Shri Gurudev Mahendranath
1. Only a speck among the countless stars;
This orb, this earth, in loneliness of space;
More lonely still, but not far away from God,
The groping, blind, and foolish human race.
2. What other worlds can see our tiny orb,
Or know that of its surface God has blessed,
The land of India as the place supreme,
To be the guide and leader of the rest?
3. For in this Holy Land, the Lord did light,
The flame of Wisdom to illume the earth,
And to great saints, reveal the only path
To lead a man to God and end rebirth.
4. From whence came Man, or how, we cannot tell,
For none can solve the riddle of the past;
But though we cannot ever know the first,
God has revealed what is to come at last.
5. What is the path which men should try to tread;
What is the way that men should try to live?
The way to God has clearly been revealed,
And this, the Science of God, we now must give.
6. The greatest miracle of all, is God;
A sacred chant, a spell, a mystic verse;
The Great Divine Magician of all power,
Whose magic circle bounds the universe.
7. Beyond imagination is the Best;
Unlimited by thoughts of what might be;
Beyond the terms of tangible and test;
Such is the One, beyond eternity.
8. How can man ever feel he is alone,
If God is always present in his mind;
How can he ever be alone when God
Is ever guiding him the path to find?
9. Like as a palace built of brilliant stars,
A galaxy of joy and bliss, divine;
Is the abode of God the Absolute
The paradise for which all Souls do pine.
10. A virtuous man will want and want for God;
With joy and bliss to come, he ofttimes sings;
The foolish man will spend his life in greed
And wanting for the wrong and useless things.
11. If good is God and God is all the good,
Then while this cosmic drama does endure,
Should not we see Eternal Moral Law,
Since evil cannot come from what is pure?
12. The true belief in God is based in trust;
The man who is sincere will act on this;
His management is best in every way
And gives a life of harmony and bliss.
13. The Universe is large and God is Great,
But is a man content to only be,
Just what he is, a tiny speck of dust;
A drop of water in a boundless sea?
14. A teeming world of unimportant folk,
Performing their inconsequential deeds;
Achieving nothing much of any worth,
Like gardeners, producing only weeds.
15. A vast procession coming on life’s stage,
An endless cast of actors, one by one,
Playing some minor role and then to bow,
And make their exit when the play is done.
16. So what is all this acting and this play,
The passing panorama of humanity;
An endless stream which stays awhile and goes,
To leave this foolish world of pride and vanity?
17. In this one life we may not get reward;
In this one life the goal may not be won;
But righteousness will always be supreme;
In course of time, true justice will be done.
18. Though evil goes unpunished in this life
And wicked people flourish day by day,
They cannot cheat the moral law of God;
The time must come when debts they have to pay.
19. There is a lamp which burns eternally,
A thing of splendour, hidden deep within;
Until its light is liberated, free,
How can real joy and happiness begin?
20. From life to life, in blindness groping on,
The Soul with homesickness does wend its way,
And growing tired of toil and body forms,
Awakens to a new and wondrous day.
21. Suffering and tears belong to the body;
The Soul alone exists and bears no pain;
The Soul can never die; it knows no death;
In every life the Soul must live again.
22. Reborn and yet reborn again, again,
And life on life is like an endless chain,
For only when this rebirth process ends,
A man will know the end of grief and pain.
23. The Soul remains the particle of God;
It is not ever soiled and knows no “sin”;
Knows of wrong but is not sullied by it,
Though dragged through birth and death and suffering.
24. Rebirth will come according to our deeds
At any age in time and place in space;
Reborn in heaven, hell, or other spheres;
Perhaps, reborn within the human race.
25. Whatever way a body comes to birth,
It can but only live its ordained span;
But in the ways of rebirth of the Soul
‘Tis rare to be reborn again as man.
26. For most must go as animals to live
Or into hell or heaven’s wider plains;
All those who come again to human kind,
Will do so from the merit they have gained.
27. By thought and speech and deed we karma make,
For future bad or for our future good;
For making happiness or bringing woe,
And all our life, this must be understood.
28. Neutral actions do not make for karma
If with dispassion these deeds are performed;
It is intended bad we must avoid
And live a life of purity reformed.
29. The kinds of karmic action are these three,
The good, the bad, the neutral daily made.
Much neutral action we must daily do,
But any evil action must evade.
30. The soul may yearn in silence for the day,
When fool turns wise and evil actions cease;
When karma does not hold the Soul in bond,
And the imprisoned splendour finds release.
