163 Responses to “Poetic Lyrics”

  1. Mukunda Charan Says:

    To see a world in a grain of sand
    and heaven in a wild flower –
    to hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    and eternity in an hour
    (William Blake)


    The atmosphere is peaceful
    in Goloka Vrindavan –
    The flute-song passes
    over courtyards where
    young girls stand still as stone

    The trees are ripe with metaphors,
    Novel scenes, poetic words,
    Whisper secret revelation
    Of young love in separation

    For these are the Crying Girls of Vraja
    And this is the state, the state of Divine Love

    ‘It’s late at night My dear girls,
    Late at night in this dark grove,
    Wild animals come out at night,
    Please go home. Leave this place behind you’

    For these are the Crying Girls of Vraja
    And this is the state, the state of Divine Love

    Lord Krishna loves the Crying Girls of Vraja

    aslisya va pada ratam pinastu mam
    adarsanam mama hatam karotu va
    yatha tatha vidhato lampato
    mat prana-nathas tu se eva naparah

    All alone, here in this Dark Wood,
    ‘Where did You go?’

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. The gopis had forsaken everything to meet with their lotus-eyed Lord, Krishna. They went into Vrindavan forest in the dead of night.

      They were so attracted by the sound of His flute-playing, but when they reached Him, He said, ‘It is late at night, My dear girls. Wild animals are out at night. Please go back home, back to your husbands.’

      The gopis were devastated. Their love for Krishna was unparallelled. We have risked everything to be with You; and now You are turning us away!?

      These are the crying girls of Vraja and this is the state of divine love.

      ‘The gopis are so fortunate that they can see and think of Krishna 24 hours a day, beginning from their milking the cows or husking the paddy or churning the butter in the morning. While engaged in cleaning their houses and washing their floors, they are always absorbed in thought of Krishna’ [p.395]

      Krishna, out of affection, told the gopis: ‘You were accustomed to loving Me from the very beginning of your lives’

      How the inhabitants of Mathura, Nanda and Yashoda, the gopis, the gopas and the devotees remembered Krishna: ”Here Krishna was playing in this way. Here Krishna was blowing His flute. Krishna was joking with us in this way, and Krishna was embracing us like this’. This is called lila-smarana, and it is the process of associating with Krishna. Those in the most exalted position of devotional service and ecstasy can live with Krishna always by remembering His pastimes. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given us a transcendental literature entitled Krsna-bhavanamrta, which is full with Krishna’s pastimes. Exalted devotees can remain absorbed in Krsna-thought by reading such books. Any book of krsna-lila, even this book, Krsna, or our Teachings of Lord Caitanya, is actually solace for devotees feeling separation from Krsna’ [KB p.416]

      1. Inspired by Siva Rama Swami’s ‘Venu Gita’ (‘The Flute Song’).


    Rukmini is young
    and fine –
    the child-bride
    of Lord Krishna

    She was prepared to die
    of austerities to achieve Lord Krishna

    She went to the Temple of Durga
    to win the favour of Lord Krishna,
    ‘O, let Krishna be my husband!’

    Rukmini’s determination

    So hard to define –
    Grave as eternal time,
    the child-queen of Lord Krishna

    and beautiful jewels.
    Who could ever describe
    the beauty
    of Rukmini?

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. ‘Princess Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhismaka, was actually as attractive as fortune itself because she was as valuable as gold both in color and value’

      (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.3.3 purport)

      ‘She was the reservoir of all transcendental qualities: intelligence, auspicious physical features, liberal-mindedness, exquisite beauty and righteous behaviour’ [‘Krishna Book Vol 1’, p.495]

      ‘My dear Uddhava, kindly let us know whether Krishna sometimes thinks of us while in the midst of the highly enlightened society girls in Mathura. We know that the women and girls of Mathura are not village women. They are enlightened and beautiful. Their bashful smiling glances and other feminine features must be very pleasing to Krishna. We know very well that Krishna is always fond of the behaviour of beautiful women. It seems, therefore, that He has been entrapped by the women of Mathura. My dear Uddhava, will you kindly let us know if Krishna sometimes rememvers us while in the midst of other women?’ [KB, p.439]

      On the gopi’s love for Krishna:

      ‘Uddhava minutely studied the transcendental abnormal condition of the gopis in their separation from Krishna, and he thought it wise to repeat again and again all the pastimes the gopis enjoyed with Him’ [Krishna Book 1, p.441]

      ‘Uddhava’s messages and instructions saved the gopis from immediate death’ [KB, p.44]


    Never was there a time
    when you or I did not exist
    nor in the future
    shall any of us ever
    cease to be

    Her iron fist
    beats my face,
    with pride of lions,
    aggressive grace –
    In the heartland of love’s
    bittersweet memory

    Bittersweet, Bittersweet

    Ever heard the wild beasts
    running on the plains?
    Dance of the Rain,
    nostrils and manes –
    In the heartland of love’s
    bittersweet memory

    Bittersweet, Bittersweet

    Have you heard the wild beasts
    running on the plains?
    Of aeroplanes,
    mortal remains –
    and I’m lost in the womb of bhum-bhum-bhumi

    I’m lost in the womb of bhum-bhum-bhumi –
    I’m lost in a world of lovelessness

    Never was there a time
    when you or I did not exist
    nor in the future
    shall any of us ever
    cease to be

    I’m lost in the womb of bhum-bhum-bhumi

    In a desert
    hardened by age:
    blood, sweat, idolatry

    A show of conventions:
    the circus tents
    collapsed on us,
    white alabaster palaces

    And I’m lost in her world

    She laughs softly
    as she glances
    over the berg-top

    O, the Dance of our Sister!
    the Dance of the Rain!

    She is our sister,
    our silvery sister,
    our watery sister,
    our heavenly sister

    The Dance of the Rain

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan


    Someone take these dreams away,
    That point me to another day –
    A duel of personalities,
    That stretch all true reality

    They keep calling me, keep on calling me

    When figures from the past stand tall
    And mocking voices ring the halls –
    Imperialistic House of Prayer,
    Conquistadores who took their share

    They keep calling me, keep on calling me

    Another day, another time –
    These dreams won’t stop or rectify –
    They pour into a living sea,
    Which draws me and keeps calling me

    Calling me, calling me this time…

    (From the song lyrics of ‘Dead Souls’, words written by Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division. The third stanza is from an unreleased version of the song. Did he get the title from Nikolai Gogol’s novel ‘Dead Souls’?. Anyway quite an intense, interesting song. Still remember the lyrics. I’ll put ‘Passover’ in next time. In her biography ‘Touching From A Distance’ his widow, Deborah, mentions that Ian was interested in studying History and Divinity. This interest manifested in interesting ways in his poetic song lyrics.

    1. THE RAGE OF ACHILLES (From Homer, ‘The Iliad’)

      ‘Rage – Godess, sing the rage of Peleus’s son Achilles,
      murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
      hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
      great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
      feasts for the dogs and birds,
      and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.
      Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
      Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles’


      Come on, come on
      You think you drive me crazy

      Come on, come on
      You and whose army?
      You and your cronies

      Come on, come on
      Holy Roman Empire,
      Come on if you think,
      You can take us all on

      You and whose army?
      You and your cronies

      You forget so easily –
      We ride tonight
      Ghost horses, ghost horses

      (Thom Yorke, Radiohead)

  6. Mukunda Charan Says:


    You’re not high-heeled,
    in Paris
    eloquent, elegant, second-guess;
    star-struck, out-of-luck,
    out on a limb –
    Luis Vuitton
    animal skin


    a person,
    not void –
    you’re a person,
    not void

    you’re someone
    who knows
    someone who feels

    You’re not dead-beat, dead-meat,
    dead-or-alive, dead-on-arrival,
    full fathom five –
    You’re not carefree,
    careworn, couldn’t care less –
    a spiritual person
    clothed in warm flesh

    Gritty Milan,
    spacious Paris,



    someone like you,
    like me…



    you’re a person,
    not void –
    a person,
    not void


    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

  7. Mukunda Charan Says:


    True love lies within,
    The core of your heart –
    It was always there –
    But you never cared…
    True love lies within

    Is this where the tables turned?
    Is this where the lyres burned?
    Where they dressed Christ like a king?
    With a sceptre, crown and ring?

    True love never ends
    and never begins –
    True love never ends
    and never begins

    Dressed in blue silk,
    Mary holds her son –
    Naked and bruised:
    ‘Oh, what have you done?’


    True love lies within,
    The core of your heart –
    When rightly reposed,
    love houses a rose


    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. nitya siddha krishna-prema,
      sadhya kabhu-naya,
      sravanadi suddha-citte,
      karaye udaya

      ‘Love of God is eternally situated in your heart. It is awakened by the process of chanting and hearing His glories.’

      It was always there, but you never cared…

      1. Love of Krishna is not something to be gained from another source. It is awakened when the heart is purified by hearing and chanting.

  8. ‘Avenues all lined with trees/
    Eden’s garden left for thieves’

    (Ian Curtis, unpublished lyrics)


    Twenty-four hours is not enough
    Time for me, my lotus-eyed Lord –
    Twenty-four-seven three-sixty-five,
    Eight million four hundred thousand lives

    I need time

    Time I am destroyer of worlds –
    Destroyer of worlds

    Seven days on the Ganges shore,
    Seven dog-days I need more –
    Seven years times seven times
    Seven million billion lives

    I need time
    Don’t waste my time

    Time I am destroyer of worlds –
    Destroyer of worlds

    I tried rhyme
    I tried crime
    Lyrical lines

    You’re just in time,
    You’re just in time,
    You’re just in time…

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    (This is a song about Maharaja Parikisit and his meeting with Sukadeva Goswami on the Ganges shore)

  10. DEAD MAN WALKING (Dedicated to His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami)

    Received notification
    August 5th

    The doctor’s answer,
    diagnosis cancer –
    tough love manifesting
    as God’s gracious gift

    I can’t seem to distinguish
    the wood from the trees

    I see your army
    is coming for me,
    I try to run,
    but I freeze

    Woke up this morning
    from the strangest dream

    I saw a poet
    in a forest,
    he spoke to me
    about heavenly things

    ‘Just try to love God,’
    is all that he said:
    ‘You’re a dead man walking
    amongst the dead’

    Fools rush in
    where angles fear to tread

    ‘Follow your angels’,
    the words that he said

    ‘You’re a dead man walking
    amongst the dead’

    I’m – a – dead man – walking
    amongst the dead…

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

  11. ADVENT

    Earth was confused –
    Demoniac kings
    Had misused

    She took the form
    Of a cow,
    With tears in her eyes,
    She approached Brahma

    Who sat at the shore of the Ocean of Milk,
    Who sat at the shore of the Ocean,
    The Milk Ocean

    Reciting the Ancient Prayers,
    From the core of his heart,
    Lord Vishnu Appeared

    Transmitting the message
    From the core of his heart –
    Transmitting the message
    From the Spiritual Sky
    To our ear drum…

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. Calm as I walk
      under the trees
      this fine Summer’s

      Scars spin around
      on their tracks

      Stations of the Cross

  12. Hare Krishna
    Hare Krishna
    Krishna Krishna
    Hare Hare
    Hare Rama
    Hare Rama
    Rama Rama
    Hare Hare

  13. ‘The vase, reconstructed, houses the elusive rose’ (Sylvia Plath)


    Better than mother’s love,
    a voice whispers, ‘Listen.
    Listen to the promptings
    of your heart. Listen to
    the voice that you forgot’


    From the valleys
    to the cities
    of the plains,
    I remain
    a wanderer,
    just following my inner call
    (following the will of God)

    Of rapine and the ever-swelling
    scourge of crime –
    I have a problem with you,
    Oh, I have a problem with you

    Embezzlement, embattled president,
    your face is everywhere –
    Tell me have you got a heart?
    I am looking, but I don’t see your heart

    Oh, I have a problem with you
    I have a problem with your kind


    Let us go, then,
    you and I –
    the city-limits
    never seem to end

    No one is here,
    just you and I, dear,
    see the heart
    behind the face –
    of all despair

    We’re moving fast,
    red-brick and empty lots –
    our vizors reflect
    a world of rejects,

    Every dog has his day,
    everyone has his price,
    his way to make you pay,
    in this place

    Fools rush in
    where angels fear to tread,
    I see dead men walking
    amongst the dead

    Let us go,
    you and I,
    to that most intimate place:
    the heart behind the face
    of love’s despair

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. Let us go then, you and I,
      to the heart of our emotions


    Sink or swim in the light of pure love of Godhead

    We were so close like best friends or brothers,
    We were so close and from different mothers –
    Exult in the light of pure – love – of – Godhead,
    Sink or swim in the light of pure love of Godhead

    I’m just a man sitting in a corner,
    hoping to pass just one glass of water –
    I’m not a bear sitting on a dark ledge,
    Or a fake flower in the hands of the Goddess

    Why did you let me go?
    Why won’t you let me grow?

