue;
our Civa-PerumAn, our Lord, OF GODS THE KING ! || 116 ||
The GOD OF GODS, to king of gods unknown;
King of the ‘ Three ‘; what teeming worlds create,
Preserve, destroy; the First; Essence divine;
the Sire of sires; Fa,ther, whose half the Mother is;
The King of all ! He came, and made me, too, His own.
Henceforth I’m no one’s vassal; none I fear !
We’ve reached the goal; with servants of His saints
in sea of bliss we evermore shall bathe ! || 120 ||
THE SOUL’S PURlFICATION
31) The sluggish soul.
Thou dancest not; thou hast no love for the DANCER’S foot;
with melting thrill
Thou singest not; thou throbbest not; thou bowest not down;
the flower of His foot
Thou wearest not; thou crownest it not with flowers; there’s none like Thee,
DEAD HEART !
Thou seekest Him not through every street; thou wailest not; nothing know
I thou dost ! || 124 ||
32) The ungrateful, treacherous heart.
My Sire came, entered, made His own me who knew naught; in mercy taught
Caused me to know the higher path; He loos’d my every bond !
Despite the gain of changeless, sweetest gifts of grace,thou’rt changed,
DEAD HEART !
RUINED by thee, to all that’s false subjected, thus I RUINED lie ! 128
33) Heart unworthy of trust; insensible to complaint
My foolish senseless HEART, that changing, RUIN bringst to me,
Henceforth I trust thee nevermore;-assuredly on Civan’s mighty arm
The ashes thickly smeared thou saw’st, yet melted’st not; this, body’s bonds
Thou rendest not,-nor can I bid restore the ruin thou hast wrought. || 132 ||
34) The utter folly of the fickle mind.
Perish, O restless mind ! before the Master Absolute,
A dog I lay; Thou didst enjoy His fragrant flowery Foot;
But now thou’rt severed like a young and tender shoot; all former bliss
Hast lost ! Truly I deem Thy wisdom and Thy greatness measureless ! || 136 ||
35) Insensible to infinite mercy.
When He to heavenly ones inscrutable, of acce~s easy to His saints,
Our hidden sin destroyed, and made me His, thou knew’st the melting joy !
Yet, HEART thou hast not, hating all thy hidden sin, prepar’d an ample field for Him,
Nor bow’d before the Master’s healing Feet, the heavenly goal to gain ! || 140 ||
36) What remedy?
If ’tis not given to pass the golden gate,-where all may entrance find,
And whence none e’er departs;-nor yet to melt in love before the foot
Of Him, my Sire, my Lord;-if there to me abound no more
Ambrosia, every honied sweet;-a sinful man, what can I do for this ? || 144 ||
37) A sinner – I quit thee not.
What other sinners are there like to me, cur at the Master’s Foot?
Yet not a whit from me to sever is Thy sacred will; and thus,
O Primal One, Thy Foot’s fair flower if I should quit, arld yet live on,
My soul is iron, stone my mind; my ear to what shall it compare ! || 148 ||
385) Life, a long exile.
The others all have reached the goal, yet I, who know not anything,
Haste not to Thee who art all sweetness, Civan, King of Civa-world;
Thou Spouse of her whose eye is like the tender fawn; long time
I still abide, cherish this flesh, and so my death-in-life drags on ! || 152 ||
39) How do I bear life?
O bliss that ceases not ! O bliss beyond compare ! His bright flower-foot
He gave; to me of kind more base than dogs, He showed the perfect way
My Chief, who gave me grace sweeter than mother’s love, I see not now !
Yet in the fire I fall not, wander not o’er hills, nor plunge me in the sea ! || 156 ||
40) Still the senses’ slave.
‘When Cupid’s dart in springtide wounds, moonlight will scorch ;’ of this I took!
No heed; like milk ‘neath churning stick I’m stirred by wiles of those of
fawn like eyes.
To Civan’s city go I not, where grace as honey to the soul is given;
To cherish soul within the body, still I eat, and garments still put on! || 160 ||
THE RENDERING A FIT RETURN:
41) I did not clearly apprehend Thine appearing.
