Via positiva: Hindu version

Here’s an interesting piece from a cycle of devotional poems to a local manifestation of the god Shiva, attributed to the 16th-century Telugu poet Dhurjati. According to the notes, all the objects mentioned in the first four lines of the translation are references to actual legends.

“In what form can my mind worship you?
Haven’t men revered you as a kneecap,
a woman’s breast, a measuring jar,
as a goat turd?
Heal my unease
and show me your real form so that
my eyes can be filled with you,
O God of Kalahasti, O drunken bee hovering
over the lotus of the mind!”

For the Lord of the Animals – Poems from the Telugu: The Kalahastisvara Satakamu of Dhurjati, trans. by Hank Heifetz and Velcheru Narayana Rao (U. of California Press, 1987), #2 (p. 16).

Here’s one more, to help clarify a little this poet’s rather nuanced view of the pitfalls of desire (#62, p. 76):

“I never think of asking you to give me things,
so if you don’t care for my poetry
I’ll bear that all right.
It’s only my tongue’s natural work,
nothing other than my worship.
O God of Kalahasti,
how could I ever find you
if all I wanted of you
were my wishes?”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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