Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Within This Body - Tulsi Sahib and Ivan Granger


Within this body
breathes the secret essence.
Within this body
beats the heart of the Vedas.
Within this body
shines the Universe,
so saints say,
Hermits, ascetics, celibates --
all are lost
seeking Him
in endless guises.
Seers and sages perfectly parrot
the scriptures and holy books,
blinded by knowledge.
Their pilgrimage,
and fasting
and striving
but delude.
Despite their perfect practice,
they discover no destination.
Only the saints
who know the body's heart
have attained the Ultimate,OTulsi.
Realize this, and you've found your freedom
(while teachers trapped in tradition
know only the mirage
in the mirror.)

Tulsi Sahib
English version by Ivan Granger


Commentary by Ivan Granger

This poem really cuts right through the delusion of
fundamentalism on the one hand - and being overly
enamored with the spiritual practices and rituals, on
the other -

This is not to say that one should not study sacred texts or
that we should ignore the value of spiritual practices.  The
problem is that it's easy to forget what their true purpose is.
Sacred writing, sacred striving, they are signposts that remind
us to turn inward and discover the true heart that shines with
the light of the universe.

If we just memorize words or pray in the mountains, even if
we do it perfectly, we are idolizing the trappings of
spirituality, without understanding, without making the real
journey.  This is one of the reasons why there us so much
anger among fundamentalists in all traditions - they push
to fit into an externalized idea of what it means to be perfect,
yet they are not transformed, and they secretly know it.

Unable to face the pain of that failure, they externalize it, and
blame the imperfections of the world around them for holding
them back.  That pain becomes anger at the outer world, and
that anger is reflexively attributed to God.  Then that angry
God is imagined to punish by withholding heaven from the
individual until the whole world rigidly falls into order.
The more desperate these individuals become for release 
from spiritual pain, the more violently they try to enforce
their vision upon society in the hopes that they will finally
appease God and find freedom.

So sad, when all that is necessary is to slip through that pain,
let go of self-importance, and discover the immense joy
quietly glowing deep within.  No one and nothing else
holds us back.

More important is to yield and open and finally settle
into the secret shining heart [essence] that awaits discovery...


...Okay, Ivan will now step down from his soapbox. 
Have a wonderful weekend, and remember to take some
sweet quiet time to settle within.

Ivan Granger
Poetry  Chaikhana


Photo - Mystic Meandering

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