FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT 'THE IMMORTAL FRIEND'
Wherever I look, Thou art there. I am full of Thy glory. I am burning with Thy happiness. I weep for all men That do not behold Thee. In what manner Shall I show them Thy glory?
I sat a-dreaming in a room of great silence. The early morning was still and breathless, The great blue mountains stood against the dark skies, cold and clear, Round the dark log house The black and yellow birds were welcoming the sun.
I sat on the floor, with legs crossed, meditating, Forgetting the sunlit mountains, The birds, The immense silence, And the golden sun.
I lost the feel of my body, My limbs were motionless, Relaxed and at peace. A great joy of unfathomable depth filled my heart. Eager and keen was my mind, concentrated. Lost to the transient world, I was full of strength.
As the Eastern breeze That suddenly springs into being And calms the weary world, There in front of me Seated cross-legged, As the world knows Him In His yellow robes, simple and magnificent, Was the Teacher of Teachers.
Looking at me, Motionless the Mighty Being sat, I looked and bowed my head, My body bent forward of itself.
That one look Showed the progress of the world, Showed the immense distance between the world And the greatest of its Teachers. How little it understood, And how much He gave. How joyously He soared, Escaping from birth and death, From its tyranny and entangling wheel.
Enlightenment attained, He gave to the world, as the flower gives Its scent, The Truth.
As I looked at the sacred feet That once trod the happy Dust of India, My heart poured forth its devotion, Limitless and unfathomable, Without restraint and without effort. I lost myself in that happiness. My mind so easily and strangely Understood the Truth He longed for and attained. I lost myself in that happiness. My soul grasped the infinite simplicity Of Truth. I lost myself in that happiness.
Thou art the Truth, Thou art the Law, Thou art the Refuge, Thou art the Guide, The Companion and the Beloved. Thou hast ravished my heart, Thou hast conquered my soul, In Thee have I found my comfort, In Thee is my truth established.
Where Thou hast trodden, Do I follow.
Where Thou hast suffered and conquered, Do I gather strength. Where Thou hast renounced, Do I grow, Dispassionate, detached.
Like the stars Have I become. Happy is he that knoweth Thee Eternally.
Like the sea, unfathomable Is my love. The Truth have I attained, And calm grows my spirit.
But yesterday I longed to withdraw From the aching world Into some secluded mountain spot, Untrammelled, Free, Away from all things, In search of Thee. And now Thou hast appeared Unto me.
I carry Thee in my heart. Look where I may, Thou art there, Calm, happy, Filling my world - - The embodiment of Truth.
My heart is strong, My mind is concentrated, I am full of Thee. As the Eastern breeze That suddenly springs into being, And calms the weary world, So have I realized.
I am the Truth, I am the Law, I am the Refuge, I am the Guide, The Companion and the Beloved.
Look where I may, Thou art there, Calm, happy, Filling my world - - The embodiment of Truth.
As one beholds a light In the dark At a distance, I saw Thee. I have walked towards Thee Through many lives - - In sorrow, in joy, In doubt, in suspicion, Over thorns, over fair fields, On the pavements of crowded cities.
I have known From the very foundation of the earth Of Thy glory, Of Thine existence, Of Thy beauty, that thrilled my soul. Never was I certain, Never was I allowed to be at peace With myself, With man, Or with the fair heavens. Out of the great uncertainty, Certainty was born.
Like the Eastern breeze That suddenly springs into being And calms the weary world,
So have I realized. I walk henceforth in Thy shadow.
Because Thou art my eternal Companion, I am strong - - Strong as the stream That rushes down the mountain side. Because Thou art my counselor, I am unshakable, Because of Thee, I am full of wisdom, Because Thou hast sent me out, I am as nothing, as the passing wind, But because Thou hast shown Thyself to me, I am as the rivers That dance down to the sea.
Because of Thy bidding, Whatever I do is for Thee. My heart is aflame, For I have come near unto Thee Everlastingly.
Each breath is transforming me Into Thine image.
Because Thou hast given me, I am full, Full as the ocean, Though all the rivers Do flow into it.
Thy majesty has awakened The power in me To shout from the mountain tops Thy truth.
