by Susan Walters
friend Mira at the time of the Durga Puja in October 1992 went with two close
friends from college days on a six-day holiday to a village not far to the north
of Calcutta. This holiday proved to be a very happy one. The three friends
talked together for hours, sang, recited poems, and took long walks along the
quiet village roads. A river that flowed through the village lent an air of
serenity to the occasion.
When they returned to
Calcutta, Mira told me everything about the holiday, and then described a very
special experience she had one evening when the three were seated on the roof of
t house they were saying in. She also told me she had written a poem in Bengali
about this evidently a beautiful poem with rhyme, rhythm-ever thing. As
unfortunately I don't know my Bengali, she gave me the gist of the poem in
I was so moved, I felt
inspired to try to capture her experience in English. The poem Brahman is the
'The space in the
universe is negated in Brahman, who is Omnipresent.
How can I forget that
The night I saw the sky
dissolve into Nothingness The Nothing-ness that
There were three of
us-old college friends on a six days holiday in a
village three hours by
train from Calcutta, sitting on the roof of our
temporary home in the
midst of a thick grove.
The trees' branches
We sang song after song
rustled around us,
making a little gap now
for the sight of the
and ended with
Rabindranath, who else ?
Then sat silent. gazing
at the sky.
Gradually the sky itself
And all that is-- was
Nothing-- the Void. Then I understood:
All those I had ever
known, and loved, and lost, were there.
Nothing is ever lost.
They, and the stars,
the trees, the river, and we three friends, were all
part of the same
with only a little gap
Peace descended on me,
that little gap was
I felt I was dissolving
in the Void.
Afraid to lose my
I grasped the nearest arm
And came back to earth.
Foolish me ! To cling
to maya at such a time as this
But maya won't last
Once again I'll see that
the Immensity that is
Brahman-(No gaps then!) And know for sure that I
am That, That Bliss, that
Joy-- That Nothingness that is All.