Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Purva Raga

When we think of love’s most beautiful moments,
they are usually purva-raga moments.
Which is true and correct,
for the birthplace of love is a tirtha
that should be visited often
to take a holy bath in its sweet waters,
to drink them as a sacramental wine,
and to rehearse the liturgy of that avatar of love
until it is the one language that you know.

For you will return often to that fording site
for shelter, to remember that first sweetness
in moments that are both sweet and bitter,
to sift its sands for secrets now forgotten
in the place where reality met the myth of origins.

The true story of love has many more chapters.
And each chapter asks:
Was the attraction strong enough?
Was its conception immaculate?
Was it pure enough to sustain the sadhana of Love?

And if you have the good fortune
to experience purva raga again
after misfortunes in love,
then savor it. Savor it and let it trail off
into infinity without any knowledge
of anything but a flowing faith in its inevitability.

Savor it until it melts into
the eternal myth of romance,
into the holy rasa ocean of Radhe Shyam.

Let the minds melt into one another
before the bodies touch.

Let Love’s birthplace be numinous, a Vrindavan
in the midst of flutes and flowers and fairytales.
Look at love from the peak of Govardhan,
from the vantage point of Goloka.

And here on earth,
bedeck the birthplace of love with patience,
and build the foundation of the temple slowly,
in expectation of many happy returns.

So says Jagat:
Melt the mind with Love’s steady selfless flame:
The imprint of God’s face will forever there remain.

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