    The path of love is superior to knowledge,
    You left your father’s house, entered spiritual college –
    Seeing my weakness, seeing my failings,
    Tying me down and hurting my feelings

    I am an eternal servant of Krishna –
    Hoping to get just a little bit closer,
    I’m an ax handle in the hand of my Master –
    I’m not this body which is made up of matter

    Why did you let me go?
    Why do you hurt me now?

    1. Keeping me in your tow

      Prostitute-minds on the altar of science
      Your soul’s become a kitchen appliance

      Is this what you wanted? Is this your eden?
      Strip-malls and cars and consumable freedom?


    Look out of the darkness, now,
    It’s a new day, friend –
    Dreams out of the darkness, now,
    Into a newborn day, you see,

    He wants to get out, somehow –
    These prison walls must break,
    He wants to get out, somehow –
    These dreams must end

    Trapped, in a cage, somehow –
    There seems no escape from it –
    Entombed, in a chrysalis,
    when will his day of freedom come?
    When will he be free?

    He wants to see the free light and the spirit –
    And the force that lies within it

    Look out of the stasis, now –
    It’s a living world, my friend,
    Move into new spaces, now –
    Safe, in a chrysalis, before

    You want to get out, somehow –
    These prison walls have got to break,
    You want to get out, somehow –
    These dreams must end

    Trapped, in a cage, somehow –
    There seems no escape from it,
    Entombed, in a chrysalis,
    When will your day of freedom come?
    When will you be free?

    He wants to see the free light and the spirit –
    To see the free light and the spirit –
    And the force that lies within it…

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. ‘The need of the spirit soul is that he wants to get out of the limited sphere of material bondage and fulfill his desire for complete freedom. He wants to get out of the covered walls of the greater universe. He wants to see the free light and the spirit. That complete freedom is achieved when he meets the complete spirit, the Personality of Godhead’

      (His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ Canto 1.2.8 purport)

      1. ‘But more importantly, I saw that I had built a wall around my heart. I would not let myself feel. I was pissed off and I was angry and I was ashamed, thinking that I had betrayed him. But then I saw that he was right there with the wall of my heart, in the wall, on both sides of the wall; the wall meant nothing to him. I saw that he hadn’t really left me, and I was feeling all this stuff I wouldn’t previously let myself feel. And then I saw that I could take this wall down, this external wall, and let him stand in its place’

        (Krishna Das on his guru Neem Karoli Baba, from Steven Rosen’s book ‘The Yoga Of Kirtan’, p.26

      2. If we develop our relationship with Krsna, we will forget so-called friendship, society and love. We want that forgetfulness.

        ‘Because he realizes that he is spirit and Krsna is the Supreme Spirit, he knows that his intimate relationship should be with Krsna, not with this body’ (Srila Prabhupada, ‘Nectar Of Devotion’, p.32)

        How do we get out of the darkness of Maya? In the dark we are scared of snakes and scorpions. As soon as it is light, however, we know there are no snakes and scorpions. We get out of the dark by seeing the light. This is achieved by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and by hearing about Krishna.

      3. Seeing The Free Light And The Spirit:

        ‘The duty of sages and saints is to go from door to door and thus enlighten the householders in spiritual knowledge. Householder life is compared to a dark well. In a dark well the frog cannot see the free light of the open sky. The dark well of householder life kills the soul. One should therefore get out of it so that he may see the light of spiritual vision. Saints and sages mercifully try to uplift fallen souls from the dark well of householder life. An enlightened householder [ie. not in the well] therefore takes pleasure in the appearance of such saints and sages at his house’ (SP, ‘Light Of The Bhagavata’, p.46)

        ‘The forgetful householder life of the conditioned soul is a soul-killing dark well’ (SP, ‘LOB’, p.51)

        (See also: SB 6.1.52 and SB 3.21.31 purport)

  18. PROTECTIVE FEELINGS (In loving memory of Evelyn Nance Osborne, 1929-2004)

    She closed her eyes,
    I was surprised,
    She left this morning

    She closed her eyes,
    I’d really like
    to have you near me

    The house of life’s
    lease has expired –
    she’ll find another home

    Eve went away,
    Where to? Can’t say.
    She died this morning

    Can you hear me?
    Can you hear me?
    Can you hear me, Eve?
    Can you hear me?

    Her eyes are closed,
    Her soul’s reposed,
    In the hands of Yamaraja

    In the end the bus
    gets all of us –
    feather weighed
    against our heart

    Everything she ever knew,
    Everyone she cared about –
    Everything she held as true,
    proves false, now, as her time runs out

    Our idols crushed,
    ideals defeated,
    in the web of lies
    lifetimes repeated

    The state of mind
    at the time you die
    determines your next life

    ‘She’s passed away’,
    The nurses say,
    ‘We’re very sorry’

    Offered a prayer
    beside her bed:
    life’s fruitless glory

    I want to cry,
    we never die:
    only the body


      I am sick of staring at your miserable face –
      the phenomenal world gets me down,
      I want to leave this town –
      don’t you know we just passed the town

      It overwhelms me,
      it overpowers me –
      turn down the radio,
      internet dvd
      and dance in my mind

      It feels like torture.
      I’m facing death.
      Will the fever come down
      with my very last breath?

      Hold the hand of the devil
      and watch your heart break:
      Watching you burn at the
      heretics stake

      I had a vision
      how things could be –
      I had a vision
      you were with me

      I had a vision
      a message from God
      I had a vision
      and now it has gone


    please come,
    I’m dumb,
    lame and

    loved ones
    died yesterday –
    It was the latest news

    Where do they go?
    Where do they go?
    When they die,
    Oh my!

    was fun –
    hell was a drag,
    Now I’m back
    on earth

    Where the prophets pray,
    the children play,
    in a world of their own

    I feel high,
    I feel light,
    I feel loved –
    Love in a void

    Bliss suns,
    Pink suns,
    Bright purple ones…
    On a mild red, raptured heart

    Where do you go?
    Where do you go?
    When you go away?

    Up and down,
    around around –
    I’m here again

    I feel high,
    I feel light,
    I feel loved

    How many times
    you’ve been around –
    the wheel of birth and death?
    Death in every breath

    Love in a void

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan


    I was in a dark wood,
    Feeling misunderstood –
    One foot on land –
    One foot on water

    I was in a bad space,
    Bereft of divine grace –
    Midway through life,
    with no moral anchor

    A believer, a believer, a be-lieve-er

    Europe or India,
    India or America –
    I need a leader
    With good credentials

    My Virgil in the crowd,
    with laurels on his brow:
    ‘You’re a good kid.
    I think you got potential’

    Why is this called a “comedy”?

    A believer, a believer, a be-lieve-er

    Oh, when will you give me your answer?

    I’m hoping,
    I’m waiting,
    I’m waiting
    And hoping

    For your answer…

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan


    Lost and found,
    underground –
    sunflower fields
    shine in the sun

    He lived
    in this little hut –

    Spiritual Fields

    Matchless gifts,
    Second Avenue,
    New York City

    He lived in this
    little room –

    Spiritual Fields

    Fields of opportunity,
    Fields of self-discovery,
    Fields of immortality,
    Fields of true recovery

    He looks through the grid
    at the sunflower fields –

    Spiritual Fields

    Come and play with us,
    Come and stay with us –

    Spiritual Fields

    Death is the seed
    from which we grow

    Spiritual Fields

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan


    You are lost in this world

    Time will beat you
    in the end

    (behind the glass)

    (a mirror-mask)

    Watching life
    a forcefield

    And you think you are so clever now –
    And you think you have it all worked out

    you’re so wrong,
    yet dragged along

    Watching the world through a forcefield

  23. CXXIX

    Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame
    Is lust in action, and till action lust
    Is perjur’d murd’rous, bloody, full of blame,
    Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
    Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,
    Past reason hunted, and no sooner had,
    On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
    Mad in pursuit, and in possession so,
    Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme,
    A bliss in proof, and prov’d, a very woe,
    Before, a joy propos’d; behind, a dream.
    All this the world well knows, yet none knows well
    To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

    William Shakespeare – Sonnets


    An eternal affair,
    of repeated birth and death;
    of warm delights in nature’s arms,
    and no reprieve for the condemned
    souls who’ve entered her networks
    of desire – vaulted – ushered in –
    souls under skin – a blazing cage of fire –

    And I’m with you
    (And I don’t know what to do)

    Did she murmur a prayer?
    A reprieve for the condemned?
    Lying, in her lover’s arms:
    cruel memory of heaven’s charms

    And I don’t know if I can make it
    hmm – on my own –
    No, I don’t known if I can fake it

    I’m here with you
    (and we don’t know quite what to do)

    I guess all good things must end –
    here’s to our good intentions, dear friends;
    of the souls who’ve entered
    her networks of desire –
    leaving us no choice:
    follow the angels or
    fry in the fire

    And I’m with you
    (It’s our moment of truth)

    This body’s a beautiful combination of ugly parts,
    Just a beautiful combination of ugly parts –
    It was a beautiful conversation,
    a – real – work – of – art –

    And I don’t know if I can make it – anymore,
    No, I don’t no if I can take it – the further I go

    The further I go, the less I know –
    The higher I go, so narrow the road…seems…
    for a soul entangled
    in the networks of desire

    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,
    I’ve learnt my lesson, now,
    in a wasteland of regret;
    of the souls who’ve entered
    her networks of desire –
    enjoying and enjoyed,
    eternal victims of that witch called Maya

    Hey, we don’t know what to do

    Just a beautiful combination of beau-tiful parts –
    The restoration of the icon,
    The lost form of God

    And what if all these fantasies were real?
    What if all the suffering was part of the deal?
    And the cancer ravages his body – but not his soul,
    And the caretakers minister to his body – but not his soul

    This is the end my beautiful friend,
    This is the end beautiful friend…
    The end of our affair…
    of repeated birth and death…

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    Schlegel (preface to the ‘Philosophy of History’): ‘The most important subject, and the first problem of philosophy, is the restoration in man of the lost image of God; so far as this relates to science.’


    I want to love You like a lover
    loves her paramour
    and holds You in her anxious arms

    I want to love You like a mother
    loves her child
    and if, one day, You stole the butter,
    I’d just smile

    A convict,
    A convert,
    In the world of pain,
    the world of hurt,
    take me away,
    to a better place,
    of love, love, love

    You have a face
    that mirrors could not describe –
    and I could live with that

    You have a form
    that chisels could not divide –
    worldly beauty runs out fast

    I want to love You
    like the most intimate friend,
    and play in childish fields
    that never end

    A convict,
    A convert,
    in the world of pain,
    in the world of hurt,
    take me away,
    to a better place,
    a world of love, love, love

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. In Krishna consciousness, it is possible to love God as a friend, parent or lover. Krishna is the perfect lover who can reciprocate with our soul’s innermost desires. Therefore He is called ‘akhila-rasamrta-murti’, ‘the perfect embodiment of all loving relationships’.