31. The Soul which seeks for God must find release,
As ancient saints and sages have given proof;
But not without great effort can man win,
For faith to change to knowledge of the Truth.
32. You are the architect of hell and pain,
Although you can but live a tiny span,
All your desire will make for birth again;
You waste your years because your name is MAN.
33. Though many lives must pass, we still must pay,
For evil deeds performed so long ago;
And even saints must suffer from their past,
Since man must ever reap as he does sow.
34. So when the Soul is tired of woe and birth;
When it becomes the judge of wrong and right,
And when the Soul again knows harmony,
It then is fit to join the infinite.
35. In animal, in human form or god,
There is no permanent or lasting peace;
All misery belongs to worldly life
And only ends when man has found release.
36. The seeds you plant you sometimes have to reap;
Desire and want will bring you endless birth,
For only when you break attachment’s chain,
You see this worldly life of little worth.
37. The body is fleshly garment worn
Until, with death, it must be cast away;
The Soul again reborn in better garb,
With wisdom which will help it on its way.
38. In ignorance men struggle through their lives,
And in delusion, all the human race,
Pursue the hope of sometime happiness,
To make the world of men a better place.
39. There is no lasting peace in human life;
There cannot be a paradise on earth;
There is no end to misery or woe
Within the span of life which follows birth.
40. The richest soil is sometimes choked with weeds;
Fertility will always follow rain;
No deed to evil is without its price;
No deed of goodness is without its gain.
41. The keenest sword if never cleaned, will rust;
Neglect will turn a field of grain to weeds;
A harvest that is rich and prosperous,
Comes only when we plant the proper seeds.
42. None of the world and its enchanting sight,
None of the things of which you are so fond,
Those precious gems, or clothes, or joyful nights,
Will go with you into the Great Beyond.
43. When death has come, and vanity has gone,
The body turns to ashes or to earth,
But not one single coin which greed did seek
Will go with you into the future birth.
44. When life does end and rebirth is no more,
We then alone will know the perfect bliss;
No language can describe the realm of God,
Like arrows which are shot but always miss.
45. In worldly life we ruminate and think,
We live in hate and pass our days in greed;
We live in competition and not love;
We crave and want for things beyond our need.
46. Life, love, and grief are like an ocean wide,
The world is like a great and endless sea;
The Dharma is the boat which carries one
Across the ocean to tranquility.
47. The senses are not ever satisfied,
The wants of man are like a forest fire;
The senses keep him wanting more and more;
The fuel which feeds the flame is his desire.
48. Greed is a fetter which a man must break
And is a poison which infects the mind;
Break all the fetters if you would be free;
When they are broken they no longer bind.
49. The ego needs applause and endless praise;
It is the greatest enemy of man;
Yet people love it and they think it real;
Do nothing to destroy it when they can.
50. A savage beast endangers human life;
From tiny creature, sickness can arise;
A rotting tree is safest when cut down;
The rule of pride must end when ego dies.
51. Man can exist to run the race of time,
Living delusion and an endless thirst;
Walled in by flesh and sense which are weak,
Forgetting always, only God is first.
52. Among your friends and relatives you’ll find,
A teacher who’ll dispel your fondest dreams;
And teach you there is no one you can trust,
For even blood is watery, it seems.
53. The peace and happiness which people want,
Are seldom or if ever, found at home;
For nothing seems to hurt or wound so much
As evil done by one’s own flesh and bone.
54. When wealth has gone, the best of friends will go;
Love has no pain when we are old in years;
The lake has gone when all the water dries;
When God is known, the world then disappears.
55. All worldly things are bubbles on a stream,
To last a fleeting moment, then to go;
Nothing in this world is really ours;
Attachment to them only brings us woe.
56. The things you try to keep, you soon must lose;
You cannot keep them, never, never, never;
But the things you give away will always bring
Eternal merit and be yours for ever.
57. Into this world we came as naked babes,
And naked from this world we have to go;
So when we die and leave this sorry life,
Just what of worldly gain have we to show?
58. Live wise and well and do your duty now,
For death may come and leave you deeds to do;
Seek well to profit from each passing hour
As good investment for rebirth anew.
59. A rocket soaring through the dark night-sky;
A bursting flash, a moment’s sight and sound;
Such is the fleeting rebirth of mankind;
The empty shell once more falls to the ground.
