"The search after Truth is the one thing by which the shape of human life should be determined.
Genuine desire itself opens the road to fulfilment."
Sri Anandamayi Ma
I, Lalla - Poems of Lal Ded - Part 3
I saw a sage starving to death,
a leaf floating to earth on a winter breeze.
I saw a fool beating his cook.
And now I am waiting for someone to cut
the love-cord that keeps me tied to this crazy world.
Now I see a flowing stream,
now a flood that's drowned all bridges,
now I see a bush flaming with flowers,
now a skeleton of twigs.
My soul is an elephant, an elephant that trumpets for food
every hour on the hour.
Out of a thousand, out of a hundred thousand, only one survives.
Thank God, or they'd have trampled all creation,
these hungry tuskers.
Now I see a blazing hearth,
now neither smoke nor fire,
now I see the mother of five princes,
now just the aunt of the potter's wife.
from I, Lalla - Poems of Lal Ded translated from the Kashmiri by Ranjit Hoskote