Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

A Song of Compassion

by Swami Veda Bharati

[This passage has been taken from the unpublished works of Swami Veda Bharati].

A deer in a meadowAt one time I was doing field work collecting Bhojpuri loka-geeta (folksongs) from five countries of Bhojpuri-speaking diaspora (Guyana, Surinam, Trinidad, Fiji, Mauritius). My collection from one of these countries (Surinam in South America) is in the archives of Leiden University in the Netherlands. The other recordings are still in my possession, looking for an archival home.

The contents of one of the songs I recorded often comes to my mind whenever I see or think of non-humans being killed. Here is a paraphrase of the song.

King’s huntsmen go out hunting in the forest.
They mercilessly shoot their arrows and kill off the leader of the herd,
a beautiful specimen of the deer kind.

They carry the corpse to the city, to the king’s palace.

The loyal loving doe follows at a distance, drawn by her helpless love.
She follows the body of her beloved spouse.

She knows how her beloved’s body will be devoured by the greedy humans.

She comes to the window of the queen’s chamber.

You are a woman -- she pleads to the queen --
I, too, am a female of my kind.
You will understand my pain.

I know you will devour my beloved’s flesh
But, I plead and beg:
Let me just have his skin back
as a token of the memory of our love.
I will just hold his skin close to me and remember our days of lovingness.

No. No, Doe, you go your way.
Go back to your jungle – retorts the heartless queen.
The deerskin will be used to make a drum
that my young prince will play on
and entertain himself.

The doe hangs her head down in sorrow and departs.

Every now and then the forlorn doe
comes close to the palace walls,
stands there with her ears upturned,
listens to the sound of the drum
as though her beloved deer calling.

Dear Reader, would you still kill?
Would you still have no compassion?
Would you still eat of the corpse of someone’s beloved?

--Swami Veda Bharati

Editor’s Note:

For all Swami Veda’s published works, please visit www.yogapublications.org or email us at [email protected].


The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana     Mindfulness     Japa     Dharana     Shavasana     Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor     Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage     Silence     Full Moon Meditation

Copyright © 2009-2017 by AHYMSIN ®