To Andal

A poem inspired by, and dedicated to, the great bhakta of the Srivaishnava tradition.

To Andal

I

My Lord’s Beloved Bride!
Your sublime charm 
Had moved Him once, 
Forcing the Heart of all hearts
To open the Doors
Of Vaikuntha, where His Love 
Flows uninterrupted. And,
He took You in – in no time –
When You arrived at His Door.
We, the lesser lovers, 
Could only sing, in tongues Divine,
The sacred lore of Your Love: 
A Young Girl gone mad 
In the Love of Her Lord,
And She wedded Him. Becoming one,
The Godhead merged with the Bhakta
In pious union,
On a wedding day, when 
The three worlds rejoiced. 

II

The days of fervent Bhakti
Are gone, and now
Kaliyuga reigns supreme.
Therefore it is right 
That a Goddess must lead 
The way to our Master,
For we are forgetful – deluded, 
By the charms of Avidya,
Lost in Darkness;
Therefore we need you, O Divine Bride!
Your Sacred Beauty 
Dispels the darkness 
Of that which is not, and thus
Overcomes its hypnotic charms.  
Show us – desperate souls – a way 
To our Master’s Heart;
For You, and You alone, 
Could bind Him with your Love – 
Him Who is Unbound, Infinite,
And is the Trickster, too,
Who makes us forget. 
O Maha-Maya,
Supreme Mother of all creation! 
Shed our ignorance,
Remove, with Thine Loving Hands,
The Golden Lid that obscures 
That Which Is.
Hear us, we who have failed
In our striving; failing to understand
Keshava’s Karuna! –  
We who have gone mad in hate 
Of all things Divine, and Divine truly;
We have dragged your Holy Name
Down to the dark alleys
Where resentful souls prey
On the uninitiated in Love. 
Beloved Goda Devi, pray,
Do us this favour! Make us forget 
Our hollow selves, 
And pour in some of that Divine Nectar
From the side of Your Love, Whose Flute
Charms us not – not anymore –  
We have no ears for His 
Songs of Love. 
We hear not, we care not. Instead,
We work to seal the ears 
Of our offspring, so they can
Never get a glimpse of 
The Love That You could Taste. 

III

Therefore hear, O Divine Bride! 
Pay heed to the wails of this
Supplicant poet – an adhama – 
Who speaks for his people. 
We can do no more
Than curse, slur, hurt – 
With our words and deeds – 
Your Hallowed Name. 
Impaired in the soul, we revel 
In abuse and sacrilege 
Of that which we were blessed with.
Such is our malaise.
Cure us, if you would,
O Divine Maid of the Supreme Deva! 
We rave in our death throes,
Gasping for the Breath of Life.
Breathe Your Love into us, O Azhwar! 

About Author: Sreejit Datta

Sreejit Datta teaches English and Cultural Studies at the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in Mysore. Variously trained in comparative literature, Hindustani music and statistics; Sreejit happens to be an acclaimed vocalist who has been regularly performing across multiple Indian and non-Indian genres. He can be reached at: Email: sreejit.datta@gmail.com Blogs: https://medium.com/@SreejitDatta http://chadpur.blogspot.in/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.