i've grown accustomed to the birth
of infants
who grow into children;
and die
like i am doing.
And, i've grown accustomed to the bloom of the earth every spring
and its demise every winter.
The oceans i've crossed, the far-away mountains, the sky,
the nightly stars,
the concrete cities and the atomic bomb;
my body
that is steadily running down
there is nothing that surprises me;
it is all part of this life
on this planet.

But when i hear
that universes,
infinite in number,
(which means i cannot conceive how many)
are created by a single exhalation of breath
of Mahavishnu, who is
only a single portion
of You;
or that You
as Baby Krishna
contain all
these uncountable-by-me universes within
Your mouth:
then for me to consider myself a god
is perverse.
Look what i rule!
these few square inches i stand upon
on this planet;
and for only the next 50 years,
or the next few minutes,
(what control do i have?).
i deserve this punishment of standing here on my square inch kingdom,
suffering separated,
with death being no escape but only a reinstatement
into the suffering.

Oh my Lord God,
i do not know Who You are!
i hear
that You are All-Knowledge, All-Bliss, Absolutely. i am lower
than the dust on the temple floor
which serves
by being walked upon by the Lotus Feet
of my Spiritual Master;
yet i think myself gorgeous, proclaiming
myself the enjoyer
of this body,
and other bodies, and what i perceive
with these senses;
and enjoying them
(trying) like anything.
i am a fly that rubs its hands together and drools
over a piece of excrement.

Is it any wonder that i suffer from not knowing who i am!
i have not surrendered.
i have not surrendered.
i am a strutting lord, thinking (deep-down) i know
what puffed-up Brahma (the four-headed one) cannot know.
Only Your pure devotees know.
So, i sit here,
Your Holy Names, weeping
for You
Who i do not know.

Brahmananda das Brahmachary (Bruce Scharf)