Over the year 2021, YOGA magazine will publish the poem Light Fire and Darkness, written by Dhiru Desai (1932– 1991)

Light Fire and Darkness

A modernized version of the Bhagavad Gita, by Dhiru Desai

A Word from the Author

In the ancient Hindu epic called the Mahabharata, the Pandavas, five brothers who epitomize good, go to battle against their one hundred cousins, the Kauravas, the forces of evil. Before the battle Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, hesitates to fight against friends and relations. Sri Krishna then expounds his philosophy, which came to be known as the Bhagavad Gita. In Light Fire and Darkness, Arjuna becomes the devotee and Sri Krishna becomes the divine voice. Chapters 1 and 11 are spoken by the devotee and the rest of the text is the divine message.

This is not a translation of the Bhagavad Gita. This is a modernized version. I am not a scholar of Sanskrit and in this work I have not used any Sanskrit words, nor have I linked it in any way to Hindu philosophy. I have tried to write in a way that is likely to appeal to one not familiar with vedic culture.

Dhiru Desai, May 14 1987, Memphis, USA



The tree has roots
deep in the earth;
it branches out
into the skies;
its leaves are green;
and its purpose
is to yield fruit.
This is the view
of the worldly.
But the wise see
the divine tree
as rooted in
high heaven;
its branches touch
all devotees;
and every leaf
is a divine chant;
each juicy fruit
is filled with knowledge.
The wise climb this tree
with strenuous effort,
kiss each leaf lovingly,
seek the fruit of knowledge
with humbleness and truth,
and find their roots in me.


The wise know that
on this planet,
there is the mortal
and the immortal;
the soul within
every being
is immortal;
all else is mortal.
They know that
I am in the perceived,
and in the unperceived,
in the real
and in the unreal,
in the known
and in the unknown.
They know that
I am the memory
and the wisdom,
and that
I know the truth,
I make the truth
and I am the truth.
Those who know me thus
know all.