Who can describe the Source of the universe

by Dariya

English version by K. N. Upadhyaya


Who can describe the Source of the universe,
Containing this world, the underworld and clusters
     of galaxies manifested in higher regions?
The One whose luster, like a luminous gem,
     illumines the universe,
Which poet can comprehend and follow
     the pattern of His manifestations?

It is the Merciful Lord
     who bestowed His grace on me,
And I could see the glory
     of His entire manifestations.
The play of love of the Limitless Primal Being,
     I did see in entirety.
This is an inaccessible and unfathomable Divine Wonder,
How can any poet give its description?

-- from Dariya Sahib: Saint of Bihar, Translated by K. N. Upadhyaya

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Who can describe the Source of the universe...?

This is a question often raised by sacred poets. Even those overcome by the most profound vision of the Divine find the art of words failing them.


This verse is the mystic's dilemma: The Grand Vision can be witnessed, participated in, but the mind can't comprehend it or define it in a way that can be truly communicated.

Which poet can comprehend and follow
     the pattern of His manifestations?


The reason for this is that the reasoning mind understands reality by dissecting it. The intellect slices reality into manageable pieces that it can comprehend and manipulate. But the Divine Presence witnessed by mystics in deep communion is the Wholeness of reality.

That Totality permeates everything, has no boundaries. The physical eyes do not see it; it is not a play of light and dark, but an eternal all-pervading radiance or presence.

The One whose luster, like a luminous gem,
     illumines the universe...


It is formless because form is defined by boundaries. How then can the poor intellect (or the poor poet) hope to describe that which transcends every definition?

This is an inaccessible and unfathomable Divine Wonder,
How can any poet give its description?


This doesn't mean the intellect can't try, by resorting to metaphor, but the communication of this truth ultimately comes not through words but through participation.



Recommended Books: Dariya

Dariya Sahib: Saint of Bihar
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Who can describe