I wonder if I know him
In whose speech is my voice,
In whose movement is my being,
Whose skill is in my lines,
Whose melody is in my songs
In joy and sorrow.
I thought he was chained within me,
Contained by tears and laughter,
Work and play.
I thought he was my very self
Coming to an end with my death.
Why then in a flood of joy do I feel him
In the sight and touch of my beloved?
This ‘I’ beyond self I found
On the shores of the shining sea.
Therefore I know
This ‘I’ is not imprisoned within my bounds.
Losing myself, I find him
Beyond the borders of time and space.
Through the Ages
I come to know his Shining Self
In the life of the seeker,
In the voice of the poet.
From the dark clouds pour the rains.
I sit and think:
Bearing so many forms, so many names,
I come down, crossing the threshold
Of countless births and deaths.
The Supreme undivided, complete in himself,
Embracing past and present,
Dwells in Man.
Within Him I shall find myself –
The ‘I’ that reaches everywhere.
— Rabindranath Tagore – I Wonder if I Know Him
Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind
Strong against the summer heat and snow
He is healthy and robust
He never loses his temper
Nor the quiet smile on his lips
He eats four go of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs…his understanding
Comes from observation and experience
And he never loses sight of things
He lives in a little thatched-roof hut
In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child
If there’s a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, “Don’t be afraid”
If there’s strife and lawsuits in the north
He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness
He weeps at the time of drought
He plods about at a loss during the cold summer
Everyone calls him “Blockhead”
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart…
That is the sort of person
I want to be
— Kenji Miyazawa – Strong In The Rain (Ame ni mo Makezu)
People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
— Mother Teresa – Do It Anyway (adaptation of a text from Kent M. Keith that Mother Theresa put on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta)
In my travels I spent time with a great yogi.
Once he said to me.
“Become so still you hear the blood
flowing through your veins.”
One night as I sat in quiet,
I seemed on the verge
of entering a world inside so vast
I know it is the source of all of us.
— Mirabai – Love Poems from God – The Great Yogi
Awakened to the meaning of my heart
That to feel Love and Oneness is to live
And this the magic of our golden Change,
Is all the truth I know or seek, O sage.
— Sri Aurobindo – Savitri – Epilogue: The Return to Earth
Not Christian or Jew or Muslim,
not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen.
Not any religion or cultural system.
I am not from the east or the west,
not out of the ocean or up from the ground,
not natural or ethereal,
not composed of elements at all.
I do not exist, am not an entity
in this world or the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve
or any origin story.
My place is the placeless,
a trace of the traceless.
Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved,
have seen the two worlds as one
and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner,
only that breath
breathing human being.
— Jalalud’din Rumi – The Essential Rumi – Only Breath
The human spirit has always been in search of the infinite, to see and hear and know what is unseen, unheard and unknown. But, all along man’s search has remained directed to the exterior regions only – the vast expanses of land, oceans and the sky. Few have cared to peep into their own internal regions, their heart and mind and soul. Fewer still have realized that it is only through our inner consciousness that we experience what is outside. For a pilgrimage into one’s interior, into one’s own self, it is not necessary for one to be a learned man or a religious man, nor is it necessary to seek the help of a spiritual guide or guru. What is needed is a radical change in one’s attitude towards life, beginning with the dispersal of ego. And no bookish knowledge, no spiritual guide can be a substitute for such a deliberate inward orientation. With the dispersal of ego the basic duality between the self and not-self, abam and idam, progressively disappears and a new realization of I am that dawns – I am that. I am the cosmos. I am Brahman. My body is a micro-cosmos in constant change, yet maintaining a changeless design-pattern, as in the case of the cosmos, which is both a living unity and a bewildering diversity, like myself.
— Sudhakar S. Dikshit – I am All (p. 17-18)