Notes {1675} ~ MYSTICS {29} ~ Ramana Maharshi — DiosRaw

Ramana Maharshi /rəˈmʌnə məˈhʌrʃi/ (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950) was an Indian Hindu sage and jivanmukta (liberated being). He was born Venkataraman Iyer, but is mostly known by the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Notes {1675} ~ MYSTICS {29} ~ Ramana Maharshi — DiosRaw

Within the rain

gray owl on tree branch
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Within the mystic rain

An echo

Calls toward the distant gateway

To a deer-enchanted meadow,

While the white-

Crowned sparrow

Finds her intended way

In the bobbing boat of cottonwood leaves

Along the weaving river of one day,

One

Afternoon.

Then, soon,

When the windows rush on by

From the train

That goes,

Where

No one knows,

In the evening

Of a lost spring,

In the foothills of the Western Ghats

Where the young Ganesha

Plays,

Picking lots

Of blueberries

For his mother, Parvati,

Eating a few –

Just one or two —

Trusting in the bright winds

Of eternity that growl,

That run past the rain,

Past the lumbering bears that prowl

Over the green hills of the forest of mist,

Of ashwagandha

Trees.

(Where does the rishi Agastya live now? Where

Does he walk long before the dawn

By the riverbanks of rain-washed song?)

And, way out beyond the moon

The deepening darkness – punctuated

Like the islands of the oceans,

With the star-winged flight

Of legions

Of strange-patterned flocks

Of owls, all though the night,

(Though owls do not really fly in flocks)

Now the hours of dark have hesitated,

So the spirit, Ayanar, patrols

The village outskirts, his course

Goes round and round,

Brave on his tall horse,

Who, now and then, drops his head to drink,

While reflections glint within the bowls

Of the pool by the stream,

There pings

The lilting sound

Of tadpoles

Who play among the rocks,

All waiting to grow into frogs that will sing

Deep songs

Within the dream,

To bless the mystery of the being of all souls

Who are the One Soul – Brahman,

While the rain falls

Within the silver calls

Of the long-eared owl,

Awake, in the ever-misted night.

© Copyrght, Sharon St Joan, 2021

If you like this poem, you might also like this website, Forest Voices of India https://forestvoicesofindia.com

Saraswathi remembers

white swans on river
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On her swan-ringed island

Of mist and falling petals

Of song, Saraswathi stands

Holding the wild scent

Of the lilies of eternity

In her silver hand,

Her fingers braiding bright

Visions

Of the dawn-lit past

Of myth-hatched eons

Long ago

Singed in the flames

Of endings

Half-forgotten though,

Their names,

In the days that followed after

Of snow

And white-

Drifting mountains.

On the lapping lake

Pairs of swans sail

And shake

The water from their wings

Their white and gray cygnets trail

Behind

All in a row

Bobbing on the ruffled waves.

Up on the granite cliff

In the rock-cut caves

In tall

Jars

Of stone

Are ranged the rolls of palm leaf scrolls

That caught the words

Of poems flown

The whispering of languages, long gone,

That went on the wandering wind,

On the wings of the waters

The sacred song, the notes of forest birds

The sounds, the syllables, the brush strokes,

The ring of the chisel-hafted hieroglyph,

The eloquence of flowers,

All kept with care

From the child’s fist-drawn scribbles

To the holy vedas of the rishis,

Seers from the stars

All kept, with none slipped into the abyss

None swept aside

There

Are bundled reams

Of cotton

Cloth in all the colors of creation:

The pale-footed hue

Of the mourning dove and her mate,

The nestled orange feathers

Of the northern flicker,

The banded tail

Of the sharp-shinned

Hawk,

Shades of the stout

Trunks of the ficus

And the teak

The red glint

Of the setting sun

Across the pebbled upland creek

The blue

Tint

Of the lotus

And the silver halo

Of the moon that beams

Through the indigo

Ocean of the swift-sailing night

All abide,

Their essence

To ride along the clouds

Of each new dawn

That sings

On the shining cosmic

Tide

Every delight

Of the dance

Of the caterpillar

On the rain-bent

Amarillis.

