The Man In The Temple

by Aparna Hari

Everytime I step into the Holy Dome of God,
Which lay at the other end of the road;
I see him, crouching on the ground,
Without a move, without a word;

Know not I, where he came from,
What he worked and where he lived;
If he was there, like all others,
To seek miracles by selfish prayers;

Clad in dirty rags, he seemed to be a beggar,
On the first day of my encounter;
Stretching out his empty hand
Pretending to be one among the old, invalid lad;

With all matted locks, covering his face
The single loincloth that covered his waist;
Unwashed that his body was,
With hands, and feet blistered with pus;

His eyes blinked often to look around him,
The lips occasionally parting to a groan so dim;
His fingers moved clumsily across his face,
He tottered and tumbled in his pace;

A handful of morsels made his meal,
And a cup of water quenched his thirsty ordeal;
The open place with dust and grass made his night ride,
And he slept like nature’s innocent child;

He neither talks, nor listens,
He looks neither there nor here, neither straight nor crooked;
Interest, he takes not in pleasure and in pain,
Behaves, neither as a sane nor an insane;

But, he smiles at the stinginess of the devotees,
At the ungodliness of the Temple Parsees,
A smile that mocks our very existence,
Which is lived every moment with pretence;

Wisdom doeth he possess, nay ignorance
Aloft with freedom from this wordly trance;
Hugging Death and Life with equanimity,
He appeared to me the living diety;

Where resides the Almighty? I knew not,
In the stone-hard temples where he is sought?
Or in the uncompassionate yet “rich” lives that we lead?
Paying for our sins by mindlessly counting the bead?

He, that MAN in the Temple,
Has a heart and mind that speak the Truth;
That Know what lies beyond the life’s gamble,
And that has the power of “Peace”;

And the days went on, it becoming my habit,
To look out for HIM on his usual pulpit;
And it is not for the “motionless” LORD inside the Dome
But for this “emotionless” MAN, that I come from Home;

Om Tat Sat !


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