Tribute to Sri Chinmoy 2 (poems)
October 14, 2007 Tribute To Sri Chinmoy 2 (poems) by M.
In a secret, lonely place All things were revealed to him. He became a beautiful, pure child And yet also a lion of Truth. But the world listens not to children and lions. The Supreme told him: The world knows not this naked Truth. You will need to clothe it In the language of the world. With a child's heart of innocent joy, With the lion-heart of a world-redeemer, You will carry forth My message. Sometimes you will bang a drum. Sometimes you will paint a picture, Sing a song, or run a race. Like a puppet dancing on a string, In all things you will be My instrument. While you are on earth A few will appreciate you, Dance with you, cry with you. Many will suspect you, criticize you Totally misunderstand you. They will come expecting mental erudition And be puzzled to find a fountain of joy. The world will call you A fool and a charlatan, But history will reveal You were My lion of Truth, My bull of Surety, My deer of Speed, My child of Realisation, My youth of Revelation, My life of Manifestation, My never-ending Sacrifice.
So begins my poetic tribute to Sri Chinmoy. I know that he is with us inwardly, spiritually. I know that wherever people gather in his name, there his consciousness will be.
After a couple of days, I'm no longer frightened to think that he might be gone, that I might look for him inside my heart and find an empty page. He is there! He is there, so just look inside your heart and do not grieve.
But I still miss his physical presence. I miss knowing that he was at a physical location in Queens, New York that I could take a subway to. There were still so many things I wanted to share with him on a human level (which is the level where I'm stuck most of the time). There's the tape of Chinese music I wanted to send him, and the CD of the Best of Bach. There's the video of the brave Nepali Sherpa women who summitted Mt. Everest. (I know he would have loved that!) There is, in truth, a whole world of hopes, plans, and dreams that all depended on his being here in the physical. So in grieving for him, I wonder if I am not grieving for myself.
Sometimes I'm okay. Sometimes - especially when I read the words of those who are stronger and wiser than I - I feel that everything will be okay. History has turned a new page. I just have to struggle to catch up with it, and become one with the will of God.
But sometimes there's a wrenching in my gut that won't let me eat or sleep. I'm not complaining. It is bearable, and will go with time. It is normal on the passing of a loved one.
I believe that Sri Chinmoy dictated many messages in his final days. In my case, he thanked me for my service and said that he was praying for my good health. I took that as a diplomatic way of saying "Don't throw yourself in the river when you hear of my death!"
Sri Chinmoy stood for life - aspiring life, transforming life, the life of the tree-green forest, the life of the heart.
During the first two days, everything was a dark tunnel. But now, I hope I have halfway written myself out of it. Now it is like a dark sky which could bring more rain, or maybe clearing. Selfishly, I pray for clearing. But not only for myself, but for all my friends at Sri Chinmoy Centre - people who I love but do not always know how to express myself to.
To those who are spiritually mature, and beyond grieving, my ramblings may seem morose. Please forgive me. I write to make the gnawing go away, and in the hope that others still struggling as I am will know they're not alone.
As a writer, I'm always curious why I start in one place when I know I have to finish someplace else. Often there is an inner reason.
This is my poetic tribute to Sri Chinmoy. These poems are not new (except for the last one); I wrote them over a period of years. But when I say "I wrote them," that is not true. I had a lot of help. Sri Chinmoy was my writing partner. Sometimes it would feel like I was just taking dictation. And when I read back the poem, it was one of his poems. I am just a crazy poet at heart, so can you understand when I say that Sri Chinmoy was my best friend in life, and at this moment I don't know how I will live without him?
Why has the ocean chosen His heart to dwell? Because he is all love. Why do the stars Bow down to him? Because he flies above. Why do the planets Surrender to him? Because he is all infinity. Why does mother earth Not hinder him? Because she loves his self-transcendence tree. Why am I all alone on a raft In a sea of helplessness? Because I have forgotton, totally forgotten His compassion-smile is bliss.
Today is a festival day. Amidst pageantry of lights, colors and music My Lord Krishna is being carried in a litter His face impossibly beautiful, impossibly blue. The hero of every story, The secret king of an eternal play... Verily, my Lord, they should drive you from this city, For here they like things well-ordered, everything on time-- But your madness of love drives all from their duties. The wise man sits in his armchair Reading book after book And like an animal marking its territory On every page he leaves his mark of doubt. I am glad to be a fool, Or I should never have come here To listen to your Flute Which is either the most beautiful Or ugliest sound I have ever heard. It is good that you sometimes make a foolish sound Like a child with a tin whistle. This festival is not for aesthetes and snobs! When you make an ugly sound My heart leaps And I practically faint with joy. No one can fathom you. You give Brahmins their purity Ascetics their dust Maidens their milking hands And mischievous children their head for pranks. You are silent and formless Never born into this world; And yet, there you are Next to the man with the big bass drum. I am dumbstruck by your presence And can only watch with folded hands As my Lord passeth by in a litter.