60. Time is a bridge which goes from life to life,
A passing panorama of mankind;
Eternally the life of people cross,
Until each can the way of Dharma find.
61. Life occupies the merest tick of time;
Death comes alike to beggar and to king;
The efforts of the worldly go to waste;
The life of man is but a fleeting thing.
62. Your world of gold is only tarnished brass;
The tinsel which will tarnish with your tears;
However bright the sun may shine by day,
It cannot light the darkness of your fears.
63. It is not wrong to seek success and wealth;
The time will come when you must surely learn,
That these are not the things you really want
And then, unto the Absolute must turn.
64. Man must drink deep of life and have his fill;
Experience in every Dharma gain;
He must live well the good, endure the bad;
He must know every joy and every pain.
65. How can the Soul again unite with God,
Until it has the rounds of life endured?
How can it sit in judgment once again,
Till love for worldly life is fully cured?
66. What man loves most he must in time, become;
Stone if he loves stone; fire if he loves fire,
Or if his love is for the Absolute,
He must, in time, attain his heart’s desire.
67. The bloom of youth has one; prepare to die!
You may not know how many years remain,
But let them be well-chosen and well spent
And make for better, should you come again.
68. The writing on the sand is washed away;
The sword which won an empire, turned to rust;
The monuments have fallen to the ground;
The victor and the vanquished turned to dust.
69. If we are right in Truth revealed by God,
And if the Dharma’s Law, which is supreme,
Is seen and known and understood by men,
Then mortal life is like an empty dream.
70. The man who goes to God and asks for things,
Is but a beggar wanting things to hoard;
The man who prays to God and gives his love,
Does never need to beg things of the Lord.
71. Thin the veneer of civilization;
Beneath the crust we find the savage beast;
The cultured man with grasping, greedy ways,
Who takes the most, and tries to give the least.
72. Unthinking men heed not the Dharma’s Law,
While greed and hate become their normal trends;
Without control the tongue speaks much too free
And quarrels with the very best of friends.
73. You cannot wonder why the saints despise
The human race and all this worldly life;
Nor wonder that the saints do not compete
In all the worldly worries, fears, and strife.
74. A man is fighting with a tiger fierce,
His vision all obscured by Maya’s veil;
Although he tries to drive the beast away;
He firmly holds the creature by the tail.
75. You cannot fight for freedom with one hand
And with the other hold the world so tight;
You must unclutch It fully if you would,
Win full the victory of a mental fight.
76. When oil is gone, the lamp will give no light;
A house with bad foundation always weak;
A shadow goes when sun is hid by clouds;
A bell without a tongue can never speak.
77. The way devoid of worldly pride and ego,
In which no hatred rises up in thee;
With simple living people meek and humble,
Contented with the lowest place to be.
78. If you can dress in rags, yet without shame,
Be modest in your want and in your need;
Remain unmoved, though men decry your name;
Then you can know that you have conquered greed!
79. The questions of philosophy are these:
Why am I here and why I came to birth?
What kind of world is this in which I live?
Why then is there a universe, an earth?
80. The speculations of mankind go on,
With ethics high and politics uncouth;
Yet in this Dharma, all has been revealed;
The way to God explained as simple Truth.
81. A wise man therefore, does not speculate
About the past and future yet to be;
He sees the duty he must do today,
To know the Self and try to make it free.
82. Know the real Self and what you really are,
And know the body is not really you;
For when this truth is know a man will see
The duty and the things he needs to do.
83. Philosophies and ideas of mere men
Are tiny streams which to a river flow;
The river is the way on which men float
Upon the Dharma to the sea below.
84. The mind of man can only see so far,
And cannot know the long, long distant past;
The distant future also is obscure;
The Dharma tells what is to come at last.
85. Debate and argument obscure the truth;
Logic and reason have no meaning here;
For in this Dharma of the Absolute,
He gains the most who is the most sincere.
86. Worldly people with their sad delusions,
Lured aside by learning and by letters,
Think that books can lead to liberation;
Do not see these things are only fetters.
87. Confusion is the path through endless books;
Pretended learning, ignorance will hide;
The wise men throw away their books and take
Upanishads and Gita as their guide.
88. Three kinds of knowledge come the way of man:
The first is worldly knowledge without goal;
Then there is knowledge from the intellect;
Then higher still, the knowledge of the Soul.
89. The worldly knowledge we are daily taught
Befits a man for trade and business life;
Intelligence can help us understand
The need for something better than this life.
