Last poem of Hoshin

Hoshin dictated:

I came from brilliancy.
And return to brilliancy.
What is this?

The poem was one line short of the customary four, so the disciple said: “Master, we are one line short.”

Hoshin, with the roar of a conquering lion, shouted “Kaa!” and was gone.


Before I was born, there was nothing that distinguished me from the galaxy and after I die there will be nothing to distinguish me from it. But now there is something that separates us, but I don’t really know what it is.


Stephen Damon, a Soto Zen priest who leads a small Zen group in San Francisco writes:

“After settling into a daily home practice and attending monthly one-day sittings for a while I began to sense that the great question of life and death was my question. The question became my “center of gravity” around which the rest of my life—in the Zendo and out in the streets—revolved. Most important, I felt an urgency, not to find an answer but to become more intimate with question, until I became the question. In a very deep sense, I was no longer “Stephen” or “Korin” or a Buddhist, I was the question of what is life and death. Over the years this question has deepened and broadened to include everything. And every time I take my seat at home or in a zendo and every time I pick up a sutra or any book on Zen I am that question.

If a book does not offer a response to the question I file it away, but if it does offer something, or if it does open me up to a place in myself that can respond to the question I keep it close by to come back to often. I will keep Hoshin’s poem in my mind and heart always. While the three lines are powerful, what is even more powerful is the emptiness of the fourth line. Every Buddhist teaching is incomplete and must be completed in oneself. Hoshin’s poem, while eloquent in its succinctness was incomplete until he yelled “KAA!” Perhaps, a death poem should be only three lines to be completed by an expression of a person’s last moment. Some may yell out something, and some may gently and peacefully breathe out one last breath and watch it blend with the air around him or her—into the Great Silence behind everything.”

A Fancy from Fontenelle

The rose in the garden slipped her bud,
And she laughed in the pride of her youthful blood,
As she thought of the Gardener standing by—
“He is old—so old! And he soon must die!”

The full Rose waxed in the warm June air,
And she spread and spread till her heart lay bare;
And she laughed once more as she heard his tread—
“He is older now! He will soon be dead!”

But the breeze of the morning blew, and found
That the leaves of the blown Rose strewed the ground;
And he came at noon, that Gardener old,
And he raked them gently under the mold.

And I wove the thing to a random rhyme:
For the Rose is Beauty; the Gardener, Time.

-Austin Henry Dobson (1840–1921)

An Ode to Lord Shiva : Naduvan by Dr Burns

This is an interesting translation of  Dr Burn’s work Naduvan. There are  omissions and errors, but it does also add details to improve clarity in some instances. Except converting the double hyphens to single hyphens, the rest of the text remains unaltered to retain the original version of the translation.

Translated by :
Mrs Jeevan Gunasunthari BA English Language/ Literature
Renuka
(Singapore )

Sights and all that’s prized – a passing,
This body prized, when bruised, does pall,
Worldly possessions and this entity – a phase,
So is this world, this universe and all.

This ephemeral body misconstrued – as lasting,
Numerous have perished day after day,
Wealth depleted causing dire pain – and suffering,
Without reservations in mind and soul, I pray.

Though this world, this universe, may crumble – and fall,
Will forever remain, your sturdy foot, matted locks and coral-like body,
Indestructible and everlasting, your name – I call,
O Supreme Lord Shiva! O Supreme Body!

Undissolvable are human sins,
Through nine holes in my six-feet body,
As air and soul depart by any means,
Accept my humble soul, Supreme Almighty!
Without fail, free me from bondage,
As I appear before thee in humble homage.

Once in a sanctuary, a devotee,
For ten months, pleaded with the Creator,
For a body, he acquired eventually,
Merely to be broken by a jester.

Like the multiple births – we take,
Praising oneself, for the sins perpetrated,
This broken body, to the grave – we take,
With Karma, Illusion and Ego, this body emaciated.

In the one who knows all, real truth lies incessantly,
Those trying to make an impression, awake from your sleep of ignorance,
With only Him, in mind constantly,
What’s burnt, Death consumes as a penance,
As unhealed wound is savoured invariably,
Similar to admiring Death’s body perpetually.

For misdeed committed in previous birth,
One has to pay indefinitely,
Prior to that, pray to the Lord – it’s worth,
To connect with He who chased the God of Death indelibly,
For the full moon, Lord Shiva, the sole cause,
So Death, I welcome – Come hither,
With Him near, I’ve no fear.

Lustful and skilled in the art of seduction,
Amidst the aroma of sandalwood paste and vermillion,
Men and women, with eyes for salacious attraction,
Shall have their flesh scotched – tomorrow, you’ll see,
Blisters rupturing, with soul leaving body free,
Unable to scream a tearful plea,
In a shroud – concealed.
What’s above, what’s below – superfluous,
You and I – simply inconspicuous,
At the brink of death, my soul – spirituous,
To O Lord Shiva, a surrender – most arduous!