Father and Son
"Father, I was thinking that I will have to walk through the desert alone to reach you. And I do not have the courage." "Son, stay right where you are! I will reach out My arms to embrace you." "Father, how is it that you can love a lazy coward like me?" "Son, do not belittle your capacity. Do not underestimate My Compassion." "Father, I feel it! Strange but true... My tiny effort has pleased you." "Son, I am pleased because you are moving forward and not backward. I am pleased because your heart is with me. I am pleased because I know that one day your mind will surrender to me, your vital will strive for me, and your body will work for me." "Father, when will I really please you, not just with my heart, but with all the members of my family?" "When..." "Father?" "When..." "Father?" "When..." "Enough, Father! It seems you cannot finish that sentence. Therefore I shall finish it for you: When I have totally dedicated my inner and outer life to nobody but you." "Son, you know that I depend on your aspiration." "Father, you know that I depend on your Grace." "Then we are bound to fulfill each other." "Father, I love You. Wherever I am, I will think of You." "Son, I need you. Wherever you go, I will be with you."
"My Lord, I think I love you." "Why do you love me, my son?" "I love you because even when I was a rude, crude, unkind human being, you saw something in me. You fed my soul in secret and showed me a better life." "So, my son, you are no longer rude, crude and unkind?" "Alas, my Lord, I am still rude, crude and unkind. But I feel something within me changing. I hope that one day, by your Grace, I will be truly good." "Not just by My Grace, but by your constant effort you will become supremely good. It is destined. But do not hold back destiny by your own self-will." "My Lord, you know that human beings often prefer their own ignorance to the most precious gifts from above. I sometimes feel that I would like to run to You. But if I cannot run, then I shall walk. And if I cannot walk, then I shall crawl. And if I cannot crawl, I will reluctantly ask you to carry me." "My son, I have carried you and I shall carry you. But do not run, do not walk, and do not crawl. Fly, fly to Me with the wings of your soul! The hour has struck. I am waiting for you." "My Lord, I do not know when I can come to You. But when I do, I shall definitely lay my lifelong ignorance at your Feet." "My son, do not delay. My compassion is hungry for you. It seems you have taken all of earth's burdens on your shoulders. Only my infinite compassion can cure your lasting disease." "My Lord, how many thorns have you taken from me in this life alone? And yet I continue to eat thorns time and time again." "My son, ignorance is a powerful disease which lasts a long time. But compared to Divine Love, it is weak. And compared to Eternity's Breadth, it is fleeting." "My Lord, when will I see You again?" "The time can be long or short. It will be short if you remember Me, think of Me, take My name, and make your life a garland of Gratitude." "My Lord, thank you. I do not know when I will see You again."
The Soul's Voice
"My Lord, it seems you have been silent today. "My Lord, I am calling on you, but you do not answer." "My son, my body is tired. There is no life in it. From now on, you must listen to my soul." "My Lord, how shall I listen to your soul?" "By being quiet, quiet, quiet - pindrop silence. And by bowing your head low." "My Lord, how shall you speak to me with your soul?" "I shall speak to you with Light." "I can't believe it! Never again shall I hear your human voice?" "My human voice you have heard thousands of times, but did you listen?" "Father, I have heard and appreciated your voice thousands of times." "But did you *listen*?" "Father, I am ashamed to admit, I listened but did not obey." "Son, today you have a new teacher: my soul's voice. Please try to be a better student." "Father, today you have a new student: my heart's gratitude. It is the best member of my family." "Son, with your heart's gratitude and my soul's voice, together we shall turn a new page for humanity. Is it not a good idea?" "Father, humanity has been crying for someone to turn the page on human suffering, human ignorance, human misunderstanding. Alas, with your human voice you could not do it." "Son, first your gratitude-heart must listen to my soul's voice. Then, when you are surcharged with inspiration, aspiration, and dedication, you will turn a new page for humanity." "Father, no! You must turn the page. You earned the right, and you have the capacity." "Son, I have played my role. The capacity I am giving to you. It is not your right but your duty to turn humanity's frustration-page." "Father, what shall I find when I turn humanity's frustration-page?" "You will find Divinity's Aspiration-Notebook." "Father, how many pages are there in Divinity's Aspiration-Notebook?" "I do not know, my son. I have never counted them. Only you can do this kind of thing." "Father, does Divinity's Aspiration-Notebook ever come to an end? What shall I find there?" "Son, you will find the Supreme's Realization-Encyclopedia." "How many volumes in the Supreme's Realization-Encyclopedia?" "My son, only one volume." "Just one volume? Father, the Supreme's Realization-Encyclopedia should be easy to learn." "Son, it is just one volume, but it has no beginning and no end." "Father, I am so glad you are giving me the capacity to turn humanity's frustration-page." "Son, I am so glad you are giving me silence-rest in my old age." "Father, today is a special day. It begins the year one A.C. - After Chinmoy. Therefore, I am asking a special boon." "Son, tell me your boon." "I am praying that you will keep your physical body with us for one more day, in all its peace, holiness, and purity." "Son, granted." "Father, thank you. Your human voice was beauty supernal. Your soul's voice I am hearing for the first time. Your silence-voice is Mystery Transcendental." (composed at Aspiration-Ground, October 16, 2007)
See also: Tribute to Sri Chinmoy (essay) by M.