Thy look Has burnt away The dross. I am pure. I am holy.
What the rose is to the rose petal, So art Thou to me. As the mountain top That disappears into the clouds, So my love for Thee Disappears Into space.
As on the sunlit sea the waters dance, Joyous in their ecstasy, So is my heart Dancing for love of Thee. As the small raindrop Mingles in the vast ocean, So have I lost Myself In Thee.
As the shadows Grow of an evening, So has my soul Grown immense In Thy Light.
My love for Thee Has awakened the love For all. I must bring the world To Thee. I must make Thee Their eternal Companion. They must know Thee As I know Thee - - The perfect, The simple, The glorified, The Fountain of Truth.
Knowing Thee, They will set aside their toys, Their small worlds, their playthings, Their pomp, The entanglements Of their religions, Their rites, Their ceremonies.
What is religion? What is worship? What are the temples And altars Of the world?
Thou art the end Of all sorrow, Of all joy, Of all knowledge, Of all search.
Thou art the goal of all things. In Thee alone lies Enlightenment - - The Happiness of the world.
Look where I may, Thou art there, Calm, happy, Filling my world - - The embodiment of Truth.
I am the Truth, I am the Law, I am the Refuge, I am the Guide, the Companion and the Beloved.
Through the austere dignity of the yellow robe Thou wert born unto me. Through the certainty of knowledge Thou hast appeared unto me. Through the immensity of happiness Thou hast shown Thyself unto me. Through the great silence of the morning Thou hast created the universe unto me. Through the sunlight of the world Thou hast carried me to the mountain top.
And unto me Thou wert born.
Over Thy head was the flame That burns away all sorrow, All pain, all anxiety. Thy face was like unto the rose petal, Perfect, soft, lovely, Youthful with the age of many centuries. In Thy face I beheld my own face. In Thine eyes was the laughter of Youth, The delight of the Spring, The joyous merriment of the world.
The music of Thy flute Hath ravished my heart. There is born in me A new tender merriment. The sea of many waters Hath entered into my heart: The bubbling brook, The boisterous storm, The angry waters, The pleasant breeze.
I smell the flowers at Thy feet, I behold the lane Where walks the world, The dust, the cow, And the cow-herd.
The scent of the sacred flower fills the air, I hear the temple bells, And the laughter of the world.
The jewels of the world Are in Thine eyes.
The world weeps for Thee In their wild and merry dancing.
O Love, with the flute, Thou art myself.
O Beloved, Thou art the ecstasy of my soul.
I have found Thee Through the happiness of many lives.
O world, In thee I behold the face of my Beloved. IV
He walked towards me and I stood still. My heart and soul gathered strength. The trees and the birds listened with unexpected silence. There was thunder in the skies - - Then, utter peace.
I saw Him look at me, And my vision became vast. My eyes saw and my mind understood. My heart embraced all things, For a new love was born unto me.
A new glory thrilled my being, For He walked before me, and I followed, my head high. The tall trees I saw through Him, Gently waving in welcome, The dead leaf, the mud, The sparkling water and the withered branches. The heavily laden and chattering villagers Walked through Him - ignorant and laughing, The barking dogs rushed, through Him, at me. A barrack of a house became an enchanted abode, Its red roof melting into the setting sun. The garden was a fairy land, The flowers were the fairies.
Standing against the dark evening sky, I saw Him In His eternal glory.
He walked before me Down the little narrow path, Always looking, while I followed.
He was at the door of my room, I passed through Him. purified with a new song in my heart, I remain.
He is before me forever. Look where I may, He is there. I see all things through Him. His glory has fllled me and awakened a glory that I have never known.
An eternal peace is my vision, Glorifying all things. He is ever before me.
The sun was setting As I stood on a hill-top, Watching it disappear Behind the mountains.
In the midst of that radiance, Clad in a cloud of yellow, Thou wert seated.
The whole vast heaven paused in adoration. The sky, the clouds, In robes of yellow, Were Thy worshippers, Thy disciples.
The mortal world joined in Thine adoration, Shouting with joy - - The birds, The distant valley, The passing vehicles Far away, The cricket, The grasshopper, The wind And the trees.
