Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two Sikh-Themed Poem Re-Drafts

Since I put up something on Sikhism in the last post, I thought I would put up the most recent forms of two poems that derive their themes from Sikhism. Amritsar is the Sikh holy city, and Kartaa Purakh means, very, very roughly, 'Lord Creator'. Sat Naam, His Name (naam) is True (sat = enduring, changeless, certain) is an important Sikh devotional phrase, and is found as part of what is perhaps one of the most important verses in the Guru Granth: Ik Onkar, Sat Naam, Kartaa Purakh, Nirbhau, Nirvair, Akaal-murat, Ajuunii, Saibhang, Gur Prasaad; Jap! (God is One, His Name is True, Doer, Fearless, Hateless, Undying, Birthless, Self-Enlightened, Guru's Grace; Pray!)
ADDED LATER: You can hear the verse sung at the very beginning of the Guru Granth here (#2, requires Real Player).

Amritsar

Although the sea divides us, in Amritsar I stand;
my heart rests in the warmth of its nectar-golden sand.
In a vessel, clay and calm, made by the guru's hand,
I feel blessing pouring down: for in Amritsar I stand.

When time pools all around me like some silent sarovar
I am in Ramdaspur; and, whether near or far,
my heart is by those waters as they shine beneath the stars
around the golden temple of blessed Amritsar.

When trouble overtakes me I flee to the fort of steel,
I shelter in the city with the sacred pools that heal,
I search for the jot of light where the psalms of gurus peal:
this world is all mirage, but Amritsar is real.

Kartaa Purakh

All-enlightening boundless being,
His Name is True!
Never dying,
Never pictured,
Never by the concept tamed,
Forming all,
All things seeing!

Every seeing eye He makes
To see Him in a given guise:
The wisest knowing Him as light -
The sweetest knowing Him as grace -
The bravest knowing Him as might -
One everlasting Name!

His Name is True!
Never failing,
He knows no bounding by guise or word,
All expressing!
He makes each spirit in its kind,
Builds the souls of living nations,
Makes them all to sing and live!

Every living mind He makes
To know Him in a vital guise:
The purest heart as vital goodness -
The softest heart as touching beauty -
The warmest heart as fire truest -
Every guise is but a glimpsing,
None can capture all His Name!

All this world is fiercely burning!
All this land is mired in flame!
Save it, Lord, with showered blessing
Through every door that may deliver!

Unbounded God within His people
Moves about in living form:
The unformed speaks in bounded creature,
Takes a shape in living works!
The noumenal by all uncaptured
Captures all,
Takes all by storm!

Overflowing life and being!
Flooding force of light and love!
Worship Him in mind and glory!
Know Him well:
His Name is True!

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