I, Lalla - Poems of Lal Ded

from I, Lalla - Poems of Lal Ded

translated from the Kashmiri by Ranjit Hoskote

The road I came by wasn't the road I took to go.

As I stood on my mind's embankment, the day faded.

I looked in my purse and couldn't find

Shiva's name to give the ferryman.

I burnt up the landscape with footprints,

looked for Him everywhere.

Then it hit me: What am I thinking, He's everywhere!

Lalla distilled this truth from a hundred pieces of talk.

Now hear this, people, and go mad!

You won't find Truth by crossing your legs and holding your breath.

Daydreams won't take you through the gateway for release.

You can stir as much salt as you like in water,

it won't become the sea.

You won't find Truth by crossing your legs and holding your breath.

Daydreams won't take you through the gateway for release.

You can stir as much salt as you like in water,

it won't become the sea.

"Perform good deeds and observe spiritual discipline. Fool, listen with gratitude.

Lovers fasten your sandals. The fool's youth slipped away unnoticed."

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