Like elephant two-handed I saw not
My mind’s true germ; I saw but sore distress.
Thou bad’st me, ‘come’; yet, ‘mid the heavenly ones
‘Twas l alone passed not, the senses’ slave. || 164 ||
42) It must have been illusion. Is HE man?
To all who apprehend that one bright Essence truly is,
As female, male, or lifeless thing Thou art not known;-
To me Thy servant, coming as Thou art, Thou didst appear !
I saw Thee, yet I saw Thee not ! What visual juggle this ! || 168 ||
43) When shall I really see Thee as Thou art?
Thou Form unique, to even heavenly ones
Unknown ! Thou Mystic Dancer, Who didst make me Thine !
Me Thine ! On earth, in heaven, or when all these
Have passed away,-WHEN shall I see Thy face? || 172 ||
44) I am of earth, earthy.
Thou Infinite, by men yet seen ! Beyond eye’s ken
Thou Essence gleaming bright ! Here, like a fledgling, I
Would gladly leave this faulty frame; yet know I not
Dweller in this sense-world-how I may Thee put on. || 176 ||
45) Deadness of soul.
I call not on Thee filled with mighty love,
Nor render praise, nor fall in ecstasy
‘Tis with me as when death confronted Thee,
Bowing before those lotus flowers Thy feet. || 180 ||
46) Call me, take me once more.
Call, take me ‘midst Thy loving ones, Thou crowned
With cassias, home of sweets and humming bees !-
In ‘midst, beneath, above, in all contained,
Thou art, my Sire, ‘ like oil within the seed ! ‘ || 184 ||
47) The Self-sufficing sought out me.
Fathcr and Mother, Lord ! To all besides.
Sire, Mother, Lord: to Him all these are not !
Erewhile within my inmost soul He entered,
Whom none by thought can know, the Ever-blissful One ! 188
48) I had but a glimpse of His glory.
To Thee, nor wealth, nor want ! From heavenly ones to worms,
And grass, || no limit || , all Thou fillest, -Being rare !
I saw Thy Foot-gem limitless, yet swerved from Thee.
This is the grief I stony-hearted have endured ! || 192 ||
49) An appeal.
My bonds Thou loosed’st, mad’st me Thine ! And all
The loving saints who ashes gave beheld.
Thou didst exalt, within the temple court,
Ev’n me Thou didst exalt, who knew not anything. || 196 ||
50) I was not chosen for my wisdom or might.
Thou Only-Wise ! Ambrosia ! me, a servile cur,
When Thou didst take and make Thine own, was I then wise ?
Thou saw’st my ignorance that day Thou mad’st me Thine !
Ah, Lord of grace, was I then wise ? was I then strong ? || 200 ||
OVERFLOWINGS OF JOY:
51) No possible return for such mercies.
O Master, O my Mighty One, my Father, PerumAn, my births’
Destroyer, Thou Who mad’st me Thine,-an evil wholly worthless dog,
And throughly base; I cannot think, Thou see’st,-of any meet return to Thee,
O Shining One, Lord of the Porch,-nor know I aught that I can do. || 204 ||
52) I am still the senses’ slave
Mean cur, that knew not what to do, I gave myself to gain those things
That false ones gain, who ne’er have seen Thy flowery Feet of ruddy gold.
I saw and heard that Thy true saints set free from lies, had gained Thy fragrant Foot;
Yet I,-false one,-O Warrior strong ! still eat, am clothed, and here abide. || 208 ||
53) I only left !
Thou Warrior strong from out Thy golden city cam’st, mad’st darkness flee;
With Her the beauteous Queen didst deign to come. The glorious devotees
Who grace had gained, approached Thy Feet. I saw, yet like a sightless hog
That roams the village street, shall I still roam a wretch doomed to live on ? || 212 ||
54) My love is weak
Full many a saint through deathless time wrought penance,members mortified
With frustrate hope to see Thee here ! Yet Thou didst sinful me Thy servant make.
O Gem ! This frame with foulness filled wears not away. To see Thy face,
The strong desire and love ‘bide not in me; my Prince, how may I rise ? || 216 ||
55) Still I live this loathed life.
