Who Is Superior? - Poem by Rajaram Ramachandran
Oh! You rational animal, are you really superior,
Or, like other creatures, far inferior?
Among all the creations, where lies your place?
It's for you to judge and elevate your race.
Have you the sense of gratitude like a canine,
Or, the sight, even in darkness as a feline,
Or, can you run as swift as a horse,
Or, carry that load, off the back of an ass?
Can you display your prowess like a lion,
Or, change your color as a chameleon,
Or, stretch your neck like a giraffe,
Or, be as vigilant as a mastiff?
Of what strength, are you built before an elephant?
Can you widen your gullet, to swallow like a giant serpent,
Or, fly high, yet spot a prey on the ground as an eagle,
Or, hum and whistle like a nightingale?
Can you hear distant feeble sounds and run away like a deer,
Or, Climb tall trees, sans support, as a bear,
Or, live in water, body unclothed, like a fish,
Or, on land and in water as a tortoise?
Can you hang yourself upside down like a bat,
Or, drill holes with your teeth as a rat,
Or, climb steep mountains like a goat,
Or, win your race, on foot, with a hare or rabbit?
Out of flowers, can you make sweet honey like a bee,
Or, juicy fruits, for no reward, as a tree,
Or, turn milk into curd like tiny bacteria,
Or, gift a pearl from dirt as an oyster?
Can you weave a web out of your saliva like a spider,
Or, produce even a dropp of deadliest poison as a viper,
Or, add fragrance to a flower like a rose plant,
Or, maintain an order as in the kingdom of ant?
Can you share your food with others like a crow.
Or, yield sweet milk for straw as a cow or buffalo,
Or, clothe others in silk like a silkworm,
Or, nourish the soil as an earthworm?
Can you spit fire like a firefly,
Or, be as delicious to be eaten away as a turkey,
Or, have any feathers to unfold and dance like a peacock,
Or, sing and fly up in the air as a skylark?
Yet, how dare you claim yourself superior,
In the game of life, every one, you wish to conquer,
You know, you've no place without whips and weapons,
The fear makes the strong ones serve your likes and dislikes.
You are judged the great among creations,
If your heart is full of compassion,
Your intelligence serves the good of humanity,
And the less fortunate beings with humility.
Yes, you're superior, when you rightly think and act,
While other beings go by their instinct, in fact,
So comes, from Heaven, the clarion call,
'As thou loveth thyself, love on this earth all.'
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