by Swami Krishnananda
So also we hear Devi’s glorious deeds
In forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva,
Indra, Skanda, Narisimha, Varaha,
Who wrought havoc in army Sumbha sent
In that celestial realm’s battle of yore.
But Devi, then, withdrew all forms and shone
As One alone, with none around her seen.
So did Siva as Rudra fearsome stand
Stretching His Form from earth to heaven high
When work nefarious Asvatthama thought
To wreak in camp of forces Pandavas’.
For Lord on high knew all the secrets’ core
And poured the worst of dreads on burglar’s face,
A Form terrific splitting even mounts
And rocks to splinters with its gruesome mien.
And Krishnas starlike shot up from his frame
And filled all space making non-space the sky.
Narayana and Nara, greatest gods,
Could stun the gorgeous beauty Indra forged
And stultify mightiest powers of war
With single reed or even single sound,
Or even just a thought which shook the earth.
What glory that which Sage Vasishtha wore,
When all the worlds in fear shook and awed
Seeing his rage that outdid all missiles.
To think a vase which all at once
Is human feat that mind cannot conceive,
For small is small and large is large extent,
And large and small at one point scarce abide.
But sages sing in Raikva these did meet
The large engulfed and filled the master’s frame.
Janasruti, the king, was famed afar
For deeds of gift and goodwill works for men,
And resort firm to world’s creative cause
By which he rose from earth’s benighted pull
To lofty living free from self-regard.
It chanced one day two hermit
Were winging gay across the sky’s highway,
Where king reclined on palace-top below,
One summer night for breeze’s balming touch
In pleasing moon full blossomed with its rays,
The birds rejoicing in their promenade;
“Look, hark,” one warned the one ahead that flew
“Beware, the force of king Janasruti
Here on ground whose glory all does burn,
Take care it scorch not, blinded thou, befooled.”
“Scorching the force of king Janasruti”
So back the other kicked a sharp reply.
“Who this on earth thou speakest as a great
As though he were a Raikva with the cart?
Raikva, the master, who does absorb all
The virtues, merits, whoever earned in world.’
Defaming words the king listened with
“O, who this Raikva could be in my realm,
With whom contrasted glory mine does pale;
What good my deeds, what good my prayers here,
When Raikva lives, who all men’s virtues owns?”
So wailed the king throughout the night sans sleep
And distress pained his heart and mind and soul.
In morn the bards beat bands and blew
To wake the royal chief from slumber’s pose.
“Hail, monarch, lord, protector and saviour,
King of earth, wake, it’s morn the dew drop soothes.”
“Why dost thou sing my praise as lord and king
I’m none, for Raikva lives, the king of kings,
With cart as house, his sole belonging’s piece.
Go, then, and find where Raikva, Knower, stays,
And bring, beseech, the sage of wisdom’s peak,
To whom the host of virtues flow as streams,
Virtues and merits whoever has on earth.”
The sergeants rushed in all directions
In towns, cities, they sought the whereabouts
Of Raikva, sage, but found none was so named,
And pleaded none of that name ever lived,
“Do you seek sage in towns, corporations?
Go there where sages may you likely see.”
So ordered king and servants went apast
To distant thicks, villages and corners,
To sight a one who with a cart abode.
In far off unknown distance did they
A queer someone seated under cart
And careless looking mindless who there came.
“Art thou Raikva, couldst thou thy name relate,”
So servants king’s with folded hands him prayed.
“Lo, so they say,” thus Raikva unconcerned
Remarked at them and silence then maintained.
On hearing news the king with bounteous gifts
Of gold, silver and jewels ran post-haste,
And placing wealth before the mighty sage,
Begged him to teach what he knew and adored.
“Master, this wealth is meagre present brought
With grace accept and bless me with thy science.”
“Lo, low-born, quit this place with all thy gold;
Thinkest thou buy with wealth that, wisdom’s core ?”
So rude, abrupt, the master king repulsed,
And grieved, the king returned with longing still,
With larger gifts the king with dearest born
In supplication went again humble
To mighty sage who scamplike looked visaged
With scorn on things which mundane wealth they call.
On sight of king with best of earth’s
I The sage beheld the eager heart’s yearning,
And spoke Samvarga, Great Absorber Force,
By knowing which one Absorber becomes,
The Self of all, the Atman, Majesty.
Contemplate, then, on Atman’s truest form,
Which formless hails as all-pervading Self.
To think the Self is being of the Self
Which omniformed does inwardness absorb.
Absorbs outwardness and locality
Of everything, in every state of life.
To know the Self is non-objective gaze
Of mind’s vision in introverted sight,
Which sees not seeing, knows not-knowing things,
And being, is not, void-like plenitude.
The Great Absorber known bestows blessings,
And knower reigns as All-Absorbant God.