      ‘All the relatives of the Lord are His devotees only, and they are situated in different transcendental mellows as friends, parents and lovers. The Lord derives transcendental pleasure by accepting services from His various grades of devotees, who are situated in various grades of rasas. These transcendental rasas are pervertedly reflected in the material atmosphere, and thus the spiritual living being, out of ignorance only, vainly seeks the same bliss in matter’

      A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami – Light Of The Bhagavata p.71

      The living entity is ananda-maya bhyasat, naturally pleasure-seeking. Real pleasure exists in spiritual rasa. In material existence, however, we seek pleasure in matter and do not experience the higher taste or spiritual rasa.

  26. In a desert, hardened by age,
    surprised if I can do anything at all

  27. SECRET

    a secret to keep,
    like time,
    dark and deep –
    where do we go?
    who really knows?

    a deathless dream,
    a sleepless sleep –
    in birth and death,
    O weep and weep!

    1. I’m not a stone –
      I have a voice

      I’m spirit-soul
      made up of choice

      Love or lust?
      Who really knows
      in this world
      of soft death-blows?


    An eye for an eye,
    A tooth for a tooth,
    A claw for a fork,
    A foot for a hoof,
    Some animals were human,
    In their past lives –
    You are what you eat,
    In the future desired

    Absolute is sentient,
    Thou has proved,
    Impersonal calamity,
    Thou has moved

    An eye for an eye,
    A tooth for a tooth,
    A modest proposal:
    Children for food?
    It might be better
    If the whole world were blind –
    Who wants to see
    with envious eyes?

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

    1. The English satirist Johnathan Swift wrote a satirical essay called ‘A Modest Proposal’. In this essay, he proposed a satirical solution to the famine in Ireland – children for food. We are allowing the wholesale slaughter of animals to go on without considering the consequences – to the animals and ourselves. In this way, we are killing our own souls. Hare Krishna.

  29. In one dream, my father was asking me what I wanted to do with my life. Bono Vox was some distance down a dust-road. I quoted Coleridge to my father: ‘In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree…’ and walked off…I wanted to follow in Bono’s footsteps. It was something like James Dean. Rebel archetypes.

  30. HATS

    1996. Another dream. I was standing on a beach. The water was blue, that deep blue colour of toilet freshener (for want of a better description). Some horses were dancing in a circle on the tide-line. A woman, somewhat older than myself, in a rain-jacket, was watching the scene. There were a whole lot of hats in the sea, being washed onto the shore by the tide. One hat was a soldier’s hat, one hat was a Mad Hatter’s hat etc. The hats all represented some designation, some kind of label in this world. It seemed that I had a choice of which hat to wear (or how to identify myself). I chose none. I was not going to be pigeon-holed into a designation.

    In so doing, I was realizing my dharma as an aspiring devotee of Krishna. That goes beyond these temporary designations or upadhis. Only I didn’t know that at the time.

  31. ‘Candy says:
    I’d like to know completely,
    What others so discreetely,
    talk about
    I’d like to watch the blue bird fly,
    over my shoulder –
    I’d like to watch them pass me by,
    maybe when I’m older –
    What do you think I’d see,
    If I could walk away from me’

    Lou Reed – ‘Candy Says’


    I love you still,
    even as you are –
    watching the boys through my window –
    estranged, in the car.

    I love you still,
    even as you are –
    shattering tumult
    that sprays and chills –
    bloodied heels under evening-star

    Doctored these seams,
    beginning to cut,
    tried to sever the cord,
    our viaduct –
    A device I could not resist

    They go deep, now, deep;
    as waves effervesce –
    shouldered in shades
    beneath the green –
    senses scattered and scarred,
    young hearts pristine…

    Still estranged…
    in the car –
    and our dormant love
    bleeds still,
    even as you are

    1. Wrote that when I was fifteen or sixteen. It’s about isolation, death, youth, my mother, teenage angst and whatever you, or I, or anyone else, would like to read into it.

      1. CONDITION

        The sunlight taunts me more –
        not for that you know the sadness
        of your predicament, but that you care…

        Immutable congress of friends –
        a lyric that lasts for ever,
        sequential to all ends

        Matters of state are matters of weight:
        Leaning over the balustrade,
        I seek not shade, nor display –
        I was sorry a long time ago

        Innocence is the absence of tragedy;
        tragedy is the absence of innocence;
        Innocence of Eternal Absence is Tragedy

        The sunlight taunts me more,
        not for that you know

        (Another high school poem. I think I read a little Eliot then, black. Harrison Ford, ‘Presumed Innocent’, the courtyard scene – was added later)


    I’m not a woman, I’m not a man –
    I am something you will never understand
    I’ll never beat you, I’ll never lie,
    And, if you’re evil, I’ll forgive you by and by

    For you, I would die for you –
    Darling if you want me to

    I’m not your lover, I’m not your friend,
    I am something you will never comprehend –
    No need to worry, no need to cry –
    I’m your messiah and you’re the reason why

    Coz you, I would die for you

    You’re just a sinner I am told,
    Be your fire when you are cold –
    Make you happy when you’re sad,
    Make you good when you are bad

    I’m not a human, I’m a dove –
    I’m your conscience, I am love

    Prince Rogers Nelson

  34. Lyrical lines by Prince. My mother gave me the album ‘Purple Rain’ for Christmas, in 1984. She really liked the song ‘Purple Rain’. I liked ‘Take Me With You’, this one and ‘When Doves Cry’. ‘I Would Die 4 You’ seems to have a more conscious message than the others. The words are great.

  35. Favourite passages in western fiction. I like James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ beach episode: ‘ineluctable modality of the visible: thought through my eyes’. Wonderful stream-of-conscious imagery of the beach and his impressions thereon. I visited Sandycove and saw the Martello Tower in 1991. Also, Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’, especially the chapter called ‘Riddles In The Dark’. Bilbo defeats Gollum at riddles with the simple question, ‘What’s in my pockets?’ ‘What’s in my pocketses?’, Gollum hisses back. But he can’t answer (even though it is his precious ring that is in Bilbo’s pocketses), and he is defeated. Then, of course, ‘Winter Trees’, ‘Ariel’ and ‘The Colossus’ by Sylvia Plath. And Nikolai Gogol’s desk-clerk in the short story, ‘The Overcoat’. The protaganist is robbed of his one-and-only valuable possession in an empty town square at night. What else? Hamlet’s soliloquy in the graveyard. Or, Ophelia’s madness. Or Eugene Marais’ ‘Winternag’ or ‘Die Dans Van Die Reen’ or Ingrid Jonkers ‘Ek Loop Met Hulle’. Or the wonderful period prose of JM Coetzee’s ‘Foe’. Or the fearsomeness of ‘Lord Of The Flies’ or ‘The Wasp Factory’ by Iain Banks. I think all of these writers, and more, have helped shape my own writing, perceptions and expression.

    Existential Writers:

    Camus, The Outsider; Dostoevsky, The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov, and Crime and Punishment; Yukio Mishima, The Sea Of Fertility, Sun and Steel, Thirst for Love and Forbidden Colours; Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Farewell Party; James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake; J.M. Coetzee, Foe, Waiting For The Barbarians, The Master of St. Petersburg and Age of Iron; Sylvia Plath, Crossing The Water, Ariel, Johnny Panic and The Bible of Dreams, The Bell Jar and Journals; Schopenhauer’s Essay on Suicide; Nabokov’s biography of Nikolai Gogol. Robert Graves, The White Goddess. Most of these writers had problems.

    Western Philosophy:

    Plato, The Republic; Diogenes, Kant; Nietsche, Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Twilight of the Gods and Beyond Good and Evil; Wittgenstein, Tractatus logicus-philosophicus; Foucault, The Order of Things, Madness and Civilization, Ethics and Discipline and Punish.


    Juvenal. Pre-established congruence between Classical Rome and present-day western world (post-modern view).

    Swift. ‘A Modest Proposal’ and Gulliver’s Travels.

  36. Oh, I stopped reading fiction when I joined the Temple in 1997. A strict diet of Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrita. I did, however, read Hamlet around 2001. Interesting and philosophical, but it gave me a headache (same applies if I try to listen to Joy Division or any other ‘mundane’ music).

  37. They are all like ink drawings.
    Restoration of the Icon required, I’m afraid

  38. EMBASSIES (Hatfield, Pretoria, 28 October 2005)

    I walk down streets
    coated with soft, purple
    flowers, well-kept lawns –
    pavements of dawn

    Avenues of the wealthy
    who represent the poor

    Nice cars and servants,
    steep driveways
    and fences

    A cur,
    foraging through
    the dirt-bins

    It occurs:
    we are living
    in a garden

    with walls

    separating us
    from each other


    I want to take over your country.
    Is it about being aggressive enough
    and having a little money?
    Or popular support?

    I want to. But I’ll have to wait
    until the systems are in place:
    study abroad, live in a resort
    and patiently, patiently wait…

  39. UNCOMMON STREETS (To Srila Prabhupada)

    Are the common streets of Calcutta any less potent than the halls and places where you preached abroad?

    I guess they have significance
    and potency because here
    is where you chanted
    under a tree; or here
    is where you practised
    severe austerity
    in a dim-lit, grimy loft
    in New York City slums;
    here is where you banged the drum;
    or danced to the beats of one you taught

    Are these halls and scholar’s desks of more value than the confidential streets and homes of your childhood?

    Your glories are unfolding
    in a weave of divine symmetry,
    O, Prabhupada! Are the uncommon streets of Calcutta any less than these?

  40. From THE FALL OF EAGLES (Robert Graves)

    ‘Who groans beneath the Punic curse
    And strangles in the strings of purse,
    Before she mends must sicken worse.
    Her living mouth shall breed blue flies,
    And maggots creep about her eyes.
    No man shall mark the day she dies’

  41. PRAYER TO LORD NRSIMHADEVA (from BTG article, I do not know who the author is)

    My faith is in Your feet and the nails of Your toes, Lord Nrsimhadeva; Please protect me.
    My faith is in Your pillar-like legs and lotus petal-like chest, Lord Nrsimhadeva; Please direct me.
    My faith is in Your arms and Your razor-sharp claws, Lord Nrsimhadeva; Please destroy my obstacles.
    My faith is in Your mane and roaring red mouth, Lord Nrsimhadeva; Please vanquish my fears.
    My faith is in Your gnashing teeth and Your burning golden eyes, Lord Nrsimhadeva; Please give me strength.

    I am confused, Lord Nrsimhadeva;
    I place myself beneath Your feet.
    Please dispel my confusion.
    I am sad, Lord Nrsimhadeva;
    I beg You to stamp out my sadness.
    I am frightened, Lord Nrsimhadeva;
    I beg You to take me in Your lotus hands
    and destroy my fears with Your all-powerful claws.
    I am in illusion, Lord Nrsimhadeva;
    Please let Your glaring effulgence
    Destroy my illusions.

    My dear Lord Nrsimhadeva, I am afraid;
    I depend upon You, I take shelter of You,
    Without You I cannot exist.
    Let me take shelter under Your feet,
    Let Your roar tell me what I should do,
    Protect me with Your slashing claws.
    Only You can help me.
    My faith lies only in You.

  42. Max Says:




  43. PASSOVER (Ian Curtis song lyrics)

    Moving along in our God-given ways,
    safety is sat by the fire –
    Sanctuary from these feverish smiles,
    left with a mark on the door

    Is this the gift that I wanted to give?
    Forgive and forget’s what they teach –
    Or, pass through the deserts and wastelands once more
    and watch as they drop by the beach






  45. A,B,C,D,E
    Rings on each finger –
    A diamond on each tooth,
    You’re surely living proof
    Of what it takes to be the singer

    E, F, G, H, I
    Say ‘Hello’ to all you guys –
    Touring coast-to-coast,
    Living like a ghost,
    ‘Yo! Give “The King” the cordless mike!’

  46. So this is permanence –
    Love shattered pride,
    What once was innocence,
    Turned on its side

    It now hangs over me,
    Marks every move –
    Deep in the memory,
    What once was love

    (from Twenty Four Hours, Ian Curtis)

  47. WORLD LEADER PRETEND (Michael Stipe, REM)

    I sit at my table
    and wage war on myself –
    It seems like it’s all, it’s all for nothing;
    I know the barricades,
    and I know the mortar in the wall breaks,
    I recognize the weapons,
    I’ve used them well,
    fitted them myself.

