A Prayer by the River
From the inaccessible heights,
Defying the tight embrace
Of rugged-majestic Great Himalyas,
She curves through the untouched groves
Of sprawling wide Sandal woods
And gracefully descends,
Carving her path of freedom.
Mesmerized I kneel down, with tears I implore,
Dear Mother Ganges! O glistening miracle,
In this rare auspicious full moon night
Will you carry my prayers to Great Powers of Universe,
For I am ignorant, resourceless and sinful
And you are known as beloved of gods
Mother, please be my priestess for tonight.
Kindly place this fragrant garland,
This modest string of wild flowers
At the feet of our loving Father.
But don't disturb His inward gaze
The gaze that holds and nourishes the Universe.
Take my love's warmth to this Great Unseen Power
Who empowers us to see His boundless beauty.
And present this Lotus with nine petals
And this lamp with nine flames
To the eternal spring of life
To the Great Benevolent Mother Goddess
And request Her to pardon my sins,
My sins -- some moments of weakness
And let me be a proud inheritor
Of this great tradition of womanhood
Some self-abnegation for life's affirmation
Like love's hard crucible, both fluid and the fire
The fluid that cleanses, the fire that purges.
And give this frail sprig of Jasmine
With half-bloomed angelic buds
To the heartless God of love
And tell him that I need his grace
In holy, small, dicreet measures
Not a feverish, promiscuous bounty
And if he doesn't crush the flower
Think he has accepted my prayer
Or otherwise tonight, the scent of my purity
Will stick to his hands and won't let him sleep.
Thus I pour down my heart in Her deep sacred waters
And see my prayers afloat Her gentle moon-lit ripples
I gaze with throbbing faith till they go out of sight.
By middle of the night... May they reach the shores divine!