Thy bride is Umai with the fawn-like eyes ! Thou cam’st and mad’st me Thine
Ambrosia Thou, essential sweetness shed ! O Civan, southern Tillai’s King
Thy saints assembled ‘neath Thy sacred sign have gone to gather round Thy feet
This loathsome body still I guard, still here I dwell, O MASTER MINE ! || 220 ||
56) Thy will ordains my exile.
O MASTER MINE ! They think on Thee, Thy loving ones, with rapture filled
They’re Thine, Thy Foot I saw them join. Yet here more mean than village cur
I dwell; my heart no rapture feels; my mind is stone, nor melts within.
This body vile I still must guard and here abide,-such is THY WILL ! || 224 ||
57) My old life of earthly love.
The way THY WILL ordains befits me well ! Faithless I strayed, I left
Thy saints. A reprobate was I I How did I watch the one belov’d,
The quiverings of the lip, the folds of circling robe, the timid bashfull looks
To read love’s symptoms there ! My mind thus ruin to myself wrought out. || 228 ||
58) Was my vocation a mockery then?
Thou honied Sweetness, purest Joy, Souls’ Light, Master Who fill’st with bliss
The frame of those that trust in Thee, Giver of endless gifts ! Of worth.
I void am yet Thy slave; Thou me hast made Thine own; if this be so
Thy servant’s state would show, I plead, Thy gift of grace was but Thy sport. || 232 ||
59) What other refuge have I ?
Thy nature others know not ! Lord ! Me evil cur, lowest of all,
Hast Thou not made Thine own ? And wilt Thou let me go cast out from Thee?
Then who will deign to look on me ? What shall I do, O PerumAn ?
Father, whose sacred form is gleam of gold, where shall I refuge find? || 236 ||
60) I have sure hope; yet how unworthy!
I shall enter beneath Thy Foot which is mine ! ‘mid saints that adore I standing
Shall laugh, glad as I gaze on the well-known form! shameless dog tho’ I am !
No melting love is here! To see Thee – to be made Thine own, – can I
Be meet ? This abject state, Father ! behold, ’tis past my power to BEAR ! || 240 ||
THE OVERWHELMlNG SENSE OF THE DIVINE COMPASSION:
I BEAR no more these joys of sense; Hail I CangarA !
Hail ! heaven’s ancient Lord. Hail ! our Vidalai !
Hail ! Matchless One ! Hail ! King of heavenly hosts !
Hail ! Tillai’s Dancer ! All hail ! our Spotless One ! || 244 ||
All hail ! Na ma-ci va ya ! Buyangan ! My senses fail !
All hail ! Na ma ci-va-ya ! Other refuge is there none !
All hail ! Na-ma-ci-va-ya ! Send me not forth from Thee !
All hail! Na-ma-ci-va-ya! Triumph, triumph, Hail! || 248 ||
63) All in all !
Hail ! Loving One, Who deign’st to make false ones like me Thine own !
Hail ! to Thy Foot ! Hail ! O Lord ! Hail, hail !
Hail ! Sweetness new of mercy’s flood ! Earth, water, fire,
Wind, ether, the two lights of heaven,are Thee, O GOD ! || 252 ||
64) Come quickly !
Hail, O my GOD ! In grace behold me; Hail !
Hail ! I pray Thee melt my soul within me, make me Thine !
Hail ! This body strip from off me; quickly give the heavenly realms !
Hail ! CangarA, Who in Thy braided lock hast GangA placed ! || 256 ||
Hail ! O CangarA, other refuge have I none !
Hail ! Partner of the Queen of glorious form, of ruddy lips,
And gleaming smile, and black bright eye ! Hail ! Rider on the mighty Bull
Here these earthly joys I bear not, Embiran,I all renounce ! || 260 ||
I have myself renounced, even I; Hail, hail, Embiran !
I have not done Thee wrong ! Hail ! Foot to which I service owe !
Hail ! Faults to forgive is duty of the great !
O cause this earthly life to cease ! Hail, Lord of heaven ! || 264 ||
Hail, Lord ! Hail ! Thou King of heavenly saints !
Partner of the Queen’s graceful form, Hail ! Wearer of the sacred ash !