    This is my mistake,
    Let me make it good –
    I raised the wall,
    and I will be the one to knock it down…

    I’ve a rich understanding of my finest defences;
    I proclaim the claims are left unstated,
    I demand a rematch,
    I decree a stalemate,
    I divine my deeper motives –
    I recognize the weapons,
    I’ve practiced them well,
    I fitted them myself

    It’s amazing what devices you can sympathize (empathize)


    This is my world…
    and I am world leader pretend;
    This is my life and this is my time –
    I have been given the freedom to do as I see fit –
    It’s high time I razed the walls that I’ve constructed

    It’s amazing what devices you can sympathize (empathize)


    You fill in the mortar,
    You fill in the harmony,
    You fill in the mortar –
    I raised the wall,
    and I’m the only one…
    I will be the one to knock it down

  48. Jaya Sri Krishna Caitanya
    Prabhu Nityananda
    Sri Advaita, Gadadhara,
    Srivasadi Gaura-bhakta-vrinda

  49. YOU AND I

    I’m the fool,
    You’re the prudent –
    You’re the teacher,
    I’m the student

    You are meek,
    I’m defiant –
    I am rigid,
    You are pliant

    I’m trying,
    You’re sighing –
    You’re the law,
    I’m the crime –

    I’m the jester,
    You’re the king,
    I’m the hand
    You’re the ring

    You are virtue,
    I am weakness –
    You’re the cure,
    I’m the sickness

    I say black,
    You say white –
    You’re the day,
    I’m the night

    You are rich,
    I am poor –
    You’re the room,
    I’m the door

    I am iron,
    You are gold –
    You were bought,
    I was sold

  50. Instincts that can still betray us,
    A journey that leads to a sun,
    Soulless and bent on destruction,
    Struggle between right and wrong

    ‘Heart and Soul’- Joy Division


    it’s quiet –
    white noise around

    the lights –
    they flicker –
    and they fade

    the lights –
    they flicker –
    and they fade


    it’s quiet –
    no-one around

    she slows
    her breath –
    she holds
    her ground

    the slightest noise
    reveals your mind –
    subtle realms –
    that leave us blind


    it’s cold –
    it’s dark –
    gunfire –
    a shot –

    a shot –
    in the alley –
    blue lights –

    in disguise –
    no police

    tonight, tonight

    the lights –
    they flicker –
    and they fade

    oh, turn off the sound –
    turn up the sound,
    moving round,
    and round,
    and round…


    Copyright – Mukunda Charan

  52. MADHURASTAKAM (Sri Vallabhacarya)

    adharam madhuram vadanam madhuram
    nayanam madhuram hasitam madhuram
    hrdayam madhuram gamanam madhuram
    madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram

    vacanam madhuram caritam madhuram
    vasanam madhuram valitam madhuram
    calitam madhuram bhramitam madhuram
    madhuradh-pater akhilam madhuram

    venur madhuro renur madhurah
    panir madhurah pado madhurah
    nrtyam madhuram sakhyam madhuram
    madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram

    gitam madhuram pitam madhuram
    bhuktam madhuram suptam madhuram
    rupam madhuram tilakam madhuram
    madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram

    karanam madhuram taranam madhuram
    haranam madhuram samitam madhuram
    vamitam madhuram samitam madhuram
    madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram

    gunja madhura mala madhura
    yamuna madhura vici madhura
    salilam madhuram kamalam madhuram
    madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram

    gopi madhura lila madhura
    yuktam madhuram bhuktam madhuram
    hrstam madhuram slistam madhuram
    madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram

    gopa madhura gavo madhura
    vastir madhura srstir madhura
    dalitam madhuram phalitam madhuram
    madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram

    1. The ‘Madhurastakam’ is a beautiful description of the sweetness of Lord Krishna:

      His lips are sweet, His face is sweet, His eyes are sweet, His smile is sweet, his heart is sweet, His gait is sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      His voice is sweet, his character is sweet, His attire is sweet, His speech is sweet, His movements are sweet, His wandering is sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      His flute is sweet, His foot-dust is sweet, His hands are sweet, His feet are sweet, His dancing is sweet, His friendship is sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      His singing is sweet, his drinking is sweet, His eating is sweet, His sleeping is sweet, His beauty is sweet, His tilak is sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      His deeds are sweet, His acts of deliverance are sweet, His stealing is sweet, His amorous play is sweet, His yawning is sweet, and even His chastisements are sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      His garland of gunja is sweet, His garland is sweet, His Yamuna River is sweet, and her waves, water and lotuses are all sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      His gopis are sweet, His pastimes are sweet, His paraphernalia and ornaments are sweet, His food is sweet, His delight is sweet, His embrace is sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      His gopas are sweet, His cows are sweet, His staff is sweet, His creation is sweet, His defeating of demons is sweet, and His bestowal of fruits is sweet. Everything about my Lord of Sweetness is sweet.

      Madhuram, madhuram, madhuram, madhuram
      Madhuram, madhuram, madhuram, madhuram
      Madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram


    Morning seems strange
    almost out of place,
    searched hard for you
    and your special ways

    these days,
    please stay

    ‘These Days’ – Joy Division

  54. ‘This is the way the world ends:
    Not with a bang, but a whimper’

    ‘The Hollow Men’ – T.S. Eliot


    Close your eyes –
    What do you see?
    What would you say
    if you could speak
    to the whole world?

    Twist your wrists
    and turn your fingers –
    your hands have formed
    Rodin’s Cathedral

    Something you can sense –
    Some things don’t make sense,
    Things you see and touch,
    things within your grasp

    Arches and spires,
    angels and windows –
    The language of silence
    stops with each heart-beat

    Close your eyes –
    What do you see?
    The bronze turning wrists
    of Rodin’s Cathedral?

    Block your ears –
    Turn off the sound –
    A voice in your heart
    mouths a prayer for the whole world

    1. Metal blinds steel
      rooms razor wire
      admission contrition

      breathless arches eyes
      hands cathedrals

      Wounded world
      candle light

  56. A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM (Edgar Allan Poe)

    Take this kiss upon the brow!
    And, in parting from you now,
    Thus much let me avow –
    You are not wrong, who deem
    That my days have been a dream:
    Yet if hope has flown away
    In a night, or in a day,
    In a vision, or in none,
    Is it therefore the less gone?
    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.

    I stand amid the roar
    Of a surf-tormented shore,
    And I hold within my hand
    Grains of the golden sand –
    How few! Yet how they creep
    Through my fingers to the deep,
    While I weep – while I weep!
    O God! Can I not grasp
    Them with a tighter clasp?
    O God! Can I not save
    One from the pitiless wave?
    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream?

    1. One of my favourites when I was in high school.


    I’m lord Despair in the never-ending night,
    You’re my only hope when all my hope is gone –
    I’m a patchwork man in a dreamy neverland,
    You’re my saving grace when all my grace is gone

    I’m lord Despair in the never-ending night,
    A blackened rose when all my red is gone –
    No hope for love in this gothic paradise,
    You’re my only hope when all my hope is gone

    I only want to be with you, my Lord –
    Yes, I only want to be with you, my Lord


    light drizzle outside
    feeling all sad
    in my cage

    wish you would express
    yourself somehow
    of an actor off-stage

    O Master!
    with your vision I could see
    for your vision holds


    (Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day, October 1998)


    I searched for You – all over
    Through wastes and plains – all over
    Ways straight and strange – all over
    I searched for You

    ‘Did your search bear fruit?’
    ‘Did you find your truth?’
    ‘Did you find the root?’
    All over, I searched for you


    We’re two travellers
    travelling around
    and these feet
    keep me moving ’round

    We’re two travellers
    travelling around –
    in the hearts of Siva
    and Laxmi we are found

    We’re two travellers
    travelling the earth –
    and These feet
    keep me free from birth


    You reckon ill who leave me out
    When Me you fly, I am the wings –
    I am the doubter and the doubt,
    I am the song lord Siva sings

    Appears the dark clouds never lift,
    Waiting for you and your special gifts;
    Waiting for you and the joy you bring,
    This is my prayer for needful things

    You reckon ill who say that Vaishnavas die
    When they are living in sound –
    Vaishnavas die to live and living try
    To spread the Holy Names around

    Appears the dark clouds never lift,
    Waiting for you and your special gifts;
    Waiting for you and the joy you bring,
    This is my prayer for needful things

    1. Mukunda Charan Says:

      My sky burnt out when my star was rising.
      I kissed the dark midnight at the floor of the ocean.
      The honey of my success turned to poison.
      And I walked away.

      Dove off cliffs of material desires.
      Walked on water and ran through fires.
      And I walked away.

  62. ‘If every man helps his neighbour, then who needs help’

    Graffiti on a wall in Salt River, Cape Town

  63. VICTIM

    Your real intentions
    hide behind words
    that are cast out easily,
    like a fisherman’s net
    in the sea

    In the sky,
    the moon eclipsed
    thinks himself

    It’s the tendency of the victim
    to want to shift the blame

    Your real intentions
    hide behind a wall
    of projected thoughts
    which you, earnestly,
    hold to be true

    How could you possibly think
    I’d want to share your view?

    1. Mukunda Charan Says:

      This one’s about texting. Some people are braver when they text than in real life – yet they still believe what they are projecting, through written words, is a true representation of themselves. Strange.


    My heart beats fast,
    my husband’s lost –
    Sati rite

    The lick of flames,
    a thousand names –
    Sati rite

    Everything I ever knew,
    Everyone I cared about,
    Everything I held as true,
    Proves false now as my time runs out

    My bones, my hair, my skin
    are soon fine ash –
    in the Sati rite

    1. The Sati Rite is no longer applicable in our times, just like the modern-day ‘caste-system’ is a perversion of ‘daivi-varnashram’ or ‘divine social engineering’ in the modern age. Two wrongs don’t make a rite.

  65. suvarna manjari dasi Says:

    Beautiful poetry Mukunda Charan…did you write most of them?

    1. Yes. Thank you. The ones I didn’t write I credited the authors.
      How are you, Suvarna?


    It’s snowing
    and it’s quiet:
    from the dark,
    undying light

    No way of knowing
    Your heart –
    we wake to a
    world of white

    Kept from you
    all violence

    Serene and quiet
    warm blood melts
    cold ice

    Walk on snow
    Watch love grow,
    from dark streets
    a golden road

    O, my love where
    are you now?
    O, my heart
    where did you go?

    I am coming back
    to your loving arms,
    To see your
    summer smile

    Serene and quiet
    warm blood melts
    cold ice

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan


    A world of grey
    greets us today –
    I’d stay and pray,
    But I miss my mother

    I live and die
    I live in white
    I live in black
    I live in colour

    A world of souls
    goes to the polls
    In God we trust
    but why do hopes just turn to dust?

    I live in black
    I live in white
    I live in grey
    I live in colour

    My friends are all here with me now


    One more taste
    One more touch
    One last peek
    And bite the dust

    One more time

    One more ride
    One more trip
    One last kick
    This is it

    One more time

    Our lifetime
    Smacks of crime
    Karmic seeds –
    Future deeds

    One more time

    Now we live
    Now we die
    Never asked:
    ‘Who am I?’

    One more time


      I am concerned about you

      About the places you might go,
      the things that you might do,
      as new horizons will unfold
      as you begin your life anew

      I am concerned

      About the choices you might make,
      about the pressures that could break –
      of each and every mistake

      I am concerned about you


    This is the story
    of my life –
    something like
    The Sorrows Of Werther

    This is the story-line
    and plot –
    Charlotte was betrothed
    to Werther’s best friend

    (The whole world is a prison:
    Who threw away the key?)

