तुलसी भी मेरी, 
मेरा है बेल। 
एक बँट गया, दो हुआ।
प्यारे मायावी का खेल!

(Basil is Mine. So is Bilva Leaf.
The manifestation of the One in two is nothing
but the play of the Supreme Illusionist)

कंठी भी मेरी,
मेरा ही रुद्राक्ष।
प्रह्लाद है वो,
वही हिरण्याक्ष।

(To me, belongs the Kanthi mala of the Vaishanvas.
And, to me, belongs the Shaivites’ Rudraksha.
My Lord is the One dwelling in Prahalad
And He alone dwells, as well, in Hiranakshya)

कुमकुम-भस्म वो,
वही मेरा चन्दन।
अनहद नाद है वो!
हर अणु का स्पंदन।

(He is the Tilak adorning my forehead,
Be it Bhasma, Sandalwood or Kumkum red.
My Lord is the primordial sound acting as fuel
To cause the vibration of life in every molecule)

नवार्ण भी वो,
पंचाक्षरी, महामंत्र।
प्रामाणिक सत्य वो,
वही वेद-पुराण-तंत्र।

(He is my Navarn,
Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
The Proven Absolute Truth.
He alone is my Vedas, Puran and Tantra)

भगवत गीता में बिखरा
उपनिषदों का मर्म है।
सनातन की धूरि वही,
केशव ही जागृत धर्म है।

(Bhagwat Geeta is flashflood of Eternal Wisdom,

Smeared with the essence of Upanishadic System.

The axis on which Sanatan rotates and stays firm,

Keshav alone is the Manifested Dharm)

सव्यापसव्य है वो,
वास्तव और भ्रम है।
मेरा अग्निहोत्र वही,
तो वही षड्कर्म है!

(Civilised is He and He is Barbarian.

The reality and the deception.

He is my Vedic Agnihotra Dharma,

and He Himself is my Tantric Shad-Karma)

जो माखन मेरा भस्म रमाये,
मैं शैव बन जाऊँ।
ओढ़ वैरागी आसमान मैं,
शिव में ध्यान लगाऊँ।

(If my Maakhan smears Himself in Crematory ashes,

I will renounce everything and become a Shaivite.

Cladding myself in the eternity of detachment,

 Will I sit and meditate on my Shiva, the Ever White)

स्त्री बन माखन करे श्रृंगार,
मैं करधन उसे पहनाऊँ।
ओढ़ रक्त-वस्त्र मैं तन पर,
पञ्च-मुंड पर नवार्ण गाऊँ।

(If my Maakhan becomes a woman and adorns Herself,

I will tie the girdle around Her waist, so quaint.

Cladding this body in Red attire of a Shaakta,

On Panch-mund, the mighty Navarn will I chant)

माखन मेरा धरे हरि रूप,
मैं तत्क्षण “ध्रुव” हो जाऊँ।
गोपी चन्दन, कंठी धर मैं,
नाम-कीर्तन में गोते लगाऊँ।

(If my Maakhan assumes the form of Hari,

At once, will I turn into “Dhruva”, the Vaishnava-Chandra.

Gopi-Chandan on my forehead and kanthi on my neck,

Diving into the ocean of Harinaam Mahamantra)

एक रूप में क्या ही चाहना,
हर रूप में वही प्राप्त है!
प्रेम की आँखें देख रही हैं:
“हरि” में “हर”,
“माखन” में “माँ” व्याप्त है।
बद्रिका का घनश्याम बस!
मेरे लिए वही पर्याप्त है।

(Why to love Him in just one form,

when in every image, He alone is manifested?

The eyes of Love witnessing the Truth, tried and tested:

MAA pervades MAAkhan


HAR lives eternally in HARi.

Just the Ghanshyaam of Badrika,

Beyond sufficient, my Maakhan-Mishri is for me)

Recently, a friend of mine asked me

“How can you love Narayan so deeply and at the same time, be an Upasika of Devi while you are crazy about Shiva?”

And, a few days later, my cousin asked me

“Didi, aren’t you a Vaishnava? How come you love Shiva so dearly?”

