William T. Hathaway

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Oct 17, 2022
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Hello, fellow Hindus,
Sanatana Dharma, the mother of all religions, is now being restored to its proper status as the human family’s path to enlightenment. Thank you, India! Hari OM!

Do any of you enjoy reading and writing vacanas? They are short, informal poems of devotion to Shiva. They originated in South India during the tenth century, a time of social upheaval, and they took the side of the poor against the rich, of spontaneous free expression against established orthodoxy, of passion against propriety. Our times are similar to those, so they speak to us across the millennium and are now enjoying a revival by contemporary poets. Here’s a sample, and I’d appreciate your feedback.

Shiva Nataraja
By William T. Hathaway

In my autumn backyard I do puja to you,

chanting your names,

offering fruit, flower and flame

to the Lord of the Cosmic Dance.

Falling leaves

cast dancing shadows

over your shiny brass body.

The wind is blowing the leaves away,

bringing them home to earth,

leaving bare limbs dancing.

A gust blows my candle out.

Chanting your names blows my thoughts out,

leaving me still,

bringing me home to you.

Here we dance as One: Shivo-ham, Shiva-swarupa

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