    Criminal desires won’t set you free

    You took me in
    to your game,
    I played
    your game –
    I’ll never be the same

    Maya is eight-armed –
    Yeah, she’s armed
    and dangerous –
    If her weapons don’t get you
    her tiger will

    (Wages of sin
    for a lifetime of shame)

    Criminal desires won’t set you free


    On all sides
    I ask, ‘Who is?’
    All fingers point to me

    On all sides
    – confirmation –
    of former wrongs,
    reactions in the world of karma

    Only you know the answer

    On all sides
    – tests –
    – regrets –
    – victories –


    I am hoping for the best


    Baby don’t cry,
    Why do you sigh?
    You are breaking my heart
    into pieces

    I’m on the floor,
    the scene’s in still-pause:
    I’ve no will of iron
    or deep feelings,
    my love

    Baby don’t cry,
    Why do you lie (to me)
    on a bed of nails?
    Be happy

    We are not rivals, baby
    We’ve arrived
    We’re the new arrivals

  72. I AM YOUR DOG (To Cadby)

    I am there when you get home,
    waiting for you all alone

    I am happy
    I am sad
    I am good
    I am bad

    I console you when you’re down
    I wait for you
    when you leave town

    If you leave me, on a plane,
    For your return I will remain

    I am playful
    I am cute
    I am sulky
    I am rude

    I’m excited when we walk
    I listen to you when you talk

    I am hungry
    I am moody
    I am loyal
    I am broody

    Light your candle –
    Go to bed –
    You are my human

    I look to you with liquid eyes,
    anticipate your next surprise –
    But my instincts make it hard
    to know that I’m a child of God

    I have no manners
    don’t mind me, please –
    I’m a connoisseur
    of cheeze

    I love my bath
    and guard my food,
    sometimes fiercely –
    ‘Is that understood?’

    ‘Where’s your boney?’
    ‘Where’s your toy?’
    Bring it here –
    ‘What a good boy!!’

    I am lonely when you go
    I am happy when we grow
    I was wild
    In my pack before

    The little dog
    who guards your door

  73. The Mystic
    dedicated to His Holiness Radhanath Maharaja

    Leaving the wilderness of desire,
    I can feel life getting higher,
    On the mountain-peak of your shoulders:
    Feeling younger, growing older

    Were you here with me this time,
    I would be a better person –
    You could teach me how to love,
    I would be your eager student

    In the springtime of our joy,
    All my sorrows are destroyed,
    Looking outward, turning in –
    Your compassion makes me think

    I’m the fool
    You’re the prudent
    You’re the master,
    I’m your student

    I’m just swimming in your ocean,
    Tasting nectar, spewing poison;
    In the shade of your green garden
    all my troubles are forgotten

    This is why I am locked to you

    You’re the witness,
    You hold the key –
    To my heart –
    You set me free

    This is why I am locked to you


    We’ve forgotten how to use our hands,
    We’ve forgotten the language of the heart –
    We’ve lost ourselves in television,
    We’ve lost ourselves in competition

    We know each other’s net worth,
    and we take another birth
    I am not being true
    if I think I am better than you


    I am with you.

    With my words.
    In full force.
    I’m your servant.
    I am yours.

    We could tell lies.
    We are emerald-green.
    You don’t reply.
    I watch the screen.

    You tell me all
    about your life.
    How you lived
    and how I died.

    A signature
    across the sky.
    We’re in love.
    Watch us grow.

    I was meek.
    Now I glow.
    Yes, watch me now.
    Watch me grow.

    Grow, grow, grow.

    My first love.
    My fast love.
    My false love?

    (Oh no)


    I write
    so it counts,
    I write
    so it hurts
    to paint words

    I write
    to find
    my voice –
    it’s your call,
    and it’s your choice

    I write – somebody cut off my hands,
    I write – somebody ruined my plans
    somebody stole my legs,
    somebody gave me pegs

    I write
    to chronicle
    my death –
    this writing is
    my domino effect

    1. Sindy Says:

      Few words but so much meaning


    I don’t know you.
    Do you know me?
    I am king of the blind, Blondie.
    Hey, I am king of the blind!
    Do you think I am being unkind?

    Have we spoiled antiquity’s name
    With hairdye and hairspray?
    Have we spoiled you on
    third world labour?
    Turned you into cannon-fodder?

    We’ll meet again,
    in due course of time, Blondie.
    We’ll meet around a table.
    Bourgeoisie. One, two, three.
    For I am king of the blind, Blondie.
    Oh, I am king of the blind.


    Dedicated to Ian Curtis (1956-1980) and all Eternals

    There is a park near the poet’s house.
    A park, with lovely green lawns
    and mossy green trees

    There is a lake with two giant swans.
    I’d like to meet him;
    to see his other side,
    his emerald-green heart

    Watch a parade of fools – wiser than us –
    laughing, passing us by the water’s edge
    near the lush, green hills of Macclesfield

    I would not find him
    in the glass walls of the city


    anguished cries in the red-brick;
    in what he wanted to be,
    the degradation of his quiet

    How nice it would be to take a stroll through the town,
    walk the dog on the lawn
    and just sit somewhere inside…

    and talk

    Copyright – Mukunda Charan Das


    Love you from a distance,
    love you from up close;
    when we were together
    I took you for a rose

    An academic exercise,
    a dream that fades away –
    I’ll love you from a distance
    on another day


    I cast
    with my eyes of Adam
    a hopeful look
    to the entrance of the mall

    love centre dawn
    disaster attaining forgiveness
    promised culminated happiness
    in your rainstorm

    packed pack packing
    glass wall
    electronic door

    minute of silent

    packed pack packing
    hanging clothes
    panty ho’s
    new look

    as I look
    with my eyes of Eve,
    at the entrance of the mall

  81. DREAM

    stone angels sleeping are aware
    smooth mountain marble ledges
    ‘you are one of us’

    as if I’d side with evil

  82. The novelty of writing an MA wore off. It became a job, just like anything else. Since most of the archival material were government records, it felt like I was studying law all over again – but in retrospect. I was struggling to synthesize my philosophical readings with my project on the slave trade. It was also very difficult to come up with a thesis – an argument or theory – based on the source material I was studying. I was breaking my head trying to figure out what it was I was trying to say. It took three months for my MA proposal to be accepted. My supervisor was encouraging, but exacting. Every meeting with him seemed to suggest starting everything over again.

    The positive side of this experience was that it was sharpening my intellect and improving my ability to analyze. I started an exercise regimen to help me cope with the long hours in the archives or in front of the computer. I was trying to eat more healthily too. I wanted to kill my old self, in the Nietschean sense. I wanted to become a better person. I had studied ethics in order to understand why people acted in certain ways. Now I was beginning to establish a code of ethics for my own existence. I was like a Spartan, living myself out of history. Context and place were becoming very significant to me in terms of living in the present. I also felt that I was developing a better understanding of my past and my own life.

    The professors were always saying, ‘Write! Write!’ I wanted to get the MA over with, so I obliged them. My spiritual awakening and my ethical approach to life gave me the strength to face that mammoth task. I would set my uncle’s shamrock rosary above my bed. It was from the six months he had spent in the seminary, training to be a Catholic priest. I was slowly becoming aware of my spiritual purpose. I had certain God-given abilities and it was my duty to work according to my talents, rather than pursuing things that were not really in my nature.

  83. POETIC

    I don’t know why these feelings hurt so much.
    To place so much importance in one person.
    To feel so much with the heart.

    I don’t know if I want to go on.
    I have come so far.
    I don’t care anymore.

    Love me, if you will.
    Love my little world.

  84. re the novelty of writing an MA : you have expressed it very succintly. i have been through the same self-negotiation, many times, defining re-defining…


    Where are you now God’s beautiful child?
    Where are you now my beautiful one?
    You went away…and I don’t know what to say

    Down in the depths of some infernal dream –
    Caught in the cogworks of a soulless machine

    You went away, you went away

    Where are you now this treacherous night?
    Where are you now so silent and shy…in the rain?
    (Yeah, I missed you, once again)

    Where did you go? Where did you go?

    Crossing the water,
    Climbing the walls,
    La belle dame sans mercy

    has thee in her thrall

    I guess you know

    And I’m left spare to wonder

    1. HERE AM I

      Here am I sitting in the sun –
      Waiting, I’m waiting –
      Will you ever come?

      Where are you? Feeling blue?
      Hope some day to find you
      Laughing in eternal life

      Hope some day to find you –
      Some things are just so hard to find.


    Western Deep Levels.
    City Deep.

    Western Deep Levels.
    Down to the sea.

    City of Gold
    Soldier’s keep

    Where God
    sent torture deep

    City green
    in a dream
    each address

    take time –
    next take –
    next time

    Seize the fire,
    crack the nod –
    See the saints
    walk with God

    take time –
    next take –
    next time

  87. PYRAMID SONG (Radiohead)

    I jumped in the river and what did I see?
    Black-eyed angels swam with me –
    A moon full of stars and astral cars,
    all the things I used to see –
    All my lovers were there with me
    all my past and futures,
    and we all went to heaven in a little row boat –
    there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt

    There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt

    1. ‘I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets –
      there are countless formulas for pressing flowers’ – Kurdt Cobain, ‘Scentless Apprentice’



    All of you are my superiors. Therefore although accepting priesthood is sometimes reproachable, I cannot refuse even a small request from you. I agree to be your priest. I shall fulfill your request by dedicating my lie and possessions [38]. Sri Sukadeva continued: O King, after making this promise to the demigods, the exalted Visvarupa, surrounded the demigods, performed the necessary priestly activities with great enthusiasm and attention [38]. The opulence of the demons, who are generally known as the enemies of the demigods, was protected by the talents and tactics of Sukracarya, but Visvarupa, who was the most powerful, composed a protective prayer known as the Narayana-kavaca. By this intelligent mantra, he took away the opulence of the demons and gave it to Mahendra, the King of heaven [39]. Visvarupa, who was most liberal, spoke to King Indra [Sahasraksa] the secret hymn that protected Indra and conquered the military power of the demons [40].


    yaya guptah sahasraksah
    savahan ripu-sainikan
    kridann iva vinirjitya
    tri-lokya bubhuje sriyam

    bhagavams tan mamakhyahi
    varma narayanatmakam
    yathatatayinah satrun
    yena gupto ‘jayan mrdhe [1-2]

    King Parikisit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: My Lord, kindly explain the Visnu mantra armor that [a] protected King indra and [b] enabled him to conquer his enemies, along with their carriers, and [c] enjy the opulence of the three worlds. Please explain to me that Narayana armor, by which King Indra achieved success in battle, conquering the enemies who were endeavoring to kill him.

    sri-badarayanir uvaca
    vrtah purohitas tvastro
    narayanakhyam varmaha
    tad ihaika-manah srnu [3]

    Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: King Indra, the leader of the demigods, inquired about the armor known as Narayana-kavaca from Visvarupa, who was engaged by the demigods as their priest. Please hear Visvarupa’s reply with great attention.

    sri-visvarupa uvaca
    dhautanghri-panir acamya
    sapavitra udan-mukhah
    mantrabhyam vag-yatah sucih

    narayana-param varma
    sannahyed bhaya agate
    padayor janunor urvor
    udare hrdy athorasi

    mukhe sirasy anupurvyad
    omkaradini vinyaset
    om namo narayanayeti
    viparyayam athapi va [4-6]

    Vivarupa said: If some form of fear arrives, one should first wash his hands and legs clean and then perform acamana by chanting this mantra: om apavitrah pavitro va sarvavastham gato ‘pi va/yah smaret pundarikaksam sa bahyabhyantarah sucih/ sri-visnu sri-visnu sri-visnu. Then one should touch kusa grass and sit gravely and silently, facing north. When completely purified, one should touch the mantra composed of eight syllables to the eight parts of his body and touch the mantra composed of twelve syllables to his hands. Thus, in the following manner, he should bind himself with the Narayana coat of armor. First, while chanting the mantra composed of eight syllables [om namo narayanaya], beginning with the pranava, the syllable om, one should touch his hands to the eight parts of his body, starting with the two feet and progressing systematically to the knees, thighs, abdomen, heart, chest, mouth and hed. Then one should chant the mantra in reverse beginning with the last syllable [ya], while touching the parts of his body in the reverse order. These two processes are known as utpatti-nyasa and samhara nyasa respectively.

    kara-nyasam tatah kuryad
    anguly-angustha-parvasu [7]

