O Kali, Thou art fond of cremation grounds;
so I have turned my heart into one
That thou, a resident of cremation grounds,
may dance there unceasingly.
O Mother! I have no other fond desire in my heart;
fire of a funeral pyre is burning there;
O Mother! I have preserved the ashes of dead bodies all around
that Thou may come.
O Mother! Keeping Shiva, conqueror of Death, under Thy feet,
Come, dancing to the tune of music;
Prasada waits With his eyes closed
O blissful Kali,
accept my congratulations.
You have enthralled the universe entirely
with your countless transformations.
Your ultimate magic feat is to throw every being
a sacred black stone, your very essence,
so that realization of mystic identity
will be its final destiny
You are so adept in magic, Ma Kali,
that you even draw the Father God,
who is all-transcending knowledge,
into your sweet madness,
your play of indivisible love.
As timeless awareness, you remain uninvolved,
producing the magic theater, divine creativity,
from the interplay of inertia, balance and activity.
This avid worshipper of Mother is shocked
that even supremely wise Lord Shiva
cannot realize Kali’s true nature.
O supremely foolish poet,
how can you hope to grasp her dancing feat
that elude even Shiva’s comprehension?
She has clearly driven you mad as well
with the magic of her Love.
– Ramprasad Sen (translated by Lex Hixon, from Mother of the Universe, Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment)
Who is this astonishing feminine presence
dancing in the universal field of battle?
Truly naked, eternally sixteen,
with magnificent dignity she stands
on the breast of Absolute Reality
that assumes the aspect of snow-white Shiva,
his body also naked truth
as he sleeps in supernal contemplation
All blood ever shed in sacrifice or conflict
streams down her brilliant black limbs
like crimson blossoms floating on dark waters.
Her face is diamond bright, clearer than the full moon.
Infinite wisdom energy pulsates
through her mysterious blackness.
Her powerful wisdom laughter
awakens and heals,
flowing in wave after wave of sweet nectar.
This poet is overwhelmed,
singing with tears of rapture:
“Those who long for conscious union with reality
should meditate with constancy
on the dark blue lotus feet of Kali,
enshrined in the secret heart of humanity,
ensuring the liberation of all finite beings
from the illusion of finitude.”
– Ramprasad Sen (as translated by Lex Hixon in Mother of the Goddess)
Another poem from the Shakta poet Ramprasad Sen. His words never fail to evoke Her presence, and I am only reading translations. I can only imagine how the original would stir the soul and shatter any false illusions of separation between us. You want to look into Her eyes? Feel Her breath? Hear Her sweet laughter? Let the poet evoke Her before you, in all of Her majestic glory.
Radiant black storm clouds
expand acros the sky of pure awareness.
The peacock of my mind reveals its brilliant colors,
dancing in the bliss of holy expectation.
Kali’s wisdom thunder rumbles
with her power that can level mountains.
The fiery tracery of lightning flashes
forms her wonderful smile of ecstasy.
The lover of Ma Kali gazes intently,
tears pouring down like monsoon rain.
Only these most precious drops
can quench the thirst of the heart,
that rare winging creature
who drinks only from limitless sky,
never from limited pools or streams.
To be born in this body composed of common clay
is a heavy burden for the soaring soul.
To incarnate again and again
across this vast planetary realm
can never slake our burning thirst for reality.
Proclaims the liberated one
who sings this gnostic hymn:
“No more birth from the womb of the matter,
only emanation from the Divine Mother.”
Read a larger collection of Ramprasad in translation from Lex Hinton’s excellent work Mother of the Universe: Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Songs of Enlightenment.
Ramprasad Sen: Shakta Poet
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