Kitty Yuga

May 17, 2011 at 5:27 am (Hinduism, Poetry) (, , , )

There is much
that must be done today.

But, alas…
there is a cat sleeping
oh    so     peacefully
on my left leg
dreaming perhaps of dinner
or rodents.

Or perhaps
     of nothing at all.

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On Reading the Ramayana

May 16, 2011 at 4:51 am (Uncategorized)

Please don’t judge me when I tell you that I decided to read…drumroll….a prose version of the Ramayana

It was after much mulling, debating and comparative shopping that I finally purchased William Buck’s amazing translation/retelling of the Ramayana.  I am 60 pages into and it is so wonderful.  Just looking at the book literally makes me a happier Manda.  Holding this masterpiece in my hands and slowly contemplating each sentence brings me great inner peace.  I’d almost say it’s a religious experience, not to mention the experience of underlining great quotes and adding marginalia on nearly every page.  Well, that’s so satisfying, I pretty much have to count it as a sexual experience.  Just sayin’.

But tonight, my friends, I’m not going to tell you about Rama or Sita or even the mighty Hanuman.  I’m going to tell you about William Buck.  You see he was only 37 when he died.  He first came into contact Indian literature when he read the Bhagavad-Gita – which is an excellent place to start if I do say so myself – and before you know it, he was obsessed.  Imagine that.  During his brief  lifetime, he managed an epic feat:  complete retellings of both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.  As a woman who can barely type this blog, I am in awe of  Buck.

B. A. van Nooten wrote in his introduction to the Ramayana:

“William Buck’s adaptation is an extraordinary accomplishment.  He was neither a scholar nor a well-known author, and though he retells the Rama story with many variations of details, he has succeeded in capturing the most important characteristics of the Ramayana:  the simple religious tone that pervades the Indian original” (xix) .

For days, I’ve been reading that quote over and again and then tonight it hit me. “He was neither a scholar nor a well-known author…”.  He was just a man who loved a story.  How wonderful is that?

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Sometimes, the most profound thought is in the footnote…

May 4, 2011 at 6:42 am (Uncategorized)

Joseph Campbell wrote this footnote in his masterpiece THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES:

“…the way of Devotion (bhakti marga) must begin with things known and loved by the devotee, not remote, unimagineable conceptions. Since the Godhead is immanet in all, He will make Himself known through any object profoundly regarded. Furthermore, it is the Godhead within the devotee that makes it possible for him to discover Godhead in the world without.”

That is all.

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Achtung

May 4, 2011 at 6:36 am (Uncategorized)

Warning.

Emotional Eating of Ice Cream has reached an all time high.

Soon to follow: Belly Ache and Regret.

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Atonement

May 4, 2011 at 6:30 am (Uncategorized)

Today

I went ahead and told the universe
it could quit kicking me in the teeth,
especially
when I’m already down.

And just so we’re clear on this point,
I’ll say it one more time.

Universe,
I have finally

forgiven

myself.

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