The black mountains Stood amazed In their dance, Fearing their own Mighty sight.
Then utter silence - - All things perceiving Thee As Thou art.
In that great silence An immense desire Was born in me To bring the world to Thee, To Thy perfection And to Thy happiness.
Thou art the only altar, Though men worship At the altars Of many temples. Thine is the only Imperishable Truth,
Though men clothe it By many names.
I love the world, And all the things thereof. I will bring the world To adore Thee, To worship Thee; For Thy beauty Is truth.
Immense happiness Fills my being, For I have found Thee. Thou shalt not disappear Though a thousand suns Shall set over the mountain.
As the sunset Grows more splendid From moment to moment, Changing constantly, So my desire For Thee Grows More glorious, More perfect. It shall fill The heart of all men, Till Thy perfection Be perceived.
In Thine eye Is the whirlwind, The soft breeze, The sacred Himavat, The low plain, The happy valley, And the blue skies - - All things are in Thee.
Thou art the happiness Of the world. The path of Happiness Is the path of Truth.
O listen! I shall sing to thee the song of my Beloved.
Where the soft green slopes of the still mountains Meet the blue shimmering waters of the noisy sea, Where the bubbling brook shouts in ecstasy, Where the still pools reflect the calm heavens, There thou wilt meet with my Beloved.
In the vale where the cloud hangs in loneliness, Searching the mountain for rest, In the still smoke climbing heavenwards, In the hamlet towards the setting sun, In the thin wreaths of the fast disappearing clouds, There thou wilt meet with my Beloved.
Among the dancing tops of the tall cypress, Among the gnarled trees of great age, Among the frightened bushes that cling to the earth, Among the long creepers that hang lazily, There thou wilt meet with my Beloved.
In the plowed fields where noisy birds are feeding, On the shaded path that winds along the full, motionless river, Beside the banks where the waters lap, Amidst the tall poplars that play ceaselessly with the winds, In the dead tree of last summer's lightning, There thou wilt meet with my Beloved.
In the still blue skies Where heaven and earth meet, In the breathless air, In the morn burdened with incense, Among the rich shadows of a noon-day, Among the long shadows of an evening, Amidst the gay and radiant clouds of the setting sun, On the path on the waters at the close of the day, There thou wilt meet with my Beloved.
In the shadows of the stars, In the deep tranquillity of dark nights, In the reflection of the moon on still waters, In the great silence before the dawn, Among the whispering of waking trees, In the cry of the bird at morn, Amidst the wakening of shadows, Amidst the sunlit tops of the far mountains, In the sleepy face of the world, There thou wilt meet with my Beloved.
Keep still, O dancing waters, And listen to the voice of my Beloved.
In the happy laughter of children Thou canst hear Him. The music of the flute Is His voice. The startled cry of a lonely bird Moves thy heart to tears, For thou hearest His voice. The roar of the age-old sea Awakens the memories That have been lulled to sleep By His voice. The soft breeze that stirs The treetops lazily, Brings to thee the sound Of His voice.
The thunder among the mountains Fills thy soul With the strength
Of His voice. In the roar of a vast city, Through the shrill moan of swift passing vehicles, In the throb of a distant engine, Through the voices of the night, The cry of sorrow, The shout of joy, Through the ugliness of anger, Comes the voice of my Beloved.
In the distant blue isles, On the soft dewdrop, On the breaking wave, On the sheen of waters, On the wing of the flying bird, On the tender leaf of spring, Thou wilt see the face of my Beloved.
In the sacred temple, In the halls of dancing, On the holy face of the sannyasi, In the lurches of the drunkard, With the harlot and with the chaste, Thou wilt meet with my Beloved.
On the fields of flowers, In the towns of squalor and dirt, With the pure and the unholy, In the flower that hides divinity, There is my well-Beloved.
Oh! the sea Has entered my heart. In a day, I am living a hundred summers. O friend, I behold my face in thee, The face of my well-Beloved.
This is the song of my love.
As the rain cleanses The tree by the roadside, So the dust of ages Has been washed away in me.
As the tree sparkles In the sun After the soft rain, So my soul delighteth In Thee. As the tree Looketh to its roots For its immense strength,
So do I look to Thee Who art the root of my strength.
