Like Yajnavalkya And Maitreyi - Poem by Makarand Paranjape
I read the love poems of others
With quiet disgust-
The unending obsession with sex,
The sad broken lives,
The innumerable trials
To find understanding, perfection;
It is like walking with bare feet
On broken glass.
Of their lives leaves the mind
Pensive and soulful,
Like an autumn sky at dusk.
In the midst of this you stand out
Like a torch of pure white flame
Devoid of smoke.
And our love for each other flows on
Like a bubbling stream of clear water
Over the pebbles of life;
Very quietly, with minimal fuss,
Devoid of allurement or disguise.
Oh! the peace of the desireless mind!
The song was of lovers entangled
In an impossible relationship:
After the blossoming of passion,
Now the inevitable separation.
The only question that remained
Was how to make the parting
As painless as possible-
Come, once more,
Let us become strangers
To one another...
The room was full of people,
Seated together or apart,
Tied by uneasy threads,
Primarily of matrimony,
But perhaps, also of sex,
Jealousy, and ownership.
And the thought struck me:
What if we were strangers once more?
Having freedom again, would I turn elsewhere
With frenzy and anticipation?
If I had to start all over again
Would I want to only with you?
As if in answer,
Our angularities dropped away,
Revealing only the eternal feminine
And the eternal masculine.
Our personalities vanished
Like bubbles of white foam
On the dark, silent sea of life.
Of late, I have grown superstitious.
The other day, for instance, I thought
About the ritual we couldn't perform:
Seven circumambulations around the fire,
Looking into your eyes, I wonder
What secret cord ties us to each other then?
And the inevitability of our situation
Suddenly becomes clear.
There is no one else to turn to:
In our union,
The world comes to an end.
Your palm in mine, softens
Like that of a child.
Sometimes you call me in your sleep.
Who are you, I ask
Trying to peer beneath the mind that chose me.
But only the echo of my question
'As if you have to ask! '
I stopped thinking about you
And you passed from
Thought into being.
What a relief that was
When you merged
Simply, into existence.
For me, you are.
I never have to think what,
Just as I never question
What I am.
[From The Serene Flame]
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