90. Real knowledge is the knowledge of the Soul,
The knowledge of the Atman, Absolute,
The knowledge which will link a man with God
And make one keen, determined, resolute.
91. The will of God is not a changeless rule,
Though God ordains, some other thing is sought;
God cannot make a wise man of a fool,
And thus the will of God is brought to nought.
92. Men spurn the path of God and all it brings;
Men in the web of greed are always caught;
Prefer to waste their time on useless things,
And so the will of God is brought to nought.
93. God gave a path and way of life to live,
Yet though this Ancient Wisdom has been taught,
Since men prefer to take and not to give,
The will of God is always brought to nought.
94. Until a man is ready, he cannot,
Renounce the world to live a holy life;
So better such a man should strive to be,
A perfect husband to a faithful wife.
95. Beyond his karma man can never go;
He must fulfill his nature to the end;
So better that you make a better life,
Than have a broken path you cannot mend.
96. The ochre robe is not for everyone,
Although for forest life you sometimes thirst;
If time is not ripe for this kind of life,
Then stay at home and do your duty first.
97. The greatest need today is simple faith;
Faith in the past and of the future too;
The old tried paths have showed us clear the way,
And will prove so much better than the new.
98. When Hanumanji, did to Lanka speed,
His faith so great, He flew there through the air;
Shri Rama, though the Avatar of God,
A bridge did need to get his army there.
99. In sport and trade and in the marriage quest,
A man puts all his energies and strength,
But in the quest and search for God, a man,
Of all his strength will never give a tenth.
100. I wonder why I love you, grim mankind;
For though I love you each and every one;
I wonder what to love in you I find,
Since most of you will give your love to none?
101. We cannot count the ways men worship God;
Their ways and forms are almost infinite;
Whatever is the form, and is sincere,
Then in the eyes of God it will be right.
102. Of all the people in this world so large,
The Hindu Bhakta is the only one
Who really knows how God should best be served;
Who really knows how worship should be done.
103. With drum, with cymbal, bell, and sacred hymn,
The people of this Holy Land rejoice,
To praise the gifts and glory of the Lord,
And do it with the heart and with the voice.
104. Sing you the name of God and fill the mind
With raised emotions to the higher bliss;
The name of God, when sung with joy and love,
Will lead a man to peace and happiness.
105. The way to God comes easy when we seek,
A life of simple living and devotion;
To live in purity and do no harm,
And think of God with deep, sincere emotion.
106. Go to your parent as a little child;
Let Jagadamba take you to Her breast;
Give Her your love with purity and trust
And live the way which Mother knows is best.
107. Rend thou the veil, then Maya is no more;
End all delusion with finality,
To know that you are the Immortal Soul
And God alone, the true Reality.
108. Before the shrine, the sanctum of the One,
The veil of Maya, hanging, hiding Him;
Stand naked and alone before thy God;
Rend thou the veil and thou can pass within.
109. The shrine, the stone, the sacred place which has,
Received such sincere worship and adored,
Must carry vibrations of great power
And ever be the dwelling of the Lord.
110. This Pagan way of life is still supreme,
It is the path of loss and road of gain;
Eternal Wisdom from the Absolute;
The way of pleasure and the way of pain.
111. People are divided by their labels,
While creeds and dogmas set them far apart,
And yet the saints are all in harmony,
Because, God is the Universal Heart.
112. A man, from time to time, must need review
His discipline to see what progress made:
Unwatered soil will quickly turn to dust;
We are not free if debts are left unpaid.
113. Preaching by words is so very easy,
But God is not a thing of now and then:
Your example is the best of preachers;
Then betterment of man needs better men.
114. Of joys the greatest is the Grace of God;
The greatest of all blessings is good health;
Devotion brings the greatest happiness;
Contentment is the highest form of wealth.
115. Let me be nearer to you O God,
O Lord Divine, Thou Absolute, The Way;
Nearer today than I was yesterday;
Nearer tomorrow than I am today.
116. To think that God is separate from the Soul,
Is a delusion which will make you blind:
If never seeing God and you are one,
You never will the bliss of wisdom find.
117. When concentration does a man evade,
Let meditation be the daily rule;
Then when the ripples of the world are gone
The mind in calm and like a placid pool.
118. Into a dirty bottle, who would pour,
A precious perfume or some costly wine?
The mind which is polluted by the world,
Is not fit to receive the Grace Divine.