In the sacred annals

Of her book-filled jars

All knowledge, beauty

And infinity

All that is real

Nothing lost.

And now the swans fly

Higher

In the air

Of crystal frost

Among the green enchanted lands.

Within her magic

Translucent jars

The least stir

Is known

Of every creature

The leaping gray-pawed squirrels

The rooting snout

Of the bristle-faced, brave boar

Then too, remembered is the way

To skip

Among the stars

Or how to weave a shimmering cloak

Or fabricate

A flying ship

Or stoke

An immortal fire

Against the bane-crossed

Cold

Or travel fast

Like racing light

The path to take

To a wondrous land

Of fairies, elves, and heroes bold,

The remedy for every ill

How to ply

The sea

Of time to find the age of gold

Hidden on a cliff-faced shore

And how to make

One’s way to the deepening core

Of the moss-footed forest

In an elvan autumn,

All knowledge past

And yet to be.

Where now the kind

Laughter

Of Saraswathi?

Where the haunting notes

Of the veena?

And the light

Beat of the mringdam?

Where the bells that peel

At dawn?

Where the peace

In the mourning call

Of the swans and the flocking geese?

And where the soft bleating of the goats

Clambering up the rock-strewn hill?

All wait,

Wild and free,

Still

In the luminous blue jars

Of the drifting sky

All that shines true

One day

To be born anew

When the mist settles,

With the glad-crying swans of sunrise,

Over the mountains

Of a far country.

Written around 2010

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

If you like this poem, you might also like this website, Forest Voices of India https://forestvoicesofindia.com

Arunachala

In the state of Tamil Nadu, in the south of India, stands a mountain covered in rocks, called Arunachala. It is four and a quarter hours southwest of Madras (Chennai), in the Eastern Ghats. A very sacred mountain, Arunachala is considered to be Lord Shiva Himself, not just his abode, but the God Himself.

The great Saint Ramana Maharshi, during a visionary experience at the age of 16, went to live there. He never left and spent his life at Arunachala, visited over time by many thousands of devotees. He was very fond of animals. Today, as well as his own grave, there are the graves of several of his favorite animals; including a cow named Lakshmi and a raven that he had rescued.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Photo: Sakthiprasanna

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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An ancient view

scenic view of mountain
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To ancient peoples, the world of nature was not made up of inanimate beings – or of beings less than ourselves.

Everything was alive and had a spirit and a presence.

The mountains were gods, the rivers goddesses.

The lakes, the oceans, the trees, the deserts, the forests – everything was living and conscious.  Also, all the beings of the sky were alive – the sun, the planets, the moon, all the stars.

Life was present in every aspect of the universe. The sacred rocks were living entities.

All the animals – the fish, the whales, the bears, the lions, foxes, deer, all the birds, also the ants, the bees, the butterflies and all the insects.

We can see this perception still in the older (and wiser) belief systems of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, in the world views of Native Americans.

Because ancient peoples saw and understood the spiritual essence of all of nature, there was reverence and respect for nature. Human beings took only what they needed for survival – and nothing more.  They were respectful and not greedy. They listened to the voices and to the laws of nature. They were aware of the sacred beings of life. Because of this awareness, they did not destroy the planet earth.

Today, though we consider ourselves, in the modern world, to be much wiser, we are in fact, very ignorant. We see nature through blind eyes, not recognizing the living essence, the majesty, and the awareness of nature and the earth herself.

It is through this blindness and stupidity, that we destroy nature – through greed and oblivion.

No amount of calculating carbon footprints in a futile effort to save ourselves is going to work.

We must focus, not on ourselves, but on the ineffable beauty and life of nature herself.

