Eleven Verses to Sri Arunachala

1. Now that by Thy grace Thou hast claimed me, what will become of me unless Thou manifest Thyself to me, and I, yearning wistfully for Thee, and harassed by the darkness of the world, and lost? Oh love, in the shape of Arunachala, can the lotus blossom without sight of the sun? Thou art the sun of suns; Thou causest grace to well up in abundance and pour forth as a stream!

2. Arunachala, Thou form of grace itself! Once having claimed me, loveless though I be, how canst Thou let me now be lost, and fail to fill me so with love that I must pine for Thee unceasingly and melt within like wax over the fire? Oh nectar springing up in the Heart of devotees! Haven of my refuge! Let Thy pleasure be mine, for that way lies my joy, Lord of my life!

3. Drawing me with the cords of Thy grace, although I had not even dimly thought of Thee, Thou didst decide to kill me outright. How then has one so weak as I offended Thee that Thou dost leave the task unfinished?1 Why dost Thou torture me thus, keeping me suspended between life and death? Oh Arunachala! Fulfil Thy wish, and long survive me all alone, Oh Lord!

4. What did it profit Thee to choose out, me, from all those struggling in samsara,2 to rescue my helpless self from being lost and hold me at Thy feet? Lord of the ocean of grace! Even to think of Thee puts me to shame. (Long) mayst Thou live! I bow my head to Thee and bless Thee!

1Alternatively: What austerities left incomplete in previous births have won me Thy special favour. (Cf. The Marital Garland of Letters, verse 25 b). What more is left for me to gain or to fulfil?

2Samsara is the universal flux of manifestation.

5. Lord! Thou didst capture me by stealth and all these days hast held me at Thy feet! Lord! Thou hast made me (to stand) with hanging head, (dumb) like an image when asked what is Thy nature.3 Lord! Deign to ease me in my weariness, struggling like a deer that is trapped. Lord Arunachala! What can be Thy will? (Yet) who am I to comprehend Thee?

6. Lord of my life! I am ever at Thy feet, like a frog (which clings) to the stem of the lotus; make me instead a honeybee which (from the blossom of the Heart) sucks the sweet honey of Pure Consciousness; then shall I have deliverance. If I am lost while clinging to Thy lotus feet, it will be for Thee a standing column of ignominy, Oh blazing pillar of light, called Arunachala! Oh (wide) expanse of grace, more subtle than ether!

7. Oh pure one! If the five elements, the living beings and every manifest thing is nothing but Thy all-embracing Light, how then can I (alone) be separate from Thee? Since Thou shinest in the Heart, a single expanse without duality, how then can I come forth distinct therefrom? Show Thyself planting Thy lotus feet upon the head of the ego as it emerges!

8. Thou hast withheld from me all knowledge of gradual attainment while living in the world, and set me at peace; such a care indeed is blissful and not painful to anyone, for death in life is in truth glorious.4 Grant me, wasteful and mad (for Thee), the sovereign remedy of clinging to Thy Feet!

3Alternatively: Thou has made me (rest tense) like a bent bow when asked what is Thy nature.

4Alternatively: Thou has destroyed my ability to earn my living in the world and made a wastrel of me; this condition is miserable and unhappy; to die is better than to live in such ignominy.

9. Oh Transcendent! I am the first of those who have not the supreme wisdom to clasp Thy feet in freedom from attachment. Ordain Thou that my burden be transferred to Thee and my freewill effaced, for what indeed can be a burden to the sustainer (of the universe)? Lord Supreme! I have had enough (of the fruits) of carrying (the burden of) this world upon my head, parted from Thee. Arunachala, Supreme Self! Think no more to keep me at a distance from Thy feet!

10. I have discovered a new thing! This hill, the lodestone

of lives, arrests the movements of anyone who so much as thinks of it, draws him face to face with it, and fixes him motionless like itself, to feed upon his soul thus ripened. What (a wonder) is this! Oh souls! beware of It and live!5 Such a destroyer of lives is this magnificent Arunachala, which shines within the Heart!

11. How many are there who have been ruined like me

for thinking this hill to be the supreme?6 Oh men who, disgusted with this life of intense misery, seek a means of giving up the body, there is on earth a rare drug which, without actually killing him, will annihilate anyone who so much as thinks of it. Know that it is none other than this Arunachala!

5Alternatively: Oh souls! Think upon it and be saved!

6Alternatively: How many are there who have lost (their ego) for having thought this hill to be the supreme?

Referred Resources: The Marital Garland of Letters

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