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Inspirations - The Galleria



Poems by R Y Deshpande




Deep in the night awoke Pancheshwara

And spoke to Swapna, spoke of all those things

Auspicious in darkness that to stars

Give splendour and to galaxies swift speed

To reach out distances of mystery

Exhaustless in space. By that same token

Interminable it is in time too.

Was it of wealth dearer than Prana,

Of friendship truer than fondness self born

Like Prana, of a well brought-up servant

Faithful in work for Prana? Did it come

From life, or from the sacred fire burning

High on a mountain-top? Does it hold trust

Of joy, beget children as does the moon

Newer constellations in the mansion

Of Amrita? But then she was feeling

Rather sleepy, and already Swapna

Had retired, and Shabda preferred to take

Leave in that hesitant silence. Nothing

Stirred and, like a pessimist who would find

Never a fish in the pond, desolate

Ages slipped by. Pancheshwara was stunned,

But the immediately decided

To do austerities and to Swapna

Told so. A sudden flock of augur birds

Flew over his head, tranquil wings beating

Through the blueness of the wind. In a calm

Hillside temple he gathering himself

For long years stayed and looked into the seed

Of death. Nothing came from the Twelve, the sky

Had no clue, nor the elements, nor hell,

And the soul f the earth suffered. Anguished,

Into the self of zero he entered

To explore its sombre contents, the cause.

Pancheshwara saw behind that shadow

None but Shiva commanding all movements.


In the Dzong of my imagination

Lived enlightened Buddha, a calm grandeur

In loneliness of the spirit. He seemed

Yet our worldly, herding the yaks of time

On narrow ridge by the life of death

Surrounded. Sorrow there is in the town,

And the breeze has sting, and mostly the past

Is unclean like corrupted occultism.

But enormous peace is the foundation

On which are built the mountains. Now the sky

Stands gazing upon the snowy silences

That have left the uneasy tracts of thought

Behind and a sudden answer enters

Into the body of trance. A presence

Wears another look plunging deeper yet

Beneath the hurtful gloom and the nihil

Reveals the Nirvanic solidity

Supporting these thousand trifles; pain too.

Human anguish is as if to assert

Some profounder joy and non-self as if

To dissolve the dichotomous being,

Frozen valley as if to draw closer

Fire, the winter’s fruit. The sun that causes

Darkness disappeared: Neither day

Was there nor the grim awful night gaping

Into the nought with starry eyes.

No sleep trembled with its dream nor stillness

Heard the bird song. Conscience keeper

Was absent,—needed he was no more

As if all were absorbed into the blank.

Abolished were the worlds, perilous urge

Had no ground to be in the stupendous

Nonentity. The mouth of desire chewed

But nothing. What was was taken away

And only remained the uncreated

Uncreating void. I saw no Buddha.