Hail ! Worthy Prince ! Hail ! Thou of Tillai’s sacred court !
Hail! ! King of heaven ! My only Ruler, Hail ! || 268 ||
68) Take me
Hail !, only Deity ! lncomparable Father, Hail !
Hail ! Guru of the heavenly ones ! Hail ! ! Tender Branch !
Hail, bid me come, receive me ! grant Thy Foot to gain;
And thus remove my lonely friendless woe ! || 272 ||
Hail, to those who love with perfect love, Giver of love surpassing theirs !
Hail ! Greatness that oft my falsehood pardon’d, granted grace, and made me Thine !
Hail ! Prince, Who drank the outpoured poison,-to the heavenly ones ambrosia gave !
Hail ! Thy perfect Foot on me, a wretch, in grace bestow ! || 276 ||
70) The Universal Lord.
Hail ! Thou Who art earth, water, fire, wind, ether too !
Hail ! Thou, all life’s phenomena,-Thyself invisible !
Hail, all living beings’ End,-Thyself without an end !
Thyself reaching through all, by senses five unreached ! || 280 ||
71) Sinking in rapture.
Sire, as IN UNION strict, Thou mad’st me Thine; on me didst look, didst draw me near;
And when it seemed I ne’er could be with Thee made one,-when naught of Thine was mine,-
And naught of mine was Thine,-me to Thy Feet Thy love
In mystic union joined, Lord of the heavenly land !-‘Tis height of BLESSEDNESS. || 284 ||
72) All bliss in God.
For BLESSEDNESS I seek; not Indra’s choice delights, nor those of other gods;
Thou Only-One, I live not save with Thy Feet twain ! Our Lord,my breast is Riven,
With trembling seized; my hands in adoration join;
And from my eyes a ceaseless stream pours down, as of a river, O MY SAGE ! || 288 ||
73) Prayer for consummation.
MY SAGE, save to Thyself there’s none to whom I cling;-in me, deceitful one
No part from mingled falseness ‘scapes; I’m falsehood’s self !Partner of Her whose dark
Eyes gleam, come Thou to me ! the love Thy true ones feel,-
Who at Thy jewell’d Feet in love commingling rest,-mine be it too, I PRAY ! || 292 ||
74) Give me essential oneness.
I PRAY for love of Thine own jewell’d Feet; remove the false; Thine own
Make me in truth; dog though I am,O bid me come, in grace join to Thyself
For ever more Thine own ! So let me ceaseless praise,
Thro’ every world returning ever come; my King, that I may WORSHIP THEE ! || 296 ||
75) Thou art sole actuality
THEE WORSHIP both the earth and heaven, with shouts of joy, and fourfold mystic scroll:
They yearning pine for Thee. For they who gain Thee know naught true exists but Thee.
Ah ! since we vow to quit Thy service never, come
And grant Thy grace,Thou Partner of the lovely Queen ! Pausingwhy PONDER so ? || 300 ||
76) He transcends thought and speech.
WHEN PONDERING Thee the thought goes forth, to reach the bound desired by fitting word
Is not a whit attainable; nor are these things one hears through forms of speech.
Thee, Who art all the world, the senses five know not.
How GAIN the Father’s Foot that rests in all that is and every sphere beyond? || 304 ||
77) Pity me !
To me, a guileful soul, who thought to GAIN Thee, Lord, salvation save by Thee
Is none. No other Being truly is, save Thee ! Lest pining sorrow come,
In mercy to my sin, my soul vouchsafe to guard.
‘Tis pitying grace like this alone RULER SUPERNE ! Thy glory doth beseem. || 308 ||
78) My soul clings to Thee.
‘ RULER SUPERNE, there’s none butThee, or here or there,’ and thus I ever spake,
Fool though I was, there was no difference ! Our Lord: Thou Spotless One,
Make me, an outcast wretch, Thine own, my Teacher Thou,
The THOUGHT, that other god exists than Thee the One, my mind shall never THINK ! || 312 ||
79) Old days of ignorance.
BY THOUGHT, by deed, by hearing, or by speech, or by these wretched senses five
I failed in days of old Thy truth to reach;- I, low and foolish one.
