Treasure Island

Narsinh Mehta

(1414? – 1481? / Talaja, Bhavnagar, Gujarat / India)

Unless And Until You Have Grasped The Essence Of The Self


Unless and until you have grasped the essence of the Self
Vain are all your efforts and like unseasonal rains,
You have wasted your human birth.

So what if you have taken a holy bath
Or offered twilight prayers and worship?
So what if you have stayed at home and given alms?
So what if you keep matted locks and smear ashes?
So what if you have plucked hair on your head?
Unless and until you have grasped the essence of the Self
Vain are all your efforts and like unseasonal rains,
You have wasted your human birth.

So what if you indulge in recitation, penance or go on a pilgrimage?
So what if you count beads and chant the holy name
So what if you put on at il ak or worship Tulsi?
So what if you drink the water of Ganga?
Unless and until you have grasped the essence of the Self
Vain are all your efforts and like unseasonal rains,
You have wasted your human birth.

So what if you speak of theVedas or grammar?
So what if you enjoy yourself and have a good time?
So what if you have grasped the distinctions
Between the six systems of philosophy?
So what if you have adhered to the distinction of caste?
Unless and until you have grasped the essence of the Self
Vain are all your efforts and like unseasonal rains,
You have wasted your human birth.

All these are worldly pursuits for filling one's belly
Until you have seen the absolutebr ahman.
Says Narsinh, without beholding the Essence
One wastes his birth precious asChi nt amani Jewel.
Unless and until you have grasped the essence of the Self
Vain are all your efforts and like unseasonal rains,
You have wasted your human birth.

Submitted: Saturday, June 30, 2012
Edited: Saturday, June 30, 2012

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