Poems (Vākhs) of Lal Děd

These Vākhs or verses are like visions during meditation or like realisation of the eternal Truth. Initially they were transmitted through centuries by oral tradition only. For further explanation of all such verses I would recommend you to read this beautiful book.

I burnt up the landscape with footprints, looked for Him everywhere.
Then it hit me: what am I thinking, He's everywhere!
Lalla distilled this truth from a hundred pieces of talk.
Now bear this, people, and go mad!

*

I'm towing my boat across the ocean with a thread.
Will He hear me and help me across?
Or am I seeping away like water from a half-baked cup?
Wander, my poor soul, you're not going home anytime soon.

*

Wrapped up in Yourself, You hid from me.
All day I looked for You
and when I found You hiding inside me,
I ran wild, playing now me, now You.

*

You won't find the Truth
by crossing your legs and holding your breath.
Daydreams won't take you through the gateway of release.
You can stir as much salt as you like in water,
it won't become the sea.

*

When the dirt was wiped away from my mind's mirror,
people knew me for a lover of God.
When I saw Him there, so close to me,
He was All, I was nothing.

*

I trapped my breath in the bellows of my throat:
a lamp blazed up inside, showed me who I really was.
I crossed the darkness holding fast to the lamp,
scattering its light-seeds around me as I went.

*

You are sky and earth,
day, wind-breath, night.
You are grain, sandal paste, flowers, water.
Substance of my offering, You who are all,
what shall I offer You?

*

When the scriptures melt away, the chants remain.
When the chants melt away, the mind remains.
When the mind melts away, what's left?
A void mingles with the void.

*

Good or bad, I'm happy to welcome both.
I don't hear with my ears, I don't see with my eyes.
A voice speaks inside my heart,
my jewel-lamp burns bright even in a rampaging wind.

*

Alone, I crossed the field of Emptiness,
dropping my reason and my senses.
I stumbled on my own secret there
and flowered, a lotus rising from a marsh.

*

Hermit or householder: same difference.
If you've dissolved your desires in the river of time,
you will see that the Lord is everywhere and is perfect.
As you know, so shall you be.
~ Lal Děd (14th century)
[From I, Lalla The Poems of Lal Děd
~Translated from the Kashmiri by Ranjit Hoskote]

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