    Then one should chant the mantra composed of twelve syllables [om namo bhagavate vasudevaya]. Preceding each syllable by the omkara, one should place the syllables of the mantra on the tips of his fingers, beginning with the index finger of the right hand and concluding with the index finger of the left. The four remaining syllables should be placed on the joints of the thumbs.

    nyased dhrdaya omkaram
    vi-karam anu murdhani
    sa-karam tu bhruvor madhye
    na-karam sikhaya nyaset

    ve-karam netrayor yunyan
    na-karam sarva-sandhisu
    ma-karam astram uddisya
    mantra-murtir bhaved budhah

    savisargam phad-antam tat
    sarva-diksu vinirdiset
    om visnave nama it
    [ ] [8-10]

    One must then chant the mantra of six syllables [om visnave namah]. One should place the syllable “om” on his heart, the syllable “vi” on the top of his head, the syllable “sa” between his eyebrows, the syllable “na” on his tuft of hair [sikha], and the syllable “ve” between his eyes. The chanter of the mantra should then place the syllable “na” on all the joints of his body and meditate on the syllable “ma” as being a weapon. He should thus become the perfect personification of the mantra. Thereafter, adding visarga to the final syllable “ma”, he should chant the mantra “mah astraya phat” in all directions, beginning from the east. In this way, all directions will be bound by the protective armor of the mantra.

    atmanam paramam dhyayed
    dhyeyam sat-saktibhir yutam
    imam mantram udaharet [11]

    After finishing this chanting, one should think oneself qualitatively one with the SPG, who is full in six opulences and is worthy to be meditated upon. Then one should chant the following protective prayer to Lord Naryana, the Narayana-kavaca.


    om harir vidadhyan mama sarva-raksam
    nyastanghri-padmah patagendra-prsthe
    pasan dadhano ‘sta-guno ‘sta-bahuh

    The Supreme Lord, who sits on the back of the bird Garuda, touching him with His lotus feet, holds eighth weapons – the conch-shell, disc, shield, sword, club, arrows, bow and ropes. May that SPG protect me at all times with His eight arms. He is all-powerful because He fully possesses the eight mystic powers [anima, laghima etc.].

    jalesu mam raksatu matsya-murtir
    yado-ganebhyo varunasya pasat
    sthalesu mayavatu-vamano vyat
    trivikramah khe ‘vatu visvarupah [13]

    May the Lord, who assumes the body of a great fish, protect me in the water from the fierce animals that are associates of the demigod Varuna. By expanding His illusory energy, the Lord assumed the form of the dwarf Vamana. May Vamana protect me on the land. Since the gigantic form of the Lord, Visvarupa, conquers the three worlds, may He protect me in the sky.

    durgesv atavy-aji-mukhadisu prabhuh
    payan nrsimho ‘sura-yuthaparih
    vimuncato yasya mahatta-hasam
    diso vinedur nyapatams ca garbhah [14]

    May Lord Nrsimhadeva, who appeared as the enemy of Hiranyakasipu, protect me in all directions. His loud laughing vibrated in all directions and caused the pregnant wives of the asuras to have miscarriages. May that Lord be kind enough to protect me in difficult places like the forest and battlefront.

    raksatv asau madhvani yajna-kalpah
    sva-damstrayonnita-dharo varahah
    ramo ‘dri-kutesv atha vipravase
    salaksmano ‘vyad bharatagrajo ‘sman [15]

    The Supreme indestructible Lord is ascertained through the performance of ritualistic sacrifices and is therefore known as Yajesvara. In His incarnation as Lord Boar, He raised the planet earth from the water at the bottom of the universe and kept it on His pointed tusks. May that Lord protect me from rogues on the street. May Parusurama protect me on the tops of mountains, and may the elder brother of Bharata, Lord Ramacandra, along with His brother Laksmana, protect me in foreign countries.

    mam ugra-dharmad akhilat pramadan
    narayanah patu naras ca hasat
    dattas tv ayogad atha yoga-nathah
    payad gunesah kapilah karma-bandhat [16]

    May Lord Narayana protect me from unnecessarily following false religious systems and falling from my duties due to madness. May the Lord in His appearance as Nara protect me from unnecessary pride. May Lord Dattatreya, the master of all mystic power, protect me from falling while performing bhakti-yoga, and may Lord Kapila, the master of all good qualities, protect me from the material bondage of fruitive activities.

    sanat-kumaro ‘vatu kamadevad
    dhayasirsa mam pathi deva-helandi
    devarsi-varyah purusarcanantarat
    kurmo harir mam nirayad asesat [17]

    May Sanat-kumara protect me from lusty desires. As I begin some auspicious activity, may Lord Hayagriva protect me from being an offender by neglecting to offer respectful obeisances to the Supreme Lord. May Devarsi Narada protect me from committing offences in worshiping the Deity, and may Lord Kurma, the tortoise, protect me from falling to the unlimited hellish planets.

    dhanvantarir bhagavan patv apathyad
    dvandvad bhayad rsabho nirjitatma
    yajnas ca lokad avataj janantad
    balo ganat krodha-vasad ahindrah [18]

    May the SPG in His incarnation as Dhanvantari relieve me from undesirable eatables and protect me from physical illness. May Lord Rsabhadeva, who conquered His inner and outer senses, protect me from fear produced by the duality of heat and cold. May Yajna protect me from defamation and harm from the populace, and may Lord Balarama as Sesa protect me from envious serpents.

    dvaipayano bhagavan aprabodhad
    bhuddhas tu pasanda-gana-pramadat
    kalkih kaleh kala-malat prapatu
    dharmavanayoru-krtvatarah [19]

    May the POG in His incarnation as Vyasadeva protect me from all kinds of ignorance resulting from the absence of Vedic knowledge. May Lord Buddhadeva protect me from activities opposed to Vedic principles and from laziness that causes one to madly forget the Vedic principles of knowledge and ritualistic action. May Kalkideva, the SPG, who appeared as an incarnation to protect religious principles, protect me from the dirt of the age of Kali.

    mam kesavo gadaya pratar avyad
    govinda asangavam atta-venuh
    narayanah prahna udatta-saktir
    madhyan-dine visnur arindra-panih [20]

    May Lord Kesava protect me with His club in the first portion of the day, and may Govinda, who is always engaged in playing His flute, protect me in the second portion of the day. May Lord Narayana, who is equipped with all potencies, protect me in the third part of the day, and may Lord Visnu, who carries a disc to kill His enemies, protect me in the fourth part of the day.

    devo ‘parahne madhu-hogradhanva
    sayam tri-dhamavatu madhavo mam
    dose hrsikesa utardha-ratre
    nisitha eko ‘vatu padmanabhah [21]

    May Lord Madhusudana, who carries a bow very fearful for the demons, protect me during the fifth part of the day. In the evening, may Lord Madhava, appearing as Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara, protect me, and in the beginning of night may Lord Hrsikesa protect me. At the dead of night [in the second and third parts of night] may Lord Padmanabha alone protect me.

    srivatsa-dhamapara-ratra isah
    pratyusa iso si-dharo janardanah
    damodaro ‘vyad anusandhyam prabhate
    visvesvaro bhagavan kala-murtih [22]

    May the SPG, who bears the Srivatsa on His chest, protect me after midnight until the sky becomes pinkish. May Lord Janardana, who carries a sword in His hand, protect me at the end of the night [during the last four ghatikas of night]. May Lord Damodara protect me in the early morning, and may Lord Visvesvara protect me during the junctions of day and night.


    cakram yugantanala-tigma-nemi
    bhramat samantad bhagavat-prayuktam
    dandagdhi dandhagdhy ari-sainyam asu
    kaksam yatha vata-sakho hutasah [23]

    Set into motion by the SPG and wandering in all the four directions, the disc of the Supreme Lord has sharp edges as destructive as the fire of devastation at the end of the millenium. As a blazing fire burns dry grass to ashes with the assistance of the breeze, may that Sudarsana chakra burn our enemies to ashes.

    gade ‘sani-sparsana-visphulinge
    nispindhi nispindhy ajita-priyasi
    bhuta-grahams curnaya curnayarin [24]

    O club in the hand of the SPG, you produce sparks of fire as powerful as thunderbolts, and you are extremely dear to the Lord. I am also His servant. Therefore kindly help me pound to pieces the evil beings known as Kusmandas, Vainayakas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Bhutas and Grahas. Please pulverize them.

    tvam yatudhana-pramatha-preta-matr-
    darendra vidravaya krsna-purito
    bhima-svano ‘rer hrdayani kampayan [25]

    O best of conchshells, O Pancajanya in the hands of the Lord, you are always filled with the breath of Lord Krishna. Therefore you create a fearful sound vibration that causes trembling in the hearts of enemies like the Raksasas, Pramatha ghosts, Pretas, Matas, Pisacas adn brahmana ghosts with fearful eyes.

    tvam tigma-dharasi-varari-sainyam
    isa-prayukto mama chindi chindi
    caksumi carman chata-candra chadaya
    dvisam aghonam hara papa-caksusam [26]

    O king of sharp-edged swords, you are engaged by the SPG. Please cut the soldiers of my enemies to pieces. Pleas cut them to pieces! O shield marked with a hundred brilliant moonlike circles, please cover over the eyes of the sinful enemies. Pluck out their sinful eyes.

    yan no bhayam grahebhyo ‘bhut
    ketubhyo nrbhya eva ca
    sarisrpedbhyo damstribhyo
    bhutebhyo ‘mhobhya eva ca

    sarvany etani bhagavan-
    prayantu sanksayam sadyo
    ye nah sreyah-pratipakah [27-28]

    May the glorification of the transcendental name, form, qualities [] protect us from the influence of bad planets, meteors, envious human beings, serpents, scorpions, and animals like tigers and wolves. May it protect us from ghosts and the material elements like earth, water, fire and air, and may it also protect us from lighting and our past sins. We are always afraid of these hindrances to our auspicious life. Therefore, may they all be completely destroyed by the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

    garudo bhagavan stotra-
    stobhas chandomayah prabhuh
    raksatv asesa-krcchrebhyo
    visvaksenah sva-namabhih [29]

    Lord Garuda, the carrier of Lord Visnu, is the most worshipable lord, for he is as powerful as the Supreme Lord Himself. He is the personified Vedas and is worshiped by selected verses. May he protect us from all dangerous conditions, and may Lord Visvaksena, the POG, also protect us from all dangers by His holy names.

    sarvapadbhyo harer nama-
    rupa-yanaydhani nah
    pantu parsada-bhusanah [30]

    May the SPG’s holy names, His transcendental forms, His carriers and all the weapons decorating Him as personal associates protect our intelligence, senses, mind and life air from all dangers.

    yatha hi bhagavan eva
    vastutah sad asac ca yat
    satyenanena nah sarve
    yantu nasam upadravah [31]

    The subtle and gross cosmic manifestation is material, but nevertheless it is nondifferent from the SPG because He is ultimately the cause of all causes. Cause and effect are factually one because the cause is present in the effect. Therefore the Absolute Truth, the SPG, can destroy all our dangers by any of His potent parts.

    vikalpa-rahita svayam
    dhatte saktih sva-mayaya

    tenaiva satya-manena
    sarva-jno bhagavan harih
    patu sarvaih svarupair nah
    sada sarvatra sarva-gah [32-33]

    The SPG, the living entities, the material energy, the spiritual energy and the entire creation are all individual substances. In the ultimate analysis, however, together they constitute the supreme one, the POG. Therefore those who are advanced in spiritual knowledge see unity in diversity. For such advanced persons, the Lord’s bodily decorations, His name, His fame, His attributes and forms and the weapons in His hand are manifestations of the strength in His potency. According to their elevated spiritual understanding, the omniscient Lord, who manifests various forms, is present everywhere. May He always protect us from all calamities.

    vidiksu diksurdhavm adhah samantad
    antar bahir bhagavan narasimhah
    prahapayal loka-bhayam svanena
    sva-tejasa grasta-samasta-tejah [34]

