Ma, You're inside me

by Ramprasad (Ramprasad Sen)

English version by Rachel Fell McDermott
Original Language Bengali

Ma, You're inside me;
who says You keep Your distance, Syama?
You're a stony girl, terrible illusion,
dressing in many guises.
For different methods of prayer You put on
the five chief forms.
But once someone realizes
the five are one,
there'll be no escape for You!
Understanding the truth,
he won't encumber You with false worship
and You'll have to stop
as if You'd sneezed
to take his burdens.

Once he knows the value of gold
will he welcome glass
by mistake?

Prasad says, My heart is shaped like a flawless lotus.
I place You there, my mental Goddess:
Now dance!

-- from Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal, Translated by Rachel Fell McDermott

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Ma, You're inside me