Where He Dwells - Poem by Rupa Gogoi
I set out for the holy temple.
Climbing those endless steps, I reached Your abode.
Reaching there, I looked all around me to search for You.
I saw thousands of people,
Praying and making offerings of milk, flowers and gold;
But couldn't for once find You.
I searched in the eyes of the people and saw wishes in some;
while some carried love, others were full of devotion.
And following them I entered the Garbhagriha.
The pundit sang verses and sprinkled holy water on all
As we knelt and bowed to You.; I could hear the milk fall,
And trickle all the way down the Shivalinga.
I knew You were there, somewhere around.
But "where", I couldn't see. And then I went to the Pundit.
"where is God? ", I asked him silently.
He stopped his Aarti, stopped his song; and looked at me curiously.
Then sternly gesturing me to sit, he went on praying to the Lord.
I came out of the temple, to the streets;
Mumbling a prayer, yet doubting Your existence,
I went on walking…until I met-a weak, old man.
"Help me carry these, child,
These flowers and these sweets, up to that temple".
I nodded and picked them up. That question struck me again.
"Where is God? ", I asked him.
He stopped, smiled, and looked into my eyes.
"I'll show you", he said.
We reached the temple.
Soon, the flowers were arranged,
the sweets kept and the diyas lit.
"Come with me now", he whispered, and walked ahead.
The old man, with a crooked back, took me to the village.
‘At long last, I'll see You', I thought eagerly;
As I kept on walking…with him ahead of me.
By a cottage he stopped. A worried lady sat anxious there.
A child then ran to that same waiting mother,
as she gathered him in her arms lovingly
-relief and love reflecting on her face.
The old man looked at me and asked, "What do you see? "
"Caring and love, " I said "of a mother for her child…"
"And that, is God", he added.
We then crossed a village doctor's hut,
with people crowding all around-waiting earnestly for their turn.
"What do you see? " the man asked again.
"Hope, " I replied "hope for a happiness".
"That hope is God", he added.
We reached a pretty place. The last rays of the sun were slowly fading.
He showed me a little nest with eggs in it.
And, behold, one of them then hatched! I gazed at the little thing;
and soon its mother arrived on hearing it chirp.
"I just saw…life", I said to the old man.
"And that too is God, my child", he whispered,
"This body of yours is the shrine;
your beating heart, the Garbhagriha
And a purity in there is what we call ‘God'.
Everything that exists, is a part of Him.
Did you understand whatever I taught you? "
I did…and so I cried. How I searched for You everywhere.
And all the time, You were all around me, all within me.
And at last, I found You-the Sweetest of the sweet.
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