    Prahlada Maharaja loudly chanted the holy name of Lord Nrsimhadeva. May Lord Nrsimhadeva, roaring for His devotee Prahlada Maharaja, protect us from all fear of dangers created by stalwart leaders in all directions through poison, weapons, water, fire, air and so on. May the Lord cover their influence by His own transcendental influence. May Nrsimhadeva protect us in all directions and in all corners, above, below, within and without.

    maghavann idam akhyatam
    varma narayanatmakam
    vijesyase ‘njasa yena
    damsito ‘sura-yuthapan [35]

    Visvarupa continued: O Indra, this mystic armor related to Lord Narayana has been described by me to you. By putting on this protective covering, you will certainly be able to conquer the leaders of the demons.

    etad dharayamanas tu
    yam yam pasyati caksusa
    pada va samsprset sadyah
    sadhuvasat sa vimucyate [36]

    If one employs this armor, whomever he sees with his eyes or touches with his feet is immediately freed from all the above-mentioned dangers.

    na kutascid bhayam tasya
    vidyam dharayato bhavet
    vyadhy-adibhyas ca karhicit [37]

    This prayer, Narayana-kavaca, constitutes subtle knowledge transcendentally connected with Narayana. One who employs this prayer is never disturbed or put in danger by the government, by plunderers, by evil demons or by any type of disease.

    imam vidyam pura kascit
    kausiko dharayan dvijah
    yoga-dharanaya svangam
    jahau sa maru-dhanvani [38]

    O King of heaven, a brahmana named Kausika formerly used this armor when he purposely gave up his body in the desert of mystic power.

    tasyopari vimanena
    gandharva-patir ekada
    yayau citrarathah stribhir
    vrto yatra dvija-ksayah [39]

    Surrounded by many beautiful women, Citraratha, the King of Gandharvaloka, was once passing in his airplane over the brahmana’s body at the spot where the brahmana had died.

    gaganan nyapatat sadyah
    savimano hy avak-sirah
    sa valikhilya-vacanad
    asthiny adaya vismitah
    prasya praci-sarasvatyam
    snatva dhama svam anvagat [40]

    Suddenly Citraratha was forced to fall from the sky headfirst with his airplane. Struck with wonder, he was ordered by the great sages named the Valikhilyas to throw the brahmana’s bones in the nearby River Sarasvati. He had to do this and bathe in the river before returning to his own abode.

    sri-suka uvaca
    ya idam srnuyat cadrtah
    yo dharayati cadrtah
    tam namasyanti bhutani
    mucyate sarvato bhayat [41]

    Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear Maharaja Parikisit, one who employs this [] when afraid of any conditions in the material world is immediately freed from all dangers and is worshiped by all living entities.

    etam vidyam adhigato
    visvarupac chatakratuh
    trailokya-laksmim bubhuje
    vinirjitya mrdhe ‘suran [42]

    King Indra, who performed one hundred sacrifices, received this prayer of protection from Visvarupa. After conquering the demons, he enjoyed all the opulences of the three worlds.



    You were a footnote
    in his story,
    a vital link in
    the myth

    You are flesh and blood,
    no fictional character,

    Just following a footnote,
    to find out what’s real

    Part of it’s myth
    part is ideal

  90. ‘The lady, like a garden fair was kept, that didst slumber in delight’
    quoted in a poem on poetics by Edgar Allan Poe


    sweeter than honey
    Your love’s complete
    like the most beautiful jewel –
    melt Your steadfast soldier
    into a tin heart
    So sweet

    sweeter than honey
    Your love is like
    a full Autumn moon
    What I wouldn’t give for love or money
    My resistance is broken
    I am your molten heart
    So sweet


    1. Mukunda Charan Says:

      Krishna, the Lord, is complete and completely reciprocate with our attempts to love Him.


    It’s just a show
    a show of conventions
    Johannesburg’s Bazaar

    The circus tents
    collapsed on us,
    white alabaster palaces

    It’s just a show,
    in a desert
    hardened by age


    In the underworld
    there’s nothing less –
    In the underworld,
    descent of bliss

    Kindergarten happiness,
    white alabaster palaces,
    every moment is at grace

  93. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Where are you now?
    Where did you go?
    I really need you,
    I really do too.
    I hope you understand

    Love’s just a word,
    It’s just a game;
    one we play so well,
    You’ll never understand love

    Where are you now?
    I see a light.
    I hear you calling.
    I have a purpose and a wife

    You were the star
    in my dark sky,
    My ray of hope
    and I hope love never dies

  94. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Teen son en skuim loop ek my vas, ‘n ruwe
    ontmoeting my loop met wind en see. Stryk
    ek aan oor skulpiesand, ek hoor dit guds,
    sluk en borrel. Die glinstervloed
    is swaar van plankton, dig van mineraal
    en vertellings en vermoedens van wrakke
    aan rotse onnaspeurbaar vasgehaak.

    Langes my die swartvlerkmeeu, sy drag
    die van vaarder, visser, kenner, sy oog
    op my hierdie sifsagte grens tussen
    sand en plant waar ek gespleettoon, hy geweb
    gaan, en ek strandrosies bestryk, en hy
    hup die moedswil van ‘n golf ontwyk,
    steeds die oog op my, my kameraad.

    Hy styg op aan toe. Hy laat my agter
    met geen verweer teen sy afsydigheid
    so skielik betoon. Ek wou nog uitvra,
    het gemeen ons was maats darem een
    vakansie lank. Ek wou nog hoor op opteken
    ‘n geskiedenis wat verbyvaar. Wou peuter,
    blootle, ‘n laagwater van monsters.

    Ek voel die veeg van die lig van die toring
    wat lekkende skulpe en die krap wat salueer,
    wat in- en uitspoeling en oervereniging,
    wat my en die huise en die versamelde waters
    in een kort stelling betrek: dit hier,
    kaap van naalde, is die aanvang van ‘n afrika
    wat nog so vriendelik niks prysgee.

    (By Wilma Stockenstrom, from ‘Van Vergetelheid En Van Glans’)

  95. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Talk show
    tell me what you want to know

    Talk show
    Bubblegum newspeak
    New briefs news brief

    Talk show

    breeds contempt,

    Talk show

    Are you real?
    Is this my trial?
    Presenter picture
    perfect smile

    Talk show
    tell me what you want to know

  96. Mukunda Charan Says:


    We hooked up,
    then spoke

    met the kids, who played;
    was reintroduced
    to the Missus

    we spoke
    about many things,
    about Morrissey’s new book,
    how I lived and how I cook,
    banking, economics,
    cutting-edge electronics

    the UK and our lives
    past life regressions
    and present tense depressions

    we ate the best pizza,
    and watched a documentary,
    about Joe Strummer
    and the Clash

  97. Mukunda Charan Says:


    We are trying to build something,
    We are trying to build something:
    The wind is the bearer,
    that sets seeds,
    in indifferent stone

    Death is the seed
    from which I grow

    I want to reach you
    know your potential,
    Oh, I want to reach you
    to know your potential

    No skyscraper love,
    just love residential

  98. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Hipster, perfect weather,
    I do not have to grieve –
    a perfect day in Dublin,
    I wouldn’t want to leave

    Heirloom, Victorian table,
    I wouldn’t want to leave –
    Don’t you get the picture?
    I never want to leave

    Hey Abby, Lucy, Molly,
    cousins, bid me well,
    I’m leaving on a cheap fare
    please pray my flight goes well

    I am governor to fancy
    and servant of the Blue,
    A cloudless day over Butterfield way
    brings me back to you!

    Hey, Miss Molly!
    Hey, dear twins!
    Every story has to end
    just as it begins

    Every storey of your house
    sends chills now down my spine,
    Here we walked together
    down the avenues of time

    Look, it’s a perfect day,
    I’m waiting for my bus –
    No particular direction,
    but I know you’re one of us

  99. Mukunda Charan Says:


    train from Porto:
    composed, studious,
    friendly, fine

    curiously lost
    in time

  100. Mukunda Charan Says:



    Grand Prix Driver

  101. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Not only is that love is that instrument going into your vertebrae.
    Are you afraid now? Or don’t you like caring?
    Like you just a little bumped-up fine, you see.
    Two butterflies in the night. Or were they moths?
    Bouncing off the light. What keeps us going?
    The lines we want but never get. The things we want but never get.
    Is this why I fired you? Is this why I find you so endearing?
    So enduring? Honeybelle. Miss cutez. Carissima.
    Your allure? Your mystery? Deposit in your treasury. Vault for safekeeping.
    Old blue title-deeds. Charm? I don’t know. Like a heady,
    long-forsaken drug. Grabs me. Compelling as a fine perfume.
    Swim before my tardy eyes, like a mirage
    in the desert that slakes not my thirst.
    Pull I can’t resist. There we go. Lost in the vaults of time.
    You’re the only one. You’re one in a million. Good omen.
    You’re not the only one. You’re commonplace. Tardy.
    We’re all in the same boat, you see.
    Hospital, with different wards and diseases too.
    The whole world’s a graveyard. All of us must die.
    All waiting for our ship to come in. Poor monkeys.
    We’ve invested too little. You say I am lucky, but
    the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.

  102. Mukunda Charan Says:


    We are different, you and I,
    like the earth and the sky,
    I see the heart behind the face
    of a past I can’t replace

    I am not sure of the benefit
    of turning life into art;
    I am not sure if I’ll ever fit
    this carefully self-scripted part

    I have your back
    and you have mine,
    in the dreary vaults
    of time

    Blood course curse
    like a coarse black flood
    clots and conceals
    the pure heart of love

    (Searched for rubies
    on the Ganges shore;
    the sullen Thames
    flows past your door)

  103. Mukunda Charan Says:


    We say we always like the spring,
    her special ways fix everything;
    like you better than before,
    when life was just an open door

    White, blue and yellow flowers,
    before the darling buds of May;
    no regrets, now, in the hours
    that our young selves whiled away

    Windswept by the library door,
    holds you there forevermore;
    In Lisbon the sweetest blooms of spring
    are sanctifying everything

  104. Mukunda Charan Says:


    A star fell from my roof,
    I waited for some proof:
    I waited for a sign.

    It tumbled from my sky,
    a disc wanting to die:
    a bolt out of the blue.

    Yes, I made a wish.
    I invested hope.
    I put my trust in you.

    I do not know
    what brought me here:
    I do not care! I do not care!

    ‘Oh, tell me
    that you care!’

    ‘Please tell me that
    you care!’

    ‘You have to care!’

    ‘You have to care!’

    Oh, but of course I do!

  105. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Quirky, incongruous, feminine, fine,
    curious, conscious, capricious, kind

    Words fail me,
    I cannot describe,
    your myriad qualities,
    kept here inside

    Words find me,
    a dictionary
    of love:
    silvery stars
    blue canopies above

    (We could do a rain-dance
    and tear the skies down!)

  106. Mukunda Charan Says:


    ‘Am I here for you?’
    ‘Are you there for me?’
    Our texts are art,

    Keeps us apart,
    Keeps us intact,
    I play my part,
    You’re fine with that

    Crazy desire,
    Need so plain:
    Never want
    to lose you again

    ‘Am I here for you?’
    That’s what I said,
    Here in our old world,
    Of youthful regret

    ‘Are you there for me?’
    Sure you can see,
    You live and move,
    You live and breathe

    And hearts
    to hearts
    must go

    Hearts beat hard
    and hearts beat

    She’s coming out of the statuary!
    She’s coming out of the statuary!
    (Nervous. She thought I’d judge)

    (Your never-ending smile
    breaks the heart of dawn)

  107. Mukunda Charan Says:


    You give me words
    and you give me hope,
    You give me string
    and you give me rope

    You give me beauty
    and you give me truth,
    you give me smoke-screens,
    and you give me proof

    You give me love
    and you give me pain
    You are the sacred
    you are the profane

    (I might have forgotten you,
    but I never got over you)

  108. Mukunda Charan Says:


    A bad poet
    in a good bank

    Is life worth living
    for someone else?

    Religious fervour creates
    “us-versus-them” institutions, situations.

    A strange, savage love.
    Tristan and Isolde.

    Wisdom, monetized.
    Laughing in a cruel, waking dream.