To put it simply, we must go back to worshipping nature – to feeling a sense of reverence for the earth.  We belong to the earth. It is only by returning to that sense of the sacred that we will be able to save the earth – and perhaps ourselves as well.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Red cliffs

grand canyon during golden hour
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Within the red cliffs

Walk the feet of Shiva

Through the eternities of endless eons

In the sacred smoke of the kiva

Snow-

Flakes falling

Within the perceptive

Eyes

Of the pygmy owl,

Reflecting skies

Where green dragons

Sail over the seas and all the caves

Long gone,

Waves

Washing up along the coast

Where still,

Knives

Gleam

Of thieves

Hiding in the dark,

Ninja lives,

Deceptive

Whiffs –

A spark

Of whispered words,

Clever,

Sly eyes smile.

There is the space

Where

The rainbows

Rest

A while

Before the startling storms that howl

Before the white-throated swift’s nest

High up in the rock

Gathers up the errant wings – lost almost.

All the hills become

Encircled in weaves

Of patterns within the mist

Of gray stone.

Within the rain ahead

Flocks

Of night

Rain, loud,

Bold,

That never cease,

Unerring

In their treks of flight,

Within the black armies of the castled kingdoms,

War drums

Of the cloud.

All is here now,

The bow

Of the lone,

Ghost

Ship cuts across the furrow,

And all falls

Suddenly quiet.

Torrents cease.

Winds let go.

All returns

To within the peace

Of cliffs deep red

As the autumn

Moon

In the forgotten dimensions

Of forever. Soon

Will the wild paws

Of the forest

Lions,

Tiptoe

Again, with grace

In the clear singing of the dawn

With the moon-

Enchanting meadows

Gone,

Now turned to gold,

Held in the entrancing feathers of the sun,

While rags of clouds stream

Onward to the dance.

September 10, 2021

© Sharon St Joan, 2021

Where now is the mist-ringed bell

green trees on mountain
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Where now is the mist-ringed bell

That tolls over the wandering wave

Of the gray

River?

The moon a sliver

In the sky?

Who can tell?

Where now the branches of the nagalingam tree that sway

And brush along the cool earthen banks,

Home of shy,

Determined snails,

Before the dawn of being,

Long before the chaos

Of disrepair

Grumbled through the dark hall

Of the subterranean cave.

Where now is the brave, ascending song

Of the gold-eyed buffalo burr,

Who clung to the canyon wall,

In the fierce, railing wind,

Her petals beaming in the sun,

The one

Proclaiming victory for the day,

Where now the call

Of the giant whales

Who dive beneath

The cliff rising from

The moving waters of infinity

In the indigo

Deeps

Of joy – whales who play

With their children, ocean games

In the seaweed-flowing mystery

Of their sparkling blue sea –

Where now the curious

Goat who leaps

Among the white patches of winter snow

Along the steep

Hill of the cedarbreak?

Where now the songs

From the ranks

Of all the charming, twisted juniper trees,

Their bark that curls around like smoke,

Whose wisdom

Belongs

To the light,

The moonrise,

And the night,

Who spoke

In the ever-whistling wind,

But then were felled by a cold-axed blow

Of barbarity and lies.

All their songs are fled away

To the far, far mountains of freedom

Where they echo,

Echo,

Gone

To the long

Hills,

Where God always sings

In the wandering dawn,

Waiting for the tumult and the chaos

To have ceased

On the ending day

When flames

That have hissed high

At long last fade,

Scattered away

On the winds,

Lost in the trills

Of birdsong

And the swarm

Of the bumblebee.

Then, in a world that has glided out of the gray mist,

The heart of the wild geese

Will sound once again,

Free,

As the flight

Of the numinous

Rose-winged beauty

Of the dragonflies

Along the lilting, frog-enchanted lake,

Humming.

Hear now the wings,

The presence

Of all the beings,

Released –

Watched over by the bright,

Night-shimmering form

Of Hamsa, the swan who flies

Over the green forest

Of yore,

Reawakened by her

All-knowing essence,

Beginning anew,

In a magic country,

The land of evermore,

Eternal, true

And ever-now,

In the mystical hour of the gray dawn.

© Sharon St Joan, 2021