A song I sing to Thee

A song I sing. A song I sing to Thee!
Nor care I for men’s comments, good or bad.
Censure or praise I hold of no account.
Servant am I, true servant of Thee Both
(Purusha and Prakriti together.),
Low at Thy feet, with Shakti, I salute!

Thou standest steadfast, ever at my back,
Hence when I turn me round, I see Thy face,
Thy smiling face. Therefore I sing again
And yet again. Therefore I fear no fear;
For birth and death lie prostrate at my feet.

Thy servant am I through birth after birth,
Sea of mercy, inscrutable Thy ways;
So is my destiny inscrutable;
It is unknown; nor would I wish to know.
Bhakti, Mukti, Japa, Tapas, all these,
Enjoyment, worship, and devotion too —
These things and all things similar to these,
I have expelled at Thy supreme command.
But only one desire is left in me —
An intimacy with Thee, mutual!
Take me, O Lord across to Thee;
Let no desire’s dividing line prevent.

The eye looks out upon the universe,
Nor does it seek to look upon itself;
Why should it? It sees itself in others.
Thou art my eyes! Thou and Thou alone;
For every living temple shrines Thy face.

Like to the playing of a little child
Is every attitude of mine toward Thee.
Even, at times, I dare be angered with Thee;
Even, at times, I’d wander far away: —
Yet there, in greyest gloom of darkest night,
Yet there, with speechless mouth and tearful eyes,
Thou standest fronting me, and Thy sweet Face
Stoops down with loving look on face of mine.
Then, instantly, I turn me back to Thee,
And at Thy feet I fall on bended knees.
I crave no pardon at Thy gentle hands,
For Thou art never angry with Thy son.
Who else with all my foolish freaks would bear?

Thou art my Master! Thou my soul’s real mate.
Many a time I see Thee — I am Thee!
Ay, I am Thee, and Thou, my Lord, art me!
Thou art within my speech. Within my throat
Art Thou, as Vinâpâni, (Goddess of learning) learned, wise.
On the flow of Thy current and its force
Humanity is carried as Thou wilt.
The thunder of Thy Voice is borne upon the boom
Of crashing waves, of over-leaping seas;
The sun and moon give utterance to Thy Voice;
Thy conversation, in the gentle breeze
Makes itself heard in truth, in very truth,
True! True! And yet, the while, these gross precepts
Give not the message of the Higher Truth
Known to the knower!
Lo! The sun, the moon,
The moving planets and the shining stars,
Spheres of abode by myriads in the skies,
The comet swift, the glimmering lightning-flash,
The firmament, expanded, infinite —
These all, observant watchful eyes behold,

Anger, desire, greed, Moha, (delusion) and the rest
(Such as pride and malice, the sixfold evil),
Whence issues forth the waving of the play
Of this existence; the home wherein dwells
Knowledge, and non-knowledge — whose centre is
The feeling of small self, the “Aham!” “Aham!”
Full of the dual sense of pleasure and of pain,
Teeming with birth and life, decay and death,
Whose arms are “The External” and “The Internal”,
All things that are, down to the ocean’s depths,
Up to sun, moon, and stars in spanless space —
The Mind, the Buddhi, Chitta, Ahamkâr,
The Deva, Yaksha, man and demon, all,
The quadruped, the bird, the worm, all insect life,
The atom and its compound, all that is,
Animate and inanimate, all, all —
The Internal and the External — dwell
In that one common plane of existence!
This outward presentation is of order gross,
As hair on human brow, Ay! very gross.

On the spurs of the massive Mount Meru
(The name of a fabulous mountain round which the planed are said to revolve.)
The everlasting snowy ranges lie,
Extending miles and miles beyond more miles.
Piercing through clouds into the sky above
Its peaks thrust up in hundreds, glorious,
Brilliantly glistening, countless, snowy-white:
Flash upon flash of vivid lightning fleet,
The sun, high in his northern solstice hung,
With force of thousand rays concentrating,
Pours down upon the mountain floods of heat,
Furious as a billion thunderbolts,
From peak to peak.
Behold! The radiant sun
Swoons, as it were, in each. Then melts
The massive mountain with its crested peaks!
Down, down, it falls, with a horrific crash!
Water with water lies commingled now,
And all has passed like to a passing dream.

When all the many movements of the mind
Are, by Thy grace, made one, and unified,
The light of that unfoldment is so great
That, in its splendour, it surpasses far
The brilliance of ten thousand rising suns.
Then, sooth, the sun of Chit (Knowledge) reveals itself.
And melt away the sun and moon and stars,
High heaven above, the nether worlds, and all!
This universe seems but a tiny pool
Held in a hollow caused by some cow’s hoof.
This is the reaching of the region which
Beyond the plane of the External lies.
Calmed are the clamours of the urgent flesh,
The tumult of the boastful mind is hushed,
Cords of the heart are loosened and set free,
Unfastened are the bandages that bind,
Attachment and delusion are no more!
Ay! There sounds sonorous the Sound
Void of vibration. Verily! Thy Voice!
Hearing that Voice, Thy servant, reverently,
Stands ever ready to fulfil Thy work.

“I exist. When, at Pralaya time
This wondrous universe is swallowed up;
Knowledge, the knower and the known, dissolved;
The world no more distinguishable, now,
No more conceivable; when sun and moon
And all the outspent stars, remain no more —
Then is the state of Mahâ-Nirvâna,
When action, act, and actor, are no more,
When instrumentality is no more;
Great darkness veils the bosom of the dark —
There I am present.

“I am present! At Pralaya time,
When this vast universe is swallowed up,
Knowledge, and knower, and the known
Merged into one.
The universe no more
Can be distinguished or can be conceived
By intellect. The sun and moon and stars are not.
Over the bosom of the darkness, darkness moves
Intense Devoid of all the threefold bonds,
Remains the universe. Gunas are calmed
Of all distinctions. Everything deluged
In one homogeneous mass, subtle,
Pure, of atom-form, indivisible —
There I am present.

“Once again, I unfold Myself — that ‘I’;
Of My ‘Shakti’ the first great change is Om;
The Primal Voice rings through the void;
Infinite Space hears that great vibrant sound.
The group of Primal Causes shakes off sleep,
New life revives atoms interminable;
Cosmic existence heaves and whirls and sways,
Dances and gyrates, moves towards the core,
From distances immeasurably far.
The animate Wind arouses rings of Waves
Over the Ocean of great Elements;
Stirring, falling, surging, that vast range of Waves
Rushes with lightning fury. Fragments thrown
By force of royal resistance through the path
Of space, rush, endless, in the form of spheres
Celestial, numberless. Planets and stars
Speed swift; and man’ abode, the earth revolves.

“At the Beginning, I the Omniscient One,
I am! The moving and the un-moving,
All this Creation comes into being
By the unfoldment of My power supreme.
I play with My own Maya, My Power Divine.
The One, I become the many, to behold
My own Form.

“At the Beginning, I, the Omniscient One,
I am! The moving and the un-moving,
All this Creation comes into being
By the unfoldment of My power supreme.
Perforce of My command, the wild storm blows
On the face of the earth; clouds clash and roar;
The flash of lightning startles and rebounds;
Softly and gently the Malaya breeze
Flows in and out like calm, unruffled breath;
The moon’s rays pour their cooling current forth;
The earth’s bare body in fair garb is clothed,
Of trees and creepers multitudinous;
And the flower abloom lifts her happy face,
Washed with drops of dew, towards the sun.”

A song I sing to Thee by Swami Vivekanand

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