by Ramprasad Sen
Kulakundalini, Goddess Full of Brahman, Tara —
You are inside me.
You are inside me, Ma
in the muladhara, the sahasrara,
and the wish-granting manipura.
The Ganges flows to the left, the Yamuna to the right;
in their midst streams the Sarasvati
where Siva and Sakti shine.
Meditating on You like this
a ruby-red snake sleeping
coiled around the Lord Self-Born
a man is blessed.
In each glorious lotus
Muladhara, svadhisthana, manipura at the navel,
anahata, and visuddha
You incarnate as letters
v to s, b to l, d to ph, k to th,
sixteen vowels at the throat,
and h and ks between the eyebrows.
My teacher was firm with me;
he told me to think of You like this in my body.
Brahma and the four gods, and Dakini and her five saktis
inhabit the ascending lotuses, supported underneath
by an elephant, a crocodile, a ram, an antelope, and a second elephant.
If you hold your breath
you can know Her
and hear the buzzing hum
of a drunken bee.
Earth, water, fire, and air dissolve immediately
when you sound “yam,” ram,” “lam,” “ham,” and “haum.”
Then cast me
a compassionate glance —
I keep being reborn!
Your feet alone drip nectar.
You are Sakti, cosmic sound,
and Siva the dot in “Om”
full of nectar like the moon.
Who can cleave the One Self?
Ritual worship, controversies over dualism and nondualism
these don’t bother me,
for the Great Mistress of Time tramples Time.
Once sleep is broken
there’s no more sleep, and the soul
will be turned into Siva. Could one like this
even if reborn
drown anew in the senses?
Liberation adores him like a daughter.
Pierce the agna cakra;
dispel the devotee’s despair.
Traveling past lotuses
four, six, ten, twelve, sixteen, and two
to the thousand-petaled flower at the top of the head
the female swan unites with Her handsom amde
in the residence of the Lord.
Hearing Prasad’s words,
the yogi floats in a sea of bliss.
— from Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal by Rachel Fell McDermott