    (I am with you.
    In life, love and death)

  109. Mukunda Charan Says:


    but well-meaning

    but sincerely wrong

    We wait for
    our bank-crash,
    we wait for our song

    The customer
    is always wrong
    until they are right

    The question answered
    and the answer questioned

    None of this you ever mentioned

  110. Mukunda Charan Says:


    On the scales of love
    one is light,
    one is heavy:
    one will burn

    On the scales of love
    one is kind,
    one is cruel:
    none will learn

    You set the scales.
    We legitimise love.

    You re-set the scales.
    We annihilate love.

    On the scales of love
    there is no justice.

    Only kind eyes
    that say:
    ‘Trust us’

  111. Mukunda Charan Says:


    (4:15am, 29 June 2015)

    I judged.

    And I broke down
    the statuary.
    Every one.
    To find life.

    To find the essence
    of what I lost
    long ago.

    Was this her fear?
    Her unnameable doubt?

    She lit the torch
    of our love.

    And that fire
    burned the sky.
    Burned great cities.

    It burned the
    shiny, green

    It burned and it burned.

    It could not burn
    the apple tree.
    The seed of which
    was planted
    long ago.

    It could not burn
    the roots

    When poets love
    they give new words,
    new aspects to the known.

    The familiar.

    Like Sappho,
    they bring
    to life.

    I found the lost pearl
    of my youth moving
    through the statuary.

    Heart beating in the cold, hard stone.

    (‘Our love is like the flowers,
    the rain, the trees and the hours’)

  112. Mukunda Charan Says:


    ‘Let me count they ways’, she says,
    walking to work

    Charming becomes psychotic; concerned, controlling;
    suave, gauche; patrician, bourgeois;
    spiritual, fanatic; creative, contrived;
    unassuming, passive-aggressive;
    soulful, slurpy; graceful, poser;
    open-minded, self-serving opinions;
    smitten, creepy; sensitive, bipolar.

    Oh, let me count the ways
    (in the city lanes)

    Handsome, narcissistic; arty, “biggy best”;
    pre-empting, stalkerish; romantic, cliched;
    refined, effeminate; noble, superficial;
    principled, judgemental; strong, self-absorbed;
    fragrant, drenched from head-to-toe
    (in eau-de-toilette); shy, awkward;
    liberal, loose; avant-garde, dysfunctional.

    Anyway, I love you to the length
    and breadth of my soul.

    She shrugs.

    I guess.

    1. Mukunda Charan Says:


      Beautiful becomes quirky;
      avant-garde, office-worker;
      communist, private benefit-scheme;
      vegetarian, pescatarian; emotional, psycho;
      loving, insincere; sweet, sugar-coated;
      generous, calculated; elusive, never there.

      Engaging conversationalist, personal historian;
      thrilling, over-excitable; sexy, angular;
      thoughtful, jaded; humane, “champagne socialist”;
      simple, dysfunctional; well-read, dabbler;
      soul-mate, holiday fling.

      Let me count the ways (No! It hurts too much)

  113. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Do you still hear the bird-song?
    Dot-dash of the never-ending dawn?
    Do you wear my fragrance (Guerlain. ‘Habit Rouge’)
    (With or without my “permission”)?
    Do you still visit places where we met?
    Count the ways on your path?
    Think of me when you rise?

    Do you? Do you?

    (When I let go, you pre-empt me.
    When I hold fast, you fly)

    Do you still long for our union?
    Or do you go for modern ways?
    Would you wear my bangles forever?
    You can say! You can say!

    (Should I light a candle or just go to sleep?)

  114. Mukunda Charan Says:


    My roses just aren’t bearing up,
    I feel like such a mucky pup,
    I feel like I’m not good enough
    for you

    My head is in a quandary,
    countless days I am squandering,
    my wonder-child you’re wandering:
    that’s you

    You’re back in London, on a plane,
    visiting-hours over again:
    what’s mine is yours, including pain,
    it’s true

    My roses are sick and red and black,
    they just don’t seem to cut me slack:
    I’m fighting fit, I’m fighting back,
    for you

    (Did you know pink peonies symbolise happy marriage?
    We walk through the statuary. Alive. Love is real)

  115. Mukunda Charan Says:

    SOONEST (30 July 2015)

    Felt your sadness Tuesday and yesterday.
    Do you feel my strength?

    Love manifests in peculiar ways.
    The body, ravaged by nature,
    houses the rose of who we are, within.

    Happiness is relief from suffering.
    We are pleasure-seeking, but our
    pleasure cannot be found in the body.
    Everything in this world is temporary.
    Why can’t we see our true selves?

    Suffering is revealing.
    Search within your self.
    Search for love within.
    And self-realisation begins.
    Happiness begins.

    Love is the elusive rose.
    Love gives value to life.
    Love is not only familial.
    Love is universal.

    Love makes this temporary
    and disappointing world bearable.
    Even worthwhile.

    The essence of love is rarely found.
    The essence of who we are is rarely found,
    though we sometimes get a glimpse.

    The Yaksha riddled King Yudhisthira:
    What is the most wonderful thing in this world?
    The King replied: ‘The “most wonderful thing”
    is that all around us people are dying,
    yet we think we are going to live forever

    The whole world is a graveyard.
    Every one of us must die.
    We are all going to be hit by the bus.
    It is just around the corner.
    One stop. Two stops. Ten stops.

    What difference does it make?
    Other than that life is precious.

    Life is our opportunity.
    The lives of others, including
    plants and animals, are precious.

    Tread lightly in this world.

    I will see you soon.

  116. Mukunda Charan Says:

    PHANTOM LIMBS (June 2015)

    Your phantom limbs,
    I could name them.
    Hang them on a wall.
    Place them in a cabinet
    for the bitches to contemplate.

    Do I have to name them?
    Press the button to ‘repeat’?
    Your bloody hands, incarnadine,
    with a stranger
    I will never meet.

    Should have sent you hemlock,
    in a witches’ treasure-trove.
    Peonies came by mistake.
    The measure of dishonest love.

    Love’s labourer lost.

    (I’m through)

    1. Mukunda Charan Says:

      ANGUISHED (St. James’s Park, September 2015)

      Where are you?

      All the frustrations of worldly love.
      Heavy atmosphere.

      Liar! Liar! Lies!

      Where am I?
      In London

      (Sacred rivers. Holy cows. Saints)

      Feel unholy.

      London kills me.
      London pulls me in.
      London, London.
      Broken. Broke. Brokenhearted.

      Sylvia Plath’s ‘Ariel’.
      My very own ‘Afterthoughts’ (for you).

      Searched for you
      though I called her name

      You called the expressions of
      my heart “fiction”

      How I hate your falseness!

  117. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Far away.
    Come close.
    Come here.
    Be loved.

    Far away.
    Our lot.
    Here I am.
    There you are.

    Want you closer.

    All the frustrations
    of wordly love.

    Come here.
    Go away.


    You were so strong before!
    You hurt me yesterday.

    New washing-machine.
    I come with no manual.)

    (Confinement. Insanity.)

  118. Mukunda Charan Says:

    DOES IT BLEED? (16 January 2016)

    Walked through the streets
    of London with
    my sweet love

    Held hands and kissed
    and wished
    it would
    be this way

    1. Mukunda Charan Says:

      HAPPILY YOURS (Her reply)

      Yellow is my colour, see
      your breath too it seems
      welsh daffodils.

      Prabhu, Mukunda, bru
      to Russian girls
      Michael to me and you.

      Yours true x

  119. Mukunda Charan Says:

    (London, 2015)

    A language of nouns
    with few words for love.

    Technical manuals,
    prescribed in IT.

    Industrialised cities
    held together by apps.

    Paradise, a place for holidays.

    Love, an accessory.

    Where do we go
    when the bills
    have been paid?

    Where do we go
    when the shopping
    is done?

    (Chatter. Brown-brick schoolyard. Compressed. Barbwire)

    1. Mukunda Charan Says:

      You gather me up
      with your words
      with your arms

      (Reply, 21 January 2016)

  120. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Sweet nothings
    are sweet.
    like candy floss
    in your mouth,
    between your teeth.

    Saccharine zeros.
    Sweet nothings.
    White lies,
    black truths.

    Cliff-edge sweet nothings.
    Autumn leaves
    down foggy
    graveyard streets.

    Lived for your sweet nothings.
    Hoped for your sweet nothings.

    (Black truths. White lies)

    Pray sweet nothings come true.

    (Not bitter somethings! No bitter somethings, please!)

  121. Mukunda Charan Says:


    My dear Wildflower
    of Rooikop.

    Scratched out lines
    of a poem in a dream.

    Page in my notebook.
    In pencil. With scratchings.

    My heart is yours, Wildflower!
    O, my love! It is yours!

    I am yours.

    Why do you do this to me?
    Change the terms all the time.

    I am a sincere lover.

    (‘Yes, I know you are’)

    (‘You understand me’. So you say)

  122. Mukunda Charan Says:

    You save face
    to lose face

    (Can’t you see how foolish this is)

    There’s no excuses.
    Only regret.

    What are you going to do about this now?

  123. Mukunda Charan Says:


    I made your heart my home

    You made my eyes

    I saw

    You offered me a gilded cage

    Thought I valued tiles and plaster

    How peculiar

    You could not be without me or with me now


    Where did you go?

  124. Mukunda Charan Says:

    She writes:

    14 May [Sketched vase full of daffodils]

    Spring flowers
    in May;
    A poem opened
    amongst charity rails

    Round loaf in Mem’s
    Avocado, Beck’s

    Becoming a local
    York Hall, coffee shops,
    Leila’s, As Nature…
    No longer a stranger.

    Becoming closer.

  125. Mukunda Charan Says:


    Who will write the last page?

    Who will have the last say,
    when the blossoms
    blow away?

    Who will trace the pattern to its end?
    Resolve the heartbreak,
    even mend?

    Who will write the story
    when all the flowers and leaves
    have blown away?

  126. Mukunda Charan Says:



    The elder statesman sired an illegitimate queen,
    waged an illegitimate war.
    Occultist bankers behind-the-scenes:
    “smoke and mirrors”, conjuring,
    endless tricks.

    Hare Krishna.

    We are open.
    Krishna surya sama.
    Krishna is the sun
    who foils their plans every time.
    Krishna is the Supreme Personality
    of Godhead.
    Krishna is the sun.

    When the sun rises the hobgoblins, thieves and ghosts

    The Holy Name wakes the sleeping souls
    from the lap of that witch called Maya.

    Prabhupada is greater than kings,
    what to speak of money-grubbing freaks!
    All glories to Prabhupada!


    Dream in Paris.
    Obama, scroll in hand.
    The blonde suited woman is Kali.
    Start of WWIII.

    (Some years back)

    Hare Krishna.
    Our struggles are not over.
    The Name brings decline
    to the corrupted line.

    ‘You become messiah and set the people free!’
    (Prabhupada to Brahmananda about preaching in Africa)

    Anyone can do it.
    ‘Let’s do it’


    Midsummer, hexed.
    She was sabotaged.

    If Krishna wants to spare you,
    I accept His sweet will.

    I forgive my aggressors.

  127. Mukunda Charan Says:


    The millions,
    the corrupt horde,
    never heard
    the word of God.

    They speak of God
    at their inaugurations,
    in their secular halls of power,
    to placate the weak-hearted,
    whose challenged faith
    cannot distinguish between
    sugar-coated platitudes
    and spiritual accountability.

    Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
    We have to spell this out unambiguously.
    We have to explain that he is the Godhead,
    the Supreme Lord. One without second.
    Otherwise, we’ll mistaken for serpents
    who hiss ambiguous and deceitful words.

    They are not equivocal about money
    or favouring their own progeny.
    They are just confused freaks
    who know, as well as us
    (their “minions”, their building-blocks)
    that “virtue can never be conquered by vice”.

    Yes, I am calling on you.
    ‘You. You are not nice!’

    Hare Krishna
    Hare Krishna
    Krishna Krishna
    Hare Hare
    Hare Rama
    Hare Rama
    Rama Rama
    Hare Hare

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