Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Bathe Yourself in That Rain"


…“There the clouds do not cover the sky
yet the rain pours down in gentle showers.
O bodiless one, do not sit on your doorstep.
Go forth and bathe yourself in that rain.”

These are four of my favorite lines written by a 14th Century Ecstatic Poet of the East known as Kabir. To be able to reach fantastic heights of joy and happiness while reciting or singing in adoration or devotion was a great gift of many profound poets of the past. They broke down barriers of politics and religion to reach into the depths of their own direct experience with the Almighty. Their work bubbled out of them with such purity and intensity that future generations could still drink from the nectar and feel the urge to embrace the “Beloved” in their own way. I know this because I feel this joy when I recite or sing their words. They take me away from all the limited ways of seeing the world and expand the imagination to reach farther into exhilaration and what is known to some as “God-Intoxication”. I know this because I have felt these feelings, even while battling the loss of my husband. Can you imagine the excruciating pain of grief being transformed into rapture within a few hours of meditation and song? When we can expand our way of seeing, we can embrace everything within ourselves and what was not possible becomes possible. Tears of agony turn to tears of endless joy when we begin to see that we are not separate from the Creator. How can we feel alone when we are more and more aware of our Unity with Consciousness? Mr. Sen puts it so beautifully in his book “Ancient Secrets of Success for Today’s World” where he says:

“To experience Unity is the goal of the individual while still in the body. This is the teaching and the objective of the ancient traditions. Unless you experience this Unity, which is different from union, you will not be able to know yourself…. Unity is when you realize: You are One with the Universe. Unity cannot be understood by the intellect and neither can it be explained in words, in any language.”

Years of watching the man I love go through agonizing medical treatments only intensified my sense of separation from this Truth. Then came more years of struggling with utter defeat which drove me to reach for the comfort of poets and Masters of the past. I wanted to relate to their words of courage and feelings of absolute rapture in the chambers of my own heart. I wanted to sing it alive within my own world and have direct knowing of the Inner Teacher. Also, I wanted to know for myself what my great-grandmother had told me while I was a young girl: “No matter what troubles You, Christ will give you rest and take your pain away.” After years of trying to be a good and loving person, obediently enduring one battle after another, I now hungrily, desperately ached to experience this promise wholeheartedly for myself.

Now, in my continuing quest for answers, the words of ancient poets and Masters continuously open passageways of embracing larger and larger ideals and emotions. Echoes of “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” vibrate from the confident voice of my great-grandmother’s legacy of undying faith.

In the closing lines of the above Kabir stanza, the Master Poet continues:

“There it is ever moonlight and never dark.
And who speaks of one sun only?
That land is illuminate with the rays of a million suns:
Oh my Heart, let us go to that country
where dwells the Beloved, the ravisher of my Heart.”

May the power of Ecstatic Poetry always awaken your Imagination.

Ganga

3 comments:

Dr. Wanabee said...

Thank you for the comment.

Yes, despair and destitution shouldn not be held onto because there is so much more in life that requires us to be hopeful.

Susan Williamson said...

What a fabulous blog, and I loved this entry. It reminded me of what Allan Ginsberg once said: "Poetry is prayer." I look forward to reading your posts regularly!

David said...

All my work towards enlightenment goes on trust. Only the masters can know what they experience and the students believe them. Although maybe a handful of people are truly enlightened if it is possible at all I will always aim there whatever the result.