On the banks of a winding river
covered by shade giving trees
stood an old temple now a ruin
one day, was I mighty surprised
to see myself walking towards it?
The glaze from the noon fiery sun
as it struck many majestic pillars
at first blinded me; I could see
a deity of a goddess unattended.
Offering my salutations to her
I looked around to spot anyone
who would come this desolate way
but alas, no one seemed to exist
except me, in these lost quarters.
I walked the once trodden steps
when having heard a sharp noise
I turned around, to my wonder
the old sanctum door now shut
who shut that door, I wondered.
Around the farther side were
trees plenty next to a cool pond
with flowers growing amidst it
my eyes spied in the shade of trees
a monkey, a squirrel eyeing in awe.
The breeze and the fruits in bounty
took me to a dream of bygone days
I dreamt of that place back in time
how festivities rocked the still ground
where people flocked lost in joy.
The temple fair with pristine glory
attracted one and all, near and afar
a visitor in me now in different attire
there I saw a beautiful girl standing
at the steps of the majestic temple.
Was she beautiful, was she radiant
was something about her charm
observing all who were lost in fun
who she was, so bright as the sun
my mind at sea, churned thoughts.
I climbed the lovely temple steps
devotees praying to the goddess
somehow the glow on the deity
could very relate to that on the girl
one in divine, one in human form.
Casual inquiries it was made known
she was the child of the temple priest
a devotee who cared for nothing
engrossed in the service of his folk
worship a mother who was his child.
I circled with the crowd at every turn
her radiant smile, the mighty holy
doubts cleared with the compassion
she bestowed on us with her love
a mother pleased at her children.
At a loss, keep the discovery to myself
do I make it known, had I the courage
should I approach her I wondered
would she listen, as others her age
a woman, she of a countless age.
One day, she was playing with kids
getting close towards the little ones
when she sensed my approach,
the all knowing smile asking
was I attracted to her these days.
With courage, I went near divine her
while the kids not at close quarters
asking her, was it true, I had sensed
she the divine in human form said
keep it to you, which I did this time.
Days were spent meeting and asking
had she powers she could exercise
could she keep the village blessed
she would wait for them to pass a test
then, would decide to be a part of it.
Months passed by, days of joy to me,
one day, the priest’s daughter fell sick
ailments added to her father’s plight
one said of a physician with the king
might help her to tide over her state.
A journey to the palace was too far
to ask for a cure might invite wrath
a lad I was, to carry the message
private to the medic, to respond to
a person glowing, despite her pain.
I went to the court and with difficulty
manage to get his consent, for the call
but he asked a fee, which I doubted
any one, of the village could afford
but they could have tried and helped.
With sad tidings, I got the message
no one cared to help the priest
who did selfless service for them
helped bring blessings from Her
just as She had blessed him with Her.
Chiefs and landlords refused to help
in kind or in money, left him sad
the priest died, broke, just as he was
was this test you told of, she smiled
she was to pass, with me by her side.
Rain clouded to the delight of all
but my plight, no one could gauge
I lost her that night, hands in mine
radiant as ever, loving eyes upon me
in torrents, it poured from the sky.
The river nearby rose in anger
submerged all with its people
waves climbed the forsaken temple
they also washed away our lost selves
I must be glad to part with my body.
It all came back, I was driven here
a place where I loved a girl of glory
a divine Odyssey it got me here
left to reminisce the story of a ruin
would She come again for me…
If you liked reading this, hope you enjoy the sequel that continues as a story in Yajnavalkya