In Darkness I Was Born

A Poem

Srila Prabhupada (center) at the New Mayapur community in France, 1976. On the left is Chatur Murti from Brazil, and on the right is a younger version of me. We are holding up Prabhupada’s backrest as he sits on the lawn. Prabhupada’s forehead is covered with sandalwood paste.

The following poem is based on a Persian form called Rubaiyat, like “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” (A book of verses underneath the bough / A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou).

Each stanza has four lines with the first, second, and fourth being rhymed. The poem is said to be linked (as in the following) when the un-rhymed third line sets the rhyme scheme for the next stanza.

Note: On a mobile phone, this poem is best viewed by holding the phone sideways.

In Darkness I Was Born

In darkness I was born, I had no sight.
My eyes were closed until he brought the light.
I bow to my beloved Prabhupad’,
Whose torch of knowledge dissipates the night.

He saved me from the path where fools will plod,
And told me that Lord Krishna is my God.
He gave me shelter at his lotus feet
And let me see beyond this world’s façade.

There is no other way for us to beat,
The senses and their weapon of deceit.
Just take the time to chant Lord Krishna’s name,
And go beyond the bitter to the sweet.

To see a stone and money as the same,
To finally win and give up Maya’s game,
To go from being weak to being strong,
To learn to walk instead of being lame.

And now all day I sing a holy song
So I can go back home where I belong
And leave this world of tragedy and pain
Where no one knows what’s right and what is wrong.

I must give up my search for earthly gain
And leave this path that drives us all insane.
For death will come one day and knock me flat,
And all the work I’ve done will  be in vain.

For death is like the jaws of mama cat,
The great abode of terror for the rat,
But kitten finds a source of joy complete
In mama’s mouth and mama’s loving pat.

And death is something joyful, something sweet
For those who cling to Krishna’s lotus feet.
I’m tired, with no more power left to comb
The street for just a piece of bread to eat.

Oh please, dear Krishna, take me to your home,
Where every word is lovely as a poem,
Where always I will stay beneath your feet,
And never feel again the urge to roam.

Eternally touching my head to the floor at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada,
⁓Umapati Swami, January 11, 2019
Copyright

© 2019 Umapati Swami

Write to me: hoswami@yahoo.com

Srila Prabhupada

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the teacher who brought Krishna Consciousness from India to the West and then to the rest of the world. He is the founder of  the worldwide Hare Krishna Movement as well as the author and compiler of many works of Vedic knowledge. He left this world in 1977.

Umapati Swami

One of the first American devotees of the Hare Krishna Movement, he became Srila Prabhupada’s disciple in 1966. Since then, he has preached Krishna Consciousness in many countries and is the author of “My Days with Prabhupada,” available from Amazon. Now 84 years old, he has started this blog to share what he has learned.

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