Guest poem sent in by Radhika Gowaikar
(Poem #1258) Buddha And The Goddess
Thus have I made up: Once the Buddha was walking along the forest path in the Oak Grove at Ojai, walking without arriving anywhere or having any thought of arriving or not arriving. And lotuses, shining with the morning dew miraculously appeared under every step Soft as silk beneath the toes of the Buddha. When suddenly, out of the turquoise sky, dancing in front of his half-shut inward-looking eyes, shimmering like a rainbow or a spider's web transparent as the dew on a lotus flower --the Goddess appeared quivering like a hummingbird in the air before him. She, for she was surely a she as the Buddha could clearly see with his eye of discriminating awareness wisdom, was mostly red in color though when the light shifted she flashed like a rainbow. She was naked except for the usual flower ornaments goddesses wear. Her long hair was deep blue, her eyes fathomless pits of space, and her third eye a bloodshot song of fire. The Buddha folded his hands together and greeted the Goddess thus: "O goddess, why are you blocking my path? Before I saw you I was happily going nowhere. Now I'm not so sure where I go." "You can go around me," said the Goddess, twirling on her heel like a bird darting away, but just a little way away, "or you can come after me but you can't pretend I'm not here, This is my forest, too." With that the Buddha sat supple as a snake solid as a rock beneath a Bo tree that sprang full-leaved to shade him. "Perhaps we should have a chat," he said. "After years of arduous practice at the time of the morning star I penetrated reality and." "Not so fast, Buddha," the Goddess said, "I am reality." The earth stood still, the oceans paused, the wind itself listened --a thousand arhats, bodhisattvas and dakinis magically appeared to hear what would happen in the conversation. "I know I take my life in my hands," said the Buddha, "But I am known as the Fearless One --so here goes." And he and the Goddess without further words exchanged glances. Light rays like sun beams shot forth so brightly that even Sariputra, the All-Seeing One, had to turn away. And then they exchanged thoughts And the illumination was as bright as a diamond candle And then they exchanged minds And there was a great silence as vast as the universe that contains everything And then they exchanged bodies And then clothes And the Buddha arose as the Goddess and the Goddess arose as the Buddha. And so on back and forth for a hundred thousand hundred thousand kalpas. If you meet the Buddha you meet the Goddess. If you meet the Goddess, you meet the Buddha. Not only that. This: The Buddha is emptiness, The Goddess is bliss. The Goddess is emptiness, The Buddha is bliss. And that is what And what-not you are It's true. So here comes the mantra of the Goddess and the Buddha, the unsurpassed non-dual mantra. Just to say this mantra, just to hear this mantra once, just to hear one word of this mantra once makes everything the way it truly is: OK. So here it is: Earth-walker/sky-walker Hey silent one, Hey great talker Not two/ not one Not separate/ not apart This is the heart Bliss is emptiness Emptiness is bliss Be your breath, Ah Smile, Hey, And relax, Ho Remember: You can't miss.
(1942-1999) Not all of this poem makes sense to me. But it doesn't need to. There is something about it that just feels right. And this appeal, I suspect, is not inspite of, but rather because of my imperfect understanding of it. I also like the quiet drama of the 'story', the way that the climax (as I see it) is 'narrated' as if it were natural and meant-to-be. And the last two lines are... well, cool :) -- I came across this poem here http://charityfocus.org/insp/expr/poetry/p.php?pg=fields Some links with information about the poet - http://www.onweb.org/consumables/art/fields/fields.html This also has some more interesting poems. http://www.cuke.com/sangha_news/fields.html http://www.cuke.com/sangha_news/fields-obits.html This has obituaries. -- radhika.