Of course I’ll hurt you Of course you’ll…

Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

We live we die and like the grass…

We live, we die, and like the grass and trees, renew ourselves from the soft earth of the grave. Stones crumble and decay, faiths grow old and they are forgotten, but new beliefs are born. The faith of the villages is dust now… but it will grow again… like the trees.

-Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (1840-1904)

Chadariya jheeni re jheeni

chadariya jheeni re jheeni, raam naam ras bheeni;

The fabric (body) is subtle, very subtle, indeed; it is woven with the essence of God’s name;

asht kamal ka charkha banaya, panch tatwa ki pooni;

The eight lotuses (chakras) made the spinning wheel which spun the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether) to make the fabric;

nau das mas bunan ko lage, murakh maili keeni.

It took nine months (ten lunar months) for its weaving, and foolish people defile it;

jab mori chadar ban ghar ai, rangrez ko deeni;

Once the fabric was made and brought home, it was given to the dyer (guru) for colouring;

aisa rang ranga rangrez ne, lalo laal kar deeni.

The dyer coloured it with such skill that it became brilliantly red (illumined);

chadar ode sanka mat kariye, ye do din tumko deeni;

As you wear this fabric, do not have doubts; it is a gift to you for two days only;

murakh log bhed nahi jaane, din din maili keeni.

Foolish people do not know the secret of this fabric, and day after day they pollute it;

dhruv prahalad sudama ne odhi, shukdev ne nirmal keeni;

Dhruv, Prahalad, Sudama and Shukdev wore this fabric and purified it;

das kabir ne aisi odhi, jyon ki tyon dhari deeni.

The servant Kabir wore it in such a way, that he returned it in the condition in which he received it.

Nirpathuve, Nadappathuve, Parappathuve Lyrics – நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே

The lyrics below are from the sound track “Nirpathuve, Nadappathuve, Parappathuve” from the Tamil film Bharathi.

நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே,
நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே,
நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே,
நீங்களெல்லாம் சொற்பனந்தானோ?
பல தோற்ற மயக்கங்களோ?
சொற்பனந்தானோ?
பல தோற்ற மயக்கங்களோ?

கற்பதுவே, கேட்பதுவே, கருதுவதே,
நீங்களெல்லாம் அற்ப மாயைகளோ?
உம்முள் ஆழ்ந்த பொருளில்லையோ?
அற்ப மாயைகளோ?
உம்முள் ஆழ்ந்த பொருளில்லையோ?

வானகமே, இளவெயிலே, மரச்செறிவே,
வானகமே, இளவெயிலே, மரச்செறிவே,
நீங்களெல்லாம் கானலின் நீரோ?
வெறும் காட்சிப் பிழைதானோ?
வானகமே, இளவெயிலே, மரச்செறிவே,

நீங்களெல்லாம் கானலின் நீரோ?
வெறும் காட்சிப் பிழைதானோ?

போனதெல்லாம் கனவினைப்போல்
புதைந்தழிந்தே போனதனால்
நானும் ஓர் கனவோ?
இந்த ஞாலமும் பொய்தானோ?

நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே,

நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே,

நீங்களெல்லாம் சொற்பனந்தானோ?
பல தோற்ற மயக்கங்களோ?
சொற்பனந்தானோ?

பல தோற்ற மயக்கங்களோ?

காலமென்றே ஒரு நினைவும்
காட்சியென்றே பல நினைவும்
கோலமும் பொய்களோ?
அங்குக் குணங்களும் பொய்களோ?
காலமென்றே ஒரு நினைவும்
காட்சியென்றே பல நினைவும்
கோலமும் பொய்களோ?
அங்குக் குணங்களும் பொய்களோ?

காண்பதெல்லாம் மறையுமென்றால்
மறைந்ததெல்லாம் காண்பமன்றோ?
நானும் ஓர் கனவோ?
இந்த ஞாலமும் பொய்தானோ?

நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே,

நிற்பதுவே, நடப்பதுவே, பறப்பதுவே,

நீங்களெல்லாம் சொற்பனந்தானோ?
பல தோற்ற மயக்கங்களோ?
சொற்பனந்தானோ?

பல தோற்ற மயக்கங்களோ?

கற்பதுவே, கேட்பதுவே, கருதுவதே,
நீங்களெல்லாம் அற்ப மாயைகளோ?
உம்முள் ஆழ்ந்த பொருளில்லையோ?
அற்ப மாயைகளோ?

உம்முள் ஆழ்ந்த பொருளில்லையோ?