Welcome, traveler! Enter and take your rest...

A chaikhana is a teahouse along the legendary Silk Road pilgrimage and trading route linking China to the Middle East and Europe. It is a place of rest along the journey, a place to shake off the dust of the road, to sip tea, and to gather together to sing songs of the Divine...



Smaller than the smallest mote

by Tukaram

English version by Ivan M. Granger

Smaller than the smallest mote,
All embracing as the heavens,
I finally see the world as it is --
All appearance but a dream.
Realizing the true nature of things,
I drop my mask like a snake shedding its skin.
I leave the three-fold nature of things behind me,
as I pass beyond them.
Miraculously, this dull clay has been shaped, formed into a lamp
     and begins to shine!
Filled with that radiance, I Tuka
Live to light the world.


/ Image by Alejandro /

View All Poems by Tukaram


I am rebounding from the oral surgery, but it went well. I already notice the difference of no longer carrying the hidden weight of a dental infection in the body. That endless dance of balance with the body and the light that shines through it...


I like this short abhang by the great Vishnu devotee, Tukaram.

I finally see the world as it is --
All appearance but a dream.


The experience of sudden opening is very much like waking up. We thought we saw clearly within our dream, but then we surprise ourselves by actually opening our eyes.

It is as if we have been drifting through life in a dream state and just not known it. Nothing around us has changed, but we finally, truly see things as they are. The dream-like barrier of mental filters and projections that has stifled our perception for so long falls away like a heavy blanket. We blink, look around, and are surprised to realize we've been in a sort of half-seeing trance all our life... and now we are awake.

Realizing the true nature of things,
I drop my mask like a snake shedding its skin.


Not only do we see the world through a filter upon the awareness, we also raise this same veil across our own faces. We mask ourselves -- from ourselves, from others, most of all, from the Divine. We hide ourselves and become aliens within our own being.

Real spiritual opening occurs when we become honest and humble with ourselves ("smaller than the smallest mote"), when we drop our games and evasions, when we allow ourselves to be naked. That is when we truly come to know ourselves. The reality is more stunning than we imagined: In that supreme humility, we discover that we are immense, boundaryless beings. We finally see that we are "all embracing as the heavens."

Miraculously, this dull clay has been shaped, formed into a lamp
     and begins to shine!


Alive to this new, ageless sense of self, one is bathed in light, filled with light. Light pours through you. Somehow, miraculously, this dense body has been refashioned into a vessel through which that light shines.

Filled with that radiance, I Tuka
Live to light the world.



Share Your Thoughts on today's poem or my commentary...
(Or visit the poem's blog page to click the FB 'Like' button.)








/ Photo by Maria Hossmar /

Donations to the Poetry Chaikhana

- A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has donated in the past couple of weeks, including:

- Mary N. (QLD, Australia), Deborah K. (FL), Lera D. (monthly)

A NOTE: While donations are important and greatly appreciated to keep the Poetry Chaikhana running, I know that personal finances are feeling uncertain for many people. I don't want anyone to feel that they have to make donations to receive these emails. If you need to cancel your monthly donation for any reason, I understand. When donations are easy, then I welcome them; but please do not strain your finances to donate. I want you all to be well.

A few reasons to consider making a donation of your own...

  • People naturally shift their focus over time. Individuals who donated regularly a few years ago sometimes move on, which is normal. But, for that reason, the Poetry Chaikhana needs new supporters.
  • Poetry heals the world.
  • A poem is just the right thing for a full moon night!
  • Donating feels good! Don't stop with the Poetry Chaikhana; donate to a charity in your community and see how good you feel.
  • Lots of news headlines vying for our attention. A donation to the Poetry Chaikhana is a vote for poetry!
Poetry Chaikhana