Tuesday, July 17, 2007

ghazal ("Away from India")

Away from India   India stays   within me
I bear the cargo of Indian days   within me

what does my being require   that India harbors?
whose is the bansuri India plays   within me?

when nothing's lucid   it's time for silence's answer
no sun of knowledge disperses the haze   within me

the ancient forests long gone   olden wreaths unravel
I grasp a fiber of pearl-bestrung praise   within me

proficient music   is all I desire to weave now
the cloth of loving   discordantly frays   within me

in myriad vespers   I sought to enjoy your nearness
what wayward distance nocturnally strays   within me?

Beijing late morning   a tiny caged bird   trills sweetly
such strange captivity   endlessly sways   within me

you pull me close   I clasp paradoxical vectors
our time of union   requires much space   within me

what transient dream would I share with counterfeit sweethearts?
surreal desires should veil their ways   within me

our heat of summer gives way to your storm's invention
creative cloudbursts encourage your craze   within me

on foreign turf   a bird plummets dead   in one version
juries deliberate over the case   within me

the chance of glimpsing her beauty   arrives too softly
in twilight hours   who'll ponder her face   within me?

I flew to India   thinking to fetch bright baubles
it's me she gathered up   scattering rays   within me

now Anjanaya is black   yet anon he's orange
in any color   encourage his grace   within me

when Raphael   vaguely limned his trip   I implored him
to find in Hindustan   what may amaze   within me


in Beijing

notes
bansuri: bamboo flute

a bird plummets dead: a songbird, separated from its beloved (in a forest of India) had been placed in a cage and taken to a far-off land. Through a messenger (through example), it learned that the way to freedom involves a dramatic act of playing dead. See the tale somewhere in Book 1 of Rumi's Mathnawi.

Anjanaya (Skt., lit. "son of Anjana") -- an epithet for the important diety and mythological figure Hanuman, who may be variously understood to be both a chief devotee of Lord Rama, and also to be (ultimately) an active form of Shiva. His temples are among the most ubiquitous throughout India. He is generally associated with the color orange; but in Bangalore, I enjoyed visiting one Anjanaya mandir [Hanuman temple] with his quite regal and ponderous image carved in black stone.

1 comment:

Rajiv said...

Hi David

very memorable poems.
but just a minor note regarding the name Vinayaka which belongs to Ganesha the son of Shiva.

Lord of created categories because here was a God who was created through gross matter, and thus over turning the belief that matter is not divine, in fact if a God so powerful could be created purely through matter made him unique as the Son of Shiva.

In one of the interesting Hindu mythologies, the Godesses Creates a God, a very powerful god from her own materiality, 'sweat and mud'.
He turns out to be Ganesha.
This mystery is celebrated throughout the continent as far as Bali and Japan
That is IF a God could be thus created, what is the reality of other Gods?

Like Christ he was born from a virgin
In many of the hymns the Poet experience Ganesha as the raw breaking intelligence.
Where ever this insight is found breaking into the open, there Ganesha is caught in sight.
It reconnects one to the clay and sweat, to earth...to the raw germinal powers that interweaves all life.

" Gana" means material category..this is the fundamental insight present in all knowing and assimilation. Everything that we perceive through our senses or grasp through our mind can be expressed in terms of of kind, of category.
The principles underling all such categories lies the instinctive "intelligent principle"
"Shesha" is when the categories are taken away , or what remains when the categories are taken away, then only raw and beautiful intelligence shines which is prior to any activity..whether scientific, theoretical, artistic,etc.
Gana-Pati is the lord of this raw instinctive Intelligence (animal =instinctive)...it is creative when it is free from any conceptual construct..thus -Gana pati "The lord of intelligence" -the Sweat and mud) as the civilizing power it lords over speech, thought, writing and thinking and all science..
As the lord - He is the Self ( atman) of that intelligence which is present in all things scientific, artistic, , imaginative..

In the Indian mythology he is evoked as someone who free's one from obstacles, frees one from false conditioning and all of which obstructs, hinders, prevents the free createx or the creativity that underlies all Life, animal or human, It is also said that encounter with Ganesha is a sort of recognition and via recognition release of this primordial intelligence, release as clearing, not the masculine gushing forth, , but release as clearing away of obstacles, delusions; Like the way Elephants clear the forests; a freeing or opening space for the appearance, a clearing which belongs to the 'essence' of all categories by which all thinking, speaking and writing is empowered...thus he is invoked before the beginning of any serious work.

One can see an animal in ganesha Or ( Gana & shesha= what ever is left when all categories ( conceptual constructs ) are dissolved.) In spiritual insight it is 'it' itself which comes to the fore.