119. In the solitude of contemplation,
Is revealed the world and all its trends:
Those who have won freedom’s understanding,
Never need to ask advice of friends.
120. Though monkeys chatter and the dogs may bark,
The wise man knows that silence is the best:
He leaves the world of gossip to the fools
And lets the tongue and mind remain at rest.
121. Resort to some secluded spot, apart;
Have no possessions which you do not need;
From lust and anger you must cleanse the mind;
From egoism, power, and pride be freed.
122. At regular place and time, do this each day,
And steadfast powers of concentration seek;
This meditation brings the highest bliss;
Comes quickly to the humble and the meek.
123. Living one’s life without this knowledge true,
But never finding time to go apart,
You leave the simple quiet of solitude
And never know that God is in the heart.
124. Let not the time to go apart slip by,
And waste your days and years in worldly things;
To go apart from other men is good,
To let the Soul soar high on freedom’s wings.
125. In the tranquil silence of the humble,
Knowledge undergoes constant revision;
Gone the useless maze of creeds and dogmas,
And the whirl of doubt and indecision.
126. Without desire or grief, the mind serene,
Is trained and fit to unite with the One;
The Absolute attained and man will know,
That he has done all he needs to have done.
127. In lonely solitude of hills and caves,
There is a place of peace and happiness;
Where those bewildered by the whirl of life,
Can barter it for everlasting bliss.
128. A traveler must seek knowledge of a road;
‘Tis good to walk but easier to ride:
A wise man seeks a Guru, since he knows,
The way unknown is safest with a guide.
129. Arise, awake, and seek the Guru’s feet;
The path is like a razor’s edge, they say:
For most it is too difficult to tread
And many slip or falter by the way.
130. The Souls which long ago did tread the path,
Have skill and knowledge which will aid mankind:
The wise men seek the feet of these high saints
And in their shadow, happiness will find.
131. The body of the saint goes to the grave,
But by the Grace of God the Souls of few,
Return again to work and guide mankind
And lead men to the path of Dharma true.
132. If man aspires, the goal of God to reach,
The sight of one men call an Avadhoot
Is the Paramahansa, the Great Swan,
To be your vision of the Absolute.
133. For who can live as he the Avadhoot?
A simple life devoid of want and greed,
Of all men nearer to the Absolute:
He lives without desire beyond his need.
134. Purified by inner realization,
He does not ever seek for worldly fame;
He can be naked and be quite content,
Regarding gold and mud as but the same.
135. All ignorance and doubts are washed away;
Philosophies and creeds he casts aside;
He lives contented with the Absolute,
The Science of God, for him, the only guide.
136. Shorn of inhibitions and convention;
Intoxicated with the Absolute;
Renunciation has become a joy,
To him the people call an Avadhoot.
137. Who cares what other people say and think;
Who cares what other people do and say?
If we would walk the Supreme Path of God,
It must be done the right and proper way.
138. The saint has lost the ways of world’s desires;
The less he needs, the less the clothes he wears;
A simple shelter will be found enough;
When God is found the saint no longer cares.
139. To those who are from worldly bondage free,
The path is open now for thee and thine;
Then once again the Soul unites with God
And once again the Soul becomes divine.
140. Renunciation is the final stage:
That day will be the greatest you will know,
For you will see and know and understand,
To get to God, all worldly things must go.
141. Renounce the world to live in poverty;
What is not God must need be thrown aside:
Go naked or in rags to meet thy Lord;
A beggar on the path, devoid of pride.
142. If we want God then other things must go;
A piece of cloth, some shelter from the rain,
And free from worldly cares and worldly aims
In silence find the Absolute again.
143. Walking in the Supreme Path, awake,
A song of joy to constantly unfold;
A man into a miracle transformed,
The lead transmuted into precious gold.
144. The weary world of darkness cannot hide,
That sometime, somewhere, there must be an end,
And in a better sphere of peace and bliss,
The wooft and weft of broken weaving mend.
145. The wise man will think well upon these things,
With patience tread the path and without haste,
Enjoy his progress and true knowledge seek
To cross the wilderness and weary waste.
146. No verse of mine can ever be complete;
I can my modest best but try to do:
I do not your approval try to meet,
But point the way and leave the rest to you.
147. The final words, at last, have come to be;
The song of God has been resung again:
Mahendranath must lay aside his pen
And let men seek the path to end all pain.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
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