The Poetry of Acharya Mahaprajna

In this dark world characterized by greed, violence, consumerism and narcissism, Acharya Mahaprajna’s wisdom enchants us and purifies our souls. The poetry of this wandering monk—and beautifully translated by Sudhamathi Regunathan—ought to make us reflect on the possibilities we are endowed with.

                                                                    (1)

Resist not darkness

It has been empowered by destiny

The sun will rise again.

Defy not the closed door 

It knows the secret of liberation

Bondages will find release.

     (2) 

There are many who have eyes

But few are those

Who see.

        (3) 

That which silence said

lasted. 

That which words said

were wept away. 

        (4)

At the beginning and end

of this sentence 

are full stops.

In the evening lies the morning

In the morning, the evening.

The divine is within

And the divine is without.

            (5) 

‘Someone bear the burden

of bringing infinity to light’,

said the lamp.

‘The burden I can take

is to bring light to this hut.’ 

        (6)

The world belongs to him

who has a dream in his heart.

The one who lives within himself

to him the world has no meaning,

And to the world

he is of no use. 

  (7) 

The stars above

want to come down to earth,

And the trees below

want to reach up to the sky.

But happiness is neither up

nor down. 

     (8) 

Difficult it is

to live in the present

Desiring summer in winter

and winter in summer

The name of desire is tension

We do not know how to live in the present.

Nor to desire what is

But want only what is not. 

     (9) 

Always open are

the doors to the sky

Search for wings

that can fly. 

(10) 

The height of the peak

These eyes cannot measure

The tugging of the heart

These eyes cannot feel

These feet alone can know

The distance to the peak

These wounds alone can know

The power of these emotions.

SOURCE: Acharya Mahaprajna, The Sun Will Rise Again: Selected Poems (Translated by Sudhamathi Regunathan), Penguin/Viking, 2008