I passed not through the fire, my heart burst not with shame.
To Thee, O Father, even yet may I attain ! May I yet dwell with Thee ! || 316 ||
80) Strange command: ‘Tarry yet below.’
Me iron hearted and deceitful one, Thine own Thou mad’st; Thy foot’s sweet bliss
Filled me with joy; with me Thou didst commingling join. The fire was there and I
Was there: that was which was ! Though this was so that day,
There was in Thee desire for me, in me for Thee;-what ignorance was mine? || 320 ||
81) Falsehood lingers yet.
‘The seed of lies is not destroyed ;’-so saying, Thou hast placed me here !-
All those that were to Thy desire have come, and reached Thy sacred Foot ! –
ln depths of fear I sink O God, Who didst in ArUr ask for alms,
What shall I do ? SPEAK Thou to me ! || 324 ||
Thou SPAK’ST to me, amid Thy saints with sacred ash I was besmeared;
By men on earth as Thy poor slave I’ve been abused; henceforth, if what
I suffer pleases not, ’tis what my soul desires, because I am
Thy SLAVE, whom Tho~ didst make Thine own ! || 328 ||
83) Yet I know not why I’am left.
And am I not Thy SLAVE ? and didst Thou not make me Thine own, I pray
All those Thy servants have approached Thy Foot; this body full of sin
I may not quit, and see Thy face,-Thou Lord of Civa-world!-I fear,
And SEE NOT HOW TO GAIN THE SIGHT ! || 332 ||
84) Tell me the hindrance to my instant freedom.
I SEE NOT HOW THY SIGHT TO GAIN; though Thee THAT DAY I saw ! Speak Thou
In music say what ’tis that weighs my spirit down,-O Light Superne !
Male, Female, rare Ambrosia, Sire ! I die, a dog, of power bereft,
By what may I rise up, my Lord ? || 336 ||
85) Falseness keeps me out.
Thou Partner of the fawn-eyed Queen; Thou Word, whose end the Word
Ambrosia sweet, to thought unknown; King, faults of wretched me Thou bear’st
I babbling tell my woes. Thy saints have reached the city blest. OUTSIDE
I and my FALSENESS wander here ! || 340 ||
86) But O, the pity of it.
OUTSIDE We go, FALSENESS and I !True love to gain I’ve lost the power.
This is my gain! Thy saints to Thee who utterly are joined now,
Know nothing else but Thee; in acts all glorious on their way they go !
O Civan, they have reached Thy FOOT ! || 344 ||
87) Failure !
O Master, give Thy slave to love Thy FOOT; Thy servants now have gained
The world from which they come not back; outside I have remained, I’ve tried
‘To crown the village cow, and so have crowned the blind !’ From love, of
Thy twain Feet
Estranged, a slave I ‘wildered WEEP ! || 348 ||
88) I am unworthy to be numbered with Thy saints.
I WEEP ! With loving mind towards Thee, like wax before the fire were they.
Thy gleaming, golden, jewelled Foot have they beheld, and worshipping
Have followed Thee; not following on with them, in vain have I been born !
Wherewith shall I before Thee bow? || 352 ||
89) At least, take my sin away.
In grace Thou hast put far all ills of those that bowed; on ancient saints
Thou didst bestow Thy Foot adorned ! If that’s too great for me, my guilt
|| Who’m like a tough bambu || destroy; come swiftly, give Thy healing Foot
Thou only True, from FALSEHOOD free ! || 356 ||
90) Teach me Thy way.
All FALSE am I; FALSE is my heart; and FALSE my love; yet, if he weep,
May not Thy sinful servant Thee, Thou Soul’s Ambrosial sweetness, gain ?
Lord of all honied gladness pure, in grace unto Thy servant teach
The way that he may come to Thee ! || 360 ||
THE OVERFLOW OF RAPTURE:
91) The true ones blest – but I!
O Flood of mighty changeless grace ! They came,
who gain’d erewhile the gift immutable
Of station ‘neath Thy twain flow’r-wreathed Feet.
They, LOVING THEE IN TRUTH, HAVE REACH’D THE TRUE !