As the smoke mounteth heavenwards In a straight column, Of a still evening So have I grown Towards Thee.
As the little pool On the road Reflecteth the face of heaven, So my heart Reflecteth Thy happiness.
As the solitary cloud That hangs over the mountain The envy of the valley, So have I hung, For generation after generation, In a lonely place.
As the great cloud That hasteneth
Before the mighty wind, So descend I Into the valley. Into the valley Where there is sorrow And transient happiness, Where there is birth and death, Where there is shadow and light, Where there is strife and a passing peace, Where there is comfort of stagnation, Where to think is to grieve, Where to feel is to create sorrow. Into that valley I shall descend, For I have conquered, For in me Thou art born.
As the light pierces through darkness, So Thy truth Shall pierce the world. As the rain purifieth the earth And cleanseth all things thereof, So shall I cleanse the world With Thy truth. For many ages, Through many lives, Have I prepared, But now, Behold, the cup is full.
The world shall drink of it. Man shall grow Into Thy divinity. Thy happiness shall shine On his face. For Thy messenger Shall go forth.
I am he That openeth the heart of man, That giveth comfort.
I am the truth, I am the Law, I am the Refuge, I am the Guide, the Companion and the Beloved.
O friend, Tell me of God. Where is He, by what manner do I find Him, Among what climes, in what abodes? Tell me, I am weary.
Read the Vedas, Do tapas, meditate, Perform rites and ceremonies, Practice austerities and renounce, Pray at His temple, among flowers and incense, Bathe in the sacred rivers, Visit the holy places, Be a devotee and pure of intelligence, In Kailas is His abode - - There you will find Him, cried many.
Obey the Law, Take refuge in the Order, Kill not, steal not and commit no sin, Go to the shrine, Enter Nirvana - - There you will find Him, cried many.
Read the Holy Book, pray at His church - -there be many - - This church will lead you to Him but beware of that.
Serve, sacrifice, Do not judge, be merciful,
In Heaven is His throne - - There you will find Him, cried many.
Read the only Book Of the only God, Visit His abode on earth, pray at the mosque, At the setting of the sun worship Him, Bahisht is his abode - - There you will find Him, cried many.
Work, work for humanity, Serve, serve your fellow-creatures, Follow this but beware of that path, Do the will of God, Follow blindly for I hold the key to His abode. Grasp this opportunity He offers you, Sorrow and happiness lead to Him, If you do this, your search will end - - Then you will find Him, shouted many.
I am weary, tired by the passage of time. Traveling on no path, I have come to Thee, Thou hast revealed Thyself to me.
Oh! Thou art the round stone That grinds the rice in the peaceful village Amidst songs and laughter. Thou art the graven image That men worship in temples, With chants and solemn music. Thou art the dead leaf That lies torn on the dusty road Trodden by the weary traveller. Thou art the solitary pine That stands majestic On the lonely hill.
Thou art the lame and mangy creature That comes to my door with a haunted look, hungry, That men abhor.
Thou art the mighty elephant That is gaily robed, Carrying the nobles of the land. Thou art the naked beggar That wanders from house to house Wearily crying for alms. Thou art the great of the land That are rich in possessions and books, That are well-fed and satisfied. Thou art the priests of all temples That are learned, proud and certain. Thou art the harlot, the sinner, the saint and the heretic.
My search is at an end, In Thee I behold all things. I myself, am God.
Telling of beads - -they are but dead wood. Bathing in holy rivers - -they are but waters. Worshipping at temples - -they are but the walls of naked stone. Writing of books - -they are but flowers of words. Thinkest thou, O friend, to juggle with Me? As the lotus abides with the waters, So do I live with thee, eternally.
Adorn Me with thy jewels, Clothe Me with thy garments, Feed Me with thy delicacies, Flatter Me with thy glories. Thinkest thou, O friend, to juggle with Me? As the lotus abides with the waters, So do I live with thee, eternally.
Search for thy happiness in passing things, Pursue thy passionate trivialities, Drink deep for thy oblivion, Chase the butterfly from flower to flower.
Thinkest thou, O friend, to juggle with Me? As the lotus abides with the waters, So do I live with thee, eternally.