The above lines came as Mother Divine’s grace (inside my otherwise dumb head) as the answer.

More often than not, the language of poetry leaves a lot to be interpreted, just like my beloved Master’s cryptic words. Everything that He utters has layers and layers of meaning that reveal themselves one by one as the capability of the disciple (or the devotee) increases while moving ahead on the Path. The same sentence may take on different meanings as the Seeker crosses different milestones in his (or her) spiritual journey. 

Poetry is nothing different (In fact, my Master is a walking Poetry ♥️ You got to meet Him once to know why I am saying what I am saying 😃)

Please allow me to elaborate more on the central idea of this poem.

If the same Divinity is being manifested in various forms (our core Sanatani belief: ‘एकं ब्रह्म द्वितीय नास्ति’ अर्थात एक ही ईश्वर है दूसरा नहीं है। There’s only One Brahman and every else has manifested out of that. This is even the view of Sri Vidya, Kashmir Shaivism and Tantra), why this differentiation then? 

Traditionally, there are many sects in Sanatan Dharma out of which 3 major ones are: Shaiva (For whom Prabhu Shiv is supreme), Shakta (Worshippers of Devi as The Divinity) and Vaishnava (Who considers Shri Vishnu as the supreme personality of the Godhead). 

Orthodoxically speaking, the methods of worship and other paraphernalia differ in the three to some degree. For example, it is believed that basil is loved by Narayana but Tantra prohibits offering Basil to Mahadev or any of the Mahavidyas, who are worshipped with Bilva

Similarly, Vaishanavas wera kanthi mala made of tulsi and shakta and shaivites wear Rudraksha. There way of applying tilak (sacred mark on the forehead) differs a lot, too. 

For a devotee, however, none of these differences matter. When we love someone, all we can see is our beloved in everyone and everything. If I love Narayana and He says in Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta:

रुद्राणां शङ्करश्चास्मि (Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta Chapter 10 Verse 23

Among the Rudras, I am Shankar (Lord Shiva)

मम योनिर्महद्ब्रह्म तस्मिन् गर्भं दधाम्यहम्। (Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta Chapter 14 Verse 3)

The total material substance, prakṛiti, is my womb. I impregnate it with the individual souls, and thus all living beings are born. 

Then, for me, who else is Shiva and Devi, if not Narayana! 

If I love Shiva, Astottara Namavali, the 108 names of Shiva mentions 96th name as, “Hari“.

Name 27 and 38 of Shri Vishnu Sahasranamam are “Shivah” and “Shambhu” respectively. 

Verse 63-64 of Shri Lalita Sahasranamam says,

सृष्टिकर्त्री ब्रह्मरूपा गोप्त्री गोविन्दरूपिणी ॥

संहारिणी रुद्ररूपा तिरोधानकरीश्वरी ।

Devi assumes the form of Brahma and creates the universe. She assumes the form of Govind or Narayana and nourishes it. She takes the form of Rudra or Shiva and dissolves it. 

How do I love The Divine in one form and reject His/Her other forms then! Whatever form the Ishta or the Beloved Deity assumes, the heart of a devotee assumes a form in accordance to it. The world is His stage, Leelakshetra, and the devotee and his or her Lord are in an eternal play, “Leela“.

Be it through the Vedic Agnihotra or yagya or through the Tantric Shad-Karma or application of tantra, a true upasaka will be able to find his or her Beloved in any and everything. 

यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति |
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति || (Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta Chapter 6 Verse 30)

O Kaunteya, the one who sees me in everyone and everything, the one who knows me by my very essence, neither am I invisible for him or her nor is he is she invisible for Me.

I call Narayana by the name, Maakhan. MAAkhan. For me, Devi resides already in my Narayana. He is known as Hari. HARi. Har is the name of Shiva. Hence, even my Shiva resides in Narayana.

Only the eyes of Love can see the non-difference in the three for only Love is truly non-judgmental. Love is my Narayana Himself. 

Hari Bol❤️❤️