Thee, Endless One, benignly manifest,
diffusing light,-as Man, I saw Thee come !
Yet I, a dog, of heart by fate unblest,-
lie at the gate, ah me ! in low estate. || 364 ||
92) Deny me not Thy truth.
O Half of Her with eyes of glist’ning jet,
Thou cam’st and mad’st me Thine, with tender hand
As feeding me from golden cup, since when
hard of access I deem Thee never more;
Thou on Whose Body gleam the ashes white !
They, LOVING THEE IN TRUTH, HAVE REACH’D THE TRUE !
But, tell me, is it MEET that Thou should’st go
and leave me here, in falsehood thus to fall ? || 368 ||
93) Take ‘deeds’ away.
MEETNESS I’d none,-the false I took for true;
but when with loving glance Thou had’st me come,
Afflictions ceased ! Yet now deceit seems truth.
I have not died, O blooming lotus Foot !
Thou with Thy loving ones-to whom Thy grace
was given, O roseate Form,-on high
Hast gone, and left me here. Lord, hear my plaint:
there is no end of deeds for worthless me ! || 372 ||
94) No limit to Thy power.
There was no love in me towards Thy FOOT,
O Half of Her with beauteous fragrant locks !
By magic power that stones to mellow fruit
converts, Thou mad’st me lover of Thy Feet.
Our Lord, Thy tender love no limit knows.
Whatever sways me now, whate’er my deed,
Thou can’st even yet Thy Foot again to me
display and save, O Spotless Heavenly One ! || 376 ||
95) My course laid out by Thee.
Thou Whom the lords of heaven themselves know not !
Thy source and end the VEdas cannot trace !
Tlou Whom in every land men fail to know !
As Thou hast sweetly made me Thine hast called
This flesh to dance on stage of earth,-
me to enjoy Thyself with melting soul,-
In mystic drama, too, hast caused to move,-
pining on earth, Thou Lord of magic power ! || 380 ||
96) ‘I am Thine, save me!?
Without a seed, the fruit Thou causest spring;
th’ entire of heaven and earth, and all therein
Thou didst ordain, and wilt destroy ! Me too,
deceitful, mean, within Thy temple gates
Thou fill’d’st with frenzy; mad’st to join the band
of Thy great loving ones ! Ev’n should the tree
They plant yield poison, men destroy it not;-
and thus am I, MY OWNER AND MY LORD ! || 384 ||
OWNER AND LORD, all hail! Besides Thyself
support to cling to hath Thy servant aught ?
I serve Thee, hail ! Transcendent Being, Lord
of those in heavenly courts who dwell, all hail !
Lowest of all have I become, all hail !
Giver.to me of every grace, all hail !
Thou Who didst make me Thine own servant, hail !
the First Thou art, and Last, my FATHER, hail ! || 388 ||
98) Earnest appeal.
My FATHER ! unto me Ambrosia Thou !
O Blest Supreme ! Thou art to honey like
That flows abundant, thrills the soul with bliss I
Thy loving ones enjoy Thee as their own !
Helper Thou art ! with glist’ning glory crowned,
in weary anguish of Thy worshippers.
O Treasure ! tell me, wilt Thou leave me here,
in this poor world to pine away, our KING ? || 392 ||
99) Come !
O KING, our Lord, come Thou to me, to me !
Who art before the four-faced One and MAl,
And all the gods. Our Lord, come Thou to me, to me !
After the day when all things have their end
Thou art ! Our Lord, come Thou to me, to me !
I at Thy jewell’d feet would utter praise
With loving tongue ! Our Lord, come Thou to me, to me I
that I, Sin’s-slayer, may Thy glories SING ! || 396 ||
100) Longing desire.
THY PRAISE TO SING I long, all hail ! Thee sing !
while all my being sinks and melts in love.
I long to dance, all hail ! in Thy blest courts,
before Thy flow’ry dancing Foot ! A dog,-
I long to join, all hail ! Remove me from
this nest of worms, all hail ! The false I long
To Ieave, all hail ! Grant me Thy home, all hail !
Hail Thou who art to THY TRUE SERVANTS TRUE !