Tell me, brother, what happens after death?

by Ramprasad (Ramprasad Sen)

English version by Leonard Nathan and Clinton Seely
Original Language Bengali

Tell me, brother, what happens after death?
The whole world is arguing about it --
Some say you become a ghost,
Others that you go to heaven,
And some that you get close to God,
And the Vedas insist you're a bit of sky
Reflected in a jar fated to shatter.

When you look for sin and virtue in nothing,
You end up with nothing.
The elements live in the body together
But go their own ways at death.

Prasad says: you end, brother,
Where you began, a reflection
Rising in water, mixing with water,
Finally one with water.

-- from Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair: Ramprasad Sen - Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess, Translated by Leonard Nathan / Clinton Seely

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Tell me, brother