What is worship? Who are this man

by Lalla

English version by Coleman Barks
Original Language Kashmiri

What is worship? Who are this man
and this woman bringing flowers?

What kinds of flowers should be brought,
and what streamwater poured over the images?

Real worship is done by the mind
(Let that be a man) and by the desire
(Let that be a woman). And let those two
choose what to sacrifice.

There is a liquid that can be released
from under the mask of the face,
a nectar which when it rushes down
gives discipline and strength.

Let that be your sacred pouring,
Let your worship song be silence.

-- from Holy Fire: Nine Visionary Poets and the Quest for Enlightenment, Edited by Daniel Halpern

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What is worship