Rich is the shadow of a summer's day.
Our journey ends, O friend, When thou and I meet, As the delicate spire climbs eagerly into the blue skies, O my Beloved, so my heart soars into space in search of Thee. As the butterfly tastes the hidden honey of the fast-fading flower, O my Beloved, so have I played with Thee among the manifested - - Changing, decaying.
By offerings, by alms and by the building of many a temple, Have I sought to establish Thee. As the sparkling dewdrop that hangs on the tree-tops Above the world, To fade in the morning sun, So have my great foundations in the kingdoms of the manifest Been destroyed.
As the stars of a night About me are Thy creations. By yoga, by austerities, Life after life, Have I chased Thee among the shadows of Thy manifestations. Ever eluding, ever enticing, ever disappointing, Have been my glimpses of Thee.
But, my Beloved, my eternal love, O Thou, the desire of my heart, I have found Thee, in the unmanifest, In the indestructible. As the rainbow vanishes near the green earth, So has my search vanished among the flowers of Thy creation.
In me Thou art established, Imperishable, ineffable, everlasting. O Beloved, Thou art established in the temple of my heart.
I am the Beloved, the desire of all hearts, I am the playmate in the shadow of creation. XI
In the quiet evening When the leaf is still, When the flower is weary of the day And the bud is rejoicing for the morrow, When the shadows are long And the smoke is mounting in a still column, When the world is breathless, Oh! with the lark I climbed To the abode of my Beloved.
I have wandered far into the realms of the unreal In search of the real. Many births and many deaths have been my lot. With the setting of a single day Have I known many joys, many sorrows, But Thou hast eluded me, O Thou, the embodiment of Truth.
I have brought to Thee all my experience, All my woes and my joys. I have worshipped with folded hands in many a temple, But at my eager approach faded the image of truth.
I have loved and the glories of the earth have delighted me. I was full of knowledge, enjoying the admiration of the world. I adorned myself with priestly robes, But in silence the gods of my adoration looked down.
As the mountain is to the valley - -distant, forbidding - - So hast Thou been to me. Thou hast ever remained with Thy face turned.
Thou hast been as a star - -far away, unreal. Thou wert ever the image, I ever the worshipper. Not a man knew of Thine abode; Thou wert ever far away, fantastical, mysterious. Sometimes immense fear filled my heart, Often great hopes, At times complete indifference and weariness. Without Thee, I was as an empty shell.
As the potter's wheel, I went round and round, Consumed by continual action. I brought to Thee the flower of my heart, The great delight of my mind, But as the dead leaf in autumn, I was torn and trodden down.
As the tree on the mountain
Grows in solitude and strength, Likewise, life after life, I grew in solitude and stature, I reached the mountain top.
Till in the long last, O Guru of Gurus, I tore the veil that separated Thee from myself, That veil that set Thee apart.
Now, my Beloved, Thou and I are one. As the lotus makes the waters beautiful, So Thou and I complete the perfection of Life.
O Guru, Thy play is my play, Thy Love is my love. Thy smile has filled my heart, My work is Thy creation. Thou hast bowed to me, O Love, As I have bowed to Thee, Through countless ages.
The veil of separation is torn, O Beloved, Thou and I are One. XII
As the aspen leaf is aquiver With the breeze, So my heart dances with Thy love. As two mountain streams meet With a roar, Joyous in their exultation, So have I met Thee, O my Beloved.
As the mountain top is aglow At the going down of the sun, Giving to the valley an immense desire, So hast Thou given glory to my being. As the valley is still at eventide, So hast Thou calmed my soul.
My heart is filled With the love of a thousand years. Mine eyes Behold Thy vision.
As the stars make the night beauteous, So hast Thou given beauty to my soul. As serene as the graven image Have I become.
As the seed grows into a wondrous tree, The abode of many joyous birds, Giving soft shadows To the weary traveller, So has my soul grown In search of Thee.
As a great river joins the sea, So to Thee have I come,
Rich from my long journey, Full with the experience of an age. O Beloved, As the dewdrop Mingles with the honey Of the flower, So Thou and I have become one. O my Beloved, Now there is no separation, No loneliness, No sorrow, no struggle. Where'er I go I bring the glory of Thy presence. For, O Beloved, Thou and I are one.
