T Wignesan


Brahman Nemesis - Poem by T Wignesan

Brahman Nemesis

22 But to those who adore me with a pure oneness of soul, to those who are ever in harmony,
I increase what they have and I give them what they have not.
23 Even those who in faith worship other gods, because of their love they worship me,
although not in the right way.
24 For I accept every sacrifice, and I am their Lord supreme.
But they know not my pure Being, and because of this they fall.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA: 9, transl. Juan Mascaro (London: Penguins) ,1962


the puja never ends
the sound of conche-shells rush up from starved caving lungs the fire still burns ditheringly in tiered brass oil-lamps the sanctum sanctorum still resounds to the same old Vedic mantras their walls pitch-tarred by centuries of sacrificial smoke the naked granite Amman's torso and limbs sunk in massive mountainous pitchblack porous rock bathed in milk and coconut-oil jasmine petals vibhuthi the ritual never varied nor the droned sanskrit rocambolesques phonemes learned by rote and remembered since a toddling three or four through chanting playfully all-day-long in unison within bare highstone-walls amidst the making-of-faces to the bare-chested fair-complexioned eternal cousins in drawn-up and tucked-in dhotis their long-flowing gingerly-oiled sheetblack hair tied-up in a cone and sagging over the forehead these the keepers of the « I » who wants and Oh needs worship

You the Brahmins claim picked from Your head Your chosen
You who gave us the intelligence to question
Doubt and despite our conditioned voice our dissent
Now threaten us with holy fire the right path mistaken
O Allah-uh-Akbar
O the King of Kings
Give us this day Your comforting bread


now the days are almost over when Your chosen few strutted about Your smoke-and-incense-filled courtyard barechested lest their twice-born ethereal insignia misses the masses clanging bells yelling orders in mantric spells making as though You resided in them nay You were them they were You their minds wrought by the belief that work was for the menial castes all untouchables all fools all filthy their breath impure Your chosen children's food pure sanctified daily by Your inner eye their genes their blood pouring from one tumbler into another and back into their veins like the hot tea drawn in an arc between arm-length held tumblers their vedas the only vedas their language Your language a prayer in any other language gets channelled to Your if we are to believe them sworn enemy the stoker of the fiery dungeons

there was a time there were millenia those who issued from Your arms thighs feet and the néant below and beyond all all untouchables of course gave in sacrifice to You what was demanded by Your chosen lot how you cared for your few ordained representatives on this infinitesimal speck in your sweeping vastnesses
but now the time is drawing to a close the pujas the marriages the deaths the astrological charts net in hardly the sums needed to keep Your valiant few intact their voice tremble now their chants in Your name growing meeker and meeker through commonlaw marriages selflit pyres computerized astro-charts and prayers offered in Your name while speeding in petrol-driven carts

who would you elect again as Your spokesmen
Whitehall White House the Kremlin the Imperial Palace or the Elysée Palace
who would speak for You
represent You
sing Your praises
keep Your house in order here on earth
and drive terror into those who would suspect a ruse

now that the prideless old but still plump priest with six unmarried daughters begs with outstretched hand at the temple portals vying with the maimed untouchable in shredded trailing rags his wide bright doleful eyes
a telltale warning to your indifference

one to keep his pure-bred lasses within unpryable walls
the other to keep hunger from shrivelling up his balls

the ultimate sacrifice


1 the brahmin conducted mass in the sanctum sanctorum as the intermediary between Brahman (the God-Head) and the other castes, the latter paying for it in cash or in kind

2 the Hindu Goddess Parvati; also a suffix to names of deities signifying malevolence.

3 powdered ash of cow-dung, used by Hindus on their forehead, arms and torso as an insignia of their religiosity.


From the sequence: « Words for a Lost Sub-Continent » in the privately published collection: longhand notes (a binding of poems) , Paris: 1999,115p. ISBN 2-904428-14-3

May 24-25,1997

Topic(s) of this poem: religion

Form: Free Verse


Comments about Brahman Nemesis by T Wignesan

There is no comment submitted by members..



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags


Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 17, 2016



[Report Error]