High on Waves

Oh Penance where have you descended from
With your rhythms, offerings and garlands
To celebrate your festival of life
In this austere sannyasins hut?
Which grief of the past have you come to exhaust here?
Where only countless freezing nights
and scorching days pass to mark the seasons.

At the fireplace in front, the flames so often kindled
Dance and sing, fanned high by the wind
Only to be extinguished by passing storms,
Then rekindled again.
Countless fire ceremonies took place like this.

Many crows and monkeys also took refuge here
And innumerable grief stricken people found relief.
This torn geru cloth witnessed the coming and going
Of a multitude who bowed their heads to it.
While I remained naked, drenched by rains,
Roasted by fire and sun
On heaps of burning sand, ever absorbed in you.

I developed logic by reading all the scriptures
My knowledge awakened and meditation occurred.
With mantra siddhi and control over spirits
I am replete.
Having renounced enjoyment,
I became pure and liberated.
The sky, sea, so many mountains and Shiva temples
I am king of all.
Renouncing everything, free from all doubts
Today I walk the divine path
An image of illumination on land and in the sky.

And now you come with your brilliant lamp to brighten my hut
With your flowing stream of compassion
To lighten and soften the austere life of this sannyasin.
Now my life will be joyful, with many festivals.

In the womb of Penance, knowledge awakes.
With scores of cherished dreams today my bed
is decorated
Penance has come this time to awaken me and
make me laugh.
Today I am content; come let us celebrate
This festival of life by working for mankind.