Friday 3 May 2024

At Her Lotus Feet

 – Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari (Yuva Bharati, Special Commemorative Volume, 1982, May)

The time for offering

Today is New Year's Day-a day of reckoning, a day for dedication, a day for offering.

We must hurry up lest our chance is lost forever. How long would she wait, this dear Motherland of ours for her children to wake up from slumber, from ignorance, from their worthless dissipating pre-occupations?

How long can she go abegging to feed her children? Others laugh at her, throw mud at her, call her mad. In a frenzy they tear her clothes apart. Yet, no curse ever escapes her lips. She only smiles and hangs her head.

Her own coffers are full, her soils rich, her wealth untapped, yet her children go without food or go elsewhere to eke out a living.

Her mountains, streams and forests resound with music eternal melodies flowing down from far off centuries, yet ever fresh, sweet and invigorating. But alas, her children have no ears. They dance to alien tunes.

They have all the time to gobble up facts and figures and to pose as knowledgeable, yet have no time left to take a sip from the cup of nectar that Mother holds in her hands!

Her clothes are torn and tattered. But who can weave that exquisite garment of unity with diversity, strength with delicacy, beauty with utility? Who knows the magic of mixing all the colours up to produce that intense glow of 'while, the colour of LOVE?

Sweetness still pervades her countryside, her villages and the dwellings of the poor and oppressed. Yet on the surface, nothing but the all-devouring currents of cruelty, violence and gross indifference to the values of life.

Which temple will ring its bells to herald the arrival of the new era? From whose orchards will the springs of new life sprout? From where will the call come again? From the shores of Kanyakumari or the heights of the Himalayas?

Urgency is in the air. Time for offering is nearing. Where are her children who would renounce their all for her sake, who would wipe her tears, clothe her afresh in a mantle of love, compassion and harmony? Who would give her back her golden scepter and reinstate her on her throne of Eternal Glory?

The dawn is breaking, still we continue to sleep on. We are busy building temples in brick and mortar, but refuse to build them in our hearts where they should truly be. We are not ready with our offerings. We are not ready to make any sacrifices nor to transform ourselves ever so slightly. Like the proverbial donkey, we are busy carrying the load of sandalwood on our backs.

Isn't it time to spread the message of love, compassion and tolerance? Isn't it time to serve the lowest and the lowliest, for, there the Mother has taken her shelter now? Isn't it time to renounce selfishness, self -aggrandisement, domination in the name of caste, creed and sex and hundreds of false, degrading, self-annihilating notions?

It is time to wash away the humiliating encrustations on the body of our Mother. The time has come to make an offering of the whole of our lives.

The Altar is ready, Mother is waiting.

Renunciation and Service are offerings; Discipline and the Self- transformation, the watchwords. Unity in Diversity is the theme, Harmony and Peace is the goal. Hardwork and Dedication, the rule. The conch-shell is sounding. Let us hurry up lest the time for offering slip by once again.


-- Let's perform our duty by casting our vote in favour of the national interest. 

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

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