Holy sixth day

by Govindasvami

English version by W.S. Merwin & J. Moussaieff Mason


Holy sixth day
in the woods they worship the
trees then
then my heart beats hard
at how far I was going into
the woods
a snake appeared in front of me
and I fell down
I started writhing and rolling
this way and that way
my dress fell off
my hair burned along
my back
thorns scratched me
everywhere
suddenly who am I
who was I
how I
love those celebrations

-- from The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry, Edited by Aliki Barnstone

| More Poems by Govindasvami |


View All Poems by Govindasvami

Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

a snake appeared in front of me

The snake mentioned in this poem is, of course, the Kundalini Shakti, which is likened to a snake. In most individuals it is said to lie coiled up and dormant at the base of the spine. When awakened, it rises up the spine to the crown.

and I fell down
I started writhing and rolling


Sometimes this rising of the Kundalini serpent can be so powerful that trembling or, occasionally, convulsions and unconsciousness result.

Although initially overwhelming, the awakening of the Kundalini is a profoundly blissful, liberating awakening, the initiation of spiritual enlightenment.

suddenly who am I
who was I


When you allow yourself to go deeply into the awakening of the Kundalini, your normal sense of identity, the little self, the ego, disappears. There is no "you" left, just the radiant state of Being.



Recommended Books: Govindasvami

The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry





Holy sixth day