Tantra One – Transitoriness Of Wealth, Youth & Life (168-196)

Transitoriness Of Wealth (168-176)

168: Kingly Regalia, Domains and Riches are Impermanent

Before others seize and away your riches take,

Your elephant and car, your kingship and grace,

Even while life pulses, if you the Lord’s asylum seek,

To you thus in fear dazed, the penance true its reward pays.

169: Wealth Waxes and Wanes Like Moon

The radiant moon that life animates into massive darkness turns;

Why then speak of riches which no better fate can meet?

If the Heaven’s King, you unwaveringly seek,

Like pouring clouds choicest treasures fall at your feet.

170: Your Shadow is With You, Does it help You? How About
Wealth Then?

Foolish they who claim their wealth their own,

Seeing their own shadows to them useless though nearby;

The life that with the body comes as surely departs;

They see not; the light that lends lustre to the seeing eye.

171: The Bee Stores Honey Only to be Appropriated by Others;

So is Your Hoarded Wealth

The industrious bee from flower to flower hops,

Seeking, scenting, gathering its store of honey-sweet;

But soon the subtle thief digs and steals the hoarded wealth;

Likewise, our earthly treasures the same story repeat.

172: Wealth is a Flood that Ebbs and Flows

Weigh well the pros and cons, and having weighed, waver not,

Lose not your bearings, caught in wealth’s eddy;

Fling aside the transient trappings of earthly treasures

And thus when the Pale Sargeant comes, for the great leap be ready.

173: Wealth is a Boat in Dangerous Waters

How fast we cling to stock of cattle and riches gay

Less stable even than the boat which midstream upturns!

They but see the dissolving body and know not

The Binding Knot to salvation eternal.

174: Earthly Treasures are Fleeting

“Joys of life and wife, children and brothers–all ours,” they claim

Little knowing how fragile and fleeting these delights be;

But the yearning souls that seek and build on treasure true,

Find support firm and ne’er failing company.

175: Worldly Desires are Never-Ending

Our desires grow, but none the truth to find;

There’s one stake to hold but nine exits to leave;

The old familiar faces come smiling to greet and bow;

Deceivers ever, they abandon us without a reprieve.

176: All Your Wealth Cannot Bribe Death Away

When the vital spark leaves this mortal mould,

Bribe be none to lure it back; think, think of the Lord;

Death’s loyal servants on restless mission bent,

Do nothing consider that with hot breath you pulse

Transitoriness Of Youth (177-186)

177: Rising Sun Sets; Glowing Youth Fades

They see the sun rises in the east and sets in the west,

Yet blind of eye, the truth they ne’er apprehend,

The tender calf grows, fattens for a while and dies;

But this wonder-pageant of the world they do not comprehend.

178: Even a Life-time is not Enough to Know Him

The years roll; but none the Lord in his bosom holds;

None to probe and perceive Him profound;

Even if Time’s thread be to the utmost stretched,

Still they know not the spark that kindles all the lamps around.

179: While Life Still Throbs, Fix Your Mind on Lord

When youth had danced its way to palsied age,

Scarce the chance to fill the years with good deeds more and more;

So while life still throbs, fix your mind on Nandi,

Into whose spreading locks

The holy waters of Ganga eternally pour.

180: Youth is Sugar-cane; Age is Nux Vomica

Time was when fond damsels on him their love bestowed;

Like cane’s sugary juice, slow sucked, was he to them,

The idol of wenches with budding breasts and jewelled shapes;

But now the sweetest cane has bitter nux vomica become.

181: Time Fleets, So Center on Lord

The boy grows to youth, and youth as surely to old age decays,

But time’s changes teach them not that nothing abides;

And so, in ceaseless pursuit, His Sacred Feet, I seek

Him who, transcending this world, beyond the universe presides.

182: Think of Lord Through Time’s Cycles

Day after day we wake to greet the morn,

Day after day we seek the nightly couch;

Even though God, good and great, may frown in wrath,

True devotees ne’er miss His great Love’s avouch.

183: Subdue the Senses, Birth Cycle Ends

The five needles thick, this bag of senses holds

The five needles thick in this bestial body roam free;

If the five needles thick you tame and subdue,

No more this bag that life’s cycle involves.

184: Deeds in Youth Seal Fate’s End

They know not that the radiant Sun we daily see

Measures the arch of life and its span doth appraise;

Heaven we reach or fall into Karma’s grip;

Thus our fate is sealed by what we do in spring of youth.

185: The Sixteen Kalas are Within; Why Then the Grave?

The ignorant ponder not even awhile,

The Kalas twice-eight within them stand;

When Death sets his snare-pit for them to fall,

Headlong they drop to utter stupefaction abandoned.

186: Before Youth Passes, Praise Him in Songs

In the days assigned to you, before youth passes,

In songs of praise to the Lord, pour out your heart;

In the days to me assigned, wasting not the minutes away,

In the days to me assigned, I, seeing all, remained apart.

Transitoriness Of Life (187-196)

187: The Bud Blossoms and Fades; So is Human Life

They see the sprouting wanton buds on tender twigs

They see how soon they flash their beauty and die;

Yet they seek not the Holy Feet;

Alas they know not when the sure call comes from High.

188: When Death’s Summons Come, the Five Senses Desert
the Body

One field lay ready and ripe for the Five senses to work,

The Five, that one field watched and tilled;

But when the grim summons came from the Lord of the Five,

All the Five for ever fled and quitted the field.

189: Life’s Drum Shatters to Pieces

One this body-drum, two the rhythms keeping time,

Five the masters who, inside, make display;

But when the great king, indwelling, departed,

The drum lay shattered, a heap of inert clay.

190: Body is an Empty Vessel

The Lord of this body frail that to ashes turns, the Lord of Vedanta dance

Nandi He is, who in this crumbling frame disports

They, who know not what an empty vessel this body is,

They know not what the life sustains and supports.

191: Our Days are Numbered

The sun’s rays visit all the quarters ten,

But men measuring with their little sense know this not;

They ponder not nor on the deep mystery muse,

These men on earth–their minds in low passions caught.

192: Birth and Death are Two Faces of the Coin

The deed is drawn, the terms clear specified,

Yet torn to shreds it is–of this men think not much;

The shining dark tresses to full grey turn,

Even so birth and death are one–not two.

193: Give in Charity Now and Here

Same the rice of life that in all body-pots boil;

The Five are the fuel that feeds and kindles the burning Three,

Gifts of rice in charity give, lest birth flame anew,

The days missed of such deeds are for ever lost to Thee.

194: Lord is the Light Beyond Visible Reach

The bee, that nectar seeks, flies high for its flower on top

And there, alone, it sucks the fragrant juice;

Even so, they who seek the blessed grace divine,

Aspire for the Light beyond visible reach of eyes.

195: Pray and Perform Noble Deeds-This is the Law of Life

Perform thou noble deeds, good Karma to shape,

Praise thou the Holy One, the Holy Land to reach;

This is the law we need, this the law for men

oh, blessed with earthly life, seek the Life eternal.

196: Share With Others Before You Eat

Speak not in envy, stray not from the Dharmic way,

Covet not other’s riches with lustful greedy glances;

With heart to pity attuned, as you sit down to eat,

Share with others before the feast commences.

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