As the small stream Gathers strength on its long journey, Feeding the lonely plains, the tall drooping trees, Dancing its way to the open seas, Attaining liberation - - So have I entered into Thee.
Long has been the journey On this trackless path of time, Where every little snag Gives forth music and the sound of waters, Where every little pool Reflects the glory of heavens, to stagnate, Where every little peaceful spot Is burdened with the scent of decay.
Long did I struggle To swim in the strong current; Many a time, exhausted, Have I been flung On the craggy banks of Time.
Weary of all experience, Gathering strength from that very weariness, Have I run faster To where the open waters meet With a roar, The small mysterious streams.
Liberated from Time, Without the limitation of Space, Have I become as the dewdrop That creates the vast seas.
Oh! the lotus is unfolding its glory to the morning sun, I open my heart to Thee, O my Beloved.
Since I have met with Thee, O my Beloved, Never have I known loneliness.
A stranger am I Amidst all peoples, In all lands. Amidst the multitude of strangers, Full am I As of the scent of jasmine. They surround me, But I know no loneliness.
I weep for the strangers; How alone they are. Full of immense loneliness, Fearful, They take to themselves people As lonely as themselves.
A guest am I In this world of transient things, Unfettered by the entanglements thereof. I am of no country, No boundaries hold me.
O friend, I weep for thee. Thou layest thy foundation, But thy house perisheth on the morrow.
O friend, Come with me, Abide in the house of my Beloved. Though thou shalt wander the earth, possessing nothing, Thou shalt be as welcome As the lovely spring,
For thou bringest with thee The Companion of all.
O friend, Live with me, My Beloved and I are one.
It has been given to me, O friend, To see the face of my Beloved.
His smile Has filled my heart. As the rivers of water Make constant music, O friend, So my being rejoices In the splendor of His love.
As one beholds the mountain-top At the setting of the sun, Radiant and serene Above the darkening world, O friend, So the vision of my Beloved Has made me pure and at peace.
As at the lifting of the dark cloud From the happy face of the mountain, O friend, So the shadow of life Has lifted At the approach of my well-Beloved.
As the mists of the morn Are consumed by the warm rays, O friend, So my well-Beloved Has gathered me in, Dispelling the vision of emptiness.
As the deep valley lies In the shadow of a great mountain, O friend, So I lie In the shadow of the hand Of my well-Beloved.
As the rose Amidst many thorns, O friend, so am I Amidst passing things.
As the day is made glorious By the darkness of the night, By the light of the day, O friend,
So have I been made glorious.
As the rivers are full After the great rains, O friend, So has my well-Beloved Burdened me with His love. The ages have awaited this hour. I have met with my Beloved.
O my Beloved, Thou art Liberation, The end of all desire, The consummation of love.
O my Beloved, Thou art the unfading beauty of Truth, Thou art the accomplishment of all thought, Thou art the flower of all devotion.
O my Beloved, O my Love, The sun is beyond the purple hills, And as a single star I have risen In Thine adoration.
Thou and I, We have well met. O my Beloved, Art Thou not myself? Art Thou not the perfume of my heart?
I am Thy Beloved, My Beloved art Thou.
Thou art my companion of ages. I am Thy shadow, In the garden of eternity. XVII
As divinity lies hidden in a flower, So my Beloved dwells in me. As thunder is among the mountains, So is my Beloved within my heart. As the cry of a bird in a still forest, So has the voice of my Beloved filled me.
As fair as the morning, As serene as the moon,
As clear as the sun, Is my love for my Beloved.
As the sun goes down Beyond the purple hills, Amidst great clouds And the whispering breeze among the trees, So has my Beloved descended into me, To the rejoicing of my heart, To the glory of my mind.
As of a dark night Man guides himself By the distant stars, So my Beloved guides me On the waters of life.
Yea, I have sought my Beloved, And discovered Him seated in my heart. My Beloved beholds through mine eyes, For now my Beloved and I are one.
I laugh with Him, With Him I play.
This shadow is not of mine, It belongs to the heart of my Beloved, For now my Beloved and I are One.