Sunday, 22 July 2018

The Unity of God - Panatattu

Into the bosom of the one great sea
Flow streams that come from hills on every side.
Their names are various as their springs.
And thus in every land do men bow down
To one great God, though known by many names.
This mighty Being we would worship now.

What though the six religions loudly shout
That each alone is true, all else are false?
Yet when in each the wise man worships God,
The great almighty One receives the prayer.

Oh Lord, when may I hope
To find the clue that leads
From out the labyrinth
Of brawling erring sects?

Six blind men once described an elephant
That stood before them all. One felt the back.
The second noticed pendent ears. The third
Could only find the tail. The beauteous tusks
Absorbed the admiration of the fourth.
While of the other two, one grasped the trunk.
The last sought for small things and found
Four thick and clumsy feet. From what each learned.
He drew the beast. Six monsters stood revealed.
Just so the six religions learned of God,
And tell their wondrous tales. Our God is one.

Men talk of penance, fastings, sacred streams —
Make pilgrimage to temples, offer gifts;
Performing to the letter all the rules
Of senseless complicated ritual.
Yet are they doomed to sorrow's deepest pain.
Oh, fling such things away and fix thy heart
On rest and peace to come. Seek that alone.

To them that fully know the heavenly truth,
There is no good or ill; nor anything
To be desired, unclean or purely clean.
To them there is no good can come from fast
Or penance pains. To them the earth has naught
For hope or fear, in thought or word or deed.

They hear the four great Vedas shout aloud
That he who has true wisdom in his heart
Can have no thought for fleeting worldly things.
Where God is seen, there can be naught but God.
His heart can have no place for fear or shame.
For caste, uncleanness, hate or wandering thought
Impure and pure are all alike to him.

Panatattu (10th Century A. D.) India
Source: World's great religious poetry by Caroline Miles Hill, The Macmillan company, 1923

No comments:

Post a comment

Please keep your comments relevant and free from abusive language. Thank you. Note that comments are moderated so it may be a day or two before your comment is posted - irrelevant or abusive comments will not be published.